Our Wood Home

Our Wood Home: April 2013

Monday, April 29, 2013

the story of us

I made a really neat photo display on a really awkward-to-decorate wall at our house.  The wall is very tall and leads down to our back door/basement area.  Since it's so big I really wanted to fill the space with something...but what?  A large piece of art was not an option because you can't really stand back far enough to see it fully.  So I decided to create a collection of small framed pictures.  But not just the random stuff I'd usually frame!
I refer to this as "the story of us" because I'm displaying pictures of important times in my relationship with David (so far we have a picture of our graduation day, the day he proposed and our wedding day).  I have yet to hang a picture of our house, but there is no rush.  I plan to fill the wall with pictures of things like our first vacation, our first child, etc. 

I think this is an awesome thing for newlyweds to do.  But it's also a great idea as a gift for parents or grandparents.  Imagine how sweet it would be to collect pictures from your parent's me marriage over the past 25 years and present them with a framed collection for them to hang.  Of if they just don't have the wall space, you could easily print the pictures for an album. 

Enjoy (and maybe create your own Story of Us wall!).


Monday, April 22, 2013

loving this warm weather!

Spring is notoriously unpredictable weather-wise!  This past weekend started with snow but ended up being nice and sunny...weird!
I've been itching to start my gardens and this weather is making me even more excited!  I've already started to grow some herbs indoors and remove the dead stuff from the existing gardens.  I thought they would be pretty sparse and yucky, but it turns out I was only part right.  Once I pulled out all the dead, ground cover plants I saw a lot of bulb plants starting to sprout.  I'm looking forward to seeing what they are!  I still have lots to do, but I think it will be a lot of fun.  I've always wanted my own garden space:)
David and I are also planning a giant veggie garden!  There used to be one on the property years ago so we will just reuse the existing space.  It's right in the front yard, which we think is kind of neat.  Yesterday we made a trip to town and bought some seeds. 

We are also getting some heirloom tomato plants from someone we know.  Aaaaand we are going to grow potatoes!!  I'm so excited, haha!

David loves outdoor work and wants our land to look nice, so we are going to be comfortably busy this spring and summer.  We have great plans for our yard, so be sure to check back often.

Enjoy this gorgeous weather!


Thursday, April 18, 2013

cooking in style!

I am probably the messiest cook I know!  I tend to use something and leave it out until the end.  I don't know why I do this...but I always clean up everything once I'm done!

I also seem to get a lot of stuff on my clothes while I'm in the kitchen...flour, eggs, juices, etc. A few years ago I got an apron to keep me from making a mess of myself. 

Seriously, I wear this (or my other apron) all the time!  It makes me housewife-y...haha!  I usually wear it a few times before washing, unless I get egg or meat juice on it!

Do people even wear aprons anymore?  Maybe I could start a come back!

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corn chowder recipe

A few years ago I had amazing corn chowder at a restaurant in Toronto.  It was my first time eating chowder and the only type I will ever eat (I don’t really like seafood).  I actually forgot all about my chowder experience until I came across a recipe in my cookbooks and magazines.  The restaurant chowder tasted like potato soup with pieces of corn and lots of flavour…the recipe I found looked like it was going to taste similar so I was very excited to try it.  I wish I could properly credit the source of the recipe but I can’t figure out where I got it (I only wrote the recipe down on a card for my recipe box). 

I followed the recipe almost perfectly but made some changes along the way.  I will note my changes and what the recipe initially called for.

  • 1 onion, cut in half (the recipe said to use 1 cup chopped onion but I don’t like cutting onions or eating them!)
  • (1/4 cup chopped celery)
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 2 cups water (I was supposed to use chicken stock but we didn’t have any, plus I didn’t want the flavour of chicken)
  • 1 teaspoon each of thyme and oregano
  • 1 tablespoon pulled pork spice (to make it smoky flavoured)
  • 3 potatoes, diced (the recipe called for 1 potato but I felt like that wasn’t enough)
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup creamed corn and 1 cup frozen corn
  • salt and pepper to taste

  1. Combine water, herbs, potato, flour and onion in a large pot. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  2. Add the milk and corn; simmer for another 10 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat, remove onion and mash the chowder with a potato masher (to get rid of the lumps).
  4. Season with salt and pepper; serve.

This was such a good dinner!!  The recipe makes enough for about 4 adult-sized servings.  I made it in my little Dutch oven but I think a regular pot would work too.  Since I substituted plain water for chicken stock I added a lot of seasoning to make sure the end result wasn’t bland.  I suggest adding maybe ½ teaspoon pepper and 1 teaspoon salt during the cooking but no more.  Some people may be okay with a mild taste (like my husband) and others, like me, prefer to have lots of salt and pepper…the amount I used in the cooking was just enough for my husband but I chose to add more to my bowl.  David also dipped some buttered rye bread in his serving…that might be worth trying!


Monday, April 8, 2013

have you ever...?

Baked brownies using beer as an ingredient?  I sure haven't! 

A few months ago I found a cookbook at my local bookstore called Cooking with Beer and I thought David might like it.  There are a lot of recipies that make sense with beer (like a beef stew) and a whole dessert section which seems a little wierd to me!  But I'm making the brownies today because we have some leftover beer that David doesn't like. 

I'll post the recipe and my outcome later!


Monday, April 1, 2013

Easter weekend recap

What a busy weekend we had!!  I spend Thursday cleaning the whole house in perperation for Easter weekend.  In the evening I went out with some friends and David had his friends over.  I didn't get to bed until after midnight and I think David's friends all left around 2AM.  We had planned to spend Friday cleaning up the basement (again) where the guys were hanging out  and get some of  the Easter meal prepared.  But David woke up with a tension headache and went back to sleep until 2PM.  I managed to quietly clean up and bake a cake and he helped with everything once he was up and feeling better.

David's family was coming over on Saturday afternoon and we still had things to do.  Food to be cooked, tables to be arranged, drinks to be chilled... but we were all ready to go by the time everyone got there.

Here is what we served for a family of 14:

Spinach and Berry Salad
Greek Pasta Salad
Glazed Carrots
Steamed Green Beans
Salmon in a Lemon-Butter Dill sauce
Ham slow cooked in Brown Sugar
Carrot Cake
Blueberry Cheesecake
Bushberry Pudding Cake in a Whiskey Butter Sauce (made just for my family and served on Sunday)

I'd like to brag a bit and say that EVERYTHING except the rolls were homemade :)

By the time everyone left on Saturday it was close to 9:30 PM and we were exhausted!!  We actually left all the dirty dishes until Sunday morning...don't judge!

On Sunday we cleaned up from the day before and made a bit more food for my family (only 9 people including David and I). 
Everyone had left by 7 PM but we were not very motivated to clean up (again).  We went as far as wrapping up leftovers, loading the dishwasher and stacking all the hand wash plates.  Since David is at work today I get to clean up all alone...or wait for him but I don't want to look at dirty dishes all day.  I have managed to do wash 2 sink-fulls (not even a real word, haha!) of dishes, tear down the extra table and chairs and clean up all the coasters.  It doesn't sound like much but I feel like I accomplished a lot!  I'm taking a computer break now but I'll have to tackle everything else soon.

Here are a few snapshots of our weekend.

yum yum

the kitchen on Sunday evening...what a mess!

Potted plants make a great hostess/Easter gift! Can't wait to plant these babies this spring!

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