Thursday, December 16, 2010

Flying high

Ok I will start by mentioning I am a bad blogger... once again, and now we will move on!

Work is slow, painfully slow. The kind of slow that you are startled when someone actually comes in or the phone rings. What are you doing here? Or right we are a business and I am working... I forgot. I could be productive, but with the holidays a week away who is doing that anyways?
I am eyeing someone outside our shop right now that is reading posters in the window and just praying they keep moving along. I'm sorry, I am too un-motivated to help you today. Try me again in the morning, but by the afternoon it's hopless!

I have most of my Christmas shopping done, not that I have too much to do. Just family that don't really need anything or want anything but you feel obligated to get them something. I bought one gift the other day, a cook book, just to flip through it and realize that they have already cooked things in the book. Hmmm so now do I return it or keep it for myself? Maybe I'll just wrap it and put it under the tree for me. I can pretend to be all surprised and thank myself. Ok maybe not.

I hate the last weekend before Christmas crunch though... every year it gets me! I know I wasn't prepared this year so I was at least prepared for not being prepared? But how do you shop for someone who just buys everything they want as soon as it comes out cuz they can't wait (cough, cough, James!) Or parents that don't really need anymore useless stuff? I try to be thoughtful and come up with creative ideas... but then I remember I'm not actually creative I just wish I was.

We got back from Maui the other week and had a fabulous time seeing all the sights and soaking in the sun on our way to them. I started thinking about my evolution of travel. I used to get so excited for trips, not able to sleep the night before, waking up with butterflies. Now I'm tense worrying about getting to the airport on time, will there be a line up, what's happening with the weather? I am a person that likes to be on time or late... I don't like waiting for other people so I'd rather be late then wait for you. But then I always feel guilty about being late as if this isn't normally like me. So getting to the airport early pains me, but it helps relieve my stress at the same time. Though once I am checked in and waiting at the gate all I can think is I didn't need to be here this early!

I'm hit or miss on enjoying the actual flight experience. Usually I just sit there doing nothing and zone out or sleep hoping for it to be over. I used to read or try and watch things but something about flying makes me so sleepy as soon as I pick up my book I'm nodding off. Sometimes I'll just pretend I'm sleeping so people don't think I'm weird for just sitting there and staring at the air.
But then the beverage cart comes down the aisle and I try to play it cool as I wasn't anxiously awaiting my turn to order my drink. I always go with tomato juice. I don't know why but it's my flying drink of choice. I saw someone order it years ago and I was like are you serious we can actually order tomato juice this is great! I couldn't believe the selection they have! I mean really you could get away with 3 choices and I'm sure people would still be happy... oh wait who am I kidding people are never happy, especially with too few choices.

I never want to have pop while flying it makes me too gassy and that is the last thing you want when squished in between two strangers.

I do normally enjoy Clamato or Cesaers so maybe that's why I like to order tomato juice, it's a slightly different option of something I enjoy. Sometimes I'll switch it up with an orange juice or water if I forgot to bring my own. Why order water when there's so many other great options?

Ice or no ice? That's also a dilema I go back and forth on.

On our flight to Maui we got free Mai Tai's which was pretty exciting as well as this stuff called POG. I think it was Pineapple, Orange and Guava? It's was delicious! James didn't know what a Mai Tai was so I think he was disapointed when he first tried it until I let him know there was alcohol in it... then he enjoyed it enough to buy two 1.75litres at Costco! Yum!

I don't like to drink too much on the flight though because unless I'm in the aisle seat I try and avoid going to the washroom. Especially if there are strangers beside you and you need to wait until they are done their drink/meal/nap for them to move.
Once I was on an international flight with an elderly nun sitting in the aisle. She was wheeled onto the flight in wheel chair... let me tell you that was an uncomfortable flight! I think I made her get up once but near the end of the flight I decided to just hold it since we were so close. But I forgot that she was in a wheelchair until the stewardress came up and told her just to wait until everyone is off the plane and then they will come and get her. What? I couldn't wait that long! I think I ended up jumping over her and apologizing...

Another time I was stuck on a different international flight in the middle seat in a row of three... who booked that? I was inbetween two larger people that were missionaries travelling together. Luckily they left me alone. I remember watching Million Dollar Baby struggling to stay awake. I fell asleep before the part where she hits her head... and I'm pretty sure I drooled on the person beside me. How are you supposed to sleep sitting up? Well I guess I managed it.

I also get excited about the meals. I know everyone hates airline food, and I'm not saying it's that great either. But you're stuck on a plane for 7 or more hours, besides arriving at your destination there's not much else to look forward to. It's always eager anticipation, what will they serve? I alway get my meal first as a vegetarian which is fun... yet awkward when everyone else is starting at you anxious for their meal and wondering why you're so special.
Sometimes the meals are pretty decent, and you get a salad, dessert, fruit... sometimes I think vegetarians get the shaft. They just throw something together, and then we get fruit instead of the declicious looking brownie everyone else has. Hey I like chocolate too! Fruits nice, but honestly come on who wouldn't pick the brownie if you have a choice? I'm not a vegan!

When I went to Tokyo I was lucky enough to fly business class on the way there. I ordered champagne right away to feel fancy. Then I realized it was an international flight and alcohol was free so anyone could order champagne. But I also got free slippers! I remember something about a chocolate cart but that part is foggy. The seats were big and roomy which was a downside because I was so comfortable I fell asleep and missed all the exciting things that are included in business class. But I guess getting a good sleep is the point, but I wanted to soak it all in! On the return we were stuck in the bulkhead seat at the front with a wall infront of us and babies beside. That was when I wish I could have fallen alseep and missed it! We called this a mullet ticket, business on the way there, economy on the way back... ah yeah I still giggle at that one.

So that's my airline rant... I could go on and on, but luckily most stories get lost in my head and only poke out at random times.

I wish I had an iphone 4 because I'm convinced I would be taking pictures all the time and blogging them. I feel like I've also mentioned this before. We know what I'm wishing for this year! And I'm guessing I am being over ambitious on my wishing as well!

Ok well there's something for anyone that still even bothers so check this anymore! I'm sorry and I can't promise I'll be any better in the future! But this won't be the last from me!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

sNOw thank you!

Dear Snow,

I do not enjoy you, you are not my friend. We used to be friends when I was younger. I would get excited at the sight of you slowly falling from the sky, covering the ground and creating a winter wonderland. I would dig out my crazy carpet and spend hours going down the hill in front of our house. Building snowmen and snow angels. My friends would come over and we'd build igloos to hide in and have snow ball fights with the other kids on the street. We'd through snowballs for the dogs to chase. School would be cancelled and we'd have all day to enjoy you and then go inside and warm up by the fire with hot chocolate

Those were the good times snow....

Now that I am grown up it just means having to go out in the freezing cold with clothes that usually aren't winter appropriate and scrapping my car with the crappy little scrapper I have because I refuse to believe I will need more then that. Then I sit and wait in the freezing cold for my car to finally warm up. Then the real fun starts as I ease my way slowly out onto the roads terrified of slippery ice patches. Other cars are driving dangerously fast and close and now I'm more afraid that they will crash into me. In double the time it takes me normally I arrive at my destination and now have to walk through a soggy dirty mess. I don't own appropriate snow shoes or jackets anymore so I'm wearing whatever I could dig up and probably look pretty ridiculous. Once I am inside I try to thaw out and dry off but there's no hot fire or cocoa waiting for me. I'm at work and there's just people demanding my time when I'd rather be home curled up on the coach.

Oh snow... it just isn't the same... though I must admit seeing you all bright and beautiful after the first snow fall does melt my heart a little bit.

....but please don't stay for long...

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Mini Pizzas

This blog post is dedicated to my amazing shrinking friend Kristin!! I am so proud of you and your success... and so delighted you actually made and enjoyed one of my recipes so here's a new post just for you!

This recipe is very simple and not anything new or creative but it's one of my favourtes I always go back to when I have a pizza craving. It's easy to make and doesn't need many ingredients. I found it when I was on Weight Watchers and it's one of my favourites! Feel free to experiment and make your own versions!!

Tomato Mini Pizzas


2 large wheat pita(s), pocketless
2 large tomato(es), plum, thinly sliced (I often use cherry tomatoes)
1/4 tsp table salt
2 Tbsp basil, fresh, chopped
2 tsp olive oil
2 medium garlic clove(s), minced
1/3 cup(s) part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Spray a large nonstick baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Place the pitas on the baking sheet.

In a small bowl, mix the tomatoes and salt; stir in the basil, oil and garlic. Top the pitas with tomato mixture, drizzling any liquid in the bowl over the toppings. Bake until the tomatoes are hot and softened, about 8 minutes. Sprinkle with the cheese; bake until the cheese is melted, about 3 minutes longer. Cut the pitas in half before serving.

And enjoy!!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Here comes the sun... do do do doooo

Today is one of those perfect fall days. The sun is out and it's warm but there's a crispness to the air that let's you know it ain't summer no more! I love watching the leaves change, I love the crisp air... the smell that reminds me that Halloween is coming soon. Yes autumn I love you!

I am proud to say I have been staying on track, going to aquafit 3-4 weeknights and even signing up for a Saturday class! I have been watching my calories and eating a lot healthier. I forgot how good fruit can be!! I just got so lazy with pre packaged food I couldn't be bothered to take the time to cut up some fruit. Now I'm having a salad for lunch and apples, oranges and bananas for snacks. I feel like it's recess in school when I bring out my container of cut up fruits.
Not to say I'm not still indulging in the foods I love, I'm just being more aware and watching portion sizes and I have to say in general I am feeling a lot better as well.

Besides straining my shoulder which has been very painful. I guess working at a computer for 6 years has finally caught up with me. Luckily I have my awesome friend Noelle who is a massage therapist to help it out! I just want it to feel better so I don't have to worry I'll strain it anymore then it already is.

Oh and I also have some new roommates!!

My cousin Natasha moved to the the Happiest Place on Earth to entertain the masses with her amazing accordion skills and singing. These gnomes are a family treasure, my aunt painted them and they were displayed in my grandma Mutti's house until Natasha took them under her wing. Now it is my turn to watch over them while she is off having adventures in Florida!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Fish Tacos!

I've been obsessed with fish tacos lately! Maybe because they are an exciting new alternative to my usual bean version. I've had them at a few places and decided to combine my favourite components into Candice's Ultimate Fish Tacos. Ok maybe that's an exaggeration... this recipe turned out really well but it may need some tweeking. I feel like recipes are just there to guide you, it's up to you to modify them into your own taste.
This recipe is pieced together so read through it first before trying because I don't know if I put it in an order that makes sense!!

I used Halibut for my fish tacos, about 12oz made enough for 6 tacos.

Fish Tacos with Chipotle Creme and Salsa Fresca by Emeril

Salsa Fresca:
• 4 large tomatoes, about 2 1/2 pounds, seeded and roughly chopped
• 1 cup chopped white onions
• 5 teaspoons minced garlic
• 4 Serrano peppers, stems and seeds removed, minced (I bought 1 jalapeno so modify recipe to work)
• 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
• 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
Combine all the ingredients and stir well to combine. Let salsa sit for 30 minutes for the flavors to blend.

Emeril's Southwest Seasoning : - this is meant to be mixed with flour and deep fried but instead used it as a rub for the halibut

• 2 tablespoons chili powder
• 2 teaspoons ground cumin
• 2 tablespoons paprika
• 1 teaspoon black pepper
• 1 tablespoon ground coriander
• 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
• 1 tablespoon garlic powder
• 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
• 1 tablespoon salt
• 1 tablespoon dried oregano

This makes a lot of seasoning so if you only want enough for this recipe then I would modify it when you make it.
I also would add some lime juice to this maybe 1 tablespoon and olive oil.

Combine all the spices and marinate them with diced Halibut for about half an hour. Saute in a frying man with a little olive oil on medium heat until the fish is cooked through.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Wrap the tortillas in aluminum foil and place in the oven until soft and pliant, about 12 minutes. Remove and keep wrapped until ready to use.
If you have a grill you could heat them up on there as well for a crispier shell.

The Ultimate Fish Tacos by Tyler Florence

Pink Chile Mayonnaise:

• 1 cup sour cream (I used low fat)
• 1 cup mayonnaise
• 3 chipotles in adobo, plus 2 tablespoons of adobo sauce
• 1/2 lemon, juiced (lime if we don't have lemon)
• Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cabbage Slaw - from Black Bean Tacos on Audrey Needs More Wooden Spoons:

• 2 teaspoons olive oil
• 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
• 2 cups finely shredded cabbage
• 4 green onions, chopped
• 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro

In a bowl, add cabbage coleslaw, green onions, cilantro and toss to coat. Using a fork, stir in two teaspoons olive oil and lime, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Once everything is complete I layer the tortilla with the chipotle mayo first, then the halibut, slaw and salsa fresco. You may need to use toothpicks to keep them together. And enjoy!!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Workin' it Out!

I've been a bad blogger! It's been a busy few weeks though and am excited about new changes that are going on! I've finally committed to working out, going to aquafit 4 times last week! Then I did 2 hours of Wii Fit on Sunday and Monday and even got up early yesterday to do 30 mins of yoga on the Wii! Who am I?? This is not the normal me at all! I am so glad I found aquafit though because it's something I actually enjoy doing and am staying committed to. Now after about 2 weeks I am feeling the difference. I feel so much better and have the energy to get up and do things instead of sitting on the couch night after night. I was in a rut and I needed an out, who knew this would be it? I've struggled my whole life trying to find the balance between eating right and working out. This isn't something I usually like to talk about because then I feel like other people will have expectations of me and I worry I can't even keep up to my own. I am afraid to push myself and put myself out there. I know this isn't the right way but it's just how I am.

The eating right part is hard. I know what is right and wrong, I just choose to ignore that most of the time. But I never worked out to make up for my un healthy eating... or snacking at least. You'd think since I am a vegetarian I would be a really healthy eater, but the lack of meat means that I am often drawn to carb filled alternatives instead of what I should be eating, lots of fresh vegetables and healthy veggie alternatives. It's hard though unless you have a plan to choose the right things to eat. I am trying though to be more conscience. I am having granola and yoghurt in the morning, a banana for my snack then I try to make an interesting salad for lunch. But that gets boring.... I've been doing pretty good but I need to mix it up and a basic iceburg lettuce mix just doesn't cut it.

I am trying to buy more healthy snack options too, fruits, carrots, hummus, Laughing Cow cheese, pickles and crackers. Ok the crackers aren't so good but I am trying to moderate and find lower calorie options. I know I can't cut myself off completely because then I will just totally blow it and have a snack attack on a bag of Doritos or something. I just need to surround myself with better options so I don't get distracted by the ones I really want...

Eating out is pretty tough. I feel like if I am going to go to a restaurant and pay the money I want to enjoy what I'm eating! I don't want to go out just to have a plain salad with dressing on the side... I mineswell stay home! So I guess I will just try to moderate eating out which is also good for my sad little bank account!

I have a short term goal but I want this to be long term, and I have a very important long term goal, a wedding!! I know I won't be ready to have a wedding until I am happy with myself, and we're in no hurry so mineswell wait until it's right. Plus there's the affording it part, that still needs to be worked on! I think I've thought more about the honeymoon then the wedding itself! That part makes my head hurt...

It's funny when I look back at pictures from only a few years ago and wish I was in that same place, yet at the time I wasn't happy either. So will I ever be happy with myself I sometimes wonder? After struggling for so many years I know I just have to be happy and positive with any progress I make. I just wish I didn't keep making it harder for myself! I think my mom first put me on a diet before I was 13. I remember drawing a graph and tracking my progress, and counting points. I was just a normal kid but I already had it in my head that I wasn't. My parents were always on diets and anyone that knows them would be surprised because they don't look like they need to be, and they don't. This idea was pushed on me so when I moved out I felt like I could finally be free and make my own choices. My drug of choice was salt. Bad, unhealthy, salty treats. So I kept spiraling and it's hard to stop that pattern once it's started. I guess everyone has an addiction of sorts and this is just mine.

So now here I am 10 years out of high school and afraid to see people that knew me, wondering what they're saying about me behind my back. So it's time to break the cycle but I know it will take a lot of hard work. It's something I will deal with my whole life, I just have to try and stay on the right path and accept the support around me!
Stay fit and have fun! :)

This would be one of those bad choices! But it was New York!

Monday, August 30, 2010

The Italian Kitchen featuring Michael Buble and The Swell Season

Last Sunday James and I headed to Vancouver for less then 24 hours of adventure.
We started our trip by stopping at Ikea as we usually do... can't resist cheap Swedish home decor! Unfortunately the main reason we came was to get more pasta bowls and of course they were sold out. I guess everyones been reading my blog and saw how awesome they were... I'd better stop being so awesome. We ended up getting a new shelf to hold our ever growing collection of DVD's so that was great. Now finally mine and James' dvd collections can come together as one... I think he's embarrassed that mine are way better then his and that's why it took so long... yeah that's why I'm sure...

From there we checked into our room at the Coast Coal Harbour. This hotel was way too fancy for us in our jeans and sneakers. They gave us a room with an ocean view snuck in between two skyscrapers .. I guess in big cities that's as good as it gets. The room was gorgeous, but we barely spent anytime there which was a shame.

Before going to dinner we had to stop at Cupcakes and fill our addiction. We've tried a few options in Victoria but I still think these ones are the best even though they are a chain. At least they are local. I was only going to get one... then it was four... then somehow it was cheaper to get six. So much for that!

From there we headed over to The Italian Kitchen - 1037 Alberni Street, Vancouver, BC

James had heard good things and the menu online looked like it had reasonable prices and a tasty selection! I find Victoria is lacking good Italian restaurants so I was excited to check this one out. We arrived early, before 5pm as we had to get to the concert, but found there were still about 5 other tables seated so we didn't feel like we were having the early bird special. I decided the try the Hand-Rolled Gnocchi with roasted tomato and basil cream sauce. James had the Spaghetti with Spicy Kobe Meatballs which had been recommended to him. I also had a glass of the house white which was the cheapest wine on the menu at $7 a glass. I'm not a big wine drinker but this place was classy so I thought it was fitting. The wine was very good though so I was pleased, plus I couldn't tell you what any of the others even were.
I've had gnocchi before but it's always been the kind that comes pre made and is like eating hard chewy balls of tasteless dough. So I was hoping I hadn't made the wrong choice, but as soon as the plate arrived at my table I knew I hadn't. The bowl was filled with light pillows of dough surrounded by a flavourful tomato cream sauce. I am so glad I gave it a try because now I know how gnocchi should be, and it's nothing close to what I have had before. Though I am also spoiled because now I am a gnocchi snob and nothing but light pillows of deliciousness will be acceptable!
James was equally happy with his dish, loving the meatballs and not overwhelmed but the truffle oil in the sauce.
For dessert we ordered an orange and thyme infused creme brule and Tiramisu. The Tiramisu was amazing the perfect mix of sweet marscapone cheese, coffee and lady fingers. The creme brule was ok, it was smooth and had a great crunch on top but I couldn't taste the thyme at all, the orange over powered and it tasted more like an orangiscle. Which isn't all bad, just not what we were hoping for.

But even more exciting then all this delicious food is when I look over a few tables down on the patio and go... isn't that Michael Buble? No I thought it couldn't be, why would he sit on the patio beside the street where everyone can see him? Then I realize it IS him... but I also realize that I'm the only one staring and everyone else is either playing it cool or doesn't notice or care. I don't listen to his music but it's still really cool to see a celebrity out and be eating at the same restaurant as them! Luckily I only noticed him near the end of our meal so I didn't embarrass James too much. And the fact that I didn't have a camera, though I did try to steal James' phone to take a discreet picture. Oh well you'll just have to believe me!

After that we headed to Stanley Park and sat under the stars watching The Swell Season perform with Black Francis opening. I am a huge Pixies fan so I was super excited for Black Francis, his new stuff was pretty cool but I have to admit the whole time I was just hoping he'd play some Pixies. Swell Season was amazing as usual and this venue was the perfect place to listen to their music under the stars. My dreams did finally come true when for their encore they played "Where Is My Mind" and Frank Black came out... my mind was blown, I was one happy girl! Such a perfect ending to an amazing night!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Pink Bicycle - 1008 Blanshard Street

I ate here for the second time this weekend. We had to wait over 45 minutes to get in after being told it would be 15 - 20 minutes which sucked. But the sun was shining and there were seats outside to enjoy it on. The hostess was friendly and checked in on us so we felt we weren't forgotten. Once seated I decided to order the Black Bean Veggie burger again as it was so amazing last time I didn't want to risk being let down if I tried something new. Last time I ordered it with the Blue Buck beer onion rings which was a mistake. The batter had a weird light crispness to it that I've never had on an onion ring before, they tasted more like Funyions then what I was hoping for. James had the fries and the first time they were a little cold and soggy so that was disappointing as well.
This time though we both were smart to order the fries as they came out perfectly crispy the way I like them! They did lack seasoning though we found, luckily I ordered a side of roasted garlic mayo which made up for that. James had the rosemary gravy which was good but I couldn't have had too much of it as I found the rosemary to be a bit overpowering myself.
The burger was just as good as I remember it, a mix of spicy black bean patty, fruit salsa, smoked cheddar and jalapeno mayo made for a perfect combination of flavours! And the bun... on man the buns are amazing! From Bond Bonds Bakery next door they are the perfect consistently, tough but soft and holds up well to the burger without falling apart. We tried to buy some but I guess we were too late in the day and they were all snatched up.
The only thing I think that could be improved is the patty is way too big, it always falls out and I end up not eating a quarter of it as it's already fallen out of the bun but I still have enough left to enjoy it without being overpowered by black beans.
James had the Local Swine burger and enjoyed it so much he'd finished it before I had a chance to ask him what he thought! That's always a good sign!
I will definitely be returning again to try something new next time!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Gray day blues...

(I wrote this on Thursday but just got around to finishing it and adding the pictures today)

Thursday, Aug 19th
What is it about the weather that can affect my mood so much? I woke up today feeling groggy, and got to work still feeling the same. I slept like the dead last night though, aquafit must have helped! It was my first time and I enjoyed it. It was nice just to be in the water again, I never go swimming anymore.... I can still smell the chlorine on my skin today and that makes me happy.

The bathing suit part usually is the biggest deterrent but I felt comfortable once I was in the water splashing away. Except for those bitches in bikinis, it wasn't an intimidating group either. Thanks Kristin, I will definitely come again!!

I made a delish dinner before I left that I found on "Audrey Needs More Wooden Spoons" blog Black bean tacos with feta and cabbage slaw. At first when I read this I thought what a weird combination, but then I checked out the recipe and thought it would be something new and fun to try. Plus it's more exciting then my usual can of veggie chili tacos. I wimped out on making my own shells, though I also couldn't find any corn tortillas. But I still think they turned out great and James was just happy that I cooked something for once! I also doubled the amount of spice in the bean mixture because it was a bit too bland for my taste but I saw a lot of reviews that said that as well. You just need to taste as you go and see what works for you.
I will make them again for sure, they were quick, easy and very tasty!

We had with it a bagged Southwest salad from Thriftys. It comes with pre washed and torn lettuce mix, grated cheese, tortilla strips and dressing so it was easy to throw together. You could make a better salad yourself but they work well in a pinch... plus it was on sale! :)

We also had some really tasty meals a few nights before, here's the bbq we had when Perry came down. A bbq salmon burger with mayo and broccoli slaw, a fennel, orange, apple, cherry tomato and assorted seeds salad with homemade balsamic dressing and bbq potatoes.

And lastly this is a dish we saw on Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations Rome episode and had to try. It's called Caccio e Pepe. James even made the Parmesan bowl to eat it out of! It turned out to be too rich to eat the whole thing but it was a tasty indulgence! With it I made a spinach salad with strawberries, red onion, mushrooms and seeds with the same homemade balsamic dressing. I also had a glass of Riesling from a bottle opened about a month ago... that wasn't as good, but makes the picture look much more classy!

BTW I am in love with our pasta bowls from Ikea!! Is that sad? We are silly and always buy just two when we go, then get home and wonder why we only bought two? We want to use them all the time! Plus what if we have guests? Though really.. when do we have guests? Oh well, now it's an excuse to go to Ikea again and buy two more!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

It's jalapeño jelly time, jalapeño jelly time!

I must first say I really love how my spell checker adds the accent on jalapeño! It's way more fun that way!
So we made a batch of the jelly the other night and thought it seemed runny, but never having made jelly before we didn't know if it needed time to set. The next day it was still runny so James emptied out all the jars, re heated it and added more pectin and sealed them in the jars again. It's really James' jelly since my only contribution was getting the air bubbles out of the first batch. He fixed it and re did it all without my help. I was a little bitter as this was supposed to be our project and it turned into his. Though I figure now if it doesn't turn out he can also take the blame :P Lot's of people are looking forward to it so I hope it tastes ok and isn't too thick now from the added pectin! The samples I tried while we were making it had a nice mix of sweet and spicy so I'm excited to get some crackers and cream cheese and try it!

It's so hot out today all I want to do is hide inside while others are out bathing in it. Yesterday I did nothing I felt so guilty wasting a day off... I did clean the bathroom and have a nap so I guess that's something. Luckily that night I had plans to go out to dinner and see a movie with the girls, it had a/c and it forced me to get out.

Today James and I got going late but when we did I finally got my car washed (so it's going to rain tomorrow) and bought some groceries so we can start to have some healthier meals. I hate trying to meal plan for the week and figuring out what to buy... then having time to make it. I know though this is what needs to be done so we're not always eating out or reaching for the same pre made shit we always do. I'm hoping when James is off he'll have time to make us lots of delicious fresh food!!

Tonight Perry is coming down and the boys are having pulled pork sandwiches, I'm having a bbq salmon burger, then with it we're having a fennel and orange salad and bbq'ed potatoes... I'm so hungry for it already! We had a really good bbq feast on Friday too when my cousin came over to hang out, so I just want to keep enjoying it while it's nice out! Ok I guess summer is good for some things.... maybe we'll even hang out outside with James while he bbq's since we have chairs out there now. I wish we had our own patio area, the grass by the carport just doesn't really cut it. Our landlords have a beautiful backyard with tons of flowers but I feel weird going around the house to hang out in it because it seems like it's theres. Plus they are always out gardening or watering it, and then it's more awkward... and I have to make small talk.... ugh... I'll just hide away instead! My parents have an awesome backyard, it's nice and shady but gets some sun in the early morning/afternoon, and their deck is private with grape vines growing all around it, comfy chairs the rock back and forth, side tables, flowers, carpet... it's like an outdoor living room really. Whenever they are away I am tempted to go over and just hang out, turn up the Jammin' digital channel and chill out...

Well that's enough rambling about nothing for now... since Perry is coming over here's a tribute to him, the awesome female zombie finger puppet he got me. Horatio and the zombie are getting along pretty good... Horatio just knows to keep his distance...

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Gettin' Dilly Wit It

We started our adventure in canning the other day with dill pickles. It was actually pretty easy, but if you don't want to can there's lots of recipes to make refrigerator style pickles as well. I figured they'd taste better if they had more time to brine and this way we can make a bunch and give them out to people. I was thinking about posting the recipe, but until we've tried them maybe I'd better wait and make sure it worked!!
The first batch made 7 jars and apparently we think everyone we know will want some so I picked up some more cucumbers the other day along with 30 jalapeños to make jelly. I felt like people were going to start staring at me with my huge bag of cucumbers and jalapeños. I'm excited for the jelly, I always say to James I want to buy some, and then whenever we see it at the market I'm like... I dunno... it's too expensive... so now we'll have enough to last us... well however long it lasts I guess. Good thing we bought a book on canning at Costco last night. Everywhere we go we find things we need for canning on display or sale and I think it's like this great coincidence and then I remember it's summer and that's when people do canning... we're just late on the trend.

So I'll have to read my book and learn all about the world of canning... maybe I'll take up knitting again, get some cats... actually we have thought about getting a cat. But really it's just a solution to replace how bad we want a dog which isn't going to happen anytime soon. Even the fish idea went nowhere...
Anyways back to canning... which is my world now. So we also bought bags of frozen berries from Costco because we were a little late on getting the big flats of fresh berries cheap. Plus frozen berries are picked at their best so I figure it should work just as well.
I also was looking through our new book and saw recipes for salsa which would be awesome. I always am let down by the grocery stores salsa options so this will be a great way to have fresh salsa ready at any time.
Then I started to have crazy ideas about making ketchup, mustard and chutney... but I'm assuming I'll get distracted or bored by the time I get finished our other projects.

So I hope my friends and family are ready for some canning gifts!! Even if you don't enjoy it just pretend you do to humour us! :)

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Falling down the rabbit hole

That's what my head has felt like for the past few days. I was sick with a sinus cold, then started to feel better and then I woke up and felt so dizzy I fell back onto my bed. I was so scared I didn't know what was going on. I probably freaked out more then I needed to but I knew it was a sign something was wrong and I didn't know what. I went to the clinic the next day and I have fluid in my ears that is making me feel off balance. My head feels foggy too, like I'm buzzed or something, it's not a fun feeling. I am going out tonight with some friends though, I feel like I've been in confinement the past few days so it'll be nice to get out and be around other people. See if I can be normal.
It gave me an excuse to neti pot again. I always mean to and forget. Then I was watching the Real World and they were doing it too and I knew it was a sign. I blew my nose after and my left ear got the crackly feeling which was exciting. I hope it means the fluid is disappearing! I will try and do it on a more regular basis and see if I start to see results.

James and I bought everything we need to make pickles, except the jars. Hopefully the pickling cucumbers will still be good when we finally get around to it. We need to buy more anyways, one little bag and we have like 5 gallons of pickling vinegar. Maybe we'll start it tomorrow... I'm excited to eat them when they're done but I'm afraid they won't be as good as I hope they will be.

It's finally raining which is great, though it's still muggy out which isn't. I think I'm done with summer, I never really embraced it this year. Sorry it didn't work out between us summer, maybe next year. I am ready for fall, and cooler weather, colourful leaves on trees and wearing pants and sweaters again. Every year I get excited for summer but sometimes I think it's just because I think I am supposed to but really I'd rather just stay in spring or fall. I don't really like winter though, icy roads and snow are not fun once you're grown up. You have responsibility and need to drive places and they get in the way. Snow was great when it meant a day off from school and playing in it all day. Now all I see is an annoying, scary, dirty, mushy mess. I hope we have another mild winter but who knows.
Ok talking about weather is boring... I thought there was something else I wanted to share... Well here are some pictures of meals I made months ago:

The salmon was baked with fresh dill and lemon. The green beans and asparagus was sautéed with some sliced garlic and olive oil, salt and pepper and finished with some parmesan. It was so simple but came out tasting amazing! The potato salad was stolen from Ina Garten:
I don't think I used buttermilk because I decided to make this after going grocery shopping so I just modified it with what I had. James doesn't like grainy mustard and even he liked it! Not enough to have leftovers, but that's my job I guess!

We also had some over priced buffalo mozzerella so I made a delicious salad with heirloom tomatoes, basil, s&p, olive oil and reduced balsamic glaze (Blaze).

This post is random, but so is my head these past few days! At least I got a few pictures up!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Lost in my own City/Pho Vy

I have lived in Victoria my whole life... 28 years this December... but I still get lost in this damn city! I forget which streets are one ways, how to get to Oak Bay, how to get out of Oak Bay... if it's not a place I've been to often chances are I'm iffy on how to get there. I lived in the same house for 20 years so for most of my life I only knew how to get to places from my parents house. Stick me anywhere else in town and ask me to go somewhere and chances are I'll make my way back to the route I know from my parents. Usually this made for the longest most confusing way to get to a place, but that's just what I knew. Since I've moved out and gotten to know different areas of town I'm getting a lot better but there are definitly some areas of town that I just haven't really been too a lot that I am hopless in. Like Oak Bay, James Bay, any Bay really... I'll drive until I find the water and take it until I recognize something.
The other day I was meeting James at the Jubilee Hospital after work. I work at UVIC so I thought no problem it'll be easy to get there. I have figured out taking Bay is the easiest way, but I remembered it's actually off of Richmond St and I knew that was close to UVIC. So I decided to be brave and find a new route... ya that didn't work out well. I didn't end up finding Richmond but I kept thinking well maybe it's just a little bit further until I got lost in who knows where. I finally got fed up and pulled out the gps, but it still thought it was in the USA so I got frustrated and started driving again. Then I found the road I was looking for but I guess I went the wrong direction because I ended up in a residential neigbourhood and then all of the sudden I was at the ocean. So I looped back around Dallas Rd until I found Cook, a familiar street and took it back to Bay. So basically I ended up going all the way around where I wanted to go to get there. By the time I got there James was ready to go...
Maybe I just need to explore more of this city. It's a small city but sometimes it feels too big. Sometimes I think this city thinks it's bigger then it is, or tries to be. All the people are starting to irritate me and the driving makes my road rage worsen everyday. When I get like this I wonder how I ever thought I'd survive living in London!

Anyways onto Part 2 - Pho Vy

So after that fun adventure we decided we needed some food in our guts otherwise the cranky factor was going to go off the charts! We wanted to try Saigon Night but it's closed for a month so we went back to our old standard Pho Vy. They actually have a veggie Pho there but you have to use a chicken or beef broth. I usually try and avoid these but I know most food is made with one of these so usually my love for food overtakes. It's so full of veggies, tofu and noodles plus everything I add into it even though I get the regular size I've never been able to finish a bowl. It was just what I need though when not feeling well, a bowl of delicious soup always helps! I also had vegetarian spring rolls to start and those were great as always, just what I've been craving! If you go you have to get the Vietnamese coffee with milk. It's strong and sweet and the best thing ever! It's always busy though so make sure you arrive early and are prepared to wait a little, don't worry they will get to you!
If you want a place with no frills were you can get some great food this is one of my favourite places!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Moxies Classic Grill - 1010 Yates Street

We decided to check out Moxies since we were kinda close by and still too lazy to make even one meal at home this week. Moxies is downtown, but it has free parking so that makes me happy. I don't like this location as much as I used to like the one that was by Walmart, it's all way too skinny girls in way too short skirts and arrogant waiters. Fortunately for them they have the White Chocolate Brownie... otherwise I don't know if I'd ever go here.
We had had a snack at the mall earlier that day (well me a snack, James a whole meal) so we decided to have salads. They actually had a pretty nice selection of exciting looking salads so it was hard to decide! I usually find that even though a salad seems like a vegetarian option there is usually only one that doesn't automatically come with meat so I was excited to see a lot of options for me.
I decided on the Roasted Beet and Arugula Salad with roasted red and gold beets, goat cheese, toasted pine nuts with a sherry vinaigrette and baguette crisps and I added a grilled wild salmon. I've seen this salad on a lot of cooking shows lately, it seems to be the new in thing so I was curious to try it. I was very happy with my selection, I liked that there were the two types of beets and not too many to make it overwhelming. The arugula was a perfect choice to pair with it, and the goat cheese added a nice creamyness. I thought there could have been more goat cheese, but I do love it so. The baguette crisps were kind of weird but I still liked them, and the salad was dressed perfectly. It was a light dressing which allowed the flavours in the salad to stand out on their own which was nice. The salmon was good too, nothing that exciting but it added some protein to my meal which I probably needed.
Besides the lady across from me that stared while I ate it I really enjoyed it and would have it again!
James had the Sesame Thai Chicken Salad. It looked pretty much like it sounded, and came with banana bread which James enjoyed, and I would have not. He ate it pretty fast so I assume it was a hit. :)

Then it was time for dessert. When the waiter asked if we wanted to see the dessert menu I just grinned like a fool and nodded my head eagerly. I'm sure he's seen that look before though... Why do they ask if you want to see the dessert menu? They should just automatically bring it over. I'm sure more people would change their mind and have dessert it they were just given it to look at even if they thought they weren't going to have any. Especially here... once you read about the White Chocolate Brownie there really is no other choice. I didn't really have to look... but James was trying to decide. I told him not to be swayed but anything else, don't bother looking. In the end he took my advice and we both got ourselves the full version. I mean we'd had salads so we deserve this right?
It came with two scoops of french vanilla ice cream and whip cream on top. The waiter said they had just been baked fresh too, oh man I dived into that! It was everything I remembered it being and more. Thank you for not letting me down! I don't even really like white chocolate, but that part is more the brownie batter, it was large chunks of milky milk chocolate throughout it and that is my favourite part!
We were wrong to think we could each handle a full one, but you can't let goodness like that be wasted so we ate until we thought we'd be sick and it was so worth it!
Moxies I do like you, I just wish you weren't so pretentious looking and so far downtown. Ok it's only like 15 minutes but I really miss the old one!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

His name is Pedro

The Pink Palomino that is... a few people may know where this is from. My mom's friend Lydia and I made a story called The Pink Palomino. She wrote it and I did the illustrations. I can't remember how old I was, but I know I had different coloured felt pens and I was super excited about that! She had it bound into a book and gave it to me for Christmas two years ago, it was so awesome to see it again. I started thinking about it last night so when I couldn't sleep I came out and pulled it out to look at it. So that's where the new name came from! Pretty random, but there's where this blog is heading!

Been feeling sick the past few days. My throat is better but my nose is so stuffed up nothing will come out and I keep getting sinus headaches which sucks. I hate summer colds, yet at the same time it gives me an excuse to hide away inside. I haven't done much with my week off but that's ok. We had a busy weekend and I finally finished cleaning the house yesterday and that was the main goal.

Not looking forward to going back to work though, after having a bunch of time off I just feel like I never want to go back. I wish I could find a way of making money without doing anything.. isn't that everyones dream? Maybe I'd get bored eventually, or maybe I'd start enriching my life with all the things I always wanted to do. I didn't really do that last summer though when I had time off. I just wish I had more energy sometimes, I feel like there's all these things I want to do but sometimes the thought of going out and doing them is too much so instead I just waste time on the computer or watching tv.

Jersey Shore started again last night.... last time I said I'd never watch it, but who am I kidding? I'm a reality show whore for the most part. So now I must watch the new season. I'm also making James download Kourtney and Khloe in Miami for me... damn those Khardashians... they make me laugh. I don't watch The Bachelor or Survivor which is kind of surprising... though if I sat down and started watching I'm sure I'd be hooked again. We're also watching Big Brother... i used to be so obsessed with that show that I'd watch the live feeds... now they make you pay so forget that! That's a line I won't cross! Rachel Zoe starts in a few days and James is way too excited about it... I think I've created a monster! :)

We're going to go up to the hospital and visit his mom later. She seems to be doing good but it sucks to be in a hospital either way so I suggested we bring up a game to play. We'll have to find some yahtzee later.

Here's a picture because this blog needs pictures. James still has to show me a better way to do this:

That's my "I'm sick soup" and we even had goldfish to put in! They were pizza and parmesan flavoured so not as good as the original but worked. It looks kind of gross close up though...

Oh and here's Pedro!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Chikara Sushi

"Victoria's Famous Sushi" - 280-2950 Douglas Street

Well I'm not sure if their slogan is right, but it's one of my favorite sushi spots! It may not be the best sushi in town, but it's also not the worst! I like going here because it's close to home and has good parking (I hate difficult parking, i am a baby when it comes to parallel). Yes these things don't make for a good restaurant but they certainly help in a city I'm becoming more and more annoyed with everyday.
I like that they have private booths, it's fun to hide inside and not have people stare at you when eating (this is a phobia of mine). The servers are always friendly and know us, but don't acknowledge it in an embarrassing way which I appreciate.
I also love that you can get a bento box anytime of day, usually this is only offered at lunch and I've never seen a place with as many choices as well. I love getting a little meal in a box where everything is separated... I also hate when my food touches other food so this is perfect for me! The food is always good, service fast and prices right! That's why we keep going back.
This is also the first Japanese restaurant I took James to and he has loved it ever since! They also have probably the best yam rolls!
Now if only they had steak sauce for rice....

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

New blog title

I am trying to think of a new title for this blog as I feel it will evolve into something else if I am going to keep it up. I just can't think of anything catchy or meaningful. I want it to be clever so when someone see it they go "Oh isn't she clever!" Maybe that's asking too much? I'll think of something in the middle of the night...

I finally went through all my clothes today and was able to let go of 4 bags full!! I get too attached to inanimate objects, and sometimes I feel like clothes are memories. But they are bulky memories that you can't really display anymore, except on yourself but they are either too worn out or don't fit. So what happens to them then? I do have a container under my bed with a few pieces of "memory clothes", but the problem is I'm too scared of the spiders to go under my bed to look at them. The only thing I remember that's in there is a hoodie from the musical I was in in Jr High and a Hawaiian shirt from my first trip there. So how important are the other things? Even though I can't remember them now I know I will be happy to see them, plus I have a bad memory so it's not their fault.

I am happy to report I threw out my old nasty Roxy shoes today! We had some good times together, and I remembered how cute they once were. But 2 years is enough....

I also finally put away our Easter baskets today. Yes I am that lazy, and there was still chocolate left in mine.. none of the good stuff though that's why it was still there. Some things are so easy to put away, all I had to do was take the chocolate out and then open a door and put them in the closet. It was so easy, but why did it take me so many months? It would eventually get to the point where why put it away because it's almost Easter again. Now that's ridiculous!

I'd better now go do something with that chocolate so it isn't lying on the table for months instead of the basket... I feel like I need a candy dish or something old lady like that. I have the craving to go to an antique or thrift store to find an awesomely awesome one. But we'll see... I haven't actually started any essential cleaning... like the bathroom and the floors. Those are gross though I know I'll feel better once they are done.

This is me procrastinating... please leave any new title suggestions! :)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Road Trippin'

A random post today, I am still un-decided on if this blog will stay around but for now it's here so if anyone besides James is reading this enjoy! We took an injury and turned it into a long weekend road trip! James hurt his hand and couldn't work so we figured mineswell spend some money!
We took the ferry from Sidney to Anacortes. Not a very exciting ferry, definitely bring food with you and books to entertain you! But it got us where we needed without hours of driving so that was great! First we headed down to the Seattle Premium Outlets. There were lots of high end stores as well as ones we could afford. It was an outdoor mall which was nice. Even though it was getting hot it was nice to see the sun and not be overwhelmed by a/c. I bought a bunch of shirts and some jeans that were made for short people like me! Yay! I hope I don't have to hem them! I also was able to return the Vans I got in Las Vegas that I thought fit in a fury of angry shopping... don't shop angry cuz you usually will buy something you regret or doesn't fit. James got some size 15 shoes instead, they are crazy huge!!
I also looked at some expensive Kate Spade wallets that were perfect and 50% off! Except they were like $175 to start with.... so even with the savings it really is too much to spend on a wallet... oh well.
We also spent a bunch of money at the kitchen store. We could have filled our car with
stuff from that store as we are suckers for gadgets. But luckily we restrained ourselves and instead bought like 5 packs of coffee for our machine that you can't get at home. It's justified. And a lemon squeezer... we needed that. Oh yes and the metal tumbler, it was only $3! James is apparently going to become a bartender in his spare time so I look forward to the concoctions he will create with this!
I also got some Roxy shoes... yes I am still 15. But I can use them for work! And throw out my old disgusting ones! It's hard to let go of shoes when you have no replacement!
They were pretty nasty though, the kind of shoes I'm sure people judged me on when I wore them. Well they are gone now people don't worry. Well actually they are still on the shoe rack... but I will throw them out... after a little good bye...

After that we headed to Target (aka Tar-jay as James likes to think he is the first to say :) and spent $100 with just one basket!! Target you are just as evil as Walmart, but I think I like you a little more. Your dog logo is cute and I found you to be neat, clean and organized. I bought things I had needed to buy at Walmart but wasn't able to after I almost had a panic attack while checking out the new Uptown store. So I needed these things... it's justified! I threw away that receipt, customs doesn't need to know! James got an awesome bag for his netbook too!
Then we checked into our huge hotel room @ the Best Western Cottentree. This is one of the few times we took pictures.

I am obsessed with taking pictures of hotel rooms. I don't know why because they aren't that exciting to look at unless the are extra cool, but usually they are just standard hotel room fare. This one did come with a L. Ron Hubbard book to read during our stay. Very random. I believed it was Scientologist trying to get to us.

I don't really know how to get the photos where I want yet so sorry for the crappy layout!
So ya the book was a Western... but still suspicious I say!

That night we went out to the always amazing Olive Garden!

How can you not love this place? Yes it may not be the most amazing food ever but I am always left happy and satisfied with my meal. We started with the always favourite huge salad bowl. Even though it is just iceberg lettuce with Italian dressing I love that they put in olives and peppericini peppers and as much shredded parm as you like! And I like a lot! I finally stopped the waiter just because I felt embarrassed by the amount of cheese, not because I was done. I hardly was able to try a breadstick before our meals arrived. The breadsticks were good, real good, though I thought I remembered them being a little better. For my main I had this weird Lasagna rollup thing. It was thick pasta rolled in lots of cheeses then topped with breadcrumbs and more cheese and baked then put on top of a cheesy tomato sauce. Then I had the waiter put more cheese on top of that. It was very good, the sauce was amazing and great with the breadsticks! The pasta was awesome but believe it or not eventually all that cheese got a bit too much so I wasn't able to finish. Oh and we had delicious Bellini peach ice teas!! Free refills, and boy did we take advantage of that! James had some pork schnitzel thing with tortellini. I tried the tortellini and it was amazing... apparently the pork was good too! Yay Olive Garden for not letting us down, giving us lots of great food and being cheap! We left just as a group of 35 were being seated beside us at 9pm... who does that?

The next morning we decided to check out USA Costco... it ended up being the same as Canada Costco except the sold lots of cheap wine! We didn't buy any though.

Then we headed down to Alderwood mall and had lunch at P.F. Changs.

We both had the lunch bowls which came with a bowl of soup to start. I had the egg drop soup which was pretty good. I always get scared there is meat hidden in it though... somtimes those egg drops look suspicious! The broth was chicken but I ignored that fact. We also ordered the vegetarian lettuce wraps which was super exciting! I used to love lettuce wraps when I ate meat and haven't been able to find a veggie version until now! I really appreciated the fact that they had this option and luckily they were just as amazing as I hoped! I would come back just for these! My lunch bowl was the Buddha's Feast which always means a stir fry of tofu and veg on rice. The tofu has coated in five spice but I didn't get much flavour from that. The brown rice was cooked perfect and the veg was nice and crisp! I also really appreciated the fact that they mixed up the veg. Usually stir fries are the same old mix of veg, but this one had asparagus, sugar snap peas, broccoli, carrots and I think thats it. Even though my pee stinks after I eat it I looooooove asparagus. I think it's my favourite veg... I also love broccoli and zucchini... and cauliflower. I don't like peppers I realized and was glad there weren't any in this bowl!

We wandered the mall after which was half outdoors and half indoors. Almost bought a cheese grater and some over priced cookie mix at William Sonoma but resisted. Didn't do that at the Godiva store, but it was 3 chocolate bars for $10, that's a steal! Also tried some creme brule chocolates and while super yummy didn't really taste like them.
We checked out the Bath and Body Works store and ended up getting some plug in diffusers as they were buy one get one free. I felt like I should have bought more because people go so crazy for this store, but I really don't need more candles or lotions.
Then we went to Hot Topic and James got a shirt and I was rude to the girl named Candace that worked there. I was grumpy and tired at this point and she called herself Candy, I said I hated the name and then realized I had just insulted her. She said she hated the name Candice. It got awkward... I back tracked but it was too late, and time to leave!

Oh and James also bought a bunch of awesome t shirts earlier in the day at Kohl's! No pics but trust me they are awesome. I also got some stuff at Old Navy cuz, well I have a problem with that store. We also found some treasures at Ross Dress for Less:

It was only $4.99 and look how cute Wolverine looks! This is the one toy James was allowed.
I got the globe as it was the same price and awesome. It moves any way you want it! I may take it to work to put on my desk. People need something to fidget with so this should keep them happy!

Anyways that was earlier in the day... at this point in the story we are leaving the mall and heading to Best Buy so James can buy some must have dvd set. That's so James!
After that Maggie the gps got us lost and told us to take a ferry we couldn't figure out how to get on or what was going on. It would have saved us hours of stressful driving, but that's not the way we roll so instead we went the longest route possible to get to our next hotel in Silverdale.
We finally got there then met James' friend Dan and Lauren at Azteca for dinner. The waitress was so friendly and the food was yummy! America really has the best Mexican food, it's a must when you are down there. But so much food you want to eat but just can't finish. I should have gotten the flan for dessert though, Dan and Lauren were right. If it's made right I found out it tastes just like creme brule without the hard sugar crust. Next time....
We had a lazy morning the next day before starting the drive up to Port Angeles... we stopped at another mall of course and had a Philly Veggie sandwich yum! And checked out Bath and Body Works again incase I had missed a hidden must have.
I think this was the first mall we didn't spend money in... saw some 'Hanging with my Gnomies' t shirts that were awesome but not my size :( Oh wait James bought some video games.

We were going to stop in Port Townsend because my parents always go on and on about how cute a town it is but we wanted to go to the Olympic Game Farm so we ran out of time. It was good we didn't stop because we ended up being stopped forever because of a scary looking accident. I don't think I've ever seen a car upside down and another one totally smashed in like those in real life. I hope everyone is ok but it looked pretty bad.

We finally made it to the Olympic Game Farm which I haven't been to since I was little. Beside the sneeze fit it gave me and all the seagulls it was awesome!! The bears were pretty much the cutest things we'd ever seen! If I wasn't afraid they were going to jump over the tiny fence we could have stopped there forever! The one was rolling on its back totally posing for us! Then another after we gave it bread sat up on it's back feet. We gave him more bread and he did it again! I wondered if it was a trick he was taught... maybe he is rescued from a circus.
There were tons of peacocks and llamas and deer and deer like things with antlers. They totally attacked a car behind us. I was scared of them coming to our car so we didn't stop there.
We also saw some cute lions and tigers, cougars and wolves... but they were in cages that made me sad. We had fun and enjoyed it but at the same time felt guilty for enjoying it. At least they had tons of room to roam around and it was a lot more natural then a zoo, but they sell loaves of bread to feed them and I don't think that is part of any of these animals normal diet.

There are so many cute pictures but it's too hard to add them to the blog and I can't choose one so if you are my friend on fb you'll see them there one day.

After that we headed to Port Angeles but stopped at Safeway one last time to get our random-can't-find-at-home food.
Cuz it's just too much work to get out two jars to make pb&j right? I find this kinda gross, but James will love it! Maybe I'll buy him to bread for it today... and some milk to go with the variety pack of cereal we bought that I am craving now.

Luckily we reserved the ferry as it was sold out. It turned out to be really rocky and I was afraid I would get sick but I didn't. I did get a $1 2 minute massage from one of those chairs they always have. I deserved it after all that driving... it was awkward and hurt...

So now I've written way more then anyone wants to read as all I've had today was an Activia yogurt and a caramel latte (the new kind we just bought!) and I am hyper on caffeine. Now I'm starting to feel sick as I need some substance... and I need to finish the laundry.

If you've made it to the end of this thanks for reading!!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Il Greco - 2900 Tillicum Road

Last night James and I decided to try something in our neighbourhood so we strolled over to Il Greco. I had been here many years ago with my parents and remember the food being pretty good. The menu is a mix of Italian and Greek. We had thought Tuesdays were the pasta and pizza special night but it turned out to be Monday and Thursdays... oh well a chance to try something different! The decor was an odd mix of Greek with a bamboo water wall and bamboo plants, it was like they tried to modernize it but didn't stay with the theme of the restaurant. I ordered the Spanakopita meal which came with rice, potatoes, greek salad, tzatziki and pita bread and James had the chicken souvlaki. It wasn't anything special but everything had flavour and was tasty I cleaned my plate! For the price and location it was what I expected. I would definitley come back and try the pizza and pasta for that deal!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Keg, not a vegetarians first dining choice! - 3940 Quadra Street

Well I went to the place that is every vegetarian's nightmare, The Keg! It was my fiances dad's birthday and I don't like to be one of those vegetarians that make a fuss about where we're eating based on my dietary restrictions. If I am paying for the meal I am pickier, but if the meal is free hopefully there is something I can find! I am a Pesco-vegetarian (I eat some fish) so I knew I wouldn't have to stick to a boring un-inspired salad option which is usually an after thought at a restaurant like this. We started with the Tempura Snap Peas and Asparagus which were nice and crispy, though a little low on the asparagus for my liking! The dipping sauce it came with was a tasty soy sauce blend. I also couldn't resist the free, fresh out of the oven bread that came to the table, very tasty!! For my main I had the Mustard Dill Salmon and I substituted the garlic mash potatoes instead of the rice pilaf. It also came with 5 tiny pieces of asparagus. They were cooked well but had some sort of Montreal steak spice on them which I found odd as it was just big chunks of salt and spice on thin asparagus. The garlic mash was ok, nothing as good as what my fiance could make. The salmon was a disapointing. It said it was baked but it seemed more like it was steamed or poached as it wasn't crispy and seemed mushy. It didn't have any flavour and the mustard dill sauce on top didn't help as it was congealing and had even less flavour then the salmon. My fiance had a side of Chipotle Mac and Cheese which had a nice crust on the top but inside had no flavour besides a weird off putting hint of chipotle. If you are going to use chipotle you need to go for it, this was just bland. Overall not the worst meal ever but for the prices they charge I think they could have done better. I know seafood isn't their specialty but I wish restaurants wouldn't put options on the menu if they're just an after thought. Everyone else enjoyed their steaks so at least they were getting right what they are known for! The Black Forest Cake we got from Lighthouse bakery for dessert made up for everything else though!!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Lady Marmalade
608 Johnson Street

Today James and I went for brunch @ Lady Marmalade. This is probably my 4th time there and James' 2nd. It was packed and we were told the kitchen was backed up so it would take over 30 minutes. Considering it was Sunday and anywhere else would be just as busy or we'd still have to line up to get in we decided to wait. On previous visits I have had the Spicy "Blasted" Wild Pacific Salmon sandwich and that was awesome, something I was craving again this visit but decided I needed to try something new. Another time I tried their French Toast daily special I think it was chocolate and raspberry, it was bread pudding style which was different. I found it a little too much for a breakfast item, though I usually crave salt over sweet. This visit I decided I had to try a benny. I had the Roasted Vegetables and Aged White Cheddar benny which came with hashbrowns and a small salad. The salad was just simple fresh greens and cabbage with an asian soy dressing that was really good. I couldn't quite figure out how the hashbrowns had been cooked, it seemed like they were more like boiled smash potatoes, but they had great flavour. I wasn't asked how I wanted my egg cooked so I would have liked if the egg was firmer and didn't immediately burst all over my plate. The roasted vegetables were a mix of tomato, zucchini, eggplant, mushroom and beet which was a different but nice addition but the aged white cheddar was lost in the mix! The hollandaise was really good, overall a pretty good Benny. Next time though I think I have to get the salmon sandwich again though! Oh and the mango lassi is awesome I definitely recommend it!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

To blog or not to blog... that is the question!

So my blogging hasn't gone too well so far! Being lazy and un-motivated hasn't help either! I'd like to say I live a fabulous busy life and never have time, but that's a lie. I have the time it's just not how I've chosen to spend it. Then I feel the guilt... ah guilt and think maybe I should just delete this page all together. Then I have surge of regret and think no I will do it! So here I am today, still un decided but here are some restaurant reviews to keep anyone that may be silly enough to stubble upon this something to read!

Shine Cafe - - 1548 Fort Street

We've been here twice for Sunday brunch now and it's one of those popular Sunday spots that's just a little less busy then the rest (plus free parking outside score!) that you can get in without waiting hours! There is a large selection of all day breakfast including a huge selection of bennys! My favourite Sunday brunch meal! What I love about this place is all the options, they have a variety of benny sauces and some awesome toppings! I can't remember right now which one I had last time but it was yummy! But my only let down were the hashbrowns, they were good don't get me wrong but this is one of my favourite things and I get a little picky! I liked that they were chunks of potato because I am not into that shredded stuff! I love my hashbrowns fried to an unhealthy crispy level so these could have used more crips, but the over herbing I found too much. I love rosemary and other herbs on my potatoes but something about the strong level used on the ones here was just not appealing to me. But otherwise an awesome meal with great service and veggie options, I will be back!!

Foo Asian Street Food - - 769 Yates Street

I checked out Foo for the 3rd time last week. They don't have a large selection of veggie main options but I do appreciate the fact that their menu states anything can be modified to be veggie. Just the fact that restaurants put the effort to say that on a menu makes me happy. It keeps me from being intimidated to ask. The first time I ate there I had the Thai Red Curry, it was good, really good... but amazing, mind blowing, can't wait to have it again? No. The next time we tried the Green Papaya salad, Paneer Cheese Dumplings and the Pad Thai with tofu. The dumplings blew me away! They were flavourful balls of deep fried goodness in the most amazing sauce that made me want to lick the container clean! The salad was awesome, so fresh and flavourful. This is something I've had in Thailand and I've been looking for a decent version ever since and I've found it here. I was so delighted with my starters I waited to try the Pad Thai... luckily I did because this turned out to be one big mess. It was way too over powered by Tamarid which was so off putting. The tofu and veg in it was enjoyable and I appreciated the fact that they used a different type of tofu compared to the firm type that normally comes in these dishes. But I will never try this again!
Last week we went and enjoyed the patio before a movie. I was excited to try some of their specials but was let down to see that only 1 of the 3 posted on their Facebook page was offered and two others were up in their place. All meat except one salad. So I tried the Chop Chop salad special and the Crispy Pakoras. The salad was good, not amazing but pretty darn good. The pakoras were super flavourful with huge chunks of veg almost liked an Indian version of tempura. It was really different and tasty I liked them a lot! The biggest let down though was the onion chutney that came with it, again way too strong with the Tamarind I couldn't handle it. Someone in that kitchen needs to calm it down with that flavour! Or maybe it's just not my taste? Anyways I would go here over Noodle Box any day! Especially after the last time where I found multiple chunks of chicken in my tofu box... not cool Noodle Box your standards have gone down!

Ok that's all I can think of for now and I think we can all agree I've done more then enough blogging for one day to make up for my absence? Let's see where it goes from here!!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Mmmm quiche!

I used to not be a fan of quiche when I was younger, but I think that's because they usually had mushrooms and other weird things I wasn't into at the time. After going to France and eating some amazing quiche I've changed my mind. While I wouldn't say it's something I have often I had a craving for it the other day and searched some recipes and found one by Emeril that sounded tasty.

The crust sounded good but honestly I'm too lazy for all that work so I just bought a meat free pie crust (you know without all that pig lard in the shortening) from frozen and it still tasted amazing! I also used light cream cheese instead. I loved the recipe, I thought it maybe too rich or the salmon too overhelming but it wasn't at all, it was a nice balance of dill, salmon and cream cheese. I really liked the smooth creaminess the cream cheese gave as well! Can't wait to eat the leftovers so that's a good sign!

I also made a recipe from Ina Garten, Roasted Butternut Squash Salad and Warm Cider Vinagrette:
This was also so delicious and creamy! I used apple juice instead of cider and pecans (which I forgot to toast) instead of walnuts just because I like them better.


Well this is my first official blog post on my very own blog! How exciting!
I plan to use this blog to share vegetarian recipes I've cooked or eaten as well as review local Victoria restaurants.
I hope to keep this regular, but you know how things go so we'll see! I'll have to challenge myself to keep it up to date!

I have some pictures from an amazing meal I had the other night so I feel a second blog post on its way!

Stay tuned! :)