Sunday, July 26, 2009

Eff You M.N.

I've had it with the crappy summer we've been having. Rain, rain and more rain. It was the same last summer as well. Every camping trip we tried to go on, we were either rained out or we just sucked it up, stuck through it and got wet. Really, really wet. We've taken advantage of our little camper ONCE this season and it's already nearing the end of July. I have only had my a/c on ONCE this year and let it run for only three days. (which is great for the environment but not great for my husband who can't find work because of the weather and especially not great for my summer in general!)
I am not an angry person and do not usually get mad about things that are beyond my control, but today was different. I've had it with the weather. I'm at the end of my rope. We had a rain storm so bad today that my belongings in my basement are now swimming. We were flooded. Not just us either. Our entire court got hit and I think my SIL's place probably has the most damage from what we hear. Brutal. Eff You, Mother Nature. Give us some sunshine already!

I Have The Vegetarian Gene

For some people being Vegetarian is a choice. It is an effort to go without meat and they are using will power to refrain from falling back into their old habits. It's similar to how I struggle when I'm trying to lose a few pounds. I have all good intentions and can sometimes go months and months of "being good" about it.... and then I fall off the wagon. People want to go meatless but have a hard time doing so. To those people I say "thank you for your efforts. You are making the world a better place just by trying."

For myself along with many others, being Vegetarian is not a choice. It's who we are. I am a blue eyed girl with white skin and brown hair but did not choose to look like this. I was born this way. I was born Vegetarian. So was my sister. I believe it's genetic. We are who we are. My mother never forced us to eat meat as children but she did offer it to us in our younger years. She has never been a much of a meat eater herself but always made my father his" manly meat meals." She does chicken and fish but even that is something she is very picky about. I could NOT be coaxed into eating meat poultry or fish. You could offer me all the world has to offer and I could not train myself to be a meat eater. It would be like trying to train someone who is gay to be attracted to the opposite sex. That would make no sense. I remember being in grade one and feeling nauseous by the smell of bologna sandwiches. Everyone brown-bagged it back then and no one used ice packs. The result was a class room filled with the smell of warm meat and it made me physically ill. I also had trouble on hot dog days. The smell would make me vomit and so I was a go-home-for-lunch sort of kid.

I have a meat loving husband and when he cooks bacon I can't be home. I barf every time he cooks it and I get very emotional about it. The same goes for ribs, lamb etc. I can't handle it. I am fortunate that he understand and respects who I am and will usually wait until I am out to cook. Alternatively we eat out often so he gets his meat-fix in restaurants, making it less of an issue at home. He is usually content eating vegetarian at home.

It is difficult to explain to someone who has been a meat eater their entire life why I am vegetarian. I'm often questioned about raising my children vegetarian as if I'm committing a crime. QUICK, CALL CHILD SERVICES! SHE IS FEEDING THEM A VEGETARIAN DIET!! AND HAS BEEN DOING SO SINCE BIRTH! SINCE BIRTH! LOCK HER UP! SHE'S CRAZY! Truth is, my oldest is exactly like me. I can tell already he has "the vegetarian gene." He gags at the sight and smell of meat, he doesn't like anything gummy or gelatin-like and is hesitant about what he is being asked to eat and wants to know what is in it first. He loves salad, soy and asks if he can just eat extra healthy food instead of taking his multi vitamin. His body accepts him being vegetarian because he is bigger and taller than any of the kids his age. He always has been. And I mean taller by far. My youngest on the other hand may just be like his Daddy. He is curious about meat and asks a lot of questions. He is disturbed by some of the truths around eating meat so I'm not sure which way he is going to go in the future. I need to be honest with myself and recognize he just may not carry the vegetarian gene. I can educate him however and always hope that he continues to be vegetarian by choice. My in-laws didn't understand it when I first met them over 16 years ago. I'm still not sure they understand it but they are tolerant about it and accommodate it. My grandmother-in-law however has to challenge it every time we have a meal together. It is very exhausting and draining having the same conversation time after time. I can't expect her to understand it. She lived in a generation where that wouldn't be acceptable. My mum has often spoken of her aunt who used to host family gatherings in Scotland. She would put out big dinners in the dining room then hide in the kitchen to eat her plate of vegetables! That generation was raised to eat what was on their plate regardless of what was being served. They were meat and potatoes people through and through and so she was an outcast. Vegetarianism is by choice for some but it's hereditary for others. I was born vegetarian.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

I Was Born Vegetarian

For some people being Vegetarian is a choice. It is an effort to go without meat and they are using will power to refrain from falling back into their old habits. It's similar to how I struggle when I'm trying to lose a few pounds. I have all good intentions and can sometimes go months and months of "being good" about it.... and then I fall off the wagon. People want to go meatless but have a hard time doing so. To those people I say "thank you for your efforts. You are making the world a better place just by trying."

For myself along with many others, being Vegetarian is not a choice. It's who we are. I am a blue eyed girl with white skin and brown hair but did not choose to look like this. I was born this way. I was born Vegetarian. So was my sister. I believe it's genetic. We are who we are. My mother never forced us to eat meat as children but she did offer it to us in our younger years. She has never been a much of a meat eater herself but always made my father his" manly meat meals." She does chicken and fish but even that is something she is very picky about. I could NOT be coaxed into eating meat poultry or fish. You could offer me all the world has to offer and I could not train myself to be a meat eater. It would be like trying to train someone who is gay to be attracted to the opposite sex. That would make no sense. I remember being in grade one and feeling nauseous by the smell of bologna sandwiches. Everyone brown-bagged it back then and no one used ice packs. The result was a class room filled with the smell of warm meat and it made me physically ill. I also had trouble on hot dog days. The smell would make me vomit and so I was a go-home-for-lunch sort of kid.

I have a meat loving husband and when he cooks bacon I can't be home. I barf every time he cooks it and I get very emotional about it. The same goes for ribs, lamb etc. I can't handle it. I am fortunate that he understand and respects who I am and will usually wait until I am out to cook. Alternatively we eat out often so he gets his meat-fix in restaurants, making it less of an issue at home. He is usually content eating vegetarian at home.

It is difficult to explain to someone who has been a meat eater their entire life why I am vegetarian. I'm often questioned about raising my children vegetarian as if I'm committing a crime. QUICK, CALL CHILD SERVICES! SHE IS FEEDING THEM A VEGETARIAN DIET!! AND HAS BEEN DOING SO SINCE BIRTH! SINCE BIRTH! LOCK HER UP! SHE'S CRAZY! Truth is, Carter is exactly like me. I can tell already he has "the vegetarian gene." He gags at the sight and smell of meat, he doesn't like anything gummy or gelatin-like and is hesitant about what he is being asked to eat and wants to know what is in it first. He loves salad, soy and asks if he can just eat extra healthy food instead of taking his multi vitamin. His body accepts him being vegetarian because he is bigger and taller than any of the kids his age. He always has been. And I mean taller by far. Callum on the other hand may just be like his Daddy. He is curious about meat and asks a lot of questions. He is disturbed by some of the truths around eating meat so I'm not sure which way he is going to go in the future. I need to be honest with myself and recognize he just may not carry the vegetarian gene. I can educate him however and always hope that he continues to be vegetarian by choice. My in-laws didn't understand it when I first met them over 16 years ago. I'm still not sure they understand it but they are tolerant about it and accommodate it. My grandmother-in-law however has to challenge it every time we have a meal together. It is very exhausting and draining having the same conversation time after time. I can't expect her to understand it. She lived in a generation where that wouldn't be acceptable. My mum has often spoken of her aunt who used to host family gatherings in Scotland. She would put out big dinners in the dining room then hide in the kitchen to eat her plate of vegetables! That generation was raised to eat what was on their plate regardless of what was being served. They were meat and potatoes people through and through and so she was an outcast. Vegetarianism is by choice for some but it's hereditary for others. I was born vegetarian.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Veggie Kabobs

Choose all your favourite veggies. I use mushrooms, green zuchini, yellow zuchini squash, red, yellow, orange & green sweet peppers, grape or cherry tomatoes, sweet onion etc etc. Cut them, with the exception of the mushrooms which you want to leave whole, into bite size pieces. (but not too small-you want them the be big enough that they won't break off the skewer. Also, if you like tofu, cut a block up into large cubes and mix in with the veggies.

I marinate the veggies in a peanut satay sauce (I use a store bought marinade) a few tablespoons of vegetable oil and salt & pepper to taste. Toss with the veggies and tofu let them sit in a covered bowl in the fridge for about an hour. I soak the bamboo skewers in water prior to arranging the veggies on them in whichever order is most appealing to the eye. Lay them on a cookie sheet and brush with the marinade before putting on the BBQ. They don't take long on the grill. Watch for the edges getting charred.... there is nothing worse then blackened veggies! Serve with rice.

Peace Love and Fitba

I am the first one born in Canada on both sides of my family. My parents and the rest of my extended family are from Scotland. My boys are surrounded by people with Scottish accents and so it's no wonder they pick up certain phrases and words. Since the time Callum first learned how to talk, he has been all about sports. Soccer is one of his favourites but he has always referred to it as "football". My family calls soccer "football" and football "American Football." (cuz thats not confusing!) Anyways, Callum picked up the term football at a very young age and even learned the accent to go with it. "Fitba."

He calls it fitba just like the rest of my family says it. We have tried to correct him and remind him we call it soccer or football without the accent but it's sticking with him. He won't stop saying it. It's hilarious. Peace, Love and Fitba.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

It Goes Under You're Pillow, Silly

Carter told me today he used to think the Tooth Fairy would come to you in your sleep while your tooth was still loose and yank it from your mouth. It wasn't until his first tooth fell out (at four years old!) when he realized it falls out on it's own and you put it under your pillow for the Fairy to retrieve. The poor kid must have had nightmares about it leading up to it all!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I'm Taking My Parka


I live in Canada and know I have no right to complain about how cold it is here from October to May. The nasty winter weather we get is all part of being a true Canadian. I don't get angry about having to shovel the driveway four times in a day just to keep it from piling higher than my front doorway. I get just as excited as the kids when the local news tells us it's a "Snow Day" and school is cancelled. No, I have no right to complain about the weather in the winter. I live in Canada. After all, we have summer to look forward to, all winter long!

So here it is, July 22nd and I'm getting ready to meet my girlfriends for a Girls Night Out. For a typical July summer evening, I'd need to choose something sleeveless as at this hour I'd normally be melting. I'd consider taking something with sleeves for much later in the evening in case we hit a patio but I probably wouldn't need it. It would be left in the car but there just in case. All year, I look forward to these kind of outings where I can expose my newly painted pedicured toes in my Birkenstocks (will never gives those up) and sport whatever styley new shirt I bought to go out to meet the girls in.

Today as I mentioned, it's July 22nd ... and today I am in a sweater and pants. It is so FREAKIN' FAR from a typical July summer night that I'm feeling COMPLETELY ripped off by Mother Nature right now. It is a high of nineteen degrees today. There isn't even any sunshine to make it appear summer-like! (quick look out the window...) OMG, it's POURING RAIN now!! Thanks a lot MN. You are ruining summer.

Well, I'm off now to meet the girls but we'll be skipping the patio by the looks of things. I'm taking my parka to leave in the car.... just in case!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

RIP Tori Stafford

I cannot even imagine what the Stafford family must be going through today. Victoria Stafford's remains have been found. I can't imagine how they have been coping all these weeks since Tori's disappearance. Since April 8th when we first heard of her being led away from her own school yard, I've often found myself thinking (and hoping) for her. With Tori being so close in age to my own son, this story has hit very close to home for me.
As a teenager, I was traumatized by horrific death of our school mate Leslie Mahaffy. She will never be forgotten. To think that these situations even occur and can happen in our own neighbourhood is absolutely nausiating. What sort of world are we living in? I am in constant fear for the safety of our kids and am saddened for the loss of so many innocent children who have died at the hands of demons.
RIP Tori.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Cold Stone Good!

Cold Stone Creamery opened up near us and ice cream is what Callum wanted for breakfast. Carter is at big kid camp this week so we're having a "Camp Callum" closer to home. This is how our day began.... can it get any sweeter than that?

Neighbours

Neighbours. There are good ones and bad ones. I have a lovely family who lives on the West side of me and the Wicked Witch of the East who lives on the East side of me. The lovely neighbour is the one who delivers me a Toblerone bar when she knows I'm having a not-so-great day, I can leave my kids with her when I'm in a pinch and she invites me over for Ladies Nights with other lady neigbours in her hot tub and around her backyard fireplace. We drink wine til I literally have to crawl back to my house. She grew up around here and has lived in the court since it was built 20 years ago. She is awesome. The perfect neighbour I'll call her, although her name is Teresa.
The other witch is the bizzaro version of Teresa. She is anti social, fairly new to the court and nasty, nasty nasty. She has created a crazy shrine in her yard and has boarded up our fence so she doesn't have to look at our what must be totally repulsive sandbox and kids toys that lay around our yard. She screams when she speaks and she had made enemies with many of the neighbours around here. She tells me (well, screamed at me) that this was her 18th home.... so I'm thinking WHEN IS SHE GOING TO BE MAKING HER MOVE TO THE 19TH?? WHEN ALREADY? What the hell did I do to deserve her and why hasn't she moved yet?

Friday, July 17, 2009

Susie & Jenn + Ten


ABOVE: My group of seven.

It seems whenever I meet up with my friend Susie we have an abundance of children with us. Either I have 5 and she has 5 or if she just has her own 3, then thats the day I end up with 7.... regardless we call them "Susie & Jenn + 1o" days. It's what our lives have become and we wouldn't want it any other way. Our children are growing up together.
There was a time I recall way back when (pause for a moment as I drift down memory lane) when Susie and I were young, unmarried and childless. Neither of us were ever bad-ass kids but we did have our fun. In high school we had a few classes together and the most memorable was definitely German class. I'm embarrassed to say this but I think we may have been the cause of Frau B's nervous breakdown..... seriously. (We did earn an OAC in Deutsch Klasse though!)
As I look at our own children now I wonder what friends they will have, what sort of teenagers will they be and what kind of person will they become? My hope for them is that they have as much fun on their journeys through life as Susie and I are having and that they find life long friends along the way. Hey, if they all turn out to be like her & I, then they'll have done alright in life.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

"The" Conversation

Someone close to us, but I won't say who, is going for a vasectomy tomorrow. As a gift we bought him coconut cream pie and a sympathy card in which we wrote "When life eff's with the cream in your coconuts, eat coconut cream pie and feel better." We thought it was funnier than he did. Although Chris and I both think we are done having kids, we just can't go "there" yet. I am very happy with two children and I am not yearning to have a baby in the house again but neither of us are ready to take that conversation just yet.

Chris hasn't admitted this but I do think he feels a vasectomy would compromise his manhood. Let there be no mistake; when the time comes to consider getting it done, I will NOT buy into that crap. He will be frozen for the procedure, the pain will last a few days and he gets to sleep it off! It's really nothing in comparison to what us woman have to endure. Including the pregnancies where I miscarried I have been pregnant a total of 25 months, was in labour for 31 hours WITHOUT drugs (not even for the episiotomy!) and had a six week recovery period times two where I was completely sleep deprived, hormonal and.... well, lets not get into the gory details.

No, we haven't gone there yet. "The" conversation hasn't hit the table in our house.... yet. We can't make the commitment to get snipped, because getting snipped means we would be making the commitment to be done....

Monday, July 13, 2009

I do NOT have a big mouth!

I'll admit it. I've been told I have a big mouth. More than once even. But today, those people were proven WRONG!

I enjoy going to the dentist almost as much as I would enjoy eating my own arm. I went to my new dentist today for my new patient visit. The hygienist cleaned and scraped and counted and measured and poked and told me she was going to perform a probing exam.... Excuse me?? A what? Turns out it was NOT what I had thought and it wasn't so bad after all. While the dentist was checking my teeth (and commenting on how cute the one baby tooth I still have is; I totally got ripped off by the Tooth Fairy) she said to me "You have a really little mouth".

And there we have it. Spoken by a true professional. I "have a really
l-i-t-t-l-e mouth." I think I'm gonna like this new dentist!


Sunday, July 12, 2009

But How Much Will I Get Paid?

Here is a link from momversation.com where the ladies talk about the subject of giving an allowance to your children.
We have certain things we expect Carter to do for this allowance he has requested. The tasks linked to the money he gets are for jobs that make my life easier and would not typically be expected of him. I expect him to keep his room tidy, scrape his plate and put it in the sink after he eats as well as many other "must do" tasks that contribute to the overall well being of the family. We give him money for making his bed, dusting etc etc. We have a catch though.... for every job that he is paid to do and skips doing it, he gets docked $1.00 meaning in a few short days he could be down to zero. This allowance thing has been ongoing now for five months and there has only been one week where he had to docked... and it was only for $2. So far so good! Also, it has COMPLETELY taken the pressure off me having to cave when we go to a store and he wants something. He now has his own money to buy the things he wants and has been making very wise spending decisions I must add. I do like the idea from the video where the child gets a certain amount to spend, a certain amount to save and a certain amount is set aside for charity.... I'm thinking we'll incorporate that in the raise I'm sure he'll be asking for sooner than later!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

I Want To Live Forever Young

I always think of my childhood friend Laura when I hear this song. She introduced me to it way back when.... when we had very little cares in the world. Our days consisted of hanging out talking about our plans and dreams. We have grown up now and have realized many of those dreams, created wonderful families of our own and have many, many cares in this world. I hope those childhood days will never become vague in my memory. I know in my heart we will always live forever young.
Children from this world-famous Staten Island public school sing "Forever Young"

Hot Bowtie Pasta

500g box of farfalle pasta (bowtie)
2 Tbsp veg oil
1 cup thickly sliced white mushrooms or small button mushrooms whole
1 green chile sliced thin (don't discard the seeds)
2 cups bruschetta
1/2 cup snow peas (optional)
salt & pepper to taste

Boil the pasta according the the package directions and drain.
In 2 tbsp of veg oil, sautee the mushrooms. Stir in the snow peas and sautee until plump and crisp.
Add in green chilies and bruschetta and sautee for just a minute or two before adding in the pasta.
Mix well, add salt & pepper and serve.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Roller Coasters Will Never Be The Same

Never ever in my life was I afraid of roller coasters.... until I became a mother. Carter asked me to on Dragon Mountain with him and I pulled at his seat belt and safety bar making sure it was on properly until the second we started to move. I stretched my arm across him diagonally (like I was going to catch him if he were to fall out!) and away we went. We looped upside down, went through tunnels and at a speed that made me feel like I had a facelift. When we got off, Carter was "whoot whooing" about how great that was as I tried not to show how much agony I was in! I had pulled something in my neck & back. I had clenched my muscles the entire ride to be sure I could stop Carter from falling out if by chance he did, and now I had injured myself. That was once me "whoot whooing" after a cool ride..... but now I'm that parent needs to sit and take some ibuprofen before I can carry on for a fun filled day in the theme park with my kids.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

That's Why We Don't Eat Animals

I just finished reading the story "That's Why We Don't Eat Animals" by Ruby Roth to my vegetarian-since-birth children and it explained what factory-farms are in a very direct and clear way. It was sent to us by my sister and I'm certain it will be a story my kids will want to hear again and again as the questions were flowing!

Thats Why We Don't Eat Animals- by Ruby Roth

I just finished reading the story "That's Why We Don't Eat Animals" by Ruby Roth to my vegetarian-since-birth children and it explained what factory-farms are in a very direct and clear way. It was sent to us by my sister and I'm certain it will be a story my kids will want to hear again and again as the questions were flowing!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Fur Coat Lady

My seven year old vegetarian-since-birth son just saw a lady on TV with a fur coat on and said "Look at her wearing a fur coat! I just want to pick up a rock and throw it at her!"

omigosh, PETA would be proud! (and my sister will be as well!)

Monday, July 6, 2009

Movie Going

So, the boys wanted to go see another boy movie and I really had my heart set on seeing My Sister's Keeper. There was no way I was going to talk Chris into a "chick flick" and the boys didn't seem to care if I went to their show or not. When we got to the theatre, I noticed it was pretty empty for a Sunday afternoon and there were not a lot of people around. Last minute, I decided to let them go see the guy movie and I went to the theatre next to it and saw my "chick flick".... solo!
At first, I was a little uncertain of going into a movie alone... what would people think of me? Would they think I have absolutely no one else in the world to go to a show with? Would they think I'm a loner? I walked in, scoped the theatre out with a quick glance around and noticed it was not busy at all. In fact, there were a few prime rows open and empty. I ended up having an entire row to myself with no one in front of me at all. I started to relax a bit and the movie began.
With the first 5 minutes, I could feel myself getting all choked up. A few minutes more into the show and the tears were streaming down my face; there was no holding back. When I realized once again that I was out in public at a theatre and in that theatre alone, I quickly pulled myself together. Then from behind me, I heard sniffling and off to the side a few rows down, I saw a lady dabbing her eyes with tissue. I wasn't the only one bawling my eyes out! I had no one else near me, Chris wasn't there to make fun of me and so I thought about that for a second. I turned my attention back to the movie (which was fabulous!!) and had not a dry eye for the rest of the flick.
Never before, would I ever have considered going to a movie alone but after this freeing experience I just might plan it that way the next time a good "chick flick" is playing!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Playing Catch


Carter asked me to play catch with him today numerous times. At first, we were at my sister-in-laws (who is also our neighbour) but I was helping to get dinner out. Then I couldn't play because I was helping to clean up dinner. Next I still couldn't play; I was having dessert. Then, the next time he asked.... I grabbed a glove and I'm so very glad I did. Catch has always been a "daddy" thing. I don't think I've ever really played the game "catch" with Carter before! I do everything else you can possibly think of for him and with him, but playing catch? Maybe when he was super small.... it's been awhile anyways.
He was giving me pointers and telling me what a great job I was doing. I'm sorry.... when did he grow up? We chit chatted about this and that, talked about what he did while I was at work in the morning and went over our plans for the rest of the weekend. It was only for a short time that we threw the baseball back and forth before he decided he wanted to play with his brother and his cousins. It really made me think about how short the young years are and how these days are not going to last forever. What an opportunity that game of catch was for me to bond with my boy. I can't wait until he wakes up in the morning... I'm gonna ask him if he wants to play catch again with me!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Shepherd'sPie


    4 medium potatoes
    2 Tbsp margarine
    1/4 cup milk
    Salt & Pepper
    1 meduim onion finely chopped & sauted
    2 Tbsp vegetable oil
    1 pkg ground-beef style soy
    1 1/4 cups of prepared vegetarian gravy (either a powdered mix prepared or canned mushroom gravy)
    I cup of frozen mixed vegetables (peas, carrots, corn)
      Boil the potatoes for 20 minutes or until mashable. In a medium bowl, mix the cooked onions, ground beef-style soy, mushroom gravy, frozen vegetables, and salt & pepper. Pour into an oven proof casserole dish. Top the soy mixture with the potatoes, spreading to the edges.
        Bake in a 350°F oven for 30 to 40 minutes, until the potatoes are browned and the mixture bubbles around the edges.

      Makes approximately 6-8 servings

      Banana Muffins

        3 ripe bananas
        1/4 cup oil or melted margarine
        1 cup sugar
        2 cups flour
        1 tsp. salt
        1 tsp. baking soda
        1 cup chopped walnuts (or raisons or chocolate chips)

      Mash bananas (overripe bananas are best!) Add oil/margarine and sugar. Mix well.

      Sift the flour, salt, and baking soda together and add to the banana mixture. Mix until the flour is well blended (do not beat).

      Pour into muffin pans or a bread pan and bake at 360°F until a knife or toothpick comes out clean.

      Makes 1 Dozen Muffins

      Mixed Bean salad

      Use a can of mixed canned beans, add chopped green onion and feta cheese.
      Mix with my vinaigrette dressing and call it a side dish! It's delicious!

      Wednesday, July 1, 2009

      Fruit Kabobs

      Get creative with your choices here. For Valentine's Day or Canada Day you could use all red coloured fruits.... strawberries, raspberries, red grapes, watermelon.
      There is no need for a lot of instruction for this one... Basically, decide what fruits you want to use, interchange them on the skewers to look colourful and pretty and put them on a long platter to serve. You can serve them with a fruit dip or fruit yogurt as well.

      Homemade Mac & Cheese

      Boil elbow macaroni noodles according to package directions.
      Add in broccoli and cauliflower if desired
      Mix together in a buttered oven proof pan
      Top with sliced tomatoes and grated cheese.
      Bake in the oven until heated through.
      Broil until cheese bubbles and browns slightly.

      Make it Gluten Free by using brown rice pasta and cornstarch instead of flour in the sauce.

      Bean Burritos and Rice

      Quite possibly one of the easiest dinners ever....
      There are many mexican/spanish rice side dishes out there that can be prepared quickly and easily that go well with Bean Burritos. Be sure to use fresh tortilla wraps, regular or whole wheat. Heat canned refried vegetarian beans in a pot while you prepare the rest of the toppings..... shredded cheeses, shredded lettuce, sour cream, avacado, tomatoes, salsa. Make up your wrap and roll it up! It's that easy!

      Use all-corn tortillas (soft or hard) to make it Gluten Free!

      Veggie Wraps

      The most delicious cold wrap....
      Start with a flavoured wrap.... basil & garlic are my faves.
      Put a mound of grated monterey jack cheese on the wrap, add shredded lettuce or salad mix greens, top with a few tbsp of bruschetta, add some mixed red, green & yellow peppers and drizzle my favourite creamy basil dressing over it. Wrap it up and you've got lunch!

      Vinaigrette Dressing

      Use a jar with a lid or a salad dressing shaker to make this.
      Use 2 parts olive oil to 1 part red wine vinegar
      Add in 1 clove of crushed garlic, a pinch or two of dried parsley, salt & pepper, a squirt of mustard and just a small pinch of sugar.
      Shake until all the ingredients are blended together and you've got a vinaigrette!

      Creamy Basil Dressing

      Use either a jar with a lid or a salad shaker to make this dressing.
      Start with either mayonnaise or miracle whip style mayo. Use approximately 4-6 tbsp.
      Add in just enough milk to cover the mayo. Add in a 2-3 tsp of dried basil, salt & pepper, a pinch or two of sugar and 2 tbsp of pickle juice. Shake to mix all the ingredients.
      If the dressing is too thin, add more mayo or if it's too thick add more milk and shake again. Continue adding more milk or mayo until you have your desired creaminess. Adjust the other ingredients according to your taste.

      Homemade Cheese Sauce

      Start by making a roux.... on low heat melt 4 tbl spoons of butter or margarine and add 4 tbsp of flour. Mix well then start adding milk. Whisk together to avoid lumps. Continue adding milk and whisking, turning the heat up to medium. If it thins too much just add more flour and continue adding flour & milk to desired thickness and quantity. Keep whisking! Careful not to burn.

      When it has reached your desired thickness (saucy and not too thick) add 1 vegetable cube crumbled, 1 tsp dry mustard, dried parsley, salt & pepper to taste.

      Now for the cheesy part.... add grated old cheddar cheese until it begins to look like cheese sauce. Depending on how much white sauce you have made will depend on how much grated cheese to use. As a variation, add in other cheeses you like. Even plain or herbed cream cheese works great if you need to use some up!

      Make it Gluten Free by using corn starch instead of flour!

      Soy (chicken breast style)

      Cook soy (chicken-style) "chickenless breasts" in a frying pan with 1 tbsp of vegetable oil and 1/2 cup of chicken-style vegetable stock per breast until most of stock is absorbed.

      Serve with grilled peppers, corn on the cob, baked potatoes and salad for a summery meal or serve with mashed potatoes, green beans and broccoli & cauliflower with homemade cheese sauce for more of a wintery meal.


      Cheese & Veggie Pies

      Bake puff pastry mini shells according to puff pastry package directions.
      Mash together cooked potatoes, cauliflower, broccoli, carrots etc as well as Homemade Cheese Sauce and fill puff pastry mini shells with mixture.
      Spoon more cheese sauce over top upon serving.
      Serve with crusty bread and and a garden salad!

      Potato Pancakes

      Perfect for breakfast or as a side dish!

      Potato Pancakes

      INGREDIENTS

      8 medium red potatoes, with peel, shredded

      1 large sweet onion, minced

      3 eggs, lightly beaten

      3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

      1/2 teaspoon baking powder

      1 tablespoon dried rosemary

      1 tablespoon salt

      2 teaspoons ground black pepper

      1 1/2 teaspoons lime juice

      2 tablespoons vegetable oil

      DIRECTIONS

      In a large bowl, mix the red potatoes, onion, eggs, flour, baking powder, rosemary, salt, pepper, and lime juice.

      Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Scoop about 2/3 cup at a time of the potato mixture into the skillet, and press down with a spatula into a pancake shape. Cook 3 to 4 minutes on each side, until crisp and golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Repeat with remaining potato mixture.

      Use Gluten Free all purpose flour to make this GF!

      Ice Cream Pie

      • Start with store-bought pie crust, graham cracker style or cookie is always good
      • Scoop the ice cream into the crust (hint.... if you choose a chocolate cookie crust, try cookies & cream ice cream!)
      • Top with store-bought whip cream.
      How easy is that?!!

      Pound Cake with Honey & Rosemary

      1 Pound Cake from the local grocery store
      4 oranges with the pith removed
      Combine the orange segments with 2 tablespoons honey

      Spoon the oranges over the pound cake slices


      Pizza Bites Bar

      This idea came from watching Regis & Kelly when they had someone on from Real Simple Magazine. I'm just posting a veggie version of it here....

      Order a large cheese pizza from your local pizza parlor and ask them not to slice it. Then, using a cookie cutter (a cirlce shape is easiest to use, but you can use a maple leaf for Canada Day etc etc) cut out pieces of the pizza. Place on a platter that can go from oven to table when you're ready serve. Next, make a "Toppings Platter" with olives, grated cheeses, herbs, colourful peppers chopped very small... whatever you think your guests will enjoy. When it's time to serve, just heat the pizza in a 400 degrees oven for about 5 minutes or until they are warm to the touch and serve!

      About Me

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      Life-long Vegetarian and proud to be Canadian. Really, I'm a little bit of everything, all rolled into one. I'm a bitch, I'm a lover, I'm a child, I'm a mother, I'm a sinner, I'm a saint (I do not feel ashamed) I'm your hell, I'm your dream (I'm nothing in between) You know, I wouldn't want it any other way..... (I'd like to think that song was written about me! lol)