Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Homemade "Subway" Bread


We have returned to Canada and I have started a new food related blog. Check it out:

The Food On My Shirt



I am a huge Subway fan but since we sold the car and moved in to the parents basement there is no longer a Subway within walking distance. The only way to feed my addiction was to try to make it on my own. Thanks to the wonders of the Internet I found the basics of a Subway bun recipe that I modified to work for me.


2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon dry active yeast
1 tablespoon sugar or honey
1 1/2 cup warm water
As much cheese or herbs as you want (below I have done a take on Italian Herb and Cheese)


For my version I swapped out some of the Italian herbs for:

2 fists of roasted garlic
1 tablespoon fresh chopped rosemary
1 tablespoon fresh chopped oregano
1/2 cup cheddar cheese- for on top of the buns.

I've never baked anything before so this was a learning experience. I used my trusty stand mixer so it was a fairly clean process.

I started by roasting the garlic with a little olive oil (Having the oven warm helps if you need a warm spot to have your bread rise).

In the stand mixer throw in the flour, butter, salt and herbs.

In a separate bowl add the warm water, sugar/honey then add the yeast. Mix this a little bit. The yeast munches on the sugar making gas that foams up in the bowl. After 10min it should double.
Add the yeast to the other ingredients and mix on a low setting. You may have to add a little more water until it forms a dough ball.

Take your dough ball out and knead it on the counter. After it looks consistent put it in a mixing bowl and cover with a cloth. Put it into the warm oven to let rise. This could take about an hour.

Once it doubles in size, punch it down and let it rise again. Pull the dough ball out and separate into smaller balls. Originally I made three Subway sized buns, this time I made six smaller almost hot dog style buns. Roll the balls into little logs and put on a baking sheet. I cut slices into the top to make them look professional and legit. I also wiped them with a little egg wash and covered them in cheese. Let them double in size again.

Take them out of the oven and pre-heat it to 425 degrees. I put a muffin tin in the bottom with some water in it to keep things steamy.

Bake for 20-25 mins or until they are a nice brown color on top. Put them on a wire rack to cool then make your favourite sandwich.


Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Gear list

I'm not one for clothes or other aesthetic things while travelling but I do have an obsession with technology and gear. Here is a list of things I'll be taking, I'm a master of disguise and trained ninja so please don't try to mug me for my things.

Check it out:
  1. Unlocked iPhone 4- for keeping in touch with mom and pop
  2. 1st Gen iPad with 3G- my favourite map replacement
  3. 15" HP G62 Laptop- our lives are backed up on this beauty
  4. Amazon Kindle- as an avid reader this is the most economical way of taking a library with you
  5. Nikon D3100 Camera- this is actually Jess's first baby
  6. Olympus Stylus Tough Underwater Camera- point and shoot for life! Plus it is indestructible.
  7. Petzl LED head lamps- Hands free light for when the power goes out in your crappy hostel
  8. Sleeping bag liner- nobody wants bed bugs
  9. Sea-to-Summit collapsible grocery bag and backpack- perfect for hiding your fancy camera or picking up a couple bottles of wine.
  10. MEC Pangea 75 travel backpack- designed for travel
  11. MEC medium duffel 35L- reasonable sized bag great for shoes and such
  12. Sea-to-Summit bag cover/duffel - lockable bag for the travel backpack
  13. Travel towels- I have one for the beach and one for daily use
  14. Light weight travel hammock- two trees and your set
  15. Northface water resistant jacket- light weight and durable
  16. Dakine Backpack with Laptop sleeve- my carry-on bag
  17. Travel umbrella- there is nothing better than staying dry on the move
  18. Timex travel watch- with time, day, date and indiglo- this watch is nice enough to wear for work but practical enough that you will be able to keep track of when you need to be somewhere
  19. Prescription glasses with transition lenses- two birds-ones stone
  20. Gold bond medicated powder- Trust me on this one!
This is pretty much the limit that I can comfortably carry while being able to take clothes and other secondary things. This is by no means a list of things I "need". I do not actually need anything on this list but I have found that the ability to access information, document your experiences, amuse yourself, stay dry and comfortable while travelling makes the trip that much more enjoyable.

I've probably missed a bunch of things but if anyone has additional things they would take let me know.

Commencing Countdown, Engines On

Well, we are getting close to being on our way and we are feeling a little "Major Tom"-ish. We won't be blasting into space but travelling across the world. With merely a couple pairs of underwear and a kindle our trip feels pretty intimidating right now.

Our journey will potentially be two years, starting in New Zealand for the first and moving to Australia for the second. We have sold our house, car and most of our possessions to finance our adventure. The current plan will be to arrive in Auckland and find jobs and an apartment for a couple months while we sort out where we want to go and what we want to do. (For the most part our plans last about as long as a Roman Candle, so don't be surprised if this isn't what we end up doing).

To cut down on the fear-factor of this trip we have tried to organize our lives as much as possible. We have made copies of all of our important documents, gotten our immunizations up to date and updated resumes and references. There will be nothing holding us back but ourselves.

Wish us luck!

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Picture Perfect

I am a huge fan of photography. I enjoy taking pictures, and more recently creating photo books. Jeff discovered '' about three years ago. It is a great website dedicated to helping you organize the perfect photo books from the comfort of your own home. The process is as follows:

  • Create an account on
  • Decide on a book size
  • Pick out a layout (travel album, cook book, story book, etc.)
  • Download all of the pictures that you would like to use
  • Organize each book page (with or without text, patterned backgrounds or solid colors, etc.)
  • Complete your order (download your book to the blurb website and pay - my only problem with this website is the length of time it takes for this final stage)

Every once in a while I get an email from blurb showcasing new ideas to try, and often a discount to use on my next order.

(A view from the back side. All images were photos taken from our trips)
I have made three books so far and did not pay extra for shipping, they all arrived within a week.

Another bonus to this website is that all of your creations are saved in an account. If you loose the book, or tear a page, you can sign back in and re-print a book - for the full charge of course. Also, if it is a book that other friends or family members like, you can easily order another book or multiples for their own collection.

(A page from our wedding album with added text)

I'm sure that there are many tools on that I have yet to discover. Overall, I found it an easy website to navigate and the finished product is very professional looking.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Once a Brownie, always a Brownie

Before I became a 'Brownie' I was in Spark's. I got that pink shirt and I was a committed member. I wore that thing every day and the only time my mom could wash it was when I was sleeping. As an adult I feel obligated to share my most recent food creation. The Girl Guide Cookie Blizzard!

No skill required:

Step 1 - Find a Girl Guide, and buy a box of her cookies
Step 2 - Chop the cookies into little pieces
Step 3 - Mix the cookies into your favorite brand of vanilla or chocolate ice cream

You may need to let the ice cream sit a while before you mix in the cookie. Then, if you have a moderate amount of patience, put the blended mix back into the freezer to harden before serving.


What to pack?

Soon after the shock of our Canadian exit plan sinks in, most people ask the age old travel question: "What are you going to pack?". As a woman, you would think this would be a daunting task, but I'm not so sure it has to be. After all, isn't it just the perfect excuse to buy what was 'forgotten' or 'didn't think I needed' upon arrival? (ear-muffs Jeff)

Some great travel items that every girl should consider:

1. Stainless Steel Wine Glass - compact & un-breakable
2.Victoria's Secret underwear - comfortable, easy to hand wash & quick to dry
3. Kindle e-readers - a great space and weight saver
4. Italian syle coffee maker - can be used on a stove or over a camp fire

The Serious List:

1. Medical Records
2. Re-fill necessary prescriptions - we also got slepping pills for the 14 hour plane ride
3. Climate appropriate clothing & accessories - there are many rainy days down under so I have invested in a sweet pair of rain boots, and clothing that can easily be layered.
4. Revised copy of resume - CV's have a slightly different layout
5. Copies of all important documents - we scanned and emailed ourselves these items
6. Technology! Electrical outlets are different - adaptors are a must
7. Updated passports
8. Money...

Not how you thought I would respond?
We want the ability to move easily from location to location. We will have one large backpack and one medium duffle bag each. Anything more will make it difficult to be mobile. It truly is as simple as: take what you can carry.