Monday, July 31, 2006
The NON-Food Blog Random Monday recipe.
Tray Baked Salmon with Olives, Green Beans, Onions, Tomatoes and Capers

The idea of this dish is to bake your salmon plainly with a little olive oil and sea salt. In the same tray, (I use a shallow stonewear cookie sheet thing. I find it tolerates the heat better than your average metal pan. I have also used the metal variety so you can too, if you dont have any stonewear.) bake the tomatoes, olives, onions and blanched green beans, tossing a few capers over the beans. As the vegetables cook they take on a more grilled effect, and as the olives roast they sort of infuse a smoky flavor with the tomatoes. This is a really choice combination – you must try it. Jamie Oliver of FoodTV's The Naked Chef prepares this with anchovies layed over the vegetables but come on, who actually eats anchovies. *gag*

7 ounces green beans
20 small cherry tomatoes
1 large sweet onion chopped into large pieces
1 to 2 good handfuls black olives (I have also used garlic stuffed green olives in place of black, and yum. very tasty in its own right.)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 (8-ounce) thick salmon fillet steaks, with or without skin, but definitely pin-boned
2 lemons
1 handful fresh basil, picked

Tail the green beans, blanch them until tender in salted, boiling water, and drain. Put in a bowl with the cherry tomatoes and the stoned olives. Toss in the olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper.
Give the salmon fillets a quick wash under the tap and pat dry with kitchen paper towels. Squeeze the juice of 1/2 a lemon over the fillets, on both sides, then season both sides with salt and pepper and drizzle a little olive oil over the top. Preheat the oven and a roasting tray at the highest temperature. Put your 4 fillets of salmon at 1 end of the roasting tray (Skin side down if it has the skin on still, when you remove the salmon from the tray, taah daaah, the skin is cooperative and stays put). Toss the basil into the green beans, olives, onions and tomatoes and place this mixture at the other end of the tray. Toss some capers over the green beans. Roast in the preheated oven for 10-13 minutes (depending on how you like your salmon cooked, I prefer mine a tad on the well done side), then remove from the oven and serve with lemon quarters.

Easy-peasy weeknight recipe that is both healthy and yummalicious!


God Bless the USA
So, here is the thing... I love living in Florida. I love that the opportunity presented itself while The family G is young enough to enjoy all Florida has to offer and that we no longer are forced to deal with Canadian winters. (because come on..I don't care how much you love winter sports or anything else, I boldly call those that proclaim to love winter- FIBBERS(which doesn't really sound very bold at all. I had called you all liars but then decided that was just mean of me. Am tough like that.). No one, and I mean no one, in their right mind likes getting out of bed on a frosty January morning and having to deal with everything that goes with it. The scraping of car windows (if your car even starts that day), the snowsuits and the invariable "Mom, I have to pee" just as soon as you get the little darling ready...ugh. Need I say more? Give me sunshine, blue skies and humidity any day of the week. I am extremely thankful that the powers that be have allowed us the good old VISA renewal that guarantees we are able to stay here until at least 2007 with an extension available until 2010. (Could I possibly have used anymore parentheses in that paragraph? I don't think so.)

But. Yes, there is a rather large BUT on its way to you. /BEGIN RANT

A couple things. First of all, the DMV. People? The United States, being the super power and all that it is? REALLY truly needs to work on that which they call the DMV. It is ridiculous and I know most Americans will agree with me here. My Canadian peeps? It really IS all it is depicted to be on TV and in the horror stories you hear.

When the Leester and I first moved to the USA (pre 9/11) we simply went into the DMV and upon relinquishing our Canadian Drivers licenses we were issued with shiny brand new Florida ones. Of course, they confirmed our driving abilities and our clean driving record, wished us a hearty welcome upon handing us our new pieces of plastic and sent us on our way. It felt to us like an achievement. We were here more than just on vacation, we had actually MOVED to Florida.

Fast forward four years to our second move, to central Florida. Upon going to the DMV to change my address on said license (as required by law, am law abiding non-citizen, after all), after waiting in the monstrous line upwards of six hours in the (stifling, recirculated non-airconditioned, smells of animosity and icky government workers who needed a shower ten hours ago) waiting room; I was led to the counter by the calling of my number. BINGO! (No, I did not shout it, by this time any sense of humor I had upon entering had been checked at the door) After making my way to the counter I was barely greeted by the most foul tempered and despicable bitch I have ever laid eyes on. She asked why I was there and when I explained I needed an address change and handed her all required documentation (I'll save you the details but read:VISA, proof of ID, first born child, wisdom teeth etc.) and waited for this simple process to be completed. She looked at the documents in hand, turned without word and walked through a door marked 'Authorized personnel Only' and disappeared. I glanced around, possibly shrugged and then proceeded to wait. Imagine that!

Well, after about 15 minutes she returned with everything except my drivers license. Hmmn..So do I need to go get a new picture or something? I asked her, to which she informed me "Nope, you don't." Well, I audibly wondered, what do I do now? "Nothing, you no longer meet the criteria to hold a Florida Operators license." Excuse me? Huh? Wha?? How is that, I inquired, maintaining my cool and level head. "You do not have a Canadian Drivers License to relinquish to us, therefore you do not have proof that you are authorized to operate a motor vehicle in our fair State."

Okay people...Do you see where this was headed and how quickly (given my nature for dramatics, admittedly) this was about to spiral out of control and into something newsworthy and very ugly?

Headline: Canadian girl gets confused and goes postal in the DMV, Read all about it!!!!

The foul, power hungry bitch that she was? Well, she robbed me even of that opportunity when she turned and walked away without another word. I kid you not, upon asking someone else what I needed to do, I was informed that the DMV was now closed and I needed to come back the next day. But if I had driven myself? I should probably call someone to come and get me as I would be stopped outside if I tried to drive myself.

UGH! I was LIVID! Now, not only was I living some three thousand miles or so from all I knew and loved, braving a new frontier, I was expected to do so as a pedestrian! Unheard of!!! Nooooooo!!

Well, suffice it to say that I did get it all worked out the next day and they gave my my license back. It cost me time, energy and stress and further set somewhere in my mind the idea that bureaucracy is just a pain in the ass. That oft times the right hand does not know what the left hand is doing when it comes to the government, regardless of the Country.

Well, the time nears for me to head back to the DMV for the yearly renewal and I am scared. I FEAR the DMV. Cover me people, I'm goin in!!!!

Secondly, upon speaking to someone whom I adore yesterday, someone who was to have vacationed in this fair Country for a couple weeks, someone naturally a born Canadian citizen whom I am told was turned away at the border after being deemed a THREAT by homeland security?!? (READ:By some punk ass, snotty-nosed brat fresh out of police academy training that has been given a gun and a position of power but not the knowledge of how to act like a human being) This person much adored by myself had once upon a time (READ: 1975) been found in possession of a singular marijuana cigarette and has traveled here for vacation numerous times since then and has ALWAYS been forthright in the release of this knowledge to those needing to know, a.k.a. the border patrol/any and all persons of the law enforcement variety. This person has traveled here as recently as just a couple months ago and quite literally yearly for the past several. Well, not only was this person denied entry upon this occasion? This person has since been blackballed and is NEVER allowed in this country again. As in like, EVER. As in the border punks fingerprinted, photographed and humiliated this person to no end prior to turning them away at the border. And that, my friends? That is SERIOUSLY messed up and simply laughable. THAT is how your Homeland Security tax dollars are being spent. Disregard entirely the obvious fact that shit needs to change and something needs to be done to actually PROTECT this Country, AS WELL AS CANADA, from terrorists; that these two Countries should be working together and not entering into stupid pissing contests and just step back for a moment with me and realize how stupid that is? Agreed?

I mean, its all good, the person I am speaking of went and vacationed perfectly happily in Canada and wont bother trying to come back this way again, as I am sure there is little desire left to contribute to the American economy after being treated as he was, but still.

I, people? AM PISSED. I have spent YEARS touting the grace and dignity of the common American people I deal with living here, trying to dissuade people with misformed opinions and convince them that you and i are very much alike in all ways and the fact that our two Countries are neighbors and friends...BLAH BLAH BLAH. What a crock.

Should he have proclaimed that yes, although he has tried the marijuana, he did not inhale? Would this have made the sin more forgivable???

It makes me second guess a great deal about my decision to be here. What happens when NONE of my family or friends are allowed to come here? Largely due to the ignorance and attitude of some random asshole and not due to anything they have said or done?? What then, hmmn?

I know, here is where a great number would say to me, if you don't like it, you can always go back to Canada.

To you? I say thank you. Thank you for allowing me the idea of The American Dream. Asshat.


*Edited to add: I failed to mention in the above rant that my great-Grandparents, great-greatGrandparents etc.? All either pioneered this bountiful land or were born and raised here. My grandparents moved to Canada and therefore? I am not easily eligible for citizenship. What the hell is wrong with this picture, people??*

Thursday, July 27, 2006
So soon....

School Clothes: $384.00
School Supplies: $76.00
The look on Wee's face because he has to go back to school on Monday: Priceless

Part of me is very sympathetic with him and the other part of me is, well; Bahahahaha! you have to go to school and I dont! Neener, neener, neener!

So very mature, yes.
p.s. RSM, the Mardi Gras beads are for you.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006
You know you have always wondered.....

And now you know. This is what happens when someone puts a couple of bottles of dish liquid in the fountain out front of where I live. And no, it was not me. Or anyone belonging to me. So there.

So yeah, let me help put this in perspective. the picture below shows how big the fountain is.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006
Random thoughts of the day or the complete lack thereof.

Random Tidbit #1:
I am insanely, completely and unequivocally(well, aside from the obvious humans I adore) in love with my dog; a Jack Russell Terrier named Divot. So much so that I let him sleep in my bed, talk baby-talk to him and have pet names for him by the dozen. Also, I kiss his little mouth and let him lick my face knowing full well that he spends his days licking his ass. And truly? Dont care. He is that loveable. He has more character than a lot of people I meet and I lurve him. So take that, all my anal-retentive friends. If you need to spray lysol in my mouth to disinfect, go ahead. just watch out for my eyes. Blindness is bad. Mmmkay? Mmkay, thanks!

Random tidbit #2:
Well, the ZeeMan's vacation drew to a close today and after the jaunt to the airport, the WeeMan reverted to being a whiney little shit. It was entirely awesome having Zee here for the two weeks that he was, and much to my amazement, the boys did not fight even once. They got into some random bitch about an Xbox game that lasted all of thirty seconds and then patched things up and carried on. I was entirely impressed! I am not sure if it was their ages (almost 13 and almost 15), the fact that they only see each other once a year (if they are lucky), that they are cousins or just of like spirit; but day-umn, it worked well. Until, of course, today. Then the WeeMan lamented the fact that The Leester and I (horrible, evil parents that we are) yanked him away from his PRESHUS FAMILY, who LOVE HIM MORE THAN US and WHOM HE CANNOT LIVE WITHOUT and FORCED him to live in Florida, land of SUNSHINE AND ALL THINGS DISNEY!!!! Gawd, how dare we?? How dare we yank him from the loving arms of the po-dunk town we grew up in and try and offer more??? Bah, I say! Bah!

Ah well, 'tis the life of the pre-teen angst, right? When we got home, the WeeMan promptly went in his room and fell asleep, a nap worthy of when he was a toddler, and I was reminded of all that was good about parenthood! Caution, you parents of precious babes and toddlers: they turn into this bundle of hormones which will have you tearing out your hair. I remember the day too, that my beautiful boy-child walked on water, and uhm...boy do you have a shock coming your way. Hah! So as not to lose my entire readership (all two of you) I'll save that knowledge for another day. Ahem....(Yes Mother, I know. I am fully aware that I am almost solely responsible for my Father's gray hair and that I had it coming. Thank you! I lurve you too!)

Random Tidbit #3:
I was thinking today (yes, it was painful) and I cannot recall a single day in my life that I have not been on SOME quest to change. Change either myself, my outlook, my appearance, my body, etc. ...a.k.a., a diet. That is effed up. Truly. I am all about personal growth and being a better person, but come on. The crap we do to today's youth, both male and female, as well as yesterday's; is wrong. Let's teach our children and grandchildren to be proud of what they bring to the table, shall we? Let's take a moment and teach them that even the most unlikely person has something of value to offer and that life is about more than just appearance. It has taken me thirty-seven years to figure some things out, but dammit, I am beautiful. Inside and out. So! Hah! how is THAT for a grand-slam of narcissism??

Random Tidbit #4:
I will never use a persons real name on here without their permission and even then, probably not at all; but today I would like you to keep in mind one of my very favorite people on the planet. I will call her Radish (She knows why). She and her husband, whom I will call Mr. Big-Top (Because the first time I met him, he was fond of humming a well known Circus tune), are seeing a specialist very soon to help them in the ways of the making of the babes. They have faced what I will call fertility challenges and are well on their way to overcoming them. Please think very happy thoughts for them and send lots of positive mojo/prayers/karma (in accordance with your own personal beliefs) their way? They are very loving, deserving people who will make awesome parents to another child. Thanks! Radish, if you read this and would prefer it wasn't here, please yell at me and I will remove. I love you and hope to see you very soon! Muah!

Monday, July 24, 2006
JAMAICA: More than just Bob Marley and Maryjane..
Now that I have your attention....I do not anticipate that this will be a food or recipe blog but I figured why not share this one too.

Jamaican Jerk Pork Tenderloin
1/4 cup allspice
1 1/2 inch piece of cinnamon
1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
6 scallions, including green tops, sliced
1 Scotch Bonnet-type chili
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon dark Jamaica rum
1 (4 pound) boned pork loin

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the berries on a pie tin and roast for 10 minutes. Pulverize them in a spice mill with the cinnamon and nutmeg. Place the spice mixture in a food processor, fitted with a metal blade. Add the scallions and chile. Season with salt and pepper. Process until a paste is formed. Add the rum and mix well. Rub the mixture all over the pork loin. Cover and allow to marinate for at least 1 hour at room temperature.

Increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees F.

Remove the meat and place in a roasting pan, and roast for 30 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees F and continue to roast for 1 1/2 hours, basting every 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and rest for 5 minutes before slicing. Serve with the Island Beans and Fried Plantains. Alternately, serve it with whatever you'd like, really. As seen in the pictures I served it over plain white rice and some sort of spicy corn/bean/mushroom concoction that I threw together because I thought the picture would need added interest. Instead, it looks like some sort of explosion as that plate is pretty damn busy looking.

At any rate though, this is pretty flavorful and not too too spicy in spite of the fact that it calls for scotch bonnet peppers, which? Ouch.

Now, is it any wonder that I seem to always be trying to lose the same 15 pounds??

Bring on the Red Stripe, Mon!!

Thursday, July 20, 2006
The Vacation of the Zee man
Okay, so the fact that I am updating this BLAWG on a Sunday afternoon should indicate how very little life I have, but here goes. As a gift to Wee, and also my nephew Zee, we flew Zee in from Canada for two weeks to hang out with us and experience all that Florida has to offer. All that is good and also, all that is scary. I shall now subject you to my astute observations. (Yes, this is me being narcissistic yet again, run, while you still can!)

One thing that every tourist over the age of eight should experience is Universal Studios. Anyone under that age? Head to Disney. All that is good happens at DisneyWorld, really. Afterall, it is the happiest place on earth. I shall, therefore, call Universal the SECOND happiest place on earth. This is our rundown. Brace yourself. As a matter of fact, go do all the important shit you need to and then stop by with a frosty beverage in hand and perhaps even a snack or two. Ahem....

The powers that be? They have outdone themselves, on things to see. The rides are fun, if you can stomach the idea that you will stand in line for upwards of 30 minutes and oftens times as much as 75 minutes; for thirty seconds of adrenaline.

*Dear really stinky people that are ALWAYS there: For the love of ALL THAT IS HOLY, please please PLEASE, shower prior to heading to Universal Studios for the day. The lines? They are in confined spaces and while it is obvious you are comfortable with the fact that you smell like ass? Well, it isn't so for the rest of us. Next time, I will not restrain myself but will vomit on your shoes with reckless abandon.*

**Also? If you started the day smelling like a skunks arsehole? It will only be exacerbated at days end. Trust me...soap is your friend.**

A view of Seuss Landing which is an extremely well done portion of The Islands of Adventure. Strolling down the paths of this area is a trip down memory lane, assuming that you loved Dr. Seuss books as much as I did growing up, which, who didn't?

*Dear East Indian Family: While I respect our cultural differences and frankly, I am slightly awed by the fact that you are willing to be out in the 100 degree heat and humidity of Orlando whilst fully covered from head to toe? I am so NOT impressed by the persons in your party who (I pray were newlyweds) felt it necessary to involve themselves in foreplay/sexual activity to the point that the young man was *ahem* unable to walk away from his betrothed. It is foul. And frankly? Quite disgusting. Rent a friggin room people, this is a FAMILY park. I consider myself quite liberal and I was embarassed for you. This is neither cute or endearing, it is gross. Grow the hell up. And if you cannot manage it? Those in charge of your arranged marriage should. So...just get it together, would you??*

Wee and Zee, taking a break from the crazy rides that they love, namely any rollercoaster that is enough to make me hurl. Such as that viewed in the distance behind them, The incredible Hulk. The one and only roller coaster I have ridden as an adult and for that matter? The only one I ever will.

*Dear person or persons in rented wheelchairs and/or power scooters. Obesity and laziness are NOT disabilities. While you ride around with your basket full of overpriced junk food and touristy trappings, there are people that are actually physically disabled that would give their right arm to be able to stand up and run through the parks and ride all the rides. Please, check yourself. It is sad and pathetic. It would serve you well if you were to break a sweat and work off some of that, instead of adding to it. Mmmk? Mmmk, good.*

Damn my kid is cute! even if he is all of a sudden a teenager and KNOWS IT ALL!!!! This was taken in Jurassic park, which was a blast.

*Dear father of the very becoming preteen girl who was tripping over herself as she was so painfully shy. As you sat down in the SPIDERMAN ride and screamed at her that she was an idiot for tightening the lapbelt in such a way as you were squished and couldn't breathe? I only saw ONE idiot (as you were screaming out, and it was not your lovely daughter). You sir? Are an asshole. Way to provide her with a priceless vacation memory. Also? go on a friggin diet, really. JERK.*

The husband, he did good!
For the anniversary dinner, the Leester requested that we not go out for dinner but that I prepare his favorite dish, Jambalaya. Anyone I have made this for absolutely loves it so I have decided to share the recipe with you. It is really simple and quite yummy. Enjoy!

1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 cups chopped onions
1 cup chopped bell peppers
3 teaspoons salt
1 1/4 teaspoons cayenne (This looks far more intimidating than it ends up being, I promise)
1 pound andouille, chorizo, or other smoked sausage cut crosswise into 1/4 inch slices
1 1/2 pounds boneless white and dark chicken meat, cut into 1 inch cubes
3 bay leaves
3 cups medium-grain white rice
6 cups water (I usually take liberties here and add closer to 7 cups of water, as I like it to be saucier)
1 cup chopped green onions

Heat the oil in a large cast-iron Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onions, bell peppers, 2 teaspoons of the salt and 1 teaspoon of the cayenne. Stirring often, brown the vegetables for about 20 minutes, or until they are caramelized and dark brown in color. Scrape the bottom and sides of the pot to loosen any browned particles. Add the sausage and cook, stirring often for 10 to 15 minutes, scraping the bottom and sides of the pot to loosen any browned particles. Season the chicken with the remaining 1 teaspoon salt and remaining 1/4 teaspoon cayenne. Add the chicken and the bay leaves to the pot. Brown the chicken for 8 to 10 minutes, scraping the bottom of the pot to loosen any browned particles. Add the rice and stir for 2 to 3 minutes to coat it evenly. Add the water, stir to combine, and cover. Cook over medium heat for 30 to 35 minutes, without stirring, or until the rice is tender and the liquid has been absorbed. Remove the pot from the heat and let stand, covered for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the bay leaves. Stir in the green onions and serve.

Much to my surprise, the Leester also came home bearing this as a gift. Surprise, because we do not usually exchange such things for our anniversary. Bigger surprise, as it is so absolutely awesome and I love it! He did this all on his own you see, instead of being told by me what it is he should buy me or my having offered suggestions in the form of a wish list. My favorite show to watch on TV is called 'Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations'. It can be found on the Travel Channel and believe me, I Tivo every episode. I mean, what could be better than a show about food and travel? Well, this is where I tell you! A show about food and travel as hosted by one seriously funny guy who is pretty hard core about living life and enjoying all of its temptations. This is some entertaining stuff, people! I highly recommend it. Well, not only is Tony Bourdain a seasoned traveller, he is also a NYC Chef and this is one of his books that I have been wanting. Needless to say, the Dee G. is a happy camper! Keep up the good work, Leester G!

Granted, the same night he left the toilet seat up and also just left his socks on the floor when he took them off his feet. *sigh* Perhaps one day I'll have him trained properly! Maybe in the next eight years?

Tuesday, July 18, 2006
So this is how it begins..

Wee, in all his innocence (in this particular case, yes. most times, not so much.) says, "Come here Mom, look at me." I turn to him and watch as he stares at me momentarily, looking thoughtful. Inquiring, I ask him what is up. "Are you getting old on me?" he asks, in all seriousness. "I'm not sure kid-kid, I guess that depends on how you define old; why?" was my reply. Meanwhile, the thoughts begin to turn in my mind as I wondered where this could be leading. "Cause you sure are getting lots of wrinkles Mom."


Damn Wee anyways! I guess it is true though, I am getting them. Fortunately, there are plenty of laugh lines around my eyes. Symbolic of the type of life I have had, much to the credit of my family and friends. So, thank you! Wow. Thirty-seven. Soon to be Thirty-eight. On one hand I really enjoy this stage of my life and on the other somehow it feels as though I am still just playing at being a grown up.

July 18th. Today is the wedding anniversary of the Leester and I. Eight years ago today we took the plunge and eloped on a whim. Please note, I say the eloping was on a whim, not so the marriage. We had been planning a wedding and then for a variety of reasons decided against it. What was important to us was being husband and wife. Well, we have been for some time now and we both agree that it gets better each day.

I think though, if the truth was to be told, he is probably easier to be married to than I am. Just dont tell him that as I dont think he has figured it out yet. Mmk? Mmk, thanks!

Monday, July 17, 2006
The Inaugural Post.
Well, now I have gone and done it. I have taken the plunge and decided to join seventy bazillion others in the blogoshpere and create one of my own. Contrary to what you may think, I have not made this decision lightly. It has been an idea I have toyed with for quite some time, as a means of keeping people posted as to the goings on in the world of the 'Family G'. What has held me back until this point was a comment I overheard regarding bloggers, in that it was the ultimate form of narcissism. Would this be seen as such? Did I want to be thought of that way?


Well, it occurs to me that I kind of AM narcissistic. (It's all about ME!!!) Regardless, for those of you who know and love us, you all know how terrible I am about writing letters, so this will give you an idea of what life is like for those Canadians exiled in Florida.

Pull up a chair, stay a while. (Unless of course that is too narcissistic, then you dont have to. But if you'd like to, that'd be cool. Maybe I will manage to amuse you? Ahem...anyway...)

For those of you who may have happened along and do not know us, let me take a moment to introduce ourselves. *standard disclaimer: I will not use our real names, but will be using something close to them*

Firstly, there is the Daddy G, also known as Leester G. There is me, Mama G, a.k.a, Dee G. And there is also a Wee G. Although these days, he is not so wee. Just the same, 'tis the moniker he will sport on what will now be known as our BLAWG.

Welcome, to The Accidental Anecdote. <--Clever, isn't it? I thought of it. For I am narcissistic. And cool. Just ask me, I'll tell ya....