Herb and Goat Cheese Dip – Lactose Free!

This conversation took place in our home last night:

D: Jeremy, you should try this dip. It’s lactose free, but you wouldn’t know it…Oh come on, don’t recoil in horror.

J: I’m not recoiling. I’m slowly walking away…In horror.

My husband will not touch any of my wheat free, dairy free, new age hippie foods.

It’s his loss.

Herb and Goat Cheese Dip – Lactose Free

2/3 cup dairy free sour cream* (I used Tofutti brand)
1 brick goat cheese (130g)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tbsp chives of green onion, chopped

Blend sour cream, goat cheese, garlic and herbs in a small food processor.

Garnish with green onion or chives. Serve with vegetables and/or crackers.

*Obviously, you could use actual sour cream here, if lactose is not a concern.

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My Greenish Thumb

“Do you actually like gardening?” Jeremy asked, while we stood outside looking at the backyard.

The truth is, I don’t.

Although I talk about it a lot, and it consumes so much of my free time, for me it’s actually just a means to an end. What I really love is having flowers, trees, fresh herbs, and vegetables right off the vine, all summer. Unfortunately, having these things requires a lot of work.

There are aspects that I do enjoy.

I love spending time outside and the way my arms look after a summer’s worth of cutting the grass with my little manual mower. People think I’m nuts for pushing that thing around, but it really sculpts the guns. I also love shopping at the garden center. Most of all, I love that feeling of pride and satisfaction when I drive up to our house and see our beautiful garden, knowing that I did this.

On the other hand…

I don’t like being attacked by swarms of angry Japanese beetles (which happened to me last year, when I was trying to save what was left of a birch tree they’d devoured while we were at work) or being stung by bees, ants and thistles. Furthermore, I don’t particularly care for cleaning up turds from the neighbourhood cats – three cats, that don’t belong to us, regularly use our garden as a litter box. I also do not enjoy finding carcases from deceased birds and small animals in our flower beds (the later, I thankfully, have not encountered yet this year).

Then, there’s the time. Whenever I step outside, I feel like there are always weeds to be pulled, shrubs to be trimmed, or grass to be cut. I spend so much of my summer up to my elbows in dirt, when I’d rather be on the deck with my feet up, with a magazine and a glass of wine.

I’m still relatively new to gardening. I don’t really know what I’m doing, so I don’t always approach it as efficiently as I could. It’s getting easier every year though. With every passing summer I learn a little more and gain that much more control over our suburban jungle. I’m confident that someday soon I’ll get to spend more time enjoying our yard than working in it.

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Knobs and Pulls

A few years ago, when I redecorated our bedroom, I really wanted to replace the hardware on the furniture, but it was too expensive.

I loathe the original knobs and pulls. I have only myself to blame for their existence though. I picked them out myself in a moment of apathy and paralyzing indecision. That was over 10 years ago, when my Dad built the first of our two dressers. There are 10 pulls, 4 knobs and 4 hinges to replace between our two dressers. At about $5 to $10 a pop, the cost adds up quick, so I’ve learned to live with them.

Recently, Canadian Tire was clearing out their stock of drawer pulls and knobs. Almost everything was priced under $2 and they had a decent selection available. This was my opportunity make the change.

Once again, I was overcome with the same indecision I felt 10 years ago, when my Dad built these pieces. Brushed? Antiqued? Oil Rubbed? Chrome? Bronze? Classic? Contemporary?

Too many options!

Eventually I choose this wavy brushed nickel hardware.

It hasn’t made much impact on the overall look of the room though, as indicated by this discussion with Jeremy:

D: So…notice anything different about our room?

J: Nope.

D: Nothing at all?

J: I don’t know….Wait – something about hinges?
(I’d originally bought the wrong hinges for the highboy cabinets and mentioned I was going out to buy some earlier this week)

D: Close. I replaced the hardware.

He then went on to make some innuendo about pulling knobs and his hardware. My husband is many things, but mature is not one of them.

So, they didn’t make much of an impression.

Personally, I’m not sure if I really love them, but it’s an improvement. We’ll live with them for now, and maybe, in another decade, I’ll find something else.

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