Monday, January 21, 2013

Skiing at Silver Star

People often ask us over here if we can ski. And my standard reply is usually 'like an Englishman'!! Which basically is telling you that England doesn't have ski resorts, and at best you may get to swanny over the channel for a week's ski vacation a few times in your lifetime so there's a distinct lack of continuity (for me I think it was 3 separate weeks on school trips between the ages of 12-20 and when you're 16 on a school trip the apres ski gluwein is infinitely more appealing than the actual skiing!)

So as we were driving up the mountain last Friday morning we worked out when exactly we last went downhill ski-ing. In the end we figured it was 2010 and before that was Spring 2006. Clearly just because we're in Canada now doesn't mean we can't still be Englishmen on the ski slopes - once every half decade!!

But our time had come. With a new purchased 1Pass card (from Costco - so yes we had to renew our membership after all - worth it when you save $20 per person on a Lift ticket!) we hit the slopes at Silver Star on Friday morning. We'd been once before - for a little night skiing - but with such limited runs open and the chilly evening it wasn't that memorable an experience. Our day started clear but with some dark grey clouds high up but they were all to clear as the day went by into gorgeous wall-to-wall blue skies! Perfect views!

Around 50% of the marked runs at Silver Star are either blue or green and that is definitely our bag - in fact Friday I was happier on the greens - just because I could spend more time getting the 'hang' of skiing again, and try and practice my form (actually just try not to look like a complete biffer!) yet still feel like I was getting somewhere without freaking myself out!!

We had an absolute blast. It was SO GOOD to be back on the slopes! It's so easy as time passes by to forget about some of those things that you have so much fun doing - that you don't miss doing them any more. But when you finally do it again you're desperate to go back again right away!! And so after a happy, exhilarating day (when we were so keen we were the last down the mountain on one final quicky run as the snow patrol actually closed off the run behind us!). We have every intention of getting back on the slopes soon.

I guess if we're planning on applying for Canadian citizenship (next month!!) then we'd better drop some of our English ways and start skiing like Canadians do.....I best get some lessons!

We finished the day with pastries and hot chocolate in one of my absolute favourite bakery/cafes - Bugaboos - reason enough to visit Silver Star in my opinion! We had high hopes of a little ice-skating on the pond before we left but this little English girl was cream-crackered after a day on the time!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Back in the swing of Menu Planning

Glad to be back into the swing of Menu Planning for this year - I missed it over the holidays! I'm glad of the structure and routine it gives me, and certainly helps us eat better and save money - that's my kind of new years resolution! (it's an easy one to achieve at since I really got stuck into the habit late last year - I just mean to start continue as I mean to go on!)
  • I'm not using the Crockpot as much as I'd like this time of year but I'm looking forward to making my French Onion Soup this week!
  •  I've pinned a few things in the last couple of weeks and this week I've got two new dishes to try out; the Baked Egg with Spinach and Tomatoes and the Chicken, Kale & Sweet Potato patties.
  • Right now hubby and I are trying to move away from the 'evening main meal' and balance out our food consumption over smaller, more frequent meals (I know, this is not a new concept, we're just late to the party!!). I bought cauliflower last week that I never got around to using, so I'm planning on making some sort of Indian Curried vegetable 'side dish' type thing would be the perfect thing to have in place of a big evening meal - lighter, and smaller serving size!
  • Still working our way through the last few Spaghetti Squash from our garden so I'm always on the look out for new ways to serve it. I'm going to try making a Pad Thai with the squash in place of the noodles
Linking up with Jill and Laura's meal planning challenge.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Crockpot French Onion Soup

Nothing beats a rich yummy French Onion Soup this time of year. And this one is all done in the Crockpot so really - it cooks itself - no hassles!

Ingredients (serves 3-4 - it's pretty rich so you don't tend to need a big bowl!)
  • 1 Litre low sodium beef broth
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 2 large yellow onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 Tbsp white balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 Tbsp Maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Slices of French baguette, toasted
  • Gruyere cheese grated
  1. Heat the Crockpot to high and melt the butter
  2. Add the onion slices, breaking up the rings as you go, and coat with the butter
  3. Add the broth, wine, vinegar, maple syrup and salt
  4. Cook on High for 6-8 hours or low for 8-10 hours, or until onions are soft and translucent
  5. To serve; (either serve into individual bowls or remove ceramic Crockpot from unit to place under grill) Add slices of toasted baguette to top of soup and add grated cheese. Place under a high grill and broil for a few minutes until cheese is melted and bubbling.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Currently: January

I'd like to try recording some snapshots of life a little more often this year. And perhaps even get some of these lists from Chris - it'll be great to add into my project life album!

Current BookThe Secret Speech (the second in a trilogy from Tom Rob Smith)
Current Drink – Fresh Fruit & Veg juice (just bought our first juicer!)
Current Excitement – Chris scoring his first client
Current fashion trend – Juicing
Current Favourite Blog/
Current Love – Project Life (specifically the new seafoam kit)
Current Food – Warm Pumpkin Oatmeal
Current Indulgence – Organic nuts (just made the switch from non-organic)
Currently Pondering – Signing up for Urban Harvest Organic veggie delivery
Current Mood – busy
Current New Find Netflix – it’s way better than the last time I browsed – lots of shows I want to watch, plus a bunch of documentaries
Current Outfit – Lululemon lounge pants and sweatshirts
Current Peeve – Google+ - I’m sorry I’m just not getting it
Current Song – Dog Days are Over: Florence + The Machine (that pole dancing video with this music is doing the rounds again – that girl is good – and so is this song!)
Current Triumph – Me getting 2 new clients this week (yes - between us we had a great week!)
Current TV ShowPan-am. We watched a couple episodes last year on a flight to China – now we’re catching up the rest of the season on Netflix (can’t believe they cancelled this show)
Current Wish-List – Water filter
Currently Delaying – renewing our Costco membership – do we really need it?

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Meli the snow pup!

I reckon this has got to be the snowiest winter we've had so far in Canada. I love it, especially when the actual temperatures we've been having are so mild - definitely the mildest winter for us at the same time!

Since Vizslas don't have an undercoat we were kind of expecting Meli to not really take to the snow. And in fact very early signs of the white stuff often resulted in using the leash just to drag her outside to go pee. But that was obviously just facing the unknown. And now she knows it seems that her and snow are BFFs!! I did buy her a little winter coat, but actually it didn't fit her skinny body all that well and she just kept trying to chew the thing off - anyway it got returned. Coats, smoats!! Who needs em?!

She goes crazy. And it is truly the funniest thing to watch she leaping around like a deer, and skidding to a stop when we're out playing catch.

She loves the game where Daddy finds a big snow covered tree and shakes the branches so all the snow falls off and she can leap around trying to 'catch' it. She gets covered in the stuff but just shakes it off then bounces around your feet to do it all over again. People in our area might find it strange that none of our local trees have snow on them when there's a foot on the ground - er, that'll be why!!

And don't even try walking through snow without her chomping at your feet....if you scuff your way through the snow to kick it up she'll just merrily run along backwards in front of you trying to eat it all up!

Snowshoeing is also a fun game - especially since Mum's technique seems to flick snow OR just completely sink into the stuff! (Here we demonstrate the sink technique!)
Daddy took her dirt-biking in the snow this week too! She ran like the wind to keep up, that is until there was something interesting to sniff or burrow or dig, then she'd run along and catch up again.
Snow - her favourite thing!!

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