Monday, May 22, 2017

Le Potager

                  So, a big part of my mission to live simply but beautifully centers around our time as a family at our summer cottage. In Cape Breton, we call it the bungalow. Cottage, bungalow, cabin, shack, whatever you want to call it, it is a tiny dwelling deep in the woods where we can be wild and free. Our place was built by my grandfather in the 70's, passed down to my aunt and mother, and then, eventually, to me. It is situated on a small lake between the towns of Gabarus and Louisbourg. The cottage has only one bedroom with bunk beds which we may be outgrowing, so we have started to add other sleeping quarters on the property so that we can have guests. But that isn't the focus of this post! I wanted to share some photos of the gardens. We started tilling and making rows (what the heck are they called again?) this weekend.

I am most excited about the fence. It is a witchy and fabulous wattle fence. It is probably done ALL WRONG, and we'll have to line the inside with chicken wire, but I love it. It is whimsical andwonderful and I can't wait to get planting. 

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Frugal and Delicious Chicken Curry

           



                  I stopped by Wal-mart this morning on my way to work, and noticed a giant cart of reduced produce. Everything was priced right at $1.00 a bag. I grabbed a bag of cauliflower, three giant Spanish onions, green peppers, oranges, and some apples. Then I walked over to the meat section and noticed that there were three packs of bone-in chicken legs and thighs. So, as part of mission to prove that you can eat really well on a tiny budget, I headed away with a curry in mind.
            That evening, I put some ginger and garlic mixture in a pan with some butter. I buy these purees at the local Asian grocery. They make weeknight cooking just a smidge quicker. I put the chicken in until it was crispy brown, tossed in one of the onions, the cauliflower, and an .88 cent can of chick peas along with some chicken stock. I simmered it until the meat was soft and falling off the bone. I took away the bones, added some powdered coconut milk and served it over some jasmine rice. I'm sure I was breaking all kinds of curry rules, and I have no idea what kind of curry this turned out to be, but it was freaking delicious and really cheap.  


Saturday, February 18, 2017

Mister Money Moustache

I love this guy's frugal advice. I just discovered the blog after my husband made me listen to him being interviewed on Tim Ferris's podcast. I am planning on working my way through some of his writing this weekend.

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/

Monday, January 23, 2017

Chile!


The Chilean feast started with some amazingly delicious sauces. A chipotle sour cream, a Chimichurri, and a Pebre. All three were fantastic additions to the main dishes.




Angela made Empanadas, Lynn made a crazy sweet dessert called a Milhojas cake, and I made a corn pie called Pastel de Choclo.

 





Monday, November 7, 2016

England

No new spices or exotic ingredients here. We tried our hand at cooking things we thought might be challenging, like authentic fish and chips and things we'd heard of but had never tasted before, like Spotted Dick. Lynn had to do the Spotted Dick twice because it didn't turn out the first time. I am trying to find pictures of the "fail".

Update: Apparently we needed a plum pudding pan, which my sister recently bought for Christmas dinner. She's going to try again using that.

Spotted Dick


Homemade Chips

The homemade fish chips were fantastic! We have done some deep frying for our feast before, but this time we had an actual deep fryer and it made all the difference. They were restaurant quality and we kept talking about how we were definitely going to make them again. Not that we want to get in the habit of weekly deep fried meals, but it might be fun for a Friday night treat instead of going out to eat.
Scotch Eggs 
The Scotch eggs were my daughter's favourite. It was actually really funny. She ate more of them than anyone, and she's having one for supper again tonight. She will try anything, but getting her to eat a lot of something is pretty difficult. Not the easiest things to make for a weeknight supper, and they had to be deep fried as well, but I'm wondering if there might be a simpler version?



Steak and Oyster Pie


I really enjoyed the Steak and Oyster pie. The oysters had a stronger flavour than I thought they would. If you don't love oysters, this isn't the pie for you and I would suggest the steak and ale version instead, but we really enjoyed it and there was only a tiny piece leftover which I just finished off for an afternoon snack.
Saxon Cheddar
And, as I always try to do, I managed to find something I needed for 50 percent off at the Superstore. This was a fantastic English Saxon cheddar that was perfect in the cauliflower cheese.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Vietnam

Shopping: Atlantic Superstore, Tian Phat
Watching: Anthony Bourdain's "Parts Unknown: Hanoi"
Kid's Craft: Paper Orchids

Shopping today took us to the Superstore, where I scored some 50% off ingredients. One of the bonuses of cooking food from around the world is that your dinner repertoire expands so much. You can really take advantage of so many different exotic ingredients. Since moving back to Nova Scotia from New York, I have shifted from cooking whatever pops into my head, to what happens to be on sale or in season. I think I save A LOT of money on groceries with this approach. 

Our second stop today was at Tian Phat, a local Asian grocery on the Bedford highway. It is a wonderful store filled with everything you could need for any Asian recipe. 


Tian Phat
Tian Phat's Fresh Produce
Shopping at the local Asian grocery store is such a fun experience for the kids. New ingredients, and lots of different things to look at. They picked out some Vietnamese candies and helped fill our baskets. 


Superstore Sales!




Bite Sized Banh Mi


Homemade Paper Orchids

 This morning the kids and I made paper orchids. We basically followed THIS tutorial, except I changed it around a tiny bit and used tissue paper mod podged to bristol board instead of the suggested marker.
Lynn's Amazing Dessert

Monday, October 17, 2016

Next Week - Vietnam!




In case anyone wanted to join in and do this following our selections, next week is Vietnam. Angela has decided she wants to try her hand at Bahn Mi, and I'm going to try Pho. I LOVE Vietnamese food and there are tons of things I want to try to make, so I may change my mind yet. Lynn hasn't weighed in yet, but she likes to choose a dessert.