Learning to Cook

Cooking. Cooking has never been my thing! If we could go back and look at all of the meals I’ve ever made in my life, you would see that I have a long history of burning recipes. It doesn’t even matter if I am cooking or baking, it’s not a good track record.

I would like to get better. I always feel bad, because my family has always been good at cooking! My dad is amazing. He isn’t a chef, but when he gets time to, he is amazing at it. He puts his own spin on various kinds of recipes and will remake certain recipes, changing it each time until it’s perfected. Some of the things he tries are misses, but that is pretty rare now. My grandma is also a good cook as well. Since she has retired, she spends most of her time watching cooking shows or trying out new recipes as well. She always cooks with extremely fresh vegetable- most coming from her garden.

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Why have I never gotten into cooking? I have no idea. I just know that I shy away, because I know that I am not really that good at it. I also don’t make time or put myself out there to get better at it. I just don’t get how chefs taste something and are like you know what, this would pair really well with this. HOW CAN YOU TELL!

This is something that I have been wanting to try for a while. I wanted to get a book of recipes together that I like and work for me. Currently, I am building a recipe book for myself. I am going to use a variety of sources. I have Pinterest for days I’m stuck, I have old family recipes, such as homemade perogies, and I have my parents overflowing recipe book cabinet (and of course the library for more options). I plan on calling this section Pinterest Successes 2.0. A while back, my brother’s girlfriend and her sister and friends added me to a Pinterest group called Pinterest Successes. In the group, everyone shares what recipes worked for them. I would love to do the same, but blog form! However, the first few might not be successes until I get better at it though! 😉 ( I will definitely let you know if I failed, and also I will let you know where the recipe came from as well!)

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This should be interesting! I’m hoping by the end I have a ton of new recipes and options to choose from, and please give me recipe and food advice whenever you can! It would be much appreciated! What are your favourite cookbooks? Favourite sites for recipes? What kinds of foods should I try out?

 

– Erin xo

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Sushi Park

Hey Readers!

The other day, I went out for a lunch with my brother and we had the best sushi! I mean good for living in an area that is surrounded by prairie instead of ocean. I truly mean it! Sushi Park was very delicious. It’s a small little restaurant, where you can enjoy eating sushi on a patio in the beautiful sunshine. It’s also next to one of the main roads (it’s not obnoxious though), so you can show off your amazing ability to pick up sushi with you chop sticks and then cram it into your mouth without completely destroying the roll…. ya- safe to say not a first date food.

Anyways, if you have never been to eat sushi, because you are like me and hate fish, then you are in luck! You can still eat sushi and I can guide you. Mind you- I really like crab, lobster, shrimp- so more so shell fist. If you are not ok with this, there is still options for you! I just might not know them…. You are so welcome hahah.

My brother and I started with shrimp prawns. So crunchy and good. I loved it. We then got an avocado roll! It had avocado on top and inside the roll- surprise!- and then it’s just rice and shrimp. It was very refreshing and tasty! We also had a sushi roll called the crunch. This was a california roll with a bit of a kick to it! It was spicey, but not over powering! It was the good kind of kick! For those who don’t know a california roll has crab meat, cucumber and avocado in it. We also got a free sample of a new sushi that I cannot remember the name of, but was even spicier version of the california roll!  The rolls are very basic rolls that are made well. The main difference is the sauce they use on top. It brings out all these amazing flavors! It was very good! When I was in Vancouver, my cousin was also ordering sushi with cream cheese in it for the non fish lover and those are very worth it as well!

Anyways, this place is small, but has amazing service, and I really am starting to love sushi! My next sibling luncheon? We are going to get Thai Food! Stay tuned!

-Erin

Needle Vinyl Tavern

Hey Dear Readers!

I hope you are doing well today! I wanted to talk briefly about an outing I had for work! It was a ton of fun, and I feel like it’s necessary to tell all of you! So, the original plans I had for work were canceled. We had tried to go to some other places, but we felt that it was better to do something a little more chill. Instead, I searched up the needle tavern for some live music and fortunately there were bands lined up even though it was a Wednesday!

The reason I jump to live music for everything is because it has always been apart of my life. I have always supported local bands and acts and gone to these shows. Before, it was mainly for my best friend who is an amazing singer. I loved going to her shows and watching her perform and wowing the crowd. I always thought that the only reason why I would go to stuff like that was to support her, because I went with her to every live local show. However, now I realize that I was not only doing that for her, I just truly enjoy going and listening to some very talented people perform. So, this week it was a no brainer to check out a show and see who was performing live. I only stayed for one band, but the band I saw was very talented. Apparently they are performing at Folk Fest this year in Edmonton and their name is called Altameda. They were kind of country, folk, with a tinge of classic rock. It was really great to sit back and listen to some great performers.

What I love about the Needle Vinyl Tavern is that it is a great feel. Their is this really great mood to the bar. They have a patio, then you can walk in and they have a long pub with lots of places to sit, and when you go into the room on the left they have a great stage with working lights, sound board and a comfortable seating area. I was with a girl with a disability who loves live music, and when I called ahead they moved a table specially for her that was closer to the performers, accessible to a bathroom, and they had a waitress checking on us all night. It was amazing.

They also have awesome food! I had a pretzel with a cheese dip! The pretzel was warm and fresh, and I would dunk it in the cheese dip and that left some great flavors in my mouth! The girl I was with had a grilled cheese sandwich- decked out with lettuce, tomato, and chicken- with fries and apparently that was very delicious. All of this is great drunk food.

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I love this place- it has a great atmosphere. You can enjoy some good, live music while drinking and eating some very great drunk food!

http://www.theneedle.ca/events/

Let us know the places you like to go to listen to live music!

-Erin

 

Breakfast At Red’s

Hey Guys,

So recently I ventured out to Calgary! It was probably one of the worst trips I’ve ever been on because it was for work and it was a very difficult work trip. However, I will be back to Calgary to have a better experience- because it is a very beautiful place! One of the things I did enjoy about this particular trip was that I came across a very good diner! Red’s Diner is downtown, and has plenty of regular and vegan options as well.

I loved the vibe that it has! It’s a small room, but has a great vibe! A brick room with metal chairs and tables and a large bar, it’s one of those places that keeps you coming back. My friend and I were talking about restaurants yesterday, and we both had mentioned that places like Remedy were great! Anyone could feel free to hang out for a lengthy amount of time and not be rushed out. The food is delicious and they have beers if you are looking to go for drinks with friends too. This place definitely has that vibe!

So I was doing the driving- no drinks for Erin, however, I did get a cappuccino and I can say that is was one of the better ones that I have had! I’ve been drinking them so much that I can now differentiate really well between which ones are good and which places have bad ones! It also came in a mug that looked like I would drink out of at home- which I loved.

I also got an Eggs Benedict! Very good! It’s hard to find a place with good hollandaise sauce! I still would say that I have had better, however it is in the top 5 for sure! The potatoes were extra crisp, and it did come with toast and fruit. Overall, it was a large breakfast, but very good! I so enjoyed it! It gave me the energy to finish up the trip and drive home after that is for sure!

I would recommend this place. The prices were good and it has that great hangout place vibe!

-Erin

Chez Francois Restaurant- Canmore

Hey Readers!

I hope you had a great week! I had a love/ hate week away to Canmore. I really wished I had not been working or else I would have loved it way more! I’m just going to do a quick post today, because I got back today so I am super tired!

The one breakfast restaurant I wanted to talk about was Chez Francois. It is a really small breakfast place beside one of the hotels just on the main road in Canmore. In summer, it does look like a very beautiful little french cafe! It just had that look and feel to it, but when I was sitting down inside I had a perfect view of the mountains. It had a great feel and vibe to it. I was unsure about what to get when I got there- I usually go for an Egg’s Benedict, but this time I decided on a crepe! I never really get them so it was the right decision I feel.

My crepe was Apple, Brie Cheese, and Ham. Oh my god it was so delicious. It was a nice combination of sweet, and cheesy. The ham really went well with the apple. I was super surprised! It was delicious- highly recommend. For a side, there was fruit and home styled potatoes which I also enjoyed. They were super crispy- just how I like them! The girl I was travelling with got the chocolate chip pancakes, and although I never got to taste them, they did smell extra delicious! To finish it all off, I got a strawberry and banana yogurt! You can never really go wrong with this kind of a smoothy, but it was definitely still worth mentioning! Just as a side note, the crepe was around $13 and the smoothie $6. For me, I feel like that isn’t that terrible, considering everything in the mountain regions is expensive most of the time.

 Another side note: Someday I promise to upload a picture of the WHOLE meal! I get so excited and start eating it and forget I need to take pictures! My bad lol.
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Anyways! That is all for now! Sorry for the short post, I promise longer posts later!

http://www.restaurantchezfrancois.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Breakfast.pdf

– Erin

1st RND

Hey my lovely Readers!

I hope things are going swell this week! We are almost at the weekend! Super exciting stuff. I really have not gone to anywhere out of the ordinary to eat lately, however, I did try a place that is new to me! I went to 1st RND- which is a sports restaurant!

My friend wanted to try it out, which is why I went. It seems to me that every time I am at the mall, I walk by this place and never go inside! I’m always super intrigued by the MASSIVE tv (which I believe is 9 screens large). So, this time my friend decided to drag me in, because she wanted to watch the basket ball finals! I do not watch basketball, but I feel like I was jumping that band wagon for Golden State! Yay Golden State (do I know any other teams…. the answer is not really). I’ve never really sat down and watched a basketball game, so it was great to watch and cheer for one of the teams I did not know on this massive TV.

Anyways, back to the food. I started off with a non-alcoholic drink, because I was the driver. Please drink responsibly everyone! I love you all I would hate for something to happen to any of you! If you are drinking, they do have around 75 different beer brands…. Um wow. For you drivers, I got the Arnold Palmer- I believe that that is the Lemonade and Iced Tea drink. It was very refreshing and a good non- alcoholic drink! They also have nonalcoholic beers if you are wanting to fit in more and not say ” I want Arnold Palmer please!” I just googled him, apparently he is a famous golfer- I really thought I knew my sports!

For food, they have a crazy amount of wings. Boneless and Boned- is that even a thing people say?-  you can get some super hot to not so hot wings. We got Honey Sriracha, and Chipotle Mango. Oh my god, so delicious. They were thought to be on the hotter end of the scale, but I promise they are not that hot. The honey and mango for both give this delicious tang that makes it less hot and gives the wings amazing flavor! There are like 30 different sauces, so go to town and try something new! In addition to the wings (make sure you try two kinds- if you’re in a larger group, try three!), we ordered Buffalo Chicken Cheese dip. This was actually hotter than the wings to me, but very tasty! I love chips and dip. Seriously, my favorite thing in the world. I was overall super happy!

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Give it a try, and definitely go for a good sporting event! I bet the crowds there would be insane and super excited! I love sports, so I loved this place and eating pub food! It was the best!

http://1strnd.ca/menu/

Enjoy!

Erin

Moxies

Hey Lovely Readers!

It is a cold rainy and long day today, I hope if everyone is having this same kind of day that it goes by super fast! We’re halfway through the the week! So almost there! I mean my weekend is even more chaotic than the rest of my week but oh well! I need to start booking my weekends off so I can sleeeeeppppp already!

Anyways, it’s what I ate Wednesday and today I wanted to talk about eating out. I love going out to restaurants and trying new things, but I find that sometimes it’s frustrating because you’re never eating healthy when you go out! My weakness is the appetizers. I never want to eat salad, because it seems to plain for me, so the eating healthy is a big struggle for me.

Lately, I’ve found that the best way to eat healthy when you go out, is to not deprive yourself of something completely! I mean you should still enjoy your eating out. Because I know my weakness is the appetizers and sides, I try to convince someone to share that with me and than order my healthy meal. So I will pick out a salad, and then order a side of fries to share with someone so I get a taste, but I’m filling up on the salad instead.

Last week, I went to Moxies with my sister, and we did a great job of eating healthy! We both shared an appetizer- bruschetta- so good. I found that they give you a TON of bruschetta! The jar is so overflowing that it’s hard to scoop it out! I love this because I can take it home if I want, but you can really load up your bread without worrying about running out! I hate when restaurants don’t give you enough dip, so this was awesome! It also tasted amazing! Everything was super fresh and delicious which is what I love about getting bruschetta- love that fresh taste!

The other thing I got was lettuce wraps. I love lettuce wraps, but some places just don’t get it right! Moxies did an amazing job! Also, their lettuce was perfect because you could scoop a lot of the stir fry into the lettuce and not have everything fall out. It looked like a little bowl so it was perfect and easy to eat. Like I feel like that would be a safe meal to eat on a date and not feel embarrassed because food is all over my face or super messy. I’m adding that to the list! Both the bruschetta and the lettuce wraps were awesome, so if you’re looking for a place to go out to eat, but wanting to get something healthy as well, I recommend!

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I highly recommend, it was a great place with good food and service, with amazing Bellinis as well!

– Erin

Aussi Rules

Hey Readers!

Hope you had a great Wednesday! Today for what I ate Wednesday, I wanted to talk a bit about Aussie Rules! Sooooo, this place used to be the red piano, and is now still a piano bar- but they serve seafood now.

When I went to Red Piano, I went specifically for the bar aspect! It was my cousins bachelorette party and we had the best time! It was amazing to see the piano duelling! I highly recommend! They started off with one person playing the piano, and then they would switch and someone else would play. As the night went on, they began to duel between the two pianos, then a person with a guitar came out standing on the piano, and then there were people singing and rapping! It was amazing! Anything you requested, they knew and would play! We requested California Love by Tupac for my cousin, which seemed to make her night! It was awesome, they rapping was just as good as they’re singing. We had a great time. The drinks were very delicious

Today when I went, I was kind of disappointed! There was nothing happening! It wasn’t until I looked online that I saw that there is not any piano playing until Thursday evening, and then it lasts all weekend! I was really sad! The place was completely empty for an 8pm on a Wednesday! So, it was just my friend and I, and the waitress. It makes me worried for how much money they are making. I wonder if it would be better for them to have a least one person there to play during the dinner hours when it should be busy. Super sad.

I have to say that we ended up only having their chips and onion dip then leaving, because it was sooooooo quiet! Their chips were super light, and the onion dip was very good! I ended up taking it home and eating more later like a champ! We left because we were looking for something more upbeat! I had such a great time the first time I went so this was disappointing! However, the next time I go, I will be sure to go for the piano duelling and get some great food to tell you about later! Just know if you’re going, it’s all seafood now! I’m not saying not to go, but what I am saying is go on a day that it’s going to be fun and a great time! Also, only go for  the food if you love seafood!  I do recommend their snacking food though, and their drinks are well made!

Let me know of any recommendations you have for me in the future!

– Erin

The Duchess Bake Shop

Hey Fantastic People!

For this post, I am going to talk a bit about food….. THE BEST. So for a late mother’s day present, my mom, sister, and I went to this great little bakery in Edmonton! It’s called the Duchess Bake Shop and it’s probably one of the BEST bakeries! Great food, and great news, it’s expanding! The only downside to this place would be that the parking can be hard to come by and that if it’s really busy they may run out of stuff! However, we went on a really busy day and that didn’t happen to me, so just make sure you’re there at an earlier time!

So for food, we all got the same thing, because it really looked amazing. It was ham and cheese on a flakey croissant! So good, so amazing! I ate it so slowly so I could savor the taste! For a drink I got a cappuccino- my go to since Italy. Together, it was a great combination! My sister got a mocha and I think my mom got a chia latte and both love that as well. That’s there go to drinks!

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When it came to dessert, we each got something different, and then tried each others! SO, I got what’s called The Duke. It’s a chocolate cake with salted caramel and whipped chocolate, and is covered in a mirror- finish chocolate finish- it was $8.00  My sister got the Lemon Meringue Cake- this is a lemon cake with a caramel and lemon cream and is wrapped and toasted in meringue- it’s $6.50 for the smallest one. Last, was the banana cream pie. This was BY FAR the best out of the three! It was $6.50 and is a filled with creamy banana and pastry, then it’s topped with vanilla bean whipped cream! It’s on a flaky crust, and the whole thing was just amazing and delicious! It was super light!

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When we left, my mom bought a macron gift box for $18.00. There are 8 different macrons you can try! They usually have some of the same flavors, then rotate in new flavors every so often. The kinds I had were salted caramel, rose, lemon, vanilla, pistachio, strawberry, blackberry orange, and chocolate coconut. My favorite was the vanilla! I definitely recommend getting at least one macron! They’re my favorite and the Duchess Bake Shop does an amazing job!

I highly recommend going, and eating delicious food! It’s even better in summer when you can sit outside and enjoy the sun and the great food!

– Erin

Sophie’s Cosmic Cafe

Hey Readers!

This post is for What I Ate Wednesday! As I’ve said numerous times, I was in Vancouver and one the best diners I went to was Sophie’s Cosmic Café! My cousin took me out to that place today, and told me it’s a place he’s been going to for years! I was super stoked to be there and be apart of that scene.

Sophie’s Cosmic Café has a super cool layout! I love it, it’s 100% me. The inside is filled with old toys, lunch boxes, and has this old diner kind of aura. You look around at the walls, and you see old Peewee Herman toys, Archie Comic figurines, Mickeys and Minnies, old board games, and so much more. Coke themed items- ya it was pretty awesome! The waitresses were super nice and it was just really a great atmosphere!

There were a couple of really good breakfast meals we had! One was the eggs benedict! Now, I’m SUPER picky about eggs benedict, because the last place I worked at had THE best hollandaise sauce, but my cousin reassured me that this was a great meal! Super tasty, and the hash browns were delightful- lol ya my adult male stuntman cousin definitely did not phrase it like that. The meal I had was super good as well! I had a western omelette (super weird for me to get an omelette) and I was definitely digging it! It had onions, peppers, ham, and I added cheese (obvs), and they’re homemade hot sauce! Note- this hot sauce was not hot at all, but it still tasted amazing! The home fries, were just really soft potatoes, which were very good considering that I’m not a potato person really! And then it had toast too- so it was a really large meal for me, but I super enjoyed the parts I did eat! I also had a mocha, which was tasty as well. My cousin said their milkshakes are very good too, I should’ve gotten one for dessert!

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These Pictures are not mine today. Please let me know if this is yours so I can give you credit! (And in the Featured Picture)

Anyways, I enjoyed my experience and loved my food! So great!

http://www.sophiescosmiccafe.com/brunch/

– Erin