Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!!

My little man has been waiting all week for today, he is very excited to go out trick or treating. This year should be a lot more fun for him since he can understand what he is doing.

Here is some pictures from previous Halloweens....

 Fist Halloween- 4 months
Second Halloween- 1 year
Third Halloween- 2 years
Fist time carving pumpkins 


This Year

Carving pumpkins 




Happy Halloween!!

Friday, October 14, 2011

90% Complete

90% complete our first renovation! Yup....I know its been like 7 months and you probably don't even remember the powder room but, we are almost there. Here is the first post on the renovation to refresh you minds.

Before

After
After
Powder Room

  • Grout floor
  • Paint
  • Install the sink
  • Install toilet
  • Install towel bar/toilet paper bar
  • Buy and hang mirror (temporary mirror)
  • buy a new fan
  • buy and install baseboards
  • Add accessories
  • Buy and install new light

The biggest thing left to do in the room is installing the baseboards, then I just have to add some accessories and artwork. 

I feel much better about this bathroom...I will actually go in it now.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Progress in J's Room

You maybe wondering what has been going on with the repairs to the water damage in J's room (here, here & here)....While let me start by saying we are making progress and I am really hoping it will be complete by the end of next week.

About 3 weeks ago the painting company came to the house and started working...when they tore out the drywall, what did they find.....(what I was telling the condo the whole time) mould and not just mould but all the studs in the wall and the main structural stud were rotted. This also means that this problem has been going on unknown for quite some time.

What did this mean for us....Things came to a screeching stop once again, the room was sealed off and we had to have a company come in who was more qualified to deal with the structure of the house. They had to make a quote and then we had to wait, once again for more approvals. 

This time it went a lot faster, the board members from the condo corp. came to our house to look at it so they would approve the quote as soon as they got it. 

Here are some pictures of the damage.

It is hard to see with the plastic over it but, if you look at the stud under the
window it is discoloured and the other three studs are new

Here you can see all the black rot and mould in between the studs it pretty much looked like
this all the way down the wall.

The sealed room...


And here is my office, out of use because everything in J's room had to be taken out. Good thing I have a laptop or I wouldn't get any blogging done.


This is the wall after it was sprayed and the studs were replaced and supported.


This is what the room looks like right now.




As you can see there in the corner my stripes have been ruined! I really hope they will fix them...But I kinda doubt they will, I just hope they don't paint over them.


So as you can see progress is being made, but extremely slow progress.


Quick update about selling the house, we have decided to put it off until the spring. It was a lot of stress for me to deal with trying to get it ready and wondering when and if the condo corp. was going to fix J's room. 


The real estate agent also gave us a market evaluation and suggested listing the house a little lower then we were hoping, which would leave us a couple thousand short to pay for everything involved. So we will be saving and try again in the spring. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Thanksgiving Dessert

For my family Thanksgiving on Thursday night (see dinner here) I made a Dutch apple pie from scratch and a cream cheese pumpkin pie (from scratch except the crust).


Dutch Apple Pie (source)

Ingredients
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
3/4 cup butter, melted


Filling
2/3 cup sugar
3 tbls cornstarch
1-1/4 cups cold water
3 cups diced peeled tart apples
1 tsp vanilla extract


Directions
In a large bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, oats and butter; set aside 1 cup for topping. Press remaining crumb mixture into an ungreased 9-in. pie plate; set aside.
For filling, combine the sugar, cornstarch and water in a large saucepan until smooth; bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat; stir in apples and vanilla.
Pour into crust; top with reserved crumb mixture. Bake at 350° for 40-45 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. 


Yield: 6-8 servings.


Pumpkin Cream Cheese Pie (source)

Ingredients
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
3 tbls confectioners' sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 unbaked pastry shell ( 9")


Filling
1-2/3 cups heavy whipping cream
1-1/2 cups canned pumpkin
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup sugar
1-3/4 tsp pumpkin spice


Directions
In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese, confectioners' sugar and vanilla until smooth. Spread into pastry shell. In another small bowl, whisk filling ingredients until smooth. Pour over cream cheese layer. Cover edges loosely with foil.
Bake at 350° for 70-80 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Store in the refrigerator. 


Yield: 6-8 servings.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Thanksgiving Dinner

This weekend has been packed with family gatherings, on Thursday last week Britt, her friend, Nikki and her boyfriend and my mom came over to my house for thanksgiving dinner.

My mom bought a butter ball turkey that I made in the slow cooker, and we also had ham that I made in the slow cooker. For sides I made scalloped potatoes (recipe), roasted vegetables and ceaser salad.


Easy Scalloped Potatoes

6 medium potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
4 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 1/2 cups milk
1 small onion, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 350ºF.

Heat 3 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan over low heat until melted. Blend in flour, salt and pepper. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is smooth and bubbly. Gradually stir in milk, 1/2 cup at a time. Heat to boiling. Boil and stir 1 minute.

Arrange potatoes in greased 2 quart casserole in 3 layers, topping each layer with part of the chopped onions and 1/3 of the sauce. Dot the top with the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter, broken into little pieces.

Cover and bake until potatoes are tender, about 60-70 minutes. Let stand 5 to 10 minute before serving.

Serves 6 



Inspiration for recipe was from my cook book The Really Useful Cook Book, by David Herbert. I didn't fallow it exactly, I also just estimated on how much veggies I would need to serve everyone.

Carrots, sliced
Red onion, sliced
Cloves of garlic, diced
Zucchini
Asparagus
Chives
Tomatoes
Mushrooms
Pepper
Olive oil
Any other spices you would like


Directions
Preheat oven to 200c.

Place the vegetables in a roasting tin, drizzle with oil and season with spices

Roast for 40-45 minutes

add any fresh herbs.

Everything was delicious! It was my first time making scalloped potatoes and they were delicious, it was a very simple recipe.

How was your thanksgiving? Did you eat a lot of delicious food?

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

It is thanksgiving here in Canada, which means lots of family and food, we have had one dinner already and have two more to go. What nice weather we are having for this great long weekend as well! Don't forget to get outside and enjoy it.

I thought I would share with you some Thanksgiving table inspiration.

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Sunday, October 2, 2011

A Delicious Autumn Treat

One thing I really enjoy doing but never seem to have enough time to do is, baking, I use to do it all the time on Thursday's because it's "Grey's" night and my sisters and friend come over to pig out and watch T.V.

This past Thursday I thought I would put aside the chores for awhile and bake. Last year for Thanksgiving I made a pumpkin cream cheese pie and I also wanted to make pumpkin muffins with a cream cheese filling but, I never got around to it (I can't get enough of anything with a cheese filling...Yum!). So this year I decided to give the muffins a try, and they were delicious!

Here is the recipe I followed ( I altered it a little for myself), I found it through Pinterest, but the original recipe is from Gourmade At Home.



Pumpkin Muffins with Cream Cheese Filling
2 cup all purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice, or to taste (I added 1 tablespoon, I might add a little more next time)
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup pumpkin puree (I think I would add a touch more next time)
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
3/4 cup buttermilk (I didn't have butter milk so I substituted it with a milk and lemon juice mix)
1 egg + 1 egg white
3/4 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup whipped cream cheese
1 Tbls confectioners sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray muffin tins with non-stick spray (I like to use the muffin wrappers so it's easy to remove).
 In a small bowl, mix 1/2 cup whipped cream cheese with 1 tbls confectioners sugar. Set aside.

In a medium-sized bowl combine the flours, baking soda, baking powder, spices and salt.


In another bowl whisk together the pumpkin puree, sugar, oil, buttermilk, egg, egg white, and vanilla.


Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, being careful not to over mix.
Fill muffin cups 1/2 of the way full with batter mixture. Place a dollop of the cream cheese mixture in the center of each muffin then fill the rest with batter so it is about 3/4 full.




Sprinkle some crushed pecans on top, or other desired toppings.


Bake 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean. Let the muffins cool for 10 minutes.

Britt also made some cute autumn cupcake toppers, but couldn't resist putting them on these muffins... You can download them for free over on her blog.



Enjoy your delicious autumn treat!