The Kitchen Magpie Home of Edmonton Food Blogger, Karlynn Johnston Fri, 03 Jul 2015 15:20:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 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!

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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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Watergate Salad Cake Wed, 06 May 2015 12:00:40 +0000 Watergate Salad Cake

I am in love with this cake. If it didn't use a cake mix and a pudding mix, it would be in my upcoming cookbook, I kid you not. Everything about it is PERFECT.

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Watergate Salad Cake

Confession time again, ladies and gentlemen.

I was just too darn tired to make a cake from scratch. This was when we were at home for a mere three weeks, I was booked up with countless events and commitments the entire 21 days and I wanted a C-A-K-E one afternoon and I wanted it N-O-W.

I don’t know why I am spelling out words in caps and dashes, to be honest. It just feels right.

And as per usual, I digress.

I looked in my pantry and to be honest again, I almost always have a cake mix or two. I don’t mind playing around with cake mixes. I’m sure you know by now that a food purist is the very last thing I’ll ever claim to be. I’m you. You’re me. We like cake mixes once in a while. Why bother even pretending that I don’t? In fact you can even go and read my confessions for my favorite bad foods that I love.

Admittedly, I looked at the box of butter pecan cake mix and thought “Oooh man. How long has THIS been in my pantry?” It’s not a cake mix that lends itself to playing around with cookies or fun cake mix recipes.

However my eyes then wandered over to the other side of my pantry where I keep my chocolate chips and baking supplies and landed upon something that has a semi-regular spot in there…pistachio pudding.

And what have I recently made on this website that incorporated both pecans and pistachio pudding?

Yuppers, my Watergate Salad.

So why not a Watergate Cake?

Oh ho ho, why not indeed. Wow. Ok you guys, I know that it uses a cake mix but in all seriousness W-O-W peeps, this was a seriously easy, delicious, fabulous cake!

Moist, pineapple-y, pecan-y and some cherry flavored buttercream icing topped it off to make this company worthy cake!

I did, without a tinge of shame, feed this to company the next evening. In fact I was absolutely proud for them to try this, I kid you not. I don’t give two hoots that this used a cake mix AND a pudding mix!

I should hang my head in shame, yet instead I’m proudly sharing it with you guys.

Eh, just take away that Food Bloggers Card that never arrived.

Make this now. This spring. This summer. Trust Magpie I rarely lie to you… fine maybe once in a while  I never lie to you about cakes. Cakes are some serious business, man.

IF this cake didn’t have a cake mix and a pudding mix, it would honestly be in my upcoming cookbook. I’m that enamoured with it. The taste, the texture, the icing which is literally and figuratively the icing on the cake….oh my. I LUFF IT!

Anyone can make this cake it’s so easy. Even icing it is a joy and adding those little cherries on top? Perfection.

Happy baking you guys! Love you more than chocolate!



Watergate Salad Cake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This decadent cake is based on my favorite pistachio pudding salad, Watergate cake! It's an amazing cake version!
Recipe type: dessert
Serves: 8
  • 1 box Butter Pecan Cake Mix
  • 1 (3.4 ounce) instant pistachio pudding
  • 3 eggs
  • ¼ cup oil
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 cup ( 8 oz) crushed pineapple with juice
  • cherries with stems for topping, drained on paper towels

  • ]
  • Cherry Buttercream Icing
  • 1 cup salted butter
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp almond extract
  • 3-4 tbsp whipping cream
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, Grease and flour a bundt cake pan and set aside
  2. Combine cake mix, pudding mix, oil, eggs, milk and pineapple in a stand mixer bowl
  3. Mix the batter on medium speed for approximately 2 minutes, then pour into the prepared cake pan.
  4. Bake for 50-60 minutes until a tester inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  5. Let cool completely.
  6. Combine all icing ingredients together and whip for 2-3 minutes with your stand mixer, until creamy and smooth. Add more whipping cream if you want a lighter icing.
  7. Frost the cake and garnish with cherries.


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10 Minute Eggy Udon Noodles Mon, 27 Apr 2015 12:00:52 +0000 10 Minute Eggy Udon Noodles

These 10 Minute Eggy Udon Noodles are my favorite soup to make right now. Easy, healthy and SO tasty!

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10 Minute Eggy Udon Noodles

Oh, eggy Udon noodles, I do love you so.  I am extremely sad that I won’t be eating this for a few weeks since we are travelling. This is, in all seriousness, our new favorite “fast food” at home. It might take a total of ten minutes tops and is hot, delicious, filling and pretty darn healthy as well.

This supper saves my sanity. There’s no guilt, it’s super fast, it’s SO easy to customize for the picky eaters in the house and I can make it as healthy as possible with vegetables. We were home from Phoenix for three weeks and ate this three times.

Depending on what noodles you use, this can also be a gluten-free supper as well. Soba noodles are thick and made from buckwheat, making them a perfect gluten-free substitution.

You can literally use whatever vegetables you have on hand for this dish and it’s an excellent way to use up leftovers from dinner the night before. I used the leftover asparagus from Easter dinner for this dish but you can use anything from carrots to broccoli. Load it up with whatever your favorite veggies are. If you are really on the ball, make extra the night before so all you have to do is quickly heat them and throw them into the bowl.

I also used duck eggs which are a family favorite. While the ones I got this time around were smaller than some we’ve had, they were scrumptious. Duck eggs are higher in protein and in Omega 3’s than chicken eggs are, so I suggest trying them out. We eat them as much as possible in place of chicken eggs.

I need my own farm..with ducks… then I can have Ducky Eggy Udon noodles all day long.. ah a girl can dream.

For now, I would honestly settle for a bowl of this soup.

Happy Cooking everyone! Love you more than chocolate!



10 Minute Eggy Udon Noodles
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4
  • 5 cups of strong chicken broth
  • 4 (200 gram) packages of fresh Udon noodles
  • 4 eggs
  • steamed veggies of your choice
  • shredded cheddar cheese
  1. Take 5 cups of strong chicken broth & bring to a boil.
  2. Place the noodles into the pot and cook for 3-4 minutes.
  3. Remove noodles and split between four bowls.
  4. Using the broth (which should be boiling) poach 4 eggs (rich duck eggs are amazing and are what I used).
  5. Use a slotted spoon to remove the eggs when eggs are slightly poached -the softer the better. They should just hold their form.
  6. Place one egg on top of each bowl of noodles.
  7. Garnish with chopped old, strong cheddar, leftover veggies (I used Easter dinner asparagus!) and then pour the hot broth over the top.


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Karlynn & Mike’s Excellent Adventures Mon, 20 Apr 2015 17:07:58 +0000 Karlynn & Mike’s Excellent Adventures

With a little bit of panic and packing, we are off on another round of Karlynn & Mike's Excellent Adventures!

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Karlynn & Mike’s Excellent Adventures

I’m not gonna lie, I might just be having a panic attack this morning. Someone pass me a paper bag to breathe into and everything will be ok.

In all honesty while I’m not having a real panic attack (those are usually solely reserved for when I have to fly) I did have one of those random sit up in bed and gasp for air moments in the middle of the night last night. I can’t even remember what I was dreaming about, but it had to do with the trip and with Pyrex. Maybe I had a dream that someone got to a piece of Pyrex at the thrift store in France (do they have thrift stores in Paris?) before I did. That’s what I get for surfing Ebay last night looking for Pyrex pieces while planning the last few details of our trip. Gotta love it when the anxiety courses through your veins at 3 am. (insert eye roll here)

This is my reading room at this very moment this morning.

This actually makes me feel happy. We’ve been packing/unpacking for almost two weeks now, narrowing everything down to ONE suitcase per person. I’m feeling pretty awesome about the fact that the kids can finally handle their own suitcases for the most part. We’ll have to lift them but other than that, those twerps are pulling their own weight, literally, when it comes to our trip.

This is homeschooling this morning.

We have a “hard stop” on the oh-so pleasant homeschooling this morning at 11 am. We have to get all the last finishing touches done on the house and packing. My family will be staying at our house while we are gone so they can visit with my brother and sister in law the new baby so I’ve been cleaning like a mad woman. Bedding, bathrooms, vaccumming , all the stuff that I literally wouldn’t give two hoots about are now on the TO DO list. It’s ok, though, because I’m happy that we have quasi house sitters while we are gone.

The panic is coming from the fact that we are going to be nomads for ten weeks. Phoenix was easy, my mom and dad were already there and we just packed up and moved to another house for three months.

This however is a whole new adventure.

We’re driving from Edmonton to Toronto.

We’re taking a bullet train from New York to Florida.

We’ve booked our cruise to England from Port Canaveral.

We’ve bought and printed out train tickets from European city to city. Mike’s cemented the dates he’s visiting all his clients in each city.

We’ve booked hotels, used HomeAway to rent an apartment in Paris. I just realized while writing this that we still don’t have anywhere booked to stay in Karlsruhe, Germany for two nights. I just booked Amsterdam the other night.

It’s such a long time, you guys. I looked at Mike last night and told him that it really hit me. Holy Dinah, we are nomads for at least ten weeks. We have our suitcases, our laptops, the kids and we are gone.

You’d think with the amount we travel that I wouldn’t be panicking, but whew, you guys, this is crazy. We’re crazy. I’m crazy.

It’s going to be amazing, frantic, tiring, epic, overwhelming. I have no idea how we are really going to get any homeschooling done. We are packing up their laptops and most important textbooks and hoping for the best.

I will have recipes for you, ones that I have been making at home these past three weeks while packing and getting ready but most of my posts the next three months will be full of travel. I can most likely promise around one recipe a week, a few podcasts that Phil and I worked on and tons of travel.

So pack your bags, we are going on a trip again!

Love you more than travel,


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Movie Night Kraft Peanut Butter Snack Bites Mon, 20 Apr 2015 15:13:07 +0000 Movie Night Kraft Peanut Butter Snack Bites

Chocolate peanut butter? Popcorn? Peanuts? I took everything I love that's sweet and salty and put it into a snack!

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Movie Night Kraft Peanut Butter Snack Bites

No bake recipes are my favourite ones to make with the kids because the term “no-bake” usually indicates that it’s fairly easy, not that messy and something that the kids can really get into and have fun with. The new Kraft Peanut Butter Snack Bites recipe is all three things, but it also had an added element of fun; you get to customize it any way you like!

When it came time to come up with a delicious twist on these little peanut butter bites of heaven, I thought about our family and what we like to do. The very first thing that came to mind was movies! Then my mind wandered further, to my favourite snack at the movie theatre which is buttered popcorn and peanut M&M’s. Together. Have you ever tried this? I’ll warn you now that it will replace your usual popcorn at the theater. Sweet and salty bliss, there’s nothing better!

There are many different types of Kraft Peanut Butter out, but since I wanted to make a new recipe riffing on my favourite treat, I used the Kraft Peanut Butter with Chocolate.

I also had a small helper that day, who saw the Kraft Peanut Butter with Chocolate and simply had to know what I was making.

Is this kid mine or what?

This took us a mere 5 minutes to make together. I love recipes that help my kid’s confidence in the kitchen and while you may know that these recipes are easy, the kids don’t. The feeling of accomplishment from simply mixing something and helping you roll it into balls to refrigerate is priceless, in my opinion. No bake recipes are the best way to get your children started in the kitchen.

The fun part of developing these Peanut Butter Snack Bites is that I get to show you how easy they are to make and as per usual, you get a chance to win something!

You can visit sheblogs Canada to enter the Make It Yours Contest and by sharing a photo of your Peanut Butter Snack Bites recipe, you will be entered to win 1 of 4 Kraft Peanut Butter prize packs!

To get some inspiration, head on over to the Kraft Canada website to get some Kraft Peanut Butter Snack Bites recipe ideas. There are so many different things you can add and they all work with whatever type of peanut butter is your favourite. Sign me up please! Make sure to follow the hashtag #MyKPBsnackbite to join the conversation on Twitter and for more Peanut Butter Snack Bites recipes ideas visit

And of course, I did reward my little helper at the end with one of these little nibbles. They are a perfect snack size for kids and adults.

So after seeing my take on the Kraft Peanut Butter Snack Bites recipe, what would YOU put in yours?

Happy no-baking everyone!






Movie Night Kraft Peanut Butter Snack Bites
Prep time
Total time
Salty, sweet and delicious, these snack bites are sure to be a hit in your house!
Recipe type: snack
Serves: 20
  • ½ cup Kraft Peanut Butter with Chocolate
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 cup large flake rolled oats
  • 1 cup buttered popcorn (microwave works the best)
  • ¼ cup salted peanuts
  1. Mix together all ingredients in a medium bowl until blended. Don’t’ worry about smashing the popcorn, it needs to be crunched up while mixing so that the dough sticks together.
  2. Roll into 20 (1-inch) balls, using about 2 Tbsp. for each. Top with a piece of popcorn if wanted.
  3. Chill for 20 to 30 min.
  4. Serve and enjoy as a snack!


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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Classic Weeknight Tacos Sun, 12 Apr 2015 13:20:50 +0000 Classic Weeknight Tacos

Mmm Mmmm Mmm.. I love tacos! For real. They are pretty much one of my favorite food groups.

The post Classic Weeknight Tacos appeared first on The Kitchen Magpie.

Classic Weeknight Tacos

Today will not be known as Taco Tuesday. It will be known as freedom Friday, but still on a Tuesday!

Just kidding. But seriously, can you name the movie that quote is from?

If you guessed the Lego Movie, you are correct. You also probably have it memorized like I do, am I right? That movie is the #1 watched movie of ALL TIME in my house. When we road trip, Mike and I will actually listen to it as well because it’s seriously so darn funny and cute.

Other than that craziness, two more things came to mind when I was writing up this recipe.

1) Man, I stinkin’ love tacos. So much. They are so easy and no one in my family complains because they can customize them to their own tastes. Let’s repeat that last bit… no one in my family complains. Miracles do happen.

2) I can’t believe that this is my last recipe as a Campbell’s ambassador!

Where did time go? I’ve had a great time testing out eight recipes for Campbell’s and writing them up on my site to share with all of you. This is my last one for now, however.

I’ve been wanting to make the Classic Weeknight Taco’s since the beginning and the time has now come for me to try them out. Like all of the Cook With Campbell’s recipes they are easily customizable to suit your family. Mike can’t eat peppers of any type, so I’ve omitted them in my recipe and the Rose doesn’t like onion. Fair enough, those two things were omitted but that’s what makes all these recipes so easy and great. It’s all about using the soups as a great base flavor and then changing it around to suit your family.

Can we talk about ground beef for a moment?

Am I the only person who rinses it with hot water and drains it when she makes it?

This is another step that I add to any recipe using ground beef. I don’t like the grease that not rinsing it adds to a meal. You simply cook it, fill your pan with hot water and drain it. It removes a ton of calories and fat from your meal and honestly, it tastes better.

These tacos are saucier than you will be used to, which we loved and as an added bonus, the meat will make a fabulous taco salad topping because of it. The kids both inhaled them (win!)and I loved how easy they were to make.

I’d like to thank Campbell’s for fabulous fun over the last few months of testing out and writing up their recipes, who knows, maybe there will be more in the future!

Happy cooking everyone!




Classic Weeknight Tacos
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Who needs a packet of seasoning when you can make these fabulous tacos!
Serves: 4
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) canola oil
  • 1 lb (454 g) lean ground beef
  • 4 tsp (20 mL) chili powder
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 can (284 mL) CAMPBELL'S® Condensed Tomato with Basil and Oregano Soup
  • ½ cup (125 mL) CAMPBELL'S® Ready to Use Beef Broth
  • 8 hard taco shells
  • ½ cup Shredded lettuce (1 tbsp per taco)
  • ½ cup Shredded Cheddar cheese (1 tbsp per taco)
  • ¼ cup Sour cream (½ tbsp per taco)
  • ½ cup Chopped tomato (1 tbsp per taco)
  • ¼ cup Chopped green onion (½ tbsp per taco)
  1. Heat oil in a large, nonstick skillet set over medium-high heat. Crumble in ground beef; season with chili powder blend. Cook, stirring and breaking up beef, for 5 to 7 minutes or until browned.
  2. Rinse with hot water and drain.
  3. Stir in onion and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 5 minutes.
  4. Reduce heat to medium-low. Pour in soup and broth; bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring often, for 5 to 7 minutes or until sauce is thickened. Remove from heat.
  5. Fill taco shells with shredded lettuce and some of the beef mixture. Garnish with Cheddar, sour cream, tomatoes and green onion.
Original recipe can be found here.


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Watergate Salad & Weird Parenting Advice Sat, 11 Apr 2015 15:56:40 +0000 Watergate Salad & Weird Parenting Advice

How can I have been blogging this long and never made Watergate Salad? Plus I dish out some crazy parenting advice.

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Watergate Salad & Weird Parenting Advice

If you’ve been reading this website of mine for any time now at all, you’ll know that I have an obsession with pistachio pudding. OB-SESH-SHUN, folks. There’s obviously something wrong me with, but packaged pistachio pudding is seriously one of my favorite guilty pleasures.

Which is why I can’t believe that I’ve never read the package and made Watergate Salad.

Again, there’s that getting back to “something’s wrong with me.” How could I have been ignoring a fabulous retro recipe all these years? Granted, I do only allow myself the pistachio pudding indulgence every few months, otherwise it might get out of control and you’d start seeing pistachio pudding chicken, pistachio pudding beef…it might get a little crazy on here.

When we were at the Phoenix House (which is what it shall be called from here on in) I actually turned over a package in my hands and read the recipe.

My whole family was in town (that town being Phoenix) at that time, and I was making dinner. Let’s remember that I was in the middle of my cookbook as well, working my tail off and taking advantage of the amazing natural light that streams through the windows all…day…long in Phoenix. As I sit here and look out my window at the gloomy Edmonton day presented to me now, I forget the giant spiders and scorpions and wish I was back.

I digress. My point was, I was busy and needed a really fast and easy dessert. This was it, folks. It’s fast, easy and honestly my entire family loved it. It’s so junky, sweet and awesome. When you don’t eat things like this on a regular basis, they become a fabulous forbidden treat.

My little Rose was my photography assistant that day and while her brother definitely loves helping me, she’s the one who loves getting behind the camera.

Sometimes it’s nice to take a moment in the flurry of working on everything and see the joy in what I do, through her eyes. The Rose loves to tell me how she wants to do what I do when she grows up and I’m unsure all the time on what to tell her -other than “sure honey, after you go to University and get a degree”.

Really, what I do is a completely made-up job. No one goes to school to become a blogger, no one PLANS on doing this for a living.

Or do they?

I started thinking that day, when the Rose exulted to me that she wanted to grow up and “have a website and write! And take photos of food!”  about the future of writing and what it’s possibly going to be like in the next 15 years. In 15 years, my girl would be fresh out of college or university, possibly as a writer.  What would my advice to her be?

I was a little taken aback by my first thoughts. My very first thought was that in order for her to thrive, she needed an online presence. Well, blech. My primary goal as a parent who leads her own life online is to keep them offline for as long as possible, away from social media and the like.

Truth be told, writers these days have both offline and online presences but that dynamic is slowly shifting. I started out at around a 50/50 ratio, writing on my website and writing for traditional print. Now, it’s all about the online work. Yes, I’ve built my website up to the point where it’s my income, but I also write for Safeway Canada four times a month online and any other places I’m approached by are all online work.

Not only that, but everyone is online. Doctors, vets, accountants, musicians, small business owners, once you start thinking about it, chances are very high that your child would benefit from having a website for their career.

So I’m going to share something that might sound like the craziest parenting advice ever, but here goes.

You should really think about buying your children’s name, in a domain and keeping it for them. For example, (which I do own of course lol). Of course common names like is most likely taken, but I think if you have the opportunity, you should take it. The cost is around $10 a year to keep renewing it.

We did, and the weirdest part of this whole story is that we only just bought the kids domains while we were in Phoenix. Us, who live and work online.

Once I started that line of thought above, about how SO many careers now – and even more in the future- will need a strong web presence, I couldn’t stop. So we bought the kids their own domains. Sure, my daughter might get married and change her name but the odds of buying a domain 15 or 20 years from now with her name are so slim that it doesn’t even matter. She’ll have her own name in a domain.

So that’s totally weird, right? I feel really weird even typing this out. To help back me up, I do know a couple other web-saavy people who have also bought their children’s names as domains, so I’m not the only one thinking like this.

If you don’t think I am totally crazy and you want to buy a domain, you can do so using this handy box below that lets you not only buy it, but get it free with hosting if you wanted that as well. Who knows, you could start building their website now and don’t think that my son hasn’t asked! I’m pretty sure as soon as Mr K learns how to use WordPress, he’ll have his own website. He wants, of course, to review video games

So who thinks I am crazy? Not only for the Watergate Salad but I also got off on a HUGE tangent, all because the Rose wanted to help me with photos. Sigh. Only me.

Happy Saturday everyone! Thanks for stopping in and listening to the crazy!

Love you more than chocolate,


Watergate Salad & A Parenting
Prep time
Total time
Serves: 6
  • 1 can (20 oz.) crushed pineapple in juice, undrained
  • 1 pkg. (3.4 oz.) JELL-O Pistachio Flavor Instant Pudding
  • 1 cup Miniature Marshmallows
  • ½ cup chopped Pecans
  • 1-1/2 cups thawed COOL WHIP Whipped Topping
  1. Combine the first four ingredients in a bowl until the pudding has been mixed in completely.
  2. Stir in the Cool Whip and refrigerate.


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The Best Deep Fried Battered Haddock Thu, 09 Apr 2015 17:51:32 +0000 The Best Deep Fried Battered Haddock

I share the secret to making the best deep fried fish given to me by a local chef friend!

The post The Best Deep Fried Battered Haddock appeared first on The Kitchen Magpie.

The Best Deep Fried Battered Haddock

I was told the secret for a proper, crispy batter for deep-frying fish a long,long time ago by a chef friend. Indeed, not only a friend, but the head of a culinary arts program at a local post-secondary school.

It’s so very simple.

It’s cornstarch.

While I have sadly lost the recipe he gave me in his cooking class that day (and truth be told, he told me it was an old fisherman friend who gave it to him ) I have always remembered that secret.

So when it came time to try out the new Highliner Simply Fish line of products, I knew that I would be trying the haddock and that I was deep-frying it.

For those of you who like to know where your seafood comes from, Highliner has criteria for their responsibly sourced seafood. It includes important criteria such as being OceanWise recommended or Seafood Watch rated green or yellow.  Their six varieties of fish are sourced from the following places: Atlantic Salmon – Chile, Atlantic Cod – Iceland, Tilapia – Indonesia or Malaysia, Trout – Peru, Haddock – USA and Sole – Canada.

Mike prefers haddock since it’s a nice milder fish and it is one of the best choices for deep frying battered fish. It holds up well and cooks fast.

Look at that gorgeous fish flake.

To be clear, I don’t and most likely won’t ever own a deep frier again, so don’t pass on this recipe because you don’t have one. I used to own one and it was honestly the biggest, messiest most annoying kitchen appliance that I have owned. It smelled and was always greasy on the outside no matter what I did.

I have a large heavy frying pan that I use to deep fry in and let’s face it, deep frying isn’t really something that we should be doing so often that we need a deep fryer.

Being rich in protein and healthy to boot, fish is always one of my top choices, however my family doesn’t always agree. Mike will eat haddock, which is why I chose to do this dish, but he also likes it deep-fried.  Sigh. That man.

Fresh fish is always, always better, especially when you are deep-frying it in batter. Frozen fish will have extra moisture no matter how you defrost it! To that note, the Highliner Simply Fish are fresh in the package and you can find them in the fresh seafood department at No Frills, Superstore and Maxi. The cuts are very high quality (made from their finest cuts of fish) and are perfect for package to pan cooking. I also liked that they come in the exact right size for Mike and I to eat.

There are a few secrets that you have to adhere to in order to make great battered fish.

1. The oil temperature MUST be at 375 degrees. Hotter and it will burn and you will have raw fish inside and cooler will make the batter soaked in grease.

2.  No milk and no egg in the batter. This is as plain as you can get. You can sub in half beer and half water for sure, if you want.

3. Use only thin and fresh fish filets, like the  High Liner Simply Fish haddock. Do not use frozen.

So who’s in for giving this recipe a shot? I am so excited, it passed the “Mike test” because I swear he is the pickiest person I know when it comes to battered fish. So if he gives this a thumbs up, you know it’s a great recipe!

Happy cooking everyone!

Love you more than chocolate,


The Best Deep Fried, Battered Haddock
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
How to make the best battered, deep fried fish at home!
Recipe type: dinner
Serves: 4
  • Batter Ingredients:
  • 1 cup of flour
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup cold water (or half beer!)
  • 1 tbsp dill (optional but amazing!)
  • dash of pepper
  • 2-4 High Liner Simply Fish Haddock Filets, patted dry with a paper towel

  • For flouring:

  • ½ cup flour
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  1. Combine the batter ingredients and mix until smooth.
  2. Preheat 2-3 inches of oil in a heavysauce pan to 375 degrees F.
  3. Combine the "flouring" ingredients together in a small bowl.
  4. Dredge the filets through the flour, then the batter until covered with a thick coat of batter.
  5. Cook two at a time in the hot oil, for approximately 4 minutes per side or until a medium golden brown.
  6. Remove and drain on paper towels.
  7. Serve and enjoy.

Disclosure: I am part of the High Liner Simply Fish Blogger Campaign with Mom Central Canada and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.


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28 Days With Garnier Ultra-Lift Miracle Sleeping Night Cream Mon, 06 Apr 2015 15:03:10 +0000 28 Days With Garnier Ultra-Lift Miracle Sleeping Night Cream

My recap of using Garnier for 28 days!

The post 28 Days With Garnier Ultra-Lift Miracle Sleeping Night Cream appeared first on The Kitchen Magpie.

28 Days With Garnier Ultra-Lift Miracle Sleeping Night Cream

It’s twenty-eight days later and I’m back for a recap of the Garnier Ultra-Lift Miracle Sleeping Night Cream that I’ve been trying out! No video this time, just a post. I have been actively using it while paired with the Garnier Ultra-Lift Miracle Sleeping Eye Cream while travelling to California and back, then on our four-day road trip home.

In that time, I also turned 39. I was talking to Mike on the long drive home about how I am really lazy when it comes down to taking care of my skin and that I guess I better start. I vividly remember my mom and her ritualistic night creams when I was younger and I guess it’s my turn to start. Better late than never! Am I the only one who has these vivid memories of their Mom’s love for night cream? To this day, she still takes care of her skin nightly.

I think that the Garnier Ultra-Lift Miracle Sleeping Night Cream is doing a good job on the skin don’t you? Here’s a non-photoshopped photo of my eye area this morning. Not bad for 39, eh?

A recap of the product details:

The cream contains 7 active ingredients that are powerful alone yet transformative together such as Hyaluronic acid, LHA and Lavender Essential Oil and the texture is auto-smoothing for anti-aging results and doesn’t transfer onto your pillow. Of course, you are going to get the best results using nightly with Garnier Ultra-Lift Miracle Sleeping Eye Cream as well. You can buy both of them in retail stores across Canada, avg. retail price $24.99 CAN.

I also love love LOVE the Garnier Ultra-Lift Miracle Sleeping Eye Cream. I think it’s doing a fabulous job on the under eye area!

It’s time for the 5 of you readers that won this fabulous cream to enter the Garnier Ultra-Lift Miracle Sleeping Night Cream Grand Prize Giveaway! If you were one of the 5 lucky winners, leave a comment below with what you liked about your Garnier Ultra-Lift Miracle Sleeping Night Cream and you will be entered for a grand prize draw for a Garnier Prize Pack!

For those of you who haven’t tried it, make sure to read the comments below to see if it’s the right product for you. Then you can click here  so you can experience an overnight miracle of your own!

Now, the Prize Eligibility:

  • Must have won and sampled the product awarded in the blog post Part 1 contest
  • Must leave at least 1 comment with positive feedback about Garnier Ultra-Lift Miracle Sleeping Night Cream
  • Must provide full name originally used to enter the contest in blog post Part 1
  • Must leave a comment by Thursday, April 9, 2015, 12 pm EST.
  • Full contest Terms & conditions are available HERE.

Good luck and congrats to my winners! I am so excited that five of you won this great product and now you get the chance to be an even bigger winner!



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

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