Tuesday, March 27, 2012

*Face Palm*

Apologies!  It's been a crazy couple weeks. To recap:

Dog's birthday was a success! Cake was enjoyed by both canines, chocolate banana muffins with delicious icing for the human guests. Movies were watched, tears were cried (it might have been only me...Homeward Bound is heartwarming, don't judge me.)

Coachella plans are all but executed! All we have to do is show up at the airport and we're off to a weekend of awesomeness. April 19th can't come soon enough!

On a more serious note, I feel it is very important to bring this case to a wider audience. Please take a minute to read it (it's not the best written article but delivers the facts nonetheless)
If you feel inclined, sign the petition on change.org and help spread awareness of this injustice.
Help the family of Trayvon Martin find peace in their son's murder.

As a firm believer in equality to all, regardless of our societal labels, this case is an example of the lack of recognition of the equal rights deserving to all citizens. The Florida police would do well to take this case as a lesson to strive for colourblind service. That all citizens, regardless of their age, gender or ethnicity deserve equal attention and compassion. When it comes to crimes against unarmed youth, there is no room for personal biases. George Zimmerman should be tried to the fullest extent of the law for murdering unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

I hope this brings a little awareness to your day, and I will try to post some new recipes and photos soon!

Have a great Tuesday!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Spring, you elusive bastard.

Profanity is sometimes necessary. As I sit looking out the window of my school library, all I can think is, "what the hell Mother Nature, what. the. hell??". For a minute it seemed that spring had decided to finally grace us with its presence, however it appears I spoke too soon. This weather is abysmal (been saving that one for a while now). I had high hopes of bringing out blazers, flats and sunglasses soon...Alas, it was not meant to be.
How long will this persist? The forecast shows a glimmer of hope for Monday (?!) with highs of 9 degrees. I guess there's a thin sliver lining to this snowy west coast cloud.

On the bright side, cold weather means more indoor activities. Which means, more baking! Tomorrow I am celebrating the birth of my furry dog-child, Cinnamon. Laugh if you want, but dog parties are more about getting my girlfriends together for a much needed movie and hot tub night, with treats and watching my bulldog Guinness eat a cake that I am making for the two dogs. Hilarity will ensue. I'm making chocolate banana muffins (not for the dogs don't worry), with icing I picked up from Grounds for Coffee. I want to add some mashed banana, as I'm cheating and using a muffin mix from Ed's. I will do more from-scratch baking when this semester is over :)

Cinnamon knows how to party!

Guinness at his most active.

This weekend might be more involuntarily hermit-like than I was hoping for, but sometimes a girl's gotta (finally) start hitting the books a little.

COACHELLA UPDATE: my passes are currently traveling through Kansas on their way to me! Expected delivery date is Monday, March 19th. Anyone else going to Weekend 2?? (If you're not going I apologize. I will take lots of photos to share with you <3 )

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Coffee Critique? My Starbucksidea.com Experience

As a blogger who's had her share of negative responses, I am not sensitive to backlash. However, I couldn't help but feel a little ostracized for expressing a concern, and posing a suggestion to Starbucks, of all places. I was expressing my "desire" for something gluten-free at Starbucks. (my "desire" as my critics called it. I do not choose to eat gluten-free, but clearly my need for something to eat with my coffee is not a necessity) I was not suggesting Starbucks go completely gluten-free, but perhaps they could accommodate some of their diet restricted customers?
Anyway, the criticism, from people who would not be affected in any way by this, was quite rude. These seem to be the same kind of people who join forums just to disagree and argue with other well-meaning writers. I found the whole thing a little funny, so I thought I would post them here for your enjoyment, my original post included. The last comment was my response to my nay-sayers. :)

We all want a better, gluten-free Starbucks.

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Posted on 3/8/2012 12:37 PMby whitb 
After reading the many, many requests by my fellow Starbucks customers for more (read: any) gluten-free food options, I feel like a broken record. But, here it goes. As one of many, and our numbers are growing, of the sufferers of a gluten/wheat allergy, I feel we have a responsibility to provide patronage to those cafes and shops which provide us with aggreable dishes. Starbucks, unfortunately, falls a little short in this category.
I use my Starbucks card deligently, and I frequent the one at my college, however, I feel somewhat betrayed by the lack of attention to customer service that Starbucks fails to provide to its diet-restricted clientele.  Starbucks would do well to listen to the overwhelming demand for more gluten-free food options. I can also attest to the lack of employee knowledge on storing and packaging in keeping gluten-free products free from cross contamination. 
Hide Comments [10] 
Sharlsie 3/8/2012 1:03 PM
Uh, guess again. Not all of us.
1yogagirl Top CommenterIdea Launched3/8/2012 1:43 PM
I'm all for offering alternatives for people who need them.
lilmissykato Top Commenter3/8/2012 3:04 PM
I dont want them. I dont mind if you have the ability to have them, but i want my glutten..
Cafeslinger Top Commenter3/8/2012 4:11 PM
This is a very limited need. Rather a desire. Snacks are not a need. And, there are plenty of places to get them from.
lilmissykato Top Commenter3/9/2012 10:05 AM
Ya know, ive been agreeing with slinger ALL week. Must be that solar store everyone was talking about around her. Tis a good thing.
Cafeslinger Top Commenter3/9/2012 3:46 PM
lilmissy. i know you have a hard time understanding what you read. So let me lay it out for you: lots of stores offer this. Those who need these items have lots of places they can get them from. Starbucks does not sell gluten free well. But there are still plenty of stores that offer them.
lilmissykato Top Commenter3/10/2012 6:10 AM
Slinger, i was agreeing with you...... nothing to lay out. chill.
1yogagirl Top CommenterIdea Launched3/10/2012 8:36 AM
I think there is more than a limited need for gluten free being that many stores now are carrying a whole section of gluten free products.
nmk1986 3/13/2012 5:26 AM
People with wheat/gluten allergies are customers too, it would be nice to have a treat with your coffee. Who wants to go to a bunch of different places for coffee then snack.
whitb 3/13/2012 11:20 AM
I love all these supportive comments! To be honest, this feels a little, "if it won't affect you, there's no need to share your opinion." I wasn't suggesting Starbucks go completely gluten-free (don't worry lilmissy you'll still have your glutinous treats). Speaking from solely my own position, and in no contempt to anyone who does eat gluten, I was merely expressing yes, my desire if you wish, to be able to enjoy a Starbucks snack with my coffee. It's fine to disagree, but what harm would it do to keep negativity to yourselves? You're all entitled to your opinion. As am I. Equally so, I believe I'm entitled to enjoy a bite to eat at the same establishment as the rest of you. If that's alright.
If you're only on forums to disagree with anyone simply expressing themselves, then you are a sad lot. 
Have a nice day!
P.s. thank you nmk1986 and 1yogagirl; it's nice to know Starbucks has a few positive customers! Maybe the others hadn't had their coffee yet before posting ;)

Monday, March 12, 2012

Weekend Successes

This weekend wasn't as baking-tastic as it could have been, but I did discover a great cornbread mix from Ed's Gluten Free Speciality Inc. I believe the brand was One Earth? I threw the packaging out before I had a chance to write it down (doh!). But it's a Creole mix, with kale and sunflower seeds. Sweet, but with a spicy kick. Highly Recommended!

Another lovely success was my first visit to Raw Canvas in Yaletown. If you've never been, and have always wanted to smock-up and paint with a glass of wine in your hand, I suggest you give it a try. I had the best time! I wish I had more time to sit around and paint, it's such a meditative experience for me. Raw Canvas supplies a variety of canvas sizes and provides all paint and tools to bring your inner masterpiece to life. I brought my own canvas (De Serres often has great deals on packages of canvases, and they have a student discount!)

Sunday called for an afternoon of puppy bonding and painting with Della, followed by pakoras and watching No Strings Attached with the lovely Abbie joining us. All around, a successful weekend. The last relaxing one for a little while, I'm hoping to get motivated enough to push through these last couple weeks of school and dominate my exams. High hopes? Probably. Last few weeks before freedom, and hopefully some sunshine! Winter is being a bit of unwelcome party guest...

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Join the Fight

After watching this movie, I felt an overwhelming sense of helplessness, and yet, I know that this is a cause worth fighting for. Kony must be stopped. Not next month, not next year. Right now. I pledged to help the Invisible Children fight for freedom in Uganda, and across the world. No child, in any country should have to live in fear of being enslaved or killed. No child should feel alone or forgotten in a world that is bigger than it has been before. This is our chance to make a difference. Please watch this movie, tell your friends, family, neighbours, about Kony and the army of peace of Invisible Children. Each generation wants to change the world that was left to them. This is a chance to help a cause stand stronger and yell louder across the world. If you're moved by this movie, please join us. Silence kills, and these children cannot speak for themselves.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Something Spring-like this way comes


Spring is in the air! Can you feel it Vancouver, can ya? Personally, I'm still feeling a bit of winter skepticism, thinking, "oh it'll rain tomorrow, or this weekend... forever." But I'm starting to see the light. A full day of sunshine always helps brush the cobwebs off my sneakers and puts a smile to match the sunshine on my face. I think new years resolutions are made a bit hasty. Far and few of us really get out there and diet/workout/run/etc etc in the rain or snow. Let's be realistic. Once the sun comes out, no more excuses. If, according to the weather gods, this is supposed to stick around for a little while, I hope you all can make it out there to enjoy it!
Can't wait for the cherry blossoms to come out!

In honour of the approaching primavera, do you have any springtime rituals or tasks? Other than the typical spring cleaning (which I cannot WAIT to do!), what means "spring is here" for you? I'm looking forward to hiking weather, and the beginning of fruit season and farmer's markets. Granville Island is awesome this time of year, and it's also the start of arts and music festivals! 
Soak it up Vancouverites, the groundhog's prophecy of 6 more weeks of winter is nearly over! 

images: weheartit

Monday, March 5, 2012

The Cinnamon (Roll) Challenge!

All in all, a successful weekend; although the buns aren't exactly picture perfect, they are edible and indeed, delicious! As expected the dough was a bit of a challenge, since the original recipe wasn't gluten-free, I had to improvise. The consistency of the end result isn't the fluffy, gooeyness of regular cinnamon rolls, but hey, you can't win em all. My lovely boyfriend played photographer this time, so the whole experience has been well documented. See last week's post for the recipe!

*A couple of notes: I had to use quite a bit more flour (white, brown rice, tapioca, potato starch) than 4 1/2 cups. Along with flouring the surface, I had to add some more to the dough before I could roll it out. I used almond milk for the dough and the frosting. And, before rolling out the dough I chilled it for 20 min or so, as I've done with other GF recipes since they seem to be a bit more stubborn when it comes to staying together. Hope you get a chance to try it! They were a tasty success!