Tuesday, 28 February 2012


Last week I decided to stray from the norm and attempt Pad Thai.  Ambitious?  Yes.  Successful?  Yes.  I was possibly most worried about finding all of the ingredients in the grocery store, but considering hubby did the grocery shopping, that wasn't much of a problem.

I combined this recipe and this recipe because the former seemed simple and easy to follow, while the latter seemed more authentic.  Here is what I used (all found at the grocery store):

1 package of Thai rice noodles - mine said Pad Thai on the package
1/3 cup chili sauce
1/4 cup fish sauce
1 lime
4 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp hot pepper sauce
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves of garlic crushed or minced
1 green pepper
1 egg
1/2 package of bean sprouts
2 tbsp chopped peanuts

To start, soak the rice noodles in warm water.  The Canadian Living recipe recommended 15 minutes but I didn't find this was long enough.  The noodles should be firm but flexible when they're done soaking and I think next time I'm going to try 20 + minutes.  I ended up adding more and more water to the entire dish to try to get the noodles to cook more later on.

I like my Pad Thai with chicken, so that's what I made.  Cook up your meat of choice (or tofu for the vegetarians of the world) in a frying pan.

The sauce is clearly the most important part.  Traditionally, Pad Thai sauce consists of: fish sauce, palm sugar, and tamarind.  A friend was kind enough to give me a couple of tips.  Tamarind is the main ingredient in Worcestershire sauce so you can substitute with W sauce (seriously - how do you pronounce that word?).  This same friend informed me palm sugar is brown sugar and maple syrup.  (I didn't research this to confirm if she's right, but I did substitute brown sugar.)

Do you have a whisk you know, love, and don't get to use often?  Get it out and put that whisk to work!  Combine the chili sauce, fish sauce, juice of 1 lime, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, and hot pepper sauce.  Set aside.

In a wok (or a pot if you also don't own a wok), toast the peanuts in the olive oil on medium-high heat.  Remove the peanuts when done.  You will use them as a garnish later.

Turn the heat down to medium-low and in the same pan, cook the green pepper and garlic in the remaining olive oil until softened.  Add the noodles that have been soaking.  Mix in the sauce you worked so hard on and stir until thickened.  Add the bean sprouts and chicken/shrimp/tofu.

Push the noodles and vegetables to the side of the pot/wok and scramble the egg in the remaining space.  Once cooked, stir into the rest of the dish.  Serve on a plate and sprinkle the peanuts on top.  You may also garnish the dish with coriander, although personally, I can't stand the stuff!

It's a yummy dinner and not too difficult as long as you're organized.  I must say, it didn't quite taste like pad thai from a restaurant, but it was still tasty!

Friday, 24 February 2012


A few weekends ago I went to a friend's house for a little trip away.  It was nice to have a change of scenery regardless, but was especially exciting to watch...pond hockey!  The temperature was faaar below zero but we toughed it out.  After a treacherous walk down an icy hill we bought some hot chocolate, watched fireworks and a few minutes of hockey.  We left when we could no longer feel our legs and my face literally was frozen in place.  It was a very fun (yet cold!) introduction to pond hockey.

Thursday, 23 February 2012


In the spirit of eating healthy (but still hoping for tasty dishes) I made scallop stir fry this week.  Hubby was given a free crab at the grocery store because they had cooked extra and needed to sell them, so that was also added to dinner.  Here's what you'll need:

4 carrots chopped
1 head of brocolli chopped
10-15 scallops
1 cooked crab (if desired)
Rice noodles
1 egg
Soya sauce
1 tbsp butter or margarine

Begin by cooking the rice noodles.  Boil a pot of water and cook the noodles for approximately 15 minutes.  Rinse in cold water and drain.  

While the noodles are cooking, place the carrots, brocolli, and cooked crab in a frying pan.  Add water to this pan and turn the burner onto medium/high heat.  Let the vegetables steam until cooked and then drain off the excess water.

In another pan, melt 1 tbsp of butter or margarine and add the scallops.  Season with pepper (nobody needs extra salt, especially when we're going to be using soya sauce)!  Fry the scallops until they are opaque.  Then add them to the carrots/brocolli/crab pan.  Also put the rice noodles in this pan.

Push the vegetables and noodles to the side of the pan leaving room for the egg.  Scramble the egg and then mix with the other ingredients.  Add some soya sauce for flavouring and keep in mind a little goes a long way.

That's it!  A simple, healthy dish with lots of veggies, fish, and an egg!  Yum.

Friday, 17 February 2012


This weekend hubby and I are heading off to camp.  It's the annual winter retreat weekend with our middle school and high school youth groups.  Normally we are leaders with the middle schoolers but this weekend everyone is combined, which is nice for a change.

Last year we went sliding down a terrifying hill, played board games, played outdoor capture the flag, had many worship services, and devotionals.  It's a really fun weekend.  This year hubby is organizing the outdoor evening game and he has planned a twist on traditional capture the flag.  Inspired by The Hunger Games (which we now both looove) there will be a cornucopia in the middle of the playing field full of goodies.  You will be able to choose from snacks like chocolate bars and pop, a special "shield" to get into the enemy camp, an extra "flag" which is an automatic point, a flashlight, etc.  I'm very proud of hubby's idea.  The kids are going to love it!

And this is what we'll be leaving behind for the weekend.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012


I don't often post outfit photos because I began blogging in the winter and my choice of backgrounds is limited.  (Mainly I only have my living room to use.)  Nevertheless I liked what I wore today and thought it was something worth sharing.  As always, Leroy wanted to get in on the camera action.  He could be in a doggie magazine, that one.

It's the time of year when you can't wait for spring to come.  Winter has been here for ages (although this has been an unseasonably warm year thus far) and summer seems so long ago.  I'm in the market for a new swimsuit and can't stop thinking about the adventures coming in summer 2012.  My wardrobe mainly consists of jeans and sweatshirts because, let's face it, it's cold and wet out there!  On the rare occasion I put some effort into my winter clothing, it deserves to be documented.  Stripes, solids, ruffles and all.

Shirt - Suzy Sheir, tank top - Aritzia, jeans - Bootlegger, necklace - Tiffany & Co.
Boots - Spring.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012


Have you met my valentines?

They're both cute; they both have winter birthdays and beards.  They both love frisbee, peanut butter, and napping on the futon.  Some have even said they look alike.  They're the men in my life and I love them!


Monday, 13 February 2012


Oh - she takes care of herself
She can wait if she wants
She's ahead of her time
Oh - and she never gives out
And she never gives in
She just changes her mind

She can kill with a smile, she can wound with her eyes
She can ruin your faith with her casual lies
And she only reveals what she wants you to see
She hides like a child
But she's always a woman to me

She can lead you to love, she can take you or leave you
She can ask for the truth but she'll never believe you
And she'll take what you give her as long as it's free
Yeah, she steals like a thief
But she's always a woman to me

And she'll promise you more than the Garden of Eden
Then she'll carelessly cut you and laugh while you're bleedin'
But she'll bring out the best and the worst you can be
Blame it all on yourself
Cause she's always a woman to me

She is frequently kind and she's suddenly cruel
She can do as she pleases, she's nobody's fool
And she can't be convicted, she's earned her degree
And the most she will do is throw shadows at you
But she's always a woman to me

Thursday, 9 February 2012


Still a child at heart, I hand out valentines to my classmates.  During my undergraduate degree I passed out valentines to the students on my floor (I was the RA).  As long as I'm in school, it certainly isn't going to change.

I have debated blogging this because it will ruin the surprise for my classmates, but I decided to post it anyway.  If you're looking for a cute hand-made craft (that is inexpensive and easy) - you'll want to see this before the big V Day.  I have seen versions of this craft on many different blogs including this one.  And because my puppy is my baby, this is my version!

This is such a simple craft!!  Print the photo you desire (most versions have a child with their hand held out in a fist).  I used a small exacto knife to cut an "x" on either side of Leroy's mouth.  Print on your Valentine's message (I just wrote mine on but you could be fancy and have it printed on).  Push the sucker of your choice through the x's and voila!

The total cost was about $15.00.  The instant photos from Wal Mart were approximately $10 for 35 photos and the suckers were another $4 - $5.  Doesn't it just make you smile??  If you're one of my classmates, get ready!!  You'll be receiving one in five days.  :)

Wednesday, 8 February 2012


Last summer I began making a smoothie for breakfast every morning.  Let me tell you, it's fantastic.  Smoothies are one of the only things I could eat every day without getting tired of it!  And to let you in on the action, I'm going to share my own person smoothie combination with you.

Blend together half a banana and 1 1/2 cups of orange juice.  (The banana takes a little extra time so you don't get chunks.)  Sometimes I add pecan or walnut pieces to add some protein.  Add 1/2 cup of vanilla yogurt and 3/4 cup of raspberries.  I use frozen raspberries you buy at the grocery store.  That way the smoothie is cold and they're kind of acting as ice cubes.  Ta-Da!  A delicious Vanilla - Rasberry - Banana smoothie that has protein, dairy, and fruit!

Wednesday, 1 February 2012


One choice can transform you.

Above is the tagline of Veronica Roth's novel Divergent.  This book is set in a Utopian Chicago after, once again, humans have made terrible choices and destroyed the planet.  To correct the wrongdoings of mankind, the human race is divided into five "factions".  These factions include: abnegation (the selfless), candor (the honest), dauntless (the fearless), erudite (the knowledgeable), and amity (the peaceful).  People within each faction have very little interaction with those in other factions.

At the age of sixteen, adolescents complete a test to determine which character trait they possess.  You might expect children to resemble their parents and thus continue in their current faction, but this is not necessarily the case.  However, regardless of your test result, you may still choose whatever faction you like.  This means you may choose to remain with your family under any circumstances, or you may choose to abandon your family for a new faction.

Following the ceremony in which you must decide your future, you must survive the tasks of initiation or you will be factionless, which seems a fate worse than death.  Without a faction you must live on the outskirts of society, not belonging to any group, utterly alone.

Now the clincher.  If the test determines you possess more than one character trait - perhaps you are both dantless and candid (candor) - this is bad.  And of course this is the fate of our main character.

I enjoyed Divergent and was able to read through it in an afternoon.  It's an interesting concept and being a bit futuristic there are some cool simulators etc that are fun to read about.  The initiation process seems terrifying and therefore is highly entertaining.  And of course, what would a teen book be without a little dose of love?

After reading The Hunger Games, I found Divergent fell a little flat.  I fell in love with Katniss, Peeta, and Gale (the protagonists in THG) and Divergent's heroine, Tris, had a lot to live up to.  Following fantastic books like THG trilogy would be difficult for any author and although Roth provides an entertaining read and interesting concept, the similarities to THG force comparisons to be made.

THG is set in a dystopian society and Divergent is utopian.  In both cases, humans have ruined the world through wars and corruption.  In both the remaining population is divided into groups (THG is divided into 13 districts and Divergent is divided into 5 factions).  A corrupt group is attempting to rule over all the divisions in both novels.  The main character is female in each novel, obviously there is a love interest in both...  As you can see, there are enough similarities to draw comparison.

I feel a little sad for Veronica Roth who released her utopian novel during The Hunger Games craze.  I would still recommend Divergent for your Saturday afternoon read.  You will certainly enjoy the read - although you probably would have enjoyed it more before you read THG.

Veronica Roth also has a blog (although she doesn't seem to be an avid blogger) that has a really cool post about the steps involved while publishing a book!