Hello and welcome to the weekend. I’m still going with the vertigo unfortunately, but have been experiencing some improvement! It’s kind of a float-y/wavy feeling that is totally bearable in most situations. Just no heavy machinery operating for me! I also find that lots of screen scrolling is not exactly the best thing.
We’re having a pretty low key weekend over here–a game night with friends, some nice dinners at home, a bit of holiday baking (puffed rice treats, sugar cookie bars, chocolate chip cookies, and thumbprints), and lots of rain in the forecast. What’s a holiday treat that you find yourself making every year?
I hope that you’re keeping well and looking after yourself these days. Catch you back here soon ♥️
5 Things I’m Reading:
- The Art of Hibernation
- The Quiet Thrill of Keeping a Secret
- How A House Fire Taught Me To Live With Less
- Rizz, the word of the year, explained
- Why We Need Community Now More than Ever
5 Things I’m Enjoying:
- This episode of Are You Ready (the podcast from Joanne Molinaro aka The Korean Vegan): Is Veganism Doomed?
- Morels is such a fun 2-player board game! All centered on the acts of “foraging” and “cooking” mushrooms.
- Drizzling so many things with this Spicy Maple. I love that it also has a bit of tang to make it extra complex. Everything from Stoke is a winner. For my local Niagara people, I highly recommend checking them out at De La Terre!
- Nothing to link, just loving fresh ginger tea and find that it’s extra calming and centring with the vertigo stuff. I just chop up a root and boil it in a pot of water with some lemon slices for about 10 minutes. Strain and enjoy!
- How I used to think animals lived when I was little
- Your go-to vegan meal when hosting skeptical non-vegans?
For something more involved, I love the Mushroom & Beet Bolognese. It has such a great depth of flavour, loads of umami, and it’s also super comforting. You can also make the sauce ahead, which is great for entertaining. I like to use the pre-cooked beets by Love Beets for this because it makes the prep easier, but also the colour is a bit more muted. For something simple and weeknight-appropriate, these Spicy Maple Tofu Bowls are a hit.
- Suggestions for easy holiday apps that aren’t all pastry and cheese?
I have lots! A dip is pretty much always a winner in my books. My favourites are: Vegan Caramelized Onion Dip, Spicy Vegan Artichoke Dip with Kale, Roasted Carrot & Harissa Chickpea Dip, and for non-dip options: Avocado Tartare, Papaya Salad Rolls and Vegan Stuffed Mushrooms with Pesto Cream.
- Any tips for year end burnout? Just feeling so, so drained.
One thing that has really helped me over the years is saying no more often, but more importantly practicing your “no.” Maybe you don’t have the capacity for another gathering, gift exchange, extra responsibility on your plate etc. Some of these things are non-negotiable in life, but over time I’ve realized that plenty of them are! When the holidays start creeping up, I practice my “no.” That can take the form of a canned email response in my notes app that just needs a little personalizing depending on the situation or maybe it looks like practicing in the mirror if it’s going to be face-to-face. At my core, I do believe that you don’t always have to provide justification for saying no to things. But in some instances, it just feels right and goes a long way in preserving/nurturing a relationship. All the meditation, exercise, and healthy eating in the world will not matter if your plate is constantly overloaded.
- I just bought the espresso machine that you have! Any tips/resources for beginner baristas?
I learned everything that I know about using this machine from Reddit! I worked as a barista ages ago, but that experience was not 100% applicable with the Breville since it’s designed for home use. The r/espresso and r/coffee subreddits are goldmines of information and firsthand experience. Some quick tidbits from my own experience: fresh beans from local spots are always better (I keep the grind size at 7-8), the quality of your water makes a difference, and you have to tamp a lot harder than you think (15 lbs of pressure).
- What is your favourite easy comfort food?
Comfort food for me is about the taste as much as the process of preparation. Usually I want it to be straightforward, satiating, and relatively quick. My go-to is a simple pasta with spicy marinara (store bought!), sautéed bits of veggie sausage, and chopped broccoli rabe. The bitter, spicy, and tomato-y trifecta always really hits for me, and it’s ready in 20-ish minutes.