Saturday, September 28, 2019

Book Club - BlackkKlansman by Ron Stallworth



If one black man, aided by a bevy of good, decent, dedicated, open- and liberal minded whites and Jews can succeed in prevailing over a group of white racists by making them look like the ignorant fools they truly are, then imagine what a nation of like-minded individuals can accomplish.

The phone call ended, and we all started laughing.  First they got their ideas about how to light a cross from  a James Bond movie, and now they were bragging about secret handshakes.  It was as if Dennis the Menace was running a hate group.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Sunday Dinner - Instant Pot Beef Ribs

(We did have more than just ribs and taters.......there was some bbq corn and....carrots?  Cauliflower?  Something else for sure.)

On a trip to Costco I got to talking to this lady in front of a cooler of beef ribs.  She was telling me that she buys them and cooks them in coconut milk with lots of onions and garlic and hot peppers.  It sounded so good that The Grandpa picked up a package, even though I insisted that I didn't know how you would cook ribs in coconut milk.  Boil?  Bake?  
So in the end I went on a hunt for a beef rib recipe that would make delicious ribs (of course) but wouldn't take up too much time because we had plans that Sunday too.

I found some instant pot recipes, but The Grandpa was skeptical.  I can't blame him since the first recipe we made him with our IP was truly hideous, a dish not mentioned and best forgotten immediately.  But he left the choosing in my hands and with much prodding from The Mister I chose this recipe for Instant Pot Beef Ribs.

It was super easy, and took less than 2 hours, and we had gorgeous fall off the bone ribs.

A few things I did differently that I liked for me:
I browned the ribs in a frying pan so I could do them all at once rather than in batches, but while I was frying them, I added the broth and rosemary to the IP on saute.  By the time the ribs were browned and I had cooked the onions and garlic, the sauce was simmering which cut down on the amount of time it took the IP to get to pressure (about 20 minutes).
I also didn't thicken the sauce because I am ok with a thin sauce.
I got impatient waiting for the IP to release all the pressure naturally, so after 20 minutes of "natural release" (ew) I vented it out.

These were so good - so flavorful and tender.  Beef ribs and the instant pot go together well.

A blast from the past - the first and last time I cooked beef ribs - so long ago!

Saturday, September 21, 2019

My Mom's Tomato Basil Pasta, for the first time in a long time

I bought some absolutely beautiful tomatos earlier this month at the farmers market; the kind that smell and taste like a tomato should, and make the best tomato sandwiches.

We got home at 5:00 on the first Friday of the school year and I had successfully avoided taking the easy route and picking up pizza or burgers - yay! - and stuck with my plan of a quick pasta dish.  I didn't want to do a jarred pasta sauce, and I was leaning towards just a butter and Parm topping when I spotted the tomatos on the counter.  At first I thought I would just chop some up and add them raw to my and The Mister's bowl of noodles, but then I thought why not?  and did a slightly different version of my Mom's Tomato Basil Pasta

 While my noodles were cooking, I melted a lump of butter - probably 2-3 TB - in a pan over medium low heat.  
When it was bubbling, I grated in 5 big cloves of garlic, and stirred them around.  
Before they started to brown, I added 3 tomatos, sliced thinly.  They were so nice and juicy that I omitted the stock and wine from my mom's recipe, and just let the tomatos cook down.  
Right before the pasta was ready I scooped out some of the pasta water from the pot and added about 1/2 a cup to the tomato sauce, and then stirred in some fresh basil, thinly sliced.
I drained the pasta, added it back to the pot, and then poured the sauce in and added a small handful of Parmesan cheese.  
I let it sit for a few minutes and then plated it up.

We ate our pasta with some fruit and raw veg on the side in the living room, watching Amazing Race Canada.  A perfect Friday night.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Book Club - Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine by Gail Honeyman



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.