How To Productively Procrastinate

Happy Sunday, dear readers! Nowadays, Sunday is probably the only day of the week when it’s acceptable to procrastinate! Historically, in the Western world, Sunday was a day to go to church and to relax and spend time with family, so it makes sense that it’s still most people’s slowest day. Nevertheless, due to the constant pressure by society to be productive, we often find ourselves feeling guilty if we’re not regularly checking things off our to-do list… even on Sundays! All the mixed messages and contradictions contribute to our already unhealthy stress levels! A little bit of time to unplug and recharge is essential to a healthy, balanced life. So go ahead, procrastinate if you like! Take some time off from your work and responsibilities and do something else! Or continue reading this blog, if you’ve got a bit of time! (Much appreciated, by the way!) Continue reading

Adventures in Procrasti-baking: Baked Pears with Cinnamon, Honey and Walnuts

I think I’ve just discovered a recipe that is pure magic! I’ve been on a bit of a pear kick lately (see my pear tart post here!), and I’ve been seeing baked pears all over Pinterest, so I decided to try them myself. Not only do they look and taste like a million bucks, but they’re probably one of the most healthy desserts I’ve ever made! They take five minutes to prep, 25 minutes to bake, and they come out feeling like a dessert fit for the most luxurious fine dining establishment! They’re also vegan (if you use maple syrup instead of honey) and paleo, so if you’re into that stuff, this is the perfect recipe for you! Without further ado, I present to you, my new favourite recipe, inspired by the two following blogs: http://www.theartseefartsee.com/2013/03/paleo-friendly-baked-pears.html and http://hurrythefoodup.com/cinnamon-baked-pears/. Continue reading

The Alebrijes of Tilcajete: Excursions in Oaxaca

San Martín Tilcajete is a magical artisan village not far from Oaxaca City. Its specialty is alebrijes, whimsical figures carved from copal wood. We visited the workshop of Jacobo and María Ángeles, the largest and most famous workshop in the village. Boy, was it ever impressive! We got to see every stage of the production process, from preparing the wood and the paints to carving, sanding and painting. The amount of time and attention to detail that goes into these sculptures is incredible! The workshop itself was like something out of a fairytale. It’s difficult to describe it all in words, so here are some of my favourite photos! Continue reading

Village of Weaving: Excursions in Oaxaca

Every small village surrounding Oaxaca specializes in the production of some sort of traditional handicraft or food. The variety and quality of handmade products in the region is astounding!

The village of Santo Tomás Jalieza is known for its cotton belts and other textiles handwoven with traditional backstrap looms. One afternoon, with a group of students from the Spanish school, I had the opportunity to visit the home of the amazing Navarro Gómez family. Mariana and her three grown daughters are all professional weavers. Their whole family lives in one large house and their workshop is on their patio. They make all their weavings outdoors, because they need natural daylight in order to see their detailed work. The daughters work almost every single day, usually sitting on the ground, with their looms tethered to a tree. Their home is a magical place slightly off the beaten path, full of plants, color and light. We got to chat quite a lot with the family and observed two of the daughters hard at work. Continue reading

Adventures in Procrasti-baking: Lemon Squares and Lemon Cake!

In the dead of winter, on the eve of what is supposedly the most miserable day of the year, I’ve decided to inject a bit of sunshine into my kitchen! What screams “summer” more than fresh lemons? Well, I’m not sure how fresh they are… they’re probably not that fresh, since lemons don’t grow in Canada… so these ones came all the way from Turkey… But anyway, the symbolism isn’t lost! Lemons make me think of a nice, relaxing, hot summer day! Continue reading

A Quick Thai-inspired Soup!

Carrot, Cauliflower and Coconut Soup - Productively Procrastinating

Hello, dear readers! I’m so excited about this soup I made for lunch today, I just have to share the recipe with you! It kind of happened by accident. First of all, a bit of background: My mother is a disaster in the kitchen. Not quite true, she has five recipes that she makes very well (shephed’s pie, spaghetti bolognese, chili, bean salad and hamburgers). But anything other than those five recipes… forget it! Yesterday, she tried to prep the ingredients for a stir fry… but ended up boiling some cauliflower and carrots in a wok for so long that they ended up turning to mush! What to do? This morning, I repurposed the mush into a quick and easy Thai-inspired carrot, cauliflower and coconut soup! Continue reading

Cornbread and Cookies on a Cold Day: Adventures in Procrasti-baking

Cornbread is very popular in Southern cooking, but I don’t see it so much up here in Canada. Whenever I go down to the US, I love to eat cornbread, most often in the form of Cracker Barrel’s delicious, melt-in-your-mouth corn muffins! Today, I am not in the Southern United States. I am in Ottawa. It is freezing cold. And windy. And the roads are icy. I figured I’d try satisfying my cornbread craving at home, with some cornbread muffins of my own! Thanks to my trusty Pinterest, I found this simple, fabulous recipe on the blog A Spicy Perspective. Honey Cinnamon Cornbread Muffins! Oh yes! Continue reading

Jardín Etnobotánico: Excursions in Oaxaca

¡Hola! Today I’d like to share another little snippet of my trip to Oaxaca with you! To me, one of the most unexpectedly magical places in the city is the Jardín Etnobotánico de Oaxaca. Oaxaca City has a hot desert climate, so its version of a botanical garden is, as you’d expect, full of cacti (or cactuses or cactus, depending on where you’re from… apparently there really are 3 options for the plural form of cactus)! Continue reading