Sunday, June 12, 2011

Raw "Cheese"cake

This weekend my new roommate arrived and to welcome her, I made a cake! This cake is actually healthy for you, full of good fats, proteins and nutrients from living macadamia nuts and cashews, dates, lemons, berries, coconut oil and honey.

I'm super happy with how well it turned out, and it's so easy I'm sure I'll be making it pretty regularly -- I'm dying to know how it goes with every kind of berry.

To get the recipe, visit Her photos are way prettier than mine too, but I'm still pretty proud of my creation!

Step 1: Macadamia/coconut/date crust processed in the Vita Mix and pressed into a pie plate
Step 2: Processing the "cheese"
Step 3: Firming up in the freezer
Step 4: Added the sauce, pureed in the Vita Mix (raspberry!) and it's ready to serve.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Musselmans Lake

Worlds collided this morning when some of us from the office decided to spend some extracurricular quality time together sur velo! Let me tell you, it sure beats golf!

Four of us parked at a perfectly suited lot full of others enjoying some early morning cycling at Victoria Square. Then off we went for some rolling hills around Aurora. I recognized part of the course from 2007 (?) Ontario Cup road provincials by Magna but otherwise it was a totally new route for me.

The best part was the loop around Mussleman's, and just that makes it worth the trip.

Thanks to Jamison, Grahame and Sean for an awesome ride! And special thanks to Sean for the data below (since I screwed up my own by forgetting to hit go again after a nature break ... classic).

Can't wait for our next outing!!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Life Lately

It's been awhile since I posted last so this could end up getting a little lengthy. a LOT has been going on.

Bikes and Training

Ocup 4 is this Sunday?

I think I said earlier I would race, but it turns out I'm not sure it would be a good idea. Albion has snuck up on me and I don't think I'm ready to get back in the saddle. It's been pretty much the craziest month of my life, and bike riding hasn't really been in the picture. It got pushed off my very full plate.

So although I have the few hours required for the race, that doesn't change the fact that I haven't had time to prepare leading up to it. So you girls will have to have fun without me ... bummer because I wanted to see the new bits of Albion on the track. Maybe I'll just go up for the preride and socializing. :)

Speaking of training though, I'm excited for a new addition to my routines: a regular run twice a week with my friend and neighbour Nathania. She's an IronMan and has my utmost respect -- I just do what she tells me and so far it's been tremendous. I hope she's enjoying our runs as much as I am.

Gerhard has left the building

I think the thing taking up most of the room on my very full plate is Gerhard's recent departure.

Figures you finally find Mr. Right, and then he picks up and moves to California. My broken heart aside, I'm so happy for him and his exciting new job as Managing Editor at TransWorld SNOWboarding. It's the biggest snowboarding magazine in the world so when they came knocking, G had to answer. (There's a little more about that story a couple posts ago.)

For me, this has meant an all-consuming process of administrivia, grieving, organizing, and of course making the most of our last few weeks together. It's been the best of times and the worst of times.

Last week (wow, was it only last week?) we had an amazing farewell tour with the amazing people we're fortunate to call our friends, delicious food, and free-flowing libations at places like Le Papillon, C'est What, that place with the nose on Queen E that serves awesome Italian food, Murph's and then the final farewell for G and about 40 friends showing the love at the Rhino. Sounds like G will be seeing a ton of us on his doorstep, looking for a free place to stay in SoCal.

Congratulations Sasha and Linsey!

To close G's time in Toronto, Sasha and Linsey were kind enough to throw us an amazing party in Aurora on his last night. They got married in a ceremony featuring one of the best vocalists I've ever heard, before getting the party started at the Manor. It was such an amazing time with the people I've known and loved the longest I almost forgot G was leaving the very next morning.

We danced the night away, and even cued up "A Whole New World" (thank you iPhone/iTunes) for Sasha and Linsey to dance to. Which they did phenomenally well! I almost think they were expecting our little surprise! They even sang the words to each other while the wedding guests stood in a circle around them making for a very memorable moment -- even with all the Sasha-esque girlie drinks that were made available fogging things up.

Disney music has a special place in our hearts -- we used to sing at the top of our lungs while picking berries at the farm where we all worked. We'd bust it out whenever we were in the car together and sing along. And although Linsey is the newest part of our social circle, she too has an Aladdin connection since she played the part of Jasmine in her school's musical back in the day. Obviously they were meant to be and the song was perfect on so many levels.

That dance was my favourite of many magical moments that night and I'm super happy for them. Congratulations Sasha and Linsey!!

Goodbyes and Sad Pandas

All too soon, the night was over and the dreaded moment arrived. We made our way to the airport and didn't even bother trying to make small talk. I wanted to cling on for as long as I could so I parked the van and followed G through his check-in, held him up so we could have breakfast (which neither of us felt much like eating) and then tried to hold it together while I watched him disappear into the security line.

And that began a long day of difficulties, which I decided to take out on the grocery store and nap time. By the time I felt fit for human company again, Bruce arrived to cheer me up. We got some pho, caught a movie and it seems life does in fact go on. But I'm not going to pretend like everything's okay. I do my best, but the "sneak attacks" keep ambushing me at the most inopportune moments. For example this morning on the subway when "Set Fire to the Third Bar" played on my iPod. Remind me to thank Snow Patrol for writing all that down for me.

New Roommate

In the life-goes-on spirit, I'm excited to welcome my new fantastic roommate on Saturday so I've been busy getting the place ready for her and our new arrangements. Basically it's been a great excuse to get rid of stuff, and finally get around to proper spring cleaning.

I'm excited about her coming and I think I'm going to make a raw cheesecake from Priscilla's website to start things off on a sweet note. She and I share similar values when it comes to the foods we eat so I'm looking forward to smartening up when it comes to my diet since it sounds like we're going to try to team up in the meals/food department.

Tonight, I made tabouleh salad for a work party tomorrow, a cucumber-mango salad which I sampled and think is pretty much the best salad in the world and I also finished up a raw curried corn chowder (also found on Priscilla's website) I made the other night.

Best Salad in the World:
1 mango chopped into cubes, 1 cucumber peeled/chopped same size, 3 green onions chopped, handful of cilantro chopped, juice from a lime, 2 tbsp of grated fresh ginger, salt to taste. Throw it all in a bowl, let it rest a couple hours then serve with chicken or pork or add in a cup of cooked quinoa to make it its own dish.

The Office

The last thing on my plate is of course work. I count myself pretty fortunate to work where I do, doing what I love with people I can't imagine life without.

This summer especially. With the election coming this fall, our whole team is pulling as hard as we can to deliver the only party with a positive plan for Ontario's future -- the only party I'd trust with my soon-to-be-here niece's future -- back into government. See what I mean:

My projects are pretty large and time consuming (hence, training has been a little dicey) and while they are my number one focus right now, they are also serving as an excellent distraction from all the other stuff going on.

Also, I'm back on the coffee train. Which is also why I'm up at 12:30am on a weeknight, writing novels for the internet.

So with that, I bid you goodnight, adieu, and thanks for reading.