Wednesday, April 24, 2013

What's For Dinner Tonight!

Are you looking for a great recipe, that's easy to put together ahead??  If your schedule is busy like mine, this is a great weeknight/weekend meal that my whole family enjoys.

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

I always keep a box of frozen Italian meatballs in my freezer - they are great to pop into a quick sauce with pasta or to put in a soup.  But, the way my family likes them best is in a homemade sweet and sour sauce that just takes 5 minutes to make!

All you need is:

 a box of frozen meatballs (or you can make your own if you'd like - but it makes the recipe more time consuming)  Put them in your crock pot - then mix the following together and pour over top for the sauce.

a 19 oz can of pineapple tidbits (with the juice)
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup of white vinegar
1 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon soya sauce
2 teaspoons cornstarch

Mix until the cornstarch is well incorporated and then pour over the meatballs.  Cook on high for 2-3 hours or on low for 5-6 hours. 

It's a great recipe to throw together when you've got an afternoon of errands and picking up the kids.  It will be ready for you when you get home.

I serve mine with white rice and then a vegetable on the side...

These are great to make "en masse" for a party or large get-together - just double or triple the recipe!

My family loves them. I know YOURS will too!!  Enjoy!


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5 Days...5 Ways

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Some Progress on the Stairs...

Projects have been few and far between around here lately.

Back last fall we ripped out our carpets and installed laminate flooring that we purchased at our local Costco.  It's a great wide plank laminate with hand scraping and a lovely mahogany colour.

We had decided then to leave the stairs leading up from the entryway as carpet until after the holidays.  Since the holidays have been long gone, I decided to try and get McG to work on this project.  It's difficult this time of year now that fishing weather is upon us, as he would much rather spend his days on the water in his new boat.

However, he has agreed to make it his project this week since the weather here hasn't been too conducive to fishing.

He has begun to cut, fit and stain the new stair treads.  We weren't lucky enough to find "great" stairs under the carpet.  Here is the first stair tread in place.

We had the stain custom matched to our new laminate floor colour.  We purchased the stair treads from our local Lumber Liquidators.  They are an unfinished oak tread.  McG measured and cut them to fit and then stained them with the custom gel stain.  He then did five coats of a water based clear coat for extra protection.

Here's a better look at the treads all in place.

He has yet to finish the backs and sides.  We decided to go with just a white painted finish on those parts of the stairs.

I am so excited to have them finally done.  I will make sure and post the finished stairs and a tutorial of how he completed the project very soon!


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Adding Colour to the Front Porch

Let's face it - like most of North America - we are having a weird spring...One of colder temperatures and lots of snow and now mostly rain...They are predicting rain here everyday this week with heavy thunderstorms towards the end of the week.

I took advantage of a lull in the rain yesterday to finish up cleaning the garden and to add some spring touches to our front porch.

You have seen my spring wreath and how I made it here.  
This is a reminder of what it looks like on my front door...

I also added a new spring flag that I purchased at Wal Mart when we were in Florida...this flag was $4.  That's a whole lot cheaper than the $22 it costs here in Canada!!

Cardinals are one of my favourite birds and I love how the colours look with our brick. 
 Here's a better look at it and the wreath on the front door.

I decided to bring out even more colour and used the flowers from my spring centerpiece, shown below...

...and added them to a planter that is kept by the front door.  

There are Stella-Dora day-lillies that are planted in this pot, however, they are not coming up yet and the addition of these silk flowers adds more spring colour to the porch while we wait for the warm weather to entice the day-lillies to sprout.

Here's a final view of the whole porch you can tell the rain started again before I could finish up.

Even though the weather is cloudy and grey here in Ontario this porch is sunny and bright with all the new spring additions!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Garden Cleaning...

Earlier this week I sent out a post asking YOU, my lovely followers, to stick with me...and a few of you commented that you would!!!

That made me so HAPPY!

I have  had a project this week, that wasn't the most fun...but a necessary part of my life every year...


We have many different gardens on our was a passion of mine when the kids were smaller and I was spending so much time outside with continued on through their teen years when they were off with their friends.  Now it seems more like a chore than anything else...and something I am hoping to simplify.

Don't get me wrong I love the gardens mid summer when they are looking like this...

...all lush and beautiful and green.

But to get to that point, I inevitably, have to clean them out every spring.

I don't use fancy equipment...just a rake and some pruning sheers...but there is a new piece of equipment that I have had to use the last couple of years that really doesn't make me too happy...

Sorry for the furrowed brow - it was overcast earlier this week but very bright out that day....Pfft - who am I kidding...that look is one of frustration at having to wear this lovely mask now when I am working in the yard...

You see - stem cell transplant patients, like myself, are susceptible to getting lung problems quite easily and nothing speeds that up than leaf mold and microbes found in the dirt...So - as a precaution I use a mask when I do my yard work now...(sorry if I scared anyone with that picture!!)

I raked all the leaves and debris into piles in the yard and when McG got home from work that day he helped me by picking them up - that is something he does for me - because I'm really not supposed to play in the leaves...

I found many treasures under the leaves...including some daffodils that are just about to bloom...

It's been raining and cold here since I uncovered the gardens.  I am hoping that everything that has spouted up will be ok without the layer of leaves to keep them warm...

The yard looks much cleaner and more up-kept now...You can see the irises and tulips already up here on the side of the house.

I have one garden bed left to clean...hopefully it will be a bit drier and warmer this week and I will be able to get that one cleaned out.

I can't wait to show you the garden as it develops this spring and summer...that is, if it ever gets here!!!

Happy Sunday!


Thursday, April 11, 2013

Stick with me...

OK - I haven't been doing this blogging thing for very long now...

So you'd think that I'd have lots of projects and things to post about...

I am sorry to say that is not the case.  I've not been MIA because of too many projects and DIY's.
I've been MIA because I've got nothing - I mean NADA, ZIP, ZILCH going on here at home that is blog worthy.

Kinda makes me sad...

McG has been working on his boat and has not had time to work on any of the projects I've been wanting to tackle...Well - you might be thinking, then GO DO THEM YOURSELF...and yes, that is something I will do with small projects like spray-painting...but let's face it...

I am the one that is blogging about the projects we do, but McG is the one that is the muscle behind the projects.

However, we did take the carpet off the stairs last night...and McG cut the new stair treads to fit - so there's a new project on the horizon!!!  YAY!!!