May 31, 2012

Greenies Pill Pockets for Cats

Tank just finished her twice a day for 10 days, round of anti-biotics. It's amazing how much better she looks and it makes me wonder why the vet didn't prescribe these in the beginning. It clearly looked like an infection of some sort, but we had to do $300+ in tests and ointments before we got pills. Hm... 

When we got her drugs, we also bought a pack of Greenies Pill Pockets to make it easier for Tank (and us) to take her medication. I've never "pilled a cat" before. These worked fabulously for the first couple of days, but she's not an idiot. She was on to us and stopped eating these. Aside from shoving them in her mouth and having her spit it back out, I decided to use half a Greenies treat (which are soft and pliable) and stick it on a regular crunchy treat, which Tank loves. Worked like a charm. 

So I guess these pill pockets kind of worked. If I had to rate them out of ten, I'd give them a solid...6. There are other soft treats that I could buy to hide pills in or use to stick onto other treats. Plus, a bag with about 45 of these nuggets will set you back nearly $7! Maybe using a piece of steamed chicken meat or even a re-hydrated kibble next time.

Plus, see the third and fourth photo and that weird orange lump? I have no idea what that orange bit is. I found it in the package already wedged in there! I think an e-mail inquiry is in order.

May 28, 2012

Shopping: Matt and Nat Malone Bag


I just bought this Matt and Nat bag! I probably shouldn't have, but it happened and I don't regret it one bit! The first time I ever heard of this brand was during a trip to New York City years and years ago. I picked up a couple wallets and possibly a purse. The first time I saw the Malone bag, was on their site and I pretty much fell in love with the simple design. It's classic and modern (and vegan! Not that it really matters to me, but I'm a part time veggie and I make Rich hold my purse you know. It's a 2+2=5 kind of thing? Yeah, I don't I bought it in the tan colour, but it also comes in forest, blue, white, black, papaya and green. The navy blue lining really compliments the exterior tan colour and aside from it being made from 100% recycled plastic water bottles, cork labels and with custom hardware, the bag is just what I've been looking for! Size, shape, colour and design. Perfect.

These were on sale at the Matt and Nat Outlet for $73!
They're $125 regular price, but I didn't buy mine there. If you've been a follower, I'm all in for bargains. BeyondTheRack*, recently had these on sale as well. The bag was on sale for about $56, which meant it was $17 cheaper! It get's better though as I also had a $20 credit on my account. So after shipping ($4.95 until June 4th, 2012) and taxes, the bag was only a little over $46. Happy early Birthday present to me!

* Referral link! I would be forever grateful to those who sign up under my invite :)

Take Me to Iceland

What is there not to love about Iceland?
I'm going. One day before I die, I will go.


Apparently all sites (like this one) are setting off virus scanners and are being blocked by Facebook. If my blog is making your alerts go off, all ".ca" blogs are! Clearly Blogger and/or Facebook need to clear this mess up. Boo.

Saturday Night Dinner: Homemade Burger with Kim Chi and Fries

These aren't just any oven baked fries! I coated these with crushed up...Corn Flakes (along with spices and olive oil)!
My burger ingredients, a couple things are missing from this picture, such as an onion, mixed vegetable seasoning,
a handful of bread crumbs and a splash of milk. Whoops!

I love egg shells. I have a collection of them, no kidding! They're great for the garden ;)

I read somewhere that one should grate the onion when making burger patties. I decided to try it out...

It didn't work so well. Just over half way through grating - onion juices flying every which way and even in my eye, it just fell apart.
I decided that hand mincing was best.

I asked Rich's mum how she makes her burgers and what makes them so yummy. She told me ketchup! So here I am adding a good squeeze of this sweet and tangy goodness. :)

Along with some woorcesssistertsshhhriirieee sauce

and a touch of smoke.

I added these to the eggs, to you know..get even distribution without over mashing the beef. Beat the eggs and add...
...some of this stuff! I think my dad picked this up at a farmer's market sometime ago. It's basically puréed garlic with spices, peppers,
oil and vinegar. I could have totally made this without shelling out $7 and so can you!
Like a delicious mess.

Thanks to the local Zellers closing down, they were selling off a lot of their "café" items. I happened to be there on the right day and picked up a box of these for 50¢!  'Cause you know, I'll totally be making a thousand burger patties. Maybe in my life time..ha
...probably not! I also bought a 2 ounce  restaurant ladle for 50¢. These were both impulse purchases, you see. The box of paper was labeled $6 and when the lady said to, "Ignore the price" and that "everything on that shelf is half a dollar!" I just had to buy.
You never know! I might want to go fancy and ladle exactly 2 ounces of gravy on my fries! Potion control, duh.

So, just as soon as you think you're done with your meaty mixture - take a little piece and cook it. Eat it. Does it taste good?
Is it lacking anything? Tweak and adjust to your liking. Cook and taste, again. Repeat if necessary!
This is how I make them patties all the same look'n. What is this contraption that I'm using, you ask?
A lid covered in plastic wrap! Just fill it up with the burger mix, flatten it and plunk on parchment paper.
When you're done, you'll have (for the most part) uniform sized burgers ready for the grill/pan/freezer! That package of meat cost $7.70
and I got 16 good sized patties out of it! Sweet deal!

There's just no beating home made burgers. I like the frozen stuff too and eat them quite frequently actually, as they're super easy and ready to go, but when you make them yourself, it just tastes different and feels different. I also like the fact that you can adjust the flavours to your liking. I've made burgers with jerk seasoning in them - so good! Or, you can make them simple with just a with of pepper and Worcestershire sauce. Flavours are limitless. Whatever you do, KEEP THAT SODIUM AWAY from your ground beef mixture! Here's why
Salt during or after your burgers are cooked. You're welcome.

I topped my burger with kim chi and paired it with lettuce and a good slathering of mayo. You must think I'm gross. Yes? No? It doesn't matter, because it was delicious and you must try.  Then there was that puny little salad on the side. Nothing out of the ordinary, but it was cool, crisp and refreshing. A nice contrast to salty and spicy fermented cabbage. ;)

The baked fries are simple enough. Yellow potatoes, washed well, cut into sticks, add a glug or two of olive oil, season (salt, garlic, herbs, paprika &c.), add crushed Corn Flakes and toss to coat. Pour them on a foil lined tray and shove in the oven at 400F until golden on the outside and tender/fluffy inside. Why in did I add cereal to my fries? The answer is- because I still have a huge box of it in my kitchen that no one seems to be consuming. Corn Flakes equals crunch, so why not!? Was it a good addition? Heck yeah. I think I'll do it every time I make oven fries now! It'll be our little secret, okay?

We (four of us) ate 5 out of the 16 burgers made and the rest went into the freezer. Fast food for next time!

Loving: Portulacas!

Portulaca's have got to be one of the easiest yet most pretty flowering plants. They're loaded with flower buds, they're good in hot weather and do just fine with minimal watering thanks to their leaves that reserve water! They will grow easily in poor soils too and will bloom in a variety of colours per plant. My favourite colours would have to be between corals, peaches and pinks. Love!

Another thing I'm totally digging, are these chips made by President's Choice. I'm not just talking about the flavour in the picture, but ALL of their chip flavours! Yum! I'm a huge fan of PC products. Not only are they affordable, they're also super innovative when it comes to product development. Seriously, worth changing supermarkets for.
You know, The Decadent? How can you not love those chocolate chip cookies?
Oh, and ice cream bars/sandwiches/cones/'s like sweet, sugary, frozen dairy heaven.
One thing I'd like to see PC make, are strawberry shortcake bars. Similar to the ones I had as a kid, but can no longer get (in Canada)! I miss those so much!!

May 24, 2012

Tuesday Night Dinner: Oven Pork Ribs and an S&B Smoothie

 I've made ribs in the oven plenty of times and they never fail to satisfy. A little liquid smoke goes a long way to get that delicious...well, smokey flavour! Pair with a tangy yet sticky sweet and savory sauce...tender, juicy, pork rib heaven. Aside from all that goodness, I wish I had a BBQ. Let me rephrase. I wish I had a working barbeque that wasn't like, 20+ years old and probably full of spiders. lol, gross, I know. 

We ate the ribs along with a baked potato and sautéed brussels sprouts (you should know how much I love these little guys). To drink, a strawberry and banana smoothie with lots and lots of ice! 

May 23, 2012

Container Gardening

Young Zinnia plants

Basil seedlings getting their first set of true leaves

Portulaca plants I purchased a couple weeks ago
They're blooming like crazy! Everyday there are 2-3 new flowers. So pretty!

Monday Night Dinner: Pan Seared Salmon with Quinoa

I was at my house all weekend. Normally, I'd be at Rich's but because I have to be Tanks care taker it just made more sense to stay. As a result, I was able to make Monday's dinner! We had pan seared (yay, I love crispy skin) salmon fillets, which I served with my favourite lemon Dijon mustard sauce, with sides of quinoa (seriously, love this stuff) and garlic green beans. I also made a tray of garlic bread which was well received. I should have made two trays - it was that good! My secret? I use half mayonnaise and half butter or margarine. I actually used "light" margarine, minced up like, 10 cloves of garlic and added some parsley and black pepper. I suppose you could use light mayo too, but I haven't tried it. Then all you do is toast it all up and serve. Hot, warm or cold, this stuff is fabulous! As for the bread, any crusty on the outside, fluffy on the inside kind will work just fine. Heck, I'm pretty sure it would be tasty on a 2 x 4! But if you must know, we had it on sliced up French baguette. More specifically, Vietnamese French baguette! ..which is no doubt, my favourite bread, ever. (And that saying a lot, 'cause I love my carbs!)

I had a little time on my hands, so I decided to make a strawberry lemon-lime-ade. Super easy to concoct and a total party in your mouth drink. It's made of 4-5 limes and a lemon, juiced, then a cup or so of fresh strawberries and water. Blend it all up and add sweetener to taste (I used sugar since Rich stayed for dins, but honey would work well too)! Voila!

A Little Retail Therapy

Awesome rain boots from Urban Planet, $25.00.

Wardrobe staples from Forever21, $21.00.

Let me start off by saying that I hate the mall. It wasn't always like this though! As a teen, I loved it. I would go downtown myself on the weekends or after work to shop my heart out, spending hundreds and hundreds of dollars on bags full of clothing and accessories! I can't imagine myself doing that now and it seems like the last time I really splurged was forever ago. Anyway, a couple weekends ago Rich had made an appointment at the Apple store. Since it was midday, on a Monday I decided to tag along. He'd do his thing and I'd shop.

I'm glad I went, because I picked up a nifty new pair of rain boots that were on clearance for $25! Better yet, I had a store credit from literally a year ago for $20. Therefor, I only spent $5 out of pocket. I love, love, love the details on it and the fact that they are green. The red lining and orange zipper accent definitely makes it.

I headed on over to Forever21, because you can't really go wrong with basics that are dirt cheap. Those jeans? $12.50. These would be my second pair too! They are so comfortable and light. They fit perfectly (hit's my ankle just right, no bunching at the bottom) and you can't really go wrong with them. I wear them with flats or even flip flops on super casual days. Sometimes I'll cuff them and wear sneakers. The loose fitting tank top was only $5.80 and is super light and awesome. Perfect for layering under a cardigan! I don't find that either garments are poorly made - they'll last the year, minimum and what if they break? Like, dude, they were less than $13 a pair!

P.S. I prefer to (mall) shop alone. I find that if I have others with me, it slows me down...or vice versa. I like browsing.  :)

Weekend Brunching

 There is no such thing as weekend breakfasts. I like to sleep in and at the hour I wake up, there's no way the meal to follow can be considered breakfast. Brunch, sure - but it's a stretch! A couple weekends ago, Rich and I made vegan banana pancakes. I added some nutmeg and a  touch of cinnamon in there to give it a little somethin, somethin. There were to the core, yummy. We drizzled on maple syrup and filled our bellies! But since I'm not really a sweet foods in the "morning" kind of gal, I also had some salsa and chips. Yep, I'm weird like that. Then I had chocolate milk to wash it all down. Totally satisfying!

After chowing down, we headed to the local hardware store's garden center to check out some plants. I picked up a few annuals (Portulaca and Gazanias, both of which I'll be attempting to save seeds from) as well as a rosemary plant. I can't wait to use the fresh stuff year round!

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Hi, I'm Janetta from Toronto. I cook, bake and often veganize recipes. I photograph nearly everything and those photos will most likely end up being posted here. I've got a little black cat named Tank, who's really cute and a little bit nosy. You'll see a lot of photos of her too!

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