Warning: feral dog ahead

Here’s my protective, watch-dog, River busy guarding our home.

River hard at work

River hard at work

Here’s a close up of the dangerous fiend.

Notice the eyes are half-closed....

Notice the eyes are half-closed….

He’s sadly neglected as well as vicious…

That's my hand trying to wake him up...and not working.

That’s my hand trying to wake him up…and not working.

Yeap. He’s super-dangerous, this one.

More healthy cooking

The last healthy recipe was such a success, I thought I’d share two that I’m loving right now and are super easy. One is a lentil stew and it’s actually so delicious I keep eating it over and over. More to the point, my suspicious hubby tried it and absolutely loved it.

Aaaannndddd…it’s super easy to make. Only 3 steps!

There’s no link for this one. I got the recipe from my European ancestors, so if you try it, you’re tasting European goodness.

Lentil Stew

Ingredients:

2 carrots (cleaned and peeled)

1 large onion (peeled and diced)

2 bay leaves (Don’t skip this one. It’s magically important)

2 cups of green lentils

6-9 cups of water (you can change this for your favourite broth and it’ll work even better)

1 tablespoon of garlic (Don’t be shy with this one either)

salt and pepper to taste

 

Steps:

1. In a large pot add the onion, carrots, lentils, garlic, bay leaves and broth (basically everything but the salt and pepper).

2. Bring it to a boil and let it simmer for 40 – 50 minutes or until the lentils are soft.

3. Check it during the process and give it a loving stir. If it looks like it’s sticking, add more water or broth. Add salt and pepper in there some time.

That’s it! When it’s done, it’ll look something like this.

img_0519

It might not look it, but it’s super yummy and awesome for you. Lentils are a superfood. They’re great sources of iron, protein and fibre!

Super Yummy Smoothie

This one is another of my favourites that I just keep eating. It’s basically a fruit smoothie. Sooo good. You can do all sorts of things with the results, like freeze it and have it for kids as super healthy ice cream, or just as a refreshing snack. I love it and love even more all the vitamins I know I’m getting with this one.

Ingredients:

3 oranges (I love these, that’s why I add so many)

1 ripe pear (my favourites are D’Anjou pears but any will do)

1 apple (I use MacIntosh but any will work)

4 spoons of frozen strawberries (super good…so add a couple more!)

3 spoons of frozen blueberries (berries are another super food, so feel free to add more)

 

Steps:

1. Cut up and peel all the fruits

This is just the start with the fruits all in the blender

This is just the start with the fruits all in the blender

2. Add the oranges first (it makes it easier on the blender). Then the rest of the fruits. If you find they don’t fit (like mine didn’t) then blend away to make room.

 

After blending to make room

After blending to make room

In go the frozen strawberries

In go the frozen strawberries. And I didn’t add a picture but don’t forget the blueberries

This is the final product...so good!

This is the final product…so good!

3. Enjoy!

If you try these, give me a shout and let me know how they worked out for you!

 

Those boots are made for winter

My incredibly organized husband just found these in the basement.

Yeap. They're snow boots.

Yeap. They’re snow boots.

Finding them, sort of raises more questions than answers.

What has he been wearing all winter? What else could be hidden in our basement? How does he manage to get dressed and out the door in the mornings?

 

Wanna cook something healthy?

So, lately, we’ve been giving a plant-based diet a go. In a burst of enthusiasm I decided I could cook and gave refried beans a shot. Under my leadership, we’ve had some catastrophes in the kitchen but this one worked. It’s really super easy and just requires patience. Leave it to cook on its own and it’ll be great.

This is where I got the recipe on You Tube.

This is what it looked like.

They actually smell amazing. So much better than anything from a can.

They actually smell amazing. So much better than anything from a can.

As you can tell, I made enough for an army…still, it smells and tastes amazing and it only requires 3 ingredients! Plus, getting those beans in a bag cost under $2 for the recipe.

Let me know if you try it. Good luck!!

Where I try my hardest

My hubby is not only completely tech-incompetent, he also happens to be a therapist. Since it is 2017 and not 1880, he has finally accepted that he needs an online presence and his own site. Well…since he can barely turn on the TV, he asked me to set up his site. Apparently, I’m web savvy.

So, I thought I’d share my attempt with you. Keep in mind, I’m no web designer. Still if you’re interested in looking, here it the site as it stands now: https://johnltaylorpsychotherapist.wordpress.com

Ahem, not to shy away from some shameless self-promotion, he also does counselling through Skype.

If we were having coffee…

I’d tell you around this time of year, I start to yearn for sunshine, longer days, warmer weather and less snow. The hairballs we have as dogs, however, would probably love winter all year around. To them, this is heaven.

Around here, though, Mother Nature rules with a cold fist and there are still weeks and weeks of the white stuff ahead of us. As I look outside my window, all I see is swirling flakes of snow. When the dogs come in from the outside, they are covered with the stuff.

In other news, my job changes tomorrow along with the start of February. I work with the public, so mine is not a predictable job. People come in with all sorts of interesting quirks, issues and stories, appreciating them is the highlight of my job…but it can also be the catalyst for nightmarish headaches. People are a funny lot. Logic doesn’t always apply to the them; alarmingly, neither does hygiene.

On the funny side, TV has never been this entertaining.

How about you? How is your February going?

Note: If we were having coffee is a meme created by Part Time Monster.

Groundhog Day

Notwithstanding what the groundhog predicted, this is the scene outside my window right now…

img_0503

And that is Ocean, one of my two akita dogs who refuse to come inside when there’s a snow storm going on.

Inside? Not now!

I don’t want to come inside yet.

Why have cushions and warmth when you can sit on a pile of snow and ice?

Oops

My lovely hubby decided to do laundry. I guess he wanted things to be really, really clean, because when the laundry finished, instead of clean, wet clothes I saw this…

img_0501

He didn’t even ask this time if he was going to make it on the blog. Progress.

Cher Quebec…

 

(credit: montreal gazette)

Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and survivors of the horrific attack on the mosque in Quebec city.

(credit: cbc)

(credit: cbc)

As our Prime Minister said: “We will not close our minds, we will open our hearts. We will heal together…we will not meet violence with more violence; we will meet fear and hatred with love and compassion.”

Nos prières et pensées sont avec vous.

 

 

Review: All I ever Wanted by Kristan Higgins

All I ever Wanted was not just another hit by Kristan Higgins, it was really special. It has the usual great elements I expect from this author, a great story, fantastic characters and hilarious humour but there was something really special about this one that made me want to start to re-read it the moment I finished it. Looking back, I can’t decide what is the one thing that made it stand out for me. There are quite a few.

For one Callie, the heroine, was so nice she might have gone over into the silly area if she hadn’t been called on her overly-nice issue. She’s literally nice to those who are mean to her. Thankfully, she wises up and even doses out a little revenge. Callie stayed happy, nice and safely away from being too sugary.

Ian is our hero and he’s just hilarious. He’s formal, tense and just about every awkward attribute you can imagine. He’s truly good looking but he seems unable to know what to do with all the attention that gets him and more than once he ends up tongue-tied and staring like a deer in the headlights.

The way they meet is delicious because, at the get-go, they actually dislike each other. That in itself created more than a few fireworks and the chemistry didn’t let up. Ian isn’t one for romance or poems. This is no Cyrano. He’s a great vet, realistic in that he gets alone with animals and freezes in front of a gaggle of little girls. I have to be honest and add that he reminded me of my hubby. I absolutely adored him.

Callie has an adoring dog and lives with her grumpy grandfather. I was cautious about this living arrangement at first. How could a grandfather be funny or interesting? This guy was absolutely hilarious. He’s grumpy and really funny.

In fact, one of the things I loved the most about this book were the secondary characters. This was a town I wanted to live in. Callie’s family, from the icy mother to the quirky sister are awesome and I looked forward to their interactions with each other and with her. They deliver great lines and drew more than one chuckle from me as I read.

Finally, Callie gets herself into some fixes that are just awesome in how comical they are. There are limitations to how funny an author can make a situation due to the fact that everything has to be translated into written words. Expressions, noises, smells, in real life they are powerful contributors to humour. Kristan Higgins does an amazing job with humour. I felt like I could hear, smell and see every hilarious detail. And they were simply delicious.

An absolute keeper, I can easily recommend this one as one of my favourites from this author. If you haven’t tried Kristan Higgins yet, do it and do it with this book. I know I was glad I found it and even gladder I tried her. She’s one of the best out there.

(credit: kristanhiggins.com)

(credit: kristanhiggins.com)

Note: click on cover to go to site.