Thursday, July 30, 2009

Irish eyes are smiling

Pin It Went to The Old Triangle (Irish pub) for supper tonight with Ann, Andy and Arlene...hmm, I feel like my name should be Anya so I fit in with all the "A"s...attached are a couple of pics that Arlene and I took with her Blackberry...too funny - the flash was SO bright that Ann couldn't keep her eyes open, so I took this one and told them all to look away from the camera...we couldn't stop laughing!!! There's one of Ann, Andy and I, but it's still on the bberry. We had a nice time -there was a band there from Newfoundland that played a lot of Irish/Scottish music - they weren't of them kept staring at Arlene :-)

Tomorrow is the start of my 4 day weekend!! YAY! Monday I have plans with my sister-in-law to come over and "help" me clean out my storage closet ("help" in quotes because I really just need someone there to be accountable to!) As a back up for accountability, I've phoned the Diabetes people and arranged for a pick up of my give-aways for Wednesday morning at me one day's grace to "gitter done"! If I'm not back online by Tues night...send in the troops, I've gotten lost in there!!

PS - none of us is Irish...reference was to a song...just in case you were wondering :-) Andy's British, Ann's Greek-Canadian and Arlene is Chinese-Canadian...and I'm French, English, Scottish...what exactly am I??

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Chicken a la Tanya

Pin It
I set out to make Chicken a la King tonight...upon starting to cook I realized I didn't have any mushrooms...that's OK, I'll substitute canned peas :-) Then I didn't have pimentos...that's OK, I have fire roasted red peppers...anyways, the long and the short of it was, I made up my own recipe! Picture is my supper, which I've just started eating - yum!! Will post the recipe later.

Here is the recipe (please note - all measurements are approximate...I really didn't measure anything!)

Tanya a la King

1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 small green bell pepper, chopped (1/2 cup)
1 Can of peas (drained, but leave a bit of juice in)
1/2 Flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 cups milk
1 Can of vegetable broth with onions (any broth will do)
4 Cooked/chopped chicken breasts
2 Roasted red peppers chopped (I used the ones from the jar)
1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
2 Tbsp parmesan cheese
3 cups hot cooked rice

Melt butter in big pot (I used my Dutch oven) over medium-high heat. Cook pepper in butter, stirring occasionally, until bell peppers are tender.

Stir in flour, salt and pepper, and add broth if it’s too sticky. Cook over medium heat until mixed; remove from heat. Stir in milk and remaining broth. Add more milk as needed. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute. Add red pepper flakes and cheese. Stir in chicken; cook until hot. Serve over rice.

Friday, July 24, 2009

My "come to Weight Watchers" moment

Pin It Ok, I know you've read about my light bulb moment (refer to the posting: Upside Down Tanya). My thought is to join immediately following my vacation to NY (btw, leaving TWO WEEKS from today!). I figure this is the perfect time to join - I will have no food in my house (having been gone for two weeks) and will have to buy all new food anyhow...maybe I'll crash a meeting as I'm driving back into town. Also, when I travel to the States, I always enjoy perusing the grocery stores. The selection is so different from ours! Even the brands/products that we have that are the same look different :-) I'm going to keep an eye out for low-fat and/or WW products that we can't get here in Canada. I know in the past when I've been doing WW, I've followed message boards for support and I keep seeing all these products and recipes with items only available...yup, you guessed it...south of the border (and I don't mean Taco Bell!) Soooo....if I can get myself organized, I'll even have some recipes planned where I can pick up the US-only products on my trip. One item I know for sure I need to pick up is low fat Bisquick baking mix.

Well, that's it for today's post. So glad it's the weekend, but too tired to write anymore today. Tomorrow I'm planning to sleep in and then am heading to Anton & Louise's place for a small group games night/pot luck. Louise said that they have tons of games, including Wii and Nintendo games (even have trivial pursuit for the Wii!)

Good weekend to all!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Is it Juvember??

Pin It What is with this crazy weather? I know that typically June/July weather is unpredictable, but this is ridiculous!! Last night on the way home it was raining downtown, but we could see blue skies over the Clayton Park to CP and it was cloudy with patches of blue skies. Around 6:30 it was blindingly sunny...5 mins later it was pouring rain...5 mins later, cloudy with blue patches in the sky again. Today wasn't much better...we just didn't see as much of the sun :-) Oh, and this afternoon it was SIXTEEN DEGREES!!!

Oh well, this, my friends, is why I've started booking my summer vacations in August/September!! Two more weeks until vacation and I can hardly wait.

Not much more to say today - off to do some cleaning now. Have begun doing the dreaded oven....thank the Good Lord for fume free oven cleaner (which actually smells like lemons, so technically not fume free). Hoping I'll leave it overnight and end up with a sparkling oven tomorrow morning (yeah right!) I think next I'll tackle the bathroom...

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I'm in love with the president

Pin It President's Choice, that is! Had the new PC JalapeƱo Chicken Fajitas for supper tonight. Normally when I have fajitas I tell them to omit the Spanish rice...well I couldn't very well do that at the superstore, so I ate it! And loved it!! I give this PC product a big two thumbs up. Only thing I would change would be maybe to increase the tortillas from 2 to 4 as the filling was too much for 2.

I missed Monday

Pin It Well, not really. I had a Monday...but I didn't have my Monday at the office that I normally had and everyone started the week without me...make sense? I love that I had Monday off, but when the rest of the office is in, it makes it hard to start your week on a Tuesday - it's almost like you've been left behind :-) Whew, what a crazy day. Of course, it was also my afternoon on the reception desk (oh joy, oh bliss). I was out there for 4 hours and was so busy that I got almost none of my own work done. I'll be SO glad when we finally hire someone for that position and I can go back to my own desk and get caught up on my own work.

Last night at Costco I picked up a new cookbook - Low Fat Express by Company's Company. Now I love reading these Company's Coming cookbooks and I have a bad habit of buying them, getting them home and discovering there might be one recipe I'll make out of the whole book. This one is different - I'd say there are several I'll make! Anyone who's near a Costco and who has a membership - Bargain Alert: all Company's Coming cookbooks are on for $6.99 (correction - cookbooks are actually $6.69)!! I also bought the Lemon Cream Cheese Crumble from the bakery department...thinking about it now, I bet the cashier was laughing at my low fat cookbook sitting on top of my lemon cream cheese crumble! Oh well, after vacation I'll get serious about the low fat idea...pray for me, please!!

Off to figure out supper...must check out Ducky's blog to see if she can inspire me to cook.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Pee-wee's big adventure

Pin It So bright an early this morning on my day off, I'm out the door to pick up Ann (and her friend Katie). The original plan was to head to the eastern shore, but we decided the drive was too long, so we'd go the other way and head to Mahone Bay. Once we did our Tim's stop and got on the road it was about 11:00. We arrived in Mahone Bay shortly after noon and had lunch at a nice little place. After lunch we walked in and out of some of the shops and I decided to take some pictures...turn camera on...turn to the write setting...NO MEMORY CARD in the camera!! How disappointing to be in one of the most picturesque places in the whole province with NO camera! grrr...and not only that, I'd been lugging this heavy thing around with me all day! Oh well, I've been there dozens of times before and have lots of pictures, so I guess it's no big deal. After a most scrumptious Oreo cupcake from Jo Ann's Market, we headed back into the city...nothing much exciting to report today.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

We are women, here us roar!

Pin It Success is what I'd call it. Two single ladies installing two air conditioners sans male assistance! Yes, Tina and I both have our ACs installed and are basking in the glory of the coolness. Once we figured out what we were doing (and did some improvisation), we were all set. After the humidity of yesterday, neither of us could go one more week without these very special gifts from God being put in our windows. A special thanks goes out to Willis Haviland Carrier, the genius who invented the Air Conditioner!

Tomorrow is the day that Ann and I are running away to the Eastern Shore...unless it's stifling hot, then our plan is to sit beside the pool at Arlene's place for the day :-)

Well, I'm off to enjoy my AC and a good book...although perhaps I should toss some laundry in...ahhh, maybe later.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Upside Down Tanya

Pin It Ok, so we've all seen Adirondack chairs. They look harmless enough. Nice comfy chairs from a friendly little place in upstate New York. How much trouble can you get into with a chair anyways?

So it all begins with a pleasant evening out with my friend Tina. Smitty's for supper - had the salmon, which was great. Tina had the key lime pie for was YUMMY! After supper we had plans to go to Zellers for Tina to buy a birthday gift and then Sobeys for groceries (this was trip 2 for my pork strip recipe).

So we wander into Zellers. I relish the bright clean atmosphere of that store vs the dirty dingy appearance at a certain other major chain store (W). We're wandering the aisles, taking in the peacefulness of the quiet store (unfortunately, not too many people shop at Zellers anymore). We find some great deals and end up buying way more than we'd intended...finally we make our way to the back of the store where the seasonal items are. I try out a nice deck chair with a nice comfy padding on it (on for $24 regular $65!) and then I see it. The Adirondack chair. Now, I've sat in these chairs before at my boss' cottage and LOVED comfy - nice deep seats, close enough to the ground that you can stretch your legs out for some sun. The perfect deck chair! Noticing as I approach that the chair is not wooden, but rather a resin material (same as the chair I currently have on my deck). I sit down. Hmmm, this one leans back REALLY far...strange. Left side of it feels a bit tilted..strange. So finally I decide this chair is not for me so I try to get up and SNAP! Didn't that innocent looking chair SNAP! right under me! Now I know I'm no skinny minny, but PLEASE! I've sat in CHAIRS before! So, back to my story. I'm lying in Zellers, flat on my back, with my feet sticking STRAIGHT up in the the colour of my toes...called I'm not really a waitress by OPI...but I digress, back to the story. So, Upside Down Tanya is lying there. I'm looking at my feet - still stunned that I'm looking UP at my feet and not DOWN at them like I usually am. Tina is stunned - she keeps saying "are you OK?" and all I wanted to know was...did anyone see me??? But alas, we were in Zellers...I think there were 4 people in the store, including Tina, me and the cashiers, so thankfully, there were no witnesses. But I still have a problem. How in the WORLD do I get up. I can't go left...the chair arm is my obstacle...same issue on the right...I can't go forward - gravity just won't allow for it. So, ultimately, I wiggle my way backwards off this crazy chair. I stand up and, with all the dignity I can muster, brush myself off and walk away (with a slight pain in my backside).

I can't walk two feet without the flashback of my feet up in the air making me double over with laughter. I mean, how many people get to lay down in Zellers and inspect their pedicure? I'm very grateful that I was in Zellers that fateful night where the floors are shiny and the patrons are sparse. Had I been at "W", I'd be filthy dirty with a bazillion people looking at me and laughing.

The moral of this story...Weight Watchers, here I come...but not until after vacation next month.

PS - I really am fine :-) Just have a bump on my backside, but I'm sure I'll heal quickly!

Pork, pork, everywhere!

Pin It Well, I would call this recipe a success...a relatively simple success. The hardest part was my forgetting the English language and mis-reading the instructions once or twice...when I returned to planet earth, all went much more smoothly. The recipe is called Kay's Pork Strips and I got the idea to make this off of Ducky's blog (thanks Ducky!) It only took me two trips to the grocery store and one "borrowed" item to make! I think next time I might add more liquid...I think maybe a splash of pineapple juice might be a nice addition. Also...what's this bit about 1/4 of a chili pepper??! I can't even taste it! I actually put in a whole chili pepper and still can't really taste it. OK, so I like things hot. Next time maybe I'll add an extra one for good measure! I'm wondering if my chili peppers were much smaller than Kay's...mine are only about 2" in length. Once I got it all cooked up (took NO time at all!), I decided I had to take a picture of it :-) Now...what to put it in? I don't have an extensive dish collection - I have my corel dishes...some plastic stainless mixing bowls...none would work for this occasion! Finally I remembered I had "one of those gifts" up high on a shelf. A former co-worker had given it to me and I'd thought..."hmm, that's nice, but what in the world will I use it for?!" Up on the shelf it went. Well, today folks, you see what it's purpose will be in my ops!

Stay tuned for the "Upside Down Tanya" story...coming soon to a blog near you!

Friday, July 17, 2009

On the road again

Pin It
Well folks, three weeks from right now, I will be leaving for vacation to go visit the Browns.

My plan is to drive as far as Hartland, New Brunswick on Friday (late afternoon) and overnight with Gord & Marcia McWaid (Heidi's Mom and Dad). Saturday morning I will get up and drive from the McWaid's to Portland or North Andover, depending on whether or not my cousins are in town (they are in North Andover). My cousins live about 4.5 hrs from Gord & Marcia's place, so it's a great stopping place. Depending on how tired I am (and whether family is around or not), I will either overnight there or keep on trucking. The drive from my cousin's place is about 3.5-4 hours.

This is my longest solo road trip. I've driven as far as my cousin's place solo a few times before, so I don't think an extra 3-4 hours will be all that bad. Typically I do the drive to North Andover in one day, so this will be a switch for me to take two days to get there.

I can hardly wait to get to Dean & Rosalie's place in New York! A co-worker of mine has loaned me her Garmin Nuvi GPS navigation system for the drive, so surely I can't get lost...right? Anyone who knows me knows that I'll have the google maps directions, the CAA directions and the GM Roadside Assistance directions with me as backup ;-)

Sometimes I think I overplan things a bit...but I guess it's better to overplan than underplan - you know what they say...if you fail to plan, you plan to fail! I've already started my "to buy list", my "stores to visit list" and my "stuff to pick up for friends list"...ok, yes, I have a few too many lists! I'd hate to forget anything...oh, one more list (this one's just in my brain) is restaurants to visit :-) I LOVE the Olive Garden and Red Lobster, neither of which are available in Nova Scotia...soooo...must make a visit while I'm there....

I can see clearly now

Pin It My new window is in! Yay! I was surprised - I thought they would be replacing the whole thing, but they only replaced the glass in the big part of the window where it was fogging up. This is good news, because the holes for the mount for my air conditioner are still in tact!

Tonight I am going to supper and shopping with Tina. I still have a few ingredients to pick up for Ducky's recipe (Kay's Pork Strips) that I want to try this weekend. I'm hoping mine turns out as nice as hers looked! (picture is of Ducky's)

Tomorrow I am off for lunch with Ann and some more shopping. Hoping to make it to Pete's Frootique so that I can pick up the key lime juice I need to make my key lime pie. On Monday, Ann and I are heading to Sherbrooke Village down in the Eastern Shore of Nova Scotia. Neither of us has been there before, so am hoping it will be fun. If nothing else, it will provide me with some new photo ops - you can only take so many pictures of Peggy's Cove and the Halifax Waterfront before you get bored...not much changes, other than the paint gets a bit rattier on the lighthouse at Peggy's Cove! Speaking of which, I heard today that they have decided to paint the lighthouse and now (at peak tourist time) have scaffolding up all around the lighthouse...impeccable timing as usual!

Happy Friday!!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

I'll finally be able to see...

Pin It ...out my front window, that is. Finally, tomorrow morning my living room window is being replaced. Again? you ask...yes, again. There's an obvious leak somewhere and it's all steamed up...I hardly need to close my curtains when walking around in my jammies! Well...I guess maybe I should :-) Apparently they are coming "sometime tomorrow morning"...not sure exactly what that means, but I'm sure I'll find out. Hopefully I won't come out of the bedroom in my jammies and find my window REMOVED!!

I posted a note on Facebook tonight about going to Glens Falls and a neighbour of mine wrote a comment asking if I was going there on summer vacation this year...turns out SHE'S going there too! Our trips will overlap by about a about a small world!

Well, I'm off to move my computer out of harms way (it's right near the living room window right now).

Half way there

Pin It It's official...the week is half way through! Happy Wednesday everyone. Today is also the day that one of my best friends arrives in town. Ann arrives from the UK sometime later today. I can't wait for her visit to begin! We're planning a road trip on Monday (which I took as a vacation day) - I'm hoping if the weather is nice, that we will drive down to the Eastern Shore to Sherbrooke Village. A co-worker of mine is lending me her GPS system for my summer vacation to NY next month and she is going to bring it in tomorrow for me to try on Monday. I can't wait to start playing around with it - you know me and technology! There isn't a button I won't press :-)

Well, off to start my work on this beautiful sunny day. Expecting highs of 21 degrees today - woohoo!! :-)

Monday, July 13, 2009

Which weigh to go?

Pin It No, that wasn't a typo from the infamous proofreading queen! Ok, recently our fitness credit at work has changed to include weight loss, I am not planning to begin anything until after my vacation in August, but as soon as I get home, I've GOT to get on the wagon. I think I will follow the example of a fellow blogger/friend and start writing about my journey on my blog to keep me honest. My decision now is - which weigh to go? Weight Watchers ("WW")? If so, online or in person? I'm not a fan of WW, but of all of the plans out there, it's the one I know the best. It's nothing personal against WW, I really don't like ANY "diet" plan. At least with WW, there is nothing that is off limits and, like I mentioned, I basically know the plan - I'm a repeat offender when it comes to WW...hopefully this time it will stick! Like my fellow blogger/friend (let's call her Ducky) Ducky, I too find that cooking for one is hard and I end up wasting a ton of food! Ducky's plan is to cook once per week and use up items that she has on hand. In theory, it's a great idea, but how often do you get home from the grocery store only to find that you are missing that one critical ingredient? I guess the key is to plan, plan, plan. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail!

On another note, I am heading to New York State to visit good friends of mine next month...while in the US, I always visit the grocery stores (selection is so great!). Anyone know of any "must have" US grocery store items I should look for? I'll be driving down, so have lots of room to bring stuff back!

Signing off for now.

*names have been changed to protect the privacy of those mentioned :-)

I've been convinced

Pin It Well, here it first blog entry. It's funny, just the other day I was thinking of starting a blog for myself after reading my friend Dean's blog. Then today, a good friend of mine emailed me her new blog site, so here I am, taking the plunge. I'm not sure how much I will post or how often. I will use my blog to narrate my travels for the most part. I also noticed there is a polling feature, so maybe I'll come up with some fun polls :-)

Well, off to complete my profile!

PS - Ducky (I think you know who you are!) - the polka dots are for you my friend!