Dehydrator: sundried tomato recipe

Sundried tomatoes are one of my all time favorite foods. I’ve put them in all sorts of dishes and I will often be caught eating them strait from the jar. But they’re so expensive…even at costco a jar costs upwards of $9.

Anyway as a few of you know I’ve been searching for a new hobby. I knew I love food and cooking and the other day I had some salmon jerky…and ka-ching! I want to try making dehydrated foods.

I opted to buy a new machine since I got paid and it’s 2016 so why not treat myself right? I spent $64 at Canadian Tire for a Salton Food Dehydrator.
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Firstly I knew I wanted to experiment since this is a new hobby and I want to have fun. Therefore I tried the tomatoes three different ways: 1) I cut them lengthwise in half 2) I cut them in half, not lengthwise and 3) I quartered them. With this I’ve created my own (very basic) recipe. Here it is:

Ingredients:
Tomatoes: I used cherry tomatoes because I love them
Optional: salt, pepper, basil, olive oil

Instructions:
Cut tomatoes, put in a bowl, toss in a small amount of olive oil, a pinch or two of salt, pepper, basil as desired. Next lay them in your dehydrator with the skin of the tomato down so the wet seedy part is facing upwards.

Very simple, I know.

They turned out wonderfully. However I did learn that the best cut of tomato is horizontally…quarters were much too small. Good luck!

Have you ever dehydrated food? Looking forward to hearing from you all.

Our obsession with technology 

Over the weekend we had a huge storm which blew out cell phone towers and knocked out power for hours. This gave me a lot of time to think about how reliant we are on technology.

When driving to work I see several people looking at their crotch, I assume on their phones. When waiting at the doctors office, everyone sits and stares down at their phones. I see people pull out phones when they’re eating meals with loved ones. I see teenagers charging their phones at malls, others walking into traffic while texting.

Technology has been used for awhile now, but I feel like it’s getting out of control now more than ever. Why do we need to scroll through our Facebook feed 27 times an hour? We don’t.

I believe technology is taking away from social opportunities and perhaps the sense of community we’re to feel in public spaces. I remember riding the bus when I moved to the city, when people chatted and joked, which made me feel a sense of community. I loved meeting people when waiting for a table at a restaraunt or making small talk while in a line up. These times are no more.

Whenever I am in public, I try to make an effort to put my phone away and connect with strangers around me. This doesn’t mean following people around yammering, ha! Even smiling at others as you walk by, or looking to make eye contact on the bus. Let’s be honest though, no ones perfect, almost everyone has some sort of technology these days and we’re all guilty for checking a text at the dinner table, or reading as we walk down the street. But why? It’s as if it’s a strange addiction. What caused this?!

How is your community doing for technology use? Is it a problem?any advice for those over-users? How can we improve?

Bubble wrapping playgrounds: why?

Why are we protecting our children from failure?

Yesterday I was at a playground and noticed they’ve taken out all the “unsafe” play equipment or modified it to be “safe”. The firemans pole now has platforms(photo below), the climbing walls are now stairs with railings and god forbid they leave a tree standing near the playground in case kids decide to climb a tree!

This is such a disappointment…I mean it’s one thing to make it so children can’t fail inside the classroom, but now outside during play?! Play should be filled with experiments, risks and learning how to challenge yourself and body. When I was a child we played for hours on end, unsupervised, in a large dirt area filled with “unsafe” hazards such a tall trees to climb, fences, animals, a stream & prickle bushes, etc. Our playgrounds were wooden, slippery, tricky to climb, and yes, we fell off them all the time. But here I am, alive and well!

Instead it seems we are failing our children. Children need to fail! Failure develops character and resistance. Life is filled with bad and good times, success and failure…so why on earth are we setting our kids up to expect success? They need to learn to work for success and prepare and know how to deal with things when they don’t go so well. The toddlers I work with have mastered the playground which states it’s meant for children 5-12 years old. This is a prime example that we are not challenging our children and therefore we are hindering their development.

Besides the whole overuse of cellphones we see these days, I would say this is the most concerning trend within our generation. Kids expect to have things given to them, rather than knowing they need to earn it.

I see this all the time at work since I work with kids and from watching young adults in our society. I’d love to hear your take on this…do you see it? What’s your experience? How can we change this? Do we need to? What’s the future like for these kids?

❤️

Off roading tips: Part 1

Good morning friends! This weekend my boyfriend took me off roading in his big bumpy truck, wow was that interesting! Sounded like a stereotypical “man” thing, where a bunch of dudes get together and drive around in mud…my expectations were met. I wasn’t sure I’d like it since speed…trucks…and cliffs aren’t my cup of tea but despite that, I had some fun! But I have some tips for all you off roaders:

1. Ladies…wear a sports bra. No, really I mean YOU WILL REGRET IT if you don’t. I don’t have big ones but boy did my tits bounce around to the beat of those bumps.

2. Don’t look at the pretty purple flowers because the next thing you know you’ll be bounced off your seat, smoking your head on the ceiling of the vehicle.

That’s all for now, very useful I promise! I hope you had a weekend filled with fun(and perhaps less bumps!)

Despite thrashing around for 6 hours, the view at the top was pretty epic

Reading Goals 

Oh how I love a good book. I was raised by a librarian which means I was constantly being read books and always had books in my room. I love reading, and I think it’s such a vital way to create a happy life. I believe reading is so valuable, starting when people are young.

My reading goal for 2015 is to read 20 books

READ(12)
1. The 9th Girl by Tami Hoag
2. Gone by Lisa Gardner
3. Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
4. The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty
5. Burying Water by K.A Tucker
6. Becoming Rain by K.A Tucker
7. Ten Tiny Breaths by K.A Tucker
8. One Tiny Lie by K.A Tucker
9. In Her Wake by K.A Tucker
10. The Sky is Falling by Kit Pearson
11. Looking at the Moon by Kit Pearson
12. Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda

TO READ:
1. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
2. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne

Beyond the two books on my “to read” list, I need some suggestions! Which books are your favorites? Least favorites? Books books books! Advice wanted!

Indulge in you time 

Today, for the first time in five months I have a weekend day all to myself. No boyfriend, no friends, no family and no commitments. Being a slight introvert…this excites me! I am thrilled to have me time all day, do what I want and just indulge. We all need alone time, time to be independent… Here are my tips for you when you have a You Day.

1. Eat. Eat whatever you want. Go buy the ingredients, cook it, bake it, or go to your favorite restaraunt and eat! I’m still working up the courage to go into a sit down establishment alone and eat but I’m getting to the point of being able to. If you can, do it! Next, you want chocolate? Wine? More chocolate? Good, have some.

2. Do something you love doing alone. For me, that’s thrift shopping. Oh how I love wandering the store looking for clothing that stands out, a book I’ve been wanting to read. And chances are, everything will be under $5. Beautiful. Maybe you like walking, exercising, sleeping, praying, taking photos, well this is your time.

3. Watch whatever you want. I’m generally very opposed to screen time but let’s be honest, it’s gonna happen. I plan to watch some Orange is the New Black, or House Hunters shows. Haha bad tv, I know I know.

Although the past five months have been so busy and filled with fun, I do need some me time. As much as I want to jump my boyfriends bones, it will be good for us to be apart for a day. What do you do on You Days? Do you enjoy alone time or is it something you fear? What would you do for one day if you had absolutely no plans and no one to be with? Looking forward to hearing from you!

the whole home ownership thing 

I just had my birthday, meaning I’m now legal to drink everywhere…woohoo. But anyway this got me thinking about my future a little more than usual. I’ve been thinking and owning a house/my own place is something very appealing to me. I think it would teach me a lot, as let’s be honest I don’t know how to take care of a house or what to do when a leak happens. I’ve just started understanding what a mortage is, and it makes me want to work towards owning something instead of paying rent. I currently pay about $600 for rent every month which is VERY low for where I live. In my mind that $600 would be better spent towards my mortage. Plus I want a home…which I feel like I’m lacking (I live in a house with 5 smelly guys). But a few problems:

1) I live in one of the top two most expensive cities in this country. Seriously, my budget would be $180,000 and all that will get me is a box in the sky(apartment), with about 600sq feet. Painful I know.

2) The market is getting worse, and worse! I’m worried if I wait much longer that there will be no more homes within my budget. This may seem drastic but seriously, a year ago I could’ve got something significantly larger for $180,000.

Do you own a place? Rent? What are the challenges you have faced? Opinions? Do I wait, or buy now? Help!