Sunday, November 25, 2012

Hej Sverige!

Google translate tells me that means "Hello Sweden!" although if I need to google that I may be in a bit of trouble...

6 weeks (plus a couple days) from now I will be touching down in Copenhagen and attempting to find a train that will take me to my future home for the next 6 months: Lund, Sweden! Why Lund? I am jetting off on exchange to Lund University for winter term and will be living in the land of Ikea and Abba until June... okay I may need to learn a bit more about Sweden before I go. I'm about 12984 different emotions right now but I think at this moment excitement trumps the rest. There are so many things I want to do, places to see, countries to visit, food to eat, cities to explore, and places to get lost that just thinking about it all makes me want to drop everything and run to the airport at this moment.

Julie and Julia is on T.V right now and it is inspiring me to keep my blog up to date so I hope to be chronicling my preparations and travels here over the next few months. It's also inspiring me to eat which I hope to do in the next 20 minutes.

So let the Sweden Countdown begin: 45 days to go!

The streets of Lund - how precious are these houses?

Lund University library (I would actually study in this building- it would feel wrong not to!) 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Too Much Fruit

WHAAAAT? No such thing you say right? I may have agreed with you 2 days, 3 pounds of blueberries, 3 peaches, a quart of raspberries, and some strawberries ago but now I might just have to differ.   I wait months and months for fresh, local summer fruit and without fail gorge myself until I feel ill. Every week. Until September. It's usually around now that I move on from enjoying my fresh fruit to preserving it so I can have it all year long. Getting my freezer bags and jars ready at this moment.

Just a peak at my dessert tonight and a reason why I don't think I will be getting scurvy any time soon.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Lemon Blueberry Mascarpone Tart

I am slowly beginning the descent into alcoholism and obesity-- which I knew was inevitable. Currently sitting on my couch eating pie out of the pan, drinking wine out of the bottle, and watching the Olympics. Watching OTHER people exercise counts right?

I made this Lemon Blueberry Mascarpone (isn't that the most fun word to say in an exaggerated Italian accent? Mascarpone! ) Tart last night and only a small sliver remains. It is as delicious as it is easy to make. Next time I make it (and there will be a next time) I want to make my own mascarpone. It contains a total of two ingredients and is so much cheaper than store bought (which you would think contains pure gold flakes based on expensive it is.)

Lemon Blueberry Mascarpone Tart (from here)

  • 500g mascarpone
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated lemon rind
  • ½ cup (80g) icing (confectioner’s) sugar, sifted
  • 375g blueberries
  • icing (confectioner’s) sugar, for dusting
  • sweet shortcrust pastry
  • 1½ cups (225g) plain (all-purpose) flour, sifted
  • 125g cold butter, chopped
  • ½ cup (80g) icing (confectioner’s) sugar, sifted
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon iced water

To make the pastry, place the flour, butter and icing sugar in the bowl of a food processor and process in short bursts until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. While the motor is running, add the egg yolk and vanilla. Add the iced water and process until the dough just comes together. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and bring together to form a ball. Flatten into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. Preheat oven to 180ºC (350ºF). Roll the pastry out between 2 sheets of non-stick baking paper to 3mm thick. Line a lightly greased 33cm x 9cm loose-bottomed rectangular tart tin with the pastry. Trim the edges and prick the base with a fork. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Line the pastry case with non-stick baking paper, fill with baking weights or rice and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the paper and the weights and bake for a further 10 minutes or until golden. Set aside to cool. While the tart is baking, make the filling. Place the mascarpone, lemon and icing sugar in a bowl and mix well to combine. Spread onto the base of the cooled tart shell, top with the blueberries and dust with icing sugar to serve. Serves 8–10 (or 1-2.....) 

Monday, July 16, 2012

More beach than your body has room for

My summer has been really hard so far. Living five minutes away from multiple beaches is really starting to take its toll. Sandy or rocky. Busy or secluded. Decisions, decisions, decisions. What a difficult life I lead.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Breakfast, bogs & books

My yesterday consisted of checking something off my "To-Do" list that has been there for awhile. You know when you are looking forward to something for so long and you've built it up in your mind so much that when it actually happens it's sort of a let down? Well this was not that. This was not that at all. I FINALLY breakfasted (is that seriously a real word?) at Jethro's Fine Grub on Dunbar and can say that it was well worth the wait.

I have attempted to eat there before but the multiple times I have been by the line up has gone out the door, down the street and probably ended somewhere near the border. The Mexican border. This time I arrived early on a Monday morning to beat the rush and only had to wait about 10 minutes. The reason for the long line ups is immediately evident upon entering when seeing that there are -count 'em- 8 tables in the whole place! The second reason for the long line ups is clear upon tasting the food.

La Nina Breakfast: Eggs Benny on Corn Cakes w/ Chili

Alligator Nuggets. Made from real alligator. Crikey. 

Peter's description of Alligator Nuggets: It's like chicken but stringier. 

As close to a gator as I plan on getting. 

Friends and food. Probably my two favourite things. (probably not in that order)

Post breakfast consisted of wandering around admiring houses, being filmed for what we can only assume is a bog-umentary, and buying 50% off books at Book Warehouse- the only upside to its departure. 

All in all a lovely morning. 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Tour de Nerdfighting

Going through my old saved blogs I never posted (there are a surprising amount of them) and came across this gem. I wrote this post on January 30th after seeing the Tour de Nerdfighting in Vancouver. I don't know why I never posted it I guess I kind of forgot about it. 

I need to write this down before I forget about it. Before I forget the emotions and the atmosphere and just the sheer excitement of everything.

Tonight the Tour de Nerdfighting came to Vancouver. And it was awesome. John and Hank 3 feet away from me on stage seemed a little surreal. It all seemed a little surreal. Looking back at the pictures I took it feels much more natural to look at them on the screen than it did to see them in real life. Or irl if I want to be really cool and internet-y. But really that is what it was. It was vlogbrothers irl which is just a crazy thought to me.

I think my favourite moment was when they arrived. I was on a coffee run from the lineup and was walking back and heard screaming. And then I was running back. And I kind of almost got run over by their tour van in my frenzy to see them. When they emerged from the van the crowd broke into O Canada to welcome them and they waved and smiled (and looked exhausted- but really what do you expect after a 3 week tour). It was all a little surreal and I'm not gonna lie I almost cried a little. Although I'm a crier.

I was just overcome by how everyone sitting in the theatre were all nerdfighters like myself and who all had this one big thing in common. It's such a strange concept- nerdfighteria but this made me realize that it really is more than an online community. The internet is really amazing when you think about it. This whole community of people brought together by John and Hank and by the internet to do amazing things.

I'm always scared when I see people in real life that I am somehow going to be dissapointed. That reality will not live up to my expectations. Here are two people that I feel like I know quite a bit about and have a pretty good idea what they are like. But what if they were not the John and Hank I know and love? In some senses they weren't. But I think I liked it more. John seemed nervous and shy even. And this is something I'm not used to seeing him be. But I liked it.


Saturday, April 7, 2012

Sunday Sunny Day

It's only fitting that while scanning these pictures into my computer I'm sipping on a Granville Island Brewing Maple Cream Ale and basking in the glorious sunlight. Classes are wrapped for the term (huzzah!) and finals are commencing (the opposite of huzzah). Mother mother and MSTRKRFT (it took me so long to type that) played a show at my school Thursday night and it was an excellent end to an excellent term. Going to see Gotye tomorrow night before true finals induced hibernation sets in.

Here are a few sunny shots from a couple of trips I took to Granville Island.

I like to think the light leaks are aliens. 

Emilie and Bagels. A deadly combination.

PHOTO BOMBED BY A BIRD! Swooped in at the last minute. Sneaky bastard. 

Public market grapes > regular grapes. 

Boats n' bridge

Sunny Riana 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Righteous, dude.

A few weeks ago a friend and I went on a mini road trip to Tofino. A bumping touristy town in the summer, Tofino is filled with adorable cafes, surf shops, and beautiful beaches. However we decided to go in February. In the middle of winter. It was cold. Still had a magnificent time and even caught a few waves at a surfing lesson at Surf Sister (Rick Mercer went there!)

 Ferry Terminal

 I love ferries

 The biggest trees you ever did see.

 My reaction: skip to 2:10

Thursday, March 15, 2012


I started jogging (or yogging as I like to call it) a few years ago in a casual only do it when you feel like it way (so like once a month.) It's only been within the last 6 months or so that I've started jogging regularly and actually ran my first 10k race about a month ago. Currently setting my sights on a half marathon in June and potentially a triathlon in August (dream big yo.) I'm hoping to write down a bit about my training to keep me inspired.

Current Running Inspiration:  Zombies, Run iPhone App
The iPhone app plays out a zombie apocalypse scenario inter spliced with  your workout playlist. Brilliant!

Look I posted 2 days in a row! Skadoosh.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Prawns. Vegan Prawns.

What the what? Vegan prawns? I know I was equally skeptical. My whole foods journey took an unexpected turn yesterday when I discovered Sophie's Kitchen vegan seafood (!!) I've been a vegetarian for about 5 years now and am an avid advocate of the faux meats- chicken, tofurkey, sausage, bacon, you get the picture. Name an animal and I've probably tried it veggie style. But NEVER have I seen vegan prawns.

Verdict: Undecided. I put them in an alfredo mushroom-y pasta sauce with broccoli and the overall dish was good. However, not sure how I felt about the prawns themselves. Texture wise they were a little foamy/wiggly and they had a very mild flavour.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Half birthdays and cake

I love making cakes. There is something so satisfying of going through the steps and emerging with a beautiful finished product. Don't get me wrong, I am a cupcake girl through and through, but a full sized cake produces a feeling of satisfaction that cupcakes just cannot (sorry my little friends.) I rarely find the opportunity to justify making a cake knowing full well that it will be going to be eaten by myself and my roommate. And while normally this would warrant a "challenge accepted" from the both of us, my whole "get healthy blah blah" resolution would find a way to make the experience just a little less gratifying.

So last week was my friend's half birthday and seemed like the perfect opportunity to fulfill my cake making needs and not end up eating half of it.

Finished product: Red Velvet Cheesecake with cream cheese frosting a la Cheesecake factory. Recipes are a sort-of combo of here and here

Red velvet cakes ready to go

Assemble the layers! 

Cream cheese frosting ready to go

Crumb coating (can you tell my window sill is my go-to picture taking place)


Finished decoration! Discovered my friend's hidden talent for cake writing-- look at that cursive!

Happy 19.5th Birthday Riana!