Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day!  Hopefully your day is a good one and your kids treated you well.

I was woken up with the boys bringing me up some Mother’s Day gifts.  Oliver had made me a card and a gift at school.  The gift was a picture of him holding a sign that said, “Happy Mother’s Day” on it.  It was a great job by him and his teacher.

The boys got me a pink pair of Pentax 8×21 U-Series UP Binoculars.

Pentax 8x21 U-Series UP Binoculars

They are compact but of high quality and will be great to take hiking with us this summer.  They also come with a lifetime warranty.  I’m pretty excited by them.  Oh yeah, they are super cute and pink!

They also gave me some double sided Wendy Cooper business cards. 

Wendy Cooper Business Cards

There were some packages of Fujifilm Instax film and a Fuji Instax album.  It wasn’t just any film but Air Mail and cartoon themed film.  All of it was cool.

Fuji Instax albumFuji Instax album

I am always intimidated to print out my photos.  Jordon gave me a Itoya 11×14 portfolio which will force me to not only take some great photos but edit them and print them.  Luckily I know of just the place.

Itoya  Art Profolio Advantage, Bound Portfolio with Crystal Clear PolyGlass Pages for 11x14 from Don's Photo

For brunch, the kids took me to Smiley’s Buffet for brunch at 10:00 a.m.  It was quiet when we got there and insane as we were leaving.  Luckily we went early and got a spot (they don’t reservations for groups under 8).

I was kind of difficult when coming up with some Mother’s Day ideas to do and so Jordon just said fine, “I’ll plan something.”  He had the kids pack their bags and place them in the car.  After brunch were done, we got in the Ford Focus and hit the road.  He drove us to Prince Albert National Park where we wandered into the Parks Canada office and bought a Discovery Pass that is good for all National Parks and National Historic Sites from now until May 2018.  Jordon was giddy with it as he has wanted a Parks pass since he was a kid.  They never had the money for it growing up and we got too busy when were adults but he was so happy purchasing it.  He also got me a nice Parks Canada t-shirt. 

We also took some time to try out the Parks Canada Red Chairs…

Trying out the Red Chairs in Prince Albert National Park

The first couple of many I hope to enjoy this summer.   We also went for a walk around Waskesiu.   Despite being  before the long weekend, quite a few places were open.

RIMG3427

Oliver Cooper at Waskesiu

All in all, it was a pretty great Mother’s Day.  Thanks everyone for making it special.

Off to Regina

Jordon is doing something fun with Ford Canada tomorrow in Ogema and then in Regina.  We are jumping into this 2016 Ford Focus

2016 Ford Focus

and then driving to Regina where Jordon will get out, get into a 2016 Ford Flex and then drive to Ogema where he will ride on the Southern Prairie Railway train with author Robin Esrock and some other fun bloggers and writers.

I will check into the Regina Ramada with Mark and Oliver and then we are going to walk from the hotel to Wascana Lake which we will circumvent and then head back to the hotel for an afternoon swim before taking in supper in downtown Regina.

Later that night, we will head to Chapters where we will take in the book signing.  Should be a fun day.

Pizza Nachos Recipe

Because sometimes regular nachos don’t get the job done.  They are harder and taking a little longer to make but they make a fun and special snack.

imageIngredients (Garlic Cream Sauce)

  • 1-½ Tablespoon Unsalted Butter
  • ½ Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2 cloves Garlic, Minced finely
  • 3/4 cups Heavy Cream
  • 1 pinch Salt
  • ¼ cups Parmesan Cheese, Grated

Ingredients (Pizza Nachos)

  • 4 cups Your Favorite Crispy Tortilla Chips
  • 1/4 cups Garlic Cream Sauce (Recipe Included)
  • 2/3 cups marinara sauce (or pizza sauce)
  • handful of fresh basil, torn
  • handful of parsley, chopped
  • 1 cup Mozzarella Cheese, Shredded
  • 1 cup Cheddar Cheese, Shredded

Directions

  1. Start by making your sauce. Begin by melting the butter, along with the olive oil on medium to low heat. Once melted, toss in the minced garlic, stir. Turn to Medium heat, Add in the cream and stir until it comes to a boil. Add the salt along with the parmesan cheese, and continue stirring. The sauce will thicken pretty quick, so continue to stir. Once the sauce is thickened, remove from the burner, and set aside.
  2. When you are ready to make your nachos, preheat your oven to 400ºF.
  3. I used a cookie sheet but any oven-proof dish will work . First add your chips. Drizzle half of the garlic cream sauce all over the chips. Spoon half of the marinara onto chips. Add half of the shredded cheese & half of the herbs. Add another layer of chips and add the remaining cream sauce, marinara sauce and cheese. Bake until the cheese is nice and bubbly 5-7 minutes. Remove from oven and top with the remaining fresh herbs.

Saskatoon Berry Pie Recipe

Moving to Saskatoon has taught me many things but one of them is that for those of us around here, nothing compares to a slice of Saskatoon berry pie.  It is the ultimate summer food.  

Saskatoon Berry Pie RecipeIngredients (Filling)

  • 3 1/2 cups Saskatoon berries
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tbsp corn starch
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract

Ingredients (Pastry)

  • 2 cups pastry flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup lard
  • 1/4 cup cold water

Directions

Pie Filling:

  1. Cook berries in water until boiling. Reduce water if using frozen berries. Add mixed cornstarch and sugar and boil until clear, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add lemon juice, butter and almond extract. Cool. Use as a filling for single or double crust pie, tarts, or on a cheesecake.

Pastry:

  1. Sift flour, measure and sift again with salt. Cut in lard until in pea-sized pieces. Mix in cold water. Form into a ball. Roll out and place in pie plate. Use extra pastry for top crust. Bake at 425 F for 15 minutes. Cool.

The Original Old Spaghetti Factory Clam Sauce Recipe

Jordon is not a big spaghetti fan so I was surprised when he came back from a trip to Winnipeg and said he had eaten there.  Instead of eating traditional spaghetti, he ordered their spaghetti with clam sauce.  I tried it later and was hooked. 

Here is the recipe for the clam sauce.  It’s worth a try. 

The Original Old Spaghetti Factory Clam Sauce RecipeIngredients

  • 3 ounces butter
  • 2  cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1⁄2medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 (6 ounce) cans clams, chopped
  • 1 quart half-and-half
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon ground thyme
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Directions

  1. Combine butter, garlic, onion and celery in a saucepan.
  2. Braise over medium-low heat until tender but not brown.
  3. Add the flour, and mix to make a roux.
  4. Drain clams, reserving juice.
  5. In a separate saucepan, combine clam juice, half-and-half, thyme and salt.
  6. Heat until just below boiling.
  7. Add to roux, and cook until sauce thickens.
  8. Add clams, stirring gently to mix through out the sauce.
  9. Serve over noodles.

Jamaican Jerk Chicken Recipe

Jamaican Jerk Chicken RecipeDone right, jerk chicken is one of the great barbecue traditions of the world.  It is Jamaica to the bone, aromatic and smoky, sweet but insistently hot.

Ingredients

  • 2 3 1/2- to 4-pound chickens, quartered, or 8 whole legs, or 5 to 6 pounds bone-in, skin-on thighs
  • 1 large bunch scallions (about 8), white and green parts
  • 2 shallots, peeled and halved
  • 4 to 6 habaneros
  • 1 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled
  • ¼ cup fresh thyme leaves, or 1 tablespoon dried
  • 2 tablespoons ground allspice, more for sprinkling
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt, more for sprinkling
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon white or apple cider vinegar
  • Freshly squeezed juice of 2 limes

Directions

  1. At least 1 day before cooking, pat chicken dry with paper towels. Combine remaining ingredients in a blender or food processor and grind to a coarse paste. Slather all over chicken, including under skin. Refrigerate 12 to 36 hours. Bring to room temperature before cooking and lightly sprinkle with more salt and ground allspice.
  2. Prepare a charcoal grill: Clean and oil grates, and preheat to medium heat using one chimney of charcoal. The temperature can start as high as 300 degrees and go as low as 250. For best results, coals should be at least 12 inches away from chicken. If necessary, push coals to one side of grill to create indirect heat. Add two large handfuls of soaked pimento (allspice) wood sticks and chips (see note) or other aromatic wood chips to coals, then close grill. When thick white smoke billows from grill, place chicken on grate, skin side up, and cover. Let cook undisturbed for 30 to 35 minutes.
  3. Uncover grill. Chicken will be golden and mahogany in places. Chicken thighs may already be cooked through. For other cuts, turn chicken over and add more wood chips, and charcoal if needed. Cover and continue cooking, checking and turning every 10 minutes. Jerk chicken is done when skin is burnished brown and chicken juices are completely clear, with no pink near the bone. For large pieces, this can take up to an hour. Serve hot or warm, with rice and beans.

Restaurant Review: Best Asia Buffet

Jordon and I have gone a couple of times and I have come to really enjoy it.

It’s a large buffet restaurant which is similar in concept to Smiley’s but on a smaller scale.  Maybe it’s smaller size is the reason but the food is noticeably better than other buffet’s in town.

There is a salad station that includes fresh & crisp garden salad, potato salad, fruit salad, coleslaw and assorted raw vegetables. 

Restaurant Review: Best Asia Buffet in Saskatoon

There is a wide variety of hot food.

Restaurant Review: Best Asia Buffet in Saskatoon

  • Rice noodles
  • Pad Thai noodles
  • Fried soba noodles
  • Deep fried rice
  • Steamed rice
  • Sweet n’ sour pork
  • Ginger Beef
  • Chicken Balls
  • Egg Rolls
  • Spring Rolls
  • Pierogis
  • Pizza
  • Ribs
  • Fries
  • Fried Chicken
  • Basa fish
  • Shrimp

The food is fresh and restocked at quick intervals which means it is always hot.   We tend to stop by during the lunch time when it is packed.   Our experience is that they have brought their “A” game and run a smooth operation with lots of fresh food coming out when it is needed.  

During different days of the week there is turkey, prime rib, and roast beef which is a nice break from the regular fare but to be honest, I haven’t tired of the regular fare yet.

If you want dessert, they have a pretty good dessert table set up with pies, squares, and other sweets.

Restaurant Review: Best Asia Buffet in Saskatoon

If you are looking for a good Asian buffet place, The Best Asian Buffet may be the best place in town.

Best Asia Buffet
300-415 Circle Drive East
306.974.5611
bestasiabuffet@gmail.com

Best Asia Buffet Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The week that was

Not a lot happening this week.  Here are the highlights.

  • Jordon is walking home from work 4 times a week.  It’s 8 kilometers each time.  He loads up his iPod Nano and it takes about 2 hours to walk home.  He dropped 10 pounds the first day he walked that far.  He’s doing it mostly for himself but it will make it easier for him this summer.  Also he finds walking that far to be fairly stimulating.  He used to do it all of the time at the Salvation Army to help him leave the stress behind and he misses it.
  • Oliver broke his selfie stick and has been sick about it.  Jordon bought him a new one so life can go on.  That thing makes him so happy.  He doesn’t even use it much but he loves taking a selfie while on an adventure.  Cute kid.
  • Mark’s report card was not as bad as he feared.  Not a lot to love about it but it’s not that bad.  He now has to work hard for the next twelve weeks to make it exciting.  
  • City Perks coffee shop is really good.  I wish every neighborhood had something like it but few do.  Part of it is the location of being right in the heart of a neighborhood.  Sadly most neighborhoods don’t have a micro commercial district in it.
  • Jordon moved from Bell to Fido this week and bought a new Moto X Play phone.  It’s not life changing since we all have nice phones but he is enjoying Spotify.  Actually all of us are enjoying Spotify and CBC Music, his is just ad free.
  • Marley growled and snapped at Jordon last night when he got into bed and dared to move her.  That got her banished out of the room.  We learned that she doesn’t do well when she thinks Jordon is mad at her.  All day today, she has done everything she can to make up with Jordon.   Also, this is the same dog that tries to push me off the bed every night.  She doesn’t think so highly of me.
  • So this is going to be a lot of fun or a lot of pain.  Jordon and Mark are going to start doing a video blog a couple of times a week.  That will involve Oliver and myself as well.  I’m an introvert (so is Jordon) but for some reason we are going to have a YouTube vlog.  I am not sure if I should laugh or cry.  Look for it on Sunday.