Category Archives: Musings

Liebster Award

Lily, my friend over at Chilling in Nunavut has nominated me for a Liebster award. It’s given to up and coming bloggers that have less than 200 followers. Thank you for the nomination! Note: I don’t think this award actually lives on a page. It’s like a nicer version of a chain letter.

1. Each person posts 11 things about themselves.
2. Answer the questions the nominator made for you and create 10 more questions for the blogs you nominated.
3. Choose nominations and link them to your post.
4. Go to their page and tell them.

Eleven Things about me

1. I learned how to fix things around the house with my dad as a kid. I may not know how to put on eyeliner, but I can name all the screwdriver heads and install laminate flooring.
2. I’m disorganized with everything except my cookbooks. I have a Google spreadsheet where I track my books and the recipes I’ve tried. My bookshelf is organized by category. Need a cookie recipe? Check the cookie section on the bookshelf.
3. I’m learning the ukulele. This teeny instrument gives me so much joy! I love strumming the strings right after it’s been tuned.
4. The height difference between my husband and I is 14″. Random people on the street feel compelled to tell us that there’s a huge height difference between us.
5. The most finicky eater in my household is my dog. He will tire of a food and we will have to coax him to eat it. Like rubbing his back while he eats.
6. I love lounging in pjs. If I don’t have to be anywhere, I will be in pajamas.
7. I’m very shy and self-conscious around people. It takes awhile for me to get comfortable with someone.
8. I have a dry and sarcastic wit and people often have a hard time knowing when I’m joking.
9. I didn’t have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich until I was 28. I thought mixing the two was gross.
10. Before I was hit with the baking bug, knitting was my hobby. My attention span isn’t the best so I still have half finished projects from years and years ago.
11. I always chug a huge glass of water in the morning after I wake up. It’s never sipped.

Here are the questions given by Lily:
1. What is your happiest memory?
Getting married. In true Monica fashion, I put the ring on the wrong finger during vows. My sister yells out “wrong finger!” I tried to remove the ring, but I can’t. I shout back, “I can’t! It’s stuck!” Cue laughter from everybody. It’s a moment I’ll never forget.
2. Who is your greatest role model and why?
I don’t have a role model, but I admire a lot of people. I admire all the food bloggers who have a family, full-time job and still manage to blog regularly and make beautiful things. I’d like to know their secret, but I have a feeling it involves little sleep and a lot of passion and motivation.
3. What tips do you have for someone looking to start blogging?
Tell people about it! When I started this blog five years ago, I was too shy to tell anybody. It wasn’t until a couple of years ago when I started to spread the word about my blog. Once I did that opportunities started opening up for me.
4. Are you where you thought you’d be at this point in your life?
Yes and no. I always pictured myself being married at this point in life, but I never thought I’d move across the country and live somewhere new.
5. What makes you laugh?
A lot of random little things that no one would find funny makes me laugh. I have a weird sense of humour.
6. What’s your “signature” recipe/dish/thing you buy and bring to parties?
I don’t have a “signature” dish because I rarely make the same thing more than once. But I’m known to bring dessert.
7. If you could have any animal in the universe as your pet, what would it be and what would you name it?
If I could have a mythical pet, it’d be a unicorn named Pokey or some crazy variation of it like Stabby. If it had to be an existing animal, I guess a Narwhal? They’re like sea unicorns.
8. If you could have any superhero ability, what would it be and why?
Freeze time so I could get to do more stuff in the day.
9. If you had to karaoke right now, what would you sing?
I can’t sing at all, so I do rap songs. Last song I did was Kanye West’s Gold Digger.
10. You have one day left on earth – what would you eat?
Really good sushi.

The blogs I’ve been reading are pretty well known so I don’t have anyone to nominate. BUT! I would love some new reads. If you have a blog, leave it in the comments section.

And here are my (shortened) list of questions you can answer in the comments:

1. Is there a dish that you always have trouble making?
2. Tell me your kitchen disaster moment.
3. If you could do anything in the world, what would it be?

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When the food you love doesn’t love you back

Roasted Fish with Lemon Relish
The original culprit: Roasted fish with lemon relish

It’s been quiet on this blog here lately. For the last while, the food I have loved has not loved me back.

It started 2 years ago when I made the dish above. Had it for dinner, noticed some tingling around the mouth but didn’t think anything of it. The next day I had the leftovers. It was the morning after where my face had swollen up. An allergy test noted that I had a slight almond and peach allergy. I tried my best to stay away from them.

Everything else was fine until about a month ago where I experienced allergic-like symptoms. Almost everything I ate felt like an allergic reaction. My lips burned all the time. How do you eat when it feels like you’re reacting to everything? It made enjoying food difficult. It made writing about food even harder.

A recent trip to the allergist to figure out what was going on showed that I am not allergic to anything. Not even the almonds and peaches I was diagnosed with. Strange.

My weird allergic reactions have finally stopped and hopefully it will stay away for good. As for the almonds I’ve been avoiding, I’m excited to welcome them back into my life.

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Starting to garden


Gardening has never been one of my strengths. If there was a plant to be watered in my household, it wasn’t me who did it. Now that I seem to have a handle on this whole “cooking thing”, I thought I’d try my hand at gardening from scratch (aka from seed).

My interest in gardening piqued when I tasted the veggies that came from my mother-law’s backyard. It was a revelation tasted just picked cherry tomatoes at their most ripe and eating a carrot that mere moments ago was stuck in dirt. Everything tasted so fresh and at its best.

As a kid, I never really paid much attention to the garden my mom had. I remember eating strawberries from my backyard as a kid, but I didn’t have the same appreciation then as I do now. I just remember them not looking magazine perfect before dipping them in sugar and eating them.

I really wanted to grow tomatoes indoors, but I heard that they don’t do too well. Using the power of Twitter, I asked Gayla from You Grow Girl if the tomato seeds I wanted to buy from her Etsy shop would stand a chance. As long as there is a minimum of 6 hours of direct sunlight, she said they’ll be fine. I got two different varieties Hahms Gelbe Topftomate and Haley’s Purple Comet.

I also wanted some herbs so I bought basil and garlic chive seeds from my local gardening store.

It took no time for one of the tomato plants to really start to grow:
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Western themed housewarming

R and I recently moved into some new digs. It’s a big change from our last place because the furniture is ours and not someone else’s. It makes being here feel more permanent.

We threw a housewarming party and made it Western themed (plaid shirts and cowboy boots mandatory). Here’s the food I served:


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