Thursday, November 1, 2012

Slow Cooker Chicken Corn Chowder

Okay, I haven't been on here in two years and have not really had any desire to blog, but I needed a place to publish a recipe and what better place than here, right? 

This is my family's favourite winter soup.  It's yummy and so filling.

2 tbsp butter
1 1/2 lbs chicken cut into cubes

2 cans cream of potato soup (I usually buy this at Loblaws as it can be hard to find)
2 cups frozen corn
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
2 small onions diced
2 ribs celery sliced
2 small carrots sliced
1 tsp dry dill weed
2 potatoes peeled and diced

1/2 cup half & half

1. Fry chicken in melted butter (season as desired) then set aside
2. Combine soup & broth in slow cooker (I use a whisk so not to have any clumps)
3. Add the rest of the ingredients (including chicken) except cream
4. Cook on low for 6 - 8 hours
5. Stir in cream and serve

*If you want a thicker soup, remove a cup of the liquid from the soup and combine it with a tbsp of corn starch.  Add it back into the soup and turn the slow cooker on high for the last hour.

Friday, July 2, 2010

My "Home" Song

First off, here' are the lyrics and the Jason Mraz cover:

"Summerbreeze" by Seals & Crofts

See the curtains hangin' in the window

In the evening on a Friday night
A little light-a-shinin' through the window
Lets me know every thing's all right

Summer breeze makes me feel fine
Blowin' through the jasmine in my mind
Summer breeze makes me feel fine
Blowin' though the jasmine in my mind

See the paper layin' on the sidewalk
A little music from the house next door
So I walk on up to the doorstep
Through the screen and across the floor

Summer breeze makes me feel fine
Blowin' through the jasmine in my mind
Summer breeze makes me feel fine
Blowin' through the jasmine in my mind

Sweet days of summer -- the jasmine's in bloom
July is dressed up and playing her tune
And I come home from a hard day's work
And you're waitin' there
Not a care in the world

See the smile awaitin' in the kitchen
Through cookin' and the plates for two
Feel the arms that reach out to hold me
In the evening when the day is through

Summer breeze makes me feel fine
Blowing through the jasmine in my mind
Summer breeze makes me feel fine
Blowing through the jasmine in my mind

I remember this song from my childhood, but that's not really when I fell in love it with.

It was on the second "Dazed & Confused" soundtrack.  Did you know they had two?  Well, they did and this song was on it.  I'd say it was the mid to late 90's and I was in university.  Joe, my then boyfriend/now husband, and I had already been together for at least 3 years.  We knew we would get married it was just waiting out time until my schooling was all finished.  (On an aside note, we got engaged on my last day of classes in '98.  We didn't wait long, but at that point we had been together for 7 years.)

As much as this song reminds me of my childhood it also was my dream of what I wanted my home to be like.  I knew I wanted a kitchen with a window over the sink so I could be at the counter working when Joe drove in the driveway from work.  Old fashioned and cliche, but true.  What can I say, I'm an old fashioned romantic.

Now I look at the song and realize that I pretty much got what I dreamt of.  How lucky am I?

Summer Playlist Recommentations

My good friend Tricia is making a summer playlist and wanted some recommendations and, well, I kinda went a little overboard.  Then my other friend Nicole (no, she's not imaginary) said I should post my recommendations on my blog and I thought, "Why not?!". 
So, here it MANY recommendations for what could be included on a summer playlist.

These are songs I included in my "Summer 2009 Playlist".  They're not specifically from last year, but ones that just make me think of summer:

Summertime - DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince (A must! I remember having the cassette single of this. "Drums please!". Luv it!)
You Get What you Give - New Radicals (This plays at the end of "Surf's Up", so my kids love it too.)
Into Yesterday - Sugar Ray (Again from the "Surf's Up" soundtrack, but I dare you to not think of summer when hearing it! "The sky turns to a different shade of blue after the rain.")
I'd Like To - Corrine Bailey Rae ("Put Your Records On" is a good song, but this is more summery.)
Make It Mine - Jason Mraz (Just light and fluffy.)
All This Beauty - The Weepies (Abby always likes this song. She bounces around to it.)
Flake - Jack Johnson (My favourite JJ song of all time, so it always has to be included.)
Seven Days in Sunny June - Jamiroquai (The title says it all.)
Summer Breeze - Jason Mraz (The original was my favourite "home" song, but I love this one just as much. I'll post another blog entry as to what I mean about "home" song. )
You Don't Have to Believe Me - Eric Hutchinson (If I have not introduced you to this man than shame on me!)
Time Won't Wait - Jamiroquai (Just fun!)
Mama Told Me (Not to Come) - Three Dog Night (I always remember Tom Jones singing this song on a TV special with a bunch of British celebrities in the audience.)
Free Ride - Edgar Winter (Mel Gibson, Robert Downey Jr - "Air America". My second summer of university.)
Doctor My Eyes - Jackson Browne (If I ever had the guts to do karaoke this would be one of my songs.)
Tiny Dancer - Elton John ("Almost Famous"....need I say more?)
Bad Things - Jace Everett (It's the theme song for "True Blood". It's also one hell of a nasty song and I love it!)
Use Somebody - Kings of Leon (More from last summer, but if you don't know them.....)

Okay here are songs from my Driving playlist from when we went to Florida this spring:

Alloway Grove - Paolo Nutini (I always picture dancing to this song with a drink in my hand. I'm always sad the entire world doesn't know this song.)
Crash Into Me - Dave Matthew's Band (Because I forgot how amazing this song is. Bad me!)
Don't Stop Me Now - Queen (Not a Queen song I knew of until I watched "Shaun of the Dead". Now I love it.)
Everyday - Dave Matthew's Band (I remember this video was a guy just going around hugging people. )
Everyday People - Sly & the Family Stone (This group always make me think of Nicole's family....or was that KC and the Sunshine Band? ;) )
Got to Get you Into my Life - The Beatles (Because every mix has to have some Beatles in it.)
Henrietta - The Fratellis (Julie introduced me to this group....just a fun song!)
I Could Break Your Heart Any Day of the Week - Mandy Moore (My other karaoke song.)
I Want the World to Know - Anjulie (I will admit to dancing in my kitchen to this song many times.)

(If You're Wondering if I Want you to) I Want You To - Weezer (I am embarrassed to say I did not know about this song until this year. Bad me. )
Joker and the Thief - Wolfmother ("The Hangover". The scene at the blackjack table. Picture Bradley Cooper giving the security camera the finger.  Yes!)
Life Less Ordinary - Carbon Leaf (This was one of the sample songs on my computer. Luv it!)
Mushaboom - Feist (Okay it's more of a winter song, but I love the idea of it.)
Neverending Summer - Dayplayer (Nicole - Sweets from "Bones" is singing this song!!!!!)
Once in a Lifetime - Talking Heads (We all know this song, but who owns it. Get it!)
Oxford Comma - Vampire Weekend (Okay it does start out "Who give a fuck about an oxford coma", but the fuck is pretty fast. lol!)
Stay (Wasting Time) - Dave Matthew's Band (Fun.)
The Underdog - Spoon (Picture Zac Efron walking slowly to this song in "17 Again" and that's only half of the appeal. ;) )
Your My Best Friend - Queen (Summer!!!!!!!)
You Do It for Me - Matt Morris (Justin Timberlake recommends him. Need I say more?)
You Make My Dreams - Hall & Oats (Watch "500 Days of Summer" and you'll know why. )

Now, here are some songs from my Family Vacation playlist. Don't worry, only one more playlist after this one.  I saved the best for last. ; )

Back in Time - Huey Lewis & the News ("Back to the Future"...need I say more?!)
Good Day Sunshine - The Beatles (The title says it all.)
Hero (Unplugged) - "Starstruck" soundtrack (Even Joe and I like singing this song.)
High School Musical - "HSM3" (Tricia, your daughter's 5.  You'll be here soon!)
New Boyfriend - "Starstruck" soundtrack (It's catchy!)
Power of Love - Huey Lewis & the News (Again..."Back to the Future"!!!)
So They Say - Jamie Cullum (The kids love dancing around to this one.)
Something about the Sunshine - "Startstruck" soundtrack (Summer!)
Much Better - Jonas Brothers (Okay, I have to put one Jonas Brothers song on here! This is my favourite.)

Last one.  These songs are from my "Chuck" playlist.  The whole family can't stop listening to this one:

Cobrastyle - Soft Machine (Nicole, I always think you would like this song.)
See the World - Gomez (I don't know why but this reminds me of a university summer. Touring around Europe.  Having fun.)
Cellphone's Dead - Beck (Abby likes this song because of the girl saying "One by One I'll knock you out". hee, hee!)
Don't You Evah - Spoon (I am loving Spoon!)
Short Skirt/Long Jacket - Cake (C'mon, it's the Chuck theme song.)
Fall Into Place - Apartment (It's fun from the start all the way to the end.)
Private Eyes - Hall & Oats (Okay, it's not a huge recommendation but watching Abby dance to this makes me love it.)
Fresh Feeling - Eels ( "You don't have a clue what it is like to be next to you". That's how the song starts!)
Dropped - Phantom Planet (Don't think for a minute, just get it. It's both rock and dance. It's everything rolled up into one and I LOVE it!)
The Twist - Frightened Rabbit (Great band! In the show there's a big explosion, someone might perform an assassination, and some one's getting ready for a date.  All in one song!)
Do You Believe in Love - Huey Lewis & the News (Wind machine ON! - Sorry, inside joke. ; p )
Love it All - The Kooks (I've recommended it. Colleen's recommended it. Get it!)
Diamond Hoo Ha Man - Supergrass (You just want to dance to this.  And for the guys, picture two women fighting in a car while this song is playing.  Yup.)
Good Days Bad Days - Kaiser Chiefs (English Rock!)
Momma's Boy - Chromeo (I put this song on repeat over and over again. Fun and silly.)
Wannamama - Pop Levi (I dare you to try to stay still during this song. I DARE YOU!)
Tigers in the Fire - Love Grenades (Disco and dancey.)
Bite Hard - Franz Ferdinand (It starts of slow, but......wait for it........that's right!)
Now We Can See - The Thermals (Abby loves this song. My girl's got taste.)
Looking at the Sun - Gramercy Arms (THIS is summer.)
Christmas TV - Slow Club (I know, but I don't think of Christmas. In the show it plays during a wedding on a May.)
Black & Gold - Sam Sparro (I heard this song while I was at the movies the other day. We both can't be wrong!)
Backward's Walk - Frightened Rabbit (It has the lyric "You're the shit and I'm knee-deep in it.". And it takes a couple listens before you realize what they're saying. Very cool.)
Got Nuffin - Spoon (What can I say, they're an awesome band.)
Amarillion - Datarock (This song reminds me of the 80's and I love it. "I wanna walk you home from school. I wanna take you on a date.")
Merrymaking at My Place - Calvin Harris (Weird intro, but then it gets good.)
Can't Stop Feeling - Franz Ferdinand (Abby approves this selection. )
Astair - Matt Costa (Slow and sweet. It's a man and a guitar.  How can you go wrong?)
Swim Until You Can't See Land - Frightened Rabbit (You see the pattern, right?  ; ) )
In My Sleep - Austin Hartley-Leonard & Kendall Jane Mead (Okay, not really a summer song, but I can't NOT recommend this song. So sad. So lovely.)
Holiday - Vampire Weekend (Light and fun....then listen to the lyrics. hee, hee!)
Light & Day/Reach for the Sun - The Polyphonic Spree (Just happy.)
Feeling Good - Nina Simone (Surprisingly, the kids LOVE this song. I love the lyrics.)
September - Earth, Wind and Fire (How I feel about this song is well-known. This is my "backyard dance party with a drink in my hand" song.)
Neighbor - Band of Horses (They mention "chipmunks in the backyard". Hello?!)
On My Way Back Home - Band of Horses (They're good...and to me summery.)
Bluebeard - Band of Horses (Sitting around a fire, looking at the stars, listening to this song. I can picture it....even though they do mention "snow".)
Don't Hide Away - Bishop Allen (Upbeat and fun.)
Terrified (with Zachary Levi) - Katharine McPhee (Proof that Zac Levi is the whole package. )

Wow.  Okay, that's it.  You can agree with my choices.  You can disagree with my choices.  I don't mind.  All I know is that this was fun.  : D

Now onto my explanation of a "home" song.......

Saturday, June 19, 2010


This is Abbigail, my 6 yr old's daughter's, definition of being a twin:

"There is a string that attaches my heart to Stewart's.  And even if we're far apart, we will still be together."

She came up with this all on here own.  And when asked why she came up with it she said, "So Stewart won't ever be sad if we're not together.". 

These are the moments that make it all worth it.  The moments when you think to yourself, "Maybe, just maybe I'm doing something right.".  Then the moment is gone and you're left to deal with the next challenge.  :)

Saturday, May 22, 2010


For the last 3 weeks we've been in "finale season" in tv.  For anyone who loves television like I do it's a wonderful time of the year.  I've always loved any "sweeps" period when the shows pull out all of the punches to get people to tune in.  But as a person who's always been a fan of television, I'm surprised at how few shows I was looking forward to watching.  In fact, the grand total is 5.  And do you know what is to blame for this? REALITY TV.
We are a society who has turned "fame" into an occupation.  An occupation that it seems anyone can apply for.  (see Speidi, Paris Hilton, Kate Gosslin)  Why? 
I will admit when reality tv first started I watched a lot of it....Survivor, The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, Flavour of Love, etc, but then I took a step back and said, "What the hell am I watching?!".  These shows are full of people who have no other desire than to get their face in front of a camera for no other reason than to...get their face in front of a camera!
You know those "man on the street" news reports where the reporter is standing in front of a crowd and there's always a handful of people waving their hands like crazy, making pretty much idiots of themselves?  That's what these "reality stars" are doing.  In the most basic form they're saying "Hey!  Look at me!!!!!".  Why are you looking? 
Critically acclaimed shows don't last anymore because no one is watching them.  We'd rather watch Dancing with the Stars or American Idol over and over again.  (Two shows which have basically turned into popularity contests.) 
Television used to be an art. It was a place where all sides of creativity came together and produced wonderful things. Fun things. Things that made you forget about your life for just a little while and made you wish you were the other guy. Nowadays television has become similar to watching a car accident where we are happy to watch the other guy crash and burn. What does that say about our society?
The one thing I take solace in is the fact that my family is a Nielsen's family.  Our votes are being counted and, although it's only 4 votes, every bit counts. 
I have especially been concerned with ratings this year because I wasn't confident that my favourite shows would be back again next year.  So, I made sure that my vote counted....and I honestly made a difference.  For the first time in a while my shows were all picked up early...with exception to one that just squeaked by.  (I think it was my personal vote that helped with that one.) :)

The summer is a great time to catch up on shows you might not have watched before.  Instead of watching Big Brother 22 why not rent a season of a show you haven't seen before and give it a try?  You might just be surprised.

Now, after all that do you want to know what my 5 shows are? Here they are:

Mondays @ 8pm - Chuck (NBC) - For anyone who has never seen an episode of Chuck please try it out.  If you like action comedies this is the show for you.  It is filled with some amazing stunts but at the same time staying so funny.  It's a show that doesn't take itself too seriously. 

Wednesdays @ 9 and 9:30pm - Modern Family (ABC) - Everyone's calling it the resurgence of the sitcom.  I agree.  It is absolutely hilarious and every character is worth watching.
Cougar Town (ABC) - Don't let the name scare you.  This is a very well-written, funny show.  Just like Modern Family every character hold's their own.  It's from the creator of Scrubs and Spin City.  And for anyone who got sick of Monica (me included) on Friends, Courtney Cox is no Monica in this one. 

Thursdays @ 8 & 9 - Bones (Fox) and Fringe (Fox) - Bones is a forensic show, but it's more about the characters.  And Fringe, well, it's this generation's X-Files, but not as creepy. 

All that said, there are other shows I do watch when I can, but please remember anything after 10pm from Sun - Tues is past my bedtime.  :(  That said, I do like Big Bang Theory, Glee, 30 Rock and I am looking forward to catching Lie to Me when it comes back on this summer.  I was a faithful Lost viewer for the first 3 seasons and I just haven't been able to keep up anymore.  I will tune into the series finale because, well I always like to see how a show end.

Okay, that's it.  There's my rant.  Just next time you're sitting on the couch watching television, think about what you're watching.  Are the people on the shows worth your time?  Because if they're not, why are you watching.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


My dad has always had a very specific way of disciplining.  He would weave an entire lecture to put his point across.  I am often quoted as saying (in my younger years) that by the time Dad was done with a story I was married and had two kids.  I would always tell my mom that I'd rather her just yell at me because my dad's stories seemed torturous to me.
Well, now that I'm all grown up it's a different story.  It is truely one of those moments where, as an adult, you are grateful for the actions of your parents when you were a kid....and you know you will be repeating those "methods" with your own kids.  Since they were such good lessons I thought I would put some of them down here for you.

-Heart vs Head Story-
This is a pretty frequent one that occured a lot when I was a teenager.

"Cole, when you make decisions in life you have to make them with part of your head and part with your heart.  Your brother makes decisions all with his head and you make them all with your heart.  You always need both. 
In some cases you need to make them with a bit more of your head than your heart or the other way around, but both must always be present."

-On a Scale of 1 to 10-
I've heard this one since I was a little kid.  Whenever I would get hurt either it be a splinter or a stomach cramp the following conversation would occur:

Cole: "It hurts!!!!!!!!!!!"

Dad: "Now, how bad does it really hurt?"

Cole: "Really, really bad!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Dad: "Come on.  On a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being your arm cut off.) how bad does it hurt?"

Cole: "It's a 9!"

Dad: "Nicole, your arm is cut off!  That had got to hurt a lot.  How bad does this hurt?"

Cole: "It's a 5?"

Dad: "Your arm is cut off!  It is no longer attached to your body!  How bad is this splinter?"

Cole (sheepishly): About a 2?"

Dad:  "If that.  You're fine."

Okay, a side story to this one which I have told many times.  When I went to deliver my kids via c-section I found out that the hospital also used the "scale of 1 to 10" pain scale. 
While recovering from the c-section the nurse asked me on a scale of 1 to 10 how bad the pain was.  Can you guess my response?  "3".  hee, hee!  The nurse was in shock and couldn't understand it.  Another nurse came in and asked again what my pain was like.  Again I told her 3, but this time I told her that I had been subject to the "scale of 1 to 10" thing my entire life.  And I've been accustomed to believing that having your arm cut off would hurt a hell of a lot. 

-"No Problem"-
This one is my favourite. 
For anyone who doesn't know my dad is a retired police officer.  This story is about a collegue of his that he would always bring up when us kids would complain about the various problems in our lives.  I don't remember the officer's real name, so I'll call him "Bob".

"There's this guy at work and any time anyone gives him something to do he always would say, "No problem".  He'd get the crap jobs piled and piled on him and his response was always the same...."No problem".  "Bob can you stay late tonight?" "No problem!".  "Bob, can you do some extra paperwork?"  "No problem!". 
A bunch of the officers who were complaining about something or other couldn't understand it.  Why didn't Bob ever get upset?  Didn't any of this bug him? 
Well, one day they asked him why everything was always "no problem".  It turns out Bob was in the war.  And in the war he was dirty, hungry, getting shot at and basically living in hell.  Then Bob had a problem! problem!
So whatever you're going through remember Bob and his "no problem".  Is it really that big of a problem?"

Anyway, those are my three favourite.  There were many others over the years, but those three are ones that I know I will tell my own kids.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

I'm a big fan of song lyrics.  I am totally convinced they are modern day poems.  Anyway, this is one of the songs I just love lately.  It's by the Gabe Dixon Band.  And if you haven't heard of them check them out on itunes. 
Anyway, this is the song......Further the Sky

When you don't know where you're going you don't know why
It feels like another day's bleeding into the night
Lay your head on my chest while my beating heart pounds out the secret of this life

The higher you reach, the further the sky
The more miles you walk, the longer the road
The steeper you climb, the harder you stand to fall
The stronger you get, the heavier the load

I wish I could you give the ansewers in paper and ink
I wish I could stop all the tears before they start falling
But we're feeling our way and we're always beginners
We're all cuts and no scars

The higher you reach, the further the sky

The more miles you walk, the longer the road
The steeper the climb, the harder you stand to fall
The stonger you get, the heavier the load

The bigger the dream, the rougher the ride
The truer the love, the deeper the ache
The blinder the faith, the tougher the goal

The higher you reach, the further the sky
The more miles you walk, the longer the road
The steeper you climb, the harder you stand to fall
The stronger you get, the heavier the load

I know, it's simple and it's been said in many different ways many times over, but I like it.  And when I like something I want to share it with the world.  Enjoy.