Category Archives: domestics

I’ve been a busy bunny, but the carb-reduced diet is shot to shit

The mister and I have rather slovenly spent the entire day in our PJs making shit.

He made this:

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Yummy coffee cake. I’ve not tried it yet (well, I had a wee bit of the stuff that stuck to the sides of the pan), but it looks and smells incredible.

I’ve been working on this:

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That’s a big puddle ‘o quilt I’m working on for a wee button due to shuffle onto this spinning rock sometime next month. I kind of love quilting. My way of quilting anyway. The way a colour story comes together and can be screwed with is my kind of fun.

In between quilty things, I made challah, using this recipe.

A few words about the recipe:

  1. I often cook breads on the top rack of the oven with a pan of water on the lower rack. This caused the cook time to be much longer than what is cited in the recipe.
  2. The recipe makes 4 x 1 pound loaves. I did a plaited loaf + gynormous rolls. This also upped the cook time considerably.
  3. I used silicon muffin ‘tins’ for the rolls & a cooking stone for the loaf. If you do not have these things, go get some now. They will revolutionize the way you bake.

This stuff is easy peasy, lemon squeezy. No kneading required, just a little time to let it rise a couple of times. Soooo delicious. 2 of the humongous rolls from the batch disappeared within about 30 seconds. So good:

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I also did a proper braid:

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Well, maybe not proper. There are only 3 strands in the plait as opposed to the usual 6ish. Next time I’ll do a 6-strand plait.

So yeah, in the end: totally gratifying recipe.

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Filed under domestics, gastroporn, Recipes

zomg! adoraballz!!!

…as the kids say.

Even though this puggle follows me to the washroom and whimpers whenever I leave the room, the man-child is Vizzini’s go-to for playtime:

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That last pic is ‘Zzini’s ‘I von zee bone, but lost mah friend!’* look. Dude idolizes that kid.

*The dog speaks with an unidentifiable accent. What do you expect from a dog named Vizzini?

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j’adore

I am absolutely smitten with the idea of using easels as stands for flat screen televisions.

Check it:

via gizmodo.fr

We have not (yet) got a flat screen, but the mister keeps threatening to get one and the idea of trying to mount one on our 160 year old plaster walls gives me the heebie jeebies. This looks like a perfect solution.

But look what others are doing with the idea:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/41383584@N00/3923792563/

via dsaslaw’s flickr set.

So swanky, but this is more my pace:

via stylenorth via Metropolitan Home and House Beautiful respectively. 

Now I’m wishing I hadn’t given away the big brass easel I had three lifetimes ago.

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Filed under artgasms, domestics, retail therapy

hunting season

bambi's mum

bambi's mum

Oh yes it is. We followed this truck down Landsdowne east for a while before we realised what it contained.

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purgerific

We’re in major purge mode right now chez nous.  It’s not actually as difficult for us to purge as the appearances of our rather cluttered home might dictate.  While the kids have their moments of ‘I can’t throw it out!  It’s too special!’ (and by ‘throw it out’ I mean find another home for it 99% of the time), the mister and are can be pretty objective about just letting shit go.  The issue is getting up the motivation to do so.  So that’s what we’re up to this weekend.  Thrilling, no?

It is to us because at the end of it comes the negotiation around hiring a maid.  For real.  It’s time for us to face the fact that neither of us are equipped with the skills or motivation to keep the house up to the standard we want it to be and we’ve realised that the state of the house just stresses us out, causes a lot of finger pointing,, generally gets us very down, keeps us from doing the things we really love doing, and makes us lazier.  Though both of us absolutely abhor clutter and long for a clean & tidy home, we’re two who walk around with our heads in the clouds so much that we’re completely desensitised to it.

I’ve always maintained that I’m cool with paying other skilled people for the things I can’t do, don’t like doing, or am not that good at.  I don’t cut my own hair, I don’t dry clean my own clothes, I don’t do my own plumbing. i suck at all of those things.  It’s true.

So today we purge for the sake of organization and better living through domestic enlightenment.

There is one little thing I can’t quite let go of; this little number:

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Because it’s so super OTT cute and one day one of the sprogs might want to feel like Janeane Garofolo’s character in Reality Bites, too.

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chicken soup

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I’m normally an anti-bouillon, build it from scratch, chicken soup girl.  I really hate the either too salty or no flavour qualities bouillon brings to the table so hardly a carcass, asparagus end, mushroom stem or handful of wilted parsley crosses my path without being tossed in a bag and frozen for future use in homemade soup stock.  One day I will get around to documenting my process for creating homemade soup stock but today is not that day.  Last night, out of a lack of time & energy & the need to provide the eldest sprog with the nasty bottom sustenance in somewhat liquid form, I caved and made a not-from-scratch chicken soup.  It gave me an opportunity to get rid of some rice leftovers and to test drive a product I’ve only recently discovered.  It was the quickest, easiest chicken soup I’ve ever made & it was pretty damned good so I’ll share that recipe with you instead.

What you need:

1 tablespoon of olive oil

A good pinch of black pepper

1 large cooking onion

2 inch chunk of ginger, peeled

4 cloves of garlic

6 bay leaves

6 cloves*

A healthy pinch of ground nutmeg

8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs**

2 (UK) quarts of water (10 cups)

2 cups of pre-cooked rice

1 and 1/2 tablespoons of Better Than Bouillon(tm)***

3 cups of vegetables of your choice (I used a frozen mix of carrots, broccoli & cauliflower)

6 sprigs of fresh thyme or 1 tablespoon dried

I started with heating the olive oil in my large stock pot over medium-high heat and because I was concerned with getting the oniony/garlicky flavours into the soup quickly I puréed them together before adding them to the pot.  I should have added the ginger to that mess as I neglected to tell my family that there were large chunks of it they may not want to consume and I think everyone but me got one.  Good times.  So, then I added the onions, garlic, ginger, cloves, nutmeg & bay leaves to the pot and cooked until everything was a lovely, translucent slop.  I then added the thighs and cooked those until lightly browned.  At this point they were easy to pull apart into bite-sized pieces in the pot with a couple of wooden spoons so I did that.  Then in went the water, the bouillon-esque stuff and the rice.  I brought all of that to a boil then added the frozen vegetables & thyme sprigs & let the lot of it simmer until the vegetables were tender.

*The French word for cloves is clous which translates back to english as nails.  I don’t know why I like that so much but it always makes me think of making orange/clove pomanders as a kid at Christmas time.
**Why thighs?  The slightly higher fat content lends itself to better flavour distribution as well as holding its own against other flavours & being easy to pull apart once cooked.
**This stuff is like magic.  The instructions on the jar called for 1 and 1/2 tablespoon per quart of water used but I got away with 1 and 1/2 for the entire batch of soup.  It wasn’t too salty (the stuff is worth about 39% of your daily sodium intake recommendations per 6 gram serving which, compared to others with 45% for 3.5 grams is pretty decent) and my chicken soup tasted chickeny and not bouillony.

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Filed under domestics, gastroporn, Recipes

new home + friends don’t let friends do Spitz ™

Huzzah!  I did it.  There’s, like, stuff & junk living at cushti.ca now.  Not much beyond the blog but i’m pretty proud of that for the moment.  Welcome to the new home.

I decided to maintain the blog through wordpress to ease the learning curve a little.  I knew that I wouldn’t get anything done if I had too much new going on and the fact that the new job has a learning curve of about 377 degrees I thought I’d err on the side of caution for the personal stuff.

I have to give special thanks to Nelson at hostpapa support who was not only apologetic but also extremely helpful in dealing with some of the glitches I’d come up against in their month of losing admin staff and server issues.  More props need to go out to bytesforall for creating an amazing, highly configurable theme & this dude who developed a lovely little twitter widget which slipped right into said theme like butter allowing me to dispense of the unsightly rss feed which was doing its job on the .com platform.  Oh, and to the mister, of course, for providing me with web hosting.  I’m also thankful to have had excuses to indulge my not-so-inner brush and font junkie.  Last night I dreamt of finding a way to administer them intra-venously.  For real.

So the other thing I have to talk to you about is poop.

Or a lack there of, as it were.  I’m playing hookie today in order to also play nurse to my still-stoned son who thought it apt to wolf down almost an entire bag of hot & spicy spitz sunflower seeds, shells & all.  This lead to an impacted bowel and a late-night trip to the emergency ward of the hospital for manual removal of the blockage with the help of a lot of morphine.  Needless to say a certain someone won’t be eating sunflower seeds any time soon.  Aren’t you glad I’m blogging again?

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Filed under domestics, geekery, sprogs