I am a British born, living in Canada. Moved to the countryside in 2009 to a 1909 stone farmhouse. In 2014 we are going to embark on a new adventure with our home ownership.

Life is never ever dull around here and I always have a tale to tell!!

Chipmunk

Looking for some nuts...

Our Farm House

Time for Tea...

Toasty warm in front of the fire!

Martin House

Will anyone be moving in soon?

Our Molly Moo

Monday, October 6, 2014

I should dedicate this post to my younger brother as today I made one of his favourite things for supper:

Egg Pie is one of my younger brother's favourite meals, and as it was a cold day and I haven't turned the heat on yet, I thought I would prepare a couple of meals and one of them was Egg Pie.  I think all in all this meal would cost us all of $3 tops and I'll break it all down as we go along.

Egg Pie:
Hard boiled eggs, two or three per person
Cheese Sauce
Mashed Potatoes.

First hard boil your eggs, you know how to do that.  If you don't there are instructions here.  Peel the eggs and cut in half and place in the bottom of the casserole dish with the yolk side facing up, as in the photo.
Next make the cheese sauce.  My recipe consists of:

1/4 cup plain/all purpose flour
1/4 cup marg
2 cups milk
1 or 2 cups of grated cheese, I prefer a strong cheddar
1 tablespoon of mustard, any flavour you like
salt and pepper.

Melt marg in pan, add flour, using a whisk to bind it together.  Let it cook over a medium heat for a minute or two whisking all the time.  Gradually add two cups of milk, again whisking all the time until it comes to a boil and thickens.  At this point I usually season it by adding the S & P plus the mustard.  I then turn off the heat and add the grated cheese.  The heat of the white sauce will melt the cheese without any added heat from the stove.

Pour over your eggs:
Potato layer. I used Yukon Gold this time and I also cooked a big pan of potatoes so I could have leftovers.  I'll explain later.

When the potatoes have cooked, around 20 minutes.  I mash them and add salt and pepper to taste, a clump of marg probably a couple of tablespoons, and probably around a cup of milk.  When they are all mashed together, I then take a wooden or silicone spoon and beat them until nice and smooth;  or until my hand aches.

Layer the potato on the top of the cheese sauce and make a decorative pattern with a fork if you so desire!!
Depending if the egg pie is cold or warm, you need to put it in an oven to warm through..  I use our toaster oven and have it on at 250 oF for around 45 minutes so the top of the potato gets nice and crispy.

THIS EGG PIE DOES NOT FREEZE, THE EGGS GO NICE AND RUBBERY - ASK ME HOW I KNOW!

Before I said cook a big pan of potatoes as leftover mashed potatoes do freeze nicely.  It is so handy to pull out a bag of potatoes that can be heated up in the microwave in minutes.
Now I flatten the bag right down, so it is nice and flat and thin; the contents were still hot when I took this photo.  A flattened bag uses up less space and it takes less time to defrost.

In the back left hand corner of the above photo is part of another meal I made.  This time a favourite in my elder brother's household.  I'll post that recipe in a day or two's time.

So the cost break down is:

Eggs around $1
Cheese around $1
Potatoes, salt, pepper, milk, butter, mustard around $1

I got the cheese on sale for $4 for 500 grams, I probably used less than 1/4 block.
Eggs were well under $3 for 18
Potatoes were $1.99 for 10 lbs, I did not use 5 lbs in this recipe. Milk was free with another deal I got the other week.  
The other items used were not much of anything, at the most 25 cents for all.

I cooked this on a Sunday when it is cheaper electricity, so cooking everything wouldn't cost much either, especially as I use my toaster oven to bake it at night.

The added heat with cooking and having the toaster oven home also warmed the house up a little another added saving of not having to put the heating on.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

The Mail Box Saga.....

We have community mail boxes, as Canada Post does not deliver directly to your home.  Ours is just down the road from us, so very convenient.
The builder put very nice hard and landscaping around the boxes.  On the other side of the wall is a stone seating area and it looks over one of the golf course holes.

As we are a condominium the boxes themselves are not owned by Canada Post, but by the condominium corp.  This is where the saga begins.
If you look carefully at the photo there are a bank of smaller mail boxes that you access by a key.  Those are the home owner's mail boxes and the homeowner is responsible for the lock on them. 

On the left of each unit it a hole around half way down, that is the key hole that Canada Post use to open the front of the unit.  That is Canada Post's responsibility.

You will then notice on the right hand side unit there are two large boxes; that is where Canada Post puts small parcels and then pops a key in your box for you to open and collect your parcel.  You then put the key back in the mail to go out slot on the top.

Are you following so far?  I told you this is a saga!  There are locks owned by the homeowner and locks owned by Canada Post, but who owns the locks for the parcel boxes???  That is the million dollar question.

I spoke to our mail lady as I had a parcel delivered and she put it in one of the parcel boxes and due to the lock being rusty I had a heck of a job opening the lock.  Once Winter comes things are only going to get worse.  She explained all the above information and suggested I talk to the property management company and she would meet them at the boxes and she would open all the fronts and they can sort out the parcel locks.

Talked and emailed the property management company and they were unsure what was what.  It will be interesting to see how this all pans out.

One of the other condominium corp's mail boxes was damaged; I think by a snow plow but not 100% sure.  It cost them $7,000 to get them replaced.  Now they are "lucky" as the boxes all belonged to one condominium corp.  There are four condominium corp's that use our boxes.  So I mentioned this to the head of our board, as if something happens to one of the boxes who pays for it?

This story hasn't ended and I bet it won't be an overnight resolution to this either!

Oh; I got a newsletter from our board and it mentioned the no dog peeing signs I posted about here.  

"As per the corporation rules no signs are allowed outside of our homes."  

However until someone tells me otherwise they are staying put, as they are working as far as I can see!!!!

Finally, I posted another book review here.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Let's talk turkey............

Turkeys are on sale for 79 cents per pound at Wal-Mart this week.  You can get a small turkey cheaper than a chicken.  A lot of people don't like having endless leftovers but here is a great link with twelve delicious recipes that use left over turkey: 

http://www.goodtoknow.co.uk/recipes/pictures/34326/leftover-turkey-recipes/1

We are hosting Thanksgiving on the Saturday and instead of having a traditional Turkey Dinner we are mixing it up slightly and are including a couple of salad and only roasted potatoes and root vegetables as the sides.  I will stuff the turkey and make gravy, but want to make it as simple as possible for myself.

I got another parcel in the mail and it had this sticker on the back of the package.  
That sticker makes you smile doesn't it?  Inside of the package was this book, that I need to read and review in October.
Just a reminder I do have another blog for all my book reviews, here.  I have just read and reviewed The Book Thief for our October Book Club meeting.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Loving Christmas Shopping via the internet........

Got another parcel in the mail yesterday.  This time from Tupperware.  Who knew that you can order Tupperware without having to go to a party?  I am a HUGE, HUGE fan of Tupperware.

Can't say what I got, but I know both items are useful and fun!  The photos though suck.  I need to fire the photographer and get another one........oh wait that's me!!

I ordered a couple of things from Land's End also the other day for the first time.  Never done that before?

I checked out the home of the week and it's a 60's flashback.  Quite pricey at $2 million, but can't say I was offended by any of the decorating.  If someone where to give it to me I wouldn't say no.

Now the condo of the week, I will pass on despite it being relatively cheap for Toronto at only $380,000.  It's described as "spacious," I beg to differ on that.  Look at the size of the kitchen, can you actually call that space a kitchen?  The foyer wastes a huge amount of square footage.

Got the last of the blinds from Blindsgalore.
Really pleased with them.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Out shopping with DD and Our Little Munchkin.........

Went  to Yorkdale on Wednesday for a few hours of retail therapy.  Always good for the soul I think, don't you?  We had a good look around and I got a couple more Christmas gifts and saw a few things that I loved.

Both dd and our Little Munchkin are sick with a head cold.  Our Little Munchkin has been having three one hour + naps a day for the past week, plus sleeping twelve hours on a night, so she has to be sick.  When I met up with them at around 9:45 am she hadn't had a sleep despite being tired.  She didn't fall asleep until 12:15 pm and then only for half an hour.  She is too bloody nosy for her own good and has never been one to sleep in her stroller.  Regardless though you have to love her and of course she had to have a selfie taken with her Nana:
While I was pushing her in the stroller she kept saying "mama," so I kept saying no not "mama, " it's NANA.  Didn't want to know though!!!!

One store I rather like is Crate and Barrel.  They have the best tea towels ever there and not too badly priced at $6.96 CDN each.  So I bought a couple as Christmas gifts and one for myself:
The brightly coloured one is for dd and the weights and measure one is for me, the middle one is for someone else.  The weights and measure one will make a fantastic stocking stuffer if you're near the store:
I also fell in love with this gorgeous light fixture:
The only problem is it can only take a 60 watt bulb.  I have more light coming off my nose end!!
Did see this one in Pottery Barn, but as dd said it was too big for our dining room:
Finally, just because here is another photo of our Little Munchkin:
How are you all doing with your Christmas Shopping?

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