Dec 30, 2012

Prince Charming's Duck Dinner

Prince Charming has been asking me to cook him a Duck for New Years Day.  So, I am going to get a little creative and make a Cranberry Glazed Duck.

Here are the recipes I am going to try:

Easy Orange Cranberry Glaze
1 cup orange juice
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 (16 ounce) can jellied cranberry sauce
1 (3 inch) cinnamon stick

1.     Mix together the orange juice, brown sugar, and cranberry sauce in a saucepan, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Bring the mixture to a boil, drop in the cinnamon stick, and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook, stirring frequently, until the cranberry sauce is melted and the glaze is hot and bubbling, about 10 minutes.
2.     To use: brush the glaze all over a roasted Duck during the last 45 minutes of cooking. Return the Duck to the oven and bake for 10 to 15 minutes to set the glaze. Repeat several more times before the end of cooking time.

Walnut Cranberry Stuffing Recipe


    1 loaf French bread (about 1 pound), cut into small cubes
    1 cup dried cranberries
    1 cup toasted chopped walnuts
    1 cup golden raisins
    1 1/2 cup chicken broth
    1/2 stick butter, melted
    salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Toast bread cubes in a 275 degree F. oven for 20 minutes, or until dry, but not browned.

Put all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix well until the liquid is absorbed. Use as a poultry stuffing (cook to 165 degrees F. internal temperature), or spoon into a buttered baking dish, and bake at 375 degrees F. for 35 minutes, or until the top is browned.

Planning Ahead

I have been thinking about next Christmas and some ideas I would like to try.  I would like to wrap the gifts with fabric and ribbons.  I would like to include more nature in our decorating.  I want to make some of my own decorations.  Some of these things would take some time and so planning and thinking about them now isn't a bad idea.  I like the idea of simple things I can do by hand when Prince Charming and I sit together in the evenings.

I would like to make some of my own Christmas ornaments (click the pics to see how these are made):

1. Wool Pom pom type ornaments such as below are one idea I had

2. Felted wool hanging balls are another idea I had

3. felt Christmas tree ornaments

4. Pine cone ornaments (I also thought these would be nice with a little bit of white on them and these would be cool too.)

5 Folded Origami stars
6. Orange Ornaments
7. Winter Wonderland

8. Other Wool Ornaments

And there are some other GREAT ideas over at THIS BLOG that I would like to try.

Dec 29, 2012

Saturday Photohunt: End and Gathering

The themes this week are End and Gathering. This wasn't too hard to find pictures of.  This time of year is a perfect time for endings and gatherings. But I chose to go a different way.  I decided to go with a couple of pics from a GATHERING that was had shortly before the END of our stay in St. John's back in 2009.  Princess Belle was only 7 years old back then.

Homemade Ranch Seasoning Mix

I saw this recipe and had to share it!  I love to make things like this on my own!

Homemade Ranch Seasoning Mix

Yield: 3 Tablespoons (about 2 packets)

A simple recipe for homemade ranch seasoning mix, perfect for recipes, or for homemade ranch dressing.

2 Tbs. dried parsley
2 tsp. dried dill
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. dried chives
Small pinch of salt

Mix all together and store in an airtight container for up to 2 months.

To make ranch dressing: mix 1 tablespoon of the mix with 1/3 cup mayonnaise (or Greek yogurt) and 1/4 cup milk and mix well. Refrigerate until ready to use; will keep for up to 1 week in the refrigerator.

One recipe of this seasoning mix equals about two packets of store-bought seasoning mix.

Dec 28, 2012

This Moment: Family Christmas

A beautiful and fun Friday ritual. Inspired by SouleMama.

{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. – Amanda Soule

Dec 27, 2012

Listening to Princess Belle.

Princess Belle has asked if we can go back to a Waldorf-inspired approach to homeschooling.  It really resonated with her and it was the only math approach that she enjoyed.  So while we will still be learning about the world we live in, and taking our journey around the world, including our feasts, starting in January, we will be returning a Waldorf-inspired approach.

I feel like I have to listen to her and what touches her in our learning.  We are making this journey together.  So, I will continue to make our home a place of learning, where there are lots of opportunity to learn, we will be including Waldorf once again.

There are so many part of Waldorf that I really like, so I am quite happy to listen to my girl and go with what moves her.  She is almost 11 years old and if some part of our homeschooling is what she enjoys the most, I want to foster that.  And truthfully, this approach to the whole child and nature and natural elements speaks to me and changes I have been making to our life. It is the way I will go when I approach the coming years with Princess Magpie and Princess Snifflefritz.

At This Moment

At This Moment . . . my kids are playing happily. 

At This Moment . . . Princess Belle is snuggled on the couch in fluffy jammies eating leftover veggies. 

At This Moment . . . Princess Magpie is playing with the new wooden blocks I bought them, building castles and bridges and imagining whole worlds of wonder. 

At This Moment . . . Princess Snifflefritz is having a tea party, pouring imaginary tea with cute little dishes and adding just one more "somfing" that she needs.

At This Moment . . . Little Prince is munching on crackers, making happy sounds and watching the action. 

At This Moment . . . It is good to see them all happy and playing.  This was a good Christmas for us. 

I am looking around at my family and I know that I am so very blessed . . . At This Moment

Dec 26, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Little Prince Christmas

Click the pic above to get to other Wordless Wednesday Participants.

For more Wordless Wednesday go check out
 Wordless Wednesday5 minutes for mom and 7 Clown Circus!

Weekly Weightloss

I am down 1.4 lbs this week making me down a total of 45.6 lbs in 21 weeks!  yay!  I honestly would have been happy to be break even this week, but I am down and I am even more firmly in ONE-derland!

Dec 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

We had a wonderful Christmas.  I made coconut carrot muffins and carrot, raisin, nut bars for snacking while opening presents. And I made a Newfie Jiggs dinner for the family.  It was a fun day. Princess Magpie and Snifflefritz were funny.  After their first gift, they didn't want to open anymore.  They just played and played with their first one, until I convinced them that there were more fun gifts under the tree.  At the end of the day, Princess Magpie looked at me and said, "This was a GREAT day, Mommy!"

Dec 24, 2012

Christmas Blessings

I am feeling peaceful today.  I know there is a lot to do, but I am just filled with a sense of peace and joy.  I am so grateful for my four beautiful, happy, children.  They are each one of them so loving and such a blessing to me. And as this Christmas approaches, I know just how lucky I am.  I know that as long as we are together, it will be wonderful.  I am not stressed, I am not worried.  I am relaxed.  It will all be lovely. 

I think about this year and how much I love it and I plan for next year too.  I think of things I will do the same and things I will do differently.  I would like to make a project out of making homemade ornaments with the girls.  I would love to do more homemade gifts.  This year, I spread the baking out over the season, baking things and then waiting for them to be gone before baking more.  I enjoyed the relaxed feeling of that.  I enjoyed the constant smell of fresh goodies in the house.  I LOVE the excitement the little ones have from discovering what new goodies mommy has in store for that day.  This is  a trend I would like to continue.  Next year we will be in our new rural home and I look forward to bringing more natural elements into our Christmas. Next year, I would like to start on our Christmas preparations early, taking time to really think about each child. 

But for this year, I am at peace.  This is our first Christmas with Little Prince.  This is our first Christmas with our forever family.  This is the family I will get to love on and take care of and spend all my future Christmases with and this alone brings a joy and peace that I can't describe.

So from my house to your, kisses and hugs, and may all of you be filled with joy and peace this holiday season.

Breakfast, Treats and Giggles

I wanted to make something yummy for breakfast this morning so I thought, nice sweet, scones would be lovely.  These sound yummy and the chocolate ensures it will be a hit with everyone.  And the best part is, it is a small batch so that it will be gone leaving room for the rest of the Christmas goodies like the yummy chocolate, marshmallow, peanut butter loveliness below.

Chocolate Chip Coconut Scones


3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 Tbsp plus 1 tsp granulated sugar, divided (or sweetener of preference)
1/4 cup chilled, chopped Shortening or Earth Balance Margarine
1 cup Nondairy milk (I actually used about 1 1/2 cups, it felt dry to me)
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup shredded coconut


    Preheat oven 400 degrees F. Grease baking sheet or 12-inch pizza pan.

    In large bowl, sift flour, baking powder, salt, and 3 tbsp sugar. Add chilled butter and work butter into the flour mixture with your fingers until the mix resembles fine crumbs. Add milk, chocolate chips, and coconut. Mix to form a sticky dough. Turn dough out onto lightly floured board and knead for about 30 seconds. Form dough into ball and pat into a circle, about 3/4-inch thick. Place dough on greased pan and cut into 8 wedges using a knife or pizza cutter. Gently separate wedges on pan, giving each about 1/4-inch space. Brush tops with a little water to dampen and sprinkle with 1 tsp sugar. Bake at 400 degrees F for about 18 minutes or until baked all the way through. Let cool on rack. Serve warm or cold with your favorite jam.

Chocolate, Peanut Butter and Marshmallows

2 cups marshmallows, small ones (to make it vegan you can use Dandies, Air-Puffed Marshmallows)
225 g chocolate chips, 1 package
1 cup peanut butter
1 tablespoon Earth Balance margarine


Melt chocolate chips, peanut butter and margarine for about 1 1/2 minutes in the microwave.
Add marshmallows and mix.
Pour in a greased 8inch pan and put in fridge for about 2 hours.
If you need this quick, put in freezer for about 45 minutes.

Dec 23, 2012

Birthday Fun

It was a fun day for us all. The best thing about having four kids is that if you bring out presents, balloons and cake, it is all they need to be excited and to feel like it is a party. Even though we don't know anybody their ages to invite to their party, the kids were thrilled and had a WONDERFUL time. It wasn't at all stressful for me and we all had fun.

Here is the birthday girl blowing out her candles.

Daddy filled the living room up with balloons during naptime and the had a wonderful time playing with them.

Waiting for Daddy to bring out the presents was very exciting.

Princess Snifflefritz had fun opening presents.

Princess Magpie helped her open her presents.

But that's okay because on Princess Magpie's birthday, Princess Snifflefritz helps her open her presents too.  It is sort of like they are twins opening presents at the same time, they get two of everything, only they get to have two separate birthdays too.

She loved all her presents.

Even Princess Belle had fun, playing with the little girls, helping them when they need it and playing with their toys too.

It was a wonderful day!