Homemade Chocolate Bars for the Holiday Season

It seems like only yesterday I was roasting a Tofurkey for Canadian Thanksgiving, eating squash, and getting all knee deep in pumpkin and everything spiced. That time has passed, and I'm now onto bigger and better things like chocolate, eggnog, gingerbread houses, and Santa. amiright?

Last Saturday we went to Brent's holiday work party. The theme was Mad Men (yay!!!), which is perfect because I always wanted to attend a Mad Men themed party, and although I have very little desire to have lived during the 60's, I was very very excited to dress the part for a night. After searching many dayss for a period-themed dress, I found this $450 dress for $60 at the Goodwill down the street. I found a few additional pieces - some chunky pearls, a gold purse, styled my hair in a big up-do, and finished off the look with some red lipstick. I tried as hard as possible to be in full character, obvs. leading to me drinking way too much champagne. When the party was over, despite my state, I did manage to leave with coat and purse in tow, which in my opinion, the biggest success of the evening.

How to Make the Perfect Gin and Tonic

Up until a few weeks ago, I'd been drinking gin with shitty ass tonic. There, I said it. And it's not like I've been sticking to the same tonic either. I've experimented with various varieties - fancy expensive bottles, with impressive fonts, classy names. The ones that scream 'oh hey pretty' from the shelf, cost an arm and a leg, and make at best, 2 drinks. If I spent that kind of money on tonic water, I'd be broke. So, I resort to drinking the crappy tonic from the QFC. The kind of tonic that burns your throat and puts hair on your chest. This means that I have to doctor up my drink with a bunch of lime wedges, the occasional cucumber slice, and some real good gin, hoping to mask the strong quinine flavor.

Sage Roasted Cauliflower and Chickpea Pasta

All of the deciduous tress that have set their foundation into the lines of our property many moons ago, have once again lost all their leaves in preparation for another winter. The seasonal ritual of changing color, drying up, and falling has finally come to an end, and it makes me a little sad that I am no longer needed outside. My garden is slowly going into hibernation, and I have to force myself to leave the house once and a while, so I will not also fall into the same fate. Last month I purchased a leaf blower to keep up with the autumnal demands. It's another purchase that solidifies my responsibility as a homeowner. I've been trying to come to terms lately with the responsibilities that come along with owning a house. Dealing with my fears of being an adult, and all the things associated with that. Entering this new stage in my life, I feel overjoyed that we have a place to call home, somewhere to make memories, space, a yard etc, but I worry that we will fall into the house 'trap' where all free time and money go directly into it, leaving less time for the things that we enjoy most - travel. Brent and I have talked a lot lately about refocusing our energy and time. Spending less time working on the house, and more time getting out there and doing things. This weekend, instead of spending it renovating the bathroom, we are taking a much needed trip to a spa in the Columbia Valley - Skamania. I have been busy planning a few small trips this winter, and just the process in itself seems to be working at lifting my spirits. I'm trying to do as much as possible to rid myself of this funky feeling I have been experiencing for awhile, and all the small steps are really helping.

Light and Fluffy Waffles with Chantilly Cream and Maple Pecans

Growing up, we were a pancake and french toast family. My dad would make the french toast, I would make the pancakes. I remember the day I realized that pancake batter could be made from scratch, and that Aunt Jemima pancake mix was simply, flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder - it was a major revelation. I also remember the day I transitioned from Aunt Jemima corn syrup to maple syrup, and I kid you not, it was only like 10 years ago. I really really loved pancakes, but felt lukewarm towards french toast. I would have happily traded it in for waffles, but to be honest, I thought that waffles came either frozen in a box or served with vanilla ice cream in sandwich form, at the fair. Really, if someone had of bought me a waffle maker when I was young, I probably could have mastered the art of waffles by now.

A Local's Guide to all the best Eats in Pike Place Market

This month, I am partnering with Expedia and their Viewfinder Travel site, to share my favorite spots to eat and drink at Pike Place Market, here in Seattle WA. I immediately jumped on this opportunity, because it is one of my favorite food destinations in the city, and if you ask me to eat, talk about what I'm eating, and then eat some more, I could do it for hours. But in order to keep this post to a reasonable size and not overwhelm you with too many options, I am going to talk about my absolute favorites and must tries. I will share my favorite quick bites, sit down restaurants, sweets, drinks, and special treats to take back home. I can assure you that I have eaten at the market more times that I can count on all of my fingers and toes, so if you don't see a restaurant in my list that you've heard is just absolutely amazing, chances are it is 1) very meaty 2) chowder-centric 3) plain Jane, and because I am a pescetarian, who doesn't particularly like creamy chowder and who has a high bar for delicious eats, this list is reserved for places that appeal to my particular tastes. But chances are, if you are are here, and follow my blog, we probably have the same tastes: particularly for all things cake, chocolate, and taco, so I'm quite certain that you will also enjoy my list as well!