Wednesday, April 28, 2010

All I Ever Needed to Know In Life, I Learned from Ravioli

I've done it. I've tried 48 new recipes.

This was my new years resolution and it has been accomplished. Never before in the history of my life has a resolution been accomplished before May 1. Never again, I'm sure. Unless it's to gain weight, shop more, or something along those lines. The key to a successful resolution gotta like it. And I liked it.

I'll post the list of the 48 recipes on another post, another day. But I want to focus on my final recipe, the last hurrah.

I decided to make my own ravioli. Here's a little background:

A bunch of friends (and me) went to Milestones restaurant for dinner on March Break. Two of us had the Butter Nut Squash Ravioli. It was amazing. I loved it. I wanted more.

I started googling ravioli recipes and found several and then I discovered videos of how to make ravioli. Several of them ~ and they looked like fun.

I got myself a couple of the necessary tools (a checkered pin and a ravioli/pastry cutter in pics above and below) and I was off to the races.

I decided to make two kinds. The butter nut squash version was for me and the Unmentionable One and a cheese version was for the kids.

Here's a pic of some of them sitting ready to be cooked.

I didn't take pics along the way because my hands were covered in cheese and squash puree.

I think they look like little pillows.

See? This little playmobil guy did too! (Thank you, Jack)

My biggest concern was having them burst in the water. I'd heard tales of this woe on the internet. Makes the water gross and the ravioli, well, empty.

Here they are -- no bursting so far!
And, the final analysis:
Butternut Squash Ravioli with tomato sauce, goat cheese, toasted pecans and fresh basil.

Thank you, Milestones!

Although this was a tasty meal, it was a very small meal. I didn't take pictures of all the kids eating peanut butter sandwiches after they were done the ravioli. Next time, double the recipe.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Too Much Moxie

On Saturday night, He-Who-Cannot-Be-Mentioned and I went on a date. A real date. No kids. Just the two of us. I know, I know...a shocker!

It was fun! Despite my sister's teasing that we'd have nothing to say to one another and would stare blankly at each other from across the table, we surprisingly had tonnes to talk about, catch up on, analyze and laugh at.

We started with dinner at Moxies.

Can I just tell you right now that there seems to be an epidemic in downtown London on Saturday nights? It scares could be contagious. Beware.

It seems that women -- no matter age, size, shape, socio-economic status or shoe size are FORGETTING TO PUT ON THEIR PANTS.

I felt like running up to Talize, buying a bunch of pants in several sizes and handing them out to these poor souls who left the house in such a hurry that they forgot to put on some bottoms.

It's almost like they realized it, took off their headband and put it on as a skirt.

I've come to know that when at Moxies, the "hostessing" staff at the front door tend to be a little scantily clad. The girl seating us had to tug, tug, tug at her (Lu-Lu Lemon headband turned skirt) bottoms the entire time she walked us to the table.

I don't want to see your bum, sweet pea.

But it got worse. I know I sound like an old fuddy-duddy right now, but I am honestly shocked that so many women would stand in front of the mirror before they left and think that a skirt that barely covers your bum WHEN STANDING would be in any way a comfortable thing to walk or sit in. And it's the tugging...the constant tugging that bothers me.

As customers walked by our table to get to their own, I saw more flesh than I ever cared to see in one evening. Flesh here, flesh there, flesh everywhere. And not just legs and bums. Boobs and cleavage in all shapes and sizes.

And what was I wearing? I'll have you know that I looked like a total homeschooling geeky mom. I was covered from chin to toe. I had on a turtle neck sweater and a pair of jeans...and socks...and shoes. And I was totally the odd one out. By far I was wearing reams and reams more fabric than most women in that restaurant.

I digress. The point has been made. I am appalled by the current fashion trend.

But back to the date. We had a lovely dinner (as in the food) at Moxies and then headed to Chapters (we both love hanging out there and reading for free!) for a while before we returned home to free our babysitter from the five freaky kids.

All in all, it was a fabby night out on the town. I'm sure we'll do it again in the next 8 to 10 months.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Man of Many Faces






Just darn cute.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Why I Love Spring

1. Clothes on the line. So totally therapeutic to me AND now that our Smart Meter is installed, so very frugal.

2. BBQ. This opens up a whole new world of cooking fun.

3. Windows open. I can see my curtains billowing with the breeze.

4. Birds singing. When Big Liver Girl and I go running early in the morning the robins are awake and singing their little hearts out.

5. Kids outside. They are out there every waking moment they can be. The mess is out there. Love it.

6. Flowers -- I can see them popping their little heads out these days. My tulips are almost in bloom.

7. More daylight. I'm loving that we can bike at 8 pm and it's safe!

8. Bikes -- last night was my first bike ride of the season. It was beautiful but a tad bittersweet, as it only takes about 4 minutes sitting on a bike seat to remember that it takes several hours of sitting on a bike seat before it's comfortable.

9. Soccer -- just a few weeks away.

10. Gardening. I cannot wait to order mulch. I love the smell of fresh mulch.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Never Again.

I had a really busy weekend. Lots of stuff going on...good stuff, fun stuff but lots nonetheless.

This was the kind of busy that had nothing to do with my family -- most of it was work that had to be done for soccer, away from the house. So I was out for most of the weekend, leaving my husband (whom, by the way, is trying to limit his "virtual footprint" so I am no longer able to talk about him on my blog or on facebook. -- that's a whole other very interesting and amusing post) and my kids to handle things on their own.

Hmmmmm....wanna know how that went?

Not too bad. On Saturday when I left for the afternoon/evening to travel to the States to pick up some equipment, my last words to He-Who-Cannot-Be-Mentioned were: "I want to come home to five live children and 1 happy husband." And when I did get home, that's what I found.

On Sunday afternoon, I had a soccer event here in town that took me away all afternoon again. On the way home, in the van, as my sister-in-law is talking to my brother on her cell phone, he casually mentions that I should take a peek at my eldest son's leg when I get home. A simple statement....but an understatement.

When I get home, things were a bit crazy because we were all heading out to church and I was bit late. Not until I get to church and see the large patch of gauze on my son's leg, do I remember to ask him about it.

So buddy, what happened to your leg?

I chopped it with a machete.

Pardon me? I thought I heard the word machete?

Yep. I was cutting a tree with a machete in the bush and I missed and hit my leg.

Where was your dad?

Right there.

Where did ya get the machete?

From dad.

Let's just end the conversation right there. But it did go on. Oh yes.

After a consult in the church kitchen with several dear ladies who used to be nurses, we went to my brother's house (he's a First Aid Master, loves this kind of stuff, has all the gear and has been very well-trained) and he cleaned and patched up the leg. I then called my friend who is a doctor and asked her about tetanus. We're up to date so all is well.

And yet again another story to add to the list. Poisoned spears from Papau-New Guinea, Air Soft guns and teeth, and now machete scars. Lovely.

I am never leaving again.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Unhappy Birthday

Today was Jack's fourth birthday. He was so excited when he woke up this morning. All he could think about was presents, cake, and a party.

Before you get too excited, let me explain that parties at our house are not really that exciting. We don't do, rather I don't do kid birthday parties very well. They scare me. A party here consists of the dinner of your choice, a cake and a couple of presents. May be there might be balloons...may be not. However, we still celebrate, sing at the top of our lungs and have fun.

Not today.

It started out alright, that's for sure. Jack was excited. All of us (including my husband) went out for lunch to celebrate. We did a few errands this afternoon and then went home to cook, bake a cake, wrap gifts etc.

Not only am I crappy at kid birthday parties, I'm crappy at cakes. Really, really crappy. Jack wanted a dirt-bike cake. Here's what I think when I hear that: put a dirt bike on top of a slab cake. But this year, I stepped it up a notch. I didn't make a slab cake. I made a layer cake. you're impressed. Funny thing about layer cakes is that they need waaaaaay more icing than slab. Whoops.

About an hour before the big party, Jack starts acting tired and a little whiny. His cheeks get red and before I know it, he's got a nasty fever and is not the least bit interested in a party. As I put the finishing touches on the ugliest cake ever (read: take a dirt bike, shove it on the top of the cake and toss on some store-bought green icing to look like grass), and get supper on the table, he's fast asleep on the couch.

We ate dinner as he slept. We had cake and icecream as he slept. We watched him sleep while we opened his presents. I'm kidding...we're not that mean. But here's my big four year old boy, celebrating his happy day...comatose.
Oh, and in case you think I'm just being modest about being the absolute WORST cake decorator on the's People's Exhibit A:
I rest my case.

Sunday, April 4, 2010


The other night we had these really freaky carrots for dinner.

I found them at our local grocery a regular carrots. But these are called "Heirloom" carrots.

Here they are unpeeled, just outta the bag.
Yep, that's them. Purple, gold, white, and of course, orange. These are freaky. But check them out once they are peeled.
So here they are chopped.

How cool is that? And if you're wondering what they tasted like...they tasted like carrots. Honestly, if you closed your eyes while eating them, you would've never known.

When I cooked them, the dark purple colour tended to bleed onto the white carrots so they came out a pretty mauve shade.

The kids all tried them, except for the one child who doesn't eat cooked carrots. He figured that if he didn't like orange ones, he definitely didn't like purple, gold or white ones.

I also did an experiment by feeding the baby ONLY purple ones. He ate quite a few. But I promise I will not post any pics of the results of the experiment.