Friday, December 21, 2012


 It has been 1 week since the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School. 
7 days since 20 school children and 7 adults were taken too soon. 
7 nights that 20 families didn't get to tuck in their little one.
168 hours since we all heard the news. 

So why do I feel like I just found out? 
Why am I still on the verge of tears whenever I look at my daughter?  
Why was I crying as I wrote her teacher's Christmas card,
thanking her for all that she does?

The last time I can recall being this emotional about a national tragedy was September 11th.
I cried on and off for the loss of thousands, for about a week.
I constantly watched the news.
I wondered, why?
But this feels different.
This really hits home.
I have a six year old daughter.
She is in 1st grade, like the victims.
She attends a 1st - 4th grade school, like Sandy Hook Elementary.
 Her classroom is the first one you come to when you enter the school,
like the victims' classrooms.

Last Friday a little bit after 11am I went on Facebook.
The first posts I saw were all about some terrible breaking news.
I immediately turned on CNN.
I sat on the couch for the next four hours watching and crying.
Wondering why and how someone could do that to children.
My husband came home and we watched, talked and cried together.
I wanted to turn off the TV, but I just couldn't.

Around 3 o'clock I had to pull myself together.
It was time to pick my daughter up from school.
Walking to her school I tried to fight back the tears.
As cars passed by I'd raise my sunglasses and wipe away the tears.
Walking up the front steps to the school I felt an overwhelming sadness.
Inside parents were chatting like usual.
Everyone seemed like it was just another day.
I wondered if they'd heard the news.
For fear of bursting into tears I made a point not to look at anyone.
Then I heard the bell ring and waited to see that smiling face walking towards me.
My heart was racing and as soon as I saw her my eyes filled with tears.
I gave her a big hug and kiss and told her I much love her. 
Then I quickly ushered her outside so I could put my sunglasses back on.
She sounded soo sweet telling me all about her day.
She had no idea I was silently crying as we walked home.
She doesn't know of the evil that happened that day. 

 20 families had missed their smiling child greeting them after school.
20 families had missed the daily update on the way home.
20 families wouldn't be sitting down to dinner as a whole family that evening.
20 families wouldn't be letting their child stay up a little late because it was Friday.
20 families wouldn't be getting the goodnight hugs and kisses.

How do we comprehend what happened?
How can we?

All I know is that since that day I start crying at the drop of a hat.
I haven't watched the news in a week.
I appreciate every little hug and and kiss that much more.
I watch and listen to my daughter play, in awe of her precious innocence.
I felt a twinge of pain in my heart watching her at her school Christmas concert.
When she lost her first today Saturday night I thought of the parents who
will now miss out on all the little things. 

It hurts to know there are hundreds of children who lost their innocence that day.
Hundreds who are now terrified of a place that should be a safe haven.
How long will it take for them and the victim's families to heal?
There are soo many questions we will never know the answers to.
 My hope is the children and families will, in their own time, find peace.

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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Christmas Music

Hi there! 
I'm here today with a quick post to share a couple free Christmas songs with you.
The songs are by the incredibly talented Sarah McLachlan.
In our house Sarah's music is near and dear to our hearts! She has been a part of me and Mr. CC's relationship since the start. We love it soo much that we knew if we ever had a daughter together her name would be Adia, after our favorite song of Sarah's. Nearly seven years ago Miss A, Adia, joined our little family. The meaning of Adia is gift or gift from God. How perfect is that? 

Anyway, I said this would be a quick post. lol

Sarah is the founder of  The Sarah McLachlan School of Music in Vancouver. There they provide music education to underserved and at-risk youth at no cost. The school is dedicated to helping young people build community and find their voice. 

This past couple years Sarah and the students have put together new Christmas classics and they're available for free! 

Click here to get it Find Your Voice.
Click here to get Space On The Couch For Two.
Feel free to leave a donation while you're there!

But before you do that, watch the videos.

I hope you enjoyed them. Sarah is such a beautiful person inside and out.
 Don't forget to download your copy of Find Your Voice and Space On The Couch For Two! Sarah also has an entire Christmas album called Wintersong. LOVE it! Check it out here

Here's a little extra video for your viewing and listening pleasure. 

Thanks for joining me today. 

Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

No Flour Peanut Butter Cookies

Yep, you read that right - no flour peanut butter cookies.
These cookies are melt in your mouth good! And only call for four ingredients!
This recipe has become my go-to for making pb cookies. I bet it will become yours too.

No Flour Peanut Butter Cookies
recipe from The Starved Writer
makes 3 - 4 dozen

  • 2 cups of your favorite peanut butter - smooth or chunky
  • 1 cup sugar - 1/2 cup white & 1/2 cup brown
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Stir peanut butter and sugar together until well mixed.
  2. Mix in eggs and baking soda. 
  3. Place walnut sized balls of cookie dough on baking sheet. Press down with a fork. 
  4. Bake 10 -12 minutes. 
  5. Cool on baking sheet for 2 minutes BEFORE transferring them to cooling rack! After the 2 minutes place on cooling rack to cool completely. Enjoy! 
  • Don't worry that the dough looks really thin before you add the eggs and baking soda. Once you mix them in the dough thickens up. I promise! 
  • I've made these cookies several times and have used a mix of sugars or just one or the other, depending on what I had on hand. Every time they've turned out delicious and I've never noticed a difference in their flavor. The only difference is when you only use white sugar the cookies aren't as chewy and are more on the crispy side.
  • Instead of pressing the dough down with a fork for the classic pb cookie look you could roll the balls in sugar and press down with the back of a glass. 
  • For a little extra treat drizzle melted chocolate over them once they've cooled a bit. Or push a Hershey Kiss in the center before baking. M&M's/Smarties are also good additions and kids love them!

    Monday, December 10, 2012

    Egg Nog Cookies

    Today I'm sharing a recipe I came across on The Recipe Critic. (Thanks Alyssa!) As soon as I saw these delicious looking cookies I knew they would be my Cookie Exchange cookies! Don't egg nog cookies just scream Christmas? They do to me. I can not even begin to tell you how good these are. Scary good! Bake with caution - I mean it. And don't blame be if you eat a dozen yourself and your jeans are too tight. lol I wasn't counting, but I think I ate five or six yesterday.  ; )

    Egg Nog Cookies
    adapted from The Recipe Critic
    makes 3 - 4 dozen

    • 1 1/4 cups white sugar
    • 3/4 cup butter, softened
    • 1/2 cup eggnog
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 2 egg yolks
    • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
    • 2 1/4 cups flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

    Eggnog Glaze:

    • 1 ½ cup powdered sugar
    • 3 tablespoons eggnog

    1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
    2. Combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Set aside.
    3. Cream sugar and butter together in mixing bowl.
    4. Add eggnog, vanilla, and egg yolks.  Beat at medium speed with a mixer until smooth.
    5. Add the flour mixture and beat at low speed until combined. Do not over-mix.
    6. Spoon onto ungreased cookie sheet or parchment paper and make the dough balls rather small because they will spread in the oven. Sprinkle the cookies with nutmeg.
    7. Bake 10-12 minutes until the edges are lightly brown.
    8. While the cookies are in the oven make the glaze by combining the powdered sugar with 3 T eggnog.
    9. Drizzle the glaze over cookies.

    •  Mine took 12 minutes to bake.
    •  I put the glaze in a baggie and snipped a teeny tiny bit of the corner off. It made it much easier to drizzle.
    You should most definitely add these to your holiday baking list! They will not disappoint. Really. 

    Happy Holidays!  

    Tuesday, December 4, 2012

    Milk Unleashed & A Giveaway!!

    Earlier this week I was contacted to do a post and giveaway about milk in a box that you keep in your pantry. I have to admit I had no idea you could buy milk off the grocery store shelves, like paper towels or crackers. Almond milk, rice milk, even some soy milk, yes. But milk, milk, really? Yep. Apparently it's been around since the '60s.  And yes, it's as nutritious as refrigerated milk and taste the same - it is real milk! In many countries around the world it's the only way milk is sold. Who knew?

    I don't know about you but we go through A LOT of milk in our house! About a gallon every other day. Between lots of cereal being consumed, a ton of tea and hot chocolate, not to mention the countless glasses drank, it seems like we are always running out. I love that I can have a surplus of milk just waiting in the pantry for those emergency mornings when you're out and need it for breakfast!

    You can keep the Tetra-pak boxes of milk in the cupboard for 9 months! And once it's opened it will keep in the fridge for up to 20 days! It comes in a variety of sizes - liters or juice box size. Those are perfect for lunch boxes or on the go with the kids. There's also chocolate milk for the picky milk drinkers in the house. It is delicious! I don't know why I was soo surprised that it tastes just like 'regular' chocolate milk. I mean, it is real milk. Why would it taste any different? I will definitely be putting this on my next grocery list.

    To learn more about shelf safe milk visit Milk Unleashed. Before you do that though, check out their cool widget. It has milk tips, ideas for activities and snacks and a quiz. Love quizzes!

    Now that you're all 'boned-up' on your shelf milk knowledge, would you like a chance to win a Milk Unleashed variety pack? 
    (Please note - this giveaway is open to Canadian residents only!!!)

    Your pack will include:
    •   One liter of Shelf Safe Milk (Grand Pre or Baboo)
    •   Three single serving shelf safe milks (white and chocolate) from: Chokeo Chocolate Milk, Grand Pre  or  Baboo
    •   A calendar and brochure with information about Shelf Safe Milk
    •   Cool stickers and Tattoos
    •   Plus, one bonus prize! 
    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Thanks for entering and good luck!
    Contest closes Sunday the 9th.
    Winner will be announced Monday!

    **I was given a variety pack to sample in exchange for doing this post. All opinions are honestly and truly my own.**

    Monday, November 19, 2012

    Make Your Moments Golden Winner!

    A big thanks to those of you who entered!

    The winner is
    Angela Marriott

    Congratulations Angela! 
    I will be sending you an email today to get your info.

    Sunday, November 18, 2012

    My Favorite Things

    Jo-Anna over at A Pretty Life in the Suburbs decided to throw a favorite things party in celebration of Oprah's Favorite Things being on the air once again! (Yep, it's on today! Check your local listings.) Who doesn't love that show? And who hasn't wished they were one of the lucky people in that audience? I know I sure have! I thought the idea of getting to create my own list of favorite things would be lots of fun. So here we go! Hope you all liked what I picked to give you.  ; )

    Welcome to Catie's Favorite Things!!!

    First up we have lip balm. I know it's small, but I have a bit of an addiction to the stuff. Burt's Bees is definitely one of my favorites because they're made with all natural ingredients. And a recently discovered new favorite is their cuticle cream. LOVE it!

    Yankee Candles have got to be my absolute favorite when it comes to candles. They have amazing scents and the best part, you can burn a candle for an hour or so and your house smells that way for hours!

    This next one is boring and practical, but I love it! I have used a Brita pitcher for about 14 years. It's a great was to save money because you're not buying loads of bottled water. AND you're being environmentally friendly by filling your own water bottles. So it's a win/win in my opinion. 

    This is my favorite perfume. I'll bet you would like it too. 

    One store I really miss since moving to Canada is Trader Joe's.
    Sooo everyone gets a $250 gift card!

    Unfortunately I don't own a Kitchen Aid Mixer, but it is definitely on my ultimate gift list! And they come is soo many fun colors it would be soo hard to choose.

    OK, now we're done with the gift I could actually give someone. Now onto the gifts Oprah could give!

    First we have the Marc Jacobs watch that everyone is wanting or wearing.

    With this next one I had a hard time deciding between the classic plaid Burberry Hobo Bag and this gorgeous merlot colored one. Guess that means you get both. haha Which one would you pick?

    If you picked the classic plaid as your favorite you'll need something to match so,
    YOU GET A CAR!!!

    I can't get over how cute this car is! I want one! 

    How could I possibly top that? Hmm, maybe with a getaway to Fiji! 

    Hope you enjoyed my favorite things! Thanks to Jo-Anna for coming up with this fun party idea! And don't miss Oprah's Favorite Things today. 

    Sharing with:
    A Pretty Life in the Suburbs

    Wednesday, November 14, 2012

    Make Your Moments Golden {closed}

    I'm super excited to be a part of Ferrero Rocher's Holiday Blogger Program. Yesterday I received a big box full of these amazingly tasty chocolates. Mmm, mm! The best part is I get to give a box to one of my lucky Canadian readers!!

    Not only could you win a box of Ferrero Rocher, you also have the chance to win a new car! Find a PIN in specially marked Ferrero Rocher 200 gram chocolates and you could instantly win over $500,000 in prizes including 1 of 10 Mercedes-Benz All-New 2013 B-Class Vehicles or a Ferrero Rocher Holiday Hosting gift basket. PINs can be redeemed on the Ferrero Rocher Canada Facebook Page.

    Have you tried Ferrero Rocher's before? They are delicious! If you've never tried them here's what they taste like - smooth chocolate filling surrounds a whole hazelnut, encased in a crisp wafer, fine milk chocolate and chopped hazelnuts, all wrapped in a luxurious, golden foil.

    So you ready to enter yet? This is what you could win!

    Before you enter please note this contest is open to Canadian residents only. Sorry!

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Contest closes Sunday night at 12am EST. Winner will be announced Monday.

    Good luck!

    ** This contest is hosted by Ferrero Rocher, not Mercedes-Benz. I was compensated for my time in this program, but all opinions are my own.

    Wednesday, November 7, 2012

    Burt's Bees Review

    Last month I was contacted by the lovely Christine at Devon Consulting, a PR company in Toronto, asking if I would be interested in doing some product reviews. Of course I jumped at the invite! Why would anyone turn down an opportunity like that?

    Christine sent me a list of companies to choose from and I chose Burt's Bees. I love Burt's Bees products. And I like that they only use 100% natural ingredients. Their lip balms have been a regular in purse since high school. She sent me a couple holiday kits and I couldn't have been more excited to open my package the day it arrived. It almost felt like Christmas morning! Here's what I got.

     Right away I loved the packaging! 
    The geometric pattern reminded me of honeycomb.

    I received two lip balms, one cuticle cream and one tub of sugar scrub. 
    That cranberry & pomegranate sugar scrub smells good enough to eat! 

    The top one is a replenishing lip balm. It is tinted and has pomegranate oil.
    The bottom one is rejuvenating acai berry and is not tinted. 
    The lemon butter cuticle cream smells so fresh.

    Being a lip balm junkie since the age of 10, I tried the tinted pomegranate balm first. I really liked the boost it gave to my natural lip color. This product combines my two favorite things, lip balm and lip gloss. Would I buy this product? Absolutely! In the past I've used their lip shimmer glosses and love them. The rejuvenating acai berry smells great and leaves my lips hydrated for hours.

    I'll admit it, this is the first time I've used cuticle cream, ever. And I have to tell you I'm going to be adding this to my daily moisturizing routine. Living in a dry climate my cuticles are always dry and that leads to painful hangnails! After using this cream for the past five days my cuticles are no longer dry. This product is a definite keeper. 

    Lastly there's the sugar scrub. Mm, mmm! The first place I used this was on my dry hands. They were baby soft after. I also used it on my legs, getting the same baby soft results as my hands. The sugar is mixed with a bunch of different oils and moisturizes as it exfoliates. I can not begin to tell you how much I love anything that moisturizes! 

    All in all I was very pleased with all of these products, none of them disappointed. Both of the holiday kits I received would be perfect stocking stuffers. Check out Burt's Bees for all their products. They have lots of great holiday kits available.

    ** Although I was given these products to review, the opinions are my own.

    Monday, November 5, 2012

    Caramel Apple Cake

    Yes this cake is as good as the name sounds! I made this a couple weeks ago and Miss E and I both had three pieces that night. It is that good! I took some to Miss A's teacher the next day, just to get it out of the house. haha Thank goodness this recipe only makes an 8"x8" cake. A whole sheet of it would be dangerous, seriously.  ; )

    Of course I stumbled across this recipe on Pinterest. It came from the blog Lick The Bowl Good. Don't you just love that name? Perfect for a cooking blog. Anyhoo, lets get to the recipe already. Geez. 

    Caramel Apple Cake
    Adapted from Lick The Bowl Good
    • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (I used 1 heaping teaspoon.)
    • 2 eggs
    • 1/2 cup canola oil
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped apples (I used 2 cups.)
    • 1/2 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped (optional) (I didn't use any nuts.)
    Brown Sugar Glaze:
    • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
    • 3 Tablespoons butter
    • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
    • 1 Tablespoon heavy cream (I didn't have cream so I used 1 tbs of whole milk.)
    For the cake: Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8-inch pan (round or square) and set aside.

    In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Stir with a whisk to mix everything together.

    In a large bowl, mix the eggs with a hand mixer til light in color and foamy. Add the oil and vanilla and beat well.

    Stir in the flour mixture with a spoon and continue stirring the batter til the flour disappears. Add the apples and nuts (if using) and stir to mix them into the batter.

    Scrape batter into prepared pan and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

    Place the hot cake on a wire cake. While it's still hot, prepare the glaze.

    For the glaze: Combine all the ingredients into a saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until the mixture comes to a gentle boil. Cook for 3-5 minutes.

    Spoon the hot glaze over the still hot-from-the-oven cake. Let the glazed cake cool completely before serving straight from the pan.

    * Because I didn't use heavy cream my glaze didn't cook up as creamy and turned out more like candy coating, like for caramel popcorn. It kind of hardened on the top of the cake. Soo good!

    This cake was easy to whip up and is perfect for Fall. Served with a little scoop of vanilla ice cream and a cup of tea, delish!

     Click here for your chance to win a box of Ferrero Rocher chocolates!

    Sharing with:
    Hungry Little Girl
    Serenity Now
    Tatertots & Jello 
    Homemade Ginger
    My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia 
    33 Shades of Green 
    House of Hepworths

    Monday, October 29, 2012

    Sour Cream Corn Bread

    Do y'all love a good corn bread like I do? 
    (Why do I feel the need to use the word y'all when talking about corn bread? haha) 

    I've scoured Pinterest for a really good corn bread recipe and I think I finally found it. This corn bread was moist, sweet and crumbly like cake. It wasn't dry and grainy like a couple other recipes I've tried. As soon as I read this one called for sour cream I knew it would be good because I make the best banana bread and it uses sour cream too.

    Sour Cream Corn Bread
    From All Recipes

    1 cup flour
    1 cup cornmeal
    1/4 sugar
    1/2 tsp baking powder
    1/2 tsp baking soda
    1/2 tsp salt
    1 egg, slightly beaten
    1 cup sour cream
    1/3 cup milk
    1/4 cup butter, melted

    • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C). Lightly grease an 8-inch square baking dish.          
    • Combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Mix egg, sour cream, milk, and butter in a small bowl. Fold egg mixture into flour mixture until just moistened; pour into prepared baking dish. 
    • Bake in preheated oven until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Serve warm.


    • I added about 1/4 cup of honey to the batter. I LOVE honey and the flavor it gives the corn bread.
    • When I make this next time I'm going to add about 2/3 of a cup of sour cream instead of 1 cup. You could definitely taste the sour cream in the bread and I'd like to see if I could tone it down a bit. Don't get me wrong it was delish!! I'm just curious. Plus it'd be reducing the fat.  ; )

    This corn bread was super simple to throw together and was really tasty. We slathered ours with butter and had it with chili. It was the perfect meal for a chilly, snowy night.

    Thanks for joining me today!

    Sharing with:
    Chef In Training
    33 Shades of Green 
    Serenity Now 
    At The Picket Fence

    Monday, October 22, 2012

    Creamy Potato Soup & Cheesy Biscuits

    Today I'm sharing a family favorite of ours. We love it soo much I made this twice last week. After the second time I thought I should probably share it. This soup is simple, easy and delicious. You'll have to bare with me when it comes to the recipe. I do not measure when I cook. When I bake yes, but cooking is a whole other story. Most times I just throw things together. This soup is a good example of that. It's similar to another potato soup recipe I've shared before. I'm also sharing my absolute favorite cheesy biscuit recipe. LOVE them!!

    Creamy Potato Soup
    • 6 - 8 potatoes
    • 1 large carrot or a big handful of baby carrots
    • 1 stalk of celery
    • 1 yellow onion
    • 2 tbs butter
    • 6 cups water
    • 6 tsp reduced sodium stock mix, or 4 bullion cubes 
    • 2 cups milk
    • salt & pepper to taste
    1. Finely chop carrot, celery and onion or let a food processor do the work for you. 
    2. Add veggies to a large pot with butter. Saute over medium heat, about 7 - 10 mins. 
    3. While veggies saute chop potatoes into bite size pieces. Add to pot. 
    4. Stir in water and stock mix. Bring to a boil. Once it reaches a boil turn heat down to med/low and let simmer at least 20 minutes. (The potatoes should be tender by this point.)
    5. After 20 minutes turn heat back up and stir in milk. Once it reaches a boil, turn it down to simmer again. Let simmer as long as you like. The longer the thicker the soup will be.
    6. Once you're ready to eat, turn the heat off. Get out a blender and puree one batch at a time. Pour soup back into pot and mix in between batches. Once soups reaches the consistency you like, you're done. Salt and pepper to taste.
    • You can use whatever kind of potatoes you want. Also, you can leave the skin on if you like. I always do with red potatoes.
    • Feel free to use tetra packed soup stock. If I have it, I use it.
    • Top with cheese, bacon bits, green onion/chives or sour cream. 
    • While the soup is simmering start your biscuits. Then they're both ready at the same time! 

    Jiffy Cheesy Biscuits
    from Company's Coming - Gifts from the Kitchen
    Makes 24 biscuits.
    • 2 cups flour
    • 4 tsp. baking powder
    • 4 tsp. sugar
    • 1/2 tsp. salt
    • 1/2 cup butter or margarine
    • 2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
    • 1 1/3 cups cold water
    1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 
    2. Combine flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a large bowl. 
    3. Cut in butter until crumbly. 
    4. Add cheese and water. Mix. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto greased baking sheet. 
    5. Bake for 20 minutes until lightly browned. 
    • I've used butter and margarine for these and both work well and taste great.
    • Add a teaspoon of parsley flakes for some added color.
    • Try parchment paper instead of greasing your pan.
    You can have this meal on table in less than an hour. Hope your family likes it as much as mine does! 

    Monday, October 15, 2012

    Slow Cooker Pineapple Teriyaki Chicken

    Happy Monday! Today I have the perfect weeknight recipe for you. This one takes minutes to prepare and the slow cooker does the rest while you're at work or busy at home. Last week I found this recipe on Pinterest. It was one of those spam type pins that doesn't go to the original source, it goes to some social music site. But it has the recipe in the description and that's all I needed.

    This chicken was soo tender it nearly fell apart when I dished it up. We all loved it! Mr. CC kept raving about how good it was. He probably had three servings and the girls both took leftovers for lunch the next day. I will most definitely be making this again. I served it with rice and caesar salad. Yum!

    Slow Cooker Pineapple Teriyaki Chicken

    4 chicken breasts, chopped into chunks
    1 cup pineapple juice
    1/3 cup soy sauce
    1/2 cup brown sugar
    (optional) 1 clove garlic, minced
    pepper to taste

    • Put chopped chicken into slow cooker. 
    • Mix all remaining ingredients together and pour over chicken. 
    • Cook on low for 6 - 8 hours or high for 3 - 4 hours. (I cooked mine on low for about 5 hours and it was perfect.)
    That's all there is to it. If you'd like to thicken up your sauce mix 1 tablespoon cornstarch with a little bit of soy sauce or pineapple juice until dissolved. Remove chicken from slow cooker, turn temp. to high, if it's not already, and stir mixture into sauce. Cover and let simmer about 10 minutes. Add chicken back to crock and mix to coat.

    I guarantee this recipe will not disappoint. Have a great week! 

    Monday, October 8, 2012

    Homemade Cranberry Sauce

    Hope you all had a lovely weekend. Up North today is Thanksgiving. We celebrated with turkey dinner on Saturday. It was delicious! I always look forward to all the different side dishes that come along with the turkey. Everyday veggies like peas, carrots or corn are not on my menu. I like to load up my plate with sides we all associate with turkey dinner; sweet potatoes, stuffing, mashed potatoes with gravy, turnip, etc. And of course there's always cranberry sauce!

     About 5 years ago I wanted to try my hand at making my own cranberry sauce. For some reason I thought it would be hard, I couldn't have been more wrong. It's the easiest part of the meal to make. I'm sure some of you out there have made it before, but for those of you that haven't, here's a little tutorial for ya.

    Cranberry Sauce

    1 bag fresh cranberries
    1 cup water or orange juice (I used orange juice. I like the extra flavor it ads.)
    1 cup sugar
    *optional - 1/2 tsp cinnamon (This is a guesstimate, I never measure when I add it. Go by taste!)

    • Put all ingredients in a medium sauce pan. 
    • Bring to a boil. 
    • Turn heat down to med/high and let gently boil for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. All the berries will pop open. 
    • Now here's the part where you decide if you want a nice smooth sauce or chunky style. If you want yours chunky, pour into a small serving bowl and you're done. 
    • If you want a smooth sauce place a mesh colander over/in a small serving bowl and carefully (it's hot!) pour sauce into colander. With the back of a spoon or spatula mash the sauce. Make sure you scrap off the bottom of the colander every few mashes. Do this as long as you want. The more you mash, the more sauce you'll end up with. 
    • Cover and chill in fridge until set.  
     Notes -
    •  I always add a couple tablespoons of the mashed cranberries to the smooth sauce. 
    •  I've found if you use orange juice the sauce will not firm up as much as if you just use water. The consistency will be more of a spread than a gel.
    • If you'd like to fancy it up, you could pour the sauce into some sort of mold before you chill it. 
    Add this recipe to your Thanksgiving menu. I bet you'll impress them. Even people that don't like the canned kind like mine. 

    Happy Thanksgiving to my Canadian readers! 
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    Tuesday, October 2, 2012

    Back on the Horse

    Wow has it been a long time since I was blogging regularly! It seems like I just got things rolling along when I hit a snag nearly a year ago and my computer died. Yes I was using Ms. E's laptop after that, but I swear the thing was possessed and had a mind of its own! Not fun trying to write up a post when the thing decides to unexpectedly shut down. And that was a good day.  >:-(

    Last week not only did Mr. CC get us a DSLR camera, he got me my very own laptop and so far so good. Now I need to get back to blogging. It almost feels like I'm starting from scratch. Do I still have any readers out there? Hello - echo, echo, echo...

    If you're still with me after all this time, thank you! I promise to get things running again very soon. Is there a cure to get your blogging mojo back? If so, please let me know.  =)  This time around I'd like to be on a better blogging schedule and have regular weekly post, like Frivolous Fashion Friday with a couple new ones thrown in the mix. Maybe a what I wore post? Lots of you mentioned wanting to see what I was wearing. That could be fun.

    Anyway be expecting lots of future posts. I'm looking forward to getting back to it! 

    Tuesday, August 28, 2012

    Teacher Survival Kit

    Today marks one week until the girls start school and I'm pretty much ready. However there's one thing I've seen all over Blogland that I wanted to do, a teacher 'survival' kit. Since Miss A is in elementary school I thought it'd be fun to put one together for her new teacher. I really, really hope she has a female teacher. Otherwise I'll have to switch a few things.

    Last night we headed to the dollar store and picked up a great little lunch box style box and a whole lot of goodies. We put the whole thing together for about $12.

    Here's a run down of what we got:

    • box
    • hand sanitizer
    • lotion
    • lip balm
    • Advil (heehee)
    • tissues
    • Halls
    • pony holders
    • breath mints
    • And most importantly some treats - Ferrero Rocher & Turtles

    I don't know about you, but I would love a gift like this! Have your kids started back to school yet? Did you make up a little something for their teacher? I think teaching is one of the most undervalued professions out there, and teachers definitely don't get the recognition they deserve. This is just my small way of saying, "Thanks for all you do. We really appreciate it!" Happy New School Year! 
    **Update - September 1st

    Her teacher LOVED the survival kit! She said she was the only teacher who even received a gift on the first day, and all the other teachers were jealous. So I'd say this is a perfect 1st day of school gift!

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    Wednesday, August 22, 2012

    Triple Chocolate Cake Brownie Cookies

    Yes, you read that right - triple chocolate cake brownie cookies! I warn you now, you will want to eat the whole batch! Especially when they're fresh out of the oven still warm and gooey. Today I tweaked a regular chocolate chip cookie recipe to make these. I am always a little nervous when I mess around with baking, but these bad boys did not disappoint. They turned out like a chewy cakey brownie. Mmm mmm!

    Triple Chocolate Cake Brownie Cookies
    adapted from: The Williams-Sonoma Baking Book
    (makes about 2 dozen)

    1 1/3 cup flour
    1/3 cup cocoa powder
    1/2 tsp baking powder
    1/2 tsp baking soda
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/2 cup butter, softened
    1/2 cup sugar
    1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
    2 eggs
    1 tsp vanilla
    1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
    1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used minis because that's what I had.)
    • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Have ready 2 ungreased cookie sheets. Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl; set aside. 
    • In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on high speed, cream the butter until fluffy and pale yellow. Add the sugar and brown sugar and continue beating until the mixture is no longer gritty when rubbed between your finger and your thumb. Add the egg and vanilla and beat on low speed until blended, occasionally scrap down the sides of the bowl as needed. 
    • Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix on low speed or stir with a wooden spoon just until blended. Add the chocolate chips and stir until blended. 
    • Using a tablespoon drop the dough onto the baking sheet; placing about 2 inches apart. Bake for about 12 minutes, checking around 10. Let the cookies cool briefly on the pans before transferring to the cooling racks. 

     I hope you enjoy these as much as we did!
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