1. Kombucha

    April 15, 2014 by Sarah

    Ever since I heard of kombucha, I’ve been a bit leery of it. All I knew was that it sounded like some sort of fermented drink that yoga teachers brewed in their backyards. Which, naturally, I was expecting to taste like some kind of liquified sauerkraut. So of course, I had to give it a try. (Note- it’s actually a sweetened tea that has been fermented by a colony of bacteria and yeast).

    Turns out, it tastes a lot less disgusting then expected. In fact, I would even go so far as to say I enjoyed it- or at least could finish the whole thing without gagging. All it really tasted like was a less sweet and slightly expired pop or carbonated juice. I got the ‘divine grape’ flavour to ease myself into it (tasted a bit like my grape juice).

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    After a bit of looking around I found out that people have actually been making versions of kombucha for about 2,000 years. And that it supposedly has a myriad of detoxifying health benefits, from improving digestion and gut and liver health, easing joint pain, and boosting your immune system (among others). Apparently the ancient Chinese called it the ‘immortal health elixir’ (or so the internet tells me).

    So while it’s a bit more expensive then your average bottled drink (this was about $4-5), it will probably cure a lot more then Dr. Pepper (or Dr. Starbucks). Even if it does taste like it’s been sitting out in the sun for a few days.


  2. Gateway Milkshake

    April 12, 2014 by Sarah

    I know exactly what this looks like. The moment I will reference in my Biggest Loser audition tape, as the moment I knew I had a problem. The first time I ever went to a Mcdonalds by myself (is this like when alcoholics realize they have a problem, when they start drinking alone?) Time for an intervention? Not quite yet..

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    A chocolate milkshake from Mcdonalds. Yeess. It might be worth mentioning that I only eat fast food like this once every year or two. Or that this happened a few months ago. Or that I spent the rest of the day eating green things. But that would sound like I’m trying to justify it, and I don’t think that’s necessary.

    There are countless different diets, lifestyles and ways to eat; some with merit, others with less. And I commend anyone who eats what makes them happy and feel their best- regardless of what this looks like. So while I’m not trying to endorse any Supersize-Me-esque lifestyle choices, I wholeheartedly agree with the wise words- “everything in moderation- including moderation.”

    In that thought, the only rule I ever want to follow is to never take food too seriously. Whether that’s experimenting with old hot cross bun legends, constructing a pig out of pig liver, getting revenge on jellyfish, or not eating gluten for a month- just for the challenge. It’s when I get joy out of eating and creating that I feel my best.

    That said, this kind of shameless indulgence is just the thing the experts and loud voices tell us to feel bad about. However, I decided a long time ago to avoid the trap of ever associating guilt with food.  In fact, as soon as I took my first perfect chocolatey sip, I decided it was the best purchase I’ve made in a long time.  And then I proceeded to drink almost the whole thing really fast, after which I got a bad headache, started feeling my pulse pound behind my eyes, and had to lay down on the couch for a while. This isn’t everyday food. It’s not for the faint of heart (literally). But it sure is delicious.


  3. Chocolate Milk & Cashews

    April 2, 2014 by Sarah

    Sometimes, I’m not sure what dinner is going to look like. Well, actually most nights I’m not sure what dinner is going to look like. At least until my heads in the fridge or I can smell something on the stove. But it’s a lot easier to picture standing in the kitchen, then it is sitting in a windowless room, editing all day. When you thought you’d be done hours ago. When you packed your lunch, and thought it would be enough. And you can’t decide whether to tough it out till you can get home and eat, or submit to your circumstances and go buy some sustenance.

    And then that creeping hour sets in….it’s 8 o’clock. Hunger. Submission is inevitable. You’re not one who gets too wrapped up in your work and ‘forgets to eat’. It’s time to set out into the dark and see what is still open on campus. The best bet- Timmies. Who I can always count on for under $3 food when desperate (hello bagel and cream cheese, with flavours to fit my every mood….or at least the bipolar sweet and salty).

    Except when I approach the door, someone’s standing right on the other side. It’s security. I reach up to push the handle. But he’s flipping the lock. I look at him. Question with my eyes. My big pleading eyes. He looks back, tightens his jaw, sobers his gaze and gives a firm nod back, confirming my suspicions. Not tonight.

    Sometimes dinner is chocolate milk and a bag of salt and pepper cashews. Because the only place still open is your student run corner-style store. Whose alternatives include some sort of meat that’s been under a heat lamp for 24 hours. And you don’t have time to get salmonella.

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  4. Winter in Whistler

    March 24, 2014 by Sarah

    I’ve had the pleasure of visiting Whistler twice over the last few months. First with the family when a certain brother and girlfriend came to visit, and a few weeks later for a ‘girls trip’  to celebrate the belated 80th birthday of our grandma.

    While equal amounts of wine were probably consumed on each trip, there was significantly more skiing/snowboarding on the first one (well, at least one day). While it’s only about 2 hours away, it’s the first time I’ve boarded here since the high school days when we’d come up with PE class on day trips. In addition to enjoying the snow, there was naturally some eating involved. But first, the mountains:

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    Living in Vancouver, mountains are something you see every day. But it doesn’t mean we appreciate this view any less. We took the Peak2Peak gondola between Whistler and Blackcomb…and managed to resist the urge to base jump out of it (and leave behind a perfect trail of evidence for police to catch us).

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    We ate lunch up at one of the lodges half way up the mountain (if lunch=poutine). And watched a woman whip a tupperware container out of her bag and pump it full of mayonnaise (good money saving tip).

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    We’d meet up at the Longhorn pub at the base for some apres drinks (along with just about everyone else on the mountain).

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    While we made most of our food, we also ate out a bit, including lunch one day at The Mexican Corner in the village. We split a pitcher of margaritas, along with some chips and salsa/guacamole (with pomegranate), pastor pork tacos (with pineapple and cilantro) and lamb quesadillas (with guajillo salsa).

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    Everything was delicious. But it’s hard to beat sitting in the hot tub after a day on the mountain, raspberry beer in hand, for as long as you can handle without overheating.

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  5. What happens when you fry cookies?

    March 13, 2014 by Sarah

    I was curious, so I tried. Turns out, they taste very similar to pancakes (just sweeter and more dense). Which leads me to the burning question- is it the ingredients or the technique? (Or rather, the medium or the message? For any other communication grads/enthusiasts out there).

    Ok logic police, I know this question doesn’t make much sense. I understand that a slab of meat is unlikely to taste like a pancake, just because it’s cooked in the same way (unless you stuff it with flour and sugar and chocolate and then get rid of the meat part. Take that!) Then again, this does still intrigue me enough to try baking a pancake, just to see if it tastes cookie-ish..
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    They look kind of pancakey too…

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    I think I might be on to something…crispy on the outside, hot and doughy in the middle. Hey Pillsbury, let’s chat.

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  6. Hungry Computers

    March 10, 2014 by Sarah

    Peppermint tea will always remind me of the time I dumped almost an entire cup of it onto the keyboard of my new laptop. And how I unplugged it, and emptied a bag of rice on it, and then propped it up upside down with a fan blowing on it for a few days. And how I had a finished project saved on that laptop, which was due the next day, and how I had to email my instructor and ask for an extension for the first time in my life because the internet told me if I turned it on too soon I could fry the whole thing. And how I don’t think he ever really believed me.

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    My typing has been loud and sticky ever since, with tiny bits of rice lodged in there somewhere, crunching and chewing with each letter. It’s been almost a year. Laptops sure take a long time to digest. Note to self- use brown rice next time. Note to world- do not pour rice onto your keyboard.

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  7. Grape juice

    February 23, 2014 by Sarah

    Welches grape juice ranks up there as one of the worlds best foods. Right up with ketchup, pickles and processed cheese. I tried making it once. Or rather, mashed up a bunch of grapes and then sieved out their juice.

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    This didn’t really taste like Welches. In fact, other then also being juice made of grapes, it’s pretty irrelevant. However any opportunity to talk about Welches is welcome. Welches is apparently “100% juice” though, so I seem to have at least nailed the ingredient list.

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    All I did was crush up a bunch of grapes in the food processor, boil them for maybe 10 minutes, and the sieve everything.

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    Verdict? Tasted like really sweet syrupy concentrated grape juice. Which is exactly what it was. So, not great to drink on its own, but maybe mixed with some soda water or used as an ingredient in something else, we’d be onto something.

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