What in the %!*# Weather?

I had to take these screen shots yesterday when I glanced outside and saw SNOW FLAKES!

What the bleep is going on, end of April?

Here is Toronto this week:

And then let’s compare this to a few places I would like to be instead!

Vienna, Austria

 

The Settlement, Christmas Island (especially because I love thunderstorms!)

Beirut, Lebanon – with plenty of sunscreen!

Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Come on Toronto, smarten up and take a page from the book of these countries (aka screenshot from The Weather Network).

Italy then, and now.

Yesterday, I showed you a photo I took when in Florence, Italy in July two years ago.

Please watch the video from BBC to see what it looks like in Italy right now! Yikes, someone seems to be getting our snow!

BBC News – Snow-covered scenes across Europe.

Also, check out the photo from the Daily Mail:

The Vatican

The Colosseum

Tiber

Fantasy Friday – Antarctica

Perhaps my winter would end with a bit of snow this year?

I am quite perturbed about the lack of snow in most places in Canada and the USA. All I hear in my head is, “climate change, climate change, climate change”. I know there are abnormal years, and abnormal decades, but has our recorded history, or research ever seen something like this? Ak.

In search of snow to make me happy (for the moment)…

My surprise fantasy (surprise to myself, given the time of year) is – Antarctica….again

Talk about being lonely, read this cruise itinerary to Artactica

There are no indigenous people on Antarctica. The population varies from fewer than 1,000 in winter to over 50,000 in summer: 5,000 scientists from 27 of the countries party to the Antarctic Treaty, plus tourists. Last season 2010/2011 there were 33,824 tourists, the peak was the 2007/2008 season with 46,000 visitors.

Antarctica surrounds the South Pole. The nearest landmass is South America, which is over 620 miles from the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula.

Surface area: 14 million square miles (36 million square kilometers).

There is no indigenous government, management of the Antarctic is organised through the legal framework of the Antarctic Treaty of 1959. Forty-three nations are now party to this agreement, and seven of those – UK, Norway, Chile, France, Australia, Argentina and New Zealand – have historic claims on parts of the continent as national territory. The 1959 Antarctic Treaty preserves the status quo of the continent by neither recognizing nor rejecting the claims of these countries and by not allowing expansion in any way on the continent.

Antarctica currently has no economic activity apart from offshore fishing and tourism, and these are run by other nations (i.e. not the continent of Antarctica)

Eek. I need to go NOW, since it is summer there. I would actually still love to go, some winter in North America soon….

Pronghorn Migration – Grand Teton

Amazing – read this article about pronghorn migration. Just fascinating, and reminds me of my time in Grand Teton National Park last summer (minus the snow).

These animals are simply beautiful.

Yum yum, gimme some SOUP!

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It’s cold, and it’s snowing finally. This calls for soup, my most favorite food category in the world! I’m

Plus, since I have been a bad girl and have eaten too many chocolates, cheese and chips, I better make my soup a healthy one.

I’m thinking Italian, after my Italian companion and I recently reminisced about our trip 2 summers ago.

Bring on the Tuscan White Bean Soup with Swiss Chard!

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Ingredients:

1 bunch Swiss chard (or other dark leafy green such as kale)
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 ribs celery, diced
1 large carrot, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 slices finely chopped prosciutto
1 tablespoon chopped rosemary (divided)
1 tablespoon thyme leaves (divided)
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes (optional)
1 bay leaf
3 cans white (cannellini) beans, drained and rinsed
1 32-ounce box low-sodium chicken broth (about 4 cups)
1 Parmesan rind
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Splash of balsamic vinegar (about 1 teaspoon)

Instructions:

Cut off the tough ends of the chard and rinse the greens thoroughly. Shake or pat dry and tear into bite-size pieces. Set aside.

Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large heavy-bottomed pot. Saute the onion, celery, carrot, and garlic for 3 minutes or until the onion is translucent, stirring often. Add the prosciutto, HALF the herbs, the red pepper flakes (if you choose), and bay leaf and saute for another 3 minutes until fragrant. Stir in the beans and saute for another minute or two. Pour in the chicken broth, toss in the Parmesan rind, and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Stir in the Swiss chard and cook over low heat for 2-3 minutes or until the greens have wilted. Season with salt, pepper, the other half of the herbs, and a splash of balsamic vinegar. Remove the Parmesan rind before serving (if you can find it!).

Serve with grated Parmesan cheese and warm crusty bread.

“If you can walk, you can snowshoe”

I still have a few days off, before I go back to work. One fun idea that popped into my head when discussing how to keep boredom at bay with my boyfriend, was to go snowshoeing.

It seems like a great idea, doesn’t it?

Here’s why:

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1. It will keep with your new years resolution of staying fit.

2. Some of the trails are gorgeous.

3. Great way to suck it up and enjoy the winter weather.

4. It’s so cheap!

5. It’s peaceful, especially if it’s gently snowing out at the time.

6. It provides a cardio workout while also building strength, agility, balance and endurance.

7. You can burn more calories snowshoeing than you can walking, running or cross country skiing at the same pace.

8. It’s FUN!

One problem, I need snow in Toronto to do it! Time is running out, snow already!!

Happy December 1st!

This is the day I put up all my holiday decorations and my tree. Can’t wait, but I kind of wish there was snow in the forecast for the evening!