There is no cure for curiosity

Eat, drink, repeat.

What better way to start off the long-weekend than a late-morning brunch?

As brunch happens to be my absolute favourite meal, I decided to test out a few recipes that I had been wanting to make for a while. I was appreciative of the positive reception by the crowd and am pleased to say we ended up with no left-overs. 

Though I was full all day and decided to skip out on my Saturday yoga, I managed to stuff myself with a delicious mushroom, goat cheese and pesto thin-crust pizza from Slice & Co. for dinner. 

Menu for brunch included:

Baked creme brûlée challah french toast

Spinach and mushroom baked eggs

Fruit salad with honey lime dressing 

and maple cured bacon.

Happy long weekend!

Brunch with @monchap

Brunch with @monchap

It’s that time of year again! The snow has started to melt away, and the soft scent of life blooming is in the air. For most, March 20 means nothing more than the beginning of spring. For some of us, it’s more than that. 
Norooz signifies rebirth, fertility, renewal and and is a celebration of life. Celebrated prominently in Iran, and widely in countries such as Pakistan and Afghanistan, Persian New Year is our biggest holiday. 
My dad reminisces about his days in Iran as a child — how everybody would put in team effort to do khane takoni (spring cleaning), which means cleaning, dusting, scrubbing and wiping every inch of your home. 
My mom talks about how her and her siblings would excitedly dress up in their brand new Eid clothing, and impatiently wait to collect their Eidy (money given to kids by their parents, extended family, and friends). 
I remember when I was younger and living in Sweden, my mom and I would spend hours painting eggs for the haft seen  (our haft seen this year is shown in the photo above).
Unfortunately for kids in Iran, they have school 6 days a week and only have Fridays off, so you can imagine their relief and joy at having two whole weeks off to celebrate this holiday!
The celebration of Norooz is an old an ancient tradition in Iran, dating back to over 3000 years ago. Though many things have changed, the one thing the people of Iran have managed to preserve is this holiday. 
An important aspect of Iranian culture is spending time with family, especially on Norooz. My family rung in the new year at 7:02 a.m., while we were in the car driving to work. It was a very groggy and underwhelming celebration, with my mom sleepily yelling out “happy new year!” and my brother and I trying to show some enthusiasm.
Oh and I was kidding about the snow melting and the flowers blooming. It’s been snowing everyday since Monday this week and it hasn’t been higher than +1 degree. Apparently Ottawa missed the memo that it is now spring?
Though it feels more like Christmas than anything else, I wish everyone celebrating a happy Norooz! Eide shoma mobarak!

It’s that time of year again! The snow has started to melt away, and the soft scent of life blooming is in the air. For most, March 20 means nothing more than the beginning of spring. For some of us, it’s more than that. 

Norooz signifies rebirth, fertility, renewal and and is a celebration of life. Celebrated prominently in Iran, and widely in countries such as Pakistan and Afghanistan, Persian New Year is our biggest holiday. 

My dad reminisces about his days in Iran as a child — how everybody would put in team effort to do khane takoni (spring cleaning), which means cleaning, dusting, scrubbing and wiping every inch of your home. 

My mom talks about how her and her siblings would excitedly dress up in their brand new Eid clothing, and impatiently wait to collect their Eidy (money given to kids by their parents, extended family, and friends). 

I remember when I was younger and living in Sweden, my mom and I would spend hours painting eggs for the haft seen  (our haft seen this year is shown in the photo above).

Unfortunately for kids in Iran, they have school 6 days a week and only have Fridays off, so you can imagine their relief and joy at having two whole weeks off to celebrate this holiday!

The celebration of Norooz is an old an ancient tradition in Iran, dating back to over 3000 years ago. Though many things have changed, the one thing the people of Iran have managed to preserve is this holiday. 

An important aspect of Iranian culture is spending time with family, especially on Norooz. My family rung in the new year at 7:02 a.m., while we were in the car driving to work. It was a very groggy and underwhelming celebration, with my mom sleepily yelling out “happy new year!” and my brother and I trying to show some enthusiasm.

Oh and I was kidding about the snow melting and the flowers blooming. It’s been snowing everyday since Monday this week and it hasn’t been higher than +1 degree. Apparently Ottawa missed the memo that it is now spring?

Though it feels more like Christmas than anything else, I wish everyone celebrating a happy Norooz! Eide shoma mobarak!

"If each day is a gift, I would like to know where to return Mondays"

Ahh, Mondays. How I (and the rest of the world) despise you. Not only do I have to get up at the ungodly hour of 6:30 a.m (which never ends up happening considering I snooze until I have just enough time to get ready if I sprint to the bus), but I also don’t finish my day until over twelve hours later.

I thought doing grad school part-time would keep me youthful and somewhat replicate a bit of the life I had in undergrad. Like when I used to start my day at 10 by meeting a friend for breakfast, go to class, go to the gym, skip the afternoon class and go shopping at the mall.

 Unfortunately this isn’t the case. Instead, I struggle to get up in the morning, get through work, and then rush to class and try to make it there for 4:00 where I have to drink a few coffees to stay awake for the next  three hours.

It’s only past 7:00 that my Mondays start looking up. That’s when Monday is actually almost over, seeing as I’m in bed at 10 p.m. on weeknights. Annnnd that’s when I can head out to the pool and go swimming. Even though I’m not a strong swimmer, I love it. It’s a great low-impact workout and helpful cross-training for my 10k run in May.

After swimming I usually go to the sauna to dry off and relax. And after that, I pretty much get home and pass out. Even the loudest of snorers can’t wake me up.

As you can see I lead a very exciting life.

Remember when I said that I wasn’t going out for St. Patrick’s Day because of work and class and being mature and responsible and all that jazz? 

Well apparently that was a lie.

After watching Good Will Hunting, one of Jonathan’s friends convinced us to head out to the grand opening of Elmdale Oyster House and Tavern; owned by the same guys who run The Whalesbone, arguably Ottawa’s hippest seafood eatery.

We headed out (without wearing any green! How boring.) to the restaurant and had our shots in hand within 5 minutes of being there (I happly gave mine away once I found out it was Wild Turkey bourbon). As expected, the place was booming with kids of all ages, most dressed in silly green outfits, spilling beer all over the place.  

After some delicious beer and an incredible platter of fish and chips, we decided to quit while we were ahead and call it a night.

All in all, I have to say it was definitely a more tame St. Patty’s than last year’s. It didn’t help that it was freezing out when last year it was definitely in the +20’s at this time!

Instead of partaking in St. Patty’s celebrations this year, we decided to keep it low-key  since we both have exhausting days tomorrow. Poor Jonathan is in the middle of  ”busy season” for accountants (sometimes he has 16 hour days at work!) and I have class after a long work day. So instead of getting decked out in green with the rest of our friends and heading out to the market, we went about an hour outside of Ottawa to Papineaville for brunch at a local sugar bush, or in this case, cabane à sucre. I had done some research before-hand and found that the French-styled sugar bushes were more authentic, included enough food , and also came with free maple taffy!

When we first got to Cabane à Sucre Brazeau, we were shocked at how busy it was. Everything went very smoothly and we had our meal in no-time. We poured maple syrup all over everything…the ham, beans, baked omelette, homefries, pancakes, sugar tart, and even coffee.

As fun as it was, it was also surprisingly freezing outside! Spring is less than 3 days away yet it still feels like we’re in the middle of winter. 

Overall, the sugar bush experience exceeded our expectations! Friendly staff, delicious food, and wonderful service.

Although I’m currently in a sugar coma, I’m still looking forward to going back here again next year! 

Sometimes I wake up extreme nostalgic for my childhood in Sweden. I miss hearing the language everywhere, the culture, the cobblestone ground in downtown Linkoping. But most of all I miss the food! That’s why this morning I decided to whip up some Swedish pancakes. My mom used to make these all the time when we were younger. She still makes them occasionally but only after my brother and I beg her until she just wants us to stop bugging her.

 I remember when I first moved to Canada I was not impressed with the thick and small pancakes they served here. Swedish pancakes are more like crepes - very thin, light and fluffy. 

Mine turned out just like I remember. The only thing missing was the Lingonberry sauce! 

I meant to add a photo of the pancakes once they were made but I gobbled them up too fast. 

Mmm…these hit the spot.

Sometimes I wake up extreme nostalgic for my childhood in Sweden. I miss hearing the language everywhere, the culture, the cobblestone ground in downtown Linkoping. But most of all I miss the food! That’s why this morning I decided to whip up some Swedish pancakes. My mom used to make these all the time when we were younger. She still makes them occasionally but only after my brother and I beg her until she just wants us to stop bugging her.

I remember when I first moved to Canada I was not impressed with the thick and small pancakes they served here. Swedish pancakes are more like crepes - very thin, light and fluffy.

Mine turned out just like I remember. The only thing missing was the Lingonberry sauce!

I meant to add a photo of the pancakes once they were made but I gobbled them up too fast.

Mmm…these hit the spot.

The only radio show I listen to

I never used to listen to the radio, unless I was driving, in which case I would only tune in to stations that played “Top 40s” just so I could sing along.

That was a joke. That never used to happen.

But over the past year or so I have gotten hooked on one particular radio show. Every week I wait eagerly for the latest episode of This American Life, knowing it will never disappoint. Through narrative journalism (in other words, storytelling), the show focuses on real characters, emotions, and stories that are true and events that have happened.

They document stories involving ordinary people who have unordinary things happen to them, or that may just have an interesting story to share. Every week, there’s a theme and the show is split into Acts with stories that all relate to the common theme. All the stories are pretty entertaining. 

Last week’s episode was about coincidences, and in one of the Acts, a contributor tells the story about how when his parents met his fiancé’s parents, his mom realized she used to date his fiancés dad (um…awkward?).

And this one time they told a story about an FBI agent pretending he was Muslim, seearching for terrorists at the local masque. Yeah…that actually happened.

Another time they just sat themselves down at a 24-hour diner in Chicago for 24 hours and interviewed people who came in day and night.
 
The host, Ira Glass, is a phenomenal storyteller and will often have you laughing —sometimes even crying.

Or laughing and crying at same time if you’re listening to an excerpt of comedian Tig Notaro’s stand-up talking about being diagnosed with cancer. (Don’t listen to this episode at 7 a.m. while walking to work. Everyone around you will think you’ve lost it when you uncontrollably sob while laughing hysterically. Alone.)

To hear for yourself, check out http://www.thisamericanlife.org/ or download the app on your iPhone for $2.99—well worth it considering you can listen to any show that’s ever been broadcasted.

They also produced a television version of This American Life which won three Emmys. I have yet to see it but I am sure it won’t disappoint.

tumblrbot said: WHERE WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO VISIT ON YOUR PLANET?

Right now (and for the past 3 years) I can’t stop thinking about Australia!

It’s finally here!! I have an ever-growing list of about 40 cookbooks I’d like to get through and this one is definitely near the top of the list. It’s been a while now that I’ve been been waiting for Breakfast, Lunch, Tea at the local library. Now that it’s finally here, I can’t stop leafing through it! Published by Phaidon, it’s no surprise that the book is filled with gorgeous photos that will make your heart pang with grief, knowing that you can’t run to the bakery this instant (unless you happen to live in Paris), or with regret, kicking yourself for not knowing about it when you visited Paris last Fall. Rose Carrarini, the English owner of the reknown Rose Bakery in the 9th arrondissment in Paris shares some of her favourite recipes that I absolutely need to read. From breakfast maple syrup scones to spiced chickpea and lemon soup to her signature chocolate mousse, the books has a little bit of everything for everyone.
Rose’s inspiration and knowledge comes from personal experience and learning from trained chefs and food writers such as Alice Waters and Richard Olney. Who would have thought a British-owned bakery would be so successful in Paris, land of baguettes and croissants?
Tonight, I’m looking forward to curling up in bed with this book and making notes on which recipes I’m going to test out. But first I have to get through the last hour at work , go to class, and then head to the pool to swim laps so I can continue my guilt-free food binges…sigh. Thursdays are long.

It’s finally here!!

I have an ever-growing list of about 40 cookbooks I’d like to get through and this one is definitely near the top of the list. It’s been a while now that I’ve been been waiting for Breakfast, Lunch, Tea at the local library. Now that it’s finally here, I can’t stop leafing through it! Published by Phaidon, it’s no surprise that the book is filled with gorgeous photos that will make your heart pang with grief, knowing that you can’t run to the bakery this instant (unless you happen to live in Paris), or with regret, kicking yourself for not knowing about it when you visited Paris last Fall. Rose Carrarini, the English owner of the reknown Rose Bakery in the 9th arrondissment in Paris shares some of her favourite recipes that I absolutely need to read. From breakfast maple syrup scones to spiced chickpea and lemon soup to her signature chocolate mousse, the books has a little bit of everything for everyone.

Rose’s inspiration and knowledge comes from personal experience and learning from trained chefs and food writers such as Alice Waters and Richard Olney. Who would have thought a British-owned bakery would be so successful in Paris, land of baguettes and croissants?

Tonight, I’m looking forward to curling up in bed with this book and making notes on which recipes I’m going to test out. But first I have to get through the last hour at work , go to class, and then head to the pool to swim laps so I can continue my guilt-free food binges…sigh. Thursdays are long.