Monthly Archives: August 2012

We Made A(n eggless) Pie! by m



  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup cold butter plus 2 tablespoons, cubed
  • 1 cup cold lard, cubed
  • 2 teaspoons vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons lemon, juice
  • ice water


  1. I don’t have a food processor, but we mixed the shortening and butter by cutting up the butter and shortening into small pieces and adding to the flour and salt, then we took two butter knives and mixed  in a chopping motion like a whirlygig (mom’s word!), until there were fine crumbs and some bigger chunks.
  2. In liquid measure, mix vinegar and enough ice water to make 2/3 cup (150 mL).
  3. With motor running (aka, A’s arms), we added the vinegar & water mixture all at once; we mixed just until dough started to clump together. We didn’t let it form a dough ball; before we thought we’d mixed it enough, we stopped mixing and formed the dough into two discs.
  4. We wrapped the discs in plastic wrap and refrigerated one for 30 minutes. The other half is in the freezer for next time.

*Remember! The less you mix it or squish it, the flakier your pastry will be. Take the time to chill it before you try rolling it out- it makes a really big difference.

For an apple pie, start with Macs (we could only find granny smith’s in our grocery store).  Peel and slice enough to mound up and over-fill the pie shell. Sprinkle with lemon juice.  Stir in 1/4 c flour mixed with 1/3 c sugar and a couple of teaspoons of cinnamon. Put it in the prepared pie shell, the top with another piece of pastry.

Bake at 375 for about 45 minutes.

Here’s mom’s advice for the finishing touch: “If you want it to be brown and luscious looking on top, mix 2 tablespoons milk with 1 tsp sugar, stir to dissolve and brush it on top before it goes into the oven. Have some strips of foil ready to cover the edges of the pie if they are browning too quickly. Pie is done when you out a knife in the centre and you feel only….applesauce!”

Quinoa Adventures Part 3, by j


So I was going to wait until next week to post this so it wouldn’t seem like all I did today was cook.

But screw it. Thats exactly what I did today.

So here is my second quinoa recipe that I tried.

Quinoa Parmesan Bites! Slightly modified from this recipe.

It starts how every good quinoa recipe starts, by rinsing that quinoa. You may remember that I’m a big fan of rinsing quinoa. Since its a seed, quinoa has a bitter coating that stops birds and other animals from eating it. Most brands say that it is “pre rinsed” but that’s usually a damn lie. Rinse it again, and use your mitts to rinse the seeds. I even tried some, uncooked, and it didn’t taste bitter. It didn’t taste good either.


I cooked the quinoa in chicken stock again, and now I’m a convert, I will never go back to regular water. After cooking the seeds, I had to let them cool, and when they were cold, we went to town with some mixing.


It was really very easy. Just mix in everything. Bam.


I used a muffin tin that was well oiled, but don’t skimp on the cooking spray. My stuck very nicely in the pan. Grrr. For the second batch I used A’s fancy muffin tin liners.

Then I wanted a saucy sauce. So I made a honey Dijon dipping sauce out of these ingredients:


Yup. Honey Dijon sauce that has two ingredients. I read some suggestions that recommended some mayo in there. Ew.

And here’s the final product:




2.5 cups of cooked quinoa
3 eggs
2 tbsp of flour
1 cup of grated carrot
3 green onions
1/4 cup of parsley
3/4 cup of Parmesan, plus more on top of bites
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

Preheat oven to 350. Mix ingredients, and fill greased muffin tins 3/4 the way full. Sprinkle Parmesan on. Top and bake for 20-30 minutes.

I found them a little bland, so I’d probably try to spice them up.

But very tasty.

Quinoa Adventures Part 2, by j


Day one of being the only sister not in FF. Yesterday A left on a jet plane for the great north (or about as north as you want to go) to visit M and FFD. And I’m here. Alone.

Sad, but for an exciting reason- I start my second internship (unpaid of course) tomorrow. Slightly nervous? Absolutely.

So to console myself I cleaned like I’ve never before. And I cooked up some quinoa. After reading about quinoa over at the lovely “The Muddy KItchen” and I was inspired.

And so I started a couple of attempts at quinoa.

So here’s the first attempt – Red Quinoa and Black Bean Salad with Fresh Corn.

Why this recipe? I love black beans. A lot. There’s lime in it. Yum. And fresh corn is in season.

I will even go as far to say that this is the PERFECT SUMMER SALAD.

Why red quinoa? I don’t know, for kicks? It has a slightly “earthier” taste than its pale sister. When I read that I thought, “that’s just a fancy way of saying it tastes like dirt”. After cooking it up I can’t tell the difference.

Here’s what you’ll need:

1 cup of quinoa
2 cups of salt free chicken stock
1 can of black beans,drained
1 red pepper,diced
1/4 cup of cilantro, minced
1 1/4 cups of fresh corn
2 green onions, sliced

Juice of two limes
1/2 tsp of salt
1/2 tsp of black pepper
1/2 tsp of cumin
1/4 cup of cilantro, minced
1 clove of garlic
1/4 cup of olive oil


I cooked the red quinoa (after rinsing the heck out of it) in chicken stock. Sure, it then can’t be vegan. But I don’t care. Vegans are irritating. As a rule.

After that, we had to cook that fresh corn, which was interesting.


While the quinoa was cooking, I chopped everything else up:


Then I whisked all the dressing ingredients together.


After that, I added in the red quinoa to the veggies, and tossed in the dressing. The good part? You don’t have to wait for the quinoa to cool completely. Woot!

The original recipe also calls for avocado, but I didn’t see any avocados that weren’t hard enough to land someone unconscious if thrown. As well, if you don’t have fresh corn, don’t do the corn. It will not turn out.

Final tip? Cook your quinoa in chicken stock! It is sooooo much tastier. Yes, yes. I know, vegans. But again, who cares?

Serve it at room temp, and then put it in the fridge to have for the week!



Enjoy the arty picture –


She’s got skills, by j


Tomorrow marks a big day for the oldest and youngest sisters. A and I are going to be having our last day of full time employment tomorrow. Whoa. We’ve been enjoying a summer of making the money (although A has been loving the full time work for one year) and we’re about to see our bank accounts shrink.

So time to celebrate, non?

Usually the office will get you a cake when you leave, but in A’s office she likes to be the one bringing tasty treats (that are egg/nut free).

So what’s her last treat for tomorrow?


When A wakes me up tomorrow (which she now does with some irritation), I hope I do not have red velvet cupcake stains from gorging them down. That would be embarrassing.

Congrats A on your new post BA program! You’ve grown so much this past year- so profesh! So proud!

UPDATE: we were linked up to the Cupcake Post website! Thanks! Here’s the recipe that A used, from tattooed Québécois chef, Chuck Hughes. A substituted egg replacer for the eggs (perhaps we can cajole her into a blog post about how she manages using that?). Happy baking!


Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy, by m


Look! DIY fun that even I could do!

Keeping things smelling nice with this natural air freshener…

Making crayons…

I’ve tried this one with my students…but instead of peeling the crayons myself, I had them spend hours peeling broken crayons. Nobody wants to draw with the broken crayons anyways, and besides, how else was I to fill the hours spend in Kindergarten?

Dip dyeing more than A’s hair…

Chicken wire projects seem a propos for the countryside, no?

It’s business time…

OK, so I don’t have an airbrush gun to do ombre business cards, but maybe I could drag a crayola marker along the edges of my own stack? …a girl’s gotta start somewhere.

(p.s. click the pics for links to the tutorials)