Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Vancouver Winter Farmers Market

If you ever need to find me on a Saturday morning this is where I'll be. Every. Saturday. Freezing rain, slushy snow or lack of sleep, I won't miss it! These are the potatoes I can't stop talking about. Get your butt outa bed if only to come for these.

The stand is called Helmer's Organic

Purebread, artisan bread and baked goods brought down from Whistler.

Get the lavender earl grey scone, rosemary chocolate cookie or pudgie pie (croissant type dough stuffed with goat cheese and caramelized onions).

Chanterelles! Probably my fave mushroom. Saute w/ butter, garlic, splash of white wine or marsala, cream, s+p. Spread on crostinis, stuff in an omelette or eat straight out of the pan.

Maple syrup! I was talking to the guys here about the maple syrup process. From extracting the sap from the tree, to boiling it down, to what it yields after its been reduced to a syrup, it's pretty crazy how much it takes just to fill one bottle. They also have maple syrup hot chocolate. Soo good, very similar to the hot chocolate I had in Spain, it's thick and rich. My friend and I shared 1/2 a cup and it pretty much filled my daily chocolate quota!

Squash season. My fave way to eat it right now: cut in half, scoop out seeds, roast cut side down at 375 degree F until a knife can easily be stabbed through with no resistance, scoop out the inside and add a spoonful of coconut oil and salt and pepper.

This farmer has the nicest carrots and the best kale, it's slightly sweet which he told me is because of the freezing temperatures we've had.

The only place I buy salmon. Local, wild, sustainable and flash frozen at sea. Really the best I've ever had. Fish should never have a fishy smell when you cook it, if it does...then you know it's really not that fresh.

Sunchokes! Roast with s+p or mash with the Sieglende potatoes and a drizzle of truffle oil.

I don't trust a vegetable that doesn't have a little dirt on it. If you find a bug in your salad don't freak out, be glad those greens came from the earth! Unless it's an Asian restaurant, then it might just be bad handling...I once found an animal tooth in my sweet and sour chicken, but that's a whole other story.

Best handcrafted local sausage of all time.

Saltspring Island Cheese, love the lemon chevre. (Bought 3, one to bring back home for Christmas, and the others for wine night or a last minute dinner party)

My good friend who had never been to the market came with me one time and was in total aw as a local musician played and kids danced around, he said "everyone is so happy here..!". I said, yeaa! Surrounded by food, how could you NOT be!?

Monday, November 14, 2011

Fleur del Sel Toffee Chocolate Pretzel Cake

Can you imagine if we didn't make mistakes? If we didn't make mistakes how could we learn from them or discover something new? Here are a few of mine as of late...

Slipped and hurt my back at Crossfit
Lesson: Listen to your body when you start to feel yourself burning out.
Discovery: I feel very fortunate for my body and what it does for me. I will also never take for granted putting on a pair of pants.

When recovering, trading baking in for Crossfit is never really a good thing.
Discovery: You start to get really creative in the kitchen.
-Friends love you even more for getting to be your taste testers.
-You will love your Lululemon lycra workout pants even more than you did before.

Rushing to get ready for work I somehow managed to put my underwear on backwards. and inside out. and it's not exactly granny underwear. (sorry too much?)
Lesson: Getting ready 5 minutes early would be super beneficial.
Discovery: Hanky Pankys really are extremely comfortable (ask everyone of my girlfriends, they will concur).
-Apparently I can't dress myself but I can bake 2 dozen cupcakes while cutting a cake, while boiling butter and sugar for toffee and whipping chocolate buttercream.

My mom taught me this, it helps keep the edges clean when you're icing a cake, when you're done just pull out the parchment paper and voila! Clean sides with no messy icing left on the cake plate.

Late night baking, 2 a.m. Still waiting for my neighbours to pound on my door complaining about the loud screeching noise my kitchenaid mixer likes to make. In the back of my mind hoping a sincere apology and fresh baked goods would make things a-ok.

I baked this cake for my friends birthday and forgot the baking powder.
Lesson: Thoroughly read over your recipe, no matter how confident you think you are at making a cake.
Discovery: 10 minutes in you can still save the cake by pouring the warm batter back into a mixing bowl, adding the baking powder and it will still turn out great!

Trust, faith, patience, perseverance and I think things will turn out just the way they are meant to be.