Friday, December 20, 2013

Doing happy dance.

My babies are coming home!!!

One daughter should be home tonight, the other tomorrow. WOOT!

And it's snowing to boot. WOOT!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

A little surreal.

This week has gone by so fast it's almost surreal. 

It's Wednesday night and I don't know where the time flew. I didn't really do much of anything this weekend other then to veg out. Went shopping on monday with my gf.  Went to Carrefour Lava [as my gf's auto correct says]. We went early morning around the time the stores were opening. Thank God. By noon we were both ready to kill a few people. 

I swooned. They opened a Vans store in Carrefour Laval. I'll have an easier time getting my favourite Vans. I know there is one downtown and I went once or twice, but their layout was really not conducive in me finding the right shoes. I wonder if there will be a boxing day sale at the Vans store.. Swoon.   I can't explain why I like skater wear, but the past 10 years or so, I wear Vans running shoes and the past 5 years it's been Billabong dresses.  And last summer one of my favourite combo's was the Vans with the hot pink laces, and a Billabong dress with hot pink detail, seen in the scenic photo below.

In August 2013, at the lookout on Mont Royal.
Old Navy had some of my favourite long sleeved cotton tops for $5 a piece. I took 5 home of different colours. The purple, burgundy and hot pink one were v-necks. the Monet blue, and charcoal grey are extra stretchy and scoop neck.

Work has been so busy for me. Usually the week between my interns I have to set up equipment for them.  Anyway I'm realizing many of the systems don't have windows 8.1 on them.  It's quite the task to set them all up.  But trying to make sure each intern has 2 systems available to them fully configured.  Dunno if I will succeed. Maybe they will just have 1 that is and one that isn't that will get rotated out once I have others done.  I have work for weeks, doing it between other tasks.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Vitamin C ice cubes

I've been complaining that I'd just realized that my favourite cough drops now contain aspartame and I really don't want it in my body. I'm sensitive to all sort of additives, this one is probably no exception. Probably one of the causes of my night time headaches.

So my buddy in Ireland suggested boiling citrus with cloves and adding honey to make some form of beverage to help my throat.

Perrier and Vitamin C cube.
I took his suggestion first washed 1 grapefruit, 2 clementines, 2 oranges and 2 lemons.  Once well scrubbed, I cut them into small quarters without ever peeling them. Put it in a pot cover will water, and I added 40 cloves. It actually has a bit of a cloves taste. You can also add cinnamon stick and ginger as well, both are also helpful, I personally don't care for either.  I readded water a few times.

The pot in my photo was my first batch. Hadn't put enough water or cloves in that one.  Once I deemed it cook, I let it cool down. Then I drain it, so there are no more clove pieces or peel/pith pieces of the citrus fruits.

I then put it in ice cube trays and froze them.  So when I need a cough drop, I put one or two squares in a mug, warm them up in the microwave and either add to perrier or my tea. Of course you can just use it as ice cubes to cool down your drink or even suck on.  Most would find them really bitter as I added no sugar. Most would add honey to the mixture when using. I like it as is.

Since using 2-3 cubes a night, it really helps my throat and keeps me away from the cough drops.

Vitamin C ice cubes.

Friday, December 13, 2013

I know what I want.

I can wait forever to get what I want too. I am far happier single and most of the summer I was so busy hanging out with friends I didn't have the time to be lonely.

The guy I met on Twoo, it turns out was too fascinated by his own dick. Other then sending me dick pictures at 2 different times, he also wanted to send me a video of him masturbating. Really? So Wednesday night I sent him this message "I don't think you're the right guy for me. You aren't what I am looking for. I hope you find a woman that meets your expectations, but I know it's not me. " 

I would rather hang out with friends and/or my daughters. Maybe I'll find a lover again one day but it wasn't this week. 

From a little girl who definitely was not brainwashed

Here is an interesting post quoting a little girl not brainwashed... The comments are also interesting.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Gluten free fig squares

Grape seed oil & black mission figs
I am a Larabar addict and it is a costly addiction.  So I decided to try to find a homemade alternative that would be as delicious, as healthy, and a mix of nuts and fruit. This is my first creation. It's still not perfect but quite edible.

This recipe is high in protein and the only sugar is the sugar found in the figs and the banana. The recipe I modified to make these used honey instead of the banana. 

Gluten free Fig Squares

1 bag of dried black mission figs [it was 375g]
1/4 cup of grape seed oil
1/4 cup of Nuvel margarine
1 mushy banana
1/4 cup of almond milk
3/4 cup of almond flour
3/4 cup of coconut flour
1/2 cup of gluten free rolled oats
1/2 cup of coconut flakes
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
1/4 teaspoon sea salt.

1 - preheat oven to 350F. Put figs in small saucepan, cover with water and bring to a boil. Turn of head and let figs soften for 5-7 minutes. Do not drain.

2 - Lightly coat an 8x8 dish baking pan with coconut oil. In a small bowl, mix almond milk, banana, margerine and oil. In a medium bowl, combine flours, rolled oats, coconut flakes, baking soda and salt. Add wet ingredients, then mix well.

3 - Remove softened figs from water and place in a blender or food processor. Add 3 tablespoons of the re-hydrating water and puree until smooth

4 - Place half of the oat mixture in the prepared pan and spread evenly across the bottom. I use a spoon to tap it down evenly. Spread figs evenly on top. Add teh remaining mixing on top of the fig layer. Pat with a spoon to flatten.

5 - Bake for 20-25 minutes [Depending on your oven]. Remove from oven and let cool. When cool cut into 16 squares.

Vegan, gluten free fig squares

NOTE: You can substitute 1/2 cup of coconut oil instead of grapeseed/canola mix. That worked fine, though may try with 2/3 cup coconut oil for the perfect texture.

See updated recipe for better crust.

Pig feet stew with meatballs.

One of the recipes all the women in my family seemed to be able to make when I was growing up was my great-grand-ma's Pig feet stew with meatballs recipe. Over the past 10 years I've become a pro at making it.  This time I even cooked it differently so it could all cook after coming home from work on Monday.

Meatballs, meat broth and roux ready to join the pork hocks after removing bones and fat
While the pork hocks were cooking, I made the meatballs, and browned some flour. After which I put everything in the garage on top of the freezer over night.  Monday I warmed up the meat, and removed all the bones, the fat, and anything that didn't look like meat. I re-added the broth, warmed it, then added the browned flour, stirred it well, and then the meatballs. I let it cook for hours. I was sure I turned it off at midnight, but my friend staying with me turned it off at 3 because apparently I'd left burner on.  Yay distraction. I took pictures at midnight, but apparently forgot to turn it off.

Pig Feet stew with meatballs
Recipe posted here.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Would you believe Windows 8.1 is a teaching OS!

I'm going to call it an OS for dummies.

Here I am installing Firefox on one of my test machines. Towards the end of the install I have a pop up from windows that informs me "You have new apps to open web pages"

Really? NO WAY!!! OMG I am so thrilled. Like OMG I never thought this could happen,  I mean I installed a browser. Never in a thousand years did it ever occur to me that I could use it to browse the web. OMG. I will be more intelligent now that Windows 8.1 will tell me about my software! I was a little bit disappointed that it did not acknowledge my install of flash.

I also installed VLC the other day, and Windows 8.1 did not skip a beat. As soon as the install finished it told me I could use new apps to play videos. I was stunned. A new app? Wow. My friend Rick, bless his soul, would have said "slap me silly and call me Berniece". It would never have occurred to me after installing a media player that it could play media!!!

This feature will probably go the way of the "desktop icon" cleaning tool. Because EVERYONE needs to regularly clean their desktop icons. Did you not know that? And it would periodically tell you that your icons were old and you needed to clean them up [Because if you use say Firefox, 4 years later, you might think the icon is old?!?! even though it opens the right software????] Or another amazing feature, the Vista gadgets. How can we ever live without those????

Monday, December 09, 2013

Mixed vegetable salad

From the book Mezze, in the Love Food collection of Paragon books

Mixed Vegetable Salad [Serves 4-6 as part of a Mezze]

1 1/2 tbsp of freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove crushed to a paste with 1/4 tsp of salt
3 large, ripe tomatoes
2 red or green bell peppers
1 cucumber about 7oz/200g
2oz/55g fresh flat leave parsley leaves, finely chopped
1oz/30g fresh mint leaves. finely chooped
salt & pepper

To serve

Romaine lettuce leaves, rinsed and patted dry
warmed pita bread.

Mix the lemon juice, oil and garlic  together in a large serving  owl and set aside

Halve and seed teh tomatoes, then cut the flesh into 1/4 inch/5mm cube and add to the bowl.
Halve and seed the bell peppers, then cut into 1/4 inch/5mm cub and add to the tomatoes. Halve the cucumber and use a teaspoon to scoop out the seeds, then cut into 1/4inch/5mm dice and add to the other ingredients. Add the herbs and salt and pepper to taste.

Toss the salad together with your hands. Serve immediately with romaine lettuce leaves to scoop up mouthfuls of salad, and warmed pita to mop up the juices.

So Google makes photos auto-awesome?

So Google took this photo and made it into auto-awesome.

It's a little weird to see the sun and the snow...

I'm not sure how I feel about this feature

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Fruit and nut tabouleh

This recipe I found in the book Vegetarian planet, by the Harvard Common Press.

Fruit and Nut Tabouleh

1 cup fine bulgur
2 1/2 cups of boiling water
2 seedless oranges
1/4 cup of lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
1/4 cup of olive oil
1 garlic clove minced
1/2 cup minced onion
1/2 cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 1/2 cups of chopped parsley
1/2 chopped mint
1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
1/4 currants
1/2 tsp salt, or more to taste
fresh-ground pepper to taste

1 Put the bulgur into a medium bowl. Pour the boiling water over. Cover the bowl with a plate, and let the bulgur sit for 20 minutes. Then drain it with a fine mesh strainer.

2 Meanwhile section the oranges with a paring knife: First cut away the peel and pith, the cut out the flesh by sections, leaving the membranes. Cut the sections in half and add them to the bulgur. Then add the lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, onion, cucumber, parsley, mint, walnuts and currants and mix well. Season with salt and pepper. Serve the tabouleh at room temperature.

As a variation you can add 1/2 cup of crumbled feta.

Alternatively if you want to make this tabouleh gluten free, replace the bulgur wheat by quinoa.

1 cup quinoa [I like mixing white and red, or white and black]
1 1/4 cup of water

and step 1  Bring water to boil, put Quinoa in boiling water and turn heat down, cook until all water has been absorbed. Then fluff out your Quinoa before going to step 2.

I've yet to meet someone who didn't like fruit and nut tabouleh, whether I made the original recipe or the gluten free variation.

Saturday, December 07, 2013

Chickpea salad

From the book Mezze, part of the love food collection by paragon books

Chickpea salad [serves 4 to 6]

1/2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tbsp olive oil
2 red onions, thinly sliced
about 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
about 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2  tbsp fresh thyme leaves or 1/2 tsp dry thyme
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground coriander
pinch of ground tumeric
14oz/400g canned chickpeas, drained, rinsed and shaken dry
salt & pepper

To serve

2 tbsp chopped fresh dill, parsley, cilantro, or mint, plug extra to garnish
1 pomegranate, halved.

 Melt the butter with the oil in a heavy-botomed skillet with a tight-fitting lid. Add the onions and cook over medium head, stirring, until well coated in teh butter and oil. The reduce the heat to low, put a damp, crumpled piece of wax paper over the saurface of the onions and cover the skitter. Let the onions sweat for 20 minutes, or until very soft and pale pink but not brown.

Meanwhile, mix 3 tablespoons of oil, one tablespoon of lemon juice, the thyme, spices, and salt and pepper to taste together in a bowl. Stir in the chickpeas.

Transfer the onions to a plate lined with crumbled paper towels and pat dry to remove the excess oil. Add to the chickpeas and stir together. LEt cool, then cover and chill in teh refrigirator for at least 1 hour.

Remove the chickpeas from the refrigerator 15 minutes before serving to return to room temperature. Taste and add extra lemon juice or oil, as you like, then stir in the chipped dill, parsley, cilantro, or mint. Hold the pomegranate over the salad, cut-side down and tap the top with a wooden spoon until the seeds fall out. Repeat with the other half, then stir together, transfer to a serving bowl and serve. Garnish with the remaining herbs.

I lead an exciting life.

After work yesterday I went to Canadian tire to pick up some posts to put to indicate where my driveway is.  When I got home I hammered in 3 posts into the ground and banged on the one that was still there I put up  a month ago. Last year the snow clearing guy kept hitting my smoke bush near my driveway. This year I decided to mark my driveway clearly.

I also changed the light bulb on the light in the middle of my  lawn as it was dead. Which I found weird as I changed it as recently as July.

Today I took apart  my humidifier, cleaned it, de-furred it and put it back together. It's purring right now. Needed to add humidity to the house it was getting way too dry.

Friday, December 06, 2013

Garlic Sauce

From the book Mezze - from  Paragon books Love food collection

Garlic sauce [serves 4-6 as part of Mezze]

Many recipes for this pungent sauce are made with ground almond or walnuts, but this recipe, using boiled starchy potatoes, has a slightly milder flavour. This sauce goes well with beet salad or broiled sardines and it can also be served as a dip.

2 large starchy potatoes, scrubbed
4-5 garlic cloves, crushed to a paste with 1 tsp of salt
about 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice or white wine vinegar
about 1/2 tsp of salt
about 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
white pepper

Put potatoes in a pan and pour enough boiling water to cover and return to a boil. Cook for 12-15 minutes or until the potatoes are very tender then drain and let cool.

When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, peel away the skins and mash using a masher or potato ricer. Don't be temped to mas the potatoes in a food processor - the texture becomes gluey rather then fluffy.

Add the garlic, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and white pepper to taste to the potatoes. Slowly beat in the oil , a tablespoon at a time, making sure each addition is well incorporated before you add more, until no more can be absorbed - the exact amount you will need will depend on the texture of the potatoes. Taste and add extra lemon juice and salt as you wish. Set aside to cool completely then transfer to a serving bowl, cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

Serve the sauce with a platter of prepared vegetables and warmed pita if desired.

To serve:

2 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 large large cucumber, halved lengthwise and sliced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced
1 greeen bell pepper, seeded and sliced
warm pita bread (optiional)

In memory of December 6th, 1989

December 6th in Montreal always brings mixed feelings. Most of us still remember the Polytechnique massacre. I wrote on December 6 1990 this poem in memory of those who died....

In Memoriam of December 6th, 1989

You are gone forever but not forgotten
The memory of your tragedy lives on
It is a pity that you were attacked and killed
For just fulfilling your potential

There is a malaise in society
That was created long before you came to be
It will not go away so easily
Perhaps your death will make the problem clearer

There were those who looked on in disbelief
Those who were confused and deeply hurt
How can someone decide the fate of others
Is there no justice for the living?

The work of a madman for sure
But there is a madperson in all of us
Some say that he was just a marginal exception
But how can we learn to trust others again

Perhaps this incident will make people think
Of all the injustices committed towards women
Perhaps the next time she cries injustice
Society will believe she her complaint.

The answer does lie within each one of us
To forgive him who focused his personal anger on women
To help others learn to love and help themselves
And make this world equal for both men and women.

In your memory: Genevieve Bergeron, Helene Colgan, Nathalie Croteau, Barbara Daigneault, Anne-Marie Edward, Maud Havierncik, Barbara Klucznik-Widajewicz, Maryse Laganiere, Maryse Leclair, Anne-Marie Lemay,Sonia Pelletier, Michele Richard, Annie St..Arneault, Annie Turcotte

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Musicians eh?

I've realized that I have a thing for musicians, in particular it seems bass players. At the moment my world is full of bass players. Not that this is an issue, it's just amusing. The female friend I've had the longest, plays bass, my buddy in Ireland who's company I really enjoy, plays bass. Just to name 2 obvious ones.

I met a guy on Twoo, someone willing to chat for a while to get to know me and also interested in a friends with benefits type of relationship. And of course he's a bass player. Bonus, he's 5 years younger and also born in December. Other Sagittarius and in general fire signs rock.

Of course in general most of the men I date play a musical instrument. Heck both my grandparents played instruments, my aunt played an instrument. My step-dad played guitar. I was one of the rare ones without much talent for music. But it doesn't mean I don't appreciate music or that music isn't running in my head 24/7.

And it's not like I'm a groupie and go looking for musicians, I am just naturally drawn to creative types. Those around me who don't play musical instruments are often incredibly creative in other ways.

Beet salad

From the book Mezze, part of the Love food collection of Paragon books

I love beets cooked and seasoned like this recipe. I miss beets and most people don't care for them. 

Beet Salad [Serves 4 to 6 as part of a Mezze]

2 lbs/900g of beets
4 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tbsp of red wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 scallions, chopped
coarse sea salt
garlic sauce to serve

Wash the beets and remove the roots without cutting the skin. Put the beets in a pan cover them with water and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat slightly and cook for 20-40 minutes, depending on size until the largest beet is tender when you pierce it with a long metal skewer or knife

Meanwhile put the oil, vinegar, scallions, garlic and salt in a jar with a screw on lid and shake until emulsified, then set aside.

Drain the beets and run under cold water until they are cool enough to handle, then peel away the skins. Thickly chop or slice the beets and then put them into a bowl and pour the dressing. Cover and chill in the fridge for at least an hour before serving.

To serve gently toss the salad, and put it in a serving platter. Serve with garlic sauce on the side.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Sesame sauce

Recipe from Mezze, from the Love food section of Paragon books. 

Sesame sauce  [serves 4-6 as part of a Mezze]

1 large garlic clove crushed with salt
4-6 tbsp water
4-6 tbsp of freshly squeezed lemon juice
5 1/2 oz/150g of sesame seed paste [tahini]
1 tbsp of very finely chopped flat-leaf parsley [Italian parsley]
warm pita to serve

Put the garlic in a bowl and stir in 4 tbsp of water and 4 tbsp of lemon juice. Use a fork to whisk in the sesame seed paste, then season to taste with salt.  Taste and add extra sesame paste and lemon juice as you wish until the sauce has a smooth, pouring consistency. Stir in the parsley. Transfer to a serving bowl.

Serve with warmed pita bread of cover and chill in the refrigerator until required

Tip: the sauce is very thin and running when first made, but thickens while it chills. If it is too thick when you get to use it, thin it with all little bit of water or lemon juice.

I was told mine was too thick. It was very runny before I put it in the fridge. so it needs to be adjusted before serving.

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Chile Shrimp

This delightful dish I found in the book Mezze, in the "love food" section of Paragon books.

Chile Shrimp  [Serves 4-6 as part of a Mezze]

2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 fresh red chile, chopped or 1 tsp dried chile flakes
5 tbsp olive oil
1lb 5 oz/600g large raw shrimp
lemon wedges to serve [optional]

Put the garlic, chile, oil and salt to taste in an ovenproof serving dish or individual ovenproof bowls. Break off and discard the shimp heads, then peel away the shells. Devein the shrimp by using a small, sharp knife to make a shallow cut along the back then use the tip of the knife to life out the thin black vein. Add the shrimp to the oil and use your hands to rub the marinade all over. Cover and let marinate in the refrigerator for about 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 450F/230C or its highest setting. Stir the shrimp well, then bake in the preheated oven for 6 minutes, or until the shrimp turns pink, curl and are cooked through when you cut into one. Serve straight from the oven in the dish or bowls with lemon wedges for squeezing over if using.

Got my winter tires on

It helped they had been in the truck for the past week so I could put truck in garage. I went during "lunch" time yesterday. Don't know if I'll be going back to the Monsieur Lub to get my tires changed again.

First off when I arrived the guy said he could take me right after the guy he was going to finish, in about 10 minutes and it would take 45 minutes.   It took over 2 hours. They tried to say it's because it takes SO MUCH LONGER to balance 18" wheels. BULL. I've been out of there in about 1 hour with this truck and those tires.

There was at least 2 guys working on my vehicle, but they were going obviously as slow as they could. So when it was finally finished, I get the usual, "We noticed XYZ" about your vehicle, to which I answered "I'm getting maintenance done at my dealer next week". Get into the car, and found the cabin filter in the passenger seat and the glove compartment opened.  To which I was told "See the filter is dirty". Yeah it has a few leaves, I'm not worried about that. In fact now that I know I can access that filter via the glove compartment, I can take it out again, shake it free of stuff, and put it back in. They didn't even bother shaking it. No, they would have charged me an arm and leg to change it and taken another half hour.

I dunno that I'll be going back to this Mr Lub. I've been going to get tires changed there for years, but the level of their incompetence this time and the time it took, is not making me feel that comfortable.

When I got home I rolled all 4 tires to my back shed and put them in. So my car has it's winter tires on 2 weeks before the deadline. Usually I set off to get them put on after the deadline!

I also washed dishes for hours last night.  I really miss my dishwasher.  Need to get that fixed already.  Still have more dishes to wash tonight, but it should be the end of it.

Monday, December 02, 2013

More Mezze dishes

Chile Shrimp
Recipe here

Chickpea salad
Recipe here

Rosemary chicken
recipe here

Grilled cauliflower
Recipe here

Recipe here

garlic sauce
Recipe here

hummus balila
Recipe here

sesame sauce on the right, hummus on the left
Sesame sauce recipe

Tomato tabouleh, made with white and black quinoa, so gluten free
Recipe here

Fruit and nut tabouleh, made with white and red quinoa, so gluten free
Recipe found here

Beet salad
Recipe here

mixed vegetable salad
Recipe here

batata harra
recipe here

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Lebanese Mezze for his Birthday.

I decided to cook a Lebanese Mezze for my ex hubby's birthday. Every year I used to try to find a Lebanese restaurant so he could have the taste of home, and often that would fail miserably. This year I decided to try to do it at home. I made 12 dishes and 2 sauces.

Does it look yummy?  Yep made this much food in 2 days.  Will be posting close up photos of each dish with name later. Right now I just want to sleep :)

Saturday, November 30, 2013

I love cats.

And so does the internet. Check out this site, it's got both cats AND music :)

I am so proud.

I raised two incredible women!  They are articulate and speak their mind. I LOVE IT.  I am so incredibly proud.  They aren't fragile over coddled little snowflakes.

Today I'm all emotional and I'm a proud mama.

Friday, November 29, 2013

It was a meteorite that caused the loud boom

In fact it was a sonic boom caused by a meteorite entering the atmosphere faster then the speed of light. I wonder if anyone will find pieces. They suspect it was a meteorite the size of a basketball or something like that. See here.

My reaction when I heard the sound was "Wow some dumbass crashed some large vehicle into something larger" and then I went back to what I was doing. It barely registered until a friend asked me about it an hour later.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

There was an earth shattering Kaboom!

As I hear Marvin the Martian in my mind when I say that, last night my feed on Facebook was abuzz about a loud sound that was heard from Montreal to Cornwall. The speculation at this point was that it was a meteor.

See this story.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Yep the Suzuki was in the garage

A photo of my garage with the my Grand vitara in it. Different angle from yesterday and from daylight as opposed to pitch dark and on my SLR rather then the cell phone camera.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Got my truck in my garage!!!!

Since owning my Suzuki in 2010, I have not been able to park it in the Garage. Tonight I tried to squeeze it in. I had to move a chair with an CRT on it, a CRT, stack a printer on another printer, put 2 of the 4 tires in the trunk of the truck and move the other 2 tires, but I got the Suzuki in the garage!!!! I have proof!!!

Grand Vitara squeezed inside my garage
For those curious about the hanging sonotube, I hung it there to have a visual cue to how far I have to back up.  It works really well. I stop when I hit the tube or see it move.

A husky comes for a visit!

This week-end I introduced my cats, to a hyper female husky, called Tayha. As you can imagine the cats weren't too impressed. I gotta love Jethro. So far I have not seen him be aggressive as his first reaction to meeting another animal. He's usually timid, but not aggressive

Teyha wants to play with Jethro
Jethro was fine around the dog, although a little nervous. A few more visits and he should be completely at ease. Ziva was another story. She did not want the dog anywhere near her...

Come closer and I rip your face off

I can smell food. Where is it?
All my cats for some reason where curious about the dog food. Jethro and Pixie both went to check out the bag on the table and Ziva figured she's check out the dog's bag on her own.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Quinoa is my new friend.

I'm enjoying quinoa as a substitute for Bulgar wheat in tabbouleh. I found that there are different colours of quinoa. Until today I had only made it with golden quinoa. Last week-end I picked up white, red and black quinoa too. This tabbouleh was made with a mixture, 3/4 white quinoa, 1/4 black quinoa. Gives the salad an interesting look.

 Gluten free tabbouleh with 2 colour quinoa
I also made some potato salad. That's going to be my lunch for this week at work. One cup of tabbouleh, one cup of potato salad.  In the potato salad, I put one large red onion cut finely, 2 sticks of celery, finely chopped, and 1 grated carrot.  I seasoned with all sorts of herbs and spices to give it some taste.

The last thing I made yesterday, was suggested by an Irish friend as a substitution for my aspartame sweetened ricola cough drops.  I used 1 ruby red grapefruit, 2 clementines and 2 lemons. I cooked them unpeeled in water with lots of cloves for an hour or two, to really cook it down. The resulting pulpy water was quite bitter, but tasted almost like marmalade. He had suggested to sweeten it with honey and use on my raw throat.  I liked the bitter taste of the mixture as is so much, just added a few tablespoons in Perrier and oh wow how awesome was that. Loved the taste and it was good on my throat. The high content of vitamin C in this should keep me from having to take vitamin C this winter, if I make some to use daily.

Grapefruit, clementine and lemons cooking with some cloves.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

I looooooooooove black mission figs.

I love them dried, I can eat an entire bag. Loblaws sells them under no name label. I also love fig squares. I've been experimenting with making gluten free fig squares that are also high in protein, to offset the sweetness in the figs. I used a mix of almond and coconut flours, to make the batter. I still need to tweak the recipe, I used coconut oil as my fat and it did not work well enough for the consistency of the batter. The end result was too crumbly.   Once I get a good recipe going I'll post it. Fig squares are just as much like crack then Larabars.

I also made some socca, an Italian chickpea bread.  This time instead of making it with fresh rosemary I seasoned it with zaatar halabi, fresh ground pepper and dried garlic and onion flakes . It was ok. Still have to work to see if I can make it so it cooks more evenly with the olive oil, but it's still yummy for a flat bread.

Friday, November 22, 2013

In relation to my last entry

Where I say that societies where men and women are not free to associate as they wish that things get weird. Two men got arrested in Saudi Arabia for offering free hugs.  Brought to  you by the only country in the world where women are not given drivers licences to prevent them from driving... because we all know where that slippery slope of allowing women to drive will lead you.....

Thursday, November 21, 2013

They can still hide it.

Sadly it seems that isolated communities where men and women aren't allowed to freely interact are often those that inflict the worse abuse on its members.

My life would really suck if I had to live with only women and rarely got to interact with men. To me it's normal that society be mixed. And just like there are bad men there are bad women. And just like there are bad Christians, there are bad Muslims and bad Jews.. just to harp on the "big 3".

While the Catholic church is mostly in the news about it's pedophile priests of the past, and Islam ends up in headlines because of it's fundamentalist "taliban" style members, and the whole fear of Islam since 9/11 in the west [it was communism that used to scare people 60 years ago], but how often do fundamentalist Jews end up on the front page of a news paper here ? Which brings me to this article.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

You can watch the polar bears, how cool is that?

You can watch polar bears frolic in the snow or wander around the arctic on the polar bear cams.  

Monday, November 18, 2013

Something to try

Someone in the ADHD group I follow was talking about a millet flat bread, that got me excited as it sounds gluten free. I found a site with an easy to follow recipe. Will be experimenting with this on the week-end.

I have made before some rosemary socca, an Italian chickpea flour flat bread and it was delicious.  Next time I make socca, I want to make it with Zaatar Halabi. 

Need swift kick in ass

Despite being in bed and asleep around 9ish last night, and awake at 5 this morning, I'm still lacking all energy and enthusiasm. What I really need is a swift kick in the ass.

I tend to feel all sorry for myself when there is s much worse then me out there. I'm just a whiner with no excuses. Gotta love ADHD you can make an excuse literally for anything.

I have a job, I have my home, my health, my kids are visiting at Christmas. I get to spend time alone when I need it, so what the fuck do I have to be depressed or demotivated about?

Yes I got some cooking done yesterday. I made Quinoa taboule, batata hara and some hummus balila, but still need to add roasted pine nuts to that. I couldn't believe that I was all out of pine nuts. And I went to 3 different grocery stores yesterday morning. But I didn't think I was out of pine nuts. Went to IGA to get some when I realized I was out and they don't carry pine nuts. So bulk barn it is at lunch today. Need my pine nuts. It's not hummus balila without the pine nuts.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Yay me!

I did manage to go outside for an hour and move stuff around the compost heap, and put stuff away in the shed. It's not all finished but I shouldn't do too much stuff I risk hurting my back.

Fridays are overrated.

I tend to hate the time leading to Christmas. I tend to get really depressed. This year I'm particularly depressed. I was going to go walk in the woods at 3:30pm today after work but I had an upset stomach at that point so I really didn't want to walk in the woods.

I know walking daily will make me feel better but I'd need someone to drag me out there. Yet today I really wanted to go walk alone. I really enjoyed walking alone late winter, early spring through Bois de Liesse. I'd go in mid afternoon and walk 20 minutes most days, and often 1 hour on Fridays.

Next week I really have to push myself to go walk each afternoon and help myself get out of this mood. I know I hate this time of the year. Probably because I tend to spend too much time indoors.

Besides  I want to start cooking for my Yule dinner. Have to pick up some pork hocks and some ground pork meat. Also was told about someone who sells Bison meat, that is just fed grass, that it grazes in the field.  I need to get me some stewing bison.

I was asleep by 7:30PM last night, a Friday night. How sad is that?  I thought I'd be up at midnight, but somehow, despite waking up several times to go to the bathroom, I managed to doze in and out of sleep until about 5 this morning.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Yep have often been labelled all sorts of things

I've also been told that my feelings weren't relevant, or that they were misplaced. Interesting blog entry here. 

I have been known to say that the women who chase after me are crazy, and I don't mean it in the same way as in the above article. The ones that I've had problems with have had bi-polar disorder and borderline personality disorder. 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Quebec's proposed charter

Is Quebec going to rename most of it's towns, villages and cities? Especially ones that have religious connotations? I mean places like L"assomption, L'epiphanie,  and any Saint-Something are clearly religious names, and there should be no ostentatious religious symbols.

How about streets? I mean what's with Ste-Catherine street? Should be renamed, just "Catherine street", this saint, this saint that crap has to be removed too if you want to make everything secular.  Few places in the world have as many places named after Saints, then Quebec. Arguing that it's traditional is bullshit. Traditional is the native names.

In town leading to her birthday

One of my closest friends has been visiting since Friday night. She came into Montreal to celebrate her birthday with her friends because in New Brunswick where she lives she hardly knows a soul.

We've been hanging out and being silly. Always fun to hang out. Last night she was feeling a little festive at Old Navy :)
She's also waiting for the company we both worked for and I still work for, to call her back and re-hire her. Our boss wants to but needs higher up approval and right now it's not happening. In fact I heard there were layoffs this past week so they won't hire her anytime soon. Which sucks she was really hoping to leave NB for good shortly.

For the record I didn't end up buying a thing at the Mall yesterday. But had a lot of fun looking at stuff.

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Not sure how I feel about my Forever XXI bag.

If you look closely at the bottom of the Forever XX1 there is John 3.16 printed. They would not be the first who do this. Not sure how I feel about the practice.

Also not sure how that would fit with Quebec charter.... Something to think about.

Friday, November 08, 2013

What's happened to me????

Normally if alone and having decided to have potatoes and cauliflower for dinner, it would be really simple. The cauliflower would be put in a corning ware, slathered in Italian dressing and nuked from 5-8 minutes. The potatoes would have been forked and put in a corning ware and nuked for a few minutes as well. Voila dinner.

No... Tonight I took the time and made grilled cauliflower in the oven and batata harra [Lebanese spicy potatoes]. Was very yummy.

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Tidbits for THursday.

I'm finally feel a bit better. Will probably not be on muscle relaxants today. My back isn't twinging this morning. But I'm sure by 2pm it will be. I was at work yesterday, though not particularly productive. However it was good that I went, as I ended up having 4 interviews that morning and my partner in crime didn't come in the morning, as he was meeting a new pediatrician for his son.  So I did the interviews alone. Most of them this time around I did alone. I liked 2 out of the 4 I saw yesterday a lot and that sucks because I only have 1 position left opened.  However I cannot complain, this is the most students that have applied for a winter internship.

Interestingly, I've noticed we get more students that were originally living in France. They either recently migrated and redoing their engineering degree, or alternatively studying in both France and Quebec depending on the year.   I've actually had one in an interview say to us because we started the conversation in English, that "aren't we in Quebec, shouldn't we speak French?".  Yeah. That didn't impress anyone. He was very full of himself. And where his comment shot him in the foot, is that I was called later and asked if this student spoke any English. When I mentioned his comment, he didn't get offered a job someone was considering him for, but hadn't checked his English skills.

I can't believe Montreal has bought an armoured car? To what end? To use against a few protesting students?  I know Montrealers like to protest but seriously, an armoured car?  Our tax dollars at work.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Targeted ads

They might think targeted ads work, but I don't see them working with people like me.

I happened to go to the Bushtakah website about 2 months ago to check something out. Now every single webpage I go to that has ads shows me a Bushtukah ad, almost all the time.   Thing is, their website has nothing I want to buy and I can guarantee you that I will never go to their website again, especially after seeing it EVERY FUCKING DAY for the past 2 months as a google ad.

I don't get to see ads of clothing stores as often as the Bushtukah ad.  I can go to Old Navy, Maison Simons, Smart Set, Suzy Shier,  H&M, Forever 21, American Eagle Outfitters, and a few other sites to check out dresses and never do their ads spam me as much or much at all.

Let me tell you I buy clothes far more often then I buy "cycling gear" which is Bushtukah's main business. I buy the occasional camping gear when I pass through Ottawa, but their website sucks.

Oh and I researched an MP3 player a month ago, and for the next couple of weeks I kept seeing the one I bought as an ad - how helpful is that in making a sale?  I already bought it and am using it. Showing it to me every day won't make me go out and buy 20 more.

Good luck with the targeted ads. And Bushtukah, enjoy wasting cash on those targeted ads.

Friday, November 01, 2013

Lopsided and tender

I made a point of not moving much last night. Moving was the difficulty so staying put was easy.  I still woke up this morning in pain and now it's primarily on my right side. To the point when I stand I'm completely lopsided.

Decided to stay home today. The effort required to move in that much pain is exhausting, I didn't sleep much the past few nights due to the pain, so going to try getting some sleep.

Last week or two weeks ago, I joined TWOO, which seems to have merged with Netlog, which used to have a name so close to Facebook that I originally mistook it for Facebook back in 2007. Not sure how much I like TWOO especially since using my hotmail to login , it took my over 200 contacts in hotmail and messaged each and every one of them. Without my permission. It says it asks. BULLSHIT.

There are people I've emailed with hotmail I would NEVER want to connect with ever. People I blocked even! I know it sent invites to everyone because it sent invites to my other email addresses. Like how would I benefit inviting MYSELF to connect?  What would be the point of connecting myself with my work email????

Like a lot of other companies and institutions and sites, they get access to an email address and they start spamming the person. They say you can option out, but often when you 'option out' it's like they confirm your email address and spam you more.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

The answer isn't 42.....

As I mentioned a couple of entries ago,  I threw out my back. Well it feels more like I'm fighting an infection, like the flu, rather then just being muscle aches. 

Originally the pain was at the usual spot, the last disc in my spinal cord. That's the one that locks in certain conditions, and Sunday the pain was there. But by Monday it had migrated to surrounding area to that disc but n the right side. Tuesday it was spreading on the right side, but I figured I'd be fine for work Wednesday. I went to work Wednesday but in such pain, mostly in the back and a bit on the right. My back still hurts, but now it's also all my right side, from the hip to the knee. The muscles and connecting tissue hurts.  Getting up from sitting is uncomfortable at best, painful to the point I moan, groan or downright scream if no one is in earshot.

I walk so funny due to the pain that people I've never spoken to at work, asked me if I was ok. Yes I'm ok. Yes I'm in pain. Yes I'm walking funny.  No I really don't want to talk about it.  I just want to hide. Normally at the speed I walk, I can hide. But walking slower then a turtle, seems to take forever to get from my desk to parking lot and people have a chance to catch up with me.

I ended up doing really boring tests today, because I could stand  in front of a cart, and just move my arms and do the test. It involved doing 20 insertions on 9 connectors, to check the robustness of the new source for those connectors. Normally I'd assign a task of this type to an underling, usually an intern.  But today I did 180 insertions of cables into connectors. It's about as exciting as watching paint dry, but it's important work.  If we have to start using this part on 4 different product lines we still sell, it had better work. This testing took about 2 hours of my day but at least during those two hours, since mostly only my arms moved I wasn't in much pain.

People have suggested I see a doctor, to what end? So I get told I have a sore back? Or muscle aches? And be giving pain killers, which I won't take because they just upset my stomach but don't relieve my pain.  I'm almost sure this is viral and the reason I'm in this much pain is because I'm fighting a flu. In the same time frame as this back ache has been nasty headaches, where I feel someone is stabbing me. on the right side of the head.  I've also developed cold sores in my right nostril. That all points to fighting a flu. There are plenty of viruses going around at work.  So far I don't have respiratory symptoms or digestive ones, and I'm going to hope it stays that way. I'm in such pain when I move right now, it already makes going to the bathroom difficult I can't imagine having to run there in those conditions.

Despite being annoyed by the pain, I'm amused because I visualize how I would look like if I was in an animated cartoon. Most days I feel like I'm still 16, today I felt like I was 85. I guess in the end it all balances out.

Potato & chickpea curry

I made this one, two or three weeks ago, put 2 servings in the fridge and the rest in the freezer. It's incredibly good for a very simple curry. A friend sampled it and wanted the recipe.

Wasn't easy to find it either, there's at least 3 or 4 other chickpea potato curries on that website. Originally I linked the wrong one. I was on the right site, I was sure I had the right recipe.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

My back sucks

This is the 2nd time this fall that I throw out my back by coughing.  This time it was at 10pm Sunday night. I did everything I needed to do. I had just finished doing the dishes and cleaning up the kitchen from my cooking on Saturday, when I sat down and coughed. That was it. I went straight to bed figuring perhaps just lying down for the night would help. No, it did not and I spent the last 2 days in bed unable to move much.

Today I'm going into work, my back is better, it's still twingy but between the tiger balm and the Ibuprofin liquid gels I should get through the day.

At least though, I don't have to spend several hours dressed up as a Timmy's coffee! I feel sorry for the poor guy who does this during rush hour on Sources to advertise the new Tim Hortons on Sources going south between de Salaberry and Hyman blvds.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Coconut vegetable Curry

I made some Coconut vegetable curry last Saturday but had not had the opportunity to try it out. It was unsure I'd like it, it smelled of okra, despite not having much okra, but happy to report, it does not taste like okra. Nice strong curry taste. Hot, spicy. Of course it could be because I added 2 tablespoons of cock sauce to the sauce.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Gluten free tabouleh

I've been experimenting with gluten free tabouleh. First I tried my fruit and nut with millet. I still need to experiment with quantities, though the first batch was edible.

This time I made more traditional style tabouleh, using quinoa and this recipe.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

What's a little pussy on a bed?

Jethro heard the camera, so he was listening

Decided that camera or no camera, it was time to nap.