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Spinach-Apple Salad With Maple-Cider Vinaigrette, Corn and Bacon Casserole, and Champagne Risotto

Social media is changing the way we communicate and the way we are perceived, both positively and negatively. Every time you post a photo, or update your status, you are contributing to your own digital footprint and personal brand.

Amy Jo Martin

This has been a shitty week. 

Wait... positives first :)

SBean went on the potty twice today and passed her swimming class, see ya later Sea Turtle lol.

HBear picked out her new glasses (a tale for another time) and has her first super wiggly tooth!

I have a terrible cold, I had a few meetings and I am pretty much hating Facebook. 

There are so many wonderful things about social media. I have kept in contact with family and friends across the country. I get to see pictures of their adventures and families, hear stories, watch videos and share jokes with friends I haven't actually seen since graduation lol. 

On the other hand Facebook can be judgy, hurtful and allows for people to spout shit freely without consequence (yes I am including myself in this).

While I was laying in bed with a horrible earache I picked up my phone more than usual. 

Not a good idea. 

A few political things happened in my city this week and I am a member of a page that discusses local politics. I know what I'm getting into but usually I can hold my own, it is great to have a place where I can discuss politics with people that want to and usually know what is going on. This particular debate sparked A LOT of comments. I am pretty certain in my stance so I said as much with examples of course. 

When it got to the final word... I had it! I could end it, she had admitted that I was right about the major point and the rest was opinion, yeah!

Then I went and ended it, using my phone microphone. Did I go back and spell check?


Did my phone use the wrong there, they're, their?

Sure did. 

Her next comment... credibility -35

Omg. All I could do was bow my head in disgrace and like her comment. I lost even though I had won. 

It's like 3 days later and I am still kicking myself in the ass for my foolishness.  

Moral of that story is ALWAYS check your words over before posting. 

Now, Ninja would say the moral is... Put the damn phone away!


Next, I was going through my feed and I noticed a picture that I recognized with a warning. 

My pregnant cousin's boyfriend had been accused of something by some guy on his page and social media has been the judge, jury and executioner. I am in BC and they are in Alberta and it got shared over 5 000 times. This post, without any proof has the potential to rip my cousin's life apart. 

She is pregnant and waiting for test results and as if she needs people threatening her and this baby that she has been wanting for so long. I would hate for this to overshadow her pregnancy journey. She deserves a good story to remember and to be able to tell her little man.  

I am angry.  

Moral of the story... Just because a post is shared doesn't make it true. 

Ninja would say the moral is... Put down the damn phone and mind your own business!


So, today I went to the walk-in clinic to find out why my ear is hurting so bad, do I have an ear infection? No. I have a sinus infection but my ear is hurting and my jaw is hurting and now it is making my neck hurt. 


The doctor felt that I might be a bit tense and stressed (there's that damn word again) and he feels that I'm holding my stress in my jaw which is affecting my ear and my neck.

There might be something to that. 


So on a more pleasant note next week is Valentine's Day!

We sent our Valentines to friends and family this week and next week we will make all of HBear's school friends their Valentines! I'm excited to share it with you :)

But until then I will share my Christmas dinner instead LOL I'm a bit behind but this would also make a great Valentine's Day dinner for your sweetie. 

Spinach-Apple Salad With Maple-Cider Vinaigrette
Adapted from My Recipes

Sugared Curried Pecans
1 cup pecan halves
2 tablespoons butter, melted 
3 tablespoons sugar 
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/8 teaspoon curry powder
1/8 teaspoon  salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne

Maple-Cider Vinaigrette
1/3 cup cider vinegar
2 tablespoons  maple syrup 
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper 
2/3 cup olive oil 

1 package fresh baby spinach
1 apple, thinly sliced 
1 small red onion, thinly sliced 
4 oz crumbled Feta cheese 

Prepare Pecans: 

Preheat oven to 350°. 

Toss pecans in butter. 

Stir together sugar and next 4 ingredients in a bowl,

add pecans, tossing to coat.

Spread in a single layer on a pan. 

Bake 10 to 13 minutes or until lightly browned and toasted. Cool in pan for 20 minutes; separate pecans with a fork.

Prepare Vinaigrette: Whisk together cider vinegar and next 4 ingredients. Gradually whisk in oil until well blended.

Prepare Salad: Combine spinach and next 3 ingredients in a bowl. Drizzle with desired amount of Maple-Cider Vinaigrette; toss to coat. Sprinkle with pecans. Serve salad with any remaining vinaigrette.

Corn and Bacon Casserole
Adapted from A Family Feast

8 slices of bacon
1 onion, chopped
2 tablespoons flour
2 garlic cloves, pressed
½ teaspoon  salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 cup sour cream
4 cups fresh whole corn kernels
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped 
1 tablespoon basil, chopped

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Cook bacon until crisp. Remove the bacon from the pan, lay on paper towel, crumble and set aside. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat. 

Sauté the onions in the same pan with the reserved bacon fat and cook until translucent. Stir in the flour, garlic, salt and pepper and cook for 1 to 2 minutes.

Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the sour cream, corn, parsley and half of the crumbled bacon. Mix well.

Pour the corn mixture into a greased baking dish. Sprinkle the remaining bacon evenly over the top of the casserole.

Bake uncovered for about 20 minutes. After the casserole comes out of the oven sprinkle with chopped basil and serve.


Champagne Risotto
Adapted from Zagleft

8 oz. Cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 shallot, finely chopped
4 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 garlic clove, pressed
6 cups chicken broth
2 cups Arborio rice
8 oz. Champagne
½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Heat 2 tablespoons of the butter with the oil in a large pan over a medium-low heat. Add the mushrooms and cook for about 2 minutes.

Add the shallot and the garlic and cook for another two minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

In a saucepan, bring the chicken broth to a boil. Reduce to a simmer.

Stir the rice into the mushroom mixture until all the rice is nicely coated in oil. Continue toasting the rice, stirring constantly, for about 3 minutes.

Add the Champagne and simmer until the liquid has almost evaporated, about 3 minutes.

Add 1 cup of the broth and stir until almost completely absorbed, about 2 minutes.

Continue cooking the rice, adding the broth 1 cup at a time, stirring constantly and allowing each addition of the broth to absorb before adding the next, until the rice is tender and the mixture is creamy, about 30 minutes. You might not use all the broth, taste, taste, taste! :)

Remove from the heat.

Add the remaining butter, Parmesan cheese and salt to taste.

This is my BIL's ham recipe. It is THE BEST ham I have had since my Granny 's but it's not my recipe to share LOL Suckers!!!!!

This corn and bacon casserole is seriously good it is so easy and it tastes amazing. And this risotto is also an easy risotto fancy fired by the use of champagne perfect for any special occasion. 

Totally Talented Tuesdays #1


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