Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Not Just for Coffee...

Who needs fancy plant pots? Not me. I picked up this big coffee mug for $2 at the grocery store because I wanted something more interesting to use to pot the plants left over from my terrarium project. It was cheap and I think it looks cute with the little succulent in it!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Potatoes Romanoff

I think that twice-baked potatoes are one of the most delicious things ever. I don't have them often, but when I do, I go all out and put all sorts of deliciously unhealthy things on my potato. Needless to say, when I came across a recipe for Potatoes Romanoff on What's Gaby Cooking, which she described as "a fancy twice baked potato," I decided I was making it as soon as I possibly could.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Tuna, Artichoke and Tomato Pasta

This tuna, artichoke and tomato pasta is a quick and healthy dish that I adapted from Giada de Laurentiis' recipe for campanelle pasta salad. It's very fresh tasting and easy to make.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Cheddar, Jalapeno and Dill Pull-Apart Bread

I love cheese bread. I buy it from the supermarket when I have a craving for it, but lately I've been thinking that it would be great to be able to make my own whenever I want. I came across a couple of different recipes for cheddar pull-apart bread and it sounded amazing.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Oh, Canada...

I love Canada. There are so many wonderful, beautiful things about this country that I would never want to give up to live somewhere else. However, on days like yesterday when we got a winter storm warning, and today when it's still super windy, snowy and cold, I wonder why I don't live somewhere where they only see snow on TV. Even the dog barely knows what to do with himself when there's this much snow out there.

Friday, February 24, 2012

House Plants in Glass

I've recently gotten on a bit of a kick putting house plants in glass containers. They're so much prettier than the boring old terra cotta pots I usually use. I like that you can layer decorative rocks or glass beads into the containers to add a bit more of a decorative touch. I'm glad I finally found a use for the fruit bowl my mom gave me that was too small to hold much of anything and went unused for years. When it comes time to re-pot other plants of mine in the spring, I'm getting rid of the terra cotta pots for sure!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Quickie Bruschetta Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

I'm not going to pretend that I always make meals from scratch - far from it. Convenience often trumps my love of cooking, especially on weeknights when we're short on time after coming home late from work. A lot of the time, we have processed things for dinner, like frozen pizza or fish sticks and fries. Not the greatest, I know - both in terms of nutritional value and taste.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Puppy Love

We have a one and a half year-old miniature schnauzer named Oscar. I love him to bits. He's a smart little guy and is good at tricks. Since he's smart, he can be a bit stubborn too - he gets ideas of his own and sometimes decides not to listen to us, especially if he's outside and sees a bird, squirrel, rabbit, or another dog. He loves chewing things, especially things he's not allowed to have, like tissues, paper or socks, which is why we buy him loads of chew toys.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches

I am always looking for quick and easy recipes, especially for dinner on the weeknights. I came across a recipe for slow cooker buffalo chicken sandwiches on My Kitchen Apron and we decided to try it for dinner last night. Since we were home for the holiday yesterday, I was able to keep an eye on the slow cooker. We made a smaller batch than the original recipe called for, since it was only for the two of us. This recipe won't be very exact, because I pretty much eyeballed all of it.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Blog Tips for Beginners (Like Me)

I have had some experience using Blogger in the past, but I am definitely still a relative newbie when it comes to blogging. I still have so much to learn, so I really enjoy reading blog entries and articles from established bloggers about how to improve my blog. I thought I would share a few of the helpful things that I have come across in the past few days.

Painting the Baby Room

The new baby won't be here for several months yet, but we wanted to start on the baby room. I figured it would be good for us to paint while I could still move around easily and help. I spoke with my doctor, who said that it would be fine for me to paint, as long as we stuck with latex paint, and that the main concern was  not so much with the fumes being toxic, but whether they would make me nauseous (but please make sure to check with your own doctor first!).

We don't know if it will be a boy or a girl, so we stuck with a neutral colour. We thought it would be nice to get rid of the pinkish-white that the past owner of the house used all over the place. I also thought a neutral colour would be a good idea, so that if we have another baby of a different sex in the future, we won't have to re-paint. Some might call it laziness, but I'll call it efficiency.

Minestrone Soup

I love making soups. They're so quick, easy, and perfect for a cold winter day. I like that I can throw in ingredients that I usually have sitting in my fridge and pantry and turn them into something delicious. One of my favourites is minestrone soup.

I've been looking around online and there are so many different variations of it - some with beef and some without, and it seems like each recipe calls for a different batch of vegetables. I decided to try to make it with what I had around the house - though I did go out of my way to get some Swiss chard to try with this soup for the first time, as called for in a winter minestrone soup recipe that I found on Giada DeLaurentiis' website. This is the version I threw together for lunch today, which makes a big potful of soup.

Terrarium Fever

Terrariums are my new obsession. I have been reading up on plants and gardening, but have quite a ways to go before spring gets here and I can put that to good use, so I have to make do with houseplants for the time being. Terrariums are cute and very easy to put together, and you can either find the things that you need to make them either around the house or you can get them for a pretty low price. The picture above was my first attempt at terrarium making.

Here are the things you need in order to make one:

Sunday, February 19, 2012

New York-Style Cheesecake with Strawberry Topping

I love to cook, but I don't always have a lot of time for it. I'm also not very good at cleaning up (and by that I mostly mean that I hate to do it, not that I can't do it) so I tend to avoid overly complicated recipes because the kitchen always looks like it exploded after I'm done cooking. I've heard of the philosophy about cleaning as you go while you cook, but I don't really subscribe to it.


I am a wife, first-time mother-to-be, miniature schnauzer owner, foodie, bookworm and music lover. I want to become a better gardener, become a better cook, and beautify our house without breaking the bank. I started this blog to share my interests, chronicle my adventures in self-improvement, and hopefully pass on my learning experiences and the great recipes and ideas that I come across to others. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy reading my blog!
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