Mondaze [Ottolenghi’s Eggplant]

ottolenghi eggplanteggplant blahg (1)There’s just one day a week that my boyfriend and I both have off from jobs and school, so it’s become our de facto weekend. We have a long list of fun things to do and places to go on Mondays, and there’s just one rule: no alarm clocks. Despite our to-do lists, by the time this one day to sleep in rolls around sometimes our ambitious plans get discarded. That’s ok though; for most of January I was busy studying for an exam and we sort of fell into a lovely, lazy routine of waking up late, walks at the dog park, some Ottawa-exploring and kitchen fun. Usually our cooking exploits are devoted to brunch, but sometimes we have enough energy left for dinner. These eggplants were one such Monday kitchen adventure. It’s a super easy recipe, and they’re described in the cookbook (one of my favourite’s) as “rustically elegant”…I think that about sums it up.eggplant blahg (7)eggplant blahg (6)Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preseteggplant blahg (2) Click to continue reading…

Home for the Holidaze

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With almost a month off from school over the holidays, I somehow thought the break would seem long and luxuriously slow-paced. holidaze (13)holidaze (14)I should have known better. Of course, it feels like it all sped by. Time flies when you’re hosting wonderful house guests, starting small oven fires (with some dope granola), slinging growlers at a hopping brewery, making merry with people you love…and having oh-so-much fun. Click to continue reading…

Going Beyond the Pale [Beer Brownies]

btp (20)Beyond the Pale Brewing Company turned two last weekend! (Come celebrate our beerthday with us!)btpbtp (25)
There was a post from the brewery at the top of my Facebook newsfeed one morning in July; they were looking to hire. I didn’t know much about BTP except that I loved their beer and their ‘help wanted’ ad made me chuckle, and so I sent off my application (which included some brewtal beer puns). A couple pints and two interviews later, I found myself working at this great little brewery in Hintonburg.diving for mash
After spending the first part of my summer travelling and being funemployed, starting at BTP certainly felt like a change of pace, but a mighty fun one. (My mum, who hated me going around saying that I was “funemployed”, likes to joke that I became “funnERemployed”.) Compared to my past few summers at a student government job it was a huge change of pace. …I sell beer. I don’t brew (yet?!), although I do occasionally zest the grapefruit that goes in to Pink Fuzz, so I like to think I have some part in the beer creation. Sometimes muscles are sore at the end of a long day (beer is heavy!), and some of the initial novelty of working at a brewery might have worn off a little bit, but overall it’s just been a ton of fun. The friendly bunch at BTP was super welcoming and has been a hoot to work with. I’m learning more than I thought I’d ever know about beer, I get to talk to people all day who are as excited about the craft brewing scene as we are, put my social media addiction skills (#employability?) to good use (you can follow along with the brewery here, here, and here), and it’s been great to meet all these wonderful people in an industry that I’m happy to be a tiny part of.btp (11) Click to continue reading…

The Great Food Blogger Swap, Year 3 [Chewy Ginger Chocolate Cookies]

cookieswap2014Three years ago, I discovered The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap, probably while procrastinating school work and perusing food blogs. I had just started my little blog at the time, so I eagerly signed up for an email that would let me know when I could sign up for the following year.fbcookieswap2014_whiteLGTwo years ago I was living in Spain (wah, where does time go!). Suffering from a serious case of FOMO, I signed up for the cookie swap even though I was out of the country, and my wonderful mother baked and mailed my cookies for me.  She even froze the cookies I received in the mail until I came home for the holidays. I know, I’m so spoiled.cookieswap2014Last year, I created a biscotti blizzard in the kitchen and might have prioritized cookie swapping over studying for finals. Just a little bit.cookieswap2014This year, I swore I’d be more organized. I wasn’t. But! Somehow, cookies were made and mailed. I’ve almost survived another exam season. And the novelty of receiving pretty packages full of cookies in the mail continues!   Click to continue reading…

Peras al vino especiado

cook & tastecafe con lecheThough it was a little bit of a splurge given the student budget I was travelling on, my day at Cook & Taste Barcelona was well worth it in my books. My friend Jane and I got up early to grab our cafes con leche on the way, and then arrived at Cook & Taste’s lovely space in the heart of Barcelona’s gothic quarter. (SO lovely. I wanted to stay and live in their kitchen.)cook and taste (5)cook & tasteWe started with a little exploring through La Boqueria. I had walked through Barcelona’s famous market a few times before, but it was great to go with our guide/teacher/food-guru for the day, María José, as we stopped to speak to each of the vendors while buying our ingredients. Jane had to jet off to Italy, so I was on my own for the cooking part of the day but my “classmates” were all super fun and friendly. I made friends with a lovely Dutch couple as we prepared mussels for the paella, and seemed to mistify a couple of nice older men from Scandinavia as to why on earth I was traveling by myself, chatted with a fellow Canuck about a certain crack smoking mayor that was making headlines at the time, and bonded with the two Aussie sisters who were charged with making sure everyone had full wine glasses. Everyone was kept busy with tasks in the kitchen and the day went by quickly. Though I had made a couple of the dishes on our menu before, it was great to follow along with a professional. We spent a couple hours getting everything ready, and then enjoyed our delicious little feast starting with tortilla de patatas con pan con tomate, salsa romesco with seasonal vegetables, the showstopping giant pan of paella de marisco, and finishing with these beatuiful burgundy pears.cook and tastecook and taste Click to continue reading…

Quitters

quitterhands(Accompanying soundtrack.)DSC_0987DSC_0992quittersDSC_0166Earlier this year, Ottawa-based chanteuse Kathleen Edwards announced that she was going to be taking a break from the music scene and that she was planning on opening a coffee shop in Stittsville. Since I just live a suburb over from ‘beyond the fringe’, I was stoked to check out Edwards’ Quitters Coffee. Star power aside, Quitters brings some serious coffee shop appeal to the suburbs. The great folks over a Apartment 613 have my full post, so grab your coffee and click on over there — happy caffeinating!

[February 2015, update: Quitter’s now has a liquor license…oh baby.]
quitters.