Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Easter Brunch

My Mom and Dad are in town for Easter festivities this weekend. I always love when they stay with us. It gives us a chance to visit and they always have fresh coffee brewed when I wake up. Before sending them home on Sunday, I'm making one of my favorite brunch recipes: Martha Stewart's goat cheese-leek tart. Served with fruit or a green salad, it's the perfect savoury spring dish.

Goat Cheese-Leek Tart
From Martha Stewart's Everyday Food
1 bunch leeks, white and light parts only (see prep below)
1 tbsp. olive oil
coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
6 oz. fresh goat cheese, softened
2 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 tbsp. milk
3 large egg yolks
1 tsp. finely chopped fresh thyme (or 1/4 tsp. dried)
1 tbsp. water
1 store-bought refrigerated pie dough

To prep leeks:
Trim root end and dark green stops. Halve the leeks lengthwise, then thinly slice crosswise into half-moons. Wash well in several changes of cold water, swishing leeks to release any grit, until water is clear. drain and dry on paper towels.

Preheat oven to 350.
In a bowl toss leeks with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Whisk together goat cheese, cream cheese, milk, 2 egg yolks, and thyme; season with salt and pepper. In another bowl, light beat remaining egg yolk with water for egg wash.
Unfold pie dough and place on a baking sheet. Spread goat cheese mixture on crust, leaving a 2-inch border. sprinkle leeks evenly on top. Fold edge of dough over filling, pinching fold together to seal. Brush dough with egg wash. Bake, rotating sheet halfway through, until crust is golden brown and filling is browned in spots (about 1 hour).

As a side note, this is one of my favorite cookbooks. All of the recipes turn out well and there are several recipes that use leftovers- roast a chicken one night, make chicken curry the next, etc.

Have a happy Easter filled with Mini Eggs! Man, those things are addicting.

Monday, 25 March 2013

Ahh the Weekend...

We dog-sat this guy for this weekend...

Odin likes to get up early, which meant that by 11am on Sunday I had read my book, finally watched Zero Dark Thirty, and polished off several cups of coffee. It was surprisingly nice!

I also have to mention La Boulangerie. It's quickly becoming part of a new Saturday morning ritual. I like to swing by after spin for americanos and recovery pastries. It's important to eat carbs after a workout, right? Even if they're in the form of cinnamon buns? Check it out if you're in Mission. Amazing!

Friday, 22 March 2013

Winter Skin Savers

I love Calgary, but it's so incredibly dry in the winter. It doesn't matter how much water I drink or how many vitamins I take, my skin is always parched. These four products are the only things keeping my face and body happy this season.

Skoah AHA and Moisture Inducing Masks. After washing my face, I exfoliate with the AHA mask. After rinsing it, I apply a thick layer of the moisture inducing mask and let it sit. If my skin is in particular need of moisture, I'll leave the mask on and top it with a night cream. When  I wake up my skin is glowing.

Lush Dream Wash and Dream Cream. I use the super thick dream wash with a loofah to exfoliate and finish with dream cream. It smells a bit like hippies, but it feels like heaven!

Wednesday, 20 March 2013


First, let me start by saying that bannock has little to no nutritional value, but on a Saturday morning with a fresh cup of coffee, it has a whole lot of happiness value and that's just as important.

Bannock was always a childhood treat and a comfort food for me and my siblings. When my brother sent me a photo of him making it for his family, I cursed his name out of jealousy and decided to whip up a batch for myself.

2 c. flour
2 tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. baking soda
pinch of salt
1/4 c. butter
3/4 c. water

In a medium bowl, sift together dry ingredients. Cut in the butter, add water, and knead into a ball. Lightly grease a cast iron skillet or frying pan. Cook on low-medium until brown. Flip and cook the other side until done in the centre.

Friday, 15 March 2013


If Wilson Phillips and Tegan and Sara had a fun, hipster love-child, you'd have Haim. This band of sisters opened for Mumford and Sons last summer and I think they might be my new summer soundtrack.

If the weather smartens up, I've got a 5k race on Sunday. This song will definitely make my playlist.

Happy St. Patrick's Day! Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Sesame Spaghetti Squash

I found the recipe for these noodles on Pinterest. Although I quite like spaghetti squash, I sometimes find it a disappointing substitute for the real thing. In this case, the squash has the perfect crunch and flavour that I'm not even sure real noodles would be as good.

In the photo, I've topped the squash with pork and peanut sauce. We loved it so much that we've eaten it again twice since last week- once with shrimp and another with chicken, so go ahead and use whatever you'd like.

Sesame Spaghetti Squash
adapted from Family Fresh Cooking
1 medium spaghetti squash
4 tbsp. sesame oil
4 tbsp. tamari (or soy sauce)
2 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
1 tsp. freshly grated ginger
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 green onions, diced
3/4 c. edamame, shelled and cooked
4 tbsp. toasted sesame seeds
sriracha (optional)

Preheat oven to 400. Cut squash in half, lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and discard. Fill a 9x13 pan with about an inch of water. Place the squash halves cut side down. Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes. A knife should easily pierce the outside of the squash. Using a fork, scrape the squash out of its skin into a bowl.

While the squash is cooking, mix remaining ingredients except for onions, edamame, and sesame seeds. Pour over spaghetti squash. Stir in edamame and top with onions and sesame seeds.

Peanut Sauce
1/2 c. natural, unsweetened peanut butter
11/2 tbsp. tamari (or soy sauce)
1/2 tsp. freshly grated ginger
1 tsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
2 1/2 tsp. brown sugar
sriracha (optional)

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan over low heat. Stir until the peanut butter melts and the ingredients combine. Add water about a quarter of a cup at a time until sauce reaches desired consistency.

Monday, 11 March 2013

Ahh the Weekend...

Once again, we were in Banff this weekend. We fondue'd at the Grizzly House, took a trip to the hot springs, and cooked s'mores in the wood burning fireplace in our hotel room.

We were full on tourists in that little mountain town.

On Sunday, we had our engagement photo session. Hopefully, I'll have more on that later this week, but until then, here's a little preview


Wednesday, 6 March 2013

One Cup of Everything Cookies

These are my absolute favorite cookies.

Why? Because they're pretty much a combination of every good cookie out there. Peanut butter, oatmeal, coconut, chocolate chips, dried cranberries (because raisins are strictly forbidden around these parts). Not to mention that the recipe is so incredibly simple, you can make them from memory if you're ever in a cookie bind. Heaven forbid.

This is the recipe from Best of Bridge. I prefer to use butter instead of margarine.

Monday, 4 March 2013

Ahh the Weekend...

Saturday morning I ran the Memorial Drive stairs for the first time since the summer. Note how little snow there is.

Saturday night was the Corb Lund show and exhibit. Which, as you can see, was very intriguing.

Sunday morning we woke up to this...

...which lent itself well to a Sons of Anarchy marathon.

Hope you had a good, warm weekend!

Friday, 1 March 2013

What's Goin' On?

Big Taste Calgary starts today. Downtown and beltline restaurants have designed three-course menus to encourage people to discover some new spots (or revisit old ones). We've got a reservation at Charcut before we see Corb Lund over at the Glenbow. I'm also looking forward to checking out Ox and Angela, and Yellow Door.

Our realtor gave us a couple of passes to the Home and Garden show. I'm looking forward to getting a few ideas for our home and yard. Is there some sort of miracle cure for black thumb?

Have a great weekend!