Coconut Flour Molasses Cookies

With Christmas just around the corner (and a cookie exchange to prepare for), I found this recipe online and decided to give it a try. I had been thinking around trying gluten free baking for the past few months, but all that talk of binders and xantham gum seemed too complicated. However, when I found this recipe, I thought that using coconut flour would be an easy first step into the gluten free world. The result: soft, delicious molasses cookies that taste like the real deal! I am storing them in the freezer for safe keeping but that hasn’t seemed to stop me…
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Friday Night Dinner (on Saturday)

Due to a variety of last minute events, we ended up celebrating our Friday Night Dinner on Saturday this week. We were a small crowd, so we kept it simple and rich: beef tenderloin, prawns, roasted veggies, sauteed mushrooms, and I am sure there was something else…

However, before I launch into the photos, I should mention that prepping for this particular dinner really forced me to push my boundaries for two reasons. First: initially, we planned that I would face my fear and purchase prawns from the “seafood school bus”; as in a yellow school bus packed with “fresh” seafood that comes to town every few weeks (totally legitimate, I know). Despite the sketchy means of transportation and point of sale, I have actually heard that the seafood is awesome. However, when I set out to purchase said seafood, camera in hand, it was nowhere to be found. I had to buy these beauties from the store, which was much less adventuresome. Second: Living in a small town with lots of farms in the area, I had heard that I could purchase farm raised beef from a particular industry supply store. I know, another sketchy venue. So again, I put on my big girl panties and braved my natural distrust of the situation, and happily found delicious, GIGANTIC steaks at the industry supply store. I love that the meat is raised humanely and grass fed. Also, it was delicious.

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Stuffing & Shortbread

One of my BL besties invited me over this weekend to teach me the art of making stuffing and shortbread. Her homemade stuffing was a huge hit at our American Thanksgiving a few weeks back, even to my stove-top-stuffing-loving husband. I had also heard that her shortbread cookies were the smoothest, melt in your mouth’iest pieces of delicious and begged her to teach me how to make those as well. We drank a little white wine spritzer and got to work.DSC_0048

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She even let me take the stuffing home for dinner and cookies for dessert! Unfortunately, I ate most of the cookies on the way there…

Antipasto

I canned! To be honest though, until this project, the idea of canning actually really freaked me out, mainly because I obsessively worry about botchalism. However, Cam’s mom has been talking about her amazing antipasto recipe for a few years and I wanted to learn how to make it (that and it was high time I conquer my canning fear).

So yesterday, I invited myself over to her place to learn lost art and ended up with about 15 jars of ready to go appetizers, perfect for this time of year.

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Countdown to Thanksgiving

Being an immigrant (as well as a true lover of the great north), I generally fully embrace Canadian culture in whatever form it arrives. However, celebrating thanksgiving (that’s right, I used a lowercase ‘t’ on purpose) in October just doesn’t cut it for me. I need the real deal, you know, the one that happens in November!

When it comes to American Thanksgiving, we generally head south of the border to celebrate with our American family, but this year we decided against traveling for a myriad of reasons. However, I have still found myself itching to celebrate this season of thankfulness with food, friends and family. That said, if I can’t be in America, I could (and should) still throw an American Thanksgiving. While we won’t be able to celebrate in my family’s traditional style (a 3pm dinner followed by a nap, and then a 7pm dinner) because people actually have to work, I am fairly certain that it will still be a memorable event. To keep things easy and stress free on Thursday, I finished off a few menu items (cranberry sauce, apple galette, and pumpkin pie) tonight!


Happy (almost) Thanksgiving!

3rd Annual Winter Jesstival

Growing up in Seattle, rain characterized our main (and sometimes only) season. I fondly remember the few instances when I experienced snow as a child filling me with excitement, adventure, and awe. One of my favourite winter memories involving snow was when my Opa (who lived 2 hours north of us) used to call my house every time the snow fell at his house to share the good news with my younger brothers and I. Knowing how much we loved snow, he would always stuff a ziploc bag full of snowballs to bring us the next time he came for a visit.

As you can imagine, when I moved to the great north, winter quickly became one of my new favourite seasons. Upon the first snowfall during our first year here, I felt it necessary to celebrate the commencement of winter with a feast of stick-to-your-ribs carbs and good friends. We had such a great time that I insisted on making what was dubbed the “winter jesstival” an annual event. Even now, 3 years in, despite the more frustrating parts of winter (cold, darkness, and more cold), I still find myself enamored with snow and love the chance to celebrate the changing seasons.

When the snow began to fall last weekend, I planned the traditional jesstival for the following Friday. This year’s feast included perogies & farmer’s sausage, homemade mac & cheese, sausage rolls with Yvette’s chutney, an oreo treat from Cam’s childhood, and of course, red wine, which I mulled! I took a few pics (cheese for the perogies, dried mandarins for the mulled wine, and fresh sausage rolls), but was enjoying myself too much to take many more…