Thursday, March 24, 2011

Our New Normal

Hershey now has unlimited access to three large dog beds as well as his usual snoozing spots throughout the house. He has been taking advantage all of these as well as having my undivided attention. Longer and unrestricted walks with opportunities for sniff and greets of new friends are becoming our way of life now. It has been five weeks since we said good bye to our Bonny and it is not becoming easier. When I least expect it I have a Bonny 'flashback'. I remember her woofing. She never really barked it was more of a "Woooof" which required her to lift both front paws off the ground (a whole inch) because it took that much energy to get her woofing out. I also listen for her prancing because a diva such as her would never, strut, saunter, stroll or walk. Bonny was a prancer from the beginning, as if she was on the catwalk (no pun intended) and needed to prance in order to get everyone's attention. Oh yes, I do miss her. I have been doing my best not to view all available springers looking for forever homes in Ontario (there are four). I think I'll go and give H-man a belly rub now.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Cooking with Lester

Last night, my sorority sister Nancy, invited us to a cooking class with Lester (gina&, a local lifestyles coach, on cooking healthy meals, in 20 minutes, with what you have on hand. This spoke to all in attendance as we are busy with family and careers. Lester prepared three dishes for us which were all FANTASTIC.

This is Lester's spice palette. I think I may need to get myself to Chinatown or Lee Valley and get myself on of these. I keep my salt in a small ramekin on my counter but I think I would like to be able to incorporate all my spices and seasoning with my fingers rather than a shaker jar.

The chicken with sauteed cabbage was wonderful. Guess what we are having for dinner tonight?

This was his final dish, a pan seared fillet with sauteed asparagus and spinach , on a fresh salad of iceburg lettuce and tomato with a dressing of cottage cheese, EVO and apple cider. Oh yes, it was very nice.

Thank you Nancy for organizing a great meeting and to Lester for providing entertainment, and cooking possibilities.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Canada Blooms - Frankie Flowers

I was so fortunate enough to have a friend give me a ticket to Canada Blooms, a large garden show here in Toronto. Even though we have had much warmer weather and sunshine in recent days it was fabulous to be surrounded by colour and scent with all the gardens.

My day started with my giving Canadian Garden Guru and Breakfast Television weather guy Frank Ferragine (aka Frankie Flowers) the thrill of his life (alright, maybe mine too) by having our picture taken together. His camera guy obliged with my camera and commented that I was sassy enough I could work with them. I told him he was correct and not to forget it.

I loved looking at the colour and texture of the flowers. Many of these colours have been manipulated by the growers and the florists (they use spray on colour and coloured water to draw the colours through the stems to the blooms) but I love the effects.

Tulips are a sure sign of spring. They had large runs of tulips in orange, white, and pink. Just gorgeous. I looked at my images when I got home and the colour was fantastic.

What a great day

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

I've been cooking -Vegetable Lasagna

ANOTHER big shout out to Chef Bobby Flay. Last week I watched a vegetable lasagna throw down, and while I wasn't really impressed with his competition (who actually won) , I did like Bobby's. So here is my take. I used grilled eggplant and zucchini (not easy to find after the cold they have had in Mexico), four different types of mushrooms, chopped and sauteed in EVO, ricotta cheese, fresh noodles, tomato sauce (made by me) all topped with a four cheese grated blend. Just so that you know .... I did taste as good as it looks.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Weather Forecast

Next five days ALL ABOVE FREEZING. You know what that means ... Sunshine, puddles, melting snow larger than average doses of vitamin D and walking walking walking and not looking for the ice patches to slip and fall on.

Words cannot describe how miserable I am right now. If misery loves company you do not want to be near me now. It has nothing to do with the weather but I feel as if life if being sucked out of me and I just don't want to do it anymore. I am exhausted, sad, ill, sore and angry; very very angry. I am at a loss to make it go away.

Friday, March 11, 2011

I may have lost my 'Green Thumb' status

I think I killed my schefflera. I don't typically kill plants and I must say it has cause not a small amount of disappointment in myself. It is/was a lovely specimen, about 36" across and the same high with glossy deep green leaves. It also had, as is it's custom this time of year, a bit of scale (bugs). Annoying as always, and of course I wanted to protect my other vegetation, so I had an idea (first mistake). Last week we had a glorious afternoon when the sun shone, melted the snow on our south facing deck even allowed the deck to dry. It was warm enough to go outside without jacket or boots. I thought "hey, why not put the plant outside for a couple of hours, clean it up, prune a little, and maybe kill the scale". I promise the plant wasn't out for more than an hour or so in full sun. I didn't think it was that cold, but alas, I was wrong. I have swept up about 30% of the leaves, others are drooping (badly), many are turning brown and planning their decent to the floor. The scale however is completely gone. I got the little suckers. I am hoping the schefflera will hold on for a few more weeks then I will take it outside (again) and let the warmth (ok maybe it need heat) will work it's wonders. I hope.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Do you ever feel this way??

Really, this beautiful orange gerber is drooping. Head down, facing the floor, and dark dark dark, but why???? We have just had two very bright sunny days which where crisp but sunny. Gotta love the sun. Today, there isn't so much sun, but this too shall pass.

I have been keeping my promise to myself to bring colour and lusciousness into my home, lots of colour.

I selected this bouquet for this single pink gerber. It is so rosey is almost radiates warmth.
Until I can grow my own, and bring the outdoors inside, this is what I will so.

I hope to enjoy them too.

Monday, March 7, 2011

The view from my office window

There are a couple of things I would like you to note in this picture. First, the bright blue sky, can you feel the warmth?? It's trying so hard. Here we are at the end of the first full week of March and spring is just around the corner. Did you notice the snow melting on the neighbour's roof?? Spring arrives, officially as per the calendar, in just two weeks. Of course that won't mean my spring bulbs will be popping up in the garden, but it does mean that cold grey snowy days can be counted in days rather than weeks. It has been a LONG winter, and I would rather head out dressed in rubber boots rather than layers and layers for warmth. It will also mean the arrival of mud, but I will take mud over slush and slop anyday.

My husband in gone on a short business trip so Hershey and I have the next few days all planned out. I am treated these days as a mini artist retreat so I can work day and night as I wish. I hope to have a nice body of work finished by the end of the week. I shall keep you posted.


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Quinoa Brownies - Not too Bad at All

My husband has been fed quinoa in a variety of forms over the past few days and hasn't complained ... yet. I cooked up a batch and put some in vegetable soup AND THEN I found a recipe for brownies using cooked quinoa instead of flour. I was a little apprehensive but still curious. I have to tell you I was very please with the end result. They were rich without being overwhelming, but still had a nice nutty chewy texture and very moist. I tossed in a few chocolate chips and some pecans and I will make them again. Next time I am going to try using aguave syrup rather than the sugar. The recipe was on the President's Choice website if you are interested. My next plan is to learn how to post websites to my blog posts. hahaha

Until then