Monday, 18 November 2013

Music Monday - cold, wet, lazy days

The weather outside was pretty miserable today - cold, rainy and dark by 4pm. I took the opportunity to have a beautiful, lazy day indoors. I stayed in bed until very late in the morning (okayyyy, it was noon), savored my cup of coffee, perused the newspaper, caught up on my favourite TV shows, listened to some beautiful music, drank hot chocolate, nuzzled with Meeko...ahh, bliss. Such a good idea to have one these lazy days every once in awhile.


"The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time."

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Sweet & Salty Pretzel Bites

So I discovered the easiest dessert in the world... besides simply unwrapping a chocolate bar that is. I made these treats for a small get together and they were eaten up almost as quickly as the time it took to make them. They need only 3 ingredients, maybe 10 minutes, & are really hard to screw up (bonus!). Did I mention how good they are? Mmmm. You're never gonna look at a Rolo the same way again.
You'll Need:
Mini Pretzel Twists
Pecan Halves
Rolo Chocolates

To Make:
1. Lay your pretzels out on a baking tray covered with parchment & top each with an unwrapped Rolo.
2. Put tray into a 250°F oven for no longer than 4 to 5 minutes. Remove. Rolos should retain their shape.
3. Press a pecan half into the top of each Rolo.
4. Place the baking tray in the freezer for 5-7 minutes to cool the Rolos to room temperature.
5. Devour. =)

"Recipe" from Glorious Treats







Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Europe 2013 - A Photographic Sample {Portugal}

So....let's just skip past the whole part where I was supposed to post these pictures a long, long time ago. Okay? Good. In case you missed it, one of my best gal pals, Jenae, and I went on a 3 week long gallivant around Europe during the summer. Our last week was spent in Portugal, in and around the Lisbon area.

Pastéis de Belém - ohh maaan, these are SO good...warm..fresh..crisp outside & creamy inside. I'm salivating now.
When we landed in Lisbon I was a bit hesitant and unsure of being there; I was expecting HOT, sunny weather but the skies were totally overcast, I initially found the architecture to be not as impressive as we'd seen in other countries, AND I was definitely missing our hilarious tour guides from the first leg of our trip. Wah-wuhh.

But don't fear! The weather cleared and we discovered some of the most beautiful buildings with incredible history. One bite of a Pasteis de Belem (traditional custard pastry) was really all it took for me to fall in love with Portugal. Jenae and I made way too many great memories to list, but some of the highlights include touring the local cathedrals, mansions and castles, sunset drives along the coast, stretching out on hot, sandy beaches, enjoying Santini Ice Cream (lots of it),  devouring pastries for all 3 meals, and of course, getting pulled over by the local police. Trip of a lifetime, I'm telling you! Enjoy the pictures! =)

Monday, 21 October 2013

Music Monday - Happy Autumn

Photo taken from Mode Reporters


Jenae & I planned an Autumn Party, or a Fall Fête as we called it, this past weekend. We had so much fun brainstorming and planning our activities, decorations & menu and even more fun putting it all into action together.

Fall Fête by Jessica Smart on Grooveshark




 In the process of making a music playlist
for the party, both Jenae & I came to the same conclusion -- it's difficult to find nice Fall or Autumn music that isn't super depressing! We wanted the guests to have fun and not be bummed out by our music. After a lengthy search we were able to find what we were looking for!

Let me know if you like this playlist 
or if you can think of any other "Happy Autumn" 
songs that should be on our list for next year!

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Grey Sky Daydreaming..



Is there any place you'd rather be on a chilly, autumn day? Me either.

Look up more adorable videos by Olive Us here. =)

Monday, 9 September 2013

Waffles for One

I've been wanting to try making waffles for quite a while. The urge usually strikes on quiet mornings when I'm home alone. Buuuut, I always seem to talk myself out of it. "Who's going to eat them all?", "Will this waffle maker from the 60's even work?", "I don't have any buttermilk", "Toast and yogurt is so much easier.." Blah, blah, blah.

But today! Today I told my brain to quiet down and I hauled out the super old Toastermaster Waffle Iron from the back of the cupboard and set to work. I chose this recipe because it had a smaller overall yield and really really positive reviews. I didn't have any buttermilk so I made an excellent substitute with lemon juice - see the link below.
About halfway through making the recipe I saw that I had to whip egg whites and make soft peaks and then gently incorporate them...and I got thinking that maybe this was going to be more effort than it would be worth. I persevered, though, (although it was super easy and totally not a big deal) and I'm quite happy to report that they were most definitely worth it. There is something really special about putting effort into a meal that is just for you and no one else. After all, you've got to love yourself too.

Light & Crisp Buttermilk Waffles   
 Recipe adapted from Fine Cooking

3/4 cup all-purpose flour        
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
3/4 cup buttermilk (substitute)
1/4 cup milk
6 Tbs. vegetable oil
1 large egg, separated
1 Tbs. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract 

Instructions:
Pre-heat the oven to 200°F and turn on your waffle iron.

Mix the flour, cornstarch, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in a medium bowl. Measure the buttermilk, milk, and vegetable oil in a liquid measuring cup. Add the egg yolk and set aside.

In another bowl, beat the egg white to soft peaks. Sprinkle in the sugar and continue to beat until the peaks are firm and glossy. Beat in the vanilla.

Pour the buttermilk mixture into the dry ingredients and whisk until just mixed. Drop the whipped egg white onto the batter in dollops and fold in with a rubber spatula just until incorporated.

Pour the batter onto the hot waffle iron and cook until the waffle is crisp and browned. Every waffle maker is a bit different so experiment with the temperature and amount of batter to add until you get it right. Put the cooked waffles in the oven, directly on the rack to keep it warm and crisp (don't stack them). Repeat with the remaining batter, holding the waffles in the oven. When all the waffles are all cooked serve immediately with all your favourite toppings. Hard to go wrong with powdered sugar & peaches.

Favourite Music Pairing: Ella Fitzgerald, I've Got a Crush on You  =)

**Even though I made a smaller batch, I ended up with about 10 extra waffles. I know they don't keep well so I am freezing them. I've read online that they freeze really well for 1-2 months and are easy to reheat in the toaster. Suh-weeeet!

Friday, 6 September 2013

Europe 2013 - A Photographic Sample

Well, Jenae & I have been home for about a month and a half and I haven't shared any pictures from our trip on this blog yet. It would be cruel and unusual punishment to post anywhere near all of our pictures....as we took well over 5000 of them. This first post covers the first two weeks of our trip and is very, very condensed. Enjoy a few of my favourites =)

By the Brandenburg Gate on our first day!

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Watermelon-Lime Freeze

Have you noticed the influx of recipes for watermelon popsicles, lemonade, smoothies, slushies, and sorbet? I have been seeing them ev-er-y-where...all over the internet and in magazines, all summer long! Today I finally said, "Okay, let's do this then if it's such a big deal!" I didn't use one specific recipe for my version of this drink but tried to draw inspiration from the many, many ones I'd seen. Regardless, it's reaaaaally simple. I'm talking 3 ingredients.

I was surprised at how well watermelon blends; I kind of expected it to be a watery mess of pink pulp. The secret, I feel, is to freeze the watermelon in chunks. This gives the drink it's cold, frosty nature, but also eliminates the need for ice cubes, which will dilute the more subtle flavour of the melon. So, have these frozen ahead of time and the drink will come together super quick. You will also need lemon-lime soda & one lime. I felt the drink was sweet enough, but you could add agave or simple syrup if you wanted.


We enjoyed these on a sunny afternoon - a perfect accompaniment to a plate of sliced watermelon or a barbecue. Wouldn't it also be lovely on it's own while sunbathing or reading a book outside? Definitely yes. Can you believe it's almost September? Fastest summer of my life! Pretty soon it'll be Pumpkin Spice Lattes instead of cold, fruity drinks so make some while you still can!



Watermelon-Lime Freeze
2 1/2 cups frozen watermelon chunks
1 lime, juiced
1/4 cup (approx.) lemon-lime soda

Instructions:
Add frozen watermelon chunks and lime juice to blender. Add enough soda to combine to preferred consistency. Garnish with watermelon slices or lime wedges - mmm, enjoy! Xo

Monday, 19 August 2013

Music Monday - Paradise Valley

My ears (and the rest of my body) are continually craving new John Mayer music. Unlike a McDonald's breakfast after working a night shift, satisfying this craving always leaves me feeling fantastic. Paradise Valley, John Mayer's sixth and newest album, is streaming for free on iTunes now before the official release tomorrow. I have already pre-ordered my copy (obviously) but have had the stream on repeat since last week.

His music style is evolving, but I think my tastes are evolving alongside it. There are a couple tracks that are distinctly more "country" than any of his other music. I am generally not a huge country music fan, but honestly, for me, John Mayer can do no wrong. Topping my list of early favourites are "Waiting on the Day" (his guitar solos make me weak in the knees!), "Who You Love" (a duet with Katy Perry-- I swear it's great), & "On the Way Home" (who can resist a catchy "ooo-o-ooo" and some harmonica?).
I'm not sure about the outfit, but he lives in Montana now so I guess I'll give him a break.
Listen to the album, love the album and then buy the album. It deserves the attention ...and you deserve to listen to good music.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

BBQ Virgin

I'm still kind of bitter that my parents never bought or used a barbecue while I was growing up. Whenever I would ask why, the answer was always, "Oh I don't knowwww, what would we even cook on one of those?" To which I would always answer, "Um...anything? Everything?!" I learned early (mostly from eating barbecued deliciousness at friends' houses) that cooking something on a barbecue makes it taste like magic.

After 20-something years of frustration and desperation, I finally caved. I think it was a recipe on Pinterest that finally broke this camel's back. I drove to Canadian Tire, found their charcoal barbecues and bought the one that spoke to my inner grilling goddess, only $29.99! Coming from a family who doesn't barbecue, I had no idea what else I had to buy...but this guy did (don't you love him?) and so I promptly bought a bag of charcoal, lighter fluid and a grill scraper/cleaner.

My brother, also deprived for much of his life, helped me assemble the grill. To christen the grill I decided I would make marinated vegetable kabobs, hotdogs & a simple lentil salad. Yuuuuuuum!

This stage was a bit sketchy for me. More coals & more fluid next time...or maybe one of those electric lighters.
Lentil salad with cherry tomatoes, red onion, feta, parsley & balsamic vinaigrette. Recipe from Ginger Fig
Pre-grill veggies: green & yellow zucchini, bell peppers, red onion, cherry tomatoes & mushrooms. Marinade recipe from wash.the.dog


Just look at those beauties. We just grilled and ate..and then grilled some more and kept eating until we were sooo full. I may not be a BBQ virgin anymore but I'm super stoked for more firsts: chicken wings, salmon, burgers, maybe a thin crust pizza... Oh boy.


Monday, 29 July 2013

Music Monday - J & J's Travel Favourites

Jenae, the driver & Jessica, the navigator =)

I've been home for just over a week now and I can honestly say that it was the trip of a lifetime. People told Jenae & I that we were crazy to try to cover so much ground in such a short time period, and maybe we were, but oh man! - every single day was an exciting adventure in a brand new part of the world. We had the best, best time. 



 We travelled almost exclusively by car for 3 weeks (through Germany, Belgium, France, Switzerland, Italy, San Marino, Slovenia, & Austria and then around Portugal - we were BUSY), so our road trip playlists had to be up to par! "Just Give Me A Reason" was dubbed the official song of the trip - not because we loved it but because it followed us around the entire trip! From Paris to Ljubljana, it seemed like every shop and restaurant had it playing!  

Here are a few of the songs that I found to be the most memorable! Enjoy =)

Thursday, 27 June 2013

All My Bags are Packed...

Image taken from Inslee
 ..but I'm not sure that I feel ready to go. Haha. I keep feeling like there must be something that I'm forgetting, although I'm sure that I've read the essential Europe packing list from every travel guru on the internet. And still, there is this nervous energy hanging around in my stomach...oh yeah, I think those are called butterflies. I think it's partially just disbelief that this trip is FINALLY here. Those months of planning itineraries, researching attractions, emailing back and forth, pinching pennies, and dreaming of L'Europe are over and tomorrow I get to step onto a plane with an amazing friend and experience a new part of the world, a new part of our friendship and a new part of myself. I'd say that warrants the butterflies. I'm praying for safety and street smarts, flexibility, positive experiences and the ability to trust in Him if things go sideways. I'd appreciate your prayers too!



 I'm not too sure about internet access -- expect a good blog update in a few weeks when we're back. In the meantime, I'm hoping to be able to post on my Instagram & Twitter accounts through the trip. Catch you on the flipside! Eeeeep!

Monday, 24 June 2013

Music Monday - Tegan and Sara

I'm reaaally enjoying this song from Tegan & Sara's new album, Heartthrob. The piano intro is kind of addicting.. I think I'm going to have to learn it!


PS - I will be on a different continent next Monday so I don't think there will be any new tunes for Music Monday here on the blog. I'm thinking that when I get back I'll share some of the music I enjoyed most throughout the trip. Deal?

Friday, 21 June 2013

Shear Perfection

           “A woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life.”    - Coco Chanel


I had a good 7 inches of hair chopped off and it feels oh so lovely! I'm still getting used to running my fingers through it and using half the normal amount of shampoo. And that whole changing your life thing? I hear that's what world travelling can do to a person. T minus 6 days! =)

Monday, 17 June 2013

Music Monday - Disclosure

I've probably promoted this song enough already this week, but I honestly CANNOT. GET. IT. OUT. OF. MY. HEAD. I've had it playing on repeat since it was used in the Jazz Round on So You Think You Can Dance. After seeing choreography for this song, I've had a hard time listening to the music without imagining dance with it -- almost like the song was made for dance. I'll stop babbling, here is "Latch" by Disclosure featuring Sam Smith. Enjoy!





Also, this choreography is pretty great too. (Seeeeee? I can't stop!)

The Final Piece of the Puzzle

I finished my classes 6 months ago. I started my job 4 months ago. I received my CRNE "pass" results 3 months ago. And  I walked across the stage 3 days ago. It's all finished now -- all the little pieces are in place and I'm a Registered Nurse! It's the end of an era for me, but as the saying goes, it's the beginning of something new and exciting. Another huge thank-you to all my friends and family who continue to support me as I transition out of university! Here are some of my favourite pictures from the big day:
My nearest & dearest from the BSN program (L to R: Anna, Margui, Julia, Allyson)

Thursday, 13 June 2013

A Few Pictures from Mexico!

So I've been home almost 1 whole week after the most relaxing vacation I think I have ever been on. A beautiful place to stay (just steps from the Sea of Cortez), the best company (my mom is awesome), fresh meals, endless reading material, a turquoise swimming pool...the list goes on. I was in heaven. Best graduation present EVER.
On one of our first nights there, a huuuge wedding was set up on the beach. Big tents, lots of lights, and LOUD traditional music. Around 10pm, we noticed these big orange lanterns floating in the sky so we looked down the beach and saw at least a hundred of them being sent off. It was so so beautiful and I desperately tried to get a decent picture of them, but sadly, I was unsuccessful. And then there were fireworks! And then more music and dancing until 4 or 5am! It was crazy!
These dolphins were seen in the San Jose del Cabo marina where you can pay to swim with them!
Thank-you for an amazing trip, Mom! xo
Time is really flying by -- Convocation tomorrow & Europe in 2 weeks! Viva la vida!

Monday, 10 June 2013

Music Monday - Brandi Carlile

I knew about Brandi Carlile before I ever listened to her music, thanks to my good friend, Julia, always raving about her. I even listened to a mixtape from Margui, another friend & "musical soul buddy", with a few of her songs on it without paying her too much attention. Her voice, her songs, her sound -- just how good they all are didn't hit me until last week, listening to my iPod on shuffle. Despite having less than 5 of her songs in my iTunes library, they seemed to keep popping up to play. And I loved them. And now I'm going to get the rest of her songs. And listen to them on repeat. Because I should've done it a long long time ago. "Save Part of Yourself" from last year's album, Bear Creek, is my current favourite. =)

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Ten Ways to Better Days

Image taken from here
A bit of real talk here. I know self-confidence struggles aren't universal, but it definitely isn't an uncommon issue..especially for someone fresh out of university and working hard at a brand new job or career. Most days are good, but I think some of these tips will be helpful on the days when things don't seem to be going the best or I'm putting too much on myself. While they may seem a bit obvious or cliché, I think they are really good reminders -- things that we forget to do even though we know they are in our best interest.

10 Ways to Improve your Self-Confidence 

1. Don’t compare yourself to others. You are totally unique, and have different talents, abilities and strengths.

2. Never criticise or put yourself down. There are plenty of others who will do that for you. You need to be your biggest, and you greatest, fan. Be understanding, gentle and kind to yourself.

3. Consciously accept every compliment you get and see them as accurate and genuinely meant. Don’t brush them off as stupid, wrong, or meaningless.

4. Keep affirming yourself until it changes how you feel. It may feel false at first when you say something like “I accept myself completely– and believe I’m valuable”. But as you constantly repeat it you’ll find that, over time, you do accept and value the person that you are.

5. Surround yourself with positive, encouraging people. If you hang out with people who always put you down, and never seem to like or approve of your ideas, then you’ll soon stop believing in yourself as well (and it will also crush your creativity).

6. Make a list of your successes and accomplishments – like playing an instrument, learning how to cook, passing an exam, graduating from high school, or getting into college, or receiving an award. Review this list often – and be proud of yourself!

7. Make a list of your positive qualities and traits. Are you an honest, reliable and caring friend? Do you make time for others? Do you try to do your best? Again, review this list often, and get into the habit of focusing on your positive qualities and traits.

8. Spend your time doing things that you are good at, and enjoy. We become more alive when we’re doing things we love - and that naturally increases our self-confidence (as we’re being our true selves and not just acting out a role).

9. Get involved. If you sit on the sidelines and avoid all challenges then you won’t be able to achieve much in life. But if you push through the feelings of anxiety and fear, then you’ll grow, be successful, and have higher self esteem.

10. Be true to yourself; live a life that’s really “you”. Don’t let other people decide what you should do, or what is best for you, or who they think that you should be. You only have one life – choose your own path – just be you!

Monday, 3 June 2013

Music Monday - Vacation Tunes!

I don't want to brag or anything, but while you're reading this (and hopefully listening to some killer music), I'm on vacation. I know you're jealous...so here's what you need to do: Change into your bathing suit, go lay on your bathroom floor with the shower on and then pop in some headphones with this playlist! The bathroom will get all warm and humid and you'll basically feel like you're on a Mexican vacation too! I revamped my entire iPod before this trip, this is just a small, eclectic sample - enjoy! Xo

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Lettuce Wraps with Peanut Chicken

There were two boneless skinless chicken breasts sitting in my fridge the other day...just waiting to be used. I considered tossing them in the oven with a bit of seasoning and then using them in salads but it just seemed waaaay too boring. I decided lettuce wraps sounded a little more exciting, a little more fun and a lot tastier!

Lettuce Wraps with Peanut Chicken                                   
Recipe adapted from She Wears Many Hats

 Stir Fry Sauce:
2 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tbsp. vinegar
1 tbsp. brown sugar
¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tsp. fresh ginger
1 tsp. sesame oil

 Peanut Chicken:
2 chicken breasts, diced
1/2 cup red onion, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
2 tsp. garlic, minced
1 tsp. fresh ginger
1 tsp. soy sauce
1 heaped tbsp. peanut butter
1/4 cup slivered almonds (cashews would be a great substitute)
oil
salt & pepper, to taste

10 large lettuce leaves (romaine or iceberg)
1 cup brown rice, cooked according to package

 Instructions:
1. Mix all stir fry sauce ingredients making sure to dissolve brown sugar. Set aside.

2. Heat your oil in frying pan over medium heat. Add diced chicken and sautee until it starts to brown. Remove chicken from oil.

3. Add onions, peppers, garlic, ginger & soy sauce to pan. Let it brown and reduce. When onions and peppers are tender, add stir fry sauce, peanut butter, browned chicken, and almonds. Saute mixture for a few minutes and remove from heat.

4. Spoon brown rice into individual lettuce leaves and then top with the chicken. Wrap it up and enjoy!

Monday, 27 May 2013

Music Monday - Airborne Toxic Event

I'm not super familiar with this band, but this particular song seems to be following me around! Not that I mind, since I'm kind of loving it. I first heard it in the pilot of Suits, which is possibly one of the most addicting TV shows everrr, then a friend was playing it and then it's also been played on the radio a ton. The beginning bit is so catchy that it put me in a really great mood, even after working a busy 12-hour night shift.
Countdown to Cabo San Lucas! I'm breaking out the vacation music for my iPod - stay tuned! =)

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Monday, 20 May 2013

Music Monday - The Shins

It's the May long weekend and I've been camping for the past 3 nights out in the mountains. Today I was driving home when my favourite song by The Shins came on. With iced coffee in one hand and sunnies on, not even my sweaty clothes, slightly sunburnt cheeks or dirty hair could take away from the feeling of casual coolness that came over me. A car pulled up beside me a stoplight, also with it's windows down... You know when you can just tell that someone is looking in your direction? Well yeah, that happened. Probably because I looked exactly like I'd been camping in a tent for several days in a row, but I still felt pretty dang amazing. Oh the power of a good song! Enjoy the song and the week ahead! Xo

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Spiiiicy Green Beans

I think I've been craving these green beans since December...when I had a similar version at the Chinese restaurant in the mall food court. These ones, however, don't have MSG and don't sit under heat lamps for any period of time. My mouth is watering now, just thinking about them...mmm, yum! The beans stay fresh and keep some of their crunch. There is nothing worse than a floppy green bean, am I right? I'm a medium heat kind of girl, but the spice level is super easy to control if you like more or less. Make these in 10 minutes and then watch them disappear even faster. I ate an impressive amount all by myself.

 Spicy Green Beans

1 lb. French green beans, washed and trimmed
2 tsp. sesame oil
1 pat butter
1 tsp. garlic, crushed
1 tsp. ginger, grated (I used frozen Pop Herbs)
1 pinch red pepper flakes
salt & black pepper
1/4 cup ginger teriyaki sauce
1 tbsp. sesame seeds

1. Heat sesame oil and butter in a large pan on med-high heat. Add garlic and ginger and sautee for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. Add green beans to the pan. Sautee until beans begin to develop dark colour (and flavour!), about 5 minutes. Place a lid over the pan during this step to help the beans steam and become more tender.
3. Season beans with red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.

4. When beans are fork tender, add the sauce and stir to coat evenly. Remove from heat promptly as the sauce will burn really quickly. (I think any sauce with Asian flavours would work in this step - use what you've got!)

5. Transfer beans to serving dish and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Enjoy!

Monday, 13 May 2013

Music Monday - Spring Favourites

Nancy Newman Art



I figured out how to make a playlist and share it - hooray! These are only a few of the songs that I've been listening to over the past couple of weeks. Some, like Blood, by The Middle East have been favourites for a long time and some are newer to me. Hope you are enjoying the lilac bushes, the cherry blossoms and the warm rain as much as I am! Happy Monday and happy listening! =)

Sunday, 12 May 2013

The Best Mom

“I used to say that I was the apple and my mom was the tree, and I certainly didn’t fall very far. But that’s not entirely accurate. If my mom is the tree, then I’m the bird that grew up in its branches.
She protected me and showed me that, even on the highest of branches, there was nothing to be afraid of. She encouraged me to explore and gave me a solid foundation to come home to. I didn’t fall from her. I flew because of her.” – Melody Fletcher
 I love you, Mom! Xo

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Turkey Mushroom Burgers

I decided I wanted to make something really delicious for last night's Canucks game. In theory, it was supposed to be a great playoff game - the beginning of our comeback. In actuality, it was the last game of our season and ended up being emotionally exhausting. The game didn't go according to plan, but the burgers really did! I decided not to use a recipe and to "wing it" instead. I love how they turned out and will definitely be using this formula again! This recipe made 8 patties, but you could make more or less by changing their size. Alternately you could form these into meatballs or put it into a meatloaf tin. 
Turkey Mushroom Burgers 

1 pkg lean ground turkey (mine was 0.356kg or about 3/4 lb.)
3 pieces of whole wheat bread - ground into breadcrumbs
15 cremini mushrooms
1 large sweet onion
1 egg
1/8 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tbsp grainy mustard
1 tsp worchestershire sauce
salt & pepper

In a food processor, chop half of the mushrooms and half of the sweet onion until fine. Sautee on medium heat until the liquid from the mushrooms has evaporated and the onions are tender. Set aside to cool slightly.
In a large bowl combine all of the ingredients and mix together with clean hands. Be careful not to burn your hands if the mushrooms/onions are still hot. At this point, if you find the mix too wet or sticky, add some more breadcrumbs. If it's too dry, you could add a little bit of broth or even another egg. If you can, let the mixed ingredients sit in the fridge for a couple hours to really let the flavours combine.
Form the burgers and place in a hot, oiled pan. Cook on medium heat, about 6 minutes per side. Don't be afraid to get dark colour on the burgers - it will give them really good flavour and shouldn't taste burnt. If you're using a meat thermometer, make sure the internal temperature is 165°F. At the end, place a piece of mozzarella cheese on top and allow it to melt..provolone would be really good too. Putting a lid over your pan will speed up the melting time. Before you construct your burger, sautee the remaining half an onion and mushrooms on low heat until they begin to caramelize. The longer you cook them, the tastier they will be.
My perfect burger toppings included lettuce, tomato, avocado, mayonnaise and mustard but customize to your liking..and then enjoy! Let me know what you think! =)

Monday, 6 May 2013

Music Monday - Alt-J (∆)

Ugh, perfect music. This song is fantastic for morning, afternoon and evening...for suntanning, for driving, for cooking. I cleeeearly can't get enough. I first heard about Alt-J when the Silver Linings Playbook released its soundtrack. I immediately checked out the artists that were featured and Alt-J was one of them. "Something Good" is probably their most popular song, but honestly the whole album, An Awesome Wave, is amazing. Listen listen listen!

Something interesting: alt-J (∆)’s name takes a little explaining. Pronounced “alt-J”, the delta sign is created when you hold down the alt key on your computer keyboard and punch ‘J’ on a Mac computer. The symbol has a deeper meaning for the band, as guitarist/bassist Gwil Sainsbury notes, “in mathematical equations it’s used to show change,” and the band’s relatively new name came at a turning point in their lives.

Friday, 3 May 2013

Upcoming

In one month exactly, I'll be laying beside a pool or the ocean, basking in hot, Mexican sunshine. In two months exactly, I'll be somewhere (maybe lost?) in Europe with Jenae! For someone who doesn't do a ton of travelling, this is big business and a lot to fit into a couple months, but I am suuuper excited! I should mention that at some point between these two trips I get to walk across a stage, shake a few hands and get my tassel moved from one side to the other. It's just a formality at this point since I've already been working as a full-fledged RN for a few months, but I'm looking forward to having that closure and celebrating with my classmates.
Image from Amy Neunsinger Photography
I know my passport is up-to-date, I'm working on eating a bit healthier in preparation for the hot weather, and I'm still trying to master this new camera. I feel like there are a million more things to do before Trip Numero Uno, but I guess I just have to take it one day at time! Summer is coming! Woohoo! What are your big plans?