Saturday, February 28, 2009


Well we had our first non family guests today. Two different sets of good friends managed to drop by at the same time. It was great. There were kids running everywhere. There were three conversations going at once. I whipped up some guacamole and put that out with salsa, chips and some bits and bites. Once set brought some japanese style chow mein. The other set brought an amazing spice cake. I had a couple of beers and wound up with the early evening hang over. That is definitely my least enjoyed of all the hangovers. I think the best hang over, if there is such a thing, is the camping hangover. You just crack another beer and get on with your day. Anyways I didn't snap any pictures. Of anything.

Tomorrow we have a play day planned in the afternoon. I think I need to do my taxes in the morning. Should be good.

Oh yeah the little guy was amazing. He was calm throughout most of the visit. Even slept through parts of it. No one could quite put their finger on who he looked like but when I brought out the baby pictures he definitely bares a striking resembelance to both of his siblings. Time will tell.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Currying Favour

Was what I was attempting to do when I made curry this evening. I thought I could win my mother over into staying another day. Alas I did not and she leaves bright and early on the morrow.

It might have been the less than stellar gustatory performance I put on this evening. Not having any curry powder or turmeric I was in sort of a pinch but I managed to get by. I used the usual suspects and whipped up a tofu chick pea curry. There were assorted other vegetables included as well. As a special treat I whipped up a chili pepper topping with some of our dried chilis. This added some needed wow to the mild child friendly curry. You know, it could have used some mango. Also I have to be a little tighter with my spicing. If I am going to fly by the seat of my pants then I need to be testing the sauce at more frequent intervals. I am also contemplating using honey instead of molasses next time. A lighter sweetness.

Here is mother and child on day six. Starting to round out nicely. Not crying too much and the wife says he slept for two three hour stretches last night. I doubt it will last but it is good for now.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Extended Family.

So with the mumma in town I felt sure it was a pizza night. I even managed to get her to eat a whole shwack of pizza. I think this is a sterling endorsement. I mean if I can get my mom to go past three slices I am doing something right.
Other than that we had a good day running around town getting errands done. The official registration went into the mail box today so the name is definitely set in stone now. I am happy about that, as I think we nailed it. Also added someone to our Medical Services Plan and at the same time applied for my parental benefits. The child tax credit application will have to wait until tomorrow. So in fact will the laundry. I have to try and remember that just because Ma is here and on vacation it does not mean I am on vacation. Here are mom and grand daughter sewing. Notice the need for better light in the living room. I wouldn't let them use the dining room table as I was getting ready for dinner.It was another good baby day here. I actually sent a picture out by e-mail to some co-workers. However, they did specifically ask for it. I am not spamming up the world with random shots of my kid. I am filling up my blog with them.
For those of you thinking of coming up for a visit this last picture is just a taste. It could be you on the left side of this picture getting all that baby love. We make a pretty good breakfast too.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Ruso-Chinese War.

Well when one makes perogies and cha-han what else can it be called. The perogies were your basic freezer bag full. I fried up some bacon, onions and mushrooms to add as a topping. Unfortunately, I forgot the sour cream. Rats. The cha-han was diced onions, garlic, bacon, carrots and red pepper (yes they were all diced). This was stir fried until it all got soft and done then I scooted it all over to the side and fried up the egg I had just whisked. After this was sufficiently done I added the previously cooked rice (small nuke action to warm it). This was stirred into the vegetables with some salt, pepper, soy sauce and ketchup. It really worked. The kids loved it. Speaking of the kids here they are with their mom. I couldn't decide which picture was better. The son wasn't looking in one, the daughter in the other. I feel like I have to have a baby shot every night now. Oh the pressure.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Well we rehashed the curry this evening and no one except myself was really interested. The kids snacked on various things after coming home and then mom made a bit of an egg fry/omelet and the dug into that and a bowl of rice with furikake. I was so upset I couldn't take a picture. However, during the day I did manage to snap a couple of the youngster. So in case you are interested here are the best of todays photos.

I especially like the one where he looks like he is smiling. He always has the head tucked in so its tough to get a really good face shot. And since its winter he is always bundled up. Need to get some spring happening and maybe he will show a little leg.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Ta Daaaaa!

You should see some of the dinners I have made recently. Let me start with... Okay the kid pictures come at the end but I do have expectations about this blog so I will start with dinner. On Friday evening I made breakfast for dinner. Or more correctly I thought of the idea and the wife put it into practice. By the time the daughter and I arrived home she and the son were no where to be found but this is the dinner we got. I kind of like breakfast for dinner. However, I am a once every four years kind of guy. Definitely couldn't do this even once a month.

Then some stuff happened on the weekend (more down below) and we came home from our adventure and I made this for dinner. Mashed potatoes, tofu bean stew (not chili in even a broad sense) and some peas and corn. The tofu bean stew was the usual sauteed onions, mushrooms and garlic. Diced medium tofu and small zucchini chunks were added in after the seasonings. A can of crushed tomatoes with some vinegar and molasses and a final salt and pepper splash finished the deal. I was worried it would be flavour poor but the kids were starving for anything home cooked after three days on the road and they both came back for seconds. I will have it noted for posterity that I had a load of laundry in the washer and had just taken the daughter to, and picked her up from, ice skating practice. I even managed to squeeze a grocery shop in there somewhere. Now to be at the point where I can be blogging, I have put the first and a second load through the dryer, given the kids baths, put away the leftovers and read books for bedtime. I realise I am not pacing myself but holy crap. This housewife gig is for the birds. Have I really signed on for five weeks of this. The real bummer is I still have marking to get done for a test I gave last week.

Okay here is the gravy. This first picture is of the mom tummy mountain two days before delivery.Here is the boy about 3 minutes after birth. You will note the mother is still wearing her regular clothes. That is the speed with which the actual labour came on. No time to change into a hospital gown.Here is the boy just after being scrubbed clean.
First family four shot.First all kids triple shot. I really like this one.Do you think the wife looks tired in this next picture? I can't imagine why. I mean lets face, when real labour is only twenty minutes long you should be up for a little doubles. Uh oh, I can hear you all pulling out your daggers. I was just kidding.I guess I cut the daughter out of this picture. Although it turned into a nice picture of the little guy. The rest of the pictures are not really up to grade. You will have to forgive me. I was running on two hours sleep and had a pretty high fever. It was tough to get any sympathy though. However, I didn't take any grief over my inability to perform so that says something. The video is still in the camera and will probably not make it to the blog.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Ask a question.

Well I asked the kids what the wanted for dinner and they told me in no uncertain terms. One wanted noodles. The other wanted curry. So I made pasta with curry sauce.The Mrs. wanted to go for a walk so I gave her a wish list on her way out the door. Steak, chick peas, cream and frozen corn. I also asked for a cucumber for the salad but seeing as I didn't make the salad I don't know if that counts. My final request was for a treat, something chocolatey. She did let us down. But first lets talk about the sauce.

I started by frying the steaks in a little oil in a sauce pan. While they were browning I diced some onions and garlic and started to sweat them in a biggish pot with some oil. While the onions sweated and the steaks were turned over, I food processed half the chick peas with some vinegar and water. The consistency was closer to smooth than chunky but it definitely wasn't humus. By now the steaks were browned on the outside so I transfered them to a cutting board and sliced them into little chunks. Then I added the steak and spices to the onions. I added about a table spoon each of, cumin, coriander and paprika with a teaspoon of tumeric and cinnamon. I covered this and let is cook for about five minutes. By then the colours had all blended and it was starting to look like curry. Next I added the chick pea puree with the remaining whole chick peas, the sliced red peppers, and the frozen corn. Then I made a classic blunder. Not quite up there with getting involved in a land war in Asia but close. I wanted to add some kind of roux to get that nice thick curry consistency. Unfortunately I added too much flour. I started by heating up a cup of water in the microwave. Then I added about half a cup of flour (should have been maybe 2 or 3 tablespoons) with a small container of cream and some oil. I whisked this in the measuring cup and then added salt pepper and basil. This was then added to the curry. Don't get me wrong it was still great but the flour muted much of the spice flavour. This made the kids happy and they gobbled up their portions. Lots left for lunch tomorrow and we are thinking of using it as a filling for wraps when we head over to see the widwife.

As for the treat the wife managed to pick up some of these bad boys on sale. Gotta love the week after valentines. Its all good.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Not tonight honey.

Well I the sickness has come back with a vengeance. Just working too hard. Now I need to muddle through one more day and we will be at the weekend. I sure hope the wife can hold on till Friday. That would be just dandy as far as I am concerned. I am not looking forward to a possible midnight drive, sick, with whiney kids in tow. Where is a relative when you need one?
There was a lovely pasta with a tomato meat sauce this evening. I had a big plate. The kids thought there was too much pepper in it and didn't eat much. All the more for me. And peppery to boot. After that plate I grated up some cheese and had nachos with salsa. That was the topper and now I am feeling satisfied. I planned to get some work done but just don't have it in me. I think I may watch a movie and then go to bed.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


That is how I felt today at by 4:00. My head was nodding at my desk and I need a change. So I came home. But no one was hear. Had I missed them in passing. Was the wife searching for me with contractions only two minutes apart. My mind raced. And then I got over it. I was so ready for a birth this weekend that now that it has passed I have the feeling that its never going to happen. I am resigned to working up to the beginning of spring break. Of course now I am going to be caught unawares with nothing prepared for the next day of school and a pile of marking waiting to be done. But that is neither here nor there. You, careful reader, want to know about dinner.

I mean if you don't want to know about dinner then you may be in the wrong spot. Not that I question why you're here. Okay, dinner.
. When I awoke from my afternoon nap, its a good life sometimes. I found everyone else was fed and messing around post dinner. There were fish and faux chicken (tofu based) sticks in the fry pan and rice in a bowl. The miso soup was still warm and the salad still fresh. I served me up this picture you see in front of you and sat down to tuck in. Then I am hit with a "sorry about dinner," from the wife. She thought chicken and fish sticks was a little paltry for an evening meal. I of course pointed out that rice, miso soup and salad can be accompanied by anything, and I mean anything (examples: apple slices, box of raisons, leftover mac and cheese) and be one heck of a meal. Especially after the wicked boxed lunch I had today. Did I mention my wife is like 8.75 months pregnant. She is a trooper. Well back to marking papers.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Late Curry

Sorry for the delay. I had to run right off after dinner to referee a basketball game. Good game. Good dinner.

We were treated to a fabulous turkey curry tonight. That massive beast from Christmas is still doing great service. And is it ever good turkey. The mrs. whipped up a beautiful sauce which she called, "Turkey soup?? curry??" but whatever it was it was good. I ladled mine over a bowl of rice. Added some vinegar from the pickled peppers to kick up the heat and nuked it. 2 and a half minutes later I was in dinner heaven.

After getting back home this evening I managed to get some book time with the daughter. Then the wife and I sat down to watch "The Visitor." Interesting movie. The wife said that she still feels a little scared living in Canada because she is not a citizen. I can understand that. Especially when I was living in Japan I always had that niggling doubt that if I did something to over the top I would just be packed up and sent home. That kind of feeling really helps one keep in line. Well sorry about the lateness of the post. Later.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Holding Pattern

That is how I am feeling right now. Every day after waking up I spend the day holding my breath, anticipating whether or not today is the day... I don't get dinner on the table. However, today was not that day. I managed to pull one of these out of my oven. That doesn't sound quite right for some reason. Anyways, I planned to make Lasagna and I believe that is what I made. Everyone seemed to enjoy it and there is even a small version wrapped up and stored away in the deep freezer. Oh the joy of making two meals for the price of one. I did two sauces this evening. Your standard meat sauce: onion, garlic, crushed tomato, basil, oregano, salt and pepper. Brown the meat and veggies, pour off the excess fat, add tomatoes and flavouring, simmer. I also made a veggies type sauce, in the blender I put mushrooms green pepper chunks, and whole tomatoes (stewed in a can version) this was blended until everything was tiny little pieces definitely not puree. Then that was put in a bowl and microwaved for about 8 minutes (honestly, it was a big bowl). Earlier in the day I purchased the pasta you have to boil first so I did so. Then I layered all of the above, throwing in a cottage cheese layer or two and topped it all with grated cheddar. 30 mins at 400 later and we were ready to eat.
The wife got on the garlic bread while the Lasagna baked and I was cleaning pots and pans. Then she whipped up some almost instant salad. She added carrots and cucumbers to flesh it out a little. With this dinner was ready. We sat down with our friend who just recently got back from a trip to Japan. She came over this afternoon to hang out and we forced her to stay on for dinner. Being overly polite I have no idea whether she enjoyed the food or not but she did have a second helping. There was ice cream for dessert but I declined.There went another great 5 day weekend. Okay I was sick for all five of the days and had to referee yesterday and made dinner four of the five nights but I'm not complaining. I am just listing the facts. And it was great.

Super Snack Attack

So you can see last nights dinner in both a good and a bad light. Lets start with good. Well done me. I have now made dinner three nights in a row. And I even have plans for this evening so I am getting er done as the boys say. I also even managed to serve up another vegetarian meal, complete with beans for protein and a wide variety of vegetables. The bad light would point to two things. We had snack food for dinner again and I served chips for two dinners in a row.
I made three dipping options. There was the kids salsa on the right. No spice, lots of flavour and surprisingly not that well attended. Then there was the old stand by guacamole. They have been devouring this stuff recently. This bowl however was the not the sentsation it usually is. The real shocker was the new import. I took a can of brown beans in tomato sauce. This was added to some already browned minced onion and crushed garlic. Once it was bubbling I mashed it up and added a few shots of vinegar(I am a big believer in vinegar). They both came back for multiple spoonfuls so I am going to call that a success. My nacho making was anything but. I was in a hurry so I used the broil and then the cheese in the middle didn't get melted. I gotta work on the lead time into dinner. Which means start cooking and/or planning before 5:00pm. If I can master this everything else should fall into place.

Oh yeah the wife and I also had insta-salad from those plastic containers with the fresh baby organic greens in them.

On the family front the daughter attended her first pool party in our newly refurbished pool. Still looks that same to me but I think most of the refurbishments were structural. Something about the exterior walls. Hey at least we still have a pool.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Snack Night

So, once again after a long day of driving I took on the dinner mantle this evening. And as usual I didn't really get that far. At the store we stopped for some cheese, veggies and yogurt. You know cheese is a little expensive. I really need to get on learning how to make it.
Anyways the dinner consisted of veggies and dip (yogurt, mayo, vinegar, dill, paprika, salt and pepper). Cheese and crackers (brie for the brie monster and cheddar for the rest of us). Some pickle spears and a bag of potato chips. This is really how I like to eat. That and the fact we took it to the living room (yes I realise I just recently cleaned the carpet, but one has to live) to eat while watching episodes of pokemon.I actually made a potato gratin (or at least my version of it) but lacked the energy to get up and serve it up to everyone. I had some myself and in fact it tastes pretty good. I also forgot to take a picture of it and don't really want to go through the whole two minute process of taking the picture, plugging it in, down loading it, up loading it and then ... wait, if I wasn't sitting here carping about it I would be done already. Okay gimme a sec...In the mean time here is a picture of me trying to blog. I have this wicked growth coming out of my cheek. It has gotten so large it actually gets in the way of my typing and demands things like glasses of water and bum wiping (I sure hope he doesn't get reminded of this some day and end up hating me for it). Both a blessing and pain. The pain is mostly just me not understanding the blessing. Like the other day when he broke the ... well he's a little boy right. Its part of his greatness. Come on up load you gratin I can't sit here writing all night. What else... oh the midwife says we are still pregnant and should deliver sometime soon. I think I came across as the whiney self centered person I most likely am, sort of complaining about not having delivered yet (still ten days early). I mean really. Who is pregnant here and who is along for the ride? I am just looking to spend more time at home. The wife thinks the kid is staying in longer to save us some bucks. You know, the more days dad works the more he gets paid kind of thing. Well at this rate the photo will never upload. Really 7:00 pacific time is a bad time for blogger. I think it is prime time for North America and everything is slow. I like the middle of the night. Even my videos upload in no time. Do you really want to see the... hey not ten minutes later it finally arrived. Be thankful you didn't have to wait for it.

Well two daddy dinners in a row. Kind of looking forward/dreading the whole up coming Mr. Mom thing. Never gone more than 2 days at it before. This should be some real in sight into how the other half lives. I'm out.

Pizza Night: The whole story

So I give you a pizza night in as full a glory as I could manage. This post is sort of half tribute half test run. The Pioneer Woman's blogs about cooking are just so detailed photographically that I thought I would give it a try with last night's meal. I have to tell you the hardest part is remembering to take a picture at every step. I kept recognizing after the fact that I had forgotten to take a picture at certain spots. I would love to hear your comments on this evening's pizza night. Also, can you spot the pictures I am missing.

To start last nights meal you had to be here around 9:00 am. That is when the wife put the Cha Shu in the pot on the stove. The pot is initially half full with water, fresh ginger, brown sugar, soy sauce, garlic, cooking sake and salt. This then cooked most of the day on the stove or the wood burning stove. By 4:00 pm it looked like this with the water reduced to a thin layer of super flavoured sauce on the bottom of the pot.

I tried to get the wife to wait for dinner but she said if she had to wait she would end up snacking on something that wasn't healthy so I gave her permission to have some leftovers with pork drippings on top. She also had a few slices of pork.
I think it looks much better covered in the drippings. We actually cooked it a little too long and it was just the tiniest bit dry. Still amazingly good.
The dough was kneaded and set aside before 5:00 and then it was time to make the sauce. I am a big believer in generic crushed tomatoes. I would love to make my own crushed tomatoes but the volume of tomatoes necessary and the amount of work in the canning process put that out of my reach at the current time. So no name crushed tomatoes it is.I crushed two cloves of garlic that the boarder dropped off before leaving for the weekend. He in turn received it from a friend of his who grew it her garden. Oh fresh garlic grown in someone's garden. I just love the flavour. This garlic was also used as a topping but more about that later.Below are the three spices I added to my pizza sauce. There are no hard and fast measurements. I usually get about the same size pile in the middle of the pot when I am done. Spices and garlic are cooked in olive oil on a low heat and then the crushed tomatoes are added. Next I give 5-7 squirts of vinegar from our trusty vinegar bottle. This is then cooked on 6 for about 5 mins then on 4 four for about 20 mins. Of course yesterday I cooked it for an hour so we had our thickest pizza sauce ever. Next we got out our ingredients. Now you have already seen the pork for the pig and pineapple pizza. Once again not living in a tropical country we have to have our pineapple imported. I wonder what sweet fruit you use instead if you are on the hundred mile diet. I wonder.The adult toppings were all vegetarian this evening. Mushrooms, olives, red peppers, garlic, and a nicely dried chile pepper from our back porch. They hang outside the back door of our house all winter yet I forget to use them all the time. It is like they are part of the decoration. This evening was different. I ripped one off and cut it up with the kitchen scissors. I only put it on half of the adult pizzas so that the wife wouldn't be shut out. So at this point we are ready to start making. I transfer two of the four dough portions to our old pizza tins. If we are cooking in the regular oven or on the bbq I still use these bad boys but not when I am cooking in the pizza oven.After they rise a bit I toss a little more flour onto the exterior and then start throwing them in the air. I imagine this is how it is supposed to be done but I don't actually have any basis for this imagining. I really do need me some formal training.Next comes the slathering of sauce. It really was thick today.Now here we have the first adult pizza. Notice the chili peppers on one side and the garlic slices on the other. It was good and the best part of this pizza was the crust. I think I added a little too much water tonight so the dough was super moist. It barely rose in the hour I let it sit but it was awesome to work with and came off with a super crisp base and still some chewiness above. I wish I could get a real consistency with my dough but there are so many factors that make a significant difference in my dough I am resigned to doing my best and letting the sauce fall where it may.This is one of the kid's pizzas. Notice the crumbled Cha Shu on top. Not quite as sweet as regular ham. So we had a different kind of kid's pizza tonight. They still enjoyed it.Here is the second adult's pizza in mid construction. This is pre olives, chilies and pineapple.Below is the completed final pizza pre-oven. My last pizza usually looks something similar to this. Everything that is left on the counter goes on top. Now the problem this evening is that the last dough had risen some more by the time we made it and it was super thin. When I tried to transfer to the oven it did not slide well and I had to scrape up a bunch of toppings that fell on the stone and put them back on top of the pizza. I plan to try just doing the dough and sauce next time and then putting it on the stone. Then I will dress it in the oven. Hey its worth a shot.This is the first kid's pizza coming out of the oven. I have to say we had some great pizza last night. Since I was sick I didn't actually pig out too badly so there is lots left over today.Leftovers are good as now the kids and I are eating it for breakfast. We will also take some in the car as we go to see the midwife today.Finally here is a picture of the son. He was trying to get in on the picture taking action all night. Note that this picture is chronologically out of order. You can see the last pizza still on the peal on the counter behind the son.So as I went through that post I felt there were at least four pictures missing. Do you agree? What did you think I missed? What could/should I have left out? If you help me out with this then my posts will get better and hopefully you will enjoy them more. As always thanks for reading. (total time to upload and write this post, with some kid interuptions, 1:10. Definitely can't do that every day)