Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Germany - Girl with umbrella

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Postcard from Carriefrom221b from Germany

This is one of my favourite cards so far...I love it!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Cracking Cracklin' Dinner

36.44 and 36.45 Try 50 new recipes 

Burgers are tasty, but I'm a bit scared of them. My dad makes awesome burgers, but he doesn't really use a recipe. He has a recipe in his head that includes eggs and dashes of this and that, but it's not written down anywhere. And I've had some yucky homemade burgers before, so I'm much happier to leave burgers for our visits to Kelowna in the summer.

Except that sometime we want burgers and we're not in Kelowna and we don't want to go out to eat.

Enter my new best friend, Jamie Oliver. I bought Alex Jamie's Food Revolution for his birthday (Father's Day?) a few years ago because I figured if Jamie Oliver could motivate and teach people who had no skills with food to cook, he could teach Alex, who was a prep cook eons ago, to cook. Except that I use the cookbook far more often than Alex. Oh well, we're married. We can share.

cracking cracklin'

Now, we made this in the winter, so a salad didn't seem right as an accompaniment to Jamie's Cracking Burgers and oven roasted potatoes. After some thought and some consultation with the chief menu planner at our house, we settled on roasted cauliflower à la Mama Pea. I discovered this recipe after Kath at Kath Eats made it one night and talked about how expensive (!) cauliflower is - I don't know where she buys her cauliflower but at a few dollars for an entire head of cauliflower, it's a pretty good deal if you ask me. Anyway, I'd never had the Whole Foods version and we were out of curry powder, so I mixed up some cumin and coriander (at about a 1:3 ratio) and left out the stevia and cilantro. It was delicious. Alex and J both loved it. You can just barely see it just to the right of the burger.

We made that cauliflower over and over and over again all winter. I quickly figured out that the peas should be added closer to the end unless you want really crunchy peas, but yum! Everyone we fed this to loved it!

Oh, and the burgers? They're scrumptious and if my dad's not around to make me burgers, well, now I know I'm fully capable of making my own burgers and they will taste good too!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Picnic at the new park

19.4 Go on 10 "adventures" 
36.43 Try 50 new recipes

Our adventures are things that either we'd like to do with J or things that J has requested. Well, last week, J kept asking we could have an adventure. I asked her what kind of adventure she was thinking of and she told me she wanted to go on a picnic at the new park and take Daddy so he could play at the new park.

The new park is actually the playground beside the water park at Granville Island. We actually had J's birthday party there last summer. Once the water park closed for the season, construction fences went up around the old adventure playground and down it came. It has been replaced with a much better playground - definitely better suited the various age groups that use the park. It has one of those cool rubber floors (is that what you'd call it? surfaces?) that reduce injuries and kind of bounce when you walk on it. It's got some great playground equipment including the merry-go-round with the ropes below and it even has a kid operated water feature.

We staked out our picnic spot, in the shade, on the big field, but just off the path to the playground. J rode her bike and insisted on keeping her helmet on for most of the time we were there.

juicer

Three or four families of geese roamed the grassy field beside us. J loved watching them - from a distance of course. We explained to her how the parents would protect their babies and that she needed to stay far away from them so that they knew she wasn't going to touch their babies.

geese

J went grocery shopping with me on Friday night and she got to pick all of the food for the picnic - she is currently in love with croissant sandwiches, so those were on the menu along with veggies and dip, oranges, strawberries and of course, a picnic wouldn't be complete without a special treat. J helped make Emeril's Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies. They were good, but I think the next time I'd cut the sugar in half and use powdered sugar instead of granulated and brown...maybe it's because I buy natural peanut butter, but the sugars gave the cookies a really granular texture. They still tasted excellent though!

picnic treat

After lunch J and Alex played in the park for ages - this is the new fangled merry-go-round with it's cage of ropes to keep the kids from falling out...although it doesn't stop them from climbing the outside and spinning around....

hanging out

We left not long after this - the family beside us started feeding the geese and the mother (I think that's the female) was not impressed (if you click the picture, you can see she's hissing at the people) and the geese got closer and closer to our blanket and then kids started TOUCHING them.

close geese

Do not anger the mother goose! We decided before the hissing turned to lunging and wing flapping we'd leave...our not-too-subtle preschooler loudly exclaiming the entire way, "They shouldn't be touching those birds. Birds don't like it when you touch their babies. Geese will get mad and hurt you if you get too close. Birds don't like people food, it hurts their tummies."

Oh, adventures with J!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Sometimes I need reminding

Look what I found in my drafts...from way back on February 11. I could use some reminding today, even though the dark, dreary mornings are over until the fall...

On dark, dreary mornings as I drag myself out of bed and through our morning routine, I could certainly use a reminder that I work (and live) in a pretty beautiful place.

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Friday, May 11, 2012

Slovenija

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Postcard from JozeGumzej from Slovenia

J has figured out how to spell a handful of words. As soon as she saw this card, she picked out the word LOVE highlighted in blue...yeah, I missed it completely! Slovenia is one place I really want to visit - it looks so beautiful!

I Know EVERYTHING

A few weeks ago on the way to daycare J and I had a conversation that looked sort of like this:

J: Mommy, did you know xyz?

Me: Yes I did. How did you know(learn) that?

J: extremely serious Well, Mommy, I know EVERYTHING.

So, for a few weeks, we've been hearing "I know EVERYTHING" as an answer to many questions, requests, statements and in general J storytelling. A few brave souls have tried to show J she doesn't know quite everything by asking questions that she certainly doesn't know the answer to, but somehow J always wins the showdown.

We finally asked J where she learned everything and she said, "Oh, from RM (one of her best buds, who happens to have a very smart, somewhat precocious 7 year old sister)" This made sense to us - of course she learned it from one of her friends. When we asked her if that meant that RM also knows everything, the answer was NO because RM taught J everything J knows, but J knew other stuff before RM taught her (the inner workings of a preschooler's mind are very complex....)

This morning after hearing "I know EVERYTHING" one time too many, I fell into the trick her into revealing she doesn't know everything trap.

Me: J, if you know everything, who is the president of the United States.

J: thinks about this for a minute Mommy, *I*( am the president of the United States and I know EVERYTHING.

J EVERYTHING, Mommy NOTHING

Sunday, May 06, 2012

The Netherlands - Jip en Janneke

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Postcard from Lindsey-g from the Netherlands

Greece - Thessaloniki

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Postcard from christinatsag from Greece

Description: view of the town

Germany - Friedrich Streich

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Postcard from pausenclown from Germany

Die Sendung mit der Maus - a German cartoon I think (?) Thank you Google for the information

Poland - Szczecin

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Postcard from konilio from Poland.

Description: The bride's eye view of the Castle of the Pomerarian Dukes

The Netherlands - Beautiful Holland

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Postcard from Schoffie from the Netherlands