Valleyview Park

Out and about East Calgary and need a place to chill? Check out recently redeveloped Valleyview Park. Located in West Dover, The park consists of wide open fields, rolling hills, beach volleyball courts, a big kid playground and a little kid playground (both with modern play structures) and a summertime spray park. Valleyview Park connects with the Bow River Pathway along the west side. The beautiful landscaping was completed in 2009.

Valleyview Park is truly an East Calgary gem. Here are some pictures of the toddler playground.

The Smokin’ 45s performing at Valleyview in 2010.

Take care!

Royal Wedding Cupcakes

It has been forever and ever since I blogged. In my defense, taking care of a 14-month old while working full time keeps me busy. But also happy!

So this comes a little after-the-fact, and we all have Royal Wedding fatigue, but I wanted to post a picture of my Union Jack cupcakes.

Made with vanilla cake mix and canned icing (no homemade here! Please refer to first paragraph), these treats were a hit at the office. One lady said “you’re such a mom”. Thanks, Carol! 🙂

In a related story, stroll down memory lane and have a looksee at this original Charles and Diana mug.

Aurevoir!

Thriftstore find: race car rug

image

I’ve been planning on buying the little guy a race car rug for a while. So imagine my happy surprise when I found two at the Salvation Army for $6 each. With the original store tags still on!

Happy trails!

Vietnamese subs

Asian-themed sub shops are all the rage nowadays. Vietnamese subs are the perfect crazy blend of Asian and French cuisine. My favourite spot, Kihn Do on International Avenue, sells a delicious veggie sub for $3.50.

I attempted to make Vietnamese subs (sometimes called Thai subs here in Canada). I bought all the ingredients at Hong Kong Supermarket on International Avenue. All I can say is yummers.

To make 4-5 subs
Sub-sized French baguettes
Bunch cilantro, roughly chopped
½ English cucumber, cut into matchstick-sized pieces
2 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 carrots, peeled and cut into matchstick-sized pieces
1 parsnip, peeled and cut into matchstick-sized pieces
1 lime
Salt and Pepper
1-2 Portabello Mushroom (for the vegetarians)
1-2 Boneless skiness chicken breast (for the meat eaters)
1-2 tbsp soy sauce
1-2 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 cup rice vinegar
1-2 tbsp canola oil
1 tsp white sugar
  • Lightly brush mushrooms and chicken with canola oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Slice mushrooms and chicken into bite-sized (long) chucks. Set aside, separately.
  • Flash boil carrots and parsnip for about 30 seconds. Remove from heat, strain, and put into bowl of rice vinegar. Allow to marinate as you prepare the subs. Strain after marination.
  • Mix sugar, lime juice, soy sauce, fish sauce and sesame oil in bowl. Add minced garlic. This is the sub sauce.
  • Assemble subs. Heat whole in oven on 400 for 5-10 minutes.

Exotic sauces and oils from Hong Kong Supermarket

Vietnamese sub veggie toppings

Sub-specific French baguettes

A first for me: flash boiling the parsnip and carrots followed by a plunge in rice vinegar

The all-important sub sauce was surprisingly creamy.

The vegetarian "meat" portabello mushrooms

Ăn ngon miệng! (Bon appetit!)

Happy trails!

Sweet potatoes for my sweet pea

I made some mashed sweet potato for the little one.

  • Cut into cubes 2 medium sized sweet potatoes.
  • Boil until soft. Mash.
  • Add dollop of margarine and pinch of brown sugar. Mix.
  • Freeze them in ice cube trays.
  • Once the food is frozen, pop them out and store them in bags.

Happy trails!

Gift wrapping

I had fun gift wrapping today. It’s like making a sculpture out of bits and pieces of craft supplies.

Slow Cooker Perogies

I had the sudden urge today to use my slow cooker. But I didn’t want to make a meat dish since I’m a vegetarian (but the rest of my family joyfully gnaws on meat, sometimes still attached to the bone, every chance they get). Actually, after eight glorious meat free years, I now eat seafood from time to time, so call me a flexitarian. I feel like the fish are happier in their last moments of life. They don’t seem to have horrible lives like penned up chickens and cows. I thought of making veggie chili but I only had a 20 minute window to prep my dish. So I tried something new: slow cooker perogies.

I created a butter and onion sauce (1/2 c of unsalted butter, 1 whole onion chopped fine) in my wok. I added a whole box of perogies (about 35) to the slow cooker, drizzled with the butter and onion sauce, and sprinkled with fresh ground pepper, fresh ground sea salt, freshly chopped parsley and a dried bay leaf. It cooked on high for about 2.5 hrs. Served up with a green salad and barely there oil/vinegar dressing and presto chango! A delicious meal enjoyed by all. This is not what I would call health food, so an after dinner walk was in order.

before

Happy trails!