I know, I know. I've decided to mosey on over to a new blogging outlet though - hope you'll come with!
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
Thursday, September 25, 2008
You know me. You know I love coats. Which means I gots me a new little sister for my Mackage.
Say hello to Margo, by Soia & Kyo:
This, of course, still leaves me longing for a new fall jacket. And my eyes keep turning towards little Amelia, by Suwha. But I do think that I shall have to keep her at an arm's length. It's better for everyone that way.
Sunday, September 07, 2008
Movers came to pack up my things. Crossing into Canada is much more involved then crossing into the US. It includes meeting the truck at a Customs clearing house! Oh, my. So that border crossing scares me a bit, and if anything can make it go smoother, I'm all over it. Getting your mover to pack the things they carry is one of those things.
Movers came to load up their truck with my things.
I drove from Columbus, OH to Burlington, ON. Only four (count them, four) pee stops. Best songs heard on the radio: Kiss by Prince, and the three-song-spread from a station in PA that saw Kim Mitchell followed by Rush followed by Skid Row. If there was ever a musical sign that this girl made the right decision to head back into Canada, this was it. When I got to the Peace Bridge border, Immigration asked me a couple of questions and accepted my surrendor of my I-94, and Customs stamped my Canadian car re-entering the country, and allowed me to declare all of my stuff on the moving truck that will arrive on the 9th, making claiming my things at the Customs clearing house next week so much easier.
I'm staying in Burlington, at my parents' place, until my things arrive on Sept 9. Its lovely to have a welcoming home, and a bed to sleep in, while I wait!
Re-registered my car, and exchanged my OH drivers license for an ON one. While the whole moving process is more difficult, the licensing one? Much easier. No need to write a driver's knowledge test, or take a driving test. Take that, OH.
Picked up the keys to the townhouse I'm renting, and dropped off some of the things I brought over in my car.
Bought a new computer - the Dell Inspiron 1525. It is pretty and red, and I must confess a liking for the Windows Vista interface. Does that make me a fool?
Reconnected with my gym-friends here in Burlington.
Was able to get Rogers Cable to move up the appointment I have to have digital cable, internet and phone service connected from Sept 25 to Sept 12! Only 2.5 days without TV. Though, I know, that will still seem like a lifetime.
To come: meeting the movers and moving into my place in Waterloo on Sept 9. Figuring out which gym location in the region will become my new home. Exploring the cities. And starting work on Sept 15!
Saturday, August 30, 2008
Quiet time can be a necessary thing. And time to chatter always rolls around, sooner or later. Guess which bit I'm in the middle of right now?
Oh, dear, the things that have been going on. Since I last spread my brain over your screen, I made the decision to look for a new job, started interviewing with a number of places, and, two weeks ago, accepted a position that will take me ALLLLLLL the way back to Ontario.
New kinds of excitement.
And new kinds of sadness leaving my excellent, incomprehensibly awesome Columbus friends here when I leave. Yay, but boo, you know? Sigh.
Anyway, I leave Columbus on Wednesday.
Holy crap, I leave Columbus on Wednesday. Oh, dear.
Anyway, Canada - you have been warned.
Sunday, June 29, 2008
Life is lovely, but not all that exciting right now. Cycling, working, having fun, the end!
Really, though, I am very lazy with the writing, and find it easier to microblog via Twitter, and post pictures at Flickr, while social networking it up on Facebook. So if you're interested in keeping a-track of me, here are a couple of links:
Posted by Melissa at 4:52 PM
Sunday, June 15, 2008
When I need to get out of my head, I do something physical. I heart the exercising, but act of creating something just isn't inherent to hefting weights or cycling for a bargazillion miles, or even horseback riding.
I used to fulfill my need to create something with my hands by art. 3D collages, which I am promising myself to get back to making, and soon, and later with ceramics. Lately, though, and I'm sure you've already noticed, it's been with cooking and baking and kitchen experiments galore.
This weekend, I tried my hand at candy making, for the first time ever. When I was a child, I loved Kraft's Chocolate Caramels, and decided that that was the place for me to start. Using my new favourite cookbook, Chocolates and Confections by Peter Greweling, I set to work.
Two things that I thought would ruin the batch:
- The power went out and stayed out for a good minute 2/3 of the way through the process, though since I didn't seemingly loose and heat from the mixture, and kept stirring away until the power came back on, I decided to finish the batch and see how they would turn out.
- The next morning, I realized that I had used half and half instead of heavy cream, meaning a lower milk fat content in the candy.
I wrapped 'em on up in wax paper and will be brining them into the office tomorrow.
So, take a look:
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
A tinyunicorn requested the recipe for the wee jar pies below. Ah, recipe.
Crust: here you go. Okay, so neither Jen or I had ever made a pie crust, and having witnessed the pain that pie crust has cause friends and relatives, and feeling like this project was too cute to allow for failure, we went with pre-made. 3 boxes will cover 24 4 oz jars.
Filling: Mango Pie at MyRecipes.com. This is the only recipe for Mango Pie that I've come across that uses the mango whole, instead of making into some odd cream pie base. In case you'd rather not visit MyRecipes, here's the lowdown for the filling:
- 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 4 1/2 cups (1/2-inch-thick) mango wedges (about 4 medium)
- 1 tablespoon chilled butter, cut into small pieces
Sunday, June 08, 2008
It's been awhile, no? A lot's been going on. I went back home to visit, and had a final dinner at Susur. And while I am sad his Toronto location is closing (Lee isn't the same, kids), I am excited to see what he opens in NYC.
The Toronto weekend was incredibly fun. I heart being happy like that.
What else? Oh, I'm riding a lot. On my bike. AND ON A HORSE. That's right, Jen, Allison and I started horseback riding lessons yesterday. We all spent hours on horseback as children, but - well, we're children no more. Loving it. LOVE.
And on to the pies.
Because we can't help but fall in love with awesome, tiny food, Jen and I decided to steal this idea from NotMartha and make tiny pies in 4oz jars this afternoon. Jen took the first 3 pictures, and I took the rest.
I give you: Wee Mango Pies
Monday, May 26, 2008
I made cream cheese sugar cookies last weekend.
On Friday, I churned up a batch of cheesecake ice cream to bring to a friend's party. No, no chunks o' cake in this baby - ice cream that tastes like cheesecake filling through and through. But that's just white and not very photogenic, so no photos for you.
Turning away from pastry, I made quinoa for the first time this weekend. This has it mixed into carmelized onion, garlic, three kinds of mushroom and wilted spinach with a squirt of lemon juice:
And an old standby - cauliflower, celery, onions and asparagus on a baking sheet, heading into the oven to roast before being made into soup.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
For the past couple of weeks, I've been toying with the idea of doing a Century Ride - 100 miles (161 km - I'm still so very metric) of road cycling in one shot. I figure that since I've been pushing out 25 mile rides at a moderately easy pace post-weight training session that 100 miles is a do-able goal.
So, I've been toying with the idea - until I ordered The Complete Book of Long-Distance Cycling from Amazon. Even though 25 miles is easy to do, 100 miles, I know, is a different animal, and it's something that I'm going to need to train for, and learn how to fuel myself for.
September seems like a good goal to work towards. You all better hold me to it.
Totally unrelated, here's an obligatory what I made over the weekend food photo.
Regard, the mostly organic Chewy Oatmeal Raisin cookie. I modified the recipe to use whole wheat flour, add cinnamon and up the raisin factor.
Friday, May 09, 2008
Via BlakeMakes.com and their Soopz network, this week I received three Amano Single Origin dark chocolate bars in the mail.
I heart dark chocolate, but I'm very demanding and more then a little snobbish about it. I am happy to report that Amano's bars made my heart flutter and my tastebuds dance with delight. All three are lovely, shiny looking bars with a strong snap. And talking about snap, each bar can be broken (or, using my preferred method of cutting with a serrated knife) into 15 squares, making sampling all three in one sitting an easy task.
The Ocumare (70% cacao - Venezuela) is the most typical of the bars. But when I say typical, I perhaps mean traditional tasting, as it stays truest to what you would expect in a dark chocolate. But, at the same time, it brings that flavour profile to a completely different level. Deep, and dark and peppery. This is a small bite bar, for sure - which just means that the savouring and tasting can go on for days.
The Cuyagua (70% cacao - Venezuela) is the newest, and limited edition, product in the Amano line-up. Though still possessing a lovely dark chocolate canvas, it layers on sweeter berry and tree-fruit flavours to an excellent effect.
The Madagascar (70% cacao - Madagascar) is my favourite, through and through. Biting into a square was revelatory, as the dark, deep chocolate was imbued with an excellent tart, tangy and citrus-y note. It also had a lovely, lighter feeling on the tongue then the more buttery feeling Ocumare.
Heart dark chocolate. Heart Amano. The end.
Sunday, May 04, 2008
I've recently returned from seeing Al Gore speak with my friend Julie. I love me some Al Gore. Here are 2 20 second .wav files for your listening pleasure. Unfortunately, you're going to have to download them, as Blogger doesn't support embedding audio.
Also, visit WeCanSolveIt.org. Al wants you to, sand so do I.
Unrelated, I made granola from Heidi Swanson's book Super Natural Cooking. It rules.
If you'd like to try it on your own, Serious Eats has permission to post the recipe, and you can take a gander at it yourself. I used cranberries and mango as the fruit components.
Here's what it looks like before being thrown in the oven:
And when it came out:
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Ah, Flat Columbus. So Columbus? She is flat. Very, very flat. I never really noticed until I started cycling it's streets.
This morning, my friend Andrea and I went out. It's nice to ride with someone else. Anyway, we went at a fairly easy pace and managed to lay down 33 km / 21 miles in 1.5 hours. It was excellently sunny, though chilly enough for me to require a t-shirt under a long sleeve shirt under a jacket. Because I am a pansy. Cycling up North High, we saw a few excellent things, including Just Pies (which will need a sit down and eat visit), and the revelation that Columbus demands flags - or so two flag stores (including The Flag Lady!) located within two blocks from each other led met to believe.
Help me choose a guitar strap, please.
Black with White Polar Bears seatbelt:
Black with Red Stars fabric and seatbelt, like this but, ah, black with red stars:
Next Sunday, my friend Julie and I are going out to see the lovely Al Gore speak. As much as many of us wish that things had fallen differently in the US federal election o' 2000, I can't help but think that Gore has become a much more powerful figure of change then he would have been underneath the constraints of a federal government. As an aside, I will probably be forced to tell the Internet as a series of tubes joke that day. Sorry.
I promised to post pictures of fired ceramics, didn't I? Never say I don't follow through.
Here is my favourite, though I do admit, it is in poor taste.
And the rest:
Sunday, April 20, 2008
I held out, guitar-less, for a good six years.
I caved this afternoon.
My fingers hurt. And, goddamn, I have forgotten so much that I knew.
Being a smart lass, and knowing that I probably won't ever play out (unless, of course, you all want to start a band with me), I went with a super-hot looking, so not expensive Epiphone SG Special. I'll never get able to get away from the Gibson family, I reckon.
Look at my new sweet baby.
I tried acoustics before being led to the wall of electrics, and having her placed in my hands. The acoustics were too large to cuddle. And this one makes me want to hold on for dear life.
PS: If you're interested, my old guitar was a 1986 Gibson Les Paul Jr in Heritage Cherry.
Sunday, April 13, 2008
Tomorrow is my final pottery class. And though it was fun, I am glad - class after work makes for a long, long day. Anyway, last week I glazed the shit out of my pieces (including a cute mound of coiled poo), and I'm hoping that those suckers will be all a-fired and photo ready tomorrow night!
Is it sad or awesome that my first rockshow in Columbus (a) took so long to happen, and (b) was by a band that started kicking it out in Vancouver? Oh, New Pornographers, you were much fun, though I did wish, strong and hard, that your sound guy would have done something to actually make you sound as excellent as you are in that room.
This morning, I made Thomas Keller Oreos. Cocoa wafers sandwiching white chocolate and heavy cream centres. Freaking. Awesome. Here. tale a look:
Sunday, April 06, 2008
Driving down N High St on Wednesday. "Avoid Hell Repent Trust Jesus Today". Indeed.
A new original piece by Terribly Odd to add to my collection of creepy kid artwork. "Poor sweet Dorothy Sutton, who's eyes were scratched out and replaced with buttons."
Made these Raw Vegan Brownies, and will be bringing them in to work tomorrow. I think they taste more like Tootsie Rolls, while my friend Venessa thinks they're similar to Li'l Debbie brownies.
And I just got back from the 2nd match of the season for the Ohio Roller Girls with Venessa, Andrea and Suzanne.
Sunday, March 30, 2008
and it made me happy from the inside-out.
Sweet Baby Jesus, it's amazing what an afternoon spent in the sun can do to your head. Add on to that an excellent day spent shopping with a fun friend, and it's easy to believe that all is right with the world.
I made sure to store up a mess of that feeling inside, and my drunken-sunshine state carried me through most of today's greyness. But now I'm all out, and seem to be suffering from a sunlight hangover.
But talking about this afternoon, I spent some time out at roll:, getting some hands-on experience in changing flats, and adjusting gear and brake line tension. Believe it or not, in the past few years that I've been riding, I've never had a flat tire - I put it down to the fact that, excepting last year, all of my road cycling had been on a mountain bike, with tires that probably could've carried a monster truck down the street. Still, not an excuse for knowing-how-but-not-doing, so I'm glad I got to remedy it today.
PS: I am in full-on covet mode for a Mike and Chris bone-coloured light weight leather jacket that has no business being so expensive, or looking at me the way it does. And I will be actively avoiding stepping into Jinny's for the next couple of months, until leather jackets are too heavy to wear and it disappears.
Sunday, March 23, 2008
When you move to a new city, you have to find replacements for things and places that were yours in your old home. Sometimes you're disappointed (see: Columbus grocery stores in general), and sometimes, the things and places you find far exceed what you're used to.
A few weeks ago, my friend Andrea was considering purchasing a bike from one of her friends. Being the pushy monkey that I am - and very much wanting her to buy a bike that would be just right for her, so she'd love it and never want to get out of the saddle - I was insistent that she get professionally fit to make sure that all that the frame had going on would be right for her body.
On suggestion from a co-worker, we made our way up to roll:. And the store? So damn excellent that I forgot to be annoyed by the colon. Store design aside, though it does, indeed, have an excellently cool look and layout, the place just felt good on stepping through the door. The people who work there are incredibly approachable and equally knowledgeable about bikes and the act of cycling. And, on top of that? It's the first bike shop that I've set foot in that has women on staff. That's right, more then one. And they ride, too.
So, last week when I saw spring starting to peak around the corner, I took my sweet baby in for a spring tune-up, and took advantage of their crazy laser body scanner to set up my bike to a bit more of an aggressive stance. And I can't wait for it to be warmer then 0C in the mornings so I can get out on the road.
Dear Spring, where are you?
Anyway, I'm looking at the body scan printout right now, and I feel like I could confidently take this information to a seamstress and get some excellent bespoke clothing made. Is it wrong that before Friday, I had no idea how wide my shoulders were, how long my arms were or the length of my inseam? Oh dear, this is somewhat dangerous information to have, indeed.
Sunday, March 16, 2008
- Cinnamon Peanut Butter (my own recipe)
- Green Garlic Oil (raw)
- Whole Wheat Flax Meal Tortillas (my own recipe)
- Tomato Sauce (raw)
- Jicama Ravioli with Tomato Sauce (raw - paper-thin jicama slices, marinated in Green Garlic Oil, wrapped around raw almond hummus, made last week and stored in the freezer, covered in tomato sauce)
- Mint Oreo Cookie Balls
- Roasted Vegetables and Seitan (big ass pan of; seitan = homemade)
Yes, this entry was just so I could post pictures of the cookie balls. Whoops?
Saturday, March 08, 2008
So, a mess of things have happened since I last shouted at you. My latest 1.5 week birthday celebration ended with a visit from my parents! That was excellent, especially since in the whole of my life, I've only not ever celebrated the almost twin birthdays my mom and I share - me on the 23rd and she on the 25th - once in my life. And that was only because I was clear on the other side of the planet.
It was a weekend filled with talking and shopping and going out to eat. I kind of love that even though I live in another country, I'm still close enough to see my family and friends every couple of months. Current plans see me heading on back at the end of May for a weekend, and I can't wait - especially since, unlike the last time I was in town, it will be sunny and warm and messing about outside will be the call of the day!
In an If You Blog It, It Will Come moment, my parents brought with them a birthday present from my brother. A few weeks ago, I wrote about the excellence that is the Ball and Chain Kitschy Silhouette pendant collection. My brother, being excellent and generous, made sure that not only one of their TVs, but one of their MixMasters would be mine! And man, I can't tell you how delighted I was, and still am; there was both clapping and squealing when they were opened. And there still might be clapping and squealing going on every time I put them on.
Long time readers my have noticed my lack of injury-blogging of late. Don't worry - I haven't smartened up any and started to pay attention to the world around me, I've just been avoiding detailing the latest traumas. But the current stupidity that I'm dealing with really needs a re-cap. First, the list of what I've accidentally done to myself since moving to Columbus:
- October 2007: Trip while running down stairs. Sprain right ankle.
- January 2008: Forget that ovens are hot when turned on. Burn right forearm badly enough to need to treat it with polysporin and cover with a bandage for a week.
Back at the start of 2005, before I started blogging over here, I fractured my right foot's fifth metatarsil (wanna read an account of the resultant robot foot and a trip to Calgary? Well, then, please do!). This has always rankled as I had just started running, and was enjoying adding on the solitary nature of exercising outdoors, and the different feeling I was getting from pushing my body in this new and excellent way.
I tried running in 2006 and could only get 20 minutes in before the area around the old fracture started to ache and I thought is smarter to stick to riding my bike outside, and the elliptical in the gym / recumbent bike at home. I tried again in 2007 and got up to two consecutive days of hour-long runs before the pain set in. Since I'm convinced that I would be an excellent runner, this pissed me all the hell off, and made me shake my fist at my foot in anger.
When I moved to Columbus, I became friends with Andrea, a runner who takes so much joy in it that she totally inspired me to try it again. With spring just around the corner, I felt it would be a good idea to get some indoor training in on the treadmill before hitting the pavement. I started up the first week of February. I was good for two weeks. And then the old injury pain, she set in again. And this time, she really hurt. Enough so that I began to overcompensate when walking, shift the weight off of that edge of my foot to the ball.
And guess what that resulted in? A strain between the 3rd and 4th toes, a 2-hour long wait in Urgent Care when the pain hadn't disappeared after 6 days, 3 x-rays to confirm that I hadn't developed a stress fracture, and a prescription for an anti-inflammatory.
It anti-inflammatory? A THING OF BRILLIANCE. Is it odd that I've never been on one before?
The Urgent Care facility? If there hadn't been people there, it would've been the kind of place that has a staring role on Celebrity Paranormal Project.
Here is where I spent the first 1.25 hours of my visit:
And here I am, all stare-y eyed, waiting in a the exam room to see the doctor for for an examination, prior to hobbling down desolate halls to the x-ray lab and back. Yes, that is a cast-bronze mouse pelvis around my neck.
Almost three weeks ago, my friend Jen and I began ceramics classes! Hand-building, I may suck at you now, but you will become my bitch. Indeed, you will! Will post pictures of my lop-sided creations when they get all glazed and fired.
So, that's baout it. I'm off to pout about the state of Columbus snow removal.
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
While in Chicago, my friend Lisa and I spent some excellent quality time shopping. We had stopped at Barneys to take a look at the shoes they had on offer, and while downtown, had thoughts to step into Sephora before heading out to a few excellent boutiques.
Now me, I was not blessed with eyebrows that anyone can do much of anything with. They're sparse, and I use a filler to make them look less anemic. In the past couple of weeks, my found myself running low on my usual product, and thought that I'd get a Sephora staff member to recommend something new. So I left the house that morning with bare brows, and turned to stare down the world. With my skinny, skinny bare naked brows.
While crossing through Barney's make-up section, a man who reminded me of Jonathan Antin, in all his pseudo-Euro-trashy glory, who had been applying make-up at the Nars counter, shouted at Lisa and I.
"Ladies! I'm free over here!"
"Oh, well, that's good for you", I replied.
He was insistent, "Let me do your eyes!"
I shrugged. And wandered over. He had a nice suit, and seemed passionate about setting something about my eyes that he thought was wrong, right. And, hell, I needed something for those shivering, naked eyebrows.
Turns out it was Claudio Riaz, who has been making the rounds of Barneys locations with his brush line.
Riaz' Instant Brow Brush + Nars powder eyeshadow = something magical.
Check it out - nekkid on the left, all Riaz-d up on the right.
This man gave me eyebrows for my birthday. That's not something to be taken lightly. As he turned his too-intense attention to Lisa, who was rightly horrified, as she has excellently defined brows, we scampered to the cash register, me with brush and shadow in-hand, leaving Claudio a little bit richer, and with the certainty that he had turned out a lovely pair of brows on to the world.
Sunday, February 24, 2008
I am back from a wonderful weekend in Chicago, wherein I turned 34. I spent the weekend with my friends Lisa and Matt, and we had excellent meals, and experienced excellent shopping.
First, the meals.
Before the shopping began, Lisa and I had lunch at Karyn's, a raw food restaurant. I was delighted to find that it was just as good as NYC's Pure Food and Wine! We shared the following, and I very much wished that Karyn would put out a cook(construction?)book:
- Crimini Mushrooms stuffed with a Nut Pate and Topped with a Light Gravy
- Basil Scented Ravioli (wrapper made of jicama) with a Macademia Whipped CrËme Dressed with a Sun-Dried Tomato Puree
- Taste the Riches of the Ocean with this Creamy Sea Wrap, Filled with Avocado, Crunchy Walnut Pate, Sweet Onion and Basil Wrapped in a Seaweed Crepe
- Edible menu was a very thin, crisp cookie printed with edible ink, accompanied by a slightly salted pear gelee an pear reduction .
- White truffle brulee with a white truffle biscuit (veg) / maple and bacon biscuit (meat)
- Pan fried tofu (veg) / cod (meat) with soya miso puree and pan fried puffed rice
- Crispy hash browns, hard boiled egg with spinach (both were perfect cubes) with a kind of beans I can't remember (veg) and thin slices of beef (meat)
- Wee flourless chocolate and black tea cake, wee vanilla and lemon cake enrobed in gelee with raspberry
- Coffee ice cream with a cup of warm almond biscotti flavoured creamy liquid. The ice cream was freeze-dried, and you dipped it in the cup of warm liquid biscotti
Between lunch and dinner, Lisa and I went to a number of shops. I took pictures of the cuteness that came home with me.
At Habit, I picked up this brass necklace.
At Renegade Handmade, I bought this Erica Weiner bronze necklace of a mouse pelvis:
And this mounted bunny head, by T&A:
Sunday, February 10, 2008
1. I've given up pretending that I don't live in PeeWee's Playhouse. Resultingly, here's the latest art installation that I threw up on the wall. It serves as an excellent faux-headboard.
Images taken from Bears by Kent Rogowski and Monkey Portraits by Jill Greenberg.
2. I am very much in love with Rob and Big.
Along with Meaty and Mini-Horse, I pretty much feel like they're the happiest, bestest family on TV.
3. I've decided that I want to learn about wine. Which means that I actually have to actively drink the stuff. While spending time with friends at the MoeJoe Lounge, I asked what kind of reds they had on offer. I didn't even let him get past saying, "We have a Napa Valley red called The Prisoner" before clapping with delight and asking for a glass. Because, really, I'm at that point where (a) a funny name or label in a (b) red is reason enough to order something. But, damn, I'm glad he suggested it, because it was really, really enjoyable. So much so that I tracked down and bought a couple of bottles for myself.
Me and wine. Who knew?
4. There are rumours going around as to my possible pixie-based heritage. I take the 5th on that.
Sunday, February 03, 2008
See what I mean?
Last week, I stumbled across this post from Bakerella, and I knew I had to get in on that shit.
Let the photo essay begin.
1. Bake cake. And yes, for the first time in years, I made a cake from a box. PS: I now live in a place where Red Velvet Cake doesn't make people go, "Whaaaaaa?"
2. Crumble cake.
3. Add cream cheese frosting (from a can! And yet, I am not ashamed. It goes with the box cake?)
4. Smush it all together.
5. Form into balls (BALLS!) and chill.
6. Coat with white chocolate. Run out of white chocolate, and melt down the chocolate chips you have squirelled away in your pantry, just for emergencies like this. Coat remaining with regular chocolate. Let cool down and harden.
7. The end.
I think next time, I'll set up the balls (BALLS!) on a rack and poor the chocolate over, as rolling started to brush off crumbs from the balls (BALLS!) into the coating. Lesson. Learned.