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Mr. Valentine’s Birthday

Today is Mr. Valentine’s 8th birthday!

Who is Mr. Valentine, you ask?

He’s my very special little bear who has, in my imagination, taken on a vivid and distinct personality!

He was given to me 8 years ago by my very sweet, very wonderful, very beautiful friend, Minnie.

Shortly before Valentine’s Day that year, she and I had gone shopping at Wal-Mart, where I came across a display full of identical little bears with 3 hearts on them. I immediately fell in love them. But I thought I already owned enough furry little stuffed animals and didn’t need yet another one, so I didn’t buy one.

Then about a week after Valentine’s Day, Minnie came home (she was my roommate at the time) and surprised me with one of the little bears! She said that she had gone back to Wal-Mart that day, and the display case that had been full of the little bears was gone, but she found just one left, all by himself in a big bin full of “scary big stuffed animals”. She felt sorry for him and brought him home to me.

Is Minnie not the sweetest person ever? 🙂

So we named him Mr. Valentine, and I guess technically his “birthday” is a week away. But Len and I came to “celebrate” his “birthday” on Valentine’s Day because we tend to shun the whole commercialization of this so-called holiday, and somehow, calling it Mr. Valentine’s Birthday made it seem sweeter and less hokey. Yah, go figure.

Anyhoos, we like to spend M.V.B together, having a good time and celebrating another wonderful year of our relationship. As I had to work today, we celebrated yesterday. And it was the best M.V.B yet!

It started with Len making me a yummy and creative breakfast!

That pancake was fluffy and light! I gotta discover his secret… 😉

Then we went snowshoeing!! It was my first time, and I loooooved it! I had so much fun, and it was absolutely breathtakingly beautiful on the trail. We were up on Mount Seymour, and it was foggy and snowing lightly. Peaceful. Quiet. Invigorating.

 

 

 

The snow was so deep!

 

 

 

At first, I had so much trouble figuring out how to put on the snowshoes (I have no idea why it seemed so hard at the time), but once I got them on, I rocked the whole snowshoeing thing, wouldn’t you say? 😉

It was lovely and romantic, and a pretty nice workout too!

When we finished the trail, it had gotten super foggy on top of the mountain.

 

I can’t wait to go snowshoeing again!

We made our way back down the mountain and had a soul-warming cup of mocha and a slice of lemon loaf.

Len’s face expressed how I felt as I took a sip of the rich, velvety mocha:

I was craving Pad Thai, so we went to Kam’s Place for dinner.

Mmmm. It was a tad too spicy for me though! My mouth was on fire!

After dinner, we wandered over to Chapters, where Len bought me this book that I’ve been eagerly looking forward to reading!

The Pioneer Woman is one of my favourite blogs, and this book is the story of how she met her “Marlboro Man”, fell in love, and started a life with him on an Oklahoma cattle ranch. I read the first few chapters last night and I’m hooked!

Over dinner, Len and I had a fun discussion about what we would consider to be the greatest love story ever, be it real or fictional. This had been a question posed on The Pioneer Woman’s blog awhile back, and it was such a fun discussion that I’ve given it more thought since then. At the time, I had answered on the blog with what I considered to be the best love stories of all time: Anne and Gilbert (from the Anne of Green Gables series), and Julia and Paul Child. I grew up reading about the romance of Anne and Gilbert, and their story has always held a special place in my heart. And what I know of Julia and Paul Child comes from the movie, “Julie and Julia”, so my vote for their love story is just based on my perception of it. I just melted when, in the movie, Paul toasts Julia with “You are the butter to my bread, the breath to my life”. *swoon*  After I watched that movie, I wrote Len a card that said, “You are the relish to my hot dog, the sunshine to my world”. Heee! 😉

But seriously, I just loved the way Julia and Paul’s relationship was portrayed in the movie. They just genuinely thought the world of each other, supported each other so unconditionally, and were simply happy together. And I know that they stayed happily married for the rest of their lives. To me, that is the essence of love.

I chose those two love stories because they represent the kind of romance and marriage that I aspire to, that I hope for in my own life. And as cheezy as it may sound, I think that I am already living the greatest love story that I know, with my own Marlboro Math Teacher Man. 😀

 

Posted by on February 15, 2011 in Adventures

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Lazy Lentils

Yesterday’s Get-Better-Chicken-Noodle-Stoup was robust and hearty and satisfying! Alas, my sinus is still plugged up and I’m still sneezing like crazy, so I had myself another big bowl tonight. Here’s to hoping the stoup will work its magic soon!

Last night, the stoup was paired with paninis! I luuuurve paninis!

This scrumptious sandwich included:

  • mild capicolla
  • turkey breast
  • lettuce
  • tomato
  • cucumber
  • pea sprouts
  • cheddar cheese
  • bococcini

All placed between 2 slices of Dempster’s Ancient Grain whole grain bread, with a bit of mustard. A light drizzle of olive oil, place in the handy dandy George Foreman grill for a few minutes, and voila! Panini. Yum.

Today, I had a hankering for lentils, but didn’t feel much like cooking anything complicated, so I opted for Lazy Lentils. Lazy because the whole thing takes less than a half hour, requires few ingredients, and is so easy to make. It’s my take on a lovely lentil dish that my former roommate in university, Esther, used to make. The lentils get very soft and sort of meld together into a thick, melt-in-your-mouth texture. Totally comfort food for cold weather. I watched Esther make it a few times, but unfortunately never wrote down the ingredients or instructions. So I went by my memory of how it tasted to come up with this:

Lazy Lentils

  • 1 C split red lentils
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 TB olive oil
  • 1 TB ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 C low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 C water
  • lemon or orange zest

Rinse and drain lentils. Heat oil in a pot over medium heat. Add onions and cook for a few minutes until the onions begin to turn translucent and soft.

Add garlic and ginger. Cook for another few minutes until fragrant and the onions begin to turn a bit golden. Add cumin, cinnamon, thyme, and pepper. Cook for 1 minute.

Add a splash of either the broth or water and de-glaze the pot. In goes the lentils and the rest of the broth/water. Turn up temperature to med-high. Once it returns to a rolling boil, turn down temperature to med-low, cover, and cook for a further 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure the mixture does not stick to the bottom of the pot. The lentils are done when they have absorbed all the liquid and become very soft and mushy.

We served it over some cooked red and brown rice, and topped with a bit of orange zest.

Comfort food again. Cheered me up even as I attempted to clear my sinuses and struggled to pronounce my m’s and n’s properly.

I’m currently watching the adorable and quirky movie, “Juno”. I *heart* the music in this movie! So cute and random and heartwarming. And my favourite quote from the movie, spoken by Juno’s dad:

“The best thing you can do is find a person who loves you for exactly what you are. Good mood, bad mood, ugly, pretty, handsome, what have you; the right person is still going to think the sun shines out your ass. That’s the kind of person that’s worth sticking with.”

In the past few days, I’ve been a walking ball of mucous and germs, with a side of grumpiness. And yet, Len still gives me hugs, smiles, and back rubs. I think I found that person.

 

Posted by on November 13, 2010 in Kitchen Adventures

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