A Toronto vegan blabs on about crafting, food, and her life in general.

Monday, January 29, 2007

What? A soup swap?

I just read on this blog about a recent Seattle Soup Swap. How much fun would that be?! Make soup, package it into freezable containers, and swap!

Toronto vegans - and vegan-friendly non-vegans! - are you interested??


Saturday, January 27, 2007

Quick + Lazy Saturday Soup

Quick + Lazy Saturday Soup

The boy was out late last night and didn't feel like going out for brunch as planned (ahem) so I threw together a quick soup to feed my hungry and disappointed tummy.

Quick + Lazy Saturday Soup

1/2 cup red lentils
1/2 cup brown lentils
water to fill a medium sized soup pot - about 4 cups
2 vegetable broth cubes
4 sundried tomatoes, snipped into small pieces with scissors
1 large white potato, small cubes
3 cloves of garlic, thickly chopped
1 carrot, cubed
lemon juice - optional

Rinse the lentils and place them in the pot with the water and broth cubes. Bring to boil on high heat while you chop the potatoes. Add potatoes, sundried tomatoes and garlic. Stir to mix in the now-dissolved broth cubes. Cover and reduce to medium heat. Cook for 10 minutes then add carrots. Reduce to a simmer. Soup is done when the potatoes and brown lentils are tender. Serve with a squirt of lemon juice if you like things tangy.

tip: I like to vary the size and shape of my chopped vegetables to create a rustic texture

Now, since I feel like getting out of the apartment and my tummy is full, warm and happy, I am going to venture outside!

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Knit four, purl four, ad nauseam

Current WIP

Last week I started a pair of arm warmers using some miscellaneous yarn from my stash. The green concerned me a little since it is so pastel and I'm used to olive greens. But, hey, I can be adventurous with colour too. Everything doesn't always have to be some form of black and red, as you will see below :)

Not really wanting to follow a pattern or learn to knit cables, I decided to simply do a 4x4 rib. I'd prefer not to have finger or thumb holes so I can just push the arm warmers up when I wash my hands and pull them down when my hands need more warmth, so I'm really just knitting ribbed tubes. The 4x4 ribbing makes for some nice stretching and contracting so I don't think I'll have to worry about doing any shaping at the wrists.

Yarn Hunter

Pekoe usually isn't a yarn chaser the way Tetley is, but I guess she just couldn't resist.

Sock Dreams - Ink-Lined, O Chevrons and O Basics

Sock Dreams - the whole shebang

Yesterday I picked up my Sock Dreams order from the Post Office! I blame thank Michelle for introducing me to them :) Yes, there are many red, black and dark neutral colours in the mix, but I also bit the bullet and ordered white socks, orange socks and lime green socks. 3 colours out of 15 pairs of socks isn't too bad. I'm not sure which ones to wear first!

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Friday, January 26, 2007

Wings are for flying, not frying.

Wings are for flying...

I bought a Herbivore hoodie! From Sarah Kramer.

Sarah Kramer goodies!

and she sent me awesome loot.

Sarah Kramer goodies + Pekoe

which is Pekoe approved.

just go see her blog :)

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Thursday, January 25, 2007

Random conversation on a Wednesday night

girl (reading the latest issue of Bust): Hey, Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore watch Buffy.

boy: who?

girl: *stare* *blink blink* *stare*

girl: Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore. (hoping boy would remember the email sent to him a few months ago, carefully explaining the difference between Kim Gordon and Kim Deal)

boy: you mean the one from The Breeders?

girl: that's Kim Deal.

boy: the one from The Pixies?

girl: that's still Kim Deal.

boy: *pause* from Sonic Youth?

girl: *sigh* yes.


Oh, look out you rock 'n rollers

It's time to change things up a bit. Or, rather, change things back. As many others have commented about their own blogs, mine has also lost focus to the point where I sometimes find making a post extremely daunting. I'd rather post bits here and there than fret about writing one big long catch-up post.

I started the blog to reach out and seek others. Now that this has happened, the original things I wrote about have taken a back seat. My hope is to get back to some goodness, some crafting, some veganism, and blurbs about my life in general. When I find a post might be larger than I can devote time to, I will express myself in photos.

Now that that's out of the way, here are a few photos from the second half of our BC trip. We drove just past Kelowna to Big White Resort on December 30th. The 4 hour trip there was not too bad. The condo was beautiful and the view was breathtaking. We spent New Year's Eve Day snoeshoeing and tubing, and the Eve down in the resort village and back up in the condo. New Year's Day awoke us with snow and fog, and the 4 hour trip back to Vancouver took 6 hours through snow, ice, slush and rain. We like to think that the province was just sad that we were leaving :)

Big White ski hill
the view of the ski hill from the condo

Condo with a view
the view directly from the condo balcony

Morning coffee
ah... morning coffee...

Mountain(s of) snow
the incredible sights from our shoeshoe trail

the incredible sights from our shoeshoe trail?


Big White on New Year's Day
this is the foggy and snowy scene we woke up to on New Year's Day

and this is the best part of the treacherous drive we had to take back to Vancouver. I was too skeered to take pictures of the really bad parts.

Oh, and somehow during our trip I developed a love of good quality deli green olives, which I have always vehemently hated. I especially love the garlic stuffed ones. Weird.

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Thursday, January 11, 2007

Look at me, I'm gettin' hits!

I just checked my blog stats and it appears that I have been getting several hits by people searching for the Premier Fitness "Don't Wanna Be Flabby Anymore" song. This is my most recent Keyword Activity - that's 13 hits for the song:

  1. gifts presented to bob barker game show host
  2. primo lentil soup
  3. mishka chocolate
  4. premier fitness out of shape dude song
  5. blubbery out of shape dude song
  6. blubbery out of shape dude song
  7. don't wanna be flabby anymoooooore
  8. i don't wanna be a fat guy blubbery rubbery
  9. i don't wanna be a fat guy blubbery rubbery
  10. blubbery, flubbery, out of shape dude
  11. blubbery flubbery rubbery out of shape blubbery flubbery rubbery out of shape
  12. chaifae
  13. blubbery out of shape dude
  14. blubbery out of shape dude look at me i'm a pear
  15. blubbery out of shape dude look at me i'm a pear
  16. premier fitness don't wanna be a fat guy
  17. blubbery rubbery flubbery out of shape dude
  18. mishka


Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Food Log | Jan 10, 2007

  • a bowl of about 1 cup of rolled oats* mixed with some bran buds
  • 2 tbsp ground flax
  • 1/2 cup vanilla almond milk
  • 1/2 handful of walnut pieces
  • coffee*
  • 1 Lick's nature burger + bun with dijon, ketchup, onions, pickles, hot peppers and lettuce
  • 1/2 of a large salad of kale, 1 carrot*, 1 tomato, 1/2 handful of walnut pieces, about 1/4 cup of Brianna's Poppyseed dressing
  • the other 1/2 of the large salad
  • 1/2 cup raw sugar snap peas
  • I'm thinking about trying a vegan "butter chicken" recipe, developed by Summer Keightley, with brown basmati rice...
  • ... but was I really had was some whole wheat pasta* with tomato sauce :)
  • 3 glasses of red wine
  • 1/2 a tiny chocolate chili chocolate bar
  • sublingual B12
  • 20 minutes of jogging



Saturday, January 6, 2007

Vancouver: the land of food and beer

Okay, so maybe Vancouver's not all about food and beer, but it sure felt like it to this non-skiier. While we were there, we ate lots of good food and drank lots of good beer. And walked a lot. We visited neighbourhoods, friends, pubs, shorelines, mountains, and took plenty of photos to document our trip.

Vancouver has about half the population of Toronto, making it seem small to me despite the fact that it is the third largest city in the country. The city is also fairly young and is filled with a lot of new buildings, earning it the nickname "City of Glass". It was hard to not make constant comparisons to Toronto - both positive and negative - but the one positive that kicked the asses of most of the negatives was the gorgeous views of mountains in the backdrop of the city.

The easiest way to do this, I think, is to write our trip in chronological order. We start with Boxing Day.

After a pretty quick flight, too early on Boxing Day, during which my vegan meal was neglected as usual and I was thankful I brought food with me, the boy's friend from childhood, who moved out to Vancouver a few years ago, picked us up at the airport. He and his girlfriend (ahem, their names are Dave and Michelle. no kidding.) graciously offered us a place to stay at their apartment, including use of the apartment when they left for a ski resort a couple of days later. The first place we went to in Vancouver was Granville Island, where most things were closed, being Boxing Day and all. But we walked around, saw the Island without the crowds, and got coffee. And took photos.

Seagull Hooligans
This seagull warning sticker was on the inside door of Granville Market's food building. It made me laugh and was the first photo I took. When I walked outside, I could see why the sticker is necessary - the gulls are huge and plentiful. And are milling around like thugs, waiting to snatch your food.

Sea Houses
On the Island, there is this crazy little community called Sea Village. The village consists of 14 homes floating in the marina. There's more info here if you'd like to read about it!

For lunch, we went to one of those standard trendy places like Milestone's, but it was called Joey's. Scanning the menu, it looked like it was going to be a baked potato and salad lunch, until I saw a little note in the bottom right corner of the menu stating that certain chicken dishes could be made with mock chicken! Ding! So, the boy had a vegetarian butter "chicken" and I had a vegan "chicken" souvlaki sans tzatziki! (tzatziki - not taziki, please.) With these incredible ultra skinny fries. And local beer.

The next day, the Davids and I hopped over to Commercial Drive for some brunch.

After some confusion, we finally found WaaZuBee Cafe, where I had the biggest roti have ever had in my life. The restaurant had a great vibe - eclectic with an industrial feel, and a touch of retro. There was a very cool chandelier above our table, made of twisted flat ware. It was too dark inside, even during brunch, to get a good shot. And a flash would have made me feel too conspicuous.

But I did find a photo online of one of the other installations, a pteridactyl, taken by a flickr user.

Humongo Roti
And here's the biggest roti ever. It came with sweet potato fries and coleslaw, and the roti leftovers even fed the three of us as a decent snack later in the day.

On some very full tummies, we went walking around the area, which is in the east part of the city. It reminded me of a mix of Danforth, the Annex and Kensington Market in Toronto.

Vancouver from the East
A view of downtown

Community Mural
a community mural

abandoned bear on a bench

Later in the day, we visited...

Gastown Alley
"Phuck yer xmas"

Gastown Flat Iron Building
Gastown Flatiron Building

Something about something
Portside Park on Burrard Inlet, the waterway on the north end of the city

Monkey Does Vancouver
Monkey came too! Those are the sails of Canada Place in the background.

Looking towards Stanely Park
Coal Harbour

That night we went to see a nice winter light display at VanDusen Botanical Gardens. Then, dinner at The Naam! It was a toss up between veganizing the Reuben or having the Naam Steak Platter. The latter won. I'd been told about the miso gravy, and it was very good. But I think I'd like it better the second time around.

Day 3, our generous hosts left for the mountains and we spent the day with Robert and Elva. Robert was the boy's housemate before we moved in together, and has since gone back to Vancouver to finish his studies at UBC.

David and the Icelanders waiting for the ferry
We took the ferry to Granville Island,

Chocolate from Granville Market
I bought gourmet chocolate bars (yes, the purple one contained garlic!),

English Bay
and walked around English Bay. They had us over for dinner and cooked a vegetarian meal (really, it was vegan and they all added cheese to their's), which was unexpected since they are Icelandic and eat whale and stuff like that... ;)

Day 4, our last full day in Vancouver before joining the other Dave and Michelle and their friends 4.5 hours away in the mountains, it finally rained. The entire time people kept telling us "This is not a normal Vancouver winter day" as the sun shined and the skies stayed dry. But the last day it rained a bit. We told ourselves that the city was sad that we were leaving :) We spent the day walking around, eating lunch at Slickity Jim's (I had awesome scrambled tofu) and spending more time with Robert and Elva, ending the evening with a movie - Borat, our second time.

Since this is getting way too long and I have a few things to do for Claire's birthday party tonight - Happy (one day after your) Birthday Claire! - so I'll write about our trip to the BC interior and Big White mountain possibly tomorrow. More then!

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Friday, January 5, 2007

Food Log | Jan 5, 2007

The Vancouver post will get started tonight, and my photos have been uploaded to my flickr page. Have a peek at the pictures and check back tomorrow!

Unrelated, I am so happy to hear the Premier Fitness ads on the radio again. I missed them last year (I think they didn't run) because they've become such a post-holiday tradition. I know that they might be a tad on the insensitive side, but the guy's voice makes me giggle:

Don't wanna be flabby anymoooooore
Don't wanna be a fat guy
Rubbery, flubbery, blubbery, outta shape dude
Look at me - I'm a pear


  • a bowl of about 1 cup of rolled oats* mixed with some bran buds
  • 2 tbsp ground flax
  • 1/2 cup vanilla almond milk
  • coffee*
  • large salad of mixed greens* and 6 leaves of black kale*
  • a reasonable drizzle of Brianna's Poppyseed dressing
  • 1 carrot*
  • 1 avocado*
  • 1 golden apple*
  • At Happy Buddha on Yonge and Eglinton: mock beef with noodles and vegetables, mock kung pao chicken and wontons. I'm not big on mock meat, but this was pretty good.
  • lots of jasmine tea
  • several cookies before we left home. thank gawd they're almost gone.
  • sublingual B12, folic acid, iron



Thursday, January 4, 2007

Food Log | Jan 4, 2007

  • a bowl consisting of about 1 cup of mixed rolled oats* and maple granola
  • 2 tbsp ground flax
  • 1/2 cup vanilla almond milk
  • a sprinkle of hemp seeds*
  • coffee*
  • large salad of mixed greens* and 4 leaves of black kale*
  • a reasonable drizzle of Brianna's Poppyseed dressing
  • 1 carrot*
  • 1.5 cups of: bulgar rehydrated with salt-free veg broth, 1/4 cup of edamame* and a little lemon juice
  • several cookies
  • udon noodles
  • stirfried broccoli and carrots* with garlic and ginger
  • a watery peanut* sauce
  • several pieces of baked tofu*, cooked with soy sauce, garlic powder and lime juice
  • 1.25 glasses of Corona Extra
  • sublingual B12, folic acid, iron


Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Food Log | Jan 3, 2007

note to anyone who is checking my blog expecting an update on my trip to Vancouver (I know who you are) - hold yer horses. Ima gettin' to it.

We came back from our trip to the west coast yesterday morning. What also came back with us were enlarged tummies from eating so. much. good. food. And drinking beer. Lots of beer. Too much beer. That Granville Island stuff is quite good.

As with so many people in the world, January will be my start of a more healthful diet. For me, this means an increase in raw vegetables and a slight decrease in my portion size of grains. I do have a bit of a dilemma in that Canada does not produce many fresh vegetables during the winter months, which conflicts with my desire to eat as much locally produced food as possible.

The other dilemma is the lack of indication of where in Canada and the US food is produced - a sign can say "product of Canada", but that could mean BC, in which case something grown in the US could potentially be closer and transported from only a few hours away instead of days.

In order to increase my raw vegetable intake but reduce my consumption of vegetables carted in from all over the damn universe (peppers from New Zealand?? wtf?), I will try to focus my leafy purchases on items that are cold-weather hardy, like kale and cabbage, which may be grown closer than other vegetables. Though I have to confess my purchase of 2 avocados last night. Perhaps I will make exceptions for organics. Yipes. Has anyone priced organic peppers lately? Cha-ching!

I also plan to take vitamins regularly. The ideal would be to get all I need from food - but who are we kidding? In 2007, it is a pretty tall task to eat all that food to get all your nutrients, and maintain the right amount of physical activity to use up the calories you would intake. I'm a graphic designer. Not a very physically demanding job. And running a few times a week ain't gonna cut it for burning off all those calories. The only way I can do it is to eat as much nutrient dense food as possible, do some exercise, and take a few pills. Easy peasy.

Now, on with the log...


  • a bowl consisting of about 1 cup of mixed rolled oats and maple granola
  • 2 tbsp ground flax
  • 1/2 cup vanilla almond milk
  • large salad (say, 3 or 4 cups) of mixed greens* and 3 leaves of black kale*
  • a reasonable drizzle of homemade sundried tomato dressing
  • 2 carrots*
  • 1 ambrosia apple*
  • 1 container of chocolate soy pudding
snack #2 at 4:25 when I could stand the hunger no longer:
  • about 1.25 cups of bulger cooked with a small bottle of 10 vegetable juice, garlic powder and black pepper
  • 1.5 tbsp raw sunflower seeds*

  • medium, thin crust, cheeseless pizza with mushrooms, olives and sundried tomatoes
  • diet pepsi
  • 3 vegan cookies
  • taken: B6, folic acid, iron