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

Continue reading

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.

ShrimpArtichokeDip

Continue reading

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.

FishSticks

Continue reading

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.

BuffaloChickenStrips

Continue reading

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.

ArtichokeandSpinachdip

Continue reading

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!

BroccoliSalad Continue reading

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!

shrimpskewers

Continue reading

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.

ScrambledEggs

Continue reading

Chicken Crust Pizza. A successful experiment.

Gloomy weekend! It has been quite chilly and rainy out, which has left me feeling snoozy and glum. Gen and I did some stuff around the house, I reattached the closet door that he had hulked off its hinges on his way to work the other day. I feel like we got some other stuff accomplished but it just went by so quickly that it is truly hard to say. In any case, it was a good enough weekend around the house, over too soon.

ChickenCrustPizza

Continue reading

Curried Cauliflower Salad

My mom was here for a visit all this past week and we had a wonderful time tooling around the city, eating out at some lovely restaurants and just generally enjoying each other’s company. Mom proved invaluable at trivia, answering lanolin and others correctly, though let it be known that she was unable to produce Princess Diana’s maiden name. She fell in love with Game of Thrones, bought two pairs of shoes, and bought us a lovely bouquet of tulips. Mom seemed content to sleep on our ancient couch but was very troubled by our loose toilet seat. I have also been troubled by the loose toilet seat but found it was easier to strategically sit than to try to figure out the best way to go about fixing it. After work on Friday, after mom had left for Whitehorse, I set about tightening the toilet seat bolts.

It should be known that the toilet is already kind of strange. It is a low-flow toilet that has two buttons, one for the little stuff and one for the big. It is all one piece, the tank is part of the whole. And the frigging seat is a slow-close miracle that is unlike all the diagrams that I have looked at online (yes, I researched proper toilet seat tightening protocol). So, Friday after work I set about tightening the darn seat. I had studied the diagrams and understood the mission. Find the caps near the hinges, pry them off, use my pliers to tighten the bolts, replace the caps, and voila, a sturdy sitting experience. No such luck. I stared at the seat, perplexed by the lack of caps that EVERY toilet seat tutorial made mention of. OK, new strategy, pry the seat off the obviously hidden caps, right? No. Some desperate tugging, prodding, crying, and excessive (or not) hand washing later, I was back at the computer trying to figure out how to solve this mystery. I Googled, “slow close toilet seat fixing no caps” and many variations of that general combination of words but all the tutorials suggested that there should either be caps or an easy-release button somewhere in the general vicinity of the hinges. But our toilet seat is smooth with no visible access points. I squeezed the sides in an attempt to release it, I gently and not-so-gently tugged at it, I peaked into the bowl to see if the bolts were accessible from there, I started to cry. I was so frustrated at the seemingly impossible task of tightening the frigging toilet seat that I sat at my computer, staring at pictures that did not look like my toilet seat, and just cried. Then, an hour or so after starting this ridiculous journey, I marched into the bathroom, slapped my hand on the side of the bowl and felt a frigging bolt. Reaching around the other side I found the matching bolt and realized that I had not looked in the most obvious place, the outside of the bowl. A quick couple of turns on the plastic nuts and the seat was secure. I washed my hands and forearms (I felt too close to the toilet not to) and schlumped on the couch, totally embarrassed that I let a toilet seat bring me to tears.

It’s hard to segue from a toilet story to a recipe, but it must be done.

This salad is pretty amazing. (Smooth transition, right?)

669621022c5a710bfb97f2020581aeca

Continue reading