Warm as toast

Good ol footy pjs, helping kids warm up from swimming in the pool in 35 degree plus weather since 1851 (well, probably not since back then. When were they invented anyway?).

This week was/is stinkin’ hot. It wasn’t really humid in our city, but it was HOT.

Soph and I went out in the back yard so she could swim in her pool for a bit. I usually read or bring the laptop out with me, because sadly enough, it’s only a pool for one.

She was done a half hour later so we came inside and she toweled off, then went upstairs to change.

She decided to wear her fuzzy footy pjs, because “her pool was cold.” I guess she really just have needed to warm up again, but it can’t have been that cold. And the A/C in our house certainly is not set to “Freezing”.

The light at the end of the dinner tunnel

Stop playing and chew your food, for goodness sakes.

Just one example why it takes Soph so long to finish dinner. OK, so I encouraged it for a few minutes more so I could take a photo.

Sigh…

I wonder what it is about kids that makes them stop chewing all of a sudden and have to be reminded to masticate (that means chew).

Since when was having a mouth full of food a good sensation?

Again, sigh…

You’ve got Nutella

Are you nutters for Nutella? I’m not.

Well, well, well: I’ve got Nutella! Went to the mailbox this morning after dropping Soph off at school and amongst the bills, junk and magazines was a wee envelope with two packets of Nutella inside.

I’ve only ever tried it once and it didn’t hook me into a lifetime addiction like peanut butter did. Ach, maybe I’ll give it another try, like if I’ve got a hankering for some chocolate and I don’t have cookies or a Kit Kat nearby.

Maybe they’re trying to get customers back after that recent lawsuit. Some American moms filed a $3-million suit because it dawned on them – or was otherwise pointed out – that it’s not nutritious at all.

Maybe the mention of it being made with hazelnuts gave the impression that it was akin to peanut butter? Maybe those crafty advertisers said it was wholesome and part of a complete breakfast (like in the picture I took). Well, it also has a lot of sugar and saturated fat in it. And chocolate. Oh, and it’s made by the company that makes Ferrero Rocher. You can basically use it as icing for a cake, or to sandwich a couple of cookies together (aka dessert).

Always look at the label!

Toilet, humor me

Photo credit: Kaboodle

Do you know anyone that puts the same amount of work into bathroom time as this guy? I doubt it. This list rivals any bathroom excursion.

Each session must include:

  1. iPod, which may contain the musical stylings of Linda Ronstadt, The Wanted, Jay Z, Nickleback, Platinum Blonde, Billy Idol or Micheal Bolton.
  2. A clear, loud voice for signing along
  3. A Sudoku book (preferably Crazy or Kamikaze level).
  4. A pen, for both solving the Sudoku puzzles and to be used in lieu of drumsticks.
  5. Foot stomping, in time to any catchy tune such as Rush’s new release, Headlong Flight.
  6. Sessions may not be less than 45 minutes and may extend up to 120 minutes.
  7. Additional household members must be prepared to endure this regular time-consuming schedule.

Why do guys take so long in the bathroom? If yours doesn’t, count yourself lucky. Have I mentioned that seeing pictures of people on the can really creeps me out? Yet I put one here anyway. It’s merely for the reader.

Lemongrass Steak Banh Mi – Canada’s Best Sandwich!

Lemongrass Steak Banh Mi named Canada’s Best Sandwich by ACE Bakery and Lynn Crawford (CNW Group/ACE Bakery)

My friend (and neighbour) recently entered Ace Bakery’s Canada’s Best Sandwich contest and she made the final 4.

The showdown happened in Toronto yesterday and she won!

I’ve mentioned her before and she is the best and most adventuresome cook I know (besides my mom). We were lucky enough to have dinner at her house and she made this sandwich for us a couple of weeks before the final contest in Toronto.

It was Mmm. After dinner she made Vietnamese iced coffee for us, which I’m addicted to making now.

Here’s her winning recipe:

Lemongrass Steak Banh Mi with Spicy Garlic Aioli and Asian Coleslaw

Makes 4 sandwiches

Grand winner for Canada’s Best Sandwich contest, Thuy Nguyen Crawford of Burlington, ON, says: “I developed this recipe as a result of our long evenings at my eldest son’s baseball games. Family dinners together are very important, and I didn’t want our long evenings to keep us from eating well together. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my family does.” Extra aioli will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Ingredients

2 large garlic cloves, finely minced
3 Tbsp. (45 mL) fresh minced lemongrass
4 Tbsp. (60 mL) fish sauce
2 Tbsp. (30 mL) honey
1 red Thai chili, finely minced
16 oz. sirloin steak cut 2 inches (5 cm) thick. Choose a high quality steak with lots of marbling.
1 ACE Bakery White Baguette
Spicy Garlic Aioli (see below)

Asian Coleslaw (see below) (Prepare at least 4 hours before sandwich assembly.)

Spicy Garlic Aioli
1/2 cup (120 mL) mayonnaise
1 Tbsp. (15 mL) Sriracha (increase or decrease based on your desire of spiciness)
1 small garlic clove, finely minced
1 tsp. (15 mL) fresh lemon juice

Mix all the ingredients together well.

Asian Coleslaw
The coleslaw should be made at least 4 hours (or overnight) before you are ready to assemble the sandwich. You can make extra to serve as a side salad, or keep it overnight in the refrigerator.

3 Tbsp. (45 mL) fish sauce
3 Tbsp. (45 mL) white distilled vinegar
2 Tbsp. (30 mL) sugar
1 garlic clove, finely minced
1/2 cup (120) fresh cilantro, chopped in 1-inch (2.5-cm) lengths
1 red Thai chili thinly sliced (increase or decrease based on your desire of spiciness)
3 cups (720 mL) shredded green cabbage
1 cup (240 mL) peeled shredded carrots
1 small Vidalia onion, thinly sliced to make 1/2 cup (120 mL)

Mix the fish sauce, vinegar, sugar and garlic together until the sugar is dissolved. Combine the remaining ingredients together and mix well. Pour the vinaigrette over the coleslaw mixture and toss.

Instructions

For the Steak:
In a container large enough to hold the steak, mix the garlic, lemongrass, fish sauce, honey and chili. Roll the steak in the marinade and marinate for at least 3 to 4 hours (or overnight) in the refrigerator. Preheat BBQ or grill pan so that it is hot.

Grill the steak to your desired doneness, approximately 3 to 4 minutes per side for medium rare. Let the steak rest for 10 minutes.

Cut the baguette into 4 equal portions. Slice the baguette pieces lengthwise, but not all the way through, and grill for about 1 minute until toasted. Slice the steak 1/8 to 1/4 inch (0.3 to 0.6 cm) thick, against the grain.

Spread the Spicy Garlic Aioli on both top and bottom sides of the baguette portions. Layer the sliced steak on and then top with the Asian Coleslaw.

Full article: Ace Bakery | Lemongrass Steak Banh Mi named Canada’s Best Sandwich.

Ace Bakery

Honeybees, alright alright…

Where are you going? Buzzzz…

Honeybees, all right. Woo!

Model, filmmaker, and bee activist Isabella Rosellini dresses up to look just like Burt “Burt’s Bees” Shavitz in a three minute film about the mysterious disappearance of honeybees.

It’s scientific fact and children’s community theater rolled into one. You’ll learn about the roles of the queen, the workers and drones and by the end of the film you’ll probably want to go get today’s newspaper and make a big paper beard.

This morning during breakfast Soph and I spotted a big bumblebee clinging onto a toy in our backyard pool, so we went outside and took the toy out, and the bee with it. Hopefully the heat dried him off enough so he could fly away.

Check out some other cool movie shorts from Rosellini.

My invisible Red Thread

Right now I’m watching The Invisible Red Thread, that aired a few days ago on TV. I’m thankful that I stumbled on it through my WordPress Reader. It’s a documentary about a girl who travels back to where she was born and then adopted by a family from Toronto.

Hearing Vivian’s “What if” questions made me sad: wondering what her life would be like if she’d been adopted by another family, if she was never given up and remained in China, thinking about all of the questions I’ll have to answer or my daughter will be thinking, and not asking, as she grows up.

Something that I’ve come to realize and firmly believe as I’ve gotten older, and since adopting, is that although blood may technically be thicker than water, biology is essentially irrelevant when it comes to love and forming bonds within a family.

I really hope one day that my daughter, husband and I can travel back there – if she wishes – and we can explore China once gain.

Definitely had a lump in my throat at the end of the film when Vivian and her dad came back home and her mom ran to greet her with a big hug.