I’m serious 2013, where did you go? I was talking with my family today and a year ago we were just arriving in Rome for Christmas vacation. There is no way that feels like a year ago. How is it that time continues to go faster and faster? Each year I find myself saying “that was the fastest year ever”, yet the next year manages to blow it out of the water.
I know we still have a few more days left but I am in the mood for a year in review, 2013. So much has happened and yet it feels like so little has happened. Other than coming back from Italy, I wouldn’t say that anything substantial occurred until about midway through the year. But I could be forgetting something. In April I wrapped up my first official year as a psychology major at the University of Calgary. Then I proceeded straight into full-time spring and summer classes, polishing off year 2 as well. So in 3 semesters I will be finished my degree. Wasn’t I just in culinary school?
June brought the most wicked floods Calgary has ever seen. As devastating as it was, it was amazing to see the city pull together during such a trying period. Luckily we were not impacted but my heart goes out to everyone who is still trying to rebuild their homes and their lives.
2013 was also the year of discovering barre classes. I was super skeptical at first but now I am hooked on workouts at Barre Body Studio. They are a mix of yoga, pilates and of course, ballet. Having no dance background whatsoever, I wasn’t sure if it would be a fit but they make it so that virtually anyone can become addicted. Feel the burn baby! Free chocolate after doesn’t hurt either.
At the end of the summer we travelled to Alaska. I think people generally view an Alaskan cruise as a vacation for old people. Although partially true, there is so much of nature to explore off the ship that it really fits a younger demographic. I also really enjoyed exploring Seattle’s food scene. Brownies for breakfast at Dahlia Bakery just made me happy.
School started back up in September and around that time I also switched my blog over to “Because I Like Chocolate.” I also started as a research assistant at school and helped to plan an office warming for my work at the psychology clinic.
November marked my parents 25th wedding anniversary so they flew off to Hawaii for a childless vacation. No big, I prefer -30C over +30C weather anyways. On a more serious note, they totally deserved it. I have been super fortunate to have virtually always accompanied my family on vacation so I cannot complain. Case in point, I visited Italy and Alaska within a year.
Last but not least, in 2013 I also became a contributor to two different publications (outside of this blog), Eat North and MumRx. On Eat North I apply different aspects of psychology while analyzing food from whatever angle fits best. Does that make sense? For example, I just did a piece on how memory influences our dining experiences. MumRx on the other hand offers totally different content. No, I am not a mother, but I share restaurant reviews, recipes and more “how-to” type pieces. Like this one on how to procure a local, sustainable holiday meal.
Oh there is one more thing actually. Quite notable I would say. I developed a taste for sangria. In fact I just drank a glass in the hot-tub after skiing today. The key is some sort of carbonation. Ginger ale or some sort of citrusy pop is a must.
But if there is one flavour I always have a taste for, it’s chocolate. And so on a final note, how about chocolate crinkle cookies for the holidays? I hope 2013 was a great year for everyone, if not there’s still a few more days to make it right! With cookies perhaps?
Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
Makes about 30 cookies
1 cup cocoa powder
1 ¼ cup white sugar
¼ cup oil
¼ cup applesauce
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
½ cup powdered sugar
1. Beat together the cocoa powder, white sugar, oil and applesauce until it forms a smooth, dark paste.
2. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until smooth.
3. Finally, stir in the flour, baking powder and salt. Once the dough comes together, refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or overnight.4. When you are ready to bake, heat the oven to 350F and line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper. Scoop the dough into balls and roll in the powdered sugar. Bake at 350F for 10-12 minutes. Cool and enjoy.