Well, the nice thing about being at the tail-end of a long weekend is that the following week is a short one. The only downside about a short week is that I thought I had an extra day to get this post ready! It’s been a jam-packed 4-day week, filled with site visits, van work, gym days and training days. We’ve been going non-stop since last weekend. The weather has improved (read: it stopped snowing, started raining, the temperatures have reached the double digits, and I saw the first cherry blossom of the year!), which definitely makes working in the van much nicer. And we’ve even had a few days of sunshine!
Here’s a few things that caught our eye online during the week. Our Saturday Snippets for 18.February.2017.
On Climbing, Eating, Cycling and Repeating:
I listened to an inspirational podcast this week – Margarita Martinez, climbed her first 13d at the age of 58! She sounds like such a positive person – very motivational 🙂
This week we finished getting all of the cabinets mounted to the wall and ceiling panels. The original idea we had for thermally isolating the 80-20 cabinets from the van exterior wasn’t actually necessary anymore (Jonty had a better idea). So he manufactured different mounting brackets, drilled holes, installed rivnuts and we attached everything together. With this new design, the 80-20 cabinets will sit flush against the ceiling and the wall, still thermally isolated from the van metal, and provide a nice clean finish.
Now that the panels are basically finished, it’s time to start thinking about covering them! I had a few practice attempts with pieces of scrap wood. It was definitely a good idea to practice, because it gave me an idea of how thick the foam-backed vinyl really is! The stuff we bought has 1/4-inch foam adhered onto vinyl and, while it looks like it would squish down quite a bit, there’s still some bulk around the corners. We ended up having to enlarge the holes for our ceiling lights, as a result.
I got my first taste at wearing welding goggles. Not to actually weld (I left that part up to Jonty, he was plasma cutting). I can feel your jealousy oozing through the screen 😉
Pictures during the week of 18.February.2017:
We had our Family Day long weekend this past week (I’m pretty sure the rest of Canada has their long weekend this weekend. Good planning, BC government!). We took Monday off from van work and enjoyed the sunshine. We got out for a late-morning cycle around UBC. There was still some snow on the ground, but the temperatures were rising, and it felt so darned good to breathe some fresh air! Then we hopped on a bus and headed downtown for an afternoon of walking, eating and having a drink. It ended up being a really full day, but a really great one, as well 🙂
Happy Chocolate Day! Otherwise known as Valentine’s Day 🙂 This chocolate mousse recipe is for all the chocolate lovers out there. It’s Jonty’s creation (my chocolate-loving guy) and he’s made it a handful of times over the last few months. It has 4 ingredients, is super simple to make, and is actually pretty healthy for you! Are you ready?
You need egg whites, good-quality dark chocolate (at least 70% dark), plain Greek yogurt and a touch of sugar. The resulting dessert is so light and airy, and tastes so unbelievably decadent, yet there’s not a drop of cream to be found.
The first time Jonty made it, we thought it might have been a fluke result, mainly because we were wary about using non-fat Greek yogurt (sometimes things just taste better with fat and cream). But each time he’s made it, the result has been the same – an easy, superstar chocolate mousse!
Jonty has developed this chocolate mousse using basic ratios:
1 part egg white
1 part dark chocolate
1 part Greek yogurt
1/2 part sugar
So 1 egg white will give you 1 ramekin dessert. If you want turn this into a romantic dessert for two, just use 2 egg whites and scale. You want to turn this into a family dessert for four? Use 4 egg whites and scale. So easy!
This is going to a short and sweet, because the sun is shining, and we’re severely lacking in Vitamin D! So, we hope you’re having a great Chocolate Day, celebrating any way you’d like 🙂
Happy Valentines Day, Galentines Day, Family Day or general Chocolate Day 🙂
This almost-raw chocolate mousse is an easy, healthy dessert that will wow all your guests!
2 egg whites (60g)
30 g granulated sugar
60 g good-quality dark chocolate (at least 70% or higher)
60 g non-fat Greek yogurt
In a clean, dry bowl, whisk the egg whites until they start to form peaks. While whisking, slowly add the sugar, one spoonful at a time, until it is all incorporated. Continue to whisk the mixture until stiff peaks have formed.
Meanwhile, melt your chocolate. You can either do this in the microwave on the lowest heat setting, or over a bowl of hot water. Once the chocolate is melted, stir in the Greek yogurt.
Fold the egg white mixture into the chocolate mixture and fold to combine.
Spoon the mousse into 2 ramekins and refrigerate at least 30 minutes, or until the mousse has set.
I’m not sure why, but Canadian’s love to talk about the weather. This past week was a doozy for most of southern BC; Vancouver included. It’s all we’ve been talking about, and I don’t anticipate us stopping. Jonty doesn’t think he’s ever experienced such a long, white winter (phffft, British boys…) 😉 Highways have been closed, schools have been closed… Crazy days!
Happy Family Day (if you live in BC) and Happy Chocolate Day (i.e. Valentine’s Day) and enjoy our Saturday Snippets for the week of 11.February.2017.
On Climbing, Eating, Cycling, and Repeating:
We finished our last training/performance cycle a week or so, and will be starting up another 16-week cycle. First up is our strength phase. You can read about some of the training we do here and here. Here’s a great video post on some core strength exercises, from the training master Eric Horst (doing a front-lever is one of Jonty’s goals).
When you’re a household of two, it’s nice to have some small-batch recipes in your repertoire (like these, and these, and these!). Here’s a few ways to scale down your standard recipes, to start baking for two.
I just finished reading this book and really enjoyed it (maybe because I like food so much?)
On Moby News (aka Sprinter Van Conversion):
Jonty had a few more tweaks to do with the electrical system and he’s almost happy everything is working as it should. We should be able to start wiring in lights etc anytime now.
We also started cutting the ceiling panels this week (if you’re interested, here’s a quick video of the CNC tool path). We spent a bit of time deciding on how to orient the panels to make best use of the material and for ease of construction. E.g. does it matter which way the seams run? Or how many seams there are? Which way is easiest to install the panels? Will the existing bolt holes in the van be sufficient to attach the panels? Will we need to add additional bolt holes? How will we deal with cabinets? Ah, so many questions 🙂
We’ve opted to run the main ceiling panels lengthwise, with smaller strips along either side. It’s amazing how much brighter the van feels, with the lighter wood. Once we cover the panels with our white vinyl, we might even need sunglasses inside! 😉
Pictures for the week of 11.February.2017:
Like I said, we got another whack-load of snow this past week. I think everybody is thoroughly tired of driving in sloppy, slushy, icy roads. The temperatures have warmed up considerably, so perhaps we’ll see our green grass before long.
I had another site visit this week, and it was hopefully my last travel day for a little while; I think I’m done with winter flying! I was up in Quesnel for possibly the shortest trip ever, flying in at 11:00 am and flying out at 4:00 pm! It’s the first time I’ve been up there and, to be honest, if the weather was warmer I could have been tempted to stay longer to explore, but the -18°C did me in. I was hoping to walk around more before my flight left, but I wimped out. I managed a walk half-way down their pedestrian bridge, and a quick walk around their downtown strip, and that was about it!
I first started this monthly photo challenge a year ago. Thus, this January photo challenge marks one full year of completing these photography challenges – it’s gone by so quick!
It was my month of Minimal and, again, I really loved how this month played out. I think our weather probably contributed to this because we had snow… so much snow. And for Vancouver, this is completely unusual! It’s all people have been talking about for the last month, this includes both Vancouver-ites and the rest of the country (because we’re so ill-equiped to deal with the snow, we tend to make the news). Regardless, it gave me some pretty good photos 🙂
So what did my January photo challenge of Minimal look like?
The January Photo Challenge took me…
… from lots and lots of sunshine to lots and lots of snow…
… from travel to the BC interior to Ontario to Quebec…
… from breakfast to baking to coffee…
… from Monday morning walks to Friday afternoon climbing…
… from pops of colour to muted tones…
… from lots and lots of white.
And just like that, we’re into February!
I shared my new monthly word(s) already, so you can expect my social media feeds to be filled with lots of Pairs. If you’d like to join in the adventures, that would be awesome – we already have a few people joining in the challenge! If not, just looking at pretty pictures works too 😉
Did you watch the Superbowl this past weekend? We did not. We don’t have cable, so we didn’t even watch the commercials, like many choose to do. Instead, we climbed in the last bouldering competition of the season (I managed to nab third place!). It was a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon, especially if you prefer to play versus watch.
Just because we don’t watch football, doesn’t mean we don’t enjoy some of the classic football-watching nibbles! On Saturday we picked up a bone-in pork-shoulder from the local butcher to make the most delicious slow-cooked pulled pork, and I baked a batch of my super-soft slider buns (Jonty was still taking his welding course, so I had the kitchen to myself). And what goes hand-in-hand with a meal like this? A good-old tangy, crunchy slaw!
The great thing about a meal like this is that you can make everything a day or two before, and it tastes better the longer it sits. And after a good day of hard bouldering, coming home to dinner all prepped to eat, is like wonderful gift to yourself 🙂
This apple and brussels sprout slaw makes use of the great winter fruits and veggies at the market. Feel free to use the standard green cabbage, if you don’t like brussels sprouts or can’t find them in the store. And I would urge you to find a great tart, crunchy apple for this recipe (we use our favourite Pink Lady apples). When pairing the slaw with something like pulled pork, we find the acid in the coleslaw helps to cut down the richness of the pork.
If you’re still living under a blanket of snow (apparently Vancouver still wants to hit us with the white stuff this year!) this is a great winter salad to add a bit of colour and crunch to your meal.