Maple Walnut Ice Cream

maple walnut ice cream

Creamy Maple Ice Cream with Salted Buttery Walnuts

I realized this weekend that it’s been almost five weeks (maybe more) since I’ve cooked something proper. I’ve been roasting things, but that’s really nothing more than wash-chop-bake and I don’t think really counts. Before vacation and since I’ve returned, I’ve been existing, I think, on toast, smoothies, salads, eggs and yogurt, I think. The mind does funny things when not properly fed.

So a few days ago I sat myself down and talked myself out of vacation mindset and back into adulthood, and set myself up to make some honest to goodness, chop-saute-brown-simmer, and cream-whisk-bake food, completely with a fresh herb and/or grated cheese garnish.  The way my life should be going down especially since the smoothie-life is not sustainable in sub-70 degree temperatures.

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Sunday Somethings

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Hello, Sunday. Hello, FALL!

Fall is finally here to take me out of my summer heat sweats and humidity misery!  Sorry, summer lovers, but I will not contain my glee.  Now, if only Mother Nature would catch up with the calendar.

Yesterday Tomato and I went back to Notre Dame for our annual fall pilgrimage only to be disappointed with a loss. However, thankfully for us we had good snacks, a ginormous diet coke and dinner at CJ’s afterwards, so at least it was a win for us. Though it’s changed so much, campus still takes my breath away.

The internet!  Let’s go.

Coming back from a blissfully relaxing vacation helps put one’s real life in perspective and the truth of our Toxic Work World makes me feel sad and hopeless.

Want to feel happy? It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3, 4

Related:  Traveling helps, too.

Also related:  Girls weekends are the best weekends.

Backstreet’s Back!  Alright!

She’ll always be 16 going on 17.  So long, farewell Charmian Carr.

People are horrible and because of it, we get Celeb’s Read Mean Tweets. It’s just never not funny, though.

Friends on Friends is… perfection.

How to Talk to Boys.  Straight and to the point. The old adage of KISS.

Nothing makes me wish I was a kid today. It’s hard, a different kind of hard than back in 1991.  I’d argue harder.

Related: Life before the internet? I remember it. Do you?

The forgotten war on terror, a reminder.

To try: Savory Oats. I’m into it.

Who doesn’t love a breakfast sandwich? No one.  Maybe trolls.

That’s it! Have a spectacular week!

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Eat the World: Vancouver

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Vancouver, I’ve got a crush on you.

I wanted to write a comprehensive Eat the World, See the World per usual after a trip, but the truth is that Mom and I were only there as a stopover- a mere two days plus a few hours, a scant amount of time that we filled with little besides eating and getting horribly turned around in Stanley Park.

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That is my one thing to do for sure: Stanley Park.  We may have gotten lost, but I recommend you do the same. No where in either my or mom’s home surrounds affords us such an opportunity to get really stuck in nature.  We meandered through the 1000+ acre park, trying to stay on some sort of path, finally finding the sea wall and following that path all the way around to my first maple walnut ice cream cone, a little seaside shack, some swings and a plate of fish and chips.

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On that note, I have nothing else to say on the “see the world” matter that doesn’t veer from the hop on, hop off tour.  On the other hand, before I left, I got loads of suggestions on where I needed to eat.  While that list was quite comprehensive on its own, a chance meeting with an over-enthusiastic waiter send me and mom on a restaurant goose chase of sorts, failing spectacularly, but giving us many a choice for our next time. And a next time there will certainly be.

So here’s a great list of where to eat the world in Vancouver, courtesy of a few of my friends and the friendliest Vancouverite (?) we met on our way. So, thank you Andrew (you can find him behind the bar at Milestones in Yaletown).

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See the World: Through My Alaskan Looking Glass

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“Is this heaven?

No, it’s Alaska.”

I went to Alaska.  And it was beautiful.

So beautiful, that I find words are hard to describe it. The air was so clean. The sky, so blue. And the trees, taller and greener than anything I’ll ever see back home.  A version of heaven on earth,

Nature pictures are hard in my opinion, because no snapshot can ever recreate an experience in its entirety:  the mist of the boat as we patiently (or impatiently) waited for our humpback friends to appear, the fast breeze and sea air from the deck overlooking Glacier Bay, the crushing sound of mounds of ice falling into the water.

Because the total sensory experience can never be adequately captured on film (or the moment recreated), I’m not one of those people that comes back from a trip with thousands of pictures.  Still, I got some good ones, and they speak for themselves on how if you ever get a chance to head north of the lower 48, you most certainly should.

Come with me. I’ll show you.

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Sunday Somethings

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Hello, Sunday.

The immediate days post-trip are hard. Gone is the vacation joie de vivre, and back are the harsh realities of the job, the commute, the full inbox, and the cat that likes to bite you awake every morning. Love bites, I like to think.

Nevertheless, routine is comforting in its own way, and a two weeks breathing in the sea air and eating all the seafood are well worth a few weekend hours of work.

A short week kept me off the grid for most of it, but I squirreled away some web nuggets.  I hope you had great week and that you managed to find some time to get off of it as well.  It really does a mind and body good!

Losing a parent is hard, so please pray for my dear friend who lost her lovely father yesterday.  #RavensNation 

Seems like smarts come from mom. Is anyone surprised?

I’ve never really wished that I grew up in any other decades, and these are 37 fantastic reasons why.

Related:  My friends and I talk about this a lot, and how lucky we are that our college pictures remain locked in a box, in prints, with negatives, where they rightly belong.  Why 80’s babies are different than other millennials (hint: we all died of dysentery at one point or another).

I know I just got back from vacation, but…

Not sure if this is real, but who wants to move to Canada? Tempting, not gonna lie.

Love me some a cappella and some Dolly!

It’s pumpkin season!  So get to it!

And finally, to combat all the bad thoughts that may arise this upcoming week, here are some happy ones to get you through it.

I think that’s it.  Have a good one!

 

 

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What to Pack: Fall Edition

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Winter, spring, summer or fall…all you have to do is call and I’ll be there, yes I will…

That’s me and travel.  Anytime, anywhere, I’ll pack my bags and go…

But, what to pack in those bags?

Packing can be a challenge, and my friends and I just happen to travel almost every fall (on my Facebook timeline, there is always something there to remind me of fun trips past).  It really is my favorite time of the year to jump on a plane; the crowds are thinner, the air is crisper and the price is usually smaller. The problem with traveling in the fall, at least to the parts to where I head, is that the weather is unpredictable, oscillating from 40F and rainy one day to 75F and sunny the next.  Throw in multiple destinations and random excursions, and the suitcase fills up and approaches that 50 pound weight limit really fast.

Despite the challenges, there is a tried and true list from which I start each 10+ day trip, and add in extras as needed. Fall packing to somewhere other than tropical destinations can be tricky, so I’m going to share with you my base what to pack list, one that got me through biking the Alps back in 2009, marching through the rain in Iceland last year, and most recently last week, cruising the Klondike.  Adjust as you will, but with this list as a guide, I’ve yet to vacation when I’ve not had something I’ve needed, nor not worn what I’ve packed.

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Sunday Somethings

Since I thank the Lord haven’t been chained to my desk this week, I have no internet musings to share. Therefore, this post is all about me and what’s passing in between my ears through my brain. Taking a page out of Biscuit’s book, here we go:
crushing: the pun-ny pictures

reading: Past Imperfect, by Julian Fellows

waiting: for all the fall foods

spying: outside our window at beautiful Vancouver!

liking: my new skinny jeans 

wondering: what this season will bring

loving: the PNW

needing: to see Crawley 

smelling: currently,  delicious Korean food

wearing: skinnies and long sleeves, plus the boat shoes. Uniform of the week.

knowing: more about Alaska than a week ago

watching: sunsets

listening: to the hits of the 70s, 80s and 90s (road tripping with Mom)

noticing: all the different people

thinking: about the future

giggling: about cruise time Chinese takeover incidents

wishing: i didn’t have to go back home

feeling: like myself again. 

Written while waiting for dinner,  smelling the aforementioned Korean food.

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See the World, Eat the World: Calgary

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I hope you all enjoyed meeting Emilie earlier this week and now to re-introduce you to Biscuit. She’s mentioned quite often in these parts because she’s just so much fun and as further proof, she’s contributing to the “Eat the World, See the World” series that we’ve got going on here and is showing us what to see, do and more importantly eat around Calgary, with the help of her lovely sister.  Enough from me, take it away, Biscuit!

Hello again Hungary Buddha internet besties! You may remember me, Biscuit, from last year when I shared my OMGmostfavouritesaladever (aka: summer panzanella) recipe. As you can imagine with a nickname like Biscuit I try to sneak buttery, lightly toasted bread into perfectly healthy recipes whenever I can. More is more when it comes to carbs.

While Chrissy is travelling the Pacific, with a little help from my sister, I’m going take you on a tour of Calgary. Let’s eat…and walk…because, carbs. And ice cream! Oh my goodness gracious, the ice cream.

Let me clear something up first; I’m not an expert on Calgary eats. I don’t live there, my sister does; I visit and try to drink as many lattes, eat as many almond croissants, and lick as many ice cream cones as possible. If there was a Calgary Indulgence Olympics I’d be a rose-gold medalist. Pretty shiny things!

I live in Southwestern Ontario and usually take the once daily flight from Kitchener to Calgary which arrives around 9pm local time which is just late enough to see the Calgary Tower illuminated and just early enough to still get ice cream at Village!

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Calgary has been a bit cold and dreary this summer but I’ve always had exceptional weather when I’ve visited…except that one October when it snowed every day…but we don’t talk about that. Are you a morning person? I’m a morning person who loves 10 extra minutes in bed. With a two hour time difference I always wake up extra early in YYC and let me tell you, sunny, endless blue sky mornings in Calgary are exceptionally beautiful.

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Peach Mousse

Peach Mousse

Creamy dreamy Peach Mousse

Hi ho, neighbors! As I mentioned before, Lettuce, Mom and I are off exploring the Klondike, searching for bears and moose and other wilds. Speaking of mousse of a different variety, I’d like to introduce you to Emilie Baltimore, the voice and artist behind the adorably named blog Cookies for England.  She introduced me to her readers a while back and I’m happy to do the same and she’s come packing with an original recipe for you all to boot.  Oh, and did I mention that she’s a published cookbooker?  I bow in awe. Anyway, without further ado, here’s Emilie! 

Hello out there, foodies!  I was beyond flattered when Chrissy asked me to share a guest post on her awesome site, The Hungary Buddha Eats the World.  I have been blown away by Chrissy’s talent ever since I came across her blog, and it pleases me greatly to see that there are people out there, such as Chrissy, who possess beauty as well as brains.  I think she’s just about perfect—in fact, the only flaw I can find with her is that she doesn’t like cantaloupe.  So I suppose Paradise really is Lost . . . but don’t tell John Milton.

Chrissy asked me to share a little bit about myself, so let’s start at the beginning . . . (dreamy music plays in the background . . .)

I am born. 

(Defensively) Well, you said to start at the beginning!

Chrissy might not like cantaloupe, but she obviously likes nuts, since she likes me.  😀

Anyway, let’s go a bit further ahead.  I grew up in Pennsylvania—in the heart of Amish country. No.  I was not Amish.  You can live in the country surrounded by Amish and not be Amish.  Although, once I heard a phone ring and saw an Amishman pull a cell out of his pocket and answer it, so the jury’s still out on that one . . .

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Sunday Somethings

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Hello, Sunday.

It was a short week, full of things to do before we set sail yesterday.  Still, the internet managed to capture my attention in a few ways, though admittedly in the most frivolous of sorts. I apologize, but really couldn’t we all use a bit of frivolity in these dark times?

Also, happy long weekend! May you not labor in celebration.

Thursday was the first time I had to leave my cat-child for such a long time, and we were admittedly both heartbroken a little (how sad is the above picture?!). I feel comfortable knowing that he’s in good hands while I’m gone, but he probably thinks I’m never coming back.  Rambling, sorry, but this, on the importance of cats (one in particular).

Thank you, Mr. Wilder, for taking us into a world of true imagination

Looking for places to add to your travel list AND be scared? For those with thicker skin than I, check these out. Creepy…

Sexual assault on airplanes happens, and no one knows what to do about it.  Horrible, right?

Licorice is a big fan of underwater spin class (which I have yet to find in Chicago), so I believe this workout would be awesome, and I want in.

After visiting Iceland last year, I realized it really a place all it’s own and it was hard to compare it to anywhere else I’ve been. Seems its singularity is in more ways that one.

Tailgating this weekend (yay football!)?  Here are some ideas

And finally, thanks to Blueberry for saving dinner on Wednesday!

Okay, I must vacation now (and you can join me on Instagram at #KlondikeBARua and #adventuresoftheHB).

Written in some down time.

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