Monday, November 5, 2012

Smitten Kitchen Book Signing

Hey guys...

Deb Perelman from Smitten Kitchen is in Vancouver tomorrow doing a talk and book signing.

Yeah, I am so there.

The other day my girlfriend texted me if I knew about it after seeing a sign up in Chapters. Ha! Had she realized I had already put this date in my day-planner weeks ago? I think I might explode with excitement tomorrow. Maybe start to eat the pages of the assumingly well-photographed book.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Fall Change: Thoughts on Day 2

Day 2 was a breeze.

Honestly, this cleanse was easy. Not only was there tons of food, I had a ton of energy throughout my workday and even enough to power me through a workout at the gym. I honestly feel like I could go eating this for a week straight and it would be no big deal. For someone who doesn't eat this type of food regularly I could see it being hard but since I eat the foods that were recommended (even the prunes) on a regular basis it didn't feel like any sort of deprivation.

I liked that this cleanse was not one that focused on losing weight but instead focused on your body ridding itself of toxins. After the 48 hours not only did I feel good physically, I also felt like I felt good mentally.

So do I recommend the Dr. Oz cleanse? Yep. It wasn't difficult to do and I liked the focus on cleansing your body as opposed to losing weight. Next time I'll add in my modifications that I noted in my previous post and sub in an alternative to the green-juice to either veggies or an organic store bought veg/fruit juice.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Fall Change - Starting with a Cleanse

A few weeks ago Hayley McGowan (a trainer I read online) challenged her readers to put a greater focus on nutrition and health as summer came to an end. I was feeling pretty confident that I didn't have that much to change since health and fitness-wise, my summer went pretty well. I ran a lot, took long walks with the boyfriend, ate pretty healthy and was getting a good amount of sleep. Maybe a few minor tweaks here and there, but nothing major.

But then life got a little hectic for the last month. Suddenly I wasn't sleeping well from the stress in my life and started eating more calories and drinking more coffee to compensate for my tiredness. In addition, my activity level dropped and in the last two weeks I got so busy that I only ran once. ONCE. This came both from being tired and not making the time to be active. I did get a few long walks in and we ate relatively healthy but I could tell that my body just didn't feel like it was running at its prime.

This last weekend marked a new chapter in my life and with it should come a decrease in the stress that I dealt with in September. So this weekend I re-activated my gym pass (it's getting colder here in Vancouver for outdoor stuff) and restocked my kitchen with lots of healthy options.

I'm also starting off the eating change with a 48 hour cleanse that Dr. Oz had in the Oprah magazine earlier this year. There is a few reasons that I chose this one as opposed to all the others that I read. First, I don't believe in most cleanses that consist of juice detoxes or apple-cider-maple-syrup-cayenne-drink detoxes (yes these exist) as being more than something that will cause me to lose water weight. Also like normal people, I don't enjoy the feeling of wanting to gnaw my arm off from starvation. This one seemed to include real food and with whole grains (quinoa) and protein (also from the quinoa). In fact, looking at the menu, it seemed to be A LOT of food. Also, besides the green juice involving pineapple-kale-mint drink, I have made a variation of most of the foods on the list before.

So today I am done Day 1 and I have a few thoughts on it so far:
  • There has been a ton of food, almost to the point that it feels like too much
  • I had tons of energy throughout the day and didn't feel hungry at all
  • I switched the blueberry smoothie to breakfast and the quinoa to lunch since I don't have a blender at my work to make the smoothie
  • The quinoa recipe called for way too much water. I would cut it down to 2/3 cup of water and since I didn't enjoy my prunes to be so soggy, I would hold them back till after the quinoa is done cooking and then just stir them in before eating
  • I really enjoyed the taste of ginger, nutmeg and quinoa together and think that I will have to make this again sometime. I am also thinking that pumpkin spices and quinoa, and heck, maybe also some pumpkin with the pumpkin spices would be an awesome breakfast/dessert dish
  • The green juice was way tastier than I had thought it would be. Tasted like mint and lemon
  • If you are not into the green juice, the Dr. Oz website has another version (I found this out later) of a fruit juice (no blending required) or suggests snacking on raw veggies between meals if you get hungry
  • The soup recipe says it "makes enough for at least 2 meals" and should actually read that it makes enough soup for 10 meals...maybe more (see above photo)
  • The soup cooking time of 1 hour was a bit too long, I felt 35-45 minutes was plenty
  • I upped the amount of paprika in the soup recipe to 2 tablespoons of sweet Hungarian paprika and 2 tablespoons of hot Hungarian paprika since I am Hungarian and well we those sort of things
  • I have never taken an Epsom salt bath's pretty great. Admittedly I haven't taken a bath in years so maybe I just enjoyed relaxing in a bath. Here's info on how to take an Epsom salt bath
I'll report back on how Day 2 goes tomorrow

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Girl Crush: Because Smokes Cigars & Drinks Scotch

During the week Sarah from Cinesnark wrote up a post on Aisha Tyler being the proto Funny/Girl*. Sarah writes about why Aisha Tyler, even though she is talented, funny and beautiful, she never quite took to the mainstream:

My answer was that Aisha Tyler is six feet tall. She smokes cigars and drinks Scotch (and brews her own beer). She tells jokes about scratching her vagina in public—she tells jokes “like a man”. And she did it before the Funny/Girl was recognized as distinct from Funny Girls. She didn’t fit into the small, limited box the industry kept trying to put her in. -Lainey Gossip

Sarah is right on point on it. And it's because Tyler has all of those qualities that I have such a girl crush on her

*read Sarah's take on Funny/Girls from this earlier post

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Just Read: Before I Go To Sleep

Before I Go To Sleep by S.J. Watson
Published: June 2011 (US) HarperCollins

Since I had a little time this weekend to go to the beach, I found this book in the fast read section at the library. It's a debut novel for author S.J. Watson who wrote the novel while working as an audiologist at the National Health Service in England.

The story is about Christine Lucas who suffers from amnesia, both anterograde amnesia (the loss of long-term memory or the inability to form new memories) and retrograde amnesia (not being able to recall pre-existing memories). She wakes up every morning thinking she is in her mid-20's (sometimes younger) even though she is 47 and has no recollection of what has happened during the last 20 years.

Every morning she gets introduced to her husband Ben and learns about the horrible accident that has robbed her of her memory. Each day she receives a phone call from her neurologist Dr. Nash who directs her to a journal that she has been keeping that helps her re-learn what she has been able to remember on previous days. Every night she goes to bed where her mind will erase everything she did that day.

Monday, September 10, 2012

City of Bones - They Are Filming It

 Photo via Just Jared Jr.

A couple of years ago I picked up the first book of The Mortal Instrument series called City of Bones by Cassandra Clare. It was entertaining though had its share of problems with the writing. Like some serious plot issues. But the story flowed well enough that you can overlook most of the plot issues while reading it.

I have so far read four in series and a both of the books from the prequel series Infernal Devices. Not as good as the Hunger Games or Divergent series, but entertaining for sure. I might do a review of each book in the series when I decide to re-read them in a couple weeks since it's been so long since when I first whipped though them.

But like I said, they have some plot issues.

The biggest one from what I remember is




is that Clary falls in love with Jace... WHO IS HER BROTHER.


Yeah. That's what you find out at the end of the book.

How does this work for something they are making into a movie? Oh you hadn't heard they are making City of Bones into a movie? Neither did I until I came across this cast photo via MTV. They are currently shooting in Toronto right now with the movie projected to be out in summer 2013.

Now if you keep reading in the series,

***another SPOILER ALERT*** find out that Clary and Jace are not technically blood relatives, but that they both received angel's blood and instead Sebastian is actually her brother. Oh, and Clary makes out with Sebastian in City of Glass (the third book) before getting back together with Jace. Yeah this family is f-cked up.

I have no idea how the script will make sense to someone who hasn't read the series. The ending is just soleft field. And if you have read the series, how does Jamie Campbell Bower get casted as Jace? Who was responsible for this? He's not what I pictured Jace should look like.

Photo via Just Jared Jr.

But Lily Collins with that red hair as Clary, yeah I can see it. And Robert Sheehan as Simon....almost seems too hot to be Simon, but I'll roll with that.

Jessica Simpson Is An Everyday Woman

Today Jessica Simpson 'revealed' her post-baby body on Katie and debuted her first Weight Watchers commercial:

Is it weird that she didn't actually say how much weight she lost? Does that come in her next commercial then?

From earlier this week she was quoted in USA Today:
"I didn't realize it (the weight) didn't all come off with the baby," she says.

"I'm not a supermodel. My body is not bouncing back like a supermodel. I'm just your everyday woman who is trying to feel good and be healthy for her daughter, her fiancé and herself."
She's just your everyday woman who (presumably) has a personal chef, trainer, babysitter and a $4 million cheque from Weight Watchers.

Yes, you are like an everyday woman Jessica. At least that's what you are selling right?

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Eating Organics: Is it about Nutrition?

Yesterday the New York Times published an article on a meta-analysis done by Stanford University that looked at research on organic and conventional foods.

From the New York Times:
"They concluded that fruits and vegetables labeled organic were, on average, no more nutritious than their conventional counterparts, which tend to be far less expensive. Nor were they any less likely to be contaminated by dangerous bacteria like E. coli. 

The researchers also found no obvious health advantages to organic meats. 

Conventional fruits and vegetables did have more pesticide residue, but the levels were almost always under the allowed safety limits, the scientists said. The Environmental Protection Agency sets the limits at levels that it says do not harm humans."

No shit.

My understanding of why someone would buy organic was never because that organic was more nutritious, but because you didn't want to consume foods with pesticides. I'm not sure how this is a big deal, I thought we all knew this?

-I do like how it was pointed out that this study conducted wasn't funded by outside financing
-"the levels were almost always under the allowed safety limits" for pesticides. Almost always.
-the article is written like this study is a big deal but it's not really groundbreaking here

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Just Read: The Leftovers

The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta
*spoilers after the jump

I remember reading this NY Times review by Stephen King of The Leftovers about a year ago. As I do with the many books I want to read, I added it to my ever growing book list (a messy google document that I cut and paste things to) and just left it at that. It wasn't until a couple of weeks ago that Vulture wrote an article that via a Deadline report, that The Leftovers was going to be adapted into a project for HBO. Damon Lindelof (the co-creator of Lost) will team up with the book's writer, Tom Perrotta (he also wrote Little Children and Election) to write the pilot this summer.

So The Leftovers is based on a post-Rapture world. Remember Harold Camping? He was the doomsday prophet that predicted that Jesus would return to Earth on May 21, 2011 and that the world would after five months of fire, brimstone and plague on October 21, 2011.

Obviously that didn't happen. But this book is based on a similar idea of the world after a Rapture. Millions of people disappear for no reason and the story is about the people who are left behind (the leftovers) and how they deal with getting on (or not getting on) with their lives after the event. It opens up three years after the Rapture and takes place for the most part in a small town called Mapleton. It is largely centered around one family, the Garvey family, Kevin, Laurie and their two children, Tom and Jill. Though this family drifts apart it keeps up with each character as they progress over a year or so.

The mother Laurie joins the Guilty Remnant, a cult that stalks people to make them remember the Rapture and basically wait for the end of the world. They give up worldly frivolities and show their acceptance of death by smoking in public.

There's the son Tom, who after being at college can't deal with the stress and joins a hugging cult (a cult that gives out hugs) that turns out to have it's leader take on young teenage brides and eventually get sent to prison. After being feeling taken advantage of, Tom then joins the Barefoot People who believe they should party 24/7 until the end of the world.

And we haven't even gotten started on the dad Kevin or the daughter Jill yet. Or the rest of the residents of Mapleton.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

On Purses

I admit that I have never really 'got' purses. Or bags. Or clutches. At least not in the same way that my girlfriends get purses. They get legit excited about them and though I don't get it myself, I love to listen to them talk about the new season's bags or compare their latest purchases. Bless them for loving and introducing me to an affordable line like Matt and Nat.

And it's not that I don't own a few bags, purses or even a great evening clutch myself (the clutch was gifted to me by a friend way more fashionable than I), it's just I don't understand the excitement over them. I see the functionality behind certain sizes and styles but really never shared the same love for the bag itself. I do have a favorite travel purse that has great pockets positioned well on the a great wide pocket for me to stash the passport and the phone and then a large middle section where my wallet, sunglasses, camera and various shit I want to keep close to my body goes, but again, it's about the functionality of that purse. It's about how much that purse can hold and how useful it is for me to access stuff inside of it. It is also the same purse that I think that the majority of girlfriends own, just in different colours that are much more daring that my white.

And I do try to learn from them when they show me a new purse that they got, or how they scored 4 purses on some crazy online end of season sale for like $20's just that I would never be the one to notice that it was a new purse unless they pointed it out to me or someone else noticed it first.

Maybe this makes me not a very good girl. Maybe. I also don't get shoes either, but purses less so.

But, I think I've hit a turning point! Or maybe this will be a one time moment of understanding...because I got f-cking excited about a purse. Yeah, it happened. Maybe a small step in my life of shopping as a female in the city...but it finally happened. I was browsing J Crew for a pair of pants I saw on the internet and then I came across this blue-purple little gem:

The colour. Man, that colour. But then I looked at the price tag and my heart sank as I debated spending $190 (with tax) on a tiny purse. I just couldn't justify. Not when I had just booked myself a last minute vacation to the Northern California.

But then I found myself thinking about it on my trip to San Francisco. Debated buying it there since the tax is less in California, but the boyfriend gave me a dirty look as I suggested we walk blocks out of our way to find J Crew when all he was thinking about was a mongolian beef breakfast wrap from HRD Coffee Shop. 4 weeks later and I am still thinking about that small blue-purple purse. Then, to my delight, it dropped in price this past weekend to $ clearly that meant it had to be right? Clearly.

So I am now the happy owner of the first purse I have truly coveted. The first purse I have been really excited about. Maybe this feeling will never come again but right now, I'm still excited about it. Who knew you could feel this way about a purse?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Olympic Withdrawal

So two days out from the Closing Ceremony of the Olympics and I am already in withdrawal. Gone are the mornings where I got to watch sports for a solid hour before leaving to work and the nights of watching random highlights from the days events.

At least we'll always this gem to come out of the Olympics:

I hope he never becomes smart because there's just too much gold there. I might even consider watching Dancing with the Stars if Ryan Lochte becomes a contestant. Yeah, that's how much I love that video.

I wonder when the sports withdrawal goes away, will the want to buy the Givenchy sunglasses that Kate Middleton wore at the Games go away too? The desire to buy glasses online that I am not able to try on is rather strong right now.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Just read: The Book Thief

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

A few months ago while out for drinks over a hockey game, I was recommended this book by a friends cousin who swore that it was a great read. It was so good that she said this was her FAVORITE book ever. That's huge to say something is your favorite book. I have put in a ton of thought into what my favorite book is and every so often see if a new one has usurped it's title. At this point, and for the last 15 years, Brave New World has held the title in a stranglehold.

So since I needed something to read while at a work conference up in Kelowna, I borrowed The Book Thief from the library and proceeded to spend my two day conference plugging away at it.

The story is narrated by Death and is about the story of Liesel Meminger, a girl given up to live in foster care outside of Munich during World War II. Death has a witty personality and has quite the soft spot for this wiry girl. Even though her foster parents are introduced as vulgar poor people, by the end of the book you end up loving them so, so much; especially her foster father Hans.

I don't read that many Holocaust set books for several reasons. The first being that after I read Elie Wiesel's Night well I really thought that was enough dark bleak Holocaust lit than I need for the rest of my life. The second and this one being the more influencing on my book decisions of this topic is that through my family in Hungary, we have enough first hand stories. But that is a topic for another post.

But this story was good. It didn't gloss over details of how difficult it was to be poor or what consequences you had to bear if you didn't proclaim your support for the Nazi party. And yet it was cynical enough and had well placed sentimental moments that you didn't feel like the story was too heavy. The pacing of the story was well done and the 'drawings' that were included of the book she received were well placed.

The book was marketed as YA fiction, which I love YA fiction, but based on the writing style it really didn't feel like a young adult novel. I feel like labeling it as YA fiction is doing this book some injustice. I remember coming across this book a few years ago and dismissed it because it was just another YA fiction book about WWII and didn't think it was worth my time. My initial judgement is that YA fiction couldn't possibly do the content or setting justice. That things would be overlooked and details glossed over. This book doesn't do that and to me it was a bad marketing strategy by the publisher to label it as YA fiction.

Was it the best book ever? No, no I don't think so. It was a great read and one that I'm glad I have read it once but as for the best ever, I'm going to have to disagree with my friend's cousin on this one, BNW still wins this one for now.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Strawberry Shortcakes with Rhubarb Compote

This Sunday Stong's had California strawberries pretty cheap so even though I had only intended to pop in for a baguette, of course I ended up buying two boxes of them. And then I saw rhubarb for the first time this season in the produce section, so of course I ended up buying some rhubarb.

I used this recipe from Smitten Kitchen for Strawberry Shortcakes for the biscuit portion of the shortcake.

I have used this recipe before without any modifications and they have turned out really well every time. This time since it was dessert for just two of us I halved the recipe. The biscuit comes together pretty quick and since it needs time in the fridge prior to baking can be made ahead of time and just popped into the oven when you are ready to bake. The recipe for the stewed rhubarb is below.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Glasses in real life

For the first time last week, I worse glasses out to go watch the game with my girl friends. Now to other people this may not be a big deal, but for as long as I can remember being friends with these girls, I don't think I've ever warn glasses out. Ever. And the thought of wearing it out to somewhere other than the grocery store, to a sports bar no less, would never have crossed my mind previously.

These girls have of course seen me in glasses plenty of times. I've had glasses since I've been in grade 8 and each year that I've had them my vision has gotten worse and worse and the glasses have gotten progressively thicker and thicker. For a few years we were all roommates and they had the pleasure of seeing me in glasses around the house or during mornings after particularly rough nights in which the thought of putting back in my contacts seem like pure torture. Basically for the last 10 years of my life, I have never warn glasses outside of my house.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

First Post

Lately I have felt the need to write on topics other than hockey. Over the past few months, even though I write a ton each week, when you write almost exclusively about one topic sometimes you feel the need to just write about something else.

Three years ago today, I wrote by first blog post on blogspot about a Canucks game. It was a scary endeavor to write my first blog post. I literally agonized about it and it took me days before I found the courage to hit 'publish post' for the first time. Now it has become completely natural to write about hockey day after day.

But lately over the past few weeks, maybe months, I have have felt the urge to just write on things other than hockey. And if you know me, I spend most of my free time away from work and hockey playing around with recipes in my kitchen, reading or being active.

So here we are with my first blog post at One Part Food.