friday, i’m in love

fiil.mar27

  • look Starbucks, stop mocking  my poor life choices. It’s March so, YES, I do want an iced coffee. YES, I do know it’s -18 (Monday). YES I’m sure I don’t want a hot coffee. And NO, I’m not happy that you didn’t brew any iced coffee because it’s -18. Sad.
  • and (as you should know by now) I’m a complete (cusp of) millenial brat and no, an iced latte wasn’t going to fill the void. I needed a very large, REASONABLY PRICED cold beverage. (I was really thirsty.)
  • which of course brings me to the tail end of one of my favourite text convos with sister that took place last weekend. texty texty texty and the last line was “hooray for over-reacting, which is actually my favourite”
  • just in case you’re not up-to-date on your Guelph Mercury lifestyle section news (i was oh-so-lucky to read this Tuesday waiting for my oil change): girls, being needy can scare boys away. Yes, there was an advice column on the first page, above the fold of section 2. In 2015. I know newspaper is a dying form of media…um, is this maybe why…but, are.you.kidding.me? For the record, I think reading the newspaper is scholarly and kind of romantic.
  • tell people when something reminds you of them; reach out, say hi.
  • 4 of 5 pairs of jeans have been returned and the fifth pair is somewhere in Alberta; the UPS truck had a mechanical failure…3 days ago…and there are a pair of Gap jeans somewhere in the prairies. Seems I’m too short for short jeans and the summer crops (which are totally pants for me) aren’t out yet. Sigh.
  • why yes I did have to look up “ship it” on urban dictionary. Where do kids come up with these things?
  • tv things: ohhh, welcome back Chicago PD! I missed you bf Jay. And bf Jay has a brother. How fun! (#tvisreallife) And maybe I geared up for the first new episode in a month by watching Chicago PD Season 1 humour 1 and 2, and Season 2 humour 1, 2, 3. Thank you people on youtube you put these things together for my enjoyment. Scandal: it was sweet. The flashbacks were the best part; the story behind Liv’s ring? Loved it. Potentially the last episode ever of Hart of Dixie tonight. I’m pretty sad. I know it’s fairly unrealistic but it’s sweet and they have southern accents. tv series things: re-watching Friday Night Lights while I work. Oh hello again Matty; my favourite Dillon Panther.
  • I can’t wait to see two of my favourite boys tomorrow night. The first step in coming out of hibernation… (even though it isn’t warm yet and there’s still light snow in the forecast. #bearforlife)

 

[photo via @banff_lakelouise instagram of Banff in 1955]

friday, i’m in love

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  • sourdough + mashed avocado (with lots of lime, like always) + bacon = the closest thing I’ve felt to love. But I only bought 1 avocado at the grocery store because the emotional range between perfectly ripe and completely gross is too much to handle sometimes and I can’t deal with the disappointment of multiple semi-rotten vessels of pure joy.
  • why is making dinner the worst part of my day, everyday?
  • my second cup of coffee, usually iced, is the best part.
  • tv series things: am I the only one who didn’t like House of Cards? (probably) I watched season one over what seemed like the longest 13 hours of my life. Why are manipulative psychopaths so popular these days?? (ahem, like my least favourite book ever, Gone Girl)  West Wing > House of Cards. So, since we’re on the topic, I’m watching West Wing again after too many days of “buuuut I need more Josh in my life”. And since we’re on the topic again, remember how I had the mostest-hugest tv crushy-crush on Josh Lyman (the character) and how he’s (now) only 5 years younger than my Dad but I heart 16 years ago Josh and since time-travel is totes legit in TV land, TV Josh is still 36 and stuck in 1999/early 2000s while I have gracefully aged 15-16 years and we’re essentially only a few years apart. It’s magical. I also feel much, much smarter; but mostly because I’m 31 and not 15. OMG, 15 year old would probably also be in love with Josh. Ok, I need to stop talking about fake love….
  • you’re following menandcoffee on instagram, right? BEST!
  • i know y’all know my most fabulous sister; well, she just finished a 3 week intro-to-crossfit session and not only beat the boys most days but in last night’s final class, a re-do of class 1, my little superstar finished first and shaved 3:30 off her time……in pink pants and a pink hair bow no less. While I cried at yoga. Twice.
  • tv things. Scandal: Olivia, honey, just call Jake. Fitz and Jake just chillin’ and chattin’ is amazing. Mindy Project: no.
  • I just need the whole world to stop for like a day. To just sleep and not be asked a stupid question. To not feel like the internet is laughing at me. For the windchill to not get so far into my bones I can’t get warm for hours. For the neighbours to turn the bass down and stop checking a basketball into my wall. For jeans to fit and sweaters to be long enough. For people to stop being mean.
  • however, I need Keep Me In Mind and Lost Stars to be on repeat as much as possible on my iTunes.

cherry muffins

cherrymuffins

I have this feeling you’re thinking “ummmmm, do you just watch an obsense amount of TV, scour the internet for fun links, and bake things?” And the answer is yes. While in full hibernation mode (aka: November – March) my hobbies include baking things, making soup, binge watching TV series’, and sleeping for 9 hours a night. Pure grizzly bear on the inside. Rawr.

Supposedly spring starts Friday. I’ll believe it when I see it. Ontario is still hovering around freezing with the potential for flurries every few days. Damn you west coast. Like my Dad says every so often in our group BBM (we so cool), “God hates Southern Ontario”. Yah, well, jokes on him. He gets back to Canada the first week of April and it’ll still be cool. Sucker. Sis is laughing at both of us. Stupid beautiful rockies and their stupid warm winter and stupid spring-like spring.

So, muffins?

If you’re lucky enough to live in a spring-like Province or State, I hate you. No no. I mean make these to celebrate!  And since all my food likes to talk to you, these are saying “hey cool kids that live in desirable climates! I’m full of (frozen) fresh cherries and would make a great morning snack and even better treat on a picnic! I freeze well and am delicious when warmed for 20 seconds in the microwave and slathered in butter.” Not a cool kid that lives in a desirable climate? These just might make you believe spring IS around the corner.

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Cherry Muffins
(makes 10-12 muffins)

what you’ll need:
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup white sugar
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 cup milk
1/3 cup oil (I use canola, vegetable, or sunflower)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups frozen cherries (do not thaw)

how to:
Preheat oven to 375°F
Line muffin tin with liners and spray with non-stick spray
In medium bowl mix flour, baking soda, salt, and sugar
In large bowl, mix egg, milk, and oil.
Stir dry ingredients in wet, do not over mix. Fold in cherries.

Bake for 25-30 minutes.

Allow to cool about 10 minutes, transfer to wire rack and cool completely before storing in an air tight container (I kept 5 in a cookie tin for a week) or freeze in ziplock bags. Defrost one or two at a time on the counter overnight.

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One more note about these. Last summer, when cherries were $0.88/lb I stocked up, pitted and froze them thinking I’d use them for smoothies (I loooooove frozen cherries in smoothies). Then I went through a thing and I hated smoothies. Happy bags of fresh frozen cherries sat in my freezer till late February – freezer burn free – until they could reach their full potential in muffins. So, very very many months before cherry season, let me remind you to buy all the cherries your heart desires, pit them, and freeze them to use in muffin recipes all winter long. Or smoothies if that’s your thing. I can’t do smoothies when it’s -40 outside.

(I don’t own some fancy contraption to pit cherries so I just cut them in half, remove the pit, then lay them flat on a cookie sheet and put in the freezer. Once completely frozen I transfer to a ziplock bag attempting not to stain my white appliances with my purple stained fingers)

friday, i’m in love

fiil.mar13

  • pink balloons for the Starbucks launch of La Boulange in Canada. You don’t even know how happy the pink sleeves make me. I want to stock pile them so I can always have a pink coffee sleeve.
  • isn’t that the most rad brick wall? I want one!
  • remember last week’s love for Kent Youngstrom art from Lulu & Georgia? And then when I was crying cause L&G doesn’t ship to Canada? GOOD NEWS! You can find a bunch of Mr. Youngstrom’s prints on Amazon. I also thought I solved the rug issue when I found Urban Outfitters ships to Canada…..but not most of their home accessories. For goodness sakes, CANADA; WHY CAN’T I HAVE NICE THINGS???!!!!
  • the good news, I didn’t look for a new couch this week. So, yay?
  • buuuuut I have been looking for a very large light-coloured abstract canvas for my living room. And I found it at HomeSense and then I went to the store next to it to have a quick peek at what they had (nothing good), then back to HomeSense and someone BOUGHT IT. Y’all, I’m really really bad at making quick decisions and there is no time to think at HomeSense, and when something is gonna put me back $200 I need more than 30 seconds. G’DAMN. Then I went to Winners and bought deeply discounted (for no particular reason) camel suede ballet flats that I completely don’t need and are fairly impractical for March/April/May puddles. But when the hot couple scoop your canvas you buy shoes that are 96% cheaper. Girl math.
  • things I actually don’t need: art, rug, couch (I do but I don’t, mine is fine), shoes. Someone (in the states, where we can order nice things) let me redecorate your house?
  • in the column of things I totally need: I ordered 4 pairs of jeans yesterday and for the love of my (very) fragile self-esteem at least one of them better fit. And maybe a navy cardigan that hopped in the cart because it was 83% off. I love a deal and I LOVE navy. And you know, still cold here.
  • tv things! The Voice: I care but I don’t. I just want to be on Team Adam. Scandal: didn’t watch, I chatted with my sister instead, which is so much better. Picking up House of Cards S1 today. And am still thinking about how much I loved The West Wing.
  • without Suits and Chicago PD on on Wednesday I lucked out and found The Theory of Everything at the library, watched it instead and……..didn’t cry. Everyone warned me it was so, so sad. Nothing. I don’t even know what’s wrong with my emotions these days. (says the girl who has totally cried over spilled milk). Great story though; and phenomenal acting. That (studly) Eddie Redmayne is fabulous. Tell me you’ve seen him in My Week with Marilyn??
  • I love my curling wand (thanks laur) but have been a bigger fan of the day 2 wave and usually would wash and curl my hair (holding about 12 seconds around the wand) the evening before I had plans. Well, 7 seconds and a loose wrap = day 2 waves on day 1. It really is the little things.

easy gifts: rosemary pecans

pecans

I think these are perfect for just about any occasion. Afternoon snack? Check! A creative way to say thank you? Check! A sweet (and salty) surprise tucked into a knapsack? Check! Happy housewarming? check!

See? Perfect.

I first came up for these for my dad and sister as a Christmas gift. While I didn’t invent sweet + salty + herb spiced nuts (I probably did); I do think this particular combination says “hello, I’m very sophisticated. Have a seat in my dimly lit den; let’s sip some bourbon and talk about politics!”

What? Your nuts don’t talk to you? Mine do! Look what else they’re saying:

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So, in the spirit of easy gifts – these couldn’t be easier.

6 cups nuts (I always use pecans cause they’re the best, but they can be expensive, use whatever you like)
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons oil (I’d recommend a flavourless one like vegetable, canola, or sunflower)
2 tablespoons minced rosemary (lately I’ve just wanted a hint of rosemary and add a bunch of full sprigs instead of mincing)
salt

Pour everything but the salt into a bowl, mix mix mix.
Line a cookie sheet with tin foil and spray liberally with non-stick spray
Bake at 350°F for 10 minutes, stir, then another 5-10 minutes.
WATCH THEM! No one likes burnt nuts!
Sprinkle with salt as soon as they come out of the oven.
Cool on baking sheet and store in a ziplock bag.

Pack them up in a little snack bag and share the love.

pecans.insta

This “recipe” is easily adaptable. Don’t want 6 cups? I recently made it with about 2 cups pecans, a healthy squeeze of maple syrup, a splash of canola oil, and a few sprigs of rosemary. Same baking time.

[treat bags from Target]