Friday, April 27, 2018

Book Club - The Bear by Clare Cameron

From the introduction to the book: "Identifying fault can comfort us because it provides a way to isolate the circumstances of an incident from our own situation, ensuring that what happened to these people will not happen to us."


I unearthed my old Kobo from the bottom of a drawer a month ago.  I knew I had a few unread books on there and thought it would be nice to have it to do some reading at breaks at work or kid activities.
I bought this one because it was so popular.  I had trouble with the narrative and ended up more skimming it than reading it.  And also, the idea of bear attacks always makes me nervous.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Easter Sunday Dinner - Scalloped Potatos and NIgella's Chocolate Cake and Sad Bread

We had a lovely delicious ham this Easter will all the trimmings. Busted out some special mustards, made some (mediocre, sadly) bread, and put on our elastic waist pants for the feast.

I made scalloped potatos from scratch which, frankly, I do not do often.  I quite like the box mix and I am not ashamed.  But we had a ton of potatos to use up and so my box scalloped mix sits on the shelf for another day.  

We made an enormous pan of potatos from Gimme Some Oven and they were very tasty.

For dessert I made Nigella's Easter Egg Nest Cake which is just a flourless chocolate cake covered in Easter candy.  I skipped topping the cake with chocolate whipped cream and candy, and we just scooped large dollops of cream on our slices on our plates.  It ain't a pretty cake, but it was so delicious I was forced to eat leftovers for breakfast a few days later.

I made the Milk Bread from 100 Breads and it didn't turn out super well. 

I think part of the problem was I didn't get my timing right and the dough wasn't ready to be baked before I needed the oven for the ham and potatos, and so I baked it in the toaster oven.  
Our toaster oven sucks.

It did have a nice flavor, it was just small and sad.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies

I made these based on Chocolate Sprinkle Crinkle Cookes from Joy the Baker.  I don't like sprinkles much so I was going to skip the step of rolling the cookies in them anyway, and when I pulled my box of baking supplies off the shelf to grab the chocolate chips I found a bag of peanut butter chips too and that sounded fun.

These cookies were easy to make and I liked that they used oil instead of butter especially since I didn't have butter that day.

I really need to get myself a cookie scoop or two.  Gotta have the right tools, you know?

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Snapshot - Canucks Flyer

My Dad unearthed this from a box of treasures in the basement.
Ticket prices have slightly changed over the years.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

This is a thing that I have, and also, book sale!

I recently read about tsundoku and laughed.  
Finally I can put a name to what I have been doing for years!  

I have been trying to get back to reading more but lately I've struggled with some of my 
choices and slowed right down, while at the same time receiving and using gift cards 
to the book store and moving books from the bookshelf in the basement to my room to read "soon" and this is what it looks like.

In related news, the Kamloops Symphony held their Spring Book Sale and we went.  Everyone got some books, and the Symphony got some of our money.
I got 5 books; a Thai cookbook, a novel and 3 memoirs.  
I tried to read Eat Pray Love years ago when it came out and I didn't like it and didn't finish it, but now that I'm old(er) I thought I would try again.  
I have had Pema Chodron's name on my list of authors to read for a couple of years, so I was excited to see one of her books.

I am currently struggling through a non fiction book that is interesting but a tough read, and a fiction book that I really don't like much.  I can't give up on either one, so I've got to just find some time and get them done so I can move on. 

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Kids Book Club - Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren

This came in a set of "Classics for kids" that we ordered from Scholastic.
The Girl and I read this, when I asked her what her favorite part was, she said "Pippi!"
I remember loving Pippi Longstocking when I was a kid but frankly I found her annoying as we read this book.  I am a tired mom.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Sunday Dinner - Irish Beef Stew

For St. Patrick's Day weekend I wanted to make a stew for Sunday dinner and I tried a new recipe - Irish Beef and Guinness Stew.
I try to avoid cooking with alcohol, so I subbed out the Guiness in the recipe with beef and mushroom broth.  It was a very very delicious stew.

I served the stew with mashed potatos and Ciabatta bread, perfect for dunking.

Sunday, April 08, 2018

easy ciabatta bread

I dusted off my copy of Paul Hollywood's 100 Great Breads a couple of weekends ago.  I feel like I always say the same thing, but this book is so great!

I wanted to make bread on a Sunday but I'd started late and didn't have a lot of time, so the Ciabatta bread was a perfect recipe to make to go with dinner that night - less than 2 hours of rising and baking time!

It made 4 beautiful little loaves that not only went well with our stew, but also made delicious sandwiches.

The recipe on the Paul Hollywood website differs slightly than the book; longer rising times, less yeast, but I am sure both will make delicious bread.

So far I have made 11 recipes from the book -
Crusty Cob
Cheese and Onion Soda Bread
Batch Bread
Cottage Loaf
Pain de Campagne
The Ciabatta dough, which we used the pizza dough
Onion Fougasse
Mince Pies
Mixed Rolls

I won't make all of the recipes in the book but there are so many more I want to try.  And I found a list tucked into the book from my dad - recipes he wants me to make for him.  So I better get cracking!

Thursday, April 05, 2018

Something I like - what i'm watching

For a few years I didn't watch much TV other than kids shows and the occasional movie if I could stay up long enough after the kids went to bed on a Saturday night.

Now that The Girl sleeps a little better I am getting back to some tv watching (not sure that is a good thing) at night and when I am attempting to work out in the mornings.

Here's what I'm watching in no particular order -

On "regular" TV

Last Man on Earth - this show is so weird and I love it.  We laugh every episode.

Full Frontal- I am super behind in this one but this one is hard to binge watch because it gets too depressing.  Samantha Bee is the best.

Will and Grace- I would watch Jack and Karen forever.

Over on Netflix

Riverdale - I started watching this at nights on my phone when I couldn't sleep when my mom died.  Sure I roll my eyes now and then, but I like it.  Bughead forever.

Queer Eye - Heart emoji, crying emoji.  I was a big fan of the original show and I love this one too.   Espech Johnathan and Tan. Cried through most of the episodes.  My only quibble  - and I know I am sounding like an old mom - is that I wish it was a bit more PG rated with the language so I could have watched it with my kids.  I would love for them to see this show and the love and friendship and acceptance. 

My Next Guest Needs No Introduction - I have always liked David Letterman and I really like this new show.  The Barack Obama episode made me cry and buy one of his books. 

Somebody Feed Phil - Stumbled across this one while looking for a background show while the kids were still up.  This is a fun show.  This is a happy show.  This is a show that makes me wish I had money to travel

Love Your Garden - another good one to watch with the kids.  People helping people, beautiful gardens and me fretting about if everyone can keep all those plants alive.  Netflix, please release more seasons asap!

Monday, April 02, 2018

Book Club - Midnight at the Dragon Cafe by Judy Fong Bates

"But with it there is my mother's fierce defense of me and the soft weight of her arm across my shoulders: one of the last moments in my childhood when my mother made everything right." 

 "She looked at me, her expression a mixture of wonder and horror. "The Gods have overlooked you."

 "I might have thrown our secret in the open, but nothing had changed. We returned to living in silence."

This is another one from the book swap at my work. I had picked it out for my Mom to read in the hospital, but she didn't.