Aloe Plant Diagnostic

So I have this aloe plant, and it used to be very happy. But recently it’s been looking worse for wear.

You can see it’s had better days

So you can see that the leaves aren’t plump and juicy. Also there appears to be browning on the offshoots, and the lower leaves are totally dying.

I’m going to be re-potting it this weekend hopefully, so I will update this post when I do that. But after some research, there appears to be a couple of problems:

  1. It needs to be repotted in the appropriate soil. Cactus/succulent mix is what it needs, and I will need to check on the drainage situation as well.
  2. Light: We recently moved, so I’m not sure if its getting enough light. The light it receives is southern, but I’m not sure if its enough so time will tell I suppose. I’m also planning to move it outside once this yucky spring weather eases up, and I think that will make it happy.
  3. Brown and shrivelled leaves = thirsty plant: I guess I haven’t been watering it enough? If you insert your finger and inch deep into the soil and it’s dry, it’s time to water it.

That’s all I got for now! I will update later on to see how the repotting goes!

Lazy Girl Cheese Bread

There are a few foods that I could eat every day for the rest of my life, and cheese bread is definitely one of those. It’s got my two favourite things in it, carbs.. and cheese! You couldn’t ask for more!!

Navigating the grocery store has been really tough recently. I’m finding it stressful in general to visit, let alone struggling to find the ingredients I need to cook or bake with. I’ve especially had a tough time finding yeast to bake bread with, which is what inspired this recipe!

Since this recipe uses no yeast, the bread comes out with a more corn-bready texture, but its still delicious! We still use it for sandwiches, toast, ect. It’s also super versatile. The spices I added to it are how we like it, but feel free to add/remove whatever your family prefers!

Alright, enough babbling.. lets get to the good stuff!

Lazy Girl Cheese Bread

Prep: 15 minute
Cook: 35
Ready In: 50

Ingredients

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/8 cup white sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 egg, beaten
1 cup milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2-3 sliced and seeded jalapeños

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease 9×5 loaf pan.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, spices and cheese. In another bowl, whisk together egg, milk and oil. Remove seeds from both jalapeños. Dice one into small pieces, and cut other in circles.
  3. Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture, and add diced jalapeños. Stir just until moistened. Pour batter into the prepared pan. Place the circular jalapeño slices atop the batter.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the loaf comes out clean.

Voila! So easy, pretty and delicious.

And that’s all there is to it! Such an easy bread recipe to make if you are running low on time or can’t find any yeast. Did you make it? Let me know what you think in the comments!

A girl, a dog, and mental health

When we first discussed getting a puppy, we were hesitant. The familiar arguments circled around us.. “It’s a lot of responsibility”.. “They’re expensive”… “We don’t have the space”… “You have to train it”.. We thought of every reason why we were not in the right spot in life to get a puppy. But then, during one of our casual sessions of looking at puppies online, we found one that called to us. So, somewhat impulsively, we decided to go for it.

And that’s how Turtle came to be.

Turtle is my best friend in the whole world. She is now two years old, and just as much as a monster as the first day we brought her home. She doesn’t realize it, but she helps keep me grounded everyday. Even before all of the COVID19 business, she played such an important role in my mental health. Now with me being stuck inside, unemployed, and scared about the future, she helping me stay grounded more than ever.

Her need for routine helps me keep a routine. I am one of those people who thrives on routine and a schedule. It could be the Capricorn in me, or that I’m just a nut. But I need routine to keep me balanced, grounded, and happy.

But, with COVID19, I am no longer working.. It would be so easy to fall into the trap of late nights, eating sporadically, and doing whole lot of nothing with my days. But that is where my dog comes in. For her, it’s just another day. Another day where she needs her morning walk, her breakfast, her evening walk, and lots of snuggles of course. She is unwavering with these needs, and she doesn’t understand that things are different right now. She has a set routine, and it needs to be met. This rigidness has helped me stick to somewhat normalcy. She wakes me up every morning. She gets me out of the house at least twice a day for (safe and socially distant) walks. Her feeding times help me stick to mine. Not to mention her boundless optimism, energy and love. In her world, nothing as changed, so we continue to carry on as normal.. something that we can find especially tough to do right now given these times of fear, anxiety and uncertainty.

Dogs are tough, and a lot of responsibility. But they also give back tenfolds in love and kindness. I have learned a lot from my dog, and I am especially grateful for her right now. I wish I could express to her all that she’s done for me.. But I guess in its place I’ll give her lots of cuddles and lovings instead.

Meet Turtle

Lemon Lentil Soup

In case you haven’t noticed, I am on this lemon kick. I can’t get enough lemon!

This recipe is one of my go-to’s when I am looking for something easy, healthy and filling. This recipe uses ingredients that you almost always have on hand! I always double this soup because the leftovers are just as delicious and great for school or work lunches!

Ingredients

  • 3 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 TBSP tomato paste
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper, or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. chili powder, or to taste
  • 4 cups vegetable broth (can use chicken if you prefer!)
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 2-3 carrots, diced
  • 2 TBSP lemon juice, or to taste
  • fresh cilantro, to taste
  • extra virgin olive oil for drizzling

Directions
1. Heat 3 TBSP. of olive oil in large pot over medium heat. Stir in onion and garlic and cook until onion is soft, about 7 minutes. Stir in tomato paste, cumin, kosher salt, black pepper, and 1/4 tsp. of chili powder. Cook and stir until spices are fragrant.

I aways love photographing the spices all together.. the colours just speak to me!

2. Stir in vegetable broth, lentils, and carrot. Bring to a boil over high heat, and then reduce heat to medium-low. Cover, and simmer until the lentils are soft, about 30 minutes.

3. Using an immersion blender, puree soup directly in pot. Make sure to not puree all the soup. Leave some chunky bits!

4. Stir in lemon juice and cilantro, and season to taste. Drizzle with olive oil to serve.

And thats all there is to it! Let me know how it turns out!

Recipe adapted from:
https://armagazine.com/34vSYtT

Easy Lemon Loaf

During one of the many hours I’ve spent scrolling through Instagram, I came across a New York Times Cooking post about a lemon poppy seed loaf. It looked amazing, and I instantly needed to make it. However, I had neither the many lemons required, nor the poppyseeds. Not to be deterred, I decided to make some form of a lemon poppy seed loaf!

This recipe is super easy to make, and only requires 1 lemon to make it! It’s lemon flavour is very mild, and the loaf is not too sweet. Enjoy, and let me know in the comments your thoughts!

Easy Lemon Loaf

6 TBSP butter, melted

1 cup white sugar

1/2 cup milk (Non-dairy alternatives work just as well!)

2 eggs

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking powder

Grated lemon zest (I used the zest of an entire lemon, 3/4 of it in the batter, the last 1/4 for sprinkling on top)

4TBSP lemon juice (from the lemon or concentrate)

4 TBSP icing sugar

  1. Grease a loaf pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C)
  2. In a large bowl, combine melted butter or margarine and sugar. Add eggs, and mix until light and fluffy. Add milk, baking powder, and 3/4 of lemon zest. Mix well. Sift flour, and gradually add to mixture; mix to just combine. Top with remaining 1/4 of lemon zest.
  3. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
  4. While bread is baking, combine lemon juice and confectioners’ sugar in dish. Stir well before using.
  5. Immediately upon removing bread from oven, place pan on a cooling rack. Using a large fork, poke holes all over the bread. Pour lemon juice mixture over the top of the bread. Cool for 15 minutes, and then remove from pan.

Voila! There’s nothing to it. The perfect cake for tea time, breakfast, or a tasty snack. Let me know what you think in the comments!

Isn’t she beautiful

Non-Alcoholic Beer Review: Part 1

Within the last couple of months we made the decision to quit drinking. We were noticing that we were drinking way too often, and way too much. Coupled with having a family member pass away due to liver failure and drinking, we came to the difficult choice to quit for the foreseeable future.

However, we love beer and drinking. Quitting has been really tough. What’s been the most difficult for us is hanging out with friends (pre-social distancing of course). Seeing other people drinking made us feel like we were sticking out like a sore thumb. So, we decided to try some non-alcoholic beer!

We picked a tough time to explore the world of non-alcoholic beer. We are currently limited to our local grocery store where the pickings are slim. Depending on the circumstances, we might venture to our local LCBO/Beer Store to see what we can find there.

But that being said, for our first foray into the non-alcoholic beverage world, we are coming across some beers that we really like! Check out the list below to see what we’ve tried so far!

TL;DR: Becks Non-alcoholic 0.0 and Heinkein 0.0 are our favourites so far.

  1. Clausthaler
    0.0%
    Bottled (But it does come in cans if you prefer!)
    Ingredients: water, barley malt, hop extract, carbon dioxide
    Website blurb (LCBO): Award-winning non-alcohol lager that’s brewed in accordance with the German Beer Purity Law. Crafted with the finest ingredients and a brewing method that reduces the alcohol but not the flavour. Crisp, lightly sweet bread notes, smooth palate, balanced by grassy hops. 

    Thoughts: This one we were NOT fans of. It tastes okay initially, but proceeds to have a really funky aftertaste. My husband compared it to a laker ice.. so if you enjoy those then you would probably like this beer! Would I buy again? Definitely not.

  2. Coors Edge
    0.5%
    Can
    Ingredients:
    Beer, natural flavours, contains barely
    Website blurb (LCBO): Double-brewed for authentic taste in the Coors tradition, experience the North American-style lager Coors Edge. A refreshing golden lager with that classic Coors taste but without the alcohol, ensuring that you’ll always be in the moment.

    Thoughts: This beer was OK. It wasn’t unpleasant, but it wasn’t amazing either. I was expecting this to taste similar to a Coors Banquet, but I didn’t really get that flavour from it. I drank two in one night and ended up being SUPER bloated (TMI, sorry!) so I didn’t love that aspect of it. I’m also partial to beer in a bottle, so I also didn’t like that it only came in cans. But, this all being said, I did enjoy the flavour and would probably buy it again.

  3. Heineken 0.0
    0.0%
    Bottle (But it does come in cans if you prefer!)
    Ingredients: water, malted barley, hop extract, natural flavourings, yeast
    Website blurb (LCBO): Great Taste Zero Alcohol. Crafted by the master brewers for the beer drinker that is unwilling to compromise on taste. All natural, zero alcohol beer that delivers all of the quality you expect from Heineken. Enjoy its soft, malty, toasted grain and refreshing fruit character. 

    Thoughts: Okay, weirdly enough I enjoyed the non-alcoholic version better than I did the regular kind. I guess that because the ingredients are different, the beer tastes different as well. I always found the original Heineken to be overrated, but I very much enjoyed this beer. I like that it’s 0.0%, and I like that it comes in bottles. The taste is delicious and tastes exactly like a “regular beer” tastes. Its nice to find an option where you don’t have to compromise flavour in the non-alcoholic version. Not very unique in terms of flavour, but a tried and true classic that you can always turn to. I will definitely be buying again in the future.

  4. Becks Non-Alcoholic 0.0
    0.0%
    Bottle
    Ingredients:
    barely, hops, yeast and water
    Web blurb (TBS): Brewed under the German purity law of 1516, only after the brewing process is complete is the alcohol removed, producing the distinct, crisp, clear taste you would expect from Becks bier, but without the alcohol.

    Thoughts: Again a really tasty option. I don’t think I’ve ever tried the original Becks, so I can’t speak to how it compares, but I really enjoyed this beer. It’s very easy to drink with your classic “beer flavour” to it. I also like that it only has four ingredients. Again, not very unique in terms of flavour, but a classic beer that is very easy drinking. We will be buying this one in the future.

Well, that’s all I’ve got for now! Are there any non-alcoholic beers that I you think I absolutely must try? Any local/craft breweries make non-alcoholic beers that I need to try? Let me know in the comments!