Monthly Archives: October 2012

Picky eaters

Now I don’t have kids but I live with a very picky eater. When my boyfriend and I first started dating he wouldn’t try anything new. All he wanted was meat and potatoes or over processed food like chicken fingers. He’s much more adventerous now and we hardly ever have chicken fingers anymore but here is the recipie I would use to make homemade chicken fingers.
chicken fingers
2 flatend chicken breasts
about 1 1/2 – 2 cups bread crumbs
zest of one lemon
1 egg
2 tbs milk
sea salt
dried oregano
dried thyme
Combine all the dry ingredients with the lemon zest. In a small bowl whisk the milk and egg until they are combined. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Cut the chicken breast into 1 inch by 1/2 an inch strips. Dip the chicken into the egg to get it wet then transfer it to the plate with the bread crumb mixture, cover with bread crumbs and press the crumbs into the chicken. Put the chicken fingers on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and cook for 15 minutes. You can also make a bunch of these and store them uncooked in a freezer bag for later.
helpful books:
Deceptively delicious: simple secrets to get your kids eating good food by Jessica Seinfeld
The Sneaky Chef: how to cheat on your man (in the kitchen): hiding healthy food in hearty meals any guy will love by Missy Chase Lapine
The moms’ guide to meal makeovers: improving the way your family eats, one meal at a time by Janice Newell Bissex

Recipes from Get in the kitchen and cook!

I tried a couple of recipes from Emily Richards book Get in the kitchen and cook and everyone in my family loved them. 

The Pesto tomato and lamb pasta was delicious and more than enough for 4 when served with a salad. I used tomato pesto (instead of basil) and it really complimented the lamb.

The next week I made Wild rice and goji berry stuffed squash; which is a meal in itself if you are cooking vegetarian but I grilled some chicken thighs to serve along with it for my meat loving husband.  I think that the squash could be cut in quarters and stuffed if you wanted to make 12 servings for a large crowd. I love squash and this is certainly a delicious and nutritious way to serve it.

Come meet Emily Richards, the author of this book tonight at 7:00pm at the Guelph Main Library.

Winterizing your garden

As you may know from my previous gardening post that I do not have a green thumb. I really want to have great gardens one day, it seems so relaxing to go out and garden in peace and quiet, I just don’t seem to have the time for it right now and find the thought of looking after a garden stressful.
I know enough about gardening to know that this is the time of year when you get your garden ready for winter. Below is a short video I found to help get you started.

Helpful books

The all seasons garden: getting more from your Canadian garden by Mark Cullen

The Canadian gardener: a guide to gardening in Canada by Marjorie Harris

The new Ontario gardener by Trevor Cole

The garden in winter: plant for beauty and interest in the quiet season by Suzanne Bales

The winter garden: create a garden that shines through the forgotten season by Val Bourne

Being a “pet parent”

I don’t know about your house but in ours being a parent also includes being the nurse and general all round caregiver to the household pets.  Last week our dog Hubble had a huge mat in his fur.  Already feeling guilty because he was a couple of weeks overdue for a clipping I took it upon myself to investigate.  On inspection, I discovered that the fur was matted with blood and stuck to his skin.  So as all good mothers would do I cleaned it up; soaking it and clipping fur to reveal a bare spot that required some TLC (Burts Bees Rescue Ointment is my favorite).   I think that seasonal allergies got the best of him and he was doing a lot of scratching.  How did I acquire these pet care skills?  I have owned many pets, listened closely to our vet’s advice, consulted books and used lots of trial and error.  Hubble is now on the mend and has made it to the groomers where she had the vet inspect his skin.

Here is a sampling of the many “pet care” resources that the GPL carries:

Pet emergency first aid set. Cats & dogs. (DVD)

Secret life of your cat : unlock the mysteries of your pet’s behavior

Natural dog care

The Merck/Merial manual for pet health

Natural remedies dogs and cats wish you knew : a holistic care guide

Dog Owner’s Home Veterinary Handbook

Your child’s first pet : a parent’s guide to ensuring success


Halloween is a great time of year, the weather is more often then not amazing and everything can take on a sinister haunted feeling at night. I know not everyone thinks of Halloween as a holiday but I do. I love everything about Halloween, the decorations, the fun you can have dressing up, scary movies, and the amazingly creative frightning food you can make. Every year I go through the Martha Stewart Halloween magazine excited to see what new and frightening costumes and decorations they have that I just have to try out.
Right now I live in an apartment so I don’t get to do much decorating for Halloween 😦 But I plan on buying an old house so that I can turn it into a really cool scary looking haunted house every year. I love that you can take a beautiful old home and make it look haunted for halloween and make it look so elegant for Christmas or New Years.  

Helpfull links
Halloween safety tips
Homemade Halloween costumes for kids
Indoor Halloween Decorations
Halloween books
Easy Halloween costumes for children byLeila Albala
Haunt your house for Halloween: decorating tricks and party treats by Cindy Fuller
Ghoulish goodies by Sharon Bowers
Halloween: the best of Martha Stewart Living
Extreme pumpkins: diabolical do-it-yourself designed to amuse your friends and scare your neighbors  by Tom Nardone

All natural homemade cleaners

I was watching Market Place on the CBC a few weeks ago where they did a story on lousy labels: Home Edition. It was all about cleaning and household products that claim to be eco-consious. I’ve been using water and vinegar in a spray bottle to clean my mirrors and windows for a few years now but I had fallen for the labeling on household cleaners and used a lot of the so-called “eco-friendly” cleaners. I found some great recipes for homemade cleaners and they work just as well if not better than the commercial products. Below is a short list of cleaners you can make and what they clean.
  • Toilet Bowl Cleaner: Liquid castile soap, baking soda or Borax. scrub with a toilet brush.
  • Tub and tile cleaner: Apply vinegar full-strength to a sponge and wipe, scour with baking soda.
  • All purpose liquid cleaner: 3 1/2 liters hot water, 1 tbsp baking soda, 2 tbsp liquid vegetable soap.
  • Dishwasher detergent: 2 cups borax, 2 cups baking soda, 4 little packages unsweetened lemon Kool-Aid or generic. Mix together and store.
  • Carpet stain remover: vinegar, baking soda. Mix baking soda and vinegar into a past and work into stain with a toothbrush. Let dry and vacuum up.
  • Mildew/germ killer: 2 cups water, 25 drops tea tree oil, 25 drops lavender oil. Mix in spray bottle, spray on tile, do not wipe off.
Books available at the library
Green up your clean up by Jill Schoff
Ecoholic home: the greenest, cleanest and most energy-efficient information under one (Canadian) roof by Adria Vasil
Little house in the suburbs: backyard farming and home skills for self-sufficient living by Deanna Caswell

Emily Richards Cooks @ the Guelph Public Library

Emily Richards is a local Professional Home Economist with over 15 years experience in the food world.  She has authored and co-authored many cookbooks, writes for the Guelph Mercury and will be returning to the Library to demonstrate recipe ideas from her book Get in the Kitchen and Cook.


When:  October 29th, 7:00 PM

Where:  GPL Main: Adult

Free Admission with Library Card

Check out these books:

The vegetarian’s complete quinoa cookbook

Italian express : 150 fast and easy family favourites

Canadian living cooks : 185 showstopping recipes from Canada’s favourite cooks

Child care cooks : 120+ recipes