Sunday, February 27, 2011

Friday, February 25, 2011

A Treat Named Coffee

My initial reason for giving up coffee this year was because of the elimination of dairy in my diet. I enjoyed a coffee a few times per week and over a few months towards the end of 2010, managed to ween the sugar out and drink my coffee "white" with a good helping of heavy cream (roughly 5 - 7 tbsp per cup).
Unfortunately, dairy is not my friend with the exception of butter. I haven't been able to drink a glass of milk in years without the agonizing cramping of my guts. All types of cheeses have a slightly less severe effect, but still noticeably uncomfortable. I consumed plain yogurt for a number of years, but decided to also give it up this year as part of my dairy elimination. I love yogurt, but admittedly I don't miss it. I have pondered making my own ghee which would eliminate any milk proteins, lactose and casein usually responsible for intestinal mishaps, but butter is a loyal friend, and it doesn't result in ill effects (yet).

I thought gone would be the days I could enjoy a creamy cup of coffee what with the 2011 elimination, but then I discovered Coconut Milk.

4 heaping Tbsps of coconut milk in a cup of coffee and my caffeinated indulgence has returned! I now experience life with 0% bloating, which you can imagine is an incredible feeling. Digestive life just keeps getting better!

Let's just hope that butter hangs in there for me.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Dreams

Dreams are weird.  My dreams are weird.


the internet is also weird
I woke up at 6 am this morning.  Mushi was purring away beside me, his head on my pillow facing me with his little kitten breath on my nose.  It was really sweet cause he's been a bit of a jerk cat lately, but that's for another post. 
As I woke from my deep slumber, I was momentarily convinced in my dreamy state that Mushi was an Organic Salmon and I was petting it.  You know your salmon is really fresh when it purrs and what with it's shiny coat and all.  I think I may have visited St. Lawrence Market one too many times this week.  Dreams are weird.

When I was a kid, my stepfather got me into the habit writing down my dreams when I woke up.  As most kids do, I had nightmares frequently.  I had my notebook handy by the bed and when I had a bad dream I would write down what I could remember.  Also, I would draw a cool picture of my accounts, which made it fun!

One dream that I can still vividly recall now makes me laugh.  I was about 7 or 8 years old.  I was the last human on earth and it had been taken over by cows.  After failing to hide from them, I was captured and enslaved to put up posters for milk.  As I brushed the paste on a fence and put up a poster, I peered over the fence to find a huge vat of milk being stirred by the cows. Then I woke up screaming.  That has to be a terrifying way for parents to wake up.

Writing my dreams down when I was a kid was fun, but I don't think I'd enjoy the task now.  I'd sooner forget many of the dreams I've had in my adult life.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Cherry Blossom Super Happy Dance

I've been dreaming of going to Japan for a number of years.  I've had the opportunity to visit a few times in the past with friends always inviting me to come back with them on their way to visit their family. My issue was always that I couldn't afford it.

I've never travelled off of the North America continent (Cuba and the Dominican Republic don't count) but have enjoyed a few parts of the United States (I love Seattle) and will never go back to Mexico (I don't like being haggled).  I've also seen much of this country, Canada.  British Columbia is my favourite province, so far.  Driving through the Rockies was a breathtaking experience and a 4 hour murderous hike from hell up a glacier was totally worth it when I got to the top.  The view was incredible and it will always stay with me. Then I twisted my ankle on the way back down, which sucked balls along with a severe lobster sunburn, but I digress.

The east coast is also beautiful and I have fond memories of the pebble beaches in Nova Scotia and the winding roads of Cape Breton Island.


Folding Fan - A gift from Yumiko

Robert and I have officially booked a 3 week vacation to Japan!!  I am so excited and scared out of my freaking mind!!  We'll be flying to Osaka to stay with our friend Yumiko and her mom.  It's so incredibly kind of them to let us base ourselves there while we take day trips to Kyoto and Nara.  Robert and I will be heading off after a few days on our own to Tokyo for about a week.  I'm mostly nervous about the language barrier and getting around.  I've taught myself the Japanese characters of Hiragana and know some characters from Katakana.  I have to start working on my numbers because I can only count to ten.  I figure we'll just be playing a lot of charades.  Yumiko thinks it'll be a good experience for us and she plans on "losing us" at some point to see how we make out.  She thinks it's important to struggle in a foreign country and it will put hair on our chest or something.

I'm mostly excited for the photography opportunities.  Since we're going the first 3 weeks of April, we'll be right in the middle of Cherry Blossom (sakura) season.  I think I might die a little (in a good way) when I see the awesomeness of the blooms.  It will be weeks of Shrines, Temples, Castles, parks, incredible history and of course the food.

The weeks are going by quickly and we'll be there in no time.  I can't wait!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Blogging Cats and Purple Squirrels

What would it be like if a cat had a blog, you ask?  This made me laugh today:

My non-adventures

This sort of reminds of the time I made a Myspace page for a character called "The Purple Squirrel".  This rodent stemmed from a childhood inside joke that my friend Caitlin and I had from public school and the character stuck with me.  Noticing a lot of oddities and animal characters created on Myspace pages back in the day, I decided to unleash my creativity by giving the Purple Squirrel a persona.

He wrote journal entries about long lost squirrel loves and squabbles with homeless people in the park over food.  He even had a message to his 1000's of friends letting everyone know to "stay in school, bitch".  I kept the page up for a couple of years, but found the upkeep to be tiresome with the constant friend requests and questions to the Purple Squirrel.  I thought, "these people need to get a life", but here I was . . . a twenty something hiding behind a colourful squirrel.  I needed to get a life. 

After de-activating the account, I immediately regretted it.  Sure it was silly, but it made people smile.  I even caught the occasional reference from his loyal fans messaging eachother to "stay in school, bitch".  I learned a lot with that little guy.  I also developed a lot of Photoshop skills what with all the squirrels I painted purple.

I miss you Purple Squirrel . . .


"Stay in school, bitch!"

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Primal Ketchup

Quite a busy weekend and it's not even over.  Many of our regular chores were accomplished like cleaning, shopping and a kitty litter overhaul.  I fought with a laundry machine today which decided to quit part way and leave our clothes in a lake of dirty water.  I had to haul the soaked mass upstairs and wash it in the tub (I wasn't going to waste another $2 to wash it again).  To make matters worse, it was a load of towels and some sweatpants which equals frickin' heavy when wet.  I filled the tub with warm water and soap and did a grape stomp for a bit.  It made me think of this and I smiled.

I overcooked a beautiful Tri Tip Roast on Friday night and I'm debating over some ideas of how I can consume it so it's not wasted in the garbage.  We prefer our beef medium rare (and sometimes even on the rarer side).  This "thing" I pulled out of the oven resembles more of a grey brown.  It's tough, lifeless and probably because it's a fairly lean cut, dry as dust.  I haven't tried it yet, I just occasionally take it out of the fridge and peer at it through the glass container like some specimen in a jar.  This might be a case where I bring out the homemade ketchup and drown the poor bugger.

Homemade ketchup you ask?  Yes, I've mastered it!.  The recipe is slightly tweaked from The Primal Blueprint Cookbook and it is AMAZING!

Primal Ketchup

Ingredients:

1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
2/3 cup cider vinegar
1/3 cup water
3 Tbsp pure maple syrup
1/2 small cooking onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/8 tsp ground allspice (I don't actually own allspice, so I combine cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves as a substitute)
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp black pepper


















You can mince the onion and garlic together first in a food processor and then add the rest of the ingredients.  Whiz until smooth.  You can add a bit more water if the paste is too thick.  Store in a mason jar in the refridgerator.  Makes roughly 1.5 cups.

This isn't as sweet as commercial ketchup (we don't need a heavy insulin spike) and there is more of a vinegar bite, which is lovely in my opinion.  I added more onion than the original recipe calls for because onion is awesome.  Actually, I couldn't be bothered to measure 3 Tbsp of minced onion, so I just cut one in half and threw it in the food processor.  Close enough and makes a super awesome punch of onion!