Wednesday, 20 October 2010


it's official. the weather has changed in these parts. we're hovering around 10 degrees today, and it's supposed to stay this way for a while. but the sky is BLUE. and the air is crisp. i walked to work this morning, and you know that i love the walk to work - even if i fail to actually do it most mornings.

other things have changed or are changing also. running club has moved. a small but definite demonstration of something different. dear friends are preparing to leave the city, and as sad as this is, it really just means that we're going to have extended our community to a more moderate clime. babies have recently made an appearance - welcome to little phoenix and congratulations to mommy and daddy arruda! and my life seems completely unanticipated, work having improved and a certain mr. making me very happy.

maybe i'm a little late to the 'new start' most feel at the beginning of the school-year, but my 'back to school' period at work lasts about 6 weeks, and i'm only now coming up for air. so running is on the docket for the weekend, along with some very needed girl-time before our lovely flies the coop. and for good measure we'll add a little church in there.

Saturday, 9 October 2010

flash mob birthday.

sometimes you just have to be creative when it comes to loving on your friends. my darling sc had the unfortunate timing of a birthday and a flat moving coincide. let's just say that it was traumatic. and so lj and i had the genius (really lj had the genius) to surprise the birthday girl with hummingbird bakery cupcakes (sidenote: i would very possibly sell my first born child for a hummingbird cupcake) and champers at her house as they were packing up. and while this could have gone either way, it really turned out even better than we had imagined. sc typically ignored her phone, so we upgraded to the intercom to her flat and let me tell you - awesome touch. a rousing rendition of happy birthday ensued - and we busted on up to deliver birthday love, with the intention of leaving shortly thereafter.

we stayed for hours, helping to cook dinner, enjoying a little pink champagne, packing the occasional box of stuff, and just hanging out. we're hoping we made the birthday a slightly less traumatic experience. in any case, we enjoyed our night - but really who couldn't enjoy cupcakes and pink champagne? no one, i tell you. no one.

happy birthday sc. i l-word you.

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Saturday, 2 October 2010

friday night in.

it's been a long month, work has been busy and while a project was a delivered on time and to spec, i'm pretty wiped. ditto for jd. add to that marathon training and we're moving into deep earlier in the week, i asked (read: begged) for us to spend friday night in. the thought of having to make witty conversation with others at a restaurant, was almost more than i could bear. but witty conversation in my flat while i cooked a real dinner? that i could do! the weather yesterday was fitting for the first day of october - raining, really raining, and cold. puddles on the pavement were growing with every minute and walking down the street was increasingly becoming a dance to keep the feet dry from the puddles and avoid a full-body soak from the traffic. getting home never felt so good. and warm, hearty food was just the ticket! roasted leg of lamb, potato and broccoli gratin and 'cheater puds' made the whole night seem positively rosy - or maybe that was the full-bodied red?

roasted leg of lamb with herbs de provence
(adapted from how to cook everything, mark bittman)
  • one 3-4 pound butterflied leg of lamb 
  • 1 tbsp olive oil 
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary
  • 1 tbsp fresh lavender
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds 
  • salt and pepper 
  • lemon wedges for serving 
  1. heat oven to 375F, chop herbs and combine with olive oil, rub mixture on both sides of the lamb, roll lamb and tie (you could choose to leave to marinate for an hour or more) 
  2. cook lamb for 1 hour, or until desired 'doneness' is achieved, best if some pink is still visible, remove from oven and allow to rest 5 min before slicing.
potato gratin with broccoli
(adapted from how to cook everything, mark bittman)
  •  2 to 3 cups heavy cream and milk 
  • 1 pound of potatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup grated gruyere cheese
  • salt and pepper 
  • 1 tbsp thyme leaves 
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 head of broccoli, cut into bite-sized florets
  1.  heat oven to 375F, heat cream and milk on the stove until warm. (i let it go until it got a little bit of colour, then added the thyme leaves and minced garlic)
  2.  layer potatoes and cheese in an ovenproof dish, add broccoli as the final layer, top with cheese. pour warmed cream/milk to dish.
  3. put in oven and cook, undisturbed, for 45-50 min, the top will be browned and the potatoes will be knife-tender. 
let's just say that this was well received by my dining companion.  which i treat as a minor victory. his last two bites were a tie between each dish, which means he liked both equally!

btw. the how to cook everything app for iphone, is pretty much the coolest app on my phone. i can menu plan and create a grocery list while on the bus to work. and it's the entire cookbook, on my phone!