Charting life's circuitous path

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End of the month photo roundup – September

The month started with this:

That, folks, is a peach cream pie.  I adapted this recipe by Evil Shenanigans.  It was my swan song to peach season and it was even more delicious than the original peaches, if you can believe that (and you should!).  I had wanted to do something with a batch of peaches my mother had given me, and I couldn’t decide between a jam or a pie.  Considering how I already had a blueberry sauce and a jar of fig jam in the fridge, I wanted something that I could really sink my teeth into.   I was also craving pastry cream something fierce, so I looked for a recipe that merged the two.

Some alterations to the original recipe:

  • I didn’t bother peeling my peaches.  This might sound really weird and gross to some – in fact, it was really weird and gross to me when my hubby first decided to eat a peach in front of me years ago.  Growing up, almost every fruit with a skin was peeled.  In some part of my mind, a fuzzy skin equated to dire stomach consequences if consumed.  Imagine my surprise when my hubby displayed disbelief at my insistence to peel his fruit.  It took me a while to get to the point of acceptance (nearly 6 years, in fact), but now I’m an avid convert to the fuzzy little fruits and decided to keep the skin in this recipe.  Trust me, you’ll never know it and the pink skin tints your peach mixture a lovely color.
  • I used a more traditional pastry cream for the proposed custard. That meant one more egg and 1 tbsp less corn starch.  It was lovely and soft, but the extra corn starch wouldn’t have hurt.
  • I also cheated and used a pre-made crust (Pillsbury) and Cool Whip instead of whipped cream.  We thought it quite delish and it made the recipe less intimidating.

The month also included cuteness:

So soft! And the most adorable face. Forget sheep, give me an alpaca any day.

I want that lady's shoes! Oh, yeah, and the dog is a cutie, too!

Don’t you just love dog jackets?  I’m not keen on dog clothing, but I’m all for doggy jackets for bad weather.

I’m not sure if it’s the cooler weather or just coincedence, but I’ve been a happy little pack-rat this month.

Lo and behold, she was given tea.

12 boxes!

600 bags of tea, to be precise.  I love my cup of decaff green tea at night.  I can’t drink caffeinated drinks after 6 pm or else I’m up all night, but I’m also a big believer in the health benefits of green tea.  It also didn’t hurt that they had this baby for a really decent price on Amazon through their subscription option.  I then bought 6 boxes of Kashi Go Lean, 18 Gillette razors for hubby, 6 boxes of Quaker Oatmeal Squares and 100 Rooibois teabags.

I feel a little guilty having so much, but this stash is going to last ages and it saved us a lot of money.

The end of the month now sees me with these as my best friend:


Battling a cold wasn’t how I envisioned ending my September, but when I’m through with it, I can look forward to an October filled with hockey (official season starts!), cake pops (giving it a go for the first time for hubby’s Halloween work party), and more hot cocoa.  For now, though, I’m just trying to get back to healthy.


End of the month photo roundup – August

When I went in search for photos for this month’s roundup, I had only a few to select.  Apparently two months of vacations will limit my photo taking inclinations!  It wasn’t as if there was little opportunity – we had parties and get-togethers that all had picture moments.  Unfortunately, I’m still working on getting into the habit of taking those pictures.

Things I’ll remember this month include sweltering hot days mixed with cooler nights – a clear sign of Fall.

Actually, I’m beginning to wonder if food bloggers are more anxious for Fall than the stores!  I don’t know about you, but I’m a bit put off by all of the pumpkin recipes already appearing in my feeds.  I love pumpkin, don’t get me wrong.  But I love it when the temps aren’t in the 90s with the first day of Fall a month away.

The change in temps, however, might have spurred my baking fever.

It all started with a deep craving for cinnamon buns.

While they didn’t come out quite as planned, they were still delicious and gave me wonderful ideas for future bun endeavors.

Then I used the excuse of visitors to whip up a loaf of Coconut Chocolate Chip Banana Bread with Lime Glaze.

The original recipe came from Sweet Pea’s Kitchen and I followed it very closely.

Except for a few changes:

  1. Mini Chocolate Chips – because bananas and coconut demand chocolate and because all things are made that much yummier with melty bits of chocolate in every bite.
  2. A thick lime glaze – I LOVE glaze.  I’m not so keen on thick cake icing, but when it comes to buns and breads, the more glaze the better.  So I increased the amount of sugar to make a thicker, tastier layer.
  3. Out with the rum and in with the lime – I don’t have rum in the house, but I do have lime.  So, in it went and it truly made the bread bond with the icing.

Everyone agreed that it was indeed tasty.  They especially liked the glaze and to be honest, I think the glaze makes the bread.  Course, it didn’t hurt that coconut and chocolate was involved.

I made this on a Friday and it was all gone by Sunday.  Not bad for a whole loaf. 😉

I also dabbled in making fresh pesto this month.

I had bought pesto in the past, only to find out that one of the ingredients was animal rennet.  Rennet.  Sounds innocuous, doesn’t it?  Um, no.  After looking it up I was shocked to find out what it was (like when I found out that some brands of cake use cochineal as food coloring just so they can say “all natural”).  Yuck.  Gross as all get out.

So, having tossed bottles of pesto and feeling betrayed, I finally grew a basil plant this year in my herb pot garden and plucked a bunch.  I used a recipe that was simple and delicious without a lot of fat.

I know that there are a ton of pesto recipes already out there, but I like to think that this one is just slightly healthier and more present, if you know what I mean, than some of them.  At any rate, it was something I was keen to make and having accomplished it, I’m planning to make some more with the rest of the basil.

You know, before the snow hits. 🙄

Homemade Pesto

(Note: Original recipe from The Adaptable Feast.  My adaptations are in red.)


  • 2 cups packed fresh basil, torn into small pieces
  • 1/2  tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed
  • Scant 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan (I used Parmesan made without animal rennet)
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste


  1. Place basil in food processor with lemon juice, garlic and nuts.  Pulse until well chopped and pasty.
  2. Slowly pulse in oil, stopping after each tablespoon to scrape down the sides of the bowl.  Blend until smooth.
  3. Stir in cheese with spoon and season with pepper.

Makes about 1 cup.

Tip:  You can freeze cubes of pesto for future use by spooning pesto into an ice cube tray.  Just freeze and then pop out into a plastic bag for future use.  This works really well, especially if you’re the only one in the house that likes the stuff. 🙂

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Eddy’s First Vet Trip.

The day started off bright and sunny.  Mommy woke up early (8 am) to go for a run.  I went to sleep with Daddy on my bedroom perch until Mommy came back home.  YAWN.  It’s tough being a bird sometimes!

After mommy woke up daddy to get ready (I wonder why?), she took me into the kitchen for breakfast.

She gave me some carrots to munch on while she prepared some food.  I like to sit there and watch her cook, but sometimes I can be sneaky.  See that black water bottle right behind me?  Well, let’s just say that it just might have been a matter of beak meeting bottle that sent mommy cleaning up water from the floor.  But she loves me so much that she didn’t blame me for it – said it was her fault for leaving it there.  Isn’t she nice?

After she was done preparing breakfast, we all moved into the dining room to have cereal.  I put on my cutest look and daddy gave me a tiny piece of Quaker Oatmeal Squares – yummy!

But wait!  What’s that thing sitting by the front door?

I think I remember that!  Didn’t I go into that when I went to grandma’s house two years ago?  Hmmm….

Definitely something going on here – why am I in here? This isn’t my bed!

The car!  I wonder why we’re in here?  I’m sure glad mommy is here with me in the backseat.  She talked to me the entire time and I whistled back to her.  Daddy drove and I clung on for dear life – these things move fast!

We finally arrived (it felt like ages even though it was only 8 minutes), and they took me into this small building.  Inside, there were more birds like me!  They were caged, too, and I looked around nervously.  Why are we here??

They took me into a small room where a nice lady asked all sorts of questions.  She wanted to know how long I was with mommy and daddy and if I had any issues. Then she left us alone and we waited…

A very nice man came in and looked at me very carefully.  He said that I looked really good!  You betcha I look good! That’s because mommy gives me a bath every other day.  I love my baths!  They talked about a lot of stuff and I only caught a few words…nails…something about a beak…oh, dear.  I have a bad feeling about this!

The nice man (or so I thought!) told my mommy and daddy to go wait in the waiting room while they “complete the examination”.

I don’t remember very much about the exam except that I was scared!  I let them know, too, until they quieted me down.  When it was all over, they had trimmed my beak and given my nails a clipping!  I felt like a new bird, but I sure was tired.  I went right to sleep once I got home.

I almost missed my follow-up call but mommy’s happy “yay!!” let me know that I must be one healthy bird!  I have to go on a low fat diet, though, so no more peanut butter on toast.  😦 I’m so disappointed, but I do get more fruits and veggies for breakfast!  I can’t wait to see the cereal and veggies mommy buys for me tomorrow!


Mommy:  Apparently, the vet told us that he had a bit of “beak rot” on the left side of his beak.  This scared me since I had never heard of it before, and he said that it could be a sign of another problem like liver disease.  I was so worried when we got home and felt so bad for not taking him to the vet earlier that I could hardly stand to wait for the follow-up call.

Btw, looking up diseases and health issues online can be horribly stressful.  When I googled Beak Rot, I got back so many horrible and deadly diseases! I got myself all worked up reading about it that it was such a relief when we got the phone call.

Luckily, he’s in great health!  He just needs a low fat diet and a limit on sticky foods.  I’m going to be cooking his breakfast every morning.

I cannot stress how important it is to find a good avian vet and to take your pet bird for a checkup.  We found ours through The Association of Avian Veterinarians.  We’re lucky that ours is only 8 minutes away!  Definitely worth the money and the time since we would never had known that our little guy had any problems.  Plus it’s a relief to know that he’s healthy and happy. 🙂