Monday, February 11, 2013

Bookmarkin my time away...

How could I forget you little blog. Lost in my growing list of links and favourite sites. You were right there, between pinterest and facebook. How awful of me.

Here are a few things that i've busy bookmarking!

In honour of Fat Tuesday (which is tomorrow): Cinnamon Roll Pancakes

To rebound : Butternut Squash and Tomato Soup
Such a perfect soup to enjoy in winter. Thick and rich, all thats needed is some crusty sourdough!!

And for valentines! Salted Caramel Brownies

smitten kitchen is a blog i've been following for some time now. I love her layout, photos and recipes. Its right up there on my fav's bar, on the other side of pinterst.

I've also just discovered that you can do simple photo shop online without having to install the program!  Photoshop express editor. talk about handy!

and Question:  have always wanted to make your own vegetable stock but then thought about it, felt like it was too much of a process to bother, so you went out and bought it? ya me too... but then I read this article and said "Thats not hard!!" Take a quick glance and maybe you too will be motivated to save your scraps! (and dollars)

Monday, October 1, 2012

Try something new...

I enjoy new things.
New clothes.
New restaurants.
New jobs.
New strange recipes!

I tried these out about 10 minutes ago: Dark Chocolate Avocado cookies...
I tweaked the recipe slightly - used a little less brown sugar, added chopped walnuts, reduced the amount of chocolate chips, added a pinch or two of salt..
They turned out quite tasty! I would definitely add more chocolate chips than I did (trying to be "good" isn't always yummy) - it's not an overly sweet or rich recipe due to the lack of butter, so they wouldn't hurt. They also don't TASTE like avocado. Its a quite mellow flavour and easy to play around with.

Dark Chocolate Avocado Cookies

Makes about 24 1 inch cookies. Adapted from Greatist

1 cup mashed avocado - make sure it's ripe!
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
4 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp cider vinegar
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (or gluten free flour)
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
4 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
3 - 4 tbsp semi-sweet chocolate chips (depending on how chocolaty you want em)
4 tbsp chopped walnuts
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

"Cream" the avocado and sugar together in a food processor or by hand in a large mixing bowl using a spoon and fork. Blend until well incorporated. Make sure there are no large clumps - avocado wont melt like butter!
Add the vanilla and cider vinegar to the avocado and stir to combine.
In a medium mixing bowl, bring your dry ingredients together: Flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and cocoa powder. Mix to combine.
Add the dry ingredients to the avocado and stir until smooth and well incorporated.
Stir in the final ingredients - chocolate chips and walnuts were my choice but feel free to use white chocolate chunks for a double chocolate variety, or add flax seeds and different nuts.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spoon out a tablespoon sized scoop of dough. The cookies do not flatten out, so make sure to press them down if you want a more "cookie-like" cookie. I like them messy!
Bake for 10 minutes and allow to cool before stuffing your face!


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

It’s September!

And that means new.
I know I don’t go to school anymore but September always felt like the beginning of the year to me. New clothes, new writing materials, a new season with new friends. It’s still a fairly warm month but man, are those mornings brisk.
It makes me want to curl up and read or bake things with pumpkin and chai. Enjoy hot chocolate and get new cozy ponchos. Hibernation starts to set in, it’s all very strange. (And I never do end up doing those cozy things. I just think about them….)
So I decided to embrace it and just let summer go – I know it’ll be back eventually. If not, there’s always Spain. Or India. I hear it’s pretty hot over there.
In honour of accepting this “new year” I cooked up some fall-ish goodies last night. I treated someone to a night off in the kitchen and although it was a well intentioned and selfless act, I enjoyed myself immensely.
Try out Chef Michael Smiths totally yummy ratatouille here. It was the BEST veggie dish I’ve had in a while – and the fresh herbs make the difference. It tastes like France.
I also made this quinoa and we had BBQ salmon in this marinade.
A perfect summer-almost-fall menu!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Another change...

Well, my venture out west didn't exactly go as planned.
It was awful. One of the WORST working experiences to date. I figured I would come home with some really great knowledge and inspiration about running a business and smart horsemanship.
I didn't.
I did learn however that integrity, honesty and safety should be top priorities! Otherwise, your pooched. Up shit creek.
So I guess I can take that with me!
Anyways. Now I'm back home!
I had a fantastic drive back - with some amazing company. Got to see some orca whales and go to the Calgary stampede! Not quite a "vacation", but an unforgettable excursion for sure.
And I've decided to change direction. I'm heading into the culinary world! More specifically, baking. I love it. All aspects of it! I just want to know all about it and learn to perfect it. I got my resumes out asap and luckily landed a job in Toronto at an awesome little bakery. So now I can be in the kitchen quite regularly! I'd like to do some experimenting as well and try out vegan baking. There's a huge market out there for it and I feel like its not being satisfied!
While travelling through Manitoba, we came across a great little burger joint called Boon! Canadas first all vegan burger cafe. We decided to try it out and I was really impressed. The food was to die for! Its a hard switch to vegan (or vegetarian for that matter!) but I love dabbling in different types if cuisine!

Check out their website @

And if your interested like me, give these cookies a try.

Zucchini Chocolate Chip Cookies!

Totally on my bake list today.


**UPDATE: Made those cookies and hot damn! Totally delicious.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Lend a helping hand…

It’s been pretty slow here on the ranch. The guests are few, the food is too much and the amount of rain is just ridiculous.

Its been raining since May. MAY!!

It’s becoming very depressing. Pancakes were the highlight of my day today…


But, we did have one ray of sunshine! Her name was Alwyn, and she was a spunky short blond from New Zealand! She was great – really honest, super funny and pretty smart around the horses. I really enjoyed having her here – she’s just started a tour of Canada so I got to travel and live vicariously through her. She told me about the different tours she plans on taking and all the sights she wants to see. She told me I could come ride with her in New Zealand and tempted me with tales of cheap horses. And, she dropped a great nugget of information! She told me about an organization called Helpx. It’s much like Couchsurfing, but instead of doing nothing for your room and board, the guest lends a helping hand to their host! It’s usually farms, ranches, winerys or B&B’s that are offering, but sometimes you find families who need help around the house or young couples who are just starting up their business. The best part is that it's world wide! Canada, USA, Australia, New Zealand and Europe! It’s a great way to learn, meet new people and travel on a tight budget. There’s a small fee for signing up, but it’s a 2 year membership and has great reviews online.

So in all this gloom, there's a little beam of light! People helping people.

Ahhh, joy in the small things.

Check it out here:  HelpX