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Happy New Year 2021

How are you easing into this year? The last one sure was a crazy one and I know everyone has been blogging, talking, complaining and just plain over it. But alas, it continues on, shutdowns, lockdowns, stay at home orders and mask… words we never thought would take up so much of our head space and conversations. But, this too shall come to an end. When, we don’t know but in the meantime, let’s hang out in our kitchens and do some baking and then maybe go for a run to justify the eating of such baking. Before I get there, just a few things I wanted to write about. Take what you want or jump to the end. Quite frankly I won’t know.

Since this has been a year of no real travel, Ron and I decided to celebrate my birthday away as well as our 35th Anniversary in October by going away for those weekends. For my birthday at the beginning of October, we went to Sauble Beach and stayed at The June Motel, where we had the best chicken we have ever eaten!!

This is a great little motel, nothing fancy but just cute and in a great area. It was a little cool to swim in their pool or at the beach but I think we may return someday to do that! We checked out the area, found a great bakery where we picked up breakfast, went for a hike on the Bruce Peninsula Trail and just had fun together.

I decided to model some funky glasses! Should have bought the red ones!! LOL

For our 35th Wedding anniversary, we went to the hopping City of Orillia! We didn’t want to go far but somewhere we hadn’t been before. I booked a lovely Airbnb and off we went, listening to a ebook on our way. To our surprise, it was a wonderful area, oh and also a good book.

When we arrived, Ron realized that he had left his nicer clothes at home hanging in the garment bag in the closet. We had booked a reservation at Cosmos Ristorante for Saturday night and he wanted to dress better than just a hoodie and jeans, so we walked downtown Saturday morning and stopped at a store where Ron ended up buying more clothes than he has in the last few years!

Saturday was a beautiful, sunny day so after our shopping, we went for a one and half hour hike. It may or may not have taken us awhile to find where we parked our car! It was a lovely day and afterwards we warmed up with a drink in this beautiful alley/restaurant.

Before we went out for dinner, I asked the owners of the Airbnb if they would take a photo of us. Ron is sporting his new shirt and pants!! We look almost the same as we did 35 years ago! Okay, I’m greyer, which I’m quite happy with, and Ron, well, he does look the same.

So, all that prelude brings us to baking, because when we were in Orillia, we bought a Staub, which is a Dutch Oven and I LOVE IT!! Isn’t it beautiful?

I love to cook in my skillet as you probably have noticed in a few of my other posts. I made this Apple Pandowdy in my skillet then I made it in my Staub the second time. Both were excellent but with the Staub you don’t have to worry about overflow, because it does get bubbly.

I have also made Buttermilk Brine Chicken in the Staub and it is the juciest chicken you will ever eat. (Which is the chicken we had at The June Motel that I searched until I found a good recipe).

I have been experimenting with No Knead Bread in the staub and this one turned out pretty good. I just need to figure out how to make it a little less hard on the outside.

I then made some Boterkoek (Dutch Butter Cake) at Christmas even though there was no one, other than Ron and I, to celebrate with. But, it was worth it. I have this felt coaster that I used for the design on top. I wasn’t sure it would work but I was quite pleased with the result.

That brings me to today, January 15th. Nothing special about this day at all, just wanted to try a new recipe from the magazine you see in the picture above. (I love magazines and if I ever find a good deal on one, I get it for myself). The Food Network magazine is quite good, lots of recipes and they are usually not difficult or too out there if you are nervous about cooking or baking. Just waiting to try some when we can actually have people over.

This recipe is for a Super Cookie. When I bake, I prefer to make one pan items, like squares, cake etc. So this was a cookie recipe but you make one BIG one rather than 700 little ones. Right up my alley.

I quite like peanut butter so yes this has some and you can also see there are chocolate chips, peanuts and cranberries.

You mix it all up and then put it in the fridge for 15 minutes so it is easier to play with. Put it on the parchment paper (girls best friend) and squish it down to about 1/2″ and sprinkle a small mixture of cranberries, peanuts and chocolate chips on top.

Doesn’t it look good? Well, since I had to cut a piece to take a photo for the blog, I had to eat it!! That’s just the rule. And, I am here to tell you that it was good, a little crunch on the outside and soft in the middle.

Sorry for the long post but there was a lot to catch up on. I hope you are all well, staying healthy and safe out there in this crazy world we call home.

Until we meet again


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6 thoughts on “2021

  1. Hi Hope, I just saw your blog. I love it. You are smart to give us a taste of travelling we all need to live vicariously through others to get us through this. And we are very like minded. Doug and I love holidays with good food, lots of physical exercise and a nice glass of wine. Keep it up.

  2. Well this certainly answered some questions!! I remember commenting on Ron shirt, back in October when you posted that picture the first time. You said there was a story to it but I never heard the story till now. It’s a good one. We love super cookies – a friend of mine makes one every time we come over, we call them cookie pizza. I have never heard of a pandowdy… need to Google that! And so jealous about the staub… I’m wondering if they have orange or em red? Lol!

    1. Hey Amy, they have every colour under the sun. It’s so great. I purchased the steamer with it but haven’t used it yet.

  3. Hi Hope! So fun to read about your creative travel adventures and baking!! I sure love how you make the best of times together! Love and hugs to you and Ron. Can’t wait to travel your way again and spend time together!!

    1. Hello Helena, thanks for taking time to read my post. We can’t wait either until we can visit with you and John again.

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