Monday, January 31, 2011

The Aftermath.

1.31.11  : 31/365


There you have it folks, we made it through January! First milestone I set though, was my birthday... 20 days to go!

Michelle
xo

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Oscar Sunday - Take One

1.30.11 : 30/365

The Oscars aren't until February 27th, but we spent the day getting in some of the best picture nominees like I mentioned we would. We already have our favorites so it should be interesting!

My friend came back from the Caribbean the other day and joined us for our movie marathon, it was nice to have her back even if the weather here is not really her cup of tea right now. She brought me the Best. Souvenir. Ever... my most favorite rum in the world - Saint James Rhum Agricole from Martinique!! (this was also thanks to my other friend who lives there right now... awesome ladies!!)


Here's a Ti Punch, even though it supposed to be made with white rum as a general rule, this was awesome!!
It's rum, sugar cane syrup and lime...yummers!

Dinner tonight? Find it here.

We made Uncle Joe's Toxic Mushrooms (an old family recipe and I can't tell you what's in it!) -



and the Tom Yum soup -



It was good, not as fantastic as some of the other recipes that I've made from Chatelaine, but good anyway!

Michelle
xo

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Alcohol related injury...

1.29.11 : 29/365


...but it's not what you think, we were bottling wine.

Since my back has rendered me near useless, the mister is happy to do everything possible to avoid my breaking any further. In this case it was doing as much as he could (so I couldn't) at our already existing appointment this morning to bottle our two batches of wine. This gash and impending shiner are thanks to wet hands, too many bodies and a slippery corker thingie handle.

Have you seen the corker thingies?


There's one. Try having that handle come up and clip you in the corner of the eye!! Poor mister. <3

In other less upsetting news, we ate this tonight...


Before;







After; 


Another winner! Delish!

Thankfully it was good because cooking (read:standing at all) hurts like all get out. (Why is it so painful to hold my head up??? :( )

Michelle
xo

Friday, January 28, 2011

The only saving grace...

1.28.11 : 28/365


...for my completely gridlocked neck and shoulders.
 

Feeling helpless. :(
(I wish it was actually working)

Michelle
xo

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Another project??

1.27.11 : 27/365


See that mess?? Those are my loose recipes. The worst thing of all is that they are horribly written out, I had to guess what a lot of them were based on the ingredients! (I've figured them all out, for the record)

As if I don't have enough on my to-do list;

Sort through wedding pictures and post to facebook and blog,
Continue editing honeymoon pictures,
Create honeymoon picture slideshow and photobook,
Post honeymoon pictures to blog and facebook,
Paint kitchen cabinets,
Make our new headboard,
etc. etc. etc.

PLUS transcribe eleventy billion recipes!!

One thing at a time.

Tonight for dinner, we had Parchment-baked gremolata fish from my trusty Chatelaine. Tasty!

Before:





After:





Oh, and we booked our trip!! Here's a hint...





Michelle
xo

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Meal Planning

1.26.11: 26/365


We're meal planning tonight, so stay tuned for more recipes!



On another note, now that the Oscar noms are out we're watching The King's Speech tonight (umm, Colin school girl crush much? :P) and then Sunday we're doing a marathon of the other best picture nominees (Toy Story 3 and all)! So exciting!

Anyone seen any of the others? We've seen Inception, True Grit, and The Social Network so far. Now that there are 10 contenders, we have our work cut out for us!

Michelle
xo

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Another day....

1.25.11 : 25/365

I'm boring tonight. I took a picture... but I wish I had more than that for you.

Tonight at the grocery store, the mister asked me what I wanted for dinner. Given that I am incredibly boring, I couldn't think of anything but one ingredient - mushrooms. Warm mushroom and beef salad it was.


It was awesome, but like I said... I'm boring tonight.

Anyone else boring tonight? I can't be the only one.

Michelle
xo

Monday, January 24, 2011

It's not beef, but it's not bad.

1.24.11 : 24/365

Dinner tonight was tasty, but... different.




http://food.chatelaine.com/recipes/view/black-bean-burger/22347

Michelle
xo

(Phew, and I'm caught up.)

Pride, Prejudice and a Kobo.

1.23.11 : 23/365
(This picture was taken and blog started yesterday, but as I mentioned briefly then, I would probably only get this posted today.)

"In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you." -Mr. Darcy.

A short while ago I decided that I would like to read, either for the first time, or by going back to something I choked my way through in school, the literary classics. I love books. I love turning pages and reading from something substantial. As neat as I find them, I just don't think that I could 'get into' an e-reader because that would rob me of all my page turning glory. On that note though, a hundred classics come pre-loaded on the Kobo, and of all things, I thought that was pretty cool. I've never been a fan of borrowing books, as I generally like to own what I read, and stare at it all pretty like on the bookshelf after, but I honestly don't ever see myself purchasing a hundred classic novels (as I mentioned earlier, I normally read fluff). Cut to the Kobo smartphone app, and my having downloaded it for my blackberry, how exciting! This allows me to download whatever I want that I don't necessarily want to own in hardcopy and I didn't have to buy the reader to do it. My kind of deal! (that includes the free ones too)

As you may have guessed from the quote above, my first read was 'Pride and Prejudice' by Jane Austin. I mentioned that this would be a review but the reality is that this was a classic so you've probably read it, if you haven't though- you must. In addition to reading this story over the last few days, I have also watched the BBC adaptation from 1995, with the best dang Mr. Darcy eva, and the movie from 2005. I'm obsessed.



From the Chapters website;

“Few have failed to be charmed by the witty and independent spirit of Elizabeth Bennet. Her early determination to dislike Mr. Darcy is a prejudice only matched by the folly of his arrogant pride. Their first impressions give way to true feelings in a comedy profoundly concerned with happiness and how it might be achieved.”


I don’t really know what else to say; I love, Love, LOVED this story. I truly wish I had read it sooner.

With all this talk of blue soup and now all of this Pride and Prejudice schtuff, I am dying to watch Bridget Jones... (Oh, you didn’t know there was a connection??)

Michelle

xo

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The contortionist cuddler

1.22.11 : 22/365

This post marks 23 posts this month. 23 is the number of posts that I made all of last year, so we're off to a good start!

Yesterday just got away from me, but I did manage to take a picture yesterday morning, just no time to load it up.


Today's post may or may not happen tonight, but I've got my pictures taken. I've finished another book, so a review is lined up, but I hurt my neck yesterday and I can barely move an inch without wincing so I may have to type it up tomorrow... staring at the laptop hurts. :(

Until later then... (I won't let myself drop the ball on this project!)

Michelle
xo

Friday, January 21, 2011

Heading west...

1.21.11 : 21/365

So I'm the loon that takes pictures on her way to the parking lot after work, whatever. :)


Happy Friday!

Michelle
xo

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Borrowed Part Deux?

1.20.11 : 20/365

Like I mentioned last night, I've borrowed dinner from Leslie again tonight. It's just like a good restaurant, you just keep coming back!

This tasty number is what I've been pulling together for the last little bit -


(Quinoa, Black Bean and Tomato Salad and Kickin' Chicken)

Once again, I'll lead you to the original explanation, it was done better than I could do it; http://definitelynotmartha.blogspot.com/2008/10/souhits-kinda-been-while.html

Just for perspective, Ryan pretty much licked his plate clean and we may be eating this again within the week! They were both really good but seriously, she wasn't kidding, that chicken was A.W.E.S.O.M.E! (and I'm already looking forward to the left over salad that is packed up for my lunch tomorrow)

Like a good restaurant, I'll be back!! :)

Michelle
xo

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Borrowed

1.19.11 : 19/365

Tonight's dinner came courtesy of a food blog I follow. I am in awe of everything Leslie makes and having (luckily) had the chance to taste some samples of her cooking... the pictures don't lie (things taste, as good as better than, they look).

My version of 'Provençal Salmon Stew with Quinoa' from 'Whole Grains for Busy People' as made by Leslie -



I won't repeat the recipe as it is wonderfully written here on Leslie's blog; http://definitelynotmartha.blogspot.com/2009/01/to-say-that-life-has-been-busy.html, and I strongly suggest that you check it out, because her blog is SO worth it!

The meal was wonderful and I am so glad I stumbled across it. Tomorrow night, I am making another one of Leslie's Quinoa suggestions... stay tuned!

Thanks Leslie!

Michelle
xo

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Colour me HAPPY!

1.18.11 : 18/365

Our wedding pictures are here!!

They arrived today and we are so excited to have them. They are wonderful, the girls did an amazing job.

For those that haven't seen it yet, the teaser slideshow can be viewed here -

Michelle & Ryan - Tie the knot

I'll try to post some in the coming days.

Sterling Images are highly recommended!

Michelle
xo

Monday, January 17, 2011

Tired soup.

1.17.11 : 17/365

I'm tired and I ate soup for dinner... sigh, Mondays.





Michelle
xo


Sunday, January 16, 2011

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Completed my first project...

1.15.11 : 15/365

This puppy was destined for for the dump not too long ago, but looks like it just needed a little TLC.

I'm not a pro yet, but I'm pleased with how it turned out. Next up, the kitchen cupboards!


I give you... my reincarnated bookshelf! All hail Kilz primer!

Michelle
xo

Friday, January 14, 2011

Hide and Seek Rainbow

1.14.11 : 14/365

Saw this pretty little rainbow hiding in a cloud on the way home from work this afternoon -


A little happy for your Friday!


Michelle
xo

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The conquering of the beets

1.13.11 : 13/365

We finally did it, we tried beets and they were good!


Sweet potato, beet and beet greens soup -

(Everything was done to taste so I'll just list the ingredients for you and send you on your way!)

Beets with greens (I used four largish beets with their greens)
Sweet potatoes (two large)
Onion (1 medium to large)
Minced fresh ginger (about 2 tablespoons or so)
Vegetable stock (about 6 cups but it depends how much of the heartier items you add, mine was a bit thick)
Salt and Pepper (to taste)
Butter (just enough to sweat the onions)

I peeled the sweet potatoes and pre-boiled them for about 15 minutes. Also, I pre-boiled the beets separately, minus the greens, but skin on for the same amount of time.

Then I sweat the onions in the butter until translucent and added the ginger for another minute or so. I then added the sweet potato and the peeled and sliced beets. I topped all of that off with the stock and then the greens. It simmered lid on until the sweet potatoes and beets were finished and then blended with the immersion blender (best tool ever!). Lastly, I added salt and pepper to taste and served.

It was a success!

Michelle
xo

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Jealousy

1.12.11 :12/365

Stella was envious of Riley and needed her time to shine -


Aww so pretty... :)

Michelle
xo

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Still healthy!

1.11.11 : 11/365

I made it through today, still not 100% but I feel like I'm headed in the right direction. Yay!


Anyway, tonight's dinner consisted of Rainbow Trout, leftover ragout (we'll probably be eating that for a week), and Kohlrabi and Turnip slaw (here). One superfood...check, and one new item...check! I'm glad I tried Kohlrabi, it tasted like cabbage so not very exotic, but I quite enjoyed it. The slaw was all around tasty!


In other news, we’re seriously considering enrolling in a weekly produce delivery this year, I’m stoked! Oh and we’re painting our kitchen cabinets, but that’s news for another day.

Well, I’m boring tonight and it’s Design Tuesday on HGTV so that has most of my attention.

:)

Michelle
xo

Monday, January 10, 2011

The high road to the 2011 better me!

1.10.11 : 10/365

I've typed, erased, re-typed, and erased again. Writing tonight is just not coming to me, so maybe I'll try point form for now.
  • I've already mentioned that I haven't been feeling the greatest,
  • I started eating well in the early winter, but the holidays messed that up royally (I was addicted to steamed greens - bring on the Kale!),
  • I have to start eating well again - a.s.a.p,
  • I consider myself pretty well versed when it comes to food, including the more exotic things,
  • I grew up eating things that my friends had never even heard of, but some things just weren't staples anyway,
  • I've recently decided that I need to broaden my food horizons,
  • The mister got me the subscription to Chatelaine that I wanted for Christmas,
  • In my December issue there was a great article about 15 new superfoods (not really new but some were new to me for sure),
  • I decided to use this as a jumping point for the 2011 'better me' initiative.
Here`s the article so we`re on the same page;

15 new superfoods you should start eating now
This year's hot list of nutritional powerhouses includes ricotta and prunes
By Megan MacMillan, RHN Wed Jan 05 2011

(Source: Chatelaine magazine - http://www.chatelaine.com/en/article/22968--15-new-superfoods-you-should-start-eating-now) *A link at the bottom of this page takes you to recipes that use all of these items*

1. Raspberries: Fresh raspberries rule for fibre, with twice as much (8 g per cup) as blueberries have, and frozen ones contain double the vitamin C of frozen blueberries. They score extra points as one of the best sources of ellagic acid, a powerful antioxidant thought to inhibit cancer-cell formation.


2. Beets: A great source of folate, which guards against birth defects, beets may help detoxify carcinogens and relieve inflammation. The greens are rich in eyesight-saving lutein and zeaxanthin, so eat them too.


3. Safflower oil: Olive oil gets the glory, yet safflower oil, a polyunsaturated fat, deserves praise too. A recent study found cooking with it increased lean muscle, stabilized blood sugar and torched belly fat — which could be promising news for people with diabetes and those battling the bulge.


4. Rainbow trout: Packed with protein and low in saturated fat, this delicious fish delivers a wide array of nutrients, including vitamin D and heart disease-fighting omega-3s.


5. Cabbage: Like kale, its dark, leafy cruciferous cousin, cabbage deserves top billing as an excellent source of sulforaphane, which is known to boost production of enzymes that detoxify carcinogens and may also be particularly protective for those with colon cancer-susceptible genes.


6. Barley: With a nutty taste and a chewy bite, this grain is great for people on wheat-free diets and boasts almost twice the fibre of brown rice. Both hulled and pearl barley contain hefty amounts of beta-glucans, hunger-busting fibres that have been shown to reduce cholesterol and blood sugar levels.


7. Prunes: Prunes, or dried plums, are not just good for relieving constipation. The phenols in prunes may preclude brain-cell damage, and clinical trials indicate that they may reverse bone loss. And there’s another bonus: Prunes’ fibre generates “friendly” gut bacteria — the kind that kill pathogens and aid digestion.



8. Cauliflower: Don’t let its lack of green fool you! The anti-carcinogens in cauliflower, such as isothiocyanates, may slow cancer-cell growth. Plus, a cup of cooked florets delivers over 90 percent of the daily value for vitamin C, an antiinflammatory.


9. Parsley: More than a garnish, parsley is full of beta carotene, which may bolster immunity and alleviate arthritis. Just two fresh tablespoons provides 70 percent of the daily intake for vitamin K, low intake of which may be linked to weak bones.



10. Button mushrooms: Contrary to its humble reputation, this mushroom is a health warrior, armed with cancer-fighting selenium and energy-boosting vitamin B12. Mushrooms may combat obesity, too: A recent study found that they satisfied hunger just as much as red meat, but for 65 calories and zero fat!



11. Sea veggies: From dulse to kelp to nori, sea vegetables feature a full array of minerals, including iodine, which helps keep metabolism strong. They also supply lignans, compounds that may rid fat cells of excess estrogen, elevated levels of which raise breast-cancer risk.


12. Black beans: Full of diabetes-fighting fibre, black beans are loaded with magnesium, which facilitates calcium absorption and supports a healthy immune system. What’s more, they contain tons of antioxidants — on par with plums and 10 times the amount in tomatoes!


13. Ricotta: A half cup of this versatile dairy do-gooder contributes 14 g of protein and 25 percent of the daily intake for calcium; research has found that the calcium in dairy may enhance post-meal fat burning. Opt for part-skim varieties to cut calories and fat.


14. Rutabagas: Sky-high amounts of potassium in this root veggie help sink blood pressure and ease muscle cramping after tough workouts. A dieter’s dream, rutabagas also contain less than half the calories and carbohydrates of sweet potatoes, as well as a good dose of slimming fibre.


15. Oat bran: Already love oatmeal for breakfast in the morning? Why not try oat bran instead? Culled from the husk of the oat, oat bran offers more soluble fibre, which soaks up and eliminates harmful LDL cholesterol. Lower in calories than regular oats, oat bran enjoys a slightly better nutrient profile too, with higher amounts of protein, iron, vitamin B and vitamin E.

The other day, I decided that Rutabaga was the first one to try and lo and behold, we loved it! So in an effort to FEEL BETTER ALREADY (!!!!), it was declared veggie night tonight and we did it with some variety.

I made a roasted vegetable ragout (found here), and it was tasty! I also made shaved parsnip salad (here) and while we didn`t really realize it, we quite like parsnips too! (I didn't add the prunes, I'm not ready to do prunes yet... they scare me.) (Oh and, I took some artistic licence with these and it was all dandy, so feel free.)

Tomorrow night`s menu contains more of the veggies seen here and at least one other item from the superfoods, I hope it all turns out just as well.

Now as far as I am concerned, I`m sitting here drinking my second cup of Calm tea (which normally knocks me out cold) and about to head to bed. Please, please, please let this have paid off... I need sleep and to feel well.

Michelle
xo

Ps - Blogger is doing whatever it wants as far as formatting is concerned tonight, and I'm sick of trying to outsmart it, so... sorry. :)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Sunday Dinner

1.9.11 : 9/365


Swiss steak in our new dutch oven... yum!

Michelle
xo

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Book review, number two...

1.8.11 : 8/365



Blurb from http://www.sophiekinsella.co.uk/books/shopaholicseries/mini-shopaholic/;

The world's favourite economically challenged heroine is back... with a small friend in tow...
Becky Brandon (née Bloomwood) thought motherhood would be a breeze and that having a daughter was a dream come true a shopping friend for life! But it's trickier than she thought as two-year-old Minnie has a quite different approach to shopping.
She can create havoc everywhere from Harrods to Harvey Nicks to her own christening. She hires taxis at random, her favourite word is Mine, and she's even started bidding for designer bags on eBay.
On top of everything else, there s a big financial crisis. People are having to Cut Back including all of Becky's personal shopping clients and she and Luke are still living with Becky's Mum and Dad. To cheer everyone up, Becky decides to throw a surprise birthday party on a budget but then things become really complicated.
Who will end up on the naughty step, who will get a gold star and will Becky's secret wishes come true?
[sic]

My Review;

I heart Sophie Kinsella. I can confidently say that I have never been disappointed with any of her novels. I have enjoyed every single Shopaholic book, her books with other leading ladies, as well as her writing as Madeleine Wickham. Sophie/Madeleine, Rocks. My. World.

As a mother, Becky Brandon does not disappoint. While some of the lifestyles found here are fantastical (to me anyway), the main parenting dilemma in this story is a real one. Through this book, we get to be a fly on the wall observing how a mom would solve normal toddler issues, Becky style, and you can bet that it’s going to be entertaining.

In case any of you are interested in checking it out for yourselves; here is the link;

Mini Shopaholic

Michelle
xo

Friday, January 7, 2011

Best of 2010

1.7.11 : 7/365

I've been under the weather all week and today just got the best of me...if I didn't know any better, I'd say my poor little buddy (pictured yesterday) and I have the same thing. I know, I know... dogs vs. humans and all that. Anyway, it’s not gone but here’s hoping the weekend will heal! Fingers crossed.

Anyway, I wanted to enter a 'Best of 2010' assignment that is running this week, so I spent tonight picking one. I had already taken a photo for today but we'll postpone that until tomorrow (tune in then for my next book review). If there is one good thing about being under the weather, it's the quality reading time. In all honesty though, I slept away an embarrassing amount of the day! So all of that said, my photo for today was taken in August on our honeymoon. I am considering it to count because; not only did I edit it today but it’s symbolic of today, as I entered in the aforementioned assignment. Those are my rules... take ‘em or leave ‘em. Maybe sometime I'll get around to giving a good chunk of our honeymoon pics an edit an show them to the world... it was a pretty amazing vacation!

So here it is;


Marseille, France (Vieux Port)
August 17th, 2010
Day 1 – Honeymoon.

Michelle
xo






Thursday, January 6, 2011

My little man.

1.6.11 : 6/365


For those that don't know this is my little buddy, Riley.
Riley is sick today- poor kiddo.




Michelle
xo

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Some insight from a bookmark

1.5.11 : 5/365



A woman is like a teabag- you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water.

-Eleanor Roosevelt

Michelle
xo

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Another holiday season of memories...

1.4.11 : 4/365

The wishes we collected over this fading holiday season. Time to pack everything away for another year.


Michelle
xo

Monday, January 3, 2011

Double Whammy

1.3.11 : 3/365

Today was our last day off for the holidays and it's bittersweet. One part of me quite enjoys being off and having the time to do whatever I want, for however long I want, but the other part of me can use the return to structure. I'm not too worried, there is another long weekend in April... :(

I just finished my first book of 2011, and I'm going to talk about it for a change. Last year, I started up with another challenge 'the 25 book challenge' and while I probably read a lot, I didn't keep up with the required descriptions as I completed them. Also with having; purchased and moved into a new home, planned and executed a wedding, and a three week honeymoon, I just didn't read as much as I had been previously. This year, I'll get back to it. As you can see I like challenges, or at least the principle of them as I think it adds to the structure I need. I also need to add a disclaimer for those that don't know, I read fluff 9 times out of 10. I like this style of book more than any other for the most part because they are entertaining and I don't need to think to keep up. I do a lot of thinking, sometimes (often) I just need a break.

For the first time I'm going to combine the two challenges -

Here is picture 3 of 365;

Blurb from 'http://www.mariankeyes.com/Books/Under-The-Duvet';
A real treat - the incredibly funny jottings of a hugely bestselling and much-loved author Her books are read and adored by millions around the world - now read the collected journalism of the woman who writes them: the woman under the duvet. Marian loves shoes and her LTFs (Long Term Friends), hates estate agents and lost luggage, and she once had a Christmas office party that involved roasting two sheep on a spit, the Moroccan way. She's just like you and me...


My Review;
She writes funny, sure, but she is funny too! I couldn't help but enjoy this book but in a different way than all of her other stories (n.b. save for the second book of this sort, there are only two other Marian Keyes books that I have yet to read and they are both on my bookshelf, as I also received them for Christmas). I love reading about all her characters, the Walsh family being the most common players, but without fail all are entertaining in the own way. Even Keyes' darker stories were as enjoyable to read as the fluffier stuff. This was different though, this collection of short stories paints the author as a character in her own right. She is entertaining through her own real life adventures and isn't it always fun when there is some truth to the story?

I would recommend this book with the fine print being; it may not always sound like real life, but it is!

Here is the link in case any of you are interested in checking it out for yourselves;

Under the Duvet


Michelle
xo