Monday, April 24, 2006

Can I get a whoo-hoo?

Domestic Affair has made a small, yet significant, step up in the world of wide webings:
http://domesticaffair.ca
and
http://domesticaffair.com
are mine!

Go ahead, click on 'em!
Or re-type 'em into your address bar for the full effect.

For now it's just a more thrilling way to wind up back here, but there's less to remember when you're refering your friends and family to the recipes you used to make that amazing brunch on the weekend.

Sincere thanks goes out to my pal Anil, who orchestrated the whole affair (no pun intended - wait, is that considered a pun?). We actually bought the domain names a couple weeks ago, but the provider was kinda slow on the uptake. In the end I think it made getting the addresses a little more delicious.

Fellow webloggers, don't worry about too much about changing the address in your links just yet. That being said, I do anticipate a shift to a full-on website at some point in the not-so-distant future. Does anyone know anyone who does good web design and is into trades? Ideally someone who lives in Toronto or Montreal?

PS. That attempt at a recipe trade on Friday was a bit of a bust, eh? The offer still stands if you're into it.
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Friday, April 21, 2006

Your turn

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Here's a thought: after all these Fridays of posting my favourite foods, how 'bout today you send me your favourite recipe? Ideally it'd be somewhat original - though if it came from a cookbook or other source I wanna know which one.

First, tell us all in the comments what you'll be sending (so our mouths can start watering).
Then mail it to me at the e-mail address you see on your right (look up the sidebar a smidge).
Next Monday will be Commenter Monday. And (hopefully) if more than a couple of you submit something we'll draw it out over a couple of upcoming Mondays.

Who knows, if I get really into your recipe, it may find it's way (with your permission, of course) into a cookzine... or even a full-fledged cookbook.

Good? Good.
Mmmmmmm....
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Friday, April 14, 2006

Spring Soup

Green Pea Soup

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This soup has such a great colour (the photograph doesn't do it justice and I don't know the first thing about Photoshop). Think spring.
And the nutritional benefits of this rarely-celebrated vegetable? (or is it a legume?) Peas make a good source of protein (a similar amount to beans), B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin K and carotenes. They also have enough minerals like phosphorus, manganese, magnesium, potassium and iron to make it worth mentioning. An interesting fact: canned peas have only 5% of the nutritional value of fresh peas. Sick, hey? (Frozen's you're next best bet.)


2 tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3-4 medium cloves garlic, minced or grated
1 largish fist-sized potato (I went for organic yukon gold), peeled and diced
4 cups vegetable stock or filtered water
1 tsp. sea salt
4 cups fresh or frozen peas
1/3 cup minced fresh parsley
3-4 tbsp. pumpkin seed butter
a few good twists of the pepper mill

In a large soup pot, heat oil over medium heat. Toss in onions and garlic and saute until onions are translucent, about 7 minutes. Add potato to pot along with vegetable stock and salt. Turn up the heat, cover the pot and bring to a boil. Once it begins to boil, reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are cooked - about 8-10 minutes.
Elise chops parsley
(These are Elise's hands.)
Add peas and parsley and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
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Glob in pumpkin seed butter.
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(Elise said she thought it gave the soup at particular flavour dimention that might only have been otherwise achieved by ham or bacon - a traditional ingredient in pea soup. I added it in to get creaminess without some sort of soy product.)
Puree soup with a hand blender or in a food processor. If a food processor was used, return soup to pot and heat through. Add pepper and additional salt to taste.
Enjoy - the world is becoming more lush and green at every moment.

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Here's the little one with my mum. For the record, I think this is the only time in my life I've seen my mum wear a t-shirt with anything written on the front. It's just not her style and I don't want her to be misrepresented here, you know?
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Thursday, April 13, 2006

There's a whole internet world I don't understand

Can anyone explain this to me?
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Friday, April 07, 2006

Don't go crazy now.

I don't know about you, but if I haven't eaten in a number of hours I go a little nutty. Call it low blood sugar levels, call it hypoglycemia, but if I'm really hungry - watch out. I'm liable to get pretty snippy if you say anything that might irritate me. Eliminating refined sugar and flour products from your diet and eating more complex carbohydrates can certainly help. But here's what else is good for moderating blood sugar levels and cravings (as proven by studies on diabetics): cinnamon (and also legumes, but today we're talking about cinnamon). They say, 2 teaspoons of cinnamon will help. But how do you get that much cinnamon in you everyday? Well, you can sprinkle it on your cereal, and in your tea. You can also try this recipe: it's my new favourite breakfast.

Steamed Sweet Potato with Cinnamon Drizzle

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This "drizzle" is a very flavourful alternative to margarine or butter. It's also got an amazing nutritional profile what with the protein in the nut butter, the EFAs (for good brain fuction amongst other things) in the flax oil, iron and calcium in the molasses, and the cinnamon that discourages unhealthy bowel flora and normalizes blood sugar and insulin levels. You can also try it on waffles or toast.

2 fist-sized or 1 large sweet potato

2 tbsp. nut butter (I like MaraNatha Raw Almond Butter or Omega Nutrition Pumpkin Seed Butter)
2 tbsp. flaxseed oil (I like Omega Nutrition's Orange Flax Oil Blend)
2 tsp. blackstrap molasses or maple syrup
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. sea salt

Scrub your sweet potato (don't peel it - or you'll be losing the fibre and nutrients in the skin - best to go organic). Slice into thin rounds (like an eighth of an inch) and steam for about ten minutes, until soft.

In a cereal-sized bowl, combine all other ingredients. When sweet potato is done, dish it out into a coupl'a bowls and pour the drizzle on top. Serves 2 hungry people, and you'll likely have some drizzle left over. Enjoy!

Gawd, please don't ask me the difference between a sweet potato and a yam because I can never remember. If you do know though, please feel free to enlighten all of us in the comments.
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Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Spring cleaning

It may not be as balmy out as I'd like in this first week of April (I actually woke up to snow this morning!), but spring certainly seems to be going on inside my apartment:
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And now that the season has officially changed, this would be a great time for us all to do a cleanse - an endogenous spring cleaning if you will. We've talked a bit about cleansing and fasting before, but I'm mentioning it again because a lot of this stuff is important to understand if you want to achieve or maintain good (or better) health.

Resolutions don't need to be exclusive to New Year's. As the world outside enters the stage of re/birth, we can introduce a new nutritional practice into our lives that may give us a new, fresh feeling, a burst of energy that allows us to shake off all those weighty winter layers. This is as good a time to mention that even if we live pretty clean lifestyles (organic and natural foods, exercise and little to no stimulants), in this increasingly toxic world it is crucial that we detoxify regularly to achieve or maintain good health. I remember being horrified when I found out that certain toxins that we acculumate and store in our bodies are only released, if we're childbearing women, through breastmilk. What a horrible thing to pass on to our children (not that this means that we shouldn't breastfeed - but that's a discussion for another day). If we make a concerted effort to rid our bodies of these harmful substances, we reduce the chance of being sick - for us and our offspring.

Maybe you can intergrate some of these suggestions into your daily spring schedule:
* Upping the amount of filtered or spring water you drink in a day is a great start. Carry water with you when you're out and about. Aim to drink a glass each hour. Room temperature water is better for your body (cold is a bit of a shock) and sipping is more beneficial than chugging. Don't drink with meals, as it dilutes your digestive juices.

* Start your morning off with lemon water. First thing. Before your piece of fruit, or your bowl of cereal. And especially before your cup of coffee. Get an organic lemon. Roll it around on your countertop a bit (this makes it easier to juice). Wash it. Slice it in half. Put one half aside for tomorrow morning (or later on in the day). Take the other half and juice it into a large mug. Drop the rind in too (if your lemon wasn't organic, don't do this part). Fill the mug halfway with filtered water (room temp or cold) and the other half with just-boiled water. Drink it down. Envison the elixer reaching your liver and saying "Good morning Liver! Time to wake up and do your day's work!"
When you start out with this, you may be quite sensitive - maybe starting with a 1/4 lemon (or even just a squeeze) would be better.

* Greens need to be eaten everyday. The more organic (and local) the better. I've heard holistic practioners advise that green vegetables should make up 25% of your diet. Make a point of having dark leafy greens (kale, collards, chard, spinach, dandelion greens and parsely) at least every other day. Lightly steaming them (really just for like 2 minutes - don't overcook) makes easier to digest and their calcium more bioavailable.

* As the weather gets warmer, incorporate more fresh foods into your diet. Summer is a great time to start testing out more living/raw food recipes. I'm a big fan of chef and author Reene Loux Underkoffler (she's a friend of Woody Harrelson's - did you see Go Further?).

* Improve the quality of your food. The foods you eat the most should be organic - that makes sense to you, right? Other foods where organic should be a priority are: any animal products (meat, dairy, eggs), oils, leafy greens, and berries - produced conventially (non-organically) they have some of the highest concentrations of pesticides. Organic food can seem expensive sometimes, but it's a question of priority, right? Next time you're at a bar maybe order a juice instead of a beer and put the $5 you saved towards more organics on your next grocery shop.

* You know about exercise. You just don't have the time, right? Do you have one minute? Really, just one minute? Especially as the weather gets warmer? Start off with a small amount of deliberate exercise in your day. The next day do two minutes. Work your way up - as it becomes a habit I bet you'll find you miss it on the days you don't do it. Eventually the goal is 40 minutes a day, working yourself up into a good sweat at least twice a week. But start small and you're likely to be more sucessful in the long run.

* I've heard a number of holistic practioners recommend a gentle 15-day protocol from Renew Life called First Cleanse for those who've never done some sort of deliberate cleanse before. Check it out at your local health food store.

* Now if you wanna challenge yourself to something more hardcore, now's a great time of year to do a liver detox. Your liver does about 400 things for you, the most significant being the filtering and detoxifying of harmful chemicals in your body. Be nice to your liver - it deserves it!
You can do some research: go to the Alive magazine website and type "liver detox" into their search engine. You'll find tonnes of good articles. And I'll be doing a detox soon, so I'll post about the details then.

Keep me posted as you start doing these things. I'd be happy to hear about it.

Further reading:
* Staying Healthy with the Seasons, Staying Healthy with Nutrition and The New Detox Diet by Elson M. Haas MD
* The Complete Natural Medicine Guide to Women's Health by Sat Dharam Kaur ND, et al.
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Monday, April 03, 2006

Montreal move

I'm sure I mentioned this in that 20-things-about-myself post a few months back:
I've been wanting to move to Montreal for like 5 years now. Finally it feels like I'm nearing the right time. I'll finish school in June, spend most of July with my little brother, write my final exams at the end of August that qualify me for Registered Holistic Nutritionist designation, and be in Montreal for September.

I'm a fast learner when I need to be, and here's what I've picked up about apartments in Montreal:
* Apartments are described by the total number of rooms, with the bathroom counting as half a room. So a 3 1/2 would typically be a bedroom, living room, kitchen and bathroom (like a one-bedroom in Toronto terms). A 1 1/2 would be a room and a bathroom (like a bachelor).
* In terms of cost, renting in Montreal is generally far more reasonable than Toronto, though prices are going up. From my experience, it's hard to find a bachelor in this city for less than $750/month (oh, and there are tonnes of basements), though a similarly-sized place in Montreal is closer to $500. Up until recently I had friends who lived in a 4 1/2 in Mile End for $375/month! They'd been there for like 14 years - I was sad not to inherit it.
* Many Montreal apartments have balconies, often two even. They may be small (like fire escape landings), but you'll likely find one off the front of the building and another off the back. Tall ceilings are also more common than here.
* Something like 80% of all leases in Montreal transfer on July 1. Supposedly this moving day is the craziest thing ever.

So I'm going to make use of this blog for my own personal gains by asking you the following:
Do you live in Montreal?
Do you know someone who lives in Montreal?
Are you moving out of your apartment, or do you know someone (or know someone who knows someone) who might be making their place available in September (or even August or July)?


I am looking for a 3 1/2 probably, preferably in Mile End/Outremont or the Plateau. My dream home would have good light (I have lots of plants), hardwood floors (I'm allergic to carpet), a good kitchen (a kitchenette just ain't suitable for recipe testing) with gas stove (I can accept that they're hard to find though) and a decent freezer, a tub (what good's a bathroom without a bath?), balconies, a skylight (am I pushing it?) and nearby laundry. With all that being said though, I think I'm pretty flexible.
Oh, and I do not have a million dollars (though I'm aware that most Montreal apatments are not $325 like the 3 1/2 my good friend just gave up near Joliette metro station).

If you can help in any way I'd be greatly appreciative.
And yes, I know about craigslist.
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"Domestic affair... do you think it's a funny title?" I asked a friend.
"Funny ha-ha?" she responded, "well, no not really."
"But 'domestic affair', it's like what's going on in the nation, but it's also me, being drawn to all these domestic tasks - knitting, cooking, caring for small children..." I tried to explain.
"I like that it has the word affair in it," she concluded.

jae's first book!

Get It Ripe cover Have you seen my award-winning whole foods cookbook Get It Ripe: a fresh take on vegan living (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2008)? Keep your eyes peeled for it!
To join the Facebook group for the book, go here.

hello?

about the blog:
domesticaffairATgmail.com

about the cookbooks:
getitripeATgmail.com

While I love hearing from you, and read each and every one of your e-mails, please understand that I just cannot respond to all of them due to the rate at which they're coming in these days!

If you have a question, I might have already answered it here.

in the press

live in person!

come see me:
* Vida Vegan Con in Portland, OR, August 26-28, 2011.

...but better yet, check the calendar for details!

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    * Grains / Wheat Alternatives
    * Vermicomposting
    * A Foodie's Guide to Scotland

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    Thursday Love List: Spread the love
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    other blogs...
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    veg-specific resources... (see also FOOD below)
    Happy Cow (veg restaurant guide, etc.)
    In a Vegetarian Kitchen
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    Toronto Vegetarian Association
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    Vegetarians in Paradise
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    Greenpeace Shopper's Guide: How to Avoid Genetically Engineered Food
    Grub
    International Federation of Agriculture Movements
    Karma Food Co-op (Toronto)
    Living Nutrition
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    Store Wars
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    Toronto Food Policy Council
    TransFair Canada
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    Co-op La Maison Verte (Montreal)
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    Engender Health: Improving Women's Health Worldwide
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    Holistic Online
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    Dr. Mercola
    National Network on Environments and Women's Health
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    360 Health Care (Toronto)
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    knitting & craft related...
    church of craft
    craftster.org
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    zines/indie media...
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    Rabble: news for the rest of us

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    Action Grrrlz
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    You Grow Girl: Gardening for the People

    other...
    Fellowship for Intentional Communities
    Free Will Astrology
    Ontario Women's Directorate
    Oxfam Canada
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    Urban Harvest
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