Thursday, April 28, 2011

What to do...

Monday, April 25, 2011

Ah, Oui! C'est Printemps!

Finally, winter has melted and the sun is smiling warmly. Spring weather calls for long runs outside, picnics in the park and dining and drinking al fresco. I, for one, can't wait! Lately I've been feeling light and energized...On those first sunny days of the year my body feels like it's absorbed all 980 trillion kw of the energy emitted daily by the sun. I think I am so lucky to live in a part of the world with four distinct seasons. Each one is a welcome change when it comes around.

When I think of spring and summer, I think of balloons...I'm not sure why, although I'd hazard to guess it has something to do with the fact that balloons are something one usually sees on a sunny day.

Source Unknown

Enjoy this fine weather in good health and comfort knowing that there's plenty more to come!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Wedding Wednesday

Rustic Vintage Wedding...for no one in particular...

Monday, April 18, 2011

Chocolate Cherry Coconut Larabar Recipe...

My husband has been referring to me as "Pete Schweddy" this evening on account of my delicious, chocolate balls...But joking aside, of the 16 I made, zero remain. This is HUGE praise from S, as his reaction is usually lukewarm to sweets (he much prefers salty snacks).

Many of you have probably had a Larabar or two by now. These bars are delicious...but they hurt...deep in the pocketbook. At as much as $3 a pop, I can afford to eat about 1/2 a Larabar a month, which is simply not enough. This had me scouring their website in an effort to make a version of my very own. The Cherry Pie flavour seemed to speak to me, but then so did the Chocolate Coconut Chew...uh oh! A dilemma! Naturally I decided to try to make one.

I know the basic Larabar principle is equal-ish parts of all ingredients. I watched a few Youtube versions and then I was on my way.

Here's what I came up with:

-1 cup pitted dates, chopped (be sure to purchase pitted...sadly I overlooked this detail)
-1 cup dried, unsweetened cherries, roughly chopped
-1 cup raw almonds, chopped
-2 tbsp + 2 tsp cocoa or carob powder (unsweetened)
-1/2 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
-1-2 tsp cinnamon (optional...I didn't use as I forgot)

-In a food processor, process pitted dates and dried cherries together into a paste. I added 1-2 tbsp of water to loosen the could also use any oil you have on hand.
-Put processed dates and cherries into a medium-sized bowl.
-In the same bowl of the food processor (no need to's all going to mix together in the end) pulse the almonds until they are very finely chopped. Some of mine were almost a flour consistency while the rest were slightly more chunky. It's good to have a variation in texture, but don't process for too long, or you'll wind up with almond butter...not that that's a bad thing ;)
-Put the almonds, cocoa and coconut into the same bowl as the dates and knead until well combined. Tip: Wet hands make the dough easier to work with.
-Shape into bars or, as I did, balls. Use about 1/4 cup of the mixture for the bars and about 2 tbsp for the balls. You could even roll them in coconut or cocoa to finish.

I chose to roll the ingredients into balls after trying the little bouchées at one of my favourite raw, vegan, macrobiotic restaurants Kale Eatery. If you're ever in my 'hood...and you're into that kind of thing, give it a go. It's really, really good!


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Paris, je viens!!

It's official!! SB and I have booked the trip!! Two weeks in Paris and a week in Nice, with side trips to Monte Carlo, Monaco and wherever else the wind takes us....All I can say is "eeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!"

We rented this cute little apart-hotel for the first two weeks. It has a kitchen, so I can bring yet another one of my life goals to fruition: cook an authentic French meal in France...

...and we booked this hotel in Nice...It's allegedly RIGHT in the middle of downtown.

All I can think of is this trip...which is not good given that I have several other responsibilities to attend to between now and August...including renewing passports and officially changing my name...Oh yeah, and teaching the babies, too!

Le sigh...Happy sigh!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Has it been so long? Updates!

Well, I suppose since I've been neglecting my little blog, I owe it an apology. It's always on my mind, but I haven't been up to making the time...Primarily since I've joined Swap-Bot this adorable online community of snail-mail lovers sends each other trinkets, teas, candies and crafts through the post. I am, at present, obsessed! Additionally occupying my mind is our upcoming three week France vacation! I am positively vibrating with excitement!! We're renting a little Paris apartment for two weeks, then spending a week in Nice, exploring the French Riviera. I absolutely can't wait to really immerse myself in the French culture, language and food.
A few weeks ago (more like 8, ha!), Steve and I saw the Canadian Opera Company's production of The Magic Flute. It was a dream-come-true for me to see this particular opera live, as I have been listening to it since I was a little girl. Needless to say, I was reduced to tears on more than one occasion. If you have the opportunity to see it, I strongly, highly recommend.
The time has come for spring cleaning, so I must aweigh to continue with that most arduous of tasks...but since I'll be following the checklists outlined here, it should be relatively pain-free.

The tools of my trade for the day...Ready, set, go!