Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Recipe: NSA Oat Protein Bars

INGREDIENTS:
1 1/2 - 2 cups Oats (I used mix of Large and Quick)
2 Extra Ripe Bananas
1 Small Apple, peeled, cored and chopped into 1/2 cm pieces
1 tbsp Lemon Juice
1 tsp Vanilla
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 tbsp Cocoa Powder
1-2 tbsp Protein Powder ( I used Pea Protein)
1/4 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp Salt




Preheat oven to 350F

In a medium bowl, mash bananas with lemon juice, cocoa, vanilla and cinnamon. Stir in 1 1/2 cups of oats, protein powder, baking powder, salt and the apple. If the mixture is runny, add the rest of the oats. If it has a thickened oatmeal texture, you're good. Once that consistency is reached, flatten it all into a lined or greased bread pan. Bake for 15-20 minutes for chewy and 25-30 for a firmer bar. Cut into bars and let cool before removing from pan.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Movie Review: Alex Strangelove

Alex Strangelove (2018)
Starring: Daniel Doheny, Madeline Weinstein, Antonio Marziale
















I had some free time, and I've been on a bit of a Netflix teen dramedy kick, so I thought I'd check this one out. The basis for the movie is a pretty good one. Alex, a medium handsome, fairly nerdy kid explores a first love, Claire. Along the way, he chalks up his sexual hesitance to nervousness until he meets Elliott, a confidently gay young man, at a party. The two become friends and Elliott immediately questions Alex's sexuality. After some questionable relationship choices (he IS a teenage male after all), he finally comes to the conclusion that he is gay. Claire, his friend-come-girlfriend-come-friend again, cheers him on.

So, I'm touchy critiquing this, because I think it a SUPER positive thing to have teen movies showing characters questioning their sexuality and coming to terms with being whoever they are. I thought the movie showed great respect for his internal struggle and confusion, as well. However, the Claire character was still a manic pixie dream girl. She loved all the same stuff as him! She was super into the idea of sex and guided him through what he needed! We even got to see her topless for some reason! Then, after he angrily admits he likes someone else, catches him hooking up with another girl, and he admits it's Elliott he likes, she gets mad for five minutes and then forgives him and supports his sexuality. Now, the Elliott character seemed similarly only there to make him question his sexuality, so perhaps just secondary character development is the real issue here.

I thought the actors did a good job, and I'm happy to see gay coming of age stories. I'm just sad it has to perpetuate other problematic features along the way.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Restarting

Well, well, well. Hello old friends. I haven't been writing on here for some time, but lately I am feeling anxious to vomit my thoughts and creativity onto all of you again. On the topic of restarting, I'm going to write about just that. As someone who has 1284389 ideas in my head at all times, I have a tendency to begin projects and then not complete them. This blog, of course, is an example (although one would argue that it has no true 'finish' per se).

Since last I wrote, I've had a number of these such things. To start, when I logged in, I saw a draft of a post I was writing entitled 'The University Project - Part I' where I was chronicling my experience of attending University for the first time, as an adult with a full-time job. At the time I was experiencing an awakening of sorts about my workplace. I was working nights and getting interviews, but losing out on jobs that came up. It's a great workplace, so I had no interest of leaving, but I wanted to advance my career. Through asking HR, I found that more education might be the best way to go about that. I enrolled in a business management organizational program at my work in hopes of driving that. Through a weird set of circumstances, I became the supervisor on that shift and after a few terms, sort of veered off of that trail. Three years later, I'm working days doing something I enjoy, but it was only through force of showing up during the day and making my face known and 'selling myself' that I got here.

Music, much like writing, has taken a big ol' back seat in this car called my life as well. Two Bears has been long-defunct and 2-3 other musical endeavours trailed off with half-written songs and ideas existing only as a combination of voice memos and .wavs buried deep on my computer. I joined a bass where I played bass for a while, but it came to my attention that surrounding my own egotism, I much prefer playing my own music. FINALLY, years later, I've been getting some ideas out on paper...er computer. (They can be found here: https://soundcloud.com/tobias-milton-500668711)
It's something I've loved doing since I was 13 years old, I can't believe it's taken me this long to get back on that track.

Anxiety and Depression are the main culprits that have held me back (aside from my general non-see it through-edness) and I aim to work toward changing that. I look forward to returning with more reviews, some recipes and more stories.Looking to restart a few creative avenues in my life and hope you'll join me.


Monday, August 4, 2014

Sunday Brunch - Blueberry Coffee Cake

Oh, another long absence. My routine for writing has been out of whack, but this delicious morsel was too good to not write about. Adapted from this recipe: Everybody Calm Down












INGREDIENTS: 
1/2 cup Vegetable Shortening
1 cup Sugar (cane, coconut, etc.)
2 Egg Replacers (Ener-G is what I use)
1/2 tsp Vanilla
1 tsp Baking Soda
Pinch of Salt
1 cup Sour Supreme (or other sour cream substitute)
2 cups flour
1 cup Blueberries
3/4 cup Flour
1/4 cup Brown Sugar
2 tsp Cinnamon
1/3 cup Vegan Margarine, melted

Combine shortening through 2 cups flour in a mixer, adding in that order. Pour 1/2 of the batter into a 9x13 baking pan and sprinkle the blueberries across the batter, then add second half of batter. Combine 3/4 cup flour, brown sugar, cinnamon together and add melted margarine and create a crumble; sprinkle on top of cake. Bake at 325F for 45 minutes to one hour (test with knife in centre, ours took much longer)
 

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Sunday Brunch: Simple Spicy Sweet Potato Hash

INGREDIENTS:
1 Sweet Potato, peeled and diced
1/2 Medium Onion, diced
1 Chili, crushed
1 tsp Flaked Sea Salt

Parboil sweet potatoes for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, chop the onions and begin sauteing. Drain the potatoes and add them to the pan. Stir in the crushed chili and salt and fry until browned on most sides. Serve with Thai Chili sauce, ketchup or chili sauce. 

Sunday, April 27, 2014

A Record a Week: Paul McCartney & Wings - Band on the Run

SIDE 1.
BAND ON THE RUN
JET
BLUEBIRD
MRS VANDERBILT
LET ME ROLL IT

SIDE 2.
MAMUNIA
NO WORDS
HELEN WHEELS
PICASSO'S LAST WORDS (Drink To Me)
NINETEEN HUNDRED AND EIGHTY FIVE




I am almost entirely unfamiliar with McCartney's post-Beatles work, except for the title track on this album. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. The album kicks off with that wonderfully memorable synth-filled intro to Band on the Run, before it kicks into the main part of the song. Then it follows up with Jet, which is more rocky than I had expected the album to keep pace at. It's not until some songs later on the A-Side that you begin to notice the slower parts of McCartney's writing that Lennon apparently loathed so much. However, it doesn't stay like that. The second side picks back up and has a fabulous ending in the final two songs, including some wonderful reprised lines from earlier songs thrown in.

I took so long getting to this record because it represented a piece of post-Beatles music that I wasn't familiar with and I was afraid a lackluster showing might sour me somehow. I purposely steered far clear of anything between Abbey Road and McCartney's recent fronting of the surprisingly hard-rocking Nirvana/Beatles mash. Though it had some of the cheesy McCartney bits, there was definitely some good rock in there. Pleasant surprise!

Sunday Brunch: Tropical Date-Cinnamon Oats

Adapted from a post by: tunsbuns.wordpress.com

 INGREDIENTS:
1 cup Almond Milk (I use unsweetened to make it refined sugar-free)
1 tsp Vanilla
1/3 cup Oats
2 Dates, pitted and chopped
1 tbsp Chia
1/2 tbsp Hemp Hearts
1/2 tbsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Coconut
1/2 Mango, chopped (other half served on side)
1 Banana, chopped

Bring the almond milk and vanilla to a low boil. Add the oats, chia, coconut, hemp, dates and cinnamon. When nearly cooked (should be fairly thick), add chopped fruit and cook, stirring constantly, for another few minutes.