Saturday, August 28, 2010

Canning it

I've learned a few things about having three kids after three months at it but the main one is that you have to seriously lower your expectations about what you can get done during a day. If I'm going to go out and do something with them, very little else will get done. If I'm going to unpack a few boxes (and there are still many, many to be unpacked - you should see our garage, my word - little piece of advice, do not move when you have three kids, one being a very small baby), the dishes won't get done. If I need to buy groceries, the laundry will sit untouched that day.

Time moves fast but everything else seems at a snail's pace. And unfortunately blogging falls to the bottom of the to-do list. And oh, how I miss it.

However, I have managed to do some canning this week. I love canning at this time of year - jams, pickles, tomato sauce - I love doing it all. This week, to the detriment of box unpacking etc, I put up peaches, made red pepper jelly and tonight, crabapple jelly. The crabapple jelly is extra special because we picked the crabapples from some trees nearby on city property; the apples were free for the taking. I've never made a proper jelly before, using a jelly bag; I really liked it. And the result is a lucious looking ruby red jelly that will be spread on my toast tomorrow morning. Mmm, mmm.

Later this week I'll ignore the garden and make tomato sauce!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

And the winner is...

Erika! Erika, please send me you mailing address and I'll have the book sent to you ASAP. Congratulations!

I know I've been largely absent around here. Reminder: sinus infection, recently moved and three kids!

Hopefully I'll have time for a good, or at least mediocre, post soon.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Gourmet Pregnancy

On Wednesday, May 19, John and I had planned to prepare a meal for all of us, including an appetizer and dessert, from a book I was asked to review by Mom Central Canada called The Gourmet Pregnancy. They graciously sent me a gift card to purchase the groceries I would need to prepare the recipes I chose from this beautiful book.

And then at 3:30 am on May 19, I jumped out of bed seconds before my water broke all over the bedroom floor (Henry's full birth story is still forthcoming... that's just a taster of how it all went down).

Needless to say, I had to send an email telling the nice people at Mom Central Canada that my review would definitely not be in on time. They said "no problem." They're good like that.

About 2 weeks after Henry's birth, we finally got to cooking that meal. And it was awesome! The only hard part was choosing what to make. The book is full of beautiful photos and truly gourmet recipes for those of us who like to label ourselves "foodies". The book is careful to stay away from the foods that most western pregnant women avoid: unpasteurized cheeses, sushi, alcohol, while ensuring that these recipes will truly make a pregnant woman feel pampered and healthy at the same time (okay, except for the chocolate mousse cake which just makes you feel happy).

As an appetizer we chose to make the prunes (referred to as dried plums... I had to laugh) stuffed with maple roasted pecans and wrapped in bacon.

I chose these for some, ahem, obvious reasons that a pregnant or post-labour woman might choose them. But also, they tasted awesome. Needless to say, the girls peeled the bacon off and just ate that.

As a main course we made a warm steak salad. The grilled steak was marinated and then sliced over spring greens, tomatoes, avacado and walnuts and drizzled with balsamic vinegar and olive oil (I pulled out the good stuff, not the stuff from Costco).

For dessert I made the decadent chocolate mousse cake. It was killer and really, really easy. You could easily whip that dessert together an hour before your company arrives. I didn't take a photo of it however because, although it tasted divine, it was really hard to get out of the pan. When I finally post the recipe for it (after I locate the book amidst the boxes and general chaos that is our house right now) I will add that you must not bake the crust for as long as it says because it is almost impossible to cut through and therefore impossible to get out of the pan looking like anything but mess. No matter how it looks though, it tasted great.

And now for the giveaway! I have a copy of this book to give away to my gentle readers. Leave a comment below and I'll do a random draw on exactly one week from today. To make it fun, tell me what you knew you shouldn't be eating but did while you were pregnant... or if you've never been pregnant, tell me what you would miss and probably sneak once in a while.

As an aside, I avoided all those foods your doctors tell you to avoid during my first pregnancy, was a little more lax during the second and by the third assumed that women in France and Japan were eating cheese and sushi and having perfectly healthy babies so I just went with it. I'm a rebel!

Friday, August 06, 2010

The worst timing....

.... for a sinus cold, ever. I'm down and out but have a house to organize and unpack and a bunch of kids to look after.. two of whom have colds now and Henry is just coming down with it. Ugh!

The only thing getting me through so far is my rediscovery of homemade ice lattes with my Italian stove-top espresso maker. Oh, and air conditioning and a dishwasher help too.

Monday, August 02, 2010


Sort of... I'm currently sitting in the living room of our good friends who are out west on holiday. We unloaded everything (okay, John and some of our closest friends unloaded everything yesterday while I stayed here and let Henry sleep and went to the house when the truck was empty... Nice arrangement, eh?) and started to set things up. It was so great to spend the day with friends I haven't seen much in the last year.

Oh my word, the garden if you can call it that! "Jungle" is a more descriptive term for it. I'll post photos of it later. It will be a good challenge for me.

Being back home has got me thinking about so many things. Three of them I'm putting in resolution form: 1. I want to live our lives in our area of Ottawa much more. This means finding a doctor, dentist, chiro etc right near where we live to keep me here instead of driving to Westboro and Nepean all the time. 2. I want to make some new good friends in our neighborhood this year. 3. I want to get to know more of my neighbours.

I'm very glad to be home.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone