29 July 2011

Some Reflections

So 2011 is more than halfway done, and it's not been what I had envisioned at all. When I made my list of resolutions last winter I didn't anticipate having two miscarriages within 5 months. It's really throwing me for a loop, and it's hard not to just lay on the couch and feel sorry for myself. That accomplishes nothing, so I've decided to revisit my goals and see what I can do to salvage some of them...

1. Lose 10 more pounds and stay at a healthy weight.
Well, I'm an emotional eater, so I am nowhere near accomplishing this goal. Quite the opposite, in fact.

2. Exercise more regularly. Find an activity I like doing, other than yoga.
Yeah, not so much. But this can be fixed quite easily and would help with #1.

3. Raise at least $5000 for Save the Brains.
Save the Brains is happening on August 26th this year at the Biltmore. I had a really hard time getting into planning it, as my head has been elsewhere. Thank goodness to my friend Stephanie, who has been an enormous help. Thanks Steph - xo.

4. Get our finances under control. We won't be able to pay off all our debt this year, but we can come up with a plan and stick to it. This will alleviate an enormous amount of stress.
Not at all...

5. Take the time to paint and craft more, and sell some stuff. I'd really like to actually get a viable online business going by next fall.
I'm working on this. I'm currently refinishing a chair for the bedroom, and have a bunch of other home decor projects planned. No online business in the works, but that can happen next year and I'm fine with it.

6. Cook more. I got Great Chefs Cook Vegan from my brother and sister-in-law for Christmas, and I already have The Artful Vegan, so I plan on making some new fancy dishes. I'm also planning on taking advantage of my slow cooker and making regular hearty dishes on the cheap.
Not really.

7. Blog more. I totally shit the bed on the last 10 days Vegan MoFo 2010. I tried my best, I really did, but work and school just killed it.
Kinda. There's still room for improvement, but it's getting there.

8. Join some classes and meet some new people. Maybe I'll start a meet-up of my own. I went to a Knit n' Sip at a pub in Nanaimo last year that was a lot of fun...
Well, I tried doing a knit & sip, and only two people showed up and spent quite a bit of time complaining about the location. I went to a vegan meet-up and had a great time and had some fabulous food. Maybe I'll look into a class for September.

So it's not as bad as I thought. I just need to put my mind to getting out of this funk and moving on.

27 July 2011


If people are going to keep giving me flowers, I'm going to have to buy a vase...

Flowers from Shaunna in a Bodum carafe,
and from Jessy in a Hurricane glass from Pat O'Brien's in New Orleans.
Thanks guys!

11 July 2011

Lost another one

Well, we lost another pregnancy this past weekend. I am heart-broken, and not sure what to do now.

24 June 2011

This Week in My Kitchen: Stuffed Peppers and Chocolate Chai Cookies

Stuffed Peppers Two Ways

I love stuffed peppers. So much so, that one day I had it twice, for breakfast and lunch!

For this one I used a poblano pepper stuffed with Yves Ground Chicken and taco seasoning, baked it in the toasted oven and topped with melted Daiya cheese and salsa. I had some leftover rice, so I served it with that. Fantastic breakfast, if I do say so myself.

For lunch I stuffed a red bell pepper with a bit of ground chicken and a bunch of sauteed mushrooms and onions. I baked it in the toaster oven and melted some daiya cheese on it. Served with salsa, it was a delicious lunch.

Chai Chocolate Chip Cookies

These are the the Chocolate Chai Shortbread Cookies from Vegan Cookies Take Over Your Cookie Jar. I had trouble slicing them because they're so crumbly, so I shaped them into little pucks and baked them that way. Despite the trouble forming them, they were really tasty. Recommended.

23 June 2011

Family Photos

I've been going through the photos on my computer, trying to get them organized. Here are a few family photos, mostly from last Christmas. I thought I'd share so you can see how lucky I am!

 Kirk painting at his desk.

Kirk with his mom & sister. Adorable.

My Mum...

...and my brother, in almost the same pose. 

Mum's dog Toto. Kirk & I got her a lobster dinner toy set,
and promptly put the lobster on her head to take photos.

Jerry. She's my best girl.


Monkey, the "tough one", making biscuits on a blanket.

22 June 2011

Seattle 2011, part 6, the final one

I have a few leftover Seattle photos, so here they are:

Here's the hallway in our hotel, Inn at Queen Anne. Each floor had different light fixtures, and these were my favourite. Inn at Queen Anne is a pretty neat hotel. It looks like it used to be a rooming house, many many years ago. Every room has a kitchenette that's in a little alcove, and there are non-functioning doorbells at each door. You even get a real key for your room, not those goofy cards that always get demagnitized. On the downside, the parking lot is tiny and there's no guarantee you'll get a space, and there's garbage pick up or something at 4:45 that woke me up because we had the window open. There is air conditioning in each room, but I prefer fresh air. Overall though, we liked it and would definitely go back.

A crayon paste up in Capitol Hill, right outside the Blick's Art Supply store.

More paste-ups near Seattle Centre. I love these ones!

On Wednesday we went to Roq La Rue gallery, which is a great little low-brow, pop-surrealist gallery on 2nd. The art there was amazing!John Brophy is my new favourite artist - Man, I wish I could paint like that! They also have a nice selection of art books. Kirk got one about Robert Williams and I finally got Tara McPherson's second book, Lost Constellations.

We had a great time in Seattle, which is a good thing, since it's the only vacation Kirk and I are taking together this year.

21 June 2011

Seattle 2011, part 5


My absolute favourite restaurant in Seattle is Roti, an Indian place in Queen Anne. The name makes it sound like a fast food joint, but that is certainly not the case! It's the most beautifully ornate restaurant I've ever eaten in (and I eat in a lot of restaurants, in case you hadn't noticed), and the food is to die for! Every time I go to Seattle I have to go there and have the Mango Jal-frezi. More about mango jal-frezi later...

All of their menus are housed in beautifully painted and embroidered covers. Each is different, and I've never gotten the same one twice.

Everything in Roti is ornately detailed, from the ceiling tiles, the walls, and every piece of furniture. There's no shortage of things to look at and admire.

I thought Kirk was taking a photo of the painting behind me. Look at the carved wood wall. Amazing!


The tables are carved and enameled wood. Even the dishes are beautiful. The water mugs are hammered brass, and the cutlery has copper handles. Even the glass Kirk's Coke came in was beautiful.

Oh, and the food is delicious too... We started with the vegetable pakoras because Kirk cannot resist a pakora. I love them too. They bring you three little dishes of condiments, two red and one green. I have no idea what they might be, but the green one is my favourite.

This is my plate. We had mango jal-frezi, which is a spicy mixed vegetable dish with mango and coconut milk. It might just well be the best thing I've ever eaten. We also had channa masala, which is equally amazing, with rice and garlic naan. I'm salivating just thinking about that meal. Sigh.

The portions were big and we had enough leftover for two more meals.

Tomorrow, Seattle stuff that does not involve food - imagine that!

Roti on Urbanspoon

20 June 2011

Seattle 2011, part 4

On Wednesday morning we slept in. Well, Kirk slept in and I watched old episodes of Reba on tv and listened to him snoring. After we were both up and ready to go, we set out in search for lunch. Although Kirk had enjoyed breakfast at Sunlight Cafe, he was disappointed that there was no bacon involved. Being the wonderful wife that I am, I found LunchBox Laboratory on the internet. Their catchphrase is "Where 6 pieces of bacon is just average!", and they have a pretty good-sounding veggie burger, so I thought it was the perfect compromise.

We trudged up the hill to the South Lake Union neighbourhood, which is a pretty cool place with boutique stores and a college campus.

The restaurant is in a beautiful space with lots of light and lava lamps all over the place. The service was amazing, the waitress quick and friendly (and pretty too).

This place is condiment city! They have J&D's Malt Salt on every table (J&D are notorious for developing Bacon Salt - Malt Salt seems to be their first foray into non-bacon-based condiments), as well as a selection of their own flavoured salts and the usual Tabasco and ketchup.

Yes, there's a bite out of that pickle. I couldn't wait until after I took the photo!

I won't show you Kirk's burger, because it was truly disgusting (and he was very happy). Mine was a house made black bean patty with sauteed onions and bbq sauce, with tater tots on the side. It was big and messy and delicious. We were so stupidly full when we left that we decided to walk up to Capitol Hill and then back downtown to catch a movie (Pirates of the Caribbean 4), stopping at numerous art supply stores along the way. A good day, to be sure.

Tomorrow, my favourite Indian restaurant ever!

Lunchbox Laboratory on Urbanspoon

19 June 2011

Seattle 2011, part 3

On Tuesday after breakfast we drove to Tacoma (why not?) and went to a motorcycle parts shop. Fun for Kirk, tolerable for me. We drove around downtown Tacoma, which is actually quite pretty and has nice looking museums. The only thing I knew of Tacoma previously was the Neko Case song:

We drove back just after noon and parked the car at the hotel, had a little nap (another big part of our vacation ritual), and went for a walk. We walked all the way through downtown, around Pioneer Square, and back. It's about a 5 mile walk (I checked on Google Maps).

On the way back we were pretty tired and hungry, so we stopped at Petra Mediterranean Bistro in Belltown.

The decor was beautiful and it was full of nice looking, well-dressed people in their fifties, so we figured it must be pretty good. I had a glass of French white wine, and the red lentil soup to start.

Now, the red lentil soup at Nuba is my favourite and a lot to live up to. It's the kind of soup I dream about at night. This soup was really good, but not quite Nuba-worthy. Still, I enjoyed it all the same.

As an entree I had the Veggie Combo, which was piled high with Spanish rice, falafels, dolmathes, hummus and baba ganouje. Other than the rice, which was pretty dry, it was fantastic! I pretty well licked every morsel of the baba ganouje off the plate it was so good. Kirk had the spanakopita plate, which was disappointing. It had three small spanakopitas and he said it tasted like they had been previously frozen and they were dry. I felt a little bad eating mine with such gusto, and I did offer to share.

One of my favourite past times in the U.S. is to look at the selection of alcoholic beverages they sell in grocery stores (gasp!). After dinner we went browsing and I found this single bottle of organic ale at the Metropolitan Market near our hotel. The beer lived up to it's gorgeously irresistible label.

Tomorrow: Another burger bar post. Seriously, wasn't one enough? Apparently not...

Petra Mediterranean Bistro on Urbanspoon

18 June 2011

New Art: Miranda

My friends are prettier than your friends. Just sayin'.

Seattle 2011, part 2

Day 2 in Seattle: We didn't have parking at the hotel for the first night so we had to get up early and move the car. Luckily we got a space for the second night and didn't have to get up early again - Who wants that on a vacation?!

But it did give us a chance to explore a bit and go for breakfast. I found Sunlight Cafe on the internet while looking for places where I could eat breakfast. It's a cute little vegetarian cafe in the Roosevelt district.

We got there at 8:30, and they don't serve breakfast until 9, so we got a table and had a coffee while we waited. Well, Kirk had coffee and I had yogi tea, which is like chai and delicious.

For breakfast I had Sunlight Huevos Rancheros with tofu and avocado. Deelish! The tofu was marinaded in something yummy, and served with black beans, salsa, guacamole and potatoes. Pretty well exactly what I'd pick for breakfast if I could choose anything in the world...

We didn't just eat in Seattle. We walked all over the place too. Here's the fountain in the middle of Seattle Center.

And here's Kirk at the fountain.

Tomorrow, Neko Case, falafels and beer.

Sunlight Cafe on Urbanspoon

17 June 2011

My deck

Here's some of what's going on on my deck right now. It's a good place to be.

Seattle 2011, part 1

Kirk and I decided to get out of town for a few days (good timing too, what with all the rioting in Vancouver) so we drove down to Seattle last Monday. Now, when Kirk and I go on vacation, we generally enjoy walking around and eating a lot. This was no exception!

We took our time driving down (depending on the traffic and border waits it takes about 3 hours to drive from Vancouver to Seattle), stopping in Everett where we marveled at the giant battleship in the harbour. We checked into our hotel (Inn at Queen Anne - awesome) and had a little nap, then headed out for dinner. The Queen Anne district in Seattle is full of great food, so we stepped across the street to The Signature Restaurant, a nice Vietnamese place on 1st. We hadn't been there before, and were suitably impressed. It's not terribly authentic, but definitely yummy.

 I started with a beer I'd never tried before - Maui Brewing Co's CoCoNut Porter. Heavenly! Nice and dark and caramelly, with just a hint of coconut. And the can is attractive too, a big plus in my books.

As it was happy hour, we had the Salt & Pepper Fried Tofu. My terrible photo does not do it justice at all - It was lightly breaded, crispy and delicious. I've had salt & pepper tofu at a tonne of places, and this was definitely top 5.

I was thrilled to see that they had vegetarian phở on the menu. Not beef broth with no meat chunks, but actual animal-free soupy goodness. It was amazing, with a depth of flavour that I haven't yet been able to achieve at home and a tonne of crisp veggies. Love love love!

We spent the rest of the evening watching tv in the hotel room. With no tv at home, that was kind of a treat for us.

More Seattle posts to come. Not all about food, but mostly :)

The Signature Restaurant & Lounge on Urbanspoon