Saturday, 31 October 2015

Curried Pumpkin-Pear Soup

Today is Halloween and even though my son is all grown up, I still serve a holiday meal.  Tonight my parent's join us.

Normally, I make a pumpkin stew but tonight I am going with a old stand-by Classy Chicken by Best of Bridge.  You can never go wrong with this recipe.  To go with it and keep the Halloween theme I am making a Curried Pumpkin-Pear Soup that is really good.  It is based on a old pumpkin soup recipe of my Mom's with a dash of a local restaurant known as Stoneys who make the best Squash-Pear soup.

Curried Pumpkin-Pear Soup

1 onion chopped
1 large stalk of celery chopped
2 tbsp of butter

In large pot (or I use the Cusinart Soup maker) melt butter and saute onion and celery until soft.  About 5 minutes.


1 tsp of curry (more to taste)
1/8 tsp of ginger
1/8 tsp of nutmeg
1 tbsp of flour



1 -2 cups of pumpkin puree (canned is fine)
1 pear

2 cups of chicken stock (bouillon is fine)

Simmer for at least 1/2 hour.

Puree soup with blender.  (I can do all of the in the soup maker).

Pour back into pot.  Add 1 cup of milk or cream.

Reheat but don't boil.  Serve

Monday, 30 March 2015

Blueberry Goat Cheese and Maple Salad Recipe

I had my parents for dinner last night and I was looking for a springlike first course.  I was in a low energy mood and didn't want to put in a lot of effort.  I checked the fridge and this is what I came up with.

It was really delicious and they loved it.

Blueberry Goat Cheese and Maple Salad Recipe

Mixed Greens - 6 cups or 1 bag of prepared greens washed
1/4 cup of sliced almonds (toasted if you are in the mood to do so) or pecans
1 cup of fresh strawberries sliced
Blueberry Goat Cheese sliced - I used blueberry crusted goat cheese by Presidents Choice, but you could use plain and add a cup of fresh blueberries.  

Combine the greens, strawberries and nuts.  Crumble Goat Cheese over salad greens.  Drizzle with dressing.

For dressing - 

1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup of olive oil
2 tablespoons of pure maple sytup
2 tsp of dijon mustard

Blend all ingredients together with whisk.

Friday, 27 March 2015

Capsule Dressing - Update

I work part-time so I office time, plus 5 days a week home time.  Love my schedule but dressing is a challenge.  I am attempting to do the 333 challenge (only 33 items of clothing for three months) but having the dual lifestyle is making it a little difficult.  The good news it that I've gotten rid of four garbage bags of clothes I won't wear....donated them.  My closet at least now can breathe.  I have also created an excel sheet to track my items and see how often I wear an item, and whether it is for work, weekend or both.  I hope to understand how I dress better.  So far I have the following:

333 Wardrobe Pieces

  1. Dark Jeans
  2. Light Jeans
  3. Cream Silk Pants
  4. Pattern Blue Pants
  5. Black Pants
  6. Pink Pants
  7. Navy Pants
  8. Blue sleeveless top
  9. Blue and Cream striped cardigan
  10. Doggie Blouse
  11. Pink Blouse
  12. Black sleeveless Dress with netting
  13. Silk patterned Dress
  14. Black T-Shirt
  15. Blue t-shirt
  16. Beautiful t-shirt
  17. Blue plain blouse
  18. Coral plain blouse
  19. Floral top
  20. Blue Striped top
  21. Anne Taylor floral top
  22. Light Blue Jacket
  23. Fuchsia Jacket
  24. Black cardigan
  25. Navy Jacket
  26. White Short-sleeved blouse
  27. Purple Dress
  28. Long black sweater
  29. Black and Red Dress
  30. Grey Blazer
  31. Hot Pink Sweater
  32. Grey Cardigan
  33. Navy Dress
  34. Black Striped Jacket
  35. Grey and White Cardigan
Okay, so I am two over.  It is still a work in progress.  Since I had not bought anything in so long, I did a recent shopping trip to Reitmans and Joe Fresh to kick start things.  Below are some early favorites:
#4 - Reitmans

#17 - Joe Fresh 

#10 - Reitmans

#20 - Blue Striped Top - Reitmans

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Best Jeans Ever

Life has been so busy, that I have been neglectful about posting.  I am approaching my 50th birthday and we are heading to NYC to celebrate.  This trip to a style capital made me reevaluate my wardrobe.

I used to be quite trendy.  I was overweight about 10 years ago and then when turning 40 worked out until I lost 30 pounds  I became a size 4. Gradually over the next 10 years, it came back slowly.  I am trying to rid those nasty pounds but THIS time around it is much harder.  Slower metabolism I guess. Yoga pants became my way of life when not at work.

NYC planning made me want a wardrobe to match such a fab trip.  I started looking at travel fashion capsules and found 333 dressing which changed everything.  Check out the link:  Wardrobe redesign  So, what started as a travel capsule became my new desire to streamline my wardrobe.

First things first.  I needed to ditch the yoga pants.  But I love comfort.  I love softness.  I love how yoga pants don't feel restrictive.  And Reitman's I found the softest, most comfy jean ever. Just as comfortable as yoga pants but way more stylish.  Got two pairs and they are now part of my new 333 wardrobe.  I don't know how I ever lived without them!

Skinny Super Soft Jeans,default,pd.html?dwvar_735408_color=Dark%20Denim&cgid=Denim&subcat=Denim_Pants_Skinny

Saturday, 13 December 2014

5-Minute Shortbread (plus baking)

My husband was just commenting on how expensive store-bought shortbread is. Homemade is so easy and can be ready in 5 minutes.  My son has never been a sweet fan but even he looks forward to shortbread at Christmas.  My version is super quick and uses only three ingredients!  Honestly it should take more than 5 minutes to whip them together.  Makes a great gift.

Susan's 5-Minute Shortbread

1 cup of butter
2 1/2 cups of flour
3/4 cup of sugar
*sprinkles if you wish

Take a large microwaveable bowl.  Place butter and melt in microwave until liquid.  Stir in flour and sugar and make a ball.  Make sure it is well mixed.

Dough Ball

Spread out dough on greased baking sheet. Pat into a square.  Bake for 25 minutes at 325 degrees.

Patted into a Dough Square

I used red sprinkles.

Remove from oven and coat with sprinkles if using.  Cut into squares while still warm.

Let cool.  Enjoy!

Friday, 12 December 2014

Snowman Wreath

This was so easy!  I got the idea from Joss and Main.  You can see the original on my Pininterest board:

I basically took  3 wreaths that I got for $5 each.  I wired the together using my rose wire for my bushes.  I then wired in some berries and ornaments. Tied on ribbon for the scarf.  Add a old hat and voila.

Friday, 7 November 2014

10-Minute Stuffed Pork Loin

Week nights are always hectic getting dinner on the table.  In the early years we relied on things like chicken fingers, frozen pizza, and pork chops smothered in mushroom soup (my hubsand loves it, although I find it icky).  Anyway in my quest to rely less on commercial products, I came up with the quick recipe.  I usually have most of the ingredients on hand as you only need feta cheese, spinach, and roasted red peppers.

1 boneless pork loin - pre-seasoned if the have it.  Otherwise season it with Italian seasoning.
1 cube of feta cheese
1 handful of spinach 
1 roasted red pepper (I use the jarred) cut in strips

Lay pork on a cutting.  Slit it down the middle but not all the way through.  I think they call this butterflying.  Spread meat as wide as you can.  Place a layer of spinach down the middle of the meat.  Then  sprinkle with feta.  Top with strips of pepper.

Step 1 - fill with spinach, cheese and pepper
Once you have filled your pork pull both end of the meat back over.  Take your toothpicks and bind your two sizes together.
 Bake at 425 degrees for 25 - 30 minutes.
Step 2 - bind two sizes together with toothpicks
Remove from oven.  Let sit 5 minutes.  Remove toothpicks,  Slice and serve.

Step 3 - Size meat and serve