Lemon Poppyseed Pancakes with Strawberry Syrup

I love pancakes. When I travel in the States I always check if there will be an IHOP near where I am going. I once stayed at a place in New Jersey for 3 days and ate breakfast there every single day. I have requested birthday pancakes for two years in a row now (birthday cake pancakes, and red velvet pancakes: both wonderful).


I was going to save this recipe for my birthday next month, but I couldn’t wait.


The verdict. I actually wasn’t overly impressed with the pancakes themselves. I didn’t think there were enough poppyseeds or much of a lemony zing. I did alter the recipe a tiny bit since I didn’t have buttermilk I just added to milk in with the lemon juice first and let it sit for 5 minutes. I also added some more milk at the end since the batter was super thick. So, next time, more poppyseeds, more lemon and more milk! The sauce was the saving grace though. I didn’t actually follow the recipe at all on this. I just pureed one of our jars of preserved strawberries, put it on a pot with a bit of sugar and corn starch and heated it up until it was thick. Yum!

You could also use jam and just add some water to thin it, or obviously, the recipe in the link.


It was so special we put it in this guy:


And we only save him for special occasions.


In all I will make them again, but now I am on the hunt for another recipe for my birthday. Any ideas?

Dealing with Allergies (Possibly)

I saw my doctor today about the increasing amount of hives I’ve been getting on my back. Though I’ve been getting them for a few years, they seem to be getting worse. Last weekend they were really bad. She prescribed some sort of cream and said to pay attention to what I’m eating (duh…).

The first thing I’ve decided to try is to change to a hypoallergenic soap, shampoo and conditioner. I do often get hives (or at least notice them) after I get out of the shower, but because I’ve switched soaps and shampoos many times , I don’t think this is the culprit. I already had the other soaps though, so switching isn’t any inconvenience.


I think I will try that for a week or two and see if it helps. It I don’t notice any change I think I’m going to do some sort of elimination diet. I don’t really know much about this, or the best way to go about it so I will have to do some research first.

Any advice, or experience with this type of thing?

Making Time for Quiet

As a teacher my days are anything but quiet. I usually have people wanting/needing my attention all over the place and rarely get a quiet moment alone. That is why when I get home I need some quiet time. I thing everyone should have a little time carved out in their day to just relax, clear their minds and enjoy the silence. It will make your life more peaceful and your enjoyable. It can be time to sit down and have a cup of tea (and maybe a cookie), read a book, or just sit.

Even if you can only find a couple of minutes, take the time today to enjoy the quiet.



This is one of those foods that make me wish we lived in a bigger city. I’ve looked and looked, but there doesn’t seem to be anywhere near us that sells bibimbap. For those of you who don’t know, this is a Korean dish that has vegetables (fresh, cooked and pickled) and sometimes marinated meat, rice, sauce and an egg cracked on top. It is served in a hot rock bowl. The bowl makes the rice crispy and makes the flavours all meld together. It is delicious.

I wanted to recreate it as best I could at home. I checked a bunch of recipes and then (like usual) made do with what I had.

We cut up carrots, zucchini and cabbage. I lightly stir fried them with a wee bit of garlic. We also soaked some dried wild mushrooms to hydrate them, and steamed some spinach. Carrots, zucchini, cabbage, mushrooms, spinach, some bean sprouts and sauerkraut (to stand in for anything pickled) was added to a bowl.


We cooked some brown rice and then left it on the stove for a bit to get crispy on the bottom. This was added to the bowls. We poached two eggs until the white was set, then carefully put one on top of each bowl. I finished it was a drizzle of sesame oil and a sprinkle of sesame seeds.


Then we stirred them all together and dove in.


It was delicious and fun to make. I only wish we had stone bowls, but I checked some websites and they are very expensive, also I can’t imagine how one would go about washing such a thing. So I guess our interpretation will have to do for now.

Felted Wool Billy Balls

I mentioned last week that I was hoping to make some of these cute little guys, shown on Dans le Townhouse. I actually was pretty motivated, so I started and finished this weekend.

I found the roving at a local yarn shop. It didn’t actually say roving on it, but the lady told me it would work, plus it was only three dollars!


I did just what the tutorial told me (make a ball out of some roving, put some dish soap on it, and then dunk in hot and cold water repeatedly, rolling gently in between). I had a lot of trouble preventing large gaps where the wool joined so I added small pieces of wool to fill them. For the small holes I tried to gently rub them to try to knit the fibers together. Obviously, I had a lot of trouble with getting them all the same size.


I made six, with plans to use five as flower and give one to the cats (which I later reconsidered when I realized this increased the likelihood of them destroying my flowers).

For the stems I knew I didn’t want to use wire because I didn’t want them to be too droopy (I also didn’t want to have to go searching for it). I was initially planning on using some stalks from the tall grasses in the backyard, but they just didn’t look right. I looked at some pictures of the real flower and saw some where the stems looked kind of like sticks. This inspired me to grab some of the fallen branches from the backyard and try those.

They worked, but it was rather tricky. I had issues with breakage and it was a lot harder to wiggle the sticks in that it would have been with wire.


In the end I could only get three to work. The others just wouldn’t stay on their sticks. I will save them for something else. I think three looks just fine.




Projects on the Go

I don’t know if it’s the weather or just the time of year, but I’ve been feeling the need to get things done. Last weekend we bought and installed the kitchen faucet we’ve been meaning to change since we moved in. I’m also trying to finish up the little things that I started, but never quite completed.



This is a throw pillow I started months ago, but kept getting frustrated with and putting off. Somehow the case ended up being way too big for the pillow form I made it for, so I had to make a pillow to stuff in it. I sewed up the last corner, so I can call this one done!


Here is a craft I’ve been trying to do for a little while. I saw it here. For a long time I couldn’t find the heart shape that I needed, but then I found heart-shaped dream catchers at the dollar store that were perfect. I’ve since started, messed up and had to re-do this a few times. It’s going better this time around, so I’m hopeful I will it finished.

I’m itching to start a new project. If I can find wool roving I’m going to try my hand at this (since I’ve been looking for artificial billy balls everywhere and can’t find them). But then again, something else may catch my eye before that happens. We will just have to wait and see!

5 Ingredient Curry

I’ve been trying to use up some of our dried goods. I’m going to try to choose two things each week to make a dent in. This week I chose mung beans (which I’m sprouting for later in the week) and green lentils. I searched for recipes to try, and this one caught my eye. We had it with homemade naan and a salad. It only took a couple of hours in the slow cooker. It took almost no actual prep time, and it is a very inexpensive dish.


It turned out fairly good and it was super simple. This was actually my first time cooking with coconut milk. I’ve avoided it in the past since I hate coconut. On its own I thought it tasted like sunscreen, but it worked well in the recipe and I think it would be a good thing to have on hand for curries.


The only thing I changed about the recipe was to add chili powder, and more cumin. I also added in some leftover roasted sweet potato. I would definitely recommend adding in a vegetable to this, since it is pretty bland. The sweet potato worked great, but I think zucchini, peppers or some greens would be good too.


If I were to use this recipe again in the future I think I would just use it as a base and then add some more things to it. I do think it is good to have some good slow cooker recipes in your arsenal and this is great for that.

Back in Action

We have returned to an shoveled driveway, needy cats and dying house plants. It’s good to be home. Our holiday travels were as usual filled with excess. Too much food, too much driving, too little time. We clocked about 32 hours of travel time, which is slightly less than usual, but still waaaay more than I want. Despite all of this, our holidays were great.

Being away during ‘The Great Ice Storm’ was stressful though. The power was out here for two twelve+ hour stretches so I was very worried about the cats being too cold. Happily, upon our return, they both seem happy and healthy (though Daisy hasn’t more than a foot from me since I came in the door).

The trees in town did not fare so well. When we were driving into town we noticed tree branches, and trees split in half all over. The damage in town has been cleaned up and there are now piles of cut up branches on lawns waiting to be collected. Our trees all seem okay, but there is a huge branch that fell into our yard from a big tree behind our yard (in the conservation area) so we will have to figure out what to do about that. Luckily there was no property damage, but I am very sad for the trees. Tomorrow, if the temperature gets high enough not to cause frost bite (18 Celsius below zero today) I’m going to go take a closer look at the trees, just to make sure.

I hope you, your family and your trees had a wonderful holiday (and that it isn’t so darn cold wherever you are)!