This summer has been busy, but it’s also been pretty great. Last weekend I flew out to Toronto to celebrate the marriage of my amazing friend Heidi to her now-husband Colin. It was an incredibly fun trip, flying with my friend Megan and staying with our friend Lauren. I don’t know how I manage, but whenever I visit Toronto, it’s in July, and it’s generally obnoxiously hot, this trip was no exception. Thankfully Lauren had an amazing fan, and we powered through!
The wedding was beautiful and Lauren and her boyfriend, Brian, were awesome hosts (no surprise there)! Food highlight of the trip (other than the amazing wedding food!) was Lauren making Momofuku bagel bombs. I’ve actually had this recipe tucked away for a long time, but as with most things Momofuku, I was somewhat intimidated. But, Lauren confidently whipped these up, and I helped her wrap the dough around the cream cheese plugs, and they were incredible! These are actually really easy, they just take a bit of time to prep, with the plugs needing some time to freeze and the dough needing to rest. That said, prep these on a Friday night, and your Saturday morning will be GLORIOUS. The real perk of these is that you can mix up the filling, and I am planning on adding some smoked salmon and dill next time around.
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.
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.
There are a lot of magical little places up in the Yukon. I was fortunate to work at the incomparable Alpine Bakery, and have struggled to find bread of that quality in either Calgary or Vancouver. There are incredible cafés, restaurants, and shops that would stand out even in the largest cities, and we are always thankful to have these gems in our small town. One such gem is the Chocolate Claim. First, they sell some of my favourite earrings from Lara Melnik, but they also have two types of muffins every day that are sure to knock your socks off (they also used to have a cranberry bread pudding muffin that is as close to heaven as I’ve been, I am not sure they still make it). When I was working at the Yukon Transportation Museum I used to go out of my way a few days a week to get a coffee and muffin. One of my favourites was their Raspberry Chocolate Chip, it had the perfect balance of tart and sweet. My ultimate favourite which seemed to appear less often was the Blackberry Cream Cheese. Their muffins were massive and packed with berries. But the best part was on top there was a hunk of cream cheese, baked into the muffin and lightly crusted with sugar. That nugget of cheesey goodness POPPED with the flavour of the muffin.
I am a week into unemployment (or uninternshipness) and have been slowly but surely working on my paper, moseying about my apartment, and applying for a stack of really great job opportunities. I’ve finally opened my mind to the possibility of moving away from Vancouver, somewhere like Toronto, if I am able to find something great out there. I’ve just applied for a really wonderful position at a progressive company that I’ve had my eye on for the last year, so it would be wonderful to work with them. It will be a very sad thing if we have to leave Vancouver, we’ve certainly felt like we belong here, but sometimes you have to do what’s best for your career and Gen is on board. So, we’ll see where all this goes.
Well, time flies and so do posts! I can’t believe this is my hundredth post, and squashing 100 posts into a year filled with grad school, internships, and family devastation has been a bit of a whirlwind. I’ve loved almost every post, and am looking forward to 100 more! I was going to do a giveaway for this occasion but have to amass things to give away first, though I have some book-like ideas, but also I have NO activity in the comments, for all the lovely readers I have. Hmm. I must need to be more provocative in my posts, thought provoking rather. Still figuring out the engagement bit of all of this.
I have to tell you something before you scroll down to the intro photo. There was not enough time for me to take a good photo of this cake. We made it Friday night and were so busy once the party got started that I didn’t have a chance to slip away and take nice shots of the cut cake. So… what you see below is all that is left, it is a broken, half-smooshed tiny piece. Also, I too have kitchen issues, I definitely grated my finger in the process (don’t worry, it didn’t get in with the carrots) and have been band-aided for two days. Sigh. In all, I hope you know that this means that this carrot cake was too good for photos. Don’t judge this delicious cake by the photo…
We made some of my dad’s favourite foods for his party and the desserts were no exception. Dad has always loved carrot cake, so of course it was on the menu. We also made Saskatoon Blueberry Pie and Saskatoon Blueberry Plum Apple Pie, so stay tuned for those on Thursday. This carrot cake was a big hit, I had many requests for it to be posted and rightfully so, it is moist, perfectly sweet and everything we’d hoped! Dad would’ve loved it, and that is exactly what we wanted.
Cake recipe adapted from here.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsps baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsps ground cinnamon
- 3/4 tsp nutmeg
- 3/4 tsp cardamon
- 1 3/4 cups white sugar
- 1 cup canola oil
- 3 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups shredded carrots
- 1 cup shredded coconut
- 1 (14 oz) can pineapple tidbits (or crushed), drained
- 1 cup walnuts, crushed (optional)
Cream Cheese Icing
- 1 (250 g) package cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups icing sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 9 x 13-inch pan.
- In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, cardamon, and cinnamon.
- Add sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla. Stir well, mixing until smooth.
- Stir in carrots, coconut, and pineapple. (add walnuts now too)
- Pour into your prepared pan and bake for 30-40 minutes. The centre might sink a bit, it didn’t for me, but don’t fear!
- Cool completely before frosting.
- To make the frosting, cream the butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add the confectioners sugar and vanilla, beat until creamy and fluffy, add more sugar as needed for the desired texture.
- Even better, frost with the mascarpone whipped cream frosting from the Guinness Cupcakes!