Finders Keepers

•April 26, 2010 • Leave a Comment

So I was driving out to a well startup today an noticed something in the ditch…

I did make sure to check that the owner was not still around first of course…

Also earlier this week we found this little guy under our porch. Of course we called the owner and gave him back (reluctantly…) because this was one of the cutest effing dogs I’ve ever seen!!


Youth juice…

•April 18, 2010 • Leave a Comment

I stopped by the Peace County Health and wellness show today. After looking at many different exhibitors, I came across one that really grabbed my interest: Youth Juice
When I first walked by I thought the were selling healthy wine or something. So I passed by at first. Then I was offered a sample. It was very concentrated and delightfully sweet, and they said you are only supposed to drink 1 ounce a day. My first instinct was that this was complete ‘snake oil’. However when I looked at the nutritional information and the ingredients I knew that you can’t really like about that kind of goodness! She said it’s made in Kelowna and there’s over 3 pounds of fruit in every bottle, crazy!!
So I bought some. Brett and I both had a shot of it today in a smoothie, which was so delish I barely grabbed a photo of it. It’s suuuuper dark and purple so it added a nice colour as well to a strawberry, banana and almond milk smoothie.
It’s supposed to be taken like a vitamin supplement, so Brett and I are going to take it everyday. I look forward to playing around with different options. Maybe on yogurt? Maybe on frogurt? Maybe on crepes? Maybe in juice? Maybe??

This definitely taught me to not judge things by their err ummm bottle?

Hello Again!

•April 11, 2010 • 1 Comment

So because of my astronomically terrible PC, I have been far removed from blogging for the past several weeks *tear. Everytime I would write my post, my computer would freeze and crash and put me in an anger filled rage.

So I gave up (or in I suppose) and bought a new computer. Brett was finding himself equally as frustrated, as he was not able to do any homework that involved a computer.

So together we decided to stop the madness and buy a computer that would last, and really get us our money’s worth. I had always wanted a Mac, and with the recent acquisition of my new Camera, I wanted something that would help me save, organize and edit my images. Brett needed a computer that would run programs like illustrator and flash for his animations that he’s developing, and the Mac had the potential to meet both of our needs. So behold the 27″ of beauty!

(I apologize for the poor picture quality, it was taken from the iphone as my camera is full and currently downloading 16 GB’s of data because I haven’t been able to unload it for over a month…)

Aaanyways, so far this computer has been a dream come true! when we placed it on the desk we were both in awe. We plugged it in with delight and then proceeded to spend a good solid 20min trying to find the power button… Once we made it over that hurdle, the rest was a breeze! I’ve never used a Mac before, so a lot of this is very new to me, and I’ve spent most of the weekend moving files, doing tutorials, and generally just getting a feel for things, what a timesucker!!

This also means the return of me to blogging (Yay!). I contemplated how I would do this, do I try to recap the last few months? or do I start fresh on a go forward level?

I’ve decided to write on a go forward basis =)

So here it goes ( I warn that it is not too terribly exciting because I’ve been glued to my Mac all weekend, but whatev):

This afternoon I did manage to pull myself away from it long enough to embark on a little photo project:

I finally (with the help of my amazing fiance) hung the many pictures that I spent so long printing and framing. I really enjoy photography, but usually my photos sit on my hard drive or facebook etc, and it feels like I never get a chance to appreciate them. So I picked through pictures from 2007 until now and sent my favourites to be printed. I framed them immediately, and they then sat on my kitchen table for a good solid 3 weeks or so…

Then finally today we put them up, and I was very exited about it! I think it adds an amazing vibe to the living room

We also managed to make it to the grocery store today. I went in for a few things, and two basketfulls and an hour later, we were done. This turned out to be an interesting experiment because usually there is only one basket or one cart, but this time we had to grab another halfway through. I’m not exactly sure what happened, but as Brett was unloading his basket at the checkout I started seeing a lot of ‘crap’ comming down the checkout, like various kinds of pizza pops, pepperoni sticks, soda etc. Obviously Brett thought he was being sneaky or something, I’m not sure, but the conversation that ensued in the parking lot post checkout was basically this:

R: “WTF did we just buy Brett?”

B: “But Ricki it was all on sale!”

R: “Of course it was on sale, it’s all crap!”

B: “But when craps that cheap you gotta buy it!!”

…I burst out laughing because what can you say to that… The pizza pops won. for now.

I try my hardest to cook healthy meals, but I obviously still have work to do…

Well it’s like 11:20pm now I definitely have to go to sleep, tomorrow’s gonna be a looooong day

Mmmmm soup!

•February 24, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Tonight I made quite possibly the best soup EVER!

I got home a little late from work today (6ish) after a very brain intensive computer programming kind of day, so I felt tired and just generally ‘blah’. I did have plans to make soup tonight as well as roasted red pepper and pesto quinoa, but I just couldn’t find the energy. I almost completely bailed on cooking at all and settling for a sandwich or something when I felt a pang of guilt: if I don’t stick with the plan my veggies will go bad and money will be wasted, also I would have missed out on the most amazing soup ever!

The soup I made tonight was leek, potato, carrot, fresh thyme, onion and garlic simmered in vegetable broth for ~30 mins. This soup was supposed to contain parsnips and rutabaga, but I replaced those with more potatoes and carrots due to my recent bad taste experience in the veggie pie.

After simmering, I removed 1 cup of veggies and mashed them up. I then readded the mash to the pot with some milk and shredded cheddar. The result was creamy vegetable goodness!! This soup was so filling and flavorful I didn’t even miss the meat!

Brett, who is supremely against soup for dinner (don’t ask me I don’t get it either) went bat shit crazy for this stuff, so it must have been good

I was so happy that I got up and made this even though I was really not feeling it. Mostly because I have never made soup from scratch before and so I think I had built up a wall about it being difficult and time consuming, but that was obviously a HUGE misconception on my part. This soup took about 45 mins from beginning to end and most of that time requires no effort at all! I will absolutely be making more soup in the future. I looooove soup, and now that I can make a fresh version with real ingredients (compared to canned soup) I feel much better about eating it too!

I just can’t believe I’ve never done this before!

I tried to take pics (first one below), but I only got a pre simmer shot. One the soup was ready there was no opportunity because we were too busy eating!

Last nights dinner was not deserving of it’s own post. It was a big ‘meh’. I made 3 cheese asparagus burritos with yam chips and almond dip. The 3 cheese blend was delish, but I feel like there needed to be more in the wrap than just cheese and asparagus (perhaps chicken?). The yam chips were actually really good, even though they were either burnt or soggy, which made dipping in a thick dip difficult. I think that fries can be done in the oven, but chips should maybe be deep fried for crispyness. The dip recipe also made almost 2 cups of dip which is way too much resulting in a waste of food. It was easy to make and really good though so next time I’ll quarter the recipe, it’s almonds, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and water blended together. I’ve attached pics of last nights failed attempt below

Veggie Day 2

•February 22, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Still posting from mu phone, i appologize for the lack of formatting, pictures and potential spelling errors…

I can’t believe Monday is over already! Work has been so busy lately that I barely have time to do anything. Mondays are especially hard (for obvious reasons) as well as all the catching up I have to do because gas wells and operators work on the weekend even though I don’t. Also as I’ve mentioned before this is by far the busiest time of year in the patch. Last week was exceptionally warm resulting in a lot of snow meltage which equals mud ( I went to the car wash tonight to wash off all of the mud, it was $30!). While I’m excited that the weather is warming and the days are getting longer ( the sky on my drive to work is now a dark shade of blue instead of the usual black) the warm weather makes my job harder because at any minute road bans could be put into effect and that makes it impossible to move equipment around!

Also this week I’ve been dealing with the installation and operation of a pressure control valve. I took an entire course on controls in 4th year engineering, and that class was a complete nightmare! There was way WAY too many nights spent in the computer lab until early morning hours. Because that class made my life a living hell, after I wrote my final I wiped it clear from my mind, determined that if I was ever in a job that demanded knowledge of that subject I would without hesitation run screaming from the building.

Turns out I was lying to myself.

Out of all of my university courses, process controls seems to be the one I in fact use the most. And it’s not so bad in the real world! Take away the textbook, lectures and painful assignments and it’s a rather useful subject. So I am spending my time dealing with terminology like “air-to-close”, “fail open”, and “direct acting” (among others, but I won’t bore you anymore) and not because I have to, but because I understand that I need to. It’s a pretty big transition to come out of school and into the working world, but I believe that I’m learning the lessons necessary to do so.

I still shudder at the memories of that class though…

So last nights dinner turned out ummm ok…
It was basically a shepherd’s pie type dish but with tons of veggies. The bottom layer included carrots, potatoes, parsnips, rutabagas, mushrooms, broccoli and leek instead of beef. There was a tomato and red wine sauce instead of gravy poured over the roasted veggies. Finally a sweet potato topping (sweet potatoes, yogurt, butter and nutmeg) placed on top and baked all together in the oven then topped with a bit of cheese (email me if you want the full recipe). I tried to take pics with the iPhone camera, but they’re not very good and don’t do the dish justice (the first 2 pics below).

This dish was a ton of work and it was a huge quantity of food so we have to try to find room in the freezer (after many leftovers of course). It was good food but definitely different than anything I’ve ever had before, it tasted quite sweet actually. It was a ‘meh’. I don’t think I will make it frequently. Maybe for a holiday feast option or something?

I also discovered that I really dislike the bitter taste of parsnips. Maybe they weren’t cooked right or maybe I didn’t buy good ones (because I’m pretty sure they’re supposed to be quite bland) but I sure didn’t like them!

Tonight I made “fall vegetable paella”. Oh wow was this ever good!!!

It was brown rice cooked with vegetable broth and curry spice in a wok and then all of the lovely veggies (pictured below, 3rd down) stir fried together. It was so full of flavour and very filling. We ate it so fast I didnt even get a chance to snap a pic! I can’t wait to have some tomorrow for lunch!

I would type out the recipe because you should definitely try this meal, but I can’t format it right so email me if you want it.

Tomorrow is 3 cheese asparagus burritos and yam chips with almond dip! My mouth is watering…

Veggie Delights

•February 21, 2010 • 1 Comment

My computer has decided to give up on life and so until I get a new (functional) one my blog posts will be short because I’m typing on the iPhone and it gets a little tedious… Also all of my pics from my new camera are trapped on my camera…

So this week Brett and I have decided to try something completely new: Vegetarian meals all week

We usually eat meat with every dinner and out of pure curiosity we want to know what it would be like to not. Also I had bought this book the other day and this is a fantastic opportunity to really try it out. There’s nothing I hate more than buying cookbooks and never using them (even though it seems to happen all the time…)

So today we went to the grocery store and got all the supplies we need for our week full of veggie goodness. Some things I bought that I’ve never cooked with before include: leeks, parsnips and rutabagas

The grocery trip also totalled over $300 which is double my weekly food budget. We can’t seem to figure out why it was so much with exception to the $13 bag of organic almonds I accidentally bought (bulk food gets me every time). I thought that not buying meat would lower the bill, this was not the case. Either veggies are more expensive than I realize or I bought way to much because these dishes are big?

Tonight I’m making vegetable pie with sweet potato topping. My veggies are roasting and the sweet potatos are boiling. It starting to smell pretty good. I’ll post pics tomorrow, here goes nothing!

Long Weekend Love

•February 15, 2010 • 1 Comment

Yes although I do get every second Friday off, when official long weekends come along I get giddy like a little kid! This weekend in particular was destined to ba a good one: The olympics kicked off, it was Valentines day and Family day!

On Friday night I was so tired I could barely keep my eyelids open… The future hubby and I went out for a nice dinner after work. When we arrived home my dog had made me a little present:

He decided to revamp my $300 pair of oakleys with some arm bends and lens twisting…

Brett could tell that was more than I wanted to handle after a full week so he went over to a friends house while I PVR’d the opening ceremonies and went to bed early.

I find it very difficult when my dog decides to destroy things because I have no idea how to fix the problem. For one thing he’s really cute and very hard to yell at because he looks at me like this all the time:

And secondly he’s a big, dumb goofy dog. Even if I do yell and scream untill I can’t anymore, he doesn’t understand why I’m mad, just that I’m mad, so then he’ll tend to be a little scared and avoid me if possible… Usually the only things he tends to wreck are things that have been left on the floor, such as socks or a piece of paper, but this was the first time he had ever taken something off the table and decided to chew it to bits. So I have no idea what to expect next…

After some much needed sleep, Saturday morning  consisted of curling up on the couch with some fresh coffee in my oh so appropriate mug, and watching the opening ceremonies (which were amazing btw)

When Brett finally got up, I had a suprise waiting for him:

Yep, that’s right, Green Monsters. A delightful combination of Spinach, almond milk, banana and flax seed with a little bit of ice. Brett did look at me like I was insane when I passed him this bright green concoction, but one sip was all it took and we were in love. I was so surprised that a drink with so much spinach and such an obvious green colour could taste nothing like spinach! These are definitely going to become a morning staple!

Saturday night we went to the school gym again with our friends and had a pretty intense game of badminton for a few hours. It’s my favorite way to work up a great sweat, so much more interesting and fun than going to the gym!

Sunday it was Valantines day, and it was perfect! we didn’t do anything fancy, but we did spend the day doing sweet little things for each other, followed by him cooking me a lovely sausage linguine in a rose sauce with peppers and spinach and a little wine on the side 😉

This was our first v-day as an engaged couple and it was perfect! he got me some absolutely amazing flowers:

Complete with Pink Roses:

and purple orchids:

As well as the cutest little lip gift set from my favortite makeup store:

After watching the nail biting men’s moguls finals, and witnessing Canada’s first gold medal on home soil (YAY!! So proud!!), we finished off the night (and the wine) watching “Couple’s Retreat” (hilarious!)

Today the weather was unusually warm (almost +10C) so we went to the dog park for a good few hours and enjoyed the sunshine with (what seemed like) a hundred other dogs. My boy was so tired by the end we practically had to drag him back to the truck!

Isn’t it wierd how in October when the temperature drops to 10C it feels so cold, but in February at the same temperature you feel like you could be wearing shorts?

Well I hear a lot of crashing and banging in the kitchen, I better go see what’s happening before the cursing starts, Brett’s cooking, and sounds like he needs some help (he’s making steak, mmmmmmm)