Friday, 28 August 2009

A Day at the Lake

This is the first post about our little vacation to Ottawa and Halifax. These are all out of order, and quite incomplete...

In Nova Scotia, we took advantage of a lovely, unseasonably warm day (ok, the whole vacation was "unseasonably warm" -- that is, freaking hot and sticky) to go down to the lake.

This is the lake that my grandparents and Aunt Chook have lived on forever, in which I'd spent so much time splashing, catching minnows, being sent in with a bar of soap... So I was very excited to bring Vaughn down to the water for a little dip.

It started well; we put him in nice shallow water, which was delightful and warm, and he splashed a bit and looked around. (Possible caption: "Take the picture! These legs aren't getting any whiter!") (Note to self: if you're going to wear shorts for the first time in August, expect to look a wee bit unbalanced in the tan department.)

Vaughn's (insert relation here -- we spent quite a bit of time debating the label for my cousin's kids: second cousins? Cousins-once-removed? Too complicated) new friends (Ronnie, Kevin, Madeline and Sean, seen in the photo at the top) thought it might be fun to bury him in the sand. As you can tell, everybody thought it was a great idea. Ok, except maybe Vaughn.

When I pulled him out, he was quite dirty, so I stood him in some deeper water to wash him off. He showed off some of his frog kicking, too! He was pretty content, but suddenly...

I noticed a little thing on his ribcage. THERE WAS A LEECH ON MY BABY!!!

Calmly, and without fuss (ha ha!), I lifted him out of the water, saying in a pleasant voice, "THERE'S A LEECH ON MY BABY!!!"

Luckily, Alison, aka WonderWoman, knew what to do. Apparently, you just wait till it lifts its head to move, then pick it off, no problem. She did this easily, and Robin (the leech) was then buried in the sand by the cousin-type people.

Here we are with my hero, after the ordeal.
Vaughn actually didn't notice a thing. I'm ok, though.

Monday, 10 August 2009

7 months: Butt seriously...

Could he get any cuter?

DG Presents: Overachiever!

The housewifely duties continue. In my ever-challenging quest to impress my live-in gourmet (gourmand?), I have taken on a lot of new recipes lately, and some have been huge hits.

For your consideration:

Mango crème brulée

Well, it's not very low in fat or sugar, but surprisingly easy to make, and hey, you get to torch stuff. It's a standard crème brulée recipe, but with a mango purée at the bottom. Deeeelightful.

I finally made use of the Splendid Spoonful, a neat little cookbook of custardy-type things. Yum. And Chris got to fire up the butane torch he got for Christmas. And then we BOTH got to eat the finished product, which was totally delicious. Also, nobody caught on fire.

Two thumbs up!

Four Fruit Cookie Cobbler

This awesome recipe, from Chatelaine (the whole reason I subscribe to Chatelaine is the food section - we've only had one bad experience...more on that later) makes a 9 x 13 pan of goodness. Apples, pears, plums and cranberries, covered with chocolate chip cookie dough, and baked.

Of course, you HAVE to serve it with ice cream!

Although a cup of butter goes into the topping, surely the fruit cancels it out, right?

Perfect Pizza Dough

Again from Chatelaine, this one was surprisingly easy to make, considering that 1) the recipe calls for a food processor, which I don't have, and 2) I'm a klutz.

Good thing Chris wasn't around to watch the process (pizza dough is very sticky) (although you can supposedly "refrigerate in a sealed plastic bag up to two days", it didn't mention that it will rise AGAIN and explode out of the plastic bag, in your fridge) (I may not have had all of the ingredients on hand and maybe had to make some substitutions) (flour gets EVERYWHERE) (as does cornmeal). Anyhoo, the important thing is that the outcome was fantastic. It looked and smelled great, and tasted like REAL pizza dough. Yay, me!

The Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie
Again with a cup of butter. Aside from that, however, it's pretty much identical to the chocolate chip cookie recipe that I took when I left home (Mom's recipe uses shortening).
I kept the 2 cups of chocolate chips, but added a cup each of walnuts and dried cranberries. Nom nom nom.
Chris approved, too!

The final DG moment of the week was fairly miserable.

I attempted "Mojito Pork"*, from Chatelaine, a concoction so terrible that it warrants writing a letter. For once, I followed the recipe exactly (lime juice, ginger, honey, salt, RUM (I waited till 4 to start the marinade, in case I accidentally drank it) and a pork tenderloin, garnished with mint. It looked funny, smelled, as Chris said, "like human", and was only palatable with a bite of grilled pineapple or mashed potatoes. Bleah.

I think it would have been absolutely fantastic without the pork. In a glass.

No photos. Just the urge to brush my teeth again.

* Of course, sensible people would have stopped at the name "Mojito Pork".