Sunday, February 27, 2011

Muffin Tin Meal

Sundays are BBQ days at our place. Ethan and Scott do the "man-thing" and bbq. The only problem with BBQ Sundays, is Ethan often complains when his veggies touch each other. Solution; Turn BBQ Sunday into a MTM!

Ethan and I made some cheese biscuits, so that had to be added to the meal.
We've got BBQ chicken, scalloped potatoes, corn, and of course, dessert.
Today's dessert is a raspberry tart. Raspberries on top of a tart with cream cheese, and cream. 

Muffin Tin Monday at Her Cup Overfloweth

The Party

Saturday night is Date Night for Scott and I. We are lucky enough to have my parents here, who are more than happy to babysit Ethan every Saturday. Overnight. When we first started having them babysit, I use to call, like 50 times! I don't think my mum appreciated my calls interfering with her Ethan time.

So, imagine my surprise when she called me this Saturday evening. I was concerned that something had happened to him. No, nothing like that. She just wanted to know if I've ever taken Ethan to a naked party.

"Ah, pardon me?"

"A naked party. Have you ever taken Ethan to a naked party?"

"Uh. I beg your pardon?"

It would appear that Ethan had just had a bath and was refusing to put his clothes on. When my mum stated that he could not go around naked, he replied that, not only could he, but he's even been to a naked party!

Of course, I needed to get to the bottom of this.

"It was a long time ago, mommy."

"You mean I took you to a naked party?"

"You just don't remember."

"Obviously, and where was this party?"

"Ah! A long time ago, I said. You weren't there."

"Ok, well I'm glad we've now established that I didn't take you to this party. So where was it?"

"It was after school. I don't remember. Oh, but we played naked games!"

So by this time, I laughing way too much to get any more information.

This morning, he elaborated. It was at school.

Think I shall be chatting with his teacher tomorrow!


Cooking With Swarn - Starters

Cooking classes have begun again. In this 4-week session, I shall be learning many new things. Now, if only I could cook!

This week we had starters; kebabs and samosas served with sonth chutney and coconut chutney.

The thing with Swarn, is she makes cooking look so easy! Seriously. Here's her kebabs:
Take your mince, add chopped onions, chilies, mint, coriander, salt, chili powder and garam masala. 

Soak a loaf of bread in water, squeeze out the water and add to mince. Mix and let stand for a few minutes. Shape into balls and fry.

Her samosas are just as easy. 
First we made the pastry by kneading flour, semolina, salt, oil, cumin seeds with some water. 

For the filling, we boiled some potatoes and peas (separately). Then oil was placed in a pan with cumin, red chili, mango powder, and coriander leaves. The potatoes and peas were added. 

Once cooled, we started filling the samosas. 

Then fried the samosas.

These starters taste best with a chutney. We made two. 

The sonth (mango powder) chutney is incredibly sweet, and great with the kebabs.

The coconut chutney is so simple. 

Grate a coconut. Add chopped chilis, lemon juice, salt, yogurt, sugar and coriander leaves and blend. TaaDaa! Chutney!

Next week, we're making butter chicken. Yum yum! I can't wait!

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

1. Capture the Sky
So I cheated a little. This isn't a new picture, but is one of my favourites. I love the rainbow around the sun.

2. Everyday
Everyday, we teach Everyday Maths!

3. Furry
Furry Coco and Ethan.

4. Life
The dragonfly may be lunch, but that is life.

5. Blurred
Running to a base in T-Ball.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini

If the past couple books I've read is any indication, 2011 is going to be an amazing year for books!

The latest book I've had the pleasure of reading is The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. This is another one of those books I would see and pass up. I knew I wanted to read it, but it isn't one of my style of books.

With my 11/11 Book Challenge, I needed a book with either a K (the 11th letter of the alphabet) in the title or in the author's name. This covered both!

For those who don't know, The Kite Runner tells the story of Amir, a wealthy boy, and Hassan, the son of his father's servant. I would like to say it's a book about their friendship, but Amir admits he never called Hassan his friend. It is a coming of age story of family, love and friendship  with pre-war Afghanistan and the post-Taliban arrival as the backdrop.

The Kite Runner is disturbing, haunting, and fascinating. And, although I hate to admit it, I love books that teach me something, without making me look like I knew nothing. Through this book, I learnt the history, language, and geography of Afghanistan. And I learnt; "There is only one sin, only one. And that is theft. Every other sin is a variation of theft..."

I would have given The Kite Runner 5 stars, however, I had to stop reading near the end many times, as I was too busy bawling my eyes out, that it's loosing 1/2 a star. ;)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Happiness Project - Week 7

Sunday we went for breakfast at the Black Tomato. Ethan ran into his mate. The two of them proceed to get into mischief, as usual. 

Happiness is finding a bajaj and jumping into one, when your parents aren't looking!


Sunday, February 20, 2011

Muffin Tin Meal

It was lunch time, and Ethan was Hungry (yes, with a capital H). However, he claims he didn't have breakfast (he spent the night at his grandma's). So Ethan wanted breakfast. And lunch. "Actually Mommy, let me make it." 
This is what he made.

Milk (because he promised his Yasmin nanny he would drink milk everyday), cereal (because he wants breakfast), cheese (this is for lunch), and teddy bear cookies swimming in some strawberry yogurt (because every muffin tin meal requires dessert). 

Muffin Tin Monday at Her Cup Overfloweth

The Life of Pi - Yann Martel

The Life of Pi  is one of those books that I see each time I go to the bookstore. I pick it up, read the back, and decide "not this time". I can't explain why it never caught my interest. And, no, it's not because of the lack of vampires!

For my 11/11 Book Challenge, I need an animal book. Most of my mates recommended Water for Elephants, but Louise felt strongly, that I should read this one. And she had a copy. 

Piscine Molitor Patel, known to all as Pi (yes, 3.14) lives in a small town in India called Pondicherry. He is the son of a zookeeper. He explores many religions. He is interested in, and practices, Hinduism, Islam, Christianity. When Pi is sixteen, his family (and some zoo animals) plan to emigrate from India to Canada. The board a Japanese cargo ship, which sinks within a few days, leaving Pi in a lifeboat, along with a number of zoo animals, including a 450 pound Bengal tiger. 


Scavenger Hunt Sunday

I love Scavenger Hunts! This week's was a lot of fun as well.

1. Chocolate
Valentine's Day, these days, is about Ethan. Scott and I will do a nice dinner, but I don't really expect anything. So this was a pleasant, unexpected surprise!

2. Numbers
Our compound houses 35 houses. And they don't run numerically. So these signs are posted throughout to help guide you to the house you're looking for.

3. Canned Food
I used my iPhone to capture the canned goods at the supermarket.

4. Music
We found this headset over Christmas. It's designed for children. So now, I don't have to listen to the Nick Jonas, which seems to be the singer of Ethan's newest favourite song!

5. Stack
Here's the stack of journals I need to start marking.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Writer's Workshop - Husbands

3.) Husbands. A post that hopefully will not get you in trouble.

I am not sure if this is a my husband thing, or generally a man thing, but husbands cannot multi-task! There, I've said it. 

I'm not simply talking about Scott watching sports on TV, and having tunnel-vision. Which he does have. There's absolutely no point in even trying to have a conversation with him when he's watching sports. He's not tuned into anything I say. I could walk around naked, and he'd possibly notice during an interval!

Then there's the time he is having a conversation, and his Blackberry goes off. So he types, and nods his head, to show he's listening, when in fact he is not! 

I'll ask a question and he nods. 
I sit silently.
He continues to type.
He finishes typing and looks up.
Suddenly he realises he's missed something.
I'm waiting for my reply.
To what?
The question I asked.

Better yet, I provide information, and within the same day he wants to know what I've already asked! Weren't you listening?
Apparently not.

Scott recently went to the UK. While there, he called and we chatted about the Theatre Ball which was this past weekend. My parents were away, so we needed a sitter. I told him how Margaret was willing to babysit, but since we thought we'd be really late and weren't sure if she could find a taxi, Margaret said she could spend the night. Scott wasn't sure if he was fond of that. 

Fair enough.

So, Saturday night comes along, and Margaret comes to babysit. Scott makes a comment about her spending the night. Didn't we have this discussion? 

He doesn't recall.

Really? Multi-tasking is difficult? You've got a job where you deal with employees, suppliers, customers. You can get them straight, but you can't multi-task here?

But I love you anyway.

 Mama's Losin' It

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Sarah's Key - Tatiana de Rosnay

Sarah's Key is another book club selection. I'll be honest and say, had it not be chosen, I wouldn't chose it on my own. I had a really hard time getting into it.

Sarah's Key is two stories that merge. The first is the story of Sarah. A 10-year old girl who is brutally arrested, along with her family, by the French police in the Vel' d'Hiv roundup, July 1942. She hides her brother in a locked cupboard and promises to come back for him.

The second story is of Julia, an American journalist living in Paris in 2002. She's asked to write an article on Vel' d'Hiv. She comes across Sarah's story, and here they merge.

Sarah's story is heartbreaking. And utterly depressing. And this is where I struggled. It's a wonderful book, however I have serious issues with depressing books. If you can get through your sobs and reach about page 130, then you'll be ok.

I wasn't fond of Julia. But I appreciate how her story was a break from my bawling. I found Julia to be self-obsessed, clueless and annoying. While I love how the stories merged and she learns about Sarah, she didn't think about the impact of anyone but herself. She wanted to track Sarah down, and share Sarah's story. It was not up to her to do that. 

I majored in history and am embarrassed to say I knew very little about the Paris roundup. And for this lesson, I am grateful.  

The Happiness Project - Week 7

We were dog-sitting this week.

Happiness is falling asleep on the sofa with a dog in your arms.


Monday, February 14, 2011

Cooking with Ethan - Marshmallow Fudge

It's been awhile since Ethan and I have goofed off in the kitchen. What a great time to get back into the baking fun with Valentine's Day?

I found a lovely recipe for fudge. Yeah, it's not fudge. Not sure what it is, so I'm calling it Marshmallow fudge.

Ethan, carefully cuts up large marshmallows into bite sized bites.

It's added to a pot with butter and a little milk.

Once melted, mix with icing sugar, wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3 hours. (Ours was overnight)

The next day, we sprinkled some icing sugar down, and Ethan rolled out the dough and cut out heart shapes.

Marshmallow fudge!

Muffin Tin Meal

Happy Valentine's Day.
 It didn't just rain yesterday, it POURED! We need it though, so I'm not complaining.
The three of us curled up together, and popped in The Wizard of Oz.
And of course, Ethan wanted a snack tin.

Ethan and I made Valentine cookies, and Valentine marshmallow fudge, we also have grapes, raspberries, yoghurt (I made) and cashews.

Muffin Tin Monday at Her Cup Overfloweth

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Beauty of the Beasts - Ralph Helfer

Last weekend, I attended a wonderful workshop on learning communities. During the workshop, our school librarian and I began talking books. She told us how she loves the way students react to books. One of her favourites is sharing the story TheWorld's Greatest Elephant  by Ralph Helfer.

The next day, I came across The Beauty of the Beasts: Tales of Hollywood's Wild Animal Stars by the same author.

You know every time you watch an MGM movie, and the lion roars at the beginning? Well that's one of Ralph's animals!

This is an easy read. It's full of stories of different animals he's trained. He was taught to train with a whip, and after a few too many attacks, decided to train with affection. The book shares stories from both methods. It shares stories that display his love for the animals. It is not a how-to-guide! In fact, he often states how difficult it is to train animals, and does not advise others to keep wild animals as pets.

I really enjoyed this read. I laughed, giggled, cringed and even cried!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

I've missed the last couple of weeks, but am thrilled to join again this week.

1. Shadows
Ethan loves making monsters with his shadow.

2. Patterns/Repetition
Ethan learnt about patterns at school, and now loves to make patterns any chance he gets.

3. Bright White
Technically, I didn't take the picture. I found Ethan goofing off with the iTouch. He took a picture of himself.

4. Strong
Now that's one powerful animal!

5. Warmth
A warm day at the beach.