Tuesday, June 26, 2007

citrus salad

The summer is the perfect time for salads, salads with fruit are a favourite of mine and here is one I made last week. I was inspired a recipe I saw in a magazine but didn't want to buy it so I kinda made it up as I went along. I served the salad with some steaks grilled on the barbecue that I had marinaded in a second batch of the dressing. It would go well with chicken as well and the marinade would work for that as well.It was a tasty meal.

Citrus Salad - serves 4

2 tsp curry paste ( make sure it is GF, I use mild but you can make it as spicy as you like)
2 medium cloves garlic minced
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tbsp sugar ( I use raw sugar)
1/4 cup pineapple juice (orange could also be used)

Lettuce - I use 2 handfuls per serving, I think it works out to about 6 cups
1 cup green beans - washed, chopped and then cooked until crisp and bright green it takes about 3 minutes in boiling water. Rinse immediately in cold water to stop them from continuing to cook.
2 fresh large tomatoes - chopped
1 cup chopped pistachio nuts
1 can well drained mandarin orange segments

Combine all of the ingredients for the dressing in a jar and shake well. Refrigerate until needed, it can be made a day or two ahead if desired.

After you cook the beans mix the salad ingredients in a large bowl, add the nuts at the last minute as they get soggy otherwise. Add the dressing, toss and serve.

If you are going to marinate some meat as well, mix up a second batch of dressing, place meat into a shallow container with a lid and pour dressing over the meat a few hours before you plan to cook it. The longer it has to marinate the tastier it is. I also added an extra tsp of curry paste to the dressing for this to make the marinade a little more tasty.


You do realize

that this means P and I are outnumbered by a 4 to 1 ratio - 4 legs vs 2 legs. There were 5 kittens this morning but the runt didn't make it and so there are 4. I was concerned about my little tiny Kieran kitty was going to nurse 5 kittens as she is so small herself.
I think we have 2 males and 2 females, 2 gray striped, 1 black and and white and 1 that seems to be a dark/black with some stripes. They are awfully cute! I will keep you posted as they only get cuter as they get bigger and Maureen I am sure we could find a way to get one out there, Miles would love it.
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Sunday, June 24, 2007

10 days

It's been a long week ( well a little more than a week). Last weekend we refinished our floors - big job! I am working full days this week and this morning I woke up to 5 (yes 5) kittens. If you live in the Ottawa Valley and want a kitten mid August let me know. I will add some pictures tonight when I get home. For your amusement I have been documenting my current renos with pictures. Don't ask me what happened to them, I uploaded them and now they are all funky looking and spilt up funny. If I have time later I will try to photoshop them a little.

Chudder looks innocent enough, she just got through digging a giant hole. I am not sure where she thinks that she might get to or if she just thinks

that is just a good place for her sister to hide in. I am assuming that Tai thought it was cooler in there.

Floors presanding after we moved out all the furniture and taped up everything that might get dirty

After sanding all day, well the top half of the photo that is

Stain and 3 coats of varnish

As we have moved through the house we have been replacing the old metal covers with new one, then I had the brilliant idea to just

paint the old ones with a can of spray paint. I also repainted the living room walls, ceiling and all the trim. I have a lot more to do this summer but I am looking forward to finally living a reno free zone!

Monday, June 18, 2007

something is eating my oregano

Yes there should be herbs there, I planted herbs there and all I have is pile if dirt... but he eats bugs so I guess he is alright with me. I replanted the oregano elsewhere and bought a climbing hydrangea to climb the wall and give him some shade as well. He is a happy toad.

Not that I can go out to see him today as I am trapped on the second floor of my house for at least another hour - I am refinishing our floors, I can paint myself out the front door and entertain myself outside for 6 hours or paint myself upstairs where I can knit and watch season 1 of Grey's anatomy. My choice is obvious is it not.

Monday, June 11, 2007


As all GF free folks know coming up with an "instant" meal can be a real challenge. Sometimes after a long day of teaching or working outside I just need something that I can put in the oven. Today I found a gluten free fast food. Ian's (www.iansnaturalfood.com) makes gluten free chicken nuggets and fish sticks - and they taste good! Tonight I dined on his sweet potato fries and chicken nuggets, not a morsel of gluten entered my body and it was pretty good! Yeah for Ian's Natural Food.

See there is knitting here

Well I am back from a lovely weekend away and as promised there is knitting to be seen. I finished my STR Inside Out! sock, well one sock is finished and the other needs to be cast on. It will be finished but given that it is way too hot to wear them I am not to eager or to motivated.
While we were in Montreal I made it to a yarn store, yes I know you are all so surprised! We went to Mouline Yarns ( they are having a sale) and of course some stash enhancing was done. After chatting with Scott, the owner? I came home with some Debbie Bliss ( I already have some of this in the stash) and some fabulous yarn from Susan Anderson - 50% baby Suri, 40% Extra fine Merino, 10% Cashmere. I got enough for 2 hats, they had lots of great colours but P wanted black
And in other knitting news I am working on the Melon Shawl from Victorian Lace Today. I'm using SeaSilk and really enjoy it.I am working on the inside at the moment and will add a border when I have finished. I need it for August, cross your fingers.

Last but not least, an almost finished baby sweater knit with Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport in Blue Jean and another colour whose name escapes me at the moment.
And some spinning, my wheel has been quiet for ages but I rearranged my stash recently and was inspired to spin this up. It's roving I got from the Yarn Barn that I dyed myself with Golden Rod flowers, it is spinning up well and I am hoping for some sock yarn.

Friday, June 8, 2007

It's the last non knitting post this week, I promise.

7 Septembers ago, in the fall of my third year of "higher education" I sat in a class at a university were the majority of the students were male ( then I called them boys) and female students were few and far between. In this particular class, History of the First 5 Centuries, there were 4 other women. I sat with 2 of them at a table near the back next to the window. Behind me sat 2 men who I had yet to meet. One was my age and babyfaced the other older than I and quick to crack a joke. I took them in as just another couple of guys at a school where that was the norm. As it turned out they were both Roman Catholic seminaries in their first year of studies. The semester passed and we joked with one another and made cracks about other students, professors and life in general. Fall led into Winter and I became friends with those "boys" who sat behind me. We had other classes together and began to meet in the cafe coffee breaks. They were nice enough boys and joker made me laugh. The joker hung out with me and a few of friends more and more often.

3rd year turned into 4th and the joker and I had more classes together, I used to copy his notes when I skipped class. I confided in him about the boy I had a crush on as they were friends and I thought that maybe he could help hook us up. I invited him to parties at my house, including my 25th birthday party when he gave me a miniature telescope so that I could always see my dreams. He was great friend and I felt lucky to have him in my circle.

In my last year of school I was on a different campus and didn't see him to often, we saw one another at parties and he came some at my house. That summer he helped me move. He also decided that summer, after he finished school that a RC priest was not what he wanted to be. He left the seminary and decided to begin a master's degree. As I struggled with finding a teaching job we kept in touch, getting together with other friends who lived in the city and then when I decided to leave for Asia he stored my stuff, bought my TV and came to my going away party. We kept in touch over email. I confided in a number of friends that if he was older or I was younger I would so marry him. He didn't seem interested and so off I went to Korea with his email address and miniature telescope.

We kept in touch while I was gone, chatted on MSN and such. I missed him but I missed everyone as I was so far away. I came home 18 months later and he was the first one to call and welcome me home. We saw each other soon after for coffee and then a few days later for dinner. I muttered to my friends about him and wondered if maybe I was missing something. Days turned into weeks and we were spending more and more of our free time in one anothers company.

Before I knew it I tripped, fell and was in love with the joker, the one who I told about all the other boys that I liked. The one who laughed at my corny jokes, drove me home on cold winter days and worried about me when I was overseas alone. Fall led into winter again and by the time Christmas came we were engaged.

A year ago tomorrow we were married. But I am typing today as tomorrow we will be in Montreal, enjoying a weekend away and celebrating our 1st anniversary. And so, to celebrate the fact that I love the man I married and that I have never been as sure of anything as in my life as I am about him... I stole this (shamelessly) from Kelly's blog, it's perfect and it says it better than I ever could

The Invitation

It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shrivelled and closed from fear of further pain.

I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it, or fade it, or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own; if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, be realistic, remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself. If you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul. If you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty even when it is not pretty every day. And if you can source your own life from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand at the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, ‘Yes.’

It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone and do what needs to be done to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the centre of the fire with me and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.

by Oriah Mountain Dreamer

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

basic bread

if you are here for knitting

you may as well go now as I have nothing to show you today! I have been knitting but I have no pictures. Just like I have been gardening and seeds are sprouting but I have no pictures. However I do have pictures of birds and butterflies. These wee robins are from a nest right beside the clothesline. Every time I go to hang laundry out these 2 robins go insane and act as though they are being murdered. I was motivated to find out why they were freaking out and so I went on a bit of a search... and look what I found. I plan on checking on them often and I'll keep you posted. We have a few other nests with
other types of birds but they are not as easy to get too.
We also have heaps of butterflies and moths at the moment. They are harder to photograph but every now and then I manage to get one.
And the laziest dog ever! Last night while I was taking pictures of food for the other blog ( there are a few good gluten free recipes up there - rhubarb crisp and the best pizza dough) Chudder decided that she was thirsty but I guess standing up would be to much work so she dragged herself over to the water and had a drink - she is insane.

I'll be back with knitting later this week... I promise.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

pizza ( an adapted version)

The GF pizza struggle is a classic one, finding a dough that works and tastes good is a real challenge. P and I have found one that we both enjoy and regularly make it and slather it with all sorts of yummy things. Pesto, feta, roasted red pepper, onion and artichoke is a fav but so is plain old pepperoni and mushroom ( make sure it is GF pepperoni). Here is the crust recipe I like.

Sometimes I do the needing part in the breadmaker and sometimes I do it by hand. To do it in the breadmaker dump in the liquids first and be sure to dissolve the gelatin in the hot water first, then mix all the dry ingredients in separate bowl before adding them to the breadmaker pan. Set the breadmaker just to mix and knead, then follow the directions below.

1 tablespoon gluten-free dry yeast
2/3 cup brown or white rice flour*
1/2 cup tapioca flour
2 tblsp dry milk powder
2 tsps xanthan gum
1/2 tsp salt1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin powder
2/3 cup warm water ( at least 105 degrees F)
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp cider vinegar
Oil for the pan

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
In medium bowl using regular beaters (not dough hooks), blend the yeast, flours, dry milk powder, xanthan gum, and salt, on low speed. Add dissolve the gelatin powder in the warm water and then add the sugar , olive oil, and vinegar. Beat on high speed for 3 minutes. (If the mixer bounces around the bowl, the dough is too stiff. Add water if necessary, one tablespoon at a time, until dough does not resist beaters.) The dough will resemble soft bread dough. Or use a Breadmaker to blend ( see above)

Put mixture into 12-inch pizza pan or on baking sheet that has been oiled already. Liberally sprinkle rice flour onto dough, roll out dough into a large circle, use more rice flour as needed to prevent it from sticking. Then press dough into pan, continuing to sprinkle dough with flour to prevent sticking to your hands. Make edges thicker to contain the toppings. Bake the pizza crust for 15 minutes. Remove from oven. Spread pizza crust with your favorite sauce and toppings. Bake for another 15 - 20 minutes or until top is nicely browned. If necessary turn broiler on for a few minutes to brown the cheese.

It's good, really good and still good the next day. I think the thing that I like best about this recipe is that it is good cold unlike most GF things.

* If I am doubling the recipe I use 2/3 of a cup of each

Saturday, June 2, 2007

grrrr and cuteness

The Grrrr
I need to be working in the garden but the weather is not intrested in cooperating with what I need and want. My almost dry laundry is now wet again as we put it in the sunny morning, went out to run a few errands and came home to thunderstorms. The lawn is now to wet to mow and all my plans for the day have gone out the window with mosquitoes - of which we have millions.

The Cuteness - P and I have decided that we need another puppy... yes we alreasy have 2 but P needs a boy to balance out the 5 to 1 ratio that we have going and Chudder really needs someone to play with.

Sadly none of the pictures turned out too well ( the battery was really low and it was a bit of a challenge to get any at all), but this is the newst addition to the family, he is only 7 days old
And won't come home till mid July. He is one of 10 and man are we in love. He is a bull mastiff and at the moment his name is Max
He is the second one from the right.
If the rain keeps up I may actually have some kniting to show you... oh and my computer has a new harddrive, yeah for techy friends.