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Author: Wendy

Hi, I’m Wendy. I live in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan with my husband & two boys. You have found my personal website. I post my opinions to Twitter and photos to Flickr and Bridge City. I’m sometimes charming and mostly harmless.

It’s My Birthday

Today I turn the ripe old age of 48.  The guys got me up early and gave me my gifts.

  • Oliver gave me some Pink Kiss perfume,  a new shoulder bag, and some Saskatchewan Roughriders ear rings.
  • Mark gave me a Starbucks mug that will keep my chai tea lattes warm until I am done with them
  • Jordon gave me a House of Marley Get Together Mini speaker.  It sounds amazing.  If you are looking for a portable Bluetooth speaker with great sound, I’d get one of these.

Houe of Marley Get Togther Mini Speaker

  • Speaking of audio, Gloria and Jerry gave me a Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald record and a relaxation candle.
  • Our Aunt Pat gave me two Christmas plates.  Perfect for entertaining over the holiday season.
  • I also got a fun birthday morning call from our Aunt Bev. 

By noon, we had to go to RUH for Jordon’s chemo treatment.  It was a long three and a half hours but we made it through it together and with the help of the always amazing Cancer Clinic staff.

Supper was a bit of a challenge.  Jordon was super sick by that time and we tried ordering some fish and chips but Jordon couldn’t handle a bite.  Even cake and ice cream were a non starter with him.   The reality of cancer.

Thanks for everyone who called and talked and was a part of a great day.  I appreciate all of you.

Fettuccine Alfredo Recipe

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces fettuccine or other long pasta
  • Kosher salt
  • ¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup finely grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until very al dente. Drain, reserving 2 cups pasta cooking liquid.
  2. Transfer 1 cup pasta cooking liquid to a large skillet. Bring to a gentle simmer, then whisk in butter, a piece at a time, until melted. Whisking constantly, gradually add cheese, making sure it’s completely melted and incorporated before adding more. Add pasta and toss to coat, adding more pasta cooking liquid as needed, until sauce blankets noodles completely. Serve topped with pepper and more cheese.

Beet Borsch Recipe

Some days all Jordon can handle being on chemo is soup.  One of hid favorites is borscht.  I have posted my cabbage borscht before, here is my beet borscht.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 onion diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 1 1/2 lb beets peeled and diced
  • 5 cups diced green cabbage
  • 2 white potatoes (about 10 oz/280 g), cubed
  • 2 ribs celery diced
  • 1 carrots diced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
  • 10 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons vinegar

Beet Borscht Recipe

Directions

  1. In large Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat; cook onion, garlic and caraway seeds, stirring occasionally, until softened and light golden, about 4 minutes.
  2. Stir in beets, cabbage, potatoes, celery, carrot, bay leaves, salt and pepper; cook over medium heat, stirring often, until beets are starting to soften, about 10 minutes.
  3. Stir in tomato paste and brown sugar; cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Stir in water; bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until beets are tender, about 40 minutes. Stir in vinegar; discard bay leaves.

Mexican Smash Potatoes Recipe

Ingredients

  • 7 small potatoes
  • 1/2 pound ground beef, fried
  • salt
  • pepper
  • taco seasoning
  • cumin
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 large Roma tomato, diced small
  • 1 green onion, diced fine
  • 1/2 fresh jalapeno, diced fine
  • 1 1/4 cups grated cheddar cheese
  • sour cream
  • salsa

Directions

  1. Boil potatoes until fork tender. Do not allow to get mushy.
  2. Drain and place potatoes on a baking sheet or in a cast iron fry pan that has been sprayed with none stick spray.
  3. While the potatoes are still hot smash them with a potato masher. (see photo below)
  4. Drizzle potatoes with melted butter and lightly season with salt, pepper, taco seasoning and cumin. ** you can let them sit at this point till you are ready to bake and assemble**
  5. Place oven rack in middle of oven and turn oven to broil. Broil seasoned potatoes until they get a nice crust on them but are not dark. 
  6. Remove from oven. Top with fried and seasoned (use any of the seasonings suggested in the ingredients to your liking) ground beef, tomatoes, onions and jalapenos. Top with cheese.
  7. Once again place under the broiler until the cheese is nicely melted and bubbly. 
  8. Serve with sour cream and salsa.

Recipe to feed two, but if you have more people just add more potatoes and toppings.

Christmas Pudding with Sauce Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cup butter, frozen and grated
  • 4 cups raisins, a mixture of dark and golden
  • 1 cup chopped figs
  • 1 1/2 cup mixed peel, put through a food processor
  • 1 cup red cherries
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 4 eggs beaten
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda, dissolved in 3 tsp warm water

Directions

  1. Add all ingredients into a very large mixing bowl and mix together well.
  2. Christmas pudding is often made in a mold or large bowl, but grandma filled 3 wide mouth mason jars with this mixture. Dividing it to fill the jars 3/4 full. Seal loosely with new canning lids.
  3. To avoid scorching the bottom of the pudding while streaming, place small Pyrex bowls, or other heat proof dishes or extra canning jar lids in the bottom of the pot to set jars on top of. Place jars on top of the Pyrex bowls in a large pot of hot water on the stove top. The water should sit about half way up the jars. Steam pudding in jars for 3 hours adding boiling water to the pot as needed during steaming.
  4. Once the pudding has steamed, remove from heat and tighten lids. Lids will snap shut as the pudding cools, and pudding will be sealed. Store in a dark cool place or in the refrigerator. Pudding is best if it has a few weeks to sit. Because this pudding is sealed once steamed, it will keep well for up to a year stored in a cool dark place. 
  5. When ready to serve. Remove lid. Place jar or pudding in a pot, again setting the jars onto a Pyrex or heat proof bowl to avoid scorching the pudding while re steaming. Add water about 1/2 way up the jar. Steam pudding for at least an hour to re heat. Serve warm with Christmas Pudding Sauce. Recipe follows.

Chocolate Cheesecake Mousse Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 envelope unflavoured gelatin
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 16 ounces / 1 500 ml tub light spreadable cream cheese
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee powder  (optional)
  • 1 14 ounce / 300 ml can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup whipping cream, whipped to soft peaks

Garnish

  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 envelope whipped cream stabilizer (if you are garnishing more than an hour ahead of time)

Directions

  1. Sprinkle gelatin over the water in a small saucepan.  Let stand one minute to soften before warming to dissolve over low heat.   Set aside.
  2. Melt chocolate over low heat or in microwave. Add coffee powder and cool to room temperature.
  3. Beat together cream cheese,  chocolate and sweetened condensed milk until smooth.
  4. Stir in gelatin and then whipped cream.  Stir until smooth.
  5. Pour into 6 individual glasses.  Chill 3 hours or until firm.
  6. Beat together whipping cream with sugar, vanilla, and stabilizer.
  7. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a star tip and swirl whipped cream over mousse to garnish.
  8. Chill until serving.

Egg Nog Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 dozen eggs
  • 2/3 cup liquid honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 cups 1% milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Break eggs into a large saucepan.
  2. Add honey and salt and beat with a hand mixer until the egg white and yolks are well blended.
  3. Add half the milk and stir constantly with a heat proof spatula over medium low heat until the mixture coats the back of a spoon or 160 F.  Do not allow it to come to a boil.  
  4. Place a large heat proof bowl into ice water and pour the mixture through a fine sieve into the bowl.  Add remaining cold milk. Add flavouring and stir to cool. Pour into jars with lids and refrigerate for up to a couple of days.

Christmas Tiramisu Recipe

Ingredients

  • 4 shots espresso, or a four-cup cafetiere of strong coffee
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 50ml/2fl oz amaretto liqueur, or to taste
  • 1 ready-made panettone, cut into1cm/½in thick slices
  • 500g/1lb 2oz mascarpone
  • 1 vanilla pod, split, seeds scraped out
  • 150g/5oz icing sugar
  • 200ml/7fl oz double cream, whipped until soft peaks form when the whisk is removed
  • cocoa power, for dusting
  • dark chocolate, grated, to garnish

Directions

  1. Mix the espresso, caster sugar and amaretto, to taste, in a large bowl. Add the panettone slices to the coffee mixture and set aside.
  2. Place the mascarpone, vanilla seeds and icing sugar into a separate bowl and mix together. Fold in the whipped double cream.
  3. Place pieces of soaked panettone into a large serving dish to line the bottom. Spread half the mascarpone and cream mixture across the soaked panettone slices, then place another layer of panettone slices on top.
  4. Spoon more cream over the top and sprinkle with the cocoa powder. Transfer to the fridge to chill for up to 2 hours. To serve, sprinkle with gratings of dark chocolate.

Taking Stock of November

Making : Lefse.  It’;s a Cooper family tradition and we need a lot to get through the holidays.

Cooking : Potatoes.  It takes a lot of potatoes to make a decent batch of lefse.

Drinking : Anything that isn’t pop.  I drink pop, I break out in hives.

Wanting: More vinyl for my record player.  That being said, Spotify does a bang up job.

Looking: At nothing.  I am done Christmas shopping.

Deciding: On Christmas Eve plans but Mark will probably working.  So we’ll wait until his work schedule is decided.

Wishing:  I had a fireplace to chill out in front of.  Until that happens, I have the SaskTel Fire Log.

Enjoying: Marley.  She’s a great dog who is always in the mood to goof off or cuddle.

Waiting: Until my birthday comes.  I turn 48 this year.

Liking: Jordon decided we needed a holiday wreath so we went out and got one.  It is hanging on our front door now.

Wondering:  Jordon’s chemo review is next week.  That is always is a stressful couple of days.

Loving: Our front door.  Jordon replaced our decade old tea light lanterns with some new ones.  The old ones are going to illuminate our front step with some 8 hour tea lights this holiday season.

Watching: Star Trek Discovery.

Hoping: It gets warmer out.  Saskatoon deserves more chinooks.

Cringing: The Saskatchewan Party leadership race is starting to look like a train wreck that I can’t stop watching.

Needing: That new 45mm f/1.2 lens from Olympus.

Questioning: How to get more time for more fun projects.

Smelling: Gingerbread Cookie candles I have burning.

Wearing: More layers.  Baby it’s cold outside.

Following: All these sexual harassment allegations. It’s surreal that people are finally facing consequences.  Eventually they will hit Western Canada, the home of Canadian rape culture.

Noticing: How articulate Tina Beaudry-Millor sounded on Civically Speaking last week.  She sounds like a Premier I could follow,

Knowing: We wouldn’t have made it this far without some amazing friends and family.

Sorting: Christmas gifts.  Shipping dates are arriving soon.

Bookmarking: Christmas and holiday recipes.

Feeling: Relieved. The road ahead is uncertain but I was told that Jordon wouldn’t make it till Christmas.  I know stage four cancer is a bomb waiting to go off but hopefully we can have this Christmas and many more until we have to deal with the terminal part of his diagnosis.

Snacking: Lefse when no one is looking.

Hearing: Diana Krall’s Christmas album over Spotify.