Posts filed under ‘Things I think about’

We’re melting

This is the temperature on the main floor of our house (85degreesF) at 9:00pm... This does not include the humidity, which is killing us and our poor, old dog.

Tomorrow it is going to be 38degreesC but will feel like 48degreesC   with the humidity. I think the house might melt too.




July 20, 2011 at 7:56 pm Leave a comment

Gluttony… it doesn’t have to be this way

This is what I was reading while I was sipping my 250ml of raw hot chocolate (super powered with raw cacao, maca powder and flax seeds) this morning. Starbuck’s is introducing a new 916ml Trenta Cup for its sweet teas. The average size of the human stomach is 900ml. I couldn’t imagine drinking more than the size of my stomach (even though its capacity increases as I consume) in one sitting; not to mention the bathroom breaks you would need, and the crazy headaches you would get from all the sugar in “sweet” tea. Why do people need the Trenta Cup? Really?

Why not enjoy a moderate sized beverage, not laden with sugar instead?

Hot Chocolate

  • 3 tablespoons raw cacao powder or cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon maca powder
  • 2 tablespoons agave nectar (or honey)
  • 2 tablespoons flax seeds
  • 3 cups non-dairy milk (rice, hemp, almond, etc.)

Give this a whirl in a high speed blender. If you don’t have a high speed blender then you might want to strain it through a fine sieve to make it super smooth. You may also want to heat your milk up as well. I find my Vitamix heats it up enough, but you may want it a bit warmer – just don’t boil it. Makes 2 servings, one of which I shared this morning with my friend Heather.

January 19, 2011 at 8:34 pm Leave a comment

The Long Weekend

The weekend has come and gone. This past weekend we Canadians celebrated Thanksgiving. The weather was beautiful and I was able to get outside and spread my manure and plant my garlic. I also started to gather up some of the garden pots for winter storage (sigh). Despite the poor yield from my garden this summer, after reading Clay and Zach’s post at the Bitten Word about their garden, I feel a bit better. I managed to get at least two dozen tomatoes from my garden, not just two tomatoes like they did. I think the little fence my husband built helped to keep some critters at bay.

I cooked the best turkey ever, which was not my doing so much as a good organic, free-range turkey and Giada’s recipe, which I almost followed exactly (less the butter and gravy). I also made these cookies for my mommy.

We watched a very good movie (twice – happens when you have a 3 year old). If you haven’t seen How to Train Your Dragon, you must. I normally can’t sit and watch a movie when there are so many other things I should be doing, but this movie kept me on the couch. My daughter snuggled up on my lap helped too.

We enjoyed a good wine; Sundance (Merlot). It really was a tribute to the beautiful sunshine we were experiencing. If I had to describe it, I’d say smooth, mellow and wishing we had another bottle.

I am seriously ready to adopt a cat.

My husband has hired a really nice fella to help him with a huge project we have going on in our basement right now. I’d tell you more about it, but it is very stressful and I’m just not ready yet. We are documenting it with a photo library… in time I may be able to share. Anyway, Mark stopped by on Sunday with a wonderful assortment of Polish deli meats (he’s Polish) as a treat for us for Thanksgiving. That, my friends, was a Thanksgiving weekend highlight.

 How was your holiday weekend?

October 13, 2010 at 10:11 am Leave a comment

Do Century Homes Need a Cat?

I guess you can imagine where this post is going. It is fall, the temperatures outside have dropped quickly, I’m baking again, and my husband is doing some work in the basement which involves leaving the window open without a screen for countless hours each day… The neighbourhood mice have viewed all of this as a welcome invitation. Welcome they are not. I have spent endless hours since they were discovered cleaning and sanitizing, which now involves a nightly ritual of scrubbing down counters, vacuuming, and trying to instill the importance of putting all dirty dishes in the dishwasher and securing the door; I may as well be talking to the wall… Every year around this time I wonder if we should adopt a mouser kitten. I am not certain about living with a cat. I’ve never had the opportunity. I do know, however, that it would sicken me to have a cat stroll across kitchen counters or across the dining room table. We trained our dog not to counter surf so maybe a cat can be trained too? I do have a lot of questions about cats. My cousin Elizabeth has two cats, she has had cats forever, and I think she volunteers at a cat shelter. I think I will have to enlist Elizabeth in helping me with my cat questions and maybe, just maybe she can work with Santa and I to bring us a kitten for Christmas. I’m sure the mice will be gone by then, they usually are, but I don’t trust myself to pick out a kitten, so hopefully she will help… and answer my gazillion questions (especially about the one about declawing – I’ve just set off the alarm bells of the animal rights activists, haven’t I?)

If you happen to know any informative cat websites, or have any funny cat stories to tell, please share! I still need a bit of convincing. We also have to convince our dog that this is a good idea too!

September 21, 2010 at 8:26 am Leave a comment

Time Crisis…

So I am having a bit of a time crisis at the moment, which in some small way is making me want to put More Optimism to rest. I find that I am wearing too many hats as of late and there are so many more that I would like to wear. In large part, More Optimism has allowed me to write creatively and report on my kitchen experiments. But, this lead to an obsession with healthy cooking, which has lead to vegetable gardening, canning, and writing up a little vegetarian, whole foods cookbook that I will gift to my daughter’s teachers and family at Christmas. I am also a mom and a wife and this takes up a lot of time. Some days, I don’t think I am ever not in the presence of people, which is especially hard to avoid because I have a full-time job outside of the home as well. It seems that everyday I find new projects or interests that I want to explore and I’m frustrated by not having enough time to do them – especially the fun projects that my daughter can be a part of. For example, here’s a list of some of the things I’d like to do and some I should be doing: 

  •  learn more about urban bee keeping (inspired after reading A World Without Bees
  •  learn French -preferably before my daughter starts school and so that I can spend a year in France 
  •  get my children’s book published 
  •  organize all of my digital photos 
  •  finish writing my little vegetarian, whole foods cookbook 
  •  raise laying hens (I’m planning their coop as part of the garage we hope to build) 
  •  join a CSA 
  •  pack a lunch everyday (seems easy, but I’d rather spend my time with my daughter in the evenings…) 
  • crafts – there are so many, but I’d really like to try to make a canvas rug (today anyway – who knows what tomorrow will bring) 
  • keep a memory box for my daughter 
  • learn more about social networking 
  • learn more about holistic nutrition 
  • get my PMP 
  • write for magazines 
  • paint the beautiful window seat/toy box my dad made for my daughter’s room 
  • finish the bathroom renovation
  • make these (scroll down to the frozen goodies) and this… and this too 
  • keep a fresh supply of sprouts growing in my kitchen

And so I sit here wondering how to do everything or at least find balance in every day living. Maybe I can use this blog for inspiration… maybe… I’m also wondering how the mouse trap that was under the heater in my box cubicle got to be in the middle of my cubicle… and is that mouse hair stuck to it? Gross.

September 15, 2010 at 12:49 pm Leave a comment


It was one of those mornings where I woke up and wanted steak (my iron must be low) and cabbage, which is something I grew up on. I have written before about how smells conjure up memories. This time, my cabbage cooking reminded me of my Nana’s house. At 91 (I don’t think I am supposed to tell you her age) she is still making cabbage rolls. That is pretty impressive. She doesn’t do anymore canning, but I learned enough from her and my own mom to know what I am doing. It is sort of like making eggplant parmesan… I just instinctively know how to do it. I have no pictures of the cabbage because we ate it all, but here is a simple recipe that you might like to try.

I Grew Up Eating Cabbage

  • 1 small head of cabbage (green or savoy), shredded (thin)
  • 1/2 of a red onion, sliced thin
  • 1 clove garlic, sliced thin (or more to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup sour cream

Heat the oil in a large skillet. Lower the heat and add the onion and garlic and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the cabbage and stir often. You want to carmalize it a bit and you want it all to soften, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste and add sour cream. Stir thoroughly and serve immediately. Think about your Grandma and enjoy.

August 19, 2010 at 8:15 pm Leave a comment

I Heart Mason Jars!

Mason jars are good for so many things. They keep my herbs, spices and grains organized; store my broths, teas and canned goods; mix and store my salad dressings; allow me to bring soup, yogurt and smoothies to work leak free; and I even use them as a vase for the odd occasion that someone buys or picks me flowers. What do you use mason jars for?

May 11, 2010 at 7:24 am Leave a comment

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