Luck of the Irish, Cowboy Stew & Honey Cornbread

Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.

Thich Nhat Hanh

Today is St. Patrick’s Day! I certainly hope that the luck of the Irish is upon us all and that our luck begins to change, ASAP! It seems like every time I open my email it’s one bad message after another!

Last week we found out that it looks like the Royal Winnipeg Ballet summer camp will not be held in person this year. I kind of thought that but I had my fingers crossed for a different outcome. HBear is devastated. She worked very hard all year and although she will still get the benefit of Zoom camp… It’s not the same as being at the professional studio being taught directly by real ballerinas.

It's disappointing.

We also got the email for our dance trip to New York in 2022! Ninja and I sat down and really talked about where we are at after taking a half a year off work due to Covid, having a brand new mortgage, and other family vacations we are hoping to take in the next 5 years and realized New York just isn’t in the cards right now. Not to mention, I’m not sure how comfortable I feel travelling to New York just months after a world pandemic is hopefully going to be ending. I think I literally heard HBear’s heart break when we told her the news. That’s not to say we can’t join the group in 2024, or better yet in 2026 when SBean will be eligible to go as well! That made her feel a bit better.

But, it's a lot.

Then I got the email saying that sadly the Vibe dance competition that both the Girls have been training for has been cancelled as well. Again, I am not shocked by this news but we were certainly hoping that after all the time, energy, and money we have put into their competition that they would be able to show off all the hard work. Fingers crossed that the Shine competition will get the greenlight in May.

It’s just a whole lot.

And last week I got a letter from SBean's principal explaining that there had been a IED that was detonated in the school grounds the previous evening. We later found out that it was one of 2 parks that had been targeted. The next day the principal reached out to us again and said that they the RCMP were investigating a second spot of interest also on our school grounds. I was counting down the days until spring break started so that I can know that my family is with me, safe and sound.

It’s just so much.

Last week saw the first 2 grass fires of the season in our Valley. This coming just a day after they began warning us of severe flooding that may occur in the next few weeks. Last night there was a big fire in Peachland when a meteorite hit a back yard!
 Fires so soon after what we went through last summer AND flooding???

So, that’s where we are folks, actual fires from freaking space!!!

Seriously! It’s all just so much.

Don’t even get me started with my Aunt being diagnosed with cancer on top of all the reoccurring feelings that have started to hit me about what we have gone through this entire last year.

All we can do is keep on keeping on. I found that it’s also best to try to keep a smile on your face despite the disappointment, fear, anger, and sadness. 😂. Hopefully, St. Patrick’s Day brings better luck to this coming week 🍀😊.

Check out How Was Your Week, Honey? Episode #215 Fuzzy Leprechauns HERE! This week we have some green drinks for St. Patty's Day. Topics: sarcastic kids, Would You Rather, pandemiversary, return to normal, local IED's, tech gap, The Queen, & drug ads

This weekend I made the most delicious cast iron skillet honey cornbread! I love cornbread! Sadly, my Dad doesn’t. Over the past 10 years I have only had it when he went to Mexico or I was able to get it at Ribfest. This weekend changed everything! It was so good that I took a piece down to my Dad and he said it was the best cornbread he had ever had and scarfed it all down!

I know there is different types of cornbread and everybody likes the kind they grew up with. I didn’t grow up with cornbread but I know that I like mine a little sweet. This was the perfect amount of sweetness, the perfect amount of that cornmeal texture, and the exact right amount of cast-iron crispiness around the edges. I was going to just post the cornbread but I needed something to accompany my newfound favourite recipe! That’s right, the cornbread will be the star of any meal 😂 I have this Cowboy Stew I made a while back that has just been sitting there waiting for this cornbread recipe to go with it! It has the sausage, and the baked beans, and the potatoes and all the deliciousness that the cornbread will sop up so you can enjoy every single bite! You’re welcome 😊.

Cowboy Stew
Adapted from Gonna Want Seconds

4 slices bacon, chopped
1 package kielbasa sausage, cut into 1/2 inch slices
1 pound ground beef
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 can diced tomatoes, with liquid
2 cans baked beans, with liquid
1 can sweet corn, with liquid
2 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 cup water

Cook bacon until brown and crispy in a large pot. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to a plate lined with a paper towel to drain.

Add the sausage to pot drippings and brown on both sides, adjusting heat as needed so fond (brown bits on the bottom of the pot) does not burn. Remove to the plate with bacon; set aside.

Add beef, onion, and garlic to the pot and brown until the beef is no longer pink. Sprinkle flour, salt, pepper, and chili powder over beef. Stir and cook for 1 minute.

Add diced tomatoes, baked beans, corn, potatoes, bacon, sausage, and water. Bring to a boil then immediately reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

Honey Cornbread 
Adapted from The Food Charlatan

1 cup flour
3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup honey
2 large eggs
1 and 1/4 cups buttermilk

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Place your 9-inch cast iron skillet in the oven while the oven preheats.

In a small mixing bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, salt, baking soda, baking powder.

Slice off about 1/2 tablespoon from your butter and set aside.

Melt the remaining butter in a large bowl in the microwave.

Add oil, sugar, and honey to the large bowl with the melted butter. Stir well until combined.

Add eggs and buttermilk. Whisk until fully incorporated.

Use a wooden spoon or spatula to stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients DO NOT over mix! Make sure the dry ingredients are fully incorporated but don't worry if there are a few lumps.

Remove the cast iron skillet from the oven and grease the bottom and sides (all the way to the top) with the remaining half tablespoon butter. I used a pastry brush to spread it around.

Pour the batter into the hot pan and smooth out the top.

Place the hot skillet back in the oven. Bake at 375 for 28-32 minutes. The cornbread is done when the top is golden brown and the edges pull away from the edges of the pan.

Remove from the oven and let cool for 5-10 minutes before slicing and serving.

This week SBean caught a little cold and it spread through the house like a meteorite had hit US. We had some cuddles, oatmeal, great wine, and delicious dinners to help us get back on our feet! After missing a few days of school the Girls were back at it and despite not feeling great, I still kicked ass at my step challenge! To make sure I was following my happiness challenge, I got a coffee from one of my favourite local coffee shops, The Nautical Dog! We ended our weekend with some golf, Rogue One, and sunshine!


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