Tag Archives: green beans

Fondant Stars, Chicken Hearts, the Pillsbury Dough Boy, and Prawn Skips…

I haven’t done a rambling, random post with lots of food in it for a while, so here’s one for you:

1. Anna convinced me to buy her some pre-made fondant at Bulk Barn a couple of weeks ago so she could do some cake decorating…last summer, she and Brianna had made fondant from scratch for a cake for Jim’s birthday, but it was apparently a sticky nightmare to work with.  So Mom forked over $16.00 for 4 lbs. of fondant.  Anna made yellow cake, which looked like this when she finished decorating it:

Anna's Star Cake...she cut out the stars freehand with a knife...

2. Kaylee and Scott came over for supper on Sunday…I made gingerbread for dessert (sorry, no photo…it’s gone!).  Lucky Scott found the “bonus hair” in his!  I apologized profusely, but he seemed okay with it (of course, he might have been scared to make a big deal…would you yang at your mother-in-law about her cooking?).  Apparently, Kaylee’s hair is all over their house, and hers is a lot longer than mine!

3. Speaking of hair, I finally got to the hairdresser this week after four months (I normally go every 6-8 weeks).  My grey is gone again (Anna says I look like a “ginger”) and Heather cut about 4″ off the bottom.  I now have a somewhat sexy bob (which unfortunately accentuates my fat cheeks!).  I’m waiting for the last of the snow to melt so I can get out my bike and get rid of the extra inches around my middle!

4. Devin got his learner’s permit last week…Jim is looking forward to passing the torch to Devin as “family chauffeur” once he gets his license!  Anna and I are next!

Elise and Uncle Devin checking out "Dwarf Fortress"...photo by Jim

5. Hope, Dad and I enjoyed a feast of Chinese Chicken Hearts early this week (no one else in the house will eat them, although Kaylee converted Scott and his friend!).  I sauté them, and then add soy sauce, garlic powder, ginger, and brown sugar…yummy!  I made rice pilaf with chicken for the non-heart eaters.

Sautéed Chinese Chicken Hearts...don't they look delicious?

6. I was excited to pick up my seeds for the garden last week!  I can’t wait to start planting the indoor stuff.  I’m going to try leeks, kale, arugula, spaghetti squash, a yellow tomato called “banana legs”, and a black cherry tomato for the first time this year.  I was dismayed to discover that I only have three bags of green beans left in the freezer…will be rationing those from now on!

7. I was supposed to donate blood today, but found out that the clinic was cancelled…I’ve been drinking (water) like crazy all week, to avoid the problem I had last time.  I read somewhere that drinking a couple of glasses of water a half hour before one eats is a good weight loss tool…it makes your stomach think it’s full sooner, so that you don’t eat as much.  I tried that yesterday with my Chinese food at lunch…my stomach told me it was full, but I pretended it was one of the kids and ignored it!  Today I’m paying for that beef and broccoli…the day I stop eating red meat all together is looming!

8.  The Pillsbury Dough Boy is 50 years old today…how ironic that a big-bunned girl like me was born the same year as a guy known for his rolls!

"Wow...you made me a cake?" Photo of Pillsbury Dough Boy from about-recipes.com

9. Jim decided to make banana bread at 10:00 at night on Tuesday night…the two loaves are nearly gone three days later!  Kaylee sent me a recipe for soft pretzels, but it only makes 10, which would disappear in about five minutes at our house!

10. Hope came home from cheerleading with an injury on Wednesday…she had gotten hit in the face while trying to catch their flyer.  Her glasses dug into her nose, and her nose was dented and bruised.  Anna messed up her knee at her cheerleading practice on Thursday.  She used a bag of frozen corn as an ice pack last night.   Competititions start in a couple of weeks…I hope they’re better by then!

11. I got some awesome new cookie sheets last night…ours are getting really decrepit.  The ones I got are heavy Pyrex brand, non-stick ones for only $6 each…I bought two.  They even have the spots for cookies marked on them…how cool is that?

Pyrex cookie sheet...see the markings for those of us who have trouble making straight rows? Photo from productreview.com.au

12. Elise is getting some experience tasting international foods.  Kaylee has a cyber-friend in Ireland named Clodagh (they’ve been friends about ten years), who sent her a book recently.  Knowing Kaylee’s penchant for UK foods, Clo thoughtfully included some Prawn Cocktail Skips (shrimp-flavoured chips), Jaffa Cakes (chocolate covered cookies with jelly in the middle), and Barratt Nougat (chewy candy) in the package.  Here’s a video of Elise trying the Prawn Skips (Scott is not a fan!): 

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Of Birthdays, Bieber, Balloons, Beans, and Blueberry Pancakes…

Last Saturday was the day my youngest daughter, Hope, elected to celebrate her 12th birthday…she isn’t actually twelve until the 31st, but since that weekend is a holiday weekend in Canada, she often has trouble getting people to come to her party (Anna has the same problem with her August 3rd birthday).

On Monday, Jim took Hope to Sobeys to order her special photo cake…she is crazy about a young singer from Ontario called Justin Bieber…you may have heard of him.  He sings that song that keeps getting stuck in my head: “Baby, baby, baby, ohhhh!” Anna Photoshopped a picture of Hope and her teen idol together…this is what Hope wanted on her cake.

Anna's Photoshopped Picture of Justin and Hope...

Hope had invited about seven or eight friends to her party…I asked her to confirm how many were coming Saturday morning before I bought the food.  She was disappointed to find that only three girls were able to make it…”Having my birthday in the summer sucks!” she declared miserably.  I had to agree with her…mine is July 17th…I almost never had kids I knew from school at my parties…

We went to town to pick up the snacks and the cake.  Hope decided to have takeout pizza from Greco instead of the tacos she’d asked for originally…I was fine with that…it was deadly hot on Saturday, and I really wasn’t excited about cooking.  Anna helpfully reminded me of Hope’s allergic reaction to Greco pizza a few years before, after we’d already decided to get it…I decided we could risk it…the allergy had happened after repeated consumption over a period of weeks.

We got the chips, pop, ice cream, and Smore makings.  The cake was gorgeous (and not really expensive)!

The cake...

After we got back, I picked some blueberries.  Then I went on an expedition in the yard to find some good marshmallow-roasting sticks…wading through the thistles in our front field, I came to a likely-looking bush.  Whoops…don’t think so!  They were wild roses…a little prickly.  I went to the side yard, where there was some dead wood on an old apple tree…perfect!  I cut several sticks, and cautioned the kids not to wreck them…good sticks are hard to find!

While I was outside, Hope busied herself blowing up balloons…her oldest sister, Kaylee, hates them: “I’m going to chase Kaylee around with them when she gets here,” Hope said.  Such a loving sister…

The party was set to start at four…Jim and I went to pick up the pizza…the guests arrived while we were gone.

We arrived back to find out that one of Hope’s friends had issues with eating cheese…I felt bad because I didn’t know…she said she’d just pick it off the pizza.  We all ate pizza and garlic fingers (the adults took theirs out on the deck where it was quieter).

After supper, Hope opened her presents…quite a haul considering the small guest list…she’s in town spending her birthday money as we speak!  She pretended to be surprised when she opened her cellphone (we’d picked it up on Thursday – she’d been using it constantly since then).  The girls had a great time batting the balloons around the living room at each other.

Then it was time for cake…Hope requested “Justin’s head.”  I cut carefully around his haircut…Hope winced as I sliced under his chin.  She stuffed the whole piece in her mouth at once!  Her friends, most of whom were not Bieber fans, took turns poking his chest with a sparkler…mean girls!

Hope and Justin's head...

Justin's head disappears...

Kaylee had requested some veggies from our garden…I took her and Scott outside and harvested some salad greens, some chives, some peas, and gave them a bag of green/yellow/purple beans I’d picked the night before.

I played with Elise a little bit before they went home…her hair and teeth are coming in nicely…can’t believe she’ll be a year old in September!

Elise...ten-and-a-half months old...

Hope and her friends played on the trampoline, and then Jim lit a bonfire in the firepit for them to do the Smores.  They weren’t outside very long before deciding to come in.  Up to Hope’s room they went to giggle and do what tween girls do…paint each other’s nails, and listen to bad music too loud!

I stayed up way too late writing my blog, and went upstairs to bed about 12:30.  I told the girls they would need to settle down, since I was going to bed.  About 1 a.m., there was a knock on my door…Hope reported that the girl with cheese problems didn’t feel well and her dad was coming to get her.  I heard the dad arrive (Jake barked) but fell asleep after that…I have no idea what time the girls finally conked out… 

Hope called me on the intercom at 9 a.m. Saturday morning: “What are you making us for breakfast?”  I felt like a truck had been driving over me…rolling back and forth, repeatedly, the entire night…

After consultation with the remaining two party guests, Hope elected pancakes and hash browns for breakfast.  I dragged my butt downstairs in my jammies to prepare their feast.  Opening the fridge to get the milk, I saw the blueberries I’d picked the day before…I’d surprise the girls and put them in the pancakes!

Pancake Batter...

That went over like a lead balloon: “They’re kinda sour, Mom,” said Hope.  I thought they were amazing!

Blueberry Pancakes...yummy!

During breakfast, Hope informed me that one of the girls needed a drive home…luckily, the other girl lived close by.  I decided to ask her mom if she’d mind dropping her off.

When 11:00 came, the mom arrived, and she said she’d drive the extra kid…good thing, because Jim wasn’t up yet…

After the kids were gone, our Sunday went back to normal…got the dishwasher and the laundry started…Anna and Hope went back to their usual arguing…

Anna’s 16th birthday is the next one…don’t know if she’s having a party or not…can’t wait…

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