Friday, October 24, 2014

My Top 7: Food Bloggers of Canada Conference

1. Exploring Vancouver's Food Scene // From oysters and duck, to sushi and chocolate cake, I really ate my way around Vancouver! We found nothing but delicious food as we toured around the city eating at Fable, Butter, Catch 122, Shuraku and Coast. My favourite dish of the weekend was the Duck Breast at Fable... oh and can't forget the side of roasted mushrooms!
2. Meeting New Peeps // One of the obvious perks of attending a blogger conference is the connections. I love nothing more than meeting new people and hearing their blogging story. This conference I had the opportunity to meet three (new to me) food bloggers; Amber of, Kristi of, Kristine of A group of also ran into the fabulous Linnie von Sky (author of the children's book Our Canadian Love Story). She was kind enough to invite us over for a fabulous brunch complete with an exclusive preview of her soon to be released book Pom Pom: A Flightless Bully Tale.
3. Birthday Celebrations // We couldn't let these birthday's slip us by... both Robyn and Shannon celebrated their birthdays while at the conference. How did we commemorate the occasion? With a big chocolate cake from Butter of course!
4. Seeing The Sights // From Granville Island (which is always fun to see) to the tree-top trails of the Capilano Suspension Bridge, getting out and about was the highlight of my trip, especially since the weather was beautiful (which I understand is rare in Vancouver?).
5. Thug Kitchen // I'll be first to admit that I had never heard of Thug Kitchen until this conference. I'm glad that has changed because the are f***ing awesome! Check them out! (NSFW)

6. Hanging Out With The Crew // My conference experience would not have been the same without the crew! In the past year we have grown insanely close, and I now consider them to be some of my bestest girl friends. From outings in Waterloo and Toronto, to virtual baby showers, we know how to have a good ol' foodie time! (*two bottom photos courtesy of Jenny)
7. Chef Bell's Blend & Extend Dinner // While I was a huge fan of the Truffle Macaroni and Cheese presented by the Dairy Farmers of Canada, my favourite meal of the weekend was definitely Saturday's night "Blend and Extend" Dinner by Mushrooms Canada and Ontario Beef. A blended beef and mushroom ravioli in a Samuel Adams consomm√© set the stage, while the delicious Beef & Portabella Gratin captured my taste buds during the main course. Well done chef Bell!
Again, I can't even describe what a wonderful time I had, and how appreciative the entire food bloggers community is to Ethan and Melissa at Food Bloggers of Canada for pulling this all together! Thanks guys for another successful conference!

Did you attend FBC2014? What were some of your favourite moments?

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Fashion: Fall Scarves

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

Fall is in full swing over here, and lucky for me this cooler weather allows me to bust out my favourite Fall accessory; the scarf. I'll admit, I have a few. Chunky knit. Leopard print. Aztec infinity. One style I am looking to add to my collection is an over-sized tartan (because a day doesn't go by where I don't lust over this outfit). Yes, I am absolutely obsessed and can't get enough.

What are your Fall style obsessions?


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

My Long Weekend According to My iPhone

1 // Dinner for two! No dinners to go to this weekend, so I made us our own "thanksgiving dinner."
2 // Couldn't have asked for better Fall weather.
3 // Playing too much ball with Maddy... she ended up breaking one of her nails. That was fun to clean up.
4 // Hoosier stocked and ready for entertaining!
5 // Chunky sweater. Chambray shirt. Yoga Jeans. Boots. #ItsFall
6 // Oktoberfest at Concordia... our yearly tradition!
7 // Styling some stunning pottery from the talented women at Inspirations Studio.
8 // A touch of pumpkins in the entryway.

Canadian friends, how was your long weekend?

Friday, October 10, 2014

Pumpkin & Carrot Bread with Saffron Cream Cheese Icing

Crunchy leaves underfoot. Big potted mums at every entrance. Pumpkins lined up perfect on every front porch. Clearly it's Fall. And while I am still getting used to the idea of this cold weather sticking around (and getting much, much colder), I am embracing the change in season and the many experiences it brings.
I mean, there is so much to do this Fall! My calendar is filled with family get-togethers, conferences, blogger outings, and meetings galore. And while I'm out hustling my buns off, there is nothing more I want than to come home some hot comfort foods and dense decadent desserts. These mini pumpkin & carrot loaves are just that. Rich, dense, decadence. They are casual enough for a night in with the family and fancy enough to join an elaborate Thanksgiving spread. But no matter the occasion, they are delicious.
Pumpkin & Carrot Bread with Saffron Cream Cheese Icing
These mini pumpkin and carrot loaves is what Fall is all about. The rich, dense bread is complemented perfectly by the light whipped icing, streaked with saffron. Perfect for any family Thanksgiving get-together.

Inspired by Food & Drink Magazine, Autumn 2009

1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/3 cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 cup finely grated carrot

1. Preheat oven to 350F. If using metal loaf pans, grease them. If using paper loaf pan, arrange on a flat baking tray.
2. In a stand mixer, cream together butter and sugars until smooth.
3. Add eggs one at a time, allowing time to beat well in between.
4. Stir in pumpkin, sour cream and vanilla.
5. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pumpkin pie spice.
6. Stir into pumpkin mixture. Once combined, stir in grated carrot.
7. Spoon into loaf pans and bake for 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
8. Cool completely before icing.

Saffron Cream Cheese Icing

1 package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 cups icing sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp saffron threads

1. In a stand mixer cream together cream cheese, butter, sugar and vanilla.
2. Heat saffron for 1 minute in the microwave. Crush in a mortar and pestle.
3. Add to icing and mix until blended. A subtle yellow hue will result.
4. Refrigerate until ready to use. Allow to come to room temperature before icing loaves.

Wishing all my Canadian friends a very happy Thanksgiving weekend!