2017 Year in Review

2017 Year in Review

I’m on a train travelling through rural Ontario as I write this, and staring out the window at the snowy country side is making me increasingly excited for the holidays. It has been quite the year and an admittedly absent one from this space. Mainly because I’ve been writing for other publications, but also because admittedly, I’ve lost my vision for what I want my own site to be about. Maybe that will change in 2018. Frankly, I’m not sure yet. In my other life as a PhD student in psychology, I spend the majority of my time researching, discussing, and trying to elucidate around topics pertaining to emotional eating and weight. I’d like to write about what I do in that field in a more informal way in this space (after all, the name “Because I Like Chocolate” always came from a place of wanting to help people have healthier relationships with food). Now that I actually do that in my day to day, it feels appropriate to have an online outlet to share about it. What do you think? Is that something that would interest you?

Because I like chocolate..I made Sarah Kieffer’s pan bang cookies (multiple times)

I did do a bit of food/psychology writing this year, like this piece for Eat North on emotional eating. Actually I did a lot for Eat North. I was super proud to be a part of this piece in celebration of Canada’s 150. Through the process of putting it together, I got to chat with some pretty cool Canadian figures, which lead to interviews with people like Gail Simmons and Jay Onrait. Interviewing is one of my favourite parts of what I do. I love chatting with people and learning about their stories. It’s fascinating and I only want to do more of it in 2018! You can check out everything I wrote for Eat North here (PS there’s a lot of it, 52 articles to be exact).

Probably my best meal of 2017 at Montreal’s Candide

I also began contributing more regularly to Eater Montreal, mostly putting together maps of local restaurants in certain areas or with specific offerings, like this one showcasing some of the best bakeries for bread in Montreal. Plus I had the opportunity to compile this map of the 18 Essential Calgary restaurants, which allowed me to showcase the ever-expanding food scene in my home town (I’m getting sappy now given that I haven’t been home in awhile and am clearly starting to miss it).

Beautiful bread from boulangerie Merci La Vie in the Laurentians

What else, what else? There was the usual writing for Culinaire (I always love getting to do their “Spice it Up” column, like this one from earlier in the year). And in between that, a trip to Japan happened (still figuring out how to write about that from a food perspective, because boy was there a lot of food), many weekends were spent up at the cottage, I wrote my doctoral comprehensive exam, and before I knew it, the year was almost over.

Japanese whisky tasting – the only sad part is that you can’t find most of it in Canada

Wishing you all the best this holiday season, with plenty of festive food and drink to be shared with those you love of course! I plan on making too many baked goods, roasting a turkey, and drinking all the BC wine I can get my hands on! If I can find a bottle of this, that would be the icing on the cake. Happy holidays!

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The Scoopin’ Moose Canmore

The Scoopin Moose Canmore

For a town as seasonal as Canmore, it surprised me that for the longest time, they didn’t have an ice cream shop – until The Scoopin’ Moose came along that is. Sure it’s not the first thing you want to eat in the middle of freezing cold winter (although true ice cream lovers eat it regardless of temperature), but if the line-up was any indication, it’s definitely a hit in the summer time.

The Scoopin’ Moose is the brainchild of first-time business owners, Jessica Mayne and Tory Kendal. Having decided that Canmore lacked a place to go get a frosty, evening treat, they opened up The Scoopin’ Moose just over a year ago. Not only can you order just about any flavour of ice cream under the sun, they also offer crepes, both sweet and savoury, and hot drinks, which I can imagine will be perfect when things start to chill off in a couple of months.

All of the ice cream at The Scoopin’ Moose is supplied by Foothills Creamery, a local favourite for all things dairy. You can get everything from classics like mint chip and Tiger, to specialties like “The Scoopin’ Moose” and “Canmore Coal”, a black licorice flavoured variety. Admittedly licorice is a flavour you either love or hate but as Tory puts it, “Where can you find black licorice ice cream nowadays? People come here just for this flavour because they say they cannot find it anywhere else.”

The Scoopin Moose Canmore

We got the chance to taste test both a sundae and a sweet crepe. Let’s start with the ice cream shall we? You can never be let down when chocolate and peanut butter are involved so not surprisingly, the Morty Moose sundae was a hit. It wasn’t over-complicated – just 2 types of ice cream, Scoopin’ Moose and Chocolate, chocolate sauce, whipped cream and Reese’s Pieces, but the sweet and salty combination could not have been more satisfying. As for the crepe, Tory mentioned that “The Lady Mac” (named for the mountain towering above the town) is one of their best sellers, and it’s probably for its simplicity as well. For a crepe that was just filled with strawberries and topped with strawberry coulis, fresh whipped cream and a dusting of icing sugar, it sure wasn’t lacking in fruity flavour. This coming from a girl that thinks the prerequisite for any good crepe is Nutella (and don’t worry, they have plenty of options filled with it too).

If you are in Canmore, either visiting for the weekend or living there full-time, be sure to make a stop at The Scoopin’ Moose before leaving town – maybe even a couple of stops depending on how long you are there for! After all, who doesn’t like a healthy scoop (or 2) of ice cream?

Visit The Scoopin’ Moose at 722 Main St, Canmore AB – 403.621.1336; open daily 11 AM – 10 PM, including holidays. Follow The Moose on Facebook or Twitter.

The Scoopin Moose Canmore The Scoopin Moose Canmore The Scoopin Moose Canmore

Friday Link Love – Canmore

Happy Friday everyone! I don’t know about you but this past week went fast. It feels like I was just out in Canmore (see beautiful nature pics below – and I’m not referring to my photographs being beautiful, I’m referring to the nature itself… so much easier to capture than food, nature is gorgeous as is, without any worries about composition and styling and all of that fun stuff). Lucky for me I get to go back out again this weekend. Canmore is basically my second home and there is no place else I would rather be. I need my mountains! Almost as much as I need food, cooking and baking. Check out some of my favourite links from the past week!
Along the banks of the Bow River in Canmore.
Along the banks of the Bow River in Canmore.
Canmore
Canmore
River in Canmore
Canmore
Mt. Rundle Canmore
Canmore
Canmore

– I recently joined a new blogging initiative, The Canadian Food Experience Project. Basically each month has a different theme and everyone shares their recipes. Can’t wait to get started!

– For the topic “My Canadian Food Hero” I am going to make this pumpkin sticky toffee pudding from Lynn Crawford. Happy birthday to me! Did I mention that my birthday is on Sunday and this sticky toffee pudding also happens to be what I am making for dessert? Ya well, it’s my birthday on Sunday and I’m making sticky toffee pudding for dessert. No fancy cake like last year but I am perfectly ok with that.

– If you need a good laugh, read these reasons parents shouldn’t text. My mother alone has committed at least 25 of them. She doesn’t seem to understand that talking to Siri will not create a comprehendible message.

– Speaking of my mom, I really can’t complain because last year she started the greatest birthday tradition EVER! It’s like the 12 days of Christmas except it’s the 5 days of chocolate. The first one was a hit, the Heidi Chocolate Black Salt bar. Let’s just say it has set the “bar” high for the rest of them.

– As part of working to upgrade my blog, I’ve been trying to focus my efforts on the photography aspect. It’s getting better but it’s definitely a learning process. I found this tutorial on Sally’s Baking Addiction quite helpful. It’s also comforting to know that you don’t have to be a professional photographer in order to take amazing pictures. Fingers crossed I get there!

– Mac n’ cheese stuffed into a portabello mushrooms? Who thinks of such insanity?? Jessica at How Sweet It Is, that’s who. She should win a Nobel Prize as far as I am concerned.

– Another one of my favourite blogs lately is Ambitious Kitchen. I’m especially curious about this recipe for chickpea blondies. I’ve made black bean brownies before so this kind of feels like their blond cousin or something. Anyways, I’ve got to try it.

Have a superb weekend amigos!