Sunday, December 30, 2018

Book Club - Anne of Green Gables A Graphic Novel adapted by Mariah Marsden

Posting the last of the books I read in 2018!

"I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers!"

"Matthew loved to hear you laugh.  He's away now, but he still likes to know it's there.  
Don't feel bound to your sorrow.
Look home, to the place that you both loved, and open your heart to heal.
It would please him."


I am so happy to end this year with such a lovely book.  
The Boy picked this one from the library for The Battle of the Books and he liked it so much he read it 3 times before I was able to get my hands on it.

The artwork is stunning and it is just a wonderful book.

My mom had bought me the original Anne books when I was a kid.  We watched the tv movie together when it came out, and somewhere, hopefully, I still have a photo of her dressed as Anne when she and my dad went out East and visited the heritage site.
I'm pretty sure I don't have my books any more which is sad - I will have to look and if not, head to the used book stores to see what we can find.

Book Club - I'm Down by Mishna Wolff

Posting the last of the books I read in 2018!

"At first I was overjoyed to get picked up by Dad and the coolest gang of guys I knew.  But this pride was shattered when, walking toward the car, I noticed all of my classmates staring like they had never seen rust before."

"Your stepmom is right." Dad said nervously.  "You should start contributing to this family."  I didn't want to contribute to this family.  This family needed a lot of work.

I felt myself loving him as he was standing there, and I needed my bad feelings back or I was going to cry and ask him if I could come home.  Instead I let my anger well up at him like nausea.  I thought about the van incident and the business with Yvonne and the shirt.  And I could feel new resentments growing inside me like muscles, making me strong.


I had read about this book and a few weeks later stumbled across it at the Symphony book sale.  I bought this mid November and to have read it before the end of the year is a big accomplishment for me.

Book Club - The Pearl That Broke Its Shell by Nadia Hashimi

Posting the last of the books I read in 2018!

Shekib wondered what her place in the world was.

I'm sorry, Khala-jan.  I'm sorry I never thanked you for fighting for me, for everything you taught me, for the stories you told me, for the escape you gave me.


I bought this from Costco, it made me think of my mom.  This was the sort of book she would have read and then passed it on to me and a couple of her friends.  

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Book Club - Her Pretty Face by Robyn Harding

Posting the last of the books I read in 2018!

".......Frances was finally able to forgive herself."


Borrowed this from a friend to read some fiction after a long string of non fiction reads.

Book Club - I Might Regret This by Abbi Jacobson

Posting the last of the books I read in 2018!

I downplay the fact that I am the boss in my head, because, to be honest, it sometimes scares me.  But being scared of something doesn't make it untrue.  I am the actual boss.

I hope my life is full of joy, full of adventure, full of love.


I grabbed this off a new release shelf at the library - I liked it more than I expected.  I hope she writes more books.

Book Club - Audiobooks

Posting the last of the books I read in 2018!

I used to listen to audio books years ago when we lived in Calgary as I had a long commute to and from work, but haven't listened to one in years.  I enjoyed Call the Midwife for the 2018 Summer Reading Challenge and have borrowed a few more from the library since.

Scrappy Little Nobody - I laughed a lot while listening to this one. 

I listened to 3 books in a YA series - I've run out of steam as the third wasn't my cup of tea.

Currently listening to this one - a bit too sexist for me, but some interesting parts so far.

Friday, December 28, 2018

Book Club - Brave Enough by Cheryl Strayed

Posting the last of the books I read in 2018!

Grief is tremendous, but love is bigger.  You are grieving because you loved truly.  The beauty in that is greater than the bitterness of death.  Allowing this into your consciousness will not keep you from suffering but it will help you survive the next day. 


Wild is a great book, as is Tiny Beautiful Things, so I am searching out the rest of her books.
Just Torch left!

Book Club - Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwan

Posting the last of the books I read in 2018!

'I want to scream at them "Shut up, all of you!  My mother died.  Please don't tell me how lucky or fortunate I am that she lived this long.  She has been here on this earth my entire life and now suddenly in the blink of an eye she's gone.  Gone, gone gone." '

'As Nick was led through the lush gardens and on to a wooden walkway that floated on the lake, a think layer of mist hovered over the still waters, adding to the feeling that he had stepped back in time.'


Finished the trilogy.  Crazy Rich Asians is still my favorite.  I saw the movie recently and I liked it, I can't wait for the next one.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Friday, December 21, 2018

Book Club - Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chevalier

"Of course he loved telling her what to do.  Men do."

"A woman's life is always a compromise."


Have read a couple of Tracy Chevalier books and enjoyed them.  Liked this one too.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Snapshot - spotted signs

It's a bit hard to read, but it says Enjoy Denial - in the style of Coke ads

Found at a rest stop on Highway 93.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Book Club - More Than This by Patrick Ness

"Are you ready?" his friends ask him.
He thinks, Yes.
He thinks, Go in swinging.
And he says, "I'm ready."

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Brownie Crinkle Cookies

I have been doing a fair amount of cooking some delicious things to share, but I have to post about these cookies today, mostly because I don't know how much I'll be around the rest of this month and if you are doing any baking you should DEFINITELY consider these beauties.

I found these via Williams Sonoma on Instagram - Brownie Crinkle Cookies from The Boy Who Bakes.

They are easy to make although I didn't find the batter to be runny as mentioned in the recipe, and I made a few more cookies than instructed.  But they are gorgeous and delicious!  I am making another batch tomorrow for a friends birthday.

Happy December 15, hope you are enjoying what you can out of this last bit of 2018.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Book Club - Birdie

'Happiest when she is alone, Birdie wore her need for quiet like a veil.'

'Nope, she does not love the Whippets.  She sees their cruelty and deplores the mirror image in herself.' 

'She sometimes thinks that she was raised by good women and educated by less than good men.'


Last book for the Summer Reading Club -  A Book With A One Word Title

Finished November 12.


Happy to wrap up both NaBloPoMo AND the Summer Reading Club
for 2018 on the last day of November!

Thursday, November 29, 2018

We got an Instant Pot

Our crock pot is super old and is starting to show it - taking longer to warm up and cook things.  It isn't a huge deal at this point as it does still work, but I was keeping my eye out for a replacement before it did completely conk out.

My most lovely Boo (eternal BFF) gave me a generous gift card for my birthday this year with a note suggesting I buy a new crock pot.  She's the best!
I started investigating what kind of crock pot I wanted and quickly switched gears to heavily considering an Instant Pot.

I have a super duper (unfounded) fear of pressure cookers but my cousin was singing the praises of hers earlier this year and there are so many food websites that talk about it now it's hard to get away from.  We went to the store to do a little preliminary research on them and walked out with a 6 quart Instant Pot.

I was so excited to get started that as soon as we got home I opened it all up and started reading about it.  Steaming and venting and pressure and seals all brought back my (very unfounded) fears of pressure cookers and I stuffed everything back in the box and put the box in the corner of my room with my dusty yoga stuff.

A week (or maybe 2, who remembers such details) later I told myself to suck it up, get over it and try it out.  After reading some soup recipes I made a truly delicious turkey soup and bam!  It was on.

I've steamed countless squashes, "roasted" sweet potatos, made more soups, a couple of curries,  plain chicken and a mu shu-ish pork.  Everything has been terrific and easy.  I am a IP fan.

I made this IP Butter Chicken for a work potluck.  Not too shabby.

Above - IP squash.  They come out perfectly every time.
Below the most delicious Red Lentil and Kale Curry

This was one of our first recipes we made - Egg Roll Bowls. So tasty.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Book Club - Laura by Donald Zochert

"I picked a wild sunflower," she said "And as I looked into its golden heart such a wave of homesickness came over me that I almost wept.  I wanted my mother, with her gentle voice and quiet firmness; I longed to hear my father's jolly songs and to see his twinkling blue eyes; I was lonesome for the sister with whom I used to play in the meadow picking daisies and wild sunflowers."

"Ring out wild bells to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light;
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die..... 


Adult Summer Reading Club 2018 - Reread a favorite

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Yum Yum Cake

I realized one Sunday morning that I had not planned a dessert for that nights dinner and then I realized we were out of butter and a few other essential ingredients for some quick desserts (chocolate chip cookies) and as always, the internet saved me with plenty of ideas.

I picked Yum Yum Cake because it has no butter but it does have pineapple.......mmmm.
We almost always have a can of crushed pineapple in the cupboard and it is most likely the only ingredient in this that you may not already have in your kitchen.

It's a simple but delicious recipe.  We ate it plain but some whipped cream or ice cream would be fabulous too.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Snapshot - Lovely early Saturday morning

I hunkered down on a Saturday morning with a bunch of cookbooks for a 
while before the fam woke up.  A nice start to the day.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Book Club - Cujo by Stephen King

"Why?  What had something like this been allowed to happen?  How could so many events have conspired together?"


For Summer Reading Club 2018 - Published in the Decade You Were Born

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Sunday Dinner - THE BEST APPLE PIE

For Sunday Dinner there was baked chicken, corn on the cob from Pete Davidson, green beans, potatos, and mushrooms, but all I want to talk about is dessert.  The pie.  Oh boy, THE PIE.

I now have 2 pies listed under the label The Best Pie.

Full disclosure - the crust was store bought.  I have mentioned before I am not good with crusts so I didn't even stress myself out.  I did create the lattice top myself and was pretty dang proud of how it turned out.

This apple pie and this apple pie are truly the 2 best apple pies I have ever made.
Even The Grandfather, when presented with the chance to buy some frozen apple pies from Davison Orchards said no - you make a better one.

Not sure it's true but that is high praise I will take.

Friday, November 23, 2018

Easy and delicious 3 ingredient pancakes

I am always looking for easy and delicious breakfast options that I can take to work and this one is a real home run.  I can make a batch of these 3 ingredient pancakes while I'm getting dressed and packing my bag in the morning, eat them when I get to work and be fuller and satisfied much longer than with cereal or toast.
The original recipe (below) adds nuts as a fourth ingredient, but we don't usually have nuts in the house so I make them without.  I noticed in the comments a few people said the pancakes were better with the oats blended so I tried that with my first batch and they were so perfect that I do that every time.

I top mine with a bit of peanut butter or some honey and it is a great way to start the day.  Try them!

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Book Club - Back in the Day Bakery by Cheryl Day and Griffith Day


For Summer Reading Club 2018 - Cookbook (Try a new recipe)
Focaccia Bread and Brown Sugar Chocolate Chip Shortbread

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Here we are - Post 1,500

I noticed the other day that I was getting close to having 1,500 published posts we are!

Seems like only yesterday ( 5 1/2 years ago) we were celebrating 1,000 posts and now we are at this new milestone.

It's crazy to me that I've had this blog for 14 years.  14!

I've used my limited skills with the Blogger template to share with you the Top 10 Most Viewed Posts from the last 14 years.

Here we go.....

Number 10 - Bitchin in the Kitchin Julia Childs French Bread - 2008
Oh man, this one.  I co-hosted a Daring Bakers Challenge (miss you, Lis!) with Mary at her request, and she had chosen Julia Child's French Bread.  It is a long process.  Not particularly difficult, but long.  We got SO MANY complaints from the baking group.  So many.  And that is why I called my post Bitchin in the Kitchin.  And I never ever made this bread again after completing the challenge.  Also - if you click on Mary's name a few lines above, the last post she wrote for her blog in 2012 is about her making this bread one last time for her blog.  Man, so many of the good old blogs are gone.

Number 9 - Bread Baking Babes - Hamburger Buns - 2011
It was always a nerve wracking time when I got to choose a recipe for the BBB's.  I was always worried that my choices wouldn't be cool or interesting enough for the group.  I didn't pick the most challenging breads but they usually turned out, so that was a point in my favor.  I remember these being pretty good, but I don't think I ever made them again.  

Number 8 - Calgary Spiceland - 2007
I posted about a super cool store we found when we lived in Calgary and it was a dream come true.  I believe it's closed now which totally sucks but I am sure it isn't too hard to find amazing ingredients in Calgary.  It is still not always easy in the 'Loops though.

Number 7 - Bread Baking Babes - Challah - 2008
I am shocked that this is from 10 years ago!  It seems like it couldn't be that long ago.  This was a recipe that I got to pick for the BBB group to bake and it was so fun.  I was so proud of myself for that bread!  I miss that group.

Number 6 - Rhubarb - Muffins, Stewed and Fooled - 2013
Because once the monster rhubarb plants start producing massive quantities of stalks in the Spring, you gotta hit google for some ideas.

Number 5 - Breakfast Sandwiches - Make em and freeze em - 2009
A way to prep some fast breakfasts for on the go.  Pretty sure we never make a big batch and froze them again.

Number 4 - Pork Enchiladas - 2005
I forgot about this recipe!  I loved that Everyday Food magazine from Martha Stewart.  Found a lot of good stuff in them.  This was a super easy and tasty recipe that I will need to make again ASAP.

Number 3 - Broccoli Salad - 2006
This is another one that gets hit a lot - who doesn't love Broccoli Salad?  Never made this one again though.  A common theme on this list apparently.

Number 2 - Irish Spiced Beef - 2007
Lord, what an experience.  Reading this post made me laugh and brought back a lot of memories.
Guess what - never tried this one again either!

Number 1 - Shortbread 2006
My most viewed post every year, because everyone loves shortbread cookies.  I make at least one batch of these a year, so bam!  A recipe from long ago that lives on in my kitchen still.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

I be more positive

I always love a project, although to be honest most of the time time they fall apart or get abandoned part way through but hey, at least I'm optimistic?
My latest project, decided at 4 in the morning one weekend while avoiding existing projects screaming for my attention like laundry and organizing - try things.
I know!  I'm a trendsetter.

There are things I want to try, things I want to get back to doing regularly, things I know I should be maybe if I document some of them here, it might work.  Unlikely, but there is always hope.

Here is my first one - sourced from a tweet from Yoko Ono 9 years ago - Say nothing negative about anyone for 3 days.

Her full tweet is  Try to say nothing negative about anybody for three days, for forty-five days, for three months. See what happens to your life.

And I get that!  It is totally easy to get caught up in negative thoughts and let then wash over you.   And man, it just seems like the media and world is wired to all things negative right now.  We don't need to add to that shit.  Really, why would you want to?

So I said nothing negative about anyone for 3 days - out loud.  And in my head, when my thoughts went that way, instead of going with it like I usually would have, I stopped myself, took a pause and reassessed the way I felt.  Instead of getting annoyed with a coworker who was ignoring my email EVEN THOUGH I COULD SEE SHE WAS RIGHT THERE I took a breath and thought huh, she must be busy.  If I don't hear from her my tomorrow I'll have to remind her I'm waiting for those papers.  And moved on instead of stewing about it.  When someone threw a wrench in my carefully laid plans and I had to reorganize my busy day I changed my thoughts to - it's nice to be able to be there for someone and to help out.
It doesn't always work and it isn't always easy but I'm making progress and that is amazing.
10 tips to overcome negative thoughts
This is how you actually change negative thoughts
10 tips to make positive thinking easy

Monday, November 19, 2018

Book Club - Autumn by Karl Ove Knausgaard

"That's your family.  I mention it first because that's what matters most."


Summer Reading Club 2018 - Originally Published in a Foreign Language

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Downtown Murals

Kamloops has some amazing mural art in the alleys of downtown. We checked some out this Fall on a walk; this article and this map will take you on a tour of them.  A real treasure in our city.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Sunday Dinner - Chocolate Mousse

The Grandfather and I were talking food one night after finishing eating food, and he mentioned that a dessert of chocolate mousse for an upcoming dinner sounded delish.
I had recently come across a recipe that I  had wanted to take another look at, but then I flipped through a recent issue of Alive magazine and found a recipe for "Raw" French Silk Chocolate Pie, and the mousse filling called to me, so I skipped the crust and made the filling as our mousse dessert.

It's a very cool vegan recipe which uses chilled coconut milk and coconut oil in place of the usual cream and eggs.  I never ever make mousse that contains raw egg, so I really liked the change.

Other than chilling the coconut milk in the can overnight, the mousse is easy to make and SO DELICIOUS.

I was running short of time to get them chilled before dinner so my cups were a bit messy but to be honest, they probably would have looked the same even if I'd had more time.  So I slapped on a filter and here we are.

Try this!  

Friday, November 16, 2018

Book Club - I Know Why The Caged Brid SIngs

Mother whispered "See, you don't have to think about doing the right thing.  If you're for the right thing, then you'll do it without thinking."


Adult Summer Reading Club - Banned book

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

A Trip to Davison Orchards

We only made it out once this year, but we rode the tractor out to the pumpkin field, which we've never done before.  The weather was perfect and it was a fun day.