Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Happy 2014

Happy New Year Everybody!! Thanks for taking the time read our blog and for all your support! Wishing all a happy and healthy 2014!
A quick 2013 in [food+travel+miscellaneous] review..
Sean started eating Paleo, and I jumped on the bandwagon. D and KT joined too from BC, and S from Saskatchewan.  I loaded up on  cookbooks, shared recipes on Google drive, and went at it full force for 30 days. It was a very interesting month, where I ate a lot of dark chocolate, avocado, sweet potatoes and meat. Oh yes and an obscene amount of eggs. 18 pack of eggs- pff that would last, maybe a few days!  I discovered the ever popular recipe for eggnana pancakes!

Costco to the rescue
The worst part was not eating beavertails during winterlude- and resisting my dads banana bread.

Claire eating a beavertail, only 1 hour after landing in Ottawa
Torture! Skating on the canal just isn't the same without beavertails. Its okay, don't feel too bad for me, I have more then made up for it since.

I saw this at a bakery in London- agree completely
Although I didn't stick with it after the 30 days,  I picked up some good habits and meal prep skills. A few of us blogged about the experience, if you're interested read about it here.

Emily invited me to celebrate Chinese New Year's with her wonderful family, where I spent the weekend eating more than ever before- so delicious!!

one of the many dishes at Mr. Chan's restaurant -yummy!
Mrs. Chan- Em- me

It's good luck to wear red

I also went a little bit nuts, embraced the Markham experience and got the most blinged out nails EVER- it was a bit much- see for yourself!

Back in Ottawa we had some game nights to pass the time during the winter. Ana I made us her famous guacamole - so good!! essential ingredient- cilantro-

Smoothies- Somewhere along the way I became obsessed with smoothies, magic-bullet, nutri-bullet, you name it, I got it.. add some kale to it for extra nutrition.

We went to Boston to visit C&E and ate some lobster in New Hampshire!

I later ate lobster again at tamara's when she cooked it for Emily and me.

I ate a lot of cakes, bbqs and delicious food when we celebrated my grandma's 90th in Austria- lots of chefs in the Kitchen!

And time with the family

Following this, I went to London and experienced some local pubs- Manar!

the best lamb wrap i've ever had

and got to experience high tea, with Juliet and Sally at Mad Hatter's society

and in Ottawa..

girl's day is always fun but really the food didn't quite compare.

I was in love with my bi-weekly veggie baskets which made for some really good salads and veggie dishes

There was an explosion of the food truck trend around Ottawa- yay!! excellent.

I went back to British Columbia for the 2nd time in a year (I love 'beautiful BC'- as the license plates say) time to Celebrate Keldi and Conor's wedding! I didn't waste any time and had a nanaimo bar as soon as I landed in Nanaimo!

And then we made our way to Parksville for the big day!

I Discovered fish tacos in Victoria at red fish blue fish and never looked back!

I definitely continued this trend by making salmon tacos, and by eating at El Camino in Ottawa-

We had a party for C&E in Ottawa- most of the pictures were corrupt :(-  and I later got a part time catering gig- but more on that another time.

The backyard all set up pretty! 

My mom's Strawberry Thyme Lemonade Creation 

I continued the celebrations with Becca and Kris's wedding- which was so much fun!

I also had several nice birthday celebrations including one at D&N's before I set of for Europe!

Always a feast!! Here some colourful and delicious veggies. 

I went on a 10 day hiking trip through the alps in the summer- Germany, Austria, Italy. It was amazing.. the hiking was brutal but the food (and drinks) were delicious! Schnitzel, SpƤtzle, Cake and Radler (beer and lemonade)!

 I also discovered the delicious hugo- an appertif with mint and elderflower syrup-

I got to go to St Catharines to visit C& S and they always spoil me with delicious food!!

The cheese on the right here is a specialty coffee cheese- soo yummy

We went several times to a dairy farm for ice cream!!

Back in Ottawa, we went up to Reesa's cottage for some late summer swimming. It was glorious, as was the meal and her raspberry pie!!


At work, we purchased a pixie, Nespresso machine where we became hooked on vanilla capsules.. 

We had the honour and pleasure of having Juliet visit!! It was an amazing 3 months.
Together we ran, ziplined, nike +, started rock climbing and embraced barre class! Side note- the  smoothies at inside out barre are amazing!

Juliet is now also writing on this blog- you will be able to tell her posts a mile away because of her amazing photography! She is vegetarian and while she was here we ate minimal meat. Discovered some really good veggie recipes. My personal favourite is this quinoa and mushroom burger.

We took a cake decorating course, which was the beginning of the end. + 5 pounds and counting.. J did a lot of the heavy lifting while I was at work, and now never wants to see icing sugar or decorate a cake again.

It was definitely fun to do it with a class of just friends :)

We went to Montreal, Saw the Chihuly exhibit

And we walked up Mt Royal

And we of course had to go to Juliette et Chocolat

And we went to Quebec City and ate a lot of croissants. I think we went to 4 or 5 of the top 10 best bakeries. On the way there we stopped for a picnic!

And stayed at the beautiful Hotel Premiere nation. The restaurant there was delicious with the best brunch dessert- we also had a very good laugh at dinner..

Juliet also experienced her first Canadian Thanksgiving!!

D took us for dinner at play (twice)- which we loved. Our favourite dessert was blackmouth- aka a really intense delicious brownie, that makes your mouth turn black after your eat it! 

And when C&E were up we all went out to Les fougeres for dinner- a favourite of my mom! We all enjoyed. 

Reesa took Juliet and I to the NAC cafe- and to a dance show- Akram Khan-  that was fantastic! We liked the restaurant a lot, and later went back for a special dinner from Juliet when we went with the family to see nutcracker!! 

We booked our trip to China with D and A.

We ate latkes, had Christmas dinner and enjoyed dinners with family friends.

After Juliet left, I was sad, and ate a lot of steak to replenish my iron.

For Emily's birthday, we went out for dinner at Hooch, a new southern place on Rideau street,  where I tried chicken and waffles- great combination. 

I saw friends from in and out of town-

I celebrated K's birthday with her family-

Action shot of K&S

And this bring us right up to New years Eve Day-

with Em and M

Wow this post is way too long, and still many things I didn't mention- delicious dinners prepared by my parents and by friends, bakeries we loved ( Art is In, Scone Witch) -- but I must wrap this up.
Thanks for all in the great times in 2013- wishing you much love,  good food, family, health and happiness in 2014!

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