April 28, 2015

Halifax 2015

My friends and I had this crazy idea to drive out to Halifax to visit a friend, so that's what we did over the Easter long weekend. Mind you, it's a 17 hour drive one-way, so a good chunk of our five and a half days was spent in the car. We did a bit of exploring in Montreal, Quebec City and Hartland (home of the world's longest covered bridge), and then crammed even more sights in once we were on Nova Scotian soil.

The highlight for me was Blomidon Provincial Park:


The East Coast received an impressive amount of snow this winter and the evidence was everywhere – snowbanks that were as tall as I, potholes riddling the streets, etc. To get down to the beach, we had to carefully climb down narrow stairs that were still packed with snow (lest we slip and break out neck). It was cold, foggy and snowy, yet the weather seemed fitting for this East Coast setting. Imagine looming cliffs with waterfalls, tides receding over the red sandstone, no one on the beach but us – it was magical.

The weekend was also filled with food (so much food): smoked meat sandwiches, turkey with all the trimmings, a full-on lobster meal and a homestyle Quebecois lunch. However, this was my favourite:


Montreal is known for its bagels and they are best fresh out of the wood-burning oven, still steaming hot when you tear into them. They're so good that we went to St-Viateur twice and were so excited the second time that we forgot to pay for parking and got a ticket. These bagels cost an extra $53 and they were worth it.

March 30, 2015

One-Pan Farro with Tomatoes

Since winter is refusing to rid us of its presence, I'm doing a throwback post to reminisce about summer.


One of my favourite things about summer is tomato season. In general, the variety of produce during the warmer months makes me happier than a kid in a candy store, but for me, tomatoes are the cream of the crop.


Picking a tomato straight off the vine, warm from the sun, and biting into it so that the juices and flavours burst in your mouth - I am salivating just thinking about it.


I rarely cook with in-season tomatoes because I think they are perfect as is. Usually I'll just toss them in a salad or eat them like a fruit, but I was intrigue by this one-pan recipe. A tasty meal with minimal effort? Count me in.


February 28, 2015

China 2009

February has always been a blah month – it's that time of the year where I am so ready for winter to be over. Cooking-wise, I am uninspired; all I want to do is curl up in bed and binge-watch television.


This has also been a reflective year. I'm at the point of my life where my friends are popping out babies and suddenly, I have the title of surrogate aunt. It's a bit of, "What am I doing with my life?" but mostly, "Where is my career going?" It's not like I’m power hungry and have the goal of climbing up the corporate ladder (though there's nothing wrong with that – Lean In, if that's your aspiration), but this job insecurity issue is stressful and ever-present on my mind. All I want is to not worry about being unemployed several months from now.


My travel lust is rearing up its head again. I have a friend who visited Patagonia this month and the gorgeous pictures she shared made me want to pack my bags and head there immediately. Or anywhere, really. I thought I was over my backpacking phase, but my yearnings are proving me wrong.



The last time I did real backpacking was China in 2009. It seems like a lifetime ago, but random memories stick out: my first attempt at climbing Tiger Leaping Gorge and failing because I was so sick that I nearly fainted and had to turn back; the most delicious hand-pulled noodles and lamb kebob meal from an Uighur restaurant; my hostel owner picking persimmons from a tree in the courtyard with a net contraption.


January 31, 2015

Whole Wheat Apple Muffins


Since it's the start of a new year, let's start off with something simple: muffins. More specifically, whole wheat apple muffins.


These are easy to make, coming together like a quick bread: combining the dry and wet ingredients separately, then gently folding the dry ingredients into wet ingredients. You throw them in the oven and voila, baked goods for the rest of the week.


December 30, 2014

Cuba


I spent a week in Varadero to soak in some sun and attend a friend's wedding. It was such a blast, filled with laughter and tears.



I also visited Havana for a day - so lovely, so vibrant. I must return to delve deeper into the city.