Thursday, May 22, 2014

Spring is in the Air... and on My Balcony Part 1

It's that time of year! The long weekend came and went with a little bit of rain but a lot of sun that just made it so wonderful to be outside.

For the last few years I've been living in the city I've wanted to have a 'garden' on my balcony. Not having a garden or a lawn or green space is hard in the city, even though I do live in a fairly green neighbourhood. I think it's that there is something lovely about making from scratch, getting your hands dirty and making it grow.

I may have caught this itch from my grandmother on my father's side, my Nan, who was an impeccable gardener. She could make just about anything grow and had the most beautiful gardens when I was a girl, and kept great gardens up until she died. I best remember her cascading lawn garden with levels upon levels of fruits, flowers and vegetables. It felt like they were growing from nothing they always brought around the best birds and insects. My grandparents home in St. Catherines was like a secret garden, but I have a feeling I may be remembering it with rose coloured glasses.

Either way I've always wished I had an ounce of the talent she did with plants, but sadly there is a point I must confess; I do not have the greenest thumbs and in turn kill quite a few of my plants. Even the ones that are guaranteed to not die. I'm that good. So with the coming of warm weather I began a plan and plot for grander, though probably not truly 'grande' designs.

This is part one, of two parts (I think). Now as much as I love pretty flowers and plants I love cooking more and thought I'd try my hand at herbs and vegetables.

First thing I did was grab the essentials.

Soil



I had a bit of a time finding out how much I needed, 30L ending up being a large amount but it led t a two part project so I can't complain. That and Zach was a joy to help carry this back home as we do not have a car. It's organic, which I wouldn't normally bother with except for the fact that we'll be eating what comes out of this dirt. The nursery suggested going with this one and since it only cost a dollar or two more than the 20L non-organic I thought 'what the hell'.

Planter


I went with a longer planter so that maybe I could hang it later or it could sit outside on the table. It came with a solid bottom which was not what I needed so out came the drill!



These are the small but effective holes Zach drilled in the bottom of my planter that will allow for proper drainage. Which, again getting a little convessiony, is important as I overwater like a champ and must have that drainage to keep from smothering my lovely new veg with all the water.

Plants.... and Pommies


I guess something for the dirt would be smart? And what better to plant than onions, hot portugal peppers and 'comedy third option' (as Zach calls it) leeks! Not to mention we all need a drink here and there while gardening, especially on a nice, warm and sunny day in early spring.

I'm always a fan of all kinds of onions so I gravitate towards onions and leeks. I might not be getting huge yield on these vegetables but as the other half keeps reminding me, this is for fun! So what if they die.

A Touch of Spring


And there we have it! A small box happily filled (pun intended) with some hopefully tasty vegetables. It's still a little on the cold side right now so I don't think they'll be living outside in the evenings (I'll truck them in to my kitchen table, where all my other plants live).


I'm generally pleased with the progress on the weekend, was able to get a bit of part two started and can't wait to do more.

On a side note, remember to keep your plants up high enough, or have a squirt bottle ready.


This is what happens when your cats, who don't like onions, but like the stems of onions get near your newly potter plants. Bad Oscar. 


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

GTFU F&V Challenge: Rutabega

Last week I set up a challenge. By last week I mean maybe five minutes ago to me time but through the power of blogging I am both then and now and tomorrow!

Okay I'll admit that was strange, moving on.

Rootabegga.
Rutevega.
Rombegarootvut... ga.

RUTABEGA

Image copyright gridphilly.com

It's a 'rut' vegetable. Get it?
I know nothing about it other than the fact that it looks like a dirty smushed colourless radish. What does one do when they know nothing?
WIKIPEDIA.
Or google. Whatever. Shut up and listen to my mad research skillz.

The rutabega is a cabbage turnip abomination of mad science or crazy silly nature with both edible roots and leaves. Livestock eat it so I guess it's cool for people too. Something about Swedish turnips... and I'm done. That's enough of that. Thanks Wikipedia. You've been most helpful.

Shop

How does one buy said magical cabnip baby? (Way better name if you ask me but rutabaga is so much fun to say.
According to the internet at RealSimple.com "Select rutabagas that are 3 to 5 inches in diameter—the smaller, the sweeter—and that feel firm, smooth, and heavy, with no cracks or soft spots. They may have a wax coating that prevents moisture loss."

I wish I had paid more attention to this when picking up my rutabaga.

Cook

Now I don't promise this each time but I decided to cook it two ways!


Mashed Rutabaga

Image copyright UpsetAppleCart 2014
Ingredients

  • Milk
  • Water
  • Rutabaga
  • salt
  • heavy cream
  • garlic 
  • butter
Directions (loosely based on recipe from FoodNetwork.com)

  1. Peel and roughly chop rutabaga. 
  2. Place in a pot and cover with equal parts milk and water; add a pinch of salt. 
  3. Bring to a simmer and cook until soft.
  4. Drain. 
  5. Puree (using food processor or immersion blender) with cup heavy cream and butter. 
  6. Cook a few sliced garlic cloves.

 

Rutabaga Fries 

(from the NoviceHouseWife.com)
Ingredients
  • Rutabaga
  • Olive oil
  • Seasoning (cajun for me)
  • Parmesan cheese (optional) 
Directions
I suggesting going over to the NoviceHouseWife.com to get the full directions. 


Verdict

Sadly there aren't any reaction pictures because it turns out, I can't take my own pictures and the other half is working. Boo hoo.
Mashed

Taste summary: Eh. It tasted like cauliflower but the texture was.... not what I liked. I added butter and salt, more than what was requested and then it tasted like fluffy, almost grainy butter. I don't think I liked it. It wasn't terrible though, just not my cup of tea in mashed form. The illusion of it looking like a potato threw me off, I was expecting something other than cauliflower tasting mush. I can see it working well with some green or an onion but it's missing something.
I did not finish it. Consistency of baby food. That might not be the fault of the vegetable but my cooking skillz.


Fries

Taste summary: THEY TOOK TOO LONG TO COOK! OMG. Some parboiling probably should have happened. My only fear was that I'd boil boil them and then BAM you'd have mush fries. So I'm still waiting while they cook. It's taking a while...

I burned them. No more Rutabaga.

Sigh. 




Friday, May 9, 2014

Grow the Fuck Up and Eat Your Damn Fruits and Vegetables... Challenge

I don't eat enough fruits and vegetables. There is no long of this short and crappy fact. In this age of processed poop where I am brainwashed into feeling good about eating a macaroni and cheese that 'contains one serving of vegetables' in their not so cheesy tasting "cheese" sauce, something is obviously very wrong.

There are some truths about my eating habits I have to admit.
  • I over eat like a champ. That's probably not something to be proud of but if it was I would be.
  • I love the shit out of carbs. Carbs and I have a long standing love hate relationship. It's mostly based on me loving them and then hating the handles of love we've built together. Such mighty mighty handles. Also, typing carbs instead of crabs is really hard. That sentence would have had a totally different context if I didn't reread what I wrote. 
  • Sugar is sweetest when in my mouth. This was more true the younger I was, or said less awkwardly the older I get the less I like sugar. 
  • Salt is the nectar of the gods and of my probably high as hell blood pressure-y veins. 
  • I look good in red (meat). I mean I'm sure I do. I don't wear meat often, or ever unless you count your body as meat, then we're all wearing meat but... I like red meat. 
  • Bacon. Bacon. Bacon. No explanation required. 
Notice how in all that mess not a fruit or vegetable made an appearance. This is a problem. 
Now I can't blame macaroni and cheese, the government, my mom, that guy outside New York Fries giving out free samples or the... weather for not eating what I should. 
That shit is entirely on me. 

I'm less inclined to make the right decision on food habits due to pressure from a million and a half places but everyone deals with shit so today I'm telling myself to grow the fuck up and eat your damn fruits and vegetables. 

The GTFU F&V Challenge

One day a week I will try a new fruit or vegetable. I will start with, but is not exclusive to, fruits and vegetables I have either never tried before or have not tried in years because 'I'm sure I don't like it'. It may also include trying F&V I'm sure I don't like because why the hell not! Or you know, eating fruits and vegetables I already like. 

Rules

I dunno. Let's see... 
  • I have to eat it. I can't drink or juice it. Lemons are going to suck so hard.
  • It must be a fruit or vegetable. No magical bacontato here. Man... if that existed though I would eat the hell out of it. 
  • If it's in my grocery store(s) I have to try it. Well has it in an edible condition.
  • Try it both raw and cooked (if it can be eaten raw).
  • Will take suggestions from commenters on what to try next if available in my area.
  • Reaction photo's are required where possible because I make hilarious faces. 
If you think of cooler rules tell me. Can't hurt to make it interesting. The first step will be to keep it with the season and try to stay local (to keep the costs down) until I run out of local selections. I'm going to use this Availability Guide for Ontario produce from www.ontario.ca to guide me each month. 

Point/Prize

Why the hell am I doing this? For a healthier outlook and a wider pallet for F&V to incorporate into my regular diet? A range of hilarious photo's of me making faces while eating? A sense of understanding in what I do and don't like? A list of what F&V work with bacon? Because bacon. 



Who the hell knows if I'll keep up with it or not. Maybe I'm slightly inspired by watching Julie and Julia but tempered with less aspirations for a book or movie deal. 

I aim to start this on Monday by picking a vegetable from the grocery store. There is a great chance I'm a giant wuss and will pick something simple I'm sure will be good but everyone starts somewhere and I like to be kind to me. 

Any suggestions? 


Thursday, May 1, 2014

Mother's Day Carding 2013

Last year I made some lovely cards for Mothers Day. It didn't take much in the way of supplies or skill but certainly made more than a few smiles because it did take some time. This can be a simple DIY project you do each year, I could link you to a million resources online for how to so I will try to keep it brief. These cards go well with DIY gift baskets of some things you know they'll love.

Supplies you'll need:

  • Card stock in varying colours and patterns
  • Scissors
  • Sewing needle
  • Thread
  • Tape (double sided) or glue
One thing to remember, or that I like to, is that it's all about layers. 


In this "MOM' card I've layered behind the 'MOM' enough that the letters really pop. Which they do in being another print as well. Playing around, it's a lot of fun. In doing your own cards you can't really go wrong. No one will throw it in your face and scream 'DO IT AGAIN BUT BETTER'. That'd just be mean as all hell. 

I like to layer card stock on card stock to great an embossed look that just feels nice in your hands. 


Like the hearts in this card. Not just one layer, but two layers of them, with a bit of tape beneath to give the look like the hover. I had to be particularily careful putting them in an envelope but they looked really nice. 



Dots: I love using a needle to create shapes in the card. 



This leads well to embossing if you are so inclined, but the cards look nice just with a little poking too. 


As posts go this is a pretty tame one but had some cute ideas that I used for last year. Maybe I'll do the same this year for the Mom's and Gma's out there. 




Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Indigo Fall Preview 2014

Last Thursday I attended the 2014 Indigo Fall Preview. The organizer was fantastic and certainly offered of help while I walked around and snapped my photos. This was my first 'preview' and somewhat more 'official' blogging event so I may have been a little on the quiet side but hey, it was fun! I wish I'd stayed a little longer but I didn't know anyone else attending and felt a little out of place. Most people had just come from work and looked fabulous while I was a little... more comfortable looking. Totally my own isms there but I know what to expect now.

I took a lot of photos and if anyone has a question about any please let me know in the comments. I want to point out a few things I loved and want to share though! So... Where do I start?


The Big Book


National Geographic: Around the World in 125 Years. This is a beautiful volume of photographs from various places around the world. When I say huge, I mean huge. It is a three volume collection of fantastic photos that will leave you in awe. The quality of the printing is exceptional and because of that so is the price($450+). From what we were told at the preview only a select number of copies will be printed (I want to say somewhere around three thousand) which means there is certainly one hell of a demand on these. I could go on for a while about this collection but I think hearing it from their webpage would be best. You can read more about it on Chapters.Indigo.ca, but really it was so beautiful. Photo's don't do it justice.



Journals

I may have a small obsession with writing journals and stationary accessories. And by may I mean I do. With that said there are a few lovely new items coming out this fall that I would love to have! And would probably be too afraid to write in once I do have them.

 


All of them are adorable but I am absolutely drawn to the tree. Sadly it was on the top most shelf and my camera phone does not do it justice. Something neat to note as well, I'm not sure it's all their journals, but some of the new journal lines Indigo will be releasing this year will actually be branded with 'Indigo' on the back. Something I didn't know was new and not tried before.


The Grand Table



I loved this table set up and thought it was a wonderful way to feature so many beautiful new products they're launching. I will get into the details of my favourite items but it's really worth a look through all the photos to see the fantastic angles, products, colours and options you can get. Not to mention the bread looked delish!

Love that Jug


I couldn't get enough of the porcelain dish ware they had there! I really couldn't. It was a lovely matt finish and seemed so rustic (I see what you're doing with the country chic there Indigo!). I went a little crazy on the adorable scale with photos when it came to the beautiful little collections around the space.


This spoon killed me! It's shaped like a branch and was beautifully made. not to mention little cute porcelain cup? Yup. I died. I just like small little adorable things. 


Oh hey look, it's the jug again. Coupled with copped mugs? Cutting boards? Yup. I would buy each and everyone of these had I the money or place to put them.


The inclusion of wood to definitely go crazy on the 'fall' theme was actually quite pleasant. I've always be partial to wood finish vs paint and seeing so much of it was nice. The Fall preview was probably the one I'll like the most (hoping I'm invited to more of course).


Mason Jar's


I get it internet, Mason jars are cool again. Hipsters are obsessed (I have a cupboard full because jam jars, or mason jars, are cheap as all hell and I bought a dozen or two for like 10$) and I get it. Now I have to give Indigo credit on this because my love for the mason jar coupled for my love of little things is like a double 'BUY THIS' whammy. But what is it for? Shots? I like my shots a little larger... so maybe for cute little things to go in cute little glass mason jar mugs. Either way, I loved these. Even if I don't see their point aside from making me go 'ZOMG That's adorable!' and get strange stares from the rest of the room.

Swag



Can you say no to swag? Indigo was awesome and sent me home with some great little neat things. Going around, we have:

  • Mother's Day Mag (good timing on that one)
  • Home/Garden mag/book/thingy that had some fantastic ideas
  • lotion (those little green and pink containers)
  • Pluck Tea that Indigo will be stocking in the fall. I haven't tried it yet, maybe I'll reserve my opinions until after. I tend to be a little pick with tea. 
  • A DIY snow-globe. It seemed a little out of place with the fall preview but hey, free is free!
  • Note book
  • candle in holder
  • 'But First, Coffee' mug
All in all it was a nice event for a first timer and I enjoyed myself. I am bringing the nice camera next time because the angles you have to get with a regular phone are just ridiculous. 



Slideshow 




Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Secret Stomp

There are few things in life that are better than a well made burger on a nice summer day.

This week has been absolute hell in Toronto for weather, meaning it's been cold as balls for spring. So if I can't have one, why not the other?

Allow me to introduce you to, one of the many versions that this special beast can take:

The Secret Stomp

Photo Copyright Lisa-Marie Wilson 2014 and yeah, that's all cheese.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Credit Where It's Due

This is a rant. I will not apologize for it though I do hope that if you don't take a lesson from it you're at least mildly entertained for a time. If you don't like rants, running is acceptable.


Credit where it's due. It might seem simple and almost meaningless but this is something that is so important these days on the internet. Where information is travelling faster and faster attribution and credit are sometimes essential to people's livelihood.

Okay, sure those are just words. What am I actually pissed off about?

Stealing. Reposting. Claiming something cool and unique as your own original content when you stole it. When you know you stole it. When no attempt is made at all to find the original creator or source of the information you are peddling as yours.


Friday, April 11, 2014

Cooking Catch-up: Roasted Chicken

I haven't forgotten about blogging. I swear! I'm reaching a bit far back on this one though, because why not blog about all those random photos of stuff I've taken in the past?



Now, what do you do when you take photo's of your food because you're proud that you didn't set the kitchen on fire? Other than eating the food of course. Because if you just made it and then walked away that would be all kinds of uncool.

Well, what I do when I take photo's of food is then put those photo's online. It's a lovely process known as 'showing-off-your-ability-to-eat-nice-looking-things' and is drawn from that place where people post about the new game you scored well in that no one really cares about or that awesome new purse that you really couldn't or shouldn't have been able to afford.

I digress. I roasted a chicken once (It was a while ago but I've since roasted different chickens in the same way for a while). It was delish. I recommend roasting your own instead of buying those 10$ pre roasted chickens at the grocery. It takes very little effort.

Here's what I did.


Roasted Chicken



Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Cooking Cure: Day 19

Day 19: Make a Plan for Your Leftovers

Thursday March 27th, 2014
Cooking Cure's task for Day 19 on TheKitckn.com

The only leftovers I have right now are in the fridge at work with me for lunch! Aside from some lettuce, that has started to brown so it might be gone.

Now although I can't really take advantage of this particular challenge I am happy to see the focus on using every bit in your fridge if possible. After so much cooking and experimenting the last thing you want is a fridge full of food you're letting go bad.

I'm pleased I was ready to incorporate this into my already existing plan of awesome food. So this will be a short update! Simple, sweet and brief. Ps. My lunch is AWESOME.


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Cooking Cure: Day 16-18

I have accepted my fate of failure in this Cooking Cure, but not feeling so much defeated about it as laughing at how much it takes to keep on track.

Day 16: Get Yourself a Treat to Have with Dinner

Monday March 24th, 2014
Cooking Cure's task for Day 16 on TheKitckn.com

The post for this challenge begins with a big ol' Congratulations! And you know what? I'm going to take it! I'm going to celebrate that not only have I been cooking a lot, and thinking more about what I do when I cook, I have totally made a blogging comeback. I haven't posted this much in years and feel that this fact alone is enough to celebrate.

Now what did I treat myself to? ICE CREAM! Not homemade, but good quality Haagen-Dazs is always a nice treat.

Day 17: Take 5 Minutes to Think Through the Rest of Your Meals This Week

Tuesday March 25th, 2014
Cooking Cure's task for Day 12 on TheKitckn.com

  1. Take 5 minutes to take stock: My week is going alright. Monday night I made a HUGE dinner that was actually also my week's worth of lunches. Chicken Burrito Bowls! Zach and I had burrito's for dinner and then packed up the rest of the food for lunches. It's not Wednesday (yes I'm posting late) and I still have lunch for today and hopefully tomorrow. My breakfasts are a disaster, but lunch is taken care of and I'm happy about that. 
  2. Adjust your plans: Breakfasts need some more attention but in the mornings I'm so uninterested in cooking. I think making a batch of bagels again on the weekend and using them just for breakfasts might be a good plan. Midway through the week I think I'll refrain from going crazy, but it's a good plan for Sunday night. 
  3. Share your week: Uh, heyo Twitter and FB. I always post to social media! 


Day 18: Make "Stuff I like to Eat" List

Wednesday March 16th, 2014
Cooking Cure's task for Day 18 on TheKitckn.com


  • Zach loves fruit, something he's trying to get me involved in. It's not really a 'cooking thing' but it's definitely something he loves to eat and wants more of in the house. I think this is more about changing where we shop as some of our local grocery stores are either too pricey or have crap stock. To the little asian groceries on the corner! 
  • Homemade Tuna Casserole: Zach loves it, I love it. Easy, I could do it in my sleep and makes for great leftovers. And did I mention it's cheap? 
  • Baked chicken enchiladas: because gooey with cheese and sauce is always welcomed.
  • Pot Stickers: Sometimes it's nice to just relax and make dumplings. It's not hard, takes a lot of time thought but the results are always wonderful and if done in large batches can last you a while. 
  • A good, from scratch, tomato sauce: It has so many possibilities like fresh pasta, amazing pizza, a dipping sauce for monkey bread. Making it in a large batch means more for later and less work. Plus Zach is a pro-star at making a good sauce. 
  • Bread: I have a few simple recipes that make the apartment smell amazing and we always love fresh bread. Who doesn't? Again, it's a process that I almost find soothing now and look forward to doing. 
  • Great damn sandwiches: I make a good sandwich. No bragging here, I have lots of supporters on this one. Stack them high, lots of meat, deli style fixings and a good homemade sauce or two, on some of the best bread ever. I love making them, take a pride in it, and Zach loves them too. 

We're nearly at the end, only two days left in the cure. I'm wondering what more we could do, but we shall see! Either way I'm glad of how this whole month turned out for my blogger revival. 

Friday, March 21, 2014

The Cooking Cure: Day 12-15 ...sigh...

Are you shocked? I'm not shocked. I think I'm starting to think about whether I really need to change all of my habits (well at least breakfast). Here we go, week three catch up! Maybe it was a bit much to assume I could blog every day of the week for a month...

Day 12: Ask Yourself 3 Questions About your Dinner Habits

Tuesday March 18th, 2014
Cooking Cure's task for Day 12 on TheKitckn.com

  1. What am I tired of eating? Pasta. I love pasta, but boxed pasta as often as I do have it is not a good idea. 
  2. What do I love eating? Like all my other answers: FRESH. And mexican. 
  3. What would I like to eat more often? From scratch homemade with more vegetables included. 

Did I rush through that? Felt like I did. I guess it's because I've answered it almost the same way twice already!

Day 13: Find 5 New Recipes for Dinner

Wednesday March 19th, 2014
Cooking Cure's task for Day 13 on TheKitckn.com

  1. Vietnamese-Style Summer Rolls from chow.com: I like the freshness of these ingredients and the veg to protein ratio. Plus, who can say no to a nice peanut sauce for dipping? 
  2. Quiche how to on thekitchn.com: So this isn't really a direct recipe so to speak but a basic how to. Now I've made quiche before, a few times, but what I want to do is the entire thing from scratch (save growing the damn veg myself). This means pie crust, my biggest fear in cooking. 
  3. Zesty Fish Curry with Coconut Milk from playfulcooking.com: This looks amazing and I love the idea of learning how to make a good curry recipe since I love indian so damn much. It doesn't look too complicated but I imagine it could get a little dicey working with chilies but I want to try it. 
  4. Korean Barbecue Pork Lettuce Wraps from userealbutter.com: I might not go pork, but the recipes this blogger goes through (with detailed instructions and pictures) inspires me to cook. This is one of those lovely recipe's. 
  5. Creamy Baked Orzo with Ham, Peas and Leeks from thekitchn.com: Yet another theKitchn.com recipe but I like the traditional feel of a dish like this. Something I could make, or would find my mother or grandmother making in their own kitchens. I see it as something I can learn to substitute with and make my own which is the best part of a good recipe. That and it has superior leftovers potential! 

Day 14: Stock Your Kitchen for One New Dinner

Thursday March 20th, 2014
Cooking Cure's task for Day 14 on TheKitckn.com

You know it's funny, I seem to be able to do these challenges when I'm not really thinking about doing the challenges. I'll blog about it later but I made a big ol' batch of bagels from scratch, something I wanted to do for my breakfasts (and in turn made some nice lunches) for this entire week.
Wednesday night, after looking at the cooking cure and talking to the fiance, I decided we were going to have the Vietnamese-Style Summer Rolls. So we had those for dinner Wednesday and again for dinner Thursday night.

So am I really doing the cure? I'm not following the method exactly, it's more 'Oh hey, we should have that' and I go out that day and get it. Perhaps I need to incorporate less about doing new recipes (that doesn't appear to be the problem) and concentrate on the planning of the meals a little bit more. So I'm not doing it all the night of?

Or maybe that's just not my style. Maybe spur of the moment cooking is how I'll develop my pallet, my routine and my repertoire of recipes. I like the sound of that. Repertoire of Recipes. Who knows! I'll do my best to keep up but I might just end up doing this my own way.

Day 15: Make Dinner Tonight & PLan Next Week's Breakfasts, Lunches  & Dinners

Friday March 21st, 2014
Cooking Cure's task for Day 15 on TheKitckn.com

Yeah, I'm probably not going to go all too crazy on the meal planning this weekend. I have a feeling that's more my Monday gig. But some ideas I'm running through my head:

  • Another batch of bagels or english muffins for breakfast
  • buy a juicer for breakfast infusion of vitamins
  • buy veggies for lunch time snacking and possible sandwich toppings. I'm liking shredding veggies with a peeling for a thin but still crisp snack at home. Could lead to some really cool lunches. 
  • Casserole on Monday night for leftovers through at least part of the week
  • Maybe tackle a quiche crust on wednesday if I'm feeling ambitious
So much of these things depend on more than just my availability in the week. How I feel physically, now that I've finally kicked the cold I don't want to wear myself down too much. Need for a break: hard weeks at work zap my energy for creativity in the kitchen. If something, like a new recipe or a new gadget (I might be getting a stand mixer or a juicer this weekend fingers crossed) might tip the scales in favour of one thing or another. 

I like to remain flexible. I'll make that my plan for the next week but ultimately I'm avoiding at least two or three things: 
  • No Subway sammy's
  • No cereal in the morning
  • No take-out

Yeah, I'll start with that. 

Monday, March 17, 2014

The Cooking Cure Day 10+11: Aww, shit...

Crap, am I bad at this.

I guess it comes as no real shocker that I'm falling behind again. Not only am I missing days, I'm not completing tasks. Crap on a stick. Well anyhoo, here's my catch-up.


Day 10: Make lunch Today and Plan Next Week's Breakfasts and Lunches

Thursday March 14th, 2014
Cooking Cure's task for Day 10 on TheKitckn.com

Well, I may have kind done this one but on Saturday instead of Friday. It was an egg salad, not as awesome as I'd hoped for but it was from scratch. Chives, lettuce, egg, mayo on pita bread (not homemade). It was like an egg salad pizza. Sadly, no picture, but it was nice and fresh. So we'll call this one a win?

As for a plan? I plan to cook something. Breakfast and lunch were a bust today with a Sunday night out until about 11 commuting back from Pickering. There was no plan this morning aside from tea, which means I bailed on this day almost entirely. I end up being pretty busy on the weekends so this cure structure might not work. Most of my meal planning happens on Monday at or after work so I'm thinking of doing the rest of it today. My sort of 'cure' for the Monday blues?



Day 11: Make a List of Everything You ate for Dinner Last Week

Thursday March 17th, 2014
Cooking Cure's task for Day 11 on TheKitckn.com

First off,
 HAPPY SAINT PADDY'S DAY! 
I was recently correcting by an Irish friend that it's a Paddy's day not Patty's, that's a girls name. Now, back to the cooking cure.

First I should explain that my week was not a normal sample. normally I don't eat out so much or go out all weekend, but it was my birthday last week so this weekend was extravagant. And awesome.

Monday: Pasta. I think?
Tuesday: My birthday. We had indian and cheesecake. It was wonderful.
Wednesday: Leftovers, ie. Indian and cheesecake.
Thursday: Asparagus and some bread. I wasn't feel great so I kept it simple.
Friday: Sushi. I don't know why but we decided it was important so we had more take out. Sushi, of course, was awesome.
Saturday: Dinner at my moms (homemade swedish meatballs, rice, salad, and cake!)
Sunday: Dinner at brother in-laws (pork and beef tenderloin, beans, potatoes,  cucumber salad and a tonne of jelly beans).

Yeah, I don't normally eat like that. But there you go.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Cooking Cure: Day 9

Day 9: Stock Your Kitchen for One New Lunch

Thursday March 13th, 2014
Cooking Cure's task for Day 9 on TheKitckn.com

Alright, here we go. I'm going to pick the easiest of the lunches I mentioned because quite frankly I'm not 100% better yet and could use a break when it comes to prepping. That and snow-pocolypse has returned to Toronto. So what do I think is the 'easiest'?

EGG SALAD SAMIDGE!


Random Google image from a website that I can't seem to access that pretty much depicts what I'd like to end up with.
In no way did I take this photo. I would love to credit the owner if they ever stumble upon my blog. 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Cooking Cure: Day 8

I should note first that YESTERDAY I TURNED 28! I'm cool like that. There was a divine blueberry topped cheesecake, a wonderful cast iron chinese style tea pot with two adorable mugs (I'll post about those soon) and indian for dinner! Butter chicken, chicken curry, beef vindaloo, garlic naan, chicken samosa, chicken biryani and mango shake for me, lassi for Zach. 


IT WAS AWESOME! Despite still being a little under the weather Zach treated me like a princess and I had a great night. I might do a recap of the gift, at the very least, at some point down the road but with the Cooking Cure I've got a schedule to keep and I intend to keep it.

But why is this all relevant? Guess what I have for leftovers! 

That's right, butter chicken and biryani. It was awesome.

The Cooking Cure: Day 2 to 7 (Yeah, I screwed up)

I may have screwed up and totally missed a few days of the cure. Although my breakfasts surely could use some form of help it looks like it'll have to wait because I am not backtracking now.

To keep you up-to-date, I was sick all last week. At home sick, the real kind. Not fun coughing, not hearing, no use of nose kind of sick and it was unpleasant. But I'm getting better, or at least that's what I'm telling myself at this point and I expect you'll all agree that mind over matter has it's place. Whether we agree where that is debatable, but nevertheless I am alive.

I'll give you a quick list of what I missed (and you if this is your Cooking Cure source of info, which is mad if you ask me.)

Day 2: Ask Yourself 3 Questions About Your Breakfast Habits

Tuesday March 4th, 2014
Cooking Cure's task for Day 2 on TheKitckn.com
  1. What am I tired of eating? Cereal. I like the connivence but I know I eat it too much and I feel like it's not the kind of breakfast I should be having. It's not the 'power-packed-first-thing-starter' it once was, or at least not the brands I like. Those of course contain all the sugar in the world. Not bad until you hit about 10am and feel exhausted. 
  2. What do I love eating? Fresh. I love fresh when I remember to do it. I love eggs, I love good bread and perfect little things. Yes, I like eating lots of little food. If I could eat finger appetizers for the rest of my very short lived like I would. 
  3. What would I like to eat more often? Real and homemade. I like knowing what goes into my food and I'm starting to really enjoy the process of cooking and creating. If I can see exactly what went into it: a fruit, how much butter, what kind of flour, the amount of salt, I feel better about what I'm eating. I end up feeling proud. This is in part what I think 'real' food is. Not processed or filled with ingredients you can't pronounce, real food. But I'm not crazy obsessed or rich, so maybe this goal is a little high. 

Day 3: Find 5 New Recipe's for Breakfast

Wednesday March 5th, 2014
Cooking Cure's task for Day 3 on TheKitckn.com

This one is pretty easy to start. I love breakfast and would always love to try new things. Whether or not I'll ever get to trying these is up to the cosmos but I will remember them (I'm an avid pinner, if you must know). But I want to keep in mind about my questions last week; what do I love and what do I want to eat more of.
  1. Smoothies: Now I know I should be thinking of one specific recipe, but smoothies are so diverse I want to really get into the habit of making them for a breakfast. Like a staple I can transition from what I have. I like starting simple so why not a Mango Yogurt Smoothie from theKitchn.com
  2. English Muffins from theKitchn.com: I always like a good english muffin. I thank my mother for that breakfast treat, but the store bought ones are just 'eh'. Not bad but I look at the ingredients and cringe. If I could make these puppies, or a way to have one fresh in the morning, I would be soooooo happy. 
  3. Huevos Rancheros from foodnetwork.com: Love mexican cuisine, love eggs why not put them puppies together? My only fear is I'm not sure how I feel about hot sauce on my eggs. That being said, I've been corrected by the fiance that 'it's awesome' so I think so far this is the most likely subject for a breakfast cook day. 
  4. Cheddar and Leek Muffins from theKitchn.com: Portable, tasty I'm sure and I feel like I should try my hand at baking more.  
  5. Ham and Egg Crepe Squares from FramedCooks.com: Bacon, or salty ham as a healthier substitute, couldn't escape this list. I love bacon but I want to find new ways on twisting the ever loved bacon and egg sandwich. This crepe square recipe is kinda cool and something I think I'd enjoy trying.  

Day 4: Stock Your Kitchen for One New Breakfast

Thursday March 6th, 2014
Cooking Cure's task for Day 4 on TheKitckn.com

Haha, go shopping. While I was sick as a dog? You bet your ass I didn't step outside all week. The weather was craptastic and I was even more shitty. The last thing I wanted to do was put real clothing on and leave my blankets. So no, I didn't stock up for anything.

Day 5: Make Breakfast Today and Plan for Next Week's Breakfasts

Friday March 7th, 2014
Cooking Cure's task for Day 5 on TheKitckn.com

We we all know this didn't happen. Being home sick, no cooking really happened over the course of last week. I did, I'll tell you, make myself some homemade mac and cheese but I can do that with my eyes closed. It wasn't healthy, but damn was it tasty and when you're sick all you care about is being a little bit satisfied. There was also all the orange juice drinking that could happen. I've been a little obsessed about it lately. Planning to ask the fiance to get me more OJ was the extent of 'planning' that went into my breakfasts for this week. Guess what? I already drank the OJ.

Day 6: Make a List of Everything You Ate for Lunch Last Week

Monday March 10th, 2014
Cooking Cure's task for Day 6 on TheKitckn.com

Does OJ count? I didn't really eat much other than Macaroni and cheese, toasted english muffins and take out, I think. I can't remember all too well because most of it was surrounded by 'I WANT ICE CREAM' and the fiance saying 'No'. I remember not eating ice cream (until the weekend). Does that count?

Day 7: Ask Yourself 3 Questions About Your Lunch Habits

Tuesday March 11th, 2014
Cooking Cure's task for Day 7 on TheKitckn.com

Oh I see what you're doing! This is just like the breakfast Q's. Sneaky theKitchn.com. Thought you'd trick me there.
  1. What am I tired of eating? Goddamn Subway. Screw me sideways I eat there way too much. Forgot lunch? Have some Subway. Brought lunch but it's gross? How about Subway? Feeling bad about yourself? Eat some more GODDAMN SUBWAY! I can't blame them, I keep going back. Maybe because my 'take-out' lunch choices are between 'healthy' subway sandwiches and the over priced grocery store next door where something of far less quality (and that's saying something) costs three time's as much. 
  2. What do I love eating? Apparently fucking Subway. I think it's the fake-bacon. I love salty food and well, it's easy and I don't have to make it. I do love sandwiches, fresh fat happy sandwiches, deli style with all the pickles. But what do I really love eating? New things. I get bored with the same old. I can't eat the same thing every day for lunch for a week. I've tried, I get bored and disillusioned by Thursday and end up going to Subway. That is depressing. 
  3. What would I like to eat more often? Leftovers from good dinners that keep and healthier lunches. When at work I don't really have the time to prepare a nice lunch even though I'm lucky enough to have a stove. Just don't think the bosses would approve of me spending an hour cooking and filling the office with my food stench, even if it's good. Or maybe they would... Either way, I want to try and eat healthier, prepare more satisfying lunches so that I'm not starving when I head home and gorge on an over indulgent dinner. 


So there, caught up. Not really doing the more 'active' cure's but hey, I'm trying right? 

Monday, March 3, 2014

The Cooking Cure: Day 1

This March theKitchn.com is having a 'cure' or a monthly challenge it poses to their followers and readers, this one designed to "get you cooking at home every day, starting with 5-minute baby steps and culminating in a week of 21 home-cooked meals."

It's similar to the very popular 'January Cure' on ApartmentTherapy.com, where you spruce up your place with some simple tips over the course of a month to take you out of any new years blues you might be suffering. As a messy home-body the January Cure was too much but as a cook, maybe not a great one, but an aspiring one I like the idea of the Cooking Cure.

You can sign up if you'd like on their main page for the Cooking Cure. Don't be shy, there's no real obligation here.

Day 1: Make a list of everything you ate for breakfast last week

Monday March 3rd, 2014
Cooking Cure's task for Day 1 on TheKitckn.com

The basics, write everything you ate for breakfast last week on paper. Now I know I should do it on paper paper, but I'll lose it so I figure the blog is a good place to start.

Monday: Subway BLT footlong with cheese, mayo, pickles and onions.
Tuesday: Honey Nut Cheerios with milk.
Wednesday: Honey Nut Cheerios with milk.
Thursday: Honey Nut Cheerios with milk.
Friday: Latte and croissant.
Saturday: Leftover beef Pad Thai.
Sunday: English muffin with strawberry jam and half a glass of orange juice.
Monday (Today): Honey Nut Cheerios with milk.

Probably not the best of breakfasts this last week. So much for my 'eating from scratch'. But in the morning I am so uninterested in cooking.

Now the extra credit portion of today is tracking my lunches and dinners.
Monday (today): Subway BLT footlong with cheese, mayo, pickles and onions. Granola bar and a ginger ale.

So I guess that's done for today!

Dont' forget, if you're doing the cooking cure to tag with your posts with #cookingcure


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Giant Pig in a Blanket

Valentines day is a holiday that really doesn't have much of a meaning for me or those I care about. The past few years I haven't been able to spend it with Zach (he works nights) but this year, this glorious 14th of February in the year of 2014, he didn't have to work.

Now you'd think we'd go on some grand romantic adventure. Dinner, desert, wine pairings at a fancy restaurant (which he did our first year dating; gold star to that fellow. He knows how to treat a lady.) but we are home-bodies now that we have our own home. What does that mean? We like our bodies to stay at home. With a relationship based on honesty and blatant mockery of most traditional customs we decided to have a Valentines Day Adventure!

This is where the pig comes in. And by pig I mean pork tenderloin. And by blanket I mean Pillsbury crescent rolls.

Yup.





This happened.



Friday, February 21, 2014

Something is stuck on my finger


So this past September 13th, yeah I'm talking like six hot-damn moths ago, something happened. Not gonna lie, it's kind of a big deal.




This is where you squee for me. For us. I'm the luckiest gal out there.
For the story check out our wedding website for information on the proposal here. Yeah, we're sickening cute. Just accept it and enjoy our ridiculousness.



Thursday, February 20, 2014

Ikea is an obsession



I have accepted it, I embrace it and despite my post on trying not to do it all I can’t stop looking at the Ikea catalogue for the 2013 season. It’s official, I’m a Swedish d├ęcor-whore. (That’s fun to say!)

Now putting aside the point that in nearly every post I make I mention the word ‘whore’ out of appropriate context, I think it’s time to share why I love Ikea.