Monday, May 31, 2010

How to make stock

Today I made a bit pot of chicken stock, which is really easy to make and easy to store in your freezer for whenever you need stock. Homemade stock is so much better than store bought; I didn't think so until I started making stock.
Here is how I make mine!

Start with two roast chicken carcasses. I used two from my beer can chicken because they make really, really tasty stock. Whenever you roast a chicken just throw the carcass into your freezer and when you have two or three you can make some stock.

In a large pot throw in:

-2 or 3 carcasses
- 2 carrotts, chopped into pieces
- 2 stalks of celery, chopped up into largish pieces
- 1 big onion, chopped up
- a handful of peppercorns
- three or so bay leaves
- a palmful of dried thyme

Cover everything with a lot of water and simmer, all day if you have time.

When it has been simmering for hours, strain everything out of it and you are ready to go. Discard the veggies, they have done their job now, and pick out the chicken meat. I usually freeze half and make a batch of chicken veggie soup with the other half. If you want to and have time, refrigerate the stock so that the fat hardens at the top and then skim off the majority of the fat (you have to leave a little bit for flavour!).

I am going to make chicken veggie soup tomorrow and will post that recipe.


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Happy 10 months!

Loic is 10 months old today, where oh where does the time go?!
We are working on a very exciting fathers day gift today! Shhh, it is a surprise :)
E and L

Sunday, May 23, 2010


I want to write them down so that I have a record of what baby is doing now, now that he is almost 10 months old. As an aside, does anyone know how I can backup or save this blog? I would really hate to lose it as it has become a baby book of sorts.

Loic can:

- sit up
-crawl, normally but he likes to commando crawl the best
-stand up while holding onto something
-stand up in his crib (usually this happens when he doesn't want to nap...)
-he has 5, almost 6, teeth
-he likes to eat with his hands
-he can say mamamamam and mooooo (he has a cup with a cow on it)
-he can clap when you ask him to (which is adorable!)
-he sure has a sense of humour! He knows what a joke is and is so quick to laugh
-he can drink from a straw and sure likes to blow bubbles into it!
-he reaches out for Rob and I and grabs onto us like a little monkey

I am sure that I will add to the list!


Saturday, May 22, 2010

Bath Time!

So, we went to the new house and I intended to take some pictures but the old owners were there, so I didn't really feel like taking out my camera. They were very nice though! Oddly enough, they bought a house out here in Maple Ridge. Here are some bath pictures from tonight of the cutest baby ever!

Ha ha ha ha ha! Funny boy

Is that a froggy on your head? Why yes it is!

Love the funny expression he makes when he is figuring something out

"Three little speckled frogs..."

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Lack of baby photos

Sorry, I have dropped the ball on baby photos in the past little while!
Said baby is teething (again!) and we are having nap issues, mainly that he does not want to nap while he is teething. This is tooth number 6 in a short while, hopefully his poor little mouth gets a break after this one.

Tomorrow Rob, Loic my mom and I are going to the new house to measure it out for new carpets! We get a whole hour to ourselves and I need to check out drapes etc. to see what is there and what we will need once we move in in July. I am looking forward to it, since we bought the house I can't really remember what it looks like inside!!


Sunday, May 16, 2010

BBQ Beer Can Chicken

Tonight, we were supposed to have some people over for dinner, but they didn't show, so we ended up with a lot of chicken! It is a long story. I made 2 beer can chickens on the BBQ, smashed dill potatoes and a salad. All I can say about the chicken is make it, and make it soon. It is so moist, spicy and delicious.

Two finished chickens on the BBQ - so very, very tasty

This recipe is done in two steps: the spice rub and the actual cooking part. To start with, here is how you make the spice rub, which you can easily google. I modified one that I found online, but any basic spice rub will do. This one was spicy!

In a bowl, combine the following:

- 1/4 cup paprika
-1 Tbsp brown sugar
-1 Tbsp white sugar
-2 tsp salt
-1 tsp celery salt
-1 tsp black pepper
-2 tsp cayenne pepper
-1 tsp onion powder
-1 tsp garlic powder
-1 tsp chili powder

Mix well.

When you are ready to make your chickens, rub them all over with the above spice rub. I had enough for my two chickens with the above mixture. Then, drink half of two cans of beer (or ask your other half to drink it, which shouldn't be a problem), leaving half the beer in the cans.

Place the chicken over the can of beer and then place that chicken in a cooking pan, using the can and the legs as a "tripod" of sorts. Through trial and error, we now use disposable aluminum pans (the kind for making turkey in) and just recycle them when we are done. Between the chicken, beer and spice rub, you need a pan with high sides. Once your chickens are on the cans, place them on a preheated BBQ. To preheat your BBQ, turn all of the burners on med-high and then turn off half of the BBQ when you are ready to cook. Place your pan on the off side of the BBQ so that it cooks through indirect heat. After an hour and a bit, check your chicken with a meat thermometer. When it is done, let it rest for at least 15 minutes then carve and enjoy!!

One whole chicken and one carved chicken ready to eat

Dill smashed potatoes, with green onions from the garden

I thought that beer can chicken was simply a lot of work for a roasted chicken but I was very wrong. The result is beyond juicy and flavorful. Make it soon, you won't be sorry!

In Loic news, he is currently cutting his 6th tooth, poor little squid.


Thursday, May 13, 2010

If I used twitter...

...these would be some "tweets" from the past few days!

-Arthur (chihuahua) just threw up in my coffee (GROSSSSS)

-at Fisher Price audition, Loic currently in with a "Baby Wrangler" playing, very odd experience!

-Toby rolled in a rotten dead otter today

-Loic is getting more teeth and is an unhappy camper :(

Come to think of it, my dogs do a lot of gross things, don't they? Thank god Rob built a dog wash! It sure comes in handy when your dogs roll in dead animals...


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Grabby little hands

Loic is a very, very active baby. He wants to touch everything and uses his pointer finger to investigate, which is very cute. Here are a few more pictures of his grabby hands, taken on Mothers Day.

What is in this bucket?

"Petting" Arthur, who is a very good sport about the baby touching him. I didn't think he would be good at all but he has proved me wrong, which is nice.
(Notice Rob's hand, we are working on petting gently...)

Can I have that camera please?!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Orzo Salad

I brought an Orzo salad to dinner last night and a few people asked for the recipe, so here it is! This is a tasty dinner salad and can be made in advance (it is actually better if it sits in the fridge for a few hours before eating it).
I made a big enough salad for 8 people as a side dish for dinner, feel free to alter the ingredient amounts to fit the number of people that you are feeding.

Here is what you will need for the salad:

- 3/4 package of orzo (very small rice shaped pasta, not rice) cooked and coated in a little bit of oil. I cook the pasta, stir in a tablespoon of oil and let it sit in the fridge, covered, until it is cool
- half of a long english cucumber, cut into small pieces (Erin, think salad sized bites)
- a small container of cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- a yellow pepper, cut into bite sized pieces
- a handful of parsley, chopped
- a quarter of a red onion, sliced into thin pieces

To put this salad together, I put all of the diced veggies, onion and parsley in a big bowl. I then cook and cool the pasta. When I am ready to serve it, I toss the whole thing together with the dressing - listed just below!


I make this dressing in a small tupperware container, so that I can shake it up vigorously before adding it to my orzo/pasta salad.

In your tupperware, add a generous amount of salt and pepper and a pinch of white sugar (you need just a little bit of sugar to cut back on the tanginess of the vinegar, trust me on this one).
The, using a big salad spoon, put in one spoonful of balsamic vinegar. Then add in two times that amount of salad oil (I use veg oil). Shake well and TASTE IT! If need be, add more vinegar or oil. **Erin - this is how my mom and I make our regular salad dressing, feel free to use any kind of vinegar you have on hand, I just like the balsamic for this salad**

Toss the dressing with the veg/orzo/parsley and enjoy! This is a great dinner salad that can be served with some french bread or even some grilled meat - tasty, tasty tasty.


Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mothers Day Photo Shoot!

After an upsetting dog trial this am (all thanks to Tyler "I forget how to do agility when I am at a trial"), I came home and Rob, Loic and I went to White spot for a lovely brunch. We then came home and played in the backyard. Tyler was forgiven at this point and we all had a nice time on the lawn. We try to put Loic's sunglasses on, but they usually end up in his mouth...

Tasty baby sunglasses

Big boy wearing his sunglasses! So very cute.

Can I have that camera please?

What a ham!

What a nice mothers day afternoon. We are heading to N.Van for dinner with my folks, Rob's mom and L Rob and D Bar - should be a lot of fun!


Thursday, May 6, 2010

For Erin

A new study out of London (how ironic!) has stated that a lack of sleep leads to premature death.

Just a friendly FYI for you Erin.


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

A crawling machine

Loic "commando" crawls. With gusto. He can move across a room in seconds, less if he has his sights on poor Tyler! That baby follows Tyler everywhere, which is pretty darn adorable. And Ty is a star, he just lets the baby "pet" him all over. Tyler does, however, like to lick the baby, which causes the baby to laugh hysterically which causes Tyler to lick him more!

Today, I crawled after Loic and he laughed hysterically when I caught up to him, which caused him to literally fall over from laughing. It was adorable!

Will be buying many baby gates before we move into the new house as it has stairs...


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Baby Canuck Fan

Moving away from the "Great Steak Debate" :), here are some photos of the youngest Canuck fan at our house! Can you say cute?!

I could just eat him up!!



Loic has three teeth in now. We are waiting for the last big front tooth to come in, and it is proving to be a slow go.
Poor squid is not happy today and last night he got up a lot (he hasn't done that for months). For the past few months he has been such a great sleeper - he goes to be at 7:30 or 8:00 and sleeps until about 4:00 or 5:00, nurses, then goes back to sleep until 7:30. Not last night! Last night he was up at 2:00, then from 5:00-7:30 (!). I gave him some Tylenol at 6:30 and that seemed to help him go back to sleep by 7:30, but he got up at 8:30. Needless to say we are all tired today.
Poor baby, I hope this last big tooth comes in asap.


Monday, May 3, 2010

The great Steak Debate - for you Erin

We don't eat steak often (maybe once or twice a month) but we have the same "argument" at our house every time we cook it. Rob and I don't agree on how we should cook steak. I will tell you how we each do it, but my way is much tastier :)

To start with, buy good steaks. We like small, thick cut steaks - my mom showed me which ones to buy and I can't remember what cut they are! Mom - feel free to email me what kind you buy. Don't buy big cheap ones, go for small more expensive cuts, it is worth it. And don't ever, ever buy "quick cooking" T-Bone steaks - they suck. And don't buy any marinating steak - save those for the beef marinade I posted a few weeks ago.

The women on my mom's side of the family are very good at cooking meat. My mom roasts a lovely chicken, my aunty Christine cooks all sorts of game meats very well and my Aunty Sylvie cooks a mean roast. I can cook a great chicken and steak, I am not so big on cooking the bigger cuts of meat but one year I made a delicious organic turkey for thanksgiving. But I digress.

Rob's way to cook a steak

1. Bring steak up to room temperature and coat liberally with steak spice.
2. BBQ on med temperature for 6 minutes one side, 4 minutes on the other.
3. Let rest and eat.

Erika's way to cook a steak (taught by my mom)

1. Bring steak to room temperature and coat liberally with salt and pepper (my mom would use steak spice, like Rob)
2. Melt a good amount of BUTTER in a frying pan.
3. Cook steak on medium/high for 6 minutes on one side, 4 minutes on the other.
3. Let rest and eat.

Ok, my way produces a much tastier (read: yummy butter) steak while Rob's way produces a steak with a distinctive BBQ flavour. I find that the BBQ steak is a bit dry and not as "meaty" tasting.

It is the differences that make the world go round!! :)


Sunday, May 2, 2010

Grouse Mountain

Jody and I took Loic up to the top of Grouse Mountain today to check out the bears. I stupidly brought my stroller and not my baby backpack, and had to leave the stroller at guest services while we hiked in the snow. It was foggy and after seeing the bears, who were very interesting and were eating lettuce and a quarter of a dead calf, we got lost. In the snow. While carrying my baby! It was a lot of fun though and we were only really lost for a few minutes. That baby is heavy to carry in the snow! We passed him back and forth for the half hour hike, which he thought was quite funny.

Jody holding a very wiggly baby

Loic and I lost in the snow, but still laughing!

We commandeered a snowmobile for this shot, had I noticed that the keys were in it I might have been tempted to go for a ride. Just kidding (kind of, I have a thing for snowmobiles)
Baby and I safe and sound on the tram on the way down!

Cutest Clothes

Deb has bought Loic some of the cutest clothes that I have ever seen for little boys! She know my love of all things dinosaur and dog too :) Here are my two current favorites:

Camo hoodie with EARS

Soooo cute!!

Dinosaur PJ's - wonder if I can find some in my size?!

We had a very, very busy day today and had a lot of fun. Jody has to get stamps at 15 tourist attractions this month and gets in free, so Loic and I volunteered to go with her today! First we went up to the top of Grouse Mountain with to see the bears (where we got lost in the snow...), then Rob and Jody went to the suspension bridge while I fed the baby in the car, and then we all went out for lunch to the noodle house! I love that restaurant. Rob then took the baby home and Jody and I went to a crazy clothing sale, where we each got a few nice things. Will post the adventure photos from today tomorrow! Stay tuned for a photo of Loic on a snowmobile, Loic and I lost in the snow and many more :)


Saturday, May 1, 2010

For Erin

My big boy!

Heading out to go swimming with Daddy!

Adorable little ducky!

The BEST corn salsa and baby in a shopping cart :)

Tonight it was nice and sunny outside and after mowing the lawn (which took forever today) I decided to make some fresh salsa! It was amazing and here is the recipe. I made it up and I know that my mom adds fresh basil in hers, which is also good. If you wanted to add cilantro that would work too (I don't add it because I think that it tastes like soap).

Fresh Corn Salsa

All you need to do is dice up the following into tiny pieces - Erin, the pieces need to be the same size as the corn kernels - then add in the lime juice and oil and you are done! This is a chopping-intensive dish but so worth it.

In a large bowl put in:

- 2 cups of corn kernels, use frozen corn, not canned. Just thaw the corn and you are good to go, don't cook it.
-half a red onion, diced
-one red pepper, diced
-two tomatoes, diced
-one jalapeno pepper, diced. I removed the seeds from mine but if you are brave, leave them in
-the juice from two limes
-one tablespoon of vegetable oil

Mix well and set aside at room temperature for a few hours; this will let the flavours mingle. Refrigerate after eating, this dish is even better a day later! We had grilled steak, grilled veggies and a lot of this salsa with taco chips for dinner tonight - so tasty.

Fresh corn salsa, so tasty and healthy too!

Today we went grocery shopping as a family and Loic rode in the cart like a big boy for the first time today! He seemed to really enjoy himself. When I take him alone I won't be able to let him ride like this because he is still a bit unsteady, but Rob monitored the baby and cart while I did the shopping.

I have the cutest picture from this morning to put up! Rob took Loic swimming (awwww) and he wore a duck housecoat. Need I say more?! So cute. I will download that pic soon!