Journal

You can’t succeed if you don’t try…

Well I’ve been thinking about doing this for a while, but I’m not going to lie, my personal fears have held me back. Will I be good enough, will people want to read what I write, what will I talk about, and the list goes on and on. But today I decided to say “screw it”. How will I know if I never try. If I fail, I fail, but at least it won’t be because I didn’t even try.

First a little about myself. I’m in my early forties and happily married to my highschool sweatheart.  I work full time, struggle with the normal day to day stresses in life, but overall we have a pretty good life. We don’t have any children, but we do have 2 furbabies. A mixed breed dog named Rosco and a Dogue de Bordeaux named Brogan.

I love to cook, struggle with cleaning (it’s not my favourite thing to do), love photography, paddle boarding (or really anything involving water), animals (especially my dogs), reading, and most recently learning about essential oils and incorporating them into our day to day life.

My goal is to share some of my interests and ideas with all of you. Maybe some of my ideas, recipes or hints and tips will help someone else out. Or if nothing else give you a little escape from your reality.

main dishes · recipes

Instant pot creamy mushroom wild rice soup

I finally joined the instant pot craze a few months ago. I can’t say enough good things about it. My husband and I haven’t had anything out of it we didn’t like yet.

I have spent a lot of time finding and then tweaking recipes and figured I’d start to share some of them with all of you.

Ingredients:

for the instant pot:

  • 5 med carrots chopped
  • 5 stalks celery chopped
  • 1/2 onion chopped
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 cup uncooked wild rice
  • 4 oz cremini mushrooms chopped
  • 4 oz white button mushrooms chopped
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp poultry seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 raw chicken breasts

for stovetop:

  • 6 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk

Instructions:

Instant pot:

put all ingredients in the first list into the instant pot. cook for 45min manual, high pressure. quick release

stovetop:

when the soup is done, melt the butter in a saucepan. whisk in the flour. let cook for a bit, add salt and pepper. slowly add milk a little at a time until you have a smooth thickened sauce.

take out chicken breasts and shred

add the chicken back into the instant pot.

mix the creamy sauce into the soup mixture in the instant pot.

I found the original recipe here: https://pinchofyum.com/instant-pot-wild-rice-soup

I just tweaked it a little bit, my husband isn’t a huge fan of garlic, so I really reduced that…

Journal

Merry Christmas!

I hope everyone gets a chance to sit back relax and reflect on the past year and really appreciate the good things that have happened to you and your family in 2018.

Unfortunately I think the spirit of Christmas is often lost in the chaos of trying to get everything perfect for Christmas (the perfect gifts, the perfect tree, the perfect decorations and the list goes on and on). This year I tried to take time to reflect and appreciate everything instead of just rushing through in a mad panic trying to get everything organized and shopping for the perfect gift. I’m not saying that I completely succeeded, I definitely had moments of panic when it was getting closer to the “deadline” of needing everything to be done, but I did do a better job of enjoying the process and taking me time. Sometimes a simple walk can do wonders to clear your head and reset everything.

We have been very blessed this year. I am pleased to say that Brogan is doing well, even when no one thought he would still be with us. Rosco is happy ad healthy and so are my hubby & I. We got to celebrate my in-laws 50th wedding anniversary with friends and family this summer. We were lucky enough to spend a lot of time at the cabin doing things we love again this year.  And work is going well for both of us, which is great because our economy isn’t the best and I know people who are struggling because of that.

My young living business is also growing, it has been a slow process, but I feel good sharing the products with people and helping them try out some alternative options to healthy living. And on that note if any of you are interested in young living definitely reach out to me.

Anyway, I digress. I hope you all have an amazing Christmas!!

appetizers · recipes

Cheese stuffed mushrooms

This is one of my go to appetizers. So easy to make and the recipe is very easy to remember, so I don’t need to look at it anymore to make them.

Its originally from one of my many companies coming recipe books, so I can’t take credit for creating it. Just for sharing it 😁

Ingredients:

12 large mushrooms (we actually generally use the smaller “bite sized” ones now, you get more of them)

4 oz cream cheese

4 tsp sour cream

1 green onion sliced

1/2 tsp seasoning salt (Hy’s is the best for this recipe)

6 bacon slices partially cooked and sliced in half

Directions:

Twist the stems out of the mushrooms, reserve for another use

Mix cream cheese, sour cream and seasoning salt until smooth. Add in the green onions and mix, stuff mixture into mushrooms.

Cover each mushroom with a piece of bacon, put on baking sheet (or broiler pan works great because it catches the drippings) and bake at 350•F oven for about 20min, or until bacon is fully cooked and mushrooms have softened.

Enjoy, but be careful to let them cool a bit before you pop them in your mouth… mushrooms hold their heat 🔥

dogs · Journal

1 year of blogging

Well I can’t believe its been just over 1 year since I jumped in with both feet and braved putting myself out there with a blog. Originally I thought I would use it for young living and education about essential oils, but it quickly evolved into a blog about my dogs and cooking with just a touch of essential oils on the side.

I’d like to thank everyone who has taken the time to read and comment on my posts. It means a lot to me to know that someone is looking at what I wrote.

Its amazing how cathartic it can be to write things down about the dogs and how it feels good to memorialize the ones that we have loved and lost.

I also love cooking, always have, and I think the greatest compliment you can give someone is to ask for their recipe. I have always like sharing great recipes that I find and this is an easy place to do that.

I have been inconsistent with my posts recently, but I want to get back to at least weekly posts again. Maybe more if I’m feeling creative.

While I’m writing I figured I should update all of you on Brogan. He is doing well, he still collapses, and no one seems to be able to figure it out. So we just try to do stuff that keeps him somewhat calm and contained because big bursts of energy or excitement seem to cause him to collapse. Both dogs are resigned to on leash only walks and now that its not so hot out we can go for much longer ones. They both behave much better on a leash now than what they did when we first started with on leash walks so they are more enjoyable for all of us. And Rosco is Rosco, affectionate, loving and goofy, and healthy, healthy is pretty rare in the animals I love. So I have to mention that.

main dishes · recipes

Pork tenderloin stuffed with sundried tomatoes and cream cheese

I have tried many different versions of stuffed pork tenderloins throughout the years and I think I finally came up with the perfect combination.

Ingredients :

1 medium Pork tenderloin

2-3 Tbsp sundried tomatoes packed in oil

1-2 tsp dried thyme

1/4 onion chopped

5-6 button mushrooms sliced

3 cloves garlic minced

4oz cream cheese

1 cup bread crumbs (or 2 slices of bread put through a food processor)

1 package bacon

Directions :

Slice the mushrooms and add to a frying pan with the onions, garlic, thyme (salt & pepper to taste) and sundried tomatoes (with some of the oil). Saute until partially cooked (you want the mushrooms to release more mositure into the pork when it is cooking).

Add the cream cheese and stir until melted, then add the breadcrumbs. Mix well and set aside to cool.

Made a slit in the top of the tenderloin and then make a pocket that goes as far into the ends as you can. Or you can butterfly it and make it into a jelly roll style wrap.

Once the filling mixture is cooled, stuff the pork with it. And then make a basket weave with your bacon and roll it around the pork tenderloin. I use a cookie sheet and parchment paper to make rolling it easier and then this time I left it rolled in the parchment paper and put it in the oven at 350 for about 1/2 hour, then I unwrapped it and left it for about another half hour for the bacon to crisp up.

It turned out so moist.

Definitely worth trying if you like sundried tomatoes…

dogs · Journal

This is a big day, 2 years since Brogan’s diagnosis!

Feels like I blinked and summer was over, I don’t know how it managed to slip by so quickly. It doesn’t feel like I accomplished much, but I did get to enjoy it. It just feels like it went by too quickly.

We got to spend a lot of time at the cabin, which is our happy place. So although summer went by too quickly I do have to say that we did get to embrace and appreciate every moment of it.

Today, September 27th, is an emotional day for me. Its my mom’s and one of my good friends birthdays, but its also on this day that we lost Sloan, and that Brogan got diagnosed with right sided heart failure. This year today is a day for celebration. I’m celebrating that I have such a loving family and circle of friends. I’m celebrating all the love that Sloan brought to us in the short amount of time we got him, and I’m really celebrating that Brogan is still with us and is doing fairly well. Not saying our life hasn’t changed, but he didn’t have a great prognosis and its 2 years post diagnosis and he’s still feeling good, being a goof, and today he even managed to catch 3 Frisbees in a row…he then missed the next 5. But he has never caught one yet, so thats pretty amazing. Unfortunately I’m away on the road this week, so I didn’t get to see it, but my husband made sure he shared it with me. It makes me so happy that he still feels good enough to do those things. He loves frisbee, he loves going for walks, he loves travelling with us and he loves being a pest to his older, smaller brother. So I am very grateful that he still is with us and enjoying all of that.

recipes

Buffalo chicken salad with blue cheese

This is a recipe I found online a long time ago and have made numerous times throughout the years. It satisfies my cravings for spicy chicken wings without having spicy chicken wings, perhaps saving me a few calories.

Ingredients:

Salad

2 chicken breasts, cut into chunks

¼ cup flour

Salt and pepper

¼ cup oil

1 batch Spicy Chicken Sauce (recipe from this episode)

1 head of romaine lettuce, washed and sliced

2 ribs celery, washed and cut into sticks

Juice of 1 lemon

8 oz blue cheese, crumbled

Spicy Chicken Sauce

½ cup butter, softened

½ cup Franks hot sauce

¼ cup ketchup

Directions:

Salad

1. Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat.

2. Toss chicken with flour, salt and pepper until well coated.

3. Pour oil into pan and add the chicken.

4. Cook on one side until it’s golden brown and then flip and cook the other side until the chicken is cooked through.

5. Remove with tongs and place in a bowl.

6. Pour Spicy Chicken Sauce over hot chicken, toss well to coat.

7. Put lettuce, celery and chicken into a salad bowl. Drizzle any excess chicken sauce over the salad and add the lemon juice.

8. Toss well and garnish with crumbled blue cheese.

Spicy Chicken Sauce

1. Whisk together the butter, hot sauce and ketchup.

Read more at:

http://www.foodnetwork.ca/recipe/buffalo-chicken-wing-salad-with-blue-cheese/7981/