The Kitchen Magpie Home of Edmonton Food Blogger, Karlynn Johnston Mon, 24 Aug 2015 20:38:39 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Quickie Skillet Apple Pie Cinnamon Buns Mon, 24 Aug 2015 17:32:06 +0000 Quickie Skillet Apple Pie Cinnamon Buns

Quickie Skillet Apple Pie Cinnamon Buns and a fabulous KitchenAid contest!

The post Quickie Skillet Apple Pie Cinnamon Buns appeared first on The Kitchen Magpie.

Quickie Skillet Apple Pie Cinnamon Buns

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of KitchenAid. All opinions and text are mine.

Aaah. Do you feel that? The slightly cooler weather in the mornings that has the air nipping at your cheek? How about the evenings that are growing shorter and shorter each night, with my children going to bed earlier and earlier to my infinite delight?

While some of you may be stuck in a heat wave, here in Edmonton this was my daughter and I for a family reunion barbecue on the 15th of August.

Edmonton, you are crazy.

It’s ok, however, because I love fall and everything that comes with it. I may be a beach loving gal all summer long, but fall is my jam, literally and figuratively.

I love baking and cooking in the fall, and one of my favorite ingredients to use is apples. I have my apple tree that I eagerly anticipate the bounty of all year-long and this fall is no exception. I am watching my apple tree like a hawk, waiting for the moment that I can whip up my first apple pie with my very own apples.

However when it came time to whip up a delicious apple recipe for the KitchenAid Apple Challenge I knew that I wasn’t making an apple pie. This challenge, led by the always amazing Chef Zakarian, is challenging us to make the most delicious new apple dish that we can come up with.

I, of course, chose to make a sweet dish.

The inspiration for this apple dish came from the fact that apples and fall go together like back to school and stressed out mom’s. I wanted a very fast, easy and gorgeous dish that you all can make up in a very short time, even on a weekday.

Thus my Quickie Skillet Apple Pie Cinnamon Buns were born. These are completely yeast-less and bake up incredibly fast. I also cheat by chopping up my apples and microwaving them to soften them up.

Oh, cheater cheater apple eater!

These are the easiest cinnamon buns ever, I kid you not. You take your dry ingredients, place them into your mixer, then use the paddle attachment to cut the butter in. Once that’s done, you add the milk, mix again and voila! You have a soft cinnamon bun dough.

Yes, this is my gorgeous Sea Glass KitchenAid Stand Mixer in action. My candy apple red one is sitting on the counter a little jealous that her sister gets all the attention, but hey, I think the youngest deserves some attention as well.

The dough will take you literal seconds, the filling a few minutes more.

The dough is rolled into a 12×10 rectangle, then a brown sugar spice filling placed on top. Then you add raisins and steamed chopped apples on top.

Roll the dough into a log, slice into twelve “buns” and then place into a well oiled cast iron skillet.

Bake at 400 °F for 15-18 minutes until the buns are beautifully browned like shown below.

For the full recipe, you can check it out in the printable recipe below.

What would you make the enter this fabulous contest? The contest grand prize is nothing less than amazing. The winner will receive:

  • A new suite of KitchenAid Appliances in the First-Ever Black Stainless Steel
    A Private Cooking Lesson with Chef Zakarian
    Recipe will appear in Food Network Magazine.

I swoon just thinking about it. Can you even imagine? I am in love the with the first ever new black stainless steel kitchen that KitchenAid has come up with. It’s gorgeous.Take a peek for yourself and be amazed. I am up for a new kitchen. no problem!

I really hope that you give these lovely apple cinnamon buns a whirl! Even better, dream up your own apple creation and enter the contest! All you have to do is create your best, most decadent apple recipe, take a photo showcasing how delicious your creation is and upload your photo to either Instagram, the or The contest runs from August 17th until September 14th, 2015.

Good luck and happy cooking!



Quickie Skillet Apple Pie Cinnamon Buns
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 12
  • 2 cup flour
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ cup cold butter
  • 1 cup milk
  • Cinnamon topping and filling
  • ⅓ cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp cinamon
  • ⅓ cup chopped raisins
  • 1 cup chopped apples, steamed in microwave until soft
  • Glaze
  • 1½ cups confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tbsp cream
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-3 tbsp melted butter
  1. Whisk together the dry ingredients. Cut in the butter until it's the size of small peas. Mix in the milk until the dough forms a ball.
  2. Turn out the dough onto light floured surface and roll into 12 x 8 inch rectangle.
  3. Combine the first three topping ingredients and spread them onto the dough. Sprinkle the raisins and apples over the top and then roll up the dough jelly-roll style.
  4. Cut into 12 even pieces.
  5. Place into muffin cups and bake at 400 until the rolls are browned and the cinnamon mixture is bubbling, approximatrely 15-20 minutes.
  6. Cool slightly, then remove from the tins.
  7. Whisk together glaze ingredients until smooth, then drizzle over the top of the buns. Serve and enjoy!

From the first-ever black stainless steel to the first-ever five-door refrigerator, KitchenAid pushes the limits with our appliances, so our home cooks can do the same with their cooking. See the revolutionary new line of KitchenAid appliances or visit the Kitchenthusiast™ blog for recipes, tips and more.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of KitchenAid Elite Bloggers. The opinions and text are all mine.

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Goldfish Crackers® Chocolate Chip Cookies Fri, 14 Aug 2015 15:42:35 +0000 Goldfish Crackers® Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate chip cookies with sweet Goldfish crackers baked right into them!

The post Goldfish Crackers® Chocolate Chip Cookies appeared first on The Kitchen Magpie.

Goldfish Crackers® Chocolate Chip Cookies

There are two things, no, make that three very important things about this post and this recipe.

1) Why have I never thought about putting Pepperidge Farm® Goldfish crackers in my cookies before? There are SUCH amazing sweet treat flavors! Every time we are in the United States, I load up on flavors that aren’t available here in Canada. We are lucky that now we can get the Vanilla Cupcake Goldfish Grahams here in Canada just about everywhere!

2) Why have I never thought about sending Wet Ones® Singles with my kids to school before? We seriously use Wet Ones all year round in the wintertime. I keep packages in the truck and as soon as the kids leave school, they’re disinfecting their hands so they can have a snack on the way home. I use them all the time when shopping, touching gas pumps or debit machines, because all it took was one Christmas of getting sick with strep throat, the flu and a cold all in the span of 4 weeks from shopping to make me a convert. This may be just a personal anecdote, but we honestly have never been healthier since I started interspersing Wet Ones between hand washing. We’ve gone two winters with barely a cold to be seen in our house.  My truck literally has no less than three packages at a time. What could be better than Wet Ones Singles in the kids lunches to help with the onslaught of kids germs this September? The kids can clean their hands (and Wet Ones get rid of 99.9% of germs) so they can enjoy their delicious lunch that I packed and I can stop worrying about all the germs that come with the start of school.

3) I am so sad that I have to make school lunches again after a year of homeschooling. Oh my word. Please make it stop.

When the opportunity came up to think of a neat recipe to use with Goldfish crackers I knew that it would be a sweet one. For some reason, baking them into a chocolate chip cookie was the first thing that popped into my head.

It was a good thing that it did, because these are some amazing cookies! The Vanilla Cupcake Goldfish crackers stay nice and crisp, adding a sweet vanilla crunch to the soft chocolate chip cookie.

Of course, they also couldn’t be cuter!

To go with the back to school theme, there is a fabulous sweepstake going on called Wish I Had Wet Ones in My Lunchbox. You can check out there website here for more information and to see how you can participate. The sweepstakes runs from 7/5/15 – 9/7/15.

Now on to the recipe! You can use any of the sweet flavors of Goldfish grahams in these chocolate chip cookies, I just happen to love Vanilla Cupcake Goldfish grahams the best.

Happy Baking and Happy Back to School Everyone! Let’s all try to survive together!




Pepperidge Farm® Goldfish Crackers Chocolate Chip Cookies
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Delicious cookies using Vanilla Cupcake Goldfish Crackers baked right in!
Recipe type: cookie
Serves: 36
  • 2¼ cups of all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup of butter
  • 1 cup of packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup of granulated sugar
  • 1½ tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups of chocolate chips
  • 1 bag Vanilla Cupcake Goldfish Crackers
  1. Whisk together dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl and set aside.
  2. In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugars together completely with a stand mixer paddle attachment or beaters, until light brown and airy.
  3. After creaming together your butter and sugar, beat in the two eggs and vanilla.
  4. Add the dry ingredients all at once and mix slowly but thoroughly.
  5. Add in the chocolate chips and mix by hand until they are mixed through the batter evenly.
  6. Roll (yes the batter is stick!y!) into golf ball sized cookies and place onto parchment lined cookie sheets. Press down slightly. Press 3 or 4 Goldfish Crackers into the top.
  7. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 10-11 minutes, until they are just browned and slightly under baked. If you over bake, they won't be chewy!
  8. Cool on sheets completely.


Visit to enter for a chance to WIN a year’s supply of Wet Ones® for your home & your child’s classroom*, plus $1,000 cash!

*Confirm school policy allows for use and/or donation of product.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A purchase will not increase your chances of winning. Open to legal residents of the 50 United States and D.C., 18 and older (19+ in AL & NE). Void where prohibited. Sweepstakes begins at 12:00:01 p.m. ET on 7/6/15 and ends at 11:59:59 p.m. ET on 9/7/15. Subject to Official Rules. See Official Rules for details on how to enter by mail without photo upload. Odds of winning depend on the total number of entries received. Sponsored by: Edgewell Personal Care Brands, Inc., 6 Research Dr., Shelton, CT 06484. 

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Wet Ones®. The opinions and text are all mine.

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Magpie’s Perogy Burger with Roasted Garlic Aoili Mon, 03 Aug 2015 01:59:34 +0000 Magpie’s Perogy Burger with Roasted Garlic Aoili

I share one of our deeply guarded family perogy recipes and show you how to make the BEST BURGER IN THE WORLD.

The post Magpie’s Perogy Burger with Roasted Garlic Aoili appeared first on The Kitchen Magpie.

Magpie’s Perogy Burger with Roasted Garlic Aoili

Asking a Ukrainian girl to give up her perogy recipe is as close as you can get to asking her for her firstborn. It’s almost unheard of to be sharing a recipe that is this crazy good.

Really though, perogie recipes are are heavily, and I mean HEAVILY guarded secrets. Being lucky enough to be surrounded on all sides of my family by Ukrainian, Polish and Russian relatives, I have a few secret perogy recipes and I’ll be sharing one of my favorites with you today, because that’s how much I love you.

As a good Ukrainian girl, it was bound to happen that I was making homemade perogies and hamburgers in the same day. Ok fine, it was my mom that was making the homemade perogies, but cut me some slack, I had just finished getting my cookbook manuscript in. She came up to Edmonton and we had a perogy-making, pie-baking kind of day yesterday.

The pie was my Impossible Saskatoon Pie, a gorgeous one bowl magic pie. Oh yes indeed, this pie is magic, as you mix up all the ingredients in one bowl, pour them into a buttered pie plate and then it forms a gorgeous custard pie with a Saskatoon Coconut topping.

I was inspired to make burgers thanks to the lovely gift package that the fabulous team at Sobey’s sent me this past week. Am I spoiled or am I spoiled??!! Oh, that Jamie Oliver cracked pepper was perfect in my perogies and the olive oil was perfect for roasting garlic.

I had been meaning to check out their newest burgers, The Canadian Chuck, for a while now and their lovely gift package inspired me to finally get in gear and pick some up.

While I do make my own burgers on occasion, I usually end up buying the pre-made ones. If you hit the meat department at Sobey’s you can find all sorts of amazing creations, from poutine!! burger patties to classic bacon and cheese. Yes, I said poutine. Those patties had glorious chunks of cheese curd in them and while I was truly tempted to buy them, I knew I needed a plain

Listen. When you’re working on an all dessert cookbook, you don’t have time to be making homemade burger patties. I’m sticking by that story.

What’s this? A random cute baby niece photo? Why yes, yes it is. She’s getting so big, so fast and let me tell you, every time that she visits my ovaries go into maximum overdrive. It really doesn’t matter that I have what I consider Ming Dynasty eggs at this point, I still want another baby sometimes. She was also over for dinner that night, though she enjoyed a mashed banana, poor little dolly. There are so many delicious things await her, especially at Aunties house.

So here’s the thing about perogies. I haven’t shared a recipe because to be honest, it’s a learned skill. My Mom talks about how her Baba would stand in her kitchen, her mixing bowl under her arm and simply work the moisture into the dough with her fingertips, knowing the moment when she had the perfect dough.

There is a feel to it that you only learn from someone who really knows their dough. I can tell you that any recipe that calls for you to mix the dough until smooth and elastic is the wrong recipe. We mix it gently and let the dough rest for an hour, no word of a lie, until it’s a velvety blanket of dough just waiting to encase the potato filling.

You know how everyone claims that their family’s perogies are the best? Our family’s perogies really are the best around, bar none. Everyone who has ever eaten at my parents house and has eaten them still remembers how amazing they are to this day. My siblings and I have friends from high school that still wax poetic about my mom’s perogies and relatives in all directions of my family tree remember my Grandma’s perogies.

But here’s the thing, I can’t tell you how to make them. What I can do however is give you a small batch version and encourage you to try to feel your way to the right perogy dough. This is where the limits of the internet come into play, I simply can’t be there to help you, heck, I’m still developing my own perogy touch.

The other thing? The filling amount is very hard to gauge as well. So if you have leftover filling, bear with me because our perogy making usually covers days at a time, with any extra filling simply going into the next batch of perogies.

The real secret here, what takes it over the top, is the butter, bacon and onion topping (what we top our perogies with every time we make them) and the roasted garlic aoili. You can find a good perogy to top this burger with, but you really need to take this into the Ukrainian taste stratosphere with garlic, onions and bacon. No mustard or ketchup should touch this baby.

Unless you are my weirdo brother Wyatt and you don’t like mayo (I don’t even think we are related, to be honest, because how is that even possible?) and you can put sour cream on top.

He loved it, but trust me when I tell you that the garlic aoili is THE way to go.

I am, in all honesty, in love with this burger.

Since this post has three different recipes for you, I am sure that you can cook up a beef burger of your choice (those Sobey’s ones are EXCELLENT, by the way, we loved them) and then top with two perogies, a ton of the garlic aoili and then a couple of tablespoons of the bacon onion topping. Then, my dears, you have Magpie’s Perogy Burger.

Now really, those perogies are going to take practice, I’m warning you now, but it’s worth it in the end. Our recipe is a double of the ingredients listed below, but start with a small amount first. When I have time, I will post a full, in-depth perogy post with picures to help you out, but for now, this is a good start!

Love you more than perogies,


P.S. While the team at Sobey’s sent me a lovely gift basket, they did it just spoil me like they always do. I did all of this on my own because I love them and I love their burgers. And I love Jamie Oliver, but really, who doesn’t? I will also be going back for one of those poutine burgers, mark my words.

Small Batch Perogies
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
One of our family recipes for perogies! One of many, I hope that this one is the easiest for everyone to try!
Serves: 4 dozen
  • Filling
  • 3 cups of hot boiled potatoes
  • ½ cup old cheddar cheese, grated
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • Perogy Dough
  • ¼ cup hard margarine or butter, melted
  • 1¼ cup of potato water (save it from your potatoes!)
  • 2½ - 3 cups of flour
  • pinch of salt
  1. Boil your potatoes and drain, reserving the water for the dough. Place the still hot potatoes into a bowl and mash together with the cheese, salt and pepper until the cheese has melted and hte potatoes are smooth. Set aside.
  2. Combine the margarine and potato water in a large bowl. Mix in the flour and salt until soft, slightly tacky dough forms. It should not stick much.
  3. Cover with a clean cloth and let rest for an hour.
  4. Flour your working surface then turn out the dough onto it. Sprinkle the dough slightly with flour. Roll out to a thin layer, slightly less than than a ¼ of an inch. Cut out circles with a small soup can (this is the perfect size and it works amazing.)
  5. Place a heaping teaspoon of filling into the centre of each dough circle. Pinch the sides until sealed.
  6. Place on a baking sheet and freeze, when they are frozen fill up a freezer bag with them and freeze together.
  7. To cook, bring a pot of water to a boil then place perogies in the pot. Boil until they rise to the surface, then cook for two minutes more. Drain and toss with butter to prevent sticking..

Roasted Garlic Aioli
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
How to make a delicious garlic aioli for your burgers (and maybe a little fry dipping too!)
Serves: 1 cup
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup of mayonnaise
  1. Pre-heat your oven to 425 °F.
  2. Slice the tops off of the garlic cloves, then drizzle with oil oil. Wrap in tinfoil and roast until soft, around 35-40 minutes. Remove and cool.
  3. Mash the roasted garlic then mix with the rest of the ingredients.
  4. Refrigerate until needed.
I love my aioli on the stronger side for a garlic taste, you can add two or three cloves to your liking.

Bacon & Onion Perogy Topping
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This is what we use on all of our perogies. While I don't usually measure at all, I've come up with approximate amounts for you to use.
Serves: 1½ cups
  • ½ pound of bacon, sliced
  • 1 white onion, peeled and chopped into large pieces
  • 1 tbsp butter
  1. Combine the ingredients in a large frying pan. Fry until the bacon is tender and the onions are cooked.
  2. Drain most of the grease out ( we leave a little bit) and place into a bowl.
  3. Use on your perogies mixed with sour cream or on your burger!



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Impossible Saskatoon Pie Sat, 01 Aug 2015 11:00:02 +0000 Impossible Saskatoon Pie

Impossible Saskatoon pie! You mix up the ingredients in one bowl, pour into a pie plate and you get a flour crust layer, a custard filling & a seriously amazing Saskatoon coconut topping!

The post Impossible Saskatoon Pie appeared first on The Kitchen Magpie.

Impossible Saskatoon Pie

If you are expecting a crispy pie crust you need to turn away now, for this is not the recipe for you. Go and make my Saskatoon Rhubarb pie instead, if you need a neat pie idea to use up those Saskatoon berries and another summertime bounty. It’s one of my favorites.

*waves hand in front of your face*   This is not the pie crust you are looking for.

All bad Star Wars references aside, anyone who has eaten Impossible Pie before knows that it’s not really about the crust, but the fact that you beat together a schwack of ingredients in one bowl and pour them into a buttered pie plate. The flour will sink to the bottom and form a wobbly flour crust, while the rest creates a custard filling and a topping.

I can’t believe that I just used the word schwack in a recipe.

This pie is a last-minute, want-to-use-up-Saskatoons-but-don’t-want-to-make-a-crust type of dessert.

This delicious pie was on the docket for my cookbook, but didn’t make my vicious cutting. I decided that this one was for the website, meaning that technically you guys get a cookbook recipes a year ahead of time! Right? Right. (that’s how I’m going to sell it to you anyway.)

The scene: today at my house on August long weekend. My entire family was over, I’d already baked two pies for dinner (those are embargoed cookbook pies, sorry) and I was looking through old cookbooks looking for a great porcupine meatballs recipe, something else that has been on my mind lately but of course, I haven’t gotten around to it. You all have been so patient, this website has been a little slow lately, but I’m rather proud that I have managed to get out at least one post a week and usually two, which you might think isn’t much but when you have a cookbook manuscript due, it’s a miracle. A full-out, Catholic church confirmed miracle.

I’ve had a recipe for Impossible Pie kicking around for a while and while it is delicious with its custard filling and crispy coconut topping, I wanted to jazz it up.

Two cups of Saskatoon berries does the trick, my friends. That’s a whole lotta jazzing up right there. You can also use blueberries if you’re fresh out of Saskatoons, but this pie is now a last-minute favorite for when I am craving Saskatoons but don’t have the time for a pie with a crust.

I would say that the crust resembles a firm custard that’s been cooked up, it’s wobbly, not firm but does the trick. I love the eggy custard that forms in the middle it’s absolutely scrumptious. The coconut and the Saskatoons bake up at the top and it’s a taste combination that I am having a serious love affair with. There will be another Saskatoon and coconut mash-up recipe on this website soon, you can bet on it. Honestly, what doesn’t Saskatoons go with? I’ve yet to find it.

This pie is going to rise “edges first”,  but the centre will soon catch up with it, don’t worry! It will look absolutely wonky to start, but by the time the 50-60 minutes are done, it will be fabulous!

So now that my manuscript is into my publishers hands, things are going to pick up around here again.

I’m baaaack!

(not that I ever really left but it just feels like the right thing to say.)

Love you more than chocolate,


* note – to use frozen Saskatoons, thaw them on a paper towel to absorb any excess moisture, then dab them slightly. The cornstarch in the pie helps with any extra moisture. This pie was made with frozen Saskatoons! *


Impossible Saskatoon Pie
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A one bowl impossible pie using Saskatoons and NO biscuit mix! This pie magically bakes up into a crust layer, a custard layer and then coconuts and Saskatoon berries on top!
Recipe type: pie
Serves: 1 pie
  • 4 eggs
  • ½ cup melted butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup of sweetened shredded coconut
  • ½ cup flour
  • 2 tbsp cornstach
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups Sasktoon berries fresh or frozen (see notes on frozen)
  1. Grease and set aside a deep dish 9.5 - 10 inch pie plate. Preheat your oven to 350 °F.
  2. Place all ingredients excepting Saskatoons into a large mixing bowl and beat until mixed. Stir in the Saskatoons.
  3. Pour into the buttered pie plate and baked in the oven for 50-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
* note - to use frozen Saskatoons, thaw them on a paper towel to absorb any excess moisture, then dab them slightly. The cornstarch in the pie helps with any extra moisture. This pie was made with frozen Saskatoons! *


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Panko Parmesan Pork Chops Wed, 29 Jul 2015 16:24:20 +0000 Panko Parmesan Pork Chops

Retro Panko Parmesan Pork Chops are amazing now with the new pork cooking temps, no more hockey puck pork chops! Say that three times...

The post Panko Parmesan Pork Chops appeared first on The Kitchen Magpie.

Panko Parmesan Pork Chops

I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but I have a love for all things retro. Retro Pyrex and glassware, retro cocktails and most certainly retro food.

Remember my Watergate salad recipe?  It doesn’t get more retrolicious than that, I’m afraid, green pudding and all.

Classic Retro Watergate Salad

Thjere’s a reason that we all love the food from our childhood’s – or most of them – and it’s because that was years before things got all fancy-schmancy in the food world.

Like Panko Porkchops.

These were the epitome of a classy dinner back in the day, with the parmesan panko crust fancying up what normally would have been cooked in cream of mushroom soup or simply pan fried into hockey pucks. We are lucky now that pork doesn’t need to be cooked until it’s dry as a bone which in itself breathes new life into all of these old recipes. Pork can now safely be cooked to an internal temperature of 145 °F, making a huge difference in the texture of porkchops.

I find that the main reason a lot of people don’t choose to make porkchops anymore is because of the old guideliens where we had to cook the meat to a show leather temperature.

This recipe is straight from a 1960’s Better Homes & Gardens cookbook and now with our new cooking guidelines, it’s even better than before. The new temperature yields a juicy, tender meat and when you coat it in the Panko it’s all sealed up like a little happy piggy present for us to eat.

Just look at that crust. Absolutely divine.

A meat thermometer is one of the best investments that you can buy for your kitchen, I don’t know how I managed without my Thermapen thermometer .  (don’t worry, not an affiliate link, I really love mine!) It’s quite pricey but my Dad actually bought all three of us kids one for Christmas a few years back. It’s the best thermometer I’ve ever used, accurate within seconds and so easy to use. Maybe put one on your Christmasa list! It has seriously changed my cooking life.

So here it is, in all its retro glory. Panko Parmesan Porkchops. Give them a whirl and cook them to the new temperature, I gurantee you’ll have a new retro favorite again!

Love you more than chocolate,



Parmesan Pork Chops
Prep time
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Total time
Simple yet delicious, these Parmesan Pork Chops are going to be a new family favorite!
Recipe type: dinner
Serves: 4
  • 4 loin pork chops (one inch thick)
  • ½ cup flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup fine breadcrumbs
  • ⅓ cup grated Parmesan heese
  • ⅓ cup butter
  1. Whisk together the flour, salt and pepper.
  2. Coat a porkchop in beaten egg, then dip in the flour mixture. Dip into the eggs again, then dip into the breadcrumb mixture.
  3. Set porkchops on a small baking sheet and place into the fridge until chilled, to set the coating.
  4. When the chops are chilled, melt the butter in a large skillet. Place the porkchops into the skillet and cook until browned on both sides and they reach an internal temperature of 145 °F. Remove and let rest for 3-4 minutes.
  5. Serve and enjoy!


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Hungry Bird Food Tour, Amsterdam Fri, 24 Jul 2015 16:28:44 +0000 Hungry Bird Food Tour, Amsterdam

One of the highlights of our Europe trip was this Amsterdam food tour. The fries man, I need to go back for those fries! And maybe a Stroopwafel or three....

The post Hungry Bird Food Tour, Amsterdam appeared first on The Kitchen Magpie.

Hungry Bird Food Tour, Amsterdam

I desperately need to take a break from cookbook writing and think about something that doesn’t involve copious amounts of sugar and chocolate. It’s bad. I’m dreaming about my cookbook in my sleep now, puttering around my dream kitchen, writing recipes, thinking of photos and having a temper tantrum when something doesn’t work. Really though, when something doesn’t work for the fifth time, I’m entitled to a small temper moment.

I’m talking to you, rhubarb.

I would not be surprised if I woke up IN my kitchen during the witching hours of the night, putting a pie in the oven or worse yet, trying to burn down the house in the middle of the night by using the gas stove.

Great. Now I just gave myself something else to worry about, pyro sleep-walking Magpie. Sigh.

It’s hard to know where to start when tackling our big trip to Europe, so like any good blogger I’ll simply start with food.

One of the highlights of our trip was the Hungry Birds Food Tour in Amsterdam. When trying to get a handle on what the cuisine was in Amsterdam, I somehow landed on their Trip Advisor page.  Then I saw that they had the most glowing reviews that I have ever read about a food tour. Was it really that good?

It was. The tour took up the better part of a morning and was worth every penny. They warn you to come hungry and after reading all of the reviews, we didn’t eat a smidge that morning in preparation, and it’s a darn good thing we went starving. By the time the tour is done, you are filled to the gills with delicious delights.

While I am not going to reveal all of the secrets here, I’ll share a few highlights. Remember though that all of these stops may not be on the food tour you take with them as they change around the places on occasion.

Let’s start with the yogurt bar.

Say whaaaa? A what what? Yes, a yogurt bar, and I’m sad that we don’t have one in Edmonton.

The kids of course, loved it. Our version had chocolate brownies, mango and walnuts and disappeared rapidly.

I mean, who knew that you could – and should- eat brownies on yogurt?

The tour was several hours long and wound its way through Amsterdam, taking you past gorgeous canals and scenery. Amsterdam is the most beautiful city I’ve ever been to, more than Paris. It’s cleaner, smaller and has the most wonderful vibe to it, not to mention that as a Pisces I love that there is water everywhere you look.

I want to live on a houseboat in Amsterdam, is that too much to ask?

I am sure that most of you know that the Dutch are famous for their cheese. The gorgeous, lush green pastures of the Nederlands makes for amazing milk from pasture fed cows, which in turn leads to amazing cheese!

I bought a lot of cheese at this store.

The highlight for everyone was the “hidden garden” on the tour. No really, the guys were happy, even though they look grouchy. Honestly, Mike IS smiling. You just can’t see it under his beard.

Tea and soup were served in the back garden, hidden from the eyes of the street. A shop owner and his wife simply love cooking for the guests of the tour and are a non-restaurant stop along the way.

After walking for quite a while, it was so nice to stop and rest with a hot cup of tea.

Now, what would a Dutch food tour be if there wasn’t herring?

Oh yes indeed, herring was on the menu.

I’d love to claim that the kids tried it on their own, but I totally bribed them.

The only thing is, I need to teach them to stop telling people that we bribed them as the twerps excitedly told the entire tour group  how we bribed them into eating a smidge of herring.

Stop giving up my bad parenting tricks child, and eat your herring! I can’t even remember what we bribed them with, but it was most likely extra tablet time.

The second tastiest part of the tour for me were the freshly make Stroopwafels.

If you haven’t had one of these freshly made, you ain’t living, my friend. I have never really cared for stroopwafels, until I had one fresh from the press.

The drippy, creamy caramel should speak for itself here.

Now my dears, this is only a small, small part of what we ate. I can’t even say that these are the highlights as everything was amazing. These are simply the photos that I liked the best.

I am going to end on my favorite part of the tour, which were traditional Dutch fries. This multicultural jumble of flavors perfectly sums up what the Dutch food culture is, a mash-up of the different nationalities that reside in the Nederlands.

You have onions, traditional Dutch mayo and peanut sauce, all of which culminated in a taste tango that should not work, yet did, and deliciously so.

A big thank you to our guide Zoisa, who did an excellent job of taking us through the city and feeding us so well!

Now it’s time to stop stalling and get back to work on my cookbook!

Love you more than chocolate,


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Who Would You Nominate as Oreo Blizzard Worthy? Fri, 24 Jul 2015 15:51:08 +0000 Who Would You Nominate as Oreo Blizzard Worthy?

It was hard to choose, but Mike won as the person I think is the most #OreoBlizzardWorthy right now!

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Who Would You Nominate as Oreo Blizzard Worthy?

There’s no way like saying thank you with ice cream, in my opinion, when it’s in the middle of a nice hot summer! If you happen to say thank you with one of my favorite treats, a Blizzard from Dairy Queen, then it’s even better.

There’s no way like saying thank you with ice cream, in my opinion, when it’s in the middle of a nice hot summer! If you happen to say thank you with one of my favorite treats, a Blizzard from Dairy Queen, then it’s even better.

For the month of July, Oreo and Dairy Queen are recognizing “Oreo Blizzard Worthy” people by giving out 200 cards for $10 each to recognize nominated people that have made a difference in the lives of other people.

I have been asked to nominate someone as being #OreoBlizzardWorthy and let me tell you, it was no small task to choose just one person. I’ve have been blessed with people helping me with my cookbook, whether it’s my sister or girlfriends testing out recipes or my mom testing out more recipes than everyone combined. I am surrounded by helping hands in my village, as you might call it, but if I had to choose one person right now, it would be my husband Mike.

Yesterday pretty much sealed the deal for his nomination. I spent the entire day shooting the cover photo for my cookbook. He moved backdrops. He cleaned up the kitchen after I prepped the food for the cover. He sat on the floor moving around props and food while I shouted orders from my perch up on a stepladder.

The man deserves an Oreo Blizzard for putting up with me, that’s for sure!

So if you have someone you think is worthy, head on over to the Dairy Queen Facebook Page and let them know who you think is #OreoBlizzardWorthy! You can check them out on Twitter as well.

The best part? Three lucky nominess will be rewarded with a DQ Oreo Blizzard Party at their local Dairy Queen! What could be more fun than that?



This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Dairy Queen Canada. The opinions and text are all mine.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Dairy Queen Canada. The opinions and text are all mine.

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How to Make Cilantro Lime Rice & Cookbook Chat Fri, 10 Jul 2015 03:54:44 +0000 How to Make Cilantro Lime Rice & Cookbook Chat

Delicious cilantro lime rice and some chatting about my cookbook. And me spazzing.

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How to Make Cilantro Lime Rice & Cookbook Chat

Well, darned if I don’t miss you guys and gals lately! I may be back from my world travels but that cookbook of mine has a draft due date of August 1st. While I’ve been very busy patting myself on the back that I don’t have that much to work on, I still have what I fondly refer to as a “crap ton” of work to do. It most certainly is because I am Type A combined with the pressure ( mostly self-inflicted, of course) that it’s my first cookbook and I want it to be simply mind-blowing for all of you.

I wish you could see me spazzing out some days, it’s quite the entertaining sight to witness, just ask my family. No one really talks about the pressure that writing a book puts on the members of your family and your friends, but it’s there.

My husband is deftly shouldering the burden of most of the parenting, a lot of the meals, the house cleaning and the day-to-day things that I simply don’t have time for. The man is my hero cookie.

My friend Amanda puts up with the fact that I forget everything, including playdates for our sons. She just texts me 40 minutes beforehand to remind me, knowing full well that I can’t even hold a thought that isn’t food related for more than 10 seconds. She knows that I completely forgot. And I did.

On an unrelated note, is it still a playdate when the kids are 11?

My recipe testers are baking more than they’ve baked in monthes, trying to help me make sure that things are up to code for the recipes.

There are friends I haven’t texted in months, emails that I haven’t returned, events that I can’t attend and it’s all ok. It’s better than ok, it’s amazing. I’m writing the cookbook that’s been inside my head for years with an amazing publishing company.

I mean, please. First world cookbook writer problems here folks.


While I pop into Facebook a lot to chat with you all, this space is quieter this month. It will pick up now that I had a nice straight week of 15 hours cookbook work days, but I won’t have time like I usually do.

So bear with me, my darlin’s, my time is limited.

However, there is always time for a simple cilantro rice how-to. If you know me, then you know that I love cilantro. I also love lime and apparently this rice is a big thing in the States where a big Mexican food restaurant food chain is famous for it. Fine, it’s Chipotles. People go crazy for that rice though!

I can see why, the simple taste is perfect with almost everything.

This pairs best with any food that has a Tex-mex type of flavor to it, but I will eat this as a side dish with a burger, no problem. It all depends on how much you love cilantro.

Thanks for hanging in there everyone, things will return to normal (whatever that is around here) soon. Before you know it, I’ll still not be cleaning my house and Mike will still be cleaning up after me.

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Love you more than chocolate,



Cilantro Lime Rice
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Light and refreshing , this lime and cilantro rice is a perfect side dish for almost everything!
Recipe type: side
Serves: 4
  • 1 cup Basmati Rice
  • 1¾ cup Water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp fresh Lime juice
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh Cilantro (Coriander) Leaves
  1. Rinse rice till water runs clear then drain the water and set the rice aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Add salt and rice.
  3. Place the lid on the pot and lower the temperature until the rice is just simmering. Cook for 18-20 minutes or until all water is absorbed.
  4. Remove the pot from the stove and let cool for 5 minutes while still covered, then fluff the rice with a fork. Let sit for another 5 minutes iuncovered.
  5. Pour the juiceover the rice & mix it by fluffing it with a fork.
  6. Add the cilantro in right before serving, fluffing lightly with a fork.






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Our Homeschooling Adventure – A Year End Round-up About Schooling Fri, 03 Jul 2015 15:03:25 +0000 Our Homeschooling Adventure – A Year End Round-up About Schooling

A year end round-up of our homeschooling adventure, what I thought about the teacher-led aligned curriculum.

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Our Homeschooling Adventure – A Year End Round-up About Schooling

Visiting Ireland on our cruise!

I’ve been asked to do a year-end summary by you, my readers, on our year of homeschooling. For those of you just tuning in, we pulled the kids out of school this past year and homeschooled them so that we could travel. We spent three months living in Phoenix this winter, enjoying the glorious weather and desert sunsets. We were home three weeks, then were off to Europe for almost three months again, it’s been quite the year of travel!

I miss these desert  sunsets like you wouldn’t believe. Desert sunsets are simply the most spectacular on the planet.

There are different ways that you can choose to homeschool your children and we chose what I now think is most likely the harder path to follow, teacher-led aligned. That means that we were aligned with the Alberta Curriculum (excellent) and that teachers planned all the work and our job was to execute it. (not so good.)

You log into a program on the computer and each child has an account for their work. Each day there is an online class (can be good) in each subject. This takes up a large part of the morning by the time you are done with the four core subjects. Then however, the kids have assignments as well on top of that.

The warning bells went off at the beginning of the year when I read “to expect that children would need the same amount of time every day for schooling as regular school.”

That’s a big no for homeschooling. You should be able to get all of your daily work done in the morning with the afternoon free. There are no interruptions like in a classroom and it’s pure one-on-one work. Aligned and teacher-led was, in essence, a daily classroom in your house and I wish I had known this beforehand. The days were full of what is called “busy” work, as if we were in a real classroom and teachers just wanted to keep the kids busy. Some assignments were crazy, such as taking cameras out, finding garbage, taking pictures, sending by email, things that took hours within one day to to. There were days when the kids didn’t even come close to finishing their work, and that’s the point where we dumped the busy work entirely and just did the assignments that were due.

This type of homeschooling did not fit in with out lifestyle this year. When you look at the requirements for Grade 4, for example, each subject is fairly simple. Really. If you scroll down in that PDF, what is listed under each subject is the entire year of learning.  For example, here is what is required learning to be aligned with the curriculum for Grade 4 Science :

Waste and Our World • identify wastes produced within their community and learn the methods used for disposal • learn that some waste materials are biodegradable, that some are reusable, and that others are toxic • recognize that human activity can lead to the production of wastes

Wheels and Levers • examine how simple machines are used to change the speed or force of movement • demonstrate a practical understanding of wheels, gears and levers by constructing devices in which energy is transferred to produce motion

Building Devices and Vehicles that Move • learn that different forms of energy can be used to propel model devices • construct a mechanical device for a designated purpose, using materials and design suggestions provided • learn to evaluate their work, by describing the effectiveness of the device and the appropriateness of materials used

Light and Shadows • discover that light and shadows fall along a predictable path by observing shadows and their motions relative to a light source • discover that mirrors, prisms and a variety of other materials can affect that path by reflecting and refracting light and by splitting light into colours • identify sources of light, describe the interaction of light with different materials, and infer the pathway of a light beam

Plant Growth and Changes • describe the importance of plants to humans and to the natural environment • learn that different plants have different needs, and, through hands-on activities, gain skills and attitudes for their care • demonstrate knowledge and skills for the study, interpretation, propagation and enhancement of plant growth

That is it. Science for over the whole year. My daughter already knows plant growth and changes from gardening with me, in fact we’ve gone even more in depth than what she studied this year. Waste and our World? Done it all. She knows all about decomposers, recycling, everything in that unit, she knew already. If I had done parent-led aligned  we could have done a nice big project to show her knowledge and called it a day. Wheels and levers? My husband bought a fabulous kit at the teacher’s store and the learning for that was done in a week, all through play basically.

Here’s where I say I should have listened to my mom. ( you reading this ma?) She’s the smartest teacher I’ll ever know, with not only her Masters but also having planned and executed NINE GRADES OF SCHOOL every year until she retired. That’s right, let that sink in. NINE GRADES every year, making sure that the curriculum was new and current. She taught in a one room school house on a Hutterite colony from Grades 1-9 her entire teaching career. With children that only spoke German when they come into Grade one, so throw ESL in there as well.

I can’t even.

That said, she tried to tell me last fall that teacher-led wasn’t really the way to go, that the curriculum isn’t that complex and that we could totally do it ourselves. I honestly didn’t have the self confidence that I could plan and execute the curriculum, but I should have, it would have been so much easier on us all.

The main problem with teacher-led aligned is that there was no room for my own type of teaching and that drove me nuts. For example leaning about Aboriginal culture for social, we visited some of the most incredible museums in the world (New York’s Natural History Museum covered Native American peoples of the North American Plains and then even at home, Edmonton’s Provincial museum has a huge wing all about Canadian aboriginals) There is so much more you can learn in one day at a museum with your kids than a month’s worth of assignments. My kids both learn better this way and retain their knowledge when we experience it, not when they write it down. Again, my kids learned more than any repetitive school assignment could teach them.

Notre Dame and the famous Love Locks Bridge in Paris

Teacher-led was far too restrictive for us and I can say that until perhaps my children are old enough to log in and complete everything themselves without parental supervision, we won’t be doing it again. There are some benefits to it, but the negatives outweighed the positives for us.

The kids are heading back to school this year, just to our neighborhood school. We’d like them to make some friends in the neighborhood and we aren’t travelling this year. I need to get the photography finished for my book and then it’s months of working with my editor to make sure it’s the best it can be. However, the plan is to homeschool for the 2016/2017 school year, when my book comes out. We’ll plan another year of travel so that I can do a book tour and book signings all over Canada and the US. That year we will do parent-led aligned instead of teacher-led.

So all in all, it was a good year and a learning experience for us all. It was fabulous that we could work ahead and be done ahead of time for vacations, or end our entire school year at the beginning of June so that the kids have a three month break from school but overall the lack of flexibility was ultimately a stressor for us.

I loved travelling with the kids and this past year is one that I hope stays in their memories forever. They actually don’t want to return to school, but this next year we really don’t have the time to homeschool them. That’s the lovely thing about being aligned as well, they can simply pop back into regular school without a problem anytime they want. If nothing else, I’m raising flexible, adaptable children thanks to our crazy life!

Now I know that I most likely haven’t answered everyone’s questions, so please ask away in the comments below!




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What is There for Kids To Do on Cruise Ships? Tue, 23 Jun 2015 23:27:56 +0000 What is There for Kids To Do on Cruise Ships?

Bascially, you don't have to see your children on a cruise. EVER.
And this is why I love cruises.

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What is There for Kids To Do on Cruise Ships?

While we still aren’t quite home yet, I’m getting back into business and catching up on all my travel posts! Recently a  friend of mine asked me a question after I posted What It’s Really Like to Take a Transatlantic Cruise.

Hey Karlynn!! was wondering about the kidlets? Were there activities happening on the he ship periodically? Madie would be bored after the first day.

How are you going to entertain your child on a cruise?

Four words folks :

You Don’t Have To.

Four of the most glorious words uttered in the human language when it relates to parenting our children. Actually, that phrase rings true to its heavenly sound with most things in life.

There are so many things to do aboard a cruise ship – even with kids – that even if you take a two-week cruise like we did, you’re not going to be bored.

First, you have to sign them up for the shipboard Kids Club. It’s called different things on each ship, but in essence they are all the same. There are wonderful kids club rooms (ages vary by cruise line) that are filled with entertainment for the kids, both technological and old-fashioned. (did I seriously just call board games old-fashioned?) The staff that work in these areas are generally very, very good.

Here’s a low down on the kids clubs between the three that my kids have enjoyed.

Disney Oceaneer Club: Fantastic programming. When my kids went, characters would come in to sing and dance with them. They baked cookies with Ratatouille, sang with Snow white and had a luau with Stitch. The one drawback is that kids who loved their electronics (AKA my son) would get hooked into the games (see the photo above) and miss out on all the activities. This kids club was open from early in the morning until late at night, with no breaks in time.

Royal Caribbean: The only fault to Royal Caribbean’s Kids Adventure Ocean Club is that it’s not open all day long. We found ourselves trying to plan around it, which sometimes worked and sometimes didn’t. However, they had a ton of different activities planned each day and didn’t let kids game their day away, which I loved. There was a small half hour time period at the beginning and the end where kids could game. The rest of the time they were expected to participate.

Cunard:   My daughter LOVED the Cunard staff more than any of the others. There was always someone to play board games with here, she says they were nicer than anyone else – those lovely British gals, just like us Canadians!- and we literally barely saw the kids the whole week. We ate dinner with them once in all seven days, as they wanted to quickly eat at the buffet and then head right back to kids club, while Mike and I preferred the sit down formal dinner in the evening. They saw shows in the theatre, walked around the ship on a tour and again, very little technology time. The only drawback was that they opened at 10 am, leaving my children about two hours of nag time. They couldn’t wait to head back every morning.

Second, there is so much more going on in the ship that you can’t even think of doing it all. Most ships have movie theaters (we just watched Home on the way back with Cunard) and though the movies aren’t the most current, they are still new enough to enjoy. Most ships also have stages now and you can see a variety of shows from musicals, comedians and more. The kids loved most of these as well – excepting the late night adult comedy that we attended by ourselves, of course.

Third, by taking them to the kids club it’s almost guaranteed that they are going to make friends. On each cruise that we have taken, our children have made friends with other kids at the clubs and then have proceeded to go swimming together, have dinner together and generally have best buds for the entirety of the cruise. This is always my favorite part. We have emails and mailing addresess from our two recent cruises for the kids for the new friends that they’ve made.

Fourth, there are more pools than you can shake a stick at. Generally there are at least two pools that kids can swim in, with one adult only pool.

There is generally a large movie screen – absolutely a blast to watch movies on- and a ton of chairs.

And, the most important thing of all.

To end, while Disney will always have the first place in my heart, the other two cruise lines are both excellent choices for cruising with kids. Let’s face it, Disney cruises are a premium cost as well and now that I know what the other two cruise lines are like, the whole Disney experience might not win out over them all the time. I’m pretty frugal sometimes, with the amount of travel we do, you have to be!

What are your thoughts on the above cruise lines? Has anyone else ever cruised with them?

Love you more than cruising!


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10 Must-Eat Foods in Phoenix, Arizona Fri, 12 Jun 2015 21:00:38 +0000 10 Must-Eat Foods in Phoenix, Arizona

I miss all the amazing places we ate in Phoenix while we lived there, I can't wait to go back. I dream of those chilaquiles daily....

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10 Must-Eat Foods in Phoenix, Arizona

This post is in partnership with Expedia Canada & Food Bloggers of Canada

When the opportunity came up to write about some US South of the Border Eats, can you all guess how fast I jumped on board? After spending three months in Phoenix alone, I had a camera and IPhone full of delicious delights that Mike and I had eaten in California and Arizona.  If there is one topic that I can write about, it’s food that I’ve eaten in the States while travelling!

I ultimately chose to write about Phoenix as my long stay there had me solidly digging into the food scene. While Phoenix is known for its amazing desert views and hiking activities, such as the famous Camelback Mountain, there’s not much written about the food there.

Speaking of hiking, I’m going to start my list with some Scottsdale area food that you can eat to fuel up after – or before-  a hike in those gorgeous Camelback Mountains which are located near Scottsdale, Arizona.

1) The PBJ & Bacon Burger at Rehab Burger Therapy – 7210 E 2nd St, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

It took all my nerve to try this burger but I was rewarded with the tastiest burger I’ve ever eaten. The sweet jam, salty bacon, rich peanut butter and hot sriracha sauce combine to make each mouthful of this burger a culinary experience. Make sure to order it done medium so that you have a juicy burger patty.

Second place mention: The Mac n’ cheese there is extraordinary.

This restaurant is right in the middle of Old Town Scottsdale, the most popular place to explore in Scottsdale so make sure that you check out the rest of the area for some shopping. There’s everything from pottery to art galleries, so make sure you have a couple of hours to enjoy!

The PBJ & Bacon Burger at Rehab Burger Therapy – 7210 E 2nd St, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

2) Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers – Multiple locations

While this may be a fast food chain, these burgers are something you need to try. The steak burgers are lightly compressed meat that melts apart perfectly when you bite into them, making them the best fast food burger I’ve had. If you need a quick and delicious bite to eat on the go while out exploring Phoenix, this burger is it.

Freddy’s Steakburger

3) The Deep Dish Pizza At Oregano’s Pizza – Multiple Locations

If it doesn’t take 45-50 minutes to cook, it’s not deep dish pizza, and that’s the truth. To make a proper, butter crust deep dish, you need to cook it lower and slower, this resulting in the gorgeous pizza you see below. Considering how far Phoenix is from Chicago, the Oregano’s restaurants local to the Phoenix area have nailed deep dish in the desert. There is almost always a line up to wait but they allow you to pre-order your deep dish while you are waiting for your table, a brilliant move on their part.

Oregano’s Deep Dish Pizza

4) Ice Cream at Tortilla Flat

Take a day and drive the Apache Trail Scenic Drive into the Superstition Mountains. Enjoy the history behind the Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine on the way to visiting Tortilla Flat where you can stop and treat yourself to some ice cream at the The Tortilla Flat General Store and Ice Cream Shop. It’s hard to top eating ice cream while smack dab in the middle of the fabled Superstition mountains for a culinary experience. Their prickly pear ice cream is famous, if you’re bold enough to try it!

Ice cream and a mountain view!

5) The Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich at Churn – 5223 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85012

Speaking of ice cream, if you’re in the downtown area of Phoenix – or even if you aren’t, plan a trip there- and stop by Churn. You choose the cookies – I love trying two different ones – and your flavor of ice cream to create the ultimate ice cream cookie sandwich.

Snickerdoodle and chocolate cookie with ice cream sandwiched between.

7) Build Your Own Bowl of Ramen at the Clever Koi – 4236 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85012

Available only at lunch – so check the hours before you go – the brilliant Build Your Own Bowl concept is something ramen lovers simply have to try. It’s also the perfect way to introduce a newbie ramen eater to the food, you can pick a plain bowl or load it up with a ton of different ingredients. Head on in to downtown Phoenix and try this out then enjoy the surrounding shops and more.

I highly suggest the pork belly and egg as pictured in the bottom part of the bowl below as they are simply spectacular.

Excellent Pork Belly Ramen with egg.

 8) Tv Dinners At the Angel’s Trumpet Ale House – 810 N 2nd St, Phoenix, AZ 85004

This culinary delight is held every Tuesday and has become an extremely popular event. Yes, it’s served exactly like the retro TV Dinners but the food is a hundred times better. Head to their blog to check out the menu for every Tuesday.

The normal menu is also available on Tuesdays and worthy of mention is their “Mess” dish which is actually poutine. This Canadian girl has not had better poutine anywhere else in the States and sadly it also beats most Canadian poutine that I’ve eaten.

The TV Dinner Tray “menu” you are given

The actual TV Dinner you are served. Amazing.

9) The Waffle with Peppered Bacon at Matt’s Big Breakfast –  825 N 1st St, Phoenix, AZ 85004, 

When it was featured on the Food Network’s popular show Diner’s, Drive In’s and Dive’s, they were only showcasing what the locals have known for years. There is some good darn breakfast to be found at Matt’s.  The one dish that I would go back for time and time again would be the light as air waffle and peppered bacon. The waffle almost melts in your mouth it’s so fluffy and the peppered bacon is addicting.

Peppered bacon and a waffle that melts in your mouth!

10)  The Chilaquiles at Over Easy – 4730 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix, AZ 85018

If I had to name my favorite dish in all of Phoenix, this would take the trophy. Over Easy is another Diners, Drive In’s and Dives alumni and it certainly earned it’s fame. The chilaquiles are a classic Mexican dish done very well at Over Easy and I’ve yet to meet their taste match. In all honesty, everything on the menu at Over Easy is a hit.

Amazing chilaquiles!

And there we have it folks! Now, that took a long of time and investigative eating on my part over the span of three months, so I hope it helps you find somewhere amazing to eat while you are in Phoenix!

Love you more than chilaquiles,


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Smoky Bacon Deviled Eggs Mon, 08 Jun 2015 11:31:47 +0000 Smoky Bacon Deviled Eggs

I could eat deviled eggs by the dozen. When you add smoked paprika? Whoa Nellie, they are amazing!

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Smoky Bacon Deviled Eggs

Deviled eggs are another great food divisor, either you love them or you hate them, there’s not really an in-between. I suspect it has to do with the texture, as the creamy filling inside of a rather toothsome egg white will either woo you or send your lip curling upwards in distaste.

I am in the lovers camp, firmly entrenched since childhood with no plans on leaving. Deviled eggs are my favorite cold appetizer and one that you don’t see that often anymore. They have become rather passé, sadly, and ignored for other more trendy appetizers.

So what can one do except pull out your 1970’s retro carnival glass deviled egg plate and serve up those babies in style?

I love my egg plate. I love these eggs.

Yes, sadly I embrace being passé. Give me retrolicious recipes any day of the week and I’ll most likely have the glassware to serve it in.

This was some of my collection three years ago when we first moved into our house. I had some of my nicest pieces out and kept some packed away.

I will be re-organizing this as soon as I get home and getting my entire retro glass collection sorted out and onto those shelves.

I’m not sure it will fit.

To make really pretty deviled eggs, first you need to learn How to Make Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs. Then I highly suggest using an icing bag with a large tip or a heavy-duty one like I have. Mine is absolutely amazing for these fiddly little jobs, like filling eggs or piping whipped cream into pies. I bought it initially to make beautiful edgings on my pies for my cookbook photos then it slowly became something I use all the time!

When you are doing a couple dozen eggs, trust me, it’s worth using it!

These eggs by themselves are a very classic deviled egg recipe which is my favorite above all. What I have discovered is that you really need to slowly add the mayo/vinegar/mustard until you reach a certain taste that you are expecting, then stop right there. My mom never measures, she simply measures by taste a I did with this recipe. What your Mom or Grandma made might have used more or less of certain ingredients, but the three in here are the classic, retro ingredients. I prefer Dijon mustard in mine, but feel free to use plain yellow if desired.

The smoked paprika gives these eggs a flavor boost that I absolutely adore. Let’s face it, paprika by itself has never been known as a kapow spice for taste, it’s used more for coloring in dishes like these. Smoked paprika on the other hand, is one of my favorite spices to add a little flavor punch when needed.

That combined with bacon? Yes please, I’ll eat a dozen of these and call it dinner.

Happy cooking everyone!



Smoky Bacon Deviled Eggs
Prep time
Total time
Retrolicious deviled eggs with a smoky bacon taste!
Recipe type: appetizer
Serves: 24
  • 12 eggs, hard boiled and cooled
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1½ teaspoons white vinegar
  • 1½ teaspoon Dijon mustard (plain yellow mustard is classic)
  • 1-2 slices of bacon, cooked to crisp
  • smoked paprika
  1. Slice each egg in half carefully and remove the yolk, placing into a medium sized bowl. Place the egg white to the side for filling later.
  2. Combine the mayo, vinegar and mustard with the egg yolks, mixing until creamy and smooth.
  3. Pipe the egg yolk filling into the center of each egg, making a small dome of filling.
  4. Place one small piece of bacon on top of each egg, then sprinkle with smoked paprika.


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How To Make Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs Fri, 05 Jun 2015 14:02:08 +0000 How To Make Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs

I HATE peeling hardboiled eggs that end up looking like an animal chewed on them. Here's the method that works the best for making perfect hardboiled eggs!

The post How To Make Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs appeared first on The Kitchen Magpie.

How To Make Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs

Confession time.

Peeling boiled eggs makes me mad.

Peeling eggs makes me so mad that my family usually runs away from the kitchen when it’s time for me to tackle the task. I might have yelled once while peeling eggs, threw them back into the pot and walked out of the kitchen fuming, irrationally furious.

Fine, you caught me. The above statement is a lie. It’s happened more than once. Peeling eggs and having them look like a badger chewed them and spit them out makes me irrationally mad. Ask Mike. He runs away and hides when it’s time to peel eggs in our house. Either that or he gently takes the eggs out of my hands, steers me towards the couch and tells me to sit while he does it. (I still hate that they look like a badger chewed them but at least I didn’t do it. Rational, right?)

I’m sure that you can understand how this is a problem being a deviled eggs lover. Oh, I love a good retro deviled egg and a recipe for my smoky bacon deviled eggs is coming right up this weekend after I post this how-to.

I’ve read a lot of forums, articles and posts on how to make perfect hard-boiled eggs. You are going to be the lucky recipient of hours of research on my part. I have combined pretty much everything I’ve ever read on how to make perfect hard-boiled eggs into ONE how to post for you all.

First things first.

Old eggs make for better boiled eggs, they peel better. I always try to buy a dozen eggs that aren’t as fresh and tuck them away in my fridge to be used later for the specific purpose of boiling them.

How To Make Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs
  1. Place your eggs in the bottom of a large pot and sprinkle with 1 tsp salt and 2 tbsp vinegar.
  2. Bring a kettle full of water to boiling,
  3. Place the pot on a heated stove element and pour the boiling water over the top.
  4. Stir the eggs gently while bringing the water to a boil again. This helps the yolk stay in the center and it works like a charm! No more yolks settling to one side!
  5. Bring to a boil. See cooking times for different sized eggs below.
  6. Remove from the heat and run cold water into the pot.
  7. Once the pot has cooled, removed the water. Swirl the eggs around the pot hard enough to crack their shells in several places.
  8. Fill with cold water again and leave for 5-10 minutes.
  9. Remove the shells (the water should have started to seep underneath the cracked shells and they should come off really easily.)
  10. If the eggs are still stubborn, peel under running water.
  11. Refrigerate until used.
Boiling Times for a slightly soft center :

Small eggs - 7 minutes
Medium eggs - 8-9 minutes,
large eggs - 10 minutes
extra large eggs - 12 minutes.

Add 2-3 minutes per time for harder centered eggs.

Easy as pie!

Now, to show you it really does work, check out that cracked egg in the photo below, the very top egg. It was one of those invisible cracks that always show up when you boil the egg.

These are the cooked eggs in cold water after cooking. Notice how there is hardly any white seeping out of the egg? No explosion that usually accompanies those little cracks? The salt and the vinegar with the sudden hot water method all combined to seal up that crack licketly split. We all know that those eggs are usually a write off, (which means that we peel them and eat them, admit it, you do it too) but this one? That egg was used in my deviled eggs with no problem!

Look at all those beauties! No badger teeth marks, no yelling and no throwing a temper tantrum. These were new eggs as well – I wanted to test on the hardest eggs to peel, not the easiest – and they peeled up fabulously.

The technique of swirling them gave me almost 100% perfectly centered yolks, something that also makes me a little giddy. No more off centered yolks and ugly eggs! Huzzah!

Now I know that you are all going to ask me for the recipe above, as you should. I would be terribly disappointed in you all if you saw that picture of beautiful, swirly, decadent eggs and didn’t pester me immediately. I will be posting that recipe first thing tomorrow morning for you to try out! It’s a very classic base recipe for deviled eggs, something you all have been asking me for, with a little twist.

To end, let’s get a little honest with each other, perhaps uncomfortably so.

Who else cannot stand peeling hardboiled eggs? I can’t be the only one who hates badger chewed eggs…

Love you more than chocolate,





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Buffalo Cauliflower au Gratin Sat, 30 May 2015 17:51:36 +0000 Buffalo Cauliflower au Gratin

Should I start to worry about my buffalo hot sauce obsession? I literally could eat that stuff on anything... but this cauliflower au gratin is one of my new faves!

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Buffalo Cauliflower au Gratin

What they say about buffalo hot sauce is completely true.

I DO put that $%&! on everything.

I make Buffalo Hot Wing Tacos. Which are freaking fantastic.

I make the best, and I do mean THE BEST Buffalo Hot Sauce, Bacon & Jalapeno Mac n’ Cheese. I wouldn’t say it if I didn’t mean it.

This stuff is amazing. Make it. Now.

However, now it’s time to bring you something else. Something a little bit healthier (not much, let’s be honest, any cheese sauce isn’t the lowest in calories) that uses up one of my favorite vegetables, cauliflower.

Buffalo Cauliflower au Gratin!

Ooooh. This makes me want to be in my kitchen at home again. We have a lovely little kitchen here in Paris right now, but it’s not the same. I need my stuff man.

If you are looking for a hot side dish for your summer BBQ, I highly suggest this one. It’s lighter than potatoes and the hot flavor of the buffalo sauce is perfect to go along with your burgers.

Who else is excited that BBQ Season is here? Summer! Gardens! Fresh food from the market! Oh, I am excited to get home to my garden!

Love you more than buffalo sauce!


Buffalo Cauliflower au Gratin
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Delicious, creamy and slightly spicy cauliflower au gratin. The cheese and hot sauce combo makes you forget that you're eating your vegetables!
Serves: 4
  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets steamed and drained
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1½ cup milk
  • 1½ cup of shredded old, strong Cheddar cheese
  • 2 tsp hot sauce
  • ½ cup Shredded Cheese to top
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Grease a 9x9-inch baking dish, pie dish etc.
  3. Melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat then add flour; cook, stirring constantly, until mixture just starts to brown, 3 to 5 minutes.
  4. Gradually pour milk into mixture, whisking into a smooth sauce. Stir in 1½ cups of strong, old Cheddar cheese until melted, add in hot sauce and stir (you might want to add more hot sauce to taste)
  5. Place steamed cauliflower in the prepared baking dish; pour cheese sauce over cauliflower. Sprinkle with remaining Cheddar cheese and Panko crumbs.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven until cheese and Panko crumbs are melted and browned, about 25 minutes.


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What is a Transatlantic Cruise Really Like? Wed, 27 May 2015 18:54:12 +0000 What is a Transatlantic Cruise Really Like?

What is a Transatlantic Cruise Really Like? I tell you the good, the bad and the beautiful about being at sea for days on end!

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What is a Transatlantic Cruise Really Like?

I am starting almost in the middle of our travels and going to the end of the cruise. Don’t worry, I’m editing up the pictures of our room on the Royal Carribean Cruise and going to give you all the details and my thoughts. This post just sprang up and wrote itself. Almost.

This isn’t the usual type of travel post I write here on the Kitchen Magpie, but in the past two weeks after taking our very first transatlantic cruise with Royal Caribbean I have been asked more times than I can count what was it really like. Every time I mention the cruise – as it’s how we got to Europe instead of flying so it comes up in conversation with strangers all the time – people perk up and want to know. Again today I was asked by other people who love cruises and haven’t yet taken one so I figured I’ll start in the middle and try and tell everyone what it’s like.

So here it is. What a Transatlantic Cruise is Really Like!

1.) Transatlantic Cruises are Long

While you don’t have to take a two-week cruise like we did, plan on at least 7 days with an ocean liner (more to come on ocean liners when I actually take one home in a couple of weeks!) and that is seven straight days at sea. Our cruise was ten days at sea, which made for a long, relaxing haul across the ocean. We had booked this cruise knowing that we had plenty of time to relax.

2) Transatlantic Cruises are Meant For Relaxing. They Aren’t Exciting.

I’ve seen a lot of reviews on transatlantic cruises where people have stated that they are bored by the fifth day. My darlings, you are on the ocean for ten straight days and while cruise ships are pretty spectacular, there is only so much that they can do. I read an entire series of books. Stock up your Kindle and enjoy!

3). Transatlantic Cruises Are a Lot Of Views of Water

You are at sea for a long, long time without seeing land. However watching a sunset over the ocean? Simply spectacular. This one I managed to catch out the window at dinner. If you choose a dinner time close to sunset, you are going to be treated simply the most unparalleled sunset views in the world.

You, the ocean and the setting sun. Magical.

No land for a thousand miles. Literally.

4) The Weather on Transatlantic Cruises Can Be a Little Rough

H’ok. I am not trying to scare you off, but holy crow, there was one rough night and morning that scared the bejeebus out of me. The waves were so high that they had to close the fifth level deck and I literally didn’t sleep all night because I kid you not, I was rolling in bed. Like full-out rolling. I finally propped a spare pillow behind my back and slept halfway on my side and grabbed a few hours in the morning.

The best part was breakfast. The breakfast buffet is on the 11th level and the waves were still pretty darn bad. While we were sitting and eating, the ship rocked so that my son was facing the ocean and I had my back to it. His eyes widened and he let out a “Whoa!”! However, when the ship tilted back the other way and it was my turn to face the ocean I swear to the good Lord above I almost peed my pants. I was looking out these wide windows and the horizon disappeared and all I saw was waves coming towards me. Then plates started flying off tables. I kid you not. It must have over compensated for the tilt somehow, because it was crazy tilted.

However the seasoned travellers didn’t even blink an eye. I was a limp, weak mess after that point.

Have you seen The Poseidon Adventure? I did when I was a kid. I managed to ignore it until that one big tilt…and that entire movie came rushing back into my head.

Now, this isn’t meant to scare you, but it’s a warning of the weather that you might encounter. The good news? The ships can totally handle it, no problem. You just need some Gravol or similar motion sickness meds just in case.

Cobh. Ireland. Isn’t it spectacularly beautiful?

4) Transatlantic Cruises Can Have Some Amazing Ports

Sunset coming out of Cherbourg, France.

We sadly had to cancel our Disney transatlantic because we arrived in Europe far too late for Mike to get all of his meetings with clients done, but that cruise had Iceland as a port. We didn’t suffer, ours had Norfolk, Virginia, Cork, Ireland. Bruges, Belgium and Cherbourg, France as ports. I love that you can “test” out areas to see if you want to return. We definitely have Ireland as a return!

5) You Might Get Tired of the Food and Eating in General

Did I just say that? Me? Oh yes I did. Fourteen days on the same ship and you have to learn how to mix up your food or man, you are just not even going to want to chew. Seriously. While you can have breakfast in the dining room, you usually hit the buffet on the ship. I soon learned that you want to only have ONE thing at breakfast, like oatmeal and fruit, instead of a plate with little bits of everything. That way you can vary what you eat every morning and not get tired of food. Have eggs and bacon one morning. Have bread and cheese the next. My other advice is to definitely enjoy the seated dinner every night. The food will change enough that you won’t get tired of it. We only paid for two “extra” restaurant experiences and that was because Mike and I desperately wanted ramen and the Izumi restaurant on Brilliance of the Seas had a fantastic ramen.

The kids in front of the RCI Brilliance of the Seas docked in Cobh, Ireland.

7) Some Advice? Make sure you chose a ship that has the types of entertainment you want.

We travelled on the RCI Brilliance of the Seas, an older Brilliance class ship that holds around 2000 people. The newer (and more expensive) Quantum series will have more bang for your buck for entertainment but also holds around 5000 people. Those ships are monsters! We have the choice between the Quantum or the Brilliance and chose the Brilliance since the price difference was quite substantial. I’m also not into boarding ships that are really new, I’d prefer they worked out the kinks before I headed out into the middle of the ocean. Just me.  We wanted to read and relax. If that’s not your idea of fun, then you might want to look into a ship that has more bells and whistles.

Now it’s question and answer time! Ask in the comments below anything you want to know and I’ll try my best to answer them!

Love you more than travel,





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Butter Roasted Chicken – The Only Roast Chicken Recipe You’ll Ever Need Again. Tue, 26 May 2015 14:00:19 +0000 Butter Roasted Chicken – The Only Roast Chicken Recipe You’ll Ever Need Again.

This is literally the only butter roasted chicken recipe that you will ever need again. Perfectly roasted chicken and vegetables every time!

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Butter Roasted Chicken – The Only Roast Chicken Recipe You’ll Ever Need Again.

Stop right now and print, bookmark, pin or otherwise save this recipe. Write it on a recipe card. I don’t care how, but you NEED to save this recipe from now on. I have been looking all my cooking life for THE Roast Chicken Recipe, and I’m pretty sure I’ve found it.

I honestly don’t think I will ever make roast chicken (or turkey, for that matter, just you wait until Thanksgiving!) any other way.

This is basically a gorgeous, large and in charge roast chicken that was cooked using ONE CUP of butter.

I’ll pass the smelling salts out now for those of you who just fainted.

That’s right folks…one whole cup of butter.

Let that sink in for a moment, because as soon as it really hits you, you are going to realize that there is just no way this recipe isn’t anything other than freaking fantastic.

What truly makes this fantastic is that it is so incredible easy to make, you guys. The ingredients are so simple for the chicken and then when you add in my laziness, I came up with the perfect roast chicken meal.

It was Easter and we were barely home from our three months in Arizona. I was very happy to be home in my kitchen, don’t get me wrong, but we had only three weeks to clean all of our laundry, organize care of the house, the animals, the garden and clean the entire yard. Cooking was actually a priority, believe it or not, because I knew that I wouldn’t be touching a stove for a couple of months. I had to get some recipes done that I could post while I was here in Europe. However, I’m not one for complex recipes that take all day, I’m not sure if you’ve noticed that. I wanted to fiddle around with some devilled eggs instead of a chicken all day long.

The trick to this roasted chicken recipe is that it combines almost all of the tricks of the roasting chicken trade into one recipe.

Lemon inside for moisture? Check.

Butter and herbs for taste and crispy skin? Check.

Oil to make sure that skin crisps up? Check.

Vegetables roasted at the same time for optimal taste and ease? Check.

The chicken bakes up so perfectly delicious and crispy that I’ve found my go-to chicken recipe for a solid roast chicken. The herb butter melts into those vegetables and cooks right in, saturating them from the inside out with flavor. The chicken isn’t dry in the slightest with all the moisture used.

It’s so amazing that I wish I was writing a chicken cookbook right now. In fact, if I write a savoury cookbook next, this is going to be in it, without a doubt. It’s that darn good.

Make sure to use a nice large chicken for the best taste, around 5-7 lbs is a great size (I picked mine up at Acme Meat Market here in Edmonton).

I really hope that you guys give this one a whirl!




Butter Roasted Chicken
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This butter roasted chicken will change the way you roast chickens forever!
Recipe type: dinner
Serves: 6-8
  • one large chicken, around 5-6 lbs
  • 1 cup of salted butter, room temp
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp poultry seasoning
  • one lemon
  • one small onion
  • 3 large potatoes, washed and sliced into large chunks
  • 4 large carrots, washed and sliced into large chunks
  • 1 large white onion, peeled and quartered
  1. Preheat oven to 350 °F.
  2. Pat dry the chicken.
  3. Combine the butter with the oil and poultry seasoning until completely mixed. Rub onto the outside of the entire chicken completely, until coated.
  4. Slice the lemon in half and place inside the cavity of the chicken, along with any leftover butter mixture.
  5. Place into a large roaster on a baking rack. Add your desired vegetables around the edges.
  6. Roast chicken uncovered in the preheated oven until browned and the juices run clear, about 2 hours. At the one hour point, give the vegetables a stir to coat with the melted butter mix and juices.
  7. The chicken is done when an instant-read meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of a thigh, not touching bone, reads at least 165 ° F.
  8. Remove from oven and tent with foil, letting it rest for 10 minutes minimum.
  9. Remove, carve and serve along with the vegetables.


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Fun Activities to Do With Kids In Canmore, Alberta Sun, 24 May 2015 11:42:04 +0000 Fun Activities to Do With Kids In Canmore, Alberta

Oh, I love me the Alberta Rockies! We finally visited Canmore for two days, here's what I found to do with the kids!

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Fun Activities to Do With Kids In Canmore, Alberta

There are a ton of things for a family to do in Canmore, Alberta when you’re visiting and most of it won’t even cost you a dime! That’s the beauty of visiting a town surrounded by the wonders of nature. In fact, most of the things on my list don’t need any money and are probably the best things to do.

Find the local wildlife and take pictures. No matter where you drive in the vicinity of Canmore, you are going to find wildlife to admire. It took us all of five minutes to find a bunch of deer just outside the town. No matter how many wild animals you’ve seen in your lifetime it’s still a thrill each and every time you see a new one.

Take a walk along the Policeman’s Creek Boardwalk. It’s in town and is a beautiful little walk to take as a family.

Take Family Photos.  Plan it out and find a lovely place to take advantage of the amazing views. There are too many locations to even count and before you even say it, you don’t have to be a professional photographer. Take those photos and capture the memories. Have fun, encourage the kids to find places that they think are beautiful spots and explore to your heart’s content!

 Pizza at the Rocky Mountain Flatbread Company The kid’s night on Tuesday’s shouldn’t be missed! Not only does this restaurant use amazing local ingredients (deer sausage on pizza anyone?) the kids get to make their own pizza’s on Tuesdays. It’s a fabulous family supper.

The kids even get to watch their pizza’s being made in the gorgeous oven.

Just Stop and Take it all In. Just breathe. Disconnect from your phones and just be. The art of doing nothing is completely underrated, in my opinion. Just stop and breathe in that mountain air. Sit with the kids. You don’t even have to talk – although it’s certainly fine- but take time to realize that every moment doesn’t have to be filled with something. Let it just be filled with nothing but the companionship of your family. That’s more than enough.

What are your favorite things to do in Canmore?

I’d like to thank Tourism Canmore for hosting me in their fabulous town and giving me such great ideas! Don’t hesitate to check out their website for other ideas for you and the family!






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The Grande Rockies Resort, Canmore, Alberta Sun, 24 May 2015 10:38:15 +0000 The Grande Rockies Resort, Canmore, Alberta

A Hotel room walkthrough of the lovely Grande Rockies Resort, in Canmore, Alberta!

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The Grande Rockies Resort, Canmore, Alberta

When we started out on Karlynn & Mike’s Excellent Adventure, you might have noticed that we stopped on in Canmore, Alberta for a couple of days. Tourism Canmore had asked me if I would like to come out and visit them and see what there is to do in Canmore with the kids. The answer to that, of course, was a resounding yes!  As much as we travel abroad, there is honestly no place like home when it comes down to it. Our amazing Rocky Mountains hold a place near and dear to my heart that can’t be replaced. I love promoting this beautiful province of mine!

Since we were only homethree short weeks between Arizona and leaving for Europe, I managed to squeeze in a trip to Canmore at the beginning of our trip. We dropped off Root Beer at my sister’s house in Airdrie for his two month visit with his dog cousin Zoe and continued on to Canmore to start our journey.

We were hosted by the Grande Rockies Resort, somewhere that I had never stayed before. It’s a gorgeous place with fantastic views of the mountains. We had the one bedroom suite, which I loved thanks to the full kitchen!

Isn’t this fantastic?

The couch converted to a bed to the kids and the bedroom was perfect for Mike and I. The bed was extremely comfortable.

The bathroom was awesome and for the first time, I didn’t have to argue with the kids about taking showers. See that shower?

It had every gadget that a child (or adult) would ever want to play with. Steam, massaging jets and a radio.

My kids have never been so clean. Apparently all I need at home is a shower radio, who knew? As soon as we are home, I’ll be buying one!

Here’s the view from the kitchen. There was plenty of space, which was good since we travelled with four large suitcases.

Yes, that’s my son out on the balcony and speaking of which, there is a lovely BBQ out there for you to use as well and a couple of chairs with a table.

All in all, the resort is a fabulous place to stay with kids. A kitchenette is often one of the most important things that I want in a hotel room, we do get tired of eating out all of the time. The pool area was closed when we were there sadly, so I can’t share any pictures of that, but it appears to be a very family friendly and fun place.

Make sure to check out my post on Fun Activities To Do With Kids in Canmore, Alberta if you are looking for ideas!

I’d like to thank Tourism Canmore for having me out, it’s always a pleasure to help promote this amazing province of mine! Make sure to check out their website to learn more about Canmore!














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Random Thoughts on London, England. And Beheadings. And Colds. Thu, 21 May 2015 19:11:47 +0000 Random Thoughts on London, England. And Beheadings. And Colds.

London Bridge wasn't falling down and the Tower of London was better than I ever thought it could be.

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Random Thoughts on London, England. And Beheadings. And Colds.

This actually started out as a Facebook post and then grew in length to the point where I figured that I should be including some pictures and move the entire thing to my website.I know, I know, I am behind on posts. That’s what happens when I take two whole weeks off and hop onto a cruise ship and disconnect for a while.

I have so much to write about, the aforementioned transatlantic cruise, the ports that we visited, the Blarney castle visit, the list goes on and on. To be truthful however, we have been busy trying to cram in as much of London as we can since we were only there three short days.

My Facebook post was just a random sum up of the thoughts swirling around in my head about visiting London. The first one being that I can’t believe how expensive things are. The Canadian dollar does not do well when compared to the pound, so everything we are buying is literally twice the price.

Twenty-five dollar hamburgers and twelve dollar hotdogs. Afternoon tea? Oh my word, don’t ask please. I thought that Switzerland was bad last year (and it is one of the most expensive places to travel to) but their currency is the Euro, not the pound. My Harry Potter coffee mug for a souvenir?

Twenty. Five. Dollars.

Yah, I might have that coffee cup gilded in gold when I get home, if I wasn’t going to be broke from being in London for three days.

Speaking of which, however, the Making of Harry Potter Studio tour (more to come later on that) is seriously the most amazing thing I have ever done. If you are a Harry Potter fan, I’d say that a trip to London should be on your bucket list.

Start saving now, you’ll need to. Gah.

Just standing in the original Great Hall of Hogwarts from the movies was one of the most amazing things I’ve done. Forget the birth of my children, this is a moment here folks.

There were too many museums to visit so we chose the British museum, home of the Rosetta Stone and the most gorgeous Egyptian artifacts. My twelve-year-old self would have loved this museum. I am still fascinated with everything Egyptian so I adored everything here.

The museums (most) are free!

My friend Liane reminded me to check out the Borough Market, a famous under–the-railway market that is bursting to the brim with every sort of food vendor you can imagine. Curries, charcuterie,parties, too many things to name, I fell in love at first sight.To come to a place where I have avidly read about since I was a teenager has been very dream fulfilling. Sure I can’t visit everywhere that I read about (especially since I devour books as fast as lightning) but there is a special place in my literary love for English history novels. My literary love of English history started even BEFORE Phillipa Gregory books. The very first book I read as a teenager that delved into the time period around Henry the 8th was The Ivy Crown, a book that hardly anyone I know has read. The Other Boleyn girl and subsequent novels just fueled the fire to visit here.

The Tower of London was simply spectacular, there are no other words for it. Seeing the rooms where the Princes in the Tower disappeared from literally sent shivers down my spine.

What was really awesome was the crash course in torture and beheadings the kids got that afternoon. See that kids book that my daughter is holding? She’s in love. Beheadings (cartoons) and mystery, drama and murder? Oh my. You are welcome for sheltering you all these years and them BAM! Mama brings you to the Tower of London.

We are now in the city of Karlsruhe, Germany for Mike to get some work done with his clients. I’m not really going to be out and about, but instead spending the day tomorrow catching the kids up on their homeschooling. Then we are off to Amsterdam for a week, which I am really looking forward to.

While the travelling has been fun, it’s also really wearing as well. The kids managed to catch a cold a couple of days before the cruise was over (we actually missed our Bruges port they had such bad, croupy coughs) and now Mike and I are sniffling and snuffling as well.

Here’s the sickies in bed on the cruise. They were so worn out that Mike and I went and had breakfast, leaving them sleeping. We woke them up at 11 am when we returned to the room and treated them to breakfast in bed and TV. While it wasn’t Bruges, Belgium, I think a lazy, sick day was in order.

It doesn’t help that we tried to pack in a weeks worth of activities in London when we were there and that involved a lot of train travel as well. The last days of the cruise were the port days, and that had us on some very weird time changes. One day we would be an hour ahead because of the port we were in, the next day we would lose that hour. That type of travel never fails to wear me down and then you add in a couple of germy kids and it’s over. My first cold all year, if you can believe it.

So there won’t be much at all on the Germany visit, other than this photo of schnitzel and spaetzel that I just ate for dinner here:

Yawn. Sorry, I’m without wit or wiles tonight. This cold has me completely knackered (I think that I picked up that saying in London. I like it.) and not only that, I’m girding myself for the homeschooling complaints tomorrow. Oh, I can just hear it now. Homeschooling on vacation is like pulling hen’s teeth while juggling broken wine glasses and walking on hot coals while someone pokes you in the eye with a scratchy twig.

It’s a good time, all around.

Here’s hoping you are well doing well! What’s everyone been up to lately?

Love you more than travel,



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Episode #9 – San Francisco’s A16, Delarosa, Edmonton’s Northern Lands & Garden Show Wed, 20 May 2015 19:22:32 +0000 Episode #9 – San Francisco’s A16, Delarosa, Edmonton’s Northern Lands & Garden Show

We're BAAAACK! Yes, it's time for podcast #9, at long last! We catch you up on San Fran food and Phil talks about the new Edmonton festival, Northern Lands.

The post Episode #9 – San Francisco’s A16, Delarosa, Edmonton’s Northern Lands & Garden Show appeared first on The Kitchen Magpie.

Episode #9 – San Francisco’s A16, Delarosa, Edmonton’s Northern Lands & Garden Show

We are BACK baby! It’s been a while, but here is podcast #9! I catch you up on San Francisco’s A16, Delarosa and Phil talks all about Edmonton’s Northern Lands & the Home and Garden Show.

Here is a pic of that amazing burrata pizza from Delarosa in San Francisco! Best pizza I’ve had in years!

The post Episode #9 – San Francisco’s A16, Delarosa, Edmonton’s Northern Lands & Garden Show appeared first on The Kitchen Magpie.

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Kraft Peanut Butter Snack Bites Winners! Wed, 20 May 2015 15:25:54 +0000 Kraft Peanut Butter Snack Bites Winners!

The winners of the Kraft Peanut Butter Snack Bites Contest!! Congrats guys!

The post Kraft Peanut Butter Snack Bites Winners! appeared first on The Kitchen Magpie.

Kraft Peanut Butter Snack Bites Winners!

It’s been a few weeks now since I last shared my newest snack recipe, my Movie Night Kraft Peanut Butter Snack Bites. I had such a fun time with The Rose making those delicious little bites of yum, so if you haven’t read the recipe yet, make sure to head over to that post and see how to make them. They are so easy!

When looking around the Kraft Canada website, another recipe on the front page caught my eye, the Confetti Peanut Butter Snack Bites. My first thought is that they are exactly like confetti bars. How yummy is that? Peanut butter and colored marshmallows! I love it! The recipe is below for these lovely little confections.

Make sure to follow the hashtag #MyKPBsnackbite to see what’s happening on Twitter and head to their website to see more Kraft Peanut Butter Snack Bites recipes.

Now, on to the Make it Yours Photo Contest results. Congrats to the four winners of the photo contest: Maria Medeiros, Debbie Flynn, Rebecca Hart and Shanaz Allia. Those are some amazing photos and Kraft Peanut Butter Snack Bites!

You can visit sheblogs Canada to see all of the amazing entries and get some more great recipes!

Happy cooking all!




Kraft Peanut Butter Snack Bites Winners!
Easy and seriously delicious marshmallow peanut butter snack bites!
Recipe type: snack
  • ½ cup Kraft Smooth Peanut Butter
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 cup large flake rolled oats
  • ¾ cup crushed crisp rice cereal
  • ½ cup Jet-Puffed Fruit Flavoured Mini Marshmallows, cut in half
  1. • Mix peanut butter and honey in medium bowl until blended. Stir in remaining ingredients.
  2. • Refrigerate 30 min.
  3. • Roll into 20 (1-inch) balls, using about 2 Tbsp. for each.
Original recipe here


Although this post has been generously sponsored by Kraft Canada, the opinions and language are my own, and in no way do they reflect Kraft Canada.

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