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Search Results: year end

Sephora Spring 2019 VIB Sale Recommendations

Sephora Spring 2019 VIB Sale Recommendations

Sephora, our higher end beauty mecca, is infamous for having very few sales. Sorry if you fell in love with a $30 mascara but can’t justify paying that every time the suggested 3 month usage period is up. Luckily, Sephora does have a sale in […]

Shows I promise I’m going to watch this year

Shows I promise I’m going to watch this year

A lot of the time people recommend shows to me, I just know I’m not going to watch them. I’m sorry, it’s not you, it’s me. I just have a particular taste, and that taste is mostly calming British shows. I’m just know in my […]

June Reads

June Reads

The Vanishing Stair by Maureen Johnson

3/5 Stars

The Vanishing Stair is the second book in the Truly, Devious series. Stevie Bell is pulled out of Ellingham Academy by her parents after the murder of her housemate. They were convinced to let her go back by their favourite politician, and the father of another one of her schoolmates. Stevie keeps trying to figure out the mystery of who is killing students and what happened in the Ellingham kidnappings so many years ago.

I found it a little harder to get into this book than the first one. Once I did get into it, the story moved along nicely. I found myself kind of rushing through it so I could get to the third book and find out what actually happened.

The Hand on the Wall by Maureen Johnson

4/5 Stars

Stevie Bell continues to investigate the intertwining mysteries at the remote Ellingham Academy in the third book in the series.

Once finishing the second book, I needed to get my hands on the third book. My library didn’t have it, so I did end up buying it. I finished it in one day. I could not put it down. I needed to know what happened! After the first two books ended in cliffhangers, it was nice to get a conclusion in both cases.

I really enjoyed this series. I thought it was a really good YA Mystery series that could be read by both teens and adults. It was a good mystery that didn’t feel too juvenile. The book also never felt too gory or upsetting to cross it into only adult territory. I would absolutely recommend this series.

My Favorite Half-Night Stand by Christina Lauren

4/5 Stars

Millie Morris is a true-crime obsessed university professor with a close group of guy friends that also work at the university. Millie suggests that they join an online dating site to find dates for an upcoming gala a the university. She then *spends the night* with one of her friends, Reid. They decide to keep things platonic, though neither really wants to. Reid meets Catherine online and starts chatting with her. The only thing? Catherine is actually Millie, who created another profile to avoid chatting to the creepers who contacted her on her original profile. You can imagine what ensues.

Another book by the writing duo Christina Lauren, The Unhoneymooners, was one of my favourite books I’ve read so far this year. This book has the same charm. I really enjoyed reading this one as well, and I can’t wait to add more of their books to my ‘To Read’ list.

Check out everything I’ve been reading here

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May Reads

May Reads

In the month of May I managed to read quite a few books and make up for my lacking in other months. I’m now on a better track with my reading challenge! Anyway, on with the books. My Oxford Year by Julia Whelan 3/5 Stars […]

What I’ve been watching this week – May 29

What I’ve been watching this week – May 29

The Challenge Not only have we been watching this current season of The Challenge, but we have been going back and watching some older seasons in our boredom. Ethan has shown some interest in the show during his first season of viewing. I asked on […]

My Mother’s Banana Bread

My Mother’s Banana Bread

Out of all of the banana breads I’ve had over the years, I’d be lying if I didn’t say my mother’s was my favourite. Sure, I’m probably a little biased. But I do think it’s a pretty good banana bread.

My mother’s Banana Bread

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr

Ingredients

  • 3 Bananas very ripe
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups Flour
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 2 tbs Melted Butter or Oil
  • 1/2 cup Chocolate Chips

Instructions

  • Mix bananas, sugar, and eggs together until bananas are smoothish. 
  • Add in flour, baking soda, and oil. Mix until incorporated.
  • Pour batter into a 9 inch loaf pan.
  • Sprinkle chocolate chips over top of loaf
  • Bake at 350 for 45 to 60 minutes.

If your bananas are super ripe, it might take a little longer to bake because of the moisture. So just do the classic toothpick method to check if it’s done or not.

It’s a super easy recipe that people love!

See all of my other food posts here.

Follow me on Instagram to see everything I’m making @hstrong_

Eulogizing Survivor: Winners at War

Eulogizing Survivor: Winners at War

Here we are, the morning after another season finale of Survivor. In many ways, it’s hard to believe this season even happened. This show has been on for 20 years, an accomplishment in itself. We got 20 winners to come and play again for the […]

Podcasts I’m subscribed to

Podcasts I’m subscribed to

I have been listening to podcasts for a long time. My brother first introduced me to them back in 2010, and I’ve been exploring the world through podcasts ever since. Here are the podcasts I am currently subscribed to: Rob Has a Podcast This is […]

What I’ve been making lately – April 4

What I’ve been making lately – April 4

Shakshuka

I love making Shakshuka. I make it for any brunch I’m hosting, and often for dinner when we’re not sure what else to make. It’s easy, tasty, and decently inexpensive. For mine, I used a jar of tomato sauce (but obviously feel free to make your own if you want). I bump up the spice of that with some red chili flakes and throw in some oregano. I let that get nice and hot, and then crack the the eggs into the sauce. I let the eggs poach, and then usually throw in some sort of cured meat, usually prosciutto. Season with salt and pepper and throw on a little olive oil.

Cacio e Pepe

Or, at least a sort of version of it. I use this Chrissy Teigen recipe as my base, and then just kind of change it to fit what I have on hand. This time around, I didn’t have any arugula on hand. I also used hot calabrese instead of pancetta or prosciutto. It’s a quick, easy, and flavourable recipe that’s great when you don’t feel like a red sauce for your pasta.

Chef’s Plate

We ordered a week of Chef’s Plate. We thought this would be a good time to have dinner delivered right to your door. We made steak with potatoes, Japanese umami burgers, and beef enchiladas. All three of the recipes were really good, and we were pretty happy with the service.

Read more about our week with it here.

Mushroom Soup

We had some mushrooms in the fridge that didn’t look like they were long for this world, so I thought a soup would be a fitting fate for them. First I sauteed some onions and garlic in butter before throwing in the chopped mushrooms. I let those cook for a bit before adding in a couple cups of vegetable stock. That came to a boil before I turned down the heat and added a little light cream. It wasn’t a particularly thick soup – I think I would have need more mushrooms, less broth, and heavy cream instead of the light. But we’re using what we have over here.

Carrot Cake

In the aforementioned Chef’s Plate box, we received one very large carrot for one of the recipes. We didn’t use the whole carrot, so I thought I could make some carrot cupcakes with the leftovers. There was about 3/4 of a cup of carrot, which was perfect for the Joy of Cooking carrot cake recipe halved. It was a really great recipe, and made probably one of my favourite carrot cakes ever.

Quick Bread

I didn’t have any yeast kicking around and had some self-rising flour to use up. I thought that this quick bread would be good for the Shakshuka above, and for some grilled cheese later in the week. This is the recipe I used.

I thought it was okay. Obviously, because there isn’t any yeast, quick breads are going to be a little heavier. It wasn’t my favourite, but I wonder if it would be better toasted.

Bagels

Listen, I am not a big bagel person. I think it’s my biggest food hot take. They’re just not my personal favourite. I find them a little dense. I thought, maybe, if I made some bagels I would like them better. And I am very bored, so I’m just trying to do stuff to stay sane. Like make bagels, I guess.

I used this 2-ingredient recipe that was all the rage in weight watchers circles a couple years ago. First of all, I halved it so the recipe would make 4 bagels instead of 8. I used Icelandic Skyr instead of Greek yogurt, because, well, that’s just what I had okay? I did use some Trader Joe’s Everything But the Bagel Seasoning and an egg wash, so yes these bagels were more than 2 ingredients.

I liked them just fine. I used one bagel to make a breakfast sandwich (I fried up the egg I used for the egg wash, I’m not trying to waste anything around here!). Ethan however, really liked the bagels. I ended up making another batch for him.

Pizza

We were craving a ‘wheel’ as Ethan likes to call pizza. We had some pizza dough in the freezer that we bought a couple weeks ago. We left it out overnight for it to thaw and rise a little bit.

We rolled in out on a very large sheet pan that had been sprayed down. Instead of pizza sauce, we used the pasta sauce that was later used in the Shakshuka. We used up the last of our cheese (already added to the grocery list). On top, we used bacon, chopped up slices of honey ham deli meat, canned pineapple, and red onions. Ethan used a few banana peppers on his half.

S’more Cookies

My favourite cookie recipe is on the inside of Crisco packages. I think it’s actually a brownie cookie recipe, but I just omit the cocoa powder. While cleaning out the cupboard I found some mini marshmallows and graham crackers. So I just followed the Crisco recipe, but threw in my found treasures to make a s’more cookie.

They were tasty, but definitely on the sweet side! The cookies went perfectly with a glass of milk.

Lemony Tumeric Cake

This was my first foray into the world of Alison Roman recipes. I have both of her cookbooks, but sometimes find the recipes call for ingredients that aren’t super easy to find here in a smaller town. I love looking at the pictures though.

I did have everything I needed for the teacake that is taking the internet by storm. So I made it.

It was really beautiful, but more importantly really tasty. The lemon cake is just the right amount of tart and sweet. I could have baked it a little less, but that’s on me. You can find the recipe here.

Follow me on instagram to see everything I’m making here.

For more food conversation, check out the Top Chef RHAP Up Podcast.

I tried out Chef’s Plate for a week

I tried out Chef’s Plate for a week

A friend of mine had a code for Chef’s Plate, a meal subscription service here in Canada. I was able to get 3 free meals for 2 (thanks Natalie!!) It felt like the perfect time to try something like this out. We’re trying to limit […]