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.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Book Club - Beautiful Boy by David Sheff


Along with the joy of parenthood, with every child comes a piercing vulnerability.  It is at once sublime and terrifying.

"You've got to wonder what Jesus was like at seventeen,"  Anne Lamott wrote.  "They don't even talk about it in the Bible, he was apparently so awful."

He tells us Al-Anon's Three Cs: "You didn't cause it, you can't control it, you can't cure it."

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Book Club - Buddhaland Brooklyn by RIchard C. Morais


"There is no such thing as a small job.  Only a small mind."

But such is the way with bullies and charlatans.  They scurry under rocks at the merest challenge.

"It is an illusion to think we can do whatever we want, without consequences."

The privilege to be alive.
The immense privilege.

Monday, July 29, 2019

Book Club - The Tao of BIll Murray by Gavin Edwards


.....The America public has a hard time accpeting a woman in certain jobs (ghostbusting, presidenting), no matter how qualified she is for it or how much marketing muscle is behind her.

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Book Club - Where'd You Go, Bernadette?


"The sooner you learn it's on you to make life interesting, the better off you'll be."

I felt so alone in this world, and so loved at the same time.

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Book Club - The Nest by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney


"Party is an attitude, not a destination."

Why was it so easy to wound the people you loved the most?

Friday, July 26, 2019

Book Club - The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith


Perhaps it had rekindled because her hero, like all the best heroes, was dead; perhaps it would burn forever now, like an eternal flame, and she would forget the worst and cherish the idea of him she once loved.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

1 weekend, 2 recipes from Jamie Oliver

I borrowed Friday Night Feast by Jamie Oliver from the library this Spring and made Saturday and Sundays dinners from it.

Instead of lamb in the Epic Lamb Kebabs I used pork.  
They were good, but the star of the recipe was the flatbreads.  Delicious!  

For Sunday dinner we tried the Carbonara Cake - and used up some leftover ham from the freezer too (woot woot).  This was soooooooooo good, a bit nerve wracking to get it cooked and crispy but not make the pasta so hard it wasn't good eats, but I managed.

There was also some braided cheese bread, but I don't recall that recipe.  Looked good though.


Jamie Oliver related posts from long ago:

ABC's of Food - J is for Jamie Oliver 

Saturday, July 20, 2019

a delicious peanut butter and chocolate treat

Man, those guys are work are so lucky to have me.

Here's another treat I made them - chocolate peanut butter no bake cheesecake bars.

These bars are super simple and also super delicious.
It's light and fluffy and dreamy as long as you don't think about calories and fat.

Who doesn't love chocolate?  Or peanut butter?

Some other peanutty faves from over the years:

Friday, July 19, 2019

Book Club - Stay Sexy and Don't Get Murdered by Karen Kilgariff & Georgia Hardstark

I'm coming at you with 5 days of Book Club to get those out of the way so I can post my books for the Adult Summer Reading Club!


Fuck Politemess

...you're responsible for your own quality of life.  

Don't be a fucking lunatic.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Book Club - Audiobook - My Squirrel Days by Ellie Kemper

I'm coming at you with 5 days of Book Club to get those out of the way so I can post my books for the Adult Summer Reading Club!



Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Book Club - I'll Be Gone In The Dark by Michelle McNamara

I'm coming at you with 5 days of Book Club to get those out of the way so I can post my books for the Adult Summer Reading Club!



But every so often a blue moon surfaces.  A snow leopard slinks by.

At thirty-nine I understood my mother's love for me for the first time.

She was born with a true cop's heart and mind - she craved justice, not glory.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Book Club - Big Gal Yoga by Valerie Sagun

I'm coming at you with 5 days of Book Club to get those out of the way so I can post my books for the Adult Summer Reading Club!



You can't change the past; you can change the future.

I can't be anyone or anything else than who and what I am.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Book Club - Is Your Chair Killing You? by Kent Burden

I'm coming at you with 5 days of Book Club to get those out of the way so I can post my books for the Adult Summer Reading Club!



"If you stand still long enough, death will find you."

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Adult Summer Reading Club 2019

The 2019 Summer Reading Challenge is underway at the TNRD Library.

This year is a bit different - there are 12 spots to be filled in, with any book you like as long as it has one of the letters on each line.  The exclamation mark is a wild card.

It's a shorter list than prior years so I might have a shot of completing it before the end of the summer.

Details above if you want to join in - submissions must be received by the library by August 24.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Cookbook Cleanup - Book 2 - Nigella Express

The second book in my cleanup is Nigella Express which I got for Christmas 
wayyyyyyy back in 2007.

This one has always been on the edge for me - there is a lot of stuff in here I won't ever make either because it isn't appealing or it contains ingredients I can't find.  Every time I think about cleaning out my shelf I always think this one should go, and this time was no different; even before I had opened it to find some recipes to try I was already thinking I would add it to the donate pile.

I have had some good luck with this one in the past - the crepe sandwich recipes are good, the scallops and chorizo and the banana butterscotch muffins too. 
The real winner of this book for me is and always will be her Rapid Ragu; which she makes with ground lamb and I make with ground turkey- and tomatos, lentils and cheese.  Delicious and comforting.  

I chose 4 recipes to make - Flourless Chocolate Brownies, Goujons of Sole with Dill Mayonnaise, Home-made Instant Pancake Mix, and Macaroni Cheese.  

First up was the Sole and it was an easy recipe to follow that produced crunchy fish and a tasty sauce.  The pancake mix was easy to mix up, and also easy to scoop and prepare a nice breakfast of 'cakes.

The Flourless Chocolate Brownies were so easy and produced one of the BEST brownies I've ever had.  They were raved about.  The sun and the heat came out here, so the Macaroni Cheese was swapped out for Instant Chocolate Mousse; a recipe I have stared at for years.  I needed to make a birthday dessert and had all the ingredients on hand and this was another one that knocked it out - such a fabulous mousse from a simple recipe. 

This book is not a perfect fit for me, but it does keep showing me that it has some great recipes, and I need to get over my assumption that it isn't worth keeping.  It stays!

Bookshelf - 2  Donation pile - 0

Monday, July 08, 2019

Beautiful BC - Harrison Hot Springs

Happy Summer!  

This Spring we took a trip to Harrison, our first time.  The weather was cloudy and cool but the water was warm and there was a poolside bar so we were happy. 

Friday, June 07, 2019

Book Club - Becoming by Michelle Obama


Since stepping reluctantly into public life, I've been held up as the most powerful woman in the world and taken down as an "angry black woman.".  I've wanted to ask my detractors which part of that phrase matters to them the most - is it "angry" or "black" or "woman"?

He was asking for forgiveness.  He was saying goodbye.

When they go low, we go high.

And I will always wonder about what led so many women, in particular,  to reject an exceptionally qualified female candidate and instead chose a misogynist as their president.

Tuesday, June 04, 2019

Cookbook Cleanup - Will it stay or will it go? Book 1 - Simple Chinese Cooking

I am in clean out mode around here - well, I wish to be in clean out mode, but time and my family work against me.  I would love to declutter this house top to bottom but - when?  and how to get around these other 3 people who complain when I touch their stuff?  Ugh.

So far I've cleaned out the 2 bathrooms and reorganized the drawers and that felt good.  Next up is my part of the closet and my dresser - will I continue to hold on to all these clothes that no longer fit in hopes that I WILL drop some of these pounds???? - stay tuned!

I am also going to clean up the bookcases - both reading books and cookbooks and that's what this is about.  

A few years back I did a cookbook shelf clean up on Instagram and I kept meaning to bring it over here but didn't.

This is an area of my life that could definitely use some cleaning up, so I am going to go through all my cookbooks and see which ones should stay with us and which should move on so they can be more appreciated by someone else.


First up is Simple Chinese Cooking by Kylie Kwong.  A search for Kylie on my blawg reveals I got the book in 2007 (!) and that we loved the dishes we've tried.  I can't remember what I made out of here in the last cookbook clean up, but whatevs.  

This time we made (in order of appearance in the book):
White-Cooked Chicken with Soy and Ginger Dressing 
Crispy Kings Prawns with Honey and Garlic Sauce
Asparagus with Baby Corn
Stir Fried Hokkien Noodles with Chicken and Oyster Mushrooms

While a couple of the dishes weren't quite what I was expecting - the white cooked chicken had a lot of ($$) stuff in it but was surprisingly mild tasting dish; the crispy prawn batter didn't make for a crispy prawn - everything was very good, and easy to make.  I would make any of these again, along with what we've already tried, and there is much more I look forward to making.

This one stays on our shelf!

Monday, June 03, 2019

Intentions - enough with the sugar already

So, how did I do on my 4 goals last week?

1.  No more ice tea - Not bad!  I had a bit more tea that I thought, but once it was gone, I switched to water and the no sugar no flavor no fun sparkling waters I bought.  HOWEVER, The Mister casually mentioned a few days in that I did indeed have some more tea in the basement.  I lasted another day and then opened it and drank it.  Hey, I can't waste it right????
But - I think I am doing pretty good with this one.

2.  No more ice caps - I am not doing as well with this one.

3.  Portion size - I think this has been going well.

4.  Moving every day - I did well until Thursday and Friday when The Boy and I both got sick.  Getting back on track.

I also tried a "detox tea" recipe I found online, allegedly from Jillian Michaels - where you mix dandelion tea, unsweetened cranberry juice and lemon juice and drink like 2 liters of it a day for 7 days, to lose up to 5 pounds of water weight.  I did that Sunday to Thursday, then missed Friday, Saturday due to illness and Sunday due to not having my shit together, so I will do the last 2 days today and tomorrow to finish my 7 days.

Well, am I down any pounds this week????
Down 2 pounds!

I am super happy with this as it was a sick/carb heavy weekend.  So, that 2 pounds is probably water weight I will promptly gain back this week.  :)

Goals for the week -

1.  Move the bod.
3. Make snacks healthy.
4. Lots of water.

Saturday, June 01, 2019

Book Club - Difficult Women by Roxane Gay


We sit, not speaking to each other, filling the quiet around us.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019


Way back in Calgary times, we would sometimes go to a pub called Limericks - which Google tells me is still there!  We had a few few favorites on the menu - yorkshire puddings stuffed with beef, chips with curry sauce, and boxty - a traditional Irish potato "pancake".

Potatos have always been one of my very favorite foods, so who can be surprised I would love a potato pancake topped with more food?

I was going to make a version like they had/have at the pub; with chicken in a sauce, but stuff happened and so instead I made them for breakfast topped with sauteed onions and bacon.

Check out these recipes :  Traditional Boxty and Creamy chicken boxty