High Tea, MOVING ACROSS CANADA, and More

I haven’t posted for a long time… I know. It’s because the past couple of weeks have been absolutely hectic, between meeting people, moving back to Ontario, and starting classes again.

TLDR of what I’ve been doing recently:

  1. Constructing Ikea furniture very slowly
  2. Reading
  3. Meeting up with friends, like the time I had high tea with my friend Adele in Kitsilano
  4. Other random stuff?

 

Here are more tidbits of the summer. These things happened after my sister and I came back from Charlottetown, PEI, and shortly after I got my wisdom teeth removed. Some bits of the summer include:

  • going for brunch with family at Café la Foret
  • baked a super creamy, rich New York cheesecake using an Allrecipes recipe
  • plenty of delicious Mom-cooked dinners, including tofu, veggies, and more
  • making iron-on bead magnets with my sister

 

  • delicious cooking from Mom – this time with Korean beef stew, pearl meatballs, and butter chicken with mushrooms
  • walking the dog with Mom
  • baking blueberry almond bread with mom
  • delicious brown sugar waffles with powdered sugar, butter, Nutella, maple syrup
  • stewed eggplant with ground pork on rice
  • lovely soft serve from Soft Peaks, which recently opened near my grandparents’ apartment in Burnaby
  • taro and chicken stew with fried egg and zucchini

 

My grandma found these! I wrote them when I was in the tenth grade, about five years ago. This is when I wrote down everything that I ate, separating them into pages by meal (breakfast, lunch, dinner). I think it’s funny because I also RANKED all of the things I ate out of 10, then calculated the weekly and monthly averages.

 

Heirloom Vegetarian is a lovely brunch spot in Vancouver. I went with my family, and I enjoyed a great platter of mushroom hash topped with poached egg and tofu. Mom and I shared two dishes – the other one was a grilled cheese with cauliflower soup. Afterwards, Mom, Dad, and I (sans Seline) shared a tray of four ice creams from Rain or Shine. They were Salted Caramel, Vanilla, Malted Chocolate Honeycomb, Peanut Butter.

 

Another afternoon, Seline and I had high tea with our good friend Adele. It was my first time having high tea, and it was such an enjoyable experience. The place was beautiful, the food was divine, and the company was great.

 

I had two large mugs of London Fog, which Seline drizzled with honey. I ate the vegetarian Grande Adventure, and my favourite savoury bite was the cheese sandwich with apple relish, followed by a tiny sandwich filled with curried egg salad.

 

That same evening, we packed up the car and drove to Aunt Mimi’s home. We went to Mimi’s house because she lives closer to the airport, and she was the one giving us a ride to the airport the next day. This time, Dad, Seline, Grandpa, and I ALL went to Waterloo together.

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Our first meal in Waterloo was Famoso Pizzeria. I had my favourite, which had arugula, gorgonzola, dates, honey, brussels sprouts, and proscuitto. On the side, a Caprese salad.

For the first few nights, we stayed at a lovely AirBnB in Kitchener. The highlight was playing a board game called Blokus.

 

Another day, we dined at Red House. Seline had lamb spaghetti, and I thoroughly enjoyed my summery salad and plantains with queso fresco. For dessert, I had the chocolate tart with whipped ricotta and berries. We did an escape room after this dinner – it was called the Vault. Unfortunately, we didn’t escape in time.

 

Around this time, we got to see the new house. The house was already furnished for one person.

 

We went to the MUSEUM in Kitchener one day, and Seline and I played with this interactive virtual dancing thing.

 

 

Fun moments – delicious dinner of baked cheesy tortellini with veggies from Ennio’s, followed by an incredible dark rum and mascarpone bread pudding with ice cream and Nutella sauce.

Plus cleaning and sleeping on the ground. Which are not fun.

More cleaning, more furniture to construct, and a random waffle topped with whipped peanut butter, honey-roasted granola, and peaches.

 

A couple wonderful meals from Dad and Grandpa’s LAST DAY in Waterloo:

  • L: Timeless London Fog, omelet with roasted cauliflower, black beans, smoked salmon, chipotle lime goat cheese, sweet potato pancake with black beans
  • D: Belmont vegetable crepe with ratatouille filling (eggplant, onion, mushrooms, zucchini, yellow squash), goat cheese, kale, buckwheat crepe // salted caramel brownie with vanilla creme anglaise, strawberry ice cream, strawberries, gluten-free carrot cake with blueberries, whipped cream, orange glaze

 

Seline and I had a bit more cleaning to do, and we were all done with the apartment. Here it is:

 

We finished cleaning, had an EXCELLENT first day of school (with yummy lunch eaten in the sun), and I celebrated with a giant chocolate chip cookie. I actually got this massive chewy cookie from Proof Kitchen for free as part of my lunch (how sweet is that deal?!), and it was delicious after popping it into the microwave for about 35 secs. Chewy, crisp around the edges, buttery, and exploding with chocolate. Served with a glass of milk.

 

That’s it for today!

A bunch of random things before we end of…

 

Bye!

Bucket List | Charlottetown, PEI

93424f31-7d6d-4e9a-9380-d144ad192015This summer, my sister and I will be living in Charlottetown, the largest city of Prince Edward Island, an eastern Canadian province.

We’re super excited about spending the month of July on a new adventure (I’ve never been to the Maritimes!), and, as usual, had to make a list of must-see tourist attractions and must-eat places. Here it is!

Charlottetown Activities

EVERYTHING: http://www.discovercharlottetown.com/en/see-do.php

  • 12 activities, 35 days = 1 activity every 2-3 days
  • **** Victoria Row
  • *** Confederation Centre of the Arts
  • *** St. Dunstan’s Basilica
  • ** Prince Edward Battery
  • ** Province House National Historic Site of Canada (birthplace of Canada)
  • ** Victoria Park
  • ** Beaconsfield Historic House
  • ** Government House
  • * The Great George (hotel with historic antique furnishings)
  • * Confederation Landing Park
  • * Charlottetown Farmers Market
  • * Harbour Hippo cruiseGreen_GablesThe famed Green Gables, from Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
  • Sir Andrew MacPhail homestead
  • Peake’s Wharf
  • Fanningbank
  • PEI National Park
  • Avonlea Village
  • Shining Waters
  • The Mack Theatre
  • Orwell Corner Historic Village
  • St. Peter’s Anglican Cathedral
  • Larimer Gallery
  • Founders’ Hall
  • Port-la-Joye (and Blockhouse Point Lighthouse)
  • The Prince Edward Island Regiment Military Museum
  • The Prince Edward Island Heritage Museum
  • The Alley (bowling)
  • Top Notch Lobster Tours
  • Stanhope Beach
  • Cape Tyron
  • Point Prim Lighthouse

Farther Away

  • * The Pearl Eatery and Oyster Lounge
  • New Glasgow
  • North Rustico
  • PEI Preserve Co
  • Confederation Bridge to Green Gables

 

Specialty Shops

  • * Anne of Green Gables Store
  • Anne of Green Gables Chocolates
  • Seaglassing
  • Balderson’s Farm Market
  • The Dunes Studio Gallery and Cafe
  • Green Eye Designs
  • Moonsnail Soapworts
  • Details Past and Present
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Prince Edward Island is known for incredible seafood, especially lobster, and potatoes.

Charlottetown Restaurants

  • TOP 20 RESTAURANTS BOLDED
  • 20 restaurants in 35 days = 1 restaurant every 1-2 days
  • ***** Sims Corner Steakhouse and Oyster Bar
  • *** Claddagh Oyster House
  • *** Lucy Maud Dining Room: The Culinary Institute of Canada Dining
  • *** The Chip Shack
  • *** The Gahan House
  • ** Dave’s Lobster
  • ** Leonhard’s Cafe and Restaurant
  • ** Hopyard
  • * Papa Joe’s
  • * Olde Dublin Pub
  • * The Pilot House
  • * Cedar’s Eatery
  • * Brickhouse Kitchen and Bar
  • * Brakish
  • * Local 343
  • * The Merchantman
  • * Redwater Rustic Grille
  • * Row House Lobster Co.
  • Himalayan Indian Cuisine
  • Splendid Essence
  • Fishies on the Roof
  • BOOMBurger
  • Doiron’s Fisheries
  • The Olde Village Bakery
  • Hunter’s Ale House
  • Fishbones on Victoria Row
  • Pho Hung
  • Terry’s Berries
  • The Big Orange Lunchbox
  • Buono Mangia
  • Inn at Bay Fortune
  • Rick’s Fish and Chips
  • Blue Mussel Cafe
  • Point Prim Chowder House
  • Gouda Cheese Lady
  • Churchill Arms
  • Glasgow Glen Farms
  • Richard’s Fresh Seafood
  • Piatto Pizzeria and Enoteca
  • The Churchill Arms
  • John Brown Grille

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Charlottetown Cafes

  • **** Receiver Coffee Co
  • *** Cows Creamery
  • Lady Baker’s Tea Trolley
  • Beanz Espresso Bar
  • Small Print Board Game Cafe

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Australia Adventures: Restaurant and Cafe Bucket List

Brisbane Must-Try Restaurants

  • Aria (lunch or dinner: roast rack with lab bacon, sweetbreads, peas, buttermilk) *****
  • Gerard’s Bistro (laham nayyeh, lime, shallot, pickled cucumber, egg) ****
  • Esquire (lamb with cardamom, anchovy, basil) ***
  • Ecco Bistro (field mushrooms on toast, Milly Hill za’atar spiced and herb crusted lamb shoulder, shiraz salad, smoked eggplant, mint garlic, black onions) ***
  • Gauge (breakfast, sourdough bread, Spanner crab, chestnut, pomelo) ***
  • GOMA (fish, scallop, cauliflower, lime, oyster mushrooms) ***
  • The Wolfe (sheep’s milk sorbet, picked muntries, tofu skin, nashi) **
  • Tartufo **
  • Rogue Bistro (waffles with chicken) **
  • Urbane (wagyu, celeriac, juniper) **
  • Stokehouse *
  • Sono *
  • 1889 Enoteca *
  • Black Hide Steakhouse *
  • Julius Pizza *
  • Miel Container (burgers) *
  • Anouk brunch *
  • Otto Ristorante (spaghettini with smoked ham hock and pecorino) *
  • Trangs *
  • Shouk Cafe Middle Eastern Breakfast (Belgian waffles with strawberries and ice cream, vinegar and caramelized pecan powder) *
  • Blackbird Bar and Grill *
  • The Balfour Kitchen (breakfast menu) *
  • Bacchus *

Brisbane Other Restaurants

  • Many more restaurants, unlisted on this document can be found at this site: http://www.mustdobrisbane.com/eat-drink/restaurants
  • This site also has many options: https://www.bestrestaurants.com.au/qld/brisbane
  • Public
  • The Foraging Quail
  • Char Char Yiros
  • Puopolo (ricotta gnocchi with sausage, onion jam, pumpkin)
  • Gambaros Seafood Restaurant
  • Polish Club (pierogies)
  • Summit Restaurant on Mount Coot-tha
  • La Vue Waterfront Restaurant
  • Il Centro
  • Puttia
  • Madame Wu
  • George’s Paragon Seafood
  • Libertine Restaurant
  • Fogata Latin Fusion
  • MADO Cafe and Restaurant
  • Longtime
  • Storehouse Q (fish and chips: grilled barramundi, veggie tempura, caesar aioli)
  • Fresh Sushi Co.
  • The Yiros Shop (halloumi fries)
  • The Burrow
  • Mu’ooz
  • Caravanserai
  • Mondo Organics
  • Tukka
  • Lefkas Taverna
  • Archive Beer Boutique
  • Lock’n’Load Bistro
  • Little Greek Taverna
  • Il Centro
  • Kwan Brothers
  • Corbett and Claude

Brisbane Must-Try Cafes

  • Pearl Cafe breakfast (red fish croquette with celeriac and apple remoulade, timeless fancy breakfasts, cakes, pork and fennel meatballs with passata, beans, pecorino, anchovy, fried egg, ricotta pancake with mascarpone cream) ******
  • King Arthur Cafe (coffee, breakfast, organic sandwiches, and cake) ****
  • Billy Kart Kitchen (pancakes, homemade almond milk) ****
  • Jam Pantry breakfast (omelet) ****
  • Scout Cafe breakfast (breakfast bagel, rissole sandwich with tomato relish) ***
  • Let Minnow (jaffles, waffles, and milkshakes, black forest waffles) ***
  • Morning After (refreshing breakfast like truffled scrambled eggs, corn fritters, sweet corn pakora with fried egg, halloumi, avocado, corn, tahini yogurt) ***
  • Naim (middle eastern breakfast, halloumi pumpkin toast, flatbread, green shakshuka) ***
  • Cafe O Mai (banh mi breakfast, breakfast pho) ***
  • Wild Canary (gardener’s breakfast, organic seasonal dishes with cakes) ***
  • Sourced Grocer (neighbourhood shop with rye crumpets with honeycomb, housemate leek ash spaghetti with black garlic, egg yolk, bottarga) ***
  • Plenty (mushroom, ricotta, pecorino, smoked eggplant sandwich) **
  • Pourboy Espresso (croque monsieur/madame) **
  • Putia (Italian breakfast donut) **
  • Strauss FD **
  • She Bangs (coffee, juice) **
  • Lady Marmalade (gringo eggs, vegan gumbo, corn waffles, vegan okra, black-eyed pea gumbo on sourdough with tofu and dukkah, LM Gringo) **
  • Harveys *
  • Goodness Gracious (steak, pumpkin, veggies, cloud eggs) *
  • Merriweather Cafe (brunch, caramelized onion potato hash with lamb merger and poached eggs, cakes) *
  • Marchetti Cafe (eggplant parmigiana) *
  • Gettin’ Place (simple breakfast menu) *
  • Double Shot New Farm *
  • Bear Bones Espresso *
  • Single Guys (salad with braised eggplant and heirloom tomatoes) *
  • My Mistress (French toast, smoked bacon, baked eggs with spiced beans and sourdough) *
  • The Gunshop Cafe (breakfast, potato feta hashcake) *
  • Neighbourhood Roasters (garden in the back) *
  • Priory Kitchen (brioche French toast with blueberries, pistachio gelato, honeycomb, nuts) *
  • Atticus Finch Cafe (eggplant jaffle, pecorino on sandwich) *
  • Elixir Coffee (corn cakes with poached eggs, salsa, avocado, dukkha) *
  • Pawpaw (Asian omelet, nutrient bowl with sweet potato, edamame, veggies, sesame dressing) *
  • Gertrude and Mabel (housemate crumpets, fresh baklava, mushroom potpies, ricotta hotcakes, 3-cheese sandwiches) *
  • Pablo (green – pesto and goat cheese – eggs and ham)*
  • Banter Coffee House (vanilla cream rice with pistachio crumble poached pear) *
  • Locavore Cafe (heart of palm) *
  • Reverend’s Fine Coffee *

Brisbane Other Cafes

  • http://www.mustdobrisbane.com/eat-drink/cafes
  • http://www.gourmandandgourmet.com.au/best-breakfast-in-brisbane/
  • Nitrogen ice cream
  • La Dolce Vita
  • Chocolate Moments (can take a chocolate making course)
  • Gun Shop Cafe (toulouse sausage, sweet potato hash cake, tomato jam, poached egg, rocket)
  • Monty’s Chocolate
  • Gonuts (croissant donuts)
  • Miss Bliss
  • Moore and Gibson
  • Three Monkeys Coffee House
  • Shady Palms
  • Little Genovese
  • Lola Coffee
  • Flour and Chocolate Patisserie
  • Bunker Coffee
  • Nana & Da’s (smashed avocado)
  • Dovetail (baked eggs)
  • Day Made
  • Lonely Boy
  • Ben’s Burger (breakfast burger, get extra special sauce)
  • Pod Espresso
  • Pompidou
  • Abode Cafe (ham and cheese toast the Dulcie)
  • Taste
  • Southside Tea Room (breakfast burrito, milkshakes)
  • Spring Hill Deli
  • John Mills Himself
  • Kettle and Tin
  • Sassafras
  • Choquette (buttery pastries)
  • Shutter and Brew
  • Sarmic Artisan Provisions and Cafe
  • Kin&Co (potato roost with mushroom medley)
  • Florence St. Coffee
  • Cafe Grenadine
  • Republic Coffee Traders
  • Hawkes and Crosby
  • Jacu Espresso
  • Coop Espresso
  • Felix
  • Kettle&Tin
  • Creme and Cream
  • Waterfall Cafe
  • Little Larger (halloumi breakfast burger)
  • Lokal&Co
  • Anouk (croissant French toast)
  • Au Cirque (sweet potato hash, smoked haddock Croque Madame)
  • Bakers Arms
  • Botero
  • Brewbakers
  • Campos Coffee
  • Corner Store Cafe
  • Dandelion and Driftwood
  • Delicatezza
  • Foxy Bean

The 54th Floor: CANOE Review!

On Saturday, I had a relaxed morning (which involved a haircut!) before heading to Canoe, a restaurant in the Financial District of Toronto. Canoe is located on the 54th floor of the TD Bank Tower and has over twenty years of serving Toronto.

I decided to go to Canoe, a contemporary Canadian restaurant, because of Winterlicious, a Toronto event that allows anyone to order three courses from a set menu for a fixed price. Canoe’s lunch was $28 for three delicious courses – you’ll see!

While I waited for my 1:15 reservation, I wandered around the lobby, where there was an Inuit art gallery. It was my first time exploring Inuit artwork, and I found it both fascinating and simplistic. The carvings were lovely and vaguely reminded me of the ancient Hindu statues I saw when volunteering in Nepal last summer.

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After a long elevator ride, I arrived at Canoe! There was a glorious view of the CN tower and Lake Ontario. I was lucky to have a seat at the high bar, where I could watch the chefs and servers work together quickly and efficiently. The restaurant itself is decorated stylishly, with copper accents, unique light fixtures, and wood chandeliers.

As for the food, Canoe is inspired by the raw, rich, and diverse lands of Canada. The dishes served here are not only seasonal, but also reflect our country’s history, environment, and culture.

I was greeted with a plate of warm bread. There were two large chunks of pumpkin seed and spelt bread, and two big pieces of potato sourdough. Both breads were incredibly tasty, and the texture was spot-on. I’m not normally one to finish all my bread at a meal, but I devoured the entire basket here!

I was actually lucky enough to speak with Coulson, the chef, as well as Robyn, Canoe’s social media manager. Both were very welcoming, patient, and gracious, and it was truly a pleasure to meet them both. I found the staff to be both friendly and extremely productive (especially considering the fact that it was a Winterlicious Saturday at noon), and before I knew it, I was handed my starter.

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fogo island salt cod rillettes: dill cornichons, roasted dulse mayo + molasses crumble

One server recommended this tasty appetizer to me. After scanning the menu, I was debating between the heirloom squash soup with pesto, toasted fennel oil, and crème fraîche (doesn’t that sound incredible?!) and the radicchio and bibb lettuce salad with smoky onions, daikon, bannock, and a creamy mustard dressing. I was more than happy to order the waiter’s personal favourite, despite never having heard of cod rillettes before.

I was very pleasantly surprised by this dish, which was creamy from the flavoured mayo, crunchy with the dill cornichons (pickles), crisp with the crumbled molasses, and flaky with the cod. This dish encompassed a large variety of flavours and textures, which is a win in my book. The presentation was also exquisite.

foie gras parfait: Niagara grape jelly, walnut butter + pie crust crisp

I am certainly not one to order foie gras, a luxury food made from the fattened liver of a duck or goose. I was lucky, however, that the chef brought me a plate of this starter to try. It was my first time eating foie gras, and I enjoyed the sharp, tangy flavour reminiscent of a strong parmesan cheese. Savoury, rich, with a silky melt-in-your-mouth texture, I was very impressed by this appetizer.

The foie gras was adorned with a smear of walnut butter, jellied grapes and some sweet halved grapes, as well as shards of crispy pie crust. The pie crust added excellent texture, and I loved how each piece shattered in my mouth. The walnuts and jam provided hints of fruitiness and nuttiness to the creamy foie gras, and I took my time to savour each bite of this flavourful dish.

leo’s paccheri pasta: fresh mozzarella, creamed celeriac, fried capers, charred rapini + Tamarack chili oil

I watched the kitchen staff prepare many schnitzels, salmon filets, and beef dishes, but surprisingly, not many people seemed to order the vegetarian pasta. As I sat at the counter, watching kitchen staff carefully create plate after plate of chuck flat and pork schnitzel, I started questioning my choice of ordering the pasta dish.

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Turns out, I had nothing to worry about. Chef delivered this main dish with a smile and a great description: smooth paccheri (large tube-shaped pasta), smoky rapini and creamy celeriac, sprinkled with salty crisped capers, and a drizzle of chili oil to add some heat without overwhelming the dish.

Every bite of this dish was divine. The rapini was cooked perfectly, and I loved how there wasn’t too much pasta. Instead, the ratio of toppings-to-pasta was just right. In my experience, this is rare, because restaurants try to bulk up dishes as much as they can with excessive amounts of pasta, then load on a heap of bland sauce. This was certainly not the case at Canoe, where each topping had been carefully-chosen and delicately-placed. The crunchy capers added blasts of flavour, and the crisped breadcrumbs atop the dish provided the right amount of contrast. The capers were actually my favourite part, and I wish there were more. There was a generous amount of freshly-torn mozzarella decorating the dish, adding a velvety texture. Goat cheese would have also been heavenly with the flavours in this dish!

Anyone who knows me knows that I have a serious dessert problem. On Saturday, how was I supposed to choose between toffee pudding, a flourless chocolate cake (with peanut butter and espresso meringue!), and yogurt with honeycomb?

This is what I finally decided on…

sticky toffee pudding: caramel mousseline, seed tuile + Muskoka cranberry compote

… and it was phenomenal. Every bite was a blast of flavour. Sour cranberries. Rich, golden caramel with the perfect velvety texture. Nutty shards of pumpkin seed tuile and whipped vanilla chantilly. The toffee pudding itself was pleasantly sweet, but balanced by the juicy and tangy cranberries. I thoroughly enjoyed each and every bite of this well-balanced dessert.

I was stuffed and super-satisfied after this meal, in the best way possible.

Unrelated to my experience, but Canoe is even having a Valentine’s Day feast! You all need to check out their menu. From salmon with caramelized yogurt, pumpkin, and chestnut chickpea fries to tarts with peanut butter, hazelnut mousse, and honey hazelnuts… drooling. Dessert lovers beware – you have to CHOOSE from a caramel budino, a chocolate tart, and a strawberry-rose cheesecake!

I loved my experience at Canoe and can’t wait for the Summerlicious edition of this post. 🙂

From Thanksgiving to Healthy Blueberry “Buttermilk” Pancakes

Happy belated Thanksgiving, my Canadian friends!

I hope you all had an incredible day full of great food, laughter, and special moments with family and friends. I’m writing this as I enjoy my breakfast – whole wheat pita bread with a ton of melted butter, scrambled eggs with cheddar and spinach, and yogurt with peanut butter, raspberries, granola, and some chocolate banana bread. I always tend to go a little overboard with breakfast on days that I don’t have school. Since yesterday was Thanksgiving, students at the University of Waterloo also get Tuesday and Wednesday off to make a full “reading week”. I’m planning to spend the next couple of days just relaxing!

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Mom made a pseudo-Thanksgiving dinner that involved bone broth, pumpkin pie from Superstore, two pizzas and Church’s chicken, and a big, beautiful salad. Those crackers look kind of interesting, too.

At my friend Mary’s house, the table was set beautifully. I loved the cornucopia centrepiece and fall-accented tablecloth.

This was my first plate! I definitely had seconds. Moving clockwise from 12:00 – mashed acorn “pepper” squash, roasted turkey breast, steamed broccoli and cauliflower, apple and butternut squash hash, roasted sweet potatoes, raw carrot and green beans, the best celery-bacon-bread stuffing I’ve ever tasted, and strawberry jello with pineapple. The stuffing and squash mashes were incredible. What did you enjoy for Thanksgiving dinner?

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We’re kind of moving back in time here, but a couple days ago I enjoyed chocolate oatmeal with peanut butter and a serving of yogurt with fruit for breakfast.

I had my first Skype interview! It was done in a big room with six cubicles. All the interviewees got to wear headsets with microphones to speak to the hiring managers. My interview was around 30 minutes long, and I loved getting to meet my potential boss and some of her colleagues. It was a cool experience, but I didn’t like how the camera was much higher than the screen. It made “eye contact” a little awkward! Have you ever done a Skype interview?

For some reason, I thought it would be a good idea to snap photos of my oatmeal on my bed? Pumpkin oats are finally IN now!

Another day I had whole wheat bread with smashed avocado, a delicious filet of spicy salmon, and some roasted brown sugar squash. An amazing lunch!

LASAGNA! ❤ This vegetarian lasagna was made with heaps of zucchini, mushrooms, and peppers, along with a whole box of spinach and fresh ricotta cheese and a ball of mozzarella. I had this two days in a row and froze the rest. YUM.

And pumpkin baked oatmeal was made and enjoyed for a couple days! This recipe serves 2, and you can use either rolled oats or quick oats. I found a vegan recipe since I was out of eggs and was pleased by how tasty this was.

Simple Vegan Pumpin Baked Oatmeal
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease baking dish.
  2. Whisk together all ingredients and mix well. Fold in raisins or nuts, if desired.
  3. Bake for 35 minutes, or until golden brown.

My sister’s best friend, Brianna, delivered a tray full of banana bread and pumpkin sugar cookies to Seline. They loved these, and it inspired me to bake something with the rest of my ripe bananas!

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I made my go-to recipe for chocolate banana squares. I still have a hard time believing this amazing vegan recipe is low-sugar, oil/butter-free, and made with whole wheat flour. Granola was also made, this time using quick oats, maple syrup and coconut oil, and walnuts. I love, love, love this granola recipe.

Some of it was jarred and given to the Zach family (Mary’s family). I told you, we’re going in a weird order today… reverse chronological?!

Needless to say, I had a ton of dishes to wash afterwards, so I enjoyed washing them while watching Mockingjay Part II on my laptop. Have you guys seen that movie? Thoughts? PS: watching something while doing dishes makes it much less of a chore 🙂

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Another day, I thought I would take a nap at 6:00 PM, wake up in an hour, and then cook a delicious salmon filet. I must have been incredibly tired because I didn’t wake up until 9:00 PM, and it was so dark outside! Oops. Instead, I rolled groggily out of bed and felt instantly refreshed once I smelled this simple red curry with eggplant, mushrooms, spinach, and red pepper cooking… in the microwave. I also thanked past Cindy for making this!

A couple days ago, I tried a new recipe for pancakes. I made the following changes:
– halved the recipe
– replaced banana with a whole egg (instead of half an egg)
– greased pan with butter
– added a pinch of salt
– used frozen blueberries
– used oat flour instead of whole oats, since I don’t have a blender
– used just a sprinkle of cinnamon
– enjoyed with maple syrup

Next time, I will add more blueberries since it was easy to flip. I will also add more cinnamon next time.

It tasted like a buttermilk pancake in flavour, but the texture was a bit creamier, gummier, and was fragrant like oats. I loved it and will be making this recipe again. I highly recommend it if you’re a pancake lover like me! Next time, I might also experiment with other fruit like raspberries or even chocolate chips.

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Next time, I will add more blueberries since it was easy to flip. I will also add more cinnamon next time. It tasted like a buttermilk pancake in flavour, but the texture was a bit creamier, gummier, and was fragrant like oats. I loved it and will be making this recipe again. I highly recommend it if you’re a pancake lover like me! Next time, I might also experiment with other fruit like raspberries or even chocolate chips.

Still, absolutely 100% deliciousness.

A different recipe this time, but still using oat flour. I think I may have cooked these too long or over-mixed the batter, because it was quite firm and hard to chew. The flavour was excellent though, so I think the recipe just needs a bit of tweaking.

Last Friday, I went to downtown Toronto for my interview at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. The best part of the day was going to Rahier in the morning for an earl grey tea latte and an almond croissant.

I was walking down the street to the hospital when I noticed another bakery – Patisserie LaCigogne, so I HAD to indulge in another croissant. Yup, I had two decadent chocolate almond croissants in less than an hour. It was a sweet day, literally and figuratively.

Mom Meals! Does anything catch your eye here? For me, it’s the MUFFINS and that kabocha soup! It’s crazy how much you can do with kabocha. Here in Waterloo, it’s called “buttercup squash”. I’ve made curries and pancakes out of kabocha, but there are a million other uses that you can read about here. Yes, kabocha pudding is a thing – and leave it to Miss SuperFitBabe to invent that!

I don’t know why I love these photos so much. It’s crazy what good-ish lighting can do for a food shot! I made a red eggplant curry with spinach and served it on quinoa, with lots of peanuts. Yummy.

Dessert was arguably yummier, with raspberries, peanut butter yogurt, granola, and a square of chocolate banana bread.

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More squash and more salmon – I ended up standing over the sink, stuffing squash into my mouth before I had to head out the door! These were ADDICTIVE.

Skies are cool.

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On a different note, I wrote an article a while back about my time in Nepal, and how doing yoga there was different from yoga here in North America. This was for a Yoga Teacher Training assignment, and I was lucky to have my article actually published by both Yoga Today, Yoga Anonymous, and Gaiam! For some reason, I’m super proud of that 🙂

This infographic was neat!

And something punny that I found on Facebook 🙂

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That’s it for today! Hope everyone has a great rest of the week. Can’t believe the weekend is already here!

PS: check out the world’s most random tags that I used for this post 😛

From Caves to Cheesecakes

Yesterday started with a hike through the forest – in Horne Lake Provincial Park.

We donned flashlight helmets and ventured into the dark, cold caves. It was only 8 degrees Celsius in there! I wish I’d worn a sweater. The pitch-blackness (with lights turned off) was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I liked the stalactites!

We got to see a rock formation that looked like a tiny Buddha sitting on a rock in a clear, still pool.

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After the 2-hour tour and walk through the forest, caves, and back, we devoured our lunches at Mad Chef Cafe. Everyone went for burgers and fries. My dad claimed that this was his favourite meal of the trip! He had the ‘Animals Taste Good’ burger with brie, bacon, ham, and chicken breast.

Mom and I shared this “small” salad, which was topped with berries, oat and nut clusters, fried brie, salmon, avocado, sprouts, tomatoes and cucumbers, and beet spirals. Can you believe this was a SMALL? We both ate until we were stuffed, and even then, there were leaves left over. Thank goodness we didn’t choose the large!

After, we visited the beautiful Nymph Falls, where we watched some experienced locals dive into the rushing, clear waves.

Seal Bay was our next destination, a beautiful place full of rocks and miles of sea. We were the only people on the whole coastline!

Dinner was incredible. At 7:00, we settled into Locals Restaurant in Courtenay. We were so lucky to get FREE food – sushi rolls with tuna tataki and freshly-baked wheat bread with butter. Mom and I shared a piece of perfectly-cooked halibut wrapped with crispy prosciutto, a delicious filet that came with vegetables and crispy polenta. The polenta was my absolute favourite thing – creamy, cheesy, and so delicious.

Dessert was equally good – we had the Forget Me Not cake, which was chocolate mousse and ganache. The coconut cheesecake came with whipped cream and mango puree. Both were perfect – and the mousse cups that ended our meal made me so happy. Because they were free. 😉

After a long drive back to the hotel, we all passed out on the bed and slept like rocks. 🙂