Monthly Archives: February 2012
What?? Crazy, I know… Well, they do say the most talented artisans are also the craziest ones!! Did you know that Adolf A Hitler actually pursued a scholarship in the arts to fulfil a lifelong dream? This of course, was all before he became the man who we all knew him to be. Allegedly, his works were completely insulted and he was told by his peers that people would never appreciate his works no matter what he had created, thus making the decision to become the scariest figure in the history of the world, to date.
It never ceases to amaze me how the term, “a little love goes a long way” really does ring true and can affect the future of an individual. Understandably, we do all make our own choices in life, at the same time, should we extend an extra smile or provide an extra moment to listen to what frustrations or struggles a person is going through, can greatly impact the choices they make in their future endeavours. I guess it all comes back to perception and positive thinking, doesn’t it?!?
In the end, Hitler had shot himself dead. Suicide, another very serious topic, which is unfortunately much too common in the world today. Sadly, it is more often than not, an act that is a direct result of insult or lack of understanding. A talented artist friend of mine had also committed suicide a few years ago. Now looking back in hindsight, had people not mocked her artistic visions and creative abilities, had she received more encouragement for her works and inspiring beliefs, she very possibly could still be here today. Sadly, she, and many others are here no longer.
I do realize that this is a very random topic, though, I felt compelled to share something about it. Especially, considering some of his art has just been found after they have been missing for many, many, many years.
Here are a few related articles on the topic, interesting stuff:
Written by: Jo Martinez
Such a special and magical place, situated off the coast of downtown Vancouver. Stanley Park has housed 1000’s of raccoons and lil squirrel guys over the years. A place where adventures thrive in abundance from the seawall, to Eagles soaring with pride, the trails have been marked by many dogs, the Mermaid glances your way every single time you look her in the eye (kind of eerie), the Lions Gate Bridge under where many cruise ships pass by annually, second beach – home to the swimming pool where many Vancouverites spent their childhood guiding their siblings to the pool. Stanley Park is also home to English Bay- a beach that is second to none. It’s the place where many visitors and residents have stopped to sit at one of the benches on the beach to enjoy fish and chips or a sushi lunch, perhaps, you’re admiring the waves of the ocean and sitting in quiet contemplation. English Bay, where many flee to every year to watch International fireworks displays, to dance at the annual gay pride parade, and it’s also the place where many of us have literally jumped into the Pacific Ocean on New Years’ Day for the famous Polar Bear swim.
Stanley Park is a historical Vancouver monument, a great part of the natural heritage and community vibes of Vancouver, British Columbia. Between the yacht club, totem poles, and famous tea house, artist works in the summer time, accompanied by musicians, and lush gardens. We can’t forget about Lost Lagoon now can we… I don’t know about you, but, when we were kids, lost lagoon still froze in the winter, while many went ice skating with their families. I wonder if the people who named Lost Lagoon got lost around it looking for some other part of Stanley Park as I myself, have done many, many times over the years. One could go on forever talking about the beauty and things to do. There’s the hollow tree, double seater bicycles, train rides, seasonal displays, there is just too much to list here, you’ll just need to come and explore it for your own self.
Written by: Jo Martinez
Did you know, Jo is a chef too?! Amazing, I know, haha.
People often ask me for food techniques or how to conjure easy meals that work well together and that create exquisite dishes. It’s always a bonus too, when the concepts are still considered to be healthy…
Well, one food concoction I enjoy making is my grilled veggie medley. Apparently, it is like a “medley in your mouth”, I make it different all the time, so, kind of tough to write you a recipe. So, it’s kind of an unconventional recipe.
Don’t like veggies? That’s okay, there are those I have cooked for, who can’t stand vegetables… Some of them have actually loved my veggie medley. They’ve even gone back for seconds!
You mean, there’s hope?! Yes, you too can have your family and friends eat veggies after all! :p
Just think of it as another great way to receive your daily vitamin intake!
I love veggies, I love garlic, and I love spices, so, I’m a bit biased. You can make it as fancy or as basic as you like! Try it out.
First, take some olive oil and tons of fresh garlic cloves (you could add butter too, if you’d like)… add some basic spices (pepper, basil, rosemary… sea salt if you like, even hot sauce). Throw in some chunks of onion… and if you like mushrooms… now would be the time to toss them in, any kind… live it up, try something different, maybe even a few types. If you want potato, I recommend adding them at this stage.
You could even add some white wine into the mix, if you enjoy that style of cooking, beer works too, if not, use water or a bit of lemon juice. You will need to add a splash of something though, for best results.
Toss it all into a roasting pan that’s not too deep, yet still deep enough to accommodate all them veggies!
Preheat your oven to around 375. Place your pan in the oven with the first stage of legumes and such. Be sure to keep it covered until you reach the carrot stage.
This stage of veggies should bake for a good 30 minutes or so… check them, give them a stir. Add some extra spices, if you are up for the challenge? Once your garlic is roasting nicely and those ‘shrooms are a sizzlin, you can add some peppers… red, green, orange, yellow, hungarian, chilean… whatever suits your fancy.
Cook all this for around 10-15 minutes, then, in the same pan, add some carrots, yams, or sweet potato. You’ll want to make sure the mushrooms, garlic, and onions are all fully cooked and beautifully roasted first.
After the carrots have softened up (if selected), it would be a good time for any final stage or faster cooking produce ie: zucchini, spinach, or tomatoes. At this stage, you may want to add more olive oil, maybe even a little feta cheese (or any other cheese, for that matter).
If you are feeling inspired and want to fancy it up with a bit of sauce, you could throw in some soy, sweet chili, or some kind of teriyaki, maybe a hot sauce of sort (this I would not recommend doing if you chose to add wine- mind you, it could be interesting with the teriyaki) Please also note, should you decide to add a thicker sauce such as a teriyaki, you will need to add some water, to reduce the risk of sauce burnage. Scared?? Haha, don’t brave it if you don’t want to. This is your masterpiece, meant to be created for your tastebuds.
How’s it looking?? Give it a good mixing, don’t be shy. You are the chef! Back in the oven she goes… Maybe 10-15 more minutes, or until this concoction has reached your desired consistency.
Generally, the cooking time of this veggie medley, takes approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour… depending on how roasted the garlic gets in the beginning. There’s nothing better than mushrooms and garlic melting in my mouth… what can I say, my father is a French Chef.
Not a fan of mushrooms?? No problem, the onions will provide you with a similar effect and there are plenty enough varieties of substance in your pan already.
It really is up to you, you can have a cooking time as little as 35 minutes, if you choose. Not recommended if you’re cooking potatoes and other thicker or starchier choices. With carrots and/or potatoes, you should give yourself at least 45 minutes cooking time…
These veggies work very well with most meats, rice and seafood dishes!
It’s not always what you cook, but how you cook it that reveals the masterpiece!!!
Hope your results have “panned” out well for you and that your experience has left you feeling satisfied.
Written by: Jo Martinez.
Looking for a way to network with other writers? A place to help you find your lost inspiration? Perhaps you just need to be reminded that you’re are a writer and your not really going crazy?
Time to come out of your shell and mingle with some like minded peeps. Visit Surrey City Centre Library on Saturday, February 25th, 2012, from 11 am – 3 pm and support local authors. Free workshops, book signing opportunities, as well as more than 30 guest readers and writers.
Check out Surrey Reads & Writes 2012
Is it just me or does the new library look like a cruise ship? Even more so when walking by it, so trippy!!
Have you ever tried to make your own hummus? Or even see it being made? It’s actually not as hard as it looks… okay, well, maybe a tad… you do need a little bit of domesticity. Besides that, it’s fun to make!
The main ingredient in hummus is chickpeas… actually, the arabic translation for “hummus” is “chick peas”… in case you weren’t aware! Mind you, some recipes may call for garbanzo beans instead! Why you may wonder? Well, “garbanzo” is “chic peas” in Spanish!
So, let’s get down to creating… shall we. Here is a basic and divine hummus recipe for you to make at home!
Begin by taking 1 can of drained chick peas or garbanzo beans (you can use organic chick peas if you prefer)
save a little chick pea or garbanzo juice (just a little bit to ensure your hummus doesn’t end up a clumpy mess).
3 cloves of fresh garlic
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
1 teaspoon of freshly chopped parsley
1 tablespoon of tahini
1 pinch of salt (personal preference, I don’t use any salt in mine… I compensate by adding a bit more lemon juice or some tabasco sauce)
1 pinch of pepper
1 pinch of paprika
Next, you’ll want to put your garbanzos into a blender or food processor to make it pureed… make sure you add your liquids at this stage too! (lemon juice and chick pea juice, maybe about 1/4 cup of liquid all together)
If your tahini is not ground up enough for you, then add it in to your chick peas just before they look like a garbanzo paste! This would also be a good time to mix your garlic in… if you haven’t already chopped it up on your own like me!
Mix in your final ingredients… give it a little taste… review the texture and make sure the consistency is just the way you like it…. make sure you’re you happy with the results!!
Hummus is a great addition to any party, get-together, or pot luck out there! You could even use it as a spread in a wrap, add it to a fancy salad… all sorts of great things you can do with a good hummus!
If you’re not 158% satisfied, try doing one of the following:
If it’s too thick… add a bit more juice
If it’s too thin… drain some of the juice out or add more of the other ingredients to balance it out.
If it’s too bland… spice it up a bit more! Don’t be shy! You want to “taste that garlic”
If it needs more flare… you could always add a little bit of diced red pepper or some minced onion… very popular, not quite my cup of tahini but could be yours!
Try it out, then come back and post your comments, I would love to hear how this great recipe works out for you!
Thanks for reading!!!
Written by: Jo Martinez