Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Good Eats.

I seem to spending a lot of time in my kitchen lately. More so than normal. Maybe because I can't seem to keep my house clean in the summer...I just finished doing dished at 9:30 tonight. But I have been cooking too (and then cleaning some more...)
 At Vin Room I had these great crispy Eggplant slices. I tried to recreate them at home. They turned out alright and I learned a thing or two. My bread crumbs were too soft & my coating wasn't consistent... but Brian enjoyed them and this is a fantastic way to ruin a perfectly healthy vegetable. Slice your eggplant, coat in egg & roll in a breadcrumb mixture. I added lime zest, pepper & onion powder to mine.. you could really try anything. Then thrown them in a pan of oil & crisp them up (they brown quickly). Great side dish.
 A gorgeous loaf I bought at the Farmers Market.  I've been making a lot of soups for lunch with all this rain lately so it's nice to have good bread to dip. Today was tomato...tomorrow I have to use up my sweet potatoes before they go bad, so I'll come up with something I'm sure...
Dinner tonight (looks pretty damn good hey?). A lasagna I adapted from a Jamie Oliver Cookbook (I always do that, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Tonight it did!). This lasagna is like nothing I have ever had before. Made with Asparagus, Peas & Fava Beans. And the recipe called for Anchovies, but I wanted it to be vegetarian so I used capers for that little bit of zing instead. I also baked it, not broiled...and I didn't use fresh pasta (it's hard to find in Okotoks). It was so good.... Can't wait for leftovers tomorrow.


Summer is 1/2 done. It breaks my heart. We've had such a great summer so far... Here are some of my favourite pics so far.
 Miles went to Stampede for the 1st time...and loved it. When I asked him what his favourite part of the day was he said "The Super Dogs. Or the pretzo (Pretzel). I like the horseys and baby chicks. And I like the pigs. And I like the police man. And the hot dog." Well, we didn't even have hot dogs, so he must have been one tired cowboy, which means it was a great day for him. (Molly and I? Well that's a different story).

 Paul, one of my favourite cousins (Yep, I totally have favourites) got married this month. The wedding was so beautiful. You can tell the bride is one of those super creative people. But the feeling was laid-back and we partied like Hopaluks. Here is Molly at the farm where the wedding was, trying to catch a glimpse of the first dance which took place inside the barn.
We spent some time at the lake... playing on the beach, eating Smushmillows (Marshmallows) and boating. It rained a fair bit, but I read 2 books (The Tipping Point by Malcom Gladwell & When You Are Engulfed In Flames by David Sedaris) & we played some great board games (I dominated Scrabble & Scattergories).

Hope everyone is having a great summer. xo.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Pimp my Pizza

I don't know how to make pizza dough. I mean, I am sure I could, it's not rocket science, but I never have. I guess in our house, pizza is the thing we eat when we are hungry & haven't planned ahead. Pizza is a convenience food around here. But we rarely order pizza (when we do, we splurge on Pizza Hut), instead I rip into the grocery store & buy a frozen pizza. And then I 'pimp it out'. My mom does this, and for a long while I thought everyone did. But today, when our company asked what kind of frozen pizza this was I realized I should maybe share my moms ' home imporvement' tip. I buy whatever is on sale when it comes to pizza. So my foundation is usually just $4-$5 (The one pictured above was a MacCains Bruchetta Pizza). Then I take it home & add-on all the good stuff (usually whatever we have around the house). Todays Pimped Pizza got diced ttomatoes, shredded spinach, extra mozzarella and a little bit of green pesto.  So good. So there, if you're bored with frozen pizza but don't want to shell out for delivery, just 'pimp' your pizza by adding your own fresh ingredients. Love it.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Today, I was able to buy Happiness.

In the heat of the summer nothing is better than cool white stoneware. Today my husband gave me these three beautiful Le Creuset Stoneware canisters. Beautiful. He is out for the evening so I am going to try & ship the kids off to bed early (Lord know they could use the sleep with all this summer heat...) and scrapbook for a while by the breeze of the fan. I am looking forward to it. 

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Summer Days

 Summer is in full swing in our household. Today we had three fans running full-tilt to try & cool us down. It was no use. In the end we resorted to cooling off the old-fashioned way...with a garden hose and a Slip & Slide (Or a Slip & Bleed). It's been at least 20 years since I have been on one of those. The kids loved every minute of it. And I even had a couple runs myself. No blood. No broken bones. Success.
Brian & I were out for a pre-Stampede party last night (me in my 'western' shirt below). We finished up the night at UNA on 17th where they have no air conditioning but great food & drink. We splurged on a bottle of Arizona Stronghold...worth every penny. I was so happy to walk outside at the end of the night & catch a small breeze...I thought I was melting.
I treated myself to some peonies (above) and a new pair of Ray Bans today. Perfect summer treats. The fridge is filled with watermelon, cool quinoa salad & lemon juice (perfect for icy cold water).
I don't have to wear perfume because sunscreen smells so darn yummy.
The kids are running around with little to no clothing on. And I'm sleeping with the windows wide open. Miles is so tired from a hard day of play that he doesn't even argue at beditme.
I've decided that I am not going to worry about my floor again this year...so it's open season for wearing flip-flops in the house. Best decision I have made this summer.
All these things just make me so happy. It's them & the vitamin D (I'm rocking a pretty sweet tan right now) that are making for some pretty perfect summer days.
If it rains, I am ready to scrapbook. I picked up pictures at Costco today. I can hear a huge storm blowing in now. Some pretty intense looking lightening. Love that.

Why can't this just last forever?

Monday, July 4, 2011

My First Simple Apple Crisp

  You see, I never order Apple Crisp when I am out for dinner. There's always something with chocolate I'd rather order, something better than a dessert made of fruit. Today I decided to make a pie with the beautiful apples I had just bought but time seemed to fly by this afternoon and I ran out of time to make a pie. So, Apple Crisp it was. So here, without further adieu, is my first SIMPLE apple crisp.
Sammy peeled the apples (I used 5) and I chopped them up.
 I tossed the apples in cinnamon. I used 2 tsp. but I love cinnamon so I like lots.
 For the topping it's 1 cup of whole wheat flour, 3/4 cup of brown sugar & 1tsp of Nutmeg. Mix it together with 1/2 cup of melted butter or margarine.
 Scoop the mixture onto the apples. Cover it completely, the mixture won't spread when baking (it just gets crisp!)
My very first apple crisp. Simple. But Brian said it was delicious (he was a willing guinea-pig). I think it needed a little something else, but for my first try I am pleased with myself.


... about all things disposable.

I've had this conversation with myself before... I think this could officially be classified as Blog Babble. Nonetheless...this little sailor got me thinking. Miles was playing with this toy, once mine, at the cabin this weekend. My mom has kept him around as well as the tug boat in which he rides. In fact, she's kept a fair-sized box of my old toys. Watching him play I wistfully thought to myself : "I wonder which toys of Miles' his children will play with?".
Likely, none. Unless I can break the cycle (when did it start?) wherein everything is disposable. Everything has an expiry date. And at a certain point, things aren't worth keeping & certainly not worth fixing. When I sit down with a bag & clean out the toy box, I assume that the toys I am getting rid of will find themselves in a new, good home. And I might be right. But for how long will they remain in this home? And will they make it to the next? With the quality of toys these days, not likely. So do I stop giving toys away? Heck no. We'd be over-run! But what I will do, is buy a better quality toy. And for that matter, a better quality spatula, lunch-kit, dress and pair of socks. Is it possible I might even learn to darn socks? Why not? I know how to sew & stitch. When did it become acceptable to throw away a pair of socks with a single hole in the toe? And because something is plentiful, cheap & easy to replace, should we? Darning socks takes time (I'd imagine) but isn't the negative impact we make by throwing socks away worth that time? I know one thing, when I think of the toys Miles has now, that he might pass onto his children (and that they would actually use) I can only think of a handful. Wooden Thomas Trains, puzzles and toy cars. Wouldn't it be worth it for me to buy a better quality toy, pay a little more, take care of it (Fix it!) and have his children play happily on the beach all day long with it? My mom thought so... maybe I should be giving this a second thought too.