Thursday, October 13, 2011

on the get some two buck chuck!

We are taking the show on the road...well 1/2 of the show anyways. The lil man and I are off to the sunny skies of Southern Cali, where they are still swimming in their pools and chillin on the beach and who I mean by "they" is my sister the "queen" and uncle doctor and the best niece's ever!

However that is still in my future...the very near future but right now the house is in utter chaos and I don't think our littlest of the souls actually realizes we are heading out for a week. I am leaving the packing to the very end and not getting too stress about the request of you might want to bring two "going out"outfits maybe a dress.  This was a reminder that I am leaving Kansas and heading into the shiny world of OZ. Up until now hubs has been wondering why the heck we trucked all this stuff across he knows! My nightlife here in the Rev consists of wearing the same footwear during the day as I would at night and ...maybe changing my shirt into something a little nicer...but still in my mukluks:) Don't get me wrong I am totally stoked for some guilt free nights out!

Heading out in the morning and looking forward to the drive through southern BC into Washington State some uncharted roads are over due for this gypsy mama. More of this beautiful country I get to see the better and a little quality time with my sweet boy is the best part of the drive! I will take time to check in a give a few reminders of what the great big world can bring. The secure lifestyle of this lazy lil town has brought to me is priceless, so heading out into a bigger world with my priceless treasures I will have to give some reminders of safety and a wee bit more handholding will in in store.

All the plans that are in store for us once we arrive is really hard for me contain my excitement....for one place I am dying to browse and spend some time in is Trader joes...and what I like to call the home of the 2 buck chuck.....any place where you can get a reliable cheap table wine for two bucks, in my mind would be a place like heaven! ( have also been know to even wrap my wine in paper for a fancy night out )

 for an up close look go here......Trader Joes

Well I better get cracking and start my packing....I am also wondering if the usual gong show of the Andrews family will appear while we are away.....or will it be just 1/2 the show either way we hit the road tomorrow for a week of full filled days and a few surprises I am sure!

gypsy mama

Perfect example of what I am talking about

Monday, October 10, 2011

last of the last.......

I pulled the last of our root vegetables from our community garden recently. I did do a little procrastinating as I just didn't want the summer freshness to end! My new love for beats was a surprise to me. When I planted the seeds in may I really didn't know what I was going to do with these ruby bulbs. Out of all the many veggies I find this type so beautiful, from the leafy greens with bright red veins right down to the bulbous rounds of meat flesh. I admire everything about these little darlings.

Here is the last harvest for this season of beats

I tried a wonderful salad at a local restaurant that was made of beat and feta cheese and some sort of vinaigrette's. With that in mind I tried my hand at my own beet and goat cheese salad...for me this is the best salad to have at home...I am the only one who will eat beets....and goat cheese:)


cooked beets
splash balsamic vinegar
splash rice wine vinegar
feta or goat cheese of choice.
fresh thyme or other herbs of choice
sea salt
ingredients are mixed and measured accordingly to taste ..... you can always add more but it virtually impossible to take it away.

Once you have your beets prepped and cooked to desired tenderness... whisk together balsamic vinegar and rice vinegar and evo to make a nice vinaigrette....once immersed together mixed with beets. I then add the goat cheese as I like the contrast of the white cheese to the vibrant beets. If the cheese is mixed too much into the beet salad you will get a wonderful bright fuchsia pink goat cheese. I just sprinkle more on top! I have also had a beet salad that was similar with the addition of shredded swiss chard in it. It totally was  a great addition..a hearty leaf it barely wilted once mixed together...thanks to another foodie friend here in Rev!

I kept aside some beets to try something different..... what came to mind was chili fig balsamic with a shaving of organic dark chocolate and ginger...thanks to my dad who left a full bar here for us:)

Andi....may your harvest time be bountiful!

Friday, October 7, 2011

the seasons best........

I . am . ready......ready to dive into these pretty little jars of goodness that I have saved this season. This year has been a canning whirl-wind of one week of daily canning with various friends! So the schedule was as follows

Thursday: apple pie filling Me, but I'll share!
Friday: salsa Lisa, Josie and Moi
Saturday: peaches Josie and Me and our little helpers
Sunday: tomatoes Sara and I
Monday: pickles.....more pickles Sweet Sara and Moi

I must say the salsa was the most involved of the canning sessions....all the chopping, dicing, roasting had lasted the better part of the day....but oh so worth it. We made some changes to each batch, we ended up with over 20 jars each of: mild, chipotle, jalapeno and a roasted blend...which is my  most favorite!

Our army of Salsa!

So conquering the need for a winter supply of salsa, I moved on with Josie for a Saturday of Peaches, returning to her house with heavenly smells of roasted salsa.....knowing that the house would soon have the smells of spiced peaches. Saturday went a little differently then Friday. All kids were in tow for a total of 5 kids and one nanny dog Sydney! I must say it was a busy blast day of fun!

Crazy Canning Kids

The reason why I am in so much need of salsa......our basic staple food in our house is Quesadillas and salsa for dip-dip!

Sweetly Spiced Peaches of Life

 These are what memories are made of! I look at this day fondly of our kids playing all day, in the house outside in the yard while Nanny Sydney watches over them! I can still picture the diaper clad two year olds holding babies waddling around, a wanting 6 yr old desperate to help with the canning process and a couple of rugged boys running all over.....days like these are exactly what makes me oh so happy here in Rev!

What a delightful sight of freshly skinned Roma's ready for a little chop and warm roast in the oven. This is day three of canning and today is was with my gal Sara. Just when I thought maybe I'd be tired of tomatoes I had a couple boxes ready for some attention. I loves cooking with these ruby beauties.....I love them in sandwiches, with salt, roasted with goat cheese, in stews, with chicken reducing in my cast iron pan and most definitely in soup.

I love this earthenware pan, part of my hand me down kitchen collection..and my most favorite dish to bake with. I am a firm believer that all people come into your life for a reason. Some people stay longer then others. Some leave as fast as they come. But there is a certain friend that it doesn't matter how far and wide you may be you are always close at heart. This particular girlfriend was my confidant while I lived in Northern Ontario, she had moved many a mile from S. Africa to Canada. She has found her way back to S.Africa with her two weeins and I headed for the west coast! We hang a piece of our friendship on the walls of the kids room and this particular piece of kitchenware is used on a weekly bases and I get to think fond thoughts of my dear friend.

Pickles were the order of the day on this Monday, they spent the the night in an ice bath all for the greater good of crunch! By this day I have been slicing and dicing for 4 previous days and have become quite speedy in the process of preparing the jars for their water bath. Another basic staple in our you need a garlic dill to side yummy deli!

Well I am planning this Thanksgiving to crack open a few different types of jarred goodness! A complimentary pallet teaser of peaches and a yummy dessert of some sure. I will be sharing my choices as why else put up for the winter in you can't share with your friends!

Jarred Apple Pie Filling

4 1/2 cups white sugar
1 cup cornstarch
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons salt
10 cups water
3 tablespoons lemon juice
6 pounds apples

in a large pan, mix sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add salt and water and mix well. Bring to a boil and cook until thick and bubbly. Remove from heat and add lemon juice.
Sterilize canning jars, lids and rings by boiling them in a large pot of water.
Peel, core, and slice apples. Pack the sliced apples into hot canning jars, leaving a 1/2 inch headspace.
Fill jars with hot syrup, and gently remove air bubbles with a knife.
Put lids on and process in a water bath canner for 20 minutes or according to your to check!

Random pooch shot!


Wednesday, October 5, 2011


OK so.......well.....I am just going to say it! We bought a HAM for Thanksgiving! No! not a kosher ham, just a regular porky pork ham! And I am soooo excited! 

After years of turkey for Thanksgiving and turkey for Christmas....turkey is my least favorite meat! I may order a hot turkey sandwich for dinner if I am out, that is because the amount of sodium is what flavours the luscious meat, bread and the gravy mmmmm! But I do pay for it, I usually end up drinking scads of water for the next day or so! Last year we were in Vernon for Thanksgiving and I had one of those sandwiches at the White Spot and man it didn't disappoint!

This year we are having a traditional sit down and feast kind of dinner....with all the fixings! All while we watch the snow line appear on the trees...we may even throw in a Bone-fire. This will be the perfect opportunity to twist open a few different types of canned goods for the occasion! I am thinking a Ginger-peach brown Sugar Glaze, with a homemade apple pie.....fresh scones!


The great seed giveaway.........

And the Winner is.......................

Jen Hardy-Tait!

Jen Hardy is an old friend and fellow blogger and her expertise in pastries and all things iced is
something to envy. You can check out her blog here Bediels she is also known to hold giveaways:)

Jen please email me your info


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

rainy day bread.......

So....the rain arrived about two weeks ago and has stuck around just to show us it is officially fall! I love this time of year the cloud cover is low and wisps of little clouds get stuck in town and in the not so far off mountains, it really is a beautiful sight! By nature this is my favorite time of year...maybe it is because I was born in the waning part of the calender year. I can remember walking to school and not being bothered by the rain falling or the leaves falling I have always embraced the this time of year.....(not cheery about a summer of the wet stuff) The dark mornings are a reminder that Halloween is just around the corner.

With the temperature turning down I start to crave that home cooking of comfort food. My favorite entree is fresh bread and red wine. Ok so not the most balanced choice......but a staple while in college, with a plate of balsamic, evo and fresh herbs for dipping! I see this type of evening in my future for my hubby and I.
In the frugal ways I have adapted a habit of having a bread starter in the fridge for fresh bread at anytime. Some of you will know of this recipe as I have posted in in my fb page foodies  Foodies an awesome network for sharing and gaining recipes, check it out! This basic starter has been the savior of many dinnertime needs. I have made pizza dough with it, calzones, stuffed herb and olive bread and good ole sandwich bread....this is the type of bread where you drink the wine with, smothered in a flavour butter!

the official website for the amazing book!

The recipe as follows:

Enjoy every season as if it is your favorite......The great thing about Autumn is that all this rain will be turning to snow and it is coming....embrace it, it is mother nature at her finest!

Jeff on top of the world!

I am going to label this as the North Bowl, this a guess!


P.S don't forget last day for the giveaway:)

Saturday, October 1, 2011


Sunflowers are probably the most loved flower....I know for me they are the first on my list!

This dates back years and years ago when a  brown envelope arrived on my doorstep with a bright yellow sunflower gently stuffed in it from.......A boy! Why, because he missed me:) From that day on it didn't matter what kind of roses, mixed bouquets or bunches of I am sorry flowers I have received that sunflower has always remained my favourite. I have grown sunflowers before on the odd year....but this year they seemed to just flourish in our petite jardin. This is the year that I would harvest these beauties as they grew so beautifully. With our main growing pleasure of vegetables this year the sunflower was one of the only flowers we had in our yard and yielded quite a bit of our attention! 

The unfolding of the bloom, with it's feathery soft petals is another layer of beauty.

I had no structured plan on deciding where to plant the seeds. We have a fenced backyard and thought it would look nice to plant the flowers along this wood fence as our backyard gets a fair amount of sun.....until. The large obstruction of a shed was build by our neighbour. This did cut off the angle of sunshine that was suppose to reach this area. (I am sure that it is also way out of proportion to building regulations of town) But that didn't stop my hearty little plants from reaching out in search of the sun. These little beauties grew out instead of up. The 2in stem grew along the ground and rooted itself securely. The other bunch of seeds were planted by our huppah the entrance way to the vegetable garden.

They stood about 2-3 feet high, perfect height for the kids to explore this species. Apparently it also made it a challenge to mow the lawn in this area!?!

Sunflowers by our wedding huppah. Both our huppah and pooch have seen many miles. I will always have this structure as part of my garden. My husband made this for me as a wedding present, he carried it on top of the Jeep from Ontario to the FL Keys for our wedding and back, it has moved Northern Ontario and now it resides out west as an entrance to our vegetable garden and shelter for the kids sand box.

Just one of the visitors to our garden, these beauties attract the fuzziest and bumbly bees around! The mama of all sunflowers, the head of this plant was huge.

Step 1. Once all of the leaves fall off, it is time for the sun to do it's job. One way of harvesting is once the back of the head turns from green to brown and has dried out, you can test if the seeds are ready. What I did was every couple days I would pick one and check the seed size. Another sure test is if the shell is white with black stripes. A way to early harvest is once the seeds appear to be ready you can chop off the head with a 2-3 foot stem and hang inside to dry. This is the method I chose. This method was more suitable for me because of the visiting birds, bears and other creatures looking to store up for the dark months of the year!

I did attach paper bags over the heads while drying to prevent any lost seeds to the floor. I did take a picture but it wasn't pretty to post :)

Step 2. Once the head is dried out I shortened the stem and broke the head in to pieces. I bent it back and ran my hand over the seeds and they popped out right into a paper bag

It remindes me of honey comb

Step 3. I transferred the seeds to a earthen ware roasting pan .... thanks to Kim it is part of my hand-me-down kitchen collection from friends that move and can't bring the extras! I left these seeds out to dry on the stove-top. I didn't use any direct heat, only the heat from what ever was in the oven. This process I have left the seeds in this pan for about 4-5 days.

Step 4. If you are harvesting to eat and want them salty....soak in a salt-water mixture over night. I recommend a sea salt...that would be my choice. Next day: drain and roast for 10-15 mins @ 350. cool and eat.

I am using my seeds to grow and share. Now that they are moisture free I will put them in an envelope and store in a dry dark place.

Our other furry family member basking in the autumn sun, Miso. Or otherwise know as his name change to Neeno the handsome cat!

In celebration for my new blog I am holding my first contest-givaway! Instructions as follows.......

"follow" my new blog page, leave a comment and your name will be put in a draw. I will collect all names and draw out a name and you win.........a seed selection, homegrown and harvested by moi! Contest will close Tuesday evening!

I will then post who the lucky person is and I will send you (in the snail mail) some fabulous seeds for your springtime planting:)


P.S. I still have that sunflower packed in the brown envelope!