Being Pinspired

Last year, in order to keep my winter wardrobe innovating, I decided to force myself to make an outfit out of whatever came next in the shirt section of my closet.    Twas loads of fun inventing outfits plus it helped me get rid of things I wasn't really using.
This year I plan on resorting to Pinterest to recreate some outfits that I have seen and loved and figured that I could likely pull off with what I have.
For January, I decided to focus on a deep purple/maroon/burgundy/wine...really? what colour is this???? combo with browns/creams and blacks.



Free People top, ON SALE RIGHT MEOW! &  pants from Winners last year

1- Signorelli Sweater from the Bay..can't find it online, old Guess boots.
2- Aritzia sweater, Sanibel pennant (Stella Dot)
3- Old BCBG top from Bay, GoodNight Macaroon faux fur vest, Lia Sophia necklace

side note: I should really get another maroon piece for my wardrobe.  Repeating the same pants over the course of 3 weeks was no fun.  Maybe a maroon blazer? Or textured leggings???  Also? I need to work on taking better pictures....

Up in February will be the dressing up of oversized sweaters, me thinks.  I may change my mind.

Anna Olson's Salmon Strata with Dill

July 31st - Anna Olson's Salmon Strata with Dill 
(recipe retrieved from The Heart & Stroke Foundation of Canada)

Tonight for supper, I made a recipe that I had found on the Heart & Stroke Foundation of Canada's website.  It was delicious and so simple to make.  Having fresh dill in my garden is a wonderful addition to any dish, especially this one.  I don't know why I never planted it sooner.  To make this dish even easier to assemble,  I cooked the salmon last night.  All I had to do was throw everything together right before supper and put it in the oven. The meal went over very well and I served it with a spinach salad and peas.

Here is the recipe.

Anna Olson's Salmon Dill Strata with Dill

3 eggs
2 cups 1% milk
1/8 tsp ground pepper
5 cups cubed day old whole wheat bread
10 oz skinless salmon fillet, cooked and flaked
1/4 cup chopped green onion
2 tbsp chopped fresh dill (or 2 tsp dried)
2 tsp finely grated lemon zest

1. Preheat oven to 350F and lightly oil an 8-inch square casserole dish. 
2. In a large bowl, whisk eggs, milk and pepper.  Add bread, salmon, green onion, dill and lemon zest and stir to combine. 
3. Pour mixture into prepared dish and bake uncovered for about 45 minutes or until strata springs back when gently pressed and is golden brown.  Let strata cool for 10 minutes before slicing or spooning to serve. 

- Kyla

Carrot Soup with Zucchini and White Bean Fritters

July 29th - The Return of Simply Foodtastic, a guest post from Kyla

It is great to be back writing about the wonderful and exciting recipes we are trying out in our household.  I actually do miss having my blog (though you can still access it at as there have been many recipes I have wanted to share with everyone over the course of the last few months.  I am loving this new blog idea, created by ma belle soeur Deena.

Last night, I tried out a couple of recipes that were in my Todays Parent magazine and I would like to share them with you today.  Everyone really enjoyed the recipes but I think it would have tasted even better with fresh garden carrots. Maybe when my carrots are ready to be picked I will try this recipe once more.  This is a great vegetarian meal to add to your weekly menu.  I encourage everyone to try at least 1 or 2 vegetarian meals a week to help lower their intact of saturated fat.  Don't be afraid to try new recipes or new foods.  The worst thing that could happen is that you won't like it.  If that happens, try something different for next time.

The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude.”
~ Julia Child
“Cooking is one failure after another, and that’s how you finally learn.”
~ Julia Child

Carrot Soup

3 tbsp unsalted butter
6 cups sliced, unpeeled, scrubbed carrots (about 1 1/2 lb.)
1 cup sliced  yellow onion
1 tsp ground cumin
1 900-mL container sodium-free chicken stock
1 1/2 cups water
3/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

1. Melt butter in a pot over medium heat. Add carrots and onion.
2. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes or until vegetables are soft and beginning to brown.  Add cumin and saute for 1 minute until fragrant. 
3. Add chicken stock, bringing to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes or until vegetables are very soft.  Transfer to a blender and puree until smooth.  
4. Return to pot, season with salt and lemon juice.  Serve soup warm or at room temperature, with a spoonful of yogurt and top with chopped cilantro.

Zucchini &White Bean Fritters

4 cups coarsely grated zucchini (about 4 small zucchini)
1 tsp salt
1 cup canned white pea beans, drained and rinsed well (I used white kidney beans)
1 large egg yolk
2 tbsp chopped fresh italian parsley
2 tsp finely chopped garlic
1 tsp grated lemon rind
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
1/4 cup canola oil for frying

1.  Toss zucchini with salt in a medium bowl and let stand for 5 minutes to draw out moisture. 
2.  Transfer to a clean kitchen towel and wring out any liquid. (It's important to squeeze it really well.)
3. Puree beans in a food processor, transfer to a bowl and stir in egg, parsley, garlic and lemon rind until well combined. 
4. Add zucchini and bread crumbs and mix until fully incorporated. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large frying pan over medium-high.  Use your hands to press mixture into about 12 thin patties. 
5. Work in batches, and add remaining oil as needed, and fry the patties for 1 to 2 minutes a side or until browned and crisp. Drain on paper towels. 

Visit Simply Foodtastic for archived posts of Kyla's super meal planning tips

Outfit diary

Yuck. Back to work. 2 solid weeks of vacay in the frigid cold of winter surrounded by way too much food has me struggling to put together outfits that look good and feel good.  So....leggings and comfy sweaters it is.
Here's a look at some of my outfits from the past two weeks. Gotta love winter fashion!
Rubbish from Nordstrom. I wear this as pajamas...which means the minute I step into the house until I leave for work.

Trying out the grey/black and brown combo.  Was scary.  Guess boots, Calvin Klein skinnies, grey cardigan H&M, White shirt Old Navy.

Day 2 of same colour combo.  Less scary.  Sweater DKNY, Scarf from intern, black skinny jeans H&M, Cognac boots Chinese Laundry

Weekend look. Calson color block tunic from Nordstrom and Hue leggings
Free People Knit Jacquard Leggings (current fave), Joe Fresh top

BCBG tunic, Vero Modo leggings and Nine West pumps

Signorelli Sweater - The Bay, Laundry leggings, Scarf from Brother Josh in France, Guess boots

I think this is my favourite outfit.  Chevron cardigan- can't it from Beyond the Rack, Sanibel pendant- Stella Dot, Vigoss Jeans, Chinese Laundry boots

Vero Modo Sweater, Infinity scarf from Simons and lovely Christmas socks.

That's a look at what I've been sporting.  I'm trying to put together winter essentials post like Kyla did ....stay tuned!

Warming Up in the Wintertime - Wardrobe Essentials

Winter is my favourite season. I love the frost on the trees, the sparkling snow, and the feel of the cold air on my skin.  All of my favourite sports were played during the winter growing up, and I think that may be one of the key reasons why I look forward to winter so much.  Also, because I love wearing sweaters, layering clothes and cozy leggings.  As I mentioned before, my fall/winter wardrobe is my favourite and look forward to putting on my sweaters,  scarfs and leggings as soon as the cold air hits and the leaves start to fall off the trees.

Here are my top 4 winter essentials:

1. Oversize sweaters with leggings.

I recently bought this sweater from Target.  It isn't my favourite but it still is nice and cozy.  I also like my patterned leggings and they are so comfortable. I could wear them around the house all day. I bought them a few years ago from Simons.
Sweater from Target, leggings from Simons

I am in love with this sweater and would wear it everyday if I could.  Whenever I go to the Winners in Prince Albert, I always come out of the store with a lovely find.  The leggings are from Simons again and they are dark grey with a pattern.

Sweater from Winners, leggings from Simons

2.  Cozy dress with leggings.

Another item purchased from the Prince Albert Winners just a few days before Christmas this year. The dress/top is a little thicker and very comfortable.  I also love the pattern on it. For the winter, it goes perfectly with a nice, long sweater.  I love my Wilfred sweater from Aritzia. The leggings are my favourite pair from Lululemon.

Dress from Winners, Leggings from Lululemon

Sweater from Aritzia

4. A fun t-shirt.

My brother bought this shirt for me (Thanks!!!).  Now all three of us have Harry Potter t-shirts.  If you have seen the movies, you know how it sounds, haha. This is the best website for some really fun shirts (

Harry Potter shirt from RedBubble

4. Coats, boots, scarfs, oh my!

I have two winter coats and love them both.  The first one is my casual coat and the other is my dress-up coat.  As you can see, I also received the mukluks I wanted for Christmas! Thanks, mom and dad.  The blue scarf is made by Deena's friend Carmen (KoLi Designs). She has her own Facebook page and Etsy shop, if you want to check it out.
Scarf - Gift, Coat by Soia & Kyo (bought at Winners)

Scarf by KoLi Designs (Deena's friend Carmen makes scarfs and a lot of other wonderful things. You can find her on Facebook and she has her own Etsy shop), Coat by DKNY (bought at Simons), Mukluks from Manitobah Mukluks.

- Kyla

Cook Day 2. #3 The one that really is about Cook Day 2. I hope.

Sooooooo.....I got a little distract not once, but twice while trying to explain to you the awesome that happened in our kitchen over the break...

Cook Day 2 took a good three nights and much coordination to complete...and by coordination I mean a trip to Costco to buy some bulk everything and then a call to Grandma Park to clarify which chicken dish was the one that I could still taste and therefore wanted to freeze.
And then when I had talked to Grams, I decided that my meal freezing adventures this round should be dedicated to my two lovely Grandmothers.  One of whom is no longer with us.  When I can recreate a dish she had perfected, you can bet she is there with me in the kitchen.

So my first adventure was chicken.  I bought bulk chicken thighs and only had to make the homemade BBQ sauce.  I made the two versions that appear in the cookbook my Grams made me of her favourites- which, by the way, was stellarist of gifts I have ever received.  Thanks, Grams.

Once the chicken, 4 times over, was happily cooking away, I put together some of my mom's awesome banana chocolate chip cookies- turned muffins.  These are currently sitting in the freezer and being randomly eaten by my children, but mostly the husband.  I also threw together some Saskatoon Berry Oatmeal muffins- not as popular with the kids.

Day 2 was an hommage to my Gramma Diehl.  Her home-made meatballs were the epitome of Christmas Eve supper and a taste I will remember for the rest of my life.  Luckily, I have multiple copies of her recipe on hand and made 4 batches.

While I had hamburger out, I decided to continue on with some of Gramma Diehl's recipes and made her hamburger soup which I LOVE!  Renee had put together a cookbook of family recipes for my wedding shower and it is something I have been going back to frequently when I want to find some great tastes.

The seriously smells so good when it brews all day on a cold winter's day!

Lastly, I made cookies.  First I made Gramma Diehl's Chocolate Chip cookies which taste best frozen (because that's how we'd steal them at her house) and therefore will stay in our freezer in a white huge margarine container (because that's how she stored them) so my kids can steal them.

I also made some gingerbread cookies, which were given to me by a most lovely student.  They are also frozen.  And finally, 2 loaves of pumpkin banana bread.

So...finally....CookDay 2 is complete and my freezer is stocked with meals that will be easily warmed up for the days that are ultra busy when the boycub is doing speed skating and piano.

Have a fantastically lovely winter not so cold weeekend

Also? Jordan emailed me this picture I must have sent her when I was trying to figure out what to do with all the tomatoes....

Cook Day 2. #2. The one without the wine.

Actually, I fooled you. It's still Saturday night as I write this.  I'm not a crazy early bird who posts at 4:30 am 3 days a week...nope, I save the good stuff for the weekend and get it all out whilst I have the energy, the time and clearly, as the theme of this week's posts go...the wine.

So Cook Day 2 happened over Christmas Break because I had run out of food from Cook Day 1 which was in August.  It was actually well timed because it was so freaking frigid this break that I couldn't go outside and play and I didn't want to drive anywhere because that meant going outside, so I stayed home and cooked like a madwoman over a couple of days.

I just got distracted and decided to check the forecast for tonight/this week.  FAAAACK.

Seriously.  Can you read that?  Extreme wind chill minus 47??!!!  Doesn't this normally happen in February?  Why has it been happening so often in December and now January?  I mean, I guess it does make me feel better that Thursday and Friday have reasonable temperatures.  I really think Environment Canada, at this point, should be doodling snowmen in their bathing gear, drinking pina coladas on the beach.  Like Google does on random days?  Wait- just checked Google.  They're normal today.
Now I feel like I may be going slightly crazy.  I mean, I didn't leave the house from New Year's Eve until Saturday.  Is that normal?  Is it even more normal that I kinda liked having a reason to be lazy and a homebody and to cook a crapload of foooo....
Cook Day 2.  I forgot again.

OOOOOOOO snow angels.

Kay- we're actually smiling..wait....I'm actually smiling in this picture. Perhaps because it was my one time outside in 4 days and we went toboganning despite the freeze and Lucy kept yelling "I'm a RAAACE CAR" as she sped down our hill.  It was a good 10 minutes.

 And then there was that time over Christmas, chez mom and dad where I forced my brother to pull me around in the toboggan only to have him push me down the hill, careening into trees...and the highway.  He's a good guy that way.

 You know, it may be frigid, but the pastelly colour the sky makes every night around 5 is quite beautiful...

Well. I guess no Cook Day 2 again. My bad.

Cook Day 2

Oh wait, I didn't actually post about Cook Day 1.
 Le oops.
It happened in August, before I went back to work, when I had a kitchen full of garden fresh produce. Which was mostly tomatoes.
And so I just searched my summer photo library for something that showed the magnitude of the tomato experience that happened in the kitchen, because I was pretty sure I took a picture of it or of the freezer afterwards at least.  Only I couldn't find one, but found one instead of the home grown cantaloupes that Dan's parents also brought us.  Oh, wait.  I think that's a tomato too.  See!

The cantaloupes weren't that awesome.  But the tomatoes turned into 10 batches of home-made spaghetti sauce, 4 lasagnas and 4 batches of hamburger soup that lasted me until Christmas!
Wait- also?  In my picture search I came across a cartload of wine I had bought for something or other and really, it was also probably to help me with going back to work.  Teenagers do that to you. It didn't last until Christmas, I'm happy to report.

What was the point of this post?  OH yah....Cook Day 2.  See now, all I can think about is wine.  My good friend Alynne got me a bottle of chocolate wine for Christmas. It's fueling this post.  And it's OBVIOUSLY Saturday night as I type this and not Monday morning that I'm downing some wine au chocolat.  Although if it is technically Monday as you read this, then that means I'm back at work after a fantastically Christmassy 2 week  break...and maybe I do need some wine.....teenagers.  Yikes.
Shit.  What was I going to talk about?  Screw it.  This will do.
Happy Monday!

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