Friday, November 29, 2013

Tassimo T55: Unlock a Perfect Cup this Holiday Season | Cyber Monday Giveaway

Although we celebrated last month in Canada, I would like to wish a Happy Thanksgiving to all of my American friends and readers. I hope you have had an opportunity to spend time with your loved ones and truly reflect on all that you are thankful for. Every year, my mother in law heads to Washington to do her Christmas shopping at all the Black Friday sales, and for good reason. Black Friday shopping is amazing and now with the inclusion of Cyber Monday, the entire weekend ends up being a bit of a shopping extravaganza, no matter where you live.

This year, the fine folks from Tassimo invited me to 'Unlock a Perfect Cup this Holiday Season' by sending me one of their new T55 brewers and a selection of T-disc's to try out in my home.

And we are also going to be giving one lucky Momma Stuff Blog reader their own opportunity to 'Unlock a Perfect Cup this Holiday Season' with a brand new Tassimo T55, delivered right to your doorstep.
The Tassimo T55 is a one cup brewing machine that can make a variety of delicious beverages such as coffee, lattes, hot chocolate and tea. Although there are others on the market, the Tassimo uses intellibrew barcode technology, which reads the barcode on each tdisc to ensure that the machines brews your beverage perfectly. The barcode tells the machine the exact temperature, cup size and brewing time to make your bevvie delicious, every time. I love watching the machine create the soft foam on the top of an americano (one of my personal favourites).

Unfortunately, with my recent move to Kamloops and delivery schedules, I haven't had much of a chance to try out my new T55 brewer, but this new features an enhanced slide-control cup stand for added stability as well as a built in water filtration system. I'll keep you posted on any other features that I love as I begin using it on a daily basis.

One of the most common comments I hear regarding the Tassimo is with regard to the waste generated by the T-discs and I must admit that as an environmentalist it is certainly a concern. Fortunately, Terracycle provides recycling opportunities and they pay for the shipping to their warehouse. I set up a Tassimo recycling brigade in my old office and we collected over 1300 Tdiscs in only three months.

But I digress, in celebration of Cyber Monday, we are giving away a Tassimo T55 and a selection of tdiscs to one lucky reader. This giveaway is only open for the weekend, so  enter using the rafflecopter below RIGHT NOW!

I was provided with a Tassimo T55 and a selection of tdiscs for the purposes of this post, however all opinions are my own.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, November 24, 2013

And so, it begins

It’s almost 9am on Sunday morning and I’m still in my Pyjamas, drinking coffee and listening to Adele. There are no cartoons on the TV, no one vying for my attention, I hear no screaming and there are no tears in sight. It’s peaceful and after four and a half years of parenthood, it feels completely foreign.

Is this what it’s like to be single?

I had a cookie with my breakfast, and I didn’t have to hide it from anybody. I slept until 8am without guilt, and I’m planning to nap later. Today’s plans include trying to find a solution for the lack of wifi in my apartment (seriously!), picking up some essentials for the apartment and perhaps going for a little run, but it sure looks cold out there, so we will see.

I only arrived in Kamloops yesterday afternoon and although I’m embracing this ‘single life’ without my boys, I miss them like crazy.

This peaceful morning feels empty without all the snuggles and cuddles and kisses that come along with the tears and frustration of children and the warm embrace of my husband. I’m not sure how I’m going to survive the next 5 days without them and worse, I’m not sure how I’m going to continue to repeat the cycle of being without them 4 days a week for the next month or so.

I believe life is about the journey and THIS is the start of our family’s adventure; we just have to take it a day a time and before we know it we WILL have found our balance.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Quinoa Curry Soup | A gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, nut-free recipe

Quinoa Curry Soup
Although making the decision to accept a job in Kamloops, has thrown our entire life into a tailspin of the unknown, it also seems to have brought me some peace. I know this is true, because I've been cooking.

The day after I accepted the job, I baked cookies and yesterday as I chopped, stirred and simmered while listening to the words of Mackelmore I found a sense of serenity in the process that I haven't felt in ages. And this, despite the fact that I was creating food, to take with me, when I leave my family behind, albeit temporarily.

This soup is delightful. It's only slightly adapted from Janet and Greta Podleski's Multigutawnski soup and despite the presence of a slightly curry flavour, quinoa and apples my husband loves it, as does everyone whom I've ever fed it to. This soup is flavourful but not overwhelming, light but filling and the smell is delectable.
Making quinoa Curry Soup

After over four years of cooking for children, I tend to chop my vegetables small so that its easy to eat, and in this particular case I don't find it has any negative effect on texture. The quinoa, chicken and apples add complexity; there's no need to worry about cutting all your veggies around the same size. I actually cut my celery as small as possible because the hubs dislikes it, but I know it adds a lot of flavour that I don't want to lose out on.

Quinoa Curry Soup
(Slightly Adapted from The Looneyspoons Collection by Janet and Greta Podleski)
gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, nut-free

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1 cup diced onions
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 lb of boneless, skinless chicken thighs (approx 6)
  • 1.5 tsp grated ginger
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1- 540ml can diced tomatoes (I like Alymers accents, olive oil and garlic)
  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 large apple peeled and chopped
  • 1 - 400ml can coconut milk*
  1. Heat oil over medium-high heat, and sautee vegetables and garlic until tender and softened. About 6 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, thinly slice (approximately 5mm) the chicken thighs lengthwise. You should end up with strips of chicken thigh.
  3. Add chicken to the softened vegetables and cook until the chicken is no longer pink.
  4. Add ginger and spices and cook until fragrant and the chicken, vegetables are well coated. (2-3 minutes)
  5. Add chicken broth, tomatoes, quinoa, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
  6. Add chopped apple and simmer 5 more minutes, until the apple is tender but not mushy.
  7. Add coconut milk and simmer 1 more minute.
  8. ENJOY!
*The original recipe calls for 3/4 cup of light coconut milk, so feel free to reduce the amount or fat content to your liking, but I use a whole can of regular coconut milk.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

A different type of Monday

I just finished making lunches for my boys, a perfectly normal, Sunday night task. But tomorrow is not just any Monday, its the first Monday of the rest of our lives.

My husband is now unemployed, by choice. After nearly 7 years as a public servant, I'm moving to the private sector and will be financially responsible for my family, at a job that I will start in a week. I've always been a working mom to my boys, but THIS, it changes things.

It's going to change our entire family dynamic. My boys will learn to NEED their dad, to get their comfort from their dad, their dad is about to become their new constant. Without question, it's going to be horrible for everyone, for a while.

But then my boys will get into a groove and a rhythm and they'll learn to get along just fine, without me around. And although I want that for them, so bad, it still makes me just a tiny bit sad. My babies won't ever need me, the same way they do now.

But, knowing my husband is caring for my children, in combination with an opportunity to feed my pursuit of knowledge, learn a new job and a new industry while providing for my family is a trade-off I'll take in a heartbeat.

I'm excited. Excited for the adventure my family is about to embark on and I'm excited to learn.

Tomorrow is the start of everything new and I can't wait to see how this story unfolds.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Finding Our BETTER Than Good Enough

Back in August, after a  particularly difficult couple of weeks I asked When is Good-ish Not Good Enough? And the ever amazing Julie Nowell told me "Good-ish is never good enough sweetie" and in  my heart, I knew she was right.

That simple statement and her related post made me realize that staying stagnant and doing what we're doing, simply because we always have, is far from the only option. It may take time, effort, tears and a little will-power but we can change our lives.

This was a turning point for me, particularly because just as this revelation was becoming clear, a life changing opportunity was in the midst of landing squarely in my lap.

If you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, then you already know the news; we are moving to Kamloops.

I have accepted a job (still in the Environmental field, something I can feel passionate and good about) that is going to afford us the opportunity to buy a large house with property and allow my husband to be home with with the boys. I will work four, ten hour days, and although those days will be long, it also means a 3 day week with my family, every week.

My boys will have space to play and roam, my husband won't have the stress of working the 9-5 grind (though time will tell how he will cope with the stress of little boys all day) and we will have the opportunity to grow together as a family.

We are going to miss our friends and family in Vancouver like crazy and it feels like a huge risk to leave both our permanent jobs behind (for a two year contract), but when life presents you with an opportunity to change everything, and you're living in the hurricane of chaos, sometimes you just have to jump in with both feet and hold on for the ride.