June 30, 2010


Let's get to it, shall we?

Can you believe that I actually got up at 6:45 on a Saturday morning to go check out interlocking? Ugh, what a morning. But at least I had oatmeal in a mug to eat on the ride to Pickering:And check out my awesome mug:

These mugs were a steal at $18 for a pair. Sean and I thought it was actually a steal at $18 for one but then the cashier tried to explain to us that it was $18 for a pair of mugs. It was kind of difficult since she barely spoke English and I know zero Cantonese/Mandarin.

I tried to go back to bed once my parents and I came back home from interlock shopping (no dice, the light-coloured interlock we want apparently does not exist), but I couldn't so I puttered about the internetz and then had second breakfast:
Two eggs sunnyside-up with sauteed mushrooms, tomato slices and a whole wheat sandwich thin. It was delish! And kept me full all afternoon...but that's mainly because I took a nap, a 3.5 hour nap! It was pretty crazy!! After my nap, I made myself a snack:strawberries and an Altufo mango and then had dinner a few hours later:roast asparagus and mushrooms with pasta salad containing Catelli macaroni, kidney beans, red and yellow pepper and canned salmon. It was just what I was craving--yum!
Not too many photos from Sunday...just two worth showing. Afternoon snackage of mango, blueberries and strawberries:
Dinner was mom's turnip and pork "meatballs" drizzled with soy sauce and garlic with basmati rice:This is one of my mom's favourite dishes. It's a LOT of prep work but so delicious in the end. You first have to peel the turnips, then grate them, then steam them, then squeeze all the liquid out (or strain it over cheesecloth), then mix it with minced pork (along with cornstarch and other things) and then form into little balls and steam. A lot of work but totally yum in the end.
28th...Happy Birthday Jessie!
Check out first breakfast, in a bowl:There must be some weird psychological thing going on where I am compelled to finish eating my oatmeal when consumed in a bowl. Or maybe it's because the co-worker I normally chat with during my first break wasn't there. Yknow, come to think of it, that could really have something to do with it. Normally if there is any kind of talk during my second breakfast break, I won't have enough time to finish my breakfast. She's going to be there tomorrow and if we end up on break at the same time, I guess I'll be able to solve the mystery!

Lunch was pasta salad (Catelli elbow macaroni, red kidney beans, red/orange bell pepper and canned salmon) and I "beefed" it up with a hard-boiled egg:along with a few hasselback potatoes that I had made the night before:and for fruit I had an Altufo mango and blueberries:Dinner was dad's beef curry with carrots, peas and chayote. I ate that with a whole wheat English muffin instead of the basmati rice that it was originally paired with. I'm not really crazy with the basmati rice currently stocked in our house as it's a less fine-grain than the one reserved for my brother's biryani. This rougher grain one helps my dad's blood sugar though he doesn't actually have diabetes; he's just checking up on his blood sugar so it doesn't get out of whack. That's kind of what happens when you have a MASSIVE sweet tooth.

Almost immediately after dinner, I indulged in a serving (1/2 cup) of Cold Stone Creamery's Coffee Lover's Only ice cream. It's coffee ice cream with pieces of Skor, roasted almonds and caramel. I'm not crazy about caramel or fudge or any sort of liquidy, ripply type thing in my ice cream so I kind of wish it wasn't there. Oh well, it's still amazing! The American version comes with Heath bar pieces, not Skor bar but we don't have Heath in Canada. It was also a good and bad thing that Sean convinced me to get the 32oz. container to-go. It is a WAY better deal at $8.99, however now I have 32oz. worth of rich and delicious ice cream in my freezer. Oh well...I guess I'll just have to eat it ;)

I'm now stuffed to the brim! And waiting for my homemade whole wheat pizza dough to rise. The options in the fridge are really slim so I have no clue what I'm going to top my pizza with. All we've got are cloves of pre-peeled garlic, carrots, a few sweet potatoes and a couple of avocados.
Lunch was homemade pizza (with a homemade crust!) with mozzarella, tomatoes, Sean's homemade bacon and mushroom:along with a whole lotta fruit:I spent the evening with Sean. We went to the mall after work to do some shopping and then grabbed some dumplings for dinner. No photos of the dumplings (pork and chive ones) but Sean also made me an egg and cheese sandwich:I also had a chocolate chip muffin from Tim Horton's that was 430 calories! Can you believe it?! Holy crap!!!! I almost had a hard attack when I checked it out. Sean told me later on that it was almost the same as eating a Big Mac but still, holy crap!
Lunch was more homemade pizza, this time with Sean's homemade bacon, mozz and mushrooms:along with leftover pasta salad:and tons of fruit. You see blueberries and kiwis on top:
but I've also got layers of mango and strawberries:Delicious way to end off June's lunches.

June 27, 2010


Go ahead, take a bite:Or do you want to take a bite out of this one:Vanilla bean, vanilla extract and vanilla sugar. All three types of vanilla are the stars of the triple vanilla cupcakes. If you don't have vanilla sugar available at your local store, or you want to save some cash and make your own, just use the bean shell/pod from an already-scraped vanilla bean and stick it in a 2L jar with white sugar. Leave it alone for at least a week, shaking the jar every couple of days. After that, open your jar and sniff. You'll inhale the wonderful scent of vanilla sugar. Ta-da, vanilla sugar!

I made these cupcakes at Jessie's house with her and Sean. It was a very hilarious evening involving the KitchenAid stand mixer, a Dollarama spatula and batter going everywhere but those photos aren't as lovely as the ones pictured here.

Triple Vanilla Cupcakes
(adapted from Cupcake Bakeshop*

- 3/4 cup (1-1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup of vanilla sugar (down from 1 2/3 cups)
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 2/3 cups flour
- 1.5 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp milk
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract (upped from 1 tsp)
- 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped out (upped from 1/2 vanilla bean)


  1. Beat butter until softened. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  2. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until well combined.
  3. Measure the flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl and whisk to combine.
  4. Measure out the milk and vanilla and stir to combine.
  5. Add about a third of the dry ingredients to the butter/sugar and beat to combine. Add about a half of the milk/vanilla and beat to combine. Continue adding, alternating between dry and wet and finishing with the dry.
  6. Scoop batter into cupcake cups about 2/3’s full. Turn oven down to 350 degrees and bake cupcakes for about 22-25 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.

Vanilla Bean Frosting
(adapted from Cupcake Bakeshop)

- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 package (8 ounces) philly cream cheese
- 2 Tbsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped out
- 4-5 cups powdered sugar*


  1. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter at medium speed until creamy.
  2. Add the cream cheese and beat until combined.
  3. Add the vanilla extract, vanilla seeds, and 3 cups of powdered sugar and beat at low speed, occasionally stopping to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl, until light and fluffy.
  4. Add more powdered sugar to arrive at the consistency and sweetness you like. (Our frosting was really "runny" so I kept adding more and more powdered sugar. In fact, I nearly ran out and Jessie was worrying about all the sugar I was adding. Next time, I would decrease the amount of butter used to maybe 1/4 of a cup or none at all.)
The next time I decided to sprinkle some homemade vanilla salt (vanilla bean seeds and sea salt) on top of the icing. It was a match made in heaven. If you're a fiend of the sweet and savory combo like I am (think maple syrup on your bacon or Vosges bacon chocolate bar), you'll love this combo. *Jessie and I are pretty much Vanilla Monsters so we upped the vanilla any time we could. She also suggested we cut down the amount of sugar anytime we could and also wanted to reduce the amount of butter (she's currently on WW) but while I was okay with decreasing the amount of sugar, I wasn't keen on the butter reduction. Cupcakes are my one indulgence and I don't indulge in cake (in any form) very often anyway.


A recent search on Etsy with my name came up with some really intriguing results. I usually do a "Dominique" search every once in a while to see what people decide to bestow my name upon. Eventually I started noticing a pattern with chickens and so I Googled "Dominique chickens" and can you believe my parents named me after a variety of chicken?I have to admit, I'm kind of pretty. Check out the Wiki entry to learn all about my chicken cousins and to see where the above photo came from. There's even a club dedicated to my feathered friends. You can check out the Dominique Club of America, here. Sweet!

Or perhaps my parents named me after that song 'Dominique' by Soeur Sourire, also known as the 'Singing Nun.' You really don't know how many times I've heard that song when I introduce myself or get introduced to someone new. Recently I had the pleasure of someone asking me if I was named after "that nun song" and flippantly said no and almost began rolling my eyes and telling the FedEx driver about how many times I've been asked that or sang that song to, but then he stopped me and told me that he asked because his sister in a nun. That's when my eyes stopped their pre-rolling. Good timing too. Funny enough, when Sean and I were in the early stages of our relationship, he picked up a vinyl copy of Soeur Sourire with Dominique on it. I still have it. I'll take a pic of the record and post it here. It's pretty funny. What's also funny is the use of my name in the movie Mermaids featuring Cher, as well as an episode of The Simpsons.

Maybe my parents named me after this band. Or, no wait. These people clearly named themselves after me. So obviously I am a band, cool! You can find me here. My band consists of six members, both male and female, one of whom is named Dominic. I've even got three albums released that I didn't even know about--crazy! Check out what I look like (photos courtesy of their website):

Interesting, right? I think I'm from Germany but I'm not entirely sure. I missed checking myself perform at the end of June in Berlin, shucks.

So whaddaya think? What did my parents name me after? I'm going with the chicken. Well, I believe this has been a fair amount of wasted time on the internet. What about you? What did your parents name you after?

June 25, 2010


OMG, Sean had another three consecutive days off? Yeah, that's right.

Monday's lunch was leftovers from Father's Day dinner. We went out to Mevame and it was the first time our water had been refilled without having to ask for it--SCORE! Anyway, I ordered the lamb skewers (medium) with rice. My family also got the fried calamari as an app and I took the seafood sauce to go:I also had watermelon:and strawberries and blueberries:
Monday was kind of a heinous day. I had a massive migraine. I have no idea what it was due to because I had been eating fairly clean and healthy and all-natural for weeks and besides this one incident, have been migraine-free for nearly 5 weeks. It was an all-time record for this year. I think it was the marinade that they used for the lamb or it could have been the seafood sauce that I'm pretty contained MSG (I did think it was ridiculously tasty--something I haven't eaten in years). I tried to make dinner as natural as possible. I ended up having baked salmon with millet and a little bit of Chinese veg:I then turned my millet into a salad for the next day's lunch:Millet featuring white kidney beans, asparagus, button bushrooms, portebello mushrooms and my dad threw in some roasted plain peanuts to his late-night snack portion you see above.
First breakfast was instant oats with the usual fixin's but this time in a paper bowl:Surprisingly, I ate my oatmeal a lot faster in a bowl than in my usual mug. For some reason down the hatch it went. Usually it takes almost my full 30-minute morning break to finish off my oatmeal or sometimes I don't have enough time at all but this bowl of oatmeal was gone in about 15 minutes. I didn't even feel more hungry than usual once 10:30 rolled around. I don't know if it was the bowl or what, but I ate it all! I was a happy camper.

Lunch was millet salad:along with two hard-boiled eggs:
and mulberries and strawberries for fruit:Sean picked me up after work and we went out for dumplings and rice cakes. After that we walked around the plaza and came across a cute new bakery, Ruelo Patisserie, where we picked up a couple of macarons each. Sean got the blueberry lemon:and praline:
while fleur de sel caramel:
and pistachio raspberry:

They were a little bit pricey for non-Nadege macarons. The filled ones were $3 and while they were good but I don't know if they were quite worth $3. Maybe, considering the amount of time that probably went into them. The fleur de sel caramel was actually a little bit bitter so I think they might have cooked the caramel for just a tad too long but it was nice to be able to pick up macarons without having to drive all the way to the city. The shop itself is also really cute, with a lot of tasty-sounding cakes. The Green Apple Caramel is calling my name and I'll have to try it out next time.
Lunch was more millet salad, this time with the remainder of the white kidney beans that I just plopped on top. I also had a couple hard-boiled eggs (unpictured). Fruits included more mulberries and strawberries:along with watermelon:
Sean picked me up after work and we went out with another couple to watch Toy Story 3. We had dinner at Sun's Kitchen, our favourite place for noodle soup, featuring hand-pulled noodles in soup made fresh to order.

Toy Story 3 was totally awesome. I only saw the first two just about a year ago when I was home for a week because I'm pretty sure I had swine flu. I had to go to the emergency room and everything but the doctor didn't actually confirm it. She just told me that I couldn't leave my bedroom for a week--boo!
Sean and I spent Thursday evening at Jessie's house making cupcakes. Before that though, Sean picked me up from work and we had dinner at my house. Here's Sean's dinner:
And here's mine:They vary quite a bit, don't they? Sean had the dinner my dad cooked for everyone (fish and tomato sauce with basmati rice along with soybean soup, salad and water), while I had dinner that my dad cooked for myself: 6 organic chicken drumettes and salad. I also had some watermelon along with that.

Earlier in the week, Jessie and I had settled on a recipe from Cupcake Bakeshop for 3 vanilla cupcakes, found here. We tweaked the recipe a tiny bit by reducing the amount of sugar and increasing the amount of vanilla used. Jessie and I are vanilla freaks; there's no such thing as too much vanilla. I'm not even sure we used the right amount of milk. To be honest, there was a time when I wasn't paying attention to the recipe as Sean was reading things aloud and Jessie was doing the measuring. I was busy using the stand-up mixer (yes, I brought the Kitchenaid to Jessie's) and not paying any attention to the two of them. There were a LOT of photos from the evening but here are a few highlights. Sean's purpose for the evening was to grab anything that Jessie and I couldn't reach:Here are our cupcakes ready for the oven:Raspberries I snacked on:Here's Jessie putting the frosting into the piping bag for me:Here I am piping the vanilla cream cheese frosting onto the cupcakes:===
First breakfast of champions...triple vanilla cupcake with vanilla cream cheese frosting and vanilla sea salt garnish:Second breakfast was oatmeal and lunch was Catelli Smart macaroni with dad's leftover fish and tomato sauce:Fruits included strawberries and golden kiwi:I'm staying in this evening, obviously to catch up on my blog and to get some other stuff done...mostly chores like laundry. Fun times for a Friday night!