For the 76th time I’m reigniting this blog with the focus on all the things I love to do. Mostly eating, biking and crafting (not necessarily in that order) and sharing what I learn along the way. With this in mind, today’s post is about stuff on toast and a bread recipe for you to try!
When the forecast indicates rain and lots of it, sometimes I take advantage of the cooler temperatures and bake some bread. Although I do like a standard yeasted or sourdough bread my favourite quick bread is: spicy, herby, and use the food science combo of baking soda and beer as the rising agent. Each loaf can be unique by changing the beer, herbs and/or adding cheese. However, this is my usual go to recipe:
Spicy Rosemary Beer Bread
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
1 tsp dried rosemary, hand-crushed
1/4 tsp dried chili flakes
1 stick butter, melted (aka 1/2 cup or 125g)
Extra important tip >> Make sure to check with a wooden skewer for doneness. The bread can be deceiving looking with a beautiful crust top as if it’s done while the inside isn’t quite there yet. I’ve learned this when cutting in to the cooled loaf after assuming it was done and was instantly sad by the rookie mistake. Always check because the loaf really should be left to completely cool to room temperature before cutting into for the first slice. It will test your carb loving will power but trust me it is worth the wait!
I made this with avocado toast breakfasts for both Saturday and Sunday in mind. Turned out really great and am thinking next time bread making makes it on the agenda I’ll try one of the specialty beers from one of the many local breweries here in Calgary. Anyone have a suggestion of what to try next??
After a very rainy Saturday, the skies cleared and Sunday was perfect for a bike ride and lunch at a local cafe. I stopped in to Vélo Café and wasn’t sure what to order as I was hot and tired from the slog up Shaganappi hill. One of the staff members could sense my indecisiveness and suggested the mushroom toast. I love all types of mushrooms so it was a quick choice to make.
It was DELICIOUS and the soft poached egg on the side was perfect for some toast dipping as well as a bit of a dressing for the greens. I must go back to the café next time my bike route leads me there to try other menu items :)
Are you as in love with stuff on toast as I am?? Let me know what you're favourite toppings are in the comments below!
I have moved... again. Over the years I've moved across the country a few times, a handful of times between provinces and multiple times within cities... all for various reasons and this has been my "normal" for as long as I can remember. These moving experiences have resulted in developing organization skills that have ultimately proven that I'm quite good at this sometimes monumental task. However, when the inevitable next steps come along: unpacking, organizing, settling in, etc... I find myself at a stand-still and it takes a really long time to feel like I'm home (if at all because I end up moving... again...). Sometimes I find myself doing anything and everything imaginable to avoid this un-fun work because there's always the lingering thought: "How long will I live here?"
Creating a home space that is comfortable, uncluttered, functional, and welcoming at the end of the day is very important to me - and science says it's quite important as well. So... now that a few days have passed in the new digs and the piles of boxes, bags and bins have not magically reduced on their own I've decided to declare some actions. Accountable actions!
Step 1 - Why not blog about this?!? Maybe this series of posts will be funny, terrible, relatable? Whatever the case - I'm aiming for committed and scheduled writing so it makes sense that posting this process is a step in the right direction.
Step 2 - Be real and honest through this process. It's certainly not all going to be picture perfect and that's the point. This is The Experimental Approach... some things are going to fail but chances are some things are going to be awesome.
Step 3 - Schedule it! By consciously and actively working every day towards this goal of creating a home out of this new-to-me apartment will result in a bunch of blog worthy writings - make the notes! take photos! - and draft an entry as soon as possible with a 24 hour window to edit and post. Technology is on my side and I can do this all with the tools I already have!
Keep it simple and when I get off-track (which will happen... because: life) it's not really that hard to just restart. Just do.not.stop or just give up. What's the point in that? *this is me giving myself a pep-talk*
Stay tuned folks - this is gonna be an adventure!
I've been jonesing for some Malaysian Laksa soup for months. The first time I tried this delicious concoction was in Vancouver last September at the Banana Leaf on Denman. For some reason it took me until last night to start my informal tour of Malaysian/Indosian restaurants in Calgary in search of the best laksa in Calgary! Turning to Zomato (formerly Urbanspoon) I found that there was a handful of local restaurants that fit the bill and the closest to me was Indonesian Kitchen on 17th Avenue SE (aka International Avenue). I read the mixed reviews and figured it was worth giving it a shot.
Ordering take-out I asked for laksa and was told that they don't have it on the menu (the Zomato listing needs to be updated...) but the young lady at the front of house said it shouldn't be a problem and would ask the kitchen if it could be made. Less than 30 seconds later another lady comes out from the kitchen asking if I liked laksa with seafood! This gets me all sorts of excited, I say yes and additionally ordered vegetable egg rolls, cassava fries and a pineapple juice. Yes - I was really hungry. Then, after just a few minutes the pineapple juice arrived and it was so fresh and delicious! I perused through the small grocery-style store front and was excited to find lots of sabal spice pastes and sauces. I will definitely be back to stock up on these!
When the order was nearly done the lady from the kitchen came out with a sample of some spiced pulled beef which was amazing as well as a sample of the laksa soup she had whipped up for me! It was not the same as I'd had in Vancouver but nonetheless amazingly tasty! She was worried that it was too spicy for me but it was completely on point and the heat would surely make whatever cold virus is currently going around my work office beat it out of my immune system!
As we got chatting I learn that the lady from the kitchen, Kartini, is not only a wizard in the kitchen but also holds cooking classes in the restaurant and just opened new location downtown near the Harry Hays building (you can bet that I'll be checking out this place soon too)! She offers yet another pre-dinner snack, cassava coated peanuts, while explaining which spice pastes to use for a variety of Indonesian dishes as well as mentioning that there is a food tour on International Avenue! However, there's a wait list for the package so I'm thinking I'll just have to create my own ;)
Finally after offering thanks and much gratitude for her knowledge and special laksa creation I head home to Netflix (High Fidelity!) and proceeded to stuff my belly to the max. I am so impressed with this little gem that I will certainly be back along with a restocking of much needed spice pastes!!
According to a new article from CBC, when we look at the numbers, dollars spent on cycling/pedestrian infrastructure is money well spent for the results received. More people with more choices to choose from on how they get around seems like a great idea, in my opinion, in city planning and distribution of transportation budget funds. Results such as healthier community members, connecting green spaces for families and kids to play and art to be displayed welcoming residents and visitors alike to get outside and enjoy this amazing city. Smart, right?
Well, not everyone sees it this way. Point being - there is a local special interest group called Common Sense Calgary where the group's leader, Stephanie Kusie, is quoted as saying, in relation to cycling/pedestrian infrastructure funding/planning:
"I especially find it frustrating" she writes "that much of city planning seems to focus around an infrastructure and lifestyle that is an exception and not the norm in Calgary."
Umm... yes, I do understand that as a motor vehicle owner/user, who likely drives more often than using any other mode of transportation available to her, seeing headlines indicating more infrastructure and City dollars being allocated to anything other that roads and bridges for cars and trucks would likely be a bit "frustrating". However, does she also understand that we live in an amazingly diverse and exciting city that is only made better by making way for transportation alternatives that should not only not be called "alternatives" but also are the exact means to make the roads more user friendly for the motorized vehicle users?
Also, when did walking, running or riding a bike become "not the norm"? Why do we even have to have a "bike culture"? Is it not common sense that by linking communities with pathways and cycling/pedestrian bridges we will actually bring the city closer together as a community?
Motor vehicles are absolutely necessary in a city with such sprawl such as Calgary and by helping its citizens have choices in how they get around by allocating just 6% of the City's 10-year planned transportation budget is smart on too many accounts to argue - of course, this is in my opinion.
We are so very lucky in Calgary to have many transportation choices including an excellent and expanding pathway network. By continuing to allocate transportation budget funds to entice Calgarians outside of their homes and vehicles to enjoy their neighbourhoods and surrounding communities we can continue growing as an awesome city.
Wow! Two posts in one week?!? Yes - it's true and it must be for a good reason and this surely is.
A few weeks back I was chilling at home with some knitting and Netflix (sometimes I lead a very old lady-like life... and love it!) when I scrolled upon a documentary that I hadn't heard of before called Project Wild Thing. The brief description about a guy declaring himself the "Marketing Director for Nature" caught my attention so I settled in to check it out.
The filmmaker, David Bond, wanted to figure out how to get kids (and their parents!) to detach from the screens and get outside in to nature. Fueled by the fact that his own children were turning in to "glassy-eyed zombies" he seeked out experts in a wide variety of fields searching for creative ways to make nature a bigger draw to children's attention than the screens.
I found this film to be extraordinary, quite funny and made me really think about my own screen addictions. I work at a desk Monday to Friday, own an iPhone and iPad and am plugged in to plenty of social media outlets, watching YouTube's funniest cats or Jimmy Fallon and can be found consistently scrolling through Instragram feeds. There has to be a better balance but it's certainly not as easy as a quick swipe of the screen to make changes in one's life... especially in the winter months of Calgary!
As it turns out the filmmaker/director, David Bond, and producer, Ashley Jones, are in Calgary this week for the Marda Loop Justice Film Festival!! They will be hosting the official Canadian premiere of Project Wild Thing on Saturday, November 22 at the River Park Church Auditorium at 3:25pm with a post-film panel discussion. If you can make it please do - this film really made me think and I truly believe it will change your thoughts on our screen addictions and what they are doing to us - especially the next generation. Otherwise, check it out the trailer below or watch it on Netflix. You will not be disappointed.
I cannot recommend this documentary enough! Whether you have children or not this is worth the watch. Everybody can learn something about themselves and the world of conveniences we now find ourselves in here in the Western world.