Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Alone in the Wilderness

We watched this documentary several years ago on PBS and enjoyed it thoroughly. I highly recommend it for anyone who enjoys wildlife, carpentry and other such skills. I have always been interested in such things, so this video was a nice find for me.

From Amazon:
"Alone in the Wilderness" is the story of Dick Proenneke. To live in a pristine land unchanged by man... to roam a wilderness through which few other humans have passed... to choose an idyllic site, cut trees and build a log cabin... to be a self-sufficient craftsman, making what is needed from materials available... to be not at odds with the world, but content with one's own thoughts and company... Thousands have had such dreams, but Dick Proenneke lived them. He found a place, built a cabin, and stayed to become part of the country. This video "Alone in the Wilderness" is a simple account of the day-to-day explorations and activities he carried out alone, and the constant chain of nature's events that kept him company. 
He ended up living there for over 30 years, into his early 80s, alone. We all learned so much from this video (all recorded by Dick; his journals were used for the narrations) and have seen it 4 or 5 times. There is another video also by "Bob Swerer Productions" called "Alaska, Silence and Solitude" which had a lot of footage with Dick Proenneke in it when he was older (not recorded by him). It was a nice compliment to the original.

See if your library has it (or both). If not, I'm sure it's on youtube but probably in sections. Very educational and fun!

Monday, February 24, 2014

In the Kitchen with MS (or any other struggle you have)

I found this video this morning and appreciated it a lot ... I know most do not have MS but there are so many practical tips in here for anyone that struggles with extreme fatigue, cognitive dysfunction and/or issues with the eyes. If this is you, it will probably be worth your time to sit down and watch this video.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Tasty Tuesday: Yummy French Toast!

I like french toast. It tastes good, is filling, pretty easy to make, it uses eggs (they are abundant around here these days) and is healthy depending on what ingredients you use. I developed this french toast recipe after several tries ... so this is what WE like ... you might have to change it a little to suit your own needs.

Homemade French Toast
Have ready: one or two loaves of sliced, homemade bread.
8 eggs
1 1/2c liquid
1/4c honey
1 1/2t vanilla
1/2t maple (opt)
1/2c flour*
2t cinnamon
1t salt

- Mix wet and dry ingredients separately and then whisk together until well combined. If the honey is stiff, it might be easier to gently warm it first.
- Pre-heat a griddle or skillet and grease it. Keep in mind that a griddle that is too hot will burn the outside and leave the inside soggy, so be careful not to have it too hot.
- Dip each slice of bread into the egg mixture and fry on the greased griddle/skillet.
- Turn when golden brown (or to your liking) and cook the other side.  
- Be sure to add more grease as needed!
- Store cooked french toast in a dish or pan covered with a towel to keep it warm.
- Serve with your favourite toppings ... butter, fruit, nuts, nut butters, coconut shreds, syrup, molasses, applesauce, or whatever.

*Adding flour to the batter keeps the cinnamon from separating to the top of the mixture. This was a 'culinary secret' (not really) I did not figure out until later on in my cooking adventures.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014


The boys fell a tree the other day that had a few baby squirrels in it. They brought them home and now we are trying to raise them. I did a little research and found this website to be very helpful: Squirrel Tales. We are following the instructions given on that site and so far the squirrels seem to be doing ok. Based on what the site says, I guess these babies are 2-3 weeks old.

Here is a photo of their bed - there are actually two bottles of hot water and the squirrels sleep in between. This helps to keep them warm :)

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Tasty Tuesday: Make-Ahead Meals for Saturday Morning

I like to make our saturday morning breakfast ahead of time so I can rest and relax without having to worry about preparing a meal first thing in the morning. There are a few recipes I use for this and I'll share them with you today. All of them I got from books originally but changed them to suite my needs. Of course you too must also change them to suit your needs :)

This first one is pictured above:
Overnight Breakfast Casserole
1lb cooked turkey sausage
Enough cooked, diced or sliced potatoes to cover the bottom of the 9x13 pan
4c stale bread (hearty bread is best) broke into bite-size pieces
1/2 - 1c shredded cheese
1t dry mustard
1t salt (if your homemade sausage is not very salty)
1t pepper (optional; I do not use pepper)
10 eggs, whisked
3 1/2c milk (I use water and a little milk powder)
1/4c diced onion
1/2c each: diced tomatoes, bell peppers and mushrooms
1c lightly cooked broccoli pieces

Layer the potatoes, bread, and meat into a 9x13 baking dish/cake pan.
Whisk together the eggs, salt, mustard, pepper and milk. Pour over the ingredients already in the pan.
Add the cheese and then the veggies.
Cover and sit in fridge till the next morning.
Bake, uncovered, at 325 degrees for one hour, or till done/set. Tent with foil if the top is browning too quickly.

The first time we made this we did not add broccoli or potatoes and 'wish' we would have. We believe the broccoli and potatoes are a nice addition.


Overnight Breakfast Porridge
3 1/2c water
3c quick oats
4 eggs
~1c chopped fruit
1/2c honey
1/2c milk (I just use an extra 1/2c water and add a little milk powder)
1/4c fat (I use olive oil)
1/2c raisins
1/2c coconut shreds or flakes (option)
2t baking powder
1t salt
2t cinnamon

Combine liquids and dry ingredients separately and then mix together. Spoon or pour into a greased 9x13 baking dish/cake pan. Cover and store in fridge till the next morning. Remove at least 30 minutes before baking.
Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for one our, or till firm (knife inserted into the center will come out clean).

We like to eat this in a bowl with some sort of milk/milk alternative over the top. Soaking it over night makes the raisins nice and soft.


And here is one I have NOT tried yet ... mainly because it calls for so much maple syrup. I might try it with 1/4c ... we'll see. I'm just putting it here because it sure looks good to me :) and it's another option for an easy meal on a saturday morning.

Overnight French Toast Strata
1 - 1lb loaf of french bread, cut into ~3/4" cubes (about 12c total) [obviously you can substitute whatever kind of bread you prefer!!]
1 - 8oz block of cream cheese (I would use less because we try to avoid cheese)
8 large eggs
6T butter, melted (here again, I would use less ... probably 1/4c/4T)
1/2c syrup (I would use 1/4c)
1t cinnamon
1t vanilla

Put half the bread, all the cheese and then the rest of the bread into a greased 9x13 baking dish/cake pan. Whisk together the rest and pour evenly into the pan. Slightly press down to moisten all the bread. Cover and store in fridge for up to 24 hours.
Bake, uncovered, at 325 degrees 45 minutes or till the center is set.
Let it sit for 10 minutes before serving.


Ok, there you have it!! If you have a favourite make-ahead meal, please share it in the comment section.