Saturday, November 16, 2013

28 List: October Recipe

One of my goals to complete before I turn 28 next year is to cook something new from each month's Bon Appétit magazine. October's recipe is coming a bit late - I just made it tonight. And I didn't take photos, but I wanted to write up a post before I forgot I even made it. I have lots of leftovers, so perhaps I'll take pictures when I make up a bowl for lunch tomorrow.

The Recipe: French Onion Soup with Comté (except I made it with Gruyère instead of Comté) (page 112)

The Verdict: Delicious! I found it a teensy bit sweet (I'm thinking from the wine I used - Black Cellar, Blend 11, Pinot Grizio Chardonnay - and possibly from the mix of onions I had on hand: 3 large white, 1 extra large Spanish and 2 medium yellow onions) but Pat thought it was perfect. He even said a few times how much he liked it - a rarity for Pat (who typically doesn't care much about food)!

The Alterations: I stuck really close to the recipe for this one. Of the ingredients with two options, I went with butter (over duck fat), white wine (probably not dry enough, over dry vermouth) and Gruyère (over Comté). I ended up grabbing fresh cilantro instead of parsley at the grocery store today (arg!), so I didn't add that in with the broth (well I did and then noticed it didn't smell right... so I pulled most of it out... thankfully the recipe called for adding the sprigs in whole and removing later!) - I sprinkled in some dried chervil instead.

All in all - success! Definitely a recipe I'll try again and those leftovers will certainly not be going down the drain! 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


I had lunch today with a girl I know from a neighboring lab - the lab I bring some of my samples to for processing. She told me that some of her labmates had labeled me one of the happiest people in the hospital. Apparently, I always have a smile on my face.

That makes me really happy. No matter what kind of mood I'm in, I always strive to be in good humour when I'm at work. Since I work at one of the leading cancer centres in the world, I know that many of the people I encounter each day are going through a particularly hard and trying time. Me? I have nothing to be upset or angry or cranky about: I have an awesome job that I get paid well for, I work with a great team of girls, I have my health, I have a loving family and home life... I am incredibly lucky and so, so blessed. 

Smile. It's worth it. 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

NaNoWriMo 2013

Yep. I signed up.

And no. I'm not counting these words towards my total word count.

It's true. I've signed up for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) once again this year and I'm only counting the words I write for my stories. I didn't sign up last year because it was my first month of my new job. But now that I'm working 9-5, I felt like I was up to the challenge.

And challenge it will be! Writing over 1600 words a day is tough, especially when I'm only writing in the evenings. Plus, I'll be heading up North this weekend and I have a feeling I won't be writing a word while there. But I took Monday off, so hopefully I can catch up then and stay on track.

I chose to work on a few different stories - mainly my Republic of Krez epic story-novel and the Mixed story I've been posting on Wattpad - so that I wouldn't lose interest as quickly. Makes it much more fun for me too.

Anyway... I have 1667 words to write. Back later!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Sketchbook Pages: Positively Serious

Here's the latest page in my altered Amber book. One of my goals this year is to completely fill this book - it's getting there. Only 27 more spreads to go!

I always regret when I don't take in progress photos, and this is another one of those cases. I do remember the steps I took, but I wish I had a photo or two of the "under-painting" collage part. Still, I love how it turned out - feels very autumn!

As usual, I started with gesso and then a collage using scraps of paper from my desk and ripped out of a magazine. I painted next (Golden paints: titan buff, India yellow hue, burnt umber light, red oxide, chromium oxide green) then used up some old dollar store rub-ons. Next I made the circles with brown India ink and added random words to each bubble. A bit more paint to lighten and brighten the bubbles, darken the India ink and to push the rub-ons into the background. Lastly, I splattered everything with a bit more India ink and used a gold Sharpie to really make each circle pop.