27 July 2008

Berries, with Love

Put a bit of summertime happiness on a platter for some brunch guests today and couldn't help taking a picture of it.

18 July 2008

Bean Sprout Project

Spud's Nana likes to grow beans herself. And she was inspired by this little Chirp project. So, a couple of weeks ago, she brought over some of her 'magic' beans, put them in a wide mouth mason with several tissues [we didn't have paper towels] and spritzed them thoroughly.

Everyday since, Spud and I have generously spritzed them at least twice per day, except for our camping weekend when we were away but that did them no harm.

Here's their progress.

14 July 2008

Bentolicious III


This is one of my more monochromatic creations. According to Lunch in a Box the Japanese ideal number of colours is 5, which makes sense from a nutritional point of view. And an aesthetic one as well, really. But the designer in me likes to play with a simple palette sometimes too.

Clockwise from top left
Cheese triangles
Ham sandwich
Raspberry yogurt
Cherry tomatoes

Red pepper
Ketchup in the monkey
Goldfish crackers
Skewered weiners
Black grapes

Snap peas
Dried apricots + raisins
Grape tomatoes

Turkey sausage leftover from previous evening's barbeque
Mini dark chocolate chips
Tortilla chips
Chocolate heart cookies
Heart shaped mozza slices

Cherry Tomato Green bean salad [leftovers courtesy KR :) ]
Cottage cheese with mini banana spoon
Pineapple and peach pieces
Salad pocky sticks
Veggie Bootie [not necessarily healthy even though they are dusted with spinach and kelp powder]
Mini chocolate chips
Meatball [leftovers]

New Skewers
Anything on a Skewer
Bentolicious I
Bentolicious II

13 July 2008

Dutch Oven Meatloaf Stuffed Onions


6 – 8 onions, large
8 slices raw bacon

For the meatloaf [can be prepared ahead of time]
1 T. vegetable oil
1/2 - 1 C. onion, finely chopped
1 C. mushrooms, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 lb. ground beef
1/4 lb. ground pork
1/2 C. ketchup
1/4 C. barbecue sauce
1/2 C. walnuts, finely chopped
1 T. Dijon mustard
2 T. Worcestershire sauce
3/4 C. fresh breadcrumbs
1 egg, lightly beaten
S + P
1 bunch flat leaf parsley, chopped

Prepare meat mixture. I put all of the above ingredients in a jar at home, except for the meat and chopped onion which I added at the campsite.

Cut onions in half. Hollow them out, cutting up the insides to add to the meat mixture [up to 1 cup].

Fill each onion shell and place in Dutch oven making the first layer.

Place 4 strips of bacon on top and then repeat.

Bake with 8 briquettes below and 12 on top until onions are tender [45 – 60 minutes].

We served this with Foil Veggies and our friends added a crisp green bean and cherry tomato salad which was a welcome addition to the richness of the other dishes.

08 July 2008

Our Electric Scooter

Rising gas prices. Global warming. Carbon footprints. Living in an urban setting where driving is often no faster than walking. The electric scooter makes a lot of sense.

We paid our apartment management company a mere $25 last year to offset the amount of electricity we were using charging up our little scooter. This year, our city has passed a bylaw requiring all apartment buildings put a "free" electrical outlet in their bike rooms.

The mom in me goes a little crazy seeing my little Spud on the back of the scooter. Hubs assures me he's careful not to go too fast. Another great thing is that they are actually deemed to be a bike and therefore they ride on the bike paths, away from the busy streets. Spud loves the speed though, gripping tightly, "go faster daddy!".

05 July 2008

The Night Market


Injecting a little culture into a summer weekend evening with live entertainment, good food and cheap, interesting shopping.

01 July 2008

Wee Bank Manager

Yesterday was a putter day. Hubs was involved in a pretty big construction project in the living room. I've been a bit under the weather. And so Spud and I tried to keep ourselves busy, close to home, in the other half of the apartment.

I played cars with him, of course. But I'd go nuts doing that all day. And we did go for a swim for a couple of hours in the pool. After awhile though, I was itching to get some stuff off my to do list. And then it occurred to me. Why don't I get him to help me sort out the bucket of change in our dresser drawer? And what fun it turned out to be. And talk about 'teachable moments'! It wasn't until I converted the value of the various coins into toy cars that he seemed to really grasp what we were doing. Once he figured out that 3 rolls of pennies could buy him a Hot Wheels, he was all over the project and he turned into a little bank manager, sorting, directing, encouraging me to go faster [or was it bossing?], counting the rolls over and over, delivering the rolls to various 'safe places' and even filling up some rolls himself.

I can see this being a favourite activity. I just don't know how to break it to him that we are not spending all of it on toy cars.