Monday, January 30, 2006

Look What I Got!

I won this on an e-bay auction and it arrived today! I'm off work, it's kinda grey and rainy - what a perfect day to curl up with a hot chocolate and read a new cookbook.

I've heard good things about this book. Robin Robertson's recipes are usually very tasty. I have a crock pot that I've had for years and really don't use that much. I have no excuses now!

Sunday, January 29, 2006

A Couple of My Favorite Things

Body Shop's hemp cream. I love this stuff! My skin is quite dry, especially in the winter and I would be lost without my hemp cream. The hand protector is waterproof, and I use it everywhere. There is a body butter , a foot cream , and lip balm, but I use just the hand protector on my feet, elbows, even on dry spots on my face. There is a new face cream that I might try, but I've been using the hand protector for a couple of years now and I've never broken out because if it. The tube is $17, but a little goes a long way and is well worth it. It's a great product, but it does contain lanolin. I've e-mailed The Body Shop to find out about the lanolin they use and am awaiting a reply. Since they are so committed to no animal testing, I can only assume (hope) that their sources of lanolin are obtained in a humane, cruelty free way. I will report back when they respond.

Yves new "sausages" are another favorite at our house. We discovered them in the summer and tried them on the BBQ. Yummy! To just have it in a bun, we like the Bavarian style a bit better than the Italian style, but I've used the Italian one in pasta sauces and other dishes and it works great. The texture is nice and I'm sure meat-eaters would even find these appealing. Yves Veggie Cuisine was started in BC in 1985 by Yves Potvin. It has since been bought by an American company, Hain Celestial. They did keep the Canadian operation running, so there is an office in BC still. Yves products are all vegetarian, but not all are vegan, so if you have to read the labels if you're not eating eggs or dairy. The sausages are vegan.

Friday, January 27, 2006


I don't remember where I got this picture from.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Prime Minister Harper

After lots of speculation, Stephen Harper has been elected Prime Minister of Canada with a minority Conservative government. They won 124 seats (36.25%) while the Liberals got 103 (30.22%). The NDP ended up with 29 (17.49%) seats. One independant in Quebec City was elected. I don't even want to get into a rant about Bloc Quebecois at this point in time, so let's just skip them.
J. voted for the Conservatives so he's happy today. I voted for The Green Party. They got 4.5% of the national vote which is up slightly from the previous election. At one point during the night, they were leading in one riding in B.C. but didn't end up winning. I was hoping for at least one seat in Ottawa. An increase in their showing nationally is a step in the right direction. They had candidates in all of the ridings and some even came in third. I only wish that they were invited to participate in the national debates and would get more exposure from the media than they do. They are a NATIONAL party with a candidates in every province, right across the country. This, again, is where I would normally start up my BQ rant, but I'll not go there right now.

Voter turnout was up from the last election with 64.9%. I think that is terrible! I don't understand why some don't bother to exercise their right to vote. In my opinion, if you didn't take the 90 seconds out of your day to mark an 'X', I don't want to hear you complain about the government.

My cousin Larry has been a Liberal member of parliament for the Yukon since 2000. He was re-elected last night in his riding with 48.5% of the vote. Way to go Larry! Much congratulations.

Let's take a look at my riding. It's been Liberal for years. Our MP, Paddy Torsney has been in office since 1993! She lost this time around to Mike Wallace who is a Conservative. David Laird, the NDP candidate came in third and Rick Goldring who ran for the Green Party ended up with 5.33% of votes. That's above the national average, so good going Rick!

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Election Day Tomorrow

So, we're heading to the polls tomorrow to vote. It's time again for a Federeral Election. We're at odds in our house. J teases and says I'm a hippie. I think he's just crazy. Let's keep our fingers crossed that things don't turn out too badly.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Oh My Aching Back

OK, I've just about had enough already! I twisted my back wrong on Christmas day and I'm still not better. I've been to the doctor and got some anti-inflammatories and some muscle relaxants. I might as well be taking tic tacs for all the good they're doing. I'm nearly at my wits end! I can usually bend over and put my palms flat on the floor. Right now I'm lucky to be able to touch my knees. And the pain!!! I've had so many fits of spasms I've lost count. Last Monday I was stuck on the floor for over an hour with the worst spasms I have ever had. It was excruciating.
My doctor gave me a referral to get some massage therapy/chiropractic treatment. I've got an appt. tomorrow morning with Dr. Heather Norman at
Lakeshore Chiropractic Clinic. I pray she can help me. This is ridiculous. I haven't had a decent night's sleep in weeks. Everytime I move, I wake up. Dr. Heather, I'm counting on you.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Whole Foods Market

Yesterday, J & I went to the new Whole Foods Market in Oakville. What a nice store! It's not as big as the one in Toronto and it was pretty busy since it was a Sunday, but it was still fun. I found lots of great things. I really like Amy's Texas Burger and they had some! I've been having a really hard time finding those.
I also grabbed some of their own brand of Veggie and Vegan burgers to try. Got some tempeh, tofu, tahini, Kiss My Face lotion, a nice baguette to have with dinner, coffee, etc. etc. etc. I really like how they've taken the time to put labels on the shelves under the products stating if they are organic or vegan. Makes it much easier to shop.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Let's Have Indian!

I'm very new to cooking and eating Indian food. What I have tried I really like. To help with ease of preparation, especially on weeknights, I love the convenience of Patak's sauces and curry pastes. One of my favorites is a mild sauce called Balti. I've made it a few times using Quorn but I'm all out and haven't made it across the border for shopping in a while, so I used cubed tofu & it turned out great!

I also adapted a recipe from
Cooking With Peta for curried chickpeas that was delicious! We had that over basmati rice along with some samosas that I had in the freezer. Man, was I stuffed! Here's the recipe for the chickpeas.

2 medium-sized onions, thinly sliced
2-3 tbsp. margarine
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 8-oz. can tomato sauce
2 tsp. tumeric
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. allspice
1/2 tsp. ginger powder
dash of cayenne pepper, to taste
2 cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 green pepper, chopped into smallish pieces
salt to taste
1/2-1 cup water

Saute the onions in the margarine until golden brown. Add the garlic and spices and stir-fry for a minute or two. Add the tomato sauce and stir-fry for a further few minutes. Add chickpeas and green pepper and fry over fairly high heat until everything is browned, about 5-10 minutes. Add salt to taste. Turn the heat down and add 1/2 cup water and cover. Stir frequently and simmer for 20-30 minutes, adding more water if necessary.

Serves 2-3 (and tastes even better the next day.)

Monday, January 02, 2006

How To Order Wine In A Restaurant

I have linked to the right a blog called Waiter Rant. I work serving the public in both of my jobs, and can totally relate to a lot of the waiter's stories. He recently had a post dedicated to ordering wine in restaurants. You can read it here.

Happy News

Happy New Year!

The last day of 2005 ended up being one of the worst I'd had all year. It's done and past, so let's just leave it there.

Some good news to start sister got engaged! I love her to death and miss her like crazy. I live in Ontario and she's in New Brunswick. She's had some pretty rough patches in the past couple of years and I'm glad that she's now truly happy. I wish her and Chris all the best and a long happy life together.