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Oot n Aboot

Hello! Long time, no see. You look great.

I had an amazing time in England at Christmas. Being with my family in Tynemouth, friends and the ocean is lovely. My favourite thing we did was going to a lighthouse near where I live. (and watching lots of Sherlock and playing Scrabble).

My dream home would be a lighthouse / astronomy tower / observatory hybrid. The light of the lighthouse was especially impressive, beautiful really.

We went to Edinburgh with my awesome aunt. I can’t believe I hadn’t been there since I was tiny, it’s a stunning city.

Things I took for granted growing up include..

1    living right by a ruined monastery from 1095… that is SO OLD and amazing. It’s on a cliff, right by the sea.

2    Sunrise by the sea.

3      The sea. Oooooh the sea!

It’s always so hard to leave but I’m lucky to be able to come home to such a breathtaking place. Thanks mum and dad. x

I used to be a bit scared of Twitter but now I’m not because it tells me about things like the photo above. This is a Friday night food truck service Edmonton style. LOOK AT THOSE FREAKIN’ ADORABLE LIGHTS. This mini meet up consisted of Molly’s Eats and Drift food truck. I’d tried Molly’s Eat’s quesadillas before and having them again they did not disappoint, still the best I’ve ever tried. That rich sauce is the bomb. I was so excited to try Drift food truck and their evening service burgers which is an event that happens around once a week. And holy cow this was the best burger I’ve ever eaten.

JUST LOOK AT IT. The bun is a … well, I don’t even know what kind of bun it is but it’s like it’s been baked in heaven’s oven and the beef/pork burger was juicy without being greasy. The cheese was perfect and it was topped off with pork belly which I thought would maybe be a little over the top but it was spot on. And the aioli [spelling?] they used wasn’t too overpowering. I’m usually guilty of slathering burgers in heaps of condiments but with the Drift burger, it wasn’t necessary.

So happy these food trucks are in this city.

I can’t help but be in love with Edmonton in the summer – IT’S SO GREEN.

I’m lucky enough to work/live near such a beautiful park as the Paul Kane park in the Oliver area of downtown. So I’m no landscape architect, but there’s something really harmonious and peaceful about this place. The size isn’t huge and the undulating landscape surrounding a mini-lake/fountain is perfect for kids/readers/sunbathers. The mixed use area surrounding the park of offices and condo blocks also brings in a big mix of users for the space too (thanks Jane Jacobs!) This is the best place to come and take a break from the stale office air.

This labour day Monday we ventured down to Victoria Park in the valley for a food truck meetup and got to try Molly’s Eats for the first time. I’m not usually wild on quesadillas but these were one of the best things I’ve eaten. Smokey pork with a bit of a kick too it. Can’t wait to have them again.

Hanging out in the sun with good food and company is the best way to spend a Monday. We got lost in the golf course on the way back but nevertheless, a delightful day.

Here ends my small ode to a couple of parks of Edmonton – I feel lucky to live in such a beautiful city.

And Feist says it better than anyone…

 

HAPPY CANADA DAY! Canada is celebrating it’s annual national pride holiday, and as a newly annointed permanent resident, it is only proper that I fully immerse myself in the festivities. And Kate and William are in Ottawa today too, so really it’s the best Canada Day ever.


The Legislature grounds were absolutely packed with people and things going on. There was a gun (or canon more like) salute which got every small child in the vicinity crying their eyes out. We got to look inside the legislature building though which was rather cool!

And good thing the Queen oversees proceedings otherwise there would obviously be complete chaos.

My favourite part was the display of antique cars from the beginning of the 20th century, the 50s chevy is so darn cool.

Great stuff! And here’s a recipe that has absolutely NOTHING to do with Canada but is very very very tasty! Enjoy!

Seven Layer Bars

(from browneyedbaker.com)

Yield: 18 bars

  • 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 9 graham crackers (5 ounces), crushed
  • 1 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • ½ cup white chocolate chips
  • ½ cup butterscotch chips
  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

1. Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and preheat to 350°F. Spray a 9×13-inch baking pan with non-stick spray. Line the pan with two overlapping pieces of foil or parchment paper, leaving overhang to act as handles for lifting the bars out of the pan. Spray with non-stick spray.

2. Spread the coconut on a baking sheet and bake until the outer flakes just begin to brown, about 4 minutes. (Keep a close eye on it – coconut can go from slightly browned to burnt in a matter of seconds.) Set aside.

3. Melt the butter and combine with graham cracker crumbs in a small bowl. Toss with your fingers until the butter is evenly distributed. Press the crumbs evenly onto the bottom of the prepared pan.

4. In order, sprinkle the walnuts, chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, and coconut over the graham crumbs. Pour the condensed milk evenly over the entire dish.

5. Bake until the top is golden brown, about 25 minutes. Cool in the pan on a wire rack to room temperature, about 2 hours.

6. Remove the bars fromthe pan using the foil or parchment handles and transfer to a cutting board. Using a sharp knife or bench cutter, cut into 2 by 3-inch bars.

Lask week I went to England for a visit to see my family, it was an emotional but fun week full of good times and really good food. The photo above is of the North Sea, I’m not joking… That could be the Pacific, right? But here is a brief summary of my foodie experiences from last week.

In Heathrow Terminal 5 I spotted a Gordon Ramsay restaurant, separated from the plebs by a neatly placed walkway, I would only want to eat here if the food came with insults and constant, enthusiastic knee slapping. I think this is possibly Gordon Ramsay’s 50th restaurant worldwide.

I’m not going to lie, I nearly mistook them for truffles…

The week was full of coffees, one of them being at The Grand Hotel in Tynemouth with my Mum and Aunt Angela. I love a good latte but for some reason I’m not such a fan when the container is a tall glass. I suppose I’m just more of a coffee cup sort of girl.

One of the highlights of my eating week was trying an easter egg from Hotel Chocolat – this thing was insane!! The egg was so thick and delicious and the truffle-like chocolate treats inside were top quality. Thanks Mum!

When I ventured out of cosy Tynemouth to Newcastle city centre, I had some really great food. Cafe Nero delivered a delicious tomato and mozzarella panini and scrumptious chocolate twist. I’m not usually too keen on pastry but the chocolate mixed with a sort of custard and light buttery pastry made it irresistably tasty. My lovely aunt Christine who I went with was not wrong about them! Also a great cafe where I met a friend was Chalk and Paper. The cafe had a rustic feel inside and wasn’t too busy. The meatball sandwich was delicious and the coffee great to match. The perfect place to have a 3 hour chat with a good buddy.

My Dad really outdid himself when I was at home. He cooked cracking meals every night of the week. The highlight though had to be his afternoon tea he cooked in honour of the Royal Wedding. Scones, scotch eggs, mini sandwiches, curried chicken wrapped in lettuce and the best chips (that’s fries to you North Americans!) I’ve ever tasted. Apparently 3 times cooked in a process that sounds too complicated for my simple mind. KNOCKOUT meal.

And no English visit is complete without good fish and chips, or in my case, fish – pie – chips. This was perfect.

And I drank about 4 bottles of wine…. Drinking my parents out of house and home! An amazing visit though, the food and the company did not disappoint, as if it ever could. The view wasn’t too bad either…

I had a really fun birthday last week. I drank a lot of wine. I played Sonic the Hedgehog and we went out for dinner at a sweet looking New Orleans Diner & Bar that I’d be meaning to check out for a while.

The interior of this place is really great and the atmosphere was buzzing. You have to go hungry though, the plates of food were HUGE. I had a vodka drink that looked radioactive too, which was pretty cool.

I would go back again, maybe in a year.. when my heart has recovered from my po’ boy and the double deep fried sweet potato fries…