Category Archives: things about food

Cheezie goodness

Oh Cheezies…I love you

So, I emailed the Cheezie company a few weeks ago.

They responded with some very sad news:

Thank you for your e-mail regarding our product, Hawkins CHEEZIES®.
We were pleased to hear how much you enjoy our snacks.
Unfortunately, we do not ship or retail outside of Canada.
We are a family run business with only one plant to supply all of Canada.

But, fortunately, my good friends back home keep me in a steady supply of them (and maple syrup, Frank’s hot sauce and other delicious noms)!

Neighbour has pumpkins!


Our neighbour does this every year. She leaves a little cash box outside with the various squashes and people put their money in and take a pumpkin. She sometimes has free cucumbers.

My answer to the Slurpee

No Slurpees here. I wanted one over these past few sizzling days.

So, I made one of my own. I had blueberries (from our garden), peach slices and seedless green grapes freezing in the freezer, but I didn’t use them all for the white sangria when Alka was here. So, I put some of each in the blender with some white grape juice and voila! Slurpee. HEALTHY Slurpee. Noms.

Raspberry-infused vodka

We have a huge thicket of raspberries in our yard and today I picked a bunch of them so they could be a part of my first infused vodka trial.

When I lived in Lesotho, we would cross over to South Africa, to a small town called Ladybrand. Jon and Audrey introduced me to David and Lynn and their glorious life at Greenock. Greenock had horses, dogs, cats, pigs (that played fetch alongside the dogs), chickens, ducks… It’s beautiful there. We would often stay the night after a day of horseback riding and a huge meal that Lynn slaved away at in the kitchen all day. She also made her own fruit-infused alcohol beverages that I could never get enough of. So, in memory of Miss Lynn, I gathered the raspberries today and started the process for myself. I’m really looking forward to sipping it in a few weeks.

Cheers to David, Lynn, Jon, Audrey, Caroline, Jacs and Bill!!! To all the fun we had in Ladybrand!

Our raspberry patch

Snails are not raspberries.

Freshly picked raspberries!

This will be raspberry-infused vodka. Mmmmmmm

Our safe haven at Greenock, after escaping the civil war breakout in Maseru. Thanks to Lynn and David.

In trying to find the Tour de France festivities

There was SO much traffic on the way to Liège we decided to abort the mission and head off to a new direction away from the hubbub. I love it when we just say, “go left!” or “let’s try this way”. It always ends up with some type of reward: Be it a spectacular view, delicious food, strange encounters and always some pleasant surprises.

We drove around the hilly bits between Liège and Visé and made a few stops along the way. Visé was one of those nice surprises…very pretty town and it was all decked out in Tour de France trappings with a lot of people and cyclists spread throughout the streets. We even caught a glimpse of a TDF cycling team on the road as we were leaving. So, we did get a bit of the TDF spirit without actually getting to our original destination!

We grabbed some ice cream too and I was completely knocked over by the rush of memories I had after tasting my violette-flavoured ice cream [pictured below]. When I was quite young, the Calgary Stampede had a small section just for kids —with rides and games. After winning so many points from the games you could go into this big tent and spend your points. I bought a tiny bottle of purple perfume. I was so enchanted by the smell that I kept the perfume ~sparingly~ for many, many years so I could dab it on or pass the open bottle under my nose to take in the mysterious smells. I think I had the bottle until my 20s. I had taken it to perfume counters a few times to find out what it was, without ever getting any clues. Until I had this ice cream! The flavour tasted like the perfume smelled!! The olfactory senses sure are intense!!! Crazy. Needless to say, I tried to find some parfum or essential oils of violette online when we got home. I’m still searching. But if we had ended up going to Liège, I never would have discovered that elusive childhood memory (and smell!).

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Kangaroos and an unexpected redecoration at the diner

So, we did get to the mini kangaroos. It’s a private breeding farm though, so we couldn’t go in and pet them. Booooooo. But there’s a lot of fencing, so we could peek in any way. The farm also has Japanese Cranes, Ibises, Avocets, Wallabies Flamingos and other Cranes. The Japanese Cranes are threatened with extinction and the farm is apparently ideal for good breeding.

The meal was as mouth-watering as the first time we went there, but with a little twist… They renovated. When we were there before, when it was all Loosey-Goosey/country-kitchen-looking, I had expected to maybe get some watery soup and stale breadsticks, but the menu offered up a vegetarian dish of mushroom ravioli with truffle oil, arugula and parmesan…needless to say, I was stunned at how delicious it was. M’s satay was equally delicious he says. So, they changed all the Loosey Goosey decor, got rid of the dusty table props, they painted, stained and changed the lighting…making it look like the food they serve.

In the car, as we left, our favourite ‘local’ radio station was honouring MCA, so we Beastie Boys’d it on the way home.

Along the way I was reminded of this song that I remembered of a sock puppet getting down to electronica and we looked it up when we got home. It still makes me giggle.

SUCH an adventurous day, she said with unmistakable sarcasm. : )

Here’s the kangaroos/wallabies, birds and the restaurant of surprises.

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Unexpected yummy goodness + mini kangaroos (the two are not connected)

Today we are meant to go to see some mini-kangaroos and get some Unexpected Surprise Mushroom Ravioli. It’s rainy though, so not sure if we will go… I dubbed the pasta with that ridiculous name because it’s the BEST homemade ravioli I’ve ever had. And it lives in the most unexpected place, this little off-the-road, super tacky, stuck-in-the-80s, small town diner that we discovered a few months ago when we were off on one of our Let’s-Get-Lost-and-Explore road trips.

And yes, the kangaroos…they live a stone’s throw away from the diner. We had to drive by a couple of times to make sure that’s what I saw. If we go, I’ll take photos this time.


remember these candies?

The tiny, sliced layers of licorice, rolled ones with coconut…and the ones with little beads.

Turns out they taste way better when they are fresh, as they are here thanks to the Dutch + their  love of the dropje.

old-timey licorice candies

These are Salad Days

Last night I made the most yummy-licious salad I’ve had for a lonnnng time.  Recipe below (with my changes in red…there’s ALWAYS changes!).

Preparation time: 20 minutes  |  Total cooking time: 12 minutes  |  Serves 4-6

500 g  farfalle (butterfly pasta) or any one-bite pasta
2-1/2  spring onions
60 g (2 oz) sun-dried tomatoes, cut into strips (and left to soak in a boiling water bath for a few seconds, just to pump them up a bit)
500 g  fresh spinach, shredded
4 tablespoons pine nuts (I added more and toasted them first)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano (meh, I just used 1/2 T dried oregano –who has fresh oregano on hand?!)
Grape tomatoes and slivers of parmesan to top the salad.


1/4 cup  olive oil
1 teaspoon chopped fresh chilli (I don’t typically have fresh ones lying around, so I just sprinkled in chili powder until I was happy with it –maybe 1/4 teaspoon
1 clove garlic, crushed (since it’s going in fresh I used a medium one crushed in a garlic press)
salt and pepper

  1. Add the pasta to a large pan of rapidly boiling water and cook until just tender. Drain and rinse well under cold water. Transfer to large salad bowl.
  2. Trim the spring onions and chop finely. Add to the pasta with the tomatoes, spinach, pine nuts and oregano.
  3. To make Dressing: Combine the oil , chili powder and garlic, salt and pepper in a small screw-top bottle and shake until well combined. Pour the dressing over the top of the salad; toss well and serve immediately. (Leftovers went in the fridge for one day and it was still delicious!)
Today I made a two-bean salad with corn and cilantro. 
I also made more of my absolute favourite dressings with tahini that I use as a dip or in a spinach salad. I will write out and post soon.


I can cook. I can cook well. I can make soups, salads, pizza, pasta, sandwiches, appetizers, fondue, sauces, dips and pretty much anything else. I sometimes need a recipe for inspiration, but rarely do I implicitly follow it. I add a bit of this, substitute that…I make it my own. I seldom fail at making tasty food. *pat on the back*

Baking ~apparently~ is another story. I know —I’ve been told—when baking: ‘Follow the recipe’. And I do. But I can not make cookies, cakes, pies or anything else dessert-y. For the second time since I’ve been here (almost a year) I’ve baked chocolate shortbread cookies. Well, I ~attempted~ to make them. First ones tasted ok, but were crumbly; today’s had perfect shortbread consistently, but taste like chalk. And not even chocolate-flavored chalk. What gives?!

I think I made carrot cake once that was tasty…oh,  and banana bread.

Maybe if I dip the cookies into some sugar they’ll be passable as a nice, sweet treat.

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