Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Bourbon Molasses Chicken Drumsticks

The last two years we have hosted the annual 'Friends Cottage Weekend' we have been blessed with perfect weather. We knew our luck would change eventually. Turns out, this was the year. Wet, wetter and wettest would be the best way to describe our Friday, Saturday and Sunday. (That's not totally fair. It began to clear up Sunday as we pulled away from the cottage. Of course.) All of the signs that our good weather streak was about to be broken were there. The one I noticed in particular was the weather forecast. All was not lost though. The kids still went outside and played baseball. The canoe was taken for a spin around the lake. And we still managed to BBQ.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Happy Father's Day! (Now with root beer)

Welcome to the dinner edition of Father's Day, brought to you by Dad's Root Beer:

Yup, I went there. Totally predictable but totally irresistible. Like we could have Barbecue Beefwiches on the patio on a spectacular Sunday (Father's Day) evening and not have Dad's root beer to go with? In super-fabulous, authentic soda fountain-esque glasses, with ice, no less.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day! (Now with bacon)

Nothing says Father's Day quite like bacon, right? The dad of this house loves bacon so that's what was served this morning, with a side of pancakes and maple syrup. Because heaven must be something like when your bacon gets accidentally dipped in maple syrup. It's sweet, it's salty - it's perfection. We make a lot of bacon at our house but I always hate cleaning up the greasy mess that results from a good fry-up. Which is why I was only too happy  to recently switch to the 'make your bacon in the oven' team. All you do is preheat your oven to 400 degrees, line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and lay out your bacon on said baking sheet. Put your bacon in the oven for 5-6 minutes, rotate the pan then bake for 5-6 minutes longer. The result will be perfect bacon. Unless you like your bacon on the crispy side. Which I don't. However if you do, just leave it in longer.

We will, of course, also have a Sunday dinner fit to honour our most favouritest dad, who received much praise and thanks today from his biggest fans. Patrick drew/coloured a superhero themed card at school which was lovely and then kind of hilarious when he apologized for making Daddy's smile so big. (Daddy does often present with a scowl, but don't let that fool you. He's a teddy bear.) As for Daniel, he noted in his card that without daddy '...he'd likely be like those people collecting money in cups outside of Tim Horton's'. All-righty then. I'm not sure what to make of the fact that my eight year old is worried he may someday be homeless and without any means of supporting himself. Until then the least I can do is give him a good breakfast.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Strawberry Jam

Local berries are available here in SW Ontario, so we loaded up the car and went to Heeman's, our favourite berry place, to pick up a flat. Yup, a flat. Cause when we do berries, we go big or go home. Funny story about Heeman's. A couple of years ago David went on a field trip with Patrick to O'Shea's, another lovely local farm operation. Apparently whenever the poor guide tried to talk about some aspect of the farm, Patrick kept asking her if she knew about Heeman's. Strawberries? They have those at Heeman's. Flowers? We get those at Heeman's. A few of the parents told me later it was one of the most amusing field trips they had been on, because Patrick wouldn't shut up about Heeman's and it was putting the guide into a bit of a fluster. Which sounds a lot like Patrick. He's very chatty and does fluster like no one else.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Patio Ribs

We had our Sunday dinner on the patio this week. It was a no-brainer - perfect weather and ribs on the menu. It was a good dinner. David found Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce at the grocery store for the ribs. I made cornbread, garlic mashed potatoes and creamy coleslaw to round out the plate. There were brownies for dessert, left over from Saturday.

It felt so much like Summer vacation I felt bad about waking the boys up Monday morning for school, but the reality is we still have a month to go and Daniel is knee deep in EQAO testing this week. So I sent him off to school with a tummy full of buttermilk pancakes. Because it's never too soon to start eating emotionally, right?

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Super Saturday

What does the perfect Saturday look like? It starts with popcorn for breakfast with your favourite 8 year old watching Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets on the big screen. Then you come home and the grocery shopping is done and lunch is made. You think about going for a run, but instead have a nap with your favourite nap partner, making a promise you'll run tomorrow. You wake up and dinner is served. There are drumsticks (the ice cream kind) for dessert, because that's what happens when David has free reign at the grocery store. The kitchen gets cleaned up quickly then you go for a bike ride to the park.

No one scrapes a knee or steers into their brother or forgets to stop at the corner when they bike ahead. It doesn't rain even though it looks like it might. You come home and water the garden because after a long Winter the house is finally settling in to the idea of welcoming Spring and is all kinds of green.

Then, just when you think things can't get any better, warm from the oven brownies appear.

And you remember that you picked up a new book from the library today when you were returning books that aren't even due back until Monday, so for once you won't have any fines (bad librarian). Super Saturday. It happens sometimes.

Chocolate Brownies - from Anna Olson

1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup cocoa powder
1 3/4 cups sugar
4 egg, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 F and grease an 8 x 11 inch baking pan.

Melt butter (over stove or in microwave) and pour into a larger bowl. Sift cocoa into butter and stir in. Stir in sugar.

Add eggs to mixture, blending well after each addition. Stir in vanilla.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt (do not sift). Add to cocoa mixture and blend.

Pour into pan and bake for 35 minutes, until firm when touched.