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Archive | November, 2016

Spider Sequel

30 Nov

About three weeks or so ago I packed up all my stuff, bribed a friend in to coming over to help me move all my furniture 12″ away from the walls, removed the cat, the plant, and I out of the apartment for half the day and returned to an odour filled apartment because the pest control people had been here spraying in the hopes of making my apartment less hospitable to the spiders that were biting me on a regular basis.

Biting. Spiders.

You’d think I was in Australia or something! 😉 lol

Two days ago I did all of that all over again, minus the friend helping because she had to work. Oh, and this time the cat, plant, and I had to stay out longer than the first visit because the pest control guy was going to be using two poisons, not just one, and they are more powerful, hence needing to be out of the spray zone for longer.

The cat was not impressed, frankly, neither was I! Banned from the apartment is not really how I wanted to spend a day off. I think the cat’s expression says it all…

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This is Striker, hiding under a tent I built him on a couch at work where we hung out until 9pm, when we were allowed to go home.

On a happy note some good things happened that day…

  • there was a choir performing at work so for an hour Striker and I got to listen to some beautifully sung Christmas carols. I seemed to appreciate it more than the cat…
  • the chef on shift at work fed me, yay food!
  • I may not be strong enough to move all my furniture on my own but I’m healthy and strong enough to move all the stuff I packed up and stacked in the middle of the rooms, and was strong and healthy enough to unpack and put it all back that night when allowed back in the apartment. Health is not something to be overlooked!
  • even though I was grumpy and reeeeally wanted to eat copious amounts of basically allll the comfort foods I didn’t! I tracked all my food, ate healthy choices, and even fit in a fat free fudgsicle so I didn’t feel deprived.
  • by packing up so much of my stuff I weeded out a lot of things I could donate to a local thrift shop, hopefully some of those items can make someone else happy.

Also, something I am trying to remember to be grateful for, sure my apartment has an infestation of spiders hell bent on biting me to my breaking point of sanity buuuuuut I have a roof over my head, not everybody does.

Now I am crossing my fingers that the second pest control visit worked and I won’t get bit anymore, cause seriously, those bites hurt, and itch, and are highly unattractive! 😛

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Pulled Chicken

17 Nov

I cooked and it didn’t suck! Yay!

I saw a recipe on YouTube I wanted to try but couldn’t find one of the main ingredients when I was in the store today so I randomly decided to try making pulled sweet & smoky chicken in my slow cooker.

I’ve had my slow cooker for a while but never quite got around to using it. My intention was to try out slow cooker desserts, of which I have heard many a good thing! but well, yeah, didn’t happen, shrug.

But hey, why not try cooking in it today, right?

The inspiration for this meal was this…

Sorry for the ripped package, I forgot to take a picture before I oh so delicately opened it lol This is Club House brand seasoning mix for sweet & smoky pulled chicken. Mmm!

The recipe on the back made it seem super easy. Boneless skinless chicken breast, mixed with ketchup, water, brown sugar, and the seasoning mix. Pop it all in the slow cooker for 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low. Remove it from the slow cooker and tear the chicken with two forks, put it back in the slow cooker to fully coat the chicken and bring it back up to a hot temperature, then serve on a bun.

I did everything the recipe said to, except I halved it. I own a small slow cooker, and I’m cooking for one person over here, an 8 portion dish is a tad much for me!

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See? Tiny slow cooker!

Oh! I lied! I also kinda changed the meat, but not really. It is supposed to be 2 pounds of chicken breast, I used 1 pound of chicken breast fillets. Same bird, same section of the bird, just cut a bit, and cheaper. I thought the thinner cut might be the better choice because of the size of my slow cooker, also, it came in packages closer to the size I needed where as the chicken breasts were all packaged in larger amounts and I didn’t want a bunch of extra raw chicken lying around, what the hell would I do with that?

Since the original recipe makes 8 portions and I made half the recipe even I can do the math that means what I made would equal to 4 portions. Lemme tell ya, it made 4 reeeeally big portions!

I put the entire contents of the meat and sauce in a measuring cup to see how much it made, it was 2.5 ounces or 2 1/4 cups which I attempted to then measure out, on my kitchen scale, so I’d properly divide the meat and sauce but um yeah, that so didn’t work…sooooo I guesstimated *rolls eyes*

So here is how much ended up on my sandwich…

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And here is how much ended up in my tupperware container…

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I suppose if you don’t care for meat, or pulled meat, or meat in sauces, the above pictures won’t look good to you but to me, they look delicious. Mmm!

The dish turned out quite good.  🙂 Easy enough even I could make it, and a tasty end result, yay!

For all you Weight Watcher people out there, one serving is 7 SP. For those of you not on Weight Watchers, I have not calculated the nutritional information, sorry! 😉

I didn’t do anything fancy with it, just put it on some toast and made a toasted sandwich. I know in restaurants they usually put coleslaw on pulled meat sandwiches, and it is crazy delish, but I didn’t think to get any and lets get real here, I didn’t need to add even more to this sandwich, making it even more unhealthy lol

I’ll probably eat one more serving of it tomorrow then freeze the rest. I may really like this sauce but that doesn’t mean I want to eat it 4 days in a row, seems a tad excessive.

The ease of making this meal, and how good it made my apartment smell makes me think I should use the slow cooker way more often. I just might have to try some experimenting over here! 😀

Remember

11 Nov

Some poems, for Remembrance Day. Freedom is not free, the cost is high, please take a moment to honour those that fought, and still fight, to keep us free and safe.

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In Gratitude of Silence

By: Debbie Holick

Silent now the soldiers sleep, their tales long laid to rest.
I knew them not yet still I weep and place a poppy o’er my breast.

They were husbands, brothers, fathers, sons; so valiantly they fought.
On shores stained red,on hands and knees; it was our freedom that they sought.

Courageously they stood their ground but freedom carries a cost.
Thousands of men were wounded and countless lives were lost.

So in gratitude of silence and all those who have served,
sleep now, you have earned it. Your peace is well deserved.

remembrance-day

 

The Eyes

The eyes are all the same today,
Actually it’s the stare within.
The stare tells their sad, glorious tale,
Of just where they’ve all been.

It’s not a physical, worldly place,
That marks these men as brothers.
‘Tis a place in each and every mind,
That links them with each other.

Dark nights, cold days or searing heat,
Thick jungle or windswept beach-
Geography doesn’t bind these men:
‘Tis what they did beseech:

“Dear God; I’m scared and tired and sick.”
“Dear God; I’m hot…I am cold…”
“Dear God; I don’t want to kill no more,
Nor be here ‘til I am old.”

“Dear God; I’m so tired of losing,
And I’m tired of burying friends.”
“Dear God; Please bring these hellish war
To a quick and merciful end.”

It’s in their eyes, the cost of war;
Their eyes, their aged eyes,
They speak of fear and pain and death.
They speak of sad good-byes.

One minute friends are by their side,
The next they’re gone for good.
But you fight on. You must:
Consumed by guilt-the could, the should.

“It could be me, now lying dead,
Not him. This isn’t fair.
I should be with him, he’s my friend,
He’ll think I didn’t care.”

Those eyes. They saw men at their worst,
And at their best, as well.
Those eyes saw men risk life and limb,
In places worse then hell.

Those crinkled faces, years ago,
Were boyish, young and strong.
Now on this day, though resolute,
The boyish look, long gone.

November 11th, Remembrance Day:
Look at their eyes and see;
The boys that were-the men they are.
They fought so we’d be free.

But that’s the one thing they all lost,
War took their freedom away.
Though they came home, a part of them
Caught in the war, did stay.

One day a year they come as one.
Soldiers standing side-by-side.
To remember a past they can’t forget.
To remember those who died.

Do not begrudge two minutes,
For they’ve given all their lives.
And those who died? They’re legacy?
Their daughters, sons and wives.

They’re bent with age and hard memories,
You think-old folks in disguise.
Not disguise-Soldiers-one and all.
Look close: It’s in their eyes.

© Margot Leolyn Hedden November 11th 2011

Late Night Baking

11 Nov

Most people, when they notice it is 12:30am think, “hmm, maybe I should go to bed” I noticed it was 12:30am and thought “hmm, maybe I’ll try out that new recipe I’ve been staring at”.

Which is why, at 1:15am I was comfortably seated in the living room with a cup of tea and two muffins fresh from the oven. Mmm! 😀

Now, before anyone thinks I am claiming this recipe as my own, this is NOT my recipe! It is from the website http://www.drizzlemeskinny.com so go there to see it in full. 🙂

The recipe I tried out is Peanut Butter Chocolate Banana Oatmeal Muffins. Quite the mouthful to say! lol

These are a Weight Watcher friendly recipe, each muffin is 3SP. For those not on Weight Watchers, each muffin has a breakdown of:

Calories 103, Fat 3.9g, Sat Fat 1.2g, Carbs 14g, Fiber 1.8g, Sugar 3.4g, and Protein 3.8g

It is important to note that nutritional information doesn’t include the bananas – don’t ask why, its a Weight Watchers thing lol 😛

The muffins have egg, egg whites, brown sugar, plain greek yoghurt, mashed banana, light peanut butter, vanilla, oats, baking powder, baking soda, and mini chocolate chips.

I made some minor changes, of course! lol I used PB2 instead of real peanut butter. I also took regular chocolate chips and chopped them down instead of buying mini chocolate chips, that is mostly because I am cheap and didn’t want to buy mini chocolate chips when I had perfectly good regular sized ones in my pantry lol. I used a mixture of dark chocolate and milk chocolate chips because in my opinion the mixture of the two tastes better than using just one.

Oh, one other thing I did differently, but by accident, I kinda, sorta, forgot to put the vanilla in. Oops!

I don’t usually make mistakes when baking so I’m kinda shocked I forgot the vanilla…guess that is what happens when I bake at 12:30 in the morning…though I’ve done that plenty of times so I guess it isn’t really an excuse…*rolls eyes*

The strongest flavour is the chocolate, so if you like chocolate you’ll probably like these. The texture is more moist than what I am used to with muffins, not in a bad way, just something to get used to. I think if I make them again I would keep them in the oven an extra minute or two, or put in a bit more oatmeal or use slightly smaller bananas, to make them a little less moist. It is all about tweaking, so it is an easy fix, just fiddle till the batter seems right. 🙂

Enjoy!

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yes those are halloween muffin papers, don’t judge! and of course the pic isn’t in focus, sigh.

All About Adele

5 Nov

I realized my obsession with the spider infestation, pest control visit, and subsequent clean-up from “spray day” got me derailed from my writing about my Washington DC trip. The horrors!

October 10th was the Adele concert. Adele! wOOt! wOOt!

Truth be told, prior to the concert I wasn’t a huuuuuge Adele fan. I mean, she has a gorgeous voice, obviously, but I didn’t go out of my way to listen to her music. Most of the songs I know are from an older album. Since the concert? Let’s just say that has changed and I think she is awesome! 😀

She was funny, and chatty, and entertaining (not only with her songs but with her conversations with the crowd), and while sure, she is mega-rich and nothing like me, she makes you feel like you could totally sit down with her to have a cup of tea and end up friends. Weird huh?

According to Adele, she gets huge stage fright so she uses her chats between songs to calm her down and she babbles because “they” never let her out so she uses the two hour concerts to finally get to talk to someone lol

Did you know, for this tour, she wore the same dress to every concert? She wanted one perfect dress that she felt good in and that looked nice that she could wear to each show and well, being that she is Adele, she got what she wanted. She also chose to wear flats so she could be comfortable. We discovered this when she pulled two people up on stage and she commented on the ladies heels, there was this lovely little chat about shoes and she points to hers and said (and I’m paraphrasing here) “I always choose flats” in this funny sing-songy voice. Love it!

I actually found video on YouTube of that encounter, and other parts of her concert, if you want to watch here it is, the encounter with the two people starts at about 3:37 but I say watch it all because Adele is hilarious!

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During her chat with those two she discovered they are best friends, the one person had recently moved to Texas so she flew back for the concert, Adele thought they were so cute, and she apparently picked them because they looked sooooooooo excited, that she arranged for them both to go to her concert in Dallas. Who does that?

Other things she did was have her person Liam go find the two people in the stadium with the worst seats and bring them to the front row seats she had kept open. She also did that thing where she asked the crowd who was there for an anniversary, lots of people put up hands. Who was there for a birthday? Lots of people put up hands. Who was there because they were forced to be there? Two people pointed fingers at one guy! lol They were on the floor so everyone could see them. Adele thought it was hilarious, said there was at least one at every concert! She also walked around the perimeter of a smaller stage that was set up in the floor area and struck a ridiculous pose that basically had her butt in the air and her face closer to the level of the people in the crowd so people could take selfies and get a good shot of Adele in the picture. Like, for real, she went around each side of that stage and stopped multiple times along each side so everyone in that area could snap a selfie. She did all kinds of sweet things for various fans that she didn’t have to but I guess just felt like doing…or if I want to be cynical it is part of how she builds her image and brand but let’s not be cynical today ok? 😉

I took a horrible quality video of her performing the song Rolling In The Deep, it was her encore song. It is a tad blurry at the beginning but gets better and towards the end I stop pointing at the stage to get images of the papers falling from the ceiling (don’t worry, I go back to the stage eventually)…sorry! But hey, I never claimed to be a videographer and I was busy enjoying the concert, not worrying about balancing my camera lol Turns out the microphone on the camera is pretty good though, so that’s a nice thing to learn! 🙂

I never would have thought to go to this concert, mostly because I don’t have that kind of money, and this concert was so far away from where I live. If it wasn’t for the amazingness of my friend Nic I never would have had this experience and I only hope that one day soon I can find a way to repay her. If you ever get a chance to go to an Adele concert jump at it, it was such a great experience! Until then check out YouTube, there are so many videos taken from her concerts so you can see for yourself how funny, and kind, and entertaining she is. Oh and bonus, you’ll also get to hear her sing which as we all know is something she does exceptionally well. 😀

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It took a ridiculous amount of tries to get a decent pic of us, and look at my sunburn! I look like a freakin tomato! 

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