Friday, June 30, 2006

Teriyaki Noodle Bowl & Sushi

I had some time off on Wednesday, so I took the opportunity to make a batch of seitan from La Dolce Vegan. It's really very simple if you buy gluten flour. It saves all that rinsing.

I put the pieces in a pot to simmer with the broth mixture that will give it a sort of beef-like flavour.

It really puffs up as it cooks.

This is it all finished. Not really much to look at, but very tasty.

Then tonight, I used it in noodle dish also from La Dolce Vegan. This is so simple and quick to make. Perfect for weeknights. It's all tossed with a teriyaki sauce. I just love the flavour of teriyaki. I picked up some vegetarian sushi and dinner was complete!

This picture is to show you the sushi and also some of my pottery pieces that I've collected. The potter is Elizabeth Demerson of Demerson Pottery in Fredericton. I discovered her work while at the Saturday morning Farmer's Market when I was home visiting a couple of years ago. My Dad and Stepmom have sent me more as gifts and I just love the stuff. So I wanted to give credit to Elizabeth for making my table so pretty and appealing.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

My First Trip To Toronto (as told by Simon)

Last night, I got to go to Toronto for the first time. Wow! Was I excited. I ran around and jumped on Mommy and jumped on Daddy and ran around some more. We were going to pick up Aunt Peggy. I love Aunt Peggy! When I saw her at Christmas time she gave me some ham and I gave her so many kisses.

Daddy said he knew where he was going, but Toronto is a BIG place. Just to be sure, I checked the
map on the lap top.

So once I knew where we were going, we hopped in the truck and headed off.

We stopped to pick up Nana and she came with us. Nana and Aunt Peggy are going in an airplane today to go to Cousin Holly's wedding in Halifax. I was worried that maybe Mommy & Daddy were going to go too. I heard Mommy say she loves Halifax. But then they said they weren't able to go. Whew! I would be scared to be left alone and scared to go in an airplane. But all is OK.

Aunt Peggy lives in Leaside. It didn't take very long, and we were there. Toronto is really nice. I barked at all the city dogs I saw. I was very excited to see Aunt Peggy.

She came to Canada from Ireland a long time ago and she married Nana's uncle. She's also Daddy's Godmother. Do you know that she is 17 and a half years old! If you make that human years, she's 83! Wow! She looks great.

While Nana and Peggy were getting stuff together, Mommy and Daddy took me for a walk. In Toronto! I felt so important. I peed on everything I could just so those city dogs would know that Simon Was Here!

We loaded up the truck and drove back to Nana's. Then the party started. There was food and drinks and lots of talking and laughing. I helped Nana get some drinks out of the fridge.

I was sure there must be something for me. Maybe it was hidden in Aunt Peggy's bag.

I quickly forgot all about that because Gina arrived! I love Gina! We played and acted silly. It was fun.

Daddy had some pizza. It smelled really good. I wanted some. I knew if I sat real close and stared at it, it would levitate off the plate and into my mouth. Failing that, Dad would just give me a bite of the crust. He always does. Sucker.

I was living the life. I had pizza, water from my own bowl that stays at Nana's, and everyone played with me.

I got scratches from Nana.
Then I got scratches from Peggy.

It was getting late, so we had to come home. I gave Gina lots of kisses good-bye. She always says we can go to her house and play with her dogs Harley and Julius. I hope Mommy and Daddy take me!

It was way past my bedtime. It must have been around midnight when we got home! That's late for me! I was so tired from all the excitement, I went right to bed. I hope when Mommy and Daddy go to Toronto again they take me. It was great!

I wanted to put this picture in my post above, but Blogger wouldn't let me. Here's Nana, Mommy and Aunt Peggy.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Recipe Test for Dreena

I volunteered to do some recipe testing for Dreena Burton who is writing an new cookbook that will be called 'Eat, Drink and Be Vegan!'. Dreena sent me over some recipes and yesterday Carrie's test kitchen was offically opened. The first thing I decided to try was Chocolate Mint Melties. Surprised that I made the chocolate recipe first? I didn't think so. I can't give you any details yet, except to say that these are really easy to make and taste amazing! I can show you photos.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

England Advances!

I'm assuming that World Cup fever has taken over most of the planet. Here in Canada it's no exception. Since Canada's soccer team didn't qualify (shocker, eh?) people here choose to cheer for their ancestrial country - or, being a country of many immigrants, they are cheering for their birth country. I'm sure you've seen those little flags you can attach to your car's side window. They're flapping everywhere. The majority of the ones I see are of course, England. I've spotted a few German and Italian flags, some Holland, Portugal, Trinidad. Sometimes we'll see a way-out flag, look at each other and say "Where the hell is that from?"

So, Canada isn't in, Scotland isn't in (for Jim), Ireland isn't in (for me). Now what?

I'm also descended from German and English, but decided to cheer for England. There are a couple of reasons. One, Canada is a Commonwealth country and we swear allegiance to the Queen. So much that is "English" is embedded in our heritage, culture and everyday life - whether most realize it or not - so there is an affinity there for me. Another is that my uncle immigrated to Great Britain and lives there with his lady love (Hi Auntie Lorraine!).

A few other reasons are -



Double Hottie

I think they should adopt a shirtless uniform. Then we could all look at this.

I don't think England will win the big prize. My bets are on Brazil to do it again.


When I was watching the match today, a thought came to me. I just hope that Posh Spice says a prayer of thanks to the Lord above every morning when she wakes up to this.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Curry From Vive


My day started off great.

I had a dentist appointment at 8am. That wasn't really the great part. The fact that I had no cavities was! Yea for me!

I had a craving for some curry, but nothing too hot. Vive Le Vegan to the rescue! Sweet Curry Chickpea Casserole was totally perfect. If you haven't tried this it! Now! It is soooo good. I used about 2 heaping tablespoons of mild curry paste and it was just enough. This was served over (my favorite) basmati rice. I also dug through my stash Patak's cooking sauces and picked Tikki Masala. I simmered some tofu in the sauce. Scrumptious! We had this with the PC Naan bread I'd bought. It fit in perfectly.

I bet you'll never guess what was on the menu for dessert. Strawberries! I sliced up some berries and served them over vanilla ice cream drizzled with chocolate sauce. It was cool and refreshing after such a nice savoury dinner.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

We've Only Just Begun

With strawberry season that is. I wait all year for Ontario berries. They never last long enough. Since I had those gorgeous berries, my first of 2006, I had to make a traditional strawberry shortcake for dessert. For the biscuits I used Bryanna Clark Grogan's recipe and for the topping I used Cool Whip. I know it's not good for me and it's full of chemicals and stuff, but I LIKE IT! I'm not a fan of whipped cream and some of the fake ones taste oily and that's just ewww. Cool Whip is light and dreamy. I will gladly admit that I eat it and I like it. See how fluffy it looks. Like clouds on my shortcake.



And because this is The House of Simon, I wouldn't dare not share some of this berry goodness with my babe. He just got little bits for a taste.

I know it's not good to give dogs people food, but look at this face. How can I say no all the time? HE CRIES. Only once and a while for a treat.

My New Favorite Video

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

They're Ready!

Ooh goody!

Summer is here!

I was so happy to see Ontario grown strawberries available.



Aren't they beautiful?



Mmmm! Can wait for some plump, juicy berry goodness.

More later.....


Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Beyonce Has Dinner With PETA


Doesn't she look lovely?

Below is from E! Online

Fur Flies at Beyoncé Dinner
by Sarah Hall
Jun 16, 2006, 2:55 PM PT

Unfortunately for Beyoncé Knowles, she couldn't guess who was coming to dinner.
The singer was taken by surprise Wednesday when she dined with some people she believed were fans who had won a meal with her in an eBay auction, but were actually representatives from the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which, unbeknownst to Knowles, had placed the winning bid on the dinner date.

The organization claimed it had repeatedly tried to contact Knowles by fax, mail, taking out a full-page add in Billboard and even staging demonstrations outside her concerts to no avail. So when the opportunity came up to share a meal with the star, the group jumped at the chance.
According to a release issued by the organization, the PETA activists were picked up by car and whisked to swanky Manhattan eatery Nobu 57, where they used their time with Knowles to grill her about using fur in her House of Dereon clothing line and in her personal wardrobe.

To break the ice, one activist reportedly began with an appeal to the ex-Destiny's Child singer: "Beyoncé, many of your fans would like to know why you don't care about how minks, foxes, and chinchillas are gassed, strangled, and electrocuted for vanity and if you might have it in your heart to recognize that fur is not only cheap and tacky but also horribly cruel."

Video of the conversation, available on, shows a stunned Knowles refusing to respond to the queries and asking others in her group, which included her mother and sister, to do something about her less than welcome guests.

"I don't think people would not like you if you didn't wear fur, you know what I mean? You're so gorgeous, you don't really need to kill animals," one activist persists.

PETA also claims that its fur opponent managed to whisk out a portable DVD player and show the singer footage of animals being trapped, drowned and electrocuted for their pelts.
Eventually, the PETA people were escorted out, despite their claims that they "respect [Beyoncé's] work."

The group used the dinner to draw attention to their Website, which, unsurprisingly, promotes an anti-fur agenda.

A spokesperson for Knowles said she had no comment on the incident.

The video is


- That's pissed me off. Too bad, because I love this ------>

This comes out on the heels of a ridiculously, stupid story about Jay-Z and Cristal champagne.


Stanley Cup Champs


Good game (Carolina 2, Edmonton 1), great series (Carolina 4, Edmonton 3). I'm glad some of the older guys like Rod Brind'amour, Glen Wesley, Mark Recchi, Ray Whitney, and so on, finally got their names on the Stanley Cup. Very nice. Thanks guys for hours of frustration, exhilaration and entertainment. See you in October.

Saturday, June 17, 2006



Edmonton 4, Carolina 0
Game 7 - Monday night!

Vive Day

Friday was Vive Day! I cooked and baked from Dreena's book, Vive Le Vegan. In the morning, I made Apple Hemp Muffins (see post below)
In the afternoon, I got to work on getting things started for dinner. I really liked the sound of Celebrity Adzuki Bean and Rice Cakes. I didn't have time to get to the Bulk Barn and get some adzuki beans, so I used black beans (the recipe said it was OK). I did this in the afternoon and put the mix into the fridge to chill and help firm it up. At dinner time, I made patties and fried them while I talked to my mom on the phone. She'd just recently returned from a 3 1/2 week trip to visit my brother, his wife and their new baby in Japan. She also made a pit stop and visited with my sister and her husband in Vancouver so we had lots to talk about. It made the frying process breeze along. The recipe made quite a few cakes, so I put them in a warm oven as I kept frying.

I also made Dreena's Roasted Yellow Pepper Sauce to serve with the patties. Was this sauce delicious! Look at the awesome colour. We also had baked potatoes and a garden salad.

There were enough of the cakes left over that I've put them in the freezer. They will be great through the week when I'm coming home tired from work and don't feel like cooking. Another excellent recipe Dreena.

Friday, June 16, 2006


No work today! Yea! But I have to work the weekend. Booooo! I slept in a bit and when I got up, I knew exactly what I wanted for breakfast - Apple Hemp Muffins from Dreena Burton's latest cookbook Vive Le Vegan. When I checked out Vicki's blog last week, she had made them and her picture was to die for, so I went on a search for hemp seed nuts. I didn't know if I'd ever be able to find them, but lo and behold! I was at Fortino's and there they were! Right in the cooler at the natural food/hippie section, front row, center! The ones they had were by a Canadian company called Manitoba Harvest. Even better!!

It took no time to whip these muffins up. I got to use some more of the nutmeg I won from Sarah Kramer. The batter was so light and fluffy when I was spooning it into the muffin cups, I couldn't wait for for them to bake. After about 10 minutes the spicy smell was all through my kitchen.

A while ago, Jim got a bag of coffee from a customer as a tip. (Yes, strange I know. He gets some odd things sometimes. Actually, the nutmeg I spoke of above was a tip to Sarah's husband, Gerry.) Anyhow, the coffee was organic, shade grown beans from Starbucks. I'm not usually a big fan of Starbucks coffee, but grinding fresh beans was so appealing this morning.

It actually didn't taste too bad. But when I had it with the muffins, it was much better.

These turned out fantastic! They were moist and quite light for a muffin, and not all sicky sweet like a muffin you'd buy at a coffee shop. I put half of the batch in the freezer to supply me with grab and go breakfasts next week. Thanks Dreena for a fabulous recipe!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

On To Game Six

Holy crap! Have I been busy. Things have been non-stop since Sunday. I worked at the wine store all day and then we went to Mama Rita's for Father's Day celebration because Jade won't be here this weekend. We were treated to Chinese food. Very yum! From then on in, I've been home pretty much only to sleep. Worked both jobs Monday, worked all day Tuesday then had a wine tasting at Paletta at night with a chiropractor's appt. thrown in there. Wednesday I was at work a bit late. It wasn't a really good day. We had to reprimand 3 employees and write them up. Rotten to do, but has to be done.
Then it was off to get groceries in for the weekend. It's
Sound of Music Festival this weekend and I don't want to have to drive any where near downtown! The carnival rides are already set up, along with the Port-a-Potties and we could see them constructing the stages as we drove by Spencer Smith Park. We're a block away so I'm sure it will make for an "interesting" weekend. I'm working all weekend, so I don't know if I'll be able to partake in any of the festivities.
On Saturday night, I'll be watching the hockey game anyway! Woo-Hoo!

We were almost sure that the Stanely Cup was going to be awarded to the Carolina Hurricanes last night, but Edmonton came out and scored 16 seconds into the game. It was back and forth from there and it was a very good game (except for the excessive amount of penalties). The game went into overtime and Fernando Pisani who is from Edmonton, scored short-handed on a breakaway just 3 and a half minutes into overtime. And get this - Pisani's breakaway goal was the first overtime, shorthanded goal in Stanley Cup Final history. He's the hero in Edmonton today. If you click this link you'll be able to watch a clip of the goal. It will probably only be there for a short while since it's on the home page of the Oilers website. Because of that goal, my plans for Saturday night have been secured.

Since I haven't been home much, there wasn't much cooking going on. But here's something fun. Jim brought home some new snacks he found.

When Jim showed me these, I said "Ooo, we can spell bad words." These pretzels are great TV-watching munchies and fun to eat.