Magic Bars… Double Brown Sugar Cookie Bars

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.

Magicbars

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Surprize Tea Cookies

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!).

SurprizeTeaCookies

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Ahhhh my site

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.

Almond Puff

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.

Almondpuff

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Pumpkin Sausage Soup with Crispy Kale

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.

Pumpkinsausagesoup

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Chewy Rich Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies

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.

CreamCheeseSugarCookies

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Decadent Granola Bars

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.

Granolabars

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Balsamic Roasted Yams

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. 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.

BalsamicYams

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Doughnut Muffins with Raspberry Jam

I know I talk about the weather a lot, but when you live in a rainy place that is really impacted by weather, it is often on your mind. Today is a rainy day, and it truly feels like the first day of winter for us. Walking around our apartment this morning I was struck by how cool and dim the light was, and had to remind myself that this is what peak-light would be like for the next few months. Sigh. I mean, low-rainy light makes for some great picture conditions, but it is hard to wake up in and can be tough to get used to.

In other news, my mom and Aunt Janice have been having a glorious time in Italy, and so far have only been scammed once, which is great. They are having lots of lovely wine and gelato, so I am pretty thrilled for them. Super jealous, but thrilled also. It is also incredibly sunny and hot in Italy right now… so there’s that. Sigh. I want to travel soon!

Doughnutmuffins

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Fruit Pizza, like Momma Crocker makes it

Oh Vancouver and your fickle weather. Our summer seemed over a couple weeks ago as it started to cool off and the days became, almost suddenly, shorter. The fall feeling of sloth and the need to hunker down all cozy-like washed over me and while I was sad that we were losing our sunny mornings, I was happy for the coolness. THEN, well, then last week was a glorious burst of heat and sunshine again. I was caught unprepared because the mornings still felt like fall and I’d throw a sweater on to go to work, our office is cool, and then I’d leave the office in the evening and step out into a hot summer day.

But now we are back to fall. We are into day two of thick fog, though it only started in the afternoon yesterday. I like it, it is like a blanket over the city, tucking us in for a little nap. I mean, I am not going to like it come Monday when the fog-muted sun fails to wake me, but right now, on this quiet Sunday morning, I am digging it.

Looking back on summer, I am excited to share a childhood favourite of mine, that also happens to be an adult favourite too. The recipe was given to my mom by my wonderful Auntie Janice. She’s shared a few recipes with us that I will be using on here eventually, because they are all incredibly tasty (including a Grape Salad and a cheese ball that I distinctly remember being awesome).  Quick segue, my Aunt Janice and my mom are in Florence right now! Which is unthinkably exciting. They are having a lovely time, I got to speak with my mom yesterday. They are great friends and I am so happy that they are on this adventure together.

FruitPizza

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