After such a fun, relaxing week in the Caribbean it’s a rude awakening (literally!) to get up for 8:30am classes. I had my week in the sun and now it’s back to the Canadian winter and a pile of school work.
Sailing away from Miami.
My twin brother and I spent a week on board the Celebrity Eclipse — a big, beautiful ship. Thanks to Twin having worked for Celebrity before he was able to get us a discount and we enjoyed a pretty luxurious trip on a pretty serious budget! There was awesome entertainment, parties, a glass blowing show, time on the beach, quality time with my book and amaaaazing food (you knew I was going to mention the food…).
DELICIOUS pizza at Pirilo's in San Juan
Some Christmas Ale in Puerto Rico
Flipping through the big, beautiful Celebrity cookbook
Amazing Poison Ivy glass made on the ship by the Corning Museum of Glass.
...and back to the snow!
Can’t believe it’s the end of the month already. But we got an extra day; happy leap day!
I’m hoping a mojito or two and some sunshine get rid of this cold I have because my twin and I are off to the Caribbean for a week!
Rockin' the snorkel gear. Happy Spring Break!
I’m not the type who wishes to escape from winter weather…I personally love Ottawa winters, but it hasn’t been very cold this year. Winterlude, the annual festival of winter sports, culture, traditions and art in Ottawa is suffering from some rising temperatures this week — hopefully it will be able to get through this last weekend of February without totally melting. If you’re in Ottawa and the weather co-operates, check it out!
Fireworks at Winterlude's Opening Ceremonies
Maple taffy. Sugary goodness.
Ice sculptors at work
A sunny sunny day on the Rideau Canal, a world UNESCO site and the largest outdoor skating rink!
Remember how Hélène was hoping that Ellen Degeneres might speak about organ donation on her show? Well this morning she did — and Skyped Hélène onto the show…it was so great to see!! Congrats, Hélène!
This made me so happy…hope you have a happy Thursday!!
(For more about Hélène’s story) http://www.alungstory.ca
Become an organ donor: beadonor.ca
Heart shaped foods might be reserved for Valentine’s Day (which I hope was lovely, by the way!), but this quick dessert will taste good any day of the year.
Good news: meringue does not kill poodles. Our silly puppy manged to pull a meringue down from the kitchen counter when I wasn’t looking. These hearts are a little fragile, so make sure you keep your curious puppy away…you don’t want any broken hearts!
The meringue thief. Guilty puppy.
I just took a simple meringue recipe and made the individual hearts by spooning the meringue within a heart shaped cookie cutter on the baking sheet. Topped with vanilla whipped cream, lots of berries and a drizzle of chocolate sauce this was a light and scrumptious way to end the meal.
For an easy chocolate drizzle, just melt chocolate chips! The higher quality, the tastier it will be.
Capture hearts with this dessert any time of the year!
Valentine’s Day is coming right up (as in tomorrow!), and I love it. No, I don’t like the overly corny marketing and yes, if you love someone you should show it all year ’round. But despite all the reasons so many people love to hate it, I’m a fan. I mean really, no matter your relationship status, there’s always someone you can send a little special love to. Family, friends, the puppy…all good candidates for getting a shoutout on the day of love.
Sugar cookies should be simple; the appeal lies in the old-fashioned sweet buttery goodness. This recipe (which is really an awesome master recipe for about 14 variations — I went with regular and toasted coconut this time) is great for beginner bakers and experienced cookie monsters alike. These cookies freeze really well, so you can start making your holiday cookies wayyyy in advance! (One day I will be that organized.)
Another reason why I love Valentine’s Day might lie in my weird penchant for conversation hearts. I know, they don’t even taste that great, but I bet if they were home made they would be delicious! Check out this recipe for the little treats, sounds awesome! http://bravetart.com/recipes/ConversationHeartsGF
You could ice these sugar cookies with some colourful royal icing to make your own conversation hearts; all the fun of a conversation heart in a cookie! Yum.
Want to show someone a little love? Say it with sugar…
I’m sure I’m not the only one who takes things for granted every once and a while. Essential everyday things like running water, the support network of family and friends, my good health….being able to breathe.
Hélène Campbell is 20 years old and requires a double lung transplant. You can learn all about Hélène and her story at http://www.alungstory.ca. I don’t know Hélène personally (she’s a friend of a friend), but her optimism is contagious and I’ve been so inspired by how she has dealt with all of this. A couple of weeks ago she launched a Twitter campaign to raise awareness about the importance of organ donation by tweeting fellow Canadian, Justin Bieber. It worked. Justin Bieber tweeted back, as did several other celebrities, and the registration for organ donors spiked. It was so awesome to see.
Hélène is back with another challenge. Want to do “Degeneres” thing? Watch the video below and see how you can help with just a very little bit of your time!
So starting TODAY! Let’s help Hélène get Ellen’s attention!
(Thanks to my lovely Kate’s Plate readers — I know there aren’t that many of you, but I also know you’re all great! It would be awesome if you could share the video with your friends, too!)
While you’re at it, why not register to be an organ donor?! beadonor.ca
UPDATE! Here is the video that we went Ellen Degeneres to see:
Even people who cringe at the thought of the little green veggie can like this pesto — you can’t tell the brussels sprouts are there, but the end result is a simple, delicious pesto (in an awesome shade of bright green!).
I like things full of garlic, so if you’d rather keep your pesto on the lower end of the garlic-breath scale, cut back on the amount of cloves you throw in… Brussels Sprout Pesto Recipe
Dwight Schrute would approve of this salad. Actually, it’s probably a little too high maintenance for him (but it’s really easy, I promise!). This winter salad features beets, citrus, fennel and onions — might not sound like a winning combination, but let yourself be surprised. The contrast in textures, flavours and colours make this something special.
Blood oranges star alongside beets in this Moroccan inspired salad.
Try it out!