Wednesday, 16 April 2014
Sunday, 13 April 2014
I've been buying flowers like mad this past week. Irises are one of my absolute favourites and I'm not even sure why. Maybe its the colour? The odd shape? The lovely name? Whatever the reason I'm happy they're in season!
Here are some pictures of my seedlings having just been planted. This year I'm going to try growing a couple of flower varieties to make our front balcony look cheery. I'll also be growing cherry tomatoes, green onions and sugar snap peas (yum!). So far no sign of sprouting yet but I'll give it more time. Heres hoping this summer is a gardening success!
Friday, 11 April 2014
Spring is here!! We've now had quite a few days without a chance of snow and the sun has been so bright. Yesterday I went for a nice long walk to grab a few things for spring. I bought this new table runner (stretched my budget quite a bit but I'm so in love with it), picked up some tulips and irises and bought some seeds for my balcony garden this summer.
Yesterday I finished my last day of classes in my academic career, theres still a lot more for me to finish before I graduate from my Masters but I'm trying to relish in this small milestone. Its pretty exciting! Thats what I told myself when I bought an obscene amount of flowers anyways.
The best part of spring for me is the improvement in mood. I've been able to run outside almost every day and it makes such a difference. I feel much more sprightly! Shopping for flowers was also such a lovely experience. My favourite flower shop was teeming with rare orchids and many other spring flowers. I could have spent all day in there. The owner was actually friendly to me too (usually he's a bit grumpy and preoccupied), maybe its the effects of spring?
Monday, 7 April 2014
Last week I decided to make an old favourite based on a recipe I discovered on pinterest. A few years back I worked as a caregiver for a Chinese family and the mother would make this soup once a week for lunch for the kiddos, it was always a big hit! This modification to the old one I used to make includes sesame oil, green onions and delicious ginger. It is incredibly easy and was so flavourful. I think we will be making this a lot now!
4 cups or 1 pint of good quality chicken stock/veggie stock
2 tbsp corn starch
1 tsp ground ginger (or a little more if you love ginger like me)
1/4 tsp of garlic power or garlic salt (just make sure you don't add too much salt at the end!)
1 tsp of sesame oil
4 green onions sliced thinly (you can use both the green and white parts)
1/2 cup of frozen corn
salt and pepper to taste
* I also think you could use fresh garlic and ginger for this recipe but it would be more work and would include chunks.. to each their own though, chopped finely I think it could be good!
To begin with heat the chicken stock over medium heat and whisk together with the cornstarch, ginger and garlic power in a medium saucepan until there are no lumps left. Then bring the mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally.
While waiting for the chicken stock mixture to boil, whisk the eggs in a bowl.
When the broth comes to a boil remove from the heat. Whisk the broth in a circular motion and slowly pour the eggs into the soup to create those lovely egg ribbons. The whisking must be relatively slow too to get lots of ribbons.
After you've poured all of the eggs and made egg ribbons whisk in the sesame oil, green onions (save some for the garnish) and corn.
Serve with green onions and fresh grated black pepper on top. Yum!!
Based on this recipe with a few modifications: http://www.gimmesomeoven.com/egg-drop-soup/
Friday, 28 March 2014
This winter starting off well. I had heard about how long and freezing Montreal winters can be so I chose to embrace this winter by spending lots of time outdoors hiking, skating and visiting to Quebec city for Carnaval where we even went dog sledding (I got in trouble for petting the dogs, big surprise there). After February, the magic of winter had long since faded and the fact that it snowed a few days ago has made things even more lack-luster. The snow is all slushy and brown, people are grumpy and just plain exhausted from the freezing wind! Everyone reassures me that the summer in Montreal makes things all worth while and I cannot wait to drink wine in the park (it's legal here!), start my balcony garden and bike to work. I sure am proud to have made it through this winter and spent much of outside (although we did binge watch House of Cards on netflix… who didn't?) but spring and summer will be welcomed with open arms!
As for the pictures, these are just a summary of some winter highlights: our trip to Quebec City (such a charming city), my belated Christmas gift from A: an oncidium orchid that smells like vanilla and chocolate, i'm obsessed, skating on the giant pond in la fontaine, drying valentine ranunculus and lastly the bustling art festival nuit blanche.
Bring on the spring mother nature!
Sunday, 24 November 2013
In so many ways I am glad this week is over. It's been rather stressful here due to my semester coming to an end. After a day spent in the library studying I came home to Huevos Rancheros and A and I went walking in the cold for a hot chocolate. Both were amazing. It's really winter here now. The temperature drop is always hard to get used to but I'm really looking forward to the snow. Apparently Montreal really shines in December before it gets unbearably cold.
Went out for a nice breakfast this morning and found a lovely note from an old, great friend of mine. I love snail mail and I loved hearing her stories and adventures.
Sunday, 17 November 2013
Pretty modest bowling shoes eh? They didn't dare cramp my style.
My dress looked neat in the glow-in-the-dark lights.
Last night A and I went on a date night. Lately we've been doing our own "date night" for one another once a month. One of us plans an evening or afternoon for the other person and all the details are kept a secret! So far we've only had one each but they're really fun. It's a nice experience planning for the other and also great to not know what's going on, especially if you're usually the planner in the relationship. So, for A's date night I made plans for us to grab some Indian food and go bowling! We both love Indian food and this spot we went to was amazing. I had heard that this place was really popular on weekends so we arrived early but there was still a sizeable line outside of the restaurant and almost around the corner! I could talk in length about how disorganized and frustrating this process of waiting in line was (especially since you wait in line next to people's tables while they're eating, completely crowding their space) but I won't because everything else was really great. This restaurant is a BYOW with no corkage fee, one of my favourite things about Montreal and the food was top notch and reasonably priced! We ordered one eggplant dish that blew us away and my usual favourite okra dish was superb. We ate to our hearts content and had an excellent time.
Next we headed to a bowling alley which was once again packed but we were able to snag a lane. It was glow-in-the-dark and super hilarious. Glow-in-the-dark always makes me laugh and I love how elements of people's outfits or face suddenly stand out so much more, its really cool. Alex was a real champ and got so many strikes I lost count. I'm pretty sure the lanes were slanted or something, it was getting a bit ridiculous! Although, I didn't do so well so who knows!
All in all it was a successful date night. It's a really fun way to add some spontaneity to your relationship which isn't always easy to do. I can't wait to see what Alex plans for me in December!
Wednesday, 13 November 2013
This weekend A and I went to Ontario to visit my parents, sister and her beau. It was my mom's birthday and we had a lot of great family time and way too much rich food! We also went for a really nice walk along Lake Ontario where we saw a rainbow over the Toronto skyline in the distance, so lovely. Its a bit warmer in Ontario and a lot of the leaves are still on the trees. I just love fall, I am truly trying to enjoy every last little bit before it's over. As soon as we arrived back in Montreal the temperature began to feel much colder. It hasn't gone above 0 degrees in a few days now, it seems winter might be approaching faster than I'd hoped! Still, with winter comes awesome things: skating (I am so excited to skate on the ponds in Montreal's parks), hot chocolate, Christmas, snow, skiing adventures, warm soups and stews, etc.
My mom was kind enough to give us a few ikea frames she had lying around and we were able to frame some art we bought on our adventure to the Eastern Townships a few weeks ago. They look lovely (and very fall appropriate) in our bedroom.
It was great to be home and spend time with the family. It got me all excited for the Christmas season, one of my favourite times of the year! Still though, it is only November.. I have to pace myself.