Lentils and Quinoa and Oranges – OH MY!

Did you think I forgot? My vow to share a recipe each month?  Never.

I was just waiting to see what the winner was of February.  And what I learned? I make a lot of new things each month when I take the time to actually remember what I’ve made.
There were Chocolate Cherry Dough Balls, and Martha Stewart Cupcakes.  Strawberry meringue buttercream and Oatmeal cookies.  The Boy and I made our own Green Pea Pesto Ravioli and I made a quinoa with chickpeas and feta cheese. And while all of these things tasted delicious (though the Strawberry buttercream was not without its challenges – note do not mix warm with cold, you will get curdled buttercream and it will still taste good but it will not look good), one recipe took the cake.  In fact, I’ve made it three times this month.

Lentils Quinoa and Orange Salad.


YUM.

Adapted from the cookbook Quinoa 365 I ditched the called for can of mandarin oranges and used a delicious in season, Florida navel orange instead. And I have a hard time believing the mandarin orange segments and sickly sweet syrup come anywhere close to being as delicious.

This salad is SO easy to make. Lasts all week in the fridge for lunch.  Is super filling and yummy and is gluten-free and allergen free which makes it Naturopath friendly. How can you get better than that?


Give it a try before the deliciousness of winter oranges go the way of the do-do bird (isn’t that such a disappointing day when you get your first dry orange of the spring?  No? Just me?)  Either way, you won’t be disappointed.

Adapted from Quinoa 365 Mandarin Almond Salad

1 3/4 c  water

1/2 c brown lentils

1/2 c quinoa

1/4 c canola oil (you could make it extra Naturopath friendly by splitting Canola and Flax oil)

4 tsp apple cider vinegar

1 Tbsp fresh lime juice

3 Tbsp orange juice (I juiced half an orange)

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 c almonds roughly chopped

1/2 c dried cranberries

3 Tbsp minced fresh parsley

1 (and a half if you use fresh orange juice) Orange(s) – chunked.

Cook the lentils – boil and then simmer (20 minutes) add quinoa (boil again) and cook until cooked.

Combine oil, vinegar, lime juice, orange juice and salt in a jar – shake it up.

Combine the rest of the mixin’s, mix in the quinoa and lentils and toss with dressing.

DONE.  Super filling and DELICIOUS!

Who said you couldn’t have fresh delicious salads in the depths of winter?

Crazies that’s who.

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When the Cat’s Away

The Boy has been out-of-town most of the week, and of course that means I miss him blah blah blah, but it also means I’ve had a few nights to do all the things that I want to do without answering to anyone.  Just sayin’ it’s pretty fun (for the short-term only – obviously!)

So to get your weekend started a list of things the mouse has been up to while the Cat’s away:

  1. Catching up on my shows. Do you know how exciting it is not to share the remote? It’s awesome! Parenthood. Glee. How I Met Your Mother. Whitney.  All in a row. No sports. Beauty.
  2. Cleaning. When the cat’s away – the mouse cleans. Cluttered spots. Fridge. Freezer. Pantry. Clean. Clean. Clean. It’s not that I need the Boy to go away to clean the clutter it’s just that it’s way more fun to do other things when there’s someone to hang out with.  Leave me in our apartment for the week – and I apparently go crazy, cleaning crazy.
  3. Vegetarian. 1 full week of completely vegetarian living. Apparently all I needed to get that bad boy crossed off my 101 list is for the meat-etarian to check out for half the week.
  4. I’m on my own schedule. Eat when I’m hungry. Go out after work without checking in. Work at my own pace.  As I type this the kitchen is a disaster because I’m in the middle of cleaning the pantry.  This would drive the Boy CRAZY. I can hear him now, “Are you done in there OOOORRRR what???” I’ll get there, but I was bored with cleaning up so I took a break. And that’s okay, because I’m by myself.  This leads me to reason 5.
  5. Being messy. Things aren’t put away to OCD standards.  Some might call it rebellion.  The Boy might use the word disaster (he’s so dramatic). I call it refreshing. There’s a pile of clothes that need to go in a bag to Goodwill that have been sitting on my living room floor for 2 days. Just because they can.

Now just to be clear,  (and so the Boy doesn’t read this and think I’m celebrating his absence, or go into a state of depression because he thinks I don’t miss him) I do miss him. Here’s how I can tell:

  1. I sleep with a pillow perpendicular to the head of the bed – substitute Boy.
  2. I’ve texted him SUPER random questions and facts – just because.
  3. I am of course looking forward to him coming home.
  4. I’ve been cleaning and organizing with him in mind – things are being put in spots. I flip between, he’ll be so impressed and he’s not even going to notice because things are neat and in spots and he only tends to notice if things are NOT neat and out of their spots.
  5. All the cleaning is being done now so I can spend Sunday with the Boy!

Good Luck Durham College Volleyball boys – Enjoy your time with the Boy.

And Boy – Can’t wait for you to get home, Love you!

I Meaghan take you Boy

How do I capture this moment? What I was thinking? (try not to cry) What I was feeling? (nauseous)

I guess I’ll just start from the beginning.  The music started.

Forrest Gump Suite.  Do you know it? We love movies the Boy and I and this one is quite possibly one of the best.  Plus, it’s such a great piece of music.

The girls went up and the last one to leave me was Sista, who wished me luck, and when she was at the front she gave the Boy a big hug (she said it just didn’t feel right to walk right passed him like she didn’t even know him) and then it was just me and my dad.

I stepped into the doorway and the tears started coming. But I looked straight ahead and focussed all my attention on the Boy and on not having makeup run down my face in the pictures.

Friends told me later they had never seen someone look like they were concentrating so hard and so focused.  One goal. Get to the Boy.  Get married.

We went through the beginning of the mass and as soon as the Boy and I were able to sit down – and listen the words we chose.

First up, Song of Songs  we chose it because I love the line My Beloved is mine, and I am my Beloved’s. Love it. Why not open a wedding with a love poem?

Second up, Letter of St. Paul to the Romans 12:1-2, 9-18; LOVES the line Rejoice with those who rejoice, Weep with those who weep. It’s a list of high ideals to aspire to – but hey, there’s nothing wrong with lofty goals.

Gospel, Matthew 5:1-12a I love the Beatitudes. Love them. Life is a mix, good and bad and so is marriage, love and faith can get you through.  Come on that’s just a good message to remember.

Side note here, while I had the more churchy upbringing the Boy knew what he wanted, or more specifically what he didn’t. Corinthians. Love IS patient and Love IS kind. But as the Boy says, “I hear the Bible has a lot of to say, I’m pretty sure we can find something that doesn’t make me think of Wedding Crashers”  Well said Boy. Well said.

Post readings, the vows. The big show. We didn’t write our own, in the Catholic church, since marriage is a sacrament they discourage you from writing your own vows but give you several to choose from. We went traditional.

It didn’t take long. But in those few moments we did it.

Married.

Mr and Mrs.

And I felt… hungry.

We went through the remainder of the mass and while walking up to sign the register, I tripped.  Seriously.  Just a small one. And only fitting really.  Coordinated? Not so much.

There we are signing away, I turned to our priest and said – “This is the wrong song”  He smiled and laughed and said “We had to make an executive decision – I was hoping you wouldn’t notice!” I told him – “You’ve obviously never planned a wedding if you thought I wouldn’t notice!” The Luckiest isn’t Catholic enough (or at all) apparently.

So it got cut. Shoot.

So the song was wrong.  I didn’t care.  The right song would have been lovely. But the wrong song was nice too – and spoiler alert, that was the only thing that went wrong (besides the trip I guess). And that’s good enough for me.  I was happy that I chose to write down the words to the right song in our program.

That’s it. We were married.  We RAN back up the aisle – the Boy has LONG legs when he wants to and then we shared high fives, hugs and fist pumps all around.

Done and done.  Married.

Let’s party. 

But first… I’m starving someone find me some food!

The Details

A brief time out from the nervousness of waiting for things to start, to bring you a little DIY.

There wasn’t really a LOT of DIY in our wedding, mostly text stuff.  But one of the things that was Designed it Yourself was our church program.

I asked our priest if there were words he had to say, or things that should be in the program but he said “Don’t put too much in there – I won’t say half of it anyway.” Alright then.

You may or may not know that a Catholic mass is quite… involved.  And since it is only my family that are Catholic we wanted a program that would be helpful for everyone, but not a book.  Definitely not a book.

So we I put this together with the wonderful help of Pages brought to me by Apple.  Brilliant.

I included the words to The Luckiest – which was to be sung while we signed made it legit in the eyes of our Province not just in the eyes of God. Love this song, and loved that even if no one noticed – for me it tells the story of how we feel and what we hope for.  Love, love, love you Ben Folds.


And instead of putting the words to the readings, we put why we picked them.  And I can firmly say we since we really did pick them together.

We also managed to use more of our engagement photos and brought a little more family memory into our service. These are the things that I’m sure were only noticed by some, but for us, well me (let’s be honest) these were the details that meant the most to me and worth the effort.

Catholic Mass explained on one page – CHECK!

Here comes – me!

I mentioned there was a lot of sitting around and waiting.  Well, that’s true. But when it started it was on like Donkey Kong.

Here were my last 10 thoughts as a single girl:

  1. It is really hot in this car.
  2. My stomach hurts.
  3. I hope I don’t throw up.
  4. I wonder if the Boy is okay.
  5. This dress doesn’t fit.
  6. Hey look there’s Sista – I’m so glad she’s here.
  7. Where did my mom go?
  8. What are we WAITING for!
  9. I thought we were late.
  10. I hope I don’t trip.

Okay, so some of those might not be my last 10 thoughts, but I did feel rushed rushed rushed and then stopped.  Turns out the waiting was for my mom and possibly Kristyn who both needed one last bathroom break – but at the time I was thinking WHAT ARE WE WAITING FOR!!!!!  But mostly, I was super excited to see the Boy.

And the Boy? What was he up to at this time? Well, talking to his boys, and likely making fun of me for being late as always.

Things I wished we had done in those last moments?  Maybe a picture of the girls – although I think our photographer was getting set up in the church, which was better in the end.  Mostly I wished I had gone to the bathroom and looked at myself, asked someone to fix my dress and maybe breathed a little more.

But then the music started and none of it mattered.

More later today to make up for lost time – by the end of the day, we’ll have said “I do.”

Eat This Martha Stewart

Happy Pancake Tuesday Everyone! And happy day after Family Day fellow Ontarians!

This weekend we had many a fun-family-filled adventure in the great white North that is Mom and Dads.  Mom is officially retired (woot! woot!), and we celebrated in style with another sumptuous meal at Bistro 77.  Seriously folks it’s totally worth the drive to Alliston if you are anywhere in the GAA (Greater Alliston Area).  Try as I might not to have too much to eat, it’s virtually impossible since it’s all. so. good.

The Boy and I had a small disagreement on who was ditching whom on Saturday when he went to volleyball in Oshawa and I went back to Alliston, choosing to spend the day and night with the W-family instead of the M-family. He toughed it out. And I didn’t have to make dinner for myself – Score! We topped the weekend off with a family walk in the snow – all 10 of us.

Sunday was the real family day and Sista and I spent it making cupcakes with two of our favourite littles. Do you remember being 4 and 7 and having older aunts/cousins that you thought were awesome? Well, we do so we wanted to do a little something with them that would make their Family Day 2012 that much more memorable.

One word. Cupcakes.

Now. Let’s back up just a second. You know I have a cookbook issue according to The Boy? Well I come by it honestly.  Mom has all the cookbooks.  Ever. You think I’m exaggerating but if you saw it you’d agree – it’s only a slight one.  Which is why we were all so confused when we went to check the shelves to find – no cupcake book.  To the BOOK STORE! We scoured the shelves, and decided we would go classic. Classic Martha.

I may have mentioned this before – I don’t know it’s been nearly 350 posts, but I love Martha Stewart.  And I love her baking books.  Do you know why? Martha has MAD standards and that means a crazy strict test kitchen, which is to say, if you follow the recipe you will have perfection.  Every. single. time.  LOVES it!

While we marveled at the beautiful pictures of flowers of buttercream, themes like monsters and babies and weddings oh my we made big plans of beautiful vanilla cupcakes with swiss meringue buttercream, and two little girls eager to bring their creative talents to the kitchen.

Well, we may not have ended up with cupcakes worthy of a MS photo shoot.

But if you ask the taste testers they were way better.

And the bonus?

Calorie free since they were made with love.

Happy V-Day

Not Veteren’s Day fools. Valentines Day.

I was recently asked if the Boy and I were planning anything for the big day.  My response? I don’t know.  We haven’t really ever celebrated Valentines Day, (sometimes to the Boy’s peril depending on my mood) but now we’re married so maybe things will be different this year.

Have I mentioned married life rocks?! That’s right, I came home to these.

And a sushi date.  And Harry Potter (we’ve just got the last year at Hogwarts to go)

Yes, the Boy definitely definitely used his listening skills this year, despite kicking my wine over and making a Valentine’s mess

And in return?  I went to my neighbourhood Service Ontario office.

And officially became Meaghan M.  It took a motivating pep-talk to myself. But I had decided I wanted to do it. So I did it. Quick and dirty like a band-aid. I thought it would feel weird, and it does if I think about it out loud.  But what can I say – I love my Valentine*.

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

 

 

*Barf.

 

 

A Story about Whitney

Cover of "The Bodyguard (Special Edition)...

Cover of The Bodyguard (Special Edition)

So, we’ve all heard by now that Whitney Houston passed away this weekend. It’s sad – and I’m sure there will be all kinds of blog posts this week about how unfortunate it is and what a loss to the music industry.  I agree, it is sad for her family and friends, but I’m pretty sure the loss to the music industry was about 20 years ago.  That’s what addiction does.  The tribute at the Grammy’s could have been 15 years ago, that’s when the music industry lost her.

But enough about that. I’m sure people much wiser than me in these matters will post their hearts out about this topic today. No.  Instead I give you what I will always think of when someone says Whitney Houston.  And that is The Boy.

Early in our relationship when The Boy and I were still learning the basics about each other, I asked the Boy a series of questions:

Me – Furthest vacation?

Boy – Kingston Ontario

Me – Favourite food?

Boy – Chips

Me – Least favourite food?

Boy – Beans

Me – Favourite movie?

Boy – The Bodyguard

Me – WHAT?

Boy – The Bodyguard. You know with Whitney Houston.

Me – Really?! The Bodyguard is your favourite movie?

Boy – Yeah, it’s a good movie.

Me – I don’t disagree. It’s a great movie, it’s just not really a 21 year-old boy favourite movie.

The Boy couldn’t really tell me why he liked it. Much later when I gave him The Boydyguard DVD for Christmas one year he told me it probably wasn’t his favourite movie – it was just the first one that he thought of at the time.  But he did remember thinking Whitney Houston was hot in that movie – so that was probably why he thought of it as his favourite.

Sure, sure I say. Who wants to bet he was crying at the end?

So, I thought I’d take this moment to send The Boy a little message.  I’m sorry that you lost your first love this weekend.  Together we’ll get through it. Just know, that I too will always love you.  (Too soon?!) 🙂

365 Photos tomorrow.

Catching up part 2 – 365 Photos

As promised we’re getting caught up with the photo challenge!

January 26 – Cheeks

January 27 – Preparation

January 28 – Tradition

January 29 – Terror

January 30 – Memory (okay you got me this one was taken on the 28th)

January 31 – Temptation

February 1 – Shiny

February 2 – Old Fashioned

February 3 – Rough

February 4 – Sport

Still Taking Photos – 365 Photo Update

I know you thought I didn’t get past two weeks of taking a photo a day.  You’re incorrect – I just picked a poor day for photo day since Sunday is laundry day and that means I’m never home to go through my photos and title them on Sundays.  Then the week starts and then… it’s February.

So without further adieu I give you January’s photos.

January 16 – Felted

January 17 – Signs

January 18 – Warmth

January 19– Quality

January 20 – Puzzle (Or – Why is there corn on my windshield?)

January 21 – Extreme Close-up

January 22 – Big and Small

January 23 – Custom

January 24 – Crooked (intentional of course!)

January 25 – Resourceful

Tomorrow January 26 – February 3 + Wedding Wednesday!