Monthly Archives: July 2012

That Awkward Moment…

…when you’re not sure if you’re too tired or too awake.

Brought to you by Rockstar energy drinks! Also known as the-most-you’re-ever-going-to-have-to-pee-in-fourteen-hours. Also known as that-time-I-was-asleep-enough-to-make-the-time-pass-and-awake-enough-to-change-the-song-every-few-minutes. Also known as the-last-time-I-will-ever-drink-a-Rockstar.

Do you ever feel like you need a vacation after your vacation?

Our trip to Winnipeg was amazing! No lack of fun activities, restaurants or destinations. The only unfortunate part was that all the fun was bracketed by twenty-eight hours of driving. We drove fourteen hours each way through the night and into the early afternoon to beat the traffic and make the most of our days. I made sure I was prepared with forty-two hours worth of music crammed onto my iPhone, plenty of meat and veggie wraps, Chocolate Chip Cookies, water bottles and, yes, the dreaded energy drinks.

2,620 kilometres, 582 songs, 6 Rockstars, 8 wraps, 24 cookies, a few car fights, 1 dead crow, 1 very lucky raccoon, 5 smart deer, 1 fast coyote, 5 gas stops, and an obscene amount of bathroom breaks. Let me just tell you, it is no easy task to find an open washroom when it’s 2am and you’re cruising through Plunkett Saskatchewan at 130 km/h. Who ever heard of Plunkett Saskatchewan? If you blink you’ll miss it. And if you have to hold it any longer your kidneys might shut down. I couldn’t even google for the nearest washroom! You know you’re in Saskatchewan when you can see for miles, all of which don’t support 3G.

All travelling upsets aside, we had a blast! It was all worth it!

We went to the Manitoba Museum and kicked butt at a dinosaur scavenger hunt. We toured the Assiniboine Park Zoo and actually had more fun with the animals outside the cages than inside like the ground squirrels and wandering peacocks. We wandered around the eerie ruins of an old monastery that burned down and is now being used to stage Shakespeare productions. We splashed around in the Manitoba Legislature fountains to cool off on one of the most hot and humid days. We explored Lower Fort Garry, a restored HBC trading post full of knowledgeable reenactors and artifacts like an attic filled with furs that you were actually encouraged to touch. The furs, not the reenactors. Almost every night we swam in one of two swimming pools that the hotel boasted and soaked in the hot tub. The latter of which effectively ruined my favourite yellow bikini bottom, but it was worth it. We spent two days at Lee’s brother’s trailer near Lake Winnipeg and braved the mosquitoes for huge campfires, s’mores, BBQ, skipping stones, suntans, chocolate chip waffles, frequent dips in the lake and crazy powerful air conditioning to name a few. We also took a drive in the city and visited all the places that Lee and his family lived, worked, and went to school because Winnipeg is my Lee love’s hometown.

In closing, I made Double Roasted Hummus. Not sure what that has to do with Winnipeg except that it is ridiculously easy to make even if you haven’t slept in twenty-four hours, your back aches, your knees are stiff, your hair is all matted down in the back and you can’t remember what time zone you’re in. It includes an entire bulb of roasted garlic and a whole roasted red bell pepper. It’s just stuffed with roasted goodness. Eat the Hummus. Sleep can wait.

Double Roasted Hummus

Source: My imagination

1 bulb garlic
1 red bell pepper
2 tsp olive oil, divided

1 540 ml can chick peas, drained
Zest from 1 lemon
Juice from 1 lemon
2 tbsp tahini
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 tbsp olive oil

Note: I serve my Hummus with Pita Chips.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and position a rack in the center. Peel the outer skin off the garlic bulb. With a knife cut away the tops of the cloves to expose each segments clearly. Drizzle 1 tsp of olive oil over the exposed cloves and place it facing up in one cup of a muffin tin. Cover the bulb with aluminum foil and roast it for 30 – 40 minutes or until the cloves turn brown and are soft to the touch, but not burned. Once the bulb has cooled enough to touch, pop the cloves out and set them aside.

While the garlic is roasting, coat the pepper in 1 tsp olive oil and roast it over an open flame. If you have a gas stove that’s great, but I find that, even though red bell peppers aren’t hot, roasting them indoors releases a lot of really unpleasant chemicals that irritate the eyes and throat. Instead I prefer to roast my peppers on the barbecue on high for about 5 minutes for each side. The skin should be quite blackened. Place it in an airtight container as soon as you remove it from the flame to cause the skin to separate from the pepper flesh. If you’ve done a good job of roasting your pepper, the skin should peel off easily with your fingers but, if you need help, a knife works too. Cut the pepper into quarters, discarding the stem, seeds and glands then set it aside.

Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and blend them until it’s smooth. Enjoy!

How To Tuesday: Chocosaurus Rex.

I’m presently propped up in bed with some of the fluffiest pillows I’ve ever had the pleasure of smushing in our hotel room in Winnipeg. This week we’re visiting family and friends and keeping pretty busy between restaurants, swimming pools, museums, zoos, rivers, lakes and camp sites to name a few.

I’m the sort of person that never likes to come to a party empty handed. Nothing says “nice to meet you!” like a jar full of chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies. Add some ribbon and a dinosaur and you have yourself one adorable, unique and thoughtful gift, one that you can be pretty certain they’ve never received before.

This is something you can whip up easily and inexpensively in an afternoon. I’ve seen so many DIY posts floating around featuring these plastic animals you can get at pretty much any dollar store, so I just had to try it out for myself. These jars are perfect for all sorts of occasions like a favour for a dinosaur-themed birthday party, a gift for the budding archaeologist in your life, or a baby shower favour. You could even swap out the dinos for bunnies and fill the jars with chocolate eggs for a super cute Easter gift.

You’ll need…

Mason jars
Medium sandpaper
Super glue
Small plastic animals
White spray paint (primer)
Colour of your choice spray paint
Cookies or other treats (of course!)

Start by removing the lids from the jars and sand each piece thoroughly to ensure the paint will stick to the metal. If you skip this simple step, no matter how many coats of paint you apply, it may chip.

Apply a small amount of super glue to each foot of the animals and place them in the middle of each sanded lid. Allow a few minutes for the glue to set then start painting.

Apply a few coats of the white spray paint, making sure to turn or walk around your work surface to ensure you don’t miss any spots. We prime it first because sometimes, especially with darker colours, the paint isn’t opaque enough the cover the plastic animals and you end up over-applying causing drips, a loss of detail and you may even run out of paint.

Next apply a few coats of spray paint in the colour of your choice. Be sure to leave time for the paint to dry in between each coat and, after the last coat, leave them to dry overnight because you don’t want that paint smell soaking into your delicious cookies.

Once the lids are dry, fill the mason jars with your treats and screw on the lids. Top it all off with some cute ribbon and a tag with a cheeky message.