Monday, December 31, 2012

Best food of 2012

I've had wonderful food in 2012 at home and in restaurants.

At home we've had amazing pulled pork, smoked turkey, the best smoked salmon (thanks Dad) and countless asian dishes.

In restaurants....well of course there was The Ritz and Maison Boulud (we are still talking about that meal), new BBQ joints in parking lots and in Verdun (Blackstrap BBQ on Wellington)

But one of my best meals in 2012 was because of the food and because of the company!

This is baked tomato pasta.
It is a recipe from my grandma Granmimi.
All I know is that you have onions,garlic,tomatoes,cheese (ricotta I thik), long macaroni and bread crumbs.
I'm not too sure about the recipe but it is delicious.
This is filling, delicious depression cooking.
If you ask my Dad for the recipe; he will tell you this: You take an onion....all his recipes start like this....
some days he will call me just to give a recipe! 
Now long macaroni is very hard to find, so my Dad is on the hunt!
I found some Greek ones today; they are used for Pasticcio (Greek baked pasta).
Thank you for the love Dad!
Here's hoping to a lot of baked pasta on Fridays in 2013

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Stress periods of 2012

Well most of my stress was reno induced. There were screams,sleepless nights,tears and much drama!

All coming from me! I had no idea what was happening and I wanted everything done immediately. If I'd had my way Dan would be constantly on the phone with the contractor!

 That trench was soooo scary I was afraid I would forget, open the door and fall!
This totally got to me! And when Dan got onto the mini ladder it actually sank in the dirt sideways.
We couldn't open the front door and then we couldn't close it, Dan had to use chisels to carve a new hole for the bolt. Lord thank you for Dan, his ingenuity and tools, lotsa tools! 
You can't do that to middle aged people! Of course if someone had put a rare piece of Pyrex on the mini ladder....
We are still enjoying and giving thanks for the new balcony every day.
We now need to choose a color to stain it.
Maybe espresso
Now we don't get water in the basement anymore; they had to install a sump pump (or is it sum pump, probably for sumbergible pump it is hard to understand when people mash french ,english and speed together)
It is the quietest thing around, I've never heard her run, but we see the water pouring out.
Now the dirt around the house is settling and going wonky. I can't wait for Spring so we can get people here to level everything (create a grade AWAY from the house) so we can sow some grass, build a new patio (or 2) and have a BBQ party for the families.
Apart from that the only BIG source of stress was the LOMA course (Life Office Management Association). It is a mandatory course for my insurance job.
I needed to suceed because it will lead to better pay and letters after my name (LOL)
 Ad if I failed I had to pay for the course!

Top things of 2012

Now this is totally random and might not amount to anything...

In the next few days I will post about top things,people,places of 2012 . Things that totally made a difference in my life!

Here goes!

Now the first thing that pops in my mind is Sriracha  sauce!

I just can't get enough of this. I use some in omelets, sauces,spaghetti,burgers, brussel sprouts,tuna salad(with black olives), soup...

Here's a link to Wiki if you want to learn more! Sriracha sauce

Here I am ready to make a fritatta with my spicy friend sriracha.
It is not just about the spice it is also about the flavour.
Go ahead try it you'll be glad!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

A Seasonal Surprise

I got an email a couple of weeks ago about the Tassimo Nice List; I was asked to name a deserving person to receive  a Tassimo coffee maker.

Well I was skeptical for sure, so I did some research. I found out that the PR company representing Tassimo was in fact the same company that represented Clamato!

And last year I was a Clamato Embassador! So I said to Dan; why not let's give them a whirl.

So who was deserving more than Dan? A really good, generous person who had to pay more than his share of bills since I was getting a smaller paycheck and still managed to spoil me!

So I gave Dan's name and let's face it we weren't really expecting anything because almost half the time someone from the internet tell you:I will send you something, well they don't come through which is a shame.

Well lo and behold, 2 days after there was a big ass box at my front door and there was Dan's new Tassimo.

If you are a regular reader you know that I don't like these things as they are expensive to run and not really eco-friendly.

But we got one and Dan was really excited about it and we went and got disks for it....

And the coffee is excellent! Now it won't be our main coffee maker, but our late night decaf weekend coffee maker.

And I'm really grateful that they choose me. By the way no one asked me to review it or blog about it.

Now while I was in Massena NY , I tried to find funky Tassimo disks
and couldn't find any.
Is the U.S a Keuring nation?
Have a great night!
I can't believe I have to go to work tomorrow! 

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Xmas to ALL!

It was a lovely Xmas with good company, good cheer, plenty of food and excellent company!

And it is just beginning! We will be visiting Dan's mother and my Dad later on today!

Here are a couple of pictures from the house.

                                             The tree slightly less fuzzy than last

The centerpiece...a gift from Suzanne one of Dan's co-worker.
The candy canes are Dan's touch...
This is an ornement gifted from our dance teacher, Sylvia.
 The sweet reindeers were a very thrifty decoration.
$2.24 plus tax. The right one was free because of a mixup in pricing
and the  left one was bought yesterday at 75% off!
I love boxing day before Xmas!
Speaking of deals....
Too bad I don't have a dog! I would so buy one!
It was reduced to $3.50 from $14.
Maybe one day we'll get a dog, no 2 dogs....
So I digress this was supposed to be about the joy and gretefulness of Christmas!
So I want to wish all of you and your families a wonderful Xmas and a super New year!
May you all be healhty, loved and prosperous.
May you find thrifty deals all over.
May you fill you sweet sealed can with loads of  money to fulfill your goals
And may I find some interesting stuff to write about so you will continue to visit and
leave comments!
See you soon! 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Xmas Lights

Time flew right by me and we are December 20th already???

I did some decorating but not as much as I wanted...

This is one of my interior vignettes...
The house on the left is really a box of tissues.
The Santa left for a new home and I replaced it with my snowman blowmold.
The snow fellas are hanging out with Santa...
The penguins are checking up on Robbie the reindeer.
In the backyard another Santa and his snowman friend are
keeping watch on the shade garden.
Can you tell I love snowmen?
The tree has been up since December 9th and it is still unfinished!
 People at work keep asking me if I'm ready for Xmas?
Who is?
Not me! It doesn't matter because I will be with loved ones and we will have fun whether  the turkey
is dry, the jell-o mold collapses or we run out of chips!
I'm off to bed because Bandito was signing all last night and I didn't sleep a wink!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

New Pyrex & some thrifting

Last week when I went to visit my Dad he surprised me with this....

                                A 401 Homestead bowl in Navy ( it exists in Brown)
                                a gift from a Pyrex soldier.
                               And what about that brick wrapped in waxed paper?

A brick of maple sugar! YUM ! Such a cool gift!
We took Friday off for our annual creamer capper to Massena NY.
Why creamer capper? Well, I suffer from ( among other things) a liquid Coffee Mate addiction and December is a great time to go across the border and look for it!
I didn't find the Coffee Mate I was yearning for but decided to try some International Delight creamer instead...Still unopened in the fridge....
I did find 2 new thrift shops, one with mostly clothes and the other was kind of an antique mall with booths, but not really.
Very clean, bright and warm.
I got the measuring cup
                               I also got a kitty kat beatnik Xmas tree ornement (no pic yet) for $1.

                                  The Butterfly Gold casserole came from Value Village in Cornwal, and I also got other cool stuff from there, but I didn't think of capturing those finds for posterity
                                  It was a beautiful  day full of finds and laughter and we both and a ball.
                                  We were asleep in the living room by 9:30 pm...

                                   Good times!

I just noticed I have a couple of new followers! WELCOME!  I hope you will enjoy your visits

Must go beddy bye because the morning comes really fast!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Norah General Store

There was an article in the Montreal Gazette a couple of weeks ago about a new cool store:

Norah Magasin can read about it  HERE. They were actually selling Pyrex and new things.

I was so excited to go there.....

What I liked?
They are able to mix vintage and new and it looks seamless.
What I didn't like?
 The Pyrex was expensive....
and like Dan says I had everything displayed and more!
But what I disliked the most was that the girl behind the counter didn't acknowledge us, didn't look happy to be there and had the general vacant look that Bristol Palin so often displays....
Right besides is a restaurant, which surprisingly , has no kitchen to speek of it was on the side of the Pyrex, no menu outside and doesn't smell of food....  
Dan decided that it wasn't worth investigating....
So we went for BBQ at Bofinger (a Montreal based BBQ chain). It lasted less than 6 months in Ile Perrot, yet managed to thrive (survive?) in NDG for 5 years....
Now the service was sooooo slow and God knows what the cook was doing because we waited about 20 minutes (it's supposed to be fast food, well kind of) and when we finally got our food....
We didn't bother to complain, we were just too famished!
now why is it that everytime I go to Montreal West/Westmount/NDG
I am so disappointed by the service?
 Do you want to trip over GIANT dogs and be treated like a second class citizen ? be sure to visit
Ben & Tournesol on Sherbrooke st west in Montreal; you won't be disappointed
Well folks that's it for me,
sleep tight

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Busy Friday

I took a day off today because I was expecting company....Mike the friendly plumber!

Remember when I wrote that we needed an adapter and we needed to change to pipe in the floor?

Well when I told Mike he just looked at me like I laid a big fat rainbow egg!

Excuse me? Said he; there's no need for anything like that; your new toilet fits perfectly!

Needless to say the Home Depot guys had NO idea what they were talking about!

In by 7:30 out by 8:15 Mike did a splendid job.

 I'm glad they sent him, he was here before when our toilet backed up and the pipe was full of roots and the city ended up digging up our whole street because all the city pipe was full of roots!

                                            Bye bye wobbly friend!

Hello new bright and shiny friend!
See how the tank is smalled and all the dust shows? LOL
We will have to clean and paint over this!
I also spent close to 2 hours outside, fixing garlands and putting up Xmas lights.
It's not finished so no pictures!
And since Xmas is fast approaching, I'm a French Canadian and I love to cook...
I made meat pies!
Jeez! The crust is not really that yellow!
I made 16 small ones like the ones on the right and a big one.
This is the most I've ever done ,CRAZY! 
So I will go to bed, so I can wake up early because I need to make meatball stew and we need to fix the sidding in the back.
Did I mention that I have a family gathering too?
Thank God I'm not hosting!
Sleep tight!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

What I want for Xmas.....

Well I don't really yearn for fantabulous things this year and that is okay.

Afterall I have a new front porch/balcony, a new stove and fan, a new microwave....But these are material things.

I am blessed with love, joy and friendship, health and cat love! And a job I love more and more each day.; so life is good.

But being the season for gifts I was asked what I wanted.

So here goes:

I think I need a new wallet.
This looks actually better since I doctored it with the glue gun.
A new slowcooker would be nice, an horizontal one , I find
that most cuts of meat would  fit better in this
Doesn't have to be programmable...but you know....LOL
 A gift card from Bath and Body Works would be great...
I could indulge in candles...
Love their candles...
Let's face it I'm pretty easy with where the gift cards come from...I always find ways to spend
Of course Pyrex would be nice....
And believe it or not I love getting pijamas!
Have a great night! :) 

Monday, November 26, 2012

Leftover KD

For years, leftover KD made me want to throw up....really.

But a couple of months ago with the mac 'n' cheese craze I decided to try some ideas and fiddle with it to see what I could come up with.

1) I brown some ground chuck that I add to the KD along with some chopped parsley
2) the next day I pre-heat the oven to 350 and take some individual baking dishes (AKA Pyrex Pixie casseroles) ....
3) I mix the leftover KD with milk and cubed cheese (the quantity is up to you)
4) I pour the mix in the casseroles and top with italian bread crumbs mixed with a bit of EVOO to moisten.
5) I bake it for 25-30 minutes until the breadcrumbs are browned.

And this is the only way I'll eat leftover KD.
It made a mighty fine Monday supper, nom!

Sunday, November 25, 2012


It is by no means grand but it looks great in the bathroom....

This morning I've been scoping out crystals on Etsy....

Here it is!

It was the pic I could get with the bathroom's poor lighting.
And we installed the new kitchen fan and in a calm and orderly fashion!
No yelling!
                                        All shinny and bright. I think it will actually make a difference when I cook.

This my new cooking buddy.
My old one went to the big appliance heaven in late September.
It is the oven that died and since I didn't want to have it repaired (again)....
Off to the store we went.
Yes there was the really basic white like I had with coils....but it wasn't really cheaper than the one with the flat top.
And one exactly like the one in the picture but with coils was only $20 less.
It is really hard to keep clean, but I definitely LOVE all the bells and whistles on it.
The timer, the bip when it's ready, the keep warm zone, the expendable element, the auto clean feature, but I have to admit that one scares me....  

Well I'm off to fawn over the!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Mixed Bag 'O' Stuff

Well dear readers,

I haven't been posting for 9 days.....YIKES!

Since the balcony, front porch has been finished, we've had more renos in the basement....

They are installing a sump pump...which should (finally) take care of the water seeping in the basement.
They also took care of the grade on one side of the house.

But there is much more to do, so that means that I'm not able to put up Xmas lights yet.....Sad face.

All that aside we are checking off things on our to do list!

We bought a new toilet bowl and had every intention of installing it ourselves....but guess what? The old one was more than 15 years old and the sizes are not the same, which means we have to get an adaptor and even change the pipe in the floor and basement...


Sorry about the language. The plumber is coming over next friday to install it. I'll keep you posted on that.

We finally re-installed the chandelier in the bathroom, Dan sprayed it black and it is beautiful!
I put some crystals on it but I need to get more! MORE, MORE!

And we removed the kitchen fan over the range....eeeewwww! Holly caked on grease Batman!

And I fiddled with the new fan (I.E. reading the instructions and figuring out what they meant!) we will install it tomorrow morning.....I'm crossing my fingers that all goes smoothly.

I finally decided to spend some of my B-Day money from Dad and I got red boots!

I love them. I love red just like my grandma, GranMimi.


 Not cowboy boots, I'll have to take a pick of the heel.
Here it is the IN heel.
Thanks Dad!
I had to bring Dan's Ipod to it's final resting place....
I'm sure I'm not the only one.
It's like it is a huge sect and you don't know how it works....and noboby will tell you but they will give you an appointment to meet a genius....
Well we got a replacement Ipod and now the energy is right again at casa de Vonlipi.
I hope all my south of the border readers had a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Remember that turkey is very low calorie!
I'm starting on my Xmas list and I hope to share it soon
Sleep tight and be well :)  

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Finished ....for now

Well faithful readers....

This is it. The time we've all been waiting for.

The balcony is finished! I can't believe it. This certainly gave me some grey hairs....That I proceeded to remove immediatly.

We just could not believe it. It is so much better than we thought, so much.

I gave a couple of instructions to Dan who gave them to the foreman.

                                I still can't figure out why they put those ciment blocks in front..
                                we used them for one of the planks while we didn't  have steps....

                                            Our very own steps!

Here's the view from our balcony,
thre will be many a coffee drunk there....and many a Xmas light!
I smell a blowmold fest!
Tonight Dan took the broken shower door and took it to the curb.
I then proceeded to install the curtain pole and shower curtain!
Stuff is totally happening at Vonlipi's place!
See you soon and stay warm and toasty! 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Sealed Pot Challenge

You want to save for a special occasion? A special trip, an anniversary, a b-day? Whatever!

Stretching a buck is a major endeavour! But let's face it we all have some change weighing down our purses, wallets and pockets....and even a loose dollar (loonie) or even a twonie!

I'm always looking for a way to stash money, especially with the crazy renos at Vonlipi's Palace of Pyrex (nice name, eh?)

I was blog hopping last weekend when I read Living Rich on the Cheap , great blog from a fellow Canadian and I saw the Sealed Pot challenge from SFT (saving for travel).

Here's the link: Sealed Pot Challenge

Easy peasy: you sign up, you pick a jar, and activity and you start put moolah in the jar on Dec 4th.

VERY IMPORTANT! You do not unseal the open it only on Dec 3rd 2013 and get to enjoy the rewards of your hard work.

Here's how I crafted my jar

I took a big empty coffee can and I turned the lid  so the printed side lies on the table. I used duct tape to mark a rectangle large enough so I can fit folded bills (one never knows) and I used an xacto knife to cut it.

I then replaced the lid on the jar and sealed it with duct tape.

I made a PARIS label for it because we have our hearts set on it.
 Dan just passed by and dumped some change in it! It's not December 4th yet! Well it won't hurt he said.

True, every little bit helps.

So we will see

Now I would've liked to show you some pics, but for some reason the server is rejecting mine, I'm not worried it was that kind of day! NOV 14th 2012 I was able to download pics! YAY!

Now while Dan snores on the sofa I will multi task and watch Dexter AND chopped at the same time! LOL

Have a good night :)
So we will see

Sunday, November 11, 2012

New Food Network CRUSH

Funny how I thought I was the only one to get crushes on food celebrities...

I loooovvvveeeddd Jamie Oliver but never tried one of his recipes....

I loooovvvveeeddd Nigella Lawson but only make the cupcake recipe, I'm afraid the mixing everything with the hands kinds of puts me off and her kids seem selfish, uninterested and weird.
Is your mother on a TV show? Well get with the program because she is your meal ticket!

I even had a cook crush on Paula Deen, I wanted to get adopted and dipped in butter but the Y'ALL and the way she says oil (OLE) kind of turned me off.

But for about six weeks I've had a sunday morning crush....and 3 weeks ago Dan told me: Are we going to watch the Jamie guy? Because I like him and he's so soothing and calming.

We both have a food crush on Jamie Deen! Every week I want to make his super easy recipes....And I did try the Pimento Cheese!

Boy was it ever delicious!

Here's the recipe:

Pimento Cheese Dip

  • 1 cup grated Cheddar
  • 1 cup grated pepper jack (there is NO Pepper Jack cheese in Quebec, so I used some Jalapeno Havarti)
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 3 tablespoons pimentos (roasted red peppers)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • I added a dash of Tabasco sauce for some kick
Add the Cheddar and pepper jack to a bowl with the cream cheese. Add in the pimentos and salt and pepper to taste. Using a hand mixer, begin to blend together. Add in the mayonnaise and continue mixing until creamy.
©TelevisionFood Network G.P.
All Rights Reserved.
I dn't know how long it keeps in the fridge but I made it last Sunday and it is still good
It used light cheeses so it is about 60 calories for a tablespoon.
it is delicious on crackers, on a tasted bagel and in a grilled cheese!
This was my Sunday breakfast!
Totally yummy and goey.
Today he made a butterflied chicken which looked so good!
I might need to try it next week :)

Saturday, November 10, 2012

We got.....


I kept repeating : I have a balcony like a fool.

It's not finished yet but it is a HUGE improvement!

                                Our very own new steps

                                Bandito is checking if every thing is up to code!

Before the wood was touching the soil...not anymore!
I love that railling
I can't wait to decorate it for Xmas
Speaking of Xmas....
Not bad eh?
The stockings will go in the store as well as the ornements, Santa will be taking
the train next week because I will bring him to work with me to infuse me and my
coworkers with seasonal joy!
Gotta go, I'm off to make sure my balcony is still there! LOL