Archive for January, 2015

A Tale For The Time Being, by Ruth Ozeki

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I really liked this book. I think almost anyone would. It reminds me of The Night Circus that way – a novel I can recommend far and wide. A Tale For The Time Being is a page-turner, easy to sink into, and even though it is full of very erudite themes, like philosophy, quantum physics and Zen Buddhism, you never feel like you are stretching your brain too far since the narrative is structured around the diary entries of a teenage girl from Japan. This makes it light and easy to read, despite the fact that you are being enriched by substantial questions like what is the nature and meaning of existence. I am full of admiration for Ruth Ozeki because of this. It would be easy for the book to be dry and academic, but with her style of writing it is playful, thoughtful and engrossing.

I find myself with lots of time for reading while I spend hours and hours breastfeeding our new baby every day. The book has to be very good, though, as I am always exhausted since we seem to have created the worst sleeper in the world! I’d welcome any recommendations for good books. There are two good used bookstores plus the library and beautiful Munro’s Books in walking distance of our house and it’s always nice to be able to browse the shelves with a purpose.

January 27, 2015 at 2:45 am Leave a comment

Pasta e fagioli (pasta and beans, Italian peasant-style)

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It has been almost 6 weeks since our little boy was born, and thanks to an army of generous and thoughtful family members, neighbours and friends, I haven’t cooked a single meal in all that time. Warm, fresh from the oven muffins, frozen lasagna, chili and soup, ziplock bags of homemade granola, boxes of organic oranges, macaroni and cheese, fish pie, even lobster (a Christmas Day treat)…the list goes on and on. Suffice to say we have been thoroughly spoiled.

Maybe it’s a sign that things are getting a bit easier, or just that I am adjusting to life without sleep, but for the past few days I’ve been itching to cook something. It took me all day to make this soup (babies create a lot of interruptions!), and I sacrificed my afternoon nap for it, but it was worth it. Tasty, hearty, healthy, easy!

This is a slightly tweaked version of a recipe my in laws made while they were here. I doubled the recipe so I could freeze a batch for a day when I am feeling less ambitious in the kitchen.

Pasta e fagioi
Serves 4

1 medium onion, 2 carrots, 3 ribs celery, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
Fresh cracked pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup white wine
1/2 cup dried lentils (I used French du puys lentils but any kind will do)
1 can each of chickpeas and white Canellini beans
1 cup chopped canned tomatoes
2 tablespoons each of fresh rosemary, thyme and oregano (or 1 teaspoon each of dried herbs)
3 bay leaves
6-8 cups vegetable stock or water
3/4 cup dried pasta (small shape like elbow macaroni or ziti)
Grated Asiago or Parmesan cheese to garnish (optional – leave out for a vegan dish)
Extra olive oil for garnish (I used some fancy Arbequina oil that a lovely friend of mine gave me – thanks Laurel!)

Sauté carrots, onion garlic and celery in oil until vegetables are softened, about 5-10 minutes. Add salt and pepper, then white wine. Stir for a few minutes until wine reduces. Add lentils, chickpeas, beans, tomatoes and stock/water and cook over low-medium heat for 15-30 minutes until lentils are soft. Then add pasta and cook for another 10 minutes until pasta is soft. Garnish with olive oil, more fresh pepper and Asiago cheese if desired. Serve with a salad. Yummy warm winter comfort food!

January 25, 2015 at 11:09 pm Leave a comment

January spring

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Gorgeous day out today – perfect for a walk with a fussy baby. Our little one’s crying didn’t stand a chance against the sun and the flowers and the beach.

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January 20, 2015 at 8:42 pm Leave a comment


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