Monday, April 28, 2008

fruity muffins

2 cup rolled oats, ground
2 cup flour
2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger (or 1 T + Fresh)
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup white sugar
4 eggs
1 cup mashed ripe banana
1 cup mashed peaches
1/2-1 C blueberries
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 C plain yogurt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease muffin cups or line with paper muffin liners.
Place 1 cup rolled oats in a food processor and process until ground. In a large bowl, combine ground oats with flour, 1 tablespoon rolled oats, chopped walnuts, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.
In a separate bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the banana and vanilla. Stir in yogurt. Mix oat/flour mixture into egg mixture. Spoon batter into prepared muffin pans.
Topping: of brown sugar and cinnamon
Bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean.
some spring shots

Saturday, April 26, 2008

i'll admit it, i love kids on youtube.

Monday, April 21, 2008

don't have many interesting stories to tell of the past few days... i've just been a bookworm trying to prepare for my last exam wednesday. golly gee, i can't wait till its over! my time in montreal is winding down fast, i'll be leaving 2 weeks from yesterday to return to goshen for the summer!

here's a pretty yummy supper recipe i made up tonight:

savory veggies and beans over pasta
in a large pan or wok, sauté with olive oil
- small red onion, diced
- 4-6 cloves garlic, minced

-1 cubed sweet potato (already cooked, baked or boiled)
-1 red pepper
- 1-2 cups chopped broccoli
- 1-2 cups chickpeas and/or black beans
- 1 cup tomato/pasta sauce
- 1 t salt
- 1 t cumin
- some chili pepper if you desire some heat

simmer until broccoli is cooked. serve over a bed of pasta.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

the magical transformation of our fire escape....

its was emily's birthday and we wanting to something surprising and special. we succeeded overwhelmingly in both respects.
dinner was curried kabobs, pita, yogurt and cilantro sauce and sangria. then for dessert i made chocolate dipped fruit, since i got a number of compliments, here's the recipe. it's so simple.

chocolate + fruit= love
- 8+ squares bakers chocolate
- 2-4 T butter/marg
- strawberries, pineapple, and/or dried apricots
- optional: ginger root, shredded coconut, chopped almonds or other nuts

- melt bakers chocolate in a double boiler with a couple tablespoons of butter (i did about 4 squares of unsweetened and 5 semisweet because i like it bitter).
-while its melting wash strawberries (leave the leaves on) and peal and cut pineapple into squares. also slice some thin pieces of raw ginger.
- holding the strawberries by the leaf or the pinapples pieces with a skewer, dip 2/3 the way in chocolate.
- set on a cookie sheet covered in wax paper.
- quickly, before the chocolate starts to harden sprinkle nuts, coconut, and sliced ginger onto chocolate.
(i recommend pineapple with ginger and/or coconut, and apricots with ginger and pecans or almonds. strawberries i prefer simple)
-refrigerate for about 1 hour for chocolate to harden.

after dessert, we drank chai tea, listened to music and basked in the glory of a warm spring evening spent amongst good friends.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Happy birthday two of my lovely friends: Darlana and Emily! I hope your days are as bright as the spring sunshine!

It’s a gorgeous day in Montréal. Everyone is out and about in tank tops and sandals, walking with friends, jogging, sitting along the streets at outdoor cafes. It’s glorious.
I sat on the fire escape and studied for about an hours and I’m looking a little pink. Now I know, sunburn=> skin cancer=> bad, but it really is a bit of a thrill to have the possibility of getting a sunburn after this looong, cold winter. In the late afternoon me and suz were both hungry, so we went to the Vietnamese place down the street and got spring rolls (how appropriate and delicious they were).

On a much heavier note…The snow is almost completely gone, and left in its tracks by the side of the road, chained to fences, light posts, parking meters is the winter’s road kill:

The cruelty and neglect of these poor bicycles breaks my heart. Just left out all of the harsh winter to be mauled by the snowplough. Now I know garages and places to keep bikes safe are few and far between, but really! Almost everyone has a balcony, but it up there where it at least won’t be destroyed by the snowplough, you could even put a tarp over it to keep it from rusting. Or even better, incorporate it as a piece of décor or artwork in your living room for the winter!
I’m calling for a new campaign, a new movement here people:

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Namur Metro: a good deal of fun (Part III)

"and i'll have the tali plate with..."
"chickpeas, no bread and no chees
e" mrs. pushap interrupts.

it's official, i'm a regular, and so proud mrs. pushap knows my order (and my food allergies) by heart! i know this happens all the time in the movies at those home-town restaurants. But it happened to me in montreal! i'm not gonna lie, i feel pretty damn special. especially considering that pushap's is probably the greatest indian restaurant on the planet.

Pushap is the gem of the Namur metro neighborhood. its worth the trip all by itself, sans shopping. to get there, turn right out of the metro on jean-tallon, walk to the first set of lights and turn right and its at the next intersection.
here's why i love pushaps so so much:
- the food is always amazing, just the right amount of spice. and its 100% vegetarian
- their pakora and samosas with sweat and spicy dipping sauseare to die for as an appetizer. take a few to go when you leave for your lunch the next day. below are pakora, they are chickpea dumplings with onion, cilantro and spice.

- it's dirty cheap. you get a huge tali (mixed plate that includes chickpeas or lentil dal, 2 vegetable dishes, rice, chipati, and salad) plus a chai tea and dessert for $6!!! incroyable mes amis!

- they have deliciously strange, techno-colored desserts

- the service is quick and so friendly. they are so sweet!

- the decor is fabulous
- its always busy, but you can still almost always get a table within minutes.

- every friend i've brought their loves it, you'll always have good company

Monday, April 14, 2008

Namur Metro: a good deal of fun (Part II)

yes, i was being punny in the title, namur metro is truly the full of good deals. today we'll head left out of the metro stop, along Decarie blvd, away from jean-talon, past rue Paré to:

villages des valeurs! (value village sounds so much fancier translated into french!). for my dear non-canadian readership, value village is similar to goodwill, but most stores are 2-3x the size of the average goodwill. it can be pretty overwhelming for the amateur thrift shopper, so i thought i'd compile a list of 5 key tips for success at V. V.:

1. time: i like to give myself PLENTY of time, 2 hours is usually about right to cover most of the store. but i might recommend starting in smaller increments. say 45 minutes-1 hour and just pick one or two sections to do that day (skirts and tank tops for example...).

2. maintaining a state of wellness: don't go if you have a headache- the bright lights, colors, oldies music won't make it better. make sure you're well nourished, bring a bottle of water, and please oh please wash your hands extra well after you're done!

3. get a cart, and fill 'er up! because of the mix of brands, eras, styles you MUST try everything on, just looking at the size can be misleading. don't be afraid to try lots on- i usually reject about 80% of what you pick out. you can look for quality classics, current pieces, or you can go for the fugly (fabulously ugly that is) and vintage.

4. trying your selections on and deciding what to purchase: leave about 1/3 of the alloted time to try things on. when trying things on think of what you can pair the piece with- could you make it work with the right belt, by altering it (if you enjoy sewing), does the color work on your complexion. when buying fugly pieces ask yourself, "where and when am i honestly going to wear this?"

Just plain ugly!


5. its always more fun with friends!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

saturday special

last night was really lovely. my apartment had a little ending-of-term dress up and go out night. we had a delicious dinner at the blue lotus down on Duluth. i'd rate them...

9/10 for presentation

7/10 flavor of main dish, 9/10 flavor of spring roll

9/10 service (he waiter took the nice group photo for us!)

10/10 my company

after dinner several of us headed up St. Laurent to the sala rossa to hear Basia Bulat in concert. it was such a great show. she is a fun, genuine, gracious performer. she has amazing vocal and plays a mean autoharp and guitar and her band (banjo, ukulele, cello, viola, piano, percussion) were so great! they're all so down to earth and they way they interact on stage makes you feel like they're a bunch of your friends. i bought her album, oh my darling, and will be listening to it on repeat all day. you can give her a listen here.

here's a sample from her goofy music video.

Part 2 of the Namur series Coming Soon. come back often.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Namur metro: a good deal of fun!

Namur might just be the best metro stop in montreal. yes, its FAR up on the orange line, 2 stops form the end to be exact, which is about a 25 minute ride from mont royal stop, but its a straight shot, no transfers, so you sit back, relax and enjoy the ride.
Namur is way up on the left by Cote-Vertu. I live way on the right at Mont Royal.

needless to say, namur is well worth the trip. in fact its a trip i make about ever week or two. i'm going to leave you at a cliffhanger though, wondering why oh why i would venture away from the comforts of my plateau neighborhood so eagerly. the delights of namur each deserve their own posts. for now, hopefully you'll be content and appreciative of Namur's spectacular sense of style.

original 70's architecture.

namur's quality music

outside and on the way to...

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

signs of spring

three dollar thrift store yellow shades = permanent sunshine (why didn't i find these in the winter?!)

Friday, April 04, 2008

I'm in!!!
I just received official notice that i've been accepted to the Yoga Teacher Training, August Intensive, at Heaven Studio.
Earth Hour Outcomes:

How did Canada do?

Canada had one of the highest participation rates with over 150 cities joining in. Major attractions like Niagara Falls and the CN Tower as well as city halls across the country turned off their lights; even Parliament Hill went dark for Earth Hour.

How much power did we save? Toronto reduced its power consumption by 8.7% beating its target of 5%. London boasted a 2% reduction in power.

BC saw a province-wide decrease of 2% despite a cold snap that had some people turning up the thermostat. North Vancouver had the highest power conservation in province with 7% decrease.

Earth Hour & You

Just because Earth Hour is over doesn’t mean you have to stop trying to conserve. Earth Hour sponsor, the World Wildlife Fund is promoting its The Good Life program which encourages simple but significant lifestyle changes to help fight climate change. Here are some of The Good Life suggestions:

Get a high efficiency furnace - if your furnace is past its prime, consider replacing it with a high efficiency furnace to save money and reduce greenhouse gases.
Insulate your home - adding insulation to your basement, attic and exterior walls can save on heating costs while reducing your carbon dioxide emissions.
Install low-flow showerheads - helps to reduce water usage and saves money on water heating.
Equip your home with smart controls - with new technology you can control everything from you oven to your outdoor lights via computer. To conserve energy you can turn things on only when you need them.
Consider switching to green power - sign up with a green electricity company that provides your home with power generated from renewable resources such as wind energy and low-impact water power.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

it was a beautiful day here, especially in the afternoon. it feels the the city is waking up, and happily hopping out of bed, after a much too long sleep. people are sitting out in bar terraces in the late afternoon sun, and on my street a guy was strumming his guitar up on his balcony serenading the passersby. i wish you were here and i had no papers to write and we could just wander the city. but at least i can sit at my desk with the window cracked open and the sun streaming in.