Month: November 2014

Cover me!

This has been a busy, fun, very musical week.

It all started on Monday when Kim at Co-Pilot Mom made a shocking and entirely awesome string of confessions and then it just got better and more musical from there.

On Friday my friend Rebecca (“Bitsy” to her best tweeps) at A Little Bit of Momsense updated her “Current Song Obsession” and it made my day.

I thought it would be fun for me to follow suit and share a few of the songs that I just can’t stop playing.

 

I seem to be all about the covers lately.

The first one is a cover of “When Doves Cry” by Prince. I know. I know. Risky territory. And yet somehow this works.

Here is The Be Good Tanyas with their version.

 

I’ve written before about my love of Walk Off The Earth and everyone knows about their Gotye cover, but have you heard this?

They are amazing musicians! The video is just too cute! They have a great YouTube channel and I think everyone should check it out.

 

Here’s another song that we seem to always enjoy, no matter who is performing it.

Pentatonix! Who knew?!

 

On Saturday I had grand plans to attend a Christmas Craft Show, but it just was not in the cards.

You know what was in the cards? More music!

Thing 1 plays trumpet in his school band. His trumpet is in desperate need of a cleaning and we needed a new cleaning kit. So, with the clock ticking*, I rounded up my little family and we hit the road and high-tailed it to our local music store for a kit and, as luck would have it, a trumpet stand. (Musical instruments in cases are not happy, played musical instruments. As my big brother would say, “Are you a trumpet player or a trumpet owner?” Note the difference.**) With the stand he will be able to see his trumpet more often and hopefully play it more often, too.

After our musical victory with all things trumpet, we felt we deserved a little treat, so we went to a 50’s diner and had dinner.***

Do you know what any 50s diner worth its salt has? A Jukebox!

Do you know what any mother worth her salt always has when she goes to a 50s diner? Quarters!

Do you know what this all leads to? More music!

 

After dinner we came home to play a board game, but since I had a NaBloPoMo post to write I asked for a bit of time first. The Things kindly obliged and I came to my desktop to write, but something was missing. I needed some music.****

So, I fired up Songza and found not one, but two new favourite channels – “Disney’s Best Sing-Alongs” and “Singin’ in the Rain”.

 

So, would you agree that it was a very musical week?

Are you a fan of music? Do you sing?

What kind of music is your favourite?

What is *your* current music obsession?

 

 

 

 

*The music store closes at 5 on Saturdays and is closed on Sundays. Time was of the essence! We arrived at 4:54. Whew!

**Note the difference!

***Because *sings* Dinner in the diner.. nothing could be finer.. than to have your ham and eggs in Carolina!

****I may have a problem. Who’s to say? It’s a mystery, really!

MYO Pizza: Low Carb & Gluten Free Edition (aka The Pizza-Alike)

Make Your Own Pizza Night is a long standing tradition at Chez Peady and I will not be the reason it stops.

Not being able to eat delicious, chewy, crispy, fluffy, flavourful pizza crust (without feeling horrible) has put a serious dent in MYO Pizza night for the last little while and, quite frankly, we’ve had a lot fewer MYO Pizza Nights as a result.

I have had rather hit or miss experiences with making gluten free crusts. I’ve made this cauliflower crust and had it turn out great, but I have also made this exact recipe and had it turn out terrible. There are myriads of cauliflower crust recipes now – most are still just a variation on the same theme – and I have yet to find a sure thing.

So this week when I knew we were going to reinstate MYO Pizza Night, I knew I needed to approach it from a more creative place.

First, I prepped the pizzas for my family using pre-baked pizza stone crusts and the toppings they enjoy most which we, pretty much, always have on hand. Everyone has favourites and MYO Pizza Night is a great time to get what you want!

Daddy-O likes lots of veggies, cheese, pepperoni, and fresh jalapeño slices. Muy caliente!

Thing 1 is a carnivore and if the entire pizza could be fashioned out of meats and cheeses he would be praising cheeses!

Thing 2 likes a variety of flavours just as long as it isn’t too spicy.

The easiest way for me to deal with this, usually, is to have everyone make their own, but in the interest of saving time (there was a movie in our FFFN* plans) I just used the pre-made crusts and whipped up two pies! One for Daddy-O (leftovers were today’s lunch!) and one for Thing 1 and Thing 2 to share (again, leftovers for lunch today!).

They turned out great** and everyone was happy with a very simple MYO Pizza Night to ease back in.

So, yay!

BUT!

Now what the heck was I going to do?

The trouble with needing a gluten free option is that it does take a bit of planning and extra preparation. Oh look! Two things I almost never do for myself! Shocker, eh?

You know what I almost always do for myself though? Think. So, I thought about what I needed and wanted and came up with a simple idea.

I would make a Pizza-Alike. It would have a tonne of veggies and jalapeños and it would not have a crust at all. Weird? Yup. Delicious? You bet your sweet bell peppers, it was!

Here is what it looked like.

This is what I did.

I used a glass pie plate and lined it with pepperoni slices (you could use another meat as a base).

I added my cheese (mozzarella & cheddar).

I added sliced red bell pepper, sliced mushrooms, some sliced jalapeño and a teensy sprinkle of parmesan.

I popped it into a 400 degree oven until it looked all melty, golden, yummy, and the pepperoni was crisp.

When it was ready, I removed it from the oven to let it cool a bit.

I sliced it into six wedges and placed them onto some paper towel and let them sit for a minute so some of the fat would be absorbed. (If you had a fat free or low fat pepperoni, based on this experiment, I’d say use that!)

Then I served up a few slices on a little plate with about a tablespoon of pizza sauce for dipping.

MYO Pizza Night Victory!

 

So tell me, are you gluten free? Do you eat low carb? Are there dietary restrictions *you* need to adhere to so you can be at your healthiest and happiest?

What alterations have you come up with so you can still enjoy your favourite foods?

Leave a comment and share with the whole class!

 

 

*Friday Family Fun Night. It’s a thing!

**The pizza crusts came from Costco and were an experiment. I was so happy they liked them. KISS! Simplicity rules!

Source: http://www.thenakednaturopath.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/gluten-free-cartoon1.jpg

Out of the Mouths of Babes, Oft Times Come Gems.

This is a post I drafted the day Cpl. Nathan Cirillo was killed while doing the most honourable of duties, guarding the National War Memorial in our Nation’s Capital, Ottawa, Ontario. He was taking care of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Honour Guard. The events of this day were devastating to all the people who were affected and especially to the family of Cpl. Cirillo. He left behind many people who loved him. No one more than his son

I had planned on posting this little conversation I had with my daughter, the next day, but I just couldn’t because I was simply too sad. There were too many unknowns. So, I just tucked it away.

Today, I have had a change of heart. Here is the post.

 

Thing 2 is a very smart person.

We were discussing recent events of the world and I asked her, “Why can’t everyone just be nice and good all the time? Why do some people have to be mean and bad?”

This was her response:

“Because some people like it that way. It’s like the Lego Movie, you know? Lord Business? They want everything to be perfect, but their perfect is just … different.”

I love this kid.

I am so glad she is mine.

I am lucky to be her Mom.

 

That’s it.

So why the change of heart today?

Well, first thing this morning I saw this beautiful message of hope and inspiration. 

 

It made me think about Cpl. Cirillo again, which in turn made me think of Thing 2’s perspective and remember our conversation.

Then, while running errands with my children after school, I made a purchase – of alligator clips for completing homemade poppies for Remembrance Day, no less – I received this back as my change. It was definitely a sign.

 

 

 

 

There are trust funds for Cpl. Cirillo’s son, Marcus, and you can find them here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Considering Casseroles.

Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something … Unfortunately, that’s too rare a commodity.*

 

 

Can a casserole be considered creative?

I say, if it renders everyone a) speechless or b) leaves them only able to mutter “mms” and other yummy sounds, it can be!

 

This is such a casserole.

Simple ingredients, easily thrown together at the end of a long and busy day, that results in yummy noises and a happy, full, family.

Easy-peasy!

 

Here are the things I connected:

EVOO

Frozen Hashbrowns (the little diced ones)(I’m sure the shredded ones would work, too.)

Dehydrated Onion Flakes

S & P

Eggs

Onion Powder

Cream

Grated Cheddar (I used a pre-shredded three cheese blend)

1 Roma tomato (seeded and diced)

1 Red pepper (also seeded and diced)

Sausages (cooked) (I used a Gluten Free brand called Cavicchis’ Meats)

 

Here is how I connected them:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Into a 9 x 13 pan (I use a glass one) add about a table spoon of olive oil and coat the bottom and sides. (I have a teeny silicone brush for this task and it works well.)

Immediately add the frozen hash browns to the pan. (You can use a lot or a little of any of the above ingredients in this recipe, by the way. It’s difficult to get it wrong. Tonight I used an entire 900 g bag because everyone was really hungry.)

Add some freshly ground black pepper and a teensy bit of kosher salt (careful with the salt!).

Sprinkle about a teaspoon of dehydrated onion flakes over the hash browns.

Next, break your eggs (Tonight I used 9, but you can adjust according to your own needs.) and beat them together (with a fork – oh yeah, fancy!) with a bit of pepper and onion powder (trust me..) and cream. You want the consistency you’d be expecting for scrambled eggs, so adjust egg:cream ratio as needed.)

To the beaten eggs, add a cup of cheese (or a handful.. or as much as you’d like.. or need.. or are limited to) and blend.

Add your peppers and tomatoes.

Pour the egg mixture over the hash browns.

Top with the cooked and sliced sausages, spreading the pieces evenly over the casserole.

Don’t be concerned if it seems like the eggs have vanished because they will fluff/rise up nicely while the casserole bakes for the next 30-45 minutes in the middle of your preheated oven.

 

I use my nose and my eyes a lot in my kitchen. When it starts to smell like supper, you’ll know you are almost there.

When the hash browns are browning (Hello! They’re hash browns.) on the bottom of the pan (score one for the see through glass pan!) it’s time to turn the oven off.

The centre should be set. (No jiggly casseroles, please and thank you!)

Allow it to cool a little bit, and while it does, the kids can help set the table, so *everyone* gets to sit down to a scrumptious, simple supper – together.

 

Are you pro casserole or do you prefer your foods stick to their separate quarters on your plate?

Leave a comment and tell me about one of your creations that just works.

Oh, and if you try this let me know what you think of it!

 

 

 

 

*Source: Wired: UK, 2011, Steve Jobs: A Wired Life, reprinted from “The Next Insanely Great Thing” by Gary Wolf, Wired 4.02, February 1996

Shake It Off The Earth

 

It is good to be understood.

I knew as soon as I saw it on my personal Facebook page this morning, that this would be the centre of today’s NaBloPoMo post.

 

 

How cool are the musicians from Walk Off The Earth?!

The coolest.

 

What I did not know, is that I would actually need to shake so much it off by the end of this day.

How did my dear faraway friend know?

Somehow.

That’s all.

Somehow she knew. Maybe she doesn’t even know she knew, but she knew and I am grateful.

 

 

 

*Thank you MP. This makes up for the discordant Christmas music shenanigans from earlier in the week. : )

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Big Salad.

 

Well, it isn’t 5 a.m., but it also isn’t 11:58 p.m., so I’m calling that a win.

Today I had the most scrumptious Big Salad for lunch.

It was so good I decided to write about it, briefly, here on my blog.

Here is my salad.

 

It was so *exactly* what I needed today.

It’s amazing how a day or two of eating well can make you feel so much better than a day or two months of eating not-so-well.

 

This NaBloPoMo is only one of three 30 day challenges I am taking.

I have committed to posting here everyday.

I have committed to posting a #PeadyPhotoADay on Instagram everyday.

Annnnd….

I have committed to doing something good for my health everyday.

Today, this amazing salad was my “something” and it was a fantastic choice!

 

Believe it or not that thing of beauty above came out of a package.

True story.

Look!

 

Everything you need for a delightful Big Salad right there in one place. Brilliant!

I’m not a huge fan of packaged stuff, generally speaking, but today I decided that I needed a treat that would make me feel good and this aptly named salad did the trick. I bought the big bag!

I added some roasted turkey for protein, to boot, and it was a perfect addition. There are cranberries in the salad and we all know how well turkey and cranberries go together, right? Yum!

It would be easy to portion* out the salad to use a bit at a time, but I mixed the entire thing up and made salads for later in the week in separate containers with a protein portion in each one.

I’m all set.

 

But wait!

There’s more!

A bonus classic Seinfeld** clip.

 

So, how do you feel about Big Salads?

 

 

 

*This would be a wonderful option for filling the “salad jars” that Pinterest goes crazy for all the time.

**Also, apparently, a super-duper bonus Spanish lesson. De nada.

 

 

Time Crunch.

 

 

I have about 20 minutes to post this.

It will be short and sweet*.

I am quite literally feeling the time crunch.

 

The first Monday after Daylight Savings Time ends can be rough, but we all survived the day from beginning to end with nary a freak out. I am very happy about the way the Things have gotten better at adjusting to the whole “Spring forward. Fall back.” each year.

I remember how challenging it was when they were teeny. It felt like they would never “get” it.

Just like all the other molehills that a parent can easily turn into mountains, it just seems to eventually work out.

More often than not, these days especially, the grown ups remain calm and the Things follow suit.

Thank goodness for that!

 

10 minutes! *deep breath*

Remain calm.

 

Monday was mellow, but very productive.

The combination of a very lazy weekend and the snow storm happening in a neighbouring province was a terrific motivator.

I had my coffee in the very happy-making chalkboard mug you see up there and was all set to get stuff done.

I managed to find snow pants for Thing 2. So challenging to find!

I bought a pair in the right colour, but too small a size. Another that was the right size, but wrong colour. I was seeing flurries. It was really not the time to get all persnickety about perfection. (A downfall of mine, but I digress …) The girl needed snow pants and she needed them yesterday!

We tried them on after school and decided that we could try one more store after supper just on the off chance they had one purple pair left. If they did? Great. If not? The fitting ones would win, regardless of their colour.

 

Long story short?

After getting stuck in a really horrendous traffic jam while picking up Daddy-O and arriving back home way later than usual, I whipped up a yummy supper which we happily devoured and cleaned up after and then it was very late. Very nearly too late to take a Thing out to a department store to find snow pants.

What should we do? Are you getting sleepy? Are you sure? Okay then, let’s go!

So, we were off to will a pair of purple snow pants into existence.

And we did.

We got the last pair of purple snow pants in Thing 2’s size and she was positively giddy with joy.

 

Never mind that I currently have three pairs of snow pants in my bedroom right this minute. We got the pants!

 

Time’s up!

*whew*

 

 

*Just like me! *snorks*