Archive / March, 2011

TTC versus SUV

Who would win? Who would you place your money on?

I’m certain the lady driving the SUV pictured here had no idea she’d ever have to ponder such a question. But I guess, the longer you live in Toronto and hear about all the wankery that takes place WHILE drivers are in control of their vehicles, nothing should really come as too much of a surprise.

For some reason the driver of our streetcar completely missed the fact that there was, in fact, a vehicle ahead of him when he came to the lights at the King & Portland intersection.

Seriously? How do you miss that? It was rush hour. It’s not like there weren’t SCADS of other vehicles around. And it’s not like she came out of nowhere (her vehicle was clearly arse -ended… no tell-tale swipes that would’ve happened had she appeared from nowhere and cut him off.)

Thankfully, nobody seemed to be hurt. To be quite honest, I was near the back of the streetcar reading when it happened. I just assumed that the sudden jerkiness was just keeping with the habit most King Streetcar drivers have of riding the brakes for the entire length of the route. Of course, the loud clank noise that punctuated the final jolt probably should have alerted me to the fact that something was amiss.

The sheepish “uhm – due to the collision, this car is now out of service” announcement clued me in pretty quickly, however.

Yep. Good times.

Although, since I had to walk up to hop on the Queen Streetcar, at least I didn’t get short-turned halfway to my destination. So I guess that’s something.

Miss SUV Driver? I hope you didn’t get into trouble for being late to work. And I hope the TTC has to buy you a nice shiny brand new vehicle. And a vacation. And some sexy new designer luggage for said vacation.

Just sayin’.

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Banana Bread & Guinea Pigs

In this case, I’m speaking of the human variety of guinea pig.  It’s good to have a guinea pig. Or, as it happens, today – two.

You see, today my husband & his BFF are having a Boys’ Night – which, in this household, roughly translates as the two of them eating crap food, playing video games, drinking beer & acting, essentially, like pre-pubescent boys.  Mercifully, I have a laptop & there’s a Blu-ray player in our master bedroom upstairs, so it’s incredibly easy for me to make myself scarce. Because, much as I love them both… they’re pretty much idiots during  Boys’ Night.

The upside to Boys’ Night being held at my house is that I get to try out a new recipe that I’d just found & altered (Well, that and they bring me wine) and sate my craving for chocolate with no fear that any leftovers will remain by the end of the evening.

So without any further ado:

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread à la Weez.

Ingredients
4 small bananas
1.5 C whole wheat flour
0.75 C Splenda
0.25 C Egg Beaters – Plain
1.25 tsp Baking Powder
0.5 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Pumpkin Pie spice
0.25 C Applesauce, unsweetened
3 tbsp Nestle Toll House Mini Chocolate Chips (Semi-Sweet)

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350°C
  • Spray an 8 x 4″ loaf pan with Pam
  • In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda & pumpkin pie spice
  • Add Egg Beaters, applesauce  & bananas (mash with a fork in a separate bowl first); stir just until combined
  • Fold in chocolate chips
  • Pour batter into prepared pan
  • Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into centre of loaf comes out clean
  • Turn out onto wire rack and allow to cool before slicing

When I baked this, I took it out of the oven at 30 minutes, but I’m thinking that leaving it in for the full 40 minutes would have worked a wee bit better. The very centre was a bit on the too-moist side. But it was DAMN tasty, if I do say so myself. And, as I may have mentioned before… it’s my blog, so I figure there’s no rule against patting myself on the back.

Also? One of my guineau pigs, upon being offered a piece, responded with, “Oh, yes please! But I’ll just take a small piece cuz banana bread’s dry (inhale piece) OH HEY! That IS damn good. Not even a little bit dry at all.”

Cue additional inhalations.

So I guess it’s safe to say that it passes muster; I’ll go ahead and add it to the To-Be-Repeated recipe pile.

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Let’s get our bake on, Toronto!

I was approached last week by a lovely young lady named Heena, telling me about an exciting fundraiser she was organizing to benefit the victims of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan; that’s right, Toronto – we’re kickin’ it old school with a bake sale to raise money for Japan Relief efforts.

I’d been watching the news and thinking about what possible help I could offer – any monetary donation I could afford would hardly make a dent – so when she threw her idea at me, I jumped. And the best part? The first venue to come on board is right in my hood: Liberty Noodle @171 East Liberty St in Toronto.

Toronto Bakes For Japan started off as a small bake sale in a funky community in downtown Toronto and has already blossomed to include three more venues (including the Farmers’ Market at Evergreen Brick Works, The RivoliCafe Diplomatico) across the city as well as an extra date (Saturday, April 9 for the Farmer’s Market venue.)

The event takes place Saturday, April 9 & Sunday, April 10.

100% of the proceeds will be donated directly to the Japanese Red Cross Society and not only will the event organizers be publishing a total amount raised by the initiative, but they’ll also upload a receipt after the funds have been transferred. Oh, if only our government could operate so transparently. But I digress.

An extensive set of FAQs regarding this initiative is online – as well as all the event details, times and locations. And if you can take part, Heena asks that you contact her via the website’s Contact page or directly, via email: torontobakesforjapan@gmail.com. She’s super speedy at replying as well – so you won’t have to wait long for a response with how you can get involved.

Bakeries, Restos or Small Businesses can jump on board with donations (including more venues!), pledges or just with help spreading the word.

I plan to get my bake on as my way of helping. And I’ll be on hand throughout the event as an extra pair of hands wherever they may be needed.  So if you can bake something, volunteer some time, attend the event, or just tell someone else about it who can… that would be a fantastic help.

I may not be able to donate oodles of cash but I CAN bake up a storm.

Get involved, Toronto… it’s for an amazing cause!

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Not cool, Mother Nature. Not cool.

Today is not my best day ever. I started it at roughly 3am when the convenience store sandwich wrap I treated myself to for dinner last night decided it was going to make a repeat performance. Yep. Awesome treat. Nothing like praying to the Great Porcelain God to get your day off to a rip-roarin’ start.

I know.

Lesson learned.

And, as if that wasn’t special enough, it seems the world around me has decided to spiral back a season.

Now, I know this is Canada. And winter is just one of those unfortunate circumstances with which we deal. It’s a small price to pay, really, when you think of all the wonderful benefits to living here.

But COME ON, EILEEN! We ushered in the beginning of Spring this Sunday past. Birdies were chirping, puppies were yapping, children were singing. Okay, perhaps  I’m speaking in a wee bit too much hyperbole.

But I ask you: does this look like the first week of Spring to you?

 

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The 6-week Pipes Challenge: And so it begins…

Last week, I mentioned a great new challenge (The Life After Bagels Pipes Challenge) I was willing to take on in a vain (yes, I can admit my motives) attempt to look a wee bit better in tank tops & sleeveless shirts this summer.

And so, tonight, I began Week #1. I’ve armed myself with a tape measure, some wee (3lb) dumbbells, resistance bands & two beginner’s upper arm workouts courtesy of Sparkpeople (for tonight’s workout; for starters) and will continue to up the ante with each successive  workout.

It’s handy that today also marks the beginning of Week #3 of my 10k Training, as well – so the one dovetails nicely into the other. Which means I’ll finish up both projects at the same time.

I’ve taken the requisite before photos & preliminary measurements. Now, whether or not said photos  ever see the light of day depends entirely upon how successful the next six weeks are.  I know, I know. You’re supposed to post before pictures as an added incentive to soldier through your challenge with enough success that your after photos will look smashing by comparison. Whatever. My blog – my rules.

 

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