Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Book Club - Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine



At the office, there was that palpable sense of Friday joy, everyone colluding with the lie that somehow the weekend would be amazing and that, next week, work would be different, better.  They never learn.

It often feels as if I'm not here, that I'm a figment of my own imagination.

Did men ever look in the mirror, I wondered, and find themselves wanting in deeply fundamental ways?

Friday, September 13, 2019

Cookbook Cleanup #6 - rebar modern food cookbook

If you do a search for rebar on my blog, you'll come up with this list of vegetarian deliciousness that I've cooked over the years from rebar modern food cookbook.

One of my all time favorites is still the Brie Bagel Melt.  Such a winner.

For the cleanup challenge I made 7 new dishes - 

2 smoothies - Double Happiness and Dale Evans (below).

I made the deeeeeeelicious Whole Wheat Hotcakes.

I turned the Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes into a No Frosting Needed Chocolate Zucchini Cake.

And this very nice Plain and Fancy Cornbread.

I also made the Chocolate Chip Cookies with Apricots and Walnuts - but I left out the walnuts - and they were so delicious - one of the best cookie recipes of the year.

The last recipe was Thai Sweet Corn Soup made at the perfect time of year for corn, and this was a prefect soup.  Easy to make and delicious.  I left out the siracha so the kids and grandpa would eat it, and The Mister and I spiced up our bowls at the table.  Even more yummy with a bit of heat!

This is a book that keeps on giving - rarely a dud in the lot.  If you come across this one and like vegetarian cooking, pick it up.

Cookbook Cleanup results so far - Bookshelf -3  Donated - 3

Sunday, September 08, 2019

Sunday Dinner - Trying out a new pizza dough

We had big plans for the Sunday of the Labour Day Long Weekend (how is it September already.....) that involved a visit to the Fall Fair in Barriere, and the first of two Back To School Dinners. 

The Boy was up first for his choosing of the Back To School Dinner - The Girl gets the next Sunday which makes sense because of the loooooong gradual entry into Kindergarten, and also she couldn't care less about choosing a dinner, because she exists on air and baby corn. 

He chose homemade pizza and brownies for dessert. 
 I wasn't sure what to do about the pizza dough - should I make it in the morning and hope it didn't over proof? Or should I chance that we would be home early enough from the fair to make the dough right before dinner? 
I decided I better not leave the dough to chance and that I should make it in the morning, and I turned to the internet to find a slow rising dough that could wait all day for us. 

Introducing a new favorite here - the Now or Later Pizza Crust!

This is a super simple dough that you mix, let sit on the counter to rise for 45 minutes, then pop it in the fridge for up to a day and a half.  
The recipe, from King Arthur Bread, had an optional ingredient of "Pizza Dough Flavor" so I tossed in some mixed Italian spice and some extra basil and oregano.  It added a nice flavor and a pretty design to the crust.

We made a ham and pineapple - The Boys current favorite pizza, and a salami, green pepper and black olive.

They were delicious and the crust was crispy - pretty darn crispy - so if you aren't a fan of super crispy, watch your baking time.

The dough was a hit and I'll be keeping this recipe close for an easy weeknight dinner.

Wednesday, September 04, 2019

my favorites in august

August flew by in a matter of seconds, I swear.  How did it happen?  How is it September?  SEPTEMBER 2019??????  Aieeeeee.  I have really got to get my shit together.

Here's a list of things I enjoyed in August -

On Netflix -

Bob Ross.  On Netflix!  Oh man, what a treat.  I used to watch his show on PBS and wish I could be a tiny pinch as artistic as him.  I find his shows so soothing.  I watch them before bed and crash out.

Derry Girls - I'm not too far into this one, but I love it.

Schitts Creek - I am deep into Season 2 and already dreading knowing that the show has come to an end.  So, so good.

On CBC Gem -

Workin' Moms Season 3 - Workin' Moms Instagram did me wrong by making me believe Season 3 was coming to Netflix in August.  It didn't - but you can watch Seasons 1-3 on CBC Gem.


In Book Club news I finished the library book challenge!  On time this year!  Here's my completed list.

One of my favorite books I read for the challenge was Daisy Jones and The Six.  Loved it.  I think I heard that it is being turned into a movie or a tv show?  That's good news.


Lotions and Potions from Winners - I'm not a Winners shopper for no particular reason but I ended up there twice for back to school shopping, and I got some me stuff - face sprays, a face wash and a body oil.  All well under $10 each.  Winners might be my new favorite store.


Forever 35 podcast - This has become one of my favorite podcasts - 2 ladies - one of whom wrote a Book Club book - talking about self care and life.


A local favorite -Cheng Kwong Grocery, head over to 8th Avenue on the North Shore for some amazing shopping for your Asian grocery supplies. Their facebook page is here.


Sunday, September 01, 2019

Intentions for September

Yup, these are coming back.  We are turning a corner now that September is here.  2018 and 2019 so far have kicked my ass, but I am stopping that now and turning this thing around.  Who's with me????

Let's take an inspirational quote pause......

Intentions for September - 

No more Ice Caps.
Man, I just can't cut these things out, even though the give me headaches and make me jittery.  And we won't even discuss the fat, calories and sugar these contain.  But I'm stopping NOW.  No more.

More water.

Exercise everyday.
Between gym and yoga and walking and stretching I want to make sure I am doing something good everyday.

Clean up paper/home office area situation.
I don't even want to talk about how bad this issue is right now.

More reading, less screen time for all 4 of us.


There we go, a short sweet list to start off the last bit of the year right.

Now let's go do this thing.

Saturday, August 31, 2019

Sunday Dinner - A Mexican Feast

I haven't made any effort to take Sunday Dinner photos or note most recipes lately, but this dinner was a super winner.  Both recipes are from the May 2019 issue of Canadian Living.
Slow Cooker Refried Beans, and Slow Cooker Beef Enchiladas.

They were both delicious and everyone loved the enchiladas, including the kids, until I made the mistake of listing off the ingredients.  The Boy balked at the addition of cinnamon (1/2 tsp for the whole recipe) and because The Girl likes to be just like her brother, she too stopped eating and said she didn't like it.  

That was fine, more for me.

Unfortunately, Canadian Living hasn't published the recipes online, which is a real shame.

Well, the Summer months are behind us and it's time to shape up and get back to a routine.  Argh.
This school year is a big one for us, with The Girl heading to Kindergarten, and new weekend activities.  We're hoping for as smooth a transition as one could hope for; I know we will have tired, annoyed kids bringing home germs so my fingers are crossed for us and you out there heading back to school.

Friday, August 30, 2019

Adult Summer Reading Club 2019 - I DID IT!!!!!! and lets look at upcoming books


Since the library shortened the number of books to read this summer on the challenge, I had a shot at actually completing it on time - and I did!

I enjoyed nearly all the books - there was one dud, but that happens from time to time.
My favorites were Buddhaland Brooklyn and Daisy Jones and The Six. 
I also really liked Feeding My Mother, although it made me sad and I cried a lot.  I'll be trying some of the recipes soon.

What was on your Summer reading list?  Do you have a Fall book list planned?

I decided I would like a list to follow, so I could commit to getting through some more stuff on my shelf.

1.  BlackkKlansman by Ron Stallworth
2. The Know-It-All by A.J. Jacobs
3.  Taking The Leap by Pema Chodron
4.  The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton
5.  Erotic Stories For Punjabi Widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Book Club - Daisy Jones and The SIx by Taylor Jenkins Reid



There's a peace that comes with knowing you have a person in the world who would do anything for you, that you would do anything for.

That's how it was back then.  I was supposed to be the inspiration for some man's great idea.
Well, fuck that.
That's why I started writing my own stuff.

Men often think they deserve a sticker for treating women like people.  

That's the glory of being a man.  An ugly face isn't the end of you.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Book Club - The Light in the Dark by Horatio Clare



September is easy to love.  I feel alive in the weather, in the light, and the colour.

There have been ominous sunsets like spilled fire under brooding cloud, and in daylight the bare trees reveal the country and its creatures in a clarity the other seasons deny.

A mist day, a moss day, a day of rain that never quite fell.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Book Club - Feeding My Mother by Jann Arden



I would spend the next two years in denial.  I made excuses for both my parents over and over again as the memory thieves slowly stole things from right beneath our noses.

I must have hoped if I ignored it enough, and wished it away often enough, my mom would start remembering again.

Life ain't for the faint of heart.  You have to wake up each and every day and realize that you can and will begin again.  It doesn't matter if you've screwed up or lost your way or made giant mistakes or failed or fallen, you can always keep going forward.

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Book Club - Killing Eve: Codename Villanelle by Luke Jennings



Rising on her toes like a matador, eyes demonic, Villanelle sidesteps the black swathe of blood thrown from the falling body.

"My enemy," she murmurs in Russian, touching Eve's hair.  "Moy vrag."

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Cookbook Cleanup #5 - super natural every day

This book....oh this book.  I love to look at this book - the photos, the bits about the authors life, the ingredient lists.....
This is the sort of book that I wish my life could be like - spelt flour and nuts and seeds, tons of greens, spicy flavors.  Flowy dresses and hoop earrings.  Long walks in interesting places.

Instead I am (still) too chubby for most of my clothes, out of practice on yoga, trying to feed children who would rather exist on air than anything their parents would make them, inundated with facts about marvel movies and peppa pig all the livelong day, and a thousand other things that have nothing to do with this book.

This is a good book, a pretty book, an interesting book.  But this book is not for me in the past years I have owned it or the foreseeable future.  It deserves a better home.

Cookbook Cleanup results so far - Bookshelf -2  Donated - 3 

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Snapshot - Okanagan cherries in my refound tiny colander

Our hot water tank bit it RIGHT before our holiday this summer.  The day they came to install the new one I stressed cleaned a couple of rooms in the house.  In the kitchen I finally got rid of a bunch of stuff that I haven't used in years, and rediscovered some useful stuff that got buried at the back of cupboards, including my sweet little collapsible tiny colander, perfect for washing off cherries before they get pitted and stirred into my morning yogurt.

Friday, August 16, 2019

Book Club - One Day We'll All Be Dead And None Of This WIll Matter by Scaachi Koul



When a guy asks to buy you a drink, suggest he buy you a snack instead and see how that goes over.

I'd ask her what she was thinking about, and she'd let out a big sigh.  "Oh, sometimes I look around and I think I've seen my mom.  But she's not there."

This, the great love affair that spawned me, a woman who would one day get both of her hands stuck in two different salsa jars at the same time.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Cookbook Cleanup - 3 and 4 are out the door

I am being a bit ruthless in this cookbook shelf clean out.

Last time I did this I tried very hard to find at least one or two recipes to try from every book, in case I found a gem.  This time I've changed the rules.  I'm not going to cook something I don't want to.  If I can't find anything that I know the family will eat, the book goes.

So here are our first 2 departers - Tasty Latest and Greatest and  Better Homes and Gardens Bread Machine Bounty.

Bread Machine Bounty - a symphony book sale buy from a few years back - was easy to donate as I gave away our bread machine a couple of months ago, so this is of no use to me now.

Tasty was a bit harder to get rid of; this was an impulse purchase from  Costco a couple of years ago and I hadn't spent a lot of time with it.  I previously tried 2 recipes and was NOT impressed with either of them, but I was sure that there must be some good stuff in there.

The problem for me is a lot of these recipes are quiet decadent - stuffed brownies and bread balls, deep fried or breaded almost everything, lots of bacon.  This isn't every day eats, and this isn't the kind of stuff my picky family likes.  

So based on my previous tries, I sent this one out the door with no more testing. It is not a bad book!  Just not for us.

Cookbook Cleanup results so far - Bookshelf -2  Donated - 2

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Book Club - Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris



It's a pretty grim world when I can't even feel superior to a toddler.

He was, of course, much smarter than I gave him credit for, and he eventually proved his intelligence by breaking up with me.

As a child I'd always harbored a sneaking suspicion that I might be e genius.  The theory was completely my own, corroborated by no one, but so what?  Being misunderstood was all part of the package.

Monday, August 05, 2019

my favorites in july

I am going to chime in with everyone else and say "Can you believe it's August???"
For real!  July seems long and short at the same time and it was a mostly good month.
I feel like August is already going faster so I'm making sure I enjoy it.  Before we can blink Summer will be gone and the snow will be here.

Here's a list of some things I really enjoyed in July -

On Netflix -

  Stranger Things - I wasn't a fan when it first came out and I only made it through one episode before I told The Mister to go ahead and watch without me.  I decided to give it another chance when some friends talked about how good season 3 was, so I watched seasons 1 & 2 by myself and now The Mister and I are about halfway through season 3.

Blown Away - a competition show about glass blowing.  SO GOOD.  Watch it immediately.

Workin' Moms - my Boo (bff) had mentioned this show to me a few times but I don't get many opportunities to watch "regular" TV shows, especially non child friendly ones.  I started watching this one at night in bed after I got caught up on Stranger Things, and I flew through the 2 seasons Netflix has.  The third season will be added in approximately 22 days (not that I am counting....) but season 4 is still in production and wont' be on CBC until late 2020.  Deep breaths.


Mac Salad - I found an article about Hawaiian Mac Salad on facebook and I made it right away since The Mister loves mac salad and I love Hawaii.  It was very good, and it didn't give me that throat closing feeling that most other mac salads do - maybe from the vinegar?
The bowl didn't last long and I will be making it again soon - Hawaiian Mac Salad


Last Christmas I did a bit of shopping in the Kamloops Art Gallery Store,
and I picked up a little something for myself as well, a bottle of Thieving Bastards spray from  Element Botanicals.
It is amazing and I love it.  I went back there this month and yay!  They had some new sprays and I picked up Quick Fix and Ritual.


I joined a gym! Last week was my first week and I went every weekday - Monday to Friday.  I realized how much I missed working out.  My plan is to go during the week - weekends are too hard to get away from the kids.  Once I get rid of this Summer cold/cough thing I've got I am going to ramp up my workouts, and hopefully see some physical and mental progress.


My work commutes have been feeling pretty funny lately as I am listening to Food: A Love Story by Jim Gaffigan.


We've been hitting the Saturday Farmers Market every week and it's been a good year.  We've been buying cherries and blueberries almost weekly, as well as gorgeous spinach (out of season now) and lovely potatoes.  We always stop at Bohemia Bakery to see if they have any of their giant soft pretzels, and the kids always talk The Grandpa into buying them a lemonade.


We introduced the kids to journaling earlier this year and while Spring and Summer have thrown us off our weekly schedule, we get it in when we can.  I am the least artistic person in the world, but I managed some not completely hideous drawings in July thanks to discovering Splendid Scribbles on Instagram.  Scroll through the posts and you will find some easy to follow "how to" posts.


Happy Holiday Monday!  Have a great day.