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!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Day 3- Get off your broom

I haven't really started yet. I work all weekend and it's hard to get into any sort of routine starting then. So today is sort of my official start. My goal is not only to change my eating habits and add more fitness but I would like to see my weight go down to 160-175lbs. I would be totally happy with that achievement.
The plan for today is to eat a good breakfast, lunch and dinner (not usually an issue) and then avoid eating anything after dinner (that's the big issue!!). I would like to get out and go for a walk today and not give excuses like it's cold or it's raining.

So off I go to get ready for today, I wish all the ladies in this challenge every success!!!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Fitness challenge

So lately I got a notification about a new fitness challenge offered over at The Domestic Pagan blog ( I thought it was really a fun idea and decided to join. It's called the "Get off your broom" fitness challenge.

The blog owner, Julie, is taking her job as hostess of the challenge really seriously. She is going to be giving weekly mini challenges. Since this is the start her first challenge is take a "before" picture of yourself and take your measurements.

So here is my photos, yuck.

Finally, my measurements.....


Waist- 40

Hips- 49

My goals are to eat healthy. I don't want to follow a diet plan, I want to change my eating lifestyle. Also I would like to start running or at the very least working out more. I have done many diets in the past and found that if you follow them you will lose weight. My problem is a lot of time the limitations are not something I find sustainable. So I need to learn to eat moderately and healthy. The working out more would be part of an overall lifestyle overhaul.

So good luck to everyone involved, I hope we are all successful!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Upside-down cake

I am all for easy. I hate recipes that take a long time and are complicated to execute. I don't have the time or the patience. I will leave those recipes to the professionals.

So I was very happy to find this recipe in Food and Drink magazine. The original recipe is for plums and raspberries but I had lots of plums, apricots and blackberries from the garden to use. You will need a spring form pan for this recipe though.

1 1/4 sticks of room temperature unsalted butter
1/3 cup of packed brown sugar
6 medium apricots
3 large plums
1/2 pint of blackberries
(OR in the original recipe it calls for 6 medium plums and 1/2 pint of raspberries)
1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
1 tsp of ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
3/4 cup of granulated sugar
1 tsp of vanilla extract
3 large egg yolks
1/2 cup of sour cream (I used 2% yogurt instead)


Preheat the oven to 375 F. Grease a round 8 1/2 inch by 2 1/2 inch spring form pan (I believe mine was 9" by 3" and it worked too). Line the greased pan with parchment paper. Melt two tablespoons of butter and pour into lined pan. Using a sieve, sprinkle the brown sugar evenly over the melted butter. Cut the plums and apricots in half and remove the pit. Place the halves cut side down in the pan on top of the brown sugar. Squeeze in as many as possible to allow for shrinkage while baking. Fill in the gaps with the blackberries and set aside.

Sift flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, salt and baking powder together; set aside. With an electric mixer cream the remaining butter and the granulated sugar until well blended. Add in vanilla extract and mix. Add the egg yolks one at a time ensuring that you mix well after each addition. Add half of the flour mixture and mix until combined. Add in the sour cream (or yogurt), and mix. Then add the remaining flour mixture and blend.

Spoon the cake batter on top of the fruit in the pan and spread it evenly using a small spatula. Place the pan on a rimmed baking sheet to catch any juices and put it in the oven. Bake for 60-70 min, insert a toothpick into the cake to ensure the baking is done. If it comes out clean then remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool. Let cool for an hour. Run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen cake and invert on a serving plate.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Easy Bread recipe

I got this from the blog "Good Cheap Eats". Its a really quick and easy bread recipe that you can alter.


4 cups of flour (I used 2 of reg. flour and 2 of whole wheat)
3 tbsp sugar (I use organic cane sugar) + 1 tsp for the yeast
1 1/2 cups of water warmed (to 100F if you have a thermometer)
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1 pkg of yeast or 2 tsp from a jar (follow the directions to get the yeast active)

** you can add herbs, dried fruit and nuts to this recipe easily


activate the yeast following the directions on the label (this usually needs 10min to sit). Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. add olive oil and yeast (once its foaming). combine together until you have a nice dough ball. cover the bowl with a moist towel and let sit in a warm spot for 30 min to proof. once proofed, knead the bread for about 5 min then
place in greased bread pan. Or just leave in a large boule and cook as is. preheat oven to 350F and cook bread for about 30 min or until the crust is golden brown and the bottom is hardened.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Bean Bruschetta

Made this last night for a quick and easy dinner. I used my slow cooker but you could easily give it a quick bake in the oven as well. My kids loved it!


3 cans of beans (I used romano, kidney and black)
1 can of diced tomatoes
1 can of corn
2 onions diced
3 cloves of garlic diced
1 red pepper diced
a palmful of fresh basil leaves chopped
1 tsp chili powder

1 package of goat cheese (or any cheese you prefer)
salt and pepper to taste
1 italian or french loaf of bread


Mix all the ingredients, except the cheese and bread, in the slow cooker or a oven proof dish. For the slow cooker, cook on low for 4-6 hours and in the oven cook at 350 F for 30 min. Cut your loaf in half lengthwise and lay on a baking sheet. Spread the bean mixture over the bread. Crumble the cheese over top and broil until bread and cheese are browning.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

My trip to Newfoundland

Newfoundland is a place of harsh dramatic beauty. It is hard to believe that it is all real and that people actually live there. While in the summer it is beautiful and hospitable the trees that cling to the cliffs and the harsh lines of the rocky shores tell a different story. The hills and the houses that are built on them look quaint and charming but more then once I pondered how the people get out their door in the winter.

Still I was awed by the immense hills that are a part of life in Newfoundland and I fell in love with the smell and the roar of the ocean. I was charmed by the hospitality of the people and I thoroughly enjoyed listening to them speak and sing.

I went through the Screeching in ceremony and am proud to call myself and honorary Newfoundlander. I had an amazing east coast experience in which we fished our own lobster fresh from the ocean then carried up the hill to the house and had it for dinner. I pushed myself through the grueling hike up Signal Hill but was rewarded with amazing vistas and on overall sense of accomplishment. I have stood on the very eastern edge of North America and saw whales spouting.

I will never forget my experience.

Thursday, June 9, 2011


The kids had their first soccer games this week. So CUTE!

We have had tons of hummingbirds at our feeder. The kids love it because they can stand right under the feeder and the hummingbirds will still come to it.

Not doing a lot of cooking lately. Tonight I am going to try the Tuna Melts that were posted on the blog Octoberfarm. It has been too hot to think of stoves and BBQ's. I just want to melt on my deck with a cold drink.

The garden seems to be doing well. My irises are in full bloom and look beautiful and the tomatoes and sugar peas are growing nicely in the garden. I keep looking for all the other seeds I planted to start sprouting but nothing is showing yet.

My neighbor brought my over a vase full of her peonies. They are so beautiful, they are white with a few fuscia petals in the middle. I sprayed my roses last night because I can see buds forming but I never get any roses because of aphids. So I figured this year I would get a jump on them and spray them before infestation.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

My Kids


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Black Bean Brownies

I got the original recipe from the Reluctant Entertainer blog whom I think got it from Bush's beans. I, like usual, did my own thing and played with the recipe.


1 can of black beans
3/4 cup of whole wheat flour
1/3 cup of cocoa powder
1 tsp of baking powder
1/2 tsp of baking soda
1/2 cup of brown sugar (I used organic cane sugar)
1/4 cup of plain yogurt (I didn't have any plain so I used sour cream)
1 tsp of vanilla
1 cup of unsweetened applesauce ( I used my grandma's applesauce and it is slightly sweetened)
1 cup of sour cherries (I used ones we had preserved from last year but it isn't a necessity,
substitute chocolate chips or nuts or leave out entirely)
3/4 cup of bran -one of my additions- not necessary
2 tbsp of salba - one of my additions- not necessary

Heat oven to 350F. Rinse the black beans and drain. Place the beans and applesauce in a food processor and process until a paste. In a large bowl add the flour, cocoa, baking powder and baking soda, mix well. Add the sugar and black bean/applesauce mash in and mix well. Add yogurt, vanilla and any other additions and mix well. Grease a 8 inch square pan and spread mixture in the pan. Cook for 25-30 min or until you can stick a toothpick in the brownies and it comes out clean. Once cooled, refrigerate the brownies.....I learned this the hard way and lost the last bit of my batch to mold.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Cooking for my kids

I like to cook but my cooking experiences were found in fine dining restaurants where butter and cream are used in everything. When I had kids my focus shifted to wholesome, well balanced meals with lots of vegetables. But this was difficult for me to achieve, I have three children, a boy of four and twin girls of three. My kids are only 16 months apart, I had three kids under the age of two when my daughters were born. On top of that I ran an in-home daycare, when the twins turned one, in which I accepted two more children into my home, one was only two and the other was three months. So at that time I had five kids under the age of three, it was a very busy time and finding the time to prepare and make dinner was almost impossible. So a lot of times we ended up eating convenience meals that all I needed to do was heat up. I felt terrible about this, I worked so hard to make sure my kids ate well all day, I switched all our cleaning materials to natural products, all of our personal care items became natural and we planted a vegetable garden, all to give our kids the best start and here I was giving them meals loaded in fat and sodium.

To help myself feel better though and to make it so we weren't wasting food, if I saw an item that was going off I would puree it up and freeze it in our ice cube trays. Spinach was a big one, I would buy the huge box of spinach and as it reached its best before date I would boil it all up, strain it then squish it into the ice cube trays. Cauliflower, broccoli, zucchini were all others that I pureed up on a regular basis. I also keep cans of beans around, flax seeds and ground flax. If I was cooking a can of spaghetti-0's I would add two cubes of spinach and a few tablespoons of ground flax. Feeding the children macaroni and cheese, throw in a few cauliflower cubes, ground flax and white kidney beans. It really helped me to feel like I wasn't feeding the kids poorly.

If you are a follower of my blog you will notice that the techniques I employed while the kids were younger still apply today. I am often "juicing up" recipes that I find to make them healthier for the kids. I cook a lot of vegetarian, the meat we buy if from a local farmer and is all pasture raised. I am experimenting with different grains and trying to make these meals quick as well as healthy.

Today I tried black bean brownies, they are hardly sweetened except with a bit of cherries, applesauce and brown sugar. I added Salba and bran to the mix to bring up the fiber and to add Omega 3. They are cooking right now and smell really tasty. If it works out, I'll let you know!

Chili Meatloaf

Got this recipe from Canadian living. As per usual I juiced it up a little bit and took some short cuts. It is tasty!!!


1 onion diced
1 green pepper diced
2 garlic cloves minced
1 egg
1/2 package of taco seasoning
1 lb of ground beef
1/2 cup of bread crumbs
1/2 cup of salsa
1 can of red kidney beans drained
1 cup of fresh spinach (or 1/2 cup of thawed, frozen spinach)
1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese


Put all the ingredients, except the cheese, in a large bowl and mix together well. Then place in a loaf pan (mine fit into two pans) or form into a loaf on a parchment lined baking sheet (don't use a cookie sheet or the grease will get all over your oven). Coat with the shredded cheese and bake at 350F for 50-60 min.

I accidentally poured too much salsa in (I hate measuring things) and mine is a bit runny......but SO tasty!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Rain, rain go away....

We have had rain here for almost a week now. Fog and grey clouds, while I love the colour contrast with the bright green grass and new leaves, I ache to get out and finish the new garden I started digging. It has taken me longer to dig out then I thought because I have been trying to save the sod to put in some spots that the grass has a hard time growing and their are a whole heck of a lot of cedar roots from a hedge that used to be there.

My husband also has tilled our vegetable garden but that hasn't been planted yet either because of all the rain. I cant really complain though because we have no issues with flooding like other parts of the country are experiencing.

In my new garden I am going to be planting bergemot, thyme, sage, chamomile, yarrow, primrose, boneset, borage, feverfew and meadowsweet. I already have some butterfly bushes and rose bushes in the area. I want to make a butterfly/sweet smelling/herbal healing garden. I eventually want to put a bench there and make it my quiet reading spot and I want to attract butterflies and bees to it as well. But I would like it to be functional also.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Spanish Barley Salad

I love using barley, I find it so much more filling and healthy then rice. I also love Spanish flavors, especially this time of year when the weather is getting warmer. This meal is quick and easy!


2 cups of uncooked barley
1 can of black beans (drained)
1 can of corn kernels (drained)
1 red pepper diced
1 cup of diced cucumber
1 cup of cherry tomatoes cut in half
1 small white onion diced
3 garlic cloves minced
half a package of taco seasoning (I cheated because we didn't have any cumin but instead you could do 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp of chili powder, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp of paprika)
2 tbsp olive oil (or any veg oil)
2 tbsp of lime juice
a few dashes of pepper
1/2 cup of chopped cilantro

(for hot! add a diced jalapeno pepper)


cook the barely as per the directions you have ( I make mine in my rice cooker but it takes like double the water then doing it in a pot). Mix all other ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well then add the barley (it can be warm still, it doesn't affect the salad) and mix well again. Let sit of about 15 min to let the flavors really blend. Serve and enjoy!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Robins nesting on our deck

We have this lovely robins nest built on our deck. Its right outside our kitchen window. I had watched them build it and debated taking the plant holder down so that they couldn't continue but the way I look at it the robins will only be here for about a month and its a great learning experience for the kids.
So I zip tied the plant holder to the deck railing because just days before the first egg was laid we had a major wind storm that knocked the whole thing over. I wasn't sure they would come back, but they did so I secured it this time to be safe.

I think the kids are going to get a real kick out of watching this whole process and the best part is we don't have to disturb them at all we can watch from our kitchen.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Royal Wedding

I, like millions of others around the planet, will be tuning in to see Prince William marry his long time girlfriend Kate Middleton on Friday. It will be a busy day for me as it is also my twin daughters birthday and we as a family always try to do some special events on the kids birthdays with a party to follow on the weekend.

As it gets closer and the media gets more hyped for the event I cant help but think about Kate. I know for myself how nervous I was on the day of my wedding. I was extremely happy but I had quite an upset tummy too from nerves. Kate has got to have nerves of steel for this event. I only had 150 people watching me get married.....not the millions expected to view this event. Also there will be comparisons abound, between Kate and Diana. She grew up in a middle class home so has not had the same practice in dealing with media and the public as William has. She has stood up well so far and I hope she can continue to maintain the poise she has shown so far. Even though this event is a worldwide affair, I hope that Kate and William get to enjoy some of their wedding day in privacy. My thoughts will be with Kate on Friday and I hope she has a beautiful and magical day as every girls wedding should be.

Friday, April 15, 2011

My kids

My children are my legacy. If I raise them with love, patience and compassion then they will learn love patience and compassion and be better people for it. I have these really profound moments sometimes that seem like common sense but sometimes things just really hit me, kind of like a gong being struck within me.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Finally we are ready...

Whew, so after a lot of hard work, my gardens are ready to go! I have pruned all my fruit trees, roses, bushes, grapes and blackberries. I have raked all the debris and dead leaves from my lawn and garden and disposed of it all. The kids were a big help in loading the wheelbarrow and they attempted to help rake as well. I retied all my grapes and blackberries and am in the process of planning a new garden to move all my herbs too. We are planning on planting corn, sugar peas, tomatoes, spaghetti squash, Casper pumpkins, zucchini, beets and carrots this year in our vegetable garden. I am super excited to get it planted!! The kids and I did start sage and thyme in the house and my mother in law started the tomatoes in her house so as soon as we are frost free we are set to go! I am also hoping my brother will be around to give me a hand cleaning our gutters and I have a rain barrel that I need to finish for this year. I want to build stairs off our back deck now that the kids are older for easier access to our backyard. I also want to build a chicken tractor and get a few chickens this year for eggs. Big plans!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

We think we know

I just had a brainstorm about humans. I think at times we like to think we know everything, that we have everything figured out. Then life, or Mother Nature throws us for a loop. I got this idea from watching a show on Mega Earthquakes that was on National Geographic channel. They were talking about cities being built in major quake zones and the steps being done to prevent major damage. They build sea walls and put shock absorbers in buildings but then life throws the curveball in the way of a 9.0 quake. I think the greatest they anticipated for was an 8.6. It made me think that life is full of these curveballs. One minute you are riding high thinking that you have your newborn all figured out and then they become toddlers or you finally get your dog housebroken and they start to run off because they are in heat. You are great at the job you are doing and then you are given a promotion and a whole new set of responsibilities. We humans are very adaptable and able to take these curveballs in stride for the most part. But sometimes they can be a huge struggle to overcome. My heart goes out to those that are struggling to overcome every day.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Earth Hour

My husband and I celebrated Earth Hour together on Saturday. This is the first time he has been home from work to celebrate it with me. We decided to have the neighbors over to celebrate too. The plan was to have fondue and some wine to celebrate (trying to make snacks that we didn't need electricity for). Unfortunately, our neighbors came down with a bug and had to cancel so it was just my husband and I. We covered our table in candles and played cards together. The hour passed by in a flash and we were having such a good time we continued until 11pm. Then we put out all the candles and went to bed. It was a lovely night and made us both realize how much we are losing by sitting in front of the TV every night. I think it may be a regular thing for us to turn off the power bar to the entertainment unit and just sit together.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Squash, Quinoa and Lentil Coconut Curry

I had a spaghetti squash that needed to be used up. Also I want to try more vegan/vegetarian meals for the kids. I found it nice, hearty and filling.


1 cup of cooked quinoa
1 spaghetti squash cooked
1 can of lentils rinsed and dried
1 tbsp of coconut oil or olive oil
1 can of coconut milk
1 medium onion chopped
2 cloves of garlic diced
1 tbsp fresh grated ginger (or dry ginger if you have it)
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 cups of kale leaves well rinsed and ripped into bite sized pieces
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground tumeric
1/2 tsp ground fenugreek
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp ground coriander

*you can add cayenne pepper a pinch or 1/2 tsp of green curry to spice it up***


heat a wok or large skillet to medium. add your oil and let heat. add onion and garlic to wok. once onion starts to brown add the ginger, spaghetti squash, lentils and coconut milk. add all the spices, the quinoa and the soy sauce and let simmer for about 5-10 min stirring frequently. add the kale, give it a good stir and simmer until kale is slightly wilted about 5 min.
Serve and enjoy!!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Essential Herbal free issue

The wonderful people that produce the fabulous magazine The Essential Herbal are letting everyone view a sample of their magazine.

Please visit to view.

I just found this magazine but have already fallen in love with it. It is a great read for anyone that enjoys gardening but also has a passion for herbal healing.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Spending my time well.

So for the past few days I have been spending almost the entire day scanning old documents and photos. My passion is my ancestry and I had a huge stack of old photos from my Grandparents collecting dust in my room. I figured that now that I am off of work and waiting to hear about school I might as well get them scanned and then store the photos properly. I also have a pile of letters that my Grandfather sent to my Grandmother when he was courting her during the war. They are so amazing, he sent one pretty much everyday and in the end he even sent her a engagement ring with one of the letters.
Such an amazing love story. They met while he was on leave one night. My Grandfather and his buddy picked up my Grandmother and her friend whom were hitchhiking. They all were headed to a local dance hall. They had a great night together and my Grandfather asked if he could write her (as he was scheduled to leave again the next day), she agreed but figured she wouldn't hear from him again. He wrote her for the first time the day he got back and never stopped up to the point of them getting engaged.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Planning my Gardens

I got excited to see my Ricters Herb and Seed catalogue in the mail last week. I spent the weekend perusing it and writing down what I would like to get. I am planning a new herbal medicine sort of garden as well as our regular herb garden.

So I am excited to design a new garden as well as get my vegetable garden ready. It has been warmer here lately and I do have some tulips sprouts popping up. It is nice but considering that this is only the end of February and I live in Ontario, Canada, I don't think it will last.

But the warm weather combined with my new plant catalogue makes me excited for spring.

Saturday, February 26, 2011


A Howl,

Monday, February 21, 2011


This week I want to work on patience in my family. I have little patience at times and this morning I saw that coming out in my children. It breaks my heart to hear them losing their patience. I am supposed to be teaching them how to have patience and instead I demonstrate the opposite. So I have decided in attempts to make changes in my life for the better I will pick something to work on every week. This week I had thought to work on exercising more or making a conscious effort to meditate every day but I think patience will be what I am working on this week.
I am going to make an effort to recognise when I am losing my patience and work on regaining it. Even once I stop myself from fully losing my patience I still have a short fuse once its already been ignited so I need to work on bringing myself back from that edge. I need to learn and teach good strategies for dealing with frustration. I think my whole family would benefit from breathing techniques and learning when to step back for a minute. I am pretty good in recognising it in the kids and removing them from a situation that I know will turn volatile, now I need to recognise the same things in myself.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Early Morning Chill

We are babysitting my brothers dog this weekend and so since my husband is off today and I am feeling better, I took the dog out for a quick walk this morning. We are lucky to have a farmers field behind us so we walked across it. I love the silence of a winter morning. The sun sparkling off the snow a gentle breeze that is cold and refreshing on my sleepy skin. I could hear a woodpecker in the distance and there were windchimes singing in the breeze, Dong-ding-ding-Dongding.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Warm to Cold and our capacity to love

Yesterday the weather was a positively balmy 10 degrees, in the middle of February. But Mother Nature has once again brought us all back after tempting us with a hint of spring with -14 degrees today. I was thinking that I for one appreciate and can enjoy spring more because of how harsh the winter gets during January and February. We had two days of spring in the middle of February, lots of sun, warm temperatures, snow melting and the air smelled of spring. I could almost feel the earth quickening and the plants waking. Spring was tangible, it was there and then today we have blizzard warnings and an icy harsh wind. I sit here watching the wind make the snow dance and race across the field. Walking outside the wind takes your breath away and the cold finds ways to reach every bare bit of skin. It makes me long for spring even more.

I was also thinking today about the capacity of love. I have been sick the past two days so have spent my time watching romantic movies and TV. We have an amazing capacity to love sometimes to the point of stupidity. I for one have had my heart broken numerous times and every time I say to myself that's it, I will never be able to do this again. Yet my heart opens again and again with a hope to find a love that will match my love. I know that many women go through this too, so many times we go back hoping that they will change and love us back, so many times we say we are done and yet still secretly hops love will come, so many times we try and try and try again. We stay waiting for things to change while our hearts bleed but there is always a hope, always that small bit of hope that someday we will find a fulfilling love. A love that sustains us instead of drains us.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Trying again

I haven't done much of anything lately. I have been so tired. First off I haven't been sleeping well. The kids have been sick which means a lot of nights with very little sleep and then my husband caught it, which meant more sleepless nights. I am so tired and it makes me feel depressed.

But I want to make a change. I want to get up at my usual time do yoga or go for a walk, take the time to eat healthily all day and accomplish some things off my list of things to do. I just need some sleep.

I also want to do more with the kids. I also wish I was more crafty. I want to make a commitment to meditate and I want to go back to school. I cant wait for summer, the warm weather makes things so much easier. I love being outside and gardening and I feel so much better about having the kids outside all day.
So to sleep and get more more procrastinating. This needs to happen.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

I was told, you want to write, so write

Those were the words from one of my friends mouths on my birthday. I know she is right but I am a procrasinator, low on self-confidence and my brain can never settle on one topic. I was thinking about writing about a conversation I had with a friend of mine about the logistics of two women living together (both heterosexual) and raising their kids. But then as I start formulating what I want to write my mind jumps to another topic related to the first.
Maybe if i write it out I will feel better.....

The conversation about two hetero friends living together rasing their kids came up because we are both pissed at our husbands for reasons too long to get into. So thats one.
I am angry at my husband for past events and issues that are ongoing.
I am angry at a longime friend that dumped me out of her most important day because of issues I was having.
I am angry at my parents for constantly butting their noses in and trying to run my life still even though I have time and time again explained to them that my husband and I dont want to do things their way.
I am angry at myself for not getting a proper full education and now being stuck without a career position to help my family instead only able to get minimum wage jobs that just keeps the bills paid.
I am angry at my family for not respecting my wishes when it comes to my kids, home etc.
I am angry at my old supervisor for being such an incredible bitch so much so that I felt harassed and bullied and left my job.
I am angry at myself for leaving the job because of some chick.
I hate myself for getting really angry at the kids.

Do I feel better right now, no. I feel riled up and full of anxiety. I hope I can let it all go now, I am sending all my hurt and anger out into the world wide web. Let it be with me no longer.
Goodbye bad feelings!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Soba Noodle Dinner

I got this recipe from Today's Parent magazine but I altered it to use what I had in house. The kids loved it. I was going to take a picture but there is nothing left.

a package of soba noodles
1 red pepper
1 bunch of kale
1 carrot
1/4 red cabbage
1/2 cup of water
1/2 cup of soy sauce
1 tbsp of rice vinegar
1 tbsp of sweet chili sauce
1 tbsp of honey
sesame seeds

mix the water, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sweet chili sauce and honey in a small pot and bring to a boil. remove from the heat and mix to ensure the honey has dissolved. Bring a large pot of salted water to boiling. Add the soba noodles and boil for 3 minutes, drain. Sliver the carrot and pepper and rip the kale into small pieces. shred the cabbage. mix the vegetables, noodles and sauce in a large bowl. stir then leave. it will seem watery at first but the noodles will absorb the excess. sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Leaving 28 behind

This is the eve of my last day of being 28. Not a substantial number but I have learned a lot in these years. This year I had a few realisations that have helped my world view to expand. Some of them seem so simple but when you really think about them its amazing how small and insignificant we are in the grand scheme of things. Not to say that life is insignificant, life is wonderful and meaningful. But we as North Americans and possibly all humans put a lot of emphasis on things that are unimportant and seem to ignore the things that are. So here is all that life has given me this year.

1. I worked hard at changing my lifestyle and was rewarded with losing over 40lbs.
2. I found a lost sick puppy that someone had tossed in a ditch and I fought for 3 days to keep her with us on this planet. It was grueling and scary holding her little life in my hands. We named her Daisy.
3. I gave up being at home and rejoined the workforce.
4. My husband and my relationship hit rock bottom. I lost some people I thought were friends, I lost the trust of my husband, I was betrayed by people I loved and trusted, I lost my job and I don't know that we have recovered from this yet, there are a lot of changes yet to be made.
5. I started to meditate.
6. I realised one night looking at a sunset on one of the equinoxes that time marches on and has always no matter what is happening. The earth continues to change the seasons and rotate the same way it did 1 million years ago, 1 thousand years ago, 100 years ago and it will continue to do so. Our ancestors looked at the same sunsets we do and they have passed into history and so shall we and the earth will keep rotating.
7. I have found myself a very good set of eclectic friends that I love dearly and I know they love me for who I am.
8. I am living my life as myself and trying to let go of trying to please everyone. I am also trying to express myself when I am angry or hurt instead of burying it.
9. Winter is absolutely silent, more silent then any day in the summer.
10. I got a new job doing something I thought I would love. I have been afraid to take the steps to start my career, worried about what happens if I fail and then I have nothing left and have been taking minimum wage jobs instead. I left that job after I realised how ridiculous I was stressing myself out because my supervisor at the job had it out for me and harassed me.
11. My baby boy started school!
12. Every action has a reaction, its easy to see the spiderweb we are all apart of. Things we do now may have consequences later. Everyone has had something affect them in some meaningful way.
13. We are all weird in our own way and we should celebrate that!
14. I need more patience.
15. I have much to learn and I should enjoy having the knowledge come in its own time.....refer to #14.
16. I am smart and a good person......everyone needs to believe this and KNOW it.
17. I have trust issues.
18. I have been realizing that our lives are more closely tied to nature then we think.
19. I have been trying to let go of my prejudices.
20. I have finally taken the steps I needed to for my career. I applied and to my surprise had a interview for a job that would be a great learning place and start to my career. I also have seen that if I do not get this job I need to go back to school, in fact even if I get the job I still need more schooling.
21. I am in charge of making myself happy. No one else.
22. Money is a hard thing to control.
23. I choose how I raise my kids.
24. I got my first tattoo and didn't chicken out or cry.
25. I can stand up for myself.
26. I can still play soccer and golf well!
27. I have a whole lot of compassion and empathy.
28. All the love and joy my children bring me everyday!!!!!!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Rabbit Stew

Ok so this one is a first for me. But my hubby loves rabbit so I figured I would give it a try.

this is the base sauteing away

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp all purpose flour

2 rabbit loins

2 medium onions

3 medium carrots

4 cloves of garlic

1 tsp of pepper

1 tbsp salt

2 small turnips

2 pints of mushrooms- I used button because they were on sale this week but I think it would be better with a mix of different ones

3 large potatoes

fresh sage

fresh rosemary sprigs

1 box of chicken stock


cut rabbit loin into bite sized pieces and place in bowl. pour salt on the rabbit and let sit for 30 min at room temperature. chop onions, garlic and carrots. sautee onions, garlic and carrots with the oil in a large soup pot on medium heat. once onions are softened and translucent add mushrooms. sautee until mushrooms are softened. braise rabbit in a skillet (I prefer cast iron), sprinkle with flour then add rabbit to pot, de-glaze the skillet with a bit of red wine, add to pot. add stock, herbs and pepper to pot. chop turnip and potatoes and add to pot. turn heat on high and bring to a boil. once boiling lower heat and simmer for 2-3 hours or until potatoes and turnips are softened and rabbit is tender.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Three Bean Bake

I got this recipe from the Pulse Canada recipe booklet. I have altered it a bit and was thinking it would be a good recipe to add cooked ground chicken or canned flaked tuna to. I'm sure you can find the original recipe at


1 can of baked beans in tomato sauce

1 can of white kidney beans

1 can of black beans

2 medium onions

3 cloves of garlic

2 tbsp of sesame oil

1 tbsp all purpose flour

2 tbsp of molasses

2 tbsp of reduced sodium soy sauce

1 tsp of ground ginger

2 cups of uncooked rice

(optional pinch of chili powder)


preheat oven to 325 degrees F. combine baked beans, black beans and white kidney beans in a 2L casserole dish. in a large skillet saute onion, sesame oil and garlic until the onion is tender. stir in the flour then add the molasses, soy sauce, ginger and chili powder (if desired). bring to a boil and pour over beans. mix together, cover and bake for 1 hour. cook rice then combine the rice and the beans and serve

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Vegetarian Kale and Bulgar Soup

I got the idea for this soup from the blog "Mennonite Girls Can Cook" but theirs is a Turkey and Kale soup. My Grandmother is a vegetarian so I wanted to make mine something she could eat. At this time of year a nice warm soup is what I like to feed my family and this one is tasty.


1 tsp of oil ( I use coconut but olive is good too)
2 yellow onions
4 cloves of garlic
1 box of vegetable soup stock
1 cup of bulgar
1 bunch of kale
2 cans of white kidney beans
2 tbsp of lemon juice
4 carrots
1 tsp of salt
fresh ground pepper
2 tsp of fresh ground ginger
2 tsp of cumin
and I throw Parmesan rinds that I have frozen into my soups took add some extra flavor and instead of throwing them out. I pull them out before I serve it though.

To Make:
put your oil in a big soup pot and turn heat onto medium. chop onions and garlic into bite sized pieces then put in pot. Chop carrots and add to pot. Saute until the onions are soft then add full box of stock. Rip the kale leaves into bite sized pieces and put in pot. Add bulgar, beans, lemon juice and spices. Turn heat on high until simmering, stirring occasionally, then lower heat and let continue to simmer. Stir occasionally. Let simmer for 2 hours or until kale and carrots are soft.
Serves 4-5

CHANGE IT UP- have fun with this and make it with whatever you have on hand, add potatoes or winter vegetables like squash or turnip to make it heartier. Add barley or rice instead of the bulgar. Try cayenne pepper to give it a bit of heat (just a tsp is enough). Add fresh herbs like thyme or