Friday, September 13, 2013

And then this happened. 

Last week, after buying a multitude more bananas than we could possibly consume, our little fruits began to (understandably) over-ripen. But when life gives you over-ripe bananas, people, you just make banana bread.

I took out one of my favorite-est books ever, Dorie Greenspan's Baking: From My Home to Yours, and traced my finger along the index until I came to "banana." After it lead me to page 232 and I saw the picture there waiting, I knew what was going to happen. Black-And-White Banana Loaf. That's what was going to happen.

Dorie's recipe was extremely simple and, because of the marbling factor, downright fun! Basically, one splits up the banana batter into two bowls and adds chocolate to one section while keeping the other as is. Then, we dollop interchanging spoonfuls of each batter into our pans, finishing by running a knife in a zig-zag pattern through the batter. About an hour and a half later (yep, it bakes for quite a bit of time, and yep, it was extremely hard to let it finish baking), we open our oven and behold a gorgeous, successfully marbled loaf. Pour yourself some strong, dark roast coffee or piping hot perfumed tea, and enjoy. Let me just say, I had the breakfast of a queen the following three mornings.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Some Farmers' Market Love

I, personally, am refusing to accept that summer is coming to a close. In fact, I do believe that the weather agrees with me. Right now, in my new little city, it is 26 degrees Celcius. As much as I enjoy me some butter-soft leather boots and chunky knitted scarves, I am not quite ready to give up the warm weather. And so I will keep my 26 degrees Celcius, merci beaucoup. 

In order to profit fully from this early fall warmth, I visited my local farmers' market last Saturday. In fact, I managed to get myself involved in the lovely affair and am now a bonafide volunteer. I even have an official t-shirt to prove it.

Anyways, I woke up around the wee hour of 6a.m. on Saturday and made my way to Charles Clark Square (NOW can you guess where I am?!). The city was calm and quiet as I walked along our beautiful river (another location hint!). Seriously, I am becoming more and more convinced that I am absolutely a morning person. It was utterly delightful to walk along the streets that fine morning.

At the market, after I had met the market manager and was shown around a bit, I commenced my volunteering duties. I helped unload crates of stunningly colorful fruits and helped organize herbs and vegetables at different stalls. I absolutely enjoyed organizing different pamphlets of seasonal produce and handing them out to people. There was even a little booklet of recipes that showcased local ingredients! Amazing!

In between my unloading lettuce bushels, I was able to capture some lovely little pics. It was truly a fantastic way to spend my Saturday morning and get to know some people in my new town. Here's a glimpse!

Have a lovely Thursday evening, mes amis!
xo Coco

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Good Morning!

So, as I explained in my last post, I just moved to a new city. A Canadian one. In fact, I live very close to the southern most point of Canada. Where am I?

Whilst you ponder that, I will leave you pictures of my fresh lil' breakfast. Because, well, breakfast is one of the best times of the day!

                                                              "Because of the Lord's great love, we are not consumed
                                                                    For his compassions never fail.
                                                                They are new every morning;
                                                                    great is your faithfulness."

                                                                                          Lamentations 3:22-23

God bless, friends!
xox Coco

Where in the World is... Coco?

    Hello my friends! E.J. and I have had a seriously CRAZY summer. The first minor (as in MAJOR) event that passed for the both of us, would be our university graduation (!?!!? WHAT!?!??!) It was quite emotional and an odd experience to be honest.
     E.J and I decided to meet on campus that fateful morning of May the 30th, 2013. Once we finally figured out how to properly put on our grad robes, (took longer than it should have hahaha) we took some pictures and walked towards the horde of graduates waiting to line up. Wow, to see all of our classmates dressed and ready to leave the shelter and colorfulness of campus and fly out into the real world...all in different directions! What an intense and bittersweet sight. Moreover, it was such a surreal experience to be walking with E.J. across the same campus where we had met 4 years earlier. Only this time, we weren't wearing our bright, torn, Frosh t-shirts, but rather shiny caps and gowns. Once we got to the building and separated into our faculties, we smiled big smiles at eachother and hugged. We were actually graduating!! As the bagpipes started to play and we processed down the sun-soaked lower field of McGill University, I smiled. What a way to finish our time here. I am so glad E.J. and I got to watch each other walk across the stage together and receive our diplomas. Four years of studying and not studying and giggles and adventures and general hilarity in la belle province was now drawing to a close. But what a time it was!

    As if that weren't emotional enough, I then had to go and get myself married. YAH. It was one of the best days of my life. Seriously, I had a ridiculous amount of fun. I'm not sure what to write about my wedding day, except that looking around me and seeing my family, friends, and other loved ones that I cherish surrounding me on this sweet day, was one of the most special things I have ever experienced.

E.J. and Michelle (another one of my lovely lady bests) came down to my house the week before the wedding to a.) Make sure I did not turn into Bridezilla b.) to make me cookies and other assorted baked goods (thereby killing the Bride Diet) and c.) to support, care and pray for me before my big day! They were truly a blessing to me and have always been!

But now. WHERE AM I? 

Right now, I am sitting at my little, newly installed desk in front of a floor-to-ceiling window. Sunlight is pouring in, lighting up our little (fake) wood floor. We've just moved this week and the apartment is still not completely set up. But we're getting there! I've already explored this new city and its environs a bit, and I am happy to report, I'm excited. It is definitely not New York or Montreal or Toronto. BUT. God has brought Lester and I here for a reason and I do intend to find out what that reason is, whilst  laughing and munching and enjoying life with people around me. In fact, I already have! So, grad caps and wedding excitement and honeymoon escapades and moving- craziness tucked safely away in my little heart,  I begin a new chapter. 

       I may be so kind as to tell you where I am next time! hehe. Bonne semaine à tous!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

an ode to the colour, orange

i am not a colour person. anyone that's friends with me will know that i rarely wear colours outside my beloved neutral colour scheme. so much so that my poor mother has often bribed me in purchasing shirts and pants for me in exchange for them being in colour.

right now, i am a poor college grad ... so the thought of wearing black and grey helmut lang sweaters, leggings, etc. is like a whole different universe away where i coincidently end up being married to RyGos and stuff.

anyways, one colour i will always make an exception for is orange. somewhere in my crazy and weird head, i consider orange an acceptable colour. hear me out ... orange provides a pop of colour, looks great on most skin tones, and can really dress up or down your whole entire outfit. it really is the new black.

(all pics courtesy of every diamond diploma girl - pinterest)

An Ode to Jean

 Goodness gracious cyber friends. I cannot express how happy a certain little woman (I do mean myself) is to see, feel, and smell that spring is upon us! The most glorious aspect of the tail end of Montreal winter is it's unabashed leap into the spring.

Heck, sometimes the city even skips spring altogether and flies headlong into summer. Either way, my lungs are filled with floral scented air, my feet skipping along dewy streets, and my eyes seeing the beautiful colors of le primtemps. J'adoreeeee!!

In the beginning of last summer, my friend Rachel and I set out to explore the Little Italy section of Montreal. My absolute favorite part of going to this quarter, is visiting Jean Talon Market. This market particularly suits Rachel and I because we are of the sampling sort.

Upon entering the market, the scene is set a bit like this: The smell of fresh fish frying greets you from the very first seafood stall, where les montréalais, montrealers, tuck into their  fried fish and beer. Curious little wafts of lavender linger around you also, as the corner soap stall displays its petite wares.

You then look up and behold a wondrous scene. The main market lane! An abundance of colorful produce and fruit of every hue line the paths that weave through the scene.  You can smell fresh baguettes baking in the boulangerie and you can certainly not miss the scent of buttery croissants rising in the ovens of one of the many patisseries in the distance. Line-ups spill out of the cheese-mongers' stalls and colorful jam jars and butters parcels line wooden tables. You are here, this is Le Marché Jean Talon! 

Now friend, when I say that I am a sampling sister, I do mean it. You can walk up to pretty much any of the produce or fruit stalls and steal away with a freshly cut sample of each good. And yes, in case that sounded illegal, it is fully sanctioned and wholly encouraged! Some of my own thoughts upon sampling the goods: Who knew that fresh oranges were THAT GOOD. Or those darling grape tomatoes? Sweet, refreshing, and brilliantly red! The mangoes. THE MANGOES. Should I even mention the mangoes??

Suffice to say, Le Marché Jean Talon is beautiful and lively. Its colors, smells and sounds make you believe, after 5 long months of winter, that spring has finally sprung. And with joy!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


for our readers not living in the land of corrupt politicians, potholes, and poutine... it is our solemn duty to inform you that currently there is a snowstorm conquering montreal.  did you know we are officially welcoming spring in 2 days?  

before i came to montreal, i never really thought much about spring.  if i had to rate spring out of the four seasons, it would probably be last. why? it's not like fall where colours change, it's not winter with snow and christmas, and it's definitely not as enjoyable as summer! 

now that i've experienced the east coast, i can definitely appreciate the beauty that is spring. the weather gets warmer (-20 to +5!), the days get longer, and you don't have to look at the ground while walking in order to avoid slipping on your way to class... 

spring is also symbolic. it's a season for new beginnings. rejuvenation. renewal. 

renewal is something that i've experienced lately.  i've been overwhelmed with school, applications and other activities going on in my life that i've barely had time for someone who is of far greater importance than anything i've listed. to make things worse, i didn't really feel guilty that i've prioritized these issues ahead of Him.  i've been enamoured and captivated by sin... i can't conquer or even subdue it; it dictates the decisions i make as well as the words i think and speak.  on top of that, i often compare myself to others and contrast my wickedness by justifying my actions and thoughts.  how utterly wretched i am.  romans 7:14-15 sums it up pretty well - "for we know that the law is spiritual, but i am of the flesh, sold under sin.  for i do not understand my own actions. for i do not do what i want but i do the very thing i hate." 

the amazing thing is that i know that i serve a God who can conquer my darkness. the question i often struggle with is - will i let him? 
arrest my heart 
from its reckless path
release the chains in me
awake my soul
to the hope you hold
your grace is all i need

i love how He is a loving, powerful, and merciful God.  he chose to carry my sins on the cross, making me worthy.  it's my prayer that i can engrave this on my heart.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Hello World!

Well, hello bloggers of the world! We've been gone for about a bazillion years. But hey-life has been happening :)

So first things, first. I am getting married. In about t-minus 4 months. LIKE WHAT.
Yeah craziness. And an excuse for the lack of blogging (?). hehe.

But onto more important things. Today, I got a TERRIBLE craving for dumplings. Like pork and beef and chicken and lamb and any other kind of meat you can think of-dumplings. I then proceeded to recall my first (slightly hilarious) go at making them. I captured the process for you all:

1. Like all good dumpling-makers, I assembled my meats. I went untraditional and added some red peppers and corn, but all is well that ends well. This, indeed, ends well.

2. Next, I placed about 1 1/2 teaspoons of filling on my little dough circles. They are adorable baby bundles, but beware of trying to place too much meat on each one. That, my friends, will not end well.

3. As you can see below, I succumbed to the over-meating temptation. The result is a dumpling that 
is bursting at the seams. 

But, keeping my spirits up, I heated  a splash of oil in my pan and arrayed les bundles in a beautiful fan-like shape. 

I then browned them on both sides before letting them finish cooking completely. I do not have an end photo, however, as I was WAY TOO excited to eat them the very minute they were ready.

The moral of this story is that when you have a dumpling craving, you must give in. Take the time to make these little bites of joy. I promise you that your winters will never be the same. This is coming from a girl who currently lives in Montreal, Canada. As in, last week it was -30 Celsius. You can trust me, my friends. 

Hope you have a lovely, cozy week bloggers :)

xx Coco

Saturday, January 12, 2013

F is for Friendship

Cozy blanket wrapped around me, volupsa candles lit, and a big cup of peppermint tea beside me, I think I am ready to tackle this blog post. Slight hiatus on our part (whoops).  

This past semester was intense, hence the lack of posts.  Hopefully we will be able to blog more frequently this semester because it's our last semester! I can think of so many days where I would think to myself, "I can't believe I'm only in my second year, when is school going to be over?" Now, its surreal to think that in less than 6 months, I'll be clutching onto my diploma as I walk across the stage- hoping not to trip in my heels and graduating with my classmates, who I probably know 10 out of the seven hundred and something in my year. 

But, to the 10 people I know oh-so-well, I am so grateful that God placed these people in my life.  Each person is so unique in his or her own way and their friendship is something I will value and cherish for the rest of my life.  Friday night dinners and adventures, concerts, arguing over who can eat the last brownie, watching countless youtube interviews, speaking in strange dialects and accents, talking about our goals and futures over coffee, and yes, even studying, have been consistent activities since year 1. And while my life may seem boring to some, these little moments have fixated my heart. 

I couldn't help but feel so blessed- i know, so cliche, about the rich friendships God has provided for me.  In particular, I couldn't help but reflect on my friendship with one of my dearest friends, M.  M is my confidant and sister in Christ. Wiser than beyond her years, her actions and character have really impacted how I view not only society and law, but also how I should treat others. She's one of the most loyal, sympathetic, kind, and hard working girls you'll ever meet.  She also happens to casually send the  best care packages. Like, I'm talking about mixed CDs and a life size poster of Harry Styles. Wow right? So M, if you're reading this, thanks for everything x. 

And yes, I realize that this post turned into a sappy friendship post, but you know what... it's my blog. So hatersgonnahate.