Saturday, 28 March 2015

Saturday Stuff

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photo credit
Saturday. Glorious, glorious, Saturday. I live for Friday nights just because I love the anticipation of Saturday so much. I really like to take it easy first thing in the morning, in fact it usually takes me at least an hour to get out of bed... first waking up on a Saturday morning is the most peaceful time of the week and is when I really start to feel the relaxation settle in. You can usually find me there with the cat on my legs and my iPad in hand scrolling through Pinterest or Instagram or some photo-heavy site like that, just absorbing all the things I skimmed over too quickly throughout the week.

If you're anything like me, than this post is for you. I purposefully post "Saturday Stuff" very early in the morning so that all these delightful links are ready and waiting for you to peruse while you lounge in the comfort of your bed. Or couch. Or patio. These links are meant to allow some time to just chill and look at pretty/interesting/quirky/delicious things. I hope you enjoy!

Anyone who knows me, knows I like hummus. No wait, I LOVE hummus. I could eat it daily. Sometimes I do. In fact, I'm eating it right now (no joke). While I tend to make the traditional stuff, bloggers are great for inspiring me to try new combinations. Just check out this, this AND this!

If you've read more than one "Saturday Stuff" you've probably noticed I like house renovations. Kitchens are a particular favourite of mine and this collection of the best kitchen renos from Apartment Therapy last year are pretty much the greatest thing ever.

Then there's this lamp. Essential.

So just to recap - I like hummus, kitchen renovations, and travel. Check, check, and check.

Did I tell you we've confirmed our trip to Europe this summer? We'll be flying into Oslo and out of Copenhagen and doing lots of hiking and eating in between. This should get us started.

This video is pretty great, and honest.

Well, that's all for now. Enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Blueberry Avocado Quinoa Salad

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And we're back! As you may or may not remember, on Saturday I shared that I'd be heading to the genius bar to get my computer diagnosed because it decided last week that it just didn't want to turn on. Not even a little bit.

Well, I did that, and long story short I'm now writing to you from my brand new laptop! It's so light, and fast, and quiet - it's instant love over here ladies and gentlemen. AND because Other Half is a teacher, and we're married, I got a discount! Education for the win!

But let's get back to the reason we're all really here. I'd like to introduce you all to my new favourite salad. I like a little bit of everything in my salads, and this one does not disappoint for that, but the main flavours are sweet blueberries, creamy avocado, nutty quinoa, a hint of salty feta, and a citrus-y dressing. Sounds good, right? That's because it is. Trust me. I went back for seconds and would have gone for thirds but my "tomorrow self" had already put dibs on those for lunch, and it was worth the wait because then I got to enjoy it all over again! And once I restock my lettuce supply, I'll be making this again and I already can't wait.

For the dressing I made a super-duper basic vinaigrette using calamansi balsamic vinegar, olive oil, a tiny bit of maple syrup and a pinch of salt and pepper. The calamansi is what gives it the citrusy flavour and is a hybrid between citrus and kumquat. If you don't have this, you can substitute in some regular balsamic vinegar and orange juice (because the orange juice will be sweeter you could also cut the maple syrup, but that's up to you!)

The nuts and seeds portion of this salad features hemp hearts and pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds), but it would delicious with sesame, chia, chopped almonds, or just about anything your genius brains can dream up.

This salad has really helped me focus on the weather warming up and all the delightful things that spring has to offer, including a whole fresh crop of spring veggies like fiddleheads and asparagus, woohoo!

Have you been doing anything lately that has you psyched for the changing season? I'd love to hear about!

Keep reading for the recipe!

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Saturday Stuff

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I have a really delightful and fresh salad recipe to share with you all, but my computer decided it quit on me this week, so until I can meet a genius at a bar who claims to be able to fix it, that's going to have to remain a secret.

So, you've got a glimpse into what I'll be doing this weekend - waiting in line hoping against hope that I won't have to invest in a whole new computer. That, balanced out with some sushi and squash and I am one happy camper. 

And to you I say "happy Saturday!" Whether you're sipping coffee, day dreaming with a mimosa, or kicking it old school with a chocolate milkshake, I hope you have at least a few moments to relax with a good book, magazine, comic book or what have you. And if you're fresh out of reading, I've gathered up a few links that you may find interesting. 

Have a great weekend everyone!

Not only does this look delicious, it's also called a dream-wich, so I mean... that's already a win, right?

And let's take a look at this tuna tartare on nori chips. Not only is it beautiful, but I recently read that nori is the next superfood, so that's two reasons to try this deliciousness. 

Ever wished you were a cartoon? These bags won't actaually make you animated, but they are pretty bright start.

This is my friend Betty. She's hella smart and makes science writing hella accessible. 

Ever since I saw the amazing floors in La Cubana, a local Cuban restaurant in our neighbourhood, I've been obsessed with graphic tiles. Now I might actually be able to afford them one day. 

Ever an excuse to travel, no? These green museums are just so intriguing. 

This guy!

Fingers crossed my computer is fixed soon, because I just KNOW you're going to love this salad!

Saturday, 7 March 2015

Saturday Stuff

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via The Artful Desperado

Another Saturday! Huzzah! It felt like a bit of a doozy of a week with a weird stomach virus hitting me part way through which made me feel kinda wonky the rest of the week. Luckily it's over now and I have a weekend full of fun things ready to go. That, and the weather is on its way up... finally! So whether you're having a netflix marathon, running an actual marathon, or participating in a shopping marathon, make sure you take 5 minutes to sit back, sip something tasty, and partake in a little light reading.

It's the freakin' weekend, gonna have me some fun. And by that I mean watch House of Cards and sip on this boozy cocktail.

I've dreaming of doughnuts ever since I made these beauties, but these Cheddar Jalapeño Green Onion Doughnuts just take everything to the next level.

Remember the dress from last week? Well someone actually decided to do something good with all the viral.

This is the front lawn of my dreams

Still dreaming of my future home over here. Hoping I remember this when that day comes.

I found out about this cool maker-space in Toronto recently and promptly signed up for a wooden spoon carving workshop. I'm so excited!

Oh you know, just continuing to think about our upcoming adventure.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Caroline's Favourite Granola Bars (Vegan)

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Vegan Granola Bars with Sesame and Coconut

Have I told you guys about my pal Caroline? She's the best. I made her this cake. We met in China and only lived in the same city for about 6 months before she moved on to a dream job in Paris, but in that time we managed to chat for hours upon hours upon hours. We had the ability to talk about anything and everything, from work, to exercise (she got me solidly through my first straight 5k by yelling about zoo animals), travel, food, and every possible thing in between (literally).

In all of that, food was definitely our most common topic for daily discussion. I can wax poetic about food for an unnaturally long time, I mean it's the greatest, right? Luckily, Caroline can do this too. During one of our conversations she mentioned a granola bar recipe that she loves, but hadn't been able to make them due to lack of available ingredients. Somehow that conversation planted itself in the back of my brain and resurfaced recently. And now here we are.

This recipe is exactly what I was looking for. These are dense, chewy, and really help fight those 4:00 hunger pangs. I can see why they were a favourite in her household, because they've quickly become a favourite in ours!

And, just like all my favourite recipes, this one is super flexible, as long as you keep it at a 2:1 ratio for oats to nuts/seeds you're good to go!

Vegan Granola Bars with Sesame and Coconut Bars

Caroline's Favourite Granola Bars (vegan)

6 cup oats (I used old fashioned, but whatever you have will work)
1 cup sesame seeds
1 cup unsweetened dried shredded coconut
1/2 cup chopped almonds/pumpkin seeds/sunflower seeds (I used pumpkin seeds only, but play around with your favourite flavours!)
1/2 cup ground flaxseed
1 cup nut butter (I used 1/2 cup sweet peanut butter, 1/2 unsweetened almond butter)
1 cup brown rice syrup
2 Tbsp coconut oil
chocolate chips (optional - you can go as high as 2 cups, I used 1 cup, and they can be left out all together if you prefer)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F
  2. In a frying pan on the stovetop, toast the sesame seeds, coconut, and other nuts/seeds until they are fragrant. Set aside to cool.
  3. In a bowl, combine the nut butter, brown rice syrup, and coconut oil. 
  4. Stir in the oats, flaxseed, and toasted seeds mixture. 
  5. Lastly, add the chocolate chips
  6. Press firmly into a 9 X 13 pan and bake at 350F for around 15 minutes, until the edges begin to brown. (Note from Caroline: I've had them range from 14-18 min (ish) depending on the oven. The centre will still look soft, but as long as the edges are slightly brown they are ready to take out.)
  7. Allow to cool completely before slicing. This allows everything to firm up and stick together. This is a very important step... don't rush the process, it's totally worth the wait!
  8. Slice and enjoy!


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