RECIPESChristmas has come and gone, went off without a hitch, not even one virus reared its ugly head into our holiday season, in fact to date we have had no virus this fall/winter ( I think we deserve it seeing as an August stomach bug wreaked havoc on our family and my brothers family)

Not only did it go off without a hitch; my worry of being a family unit in transition with some adult children and one moved out was quickly forgotten, as we had one of the best holidays in memory. We opted to divide Christmas up and have different dinners and gatherings from the 23rd through to the 25th. We finally held a gift exchange game (two actually as I did one with all the young cousins and our youngest during a craft day at our place.) something I have always wanted to do but it just never seemed to make it into actuality. It was so much fun, not perfect and we have learned a few things for next time but at least it was so well loved it will be part of next year’s Christmas and there after hopefully.

New Year’s Eve was cold as always, we spent the evening in with our youngest two (and the oldest of the two’s girlfriend), good food and family game time, midnight brought no resolutions but just a simple snowflake wish for this girl, hope for a better year than last, actually a better one then the past few, the end of January 2015 our oldest dog Gollum developed seizures and would go on to pass in May of 2016 at age 12 and a half, then 2017 we endured a flood in the Spring that destroyed our basement and hope for a better year then last.(Summer and part of Fall last year was spent working day and night to gut and rebuild it all)

I also set some goals for myself this year, more like a small to try list of sorts, January 1st I set out to learn how to knit on circular needles, (I’ve been knitting since I was 10 and know the basics, but the circular thing I had not a clue where to even start!) the pile of knit hats in our front hallway crate would seem to prove I figured it out (big thank you Grandma Google, You Tube Vloggers and Fellow Bloggers LOL)

By February I am always half blue and half antsy for better weather, this year was no exception, but at the same time it’s always like the beginning of our new year more so then January. Hubby’s Birthday is 2 days before Valentine’s Day and here in Ontario we have a Holiday called Family day which is always within the week of those 2 days. His birthday is always a combo of a Birthday/Valentine’s day for us (life with kids right?), even though he turned the big 40 this year I kept it low key, the usual of years past because the few times we had plans for milestone birthdays they were always plagued with a flu of some sort, or some form of ruined plans. Last year our date was cut short as we had to rush back home to our youngest who suffers from severe pediatric migraines and he endured one that day while home with his oldest brother. Sadly my 30th Birthday is also one I’ll never forget because the day of I got a call no one wants to get, my dad’s tests (which we were lead to believe were just for gastral issues) discovered colon cancer, shortly after it was confirmed as late stage 5 . I would have to say goodbye to my dad the following year,2007. Last summer as we acknowledged it had been 10 years since saying goodbye to him we couldn’t help but feel his presence more than ever since that day in July, as we rebuilt the rooms he had done for us the first time, almost 20 years prior.

This year I refuse to feel the ugly face of disappointment, the scars of bad luck, I vow to make it a year of simplicity and maybe just maybe change the vibe of the universe around us. So the smallest of plans was a home cooked meal and time together followed by a family day meal and family time together the next day, check and check!

For our Valentines/Birthday dinner we had battered basa fillets (the fish crisp brand, our go to always) home cut French fries and Dole Sesame Asian chopped salad kit, it’s more like a slaw then a salad and my favourite! We also took a chance on a Pinterest recipe for a no cook peanut butter cheesecake type dessert, was so good we made it again this week.

Here is the original, I’ve included a simpler version that we use; on a recipe card down below, please feel free to print it, make it, and share it, especially with our neighbours who described it as “to die for” after having a slice from each pie we’ve made , 20 years here we often toss things over the fence to each other.

Our family day dinner was oven roasted piri piri bone in chicken breast, homemade fries, homemade stuffing and dinner rolls. For dessert we had our pie and for the kids I made up valentines/family day treat bags/stockings. I think I’m having a hard time letting go of holiday celebrations with young children, but they were excited to receive them so I guess I’m not that pitiful yet. Missed our oldest but took comfort in knowing that he was at home making his own memories and traditions.

Please also find a recipe card for my piri piri chicken marinate ( you can use it on boneless chicken, bone in chicken and I imagine even a whole chicken, although we’ve never done it that way. you can barbeque it or roast it, boneless we barbeque, bone in we oven roast, basting it with a mix of chicken broth and melted butter) It is a spicy flavor that can be adjusted simply by the amount of cayenne pepper, as it is I would describe it as slightly less hot then frank’s red hot, my husband may say otherwise as he reaches for the ice water LOL.


February has drawn to a close, March is full of “days” for us, our youngest dog turns 2 March 1st, March break has me turning 42, and hubby off for a few days so we can cherish the few years left with our youngest during it. I will have some of my nieces over during March break and have craft plans already in the works to do with them. Easter is at the end of March this year as well.

My March and April will be filled with these many “days”, in addition to spring cleaning and spring crafts, as well as maybe a few more things off my “2018 to do/try list”, I’m thinking next it’s time to pick up my camera again and get lost in the universe through my lens, is been too long. Check back soon for more projects and recipes and as always thanks for reading dandelion-bouquets.


resses peanut butter pie


piri piri chicken

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