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Sunday, 26 February 2012

Sunday Rituals

For the last 3 weeks, since I started my new job, I have been saving my Sunday afternoons for cooking my meals for the week; then when I come home from work, I don’t have to fuss, I just reheat a gourmet something I have cooked on the weekend and enjoy! 

The plan is that when I come home from church, I put on my chef hat and cute little red apron and I get cooking .   Lately, I have been using my slow-cooker, because it’s so simple to throw everything in there and forget about it until it’s bedtime and all that’s needed is to portion it out and cool it for the week’s use.  But this week brings in a new twist.  Today,  I decided to diverge from my newly formed habit and  chose to try one of my sister’s recipes:   Heavenly- Tasting-Melt-In-Your-Mouth-Almond-Pecan-Coconut-Oatmeal Cookies. (or HTMIYMAPCOC for short).

To start, even the shopping was fun!  Texting away to my sister while going down every aisle so we can share this wonderful experience together.  Did you know that the coconut oil is in the health food section?  And that the best molasses is Blackstrap because the darker it is, the more vitamins are left in it?  So armed with a shopping bag full of stuff, I headed home to see what kind of a mess I could make in my kitchen.

Well, it turned out wonderful!  I had been warned not to lick my fingers too often but that was very tough.  To reward myself for not eating all the dough while I was preparing it, I licked the beaters ~ after unplugging it, of course, you sillies of the Peanut Gallery!  I also let myself slurp up what was left in the bowl once I had my last batch in the oven;  a nice treat for being good. J

So now I have 8 dozens cookies – so that means that I can eat a dozen a day and since they have only 0.5g of carbs in each, I can pig out to my heart’s content!   And even if I do eat a dozen a day, there will still be a dozen left in the freezer at the end of the week… maybe.  Folks:  Listen to this:  my sister says:  “Hide them in the freezer so you are not tempted to eat all 96 in one sitting.”   HAHA!  Sis, I have news for you:  if I am the one to hide the cookies, I will not forget where I put them!  I am not that old that I suffer from Alzheimer’s yet; and even though I was born in the morning , it was not yesterday morning!  And no, I can’t ask the dogs to hide them for me because as you can guess, I will never see the cookies again!! And it’s not because they are good at hiding stuff either!  So you’ll have to come and find a hiding spot yourself!  J

Thanks again for the recipe;  now, back to mundane Sunday stuff, like dishes to wash, vacuuming  and dusting to be done, dogs to walk, cookies to eat…

Salut to all cookie-lovers out there.  I leave you with my new favorite song:

♪♪ 96 cookies to eat on a plate,
 96 cookies to eat, ♪♪
so what would happen should I eat one of them?
 95 cookies left on a plate♪♪

♪♪♪ And so on, and so on, and so on ♪♪♪ J

Better be a Little "S" than a Little Less!  J

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

The Story of Little S and the Three Bears

February 22, 2012

The Story of Little S and the Three Bears

Once upon a time, there was a little girl named Little S.  One day, she went for a walk in the forest.  Pretty soon, she came upon a house.  She knocked (there was no doorbell) and, when no one answered, she walked right in because she was not shy and was more than a little curious about who lived there.  There was a “Neighbourhood Watch” sticker on the front window so she felt she would be safe there ~ she was not very street-wise!  We know better than that, don't we, Peoples of the Peanut Gallery?

But no one answered her !    And, at the table in the kitchen, there were three bowls of cereal. Little S was hungry.   She tasted the cream of wheat from the first bowl.
"This cream of wheat is too hot!" she exclaimed.
So, she then tasted the maple-flavored instant oatmeal from the second bowl.
"This oatmeal is too cold," she said
So, she went on to taste  what was in the last bowl of cereal on the table.
"Ahhh, these Fruit Loops (TM) are just right," she said happily and she gobbled it all up, immensely content that her sister was not there to remind her about the empty carbs in there! 
After she'd eaten the three bears' breakfasts she decided she was feeling a little tired.  So, she walked into the living room where she saw three bean bags.  Little S sat in the first bean bag to take a load off her feet.  
"This bean bag is too big!" she exclaimed as she practically lost herself in the bigness of it!
So she sat in the second bean bag.
"This bean bag is way too stiff! she whined.
So she tried the last and smallest bean bag.
"Ahhh, this bean bag feels like it’s been made to measure just for me and feels just right," she sighed.  But just as she settled down into the bean bag, a side seam popped open and all the beans in the bag came out!   Rats, she cried, "How will I ever rest?"

Little S was very tired by this time and getting very cranky; she knew she was close to a meltdown, so she went upstairs to the bedroom.  She lay down in the first bed, but it was too hard. Then she lay in the second bed, but it was too soft. Then she lay down in the third bed - delighted to find out it was a Sleep Number bed (TM) and that it was adjusted right to her own specs. With a sigh of contentment, Little S fell asleep.

As she was sleeping, the three bears came home.
In the kitchen:
"Someone's been eating my cream of wheat," growled the Papa bear.
"Someone's been in my oatmeal" said the Mama bear.
"Someone found my Fruit Loops and they ate them all up!" cried the Baby bear.

In the family room:
"Someone's been using my bean bag," growled the Papa bear.
"Someone's been on my bean bag too" said the Mama bear.
"Someone's been sitting on my bean bag and they've ruptured it and all the beans have spilled," cried the Baby bear ~from where comes the saying of crying over spilled beans!  (or was that milk? – same difference J)

The bears decided to look around some more and when they got upstairs to the bedroom, Papa bear growled, "Someone's been sleeping in my bed,"
"Someone's been in my bed, too" said the Mama bear
"Someone's been sleeping in my bed and she's still there!" exclaimed Baby bear.

Just then, Little S woke up and saw the three bears.  She was so glad to finally have some company that she got out of bed and organized a game of hide-and-seek.  They played and giggled and ran for hours and ended up as BFF’s all around and lived happily ever after.

PS:  As a gift for their incredible hospitality, Little S left them with some presents – Mind you, not the kinds of presents Big S would bring however, enough to show her undying appreciation: She gave Papa Bear a special coupon for the local Sleep Country store:  BOGO (buy a mattress and get another one for 50% off ) so him and Mama could upgrade to more comfortable mattresses.  To Mama:  she gave a gift card to  the local IHOP restaurant (International House of Pancakes) so she and the family could experiment around more varied breakfast choices.  And Baby Bear got a free annual membership into C A (Carbohydrates Anonymous), and was able to curb his insatiable appetite for the wrong food groups.  (hihi, curb his carbs)  J
Moral of the story?   Lock your doors and the crazies won’t be able to get in!  and yes, leave your carbs at the curb on garbage day!

Salut my friends.  I can’t bear to leave you but I must! 

Better be a Little "S" than a Little Less!  J

Monday, 20 February 2012

OK, call me old-fashioned!

Now, Peanut Gallery, please note I did not say call me old!!! 

I’m saying I'm old-fashioned because I have to admit that I like to wear a slip with some of my dresses.  No, Peoples in the Peanut Gallery, slip is not a bad word!  This new generation of young ladies and women out there don’t seem to agree with me on the “like” part of this because 99% of the time, when I see someone who should be wearing one, they aint!

Even going to Sears to buy one recently, I practically had to spell it for the young clerk;  she had no idea what I was talking about!   I do realize that I have a French accent but how could I massacre the word S L I P so badly that she had to ask me 3 times to explain?  Well, apparently I did:  it was either a new word for her or my accent has gotten worse because it took us a while to agree on what it was I was looking for.  By the way, if there are any guys reading this, you might think this is too much information; however, there is a point to this:  Be patient J

To shorten this story a bit, I eventually left the store with the garment in question, happy with my purchase.   Today, I wore it for the first time, thinking it would also help to keep me warm!  Mind you, longjohns are better suited  for that purpose but not as cute, especially when I’ve only been working at my new place for 2 weeks and they might not appreciate my sense of humor! J

My dilemma occurred when a co-worker whispered  to me that my slip was showing,  like it was a state secret!  Wikileaks, here we go!  

Well;  I figured out that I had bought a slip one size too big and it was hanging a bit lower than it should have, causing a bit of lace to show below the hem of my dress.  So I spent the rest of my day in a daze, totally  self-conscious of that faux-pas and wishing I was wearing a turtleneck so I could hike the slip up to my neck and stop worrying about it. 

As I hereby reminisce, I long for the old days ~ ♪♪♪nostalgic music and violins ♪♪♪, when there was always someone around to let me know these things BEFORE I left for work.   My son would check me as we walked out the door:   “ Mom, your slip is showing” or,  just as I am parking the car for the early church service.. : “Mom, did you know you still have a curler in your hair?”  Yikes, that kid has been a life-saver to me, more than a few times.  “Mom, you have a red shoe and a black shoe” – that one I knew about and was doing it on purpose to match my red and black gingham scarf.   Ahah!  Poor kid, no wonder he moved out!  Who wants to be seen with the crazy lady who just happens to be your mother?

 So now that my son “The Inspector” has grown up and moved away,  I’m left in company of one cat and two dogs  and I’m hooped because they don’t care a bit what I look like when I leave in the morning.  So, every day,  I set myself up for a possible adventure since I don’t have a full-length mirror.  Maybe I’ll put that on my Christmas list for Big “S”.   To solve the problem until then,  I guess I will now only shop for dresses and skirts that are lined so that way, I won’t have to worry about slipping slips any more.

I then leave you with a big Salut to the new generation of women out there; remember, slip is not a word that can only be mentioned in the same sentence as banana peels, it is also something you wear when you want to catch people’s attention, even if you initially wore it to be inconspicuous!

Better be a Little "S" than a Little Less!  J

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Who would have thunk it?

I was all excited this afternoon, picking up a recipe book i had reserved at the library, to inspire my culinary experiments with my crockpot!  I hummed all the way there -5 minutes-  and all the way back - 9 minutes, i hit all the red lights. :-)

As soon as I arrived home, I made myself a cup of tea and curled up in my favorite chair with the recipe book, with visions of sugar plums dancing in my head. Oops, i think that's a different story.  Sorry. I got sidetracked. 

So, here i am with " Slow Cooker: The best cookbook ever, with more than 400 Easy-to-Make Recipes”   Yesssss!  I'm shaking, in anticipation,  i'm so excited.    

But.... What? .... Where? ... How?...  There are NO pictures!!! Well, that's a lie:  there are 6 pictures in the middle of the book!!!  6 , read them,  SIX pictures only!   What is that about?  Ms. Phillips, i have a bone to pick with you!

I don't know about you but looking at a picture is really worth 1000 words to me; i can see how it's supposed to look like when i'm done with it,  so it's a real encouragement!  I am not like my sister who can look at 3 unrelated ingredients and create a gourmet meal out of those,  which will also be picture perfect and make you want to drool just looking at it.
No sir!  Not moi!  I need pictures for inspiration.  

So here are my choices:

-Butternut Squash Braised with Thyme and Cider...naaaa, don't think so;
-Ultimate Mashed Potatoes: and sculpt mountains out of them? Naaaa, not at this time;
-Alphabet Beef Vegetable Soup? Well, i made Beef Barley Vegetable Soup last week so i should pass on that but maybe i could use the alphabet noodles for another project!
-There is a picture of pizza dip... Hum... Maybe not;
-Fruited Chicken Tagine? What in the world is a tagine?  ZAB! Help!
-ok, now i've found it!  It looks delicious!  It's called: 

Red Wine Poached Pears with Stilton !!!
No, peoples from the peanut gallery,  Stilton is not my guy's name, it's a type of cheese!  Really!  Pay attention:

Ingredients are:
-1 cup full-bodied red wine
-1 cup Ruby Port
-1 1/2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar (Zab, can i use Splenda?)
-6 large firm red pears, halved and cored
-6 ounces Stilton cheese
-one 4 - inch cinnamon stick.

Combine yadda, yadda, yadda and throw in your crockpot.
Cover and cook on high for 2 to 2 1/2 hours.
Uncover and allow pears to cool at room temperature.

Ok, now it'll be Sunday evening and i'll have  eaten my cookings for the week!  What shall i do then?

I guess there's always Pringle chips and red licorice!! Shhh, don't tell my sister!

Salut to all those of you who need to see to be inspired to cook; i know what you're going through!

PS: i did not pick that recipe because of all the red things in there... Or did I? ;) 
PPS:  don't eat that stuff and drive, you're bound to be over the red limit!
PPPS: note to myself to check out recipe book BEFORE i sign it out from library next time.

Better be a Little "S" than a Little Less!  J

Friday, 17 February 2012

Yes, I’m still alive and kicking!

I have to apologize, my friends, for my absence for the last 2 weeks.  My excuses:  I’ve been sick, I started a new job, and I finally talked myself into un-decorating my Christmas trees (yes, I had 15 of them! No, I’m not kidding!).  I could also blame the dogs but I won’t stoop that low; they didn’t care either way!

You know, when Valentines Day came around and my sister suggested I add cupids to the Christmas ornaments … I realized I was procrastinating.  Mind you, it’s still all in the red color scheme so nothing clashed;  But I finally did it!   J  It was really tough but now it’s done…Well, someone had to do it and the animals refused to get involved!  Thankless hairy beasts!

So now my place looks all naked, and will look like this for another 10 months unless I go crazy for Easter or Canada Day ~ or both;  Naaa; I think I’ll wait for Thanksgiving and get started again. 

So Hello dust bunnies, welcome back, there's lots of room to roam! No, dog hair won’t be for another few months… you've got the floor!   It might just be fun to have a regular house to clean, no acrobatics around the Christmas trees with the vacuum cleaner and the dust buster!  Anyone tried those robot vacuum thingies ?  Freedom!  Yesssssss!  Company for the cat!

So now, I’m ready for my next adventure:  converting my office to a home gym!    I know we’ll have lots to chat about on that subject.

Salut to my buddies who were patient about my absence; my sister got her own blog now, she inspired me to blog all over again now that I’m back to normal ~whatever normal is around here.   She is enlightening us on the Joys of Cooking Low Carb stuff… I know I will stick to the vicissitudes of life in my writings; I’m good at following recipes, not creating them!   Now if we could get our brother to start blogging as well, that would be 3 for 3!  J  

Here Wii come!!! 

Better be a Little "S" than a Little Less!  J

Friday, 3 February 2012

I missed it !!!

Did you realize that today was “Wear Red National Day”…. and no one informed me!  I am so sad that I missed out a chance to show my true colors!

I've heard it’s not easy for Kermit to be green however, I never had a problem  being me;  au contraire, I thrive on it!   So, when I found out this evening at 7:39 PM, what this day had been about , I  just wished that I had had some advance notice.  Why?    I could have stood on my soapbox and warned the crowds!  We are asked to wear red to show our support for Women’s Heart Health.   And no, red PJ’s don’t count if only your dogs and cat can see you ~ I sequestered myself because I 'm nursing a bad cold and am trying to keep my germs to myself!

Now you could say that I will support anything red and you couldn't be more wrong, yep, you read it right, wrong.   I do carefully pick and choose the causes I embrace and am happy to share with you a bit of advice I found on the net.   As i am not a medicine woman, and don't want to be held responsible for your various ailments by giving you advice,  this information has been copied directly from Health Canada’s website and you can blame them, if anything about the following it is incorrect:
For more info, check them out!  This could save your life!

Heart Health Facts
A woman’s risk of death from heart disease increases 4 times after menopause.  The rate of stroke also increases dramatically after menopause.
Compared to active women, inactive women are twice as likely to die from heart disease and stroke.
Eight times as many women die from heart disease and stroke than from breast cancer.  40% of all Canadian women’s deaths are due to heart disease and stroke.
Some women may have different symptoms than men such as indigestion-like discomfort, vague chest pain, discomfort or pressure, nausea or back pain.  These symptoms occur more often in women than men, and should not be ignored.  It is important to know that 70% of women have similar symptoms of a heart attack as men, such as sudden strong crushing chest pain and shortness of breath.
Women with diabetes at any age are more at risk of developing heart disease and stroke than men who have diabetes.  Compared to women without diabetes,  these women have triple the risk of a heart attack and are at much greater risk for a stroke.
Contrary to popular belief, hypertension (high blood pressure) is not usually caused by stress or anxiety.  It is a condition that makes your heart work too hard.  Have your blood pressure checked regularly.

So what are we going to do about it? 
Whatever you do, don’t pause!

·       Be active.  Find something fun to do that’ll get your heart rate up!  ~come on now, be polite up there in the peanut gallery ~
·       Eat well.
·       And for crying out loud, listen to your own body talking to you and trust your instincts;  get checked out immediately if you suffer any of the above mentioned symptom.  Don’t ignore them!

I can’t you if you’re no longer around!  Guys, give your lady a hint just as she did for you in Movember last year.  She’ll you for it!

Salut to all my peoples out there – next year, remember that once Groundhog’s Day is over, it’s “Wear Red National Day”.  Goodbye Punxsutawney Phil,  hello Little “S” wannabes!   Now, because I missed today, I’ll just have to wear red for the rest of the year!  That’ll teach them!

Better be a Little "S" than a Little Less!  J