Sunday, September 25, 2011

It's been a slice, kisses to all

Here it is finally, the last blog post for this here blog. It's been coming for a while really, and it feels like a good time to close the story arc, at least here. I'll still be around on Facebook although I don't post much there either. I guess my heart's just not that into it anymore. My creative energies are going more toward work, which is a good thing. I found a website copying program that allowed me to download my entire blog to my hard drive. So now if the blog disappears (I'm not planning to delete it just yet) I'll still be able to have it as a keepsake. I want to thank everyone who participated over the last 6 and a half years (the longest thing I've stuck to so far save Serge) as it really wouldn't have been the same without you. If for nothing else, I've made some cool connections and ended up with a really neat scrapbook of sorts. I am very grateful for that. Enough! This is a blog post so let's get to it. First up, Serge's little project:

Serge made a solar panel out of beer cans, and the darn thing really works! In direct sunlight, the air coming out at the top reaches 200 degrees F! Unfortunately, we don't get very much sun in the winter when the device would be most useful. Air comes in at the bottom and rises through the cans and comes out at the top. Cool huh?

Here's the Canadian news with another example of why we scratch our heads over the bitter acrimony in Washington over taxes. So we see in Quebec (the most highly taxed district in North America), every dollar earned above $127,021 is taxed at 48.2% whereas the top tax rate in the US happens after income of $380,034 and is taxed at 43.2%. Denmark looks frightening though don't you think?

I wouldn't be right to end things without our favorite pooch now would it? He's all curled up in bed after a hard day of running in the park and begging for treats. Good night sweet Georgie.

Love to all and have a wonderful life! XOXOXOXOXOXO

Sunday, September 18, 2011


More food preparation practice in case I get on that show. My friend R showed me a few of her tricks last night and this plate came out quite nice - presentation wise. It's veal parmesan with pasta marinara and asparagus.  What's most exciting is how easy and fast it was. Seriously I could whip this up in fifteen minutes. I will likely add this to our weekly rotation of meals. There was an alternate side dish, a twice baked bleu cheese potato. Not so pretty on the plate but. Yum.

This one was winner on the taste side. Another veal dish but rolled up with spinach and smoked salmon. Those are chantilly potatoes on the side. I'm less thrilled about the presentation but wow, it was good. At first I wrinkled my nose at the idea of veal + smoked salmon but the marriage was really nice. Also, neat new trick to cook spinach. Just throw it in the microwave in a covered dish, no additional ingredients required. You'd never know. Perfect.

R and I in her kitchen making magic. Serge took notes the whole time so I can duplicate what we did. 

Now I'll have to practice these preparations next weekend. Now who will be my guinea pig? Then I'll be good to go for the tv show if they call because I'll have alternate dishes in case other contestants prepare something similar. The question is now creeping in, "Why did I sign up to be a contestant again?" It's a lot of work and if I do go, it will be a week full of stress.

I'm in the middle of my two week-long intensives with the nurses so there's really nothing else to report. I had to wear a jacket yesterday so summer is officially over up here. Sad pouty face. I'll pop back in next weekend. Toodles.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Toenails, coqs, and dirty doctors

He's so darn cute but he's also so darn vile. Case in point = Serge was trimming his own toenails (which he lets get disturbingly too long before attending to) and assembled all the clippings in a little pile on the coffee table. Georgie then sauntered by and slurp, all the trimmings were gone. Gah.

This week I took my mentor out to dinner (the guy who brought me into an actual steady job at the college) to thank him for his help. We went to Pinxto. It was one of the best dinners I've had. And I did my new favorite thing. When the server came, I said, "We don't want to look at the menu, can you do it for us?" She asked if we had any allergies/dislikes and upon hearing that we didn't started us on our 7 course odyssey. Everything she brought was pure delight. And I LOVE their boudin (blood sausage, black pudding) and just about everything they offer. Well if you look at the menu, you'll see it's impossible to try everything, so we'll have to go back.

Speaking of food, yesterday I did the full three course meal that I'm practicing for the possible tv show participation. Here you see the main course, osso bucco a la milanese with Greek potatoes. It came out great, though we all agreed that additional au jus should be available on the table.

This week I got an unexpected call. In June I had participated in the men's health day which was really a prostate cancer screening among other things. So I had my patootie examined (ugh) and received my "results" last week. Basically I received a paper encouraging me to continue seeing a doctor regularly. Then this week, the doctor calls and says, "Everything is normal but we want you to come in for more blood and urine tests and an ultrasound of your prostate." Emphasis several times on the "everything was normal". But see, if everything is normal, why do you want me to come back so quickly? I'm not going to worry about it, and I really hope the ultrasound doesn't involve some kind of butt wand. Double gah.

Look what the mother in law brought us! A family heirloom is now in our house with a full set of china. Never thought I'd see the day, but I love it. I'm not in love with how the contents are organized at the moment but we'll get to that. I love the little mirror at the top too. Now if one of those curved pieces of glass were to break, I wonder how much it would be to replace. Nothing is made with curved glass anymore.

Finally today, and I'm sorry for my week long absence again (though I reckon this is the new norm), a little funny. My CFO student for large global company told me how he was with a colleague at a downtown restaurant with Toronto associates. As they were ordering, the colleague was chatting with their guests and my student nudged him and said, "It's your turn to order." So the colleague opened the menu and said, "I'll take your cock and a diet coke." Without missing a beat, the waiter replied, "And how would you like my cock." Then the mortification. Up here "coq" is just plain ole chicken. I would have loved to have been that waiter, tee hee! Have a great week y'all, I'll see you next weekend. Mouah!

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Cooking and stuff

Georgie found a ball he liked at the park so much (and that didn't belong to us) that he refused to leave at the decided on time. See the routine is I hold up the leash for him to see, he knows it's time to go and he runs over. Then he gets a cookie. Well the ball/toy thing was so good, he didn't even want a cookie. Then he wanted to play chase and I got majorly frustrated at him. Finally, I tackled him and gave the nice people their ball/toy back. Then they told me they don't know why but all the dogs go apeshit over the thing. Yeah, good idea to bring it to the doggie park, NOT. Idiots. We're not doing that "NOT" thing anymore are we? Going by the wayside like "hella" and "phat" I believe.

There was an abandoned beagle at the doggie park the other day. I really wanted to bring him home, but couldn't, as these things must be agreed upon by the other occupier of the home. I didn't even need to ask, I know what the answer would have been. He got picked up by the spca, the gang subsequently reported. Yeah, I go pretty much every day around the same time so there's a gang now that I'm part of and we tell all our dog stories to each other.

I can't believe it's been a week (well 6 days) since I've posted. It's not intentional, and maybe it has something to do with my aging, but I think the frequency will continue to dwindle. If I can figure out a way to save the whole thing on a disc, I might stop altogether and just consume instead of create. Speaking of creations. Above you see my first go at the dessert portion of the three course meal I'm practicing on in case I get on that TV show. You wouldn't believe how many contestants go on and admit, "This is the first time I've tried this recipe." That will not be me. So above is the banana parfait I did. It was banana bread (which is really cake y'all) in cubes with bananas that had been rolled in sugar and sauteed in butter. Then topped it with home made creme anglaise, which is basically pudding but less thick. Delicious. Still want to improve the presentation though.

The first course, which some of you may have seen on Facebook, came out great too. I'm going to practice that again this weekend . It's red pepper soup with manchego crouton and sauteed scallop with truffle oil. I like both the taste and the presentation. The main course is planned to be osso bucco, but I'm developing an alternate menu too in case other contestants decide to make that my week. Even if I don't get on, it's fun practicing and gives me an excuse to spend money on yumminess.

Oh yeah, in order to give Birdie some laughs, (she's going through some difficult health issues)  here are some of my funnier posts. She's already read them, but they still make me crack up. I'm sure they will you too, especially if you weren't around in the early years when I wrote EVERY day and actually had some talent at writing. Don't know where that went but I'm pretty sure it's gone, lol. So, my list:

Egg sandwich

The ball

Sara and the fish

And because I know she likes it:

I dance for you

Enjoy those!

I'll try to pop in this week, because after that, I start getting really busy. Have a great long weekend everyone.