Shrimp & Artichoke Dip

Wow. Well, sorry for my incredibly long absence. I know I was JUST apologizing for being away from Not Crocker for a long time and here I am again after an epic stall. This time of year is bringing up a lot of sadness and I’ve been somewhat sapped of motivation. The funny thing is, it isn’t that I haven’t been baking and cooking, I just have been having a tough time getting to the computer to write up the recipes and prepare the photos. Sigh. I am going to try my best to get back on track, I promise.

I had a beautiful visit at home with my mom. I was only home for a whirlwind weekend and would have loved to have spent the summer lounging on the deck, taking in the sun, but it was not possible this year. We had a wonderful dinner party with all our friends, and things felt close to normal. Dad’s absence was/is startlingly noticeable and the times that I sit there and feel him not being here (if that makes any sense) are overwhelming. It’s almost been a year since his passing. The shocking thing is that it feels like there is no way this is real, even today, a year later I often feel like I can just call him up for a chat or advice or sass, but I am also achingly aware of how long it has been since I’ve heard his voice. I love my dad and am so thankful to have had him.

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Crispy Fried Fish with Homemade Caper Tartar Sauce

I am really looking forward to a trip to the Yukon this weekend to visit mom and Chloe. I haven’t been home since last fall, and it will be good to be back. I know it is going to be hard to be in our home without dad but I also know it will be wonderful to be with mom in the summer, our family’s favourite time.

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Buffalo Chicken Strips with Buffalo Ranch Cheese Dip

This has been an insane and kind of awful week. The weather has been wonderful but a serious of difficult decisions and emotional roller coasters have left me feeling exhausted and sad. Unrelated, but we’ve had about a month-straight of hot sun and dry weather, this sounds great but a little rain helps to refresh the streets, the plants, and the people. My walk to work is filled with wafts of hot garbage in the alleys and hot whatever-is-in-the-gutters. I am ready for a little rain to wash the city clean, heck, I could really use a thorough rinse as well.

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Artichoke & Spinach Dip

Summer is my favourite. Honestly, even being sick last weekend didn’t kill my love of sunshine, fresh air, and breezy clothes! Our apartment is northwest facing so we don’t get direct sunlight until the afternoon, but we have so many big windows that the entire apartment is bright and breezy all day long. Our balcony gets some incredible direct sunlight around dinnertime and I’ve been enjoying sitting out with a good book and some tunes. AND there are no bugs! Huzzah!

I am really looking forward to visiting mom in the Yukon in the first week of August, it will have been a year since I’ve been home, and I really need that recharge. It’s going to be hard to be in our home without dad, in fact this whole summer has been hard for everyone as summer was the time our family was at our best, spending so much time outdoors and together. I told mom that I fear going fishing without dad because I definitely depended on his line-tying skills. He definitely tried to teach me, but it was always so convenient to have him around. I will also have to retrieve my own stuck lures, kill my own fish, clean my own fish!, and determine the best spots to cast. He taught me so much, but I still have a lot to learn, I miss him every day.

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Creamy Broccoli Salad

Ah sweet, sweet health recovery! I am not back to 100%, but a lot closer than the beginning of the week. I hope you Americans had a wonderful Fourth of July, independence, tea, etc. etc.! It is Latincouver on Granville St today and tomorrow the air is filled with the sounds of summery good times. Reminds me of the Salsa Fest that Calgary has every year in the neighbourhood we lived in, Kensington. The Salsa Fest in Calgary was not about dancing it was about a ton of restaurants and stores and mayoral candidates coming out to compete with their best salsa recipes! You brought your own chips and just cruised the two main streets, chowing down on tons of creative salsas. Don’t get me wrong, there was some salsa dancing going on and definitely salsa music, but it was all about the food!

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Tomato Marinated Shrimp Skewers

I am sadly still sick but have found a medicine/oregano oil/water regime that has kept me functional. The weather in Vancouver is insanely gorgeous and I’ve been really enjoying my walks too and from work, looking forward to when I am feeling well enough to start tackling Stanley Park and the beaches. I hope all of you are getting the sun you need and want! I am really looking forward to a quick trip north we are planning for the first week of August. We are going to do some camping and some fishing and deck-drinking with mom and Chloe, I am really looking forward to it! I also got an awesome bunch of plants to brighten up our apartment! On my way home from work I often pass Heather’s The Flower Shop and yesterday I was forced to slow down in front of the store by a group of pokey tourists. I took a glance at the offerings and saw an incredible number of gorgeous little cacti. I ended up getting a cactus and aloe plant. The owner (not named Heather I believe) was so fantastic, gave me thorough advice on keeping them alive and then gifted me a gorgeous basil plant! I am so thrilled to have basil again and I am determined to keep my basil living straight through the winter… I hope!

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Scrambled Eggs Gordon Ramsay style

The sun is out! Well the sun is out and I am now a little sick. I’m totally muddy in the head, have a sore throat, and feel totally rough. Ooph, not the way I wanted to start the heat of summer! I took a bunch of oregano oil, and drank an insane amount of water, and alternated between overheating and freezing. So here’s hoping this ritual will kick this cold’s butt before it truly settles in. For breakfast I made a super easy batch of Gordon Ramsay’s scrambled eggs.

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Blueberry Muffins, a birthday treat

This past week I had my 26th birthday and it was nothing short of lovely. For a birthday on a Wednesday (middle-of-the-week celebrating is never fun) I had a wonderful day. At work, my lovely co-workers took me for lunch and then I received four chocolate bars in the days following my birthday, who doesn’t love birthday boxing days!

I am also proud to say that I finally submitted our passport stuff so soon I can be as international as I want! I’ve aways had a passport, though this time I let it deeply expire. In the future I wont let it expire and I can do the simple renewal process! Thank goodness for the increasing fees that encouraged me to get on top of this before July 1st! Speaking of which, I hope everyone in Canada has great Canada Day plans, and all you readers in the states, well you still have some planning time for your big day!

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Applesauce Oatmeal Cookies — Toffee Apple option!

What a strange start to summer. I am having a hard time believing that my birthday is in just three days and that Canada Day is in just over a week. This summer has already started to fly by. Last week as I was climbing the stairs to my office I scoffed at the grocery store’s Canada Day window paintings. I thought to myself, “Fools! Canada Day is months away! There are holidays between now and then, what a strange thing to do!” It was only when I reached the second floor that I realized that we were already deep into June. Ooph that hit like a ton of bricks.

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Peanut Butter Cookies

I am certain I drove my colleagues crazy on Friday as I tirelessly watched and relayed the details of the Calgary/Southern Alberta floods. I watched as my old apartment building was surrounded, feeling relieved to know that our dear friends had finally evacuated. I saw the river waters swallow up some of my favourite areas of the city that I called home for 6 years and I thought of the incredible loss those communities are suffering. I hope that Calgary is able to recover quickly, together. I truly hope that they are able to host Stampede, in whatever form, to combat the already overwhelming loss of spirit and money resulting from this tragedy.

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