February Funk and Chocolate

February is always a hard month for me. Lately I’ve been exhausted, but unable to sleep much. I just feel blah. We have a school break coming up and right after that we are moving into our new house so hopefully that will help me snap out of it.

In other news, I made peanut butter, pretzel, chocolate squares. Just like I said I would. I found a few recipes and went with the easiest. Here’s the link. You basically just melt peanut butter and butter together, add in some icing sugar and crushed pretzels than make a ganache for the top. I did it all in the microwave. The only problem I had was that I didn’t crush my pretzels up enough and this caused the squares to not stay together very well. They are amazing though. A perfect sweet and salty combo.

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Spring Time Dreaming

The weather has been crap lately. We still have quite a bit of snow and a lot of ice. The sun has definitely not been shining. This is the time of year that farmer’s of yesteryear would pull out the seed catalogues and start planning to help get through the drear of winter. I’ve been doing this mentally, since I don’t really have a seed catalogue.
I’m not positive that we will get to a garden this year since we have such a busy summer and probably won’t be around enough to tend to it, but it could happen. We’d really love to since we live in a green belt and we are always amazed at what gardens here can produce.
I’d love to have a mix of things that can be stored (potatoes, carrots, maybe yams) and things that can be eaten fresh in the summer (spinach, peas, broccoli). I’d also love to try kale, since I’ve heard you can keep it on into the winter, and we eat a lot of kale.
For now I’m stuck with the cold and snow, but spring is just around the corner (I hope).

Lately I’m Digging…

Dairy Milk pretzel peanut butter chocolate bars. Seriously amazing. I’m going to try to come up with a dessert using this as inspiration.

The BBC show ‘Wartime Farm’. You can find all of the episodes on Youtube. I’m very into the Food Movements of WWII right now. I will share my insights soon.

This living room. I’ve been using is as inspiration for my new living room. Of course, since we haven’t moved in yet, and we don’t really have any furniture, it’s a long way in the future, but a girl can dream!

Simple Salad

Today is Family Day here is Canada. It is one of our better randomly made up holidays, I think. To celebrate, we’re just relaxing and hanging out.
I bought a bunch of avocados off the ‘near their end’ rack last week and I’ve been trying to use them up any way I can. I threw together this salad and it was amazing.
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All I did was chop up red pepper, red onion, and avocado and then added some defrosted frozen corn. I put in a tiny bit of olive oil and a few squirts of lime juice, then I very gently tossed it all together. It is definitely something I will make regularly.

Another Veggie Burger Recipe

I know, it seriously is beginning to look like I have a problem. The strange thing is, we never used to make burgers. I always thought they were way too much work. Now that I’ve realized that you pretty much throw anything in and it tastes good, I’m down with it. Also, having a food processor makes it so much easier. I’ve been sticking with the one grain, one vegetable theme and it seems to work well.
This time I went with butternut squash and quinoa. Why? Because they were both lying around begging to be used. I roasted the squash and cooked the quinoa then threw them both in the processor with some random fridge stuff (apple sauce, grainy mustard, ketchup, etc), added some cumin.
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I mixed in some bread crumbs to make it a little less sticky. We cooked them in the cast iron then put them in the oven for a bit.
We made delicious flat bread buns with inspiration from this recipe
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They were great, especially since you can pretty much top them however you want. As far as I know they are also vegan! Try it, or just try the method: be free in your veggie burger making!

Sincere Wedding Invitations

As I’ve mentioned before, we are in the process of planning our wedding, which will be taking place in July. Last week we tackled one of the biggest jobs, the invitations. I knew from looking around online that these can cost a huge amount of money and I really wanted to avoid that, so here’s what we did.
I browsed around to get some ideas of what I liked. I wanted them to be simple, to set the tone for the day, I also wanted them to be fun. I designed the invitations on Word, because I am familiar with it and couldn’t use Kurt’s fancy programs. I used different fonts and colours to make it fun, and included some really simple graphics. I put the really important information on the card, and included a website where everything else could be found. My mom was worried that older people wouldn’t be able to access the website, but they can also call us or get help from someone else.

I designed the invitations so that 3 would fit on a piece of 8.5×11. This way we saved paper. We were going to print them at home, but for a better quality of colour we went to Staples and had them do it on cardstock. It cost less than ten dollars. We used an exacto knife and cutting mat to cut them down to size.

I addressed them all by hand. I know it’s nice to have fancy labels or stamps, but I really don’t think that is a sensible use of money when on a budget. I’d rather put the money into thing that people will remember, not something destined to be garbage. I did buy a cute stamp at Michaels to put on each envelope. I also just bought plain white envelopes at the dollar store. This was mostly because I couldn’t find coloured envelopes in standard size.
After everything was addressed and stamped we added personal messages on the backs of the invitations. For more distant family and friends it was a simple ‘hope you can make it, we’d love to have you there’, that sort of thing, but we made it more personal for closer people.

The biggest cost was actually the stamps so my advice for this is to buy them really early since they are always going up in price. I didn’t get special one’s either.

So, there you have it, our way of making cheap invitations special.

Happy Birthday to Me- Part 2

Well another birthday has come and gone. It was really nice. We did stuff, but we also relaxed, played MasterMind and ate great food.
Saturday evening we had my choice birthday dinner, which strangely was two foods that I wouldn’t normally choose but had been craving lately: sloppy joe’s (Mom style) and potato salad. This was the crown jewel though:
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I really can’t express to you how good it was just out of the oven. Wow.
The next morning, on my actually birthday, Kurt made me birthday cake pancakes. Although he’s terrible at following recipes, they came out great.
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I will leave you with my pancake face:
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Happy Birthday to Me

Sunday is my birthday. I love birthdays, especially mine! Currently I’m very sick with a horrible cold. The kind of cold one can only catch from spending too much time in a kindegarten class. Hopefully the birthday magic will take it away.
For my birthday, I’m hoping someone will make me these:

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And this:

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I’ll let you know how it goes!

*Pictures linked to owner.