Archive | June, 2018

Not My Normal Spinach

27 Jun

I came home the other day and my landlady was in the backyard working on her garden. She’s been really into the whole gardening thing this summer and has made the back yard so pretty. There are flowers I don’t know the name of, bushes I can’t identify, and a whole section of vegetables that are flourishing.

She offered me kale, which I politely declined. She then offered me spinach and I figured why not. I like spinach, it’ll save me needing to buy some, and it would help her out – something about needing to cut it before it flowers *shrug*

Uh yeah…this is what I was given…

spinach

My spinach experience is limited to buying baby spinach from the produce section of the grocery store, or buying the frozen blocks of spinach meant to be added in to soups and things.

Spinach fresh from a garden is apparently weird, and kinda creepy, looking.

I’m not completely sure what to do with it, so far I have stared at it in confusion, put it on the counter for a day while I dealt with other things, then moved it to the fridge because it seemed to be wilting, as you can see in the above picture.

I guess I’ll chop off the leaves and use it like the baby spinach that I normally buy?

I suppose if I had ever taken the time to think about where my baby spinach came from and what it looked like before being cleaned and put in packaging so it could be shipped to a grocery store I might have googled it and seen what it looked like in a more natural state. But what spinach that hasn’t been packaged for sale looks like was never high on my list, or even on my list at all, so it was never a thing I looked in to.

Makes me wonder what other vegetables I eat look different in their fresh from the garden condition vs sitting on the grocery store shelf…I mean, I don’t wonder enough to start googling vegetables, lol, but it’s something to think about on a quiet day, when there is nothing else to do. πŸ˜‰

Chicken 1:Human 0

8 Jun

I feel before I tell this story I should point out the Instant Pot is not to blame. It did nothing wrong. This is purely user error…and a prime example of why I shouldn’t cook!

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I wanted an easy chicken slow cooker dish to be able to eat throughout the week so Tuesday night I put four chicken breasts in my Instant Pot, a mix of cream of chicken soup, gravy packages, ground black pepper, and water, and turned on the slow cooker setting. I leave it to cook for 8 hours over night and when it is done it automatically changes to a keep warm setting.

It is freakishly easy and is something I have done numerous times. Not with the gravy mixture I mean, that was new, but with other sauces and toppings. Basically I search for easy slow cooker recipes, find one that sounds ok and give it a go.

When I opened the lid the next day I should have realized something wasn’t right. Usually the chicken is super easy to shred, but this wasn’t. I didn’t think too much about why it wasn’t easy to shred, I just resigned myself to larger pieces of chicken, no biggy. I portioned out my lunch and went to meet my peeps.

Not too long after I finished eating I started to feel not well. My stomach was not happy. I wasn’t in danger of throwing up or anything, I just didn’t feel well. I shrugged it off and continued on with my day, which involved cleaning, and a long walk on some trails with a friend, then dinner. Through it all I wasn’t feeling awesome and none of the things I tried seemed to help.

Next day I was still feeling off but not as much which made me think I might be fighting off a bug and Wednesday was just an especially hard day for my immune system.

Well! Ha! I’m such a dummy! I should have checked the chicken. Soooo should have checked the chicken *rolls eyes*

I took some of the left overs out of the fridge Thursday to heat up and started cutting one of the chicken breasts in to smaller pieces so it would warm up faster and wow was the inside of that bird pink-red. It was a deep enough pink to notice through the gravy! I thought my lighting must be messing with me so I picked up the plate and moved it every which way and whadda know, the pink-almost-red colour didn’t go away. Shocking I know!

Still not trusting what I was seeing I pulled out another piece of cooked chicken, cut it, and saw red…well, more of a deep pink lol but you get my drift.

How did my chicken not cook? Not like I haven’t used the slow cooker function on my Instant Pot before. Could this be why lunch left me feeling sick? Is this chicken now ruined?

So many questions.

In a flash of insight I realized I made a stupid mistake. When using the slow cooker function on the Instant Pot I have always put the setting to “high” and cooked for 8 hours. This time I forgot to change the setting so it cooked for 8 hours, but only at “medium”, which apparently makes a big difference. Ya know, the difference between cooked chicken and deep pink chicken. The difference between chicken that shreds and chicken that doesn’t shred. The difference between chicken that gives you some lovely protein instead of a stomach ache and feeling of being sick.

It is four days away from compost pick-up day so I put the pink chicken back in the fridge so it doesn’t smell up the bin and will throw it out on the appropriate day. I don’t know if I put it in a pan and heat it up, and continue to heat until the pink is cooked away, if that will make it safe to eat, and frankly, it isn’t something I am willing to test. So my stupid mistake has cost me three chicken breasts, which is a pisser cause groceries ain’t cheap!

But there you have it, in the battle of chicken breasts vs human who sucks at cooking, the chicken won. Thank goodness for take-out! πŸ˜‰

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They are coming for me!

The May Vacation

5 Jun

A cat in a booster seat.

A playboy bunny image made out of snow.

A lot of Tim Hortons.

A carnival in transport.

A couple stops at Peter’s Drive In.

A best friend’s wedding.

And of course…food. Lots and lots of yummy food.

Those are but a glimpse of what made up my little May vacation.

I drove one province over to attend, and take part in!, my best friend’s wedding. I say “I” but it was really “we” since I go nowhere without the cat. He spent his 13 hours in a booster seat designed for dogs (don’t tell him that!) because there is a serious lack of travel items designed for cats.

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Silent protest – something he is very very good at!

Sidenote: if anybody has start up money and wants to invest, I have some great ideas for a range of products to make travelling with your cat easier, lol.

Back to the trip!

On the way there we saw pieces of a carnival being transported who knows where, a muffin disaster at a Tim Hortons in Golden BC, a Playboy Bunny logo made out of snow on a mountain, oh, and there were a couple escape attempts by the cat when silent protest was deemed too calm of a way to show his displeasure.

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I have been trying oh so hard for six months or so to not screw up so I would be able to fit in my bridesmaids dress and yay me, I fit! I did however get so caught up in the day I forgot to get a full length picture of me in the dress, sigh. So the best you’re gonna get is this selfie…

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Gratuitous selfie.

I’m not going to share pics of the wedding, because well, that would be a lot of people to track down to ask if they are ok with their pics going on this blog and ain’t nobody got time for that! πŸ˜‰ Rest assured, it was beautiful. It was an outdoor ceremony at a mansion, pictures were done on location and also in an area with a great city view as the background. The reception was in a hall that I and others helped decorate the day prior. I gotta say, my friend is quite the savvy shopper. She got the place looking exactly how she wanted without breaking the bank.

Instead of a wedding cake there were doughnuts from some fancy bakery. Brilliant idea if you ask me!

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I didn’t actually get to eat my doughnut, *pout*, as a drunk groomsman took it out of my hand as I was about to take a bite and ate it. Ate my doughnut. The doughnut that belonged to a lady who’d be dieting for 6 months. I’m impressed I didn’t jump him like a crazed animal.

Instead I ate a slice of pizza, that was second dinner, and oh my god was it goooood! Handmade crust by the caterer that was hired, seriously best crust I’ve ever had. I ended up eating a couple bites from three different slices, which makes me sound like a jerk but it is actually that the servers were just too darn efficient.

See, I had a slice, took one bite, someone was all “you’ve got to come dance!”, so I put the pizza down (on a plate I mean), went and danced, and when I came back it was gone. So like any normal person I used this as an opportunity to try a different kind of pizza, grabbed a new slice, took a bite, and basically the same thing happened, except I think it was me that was all “I love this song, I must dance!”, and yeah, when I got back the rest of my slice was gone. Not to be thwarted I grabbed a third slice, ate the crust first (the crust is the best part and I’d not managed to eat any of it yet lol), had a couple bites of the part of the slice that had toppings, and then threw it out so I could go dance.

Have you figured out yet that I like to dance? πŸ˜‰

I decided in total that equals to me eating one full slice, right?

I spent the day after the wedding wanting to die lol Hung over and sun stroked, my poor body was having none of it and I basically slept the day away on my parent’s couch. Aren’t I such a stellar example of being a grown-up! lol

Once I was feeling better things were pretty normal for one of my trips there. Visited with friends. Did some shopping. Chilled with the parents.

Granted, there was the day where a slice of cheesecake was both my breakfast and lunch which was pretty awesome…

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From the Spinelli Italian Centre Shop. Go there. It’s worth it!

But ya know, other than cheesecake overload things were pretty normal.

The return trip was fairly uneventful. The cat and I finished our audio book, he didn’t seem at all surprised by the ending. πŸ˜‰ We got a milkshake at Peter’s Drive In, which if you are ever in the vicinity of Calgary AB you must must must go to Peter’s.

Best. Milkshakes. Ever.

And no, I didn’t get a picture, I was too busy driving and drinking the milkshake to take one. πŸ˜›

We got home super late, I took care of essentials – like putting the milk and wine in the fridge and having a shower, then we crawled in to bed where we both slept the way only travel weary people and cats can. I woke up briefly around 10 am (we went to bed at 4am so no judging!), looked at the time, said “nope”, rolled back over and went back to sleep. The cat didn’t even bother to wake up, he just stayed asleep until I got up at 3pm. Neither of us care for the whole waking up part of our day, we are well matched like that lol πŸ˜›

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We wake up under protest, daily.

There ya have it! Our little road trip sadly is over, but we have memories and pictures, and a little more body fat, to remind us of all the fun we had. We are both back to routine, me with my two jobs and dragon boat practices, he with all his cat chores. The only big thing that is a constant reminder of the trip is the suitcase I still haven’t put away but I’m determined to do that tomorrow!…says the woman who has been putting it off for 6 days…ah well, it’ll get done eventually! πŸ™‚

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