Friday, August 28, 2009

Make your own sugar-free ginger ale

There are a few recipes out there online that are really complicated, some of them involving yeast. This is my no-nonsense version. It is quick and easy, and tastes really special. I like to keep this syrup in a squeeze bottle in my fridge. I mix it with a carbonated mineral water such as Perrier. You could also use club soda, and if you are concerned about the sodium, look for low-sodium club soda.

2 inch piece of fresh ginger, sliced
2 cups boiling water
2 packets of Splenda

1. Place the Splenda and the ginger into a container that you can easily pour from, such as a measuring cup.
2. Cover with boiling water and let steep for a few hours, then strain into a container.
3. Pour a small amount of syrup into a glass with ice and top with carbonated water.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Street Freaks - Hey, Catherine!

I had just stepped out of the World's Biggest Bookstore, and a homeless man yelled to me "HEY! CATHERINE! Where's that smile?" I just smiled at him. What else could I do?

Sister Freaks - Dog Sitting

My sister looked after our dogs while we were on vacation. By merely staying in our home, she experienced two freaks in our neighbourhood, while walking the dogs.

1. A homeless kid asked her "can you get me a drink of water?," to which she replied "sorry, I don't live around here." He said "where do you live?" She said "far away." And he said "do they have people there?"

2. When she had just left the house, a woman yelled to her "are you Portugese?" and she said "no..." and the woman said, "oh...ok..."

Concert Freak

I was sitting on cement stairs at the northwest end of Molson Amphitheatre, during the Pearl Jam concert. You foolishly ran down the stairs, missed the bottom two, and fell on your behind. You jumped up and said "that was _______ awesome!" Then you did a little dance, ran over to the nearest wall, kicked it, and ran away. You seriously made my night.

Garlic Rainbow Swiss Chard

I bought Swiss Chard at the Farmer's Market, I've never had it, and it's delicious. I did some reading, and it looks like buying it at a Farmer's Market is the best choice, because the flavour is best when it is as freshly picked as possible.

  • 1 large rainbow Swiss Chard
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
  1. Wash leaves at least twice in cold water. I recommend filling your sink, piling on the leaves and moving them around in the water. This allows the dirt to sink to the bottom.
  2. Remove the leaves from the stems, slice the stems into 1/2" pieces and roughly chop leaves.
  3. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat then sauté some of the garlic in oil until it is slightly brown, and then remove it. This step just flavours the oil a bit.
  4. Add the chopped stems to the skillet,cover and cook over medium heat until tender. This takes about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the leaves and sauté until they are just starting to wilt. This takes about 1 minute.
  6. Add the remaining garlic, salt and pepper.
  7. Turn off heat and let sit for 2 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with parmesan and enjoy!