I have been to St. Joseph Oratory in Spring, but I have never visited it in winter. I knew that it would be lovely, so I headed there this evening with a couple of friends with the intention of taking photos and relaxing in the warmth of the churches. I managed to come out with these photos. I hope you like them!
You know how Bob Dylan is “music for the mind?”
Of course you do.
Well, if you are a lover of Dylan music, poetry, and/or voice, then I am guessing you (would) also love Thomas Fersen. I know I do. Just like Bob Dylan can take on a trip on his magic swirlin’ ship of genius, I think this album for Fersen has come close to leaving me in the same state of positive stupor.
My recommended unwinding activity for a Sunday evening at home while the washing machine is tumbling, the neighbors making love, and the autumn wind blowing away the last standing leaves? Turn off all lights, sit or lie down in a mediation position and let either Dylan or Fersen take you on a trip.
How I miss rice! I have no dietary restrictions and I can eat rice every day if I want to, but for some reason, I forget about the little guy and always go for pasta. Bad bad bad! Here’s a rich and colorful rice dish to celebrate my reunion with Arborio rice specifically.
Now the photo isn’t very appetizing (we were very hungry, I didn’t have time to take out my equipment), but take my word when I say it’s a delicious and easy rice dish to prepare.
Ingredients (serves 4)
- 1.5 cups of Arborio rice
- A bag of frozen shrimp
- 1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped
- 1.5 cups of sweet peas (I used frozen)
- 1 small Spanish onion, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- Olive oil
- A generous pinch of saffron (soak in a few Tbsp of warm water until you need to add them in the recipe)
- 1/2 tsp of cumin
- 1/2 tsp of paprika
1. Heat some olive oil in a pot and stir fry the shrimp for ten minutes. Add the water needed for 1.5 cups of Arborio rice (check the packet for instructions) and bring it to boil, cover, simmer for 10 minutes.
2. In another larger pot, heat 2 Tbsp of olive oil to fry the onions and garlic. After 5 minutes, add the chopped red bell pepper and the sweet peas. Stir and cook for another 5 to 10 minutes.
3. Add the rice and give everything a good mix together. Add the spices and salt.
4. Add the shrimps and the liquid that they were boiling in. We sort of have shrimp broth now. Bring everything to boil. Cover, simmer, and leave it to slowly cook for a a good half hour. Don’t turn off the heat until you make sure that the rice is fluffy and has absorbed all the liquid.
5. When it’s ready, give it a good mix and ENJOY! Delizioso!
If you have 8 to 9 hours to kill and you don’t know what do, hop on a bus to Boston! Actually you need to have 18 hours to kill if you plan to come back to Montreal. It won’t be a pleasant or warm ride (the bus was freezing!), but the destination will definitely be worth it.
I took an overnight bus and by some magical miracle, I was able to sleep most of the way. We stopped at the borders for an hour, I was drugged by sleep, so I didn’t care. I just waited for my turn between involuntary standing-up naps. It is amazing how one hour can feel as long as ten when you’re waiting for a stamp on your passport at 1am, and how fast it is when you’re whatsapping on your phone!
Needless to say, Boston was fantastic. But 3 days is surely not enough. I was barely able to get the feel of the city, or visit any museums or all of its parks and neighborhoods. But I did go on a bicycle ride across the river from the Prudential Center (which was a rip off to see the view from top) to Cambridge. Breathtaking bicycle ride. I will let the photos speak for themselves, albeit a brief album. But before I leave you, hamburgers and beers is all I ate and drank that weekend! Life was sweet then.
What are your plans for this weekend?
After a disappointing last-minute flight cancellation due to bad weather, I spent last weekend (and a bit more!) here in Montreal. However, it turned out to be an unexpected fun-and-sun staycation! It included a lot of sunny cycling, girly chit-chats, 2 BBQs and tons of hugs. Alors, this weekend I am leaving to fate, too!
How about you?
I’m sharing these few photos of Montreal to authenticate that we do get beautiful weather in Montreal, sometimes
This recipe has a long name but it is a quick fix one. You can play around with the proportion of chicken to pasta; if you feel like a chicken dish, then throw in just a little bit of pasta, and vice versa. Today I wanted more protein than carbs so you’ll see that I used a full chicken breast (320g) for just one cup of cooked pasta (200g) and a lot of mushrooms!
Ingredients (serves 2):
- 1 Tbsp of olive oil and 1 Tbsp of grape seed oil
- 1 full chicken breast (320g) cut into cubes
- 1 cup of cooked pasta, I used farfalle, penne should be good too
- Two generous handfuls of chopped fresh mushrooms
- A handful of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Garlic powder, salt, dried herbs (anything you can get your hands on)
- 1/4 cup of white wine
Heat the oils in a skillet. Fry the chicken until white.
Add the mushrooms and cover. Stir every now and then until chicken is cooked and mushrooms are a little soft.
Add the cooked pasta and give everything a good stir.
Add the garlic powder, salt and herbs. Mix well.
Add the white wine and on high heat let it evaporate, it will only take a minute or so.
Add the generous amount of grated cheese. Mix well.
Et voila! A quick fix pasta dish that is nutritious and rich in flavors.
2 months – ouch!
I know, I know, I have committed a sin by neglecting my blog for this long. I have a reason for this but I’m not sure if it’s a good reason. But anyway, I’m here and I hope I’m back for good! (Any Take That fans?!)
SO what happened during the past two months? Well, THIS happened: SUMMER!
Summer happened, the as-fast-as-the-wind month that comes right after could-have-fooled-me Spring! Haha. I’m overdoing it, I’m not one to complain about the weather anyway. I appreciate all 4 seasons and look forward to each one of them. And, I have finally had my Montreal baptism: my bicycle got stolen!
Yoohoo! I couldn’t stop smiling when I walked back from Park Laurier on that beautiful chilly night and didn’t find my bicycle locked to the metal bars! I smiled for two reasons. The first: out with the old, in with the new (looks like this is the year of perfect change). The second: Montreal is finally treating me like one of its own; Montreal is becoming home! It looks like I have found me a home Home is not who you’re with or where your heart is, that is Hollywood BS. Home is where (and when) your bicycle gets stolen!
So, why in the name of god did all the gods decide to assemble in Colorado Springs?
That I don´t know, but I know that it´s not too bad a place for the authorities to meet and conspire!
Joking aside, I visited Garden of the Gods this morning and these huge rock formations are quite something to photograph! The mountains behind them make a perfect background, the perfect contrast. But what I loved the most were the different birds that I saw there. Apparently, the garden is home to more than 130 species of birds!
Enjoy this brief tour.