The Day America Broke America – Trump

November 8th, 2017

The Day America Broke America

It’s been just over a full year now since Trump won the election and there is still a lot of world interest in the United States. Specifically, what is going to happen next? It appears that when things take a turn for the worst, they only get worse. We’re not just talking about the natural disasters, but the way in which Trump has responded to all the real crises that has affected the United States, both domestic and abroad.

Trump incites religious extremism in his speeches and has rallied the bullies of the U.S.. He has actively contributed to anti-immigration, anti-gay, and anti-Muslim rhetoric, setting a strong tone of intolerance within his country and afar. One thing that has remained consistent is his disdain for Hillary Clinton. To this day he uses her email scandal as a means for pointing out the “worse-off” alternative to the now-established norm. Deflection is Trump’s primary tactic whenever he gets himself into hot water, which is pretty much a daily occurrence.

Remarkable Tragedy

This man is truly remarkable. He has proven that he can act in any way he chooses, without any real consequences for his actions. Comments and actions that were once believed unfit of someone running for political office, seems to be OK for many Americans now. Here we stand, a year later, with a world-stage laughing stock who fails to unite the country he leads against acts of terrorism, both domestic and abroad.

Russel Howard, one of our favourite comedians, based out of the United Kingdom, recently did a few episodes about gun control in the aftermath of the Las Vegas shooting, the KKK and white supremacy groups, as well as other very relevant issues affecting the U.S.. Here’s a couple clips we think you’ll enjoy! Russel Howard is inspirational, serious when he has to be, and always succeed at driving home very important messages that we should all be listening to, something we can’t say for everyone!

Russel Howard – Daryl Davis – The man who created the documentary “Accidental Courtesy”

Russel Howard – U.S. Gun Control

In all seriousness, we really need to take a look at America and its position on the world stage. The U.S. is simply not the greatest country in the world and has far more flaws than positive attributes. Many of its people are behind the times, there are civil wars taking place all over the place, and those dealing with oppression aren’t getting any better. When the country and the world looks back on the George W. Bush era and starts to think they did not have it too badly, things start to come into perspective.

As Daryl Davis states in his interview with Russel Howard, Trump is the best thing to happen to America. In some cases you need to break something completely before you can fix it. Davis believes that America will come together like never before to rebuild it in a way that reflects true American values, as they were meant to be. We hope Davis is right, because this tragedy is supposed to last another 3 more years! Bring on the midterm elections and let’s start holding these baboons accountable!

 

Check out our previous post here.

Roasted Pear and Dark Chocolate Chunk Scones

Today we’re going to pair together an unlikely combination of ingredients. Pears and chocolate. We’re not sure why this pairing has not made it to the mainstream, but we’re hoping that you’ll give these scones a try and become a convert like us.

We unexpectedly came across some pears one evening when a neighbour stopped over with some overflow from her pear tree harvest. We didn’t complain.

Thankfully, a couple of years ago we stumbled across Deb’s recipe for Roasted Pear and Chocolate Chunk Scones and the recipe has been lingering in our minds ever since. We were as curious as we’re sure you are about what the combination of pear and dark chocolate tastes like. Spoiler alert: It’s a winning combination!

Roasting the pears allows for some of the moisture to be reduced and also intensifies the flavour of the pear. We found that using dark chocolate (at least 70%) cut down on some of the sweetness and made these perfectly palatable at breakfast time. Although, who are we kidding, we probably could have used milk chocolate and still eaten them for breakfast!

What did we change from Deb’s recipe?

  1. We upped the chocolate. Obviously. Chocolate tends to be sold in 100 g bars so rather that trying to painstakingly weigh out 85 g we just tossed the whole thing in.
  2. We got rid of the egg wash. To be honest, while it leaves a lovely shine on the scones that would be perfect if you were serving these to guests, it just wasn’t worth the hassle to us. You still end up with gorgeous, flavourful scones without it.
  3. We sprinkled with turbinado. We had to make up for the lack of egg wash somehow so we decided to sprinkle the tops of the scones with turbinado sugar (also known as Sugar in the Raw). It provides some sparkle and a bit of crunch to the final product.
  4. We used salted butter. This is standard in our kitchen. We know that baking purists will insist on using unsalted butter when baking to allow for maximum control of salt content, but we love the flavour when using salted butter and typically use it over unsalted butter whenever we bake.

Overall,  this is a delicious scone recipe to add to your fall baking repertoire and sure to leave whomever you share them with impressed by your amazing ability to combine flavours!

Go bake.

Roasted Pear and Dark Chocolate Chunk Scones

Indredients:

3 bosc pears (about 1 pound or 454 g- ours came closer to 500 g)

1 1/2 cups (190 g) all-purpose flour

1/4 cup (50 g) granulated sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

6 tablespoons (85 g) cold salted butter, cut into small cubes

1/4 cup heavy cream

1/3 cup (100g) dark chocolate, chopped (We used a 70% Lindt chocolate bar)

1 large egg

Tubinado sugar/Sugar in the Raw for sprinkling on top

Directions:

  1. Start by preheating your oven to 375 degrees F. Peel and core the pears and cut them into 1-inch chunks. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange the pear chunks on the parchment in a single layer and roast until they feel dry to the touch and look a little browned underneath, about 20-22 minutes. Transfer the pear chunks to a plate and place in the fridge or the freezer to cool down until they’re lukewarm.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk the flour, baking powder, granulated sugar, and salt toghether in a large bowl. Add the cold butter and using a pastry cutter or two knives break up the butter into pea sized pieces.
  3. Add the pears, heavy cream, and egg and mix until just combined. Add the chococlate chunks and mix until evenly distributed.
  4. On a well floured counter, pat the dough out into a 6-inch round. Cut into 6 generous wedges and transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment, placing them at least 2-inches apart.  Sprinkle each scone with a genours amount of turbinado sugar.
  5. Transfer the scones to the oven and bake until firm and golden, about 30 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. Enjoy!

Inspired by this recipe.

September 13, 2017

Sikh or Muslim?  Who Cares?!

NDP Leadership Candidate, Jagmeet Singh, has been generating quite the buzz since he was confronted by a heckler at one of his events. To make a long story short, he handled it perfectly by refusing to tell the heckler that he is Sikh and not Muslim. Check out this video:

An “Illegal Resolution” or Perfectly Justifiable?

Washington has been accused of pursuing “political, economic and military confrontation.” This was shortly met with Han Tae Song, North Korea’s ambassador to the UN, saying that he “Categorically reject[s]” the UN’s “Illegal resolution”. The new measures imposed on the regime include restricting oil imports and a complete ban on textile exports. These measures have been imposed as a result of the recent nuclear test that took place earlier this month.

This clip shows what a North Korea War would look like today, if it were to occur:

Check out the Full BBC Article here.

Norming and Storming

Pop Francis is calling on all the world leaders to take action on climate change after the successive hurricanes that have been plaguing North America, specifically the United States, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Cuba. Pope Francis is urging the U.S. to reconsider its position on the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement. According to the CBC, Francis said,

“the recent spate of hurricanes should prompt people to understand that humanity will “go down” if it does not address climate change, and history will judge those who deny the science on its causes.”

Francis went on to further say that,

“If we don’t turn back, we will go down”

“All of us have a responsibility, all of us, small or large, a moral responsibility. We have to take it seriously. We can’t joke about it. Each person has their own. Even politicians have their own.”

When Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked whether Trump is reconsidering his position on the Paris Climate Agreement, she replied by saying that she was “not sure”, but for now his administration is focusing on relief efforts.

…. ….

Check out the full CBC Article here.

Nuff said. Fancy-out –

 

Check out last week’s post here.

Whole foods May Never Be Whole Again

September 6th, 2017

Whole foods May Never Be Whole Again

Whole foods started off as an artisan grocer, holding unique and often times local items you couldn’t find anywhere else. Well, that may not be the case anymore. Amazon is looking to quickly dominate the retail grocery space with their efficient delivery business model and low price strategy. While this may be a draw for some consumers looking to not have their “whole paycheck” consumed by Whole Foods groceries, it does pose a concern for the hippy cultural roots that the Whole Foods brand and reputation is known for.

Having worked in the thick of the corporate world, we understand the draw for Amazon to pivot with market demands and keep themselves on top of the competitive landscape; however, what made Whole Foods so great was the fact that they were so unique, in every sense of the word. They turned regular grocery shopping into a treasure hunt for their consumers, with new and exciting products coming in each month.

We will miss you Whole Foods… that said, we will enjoy stopping by to check out the new low prices. You’re not Walmart yet! Stay stylish!

Check out the full Insider Article here.

Harvey, Irma, and Trump

It might be bad luck, the will of a higher power, or it might be a bit of CLIMATE CHANGE… we’re not too sure, but either way climate change should really be a focus moving forward.

Hurricane Harvey may be gone, but the aftermath is just beginning. With Texas residents without homes, jobs, belongings, and their sentimental trinkets, it’s important to remember that all we have is each other. With that said, the U.S. may have another problem on its hands since the rise of Hurricane Irma. This new category 5 storm is set to hit Florida but is currently on its way to the Caribbean. Hopefully this storm loses strength and dissipates on its way to the Caribbean Islands – we’ll be keeping our fingers crossed!

The destruction of tropical storms is never a great thing to write about; however, Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma might just be the thing that saves Trump’s presidency. The U.S.-Mexico Wall no longer needs to be a focus for Trump, so hopefully he uses these storms to drop his ridiculous immigration rhetoric and begins to focus his efforts on supporting those impacted by these terrible storms.

Only time will tell!

Another Storm Begins

A Paramedic who has been helping Hurricane Harvey victims may be deported as a result of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program coming to an end. This program protected illegal immigrant children and youth from being deported despite the fact that they were brought in illegally. Today, Jeff Sessions announced the end to this “unconstitutional exercise of authority”. For Jesus Contreras, his new storm is just beginning.

CNN had this to say about DACA:

Check out the full CBC Article here.

Finally, Something We Can Agree On!

We don’t normally see eye-to-eye with the not-so-popular dictator, Vladimir Putin, but in this specific case, we agree that further sanctions on North Korea is a complete waste of time. It’s time for some decisive action on behalf of the major super powers of the world. Putin said it clearly when he described North Korea’s relationship with their nuclear weapons,

“They’d rather eat grass than abandon their [nuclear weapons] programme unless they feel secure. And what can establish security? The restoration of international law. We should promote dialogue among all interested parties.”

Citing a “humanitarian aspect”, Mr Putin said millions of people would suffer under tougher measures, adding: “Sanctions have been exhausted.”

This is what the U.S. had to say about North Korea’s recent missile launch:

Check out the Full BBC Article here.

We’ll see what happens next!

 

Check out last week’s post here.

 

NAFTA, Trump, Barcelona and a $417M Mistake?!

August 23rd, 2017

Made in the USA or Not?

NAFTA negotiations didn’t seem to go as planned for Trump. For NAFTA to be re-worked to support a more ‘buy America’ policy, it’s going to take a lot more than just a re-write. It’s going to require a complete overhaul.

NAFTA was put together in  1993 with the intention of providing a fair free trade agreement between the U.S., Mexico, and Canada. it is an active agreement that aims to benefit all three countries by moving products across each country’s border with ease.

The Problem with Trump’s ‘Deal’

How can anyone tell if something is truly made in the USA? Products are made up of several parts that come from all over North America. The parts change hands many times and can make for a very confusing accountability process when determining what percentage was made in the U.S., Mexico, and Canada.

NAFTA isn’t perfect, but it’s not a ‘bad’ deal. Free trade has brought opportunities to the U.S., Canada, and Mexico that cannot be quantified in just a simple calculation of Gross Domestic Product.

Economists predict that if the U.S. removes itself from NAFTA, many businesses will perish, along with the jobs that support the economy.

Read the full CNBC article here.

Afghanistan and US Troop Deployment

Apparently we just can’t get enough of Afghanistan!

3,900 troops may be deployed to Afghanistan in a matter of days, according to President Trump. Trump has not released what his strategy will be for the injection of troops at this time; however, the 3,900 troop number comes from a report that was released by the pentagon in June 2017.

According to Trump,

Conditions on the ground – not arbitrary timelines will guide [the U.S.’] strategy from now on.

Despite some of the positive responses from the U.S. allies, some U.S. lawmakers remain divided and concerned about sending another ‘surge’ of troops into the embattled territory.

Read the full CBC article here.

A Hopeful End to a Terrible Tragedy

After a long manhunt for 22-year old Younes Abouyaaquob, he was finally found and shot to death on Monday just outside of Barcelona. He was found at a vineyard and possessed what appeared to be a suicide vest to police when he was gunned down.

The four surviving men have either been held without bail, detained or freed with restrictions after answering questions from a judge in court on Tuesday. The owner of the car that was used in the attacks was released on strict conditions.

Read the full CBC article here.

A $417M Mistake…?

Baby Powder
Baby Powder

Johnson and Johnson has been ordered to pay $417M to a woman who claimed she developed ovarian cancer as a result of using Johnson and Johnson’s baby powder and other talc-based products. The breakdown is as follows:

  • $70M in compensatory damages
  • $347M in punitive damages

This isn’t the first claim of this nature. In fact, there are about 4,800 other cases, with over $300M in verdicts by juries in Missouri, alone.

Johnson and Johnson plans to appeal the $417M verdict.

Good luck!

Read the full CBC article here.

 

 

Check out last week’s post here!

No-Churn Roasted Blueberry Ripple Ice Cream

Blueberries are amazing this time of year on the west coast. They are sweet and flavourful and perfect on pretty much everything (like this cake). Today, we’ve decided to bring them to you in ice cream form because ice cream is one of the most perfect foods invented (right alongside muffins and butter chicken in our opinion).

Thankfully, we didn’t have to break out our ice cream maker for this one! Instead, we used the incredibly popular no-churn method that uses the magic of whipped cream and sweetened condensed milk to produce the creamiest ice cream you can imagine, with only a fraction of the work it normally takes.

We also roasted the blueberries, which really intesifies and concentrates the flavour of them. We threw in a couple of sprigs of basil for good measure as well, as it adds some freshness and a slight earthiness to the blueberries that we found complements the sweet creaminess of the ice cream base.

Do you you guys see that colour?! We’re not sure anything but nature could come up with something that amazing!

Instead of just plain old vanilla ice cream, we added some lemon zest to really brighten things up. And because blueberry and lemon is one of the finer flavour combinations out there, and just screams summer.

Once you have your ice cream base and your roasted blueberries ready you simply mix the two together. Just a little bit if you want a lovely swirl running through the ice cream, or completely if you’re looking for something that’s a bit more consistenly blueberry.

Kick your ice cream up a notch this summer and make this ice cream this weekend! Once you do, you’ll never be able to go back to the store bought stuff!

Go make ice cream.

No-Churn Roasted Blueberry Ripple Ice Cream

Ingredients:

2 pints fresh blueberries

1/4 cup sugar

Few sprigs fresh basil

2 cups heavy whipping cream

1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk

zest of 1 lemon

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the berries on a tinfoil-lined baking sheet and sprinkle with the sugar. Add the basil keeping the leaves whole for easy removal.
  2. Transfer the blueberries to the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until jammy and bubbly. Set aside to cool then place into a large bowl and cool completely in the refrigerator (about 1 hour).
  3. In a small bowl whisk together the sweetened condensed milk, lemon zest, and vanilla. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Using a spoon or spatula gently fold in the lemon/sweetened condensed milk mixture until evenly incorporated.
  5. Pour the blueberries in a gently mix it until swirls of blueberries appear, or mix the blueberries all the way in for a more uniform look.
  6. Transfer the ice cream to a freezer-safe dish and freeze until firm. Enjoy!

Inspired by this recipe.

The Crew Behind the Dough

Thanks for stopping by and reading our first blog post!

We are Alyssa and Corey, two young professionals who are curious about all the interesting things that life has to offer. We enjoy travelling as much as we enjoy great tasting food, as well as catching up on current events, both locally, and around the world.

We each have followed a very traditional path. We’ve both gone to school (hold undergraduate degrees – Alyssa’s in Clinical Psychology, and Corey’s in Commerce), got the corporate job, bought our first car, and everything in between – including starting our own business, called Local Urban Bites. We are fortunate to be living in Victoria, B.C., Canada (Paradise), a place both of us have called home for over 25 years.

Before opening our own business, we both worked in a number of different industries in the corporate world, but decided that working for a boss just wasn’t for us, so in 2016 we decided to take the plunge and risk it all. We now work for the two greatest bosses a man and woman could ask for – Ourselves ;)!.

When we are not building our business, or writing about the many adventures we’re having, we’re making great recipes to share with our readers, family, and friends that are inspired from all corners of the world. For some of us Baking is our outlet, going to mix-and-mingles, globetrotting, or catching up on world events. We’re interested in it all and we’re happy to write about it here for your viewing pleasure – We won’t be leaving out any of the juicy details!

We hope that you enjoy all of our content. If you ever have anything you’d like to write to us about, feel free to do so! We love hearing from our readers!

Enjoy and chat soon!

Corey and Alyssa