Monday, February 27, 2006

Read twice, measure once

That's what I need to keep telling myself, course I'll forget by the next time I do any baking. I decided to make cranberry scones last nite and mis-read the 1 cup plus 2 tbsps. buttermilk, to 2 cups, plus some amt of buttermilk. And then I was trying to figure out why the mixture didnt' come together in a soft dough. I also figured out why they say to mix the dry ingredients together first before adding wet; cuz brown sugar just doesnt' break down that well. Plus, I found it never did come together as a soft dough. I remembered my sister had a recipe for scones in which you didn't knead the dough, but instead, plopped it onto the baking sheet, so that's what I did. They turned out beautifully (to look at at least), and it was so much easier and less gunky. At least my chicken fettucine with peanut sauce turned out well, even without the basil and cilantro.

I think I just wasn't meant to bake this weekend; I made a chocolate cake for a client of ours, as his birthday was coming up, but I forgot some key ingredients and it turned out flat and not tasting great. So I filled it with cherry pie filling and frosted it with chocolate frosting. DH was happy cuz there was frosting left over, even tho he never did get to try out the cake.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

The Most Expensive Restaurants in the US

I was reading an article about the most expensive restaurants in the US (so I can drool and no I would never be able to afford to go). One of the ones that's actually close by and not as unreasonable is The HerbFarm in Washington state. I read the review about them, how they use fresh herbs and veggies grown on site and I'm thinking to myself, hey, my BIL could open up a restaurant at his home and charge these exorbitant prices. Something to think about after the kids have moved out and he needs a new career. ;-)

The original article was in Forbes and is an interesting read.

People are funny that way

I was talking to a co-worker the other day, let's call her Jane. We were talking about another co-worker, Sheila, and how Sheila didn't like a former colleague, Joanne, who she found to be too abrupt. Jane said that Sheila was just too critical of others, and that she, Jane just took people for who they are.

The next day, Sheila comes into my office and said that Jane was critical of her planning on retiring. So who's right? Is Sheila just being too sensitive, or is Jane not seeing the log in her own eye? At least Sheila's still happy about retiring, which is good. It's always nice to have something to look forward to.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Pot or skunk?

It used to be that people would tell me that pot smoking smelled like skunk and that was all I had to go with. Nowadays, pot is probably the biggest income earner for people living in the Greater Vancouver area, and skunks are ruling the west side of Vancouver and therefore, being run over and permeating the vicinity with their stench. I can tell the difference between the two, which is really sad. It means that while pot smoking is still illegal here (as far as I know), people do it so openly that I know it from a single whiff. I have no problem with legalizing marijuana, heck, I think they should so they can tax the heck out of it and stop taking so much from the rest of us, but I think it should be stipulated that people can only smoke it in certain areas, such as their own home and that rule would be strictly enforced. I don't go outside to smell things that smell worse than durian, I want to enjoy the fresh air.

Okay, enough whining for the day. Here's an interesting site that has nothing to do (for the most part) with food or my complaints.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Guess it's what makes us individuals

I just finished reading my sister's blog and decided to check out a random blog. Just my luck, ran into the blog of an ultra religious who thinks HP books are basically evil and should be banned from households. She said she felt a bad presence when she was reading it and was trying to convert a young girl over to Christianity.

IMHO, good is not just in religion but in all things that are not harmful to others. We all know what's right from wrong and if you need some organization to tell you, then you've got major problems. As for her feeling a bad presence, how about mind over matter? It's the case of the medical student syndrome; if you believe in it enough, you'll exhibit symptoms of the illness you're reading about. She believed it to be a bad book and that "witches" are all bad and therefore felt this horrible thing around her.

I'm not against religion, as long as people don't use it as a crutch of justification for doing harm to others. I believe there could be a higher being, not necessarily just one, and not the one preached by religions. There, my rant for a Monday.

Think happy thoughts.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Winning is so much more fun

Went to see the junior hockey last nite (junior my ass, they're all towering over me. Course, so will my nephews in a few years) as they played their final game of the regular season against Seattle. They've whupped Seattle's butt all season so far, and this game was no different. Seattle's team, while not the best as far as scoring goes, does have a bunch of goons to fight, and due to the history between the two teams, plus the fact they sucker punched one of our guys in Friday's game, there were fights to be had.

DH (I"m going to start calling him DH #1 soon if he doesn't stop annoying the heck outta me, which would mean there's a DH #2 in the sidelines) was heckling the Seattle players whenever they were in the penalty box, in particular the guy who did the suckerpunching. There were hoots and hollers of laughter at DH's ribbing, and at the end of the game, a young man (early teens if that) came up to DH and said, "Man, you made this game enjoyable, I esp. liked the comment about his nose being a banana." So there ya go, DH has a fan club. Mind you, the fan club is due to crude potty humour, but people like to be appreciated any way they can.

The Giants are now number one in their division and tied for first place overall in the WHL with Calgary. As the Virigina Slims ads used to say, "You've come a long way baby."

Friday, February 17, 2006

Olympic gear

There's an ad going on right now, advertising "exclusively Canadian" wear. The ads on the billboards show a model wearing a fuzzy hat with earflaps. It doesn't even look good on her, how's it supposed to look good on the average person. And they're flaunting this while the Olympics go on in Italy, a place that knows good fashion from bad. If people don't already think of Canadians as being laughing stocks, they will after this.

If you want to see what I'm talking about, check out the HBC site

How time flies

I was sitting there enjoying my peace and quiet last night when my mother calls. Not that that's a bad thing since I owed her a phone call anyway, but she called to tell me that a girl from my high school had called. We've reached another milestone in high school reunions. Where does the time go, I don't feel like I've aged that much, although I have to say, I've gotten slightly wiser and a lot mouthier since then. Part of me wants to go to the reunion, if there is one, but more out of morbid fascination than anything. I don't tend to stare at car crashes (I just look to see if there's any cute firemen on scene) so this would be my version of slowing down to check things out. Another, bigger part of me is screaming, don't do it! I haven't really kept in touch with people from high school, and since most of them are overachievers, I'm going to come home feeling worse than ever, I'm sure. Or maybe I'll come home happier knowing that the men are getting balder and the women fatter.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

So I'm not a brain surgeon

But should you really need to be one to work Adobe Photoshop? I swear, a job that should probably only take an expert half an hour takes me the whole friggin' day. Okay, so I don't do it continually, but who wants to work on an exercise in futility for 8 hours a day?

Last night's meal was less ambitious than I had planned, but I think we wanted dinner some time last nite, not waiting to have it for breakfast. So I did the cod with smoked salmon, but I used pre-made smoked salmon cream cheese instead of following the recipe, full of all sorts of other things. I also didn't make the wild rice mixture, instead, I made straight basmati, which will go great with tonite's meal of beef masala kabobs and chapatis, and if I'm feeling a little adventurous, I'll make the peas and potatoes to go with it.

By the end of the week, I'm not feeling nearly as ambitious about making dinners as I am at the beginning, so I can see why people eat out every Friday. I'm too cheap for that unless we're going to a hockey game, but since this week's game isn't til Saturday, I guess I'll have to figure out something. Pizza's always a good standby.

The production guy from the film company was very nice, he called up again to thank me for my help with getting the pilot show shot outside our building. What can I say, I'm just a nice person. But considering what most people say about people in the filming industry being self centred and snobby, I think it's great that he made the extra effort to call back after they completed the shot. Maybe the tv guys are just better people to work with than movie people.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

The Day After

Well DH really liked the beef stir fry, or so he says. I think he did, I think having Chinese cooking wine in the marinade really intensified the flavour. I splurged and had B&J's brownie magic ice cream for dessert, and DH decided to have screwdrivers. Otherwise, Valentine's day was spent like every other day, he in one room, me in another. Couldn't imagine what we'd do if we only had a one bedroom apartment, we'd probably have killed each other by now.

I'm going to try and walk off at least some of last nite's dessert at lunchtime, seeing how it's absolutely gorgeous out again, hopefully DH does likewise, he could use it.

I figured for tonite's dinner, I'd try something a little more romantic, maybe something out of "Intercourses." The pictures are great even tho they aren't of the meals, but prepping a meal while staring at a well formed male torso is always fun. I was thinking of cod stuffed with smoked salmon and zucchini ribbons with a wild rice and basmati rice mix. We'll see how adventurous I feel by the time I get home.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Does anyone celebrate Valentines?

It seems to me that more and more people boycott Valentine's than celebrate it. There's an event happening downtown tonite for non-Valentine's people who want to enjoy their single love. They are apparently going to be hanging stuffed animals up by their necks and general non-lovey dovey things. I'm not a Valentine's person myself, in fact, I'm not much of a romantic at all. My DH, when we were dating, would buy me all sorts of lovely, but very useless things, like cut flowers. I told him to stop wasting his money and buy me things that I could use, or eat.

My carpool asked me if he was going to take me out for dinner tonight. Why would we want to go out for overpriced food at overcrowded restaurants? We did it for the first time ever last year, but we went to our favourite restaurant, which while a little crowded, at least kept the price the same. Our oh so romantic dinner tonight will be a beef stir fry and no, I didn't even bother to make a chocolate dessert. He can have a chocolate chip cookie with some ice cream if he's good.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Little Miss Homemaker

I spent a good chunk of the weekend cleaning and baking. I love baking cuz it smells wonderful and it warms up the kitchen. Since we had to go out to someone's house (see previous post) I made a chocolate cake to take, since mom has taught us never to go to someone's house empty handed. I also made chocolate chip craisin oatmeal cookies, a good thing to have, esp. when you're feeling low, there's nothing like a warm, gooey cookie straight out of the oven to put things into perspective.

I also made fresh pasta! Thanks to some encouragement from Jamie Oliver (not directly at me, but from his original cookbook) I decided to try making my own pasta. Also we had bought 5 dozen eggs, and still had about 8 left over from last time, it seemed like a good time to do it. As per my dear sister's request, I tried out both my pasta maker (mixes the dough and spits out the final product) and the pasta roller to see which was better. I came to the conclusion that there isn't one better than the other.

My Cuisinart pasta maker was definitely faster, but I wouldn't be able to make tortellini or ravioli with it since it only has certain cutters that it comes wtih. However, it has the advantage of not needing much sitting time, and I only need to worry about cutting the lengths off as I need it, the machine does everything else.

The Atlas pasta roller was much more fun, gives more of a sense of accomplishment. I had to mix up the dough myself first, but that's not such a big deal. Once you get used to the roller, it's really quite a lot of fun to use, and by the time I finished making my final batch, I figured out how to make my pasta sheet looking more like what they showed in the picture. Yes, I'm a genius. I made spinach fettucine and regular fettucine, so next will be tomato pasta of some type. Jamie Oliver has a great recipe for a roasted squash ravioli which I will have to try next time. Being the newbie at it, and not giving myself enough counter space made it a little awkward, but other than that, this is going to be my new pastime and fresh pasta will be part of my gift baskets come next Christmas.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

How to get yourself not invited over again

Went to a house party last nite, the buddy of DH's former band decided to get everyone together. I considered not going, but figured 1) it'd be free food and 2) it's probably good to give DH some support wtih people he hadn't seen in a long, long time and 3) not make DH the only non-believer in "the Truth" at this party.

People were very nice there, very hospitable but I'm horrible with names at the best of times, and not being introduced to everyone makes it even more difficult to figure out what their names are, and who's related to who in what sense.

The dinner fare was just burgers and dogs on the BBQ, and some salad. Nothing overly exciting, but hey, at least they tried. I was getting some condiments for my bun when I felt the candle underneath my hand getting very warm. I lifted up my hand, which was the one holding the plate, and realized I had set my napkin on fire. "Oh shit!" I yelped as I tried to put it out without setting anything else on fire around me. Probably not the best thing to say in front of a group of religious people, but in the heat of the moment, (pardon the pun) what do you do except go with your instincts? DH helped me put out the flames while the hostess moved the offending candles off the table. The rest of the evening, fortunately was less eventful than that.

The party was to get the old band members together to jam again. DH wasn't thrilled with it, and managed to get out of the hot seat after singing one song and sitting through a couple more. We managed to make our escape around 10:30, which is late enough for us. Plus, I had shared a bottle of wine with DH, so I was feeling it a bit. I think it's going to be the last time in a long time that we'll be getting together with those people again.

Thursday, February 09, 2006


Aren't institutions of higher learning supposed to be for learning and research rather than profit making? A filming company wants to film outside our building, and the university because it's their place, will give the department a very small percentage of the profit. This is on top of all the private homes they're building on campus, a place which is supposed to education, not profit making. Gone are the days when this was a place for learning and reasoning, instead, billionaires get to leave their mark by donating a ton of money (all of which is tax deductible I'm sure) and getting buildings named after them. It's a sad state of affairs as far as I'm concerned.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006


You know you're getting older when you worry more about dry skin than zits. I'm getting that dry skin close to the eyes syndrome. I don't even mind the idea of crow's feet near as much as the molting skin, very unattractive, especially with makeup on top of it.

On a happier, less disgusting note, the office celebrated Chinese New Year today. Okay, so we're only a week late, but it was a great offering of lots of good food like ginger beef, curried fried noodles, sweet and sour pork and twice fried beans. Dessert was a mango mousse cake which is great for a non-dessert person like me cuz it's a little sweet and a little tart. All it needed was a nice glass of white wine to accompany it and it would've been the perfect ending. That and a nap in the sunshine.

Monday, February 06, 2006


Went for my usual lunch hour walk with my friend today, and lo and behold, there was a bald eagle sitting in the middle of the field. Just sitting there, looking out, occasionally splashing in the little pool of water that accumulated there. They are such regal looking creatures, it's hard not to admire them. We also saw Canadian geese (which never go away anyway) and a heron flew by. I take this to meaning spring is on its way, which will be a nice change from the crazy weather we've had of late.

We had the biggest storm in a long time on the weekend, power outages in a lot of places, and some houses had trees fall on their roofs, flooded basements, the whole gamut. We were fortunate in that we only had a power outage for a few hours and no major damage to the house, just a lot of branches all over our yard. It was a great night to stay in at least.

Yesterday, hubby cheered on the Seahawks in the Super Bowl. To me, the Super Bowl is a much more hyped version of the kids' game, Go, Go, Stop. That seems to be the gist of the game, they start, they stop, they start they stop. Hockey, now that's a game.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

People are funny

I was just reading an email from my friend. She said that her daughter had to go to the doctor, because the "poor thing" (her words) couldn't stay awake and figured it was because of her thyroid. Being the mean sort of person I am, I was tempted to respond, well if I was to not work and just laze around all the time, I'd probably be sleeping a good bunch as well.

On a lighter note, my DH, bless his heart, makes me laugh. Not always intentionally, but he does. He is not much of a cook (although he used to tell me how he worked in a restaurant in his younger days), and I enjoy cooking so I tend to do most of our meals. He is trying to help out since I usually arrive home later than he does from work, and thought he could make some of the meals. He calls me yesterday and asked if we had breadcrumbs. When I replied in the negative, he said that we should put it on our "basic necessities" list for our next shop. I for one, don't believe in buying such silly things that is easily made at home, and certainly not part of my essentials in my pantry. There's nothing quite like bashing the heck out of a loaf of stale bread to release stress. Course, that could be why I'm much more at peace with the world, I tend to take all my frustrations out on inanimate objects, like bread.

Just wondering

Am I not remembering my grade school grammar right (senility y'know) or have everyone else's knowledge of the English language gotten worse. For example, so many people write "your welcome" rather than "you're welcome". I believe "your" is a possessive meaning something belongs to you, and "you're" is a contraction of you are. If anyone reads this, and has a different idea, I'd love to hear about it.

On a different note, it's a nice sunny day today, for a change. It started out as a beautiful day yesterday, but then Mother Nature pulled a fast one and turned the day rainy and cold. On the bright side, this should mean less of a drought this summer than in previous years of late.

As I'm sitting here typing, I realize that I, like so many other people, have very bad postures. Instead of taking advantage of the ergonomically correct chair that I have, I tend to slouch down, putting a lot of pressure on my back. Not to mention that at my height, I always have to pull myself up to my full height so that people can even just notice me.