Tuesday, April 28, 2009

That sucks.

So I had some problems uploading pictures last night. The computer wouldn't recognize the camera and I was sort of freaking out because this is still a relatively new purchase for us and I am not looking to break the bank with the outlay for a new one. Then the wife mentions that our son had been sucking on the end of the usb cord that attaches the camera to the computer. Honestly, did anyone figure this was a technological problem they would have to contend with. I didn't. So now that it is dried out it seems to be working fine.
As for dinner this fine evening we had Oyako Don. It is kind of a chicken stir fry that is then simmered in a sweet broth. Finally an egg layer is added over top and once that firms up you are ready to serve over a bowl of rice. The over a bowl of rice is the whole Don part of the name. Any Japanese restaurant you go to, if the menu item ends in Don or starts with Don then you are getting a bowl of rice with ingrediants on top.

I really enjoyed the meal. It is one of those ones where the wife doesn't bring it out that often and that makes it that much tastier. Its special.


Monday, April 27, 2009

Dinner for Three.

Which means I was not in attendance. I had a meeting to discuss some bargaining issues about our contract. Really really fascinating stuff. At least I managed to get dinner out of the deal.

Here on the home front they ate my delicious second day chili with garlic bread and rice. I had a small bowl when I came home and it really was that second day delicious. There were no "plate" shots taken this evening so instead here is the pot and what was left of the garlic bread wn
Well its time to brush some teeth and get the bed time routine rolling. Au demain.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Gyoza and Yoga

Well the wife got up to some hijinx today. She managed to get some yoga in this morning while I was out for a run. The picture below might have been foreshadowing as she was already stretching even before getting her breakfast this morning.While she stretched these two were still conked out in the living room where they slept last night. I just didn't have the fight in me last night when bed time came and they still hadn't watched the movie they had been promised. So I set up the living room bed (two comforters and two pillows) and by the time the movie was 30 minutes in they were both asleep and I was into the movie. Back to this morning the littlest was engaged thusly as mom and I partook of our morning meal.
Now back to the wifely activties of today. She made those gyoza that were going to be made last night. Then to kick it up a notch she whipped up some sushi rolls with the leftover sushi rice from the night before. Who is this woman? Oh not to mention the salad.As is usual with gyoza I had trouble holding back. Fortunatey I was holding the littlest so I couldn't get into the usual feeding frenzy mode. And some were leftover for lunch tomorrow so there must of been restraint all around. To top it off, a bunch got frozen for next time. Yippee.

Just so you don't think I was totally slacking I did go into work today, did the shopping for this evening with the kids in tow, and made the chili for tomorrow nights dinner.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

The International scene.

Tonight we have a two shot. A Thursday/Saturday double header, action packed with something for everyone.

Two nights ago we had te-maki sushi. The wife whipped up a whale of a weekend starter. Something to fill up your belly in any which way you pleased. There was a tangy tart tuna salad combination. There was also some natto with green onions. An aquired taste but one I have grown to love. In lower right you can see leftover turkey curry, vegetable soup, pork stir fry and mashed turnip. It was a leftover night as well as a te-maki night. Yes you could have picked from an amazing assortment of flavours. Definitely something for everyone.
Speaking of something for everyone here are the three youngsters posing down. Notice the oldest can hold the youngest. This could be good, it could be very good. Picture this, "can you go and get your brother, maybe give him a bath and feed him." Well okay that's not going to happen but the big sister thing is definitely starting to percolate.Now on Friday I totally forgot I had to referee some soccer games, so korrokke were ditched for a quick shepherd's pie. The daughter managed to get a ride along to one of her friend's older brother's birthday partys. Long story short, swimming and loot bag make daughter a happy girl. After getting my referee on again this morning I came home and spelled off the wife who finally managed to get her run in. It was supposed to be gyoza tonight but that is quite labour intensive so I offered to make pizza instead. I am not saying the wife jumped at the offer but she quite quickly gave in and we started making dough.

Now I am not saying it is anything like the pizza one might get in Roma or Napoli but we did try using the techniques demonstrated here. And our crust was excellent tonight. Light, thin and crispy with a really well risen edge. Everyone enjoyed it and it was some of the lightest crust we have ever made. The kids are pictured here with their own creations. They even got to shape their doughs. I came in with a few fixes at the end but then they did the toppings.
If you can ignore my cheesy grin. (the wife had me holding it for what seemed like ten minutes) you will notice that the pizza looks pretty darn good. They all did. I wonder what kind of zoning variance is needed to put a real wood burning stove into our kitchen. I will have to look into it.
I also made more squash and brussel sprout soup. Less veggies and more curry powder. The bowl I had was impossibly hot so I can't realy vouch for the flavour. The brussel sprouts were great though.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Nothing Special

After a 14 hour day at work I am unsure how dinner went or what happened here at the homestead today. I ate sandwiches and drank a coke at work (dang it, I have to slap myself the next time I reach out that hand, coke is just bad, no more pop... beer on the other hand) We had parent teacher interview tonight. Glad that's over. There should be a dinner post tomorrow. Fingers are crossed everywhere.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Shake and Dip

Well the shake and bake chicken came back tonight. The main seasoning ingrediants were garlic powder, basil and chili powder. I think it turned out well but I would have liked to bake it for another 15 minutes. It was getting late and everyone was hungry but 40 minutes was a little border line. Chicken still scares me. As it is, I had the thicker pieces. I may try skinning some pieces next time as the wife never gets to eat the seasoning. I don't think it will be as juicy but the flavour will be there. I smell an experiment coming. The turnip was boiled forever and just wouldn't get all mooshy. Or we have a very weak masher. Veggies and dip to round things out and it was a nice night. The dip was a lemon, yogurt, dill affair with some crumbled soft tofu thrown in for good measure. Actually it was made from a recipe the wife found somewhere. It works.

This next pic is of the latest child playing with one of those baby amusers. He can actually bat the dog around now and make the thing bark. Now whether he is batting it or it is just some random arm motion we don't know. However, as always, I am thinking genius.

Except for the cross eyed fixation on the bumble bee. That is more Jerry Lewis than Albert Einstein.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Try tofu.

Tonight we made fried tofu and it was really so great. The kids were raving and vacuumed it down. I think you should all try it. I am sure some of you already enjoy the other non white meat but here is my recommendation.

You will need.

2 blocks of medium tofu (makes four steaks, feeds four)
4 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp vinegar
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp honey
2 tbsp fresh ground ginger (a chunk the size of your thumb should work)
1 tbsp cooking wine (white wine, japanese sake, whatever you want)
1 clove of crushed garlic. ( actually used a bunch of garlic powder but its up to you)

1. Start by pressing the tofu. In a nine by nine casserole or square pyrex cake pan lay the tofu flat side by side. Put a big dinner plate on top of them and a big can (16 oz or 800ml) on top of the plate. Let this sit for as long as you can (2 hours would be great). This squeezes out the water and helps it soak up the sauce.

2. Keeping the honey aside, put together the rest of the ingredients in a microwaveable mixing bowl. Mix it around enough for the sugar to dissolve.

3. Take the now pressed blocks out of the nine by nine dish and get rid of the water. Now with the steaks laying on a cutting board cut them as if you were slicing through the peanut butter part of a sandwich. You aren't cutting the bread. You are just moving the knife between the two pieces of bread. You want to make thinner versions of the tofu block. Same width and length. Just not as tall. I sure hope I have explained this part well.

4. Put the steaks back in the nine by nine dish. If you arrange them properly they will fit just snuggly with a little empty space in the middle.

5. Pour the sauce over the steaks and let them soak it up for about five to ten minutes.

6. Take the steaks out of the dish and fry on 6 (just over medium ) in a fry pan with a little vegetable or olive oil about 5 minutes a side. While cooking the second side I cover the dish with a lid.

7. Take the sauce remaining in the dish and put it back in the microwaveable bowl. Add the honey. Microwave it for one minute.

8. Serve the steaks with a spoonful or two of the sauce on top.

9. Add side dishes as necessary. Just don't bring the meat. It is a wonderful vegetarian main dish.

We had ours this evening with rice (left over sauce was used to flavour the rice), spinach salad leftovers and squash and brussel sprout soup. I used nutmeg and curry powder to flavour the soup along with some chicken stock cubes. I also used some "many bean soup mix". Our local gardening place imports all kinds of Indian food and I picked up the bean mix for soups. Just great. And the brussel sprouts were like little prizes in the soup. Fabulous.

On a totally different point I have found the runner's crack. Better than steriods. I went running with my daughter's Ipod and a bunch of up beat songs. I ran like the wind. It was like I was in a race but there was no one else around. At some point in the distant past I must have run with a mixed tape or Ipod before but for some reason this evening it just totally worked. I can see the whole runners Ipod fascination now. Up to this point I have been a staunch believer in using the run as time to think over the various things that go on in my life. But I have to face facts. I spend too much time thinking about stuff as it is. May just have to pick up one of those running sets for me and the mrs. We can share it and have different play lists for each of us. Yes I am loving that idea. Can't wait to run it by the wife. Get it, run it by the wife, run. Oh whatever I thought it was clever.

Have a good week everyone. Night.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Hot Brain.

We have decided that too many video game make one's brain hot. Or at least this is how we all feel after two and a half hours of playing pokemon. We started again with a Squirtle and we caught a Pikachu. I think Pikachu will become our main pokemon.

As for dinner,
We finally made the garlic sausage spaghetti sauce with a spinach salad on the side. You want to know something. These kids eat when they are hungry and don't when they are not. There are times this would have been a three helping dinner for both kids. Tonight they both barely got through a serving. I loved it and over indulged and the wife went heavy on the salad. Only one day left in this weekend. We better get some teeth brushed here before everyone falls asleep. Including me.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Still no burger.

The Mrs. just reminded me that the last time we had burgers I didn't leave it open faced and the fact you couldn't see the burger was mentioned. Well her timing is impeccable as I was already sitting here getting ready to type. You know cracking the fingers, doing the vocal exercises, snorting violently. Anyways it wasn't much to see tonight. Just ketchup and mustard with some sliced dill pickles. The nachos on the side were also rather spartan. Just melted cheese and homemade salsa. No guac. No lettuce or tomato. Didn't even put a slice of cheese on the burger. But the actual burger patty was great, diced mushrooms, onion and garlic, two eggs, some bread crumbs, basil, cumin, salt, pepper and some garlic powder all went into the patty mix. There are six in the deep freeze downstairs and once they are frozen they will be transferred to a freezer lock bag and we have another dinner ready for another day. Finally Friday here. Looking forward to a busy weekend. Now I sit down to rest. Ahhhh....

Thursday, April 16, 2009

First timers Quiche

Well not having any sense I decided we should make quiche tonight. We had made it before right. Apparently wrong is the correct answer. I know I have never tried my hand at the almost veggie dish and the wife gave me a convincing shoulder shrug. So it was off to the cook book for me. In the end it turned out pretty well. We had the pie crust mix so add water and roll worked pretty well. I don't think I baked it long or hot enough but it wasn't runny. Runny quiche would have been bad. We made two and the wife and I combined our effort and whipped up some coleslaw. It was good and seeing as I managed to get a run in after school life is grand. Although I sure wish I was Italy. Someday we will conquer Europe. Someday.

The following are random kid pictures taken today. Enjoy.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Light eating.

Well with Miso soup and pan fried salmon you have to be feeling like a culinary king. Not to mention the steamed veggies. Yes I ate very well this evening. Only, I had most of a hollow chocolate Easter egg from my kids left over Easter candy right after getting in the door. Bad me.

Note to self. Next year buy the kids chocolate yourself and limit others to small gifts(under ten dollars per kid), not chocolate . Really though it was a great dinner. However, the picture could probably be recycled. I mean we have pan fried salmon with rice and miso, sometimes the veggies are steamed, sometimes stir fried, sometimes salad. The daughter was raving about the garlic slices that were fried up with the salmon. It was good. I'm just saying it wasn't inspiring. Maybe I am just feeling the second year blahs. Everything seems to be repeating. Didn't I already say that.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Back on Track.

Well we all got back into our routine today. As you can see from these openers the son was back to snapping random shots from the camera left on the desk.Darn it, even Unicorns are even getting some work done on my computer while I'm out.
The son didn't do to badly with this shot of the wife and baby still in their pajamas. I am going to assume this was before lunch. But you never know.

The wife even got in on the action picture taking action.
But seriously, they don't spend all day in their pajamas taking random pictures of each other. The get busy making great dinners for the rest of us. For example, this really nice turkey and pasta casserole with stir fried veggies was served this evening. It was very nice and in a break from tradition I didn't not add any additional flavouring. No hot sauce (we are out) no soy sauce (didn't seem like a good fit) no salt or pepper ( I had sat down and didn't want to get back up) no nothing. And it was great. Once again we dined on leftover christmas turkey. It really was a large bird. We are really trying to work our way through the frozen supplies that are in the deep freezer and we are making good progress. By the end of this week we should be out of just about everything. Sort of a mixed feeling there.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Long weekend warrior.

Now that was one long weekend. We left on Wednesday afternoon and arrived back home at 1:00 am this morning. We had a great time visiting family and celebrating with friends. Here is a brief synopsis.

Thursday: Downtown for some Japanese paper work and sushi for lunch. Met up with three of the sisters. After that we went back to a sisters house and made a shrimp stirfry and guacamole with chips for dinner. With some beers to wash it all down it was great.

Friday: Saw us getting some runs in during the morning. In the afternoon the whole family made a trip to the North shore to have a visit with my dad. It was a little strange as I haven't really talked with him for 20 years. But in the end it was okay. After that is was back home to make dinner at my mom's place.

One of the sister's came over and helped us put away some spaghetti and meat sauce. We also had a green salad and way too many potato chips. I really have to learn to keep my mouth shut.

Late that night I went to the airport and picked up my mom and her guy. They were returning from two weeks in Mexico. The pick-up went off perfectly and we were home by midnight.

Saturday: This the day of the wedding. In the morning we took the kids swimming in Richmond at Watermania. We had some tears on the diving board as the daughter really wanted to dive in but was too scared. After dropping off the two older kids with my sis we got our best duds on and headed to the wedding.
Hopefully this is how the couple will look within the next year or two. Of course it will be their child rather than ours. The food was awesome (this is a food blog after all). I had the steak and soup, the wife had the salmon and salad. The steak was awesome but the salmon actually went to the next level. I have been told the name of the sauce three or four times but it keeps eluding me. Maybe it was bechamel, anyways it was superb. Individual cheesecakes for dessert. Could they have chosen a better choice for us. I had one of both flavours. So did the wife. With a little bit of dancing, some nice speeches and good conversation it was a great night. I spent most of the evening toting the littlest one around and he was awesome. A great advertisement for having kids. Which was my theme of the night for anyone who would listen.
This guy wouldn't listen but I definitely bent the ear of the lady he was with.

Sunday: Hung over we got up around 9:00 and headed over to brunch. This was at the same spot where the kids had been dropped off the night before and fortunately everything went well. Brunch was good with me on the french toast. I thought it was passable but far from outstanding. The potatoes on the other hand were wicked. We said our good byes there and headed back to my mom's for a late lunch with other friends. Cheeses and roast chicken with veggies and buns to make sandwiches. Lets just say I was stuffed. I didn't not partake of any libations as I was on driver duty. We left around six and as I mentioned previously got home early this morning.

Tonight I made a bean and tomato sauce for the pasta and the wife whipped up her usual salad magic. I plan on making a pasta with sausage tomato sauce later this week. I hope it isn't too repetitive. Although when I offered up pizza for next weekend the wife gave me an, "again." So maybe I am pushing my luck. Back to the factory again tomorrow. However, after such an amazing long weekend I really can't complain. I just have to get to bed early.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

See you Monday.

Well we are off for the coast for a few days. The newest needs his Japanese citizenship and a buddy needs to kiss of his singledom for all the joys of marriage. I honestly tried to talk him out of it but he was havin none of it. Just kidding, they have our best wishes.

As for the lack of dinner yesterday and Sunday it was chili and seemed so leftover-ish and uninspired I couldn't get anything going. I know there are those of you out there who want the down to earth nothing special meals but its my blog so pooh pooh to you. As for the rest of you, I feel the love.This evening the wife took everything that was left in the house and whipped us up a bon voyage dinner. She roasted the squash and yam that we bought last weekend and then marinated some boneless skinless chicken breasts after cutting them into little slices. I came home and microwaved some rice and pan fried the chicken. And dinner was ready.
Now I've got to ask. Is roasted Yam not the yummiest of all cooked vegetables? I mean I go gaga for the stuff and the wife seems to tear up when she eats it. Yet the daughter quite literally turns up her nose. She has got a mental set against roast yam. Its down right un-American (okay we are Canadian but un-Canadian doesn't have the same ring, don't you agree?) to not love roasted yam. She sure does pack away the chicken though. And has never met an ice cream cone she didn't like. Well I guess that is part of being a kid. Well, if things go exceedingly well we will have some posts from the coast. But don't hold your breath.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Lobster Roast

No we didn't crack open the piggy banks. We had a wiener roast in the backyard on this first truly spring like day and I am now simmering in my own juices as the sunburn slowly sinks in. Here is the comparison with my slightly darker skinned daughter. I did by some moisturizer which I plan to use liberally when this post is done.

For dinner, we had pizza this evening. Even though it was a little bit late it was still good. After making two more ham and pineapple pizzas this evening I think I am ready to start expanding my children's repertoire. After what is probably three years of making ham and pineapple kid's pizza I am just a little done with it. Although really, I am here to serve and if that is what they want it is probably what they should get. And here it is.
As for those with the more refined pallet, at least in our own eyes, we had yellow pepper, onion, mushroom, olive and hot Hungarian salami on ours. The second adult pizza (wicked tonnes of leftovers tonight, it felt like I ate just over the right amount instead of way too much, I'm growing) had half of it covered in dried chili pepper rings. Mmmmm hot. I also made a big pot of turkey chili after the pizza making was done. We are going out tomorrow afternoon and we don't want to have to cook when we get home. And yes we are still eating frozen turkey from Christmas. Yosh (this is a positive Japanese exclamation much like a "Yes!" would get you in English)

Friday, April 3, 2009

Lunch and Dinner

Well the lunch today looked so good I just had to take a picture. I was in charge of the french fries and because I started early and didn't rush things they turned out great. A little basil, salt and pepper backed in the oven at 450 for 35 minutes and then broiled for about two. I also nuked them for 3 1/2 minutes in a bowl in the microwave before starting and rinsed off the starch before and after the microwave. The grilled cheese were your classic sandwich maker grilled cheese. I love our 3 dollar sandwich maker. Picked it up at one of those garage sales in the parking lot of city park. Anyone can come and sell their junk at the tables. It looked so sketchy at the time and since then it has been used almost as much as the pizza oven. Lovin it. The Mrs. did a great job of her coleslaw and it was a complete meal. All the major food groups, vegetables, fried potatoes, cheese and ketchup. Those are the four main food groups...right?
After the rest of our event filled day (Bank, Post office, library, shopping, visiting friends, swimming) We arrived back home to a wonderful Te-maki spread with a simple yet heart warming bowl of miso soup. My classic blunder of the day was not buying the main thing I was sent out to buy. During the shopping I had taken a can of Tuna off the shelf and put it in the shopping cart. However, it never made it onto the conveyor belt or into the bag because it wasn't on the receipt and it sure isn't in our kitchen. So we were lacking the fish department. However, the rest of it was awesome and I am pretty content. Nothing a cold beer or warm back rub couldn't improve but that is true of pretty much anything.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Noodles and Junk

Well we stuck to this weeks menu plan and had vegetable stir fry tonight. The wife made it with soba noodles. It was a little noodle heavy but tasty. I added some tandori paste on mine. This evenings dinner was complemented with slurpees, salt and pepper potato chips and cheese cake. Good eating. After dinner we didn't get to go swimming because the Thursday night free swim is done for a while. However, we did play pokemon for about an hour. Currently the Mrs and I are having a bit of a tussle over whether we should buy a Wii or not. I am in favour and she is against. I say it will be good family entertainment and active at the same time. Also when people come over we can use it as an entertainment piece that people can get involved in. Also it is a pretty good deal. The wife points out that it may end up trapping us in our house. It will detract from our other pursuits and it will increase her stress level from having to tell the kids they can't play when it is not the scheduled "play time." So what do you think? Too Wii or not to Wii. We are deadlocked here.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

April Fool

Well that was me this morning. On the walk to school I discussed with the daughter the various things that can occur on April 1st. However, I clearly stated that most of them are not good and she should hold off on trying any April Fools today. The temptation was too great. She tried an April fool on some of her classmates and got in trouble. Then she got the double whammy of getting it again from her parents over dinner. Tough day. I would appreciate if no one ever brought this up with her as it is done now and I have said we don't need to think about it anymore. I think this was the first really heavy conversation we have had to have with one of our kids. They sure do grow up fast.So that was eventful. Fortunately, the dinner was also really eventful. We had a wicked combination dinner. The wife wrapped up the leftover curry in some spring roll wrappers and then pan fried them. Totally totally awesome. I fried up some pork chops with salt pepper and garlic powder. Delish. The kids just ripped through the meat. I was definitely thinking leftovers. Fat chance. There was also rice and some broccoli, corn and peas. I have to get it through my head that I am the only one loving the heated up peas and corn. The broccoli was well received.

Well that was the first day of April. Lets hope the rest of the month isn't as "lesson filled" as today.