Monday, August 6, 2012

I had a thought today while I was driving to work. I have lost my imagination....I used to be able to come up with stories and poems with no effort. I still find it no effort to write essays for school but there is no imagination in doing that. Ever since a very good friend committed suicide I have been unable to put my feelings into my poetry and from then on I feel that life just continued to pile more and more responsibilities and depression on top of my imaginative core. I want to dig out my imagination though, for myself and for my kids sake.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

I have been super busy lately with school, kids, work, etc. that I have no time for myself. I feel that needs to change though as I am starting to get physical side effects of constantly being busy like headaches and neck pain (that could also be from working on my computer doing school and reading textbooks...).

I have come to a few decisions and am putting them out there into the world so that I have to stand by them. It is one thing to tell my family (they don't believe I will do it) and another thing to tell perfect strangers.

I am going vegan to start, well I am calling myself and ethical vegan. I will eat meat and cheese from animals that were ethically raised and not industrially raised. I will eat game meat as it has had a free life and I will only eat eggs from free range chickens (they taste better anyways!). I am not giving up on meat and cheese, just taking a ethical stand against industrial farming.

Also I am going to start meditating and yoga, if I can find the time (come September I will have more time because all the kids go to school full day then..*tear*  ). I was diagnosed with depression and social anxiety disorder in December after a particularly bad episode in which I feared I would hurt my children. I have been on medication ever since but I have a hard time with taking a pill to solve the problem especially since doctors cannot even explain how these things work or what the long term effects are. Plus I do feel that we are over diagnosing people these days but that is a whole other story. So I have been reading that meditation, mindfulness and yoga can help with managing mental illness. My hope is to get off the pills one day.

I will have a lot more recipes to post as I am doing the whole vegan thing. I have found and tried a few already but have not had the time to post them yet.

Other things of note, we are experiencing a heatwave here but I can't say I hate it. It is hard to breathe sometimes and I feel sorry for those that are working outside but I enjoy the heat. Also the garden is doing ok, the heat isn't great for it but we keep it watered and something has eaten all of my bok choy.

School is going really well, I am shocking myself because I never thought I would be able to do it but I am!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Unseasonably Warm

We have been enjoying some unseasonably warm temperatures here in southern Ontario. I love it because it means a chance to get the gardens cleaned out, air out the house and sit outside and enjoy the sunshine. The kids have been having a great time outside as well. There is a new house going in next door so there is a huge pile of dirt that the kids have been having an amazing time playing on. I find I have been ignoring my school work more to be outside pruning, raking and planting. But can you blame me??

Monday, February 27, 2012

Sorry for the lack of posting!

I haven't posted in awhile. I want to post but it is something that gets put aside. Right now I am in the middle of full time university, as well as working two part time jobs. Plus the kids, the house, etc, etc, and everything I want to do gets put aside for everything I need to do.
So I am apologizing for the lack of posts. I hope soon I will have a bit more time!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

I have to admit I was skeptical of this one. I love having squashes on hand because they grow well in the garden and they keep forever but I hate making the same thing over and over again. I found this recipe on the Martha Stewart website. I am not a big fan of squash, so the thought of it in my mac and cheese was upsetting. But I LOVE this!!! There is no squash taste at all, the kids had no idea there was anything in it, I even tested this one out on my parents and siblings (all of whom are foodies as well). No one picked up on the squash! So here we go....


1 med butternut squash peeled, seeds removed and cut into chunks (the size of the chunks depends on you, the smaller you cut the faster it cooks but you need a good knife!)
1 1/2 cups of low sodium chicken stock (or vegetable stock if you want vegetarian)
1 1/2 cups of milk
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of cayenne
freshly ground black pepper
1 box of macaroni
(1 can of white kidney beans--I add this for extra fibre and protein but its optional)
1 cup of cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese, shredded
(and 2 tblsp of breadcrumbs for the top but I never have baked this yet so I never add the topping)


(If you are going to bake it, preheat the oven to 375 F)
Combine squash, milk and stock in a large sauce pan and heat on med-high until boiling. Reduce heat and simmer until the squash is tender and you can pierce it with a fork. Remove from heat and mash the contents. Stir in the nutmeg, cayenne and pepper. Set aside.

Cook the macaroni to al dente or according the the instructions on the box.

Drain the macaroni and transfer it to a large bowl, (open can of kidney beans, rinse and drain then place in bowl with macaroni), add shredded cheese to large bowl and mix in the butternut squash mash. Mix it all together.

I find that the squash and macaroni are hot enough to melt the cheese and combine it nicely but if you want to bake it then you need to transfer it to a oven proof, greased dish and sprinkle it with the breadcrumbs and cover with foil. Put it in the oven and bake for 20 min, then remove foil and bake until the top is lightly browned and crisp about another 20-30 min.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Butternut Squash Barley Risotto

I made this as a Thanksgiving side. It was delicious!! I did get the recipe from the Today's Parent Canada website. I did change a few things so that my vegetarian Grandmother could eat it so I write out my recipe and put the changes in brackets.


1 box (900 ml) of vegetable stock (or chicken stock)
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup water (or you can leave out the wine and just add another 1/2 cup of water instead)
1/4- 1/2 cup of water for baking sheet
4 cups of butternut squash mash (or cut into cubes)
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
(1 bay leaf)
1/2 tsp dried or fresh thyme
pepper to taste
1 cup grated Parmesan
1 cup pearl barley
1 cup finely chopped onion


Preheat oven to 400F. Pour broth, wine and water into a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover until ready to use. You can steam your squash if you wish but we roasted ours. So cut the squash into half and place face down on a rimmed parchment lined baking sheet. Pour the 1/4 -1/2 cup of water onto the baking sheet and place in oven for about 25-35 min or until the flesh is tender (you test that by putting a fork through the skin, if it goes in easily it is done and if it doesn't slide in easily then it needs more time). Let the squash cool and peel the skin off. Cut into chunks or mash.
In another medium to large pot heat butter and oil and add onion. Cook until onion is tender then add half the broth mixture, barley and thyme. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Simmer for about 15 min, stirring occasionally until most of the liquid is absorbed. Ladle in another 1/2 cup of broth and stir frequently until most of the liquid is absorbed again. Continue repeating the adding the 1/2 cup of broth and stirring until the liquid is absorbed until the barley is tender. Remove the bay leaf if you used it and add the Parmesan and the squash and stir it all in until the cheese is melted in.
Serve and enjoy!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Get Off Your Broom Challenge week 1

So I haven't weighed myself lately. My starting weight is 219lbs, I would like to lose to at least 170lbs if not further. This week was a challenge, I have been working a lot, my husband lost his job and I have all kinds of midterms due for school. Stress! But the one thing I can say is I started walking/jogging. So even though my eating hasn't been the best I still have made a positive change.

Also I am going to post about a butternut squash barley risotto I made on Sunday. It was yummy!