No recipe needed

15 10 2012

On this wet, wild, and windy fall day, I decided to embark on a grand adventure; do something that I had never done before: make applesauce!

We had a laundry basket full of apples from the trees in our backyard  and we already had several bags of sliced apples for crisp and pie over the Christmas season. I only recently discovered that applesauce is actually a very tasty snack and I’ve been craving some. Our family has never eaten applesauce as we were rather picky as children.

apples and slicer

Apples for crisp and pie and all things tasty throughout the winter

However, I have now matured and grown up (at least I like to think I have) enough to truly enjoy some of the better things in life… like applesauce. And so, with no idea what we were doing, my mother and I set out to make it.

I found it rather amusing how many recipes there are available online for making applesauce. We didn’t use any of them but rather used our own brains and some suggestions from friends. Most of the recipes will point out the obvious: making applesauce is EASY.

So why the recipe? That was my question. I think if you are going to make homemade applesauce, make it your way. Experiment! Have fun!

And so chop chop when our knives slicing in unison and into the stockpot went the apples with a little water.

All it takes is a large pot and a stir stick!

Almost overflowing, we let it come to a boil and then left it simmering while we sliced even more apples for freezing.

After we had a sufficiently mushy, delightfully smelling sludge, we spooned the contents of the pot into a strainer and soon had about 32 cups of warm tart apple goop.

Not the most attractive looking dish but our applesauce turned out delicious!

Out came the brown sugar and cinnamon and with much taste-testing and laughter, we concocted the most delicious yet simple blend of flavourful applesauce that I have ever tasted.

As all the other recipes and bloggers say, it really is that easy.

I think we could benefit from taking this approach to more things in life. I know I can become so obsessed with perfection, precision and recipe-following that life becomes more stressful than enjoyable. I think I make things out to be more complicated and important than they are. Most are more like applesauce, a simple blend of fun and experimentation and really, in the end, its just a tasty treat to eat, not a seven course meal meant for the president, so why the stress?

Catch the spirit of adventure! What will you add to your applesauce?

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Warning: Cereal Killer

13 10 2012

You know the world is becoming a dangerous place when you can’t safely eat your cereal.

@GlobalBC tweeted this morning about Kellogg’s recall of a variety of their Mini Wheat products. Apparently the popular breakfast cereal could contain metal fragments.

Recalls seem to be trending after the massive recall of Alberta’s XL Foods beef. Now the mini wheats and these quickly followed by some Fresh Express brand romaine salads also tweeted by @GlobalBC. Officials fear salmonella contamination.

The mention of Kellogg’s cereal brings me back to the days when Mini Wheatswere a staple in our house. Every morning before school, I filled my bowl with milk and dry cereal. From Rice Krispies, to Cheerios to Mini Wheats, as a kid, it was a normal and pleasant way to start the day.

Cereal

No one would expect anything dangerous in their morning meal. Cereal is a staple for many households and recent recalls are a surprise for all.

Nowadays, I don’t even have time for that simple meal. I am rushing around, always on a tight schedule and surely not doing myself any favours where health is concerned. Up early, up late and practically running through the different events of my day in between.

Don’t even have time to read the news…hence regulated to reading tweets about it.

Sometimes I long for the slow-paced easy days of my childhood when my biggest concern was my older brother eating all the Mini Wheats before I could get any. But then again, after the recent recalls, maybe I’ll just stick with Cheerios.





Can a turkey tweet?

6 10 2012

Thanksgiving is here (for those of us in Canada) and of course the social media is all a-twitter. Yes indeed Twitter is a great source of all sorts of Thanksgiving news. More than just good wishes for the holiday, there are tweets about traffic, health stories, recipes and advertisements. I’ve collected a few here to get you in the spirit of the holiday… if you haven’t yet joined the crowd.

Thanksgiving food safety

Ottawa Health tweeted to warn about the dangers of feasting on undercooked meats. Their article gives some quick facts and then tips for making sure that your delicious meal is safe for everyone to consume.

Recipes

The Vega Team gave a link to a whole selection of vegan thanksgiving recipes on Pinterest. This pumpkin cheesecake caught my eye!

Pumpkin cheesecake pinned by Sarah Dougherty has that characteristic Thanksgiving appeal

Pumpkin not your thing? Style at Home suggests a classic apple pie in their tweet.

 

Putting the “giving” in Thanksgiving

The Union Gospel Mission reminds everyone to build community and contribute to those in need this season. UGM is an urban relief center serving Thanksgiving dinners to hundreds this season.

The Salvation Army also gives people some ideas of how to reach out this weekend. In some ways, giving is a true sign of being thankful.

And the “thanks”

And of course, the heartwarming #thingsIamthankfulfor. Truly, it is a delight to read through these posts and realize how truly blessed we are to live in this country.

So what are you thankful for this year?  If you need some help, check out Twitter as just one way to be reminded of all the blessings you have.





Top five drinks for fall

30 09 2012

Autumn officially arrived on the 22nd of this month but it is only just starting to really feel like it’s here. Along with the clouds, changing colours, and cooler temperatures fall re-ignites a craving for hot drinks! Whether you frequent the local Starbucks, a quaint quiet cafe, or you prefer a homemade beverage, with the change of season comes a change in drink preferences.

As the colours change and temperatures drop, everyone is eager for a warm cup of their favourite beverage

I have my own list of the best hot beverages for fall and where I like to get them; perhaps you have similar favourites or maybe my list will inspire you to try something new.

1. Chai Tea Latte. Where to get it: City Blends, Mission. This is by far my favourite drink right now. City Blends makes this classic drink something special that will keep you coming back. This exciting blend of sweet spices tickles your noise and dances across your tongue. Each taste is a delight.

2. London Fog. Where to get it: House of James Coffeeshop, Abbotsford. London fog equals comfort in my mind. I personally enjoy House of James because they don’t water down the beverage to much and its always thick and creamy with a perfect hint of vanilla.

Starbucks is a common place for people to warm up during the fall season

3. Double Caramel Macchiato. Where to get it: Starbucks. Whenever I need a good caffeine fix with a shot of sweetness swirled in, this drink is my pick. And of course you never have to go far to find a convenient Starbucks location.

4. Hazelnut Mocha. I don’t have a preference on where to get this drink. I like mixing it up on my own and adding sprinkles to spice it up. You can never go wrong with a perfect blending of hazelnut, chocolate and coffee!

5. Pumpkin Spice Latte. Where to get it: Starbucks. Now, the pumpkin spice latte isn’t actually one of my favourite drinks but I have to put it on the list because it is definitely a crowd favourite. Just a quick search on Twitter will reveal how much of following this drink has. For many, fall = pumpkin spice.

Twitter proves that people love the pumpkin spice latte in the fall.

What are your favourite drinks for the season?