10/2017: Beats and Bites

November 06, 2017
S'mores Hot Chocolate from the Short and Sweet Bakeshop Café

Although the colors of Fall in Toronto arrived late this month, its flavors and aromas made an appearance almost as soon as I flipped my calendar from September to October.

Hesitantly, Fall slowly but surely decided to make itself known. Despite the delay, I was more than happy to embrace what few pops of color that Mother Nature was willing to share as the treetops changed from a persistent green to a shy yellow, to a sleepy orange, to a roaring red, and finally a blushing brown, as they completed their telltale waltz through the Autumn air that has become as crisp as the dried leaves that pave the city streets.

Yet, summer clung on, and the sun hung on so tight that as the days grew shorter, each sunset burned a little deeper and a little longer, stretching the moment between today and tonight and making it feel as infinite as the shadows cast by its rays.

But, finally, we are here. It's Fall. So, cheers to surviving the end of October and all the ghosts, ghouls and grueling midterms that it had to offer. Cheers to the start of the colors of November, and all the green trees, white lights and red noses -- or should I say, one blinking nose -- that it has to bring. 

Garlic Bread Grilled Cheese (Yes! That is Monterey Jack that you see there, and lots of it)

Macaroni and Cheese ... and a whole lot of other good stuff.

Puff Pastry Pumpkin Pie (try saying that three times fast) (Find the recipe for the filling here)

Belgian Waffles (these are super great check out the recipe here)

El Dia de los Muertos

November 02, 2017

I've been enamoured with the idea of the Day of the Dead, since I learned what a calavera was. I would see them in my TV shows (thank you PBS!) and I remember thinking, "How do they make them?" and "I wonder if each color represents a different flavour?" And most importantly, "How can I take part?" But overall, I was just mesmerized by the bright colors, especially in relation to death. It's a word often synonymous with black or white, but never the spectrum in between and I was shook (not shaken, shook). I still am. To my young self, it seemed like the perfect act of rebellion against the invisible force that takes loved ones away from us. It was a way to not vanish from this world like a candle light into thin, wispy tendrils of smoke. It was an opportunity to be remembered leaving the world the way we came in, with lots of noise, joy, and gifts.

Either way, it seemed a lot better than being mummified -- after watching The Mummy and Indiana Jones, 10-year-old me wasn't too fond of the possibility of coming back to life wrapped in (what I mistakenly thought to be) toilet-paper -- and a whole lot more festive than a Viking Burial. I vowed that if I ever got a chance to celebrate El Dia de los Muertos, I would, and I did, and now I can share it with you. I hope you enjoy and that you make sure to check out if you're own city has any festivities going on!


Je suis entiché pas El dia de los muertos (le jour des morts) depuis que je suis toute petite et que j'ai vue ma première calavera. J'ai été introduit à la fête quand je regardais la télévision et je me souviens d'avoir pensé trois choses:

Comment est-ce qu'on crée un calavera?
Est-ce que chaque couleur correspond à une saveur différente?
Comment puis-je participer?

J'adorais toutes les couleurs, particulièrement portée pour une situation qui est souvent entourée de couleurs sombres, le décès d'un bien-aimé. Pour jeune Alex, c'était l'acte de parfait de rébellion. Au lieu de quitter ce monde silencieusement comme une bougie éteint, laissant aucune trace sauf la fumée qui s'écroule vers le plafond, tu quitteras avec un grand éclat, avec une telle vivacité que ceux et celles qui restent ne pourrons pas contenir leurs rires, leurs sourires et oui, évidemment leurs larmes. Mais, la différence est que celles-ci ne seront pas pour ta mort, mais pour les souvenirs de ta vie quand vous étiez tout sain et sauf. À vrai dire, pour une fille de 10 ans, tout avait l'air, plus intéressant que d'être momifié ou enterrer à la manière des Vikings. Le jour même, j'ai voué que dès que j'aurais la chance de célébrer El dia de los muertos une que je le ferai. J'ai gardé ma promesse et j'ai amené ma caméra (et ma sœur) pour que je puisse partager avec vous aussi.

In dedication to my papou