Sunday, May 31, 2009

Great Party

Well here is one of my brothers in law excitedly hiding behind a beer bottle while the food conscious sister attempts to ignore me with a serious look on her face. Classic. It was an awesome party.
Even this guy was having fun being passed around. It usually went like this. Mom gives him to me so she can get a break and eat something. Some aunt or other comes and gets him from me. Some other aunt takes him. Grand ma gets a turn. By this time he is cranky and they dish him back off to mom. Repeat.
Three cakes but I got the picture of the important one. The dinner consisted of two types of curry, fruit plates, veggie plates, seven layer dip, and a super star lineup for te-maki sushi. I thought it was an excellent team effort and everyone seemed very satisfied. It was also nice to be there with most of my family around. We were without one sis and a bro in law but hey, people have lives people. It will all work out some day. Apparently in July.
With the weekend at an end tt was a full on nine hour saga with lots of baby crying along the way to get back home. We stopped for some play at McDonalds where I was soaked for breakfast and will be much shrewder next time (yes there will be a next time, as they have a playground and it is the right distance from the city to stop for the early morning get your play on rest break). We also stopped at Manning park and donated some of our almost stale bread to the birds and the ground squirrels. I didn't take any pics but the son had it figured out and the rodents were practically crawling all over him to get his bread. Very cute. When we got home it was hot and we were tired. We finally rolled in around 5:00 ish but I didn't get dinner on the table till seven. Here is this evenings feed. Smoked turkey sausage pasta and sauce, with garlic bread and home made guacamole. This is my definition of an easy meal. Mostly because it takes very little inspiration to do well and everyone enjoys it and leaves full. Only problem was the heat it added to the house. Next time will take the wife's advice and have barbecue with salad.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Swine and Cheese

Well I know it is going to be a good day when the daughter manages to put together an outfit like the one she had on today. There was pink in the socks, and an orange design on her shirt. I actually asked her to pose for a couple of snaps before we headed out the door. I especially liked the necklace accessory. Unfortunately, this moment of grace and light was followed by one of utter exasperation. This guy was found for the second day running in the garden. One more of my precious yellow cherry tomato seedlings was unceremoniously toppled. Now all the remaining seedlings have tin foil wrapped around them. Strange days out in the garden. We have caught and killed more than a dozen of those little buggers. The real question is how many more lurk out there. It could be in the hundreds. In one little patch of dirt the daughter managed to rustle up six. Really kind of staggers the brain. Lets hope tinfoil does the trick.

As for dinner the wife said she was going to do something simple as I went running after school. Imagine my great delight to arrive home to steamed vegetables with a tangy sour cream topping. Also some perfectly fried porkchops and a healthy (both in size and content) serving of rice. After dinner we managed to get in some gardening time, didn't make it to puppy play group, did play some pokemon, and finally brushed teeth and sent everyone off to bed. Full day and I am bushed. Lets hope tomorrow goes well.

Monday, May 25, 2009

That boy.

Here sure knows how to push buttons. Recently a neighbour commented that he is a real individual and may end up being a handful to raise. I have a feeling she may be right.


This is the picture prevent mode. He waits right till the last second and then shoots his hand or face right into the frame. I am working on that whole redirect. Rather than say stop give him a chance to do what he wants and then redirect him to a better activity. The key element is having the patience to do this. Not so strong in this department. Here is the actual feta topped red cabbage and lettuce salad. Nice simple vinegrette to top it off.
I has tasked with making curry and in spite of my last curry debacle I was a little wary but I went very middle of the road. Too much salt but it both tasted of curry and was not too spicy. The kids put back their bowls, the son going through two. Here he is posed by my bowl.
He had his first swimming lesson today and it was very different from the daughters first lesson. Unlike his sister he was totally disinterested in the other students and had no fear of diving in to retrieve stuff that was under water in the kiddie end. Did not pay any where near as much attention to the teacher but looked over at me about the same as his older sister. They are both in lessons now for the second week of the summer. Yes, I love it when a plan comes together.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

It moves

Well with the daughter gone for a play day this afternoon the boys in the house had to entertain themselves. This picture here is us reading the son's pokedex. You know, what does a Ralts become and at what level does and Abra become a Kadabra. The really pressing questions in life. After we tired of that we decided to get out the jolly jumper. Now lets preface this with the fact that we have owned the jolly jumper for seven years and neither of the first two children enjoyed it. However, the smallest of our brood seems to have gotten off on the right foot, so to speak. Now if we can just keep the other son from violently swinging him things should be okay.

video

As for dinner we stir fried up some cubed chicken breasts in a ginger garlic honey sauce. Some other veggies were stir fried up afterwards and then we wrapped up the whole deal with some crispy noodles in some lettuce leaves. Mmmm good Sunday night victuals. (had to look up the spelling) Our first summer plan has fully fallen into place. We are going to Vancouver Island for a night or two. Yee haw. Which means I have to get on the registration for summer swimming lessons. Definitely going to do that tomorrow. Wednesday at the latest. Hold me to this.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Eating Out

This is what we do instead. What with 12 dollars worth of cheese (mozzarella and feta) some expensive, delicious kalamata olives various, one package of old fashioned ham and assorted other vegetables the toppings cost more than our average dinner. However, it is so good. I have to tell you, my dough this evening was definitely at peak performance. Warm weather and good kneading makes for happy stretchy dough. With our new stretching technique I once again managed to get the millimeter thin crust which was still crisp enough to crunch and strong enough to hold up some quality toppings. I managed to forget to get pineapple this evening so the kids had ham and BBQ chicken with feta pizza. I ate a little too much of it. The Mrs and I partook of the aforementioned olives and feta along with some spinach, zucchini, green peppers, red onions and mushrooms. There was nothing else made for dinner. However, the wife did help herself to some nacho chips with a bowl of pizza sauce for dipping.
I started the battle with the garden today. Hopefully by tomorrow the manure will be spread, the weed matting will be placed, the posts will be sunk and the seedlings will all be transplanted. Yeah it seems like a lot sitting here. Gambarre.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Summah

Waddling home with the three kids today it was hot. Like warm breeze in the face looking for shady spots to walk in hot. The thermometer was only at 27 but with the sun smothering us from above it felt way hotter. The reason I was walking home with all three was that the Mrs. had left them with me. We met at the elementary school and she took off for her run while I head home with the gang. Everything went smoothly until I woke on the living room floor to start of a "pick me up please" cry. However, mom was already back and catching a quick shower so I was not forced to provide a feed.
I was required to provide some feed for the other folk. This evening that came in the form of some barbecue chicken. Now that says summer. The kids actually ate outside. The grown ups enjoyed the more refined (this is a questionable claim) environs of our dining room. I hope you note the healthy spinach dip from yesterday. Also the last of the watermelon. Man is watermelon ever good. On the plate with the chicken you can also see some garlic pan fried green beans with the last of the red cabbage coleslaw. The plate at the top is not my salad. It was a communal veggie dipping plate.

So now that I am once again stuffed it is time to brush some teeth and watch bugsy malone. Hitting some nostalgic notes this week. Hope the kids like it.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Dead Soldiers

Well that is what me and my running buddies had for dinner. It was a hot running night and with 20 minutes noticed I invited them over for a few pops apres run. The wife of course had whipped up some amazing appetizers. We were having healthy spinach dip with veggies. The entrees were salmon steaks and they didn't make the rounds as we buy family specific servings. However, our spicy bean dish from last night with some rice definitely filled up what room there was remaining in our guests gullets. The salmon was excellent. I had mine on a half baguette of garlic bread. Truly outstanding. I didn't partake of the coleslaw. What with being already stuffed to the gunnels. However, it looked great. I actually took out an M and M meats, frozen crab and cheese dip package and nuked it up for the guests as well. That stuff is pretty good. Well I don't know what the issue is but blogger will not upload the picture of empty beer cans. Maybe this is some kind of critique of my weak blog content. Trust me, you aint missing much. As for the lovely dinner, all I can do is shrug. Hope to catch it tomorrow night.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Dai Shippai

That was the original title I was working with for this evenings blog. It means "complete screw up" and refers to the fact that neither of my kids would even swallow one bite of this evenings meal. It was kind of a bean curry. The wife thought I was being hard on myself but let me lay out my case.
So we had this packet of vinadaloo curry paste sitting in the cupboard. I knew it was hot but figured a big pot of beans and veggies with some vinegar and crushed tomatoes would spread that heat out and everyone would enjoy. Well, I really liked it. The wife enjoyed her bowl too but the kids. Well the kids are just not into spicy. I think I should take my mother's avenue of attack and start making two batches of everything. Then I will tell the kids they are not allowed the hot one. Slowly the spicy will gain esteem in their eyes as they are not allowed to eat it. Eventually they will be converted, probably right around the time I develop heart trouble and have to lay off the spicy food. Well I said it here first.

The watermelon was nice and my son chiseled in on the boarders pork chops. The daughter had her "last day of dance class" party and was pretty snacked up by the time she got home. So it might not be all my fault. But it might be.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Leftover Heaven

Well this evening turned out to be that perfect night when the second lasagna was out into service. I had a staff meeting till five so the Mrs. cranked up the oven, slathered some garlic butter and made a refreshingly sweet spinach salad. So nice to come home to.

Funny moment. Tuesday night is puppy play group just up the street from us. So the son goes over to our neighbiurs house earlier to say, "are you going to the dogs?" She took it in stride. The puppies were cute and fun. Still not planning to own one soon.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Who you calling Shrimp?

Well that would be the tiny critters that were succulently sauteed for this evenings meal. The Mrs. decided to put a scald on some shrimp and garlic. Nice work. This was then mixed in with a big pot of cooked pasta and some other seasonings. In another pan an assortment of vegetables was stir fried with some ginger. Result. Kids no like spicy vegetables. Kids want many plates of pasta dish. Dad's fibre intake increases greatly.
This fibre factor also came into play when the wife took a run at this recipe here. Now she did make some wifely adjustments. Half of the butter was turned into apple sauce. The sugar amount was cut in half and the peanut butter amount was doubled. I think my wife's new nickname should be half sugar. I mean any recipe she finds she just decides to use half the sugar. I am not judging. It is a good thing I am not a big sweet tooth guy. However, the daughter was not impressed. As usual I am shovelling them back.
It has been quite a nice long weekend. Manged to make it to 29 celsius here today. That is 84 for those south of the border. A very summer like day. My gardening guru hit me with some hot pepper and eggplant seedlings. The lovely lady across the way has beefed up my supply of tomato seedlings. The small plants in the dark green pots are mine. Its a learning process. Here is the garlic that was planted in the fall or the fallgarlic for short. This is the transplanted lettuce volunteers with some seeds that were started two weeks ago. Gotta get into a regular watering pattern. Everything seems to be coming but unfortunately that includes my grand selection of weeds. In some ways they are like bad credit card debt. The problem is so monumental now that I only pick a few from a select section once in a while. For example I weeded the tiny bed out front and have done nothing with the greater garden. It is probably like a two or three day job and there is so much more weedy goodness waiting to bubble up that even if I weed the whole show it will be looking green again very soon. Not the right green however. I have so much shame I haven't even taken a picture. But seeing as I am sharing I will brb after rounding up the incriminating evidence.I am cringing in my seat right now. I didn't have the courage to photograph the dandelions. I mean I mowed two day ago and they are brazenly flaunting the fact that I won't mow again until next weekend. On a positive note they attract lots of bees to our apple and cherry trees and will be useful again once the raspberries start to blossom. In then end I think I will be able to overcome the garden lethargy and it will be a great summer.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Where you been?

I mean it has been almost a week and you haven't even been on vacation. Long story short, heck of a busy week. Finally have a chance to catch my breath.

We had meetings, pension seminars, running sessions, and a dance recital this week. I have been ordered to buy the video of the dance recital. I am working on it. Here is a pic of the kid dressed for the show. She was great.

As for dinner this week we had a wide variety none of which was cooked by yours truly. Here on Friday night we had a tofu casserole and te-maki sushi. I did do some work today so dinner was eaten after mowing the lawn, running 13 k and taking the two oldest swimming. If I manage to make it through the long weekend I am going to need a couple of days rest.

Oh, by the way. I love that fact that my slack siblings can't complain about a lack of blogs because they themselves are so farin arrears. For my other readers sorry about being away so long. It really was a very busy week.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Some Other's Day.

So yeah, it wasn't my day today. However, it was our fabulous wife and Mother's day. And I think we did it up right. We started by sending her off for a run and whipping up some waffles. What we don't have a waffle maker, you say. What we've never made waffles before, you say. Pish tosh. The wife has a great winter holiday recipe magazine and the yogurt waffles were sitting right there, waiting to be made. I improvised and used our favourite sandwich maker to make the waffles. It took three attempts before I realised I had to turn it over right away after closing it. By the sixth set they were pretty good. Nothing a good waffle iron wouldn't top but still we were happy and eating waffles.

After a lunch made of leftovers it was outside to pickup, edge, and then mow. This is the correct order and a little under two hours later I was able to hold my head up and look my neighbours in the eye for the first time in weeks. The pledge to do this weekly has been made. Don't think it will go very far but the pledge has been made.

Late afternoon we sat down to watch Monsters versus Aliens. I liked it. We also went over to our neighbours for an afternoon tea: iced tea, cinnamon buns, peanut butter cookies and fresh strawberries. The kids were in heaven. I was feeling pretty good as well.

After the wife arrived at the neighbours (she had been out for a walk with the baby and the baby was the real reason for the invite to tea, once again I thought I was the draw only to be proven wrong) we came back home to make stuffed roast pork and baked yams. It was a little messy and a little behind schedule but it was tasty and that makes up for most other faults. The apple crumble became apple rhubarb crumble on the insistence of the Mrs. and she was so right. Very very good. Now the kids are in the bath and asides from not getting in to work today (I needed to put in about an hour) I am pretty satisfied with the day. Just a sec... I checked with the Mrs. and she is pretty satisfied too. Phew, now about topping this for next year. Time to start planning.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Ingredients

Well here are the two oldest explaining how they dressed their respective pizzas this evening.

video video

As for the old farts the first pizza was spectacular. We bought some hot capicolli and put it up on top of the cheese. With red pepper, red onions and black olives it was really really good. We once again have to pay homage to the European vacation that my sibling went on. Our dough which used to be pretty good, now occasionally reaches that next level where the wife says something like, "you could sell this". You know, it is so thin it doesn't seem like you are actually eating any crust yet at the same time it is super crisp. On top of that, it is strong enough to hold up a bunch of toppings and a generous portion of sauce without breaking through or getting soggy.

The second pizza wasn't quite as inspired. I tried the capicolli under the toppings. This does not let the flavour of the meat really blossom. Also not enough olives leftover for the second pizza. It did have mushrooms which is a definite plus but it certainly didn't reach the nirvana that I had attained minutes before. Still working at my craft. Some day ... some day...
On a different note, I transplanted my peppers and tomatoes today. They are a little small for this time of year but in the five inch pots they should start to take off. Note broken little mermaid bubble blower in the background. We will use this as a measure of growth. Must remember to water them regularily.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Layered Glory

Well that can only mean one thing, Lasagna. We once again whipped up a batch and a half of lasagna. So there is a frozen dinner just waiting for a planned no cook night. The second one is in the background here. You can see how it is smaller and I managed to forget to leave some cottage cheese aside. The Mrs. made the request and I totally blanked. I cursed myself for not spreading it out evenly and having some left over when I was finished. So I went ahead and ladled the remainder on top of the second lasagna. Once again my idiot gene overcomes my planning gene. In any case it was good eating. Green peppers, zucchini, and mushroom made up the vegetable portion. We used ground pork both because we like pork and it was cheaper than ground beef. Very tomatoey and flavour full. With the added benefit of having major lunch potential tomorrow. Good times.

Here is a snap the wife took this afternoon while I was cooking. If you look closely you can see the leg of my cutoffs just above the daughters head.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Crunchy Noodles.

And that is the way they are supposed to be. We had Sara-Udon this evening. Recently I read through the list of dinners from the last year or so. Some great dishes we just don't get back to that much. Sara-Udon is one of those dishes. This evening it was a pork, bok choy and broccoli sauce that was slathered over a nest of crispy noodles. It was opined by my better half that it needed some more salt. I was quite satisfied with its mild flavour. Plus the tang of the coleslaw was that much sharper. The coleslaw was from last nights dinner. That was the dinner I didn't make it home for. It was the curry I made two nights ago. I enjoyed having it for lunch today. Lastly, here is the picture of the new boy. He has started making non crying noises. At dinner this evening his mother asked him if he wanted some breast milk. While we all listened he seemed to squeeze out a "eeeyah" It could have been a "yeah." Once again I have to ask, "genius? possibly"

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Tofuesday.

I definitely get the feeling I should copyright that one. I think its a winner. Anyways we had our tofu steak this evening. Unfortunately we didn't have either fresh or powdered ginger. It was still good but was definitely missing that little something. The veggie stir fry over rice was nicely complimented by the tofu sauce. We didn't have any dessert tonight and that was a bit of a bone of contention. However, we can last till Thursday night.

Monday, May 4, 2009

We Got Chicken.

So they had to bulk packs of chicken on sale today. Buy one get one free. It worked out to about a buck a pound. They were big packs which means we had over 50 drumsticks in our house this afternoon. 13 have now been accounted for as we had a shake and bake night. The son powered down four drumsticks, two helpings of rice and a fair amount of boiled carrots, peas and corn (some peas were still cold, how long does one need to boil frozen peas? I just can't get it right). The daughter made short work of three and will be having one for lunch tomorrow. Me and the Mrs. took care of the rest. Good dinner and good start to the week. We have it planned all the way out to Sunday. Lets hope we manage to keep things on track.

In another nice turn of events we got an e-mail from the new Mrs. at the wedding we attended recently. Here are some pics of us turned out in our finest. Pretty weird to have the two shot. Those pesky kids are almost always messing any pictures that are being taken of us these days. I also like the black and white one below. We got two versions of it but in the other one my eyes are closed but you can really see my son.
I figured you would all like this one better.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

I've got Gas.

And with it I scalded me up some good steak and potatoes this evening. Yes, we broke out the barbecue this evening and after marinating some steak in soy sauce and crushed garlic we grilled it up. I also made some baked potatoes and wrapped up some onion, mushroom and butter in foil as well. It all turned out quite nicely.In another interesting turn of events today the daughter got a slight hair cut. When I say slight I mean dramatic. It is now at her chin whereas it used to be at the middle of her back. We also forked out for a good head lice comb. Not the 20 dollar affair (the Rolls Royce of head lice combs) but we have steel teeth and I am pretty sure it will do the job. We are tired of fighting this fight. I started back in late 2008. If we are not successful in the next month she is going to get a much shorter hair cut. Something along the lines of what I sport. Yes, she will be scarred. But aren't we all scarred, in some way.

Go fly a kite.

Well imagine you have gone out to do just that. Imagine you chose the kite from the store, even if it was meant for the whole family. Imagine you got to carry said kite home from the store. Now imagine you are told quite unceremoniously that you have to take turns with said kite. This is how you might look if you were three going on four. However, this anger and frustration would pass quite quickly and you would be back to running around a field on a day with no wind. We had a good time and I had all three kids in tow. So the Mrs. got some stuff done at the homestead and had some quiet time. Later that day (this post is a day late) the daughter and I rode our bikes down to the library and grocery store. We bought pizza making ingredients, borrowed some books and videos and headed for home. Back at the castle we whipped up some pizza dough and sauce before heading to the pool. Fortunately the older son woke up and came with us. With our swim behind us we came home and made pizza. A little while later our Japanese friend came over to snack on a few slices before catching a bus to the coast. At this point I realised what I had done and took a picture of the remaining pizza.I did not buy any salami tonight and I realise I need to work on my vegetarian flavourings. When one goes veggie they should be certain that it is very delicious. Turning people off of vegetarian food is really a crime against society. So yeah, good dough, good sauce, just need to find the right vegetable mix. Currently bread dough is rising in the kitchen. No idea what we are having for dinner. Time to hit the garden.