Hello there, you poor abandoned blog you. It's time again for some link love, not because I don't want to share my travels to Palawan, or my recipe for Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Icing that I just made Other Half for his birthday. No, this is because I'm slow at writing, and I've been having too many weekend adventures that my writing time has disappeared quickly (and... I admit, I've been spending lots of my free time thinking about a certain wedding next summer)!
However, I can assure you that I am instead leaving you with a great list of required (in my opinion) reading that will fill any blog void I may be causing. Enjoy!
I love me some infographics and this one doesn't disappoint (via. livescience)
What's that? you want to see another infographic? With fun facts about Canada? Okay. (via. wpmedia)
I'm a punctual person. If you tell me to meet you at 5:00, I will do anything humanly possible to meet you at 5:00. I'll probably even be 5 minutes early just to make sure I'm not late. The concept of "fashionably late" baffles me, but I will practice it if you say a party starts at 7:00, not expecting anyone to show up until at least 9:00, so that you don't feel put out when I actually show up at 7:00. This article was written for me. (via. Huffington Post)
It's hard not to love the movie Love, Actually. I know people who say they don't, but they're still the ones watching it every Christmas. If you're curious about what happened to all of your favourite lovey-doves, this will help. (via. The Hairpin)
If I ever choose to have kids, I want to be this kind of parent. (via. the greatest people on earth)
I'm a big fan of this technique and Stephen Wilkes does it really well. (via. twisted sifter)
Do you have a doppleganger? I do, I've never met her, but I saw a picture of her once. It was hanging behind the counter of the local Pita Pit. I thought it was a picture of me, except that I've never worked at Pita Pit and this girl was wearing a Pita Pit uniform. It was totally surreal. I can only imagine what it would be like for these people to actually meet. (via. twisted sifter)
Recently, while out for dinner, the conversation turned to the classic crowd favourite "if you could always ensure you could eat just one thing...". While most of our party chose favourite dishes or treats (mine was both salad and ice cream sandwiches - I'm too indecisive to choose just one), one amongst stated simply "potatoes". "No, no," we urged and argued, "you have to pick a dish!" "No, no," he responded "I want potatoes. Potato wedges, fries, mashed, roasted, hash browns, you name it. I always want potatoes!" Though it went against our general rules of the game, I get the logic. Potatoes are a wonderfully adaptable food, and when we're honest, they are pretty hard to screw up.
This recipe highlights my favourite of the potato varieties, the sweet potato. The subtle sweetness balances perfectly with the earthiness of the rosemary and the saltiness of the feta, and because the consistency of both the potato and the cheese are quite creamy, you don't need to overload these with lots of extra heavy ingredients.
I've made this a couple of times over the last couple of weeks, and while keep the base flavours are the same, I have played around with the little extras. The recipe below represents my favourite iteration.
It's been weeks since my last post, something I vowed myself I would not do. I won't pepper you with excuses, but I will apologise and say this isn't even the travelogue for our recent trip to Palawan (the nerve!), a post I am working on, but it's taking time.... lots and lots of time.
So, for now, here's another wide angle look at my every day!
1. and 2. There is a city in southern China that has an entire area dedicated to weddings. Guangzhou Wedding Street was obviously a must see for me this year, and this is what I found.
3. If one city is dedicated to weddings, it makes sense that another will be dedicated to Halloween. Hong Kong's halloween street is always a mad house in the weeks leading up to the big day, but deals abound.
4, 5, and 6. I've been wanting to do a colour run for a while now but I'm always away when they take place in the Toronto region. Miraculously this year, The Color Run came to both Beijing and Guangzhou and so I was off like a shot to sign up for that one! This was one of the best things I've done in awhile. The atmosphere and lively and friendly and because it's not a timed race, their isn't an ounce of competitiveness to worry about - a great first run for those who need the confidence (like me).
Living in China, there are many things I miss about home. I'm more than positive I've lamented about missing certain events and foods before. But there is nothing quite like the arrival of Autumn, and living in the subtropics it's an occasion that I can only mark by a date on the calendar and pictures on Facebook of beautiful foliage, cozy sweaters and friends sipping their beloved pumpkin spice lattes. Correction: my beloved pumpkin spice latte. You see, there are Starbucks galore in this country, even a nice smattering of my sometimes preferred Costa Coffee, but there are NO pumpkin spice lattes. It's just not a thing here and it's one of the most heartbreaking truths of my reality (ugh, such first world problems!).
Since the thought of another whole pumpkin spice season without the cozy flavoured goodness that it is was just too much to bare, I decided it was time to roll up my sleeves and do something about it. So I made my own!
This came together soooo easily, and so quickly, I wonder if I'll ever buy the famously overpriced version again. I used some pumpkin I had leftover from a pie I made for our staff Thanksgiving feast (I'm not the only one that misses the seasons!), and it is the perfect recipe when you have an awkwardly small amount of puree leftover.
I also subbed in agave syrup for the sugar because I get jittery enough from the coffee, I don't also need the sugar high at 7:30 in the morning. Plus it's one of the few treasts I can find in this country so I'm determined to use it (ignore the fact that I have to take a 20 minute taxi ride to a Costco-like store to find it).
If you crave the pumpkin spice flavour this time of year, I strongly encourage you to try whipping up a batch of your own. You'll thank me later, so you're welcome now.
NOTE: pumpkin pie spice is not a thing here either, nor are ground cloves and nutmeg to make my own, so this recipe features the simple combination of cinnamon and ginger. If you want even more of an autumnal spice kick, I recommend adding approximately 1/4 tsp of each.
Pumpkin Spice Syrup 4-6 Tbsp pumpkin puree (canned or homemade, whatever works) 1/2 cup agave syrup 1 tsp cinnamon 1/2 - 1 tsp ground ginger 1 cup water
In a saucepan, combine all ingredients and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally so as not burn any of the pumpkin
Once you reach a boil, turn down the heat and simmer for an additional 5 to 10 minutes until you reach a nice syrup-y consistency
Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before transferring to an airtight container, store in the fridge and enjoy!
Whoa. This post was actually meant to get sent out more than a week ago, but I seem to have gotten carried away prepping for, and then taking, a week long vacation ... sorry! None the less, I'd like to highlight that it's that time of year again! The time where I celebrate the fact that we are graced with a week-long vacation just one month into the school year ... huzzah!
This October holiday Other Half and I jetted off to the Philippines to spend a week in Palawan soaking up sun and (most of all) snorkelling! The sun was only with us for about half the vacation, but the snorkelling was an amazing daily occurance. I'll be sure to provide a full report on here when I get through all the photos, but while you're waiting for that ... feel free to read these things from around the internet that I found interesting!
I love craft and DIY. I have dreams of a house in my future that has my DIY hand all over it. Until then, I'll continuing reading Poppytalk and gaining inspiration. Their DIY roundups are always my favourite! (via. Poppytalk)
I updated my life (aka my phone and ipad) to iOS7 recently. It's beautiful. I'm smitten. Lot's of other things updated themselves too... here are some cool apps to pay attention to.
I don't have a waffle maker (in Toronto OR China), so I can't make these... but if you can, please, please do - and then report every fine detail to me! Drool. (via. Minimalist Baker)
I'm a stationary fanatic, and long time maker of completely covetable stationary, Rifle Paper Co. is a go to ogling resource of mine. Though I've been really (really) good about not investing in any stationary of any kind for a long time (because if I'm honest, I don't use it, I stare at it) I can't help but be drawn to these amaaaazing calendars. Helpful trip planning? Plain old floral beauty (another soft-spot of mine)? I'd take both. (via. Rifle Paper Co.)