A Saturday baseball game in Toronto was the perfect way to spend a hot and sunny afternoon! I hadn’t been to Toronto since I was a little girl, and it did not fail to impress. With the exception that a number of Canadian natives gave us deliberately horrible and inaccurate directions (in part due to the Red Sox head to toe attire my boyfriend was sporting), everything was incredible.

I didn’t realize that the CN Tower was attached to the stadium, and sitting below it was truly amazing!

Most of the fans around us were extremely nice. One not so nice guy grabbed my side outside the stadium and told us to go back to Boston.  I wanted to yell back that I’ve never even been to Boston, and that he should keep him hands to himself like every four-year-old learns early on, but who wants to start trouble in a foreign city?

A food vendor looked my guy’s Boston apparel up and down and refused to give us directions to Front Street. So naturally, I led the way….the wrong way…til I found a few people outside a cafe. Asking for directions, accepting their scoffing at our inability to navigate the city, we headed back in the direction we came from until the kindest middle-aged couple ushered us all the way to where we needed to be-The Loose Moose! (We must have looked pretty desperate by this time to receive a personal guided tour!)

 This is a picture from the women’s bathroom. I’m a fan.

The downstairs half of the bar is very casual, very college-esk. The beer came fast despite the huge crowds, and my poutine fries (fries with gravy, topped with cheese curds) were superb!

Hanging from pipes above the bar were bras of every shape and color. Apparently, it’s where “the broads take off their shirts” (as quoted from the Toronto fans behind us at the game). We did not see any “broads” taking off shirts, but I and another girl near to us both got the “ah, c’mon, hang it up!” from patrons. All in good fun, of course.

Dear Toronto,

Thanks for hosting a great baseball game.

Thanks for clean stadium bathrooms, short lines, good food, gorgeous weather, and for chatty, fun, and friendly fans.

Please reprimand the pushy/handsy guy that told me to go back to Boston, and the food vendor, and the cafe folk. I was simply lost and am admittedly directionally impaired.

Your traffic is terrible, but the cityscape was nice to stare at as we sat for and hour and twenty minutes on a three-mile stretch of highway just outside Rogers. Maybe you can work on that.

Thanks for moose paintings in restaurant bathrooms and for really good fries.  (I still can’t figure out why this gravy fry trend isn’t bigger in the U.S.)

Toronto, it was fun!

Love,

Me

I apologize. I apologize for all this text and not a speck of visual stimulation. My SD card is currently filled with weddings celebrated, holidays enjoyed, lawn fetes attended. My camera’s belly is bursting with memories, just waiting to be developed and to sit in a mountain of other uncategorized memories. I pledge to myself to purchases at least three beautiful albums this week and give these moments in time their proper places.

And despite the fact that I have not been writing about food, I promise you that it has been on my mind. After the infamous Attack of the  Hot Mushy Oven Bricks (see past post) I have been at odds with the oven. This burn is a bitter shade of baby pink, a gosh darn tattoo, reminding me: 1. of that terrible recipe debacle and 2: that I haven’t really baked since that day. Never again healthy banana bread. Never again. You are now my nemesis. Rant complete. Now, the temperatures have rocketed to the low 90s and the thought of turning on the oven has just been, well, wrong. But I have plans in the works for the day we cool a bit. Plus, my other-half has been sent away for work and phoned to say that he is living off Wal-Mart frozen dinners and chips. That, my friends, is also wrong. So, I’ve been brainstorming meals that travel well, can be eaten cold, and will last the duration of the week. I’ve got a plan. But I’ll wait to tell you how it goes. This could turn into an adventure. Sunday is prep day, if all goes as planned, and involves a lot of chopping, grilling, baking, and Tupperware (are day labels too much?).

In other news, there had been a HUGE wasp above my desk this morning. At first the buzzzz, tap, tap, tap against the window led me to believe there was a simply huge fly be-boppin around up there. But alas, it was a wasp the size of my pinky. As I led a properly armed man over to asassinate the infiltrator, said wasp crawled through a hole in the ceiling above my desk. Perfect. Just perfect. I’m just sitting here, staring for long intervals at that hole waiting for a whole family of wasps to emerge and swarm. Ugh. I see images of Winnie-the-Pooh running for his chubby little life from the bees. (I’m staring again.)

Weekend plans: Bar League Softball, Lawn Fete (Part 1), Blue Jays & Red Sox game in Toronto (yea!), Lawn Fete (Part 2), Chop, mix, bake, assemble, package, label one whole week’s worth of foodies, spend all free time in the sun…

This past weekend, the East Coast decided to have a summer. A beautiful, sun-soaked, steamy 4th of July weekend! The kind of weekend that sucks your strength and encourages cold tea (or your cold beverage of choice) to be gulped shamelessly. I love those weekends! On Monday, a rare day off after a holiday, my other-half and I, along with some friends and their enormous and  sweet dog, Izzy, made our way to a secluded little camp ground. Beneath the trees, beside the tiniest little brook, we grilled and talked and took in the meager breeze. And we all wondered: What is it about the woods slows us down? What seduces us to sit and be at peace? Sipping on Bud Limes and Citron and Teas (and yes, many bottles of ice-cold, condensation dripping water) and eating our pasta salads and burgers, we soaked in the heat and the happiness of just being in the woods.

Are you a winner? I’m serious here. For a minute, picture yourself at some kinda raffle…are you one of those people who  says, “Man, I never win!” and then walk away with three prizes? Nobody likes that person, unless you are willing to share. (I hope you share!) And at the next giveaway, do you say that again? Is it like when Ryan Miller comes off the ice last and does his circle dance before exiting? Does this verbal exclamation of “Man, I never win!” become a talisman of sorts? I heard that baseball players don’t wash their underwear and/or socks when they’re on a winning streak. And then there’s the playoff beards…oh, boy, I love those! Always good for a laugh! Besides the fact that is must reek to High Heaven in that locker room and that those sparse/peach fuzz beards look ridiculous and itchy, does it really work? Should we all walk around saying, “Man, I never win!”?    

I’ve never met anyone who says, “I’m so gonna win this! I always win!” Well, I want to be a winner. I want to be that person! And I’ll share, too. One time, at a softball picnic when I was ten, I won the last prize on the raffle table. It was a Glenn Frey’s Strange Weather album. I had no idea who he was, but I knew then that I was a winner…and even better, I gave the cd to my dad because he was way more excited about the actual prize. I was just excited to have won. So, I’m a winner…I’ve just been on hiatus, for, ummm, eighteen plus years.   

Dear Fates,

I entered a giveaway today

at Souris Mariage

because I would like to be a winner (for good reason)…and…

I promise to share.

Love,

Me

Yesterday:

1. I attempted a “healthier” version of banana bread, following the instructions to the letter.

2. While said bread is in the oven I: a. bashed my lower left arm into a door handle, developing a large and painful bruise, and b. burned my lower right arm on the oven rack, resulting in a red, inflamed welt.

3. Checked and rechecked said bread for doneness.

4. Realized this “recipe” was code for mushy hot oven bricks.

5. Removed mushy hot oven bricks and lobbed em on the counter to rot.

6. Drank a very large beer.

And…

7. Disposed of now lukewarm mushy oven bricks.

I haven’t had a recipe go this awry since the time I tried to whip up a white pasta sauce in a cast iron pan. (Do NOT attempt that, ever!) Sheesh.

(And my other half is far away for work. I miss him already, very much so.)

At least my very large beer was delicious.

 

Hello and Happy Monday! Yes, It’s still raining here. Yes, my tomato leaves are still yellowing and growing a collecting of brown freckles. But…guess what…the sky is wickedly bright behind the clouds at the moment. You know that brilliance that hurts to gaze at? That’s the best we seem to get this June. At this point, I’ll take it!

I brought the Magic Bars to an outdoor summer party on Saturday! They went like hotcakes. I used a whole bags of tiny dark chocolate chips in mine (I couldn’t resist!).

And for Spaghetti Monday’s meal? Well that’s still up in the air. My other half, my calmer, easy-going, mild-mannered other half would like lobster ravioli. Well, seeing as I’ve never even attempted a cheese ravioli, we’re going to put that request on the To Do List. Instead, a quick and easy prepackaged, fresh spinach ravioli is sounding good about now. And I shall hunt down a proper ravioli recipe to tackle soon. Any suggestions?

In other news, I like art. I like to paint and draw, but I’ve been extremely lazy in my artistic endeavours. I recently completed a large watercolor abstract for my Aunt who works in a very busy collections agency. Apparently, it’s become a conversation topic, and that makes me feel so good. I never sell my work, mostly because 1. I don’t make much art anymore and 2. I finish a piece and it then sits in the corner of my bedroom to rot. Now someone is actually seeing something I made, and it has a buzz about it. Someone even suggested starting a website up for my work. So happy. Thanks Aunt Jo! You made my day!

P.S. Those Chewy Coconut Lime Cookies I posted about yesterday (recipe from My Baking Addiction) are amazing! Unlike me, make sure you have sugar on hand BEFORE beginning to make the batter. I brought these into work today. Reviews ranged from: “Wow! These taste lime Blue Light Lime!” to “I’ll pay you to bake for me. Seriously.” I think we have a winning recipe here. If you like citrus and buttery soft, melt in your mouth goodness, try these!

I needed a fix.

I’m hungry. I usually am. I read about food all day. I think about what is and should be in my cupboards, and I wonder who will eat the other 37 cookies that come out of the oven when all is said and done at the end of this Thursday.

Today, it’s dreary again. Wait……….. sun….annnnnnnnd gone. The air is thick and heavy with humidity, and I almost hope for another storm to clear the air. Anyways, the gloom has me thinking about cookies for some reason. And sweets. Any kind of sweets, especially ones with coconut. I found two amazing sounding recipes from My Baking Addiction: Chewy Lime Sugar Cookies and Magic Bars. Both contain coconut, and I wish I was home so  I could start on these immediately. And I think I’ll double everything so I have plenty to take to a party tomorrow evening and to a picnic party on Saturday. Will they keep that long? In the meantime, I’m  still hungry and thinking of cookies.

Dear Clock on the Wall,

Please let me go home!

Pretty please, with a cherry on top? I’m so hungry. For cookies.

With love,

Me

It’s day TWO of summer. It’s raining. Again. But before the rain, there is that warm wind. That smell in the air. It is the promise of rain, an electricity. Not that we need any more rain this month, but those moments before the rain are magical.

This truck makes me happy:

 

 It makes me think of all the places I would rather be. Why? I have no idea. Maybe it’s the color. Maybe the curves. But it’s beautiful. Apparently, difficult to drive, but who would know from the outside?

  

 

And this tree, that lives on the file cabinet beside my desk, outgrew it’s shabby little pot about two years ago. I stuffed it into my back seat yesterday, hauled it across the lawn at home, and  transplanted it at 7 a.m. before work. I wedged it back in my lil (creaky and rusty) car and here it is. Back in the corner,all lopsided and Charlie Brown-like, trying to kiss the ceiling and reach for the sunlight.

This makes me happy too:

It’s my lunch. . A pyramid of fruit and veg: a nectarine, raspberries, watermelon, and beautifully sauted and creamy butter beans. I love lunch. It breaks up my day despite the fact I never leave my desk. It is full of color, texture, cold and warm, sweet and tart, and smells divine.

Now…why I did not cook dinner, and how I arrived to work with beans:

I had the very best intentions to cook dinner. But someone beat me to it. Not that I’m complaining. Who can possibly complain to coming home to a kitchen that is heavy with the smells of sauce and the starchy scent of pasta still bubbling away? Thin slices of perfectly baked and crunchy eggplant accompanied our spaghetti along with the most delicious, homemade stuffed shells that I  had in recent memory.

But I was feeling a bit blue. I was looking forward to making a mess in the kitchen. So…I cooked my lunch for Tuesday. I have recently become enamoured by Jamie Oliver’s cooking show and decided to browse his recipes online. Stumbling across his recipe for The Creamiest White Beans and Leeks, I couldn’t resist. Fortunately, all ingredients were on hand, except for the leeks. Scallions provided an easy substitute, and the thyme from the garden smelled incredible as it simmered with the scallions, garlic, oil and butter. I did have to simmer the beans for a bit longer than prescribed, but it was worth the effort. The wine flavor was quite strong, even after a longer time on the stove, but for me personally, I did not mind. I love beans, especially butter beans, and have no qualms about eating them as a meal onto themselves. I did pack some fruit for breakfast and as light snacks (as seen in the pyramid above). Who can resist a sweet nectarine, ripe watermelon, and red red raspberries?