Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Jumbo Shrimp with Sorrel Pesto Pasta

MMMMMmmmmmm good.

Last night I decided to use a little of my garden goodness. Raided the herb bed and stripped down my sorrel plant to make a fresh pesto. So here it goes.

2 cups sorrel leaves, washed and minced
1 Tbsp fresh crushed garlic
2 Tbsp orange juice (or use lemon for an ultra lemony flavour)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup parmesan cheese (or other hard cheese)
1/4 cup toasted pinenuts (or other nut)
1/2 tsp sea salt

Mix above ingredients together in bowl you are going to use to serve the pasta in. This size batch will coat roughly a 4 person serving of pasta.

Boil water and cook desired pasta - I used a whole grain rotini as this pesto can stand up to the stronger flavour of a whole wheat pasta. Add raw prepped jumbo shrimp to pasta roughly 3 minutes before pasta is completed cooking. Drain and toss with pesto. Voila! Serve with fresh bread & butter and veggies & dip for a quick and easy summertime dinner.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Getting to know your friends

Thought it would be fun to post my answers to this email sent to me on-line. Fun to look back at it in a couple years to see how things have changed

1. What time did you get up this morning? 6:38
2. Diamonds or pearls? diamonds
3. What was the last movie you saw? twister
4. Where is the most beautiful place you've ever been? so hard to choose....maybe the swiss mountains
5. What do you usually have for breakfast? oatmeal with yogurt, fruit, nuts and seeds
6. What is your favorite food? usually burritos....right now salty and sweet foods
7. What food do you dislike? liver
8. What is your favorite CD lately? don't have one - I keep flipping radio stations (classical, rock and country have all been featured this week alone)
9. What kind of car do you drive? sunfire
10. Favorite sandwich? bacon, tomato and pickle
11. What characteristics do you despise? lying
12. Favorite item of clothing? jeans
13. If you could go anywhere in the world for a vacation, where would you go? Peru
14. What color is your bathroom? off white and pink - yuck
15. Favorite brand of clothing? cheap ;)
16. Where would/will you retire? probably live on vancouver island and travel to different destinations
17. What was your most memorable birthday? 30 - I was totally surprised
18. Favorite sport to watch? Watch on TV or in real life? Live hockey
19. Furthest place you are sending this? Merritt
20. Who do you expect to send this back to you? dunno
21. Person you expect to send it back first? dunno
22. Favorite saying? no worries
23. When is your birthday? may 17
24. Are you a morning person or a night person? night
25. What is your shoe size? 7
26. Pets? chickens
27. What did you want to be when you were little? which age? marine biologist - 13
28. What are you today? secretary
29. What is your favorite candy? reese's peanut butter cups.......oh dear, now I will have to go get some after work....darn
30. What is your favorite flower? casablanca lily or maybe a pure red amaryllis
31. What is a day on the calendar you are looking forward to? August 30 - the first day of "retirement"
32. What are you listening to right now? Iceberg radio - Pop galore station (currently playing Madonna - Forbes top earner in the female singer category - girl's still got it!)
33. What was the last thing you ate? ginger biscotti and chocolate milk (afternoon sweet craving)
34. Do you wish on stars? sometimes
35. Do you believe in Angels? not in the physical sense
36. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? yellow
37. Pet peeves? self-centered people
38. Favorite Television show? CSI
39. Last person you spoke to on the phone? Rupert
40. Do you like the person who sent this to you? yup
41. Favorite soft drink? root beer
43. Hair Color? brown
44. Favorite restaurant? super casual - Kim Wah's, nicer - The Grapevine
45. Siblings? yes
46. What was your favorite toy as a child? My Little Pony's and Barbies
47. Summer or Winter? summer
48. Hugs or kisses? hugs
49. Chocolate or vanilla? chocolate
50. Do you want your friends to e-mail you back? yes
51. When was the last time you cried? a couple of weeks I think
52. What is under your bed? box of wrapping supplies (paper, ribbon, cards, stickers, bags, etc)
53. Who is the friend you've had the longest? Kathryn
54. What did you do last night for dinner? homemade chicken burgers and mccain oven fries with lots of ketchup and a lemon tart for dessert - too much
55. Favorite smell? my hubby
56. What are you most afraid of? losing my hubby
57. How many keys on your key ring? about 5 i the man's truck today - only 3 on that ring
58. How many years at your current job? 3 years, 2 months
59. Favorite day of the week? saturday
60. How many towns have you lived? victoria, shawnigan, apsley, vancouver (east and kits), cowichan bay, cobble hill
61. Do you make friends easily? not really....kind of shy.....silly really...have to come out of that for piglet's sake
62. How many folks will you send this to? just a couple

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Front view

Some pictures of our newly installed front garden. We have never liked the shape of the front bed, not only did it suck for mowing but it just didn't look right. So a couple weekend's ago we decided enough was enough and reshaped, planted and bark mulched. It looks so much better.

Shaping the bed also known as turf tossing (Before)






Boy toys

I thought I'd show a couple of the recent projects worked on from the view of how handy some of the "boy toys" have been. Definately saved on time by having the big truck and tractor around.

Fencing materials - all in one load

Hedge trees - all 50 of them

Moving the trees the easy way

Baby names and obsess much!

Okay, so there is the extremely difficult task of choosing a name for our child. We of course need a girl and a boy name. Preferably two of each just in case the baby pops out and doesn't suit the name we chose at all.

Then there is the difficulty of Andy wanting a 'normal' name and I want a not too common name. For some reason my darling husband thinks I can't chose a 'normal' name. It's not like I want to name my child Apple or Poppy or Phineas or something far out like that, I just don't want my child to be one of four children in the same class with the same name. I want my child to have a name similar to what my name is like. Different enough that you don't know a lot of other's with the same name but not so unusally that people are asking what your name is again and how do you spell it because it sounds so unusual that people don't know how to even begin to spell it or alternatively see it spelled and don't kow how to pronounce it.

I also want to have a boys name that is a strong name - no wussy girly names - a name that is going to suit him if he choses a high powered career but perhaps can be shortened to something more casual for friends and family or more casual type career. Something like his father - Andrew - but goes by Andy.

For a girl I want something feminine and girly but also could be used for a high powered career if she goes that route. The name I am pushing for right now goes that route but Andy wants to divide it into two names. My issue is that it creates too casual a name and too common a name. For whatever the reason the name I chose out of the blue, it's very pretty nickname is in the top 20 names in BC for 2007 - not good! But if we kept with the long form it isn't nearly as common and there are some other options for nicknames - not quite so cute but certainly less common.

Oh bother........who knew one could get so worked up about something. Mind you on the other hand I have discovered that the short form for the boys name we keep tossing about and I was worrying about being too common actually doesn't even hit the lists for the last couple of years. We might just be in luck with that one. Maybe it can just be a boy and then the problem is solved.

I printed out the stats listing for 2007 and 2008 and have crossed out all names that were used 50 or more times. This included adding up things like Jaden, Jaiden and Jayden as I figure you pronounce them the same way so they are basically the same name. Perhaps from this listing we can find a name that we both like but isn't too common or atleast keep from choosing a name that we thought was unique and turns out to be common as anything. Darn all these people that are using names I have had in the back of my head for years.

Am I obsessing much or what?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


Just for fun. I pic of the beginnings of making my way through the piles of babies clothes making there ways to me. Thought I'd get a jump on the laundering and have everything clean ahead of time. Now I just need some shelving to put it on :)

Window view

A couple of pics of the changes I made to the window in piglets room.

Mobile hanging

New curtains

Close up of sea creature curtain hangers

Fabric for baby quilt

How about a picture to go with the previously talked about baby quilt. I didn't want a "babyish" quilt so went with some great tropical themed prints and mixed in some complimentary patterns to make what I think will be a great unisex quilt that should become a lap quilt latter on if it hasn't been destroyed. The cream coloured background is actually the fabric for the other side.

Palm tree

As promised I have remembered to bring in my camera and cord and am going to upload some of the many little projects on the go or recently completed.

So first up is the moon and palm tree project for piglets wall. Though not quite finished the pictures show what it will look like fairly accurately.

Drawing the moon

Painting of the moon

Palm tree half finished

Friday, May 16, 2008

Baby projects

Wednesday night was a night of fun shopping. I went to the fabric store and chose fabrics for a baby quilt for piglet. Five great new fabrics to add to one that I had brought back from Hawaii with me. The Hawaiian piece is a dark blue with white/yellow plumerias on it. New fabrics I picked up include #1 - multi colour stripe, #2 - yellow leaf like design, #3 - goldfish on dark blue, #4 - parrots in tropical forest and #5 multicolor dragonflies on black. I will post pic at later date when I remember to bring camera and cord with me to work.

I also picked up a cream coloured rosebud fleece for the other side of quilt. Bindig is still to be determined.

Added a green leaf flannel to go with a Hibiscus print on black cotton that I picked up in Hawaii for a couple more burp cloths.

Guess I have some sewing to do.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

First attempts for cookbook

Okay, so I have started playing around with recipes with the cookbook in mind. So far I have a grilled pineapple salad with a spicy sauce that has possibilities as well as a rhubarb sticky bun that was commented on at Mother's Day brunch. Both will obviously require making again with any changes to improve further and ingredient measurements written down more accurately.

I have made several other items that though they were good were not worthy of a cookbook with my name to it.

Still haven't figured out a format so it is hard to focus on what type of recipes to be playing with. I was just thinking right now that maybe something about fruits and veggies in a new way.

In other news I have had to find a new person to take over my pregnancy care as my regular doctor has chosen to discontinue deliveries. Luckily I was able to get in with the midwifery group in Duncan, which is slightly ironic as I had originally thought I would go with a midwife but then chose to stay with my regular doctor for the consistancy factor. Sometimes life just takes you to something you wanted anyways. I have to say I am extremely comfortable with this change - far more so then the suggested new doctor options.

Ultrasound went great. Apparently nothing showed up to worry about. New due date is September 12. Triple screen tests came back - low risk - which is a sigh of relief - not that we had reason to be concerned but it is good to know that we are at only 1% chance of these birth defects.

Little Piglet / Jefferson / whateveryournamewillbe is kicking a lot these days. Can't wait until Andy can feel it. He is starting to really become comfortable with the whole idea. Even said hello to our little guy the other day. It sure makes a world of difference for me. Just makes me feel like yes everything will be alright.

Now if only this darned cold would go away!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Challenge myself

Okay, so I have been doing a lot of thinking about what I will do when I am home with the little one. There will be only so much housework and yardwork that one can do and one has to have something that doesn't seem like working on one's home all the time. Something that is my own. Something creative and hopefully productive.

So here it is. I am going to write a cookbook. Sound crazy. Maybe a little, after all what do I know about writing a book. But here is what I do know. #1 - I like to cook. #2 - People tell me I am a good cook. #3 - I like to try new recipes all the time (there are times when Andy will ask if we can have something normal like spaghetti with meat and tomato sauce because I have made him so many new dishes that he wants something familiar) #4 - I like to change the recipe to my taste after trying it a time or two and therefore creating a Sonja recipe.

How I will be challenged - in more ways then I can even imagine. Learning about writing and producing a book. Creativity in my cooking. Keeping records of what did/didn't work, how to improve a recipe, etc, etc. Keeping on track so this doesn't become a ten year or never to be completed project ;)

I am thinking I need to come up with format first so I then have a way to organize recipes as they are created. Do I go from appies through dessert or spring through winter or specialize in a type of food like veggies or pasta. Oh my! HHHmmmmm, my Rustic Rhubarb pie might just have to be the first recipe to enter it's way into the book. Perhaps something like West Coast using home grown and locally sourced food items....

Lots to think about.