Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Seasons Greetings, Glorious Mid-Winter

Hello to all!
I just wanted to pass along some festive wishes to my wonderful readers from all parts of the world! Even if it isn’t winter where you are, I hope you are spending some quality time with family, friends, those you love. I am in Fort McMurray with my mom and my sister and her family. Sadly my wonderful husband wasn’t able to get time off from work for the trip, but I will be home to him to celebrate on the 29th. It is very cold here in northern Alberta, -35°C for the last few days, but it is warm in the house, and our hearts. We all miss Dad a lot, but the traditions he created with our family, and his love, still permeates our Christmas day. 
Much love to you and yours on this seasonal day! 
Also, check out these gorgeous cookie baskets my sister made for her friends (a Sellars tradition that I have to get on top of next year).
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Excuses, Excuses!

Please find below my excuse for my posting absence:

Wait, is that a bookshelf… in the kitchen? Yes. Yes it is.

I took off half the books for ease of moving, didn’t help with ease of cooking.

We weren’t starting a new trend, we were getting our carpets cleaned and have very few places to store anything. Our kitchen took on the book shelf, our bedroom held the rest. But gosh darn our carpets are clean!

So that is my first excuse, and it’s a good one, but the carpets were cleaned last Saturday, only hindering me from baking and cooking until Monday, when they were dry enough to load back up with furniture. My second excuse came about as a bit of a surprize. Someone in our building has ants. We don’t but that doesn’t matter, we got a notice on Monday that our floor (along with 15 others) were being treated for ants. Okay, easy enough. No, they needed us to clear out our cupboards and drawers. Tah dah:

Utensils. (Auntie Janice, those knives are great!)

Everything packed up. Ugh, I am a transient.

Anyway, I do have posts for you wonderful folks, but I need a night to focus, finish reinstating my life, and relax. Sorry about the big pause, but now that I have a clean carpet and access to my kitchen, I will whip you all up something spectacular! (or just good.)

Today is not the day!

For posting! I am pooped!

It has been busy at Appetite, which is amazing. And our apartment is a mess because I finally got the property manager to close the gaping hole in our wall (only to be told that they will have to open it later anyway when they finally replace the pipe). So all of our dining room stuff is in the living room. AND we are having our carpets cleaned on Saturday morning… so we have to figure out how to pack everything into the bedroom tomorrow so that most of the space can be properly cleaned! Madness. Madness all around.

In addition to all this, I hauled a 17lb enamelled cast iron pot home from the other end of town. So, my arms are jelly, my house is a mess, I am making something simple (maybe Egg Drop Soup) and going to sleep!

Here is a picture of my Grandma’s 85th birthday cake, all lit up to tide you over until Saturday!

 

Better navigation!

Huzzzzzzaaaaaahhh!

If you look up about the header you will see that I’ve added a new page, Recipe and Post Index.

This is a place where you can find all the recipe categories with their respective recipes, all in alphabetical order! The non-recipe and personal posts are listed at the bottom in chronological order.

I will be sure to add all the new posts there right away so you will always know where to look. It is WAY easier than having to sift through pages of posts when you click through the categories at the right. BUT! Feel free to click on the tags on each post to find similarly tagged recipes.

I hope this helps navigate my growing list. I am still working on further ease of use, but I am doing it on my own and it seems finicky. Anyway, HURRAY!

 

Ahhhhhh no post yesterday! I was Smitten Kitchening!

I will be posting yesterday’s post tonight, which seems silly but I was at the Smitten Kitchen book event last night as I now intern for her Canadian publisher! I was a madhouse. Far more people showed up than Chapters expected, so the space was not nearly sufficient. She was wonderful, answered the audience questions with humor and the brightness her readers have come to expect. She happily signed away and had a nice moment with each attendee. Deb Perelman, no surprise here, left everyone smitten.

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Cookie Swap!

Well, I am just gosh-darn excited to participate in The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap. Cookie swaps are one of my favourite thing, and I’ve successfully held a cookie swap for the last few years, in Vancouver and in Calgary. Getting to swap goodies with other food bloggers, well that is just darn exciting! I will be sure to take lots of pictures and post up the fabulous cookies once I bake them and I will be sure to show-off the deliciousness that I receive! Huzzah, tis the season!

News and stuff like that

Well, I’ve been MIA over the last few posting days, and I really apologize about that. I was all gung-ho about posting last week and then hit a creative-cooking block on Friday. I am going to blame it on my exciting news! I’ve been waiting to post about it until I had a chance to chat with my first internship host, Dave at The Tyee. They were wonderful all summer and were particularly wonderful when I had to bail at the end of August to be with my family. The project I was working on is on its way to being wrapped up, so I am going to pop around from time-to-time to help out, move things along, etc. Anyway, chatted with Dave today and so now I can announce that I’ve taken on a second internship with…. (drum roll sound effects here) Appetite by Random House!

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Trevor Franklin Sellars

Dad passed away on Wednesday, after a month in the hospital.

We are a very close family and we have spent the last month together at the hospital, solidifying this closeness, saying all the things we might need to say, loving each other. We had a number of visitors, and, though I had suspected, I really got to see how much Dad meant to so many people. The love that surrounded our family throughout this very difficult time made the road we were traveling on so much easier to bare. Dad was comfortable and not really in pain. He was happy to see so many of his friends and family and stories were shared. My sister and I finally got to meet Ken, Dad’s best friend since childhood, which was great; his love for Dad and our family is beautiful. And we spent many hours listening to another of Dad’s best friends, Mike, regale us with the ridiculous stories of his and Dad’s mischief.

Truthfully, it all still seems a little surreal. We spent some time at the hospital after Dad passed and then came home, the first time in a month that the three of us were all in the house at the same time. There are little waves that crash over us from time to time, as we look at pictures, or tell stories. Those waves are tough but important. Dad is already so missed, but we know that he lives on in us.

We are going to be making some of Dad’s favourite food, ribs, curry chicken wings, carrot cake, etc. I will be sure to post the recipes as we make them. We will also be drinking Scotch in Dad’s honour, which is no hardship for me (thanks Caelin!). I encourage all of you to have a little Scotch (Caelin, you can have a number of drinks of Scotch) to celebrate a wonderful life.

Thanks to all the amazing Not Crocker readers who’ve stuck with the site, despite my lack of posts. I will be back to regular scheduled programming starting October 13th.

To Dad, we love you forever, we love you for always.

Good Friends, Good Food

While I have not been able to a lot of cooking or baking while here in the Yukon, as we’ve been busily ferrying between the house and the hospital, I’ve still managed to eat well. We’ve had many wonderful meals provided to us by our good friends in and around the territory, one delicious meal of spaghetti coming all the way from Dawson City! We are so thankful for the delicious food.

* Thanks to Evi for her amazing soups, she also made us some delicious moussaka, which Gen went crazy for. Evi has also passed along her recipes, so I will be sure to whip them up in her name and make sure you all get a taste of the dinners we’ve been treated to.

* Thanks to Sharon for the spaghetti, bread, and wine.

* Thanks to Karen for the tasty curry chicken, many leftovers were enjoyed.

* Thanks to Ella for the fantastic ham dinner last night (picture below). The mashed potatoes were perfect, the ham delicious, the carrot au gratin a wonderful new dish, and the corn was the perfect final touch.

I am still without my camera, so my mom’s camera and my husband’s camera work will do. Enjoy the time-stamps for accurate archiving…

The women above, and many more, have also provided us with snacks, treats, and support that has helped to keep us going. Many wonderful folks who’ve come to visit have brought along the proper entrance fee, Scotch. Dad’s Scotch supply has grown so large that it needs its own bag. We are enjoying Ardbeg, Glenfiddich, Bushmills, Lagavulin (Dad’s own), and we just polished off the Johnnie Walker Blue Label last week.

We are so appreciative for all of the support, visitors, and love from our family and friends. We are still enjoying lots of laughs and have finally found a routine that works. I am going to put up our famous family recipe tomorrow for Cheese Straws. These Cheese Straws have become a currency of sorts, paying for movie rentals, chores, housesitting, and gift certificates for Cheese Straws are eagerly received as birthday presents. They are awesome. And they freeze well, dip well, and can be spiced up (as we only discovered the need to spice them when my spice-obsessed brother-in-law came into the picture).

Thanks for coming back time and again despite my infrequent updates lately. Things will be back in swing soon.

Stacey

Again, a brief break. Family is important

Hello,

I was preparing a post about a sausage pasta I had made, super simple, and I realized it wasn’t exciting enough and I haven’t had time to whip up anything else. So I’ve posted the photo and given you some instructions how to create a similarly simple and delicious meal for yourself.

I maybe be absent from the blog for a few days, if not a week. My father is not well, as I’ve mentioned before, and it has become necessary for me to fly home and help out, be with my parents, do what I can. While I am away, I will likely cook but I can’t say for sure that I will be able to create details posts. The blog takes a lot of energy and love, and right now those things need to be directed completely at the situation at hand.

So, when I can, I will post some of my favourite pictures I’ve taken over the years as some non-food related filler. And when I return, I will get back on track. Thank you for reading, Not Crocker has been a point of strength for me, focussing on something I love, that is beautiful and fun, has kept me sane. The blog, school, and my husband have been wonderful sources of joy through all of this, but I need to focus and only my husband can be part of that.

Flying windsocks and donut holes,

Stacey

Oh, and Mascarpone Pasta Sauce over Pear and Brie Tortellini and Summer Spicy Sausage and Apple Tortellini

  • Cook some of your favourite dinner sausage in a drizzle of olive oil until done, remove from pan. I like Lamb and Rosemary sausages from Choices Market… but check your grocer or butcher for a wonderful sausage.
  • Pick up a can of your favourite tomato sauce, something mild is alright, you can add spices (1 tsp rosemary, 1 tsp oregano, 1 tsp basil… at least double if using fresh).
  • Heat your tomato sauce in the sausage pan. Add half a cup of mascarpone and stir through until melted. Salt and pepper to taste.
  • Cook your pasta according to package directions. I got my gourmet tortellini from Granville Island Public Market. The selection was amazing and these two pair well with a lightly creamy tomato sauce and a spicy sausage.
  • Serve up the pasta in portions, smother in creamy tomato sauce, slice sausage and plop on top. Eat.