Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Tofuesday. Again

Shout out to my sisters with a self portrait of the wife, the youngest and I. Well low and behold it is Tuesday and we are eating Tofu again. A lovely peanut marinade infused the fried tofu steaks with a lovely flavour. Then the left over marinade had a little more soy sauce and vinegar added to it and after microwaving became the sauce. This is definitely something to love about vegetarian. The marinade becomes the sauce. I am pretty sure I have learned over the years that beef, chicken, pork and fish marinades are supposed to be tossed out. Not so with the tofu steaks.

The daughter was on wok duty tonight and stir fried us up some lovely veggies. I think the second shot shows them off in a more realistic light but the daughter likes the first shot done with the flash. In other news, I was requested for a picture of the daily schedule that has been posted on the wall of our dining room. Here it is with two dripping kids standing beside it. That is because I am blogging and not getting involved in their bath time. So they are not being overly involved with the bath.
Well duty calls. Happy Early birthday Canada. You rock.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Tacos we don't need no stinking tacos.


Well the Mrs. didn't need any. She was all about the soft tortilla shell or even worse the salad. The kids however were all over the crisp shelled goodness that comes in a box of tacos. The son put away three and the daughter put away five. She was pretty stuffed by the end but never the less powered through. It was a double blessing as they both had a majority of the possible toppings on all of their tacos. I will not disturb you with the amount of tacos I had but it wasn't pretty.

On a different note today was day 1 of the summer schedule. We made a poster, it goes something like this.

Wake - 9:00 Free time and breakfast (kids Tv and Computer, Parents exercise)
9:00 - 10:00 Study ( Both kids and parents are expected to do some reading or writing)
10:00 -12:00 Outside time. (kids, play or help parents, parents housework, garden, or play with kids)
12:00 - 1:00 Lunch time.
1:00 - 3:00 Get out of house (Library, shopping, river, lake, park)
3:00 - 5:00 Quiet inside time (No tv or computer) or playing outside Parents make dinner.
5:00 - 6:00 Dinner time.
6:00 - 8:00 Tv time or play outside (if tv bath first, if outside bath after)
8:00 Brush teeth, book time, bed time.

We actually managed to get most of this done today. Although the shopping after lunch had us some cranky kids. On the positive side when they whined at us we could just point to the chart. Hard to argue with a chart, especialy when you helped colour it and tape it too the wall.

Fingers crossed we can stick with this for a while. We plan to take weekends off.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Be our Guest

Well it is appropriate because there was much disney song singing tonight. And we had guests. I covered all my bases there.
My sister, brother-in-law, and a couple(pictured with daughter above) they golf and play with started a week long golf and vacation odyssey here in the GF today. After arriving late last night they woke to a very healthy and unphotographed breakfast. Then they were off to the course. We stayed home with the kids and made some pizza dough. In the afternoon we all met up at the lake and did some swimming and sand castle building. Then it was back home for pizza.
I made six pies tonight and currently there is not a slice to be found. On the grown up pizza we had both hot sausage and pepper salami. Good good stuff. The Mrs. whipped up some bean dip/salsa which was also consumed in no short order. There were also apparently veggies and humus and everyone seemed to enjoy the healthy snacks too. The guests were quite effusive about the whole affair but they were guests so it is hard to judge. I thought my dough wasn't as crisp as it could have been but the toppings seemed to get things done. Also the guests hadn't really eaten lunch so I could have served them cardboard topped with ketchup and they would have devoured it.
After some beers and conversation everyone is now safely planted in their respective bed. They are off tomorrow so it will be back to things as usual.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Homemade-ish.

Well we did eat some stuff for dinner. And some of it was really well made, home cooked goodness. I arrived home after work to a rising bubble of dough and some high aspirations. They were fulfilled with these amazing chocolate and cheese, garlic, dill buns.Unfortunately I brought absolutely nothing to the mix this evening. I guess that isn't techincally correct. I did pick up some chicken and pop. In my defense the pop was for making homemade slurpees which went over pretty well. However, I cannot defend the chicken. I just didn't have it and neither did the Mrs. That is after she baked really cool buns with the daughter.After dinner my son gave me the wink and we headed down stairs to split six Guinness. Isn't that what this picture seems to imply.

What you cannot see are the carpet bowling balls that get toted around in the old Guinness six pack holder. We are actually heading down stairs to do some carpet bowling. The daughter played too and we all won a round or two so everyone left happy. Good times.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Family Photos

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Well I have been remiss in my dinner pictures the last two nights. However, I did get some pics of the littlest boy with mom. He is doing great and seems to be really trying to communicate.

The middle child is fighting a fever and stressing us out. However, we are pretty sure he will pull through. Suppository. Now that is a first for me. We will eat dinner tomorrow night. Promise.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Spaghetti and Sickness

So after the wet hike yesterday which didn't make it into my blog post the daughter seems to have come down with something. So she stayed home and missed the bus trip grade one fun day today. She took it very well. She did not take dinner so well as the spaghetti was too scratchy for her throat. It felt very good in my throat and I gobbled up my bowl. Ditto for son.

The baby is also feeling a little fussy today and is already down for the night with mom. We are going to watch some video and then head for bed as well. Only four school days left. I wonder if we get reimbursed for the missed $8 field trip. Ah the deep philosophical questions of our time.

ps. I managed to turn off the flash. It was so easy I don't even know how I did it.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Dad loves Cheese

Well what a father's day I was treated to today. The baby managed to sleep all the way till mom was back from her run. I went for my run and returned home to a nicely designed place mat/cherry design and some warm pancakes. Fabulous.

From here I was allowed to go out and weed to my hearts content. I am up to three bags of Hoary Alyssum to go out tomorrow morning. It is yard waste day tomorrow. Loving it.

For lunch the wife made bean and salsa dip and some wicked guacamole and I chowed down on this combo with my favourite nacho chips. I also scored some leftover pizza. I was in heaven. Then it was back outside for some more weeding. I have a blister on my right index finger where I get the leverage on those little buggers. After I finished the last area I planned to do (not the last area in the yard, just the last one for today) I took the baby for a bit so the Mrs could run out and get some supplies for this evenings dinner, Chicken Karage. Lovin it. She also made use of the fresh lettuce, spinach and radish I scored from across the street today. I was picking up two zucchini transplants as our neighbour's garden runneth over. Now this was all on top of the curry cauliflower soup that she pureed earlier in the day.To top it all off I feasted on Cheese cake. Made special for me cheese cake. So cheesy good. I plan to take a choice slab for lunch tomorrow and lord it over my coworkers. I am sure none of them will let on about how jealous they are. That's okay. I know.

Now I have to apologise for only having one not quite in focus picture. To start the day I just wasn't thinking about it. Then come dinner time the battery was almost dead because the son was messing with the camera today. Being sub par on using the current camera the best I could do was put it into long view mode. No flash but crummy on the sharp close up detail.

All in all it was a kingly day and a great weekend. We sure didn't get up to much but I loved not doing it the whole time.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Three Times the Fun

Well I have been a little remiss in my blogging so this evening you get not one, not two, not three, not four, okay actually it is three blogs. I just got carried away.

Lets go back to Thursday. It was a warm afternoon and I had a school function to attend starting at seven so we decided on something simple. Smokies. I have come to enjoy my smokies on a split cheese bun. Really the bun should be toasted but even just right out of the bag it is still good. Coincidentally, these were cheese smokies so it was a double cheese night. The kids aren't much into the buns. They are all about the smoky. Unbeknownst (first time typing that and boy it sure feels wrong to type) to them there were side dishes with this evenings meal. I whipped up some garlic mashed taters to ride side saddle with some pasta salad that had been featured in the lunch portion of Thursday's menu. A grand meal all around. However, with smokies in the mix it would take another day before the daughter managed a, "these mashed potatoes are so good."

As for Friday I was feeling much the worse for wear. Late nights and general festoonary tend to have that effect on me. I am sure other people had something else but I was more than satisfied chowing down on the wifes bean salad mixed with the last portion from the third to last jar of our homemade hot salsa. I have to say the mint and cilantro in the bean salad really take the salsa to a strange and wonderful place. Once again other people ate other stuff. It just isn't coming to me right now.

Today we spent a fair bit of time out side picking stuff. It started with the last of the Hoary Alyssum in the front lawn and ended with these bad boys. Now you might be thinking that they should be a little more red before we pick them.Well the birds don't wait so if you don't get them just as they are breaking into ripeness, you just plain don't get them. Also at this stage we have yet to come across any wormy cherries. Everyone keeps warning us and I did find a few cherry pests while in the tree but so far everything is looking cherry licious. And yes we are warning the kids about the possible side effects of eating too many. But that is probably something they just have to experience first hand.

As for dinner it was a pizza night this evening. I bought some hot "something something" salami. I know it will come to me.... Not yet. Anyways, I really need to stick to the chorizo sausage I bought last time. The salami is good but not great. We managed hold off on eating the third and fourth pizza for the most part so lunch or breakfast should be pretty good tomorrow.

This last picture is a testament to the satisfaction factor of my pizza. The came, they ate, they slept.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Veggie Sea Cakes.

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A few days back the Mrs. mentioned to me that we should take a trip, back in time. So off we went and checked out June 08, just to see what we were eating then. It was kind of neat to reminisce and see what we were up to last year. It also gave us some ideas for things we hadn't eaten in a while. One notable was fish cakes. So that is what we had.

Now tonight the wife put a notable spin on fish cakes. She made them with tofu. And egg. For those who like to partake of the middle kingdoms food I would equate it too a foo yung type dish. There was salmon in it as well so it did technically qualify as a fish cake. Neither of the kids were all that chuffed over it but I think the nice rice noodles had something to do with that. They both packed away a couple of helpings a piece. The salad portion of this evenings meal was some stir fried veggies. Bok choy was the big hero, coming through with a strong clear taste that was balanced by his other garden buddies.

After dinner we made cup cakes, (pup cakes according to the son) for the daughter's bday tomorrow. Apparently when you are a summer birthday they choose some other day within the school year and that becomes your special day. So tomorrow she goes to school with 22 cupcakes. We only made 24 and the daughter and son both had to have one before brushing their teeth tonight. You do the math. I'm going to drown my sorrows in a beer.

Monday, June 15, 2009

I had a good title.

But I totally can't remember it now.

Well anyways, we had dinner. The daughter had her favourite salad this evening. It is a really spicy vinegar and ginger bean sprout salad. There may also be some raw grated garlic in the dressing as well. The pork stir fry with vegetables was light and summery. Honestly it was a great meal to have on a summer evening. After dinner we got into the salsa pretty heavy. Oh, that was it, I was going to call this post, "the last of the red hot salsas." I thought it was pretty good.

Anyways,we are down to two and half jars of grown up salsa. Perfect timing once again as we are coming in to fresh salsa season. Which reminds me I have to, have to plant some cilantro. I think planting cilantro and basil right now will have it coming up at just the right time. Okay, I gotta get on that tomorrow. Definitely tomorrow, next day at latest.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Almost Pizza

We originally we planned to make some kind of chicken dish tonight. This morning, I distinctly remembering my wife asking me to take out said chicken from the freezer so that it would be thawed in time for dinner. However, at the time there seemed to be something more pressing and I shelved that thought planning on returning to get it later. There is the problem. The idea of taking the chicken out got mothballed and I moved on to the other mundanities that make up a typical Sunday of my existence. So around 3:00, after a day of doing this and that, I very nonchalantly asked the wife if she had any particular plans for dinner. Now keep in mind that I had a pizza plan baking in my head and was ready to pop that out should there be no plan. This is when the wife mentions that the chicken is thawing in some water in the sink and might be ready by dinner time. It probably took me a good 15 seconds to process the meanings and import of all the actions and inactions of the day. Still no apology in sight and the wife's obvious disappointment lingering in the air I pull out the "pizza plan". The wife though not over joyed is visibly relieved and I gave her the old, "we'll put the chicken in the fridge for tomorrow night," line and all seemed to be well. Then we found out we were out of yeast. So I made shake and bake chicken and just cooked it really well.
I thought about making some garlic mashed potatoes but we were down to our last two taters. So the wife made her pan fried potato slices with broccolli covered with cheese. That and some rice ably filled our plates and made for a fabulous dinner.
Then, would you believe it, the wife had put together an apple-rhubarb crumble which was perfect with serving of vanilla ice cream. I also finished off last nights spring rolls right before dinner so once again I am typing while slightly uncomfortable. But I'll live with it. I mean I did go for a run today.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Part two

Well it turns out I was motivated enough to get out there today and finish off the garden. I realise that the battle with the weeds is an ongoing unwinnable war, however, I really needed an all out, scorched earth beginning to get me back in the game. Now hopefully I can get a hearts and minds campaign going and keep them at bay.
(Please check out the before picture from yesterday's Post. Honestly, it looks way different)

I also managed to get the last two tomato plants planted. Then I went and popped the scapes off of the garlic. This is a very good sign and means that we are getting close to the end. Speaking of which it is time to do a second wave of planting. I am thinking some swiss chard, tonnes of carrots, some basil and pretty much anything else I can get my hands on. Cilantro, yes I have to get that in for the mid summer salsa season. Usually it has already come up by now and has gone to seed by the time the tomatoes have ripened. Speaking of which I have my first tomato flowers starting to blossom. Giddy with excitement I am. Well that and the incredible crop of raspberries that are budding. You have to know that some plague of locusts or itinerant bear will take them out but my fingers are crossed.

As for dinner the wife made some spring rolls. She also whipped up a nice green salad and some dark miso soup. I was already pretty full from all the water I have had today (32 degrees for the second day in a row) but I managed to put back five of these bad boys. We also made home made slurpees again. I sort of used this recipe here. We had it after dinner so there is no pic. However, the kids like it and the cost margin can't be beat. We will not be going to the shell for slurpees this summer if I can help it.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Fan Favourite.

Well it turns out that my kids really really love the home made mac and cheese. We use milk, flour, margarine, grated cheddar, salt, pepper and garlic powder to make the sauce. For the adult version (shown here) I sauteed mushrooms, red onion, zucchini, garlic and ginger. This was then spooned over the pasta which was then covered in cheese sauce. The soup was a yam chowder with cumin and nutmeg as its major flavours. There were also carrot and celery added as well.

This picture is the before picture. This is what the garden looked like when I had finally had enough and started to clean it out. Judging by the lack of after picture the job is probably still not finished. However, with Saturday and Sunday waiting in the wings I have a good feeling it may get done. Fingers are crossed.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Funky Pancakes.


So the wife likes this new recipe for pancakes with cottage cheese. It is quite a savoury cake and went very well with the rest of dinner. The rest of dinner was pan fried green beans and garlic in one pan. And a sausage and bean stew in the other. Vegetably there was red pepper and celery in the bean dish. I really enjoyed the combination tonight. Initially the kids were skeptical but once they got into it they powered it down. Then we all headed to the last day of swim lessons. It went well and the son is now off to level four. Tomorrow will be busy. Hope to be back on Friday.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Garden?

Seeing as it is the first word in the title of this blog I thought I would give an update on how things are going out back. That and the fact that I missed the dinner shot. By the way we had rice topped with a cabbage and ground beef affair. With a little ketchup on top it was great.

To start with here are some rose cuttings from the front. The wife thought cutting them and letting them blossom inside was so much nicer than leaving them outside for the deer to feast on.As for the vegetable garden. Things are going well. Here are the raspberries. With a proper frequency of waterings and some amazing attention from the local bees they are .As for the garlic from last fall it is sizing up nicely too. We are starting to see the scapes elongate and begin to curl. I will be popping them pretty soon and we will finally be back to our own fresh garlic. Yeah.
You can see the beats and beans starting to get their footing. You may also notice that the carrots, brussel sprouts and other stuff didn't do nothing. As usual the lettuce transplants are getting real bushy. Lets hope they are as sweet as they are bushy. I have a tendency to grow bitter lettuce.
Here are the tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers that I have on the drip feed. I haven't put up the line for them to climb yet but they are getting some size. It should be good. Unfortunately the hot peppers in the foreground are not loving life. Finally here are the eggplant seedlings I got from my friend in the background and the pepper plants I started from seeds in the foreground. These peppers were in their own properly sized pots for longer than the other peppers and they look much healthier.All in all the garden is coming into its own. However, I do plan to till or turn all the massively weedy parts next weekend. Honestly, it is almost a forest and I want to cry. If I am inspired I may do a before/after set of pictures. For posterity.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Simple Sunday


With a busy weekend behind us we didn't have much left energy or enthusiasm for this evenings meal. We also didn't go shopping so weren't exactly stocked with ingredients. However, with the staples and scraps that I managed to scrape together I made a vegetarian pasta sauce. It turned out really well. I started with a base of chopped onion, mushroom and garlic. Before I threw this into the hot oil I made a last second addition of some minced fresh ginger. It made all the difference. As this sauteed I chopped up most of a zucchini, and our sole remaining red pepper. I also opened a can of crushed tomatoes and a can of brown beans in tomato sauce. These were added with liberal amounts of salt, pepper, and vinegar. It was good. Very flavourful but not overpowering. Kids both had two plus helpings. The picture here is of my second bowl. I ended up using a whole bag of the pasta shells. I thought it might have been too much but after everyone ate and I put together the school lunches for tomorrow there is probably exactly the right amount for mom and son to have it for lunch as well. So we are up to a bag of pasta for a meal. How long till that is not enough? Some day soon I bet.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Hot Pizza

I am bushed. With a run this morning, taking care of ducks, visiting the dentist, making pizza, taking the kids swimming and various other activities it was one packed Friday. Saturday isn't looking much better. We are going to have a water slide play day for the daughter tomorrow. These darn kids run my life.

Anways, lets talk about the pizza. I whipped up the dough before heading to the afternoon dentists appointment. Disappointment number one was being out of flour. Oh we had whole wheat flour with which we made our biweekly four loaves of bread. But no regular old white flour. So I made whole wheat dough. A much trickier proposition as it just won't get as smooth and stretchy as the usual stuff. Way harder to get thin thus requiring a thicker crust. It was sufficient but if I am going to try and make a healthy dough there is going to be some superior experimenting or some kind of combination of whole wheat and bleached flour.

As for toppings the kids had the regular. They put one whole pie back but they weren't their usual voracious selves. Could be the heat. Could be the crust.

I branched out today and made a spicy chorizo sausage pizza with mushrooms and red peppers. I rather enjoyed it but the wife found it too spicy.

Here the Mrs. is showing off her masterwork. Notice she gets the toppings right out to the edges. She loaded on the veggies and had some ham on it as well. I rather enjoyed it and looking at the picture right now I think I deserve another slice before bed. I will say one thing for the whole wheat flour. It made for a better slip off of the pizza peal. May use that from now on to make the transfer to oven smoother.

Sorry for the lack of bread shots. Busy day.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Ducks for Dinner

No we didn't eat them. The daughter has been checking out the baby ducklings in a classroom down the hall from hers. So this weekend we are the proud parents to three little swimmers. I boldly signed on for all four nights but if it gets to be too much we can always back out. Here is some video.

video

I built the little duck run in the back yard using some second hand fencing and post material sourced from next door. Yes, the second hand stuff comes through again. Loving it. Should be a busy weekend, what with the ducks and possibly putting up the slide. I mean it could be a big time weekend. Or not. Time will tell.

We did eat dinner tonight. The Mrs. worked up a wonderfully light and lovely almost vegetarian meal. There was the spinach dip made with tofu, very garlicky and delicious this evening. Next there were the wraps with a little bit of fried mushroom and chicken. These were topped with the veggies and dip.

Maybe he is worried about wrinkles. This was all him by the way. Part lunatic. Good times. Now I am thinking of hitting up some ice cream. Everyone else is in bed so I will feel a little guilty. But I'll deal with it.

Here is a self taken shot. I think it turned out pretty well.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Honey Curry

In the sense that the wife said, "honey can you make some tofu chick pea curry." We passed at the intersection between the two schools. I was about to head home with the family when I found out they were going to play at a friends house. And I was going home to make dinner. As you can see it all worked out. The curry was good but next time, when I food process the chick peas I will add the apple chunks first. I think apple sauce is better than apple chunks for the flavour I am going for. The wife also put together some salad and I whipped up a snacking plate of cheese, carrots, cucumber and crackers. I guess it really should have been called a cnacking plate. Hee hee. Well one more work day this week. Lets see if I can make it.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Nice work Pork Chop.

Well, after getting in the Tuesday after school run I arrived home to pork chops soaking up some barbecue sauce and a hungry family. I quickly whipped out to the porch and set things a blazing. I know I am pushing my luck with how little propane is left in that guy but it keeps getting the job done. Anyways, once the heat got up there I threw on the chops and hit the showers. By the time I made it back out there was some good smoke and a tiny bit of flame so I turned, doused, brought the flame down and covered it up again. A few minutes later and we were ready to tuck into these bad boys.
Of course the wife had also whipped up a rainbow style salad. Great dressing, vinegar, onion, and feta for sure. Something else but I can't think of it now. Also some fluffy rice to top it off. Great. Post dinner we headed up to the dogs for a bit and then came back to ice cream cones and bath time. A little book reading later and all is quite. Ahh, until tomorrow at 5:30 or 6:00... little rest for the sort of wicked.