I’ve corrected the error on the original cover page. Get Beer Breading!
As I sit here sipping on a glass of wine (thanks Uncle Jim and Auntie Karen!) I begin to think about all the things I appreciate in my life. It was my parents’ 30th anniversary yesterday. I thought about it all day, as I sat on the plane from Toronto and when I got home late at night, getting ready for bed. I am glad my parents had almost thirty years together, but know that them and their love deserved another thirty. I appreciate the time I had with my dad, though I too would’ve appreciated at least another thirty. This last week has been both wonderful and very sad in this way. I received the Kenneth Le M. Carter graduate award at a board of directors dinner in Toronto on Monday night. As I took to the stage to accept my award, I thought of how important my parents were in my success, but also how proud my father would’ve been. Similarly, whenever I get a new job or internship, or at a new university, my dad was always the first person I sent an email to with my new address. These little moments that I would like to share with my dad have been whisked away. Now I stop and think of him, bringing both joy in memory and utter sadness in realization of the fact that he is gone.
I muscled through Father’s Day without much trouble as I was busy tooling around Toronto with two wonderful friends. The next day was my awards dinner, and then my parents’ anniversary on the following day. All moments of happiness and sadness rolled up into the neat little package that is my life. Speaking to my mom the day after their anniversary, it was clear that she felt the same roller coaster of emotions. I am so happy that my sister and nieces can be there with her through this first summer without dad. Yesterday, they left for the first camping trip of the season. An event that my dad eagerly awaited, I know that this first trip would be hard and was thankful that it would be made easier for all by the presence of my sweet and funny nieces and my sister.
Anyway, I had an absolutely incredible time in Toronto with my beautiful friends Heidi and Lauren. The R.Kelly sing-a-long was magical (a fairytale some may say… I may or may not have lost a shoe for part of the show). The girls took me around town, we drank great beer, enjoyed the sun, and I really loved getting to know their city. Another highlight, on my last day Heidi toured me around the Coach House coach house and Lauren gave me a thorough tour of her beloved Trinity campus, I certainly better understand the magic.
First thing’s first. I just received my fourth wedding invitation for this year. I know I am coming to the age where everyone I know is getting married but I never expected to have four weddings for eight wonderful people just this year! I can’t believe it! The problem is that Genesis and I are under or straight-up unemployed. We have my cousin’s wedding in April, my childhood friend Helen’s in June in the Yukon, my dearest friend Katie’s wedding in Banff in July, and my high-school twin is getting married to her long-time amazing partner in August in Saskatoon. I wish I could attend them all, but that would require one of us to be on Air Canada’s payroll. Alas, we will figure it out, but I am fairly sure I am going to miss a few important events this year.
Anyway, on this beautiful sunny day I decided to make some hearty chili and a really tasty jalapeño almond bread that has all the characteristics of cornbread but with a bit more texture. The meal was super filling and I know it would satisfy even the most carby of carb lovers. I munched down a ton of the chili and happily munched on the almond bread between/with bites. I am going to experiment with a few different versions of this because it came out so beautifully. I suspect I could make a sweeter version of it that uses cream cheese and some cinnamon, maybe even a swirl of chocolate. Hmm weekend-testing ideas!
Sorry for the ridiculous delay between posts, going away has meant a full schedule upon my return. I’ve been running around, working like a mad woman, trying to catchup, keep up, and not die trying. Anyway, this is one of the delightful appetizers from the wedding. I am waiting on some pictures and recipes from my mom whose camera I kept using because I couldn’t locate mine. These are ridiculously simple and really delicious. Crowd pleasers for sure!
Jalapeño Cheese Squares
- 6 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
- 6 eggs beaten
- 2 tbsp heavy cream
- 2 tsps green onion, minced
- 1 small can of jalapeño peppers (fresh would be great too, 2 or three, well chopped)
- Whisk together cheese, eggs, cream and onions. Stir in jalapeños.
- Spread mixture in a greased 9 x 13 pan.
- Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes.
- Cut into 1-inch squares and serve. These are great hot or cold.
This fantastic dip recipe comes from my friend Susan in Calgary. She brought this dip to my going-away party and I just had to have the recipe. I made it for my family when they were in town around Christmas, and I made it just for Gen and I to munch on yesterday. It is best served warm, with your favourite tortilla chips, though I will admit, I used some of the left over dip (it get pretty solid when cold) to stuff some omelets this morning for Gen’s birthday. I’ve made a couple adjustments to make up for the fact that we use greek yogurt for pretty much everything.
Jalapeño Popper Dip
- 2 blocks cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise (homemade is always better)
- 1/2 plain greek yogurt (or sour cream, heck, or just plain yogurt)
- 1 can chopped green chilies, drained (1/2 cup)
- 2 diced fresh jalapeños
- 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
- Preheat oven to 400ºF
- Stir together cream cheese and mayonnaise in a large bowl until smooth. Stir in green chiles, jalapeños, and 1/4 cup of the parmesan.
- Pour mixture into medium casserole dish (or a hot-dip dish, if there is such a thing). Sprinkle the top with the remaining parmesan and the panko bread crumbs.
- Heat dip in the oven for 15-20 minutes until it is heated through, the top is golden, and the cheese is bubbling.
- Serve with chips and bread.