Tuesday, August 31, 2010


our kitteh smokey had kittens yesterday. two of them. blithe and i discovered her firstborn once it was a cleaned off and fluffy and cute. then we left smokey with her wee one for a while, and when we came back, there was a second wee one, who was still wet and yucky. apparently, we just missed the birth. (but of course i took pics.

they're so cute! their names are Mouse (after the cat in the Judy Moody series of books) and James (as in, the big red engine). Mouse is a dark tabby, and James is a darker version of smokey. the white around their necks is exactly the same.

i keep checking on them periodically, and i will be updating you as they grow.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

MasterChef. what can i say? i love Gordon Ramsay. part deux

i've picked up a couple tips tonight that i want to share with you. ok, to be honest, i just don't want to forget these tips, and i don't have a pen and paper handy, so i'm putting them here. and you, gentle reader, get to reap the benefits.

(and if any of these tips are obvious to you, please don't tell me. i'd hate to think i'm the only one who didn't know how to bake a cake and cook fish, all in one night!)

(oh, and the "i don't know how to cook fish" comment... not true, obvi, given the abundance - 3! count 'em! - of fish recipes here lately. but i'm not a pro with fish yet, and i want to be. hence the fish-cooking tips.)

right. shall we begin? good.

  • when cooking halibut on the stove, do it in olive oil. make sure the pan is nice and hot. the fish should sizzle the instant it hits the pan. this caramelizes the outside of the fish, gives it a nice corn-flake colour, and is crucial (quothe cat cora) for flavour.
  • to test the pan, to see if it is, indeed, hot enough, touch a corner of the fish to the oiled pan. if it sizzles, there you have it. it's hot enough.
  • fish continues to cook even after it has been removed from the heat. which is why fish can be tricky to cook properly. it's very easy to overcook.
  • never serve half-cooked fish to world-class chefs. poor mike. :(
ok, i'll admit, i will likely never have to worry about serving half-cooked fish to a world-class chef. and good thing. my friend, that's a halibut big mistake. (eh? get it? "halibut"... like the fish. only funny. sort of. oh, never mind.)

MasterChef. what can i say? i love Gordon Ramsay

... except right at this very moment. because, you see, he and his co-conspirators are... umm... conspiring against me... which is, i suppose, exactly what conspirators do, so... um... right, moving on.

so, tonight's "mystery box challenge" is...

wait for it...


ok, we all know how i feel about baking. specifically, i don't enjoy it. don't get me wrong, i greatly enjoy the end product. and even the mid-way product (ie., cookie dough). but the process!!!!

and that about sums up how i feel about baking.

and so, would it surprise you to know that, well... [oh, please, annie, don't read the rest of this sentence!! pretty please with icing sugar on top, please skip ahead!]... how can i put this...

i don't know, um, well... i mean... what i'm trying to say is that... [clears throat]...

i don't know how to bake a cake from scratch. [hangs head in shame]

i know, ok! I KNOW!!! this is something every mother of a child with a birthday should know, right?? anyone who spends any time in a kitchen knows the basic ingredients of a cake!!!! any and every self-respecting oven-using, wooden-spoon-wielding, kid-feeding, beater-licking cake-eater knows how to make a cake, right?

except... um... me, it would seem.

and so, tonight, inspired by the cupcake challenge on MasterChef, and my love of Gordon Ramsay, i googled "basic cake recipe."

and here, gentle reader, is what i found:

Basic 1-2-3-4 Cake Recipe
1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
3 cups flour
3 tsp baking powder
4 eggs
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla

cream butter and sugar. add eggs, one at a time. add flour and milk alternately, ending with flour. last add vanilla. bake at 350F for 25 minutes or until done. use caramel icing.

mom, please don't feel bad about this lack of cake-making knowledge. there's no need for "i'm a terrible mother" or finding yourself a good therapist or anything. i've managed this far in life without this knowledge. and just think! now i can make cake whenever i want. and in my own defence, it's not like i've never made cake before. not to toot my own horn or anything, but you know... i am kind of a pro with a cake mix. ;)

oh. and the conspiracy against me? yeah. now i want a cupcake. one, perhaps, like this (click on "this" to see some amazing cupcakes). between MasterChef and CakeWrecks, i'm dying here, man! i'm dying!!!!!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

who knew saturday morning shows could be so educational??

the kids and i {hangs head in shame} were watching TVO kids. specifically, TasteBuds. it's a cooking show for kids. they learn about food, different types of cuisine, and the kids on the show actually make the food... like i said, it's a cooking show for kids.

and, it would seem, for moms.

today's episode was all about raw foods. it was pretty interesting, actually. sure, i knew about the whole raw food thing, and i've wanted to give it a whirl for a while now, but honestly, i've been too chicken to try it.

but i might be inspired today. they made a really cool (and tasty-looking) raw veggie lasagna, and two types of gazpacho. and you know... i just might try one of these. if i don't end up using one of their recipes, i've also looked up gazpacho on allrecipes.com and i'm perusing. hopefully i'll find something good.

and if not, i'll just make some cream of cauliflower or broccoli soup today. that will also be delish! :) rest assured, gentle reader, that whatever i end up making today, i will post the recipe. no worries. :)

Why I Write Here

i like this blog. this is where i write about homelife. my kids, my pets, recipes, natural cleaning products, gardening, cool finds... that's what i write about here. this is the hands-on part of my personal journey. i'm reclaiming myself, a self i lost in a hospital somewhere, among all the meds, plastic, waste and complexity that comes with Special Needs parenting. i crave simplicity, and this is my journey to create it for my family and me.

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