Kitchen? What kitchen?

As well as landing a job, I found a cute little bachelor suite in North Van. It is furnished, has a separate bathroom and loads of sun – on the rare days when we see sun and the neighbourhood is awesome. Rent is cheap, too. That would mainly be because there is no actual kitchen which has been horrifying to my friends who know how much I love to cook. My ‘kitchen area’ has a bar fridge, microwave, large toaster oven, hotplate and a crockpot. These all come with the place which is furnished. Now, this has not phased me at all because I see it as a challenge for 2014 to see what magic wonders I can produce and to share the outcome right here in the blog.

It will be a bit Julie and Julia……..only from the standpoint of cooking and writing about it rather than trying to emulate someone fab like Jamie or Nigella – tho I do have Jamie’s 15 Minute Meals on the window sill!

I am totally up for the challenge.

On coming here, everything I owned was given away and that makes you realise how much you take your kitchen gadgets and bits and bobs for granted. I don’t even have a potato masher right now, tho I do have some fab collapseable measuring cups. Apparently I can bake with the large countertop toaster oven thingy. I admit to missing having a proper kitchen but hey, why not make it into a fun blog topic?

My early blog posts usually included a recipe, a picture or at least 5 references to food so I am excited to show that wonders can come from an unusual variety of kitchen appliances. The hard thing is not having a freezer. The fridge has a wee one but not big enough for much more than a loaf of bread. Wonder if the boss would mind me using the one at work………

So, watch out as I get adventurous in the ‘kitchen area’ in 2014. If anyone has experience with limited kitchen things, please feel free to share.



See???? I am not kidding about it being an ‘area’. Love it though ♥♥♥♥


I Just Can’t Resist Chocolate


You gotta hand it to Martha. She does manage to inspire and, in my case, have to quickly run and check what I have in the pantry. This looks beyond amazing!

Well, we only have 72 days to go until we leave New Zealand for Toronto/Orlando, respectively. I waver between extreme excitement and abject fear! Once or twice a day I feel a minor panic attack come on where I think ‘what the hell am I doing’ which thankfully is well balanced by ‘this is the best decision ever!’

I think I am a worried mum more than anything. This is a huge adventure for my 18 year old (tho she will be a mere 19 by the time she leaves). I just want it all to be ok for her. I am so proud of her.

I can’t wait for it all to actually happen. The other times that I have packed up and left have had a short timeline and it was just me to get sorted….never let it be said that I don’t take up a challenge!

Night night fro Cinnamon.


My ‘hood


Despite appearances to the contrary, I don’t spend all my time blogging or trawling Pinterest….hee hee. Somewhere in amongst it I find time to be a primary teacher, swim teacher, lifeguard and mum. Then there are the times lately where I have thought it would be cool to capture some evidence of how beautiful the town I live in is. So yesterday morning, tab in hand, I walked around my neighbourhood and took some pics.

The one I have posted is taken from a reserve that I often walk around and the mountains just looked so stunning.

Until September 2011, we lived in Christchurch which was hammered hard by 2 big earthquakes. Possibly the saddest and hardest time of my life. Makes me sad still. We decided to move south to a small town called Oamaru (pronounced Omaroo) and finally felt safe and able to heal.

It is a beautiful area of the South Island and we have had many blessings since moving here. Excited to leave and be a Big City Girl again though. I miss the vibrancy and energy. I love the quiet here but it was never my intent to live here forever. Worse, no malls!!!!!! Hee hee. That has just about killed The Daughter. The people can be kind of interesting too.


Nice chatting but I must head off to make these…


Cinnamon xxxxxxxx

Just let me at it…..NOW!


Yeah, yeah I said I was moving on from WP but could not do it! Especially once I came across this little beauty! Another fab Pinterest find. I mean,I could just dive head first into that cake – not kidding!

I was encouraged by my steady increase in followers in the last few days and do feel loyalty to you guys. I appreciate you all checking in for a chat. Yes, the app frustration continued so I uninstalled it! I do have a PC but am keen to make the most of my tab and so far it is going pretty well really.

As I write it is pouring with rain outside so I am tucked up in my warm bed. New Zealand houses don’t have central heating generally and I can’t tell you how miserable that can make winter….ICK!!!! I don’t mind winter. I HATE IT without the loveliness of central heating. Another reason Toronto will be great.

Well, it is nearly midnight so I best hit the pillow.

Sweet dreams all.

Love Cinnamon

Check Out These Babies!

I am a Pinterest FREAK! I love it and have found so many cool things on it but I would say today was a particularly good day.

I love sharing food ideas which probably means I am not a true food blogger. Most food bloggers seem to develop their own things as do I, but there is so much out there that is share-worthy.

Skip across and look for my boards on Pinterest. Look up Sue Stopford.



Slutty Brownies


I promised that I would share the recipe for Slutty Brownies so it is. It is borrowed from a website called Gaby Cooks.

Slutty Brownies
Yield: 1 9×9 brownie pan

Serving Size: 16 brownies per recipe


For the Brownie layer:
10 tbsp unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups white sugar
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1/2 cup AP flour
For the Oreo layer:
1 package of Oreo (regular stuffed or double stuffed)
For the Cookie Dough layer:
1/2 cup unsalted butter (at room temp)
1/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups AP flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

For the Brownie layer:
In a medium sauce pan, melt the butter over medium high heat. Add the sugar and cocoa powder once the butter is melted. Whisk to combine and remove from heat. Add the salt, vanilla and eggs and continuously whisk until the eggs are combined. Add the flour and continue to mix. Set batter aside.
For the Cookie Dough layer:
Cream together the butter and sugars in a mixer. Add the eggs and vanilla, making sure to scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl. Add the flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder and mix on low until everything is incorporated. Fold in the chocolate chips. Set dough aside.
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
Line the bottom of a 9×9 baking pan with tin foil and then spray the tin foil with a layer of baking spray.
Layer the cookie dough on the bottom of a 9×9 baking pan, pressing down to form the bottom of the slutty brownies.
Layer as many oreos that will fit on top of the cookie dough. No need to overlap. One single layer will do.
Pour the brownie batter on top of the oreo layer and make sure it’s evenly layers on top.
Bake for 30-35 minutes. Test with a knife to see if the center is done. If the knife comes out clean, let the brownies rest before serving. If the knife comes out with batter still on it, allow the brownies to bake about 5 minutes more.
Serve with ice cream 🙂


Things I Love……..

Good Morning from New Zealand – we have a massive frost here today and so I feel there is nothing better than just staying inside until it melts away. Happy Canada Day – I am a very proud Can-iwi and celebrate along with all my family and friends there.

As you guys know, I have been a bit down lately and have been working through that by acknowledging things and letting myself feel those things and then just moving on. It has been very empowering and life-changing being that I come from a family that believes we must not talk about anything, EVER!  Well, I broke that mould long ago, thank god.

Anyway, today I just want to celebrate what I love and to share it and hopefully make you all smile or giggle a little.


1. PINTEREST!! OMG!  I just love going on there and finding so many cool things. As someone said, you don’t go on it just quickly. Impossible.  Anyhoo, I love my boards and I love the things I find whether they are food, fab craft ideas or beautiful pictures of far off lands.

2. Blogging.  It is so much fun to write and I am proud to say that I have a growing number of followers.  I am learning that you all love me being a bit funny so I promise to keep that up.  I think it is important to share the down times as well as I never know who I might help.

3. I love my new plan to cook something new every week. I was going to choose a cuisine that I would cook for a month and then change it but decided to just go with whatever takes my fancy in that week. Not sure what it will be this week but no doubt something wonderful and peasanty and comforting.

4. I love reading. Books are such a wonderful thing aren’t  they?  I have been a voracious reader since I was small and while all my mates were out partying as teenagers, there was I in my bedroom with a pile of books and I would read them ALL in the weekend. I am kind of that person again. I just loving getting lost in a book.

5. I realise how much I love my family. There have been issues over the years but these people really love me too.

6. I love that I am a Canadian-New Zealander or Caniwi as I mentioned.  So proud.  My daughter is a New Zealand-Chilean – so a Chiki!  Oh, I do make myself laugh!!!!

7. I love my house and my adopted town. Oamaru is really special.

8.  I love Suburgatory and GCB but am really missing my dose of the Kardashians. Not long til I can watch them again.  I love TV in general.

9.  I love my body and the Yoga it can do.  Yoga is just the best thing but I also really love a good cardio workout. Have to say that this weather does not motivate me much. Mind over matter me thinks.

10. I love knitting – it is the new Yoga you know.

11.  I love my life. I am blessed and while I get depressed and angry at times, this just helps me grow stronger and more loving. It also helps me to appreciate and be grateful.

More to come…….

The Chicky