Sunday, August 30, 2015

Davison Orchards

No Summer is complete for our family without at least one trip to Davison Orchards in Vernon.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Kamloops Community Gardens

The Boy and I got a chance to peek in the Community Garden down on River Street.

The plants were amazing!
Gigantic tomatoes, beautiful chard.
Gorgeous peppers and corn.

There's a new garden this year down in Riverside Park, but I haven't had a chance to visit yet.

More info on Community Gardens in Kamloops -

Monday, August 24, 2015

Lemongrass Restaurant

Finally, FINALLY, the day has come - Kamloops finally, seriously, FINALLY!!!!!!! has a Vietnamese restaurant. 
I truly didn't think it would ever happen. 

Lemongrass opened last month in the newish building on Summit Drive next to the firehall - 
1211 Summit Drive, to be exact.

 We stopped by for lunch earlier this month. I was beyond excited. 
 The decor is very nice - lots of light, wood, and greenery.

The grownups started with Vietnamese Iced Coffee.  

Normally you get the coffee filter dripping the hot coffee into a cup with condensed milk, and a glass with ice on the side for when it's finished brewing.  
Then you stir the coffee and milk together, and pour over the ice.  
Here they do all the work for you.  And the glasses are super cool.

Bun Cha is my very favorite Vietnamese dish - grilled meat and noodles.  
At Lemongrass they have some great options.  

The Mister got the 2 Skewers and 1 Spring Roll  - with the grilled pork.

I went with the One Skewer and 2 Spring Rolls  - with the grilled chicken.  
I also got rice instead of noodles.

The Boy was unsure about what to have, so we got him some tempura, 
and he picked at our plates as well.  
Everything was delicious.  The meats were nicely grilled and flavorful, and the spring rolls were crispy and soooo good.  

Service was a bit spotty.  Our server abandoned us shortly after taking our order - so we relied on whoever we could flag down for water, extra napkins, and sauces.  

I can't wait to go back.  I'll have the Bun a couple more times, then move on to the Pho.  
I've heard good things.

Lemongrass Restaurant - on Facebook here 

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Home Ec - Grade 8

One of the best things I came across when I cleaned out all my recipe notebooks was this page from my Home Ec work in Grade 8, which was a long, long, LONG time ago, for Homemade Egg McMuffins. 

I was absolutely blown away that I could make something as sophisticated (I didn't get out much, even back then) as a breakfast sandwich from a fast food restaurant!

I made them at home for my parents, who were as impressed as I was.  
Or at least, that's how I remember it.

It was a thrill to having them turn out perfectly, and really get cooking.  
And want to do it some more.
I can't wait for my kids to have that experience one day too.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Cleaning house

I've been on a very slow cleaning spree the past few months.
De-cluttering as much as The Mister and The Boy will allow.  Which is not as much as I'd like.

One area of clutter that is completely my fault is my cookbooks, notebooks, and loose recipes.
I've long pretended it wasn't out of control, but I was up to 19 notebooks and binders of recipes, plus a large shoebox full of loose pages.  Too much!

It took me a few days, but I went through each page. 

I saved my favorite recipes, family recipes. Also recipes that I know I would really like to try. 
The rest got recycled, and I now have enough paper to fill maybe 2 binders.

I feel good about it!  And I have an entire shelf open to fill with new crap. 

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Instagram - 30 books reviewed

I've reviewed 30 cookbooks from my shelves, and 23 have stayed put. 

I was tidying up a couple of weeks ago getting ready for some company, and I stopped to take a hard look at my cookbooks shelves.  
I pulled off 8 books that really held no appeal for me to cook from - 6 were retro cookbooks from various used book sales, and 2 were juicing books.  
I do own a juicer but we never use it.  It seems so wasteful to not just eat the fruit and veggies, once you juice and see how much stuff you throw away.  
But it was a gift, and that stops me from getting rid of it.
The cookbooks went to the thrift store untested, and I feel good about it.
I'm not going to cook from books because I feel like I have to.
This is supposed to be a fun project, not to force me to cook food we don't want to eat.
I'm trying to be tough, to pare down my collection but I do find it hard.  
I am more sentimental than I'd like to admit sometimes.

Friday, August 14, 2015

In which we take a perfectly nutritious vegetable, and fry it

I often buy vegetables with the best intentions, and then when I get them home, I'm like, now what?
(The current victim in my fridge are some pattypan squash from the market.)

I bought some lovely thin green beans recently, then promptly buried them in the fridge and ignored them.

After a week I was at the "use it or lose it" stage, so I found inspiration in my food cravings - something fried.  I was going to have a healthy main dish - roasted vegetable wrap - so why not doll up the beans and make them naughty?

The batter was equal parts flour and beer - 1/2 cup of each, and then some water to thin it down a little more, because The Mister was finishing off the can of beer.

The sauce.  Ah.  Sigh.    We have a bottle of Franks Red Hot Bollywood Sauce that we got at Target in  a combo pack with their regular sauce.  It's so delicious, sweet and spicy.  I've never seen it anywhere else, and I don't see it on their website now, so maybe it was a promotional thing?
Anyway, mayo, couple of grated cloves of garlic, some bollywood sauce.  Even the boy liked it!

I don't really like frying at home, but green beans are so thin that they're easy to fry in minimal oil.
Which, unfortunately, means I can make them again and again.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Salted Peanut Butter and Jelly Blondies

I have such a weakness for peanut butter. And jam. 
Sandwiches, cookies, toast, crackers, waffles. Spoons. 

I'm in a treat zone right now, where I'm trying to make sure we always have some sort of cookie, cake or square available for snacking. 
It backfires on me fairly often as none of us are super big sweets people, so I end up freezing things until I can give them away. 

But still I persist. 
I took advantage of the recent break in the hot weather to try out a newly saved recipe on Pinterest - Salted Peanut Butter and Jelly Blondies from Bon Appetit. 

I thought the recipe was a bit stingy on the amount of jam, 
so I just spooned on jam until it looked good to me.
I had to be stingy with the peanuts as there were only crumbs left in the container.

I loved how rich but not overly sweet these are.  
Comfort food but sorta fancy.  Also - my first blondie!

Friday, August 07, 2015

Something I like - Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?

On the perks of babysitting 
' "Mommy wanted to know who ate all the turtle shaped bagel pizzas, and I knew it was you, but I lied and said it was me." She burst into tears. I hugged her and told her, "You can never tell her the truth." ' 

One night stands
'I guess nothing puts a damper on a one-night stand as much as your friend pointing out all the opportunities where you might have been killed.' 

'That's because my parents dressed both my brother and me according to roughly exactly the same aesthetic: Bert from Ernie and Bert.' 

 Also, great essay titles. 
Why Do Men Put On Their Shoes So Slowly? 
In Defense Of Chest Hair 
The Day I Stopped Eating Cupcake

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Eggs and Potatos

This was an off the cuff breakfast that made me so happy. 

 3 ingredients! 

 I grated 2 small sweet potatos and 1 large yellow potatos. Cause that's what I had. 


I heated a couple of spoonfuls of coconut oil in a large pan over medium heat. I added the shredded spuds and cooked, stirring often, until the potatos are cooked and crisp and brown in spots. Season with salt and pepper if desired. 


When the potatos are almost done, cook some eggs. Scrambled, fried, poached, sunny side up, whatever you like.  I did scrambled for the boy and attempted fried for the adults.

Lo ! 

Plate your taters and top with your egg.

I really love the flavor of the potatos and the coconut oil. Delicious. 
 I overcooked the egg, but that just means I get to make this again.
Practice makes perfect.

Saturday, August 01, 2015


A lot has changed in my life lately, but there is one constant - burgers. 

Ha!  Not really.  Except sort of.  

We love burgers a lot.  We rarely go more than a week or two without making them.  
And make them from scratch.  No pre-made patties around here!
I have lots of books and recipes for burgers, but I mostly just throw in whatever we have around.

When I was a kid, my mom had a friend who made us burgers a few times.  They had onion soup mix powder and raisins in them.  Heavenly!  I've never tried to make them because I'm afraid they won't live up to my memories, and it's a good summertime memory.

Lately I've been making the same burger and no one is complaining.  It's juicy and savory and perfect.

A pound of meat, some dehydrated onion, a couple of spoons of hoisin.  Mix it together, form 4 patties and barbecue.  BBQ sauce and cheese are a nice touch but not necessary.

Huh.  I think I know what's for dinner tomorrow...