Sunday, January 31, 2010

Freshening things Up.

So the whole what and how to blog thing definitely feels like it needs some freshening up. I think the key maybe making the transition from film to video. The three reviews from the kids and mom was a really nice touch to the last blog. So I am going to try and go for that from now on. Even if I don't get a picture of dinner I can get a reaction video any time. And with the rest of the family involved they will probably help with the remembering to get it done. So we will see how it goes. Have a good week.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Busy Burger Day

So we had burgers with fries this evening. The wife was in bread mode today and with the little bit of leftover dough she made hamburger buns. These were some filling quality hamburger buns so it made for a real meal. The burgers were grilled outside and they turned out perfectly. You acna see the stripes on the bad boy above. I did the fries in the oven with some salt, pepper and basil. Then wife-ola squashed up some avocados and made guacamole. With a bottle of Ma's 2009 Valpolicella it was a little piece of heaven here tonight. The con-noise-uers can snub their noses but for us simple folk it works just fine. And as with everything else in life the price was right. Below we have some reviews of this evenings meal.

The son is just loving that line. I don't know where he picked up sweet momma but it is coming out of his mouth left right and center. Oh I finally figured out where the "you're going to make me pee," line has come from. Po says it in Kung Fu Panda. Well there is a storm brewing in bathroom. I gotta get on it.


Friday, January 29, 2010

Tako Yaki and Pizza (different nights)

So last weekend, while I was away, the family went and had a cultural night and made Tako Yaki. This is basically a doughnut/pancake ball with a piece of octopus inside. Lacking octopus the family went with squid. A fair substitute. I had some leftovers on Sunday. Not restaurant quality but I would come back again. Small video explanation below.

This evening we had a playday and dinner date. I was up for pizza while mom fashioned some veggies and dip. This is a karate pose. There has been lots of quality over exuberance lately. I think if people just paid the kid more attention when he wanted it there would be way less conflict in the house. Unfortunately he has some pretty stiff competition with his little brother and big sister. Good luck kid.
Here is the daughter with the play date friend. Notice the son photo bombing the shot. This kind of sums up the play date. We started at the pool and then came home for pizza and dance show. That is what necessitated the costumes.
Finally we have our dinner. The pizzas shown are pizza number four and five.
I have to say I am losing the thread on blogging about dinner. By my estimation there are two main factors.

1. Life is just too crazy. With trying to get the house ready to sell, finish one semester and start another, worry about being the bargaining chair for my local at a time of great uncertainty as to what that will entail in the next year I am swamped. There is also the huge demand that having three kids who all want personal attention whenever I am home brings. So yeah really busy.

then there is reason number 2.

I think I am gearing up for a mid life crisis. Questioning the meaning of my job and my life. I mean I am good for a bunch of that at the best of times but this is constant. I am really hoping that the trip to Japan proves that a change is as good as a rest. I won't bore you with the details. In any case way too much thinking is happening after 8:00 at night these days. It might just be that with so much in flux in my life I am re-evaluating. The conclusion I have come to recently is that you cannot know what your life is supposed to mean. However, if you eliminate the things you feel you shouldn't be doing then maybe what is left, in a Sherlock Holmesian manner, is what you are meant to do and you shouldn't question it too much. That is where I am at tonight.

Monday, January 18, 2010


So it was tacos and pasta this evening. Simple sustenance for the savage soul. The tacos were powered down but unfortunately the pasta was not a hit. Not enough flavour, or too much of the wrong flavour lead to an unsavoury savour and landed the noodles in disfavour. I ate mine. It was a skating afternoon and the daughter had a breakthrough day. She didn't master a triple toe loop or anything like that. What she did do was work really hard practicing all the moves for the whole practice. When she came home there was a bout of tears, some complaining that she was hungry right now and various other post practice hystrionics that people in this family know only two well. After we got some sugar in her and had settled down to dinner she noticed that her thigh muscles were really sore. I think we have a right of passage here. The first time you practice so hard that you are sore later that day. I am getting misty just writing about it. The cool thing is that she really is improving. You can see it coming in leaps and bounds, or leaps and spins, it is figure skating after all. Well that is Monday in the books. Yes!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Saturday Round Up.

Okay so technically it is Sunday morning but I am still not in bed so I am going with Saturday night. We have had a couple of dinners and some work done around here this weekend so let me catch you up.Friday night I got my pizza on. You can see here in the first photo that the kids were not happy about something. I think there was dissension over which movie should be watched or something along those lines. However, the post pizza politics were much more amicable and the evening went off pretty well. This Mrs and I dined or our classic salami (salsa salami this week) and vegetable pizza. Big chunks of zucchini were the star attraction.

Then this evening we had a plentitude of dishes cooked up for our gustatory pleasure. The first dish below was a noodle soup created by the daughter. We renewed the cook books from last week and she finally got to make something. She was a little disappointed at the lack of heartiness but she didn't fry the onions or mushrooms at the start and we didn't have any soup powder on hand. It was still nice. Very Japanesey in the subtleness of its flavours.

The Mrs. went to town with some panfried salmon in miso. This was a flavour revolution. From the soup to this was like dial up to high speed. Instead of a regular salad we had the family favourite veggies and dip. I am really starting to dig watching the kids with their own bowls of dip just powering down the veggies. The son had big love for the salmon too. The wife also cooked up the last squash from our fall harvest and put on some rice to close the deal. It was outstanding. I thoroughly enjoyed every bite of it. This is the youngest during preparation. He had had a big day crawling around and investigating things in the house. We are already getting ready for the sadness that the end of his crawling baby phase will bring.
However, life must go on. And on it went this weekend. I managed to get two coats of primer down in the entraceway and bathroom. White is bright. Both areas are so so much lighter than they were previously. And being done with the hideous salmon colour in the bathroom is truly a blessing. I only have to paint the bathroom door tomorrow and then phase two of home improvements will be done. For comparison I have brought back the before pictures. The after pictures are only after one coat of primer so things are looking even better now that we have two on. The question is whether to get a tint in the finishing coat or to just get some white and let the next owners decide on their colours. That is a tough call.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Bath time for Bonzo

Well we didn't catch any dinnery goodness today. Fortunately I had these pics left over from bath time last night.

Apparently the Ghost of Class pictures past is coming back to haunt me. The middle son apparently cannot make a normal face in a picture these days. Fortunately, this affliction wears off some time around grade nine. So if the youngest has it as well we are looking at twelve torturous years of picture taking. Serves me right for the number of pictures I highjacked over the years.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Say Good bye.

To all the wall paper on the main floor of our house. With the help of a handy dandy rental steamer it is all officially gone. And getting ready for sale season has begun.

Well this is what the before pictures look like. Yes the wall paper is all stripped out. Now it is time to fill holes and cracks, sand and smooth and get ready for the primer. Up first is the bathroom. We are definitely getting rid of the peach. I am thinking something lighter. Like a really light yellow/white. With white trim around the mirror and window.
The kitchen entry will be tied in with the rest of the house in a light brown or tan. The advice I have received it to stay away from anything with a red tint in it as that always ends up with a pinkish hue. Nice in a cheek, not so good in a living/dining.What you do not see in this next picture is the paper wall boarder that ran around the room transitioning the light green into the dark green. This room will most likely also get the tan/brown treatment. The look we are going for is uniform, clean, and light enough to paint over easily. Have had two realtors through and they were both very friendly. They had very different perspectives through which they saw the house. Differing takes on what should and shouldn't be done to the place. It has been really informative to have the two of them come through. Really hope the third guy gets back to me so that I can put these first two visits into perspective.

For dinner I whipped up a whole mess of pork stir fry. First mistake was listening to the Mrs and chopping up all the pork. Could have really used about half that much and would have been just as good, if not better. Second mistake was using the big fry pan and not the wok. Not as easy to mix and stir. Couldn't do as much with the veggies. Mistakes aside it was a nice dinner. I put a little sweet chili sauce on top of mine but everyone else enjoyed it as was. I had seasoned with salt, garlic powder, basil, vinegar and soy sauce. I also hit it with a little okonomiyaki sauce right before taking it out of the pan.
There was a little debate about the seaweed flakes on the salad this evening. The wife was trying to spice things up but the rest of us just wanted tomatoes and cucumbers with balsamic vinegar. Back to the grind stone tomorrow. Only seven teaching days left in this semester. Yee haw.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Boys Night

Not that we had any special night, it was just the wife was taking the pics and the daughter had already finished. So yeah just us boys.

I think we all look pretty much the same. Da Boys. Well onward and upward. Lets talk about dinner.

We made wraps this evening. There were two types of filling for the wraps. There was a curry tofu filling and a bean and pepper filling. The bean and pepper went better with salsa and guacamole. I had the tofu filling just with rice and cheese. They were gooey and a little sloppy and just great. I had three in total and am now feeling quite full. Although... when the wife offered up the idea of cracking open a bottle of red wine I was in. We also had two bags of chips this evening. Dill pickle for the boy, sea salt for the girl. I had a huge amount of both. Well after the fact, and with me quite oblivious as I was getting my blog up and listening to some "This American Life", the kids talked mom into making another set of "Mug Cakes." These are some crafty little cakes you make in a small mug in the microwave. We had some last night and they were tasty yet a little tough. This evenings fare however was springy, chocolaty and reminded one somewhat of pudding and somewhat of cake.

And the daughter managed to get in the show. You had to know she would.

It was a banner day here. Library, shopping, filling holes with drywall compound, talking to possible realtors, swimming at the pool, renting a wall paper steamer. I cannot be overly critical with the fact that I didn't get a run in. Tomorrow will be here soon enough. Moving to Japan in the Summer is starting to get pretty darn real.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Meaty Goodness.

Well the great meals just keep on coming. You will remember our friends the soup and coleslaw from last nights dinner. Today's new comer was some fried up ground beef with assorted veggies. This was generously heaped over a bowl of rice and then quickly devoured. I am now working on some chips and salsa and may make a snack run as I get up for some evening work. Almost at the weekend. Tank is almost dry. Must soldier on.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Hey, its Tofu-esday

That is what I just said to my wife as I sat down to write this blog. Man is she ever on the ball. I of course did not notice the connection between dinner and day until just now. It was a busy evening so I was not involved in the sauce or the cooking. However, I did get my share of the eatin done. The purple cabbage colelslaw came up to its usual standard but I have to give highest praise to the soup. It was a turnip and squash soup. It started with some sauteed mushrooms and onions and grew from there. There were a few small chunks on turnip and some corn nibblets but mostly it was just thick bisquey goodness.

Well here at hump day I am looking forward to getting through the back end of this week and on to the weekend where the real work awaits.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Falling over ourselves for pasta.

It was pasta with lentils in a tomato sauce this evening. There was also chicken and assorted veggies in the sauce too. It was quite tasty. The salad was spinach, red cabbage, and romaine lettuce. I had mine with the vinegar, oil and onion dressing. The garlic bread was a baguette sliced lengthwise and toasted with fresh garlic rubbed over it with some butter. Pretty darn good.Most of the family looked like this eating their dinner. The son put away a tonne of garlic bread. He had to be coaxed into eating the pasta but in the end he finished his bowl. The baby ate most of his food but he got a fairly hot mouthful to start with so he was a little leery. The daughter was over here on the chair.She took a great whack to the back of her noggin at the end of skating practice. She has a nice sized egg and a pretty good headache. Brings it all back. She also gave up an interesting tidbit. One of her friends talked her out of one of her Christmas gifts. There was some pretty heavy social politics involved. I made her make the phone call after dinner and her friend is apparently bringing it to school tomorrow. Notch that up to another life lesson. Hopefully we are slowly building the strength of character necessary to make it through life. Time will tell.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Pork Sushi.

Well they came in two different dishes but they were both eaten at the same meal so I think the title will stay. The tonkatsu were pan fried instead of deep fried so hopefully they were a little healthier than would normally be expected.The maki sushi was delightful as usual. We had tuna salad as the main filling tonight but I personally went heavy on the avocado and cheddar cheese combination. The kids were all about he umeboshi (pickled plum). We had two guests for dinner. It was a warm family Sunday evening dinner. And now it is time to get back to work.Some quick picks of the Chia Head that the family managed to snag in this years christmas gift exchange. Have to mention that the wife is totally yucked out by it and each time she walks past it she wants to smash it and dump the remains in the garbage. Her constant talking about it is starting to get to me and I am getting kind of a weird vibe now. What do you think?
It is starting to sprout. I don't know if this will help or hinder its survival. Time will tell.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Shake it, shake it baby.

Well we shook and booked. No we shaked and baked. Well the rhyme doesn't work in the past tense but anyways there was breaded chicken drumsticks for dinner tonight. Originally it was just going to be roast chicken with vegetables but the grocery store had no "legs with back attached"so we got drum sticks and went for it.End result, success. Baked for about one hour at 400. Then I broiled it two minutes a side right at the end to brown up the potatoes and crisp up the chicken. Juicy, and tender yet crisp and cooked. Now that's how I like it. The Mrs and the oldest both ate modestly but the middle one had four drumsticks and seconds of everything. End result, pretty empty pan. When he eats, he eats. Maybe we cut down on the snacks today but he was shovelling it back. Even had seconds of the pasta salad. Leftover pasta from lunch with carrots, celery, green onions and a creamy yogurt and basil dressing (we are officially out of our home dried dill. Dang it.) This bowl was also empty by the end of dinner. With the quantities we are currently consuming I can foresee a time of great famine for the parents. I'd say when the youngest hits like 9 it will be hard to get a fork in edgewise. Something to look forward to.

Below is the son photo bombing some family pictures. He does it well.The daughter wishes me to point out the locket she got from her friend in the picture below. She tortured some photos we have an now her mother and myself are nestled nicely into the tiny inside picture frames. Time to go and read "I had trouble in getting to Solla Sollew" and "Bartholomew and the Ooblick." I have so much love for the Seuss these days. I keep thinking I haven't read them and then when I open the book it all comes rushing back. Glorious.