Friday Finds

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Since the first official day of fall is September 22 I am of the opinion that we still have more than a month of summer left! No need to panic friends, there’s still time to hang out on beaches, drink margaritas on patios, swim in lakes and go on road trips. The fact that I’m getting married in less than two months is admittedly freaking me out a little bit. So much to do! But so excited for the day to arrive! So this week we achieved aquafaba meringue, which means that we’re basically superheros. There’s nothing we can’t do! Let’s look around at this world of ours and see what the weekend has in store.

We live in such a beautiful country and we should all enjoy it as much as possible by seeing as much of it as we can. These Top 12 Road Trips in Canada fill me with wanderlust and ideas for future trips. Probably won’t make it out of Ontario by the end of summer but Prince Edward County could happen!

There’s unused cement space on the side of my house and I’ve long been pondering putting a pallet garden there. This step by step tutorial makes it seem like a real thing I could do. Plant a fall garden to enjoy until the first frost comes along.

Which leads me to Planting a Fall and Winter Garden. More plants! All the vegetables for as long as we can keep them. I’m going to start harvesting and drying my herbs soon. Saving my dill seeds etc. I mean we still have a month of summer left, but I like to plan ahead.

This is a really succinct way of fighting “just joking”. It is often used as an excuse to say horrible things. I really cannot wait for the American election to be over, I am so tired of hearing about the newest hate filled, frightening thing being said by a man running for president.

I love Joy the Baker. I mean, we all love Joy the Baker. Her blog is a bright spot in the world. Her tutorial on How to Frost a Cake is life changing! I am terrible at frosting cakes. I think that has been well documented on this blog. I never thought of washing the cake decorating knife to stop the frosting on the knife from sticking to the frosting on the cake! Game changing. I am going to need to bake a cake just to try this frosting idea. Also using a pastry bag! Genius. We can all look like master bakers now!

I hope that your weekend is less humid then mine is bound to be!

 

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Friday Finds

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I’ve had to take a step away these last few weeks. I’ve had some family things to deal with that have taken over all my time and energy. Everyone is doing well and all is now moving towards good things but I simply didn’t have any time to bake or blog or write anything at all. Pictured above are the fresh tomatoes from my garden which is what has kept me grounded and sane recently. So now I am back, I will be gone all long weekend but back to regular posting next week. So what’s happened in the world since I’ve stepped away from my keyboard?

Most importantly. We have a Gilmore Girls Trailer and release date! I am so beyond excited it’s crazy. If you need me on November 25 I will be holed up with my sister watching all the episodes in a row and not looking at the internet or my phone until I have had time to watch them all and process all my feelings. Just hearing the familiar la la’s actually made me misty eyed. No word of a lie.

And while we’re going into serious nostalgia for the early to mid 2000’s The Hills is having a 10 Year Anniversary Special. Gilmore Girls was legitimately great television, the Hills was legitimately not but my sister and I watched it together religiously for years so I know what we’ll be doing on August 7.

Of course there is all the controversy over Melania Trump plagiarizing Michelle Obama’s speech. But when you watch Michelle Obama’s speech from the DNC this year it makes you forget Mrs. Trump even made a speech. What an incredibly articulate and intelligent woman. What an inspiration. As a Canadian I am going to sorely miss having the Obama’s as the first family of our neighbours to the south.

And to depress you just a little bit read History tells us what may happen next with Brexit and Trump. It’s not good guys, it’s really not good and it’s global.

And for something to lift you up, I love the way Beth writes and her photography over at Local Milk and I will have to try her cardamom rose iced latee. Witch coconut milk of course. What a delicious, decadent treat!

I hope that your long weekend is filled with sunshine and swimming and fresh air and laughter.

 

 

Friday Finds Late On A Friday

 

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I was gone for the long weekend. Packed up the dog and went to the cottage. A belated Happy Canada Day to you all! I’ve been keeping it pretty quiet these past couple of weeks, I am going to go ahead and say there will more than likely be no new content this coming week due to some family stuff. This week has been kind of insane in the world. I don’t feel that I have anything meaningful, insightful or important to say on any of it. So instead I’ve rounded up some of the articles that I think articulate it all much better than I could. Giving voice to the people who know and understand their experiences in a way I never can and never will.

Where to start? This article showing the peaceful protestors and the police posing together before the shots rang out breaks my heart.

President Obama speaking on the deaths of Philano Castile and Alton Sterling is incredibly eloquent, poised and thoughtful.

The horrifying bombing in Iraq with well over 250 victims is yet another point of cruelty in the world this past week.

And here is a piece on gun violence in America, because it feels as though not a day has gone by in 2016 without a mass shooting.

To take a step away from the constant violence, heartache and horror this week has heaped upon us all let’s look at this  Underwritten Female Characters: The Movie, as an actor let me tell you how painfully true I find this.

And as a palate cleanser this kid was sneaking into his neighbour’s garage to hug their dog which is straight up adorable.

Let’s make this coming week better ok? Collectively let’s put aside the hatred and the vitriol and accept that we don’t know everything, we don’t understand everything. That sometimes we just need to sit down and listen.

Friday Finds

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I know, I owe you guys so many recipes! I’ve been baking, but all things I’ve already posted. Banana bread (you can see that super old blog post here) and waffles (last summer’s discovery here). I have yet to attempt aquafaba but it is certainly in the plans. I am spending every waking moment outside, enjoying the sunshine and my garden. I can’t seem to walk into a garden center without dropping some cash and buying new planters, new plants . . . new bird seed! I’ve never been one to have many indoor plants but I think that needs to change, I hated having nothing living around in the winter. So the world is speeding along and I often feel like we are just caught up in the spin. Things happen in the blink of an eye, let’s see what happened this week.

Obviously the Brexit is foremost on most people’s minds today. I have family in England and am curious to hear their take on all this. It seems incredibly short sighted, but all the way over here in Canada I suppose I’m not one to say. I did see an interesting graph which showed the vote divided by age. It would appear that those who will be living with this decision the longest voted to stay in the EU, which is a sobering and frightening thought.

I have read a lot of recipes about jackfruit and these vegan jackfruit tacos look like the perfect place to try it out!

I discovered a new place for breakfast that I absolutely love. It’s called Cardinal Rule and it’s delicious. The perfect place to go for all day breakfast with your omnivore friends, there’s loads of options for you and for them. The scrambled tofu was some of the best I’ve ever had. Highly, highly recommend! I would devote a blog post to them, except I was too hungry and ate all my food before I could sneak in a picture!

This is a fascinating watch, What Happened Before History.

And speaking of history I’ve recently gotten in to this podcast, Stuff You Missed in History Class. I love history (I often wish I could go back and do another BA majoring in history, just so I learn more!) and the detail they go into is fascinating. They cover such a wide array of topics and time periods, there’s an episode for everyone no matter what you’re interested in.

And for those of us who care, an interview with Brian Fuller about the new star trek tv series. Keeping up Star Trek’s history of progressive casting and story lines seems to be a high priority which is refreshing.

 

Friday Finds (on a Monday)

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I missed my usual post this Friday. I have a (kind of) good excuse. I had an interview in the morning and then spent the afternoon at the beach with my sister. I hear what you’re thinking, does Toronto have beaches? Yes, we have some seriously beautiful beaches (see above) And contrary to common belief you can in fact swim in lake Ontario. Not everywhere no, but Woodbine beach, Toronto Island all have swimmable beaches. If you are willing to brave the constantly freezing water. All weekend was busy, especially with Father’s day on Sunday. I baked the vegan key lime pie for my Dad. So what’s been happening in the world this week? Really, not a lot of great things. A lot of really heartbreaking things have been happening.

First of all let’s listen to what Samantha Bee has to say about gun control in America following the devastating hate crime massacre in Orlando. She and John Oliver seem to be the spiritual successors to John Stewart.

Second of all, let’s have a moment of respect and silence for all those murdered because of their sexual orientation. We need to know the names and faces of the victims in Orlando.

So, to completely switch topics from horror to small wonders, have you all heard about aquafaba? Aka bean water? You know when you get a can of chickpeas and you drain it? Apparently we’ve been draining away a miracle ingredient for vegan bakers! Chickpea water, sorry aquafaba (sounds so much fancier that way) can make vegan meringues! I will 100% be testing this out soon.

To go with my beachy theme here is a list of the Best Toronto Beaches if you are in Toronto or going to visit my fair city in the summer time, you should definitely check them out. We only get three months of summer here in Toronto so we soak up every possible moment of it.

Finally a simple recipe for lentils and rice. When I was a kid I loved lentils and rice and my Dad would always make it for me. I had a disastrous attempt to make it myself way back when I was first living on my own and learning how to cook through trial and error. I think it’s time I give it another go and see if I like it as much now as I did then.

And while I’m on the topic of my Dad you should all check out his blog . My Dad is a pillar of strength and generosity. He raised me and my sister to believe in ourselves unequivocally, he taught us an appreciation for good, wholesome food, to work as hard as we can, to never apologize for who we are. He taught me how to garden, how to fish, how to write. There are a few people in my life who are always at the forefront of my mind when I am making life decisions and “what would Dad do” is something that I have asked myself on more than one occasion. I am eminently proud to be his daughter.

 

Friday Finds

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Cottage season is upon us! Time to leave the city behind, jump in a lake, hike through the woods, suntan on a floating dock. It was weirdly cold this week but I’m not letting that dampen my spirits. Let’s really get into this summer with enthusiasm!

First of all the most important news of all. Mirvish is working on bringing Hamilton to Toronto! I have always scoffed at people who sleep outside in tents for things. However, straight up will sleep outside in a tent for Hamilton tickets. No shame. What I really want is for the show to be filmed with the original cast the way they do for some operas and then shown at movie theaters. There is something magical about the original cast.

I love playing the Sims. I’ve never been one for computer or video games, if I’m going to go on an epic adventure I generally want it to be in a book so that my imagination can run wild with it. However, the Sims have been my one weakness and obsession since the original game came out all the way back in 2000. This cartoon made me giggle at the ridiculousness of the game. Still love it now, every year I’ll get sucked in and play for hours only to grow tired of it and abandon it.

To get serious for a moment, we can’t not talk about the letter written by the victim of Brock Turner the rapist. If you haven’t read it yet I urge you to, Huffington Post has the whole thing here. It is heartbreaking, it is horrifying and it should be required reading for everyone. Her eloquence just further underlies the horror that she has lived through. I avoided reading it for a long time because I was worried it would be too harrowing, but I decided I needed to. She deserves for everyone to hear her voice and her words. The line “I sleep with two bicycles that I drew taped above my bed to remind myself there are heroes in this story.” has haunted me along with so many more.

Guys, hobbits are real! In another life I may have been an archaeologist or anthropologist. Instead I just read and watch documentaries about ancient history and human evolution. I find it utterly fascinating.

Obsessed with my garden at the moment. Every spare moment I have is spent outside or at my neighbourhood nursery buying more plants. I’ve got thyme, lemon thyme, rosemary, lavender, sage, oregano, chives, dill, mint (so much mint!), basil, kale, strawberries, lettuce, pole beans . . . plus a whole lot of flowers. This is a good guide on growing bushy basil I tend to find myself with long skinny basil plants every summer, not the bountiful bushy ones I want!

 

Enjoy the weekend friends!

 

Friday Finds

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In a month I will be up at the cottage, soaking up the sunshine and swimming in the lake. Today I’m ok with my beautiful backyard. I’m really happy, I’ve already got a tiny green strawberry growing in my hanging basket, I’ve got flowering tomato plants and an overgrowth of mint. Anybody need mint? Seriously anybody at all? I’ve taken a look around at the world this week and decided to focus on the good stuff, the happy stuff, the silly stuff. Let’s see what Friday brings us.

First of all the lovely minds over at i09 have ranked every Pinky and the Brain plan to take over the world. Required reading for all of us who grew up in the 90’s, especially those of us who remember Pinky and the Brain when it was just a segment on Animaniacs.

Guys, there is a bulldog race. I know this because everyone I know sent me a link to this video . Which means everybody knows me and my love for my bulldog and all things bulldogs much too well. Guys, bulldogs are fast (for short stretches) when my pup has a toy and an open field, good luck catching up to him and getting that toy from him. They are low to the ground and fast when they want to be!

Things are starting to grow out there in my garden so I wanted to know the best way to harvest my herbs, don’t want to stunt their growth, do want to make them produce even more!

So this article on apparent drama in the vegan youtube community is hilariously written (as are the subsequent follow up posts) while also giving you a frightening look into the world of youtube celebrity. Let’s all just calm down, eat good food (not just bananas) and chill in the sunshine ok?

I’m excited to try this vegan garlic alfredo I’m a sucker for a vegan cream sauce that doesn’t use cashews. I can’t eat cashews and from what I hear they aren’t cheap for those who can eat them. So it’s great to find other alternatives to get our creamy pasta fixes.

I hope your weekend is full of sunshine, friends, ice cream and margaritas!