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Summer Eats 

I always love summer and what different foods It will bring, from the stuff coming out of the garden , the barbecue or our new smoker. I thought I would just share a few of my photos of some of the tasty food that I made for my family. 

Yummy homemade cinnamon buns for breakfast… 

Tasty rotisserie chicken with the barbecue spice blend with fresh herbs out of the garden

One of two of my post about mussels, we love mussels in our house and we went camping and decided to make them over the fire in a garlic white wine sauce.

Two of two post about my mussels.. lol

These ones are simply made on the stove and again a white wine garlic sauces. We always like to serve really crusty bread with her muscles to soak up all that yummy juice

Can’t say this one’s for the family this is for mom!!! I’m a sushi lover and in a small town we don’t get any variety so I learned to make it myself these are tempura shrimp rolls

Stay tuned for more!!!! 

Home · Summer Eats

Beef jerky

So I begin my two day process of making my first batch of homemade beef jerky in our Bradley smoker. I’m gonna make two different kinds of sweet and spicy and then just a regular with coarse black pepper. 

As a kid and young adult I was fortunate enough to grow up with a mom who worked in a meat packing plant. She was amazing at making beef jerky,  pepperoni, smokies, sausages so I had lots of time to pick her brain on what recipes she uses and how I would smoke my meat so on so forth. 

The first thing I needed to do was get my meat, again coming from a farm background I’m gracious enough to get a third of the beef ever year from my parents and I have a freezer full of round roast and sirloin roast. I took out four good size roast out of my freezer and let them thaw slightly. 

When cutting my meat I like to cut it while it’s still slightly frozen that way I get nice slices and the meat is easier to work with. 


It is very important to have a very sharp knife if your hand cutting your slices. A slicing machine can also be used however I don’t have one of those yet. 

1/4 inch slices or whatever your preference is. 

My four roast gave me 6 1/2 pounds of meat which will produce both 3 pounds of jerky. Remember you lose 50% weight when dehydrating it.

I marinated my meat for over 24 hours in the refrigerator prior to smoking. 

I smoke my meat in my Bradley smoker making sure none of my slices were touching, which was very important if they’re touching any part that’s touching other meat won’t cook. 


I cooked for the first two hours from 160 Fahrenheit to 170 Fahrenheit and then for the last two hours I added light smoke and brought my temperature up to 175 this gave me a nice consistency of my jerky. 


Your jerky’s consistency should be that it bens without snapping. This was my first time making jerky, I was quite pleased with how well the Bradley smoker performed and how well my jerky came out.

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Bradley Smoker MAGIC

I’m soooo blessed to share my birthday “week” lol…with my amazing husband and for the past ten year we have been celebrating together. 

This year we decided we would combine our birthday funds and purchase a Bradley Smoker. 

We couldn’t be more happy about our decision. We busted this lovely out of the box as soon as we got it home and got it well seasoned.  

Season your smoker for 2 1/2 hours with any kind of wood chips/ pucks prior to using it to smoke any foods

Please insure to follow all the manual instructions when using your Smoker. 

Like kids In a candy store we were eger to use itand not able to decided what to cook first….. so what do you do??? 

COOK IT ALL……..

So what you see here is a market size whole chicken and two racks of baby back ribs.

To season the meat I used a spice blend of garlic powder, seasoning salt, black pepper paprika, sweet paprika, a pinch of thyme, oregano and Rosemary. 

I used about a quarter cup each of garlic powder and seasoning salt.  2 to 3 tablespoons each of black pepper, paprika and sweet paprika followed by about a tablespoon of thyme, oregano and Rosemary. Please keep in mind that this makes quite a bit of seasoning mix.

I had enough seasoning blend to aggressively season all the meat and have leftovers. 

I like to season my meats a good hour or two ahead of time so that the meat has time to absorb all the flavors.

I smoked the meat at 250f with mesquite smoker pucks for 4-5 hours. This allowed the ribs and the chicken to come out nice and tender. 

I did not mop my meat at all during the process with any sort of barbecue sauce. I simply did that as they were resting and they turned out amazing. 

I serve my lovely smoke meats with garlic mashed potatoes and a stirfry of seasonal vegetables. Of course a nice big glass of red wine… ūüėć

Rest your meat for a good 10 to 15 minutes prior to cutting this will help with tenderness and juiciness


I hope you enjoyed my barbecue blog and our inaugural use of our Bradley smoker. There will be many more recipes to come and many more goodies to share with you thank you

Cheers

Home · Motivation

All things garden and greenhouse!!! 

A few nights ago once the kids were in bed I decided it was time to start my flower planter and urn for the summer. I love gardening and have learned to teach myself how do have a green thumb. 

As most would find this to be a lot of work I find it relaxing. My garden and greenhouse is my “happy place.”


Two years ago I tilled up a portion of my massive yard and started my very first garden. Ever since have been feeding family our home grown veggies all summer long. 


I wanted to take my gardening to the next level and my husband and I build a big greenhouse by ups cycling pallets. As a greenhouse can be on the expensive side to purchase this was a cost efficient way to get one the size I wanted. 

The greenhouse houses my tomatoe planted and savory herbs as I also enjoy canning come fall. 


In Alberta our spring weather is also very unpredictable so my flowers also stay in until end of May. 

Planters and Urns

Over the years I’ve learned that buying the big beautiful planter already ready to go at the greenhouses can be very expensive. So I started making my own. When I first started I put mostly all flowers in my planters but has the years have gone by and I mixed in more and more filler plants. This saved my time on plucking the dead flowers out, which is require for new growth. 

Gardening is really a time for me to relax and have some me time. As a mom I really forget to take time for me and do the things I love. 

I can’t wait to share my greenhouse and garden progress through out the summer with you!!! 

Stay tune !!!!

Cheers 

Home · Motivation

Feel good about yourself Friday…..¬†

Today’s blog is not about food or crafts it’s about feeling good in your own skin, loving who you are and seizing every day. As a woman who just recently got laid off from a job that I’ve been at for years it really took a toll on my self-esteem / confidence and with a young daughter at home I don’t want her to see me that way.  I want her to see me happy and in love with who I am, where I am and what I’m doing. 

I’m not the skinniest girl,  I’m not the prettiest girl but I am who I am and I want her to know that …it’s OK … So today feel Good Friday,  love who you are !!!! take tons of selfie and show off the beautiful you. 

Feel free to share your selfies in the comments!!! 

Cheers 

Side note …. first day I feel confident enough to put on bright lipstick, never in my life have I wore bright lipstick and today I am going to rock it!!!

Lip color is boysenberry by Beauticontrol. www.beauticontrol.com

Home · Recipes

Simple Summer Potato Salad

Let’s see what should my first blog be about……. Got it… one of my favorite summer eats ..good old simple potato salad. There are so many versions that you can make¬†of potato salad but I really like to keep it simple especially being a mom with two little kids that aren’t overly adventurous in their food right now. So let’s keep it basic some potatoes, some eggs, little bit a green onion and all my favorite spices so here we go.

Some of ¬†you might ask why am I starting with a potato salad because it’s on the menu tonight… Simple barbecue burgers with potato salad on a nice sunny day nothing says¬†summer like it.


I always say the first thing to a great recipe is great ingredients, so make sure that your green onions are fresh you’re using great eggs , Hellmann’s mayonnaise¬†and only Yukon Gold potatoes. I pick Yukon Gold potatoes because I fine they have a lot of flavor maybe not so starchy ¬†and they hold their shape very well¬†unlike say you’re russet potato.

Check out readers disgust Potatoe 101 article https://www.google.ca/amp/www.rd.com/food/recipes-cooking/potatoes-101-a-guide-to-the-most-common-varieties-2/amp/

So the first thing you’re going to want to do is clean your potatoes up. I like to fully peel my potatoes as my family is not very keen on the potato skins in their potato salad so I peel them right up, I keep them whole and put them in a pot of water.

Peel 5-7 medium size potatoes


Helpful tip #1 ….

As a mom my time in the kitchen usually rushed everybody’s hungry right now and wants something on the table in a hurry. So instead of wasting your time going back-and-forth to the garbage throwing out potato skins or onions peels … pull out of a large bowl and have a scrap bowl right beside a cutting board until you’re done prepping your meal. ¬†Shoot out to the fabulous Rachel Ray #rachelray for teaching me that along time ago…


Just like a pot of pasta season your water aggressively. I like to use lots of just regular table salt to make sure that my potatoes come out full of flavor.

Cooking times will vary on the side of the potatoes that you have in there. A good rule of thumb is to check them every 10 minutes make sure they come out fork tender. I like my potatoes to maintain their shape just a little, however if you tend to like a more slight mash potato consistency just keep them in for an extra five minutes.

Strain your potatoes in a colander making sure that all excess water is out put them in a mixing bowl and cool them in the fridge.

I make a standard hard boiled egg so I’ll use one egg per person that I’m feeding on general. My family likes it a little heavy on the eggs so that’s kind of my rule but again if you want less eggs put less… for those of you that aren’t comfortable altering a recipe yet stick to mine I swear to you you’re gonna love it.

Hard boil 6 eggs for 10-12 mins and peel

Again you’ll have to let your eggs cool you want them fridge cold not room temperature. There are very good warm potato salad recipes however this one is best with very cold ingredients.

Some people will argue the fact that you should mix your potato salad well ingradients are still warm, that way the potatoes will absorb some of the mayonnaise flavors however our potatoes our well seasoned, our eggs are perfect so mixing the ingredients cold for this recipe is the way to go.

Let’s get mixing this tasty salad

First slice your potatoes into bite size pieces


Quarter the eggs and then slice into bite size pieces



Fine dice two large green onions and add to bowl


Yum right!!!!! Time to add some spices

First let me tell you about what I call my house seasoning. It’s a great mix of salt, pepper, onion powder , garlic powder, celery seeds, dash of sugar and cumin. Receipt to come…

Add 1 1/2 tsp House Seasonings


Add salt please remember when we were using the salt that if you’re using the Hellmann’s mayonnaise I find it a tad on the salty side so you might want to add 1tsp at first and adjust as you go.

Add 1 tsp black pepper … I love the Kirkland Tellicherry Black Pepper Grinder.


Next is the mayonnaise. Again as I mention earlier we like Hellmans but you can use whatever you have on hand. Do remember the whipped dressing / mayos are seasoned and will alter the flavor.

Add 3/4 cups Hellmans Mayo


We are ready to mix it all up, lighty folding the ingredients all together until it’s well mixed.

Your salad should have to texture and consistency shown below.

Helpful tip# 2

Tasting as you go…. you always want to try your food your making along the way to insure the seasoning are on point.

So taste your salad insure it’s seasoned perfectly … if you are happy cover and chill still served.

We eat this tasty salad all summer long and I hope you love as much as we do.

Tonight supper ….¬†