Failing to get caught

Everything I read about fostering reading and a love of reading in your children seems to include a section on how important it is for your children to see you reading. I often wonder if the people who write these books and articles have small children of their own. 

I find it incredibly hard to make time to read whilst my kids are awake. If I try and sit down to read a book (and I love reading!) I can’t find the space to concentrate as I have one ear on the kids, or they’ll immediately come over to see what I’m doing.

How do people get caught reading around their kids?

Another meringue fail

meringuebarkI suffered another meringue fail today.

First, we had no icing sugar so I had to grind some in my food processor but I couldn’t find the lid for my Mini Prep, and I find the blade on my big processor isn’t as good for making icing sugar.

Second, Orson was yelling at me the whole time. I don’t know why

Third, I may have gotten a smidgen of egg yolk in the whites. I crossed my fingers in hope, but to no avail.

The eggs started to hold soft peaks, so I started adding in the sugar, but the peaks started to fall.

Plus I think I over-whipped my eggs.

I didn’t have time to start over, so I made do, and made Meringue Bark.

I don’t know if this is a real thing, but it worked for me!

Meringue Bark

Ingredients
1 batch of fallen meringues
Chunks of dark chocolate (chips will also work)
Citrus Zest
Some sort of bright fruit (I used pomegranate seeds)

Process
1) Set your oven to 230F, and look sadly at your fallen meringue mix
2) Slather your meringue onto a lined baking sheet (probably the one you had ready to make your fluffy, friendly meringues)
3) Sprinkle your toppings over top of your meringue
4) Bake for roughly 1 ½ – 1 ¾ of an hour, or until meringue if baked most of the way through (you can check by first gently tapping it with a knife, and then carefully poking it with that knife to see if it comes out clear. Alternatively, break off a piece and sample.
5) Once cooled, break into pieces and explain that it’s a new, gourmet meringue bark!

Question?

Herself and I are making tortillas this morning, so we can have veggie wraps tonight with some homemade hummus and fresh basil (sorry Mr. L, no meat tonight).
What are you guys making this weekend? Especially for my fellow Canadians about to enjoy the May long weekend.

This is Irrelephant.

A friend of mine, Catherine, and I headed out to the exhibition opening at The Reach last night. On display, from now until the end of June, are four different exhibits: textual vishyuns: images and text in the work of bill bissett, All That Is Solid, video installation by Simone Jones, History Through the Lens of Leonard Frank, photography by Leonard Frank, and a Juried Exhibition from the Fraser Valley Chapter of the Canadian Federation of Artists.

Paintings and poetry by bill bissett

 

bill bissett’s work is pretty cool, vibrant and engaging, and it definitely will challenge people on how they view the constraints of language. Known primarily for his works of poetry bissett has been praised by the likes of Atwood and Kerouac, so if you’re big into the beat poets, take some time to check out this exhibit. And if you’re really on the ball you can catch him doing a reading tomorrow afternoon (April 19th, 1:00pm).

I really liked the collection from the Canadian Federation of Artists, as well as the collection of photographs from Leonard Frank. There were some really cool pictures of Sumas Lake before and after it was drained, as well as some shots of Burrard Bridge, and the construction of the Lion’s Gate Bridge. They’ve also curated some antique photography gear (film splicers, old Kodaks, etc), which were pretty nifty.

As to the video installation, both Cat and I were, well, unmoved. The piece was supposed to cause us to question how we perceived space, but it just wasn’t clicking for us. This is not a slight against video installations, I’ve seen some really awesome ones, this one just wasn’t it for me, but check it out, let me know if you get something more out of it than we did.

After munching on some snacks (they had some really great olives, no joke), we headed out to Afterthoughts, where we randomly ran into Ryan and Jenissa, and Jenissa was able to pass on the best wisdom of the day: “If it’s not related to elephants, it’s irrelephant!”

 

There are worse things than being easy

My Mom often asks how I make the meals I make, what recipe I used etcetera. But like most people who love to cook most of the things I cook don’t come from recipes, but from an amalgamation of research and taste.
The easiest meal for me to make, by far, is the smoothie. Luckily the Mouse is also a big fan of smoothies so she often demands a smoothie of her own. Now, I hate bananas, totally and completely, and bananas are usually used as thickeners in smoothies. A little innernet (as the Mouse says) shows that ground oats can be used as a banana alternative. My blender isn’t the most awesome (sometimes I dream of the Vitamix) so the oats aren’t as floury as I would like, but it’s not the end of the world, and doesn’t impede the slurpability of the smoothie. So with the banana hate out of the way, onto the “recipe”.

Easy Smoothies

Ingredients
1) Ground oats, a handful
2) Spinach or kale, a couple of handfuls
3) Greek or Balkan style yogurt (plain or vanilla
4) Frozen fruit, I find berries are the best
5) Fresh fruit (optional, but stay away from oranges, the texture gets weird
6) Almond or coconut milk, however much is needed to get the consistency you want
7) Cocoa, if you want some chocolately flavour

Steps
1) Combine in blender
2) Blend
3) Pour into cup
4) Consume with straw (straws make everything better)>

20140415-113129.jpg

*Asthamtic Wheeze* Yeah… I Love Running

Okay, all right, running is not as awful as I remember it being. It also helps that I have the Songza app to take my mind off things/I also like to pretend I’m training for the Doctor and/or running from supernatural creatures.

I had (and still do have) asthma pretty bad when I was a kid, like in-the-hospital-not-breathing bad a few times. I once had an attack that landed me in hospital in the oxygen tent while my Dad was in New York on business, apparently it was a pretty harrowing trip home for him, as this was in the time before cellphones were considered acceptable life partners.

But asthma (combined with some wicked allergies and “sensitive airways”) made running, and most sports, less than enjoyable for me as a young adult. Those factors, and my Western European genetics, have made it really easy for me to gain weight, but not so much losing said weight. But himself started jogging again at the start of March, and it’s been working really well for him (14 pounds lost in three weeks, though he certainly has them to lose), so I thought I would give it a try.

I’ve been working my way into it. I started walking about 1km a night, then starting jogging half of it, then I started doing 2km a night, and then I discovered the Nike+ app. I’ve started with the 5K running program (the beginner runner program), and it does push you pretty hard one you get into it, so if you are a totally new runner (much like myself) give yourself a couple of weeks of brisk walking and light jogging before starting the program.

I also really like that it syncs with the Nike+ website and you can sync it with the Nike Training app, so you can add crossing training, and additional workouts, and sync it all up for a holistic view of your fitness plan.

So, I’m plugging my way through the 8 week plan, I’ve only just finished week one, and I’m already running faster than when I was in high school. Mentally it’s definitely challenging, especially with the Mouse wearing me down through the whole day, and I’ve never experienced the whole “runner’s high” when I’ve run in the past, but today while I was out running tonight (3.5km, more than I’ve ever run before), I felt really great. I felt powerful, which, when you live with a three-year-old is a rare thing, and I felt strong. Granted I was only running about a third of the time, but I felt really good.

So yeah, check out the Nike+ app if you’re getting into running, it’s pretty great.