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In-depth post #5

I’m back to my usual 2 recipes every post now! This week you will be seeing oatmeal apple muffins (recipe here), and date squares (recipe here). My muffins turned out sub par as I under baked them by a little bit so the bottom kind of stuck to the pan. I also used some older baking powder so they didn’t rise as much as I would have liked. But, they tasted exactly like the real thing, so I’m quite happy with the result. The date squares were a success, the only thing that I would change is to use less sugar. I could tell that to some people the sweetness would be perfect, but to me it was a little bit over sweet. I plan on re-making both these recipes over spring break (next post) as well as 2 new recipes.

Here are my muffins:

WOW, what a huge bunch of ingredients! I almost ran out of room on my counter.
All the flour and dry ingredients (minus the sugar)
In the front: All the wet ingredients (the sugar was supposed to go in here, but I accidentally dumped based on reflex, ops) In the back: All the dry ingredients + the sugar
The mixture before it gets poured into the muffin tins.
Going into the oven!
The finished product, I would have liked it to rise more, which is why I bought some brand new baking powder to try this recipe again during spring break.

Now for the date squares:

The ingredients (much more manageable than the muffin ingredients)
All the dry ingredients + the coconut oil. I had to put this bowl into a pot full of hot water to melt the coconut oil because solid coconut oil is extremely hard.
The mixed crumbly mixture. I took this picture after I put half of the mixture into the pan, that’s why it doesn’t look like a lot.
Chopping the dates for the date paste.
Boiling/simmering the dates to make paste.
The final paste.
The date squares (or square since its not cut) before it goes into the oven.
Mmmmmm, nice and golden brown. These came right out of the oven, I had to wait a couple of hours until they were cool to cut them.

BONUS (I guess, even though I don’t have pictures): I baked another batch for the Slam Jam event. This time I used my experience with the previous batch and made the following improvements:

1. I used less sugar so that the natural flavor of the dates could be tasted.

2. I used vegan margarine instead of coconut oil (Although the recipe said both were fine, I used coconut oil for my personal batch because there is soybean oil in the vegan margarine and I’m allergic to soy). I couldn’t compare the two as I was allergic to one.

3. I waited until it was 100% cool and hard before I cut it instead of cutting it when it was semi-soft.


Now to my recording with my mentor:
(PLEASE READ: the audio in this clip is very low due to me recording it on my phone, when listening to the clip, turn your volume to 100% but PLEASE REMEMBER TO TURN IT DOWN AGAIN)

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0:20 – White hat (Talking about coconut oil)

2:50 – Red hat (Inferring that the coconut sugar I used might be sweeter than brown sugar)

4:08 – Green hat (Asking what would be a substitute for dates)

4:20 to end of video – Yellow hat (Discussing if mangoes will work for the recipe)

4:30 – Red hat (Me feeling that mangoes won’t work)

4:38 Black hat (Me saying that dried mangoes are a little too dry)

Dear mother and father

Dear mother and father,                                                             April 1, 1831

I know I haven’t written in a while, but I hope you can forgive me as a lot of things have been happening extremely fast in my life. I have big news! I’m getting married! Yes, me, Louis Lafontaine, at 23 years of age, am getting married to a beautiful woman called Lynzee Rickard. That isn’t the only good news. A few months ago, I was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Lower Canada. I’m grateful for this opportunity and I hope I can make Lower Canada better. To be honest, all I do is to basically create bills so that they may be passed. My true goal however, is to unite both Upper Canada and Lower Canada to be one nation. My goal is very similar to Louis Papineau’s goal, which is why I find myself agreeing more and more with Louis Papineau’s movement for political reform. A movement that was inspired by the American Revolution so many years ago.  I have heard of a movement like this in upper Canada so maybe the political reform that I have been waiting for is finally happening. I hope this doesn’t turn out to be a bloody conflict though. No matter what happens, I want you two to know that I love you very much.

– Louis Lafontaine



Document of (Resource) Learning

Well this is my second document of learning for social studies. This is my resource for this post:

As you can see, it’s a video! The reason I chose this video was that I realized that while I am extremely interested in war’s and know a good amount about both world wars, I know almost nothing about The War of 1812. This war was the most important war in the history of Canada in my opinion, as we would have become part of America if we had lost. This video describes in moderate detail the events during The War of 1812 that contributed to the result of the war. (With a couple of humorous facts thrown in as well)

I feel that this video applies to almost all the sections of the PLO, as this war shaped our identity, culture, created a new government, and affected the environment by setting a new border. By being a video, this resource already appeals to those who don’t like reading long paragraphs. It also is a manageable 12 minutes long; anyone can take 12 minutes out of their day to learn something new. I know I enjoyed this resource because of the illustrations and because it was easy to understand. Although the video is from an American point of view, it is quite easy to make connections to how Canada developed as a country after this war, even though it is not directly stated.

Overall, I think that this is definitely a “green” resource.

What is our path?

Where have we been?
I think as humanity, we’ve “been” to quite a few places. I mean, over the past couple thousand years, we have learned that we like to fight…a lot. There is always some major war going on somewhere around the world. But, all is not bleak. Humans have made some fantastic discoveries about our planet. We even went to the moon! Towards the 2000s we have really began to mature as a species, and while some might say that 1950-1980 was the time for discovery, I say we are reaching the peak of discovery and innovation right now.

Where are we going?

The possibilities for the future are endless! As we begin to mature, the amount of fighting, while it is never going to disappear, is at a far lower level then 100 years ago. I predict that in the future, they will be no conflict between countries, but rather the only conflict will be within the country due to bad government. As for technology, I predict that there will be even more technology to limit how much work we do. This is because everyone has a lazy side (yes, admit it, you have one too). This means that the amount of robots will increase, to the point where they are an essential part of our lives. Within the next 100 years, we will probably colonize mars or the moon, hopefully eliminating our overpopulation problem. Overall, I see an advanced future ahead for humanity!

In-depth post #4

As stated in my last post, I only baked once these past two weeks. But just because I didn’t bake much, doesn’t mean I didn’t bake good food! Check out these oatmeal cookies that I made from this recipe:

All the ingredients needed for this recipe. I added some dark chocolate hemp protein to increase flavor and nutrients (Not pictured)
Combining all of the ingredients except the baking soda.
After adding the baking soda, water and mixing.
The mixture after 3 hours in the freezer, just before it goes into the oven.
The result after 10 min of baking! ( An oversight was the fact that I didn’t have baking parchment, so i had to use aluminum foil. As a result, the bottom was slightly burnt and the rest of the cookie was uncooked.)

Review: The cookies tasted great. I think that the flavor of hemp protein really helped the taste. Before baking, I asked my sister what flavor of hemp protein to put in. The choices were: Dark chocolate, Blueberry raspberry, and vanilla. My sister suggested dark chocolate, so these cookies were technically chocolate chip cookies without the chip.The main problem with the cookies were that they were uncooked every after baking. The reason for this was because I had to use aluminum foil instead of baking parchment. Also, the cookies ended up in balls because I didn’t add enough water to compensate for the hemp powder I added in, so they didn’t stick together very well. Because these tasted so good, I might make a batch every 2 or so weeks. I won’t post step by step pictures, but I will include a small paragraph displaying my result when I do make a new batch.

When I was talking with my mentor (Joyce) this past weekend, I asked her if she had any tips when it came to baking. As all I know about baking was learned from my home economics class in middle school, I learned quite a couple of things. For instance, as soon as I found my recipe, I wondered what kept the cookies from falling apart as there was no egg. When I asked Joyce what makes cookies stick together, she said that it was the margarine and sugar that makes cookies stick together. I understood what she meant after I baked my first batch and found out that they didn’t stick together very well. For my cookies, I wanted to slightly alter the recipe a little bit (Adding the hemp protein). I thought I had a sufficient level of skill to add some more water to match the powder. I asked Joyce for her opinion on this, she said that I might want to wait on altering the recipes for now as she thought I was not at a high enough level of skill. We decided finally that I could add the powder as long as my sister supervised how much extra water I added.

As Joyce and I get to know each other better, I’m glad to say our value and beliefs are the same. (I think it’s because Joyce is good friends with my sister, and I share some qualities with my sister). As we were ending our conversation, I asked Joyce if there was anyway I could improve my baking skills without actually baking (because I only bake once a week). Joyce said the best way to improve is to practice, which I suppose is true. Luckily, my Foods 9 class is starting to pick up and I am getting some practice from there too!

Thanks for reading this In-Depth post, I hope to see you guys again in 2 weeks for my next post! (SPOILER: There may be muffins and other treats involved)

In-depth Post #3

And I’m back again!!! This time I actually cooked something. (and no, I didn’t burn my house down) The weekend after my 2nd blog post, I baked my first food item: brownies. Here were my steps:

The brownie mix that I used.
The directions, nutrition information, and ingredients.
All the ingredients and equipment all in one shot!
Mixing the mix, two tbsp of water and two tbsp of oil together.
After a lot of mixing, right before it goes into the microwave.
Voila! The finished result after 1.5 minutes of microwaving!

Review: I have never actually ate an actual brownie with gluten in it, so I cannot compare it to that. But, from what I gathered from my sister (who also ate some), it tastes practically identical to a brownie with gluten. Although it was a bit bitter due to the fact that there was pure cocoa powder in it. Overall 5/5 will make again!

The next week, I decided on making something more ambitious. While I made the brownies on my own, this recipe required some help from my sister. Unfortunately my mentor was busy with midterm exams and couldn’t come to cook with us. The recipe this week was: LASAGNA! These were the steps. (Sorry all you vegans/vegetarians out there, I put some ground pork in the lasagna. Feel free to substitute it out for something else if you desire)

All the ingredients (from left to right, up to down): Ground pork, Gluten-free lasagne pasta, tomato sauce, coconut sauce (soy-sauce substitute) to put into the meat, and cheese substitute (dairy-free).
Sorry, got a little excited here and forgot to take photos of the earlier stages but the order of our lasagna was: pasta, sauce, meat, cheese substitute and so on for another layer until the top layer where there was no meat.
The finished product right before it goes into the oven!
Looks good, just like real lasagna! The reason there is a gap in the center is because we had to use two pieces of pasta to cover the pan and there was a gap in between them.

Review: Just like the brownies, I have never had lasagna with gluten in it, so I can’t compare the two. My sister, who has tried both types, says that it is quite similar. I quite enjoyed this dish and it made a good dinner (it was a really late dinner, as I forgot to turn on the oven). Overall 4/5 because I used a little bit too much sauce and it masked the taste of everything else.

Now that the cooking aspect of my post is done, I will talk about how I’ve incorporated the parts of “How to have a Beautiful Mind” with communicating with my mentor, Joyce. This week: How to be interesting and how to respond.

When I get going in a conversation, its often hard to stop. I have a magnitude of funny and interesting stories that are just waiting for the right moment to burst out. Joyce and I found that we had many things to talk about, including: exercise, health, and of course, my sister. This meant that there were no shortage of interesting discussions between us. The conversation felt natural, and there were no awkward pauses where one of us thought of how to respond. I think we are getting along quite well and we are both getting more comfortable with being around each other.

Well that’s it for this week folks. Unfortunately, there will only be 1 dish next week because I just got my retainers and I can’t eat hard things yet. Stay tuned for my next post in 2 weeks and thanks for reading this one!


In-Depth post #2 (Update)

So far in the In-Depth project, I haven’t done any actual cooking yet. BUT, what I have been doing is watching my mom cook to learn some techniques. Also, this past Sunday (Jan.18) I went to the Vancouver Gluten-Free Expo in the Vancouver Convention center with my sister and my mentor, Joyce. For the measly price of 5$ per person (actual tickets were 12$, we got ours on sale) we got more free samples than you can get from a whole day in Costco. But we didn’t just go there for the free samples thought, we also bought A LOT of stuff (about 120$ between the 3 of us).

Our total haul from the expo!

As we took public transit to the expo. I had a lot of time to talk Joyce as it took us about an hour to get there. It wasn’t as awkward as I thought it would be, mainly because my sister was also there with us. On the way to the expo, we basically just introduced ourselves to familiarize with each other more. I also went into more detail what I am doing for my project and how I will do it.

Once we got the the expo, the topic of conversation went more towards healthy eating/ vegan foods as all the foods we saw were very healthy. We had a minor disagreement over what nutrient/mineral was the most important, but that was half-joking as I wanted protein for obvious reasons (MUSCLES), and Joyce was looking for a more balanced blend of protein, fiber and other nutrients. She was almost as excited for this expo as I was because she is also looking for healthy foods to eat. My sister was mainly shelling out the cash because Joyce and I didn’t have any. (We paid her back later don’t worry) Later on, Joyce and I had an interesting conversation on what type of gluten-free flour mix to buy for my project. I was leaning more towards the cheaper one, as I couldn’t tell a big difference between to two, but she recommended the mix with more nutrients. We discussed this  for a couple of minutes but finally we came to a mutual agreement that the healthier mix was worth the extra money. Reading the section about how to differ really helped me with talking to Joyce, it really made our conversations longer, more interesting, and more informative. I think that me and Joyce click together pretty well and so far we haven’t really outright disagreed on anything, we just have different opinions that we share with each other to gain more knowledge.

Stay tuned for my next update post in 2 weeks where there will be pictures of my cooking! (I’m planning on making brownies Sunday with some baking mix I got at the expo)

And before I sign off, I would like to leave you with and image of a GLUTEN-FREE FERRARI seen at the Gluten-free expo


Section two: The Challenges

Challenge 1: Tension (How do you deal best with tension in a stressful situation)

The way I tend to deal with tension in a stressful situation is to use humor to break the tension. This works more times than not. In fact, I have never been in a situation where humor doesn’t at least defuse it by a little bit.

Challenge 2: Frustration (What should you do when you find yourself following a leader who is ineffective?)

In a situation like this, I have two choices, to quit, or to help this leader. Unless the leader is a hopeless case, I would try and help them lead better in any way possible. If all else fails, I will have no other choice than to quit.

Challenge 3: Multi-hat (How can you determine what “hat” you need to wear in a given situation?)

The thing that I consider the most when deciding what “hat” to wear is who I am talking to. The factors that contribute to my decision are  the other person’s personality, and the situation that we are in. If this “hat” doesn’t work, then I will quickly switch to another “hat”.

Challenge 4: Ego (What ideas, products, or services provided by your committee/ quad are so important that you would allow someone else to take credit for them even though you contributed)

Taking credit for an idea isn’t that big of a deal for me but I am OK with someone else taking credit for my idea as long as they themselves recognize it was my idea. No one else needs to know.

Challenge 5: Fulfillment (List some of the advantages and disadvantages of being out front)

Advantages of being out front are: more opportunity to lead, more authority. Disadvantages of being out front are: more responsibility, more stress, more competition. As you can see, it is quite a commitment being out front.

Challenge 6: Vision (What would you rather do: see your own vision put into action and come to fruition, or help others fulfill theirs? Explain.)

I would rather help someone else because there is no other feeling like helping someone else. This is of course assuming that the person I’m helping has an achievable vision that is not a total conflict of my own.

Challenge 7: Influence (What skills will you learn or sharpen to become more competent in your current position?)

I want to sharpen my speaking skills when I lead others. Right now my voice occasionally  falters while speaking and I run out of words to say. I also want to be more assertive as I lack the seriousness to do so.


Section one: The Myths of Leading from the Middle of an Organization

Myth 1: Discuss if people need to possess the top title to achieve results and help others become productive.

The only thing that the top title grants you is that people under you will have to do as you say, not because they want to. A leader will be able to achieve results from a middle position, and as others will naturally listen to a good leader, they will become more productive. A top title is just that, a title, it should not dictate your leadership skills

Myth 2: How are you learning to lead? What opportunities do you currently have that could further develop your leadership skills.

I am currently learning to lead through my Taekwondo, where I am assisting my master in teaching kids, and also through the TALONS program, where I am doing stuff like this booklet. Some of the opportunities I still have to further develop my leadership skills is another year of TALONS, also, I could potentially get a job.

Myth 3: What prompts you to follow someone else.

I think the biggest factors are reliability and trust. I will almost always follow someone I know and trust over a stranger in the same circumstance. Of course, if those factors are not available, then I would follow the one sounding more logical than the counterpart. The one that I would follow would have to display more leadership qualities than the other person.

Myth 4: What prompts you to consider another person’s opinion.

For me, I will try to always consider someone’s opinion unless it is clear to me that they are not serious about it. I will also be more likely to consider another person’s opinion if they have reason behind it.

Myth 5: Do you agree that when you move up in an organization, the weight of your responsibility increases? Explain.

Yes, I do agree. My reasoning is that now more people will expect more things from you. Whether that be having to manage more people, accomplish more tasks, or even running the company, your responsibility will increase if you move up in an organization.

Myth 6: Eleanor Roosevelt said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” How does that idea relate to allowing a title or position to limit you position?

A lot of people let titles dictate how they behave. How can something within you change if you do nothing about it? A title is just a name, take it away and nothing changes, some people think that a change in a title title changes themselves. This also works for the opposite too, just because you don’t have a high ranking title doesn’t mean you don’t have leadership skills.

Myth 7: The reality for most people is that they will never be the CEO. Does that mean they should just give up leading altogether?

Often, the CEO doesn’t even have the best leadership skills in their company. You don’t have to always lead people below you, you can lead people on the same level as you and even people on a higher level. There are always opportunities for leadership, whether you are high ranking or at the bottom.