April 28, 2012

Early Bird Gets the...Worm?

Woke up super early this Saturday to pick up a couple boxes of city compost, to find that it had all been taken. Boo! Second weekend in a row. Clearly I have to get there at 7am sharp...

April 27, 2012

Báhn Mi for Lunch

Lunch with Tank, reading Jane Eyre.
I love Vietnamese sandwiches (Báhn Mi). There's something about the cold cuts, paté, pickled radishes and carrots, what seems like mayo and the crusty, light baguette bun that makes this one of my all time favourites. If I had to eat these morning, day and night...I would not complain. Not one bit! Plus, you can buy them ready made at the Asian grocery store if you can't find a store making them fresh to order. Try one if you haven't already!

New Brushes

I finally got my brushes from Coastal Scents (I had them shipped to my US destination and they arrived in only 2 days)! I've ordered from them plenty of times and have always been happy with their customer service. Prices are reasonable and they have great sales! One of their last sales was the Easter sale. They had an egg hunt, where a bunch of products were on sale for a certain percent off depending on the colour of the egg. I'm glad I took a look around, because...

 ....I found my all time favourite (synthetic) flat top brush on sale from what was nearly $15, down to about $7 plus an additional 40% off. They are so well made, a breeze the clean and gives the best foundation (liquid and powder) coverage with literally no work at all. I picked up three. On a whim, I also snatched up a kabuki on a stick made from goat hair. Although I prefer synthetic brushes (they are more durable, easier to disinfect and dry a lot faster) I figured, you can't really go wrong...it's $2. I'll probably use it for contouring, bronzer or maybe even blush. The bristles are soft and pretty densely packed. I haven't noticed any shedding yet either! 

Coastal Scents always include a sample with every order. I received a mineral eyeshadow called Moroccan, which is a coppery/peach colour with micro shimmer and an almost metallic finish. Super buttery, pigmented and smooth. It would compliment all eye colours, but would make blue eyes pop! All this for about twenty bucks, this is definitely a fab deal.

I should also mention that a lot of their samples (about a teaspoonful, depending)  are only a buck! :)

ETA: The brush has since been discontinued from Coastal Scents (I don't know why, it's amazing!), but Crown Brushes sells the same brush!

April 26, 2012

Samosa overload

This past weekend, Rich and I went on a samosa run. We usually go once every couple of months and because of this, I STOCK UP. I love having two fridges (well, four including his) and a chest freezer. We went to three places. The last place was by "accident", but it worked out in our favour...
Samosas from A1 Sweets
Our first top was A1 Sweets & Restaurant, which serves 100% vegetarian. This is our usual place to go get samosa, which are literally the size of my palm. They are packed full of potatoes and veg and seasoned perfectly. You can tell that each little bundle is made by hand. They are usually cooked to order, so you get them fresh from the fryer! I like that they also include a green (herb chutney) and a red sauce (tamarind sauce) free of charge. The prices are really good- they use to be 3 for $1 but they're now 2 for $1 which is understandable considering how the cost of living has risen. This is Rich's favourite place to go! We were going to get more, but it was 15 minutes to closing and they only had 4 left. We bought them and ate one in the car.

Samosas from Samosa King
This was our second stop. Samosa King (Embassy Restaurant) located literally 5 minutes away from A1. Their specials are crazy good and the best part is getting samosas and other fried Indian goodies 5 for a $1.00. I'm not even kidding you! There's usually a long line up to order and I'm not surprised. Their samosas are excellent! Granted, they're smaller and obviously have less filling than A1 and they don't give you complimentary sauces (25¢/a small container)...but hey..they are FIVE for a DOLLAR. The staff are fast and efficient and on Tuesdays and Fridays, they offer $2 take out meals. You can't really go wrong with that. In the photo above, there are 30 samosas. See, having a chest freezer is awesome!

An assortment of samosas and fried goodies from Datta
Across the (small) parking lot, we passed by a new 100% vegetarian/vegan Indian store selling similar goodies. It was called Datta Food. I could tell they were pretty new, so we stopped by just to take a look around. The lady behind the counter was cheery and nice. She explained to us what they had on the menu and told us that their samosas and other fried snacks were also 5 for $1.00. Competition! Awesome! As we thanked her for her time and began to leave, she waved us back in and told us to wait. She was preparing a sampler bag (!) I can't even begin to tell you what the traditional names of these are, but that triangle and empanada looking morsels are samosas. I don't know if they are handmade or not, as they look quite different from the above samosas. Their filling wans't the best, so I'd skip those, but the rest was really good. That round tim-bit looking one in the front there is sweet- possibly made from chickpea flour? I'd go back and order everything else, just not for samosas. If you get the chance, check out all three places! 

Dried chili peppers

After, we stopped by Rich's friend's place to pick up some things I bought and had sent to the hotel. While we were there he showed us two giant bags of chilies be bought while in the U.S.! We got a little baggy full to take home and try. (I'm also going to see if I can grow them.. lol) These little things are pretty darn spicy. The bag said it was about a 7 out of 10 on the fire scale. We'll see about that...!

Tulips on the Wall

 My current desktop wallpaper. <3

Weekend Burger Eating

 I ate this. I ate this over the weekend and it was so good, that I had to eat another on the next day! It's a homemade beef patty (by Rich's mum) topped with balsamic caramelized onions, blue cheese dressing and lettuce. Sounds super simple, right? Wrong. Flavour party in my mouth! The only think I forgot was to toast the buns. But it's not like it matters...I gobbled this baby up in literally a minute. Actually, I inhaled it. Just like that, gone! :)

Rich had left over pasta we made the night before. I ate some of this too..

Free Milk!

No, not the kind from your mom. :P
Here's a deal too good to pass up, milk drinkers. Read carefully! If you live in Canada and have a Loblaws near you, print this coupon and head over to the store. Neilson TruTaste 1L milk is on sale for $1.00 and guess what? There's a $1.00 off coupon! What does that mean? FREE MILK! How often does that happen? Never. This sale starts from April 27 - May 3, 2012 and includes 1%, 2% and skim.

Chances are, they will run out of stock. If they do, grab a flyer, head to the Customer Service counter and ask for a rain-check. You can ask for up to 4 or 6 per rain-check and you will have 30 days to use it. Luckily the coupon expires June 30, 2012! Don't be scared, they do it all the time. Bring your spouse or friend with you to get two rain-checks!

If you're wondering if Loblaws will accept printed internet coupons, they do! Read their store policy here. Click here for one sized for printing, just in case you stumble upon an ill trained staff member. It happens!

April 25, 2012

Review: Firmoo, New Spectacles for Two

 Firmoo, is a site that sells eye-ware. They were hosting a giveaway, open to blogger's, which meant a pair of free glasses, sunglasses or goggles to anyone with a blog! All they ask in return is an honest review. Sounds like a fabulous deal, right? It totally is. This is the pair I chose...

Tuesday Night Dinner: Fish and Asparagus

Super fresh and light! This meal totally reminds me of Spring. Pan cooked salmon fillets, which were simply salted and peppered before reaching the heat, (from the box) haddock fillets and asparagus spears sautéed in garlic and olive oil. See that sauce that I drizzled on top of everything I could possibly drizzle it on, on the plate? Honey, lemon and Dijon sauce with dill and tarragon. Seriously...new favourite sauce! It could totally double as a dressing or even marinade! Though I think using it as a marinade would be a huge waste... but then again if it were socially acceptable I'd probably make a vat and take shots. But that's just me. 

Honey Dijon Sauce with Lemon and Herbs
  • 2 heaping tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 3 heaping tablespoons Dijon mustard (I used smooth, you can use whatever you have)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1.5 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons dried dill
  • 2 teaspoons dried tarragon
Mix it all together in a bowl and taste. Adjust to your liking. If you like it more tart, add lemon juice. More sweet, honey. Spicier, Dijon. Creamier and less strong, mayonnaise. I like making it at least 30 minutes before serving, as this lets all the herbs infuse the sauce. Enjoy!

Lunch: Wild Mushroom and Swiss Chard Pasta

 It was too late for a legit lunch but too early for dinner, so really, this was "linner". Wild mushroom pasta with chiffonade swiss chard, butter and Asiago cheese. It was light but not too light as the mushrooms provided a meaty texture as well as a robust flavour and the cheese added a good boost. As you can see, Tank (who's feeling a lot better lately, by the way) couldn't get enough of the cheese. Just like her momma! I couldn't shoo her away fast enough. If I did, she'd just eye the pasta dish until she made her next move.

Cheese hunting mode

Smart Shopping

Mom's Healthy Secrets "Vibra Berry" cereal: $5.25 - 50% = $2.62, Nature's Path "Maple Pecan Crunch" cereal: $5.00 - 50% = $2.50, Bovril beef bouillon: $7.50 - 50% = $3.50

April 24, 2012

Mini Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting

 My younger brother's teacher was going on maternity leave so the class decided to have a "farewell" party during that period. I offered to bake cupcakes, because you know...who doesn't like cupcakes?! We decided on something simple and easy. Chocolate cake and vanilla frosting a classic! So the night before, I ended up making 34 mini's and they were a hit. The best part is, I used a vegan chocolate cake recipe. Why is that awesome? I like it when people unknowingly eat vegan, love it and not know it's vegan until I tell them. Is that bad?

The cake recipe is one that Rich's mom uses. I also found it on food.com under the name "6 minute chocolate cake". The recipe doesn't lie either! It really does take about six minute to make the batter. Try it!
The butter cream was just a recipe thrown together using butter, confectioner's sugar, vanilla, milk and colouring. There are many, many, many recipes out there so just pick your favourite!

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Hi, I'm Janetta from Toronto. I cook, bake and often veganize recipes. I photograph nearly everything and those photos will most likely end up being posted here. I've got a little black cat named Tank, who's really cute and a little bit nosy. You'll see a lot of photos of her too!

Contact me at: jubesandtank@gmail.com

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