Wednesday, November 23, 2011
I planted my narcissus on Sunday, and already the bulbs are beginning to sprout and turn green.
They are so eager to grow.
And remind me: I should be too!!
Sunday, November 20, 2011
And days no promise bring
When every cloud is weary
Set out to meet the spring
When every cloud is weary
Set out to meet the spring!
This is a round we sang at Girl Guides.
And: dawns are dark and dreary here now, absolutely.
The light box helps! The gym helps! Thinking about my son coming home for Christmas helps! Watching Charlie chase squirrels through the back yard helps (grrrrrrrr, grrrrrr: fierce!) Flowers on the kitchen table help: I've got white carnations (they smell the best, clove-spicy) with some elegant branches of pine clipped from the back yard.
Singing helps! (OK, it helps me: but given the way I sing, maybe others not so much. I'll confine it to the shower . . . after my workout, maybe).
Chicken barley soup with lots of mushrooms helps.
Logs for the fireplace help.
That "set out to meet the spring" part? I'm thinking, today's a great day to start a pot of narcissus bulbs on the kitchen window sill: they should be in bloom by Christmas . . .
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Came home from work today to find a flyer in my mail for McDonald's "specialty" espresso based beverages . . . and a whack of coupons!!
They look like great espresso-based drinks. Freshly ground. Skim milk lattes and skim milk cappuccinos available. And even a sugar free vanilla version . . .
So what's not to like about that?
The first coupon offers a " free small hot McCafe specialty beverage". All good.
Then it's three "buy one get one free" coupons. Still good.
Next, 2 $1 off coupons. OK.
But then: 2 "McCafe Your Breakfast Meal for Free" coupons. Nope. Don't need to be eating McDonald's breakfast sandwiches with home fries etc. to get a free latte!
And even more invidious: "Buy a hot McCafe specialty beverage and get a free baked pie". Absolutely nope. There's maybe some redeeming nutritional virtue in a McD breakfast, depending on what you choose . . . but nothing much at all in a pie.
And finally: "Buy a hot McCafe specialty beverage and get a cinnamon melts for 49 cents". Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh, cinnamon melts. Way more appealing than anything on offer at Tim Hortons if I stop in there for a latte.
The McCafe coupons set up a perfect slippery slope. And would be moving me way way way too close to fries, cheeseburgers, quarter pounders . . . . all of that.
Can't resist fries. Especially McD fries: thin, crispy, perfect. Does anyone ever NOT "large size" them? The essential trigger food.
I know that. That's why I haven't been to a McDonalds in several years. Not once. Really.
So even though I really love latte and cappuccino and espresso and I'm really glad that I could get them now at McDonalds, I'm going to have to redeem these McCafe coupons with great caution.
If at all.
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Every Canadian knows Tim Hortons. Every parent at the hockey arena for the 6 a.m. practice has a double double (that's double sugar, double cream) or maybe two of those (one in each hand, functioning as wake up and handwarmers). And probably a doughnut as well.
Lots of Canadians never make coffee at home. No need. There's a Tim Hortons on every corner.
Which means it's not surprising that there's a Tim Hortons next door to my office. And always a line up out to the street in the drive through.
I've resisted Tim Hortons. I'm a Starbucks or Second Cup kinda person: skim milk lattes are my caffeine of choice. At home, French press freshly ground Colombian. Or my own home made lattes. At the gym, Keurig pod German Chocolate Cake from the machine. With splenda. And no calories (other than what's in the skim milk).
Sure, Timmies has had latte and cappuccino. But not the kind I drink -- They've been big on those totally ersatz 400 calorie ++ English Toffee or Caramel Mocha "dessert in a cup" type of speciality coffees, with a million varieties switched up seasonally (pumpkin and gingergbread and . . . like that. *sniffs*).
But now: real skim milk latte, real skim milk cappuccino, real espresso Right next door. Yay!!
So new that the nutritional info still isn't on their website -- but I called and got it. And input it into the Nutritional tracker (under Tim Hortons).
So: it's 100 calories for either the latte or the cappuccino in the 14 oz size (that's a medium). And 10 grams protein for the latte, 9 for the cap. Fat just 0.3 grams. Carbs 15 in either case.
A very reasonable snack with a good whack of protein . . . and it's an excellent thick and foamy latte.
I'm pretty sure I'll be wandering next door to pick up one of these on a semi-regular basis! (And nope: won't be having a cookie or a muffin or a doughnut or a wrap or any of that other stuff . . . never have. An occasional yogourt with fruit when I'm really desperate . . . or a bowl of soup. But that's it).
Caffeine: my only remaining sin. (As if.)
Saturday, November 12, 2011
In the freezer: two bags of PC Asian Medley frozen vegetables (baby corn, matchstick carrot, edamame, sugar snap peas, shredded carrot) and two skinless boneless chicken breasts
In the fridge: two cartons of chicken broth, half a cup of PC Memories of Szechuan peanut sauce, roasted garlic puree, soya sauce, a few mushrooms, a long skinny red shepherd pepper, 6 baby bok choy (the dark green curly kind).
In the cupboard: Chinese five spice, red pepper flakes, rice stick noodles.
Partially defrosted and cubed the chicken. Dropped into the boiling chicken broth together with the frozen Asian veggies. Added all the seasonings (no need for any salt with the soya sauce).
Sliced the stalk ends of the baby bok choy and added them. Cut the red pepper into long noodle-type shapes and added those too.
Soaked the rice noodle stick in boiling water for 7 minutes: then rinsed thoroughly in cold water.
Minced the curly parts of the bok choy, simmered briefly.
Took the pot off the burner. Stirred in the rice noodles.
So what is this? A noodle bowl, really, more than a soup . . . not recognizably any specific or "authentic" Asian cuisine. But: preliminary taste-test indicates it's pretty yummy! Easy, fast, colourful.
After all that activity for the brain, got three right first time at Trivia . . . . and now I'm off to the gym, with the sun shining.
Brighter all round!
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