Monday, December 07, 2009

Fighting for Immunity

From colds!! I've been feeling like I'm getting sick for the past 4 days or so. I haven't gotten fully sick yet, but am still feeling gross and going-to-get-sickish. I've been trying to rest and eat lots of good stuff and drink tons of juice and tea...we'll see.

Today was a veggie day:
Breakfast: Pudding cup (k, doesn't fit...but)

Lunch: Weirdest salad ever (left-overs anyone?) - Lettuce, spaghetti squash, artichoke hearts, a few olives, balsamic, lemon pepper, left over chik peas and something else...but I can't remember!

Snack: 1 piece of bread with peanut butter...mmm...and Almond Milk Americano Misto

Dinner (9:45PM!): rice noodles, steamed broccoli, carrots, baby bok choy, mushrooms, and green beans topped with cilantro, green onions and home-made peanut sauce from Sprouted Kitchen.

Now to bed, to avoid getting sick before I wake up at 4am!! Wait, iron pants first :)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


I accomplished astoundingly little with an unplanned free morning (cancellation)...but went to work for the afternoon and then hit the gym. I finally got my new orthotics yesterday, and broke them in at the gym today, and so far no problems! I think I worked harder today than I have in a long time...I'm already weak and sore (but in a good way).

Super hungry when I got I made this big bowl of yumminess:

1 oz buckwheat soba noodles (cooked, obviously).
1/2 avacado
1/2 red pepper
1 stalk of celery
1 bunch of alfalfa sprouts
1 left over garbanzo patty (see last post for recipe) crumbled up
balsamic dressing (1 T mayo, some nutritional yeast, some water, and balsamic vinegar mixed together).

Very very good. I put it all in a big square white serving bowl I have...for some reason when I put things in that bowl I like them even better.

Sorry no picture!!

Now watching Bones and waiting for D. to call to say he's ready to be picked up.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Mini Break

D. and I are thankfully both healthy now, so we can enjoy our mini-break weekend! It's been a busy and tiring week, but good. I've eaten healthily and made it to the gym twice. I have been partly motivated by wanting to be able to relax and enjoy this weekend!

I worked all day yesterday with one team, then after word hit the gym and then went to pick up D. at the skytrain. I was super hungry and (oddly enough) craving these simple garbanzo bean burgers we've made once before. They totally hit the spot (I had them alongside a salad, but had them for lunch today in a sandwich). Here are the directions ( I can't remember where I found this's loosely based on something...sorry I can't remember what!!):


Garbanzo Bean Burgers


1 can (2cups) garbanzo beans mashed (I mashed them in batches in a morter and pestle).
1 carrot (very finely chopped).
1 stalk celery (very finely chopped).
1 small onion (very finely chopped).
1 clove crushed garlic
1/4 whole wheat flower
2T oil (for frying)
salt and pepper

1. Mix everything together. Form the mixture into 6 patties.
2. Fry the patties on one side with 1 T oil. When you flip them add the second T oil.

These are SO simlple, but SO stinking good!!!

We slept in ridiculously late today (11am!!!) and layed in bed and read books for a while with our coffee (the perfect Saturday morning). I've finished off a bit of work I had to do, and now can start getting ready to leave for our overnight mini-break!

D.'s work party is at a fancy hotel downtown, and we're staying the night at the hotel and have arranged for late check-out so we can laze around!! We so need this little break. It's so exciting!! I bought a fantastic new dress, and can't wait to start getting ready. We'll check into the hotel a couple of hours before the party starts, so I'll have time to do most of the getting ready there.

Off I go!!

Friday, November 06, 2009

this week and today

I finally submitted the first draft of my thesis to my supervisor yesterday. I took this past week (mostly) off of work in order to complete it. Thankfully, I was able to make good use of the time and get it done!

I forgot to get bananas yesterday when I went shopping. Sad. I was so looking forward to whipped banana oatmeal this morning!

- 4-hour work meeting (likely tense - ick.).
- invoicing
- make revisions to my thesis if I have recieved feedback from my supervisor
- something fun tonight (not sure what, but something fun)

Friday, October 23, 2009


I had a long video conference today, and forgot to eat beforehand. so, for the last 30 minutes or so I was thinking about what I would eat. I have run out of left over turkey needed something else that I would make once and eat for a couple of days while sick. I've never made Frittata's because I've never had a frying pan that can go in the oven..and all the recipes suggest this. I finally bought such a pan though, and I had all the ingredients so thought I'd give it a shot. The procedures are loosely based on a basic Frittata receipe in the Moosewood cookbook. Here's what I did:

I sauteed almost 2 cups of quartered, thinly sliced red potatoes, 1 small thinly sliced onion, a handful of washed and chopped green beans, 2-3 garlic pressed garlic cloves, 3 large sliced mushrooms, and half a red pepper in 3 T olive oil (I would reduce this in the future....this was less than the Moosewood cookbook called for, but still more than necessary I think).

While that was cooking I whisked together 8 eggs and 1 Cup of plain almond milk.

I added salt and pepper to the potato-onion-etc. mixture, poured the eggs + milk overtop and let it cook on low on the stovetop while I grated 4 oz light cheddar cheese.

I sprinkled the cheese on top and put the whole thing into the oven, uncovered. Bake for 25minutes until puffed up and golden.

I'm not a big fan of eggs that are "browned" in any way (I never order omlettes) but I really loved this! This is not a low-fat version really though. I had room in my daily points to have the higher-fat version, but you could easily substitute egg whites for some of the eggs, and probably could cut the cheese in half and still have a pretty fantastic frittata. I ate this on it's own because salad is not all that appealing when you're sick. But, it would be perfect with a salad and not much else as it's super filling!

It made 4 large servings, 6 medium servings or 8 small servings.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Making the best of it...

I had a work appointment at 8am this morning. After getting up at 5:30, running around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to pull together everything (work stuff, gym stuff, lunch) I'd need for the next 14 hours (big break between 2 appointments close together then a WW meeting in the evening), dropping D. off at the bus, and getting about 1/4 of the way to the appointment, I got a text message saying it was canceled! Arg!

I fought the urg to go back home and go to bed (also feeling a need to do SOMETHING out of the house first thing, since I got up so early) and went to the gym. After the gym I went grocery shopping and came home and put ingredients for a turkey-fennel-squash-white-bean type soup/chili/I'm not sure what to call it into the slow cooker. Now I have a couple of hours to work from home before I have to leave for my afternoon appointment. So, at least we now have a healthy, warm, comforting meal for dinner, and grocery shopping is done. I just know I would have ended up going shopping after my WW meeting tonight and then wold have been grumpy, hungry, and tired when I got home and have no idea what to make still.

Though, bed is still looking like a mighty good place to spend the next 2 hours. I will resist.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Gift basket!

The other day, I got a call from a health food and vitamin store saying I'd won a gift basket. Initially I was confused....I wasn't sure I'd been there or entered any contest. Then I vaguely remembered needing oil of oregano (GOOD oil of oregano) when I was sick, and stumbling upon a health food store locally. I must have entered a contest when I bought the O of O. So I picked up the basket, and as it turns out it is a fantastic basket of goodness! Here are some highlights:

"Tart is Smart" cherry juice concentrate....full of antioxidants and other good stuff...

A natural cold and flu remedy/pill, natural motion sickness pills and dental products that apparently strengthen your teeth like flouride (without the flouride of course).
Fabric softener, and Redmond clay - which apparently can be used as a facial mask, as a poultice for any number of ailments or ingested for digestive health? I think I'll stick to using it as a face mask, given the stared note on the back: "This statement has not been evaluated by the FDA..."
Bath and body product galore!

Hazelnut Agave nectar, and two types of specialty salts! I didn't even know hazelnut agave existed. I use agave fairly regularly, but this hazelnut agave is out of this world!! I wish you could smell and taste it...but you can't. I will definately be purchasing this again! I decided to break in the hazelnut agave nectar drizzled on top of pumpkin oats! I made some for both D. and I this morning. Pumpkin oats recipe as on Kath's blog, but with pecans, balken yogurt, coconut (on top instead of inside) and the hazelnut agave drizzled on top. Heavenly breakfast. And, believe it or not - still healthy and full of goodness!!

Thursday, October 08, 2009


I managed to hit up the market yesterday, and they have wonderful crisp yummy apples now. Sometimes I get overwhelmed with giddiness about fall. When I was growing up, I think Halloween (and "fall" in general) was my favorite time of year. We to have a bon fire and make caramel apples, and have fire works every halloween. My mom would make a big pot of chili and hot dogs and we'd have these when we returned home from trick-or-treating. I just love the cool crispness of fall, and that smell the air gets....I'm not sure what it is...rotting leaves maybe? It's just great. For an easy dinner last night I had a cut up apple, left over quinoa stew and a tortilla (amazing 12g of fibre tortillas from Ralph's) with the last of some basil-avacado dip spread on it and some parmesan cheese. I heated it in a frying pan for a bit so the cheese would melt.
MMMmmm......It was a good dinner. And easy. Which is pretty darn important these days. I'm going to pick up some pumpkin and make a pumpkin porcini soup from the moosewood book for dinner tonight I think.

I'm working from home till about 2:30 today....and have a really long to-do list to get through. We'll see how far I can get. I'd better get showered and moving if I hope to have any chance at getting through it!

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Peruvian Quinoa Stew

(The picture is a little's dark out :). Today was a long work day, and I didn't get home till about 8pm. I managed to stop for the essential groceries for this recipe (pretty simple) between work and my WW meeting. When I got home cooked this, ate it, and cleaned as much as I could in about 20 minutes, all while watching the first episode of Glee (which I love by the way). This is from the Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home Cookbook.

Peruvian Quinoa Stew

1/2 C quinoa
1 C water

2 Cups chopped onions
2garlic cloves, minced or pressed
2 T vegetable oil (I used olive oil)
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 carrot, cut on the diagonal into 1/4 inch thick slices
1 bell pepper (I used red), cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup cubed zucchini
2 cups undrained chopped fresh or canned tomatoes (I used canned)
1 cup water or vegetable stock (I used water)
2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 tsp ground coriander
pinch of cayenne
2 tsp fresh oregano (1 tsp dried)
salt to taste

Optional toppings: Cilantro, grated cheddar or monteray jack cheese (I used 1 oz part skim mozarella).

Cook the quinoa and set aside. Saute the onions and garlic in the oil for about 5-min. Add the carrots and celery and saute for another 5-min. Add everything else but the quinoa, salt and toppings and simmer till the veggies are cooked. Add the quinoa, season with salt and serve with topped with cilantro and/or cheese.

We really liked this- it is filling and nutritious and VERY tasty. An added bonus is that the ingredients are simple, easily on hand, and inexpensive. It will make great lunches too I think!

Friday, October 02, 2009



A new car that has LOW gas consumption, a sunroof and On Star. You really can just press a button and they are right there asking you how they can help? And they don't get mad if you call to introduce your parents to them. I'm thinking we should only do that once though. It's free for the first year, and we'll see at the end of that if we want to continue.

Discovering yummy oatmeal. Today it is bananna-flax-cottage cheese oats with a fig, peach and almond-hazelnut butter on top. Hopefully this will keep me full for a while - I have about 1.5 hours of travel to my first appointment and that doesn't end till about 2pm.

My husband. He's sick now, poor guy. I hope he gets better fast. He usually does bounce back pretty quickly.

Lots of work. I am trying to be thankful for this. Things are really busy and overwhelming right now...but I have a job I love (most of the time - though it's hard to remember this at this time of year!), and plenty of work.

That it is Friday. Though, this will be a busy weekend. I feel like I could sleep for days right now!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

It's like pumpkin pie for breakfast

This is a slightly modified version of Kath's pumkin oatmeal. It is seriously, astonishingly good!! Mine included the following:
  • 1/3 Cup oats
  • 1/3 Cup water
  • 1/3 Cup 1% milk
I heated this up till the oats were about 1/2-3/4 of the way cooked. Then I stirred in:
  • 1/3 C pumpkin
  • some nutmeg and ginger
  • pinch of salt
  • some splenda (not sure how much)
  • 1 T coconut
Continued cooking, then at the end stirred in vanilla and 1/2 T ground flax. I topped it with 1/3 cup balken yogurt and 3 chopped pecan halves. Seriously - it's like eating pumpkin pie in a bowl!!! And 5 WW points in total.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Today so far...

Breakfast 1: 1/3 C balken yogurt, 1/2 C Kashi honey-almond-flax cereal, 1 banana
Then: Gym + picked up a few groceries.
Breakfast 2: 1/2 Cobs cape seed roll (high fat but sooo good and high in fibre and protein as well), turkey, tomato, spinach, grainy mustard + mayo.

Now: To face the thesis work and work-work I have to complete today. Today is my only (mostly) full work at home day this week, so I have to get everything done!

Later: I found Money's mushroom burgers at Superstore! I LOVE these, but haven't been able to find them anywhere lately, but SS had them in 4 and 16 packs! And when I did the calculations when I got home I realized they are only 1 WW point each. Score! I'll have one for lunch I think.

I found fresh figs at the market yesterday, so I'll be making a goat cheese and fig pizza I found here (or one loosely based on this one). The figs were pricy (3 for $4.00!) so I only bought 3, and will just make 1 pizza for D. and I to share. Well I should say D. and I will we'll both be relatively late today. If I can put the dough on in the bread maker before work that will help.

K. Off I go.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Saturday Morning

  • Sleeping in
  • Good coffee
  • Bananna oatmeal with raspberries, pear and almond butter
  • Bacon
Soon the morning will be done and we have to get to work. We were going to go car shopping today, but both have work to do so I'm not sure if that will happen. We'll see.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009


Pioneer Woman's post about Quesedillas made me crave one. So today's breakfast was:

Quesedilla: 1 scrambled egg, 4 T grated cheddar, 2 T grated parmesan, 1 tomato sliced, salt and pepper, hot sauce in a tortilla, fried.

Mmmmm good. And I found these tortillas at Ralph's produce (in Langley) that have 12 g of fibre and only 90 there's room for the cheese :)

Sorry, no picture :( Too early.

Supervision meeting
Uploading and scoring video/Thesis work
Make dinner
Work at home.

Monday, September 07, 2009

My First Ikea Hack!

I have two big Expedit bookshelves in my office (that our landlord nicely left for us). I love this system as it can be used as a room divider or bookshelf. Additionally there are a number of baskets and boxes made to fit the cubes that you can hide things away in. You can also purchase drawers and cupboard doors to add to it.

The one thing I have not been able to do with it yet is figure out a good way to use it for hanging files. I can fit filing boxes into the cubes, but they don't look very nice, and it's a hassle to have to pull them all the way out and open the lids to access files.

Then, when I was at Ikea on Saturday (before my nasty cold fortified itself and made a second attack) I found they have a new box designed to fit into the Expedit. This is it. Bonus: It's only 6.99 (compared to 16-24 dollars for all the other boxes/baskets that fit the cubes). Bonus #2: It comes in pretty colors. So, I bought 3 of the turquoise colored ones.

I discussed the need for a better hanging file set up (and my unwillingness to pay $300-600 for ugly filing cabinets), and D. suggested just putting a file frame into the box! Brilliant husband I have.

So, off to staples and I bough three of these:
Actually, as it turns out I bought 6 of them, because I didn't realize there were 2 per box. Each box of 2 was about $12.00 - not bad :). Then, I set up the file frames - using the smallest length (14 inches) and put them into the boxes: Perfect! They slide easily in and out of the bookshelf and hold about as much as a large filing box. My only concern is longevity - the boxes are cloth on a cardboard frame (the type that pop up and zip together), so they may give out after a period of use. I'll let you know though. But hey, the whole thing cost me about 40.00 for the boxes and file systems, so I won't complain! I kept them all on the bottom of the bookshelf, as I think they would be a bit awkward on a higher shelf. This would be perfect if you were using the Expedit as a room divider, as the boxes look nice from both sides and have handles on both sides. And I think this looks MUCH better than a stinky metal filing cabinet!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Cherry & Bulgur Salad

I made this the other night...I had cherries and goat cheese and wanted an excuse to put them together :). Here's the recipe:

I started with 2 cups of cooked bulger. I think in the future I would use less bulger and/or more cherries. The salad was a little heavy on the grains.
I added 2 cups of pitted cherries.
Align Center
I added 1/2 an avacado.

Finally, I added goat cheese.

I added a dressing made from the juice of 1 lime, some (I think it was 1-2 tsp) olive oil, salt and pepper and mixed it all up. We had this in our lunches all week, it was a super easy and yummy, and filling lunch.


I opened the fridge this morning to try to come up with a breakfast that would use up the many left-overs in the fridge and came up with this. It's a hash of some sort. Left over cooked yam (1C), left over grilled veggies (eggplant, red pepper, mushrooms), left over home made vegan sausage, grainy mustard and a sprinkling of balsamic all fried up. I topped it off with some ricotta cheese. It was SUPER filling..I should be good till dinner ;) Tasty too.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Happy Anniversary

Monday was our sixth wedding anniversary. Time has flown by! We decided to have a special dinner at home rather than go out. Since the cooking is half the fun for me, this was sort of part of my present. D. returned home with a gorgeous bouquet of flowers, and we had a lovely dinner. This is, by the way the first time we've eaten in the formal dining room, and the first time I've used my grandmother's china. I made this Zucchini ricotta cheesecake. If you have zucchini to use up, I implore you, make this. It is so very good. Breakfast, lunch or dinner :)

I also made this Orzo supper salad. It was very tasty with orzo (of course), asparagus, broccoli, cucumber, almonds, feta, and a yummy lemon olive oil and garlic dressing.

I also made these yummy sweet potato falafals. I couldn't find chick pea flour, so I substituted 1/2 chick peas and 1/2 whole wheat flour and it seemed to work - these were super yummy, and are really healthy! I had them cold the next day for lunch and they were just as good. Here's the table all set up - look at the beautiful flowers! It was a yummy dinner, and we still have left-overs! I think next time I'm going to make a double or tripple recipe of the falafels and freeze them!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Processing ways of eating.

Found this site/article today. Like it :). Great nutritional suggestions for fasting.

Made this recipe the other day. So lovely. If you have lots of Basil, as I do, this is a very nutritious, creamy recipe, that has a bit more substance than pesto or a traditional "dip." Why do I buy salt and preservative laden dips at the grocery store, when tasty ones like this are so easy to make and yummy? I've converted myself completely to making salsa at home always, and most often make hummus at home. I think that will be my mini-goal in trying to eliminate some processed foods; I will try, from now on never to buy "dips" or "spreads" at the store. Salsa, hummus and this yummy basil recipe are all easy to make at home, so there is no excuse!

Sunday, August 09, 2009

New Favorites

Blog: Sprouted Kitchen

Web Browser: Firefox

Email program: Thunderbird.

I'm playing around with Sunbird, Mozilla's scheduling tool. I'm not sure I can make the switch to a digital planner. But, loosing my planner for a few days a couple of weeks ago has made me feel like I at least need to try :).

I also just downloaded Google Desktop. My favorite thing about it (besides the searches) is the nifty pop up to do list and other handy add-ons you can download.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Mom and Dad's

We went to Kamloops last weekend. My parents have a wonderful back yard, gardens and outdoor living area...I love sitting on the patio all evening talking, over dinner, over wine. Here are some of my favorite sights. Beginning with my mom's amazing basil patch (this is one of two). Doesn't it make you just want to dive in and roll around in it?
One of the veggie patches. I liked that these were nicely arranged in groups of three (though I'm sure that was accidental).

Three pots on the patio. More herbs.

I took this from the livingroom, looking out the patio doors. Those are hops on the latticework. They blanket it.


Hanging basket.
Dinner on the first night. This was a late night dinner after we arrived on Friday. For the record, those quesadillas are peach, goat cheese and basil. SO good.
Dinner on the second night. Grilled chicken, corn, and grilled vegetable salad. Homemade peach-mango salsa (mom's!) with tortillas.

So, you can see why I like going to Kamloops.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Roasted Vegetable Salad

Eggplant, zucchini, mushrooms, peppers marinated in garlic oil, balsamic and kosher salt, grilled and mixed with fresh basil. We made these in Kamloops with my parents :)

Friday, July 31, 2009

The Bag Saga

I'd like you to meet a long time friend of mine:
This green bag has been with me fore at least 3 years. I has been my work bag, travel bag, everything bag. I can fit my laptop, plus 10 folders of works stuff and all other implements I need in it, along with a water bottle or coffee mug. I . love. this. bag. So much. It is the perfect bag. I didn't realize how much I loved it until I realized it had to be replaced...the strap has broken...I could see it fraying for a while, and so have been searching for a new bag for about 2 months now, to no avail!

I've realized (well, actually, my husband pointed out to me) that bags are my jewelry (I'm not a fan of jewelry). The problem in finding a bag, is that I go into a store (usually winners), and throughout the time I'm there usually, at least 4 times think "Gah! I MUST have that bag, it is beautiful! I LOOVVE it." Then I turn over the price tag. It is always $100 or more. Always. Apparently I have expensive taste in bags. That, combined with the fact that my budget to buy a new bag hovers in the "under $40" rage...makes it hard for me to find a bag. And I can't stomach buying one I don't like. Can't. It's akin to wearing some type of scent I don't like. I just can't do it.

So, when this happened:

I nearly cried. And when I couldn't find a good replacement bag, I just wanted to hug my green bag and never let it go. I had to move on though.

Then I found this bag:

It's not my VERY favorite, but it is pretty good. I like the size and the style. Generally I like more colorful bags though, so I was sad about the basic black.

Then I opened it:

Ta-dah! Hooray! I CAN love this bag. It has pretty color inside. That can be seen from the outside most of the time. And, it was within budget. So, I went for it.

Now I have to say a sad sad goodbye to the green bag, and become unhealthily attached to the new bag.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Food Blog Search!

I just found a link to this food blog search tool on a (surprise!) food blog. This is fabulous!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Weekend happenings...


  • Up a couple of hours before my husband...I love it when I wake up early-ish on a Saturday morning, feeling rested. I made coffee, curled up on the couch and read a book, then had some blog-reading, online free time with my coffee before D. woke up.
  • I spent some more time researching local farms and locations to get local goods...also read a bunch of information about once a month cooking...very intersting!
  • Some of the places I visited: Get Local, Farm Fresh BC, Once a Month Cooking World, and many other places.
  • Alloette lake with D. in the afternoon. I swam "laps" in the lake, and layed in the sun while D. sat in the shade creating something on paper. It was a lovely afternoon.
  • Grilled local burgers and made corn on the cob on the grill for the first time. I will never, EVER make corn another way. So tasty! The burgers were amazing too (and I'm not much of a "large pieces of red meat" kind of gal either).


  • Church
  • Running various errands
  • Vaccumed the whole house, finally sorted through and put away mounds of clean laundry in our bedroom, and rearranged the furniture there.

It's been a good weekend. I'm thankful for it, as I have a busy work week coming up and am working all day Saturday next weekend.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Summer favorites.

Cups with crushed ice in preparation for Mojitos.
Smashed mint leaves, lime juice and simple syrup, ready to be added to the soda water and white rum for yuuuummmmy Mojitos.

A 10lb flat of raspberries from Kraus Berry Farms. On Saturday we visited a bunch of places including Kraus, and Neufeld farms. I highly recommend both!
I froze all but 2 small containers of the raspberries, so we'll have them for the fall and winter! I think Raspberries are my favorite berry. Unfortunately, they were out of strawberries, but we'll go back once blueberry season starts and get a flat of those to freeze as well. We also found this beautiful, delicious spectacle at Kraus:
I just had to bring it home. It is possibly one of the best-tasting things I've ever had. I may just have to go back and buy another one. Or two. Or...well, maybe I shouldn't go back.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Just thinking...

I feel like we are finally settling in to being back in the lower mainland. One of the most wonderful things about being here is having friends and family close by - and getting to reaquaint oursleves with everyone we haven't been able to see frequently for a while.

Having a place to entertain at, and having a social life again is a huge huge thing for me. I didn't realize how much I missed that when I was on the island. Now, there are so many people to get together with that it's hard to fit it all in!!

Last weekend I entertained a larger group for the first time in our new home. I have a group of close girlfriends I went to highschool with and have been close with for, well, probably close to 15 years now. Two of us have birthdays 2 days apart in June, and when we were younger we frequently had a joint birthday party. One of our out-of-town friends from this group was in town during our birthdays, so I decided to throw a joint birthday party for R. and I. So, all the girls and their significant others/kids, along with my brother and his wife came over for appetizers and drinks.

I just have to say, I LOVE entertaining. Love. And, in this kitchen, with space to move and prepare things, I do NOT get stressed out! It was awsume! At one point, my husband came into the kitchen while I was prepping. I stood there, holding my menu plan, and my to do list and rattling off to him what was next one the list of things to be done, the modifications I'd made to the menu and what we needed to run out and get (while music was blasting in the background). He looked at me and laughed. I found this slightly irritating, but had a feeling it was good-natured. "What!?" I said. He looked at me with that husbandly I-love-you-but-sometimes-can't-believe-you look on his face, grinned and said "It just kinda looks like you are really in your element right now." Okay, I couldn't be irritated. I laughed and said "I kinda am."

Now, just for the record - this doesn't mean I am *good* at it. It means I like doing it. I don't want to set anyone up to be dissappointed if they come over :). Unfortunately, it also means I usually go a bit overboard with the menu and quantity of food and drink (better too much than too little!). But that's okay :)

Another one of my favorite things about being back is being able to have impromptu visits with family, without planning. Like when my brother and his son stopped by for the afternoon, we watched Wall-E, ate leftovers for dinner and played outside. Like how Daryl can go to games night at his sister and brother-in-laws anytime now.

So, though I've been feeling really frustrated and stressed out about work and my thesis lately, I am really happy to be here, and do feel really lucky to have all the friends and family I have.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Good Things

  • good coffee. my bialatti coffee maker. My two favorites: esspresso and soy milk on ice with SB juicy raspberry syrup and soy vanilla americano misto
  • whole wheat waffles in the freezer
  • menus planned for a week. resulting in yummy taboleh in the fridge for lunch
  • prospect winery cabernet-merlot (in my glass)
  • a fridge that dispenses ice and filtered water
  • new shoes
  • fresh clean sheets on the bed
  • parents visiting this weekend

Would give anything for

  • A sleep-in day. I will get it on Saturday! Come fast Saturday

Monday, May 18, 2009


I had a great Sunday. We went to Church (which is always a great start to a Sunday). After Church we came home and I did some work while my wonderful husband tidied up the house. Around 4:30 my brother and nephew came over for dinner. They hung out while I made dinner, we all watched part of Wall-E after dinner. My nephew is so utterly adorable. I just want to squeeze him the whole time he is here and not let him get up and play like a normal 3-year-old. lol!

Then, I went out to run a couple of errands, and later that evening M. and her family came over. She had said they would come by and bring "something to snack on and a bottle of wine" so we could visit when they came by to pick up a couple of things from us. They showed up with 1) All the fixings for lovely wonderful home made pizzas (dough included!), 2) 2 bottles of yummy La Frenz wine and 3) Coconut cupcakes (so tasty). M. proceded to cook away making the yummiest pizza ever while we all visited. We visited well into the evening, and the kids were so great sitting and watching a movie while we visited.

I like days like that. I am so thankful I have a house that I like having people come to now, where there's space and it's easy to clean and fit people in. And, as a side note, where I can clean up after each visit in time for the next because there is a DISHWASHER. Haven't quite gotten over the novelty of that yet. We're still not nearly unpacked yet, but it's getting there inch by inch.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Just saying

The other night I went on a bit of a rampage and unpacked a LOT Of boxes and got most of our books and livingroom things sorted out. So the house feels somewhat more in order. Still so much to do though!

Today and tomorrow are really REALLY long work days. I'm out of the house from about 7:30 am to 7;30pm each day, and as much as there's nothing "stressful" about them, I still just want them to be done with! The long out of the house, driving from client-to-client days are tiring, and make me anxious that I'll be late arriving or will forget something essential and not have time to go home to get it!

Thankfully this weekend is clear. We have nothing scheduled. Which means, unfortunately that I can get my taxes ready to send to my accountant (I get till June to file as self-employed), and hopefully can get caught up on thesis and work stuff. I need to get totally caught up, as I leave Friday of next week (at 7am blech) to go to Phoenix for a conference, then arrive home the following Tuesday night at 7pm, and have to be at work in Courtenay (on the island) by 9am the next day! Not totally sure how that is going to work out yet. Either I'll need to take a late ferry, or will have to fly over this time, first thing in the morning. Flying will only occur if they can arrange it though.

Anyhoo...not a whole lot to say aside from sorting out my schedule in blog-form to make me feel a bit less anxious about it :)

I am excited about Phoenix, and LOVE that it's 100 degrees (F) there right now (SUMMER!!!). The downside is that I DO NOT have my summer bathing suit body yet, and my nearly daily gym visits helped too much. We'll see. I won't complain about great weather though, and WILL lay on the pool deck regardless. I'll just get some big sunglasses : )

Friday, May 08, 2009

Two Yummy Things

I didn't take any pictures, because I hadn't planned to blog about these things, but they are SO good I have to share. The frist recipe is from the Simply in Season cook book. The second is from (surprise surprise) the Moosewood Cooks at Home restaurant cookbook. More and more, most of the recipes I make come from these two books. And they never miss!

First: Veggie Burrito Bake

1 large clove garlic (minced
1 medium onion
3/4 cup uncooked rice
3/4 tsp ground tumeric
Saute in a saucepan in 1 tbsp oil until onon is tender. Stir often.

1 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
Ad and mix well. Simmer, covered, until liquid is absorbed, about 15 min for white rice, 40 min for brown rice. Remove from heat, let stand 5 min and fluff with fork.

16 cups/ 4 L fresh spinach (loosely pakced)
1 1/2 tsp garlic (minced)
salt and pepper to taste
While rice cooks, heat 1 tablespoon oil in frypan on high heat. Add garlic and spinach, one handful at a time as it wilts, adding water as needed to prevent sticking. Spinach should be moist, with loose leaves, not clumped together.

2 Cups cooked black beans
1 TBSP chili powder
Mix in a bowl. Layer ingredients as follows in a 2-quart/2-Litre cassorole: Half of spinach, all of the rice, all of the beans, remaining spinach.

1 Cup monteray jack cheese (shredded)
Sprinkle on top. Cover and bake at 375 F until sizzling, 45 minutes. Or heat in microwave about 10 minutes then let stand 5 minutes. Serve by spooning into warm flour tortillas. Optional garnishes: Salsa, avacados, guacamole, sour cream, tabasco pepper sauce, chopped fresh cilantro, lime wedges.

I cooked it 10 min in the microwave and 20 min in the oven. We used cilantro, liime wedges, sour cream and hot sauce to garnish. This was SO SO good. We both loved it. It would be a great thing to make to take to an event, or to prep earlier in the day for dinner, as you can put it into the fridge once it's assembled and bake when you're ready to eat it.

The other thing we had is much simpler.

Moosewood Fudge Brownies. They are officially my favorite brownies. Ever.

Melt 3 squares of unsweetened chocolate and 1/2 cup butter together
Add 1 cup of brown sugar and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Add 2 large eggs (whisk them before adding them)
Add 1/2 cup flour
Put in an 8 or 9-inch square pan and bake at 350 F for 20 minutes.

So So So So So GOOD.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Here we are.

We're here! I'm sitting in our new kitchen, blogging. And in complete disbelief that this is our house now. That's about all right now. Tired. Overwhelmed. But thankful.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Dragon Bowls

First, if you have never been to the NAAM, you must go. It is wonderful. Magnificent M introduced me to it, and it's so good. Awsume, fresh, filling food for a reasonable price, open 24 hours, live music - the've got it all. But they are nearly always busy - so be prepared to wait in line and to cozy up to the guy reading the paper at the table next to you.
One of their signatures is their miso gravy (served with sesame fries, but also on many of their dragon bowls).
Soooo good. They sell it bottled, but until recently I thought the only place I could get it was at the NAAM. A couple of days ago I found it at the price smart foods in Langley (of all places) and decided to fullfill my dragon bowl craving. So here's what I did:
First, brown rice. A pile of it. In the middle of the plate.
Then, I put lightly blanched (VERY LIGHTLY, barely cooked) broccoli on top of the rice.

Then, marinated and sauteed tofu and sauteed mushrooms. I just marinated (well, my wonderful husband did) the tofu in tamari sauce and garlic. Then, dumped it into a frying pan with some olive oil and added the sliced mushrooms. Put a pile of this garlicy goodness on top of the rice. Like this:Then, I put a pile of the carrots D. had grated on top of this, and topped it with bean sprouts. At this point it's really starting to look like NAAM quality dragon-bowl yumminess.

Top it off with some of the NAAM miso gravy heated up, and it was SOOOOO good. And pretty darn healthy. And stinking fililing too!! Yum.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Wonder food.

I think I'm addicted to nutritional yeast. It is so good, has a yummy nutty-cheesy taste, and it's nutritional benefits are amazing! I always have a hard time getting enough B-Vitamins, and it's packed full of them. Here are two recpes for yummy food involving nutritional yeast:

1) Vegan Mac and Cheeze. I REALLY love this. But, tell people it's "cassorole" so they won't be expecting typical mac and cheese taste. It's sooooo good, but if you go into it expectin mac and cheese, it can be dissapointing.

2) My friend Alia's AMAZING salad dressing. I'm not kidding. This salad dressing will have you inhaling greens :). Soooo good. Here it is:

The basic construct for the salad dressing is as follows:
1/2 to 1 cup of nutritional yeast (depending on your taste preference)
1/2 cup of water
1/3 cup of tamari sauce
1/3 cup of apple cider vinegar
3/4 to 1 cup of olive oil or oil of choice
1 to 2 tsp of garlic powder

Whirl it all up in a blender and its ready.A lot of the amounts vary depending on your taste, good luck.

I actually contemplated drinking this dressing. Just a little of it.

Anyone else have great nutritional yeast recipes? I've been told it's good on pizza and popcorn. Haven't tried either though.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Susan Boyle is my new hero.

Embedding was disabled so I couldn't post the video directly here. But you have to check Susan Boyle out. This actually made me tear up a little!!! (I stole this from my dad's facebook post :).

Monday, March 23, 2009

Something new.

Well, it's been so long since I posted, I really felt a need to post something new. Not totally sure what though!

We are in Courtenay this week, and I have to say - after the last manic couple of weeks being in Courtenay to work 9-5 for five days in a row with my husband here actually feels like a holiday! Working holiday, but holiday nonetheless. Unfortunately we slept in yesterday and had to rush around packing, so we missed Church before leaving. Sad. It was a beautiful ferry ride over. And we had a wonderful evening cooking good food together and talking with our friends we stay with here when we arrived last night.

I think, I really do like being on the mainland. I didn't realize how much I missed the mountains, and the sense that any weekend, if we wanted to (not that we have time to right now, but...if!) we could hop in the car and head up to Kamloops, or Kelowna, or Cultas or Golden ears for the weekend. I love that feeling. I think I felt a bit penned in on the island.

My secondary goal for this week, while here, is to get caught up on scoring video for my thesis. I'm dreadfully behind, and need to score this video before moving to the next phase with the next participant. More video will be coming in soon, too.

It is definately lent. Definately.

Soon it will be Pascha though.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A sneak peek

Now that we have signed the lease to rent our new place for May 1 (we're actually moving in April 22nd), I feel like I can post a couple of pictures. We are so unbelievably blessed to have found this place, and found it within our price range. The landlord has actually lowered the rent by 250.00 per month so we can afford it, because he really wants good tenants and feels we are a good match. I still cannot believe we'll get to live here. For the rent we'll be paying. Long term. We may not ever buy. lol! So here is a sneak peek of the house. It is 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, with a family room and living room (both with fireplaces), a loft, a walk in closet in the master. Overall it's over 2000 square feet. I know. It's like at least 2.5 times the size of anything we've ever lived in before. It will be very empty for the first few months! Please know that though it looks like we'd be paying thousands of dollars per month in rent, that is NOT the case, we are getting this place for only a couple of hundred dollars per month more than our last place (which was about 7-800 square foot apartment with none of the ammenities this place has!). Also note that we will not have the furniture that is currently in there! The first picture is the formal livingroom when looking down on it from the loft. That room will likely not have any furniture for a few months :)

Quite appropriately, we'll be waiting to move in through the rest of lent, and we'll move in part way through bright week. We have been jokingling saying we're fasting from having a house for lent. Ha!

Monday, March 02, 2009

We're baaaack :)

We are now officially back on the mainland. The moving weekend was crazy. Once again we over-estimated our own strength and endurance by a gargantuan amount. We thought we'd have no problem packing the apartment into a 1-ton truck by ourselves over Friday evening and Saturday. We very naively, or arrogantly (depending on how you look at it), though we'd be done and out the door by 1pm on Sat. Hah!!! We managed to catch the 9pm ferry! Then Sunday we unloaded everything (with lots of help on this end) into the two storage units and D.'s parents house. We are now semi-settled here, and I'm very thankful for our space here! We'll be staying here till near the end of April, when we (assuming nothing goes horribly wrong between now and March 10th when we sign the lease) will be moving into the most beautiful wonderful giant house! We really really lucked out with this place, and are getting it at a steel. Email me and I"ll give you the deets :). And of course, we'll have one heck of a house-warming party to break it in (though right now we only own enough furniture for about 1/2 of it...maybe!).

D.'s parents have given up their dining room so we can use it as an office. I can't tell you how comforting it was to set up my office area there today. It was like as soon as that was set up I though "Okay. Now I can cope." Work nut. Right here.

Anyways, the next two weeks are full to the brim with work, including a conference on Saturday (have to be at UBC at 7:15 am to do conference committee duties!! ICK!), and work the following Saturday. Despite the fact that it would be nice to have a real day off to recover from the moving craziness, I am thankful to have so much work booked right off the bat, as we really need the money to finish paying my tuition right now (SO overdue!!).

I am so looking forward to seeing everyone more often again!

I am thinking though that I need to find a way to keep a piece of the slow-moving-calm-peaceful-layedbackness of Victoria within me so I don't go manic. I'm realizing that despite the fact that the pace in Vic was challenging for me (too slow!), it may have been good for me :).

Friday, February 27, 2009


Here we go. Really, I'm getting off the couch and packing. Really. I woke up early today, did some packing, went to see my priest and then came home. I picked up a panini at one of my favorite Victoria cafe's (Pure Vanilla) and ate that for lunch (okay, okay, along with a "kitchen sink" cookie from the same cafe). Now I really really could just fal asleep. But I will get going on the packing before I head out to run some errands and pick up D. and the moving truck.

Here we go!

Thursday, February 26, 2009


Last night we went for dinner at some dear friends' home. They are in some ways our local "family" here. They are just wonderful. We make a good group, as D. and A. (the husbands) play a strategy game while B. and I sit and talk for hours and hours while we drink wine.

Everytime we get together for an evening, I leave inspired, refreshed and so thankful after talking with B. for hours. This week it was so what I needed. It was the first time I've relaxed all week.

Of course, after getting home at close to 2am, and having only about 4 hours sleep, I am SOOOO tired now. But it was worth it.

Today I have a video conference this morning, then my last haircut with my hairdresser here! I really don't have time for this haircut, but I'm doing it anyways, because I really need a haircut, and I don't know what I"ll do once I move to the mainland, because I love this hairdresser so much!! I'm actually debating coming over here for haircuts!

And, what is with the snow??

Monday, February 23, 2009

To keep going...

I have scored video for about 8 hours already today and have another 2-3 hours to do still. Then work, then packing. My eyes may fall out of their sockets trying to do more tonight, so to keep on going here are my changes:

1) Candle, Vanilla scented.

2) Earl Grey tea
3) Open window for fresh air.
Now, those of you that know what a nerd I am and how much I actually love data may be shocked by my grumbling. I will be SO thrilled to tabulate, analyze and graphically display this data, but at the moment I am scoring second-by-second data on 11 different things, for three 30-minute data.'s wearing on me (mostly because I left it to the last minute and now have to do it all in one day. Surprise surprise.
Here I go :)