Tuesday, March 31, 2020

my favorites in march

So, March really blew up didn't it?

I hope you are safe and well, and staying as positive and calm as you can.  
It is hard some days.

Here's a list of things I enjoyed in March, one of the longest, strangest, upsetting months in the history of the world.


by the book podcast - a quasi self help/info podcast where the 2 hosts choose a self help book to live by and share the results on the show.  Very fun, occasionally sad and startling.  For someone who has a ton of self help books lying around but never finds the time to read them, I like this one.


hula seventy - a magical spot. The author finished up a year of daily lists late last year, and February 1st of this year began a year of daily small stories.  This blog has buoyed my spirits more than once the past few weeks.


Carbs, but especially fresh bread baked by The Mister.  
The Mister is coping with all these goings on by baking a lot of bread.  
I am coping by eating a lot of bread.  


Disneyland rides on Youtube.

Our family is a big fan of Disneyland, and watching youtube videos of their rides (as well as Harry Potter land and Universal Studios) has brought some fun and laughs to some of our nights.


Hearts and Rainbows

A big big thank you to all the heathcare, first responders, city and provincial workers, store employees and all who are putting themselves out there to provide services for the world.  
You are truly the best.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Have you made Dalgona Coffee yet?

One of the "perks" to have youngish kids is we have no social life outside the house, so staying inside on weekends isn't too much work for us.  I was surfing the internet one weekend night and I read an article about this iced coffee recipe from South Korea that uses just 3 ingredients to make a delicious and funky looking iced coffee.

I did some googling and went with this version, the main difference from other versions being using hot water instead of ice water.

It is super simple - you mix 2 tablespoons each of instant coffee granules, sugar and hot water in a bowl and either whisk by hand or beat with a mixer until it becomes much lighter and thick and billowy.

You pour a cup of milk into a tall glass, add a couple of ice cubes, and spoon the thick coffee mixture on top.  Take a couple of artful shots of the drink (not cruddy ones like mine) and then mix the coffee cream into the milk and drink.

This is SO GOOD and SO EASY and provides a few minutes of fun and then a delicious drink - even the kids liked it, as seen above as The Girl chugged some down.

I could definitely see making this in the summer and it'll be way cheaper and lower in sugar and fat than buying an iced coffee out.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Book Club - Dear Girls by Ali Wong



I also understood why my mom wasn't into processing her feelings, and how she was taught to just get over tragedy.  To survive, she had to belive things like depression and alergies were a choice.  In a culture entrenched in wartime, those who chose to be unhappy or to refuse gluten didn't last long.  

My dad would sometimes say things to my mom like, "Devil, get away, for I am God's property!"

Friday, March 27, 2020

Book Club - In the Valleys of the Noble Beyond by John Zada



As we drift into the head of the inlet with sights set on the distant shore, a firm resolve takes hold of me.
I start making plans for my return.

"This is our backyard.  We know it better than anyone else.  That should be proof enough."
"But your word alone won't convince others." I say.
"That's all right, we're not trying to convince anybody."

"The Great Bear Rainforest, this whole coast, is the Noble Beyond.  This is the land of serendipity, man.  The ultimate landscape of myth, magic and metaphor."

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Book Club - The Coven of Mystics by Ted Naifer



The forest stirred suddenly, and Courtney felt an awful thrill tickle her spine.
Something was coming.

Courtney wished for some days afterward she hadn't asked.  It seemed there were some things she didn't need to know after all.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Book Club - Red White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston



"But I don't know if she has it in her anymore to be a part of anyone's happiness."

Have been home for three hours.  Already miss you.  This is some bullshit.

You're brave.  I could use some of that.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Book Club - Get A Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert



If I had died today, what would my eulogy say?

"You always say such lovely things to me, Red.  Do you say them to yourself?"

Monday, March 23, 2020

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Hi.  How are you?  I hope you are ok.  I hope you're doing your best and taking care.  Drink lots of water but cut yourself some slack if you, like me, have eaten more than one cookie before breakfast this week.  Wash your hands lots and look in the cupboard to see if you have any lotion to combat lizard skin hands.  Be kind when you are out at the store.  Let seniors go ahead of you.  Help others find what they need.  Don't take more than you need.

Try not to worry too much about what you can't control.  Don't spend too much time on social media.  Listen to music.  Read books.  Make art.  Move your body.

Make these cookies!

Joy The Baker calls these The Best Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie, and I think she's right.


Sunday, March 22, 2020

Something I Like - Instagram Dance Parties

For the past few days at 2 pm (pacific) Mark Kanemura aka @mkik808 on Instagram has been holding virtual dance parties on his Instagram Live.

I've been following him for a while now - he is a fun and positive person on Instagram and has does the best dance and costume posts.
Now with all the craziness and indoor times, his dance parties are something we all look forward to every afternoon.  The Girl dresses up and we all sing and dance and huff and puff.

Check out @mkik808 on Instagram!

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Cookbook Cleanup Book 15 - It's All Easy

Next up is It's All Easy by Gwyneth Paltrow.  This is her 3rd book, and the one I have cooked the least out of.  This is one of those books that I would love to really love and cook out of lots, but my children would never allow it.  But we are working on it, and them, and we tried 5 recipes.

First was Shrimp Stir-Fry, (with some alterations to the sauce) with shrimp and snow peas.  It was easy to make and very good.

Next was Turkey Meat Loaf which again, with a few modifications - was really really good.  I would definitely make it again.

From the breakfast section we tried Breakfast Crepes (aka pancakes) which again, were easy to make and very good.  The kids loved them.

I put the Chicken Enchiladas on the menu one night, but when the night came they seemed like too much work, so instead we made the sauce - left out the spice for the kdis - and served the sauce with ground beef for tacos.  It was good; The Boy was crazy about it and finished off the leftovers for lunch the next day.

I love chia pudding, so I tried the Ginger Chia Pudding with ginger and coconut water.  Easy to make and delicious.

We enjoyed everything we tried and nothing was difficult or complicated.

There's definitely more dishes I want to try - Zuni Sheet Pan Chicken, Noodle Pot Soup, Chicken Salad Nori Wrap, Chocolate Mousse (made with avocado and almond butter), Balsamic Macerated Berries with Cashew Cream, and many more.

This is a good book with some interesting ingredients and lots of nice photos.
It stays.

Cookbook Cleanup results so far - Bookshelf - 8  Donated - 7

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Snapshot - Sunday activities

staying home, avoiding contact, baking cookies and bread, drawing, always doing laundry, 
reading books, making soup, fortnight on xbox, looking for leprechauns, 
youtube dance parties, lego, sitting in the sun.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Book Club - The Night Things by Ted Naifeh



"There are worse things than solitude." She thought to herself.

After all, what was more likely?  That the world was filled with complete doofuses?  Or that there might be something wrong with her?

Sunday, March 08, 2020

butternut squash orzo

I made this squash orzo risotto one Sunday last month and it was so delicious and pretty that I wanted to try to get a good photo - and the sun was so strong so I took the dish out to the back porch in the sunshine, snapped a couple of pictures that I didn't crop the rugs bits out of, and stood and enjoyed the warm February air.

Spring is almost here, and I can't wait!

Wednesday, March 04, 2020

Snapshot - Bacon and Tomato Jam

Bacon and tomato jam, brie on a toasted bun.  Happy place.

Tuesday, March 03, 2020

Book Club - American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins



In the months to come, Luca will sometimes wish he hadn't squandered these early days of grief.  He'll wish he'd let it pierce and demolish him more.  Because, as the forgetting part takes anchor and stays, it will feel like a treachery. 

Luca can smell the wood of the fire, the cocoa and cinnamon of the chilate, and that's how he knows Rebecca is magical, because she can transport him a thousand miles away into her own mountain homestead just by the sound of her voice.

That night Luca sleeps the best kind of sleep, he sleeps without dreaming.