Friday, April 26, 2013

Easy breezy

This outfit had an easy breezy feel to it that perfectly suited my mood on the first unseasonably warm day of the year. By late afternoon the wind gusts had picked up to 75 km/hour so I was very glad to have settled on a long skirt that day! And in true Canadian fashion, by the time I went to bed, it was snowing. Has spring sprung where you are yet?


Skirt - Zara (also here)
T-shirt - Gap
Necklace - Claire's
Sandals - Clarks via Winners
Bracelets - Hand-me-downs

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Curried stuffed mini squash

Lately I've been wanting to make another sort of stuffed vegetable (some of you may recall my stuffed zucchini recipe from two years ago). As soon as I spotted these two adorable mini sweet squashes at the grocery store, I knew I'd found what I was looking for. I remembered seeing a chef using pulverized roasted pumpkin seeds as a breadcrumb-type type topping for lamb, and I decided to do the same here. The mixture was loosely inspired by a South African curry casserole my mom used to make. 

To prepare squash, cut off cap and scoop out flesh, leaving about 1/2" of rind. Coarsely chop flesh. Peel, core and dice one Asian pear into 1/2" cubes. Peel and finely dice one large shallot. Dry heat a small cast-iron skillet over low heat, then sprinkle 1/2 T curry powder and a small handful of unsweetened coconut flakes into pan. Shake pan gently until fragrant/browning. Add 1T vegetable oil (coconut oil would be a nice substitute) and increase heat to medium. Add shallots and cook for one minute, stirring for avoid browning. Add squash, pear and a small handful of raisins. Cook for 3-4 minutes. 

In the meantime, pulverize a small handful of dry roasted pumpkin seeds using the pulse (or ice crush) function on a blender. 

Scoop squash-and-pear mixture into hollow shell, then top with crushed pumpkin seeds and squash cap. Cook at 375 for 15 minutes. 

Everything except the cap stem is edible!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Island of misfit clothes #5: The khaki jacket


I bought this jacket at Winners about seven years ago. I'm ashamed to say I was wooed by the Michael Kors label, which I hadn't seen at Winners until then, and didn't really think through how often I'd actually wear it.

Pros: It's got nice details like a slight flare on the back hem. It's a true wardrobe classic. When I wear it I feel like I'm on an adventure with Indiana Jones.

Cons: Depending what it's worn with, it can look like a safari costume. It's not the best colour for my skin tone. When I need outerwear, I tend to reach for my leather jacket.

Solution: Go classic with jeans, a casual white tee and a scarf. Apply self-tanner the night before to avoid looking washed out ;)


Saturday, April 13, 2013

Slouchy sweater

Sometimes my blog photos start off unplanned. I'll get to work in some random outfit, and Nini will insist that it's is cute and I should take some pictures. her for that! I'd been fighting a bad cold (ugh sick AGAIN!) the week after Easter, which coincided with us getting absolutely slammed at work. So I trudged through, coming wrapped in big cozy sweaters every day and toting a steaming mug of tea. Two of my coworkers powered through fevers, so I can't even say I had it the worst. Anyways, Nini and I nipped downstairs for photos mid-afternoon on Friday and you I think you can read the weariness on my face as we came into the home stretch before the weekend. Oh glorious weekend. (And yes we do get sick days and barring circumstances like these, my coworkers and I do take them!).


Sweater: Swapped (Xhiliration) (also here)
Top - Thifted (also here)
Boots - Geox (most recently here)
Earrings - Gift
Bracelets - Aakriti Designs and Toronto boutique
Watch - Kenneth Cole

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Two year blog anniversary: chronicling my 10 favourite dishes

To mark the two-year anniversary of 'a second glance', here are ten of my favourite recipes. Narrowing down the list was hard! But you can see some of my other favourites, denoted with a , in the Recipe Index


A drink that warms from the inside out on cold days.

The heat of scotch bonnet peppers offsets the sweetness of the grilled pineapple.

Slow cooking takes time but patience pays off with these scrumptious crostinis.

This salad packs fresh flavour, like sweet baked pears and crunchy pomegranate seeds.

This broccoli salad with a creamy-tangy dressing is a long-time family favourite.

Slow cooking with olive oil and balsamic vinegar elevate ordinary peppers.

A lowly vegetable is given the gourmet treatment with maple and Grand Marnier.

You can count the ingredients on one hand, and each one shines.

This stew evokes the heady and exotic flavours of North Africa

This moist cake is slathered with a lick-your-fingers tasty icing

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Two-year blog anniversary: chronicling my 10 favourite looks

Today is the two-year anniversary of 'a second glance'. Yay! To mark the occasion, here are 10 of my favourite looks, in no particular order. Check back tomorrow when I will be posting 10 of my favourite dishes.


Why I like it: The rich textures and colours pop in this outfit and I got to wear my staggeringly high pair of 'reverse Louboutins'.

Why I like itA 'funky urban' dress code challenge helped me come up with this outfit that's got a fun downtown vibe.

Why I like it: I accessorized a piece more commonly worn on its own.

Why I like itAn experiment with a bouffant updo, hair wrap and oversized hoop earrings gave this outfit a throwback vibe.

Why I like it: In another retro outfit, theatrical accessories transformed a polka-dot dress, and I carried the 40s theme through to hair and makeup.

Why I like itFollowing an inspiration photo got me layering beyond my usual comfort zone, with unexpectedly pleasant results

Why I like it: One banded belt united two tricky trends: print-mixing and a midi-length skirt.

Why I like itA couple of tired pieces from my closet felt fresh and modern worn together.

 Why I like it: Layering a knit top gave me more options for a beloved sundress, and I added one of my quirkiest thrift finds - my pearl tassel belt.

Why I like itGold sequinshot pink and a cheery clutch got me pumped up for a party that night. 

Sunday, April 07, 2013

Cheddar, olive and chive scones

Leisurely Sunday morning brunches are one of life's little pleasures and this one was quintessentially English. We invited our friends S&M (ha!) for brunch on Easter Sunday and they unwittingly became the guinea pigs for my cheddar, olive and chive scone recipe. I started with the Joy of Cooking's base recipe for plain scones, then added the savoury flavours, and also substituted half the cream for buttermilk. 
I forgot to pour the eggs I'd already beaten and set aside, so the scones were drier and less fluffy than they should have been (I even kept adding cream to make up for what seemed to be a bad dry-to-liquid ingredients ratio). Luckily with good friends you can laugh it off. We topped the scones with sweet mustard, sliced ham, sliced cheddar and Boston lettuce, with scrambled eggs on the side. We rounded out the meal with berries topped with a dollop of lemon curd and lots of laughter. I then made a second, much more successful batch of scones (shown below) for my Mom's birthday.


Sift together 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, 2 1/4 tsp baking powder, 1T sugar and 1/2 tsp salt in a large mixing bowl. Cut 1/4 cup cold butter into flour mixture until the pieces of butter are the size of small peas. If, like me, you don't have a pastry cutter you can use two knives instead (instructional video here). This will take about 5 minutes. Stir in 50 g finely grated sharp cheddar, 25g chopped and pitted black olives, and 3T chopped chives.

In a separate bowl, beat 2 eggs, setting aside 2T of egg for brushing the tops of the scones. Whisk in 1/4 cup buttermilk and 1/4 cup cream in with the eggs.

Make a well in the flour mixture and pour in liquid ingredients. Combine with a few swift strokes. Handling the dough as little as possible, place it on a lightly floured surface, then pat or roll out until 3/4 inch thick. Cut into scone-sized squares (about 4" x 4").

Brush the scones with the reserved beaten egg, and sprinkle lightly with coarse sea salt. Bake at 450F for 15 minutes. 

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Interseasonal outerwear

Since most of my posts are about officewear, for this one I thought I'd show two jackets I've been wearing all the time on weekends. I love that they both have a sporty feel to them, which makes them ideal for days of running around. They're light as a feather but also warm; the first one's fleece-lined and the second down-filled. The last time I wore the Vuarnet jacket I got four compliments on it woohoo! In my mind that completely justified its $50 price tag (reduced from $200). I popped on a tuque and didn't even have to bother dealing with my serious case of bedhead.


Jacket - Vuarnet via Winners
Hat -  Barts

{Heading out to dinner in Whistler}

Jacket - Lole
Tunic - Jacob
Leggings - Gap
Gloves - Winners
Boots - Sirens
Clutch - Simons

Monday, April 01, 2013

No sign of spring

These pictures were taken the third week of March; look how high the snowbanks are! 

I wore this to a fundraiser with my friend G. Someone brilliantly decided to market it as a 'Dessert Extravaganza'. Trading dinner for cupcakes and other petits fours sucrés? Sign me up! Facetiousness aside, the fundraiser was organized by the Ottawa Hospital Foundation and the Canadian Cancer Society. Cancer has afflicted both our families so this was a cause dear to us. I was not as deep-pocketed as most of the (surgically enhanced) attendees but judging by the fierce bidding over a Chanel purse during the live auction, a lot of money was raised. Yay!

The drive to the event took us along the Ottawa River, and just before sunset. G gamely navigated the puddles to get these shots. On a related note, G has toyed with the idea of starting her own blog, perhaps writing about her experiences as a mom and wife. I've been encouraging her because I've found being in the blogging community so positive. If you guys have words of wisdom or advice for G, leave them below!


Jacket - Danier Leather
Scarf - Winners
Shirt - Trf via Laura (also here)
Pants - (most recently here)
Shoes - Thrifted (Aldo)
Bracelets - Hand-me-down and Toronto boutique
Earrings - Claire's