My Birthday…

I am once again in a bit of a shock and awe… no, correction, I am in a LOT of shock and awe, but for completely different reasons than I was earlier in the week after my visit to Hawt Doc.

My friends, all of them, and all of you who read my journal when you have the time to spare, never cease to amaze me. Only this time everyone has completely outdone themselves, my family included, all thanks to The Hubbs and the hard work of a very incredible friend.

From the bottom of my heart, a million times over, I thank you. Just having friends wishing me happy birthday either here on Livejournal or over on Facebook, has been more than enough to brighten my day every year.

But this year I have no idea how on earth I have been put on the receiving end of such an amazing birthday gift: a 7-night Alaskan Cruise. The love and support of The Hubbs, my family and our friends has been absolutely stunning to produce such a surprise. I’ve spoken to everyone individually who was in on it and I am still blown away and I don’t even know where to begin.

I have cried more times in the last two weeks from love and gratitude than I can count. The incredible generosity on behalf of our friends cannot be properly expressed nor explained. I still don’t feel like I’ve properly thanked everyone without sounding repetitive, insincere or contrived. I wish there was some way I could adequately express my feelings and tell everyone how much they mean to me because at some point in time it just sounds like I am saying words for the sake of saying them.

Just know this: Your generosity, friendship and love, mean more to me than I can ever express in words or with the tightest possible hug.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Summer Vacation 2011 Recap

The Hubbs’ holidays are now over and it was actually quite nice! I didn’t think we had done much this year compared to our first year where we stayed home specifically just to hit up restaurants in the city, but according to The Hubbs, we actually did a lot more food-related things this year than I had thought.

Other than Waldhaus in Banff to kick off the holidays, we of course hit up North Sea Fish Market, as I had mentioned earlier, before we had gone to the cabin to pick up a nice fish — wild sockeye salmon, smoked maple candied salmon (we bought this more for D cuz we know it’s one of his favourite treats), smoked trout and smoked mackeral. We stopped in a second time on Thursday and picked up a piece of wild steelhead trout that was fresh that day and a portion of lobster mac’n’cheese for my lunchie. We were originally going to go out to dinner that night somewhere but I couldn’t get super excited enough to choose a place after we had visited Jelly Modern for the first time that afternoon, even though I still had restaurants on my list I wanted to try. After picking up fish, we popped next door to Springbank Cheese Co. and bought some cheeses: Salt Spring Island goat cheese with truffles, Scottish cheddar, a Boursin cheese and wedge of Parmesan.

When we got back to town on Monday, we went to Kinjo’s for dindin and specifically went about trying different things on their menu – more nibbly cooked things than actual sushi/sashimi which I guess it would be like going to a tapas bar or more correctly, since it’s Japanese, an izakaya. They’re menu is designed similarly to that of Sushi Boat — items are priced based on their plate colour and menu items are listed under each colour heading which is kind of odd when you wanna order stuff. For example: I wanted to order o-toro sashimi (fatty tuna belly), it’s not listed under sashimi, but under “gold plate items”. Pain in the butt in my opinion, but it’s a relatively minor issue. Food is mostly okay since I don’t hold them to super high standards. One nice and interesting thing about Kinjo’s is that they give you an amuse bouche/sampler plate when you arrive at your table, which generally tends to be 4 VERY small slices of their special rolls of the day. Oh I do have one gripe about their rolls: unless you order their house special rolls, the regular stuff (ie: simple tuna or salmon or even california roll) is extremely tiny. Usually sliced half the size of a regular roll and only four pieces to a plate. Total disappointment in that regard. If you order their special rolls, they are quite ikmpressive, so perhaps that’s what your’re expected to buy instead.

Wednesday we went out for brunch at a place on 4th Street called Red’s Diner. They do not get thumbs up from us. The whole meal was disappointng from start to finish. Maybe it was just a bad day, but somehow I am leaning towards our experience being considered normal. Waitress was slow, forgot my coffee, claimed to not have heard my coffee order (even though she repeated it back to me when I made it), food took over 30 minutes to arrive, took even longer to acquire a bill and we think we both may have had a bit of tummy upset for the days following as a result :/ and no, the place was not busy, which is what made things even more frustrating and disappointing. They even lost a few customers due to their failure to acknowledge the customers’ presence at the door for 5 minutes of standing around waiting for a table. Poor customer service all around.

Friday we went to Big Rock Grill with D&K and the lovely Miss R. We didn’t realize it, but it was D&K‘s five year anniversary so we bought everyone lunch to celebrate. Their lobster bisque is quite tasty, and even moreso on a day that happens to be cold, wet and gloomy. The rest of the day we spent at home (actually, the last three days) vegged out on the sofa in the family room. Me with my ipad and cookooks and The Hubbs with his laptop paying WoW. I had a hankering for comfort food that night so we ordered Chinese takeout wih lots of veggies from our usual haunt Shanghai Palace. It never fails to amuse me, everytime The Hubbs comes back with our dinner, the ladies at the restaurant always say, “Good deal! We give you free chicken fried rice!” Even funnier is when we order something “particularly Chinese”, they always make doubly sure when he picks up our order that it’s what we wanted and he reminds them that I am Chinese and then they always go, “OHHH!!!! Very good then, she knows and will like it lots!” Or something to that effect. They’re awesome, I hope they stay in business for a good long, long time even though we’ve already been frequenting them for the last 10(!!) years. ^_^

Saturday we didn’t actually have any plans, but we ended up running off to Jelly Modern again and picked up some doughnuts for my parents. Apparently Dad was craving doughnuts after I had spoken to them that morning. We also picked up a reuben for The Hubbs at Myhre’s Deli. Apparently the boy at the deli missed us ;)

Sunday was a mostly veg-out day too, but we decided at the last minute to make a jaunt to the new location of theCalgary Farmer’s Market. We picked up a three cheese rosemary focaccia, a chocolate truffle mousse thingy, and an almond croissant from Yum Bakery, some black truffle salt, and a jar of whole nutmeg from The Silk Road Spice Merchant, and a jar of lobster bisque from Blu Seafood. The bread, Thursday’s cheeses and the bisque is what ended up being dindin for last night.


The bread was excellent, though a bit on the greasy side, be it because of all the cheese or perhaps they had rolled the dough in olive oil prior to putting it into its bread pan and baking, I don’t know. Flavour-wise it was wonderfully fragrant with the rosemary and the amount of cheese sprinkled on top wasn’t so excessive to make it heavy and weighed down. The lobster bisque, I have to admit, I was underwhelmed by. Not necessarily because it couldn’t hold a candle to the bisque at Big Rock, I really enjoy tasting a restaurant’s lobster bisque when it’s available so that’s not the issue. The problem was that it had no lobster flavour and no lobster pieces. It was flavourful, but it tasted more like a creamy tomato soup than anything remotely lobster-like. Kind of a disappointment, but given that it was $6 for a 500ml jar (to which you had to add 1/2 cup of cream when reheating) it would have been an absolutely awesome price for such a decadent soup that I would have been more than thrilled to buy again if only the flavour was there. They also sell it in 1L jars for $12 which would be a great size when having friends over for dindin and not be a break the bank kind of dinner option.

All on all, I guess we did do a fair bit, it just didn’t seem like that much in my head. The Hubbs wished he could take the rest of the summer off with me when we went to bed last night, but otherwise, I think he had a mostly restful week off ^_^

We’re baaaaaaaaaackk….!


Weekends in Canmore are always good for what ails you. Mountain air, mountain water, laid back activities that generally only involve a deck chair and/or hammock, a little bit of old-movie watching and lots of great food.

We went up Saturday as we usually do, but unfortunately for us, hit mega traffic leaving the city and got stuck in it til we were probably halfway to Canmore. It sucked.

We would have actually been able to leave on time and be in Canmore by noon, had I not made the stop at the fish market and Starbucks before leaving the city. I had it stuck in my head the last couple of weeks to buy a nice whole fish to do on the grill.

Now, here’s where my minor rant comes into play: WTF? I thought the purpose of a Fish Market was to sell me fish in any way that I wanted? Why do white guy markets (Yes, I actually said it…) not sell WHOLE fish? Or even SCALED fish for that matter!? o_O;;; Are people really that squeamish that they can’t stand the sight of a whole fish?? I was so sad that the North Sea Fish Market didn’t sell whole fish, nor would they even scale the large wild sockeye salmon fillet that I spent $33 on. Grrrr… that’s kind of the biggest reason for me to consider not doing return business. I mean really… if T&T Market can sell whole fresh fish, gut it and scale it in under five minutes for a customer, just before purchase, why can’t North Sea do the same?


Saturday night we went to Waldhaus at the Banff Springs Hotel for dinner. Again, it was fantastic. A word of warning and apology for the fuzzy pics: they were taken with an iPhone at a weird angle, and mostly not by me.

The Hubbs ordered some pretty nifty things that night. He ordered straight off the menu, and I partook in the Schnitzel Experience which included appies, main and dessert.

To start off dinner, The Hubbs had the rabbit riellete which consisted of a confited rabbit leg with warm brioche toasts, lingonberry preserves and microgreen salad on the side.

Rabbit Riellette

My meal started off with the Berliner Potato Soup which had brioche croutons and crispy fried gruyère cheese flakes and garden herbs.

Berliner Potato Soup

The Hubbs’ choice for entrée was the Brome Lake Duck Breast which was confited, served with rutabaga and a fig-merlot jus and fresh veggies.

Brome Lake Duck

My entree was the Walliser Schnitzel, which was a breaded & pan fried veal escalope topped with some chopped gherkins and melted raclette cheese with a side of veal zurichoise, spaetzle with speck, and veggies. The veal zurichoise was a creamy riesling sauce with chunks of veal, with morel & cremini mushrooms. To be honest, I would have much preferred the sauce to be veal-free with lots of mushrooms. There was just too much meat going when paired with the schnitzel. But the spaetzle… ohhhh the yums!

Walliser Schnitzel

For dessert, I gave The Hubbs my Viennese Apple Strudel that came with a caramel & vanilla sauce and house-made vanilla ice cream.

Viennese Apple Strudel

I was far too stuffed to consider eating anything more that evening. I didn’t even eat most of my dinner that night — the soup I actually gave half to D when I was done eating and my dinner I ended up bringing half it back to the cabin with us for my evening snack.

After dinner, we went for a little stroll to help things digest and then we drove through Banff just to enjoy the beautiful weather we were having before returning to Canmore for the evening.

Sunday Dinner was pretty fantastic and was the meal I was most looking forward to the whole weekend. Like I said, I had been obsessing about having a whole fish to serve and was highly disappointed that I couldn’t. I’m thinking that perhaps from now on, I shall just buy fresh fish from T&T Market, at least there I know I will find what I want and it will be sold to me in the manner that I am expecting to be able to buy.

The wild sockeye salmon fillet I bought was cedar planked. I had the salmon lying on a bed of fennel fronds, seasoned with salt & pepper, topped with sliced onions, thick slices of lemon, dotted generously with garlic butter, and covered with some fresh dill. It was expertly cooked on the BBQ by D until the fish flaked easily and served with tzatziki sauce for those that were interested.

Cedar-planked Salmon

To go with the fish, we also had corn on the cob, french bread with a roasted garlic & parmesan dipping oil, and roasted veggies (zucchini and bell peppers) which I had K season with just some oil, salt, pepper, garlic, onion powder and I think some garlic powder for extra oomph.

Sunday Dinner on the Deck

All around an absolutely wonderful dinner, served with great food and even greater friends.

Cabin weekend

We went to the cabin and spent probably what has been the most fabulously relaxing time, in the forever, in the mountains .

We packed up SAM as soon as The Hubbs got home from work, did a couple of really quick chores around the house and then hit the road to Canmore by 530pm for the hour-long drive to the mountains. Given it was Friday afternoon, I was surprised the roads weren’t busier than they were. Generally there’s a mass exodus of the city happening by about 500pm on any given start to the weekend.

The weather for the weekend was absolutely phenomenal — Friday night, while it appeared to be on the brink of being cold and dreary with oncoming rain, ended up being just perfect for the drive up. In fact, no rain at all even though the skies seemed to threaten with moisture. It turned out more often than not that it was the sun’s rays peaking through the clouds, not oncoming rain. Saturday was absolutely gorgeous from moment we woke up, tons of sun straight through to the evening and Sunday started out just as sunny, but started to rain for about five minutes as we were on the highway headed home.

As to the activities for the weekend, the most important item on our agenda: Relaxation… and food, of course.

Friday night we did our usual for a weekend at the cabin — The Drake Pub. I know that our friends really like the place, as does The Hubbs. Atmosphere-wise, I do too, but menu-wise, I’m still always left feeling unsatisfied. As far as pub food goes, it’s pub food, but for some reason I can never find anything that grabs me & my tastebuds for a ride. I don’t know what it is and we’ve been going to this place for years.

If I remember correctly: I believe The Hubbs had the Drake burger with a caesar salad, D had the Drake burger with fries, K had the chicken(?) fajita and I had the extreme beef dip. Thing is, talking about dinner on our drive up to Canmore, I had said to The Hubbs that I was going to have a big ‘ol salad for dinner, but then upon being presented with their new menu, I saw the beef dip and remembered that I’d been craving one for a long time because The #Ranma! Boys keep talking about beef dips in channel. Once again, I was disappointed with my dinner choice by dinner’s end.

While I do enjoy a good ciabbata, it doesn’t quite fit the needs of a beef dip. The beef was tender enough, but the au jus was rather tasteless. Not even instant bouillon cube-salty, which made for a rather pointless dipping sauce. The size of the sandwich was respectable, but it just didn’t taste like anything to me :( Once again, I regretted my decision and should have just ordered the chicken Cobb salad. Oh well, there will always be next time.*sigh*

Dinner was capped off by a trip to the local grocery store to pick up desserts for later in the evening — German chocolate cake and Haagen Daz ice cream bars. To finish our evening, we spent it lounging around on the couches chatting in front of the cabin’s wood burning stove. I luvs me a good roaring fire. Lung disease, shmung disease, I’m going to enjoy it for all its worth. It felt especially nice having the fire roaring with all the windows and doors open to let out the excess heat and the cool evening breeze blow in the fresh mountain air.

Saturday morning everyone woke up rather late, around 1100am, after having stayed up til 100am talking about stuff and life and things. Breakfast was a bit of an oops on everyone’s part. We failed to realize that there wasn’t much at to eat while we were at the grocery store picking up sweets the night before so we ended up eating pancakes. Pancakes are never a bad thing, I just seem to draw very strange reactions to the way I eat some foods. Pancake topping options consisted of: (butter), strawberry jam and corn syrup. While I do like strawberry jam, I have difficulties eating sugar first thing in the morning unless it’s accompanied by something savoury. So I scrounged around in the fridge to see what else there was I could eat with my pancakes and ended up with… ranch dressing. It was actually pretty tasty, to be honest. When you slather the pancake in butter (okay, really, it was Imperial margarine) and then dip each piece of your pancake into ranch dressing, it’s not too shabby. Paired with a glass of almond breeze, it made for a pretty satisfying breakfast. My last two bites of pancake I had a little bit of strawberry jam and it made for the perfect mini dessert ending to a really filling breakfast.

I have to say, I need to change my opinion of instant pancakes… and I also need to find out what brand of pancake mix D & K have up at the cabin. Those instant pancakes are decent and I would actually say pretty darn tasty! They’re fluffy, moist and don’t suck every speck of moisture out of your mouth upon consumption. And from what I recall, the mix also makes decent waffles, too. I think, if I remember correctly, the mix came from Costco, so that shouldn’t be too hard to find. The Aunt Jemima stuff is just nasty. Blech.

With our extremely leisurely breakfast out of the way (about three hours) the boys decided to head out for a little hike. The amazing thing about the cabin is that it sits at the foot of a mountain. Literally. You walk out the door and the base of the mountain is right there in front of you. You don’t have to drive 20 minutes to the nearest parking lot. You open the door and just head straight up the path. The Hubbs & D took a whole bunch of gorgeous pictures for me since I’m unable to do any strenuous walking, let alone climbing around loose rock and shrubbery but I don’t have any of the pics on Tiny Bubbles. I’ll see if I can get The Hubbs to send me some and post them later.

When the boys finally got back from their two hour hike (all sweaty and gross-like), showers were in order and then we headed out for dinner again. A few weeks back D & I had a discussion about what we were going to be doing for food at the cabin. We had it all planned out a few weeks ago that I was going to be bringing up some marinated korean short ribs to make kalbi and we’d have him do the BBQ’ing of the meat, then we’d have awesome lettuce wraps with all sorts of yummy fillings for dindin. Unfortunately with my kidney infection fiasco, that plan fell through. I hadn’t been up to going grocery shopping at all last week to pick up the ingredients and so we’ve put that plan on the back burner for another time — perhaps when the boys do their boy-day-thing.

Generally speaking, we try to stay in and eat. Canmore, like Banff, is a touristy place and so eating out is not cheap. Pub food is usually affordable and satisfying, with little chance of disappointment. I’m obviously the exception to the rule. But once you get into actual “restaurant” eating territory, it’s mind-bogglingly expensive, so we tend to try and avoid it. If we do go out for the “restaurant experience”, there’s usually a few months warning and some advance financial planning involved, so to speak.

The original plan after the boys were done the hike was that we’d pop into town and hit up the grocery store again, but they were both so hungry that we chose, instead, to try a new restaurant. It would seem that Canmore has grown incredibly busy in the last few years and given that it was a gorgeous Saturday evening with full-on sun and it being peak dinner hour, the first stop we had made fell through. It was a bit of an awkward and annoying experience. Standing in line waiting for what we assumed was to be the next available table only to not be told by the hostess that unless we had a reservation, there was a twenty to forty five minute wait. We were only told there was no table by the guy that replaced her. She had been standing at the kiosk and didn’t say boo. So we left, having wasted fifteen minutes just standing around.

At that point, I made the decision to stop in at whatever looked interesting… a bit of a mistake on my part to have worded things that way. We ended up at Murrieta’s WestCoast Grill. I must say that I am constantly surprised at how expensive it can be to eat out… it’s just mind boggling some days.

To start with, The Hubbs & I shared the whole roasted garlic appetizer. Given how easy it is to make this at home, I’m amazed at how much money restaurants can charge for it. The whole bulb came on a plate with three petite slices of bread and two small chunks of gorgonzola and a sprig of rosemary stabbed into it for garnish. The proportions seemed rather strange to me, three slices of bread with two chunks of cheese? Bizzarre. D & K shared the tempura prawns with caramelized sake glaze and apricot miso reduction.

For mains, I had the 12oz. Ribeye which came with daily veg of roasted new potatoes, zucchini, carrot and baby bok choy. Because I couldn’t have any of their suggested sauces (all of them started out with a red wine reduction), I ordered it with a blue cheese crust. The biggest disappointment of my meal was that the steak was way overdone for my liking, my medium rare was not even remotely so, it was more like well done with the faintest hint of pink. The Hubbs ordered the Oriental Duck Breast with sesame honey sauce and confit duck spring rolls, which also came with the daily veg, but his potatoes were garlic mashed. He was absolutely amazed by the whole dish and loved every mouthful. D ordered the Lamb Meatball Spaghetti with roasted garlic tomato sauce and I believe K had the Fettuccini Bolognese.

Portions were quite generous, compared to what my expectations were when looking at menu prices. I might also add that they do an excellent virgin Caesar. Much better than a lot of places that comes with a pickled green bean(!) and a wedge of lemon or lime. Given I had two caesars that night, I had one of each and was pleased with both. I didn’t realize that I liked the citrus in my caesars.

Rolling ourselves back to the car, we made that important pitstop at the grocery store to pick up Sunday breakfast ingredients. We spent the early part of the evening enjoying the last of the sun’s warmth for the day with some quality deck time and then the rest of the evening was once again spent on the couch with the roaring fire and a good run of an old James Bond flick Live and Let Die.

Sunday mornings are awesome. Sunday mornings are especially awesome when there’s bacon and eggs and friends involved. Our Sunday morning was the bacon & egg extravaganza. It was kind of funny, we’ve now established that D & I are complete opposites when it comes to eggs & bacon. He likes his eggs completely cooked through with the yolks rock hard and his bacon shatteringly crisp upon impact, also called “petrified” by K. Whereas I like my eggs to have the whites set and the yolks slimy, with my bacon rather anaemic & squishy. The bacon part tends to disturb a lot of people. I should make mention that I do enjoy the perfect slice of bacon where it’s uniformly golden browned and texture is chewy with the odd bit here and there barely crisp. But for the most part, yea, I shamefully admit that I prefer my bacon anaemic and squidgey.

Speaking of bacon, while D & K were on holidays, they found me the most hilarious gift. This is the gift I was talking about last week about feeling loved. They brought back for me a tin of Uncle Oinker’s Savoury Bacon Mints. They are surprisingly tasty and super smokey, bacony flavoured with a hint of mint. Strange combination, but it’s actually a decent product given it’s bacon flavoured. In fact, I would say it’s even tastier than the famed Bacon Salt.

Before heading back home, we made a quick pitstop in town at O Canada Soapworks so I could replenish my stash of skin silks. They’ve come up with some new scents since I’d been there back in January, but I stuck with my oatmeal milk & honey bars and picked up for The Hubbs an aftershave bar to see if that makes his skin feel better.

The weekend was fantastic and it was so wonderful getting away to the fresh air and spending some much needed quality time with friends. It seems like we can’t get enough of it and we’re so incredibly lucky to have such generous friends to be able to do this with.

Long Day was Long… and fun!

Yesterday was great, up until the drive back between Field, B.C. & Lake Louise, Alberta that is — my butt started rebelling against being in the car for so long.

Highway between Field, B.C. & Golden, B.C.

I have lots and lots of pics and my appologies to everyone, I’m too lazy to put a lot of this stuff under the cut, some of the pics are too neat to hide.

Golden, B.C. — I had to take the pic, I’m sorry.

For some reason, without fail, I always manage to forget stuff.

Rogers Pass Interpretive Centre

Yesterday’s weather was pretty nice for driving, but not so much for being roadtrip-y to stop off at places, hop out of the car and wander. It was freaking cold out from Lake Louise out to B.C. Wearing shorts and a tank + a hoodie is NOT enough clothing for 13C + wind & drizzle, even if I did have a rain shell in the car.

Freezing my butt off at Rogers Pass (wearing proper clothing thanks to Lake Louise)

We ended up spending too much money at Lake Louise for a new fleece (me), a Buff headthingy (me), new jacket (The Hubbs) + nice shirt (The Hubbs). The last two items weren’t actually needed, The Hubbs just happens to really, really, really, really, REALLY likes Columbia-wear. The headband thingy wasn’t really needed either, but I’m getting tired of the ugly bandanas and this thing will apparently wick away sweat because it’s made of microfiber so that’s what I’m hoping for… plus it can be worn 12 different ways (which amused me, greatly).

The new fleece in its upper body-encompassing glory at Hemlock Grove

This is what happens when The Hubbs insists of having me shooed out of the house before I have adequate time to think things through and pack things up. I forget stuff.. LOTS of stuff. I made 3 rolls of california rolls to take for snackums! I forgot how awesome homemade cali rolls were. I hate that all restaurants (and grocery stores) make them inside out with the rice on the outside with sesame seeds. Blech. Having the seaweed on the outside just makes it taste so much better. I get the super-important stuff like meds and snacks, but the “what if” stuff I totally forget.

Homeward Bound from Rogers Pass, B.C.

We got as far as a little point of interest not too far away from Rogers Pass, B.C. called Hemlock Grove Boardwalk Trail, it was so cool! It’s a 400m boardwalk inside a rather awesome little hideaway with super old-growth stand of Western Hemlock trees. I even did it without the stick! Woo! Not that 400m is particularly long, but we were a little concerned given the altitude (~1330m) that my lungs might poop out. I think the cold + humidity actually made it slightly easier to breathe.

Heading homewards, I think we finally got back to Banff at about 700pm. We had dindin at The Bison, which was nice enough, but I have to say I was kind of disappointed that their menu has changed so much considering their online menus haven’t even been updated to reflect the significant changes.

Homeward Bound

Current menu is one double-page spread of all locally and regionally sourced ingredients. They’re getting into ~that~ sort of thing. We enjoyed dinner, but I was just bummed about not seeing anything left of the old menu or the fact a good portion of the items on the new menu I couldn’t have because of wine reductions or whatever. Oh, wait, there was something that hadn’t changed: the bread basket with the accompanying frozen pat of butter, topped with coarse sea salt and extra virgin canola oil :P That hadn’t changed.

The Hubbs had wild salmon with a rather strange risotto. It may have been barley, but it definitely wasn’t rice. I had the hand-torn pasta with asparagus, pine nuts, peas, mushrooms and goat cheese. Tasty enough, but their old tagliatelle with wild mushrooms and chevre was so much tastier. No more duck carpaccio, no more fondue frites, no more lamb(!) on the menu, even.

Chocolate Tart @ The Bison

For dessert, The Hubbs had the booziest of boozy chocolate tarts (basically a flourless chocolate cake with a crazy-boozed up chocolate mousse on top with Chambord jelly on the side) and I had a vanilla smore with homemade marshmallow atop a freakingly huge cakie chocolate brownie with some macerated strawberries.

Vanilla S’More @ The Bison

Random stuff.

The Hubbs has been on holidays for a week now and has one more week left. We’ve done a whole bunch of stuff and I’ve got thoughts going on but it’s all random.

Last weekend we took a trip to the mountains with The Hubbs’ Brother & Brit-SIL to show them a few places they could drive around to in the fall with Brit-SIL’s sister and her hubby come back for a visit. It would seem that they are not the adventurous type — outdoor activity types, yes. But not fly by the seat of their pants and see where they end up types. It was really nice to be able to spend some time with them. Last Saturday was pretty much an all day trip in the mountains and then Sunday evening we went over for a BBQ. It was nice. I have pics. I have plans at some point of uploading them and perhaps posting a few. There’s even a DECENT photo of me that I actually like! I’m just feeling incredibly lazy.

During The Hubbs’ time off we’ve revisited the “stay at home and try new restaurants” holiday. We did that a few years back and it was kind of fun. A lot of the places we’ve been checking out have actually fallen in the cheap eats category, which I find rather amusing. Last year, I picked up a copy of My Favourite Cheap Eats and we’d only tried a few places here and there out of the book — a sushi place by the NW cemetary, the bakery in Lake Louise, a fish and chip shop — but not much more than that. So for whatever reason, last Monday kicked off me flipping through the book while we’re in the car, where the poor thing has resided for the last year feeling rather useless I’m sure, and us trying out a few more places that we wouldn’t normally visit.

Not all our forays have been found in said little black book, but a few have. In no particular order:


On Friday, on our way to my echo, we were listening to the Calgary Eyeopener on CBC Radio.

I wasn’t paying all that much attention but at some point they were doing a segment on country drives in Alberta and how this long weekend is a big one because there are a bunch of local farms, between Calgary & Red Deer that have come together to create a website called and are hosting (so to speak) a Summertime Country Drive to “explore the country to discover rural attractions, events, history, markets and local cuisine.”

Anyhow, we’ve been unsure in the past as to where to go when we want to just “go for a drive” and this website is perfect, not to mention the fact that a lot of the final destinations involve food — mainly in the form of U-pick farms. Yum.

Anyhow, there was a little banner that I noticed on the main page for Glenn’s Family Restaurant in Red Deer that’s only an hour and a half away from home, door to door, according to googlemaps. They serve tea with tasties and of course everyday family restaurant fare. (I spied a breaded liver dish!!)

I’m thinking that it would be nice to check it out today since The Hubbs has taken his remaining summer holidays this week and most people will be entering the city and heading home from long weekend activities, as opposed to exiting the city. Maybe Mom & Dad’ll even be interested, though somehow I doubt it… at least on Mom’s part. Dad would enjoy the opportunity for a drive to somewhere different — though it may not be terribly interesting or overly scenic.

It’s either that or we hit up Planet Organic so I can go pick up some ‘weird & kinky’ stuff. Kasha, anyone?