Monday, February 25, 2008

Going...Going...Gone!!!


This will probably be my last blog post for a while (for at least two weeks). It has been a crazy few weeks and hopefully little by little I will be able to share with you tiny tidbits of news when the time is right. I am of the belief that if I talk about things before they happen, I'll jinx myself. I don't want to jinx myself, people!

I will divulge just a wee bit of good news at the end of this post. You'll have to read through until you get to the end to find out though. But, first...

Deb, you will be super proud of me. I don't know what happened, but Hubby was laughing because I've been in turbo mode for the past two days. I took on "Project Organize Bedroom" and worked tirelessly at organizing our master bedroom! Thank you, thank you! You are amazing!Beach Mama participated in the "What's on your fridge?" meme and in turn, she asked other bloggers what was on their fridges. Here's what our fridge looks like. My mom always makes fun of me and says it looks like Hubby and I have a zillion kids just by looking at our fridge! It's a far cry from my mom's pristine, uncluttered (I call it "naked") fridge!
We've got dozens and dozens of photos of family and friends. If you look closely, you'll see about a dozen babies on the fridge, as it seems that almost everyone I know has recently had a baby! We're averaging about six in the summer and six in the winter. My friends have been busy! On the front I've also got a few favourite recipes, some art work, magnets from all over the place and a note pad. On the side I've got a calendar, a few more recipes, a few other odds and ends and some kid art. The kid art includes: a painting by Niece #1 of Hubby (aka Uncle J) on his tractor and tiny hand prints in paint by Niece #2. Our nieces were just teeny tiny when they made those for Hubby and he has kept them on the fridge all these years later. Isn't he sweet?
Finally, on top of our fridge is my chocolate orchid and a pot of parsley. I have to re-pot my basil, chives and oregano because they're not looking too happy at the moment.

I was actually going to take all the photos and everything off the fridge and make it all sparkly white and naked. I decided against it though. It's got so much character and I love seeing everyone's photos every morning!

Ms.Mamma
, if you take a good look, you will see the cute photo you sent us of Snowflake that accompanied my beloved Neti Pot! Snowflake is totally stylin' in those shades!

Canine tagged me for the "5 Random Things about Me" meme. Here goes!
1) I have extra-sensory powers. I kid you not! This only works with people I am very close to though. I sometimes get these "feelings" or sometimes even premonition dreams. Once, when I was in elementary school, Middle Bro and I got off the bus and went home. We were "latch key" kids, meaning that we used to let ourselves into the house and just do our homework and hang out until our parents came home from work. This was before we had a nanny/housekeeper. Anyway, my grandparents used to babysit Baby Bro and my cousin, Jey. They lived about a ten minute drive from us, but in a different city. When I got home from school that day, I could have sworn that I heard Baby Bro crying. It was like he was in the same room as me and he was crying loudly. Not just any baby cry...It sounded like he was hurt. I knew it was impossible because he was in the next city at my grandparents'. Moments later, the phone rang. My grandmother was in hysterics and told me to call my mom at work. Baby Bro had ran into something and busted his head open. Okay, it wasn't that gory, but there was a lot of blood.

2) I have turned into my mom. I used to give her a rough time about being obsessed with cleaning her house. I find myself doing the same things as she does sometimes. I need to line my canned goods up with the labels in the same direction. I even bought a bunch of containers to put inside my bedroom closet and organize things according to function, frequent use, etc.
Trust me, I didn't used to be this way all the time. I grew up with a mother who did everything for us and then a nanny who did the same. I didn't learn how to cook or clean until I moved to Japan to teach! Ask my friend, Dina. She and I used to live together and she will tell you how "tidy" my room "looked". Under my bed and inside my closet was where I stuffed everything! Dina made me laugh the first year I moved to the Island when she sent me a package. The present was a photo album of a girl (who ironically, looked much like me!) trying to keep her closet closed. The funny part was that the girl on the album had all sorts of things jammed in her closet and it looked like it was going to burst open! That was what I was like. Thank you for the laughs, Dina!

3) I can eat something at a restaurant once and then come home and reproduce the dish I tried.

4) I'm quite self-conscious about the way I look wearing my glasses. I don't wear my glasses often enough because I look like a nerd in them. I need to wear glasses for distance. I need them to drive and to see things that are far. To me, glasses in general are just too cumbersome. I just feel so odd having to wear them. Of course, I always wear them to drive! I'm not stupid! I'm getting better though. I do wear them more than I used to. I got new frames that I actually like now. So, if you see me on the street and I don't wave back when you wave to me, don't feel like I'm being a snob. I just can't see you. Don't even ask about contacts! I'm scared to put anything near my eyes! I have a hard time putting mascara on!
Some of you have already seen this photo of my nephew, Kenny and me. Look! I'm actually wearing my glasses in this photo! This is a rare find!

5) I live in the countryside but I am afraid of insects. The bigger the insect and the more legs, the scarier! Oh, I am scared of snakes too! My doggy, Chance is my defender when I hang the laundry out to dry. I know...very sad. Between my ESL students and myself, Hubby's got his hands full! Last summer, my students had Hubby go on "spider patrol" before bedtime every night! He had to go to their rooms and check for spiders! LOL!
That's not his "Spider Patrol" uniform. That's his Firefighter/First Response uniform!

Oh, okay! Since I won't be able to post a proper blog entry for a while, I'll give you two more random things about me:
6) I have a weird thing for eyebrows. Oddly, one of the things I notice first about a person (apart from their eyes, their teeth and their wonderful personality) is their eyebrows!!! As a teenager, I grew up in the 80's and 90's, when thick, natural, 'Brooke Shields' eyebrows were 'in'.
To this day, the sight of unruly, scraggly brows really get my attention. I remember the first time I ever attempted to tweeze my own eyebrows, I went overboard and had these two very thin barely there lines where my eyebrows once were. Freaky. I thought they'd never grow back! Thank goodness they did! Funny how something like eyebrows can totally change a person's appearance. I won't even go into the waxing of the eyebrows story!!

For now, I tweeze, groom and use this product recommended by another eyebrow grooming fan (my gal pal, Fancy):
7) I get car-sick. I do. It is really bad. If I ride in your car, I need to sit in the front or else I get really, really sick. I need to either drive or be in the front passenger seat. I discovered a few years ago that I always fall asleep in the car when on long road trips. This is a method I think I've developed (not consciously) to help me from being sick. I just sleep it off. I used to go on lots of family road trips with my brothers and parents and I find that my motion sickness is worse now that I'm older. That won't stop me from my road trips though!

Now for some news:
Hubby and I will be leaving for the Dominican Republic in but a few short days! I probably won't be posting anything new over the next few days, but will try to check in and comment! My wonderful hubby surprised me with an all-inclusive vacation in Puerto Plata. No work, no housework, no cooking, no cleaning, no laundry, no telephones, no replying to work related e-mail...no more slipping and sliding on icy lane ways!!! Well, at least for a week!

The only thing I'll miss is our fur babies, but they will be in the capable hands of my parents.

I'll be back with lots of photos. In the meantime, we'll be here.
Sunday, February 24, 2008

Tap that fine piece of...


Maple, of course!!!

It's time to tap those beautiful trees and make some of that wonderful liquid gold!

We've got acres upon acres of beautiful land. Fortunately, we've got some maple trees amongst the birch, cedar, walnut, and other varieties of trees. Since it's a gorgeous and mild day with blue skies and lots of sunshine, it's the perfect day for tapping!If you've been reading my blog since last year, you may remember Hubby's first time making maple syrup! What fun! This year we are going to try to double or even triple the amount we made last year because we only had one bottle to ourselves! Everyone kept asking for some and we obliged, of course! For our first time trying to make maple syrup, we only made about fifteen bottles. We would have had more had we not scorched the first batch! Practice makes perfect! This homemade maple syrup is deeeeeelish!!!

Sunny days like these always make me want to sing this Bob Marley tune!
Sun is shining, the weather is sweet
Make you want to move your dancing feet
To the rescue, here I am
Want you to know ya, where I stand

(Monday morning) here I am
Want you to know just if you can
(Tuesday evening) where I stand
(Wednesday morning) tell myself a new day is rising
(Thursday evening) get on the rise a new day is dawning
(Friday morning) here I am
(Saturday evening) want you to know just
Want you to know just where I stand

When the morning gathers the rainbow
Want you to know I'm a rainbow too
So, to the rescue here I am
Want you to know just if you can
Where I stand, know, know, know, know, know

We'll lift our heads and give JAH praises
We'll lift our heads and give JAH praises, yeah

Sun is shining, the weather is sweet now
Make you want to move your dancing feet
To the rescue, here I am
Want you to know just if you can
Where I stand, know, know, know, where I stand

Monday morning, scoo-be-doop-scoop-scoop
Tuesday evening, scoo-be-doop-scoop-scoop
Wednesday morning, scoo-be-doop-scoop-scoop
Thursday evening, scoo-be-doop-scoop-scoop
Friday morning, scoo-be-doop-scoop-scoop
Saturday evening, scoo-be-doop-scoop-scoop

So to the rescue, to the rescue, to the rescue
Awake from your sleep and slumber
Today could be your lucky number
Sun is shining and the weather is sweet


Saturday, February 23, 2008

I'm back!!!!


Yes, I'm back. I thought I'd be away from the blog indefinitely. But, alas! I have returned to the blog world with lots and lots of good news. Happy! Happy! Things have been very busy with a bunch of different projects on the go. Unfortunately, I cannot report any details...


yet
!!!


Until then, I can share some other things that I find wonderful!
My Dad's delicious homemade Wonton Soup! Dad made Wontons the other day and decided to bring some over for his favourite daughter and his favourite son-in-law! Haha! He only has one daughter, and therefore only one son-in-law! Unfortunately, I can't give out his recipe because if I did, I'd have to kill you. You know...Ancient Chinese secret. Just kidding :) It is a family recipe, so I am not at liberty to dish it out. You can use this recipe, as it is similar to the Wonton Soup my Dad makes. See? I'm not that mean, am I?
Please excuse my messy kitchen. It's the painting that I am directing your attention to. Baby Bro is moving from the house he is renting with his university friends and I thought I'd make him a housewarming gift. After I painted it, I decided it might be too girlie for Baby Bro's house.
Since I've moved to the Island, I've had the fortune of seeing quite a few sundogs! In the city, I had never seen one. Heck, I had never even heard of a sundog! These extraordinary sights and shared moments with Hubby are among some of the many things I truly treasure now. It was Hubby who pointed out the sunset the other evening. This was the day before the lunar eclipse. While admiring the sunset, I noticed a bright pink-red beam of light shooting upward into the clouds. It was the first time I had seen a sundog like that! This is the view of the sundog from our living room window. Truly amazing!
Silly pets! You know by now that Chance loves sleeping in his crate with the door open. He wanted to go to sleep, but Spike was sleeping in his crate! Here's a photo of the two of them co-sleeping. What silly pets!
...And a partridge in a birch tree!
Thursday, February 21, 2008

Throwback Thursday #25



I've been feeling quite uninspired lately. I sometimes go through phases when I just don't feel in the mood to blog. Hopefully soon I'll come up with something newsworthy or even witty to write. For now, at least I still have Throwback Thursdays (thanks to the Throwback originators at Pinks & Blues)!

In this first photo, I was three months old. I had already relocated three times! I was born in Toronto, and Dad decided to move us to Trinidad and Tobago. We didn't last too long since Mom got homesick for her family. We then moved to Montreal, where I spent twenty three years of my life. Though I moved a lot after that, Montreal has always been 'home' for me.
I just love this photo of Dad and me. Check out the funky glasses! The 1970's = wacky fashion. When I was a teenager in the 1980's-1990's, I remember rifling through Mom's old clothes. She had platform shoes, hot pants, bell bottoms, tight jeans, jean jackets with peace signs and 'flower power' all over them and the coolest t-shirts. Mom kept all her old clothes for decades until not too long ago. I think she donated her cool clothes to the Salvation Army. I know I would never fit into her clothes, since she weighed 75 lbs when she got married. It would have been nice to keep them though. I love all that vintage stuff.

This next photo was taken in front of our church, St. Thomas-a-Becket in 1987. One of Mom's sisters is posing with me, along with my grandmother and grandfather. Whenever I see photos of my grandfather, I can't help but feel sad. He died when I was teaching in Japan and I wasn't able to make it to his funeral.

The above photo must have also been taken in 1987 because Baby Bro was still a baby. Middle Bro and I used to always fight over who got to carry Baby Bro or give him his bottle. Funny, I don't recall us ever fighting over who got to change his diaper!
Lastly, another photo in front of our church in Montreal. Check out how cute Baby Bro was! He's the little guy I'm carrying. I love that blue outfit he was wearing. So cute!

I remember being really ticked off because A) Mom cut my hair herself! Note the bowl cut? and B) I hated wearing dresses and I hated pink! Granted, the dress was peach, but it was still hideous. We always had to dress up for church, but for some reason, I think this was a special event. I don't quite remember what it was, but it must have been big for my cousin E3 to be wearing a tux and a little red bow tie!

**P.S. I knew I was forgetting something! I just realized that February 16th marked my 3rd year blogaversary! I can't believe it's been three years since I wrote my first post!**
Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Mac and Cheese Two Ways


Inspired by a wonderful recent post by Dina, a fellow blogger and close personal friend in real life, I decided to share two super easy mac and cheese recipes.


(Image from Google Images)

Homemade Macaroni and Cheese - the perfect comfort food. It's not the most figure friendly dish, but man, is it yummy! I serve it with a mixed green salad.

Ingredients:
  • about 2 cups of elbow macaroni
  • 2 cups shredded of sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated of Parmesan cheese
  • 3 cups of milk
  • 1/4 cup of butter
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons of butter (optional)
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs (optional)
  • 1 pinch paprika (optional)
  • 1 pinch of oregano (optional)
Directions:
  1. Cook macaroni according to the package directions. Drain.
  2. In a saucepan, melt butter or margarine over medium heat. Stir in enough flour to make a roux. Add milk to roux slowly, stirring constantly. Stir in cheeses, and cook over low heat until cheese is melted and the sauce is a little thick. Put macaroni in large casserole dish, and pour sauce over macaroni. Stir well.
  3. Melt butter or margarine in a skillet over medium heat. Add breadcrumbs and brown. Spread over the macaroni and cheese to cover. Sprinkle with a little paprika and oregano.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Serve. If you like things a little spicy, you can add a few drops of Tabasco Sauce or any other spicy red pepper sauce.
Tuna Mac and Cheese - another family favourite when time is of the essence. This dish is incredibly easy, and can be ready in minutes!

Ingredients:
  • about 2 cups of elbow macaroni
  • 2 cups shredded of sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated of Parmesan cheese
  • 3 cups of milk
  • 1/4 cup of butter
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
  • 1 green pepper, cubed into small pieces
  • 1 red pepper, cubed into small pieces
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 can of tuna (if you want more tuna, you can add another can)
Directions:
  1. Cook macaroni according to the package directions. Drain.
  2. In a saucepan, melt butter or margarine over medium heat. Stir in enough flour to make a roux. Add milk to roux slowly, stirring constantly. Stir in cheeses, and cook over low heat until cheese is melted and the sauce is a little thick. Put macaroni in large casserole dish, and pour sauce over macaroni. Stir well.
  3. Add red and green pepper, onion, and tuna. Mix together well. Serve. (This dish isn't a casserole dish, so you don't have to bake it in the oven)
One last thing:

Baby Bro is going to kill me if he sees this! On the weekend, Baby Bro's girlfriend and I were talking about Baby Bro's TV, film and commercial work since the start of his acting career at the age of seven. Of course, there were bit parts and being cast as an extra in a few Hollywood and made-for-TV movies. There were also the cheesy commercials. I'm not kidding. He was once in a "Cheese Strings" commercial. There were also the Kids' TV shows that he was on. For example, Are You Afraid of the Dark and Judy and David's Boom Box. Baby Bro sure is going to freak when he finds out that I've discovered this long lost gem! Baby Bro was one of the kids dancing in the "Be a Snake" video.
Monday, February 18, 2008

It's Been 7 Hours and 15 Days...


Not quite, but I have been MIA for a few days. It's been really crazy busy lately and BabyBro and his girlfriend drove up to the Island from K-town on Friday. They left five hours ago and I already miss them. I really miss my BabyBro. His visits are always too short.

He makes me so proud. Not only is he finishing up university (only to further his university career even more), he works at one of K-town's busiest eateries (to help pay for his school, rent, living expenses)and is involved in a lot of extra-curricular activities.

BabyBro was telling me about his university's TV program (run entirely by the students). There's a student at the university (Meagan Taylor) whose father had given her a million dollars to make her own music video, Rojo Caliente. Now, a lot of people (mostly her peers) have criticized her, so I checked out her music video on YouTube to see what all the fuss was about. BabyBro says that she's Queen's TV's most popular hit (Most popular hit as in generating the most hits on the internet and not in reference to how much people love her).


I was reading some of the comments people wrote. Some people can be so mean! I wasn't wowed by her music or the video, but wouldn't say anything mean about the girl. I love reggaeton and think that my cousin is a million times better than Rojo. Some have said that she (Meagan aka Rojo Caliente) could have done a lot more with the million dollars than use it to make a video. I can think of a lot of things I'd do with a million dollars.

Diesel and some of the witty members of the Humor-Blogs gang have launched a weekly online humor magazine. Gah! It feels weird to write "humor" and not "humour". I think these guys (and gals) are hilarious. Check them out ;)


Thursday, February 14, 2008

My heart belongs to two men...


It belongs to him...

and also to him!
Poor Chance. I don't know if you can see it in this photo, but his bottom lip was bleeding. I think he was playing with the snow and ice and got a little frozen :(

These are from Hubby. Though I love lilies, orchids and other flowers that are not so easy to find on the Island, I'm also quite traditional when it comes to flowers. I know roses and carnations are very cliché, but there's something so refreshing about the simplicity of the carnation. The carnation has become to me, a symbol of something that is not pretentious and a reminder of Hubby's love. It's simple (as in uncomplicated), strong, reliable, and sincere.

The pretty purple and white carnations are for me from Hubby. Hubby also got a bouquet of red ones for his mom and a bouquet of red for my mom :)

Happy Valentine's Day!!!
Wednesday, February 13, 2008

What do you eat in a week?



Photo from Google Images

I saw this on Jimmy's blog a few weeks ago and thought it was so interesting. I ended up e-mailing it to friends and family. It's amazing to actually see what we consume each week and how much we consume! What's also pretty sobering is how much (or how little) people in other countries eat in a week.

I wanted to take a picture of what our grocery haul looks like, but I kept forgetting about it. Curiosity Killer beat me to the punch and posted her one week grocery expenditure for a family of two in Hong Kong.


Since today was grocery day (and I remembered to take a photo for you), here it is! We just got the essentials this time. Today we got baby spinach for $5/ 2 packages. We usually get Clementines, cantaloupe, kiwis, bananas, berries, etc. I wanted strawberries and pineapple, but they were expensive this week. We've got raspberries from our farm in our freezer. We need to top up our calcium and vitamin D intake (hence all the dairy products and the vit-D fortified orange juice). As for meat, it was just salmon, tuna, etc. I married a beef farmer, so we have beef in the freezer throughout the year and don't need to buy much in the way of meat. I was going to get chicken, but couldn't believe how expensive it was. Maybe next week. Gosh! I must sound super cheap, right?? Hubby says I'm "frugal". I wasn't always this way...especially when I lived in the city.

*Note: This is for when it's just Hubby and myself. When we have students, our groceries double or even triple!*

Canada: The Hubby & C Family of two- on an island somewhere in the province of Ontario
Food Expenditure for one week: $63.87 CAD or $64.87 US
Favourite foods: Baked butternut squash with greens, fresh fruit salad, baked salmon with dill, Clementines, cheese lasagna, cream of broccoli soup and baby spinach/mixed greens salad with homemade Balsamic vinaigrette.


Germany : The Melander family of Bargteheide
Food expenditure for one week : 375.39 Euros or $500.07
Favorite foods : fried potatoes with onions, bacon and herring, fried noodles with eggs and cheese, pizza, vanilla pudding


United States : The Revis family of North Carolina
Food expenditure for one week : $341.98
Favorite foods : spaghetti, potatoes, sesame chicken


Japan : The Ukita family of Kodaira City
Food expenditure for one week : 37,699 Yen or $317.25
Favorite foods : sashimi, fruit, cake, potato chips


Italy : The Manzo family of Sicily
Food expenditure for one week : 214.36 Euros or $260.11
Favorite foods: fish, pasta with ragu, hot dogs, frozen fish sticks


Great Britain : The Bainton family of Cllingbourne Ducis
Food expenditure for one week : 155.54 British Pounds or $253.15
Favorite foods : avocado, mayonnaise sandwich, prawn cocktail, chocolate fudge cake with cream


Kuwait : The Al Haggan family of Kuwait City
Food expenditure for one wee k : 63.63 dinar or $221.45
Family recipe : Chicken biryani with basmati rice


Mexico : The Casales family of Cuernavaca
Food expenditure for one week : 1,862.78 Mexican Pesos or $189.09
Favorite foods : pizza, crab, pasta, chicken

China : The Dong family of Beijing
Food expenditure for one week : 1,233.76 Yuan or $155.06
Favorite foods: fried shredded pork with sweet and sour sauce

Poland : The Sobczynscy family of Konstancin-Jeziorna
Food expenditure for one week : 582.48 Zlotys or $151.27
Family recipe : Pig’s knuckles with carrots, celery and parsnips

United States : The Caven family of California
Food expenditure for one week : $159.18
Favoit foods : beef stew, berry yogurt sundae, clam chowder, ice cream

Egypt : The Ahmed family of Cairo
Food expenditure for one week : 387.85 Egyptian Pounds or $68.53
Family recipe : Okra and mutton

Mongolia : The Batsuuri family of Ulaanbaatar
Food expenditure for one week : 41,985.85 togrogs or $40.02
Family recipe : Mutton dumplings

Ecuador : The Ayme family of Tingo
Food expenditure for one week : $31.55
Family ripe : Potato soup with cabbage

Bhutan : The Namgay family of Shingkhey Village
Food expenditure for one week : 224.93 ngultrum or $5.03
Family recipe: Mushroom, cheese and pork

Chad : The Aboubakar family of Breidjing Camp
Food expenditure for one week : 685 CFA Francs or $1.23
Favorite foods : soup with fresh mutton

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Free Rice


Because I'm such a nerd, I find myself drawn to word games. Yes, I'm addicted to Scrabble and Scrabulous. Friends and family hate playing with me. I admit, my love for words is sometimes a bit frightening. Some people like Sudoku...and then there are people like me who are no good at solving math problems. I suppose this is why I became an English teacher. I'm not saying that English teachers aren't good at math. I'm not good at math! My ten-year old niece keeps trying to teach me how to solve Sudoku problems. I just can't wrap my brain around it. To me, it's like trying to solve that Rubik's Cube puzzle! Thank you, but I'll stick to my word problems.

I found this site called Free Rice. According to the site, for each word you get correct, 20 grains of rice will be donated through the United Nations to help end world hunger. Anyway, I was curious and tried my hand at the the quiz. I'm always curious to see just how good (or bad) my knowledge of vocabulary is.

On Free Rice you are given words and you must choose the proper meaning. You will be given a list of four words or phrases and you just click on the one you think is correct. For example:
deign means:
lower oneself
fail
relax
caress

If you chose "lower oneself" then you answered correctly and you will be given another question. It's pretty neat and if you remember your root words or have some knowledge of Latin, French, Spanish (and other similar languages), it makes it easier to choose the correct answer.

Apparently, I "donated" 9040 grains of rice. My vocab level was 40 and my best level was 40. I don't know how vocabulary is scored, but it was an interesting quiz. I was going to continue, but work kind of cuts into internet time. Phooey!

Just so you know just how much of a nerd I am, I used some of the skills I teach my ESL students. For the words I wasn't sure of, I broke them down, found the roots, prefixes, suffixes, origins (Latin, French, etc) and then tried to put them together. For example, with the word pilosity I remembered that pil is related to hair or fur and the -osity part signified the quantity of something or an abundance of something. I guessed that it meant hairiness and that was the correct answer. The same went for the word bonhomie. In French, bon means good. The -homie sounded a lot like ami/amie (friend), so I guessed that bonhomie meant good-fellowship.

For lack of anything interesting to post for you today, here are a few photos.
A few years ago, one of my Swiss students did his presentation on "the health benefits of chocolate". He went on to say that pure cocoa is good for your health, so you should have a piece of chocolate every day! Nice!

Of course, he talked about how it's the milk chocolate and white chocolate that aren't that great for you. Darn! I don't like dark chocolate!

Anyway, Hubby likes hot drinks in the winter and we were looking for alternatives to hot apple cider, coffee and hot chocolate. The hot apple cider has LOTS of sugar. The hot chocolate also has lots of sugar. Coffee? Well, if you've been reading my blog for a while, you already know about the weird adverse effect coffee has on me.
My truly amazing sister-in-law brought us some goodies over the holidays. In the above photo, you will see some cinnamon sticks, cinnamon leaves and some chocolate (cocoa) balls. These ingredients are used to make 'chocolate tea'...or as Hubby and my uncle call it, 'real' hot chocolate! My uncle is a hot cocoa connoisseur and he only drinks the 'good' stuff. When we were in Montreal, he showed us how to make this hot drink. This should be a good alternative. Pure cocoa is supposed to be better for your health. Right?

You will need:
3 cups of water
1 cinnamon stick
1 cinnamon leaf
1 ball of cocoa

Bring all ingredients to a boil. Strain and put into coffee mugs. You can add sugar, nutmeg and/or milk if you wish. I forgot to strain my chocolate tea and I didn't add anything to it. For all you dark chocolate lovers out there, I don't know how you do it. That stuff is STRONG! I ended up putting just a wee bit of sugar and milk and it was delicious.

Check out how dark that drink is! I don't know if I'm a loyal fan of this drink yet. Perhaps it's an acquired taste. I don't really want to put sugar in my drinks and dark chocolate is so strong. Maybe this will teach me a lesson. Forget trying to find the perfect hot drink and just drink more water.

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About the Blog Author


City girl moves to the country, falls in love, and marries a farmer. She tries to incorporate her city ways with her new country lifestyle and blogs to keep in touch with friends, family & students who live far, far away :) Can this city girl go country? Watch as she learns all sorts of exciting things about life on the farm and in a small rural community. *UPDATE* We are now parents! Our baby girl was born on Nov. 11, 2008 (at 28 weeks gestation- 12 weeks premature, but she's quite the trooper)!!!
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Life on Manitoulin: Just a bunch of ramblings from a city girl gone country!

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