August 21, 2010

{apple cinnamon pancakes}

This drizzly day called for a comfort-food breakfast and this treat was just the ticket. Unfortunately we ate them all before I thought to snap a picture of the actual pancakes...

Apple Cinnamon Pancakes
Dry Ingredients:
1 C flour (I use 1/2 white and 1/2 Nutri-flour)
dash of salt, cinnamon and nutmeg
1/2 Tablespoon baking powder
1 Tb sugar (I use brown)

Wet Ingredients:
2 egg yolks (whip the whites in a separate bowl until peaks form, you'll add these in later)
3/4 C milk
2 Tablespoons melted butter (I use veg oil)
2 Tablespoons applesauce

Mix dry and wet ingredients separately, then make a well in the dry and add the wet, stirring to combine. Fold in the whipped egg whites until just combined. Ladel into your trusty skillet and you are on your way! I love to serve these with apples, nectarines (or peaches) and of course a drizzle of maple syrup. Enjoy :)

August 13, 2010

a peek at Year One celebrations {Part 3}

Out of the Badlands and into the Rockies...
How I love these mountains... they have been a part of my childhood as each summer brought weeks of adventuring and camping, discovering lakes and clear streams, hiking and canoeing. Now I am happy to return for many of the same adventures, this time with my dear husband. It was Neal's first time in Banff and I was eagerly anticipating sharing this...
and this...
Our first stop was at a swanky hotel to celebrate our Year One! A splurge for sure but so worth it. We had a loft suite with floor to ceiling windows and a panoramic mountain view, not to mention the hotel 'pool' was fed by a natural underground hot-spring and was made to look like a cave - how cool is that?
The remainder of the week was spent tenting at Two Jack lakeside - here is the view from our tent door (oh to wake up to this every day!)
We spent an afternoon traipsing around the Banff Springs Hotel, which is really more of a grand museum/ castle and well worth an afternoon of poking about! One humorous anecdote to share... Neal was taking pics of yours truly beside the flower baskets out on the back patio of the hotel, kneeling down (to get the 'right' angle of course) when he slightly lost balance. With his 6'6 frame tipping back on it's heels, he put his hand out on what seemed to be a sturdy iron bench. Seemed to be, but truly was not and it toppled over with Neal beside it, making a grand, ringing (due to it's hollow nature) smash! on the fancy patio... and everyone outside turned their heads our way... One nice couple near us chuckled and asked if Neal was ok, and of course he was. We still chuckle about it...
We spent afternoons lunching in parks beside turquoise rivers, and touring wildlife museums and gardens. My favorite hike (and consequently the longest at 11.4 km's) was Johnston Canyon and the wilderness hike to the Inkpots, which are little pools of ground-spring water where you can actually see the water bubbling up out the ground. 
We were thankful for cloud-cover on the way up and noticed we could be in for quite the thundershower should we choose to rest in the meadow we had hiked 3 hrs to get to! So it was a quick lunch for us and back to the cover of the pines... but not before I stuck my hand in the crisp, cool rushing water of the stream that fed the falls,
and bid the ink-pots goodbye,
Simply a beautiful place to celebrate our first year together. Here's to many more my love!

August 4, 2010

a peek at Year One celebrations {Part 2}

After our stop at The Farm we were on our way to the land of the dinosaurs. Luckily we scored a shaded tenting campsite close to town as it was hot, perfect vacay weather! One evening, while on a romantic stroll through the tree-shade, we happened upon a small family run Greek restaurant. Curiosity led us there for dinner the next evening and wow what amazing food! Flavor like nothing else and a very Greek atmosphere inside. Complete with a daughter working the restaurant (like Big Fat Greek Wedding) hehe. We spent a day hiking the Hoo Doo's and then the next eveing at the Royal Tyrell Museum wandering through displays (I heart museums)! We did balance all the evolutionary babble with a visit to the Creation Museum in Big Valley, a tiny little museum but very well put together with really neat scientific evidence for creation!

hiking the Badlands
next up... the Rocky Mountians...

August 2, 2010

Happy Year One

I would say 'yes' again in a heartbeat...

A peek at Year One celebrations {Part One}

We have just returned from a fabulous week of celebrating, posh hotel-ing and rocky mountain camping. How lucky are we to live in a province with so much diversity that you can go from farmland to hot desert-like surroundings to rocky mountains and rolling foothills all in a couple hours... 

Our journey began with a visit to The Farm (I could live in my mom's flower and vegetable gardens at this time of year!), then down to the land of the dinosaurs and across to rocky mountains. We explored Hoo Doo's, hiked around the Badlands, took ever so many pics of postcard-perfect mountain views, sat by rushing falls and echo-ing canyons, and just revelled in the beautiful, inspiring creation of our magnificent God. 

It was truly a time of refreshing! And it may be a week-long journey of instalments to justly chronicle the adventures...

We begin at what I affectionately term The Farm, my family's home where I spent some of the best times of teen-hood. A parcel of wooded, rolling 40 acres with 2 cleared fields for hay. The home of the most wonderful flower and vegetable gardens ever! There is a vegetable garden at the end of the house, a warm sunny spot that yields huge tomatoes, pumpkins, patty-pan squash, peppers, cucumber and row upon row of carrots. In the center of the backyard is a massive clover-leaf shaped perennial bed lined with field rocks and chock full of bright colourful and interesting eye candy! Another lower garden is in the shade of pines and poplar by the cool of the pond, complete with a willow arch, garden gate and deer fence (which doesn't always keep them from taking a nibble now and then!)

I happily wandered with camera in hand, snapping many close-up flower views thinking I was using the macro function when the dial was actually on 'backlight'... Despite the 'oops' I think they turned out rather well...

english tea roses
Some of my favorite shade plants are hostas, there are so many varieties and the colours are so interesting. I love the big leafy-ness and elegance!
pink peony poppy
snow white lily

And I will sign off the beginning of our Year One celebratory adventure with my personal favorite, bright orange California poppies and violets,