Hello! My name is Rachel and I write a food blog over at Torontrealaise. I'm from Toronto but now live in Montréal near the canal, with my husband Max and our two cats, Pumpkin and Brioche.
I'm incredibly lucky to have a day job where I can nearly start whenever I'd like, as long as it's morning-ish. Most mornings I try to get out of bed around 7:30 because it takes me forever (like two hours) to get out of the house. Sometimes I snooze... and other times I snooze 2 or 3 times. To give me a boost, I have given my alarm a motivating name, and immediately after rolling out of bed I play one of my favourite songs on Songza's Timeless R&B Diva Sing-Alongs playlist. If you like karaoke-ing to sassy ladies, I strongly suggest that you give this list a listen.
The other main motivator is breakfast. Now that it's winter with the dark mornings, I love to warm up with a bowl of hot porridge. Today I'm having a mix of grains, seeds and coconut-almond milk topped with grated apple. It may sound a little odd, but the apple adds a great natural sweetness and contributes textural interest. Add some toasted nuts and just a drizzle of maple syrup and it's the perfect accompaniment to reading the news. I'm a news junkie and I love reading the highlights of my favourite papers and magazines in the morning.
Then it's my make-up/get dressed/jam some semblance of a lunch into my bag routine, and I hop on the metro and go to work. I finished my master's this year and started working in food security with a non-profit, which means I get to work with community organizations from food banks to collective kitchens to help people have physical and financial access to good, healthy food. Right now I'm working on a food recuperation program linking small to medium-sized food stores to organizations in need, as well as a campaign on food waste. Food and eating has long been a major interest in my life and I feel beyond lucky to be able to work in different aspects of it both in my job and as a hobby.
My schedule after work changes from day to day. Working in French is almost second nature but still not quite, so if I have the chance, I take time to decompress on my own after work. Today I'm taking a couple photos of a granola recipe I'm testing out for the blog. It's full of dark chocolate, cranberries, nuts and cocoa nibs. Both me and my sister inherited an undying love for chocolate from our mom, and my sister is also crazy about granola. She lives in Toronto and I don't get to see her nearly as often as I'd like, so I created this recipe for her. I love how food is a connector, bringing people together around the table, but that it can also bring those far away just a tiny bit closer.
ps - these silicone baking mats can be found at Well or on Amazon
Otherwise I might be heading to my friend's restaurant in Little Italy, where I'm a server some nights. On the evenings I'm not working, Max and I usually head to the Atwater Market to pick up ingredients for supper. But tonight, I'm a lucky gal because I have to do neither! I'm bringing Max to a new ramen place called Ichifuku. I went last week on one of the first days they were open and it was perfect: the ramen delicious and made fresh on-site, and the service attentive and friendly. Tonight it was equally delicious and I shyly asked the server to snap a photo of us.
Finally we head home and relax. We read or watch a bit of TV, and Max goes to bed first while I stay up. Tonight I'm writing this post and listening to an album I got for Christmas, The Acorn's Vieux Loup. Our kitten Pumpkin keeps me company as I type. Cats sleep in the strangest positions.
When I finally go to bed in the early hours of tomorrow I'm completely exhausted. The cats choose their place, and Max and I take whatever is left. I didn't want to be creepy and take a photo Paranormal Activity-style while Max was sleeping, so this shot is from before bedtime: