the travelling crockpot – adrienne’s dinner no. 3

Posted on: Monday, November 17, 2014

so… after a 6 month hiatus…

the travelling crockpot IS BACK!

here’s a quick recap of the previous travelling crockpot dinners – and yes – adrienne does know she’s behind, but we’ve planned a catch up meal in our future.  not to worry.

becky | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4  |  nikki | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4  |  adrienne | 1 | 2  |  our collective holiday feast


adrienne’s turn to cook the meal, she started off with apple slices topped with chutney and aged irish cheddar.
for our main meal she toasted up freshly baked crostini’s slathered in garlic butter and served it with a fantastic bolognese sauce and pasta.  you can find the recipe she worked off of – here.
for dessert – a dreamy red velvet cake with heavenly goat cheese frosting.  seriously – that frosting.  i wish i had been there when she made the frosting.  i would have gladly licked those beaters clean for her.  i realize i didn’t share a photo with you of what the inside of the cake looked like, but believe me when i tell you, it was the colour red.  FROM BEET JUICE!  not red food colouring! (which is awful for you, ps.)  BEET JUICE!  adrienne cut up, pureed, drained and strained beets to get the juice to use as dye.  *jaw drop* i know – right?!?  impressive.

a funny thing about these dinners is that you never know how it’s going to turn out.  that’s the joy of cooking.  you win some and you loose some.  if only you could be a fly on the wall to hear the conversations that happen over a delicious meal and some good wine on a crockpot night.  there’s a story that comes along with that red velvet cake – but i’ll save that for an outtake post in the future.  why?  just because.  i’m slightly evil like that – and hey, why not give you a reason to keep coming back and check out the blog.  buahh haha

my weekend went a little like this…

Posted on: Monday, November 10, 2014

friday evening i ended up in pickering for some wicked axe throwing.  BATL has opened up a new location there.  if you’ve never tried out axe throwing, i fully encourage you to do so.  it’s completely addicting.

i read this article which i found super interesting.  it caught my attention because, well, i’ve always loved those coca-cola polar bears!
which led me to this commercial.
i’d love to know what you think!

and then there was this article.  beautiful.  i love the idea of taking the same photograph over many years.  maybe i should try this.


all iphone.

made soup.  again.  my favourite thus far being… 1 onion, 4 garlic cloves, 2 tbsp paprika, 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/4 tsp cayenne, 2 cups of water with a bouillon cube, half a butternut squash and three carrots.  mmm. mmm. mmm. and then i made cookies.  coconut, oatmeal, walnut, toffee cookies.  just because.  and then there were dishes.  plenty of dishes after a weekends worth of cooking and baking.

laundry.  so much laundry.  sometimes i wonder how two people can have so much clothing and how often it feels like i have nothing in my closet.

i turned on some christmas music and started making christmas cards to give out to family and friends this year.  soon enough we’ll be putting up our tree.  i can – and should hold out i think until the last weekend of november.  we’ll see if i can last that long.

had a visit with the in-laws.  watched the senators sadly loose to the leafs.  yes – i live in toronto and i’m not a leafs fan. gasp!

tried to get as much sleep as i could.  even if that meant napping on the couch while josh watched a movie or played video games.  and my weekend mornings?  i didn’t set and alarm and i slept in as long as my brain would allow.  i haven’t been sleeping well so i’ve been taking all i can get.

and just like that – the weekend was over.  but what a relaxing one it was.  i feel content and at ease.  that might just be the jazz i’m listening to now.  who knows.  maybe i just need more sleep.  how was your weekend?

soup for the fall and winter.

Posted on: Saturday, November 8, 2014


i love soup.

it becomes a staple in my everyday lunch at work in the fall and winter months.

and it’s so darn easy!  my favourite?  sweet potato… with anything. i absolutely love sweet potatoes.

the past two weeks i’ve made all kinds of variations on the same soup.  i encourage you to do the same.

mix any of the following together – and hello yumminess!

1 tsp of olive oil, once pot is hot (medium to medium high heat) add
1 onion, fresh chopped garlic (i used 4-6 cloves each time) fresh chopped ginger (about 1 tbsp)
i like to add the spices to a fairly dry pot to toast them a bit, then add
2-4 cups of water, depends how many vegetables you’ve chopped up
with a bouillon cube of your liking (or you could use any kind of stock)
sweet potatoes
butternut squash

slow simmer boil until everything is nice and soft
blend (hand blender, stand mixer, whatever you have) and then add
1/2 to 1 can of coconut milk
stir in 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar.
taste.  add salt to your liking.
top with roasted squash seeds if you like.

happy sunday – wherever you are!

stolen dance – milky chance.

Posted on: Wednesday, November 5, 2014

this song.
there’s more – but i shouldn’t talk about it…

i say – listen deeply with all of yourself and turn it up.

milky chance – stolen dance

enjoy – wherever you are.

birthday balloons.

Posted on: Sunday, November 2, 2014

logan-balloons-photoshootif you’ve been following along, you’ll maybe recognize this little man from this blog post back in april.

it was a pleasant surprise when Logan’s dad reached out to book another photo session.
it was his wife’s birthday and he wanted to surprise her with some photos of their son and thought it’d be cool to make them into a calendar for her.

ummm – okay!

so we planned out a bunch of different outfits and went on our merry way taking photos with Logan one brisk morning this month.  his wonder and joy for the balloons was fascinating.  his smile, his laugh – ugh, is he ever cute!  i can see why having photos at all stages of their childhood years is so important.  they change so fast!

happy birthday mumma!  your man is a sneaky one, but for all the right reasons! xo
and happy sunday everyone – wherever you are!

the wedding of jill & chris.

Posted on: Sunday, October 19, 2014

i had the honour of being my dear friend jill’s wedding photographer the first weekend in august of this year, as she married her love – chris.  with my brother by my side, we captured their big day.  it was something else.  something magical – filled with incredible amounts of laughter and love.  i can’t thank jill & chris enough for asking me to be apart of their big day.  i’ve gotten to learn so much about myself as a photographer along the way.  every individual and couple who has allowed me into their lives to capture memories that they’ll look back on years down the road – well, it’s a feeling i can’t get enough of and i can’t thank each of you enough for.  you’ve helped me grow.  i hope you enjoy the photos!  it was an incredible night that i’ll never forget.  i cried (a good cry of course!) as they had their first dance as husband and wife and then cheered and sang along as the groom and his band rocked out for the guests.  encore! encore!


happy sunday – wherever you are!

the streets of montreal.

Posted on: Sunday, October 12, 2014


there’s something about this bike – i like.

in a city where the street signs aren’t familiar and the language which shouldn’t be foreign to a canadian like me, well, it is.  the buildings aren’t blocking the sky and their bike lanes make sense, not disturbing the flow of traffic.  the fashion is all their own.  individual.  i feel as if i’ve transported to a far away place.  every street corner could be the start of a really good novel, it’s just waiting to be written.

i spent two weeks in montreal, quebec back in april.  if i hadn’t been out with a cold for the entire second week i would have wandered the streets more.  when you can’t speak the language, you feel isolated – at least, i did.  but rather than let it bother me, i embraced the alone time.  i walked just to wander.  no set agenda.  and then spent a solid 7 days resting in bed trying to fight off a cold that plagued me.

back to montreal, only for a few short days in may, work is what brought me there again.  no longer sick and no longer snow on the ground.  the vibe is immediately different.  it’s warm out – the birds are chirping and folks have started to take off the layers.  lounging in the park is where it’s at.  soak up that sun.

one more trip recently and it starts to feel familiar.  the metro is no longer confusing and i now don’t feel shy to say “merci” to the cashier at the local dépanneur.  my coworkers have inspired me to start learning french again but i’m incredibly shy about it.  we’ll see how this goes.

bon dimanche – wherever you are.

can’t let go of something?

Posted on: Wednesday, October 1, 2014

can’t let go of something?

take a picture.

i’m serious.  it’ll last forever.
this is – provided that you don’t loose your hard drive or delete everything by accident.

it was my mother who got me onto this idea a long time ago.
my brother and i would have projects from school that she wanted to remember but clearly had no room to keep them all.
and so, she’d set them up on an even backdrop, say on the table or outdoors on the walkway and she’d take a picture.

and then…

she’d throw that shit out.
because really, there is no reason to keep all of that stuff.
the memories are in the photographs.


like my wedding bouquet (flowers from a lady at the local farmers’ market) which even though i did hang to dry, i decided not to keep.  less is probably more.

i used to hate mushrooms.

Posted on: Sunday, September 28, 2014


i used to hate mushrooms.  and now i love them.

well – i can’t say fully hate, i’d eat white cremini mushrooms as a kid as long as they were raw.
cooked?  NO THANK YOU!!!  especially the ones atop a pizzapizza… pizza.  yuck.
keep in mind that i also don’t think i was introduced to many other varieties of mushrooms as a kid either.

so when did this love affair with mushrooms begin?
when i started going to farmers’ markets in my area and getting mushrooms from the folks who grow them.
oh my goodness – delicious!  they know what’s going on.
my favourite right now being the shiitake mushroom.

panfried up with butter and a pinch of salt, it’s the simple and oh so yummy.
i find that i slow down when cooking these mushrooms, there’s this appreciation i have for them.
i’ll turn on my oven to a nice medium to medium high heat and put in a knob of butter.  once slightly melted i swirl the butter around the pan and let it sit.  sit until the butter bubbles and gets foamy.  then i throw in sliced shiitake mushrooms and let them sit for a solid minute without touching them.  then a little toss here and there, let them sit for another 2 or 3 minutes and then out of the pan and onto a plate to be devoured they go.

this method is particularly delicious over a camp fire.  so so delicious.
do you have a favourite mushroom?  or mushroom recipe?
i’d love to learn to make mushroom soup.  hmmm… i wonder if my local mushroom man will have any tips for me.

happy sunday – wherever you are!

for the love of beet!

Posted on: Wednesday, September 17, 2014


i’m just going to go right out and say it – beets are going to make your pee and poo a pinky red colour.
just accept it.
it’s worth it.
and you’re not dying.  it’s just the beets intense pigment.
beets are DELICIOUS!  and good for you!
win win!

here’s what i do…
oven can be anywhere from 350 to 425 degrees fahrenheit.
scrub beets – get that dirt off of them, because you’ll have gotten these beets from your local farmer – right?  they’re in season right now, there’s really no excuse.
grab a baking sheet.
lay the whole beets (greens off but skin still on) in a piece of aluminium foil, drizzle in olive oil and a pinch of salt.  make sure you have enough foil to enclose them into a pocket, folding and closing up all the sides.  throw baking sheet with beet package into the oven.
roast beets depending on their size and your oven temperature for 25 to 50 minutes.  beets are pretty forgiving, so you really don’t need to worry.  check them by piercing them with a knife or fork.  if it goes in smoothly, they’re done!
take the beets out of the oven and let cool long enough to where you can pick them up with a paper towel in hand and gently but firmly rub the beets skin off.  why the paper towel?  otherwise your hands will look like mine do above.

so be careful.
think about everything they will touch.
avoid pink stained kitchen equipment.

and there you have it.  easy.

the skinned beets can be sliced and added to many variations on a salad – that is, if you don’t just eat them by themselves first as a snack.  i completely understand and do not judge if that happens.  they are that good.
i love a simple green salad with goat cheese, beets, olive oil and a good balsamic vinegar.
something a little more fancy?  how about golden beets, sliced red onion and cara cara orange segments tossed in a vinaigrette made up with olive oil, salt, pepper, orange juice and freshly chopped tarragon.  then crumble goat cheese on top, because, why not!

what are you going to make using beets this season?

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