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When I was a kid, my mom made almost everything we ate from scratch.  With the exception of cereal, bread (most days) and Rice a Roni……I didn’t eat a whole lot at home that came out of a box or a jar until I left for University.  I really didn’t realize it until I moved away and my staple meal was Kraft dinner (no – no Kraft dinner in our house).  So needless to say, a treat in our house was anything out of a box!  Sounds weird I know….I loved going for lunch to my grandmother’s….she would make us Zoodles out of a can….I thought they were fantastic!  One of my favorite treats to buy when I had money to go to the corner store was Vachon Flakies…..I LOVED the cream filling with the fruit and the pastry dusted with sugar.  I’m not going to lie – I bought a box the other day when they were on sale at the grocery store – still as good as I remember.  YUM!

Naturally, when I saw this site on Pinterest (http://www.nlrockrecipes.com/2009/02/blueberry-lemon-mini-puff-pastries.html), I had to try to make them…..homemade flaky?  Ummm – yes please! 

I have always been a bit intimidated by puff pastry or filo or anything that seems to be delicate when baking….I’m not such a delicate gal.  The first batch I made I used premade dough that came in a little brick – it had to be rolled out and let’s just say, the little flakies were a little odd shaped.  But that didn’t stop my friends from devouring them….AND my neighbour gave me her sheet of frozen puff pastry that she had in her freezer to make more!  Good thing…because the recipe makes a lot of filling.  The lemon buttercream is delicious but I didn’t use as much as what the editor of the blog used in hers……I didn’t want it to be overpowering.  And instead of blueberry preserves, I used blueberry pie filling…..because I love pie filling.  In a pie….or out of a pie…no matter.

The second batch that I made with the sheet of puff pastry turned out like a masterpiece….picture perfect!  The photo shows the blog photo on the left and my photo on the right (clearly I need some help with my camera and lighting…..).  Definitely a make again dessert!

 

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When I was growing up my Grandfather and my mother both had amazing gardens.  They both had huge green houses full of enough vegetables to feed 10 families.  I tried a garden about 10 years ago……I got one crop of lettuce and a few bitter cucumbers.  I’ve attempted patio tomatoes a few times….with very little success.  I am not the farmer in the dell.

I have been pinning gardening ideas for a while – all with lofty visions of hand picked salads on the table every night and a pantry of pickles and salsa for the winter.  Oh I am a dreamer!  My mom gave me a little money for Easter and I decided that I would go for it – I was going to build  myself a raised garden this summer!  And I did it….I used this pin as inspiration – http://www.bohofarmandhome.com/2011/03/garden-and-raised-beds.html. My bed turned out quite similarly…..but I’ve got a lot to learn about gardening in a small space!  I planted cucumber, tomato, sweet red pepper, hot thai red pepper, onion, lettuce, jalapeno and zucchini.  All in a 5×10 plot.  Do you know how much space 4 tomato plants need?  Not to mention 4 cucumber plants?  I didn’t….but I do now!  I guess I should have paid more attention to the pin about square foot gardening!  The tomato plants have taken over and the cucumbers are growing outside of the bed…..BUT I am getting veggies every day!  Next year I’ll be more selective……who needs a gabillion tomatoes anyhow?

This is when we first planted our little seedlings:

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This is last week:

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I’ve been able to harvest a few cucumbers a day for the past few weeks….and one zucchini and 2 hot peppers so far.  There are lots of green tomatoes…..and if the weather doesn’t warm up I could be searching for recipes for green tomato relish!  But it’s been fun…..and I’ll do better research on small space gardening for next summer!

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I had such lofty goals for this summer.  Plans of canning james and jellies and salsas and other goodies kind of went out the window.  I got the jars…..I planted the garden…..and that’s where it ended.  My pantry still lies empty….well that’s not totally true if you count the cans and boxes from the grocery store – but you know what I mean.

I pinned this beauty some time ago – http://shesimmers.com/2009/02/how-to-make-thai-sweet-chili-dipping.html#comment-24357 – with my visions of pretty baskets of home canned goodies wrapped in ribbons and left on my friends’ porches – haha!  Anyhow – I could have brought them some jars….at this point, they are all still empty – but it could still happen.

The recipe called for red jalapenos….umm….what?  In my overcrowded garden, I had planted thai red chilis…..yes….those would do.  I picked what I had – all 2 of them…..and proceeded to make some of the yummiest dipping sauce around.  I opted to use corn starch instead of the potato starch or clear gel.  I think if I decide to make a larger batch I will order some of the clear gel…..seems to be the recommendation and the price on Amazon seems to win everyone over……..though I haven’t checked to see if they will ship to Canada yet so I could have another one of those dreams that will never come to fruition.  LOL!

The recipe was VERY easy to follow and VERY easy to prepare.  My sauce was not a bright red like in the blog that I used……mine came out more of an orange colour…..but the taste – oh my!  I tested it with store bought spring rolls (I know – gasp!) – but thinking that I must have a pin in my stash for spring rolls or fresh rolls that I can whip up for the next BBQ I attend.  Can’t just bring a plain old potato salad you know!

If you are not one for spicy, I would say skip this pin…….but….if you are……this one gets a high five from me!  I will definitely be keeping it on my “food” board and will make it over and over!  Have a great day!

The First Step is Admitting You Have a Problem

Hi…..my name is Sandy. And I am a Pinaholic. There – I said it…I feel so much better now. I don’t know what I did with my time before Pinterest was invented. I mean…I know there is Facebook…but really – how much time do I need to spend snooping at everyone’s personal lives? So now…instead…..I snoop at all the amazing blogs and ideas that everyone had before I could come up with them! And I PIN them! And believe it or not….I actually go back and attempt a lot of the recipes and even some of the craft and do-it-yourself ideas.
And that is where this blog comes in. I’d love to show off my Pinterest successes! And….not so successes too….because let’s face it…..not everything has turned out the way the pin has promised it would! There was the chicken and cream cheese and black bean in a crock pot fiasco…..never again!
So….join me as I test out recipes, crafts, maybe even the odd piece of fashion advice……excercises, decorating ideas……I’ve got over 2500 pins archived already……I’ve got lots to go through!