Two of my very best friends married each other in April and way back then I promised them handknit Christmas stockings as their wedding gift. Last week those stockings were finally complete and I had the absolute joy of giving them to Joel and Lauren. (My joy was complete when Joel literally jumped up and down in excitement.) He took some wonderful photos of the final product, so I thought I’d share a couple of them with you.
Our Hawaiian friends introduced us to the tastiest Hawaiian delicacy (if you can call something featuring spam as the main ingredient a delicacy???) during university and Cam has been smitten ever since. Who needs cake when you have these?
I’m not trying to toot my own horn here, but I don’t think I’ve ever made anything more crowd-pleasing. Actually, I’m going to toot Deb’s horn over at Smitten Kitchen for providing the recipe and my dear friend Lauren’s for insisting that we make them. But if you are looking for a special treat to bring to one of your many Christmas functions or a little gift for friends or colleagues, Apple Cider Caramels are the way to go!
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!
A couple weeks ago, my cousin called and said she and some of my other family had just booked a last-minute, all-inclusive trip to Cuba. “You should come!” Before I knew what was happening, my credit card had a much bigger balance and I’d convinced my mom to come along as well.
Of course, an impromptu trip to Cuba wouldn’t be complete without a hand-knit beach bag lined with a bright floral pattern, right? I set to work on my first sewing project since grade 8, and I have to say, I think Mrs. Erkelens would have been proud.
The trip was such a treat, though definitely not simple-living on any sort of level. I ate lots, drank lots, read lots, and played lots. It was such fun to get to see my mom so unexpectedly and also great to get to spend time with my aunt, my cousins and their cute kids. Coming back to rainy Vancouver was a bit of a shock after getting used to all that sun. But I’ve come back with renewed energy, perspective, and optimism. I hope you get a fall blessing that can do similar things for you (though I understand my tan in November is more than most can ask for)…
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…