Sunday, May 31, 2009

Super Sunday.

What a day! Full of bliss. Bliss = dog walking, shopping for fresh veggies and cherry tomato baskets, a nice visit with Heidi and her great pups Libby and Cali, gardening, gardening and more gardening, and dinner with 'Backyard' Barb. 

The pots are all planted and I can't wait to see how they progress. I planted my tomato plants - 5 of them - one yellow tomato plant, one roma and three other types. I have two zucchini plants and 3 red pepper plants thanks to Heidi. I absolutely love the smell of tomato plants and LOVE fresh tomatoes. 

I planned on making ribs tonight for dinner but decided on turkey burgers instead. Ribs will be for tomorrow's night dinner for my mom's birthday. I am doing them in the slow cooker, so they will be cooking during the day and I just have to come home and take care of other goodies. I am going to make gnocchi with spinach and fresh cherry tomatoes, and then the same salad that I made the other night with pears and goat cheese. 

It's my mom's birthday tomorrow and it is also my dad's. It was always so fun to celebrate their birthdays together. I think that them having their birthdays on the same day was fate. Fate that meant that they had to be together. 

For years, probably not so much now, but from time to time, I always tried to think of what I would have got my dad for his birthday that year. I used to get him clothes or shoes, things that he didn't by himself  - so I would think of something that he would like to wear. Or a new CD, or something for his bike. I find that still, and it's been 12 years, I find myself thinking of buying him something for his birthday or Christmas. I think of how much he would have loved celebrating his birthday with my nephews and nieces - oh my. Well, tomorrow we will be thinking of him, eating cake just the way he liked to and ensure that my mom is spoiled. 

Tonight's recipe is care of Jocelyn. She read that I was going to make ribs so sent me her recipe. The recipe sounds delicious - and I can't wait to try them. Callum LOVES ribs, so I think that we will have a day in the kitchen sometime soon and make these. Jocelyn is a big part of my love of cooking. We lived together for two years and we always cooked. We were pretty good about eating healthy and had lots of fun cooking together. Thanks Joc - we will have to cook together soon - maybe this summer!!

Asian Honey-Glazed Ribs
·         2 x full racks baby back ribs, membrane left on
·         1 tbsp salt
·         1 tbsp black pepper
·         4 tbsp Chinese 5 spice
·         1 tbsp ginger, grated
·         4 x garlic cloves, minced
·         1/4 cup honey
·         1/2 cup hoisen sauce
·         1 cup fresh pineapple, skin and core removed (about 1/4 of a pineapple), or pineapple chunks, or pineapple juice
·         1/2 tsp chili pepper flakes
1.     Combine salt, pepper and Chinese 5 Spice. Rub meat with the mixture and let sit, if possible, for a couple of hours.
2.     To a blender, add ginger, garlic, honey, hoisen, pineapple and chili flakes. Blend. Reserve.
3.     Soak 4 cups of wood chips for an hour then place in pan or wrap with foil and puncture. Preheat grill to high, then place chips over heat until they begin to smoke (about 20 minutes)
4.     Reduce heat to 275°F and cook ribs over indirect heat for approximately 2 hours, or until the ribs have a distinct rosy glow and they pull apart effortlessly. Baste generously with the pineapple honey glaze during the last 15 minutes. Cover with foil and let rest for 15 minutes before serving.

Ok, the week is about to start again. It's going to be a good one. Tomorrow - Jules' birthday (happy birthday eve, Mama), Wednesday - out with Lynn to a social/fundraiser at a new bag/accessories store, Thursday - out with Micki for dinner. And then Friday will be here before we know it. Love your Monday - it introduces you to Friday.


Saturday, May 30, 2009

Saturday, Saturday, Saturday...

Saturday indeed. 

Full day today - busy and staying out of trouble.

The day started very early - sun was shining in through the blinds making it hard to sleep past 7 AM. Off to Callum's baseball game with my mom. Then downtown for a little shopping with my two 'phews, while Jules and Debs had their pedicures. We shopped for flip flops. I got the boys some very cool DC and Sonic flips and picked up a very cute pair of sandals too. Then off to Milestones for lunch - then finally home.

After I shopped for plants - I got some great things for my pots, and Chris walked the dog - we finally met up at about 3:30. Where we proceeded to feud. Gotta love that. All is well now - the house is clean, which makes a free day for planting tomorrow. 

Friday: The appliances arrived! And they are beautiful! I love how they look. I think that they look so good with the cupboards. Chris and I are super excited with them. We definitely need to spruce up the counter tops now. 

We celebrated our friend Tina's birthday last night. 12 of us were at San Remo's for dinner and then off to Tina's after for cake. I brought an Angel food cake, with fresh strawberries and whipped cream. I whipped the cream before we left and added lemon zest - it was really nice. Chris and I got her a beautiful black wooden tray that she can use out on her new deck for dinners. 

My shoes also arrived on Friday. Ok, so they are a little 'glitzy' or maybe 'costume' or even 'grandma show-girl wannabe in Vegas' - but I like them. They are different, but cute. I think that they will look good with a pair of my jeans that I have - I role them just at the cuff - so they are a little rugged (dark and a bit faded). The glitz will fancy them up. 

For tomorrow - it's all about planting. I think that I am going to rise and shine early (like I have a choice) head out on a nice dog walk, then hit the grocery store, my local summer veggie stand where I can pick up my hanging cherry tomato baskets and squash and zucchini plants, then enjoy my little farm the entire day. I am going to see if I can get some nice looking spareribs to make for dinner, and let them cook in the slow cooker all the live long day. 

I hope you're enjoying the weekend. Living it like you've never lived it before. Zoom!!!!


Thursday, May 28, 2009

SS Part II

SS has been averted. Thankfully. Roto Rooter Mike stopped by and saved the day. Chris and I just finished cleaning up the aftermath of SS - and it looks just like brand new. 

Today, May 28th, is Chris' son's birthday. I won't go into all of the details, but we aren't a part of his life right now.  I hope that this will change, and he will realize that we love him. We love and miss him lots.  Happy Birthday son.

We are winding down after a long and full day. Chris has just bathed Jozie - she looked like she was wearing grey boots - she ran through the swamp unlike her brother who knew to run around it. Magnum is loving her so much right now.

I hope that you all are excited on this Friday Eve. Dear Friday, be good to us.

Good night.


I am working on a theory this Thursday morning at 9:02 AM. My theory is - when something bad happens, something good will happen to offset it. I thought at first that maybe it should be - when something good happens, something bad will happen. But to me that is too negative.

I have come to realize this theory as I am waiting for Roto Rooter to come by and take care of what I am calling 'SS' or for those who don't mind foul language 'Shit Storm'. It seems that our sewage pipe is plugged - which means the laundry room floor is full of water, and the downstairs tub and toilet are full of 'other' stuff. We discovered this late last night. Chris showered this morning, and the shower water filled up the ds toilet and tub. So at 4:30 this morning when Chris was ready to head out the door, I panicked b/c I had to use the loo and shower - so I headed to my mom's. Woke her. So sorry Mom. Used the loo, walked the pups, napped, showered and then came home at around 7:30. Hello Thursday morning! I am so fortunate to still be able to run to mom's when ever needed.

So that's the excitement of the SS. 

Now my good that is countering this unpleasantness is that our new appliances are coming tomorrow. We have been talking about and saving for new appliances pretty much since we moved to our house. After a month of being here, I realized that none of them matched (not sure what took me so long) - black dishwasher, beige and black stove and a white fridge. The fridge has a water and ice maker in the freezer door, which we learned isn't hooked up. It runs all day long, so I am sure it is sucking the hydro right out of the lines. All of the knobs on the stove have fallen off and the door doesn't shut right. Our new stuff is nice. I can't wait. We went with stainless steel. I am so excited. Now I want to change the countertops and paint the cupboards. Dear pipe dream, please don't wake me up.

Last night's dinner was a lot of fun. It was my friend, Stephanie's, Champagne Birthday - which means when you turn your age on your birth date, you get to celebrate with champagne. She is 27. So young :).
Beth brought the appys. Tracy brought the cake and Lily brought the champagne. I made a greek orzo salad, a green salad with goat cheese, pears and walnuts and my stand by breaded chicken with sour cream. It was a lot of fun. I had little bright coloured boxes - they look like the chinese take out boxes - and I filled them with a chocolate and a few other little bday goody bag things. 

Mixed Green Salad with Pears, Walnuts and Goat Cheese
Organic greens 
1 pear - cut in half length wise, then sliced into very thin pieces
1 cup of halved pecans - I like to have the big chunks of pecans
3/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
- add everything to a nice big salad bowl

2 tbsp of white wine dijon mustard
2 tbsp of olive oil
1 tbsp of sugar
Kosher and pepper
Add everything to a jar - give it a good stir and then drizzle over top of salad. Gently toss. 

This was the first time that I made this, and I really liked it. I loved the combo of the goat cheese and pecans. I am not a huge fan of pears, but they were sliced so thinly that they gave the salad a really nice flavour and consistency. I will definitely make this again.

Ok friends - I am going to look out the window for Roto Rooter. I hope that they come soon.

Not sure if I will have time to give an update later. I have a busy night - nails, then moving all of the stuff from the upstairs fridge to downstairs. 

Get out there, enjoy the day - and remember if  you have something bad happen - the good will follow.


Monday, May 25, 2009

Monday happened.

One day down, 4 more to go. This week will go by with bliss. Birthday dinner party on Wednesday, Friday morning - new appliances - woot woot - Friday, birthday dinner for our friend Tina - and the weekend will follow.

Last night Chris and I broke out the popcorn popper that I gave him for Christmas. 5 months later!!! We like to take our time around here... I ordered it from Crate and Barrel - check it out HERE. We don't have a microwave - and popcorn is probably the only thing that I would use the microwave for. Seriously, we don't have a microwave. I have never wanted one - and I don't miss not having one. My mom has wanted to buy us one for years - but I have refused. Ok, I digress. So, we haven't had a popcorn maker - so this was the perfect gift. The popcorn last night was delicious! It was fun to make. 

When I was about 14, I was using the electric popcorn maker that I had used, many times before. I must have added too much popcorn because it got slightly jammed and started a small fire. Whoa! I wasn't thinking - and threw water on it. Yikes. Thank goodness that my dad was home b/c he came running in and unplugged the popcorn maker, grabbed it, threw it in the sink and prevented a major catastrophe from happening. He always did. What I didn't include in that story was that as my dad ran in he yelled 'Jesus Christ Goddamit - what the hell are you doing child?' (honestly rarely got mad, but when he spazzed, he sure spazzed. I guess I know where I get it from). And then my sister's high school boyfriend thought it was the absolute funniest thing ever and had to run downstairs - b/c he knew my dad would not find the humour. To this day, I have never wanted to use a hot air popper. So popcorn has pretty much only existed at the movie theatre. 

So, last night was a treat. A healthy snack. And I finally got to use the popcorn bowl that my cuz Margo got me many years ago. 

I am cutting this short. I just made pork tenderloin, roasted carrot and beet salad with goat cheese and a rhubarb chutney. 

Rhubarb Chutney

2 cups of chopped rhubarb
1/4 cup white wine vinegar (I used raspberry balsamic vinegar)
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup brown sugar
Ground ginger
Zest of an orange
Kosher and pepper

Add everything to a pot - let simmer on medium/high heat for 10 minutes. Remove it from the element and let sit for a bit and serve it up. 

Chris is almost home - time to unwind - and get ready for a new day.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Time flies when you're having fun.

Or does it simply just fly by regardless of good times or bad times? That is the question. My week and weekend have been full. FULL. Full cup of whatever is good - I guess a 1/2 sweet passion tea would be my first choice. Then maybe a Pina Colada. Then a Corona with a nice lime. And then iced tea. And even a cold, icy cold, water.

Last night was Jack's Bash. It was a huge success! So much fun. The Silent Auction items did a huge amount of fundraising. I think that my mom was pretty much the big spender of the night. She spoiled us all, as usual. She outbid me (mostly b/c I stopped at $80) on a beautiful basket filled with bath towels, bath mat, and a bunch of fun stuff for the bathroom - all done in mocha and creme colours. She surprised me at the end with that. Thanks Mama. She bid on a replica Stanley Cup for my nephews - this thing is fantastic! It comes with gloves, velvet carrying case, an official certificate - the boys are going to love it. She won a Ride-along with the Saanich Police - apparently that is Chris'. I'm going to dare Chris to pick up a uniform to make him look like an officer before hand. Could you imagine the officers - who is this guy? 

Aunt Marcia - your item was very popular. I think the last time I looked it was up to $40. Tracy your beautiful photos (see them HERE) were also a huge hit. The last time that I had looked at them - and it was probably a 1/2 hour before closing they were up to over $60. Thanks so much ladies for donating. Oh and mom - your print was great too - I know way earlier it was up to $60.

The night was a huge success - Maegan did an amazing job organizing it all. Mena was there - and so was Jack. Such a cute little guy - and such an awesome family. I hope that the fundraising done really benefits their family. 

Today was the 1/2 Marathon - and the relay. After a cluster of a time trying to get the team together - we finally did - and we were team Sole Sisters Sprinters*. I... was not a sprinter. More of a 'Why the hell is that girl going so damn slow?' I am really struggling with my 'performance' today. I am not using it as an excuse - but my shin has been really bothering me - towards the end it was really tight - but c'mon - I was so slow. I am making a pledge to do better next year and to hopefully be able to run the full 5K for 'Run for the Cure'. I have to discipline myself - and realize the difference between 'disciplining' myself and not 'beating' myself up. I struggled the entire 4.2 K; telling myself that I should have just stayed in bed, that I am too slow, that I am letting my team down, that I am a crap runner. I know that I shouldn't do that - but sometimes it's just hard to not listen to the voice - or voices - oh god if there is more than one, I am in TROUBLLLLLE. 

*A very very very special and huge thanks to the 'ENGAGED and off to GREECE' TRACY for helping me get the team organized and running stage 2. She did an awesome job. I love her. Tracy, if you're reading this, and I think that you might - love, not THAT way. :)
*Also - we had a boy 'sister' on the team. One of the ladies dropped out and so our 3rd team member got her bro-in-law to run for us. He was our final runner - thank god, b/c it was the 7 K.

Do you ever find that is so much easier to help others with their obstacles and issues than it is to deal with your own? If you do... Hello - welcome to my town. I know that if I had kept up my regular training it would have been easier - but my regular training has gone down the toilet (one of those 5 flusher toilets) - I need to train with someone b/c I just am not able to do it on my own. Why the heck not though? THAT is what I can't figure out. 

Sorry. Sunday should be a day of peace - not of me bringing down the world. My world that is.

I have been so super busy - that I am yearning for a day, week, weekend with a little calmness. When I say that though, I feel a bit guilty. I should be living life to the fullest - doing what I can for others, taking care of what needs taking care of - and enjoying every minute of it - because I can. I am fortunate. But part of me is just wanting a bit of down time to re-coup and start over. 

Today after the run I started 'summerizing' our outside. All the deck furniture is out of the shed, cleaned off and set up. Our little oasis is coming together. I'm actually out on my lounger right now writing this. My boy Magnum is lying off to my left soaking in the spring evening - he is in all of his glory out here. Ogre is sitting over my shoulder, probably reading what I'm writing - that crazy cat. Chris is inside doing the dishes and listening to some heavy music. Jozie is inside with him - not for the love of the music - but more of the love of hoping that something will make it into her bowl. The sun is starting to set - but is still shining just enough to make it worthwhile being out here. The birds are conversing with one another and in the faint distance I can hear the ice cream truck playing it's happy music hoping for one child to make their way out of their home for an ice cream treat. If this is going to be what summer nights will be like, then I am going to be one happy soul. 

I haven't been cooking.  Seriously, I haven't had any time. I did make a quick dinner tonight - nothing fancy. I bought a pack of whole wheat - broccoli and cheese (not sure what they are called - not really tortellini but close) - sauteed up some chicken, added an onion, spinach, grape tomatoes, chicken stock a bit of butter a little bit of cream, garlic - and that was dinner. It was quite nice.

I am having friends for dinner on Wednesday night to celebrate Stephanie's champagne birthday. Thankfully everyone is bringing something - I just have to make the main course. 

I hope that you all had a good weekend; that you are ready for summer - it will be here before we know it; that you have been kind to yourself - if you are kind to yourself then  you can only be kind to others. 

Monday - be good to us. We have always been good to you.


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Fast food.

Hello Wednesday. Wow, this week is smokin' by. I'm not complaining - love a week that goes by fast.

I had a nice surprise when I got home today. Our gardener friend, Kerry, came by and edged our gardens, gave them a good weeding and topped it off with some gorgeous, rich bark mulch. It looks lovely. Chris gave the grass a good cutting, so it all good and ready for summer. I am hoping to have time this weekend to go and pick up plants for my pots and tomatoes and squash plants for my little veggie garden. I love shopping for them, love planting them and even more, love how they progress from week to week and see how they turn out. Garden bliss. I'm hoping that the spring/summer weather will show up and stay. 

Tonight's blog is titled 'Fast Food' b/c when I was trying to figure out what I wanted to make for dinner - I knew that I wanted to make something healthy, and fast. So, that's what I did. I sometimes, really don't feel like making dinner. I just want to come home, do what I need to do - walk the pups, take a breath, visit, whatever - and not have to do dinner. I sometimes cheat - pick up something from M&M or buy a roast chicken - I know that when Chris comes home at the end of a very long day, that he wants to have something to fill his belly. He is always appreciative of whatever I make, which is always nice.

Ok, back to Fast Food. Tonight's dinner was healthy and super easy. 

Fast Food Chicken and Spinach with Roasted Veggies 
1 medium sized onion - diced
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts - cut into small chunks
1 cello bag or bunch of spinach
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp of dried oregano
1/4 cup of chicken stock
Minced garlic - if you like

In a heated skillet, drizzle a small amount of olive oil and add your onions - give them a dash of kosher. Saute on medium heat for about 8 minutes. Add chicken, cook for about 2 minutes and then add your lemon juice. If you feel like adding a bit of the zest too, go for it - so good. Once your chicken is cooked, probably about 7 minutes, add your spinach to the skillet and add your stock as well. Continue to cook your spinach - maybe another 5 minutes - and that's it! So easy - low fat, good for you and 20 minutes in total. 

If you wanted something else to go with this, you could serve it with pita bread and tzatziki - it goes so nicely with the chicken and the lemon.

While you are cooking your chicken - crank up your oven to 425 and get ready for another healthy fast food dish.  I have made this many times before. The only thing that I did differently this time, was use only a small amount of olive oil, and on my parchment lined baking sheet that I topped with zucchini, red and yellow peppers I topped them with grape tomatoes. So good. When they were cooked, probably 20 minutes, I took them out of the oven and topped them with a bit of freshly grated parmesan. 

Well folks, I need to get my care package ready that I am sending up island with my mom who is going to visit my wee cuz Jeannie. I wish that I was going with her. I will make my way up there soon I hope.

Have a good night friends.


PS - the entire time that I have been writing, Magnum has had WICKED gas. God.
(No pics again, not sure what is happening)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Congratulations are in order.

I am so excited - my friend Tracy and her love, Jonathon (who I like to call Jonathong sometimes) got engaged this weekend. CONGRATULATIONS TRACY and JONATHON!! The ring is beautiful. I am so happy for them and can't wait to hear about all of their wedding plans. They have a 2 week holiday to Greece coming up - their holiday will even be more exciting now that they are ENGAGED!

Chris if you're reading... I like engagements too. 

I just took my banana loaf out of the oven. I think that I may have overcooked it slightly.  I used whole wheat flour and reduced the sugar by a 1/4 cup - so I'll let you know how it turns out.

I am loving cooking with limes right now. I often use lemons, but limes are relatively new to me - except for Corona's and adding to quacamole - that's really all that I have used them for. When I was in Mexico, Chris and I ate at a restaurant one night that was called the Gourmet Restaurant. The food was AMAZING. I had a bowl of soup for one of my starters that was Lime Soup. I was thinking that it was going to be served cold, but it wasn't. It was served warm, with a tiny bit of chicken and had small tortilla crisps floating on top. It was incredible. I didn't take a picture b/c it didn't look at that fancy - but the taste was so delightful that I am eager to give it a try. I will let you know if it turns out.

That same 'dining' night we feasted on:
A mini pancake topped with creme fraiche and cavier (first time for me)
Proscuitto and cantelope (me - Chris doesn't like cantelope)
Duck (Chris - I don't do duck)
Chicken Cordon Bleu - amazing - I will be trying that some time soon
Tequila - Chris - I just watched with wine
Chocolate torte - to die for

I wanted post pictures - but it's taking forever to upload them - I will let you know when they are added.

I made leftovers tonight - the meatloaf turned out really well - I think that I could live on meatloaf - is that a bad thing?

Ok friends - run and be safe - enjoy your nights - it's hump day tomorrow and things can only get better.


Monday, May 18, 2009

Tonight's episode:YO YO YO.

Chris is the lead character in our evening's episode that he is calling: YO YO YO. Ok, let me clarify - we're not freaks acting out a play in our spare time. But this afternoon, when he was flicking through the channels he saw the start of an interview on Much Music with Eminen - not M&M. So after that - getting ready for our walk in the May downpour, during the walk and after our walk he said 'YO YO YO' - over and over. Not sure if he is trying to pretend that he is a gangsta rapper (his pants are low enough in the back - aka droopy drawers) or if he is trying to annoy me - probably a bit of both. 
Now picture him saying 'YO YO YO!'

Good thing, is that he is home on a Monday night for a change. This happens a couple of times a year and I love it when it does. Although he puts a bit of a wrench in my 'routine' - I can't complain. Oh crap - I did - but I didn't mean to. I love his company so.

Last night, Jules took us all to Smokin' Bones Cookshack - so good. Such a nice treat. They do a sauteed cabbage side dish - that I love. I have been there once before, and had the cabbage then - and have tried to duplicate the recipe - I think that I have it - so will for sure post some time soon. I have cabbage in the fridge so, it will be soon.

Tonight's dinner is meatloaf, spanish rice, stir fry zucchini and peppers and roasted tomatoes. I am not going to post - unless someone wants one of those recipes. I will be posting my mom's banana bread recipe though. I have a bunch of bananas in the freezer - so they are defrosting and I will make it. Did you know that you can put very ripe bananas in the freezer and use them for muffins and breads at a later date? Now you do.

Jules' Banana Bread
1 1/2 c. flour                                       3/4 c. oil
1 tsp. B.Powder                                 1 c. white sugar
1 tsp. B. soda                                     2 eggs
1/4 tsp. salt                                        1 c. bananas or pumpkin
1 tsp. cinnamon                                 1/2 c. raisins

Bake at 350 deg. for 55 - 60 minutes
Mix all dry ingredients together (except sugar). Beat your eggs add sugar. Then add oil, and raisins or walnuts. Chocolate chips are also a fun treat. 
You can 1 11/2 times it or double it.
That's it for me for tonight. I have zoned out - and am ready to embrace it all. The week is about to start and it's going to be what we make it. So make it good. Make it count.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Sunday - wish you were Friday afternoon.

Seriously - where does the time go. I can't believe that it is already Sunday morning. It seems like I just got off work on Friday afternoon. PS - love Friday afternoons. It's been a very action packed weekend thus far - and it's not over yet. I know that I need to drink the action in and love that life is good - but sometimes I need to take a step out and sit back and just breathe it all in. So... right now, I am sitting out on my deck steps - tf for wireless - one pup is at my feet (I'm trying to teach him to lay in the shade - not sure if that's something that can be taught) and the other is worshipping the sun - basking in it. It's beautiful out - we were up early for a walk, so now that outting is done we can focus on a little gardening and then some errands in the afternoon.

Friday night, had friends over for a what we were calling 'Back from Mexico Party', even though it had been a month (to date) since we've been back. We broke out the Don Julio (Chris was so stoked when we were down there about getting a good bottle of tequila to bring home to share with our friends). We played a little Rockband and ate some snacks. That's always my most favourite part of any of our parties. Figuring out what to make, prepping it and then letting our friends enjoy it. I made chicken wings, cheese quesadillas, guacamole, chips and salsa, veggies and then rhubarb custard pie. 

Rhubarb Custard Pie
This recipe is from my mom. It's one of those dishes that is absolutely so easy to make, and is so delicious. Always a hit. If you have your own rhubarb, try it. This recipe is for one pie, so I always double it to make two.

1 pie crust - I cheat and by the frozens often when I make this
2 cubs of rhubarb - chopped into pieces
1 cup of sugar - I often don't use the full cup
1 8 ounce can of canned milk
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
Sprinkle of cinnamon

Put your rhubarb in your pie crust. In a large bowl mix your egg, sugar, vanilla, milk and add cinnamon and stir until a thin consistency. Pour over top of the rhubarb. Bake in a 425 oven for 15 minutes and then reduce the oven to 350 and bake for another hour. Watch your pie crusts - if they are starting to brown - use a tin foil cut out to cover them to prevent them from burning.

And that's it! Seriously - so easy. I like to serve with whipped cream - but vanilla ice cream is nice too.
This is always rated a 5.

Yesterday morning I had some ladies over to prepare all of the items for the silent auction. We have some great stuff so far. Last night we had one of Chris' son's friends, Vishel, over for dinner. We haven't seen him in years and were a little surprised when he called us out of the blue. But, after our visit, we are so happy that he did. He has turned out to be such an amazing young man. Getting ready to start Medical School in 2010, active in his community, active physically, just an all around good boy. 

Yesterday was also my cousin Marsha's Bday. HAPPY BIRTHDAY MARSHA!!!! I have goodies for you - that should have been in the mail MONTHS ago. I hope you had a good one.

Bike to work week was good - and I am going to try and commit to biking at least 3 days a week. I don't see why I shouldn't. When the weather is good, it's an amazing ride. The view is spectacular, there is no traffic issues, the fresh air does wonders, and when I arrive at work I feel super energized.

I couldn't help but think of my dad when I was biking. I'm sure that he was looking down on me - and maybe even biking beside me. My dad was an amazing cyclist. He started when he was older - but mastered it quickly. From the first time that we bought him a bike for his birthday - and he said that he was 'going to climb mountains on this bike' and then rode over the garden hose and fell off (hahaha, oh dad) to his race from Pr. Rupert to Terrace to his trip to Stewart and then his big journey - biking from Kitimat to the Queen Charlottes. 

Although I wasn't with him for all of his treks, I feel that I was. I can still remember the way he was always so humble after he accomplished a major trek. He never wanted a bunch of hoopla, but I was always so proud. I was there when he biked from Pr. Rupert to Terrace - I was his pit crew - and I didn't do a very good job - drove a little to far for his first pit stop. My mom and I met him in Stewart when he biked there. I went with him on a road trip in April to the Queen Charlottes to scope out and make his plan when he rode in September. 

I was truly blessed to have a very close relationship with him and enjoyed doing the things that he enjoyed doing. By no means am I continuing on his 'riding legacy' but I feel that when I am biking and I can smell a flower or feel the cool breeze across my face - that I am close to him. That he is there with me - helping me up hills, encouraging me to push a little bit faster and for 'godsakes' change gears. 

I was always so proud of him - I have no regrets - I always told him how great that he was. My only regret is that he is no longer here to experience things with me (us) now. I know that during Bike to Work Week - he would have biked with me. 

Well, that sure has stirred up some tears. 


I am planning on working on my small veggie garden for some of the day. Then run a few errands. Then my mom is taking us out for dinner to Smokin' Bones and then it will be home to prepare for another week. I am working tomorrow even though it's a holiday - it should be a relatively easy day.

I hope that you're all enjoying your day - and that if the sun is shining where you are - that you are out there soaking it in - breathing in the fresh air.



Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Happy Hump Day.

It's a rainy night out there - very reminiscent of WINTER! What's up Weather Gods - it's the middle of MAY? It's very cold out there.

I started the day off - not so good. Chris set the alarm for me but forgot to turn it on. And for first time in a couple of weeks I managed to fall back to sleep after 5. So out of bed a 6:30 and out for a dog walk right away - Mags had a little 'issue' that I needed to clean up when we got home - which took about 15 mins. Good start to the day! So, I was too late to ride to work, which secretly I am happy about b/c the ride home would have been very wet.

I am starting to stress out a bit about the relay. I know that I can do it - but I have been having a bit of a sore shin lately - it's giving me a bit of discomfort. I am hoping that a couple of runs this week will get me back into the swing. I am a little disappointed that I haven't incorporated the running into my life after running clinic has ended. I'm not going to stress about it, I am just going to get back into the swing of it - b/c I know that I can. 

I didn't really make dinner tonight. I stopped by M&M's on the way home and picked up some chicken burgers - got some fresh buns and that's dinner for tonight. Sometimes it's ok to cheat - right? 

Ok friends - summer is on it's way - have faith.

This picture brought warmth to me when I looked at it again tonight. Heart sun!


Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Well Tuesday - what a great start to the week. I know that Monday is technically the starter - but I was out of commish yesterday - a little bug - actually had it all weekend. Anyways - feeling better - but our poor internet is not feeling so well. Obviously there is no feelings there - but I have feelings for it. The dang modem is going. I thought those things lasted forever - apparently not. So, that will be on Chris 'Honey Do List' for Friday. We don't actually have a 'Honey Do List' but I sure would like one.

Anyways - so no internetty means no bloggy. I'm at my mom's right now doing a few things - so thought I would post. She made us the most amazing stir fry. Yumma!!!!

This week is Bike To Work Week - aka - Bike To Get My Butt in Gear Week. Surprisingly, the ride was lovely. The hills that daunted me last year were quite seamless this time. Hills - not mountains or anything, and to an avid rider they would probably just call the bumps. Whatever. Anyways, the ride was really great. Besides the sore vageene (yes, I said it - we all know that it is undeniable unless your bike seat is car seat propped on a bike frame - and if it is, that's embarrassing), it was beautiful. My commute is fortunately all along the Galloping Goose - so the only street riding is my actual street. The ride home was windy - I felt like a sailor on a sailing ship, sailing home. No I didn't! But it was windy.

Ok should run! Need to get home in time for the season finale of the Biggest Loser - haven't watched a full episode in months due to my running career (oh god - race coming up) - but won't miss the finale.

One last thing - selling tickets and collecting silent auction items for the Fundraiser for Jack on May 23rd. Hoping to sell as many tickets as possible and get as many items as possible. Here is part of the speal that I have sending out to friends:

Recently, my running clinic instructor, Mena Westhaver (and her husband Norm) received the news that every parent dreads – their son has leukemia. As working parents, hockey coaches, run leaders, and parents to three other boys, this news spread quickly among the local community. Mena and Norm are very busy parents but have always been heavily involved in fundraising for children’s charities such as Rock N Roll for Little Souls and Grizzlies Cub Fund. It is sadly ironic that they now require some help.

The event – Blue Jeans Bash for Jack - is Saturday, May 23rd at Pearkes. It’s going to be lots of fun! The evening will include dancing, silent auction and just all around good times. Tickets are $20.

I am selling tickets and collecting silent auction items – so if you have anything that you would like to donate, know of someone who may want to (good advertising) or if you would like to purchase a ticket (or 10 J) – please let me know.

Thanks guys.


Ok - I hope you are all well. I hope to have the internet back up and running soon.



Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother’s Day

Happy Sunday, Happy Mother's Day. To all of the mothers in my life - I hope you all have a great day. To my mom - so generous, so giving, so kind, so always there for all of us. To my sister - her boys always come first, she always wants to give them the absolute best. To auntie Barb, Margo, Mrs. Sherstan,  Auntie Joanne and daughters, Jessica, Maegan, Sam, Sharon, Jenny, Mena, Jocelyn - you are all wonderful moms - enjoy the day. For the moms that are no longer with us, I miss you lots.

Last night we had a great night. Lots of good food, good laughs and the hockey game - oh my Canucks, get 'er together - we're not ready to end our season watching yet. 

On the menu:
Appetizers - Safeway Style - and prawns
Main course - Risotto with peas and mushrooms, breaded chicken and roasted beet and carrot salad with goat cheese and walnuts
Dessert - cake with coconut and lime with lime butter frosting

I tried to do a photo collage of the dishes - but I am a photoshop rookie - and thought that I was going to lose my mind in the process.

Risotto with peas and mushrooms  
6 cups of chicken stock
1 cup of water
1 large onion
2 tbsp butter - 1 tbsp olive oil
2 cups of arborio rice
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 cup peas
6 large mushrooms thinly sliced
2 cloves minced garlic

If you want to give this a try - and I really hope that you do - you have to commit to the dish, as it will take at least 30 minutes of dedication and stirring.

Warm your stock and water in a pot. In a high sided pot - saute your onion in the butter and olive oil - for about minutes until softened. Add the rice and garlic and coat the rice with all of the sauteed onions. Begin adding 1/2 cup of the stock at a time - over medium heat. Stir the stock into the rice and repeat this. Ensure that you are stirring this to prevent any of the rice from sticking. Once you have added the last stock, add your peas and mushrooms and continue to stir - for about another 5 minutes. Just before serving, add your parmesan cheese. And that's it. It does take a bit of time - but so worth it. 

Breaded Chicken Auntie Barb's style
6 chicken boneless skinless breasts  
3/4 cup sour cream
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
Dried oregano
1 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1/3 cup parmesan cheese

Mix the lemon juice, oregano, chives and sour cream together. Add the chicken to coat. Do this early in the morning and let it sit for the day in the day. 
Pre-heat oven to 425. Mix the parmesan and bread crumbs together in a flat bowl or a plate. Take each piece of chicken and coat it in the bread mixture. Once each piece is coated, place them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for about 40 minutes. I like to change the oven to broil for the last 2 minutes to really brown the chicken. The chicken turns out so moist and the crispiness of coating is super delicious.

Roasted Beet and Carrot Salad with Goat Cheese and Walnuts
This is the first time that I have made this - and I will definitely be making it again. I roasted the veggies earlier in the day and then warmed them up slightly just before serving so that the cheese would gently soften.

4 large beets - peeled and cut into cubes
2 bunches of small carrots - probably 12 in total - washed and not peeled - and then cut into half
Olive oil 
Kosher salt and pepper
1/2 cup of goat cheese - crumbled
1/2 cup of chopped walnuts

On a lined baking sheet with parchment paper, place the beets and carrots. Drizzle with olive oil and kosher and pepper. Bake in a 425 oven for about 15-20 minutes. 
In a bowl mix your vegetables with the cheese and walnuts - and that's it!!! Seriously! I didn't add any dressing b/c the vegetables were coated in the olive oil and the flavour of the goat cheese gave it a beautiful flavour. Sigh - can't wait to do that dish again.

White cake with lime and coconut
I cheated - but it so worth it. I bought a white cake mix and added to it. 

1 white cake mix
1/2 cup shredded coconut
Zest of one lime
Juice of 1/2 a lime

Mix the cake mix as stated on the box. Add the lime zest, coconut and lime juice. I only used 2 eggs instead of the 3 that the directions suggest - and the cake still turned out to be so moist. I used a large spring form pan.

5 tbsp of softened butter  
2 tbsp of half and half
1 tbsp of lime zest - about the zest of one full lime 
1 tbsp of fresh lime juice
1 1/2 cup of powder sugar

Cream the first 4 ingredients together and then slowly add the sugar. The frosting will be very creamy and not too sweet. 

I topped the cake with edible flowers (from Epicure) - they made the cake beautiful.

Everyone rated the dinner a 5! It was so much fun to cook for all of them and to have a full house. 

Give these dishes a try - let me know what you think.

Today - a few errands - dollar store to get a bunch of basket wrapping materials for the silent auction, while I'm out there probably a stop at HomeSense (Love that store), dog walk, fixing Chris' bike tire - tomorrow is the start of Bike to Work Week - more like - Bike to get off of your butt and do something week. 

Kitchen tip:
I add my dish soap to a glass bottle so that I can leave it on the counter - it looks decorative and gets rid of the nasty looking dish soap bottles.

Hope your Sunday is divine. 


Saturday, May 9, 2009

Good day, Saturday.

Thankfully this weekend has arrived. It seemed to take awhile - but off at last.

I've had a busy couple of days, hence the lack of writing. Beth, I will try not to miss a day :)

I was up early this morning, had Debbie and my mom over for breakfast - and for them, some much needed coffee. I am not a coffee drinker - never have been. Breakfast was super easy, and super tasty. I got some whole wheat breakfast pitas at Costco - they are delicious - and the cafe by my office makes a delicious breakfast pita with them, so I stole the idea. 

Breakfast Pita Sims Style (this recipe was enough to make 4)
4 breakfast pitas
2 small white potatoes
1 tomato
1/2 green pepper
Dried oregano
Shredded cheese
6 eggs

Slice the potatoes into really thin strips - thin so that they don't take too long to cook. In your skillet saute your potatoes in a little bit of butter. Season with Kosher and pepper. When the potatoes are cooked and slightly brown, add your tomato and green pepper - that you have chopped into small pieces - saute - and add your dried oregano - 1 tbsp and your chives. Saute for 5 minutes. In a bowl whisk your eggs, I always add a small bit of milk - pour the eggs over the vegetables and stir continuously. When your eggs are nice and scrambled, add your cheese, turn off the element and mix it all together. 

Carefully cut open the tops of the pitas - and add the egg mixture. Place them on a baking sheet and bake in a 350 oven for 5 minutes. Serve them with salsa, and you have a lovely breakfast to start your day off.

For today:
I am having Debbie and the boys and my mom for dinner. I have went out and bought them a few things - so that I can spoil them - I will tell you later, just in case my mom reads this before she comes over. 

On the menu:
Appetizers - courtesy of Safeway - seriously, you have to try these - they are so good and easy and on sale today. They are all bite size - empanadas, pots of gold (spinach and cheese) and vegetarian crowns (roasted veggies). And for Callum - prawns.
Main course - breaded chicken Auntie Barb's style, risotto with mushrooms and peas, and a roasted beet and carrot salad with goat cheese and walnuts.
Dessert - coconut lime cake with lime frosting

I will post the recipes and pictures tomorrow.

I have been a little sad today. I am not feeling sorry for myself - just sad. Tomorrow is one more Mother's Day that I am not a mother. Each year for probably the past 3, I have said 'next year, I will be a mom' and it just hasn't happened. I know that I have a wonderful life, and I wouldn't want things to be different, but I know that I want to be a mom so badly, and I just wish that it will happen. I know that everything happens for a reason, and maybe my path, my destiny, is not to be a mom, but I am just not willing to accept that yet. I know that Chris would be a wonderful dad to our child, and that we would have so much love to give, and I am sad that we haven't been able to experience that yet. 

I know that I sound a little depressed, and really I'm not, I am just wishing that this thing that we don't have control of, well I wish that we did. I don't want to have to answer people when they say 'are you trying?' or 'are you doing it lots', and I know those that do don't mean anything badly by it, I just wish that it would happen easy for us like it has for so many others. 

I am fortunate to have so many lovely little ones in my life, and to be a part of so many of their lives, and I know that I am blessed - but if there is a Fertility God listening to my sobbing, or is reading this blog (whatever, it could be possible :0) - I'm sure you get the drift.  

So as I go on with my day - clean my house, run some errands for the Bash for Jack party, prepare dinner, I will keep positive thoughts and imagine that next year will be different.

To all of my favourite mothers out there, I hope that you enjoy the weekend with your lovely babes, and let them spoil you.



Wednesday, May 6, 2009

In a hurry...

Magnum enjoying an ice cream - check out the eye!

Not really sure what happened to the time, but it's frickin' 8:42 and I feel as though I just got home from work. 

I just actually got home from Costco - and spent way more time there, and way more money, than I wanted to. I haven't been there in so long, and took my time to look for some good deals. Cereal (Chris' staple) - so cheap. Jumbo box of Shreddies - $3.99! Seriously?!! I got some good stuff - and I tried to only get what I needed. 

So, dinner was a last minute thing - well part of it. I had some nice italian sausages that I broiled before I went out there and was planning on having them with a bunch of roasted veggies. But, since it's late - I have broken my pact for only meat and veggies this week, and have just made rice. I know - I feel like I am cheating. I just sliced up the sausage, added some tomatoes (well I roasted them) then added spinach, peas and corn all to the same pot - then added some thai sweet chili sauce - and voila, that's dinner. 

I got wind down - give and receive a little TLC and get ready for another day.

Bring us something good Thursday.



Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Two for Tuesday.

Happy Birthday Jozie Girl

Well, I was disconnected yesterday - no connection. Not sure what's up - but I'm back. 

I had lots to say yesterday and was pretty disappointed when I couldn't connect. Don't worry, I still have lots to say, just may need to save some for another day. The week has started out well. I think that the rainy weather is tiring me out - that or the fact that I can't seem to sleep past 5:20 AM - that's far too early. Geesh.

After work yesterday I took the pups for a walk - a walk that I do almost every day. We go to Cuthbert Holmes park - super easy to get to, and the dogs love it. There are always lots of other pups there and rabbits for them to chase. Yesterday when I was getting out of the car and walking towards the direction that I always go, I saw a guy that looked a bit dodgy - so I watched him and then went in the opposite direction. Then I just started thinking - how it's so important, as women, to always be aware of our surroundings and trust our instincts. Nothing happened - the fella probably was out for a stroll, but the way he was walking and looking behind him over and over - walking from the parking lot - well you just never know. I guess it's sad that we live in a place where we always have to be careful, make the right decisions, and be prepared. In the fall I was walking in the park, and took a different route than I normally do, and was followed by someone. It scared me. I ran when I went around a bend and caught up with other walkers and asked if they minded me walking with them. As soon as I started walking with someone and turned around, he went onto another path (which the average walker wouldn't do) and I didn't see him again. Since then, I am always conscience and ensuring that I am aware of my surroundings. 

So girls - do what you need to do to be safe - have a plan - and trust your instincts.

Today - no dog walk was done. Sorry dogs. But, they had bits out here and there - and they have been spoiled with a nice juicy treat. BECAUSE today is Jozie's birthday!!! Jozie is 6 today. We'll celebrate with a DQ cone. We love our little girl pup.

We also brought home a little something for us today. We have just bought a new little Honda Fit Sport. Yay! Chris' little Honda, 23 years old, was starting to show her age, so we thought it was time to look for something new. 2 Saturdays we were just looking - and found a great deal. We are going to give our old Honda to Miles - and it should be in good shape for another year - it's a safe car so he will be able to take his family out and run errands with them. I am thinking of calling her 'Newonda' - as in 'New Honda'. 

Tonight's dinner - was one of my faves. Easiest, quickest and most delicious. No carbs, just veggies and protein. Give it a try - you'll love it. Oh, and remember, switch it up with veggies you love if you're not a fan of what I have used.

Warm Spinach Salad with chicken and feta cheese

I made this recipe for Chris and I - so lots of salad for two people

2/3 of a cello bag of spinach
3 boneless/skinless chicken breasts
1 large yellow and orange pepper - or two small - cut in half
6 large mushrooms - cut into this slices
20 cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup feta cheese - goat cheese would be so good in this too - with goat cheese add walnuts or pecans

2 tbsp dijon white wine mustard
1 tbsp raspberry white wine vinegar
1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
Kosher and pepper
*If you want to add fresh or dried herbs - go with it

Pre-heat the oven to 425
Pat chicken dry, lightly spray with olive oil and a small pinch of kosher and pepper. I have a pump that I use and just fill it with olive oil, so you use much less than if you drizzle the oil. Bake the chicken for about 35-40 mins.

On a cooking sheet lined with parchment paper, place the peppers skin side down, then place mushrooms and tomatoes. Lightly spray the tomatoes and mushrooms with the olive oil. Put in the oven and roast for about 15 minutes. 

For the dressing:
To the dijon mustard add the vinegars and give it a good stir, then slowly add the olive oil and continue to stir so that it all incorporated and silky smooth. If you find the dressing a little too bitter, you can add a pinch of sugar and it will just take a bit of the 'zing' away. Oh and as always give a couple of pinches of the Kosh and pepper. 

In a nice large bowl - add the spinach and then the feta. Add the dressing and give it a good toss. Then after you have chopped your peppers into thin slices, add those along with the tomatoes and mushrooms and your thinly sliced chicken - and give it another gentle toss. The warm with the crispness of the spinach and the feta that has softened is amazing. Sigh. So lovely.

Time to get some stuff done - thinking about buying these SHOES (I found them on another site that I love) - they seem fun. 

I am off to unwind - spend some time with Kung Fu Chris and soak in my lovely life.



Sunday, May 3, 2009

Wow - weekend is over! Can't believe that it went by so fast - and I had a three day'er. Oh well - the eve of another week - let's hope that it will be a good one. I don't think that it will be action packed - but it will have lots of ups; a few fun deliveries, a run with my Sole Sisters, nail appointment, dog walks, I think a run to Costco and whatever else...

Friday's fishing trip was FANTASTIC!! Chris and I had a great time - the weather was gorgeous, the river was beautiful and we caught fish! The only thing that I may have wanted to change was the waders that I was wearing - ya, tight. They fit - and they were comfortable if I was standing or sitting. As soon as I sat the air would build up in the legs and take about a minute for it to sneak out - so similar to the michelin tire man. Then when I stood, my butt and legs were so hot the 'wades' would stick - I was worried that when I got out of the boat that they would split - they didn't thankfully. Ok, back to the good stuff. Chris and I caught about 5 rainbow trout each - catch and release. I caught the biggest - I was pretty pumped about that. :)  We learned a lot from our guide, Robin, and are excited to get some good fishing in this summer. 

I had my mom and sister and the boys over for dinner on Saturday night. We watched the hockey game - we were saddened by the outcome. Tuesday is going to be a different game and our boys will make it happen. Chris was testing a few adults for their black belts so had to come home to the 3rd period - he wasn't happy. I got my nephews some masks from Mexico - some Nacho Libre style - they had some fun with them.


Today is Shannon's birthday - I hope that she had a great day with her family - and got nice and spoiled.

Today my mom and I hit the Root Cellar market, for a bunch of veggies to last the week. They have the greatest stuff there. It's all fresh, most of it is local. I got some great free range ground chicken - that I made burgers out of. I don't do fancy burgers - just add a few spices, a little ketchup and added a bit of bread crumbs. We don't have the bbq ready for summer yet, so I cooked them up on the skillet. Served them with a greek salad - and that was dinner. I like to just take the burger patty for lunch the next day with the salad - the burger always tastes better the next day.

Tomorrow's night dinner will be something with pork tenderloin - maybe a mushroom sauce and then some roasted tomatoes and zucchini. Trying to have no carbs for dinns this week - we'll see how that goes.

Well, that's that for me. I hope that your weekends were filled with lots of action and that your week is filled with what you want.