Homemade pasta with homemade pesto

All Mike wanted for his birthday (back in July) was a pasta maker. Odd request, but ask and ye shall receive. I think we got it in our heads that it would be a big process to learn how to use though, so we kept putting off actually making pasta. I don’t think it helps that I’m not a big egg eater, so we don’t normally have eggs around to use in the dough.

Well, all that changed (the lack of pasta making, not my affinity for eggs) yesterday as Mike decided enough was enough and he was going to try making some noodles. We used the recipe and instructions from this TheKitchn post.

Then it was my turn to feel a bit ambitious (and maybe I wanted to continue to procrastinate studying for my upcoming exam), my mom had given me a bag of pinenuts last time I was home and Mike had bought a bunch of basil when he went to pick up the eggs for the pasta and my worn out brain thought: basil + pinenuts = PESTO!

I love pesto, and I daresay I’ve been meaning to make it longer than Mike has been meaning to make pasta. I also didn’t realize before last night that pesto is so incredibly varied, but I made some plain old basil stuff.

Very very simple pesto


  • Basil (about 6 cups)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2/3 cup of pinenuts
  • Salt and pepper
  • Parmasen cheese


  1. Blanch the basil, this prevents your lovely pesto from turning brown if you don’t use it all up in one day. To blanch you just boil some very salty water, put the basil in, quickly take the basil out and then dip it in a bowl full of ice water.
  2. Put everything in a blender or food processor and blend until you get it the desired consistency (it depends if you want a very smooth pesto or a chunkier one.
  3. There is no step 3

I had no idea it was that easy. I think the most time consuming step was mincing the garlic.

Tour around the countryside

Mike rented a car for a project this weekend, so on Saturday we took a study break and went for a drive. We stopped at a couple cool little places along the way, picked up some baby pumpkins and (cheap!) honeycrisp apples.

Saw some old rundown buildings

The bay

Stopped at a very cute little diner in almost the middle of nowhere and had some chowder (it was on special) and amazing fresh out of the over tea biscuits. The women even gave us a couple to take home.

We even stopped at two vineyards.

It was a great day for taking photos, one of those fall days that’s dark and bright all at the same time. None of the photos posted have even been edited.

Brain cupcakes

So not only is Halloween coming up, but we’re finishing our “Brain and Behaviour” unit, so I figured a brainy baked good was definitely in order.

The chocolate cupcake recipe is the same one I always use, and the icing is “Swiss Meringue Buttercream“, the recipe is from MarthaStewart.com (where the idea for the cupcakes is also from).

All I can say is piping is always much harder than I anticipate. Mine are most definitely not up to Martha standards. All in all it was a much appreciated break from studying the brain.

Sweet potato and carrot curry soup

Fall is most definitely soup making time, especially judging from how many people in my class have been bringing it for lunch. So I was inspired to try making some of my own.


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 a large Spanish onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 1/4 cayenne
  • 1/2 white wine or white wine vinegar
  • Roughly 5 medium-sized carrots
  • 4 Sweet potatoes
  • 5-7 cups of broth
  • 1/2 milk


  1. Heat up the olive oil in a large saucepan/soup pot and add the garlic, onion and spices
  2. Cook until the onion becomes translucent then add the white wine then cook for a couple minutes until the wine is reduced
  3. Add the chopped carrots and sweet potato, it’s best if you cut them relatively small so that they cook faster, and the broth. Bring to a boil and then simmer.
  4. Cook until the vegetables are soft (this time can vary)
  5. Remove the soup from the heat and let it cool down a bit, then blend it in a blender until it’s smooth.
  6. Put the blended soup back in the saucepan and add the milk
  7. Heat it up a little bit and then serve

I’m so impressed with my first soup-making attempt, the soup is so tasty, very good for you (lots of the old beta-carotene) and has just a nice warm spice to it.


Mike and I went to Nocturne last night, it’s loosely based off Nuit Blanche, basically an evening of art and live performances at lots of different locations around the city. It was incredibly fun! There were lots of stations where you could make things or do things, plus some of the standard gallery-type ones.

One of my favourites was this moving sculpture called “Spinnekop” by Nicole LeBlanc & Melissa Schwegmann.

Spinnekop, or spider, is a kinetic sculpture designed to abstractly simulate an organism. The project was inspired by a common interest in biomimicry and kinetic architecture. Spinnekop evokes a living energy through fluid, rhythmical movement and subtle illumination. Starting as a collapsed form, numerous members unfurl as they twist and extend into a series of seemingly tangled legs. As the legs expand, a diaphanous membrane shifts to create a soft, flowing envelope, like a spider trapped in its own webbing. (Description from Nocturne Program)

O’clock watches

One of my classmates showed me these (after seeing my blue Swatch). They’re so cute, I’m such a sucker for brightly coloured things. The price on the O’Clock Watches looks pretty reasonable, though supposedly they’re all sold out.

My only slight worry is that there is no second hand. From a design point it’s great, but darn it’s hard to take heart rate by the minute…

Journal cover and layout rework

This isn’t exactly new, in fact I uploaded it to my portfolio a couple weeks ago. My school’s journal was due for a little bit of a facelift, so I reworked the layout a bit to streamline it (previously it had a 1pt stroke line around all of the text on every page). You might also recognize the eye from earlier this summer (being the summer, the editors were unfortunately short on available images for the cover, we’re hoping to recruit more for the next issue).

Med Ball Logo

I was asked to make a logo to put on the tickets, posters and programs for this year’s annual med ball (big fancy dinner & dance). This year’s theme is “Big City, Bright Lights,” so I went with a bit of a NY thing (I’m pretty sure that’s what the organizers were thinking too).

And Helvetica Light, because it’s a fancy event*.

*This is a reference to the movie Helvetica, where it was argued that you can use Helvetica for everything, and if it’s a fancy event, just use light or extra light.

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