The Great Escape

It’s been a few weeks.

I owe you something big.

I owe you something lofty.

I owe you something majestic.

If you can’t tell by now, I made a great escape to the mountains.

I left hubby, kids and dog to fend for themselves for 4 days while I went to visit my friend and the mountains in Calgary Alberta.

It was the longest time I’ve spent away from my little one in all of the 2 ½ years of his life.

4 days was good, a week may have been a bit too long, but the escape was perfect.

I have never seen the mountains before, so to experience the almost haunting drive into Banff contemplating what those immense grey shadows in the sky off in the distance were was perplexing to say the least.

The enormity and sheer alien nature of them as we got closer and closer was overwhelming.

Have you ever been on a road trip, taking in the scenery and in a moment of silence the music floating through the car speakers fits your experience so perfectly it’s as if you’re watching a movie that you are in?

This was the case when my friend slipped in the Mumford and Sons cd “Sigh No More” on our journey through the rocks, for lack of a better term.

Road trip + friend + silence + breathtaking view + this…

= perfection

It was certainly unnatural to be away on my own without the kids in tow.

I kept imagining Carter was in the backseat incessantly asking me to help him put his little sunglasses on and when I turn him down because I have a road to focus on he turns to the dog and asks him to help.

I often wonder if the dog actually spoke the words “sure”, and then lifted his fingerless paws to help Carter put on his sunglasses, would Carter be shocked or just say, “thank you Hogie.”?

I’m home sweet home now.

Back to work, back to home renos, back to kids, dogs and the misguided allure of Saturday night as it turns into an opportunity to catch up on sleep instead of life.

I think I’m just about caught up on sleep for the moment so I thought I’d better get caught up on this blog.

Here goes.


Bambino Chicken Cacciatore

Age – 8 months +


  • 1 tbsp. of butter
  • 1 boneless skinless chicken breast
  • ½ cup tiny pasta such as alphabet
  • 2 tomatoes
  • ½ cup diced onion
  • ½ cup diced zucchini
  • ½ cup diced carrots
  • 1 cup low sodium chicken broth or homemade chicken stock
  • ½ tsp. dried basil or 3 fresh basil leaves chopped

Baby Steps

  1. Peel and seed tomatoes using the boiling water method and set aside.
  2. Peel and chop carrots, onions and zucchini and set aside.
  3. Cut chicken into small cubes and set aside.
  4. Heat butter in large saucepan over medium/high heat and add chicken and cook until no longer pink inside, approx. 8 minutes. Remove chicken from pan and set aside.
  5. Reduce heat to medium and add all veggies to pan except the tomatoes and cook for 3 minutes until onions begin to soften.
  6. Add tomatoes, basil and chicken stock to pan and stir well.
  7. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium/low, cover and continue to cook for approx. 25 minutes until carrots are tender.
  8. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions but leave out the salt. Once done, drain water and set aside.
  9. Use a hand held blender to puree the cooked chicken to a crumbly texture.  If baby is older than 10 months you can use a knife and fork to cut the chicken into tiny pieces baby can handle instead of pureeing.
  10. Once the cooking time on the veggie mixture is complete, remove from heat and transfer to a blender, food processor or bowl to use hand held blender to puree into a sauce.
  11. Return sauce to pan along with cooked chicken and pasta. Stir well and cook for a few minutes until warmed through, approx. 5 minutes on medium/low heat.
  12. Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes. Transfer to freezing trays in the freezer to be used within 3 months or into a food storage container in the fridge to be used within 48 hrs.

Makes – 10 Servings (1 serving = 2 tbsps.)

One of my favourite books is Dr. Suess’ “Oh, the Places You’ll Go.” I’ve read it to myself a million times and of course to my kids.

“Kid, you’ll move mountains.”

Now I understand just how majestic a statement that is.