Monday, 31 October 2011


Happy Halloween! R and I celebrated the holiday with a costume party on Saturday night. It was a great time had by all! The bar was flowing, the food was a hit (particularly my mummy cupcakes and this), and friends old and new were showing off their costumes to one another, which by the way, were all awesome.

Now for actual Halloween, it will (hopefully) be a quiet night in for R and I. I'm not sure how many trick or treaters we're going to get, so perhaps we'll take an evening stroll to check out all of the kiddies in their costumes (I realize this sounds sort of creepy). Otherwise, I'm thinking we'll do some fall baking, maybe pumpkin muffins or the pumpkin mousse pictured above?

What will you be doing to celebrate Halloween?

images via hungry rabbit nyc, pinterest, and a piece of toast

Friday, 28 October 2011


It's time to light up your carved pumpkins and turn on that spooky soundtrack you purchased in order to frighten trick-or-treaters as they step foot on your front porch (yes, this is sort of a long/awkward sentence, but it'll have to do because I'm too tired to correct it). It's Halloween. What are you doing to celebrate?

R and I are throwing a party this weekend. Halloween is R's favourite holiday, so we like to make a big celebration out of it.

We've re-stocked the bar.

Arranged for plenty of refreshments.

And decorated the apartment.
We're ready for our guests, but most importantly we're ready to celebrate the end of one chapter and the beginning of another--after all, in addition to Halloween, it's a new month starting next week!

On an entirely separate note, don't forget to check out earlier posts this week at Tomfoolery & Bright:

a photo diary of R and I's trip to NYC
some of my picks for where to eat in the Big Apple
and my very own (delicious, I might add) recipe for Four Cheese Macaroni

Enjoy! And have a happy (spooky) weekend, friends!

images via daily dream decor, google, and cup of jo


Someone once told me that when you have a lot of cheese in the fridge, you should use it. Okay, that person was me. Don't judge.

I love cheese. And this Four Cheese Macaroni I created does not fall short of expressing that. Cheese is delicious, and what better time to enjoy a hearty homemade macaroni and cheese than in the middle of autumn when all you want to do is snuggle up with a blanket, a cup of hot cocoa, and some good ol' comfort food! Yum.

Four Cheese Macaroni

2 cups dry macaroni, I use brown rice pasta
2 tbsp. red onion, finely chopped
1 cup milk
1/4 cup emmental, grated
1/4 cup old cheddar, grated
1/4 cup gouda, grated
2 tbsp. parmesan cheese, grated
2 tbsp. cornstarch
3 tbsp. water
salt and pepper

1. In a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil and prepare pasta according to package. Once cooked, drain pasta.

2. Return saucepan to the stove and heat a couple of teaspoons of olive oil. Once oil is heated, add onion and cook until soft.

3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl or cup, mix cornstarch and water until all cornstarch is dissolved.

4. To onions, add milk and stir constantly. Add cheeses and once combined/melted, add cornstarch mixture and continue to stir.

5. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Finally, add drained pasta to what should now be a luxurious, thick cheese sauce. Combine so that all pasta is coated, and enjoy!

Makes 4 servings.

image via pinterest

Wednesday, 26 October 2011


R and I love food but not like some of our friends, who plan their entire trip around where they're going to eat (I guess we're not acclaimed foodies, but we do appreciate good food). We always welcome recommendations for places to eat when we travel, but we rarely plan our trips around specific restaurants--unless of course there's somewhere we're just dying to try.

Unlike last year when R and I went to New York, this time around we didn't make any plans as to where we'd dine (in the past, we've made reservations at both Four Seasons and Sushi Samba). Despite this, we managed to enjoy a few great places on a whim, from Korean barbecue and inexpensive, yet delicious Thai food to oysters in Williamsburg and a quick lunch at Fanelli's in Soho. Here are the goods:

Burger and Rice Set with Egg
Prime and Beyond / what: an American steakhouse with an Asian twist? / where: East Village / what we ate: R enjoyed the Wet Aged NY Striploin, while I opted for the Beef Bulgogi Rice Bowl (really delicious) / what to try: they're known for their 'Super-Size Steaks', so I'd try one of these next time around (shared, of course)--the Key Lime Pie with a cheesecake-like consistency and very little crust is also good / what we love: it could totally work as a tapas restaurant--check out the menu, share plates anyone?

Beef Noodles
Republic / what: healthy, nutritious, and reasonably priced Asian cuisine boasting flavours from Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand, Japan, and China / where: Union Square / what we ate: R had the Spicy Seafood Soup (rice noodles with shrimp, squid, scallops, and catfish in a broth with scallions, bean sprouts, and shallots) and I had the Seafood Pad Thai (rice noodles, shrimp, and squid with loads of veggies, tamarind, and peanuts)--we shared the Flan for dessert / what to try: I would definitely return to Republic and if I did, I would order the Spicy Duck in broth / what we love: on top of having great prices, the portions are well-sized (lots for leftovers for the next day's lunch) and we can't forget the communal seating!

'Le Grand Maison'

Maison Premiere / what: a cocktail and raw bar tucked away (almost) like a secret / where: Williamsburg, Brooklyn / what we ate: we dined with my brother, who just so happened to be in the city and with a good friend of his--the four of us enjoyed Le Grand Maison, a three-tier platter of seafood, which included oysters, clams, scallops, crab, shrimp, and lobster (it was absolutely divine) / what to try: I think we tried it all? / what we love: it's just a raw bar--don't expect to order a side of pasta or to even get a bread basket (seafood lovers unite).

The dessert counter at Fabiane's: cheescakes, Black Forest Cakes, mousses,
creme brulees, pastries.
Fabiane's Cafe and Pastry Shop / what: an American bakery with (almost exclusively) gluten-free desserts / where: Williamsburg / what we ate: after dinner at Maison Premiere, we ventured down the street to Fabiane's where R ordered the Carrot Cake (which was more like an orange spice cake with some carrots) and I tried the Gluten-Free Black Forest Cake, which had a good consistency and light, fluffy frosting / what to try: any of their desserts--the selection is vast! / what we love: that the cake slices are actually mini cakes (kind of like the ones you made as a kid in your Easy Bake Oven)--cute!

Fanelli's in Soho
Fanelli's Cafe / what: a quaint cafe serving up cheap pub grub / where: Soho / what we ate: R ordered the omelette with fries and I the clam chowder--both delicious / what to try: the Pumpkin Ravioli with Alfredo Sauce? I don't know, it sounds good / what we love: it was a good, quick meal to recharge during a day of shopping.  

Other good eats we stumbled across were at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden's Terrace Cafe, where R enjoyed the Roasted Turkey Ciabatta with Pesto Mayo and I, a wholesome bowl of Chilli with Beef Sirloin and Multigrain Bread.

Okay, now I'm hungry.

Do you have any favourite places to eat in New York or other cities you like to visit?

images via yelp, prime and beyond, republic, and maison premiere

Tuesday, 25 October 2011


Picking up our NYC Passes in Times Square.

Taking a break in Central Square.

Birds at the American Museum of Natural History.

R on the Brooklyn Bridge, post-bike ride.

The Brooklyn Botanic Garden (was vast and stunning).

An art exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum.

Napoleon at the Met.

View of Manhattan from the Top of the Rock.
Just a few photos from R and I's trip to NYC this past weekend. We spent most of our time in Manhattan, but also went to Brooklyn for a day and checked out the Williamsburg neighbourhood. We bought New York City Passes this time around, too, which were great. You pay $80 for a one-day pass that gives you access to up to 50 different attractions. We bought the two-day pass and got fantastic use out of it (the American Museum of Natural History, the Met, Top of the Rock, bike rentals, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, the Brooklyn Museum)--I definitely recommend it. 

For foodies, stay tuned for tomorrow's post, when I'll fill you in on all the places we stopped into for a bite to eat.

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, 24 October 2011


I had every intention of giving a weekend salute last Friday--especially since I missed giving one the week previous (as well). But clearly life got the best of me and instead of letting y'all know I was going to be away and busy, wandering down Fifth Avenue, shopping in SoHo, and stuffing my face with cupcakes from here, I just picked up and left.  

R and I flew down to NYC last Thursday for our annual (mini) fall vacation. We got back late last night and we're exhausted. Our trip was filled with lots of exciting activities, delicious food, and fantastic company, and was a non-stop engagement! So, please bear with me as I collect myself over the next day or so--since our plane touched down last night, I'm running on one massive energy drink (which officially wore off after about six hours...must do readings for class), four hours of sleep, and a chunk of cheese.

Interested in heading to NYC and never been? I'll be posting some photos from our trip and doing a review of some of the things we did/saw/ate, so stay tuned later in the week for that.

Until then.

image via national geographic

Wednesday, 19 October 2011


R and I had guests over for dinner last Friday and I made this for dessert:

It was delicious. And considering I adjusted the recipe to include all whole wheat flour and no white flour at all, it was surprisingly moist. Um yum.

Pumpkin Spice Bundt Cake with Maple Glaze
adapted from this recipe at Food & Whine

1/2 cup olive oil
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup agave nectar
2 eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin
2 tbsp. flaxseed meal
1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground ginger

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium bowl, combine the oil, vanilla, honey, agave, eggs, and pumpkin.

2. In a separate bowl, mix flaxseed, flour, baking soda, and spices. Combine with wet ingredients and mix until well blended.

3. Pour into a greased bundt pan (mine was 8 cups) and bake for 25 to 30 minutes.

4. Remove from oven and let cool until removing from the pan. Transfer to a plate and/or cake stand.

Maple Glaze
borrowed from here

2 tbsps. cornstarch
2 tbsps. water
3/4 cup pure maple syrup
2 tsps. vanilla
1/2 cup chopped pecans, optional

1. In a small bowl, stir together cornstarch and water. Place maple syrup and cornstarch mixture in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil.

2. Reduce heat to medium and continue to simmer for 3 minutes, stirring frequently, or until mixture thickens slightly. Remove from heat.

3. Stir in vanilla and nuts, and cool to room temperature.

4. Spoon over top of cooled cake, letting glaze drizzle down the sides.

Makes 12 servings.

Monday, 17 October 2011


I'm on-set for the first few days of this week for a guest spot so I'm a little busier than usual, but don't worry friends--I haven't forgotten you.

According to the weather forecast, the temperatures are dropping back down again this week (for the week leading up to Canadian Thanksgiving, temperatures were well in the 20s--it felt like summer!). It also looks like we might get a few rainy days. Sigh, I guess it's officially time to whip out the wellies and bundle up with cozy knits, for fall seems to finally be on its way. Gee golly.

Here are some of my must-haves for this cool fall season (and into winter):

Knit slouchy hats add warmth and style. Check out Etsy
for handmade knits. 

A chunky knit circle scarf goes well with any outfit, fall or winter.
(Sigh) I must learn how to knit.
The cooling temperature is no excuse for chap lips--my absolute
fave? Smith's Rosebud Salve.

A fur collar adds luxury to an otherwise simple jacket--I like to
add mine to the lapel of a wool jacket.

Knit legwarmers! I tend not to like the cold, but one reason
to love fall and winter is that I get to wear these babies!

Suede ankle booties a la Isabel Marant. Although, I'd rather
not spend $700 on these--but you get the idea.

images via etsy, glamor puss cosmetics, laylock, pinterest, and a-s-y-ll-u-m 

Friday, 14 October 2011


I finally got around to decorating the apartment a bit for halloween/(just autumn in general)!

To be honest, I'm not big on Halloween decor: it freaks me out, it sort of tends to be ugly, and there's nothing really pretty about it (yes, that's redundant).

But R and I are throwing a Halloween party this year, and while the thought of combining bright oranges and darks scares the hell out of me, I do like the notion of entertaining. And what would entertaining be without a little decor? That's when I sat down for some one-on-one time with my good friend, Ms. Stewart. Not only did she have a lot of great decorating ideas for the spooky Holiday, but she was full of ideas that even I could work with. Like glittered pumpkins.

Glittered Pumpkins
thank you, Martha

small pumpkins, fake or real
white glue
a paintbrush (I used a foambrush)
extra fine glitter

1. Using paintbrush, spread a layer of white blue over the surface of pumpkin.

2. Hold pumpkin over a plate or paper in order to catch excess glitter. Sprinkle glitter over pumpkin in one or more colours (I used a shade suitably called 'Pumpkin', gold, and bronze).

3. Let dry for about one hour and shake off excess glitter.  

Try This: Real pumpkins will do just fine and will probably last up to a few months. Plastic or paper mache pumpkins will also do just fine--take your pick!

Clockwise from top-left: 1/ pumpkins un-done 2/ supplies 3/ gold
pumpkin with flowers 4/ gold pumpkin with bar! 5/ big(ger) gold pumpkin
with DIY glittered pumpkins--voila!

How cute are they?

I also wanted to spray paint some pumpkins gold, but lucky me found some already-painted gold pumpkins at Michael's craft store. And at 70 per cent off, too! Can't argue with that.

Other Halloween decor I'm okay with? Well, I picked up a black crow to sit on the edge of the mantle and I guess some spooky cobwebs are all right, too.

How do you like to decorate for Halloween?

Thursday, 13 October 2011


Why one would feel blue on the weekend is beyond me, but I do hear of someone every now and then who isn't enjoying the weekend because of the long list of to do's that drag them from Friday to Sunday night and well into Monday morning. And no, I'm not talking about me and my endless list of readings for school, or notes to write, or papers to research. I'm talking about you and your list of drab to do's like scrubbing toilets, dusting fireplaces, and vacuuming rugs. That's not to say that I don't do these things (yes, I wash the toilet regularly--you're gross if you don't), but that I certainly don't wait until the weekend to do them. C'mon, really? Why not maximize your weekend for (perhaps) fun and (maybe) productive activities, things you enjoy, time with your friends and family? Yeah, that's what I'm thinkin', too.

Before I get into how to maximize your time on the weekend to do things you want to do, let me just say that while I do pride myself on exempting household chores from Friday night to Sunday evening, I do, of course, find myself sitting at my desk tending to research proposals and discussion notes for school. So, just while I confess to you, no, my weekends aren't filled with rainbows and marshmallow bunnies, but they definitely aren't spent schlubbing (yes, it's totally a word) around the house, picking up cat hair and dirty laundry (that's every day). I may be a studious monkey on the weekends, but the best part is, the house is always ready for unexpected company and I'm (almost) always on top of my game. And here's why:

How to maximize your weekend (and make the most of the week)

1. Officiate Thursday 'Cleaning Day' - there's no need to ruin your Saturday cleaning the house/your apartment/your room from top to bottom. Make Thursday evening your official cleaning day and leave your Saturday free for your favourite yoga class, a road trip, or just sleepin' in! Okay, I understand, some of us (most of us?) have jobs of which we don't get home until 7pm and then have to make dinner and then prepare for the next day's work, so taking into consideration your own schedule, adjust accordingly. But the point is that by completing all of your household chores on Thursday evening, the house is all ready to go for entertaining friends on Friday night.

2. Don't Press 'SNOOZE' - because it's the weekend, you want to sleep in. If you've had a less than restful week, fine. But if you've gotten adequate rest throughout the week (I don't know who this applies to, no one? maybe?), rise and shine at your usual wake-up time on Saturday and get the day started. I read a study--which I can no longer cite--that suggested that by not sleeping in on the weekend and maintaining your regular sleeping schedule, it would make waking up for work on Mondays much easier. Makes sense?

3. Start your day with a sweat - get the endorphins flowing and wake up Saturday morning to your running shoes! Go for a jog or take a brisk walk. Try a hot yoga class, one of my favourites. Or better yet, take a spin or boxing class! By exercising first thing in the morning and getting your body moving, you'll get your blood pumping and your brain working. What better way to stay focused for your amazing weekend ahead?

4. Plan for next week and set goals - as an avid maker of lists, this is one of my favourites. I used to have a notebook dedicated to my weekly plans and goals, now I use cue cards. So, what kind of goals are we setting here? Well, I like to determine my areas of most to least importance. The mother in me (that sounds weird...) deems health the number one important thing, so I write my 'health' goals for the week, including diet, fitness, mental, and a category I call 'maintenance' (which right now is for me to drink more water). From there, I make specific goals, though. For instance, I write how much water I'd like to consume. And even better is if you can determine how you will reach your goals. For the example to drink more water, I'd write, "Drink a glass of water before every meal, and ___L during workout". Something along those lines. Finally, when setting goals, be realistic. This list of weekly goals--of which also includes academics, social, career, and an 'other' section--is meant to be obtainable within the week. They're short term goals, so plan according to the seven days ahead and how you're feeling that week.

5. Make a date for Monday morning/Stop dreading Monday - yeah, you're probably thinking this sounds crazy. But whenever I've had an appointment on a Monday morning--particularly for coffee, with a friend--it's always made the day that much better. It's amazing what a one-hour visit with a good friend can do, especially when you're dreading the week ahead, full of lectures, meetings, appointments, etc etc. So, start the week off right. Believe me. When you're munching on a pumpkin scone from Starbucks laughing about that one night at that place with those people that you and your best gals barely remember, you'll wish you had tried it sooner.

What other ways can you maximize your weekend and alleviate stress from your week?

images via re-nest, big bang studio, ripped and fit, money saving mom, and brown dress with white dots

Wednesday, 12 October 2011


I'm always a little wary about changing things like layout and graphics on a blog, mostly because it takes some time to adjust to any changes but also because I'm nervous about what others will think (when, yes, I know, I shouldn't be so worried about others--how not courageous of me). But I did it.

I felt that Tomfoolery & Bright was overdue for a little sprucing up. While I love the yellow graphic formerly found as the site's heading (yellow's such a happy colour, after all, and what's not bright about that?), I wanted to transition to something that suited the change in season, yet still remained true to T&B. What I mean is, nothing that was too trendy like autumn leaves, spiced lattes, and pumpkins (although, that does sound nice), but something that boast warmth and festive all in one. 

I chose the image above as the site's new header, because (1) it stays in synch with the light, fun, bright, and quirky image that is T&B, (2) it's simple, which is a must, and (3) the pinks/peaches/creams/and metallics are both warm and festive, yet fun and (I'm saying it...) pretty! 

So until I can brush up on my html skills and design something myself, this is all I've got. With time, I hope to update the layout itself, but for now, I think this works just fine.

Eee...what do you think?

images via pinterest


Had a case of the ickies, but I'm back now. And to kick off Wednesday, I've got a quick and delicious scallop dish--a must-try when you're short on time, have only a few ingredients in the refrigerator (scallops being one of them), and need to get dinner on the table in a jiffy (like under 30 minutes).

Seared scallops with roasted cauliflower and brown butter sauce.
Versus my pan-fried scallops with corn saute. Which is better?

Pan-Fried Scallops with Corn Saute

olive oil
1/2 medium red onion, chopped
1/2 orange pepper, chopped
1 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen
2 tbsp. Italian parsley, chopped
10 jumbo scallops
salt and pepper

1. Heat oil in a pan on medium-high heat. Saute onion until soft. Add peppers, corn, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and let simmer on medium for 5 to 8 minutes, depending on whether you used fresh or frozen corn. If using frozen corn, you may have to add a bit of water to the pan to help in the cooking process.

2. Meanwhile, blot scallops of moisture using paper towel. Try to absorb as much liquid from the scallops as possible. Season both sides of each scallop with salt and pepper. 

3. Once corn mixture is completely heated through and all flavours are combined, remove from heat.

4. In the same pan, place scallops on high heat leaving a bit of space between them. Fry them without moving them, about 2 minutes on the first side, and then flip for another minute or so. Remove scallops from pan and serve hot over corn saute.

Makes 2 servings.

Try This: I had all intention of searing my scallops--to get a nice brown crust on either side of the scallop--but that didn't work and I think it's because my pan wasn't hot enough. I've also read that it helps to have a bit of oil in the pan and at the last minute, to add a bit of butter. Finally, for best results, the scallops should have very very very little liquid (dry them like crazy!).

image via fine cooking

Friday, 7 October 2011


Ahhh, the weekend. I thought you'd never come. It's been a busy week, with presentations, auditions, coffee dates, yoga dates, and of course, reading. Reading books, reading articles, reading the labels on food (it's research). And now, to kick back and relax.

It's supposed to be 23 degrees this weekend--can you believe it?! Here? In October?! So, to soak it in: this weekend calls for some outdoor venturing (or just venturing outdoors). Is it safe to say we can enjoy drinks on the patio? A trip to Chinatown sans rain? I think so.

Plus, for those celebrating Thanksgiving this weekend, Happy Turkey Day! Try to get some family in this weekend--if not every other weekend--and try not to eat your weight in turkey, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin pie. 
On another note, here's what went on this past week at Tomfoolery & Bright:

Scout & Catalogue launches its fall collection
my love-love (that's love squared) relationship with pancakes continues with these:
Brown Rice Pancakes
a birthday wish for a special lady
and some of my new favourite (health) foodie blogs

Happy giving thanks.

images via cupcakes and cashmere, goop, pinterest, and domestic adventure

Thursday, 6 October 2011


With the fall comes fall cooking, which means hearty soups and stews (and sometimes salads), but ultimately a yearning for Mom's cooking: comfort food. Lately, I've been rummaging through bookmarked websites in search of delicious fall recipes, recipes that pack a flavourful punch, deliver the comfort of home-cooking, but without the added calories: lightened-up fare with nutrient dense ingredients.

Here are a few (new to me) websites that I came across and what I'm dying to try first (Enjoy!):

The Food Lover's Primal Palate is a blog website run by a couple interested in healthful living. Their recipes are based off of the paleo diet--or the caveman's diet--which excludes grains, legumes, dairy, processed foods, alcohol, and starches. Okay, I'm not quite that restrictive with my diet, but I am looking forward to trying out some of the recipes at this site, particularly what looks to be a delicious grain-free carrot cake. Um, yum!
Gabi at Honest Fare looks to share with her readers simple recipes made from simple, honest ingredients--which I love. Something that I'm trying to do more is appreciate the goodness of simple, fresh ingredients bought from local farms (or at the very least, close to home) and the delicious dishes that can be made with them. Check out this gorgeous video for making a beet cake (the beets sweeten the cake, amazing!).

Healthful Pursuit shares recipes of both the vegan and gluten-free kind. Leanne Vogel is a Holistic Nutritionist and strives to create recipes for those with allergy or dietary restrictions (perfect for me). And while many of her recipes are dairy, gluten, sugar, corn, yeast, and peanut free, it is her hope that readers will agree, her recipes and the lack of the ingredients do not sacrifice flavour. I have a sensitivity to processed sugars and flours (processed food, in general, is probably good to avoid anyway), so I'm really looking forward to trying out some of Leanne's recipes. To start? The Pumpkin Spice Smoothie looks like a good way to kick off October!

Finally, at The Realistic Nutritionist, Claire happily shares recipes boasting lots of bready, carb-loaded, starchy, all-of-my-weaknesses-type-foods. Just kidding. But hers is a great website if you're looking for a 'healthier', lightened-up version of something, such as lasagna (hers is loaded with vitamin-rich veggies) and cheesecake (she has a few recipes, one uses low-fat cream cheese and sour cream, the other a vegan option). So, what am I looking forward to trying out? Her cheesecakes, of course, but these Baked Apple Donuts sound pretty enticing, too--now, just to tweak the recipe a little and make them gluten-free!

What I've learned in writing this post? I'd be fat if I didn't exercise. Hope you'll enjoy these websites as much as I do!

What are some of your favourite foodie/recipe websites, and do you have a favourite fall recipe?

images via the food lover's primal plate, honest fare, healthful pursuit, and the realist nutritionist


To my best gal back home, Happy Birthday! If you were here, I'd make you this. But since you're not, I'll send you this. You're the bestest friend, because we can live forever apart and see each other once every 12 months and it's like nothing's ever changed.

Hope your day is extra special--have a drink (or two or several) for me, and I'll for you. I'll (imaginary) toast to you and our future adventures together.

Your lady friend,

image via pinterest