Get Well Soon

Ugh, guys, I just recovered from a cold.

Twas like death, warmed up.

Last Wednesday morning, I suddenly awoke with a sore throat. Thought it was nothing. Went about my merry business. Was repeatedly slapped in the face and sent to bed with my tail between my legs for the better part of the next four days, clutching my aching head, rubbing my swollen lymph nodes, painfully swallowing and gargling with salt water. LAME.

I discovered the practical applications of Advil around day 2.5 and spent considerable mental effort thereafter adhering faithfully to the bottle regulations. I didn’t exceed 6 in 24 hours! It worked miracles. MIRACLES I SAY. When I called my mother to A) assure her I wasn’t dying and B) listen to her tell me I might have strep throat, she herself even proclaimed: “Advil is a great drug.”

There you have it people. Great drug.

Anywho, I just wanted to come on here and let loose my mouth on the subject of the common cold. My mother has versed me well in her cures for this mild affliction, and I would like to share my little bit of knowledge to try and help prevent you from feeling as bad as I was feeling. (I thought it would never, ever end!)

Feel Better Again..

  • Start washing your hands, all the time. Use soap. Never touch doorknobs. Carry hand-sanitizer with you and use it before you eat finger food (aka all the food I eat). This is a preventative measure. Thumbs up.
  • Tons of water/fluids
  • Vitamin C and Echinacea every 4 hours
  • Tons of sleep
  • Zinc tablets for your immune system
  • Gargle with salt water if you have a sore throat
  • Citrus fruits (Vitamin C! Vitamin C!)
  • Garlic & ginger as much as possible in your food
  • Avoid dairy and meat (bad for immune system!)
  • Sleep
  • Don’t do any strenuous activities! Your body needs its energy to fight off the cold.
  • Listen to your body and do what it says. Like sleep.

Alright, I feel that I’ve done my civic duty. Please don’t get sick you guys! It seriously sucks.

OFF TO WATCH GLEE!

xoxo,

 

 

Apple Pie

A word up front: this pie is VEGAN.

Ooh, big scary words. Them’s fightin’ words.

Let me assure you, however, that this is one of the most delicious pies I have ever consumed, ever. Period. Vegan or not, it was marvellous, delicious, outstanding. I ate it warm out of the oven, giggling away in delight. Om nom. Nom.

So, why vegan? Well, for one thing, the boyfriend is lactose intolerant. And for another, why the heck not? I’ve been trying to move myself in the vegan direction for quite a while now, with little success (Damn you cheese. Why do you have to be so irreplaceable?) but I’ve been perusing some fantastic websites lately, like Vegan Dad and Vegan Yum Yum that are giving me tons of delicious inspiration. I may be throwing some more awesome vegan recipes at you in the very near future, so if you’re a squeamish carnivore: watch out! Rawr.

But for now, please just make this wonderful pie.

I used two recipes in hybrid: Joy the Baker’s With Love, Apple Pie for the apple prep + Savvy Vegetarian’s Vegan Pie Crust

I rolled out my pie crust with a wine bottle, since my mother refused to buy me a rolling pin at the beginning of the year since, when she was in university, she rolled things out with a wine bottle. Granted, I think her wine bottle would have been a) empty and b) had the label removed. Since my wine bottle had neither, it is a miracle that this pie turned out at all. I was so afraid that at any second its cheap twist-on lid would somehow pop off and turn my pastry red..and winey..

Here we go!

First things first: obtain some apples. I know that so many apple pie recipes specify not to use McIntosh apples, but since they were accidentally all I bought, and since I was fighting a cold and just wanted some apple pie, damnit, I decided to risk potential mushiness and go ahead with my macs. Verdict: not mushy! Delish! I don’t know if that was just good luck on my part, but I loved the consistency of the pie using these babies.

Here I am! Looking my best, as usual..peeling some apples.

Ta-da! Yummo. Now slice those babies up into small, equal slices.

Like so. Now go ahead and toss them with 1 tbsp lemon juice, 1/4 cup each of brown and white sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, 1/4 tsp salt.

‘OOH, HEAVEN IS A PLACE ON EARTH’

Pause here to eat several slices. Consider the possibility of giving up on the pie entirely and just eating these.

Fine. We will continue. Reluctantly.

Now here is where I differed from Joy the Baker’s recipe: she uses a cool technique of caramelizing the apple juices with butter, which I was too exhausted to attempt. Instead, I just mixed the apples with a couple tbsp of flour (I didn’t have cornstarch, my grocery store seems to be, for all intents and purposes, hiding it from me, along with cornmeal. Both are probably hiding together in the same aisle, giggling as I walk past for the fortieth time..) and let them hang out while I made the pie crust. Which was awesome. And easy.

Around this time, preheat the oven to 425 and put a cookie sheet inside! This is a special trick I just recently learned from Joy the Baker. I think it helps to cook the pie from the bottom as well as the top. Who knows. All I know is, it works.

For the pastry: I didn’t have Earth Balance, so I used Becel Vegan margarine. Same diff. I stuck 1 cup of it in the freezer for about 1/2 an hour, and chilled my 2 1/2 cups flour in the freezer as well. That’s what the recipe said to do!

Basically all you need to do for this recipe is mix the margarine with the flour until its crumbly, then add a few tbsp of cold water until it all sticks together and you can form a ball with your hands. Then plop it down onto the floured counter, whip out your wine bottle and go at it. Unfortunately, I did not take photos of me rolling out the pie crust with a wine bottle. I will leave that up to your imagination.

PRESTO!

Fill the pie shell with apples and any juices, roll out the top crust, put it on top, crimp the edges so they look pretty.

Then cut some vents in the top. I was feeling lovey dovey so I cut out hearts.

..It sort of ended up looking like a creepy mask. I was okay with that. Mainly, it was cute.

Guys, it was really cute! Okay??

I sprinkled some sugar on the top, but didn’t have a brush to brush it with egg wash or water. I was okay with that too.

Now take the baking sheet out of the preheated oven, put the pie on top of it, put it back in. For 45-55 min. Warning: your entire house will start to smell absolutely divine. Resist the urge to yank the pie out of the oven and eat it as is, immediately. I promise, it’s worth the wait.

Ooh la la.

My apartment seriously smelled like apples and cinnamon for like 3 days.

So delicious.

The pastry is delicious and flaky, the apple juices were bubbling, and the apples actually held their form, despite being McIntoshes.

YUMMO.

Okay, I’m off to have my eighth slice.

I would also like to say: I just forgot how to spell eighth. Thank goodness for spell check. I don’t know how the cavemen did it.

xoxo,

 

 

Mom’s Chili + Easiest Scones Ever

Mm, fall food.

How much are you loving fall?

A lot? A little?

Personally, I find it difficult to disassociate the beautiful autumn weather & fun fall activities from the hell that is midterm season. I resent that though, because fall is my favourite of all the seasons! It’s electric, full of excitement and crunch and unadulterated joy.

One thing that makes fall easier to appreciate, for me, is making delicious fall-like food and consuming it. I do this a lot.

I think my favourite comfort food right now is a big hearty bowl of my mom’s chili with some sour cream and green onions and some biscuits on the side. Mmmm. It’s the perfect food really: easy, healthy, sharable, delicious, keeps for a long time in the fridge :)

So, my fine people, I share with you the deliciousness that is chili in the fall. Enjoy!

 

Mom’s Chili

Makes about 6 servings, depending on how hungry you are.. :)

1.     Chop up 1 onions, 2 stalks celery, 3 garlic, 2 carrots very small

2.     Cover ½ cup of barley (or bulgor wheat!) with 2 cups of water; simmer until barley/bulgor is cooked

3.     Meanwhile, sauté the veggies in olive oil until tender crisp

4.     Add finely chopped pepper and zucchini to the sautéed veggies, sauté until soft (I add diced mushrooms and neglect the zucchini)

5.     Add spices: cinnamon, chili powder, cumin, basil, shake of salt, little pepper, any other spices you might like..

6.     Add a large tin of diced tomatoes

7.     Add some red wine (few tbsp)

8.     Simmer it a while, add drained barley and a rinsed can of kidney beans

9.     Taste! Add salt. Add a little sugar, a bit more cinnamon. Add some ketchup. Taste & repeat if necessary!

10. Simmer on low heat for as long as possible.

11. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and some green onions – YUM!

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Easiest Scones Ever


Follow this link to find the easiest scones of all time..yummo!

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Bon apetit!

Let me know how the recipe turns out, if you try it!

xoxo,

Filofax Girl For Life

Well, it’s October. That means, for university students at least, that life seems bleak and crazy, confusing and stressful. You’ve become forgetful, wound up, psychotic even. It certainly doesn’t help that on top of the endless avalanche of assignments, midterms, lectures and readings there is another impending avalanche – of snow – that is descending at a rapid clip.

It’s enough to make any girl cry herself to sleep! Not that I have..or anything..

Now would be a really good time to look at that article on stress-busters and pick me ups. Or the one on how to survive exam season, parts 1 and 2.

But what I want to talk about today is the thing that’s saving my life throughout this hectic time: MY FILOFAX. I have the Mode organizer in pink/green. And I love it.

Here she is, in all her glory:

Wow.

Sometimes I just take it out and look at it. Because I think it’s beautiful.

Our relationship is perfect: I am physically attracted to it and feel very strongly about its personality. Sigh. True love.

Maybe you don’t get it. I don’t reaaally blame you, it’s hard to know what this type of love feels like. Which is why I want to tell you 3 reasons I love this thing.

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Three Reasons I Love My Filofax

1. It consolidates all my crazy.

Grocery lists, books-to-read lists (right up there with groceries, obviously), homework, important dates all the way until next Christmas, to-do lists, study plans, my Mom’s Kili itinerary, my blood donor reminder card, articles I loved and printed out, my wallet, sticky notes, a calculator, notes-to-self, affirmations, quotes, reminders..

There’s a lot of stuff in there. To be honest though, I wish I used it more! I’d love to have more lists in there, but right now I don’t have enough paper.. so I make my lists on other papers and slip them into the pockets. It works well enough, but the point is – I could exploit this thing even more! More paper! More crazy! More compact! I never have to remember anything except: “Bring your Filofax with you” and I’m good.

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2. It’s prettttyyyy.

One thing I love about Filofaxes in general is that they’re all so adorable! I can’t tell you how much time I spent on the Filofax website before buying mine, just looking at all the features and colour combinations available. If you wanted to, you could get one made of ostrich! (Although, why would you want to..?)

They’re not too bulky, they come in a variety of sizes, they’re cute and fun and in every colour of the rainbow. Mine is bright pink with bright green (bright bright bright I love bright colours!!), in the Personal size. Personal is the most common size, I’m told, probably because it’s very handy. Anything smaller and my huge writing would take up the whole page. Anything bigger and I wouldn’t be able to carry it absolutely everywhere! :)

The red Domino was featured in the movie 27 Dresses, if a movie sighting means anything to you. (I think it’s kinda cool!)

Besides, just look at this pretty thing! I can’t take my eyes off it sometimes.. :)

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3. It is amazingly customizable.

One of my favourite parts of shopping for my Filofax in the first place was reading the lists of all the goodies that come with each organizer. It seems endless: world maps, address book inserts, calculators, mirrors, plastic envelopes, sticky notes, to-do lists, notepaper.. so exciting. And if something doesn’t automatically come with the planner you choose, you can just add it into your order. They make it dangerously easy.

And all this pre-shipping customization is nothing compared to what you can do with it once you’ve gotten it into your hot little paws. I have sections for quotes, books I want to read, and affirmations. My front pocket is for important articles, notes-to-self and anything pretty I find lying around. Behind the front pocket is a long-term to do list..

Etc, etc! I have all my grocery lists tucked inside, receipts fit easily, I can even slip change into the pockets, I can fit a pen and a highlighter inside. It’s perfect for me.

:D = big smile demonstrating my love for this thing.

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However..

..obviously this particular system can’t work for everyone. As I mentioned in this post about getting organized for school, there are tons of different methods you can try: anything from wall calendars to scribbled to-do lists. I just wanted to give my personal account of the system that works for me!

Also, I’d like to add: I am in no way endorsed by Filofax to say this stuff. The idea of that is simply ridiculous to me: as if Filofax would know who I was!! But I’ve gotten weird comments asking stuff like that before, so I just wanted to clear it all up beforehand. No people, this post is simply (dorkily) because I have a relationship with my personal organizer.  Someone has to be this dorky in real life, and it’s me. You’re welcome.

Anyone else geek out about stationary/organizers/awesome stuff like that?? I’m looking at you Isabelle..back me up here! Let me know!

 

ALL MY LOVE & STUFF

XOXO