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People Need Hobbies

27 May

A week and a half ago I finally started composting. Yes I know I am late to the game with this but hey, at least I’ve started now, right? That should count for something!…maybe… πŸ˜‰

Anyways!

I have been dutifully collecting my kitchen scraps in a brown paper bag, that is inside of a plastic bag juuuuuust in case the paper bag leaks…I may or may not have trust issues when it comes to paper bags…and I got to the point where it was time to take them out to the larger bin.

Where I live all composting materials go in the bin labelled “Yard Trimmings”, it looks just like the garbage bin, only the name on the top is different. My landlord always keeps both bins under the deck so not like I have to go searching for the thing.

Only, I did have to go searching, because it wasn’t there. I thought maybe I missed the day it goes out and it was already in the alley waiting for pick-up, no biggie, I can hold off one more day and add them to a newly emptied bin, but nope. The bin didn’t reappear the next day.

Or the next.

Or the next.

Finally I go actively searching for this thing. I’d like to pretend it is because I am industrious but it is more because my kitchen scraps are starting to smell a little and I’m not enjoying it.

So a-hunting I go! Is it in the alley? Nope. The front yard? Nope. The backyard? Nope. Under a different part of the deck? Nope.

What the hell, where could it have gone?

Last night I ran in to my landlord, and his wife, and I ask where it is. I am all self-depreciating about it, saying how I feel so dumb I can’t seem to find a large, usually easy to spot bin, and it turns out it isn’t me being a dummy!

Someone stole the yard trimmings bin.

yard trimming bin

Should I make a missing poster for it?

Who. Does. That?

Someone who needs a hobby, that’s who!

I mean c’mon, not like these things are hard to come by, ask the city and you’ll get one, they want us to compost!

But nope. Someone who is obviously lacking in entertainment apparently decided after last yard trimming pick-up day to go down the alley and take our bin. *rolls eyes*

My faith in my fellow human is fast decreasing.

So now I am storing my compost in the brown bag (which has split), inside the plastic bag, inside an old kitty litter container that has a lid, in the hopes of containing the smell..but oh man do ya ever get a strong whiff when you open the lid to add something new in there.

The landlord contacted the city, turns out these things have serial numbers on them, and he was told they (as in the city) would get back to him…that was almost a week ago…if this doesn’t get resolved soon I’m going to have a whole new ecosystem flourishing in that kitty litter container, and won’t that just be all kinds of fun to deal with? πŸ˜‰

 

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My Attempt to Roast A Squash

24 May

The other night at work the chefs roasted butternut squash, I had a piece and it was amazing. After grilling the chef that was on that night on what to do I thought I might give it a try, at home, with only the cat to supervise me…it may not have been my best idea but the house is still standing so it couldn’t have been the worst! πŸ˜‰

As those of you who have read past cooking posts know, I have a teeny tiny kitchen with nooooo counter space to speak of so my cutting board gets balanced on the edge of the counter that is at the front of the sink and the middle part of the sink, it is a wobbly, dangerous, stupid, place to put a cutting board, but generally my best option. I’m pretty sure one of these days I’m going to slice in to my finger *rolls eyes* Tonight, I dropped the knife and almost stabbed my foot, oops! But I didn’t! So I’m counting that as a win…

After deciding I wanted to keep my feet and fingers intact I managed to find a better balancing spot and proceeded to do as the chef instructed. He said to chop the top and the bottom off, then peel the squash, then cut it in half so the round bulb part is separate from the top column shaped part. Then I slice open the bulb part to dig out the seeds and cut the entire thing in to pieces sized however I want them to be sized.

butternut squash

I’d love to say it went as smooth as it sounds like it should have but well hey, it wouldn’t be my kitchen if that happened, right? πŸ˜‰

I don’t know if it is my peeler, or my technique, or what, but peeling that squash was not an easy task. I ended up using my knife and hacking away at the outside so my poor squash looked not quite as attractive as one might imagine a peeled squash could look. Cutting the top and bottom off was fine, cutting the entire thing down the middle was a tad harder…that could be due to my knife being too small but let’s not get picky about these things, ok? Then there was the whole digging out all the seeds and gross stuff from the bulb section, ugh, I always dislike that part of dealing with a squash, so slimy, so squishy, so easy to have a knife slip because maybe I started using the knife without getting all the goo off my hand…but again with the being picky!

So eventually I get my chopped up butternut squash on the baking tray and now the easy part. I had some oil in a little dish and I got to use my oft neglected pastry brush to spread the oil on the squash, then I sprinkled some brown sugar over top. At this point, or at some point, maybe not this point, I kinda forgot (oops again!) I was also supposed to sprinkle pepper, salt, and a Club House vegetable seasoning on the squash but (1) I was too lazy to get the pepper (2) I don’t add salt to anything so that wasn’t gonna happen and (3) I tried to buy the seasoning but the store didn’t have any so I was crossing fingers it wasn’t an intricate part of making the squash taste good.

While all this was going on the oven was heating to 350, it was sitting at its temperature for quite a while because yeah, this whole prep thing didn’t go quickly *rolls eyes* so in went the tray and on went the timer. I was told ten minutes, maybe fifteen, would be needed, and to stab the squash with a fork to test it. Also to remember what the squash looked like at work and wait till my squash looked the same.

Well…um…yeah…something went a tad wrong there. For starters, at the ten minute mark it was nowhere near done, so back in it went, in the end I think it took 40 minutes or so. Which is unfortunate because I was super hungry so that 40 minutes felt like an eternity. Even after all that time it didn’t look the same as the squash at work but it passed the fork test and I wasn’t willing to wait any longer…impatient much?

Also, I think maybe I should have flipped it at some point? The sugar kinda melted down so it was on the tray, leaving the topside of the squash pieces bare. Which is fine, except the squash was basically sitting in a brown sugar and oil lake so when I took the squash pieces off the tray there were strings of sugar, like gooey strings you’d see on a caramel apple or, I dunno, a caramel filled chocolate…not that I don’t like sugar but what I was seeing seemed a tad excessive. The underneath side had a nice browning effect to it, thanks to sitting in the sugar, where as the top was the same colour as it started out as. Not as pretty as the roasted butternut squash at work. Then again, those chefs went to school for who knows how long, their food better look nicer than mine! πŸ˜›

butternut squash cooked

In the end it was edible, actually, it was more than edible, it tasted good. Not as good as what I was trying to recreate but that could be due to the lack of seasoning, or too much sugar, or the wrong cooking temp and time, or the simple fact that I made it…but it wasn’t so horrible that I won’t try again, and hopefully get better results next time!

Hey, don’t scoff, a girl can hope! πŸ˜›

 

Food Huggers Review

20 May

I bought this weird Food Huggers thing ages ago for avocados and then stopped buying avocados, so it has been sitting in my kitchen all this time…depressed, alone, not being used, adrift and without meaning in it’s life…its sad really. To make it up to the little avocado Food Hugger I did the only humane thing I could think of…I bought avocados.

Oh the sacrifices I make in life *big epic sigh* πŸ˜‰

So this is what it looks like…obviously.

It comes with two sizes in the package, the light green is the more realistic size, the dark green is to make you envious of places in the world that apparently get gigantic avocados in their stores. I have already donated the dark green one because no joke, I have never seen an avocado that would be large enough for that hugger, especially since these things are supposed to have a snug fit. Don’t think yoga pants snug, think leggings snug.

The idea behind this creation is that you can keep half your avocado fresh for longer than without. I didn’t really believe that claim but I will admit to being a sucker for tupperware and similar items that are shaped like the food they are meant to hold so really, I was doomed the moment I saw this thing. I am after all the person who bought a tomato shaped tomato holder and who keeps convincing herself she doesn’t reeeeally need the onion shaped onion holder even though it would look so cute in my fridge!

Anyways…

The avocado food hugger has some limitations, the main one being finding an avocado that ya know, fits. The hugger is supposed to be super snug on your avocado, it needs to make a seal. The first time I tried it my avocado was too small so there was no actual seal made and this was the result…

2016-08-27 12.58.29

Not exactly what you want your over priced avocado to look like the next day. I would have done better to wrap it in saran wrap but hey, ya gotta live and learn right?

Next time I bought avocados I managed to find not one, but two avocados that fit in to this thing, yay me!

Here is how it looks when it is properly fit on to an avocado…

You can see where I push in with my thumb there is actually quite a bit of space where the pit is. The Food Hugger itself got a really good seal around the peel of the avocado, thought it was a bit of a battle getting it on there. I say battle like it was this big epic thing when really it was me, cursing under my breath as the avocado kept almost slipping completely out of my hands while I tried to cram it inside a green sorta stretchy avocado condom.

I guess the air in the pit area didn’t matter too much because the next day that half of the avocado looked like this…

avocado 3

Not bad at all. Sure, I lost some of the avocado to the inside of the hugger, but not too much, and yeah there is some browning of the avocado but c’mon, you can’t expect magic to happen, this is just a green silicone food hugger, not a fairy sprinkling fairy dust over everything.

The second avocado I ended up leaving in the hugger, in the fridge, for a couple days. Oops! It didn’t end well. When I took the hugger off the avocado there was mold around the edge of the pit where it meets the flesh of the avocado, there was excessive darkness to the avocado, basically, it was not edible and in to the compost it went.

That was a sad day for me. *sniffle*

In general I think the Food Hugger for avocados is fine, it sure makes the half of the avocado you put in the fridge look cuter than if you wrapped it in saran wrap, and there is less waste since it is washable and I don’t know about you but I tend to throw out saran wrap once I take it off of whatever I wrapped it around. So yeah, environmentally, it is probably the better option, but sadly it didn’t extend the life of my avocado past what the saran wrap was able to do.

It did however give me a good excuse to buy avocados; for that alone I think I am happy I bought it! πŸ˜‰

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

13 May

Note to self:

When you decide to make your banana chocolate chip cake in to muffins check to see how many muffin trays you have before committing to that choice.

I baked a double batch of my banana chocolate chip cake / bread last night after work but chose to make them in to muffins. Sounds great right? Well it would be except it turns out I have two muffin trays, each makes 6. The muffins take 20 minutes to bake. So at max capacity I was able to bake 12 muffins at a time.

A double batch of batter. Twelve muffins at a time. Twenty minutes for each dozen. I was baking for-freakin-ever!

I mean yeah, totally worth it, but eesh. *rolls eyes*

I think my next baking investment will have to be another muffin tray…

banana chocolate chip muffins

Soft Tortilla Bowl

11 Feb

I’m a bit delayed with this one but I finally got around to trying the Soft Tortilla bowls by Old El Paso. I’ve been wanting to try them for a while now but I don’t really make tacos so couldn’t justify randomly buying them.

I figured now was as good a time as any to buy the fixings for tacos soooooo I bought the bowls. I however have yet to buy the meat…so I still haven’t made tacos. *rolls eyes*

What I did do though was re-purpose them for breakfast, cause who doesn’t like a fun breakfast?

egg-taco-bowl

Because it is me I bought the whole grain bowls, hey, it lets me pretend I am making healthier choices. Don’t judge, that’s just mean. πŸ˜‰

I scrambled an egg and two egg whites, tossed in some dill because, well…because I was making the eggs for me and I like dill in my eggs…that’s about how deep I get when making choices in the kitchen lol

The bowl is supposed to go in the microwave for 10 seconds according to the package, so obviously I did that. No reason not to, right?

Once it was done in the microwave I put some shredded cheese along the bottom, put the scrambled eggs in, topped with the rest of the cheese (I used 20 grams total of cheese, and yes, I weighed it out) then just for fun topped with 1 tablespoon of salsa.

Gotta say, I was quite happy with the results. Tasty. Protein and carb and dairy and I guess even veg since I had salsa on there…all good things! And better than it being all good things, it was all tasty things. Mmm!

Only thing is those bowls are small. They are mini sized so not like I couldn’t tell from the packaging they are small lol That’ll probably be okay when I actually make them as tacos because I’ll eat two but no way I am eating enough scrambled egg to fill two of those bowls, that is just too much egg. I have an egg limit and that would take me past it lol

If I hadn’t put some cheese on the bottom of the bowl I am fairly certain the heat and moisture from the scrambled eggs would have destroyed the structural integrity of the bowl and it would have been quite the messy meal. So whatever you fill yours with, I suggest putting something as a barrier along the bottom, whether it is cheese, or lettuce, or whatever your little taste buds desire. Unless of course you want it to fall apart when you pick it up and have all your fillings spill all over your plate, and your hand, and possibly your shirt…sure hope that isn’t your favourite shirt you are wearing! πŸ˜‰

I am hoping to make some bbq shredded chicken in the next day or so and try that in the bowls. Or just buy some ground meat and make taco meat, then eat taco bowls like how they are meant to be used. Ya know, like normal people…

I can’t remember how long the package said they are good for once they are opened, I do remember that they need to be put in to a container of some sort (mine are currently in a Disney tupperware – in case you were wondering) and do not need to be refrigerated which if you think about it is a bit um…concerning? I mean yeah ok, they are sorta like bread, and bread doesn’t have to be refrigerated, but these aren’t really bread, and they last longer than bread would, so what is in them that has them lasting so long? I figure I don’t reeeeeally want to know so I am ignoring that little quirk. πŸ˜‰

I’d classify the tortilla bowls as a good buy. They can be used for a lot of different things, you get 8 in a package, they aren’t freakishly expensive, and they taste good. Well ok, to be fair they themselves don’t have much of a taste, they are more the vessel for your other, tastier foods, but they are perfect little vessels and do a good job, which is all I ask of them.

Oh, and just an fyi, if you are on WW, one bowl is 2 SP, so yay! for a new, point friendly food. πŸ™‚

 

Cat vs Cookie

9 Feb

So there I was, sitting on my living room chair with two coveted Maple Shortbread Cookies. They cost me a whopping 6SP in Weight Watchers land so a definite treat.

The cat comes to sniff the first cookie. I’m ok with this because he likes to smell all my food but never tastes it. I am torn between he is sniffing for poison and if he ever smelled some he would save me by swiping the food out of my hand OR my food is so unappealing to anyone who isn’t me even a cat won’t eat it…

Anyways!

He comes to sniff the cookie. He sniffs for longer than normal. Weird, but alright. Then all of a sudden he decides to switch from sniffing to gnawing on the cookie! Doesn’t even try licking it first! Oh no, not him, just starts gnawing on it, like he could somehow fit the whole thing in his mouth. *rolls eyes*

So, being the supportive of personal growth person that I am I broke off the section of cookie that is now quite obviously never going in to my mouth and offered it to him. He nibbled it a bit then proceeded to ignore it in favour of giving himself a bath.

Seriously? He gave up a delicious Maple Shortbread Cookie to lick his own tummy. I think we can all agree he doesn’t make the best life choices. Β πŸ˜‰

The travesty is that I lost about 1/4 of my cookie. My planned for, points already tracked, can not replace, cookie. 😦

Such a cruel world. *big epic sigh*

2017-01-11-21-46-27

Don’t let the innocent look fool you!

Random Dessert

28 Jan

I have noooooo idea what to call this but names don’t really matter, taste does, and it turned out surprisingly tasty. Definitely going to make it again!

Looks wise though, um, yeah, so not pretty!

banana-pancake

Take one banana, it needs to have a little brown on the peel so it is easy to mash. Mash the banana, add two eggs, mix. You’ll have a runny mix that may be slightly lumpy, depending on how well you mashed the banana so mash it well!

Pour the mixture in to a frying pan, cook, flip, cook some more.

Top with PB2 that has been mixed back to peanut butter consistency, or use almond butter, or real peanut butter, whatever takes your fancy. Actually, I might not use normal peanut butter because it is made with a decent amount of sugar and the banana makes this sweet enough as is, the PB2 is not as sweet as real peanut butter so it is a nice counter taste to the sweetness of the banana. That’s just my opinion though…

My picture shows the banana pancake (that is my working title for now) covered in PB2, I should have taken a pic of it prior to topping it, sorry ’bout that.

I maaaaaay have accidentally burnt the one side, well, maybe overcooked is a better description of what happened, but it didn’t ruin the taste so bonus! Also, it is such a runny mixture that when I flipped it well, it basically turned into a big ‘ol mess , which is why I say it isn’t a pretty dish. I think if I cook it on a lower heat so it cooks more in the middle before burning on the one side I can flip it and it just might hold its shape…maybe?

The final consistency weirdly enough reminded me vaguely of custard, despite the fact it is in pancake form, I guess because it stayed so gooey, but a good gooey, nothing gross happenin over here, I promise! The PB2 was a great topping because the banana made the pancake sweet and PB2 is sooooo not sweet, together they matched perfectly. πŸ™‚

So yeah, healthy snack / dessert / treat…whatever you want to label it. If you wanted to make it thicker and more filling you could probably add some oats to it, or if you want only the egg and banana in it but not as runny I suppose you could use just one egg. Tweak it whatever way you want, lemme know if you try something and it makes a tasty result! Sharing is caring people! πŸ˜‰

 

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