Quote for a Sunday – Living

To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that’s all.

~ Oscar Wilde

Dancing in the rainy streets of Old Montreal

Happy Family Day, Ontario!

It’s nice to have a long weekend.

I used to spend all my long weekends in Montreal, either shopping away or sauntering slowly through Old Montreal. But this year, I am saving up for a wonderful 2 month trip to Yellowstone National Park, and then Vancouver.

So I decided today that I will actually use Family Day properly – as the provincial government would like me to.

What better way to hang with the family, than with a puzzle?

I bought a supreme quality Ravensburger Puzzle, with their “softclick” technology. Very serious business. Apparently they are famous. Ask my boyfriends mother!

Obviously I had to get a puzzle of one city I cannot wait to visit: Rio de Janeiro!

So happy Family Day, not just in Ontario, Canada!

Porter @ 50% off!

Two more days!!!

Porter is offering 50% off all flights to/from Toronto Island Airport.

So I could go to NYC for March break for $300 round trip. Not too shabby!!! Or Boston, or Quebec City….or Montreal….Halifax…drooooool

It really is the most wonderful time of the year when Porter is so nice to us.

Savory Saturday – Eating Ethiopian

I’ve tried Tuscany, Italy and Montreal, Canada so far on my new adventure to test out my cooking skills every Saturday.

I really need to start taking more pictures of this process.

BUT it’s very hard for me. I am new to cooking and I am hungry 24/7, so once I start chopping, assembling, baking and timing…I cannot wait any longer.

I need to EAT!

Blue Nile Falls

This weekend, my boyfriend is away and is sometimes a bit shy to warm toward my experiments. So I thought I would start delving into new cuisine realms and try exotic Ethiopian food.

I am not sure if it is as popular in other cities, but for the past 7 years of living in Toronto, I have heard countless time again that the Ethiopian  restaurants in the T.O. have some of the best food around.

So!

Inspired by a few very popular, very delicious sounding restaurants in Toronto (from BlogTO):

1. Nazareth

At Dovercourt and Bloor, Nazareth has a line-up out the door nightly. The small, intimate space has limited seating but the delicious food served in large portions for (surprisingly) low prices make it well worth waiting for a table. It’s a short menu, but most people just order the veggie platter that easily serves two hungry people for only $8. Wander in for a beer on a Saturday night and Nazareth’s regulars might even be having a quiet and charming dance party.

2. Addis Ababa

This staple of Ethiopian cuisine has been in business in the Queen and Dufferin area for 20 some odd years. Between the traditional coffee ceremony, the wide array of hoppy Ethiopian beers, the great dishes and the walls adorned with Ethiopian warriors and kings, Addis Ababa offers the full experience.

3. Lalibela

This popular spot now has two locations, one at Bloor and Ossington and another over near Danforth and Coxwell. They serve up a mean beef tibs and the price is right. With a little more seating than some of the others, this is a great place for bigger groups or those just looking to avoid line-ups at the nearby alternatives.

…..here is my attempt at a delicious meal:

Yataklete Kilkil

Source

(Ethiopian gingered vegetable stew)

Ingredients

  • New potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks — 6
  • Carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch rounds — 4
  • Green beans, trimmed and cut in half — 1/2 pound
  • Onion, chopped — 2
  • Garlic, minced — 2 cloves
  • Gingerroot, peeled and minced — 1 tablespoon
  • Chile pepper, minced — 2 to 3
  • Oil, butter or niter kibbeh — 3 tablespoons
  • Cardamom or nutmeg, ground (optional) — 1/2 teaspoon
  • Salt and pepper — to taste

Method

  1. Place the potatoes, carrots and green beans in a large saucepan, cover them with water and add 2 teaspoons of salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce heat to low and simmer until the vegetables are cooked through, 10 to 20 minutes. Drain, reserving the water, and set aside.
  2. Place the onion, garlic, ginger and chile pepper in a food processor or blender and puree until smooth.
  3. Heat the oil, butter or niter kibbeh in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the onion puree and sauté until the moisture evaporates and onions lose their rawness, 6 to 8 minutes. Do not let the onions brown.
  4. Add cooked vegetables, cardamom or nutmeg, salt, pepper and about 1/2 cup of the reserved water. Stir well and simmer on low heat for 15 to 30 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Now.

Is this a plus or minus? I have to eat this by myself!

Savory Saturday: Welcome to Canada!

I need to represent the cuisine of Canada every once in a while.

There is a great CBC article on Canadian regional cuisine and I am really feeling this poutine experience this Saturday. I am going to be unhealthy, sorry!

Source

Ingredients:

Servings:4

  • 1 quart vegetable oil (for frying)
  • 1 (10 1/4 ounce) can beef gravy
  • 5 medium potatoes , cut into fries
  • 2 cups cheese curds

Directions:

  1. Heat oil in a deep fryer or deep heavy skillet to 365°F (185°C).
  2. Warm gravy in saucepan or microwave.
  3. Place the fries into the hot oil, and cook until light brown, about 5 minutes.
  4. Remove to a paper towel lined plate to drain.
  5. Place the fries on a serving platter, and sprinkle the cheese over them.
  6. Ladle gravy over the fries and cheese, and serve immediately.

Source

Mmmmm, greasy, cheesy, Canadian goodness.

Travel and Nature Twitterers to follow

I’ve really fallen for this Twitter social media service in the past few weeks. I am so up-to-date with all my news now, and have so many fabulous recipes in my virtual recipe book that are just waiting to be tested out.

So I thought I would share some of my favorite Twitter personalities, in which I eagerly wait on my account (@JeebsC) for their next Tweet.

Happy tweeting!

Fantasy Friday

Alas, my quick weekend get-away to Montreal has been foiled this weekend. Foiled by my dog. The dog boarders cannot take him since his rabies shot has just expired. Oh no!

So instead, I will fantasize about Montreal.

Here is a list of top FREE things to do in this amazing city from About.com:

1. Jardin des Floralies – Île Notre-Dame

Filled with 5,000 or so rose bushes, over 100,000 annuals as well as perennials and my personal favorite, that weeping willow tree equipped with picnic table beside the canal, the Jardin des Floralies is 25 acres of horticultural history and one of two major Montreal gardens. Originally created by some of the world’s best landscape artists who participated in the 1980 International Floralies fair, the gardens became a permanent city fixture and are now maintained by Parc Jean-Drapeau. While especially breathtaking in August, there’s plenty to behold across seasons, from the Jardin des Floralies’ first buds in spring to the vibrant colors of surrounding trees come fall.
 

2. Outdoor Ballroom Dancing – Île Sainte-Hélène

Only in Montreal. Only in Montreal will you spot a crowd — from ravers to seniors — doing the cha cha in square formation on a man made island (actually, it was a man-expanded island, circa 1963-1967). Light drizzle or shine, from June through August, anyone can learn the basics of ballroom dancing in the outdoor comfort of our very own Parc Jean-Drapeau. Always free and offered three evenings a week, just follow the beat, dance prof and group of line dancers to your left as you exit Parc Jean-Drapeau Metro. You really can’t miss it and you really must try it. At least once.
 

3. For the Window Shopper in Some of Us – Montreal Underground City

I’ve been here my most of my life yet I only found out in my early twenties that the world’s largest underground city is — cough — in Montreal. My excuse is 15 years in Laval. What’s yours? Explore all 33 km of Montreal’s Underground City and the 1,600 to 2,000 boutiques along the way, from the edge of downtown at Westmount Square to the Bibliothèque National, near the Latin Quarter and the Gay Village. Do look out for one of my favorite stretches, that mysteriously huge yet rush hour barren hallway with skylight near Place Bonaventure. Tell me, is there some monumental purpose for it other than serving as a fantastic photo backdrop? Please email me if you know. Seriously.
 

4. Explore Summit Park – Westmount

The highest point of Westmount and one of Mount Royal‘s three peaks, Summit Park and its 57 acres of protected wildlife is an all-time favorite urban getaway of mine. Gorgeous year round and particularly revered in the spring — birdwatchers gather early mornings to spot woodpeckers, owls, and many other bird species attracted to the summit — you forget you’re even in a city. The designer houses encircling the urban forest — try to guess which one I dubbed “the Claw” — offer a sharp and surreal contrast to the designated bird and wild flower sanctuary, disappearing from view within seconds of entering the park. Remember to keep the noise level down and bring a plastic bag for litter as public garbage bins are scarce in the area.
 

5. A Free Dose of Natural History at Redpath Museum – Downtown

 
 
From dinosaur bones to fossils to Egyptian mummies in the flesh, the Redpath doesn’t charge a dime to the public and is one of the oldest free museums in Canada. Located at McGill University’s downtown campus and doubling as an academic unit for McGill graduate students in biology, anthropology, and earth sciences, The Redpath Museum showcases permanent exhibits in geology, zoology and paleontology. The Redpath also houses a collection of over 17,000 anthropological and archaeological artifacts covering Ancient Egypt, South America, Sri Lanka and more.
 

OH….and one more thing from my own Montreal experience….the PHO!!!!