January 31st – The End!

The end of January is finally here! January is not a kindly month in Saskatchewan, what with the short, frigid days and the arrival of Christmas bills for many. (I have always managed to avoid that but can see how it easily happens).

As much as I could do without the short frigid days, ice, snow and the like, I rather appreciate January – especially now that I am retired. The arrival of January means that we survived another December and we don’t have to deal with that for another year. 👍 January is the beginning of a NEW year – filled with fresh hopes and dreams, adventures, and resolutions. And… January is just a nice laid back month. One does what one must absolutely do and it is perfectly acceptable to do nothing more! January is the perfect month for couch potatoes. 🥔🍟

Kat, the couch potato…

It would have been great to end this month of Canadian Meal Options with an extravagant kitchen finale. However, having had a filling brunch yesterday morning and considering we had a fridge full of leftovers to deal with last night, that did not happen.

Leftover Chinese food 😉

The most ambitious thing we did for supper, was to perk up the leftover rice with the shrimp mix that was leftover from Saturday’s supper. And.. we added one fresh egg. (By we, I mean I handed Dan the egg and he added it to the rice. Just one of the things that I can never manage to make work the way it should. 🙄)

Anyway, this is the last day of January so I have big plans to make the most of it – a little meditating, a bit of putzing around, a peek out the window, maybe a nap. 🤗

That’s it for today. Take care and have a great day!💞

January 30th – Kitchen Duty

The last couple of weeks have been rather hit and miss when it came to home cooking so it is time to get back to pulling some kitchen duty.

Dan was home last night so it was a good evening to cook up a package of (frozen) shrimp we picked up last week. They were smallish shrimp so they were not the best – and they were a pain to clean, but overall the meal was doable. Dan helped by de-veining the shrimp and slicing up the garlic, onions, and mushrooms. 🤗

Frying a bit of garlic in butter to start the shrimp off with.
Sliced onions and mushrooms were added to the garlic.
Seasoning a small beef tenderloin that we would share. (Small but THICK)
Supper is served – Shrimp, garlic, mushrooms, onions and herbs on a bed of Fettuccine Alfredo, grilled steak and asparagus on the side. With ice water. 😊

Being Sunday, we started today off with a brunch of bacon, eggs, and toast. To be honest, we started the day off with coffee and by the time I had the bacon cooked, it was brunch time. (Ok! It was lunch time but we still called it brunch.)

I always cook more than enough bacon so we have some on hand for Caesar salad and the like. (This past summer I discovered egg salad sandwiches with bits of warmed bacon sprinkled on the eggs – SO GOOD!)
Brunch is served!

That’s it for today. Take care and have a great day!💞

January 29th – Tim’s Kitchen

I could not let this month’s ‘Canadian Meal Options’ theme come to an end without one night of Tim’s. 

Every viable town in Saskatchewan has  at least one Oriental restaurant.  Regina, the capital city of this province, has several.  We have two favourites.  One is Peking House.  When my sister Lorraine and her husband Jerry visit, we take a trip downtown to have an eat-in experience at Peking House.  Their salt and pepper dry ribs and their various hot pots are amazing!  If Dan and I are ordering in or picking up, our goto Oriental experience comes courtesy of Tim’s.  Tim’s Kitchen is a small, take-out only shop, conveniently located a few short blocks away from our house.   All of their food is great but their Wor Wonton Soup and deep fried wontons are exceptional! 

Last night was a Tim’s night.

Tim’s Work Wonton Soup & Fried Wonton
Dry garlic ribs, beef chop Suey (with shrimp from the Shanghai noodles which I do not eat), deep fried wontons, vegetable spring rolls with plum sauce, szechuan chicken, and Tim’s special rice.   Pepsi in the wine glass – and yes Kat firmly planted under my table in case anything happened to (accidentally) fall her way.

We have plenty left over for another meal. We can never narrow our options down to a one meal experience.

That is it for today. I have a busy day planned with some kitchen deep cleaning and an ambitious supper plan. 😉

Take care and have a great day! 💞

January 28th – Take the Cake!

Yesterday was one of those days that just does not recover around food. Dan brought me a Robins raisin bran muffins for breakfast. A huge muffin! It kept me going until supper. For supper, Dan and I both had leftovers. He had the leftover seasoned ground beef from nacho night, mixed into a dish of Spanish rice. It looked and smelled amazing. I had the leftover roast pork, warmed in a pan with butter, sliced onions, and fresh mushrooms, with a generous side of buttered brussel sprouts. It was delicious but not as photogenic as it sounds

Our less than heroic kitchen efforts yesterday, left me lacking anything for my January Canadian food blog, so I did what I had to do to stay on point. I assembled some historic photos for today’s cheat day.

Welcome to great cakes through the years!

Celebrating my 4th birthday with sisters Denise and Elaine and brother Pete. My mother made delicious birthday often angel food made from scratch – and a lot of eggs!
Cake and strawberries. 😉
Salted caramel cake from the Co-op bakery. OMG!
Our wedding cake💞
A Valentine Birthday cake for Jen
Another July birthday cake for me.
Happy Birthday to Canada
Those were cakes that Jen made for Maddy & Prim💞
The German Chocolate cake that Dan made for his and Amanda’s wedding. Best chocolate cake EVER!
Turtle Cheesecake 🐢

That is it for today – I could fill a month of posts with cakes that we have enjoyed over the years. Lots of birthday cakes, wedding cakes, Christmas cakes, chocolate cakes, white cakes – you name it, we take it! It isn’t a celebration until the cake comes out. 🎉

That is it for today. Take care and have a great day! (And if you get the opportunity – have cake!)

January 27th – Nearing the End

We are seeing the tail end of January and we can already see and feel the difference. The days are dawning earlier and the sun is setting later. The ‘warmer’ days are getting warmer and the cold days do not seem quite as cold. Maybe I am acclimatizing.

I cannot say too much about my cooking efforts yesterday.

Supper was leftover gnocchi stew with garlic toast in lieu of the crusty buns we had for the stew debut.
I did assemble some spices and Parmesan cheese to make a fresh batch of croutons.
Bread cubes oiled and seasoned.
Out of the air frier and ready to go!
And.. Another evening with Orville Redenbacher

That is it for today. Take care and have a great day!

Getting excited anticipating sunny skies and frilly flowers. 💞

January 26th – Nachos

WordPress seems to be having issues this morning. Every time I add a photo, it changes any previous photos to the new photo and adds multiples….

Anyway, Dan and I had a nice time out and about yesterday. It had been a couple of weeks since I had been anywhere, so it was nice to get a change of scenery – even if most of our scenery is buried under an abundance of snow.

We stopped at Mark’s for their seasonal clearance sale, where I did not buy anything. We stopped at Walmart, where I did buy a few things including three pairs of round the house lounging pants. We stopped at Old Fashioned Foods to pick up raw sunflower seeds and enjoy the heavenly aromas of that store. Finally we drove across the city to a little shop to pick up some CBD cream. With all the running around, it was too late to put together the supper I had planned on, so… we made nachos for supper.

Brown ground beef and add taco seasoning.
Spread on tortilla chips with green onions, red pepper, jalapeno peppers, green and black olives
Cover with shredded habanero cheese
Bake until cheese is melted and broil until cheese is browned. Serve with salsa and sour cream.

That was a painful experience! I hope this post goes through as I made it and you are not treated to seventeen copies of the same photo. 😕

That is it for today. Take care and have a great day!

January 25th – Gnocchi Stew

Another chilly day in the north forty!  I have places to go and things to do today, but fortunately Dan is home today to take me where I need to go. 

Dan went shopping yesterday and picked up  gnocchi so we could make the stew I had originally planned for supper on Sunday.  Nothing like a pot of steamy, tasty, comfort food to get us through a frigid spell of Saskatchewan winter.

Browning the beef in seasoned flour…
Adding the vegetables Dan chopped – onions, garlic, red pepper, mushrooms, celery, carrots, and parsnip. Add beef broth and … Into the oven for an hour or so.
Add the gnocchi, more broth, and a can of Swiss Chalet beef gravyBack into the oven.
Add frozen peas..and back into the oven!
Ready to serve with fresh baked, buttery, Pillsbury crusty buns!

While I was cooking the stew, I made a rediculously obvious discovery about the new stove we bought a few weeks ago.  🙄

I don’t know how frequently most people replace their stoves, but we had our last one for twenty years ago.  Like this one, it was a Whirlpool, glass top, electric, self cleaning stove.   Over the past twenty years, Whirlpool has made a few notable changes.  Our new stove has no power outlet in the top control panel (which was so handy on our last stove since our kitchen is seriously  lacking power outlets!). Our new stove has a convection fan – which I love – especially for some things like cooking thick cut bacon.  And our new stove has a BIG oven. It takes away room from the drawer at the bottom of the stove but it is BIG! And big is always better – right?  Except that ever since we have gotten our new stove, I have struggled to get things in and out of the oven.  Especially big heavy things like Dutch ovens full of stew.  What the hell?

Yes it needs cleaning – 🙄

The salesman was so excited about the big, roomy oven!  What he didn’t mention (no doubt because it was so obvious) is that the big oven came with a BIG oven door. A door that anyone  five foot nothing would have issues reaching across to put things into or take things out of the oven. Like really?  Who do they design these big ovens for?  Nobody in my family for sure.  When it comes to size, I am kind of the pick of the litter.  My sisters can only dream of being five foot nothing.   😧

I just called my salesman and told him that this issue might be something to mention to other height challenged home makers. I also suggested that people should be encouraged to use the floor mounting bracket that comes with these stoves, as the bigger oven door does tend to make the stove less stable than our older one. Our salesman definitely agreed that these suggestions were noteworthy and would be passing them along to his co-workers. 🙂

That is it for today. Take care and have a great day!

January 24th – Sunday Supper

The mercury took another major dip this morning.  It is a good day to stay inside and do laundry.  Unfortunately for Dan, we also need groceries so he is out into the cold and onto the icy roads to go shopping this morning.

With our weather as mild as it was yesterday, the snow on the patio packed down considerably before I got out to shovel a path for Kat.  Needless to say, it weighed a ton – and I have to throw it about six feet over a pile of snow to get it off the patio and onto the garden area. Kat got half her path cleaned, I got a sore shoulder, and it is what it is until until our weather moderates again.  🙂

Yesterday, being Sunday, seemed like a good day to make a real meal for supper.    I took out a generous  package of stewing beef to make gnocchi stew.  After defrosting the beef for a couple of hours, I realized we were out of gnocchi, so….. stuffed pork roast it was.

Spreading out the stuffing…
Rolled up and oven ready… (Have I mentioned I love our new stove?)
Making gravy – I only mention it because I really like my gravy mixer.  It came free on a bottle of wine, but it was worth the price of the wine.
Stuffed roast pork with mushroom sauce, mashed potatoes and gravy, mixed vegetables – and another glass of the Pelee Island Merlot.

That is it for today. Take care and have a great day!

January 22nd – More Snow

There is only so much one can say about Saskatchewan in January.  It is cold and we have snow.   Yesterday I made my first snow clearing effort of the year and today we are getting more snow.   Whatever, I need the fresh air and exercise.

Do I really need that much exercise? 👀

I do have to say that other than the cold, flu, Omicron experience that I had last week – and the lingering hacking cough that I have, I am feeling good.   Really GOOD!  When I had my hernia repair last month, the surgeon told me that my heartburn, bloating, etc. was not caused by my hernia and he prescribed some pills for what ailed me.  It seemed odd at the time, that he would know how to fix an undiagnosed issue, but I trusted him and took the pills (that are meant to neutralize stomach acid).  These pills are amazing!  Zero side effects (which itself is amazing).  And I feel good – no heartburn, bloating, nausea, cramping, hiccups, diaharrea – nothing!   It is just a miracle!  Thank you, Dr. P! 🤗

Supper was a relatively simple affair last night – chicken, rice pilaf, broccoli and cauliflower, with a leftover biscuit.   The only thing I did, out of the ordinary, was that I used Mrs. Dash seasoning and a bit of black pepper on the chicken.   The rice seemed over salty, so I decided we could do without it on the chicken.   All in all, it was a passable meal.

Supper is served!

That is it for today. I have to make Kat a new batch of food and get out to deal with some of this white stuff. Take care and have a great day! 💞

January 21st – Great Outdoors

It has been a beautiful day so far.  We are in the single minus digits – Celcius, the sun is shining, and the wind is tolerable – so far.  Kat and I went outside to feed the squirrels and birds.  It was pleasant enough that I even shovelled a little snow. 👍☃️

Kat is recovering nicely from her dental surgery.  She had her last dose of painkiller this morning so other than being on a soft food diet, she should be her old self tomorrow.  She is still not super happy with me but she will definitely appreciate her dental healthcare at some point – when she can gnaw through her food without pain.

Last night, I finally got in the kitchen and made a real home cooked meal.  Okay… There was limited cooking involved as I made taco salads.

Turning tortilla shells into salad bowls – brush shells with olive oil, press between two salad bowl molds, cook at 350 degrees for six minutes, flip over and remove bottom pan, return to oven until crispy
Remove salad bowls from oven
Brown the beef & Add Old El Paso Taco Seasoning
Prepare lettuce, red pepper, green onions, radishes, tomato, and olives. Assemble cheese & salad dressing.
Supper is served! (The salad part is under the meat and cheese)
And for desert – Presidents Choice Chocolate Caramel Pecan Cluster cheesecake 😁

That is it for today. Take care and have a great day!