Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Rough day

It was a rough day.

It happens.

Even with all the love I get from my housemates and my animals I just wish my husband was here to hug me.

Monday, 27 February 2012

I need this cookie cutter.

And possibly these ones.

They might complete me.

So no baking today.  I finally cleaned  the last bits of the most recent baking exploits.   I KNOW!  I left the pans for way too long...don't judge me! 

 Instead today I went to the doctor to get my ears checked.  I had a bilateral ear infection (that means both ears but bilateral makes me sound smarter) that was antibiotic resistant and lasted for 3 EFFING MONTHS last summer.  So  now whenever my ears hurt, I get them checked out.

No infection today but the right ear is definitely inflamed.  Also my eustachian tubes are full of fluid and not draining.  I think it's the  universe telling me I need an octopus cookie cutter.

My ears frikken  hurt but apparently it's because I'm allergic to everything and not because they're actually infected.

Can you bake in a bubble?

I bet an octopus could.  With 8 legs I bet those mofos can multitask.

Does watching T.V and surfing Lamebook count as multitasking?


My life is a glamourous one.

Random Heads

I really  need a photo editor.  Just sayin'...

It occured to me after watching my Sunday night Spartacus that it would be funny to photoshop the faces of people I know onto Spartacus characters.

Only I don't have a photo editor.

So instead I'll give you some random heads.

Of course in doing this, I've just realized how I can use my basic paint program to do what I wanted in the first place.


Random heads will have to do.

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Kensington Market and a Fetus Named Steve

Today we all piled in the car to head in to Kensington market so Dave T could drop off art to fill up his booth at the Blue Banana.

You know how you play pinch/punch buggy whenever you see a volkswagen beetle?  Well we play it when you see a Yaris.  Except for me it tends to be a spectator sport.  I sit in the backseat and watch as Dave and Sheila try to punch each other whenever they see a Yaris.

Really.  It sounds a lot more fun that I'm making it sound.  Trust me.

So as we get fairly close to Kensington market, Sheila yells out "YARIS!" and punches Dave T.  (Ok so it's more like a bump but that sounds way less dramatic.)

Dave T complains (bitterly) that it wasn't a Yaris and Sheila reasons out that it was, in fact, an Echo which is the precursor to the Yaris anyways so it should really count.

I'm totally on her side.

Dave T kind of makes a few incoherent noises, twitches a little, and then says something to the effect of, "I just had a million things go through my head at exactly the same time and it all ended with the words A FETUS NAMED STEVE!"

You just can't make this stuff up I tell ya.

This of course was followed by a lot of laughter and a series of rapid fire comments of which I can only remember Sheila yelling out, "LARVAL STEVE!!!"

Now Steve, I don't know who you are but your fate is completely intertwined with Toyota.  You will be the precursor to a new line of hot hatchbacks with even more EPIC RELIABILITY.  Pretty soon when people hear the name Steve they'll punch their friends and won't know why.

Steve, fetus or larval....you are the future.

Apart from Steve, we also checked out our favourite shops and even a new one that had all sorts of nifty (expensive) kitchen stuff and lots of books.  I even managed to find some cheap cookie cutters there.

I know Steve is only a fetus but even he could appreciate my new skull and crossbones cookie cutter!

Saturday, 25 February 2012

comments glitch

Sorry about this but there's a glitch in the matrix.

Comments are not showing up so I deleted them.

I'm going to have to fix this somehow.



I am an idiot!  I just figured out why the comments weren't showing and fixed it.

Sorry about that.

Friday, 24 February 2012

I forgot about my pickles!!!

I really should have accomplished more today. 

I did laundry, did some shoveling, played with my dog, and goofed around online.

And just because I never posted this picture anywhere else, I give you my giant jar of pickles.


What better to go with giant hamburger with fried onions than a giant pickle?

Another opportunity lost....

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Patches is not Amused

While I was taking a short break from baking yesterday I looked at my kitchen window and noticed I had a visitor.

I give you Patches, greeter and watch-cat of our neighbourhood.

Patches actually used to live in our house so he strolls around like he still owns the place as only a cat can.  He is not, however, amused with the big hairy dog that now inhabits the backyard.

Sam (aka the big hairy dog) barely notices Patches' disdain if there is a game of fetch to be had. 

I believe this fact annoys Patches even more.

I picture Patches smoothing his Hitler-esque "do" and sharpening his claws in a darkened room saying, "one day they will all respect me".

But his little meows are really cute and he's so flooffy it's hard to take him seriously.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Condolence Cookies

It seems strange to post this immediately after a writing a birthday post but it just didn't feel right lumping them into the same entry.

The neighbour's grown son died suddenly and unexpectedly a week or so ago.  Maybe even a couple of weeks ago.  It feels disrespectful not to know when...ah well.

Anyhow, the neighbour is back now and I just kept thinking to myself that I should know what to say.  Being widowed definitely gives you an interesting perspective on all the well-meaning but idiotic things people say when someone dies.  I should know what to say...what comforting words would help...

But I don't.

All I kept repeating to myself was "don't treat them like they don't exist" and "bake them some cookies".

So I did what I do.  I baked.

Butter cookies, oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, and my new favourite cookie to make...empire cookies.  I put them on my best napkins.  I don't even remember who gave these to me but I've been hoarding them over the years sealed in plastic so they stay lovely.

It's just a little thing to them but I know I did my best.

It's hard to find any pleasure in times like these but even if they find the tiniest bit of enjoyment in eating a cookie and knowing someone thought of them, then that is a good thing.

I brought them over today before my therapy group and our neighbour gave me a big hug and thanked me.

His son leaves behind a wife and children.

I never met him but I'm sorry for his loss.

Happy Birthday Lucie!

Lucie and I met at a dance in grade 9.  She transferred to my high school the following year and I remember seeing her out at the bus stop in the first week of school.  I walked up to her and said something like, "remember me?".

When I get my shit together I'm totally going to go through my old photos and find a picture or two to post here just for fun. 

It's been a lot of years and we don't even live in the same city anymore but she's still one of my closest friends.

Love you Lucie.


Tuesday, 21 February 2012

We all start as cookie dough

I've got some cookie dough chillin' in the fridge and it's got me thinking. 

Cookie dough has so much promise, so much potential.  You can mold it, shape it, make it into anything you want it to be.  You can decorate it, ice it, sugar it, change it's flavour by adding or subtracting ingredients...  Mix it up in an ugly bowl or a beautiful bowl and it doesn't matter...you are the one that makes it into a cookie.

Our lives are like that.  We make them what we want them to be.  We add the flavour, the shape, the decoration....no matter how it starts.

There's so much potential in cookie dough.

What are you going to do with it? 

Monday, 20 February 2012

Family Day at Pacific Mall

So today was Family Day, a stat holiday when everything is closed.  Everything except the amazing, always interesting, Pacific Mall in Markham!

It's been ages since we went so my housemates and I piled into cars with a friend and hit the open road....along with everyone else.

Yeah.  I don't do so well with crowds.

I'd like to know why I always forget this fact when we decide to go there.  The lure of amazing Asian food  (bbq duck on rice...OMG) and the promise of all sorts of glitz, electronics, and unknown dried things in bins always makes me forget how crowded that place can be.

Oh and speaking of crowds, we went on a day where it was the only thing open so every freaking person for miles around went there too!

Parking requires strategy and a fair amount of luck.  Sheila told me to start visualizing probably when we were still around 40 minutes away.  I think way to many people were visualizing at the same time, thus overloading the parking God in the sky because it looked like all hope was lost.  As soon as I got kicked out of the car to meet our friends inside, she immediately found a space.

Hmmm...Parking God you are a fickle and mysterious God.

The Pacific Mall ritual:

1.  pray for parking

2.  if prayers go unanswered drive around giving the stink eye to anyone verging on your territory

3.  find a spot and breathe a sigh of relief

4.  head straight for the food court with the bbq duck

5.  repeat the parking procedure only with finding a table at the food court in mind

6.  install someone at the table to be on guard while others procure food...again, liberal use of stink eye and maybe a growl or two to ward off the masses might be necessary

7.  eat and forget for awhile that you are surrounded by screaming children, strategically placed slop buckets for the noodle soups, and an impossible amount of people waiting to pounce on any empty tables.

8.  make ready to leave your table and ignore the person who practically sits in your lap to claim your table before you've even fully left it.  After all, that's how it's done.

9.  begin walking the mall in post food bliss

10.  begin fending off the people that step in front of you, bump into you, or suddenly stop in front of you for no good reason

11.  attempt to go into one of the cute little stores only to find yourself cornered in a section with stuffed Totoro's and some kind of plastic doo-hickey that you have no clue what it's purpose is...

12.  fight your way out of the store...find a couple of square feet with no people in it and breathe

13.  repeat the last 2 steps until you can't bear the thought of fighting off anymore people

14.  go home tired, needing to pee, and thinking of that awesome duck

15.  completely forget all of the aforementioned steps until the last one and wonder when you'll get the chance to go back
    So anyways, in a store we love to go into called One's, I bought a few baking related things 'cause they were cheap and I have poor impulse control.  I bought a mini-star shaped cake pan, a mini loaf cake pan, and a set of circle cookie cutters.  Believe it or not, I only have one circle cookie cutter and it's rather large so when I saw the smaller sizes I grabbed it.  Only when I got home, I sort of noticed something that made me chuckle on the cookie cutter package.


    Plus I am easily amused.

    Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm duck.

    Valentine's Cookies

    This is another catch-up entry. 

    Even though my late husband Dave and I  never really took Valentine's Day all that seriously it is still rough being widowed and single while everywhere you look you are bombarded by saccharine depictions of true love, flowers, chocolate, and women getting diamonds. 

    I suppose I should feel sorry for all the pressure put on guys to get it right.  Poor schmucks.  But yeah, I don't.  I'm too busy feeling sorry for myself.

    So what did I do?

    I decided to make cookies.

    I made cookies for my best friends/landlords that I live with.  I made cookies to bring to my vocational group.  I even made cookies for my therapy group.  Oh, let's not forget I even made a couple of bucks making cookies for 2 ladies that wanted some of my cookies....and that's no euphemism.

    Again, just simple stuff.  I made butter cookie hearts with pink icing, spice cookie hearts with white icing, and for my friends upstairs I made a bin of Sheila's favourite cookies....heart shaped empire cookies with pink icing.

    Butter Cookies

    Spice Cookies

    Unfortunately I have no pictures of the empire cookies but they were delicous and really damn cute.  You'll just have to use your imagination.

    So I gave out cookies instead of wallowing and you know what?  I even got a a scrumptious Lindt valentine box of chocolates from Sheila.

    Valentine's....I rocked you.

    Cookie Crumbs in my Bra

    Do you ever take off your bra at night and find food in it?  Well tonight there were cookie crumbs in it which sorta got me thinking about navel gazing because I'm looking in the same general direction.

    I've blogged before.  Sometimes it was funny but mostly, I admit, it was just venting negativity out into cyberspace and wishing someone could make it all better for me. 

    This time I'm going to try REALLY freakin' hard not to do that.  Now, don't kid yourself, it ain't all gonna be cheery and positive.  I'm still learning to put a life together after the death of my soulmate and husband, David O'Farrell.  I'm battling mental illness and trying to learn a new way of doing things that gives me a life that isn't defined by my struggles with mental illness.  And sometimes shit happens, yanno?  It's a process.  It's not linear.  And I'm learning as I go.

    So why cookies?

    I've been baking cookies for a long time.  I baked my first batch as a young kid and I bet my sister will remember with a laugh that I tried to fit as many as I could on the pan not realizing that they expand as you bake them.  Yep...I ended up with one big cookie.

    I'm no expert.  Hell, I don't even bake fancy cookies.  But I do try to do my best to make sure those cookies come out as best as they possibly can. 

    Just like life, cookies can be good or bad.  They can be an amazing success or a horrendous failure.  Cookies take patience and respect for the process it takes to make them.

    Sometimes cookies crumble and fall apart.

    You can't put them back together but you can make new ones.

    That's what my life feels like.

    I thought my husband's death to cancer would kill me.  But here I am 2 years later breathing.  I can never get back what I lost.  That life is gone.  I will always grieve it's loss just as I will always grieve him.  You never get over loss like that, you just learn to live with it and eventually you learn that you have to make a new life for yourself.

    He loved the cookies I baked for him.  His favourite were oatmeal chocolate chip and he would practically jump up and down with glee when I made them for him.

    I love you.  I always will.

    My late husband, David O'Farrell

    Sunday, 19 February 2012

    amazingly there's ripped clothing in both shows

    It's Walking Dead and Spartacus night!
    It's Walking Dead and Spartacus night!
     It's Walking Dead and Spartacus night!

    Gingerbread Zombies

    I'm just starting out this blog but I've got a backlog of a few cookie posts I want to get to so the first few posts will be really close together in time.  That's a helluva long winded way to say I'm probably going to make a couple of posts a day for a few days but the events they represent stretch out over about a month.

    Well, except this post and the brain cookie post sort of happened at the same time so I've already blown my logic there or I'm somehow creating a temporal cookie paradox.  You be the judge. 


    I panicked that brain cookies wouldn't be enough for my friend's zombie art exhibition so I thought it would be cool to make zombie gingerbread men.  Make gingerbread men, cut off an arm or head or leg on each one, ice outline as normal, put globs of blood red icing on the area that is missing a body part...easy peasy!!!

    I only made gingerbread men...no women.  Before you get on my case wondering why the inherent sexism didn't bother me while the possibility of implied racism in my brain cookies did bother me, well...I am at a loss.  It was just easier that way!!  Haha.

    So as I was placing my first tray of cookies to cool on the racks, one of the gingerbread men (not a zombie yet but oh it's coming...yes it is...) made a valiant bid for freedom and landed on the floor.  Did I pick it up?  No. 

    I did what any easily amused person would do after watching the gingerbread man do a double forward somersault onto the floor.  I got the camera.

    Here's how it landed.  You can tell there's been no photo editing because the flour and dog hair is still shamefully on the floor.

    Yep.  I'm easily amused.

    The dog got that cookie after the photo was taken :-)

    And here's how the zombies turned out.

    They're kinda goofy but it was fun.  I think people were more willing to eat a zombie than a brain...hahaha. 

    It was a great opening gala and I was happy to be a part of it. 

    Zombie art.  Why not?

    Brain Cookies

    So my friend who is an artist by trade was doing a zombie themed art exhibit with one of his artist friends and for the gala opening I was asked to contribute some baking.

    Well, I decided that being a zombie themed show, what better to bake than brain cookies???

    There was only one problem.  I had never made a brain cookie before. 

    Thoughts swirled around in my head for days on what I was going to do.  Should I somehow get a little brain mold and make chocolates to sit on top of chocolate and vanilla cookies?    Should I make the brains out of cookie dough?  Was it even possible? 

    After much internal debate and a shopping trip that failed to yield a brain chocolate mold (who'd have thought they'd be so hard to find???? /sarcasm), I decided to make fondant brains to sit on top of chocolate and vanilla rounds with blood red icing.

    How hard could it be?


    Ok, Ok...so it wasn't all that hard.  But having no mold, I made each and every brain by hand and it took me a crap load of time.  About 7 hours worth on the brains alone.  I have severe carpal tunnel...gimme a break. 

    Here's how the brains turned out:


    I made little blobs of fondant shaped like eggs.  Then I made ropes of dyed fondant using gel black and pink dye and placed them in "s" like shapes all up and down each side of the brain.  Here's a couple of tips.  When using the food colouring...a little goes a long way and don't completely  knead it together...leave it a little streaky for a better brain effect.  Oh and just wet the fondant down to get the ropey bits to stick to the fondant blob.

    And here are the finished cookies:

    Gross and yet very tasty at the same time!

    So don't ask me why on the eve of the gala I had a minor meltdown wondering if the zombie-going public would suddenly wonder if there was any implied racism in my cookies.  Yes that's right...racism.  I made chocolate and vanilla rounds with brains on top and I worried that my cookies WERE RACIST. 

    When I mentioned  this irrational worry, I got laughed at.  A lot.

    I had it coming.