Category Archives: Cooking

On NPH, Joshua Jackson & Apple Picking

Wait for it...wait for it...

Wait for it...wait for it...

It’s been another long lapse between posts, so there is much to catch up on.

First up: my renewed love of Neil Patrick Harris. Over the past week Chaddy and I burned through season four of How I Met Your Mother. It’s such a fun, light show–perfect before-bed viewing for the kind of week I had. The characters crack me up, but none of them come even close to Neil Patrick Harris’ Barney Stinson. Barney is a misogynistic, egotistical, over the top and completely lovable character played to perfection by NPH. If you haven’t watched this show, give it a chance, even if it’s just for Barney. It’s worth it. Trust.

Next up: Joshua Jackson on Fringe. We bought this series a few weeks back based on some good reviews in Entertainment Weekly and really liked it. It’s a bit X Files-ish, but the characters are fantastic and the plot is engrossing. One of the biggest revelations for me was Joshua Jackson. Sure, I’ve been impressed with his recent red carpet forays with his gorgeous girlfriend Diane Kruger, but as far as his acting goes I assumed I’d never see more than Pacey Witter. As Peter Bishop on Fringe, Joshua shines. He’s witty, smart,  and is a great match for actor John Noble, who plays his father, wonderfully. Way to go, JJ. You’ve officially left Pacey in the dust.

Today we went to Chudleigh’s Apple Farm for our annual visit. This is our third year in a row picking apples, going through the hay maze, petting animals, and choosing our Halloween pumpkin, and it’s something we always look forward to. Fall is one of my favourite times in Ontario, largely because it’s actually a season–in Saskatchewan it generally goes from summer to winter in about a week. I must say, though,  the whole apple picking thing had a different ring to it this year. Since our first trip to Chudleigh’s, I’ve developed a wicked apple allergy, so nothing we picked is for me. Also, since last year Chad’s had his stomach removed, and crunchy apples aren’t the easiest food to digest without a stomach, so he’s not going to be eating anything. And the kiddo–well–I’d say she’ll eat two out of the dozen we picked. It looks like I’ll have to spend one night this week making applesauce and apple crumble. Any other good apple recipes  you can recommend that don’t involve making pastry?

I’m going to try and be a better blogger this week. We’ll see how it goes.




Filed under Cooking, Family, TV

Community Service

Lunchtime Woes

Lunchtime Woes

With my little one starting JK this week, I’m faced with the hand-wringing task of packing her lunch (she’s attending two different JK programs, eating lunch at the afternoon session). She’s a double-whammy for food stress–she is incredibly picky and eats as little as possible–so the notion of packing her healthy, well-rounded, delicious lunches is daunting. I’m already anticipating that she’ll bring home a full lunch bag every day.

So, in my moment of worry, I did what any modern mom would do: I went online. I searched some recipe sites and didn’t find much (I’ve already tried “tricking” her into eating by making butterfly sandwiches and caterpillars made out of veggies, but she sees right through it). My next step was turning to Facebook and Twitter, and guess what? Within minutes I had several suggestions, reassurances and similar stories.  I realized that I wasn’t the only mom fretting about this issue, and that my kid was entirely normal.

I’m a big fan of social networking tools for a lot of reasons, but yesterday’s experience was one of my favourites: there is a huge community of great people out there who are willing to share. That’s my idea of community service.

Here are some of the sites recommended through Facebook and Twitter:

I’m still taking recommendations–leave a comment if you have any lunchtime ideas.



Filed under Cooking

Quinoa is Keen



Since Chad’s surgery (read if you’re not up to speed), he’s had a hard time eating protein. It’s been five months since he’s had his stomach removed, and we’re still figuring out how to eat as a family–between a stomachless husband and a picky 4 year old, I’m either eating leftovers for days or throwing food out.

Last week we had dinner with friends, and Chad was able to eat a quinoa salad without any difficulty, so I made one for him tonight. It gives him the protein he needs and seems to go down smoothly. It was also delicious. Here’s the recipe I used, if you’re interested–I got it from

Easy Vegan Quinoa Salad

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cups cold water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup snow peas, shell peas, celery, or green beans (I used shell peas)
  • 1 – 2 small carrots, peeled and sliced thin
  • 1/2 green or red pepper, sliced thin (I used a red pepper)
  • 1 medium ripe tomato
  • 1 medium cucumber, peeled and diced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, cilantro, or basil (I used basil)
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted sunflower seeds or toasted cashews (I skipped this)
  • Options: Chopped scallions, dried unsweetened cranberries, raisins or apricots, Greek olives, minced jalapeno pepper, fresh mint (I also skipped this)


  • 2 Tblsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • Options: Pinch of cayenne, garlic powder or fresh minced garlic, minced fresh or dried ginger

Quinoa Salad Directions

  1. The quinoa can be made ahead of time and refrigerated if you like
  2. Soak the quinoa 15 minutes in cold water
  3. Rinse thoroughly, pour off most of the water and drain through a large fine mesh strainer
  4. Place in 2 qt pot with the water, salt and oil
  5. Bring to a boil
  6. Turn the heat down to very low, cover and cook for 15 minutes
  7. Remove from heat and allow to sit five minutes with lid on
  8. Fluff gently with a fork and set aside to cool. Setting the pan in a sink full of cold water cools quickly.
  9. Steam the carrots and green veg for 5 minutes, rinse in cold water
  10. Chop the tomatoes, herb and cucumber
  11. Blend dressing ingredients with a whisk or shake in a jar
  12. Gently combine veggies, walnuts, quinoa and dressing in a large bowl
  13. Cover and chill


Oh, and if you’re wondering, I have no opinion on the kick-off episode of So You Think You Can Dance Canada, as I missed it. I don’t know about you, but I rarely consider tuning into anything at 7:30pm. Terrible time for a show. Terrible.



Filed under Cooking, So You Think You Can Dance, TV