Thursday, 28 February 2013

Lemony-Asparagus Risotto

We are slowly but surely cleaning out the contents of my parents fridge. However, doing this has it drawbacks, because we're simply running out of ingredients. Luckily, we had enough on hand for this yummy risotto. Risotto is fantastic, because you can basically make it using ingredients in the pantry, and add in whatever veggies/flavours you've got on hand. We had asparagus.

Here's how to make it. You need:
1 heaping cup of arborio rice (you must use a short grain rice)
900 ml (give or take) stock (chicken, or veggie)
1 medium shallot (or a small onion), diced
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup of white wine (whatever's going)...or more if you feel so inclined
15 asparagus stalks (depending on the size of the asparagus), cut into bite-sized pieces
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp butter (or more...I probably used 2)
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Bring the stock to a simmer, and keep it warm over low heat, before you start cooking the risotto.

In a large sauce pan, heat up the olive oil (medium-high), and then cook the shallots for a couple minutes.
Next, add the rice, stir to coat each grain with the oil, and toast for one or two minutes.

Now, add the wine, and stir. From now on, you're pretty much stirring all the time, so I'd suggest you have everything else ready to go (mis en place, for my foodie friends).

Once the rice has absorbed the wine, add two ladels of the hot stock. Stir. Keep stiring until the stock is absorbed.

**the purpose of the stirring is to release the starches in the rice, hence why risotto is creamy (ugh I hate the word creamy)

After the stock is absorbed, add another ladel of stock and add in the aparagus stalks, but not the tips. The tips cook faster, so you can add them closer to the end. Keep stirring.

Keep adding the stock (a few more rounds of add, stir, absorb), and then taste the rice. If it's still crunchy, add more stock. Don't forget to stir, stir, stir. Now add the asparagus tips and let things cook for a little longer.

Once the rice is tender (shudder, another awful word), just make sure there's enough liquid in there so that it's not the texture of Granny's oatmeal (read: too thick). Stir in the lemon zest.

Note: you may not end up using all the stock, and that's a-ok. Turn off the heat.

The final two steps are crucial because they add such yumminess. One: Add in the butter and mix it around until it's melted. Two: Add in the parm and mix that in as well. Now you should have one creamy (ugh) pile of deliciousness.


Ps. I'm aware that I have a serious dislike for many words, especially words that describe food.

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Pillow Talk

M: Vets are such scammers.*

H: Oh?

M: They convinced my coworker to get her cats vaccinated for rabies, but her cats don’t even go outside. Not to
mention there’s no rabies in this part of the country.

H: I know. And isn’t rabies generated from baby rabbits?

M: Ummm….
Are you saying that because rabies sounds like an amalgamation of rabbit babies?

H: <smiles sheepishly>….no….?

*I have a seriously aversion to spending money at the vet. I'll explain later.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013


Every year, when it hits that point between winter and spring, I get this itch. I get so sick of my house (probably because I've been holed up in it for months).

So I've turned to Pinterest for some good old inspiration. Now if only I wasn't living in a rental, so I could really get into making some changes.

1, 2, 3, 4

In looking at these pictures, I really think I'm jonesing for some grey or white walls with some warm accents.
How gorgeous is that grey and gold living room? 

Monday, 25 February 2013

Weekend Bits

What a lovely weekend it was.

Friday night we went to dinner with some friends and afterwards we all went bowling.

the most flourescent shoes in the entire building

The best part? I beat Nick both games! Trust me, this is a big deal. A) I'm a terrible bowler and B) I'm super competitive, so it was a good feeling. That also means that Nick has to make two dinners for me. We made a bet (girls vs. guys) that the losers had to make a special dinner. When we got to the last game, the guys decided to make it double or nothing. Good call. Winner!

Saturday I got my hair cut. This may seem like a mundane activity for some, but it's such a good experience when you have the hairstylist that I do. It's like three hours of hanging out with a great friend, and getting pretty at the same time.

I chopped a lot off. I was sick of the bangs, so I needed something different. Trust me, I do this all the time.

Sunday morning was beautifully quiet. In preparation for the Academy Awards Oscars, I went to a movie with my girlfriends in the afternoon. I can say with 100% certainty that Save Haven will never be nominated for an Oscar. People - stop trying to make Nicholas Sparks movies. More specifically, stop trying to make the next 'The Notebook'. It will never be beaten.

Even though my parents are on vacation, we fulfilled our duty and had a family dinner with my brother and his gf. They stayed to watch The Oscars with us. I thought it was pretty well done. I really loved the song that William Shatner told Seth McFarlane not to sing (the We Saw Your Boobs song). Yes, I am just that mature. My picks for best dressed?

Jessica Chastain in Armani Prive
love the monocromatic look via

Zoe Saldana in Alexis Maybille
in theory, all these parts would be too much, but here it's just right via
With honourable mention to Kerry Washington and Halle Berry.
Who was your favourite?
Were you surprised at any of the winners?
Let me know in the comments below!

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Saturday Mornings

Lately, my Saturday mornings have turned into a bit of a ritual. We wake up and each take on one task (either take Rocky out or put the coffee on). The makings of a strong marriage, I tell ya, division of labour.

We drink coffee while snuggling up in the living room. Then, open goes the computer and I catch up on the blogs I didn't get to read during the week. After that, I write.

Writing this blog is one of my absolute favourite things to do and usually, if I'm not writing posts, I'm dreaming them up in my mind.

I didn't even realize this was my ritual until last weekend, when Husband was heading out to study for pilot training and said to me, 'Enjoy your morning, reading and writing blogs'. *Light bulb goes off* - oh ya, this has really become a routine. And I love it.

Friday, 22 February 2013

Happy (House-sitting) Friday

Ahh, there's nothing like a short week to brighten anyone's spirits. Now that we've reached the end, Oh! Friday! You're here already? I'm reflecting on things that are making me happy this week.

I've chosen the theme of living in my parents house, because there's a laundry list of reasons why it is nicer to live here. Here are a few:

Seeing this guy every day. He may be a bit psycho at times, but any dog that knows how to smile - I'm serious, we say 'smile' and he grins - is a cool dog in my books. Plus he's like a big teddy bear.

A well stocked wine cabinet. I know I can always rely on this lovely lady to have wine on hand. If only I wasn't so cheap, I would have a well stocked wine rack too. In the meantime, I will concentrate my efforts on helping my mom work through these.

Opening the cupboard to find my favourite cereal waiting for me. They don't eat it, so I know it was purchased especially for me :) You can love sugary cereal at any age, by the way.

A nice big bathtub. Seriously, I wouldn't dare to show you a picture of our current tub, I'll just say that it's not exactly beckoning us to bathe in it.

Lastly, it's nice to see pictures around the house of me as a child, so I can remember how weird adorable I was.

check out these hipsters in trainnig. we're wearing the dinosaur hats because they're ironic

Wishing everyone a lovely weekend. I'm getting my hair did - woop! - pictures to follow (as long as it looks good) next week.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Road Rage

Yes, I have road rage. I don't know where I caught it (certainly not from either parent, my dad routinely drives at 50km/hr and says 'we're not in a rush').

But it's actually an issue. One of these days someone will probably come after me with an equal amount of rage and we could really get into trouble. Yesterday on my way home from work, I edged out another road rager who had already cut me off, causing him a long setback in the line of traffic, and I got so much satisfaction from doing that. I. Have. A. Problem.

Once, on a drive to Ottawa (which is about 5 hours long), both Nick and my brother had to force me to pull over and give up the driver's seat because I was chasing down a guy that cut me off. It sounds quite funny while I'm writing this, safe behind my computer, but the reality of it is a little scarier when I'm behind the wheel.

remaining peaceful on a road trip...maybe the cheetos helped

I'm not super violent, I'm more of a nagging granny road-rager. I like to pull up beside people (who have already wronged me) and wag my finger and tell them off...even though they can't hear me...I also may or may not use my horn on a regular basis.

Certainly I'm not the only person with road rage. I've had enough people come after me yelling and screaming - inside their cars, of course.

Please help me. Advice? Horror stories to scare me/stop me?

Wednesday, 20 February 2013


I’ve diagnosed myself with SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). I absolutely hate winter right now, and it’s making me miserable. That’s what SAD is, right? Did I mention that I have a degree in Psychology? ;)

what i see when i look out our windows

In hindsight, my idea of hibernating (although warm and cozy) may not be the best plan for the entire winter season. 

The best way to beat the winter blues is to get out of the house! Cabin fever and winter blues make Emma 'something something'. Go Crazy? Don't mind if I do!
Here are a few things that make me want to break my hibernation:
Cross country skiing 
Snowshoeing in a vineyard
A gazillion things to do in Niagara

Plus it would be lovely to get away for a night and stay in one of these B&B's

Ps. What do you do to beat the winter blues?

Pps. I do know what SAD is, and no, I don't actually have it. I'm just plain old sick of winter.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

House Sitting

So my parents are headed on holiday for a couple of weeks. What does that mean, you ask? Well, it means that we are house sitting (more like dog sitting, whilst living in their house). So what does that mean? ...HOUSE PARTY!

Just kidding - my parents read this blog, I thought it would be a funny joke.

But actually, back in the day, I will admit, my parents house was party central (when they weren't home, obviously).

They started out small, just 6 or 7 friends. But then, when those parties went unnoticed, I got a little braver. One year, I even asked to have a New Year's party. Let this be a lesson to all future parents out there. It is never a good idea to let your kid have a New Year's party. Ever. Even if they promise it's just going to be a small group. The entire school will undoubtedly show up and trash your house. Trust me - it happened.

Wanna know the worst part? The next day, I got dragged out of bed at what felt like a very unreasonable hour (it was probably like 9:30) to clean the house. I cried while cleaning. It seemed to take all day. Even my brother was mad about the state of the house. I took a long break from parties after that.

Years later, one summer my best friend (who just happened to live next door) and I cooked up a little plan. Our parents were headed up north together, but, sigh, we couldn't go because we 'had to work'. Meanwhile, we planned a party that would span both backyards (and both houses). Our neighbours wanted us arrested wished we would move. I will admit, the parties were a little loud and a little rowdy...
The worst part? When our parents returned home, to spotless houses nonetheless, the neighbours came over to tattle on us. Busted.

trouble maker: the shirt says it all

After that, I stopped having parties. Months later my mom called me at university to tell me she found her garden statue with the head knocked off hidden in the basement. Sorry about that one, mom, and I swear, it was my brother's idea to hide it.

ps. I have other tales of what happened with the parents on vacation...I'll save those for another day :)

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Current Obsession

After getting many recommendations of shows to start watching, Nick and I decided on Sons of Anarchy as our next tv endeavor. We are obsessed with it. OBSESSED. We only started watching it last week and we're already almost through season two.

I'm getting emotionally involved in the show - it's a show about a motorcycle gang, so naturally it has violence - I've been in tears when characters die.

But the best part of the show? Jax Teller. Oh. Em. Gee. This guy is hot. Wouldn't you agree?


Not only is one hot bad-boy, but Nick decides to tell me that he's actually from the UK. I'm sorry, I didn't know he could get any hotter. Add an accent to that face (and that body)? Pinch me.

I haven't had a celeb crush in a really long time. Consider me crushed.

Friday, 15 February 2013

Happy Friday

Happy Friday kiddos!

Here are a few things that are making me happy today.

We're heading into a long weekend (for some Canadian provinces, anyway). How nice it was to welcome Family Day to the stat holiday roster. Just in time for the holiday, my parents are ditching us to go to much for spending time with my family on the official day ;)

This cute Valentine card from Nick.

Along the same theme (hotness), this commercial cracks me up every single time I see it.

When the girl is like 'oh, hot to trot?' after he stomps his hoof, it kills me.

Ps. It's my 200th post today :)

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Our Engagement

Last year, on Valentine's Day, I told you about Husband and how we met/fell in love. I also promised that one day I would tell our engagement story.

Read on, if you'd like...

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Things Uncertain

Dealing with uncertainty can be really difficult. I'm facing a number of things lately that are uncertain and I'm finding it very difficult to think/talk about anything else. I'm sure you can imagine how much fun it is to live with me at a time like this. Put it this way, the floor may as well be covered in eggshells.

via pinterest

The rational person inside me says 'you don't have to know everything that's going to happen and when, that's the beauty in life'...the impatient person inside me (which lately feels like it occupies a lot more space than the rational one) says 'ugh you can't do ANYTHING until you know what's going to happen next'.
this feels more like me right now ...via pinterest
So which is it?

How can you make plans when there are so many things left up in the air? But how can you put your life on hold just because of some uncertain times?

I'm waiting. Impatiently.

Monday, 11 February 2013

Baby Shower Sushi

On the weekend, I went to a baby shower for my friends who are expecting a baby boy in March. I had seen this image on Pinterest, and knowing that they love sushi, I couldn't resist. But since a lot of sushi is pink, I had to be a little creative with colours (I figured they probably didn't want a six pack of pink socks for their little guy).

I opted for colours that would make veggie california rolls and a salmon sushi piece.

Here's how I made them.

Starting Over

Today marks a very important day in my life, and even more so in Nick's life. Today is his first day of work at a brand new job. A brand new career.

It's one of those things that you may think about, mull over, but ultimately shy away from, because starting a brand new career from the ground up is very daunting. Especially after putting over ten years into career number one.

I'm so proud of the choice he has made and the fact that he's stood strong, despite the times that I've waffled over it. He is doing it not only for him but for us and our future. Not everyone can say they did that.

It takes guts to start at the bottom. Going from being in charge, to taking all the orders, I'm sure won't be easy. But it will be worth it.

Hopefully that's been at least a little bit inspiring for your Monday. It certainly has been for me.

Ps. I heard that the average person has three careers in their lifetime. What are your thoughts on that?
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