Saturday, 15 September 2012


Today I had a hanker ‘in for guacamole. I had ¾ of an avocado left but no sour cream, which is what I had always made my guacamole with. Lately however, dairy and I have not been getting along lately and I’ve been avoiding eating ice-cream, sour cream, yogurt, and very little cheese.

I did however, have some soft tofu in the fridge along with my partial avocado so I whipped them up in the processor with some onion, garlic, salsa, red pepper and bit of lime juice and some mixed cheese (cheddar, mozzarella).  Just omit the cheese for a true dairy-free/vegan version.  I can eat a small amount of cheese so I didn’t add much. You can add some other favs like peppers, chili or other spices to your liking. Be careful not to over process the ingredients as it’ll just be soupy.
I used the soft tofu as that’s all I had in my fridge but next time I’ll use a firm tofu to make the guacamole thicker.Excuse the pics as the lighting made the guacamole look a bit pale.
Fyi: the avocado I used was a couple of days old as I made a Panini with some of it the other day. Last week someone told me that to keep an avocado longer once it’s been cut open, just leave the pit in one half and sprinkle a bit of lemon or lime juice in  a zip bag along with the cut avocado. It worked! The few slices that were not part of the pit half were a tiny bit brown but still very much edible. And guess what?
This guacamole ROCKS!!! It’s the best I’ve ever tasted!  

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

DOCTOR, DOCTOR...Give me the News!

 Picture if you will, a beautiful, tranquil, peaceful, seaside town where the water views are great one day and spectacular the next. A town where the people are friendly, the sea food is way above excellent and where your life’s work is appreciated at every turn. Where you will be respected and admired for the job you do. What’s the name of this place? Glad you asked.
It’s Shelburne Nova Scotia, Canada; a town on the South Shore of Nova Scotia. It’s a picture postcard moment throughout this seaside gem with great beaches nearby, kayaking & boating, fishing galore (either fresh or saltwater), and lots of activities & festivals throughout the year with the whole town participating. As an example, this past July, Shelburne hosted The Tall Ships as Shelburne has one of the largest, natural, deep water harbours in the world. Throughout the summer months, there’s a festival or activity every week. Lot’s to do for all ages.
However, Shelburne is a town in desperate need of family physicians. They have a stellar hospital with an exceptional out patients (people come from an hour or more away to go to their out patients even though they may be from a larger town with their own hospital). 
Case in point. My daughter, son-in-law and their two children (age 2 & 4 months) moved to Shelburen in June 2012. They are #70 on the wait list for the nurse practitioner, let alone a physician's wait list. My two year old grand-daughter was diagnosed with Juvinile Arthritus and she can only go to the out patients for any emergencies or check-ups. That goes for immunizations shots for both my grand-daughters as well.
Your work will be appreciated and you will be thanked for what you do. Please consider making Shelburne Nova Scotia your home by the sea.
 Check out the town’s Facebook and web site: 

Monday, 10 September 2012


I love to eat sweets. I always look at the dessert menu in a restaurant before I order my main dish. That way I can judge how small and what kind of a main I’m going to have to justify that scrumptious, decadent dessert!
Now at home, we don’t serve dessert with our Supper meal. It’s not expected, nor wanted (by our waistlines). We do serve dessert if we have company over and for Thanksgiving, Christmas and of course, birthdays.
However, I’m trying to be more mindful of what we put into our bodies for health and weight reasons. In comes the “SNEAKY SNACKS”! Why are they sneaky? Glad you asked.
Yesterday, I was at a spice party. I won’t say the name of the company but they do put out some really great spices, cookware, dips etc. It’s one of the home party deals. I went knowing what I wanted to purchase (I needed some more spinach and herb, herb and garlic and I also purchased their cinnamon and their mango curry.)
Now at this party, there was a plethora of foods prepared with the spices, dips etc. I was really impressed with the quality of each food item. However, the wheels were turning inside my head (the wheels don’t turn as quickly as they used to, so I was slow-going at this), and as I sampled each dip or food, I thought, “I can make this with fresh fruit/veggies/herbs etc.
Example: there was a mocha, cheese ball at the party and it was Devine!! I thought,”cheese+chocolate=YUM! So today I made my own version using my lactose-free cottage cheese, cocoa and some vanilla.
Now in all fairness I was making a dip rather than a ball (I would just use a light cream cheese or very firm tofu for a ball). I didn’t measure any of the ingredients but just added as I was processing. I processed the cottage cheese first, then slowly added about a teaspoon of cocoa and then a little less than a tea. again. Then a splash of vanilla and un voila! Yummy, semi-healthy fruit dip!!! The kids will love you for giving them such a decadent after-school snack as they dip their apple slices,bananas and strawberries into their dip!
My next venture is going to be cauliflower brownies so stay tuned for that at a later blog.
Check out some of my other sneaky snacks on my blog and also has some REALLY great recipes that will give you lots of sneaky snacks for the kiddos (and the adults too!). Also go to The Sneaky Chef. There’s great sneaky recipes that’ll keep you in healthy recipes for a long while.
Happy Snacking!!

Saturday, 8 September 2012


When a family has to move due to work or a bigger home, it’s a shame that some of the outdoor activity areas have to be left behind only to have to shell out more money for them again at the new address.
Swing sets can be taken down and boxed up if they’re not too big or cumbersome but what about the sandbox you had made and all that sand? Glad you asked.
Being the cheap frugal person that I am, I had an epiphany and thought, “Why not a plastic pool?” Now I know they have those plastic sand boxes but they’re actually more expensive than the pools that are the same size. It seems that if you put the word “sandbox” on the piece of plastic, that it costs more than the pool of the same size. Seriously, do you think the kids care? And as far as keeping all the critters out of the sand box, just use some cinnamon or certain spices (check out some spice ideas on Pinterest) and rake them through the sand. You don’t need an expensive sand box with a cover. I wish I had thought of this idea when our kids were little and I wanted a sandbox for them. We rented for a few years and we couldn’t afford to have a sandbox made for each place. (this was before the dawn of plastic sandboxes).
This is a great idea too if you want to put a sand box on your deck to keep little ones a bit closer to the house within ear-shot. A very small pool for an apartment balcony is a great idea too.  Also, when pool season is over, the sandbox can last throughout Autumn and start up in the Spring. If you’re in an area that has mild Winters, you can extend that time for the kiddos even more. If you don’t mind a bit of mess in the basement (concrete floor area not the family room with the plush carpet), the sandbox/pool is a great way to help keep parents sane throughout the winter months when cabin fever hits even the youngest of the family.
I do suggest that you use play sand as it does wipe off easier than beach sand. Although a container of talcum powder will help get the sand off little hands/feet/legs (you get the idea) before it gets tracked through the house. The end of Summer season is a great time to buy the plastic pools and sand as it’s been reduced in price. Win win!
Here’s to happy kiddos and sane parents! 


Thursday, 6 September 2012


A couple of weeks ago I did some experimenting in the kitchen. I brought out the Cuisinart processor and put a little of this, a little of that and made something that was REALLY yummy! Problem was, when I went to make it again, I wasn’t sure how much and exactly what I put in :-s…..
So I took it one step at a time and bit by bit, I had all my ingredients that I had used to make this creation.
Soooo….here it is:
150gr of coconut (I used unsweetened but today I had to make up the amount with some sweetened so I skipped the agave nectar)
½ cup oats (more later)
3 pitted dates
2 T peanut butter
1 or 2 T cocoa
¼ cup unsweetened apple sauce
Plus ¼ cup more oats (this will bind your mixture together)
1 tea. agave nectar or honey to taste (you can completely omit as the choc. chips make it sweet).
¼ cup chocolate chips (or carob chips)

Process coconut until fine but not separated. Then add all other ingredients one at a time, BUT process in between each ingredient.  Add the last ¼ cup of oats as this will bind the mixture so it will form.  By now, your mixture should be forming a ball. Add chocolate chips and process just enough to mix in the chips.
Take a sheet of waxed paper and put mixture onto paper. Pat down with a spatula to form a square or rectangle (or whatever shape you want……octagons are nice looking…just kidding). Pat sides as well until mixture is fairly condensed. I then used the waxed paper to smooth out the top. Just looks nicer :-) Score with a knife as this will make it easier to break off each piece.
Wrap in wax paper and even some plastic wrap and freeze. These will freeze nicely and are a great frozen treat. Serve frozen. ENJOY!