Tuesday, August 25, 2009

peel me a grape

August has been a pretty low key month so far.
Not exactly what I would consider "the dog days of summer" as there really hasn't been too many super hot days this year.
Which in some ways is fine by me, as I'm not a big hot & humid weather lover.
Usually by this point in the season I'm feeling ready for fall to arrive- tired of the hot, sticky, smoggy weather, I'm usually pretty excited that autumn is around the corner.
With the exception of THIS year.
I feel like summer has just begun.
I almost cried the other day when I saw potted mums at the grocery store.
There's so many things I still want to do before it gets chilly outside.
I'm finally getting organized when it comes to remembering what to pack each time we go to the park.
It only took me 3 months...
I also just started feeling somewhat comfortable in a bathing suit.
That only took me 3 months....
oh who am I kidding?
I don't think I'll ever feel comfortable in a bathing suit, but I guess I'm caring less and less- and instead just having fun swimming with Lulu.
Like anyone's looking at my sorry white butt anyhow..
In reality, it really hasn't been warm enough this summer for a bathing suit- but for the past couple of weeks I've finally been able to wear sleeveless tops and linen without freezing my (as previously mentioned-very white) ass off.
I find that I'm trying to squeeze in as many summer park play-dates and BBQ's as possible before school starts in a couple of weeks.
Also trying to cherish as much time as possible with Lulu before she officially starts "big school".
So no, I'm so not ready for September.

Oh and what exactly does that image have to do with this lame-o post?
Nothing really- except that's what's been a staple in our house this summer.
Frozen grapes on a cocktail stick.
Lulu loves them and thinks of them as a fancy treat.
I also love my grapes-nicely chilled and served in a Riedel glass for my daily treat.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

making lemonade

What an interestingly spontaneous week.
First of all, big daddy had an entire week of work cancelled last minute.
Which usually is not something to be too happy about- but seeing as we didn't book any time off all summer and he's been swamped up until now, we were kind of relieved and a bit excited to be forced to take a week "off".
Ah the joys of being self employed.
Also with all the rain we seem to be having each weekend, a few days off mid week to enjoy some time on the water sounded ideal.
First stop Center Island.
Now that the strike is over Lulu couldn't wait to hit a few rides at the park.
But en route, big daddy aka the skipper-suspected some engine trouble.
Add in some super strong winds, large waves (one of which completely soaked me which has never happened before) and barely any other boats on the water, and I was one anxious momma.
A three hour tour.....
I had images of the professor & Maryanne flashing before my eyes.
Damn I should have packed those coconuts and my trusty tool box- come to think about it, I should have worn a sequined gown.
That Ginger really thought ahead.
Anyhow we decided to head to Ontario Place instead as we were closer, and just as we docked -the engine died.
So much for a brand new-hassle free boat.
Glad we got the extended 5 year warranty.

anyhoo- we decided to take Lulu on some rides at Ontario Place seeing as we were kind of stranded there- and the lovely staff at the marina didn't even charge us the $60 admission fee.
Plus they towed our boat for free to the nearest slip.
I have to say though that the park is pretty lame for 4 year olds-(and 38 year olds for that matter)
There were only a few rides that Lulu was tall enough to go on- which was a bit disappointing.
Then again it could have just been our state of mind- either way, after a few rides we cabbed it back to our marina and called it a day.

Unfortunately the boat is now out of the water and having an entire engine overhaul.
It could be a few weeks before it's back in the water.
In the meantime what do we do?
how do we salvage our "summer holiday"?
So we decide to call here and as luck should have it-we got the very last room that they had available.
Bonus it happens to be a lake front room with a spectacular view.
Things are looking up!
So we jump in the car and book it up north for a last minute get away.

And can I just say how happy I was to get away?
it was so great.
relaxing, fun and nice to just have a change of scenery.

I already mentioned fun right?

Oh and best of all is that I had a vacation from being the usual galley slave.
No cooking, no cleaning- I could get used to this.

Lunch- accompanied by a few very cold coronas.

Dinner- accompanied by a very delicious Merlot.

hmmm...I say screw the boat, let's just go to resorts every summer....

But seriously, sometimes things don't always work out the way you planned but like big daddy kept saying all weekend- when life gives you a lemon- you gotta make lemonade.
That we did.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

not quite Belguim- but almost.

I'm not a big gadget person when it comes to the kitchen.
Not that I wouldn't want to be- but space is at a premium so I've always kept it simple.
Global knives.
good pots, pans and baking sheets.
several cutting boards- bamboo, wooden with groove for meat, plastic for fruit & veg.
a couple of vegetable peelers. a certain someone insists on peeled apples and cucumbers.
mixing bowls with lids.
good graters & zester.
mandolin for my shaved fennel salad- among other things.
mortar & pestle- a la Jamie Oliver- gotta love a good bash up.
extra timer for when there is more than two things on the go at one time.
lots of tongs.
good toaster.
Bialetti espresso maker.
Laguiole wine opener- very essential.
blender- my morning smoothie must.
mini and regular sized Cuisinart.
panini press.
and now...a waffle maker.

It's small and easy to store and best of all has a timer that goes off when the waffle is perfectly cooked.
and I mean perfectly.
If you want the recipe you can find it here.
I topped it with some mascarpone, yogurt & vanilla topping just for fun.
Plus I had some extra kicking around that I want to use up.
Yum. Yum.
Best breakfast I've had in a while.
If you're in the market for a waffle maker you can find the one I used here.

How about you, what can't you live without in your kitchen?