Sunday, February 28, 2010

End of Vancouver 2010 Olympics - So proud to be Canadian!

Never have I been so proud to be Canadian!! Although a bit short of the promised results of 30 medals, noone can complain about the 26 medals we did win - including 14 Gold (the most EVER won by any hosting country, in fact any country ever I think). And we came 3rd overall in total number of medals won! (For full medal details check out: What a better way to end the games than with a Gold medal victory in overtime with the final goal by Sid-the-kid! I believe we have a new Canadian sweetheart - perhaps a mini-Wayne??

The star-studded closing ceremonies were entertaining, and there was scenes of awe that surely required amazing amounts of co-ordination, skill & sheer creative wonderment! However, I do have to question... for those watching around the world, did they think the giant mounties, inflatable beavers & the ohh too polite Canadians, that's who we really are? The underlying humor that it was making fun of Canadian stereotypes most likely got lost in translation. I wonder though... I guess they were less worried about how the average Canadian would feel portrayed as a hockey-fighting early french settler than the fact that if people did think this is the 'true' Canada they'll probably visit more! Amazing the seeds you can plant with underlying Marketing when you have big budgets! As an add to boost tourism it was great!

For videos of the closing ceremony check out:

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Cake!! Cake & More Cake!

Not sure if anyone ready my blog on Jan 5 'Late to the Game' where I talked about a pecan cake that was amazing. At the time I posted the recipe in french ( ) and I couldn't help myself, although I'm trying to eat healthier I had to try it myself!
Let me tell you - it is AMAZING!! I did make it a little differently though. Instead of 2 single layer cakes I made a few smaller ones to share with friends! I also overcooked the caramel so it didn't melt into the cake like it was supposed to. A last note - make sure you watch it while it's cooling, you'll want to make sure it's not too cool or any extra caramel will dry onto the pan and you won't be able to spoon it onto the cake.

VERY GOOD CAKE & I highly suggest you serve it warm!
Here's the recipe

Preparation time: 30 min
Cooking time: 55 min
Portions: 10
Caramel Butterscotch Sauce:
310 ml (1 ¼ c) sugar
60 ml (1/4 cup) scotch (whiskey or bourbon)
60 ml (1/4 cup) water
30 ml (2 TBSP) clear syrup of your choosing
30 ml (2 TBSP) honey
250 ml (1 cup) 35% crème, warm
60 ml (1/4 cup) salted butter
375 ml (1 ½ cup) pecan halves

500 ml (2 cup) multi-purpose flour, non bleached
180 ml (¾ cup) finely ground pecans
5 ml (1 tsp) baking soda
1 ml (¼ tsp) salt
125 ml (½ cup) butter, non salted, softened
60 ml (1/4 cup) cooking oil
375 ml (1 ½ cup) brown sugar
5 ml (1 tsp) vanilla extract
3 eggs
250 ml (1 cup) buttermilk

Place grill in the center of oven. Preheat oven to 180°C (350 °F). Butter & line 2 - 20cm (8”) square baking pans with parchment paper so that it doubles and goes over the sides of the pan. Places on a cookie sheet.

Caramel Butterscotch Sauce
1. In a casserole dish, bring to a boil the sugar, scotch, water and syrup. Cook without stirring until color begins to darken. Remove from heat and gradually add cream and butter. Bring to a boil again stirring just until mixed. Spread the caramel in the baking dish. Add pecan halves. Set aside.

1. In a bowl mix flour, chopped pecans, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
2. In another bowl, cream butter with oil, the brown sugar and vanilla with an electric mixer. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat just until mixed and smooth. At low speed add in the dry ingredients, alternating with the buttermilk. Carefully add to the pans with the caramel butterscotch mixture. Cook for 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool 30 minutes (this is important to ensure the caramel cools and sets.
3. Carefully inverse cake onto a serving platter. Inverse the 2nd cake onto a plate & gently slide it onto the first. Let cool completely.
4. Serve warm or cold accompanied with whip cream if desired.

To get buttermilk, add 15ml (1Tbsp) vinegar or lemon juice with 250ml (1 cup) of milk. Let set for 10 minutes, the milk will thicken with time, then stir.

Thursday, February 25, 2010


Hello & sorry if anyone actually reads this blog. I have been consumer with life & trying to find slices of the pie for all the aspects of my life!

I did have about a dozen posts written over the past month that I am editing and all will be posted over the next few days - so scroll down & read what has been happening in my life up to now!

As always please feel free to post comments, suggestions or share whatever you feel like sharing.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Everyone has Olympic-fever... and so do we!! It surely will be an amazing 2-weeks, can't wait!!

Let's go Canada - let's kick some ass!!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Kindness of Strangers

Every now and then I feel guilt at becoming a hardened 'city-folk'. would I still stop to help a stranger (overcoming my fear of being knifed - thank you evening news!). Worse still have I influenced my uber kindhearted hubby into becoming the same! Has being surrounded by other city-folk changed this small town girl?

When I think about it more I feel bad as I realize that sometimes I don't extend kindness to others merely because no one extends it to me. Then I feel WORSE when someone out of the blue shows kindness to me, like someone did today. Here's the story...

Downtown bringing my son to his Dr. check-up, trying to pay for parking at one of those 'convenient' parking pay machines - only today it's not so convenient because it was not accepting any of my 3 credit cards! Standing on the side of the street with my 6-month old baby & 2 1/2 year old son I scrounge around in my purse for $9.00 I need for parking, only to find $2.00. No bank machine in site, I'm really not sure what to do & don't want to look at getting a ticket.

Grasping my son's hand tightly I summon up the courage to ask a stranger walking by if he has change for a $5.00. To my surprise he stops, then opens his wallet & gives me 2 toonies & a loonie. Ok... only need $2 more now. Next I summon up the courage again to ask someone else. This person doesn't have any change, but offers to let me us his credit card to pay!

Driving home later I can't help but smiling and thinking to myself how some marketers have done their job well! I totally feel like the Coca-Cola Grant Theft Auto 'Give a little Love' commercial ( Watch out random strangers... I'll be sharing the love!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

No Place Like Home

Ah... it is so good to be back in your home. There is something really therapeutic about being in your own surroundings. I'm sure there must be studies that prove you heal quicker at home!

Although it's not as good as being home I find myself feeling like we were very well taken care of while at the hospital. I am once again in awe at our health system and the amazing health care professionals that make it work. After our weekend stay at the Children's oncology ward I was amazed at the staff there. My son was recovering from a major surgery but they treated him just as good as those children living on the ward. I also found myself once again being thankful for all I have. There are many young children and babies in Montreal and around the world fighting something much greater than trying to lose a few pounds, find something fun to wear or trying to figure out how to find time for all the amazing fun, actives they have planned. It was a very humbling experience and I have to admit that I realized I have been much too hung up lately in things that in the long run don't really matter.

Although I wonder if I will be able to make it the next week having my very active son at home where he has to stay calm, I know that after the screaming and crying (by me not him) I will find moments that make it all worthwhile - at least that's what I keep telling myself! I just need to keep remembering advice from a friend - take a moment, count backwards from 10 & then think of the glass of wine you'll have after he goes to bed!

St. Valentine

So this is a different Valentine's day than I have had in the past... I'm spending it in the hospital with my baby boy after his surgery - SUCH a trooper!

For once I have something else to do. For once I don't have to feel bad when people ask if I have anything special planned and I say NO. For once I don't have to feel bad hearing what others did to celebrate this 'day of love' [insert sarcasm] when I am happy with my evening in front of the TV with a bottle of wine! Why is it that society is so caught up with this day that I feel like I have to lie & make up excuses.

Then I get to thinking ... I'll take the high road - my reply will be "I don't buy into the commercial aspects of the day - I am a good enough person I deserve to be loved & treated special every day!" But I do LOVE the sweets & chocolate that come with this day. Anyone, young, old, male, female, co-worker, friend or, oh yeah loved one, if ANYONE gave me little bit of heart shaped mouth watering goodness I would gladly say thank you with a smile, wish them a Happy St. Valentine and quickly hurry off with my bounty! No worries everyone this year I've bought myself some chocolates so there's no pressure to provide!

I can't help but seeing we've come a long way since the origin of this holiday. Although there are varied opinions on the holidays origin the most commonly accepted is that of Valentine, a priest during the third century in Rome. Emperor Claudius II decided that single men were better able to succeed & focus in war, than those married, so he outlawed marriage for young men. Valentine, being a romantic, defied Claudius and continued to marry young lovers - until he was caught & put to death! (For the full story & more check out: Now my next statement is in no way saying marriage should be outlawed... but I have to agree I see Claudius' point of view. Even today single people are just more productive than those coupled-off! Perhaps it's the lack of stress, children or the increased single (child-free) vacations - whatever it is I can say I was much more successful & advanced my career much farther when single.

Now for all my coupled-off friends (and my hubby) I am not saying I do not enjoy being married or would change it, I am merely stating a fact. Yes my time is now consumed with children, running a household, and trying to find time for a relationship and myself - which is the whole point of this blog - but somewhere in there my career has had to take a back seat to Dr. visits, runny noses & cuddling with my wee ones. That's the way it is for just every woman these days!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Next time Entertaining - 4 layer Pizza Dip

So everyone knows I like to entertain & I LOVE being entertained by friends!! While on my trip to Halifax my good friend Shelley (who I've know since kindergarten) had me over for a visit & served this amazing twist on the traditional sour cream/cream cheese taco dip (I've also heard it called a pizza dip because it looks like a pizza, but this one tasted like a pizza too). Her dip is served warm & she served it with multigrain Tositos, which I believe added a special something to it.

Was it good?? Let's just say THANK GOD she didn't make more of it, cause we woulda ate it all!

FIRST layer:
250ml sour cream (small container)
1 pkg cream cheese (block)
1 Tbsp mayo
*Cream together & spread onto 2 pie plates. Chill in fridge for 15 minutes.

SECOND layer:
1 can of pizza sauce (you can also use 1 jar of salsa - whatever heat you prefer hot, medium or mild)
*Spread over first layer once it has set in fridge.

THIRD layer:
green, yellow or red pepper
pepperoni &/or salami
*Dice your choice of ingredient finely & spread over second layer

FOURTH layer:
Cheddar cheese
*Shred & spread over third layer.

- If using salsa serve cold.
- If using pizza sauce heat at 350 for 10-15 minutes until cheese is melted.

I had hoped to get invited somewhere to watch the Superbowl, but that ain't happening but I plan on making this soon... just need to find someone to visit us or to invite us over! Does anyone get together anymore once they have kids???

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Under the knife!!

So apparently my hospital time is not done yet!! We went to the Dr. to find out that it looks like Ryan will have to have his bumps cut out. Once again we're on a waiting list to find out when and hopefully there will be an opening soon so that it doesn't get worse than it is. I am REALLY hoping my faith in our health care system proves true & all goes well.

I can't help but taking a moment to enjoy what I have. I spend a lot of time looking for challenges, complaining about being woken up in the middle of the night, or tantrums and trying to keep my head above water that many times I don't stop & smell the baby! So this is my moment to gush... I am such a lucky kid to have 2 great giggling smiling loving-each-other kids. Whether it's kids, a partner, a great job, or even a few minutes of peace to partake in your favorite activity (watching a movie, baking, working out) whatever it is... never get so caught up in being this or that, that you forget to just be!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A Drink in cake form - Black Russian Cake

So... like every time I visit my Aunt S I am wined, dined & well taken care of. My Aunt & Uncle are great hostesses and I always go home with a few new recipes to try. This one I couldn't wait to try. It was my oldest friends birthday (we've been friends for 32 years - before the sand box!) and she, like many Newfoundlanders do, enjoys her White Russians!!

My aunt gave me this amazing recipe I HAVE TO share with you, not only is it tasty (& was a huge hit) it's super easy. The recipe is below & to let you know I made them into cupcakes which was a big hit, with people taking them home with them too!

Black Russian Cake

Heat oven to 350.

Put dry ingredients in a large bowl:
1 classic yellow cake mix
1 large box of instant chocolate pudding
1/2 cup white sugar

Pour wet ingredients on top:
1/4 cup Kahlua
1/4 cup vodka
4 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup water.

Beat 2-4 minutes. Pour into a sprayed bunt (tube) pan. Bake 50 minutes or so. Let stand 10 minutes, then invert on plate. Wait another 15 minutes, then poke cake to create small holes to absorb the glaze.

Glaze: 1/2 cup icing & 1/4 cup Kahlua
- mix & drizzle over cake (I added a LOT more icing sugar to give it a little more body - use your best judgement).

It's also really good with Cool Whip.