Friday, 29 June 2012

Lucky Number 13!

Today, my Middleman became a teenager (GULP!)  I was just getting my head around the fact that Boy Oneder turned 16 and got his licence yesterday and now THIS?!!


Middleman has a double reason to celebrate today...he officially finished school yesterday!  His summer has begun!  He brought home an EXCELLENT report card with lots of 80's and 90's (only ONE subject in the 70's....art/dance - I can live with that! LOL)  We are so very proud of him.  He will also be getting back into soccer after a month on the injury list, so things are looking up for Middleman!



He is turning into a gorgeous young man and we are extremely proud and blessed to be his parents!

Happy Birthday Sweetheart!  Have a super day on your first day as a teenager (GULP!)
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Thursday, 28 June 2012

What the HECK???

I cannot believe that this:




Became this:


In the blink of an eye.

My Boy Oneder turns 16 years old today.  SIXTEEN. 

Happy Birthday Baby.  I am so proud of the young man you have become and the man you are growing into.  You are everything I ever wanted in a son and I am forever grateful to God for allowing me to have you for my boy.

Have a wonderful day and good luck with your G1!  (*GULP!*)

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Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Last day of JK...

Where DOES the time go?




As of 3:00 this afternoon, Threepeat will have officially completed his first year of school.  Junior Kindergarten flew by!  He enjoyed it and met lots of new friends. 

Because he was in all-day, every other day, he is done today because Friday is a P.A. Day.  He will continue at his daycare this Thursday and Friday and then next week, after the long weekend, he starts "camp" at the daycare from Tuesday to Friday.  Grandma is taking care on him on Mondays for the summer.

Boy Oneder finished grade ten on Monday when he wrote his last exam.  He turns 16 tomorrow....SIXTEEN PEOPLE!!!!  He has already arranged a ride to the drivers examination centre with his father to get his G1.  OMG.   He is taking a grade 11 course in summer school and, once he passes, will be three credits ahead of most other grade 11 students.  He has taken a course each summer and has done very well.  I am extremely proud of him.

Middleman finishes grade 7 tomorrow.  Next year will be his last year at this school before he moves on to high school.  I simply cannot stand how fast time is going.  :(  He turns 13 this Friday.  Yes, he will be a teenager.  OMG.  I can't wait to see Middleman's report card.  He is awesome and always brings home good marks.

Happy Summer!! Pin It

Sunday, 24 June 2012

We fought the good fight...

In case you just came out from under a rock, England lost to Italy tonight in penalty kicks.  It sucks.  England played well, but in the end Italy prevailed.  Auguri Italy.

I am also losing in Mama M's Mr. Wonderfulest contest.  I could push some more to get more votes, but I am spent.  I just don't have the oomph anymore.  I gave it my best shot.  I will be donating $100.00 to the Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation in my Dad's memory regardless of the fact that I lost.  I just wish it could have been doubled.  Ev.  Congratulations to Love & Bugs.  

I had a great weekend with my beautiful nieces.  I really feel so close to them now and wish my sister were here to see how stunning these girls have become.  I look forward to many more overnights with them.  They are my angels.  I have lots of photos to share, but need to find some time to upload them.  This week, I promise.

I hope you all had a super weekend.  Sad that tomorrow is Monday already. :( 
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Saturday, 23 June 2012

Helpful Ideas When You Buy Cheesecake for Special Occasion

Having the right gourmet dessert will surely make the occasion extra special regardless of the celebration. This means that the dessert that you will serve should be something that most guests enjoy. When planning for the right dessert, you need to consider not only the taste of the guests but also their dietary needs. Thus, you might want to consider sugar-free deserts. There are many deserts that are well-loved by most people. Cheesecake is one of the most popular desserts. Thus, you can buy cheesecake for your guests on a special occasion.


New York Cheesecake is a favorite amongst guest everywhere regardless of the occasion. You can turn your ordinary dessert into gourmet dessert in a matter of minutes with wide variations to the recipe. With cheesecakes, you can have as many variations as you want which depends on your guest. You can serve plain cheesecake to guests who prefer them without any fruit or toppings. You can also put syrups, glazing, nuts, crushed cookies, pie filling and fruits in another table so that your guest can enjoy choosing the topping that they want for their cheesecake.com order. This is something that your guest will remember about your party. If your guests are seniors or health conscious, then you can make adjustments by to your cheesecake. You can buy nonfat or low-fat cheesecakes and use fruit toppings with sugar substitutes.

You can also serve gourmet cheesecakes to small get together with friends or business associates. You can buy cheesecake that has its own right that is fit to be served to a king. Cheesecakes such as Chocolate Lava Cake with cherry sauce or Baked Alaska are examples of these. These cheesecakes are not very hard to make, but it requires some preparation time. Hence, it is best to buy them.

Choosing the right gourmet cheesecake to be served in a particular occasion is not very hard to do. In fact, you can find a variety of choices of recipes from the Internet and cookbooks. Even those who are not expert bakers can choose something that is right for each occasion without having to prepare the same gourmet cheesecake to the same group of guests. You should take time to experiment on the best flavor to offer to your group of guests. You can find ideas when you browse online. You can also order gourmet cheesecakes from specialty bakers or online stores in order to save time in preparation and assure high quality of taste. Pin It

Friday, 22 June 2012

Five Question Friday

How exciting! Mama M picked my question to be part of the Five Question Friday Meme today! WOOHOO! Thanks Mama M!


If you want to join in the fun, head on over and link up! Tell her I sent you! :)

Mama M is the wonderful person who has the Mr. Wonderfulest Contest happening on her blog.  There are only two days left to vote and I am shamelessly begging you to go and vote for me, if you haven't already.  If I win, the prize money will be donated to the Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation in my Dad's memory.  Please head over to the MR. WONDERFULEST CONTEST and click "like" on my entry (#2 called Angels Among Us).  It'll take you like TWO seconds to do!  Thanks so much!

Here are my 5QF answers:

1. What do you keep a stock pile of?

Weird answer here...nothing in particular and everything in general! I am a pack rat. I keep EVERYTHING. My house is normally a cluttered mess. But I don't stock up on anything like water or shoes or whatever. Does that make sense? Didn't think so. :P

2. If Ben & Jerry asked you to invent an ice cream, what would it be?

Well, as I have mentioned before, I'm not really an icre cream kinda gal. BUT....I guess I would have something grapefruity cuz I love me some pink grapefruit. No idea what to call it though...not that I would have to worry with them coming up with creative names like "Schweddy Balls" OMG. LOL!

3. How do you blow off steam?

I am not proud of it, but I am a yeller...and a crier. If I get really ticked, I yell at whoever made me mad or I sit and cry. Not healthy, but it works for me.

4. What would you do if you had an hour to yourself anywhere within a ten mile radius of your home...no kids, no hubby, just you?

I'd drive to a quiet parking lot, sit in my car and read while I listen to music. If it was really nice weather, I would sit on a park bench. I NEVER get solitude. I would welcome the quiet.

5. When you were 16, what was your curfew in the summertime?

I don't really remember having a set curfew. My parents trusted me and let me make alot of decisions on my own. Maybe 11:00? They would never let me stay out all night and I was courteous enough to be home at a reasonable time. The only rule was that I had to be home when I said I would be home and not a minute later. Now, as a mother of a 16 year old (well, 16 in 6 days) I understand the worry of him not being home when he should be. Luckily, he is alot like me and is a great kid. ;) Pin It

Thursday, 21 June 2012

LLLet's get ready to RUMBLE!!!!!

**If you haven't already done so, pretty please with sugar on top, will you go to Mama M's Mr. Wonderfulest Contest and vote for my entry (#2)? If I will, I will be donating the $100 to the Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation in my Daddy's memory. Thanks so much! :)**




This Sunday promises to be loud, fun, maybe a little nasty and VERY celebratory for some. This is the day that my family has been waiting for since I met Hubster 24 years ago! England is finally up against Italy in the Eurocup.

  

 I was born in England. My heart stayed there in 1974 when my parents brought my sister and I to Canada to start a new life. Hubster’s family hails from Italy and although Hubster himself was born here in Canada, his roots run deep back to Italy and he was raised in a very Italian home. Needless to say, Hubster will be cheering for Italy, while I will be cheering (louder) for England!

   

 Our boys are a bit torn. Boy Oneder is cheering for Italy because we live in a predominately Italian ‘hood and his friends all come from Italian backgrounds, so he has to be on that bandwagon (loser). Middleman was on the fence until a couple of days ago, when we watched England beat Ukraine while he was at physiotherapy. He watched them kick butt and came over to the winning side. He will stand by his Mummy and cheer on the Brit boys. Threepeat advised that he was on the Italian side until I told him that I’d take him to the park that night if he would cheer for England. He switched teams in the blink of an eye. I may or may not have told him that if he cheered for England and they won, he would get a treat from Toys R’ Us...I’ll never tell.
  

 We have a huge screen in the basement with a projector and we have lots of peeps coming over to watch the awesomeness unfold. I think some are coming to keep the war from getting out of hand too! ;0 A few of the neighbs, one of which bet me $50.00 that Italy was going to win... pfft...silly man...that will be the easiest $50.00 I EVER make! I have lots of snacks planned and of course the alcohol will be flowing freely. I need to go out tonight to get my England flag for both my van and for the house. I promise to take lots of photos and may do a play by play on twitter.

   

 This is gonna be sooooo GOOOOOOD! And in the end, when the finals are done, the Eurocup will go home where it belongs....ENGLAND!!!!
 
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Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Wordless Wednesday

**If you haven't already done so, pretty please with sugar on top, will you go to Mama M's Mr. Wonderfulest Contest and vote for my entry (#2)? If I will, I will be donating the $100 to the Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation in my Daddy's memory. Thanks so much! :)**
Senior Kindergarten Graduation


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Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Baked Ziti

**If you haven't already done so, pretty please with sugar on top, will you go to Mama M's Mr. Wonderfulest Contest and vote for my entry (#2)? If I will, I will be donating the $100 to the Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation in my Daddy's memory. Thanks so much! :)**


Hubster`s Father`s Day dinner choice was Baked Ziti.  He, like the rest of us, love the taste of pasta baked with cheese...mmmmm....

Here`s my recipe if you'd like to try this exquisite meal yourself:

Ingredients:

Sauce:

2 jars of tomato sauce or puree (I used homemade)
3 tblsp olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, diced
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tblsp sugar
1/2 cup red wine
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated

Saute the onion, garlic and pepper flakes in the olive oil.  When the garlic is light brown, pour in the two jars of tomato sauce.  Add all other ingredients, mixing well.



Meatballs:

1/2 lb extra lean ground beef
1/2 lb ground pork
2 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup bread crumbs
Good pat of butter
2 tblsp olive oil

Combine meats with your hands.  Add the eggs and bread crumbs and form small meatballs....whatever size you like.  We like them small:


Put butter and oil into a large frying pan and turn heat to medium.  Once melted, add the meatballs, in one layer in frying pan, leaving enough room to turn them over.


 Turn the meatballs so that all sides are browned. Plop them into your sauce.


Bring to a low boil and then reduce heat and simmer for one hour (or more if you like, adding water if necessary to thin the sauce a bit), stirring occasionally.

 

Making the masterpiece:

1 bag of ziti pasta
6 slices of provolone cheese
1/4 cup cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sour cream
3/4 cup mozarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cook the pasta, according to the package instructions until al dente.  Drain.

Mix the cream cheese together with the sour cream.

Pour half of the pasta into a greased casserole dish.  Layer with half of the sauce and meatballs.  Place a layer of provolone cheese onto the mix and then spread the cream cheese/sour cream mixture onto the provolone.  Add the other half of the pasta.  Then add the remaining sauce.  Sprinkle with mozarella cheese.

Cover and cook for half an hour.  Remove cover and cook for another ten minutes.


Serve with a nice green salad and garlic bread.

Enjoy!

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Monday, 18 June 2012

I blinked and it was Monday!

What the heck?  I blinked after work on Friday afternoon and WHAMMO, it was already Monday morning!!!

I vaguely remember taking Threepeat to the waterpark...

video


At some point, I think we had Nanna over for some yummy BBQ ribs and spidducci.  And we may have had three bouncers out for rental.  I seem to recall that we hung out with our neighbs a bit too.

Sunday was Father's Day and we spent the day with Hubster after he and the older boys picked up our bouncers.  We had a nice baked ziti dinner with Grandma (recipe and photos to follow soon!) and we made this:



I ironed Boy Oneder's school uniform and then read to Threepeat.  Next thing I knew, it was Monday morning!

I wish the weekends would last longer.  :(

If you haven't already done so, pretty please with sugar on top, will you go to Mama M's Mr. Wonderfulest Contest and vote for my entry (#2)?  If I will, I will be donating the $100 to the Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation in my Daddy's memory.  Thanks so much!  :)
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Sunday, 17 June 2012

Happy Father's Day

For the last eleven years, Father's Day has been bittersweet for us.  The only person in our lives that we can celebrate is Hubster.  And celebrate, we do.  For he deserves it...

My husband is the only family male role model that my boys have.  Nonno died in 2001.  Grandpa died in 2004.  One uncle lives very far away.  One uncle has never taken an interest in my boys and we no longer communicate with him.  So, the pressure has really been on Hubster to step up and be all things male to my boys.  And that he has. 

Hubster coaches them in soccer and hockey.  He takes them to real masculine movies.  He plays soccer and basketball with them in the schoolyard.  He helps them study.  He teaches them work ethic.  He watches sports with them.  He teaches them how to be gentlemen to the ladies.  He breaks his back every weekend with our bouncy castle business so that he can teach them to run their own business.  He is everything, in every sense of the word.

I am so grateful that my husband is such a good man.  Our sons are growing up to be fine young men, mainly because they have a hands-on, loving Dad to guide them along life's path.

Thank you babe for being the person you are.  Thank you for teaching our sons what the other male role models can't or won't.  I am proud to be your wife. 

Happy Father's Day.

**Please don't forget to "like" my post for Mama M's Mr. Wonderfulest Contest.  It would mean the world to me if you would take a second and vote for me.  If I win, I will be donating the $100 to the Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation in my Daddy's name.  Thank you.** Pin It

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Angels Among Us


The date was Thursday, May 20th, 2004, at 2:45 in the afternoon. I know there were angels among us. It had been almost 5 years since his diagnosis. My Dad lay dying in the hospital, with my Mom, my sister, my Aunt and I all with him, holding his hand. The sun was streaming through the window and although it was the saddest moment of my life, there was a calm and peaceful feeling that is difficult to describe.


The radio was softly playing Shania Twain’s “It Only Hurts When I Breath”. Dad’s breaths got slower and shallower and we knew the end was imminent. As he took his last breath, Shania sang her last verse. A strong wind suddenly blew through the window and papers flew around the room. As he exhaled for the last time, the wind stopped and there was complete silence, save for the gentle sound of “That’s What Friends Are For” playing on the radio. We prayed and cried. It was over. The long, painful battle with Acute Lymphatic Leukemia was over. Dad was in the arms of his Maker, no longer suffering. I know there were angels among us.

As we collected our things and said our last good-byes, Josh Groban sang “You Raise Me Up” on the radio. This song had become our family’s theme over the past couple of days. When Dad was admitted to Emergency, he lapsed into a coma. As he smiled at us for the last time before losing consciousness, the song was playing over the speakers. I know there were angels among us.

Over the next few days, we planned the most beautiful tribute to Dad. There were so many people at the Church. As the casket was brought in, Josh Groban’s “To Where You Are” played. My brother-in-law sang the song that had now become our theme song, “You Raise Me Up” so beautifully that I knew there were angels among us.

Dad’s battle was a long and hard one. He endured chemotherapy treatments that were so strong they should have killed him. He suffered through lumbar punches, hickman lines, poking, prodding, medications, infections, nerve damage, humiliation and mental anguish that none of us could ever comprehend. Knowing every day that he had a ticking bomb inside his blood that could explode any day must have been pure hell. He was too young to die…57 years old. And still, he never wavered. He was brave and strong and never complained. He never felt sorry for himself. He accepted his fate and when we asked him about it, he would always say, “Life deals the cards, we merely play the hand.” Throughout his long struggle, I knew there were angels among us.

My father’s battle and subsequent death were not in vain. He has touched so many people and changed so many lives that would otherwise not be touched. He has opened hearts and opened minds. He has helped people change the way they look at life. We all look at life very differently. We cherish each day. We tell each other how much we care. We choose our battles and let the unimportant things go. My father was the proverbial “sacrificial lamb” that let us know that there are angels among us.

When I think back and realize how many signs there were, I know there were angels among us. They give us strength through hard times and guide us through the most difficult paths in life. When my Dad died, my eyes were opened to see things I never saw before. If we only open our hearts and minds, we will see the little clues that we are not alone. I know there are angels among us. The songs that play during the times of trial and turbulence are signs…some will say that it is coincidence. I don’t. Open your heart to the angels among you. I know my Dad is one of the angels now, watching over my family every day, helping us with our daily struggles. Thank you Daddy for your love and guidance. I know you are here with me…wearing the biggest and most beautiful wings and soaring through the clouds in absolute perfection. I know that there are angels among us.

I love and miss you dearly Daddy.  Happy Father's Day.




**I have entered this post into a contest over at Mama M's Mr. Wonderfulest Contest and I would love it if you would please head over there and click "LIKE" on my entry...it's called Angels Among Us on Boy oh Boh oh Boy and I am the second entry (#2).   Thanks so much!**



**ETA. If I win, the $100 will be donated to the Princess Margaret Hospital foundation in his honour. This hospital was wonderful to my Dad and to us during his illness. ** Pin It

I'm gonna be a bear...

In this life, I’m a woman. In my next life, I’d like to come back as a bear.

When you’re a bear, you get to hibernate. You do nothing but sleep for six months. I could deal with that.

Before you hibernate, you’re supposed to eat yourself stupid. I could deal with that too.

When you’re a girl bear, you birth your children (who are the size of walnuts) while you’re sleeping and wake to partially grown, cute, cuddly cubs. I could definately deal with that.

If you’re mama bear, everyone knows you mean business. You swat anyone who bothers your cubs. If your cubs get out of line, you swat them too. I could deal with that.

Yup, in my next life, I'm gonna be a bear! Pin It

Friday, 15 June 2012

Five Question Friday

Every Friday, Mama M posts her fun meme, Five Question Friday.  It's tons o' fun and I've "met" so many cool bloggers through it.  Head on over and check it out!

1. Would you grow your hair out to donate it?


I would, yes.  But...I have VERY slow growing hair AND I have coloured it over and over and over again since I was a teenager, so my hair wouldn't qualify.  But, my short answer is yes.  I think it's an awesome idea and know many children who have done this selfless gesture.

2. What song makes you think of summer?

Oh so many songs....

Boys of Summer - Don Henley
In the Summertime - Mungo Jerry
Hot, Hot, Hot - Buster Poindexter
Summer of '69 - Bryan Adams
Wave Babies - Honeymoon Suite

Shall I go on? LOL

3. Are you a flip flops or sandals kind of person?

Flip flops ALL the way baby!  I love being able to slip them on and get out of the house quickly.  And SOOOO comfy!

4. Favorite summer treat (ie ice cream, snow cones, etc)?

When I was little, we used to eat Lolas on a daily basis.  A few years ago, an angel brought them back and I loved them.  Now, I can't find them again, but they were/are my FAVS!  I really don't like ice cream (yeah I'm weird).  I guess the next best thing would be freezies. 

5. Do you do something special for the father of your children?

Yes...every year since Boy Oneder was born, I have made him a t-shirt with the kids' hand and footprints on it and a meaningful saying.  As the boys have gotten older, they have joined in on the decorating fun and draw on the shirts as well.  This year, I also bought him a recordable book that has interview questions and the kids record their answers.  He will LOVE it.  He also gets whatever meal he wants that day.  :)

Happy Friday!! Pin It

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Threepeatisms

Having a five year old with 16 and 13 year old brothers can prove to be hazardous.  Threepeat knows things that no 5 year old should know.  He says things that are completely inappropriate.  He knows the words to songs that most TEN year olds don't know.  My Threepeat, he is a character.

I thought I'd share a few of our Threepeatisms with you...please don't judge...we are NOT white trash.

The neighbour asked him if he wanted to go for a bike ride yesterday:

"Sure, but we can't go to the school yard...there are kids there smoking weed." - he has NO idea what "weed" is, but has obviously heard his older brothers mentioning the fact that kids smoke up in the school yard.

"Look at me...I'm LOOOOOW RIDIN'" - When the neighbour (the wife of the neighbour mentioned above) asked what low riding was, he responded, "When you wear your pants low so that your underwear shows."

In the wintertime, we walked out the door into the cold.  Threepeat says, "OMGOSH...I'm gonna freeze my balls off!"  I scolded him, telling him not to use that word.  He responds, "I'm gonna freeze my nuts off!"  Again, I scold him and say not to speak that way.  He thinks for a minute and says, "I'm gonna freeze my TESTICLES off!" - how could I reprimand that?  He WAS being anatomically correct! (rolls eyes)

Last weekend, we went to Collingwood for a soccer tournament.  ALL weekend, he asked, "Are we still in Collywood?"  No matter how many times we corrected him, he could not get that it was not COLLYWOOD.

He made a Father's Day craft at school, which he brought home today. I told him we needed to hide it until Sunday and he agreed not to tell Hubster about it.  The SECOND Hubster walked in the door from work... "Dad...I want to show you what I made you for Father's Day"  Hubster said he wanted to wait until Sunday. Threepeat replied, "It's ok.  I made you a tie and decorated it...you can look at it and then we will wrap it back up!"

He was riding his scooter down the driveway when he tooted.  The neighbour (the daughter of the couple I mentioned above - OMGOSH how are they still our friends?) asked him if he tooted.  "Yes I did it on purpose...it makes me go faster on my scooter."

Out of the mouths of babes... Pin It

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Wordless Wednesday

Threepeat...yesterday when he was a baby schmoopy. <3

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Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Roast Lamb Dinner with Yorkshire Puddings to die for!

In my not-so-humble opinion, there is nothing better to eat than a traditional, home-cooked roast dinner.  Tonight, we had roast lamb, and because so many of my friends have asked for detailed instructions on how to create the masterpiece that is heaven on a plate, I thought I would share here for my friends out there in internet-land!

First, get a nice piece of lamb...size depends on the number of people you are feeding, of course.  This lovely specimen weighed 1.388 kg and we had some leftover for a stir fry tomorrow.  I normally buy the entire leg, but tonight, the store had the boneless lamb, so I grabbed it.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Place the lamb into greased roasting pan...I used a little one today because the cut was small enough to fit and I lined the pan with foil to make cleaning up easier.  Sprinkle the lamb with meat tenderizer (just a little as it is very salty), garlic powder and rosemary.  Stick your meat thermometer in and set the finished temperature to 145 degrees....we like our meat medium-rare.  As a back up, in case your thermometer dies or you simply don't have one, for a medium rare taste, the meat should be cooked for 20 minutes per pound, plus 20 minutes.  The calculation for this baby was 1.388 kg x 2.245 = 3.11 lbs.  3 x 20 = 60 minutes + 20 minutes.  Total cooking time = 80 minutes.  Obviously, add more time for more well done meat and less for rarer tastes.


Once your meat is in the oven, prepare your potatoes for roasting.  When choosing potatoes, choose long ones and fairly large...like these:




Take a baking pan and add one stick of butter and a big dollop of shortening.  Place the pan into the oven with the meat (or in the second oven if you have one, preheated to 325 degrees).  


While the butter and shortening melt, peel your potatoes and cut them into quarters:


Pour yourself a glass of wine...you deserve it. 


Place the potatoes into the melted butter/shortening and baste them.  Place into the oven.


Next up, carrots.  I buy the small ones and I don't peel them.


Simply wash and cut the tops and tails off and then cut them in half on the diagonal:


Place into a pot of cold water and set aside.

Next up is rapini.  My family LOVES rapini.  It's so good for you and so easy to prepare!


Wash the bunch and then cut into 2 inch pieces.  Cut the woody stems off and discard.  


Place the rapini into a pot of cold water and set aside.  Next, brussels sprouts.  I LOVE brussel sprouts.  My kids?  Not so much.  But, I cook, so I get what I want.  :)  


Cut the bottoms off and peel off the first layer of leaves.


Cut a small "X" into the bottom of each sprout.



Place the sprouts into a pan of cold water and set aside.  Refill your wine.  You've worked hard.  Baste and turn your potatoes.


Turn on the stove to cook your carrots, rapini and sprouts.  Cook them to your desired consistency as everyone is different.  I do not cook with salt and use just plain water, but if you are a high blood pressure kinda person, go to town.  :)

The final part of your masterpiece dinner is the Yorkshire Puddings.  I have taken years to master these babies and have had many, MANY failures along the way.  After my second glass of wine (see above), I forgot to take photos of all the ingredients, but they are:  3 eggs, 1 cup all-purpose flour, pinch salt, 1.25 cups milk.  Mix the ingredients all together with an electric mixer until frothy.  Set aside for at least half an hour prior to cooking.  The Yorkshires take about 20 minutes to cook, so you should do this step about an hour before you are ready to eat.  Here's the mixture:


At this point, if you have timed it correctly, your meat should be ready.  Remove it from the oven and wrap loosely in aluminum foil to allow it to rest.  Turn the temperature on the oven up to 425 degrees.


Place an empty muffin pan onto a cookie sheet (this is a must to catch the dripping fat later).  Place the empty muffin pan and cookie sheet into the oven for five minutes.  Open the oven after the five minutes and pull out the oven rack with the cookie sheet and muffin pan.  Add 3/4 tablespoon of shortening to each muffin hole and put back into oven.  After another five minutes, when the shortening is VERY hot, open the oven again and very carefully pull out the rack.  Fill each muffin hole about 3/4 full with the batter.  Close the oven.  DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN AGAIN FOR AT LEAST FIFTEEN MINUTES!  Turn on the light and look through the little window if you must, but don't open that oven for even a second!!!


While you wait for the Yorkshires to cook, you can drain all your veggies and plate them.




Remove your potatoes and plate:


Here's where I may lose all credibility, but I tell you that you will love this meal, no matter what you think about what I am going to do next...

I cheat on my gravy.  So shoot me.  I buy beef gravy in a can, open the can, pour it into a pot and warm it up.  Done like dinner.  If you are an over-achiever, I'm sure there are hundreds of websites out there that will teach you how to make your own gravy...enjoy.  I like to cheat.  :)



Remove your Yorkshires (again, blame the wine...I forgot to take photos, but you can see them on the plate here): 



Serve the deliciousness to your loving family:


I, personally, HAVE to have mint sauce on my lamb.  I actually pour it ALL over my plate.  MMMMM!!!!


I can almost guarantee that if you follow these instructions, your end result will be:


We NEVER have leftovers after a roast dinner in our house...except for the meat, which I mentioned above, we use in a stir fry the next day.

Enjoy!




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How Does Your Garden Grow?

I worked really hard this year, getting my backyard to look less like a trailer park's yard and more like a quaint, pretty, TIDY garden.  Here are the results of my labour thusfar:

Tricycle Planter:


Pretty Planter from my Mommy:


Tomatoes and Lettuce


Another Planter:


My pretty garden:


Another planter:


Hanging pots and my roses in behind:


Lillies:


Oleander:


Clematis:


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