A little of my lately

Hey guys! There are a lot of big transitions happening in my life right now and for the first time in a long time, I’m feeling compelled to actually update this tiny segment of the interwebs that I own. Crazy, I know.

With a little less than a month left in Calgary before I move to Montreal for grad school, I’ve been getting my fix of all the things I love about this part of the country. Having moved away from it before, I know first and foremost that I’m going to miss my mountains. Between research and various work food writing and otherwise, I’ve been spending as much time as I can hiking, kayaking, canoeing – pretty much doing anything that involves nature and activity!

Back in June J came to visit for my convocation and we spent the better part of the week enjoying each other’s company, cooking, critiquing, and exploring my favourite part of the world around Canmore and area. Having grown up here, it was amazing to take it all in through the eyes of a visitor. It gave me a different appreciation for peaks and vistas I’ve seen what feels like hundreds of times in my life.

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As for the cooking aspect of his visit, what happens when a chef and wannabe chef/food writer get together in the kitchen? Lots apparently. I had forgotten what it was like to actually put effort into the meals I make for myself. The above homage to beets started with a base of beet puree comprised of roasted beets, coconut yogurt, salt and pepper, topped with chunks of more roasted beets, thinly sliced raw beets marinated in lime juice and zest, fiddleheads, goat cheese, and cashews. A classic example of what happens when you showcase vegetables for what they are and don’t make a big fuss. And how can you beet (ha) those colours?!

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2 words; mushroom pasta. Kind of underwhelming to look at, but so, so good. Maybe I had just been deprived of creamy pasta for too long, who knows? Regardless, when you hard sear portabellos and add red wine, cream and tarragon to the mix, you’re in for some “how fast can I possibly shovel this into my face hole?” goodness.

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Come Canada Day I was back in the mountains for another mini vacation. We took some patriotic photo ops with our flag at the top of Ha Ling and I practiced my yoga, balancing precariously on the edge of a cliff without falling over the edge to my death. Or without pulling my groin. Success on both fronts!

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It has been one of the warmest summers I’ve experienced in a long time so we took advantage of it with a kayak up stream to Vermilion Lakes. Rundle I’m going to miss yoooouuuuuuuuu!

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I’ve had a lot of time to prepare for this move, but I think I’m still comprehending the fact that for the next 5 years at a minimum I’m saying goodbye to the place that has been my home for pretty much my entire life. I’ve almost had too much time to prepare because I’ve still got things to wrap up here despite being totally ready to move. There’s not really enough time to start anything new, but it’s not time to go yet either, so I need to find some way to keep myself occupied.

The extra free time has promoted reflection and introspection, and has led to the realization that I would love to do more writing now that I can fit it in. For how long that will last, I can’t say, but I’m embracing the fact that I want to do it, rather than feeling obligated to. I know there’s a niche for combining food and psychology in some sort of comprehensible form and I’m looking forward to exploring food and eating from that perspective. I’ve done it before, somewhat half-heartedly, both here and for Eat North, but I want to find a way to make it a mainstay in my writing repertoire. Moving to Montreal, I’m also looking forward to getting involved in their food scene and immersing myself in that. There are a lot of random, tangential thoughts that are still in the incipient stages of formulation so we’ll see what happens! I’m back on the horse for now so there’s not much to say other than, stay tuned!

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.
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Mt. Rundle Canmore
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– 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!