Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Mama's Magic Tapioca Pudding

Liam has been feeling a bit under the weather the last couple days (with a tummy thing) and has been asking for Mama's special tapioca pudding "because it always makes me feel better, Mommy." Little does he know that they only time I give him Tapioca pudding is when I know that he is well on his way to recovering from whatever tummy thing that ails him. To him it's Mama's Magic Tapioca that makes him all better.


Sunday, January 27, 2008

Itty-bitty Baby Bums

So it seems like everyone around me is pregnant. I belong to a group of Mamas in which I was the first to have my first, then the first to have my second and now there are several Mamas who have had their first, second and have already had their third. I see their itty bitty babies and my uterus twitches and I desperately want little bitty baby #3 as well. Then I look at my wild children and think that I must be totally crazy. No one in their right mind would want another child if they had any idea of what my days are like (we are going through a phase right now......that I hope passes REALLY soon).

We've kind of put ourselves on a time limit for baby #3 though because we (especially I) started so young we would like to be done with child rearing as early in our adulthood as possible so that there is opportunity to do things that we didn't get to do when we were young (travel, study, I'd even like to work). We kind of  gave ourselves a 6 month deadline and well, that has passed (we TTC Morgaine for 14 months). With the phase that is going on with our children right now we are unsure that we want to add another child into the fray. I strongly feel that I was meant to have 3 and Mike says "two is not very many" but the months pass and we don't get pregnant.

I've been knitting itty-bitty baby diaper covers since May of last year (when we officially said....yep, we can do another baby). I am little bit obsessed with them. Here a a couple for you to take a peak at....



I have no idea if they actually would work as I have no itty bitty baby bum to test them on (they look to be a little on the small side). However, if anyone wants any wool diaper covers and don't have time to knit them yourself I am taking orders (send me your wool and pattern) *lol* I'll put my obsession into something useful. 

So yeah, a little personal blog about what is going on in the lives of us.....

Thursday, January 24, 2008

My Birthday-For Heather

This is what my man got me for my birthday last week!!



Lentil Soup-Well, it is finally here!!

So I promised you my lentil soup recipe and was meaning to get to it sooner but we've had sick kids in the house and a very tired Mommy (they just won't stay in their beds....Liam that is....Morgaine is permenantly back in my bed). So needless to say my bed has been calling me in the evening (as opposed to the blog).

So anyways, I made this soup last week while I was on the phone with a dear friend from highschool. Nothing has changed. We talked for hours. However, because I was talking on the phone I didn't write down the measurements of the spices I used (though I did measure them). A week later I am at a loss for what I put in it. Here is the general recipe anyways.

Katrina's Indian Ispired Lentil Soup

You'll need:

  • 1 cup of red lentils

  • 4 cups of water (approximately)

  • 1 red onion

  • 1 pepper (I would have used red or orange if I had them but I only had yellow)

  • 2 stalks of celery

  • curry (I used about 1 tablespoon...maybe a bit more)

  • ginger

  • corriander

  • pinch of cinnamon

  • salt (it needs quite a bit)

Add the lentils to the water and bring to a boil. Simmer for about 20 minutes.


At the same time chopped onion, pepper and celery and saute until celery is soft.


When cooked add to the lentil mixture and cook for an additional 5 minutes (or whatever really).


I then pureed it with a hand held blender but am thinking that it would have been just a good and probbaly had a better texture if I'd diced the veggies a little smaller and not pureed the soup (as I said this is totally out of my head here). The texture was a bit funny we found and I'd forgotten to salt it. It did taste good though (a nice spice blend) but it REALLY needs the salt.

Anyways, that was my invention for the week (and y'all might be saying....DON'T try again....or at least don't share with me....but I promised y'all).

Have a good rest of the week.....and Heather check back tonight....I'll have a couple pics for  you up here!!!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Characters Do Things

Tonight's assignment is taken from Creating Character's Kids Will Love by Elaine Marie Alphin. It says

         Write your own scene of a character climbing down the a roof (I'm modifying this for out the window because I have no idea why a kid would clinb down a roof as opposed to out their window). Make the character a ten-year-old boy doing in on a dare from his friends. Then try it again, making it a 14 year old girl climbing down her roof while her house is on fire.

I will be back tonight (as it is not yet nightfall and my best writing only happens when the moon lights the sky....or is that when my kids go to bed?) to do this (or at least one of the two depending how ambitious I get.

        James knew that the time had come. It was now or never. His parents had been in bed for almost an hour. They would be asleep by now. Getting up from the bed, where he'd been watching the minutes pass ever so slowly on his bedside clock, James went to his bedroom window and opened it. CREEEEAK. He held his breath. He was sure his parents could hear. Maybe he could just get back in bed, pull the cover over his head and go to sleep. No, his friends would never let him live it down. "James, is a sissy."

            James slipped his leg over the sill of his window and sat for a moment looking out into the night sky. All he had to do make it to the ground, run across to the park where he knew Duncan would be waiting, make an appearance and then he could let himself in the back door and sneak back into bed. James balanced and slid his other foot over the sill. It wasn't steep. If he could just inch his way along until he made it to the porch he could climb down the trellas.

            James wasn't sure he could let got of the sill. What would he hold on to? What if he start to slip. He imagined his mother's horror

Kids calling......

Friday, January 18, 2008

Monday, January 14, 2008

New Feature-Mondays

Edited on Janurary 17th to add: Only read this today if you're set to read tons of typos and spelling errors. I don't know where my mind was when I was answering the rest of the questions yesterday but the answers are almost incomprehensible! I probably won't have time to fix them today but I will tomorrow! Sorry about that folks!

As this is suposed to be a writing blog each Monday I am going to feature a writing assignment from on of the two books that I got last year. Sometimes they'll ask me to analyse a piece of children's literature that is already out there, sometimes they'll ask me to write my own, sometimes they'll ask me to write journal entries about my own childhood. I think it'll be interesting. I think this'll give me some motivation to do it and as I said before this is something I can write when I feeling like writing and then post when I plan on posting (hopefully Mondays).

This week were starting out with some questions from The Writer's Guide For Crafting Stories for Children .

What was my favorite book as a child? I liked the Laura Ingall's Wilder series a lot. In picture books I vividly recall Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day (I went to bed with gum in my mouth and now there's gum in my hair.....). 

What was my favorite book as a teen? Lurlene McDaniel was a definite favorite. I was very much into historical fiction like Jean M. Auel (Clan of the Cave Bear) and Sue Harrison (My Sister the Moon). I think anything that had a feel of being real was appealing to me at the time. I didn't want to have anything to do with fantasy or science fiction.

What made my childhood books special to me? The took me away. After my mother's death especially I think I coped by getting away and how I did this was through reading. The bigger and longer the book the better (hense Clan of the Cave Bear). I think that in the school year following Mum's death I read 91 books and MANY (most) of them were in the 400+ page range (with some having double that). As a little kid what was special about my books was being able to sit on my dad's lad while he read them to me (so they had to be appealing read aloud books).

What's the scariest thought I had as a child? I don't know what my scariest thought was as a child.

What was the scariest thing that happened to me as a child? I think some of the simplest scariest moments happened when I'd be out with my parents shopping or whatever and wonder away a little bit and then turn around and not know where they were. That always really scared me. Once I wondered out into the mash (marsh) with a few of my cousins when we were all very young (and I was the oldest of the group but by far the least familar with the area) and I got disoriented and didn't know which way to go to get back to my aunt's. We weren't out there for very long but I still don't remember how we got home (I think one of the younger ones remembered) but I know I was scared).

What was the scariest thing that happened to me as an adult? I was in pretty minor accident with my father driving where it was extremely stormy  and we lost control on the highway and spun twice before hitting the gaurd rail on the other side of the road (facing the opposite way we'd be going). If anything had been coming we would have certainly been killed. I was pregnant at the time and was left feeling pretty shook up. I am still very nervous on winter roads now.

What was my greatest happiness as a child? Why? I think that exploring nature and being outside was my favorite thing when I was a child because I felt really free and everything was so beautiful. A lot of the times I'd go out there alone fo there was no one there to "judge" me (which is/was my biggest fear). I liked flowers and getting dirty and going to the beach so all that was good fun for me.

What was my greatest fear? Why? Doing something that would make me look stupid. I was always afraid of what people thought of me so thing like gym class or answering questions in front of the class or public speaking made me feel horrible because I was sure I was going to screw up and look "stupid". I NEEDED to be smart (because I didn't have much confidence that I was anything else) so I hated doing anything where if I made a mistake people might not thing I was smart anymore.

What does loss mean to me today? Pretty deep questions here. I don't really know how to anwer is right now. I might come back later.

What did loss mean to me as a child? I experienced a lot of loss as a child (in more ways than one). It meant a lot of pain and hurt and unfairness. I felt like the only one. It wasn't true but when you are little that's what it feels like.

Where did my monsters live? In the dark? In the closet? My monsters lived in the basement after dark but only when my Mum needed me to get something out of the deep freezer (I swear....they came out after I'd close the deep freeze to nibble at my toes so I needed to bolt up the stairs as fast as I could).

Who were my monsters in the dark? I don't have a clear picture of the "deepfreeze monsters" but I also had plant like monters with long tentacles that lived just outside my window and they used to try to wrap themself around and try to get in. Scarey little buggers they were.

If I could control my dreams, what would I choose to dream about? I would dream about glorious gardens, and dragons and faeries. I'd dream about babies and women and birth. Hmm, if I was a child I'd probably dream about dragons and faeries *lol*.

What is the scariest dream I had as a child? It's vague but it had to do with those darn plant like tentacle monsters outside my window. I remember lying down in my bed in my dream feeling really really heavy and then hearing banging outside my window and waking up and going to the window to look out and having these tentacle plant like monsters wrap in around my window frame and start to chock me. When I woke up I swore that the plants were still outside my window (I must have heard a noise on the street that got transformed into my dream).

What was the best school experience I ever had? What was the worst? Umm, can I say I've blocked out school memories....oh wait, I know my day after school two boys were bugging me and we were all being rather loud (but I really feel I was defending myself). They'd put my shoes and report card into the boys bathroom. The teacher had an after school tutoring program and apparently we were disturbing it (and I tried to explain what the boys had done) but the next day we all had to sit in the hall during recess and I got the chair right by the front entrance where every kid in the school passed on the way to recess. I'd NEVER been in trouble before and this was soooooooo embarassing to me.

The best school experience, I'll think on it.....getting through something vertually unnoticed most likely.....or well, actually, in Newfoundland I felt a bit more confident and we did a play and stuff for Christmas one year and we'd practised our bottoms off for it (man the school was good for religion and music) and one of the Mama came up to me after and congratulated me for doing a good job and I actually felt like I did a good job and that felt pretty special. I think the fact that we worked so hard was worth it. Then also at that school the grade 6 class was the one that prepare the classrooms for safe grad for the graduation high school class (each class had a theme and balloon and whatnot) and that was a ton of fun to do as well. One time we prepared a surprise party for a teacher from our class (grade 6) and that was special). Grade 6 was a really nice school year (though I don't think I learnt much).

How would I have reacted if my most secure anchors were removed from me as a child? It was. I was angry. I craved attention. It wan't pleasant

What was my favorite age as a child? Probably 10-11 (life was good then and I was really happy where were at the time). I think at 10-11 you have a bit more freedom to do things too so that's always nice (not that I was roaming the streets or anything but I could walk to a friend's house alone or whatever).

Who was my best friend growing up? What was wonderful about him or her? Martin (though I was friends with all the "M" brothers almost equally through the years, probably him the closest) he was just a beautiful boy. Very polite and lots of fun to do things with. We'd go to the beach and make mud pies. He'd call me to tell me my favorite singer's music video was on TV (eventhough I'm still not sure if he like her at all...probably not), he had sparkly eyes and a great laugh (umm, let's hope he's not reading this...I don't want to make him blush... *lol*)

If I could return to my childhood and take one thing with me that I've learnt as an adult, what would that nugget of wisdom be and how would it change my life? Not to worry so much what people think (wish I could follow this advice now sometimes). Honestly, they won't think of you once you grow up so really you don't have to worry about them. I wish I'd tried more things but I was always to afraid to because I didn't think I'd be good enough and that people would think badly of me.

How could I apply that lesson in children's books?

I'll come back throughout this week and finish up these questions so keep checking back. Right now though I have a book that is calling my name and I rarely take the time to sit back and read so that is what I am going to do while my house is quiet!

Sweet Dreams.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Two Bite Brownies

Well, these were not my recipe of choice for the new year (mainly because most of you have tasted these already AND they are sooooooo NOT healthy). However, this week I have been busy with testing at the hospital so it's been get up and throw a hunk of meat and for veggies in the crock pot add some spices and pray that it turns out to be an edible meal (it always has been quite yummy). However, it hasn't been too precise and doesn't leave too much to take pictures and doesn't even come out of the crockpot looking THAT attractive so you get a yummy (the BEST) though highly unhealthy recipe for two-bite brownies that are better than the ones you get at the grocery store. They are devine (IF you use Epicure cocoa).

Epicure Two-Bite Brownies

-1/2 flour

-1/4 cup Epicure cocoa

-1 tps baking powder

-1/2 cup brown sugar

-1/2 cup white sugar

-1 egg

-1/2 cup butter

-1/2 tps vanilla

Combine flour, cocoa, and baking powder.


-Combine Remaining ingredients in another bowl.

-Mix both bowls together.

-Spoon mixture into mini non-stick muffin tins.

-Bake for 12-14 minutes (mixture will still appear soft, somewhat will harden as it's almost like a candy).

-Let cool for 5-10 minutes or more before trying to remove from tin.



(I realise that I am out of blogging practise. Halfway through the recipe I realised that I'd stopped taking pictures.)

Stay tuned next time when I try to create a lentil soup totally from my imagination. I have ideas but I've never tried it before. I've made lentile soup before but I want to try something a little different this time. I will post it no mater what the outcome!! No guarantees that it will be edible, however!!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

New Sweaters

We had the last of our holiday get togethers this past weekend and the kiddos got spoilt yet again with lots of goodies. Being and avid knitter myself my personal favorites were these....


(my poor tired teething she wasn't the gift...the sweater was)


I have never learnt how to knit properly (holding the wool and needles properly). I have tried now but I often get tingling in my hands and the feel of the wool bushing on them as it runs through drives me batty so I cannot knit fair isle (colour patterns). So I am loving the first sweater that a friend of my sister's knit for Morgaine. It is gorgeous and the colour suits her perfectly. The dragon in Liam's sweater is also PERFECT for him as we are very much in to pretending about princesses and dragons (if you'll all remember his disappointment when I chopped my hair because he wanted me to grow it long like a princess).

Thank you both very much!!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Epicure-Informational Post

I am sorry to say that some wonderful products will be leaving the Epicure line-up this coming season (so please contact me with your orders before March's while supplies last). However, I look forward to introducing you to the new and wonderful year of Epicure in the near future (sometimes ya just got to make room for even better stuff, you know?).

I wanted to give any of you that might be customers of mine a list of what is leaving. If you continue reading you'll also see what items that are only available in the fall/winter catalogue. BIG NOTE that two of my hot products are now seasonal only.....popcorn seasoning (so please stock up now) and the Belgian chocolate chips....I've only had people order this far but apparently there were melting issues this summer for some customers (darn Canada Post without refrigerated trucks *lol*).

Discontinued Items



Cardamom (whole)

Chinese Five Spice

Cloves (both ground and whole)



Fines Herbes

Garam Masalas


Juniper Berries





Nutmeg (both ground and whole)

Greek oregano

Pink Peppercorn

Roasted Garlic (a note to my've order minced garlic...that is definitely staying).

Star Anise


Mild Smoked Spanish Paprika

Black Sesame Seeds

Green Bell Pepers


Herbed mustard

Pink Hawaiian Sea Salt

Smoked Alder Sea Salt

Lemon Pepper

White Pepper

Pink Peppercorn Dressing

Japanese Rice Vinegar

Sherry Vinegar

Almond Extract

White Belgian Chocolate

Decadence-Triple Chocolate (hot chocolate)

You'll no longer be able to buy the coffee topper as singles any more (only in the variety pack of 4).

White Sugar Crystals

Amber Sugar Crystals

Cedar Plank Set

7" pizza pans

pizza wheel

pastry blender

green basting brush (apparently you'll still be able to get red)

BBQ and marinade cruets (English and French)

Oval measuring cups

Stainless Steel Colander

Deluxe Wooden Spoons

Sauce Laddle

Spagetthi Server

Pasta Machine

Pasta Bowls


Vegetable Peeler

All the graters (excluding the four sided grater)

Garlic Press

Kitchen Shears

Locking Thonges

2004 recipes

Monday-Friday recipe book

5 ingredient cook book

10 anniversary cook book

Home for the Holiday book

Seasonal Products


Poudre Douce

Pumpkin Pie Spice

Both Stuffing Seasonings

Cranberry Sauce

Mulling Spices

Hot Buttered Rum

Pinot Noir Wine Jelly

Blanc des Blancs Wine Jelly

Turkey Rub

Fireside Rim Trimmer



Christmas Tea

Cinnamon sticks

Mocha beans

Cherries and Berries

Coffee Topper Set

Crystalised Ginger

Decorating Sugar

Cocktail Shaker

I know the list sounds long but there are still plenty of wonderful products to chose from (and there's still time to stock up on favorites before they disappear....give me a shout) and I heard that you'll all be quite happy with what's in store for the spring catalogue. So check back because as soon as I know what the new products are you'll be sure I'll be back sharing them all with you!!!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Plaid Pyjamas

I just love these pyjamas.


(She's spinning...)


(Loving her teddy bear....)

I don't know what it is about plaid but I cannot resist it (especially when it comes to pyjama's). I thought that these where so cute that I just had to pick them up (and at half price...really who could resist?). I don't know. I think there is something a Little House on the Prairie-ish about plaid pyjamas. Anyways, I think she's a cutie so I just had to share.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Christmas Morning

My inlaws are very much into the commercial Christmas deal with lots of presents and a big production about Santa Claus. One of them dress up as the fellow in red and pass out huge gifts to the children and a big deal is made about how that is the best part of Christmas. Now, I'm all for magic and wonder and Santa can be a wonderful thing but I was so tired by Christmas morning of hearing about what Liam wanted and what Santa was going to bring and how we MUST buy him certain things (like it was his honour and privledge to be treated to WHATEVER he was REALLY out of hand for a while). I'd even threatened to use my North Pole conections to call off Christmas presents for the year.

This year I decided that while the inlaws were going to do the whole big Santa production I was going to do a little stocking for each of the kids and have it waiting for them under the tree when they got up on Christmas morning. I thought it would be nice to have a little something just for the little family before the inlaws arrived and something that was part of my English tradition as well. So at 7:15 I hear it, "Mommy, mommy, Santa came and he left something for me and it has my name on it." Then, "I think he left one for Morgaine too" (Santa got lazy and only wrapped one of the two gifts). I just loved hearing the amazement in his voice and he had a real twinkle in his eye. He jumped into the bed where I lay lazily nursing Morgaine.  So up we get and we call Daddy up to open our stockings together. Dscf1045

Morgaine digging in to her stocking.


Liam sizing up a braclet that was in his stocking.

I am happy to report that out of all the gifts that the kids received they seemed happiest with the simple things that came from their stocking. You don't have to spend a whole ton of money or go all out to make a child's morning bright. It was a lot of fun and the kids loved it and that is all that mattered. We'll definitely do stockings again next year. It'll be our own little Christmas morning family tradition.