Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Happy Wednesday!

Just a quick fly-by post here today to let you all know I'm still breathing.

Been a busy month or so here at the new homestead and it doesn't look like I'm not going to get a break for a least another 2 weeks!

We are ALMOST ready to start moving our things in... ALMOST. I feel like I've been saying that for just about forever. In anycase, it's for real this time! Our kitchen cabinets are just about up. I'm stilllll painting base boards. And we will still need to stain the kitchen cabinets over the next couple of weeks before we can go for an occupancy permit (the joys of building...). 

While just about everything will be finished by the time we're ready to move all our gear in, it looks like not everything will get done. 

Like our kitchen countertops... yup went to order them today... 4 WEEKS WAIT. I seriously nearly died. Sometimes I really hate living on an island in the tip of the continent. Well it looks like I'll have plywood countertops for a couple of weeks!

Hope to get back to my regular blogging soon!


Thursday, June 12, 2014

Happy Thursday,

Weeeeelllll it seems that I may have caught the foodie eye of some of you with my last post ;) I'm glad I could be the devil on your shoulder egging you on to indulge (cue evil laughter).

The title says it all. Today's post is allll about the entree that I hinted at previously.

I'll give you a little warning before I go any further... time is this recipe's best friend. But don't let this deter you, it's worth the effort!

I'm talking about Amy Thielen's Peppered Pork Sandwiches!!!

The recipe has a couple of different components that I've never done before. 1 was making flat bread for the sandwiches. 

The method was a little different compared to the usual way I make actual bread but it still came out lovely. Plus commmoooon! BREAD... carbs make me happy :)

The second was that the recipe calls for the pork to be placed in a brine for a few hours / overnight. I did a dry brine comprised of salt and sugar. I won't get into the scientific reasons why brining is good, suffice it to say that its purpose is to produce a juicy piece of meat at the end of it all. This is particularly helpful for typically easily dried out meats like pork, chicken and turkey. 

I can safely say I am now a brining convert! 

Would you just look at that crispy peppery crust! I have to tell you, I was very skeptical about putting soooo much pepper on the meat initially. I don't do well with spice (I'm a total wimp), so the first time made this I put on about half of the called for pepper. 

I've made this a total of 3 times since first trying it and now I try to get the thickest layer of cracked pepper corn I possibly can on this baby. At the end of the day, you shave the meat so thinly that you hardly taste much of the pepper at all. It just becomes another layer to the overall flavour. (PS: If you have an electric knife now's the time to use it - so much easier than hand slicing every piece.)

This was also my first time grilling flat bread on the BBQ. I couldn't get the picture of the bread going up in flames and burning down the house out of my head. I didn't let this pyro-phobia get to me though. I wacked on a few stretched pieces of bread dough at a time and they came out BEAUTIFULLY! 

 And here we are, the final result. Toss in your favourite green, some parm cheese and flavoured mayo and you've got yourself a winner!

I'll leave you know with the pups. They got a little tried from following me around and around and around while I was running about the kitchen. They are my constant shadows. I can't go anywhere without them following me. That fact makes sleepy moments like these so precious.

Happy cooking!



Monday, June 9, 2014

Happy Monday!

My goodness it's been a busy couple of weeks! I seriously have had next to zero time to devote to the stitchy world. Between house work and actual workplace work, I've been flat out. Needless to say, when I opened my blog reading list and it said I had over 500 unread posts I realized just how much catching up I've got to do.

I did however get a little bit of time to spend in the kitchen :) One of my favourite things to do. As with any hobby, I find I go through spurts of feeling like spending lots of time in the kitchen whipping up something to feed the gob. 

But, BOY, have I ever been on a roll over the last few days. I contribute it all to discovering a new cooking show called Heartland Table. I am now totally and completely in love with everything that Chef Amy Thielen creates. I have never seen a show or read a single cook book where I think I would actually make and eat everything they make. I may LOVE Jamie Oliver for example, but some of his stuff I could take or leave. But this is NOT the case with Ms. Thielen's creations. Everything I have seen her make so far I could gobble down in a second. 

So I spent the last couple of weekends trying some of her creations plus a few extras! I've posted links to the recipes for those that may be a little tempted ;) 

There's far too much to show you in one post so expect a follow up!

For the sake of this foodie post I'm going to show you an amazing appetizer and flavourful (and nutty) dessert. 

Sometimes I actually think I could just eat an appetizer and follow that with dessert and I would be one happy woman. But then again, when you have a show stopping entrée, well WHO would want to miss that. (I loved it sooooo much I'm devoting pt.2 to it!)

First up is Amy Thielen's Fried Onion Dip

Of course, if you're like me, anything involving onions, butter and a fry pan is an equation for success.

Goodness, just look at those caramelized pieces of heaven! I can almost smell them now, even though the dip has long since been devoured...

Seriously, this is one quick and awesome dip. The best part about it? You eat it warm! It's not one of those "cover and refrigerate for 2 hrs" kinda dips. It is tasty cold as well, the flavours I found intensified after a night spent in the fridge. However, I found that I needed to let it rest at room temp for about a half hour before eating because it tends to become more solid when chilled. 

Now onto dessert (Yup skipping the entree for now folks - watch for my next post!)

I hinted previously that dessert would be of the nutty variety. To be exact it's Ree Drummond's Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie.

NO BAKING! Can I just announce that again? THIS PIE DOES NOT NEED TO BE BAKED!

When I heard that I instantly put it on the "to-make list."

As if all this and the thought of peanut butter didn't already have you hooked (I'm a lover obviously), this pie also involves making an oreo crust (which does, in fact, need 5 minutes in the oven but that doesn't really count as baking does it????)

Oh no... my stomach is starting to grumble!

Put whipped peanut butter fluffiness and crispy crunchy oreo crust together and you have a miracle in a pie dish.

Yes - You want this NOW!

Now go feed your gob and come back in a day or two for the next foodie installement :)

Happy cooking!


Thursday, May 29, 2014

Happy Thursday!

BOY! Has this ever been a whirlwind of a week. I cannot believe it is almost Friday and the weekend is on the horizon.

It's been a while now since I last gave you all a peak at how my house is coming along.

We're getting into the finishing touches now with only the small stuff (except the KITCHEN) needing to be done.

The last couple of weeks we've been staining in preparation for installing the stairs. Needless to say I think all our DIY efforts have not gone astray :)

The actual stair treads themselves are not fully installed yet but they are well on their way!

Next up is the gorgeous tile floor my mom picked out for my front entrance. The fiance and I went out probably a half dozen times trying to figure out what kind of tile we wanted to lay, but liked NOTHING. I was so sick of trying to find a tile to suit that I delegated the task to my lovely mama who as more than a serious nack for interior decorating! This stuff comes from bella Italia! A little piece of place I love so much right as you come in my front door :)

I think the tile also complements the rustic characteristic of the hand-scraped hardwood we chose to lay.  

And here's my dining room! All finished, even if it's a little bit dirty. Thank god I have amazing superhero like carpenters for family :) Absolutely IN LOVE with the wainscoting. You might notice that there is no wall paper on the walls like I had originally planned. Let's just say THAT is a whole other post... but in the end I'm really very happy with how everything turned out, especially my perfect purple ceiling (YUP you read that right).

Outside of my ongoing housey project I have been getting some stitching time in. 

I need it for my sanity.

We are all burning out a little at this point, so some leisure time is well needed.

Until next time!


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Happy Wednesday Everyone!

After receiving a couple of messages asking for a recipe for these beauties:

I decided a quick post was in order so I could share it with all of you!

I should warn you however, the recipe is more of a guideline for me than actual rules for baking bread. I often fiddle with how much liquid/flour I use or how long I let them rise, constantly trying to prefect. 

One day I might only let the first rise happen for 45minutes and the next day I might let it rise for 1hr+! It's all about the way it looks and feels. This also means I may not use all the dry mixture or I may even add a bit of extra flour if I feel it needs it. So feel free to fiddle!

The following recipe is my Grandmothers Dinner Roll recipe - always a huge hit in our house and at family gatherings. It's gotten to the point that if these little treasures don't make it to the plate that it feels like something is missing! Brings reality to the saying 'savour the little things' :)

Nan's Dinner Rolls


  • 3/4c. Milk
  • 1/4c. water
  • 1/4c. butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 + 3/4c. Bread Flour (or all purpose if you're in a pinch)
  • 2 tblsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp of active dry yeast (I also sometimes use instant yeast/bread machine yeast... just because I'm a kitchen rebel)

  1. In a saucepan add the milk, water and butter together. Heat over low/med heat until the butter is JUST melted and the mixture is lukewarm to the touch. If the mixture is too hot it will kill the yeast so this is THE most important step to master. Too cold and the yeast will not activate. (A bit of "damned if you do and damned if you don't" isn't it?!) If you feel that your mixture is a little too hot simply transfer to a large mixing bowl and leave it for 5 minutes or so until it cools down (been there done that!).
  2. Transfer lukewarm milk/water/butter mixture to large mixing bowl and stir the sugar. Once the sugar is desolved, sprinkle the yeast onto the surface of the mixture and leave for 5-6 minutes to activate. After this time, the yeast should look creamy and slightly bubbly if you're using the active dry yeast. FUN FACT: The sugar will help feed the yeast :)
  3. While waiting for your yeast, in a separate bowl, mix the rest of the dry ingredients.
  4. Pour half of the dry mixture into the liquid mix in the large bowl. Add the egg. Vigorously stir the ingredients together until they have combined. Add more of the dry mixture (handfuls at a time) to the large mixing bowl until the dough starts to come away from the sides and can no longer be mixed with a spoon. In other words, the dough is too thick to work with a spoon now and you need to use those two hands God gave you! Time to get dirty! 
  5. On a flat surface sprinkled with flour (don't forget to flour your hands too!), kneed your dough (adding more of your dry mixture little by little) for 7-10 minutes until you can easily form a ball and the dough is not overly sticky to the touch and is smooth and free of dry floury lumps. 
  6. Place the dough into a large greased bowl and lightly grease the top of the dough as well. Place a tea towel over the top and let rise in a warm place for 45mins-1hr, until the dough has more than doubled in size. The longer you let your dough rise the lighter the final product will be.
  7. After this time, punch the dough and let rest for 5-10 minutes. 
  8. To make the rolls you cut palm size chunks from the dough and either (a) form them into small balls and place into medium sized greased muffin baking sheet. Don't over work the dough when making the balls. If they're not perfect no worries! OR (b) form them into little knots like the picture above. Start by greasing a large cookie sheet. Then cut palm size chunks of dough and roll them in your hand to make it cylindrical. Roll them out until the dough is no longer than the length of your hand. Tie into knots and place on the cookie sheet. Spacing at 1/2 an inch each.  No matter which method you use, let rise for 45mins-1.25hrs or until doubled. 
  9. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  10. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until the tops and bottoms are golden brown.
  11. Let cool on a cooling rack and using a paper towel to lightly butter the tops of the buns while they are still hot. This is best done as soon as it's been taken from the oven and placed on the cooling rack. DO NOT WAIT! The butter will be absorbed by the bread and create a lusciously soft exterior.

Makes 12-14 rolls.

NOTE: Because this mixture contains milk and eggs it will only be good in a sealed bag on the counter for a couple of days. I recommend freezing any extras after this time. These rolls hold up excellently in the freezer. Once thawed and reheated you'd never know that they weren't fresh from the oven!

Until next time!


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Happy Tuesday Folks!

Actually it's my Monday/Tuesday :) Back to work after an extra long weekend! 

As much as I like to complain about the weather here in Newfoundland (like today... rainnnnn, or the last two days of pea soup thick fogggggg), the beauty of this rugged land offers up some of the best scenery in the world. I know... cocky of me isn't it? ;) 

Despite having a miserable last few days weather wise, one day of stellar weather is enough to make you forget all about it! Saturday was this kind of day. 

Winds = negligible. This is huge deal considering they call this the "wind swept land". I won't deny it, trees along our coast not only grow in the most precarious of places (ie: on the side of cliffs) but they're also stumpily short and often grow sideways in the direction of the prevailing winds.

Temperature = ideal. Well ideal for a long walk/hike without dying from the heat. 20 degrees C is nearly unheard of this time of year, but it HAPPENED!

Climate = dry as a bone. No mucky puddles to be had!

So I took advantage of the wicked weather. Filled a bag with a couple bottles of water and a blanket, donned my old sneakers, hitched my dog up to her leash and off we went on a trip to Ferryland. 

As a child I can remember passing through this quaint community almost every weekend on the way to my Nan's cabin. Back then I knew it as "Fairy-land" and boy did that ever set my imagination to work. 

Newfoundland (NL) has many superstitions and the mythical fairies are just one of them.

I'm not talking about your run of the mill, whimsical, beautiful fairy here. More like your menacing, conniving, poltergeist type of fairy.  

When my mother was a child my Nan would give her breadcrumbs before she would go out over the barrens (the mossy-marshy-rocky mix you see above). The breadcrumbs were for the fairies so that if they ever wanted to "take her" (who knows were) she'd be able to give them to the fairies in exchange for her freedom. 

Now imagine telling that to a kid! I'd be scared out of my wits with fear! Perhaps this is why I'm such a homebody now ;) Who in their right mind would want to go outside with freaky fairies about????

Luckily, this perception of fairies in NL never coloured my liking for the community. It remains, as it ever was, a real life example of what NL is all about. The fishing heritage, the cultural heritage, and the iconic landscape NL has to offer. 

For whatever reason, I feel oddly connected to Ferryland. I can honestly say it's my favourite community in NL, and I have been to MANY. It's not special to me for any particular reason. It's not THE most beautiful place in the world or even the province, although it certainly has it's merits! I don't partake in the community. I don't attend church there. All I've ever done in Ferryland is take in a walk from time to time. I've probably made the trek back and forth to the lighthouse dozens of times. Each time is just as satisfying as the last no matter if it's in the thick of a fog, in the freezing ocean wind, or when the sun is splitting the rocks. 

It's just special. I can't give any other reason than that.

After getting my annual dose of Ferryland, I headed back to my family's cabin in a neighbouring community. 

Again, despite the weather for the remainder of the weekend, I had a blast. Relaxing, stitching, and making bread!!!! (Another favourite thing to do of mine).

This time it was rolls :) What's Sunday Turkey without dinner rolls!?!?

I love tying them up into neat little bundles of pure heaven! All you have to do is tear them open, toss in a little butter and there you have it... PERFECTION!

I'm always a little sad when it's time to leave. And who wouldn't be when this is right outside your door? 

You wouldn't know from this picture if it was spring or fall, but I can guarantee you, give it a couple of weeks and the juniper trees will have filled out, the birch will have sprouted a few leaves, and together with the pine, this will become a luscious landscape of green and blue.

Before I leave, I have to show you my stitchy progress! It was a productive weekend in more ways then one!

Until next time,

Happy Stitching!


Friday, May 16, 2014

Happy Friday!

And happy-start-of-the-long-weekend to my fellow Canadians!!! HURRAY! 

I am pleased to report that winter has, at least temporarily, been kicked out of my neck of the woods. HURRAY AGAIN! With the weather forecasters predicting 17C this afternoon and double digit temps all weekend I truly hope I don't have to share any more depressing icy pics with you until November. Hope I'm not getting too optimistic here...

Now if I could just kick this little cold my brother kindly gave me, I might just be able to get out for a weekend hike and (dare I say it) enjoy the weather????

I do plan to spend some quality stitching time on Santa this weekend as well. Yup, we're taking a much needed break from home construction. We may be thhhhhhissssss close to finishing but boy are we ever burnt out. 

So just because I am committed to putting in a TON of work in on Santa I thought it would be a great idea to show you how far along I am right now. 

I'd say I'm a little better than 1/3 of the way through on this chart so far. The really difficult parts are now coming up. I'm also leaving all the beading until last because BOY is there ever a lot of it. I figure the glass beads and my q-snaps may not make a lovely combo. 

This will be my first time ever really beading. YIKES! I'm actually kind of scared because not only have I never really done it before, but I have also never seen it done before. Sure, I see lots of lovely pictures out there with cross stitch and beading wonderfully mixed, but it's not really helping me with HOW I go about beading.

Some burning questions I have are:
  • What kind of floss do I use to bead? 
  • Do I even use floss?
  • Will the bead cover-up the fabric so it's not visible so that the design will look complete and not "holey". 
  • Am I suppose to cross stitch the spots where the bead is suppose to go in a similar colour floss to prevent "holeyness"?
  • Do I attach a bead and then tie off or do I do bead after bead?
So please, my dear stitchers, if you have any tips you want to share please leave a comment! I need your help :)

Wish me luck!

Have a great weekend,


Monday, May 12, 2014

It's May 12...

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Happy Tuesday!

Well I'm trying to be happy. That's kind of hard to do when you wake up to this:

We have a name for this kind of thing in Newfoundland. It's called Sheila's Brush. But BOY Sheila hasn't been too nice to us lowly Newfoundlanders of late. Normally she sticks to March to provide us with our last winter hur'rah! 

It wouldn't be so bad if it was actually Winter time. But nope, all we've had is horrible weather and freezing temps and a Winter that is hanging on with every tooth and nail she has left. 

It's kind of ironic to wake up to this white stuff when last night, for the first time in weeks, I got to sit down and stitch away on Santa's Magic. Santa, as much as I love the idea of magic, I didn't need it to bring me a helping of snow!!!

I've now started down the sleeve and things are certainly starting to take shape!!!

But wait... you didn't really think you'd make it out of this post without witnessing some DIY did you? I did a bit of a trade of last night. A bit of light work for the house in exchange for some quality stitching time.

Just after supper last night I whipped out my trusty latex gloves and a foam brush in anticipation of STAINING. Eeeek! 

To me staining is scary stuff. Once it's on it never comes off. And I'm not just talking about the wood variety of products.

As you can probably tell, my parents garage is filled to bursting with allllll my earthly belongings. One thing staining requires is lots of room to move. I didn't have luxury of that on this particular occasion. 

So I cleared what little room there was to be had and set to work. I have to say I'm prrrretty pleased with myself. LOOK at how awesome that looks. These leggy lengths of wood with very soon be incorporated into my very own DIY staircase project. Of all the things that we'll do for the house the kitchen cabinets and the stairs will be the hardest! But thankfully my father and brother have done this several times so we are in very capable hands :)

Until next time!


Thursday, May 1, 2014

Happy Thursday Everyone!

I am here today on a mission!

I am desperately looking for this edition of Cross Stitch and Needlework Magazine (December 2012):

I remember buying it wayyyyyyy back but cannot find it now. It's entirely possible I may have bought it for an exchange but naturally I'm not sure.

If you have a copy or know where I can get my hands on one please pop me an email at

Ciao for now!


Monday, April 28, 2014

Happy Monday!

Since my life is all about DIY right now I thought I might show you what it's like to be a weekend (and weekday evening) warrior such as myself :)

Step 1: Roll over blurry eyed and try to focus on the machine that is making that unbearable noise... 

Ugh. Yes that's 6:33... AM... on a Saturday.

Step 2: Find work clothing that isn't stinky. This is a constant struggle people, I kid you not. When you're spending every waking moment on a project there's not much time for laundry except what you can bring yourself to drag upstairs at the end of a long day. 

Step 3: Take care of your body!

Breakfast, Lunch, Supper, snacks, WATER - lots and lots of water. This is very important folks. You don't want to crash half way been nailing that nail, or painting that room, or sanding that piece of wood. 

I was tempted to say 'rest' here as well, but rest is for pansies! Gotta feel like the feet are about to fall off you to tell you if you really worked hard that day or not... I jest of course. There's nothing worse than this feeling and at some point in the day you know when it's time to give it up because you can't handle another second on your feet. This happens even if you take little rests here and there. Rather perhaps the tip here is to have good footwear! 

The puppies however get to rest all they like :)

Step 4: Take time to prepare.

It's no good to be running around and trying to find things just as you're ready to get started on a project. Make sure you've got everything you'll need within arms length. Spending 20 minutes looking for that footstool can be very distracting when you're in the middle of a project. 

Step 5: WORK! 

It's time to get'er done! And don't be afraid to get dirty while you're at it ;)

Step 6: Relax and reward yourself.

Some DIY projects are more rewarding than others. Some are just work work work and others fall more into the "Hey this might be a fun hobby" category. For some, the end result of a project may be the reward itself. Even so, I have found it still important to take a moment at the end of the day to take it all in a relax. A little bit of down time will help to rejuvenate you for the next day. 

If you don't take time for yourself, whether that's a nice cold beer or going to your friend's birthday party, or both, you'd better prepare to burn out. It doesn't have to be (nor should it be) all about the project. 

After spending weeks, days or hour after hour on a project, don't you think you deserve a reward ;)

Ciao for now!


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