4 Little Piggies Went to Market

Hi strangers!

It’s been a while since my last post. Earlier in December I got to celebrate Christmas in several amazing and festive ways and then unfortunately, before I was able to blog about any of it, I got sick. First with a brutal cough, then just when I thought I was in the clear, I came down with Labyrinthitis. I won’t go into how crushing and debilitating this insane illness is, only that you literally lay on your side for a week and any time you move, you experience the most severe vertigo, dizziness and nausea. It’s like being very drunk and sick all day long. So looking at the computer for any amount of time was basically out of the question. Which resulted in the blog break! (And even more annoying, an unanticipated work break) But now I’m back! I’ve been moving around for a week and I can finally focus enough to read books, blogs and most importantly, Facebook!

So – lets jump into our one horse open sleigh time machine back to the start of December, when some special ladies and I hit up Toronto’s Christmas Market in Toronto. The market is set up in the Distillery district and is Christmas incarnate. It was so pretty and sparkly and fun, but like seemingly everything these days, it was just so busy and had such long lineups there were some things we just didn’t go for. Like the churros. Everybody said to get the churros. But the lineup would have taken us half an hour to get through! So instead, we drank delicious hot chocolate and had amazing creamy mac and cheese. We sang carols with the Victorian carollers and we danced the Little Women traditional Christmas dance made famous by Winona Ryder (Or more specifically, Kari did this whilst excitedly running into passersby).

We were lucky enough to have Ashley and Brodie staying with us that weekend, so after the girls and I had our fill of Christmas fun, we met up with the boys at C’est What on the Esplanade where we had drinks and dinner and good times. Very lucky to see this crowd as often as I do – especially when the Ottawa folk come to visit!

Ugly – Lineups! I wish I was a billionaire who could rent out markets and fairs for my own personal use like McDreamy did for Reese Witherspoon at Tiffany’s in Sweet Home Alabama…

Awesome – Despite the crowds and lineups, it’s really hard to squash my Christmas Spirit. Any place that’s so full of Christmas decorations, lights, sparkles trees, carollers etc. is OK in my book. Extra bonus for going with awesome ladies.

Extreme Makeover: Shoppers Drug Mart Edition!

A couple years ago, around this time, my friend Celeste and I experienced our first Shoppers Drug Mart Beauty Gala and it was super fun. So, a couple of weeks ago, Sara, Celeste and I went to this year’s Gala to get purtied. For $10, you get your makeup done by a professional makeup artist, you get to eat free food (this time it was dumplings and Chinese buns…) and you get a free goodie bag on your way out. And if you purchase anything from the beauty department, it’s 10% off.

My makeup artist was awesome but I can’t remember her name 😦 She asked me if we were planning on going anywhere special after our makeovers and I said “Yes, we’re going next door to Roti Cuisine of India!”. So we went to eat Saag Paneer rotis while showing off our new faces. We rifled through our goodie bag and compared loot and tried to seduce the regulars.

Ugly: All my free perfumes smell TERRIBLE. Whose job is it to say what smells nice? That person has a cold.

Awesome:
Fun night out with my ladies doing lady things!! My makeup artist kept messing up my face because I was making her laugh. Worth it.

When I Compared My Christmas Tree To A Puppy.

It’s that time of year again! The time of year I walk aimlessly around the city looking at all the twinkly lights and anticipating decorating my own little blank canvas of a home. Last year, I purchased a bunch of Holiday decor because it was our first Christmas in this apartment and I wanted to take advantage of the little bit of extra space we have now. This year, I tried to re-use as much as possible and the only new things I bought were the plants for the porch and the new candle holder from Kitchen Stuff Plus (it was on sale…).

Jamie and I followed through with our annual tradition of decorating the tree while watching Sunday Night Football and I tried to make Christmas Sugar Cookies! The cookies were a success in general, but I absolutely failed on the icing front. I accidentally made the icing too thick so it was giving me a super hard time due to my tendency toward culinary ineptitude. I finally got my icing contraption to work and spent 15 minutes icing the trees. By the time that was done, I was losing patience on the snowflakes and by the time we got to the gingerbread men, I could barely motivate myself to make more than a face blob on each one. Regardless of their ugliness, they were still delicious so I count it as a flavour win, presentation fail.

UGLY: The horror-movie gingerbread monsters.

AWESOME: It’s Christmas!!! (obviously). Being in this house with twinkly lights and festive candles makes me excited about walking through my door every day. I’m pretty sure I turn on my tree lights with the same enthusiasm one would exude when meeting their puppy at the door upon returning home.

Tofu roasting on an open fire.

Oh hey. Have you noticed my blog is snowing? Yup. Wicked.

Totally new topic: There’s a guy at work who consistently brings in a tub of delicious home made Chinese food every day and eats the entire thing in one sitting. It’s a lot of food. It could probably feed me for 3 meals. I started sitting next to him at work specifically so I could mooch yummy tofu from his lunch. Eventually, he asked if he could please just teach me how to make it myself so I would stop harassing him. And I accepted!

He invited me to his house to meet his amazing wife, Cherry, and the two of them taught me how to make a tofu dish! (And a yummy egg and tomato dish too, but I was really excited about the tofu). This particular gentleman is scared of the interwebs and the FBI, so he’s asked to remain unidentified, but his wife is a normal person who allowed me to photograph her.

So, here it is: Delicious tofu tutorial in pictures.

UGLY: My complete lack of culinary knowledge. In general.

AWESOME:
Cherry and “Bob” were so welcoming (I got my own pair of slippers)! And the two of them should compete in Olympic Team Cooking (that’s a sport, right?) when one was done with the tofu, the other was there to drain, then one was putting the tomatoes in while the other chopped the coriander. It was like they were reading each other’s minds. Thanks friends, I had an awesome time!