Thursday needs a kick in the pants!

And so do I!

Butt Kick. Swift.

You might be surprised how often Calvin & Hobbes could be credited with giving me the best life advice and spiritual guidance.

Remember way back* in the beginning of this blog how I swore I’d be better. I’d be kinder to myself and I would improve my life in as many ways as possible, not the least of which being my fitness level and over all health? Mmm hmm.

Easier said than done**.

My feet have been rather stOOpid*** of late and that has made walking difficult – forget any attempt at a C25k program which I really, really want to do. I have decent shoes, I have orthotics, I am really good about remembering to stretch before starting my day. Despite my best efforts and plans, my left foot is being a complete and utter jerk. It hurts. A lot.

So much so, that I have not walked, for fitness sake, with my NS BFF all week. Not good.

But that’s no biggie, you might be thinking, there are LOTS of things you can do for exercise without your feet.

It’s true. There are.

Have I been doing those things? No. No I haven’t.

I have been having a bit of a pity party. “Pity? Party of one?” *raises hand* Ugh.

It happens. It’s okay. I’m over it. It’s time to kick into gear.

Thank goodness I have friends who support and love me – just the way I am.

Thank goodness I have a husband who loves me, laughs at my jokes, tolerates the awful puns and always makes me feel like I can do whatever I want (even when I am not so sure).

Thank goodness both of the above have wicked awesome senses of humour and willingly share their own “funny ha ha” as often as possible.

 

 

 

Guess what’s for dinner tonight at Chez Peady!

Not even kidding.

 

Oh, and don’t worry, I promise you I’ll “earn” mine.

 

 

* All those years months weeks ago.

** Time for a reboot****

*** Plantar Fasciitis – OW! Don’t think I missed your little dig, there, Wikipedia. 70%. *sighs*

****Or a reeeeaaaaalllyyy big boot in the hindquarters!

 

Of course, Calvin & Hobbes (everything) was drawn and written by Bill Watterson and is the property of Universal Press Syndicate, an Andrews McMeel Universal company.

Saturdays are Best!

I love Saturdays!

They really are the best.

This Saturday began with an early start. I like early starts on Saturdays. It helps squeeze even more happy out of one of the already happiest days of the week.

The plan was in place for a little adventure with my NS BFF and there was a very exciting citrus fruit delivery scheduled, too! After the crazy, seemingly never-ending winter, we were at risk of scurvy at Chez Peady, so this was a very exciting delivery indeed!

IMG_6429

See? Gorgeous Minneolas. Totally worth waking up early on a Saturday, wouldn’t you agree? They are like sweet nectar of the gods and have the added benefit of allowing us to live a scurvy free life! Yay!

Even as these delicious Minneolas and yummy Red Grapefruit were being delivered by a very kind friend and her girls, the weather tried to dampen our moods. It began to rain.

Ice.

Yes. Honest to Citrus! It started freezing raining! Thank goodness the fruit was already in my possession or I might have cried.

So, with ice pellets falling and a sweet friend and her darling girls off to make more deliveries I was walking on citrus sunshine!

My NS BFF was supposed to arrive shortly thereafter and I had a lot of fruit to stow, so I got to work (meaning I dropped off the boxes and let my husband figure it out while I got ready to go out for the morning), but then received a text from the aforementioned BFF. “Rain check?” (Isn’t she a hoot?) We tossed around the idea of skipping our outing, but decided we would go anyway and rely on the weather forecasters’ ability to keep us safe. Yeah. We are risky like that!

Thankfully, the weather turned to just plain rain and we made it to our destination without incident. We also had the pleasure of catching some amazing CBC programming  from the East Coast Music Awards – which are being held in beautiful Charlottletown, PEI – on the way. (How awesome is David Myles?)

 

Here are some of the wonderful things I saw (and possibly ate*) (Who’s to say?) on this – my very first – visit to the Alderney Landing Farmer’s Market in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.

We had a great time wandering around the market and checking out all the vendors. I was quite surprised that there was so much in there and such a great variety of goods. From art to apple cider and photography to fudge and lots of things in between, this little gem on the Dartmouth waterfront is definitely worth checking out.

 

So, how was your Saturday? Do you have a favourite day of the week? Or a day that just seems best for getting good work done?

Are you just so ready for spring to *actually* spring? Or has spring started springing up where you are?

 

I’m happy to report that today was sunny and there are definite signs of spring popping up each day.

Orange you glad that winter’s gone?

 

*Some of the yummy things we sampled were from Maritime Marshmallows, Fudgy Chicks and Scotian Bee Honey.

**We supported at least five local businesses and that always feels good! Local love is the best!

 

Let there be cake!

Today is a very special day because two of my favourite people in the world – my NS BFF and my Ottawa BFF – celebrate their birthdays on March 6th. Isn’t that an awesome coincidence? I think so.

I always took it as a bit of a “sign” that Ottawa BFF was put in my path. She is generous, kind, smart, funny and knows more about wine than I could ever hope to know. We actually met because of one of her acts of kindness. Remind me to tell you about it sometime.

My NS BFF and I met in the first few weeks of our first year of university and we have been friends ever since. There’s nothing like a dry sense of humour and a mutual love of music to bond two people together so quickly! Also, you know someone is destined to be your BFF when you can call each other out on your B.S., pretty much right off the bat, which we did and it was awesome! Of course, there’s a story there, too, but I’ll also tell you that – wait for it – another time.

In honour of these very special women on their very special day, I am sharing a recipe for the most decadent and amazing chocolate cake in the universe… EVER! Yay, cake!

This cake is my NS BFF’s “Birthday” cake, made by her Mom every year. Isn’t that sweet? Since she is my BFF, I will not be telling you how many times this cake has been made. (Though, if you really wanted to, you might be able to figure out a round about number when you see the copyright information, but I digress..)

So, without further ado, I give you:

Sour Cream Chocolate Cake

This is a rich chocolate cake that freezes beautifully and looks as good as it tastes. (Serves 8 to 10)

2 cups all-purpose flour, unsifted

2 cups sugar

1 cup water

3/4 cup sour cream (190 ml)

1/4 cup butter

1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

2 eggs

4 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate, melted (3 x 85g squares)

Frosting

1/2 cup butter

4 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate

4 cups powdered sugar

1 cup sour cream

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Method

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Measure all ingredients into a large bowl and beat for 1/2 minute at low speed, scraping the sides of the bowl constantly. Then beat for 3 minutes at highest speed. Pour into greased and floured cake pans: 2 9-inch pans or 3 8-inch pans. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack. For the frosting: In the top of a double boiler, melt butter and chocolate over barely simmering water. Remove from heat and cool. Add powdered sugar, then blend in sour cream and vanilla, beat until smooth.

Important Rules that Make this my BFF’s Birthday cake

Use a bundt pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 60 – 70 minutes. Bundt pans make cakes fancy without anything “extra” at all.

The cake itself is very rich and doesn’t really *need* frosting. NS BFF’s Mom uses a chocolate glaze rather than the frosting.

My thoughts

A little dusting of confectioner’s sugar would be beautiful and is one way to lighten up this cake. Filling the centre with fresh raspberries or a variety of berries is also a nice healthy garnish.

This recipe is from a cookbook called “San Francisco à la Carte”* (p. 432), and though I have a scanned copy of the recipe, complete with sweet and personalized hand written notes from my NS BFF’s Mom (I like to think of these as “historical documents”), you can still find this cookbook by searching online and maybe, if you are lucky, at a second hand bookstore or yard sale!

As often happens in my life when I delve deeper into things I am interested in or working on, I discovered two very fun facts today about this book.

The first is that it was a Junior League of San Francisco project. I had no idea, as I had never seen the actual book before.  This is interesting to me because another friend of mine – a new IRL friend – is a Junior League member here in Halifax and when I found the book online I had one of those “Eureka!” moments.

The second is that this cake recipe is featured in the beginning of “San Francisco à la Carte” in the suggested menus section, under “Barbeques-Picnics” as a part of a “Wine Country Picnic” menu. Ha! If that isn’t just perfect for my Ottawa BFF, I don’t know what perfect is!

Happy Birthday to my BFFs! My life is better with you in it and I am ever grateful for your presence.

Now, let there be cake!

* “San Francisco à la Carte” Copyright 1979 by the Junior League of San Francisco, Inc. A Main Street Book published by Doubleday