Tuesday, July 20, 2010

I want a prettier blog...

I keep seeing these beautiful blogs with beautiful pictures uploaded on them and then people have wonderful things to say on them.

I do not have the brains to do that.
Nor do I have the followers to bother.

Am tempted to copy everything I've written onto a word file and print it off and then stop blogging, with the exception of thedaringkitchen because their stuff is so good. Or maybe I should just stop cramming myself full of things to do.

Or maybe I'll just not do anything of the sort...

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Daring Kitchen Challenge - Nut Butters

The July Challenge is brought to you by Margie of More Please and Natashya of Living in the Kitchen with Puppies.

This challenge was super-fun and exciting. I had to borrow a friend's food processor only to discover it didn't work. Oof. But my trusty little one did just fine.

I chose to make the cashew butter, and use it in the shrimp asian noodle salad. This was the end result!

Not bad eh? My only issue was that the shrimp I took out of the freezer had freezer burn and the only thing opened was M and M so I bought pre-cooked shrimp and just added it. So the shrimp was actually a lovely gray colour. Er-lack. But it was tasty!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Plan B

Everyone needs a plan B.

Especially when they're a grown-up. Ick I hate that word.

So I had to sit back and think, 'what if? what if this doesn't work? what can I do to make a contribution?'

Let's be honest here. Rockstar Hubby is indeed a rockstar, but even he can't climb trees for the rest of his life. He needs to focus on the fire department and writing his promotional exam and the gaffer. And he wants to get back into Timbersports. He's worked two jobs for a long time now and with the gaffer starting school full-time in the fall, who am I not to contribute.

So what if the books don't do well?

I know they will. Deep way down deep in my heart, I know they'll do well. It's not something I worry about. I gave it all up to my Maker and He's taking care of all of it. So what's plan B?

Plan B will be yoga instructor.

I've always enjoyed yoga and there are some teachers out there I do not care for as they are not compassionate, nor do they go around the class and re-adjust your pose. Plus, I really don't care for the whole, 'find your own energy' crap. God's giving me plenty of energy on my own, thank you.
So before the book started its roll uphill, I had chosen yoga. So if it all falls down, yoga.

But I prefer to write...

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Daring Kitchen Challenge #2

I hate that this post is late. I don't like being too busy for things.
Ok, so here we go.
This month's challenge was to make pate and bread. This challenge got me very excited because I absolutely adore pate, especially with brie and baguette! Our hostesses this month, Evelyne of Cheap Ethnic Eatz, and Valerie of a The Chocolate Bunny, chose delicious pate with freshly baked bread as their June Daring Cook’s challenge! They’ve provided us with 4 different pate recipes to choose from and are allowing us to go wild with our homemade bread choice.
We were given the opportunity to do a couple, and I chose the chicken liver pate. Of course being an inexperienced cook, I did have some issues.
One recurring theme that seems to be prevelant, is that I need a food processor. I have a teeny little dinky one that I bought to make baby food, and it did just fine chopping up beans, peas, spinach, broccoli... but I had to process bacon and bacon and more bacon.

So, first I cooked the chicken livers. It took 4 grocery stores to find them. Farm Boy. Who knew? (Am taking a frustrated moment to say that my pictures are not uploading properly. I apologize in advance for this craziness.)

Then when they started the cooking, the smell was absolutely horrendous and I convinced RockStar Hubby to cook them for me. He did so willingly. Then I tried shoving all the bacons into the food processor and that just made a disaster. So I took them out and then tried chopping them all into fine little bits. Ha! Then I threw everything into the bowl, along with the pureed chicken livers. Then I couldn't find a proper mold for it. So I figured I'd put it into the smaller roasting pan and then put that into the larger roasting pan as it needed to cook in water. Two and a half hours later, it smelled great!

The baguette, I was allowed some free reign so I made my usual baguette with flour, salt, yeast and water. I threw the whole thing in the breadmaker and let it mix it and then instead of letting it rise for just half an hour, as it is supposed to, I let it rise for ten hours. I don't usually plan on letting bread rise for that long, but I always manage to forget about it. But it always turns out light and fluffy so I'm never concerned.

And here's the finished product. At the top of the page of course, because these pictures uploading are not listening to me...

Saturday, June 12, 2010

A trip to North Carolina

I find it bizarre that I never blogged about our trip to Paris. Because I figured I wouldn't stop talking about it. But I didn't. But that's for another time.

The gaffer and I are currently sitting in a Starbucks, somewhere 3 hours from Winchester, Virginia. Rockstar hubby is at some non-descript garage about 4 km away, getting the wheelbearing fixed on our car. We were supposed to be in Winchester at 6pm. It is now 5:42 and we still have three hours to drive. What's even more amusing is that the other wheelbearing went on the drive down to North Carolina. This is fun.

We left on Friday morning to go to Gaithersburg, Maryland after a 9 hour drive which actually took 13 1/2 hours to discover the wheelbearing was broken. But there was a Ford dealership two minutes away so rockstar hubby planned to go first thing in the morning. We stayed at the Marriott and I'm sorry to say that at 10pm, one does not want to go into their room to discover it smells like marijuana. So then we changed rooms and got to bed at 11pm. The next day we were on the road by 10:30am (after 300$! and as I write this? the non-descript garage is fixing it for 60$.) and arrived at North Topsail, North Carolina at 7pm. And it was perfect. We immediately threw on our bathing suits and ran down to the ocean. Perfect. Perfect salty smells, perfectly disgusting salty taste and a sunset in the sky. We then spent 6 full days alternating between the ocean and the pool. It was fabulous. The boys went to see the North Carolina battleship and took a million pictures while I hit the mall. I bought a pair of skinny jean capris (not too bad) and a cute pair of sandals. And then they went to see Shrek 4 while I bought a pair of sandals and a pair of Spetty Top-siders (both plaid and never noticed) and got some writing done.

Not much else to say. I burnt my bum? We're on our way to Niagara Falls to the Great Wolf Lodge for a few days and to see our lovely wine friend Andrew who owns a lovely winery. Home by Wednesday I think.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Gardening Time

I had planted all my tomatoes, petunias, delphiniums, lupins, portulaca, asters etc before Paris. After Paris, they all died, with the exception of the lupins and two tomatoes.

Naturally I had to go buy more.

I hate garden centers. They always make me want more. Some women go crazy for shoes, purses, um, lipsticks... actually I'm not totally sure what women go crazy for besides shoes. I wouldn't know, I don't go crazy for shoes. I mean sure, I see shoes that are pretty but I'd never wear them. I'm very picky when it comes to shoes. And then I see the shoes I have in my closet and it's like .. ok, you have no taste.
Oh yes, garden centers. It took a lot not to buy a ten dollar peony. I already have three in my garden. I've already purchased two japanese maples because they were twenty dollars each. And two rose bushes. And two flats of pink impatiens. And a flat of red geraniums and a flat of pink. And white. And today I bought lobelia.
Because I'm trying that integrated gardening thing. And it's actually starting to work. But it's been so freakin' hot (30-40C every single day) that I don't last long. I'm always busy in the morning and you know my backyard in a freakin' sauna. It had to be 50C back there today. I thought I would die just planting and weeding. But I'm starting to make little foot paths because I'm tired of rockstar hubby saying, "Can I step here?" and then I have to look and either roll my eyes and say 'yes of course' or start yelling at him to watch where he's going. So I'm lining my little dirt footpaths with dark blue and fuschia lobelia. I'd upload a pic but I'm too tired and I feel like watching the Office even though I've seen every episode known to man.

And I should probably do some writing...

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Daring Kitchen Challenge

So recently I stumbled across a neat website, called The Daring Kitchen. And for some reason, the link thing isn't working. Here's the website... http://www.thedaringkitchen.com

And when you sign up to become a member you get to do a kitchen challenge (whether baking or cooking) each month. Every person then gets to do a post on it. So this one is mine.

The challenge for May was 'Stacked Green Chile and Grilled Chicken Enchiladas'. I have no idea if I'm supposed to post the recipe or not, but you can go to their website to find it yourself.

So here's a picture of the outcome.

How it went:

First of all, I needed tomatillos. Tomatillos do not grow up here until late summer and I tried growing my own last summer but the frost killed them. I was told by Farm Boy that I had to wait another month. So I substituted yellow tomatoes. Because they looked good and had that nice squishy feel to them. The recipe also asked for Andile Chiles. I have no idea what those are, nor could I find them. So I bought jalapeno. That was mistake number one. I did manage to get rockstar hubby to burn and blister them on the bbq alongside the chicken (I bought thighs instead of breast because they were on sale and I'm on a budget). I also bought 'Food for Life's' corn tortillas, instead of making my own. I cooked the sauce, (it took two servings of the cornstarch to thicken) and then popped it in the oven. I could not find the oven temperature on the recipe for the life of me, so I figured it must be 350F. Mistake number two. I found it later when I reserched the recipe from Fine Cooking and found it was supposed to be 450F, but my oven is hot so I put it at 400F.
Results: it smelled good. Taste? Not so much. I found it bland with jalapenos. I think maybe the tomatillos would have tasted better as well as whatever those chiles were. Bummer. It sure looked good. Guess I'm not a genius in the kitchen after all....