Friday, December 28, 2007

A Word From Simon

HA HA. It's Christmas time so let's dress up the pets and make them look ridiculous. See the stupid contraption Mommy put on my head? I was not impressed.

Mommy was busy with Christmas (like everyone) but she took some pictures to post here. She'll be tied up with work and stuff until after the New Year so she asked me to put up a little post so you don't think she forgot about you.

Sometimes, I wish she'd forget about these silly get-ups she has for me.

This is so embarrassing. Enough already!!
We wish all of you a very HAPPY NEW YEAR!! Be back soon.

Friday, December 14, 2007

3 B's and an A

In this case, the 3 B's are in this soup. Beets, Beans & Barley. I got a wicked deal on a 10 pound bag of beets and decided to finally try this recipe that I've been eyeing for quite a while now. Here we have Beet, Barley and Black Soybean Soup with Pumpernickel Croutons from Vegan With a Vengeance. That is probably the longest soup name ever.

This soup turned out to be wicked delicious & such a pretty colour! I couldn't find black soybeans, so I opted for a mix of beans that I cooked up the night before. I think I threw in white kidney beans, romano beans, some chickpeas. The croutons for this are a must! Holy doodle were they good!

The dill flavour was especially nice. The addition of fresh dill gave a little lift to the colours in the bowl with nice bright flecks of green throughout. This took virtually no time to throw together and is definitely a keeper!

And for the A - Apple Pie!

I always have apples in the house and I eat one almost every day. "An apple a day keeps the doctor away" must hold some truth. In the past year, I have not had one sick day. I am the only employee with perfect attendance. I'm surprised - aren't I supposed to be weak and sickly because by not eating meat I don't get enough protein. (I love to disappoint!)
Anyhow, when local apples were in season, I went a little crazy and bought a lot. Some of the few that were left were starting to get soft, so I dedided to make a pie for dessert.

It turned out amazing! I like a bit of extra cinnamon and the crust was light and flaky. So delicious. Everything was so good in fact, we had the same meal the very next day.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

The Trouble With Bryan

Gaia left a comment on the previous post and said "By the way, you haven't mentioned Bryan A. in a everything ok between you too? :D"
Well, not really. Actually, we're in a bit of a tiff. Since a girl feels the need to pour out her heart (and hurt) to friends, I know you'll all sympathize & understand. all know my long time boy, Bryan. We connected back in the '80's. He looked so cute - like this.

And I looked pretty much the same as I do now. Only much slimmer with Farrah Fawcett-like hair and blue eyeshadow. I was very cool in my North Stars & jean jacket. We've been together for over 25 years now and I still like listening to him sing those cheesey, sappy love songs.

But, I haven't seen him in a while because he seems to insist on touring all the time. Geez! Today he's in Latvia; then off to Estonia, Finland & Russia. Bryan, you gotta come home!

Recently, I heard some fantastic news. BA is coming to Toronto! He's doing a show at the
ACC on Feb. 28. I found out the concert is a fundraising event for Sunnybrook Hospital with Josh Groban and fellow Canadian artists - Sarah McLachlan and Jann Arden. It's to raise money for a hospital facility to help sick newborns and mothers who have high-risk pregnancies. I think it's a great cause! Only problem is, the cheapest tickets are now at $300 a piece!! And the seats aren't that good even. I'm not paying $300, but has my VIP pass arrived yet? No - and I think I know why! THIS!! All the Jordache jeans and Gee Your Hair Smells Terrific in the world can't compete with Elle.

Give him time. He'll come around, because he knows what's good for him. Me! He'll show up at the store with my VIP pass, a load of flowers, pick up a case of wine; we'll make up and all will be good with the world.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Old News

I started this post before I went on hiatus, so it's a bit out of date, but what the hey, I'll put it up anyway.

It ended up being a really nice day, so we took Simon to the dog park. He has so much fun up there. He knows when we're getting close because he starts crying in the truck. I guess we can't get there fast enough to suit his majesty.

He got to play with a few new friends, and run & run & run. When we got home, he was exhausted and promptly passed out.

He actually is sleeping in this photo. I kid you not.

I had some VWAV seitan in the freezer that I'd pulled out in the morning, but didn't know what to do with it. I scoured the fridge & cupboards and decided on this -

I had some rice noodles & jarred teriyaki sauce, so I sliced the seitan into strips and stir-fried it for a bit with some garlic & spices. I then threw in some green onions, tossed that around for a bit then put the seitan back in the wok along with the noodles and sauce. It took maybe 15 minutes and voila!

I tasted very yum. I had some left over spring rolls too that we also had, but I forgot to take a picture of them.

When Jim's mom was on holiday in
Nova Scotia she went blueberry picking and came home with a flat of berries. She sent a big container over to us and man, they were good. I used some of them to make a blueberry cobbler.

I love cobblers and this one did not disappoint.

It was much improved with the addition of - you guessed it - Cool Whip!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Let's Start With Cake

Helloooo! I think I'll make my way back to blogging - and I might as well start off with a yumminess. While I was away, we had 2 birthdays. Two birthdays mean two cakes! Both of these are from Dreena. First up was Jade's birthday.

I made this cake from a recipe in Vive Le Vegan. It's Raspberry Frosted Cake with Chocolate Cream Center. This was delicious! The icing was a such a pretty colour. The recipe called for frozen raspberries and all I could find was frozen raspberries in syrup. I drained off as much as I could, but I think it ended up being a little too much liquid because the frosting was a bit runny. It totally stayed on the cake, but I didn't have to really spread it. It sort of oozed down the sides and did all the work for me.

Here's the birtday girl blowing out her candles. She's all grown up now at 17.

Her boyfriend, Mike, also came to our little party that was held at Mama Rita's place. I really like Mike. He's such a nice young man & treats Jade so well. (And he likes my cakes!)

The chocolate cream center along with the raspberry frosting was a delicious flavour combination.

This is a shot of my slice. I took two pictures. This one, which is out of focus, and the other one which had a big shadow on it. This was the better of the two. You can see how the icing is a bit soft, but it stayed put. The cake was moist and dense and scrumptious. I will make this again!

Two weeks later, it was time for cake again. This time, it was Jim's birthday. He always wants chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. So, out comes The Everyday Vegan and my stand-by, always successful recipe for Triple Layer Chocolate Cream Cake.

This cake is very impressive with it's 3 layers of super dark chocolate cake and lighter chocolate icing, yet it is so easy to make.

Here's the birthday boy slicing the first piece. Jim is a real chocoholic - worse than me sometimes, so this is the perfect cake for him.

Doesn't it look marvelous? The icing is so easy and such a dream to work with. I cannot rave enough about this recipe. Follow the directions, and it's fool-proof.

How's that for a start back after a break?

Wednesday, October 03, 2007


I've decided that I need to take a bit of a break from blogging - not that I've been doing a whole lot in the past month anyway. I'm finding that I don't have any spare time lately & things that need to get done aren't getting done. I feel like I'm spinning in circles and accomplishing nothing so I have to get things back in order. Thanksgiving is this weekend, and I don't have one teeny tiny plan or idea for anything, so I've got to get going on that. I'm trying to complete a course for work & I don't seem to have enough study time; my house needs a cleaning; I need to get some exercise, etc. etc. etc. I've decided that I have to let some things fall by the side for the time being until I feel that I've got things caught up and under control. When time allows, I will pop by blogs to visit & perhaps leave a comment. I'll continue to take food pictures ('cause I'm still going to be eating) and I should have a good portfolio ready for my return. Cheers!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Anniversary Dinner

Jim & I celebrated our anniversary last week and we did what we do each year - we both took the day off! Quite often our schedules conflict and we end up not getting a lot of time together, so this is one day we plan for. Another thing we do every year is have champagne.

When we got married, we had Dom Perignon and again on our first anniversary. There are lots of great champagnes out there, so we decided that every year, we would try a new one. This time around I found a new favorite.

My favorite so far has been Veuve Clicquot, but it has been toppled from #1 spot by this one. Absolutely lovely!

Even though it's September, the day was sunny & warm - just like the day we got married. In the morning, we took Simon for his annual physical and booster shots. How romantic! Nothing says I love you like sitting in a half full vet's waiting room with a Jack Russell Terrier. Simon got a clean bill of health and was praised for being such a good patient. They are always amazed at how well he co-operates for his vet visits. Then we come out of the exam room, and it's back on - full JRT mode.

After getting Simon settled at home, we took off for Niagara-on-the-Lake. We did a little bit of tasting, but it was such a nice day outside, we decided to walk around some vineyards.

Everything is lush & green. It's getting near the start of harvest time now.

Look at these grapes! So plump & juicy. In a month or so, these will get crushed and made into wine.

We went for an early dinner at a favorite restaurant in NOTL. Old Winery Restaurant is owned and run by chef Tony Deluca who, for years, was the chef at Hillebrand Winery Restaurant. He has a very good reputation in the area and we were glad to find out about this place a while ago. He has a more formal restaurant as well, but this one is considered 'gourmet casual' so no ties required.

They changed their menu recently and the gnocchi dish I used to get disappeared. There weren't any veg mains listed so I inquired about one dish that had a lot of vegetables in it, but beef tips. Could I get it without the beef? Sarah, our server said "Certainly!"

We got a lovely basket of home-made bread & EVOO for dipping. So delicious!

I had a wonderful salad to start. Arugala, beets & toasted walnuts in a lemon vinaigrette dressing. I want to try this at home. It was so simple and such a medley of tastes in every bite.

Of course we got a bottle of wine to enjoy with our meal. The wine list at this place is chock-full of Ontario wines. We chose Wildass Red. It's the second label from Stratus, which is one of our favorite (and pricey) wineries. Wildass is available only in restaurants (or for home delivery) so it's a bit of a treat.

Jim got a seafood linguine dish and here's mine.

Orrechietti with roasted garlic, rapini, sun-dried tomatoes and rosemary. They drizzled & tossed it with sun-dried tomato oil, so it tasted very rich & DELICIOUS!!

We saved just enough room for dessert. We decided to share a Lindt chocolate creme brulee.

This dessert was velvety and chocolately, but not sweet at all. Pure heaven! We relaxed for a bit after our meal and Jim enjoyed an 18 year old scotch, while I savoured a Grand Marnier. The best part for me was getting to spend a nice relaxing day with my husband, having his great company and nice conversation. Cheers!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

I'm NOT an Addict & TO Veg Food Fair

Whew! I'm not an addict. Here's the proof.

I've been absent from blogging due to feeding my non-addiction and another busy work schedule. It's been almost a week since I went to the
Toronto Vegetarian Food Fair.

My friend Stephanie moved to Toronto last year and at the first of the month, had moved to a new apartment.

While she was moving, her dog, Jersey, was vacationing with an auntie in Burlington. It worked out that we met up and all went on the train together into TO.

This is Jersey riding the rails on the GO Train. He's a Miniature Pinscher & is just over a year old. He was wearing his winter coat because it was a little cool for him that day. Plus we were going to be down by the water & Steph didn't want him to get a chill.

He was very good on the train. In fact he was good all day. He came to the fair with us and was well behaved. He seemed relaxed and relished in all the attention he got.

Here he is looking out the train window & enjoying the sights. He is just too cute for words.

The fair was very similar to last year and I went this time with a limited amount of cash as I tend to spend too much money at these sorts of things. I put some into donation boxes,

bought some miso,






and got Simon some dog cookies.

They were packaged in a cute container that looked like Chinese take-out.


I also bought some cookies for us, but ate them on the train coming back home, so I don't have any pictures.


One of the great things about the food fair is trying food samples. Some places will charge a nominal fee and some just give tastes away. Two things stood out for me as being the worst veg items I have ever tried.

This was the first. I'd heard about hemp milk and was super curious. So much so, that about a week before the fair, I saw some at a health food store I frequent. It's was really pricey. A litre container was $4.99. I wish I'd waited until I tried it. BLECH! Even the chocolate flavour was gross. Steph didn't like it either. Jim wouldn't even try it. I was telling one of my sisters about it and she said that she'd gotten some and between herself and her husband they couldn't even finish a glass. So now I'm stuck with the container of Hemp Bliss (boy did they get that name wrong) that I don't know what to do with.

This was the other thing. OMG - this was so disgusting, I couldn't even swallow it! I had to spit it out into a kleenex and throw it in the garbage. Stephanie wasn't even as dainty as I was. She just spat it right into the garbage can. Jim at least swallowed his. I haven't had anything this gross in a long time. I can't even describe it to you it was so bad.

Mostly everything else we tried was good. Especially the Tofutti Cuties, but you all know how delicious those are. MMMMMMM!!

I saw this T-shirt and really liked it. I couldn't seem to find one for sale, then we got distracted talking to some of Stephanie's friends from Wild at Heart. We moved on and I kind of forgot about it until after we had left the fair. Has anyone ever seen this? Do you know where I could get one?

(click photo for a larger view)

The Toronto Vegetarian Association had tables and booths set up all around. One caught my eye and we went over to have a look. They had a poster set up with photos of celebs and we had to guess which ones weren't vegetarian. People were making guesses and were surprised to find out that Shania Twain, Lenny Kravitz, Lisa Simpson, etc. were vegetarian. I guessed that Canada's Environment Minister, John Baird, was an omnivore. I was WRONG!
I've seen this guy ranting and raving on TV in the House Of Commons many times (that seems to be the norm up there) but I did not know he was a vegetarian. He's jumped up a couple notches in my opinion of him. The two celebs on the poster who were NOT vegetarian were George Clooney and David Suzuki. I have heard that Dr. Suzuki has taken the veg challenge, but don't have actual confirmation.

Even Jim had a good time. I think he was happiest about me now possibly liking a Conservative a little bit. Give it time honey, I'm sure it will pass.