Monday, May 31, 2010

All Thumbs

Thumbs UP:

- for completing my coursework for the summer! Just one more paper to write and then some work on my thesis and writing/editing. Perhaps more time for blogging? Perhaps.

- to the hope that no classwork actually means free time and the chance to catch up on some personal reading.

- to the morning cool of a summer day. Especially when it's spent quietly with a cup of coffee. Except there's not much quiet in my house anymore....

- the smell of a good espresso bean. Every time I take my bag of beans (always Fair Trade!) out to grind them, I give them a good sniff beforehand.... I've taught Daija to do the same!

- for BBQing. A nice hickory or chipotle BBQ sauce and cooking on the grill can make anything taste good, I swear!

- to watching Daija tear fearlessly through the splash pads/water parks, loving the water so much that she can be shaking and teeth-chattering cold but she refuses to go home.

- to the garden my wife planted and the hope of fresh garden veggies at some point.

Thumbs DOWN:

- to the unfettered aggression of Israel towards the Palestinians and their territories. And to their backers, the USA and Canada, which allow them to flaunt their apartheid state with impunity.

- and to those who respond to such claims with uneducated cries of "anti-semitism". Palestinians are Semitic people too and Arabic is the most widely spoken Semitic language in the world. Get your facts straight and stop crying wolf to hide your oppression of others. Full stop.

- to still not knowing any further where my paths lead post-Masters. Sometimes wandering is not the easiest path to take...

- to the hottest May on record in Toronto. When it's too hot to go outside, it's too hot.

- to the Terrible Twos and a child who has found the joy of screaming, hitting and exercising her misguided free-will.... sounds like adolescence lite.

- to still needing to sod the back yard and to still just having a dust patch for a yard. Please hold off on the rain this week so I can get it done!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Birthday Cooking

Normally for birthdays I get to request a special meal to be made for me; this year I did it a little differently. Instead, I asked to be able to whip up something and for Nolana to clean up after - the best of both worlds. I enjoy getting to play in the kitchen but the clean-up = not so much enjoyment. So, with the deal crafted we went down to St. Lawrence Market to browse around. Not only did I get my ingredients but I got a couple locally made mustards, a cranberry one and a maple one. Huzzah!

Then, once the little one was down for a nap I cracked a beer and set out to do some cooking. Here's how it turned out:

The main dish was a Chicken Satay with a spicy peanut dipping sauce - taken from Closet Cooking.

The spice combo for the chicken made my mouth water (love lemongrass, love cumin) and the peanut sauce was divine - sort of an Indonesian/Indian/Thai fusion dish.

I had picked up some mussels at the market and threw together a broth - beer, garlic, lime, onions. Turned out okay but I think I prefer a white wine broth, though I once had a great mussel dish using a dark lager.
Finally, I grilled up some zucchini with some spices and mixed up a vinaigrette for the salad using Pomegranate balsamic vinegar, oil, lemon juice and a dash of my newly acquired cranberry mustard. Turned out to be a nice birthday meal!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Breaking News on Breaking News

You're not going to believe it.... They're going all CSI across the road! The news trucks were there, a mobile investigation truck, and a crazy looking man getting arrested - straight from the TV show kinda stuff. I bet they'll even solve it in under 24 hours....

You can read the news here.

Check the building where it's happening (view from our back yard).

And see the news truck (one of them - also from the back yard).

Monday, May 10, 2010

Apple Pie French Toast

I think a pretty traditional Mother's Day treat is pancakes or waffles but I did one better this year: Apple Pie French Toast!

Caramel, apples, candied nuts, french toast - what's not to like! I got the inspiration from over at Closet Cooking (which is pretty much my favorite food site - the pictures and recipes are always mouth watering!), just added more apples (best part!), made a mix of candied walnuts and pecans, used a multi-grain loaf and substituted some of the water for maple syrup to make it thicker and a little maple-y. Super yummy!