Sunday, January 25, 2009

super easy udon for a chilly day


brrr! the windchill factor in toronto is making dog walks almost unbearable. warm soups and stews are on heavy rotation on the stovetop!

i recently discovered a quick and easy way to make a nicely flavoured broth of udon soup without having to slave over a boiling pot of chicken bones. here's what you'll need (i'm not a very precise cook, everything is done visually and inspected with my tastebuds):

- sesame oil
- a bunch of sliced shiitake mushrooms (1 handful per person)
- any sort of asian leafy green (1 handful per person)
- cans of chicken stock (1 per person)

  1. heat sauce pan and circle the pan two times with sesame oil

  2. sautée shiitake mushrooms until soft and set aside if pan frying meatballs or other protein

  3. (optional) make some pork meatballs and sautée in same pan

  4. don't rinse pan and add cans of chicken broth and bring to simmer

  5. add mushrooms, protein, carrots

  6. start boiling udon noodles

  7. while straining noodles, add leafy greens to broth to soften

  8. pour broth over noodles, serve piping hot!

my friend suzie started a food blog. she is an amazing baker who also bakes the yummiest bread: the hungarian girl.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Just Grace Just Grace by Charise Mericle Harper

rating: 4 of 5 stars
such a great kids book! i love books that have action oriented characters.

the cute illustrations really enhance the storyline.

Lolita Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

rating: 3 of 5 stars
i felt really uneasy reading this and also felt like nabokov had a really condescending view on middle-class americans..... but i think i need to get some help in deciphering this book. i couldn't really empathize with any of the characters in the book, yet the story line was so absurd that it did keep me intrigued... enough. i may have to find some papers to help me understand this crazy story.

Late Nights on Air Late Nights on Air by Elizabeth Hay

rating: 5 of 5 stars
beautifully written in a very canadian way. meaning that the characters are not over the top, the plot line progresses methodically and the descriptions of people and places are beautiful.

i really enjoyed this book and it made me want to move to the north.

Middlesex : A Novel Middlesex : A Novel by Jeffrey Eugenides

rating: 5 of 5 stars
loved it!!! the descriptions, the characters, the plot, everything.

Persepolis 1: The Story of a Childhood Persepolis 1: The Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi

rating: 5 of 5 stars
i think i've mentioned before that i love coming of age stories. well persepolis is just that, but the character grows up in very scary and extraordinary circumstances.
the drawings are absolutely magnificent and is reminiscent of 'chibi maruko chan' - a biographical japanese manga series that has very simple but heartfelt drawings and poignant stories.
now... i can watch the movie.

Monday, January 19, 2009

why i'm addicted to the internet - part trois

cold snap

the bitter cold snap and snow we're having in toronto hasn't slowed my appetite for websites to devour!

audrey kawasaki - i might have linked to her before
lovely package - a great package design showcase

101 cookbooks - have always loved her photos, but only recently joined her mailing list!
fran's house of ayurveda - as title suggests, healthy food recipes (and she's from toronto!)

obama daily - i can't get enough of sasha and malia
le love image - a collection of beautiful photos capturing love and fashion
le blog de betty - the cutest fashion blog

Sunday, January 11, 2009

winter clean

so we survived. after four years living in london, my parents paid their first visit over christmas. we spent three days cleaning the flat top to bottom, and trying to make the kitchen under reno as habitable as possible (despite the rubble, disgusting floor and holes in the wall). i have to say when finally all the cleaning was done, i felt like i was living in a hotel. it was bliss. they say renovations are one of the most stressful things you can put your relationship through -- and if that's the case, there's nothing like a clean and tidy house to make you feel like your life is in some kind of order.

amazingly though, after only 2 weeks, the flat already has acquired a layer of dust and grime. hopefully we can keep it relatively tidy. it really does wonders for the sanity.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

squeek squeek squeek

a great start to the weekend

it will be a week tomorrow since elmo moved to live with his new family! they already love him so much and say that things are going well. even though we do miss him terribly, andre and i couldn't be happier. i can't help but think it was fate that the first family didn't work out. now, elmo not only has a new set of parents but also an 8 year old boy to hang out with everyday.

lovely L gave me a really cute 'granted' scarf for christmas. as i was perusing the granted website and lamenting the fact that duke haaaates sweaters, i found a link to the wonderful ocean dog rescue.

ocean dog rescue flies rescued dogs from taiwan over to adopters in vancouver! apparently taiwan has a really high number of strays and abandoned dogs for a developed country - they share some sad info on the inhumane practices (animal lovers beware!!) but also inspirational stories of the rescue organizations as well.

... and on a lighter note, today i received a link to f*ck you penguin from lost at e minor. i love it! the ponies try too hard post is especially mint.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

happy new year!

ideas for 2009

ideas for 2009 (this 'idea' taken from sara).

you can create your own word collection too. link found on making it lovely.