It’s that time of year again, cookie swap time! I was so thrilled to participate in The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap last year, so of course I hustled to sign up again this year. There is nothing I love more than seeing what other bloggers create and also hearing if they’ve enjoyed my creations!
It was my absolute pleasure to send a batch of these to Gastronomical Sovereignty (soon to be She Eats), Peanut Butter and Onion, and the Savour Sisters. Check out these lovely blogs and help support incredible Canadian Food Bloggers! Of course, food bloggers from around the world participated, and I will post a link to the full list when it is posted on Monday!
Sadly, I have only received two of my three swap batches, but that’s alright because those I did receive we FANTASTIC! Further to this sadness though is that I promptly lost both the cards from both the batches that I did receive so I am going to keep an eagle out for their recipes so I can properly link to them and thank them here. I figured one out!
First, from Sweet Twist of Baking, I received delicious espresso short bread with dried cherries and almonds, which I ate with tea and coffee. They were so buttery and just lightly sweet that they felt appropriate for first thing in the morning… and in the afternoon… and before I went to bed. The other batch were sugar cookies (I believe… I am terrible at naming cookie types). They were thin but sturdy with a good bite. The icing on top was PERFECT, with little silver dragees for sparkle and crunch. These also got promptly gobbled up with tea and coffee. So, thanks to those two wonderful bloggers who I promise I will name when I a) hear from you; b) hunt down your recipe; c)find your cards.
Oh goodness, it has been a long time since I’ve posted! Not for lack of baking, it’s been a busy baking season, so I have loads of posts coming up. I love the Christmas season, I’ve had a lot of stuff going on, including going to the Stuart McLean Christmas show last weekend, which was absolutely lovely. At work we’ve implemented an awesome Christmas Calendar of fun. Last week I was responsible for Cookie Wednesday, my offerings are pictured below the recipe (the other cookies and bars picture will come up later this week) and on friday, Kat and Kathryn brought in hot chocolate and Baileys which made for an indulgent morning. To add to my Christmas joy, we had a Christmas/winter-themed trivia night with the NFB-Bads at Teri and Brian’s apartment which was incredibly fun. And finally, to make the week full of joy, Karen, Kat and myself lunched at the Vancouver Christmas Market, which is a German market. Awesome!
Also, I rearranged our tiny little living room to accommodate the Christmas tree, and it makes the space look huge! Huzzah!
Honestly, I am in a bit of a state. I cannot believe that we are a week away from December and just over a month from Christmas. Oy, this fall has flown by. I need to finish getting Christmas presents. I need to tell people what I want for Christmas. I need to make stacks and stacks of gingerbread houses for my gingerbread house party. I need to make my Food Blogger Cookie Exchange cookies and send those out. I need to do SO MANY THINGS.
At least it is sunny, my paper is coming along nicely, and I live in a city I love. Mom gets here for a visit in less than a month, and I am going to do some awesome tub renoing (redoing the caulking) next weekend, which I am strangely excited for. So things are moving quickly, but stuff is happening and that is great. Also, I had my contract extend at the NFB for another session, so that’s great news as well, and I am happy to get to stick around.
I still haven’t gotten around to correcting the issues with my site, so I am sorry about the smaller images crunched over to the side. I am looking at new style, and may do some testing with it tomorrow. We’ll see.
I can’t believe that we are half-way through November and well on our way to Christmas. I am really looking forward to visiting with my mom when she comes down to visit. It will be just a week but she is going to stay with us for another week in January, which will also be great. Holidays are wonderful and while I look forward to another year when our whole family can get together, having my mom stay with us will be special (sorry you have to sleep on the couch!).
So, I stupidly updated my parent theme this morning because the notice had been bothering me for some time. Apparently this gave my customized child theme an ol’ kick in the caboose. So, until I have time to get back into the CSS and correct was has been changed, this is what NotCrocker will look like. I am a little heart broken, but if I could make it right once, I can do it again.
Oh sunshine and daylight savings, I love you both. Waking up this morning at 7:45am to sunshine and feeling well-rested was GLORIOUS. I’ve been happily working away at my thesis, and pondering a trip to Fort McMurray to visit my sister and her family. Hopefully I will get to go this coming weekend, in lieu of my trip for Thanksgiving. It would be so nice to see my sweet little nieces in person again, as well as meet my new dog niece and of course see my sister and my brother-in-law.
As I sit here, typing up this beloved recipe, smelling the ham and black beans Gen has cooking on the stove, and anticipating my piece of almond puff after dinner, I feel so crazy lucky to be living in Vancouver, doing something I enjoy. I mean, I’d feel luckier if all the people I love were in the immediate vicinity, but as it is, life is good.
Well hello fall and goodbye sky. We’ve had an incredible amount of fog in the last week. I like it frankly, it is cool so I have been cozying down in my pjs and blanket. Watching the other buildings slowly disappear is weirdly calming. I don’t like the lack of sunshine, but I will take a few days of darkness here and there.
In other, exciting news, another NFB Digital Studio project has launched, this one is one of mine! Check out Similkameen Crossroads in your web browser. It is a gorgeous photographic and audio essay by Tyler Hagan. It launched at ImagiNative on Friday. Click through the photos while listening to the stories from the Similkameen Valley.
Oh fall bring such wonderful things. The leaves all got together and decided that yesterday was the day to start their mass-drop. As I walked home, I kicked through piles of gold and red. The scene right now from my window is autumnal perfection, a rainbow of trees from green to fiery red.
Another great thing brought about by fall, was a wonderful visit from one of my favourite people, Lauren P.! Lauren was in town for her graduation and she brought her mom! Lots of beers, smiles, and good times were had. The weather cooperated, a conspirator in our plot to woo Lauren back to the West (best) coast. Her mom felt the lure of the better half of Canada, but ultimately they hopped their plane back to Toronto yesterday afternoon.
Well my goodness, the winter light has already started to sink me down into snoozy mode. I am wearing fleece socks, making lots of tea, cozying up with scarves. Today the sun is shining but the air is crisp, this is my favourite type of weather. Our office is also crazily hot when you first enter it and then it cools off as you sit around on your tuchus all day, so it gives me a chance to warm up from my walk in and then cool off as the day grows longer.
Oh, one of our projects just went live! The Last Hunt is a gorgeous interactive story experience that is available as a free app for your tablet devices (iPad and Android). You can also view it online in a browser here (also click there for a link to download the app). The story is described below:
“Equal parts tenderness, brutality, love and death, The Last Hunt dives deep into the motivations that led Montreal photographer Alex Hobbs to photograph his grandfather’s last hunting expedition, exposing both the strength of family bonds, and the implicit spirituality within the endlessly pragmatic act of hunting.”
So, turn your sound on, and go check it out.
For the first time in a long time, I felt lucky yesterday. I was walking home with some takeout Vietnamese food, enjoying the crisp fall air and I just thought how lucky I was to be walking home through a city I love, to an apartment I love, that I share with the man I love. I have a great job, a loving family, and really incredible friends. Of course, all this came to me just two days after the year anniversary of my dad’s death, a day that didn’t make me feel lucky at all. But as I walked home, I knew that dad would love a day like this, a day when you could feel the weather changing; when everyone looked just as happy as me to walk around in a city that he also loved.
I thought to myself, feeling as lucky as I did in that short stroll home, I lost my father and thirty more years of his wisdom and humour and love. BUT, I was so lucky to have had 25 years of it. Some people don’t even get that. Some friends of mine didn’t even get that. And I got 25 years filled with immense love, wonderful though occasionally questionable wisdom, and truly I am my father’s daughter, so he gave me so much of what makes me who I am, that I will see little pieces of my dad for the rest of my life.
So, as I sit here looking out from my beautiful little apartment on the rainy, windy, cold morning in Vancouver, I am okay. I know that a loss is only as great as the love felt. And so I know that both the love for my dad and the pain of losing him will reverberate through the rest of my life. A sweet melody of sorts.
And I am okay.