Sunday, March 30, 2014

Go Home Winter, You're Drunk!

Spring has finally sprung! Errrrrrr wait, what?! 






WHAAAAAAAAT IS GOING ON HERE?! What is this white stuff!!!!! Why am I still wearing my winter coat?????? Life is unfair. :( 

Dear Canada, I love you, but you are one chilly beotch! 

These photos are from a hike a few weeks ago at Gatineau Park with Dave :) SUNDAY FUNDAY! 
We thought it would be one of the last days of winter. 
Oh, how we were wrong.  

Spring, where are you?? 

On a brighter note, pancakes (and french toast)!!! 



Last week I wrote my final exams for our psychiatry/neurology block (woo!) and had a week off afterwards to relax and re-charge before my last Unit of second year. I decided to fly back home and spend the week with my family, since I plan on doing some travelling this summer and don't really know when I'll be visiting next. I spent the week mostly catching up on sleep, catching up with friends, and eating... EVERYTHING. Seriously all I've been doing is eating. I can't stop! Wutevr. 

Most of my hometown friends are real humans with real jobs now (while I'm just like heeeey guys just putting on my backpack and heading to class!) so we couldn't get up to anything too crazy, but I still managed to sneak in a couple adventures here and there ;) 

Right off the plane, I got home, cleaned myself up, and headed out for my BFF Christine's 25th birthday. I'm such an idiot, I didn't take a single photo! Very not April like, I don't even know who I am anymore!!! Photo evidence or not, I'm so glad I  made it for my home gurl's special day :) 

So, back to those pancakes... 




My biggest adventure of the week was heading out to Gilbertson's Pancake House (said: hauuuuuuse) with Cait. We planned this activity WEEKS in advance, I've never been so excited to eat pancakes ever!! MAPLE SYRUP EVERYTHANGGGG!! 

Gilbertson's is about an hourish drive from where I live, and is the largest producer of maple syrup in Ontario. I remember coming out here as a kid with my grandma, but I haven't been in aaaages. It doesn't look like anything I remember! I was in luv with the wooden beam ceilings.  



We strategically chose to come on a weekday, so we basically had the place to ourselves (things can get pretty nuts on the weekend). I'm also proud to report that the two of us almost used the entire bottle of maple syrup for the table! You go gurls. 

After our meal we wandered around the gift shop to check out all of the maple goodies. Maple coffee. Maple fudge. Maple candies. Maple candles. Maple salad dressings and sauces!! And of course, the original, good old maple syrup. I don't think I've ever been surrounded by so many maple offerings! If you're ever stuck for a gift idea for an international friend, I think some of this maple paraphernalia would be really thoughtful! Cait bought some candies, and I came home with a lollipop. 


But before we hit the road, we decided to wander around their boilers and the property a bit. I'm stillllll not 100% sure if those boilers were indeed open to the public, but it happened. Maybe because we were the only people there, it just felt like we were trespassing! Haha. 







Just incase we hadn't eaten enough already, for my last day in town Cait and I decided to check out a new restaurant, called Low & Slow - Smoked Fusion BBQ. I love when my hometown gets new restaurants!! Our community has an ABUNDANCE of Italian eats, so when something different comes along I get excited. 

I got the cheese mac and a pulled pork po'boy. All washed down with some sweat tea! If you're gonna do southern bbq, might as well go all out. Cait got biscuits & gravy and the sweet cheese mac. Service was a little slow but the place was packed. They make their own variety of BBQ sauces in house. I loved it!!! 


For my last night in town, I spent it celebrating my "almost" birthday with my family (the big day is Friday!). I was still pretty full from lunch, but I managed to make some room for ice cream cake (#priorities). I had such a nice week at home, but now it's back to Ottawa and back to the grind! I'm ready. Let's go kick sum bootie. 

#baller #shotcaller 

Monday, February 24, 2014

Blueberry Muffins 4-ever!!

Dear blueberry muffins: I love you. 


What's your favourite kind of muffin? 
If given the choice, I'd choose blueberry 99.9% of the time (unless I was given a carrot muffin with cream cheese icing, but that's basically cake!). 


A few weeks ago, mama bear came down to visit me at school and go to some appointments. I was in class one day, when she went out grocery shopping and filled up my fridge with lots of goodies while I was gone. Sneaky mama! 



I always laugh every time my mom comes home from the grocery store. 
My dad is so regular. He buys the same things every time (I'm a lot the same way). Grapes. Apples. Milk. Bread. 
My mom on the other hand, complete wild card. You never know what that crazy woman is gonna come home with. And I luv it.  
When she went shopping for me, she came back with some good loot! Some interesting salad mixes. Fig Newton cookies (I haven't had these since I was like 6 years old!). Bison steaks. And last but not least: 6 quarts of blueberries. 6 QUARTS!!!! 
So what do you do, when you have 6 quarts of blueberries, and not enough time to eat them all? YA MAKE MUFFINS OBVI!! 



Making any kind of muffin is basically the same protocol every time: 

STEP ONE: Mix the dry ingredients together. 

STEP TWO: Mix the wet ingredients together. 

STEP THREE: Slowly pour the wet into the dry and fold together. 

STEP FOUR: Scoop, and bake! 


You can line the muffin tin with papers, or spray heavily with cooking spray to make sure they don't stick. I like to spray. The crispy golden edges are the best part! 

I found and adapted this recipe from Baker Bettie. It was the simplest one I could find, and used ingredients I already had at home. The key to this recipe is the lemon juice, which is supposed to make the blueberry flavour POP. Since I didn't have any fresh lemons kicking around, I used store bought lemon juice instead (2-3 tablespoons). To be completely honest I didn't notice a huge difference, but maybe you will! 

I also used butter instead of oil. My reason for this is obvious. Is butter ever really a bad idea???? I think not. 

INGREDIENTS: yield 12 medium sized muffins
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 TBSP baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • juice of 1 lemon (or 2-3 tbsp lemon juice)
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 400ºF.
  2. In a large bowl sift together all the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon. 
  3. In another bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients: eggs, milk, oil, vanilla, and lemon juice.
  4. Pour all of the wet ingredients into the dry bowl. Fold the mixture together.
  5. Add the blueberries.
  6. Heavily spray or line muffin tin with paper liners.
  7. Fill muffin tins 3/4 full.
  8. Bake at 400ºF for 20ih minutes, until a toothpick or fork inserted in the middle comes out clean.


Believe it or not, I still have some blueberries left over. 

Blueberry muffins 4-ever!! 


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

2013 Wrap Up

HAPPY (extremely belated) NEW YEAR!!!!! 



I'm not exactly sure how to sum up the past year. 

But before I get started, just a heads up: things are about to get cheeeesayy!! I realize we are now over a month into 2014, and most people have already forgotten about their New Year resolutions by now, but I didn't feel right skipping it over. So, here goes. You have been warned! 

For me, 2013 ended on a high note. I wrote my December exams (wahooooo!!), celebrated Christmas in ugly sweater style with some wonderful people, hit up the slopes partied it up in Mont Tremblant, and spent the Christmas holidays in sunny Cuuuba with my family. 


"The Team" in our ugly sweaters
Mont Tremblant
Maple Treats!! num num num.

The closure of 2013 also marked a few other big changes in my life. I ended a toxic, unhappy relationship that had gone on far too long. I was with someone who I knew wasn't right for me, but for some reason I kept falling back in. There's a quote I've seen around the internet, that goes something like: We accept the love we think we deserve. In hindsight, whatta truth bomb!!! This brings me to resolution #1: if it doesn't feel right, I'm not gonna keep doing it. I'm either 100% into someone, or not at all. Cause I deserve it! [and you do too :) ]. At the same time I know that I can be hard on people sometimes, so this will be a delicate balancing act of being patient yet picky. Gonna nail it in 2014!!! 

In other news, I also found out that I will be going on a month long exchange to SWITZERLAND this summer!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ya ya ya ya ya ya ya ya ya! The paperwork that ensued was overwhelming and at times I wondered if it would all be worth it, but now that everything is all submitted I could not be more excited for this adventure. Imma be chillin' on a mountain, eating fondue, with my new blonde-haired blue-eyed Swiss homies! Awwwww yea!! One requirement of this exchange is that I am able to communicate fluently with patients in French. This makes me mildly nervy!! I CAN speak French, I just get a lil shy when I'm not 100% confident at what I'm doing. Soooooooo here is my resolution #2: take a weekly French course this semester!! Even if I wasn't going to Switzerland, it's still a good idea to brush up on my frannnnçais. I've been to 4 classes so far. I think this is a resolution I'm going to keep! Oui oui! 

Raclette, another cheese based Swiss dish. 
Varadero, Cuba!
Havanaaaa!!!
Cuuuties ;) 
Shopping in Old Havana
My dream home!!!! How cute and girly is this place!!

In addition to the standard set of resolutions I set for myself every year (eat healthier, exercise more, mix in some studying... blah blah) there's a few other things I want to try to do more of in 2014. 

COOK MORE! Cause I luv doing it! But I've been having trouble making time for it lately. I spend wayyyy too much money buying pricey kale salads and organic soups. Gotta make this more of a priority!

GET CREATIVE! My mom said something to me the other day that made me think. We were talking about some of the photos I took during our Cuban vacay, when she said: You know, you're a lot more creative than you think you are. You see things other people don't see. Now I know she's my mom, and she's supposed to say things like that, but it was really nice!! I LOVE taking pictures. Time to step up my game! And not just photography. I love making things and being crafty! Ma gurl Hannah recently encouraged/hassled (hehe just kidding Hannah, mostly encouraged, and I'm thankful) me to submit some photos to an art show she's organizing at school. The theme was "connections in medicine", here's a sample of my piece! 


My final (and favourite!) resolution for 2014 is to do MORE ACTIVITIES!!!! 
MORE ADVENTURES!! More "firsts". Go places I've never been. Try new things just for fun. You know when your parents call you, and ask you what you've been up to lately? I want to have something neat to talk to them about! Something I'm excited and happy to be doing. Big or small. Like spending an afternoon skating on the Rideau Canal with my BFF :) 


Let's do this thang. 
Bring it on 2014!