Will you be watching the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Summer Olympic games this Friday?
Rowing always has been and still is my favourite event to watch at the Summer Olympics. I think of my many years of rowing (DaddyO rowed too!) and still get teary-eyed watching the shells and sculls race down their lanes. I can feel every ounce of the adrenaline; I completely understand what they are going through. That said, I also love to watch the little gymnasts tumble up a fury, divers nail precision... or the volleys of our teams on the beach and indoor.
Since our household will be glued to the festivities, I have planned a dinner of fun and easy eats to celebrate summer and sport! I was recently chosen to be a 'Life Made Delicious Connector', so that means I'll be exploring a website full of delicious recipes by General Mills! Please join me on this journey of food and fun...
This is how we'll begin our Olympic Menu... a little kick to get things warmed up! :
While boating around Lake Minnewanka recently, we realized there are some pretty sweet back country camping spots. Normally, one would be able to hike to these spots (approximately 18km), but currently a section on that hike is closed due to bear activity. So that means, you can only get to these camping spots by boat... and our little boat has just enough oompf to get us there!
The first rule to boating out 18 or so kilometres and not wanting to do many trips in or out, is to bring only what you will need. The boat cannot be too loaded down so, this is not the trip for multiple sweaters or even multiple pairs of pants. For four individuals, this can be tricky. Items of clothing suggested: 1 pair of good shoes, 1 pair of long pants (even better if they are shorts too), 1 t-shirt, 1 long sleeved shirt, 1 good raincoat or light jacket, 2 pairs of socks. Other items that may make the list: bathing suit, hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, bug repellent and undergarments. We packed our clothing in two medium sized dry sacs. (Easily purchased where boating supplies are sold.)
We knew we would have a firepit on the site, but we also knew we had a lot of rain in the forecast. Unsure if we'd be capable of cooking out, we brought along our 12 yrs old Coleman stove. Add in a frying pan, a small pot, some utensils, plates and cups in a bucket (to wash some dishes in). One cooler with food and a few other - never hurts to have it items - a tarp, rope or twine, small radio, candles, matches and lighters. One tent, 4 sleeping bags and we were off!
Pulleys for hanging food were provided.
Please Note: Good back country etiquette is to follow the rules. Do not believe for one second that you are above the rules. Just follow them. Purchase the 'Wilderness Pass' ($31) from Banff National Park and register your site and who will be camping. This helps the park know who is currently using the park and when to expect you back. If your car still sits in the parking lot days after your expected return, someone may come looking for you. ;) Remain in Groups of 4 and do not bring your dog (they'll run a bear right back to you, clever pup!).
Be sure you are equipped with bear spray, bells, and bangers and know how to use them. This IS bear country and we are guests in their environment. That means taking out all garbage brought in, hanging your food/garbage when you will not be around it, keeping your cooking areas and sleeping areas separate (as per the diagram from 'Hiking and Backpacking' by Marni Goldenberg and Bruce Martin) and hey, don't forget to sing loudly wherever you go!
Enjoy being at one with nature! We were the only four people in the whole world for 24hrs and it was very relaxing.
Camping meals are a rather planned event as it's a little hard to 'wing it' in the wilderness. This past weekend, we took the kids camping and our dinner consisted of "Campers Bean Stew" (Read: Beans & Wieners). Now, I am not complaining about the foods we chose to eat; however, I recalled an article by my friend Merry about how there were more glamorous ways to do camping fare than the traditional burger or dog. That sparked a memory of something my Grandmother used to make for us when I camped as a child, and I think it'll make our list of things to eat our next camping trip out.
Salmon Cakes. Much less like cake than it sounds, but a great way to use canned salmon or even a salmon caught on the lake. The ingredients are minimal (perfect for camping), yet tasty and a frying pan is all that is needed.
1 Can Pink Salmon, de-boned
1 Cup of Bread Crumbs or 2 slices of bread crumbled
1 tsp of grapeseed, canola oil or melted butter
1 chopped apple
1 tsp dill
Mix ingredients and form into patties. Place patties in the frying pan when oiled and hot. Flip the patty over after a few minutes and do so until both sides have been browned. Sprinkle with salt if desired, or pair with tartar sauce or ketchup.
This recipe will yield 6 good sized patties, but can easily be doubled or made into smaller patties.
If you love your kitties as much as we love ours (and I'm highly allergic so that's a lot!), take in the tips and enter the contest! I'd love it if one of my readers won a 10K room makeover from Steven & Chris! Good Luck!!!
When designing a space in your home it is important to consider the needs of your cat companion. From a cozy, quiet resting area to indoor entertainment there are many elements to consider.
Knowing how passionate cat owners are, Purina is offering Canadians the chance to win a 2-night trip to Toronto, and $10K feline-friendly room makeover designed by well-known designers and animal lovers, Steven & Chris.
Whether or not you win a room makeover, Steven & Chris share their style tips on designing your home with your cute and cuddly cat in mind!
A Place For Your Cat to Hang Her Hat
Creating a safe and secure environment for your indoor cat will promote good physical and mental health. Provide your prince or princess with a bed in a private area or corner. Remember cats love soft textures, so look for cushions or throws that enhance the colour of your room.
Perches: In High Places
Cats are curious by nature, and love to climb and hide in high places. Feed their curiosity by building or buying a perch to climb. Perches can be fashionable as well as functional by adding colour with patterned fabric and coloured cushions.
Be sure to keep the perch away from furniture holding breakables. It is a cat’s nature to jump and explore so it’s important to keep them away from anything that can potentially harm them.
If you have an older cat, consider purchasing a stylish stool or bench to help with those first couple of steps.
To Scratch or Not to Scratch
A scratching area is a must for cats as scratching leaves scent marks and helps them mark their territory. Keep your cat content by offering multiple scratching areas. Place scratch posts by couches and chairs, or anything else that may temp them. To make the scratch pads irresistible sprinkle with cat nip on a weekly basis. Scratching is also great for stretching muscles, so at least one scratching post must be tall enough to give kitty a good stretch! Keep scratch posts neutral colour so they blend in with your décor. A simple vertical scratch pad can be made out of left over carpeting. That way it gives your kitty a stretch and matches the room’s décor.
Indoor Entertainment Keeping an indoor cat entertained is easy when armed with the right tools:
o Place a couch, chair, perch or shelf in front of a window so they can watch the world around them. Make outdoor scenery more exciting by hanging a bird feeder or plant flowers outside windows to attract bees and butterflies. All the action will keep your kitty amused for hours.
o To keep them active indoors use toys to encourage your cat to stalk and pounce, or chase.
o Toys don’t have to be expensive! Designer gift bags or pretty wrapping can also give your cat hours of fun. They love the sound of rustling paper under their feet – so be sure to put the gift wrap from your last birthday party.
o Hide treats or food in unusual places to encourage hunting and foraging and keep kitty on alert.
Where’s the ladies room?
Cats are fastidious about having a clean litter box, so be sure to scoop it daily and wash it out once a week, with soap and water. Place the litter box in a safe, private place. It’s important your cat not be disturbed when using her potty to ensure a positive litter box experience. If the litter box is in an area where it is readily seen, you can make it look nice by putting a flat, non-lumpy, carpet underneath it. Uncovered litter boxes with high sides are recommended and can be decorated to blend in with the surrounding! Have at least one large litter box per cat, and even an extra one, if possible. And remember: a good scooper is important too.
Dinner is Served!
Indoor cats eat smaller, more frequent meals, and drink water over the course of the day, so make sure both food and water bowls are maintained. You should follow the feeding guidelines on pack for the amount of food to feed daily, to keep precious friend from getting too heavy. Wide open bowls allow more room for your cat’s whiskers. Also – if you feed your cat wet cat food, like Friskies, don’t leave it out all day, as it will dry out.
For cat snacks provide your cat with cat grass or cat nip to nibble on. Make it aesthetically pleasing but placing in a pretty planter.
You can also spruce up the look of your cat’s eating area. There are great place mats (plastic and fabric) on the market that can be used under your cat’s food and water bowls. And you don’t have to stick to pet food store dishes either.. Many human bowls and small plates that are decorative can be used. Look in the areas where outdoor dishes are sold. There are many in colour schemes to choose from that are affordable!
For more great tips and to enter for a chance to win a room makeover by Steven & Chris, visit www.Indoorcat.ca before July 31, 2012~!
The 100th Calgary Stampede starts up today (over 350,000 people are expected to line the parade route) and will have cowboys/girls near and far getting their yeehaws on! One of the best ways to partake in the fun is with Flapjacks... FREE Flapjacks!