Dining Out: Nicli Antica Pizzeria (again)

The last time we were at Nicli it was excellent. So we went back to try some of the other pizzas.
 See my boy on the right, with that face, this is the face he's been making all the time.
We call it the scrunch. He had carrots and chicken meat balls from his magic bag while we waited for the pizza.
 We thoroughly enjoyed the Pesto, with arugula pesto, grand padano, house made bacon, tomato and confit garlic. We loved this one.
The other pizza was the Napoletana, with tomato sauce, fior di latte, oregano, garlic and anchovy. We didn't care for this one as much, the anchovy made it too salty. In general it was good, but the other pizza was better. And overall this round of pizzas had more charring (black bits) which didn't appeal to me, as I found it too bitter. I know that is part of the charm of a good Neapolitan pizza, but I would prefer to have fewer charred bits. (Picky picky picky.) None the less it's great pizza and we will be back again to try a few others.

Puffed Rice

Puffed Rice (a.k.a. Rice Krispies) is a great substitute for bread crumbs.
I discovered this last week when I made Asian chicken patties. Then I tried them in salmon patties.
 It's patty mania. Anything else I can form into a patty?
It was oddly amusing that the patty mixture was snap crackle and popping. It turned out very good.
So from now on I will use puffed rice in my patties. Patties are great because they cook very fast, which I like. I don't really follow a recipe so I make it up as I go. But the general rule of thumb is to have a pound of meat and an egg to make it stick, but the rest is up to you.

Green Walls

It's now a trend, those green walls.
I hope it is one of those trends that will last. We were at the Home and Garden Show and we found plenty. 
 I remember a few years back when green walls were the cool new thing. We went crazy with them at one point and tried to put one in almost every project we worked on. This was back in my archi-torture days. 
 Now they have gone mainstream and are popping up everywhere! That's a good thing in my mind.
I wish we had a wall on our balcony to do something like this. I don't think it's allowed, but I would love to break the rules.

Please Snack Please

We taught Castle the sign language for 'please', but instead of rubbing his chest, he rubs his tummy. Close enough.
On the owl bandwagon, with my new owl vase.
At snack time we say, "Snack?" And without a doubt he will chime back, "Nak, nak, nak..." while following us into the kitchen. I gather his snack and ask him to say please, obediently he rubs his tummy and I give him a snack. We've been trying to get him to sign 'Thank You', but by the time he has the snack he is too busy munching. No time for signing, Mommy, can't you tell I'm snacking? 
What we didn't realize is that we have only been asking him to say please at snack time, and he has associated the word please with snack. Yesterday morning after breakfast I asked him to please please please drink his water. He rubbed his tummy, then beelined it to the kitchen, and pointed on tippy toes at the snack cupboard. 
Being curious with the roses. He eventually ripped some petals off.
I tried to explain that it's not snack time, please does not equal snack. He didn't understand, all he heard in his head were the words please and snack repeated over and over again. He whipped out the hissy fit temper tantrum card, and I gave him the silent treatment, also I gave him no snack. 
Looking right into the camera, my baby doesn't realize that Mommy's not taking a picture of him.
We really should start using the word please with him in circumstances other than snack.

OCD In Progress

About that OCD thing I mentioned, here's how it's coming along. It's going to be a throw. I realize that I could have gone for a cushion cover or something smaller (would have been done by now) but no, go big or go home. That or I will need to find something else to feed that OCD monster.
The circles have not been crocheted together yet. My guess is that I will need to make an other 500 circles. It's a slow go, and I'm still not sure about the colours yet, but in general I'm liking what I have so far. 

Instead of making every circle uniform, I've decided to go with variety and texture, different sizes of circles and different yarn thicknesses. The variety helps hide all of the imperfections!
Give me another month, or two. Or a year. I will have it finished, if I don't find something else to craft in the mean time.

Whineys

What in the world happened to my good sleeping boy?
He went from being an angel at naps and bed time to a mini terror of non stop whineys. Not crying, but whining, bursts of whining, non-stop whining.
I think he is onto something. If I whine long enough Mommy and Daddy will rescue me.
Last night he missed his bed time by three hours. Repeatedly talking to himself, whining, and more whining. Me thinking that he was too warm so I changed his shirt. Or that he pooped but he didn't. Or he was hungry so I gave him milk. Or teething, or congested, or sick, or... ...
Just go to sleep why don't you, baby? It's been three days of whining at every nap and bedtime. Please please please go to sleep. Love, Mommy.

Green Stuff

Baked kale chips, I made too much, which lead me to a discovery... ... if you leave them over night, uncovered, they become even crunchier the next day. Brilliant. Crunch crunch yum.
And there I go thinking that it was all going to go to waste. Silly me. Super simple recipe for Baked Kale Chips here.
Speaking of green stuff, I put way too much spinach in the quiche.
It really should be called spinach pie rather than quiche. Need to remember for next time, only use half the pack of frozen spinach. Now if only I can make spinach chips with the other half...

What sick day?

It's impossible to take a sick day on this job.
I would really like to be able to switch off my toddler every now and then.
Especially on a day when my body says, "No, I don't want to do today."
Not today, because today is slated for being achey, groggy and dizzy.
So Castle is having a field day with the digital camera, the iPad, and videos. Lots and lots of videos.



Forest

Some quality family time was had this weekend on Vancouver Island.
 We all went on a mini hike.
 This is a stream where salmon come to spawn.

 I absolutely adore all the green moss.

 Last time we were at this very spot, it was over Christmas.
 We saw about 10 bald eagles. There was none on this day.
 Castle practiced his walking on some uneven surfaces.



 One of the best things from our weekend,
cousins meeting for the first time.

OCD

I got a little carried way at the store.
It could happen to anyone.
Andrew reiterated that I have OCD. Except the C stands for Crafting. I haven't crafted in a while, I replied. Then he reminded me that I have been learning to make videos. That's right, for the past week I have been obsessed with learning to use iMovie. I just recently discovered it. And I made 5 videos in three days. It was just another outlet for me to make stuff.
Now I'm on to the next. This project, on the other hand, may take longer than half an hour - the time it took to make my first iMovie.
Castle is not too impressed. He doesn't like it too much that I only read him 10 stories in the morning, instead of what seems like 100.


Truffle Congee

Castle refused to continue to eat his congee at dinner after seeing truffle mushroom risotto. How did he even know? He hadn't even tasted the risotto yet. It's both mushy rice. (Congee is the Chinese version.) We tried to tell him that his congee is better. "Look, it's got squash, beans, quinoa and chicken! Mommy and Daddy's rice only has mushrooms..." It didn't work.
Maybe I should try putting truffle oil in his congee.

Grouse Mountain

It was a sunny day, so we decided to go up Grouse Mountain. There's a fun 4 minute gondola ride up the face of the mountain to take you to the top. We don't ski or snowboard (anymore), but we determined that making a trip up to the local mountains can still be fun, even if it's just to walk around and explore.
 We went on a sleigh ride.
 Watched others slide down the gleaming slopes towards the incredible views of the city.
That clump of buildings in the middle of the picture there is downtown Vancouver.
We may take up skiing again once our boy is old enough to give it a go. It's a shame to not take part in this winter wonderland that we have such easy access to. Next year, my boy, next year.

Dining Out: Santouka Ramen

To me, Santouka dishes out the best Japanese ramen I can get my chopsticks into without flying to Japan.
Rice Matcha Tea
 We tried Sanpanchi the other week and it is miles away from what Santouka has too offer - flavour!
Having a cheerio course before the main dish, they gave Castle his own plate and utensils.
 We come back to this place time and time again and they never dissapoint. The line out the door and onto the street tells you that this place is worth it. We got Castle the salmon on rice, but he ended up eating my noodles. He LOVES noodles.
 My favourite is the Toroniku Shio ramen, with toppings served on the side. Toroniku is simmered pork jowl. The meat is so tender it simply melts in your mouth. Shio is the original broth flavoured only with salt, the soup is super creamy and rich.
Andrew went for the Tan Tan Mein, which has a spicy peanut sauce in the same rich soup. It is all so so so very good.

Vertical Garden

It's February, but we are thinking about Spring. What can we start planting on our balcony? We are very excited to have a little piece of our own outdoor space, even if it's small and covered in concrete. We have never had our own outdoor space. We chose this home for it's south facing windows, and a south facing balcony for us to plant our own veggies.

I've been looking for some inspiration...


Source: transitiontownbrixton.org via Hazel on Pinterest




I love this vertical garden, made of repurposed jugs and it's self watering. How awesome! And of course, I've been Pinning. Check out some more great gardens in a small space here.

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