Monthly Archives: April 2012

kelseydo herbs from seeds

We got a weekend of good weather in Vancouver last week so I decided to get out and get down in the dirt. I have never really done any gardening before but I have always thought it would be cool to grow your own food. Equally as cool is growing your own wine (grapes), which my Mom & Dad are doing in the Comox Valley.

Vineyard

The vineyard at Woodvine

Right now it just looks like they are growing blue tubes but that’s because it’s only the vines’ 2nd year and they’ve been cut back. Most likely there won’t be any harvestable grapes for a few more years. This is part of the reason why I need to start getting my green thumb on- so I can help out in the vineyard!

I helped weed the vegetable garden that we share with Nick’s parents’ family in Vancouver to get it ready for planting. It is a little weird that there are still green onions, swiss chard and italian parsley growing in the garden that lasted through the winter. This year we are talking about planting eggplant, kale, carrots, onions, celery, yams and lettuce when it warms up a bit more. We might plant the veggies from seeds, or there is a huge plant sale at VanDusen Botanical Garden this Sunday where we could pick up some of the vegetable plants.

Nick loves to use fresh herbs for cooking so I wanted to try growing a herb garden as well. I made an attempt to grow them from seeds indoors, which is a little sketchy. I watched a bunch of youtube videos but then ended up just doing it my own way (usually not a good idea). I found a couple old trays kicking around with good drainage and bought the seeds and seedling soil and got to it. I planted Sweet Genovese Basil, Thai Basil, Cilantro, Parsley, Thyme and Rosemary.

Herb Seeds Planted

Herb Seeds Day 1

I don’t know why I all of a sudden thought I could grow things. I don’t have a very good track record with plants. My mom bought me an African Violet (the world’s easiest to care for plant) and I killed it. Too much water I think. About five years later she bought me a tomato plant and I killed it. Not enough water. Then two years after that she bought me an Orchid and I killed it. Too much water.I bought myself some Succulents about a year ago which are also supposed to be super easy to take care of and guess what? Killed them too.

I recently acquired a few potted plants: basil, zucchini, tomato and peppermint,  that are now awaiting their fate. If you have any tips on how to keep these things alive, let me know, I need all the help I can get.

My planting perseverance must have paid off because there is green stuff popping up in my herb trays five days after planting!

Herb Seeds

Sweet Genovese Basil Day 5

Herb Seeds 2

Tomato Plant with Thyme & Thai Basil Day 5

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kelseydo Whitecaps game

WFC Tix

Ticket to the Whitecaps VS Sporting Kansas City

I went to my first Vancouver Whitecaps soccer match on Wednesday at BC Place and it was great fun! First of all our tickets were free, thanks to a friend of a friend, and BC Place is super nice. Also, we ended up with great seats in the Vancouver Southsiders‘ section-the Whitecaps loudest and funnest fans! When we first got there I had no idea what the Vancouver Southsiders were, but as the night went on I began to realize the fans sitting in our section were a special breed. They had these really unique cheers that I’ve never heard anywhere else. When the Whitecaps’ goalie kicks off :

During buildup to kick: ssssssssssssss
When Joe kicks the ball: BOOOOOM!

When the opposing goalie kick’s off:

During build up to kick, with arms raised: Whoooaaaaaaaaa.
When the keeper kicks the ball: YOU FAT BASTARD!

And my favorite chant is the Depeche Mode remix:

When I see you, Whitecaps,
I go out of my head,
I just can’t get enough,
I just can’t get enough,
All the things you do to me,
And all the things you said,
I just can’t get enough,
I just can’t get enough
Here in the Southside, I’m falling in love,
And I just can’t seem to get enough of
(while bouncing)
Do do do-do-do-do-do,
Do do do-do-do-do-do.

Amazing! There’s quite a bit of heckling as well which is really hilarious. At the match we saw versus Sporting Kansas City, their goalie had some interesting attire happening in the pants region, and of course the Vancouver Southsiders pounced on this. They chanted “GET NEW TROUSERS” over and over again. At one point that goalie even turned around to applaud them for their unique cheers and enthusiasm.

Tickets for the Whitecaps games are anywhere from $20-140. We sat is section 251, in great seats, free for us of course, but regularly they are only $25. If you like soccer, shouting chants and drinking Alexander Keiths Red Amber Ale- it’s a great night out!

kelseydo cheesecake

Cheesecake is SO easy to make! We are talking run-of-the-mill New York Style Cheesecake. It is possibly my  favorite dessert.

Graham Cracker Goodness

Laying the Foundation

The crust is just Graham Cracker crumbs and butter. The Graham Cracker crumb box said 1 1/4 cups of crumbs to 1/4 cup of butter. I don’t know about y’all but Paula Deen says you can never use too much butter n’ oil, so I put in 1/2 cup. (Seriously though, a 1/4 cup is not enough.) Mix up the crumbs and butter and then press the mixture into the bottom of a greased  9″ spring form pan.

Cheese Sticks

Leaning Tower of Cheese

Looking at this pile of cheese in the bowl and then throwing a cup of sugar over it almost deterred me from eating cheesecake…NOT. I made the mistake of not properly creaming the cream cheese with the sugar so I had some cheesy chunks happening in the final product. Just put this bowl of cream cheese in the microwave for a couple minutes and then stir in the sugar to avoid chunky bits.

The Final Product

My very first cheesecake!

Ta-daa! As you can see, other than the chunky cheese bits it turned out perfectly. After creaming the sugar and cream cheese you just add one egg for each stick of cream cheese (4 in this case), a cup of sour cream, a teaspoon of vanilla and 1/4 cup of all purpose flour. Then you put that mixture on top of your graham cracker and throw it in the oven at 350. This is where the recipe I used got a little tricky. You cook the cheesecake for 1 hour, and then you turn off the oven, without opening it, and leave the cheesecake in there with the door closed for 5-6 hours to prevent cracking. After that you chill it in the refrigerator before eating it.

My cheesecake definitely cracked. But guess what? No one cares! It tasted delicious! I didn’t really follow the directions properly. First of all, after one hour I turned off the oven…but I had to open it to look at the cheesecake! It’s the very first cheesecake I’ve made, who knows what it could look like! At that point it was not cracked. It looked perfect. After that I was going to let it sit for 5-6 hours in the oven with the door closed but I ended up going to a party and forgot all about making a cheesecake. The next morning I woke abruptly and sat up in bed: cheesecake! I marched over to the oven and checked out the cheesecake. I was surprised it was still there. That cheesecake would have been the perfect post-drinking snack!

I made these little numbers below last week for a special dinner. The recipe is a little different but just as easy. Aren’t they swell?

NY Cheesecake Cupcake
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kelseydo sushi

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It’s Easter weekend at the Fam’s house in the beautiful Comox Valley, and since we brought some Sake that we got at the VPIWF, we decided we better make sushi. I have had some experience making sushi before. Nick and I took a sushi making class at The Cook Shop and since then we’ve made it a few times.

The secret is in the sushi rice, and also in how well you roll things and cut things. We cooked the rice in a rice cooker (I recommend using this one– it plays ‘twinkle twinkle little star’ just like our bread maker). Once it’s done you put it in a shallow wooden dish and let it cool to room temperature. While its cooling, you mix up the vinegar mixture. Just heat some rice vinegar, mirin, sugar and salt on the stove until the crystals blend in. Cool the mixture, and then pour it evenly over your room temperature rice and then fan it for a bit. That was the hard part. Just throw a towel over it and it’s ready when you need it.

My favorite rolls to make are spicy tuna with avocado, veggie, red pepper with tuna and cucumber, avocado and dynamite. I also made a roll tonight with salmon lox, cream cheese and cucumber which was pretty delicious. My mom made prawn, zucchini and mushroom tempura, and we also put together a light soup with tofu and bok choi. It was delicious and we were all stuffed!

Kanpai!

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kelseydo paintball

I have to admit I was pretty nervous about paint ball. I had never been before and I was mainly scared about how much the paint balls would hurt.

We met up with the gang at North Shore Paintball and got our gear on- old mechanic shop suits, a mask, gun and paint balls.

After one of the guys that worked there gave us his spiel about how ‘its super easy to lose an eye’, the group that was playing before us came out and one of the guys was bleeding from his forehead. At this point I was vibrating with anxiety.

If you look closely, that's yellow paint on his 'stache

Looking good in the old mechanic threads

I think he's done this before...

Little did I know I was actually pretty awesome at paintball. I shot a lot of people but I rarely got shot, and when I did, I got shot in the face on the mask so it didn’t even hurt.

This was not the same for Nick, who afterwards was as badly bruised as a banana at the bottom of a backpack. Since it was his birthday, we played a game called Terminator. So it was everyone against Nick. Usually you can ‘die’ by getting hit once with a paint ball, but Nick was ‘immortal’ for this game. Basically we just pummeled him with as many paint balls as possible until he called mercy. He called mercy a lot sooner than I thought he would. I guess those paint  balls hurt pretty bad.

Next time we play paintball, I’m going to outfit Nick with a human sized Banana Guard.

Part of the Crew taking a Break

The Grill Master

If this is what I do to my best friend, imagine what I do to my enemies!

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