Welcome New Friends!

I’ve been receiving notifications of new followers, and want to say “Welcome!!!” I’m sorry I do not blog regularly.. I wish I did.. i tend to go in ‘spurts’.. and on different subjects.   But seeing you come and visit, inspires me to get to cooking/baking and sharing!

Lately I’ve been cooking old favourites that I’ve already blogged about, and life has been “normal” which I guess is a pretty great blessing.  But upon reflection, there has been some new things of note to discuss.

I’m stressing & getting excited about an upcoming 2 week trip to Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico.

How do I pack enough for 2 weeks, but pack “light”?  I’ve NEVER been a light packer.  And the flights.. oh how i hate airplanes.  I don’t mind the actual flying at all, I kinda like it… but the germ tube that keeps getting smaller and smaller, and I’m not a small person. It’s a very uncomfortable experience for Bill & I both.  He’s 6’3″ and most of that is legs, and i’m almost wider than i’m tall.. so together, it’s almost tortuous for us to go anywhere, so we don’t often.. we will roadtrip comfortably instead. BUT we fell in love Mexico, particularlyNuevo Vallarta on the Pacific Coast, and can’t wait.  We’re staying at 2 different resorts, a week in each, both on the same beach, but about 2 km apart.  It’s sort of an early 50th birthday celebration for me.

The second resort (will be new to us) is all inclusive with amazing pools that spill from one to the other the last one an infinity pool overlooking amazing Bandaras Bay..

Dreams

and the other were staying at Week 1 (we’ve been to twice before) is “a la carte”, with a great grocery store, kitchen in our room, and great beach service. I’ll be parked under a palapa with good books and umbrelly drinks for a week. Restaurants on site are “meh”, but a very short walk or taxi ride to so many fabulous restaurants at great prices.

As for life at home/church, our Life Groups have started up, we have 6 couples and we’re bonding quickly.. we meet Monday nights, and it’s been really quite wonderful.  Our new space at home has worked like we hoped, we can set up the living area to seat 12 people very comfortably within a couple of minutes, and transition back after they leave again in just a few minutes again.

Last night I made a new favourite (roasted squash) from last year.. (see this post: You had me at Garam Masala)  with wild rice and baked rainbow trout.  I love this recipe for Butternut squash.. it’s so flavourful.

(below image from Yum & Yummer cookbooks 59416174993__b9ee9fd1-ccd9-448a-8f6d-fb50f8396920

this pic my plateimg_6953

Weather here in Niagara, Ontario this past October has been STELLAR. but went out with a BIG Bang of a storm.. poor munchkins that came out to trick or treat.. it was a wet mess out there.

Still we had 55 brave souls come out.

Throughout October we enjoyed late afternoons soaking in the sun on the new deck, and a lovely walk in nearby St. Catharines by Port Dalhousie through the parks.

I recently made a few Shepherd’s pies – and meant to blog, but then realized I had blogged about them before here.. They’re a fall/winter staple, and one I often make to give away as well.  This recent one had mushrooms, green beans, as well as celery, carrots, onion in the ground turkey mix. 

We had dear friends lose a parent unexpectedly, so I whipped up 2 on a Friday afternoon a couple of weeks ago, one for them, one for us.  Note the heart in the potato topping.

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For Canadian Thanksgiving (first Monday in October) we had a potluck dinner at my sister’s, and I decided to make/bring an EPIC salad.. I took out my favourite Spanish reclaimed glass bowl,   img_6804

and filled it with EVERYTHING. (see the pretty picture on my counter?  That’s my gorgeous niece and her newly betrothed.. I told her they match my counter, so they’re staying there for a while)

I picked up organic local heirloom carrots and shredded them, they were soooo pretty, i had to photograph them.

img_6808

I mixed the carrots in with the greens, and then topped the salad with mushrooms, peppers, maple roasted pumpkin seeds, shaved onion, black beans, mandarin oranges, feta, mini cukes, and ground cherries (golden berries).   I prepped all the cut up veggies in the morning, and kept them in the fridge until later.

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I assembled the salad just before heading to my sister’s house.  I also made a dressing using Cherry Juice, dijon, white balsamic vinegar and avocado oil.

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I love when I get asked to bring salads.. they are a lot of prep work in advance, but there’s no last minute rushing with a hot dish, no guessing.. you get to create, be artful, and no matter what, it’s gonna be great.. you can’t over or under cook a salad.. can’t burn it, or make it too watery.. I mean.. ANYONE can make a salad, am I right?  You don’t even have to know how to boil water.  🙂  Look how pretty that is… img_6812

 As I finished up this post last night, I was sitting on my front porch staying dry and handing out treats to little tricksters… happy Halloween! And blessed November!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Published by billandamyskitchen

Bill (Guillermo 'cause he likes pretending he knows Spanish) and I (Amy) have been married since Sept 2005. We live in Southern Ontario, Canada - Niagara Peninsula in fact, smack dab between 2 of the Great Lakes. We love God, our family, our church family, and making each other laugh. (ergo the profile pic, he decided to make our photographer laugh by throwing a leg up on me just before the shutter clicked, which made ME laugh) When we married, I told Bill: "I don't know how to cook" but he had faith in me. So 15 years later, I'm still learning, and having fun. I've never (in my whole life) cooked a whole bird, chicken, turkey or otherwise. I've never roasted a beef, other than in a crockpot on low for 8 hrs. I like trying to find healthy & easy recipes and then I rarely follow them. I don't enjoy recipes that take hours or intricate steps. I have a special fondness for the Podleski sisters, writers/creators of the Looney Spoons, Crazy Plates and Yum/Yummer cookbooks. In 2018 we suddenly decided to rip our small house apart from stem to stern, moving out for 4.5 months while the house was demolished inside and out, and then rebuilt with an addition. If you go back in the archives to July-Dec 2018 you can follow that story. It's made our house open and so much more conducive to entertaining, small groups and large. It's given us the kitchen I've dreamed of to create and learn in. We feel incredibly blessed to be able to write about our journey, our faith in God and some fun recipes along the way. Thanks for joining us.

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