erm. . . .

Would you look at that? The post that vanished showed up!! You get your “I’m back!!” post sooner than anticipated!

Yeah. so. . .

It’s been a little while, huh? It’s not a real excuse, but I have been pretty busy, what with life going on and all.

First there was that head injury (lord, what was that? 4 months ago?? ooops. . .), then I suddenly moved, and work sent me to Sudbury (of all places), and more work and life stuff happened. Like, the boyfriend’s parents came for a long weekend. The dining room chair situation is pretty dire, but we managed to have a great curry dinner (his mum’s Sri Lankan. and the curry, it is tasty), for a Parents-Meeting-For-The-First-Time meal. YAY! Sadly, the boyfriend was recovering from the worst ear infection at the time, so he didn’t enjoy this overabundance of tasty curry as much as he’d like. He’s all better now, and taking better care of his ears, so that’s good.

And other things happened, as it does in life, n’est-ce pas? I actually sat through the ENTIRE 4.5 hours of Philip Glass’ Einstein on the Beach (part of the Luminato Festival here in Toronto)!!!!! It was great (and made my butt sore. TMI for you?)! And then I had very tasty food at Origin (with the boyfriend, and a couple of good friends who also saw that show with us). Good day, last Sunday. REALLY good day 🙂

And. Believe you me, there has been music and food going on in my life. LOTS OF IT TOO!!!! I got a gig as a (paid!!) soprano soloist at a new church (yup. TOTALLY GAVE UP ST. GEORGE’S ON SUNDAYS!!!!!! And I feel absolutely no regret, so that was definitely the right decision.). I still sing on Wednesdays at St. George’s (of course), and hopefully that’ll continue after the summer break (the new priest likes the service, so that should help). I guess the whole “new priest” thing is pretty big too. There were things that happened, and a new priest had to be found. Life goes on. Though, I hope to get a new church come the fall, since Etobicoke is a bit of a crazy trek on Sunday mornings (thanks to our odd TTC hours that day), and maybe other singing gigs would be awesome. We’ll see.

As to the baking side of things, LOTS OF IT HAS BEEN HAPPENING!!! And rhubarb season is truly marvelous! I’ve been eating too much, of course. But I’ve found something that’ll help me with my long-term healthy fitness/food goals! (more to come) And I found a new food blog obsession (for those who think my attachment to Smitten Kitchen is unhealthy, I say “suck it”. but this one is pretty great too! I’ll have to share some recipes from there as I make them!).

But yeah, life’s been hectic and I’ve even been interviewing for a potential full-time permanent position. No idea if my odds of getting an offer are good, but it’s nice to get an interview anyway! Plus, surprisingly an actual archivist job has come up, so I’ll be applying to that this week too!

I’ve been working on my laissez-faire. We’ll see how that goes 😉

And. Well. There’s this too.

I’m going to participate in A Fashionable Stitch’s (aka Sunni) 2-in-1 sew along!! I don’t know which one I’ll do, there’s a wrap dress or a shirt dress that you can make from the pattern, and I’ll probably end up doing both. . . Hopefully something in my stash will work, or I may need to visit a fabric store in the near future!! I actually just finished a “box blouse” from a tutorial Sunni did recently on her blog, with a lovely Japanese double gauze plaid fabric I got online. A post about that will probably follow shortly!! It’s very comfortable!! And I’m glad I did this on a yarn-dyed plaid, as it made all the straight lines REALLY easy to sew at least mostly accurately :/

Another And. . . In regards to my “new healthy diet, change-up” thingummy. I think I’ve found something to help me reset and start my relationship with food afresh. What??? You may ask. . . Well, through my new food blog obsession, I found a link to the Whole Living online magazine and their 2012 Whole Living Action Plan. And it looks great!! Tough, especially the “giving up alcohol for a month” part of it. But I think it’ll be a good way to really get myself going towards a healthier lifestyle. Though don’t expect me to go sober permanently. Cause that ain’t happening. Just so you know. Also, I hopefully won’t become that person who’s ALWAYS talking about their AWESOME CLEANSE THAT YOU SHOULD ALSO TRY BECAUSE IT IS AWESOME. But I’ll probably talk a bit about what I’m doing, and what the food’s like. I’m really looking forward to it though, and a friend of mine (my fearless leader, actually) is going to try it with me too 🙂 I hope it goes well!

Welp, Dear Internet. How’s that for a come-back post?!

Kinda boring I think, actually… . Oh well, I’ll get my groove back I hope!

I hope you’ve been having a great last few months! Hopefully I’ll be more posty now. Cause I know how much you’ve missed me! Right. . .

P.S. Prometheus = meh. And Fassbender is phenomenal as per usual. Watch it to enjoy him wearing body suits a good 80% of the time. . .

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Hey 2012, what’s up?

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(Source: Nerd Boyfriend)

So. Do I have your attention now?

No? How about now??

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(Source: Who Is Matt Smith? )

Well, now that sexy men have gotten your attention, Dear Internet, I’ll get to my post. Which doesn’t actually have a whole lot to do with those images. Sexy as they are. . . Though, to be fair, I should probably even things out with some sexy woman action too. Just to be fair.

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(Source: Karen Gillan’s InStyle photoshoot

It’s a new year, and everyone’s getting all revved up about making resolutions and turning over a new leaf. Cause, you know, an arbitrary date management cycle has recommenced? Usually my resolution is that I won’t make any resolutions, cause it’s kind of a sham and hooey and they never get kept cause nobody ever makes really realistic goals for themselves. And then there are the tears and recriminations and apathy, and why start that vicious cycle when I only just jumped off the last one? Not that I’m a cynic or anything. But this year, something’s different. I’m at the cusp of making some changes in my life, and it just so happens that I want to start these changes now, at the turn of a new year. New Year’s Resolutions Bandwagon, you are being jumped upon by me, finally.

Grouped into a few areas, here are my goals for this new year:
1) Manage Money Like an Adult, dumbface
– don’t use the credit card as a crutch, if you can’t afford it, don’t go for it
– pay off the little bit of debt I’ve accumulated
– start actually saving money
– develop a proper budget

I’m planning on finally moving out sometime this year, so I really think I should buckle down and become an adult about money. Like now.

2) Get Healthy.
– start the process to diagnose a potential health issue I’ve been dealing with for the past six months
– develop a regular exercise schedule
– plan on changing some food habits, develop a healthy diet plan (where “diet” = the food I eat, not fad self-denial/starvation plan. Cause that shit won’t work for me)
– hike more. Lots more. And try to be more active in general

As I say above, I’ve been having some minor health issues since I finally got a job last spring. I guess the release of all the pent up stress of the two years previous messed up my system even more than I’d thought. And, having spoken with my doctor briefly about what’s going on, she agreed that we should definitely do some (wheeee. . .) testing and get to the bottom of things. And part of the treatment for the condition I might have developed include diet changes and increased activity. Which I wanted to do anyway. So. Win-win?

Now, what does this mean about my baking obsession?? Well, I’ll probably not change a whole lot, cause the things I bake, I bake them for other people. I’ll just have to pretty much not eat most things. And, I’ll probably start playing with new recipes, to test substitution options, and test the Healthy Baking Waters. But let me reassure you all now, there will still be pounds of butter. Cause, sorry margarine enthusiasts, it’s just better.

3) Make Decisions About Things That Have Been Pissing Me Off (finally)
– specifically, decide what I’m going to do about my choir issues. So there will be much research on choirs going on in the next few months
– find a decent paying Sunday choir gig, if possible. Cause I’m sick and tired of feeling like my opinion is invalid because I’m just-a-volunteer
– think about singing lessons, when I have more money at my disposal

4) Plan the Next Step, Career-wise
– start résumé revisions, cover letter writing, etc. well ahead of my contract ending
– start trolling job listings and job boards soonish
– think about where I really want to end up, and how each job I do apply to will help me achieve my goals in my career

5) Take the Time to Art
– use some of my cherished me-time to go back to sketching and painting
– play with new media, and mixing medias
– work on getting my technique back up to snuff, cause I’m feeling a bit rusty
– think about art classes, when I have some income to burn
– play with my craft obsessions and see how far I can push them into my art. Specifically, work on developing my own knitting patterns

During my vacation after Christmas, I worked on my first actual art project in YEARS. A friend of mine, with whom I have been lamenting letting our passion for our arts go in the name of practicality, challenged me to make something for her for Christmas. Well, being one effing-super-busy lady, I couldn’t do it in time for Christmas, so it became a post-Christmas project. And it felt good to be painting again. No, let me rephrase: it felt GREAT!! I’m about half done, so there’s more to do, but I’ve been putting off working on it a little because I don’t want it to be over. I guess I’m starting to realize just how big a whole I’d dug out of my heart when I decided to give all this up. So it’s time to start patching up that gaping hole, I guess.

I wish I could say I know it’ll all work out great. But I’m a confirmed pessimist and I’m not naive. But I can say right now that I am going to put everything into this, which is something I’ve avoided almost my whole life, and that’s both daunting and exhilarating. There are things at stake now!! I guess this is what it feels like to not be depressed? If so, I think I like it!!

I just read a great article about the physiological issues that might be at play in problems with maintaining weight loss. A lot of which makes good sense to me, especially since I watched my mom go through the whole crash-diet-massive-weight-loss-then-incremental-weight-gain thing my whole life. And I guess I could be discouraged since I’m likely to have to work hard at maintaining any weight loss I do accomplish, but it’s really nice to know that at least part of my overweight-ness can potentially be attributable to forces not entirely under my control. It’s kind of freeing, really. I’m also looking at the Mediterranean diet as inspiration for my new food resolutions.

Well. Anyroad, I think I’ve yammered long enough about this. Time to get back to work, Dear Internet!!

Any new resolutions this year for you, Dear Internet??

And now for something completely different!

That’s right! I’m going to talk about food! Heavens forfend!!!

Of course, it’s a really short post, and soon to follow will be several completely non-food-or-music related posts. On which topic I’m reminded that I should probably do another music related post, since it’s been rather heavily skewed toward food so far. I blame my nearly music-less summertime.

What I want to share with you today, is my super-tasty corn pancake recipe! That’s right, I’m going to send a recipe your way! How exciting is that, Dear Internet??

This is actually adapted from a recipe for Kentucky griddle cakes in Country Living’s Country Mornings Cookbook (1989).

Katie’s Corn Pancakes

Makes a boatload of pancakes – enough for at least four hungry people, maybe even five. But that depends on how well you share. Recipe halves easily.

Ingredients

2 cups yellow cornmeal

1 cup flour

2 tsp sugar (or less, whatever you’re comfortable with)

1 tsp salt (also optional, I almost never use it in my cooking)

1 tsp each baking powder and baking soda

2 cups buttermilk (you shouldn’t skimp on this, buttermilk adds a boatload of amazing flavour, without a lot of calories)

2 large eggs

4 tbsp vegetable oil (also optional – i forgot to use it the last time, with no detriment to the pancakes, just make sure to oil the pan between each batch)

2 cobs of corn, cooked and shucked (see below for a tasty barbequed corn recipe that works beautifully in this!)

4-6 green onions, diced (you can also use a large handful of chives, or half of a sauteed onion if you prefer)

Method

1. In large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients (cornmeal, flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda and powder).

2. In a smaller bowl, whisk together buttermilk, eggs, and oil until combined; mix into dry ingredients until all the dry has become wet.

3. Add corn and onions, and stir until just combined. Add a bit more buttermilk if the consistency is a bit too thick. If too runny, feel free to add a bit more flour (though this has never happened to me).

4. Heat a frying pan, coated with a bit of vegetable oil (whatever your preference, canola works well), to medium high heat.

5. Spoon about 1/3 cup of batter onto hot pan, making 3 or four pancakes (however much room is there in your pan), and let fry for a few minutes. When the top starts to bubble, and the bottom is nicely browned to your preferences, flip (this requires some dexterity, but if this enormous klutz could master it, I’m sure you’ll have no problem, Dear Internet) and let the top brown evenly. The second side takes less time. When evenly brown and firm (but springy) to the touch, transfer to a platter and keep warm in the oven (about 200-250F works well here).

6.Continue until the batter is used up, and bellies are full o tasty pancakes.

Tasty Barbequed Corn

Makes however many cobs of corn you feel like making. And works equally well eaten straight from the barbeque, or as leftovers in anything – especially tasty tasty corn pancakes!

Ingredients

Several Cobs of Corn (fresh!!)

Butter or margarine (room temp, or a bit melty)

A huge pile of fresh herbs, chopped fairly fine (parsley, basil, mint, oregano, and thyme all work in whatever combination you like. Yes mint! it’s not a just a dessert garnish!!)

Several chopped green onions (or a shallot)

Smoked paprika, or chili powder

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Method

1. Eyeball your corn – figure how much butter you’ll need to coat it fairly evenly. Mix in enough herbs and onions to have a nicely green buttery goodness in your bowl. Sorry I can’t describe it better. I would estimate that for 5 cobs, you’ll need about 1/2-3/4 cup of butter or margarine and a couple large handfuls of herbs.

2. Add in several teaspoons of paprika or chili powder and pepper to taste. Rub onto the cobs.

Note: you can use one of two methods here, whichever you like best. You can 1) either pull back the leaves gently (leaving them attached at the base), pull out the silk, then slather the cobs in the herb butter and fold back the leaves and tie them in place and barbecue them like that. Or 2) you can shuck and wash the cobs, slather them in the butter, then wrap them first in damp parchment or waxed paper (to keep them nice and moist) and finally in tinfoil.

3. Barbecue the corn until done. You can pull back the leaves, or tinfoil (whichever method you used), and check the kernels – they should glow with an inner golden light and pop juicily if poked.

Just so you know, don’t ask me about barbeque methodology. I know how to turn them on, and clean them, but I leave the charring of meat to the boyfriend and my father. It’s a manly bonding ritual I don’t want to intrude upon.

I hope you enjoy some tasty corn pancakes, Dear Internet! While we still have fresh corn. . .

Why Friday? Why???

As an avid fan of procrastination, I’m finding it hard to get things going lately. Not that I’m shirking my work responsibilities, or having nice long naps in the afternoon.

Not that I’m not tempted, mind you.

I’m just feeling a bit blah/meh lately. I don’t think it’s the work – since I find it both interesting and rewarding. But something’s off. Maybe it’s my problem going to bed at a reasonable time (to get up for the loooooooong commute to work). Maybe it’s the recovery period after an amazing long weekend. Though I’ve been doing a lot of baking this week, and that’s been great. I dunno. Any ideas, The Internet?

Maybe it’s because my contract will be up in a few weeks and I don’t know what I’ll be doing after that. A bit too close to home I think.

______________________________

But, well, this comic made me giggle, and the go “Awwww, dammit. That’s my life.” The boyfriend showed it to me a couple days ago, saying that it was like a biography of me.

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(please excuse the lack of sourcing – I forget exactly where this came from. I’ll try to figure it out and add the source later.)

It’s not every day that you can feel schadenfreude towards yourself . . .

Have you laughed at yourself today, Dear Internet?

Change of pace – for now

Hello, The Internet!!

I think you will have noticed by now that I’m not regularly posting new Newfoundland pictures since the first post. I have a second post partly finished and a few more in plannign stages. The thing is, there are lots of photots. No, really – looooooooooots. And Blogger, well, let’s just say their photo uploader leaves a whole fuckload something to be desired. So I’ve given up for now – you’ll have to wait unitl next week (or possibly even longer – baking/cooking projects coming up for next week!!) for more Newfoundland goodness. Cause I was about to punch a hole in my nice (and almost new) Mac, which might have been cathartic, but would have ended up being pretty expensive (what with the buying a new computer and the reconstructive surgery on my hand. . .).

But there is another new project I’m going to be starting in the near future (just waiting for a package to arrive in the mail) that I want to share with you now. I have a couple of weddings to attend this summer and I’m planning on making a dress I might be able to wear to one of them (if it turns out to be wearable, of course). My inspiration is a vintage dress I saw on an Etsy shop (Dear Golden Vintage) but with rather different fabric choices (wait and see!). I have a pattern that approximates the one I want to end up with and I think with a few easy modifications, I’ll get the dress I want.

I love vintage clothes, and I have a pretty 50s silhouette so vintage and I get along pretty well. The only problem being most things that are actually vintage won’t come in my size (I’m not petite, in any dimension – thanks Eastern European peasantry ancestors!). I could have just bought the dress (though, a bit pricey), but it was something like 4 dress-sizes too small. No thanks, I don’t need the stab to the gut and self-recrimination. I could also have gone the dressmaker route. I did in fact do that with the dress I’m going to wear for the first wedding (just two weeks – the summer is realy flying by, isn’t it?). That was inspired by another dress I saw in the same Etsy store – I tried to find it but it’s apparently vanished 😦 That one was a pale silver metallic strapless dress, with a sweetheart neckline and a really cool obi-style belt – I can’t wait to show you photos, Dear Internet!! It was just too complicated a task for me to tackle (boning??? no thanks), and the dressmaker I found was very good and really easy to work with. The next time I come accross a dress I’d like made for me, I’m definitely going back to her! The dress I’m going to attempt has a pretty basic shape and I’m pretty handy with a sewing machine, so hopefully I’ll do ok. I also got a whole bunch of basic broadcloth to make a mock up (with modifications) so I can attempt the dress and not muck up the pretty fabric I got, also sort out how I’m going to do things. Like putting in invisible zippers. Which I’ve never done before. . . 

I’m really looking forward to this project. It’s been a while since I’ve  made any clothes for myself, and it’ll be nice to work on those skills again – maybe even start to make more clothing, instead of always buying it. I’ve been really inspired by a few new blog finds of mine: Adventures in Dressmaking, and Kittyzilla’s Handmade Stuffs which have really started me thinking about getting back into sewing again. Clothes as well as embroidery.

I’m excited to start this little journey! How about you, Dear Internet? Start any new projects lately?

I can’t wait for the fabric to arrive 😀