Archive for February, 2010


When it comes to health, cooking and boyfriends. I’m all about worst case scenarios. I think it’s my way of protecting myself from disappointment and tragedy. Expect the worst and you’re pleasantly surprised by anything less than a total catastrophe.


That was my approach to our dinner party Saturday night when the FC and I decided to invite a couple of friends over, last minute. Instead of planning out a complicated meal we decided to finally use up the two packages of instant fondue we brought home from France over Christmas. The FC picked up some mixed greens, day old baguette for dipping and two bottles of white wine.


Naturally, I was dubious about the instant fondue. When Georgia and Gerardo arrived, I warned them, “The fondue is from a package, so keep your expectations low.” The FC frowned. He hates it when I undersell things before knowing the results. He prefers to be optimistic; a ray of golden light in my dark cave of Libran negativity.


In the case of our dinner, the FC proved right. With a fresh salad, the fondue made a superb dinner for four. Fun, tasty, and totally stress-free.  In fact, the cooking-challenged FC made the fondue all by himself (I just added fresh sauteed mushrooms for texture.)  We even improvised a fondue warmer by putting three tealights under one of the removable grills from my gas stove. In lieu of fondue forks, we used long stainless steel barbeque skeweres for dipping.


Here’s the amazing thing about instant food: when it’s good, everyone is as impressed as if it were homemade. They ask to see the package, they marvel at how easy it was, and, as Georgia did, they insist you bring back more from France the next time you go. The FC also shared a French fondue tradition; when you lose your bread in the fondue, you’re supposed to kiss the person on your right. (Seating plans are obviously crucial in this game.)


The moral of the story? Never underestimate the French (the food, or The French Cutiepie.)

February 19th, 2010 Uncategorized | 2 Comments


“Love needs a vacuum.” That’s what my friend Christin said when we were talking about relationships. If you let go of someone who’s not good for you– even if it means being lonely and depressed for a while — soon a new love interest will appear. It’s about creating space in your life to discover new things. I wondered, would “the vacuum theory” apply to food and beverages too? You see, I’d recently decided to give up my two morning cups of coffee. It felt like the right time. My relationship with coffee had recently become troubled and confused, mostly because I could never make any sense of the conflicting health information. Was it good for me or bad? The uncertainty was stressing me out . Like a love affair gone sour, I had to end it once and for all.


The first few days without caffeine were fuzzy at best. I just wanted to lie down and nap at the first plotting problem that crossed my path. But lo and behold, after a few days a new love interest entered my life: Herbal Tea. Sure, it’s always been there, lurking in the sidelines, there for me when I had an upset stomach or didn’t want a coffee too late in the day. Herbal tea was that nice guy “friend” you call when you’re feeling blue or have nothing else to do, supportive and sweet, but not the thrill you’re chasing. But now, with dark and brooding coffee banished from my life, herbal tea has a chance to shine and I find myself falling for its delicate and surprising charms.


Each day, I look forward to steeping up one of the new teas I picked up recently in Toronto at Tealish. I like to dress them up with frothed milk and/or grated chocolate. The other morning I made a Mint Tea Latte while my visiting houseguest Eilidh had coffee and I swear I could see her eying my cup lustily. Suddenly, my nice guy “friend” was hot.


Though I still crave an afternoon tryst with a sexy shot of espresso, and I may stray once in a while, right now, herbal tea’s my new morning love.


Here’s my new favourite morning pick me ups.


Morning Mint Latte


Fresh and lively, sipping on this perky elixir wakes up your taste buds. You just feel so clean and fresh and ready for anything, including kissing your sweetie good-bye as he heads out to work. No more icky coffee breath.


Directions: Steep 1 teaspoon of mint tea in 3/4 cup of water for four minutes. Heat and froth 1/3 cup of 1% milk (I use my Ikea frother.) Garnish with grated or powdered chocolate.


Almond Rooiboccino


This beverage has a natural sweetness that makes it seem like dessert.


Directions: Steep 1 teaspoon of Sweetie Pie Tea (or any almond rooibos) with 3/4 cup of hot water in a short glass. Add 1/3 cup of hot frothy 1% milk (I use my Ikea frother.)


One teaspoon of tea steeped for four minutes makes the perfect cup. Don't overbrew. The mint tends to get sour. Keep it light and fresh.


Froth your milk with a handy Ikea frother. Just be sure to tilt your pan sideways as you froth, with the head immersed before you turn on the frother. The milk tends to spray, especially when you're frothing small quantities.

February 15th, 2010 Uncategorized | Leave a comment !


Here’s the FC and my Valentine’s Day menu.


Couscous with sun-dried tomato and broccoli (because feeling heavy and bloated is not very conducive to romance.)

One peaked chocolate mousse with caramel centre, to share, with a candle for a wish.

Three pink roses. One for me, one for him, and one for our Mac Powerbooks, which we are never without.

Nigerian Funk (thanks again Margo, for turning me onto this)

Vin mousseux (our favourite love potion next to champagne)

Candles in the bedroom.

Joining friends for Sunday night jazz at Diese Onze afterwards.


February 1st, 2010 Uncategorized | 2 Comments

You know those moments when you click with a total stranger (on the metro or at a party or in the laundromat) then they disappear into the urban chaos from whence they came? Later, you romanticize about them. You wonder if they felt the same way. You only wish you’d had the courage to ask for their number. Or were you just imagining it all?


These moments are the subject of Missed Connections, a gorgeous illustrated blog which uses stories of missed connections culled from real life personal ads to inspire beautifully rendered drawings. Besides the artwork, it’s amazing how much wordsmithing goes into the personal ads themselves. When it comes to love (and prices by the word) people quickly become poets. Blogger Sophie Blackall choses her inspiration well, picking those personal ads with the most potential for visuals, my favourite being a guy looking for a girl he shared a bear suit with at a costume party.



Thinking about it, the FC and I could easily have been a missed connection. We met at a party, danced and laughed for what felt like hours, then, when my friends were leaving, I bid farewell and disappeared into the night. We would never have seen each other again if the FC hadn’t tracked me down on Facebook. (He remembered the person who brought us to the party and started his search from there.) My heart pounded in my chest when I received his first email message. It was so wonderful to know that he felt the same as I did, that something magical had happened between us. I was also glad I’d decided to join Facebook since without it I might not be writing this post.


Connection found.