After the flood and reno updates week 3

It’s been five days now since my family and I were evacuated in the middle of the night due to unprecedented flooding in Calgary. We’re all okay and our condo is just fine, but we are still without power so still out of our house. We are staying with friends who deserve a gold star for their incredible hospitality.

I have to say that these past few days have made me immensely proud to be a Calgarian. Someone was commenting that it’s insane that the city hasn’t devolved into total anarchy. I mean, Calgary is a big city. Major city. More than a million people live here and it really is the heart of the Canadian economy, and our downtown has been completely shut down. It’s deserted. Many thousands of people are still out of their homes and many have lost so much. You could see it’s ripe for looting.

And yet. Crime has actually gone down in the city over these past days. Fewer break-ins than normal. Our officials are dealing with the crisis with calmness, good grace and occasionally a good sense of humour. Yesterday morning was the first day the city asked for volunteers to help with the cleanup. They had hoped for 500 people to come with an hours notice. 2,500 people showed up. It just makes me feel … this is the way people should be to each other. There have been more than a few tear-jerking moments. That’s all I’ll say on that.
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Most Misogynistic Toy Ever

For some reason, I often have the jingle for the “Cherry Merry Muffin” doll in my head. I don’t know why, it’s just one of those things from the 80s that has permeated my subconscious and I will never be able to let go of. So the other day I was tunelessly singing along to it in my head, when I started to actually think about the lyrics and I stopped cold:
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Easy dinners to love

You guys, you want something super tasty and so easy to make? Here’s my favourite, Pesto-crusted Salmon. It takes about 5 minutes to prepare, 25 minutes to cook, and it’s healthy. What more could you ask for. For really cheap salmon fillets, go to Safeway. They have crazy deals on frozen salmon fillets (and if you live in the prairies like me, ALWAYS buy frozen … the “non-frozen” stuff has been previously frozen, then thawed, something you can do on your own that is much cheaper.)

Pesto-Crusted Salmon

Two cloves of garlic, minced

Three tbsp bread crumbs

Three tbsp sun-dried tomato pesto (any pesto can work, but I swear you try the sun-dried tomato stuff and you’ll never go back; it is so good)

One salmon fillet

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Book reviews: Some fabulous YA lit

Looking for Alaska, by John Green

Oh, John Green, there you go again, breaking my heart. John Green is also the author of The Fault in Our Stars. You’ve read The Fault in Our Stars, right? I read it before I started this blog so I don’t have a┬áreview but as I recently told somebody, if I did write about it, I would write: I am shattered. If you haven’t read this, please put down whatever book you have in front of you and go and get that book.

Looking for Alaska is also very good, although maybe not quite equal to that last one. I have realized the Green has a bit of an obsession with death, but I think this works with YA. The questions of life and death seem that much more potent when we’re teenagers, on the cusp of discovering some of life’s secrets. The whys and the mysteries seem so much bigger before we’re enveloped by the little matters of life.

I’m not going to tell you what it’s about. There is a lot of anticipation build up for this one that was excellently done that I enjoyed, even as I chewed my fingernails during the count down. Very highly recommended. This man knows how to get you where you feel it.
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Satisfying meals for men: a Father’s Day menu


For Z’s first Father’s Day, he chose what we were having for dinner, and came up with ribs. I wanted to give him the best possible ribs out there, so I found a recipe for Tyler’s Ultimate Ribs. I forget what his cooking show is called (probably Tyler’s Ultimate?) but the stuff he comes up with is just ridiculous. And ridiculously good. So I went with his recipe.

Only, problems arose when it came down to actually making the ribs, wherein I discovered I was missing like half of the ingredients I needed. I don’t know where my head has been lately, I genuinely made a list with everything I needed, but somehow came up seriously lacking.

That being said, it did come together in the end. So I’ll put out the actually recipe I used (as I frantically tried to make up for what was missing.)

Lauren’s Take on Tyler’s Ultimate Ribs
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Pork meatballs with roasted red peppers and goat cheese


Some of the favourite things I make are when I’m trying to use up stuff in my fridge. In this case, I had a red pepper, some ground pork and some goat cheese looking to be used. This is what I came up with:


I found this recipe online. It didn’t come with any actual measurements, so I didn’t add any either. I created this while sort of eyeballing how much I was putting in. The important things is to have a meat “dough” that is fairly loose but still comes together in a ball.

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