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I feel awful. The truth is that I’ve been feeling pretty run down for the past few months. Not just run down, run over…. by a truck… a garbage truck… who after running me down dropped a leaky smelly bag on my mangled body. So yeah, it has been rough.
The one bright side is that feeling horrid, is a great excuse to spoil yourself. I’m not talking big ticket items, just those little treats that you give yourself because you deserve it! I still remember the day I decided that it was worth the splurge for really great toilet paper. It’s the little things, you know?
Like name brand juice. It just tastes different! No one makes grape juice like Welch’s. Though I’m pretty sure the word juice needs to be put in quotation marks. I’m sure it is mostly juice from fruit – but also some colour and sugar. A whole lot of sugar. Doesn’t matter – that purple stuff is awesome.
And Pascale’s Ice Cream. Local, all natural and the most amazing ice cream ever. My latest conquest was a tub of the Beau’s Beer Milk Chocolate…. you don’t know awesome until you have had this ice cream.
So the question becomes – what should I spoil myself with today? The expensive back pain gel that doesn’t make you smell like an old lady AND works for almost 20 minutes?? Tempting. Or perhaps some really nice tea from a shop in the market. Or something decadent, that you know is horrible for you and the only reason you are eating it is because it makes you happy.
I think I will choose secret option #4 – a combination of all of the above.
What do you spoil yourself with?
It might be just another passing fad, but I like food trucks. I like the idea that no matter what part of the city I’m in, if there isn’t a great place to eat near by – one might be on its way to me! I also love the idea of wacky themes that might not make it as a restaurant, but totally work for a truck or stand.
Recently the city of Ottawa has approved the paper work for 18 new food trucks. From Texas Street food to Asian-fusion, the streets just got tastier.
Now you can find Stone Soup Foodworks on the streets AND at the University of Ottawa
Personally, I could never run a food truck. That doesn’t stop me from having some pretty kick ass ideas for them. So please, anyone who is willing to do these idea’s justice – take them. Make my vision come to life. I only ask that you send me an email telling me where I might find this food truck, so that I can become a regular. And maybe lunch is on you. Seems pretty reasonable I think.
Idea #1 – Stuff-ins
What would make a banana muffin even better? A peanut butter centre. What about blueberry muffins filled with jam? Or a chocolate chip muffin stuffed with chocolate hazelnut spread? And I *need* a carrot muffin filled with coconut cream cheese icing.
That’s right. This whole truck would be nothing but muffins stuffed with yummy centres. And coffee and tea.
I’m picturing a black and purple S&M themed truck. Black lights, leather whips – the whole shebang. But that’s up for debate.
Idea #2 – Dumplings
I see this as a Japanese Anime themed truck. No idea why.But I think this needs to be linked to Sailor Moon.
The idea here is pretty self explanatory - Dumplings. Nothing but dumplings in all their various forms, from perogies to gyoza. Basically an entire menu, desserts and all, of small packages of seasoned dough that are boiled, fried, baked or steamed filled with goodness. There is a lot of room for fun here.
Makes me want dumplings. Can’t explain it.
Idea #3 – To Be Named
This is my least developed, and newest food truck idea. I’m afraid I don’t have a theme for the truck visually… but I’d like to see some kind of sombrero in the artwork.
This one is all about Nachos. I hate the way Ottawa does nachos. These would be layered, with cheese and ingredients on multiple levels. No more of this tasty toppings hiding 30lbs of dry corn chips.
And there would be all different kinds of Nachos. Think of it as ‘The Works’ or ‘Wild Wing’ for nachos. Just think of all the fun you could have naming these creations! One small request, if you name one after me – no onions and lots of avocado please.
So there you have it. 3 amazing food truck ideas that I’d like to see in our city, but am decidedly too lazy to see through to fruition. Here is hoping you are more ambitious than I am and I can have a stuffed carrot muffin, Thai golden pouches and some super nachos in the near future.
As a person in North America who has access to the internet, I’m sure you were aware that the Oscars were on last night. I don’t usually watch award shows, but I had actually seen a good chunk of the movies nominated last night so I thought that might make a difference in how much I enjoyed it. (As a side note, it didn’t help – still so boring).
Seth McFarland isn’t funny unless he is R-rated.
In the hour and a half before I finally gave up and went to wander the ice cream aisle of Loblaws, I did notice that 98.7% of all advertisements were for something to make you look younger, thinner, taller, bigger, smaller, brighter and of course all around better.
A friend once told me I suffer from “women disease” – aka no matter what, I can always find something to hate about myself. We all do it – and it’s so silly. But I realized there were lots of times when I feel just the opposite. In fact, there are things I do just because I like the way it makes me look.
So as I tried to decide between Peanut Butter Chocolate and Mint Chocolate ice cream, I started thinking of all the things I do just because they make me feel pretty. Here were five.
1. I have *lots* of candles. Everyone knows a girl’s best light is candle, moon and tv/computer screen glow.
2. Lipstick – there is something so bold about dark lipstick. That’s right… I’m a real wild child. It also has the added bonus of clearly identifying my wine glass in a sea of similar glasses.
3. Scarves are such a beautiful accent piece to any outfit AND they keep you warm. But better than that, they hide most any stain that may have found its way onto the front of your shirt while you were eating.
4. Skirts are amazing. They show off the part of my leg I like and hide the part that causes most of my pant to commit suicide at the thighs. Also, depending on the skirt you choose, it can be as comfy as wearing track pants. So handy when the dessert menu is just too tempting.
5. Bubble baths are so relaxing and luxurious. Especially when they smell like chocolate.
What makes you feel pretty? Guys – you answer too.
In the summer I took part in a vegan food swap organized by the lovely MeShell from MeShell in Your City. It’s a cool monthly event that pairs you up with another vegan food lover and has you send them a few goodies (to a maximum of $20) and you get some in return from another participant!
This month my treats came from Rebecca from Our Vegan Adventures!
There were all kinds of goodies – but I think my favourite had to be the mixed nuts. I know – sounds boring. But I loved that they were salt free! I eat a lot of nuts and seeds and if they were all salted I would have problems. It also had cherries in it which is pretty rare for trail mix.
I also loved the raw chocolate banana nutmeg bar. I’m picky about banana flavoured anything, but I loved this! Real dried banana pieces. Too yummy for words.
The ‘golden berries’ were interesting. Turns out they are dry ground cherries. They start off sweet, and quickly turn tart. They were an experience that I had to taste a few times.
The hemp hearts were also very neat. They had a softer texture than I was expecting and a lighter taste. They would easily blend into granola and give you an added boost of iron!
Thank you so much Rebecca for your wonderful treats.
A really scary Winter Storm name indeed.
Before we start this post, let me say I know it is Downton (not Downtown) Abbey. Now.
I’m sure that your friends are like mine – wicked awesome and keeping you up to date in the world with their facebook postings. So when a healthy dose of my friends list was going on and on about Downton Abbey I had to check it out.
Of course I loved it and have now caught up with everyone after gluing myself to the television for hours on end. Oh how I adore this show. It’s like Pride and Prejudice meets Boardwalk Empire and takes place in a gorgeous British manner home.
So of course to celebrate the end of Season 3 (which actually ends with the Christmas special) I had to do something tasty! Armed with the latest Jamie Oliver cookbook (Jamie Oliver’s Great Britain) I decided to make scotch eggs. By which I mean bastardize a version of this recipe that worked with what I had in my fridge.
Ok. Truth be told I watched the episode then felt the need to eat my emotions and eggs wrapped in sausage sounded amazing. Also, by that time it was morning… told you it was hours on end.
Then tragedy struck. The eggs I was soft boiling – to wrap in the sausage – were a little underdone. You *could* blame the one cooking them. OR you could blame the eggs. Which was the path I chose. Mostly because they were my last two eggs. And as I’ve said, I was a little emotionally fragile.
So I just cooked regular sausage, finished frying the egg and ate it with toast. I called it ‘deconstructed scotch eggs’ – and I think we are all ready to move on. Until next season.
Right under food, stories are my favourite thing. I love plays, books, television and of course… movies.
My favourite movies don’t have much to do with food (though I have seen quite a few good ones that do), but they normally do have at least one scene that takes place while eating, making or serving something delicious.
Of course there are the iconic moments that pop into everyone’s head:
- The Katz’s Deli scene from when Harry Met Sally
- The opening diner scene from Reservoir Dogs
- Gremlins eating after midnight
- And anything Slimer was munching on during Ghostbusters
- When Clark Griswold cuts into that dry as dust Turkey in Christmas Vacation
Then there are the more obscure ones, but still really stand out moments in wonderful movies:
- The dinner scene in Pan’s Labyrinth
- The moment when the food critic tries Remy’s Ratatouille
- The dancing in the grocery store in The Fantastic Mr. Fox
- When Harrison Ford and Julia Ormond have a picnic on the beach in Sabrina (one of my favourite girlie movies)
And of course this gem from Pulp Fiction:
What’s your favourite food / movie moment??
Though I have, within the last year or two, started a love affair with olives and other salty items – I have a definite sweet tooth. Like most North Americans, I’d say. I love all things sweet – maple, honey, chocolate. Hell, I’ve been known to eat sugar cubes. Like a horse.
But my favourite is molasses. The thick, dark and sweet by product of refining sugar cane, grapes or sugar beets.
It is that added amazingness that makes a ginger cookie the best cookie ever!
It is the flavour that makes brown sugar so damn good.
Molasses I heart you.
But did you know that molasses can also be deadly?? Oh yes.
From the Globe Newspaper Co.
94 years ago today marks the Boston Molasses Disaster when a large molasses storage tank burst, and a wave of molasses rushed through the streets. They estimate it was flowing at almost 35 mph (56 km/h). In the end it killed 21 and injured 150.
To this day, some residents claim that on hot summer days, the area still smells of molasses.
When it’s your time, it’s your time – but this would be a pretty sweet way to go. Sorry, a pun that amazing just had to be used!!
From other posts I’ve done you know I love books and movies about food. Think Wheat Belly, Supersize Me, Waste, Tomato Land, Out of the Box, Food Inc, Knives over Forks, Blood into Wine, Sharkwater… the list goes on. And on. And on. And on.
The problem is that every time I read or watch something I become so impassioned by it. I think “YES!! THIS is how I will live from now on!! No more ______ (insert item here)”
I’m convinced it is bad for the planet, myself and everyone else.
Then I start thinking. One tells you to eat organic and local, another tells you that organic doesn’t mean as much as you hope it does and you should really be eating a vegan diet - full of meat replacements. The next thing you read/watch tells you those meat replacements are made of Monsanto soy so you might as well be buying straight from the devil.
Eat lots of fruit - but not Dole bananas because the pesticides used are killing all those who work the farms. Eat veggies, not meat – but not Florida tomatoes because of the modern day slavery used in their harvest.
Give up wheat – it’s making you fat and killing you… but feel free to eat as much cheese and meat as you like.
It’s easy to get confused and frustrated and feel like there really isn’t anything you can eat anymore.
Then I take a breath and remember the wise and wonderful words of Michael Pollan. Words, that for the most part encompass all of these points of view.
Not too much.
If you could add in – buy it locally and don’t waste it. I think that covers most of it.
Now I can exhale and go back to trying my best to eat responsibly. Until I discover the next big documentary / book and get all frazzled again. Someone please bookmark this to send to me when you need to talk me off the ledge.
There are only a few days left of this year and let’s face it – the bucket list isn’t getting done. I don’t want to make excuses… but I cross my heart and promise that I will not get another divorce in 2013* (*any current ones started in 2012 do not count) – so that should free me up to get some stuff done!
So – that said. I felt like I made some headway through the bucket list and it’s a great jumping off for my next year’s list. But before moving forward – let’s do a year in review thingy.
I said I wanted to eat at 15 new restaurants from ‘The List’ - well I got 12:
- Courtyard Restaurant
- Zen Kitchen
- Absinthe Cafe
- The Table
- Palais Imperial
- Brothers Beer Bistro
- Union 613
- Vittoria Trattoria
- The Urban Pear (still needs a review written!)
And I went to a few new additions to the Ottawa food scene that weren’t on the list. So… not too shabby.
I went to high tea, hosted a foodie get together and ate more than one very memorable dinners in this awesome city. I preserved tomato sauce, made things I was buying, used new ingredients and found a white wine I enjoy.
I even found Ottawa’s best beer! Though I think in the name of science I should probably taste test them all again.
And yeah… I got to do this. Not a bad year!
With that brings 2012 to a close. One of the worst – but somehow also the best – years of my life. The lows were low, but worth the lessons and discovery of an inner strength I didn’t know I had. They also set the stage for me to fully appreciate the amazing things and people when they come along.
But please 2013… give a girl a break.
In addition to being a foodie, I’m a pretty big geek. Ask anyone who has talked to me for 30 seconds or has witnessed the joy on my face when the bill comes at the Moonroom in a Star Trek paper back book (they would even hear a small squeal if it was a Mr. Spock-centric story).
This time of year there are many lists about foodie gifts to give, but here is a list for that awesome combination of foodie-geek.
6. For those of us who have been told it is inappropriate to wear a cape – now your lunch box can do it for you!
8. I’ve wanted them to make a chocolate bar of Han in Carbonite since the ice cube tray with the same feature was introduced last year!
9. Coasters you’ll actually want to use… even if only so kids will ask you what the hell these things are.
10. And last but not least… an inflatable tentacle arm. This has nothing to do with anything but it makes me laugh when I think of the tens of minutes of fun I could have with this.
All available through Think Geek! What fun…