Anniversary #36 – Cottage Weekend Away

For weeks I looked for a place to go. I had certain requirements….simple ones, really: I needed a lake so we could kayak, a kitchen so I could cook, INDOOR PLUMBING, and couldn’t cost a fortune!

Have YOU tried to rent a get-away spot lately? In the past, we had amazing luck with airbnb, but this year, holy smokes!!! What would have cost $80 or $90/night a year or so ago, is at least double now, and that’s IF you can find something available!!

I think I’m going to open an airbnb!!!

A-n-y-w-a-y….. I posted on Facebook that I was looking for something somewhat local. That was before we lost my mom, and I didn’t want to be far from home. I had a few responses, but each place I found lacking for one reason or another. You know, it just didn’t feel right.

Then my cousin called and left a message, “Connie, you know we have a cottage and you’re welcome to use it for FREE!” It was only an hour away, right on a lake, and INDOOR PLUMBING! I was SO thankful!!!

We booked it for September 10 weekend; our anniversary is actually September 7.

Then, out of nowhere, my mom got sick. She passed away August 29 (this will be for another blog, should I ever get to the point I can process this sufficiently enough to write about it). We wanted to have a graveside service, and the soonest date that worked for all the family, due to distance and work issues, was September 11. So we went to the cottage a week earlier than we had planned. To be honest, the timing was perfect. I really needed the time to get back on a somewhat even keel and begin to comprehend the loss and life going forward and to prepare for what I knew would be a difficult weekend ahead.

We arrived Friday afternoon, and stayed until Monday.

When we arrived, we were met with a special gift, a bottle of wine from France from my cousins. That was opened immediately and enjoyed with some cheese and olives from The Pickled Pig in Smiths Falls. I can’t recommend this business highly enough!

Dinner that night was salmon done in the air fryer (yes, I brought it, and half my kitchen with me!), Thai beans, fresh from the garden, grilled cinnamon fresh pineapple, and pesto quinoa and kale salad, with basil and kale from my garden. Finally, my basil has grown well enough to actually get a bit of an abundance!

We had gorgeous weather for kayaking! It was a beautiful lake we were on and we took full advantage. The first night, I went out for a little paddle on my own (I couldn’t wait), but then we went out together each day after.

Supper #2 was a braised pork loin with a white wine, rosemary/sage sauce, and roasted baby carrots (again, in the air fryer), and cauliflower mash with fresh chives. I added thinly sliced mushrooms to the sauce, though not called for in the recipe.

Cooking with wine… 🙂

Had to take a break while the pork loin was simmering to perfection…. Yeah, yeah, I know….wine in the sauce, wine while I cook, wine on the dock…. <3

Dinner #3 – Chicken Marsala, roasted potatoes, veggie stir-fry (again, air fryer!! 🙂 )

It was a wonderful, and much needed, weekend away together. Laughter, games, kayaking, and tears….

On our last night, Glenn went to bed early and I stayed up on the screened in porch, wanting to savour every last moment before facing the week ahead….

I can’t even begin to express how thankful I am/was for this precious time.

Thank you for the 36 wonderful, challenging, chaotic years, babe. There is no-one else I would want to weather all the ups and downs with besides you. No-one else would have ever put up with me… <3

Cooking and Cleaning….this IS my life!!!

I’ve waited a while to go public with this, only because I wanted to test these products out and make sure that they would make a positive impact on my day-to-day life.

As the title to my blog indicates, I am on a Relentless Pursuit…..of a lot of things! Small, but significant changes are slowly but surely transforming many areas of my life. Overall health and wellness encompass many different facets, and at the core of it all are the meals I cook and the atmosphere of our home.

As a Pampered Chef consultant, I have chosen products that reduce prep time, thereby making the seemingly endless process of preparing wholesome meals, so much more enjoyable. The quality and appearance of the serving and tableware add the final touch as my meal goes from kitchen to table. The fact that our products address both preparation and presentation are just two of the reasons that I love being a PC consultant!

A few months ago, I took on a temporary full-time position at the hospital to cover for a co-worker that was off for health reasons. Knowing that I would have even less time off, and less energy, I was concerned about how I was going to keep up with even the routine housework. I considered even hiring someone, but that is expensive, and in reality, doesn’t really save me a lot of time or work, since by the time I get the house ready for someone else to clean, I’ve almost done most of the work myself.

Years ago, I had heard of Norwex. I was told of cleaning cloths that would do the job brilliantly, only using water. That seemed unfathomable to me, so I admittedly dismissed it.

However, I began to take a second look…..wondering if these products could actually work well for me and do the job I needed them to do. Now my house is by no means spotless, but to create an atmosphere that is both presentable should anyone drop in, or more importantly, at least keep it in a state where I can feel relaxed and at peace, is incredibly important to my own mental well-being.

So I started with the mop system and their Envirocloth and Window cloths. Now I have used microfibre for years, but not like these! They clean so well and so quickly, that it is ALMOST fun to clean!!! The mop system works great to keep the floors clean with minimum effort and ZERO chemicals (another relentless pursuit of mine). These products are created using BacLock®—an exclusive micro silver antibacterial agent which offers continuous protection against microbes and odours within the cloth. So it is anti-bacterial on the surfaces you’re cleaning and then self-sanitizes the cloth as it dries. The mop pads are the same…. These come with a dry pad for “sweeping” and a wet pad for mopping. I have also began using the laundry and dishwashing products as well, further reducing the chemical use in our home. With just using water on my household surfaces and floors, I have been able to eliminate a number of cleaning products all together!

Anyway, I’m only sharing this here because both these products have benefited me greatly in my Relentless Pursuit of creating meals and a home for myself and my family, and working toward living as toxin-free as possible. Rather than having two Facebook groups, one for each company, I would prefer to share my use of these products here because they have become so much a part of my daily life, and my quest to create the home and atmosphere that is unique to us as a family.

As my title says, it is a pursuit. A process. I have not arrived, but I am seeing consistent, sustainable changes as I move forward in my journey.

If you are interested in any of these products, I am a consultant for both companies, not something I would ever do lightly, but to me…. PC and Norwex are a match made in heaven and I have so much confidence in both product lines!! Cooking and cleaning are a huge part of my life, and though I am more passionate about one than the other, they both integral parts of my life that are expressions of my values and my heart.

The links to my personal websites for both companies, are at the top of the page in the menu section if you want to check out any of these products, or the many other that are available.

Love you all….thank you for journeying with me on my pursuits.

Instant Pot Recipe: Butter Chicken

This recipe was taken from the Instant Pot app on my phone, first made by our daughter, Katie. It’s quick and delicious.

Now, full disclosure, mine turned out a bit different last night. I got everything assembled and when I went to find the curry powder, I had none!!! So…..I improvised. Didn’t turn out bad, if I do say so myself! However…..all I saw was one tablespoon of ginger, totally missing the fact that it was to be fresh and not powdered!! BIG difference!!!!! But it worked rather well.

I may, or may not, have been cooking with wine again!!!

I also added tandoori spice and Garam Masala, which are not called for in the original recipe. When I make it again, I will also add fresh cilantro….and maybe even some fresh basil.

Everyone else had theirs over rice, I had mine over some kale/quinoa salad to reduce the amount of carbs and include the nutrition benefits of kale vs rice. It was yum!!!

The Instant Pot app has many really good recipes for, what has quickly become my favourite appliance, the Instant Pot!! If you have one, you really need to download the app. The instructions are clear and simple, and will help you get the most out of your Instant Pot.

Let me know if you try this, or any of the other app recipes……or any of your own Instant Pot favourites!

Salute…

Instant Pot App Butter Chicken

No ratings yet
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 6
Calories 304 kcal

Equipment

  • Instant Pot

Ingredients
  

  • 1 whole onion chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger minced
  • 3 half chicken breasts
  • 1.5 cups crushed tomatoes Approx 363g
  • .5 cup chicken broth
  • .25 cup butter
  • 2 tbsp curry powder
  • .25 tsp salt
  • .5 cup heavy cream

Instructions
 

  • Preheat Instant Pot on saute setting, normal.
  • Add tomatoes, chicken broth, chopped onion, butter, curry powder, ginger, and salt to the Instant Pot liner.
  • Cook until butter is melted, stirring occasionally – approximately 2 minutes, using the saute function.
  • Add chicken breast to inner pot and toss to coat well with sauce.
  • Close and lock lid and turn steam release handle to Sealing.
  • Pressure cook on high for 15 minutes.
  • Release pressure manually.
  • Remove chicken to a plate. Can chop or shred at this point, or just leave it intact.
  • Turn Instant Pot to saute and heat until sauce is simmering.
  • Stir heavy cream into the sauce and cook until thickened – approximately 2 minutes. Stir frequently.
  • Either spoon sauce over intact chicken, or add chopped/shredded chicken back into sauce.
  • Serve.

Nutrition

Calories: 304kcalCarbohydrates: 9gProtein: 26gFat: 18gSaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 120mgSodium: 457mgPotassium: 696mgFiber: 2gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 712IUVitamin C: 10mgCalcium: 57mgIron: 2mg
Keyword Instant Pot
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Cooking…….with wine.

Anyone who knows me, knows I LOVE to cook!!! Though I often find the prep process tedious and labour-intensive, I am so motivated by the end result that I endure the process with my eyes on the prize!!!

I crave veggies, especially greens. I hate making salads, but I love to eat them!! A dilemma for sure!!! Right now my garden is still producing kale and I add it to just about anything!!!!

This is a Pinterest recipe found by one daughter and prepared by another. I would double the garlic, though when my daughter made it, it was very garlicky!!

Enjoy…

Honey Garlic Butter Roasted Carrots

No ratings yet
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Course Side Dish
Servings 10
Calories 170 kcal

Equipment

  • Oven, baking dish

Ingredients
  

  • 2 lb carrots sliced 1-1'2 inch thick diagonally
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 4 cloves minced garlic I would use more
  • 5 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 tsp salt I use Himalayan pink salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground pepper
  • fresh, minced parsley

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 425
  • Melt butter in saucepan
  • Add garlic and cook for 3 minutes, or until lightly browned, stirring very frequently. DO NOT burn the garlic.
  • Remove from heat and stir in the honey; stir until thoroughly combined.
  • Toss the carrots with the prepared sauce either in the skillet, or pour the sauce over the carrots in a mixing bowl. Season with salt and pepper, and mix until well combined.
  • Transfer carrots to previously prepared baking sheet.
  • Arrange in one layer and bake for 22 to 25 minutes, or until carrots are browned and tender.
  • Taste for seasonings and adjust accordingly.
  • Garnish with fresh chopped parsley.
  • Serve.

Nutrition

Calories: 170kcal
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!