Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Float the Elbow

It has been H-O-T hot and B-E-A-utiful in Calgary for the last couple of weeks. Subsequently every evening when I drive home from the lab along the Bow River I enviously watch as people float in the sunshine.

Last weekend my self and too friends got out our Walmart purchased rafts and took to the Elbow River to enjoy a little bit of the sun ourselves.

We put in at Stanley Park and out at the Talisman Center...probably about 3km of river, and it took us about an hour.

It really was a beautiful way to spend an afternoon....is this a purely Calgary thing, or do other cities with rives do it too? Back in the Sault the river's to big with too many rapids for leisurely floating.

Ah summer....so nice.

Monday, July 30, 2012

I hate being a grown up

Woke up this morning to a flipping messy apartment.

Made it even messier by depositing the contents of my storage closet onto my living room floor to get at my summer tires.

Carried the summer tires down to my car by myself.

Felt pathetic for only just getting the winter's off on July 30th.

Took car for service,oil change and tire swap.

Spent hour on the phone with visa getting new card activated, old one inactivated, and a travel note put on my account for this weekend.

Received phone call that I needed new brakes. Cost of car maintenance instantly doubles.

Came home to apartment that looks like an episode of hoarders....there was legit a vacuum cleaner and suitcase in my tiny bathroom.

Proceeded with the clean up.

The following Jenna Marbles Video sums up my feelings about today perfectly.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Just Like Nana Does it: Meat and Cheese Ravioli

Alright, here we go again, experimenting in the kitchen, trying to puzzle out how my Nana cooks the way she does. This time, Ravioli! But not just any ravioli, the best of both world's ravioli, meat and cheese!

Let's give you the finished product first!

Home made ravs with home made bread rolls...if only I had made up some fresh sauce... but since it was like 10:30 by the time I finished (started late) I just thru some classico on top.

First up, make up the filling!

  • 1 Spanish onion chopped fine
  • 2tbsp minced garlic in oil
  • drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
  • big handful of spinach, chopped

In a small pan I quickly cooked   the onions with the garlic, then threw in the spinach until cooked
  • 1lb lean ground beef
  • 1lb lean ground pork
In a separate pan I browned the meat, you have to be vigorous with the wooded spoon here, you want it broken up nicely. Then drain it well, and throw the contents of the other pan in. I guess you could do some seasoning here... I didn't.

Throw it into a big bowl and let it cool just enough that it doesn't seem burning hot when you inevitably get it on your hands. Add in the following
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 425g container Ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Romano cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesean

Then I used a potato masher to mix and mash everything together.  Once mixed thoroughly, cover and let it sit while you make the pasta.

Easy-peasy pasta - by hand 

  • 3 cups flour
  • 5 eggs
And really that's it, you might throw in a bit of olive oil if you were feeling inspired. The above makes enough pasta for like 1/3 of the filling, about 5-6 uses of my ravioli mold. I made two batches and thru the rest in my freezer.

Flour the heck out of your work surface, then make a pasta volcano.... using a fork start to beat up the eggs, slowly incorporating the flour in..... my volcano always explodes... and then you just go to town kneading it by hand until it is smooth, and even. Cover and let stand half an hour- 45min.

FYI: I maintain that if you make pasta by hand it is a zero calorie meal, all that kneading and cranking makes you sweat!


I have a hand turned pasta machine, take a reasonable section of the dough, and beat it flat by hand, then start on the widest setting start sheeting it until you get it down to the thinnest. You want even sheets, big enough to cover your ravioli mold.

Then throw a sheet down on your mold, use the press to push little pockets into it. Brush the whole thing with some egg, and put a heaping tablespoon of filling into each one. Brush the egg over the top sheet and lay it down. Press each one by hand, being sure to avoid air bubbles (this will make your rav's float from the get go, confusing cooking time... also make them likely to open when you cook them).  Aggressively rolling pin over the mold to seal and cut the ravs...remove scraps (this can be re-rolled) and turn out ravs onto parchment paper (may require smashing of the mold on your table).

You can then freeze the ravioli to eat another time, or cook them up right away. When you cook them (either from fresh or frozen) bring a pot of salted water to a boil, and throw them in. When they begin to float they are done! really quick just like any fresh pasta! be careful handling the cooked rav's they should be scooped from the water not dumped into a strainer as this might break them!

Did they taste like my nana's 

Yes! they were awesome! I also gave some away to my boss and his wife and they enjoyed them as well.

Plus there' s nothing better than having a freezer full of your own home made food, to pull out at a moment's notice!

Enjoy! Ciao!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Dinner for One

Ever just need an entire day to yourself to just do nothing? Today was mostly that (minus a 4km run with the boy this morning during which my legs nearly gave up on life, but at least the sun was shining).

This afternoon was spent cozy in my bed with a book (Lord of Chaos, Robert Jordan....I'm rereading the Wheel of Time). Then as dinner time rolled around I took a wander around Uptown 17th... picked up some Starbucks (the new Very Berry Hibiscus Refresher super tasty) and grabbed a dinner for 1 from King's.

Made with something they're calling 'green coffee extract' I thought it was one: pretty tasty and two: unfortunately mostly ice in the cup. I saw an ad in a magazine that they should be selling canned versions and 'VIA' just add to water packets but saw neither in the store...are these in Canada? I would like them for work probably.

What I ate for dinner in front of my TV.... King's Chinese Food, dinner for one with chicken chop suey and sweet and sour chicken balls...enough food for dinner tonight and lunch tomorrow, all for 10.45 after tax. King's is right around the corner, and ready in 10min, free delivery if you're feeling lazy or spend $25, and huuuge portion sizes, fresh food. Only down side is the spring rolls taste a tiny bit like curry...it's a bit odd.

But that's just another thing I love about living in Uptown 17th....chinese food for dinner when ever I want it....even if my waist line won't be pleased with me. While I waited I walked down the street to Daily Globe News on 17th and picked up a copy of OM Yoga...and was shocked at seriously how many amazing magazines this little hole in the wall shop has.

Tonight I am changing up the look of my blog slightly.... chilling in my bra since it is hot as funk in my apartment and catching up on blogs (since I've missed out on that while traveling for the last month).

And oh yes, that is a Palm Bay with my dinner.... and I won't be judged, it was delicious!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Tutus

While perusing Lulu's blog, I came across this post featuring a Tutu they created for the National Ballet of Canada's 60th anniversary.

I immediately hopped over to the National Ballet's website to see the rest, and have to admit I did some drooling and reminiscing of when I used to dance (even tho I almost never got to wear a tutu).

Here's a few favourites:

 Odile from Swan Lake - First Performed May 5, 1999. Designed by Santo Loquasto.

 I've always loved the black swan costumes from Swan Lake, and this one is particularly perfect.

 Designed and built by Edgar Wong Baxter Jr., Steve Reaume, Nicholas Aoki, Finlay Patterson and Bellavance on behalf of Narwhal Art Projects and Metatecture.

This bad boy is equipped with LEDs and motions sensors to control the colours, how amazing would it be to preform in?

Tutu Cozy. Designed and Built by Svetlana Lavrentieva. National Open-Call for Artists selection.

  Hudson's Bay Company blanket tutu anyone? Those stripes are a national Canadian icon, what better salute to the National Ballet of Canada.

All tutu pictures came from the National Ballet of Canada's site here.

Also I really, really want one of these blankets.

So as soon as I have a little more money to my name (pay day can't come soon enough) I'm registering for a couple of dance classes this fall.... because let's be honest, I miss it!


In other news I'm back from travelling to Colorado, Camping the Canada Day long weekend, Hawaii, and the Calgary Stampede. Lots of exiting posts about that to come, all while I avoid working on my research proposal (ahhhhh grad school why!!!).