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At long last.

“It’s been a while”, I say to myself when something reminds me about blogging.

Most gargantuan understatement of the YEAR.

I guess I realized the hard way, that when life throws you off the horse, it takes like four months to even look at the horse again without whimpering like a child, another two weeks to shamefully amble toward the foul-smelling thing, freaking out and running away every time it makes that weird sound and shows you its creepy horse teeth, then another solid week and a half to lift your sorry arse up n’ over and consider riding it. Ugh *shudder*

Now, I’m finally at that point… where I can think of no freaking reasons (read: excuses) to not blog… and I have a major hankering for some written words.  And food. As if I needed to write that. Food (eventually). I’ma do this.

So, what happened to me for forever?

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Filed under Paris, Travels, Uncategorized

Nervcited

Yeah, a combination of Nervous and Excited.  I was gonna go with excervous… but it seemed kind of like exorcist so…

Anyways.

I leave for Paris on Wednesday morning. WEDNESDAY MORNING. And I actually have my french visa.

Up until this point I’ve been laying in bed each night fighting off heart palpitations, thinking about how there was absolutely nothing I could do and that the fate of my existence lay in the hands of mail carriers. Yes, existence.  Or at least my ability to leave the United States, a country that is neither my original country of residence nor my destination.  A country that I needed a passport in order to leave leave.  A passport that was in an envelope with my French exchange visa application.  The wine I’ve started drinking (you know, for transition’s sake), it helps.

Also the three different cakes chillin in the kitchen; the aftermath of my stepmom’s birthday.

What didn’t help? When my stepdad called the Fedex, and the Fedex said that if they left off the package (that my stepdad had yet to even receive) before 3pm (on friday), that he was lucky, and the package would leave Whitehorse on Monday (yesterday).  Approximating a 2-day delivery to Vancouver (getting there by wednesday). Followed by another 2-day delivery to Steamboat Springs (leaving us at friday).

Guess what. Oh right I told you. My plane leaves WEDNESDAY MORNING.  That’s two days before Friday, for those of us who cut class in grade 1.

So that wasn’t gonna happen.  My hard-working stepdad was at my disposal, as was my hard-working regular dad, and me I swear. And they contacted my supercalifragilisticexpialidocious Auntie Karen. And magic happened.  I have my beloved documentation.

They didn’t even reject my visa application.  I was certain that rejection was happening. I mean.. They e-mailed me to tell me that even though I had a prepaid Xpress envelope, and I had my home address on a separate sheet of paper, they absolutely needed another prepaid Xpress envelope with my home address explicitly written on the envelope if they were even going to read my application.  Rejection was soooo imminent. BUT IT WASN’T!! Nana-nana-boo-boo.

Sorry, this is just huge for me. Rant rant.  So right, nervcited.

The nervous part: I’m heading off into the unknown.  Leaving my trail of breadcrumbs.  You get the picture.

I graduate while I’m in Paris. There is nothing stopping me from just flitting off and dropping all of those “5 year plans” that I’ve stuck to. I have NO railings. I could jump off. You know?

You know that feeling, that one when you’re standing on the edge of something high, and there’s no railing, and you’re scared of yourself.  You know you could jump if you wanted to, nothing would stop you, and in some creepy way, you’re intrigued. So… you spastically jump three feet backward. Gives me shivers.

Oh, and then there’s the whole, I’m going to be alone in a foreign-speaking country, on a continent that I’ve never set foot, where people like to sometimes stick their hands in your pockets to see what they can find. Seriously though, this isn’t the bit that gets me. Not at all.  I’m cool with the being independent and facing challenges deal.

So I guess my situation is a little different.  This is where the excited part comes in: my “jump” is more awesome, and less falling off a cliff.  Maybe it’s cooking school, or pastry class, or European organic farming, or just even more freaking travelling.  It’s all “Eep!” worthy. Good Eep.

I could fall in love with Paris, or I could just be reminded of how much I freaking love home. Either way, I’d better be ready.

Ok, I’m so ready.

And I’m going to miss what I’ve had this month. Steamboat, family, fluffy snow, wicked kitchen, baking, cooking, best puppy.

Brotherisms.

I’ll leave you off with some brotherisms.. and check back in from Denver.. or Chicago.. or Paris.

-“I’ve got the moves the Fragger, I’ve got the moves like Fragger, I’ve got the Moooooves like Fragger!” – Brothers together in synch, one doing a bum-wiggle. It is not my place to correct them.

– “NO, NO, NO, I’m way too scared to get the doorbell.”

“But you know who it is..”

“AH, AH, AH, Too scared!” -brother B.

– “I hate to be naked! I am SO not going upstairs naked.” – brother K, on going upstairs in his t-shirt and underwear after changing out of his hockey gear, after the timid brother B ( who couldn’t even answer the doorbell earlier) blew up the stairs in nothing but his tighty-whiteys.

I will miss the over-dramatization of everything from the scariness of coconut, to the difficulty of  “4+0” (after finishing 20 way more difficult math questions), to really not liking moose, therefore not liking chocolate “moose”.

Fortunately, I’ll get to see the drama in Europe in July.  Wouldn’t miss it for the world.

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Wednesday Wisdom – Post-Holiday Edition

I’d say sorry about the whole me not being here for the last few weeks, but I’m so not.  What would have been blog reading time, was instead awesome holiday family time for you, Hurray!

What would have been blog writing time was definitely awesome holiday family time for me too. Hurray!

So, little summary.  Britt went home for Christmas, she freaking deserved it.  Whitehorse is always a beaut.  Her time there was too short, but it was full of everything good.  Christmas was like a storybook Christmas.. just with more chia seeds and wildly sized batches of granola. Huge.  People who tried to spend time with me while the granola-making was happening.. probably resent the wildly sized batches of granola.

Anywho, I gained a bunch of wisdom over the holdays.. and what am I if not a sharer?

Oh, and Part 2, The beginning of my journey, will be soon to follow. Also brownies.

Ottawa sunset

1. No matter how exciting the road ahead, it’s always hard to leave behind somewhere filled with friends and memories.  Especially hard when your exam ends at 4:00pm and your plane leaves the tarmac at 5:30pm. Hard.

2. When in doubt, cry big-girl tears at the baggage counter.  So what your bag is 80lbs? Those were REAL tears.

3. Snow, and brothers who eat my baked goods, fill my heart with joy. Santa can peace out, who needs him.

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Mother’s first foray into blogging

Last week, my mother made dinners, nice dinners, for multiple days in a row.  It was amazing, and as of late due to the stressful house-moving and busy chaos – unheard of.

She texted me excitedly.

Yes you can text excitedly, I could tell.

She said, “Britt, I just bought all of the ingredients to make a completely organic pesto.”

I knew it would be a good night.

No, of course M wouldn’t touch the stuff. Green.. Slimy… stuff.

Too bad for you M. TOO BAD.

So, I asked my momma to do a guest post :).  My mom everybody:

Dear Brittany….my blog (originally wrote blob, and it is likely a better title)

Sometimes when I have to deal with certain demands (read: differently aged and differently needs-oriented children, new house purchase negotiations/renovations, and general helping people to make sure the world is a better place aka work) I need to pretend that my life isn’t really happening. This ‘pretending’ takes the form of watching late night ‘light’ tv shows like ‘tell me you love me’ or ‘starter wife’ and sometimes it takes the form of cooking a real meal in the midst of a chaotic kitchen (just to ‘pretend’ it isn’t chaotic). Well, yes, unbelievable as it is, I made a real meal during a week night (I usually make something like veggies on a plate with organic macaroni and cheese to make me feel less guilty). But on this occasion I went for real. I have to first write that I LOVE Pioneer Woman’s recipes and have NEVER found a bad one (her butter chicken is to die for)…and it is this resource I used when I needed to pretend that life was not as chaotic as it was.

I could go on and pontificate about how making real meals may also keep people real & build self esteem (because I think it can) but I’ll just say that I made this yummy Pasta with Pesto Cream Sauce because I needed to. I also had a glimmer of hope that M. would eat it – but that didn’t happen (the shapes weren’t ‘normal’ macaroni shape). Moving on.

I hope you check out this easy to make recipe and that you enjoy bringing it to your family dinner table the way I did…thank goodness I can always count on G. and Brittany to enjoy a good meal – that is my reward and it gave me the nice piece of normal that I needed that day.

Note dessert in the corner.

Thanks to my daughter for letting me (read: persisted until I felt like I was letting her whole blog down) post this recipe on her blog!! Thanks Brit – you’re the greatest! Love Mom xoxoxoxoxoxox (to the power of infinity and beyond).

Creamy Pesto Pasta

Originally from Pioneer Woman 

  • 3/4 cups Fresh (Organic) Basil Leaves
  • 1/2 cup Grated Parmesan Reggiano Cheese
  • 3 Tablespoons (Organic) Pine Nuts
  • 2 cloves Garlic, Peeled
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • 1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 cup Heavy Cream
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • Grated Parmesan (to top)
  • 12 ounces, cavitappi pasta
  • 1.5 – 2 cups cherry/grape tomatoes cut in half

Cook Pasta to desired consistency (Al-Dente).Blend Basil, Parmesan, Pine Nuts, and S&P to a blender (or food processor if you are so lucky).  Blend and pour in olive oil while mixing.  Heat cream and butter in a saucepan over med-low heat, then add pesto and stir. Add to cooked pasta and toss with tomatoes.

THANKS MOM. I LOVE YOU TOO.

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Filed under Dinner, Family, Food, Uncategorized

Spiced Pillows of Pumpkin

I’m one of those people who goes through waves.

I don’t surf, don’t be ridiculous. Yukon, remember.

No I mean waves of activities.

Or waves of personality traits.

Or waves of emotion. Yes they’re there.  I am not a running baking biking photographing automaton. Occasionally…  I have my moments.

Now to clarify… alot of my waves do come in the form of tastes.

I have very heavy Green Monster waves.  Trust me, you can put enough of your cupboard in there to make a certifiable full meal. DO not tell me otherwise. Please.

If you recall this post, I went through a definite Breakfast Bake wave.  That one was no joke.  Oh and it’s coming back.  You should really hop on that wave. Ew. Pun.

I have other waves..

Downward doggin it in Atlin

I’ve been known to have Yoga waves.  I think I really.. really need another one of those babies soon.  I feel it coming. (read: my sad sad IT bands and hamstrings feel it coming)

Mountain Biking waves. Those are hardcore.

Waves of wearing nothing but my Birkenstocks.  Yes sometimes with socks. Don’t you dare knock it.  Sometimes I need freedom and warmth simultaneously.

Waves of blogging once a day.  WOAH. Those are awesome waves. I hope those waves agree with you.  I know they don’t agree with workplace productivity.

Waves of texting everything in half-French. Mental note to increase these waves to full French in T – 7 months.

Waves of being a really really good communicator and keeping up with my far away friends. ie: calling Hilary twice in 2 hours.

And then waves of not.  Like neglecting her for the entire week following said conversation in favour of carpet pulling. I’m sorry.

Even waves of cleaning the kitchen when I get home from work early AHEAD of my family.  I’d like to say it’s selflessness, but I thrive on those little moments.  The ones where someone off-handedly says “Huh, the kitchen looks clean.” and I sit there smugly in satisfaction, recognizing my hidden good deed. AH, who am I kidding… I’ll just reply with, ” You’re Welcome.”  (NO. Not “Your Welcome”, that is not english. yes that means it doesn’t fly to say it on facebook)

This past weekend, I had a mild wave of generosity.

Yes, that’s correct, I made pancakes for a friendly stranger who awoke in my house, but didn’t make any for me.  I had oatmeal. And a single bite of the stranger’s pancakes ;).  For photography purposes.

Which pancakes did I make?  Only the best pumpkin pancakes ever. No I wasn’t paying attention to the current season when deciding to make these.

They defy seasons. Ooooh. Yeeaaah.  They are fluffy and lightly spiced.  They are like pillows of orange happy.  It’s all in the stiff egg whites baby.

Make these for your special stranger.

Pumpkin Pancakes

from Epicurious

  • 1 1/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons  organic sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/3 cups whole milk
  • 3/4 cup canned pure pumpkin
  • 4 large organic eggs, separated
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whisk Dry ingredients together in a bowl.  In a separate medium bowl mix all of the wet ingredients EXCEPT the egg whites well.  Add the wet to the dry and mix until barely smooth.  In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until just stiff, and fold the egg whites into the rest of the batter 1/2 at a time.  At this point have your pan/griddle greased and heated to just below medium, many people get frustrated with overcooked outsides and undercooked insides, but I find if I stay just shy of medium I achieve momentus success.

These hardly need syrup.

BUT please use maple.. unless you are the blasphemous member of my family who swears by butter flavoured Aunt Jemima’s, then you can take your pancakes and eat them in your bedroom. alone.

Ok a little harsh, you can eat with us.. just at the other end of the table.

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Filed under Breakfast, Food, Uncategorized

The M Cooking Show

Ladies and Gentlemen I would like to present to you, for his first motion picture debut, my brother M.

In the following video, the mystery as to why the taco he ate in my previous post was so dang appealing, is debunked.

M does not use cheese in its standard form. No. He moves beyond.  The man is an innovator.

Observe.

Please stay tuned for further installments.

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Filed under Dinner, Family, Food, M, Uncategorized

Turtle Butter.

The interwebs love nut butter.

I love nut butter.

Especially when it’s already on my table with a spoon waiting in the wings.

I love almond butter, I love peanut butter, I love cashew butter, I LOVE hazelnut butter. Let’s not even talk about coconut butter.

That jar took a piece of my heart with it when it left.

No I didn’t just buy it again. It costs it’s weight in gold. Not even a piece of my heart was worth that dough.

Enough about coconut butter. I have pecans not coconuts.

Yes for some reason my family has a torso-sized bag of pecans sitting in our pantry.  You know what else we have?

chocolate.

Bernard Callebaut chocolate, moulded into the shapes of whales and apples. Long story.  Involved an overzealous melting of chocolate at easter and a frantic search for a way to salvage the remnants. Ingenuity on my part.

Right, chocolate and pecans.

Yes I said Turtle Butter, stop looking for the caramel.  I didn’t put any in it.  You try to put caramel in your food processor OK. I also wanted to feel justified in my eating of this butter on toast in the morning. It still tastes like turtles 🙂

My brother thought so.

He ate a spoonful of it.  He didn’t really want it on his toast. Spoons work just fine.

The “recipe” is painfully straightforward.

Turtle Butter

1 cup pecan halves

1 whale or miniature apple of chocolate (I’m going to approximate .75 of an oz.)

Put pecans in food processor and process until smooth and nut buttery.  If you have an extra lame processor like me, you may have to scrape the sides occasionally in order to process the nut butter evenly. Once it has reached desired consistency, enter chocolate whale.  The whale will swim around the processor until it melts and dies. Once the whale has passed away, you have Turtle Butter.  Refrigerate!

Will only last short period of time in fridge if you live with a Brittany.

She likes to put it on everything.  Especially Breakfast Bakes (a la edibleperspective). 

These happen, like, every morning, I’ll show you how later.

In other news, know of any good food processors? I may or may not have broken my step dad’s mini processor. 

The blade is not actually supposed to look like this. (plastic is ground to pulp in centre)                                                                                                                                                     

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