Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Scalloped Potatoes in just under 20 Minutes!

If you're a scalloped (or escalloped, as my Mom would say) potato connoisseur, this recipe is not for you. However, if you work two jobs and try to have a life while maintaining your sanity, you may like this recipe. I LOVE potatoes, they've always been my one big weakness next to all things chocolate. Both are probably not that good for you in large doses, but you can always dream...

I'm not sure where this recipe hailed from originally but I've been doing it like this for the last 20 years.

A large batch should be enough for 6 -8 people (or 4 if I'm one of them !)

You will need the following:

-Large lidded casserole dish (I used a 2.5 quart oval dish - make sure it fits in your microwave)
-8 medium, or 6 large potatoes any kind, peeled and sliced thinly (put them in water after cut so they don't brown)
-2 garlic cloves minced
-1 large, or 2 small onions cut in half and sliced
-1/4 cup butter
-1/4 cup flour
-1 1/2 cups milk (add a bit more if the sauce it too thick)

Put the chopped onion, garlic and butter in the casserole dish and microwave on high for 3 minutes or until the onion is soft and butter has melted.

it should look like this:

then add the flour and stir it all into the butter onion mixture.

Once the flour is stirred in pour in the milk and slowly mix it up until the flour mixture has mostly dissolved.

Then put back in the microwave for 5 minutes, stopping to stir half way through. Once done it will be a nice thick white bechamel-like sauce with onions.

Add the sliced potatoes and stir them into the sauce making sure they're all covered in sauce (this can get messy!):

Then cover and microwave on high for 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper after you're done microwaving as it tends to attract the microwaves and your food will not cook as evenly. You can do it if you want, Just sayin' s'all...

Once done you should always let your microwaved dish sit for 5 minutes or so, and Voila, Scalloped Potatoes!


Thursday, 26 January 2012

Meet the Kids - Furkids, Present and Past

Before this Blog gets fully under way, I thought you all should meet the kids. Greyhound kids, thats all we have. Since 1999 we have been blessed with 20 little feet scampering though the house, and hogging the couch, mostly the latter. Our current two are Roodie and Ella; half-siblings. They are so completely different that it makes us laugh.

Here is our most recent adoptee, Ella...

Ella - AKA Nut-Ella
Ella's pretty much a truckdriver/tank hybrid who barks like a Rotti and bascially has no manners - she barks at EVERYTHING. She's a bit of a brute and sometimes smells funky. She also wants a kitty for Christmas. We call her Smella or Nut-Ellla. Nut-Ella makes us laugh because she's so goofy, she a D-O-G.

And then there's Roodie...

Roodie - the Princess

Roo on the other hand is a very sensitive little flower. He's a worrier and he get spooked quite easily. We call him Princess Roodie or Roodie-Anna. He has his silly moments and can wag tail better than any greyhound we've ever had...but there are all these scary things out in the world: like balls, air mattresses, signs, trees, birds, shadows. He loved his Mamma though...(no surprise there)

Frightz - Mamma nose best!
Mamma Frightz was our broody and Roodie and Ella's Mom. For those not familiar with that term, once she finished racing she went to the farm to breed more racing pups. She had 6 litters and 40 pups total. She was the most polite and ladylike greyhound we have ever had. The only bad thing I can recall was she could scream like a banshee, and for no particular reason. We call this the GSOD or Greyhound Scream of Death. The GSOD is usually reserved for special occasions, like when someone scares you while trying to brush your teeth. She used to scare the crap out of the vets and vet techs (can't say we didn't warn them!). Her racing name was USS Frightning and we did try to change that but if you called for her, "Frrriiiiiggghhtttninnnng' she would come a running. So, we kept it. She was a total doll and we miss her every day. We adopted her 3 weeks after losing our Wardy...

Ward our little sick boy
Ward was our second greyhound and he was sick and underweight when we adopted him from a wonderful group in Ohio. They rescued him from a not so good situation, God bless them. In short, he was a wonderfully loving guy who was medically challenged his entire 3 years with us. We called him our little Frankendog because he was covered in scars from head to toe, well, almost all his toes, all 8.5 of them. He must have had a rough go it before coming to live with us. When he went to the bridge my heart was never the same (this is still hard to write without tearing up).

And then there is the Ambassador who started it all, Walter...

Walter the Rock Star!

Ah Walter, he was a legend and loved by all. A LOT of people knew Walter. He was the kind of greyhound that had peeps and a dogtourage. I was just Walter's Mom. Walter came to work with me every day for 14 months, however, the highlight of his day was returning home to his Dad, what a guy. He and his Dad (my DH David) were two peas on a pod. They did everything together (when he wasn't forced to go to work with me - oh the dread). They definitely broke the mold after Walter was created. DH and I were crushed when he left us for the bridge but we were blessed to have had him in our lives for almost 10 years.

So that's it. Those are the kids present and past. Now go hug your pups...

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Bucket List – do you have one?

Roodie says, "Relax more"

I’m sure we all have some sort of bucket list; perpetual or otherwise. Mine is more, not sure how to describe it, perhaps more like a personal improvement bucket list. I have many random thoughts floating around in my head, things I want to do or accomplish in no particular order. My Husband thinks I’m nuts but loves me anyway. I will try to accomplish some of these projects in the coming year so I can share them with you all. Here’s a sampling:

-make my own soaps and lotions (books bought)
-live in a green “off the grid” wooden yurt house
-grow an amazing vegetable garden
-take better notes
-listen better
-start a blog
-cook a new thing every week (I’m getting there…)
-learn one new thing every day
-relax more
-read more (I have 6 novels on deck…)
-inspired by Mz Pinney – knit something (an actual usable item!)
-make a quilt (with t-shirts or fabric scraps)
-slipcover the sofa
-make hypertufa pots
-accomplish all the tasks I plan to do on any given Sunday (likely impossible!)
-open a consignment store for home d├ęcor items
-learn more about flower gardening (ordered Canadian Gardening for 2 years)
-paint those darn Muskoka chairs (once we agree on a colour)
-adopt some chickens
-be less materialistic
-work less...enjoy more

Well, that’s all I could catch today. Perhaps you will think about what you want to do, or how you want to live, for the rest of your life….

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

This will be my first post

OK, just checked "start a blog" off the bucket list. Admittedly, I'm not the most prolific writer but perhaps in time this will change...

All kidding aside, I've started this blog in order to chronicle the weird and wonderful things I create. Occasionally when friends come over and see what I've been up to they say how creative I am. I've said many times, "you can all do this too, it's not that hard", but they just stare in disbelief. So, I'm going to take the guesswork out of things and show you how it's done. What most people don't realize is that sometimes I don't have a clue about what I'm about to do...God love the intent, and Google. I've been an avid Google-r for over 12 years now.

So, in order to hook you in I will now tantalize you with my fancy footwork, or not. This is our wee cottage "White Squirrel Cottage", located in Jackson's Point Ontario. My DH and I are in the process of rehabbing this poor wee neglected house. I'm happy to report the smell has finally gone away hopefully never to return...It's a good thing they don't have scratch and sniff on the internet.

The following are 5 pictures of the backyard over a period of 2 years:

June 2009 ( I can only say that, yes, we are sane...)

November 2009 (cleared all the growth)

August 2010 (New doors and siding)

May 2011 (new deck and candle wall)

June 2011 (just add martinis!)

Taa, Daa! See? Easy-Peasy...

So welcome all, to my little corner of the interweb.