Friday, July 29, 2016

Happy Friday!

On Wednesday I headed downtown to meet up with a bunch of gal pals (and some babies too) to wander through the farmers' market, and have a picnic lunch in the park.  We grabbed lunch at The Chopped Leaf.

I had the whole bowl #1 with chicken added, and was super impressed; it was delicious!

Our dinner was leftovers from the night before.

Yesterday I started my day with Greek yogurt & toppings.

And about three cups of coffee ...

When Christopher came home for lunch we had couscous with a cilantro sauce topping, Greek salad, and some dill pickle pasta salad.

We had a busy evening, and relaxed after with a snacky dinner - some smoked salmon, paratha, cream cheese, and later ... popcorn!

This morning I'm eating an egg/ veggie bake, and fruit topped with chunky peanut butter, all while catching up on Big Brother.

We have an exciting little getaway this weekend.  After breakfast I'll bake some cookies, and finish getting ready for that.

What are you up to this weekend?

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

10 Questions and Eats

Yesterday morning I made some baked eggs for breakfast.  I put a bunch of veggies in with the eggs, and had an orange on the side.

That kept me fueled until I met Christopher for lunch at Western Pizza.  They have a buffet a couple times a week that isn't very nutritious, but is super tasty.  I had one plateful.

For dinner last night we made some meatballs on the BBQ (in a handy meatball contraption).  On the side we had a tomato/ basil/ garlic salad, and dill pickle pasta salad.

This morning I made an egg/ tomato/ arugula breakfast sandwich.


10 Questions

A few other bloggers have been answering some getting-to-know you questions, and I thought it would be fun to play along.  I've answered 10 of the questions below ...

What brings you the greatest joy?  There are so many things that bring me joy, including baby smiles/laughs, baby animals, moving fast through the water (watersliding, wakeboarding, waterskiing, tubing, white water rafting, boating, etc.), music, skiing, unexpected sing-a-longs, adventures, camping ... I could go on forever.  But, the thing that brings me the greatest joy is dancing/laughing with Christopher.  I've never in my entire life had more fun than I have with him.

What is on your nightstand?  Not much.  My night stand just has a lamp, some essential oils, and chap-stick.  At night my phone sits there too, as it's my alarm.

What is your greatest indulgence?  Definitely splurging on vacations. 

What makes you laugh?  Christopher.  He is the funniest person I've ever met in my life.

What is on your bucket list?  A lot of travel.  There are so many places we want to visit.  We're constantly adding to our list of must-see places.  We recently added Copenhagen to our list.

What is on your feet right now?  Nothing.  I prefer bare feet or shoes that don't require socks.

How did you make your first dollar?  Babysitting.  A lot.  I made quite good money for a 12 year old, as I had some pretty steady babysitting gigs for numerous families.

What superstition do you believe in?  I'm not big on superstitions, but I do believe that we often attract what we put out (positive energy attracts positive energy/ karma).  Also, I've been known to knock on wood to prevent being jinxed, ha!

What items in your closet do you wear the most?  All my dresses.  In the spring/summer I basically only wear dresses.  I prefer dresses to pants/shorts.

What is on your kitchen counter?  We keep the appliances/tools we use most often very handy (especially the Kitchen Aid and Vita-Mix).  We also have a smaller kitchen counter that has the toaster, and olive oil on it.

What brings you the greatest joy?  What's on your nightstand?  Bucket list?  Superstitions?

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Start of the Week

Yesterday morning I was up and out of the house very early.  By 9:00 I had already gone to the dentist and bought groceries.  I had breakfast and then met up with my friend Alaina, and her new baby, for coffee and a walk around the lake. 

Lunch was leftover shrimp curry that we had made on Sunday evening. 

In the afternoon I made a fruit pizza (shortbread-style crust, cream cheese topping, fruit, and a glaze), as it's one of Christopher's favourites.

He's pretty excited to have this as his dessert for the week.

Yesterday evening we went and met our friends' Donny & Edith's new baby; he's a sweetie (as you might have figured out, we're in that stage of life where everyone is having babies)!

When we got home from our visit, we made some fish tacos for dinner.

Are most (all) of your friends having babies these days, or are you not there yet/past that stage?  How's your week going so far?

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Weekend Away

On Friday when Christopher was off of work, we hit the road to Saskatoon.  Once we arrived, we met up with my half sister Kim for a little Mexican dinner at Las Palapas

I had the chicken pozole soup.

After dinner we checked in to our hotel and crashed right away.

On Saturday morning we grabbed breakfast at The Underground Cafe.

My cinnamon-bun waffle was really good.  I definitely didn't need the syrup though; it was sweet enough without it.

After breakfast we went to see my mom, and spent the day with her.  We didn't have lunch, but grabbed dinner around 5:00 at The Odd Couple.  We hadn't been before, but had heard good things.  It's gorgeous inside!

We shared the crab rangoons to start:

We then shared the szechuan peppercorn, spicy chili tofu and maple Thai basil pork ribs:

Everything was awesome; we'd definitely go back to this place again.

Right after dinner we headed back to the hotel to lounge around in our room for the evening.  We were visiting, laughing, and carrying on, and ended up staying up late.  We started getting hungry again by about 11:00 p.m., so we ordered a plate of our favourite spaghetti and a piece of peanut butter pretzel cheesecake up to the room (it's amazing).

The best kind of Saturday night!

This morning we grabbed breakfast at Grainfields and then spent the day with my mom again. 

Then this evening we were on the road home after our weekend away.

How was your weekend?
What did you do?  Any fun plans for the week?

Friday, July 22, 2016

This Week's Eats

On Tuesday morning I had a bowl of plain Greek yogurt with toppings, with my coffee and grapefruit juice.

I went for a walk around the lake on Tuesday after we had leftover mushroom soup for lunch.  It was hot out; it's been very hot all week.

Dinner was salmon with couscous tabouleh.

To cook the couscous, you just bring 1 1/2 cups of water or broth to a boil, then add 1/2 tsp salt, a drizzle of oil or pat of butter, and 1 cup of couscous.  Give it a little stir, cover and remove from heat, letting sit for ten minutes.  Fluff with a fork.

Once it cooled, we tossed in fresh lemon juice, lemon zest, olive oil, red onion, cucumber, tomato, a splash of red wine vinegar, and loads of fresh parsley.  We seasoned it with salt and pepper, and it was perfect.

On Wednesday morning I made baked eggs (2 eggs, 2 T cheese, 3-4 T diced veggies, splash of half and half, 20 minutes @ 400 F) for breakfast before heading to the farmers market.  On the side was a piece of PB toast with strawberries.

I love going to the farmers' market in the summer - I want alllll the veggies!

Yesterday morning I had eggs over radish shoots with some toast.

This breakfast kept me fueled up for a long walk around the lake with my friend Alissa and her lil' babe.  We started our walk at 9:30 a.m., and it was already really hot.  By the time we got home it was scorching!

Lunch was a bit of leftover tabouleh, and a big bowl of fruit.

By mid-afternoon I was snacking on these little tomatoes, that I just can't get enough of - nature's candy!

In the evening we went downtown to the farmers' market tasting event, Market Under the Stars.  There weren't any stars in the sky, but there were a lot of tasty eats.  You buy tickets, and then different food trucks etc., have smaller versions of some of their dishes available for one or two tickets.  We shared the stuff pictured below:

This morning I had a bowl of cheesy grits for breakfast, and then met up with my friend Jocelyn and her lil' sweetie for coffees and a visit in the park.  It was so nice to visit in the sunshine.

When Christopher got home at lunch, we had egg salad sandwiches loaded with radish shoots.

We're road-tripping to Saskatoon this weekend.

What are you up to this weekend?

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Summertime in the Kitchen

This week has been absolutely wonderful so far.  I started my Monday morning with a bowl of oatmeal (1/3 cup oats, 2/3 cup coffee/vanilla almond milk mixture), topped with chia seeds, hemp seeds, cacao nibs, almond butter and fruit.

Add coffee and we're all set.

I had lunch ready for when Christopher came home on his break - homemade mushroom soup, and tuna melts.

I can't remember if I had ever made homemade mushroom soup before this, but either way, it turned out beautifully.  I served it up with saltine crackers for crunching over top, because you just gotta!

Easy Mushroom Soup

1 ounce dried mushrooms
1-2 T olive oil (truffle oil if you have it; that's what I used)
2 leaves of fresh sage
1 sprig rosemary
1/2 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
3/4 tsp salt
pinch of white pepper
1 lb mushrooms (mixture of white and cremini or shiitake)
3 cups chicken or beef stock
1 T unsalted butter
1/2 cup heavy cream

Soak the dried mushrooms in 1 cup warm water for about 20 minutes or so, then remove the mushrooms and chop, and strain liquid through a coffee filter, reserving the liquid to add later.

Heat the oil in a dutch oven on medium.  Add the herbs and sizzle for a minute or so to infuse the oil.  Add the onion, garlic, salt and pepper.  Cook five minutes, or until onion is translucent, but not browned (add more oil if needed).  Turn on to high heat and add mushrooms.  Cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

Add stock, dried mushrooms and dried mushroom liquid.  Simmer with the lid on for about 30 minutes.  Remove the herbs.  Add the butter and cream.  Puree in a blender or with an immersion blender until smooth (in batches if necessary).  Return to pot and keep on a simmer until ready to serve.

For the tuna melts, I mixed a drained can of tuna with some mayo, grainy mustard, dijon mustard, minced red onion, minced celery, salt and pepper.  I toasted the bread, then topped it with the tuna mixture, and some grated smoked cheddar.  I broiled on low for about 10-15 minutes, watching closely, and then broiled on high for about a minute.

On Monday morning I also worked on a couple pie crusts ...

And then I finished off the pie in the afternoon.

Last summer I really delved into pie making, and made a different kind each week.  The peach pie was a big hit, so I thought I'd start my summer baking with that.

Christopher looooooves his desserts.

When he got home from work we chilled out and visited for a while, before starting on dinner.  Christopher took the lead on this dish, which has become a new favourite of ours.

I posted the recipe for this rosemary polenta with eggplant here.  We topped it with smoked cheddar - soooo good.

For dessert ...

Peach pie of course!

With a Monday this delicious, the week was definitely off to a great start.

I always have a list of things that I want to do in the summer, including walks around the lake with friends, farmers' market trips, camping, experimenting with new recipes, and baking things I've never baked before, etc..  I have so many things I'm looking forward to making this summer. 

What is something fun on your summer to-do list?