Monday, June 4, 2018

Jar Lid Painting

So a friend of mine told be that our local bulk store is letting you bring in your own jars to be filled. It used to be that you left there with a hundred little baggies and had to try to empty them into your containers when you got home. I had a stack of jars at home so I gave it a try and I thought it was super satisfying to pour the stuff right into the jars they were meant for while you were in the store. When you get there, you go to the front counter, give the employee the jar. She weighs them, marks the top with the weight, and then deducts that weight from the total as she weighs what you bought. Super simple!

Anyway, I did that once or twice and loved it, but wasn't really pleased with the cluttered look of my jars on the counter. It wasn't the stuff in the jars, but the different lids. I had some time on Saturday, and a can of chalky finish spray paint so we turned it into a craft. We roughed up the tops with a little 120 grit sandpaper, wiped them down, and I gave them a quick spray. Now I just have to figure out what I need at the Bulk Barn!

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Reusing Jars

I love the idea of reusing something instead of throwing it away. I remember my grandmother always having a box of bread bags saved so she could wrap up sandwiches for my grandfather's lunch. I'm not sure if she was being ingenious or frugal, or both. Did ziploc make baggies in the early 80's? Instead of throwing out a pickle jar, I put it in the dishwasher, filled it with salt and made a label for it. 

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.

Monday, January 23, 2017


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


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.