Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Anti-Plant Curse

I have brought a living thing into my house... and I'll do my best to keep it alive. I am the proud owner of my very first house-plant. It's not just a plant, it's a beautiful, red and green giant Christmas plant. It may be weird that I moved almost a year and a half ago and have never had a real plant. Truth is, my house is where plants go to die.
I am the anti-plant person (not willingly) and I may have "cursed" myself when I was 12 or 13 years old. I remember the snow had just melted and spring was on its way. Everything in our garden looked brown and grey because of the harsh, cold months that had just passed. It was a mess that had to be cleaned so my father had told me to pull out anything that looked like weeds. I put on my fancy gardening gear (AKA old clothes and rubber, yellow kitchen gloves) and started pulling. Perhaps an hour later, I went back inside, full of dirt and proud of my work. The garden looked so clean. Well... I found out later that not only had I pulled out all the weeds, I had also pulled out every single flower and herb from its roots. All those beautiful, colorful flowers and fragrant herbs that would magically grow every year would never make a comeback. In my defense, I was young and everything was brown. How was I supposed to know?
This past summer, I saw my neighbour with HUGE, marvelous basil plants on her balcony. I absolutely love basil and wanted in on the action. Ever since my herb and flower pulling frenzy, it may have been the first time I attempted gardening. I remained optimistic and thought if my neighbour can do it, I can do it too. I went to the market and got the biggest, most beautiful basil pot I could find. With such excitement, I put it on my balcony and tended to it to the best of my abilities. I got tips from the person who sold me the plant, read articles on how often I should water it and really did my best to make it grow. My fantasies of having an almost unlimited supply of basil were growing but my plant didn't grow at all. Within a few weeks, it was already wilting and I had to chop it all up. It ended up being the star in very delicious Pesto Pita Chips!

Pesto Pita Chips
yield 4 servings


- 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup Parmesan or Pecorino cheese, grated
- 2 whole pita breads (or 4 small)



1. Combine the basil and garlic cloves in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add 1/2 cup of the oil and process until fully incorporated and smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

2.1 If using immediately, add all the remaining oil and pulse until smooth and mix in the cheese.

2.2 If freezing, transfer to an air-tight container and drizzle remaining oil over the top. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw and stir in grated cheese before you eat.
Pita Chips
3. Split pita bread into two rounds. Spread with pesto and sprinkle with cheese. Cut into wedges.
4. Place on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 350F for 10-12 minutes or until crisp.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Superhero for a Night

I did not like Monday night.

Mr. A was at a work-related Christmas party on Monday night. I've never been to a Christmas party on a weeknight so my old-fashioned mind just assumed that weeknight parties don't finish late and that Mr. A would be home around 10:00pm. False assumption. We should never assume.

I went to bed and woke up around 1:00am. No Mr. A! Worried, I quickly called his cellphone. It went straight to voicemail. I called again and again and it kept going to voicemail. So I decided to call the restaurant. I made sure to block my number so that the restaurant employees don't see who the crazy person is calling that late at night. Again, no answer. Around this time, my sense of logic and rational was gone and it was replaced with fear and anxiety. That's it!!! In my mind, Mr. A was stuck in a ditch somewhere with a broken cellphone or had been in a bad accident during the 7-minute drive from the restaurant to our home. Knowing that the restaurant was closed down for their Christmas party and that all the guests were men, I wasn't worried about drunk ladie trying to snatch him away from me (not that I could ever worry about Mr. A in that way).

With all my might, I was trying to stop picturing my poor Mr. A in distress. With my hair in disarray, I wore my puffy coat on top of my pajamas and went on a mission to find (and save!!) him. I was going to be a superhero for a night! What other option did I have? Just to give you an idea of how anxious I was (and how bad of a superhero I would be), as I was driving, I had to open the door a few times to throw up (I'm sorry for the very ugly image).

To my luck, almost all the traffic lights were red. Each one of them felt like an eternity. Did the traffic light Gods not understand that I had to go save my hubby-to-be? I made use of the wait time and typed two text messages that I would send if I did not find Mr. A. One  message was for his brother and another for his friend with whom he went to the Christmas party. I could have messaged his friend ahead of time but, just in case they were no longer at the party, I did not want to bother him in the middle of the night.

I was a minute away from the restaurant. All I had to do was turn left and drive for a minute in order to see the parking lot. Another red light. As I waited nervously, I thought that, if Mr. A was not at the restaurant, I would go check at his brother's house. And if I didn't find him at his brother's house, I would probably cry hysterically. Suddenly... THERE HE WAS! As I was waiting at the light, he was turning on the street I was on. I honked and flashed my lights like a crazy person and rolled down my window. He rolled down his window and his facial expression was a cross between surprised and confused. But thankfully, all my crazy thoughts of him getting beaten up or him being in an accident were false. He didn't have a scratch on him! I just yelled "YOUR CELLPHONE IS OFF AND I WAS SCARED!!" We then shared an awkward laugh and drove back home where I retired hung up my fake superhero cape (you never know when my inner superhero has to make an appearance again) and went back to bed.

On the topic of SUPER-stuff, here's a recipe with one of my favorite superfoods: Quinoa. This grain is packed with protein, is gluten-free, is high in magnesium and can help reduce cholesterol. The recipe is too easy , too delicious and too nutritious to not try.

Quinoa "Tabbouleh"


- 2 cups water
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1 pinch salt
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 2 medium sized tomatoes, diced
- 2 green onions
- 1 1/2 cups chopped fresh parsley
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice (or Lebanese seven-spice mixture)
- 1/4 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
- salt to taste


1. In a saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add quinoa and a pinch of salt. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes (until water is dissolved). Allow quinoa to cool to room temperature.
2. In a large bowl, combine all other ingredients and stir in the cooled quinoa.
                                 photo retieved from tastespotting

Friday, November 15, 2013

Bride says "I Do NOT"

I went to my wedding dress fitting yesterday. I already have my dress and don't ask me why I had to go for a fitting 10 months 9.65 months before my wedding... it's a long story.

My dress is a little bit tight on me. I've always been obsessed with food and my weight (sometimes in an unhealthy way) so I was relieved and happy when people told me I would lose weight before the wedding. Even the day I purchased my dress, when I told the sales consultant and the shop owner that the dress was tight, before suggesting alterations, they both said "Oh. Don't worry. You'll lose weight." Like I said, I felt relieved then, but I'm getting a little bit angry thinking about it now. Why would she imply that I would have to lose weight? I decided to have my dress altered to my size; I will not change my shape for my dress.

I've seen countless brides shed pounds for their big day and then gain it right back months after saying "I Do". Why would I want to be a part of that? I don't want to be looking at my wedding pictures in the future and see a version of myself that is not the natural me.

I decided to Google about brides who choose to not go down the lane society forces them on: brides who do not lose weight for their wedding. I was shocked at the results I got on Google. "Brides who do not lose weight" translated into "tips for brides who do not lose weight fast enough", "don't be a fat bride" and weight loss regimens with the picture of a "fitness expert" whose career revolves around shaming people into thinking they are not good enough. If there is one thing the crazy wedding industry says a bride needs (besides a groom) is a weight loss plan. There are so many things wrong with this and we have to STOP thinking this is acceptable.

We all have those "off" days when we feel like we do not look our best. As a bride-to-be, I feel like every day is becoming one of those "off" days because of what society thinks a bride should look like. When did engagement rings and wedding proposals come with a heavy dose of insecurity and an ugly mirror that only shows your flaws, your chubby and jiggly bits? Isn't this supposed to be one of the happiest times of my life?

I do NOT want any part in this body-shaming, guilt-tripping, unhealthy complex.

Of course, every bride wants to look beautiful on her wedding day. How do you become beautiful? Well, society has brainwashed us into thinking that being thin is beautiful.
But what we don't realize is that "thin" is a moving target. Someone who is a size 16 will consider a size 10 to be thin; someone who is a size 10 will consider a size 6 to be thin, etc. etc. Where does this crazy, unhealthy chain end? When we are all hungry at a size 0? To be completely transparent, I know I'm not fat (I think I have already mentioned this before). I'm a size 6, with Armenian hips and thighs, my arms are kind of chubby and I have a round face with big cheeks AND THAT'S OK because women are not supposed to look like GIRLS; women are supposed to look like WOMEN (hips, thighs and curves included).

I'm not against weight loss, exercising and eating well. (Now that you all know my size, you probably realize that I try to be healthy and don't eat chocolate and chips every time I have a craving. I try to eat everything in moderation.) I am simply extremely against forcing yourself to be something you're not. Owning your shape and being confident in your skin is a lot more beautiful and attractive than being insecure and trying to be something you're not. 

I know this is easier said than done and I know that I will be writing another blog post eventually talking about weight and body image but for now, Ladies... and Gentlemen (I have a feeling the fat shaming complex will get to you soon as well if it hasn't already), say a big (insert your own word)---YOU to society's crazy standards and live your life complex-free.

No recipe today; only food for thought.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Right to Spend

I started my day yesterday with a "challenging" question:

To buy or not to buy a Costco membership card.

The answer was yes, to buy a Costco membership. I'm feeling very privileged to be able to buy a year's supply of paper towels and shampoo in one transaction. I'm having some trouble with my decision now though. I really don't like shopping. No wait... let me rephrase that. I really don't like to spend money (but I love window-shopping). Yes, gentlemen. You read correctly. There are some women out there who do not like to shop and spend money. We are a rare breed. 

I don't mind spending money on good food (especially when people come over) but I have trouble spending money on everything else. When I was younger and was in my I-must-stock-up-and-store-everything-under-my-bed phase, (If you read my blog, you know what I'm talking about; if you don't read my blog, you should go read Under The Bed posted in October. You should also read everything else and follow my blog regularly and sign up to receive e-mail updates.) SO when I was in that phase, I would hardly buy clothes for myself. I would spend my money on kitchen utensils. I remember a few years ago, I was getting ready for a job interview and my sisters weren't home to give me their Yay or Nay on my outfits so the lucky fashion guru of the day was my father. As I wore somewhat outdated outfit after outfit, my father just said "Tania. If you spent more money on clothes instead of spatulas and casseroles to put under your bed, you wouldn't have this problem now!" I would like to note that my wardrobe has improved since then.

Sometimes, when I spend money (or when I am about to spend money), I can't help but think of the number of hours I have to work to earn x or y amount or wonder how many wedding favors or flowers I could afford with that amount of cash. You may be thinking "Oh. How financially responsible and logical". NO! I am telling you, sometimes this "logic" is the curse of me.

When I see something I like, I am anything but logical. It can take me a very long time to decide if I want to buy it or not. Sometimes I'll go home, think about it, look at a picture online, then "thinking" turns to "obsessing", etc. Other times, I buy whatever it is I want and bring it home only to be convinced that I do not need it so I return it back to the store. I also sometimes call one of my sisters or Mr. A and ask "A or B" when I have secretly assigned A to Yes and B to No (or vice versa). Finally, other times I go through waves of being able to shop like a normal person though.
I am not exactly proud of myself for being this indecisive on little purchases but then again, Mr. A and I are a young couple getting ready to pay for a wedding. I think my non-spending habits are  a definite advantage for us (although it drives me crazy sometimes).

So now, here I am, a day after buying the membership and telling myself how ironic it is that I just spent money to have the right to spend more money.

It's ok though... I'll get my money's worth. If anything, I'll just eat all the free samples at Costco to break even!  And I'll make room at home to store industrial sized packages of everything.

Do I make myself look really bad with this blog? You all must think I'm crazy! I'm not crazy. I just have a sense of humor and am not scared to laugh at myself. I embrace all my weirdness, all my flaws and all my strange habits (and you should embrace all of yours as well). Plus, I'm really not as indecisive or obsessive as you all may think/as I may be portraying myself to be.

I remember going to Costco often as a kid. It felt like an excursion (the type of excursion that you hoped would get cancelled). Walking around a giant warehouse and waiting in line for what felt like hours is not always fun for a child. It would all be worth it though in the end because we would be treated to a hot dog or pizza at the food court.

Here is THE best and the only pizza dough recipe you'll ever need.

Wolfgang Puck's Pizza Dough


- 1 package dry active yeast
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 cup warm water (separated 1/4 cup and 3/4 cup)
- 2 1/2 - 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
- toppings of your choice


1. Stir yeast, honey and 1/4 cup of warm water. Stir and let it dissolve for 10 minutes.

2. Add salt, olive oil, 3/4 warm water and 1 cup of flour. Stir it up. It will become a batter. Stir in another cup and a half (so 2 1/2 cups total) of flour and stir.

3. Once it becomes difficult to stir, turn out the dough onto a board adding the remaining 1/2 cup of flour to knead.

4. Put a little bit of olive oil in a bowl, coat the dough ball and cover it with a damp towel. Let it rest in a warm place for 30-45 minutes, until doubled in size. I like to turn my oven on for a few minutes then turn it off and let the dough rest there.

5. Turn out the dough onto a cutting board, flatten it a little bit with your fingertips and divide into 2-4 equal balls. (depending on how many pizzas you want. 4 balls = 4 individual pizzas)
6. Place these dough balls on a floured surface, cover with a towel and let rest for 20 minutes.
7. Finally, flatten dough with your fingers until you it is about 1/2 inch thick. Apparently you're not suppose to roll out pizza dough. Transfer dough on a baking sheet that has been sprinkled with a little bit of flour or corn meal.
8. Preheat oven to 450F.
9. Add whatever topping you want and bake at 450F for 5 minutes at the bottom shelf and 10 minutes on the top shelf.
Crispy & Delicious Pizza Dough

Monday, November 11, 2013

Another World

This past weekend, I, a regular middle-class girl next door, went to another world.

I went to one of the most high end stores in Montreal... and I have never felt so out of place. I am very happy for everyone who appreciates and likes the "high end" scene but it's not for me.

The out-of-place feeling started when I was parking. My (very fabulous) sister works at the store and suggested I leave my car at the valet. I drove in and saw a few cars that may cost more than my house. I rolled up the window of my Toyota (yes, you read correctly. I have to manually roll my window up and down. I'm practically a cave person), stepped out of the car, gave my keys to the guy joking about the contrast between my car and the others he sees and ran inside. I ended up in a beautiful section where they had a stunning and festive display of chocolates, cookies, teas, coffee and giant books about fashion. They were all surrounded by glistening Christmas ornaments and some were meticulously tied with colorful ribbon. Perfect gift ideas.

My inner foodie and inner Martha Stewart were so excited at the site of all the different treats and decoration. However, I could not get in touch with my inner fashionista. I approached everything with such joy but my excitement quickly turned to confusion (and a bit of frustration) at the sight of the price tags.

I knew that the store was expensive but I can't wrap my head around an $11,000 coat, a $1000 hat or even a $100 (small) box of cookies. Are these cookies made out of unicorn magic and rainbows? It does not make ANY sense to me and even if I had all the money in the world, I would feel so guilty spending that much money on STUFF.

The cherry on top of my experience there was when a sales' girl approached me, politely showed a few items, saw me look at a price tag and abruptly walked away by saying "I have to go" and approached a woman who looked like she did not mind spending $3000 on a vest.

Of course, it's none of my business how people spend their money and I congratulate whoever can afford to shop at that store on all their cash (and I really wish I had that flexibility as well). That store sometimes just reminds me of all the beautiful things I can't afford. But, as beautiful as everything there is, I will stick to being grateful for what I have. 

Although my wallet wasn't satisfied, my taste buds were very satisfied with the rich and dense chocolate tart they had at their café. 

Here's my version of one.

Rich Chocolate-Honey Tart
(adapted by Giada's)


- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces, at room temperature, plus extra for coating the pan
- 10 graham crackers
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 1/2 cups (12oz) semisweet chocolate chips


1. Preheat oven to 350F.

2. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan.

3. Place the graham crackers in a food processor and process until the mixture forms fine crumbs. Add the butter and pulse until incorporated. Press the crumb mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for 12 minutes then cool to room temperature.

4. In a small saucepan, whisk the cream and honey together over low heat until the honey has dissolved. Increase the heat to medium and bring the mixture to just below a boil. Place the chocolate chips in a medium bowl. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and stir until the mixture is smooth. Pour the chocolate filling over the prepared crust. Refrigerate for at least 5 hours or preferably overnight.

5. Loosen the tart from the sides of the pan by running a thin metal spatula around the edge. Unmold the tart and transfer to a serving plate. Cut into wedges and serve.


Wednesday, November 06, 2013

What's Your Bubble?

I woke up this morning and, like any morning, I stepped into my bubble. I have many bubbles: happy bubble, sad bubble, b*tch bubble, super-confident bubble, ambitious bubble, optimistic bubble, pessimistic bubble, weak bubble, etc. I also have an I'm-not-sure-what-bubble-this-is bubble. You probably don't know it but you're in a bubble too. We all have bubbles. Some are strong and are like shields; others are weaker and can burst.

You see, yesterday I woke up feeling pretty normal. It was just a regular day. I wasn't feeling especially weak or sad but as the hours went by, I felt more and more susceptible to the things around me. Nothing dramatic happened but my bubble was weak. Usually, when small, insignificant but somewhat upsetting things happen, we bounce back up. Not me, not yesterday. Yesterday, every tiny, insignificant thing seemed to weigh a ton. It did not take long for my bubble to be pierced. By the end of the day, I was in my pessimistic, sad and weak bubble and I couldn't get out of it. I did not have my strong bubble to shield me and protect me from the day's ups and downs.

In any given conversation, you'll hear me say "I should blog about this!" and then I take out my little notebook and scribble down a few words. When I wasn't feeling at my best yesterday, I thought "I should really blog about this. Maybe I'll talk/write my way into a better mood." I have already mentioned that this blog is therapeutic and sometimes I become more convinced of it. 

I treat this blog kind of like most people treat their Facebook statuses: like a diary (more or less). I can just imagine some of you readers thinking "A blog is not a diary." When I wrote this blog post, I thought I shouldn't publish it. I thought people don't want to read a diary and they don't want to hear about the ups and downs of my day. Then I remembered that, in my first post, I had said that this blog will be relatable and honest. So here it is and here I am: completely honest and hopefully relatable (I know some of you can relate. We all have our "off" days like I did yesterday). And to all of you still thinking "a blog is not a diary", I welcome you to burst whatever bubble you're in and have an open mind.

I know this sounds weird but next time you feel sad, angry or upset, pop and step out of that negative bubble and step into your happy and strong bubble and don't let anyone or anything burst it!

Here's a bubbly recipe for you to try: Hokey Pokey (or Honeycomb). I find this recipe has a lot of charm and is very romantic. With an end result of glistening, golden shards of sweetness filled with tiny bubbles, how can it not be romantic? Imagine crumbling these sparkly, golden bubbles on vanilla ice cream or eat it as is (drizzled with chocolate if desired).

Do you know the chocolate CRUNCHIE? It's the crunchy, yellow part. The recipe is Nigella Lawson's. She calls it Hokey Pokey so I'll call it Hokey Pokey as well!

Hokey Pokey


- 1/2 cup sugar
- 4 tablespoons dark corn syrup
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)


Put the sugar and syrup into a saucepan and stir together to mix. You can't stir once the pan's on the heat, though.

Place the pan on the heat and let the mixture first melt and then turn to goo and then a bubbling mass the color of maple syrup - this will take 3 minutes or so.

Off the heat, whisk in the baking soda and watch the syrup turn into a whooshing cloud of aerated pale gold. Turn this immediately onto a piece of baking parchment or greased foil.

Leave until set.

*If you want chocolate, melt the chocolate chips in the microwave or on a double broiler and drizzle on top.

Once it's set, bash the honey pokey into big golden shards.

                                                                                        picture retrieved from foodnetwork.com

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

The Mystery Construction

There is a mystery construction site near my house. I drive by it a few times a week and wait for the day they put up a sign saying what will be there. I'm so curious!! A few days ago, I took a detour and circled the site slowly to see if there were any signs that might determine what the building might be. (I know. Not creepy at all!) Nothing. I was so disappointed but so intrigued. The reason I am so curious is because I want the new construction to be a restaurant. It is the perfect size for one, it has windows all over, it looks like it has some sort of area that could be a terrace.  

The Mystery Construction
For someone who loves food so much, you can imagine how exciting it is to have a new restaurant open near your house. I started to daydream and to think what type of restaurant it could be. I pictured an elegant seafood restaurant or a nice Italian restaurant where I would have a delicious yet simple pasta dish with garlic, olive oil and parmesan followed by an espresso and cannoli for dessert. We would go eat there one evening and walk back home to undo the calorific damage.

I live in my fantasy world sometimes. I drift away in my imagination and end up in my own little land where Montreal doesn't have freezing weather and chocolate doesn't have calories. What's the point of having an imagination if it won't take you places? (even if the places are not real)

Well, my friends, the suspense is over and the sign is up! Turns out the sign has been up for quite some time now. It is placed at the end of the street, far away from the project and I am ashamed to say that I had seen it many times but had never made the connection.

It's a bank.

What's ironic is that I remember telling myself "OH I wish it's a nice new restaurant! If it's a lousy place like a bank, I'll be upset."

Although my dreams of going to that (fake) Italian restaurant are gone, I can still have that pasta dish anytime I wish at home. Here is the recipe for Ina Garten's Pasta Aglio e Olio (Garlic & Oil Pasta). It's Amazing (with an capital A) and is ready within 30 minutes.

Pasta Aglio e Olio (Garlic & Oil Pasta)
recipe by Ina Garten
yield: 4 servings

- Salt
- 1 pound dried spaghetti
- 1/3 cup good olive oil
- 8 large garlic cloves, cut into thin slivers
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 2 tablespoons of salt and the pasta and cook according to the directions on the package. Set aside 1 1/2 cups of the pasta cooking water before you drain the pasta.

2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil over medium heat in a pot large enough to hold the pasta, such as a 12-inch sauté pan or a large, shallow pot. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until it just begins to turn golden on the edges-don't overcook it! Add the red pepper flakes and cook for 30 seconds more. Carefully add the reserved pasta-cooking water to the garlic and oil and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, add 1 teaspoon of salt, and simmer for about 5 minutes, until the liquid is reduced by about a third.

3. Add the drained pasta to the garlic sauce and toss. Off the heat, add the parsley and Parmesan and toss well. Allow the pasta to rest off the heat for 5 minutes for the sauce to be absorbed. Taste for seasoning and serve warm with extra Parmesan on the side.

Pasta Aglio e Olio

Monday, November 04, 2013

The Monday Blues

Hello. It's Monday.

Need I say more? I think many of us feel the Monday Blues. Wouldn't it be nice if we could set our clocks eight more hours ahead?

Like many of you, I am not a big fan of Monday mornings. I work during the week and I feel that two days are definitely not enough to catch up on life, friends, family (and sleep). Wasn't there a rumor that weekends will be three days long? If I run for the next mayoral elections, I promise you all a three-day weekend (and a free cake on your birthday!)

But of course, I have told you all about my naïve political thoughts: Let's all just bake together and get along. Chances of me running for mayor are about as slim as the chances of dinosaurs coming back or the Maple Leafs winning the Stanley Cup (That's right!!) I bet many of you who know me raised your eyebrows. Truth is, I don't know much about hockey but thought I would just jump on the Maple-Leafs-Suck wagon. Seems like the right thing to do as a Montrealer.

So fellow Monday Blues-ers, there is hope! I have a few simple tricks that make the week pass faster and will restore your love for Mondays (I use the word "love" very loosely).

Trick 1: Treat Yourself

Don't let the fact that it's Monday ruin your Monday. Make Monday a little special by treating yourself to something that you do not generally have. You can treat yourself to that special Grande, Half Sweet, Half Caf, No Fat, Whip, No Foam, 1/2 Hazelnut Machiato Starbucks coffee (I don't know if that's a real order. I don't speak Starbucks), you can prepare a meal that you really love, you can make your lunch a little more exciting by having lunch with someone (Hi Tamara!), etc. In my case, Monday is the day that "How I Met Your Mother" is on TV (for a few more weeks anyway.) I treat myself to an episode every Monday. I'll need to find something else to make Mondays more exciting once the series are over.

Trick 2: Chop Your Week
Just so the week does not feel too long, do something in the middle of the week. Host a little dinner, go to the movies, go to the mall, invite a few people to watch a movie or the hockey game, etc. It will feel like you are chopping your week in two. Nobody ever said that socializing and doing something fun is only meant for the weekend.
Trick 3: Plan
Plan a little event for the weekend. Although I am a big fan of spontaneity, planning will give you something to look forward to. The anticipation will make you feel that the week is passing faster. Whether it is something as elaborate as a dinner party or something as simple as getting a fancy coffee (like the Treat Yourself trick), going to a comedy show or baking a beautiful pie (of course, if you enjoy baking), plan something!

These are very simple tricks but they work for me so hopefully they will work for you. 
If you are a baker and plan to bake for one of your "tricks", here's a delicious Apple Crumble Pie recipe. I have made this recipe for many, many occasions and the plates have been wiped clean every time.

Deep Dish Apple Crumble Pie


- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2/3 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces and chilled
- 1 egg
- 4 -5 tbsp milk

- 8 cups apples (such as Granny Smith), peeled and sliced
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 tbsp grated orange zest
- 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp ground cloves
- 1/8 tsp all-spice

- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup large flake oats
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 cup butter


1.For pastry, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut into butter until an even, crumbly texture. Whisk together egg and 3 tablespoons milk. Add to dough and mix until dough comes together, adding additional milk if needed. Shape dough into a disc, wrap and chill for 30 minutes.

2.While dough is chilling prepare filling. Bring apples up to a simmer with water, 1 cup sugar and cinnamon sticks. Simmer for 15 minutes, until apples are tender and drain. Remove cinnamon sticks. Allow to cool to room temperature and toss with remaining 1 cup sugar, orange zest, spices.

3.Mix all the ingredients together for the crumble.

4.Preheat oven to 350° F. Roll out pastry to less than ¼-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. Line an 8-inch springform pan, letting pastry hang a little over the sides. Fill pan with apples and brush edges of pastry with egg wash. Bake for 40-45 minutes. Let pie rest for 20 minutes before removing springform ring.

5. Devour! (with ice cream!)

Apple Crumble Pie

Friday, November 01, 2013

Get on THE List!

Some of you have been asking me and commenting that the subscription to receive my blog posts by e-mail has not been working. There are a few steps to get on the mailing list aka THE list to be on! (ThePrepWife gets off high horse) Let me explain how to subscribe!

It's easy as 1,2,3,4!

1- Just go to www.theprepwife.com (if you are reading this, Step 1 is already done! That was easy, right?)

2- Type your e-mail address on the left side where it says "Join the many other subscribers to be the first to read new posts!" (Still easy, right?)

3- You will get a pop up where you need to type in the few letters that you see. (This is where things start to get a little tricky).

4- Finally, you will get a confirmation e-mail where you need to click on the link to activate your subscription. (You will receive the e-mail almost instantly so you may want to check your SPAM or JUNK folder if you don't see it in your inbox.)

I know some of you have only completed steps 1,2 and perhaps 3. You absolutely need to confirm your subscription with step 4!

If you want to receive e-mail notifications of new blog posts (I know you do!), just sign up now! You can also wait for me to post notifications on Facebook... but being on THE List is the new IT thing and is so much cooler.