A List on a Rainy Weekend

It has been a super rainy weekend and has seriously lacked in productivity. I got up late on Saturday (despite my 7 am alarm aspirations), fumbled through a slow breakfast while I did paperwork and finally made it outside at 10:45 to clock in a few hours of yard work. At approximately 11:05 it began raining. Dang. But then, I came inside and made the most amazing vegan chocolate cookies (which I will post ASAP), updated my iPhone, did the dishes and did my best to not check instagram every 5 minutes. Sunday was more normal with church in the morning (I wore pants so tight that I couldn’t even cross my legs haha!) then a matinee with my mom and sister and later, grandmas 80-something birthday in the evening. Obviously I have had some thoughts this weekend, (cause when do I not?) so I made a list.

  1. I am slightly (and only slightly) ashamed of the copious amount of selfies on my phone…wanna see some?
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Bored Selfie

On-my-way-to-an-adult-job selfie

On-my-way-to-an-adult-job selfie

Wine Drinking selfie

Wine Drinking selfie

1/2 face selfie

1/2 face selfie

New Glasses Selfie

New Glasses Selfie

Gym Selfie

Gym Selfie

Excessive right?

2. Late night gym workouts are actually awesome. I almost always hit up the gym    before noon but Saturday night came and I had no plans, Gary was going out so I decided to do a long medium paced cardio work out. There was almost nobody else at the gym. I listened to country songs too loud and tried to walk backwards on the treadmill. I almost ate it and then laughed at myself.

3. Reading is a much better idea then watching episodes of Dexter on Netflix. Partly cause the show freaks me out and partly cause I just finished the first 9 seasons of Grey’s Anatomy and seriously need a media break. Also, at this rate I am going to be reading East of Eden for 5 years.

4. I can’t wait till it is warm enough to plant my garden! The short, rainy, time I spent  outside on Saturday was so exciting! My flower gardens were looking more healthy and well spaced then ever before. The lack of buttercup growing was also encouraging. I have spent soooo many hours just digging that pesky weed outta my flower beds. ALSO, my rhubarb is shooting up and even has a few leaves starting! Its going to be pie time before I know it!

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First bits of Rhubarb life.

5. Oh dear, I am already at number 5 and I am coming back to the selfie topic. Fantastic. I am now vowing to take more pictures with other people. Do you ever find it awkward to ask someone to take a selfie with you? Or is it just me? Like my friends are generally older then me…and being all….”hey lets take a selfie!” just seems kinda…immature. Or do I just need to get over myself and just be myself Yeah…probably.

6. I am super blessed to have Grandparents and especially to be able to spend time with them as they get older. We make sure to celebrate every birthday with my grandma Garner specifically. I remember last year when she said something about how she didn’t think she had any more birthdays left. That makes me panic a little bit while also feeling super thankful that we did get this whole year with her.

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Grandma on her 89th Birthday

7. Gary bought me a bunch of lamb from a hay customer. The meat I mean. Its in my freezer, not in the barn (just to be clear). I have no clue how to cook it. I have some in the fridge to make into Greek inspired skewers…but what else?

8. Blogging is the ultimate procrastination for working on my adoption book. Cause I am writing things about our life, and posting pictures…which is kinda like my adoption book..except 100x less stressful. If my grammar is bad (likely) and my punctuation is questionable (undoubtedly) it doesn’t matter so much on the blog. In the adoption book it feels like my future, our future, is in the balance of every sentence I write and every picture I select. I know that god is ultimately in charge and I really have to try to remember that when I face the task of getting that book done this week.

So those are my 8 weekend thoughts. Tell me what to do with lamb meat! Weigh in on how you feel about selfies! Come back tomorrow for Double Chocolate Gluten Free Cookies (that also happen to be Vegan!).

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Weekend

Weekend around here are usually not that exciting. Saturdays are a work day like every other and the cows still have to be milked on Sunday.

Because I have been working a lot more then usual, I used this Saturday to catch up on sleep as well as clean up my house! Gary did an awesome job keeping our house tidy during the week, but farm living = never ending dirt. Even when I wasn’t working, it felt like I was cleaning our house constantly! I am not super worried about our house being clean all the time, but I know Gary really likes a clean house so I try and make that happen for him. Maybe that sounds pretty anti feminist… But I really embrace traditional roles and they work for us and our marriage. I love to be home cooking and cleaning, weather that makes me anti feminist or not. 🙂

Here is a snap shot of my weekend:

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Bc young farmer spring party Friday night, so I did my hair for the first time in weeks.

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Saturday, Gary went to an auction and bought a bus….

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My momma brought me three baby chickens as a birthday present!

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My great aunt and uncle came over for dinner Saturday night and I made this cake! I fed them meatballs and rice and broccoli. It wasn’t as fancy as I would normally get for company, but sometimes it’s about the visit more then serving fancy food.

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Sunday consisted of church, lunch at the Veddar Mountain Grille, and relaxing on the couch.

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In the evening we went out for dinner and bowling with some of my cousins. Things like this make me aware of the fact that we are all growing up. We get to choose to be friends rather then just family. It’s a cool feeling, this whole growing up thing. A couple of weeks ago, my younger sister came over to borrow a
Purse and she stayed for few hours. We have never just sat and happily chatted for a few hours. I loved it and look forward to growing all my family relationships into deeper friendships as time goes on.

Fool Proof Roast Beef and Right Living

Today at 11:30am I decided I was going to cook a big family dinner. My two close cousins were coming into town, I had a free afternoon and a roast thawed and ready in the fridge. It was super last minute but everything just worked!

(dinner for 9 please and thank-you)

I spent the morning at the Yarrow Plant Sale with my mom, sister and grandma and then invited them over for coffee and cake and cookies ( ahem yes at 10am) and to come look at my gardens. Also, my mom did my dishes and picked a bunch of pretty blooms from my garden for my kitchen! Lovely.

(These are all from my yard! So fun!)

(garden touring)

(Thank-you Momma!)

Until recently I have not had a green thumb. Not even close! I have actually killed everything I have tried to grow in my house except a Christmas cactus which can go a very long time without water and still come back to life. Early this spring I planted basil and lavender seeds in small containers in my house. To my surprise 99% of the seeds came up and are now living happily in bigger pots! The lavender will take a good year longer till I will ever see flowers. Talk about patience.
I also have spent hourssss weeding and pulling out buttercup ( ahh I HATE buttercup!) from my mostly overgrown rental house gardens. They are now looking pretty good and healthy! I just hope we get to stay here all summer so I can enjoy all my work! I actually am starting to feel knowledgeable in my gardens and really loving being out there on gorgeous, sunny days. I have planted a very small veggie garden of brussle sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, peas, sugar peas, swiss chard, tomatoes, dill, summer savory and mint. Ok that list doesn’t make it seem small..but its like… four or six plants of each and the garden plot is verrry tiny. The herbs and tomatoes are in pots on my porch. Ohh yes and 12 strawberry plants!
Also, I am helping Jill plant her gardens (and to share in the harvest) at my mom and dads house. We expanded the previous garden so we could plant more potatoes and zucchini and cucumbers! Today we worked on weeding a insanely overgrown smaller garden where we hope to plant corn, pumpkins and squash.

Its great gardening with Jill because she knows sooo much and, as a bonus, I get to spend time with my sister. Jill went to UFV and got her horticulture certificate? diploma? I don’t know…two year program thing. Anyways, she knows a lot about all sorts of gardening things so she it a great person to be learning from.

(Matching garden boots)
(Jam cat in the row of peas)
(Essie painted nails permanently caked with mud…also this is probably not good for my wedding rings)

After spending many hours in the gardens today, I made a super great dinner for my cousins, sisters and mom and dad! We had roast beef, roasted potatoes, roasted broccoli and zucchini chunks and a fresh salad. (wow so much roasting going on). It was a super easy dinner to feed so many people! (nine in fact). I did have help from everyone though. For dessert we had left over chocolate sheet cake, ice cream and vanilla sugar strawberries.

(easy, delish dessert)
(tossing broccoli and zucchini)
(medium- cooked roast)
  
Fool Proof Roast Beef
      While this does occupy your oven for quite some time, it also lead to a great, hands off dinner!

2-3lb Roast thawed and brought to room temperature
              (today I used a sirloin tip roast, but I have also used a prime rib roast and a rib roast with success!)

2 tsp Herbes de Provence
1 tsp Garlic Powder

1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Pepper
3 tbsp Olive Oil
*any spice combo would do, this is my favourite right now* 
1. Preheat oven to 375 degree F. Mix together herbs in a small bowl.
2. Rub roast with olive oil then, while your hands are still slimy, rub herbs liberally into roast. Use all the herbs and cover the entire roast.
3. Place roast into a roasting pan fat side up ( if possible) and place in heated oven for 1 hour.
4. After an hour, turn heat off but leave roast in the oven for an additional hour this hour should end about 1 hour before dinner to be served.
5. If you do not need your oven, leave roast in oven till 30 min before serving time. Turn heat back on at 375 degrees F and heat till warmed through. Let sit on counter 10 minutes covered with foil, before slicing. With a three pound roast this should be about medium rare. If your roast is closer to two pounds decrease waiting in the oven time to 1- 1 1/2 hours.

6. If you do need your oven, remove roast from oven and immediately cover roasting pan. Wrap in a towel or place somewhere to keep it warm as long as possible. 30 minutes before serving place back in oven till headed through. Let sit on counter ten minutes covered with foil, slice and serve.

*cooking longer during the second heating time will result in a more well done cut of meat. Mine was in for 45 minutes and was medium-well done*

Cereal

Every single day, Gary has cereal. Two bowls when he comes in from the barn and then two bowl right before bed. That is a lot of cereal. I have estimated that one large box, lasts about 1 1/2 weeks. I should clarify, he only eats Bran Flakes. There is no substitution. No Honey Nut Cheerios, no Shredded Wheat, no Honey Bunches Of Oats. Just Bran Flakes. 
 I do not like Bran Flakes. I will eat them if you make me, or if I decide for 5 minutes I want to eat healthy breakfast. Blah. You have to eat them sooo fast or else you have soggy bran-y mush and that is a consistency that I just can not swallow. 
Back 11months ago, when Gary and I got married, I knew this about him. What I didn’t know was how this was only a glimpse into the crazy things he does. (crazy in the most loving way of course) 
I think in the past two weeks, I have said to him ” you are just insane!” so many times…I can’t even count. 
I usually laugh, shake my head, and then wonder what our kids are going to be like. 
When ever I tell Gary he is insane, his most common response is ” hahaha honeyyy, its not that bad, your forgetting about how good I am to you hahaha, remember last night we went out for quality time and I bought you ice cream, you should blog about this. You are sooo funny when you are frustrated, your hair just bops around and you say funny things” 
ps. Quality time when he bought me ice cream was going across the boarded to look at cows and we stopped at a dairy store so Gary could go to the bathroom and I bought myself ice cream and then we looked at cows for 2 hours and then came home. Obviously, this was a date night…
Seriously, he says my hair “bops” around. and then he can’t stop laughing.  I usually laugh too. It makes it hard being frustrated. 
Anyways. Gary’s strict cereal  preferences are a metaphor for his life…unexpected, strange and a little over the top
And if cereal is a metaphor for Gary’s life…
Maybe it is for mine too…
I bought Halloween Captain Crunch. Its like candy for breakfast. 
I would be lying, if I said the fact that the ghosts turn the milk green wasn’t a selling feature. 
Marketing companies really know how to suck me in. 
My Cereal shelf also contains Mini Wheats
Honey Puffed Kashi ( Basically Sugar Crisp…with a little less sugar) 
Apple Cinnamon Cheerios
 I also have instant chocolate oatmeal and 2 varieties of granola. Unfortunately I do not usually eat cereal or yogurt or anything like that for breakfast. I much prefer pie. 
I am not sure what this says about me other then the fact the I like to eat sweet stuff. Perhaps that I am a bad decision maker? 
I really just wanted to show you my Halloween Captain Crunch. Its tasty. 

When "Bake Zucchini Cake" is on Your To-Do List, Your Bound to Get at Least One Thing Done

I need lists. I am probably the biggest procrastinator you know. I can waste too much time on Facebook, Pinterest , and blogs that I get nothing done for hours!

So I make lists. Every morning while I eat breakfast and check Facebook, I make my list of things that need doing that day. Usually there is at least one house cleaning item, dinner, some yard work and some impossible task that getting written down day after day and never actually gets done. ie. paint the living room, clean the fridge, go to the bottle depot ( I hate going to the bottle depot…is like…wahoo I am going to bring in all these bottles and cans I have been saving all this time and get some money and then I can feel awesome…and then you go and empty out the sticky bags and take all the lids off the bottles and sort all the different sizes and then bring them up to the counter and they ring it through…”and you get $4.67 back today, don’t spend it all in one place!” gee…thanks…)  . Anyways, that was a little side note.

So yesterday I started my day by making a list…

 Yeah, its messy…but really who else was supposed to read it? For about 30 seconds I considered making a nice neat one and fakin’ it for the picture…but this is real life. 
I like how I felt the need to clarify that I only “sort of” needed groceries. Meaning, of course, that I only needed eggs and cinnamon sticks. 
By the end of the day, I had completed all of the things on my list except cleaning the upstairs bathroom, and reprocessing my unsealed pears. 
I did find it funny that I added “Bake zucchini cake” to the list. Because really…since when did I need to remind myself to bake? It probably would be better if I forgot once in a while. Haha..not likely. 
Anyways, I made the zucchini cake. This was my second time and my oh my..its just so tasty. Just a little chocolatey, and a little zucchini-y and perfectly soft and tender and moist and really really great for breakfast. (But really, what cake isn’t?)  Um on the topic of eating cake for breakfast, just the other day, somebody was quite shocked that pie is a regular breakfast item at my (and my parents!) house. I think I have a dessert problem. 
Ugh I keep getting off topic! So I made the cake. And its really really good. And you should totally make it. 
This is what it looks like. Kinda plain, I know. The actual recipe says to top it with chocolate chips, but you know me..always trying to cut down on the sugar, so I left them out. 
Actually I just forgot. And I found it totally tasty this way. 
This recipe I found through Tasty Kitchen  and is actually from another girl/lady’s blog, so when that happens I don’t generally like to post the recipe on my blog. So here is the LINK . I have not spent too much time on this blog yet, but it looks interesting! She even took step by step pictures! Yay. 🙂 

Now You Know

Can I share something with you? I mean its not that deep. It wont change your life or anything. 
I hate unloading the dish washer. I don’t know why. I just do. So you can imagine, when today I found myself with a small pile of dirty dishes:
And the “clean” light glowing on the dish washer:

I sighed, ate a strawberry dipped in chocolate sauce, checked facebook, checked twitter, then opened the dish washed and did what I had to do. 
I know. Monumental.
Can I share something else with you? 
You may or may not know, Gary (my husband) and I moved about 1 month ago. We live in a super cute and good sized house on a dairy farm we rent. Its great. We had our whole old house all packed up and we were all ready to move. We had rented a farm and a house and we were good to go. About 2 weeks before we were supposed to move, everything fell through. We had to find a new place to live and a new place to milk our cows. We had 2 weeks. ( The reason our deadline was so short was because we had to go to Toronto to film dragons den! It was a crazy time) So 1 week went by. We still had nothing. Not a thing. By the beginning of the second week…we had 6 days to find a place to live and move. I was a big ball of stress. I walked around with my hands in fists constantly. I do that when I am stressed out. 
Case and point, above picture. This is the day ( or 2) before my wedding. There was lots to be done. LOTS. and  my mom made us stop and take a picture. My fists were balled so tight that day. There is about 8 other pictures that my hands look exactly like that. Sheesh I need to calm down. 
Anyways, this is totally beside the point. 
We had no where to move I was stressed out. 
Then we found a farm and it had a house! But the house was going to be rented. Shoot. Then the owner of the house talked to the soon-to-be renter about us moving in instead and the soon-to-be renter said that was ok and we could move there! This happened on Monday. We had to move by Friday. We had NEVER been inside the house. It was a bit scary. 
So on Tuesday we got the keys and I went in the house for the first time. Gary was on Vancouver Island delivering hay and two guys that work for us were loading up trucks to bring all our stuff over. 
The house could have been a disaster. It could have been a mess. It could have been stuck in the 80`s or 70`s or some other era. But it wasn’t/ isn’t. Its actually amazing. Pretty. Newish. Clean. Big. 
The only room that left me questioning was the office/main-room-off-the-kitchen-thats-weirdly-open-but-not-the-living-room room. 
It looks like and ocean. Sort of. There are waves. And orange trim. 
You thought I was kidding.

I mean, the waves are very nicely done. Perfectly shaped and everything. But really. Waves? The orange trim only goes up half the door. I don’t know why. Sooner then later this needs to get painted. Though I am tempted to leave it. People think its funny… sort of. 
Oh and of course there are dogs in the ocean. See: 

Now you know. 

Citrus-Mint Granita

I have a fabulous husband. I do.

This is Gary milking our cows for the very first time! 

I was their too…It was evidently a chilly day. 

 He’s great. Sometimes he brings me tea ( large earl grey doubledouble from Tim Hortans) or calls me from the Starbucks line to ask what I want. Sometimes he leaves me little notes telling me he loves me or brings me a card and a new plant to try and keep alive. But lately, the best, nicest, thing he does for me? Lets me sleep in through milking.
     As some of you know, a couple of weeks ago ( ? I have no actual idea how long it has been…it feels like forever!) we started milking cows. Our own cows. So obviously we are responsible for seeing that these lovely cows get milked every single day, twice. We milk at 5:30 am and 5:30 pm. So getting up at 5:30…sucks. Well actually its not that bad. Its usually beautiful in the morning at that time. But sleep is definitely lacking. So last night, he said I could sleep in! yay! and sleep I did. I didn’t hear the alarm go off, I didn’t hear Gary getting ready to go outside, I didn’t hear him come back in the house or crawl back into bed. I just slept slept slept till 9:30 am. It was lovely!
( how many times did I say lovely in that paragraph?)

     So now that I am refreshed and well rested, I can do some blog posts! Today is a dreary day but I am bundled up sitting on a big comfy couch on my back porch. with a blanket and my laptop. I am very blessed to have such a good life.

So basically, I have a recipe today! I made grapefruit/tangerine/lemon and mint sorbet/granita yesterday. Its delish, sweet and refreshing. I am going to call it Citrus-mint Granita. Because you could totally use any kind of tangy citrus that you wished.

This recipe is really simple. really. 
Citrus-Mint Granita
1 1/2 cup water
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup fresh squeezed citrus 
( I used 1 large pink grapefruit, 2 tangerines, 1/2 a lemon, I added some of the grapefruit and tangerine pulp too) 
A small handful of fresh mint. ( I used about 1/3 of a cup whole leaves) 
1) Put water and sugar in a pot over medium heat and stir occasionally until all the sugar is melted.
2) Add mint and fruit juice and stir. Bring to barely a boil then take off heat. Here I had a bit of a problem. One recipe I was reading said to put this all in a blender…so I did. Only hot hot juice in a blender equals hot hot juice all over your kitchen. Don’t do that. Your clean floors will not be sticky and thats not fun. 
3) Pour hot mixture through a fine strainer and take out all the chunkies. 
4) Put bowl of juice/fruit/mint mixture in the freezer until solid. I stirred mine once in a while to make it lose and icy. Next time I will pour into my ice cream maker. I think it will be more sorbet-like that way.