The Twelve Days of Christmas in July: An Introduction

The Twelve Days of Christmas in July Graphic

Good morning, everyone!  Beginning tomorrow (and running through July 12–the Twelve Days of Christmas in July), I will be posting a PDF in Google Docs to enjoy…tags…cards…subway art…all sorts of goodies.  Also expect some holiday open-house recipes!  I hope you enjoy the early holly-day!

Meal Plan Monday: Happy Patriotic Holiday Days!

Meal Plan Monday

Happy (early) Canada Day and Fourth of July!  The first part of this week we are still traveling home, so the meal plan is going to be kinda sketchy.  I am looking forward to the end of our week, as we enjoy our Fourth of July festivities.  I know it is going to be a blast (ba-dum-bum)!  As one of the recipes from the last LIVE meal plan did not get made, I will probably commence the meal plan with that this week.

Without further ado…

Monday:  On the road

Tuesday:  On the road

Wednesday:  Will probably eat dinner on the road (if not hot dogs)

Thursday:  Slow Cooker Pesto Ranch Chicken from Six Sisters’ Stuff

Friday:  hamburgers with toppings bar, ice cream sundae bar

Saturday:  leftovers

Clean Out the Refrigerator Leftovers for Dinner

Sunday:  Cashew Chicken in the Crockpot from Recipe Shoebox

As usual, I will be linking up with OrgJunkie’s Menu Plan Monday.

Family Heirloom Recipes: Pineapple and Cheese Salad

Family Heirloom Recipes

When I made the Simple Crockpot Chicken and Dumplings, I made one of the old standby sides for the dish in my mom’s family.  That was the pineapple and cheese salad.  This seems to be an acquired taste although growing up I found it to be so elegant.  You layer a few shreds (or leaves) of iceberg lettuce on a salad or dessert plate.  On top of that, you plunk one canned pineapple slice (or two, if you are feeling particularly decadent).  In the crater created by the absence of the pineapple core, you mound a teaspoon or so of mayonnaise (store-bought is fine).  On top of that, you sprinkle some cheddar cheese (the sharper, the better).

I should note that Josh does NOT like this salad.  The other day when I made it, he only wanted a pineapple slice.  I prepared Muffin a pineapple slice with cheese on top of it…and he liked it.

Shortly after my grandmother passed away (five years ago almost), I tried to find the origin of the recipe.  It didn’t appear that any cookbook published it.  Recently, I found a few versions that were close, but not exact.  You can swap out the pineapple for a canned pear half and the cheddar cheese for green-can Parmesan cheese.

Pineapple and Cheese Salad

From the Creative Minds of My Maternal Ancestors

For each salad:

2-3 leaves of iceberg lettuce (or several shreds of iceberg lettuce), arranged attractively on a dessert plate

1-2 canned pineapple slices (or canned pear halves)

1-3 teaspoons mayonnaise

1-3 tablespoons grated sharp cheddar cheese (or 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese)

On the bed of lettuce, arrange the pineapple slices.  Fill the core cavity of the pineapple slice with mayonnaise.  Sprinkle with cheese.

Serve as an appetizer salad alongside other comfort family heirloom recipes.

Since Muffin ate a kid-friendly version of the salad, I consider this one Muffin Approved.

Muffin Approved

What is your favorite family heirloom recipe?

Cent Saving Saturday: The Canadian Edition and a Cranberry Punch Recipe

Cent Saving Saturday

Today we are in Canada, so we will be missing the U.S. sales on this sales cycle.  My mother-in-law receives the sales flyers for the week on Thursdays (With the exception of Fresh Co., all of the sales start on Friday and run through Thursday.  Fresh Co.’s sales cycle is Thursday through Wednesday).  So, in honor of Canada Day on Tuesday (and in honor of the fact that my mother-in-law’s town is having their big Canada Day celebration today), I bring you Cent Saving Saturday, Callander/North Bay, Ontario-style.  (I noted the items that were my cost point down there or below.)  All items are in Canadian currency, and several use the metric measurement system.  For the benefit of my readers below the border, I am going to try to translate into customary units as well (except for those that seem to be universal, such as 2 L sodas).

Fresh Co.

Tostitos tortilla chips $2

Tostitos salsa or salsa con queso $2

Seedless Watermelon (9-11 pound average) $3 each

Dempster’s Whole Grains or Garden Vegetable Bread $2

Ocean Spray Cocktail $2 (64 ounce size)

Minute Maid orange juice (frozen concentrate) $1

Hunt’s Snack Pack puddings, 4 count $1

Del Monte canned fruit $1

Cavendish frozen french fries $1/bag

8 ounce package Ontario White Mushrooms $1

Ontario Romaine Lettuce $1/head

Pom 100% pomegranate juice 236 mL (8 ounces) $1

Anjou pears $1/pound

Laughing Cow cheese $2

4 pound case Ontario tomatoes on the vine $3

Target (formerly Zeller’s)

50% off all pools, water toys, and swim accessories

select Minute Maid frozen juice concentrates 2/$1

Giant Tiger

Maple Lodge chicken wieners $1

Catelli pasta sauce, 700 mL (24 ounces) $1

Minute Maid orange juice, 1.75 L (59 ounces) $2


Minute Maid, Five Alive, and Fruitopia juice cartons 1.75 L (59 ounces) 94 cents

Neilson 1% chocolate milk carton, 1 L 94 cents

Blueberries, 2 pounds, $4.94

Gala apples, 3 pound bag, $2.94

Wholly Guacamole $1.94

Maple Leaf hot dogs 94 cents

English cucumbers 77 cents each (I paid well over a dollar for some the other day in Louisiana)

Grape tomatoes, 10 ounces, 94 cents

Great Value potato chips $1.24

Great Value candy/chocolate bags 94 cents

Food Basics

Nestle Pure Life water, 24 pack bottles, $1.88

Blueberries,pint, 3/$5

Coca Cola/Pepsi 12 pk. 355 mL (12 ounces) $4.77 (This seems to be the lowest price city-wide because it is cheaper than the 3/$10 most places are offering.)

Ragu pasta sauce 99 cents

Selection bacon 500 grams (1 pound package) $3.99


President’s Choice potato chips (including the poutine flavor) 3/$5

Foodland (I will be trying out and publishing recipes from their new circular shortly, including one my mother-in-law tried yesterday at the cookout)

Whole or sliced mini Bella mushrooms $1.99

Shopper’s Drug Mart (For people south of the border, think CVS)

Coca Cola or Pepsi 6 pack 710 mL bottles (24 ounces each) 2/$5 (Saturday and Sunday only)

No Frills (My personal fave…home of the No Name brand as a store brand–possibly the cheapest store brand product I know)

Cherries $1.88/pound

Top sirloin steak $3.88/pound

Coca Cola/Pepsi soft drinks 2 L 3/$2.88 (less than 99 cents a bottle)

Farmer’s Market mini cucumbers (pickling), 8 pack, $1.88

Dole Classic iceberg or cole slaw salads 88 cents

Old Mill bagel or Wonder+ English Muffins, 6 count 2/$2.88

No Name chicken broth 900 mL carton (30 ounces) 88 cents

President’s Choice 2 L frozen yogurt $2.88

Post Cereal 340-550 grams (12-19 ounces) $1.88

Fruitopia, Five Alive, and Nestea cartons 1.75 L 88 cents (Yes, it’s cheaper than Walmart.  Take those flyers and price match!)

*I did look at the Kroger and Albertson’s sales papers for the week online, but most of these put their prices to shame!

As promised, here is a recipe (from the Foodland recipe booklet) that has only 2 real ingredients, both of which are on sale this week.  My mother-in-law made this recipe last night for a cookout she hosted; she made one batch and realized that she probably could have doubled it.  A single of the recipe makes roughly one gallon/4 liters.  Ocean Spray cranberry juice is on sale at Fresh Co. for $2, and No Frills has 2 L soft drinks on sale for 3/$2.88.  The upshot is that this can be made for less than the equivalent amount of gasoline to fuel your vehicle (whether you are in Canada or the U.S.).

Cranberry Punch

64 ounce bottle Cranberry Cocktail or 100% Juice Blend Cranberry (My mother-in-law used the Cran-Raspberry blend which made it fabulous!)

2 L bottle club soda, ginger ale, or lemon-lime soda (My mother-in-law used lemon-lime soda)

mixed fruit and/or herbs (My mother-in-law sliced up an orange and floated it in the mixture which flavored it nicely)

Chill both bottles thoroughly.  Soak fruit in the juice prior to making the punch.  Add the soda/pop just before serving as well as any herbs, if desired.  Ice may also be added to the pitcher/serving apparatus when the soda/pop is added.

page01By the way, this recipe was extremely Muffin Approved.  And everyone else approved.

What is your favorite punch to make?


Printables by Muffin’s Mama: Fourth of July Subway Art

Printables By Muffin's Mama

It’s time for another printable!  I hope you enjoy this one (and it’s Canadian counterpart).  I really like the color palette on this one, as well as the translucent fireworks in the background.

Remember to click the image below to head straight to GoogleDocs to print your very own handy-dandy printable art-work, great for decorating mantels, walls, as table centerpieces (oops!  I let you in on my big secretive plans), or the like.


How do you plan on spending your Fourth?

Funny Muffin Friday: Muffin and the Umbrella (nearly wordless)

Funny Muffin Friday

A few weeks ago, when we made the Chick-Fil-A lemonade, I decorated Muffin’s glass with a cocktail umbrella.  He decided to play with the umbrella a bit, leading to this adorable result:

I love how fearlessly creative Muffin is!

Thoughtful Thursday: Corner Gas Season 2 (with Trivia!)

Thoughtful ThursdayIn honor of our trip to Oh, Canada, I figured that now would be a good time to post the Season 2 of Corner Gas highlights and trivia.  I am actually writing this post in advance of the trip because I want to be able to let you, my readers, have posts to read while I enjoy time with my family while we are up there (and come up with some awesome posts for my return to the U.S.).  I will be checking in from time to time, but, for the most part, I will not be adding any “live” posts this week.

Also, I’m going to tie this to one trivia question per episode and hopefully find a great quotable for each episode.  Answers to the trivia questions will be at the end of this post.

Episode 1:  The Brent Effect:  This episode, to me, can be seen as Emma versus Oscar, Brent versus Lacey, and Karen versus Davis.  Emma is angry with Oscar because he stole her money for her new mixer to buy a boat motor, and she retaliates (Or, as Oscar puts it, “You put holes in my boat; I’ll put holes in your bowls”).  Brent and Lacey aren’t exactly fighting, but Lacey believes Brent has more-than-a-friendship feelings for her (when the rest of the town thinks that Brent is out of her league).  Karen gets upset with Davis because she believes that he is not following police procedure about something.  Trivia:  What does Davis do that Karen is upset about?  Why does he do it?

Episode 2:  Wedding Card:  I love this episode!  When Brent asks Emma why he’s never seen any of Emma and Oscar’s wedding pictures, Emma tells him that they never got married.  This spurs Davis to create a wedding extravaganza (using up part of the police budget).  Brent and Hank get into an argument over who actually owns a rookie hockey card, leading to Karen and Wanda arguing about it as well.  Lacey joins the fray by helping Oscar learn to read (even though he already knows how).  Quotables:  Oscar:  “Cat-sup…Catttt-suppp…Catsup” Emma:  “It was an Elvis wedding.”  That quotable leads me to the trivia:  Why does Emma tell Brent that she and Oscar were never married (the real reason)?

Episode 3:  Smell of Freedom:  I relate to this one, having almost no sense of smell.  Davis regains his sense of smell, but soon realizes that he can smell too much.  Lacey, the self-proclaimed Scrabble champ, loses in a game to Hank, who she begins coaching to beat people tournament-style.  Brent realizes that he knows little about his fellow townies, so he starts brushing up on a bit of local history.  Quotables:  Lacey:  “Scrabble is kinda like Kerplunk.”  Brent:  “Hey Wes, what’d you fall out of the denim tree?”  Trivia:  Who does Davis become offended by smell-wise?

Episode 4:  Whataphobia:  At Lacey’s birthday celebration, everyone soon realizes Lacey’s deepest fear.  Brent and Hank then try to figure out Wanda’s deepest fear.  Davis, who shares Lacey’s fear, invites Lacey to a support group (but Lacey thinks that he’s asking her out on a date).  Meanwhile, Karen begins cooking, and Oscar takes credit.  Quotable:  Wanda (about Hank):  “I don’t know whether to smack him, or pat him on the head and tell him everything’s going to be alright.”  Trivia:  What is Lacey’s fear of?  What is it called?

Episode 5:  Lost and Found:  Brent and Hank are in a favor war (Hank needs some work done at his cousin’s farm, and is trying to ensure that Brent will owe him the favor of helping).  Brent tries to get Lacey’s help in the favor war, but she turns it to her advantage.  Oscar begins picking up trash (that he calls treasures) on the side of the road.  Karen is obsessed with her hacky sack and upset when it disappears.  Quotables:  Emma (to Oscar):  I asked you niiiiice.  Wanda:  Prepositions are fun!  Trivia:  What is the work that needs to be done on Hank’s cousin’s farm?

Episode 6:  Poor Brent:  Brent buys a huge television, but things conspire to make Hank think he’s broke.  Davis joins in, but soon discovers Brent’s secret (but keeps the secret and perpetuates the idea that Brent is broke because he thinks Brent will buy a better satellite package if he has more money).  Lacey buys jewelry from Wanda but soon discovers that Wanda overcharged her.  Oscar and Emma argue over putting the lid on the sugar bowl, leading Oscar to act like a bachelor.  Quotables:  Oscar:  “I’m always putting the lid on.”  Brent:  “How can I say no to a man who brought me…lentils.”  Trivia:  What Brent-charity measure devised by Hank and Davis makes Karen frustrated/angry?

Episode 7:  Hero Sandwich:  Wanda decides to get a tattoo, and Emma offers to create the artwork for it.  Lacey creates a new sandwich for the Ruby but becomes frustrated when it becomes a success.  Davis and Karen are forced to give tickets for jaywalking when Fitzy tries to raise money for a traffic light.  Quotables:  (There are so many in this episode)  Brent/Wanda:  “Plants…implants.”  Brent:  “You have a tattoo?  I’ve been raised by gypsies.”  Trivia:  How does Lacey finally get to get rid of the Ruby Club?

Episode 8:  Security Cam:  Brent decides to install a security camera at Corner Gas, but he gets a surprise when everyone wants to be movie stars–except Hank who wants the camera gone.  Hank does want to be tasered, however.  Meanwhile, Oscar and Emma try to go on a romantic getaway but are thwarted by the (lack of) quality of the establishment.  Quotables:  Emma:  “I need someone to look under my…hood.”  Brent: “This thing just paid for itself.”  Trivia:  What is the name of the place that Oscar and Emma try to stay at?

Episode 9:  Bingo Night:  Emma is the bingo champ of Dog River until the bingo caller who has a crush on her becomes injured while calling bingo and Wanda takes over.  Lacey becomes upset because Karen and others want to buy Brent’s “road cookies” instead of her fresh baked cookies.  When Karen gets suspended from the police force because of an over-the-counter medication and begins hanging out with Brent at Corner Gas, Hank becomes jealous.  Quotables:  Lacey:  “It’s oatmeal…the meal made of oats.”  and “You hear that?  That’s the sound of coffee going up a buck.”  Emma:  “Where’s my wrench?”  Trivia:  Who gets called in to fix the pipes at Oscar and Emma’s house?

Episode 10:  Mosquito Time:  It’s mosquito season in Dog River, and the only one who seems unaffected is Hank (so people use him as a walking mosquito repellent).  Meanwhile, Karen and Davis are gathering items for the time capsule, and Lacey is having difficulties deciding which item to add.  Lacey has everyone angry because of her new carafes.  Oscar returns to work at Corner Gas, and everyone is upset, confused, or frustrated by this.  Quotables:  Hank:  “Not a mug…that mug.”  Emma:  “Oh, really, Miss Yellow Waitress Pad.”  Trivia:  What does everyone thing is causing Hank’s immunity to mosquitoes?  What do they find out really is causing the immunity to mosquitoes?

Episode 11:  Hurry Hard:  It’s curling season in Dog River, and the Leroy rink is facing troubles.  Brent decides to break off and form his own rink with Wanda, and Lacey (after joining Emma and Oscar’s rink briefly) joins up with them.  Karen is given the responsibility to keep up with the Clavet Cup, but she loses it at the Ruby.  Quotables:  Emma:  “It makes a thucka-thucka sound.”  Lacey:  “Oh, have a heart.”  Trivia:  What happens to the Clavet Cup at the Ruby?

Episode 12:  An American in Saskatchewan:  Big excitement happens when an American shows up (by accident) in Dog River.  Then, Wes puts an ATM in the liquor store, leading to the formation of the “ATM People,” soon to be led by Emma.  Any detractors–Hank, Fitzy, Brent, or Davis–are sent to Hank’s house.  Karen tries to learn French, but not in a way that Lacey approves of.  Hank fails as goodwill ambassador for the American.  Quotables:  to “We’re just a group of people,” Emma adds, “that I’m the leader of.” Trivia:  Where was the American traveling to?

Episode 13:  Pandora’s Wine:  Hank wins the lottery (almost 500 dollars) when Emma buys him a ticket for taking out groceries. He tries to make everyone happy by buying them presents, but instead makes others angry at him. Lacey tries to join the Leroys for a meal, but keeps botching it by first bringing expensive wine and then giving Brent expensive marmalade.  The Leroys seek revenge.  Karen insists that Davis get new shoes, leading to him becoming an authoritarian cop.  Quotables:  Karen:  “New shoes, grumpy Davis.”  Brent:  “This is a revenge brunch.” Trivia:  What condiment do Oscar and Lacey consider to racy?

Episode 14:  Doc Small:  Lacey gets the job to convince a doctor to move to Dog River, and Davis tells her it might be a good idea to flirt with him.  Him turns into a her, and Lacey continues to bumble her mission.  Hank has to move out of his home, and Brent (and everyone else) try to get out of having him stay with him.  Brent has other problems when he receives a “possibly counterfeit” one-hundred dollar bill that ends up being a blessing.  Quotables:  Karen:  “She’s a hick…a real hayseed.”  Trivia:  What is Karen’s nickname for Lacey?

Episode 15:  Rock On!  Brent, Hank, and Wanda resurrect their old band from high school, much to the amusement of others.  Davis tries out for drummer, but because angry and vengeful when Karen is chosen instead.  With Emma interfering, Lacey manages to find out why the town is named Dog River.  Davis and Oscar team up to go after a famous country-and-western singer for “stealing Oscar’s song.”  Quotables: one phrase–“Nanaimo-style Saskatchewan bars!”  Trivia:  What is the name of Brent, Hank, and Wanda’s band?

Episode 16:  Air Show:  The air show is coming to Dog River, and everyone supports it (except Lacey).  When she’s viewed as not being civic-minded as a result, she overreacts trying to make the town like her again.  Meanwhile, Brent has to close corner gas because of a health hazard, and Hank opens a corn stand with an extra employee…Wanda.  Davis and Karen get in on the action slowly because Davis has decided that they need to be on bike patrol, and Karen doesn’t know how to ride a bike.  Quotables:  Hank:  “Kirk Berkley’s Turkey Jerky?!”  Brent:  “I understand.  The jerky man must be paid.”  Trivia:  How does Lacey convince the Snow Birds to make a fly over Dog River?

Episode 17:  Slow Pitch:  It’s time for the slow pitch game of Brent’s team versus Wes’s team.  The stakes are beer and nachos.  Lacey’s perfect attendance is at stake if the meeting being held in the Ruby runs over.  Wanda decides to try to stay sober during the game.  Davis and Karen are in trouble with Fitzy’s grandma (although she doesn’t know it) because their ball breaks her window.  The vaunted secret weapon, Emma, can’t seem to bat the ball.  But Hank’s glove saves the day.  Quotables:  Hank:  “It’s not the glove; don’t praise the glove!”  Karen:  “Right.  Sober.”  Brent (to Lacey):  “Think of your perfect attendance.”  Hank:  “I can already taste Wes eating those nachos.”  Trivia:  What club is meeting at the Ruby?  

Episode 18:  Harvest Dance:  Hank has a date to the Harvest Dance, but she comes from Wullerton (so he feels the need to break up with her).  Wanda is miffed because people think she’s abrasive.  Lacey feels left out because she didn’t know about the Harvest Dance, so Brent shares a secret with her (but Lacey blabs that secret…and every other secret she’s told during the episode).  Karen tries to convince Davis to give her a raise, and Brent and Oscar take turns trying to avoid Emma’s jelly salad.  Quotables:  Heather (Hank’s date):  “I don’t know what you people have against Gimli.”  Trivia:  What excuse does Brent give (that Lacey almost flubs) for not eating the jelly salad?

Trivia answers:

  1.  shoots his gun “willy nilly” at the crows at Lunsten’s farm

  2.  they dressed up as Elvis in the wedding pictures

  3.  Karen

  4.  balloons…globophobia

  5.  fencing

  6.  curse jar (because she has to put money in it…even when others curse)

  7.  she offers a dollar for every Ruby Club purchased to pay for the traffic light

  8.  Whistling Brook

  9.  Brent

  10.  Lemon dish soap (but it’s really his hat)

  11.  Josh uses it for storing bacon grease

  12.  Deer Lake

  13.  salsa

  14.  Big City

  15.  Thunderface

  16.  a little kid is dying

  17.  Harvester’s Club

  18.  that he is on a diet that Lacey put him on

What is your favorite episode from Season 2?