Sunday, December 30, 2012

Highlights of 2012


his was quite the year. 

Life Stuff

I have always considered myself a pretty independent person, but I've become even more so in 2012.  There were many life changes for me this year, and I've grown as a result.  Throughout the year I've lost some people who were very close to me, some friends, some basically family - one to death :-( and others to life.  Life happens and you learn along the way.  This year I learned to trust myself.  I learned who my true friends are and how important they are to me.  I also learned that you can't predict or plan out your future; you never know where life will take you.

The best laid plans of mice and men often go astray ... and for that, I am grateful.  Someone special came into my life this year and I haven't stopped smiling since.

Big Foodie Events

Foodbuzz (now Federated Media Publishing) fully sponsored one of my dinner parties, providing me with $250 to make the night happen: 

5 Tastes in 5 Courses 

I was also lucky enough to score an interview with Chef Ron from Sweet Genius.  This year my readership more than doubled, and I am grateful for each and every one of you lovely people who visit this site.  Thank you.

Baking and Cooking

We cooked lobster for the first time and taped a few seconds of it.

I had an epic cookie battle, in which I made five different types of chocolate chip cookies.  Check out all the yum in the links below:

Levain-Like Cookies (Jumbo & Double Chocolate)

Crisp and Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies
Giant Chocolate Chip Cookies 

New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookies
Nestle Toll House Inspired Cookies

If you like cookies, I also posted a recipe for THE BEST sugar cookies around.  I took a cooking class with some girlfriends for a bachelorette party and learned how to flood cookies, so I can now make 'em even prettier.  I also had a fun time at my friend Mel's bachelorette party days before her beautiful wedding.

I made a bunch of new recipes this year.  Just a sample are linked below:

Beef Wrapped Enoki Mushrooms

Homemade Kimchi
The Krustanowitch
Chicken with Jalapeno Cream Sauce

Italian Sausage,Yam & Kale Soup
Moose Calzone
Bacon Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Icing

Easy Seafood Chowder
Chocolate Oat Parfait with Maple Banana Soft Serve (Breakfast)

Fun Stuff/ Travel

I saw a bunch of live music throughout the year, and nearly got rained out at an outdoor music festival.  I went camping in August and caught a fish.  In April I traveled to New York for the third time, and then in July I went to Vegas and enjoyed what was probably the best meal of my life (or at least one of the best dishes of my life). 

It has been a year ... and what a year it was. 

What are some of your highlights from 2012? 

Poached Saskatoon

This weekend was spent in Saskatoon visiting family and eating well.  We drove up Friday evening, checked into the hotel and then grabbed a bite to eat at Afghan Kabob & Donair.  This restaurant has excellent food.  I was there back in May and it was just as good as I remembered.  

Breakfast on Saturday was just down the street from the hotel at a place called Poached.  This is a quaint little restaurant with really nice wait staff and a menu that makes it really hard to choose what to have - everything sounds pretty much perfect.

I had the breakfast plate which came with eggs, salad, potato croquettes, a choice of bagel or toast and a meat choice.  

There is no regular coffee on the menu, with refills like most breakfast joints.  The closest  you can get is an Americano (which is better anyway) for about $2.50 and refills are $2, or an array of other beverages (espresso, lattes, booze, etc.).  The food is very reasonably priced (around $12 or $13 for a meal).

Because our meal was so good, we visited Poached again today!  Today I tried the butternut crunch omelet with roasted butternut, bacon, and other delicious things inside.  We were impressed, again.  

They were so happy that we came back again for a second day in a row that they comped $6 off of our bill.  Now that is good service.  Perhaps Fortuna should take some service tips from Poached.  We will definitely be frequenting this breakfast gem next time (and probably every time) we are in Saskatoon.

Do you like to go out for breakfast?  What is your favourite breakfast joint?  What is your typical breakfast order?

Friday, December 28, 2012


When you make a 16 lb turkey for eight people, leftovers are inevitable.  We've been eating turkey all week around these parts.  Sometimes a variety plate ...

Other times a sandwich ...

I wasn't always big on sandwiches, and never really got creative with them until this past year.  My turkey sandwiches used to consist of mayo, turkey, salt and pepper.  Today I lightly toasted some bread, heated up some turkey with old cheddar, and added mustard, thousand island dressing and some pickles.  I hate dry sandwiches, so the pickles and two sauces made it just right.

Click here and here to see some of the most interesting and delicious sandwiches I ate in 2012.  Luckily the leftovers are nearly gone, as we are off on a road trip for the weekend to visit my mom.

Have you been eating turkey dinner leftovers this week?  Did you make anything creative with your leftovers?  What are you up to this weekend?

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Potent Juice

As predicted, I didn't do homework today, however I do plan to get a lot done before I go back to work.  I also plan to do a few other things, such as some winter cleaning/purging, taking in my recycling, trying a few new recipes, going for lunch with friends, and taking down my Christmas decorations ...

I always think my house looks best around Christmas. 

Today I ran a few errands, grabbed a Starbucks, and picked up some veggies to juice.  I used to juice all of the time, and I was reminded last night that I hadn't juiced in a while.  I bought kale, a cucumber, radishes, ginger and a grapefruit - all organic.  


This combination wasn't tasty per se, but it was potent!

Do you have a list of things to do before the New Year?

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas #2

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!  Last night was Christmas at Chris' parent's house.  We were welcomed with an assortment of munchies, which we enjoyed while sipping drinks and visiting.


Along with gorgeous stockings, we were given a very special and thoughtful gift.


And then came the dinner.  Wow!  

I loooooove beets.  So much.
The food was so good and I ate more than I have in a long time.  I definitely felt ready to explode.  My stomach gurgled all night and I slept like a baby.  

Today, instead of braving the frigid weather to go out and do anything, it was a turkey leftovers and documentary/TV kind of day.  The best show of the day - "Hungry For Change".  I have seen most of the documentaries related to food/nutrition, but I think this one is definitely the most comprehensive.  If you are at all interested in getting healthier or just learning more about health/diet/food/nutrition, I highly recommend this.  Tomorrow will be spent possibly working on my thesis, or possibly procrastinating until the New Year.  We'll see.  Knowing how much I love homework, I'm sure you can guess what I won't be doing tomorrow.
How was your Christmas?
What is your favourite part of Christmas dinner?

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

I just want to wish my lovely readers and their families a beautiful Christmas.  I dig you guys.


Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christmas Part 1

This evening my family came over for Christmas dinner.  

We enjoyed turkey etc. and then opened gifts and had dessert.  As usual, my nephew Giovanni scored big time in the gift department :-)

He is such a sweetheart, and the most polite little guy.  I am looking forward to spending a day with him while I'm off on holidays.  

I'm now looking forward to a relaxing few days, as we visit, eat and drink with Chris' family and then spend boxing day doing absolutely nothing.

Are you cooking Christmas dinner?  How do you split time between the families if you've got a significant other?

Saturday, December 22, 2012

On Holidays ... and Getting Ready for Christmas

I am officially on holidays for a couple of weeks.  It's weird, because this is the first year I don't really feel like I need the holidays.  I haven't been taking classes all semester (for the first time), so there was no studying or final projects or any of that junk.  It's been a more relaxing December than I am used to.  I plan to spend the two weeks doing some writing, and hopefully finishing my thesis.

Last night we went out for dinner to Four Seas.  This was my first time at this restaurant, and I was really impressed.  

We shared some fried tofu, and I ordered the wor won ton soup.  

It was really thick and delicious!

This morning Christopher made waffles while I made cranberry sauce for tomorrow's Christmas dinner.


My family is coming over for turkey dinner tomorrow night, and then we'll spend Christmas day with Christopher's family.

Hello turkey!

What are your plans for Christmas dinner?

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

10 on Tuesday

1)  Three more days of work and then I am on holidays for a couple of weeks!  I am looking forward to sleeping in and having the time to try some new recipes.

2)  I've had a couple of meetings with my thesis supervisor lately, and things are moving along nicely.  I completed the statistical analyses for my study, and did it correctly on my first try!  I also wrote up the results, and was told that that section was good too :-)  I am now in the home stretch, with only the conclusion/discussion left to write.  This makes me very happy!!  Let's get this degree done so I can move on to the next (more exciting) one!

3)  It snowed all day today, which meant it looked pretty outside, yet I had to shovel when I got home.  I figure I've done enough shoveling for one winter!  Haha, too bad winter isn't even close to over.  That hot vacation this March is looking better and better each day.

4)  I got most of my Christmas shopping finished up today.  While I was in the mall I grabbed a tea from David's Tea.  I love this place!  I got one of the new winter blends, cookie dough!  It actually tasted like cookie dough - I was impressed. 

5)  Breakfast this morning was smoothie with blueberries, 1/2 banana, 1 T Almond Butter, and 1 package Amazing Grass.  I forgot how much I like a smoothie for breakfast!  They are a great way to get some greens in in the morning.

6)  We've been watching a lot of documentaries lately.  In the last couple weeks we've watched: 

- Vegucated (excellent)
- The Secret (just okay, I've been following this idea for years without realizing it was "The Secret")
- Flesh & Blood (not for those with weak stomachs, not for kids, interesting, engaging, entertaining)
- DMT: The Spirit Molecule (really interesting, gets a little bit long)
- Maxed Out (okay, didn't learn anything new)

My favourites were probably Flesh & Blood and Vegucated
Have you seen any of these?  
Do you have any documentary recommendations? 

7)  Dinner tonight was quinoa with spinach, peas and piri piri spice, as well as some sweet & sour meatballs.

8)  I might be weird, but I absolutely love buying Christmas gifts and wrapping them.  Tonight I spent a good chunk of the evening wrapping gifts for my family. 

9)  If you've seen the artwork in my house, you might have gathered that I love trees.  I was pretty pumped when I found this wrapping paper on sale after Christmas last year. 

I am not a fan of boxing day/week shopping, and refuse to go to any malls during this time, but I will stop by Chapters and Hallmark just for the paper.

10)  I'm craving a corn dog.  Don't judge.  Come over and make me these

What are some of your Tuesday things?

Monday, December 17, 2012

Festive Weekend

As mentioned in my last post, I was up early on Friday morning getting things done around the house.  This was all in preparation for a Christmas party that I hosted on Saturday.

Because I was so busy Friday morning, I didn't have time to make breakfast.  I stopped at Robin's for a bagel and coffee which I took to work with me.

A friend on staff had made a neat looking cake!  It was chocolate cake with white icing, surrounded by Kit Kat and topped with Smarties.


Lunch on Friday was at work, and we had turkey with all the fixings. 

On Friday evening Christopher and I went out for dinner to India Curry House.  

I loved that they had paneer in the buffet, as well as samosas and pakoras.

Saturday morning was another early one.  I was out of the house by about 7:30 a.m. to run errands.  First stop - Starbucks.  

After a quick oatmeal and coffee I was ready for the day. 

On Saturday I hosted a Christmas party that has become a yearly tradition with one of my oldest groups of friends.  There is always plenty of food, and lots of laughs.


On Sunday, Christopher and I spent the day eating leftover food from the party and watching Christmas movies.  Ahhhhhh.  It was a relaxing day after a busy start to the weekend.

Next weekend should be a busy one too, with Chris' work Christmas party on Saturday and my families Christmas dinner etc. on Sunday.

How was your weekend?  Do you have a busy weekend coming up?