Wednesday, November 25, 2009

In Loving Memory of Nan

This is a picture of my mother-in-law & her husband, her sister, and her mother (my husband's grandmother) - otherwise known as our Nan. She passed away on the weekend, and we will all be going to the funeral tomorrow.
Jaymi had just visited her recently and took the news pretty hard.
Nana was tired and doing less and less lately. She was 89 years old. We are sad, but are also glad that she is with her husband again, in heaven. She is no longer tired and no longer in any pain or discomfort.
Jaymi just wishes that she had had some time to hang out with her and get to know her while she was more awake.
She will be missed.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Easy Peasy Dinner Tonight

We went for an easy dinner tonight.
Eggs for dinner.

Here's the recipe. ;)

Fry some turkey bacon.
Take an egg, mix it up in a microwable bowl, microwave for 45 seconds or so.
Toast an English muffin.
Slice some Cheddar or marble cheese.
Put it all together and toast it in the toaster oven a bit more (or microwave, if you don't have a toaster oven), to let the cheese melt a bit.



As my daughter would say, "Easy peasy, lemon squeezie".

Monday, November 23, 2009

Trying Something New

For dinner tonight, I tried something I have never done. I steamed fish. Have never tried this before, and the recipe I tried had so many wonderful flavours! It was so good - definitely a do-again recipe.
I used tilapia instead of halibut and I served this dish with brown rice cooked in vegetable broth - so good!

Steamed Halibut (or Tilapia) and Bok Choy:

4 pieces halibut filet or steaks, or tilapia
1 medium onion, cut in half and sliced medium thick
5 cups bok choy, cut into 1/2-inch slices
2 cups mushrooms, shiitake, thickly sliced
⅓ cup scallions (green onions), minced
3 medium cloves garlic, pressed
½ tablespoon ginger, fresh, finely minced
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon oil, olive
pepper, white, to taste
1. Slice onion, chop bok choy, and press garlic and let them sit for at least 5 minutes to bring out their health-promoting properties.
2. Mix together dressing ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
3. Add 2 inches of water to the bottom of a steamer and bring to a boil.
4. Layer the onion, bok choy, mushrooms, and halibut or tilapia, in this order, in the steamer basket. Cover, and steam for about 3-5 minutes. Sprinkle a little salt and white pepper over halibut before steaming.
5. Serve on a platter with halibut nestled on top of vegetables and drizzle dressing over all of it.
Serve with rice.

French Toast for Breakfast - yum :)

Yesterday morning, Jaymi helped me make breakfast. She really helped! She did almost the whole breakfast by herself, minus the actual frying of the french toast.
She read the recipe, found the ingredients, cracked all 3 eggs (without ANY shell going in!), mixed up the dip, dipped the bread, cut up the banana and strawberries, and arranged the food on the plates, including pouring the syrup.
Her favourite part was making the 'presentation' beautiful. She worked hard on that.

Here is the recipe we used......

Rise 'n Shine French Toast:

1/2 cup milk
3 eggs
1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
1/4 tsp. cinnamon (we put more in - we love cinnamon)
4 thick bread slices
1 tbsp. oil
2 cups fresh strawberries, sliced
1 banana, sliced

Blend first 5 ingredients in blender until smooth. Pour into shallow dish.
Dip bread in mixture, turning to coat both sides.
Heat oil in large nonstick skillet. Cook bread, 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Serve topped with fruit.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Festival of Trees

The BC Children's Hospital was so good to us in June, and is still providing us with lots of information and help, with Jaymi's recovery. The BC Children's Hospital Foundation does so many good things, including helping families of children that have been in the hospital, to meet each other and share what they have in common.
We went to our first BC Children's Hospital event this week. The annual Festival of Trees has started up, and Jaymi got to help decorate one of the trees - the Red Robin tree. Afterwards, all of the families were treated to a free dinner at Red Robin.
We met a few families, and it was so nice to talk to them. One family has 2 out of their 3 sons, that have a heart condition and have been going to the hospital every 4 months, for 19 years!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Learning About Totem Poles

This week, Jaymi's class went on a field trip to Thunderbird Park, where they learned all about totem poles.
They followed this up back at school, by making their own toilet-paper-roll-totem-poles.

Hoisin Chicken, Cucumber Salad, and Potato Skins

That's what I made for dinner tonight, and it was all yummy!
My newly-picky 7-yr-old hated all of it, but oh well. ;)
Here are the recipes.....

Hoisin Chicken and Cucumber Salad:

¾ cup hoisin sauce
3 scallions (green onions), coarsely chopped
5 cloves garlic
1 2-inch piece ginger, fresh, sliced
1 pepper, jalapeno, stemmed and halved (seeds removed)
zest & juice of 2 limes, plus lime wedges for garnish
2 tablespoons vinegar, rice
2 pounds skin-on chicken thighs & drumsticks
½ cup vinegar, rice
2 tablespoons sugar
1 cucumber, seedless, thinly sliced
½ onion, red, thinly sliced
1. Prepare the chicken: Preheat grill to medium on one side (or oven at 450F). Combine the hoisin sauce, scallions, garlic, ginger, jalapeno, lime juice and zest, vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste in a mini food processor or blender; process until almost smooth. Season the chicken with salt; toss with the hoisin mixture in a large bowl.

2. Make the salad: Bring the vinegar, sugar and 1 1/2 tsps of salt to a boil in a small saucepan, stirring. Remove from heat; stir in 1/4 cup ice cubes until melted. Toss the cucumber and red onion in a serving bowl with the vinegar mixture; place in the refrigerator.

3. Grill the chicken over direct heat until the skin is crisp, 5 minutes per side, basting with extra marinade. Transfer to the cooler side of the grill; cover and grill until cooked through, 10 to 15 more minutes.
If baking in the oven, bake for 30 minutes at 450F, then flip chicken over and bake another 15-20 minutes.

Serve with the cucumber salad and lime wedges.

Potato Skins:

4 medium potatoes, baking
1 teaspoon oil, olive, divided
olive oil cooking spray
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
1 pinch cayenne
1 pinch paprika
¼ teaspoon salt
4 slices turkey bacon, chopped
1 ½ ounces cheese, cheddar, finely shredded
3 tablespoons onion, green, finely chopped
¼ cup sour cream, low-fat, optional
1. Preheat oven to 425F.

2. Scrub potatoes well with vegetable brush. Poke each potato 5 times with a fork. Rub outside of each with 1/4 tsp. oil. Place potatoes directly on oven rack and back for 50 minutes to 1 hour. Let potatoes cool for 1 to 2 hours or refrigerate in plastic bag for up to 1 day.

3. Preheat oven to 425F.

4. Cut potatoes in half lengthwise. Using a spoon, carefully scrape out centres, leaving an even 1/2-inch-thick potato shell intact.

5. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Arrange potato shells on baking sheet. Lightly mist tops with spray, then sprinkle evenly with garlic powder, cayenne, paprika and salt. Bake 10 minutes.

6. Meanwhile, cook bacon.

7. Sprinkle cheese, bacon, then onion evenly over baked shells. Bake 15 minutes more. Top with a dollop of sour cream, if desired. Serve immediately.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


This is one of Jaymi's best and oldest friends. They were in preschool together, kindergarten, Gr.1, and now Gr.2.
They have been trying to plan a day where they wear the same outfit, ever since they discovered that they own the same tunic and the same colour pants. Finally, they co-ordinated their outfits (and hair styles) on the same day! They both had pigtails with mismatched elastics, the same striped tunic and orange pants, and even similar pink rain boots! They thought it was so hilarious, and laughed when people got them mixed up.

Thank you!!

Jaymi had her annual eye appointment with her optometrist yesterday. Everything went fine. She is a little near-sighted in one eye, which is normal for a 7-yr-old, especially while going through a growth spurt. They'll just watch to make sure it corrects itself, which it usually does.
The diplopia that she has had in one eye, since her surgery, is still there, a little bit, but her ophthalmologist is watching that, to make sure it keeps getting better on its own.

Anyway, I took this picture of Dr. Stewart and Jaymi, and thanked the doctor, again, for her help in June. After seeing a neurologist, and waiting almost 2 weeks for a CT scan, this was the doctor who finally noticed something, and got things moving for us. The morning that Jaymi had her eye appointment (which wasn't scheduled...she let us in without an appointment), the doctor saw (in the retinal scan) severe swelling and immediately contacted our family doctor, at home on her cell phone, telling her she HAD to come in to see Jaymi THAT DAY. That ultimately led to a CT scan later that afternoon, and by the evening, we were flying to Vancouver to the Children's Hospital.
We have so many doctors to thank, but this was the doctor who got things rolling, and just in time, too!

Thank you so much, Dr. Stewart!!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Cappuccino - yum!

We have had our fantastic espresso/cappuccino machine for about 7 years now, and we used to use it more, until we moved here, and just got too busy to make our own cappuccino drinks. It became easier to just get them at a cafe instead.

One of the challenges I was determined to do recently, was to teach myself how to make a coffee drink at home, with our machine (Mark used to do it, not me, so I didn't know how), to save money and still be able to have my 'treat' coffee drinks when I wanted.

Today was the day, and......I did it! I made my first one all by myself.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Autumn Photo Shoot

Every year around this time (well, this year we were a little late because of being busy AND all of the rain), I do a photo shoot with Jaymi, in the autumn leaves. It's always so much fun to do, especially as she gets older. Although we missed the nice colours, being a little later in the year, it was still fun.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Fun with Puddles

Jaymi had a birthday to go to on the weekend, and while she was busy having tons of fun at the party, I got to hang out with Connie and her twin girls. They had the best time, splashing in puddles and trying to pet the bunnies that were everywhere.