Back on the wagon

Sorry I have been a bit neglectful of my blogging commitment.  Illness ran through my house which negated any cooking let alone writing.  I am going to be doing some serious catch-up so some really good recipes are coming your way.

As an aside I had a BRILLIANT idea to help make even more effective use of my Type A time.  I decided to expedite my mornings permed hair was the solution.  And being that spiral perms are the only perms I remember liking, what an excellent way to conquer my morning hair dilemmas.

I explained to my stylist that I really did not want to come out looking like an albino Annie, but rather reminiscent of Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman.

Well when I came home my husband so eloquently asked why I decided to look like Dee Shneider and was I planning on being Twisted Sister with Halloween around the corner.  I think the term Bichon Frise came out of his (as he likes to call it) yapper!  To act uneffected by his encouraging words my witty retort was “Mas Tequila!  I was shooting for Sammy Hagar actually”.  I started to sing…”Its your one way ticket to midnight….call it…heavy metal….”

I tell people that it is a tribute to the 80’s concert we are going to in November (Knight Ranger, Loverboy and Journey).  Needless to say the hair has toned down….I did however resort to using an old bottle of “Tame” and things are good once again.


T-Fal Actifry. It’s actively used in my kitchen. Makes fries with one tablespoon of oil!!!

I can’t stop using my T-Fal  Actifry.  After getting this as a gift from my husband who tends to drive the health movement in our house (his

T-Fal Actifry
T-Fal Actifry getting ready to make hashbrowns

late night snack is Greek Salad!!) I threw out my deep fryer.  We made our first batch of french fries with it and they were admittedly good.  The do taste slightly different than deep fried french fries because they are not saturated with oil.  They have a nice flavor and get just enough crisp to them.

Now the biggest reason I like this kitchen appliance is it versatility.  It comes with a magnificent cook book filled with all in one meals that are super tasty and convenient to make.  I love being able to throw the ingredients into the actifry…set the timer, walk away and come back to have a complete meal.  It is easy to clean and the convection cooking and rotating arm cooks meals perfectly.  It is endorsed by the Canadian Diabetes Association.

The recipe book is fantastic.  It was well thought out and the recipes tested.  They are tender, flavorful and I just love this machine.

See the Actifry in action cooking up my weekend morning hashbrowns: Actifry Video

Some of the recipes we have tried include:

Madagascan Beef Tenderloin (garlic, ginger, tenderloin beef, tomatoes, baby potatoes all cook up in 40 minutes)

Spicy Thai Chicken Curry (ginger, chili pepper, green pepper, zucchini, coconut milk, corn starch, curry paste, cilantro done in 18 minutes)

Baby New Potatos with Garlic, Tomato and Shrimp (recipe name pretty much covers it, ready to eat in 31 minutes)

French Fries (25 minutes)

Sweet Potato Fries (30 minutes)

Hash browns (20 minutes)

Fresh Chicken Wings ( NO ADDED OIL – 35 minutes)

The only drawback we found is we bought the introductory version which cooks 2lbs maximum at a time.  Had we known how much we were going to use and love it we would have bought the family version that cooks 3lbs at a time.  This does not pose as much of a problem when making a side dish, but when making a stir fry as a main course the portions can be a bit small.  Although so are our kids right now, but the capacity will need to grow as they do.

Many outlets carry the Actifry (Sears, London Drugs, Walmart).  The cheapest I have seen the 2lb version on sale for has been at Sears (albeit I had to get a raincheck and they never did get any in stock<– insert frown here)

We ended up getting ours at Walmart, but better deals can be sourced online and usually at anytime (not waiting for the next sale)

Here is one option:
Buy 2lb T-Fal Actifry Online

Down with the smelly dishcloth

This will be a quick one…. short people are calling

We have what I like to call revolving dish clothes….after less than 1/2 a days wiping and washing my house stud quickly skirts the cloth away to the basement like a dirty little secret.  His pet…lets just say its more than a peeve….his pet rage is smelly dish cloths.

A solution that I have found and my good friends swear by is Norwex clothes.  I have some on order and will post an update as to the effectiveness of the cloth.  Now I am not super well versed on the product but these cloths apparently have silver in them that works as a bacterial agent.

With these clothes you don’t have to use any cleaning agents, just water and the cloth.  So I am about to embark on reducing the number of clothes I need (not just purely in an effort to keep up with my husbands love for laundering) but to see if they can truly stand the test of my kitchen.  Pretty it is….but also well used.


With the demands of work and being a mother, I was desperately looking for a way to re-connect with my creative side.  I tried re-connecting with all my early loves:  photography – not enough patience, horseback riding – not enough money, jewelry making – not practical, sewing – not enough time!!!  I quickly found that the things that fed my soul when I was footloose and…well…lets just say it…. BORED, no longer filled me up.  Quite to the contrary trying to make these things work and fit with my life was frustrating and disappointing.  Times have changed.

My Type A personality does not afford me the leisure of trying new things and expending energy whimsically creating things that never end up serving any purpose other than occupying my time and thoughts….which is a commodity I cannot squander being in high demand with the short people in my life.

I do find that I often get lost in my kitchen…and no I don’t disappear through a portal into a parallel universe where I am fed grapes and fanned by adonises  sporting loin clothes (how do I make that plural??? adoni???).  No, rather the opposite…I will start making my kids their favorite breakfast on the weekend (homemade waffles and homemade hashbrowns get bypassed during the hectic time constraints during the week).  Before I know it,  I’ve finished making a double batch of savory shrimp bisque soup, prepped dinner and have an exciting dessert on the go.  And my kids can participate without me wanting to rip my own head off and drop kick it off the back of my deck.

I’ve been taking my leftovers to work and sharing them with co-workers and passing along recipes when requested.  I get the biggest charge out of making something that my house stud gives me the nod of approval and my fuss budget children growl with delight like a kitten eating its first can of wet catfood.  They actually eat more than the pre-negotiated number of bites required to be excused from the table<—SIGH.

I created this blog to share the tried and tested recipes I love SO much along with tips and tricks I find and learn along the way.  I have some nifty kitchen items I live by and want to share with others as I myself would have loved to learn about them early in my mission for domestic domination.  As well, I am no leaf licking, tree huger (no offense to you deeply environmentally rooted individuals), but I do try to find a balance between re-using and taking advantage of things you can produce or source without having to contribute to landfills and pander to mass production in the name of convenience.  I like the clean eating concept.  I avoid convenience or commercially prepared ingredients where possible.  I just like the feeling of knowing what ingredients are in what we eat and controlling that.  Not deprivation, just cleaner choices.  This is more of a guideline I “try” to follow….I have been known to scarf back McD’s or expedite my cooking with “shudder” prepacked or prepared ingredients…duh, duh dunh <—Can you feel the doom!!

So here is the beginning of my attempt to share…take it, leave it….this is what feeds my soul