Busy Weekend

So busy it has taken me until today to post about it  :)

We had a beautiful trip down to Scarborough.  I love autumn, the colours are beautiful.  The temperature didn't feel very fallish though, it was hot and humid.  Luckily the car and Auntie Belinda's have air conditioning.   This scene was taken just outside a little place called Denbigh, on the way to Bancroft.






We had lunch in Kinmount.  It's funny to stop here to eat on the way down to Bowmanville.  As kids, we always stopped in Kinmount for "breakfast" on the way up to the cottage.   Who knew I'd end up living some where further north than 'up north'.

We stopped by Great Grandma's and had a nice visit.  It's so hard to get the three of them to smile at the same time.  Yes, it is hot, you just wouldn't know it from this picture.  I obviously get my love of cool temperatures from other members of my family.

Saturday we didn't plan too much.  We found a place to get Ella her first pair of highland shoes or ghillies.  They are so small.  We also went to the Yorkdale shopping mall.  Ella was able to see the Rainforest Cafe.  We often see commercials for the restaurant.  We didn't eat there, it's very expensive and very very loud.


See the little guy sitting on my lap?  My Mom looked after Thomas and his 2 older sisters since they were born.  I was 14 when he was born so he was like a little brother to me, in fact Thomas was an usher at our wedding.  Well, some how he's managed to be old enough to get married!!!  I don't know how that happened.   It was a very small, civil service so we couldn't go to the wedding.  Thomas' mom had a reception on Sunday in Bowmanville.  It was so nice to see everyone again.  Ella had a great time too, her little friend Max was at the party.  They had fun playing all afternoon.


Since my Mom was digging through the pictures I thought I'd share this one.


Well the fish were all loaded up this morning and off to Dufferin they all go.  We have a treat that doesn't happen to often.  We have some pickerel or walleye as some call it.  We skinned them for they can be a challenge to scale. 



I took some pictures yesterday when the sun popped out for a few hours.  Andrew working still on his boat and also of our shore.  We also have a new sign for out front of our place.  We just need to find a place that sell the letters for it.  We found a few companies on line but hoping to find something nearby or in Toronto.  Also we need a very short catchy saying for it.  Any ideas?  We hope to put our name then something witty. 

MALAPROPISMS



I have a confession to make, I'm a Gleek. In fact, I just bought the entire first season of Glee with the plan to wrap it up and give it to myself for Christmas... I often do this so that I am guaranteed at least one present I want... but my resolve wavered and it got opened as soon as I got back to Brittany's.  Nathan and Emily have been coming over each night to watch it too.  I knew we had overdone it when Brittany and I both happened to have dreams about Glee on the same night.  Last night as we were discussing this over dinner at the mall... we eat high class... Ben joined the conversation and mentioned something about "Huck". Brittany corrected him "you mean Puck?"
Ben then carried on about thinking his name was "Huck" like from the song.  The song? what song?
Ben then began to sing "Huckleberry Finn in the old oak tree merry merry something something".

This was all sung to the tune of a very familiar Australian song.

We all looked at each other and started to laugh.  "I think the words are kookaburra sits in the old gum tree, merry merry king of the bush is he..."

This is the same guy who until recently thought that when someone gave you their cast off clothes they were called handy downs.

Brittany has her work cut out for her.



I finally heard back from Gene. Kelly that is. He has agreed to be my date for the Willow Manor Ball this year! How lucky am I to be so well connected? Last year it was Fred (Astaire) whirling me around the dance floor in my feather-trimmed gown and this year I shall be showing some leg in that famous green flapper frock originally designed for Cyd (Charisse) to wear in the 1953 MGM film “Singin’ in the Rain.” This great dress was designed by Oscar-winning Walter Plunkett. Walter's credits include “An American in Paris" (for which he won his Oscar), “King Kong" (1933), “Little Women" (1933) and let’s not forget “Gone With the Wind" (1939). Don't you just love Walter's exquisite sketch for Gene's costume for "Singin' in the Rain?"

Film and dance historian Larry Billman noted that Charisse’s breakthrough dancing in this film showed that she was “strong, lithe, and drop-dead gorgeous to look at.” Charisse’s style, and the material she had to work with, set her apart from earlier Hollywood dancers. “After years when Hollywood’s leading dancers were cute and fluffy,” explained Billman in a 2007 interview with The Los Angeles Times, “Cyd took dance to a more sensual realm in the 1950s.”

As I take to the floor with Gene, only pretending to smoke cigarettes from that lovely long cigarette holder, I shall be as strong, lithe and drop–dead gorgeous as I can be. I shall enter the realm of sensual dance, too.

My hair? Well of course Sydney Guilaroff will recreate that glamorous be-banged black do that must be worn to carry off the green dress with the panache it deserves. Widely regarded as the greatest hairdresser in the history of the movies, Sydney Guilaroff created the hairstyles for many of the most important stars, spending most of his career at the most glamorous of studios, MGM.

Gene has told me he's organized a beautiful 1953 black Cadillac Convertible automobile to drive us to the Ball. He hinted that if it were to rain and if Willow could arrange a lampost somewhere in the grounds, that he might be persuaded to do the famous dance. Dum de dum dum, dah dah doodi doo dah... etc He's bringing his umbrella, just in case!

Counting down with great anticipation to this wonderful event! Thanks Willow -- you are the Hostess with the Mostes'!

HOW DO YOU PRONOUNCE THAT?

You have to admit, there a more than a few words in the english language which upon seeing them printed for the first time can prove a little difficult to pronounce properly.

We once played a game in our weekly family night when Ian took a look at the card and announced that he wasn't even going to ask the question because he had no idea what the word was or how to even pronounce it.  I urged him to at least try.

 "Chee - hoo - ah - hoo - ah."he sounded out.

"What? Let me see the card." I demanded.

I read the card and immediately fell into fits of laughter.

When I finally got control of myself I was able to tell him the meaning of the word along with the correct pronunciation.

"It's a dog, a chihuahua, you know, like on the Taco Bell commercials."

To this day whenever we see a chihuahua, I point it out and say "Look Ian, a chee hoo ah hoo ah.  It's a wonder we're still married.








I know it hasn't been that long since I blogged about Cafe Pyrus, downtown Kitchener's newest vegetarian eatery, but Paul and I found ourselves near their location on Charles Street while running errands this past Saturday. That place is like a magnet, I swear. We hadn't intended on having lunch downtown, but when we realized how close we were, it's like we had no choice but to go in.

Because we had no intention of grabbing lunch I forgot to bring my camera. Fortunately, the iPhone camera is pretty gosh darn decent, so you get to take a peek at what we ate anyway.

I had the open-faced mango sandwich pictured above. Me and The Mango embarked on quite the love affair this past summer. Like any summer love, I'm having a hard time letting go. The sandwich also had some fresh veggies, this amazing creamy garlic sauce and melted mozzarella Daiya on the fluffiest of breads.

This sandwich is too good for this world.

Now, before I continue, there is something you should understand about my husband.

My Paul is what I like to call an Ethical Foodie.

This guy loves food in all its varied forms and I have never seen him refuse to try any item that adheres to his ethical diet, regardless of how weird or off-the-beaten-path it is.

As such, he refuses to waste any veg-friendly food opportunity brought to his attention.

It's a good thing that he is, in fact, a bottomless pit. I've seen him consume several people's worth of food in one sitting and still not be full.

The infuriating part of all this is that the guy doesn't really ever gain weight. As long as it's vegan, he can eat whatever he wants in whatever ridiculous quantity and his waist size stays the same. This was not the case when he was a meat-eater.

Not that I endorse this behaviour, nor is it a reality for the most of us, myself included. If Paul's metabolism is the gazelle, mine is the three-toed sloth.

For years, there's something we have affectionately referred to as the "Paul Special" and it is the only thing that comes close to appeasing his appetite. Named after the "Joey Tribbiani Special" (which is two pizzas), the Paul Special is two restaurant meals. Here are the two meals he selected on Saturday:



Pad Thai

and



a build-your-own sandwich of the tempeh variety!


We actually kicked the Paul Special up a notch on Saturday and even got dessert - some of those famous Pyrus weekend pancakes I blogged about last time - they are entirely too difficult to pass up.

I'd like to thank the Cafe Pyrus staff for not only feeding us, but also for not making a big deal over the fact that we ordered enough food to feed a football team. Thanks guys!

Cafe Pyrus
14 Charles St W
Kitchener, ON
(519) 954-7705

Will be at Riverdale tomorrow (Tuesday)

The fish are all smoked up and the fresh is looking crisp.  Must be the night before market.
See you all at Riverdale......

Mellow Yellow ...



In order to combat the SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) that can come when one lives in a climate where there are more grey skies than blue, we've just had a bit of a redo done on our kitchen area room. But I speak with forked tongue ... a tad. Actually, the real reason is that this is one of two windows in this space which had to be replaced because of wood rot in the original wood-framed windows! The yellow paint we chose for the walls isn't quite true in the images. The yellow is a very clear and jolly sort of kid's crayon yellow, and gives off a bright, Mediterranean feeling. Inside the house that is. Notice that on the two days I took pictures of the windows, everything outside was really grey. Not so much about rain up here near Seattle, Washington state, it's more about the grey skies! That's what the experts say afflicts people with S.A.D.

As you can see, the older window (first image) was a casement window that we replaced. The new window is a lovely double-glazed job with some sort of gas between the layers of glass that helps insulate the house. I love the white trim, and next time we have a home improvement attack, I'm tempted to have all the wood cabinetry in this area of our house painted a bright shiny white! Next on the list is to decide what to do with this "new" space. I'm thinking my home "office" would be nice out there in Mellow Yellow-Land. That way I can have a sewing space that has a door on it so I can shut myself away and make a terrible mess without worrying about keeping all neat and tidy during my creative spurts!

We all feel a bit like we're in one of those TV home decorating programs. You know the ones: people swap dwellings, redo the interiors and then are surprised at all the changes -- many of which come from a mere change of paint color!





Tex Mex Quesadillas



What is not to love about the almighty quesadilla. It's easy to make. It's versatile. It gives you an excuse to eat an entire jar of extra hot salsa all by your lonesome.

And it is the reason that after my meat eating days were over, I decided to keep my Foreman grill. I know you're supposed to pan fry quesadillas, but I have never been able to master the "flip" technique (especially when there is no cheese to hold the quesadilla together). Attempting to flip them in a pan usually results in the dog getting more of the filling than the quesadilla itself, and also guarantees that the floor needs to be washed immediately after dinner.

On the Foreman you just lay them out and close the lid - both sides get done simultaneously, meaning you can eat your dinner in a sweet five minutes and get back to what really matters - your recliner and the Big Bang Theory.



Alright, I have another slightly plagiarized recipe for you BUT only because when I copied and pasted it into my email a year ago I forgot to include the source and similarly, I forgot what it was I changed about it. I want to say it comes from helloveggie.org, but I cannot for the life of me find the link to the recipe on there. Either I am mistaken, or it has been removed - either way, here it is for you until I can find a way to direct you to the author of it. If I get sued I expect all of you to chip in for lawyer fees.

Tex Mex Quesadillas

1 can black beans
1 cup brown rice, cooked in 2 cups vegetable stock
4 tortillas (I used Ezekiel)
1 cup frozen corn, defrosted
1/4 cup water
1 bell pepper, diced
1 small onion, diced
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
Cayenne and black pepper, to taste
Salsa - for serving

1) In a large saucepan, steam onions in a little bit of water. Add the bell pepper and cook for a few minutes, so that the pepper is soft but still has a crunch to it.

2) Drain black beans and add them and the corn to the pan. Add rice, water and all the seasonings. Cook for 5-10 minutes at medium low.



3) Preheat Foreman grill to 425F. Spread 1/4 of the mixture onto half of each tortilla. Fold the remaining side over. Lightly spray cooking oil on the grill and place quesadillas on it. Cook for five minutes, or until the tortilla takes on a golden colour. (Or you can lightly spray a frying pan with a bit of cooking oil and carefully grill each side of the quesadilla for about five minutes). Serve with salsa. Or vegan sour cream. Or guacamole. Or all of the above.

P.S. These quesadillas would go great with some shredded Daiya tossed in prior to grilling. However, I have proven time and again that I cannot be responsible regarding the amount of Daiya I consume on any given day. Until I am able to get my addiction under control (or come across enough money to buy an entire wardrobe two sizes up), I have forbidden myself to have easily accessible Daiya in my refrigerator. Have no fear - I do promise you I will return with more Daiya-inspired recipes soon.

A new record has been set

This will be the most Saturdays in a row we have ever missed due to the wind. 
Sorry we won't be down again thanks to the gale wind warning out.  Yesterday it was just a wind warning but it graduated to the next level. 
We will aim to do Riverdale but it sounds pretty iffy also.  Hopefully the wind stops for a while and we can return to normal again. 
Have a good weekend.

THE WAITING GAME



My pick in the baby pool has sadly come and gone.  I was really hoping Ava would make her appearance today.  Brittany was having some slight contractions during the night, had an appointment with her doctor this morning (sometime the internal can move things along), and I made her walk a fair bit today.  Nothing!   Perhaps Ava will be the rare exception and will actually be born on her due date (today).  I am keeping my fingers crossed.
Today is the first full day of fall.  One of my favourite times of the year.  The humidity is gone, there is a cool edge to the breeze, it's sweater weather, the pollen/ragweed is gone, just everything to make Momma happy.  I just saw the weather for today and we actually have windchill!!!  It is 14C but feels like 11C.  Wow, didn't expect that.  We actually might get frost tonight or tomorrow. 

Our New Chickens

Ella and I headed into Renfrew yesterday to pick up our new little chicks.  The local feed mill, M&R Feeds, gets chicks shipped in from Frey's Hatchery.  We have basically given up on the Chantecler chickens.  If they can't brood and hatch their own eggs, then they aren't of any use on our farm.  These new chickens are Harco Black S-x-Link . A rather questionable name, but they sound like just the chickens for us.  They are supposed to be good layers and brooders and good eating in the end.

They are a little bigger than the Chantecler were when we got them last summer.  These chicks are 2 weeks old.  We got 12 hens and a rooster.  We'll keep them in the summer kitchen for a while and let them get bigger and get over all their travel.
Ella's very excited to have new chickies out there.

Mud Volcano Yellowstone


Sneak Peek at the first vessel from my Yellowstone series.
Based on GPS tracking that I was a pain in the neck collecting on holiday.... "Can you charge these batteries Aliya?"  "Is the GPS on?"  "Where is the GPS?" and so on...
Anyway here is Mud Volcano 1.  I say 1 because there may well be a '2'.

And with great pleasure I invite you to the Contextural Show in Calgary, Alberta.  Do come along if you can make it, and see Mud Volcano in full 3D and Technicolor with sound effects - if you see me there and I have my Iphone on me.
Just looked at the forecast for Southern Georgian Bay.  "Strong Wind Warning in Effect."  I have a link on our blog if you are ever interested in what kind of weather we are dealing with up here.  The sun is shining though and it is quite warm out.  We woke to rolls of thunder this morning but it blew over quite fast.  Thunderstorms are to return tonight but we shall see.  With the blue skies right now it is hard to believe. 


Andrew will be at Riverdale Market this afternoon and we hope to be at Dufferin for I am smoking fish for Thursday today.  He was saying on the drive down to the city in a few of the towns he drove through, a lot of the leaves have been blown down already and a lot of them didn't even have a chance to change colour.  A very windy September.  Wind is never a fisherman's friend. 

Ready for Riverdale Market tomorrow

We have all the fish put away in the fridges.  The smoked fish is smelling yum and the fresh fish is looking cool.  Now it is just to get Andrew to get some rest before the drive down to the city.
I will be smoking fish tomorrow for Dufferin Grove's Market.  The winds are suppose to be miserable here tomorrow but hoping it will calm so we can fresh for Thursday. 

This is 27



I'm not great with birthdays.

Okay, that is an understatement. I am actually really, really horrible with birthdays. I have never liked them. Not now. Not as a child. I actually cried when I turned 13 because I thought life was going by too quickly.

So you can see why making the official leap into the god forsaken "late twenties" territory is quite traumatizing for me.

When I was in high school Kevin Richardson from the Backstreet Boys was 25 and I was convinced that he was pretty much the oldest person on the planet. I am that plus TWO now! How did this HAPPEN!

I typically tend to compensate for this (and any other) psychological instability by over indulging in food and alcohol. It's grossly counterproductive, really. I turn a year older and behave in such a way that when all is said and done I actually look and feel TEN years older.

This is the story of what I did in order to forget that I am three years away from 30.

I had to work on my actual birthday, but went out for a sushi lunch with my darling husband:



We go to Sushi Star at lunch because all-you-can-eat is only $12 - at dinner it's $20! I cannot justify the extra $16, especially since the vegan items are the same at lunch and at dinner.



Quite possibly my favourite thing on the menu - mango rolls!



The cutest little tofu hats you ever did see



Avocado and cucumber hand roll



Spicy udon bowl



Avocado and pineapple roll



Fried tofu cubes


I had a long day at work and all I wanted to do with my evening was vegetate in front of the TV (watching Lost, which Paul got me on blu-ray! Hurray!). Paul surprised me with a carrot cake, which he adapted from the carrot cupcake recipe found in Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World.





Paul also arranged a little Saturday night gathering of our friends to further ease the birthday blow:



The girls!



The boys!



The cookies and cream cupcakes!



The awesome t-shirt I got from my friend Samcha!



After cake we headed to the local watering hole for a little dancing and romancing.


Much thanks to my beautiful friends for celebrating with me. And now, back to trying to live a somewhat healthy existence.....................

Sushi Stars
450 King St E
Kitchener, ON N2G 2L6
(519) 584-2341
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