Sunday Scrollings + Pray for Paris

I woke this morning deeply disturbed by the news from #Paris, but more amazed by the attention it received on social media. I understand Paris is a beloved and familiar space for a lot of people, but it troubled me that #Beirut, a city my father grew up in, had received so little attention after the horrific bombings two days earlier. It also troubled me that #Baghdad, a place I have absolutely no connection with, received even less attention after the senseless bombing that took place there last week. Worst of all, I found the understanding of the refugee crisis skewed and simplistic. If you've been following the journeys of the people leaving their homes around the world right now, perhaps you'll understand why the words #SyrianRefugeeCrisis are just as devastating as #PrayForParis. It's time to pray for humanity. It is time to make all places beloved. It's time to pray for the world. #ezarawrites

A post shared by Karuna Ezara Parikh (@karunaezara) on

Above is a poem written by Karuna E Parikh which has been shared thousands of times, and I’m sure you’ve seen it by now. These were my exact thoughts after #PrayForParis blew up worldwide. I couldn’t have said it better myself, so I’ll leave it to Karuna. Destruction is everywhere, and no one place deserves more prayers and attention than another.

“Say a prayer for Paris, by all means. But pray for more.” – Karuhna E Parikh

The easiest pasta sauce you will ever make.

You know those songs you forget about, and then out of the blue come across and suddenly are overjoyed? In my case it’s Disparate Youth by Santigold.

I’m seeing Muse live with my Dad in December, and Phantogram is opening up for them. I’m psyched to rock out with my main man. Here’s a personal favourite by Phantogram – Black Out Days.

Being a Canadian, we had Thanksgiving a month ago so we are already on full on Christmas preparation mode. But for all you fellow Americans, this stuffing looks amazing.

I recently cut my hair (see my instagram) and think a few piercings would look sweet on my left ear. I’ve always wanted to get more piercings, but I need to think about it. For now, I shall continue wearing ear cuffs. The piercings on this ear are just gorgeous.

This dessert looks HEAVENLY.

Have a wonderful week!

-Emu

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The Quickest, Easiest Homemade Pasta Sauce

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Are you overworked, dead-tired due to serious sleep deprivation and surviving your days purely off caffeine? (*cough *cough are you a *cough student *cough) Well have I got the perfect recipe for you!

Okay, infomercial sales pitch done now.

In all seriousness, this has been my favourite pasta sauce to make as it is just so quick and so delicious. Also, it’s cheaper and healthier than buying pre-made sauce. It just checks all the boxes! Pasta-Sauce-1

I’m currently in full on school mode as I have one month of classes left until exams, and multiple massive projects to pull together. Just to fill you in, I’m currently in my second year of post-secondary studying Digital Design and Development. One of my projects to have finished is a mobile application I conceptualized during this past summer, pitched the idea in September and was chosen through a vote to actually become developed. I’ve been leading a team these past few months to design and develop the application and so far it has gone very well.

Begin tech talk:

If any of you know anything about developing mobile applications then you will know you have to host a database on the web. We are using mySQL and our web domain to do so, but as learning students we really don’t have much of a clue what we are doing so when teachers aren’t there youtube tutorials have been a godsend. Our front end looks fabulous due to our fantastic HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript skillzzz, our database is created, now we just have to connect the two, fulfill the project requirements with some API integration and transfer our code to our phones using PhoneGap or IntelXDK. Easy and quick, right? Suuureeee…

Tech talk complete.

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Back to understandable food chat now, this pasta sauce is much easier than developing an application. It’s also perfect to make inbetween long homework and coding sessions though, or after work where you get home at 5:30 and have to have the dishes done and be at that thing by 7:00.

Another great advantage to this sauce is that if you want to cook it for longer and let the flavours mingle further, you totally can! It can also be the slowest pasta sauce ever if you want. So versatile, I know. What a recipe, right?

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THE QUICKEST, EASIEST HOMEMADE PASTA SAUCE

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large carrot, grated finely
  • 1 28oz can unsalted diced tomatoes
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp salt (+ more depending on your preferred taste)
  • pepper to taste

In a pan set over medium heat, melt butter, add onion and garlic and saute until soft and translucent (about 7 minutes). Add in grated carrot and continue cooking for another 5 minutes, stirring often.

Stir in diced tomatoes, oregano and basil and bring to a boil. Turn down heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes (or longer if you have the time!).

Transfer sauce to a food processor or blender and blend until smooth.

Return to your pan, stir in salt and pepper and reheat on low.

Serve over your favourite kind of pasta and enjoy! 

My favourite way to serve this is over whole wheat pasta with roasted vegetables, romano cheese and a simple side of greens.

Herbed Tomato, Kale and Mixed Bean Soup ~ Easily Vegan

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You know Christmas is coming when Pinterest begins sneaking in holiday cakes and decor in between your usual autumnal boards of squash and pumpkin recipes. I must confess I put a Christmas album on my phone this morning and on my chilly walk to school I listened to Baby It’s Cold Outside. I just had to! It was just so fitting!

Winter is definitely on its way here in Vancouver. This past week I pulled out my down jacket and wool scarf to wear out and about. I know some of you are laughing at me because you are already deep in snow, but us Vancouverites are wimps when it comes to the cold so this is serious business. We sure know how to use an umbrella though.

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Enough about the weather already, let’s get to the food! Like most people, when it gets cold all I want to eat are bottomless, piping hot bowls of soup. (If you didn’t already figure it out, I’m sort of soup obsessed. See here, here, here and here.) I’m all for enjoying some good fatty, carb filled comfort food once and awhile, but I’m much more interested in keeping as healthy as possible throughout the colder months. Autumn and Winter are always the busiest times of the year in my world, so keeping my immune system in pristine condition is a high priority. That means lots of sleep, healthy food and plenty of exercise.

This particular soup is incredibly healthy, and chocked full of my favourite herbs. The tomato base complements the herbs perfectly, and the kale and beans make the soup super hearty and filling, not to mention delicious! Whoever was the first to put leafy greens in soup was a genius I tell ya. I topped my soup with grated romano cheese for an added creamy element and a bit of extra flavour, but if you want the soup to be 100% vegan, you can leave it out and it will be just as delicious!

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This soup takes under an hour to make from start to finish, so is a great weeknight meal, and served with a side of toasted and buttered crusty bread is highly recommended.

HEALTHY HERBED TOMATO, KALE AND MIXED BEAN SOUP – serves 5-6

  • 1 TB olive or grapeseed oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 28 oz can salt-free diced tomatoes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried fennel seeds
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 bunch of kale, de-ribbed, washed and torn into bite sized pieces
  • 1 19 oz can beans of your choice (I used a medley which had a mixture of pinto and kidney beans) drained and rinsed
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Romano cheese for serving ~optional

In a large pot set over medium heat, saute onion, garlic and carrot in oil until softened.

Stir in tomatoes, bay leaves, dried herbs and vegetable stock. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring often.

Stir in kale and continue simmering for 10 more minutes.

Remove bay leaves, stir in beans and cook until heated through, 2-3 minutes.

Add in a good pinch of both salt and pepper to taste, and serve topped with shredded romano cheese and a side of toasted and buttered crusty bread.

Enjoy!