Sunday, June 13, 2021

things you can do to support the Indigenous community right now



Listen to what the community is saying.  What has been discovered and is being discussed is not "history" or doesn't involve you.  This is an issue for everyone in Canada.


 Donate to the Tk̓emlúps te Secwépemc


Donations will be used toward the work that is needed for further investigation(scientific and archival) and later memorialize the children

Donations can be made at Cheques can be made out to Temlúps te Secwepemc and mailed to 200-330 Chief Alex Thomas Way, Kamloops, BC V2H 1H1

Go fund me - Find Our Lost Children - raising money to look for more lost children at other residential school locations.

 Donate to the Orange Shirt Society

Donate to the Indian Residential School Survivors Society 



Visit Native Land  -  research where you live and what traditional territory you live on.

Read stories about children who tried to return home but did not survive.  Read survivors stories.  Read about how these children were treated.

Read the Truth and Reconciliation Report and the 94 Calls to Action.

Read books and articles by Indigenous authors -  

8 Indigenous Womens Voices You Need To Hear

11 Indigenous Authors To Read 

108 Indigenous Writers recommended by CBC readers

35 Books To Read For National Indigenous History Month 2020 

Indigenous Canada course from Coursera

Saturday, May 29, 2021

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

ranch pickles

 A food trend from Tick Tok - Ranch flavored pickles.

This one didn't seem to have the staying power of the tomato and feta pasta recipe, but this one was easier and therefore more interesting to me.

See if you can keep up.  

Get a jar of dill pickles.  Get a package of ranch dressing.

Mix them together.

Let it sit in the fridge for a day, them eat them.

One thing I did was to cut the whole pickles into spears before I added the dressing mix.  I thought it might help the flavor soak in a bit more.

Verdict - they tasted like....pickles.  So, not a bad thing.  But I personally didn't think it added a lot of flavor.  The Mister however, really liked them, so maybe it's just me.

If you like pickles, this could be a fun snack to try this summer.

Saturday, May 22, 2021

cookbook cleanup books 23-25

 In which we say goodbye to one actual cookbook and 2 reference books.

The Great Rotisserie Chicken Cookbook - I've had this for a few years but only cooked one recipe, to my recollection.  It falls into that giant category that I have  - It's A Good Book, Just Not For Us.

These 2 reference books have been on my shelf for a LONG time......I was going to type an estimated number but it made me sad.  So we'll just stick with a long time.  They are both great books but....the internet. 

All these bad boys have been sent out into the world and I hope they find a good home.

Cookbook Cleanup results so far - Back on the bookshelf - 13  Donated -12

Friday, May 21, 2021

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

shoutout to essential oils and sprays

 ....for trying their best to keep me sane during the past year and some, and all the past years before that.

Here's what I've used up in the past month or so -

Aromaforce Peppermint oil is one of my favorite peppermint oils - I use peppermint pretty much daily against headaches, anxiety and general head fogginess.  I use it both in a diffuser as well as schmearing a drop under my nose and/or on my forehead.  Saje Deep Breath was for my diffuser; it's a good one with eucalyptus, peppermint and lavender.  I hate lavender, but you can't even smell it in this one, or at least I can't.  Saje Peppermint Halo - another great peppermint oil for headaches.
Forest Garden is a local company and this Citrus Cream oil blend is one of the best I've ever tried.  So good.  I have a bottle of their peppermint oil in my purse at all times.  Essenza Rosemary Mint came in some sort of kit.  Very minty.  Saje Rainforest - a woodsy one, not super strong.
Saje Energy Mist - I love a mist, and this is a really good one, with peppermint, lemon and rosemary.

Monday, May 17, 2021

book haul

 I had some time to kill recently before an appointment, so I stopped by Value Village to look at their used books.  In just a few moments I had an armful to take home.

 I love used books; they are (sometimes) cheap, hopefully there is lots of variety, and the best part is that you can donate them again so someone else can  have a turn.

These four above I had never heard of before, so far I've only read All We Ever Wanted Was Everything.  It was fine.

I'd heard of The Alice Network before, but none of the others.

I haven't been reading much so far this year.  I'm stressed and worn out and often can't concentrate on words on a page. 

I was excited to find Half-Blood Blues - I had this on my Amazon list for years but then it was no longer in print. 

Buy 4 books, get 1 free!  So I did, and for $50 I got 10 books.  Pretty good deal.

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

another new love - everything bagel seasoning

I FINALLY got my hands on a bottle of everything bagel seasoning, and I LOVE IT.   I put this shit on everything, including:

Egg salad in lettuce leaves

English Muffin with smooshed avocado

Bell pepper schmeared with cream cheese

Toast with butter

and salad too.

I have had to start using it more sparingly, as the one store I found that was carrying it has now been out of stock for weeks, so who knows if we'll ever see it again.

Wednesday, May 05, 2021

carrot cake with chocolate glaze

That title above would have made me keep moving past that recipe.  Carrot cake?  Great.  Love it.  With CHOCOLATE GLAZE?  What are you even talking about?  No way.  Get out of here.  Cream cheese frosting or maybe whipped cream, those are the only acceptable toppings for carrot cake.

Or so I thought.

The Grandpa found the recipe in the BC Liquor Store free magazine, and passed it on to me.  And that meant of course, that he was hoping I would make it for him.  Dang it.

I wasn't super excited, but if it wasn't good, he would get all the leftovers.


 Guys, it was good.  It was GOOD.  

Now I will say that it did not taste anything like a carrot cake.  If someone made it for you and didn't tell you it had carrots in it, I don't think you would know.  It just tastes like a nice cake with a delicious chocolate glaze.  And sometimes that's all you need.

Recipe: Chocolate Glazed Carrot Bundt Cake

Saturday, May 01, 2021

sunday dinner - soup and brownies

 Spring is finally here, although it is still coming and going.... we've had lots of gloomy days and lots of strong wind, which I hate, and not nearly enough rain.  We need a couple of good rainy days to wash away the grime and water the grass and trees.

I was hoping to put a rainy day vibe out there for Mother Nature with this Sunday dinner - a nice light but hearty soup and decadent brownies for dessert, but sadly, there was just more wind.

I wish I'd taken a photo of the greens, orzo and meatball soup I made from Smitten Kitchen.  Absolutely delicious!  I made a few changes; the grocery store didn't have any ground poultry for the meatballs so I used ground pork, and I broiled the meatballs before adding them to the soup.  It just felt right that day.  It was a pretty soup, and so tasty.  The kids enjoyed the meatballs and the orzo, but complained about "the green stuff" (spinach).  They didn't complain too much though, because they had both seen dessert and wanted to stay on our good sides so they would get a piece of - 


Chocolate Mousse Brownie - so good!  So easy!

I unfortunately slightly overcooked the brownie, so the crispy edges were VERY crispy, but it was very nice and the mousse on top was mmmmmmm good.

Happy May 1!  May.  I can't believe it.

Monday, April 26, 2021

Saturday, April 24, 2021

grocery shop April 18


blueberry pie, blackberries, raspberries, yogurt, ichiban, turkey burgers, chicken breasts, spinach, deli ham, deli chicken, turkey thighs, sirlion steak, tortillas, parsley, cheese, ground pork, captain crunch, becel, whipping cream, apple juice, coconut milk, milk, fries, sour cream, hot oats, cream cheese, applesauce cups, annie's mac and cheese, KD, goldfish crackers, pears, apples, granola bars, protein  bars, fruit leather, girl guide cookies, strawberry wafers, sugar, dr pepper, coke, ice tea, chocolate milk, pickles and 3 plants for the backyard.


Wednesday, April 21, 2021

dinner from The Wakayama Ramen Bar

 For the past 13 months of the pandemic, we've ordered dinner from a local restaurant one night a week.  Ok, occasionally 2 nights.  It was one of the ways we could  contribute to the economy and give me a break from cooking so that I didn't fully lose my mind.

Since the kids continue to be super picky and hate most food we usually go basic - burgers, pizza, chicken, sushi (The Boy loves sushi, the girl does not, but we can usually get her to eat some stirfry or noodles), and I either pick it up or we use delivery.  Sometimes we let the kids pick or have input on what we have, but since most of the time they yell "Burger!" usually The Mister and I pick.  And we do certainly have our fair share of burgers, which is fine, I like a good burger, but sometimes I want something different, more interesting, which is why recently I picked The Wakayama Ramen Bar for dinner.

The menu is, not shockingly, mostly ramen, but there are some rice bowls as well, and appetizers.  I researched the menu ahead our our take out night and looked up the unfamiliar to us words (Tonkotsu broth is pork bone broth, Chashu is pork belly, Kikurage are mushrooms) so I could figure out what the kids would eat.

We ordered an Original Shoyu Ramen for the kids to share, and got each of them a snack rice bowl.  The Girl had a Honey Garlic Chicken rice bowl and The Boy had Teriyaki Tofu rice bowl.

The Mister decided to try the Miso Ramen and I picked the Spicy Pork Ramen.  We also ordered some spring rolls and fried veggie dumplings.

I can't even begin to tell you how amazing everything smelled when it arrived.  The Mister and I were so excited to open everything up and get dinner ready.

 This is what my Spicy Pork Ramen looked like when I took the lid off:

There were a LOT of chile flakes on the dish, plus the dollop of "spicy paste" on the side.

You lift up the container and the broth is underneath in the bowl.

Dump in your meat and noodles and stir it up and you're ready to eat.

The Mister and I shared a milk coffee as well, but I'm not really sure how it tasted because....

My ramen was so freaking spicy.  Whooooooo.  Thank goodness I scraped off the spicy paste before I mixed the noodles and meat and veggies in.  It was HOT.  It was also super delicious and I loved it, but it was very spicy.  

The Mister loved his Miso Ramen - I did too, and while the kids were meh on the Shoyu Ramen, The Mister and I both thought it was delicious.  They did enjoy their rice bowls though, so yay.

Dinner was so amazing and we enjoyed very much.  The Mister went back on their website after dinner to pick what ramen he wants to try next, and while I will never again have the Spicy Pork Ramen, I can't wait to order from them soon.

Website: The Wakayama Ramen Bar

Sunday, April 18, 2021

food foto dump

 "Chapters Salad" - mixed lettuce with dill dressing, shredded marble cheese and sliced almonds


 Cheese buns

 Breakfast casserole with sausage, shredded potatos, green onions, eggs and lots of cheese

 French Onion Meatloaf and honey rolls

 Chicken and rice soup with a splotch of chile garlic paste

 Pasta with beef, tomato and feta

Toasted bagel with cucumber, tomato and hot sauce

Saturday, April 10, 2021

cookbook cleanup book 22 - Family Meals by Michael Smith

 The 22nd book I'm cooking from off my shelves is Family Meals by Canadian Chef Michael Smith.  I received this book as a Christmas gift when it came out.  I remember cooking from it a few times while I was on maternity leave - the chocolate coconut pudding is one of the best desserts I've ever made.

This time around we cooked 7 recipes from the book.

Nutmeg waffles - made a ton, they were fine.

 Beefy Broth - a funny name for a short rib recipe, but it was so delicious.

Bacon salad.  With crispy onions!!!!!

Fallen chocolate cake stuffed with whipped cream (above - very easy and delicious)


Caramel Chip Blondies (below - made with chocolate chips instead  - amazing!)

We also tried the Pickle Salad with Pickle Dressing which was so delicious and I will make again when (if) the weather warms up, and my very favorite recipe  - Rice and Dal.  SO good, SO easy, just such a winner.

I really enjoy this book, it has mouth watering photos of all the dishes, and a very casual writing style and feel.  There is a lot of variety and covers easy basics to more fancy meals.

This is a solid keeper and is staying on our shelf.

Current standings

Cookbook Cleanup results so far - Back on the bookshelf - 13  Donated -9

Friday, April 09, 2021

sadly, it me


Happy Friday y'all.

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

my shaken brown sugar oat espresso journey (so far)

 Since I mentioned my new favorite drink in this post a couple of weeks ago, I can't stop thinking about it.  It was delicious!  But I rarely leave the house, and Starbucks is pretty pricey, so all I did was dream of it.  And then I saw a video on the Tickey-Toks of a lady making her own, and I was like, I can do that too!

(BTW - another good person to follow on there is The Shaky Barista, who shows you how to make coffee shop drinks at home.)

So I made my own iced coffee at home and - it was pretty ok!

I put a couple of spoons of brown sugar, a dash of cinnamon and a tiny splash of vanilla into my jar, added a cup of hot coffee (6 oz pour from the ol' Keurig), and swished it around to dissolve the sugar.  I added a couple of scoops of ice, put the lid on the jar and gave it a good shake, then added milk to taste.  Not bad at all.

A friend told me about a brown sugar flavored syrup you can buy to add to your drinks, and just like that, I became the kind of person who has a bottle of flavored syrup in her cupboard to add to drinks.  I may also have become the kind of person who has a milk frother, but we'll leave that story for another day (when I've taken it out of the box and tried it). 

 It has a different taste than the actual sugar and cinnamon ingredients, but it's not bad.  

I've also learned there are sugar free syrups out there, 
which I might try once this bottle is gone, but we'll see.  
Who would have thought I'd be so in to making iced coffee?  Not me.