One good turn……

1 11 2011

Friday last week I checked my email first thing in the morning and found that a Mr. Mikes restaurant had written me asking for my full name and instructing me to pick up my free football tickets to the Vancouver BC Lions game vs. Edmonton.  I had entered a contest a couple of days prior but hadn’t won just by a bit and expressed how I would keep trying.  Turned out that the fellow who did win had asked Mr. Mikes to give the tickets to me instead as he had felt bad that I didn’t win.  Wow!!!  I wrote back to him that he had made my day and Mr. Mikes too and was kind of elated to have such nice news so early in the day.

I was in my parking lot and I heard a man shouting “Can you help me ?”  from his pickup truck.  He is a disabled man that I have seen in our building who owns a townhouse as well and was inside the back of his truck laying on his back.  He said he needed a hand to get sitting up.  So I helped him up but he was also concerned that he could just slide off the tailgate too so with his instruction I was able to assist him to sit comfortably and safely.  Next he said he would like me to get him into the driver’s seat of the vehicle.  Yikes!!!  Anyhow with his coaching I walked close to him as he held me and the side of the truck and he was very unsteady (I think all the while I had my breath held -scared that he might fall) . But as I already had luck on my side we slowly made it and he dropped into his driver’s seat and we said our “goodbyes”.  I felt very good that I had been able to be there “at the right time” to help him.

Then next on my agenda was to pick up my Mom and get her back to her doctor’s appointment.  I was a bit late by now but had allowed a few extra minutes.  Got about 10 minutes into the drive and then there was a detour!!!  Drove around the Thrifty’s store parking lot two times trying to convince myself that there would be some secret entrance to get me back on the road I needed going up Mariner Road and not down.  I think the flag girl must have wondered what on earth I was doing.  So…………back the way I came and the longer way around to Mom’s with a quick stop roadside to make a cell call to let her know I’d be late.  No answer at her place.  That’s ok – I’d left my message.

By the time I got to Mom’s I was only 5 minutes late and I hurried down to her room and it turned out her hair dresser had been 1/2 hour late getting there too so Mom thought she would be late for me.  It all worked out and we made it to the foot doctor too with 5 minutes to spare.  Funny (or is it) how we stress ourselves out!!  So I am giving my banana bread recipe to you – this was my Mom’s recipe and has become a dessert that those who know me often share with me.  Have a cup of coffee with it and enjoy!!

JULIE’S BANANA BREAD

  • 1/3 cup margarine or butter (or applesauce)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, well beaten with a fork
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 bananas
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Mash 2 bananas (ripe) with milk with a potato masher. Leave aside.  Blend, margarine, sugar and eggs together with beaters or  a blender.  Beat till well blended.   Add the mashed banana to the margarine mixture and do not mix.   Add the following:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder

Fold this mixture in gently and add the chocolate chips and stir in.  Do not overmix.

Pour into a greased loaf pan and bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees.  Let sit in pan for 10 minutes and loosen sides with knife.  Have a piece while it’s warm.  MMMMMmmmm!   Let me know what you think when you try it, ok?  Also please leave comments on my blogs – I would really appreciate your input and if you think there are any ideas you might like me to blog about.

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Rachael Ray Show – Food – French Onion Dip Burgers

21 10 2011

Rachael Ray Show – Food – French Onion Dip Burgers.

OMG!!!!  Rachael Ray apparently has a BOM (Burger of the Month) and this month is her French Onion Dip Burgers.  Click on the Link above that will bring you to the video of her making these mouthwatering burgers!!!!!





The Leaves must fall

16 10 2011

What does fall mean to you?  To me it is a time when I can do the following:

1.  Put away my summer clothes;Lovely fall colors

2. Use my crock pot more for “winter food” as Jack calls it;

3.  Try to find a box of sweaters that had been put away before summer;

4.  Fold up the patio furniture and push in towards the wall;

5.  Put on the gas fireplace first thing in the morning – today it was only 69 degrees in our livingroom.  Brrrr!

6. Watch more Canucks hockey games;

7.  Get ready for a bit more rain and some snow.

It’s apparently football season so lots of people are glued a lot more to the tv because of that.  On October 27, 2011  I believe that Vancouver is having a night where you try to be “power smart” and turn off a lot of unnecessary appliances and lights.  I think we should do that more often.  I also think that once a week we should try having a night with no television, radio or computer.  I am sure there are a lot of other ways a person can entertain themselves.  A couple could play cards, cook together, make cookies together, walk to the local pub and share a beer and some wings.  My friend, Jenn would suggest that a couple workout together if possible – she thinks that is fun.  Now that she has a beautiful baby of almost one her workouts have to be on her own while her hubby stays with baby and then he gets up at 5:30 a.m. to get in his workout before work.  I admire this young couple – they are both certified Cross Fit trainers and just love the Cross Fit program and all the benefits it gives to them.  There are always some renovations to be done around the house and we don’t always get around to them when there is a soccer game on the computer or I am in the middle of watching “The X Factor”.  Think about it, it may be very enriching to the relationship as well to set aside one day a week – maybe one day a month to start where you find “other” things to do.





Turkey dinner or Ham?

12 10 2011

On big holidays like Easter or Thanksgiving or Christmas we almost always cook a turkey (about 12 – 15 lbs) or a ham.  We won a turkey after shopping for a turkey – sounds strange.  Here goes – yes we had shopped for our turkey and had it in the trunk of our car and decided to go to the local Legion for a quick beer.  They have a meat draw on weekends and so we paid $2.00 for 3 tickets for a chance to win a choice of meats but on this day it was all turkeys.  On the last draw my numbers came up and I won a big bird!!!  So now we had two frozen turkeys!!  We cooked one on that holiday and now we still have another to use fairly soon.  I have read that turkey can be kept frozen for well over a year and that the flavor just becomes less flavorful the longer it is frozen.

Ham is a lot less work but if I had to choose I would still prefer a turkey.  This week was Thanksgiving here and we had a turkey in the oven and decided to slip up to the Legion to try the meat draw again with our company.  We were only gone about 40 minutes so there was no need for the fire department.  (just kidding)  Anyways our family both won meat in the draw – one package of 2 slabs of ribs and the other was a nice ham roast (bone in).  They gave us half of the ham which we cooked last night – so delicious!!!!  Another nice memory and maybe a new tradition for us – going to the Legion on the holiday weekend.





BzzAgent Jaxjule reporting

5 10 2011
Flowering tree in our area

Hi – it’s me again on a dreary, drizzly day in Vancouver.  Wanted you to know that I am a newly appointed BzzAgent which means that I get the pleasure of trying samples of products and get to voice my honest opinions after trying them.

My first mission is to try Scrubbing Bubbles One Step Toilet Bowl Cleaner.  First I cleaned the toilet thoroughly.  Well it was easy enough to set up the starter kit myself – no man needed for that part.  Once assembled comes the fun part – just a quick tap on the foot pedal twice a day and the sprayer sprays out powerful bubbles that take all the work expected from me.  That’s right twice a day I get to step on the pedal and enjoy the nice “fresh mountain morning” scent.  I have had it for about a week and I believe that the cleaner should last for about a month.  At that point if I buy a refill it will cost me $4.99.  I’d pay $5.00 not to have to clean the toilet for a month – how about you?

Then I will have more time to think up interesting blogs  – stay tuned as I hope to share something special for our Canadian Thanksgiving  that we are celebrating next weekend.   Lots to be thankful for!!


If you want to enter the “Step on the One Step” for your chance to win instant prizes (I did) click this link:   

http://facebook.com/ScrubbingBubblesCanada





Crock Pot Chili

4 10 2011

It is the time of year when the patio chairs kind of get folded up and placed against the wall.  We push our “hardy hibiscus plant” closer to the house to protect against the wind and rain and even some snow which sometimes happens in the fall and winter season here in Vancouver.   Some people call this the Lower Rainland for the very fact that we get much more rain than a lot of other provinces.  We are very green here most of the year.  We also are lucky enough to have a beautiful display of colored leaves on the trees as we get into October and November.  I took a picture of the leaves outside our house – which as you can see have become vibrant red.Anyway I would like to share with you my Crock Pot Chili recipe with a few alterations.  I do make this many times in the year – my husband always refers to it as winter food but we like it any time of year.

JULIE’S CROCK POT CHILI

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 2 (16 ounce) cans white kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans whole tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce or tomato soup
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • Shredded Cheddar cheese

Directions

  1. In a skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Transfer to a slow cooker. Add the next nine ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 4 hours. Garnish individual servings with cheese if desired.  I also like to add chorizo sausage to give it a good flavour.  You can cook it with the ground beef a bit first.  Also I add a bit of pirri pirri or hot sauce to taste.    When you serve you can add a generous spoon of sour cream after the cheddar cheese.  (not necessary though).  ENJOY!!!!    We usually serve this over white rice or you could just have it on it’s own accompanied by a nice glass of red wine.  Cheers!!!