Saturday, November 17, 2018

Currently Drinking #1

I posted a tea haul from The Tea Haus a while back, and we've started trying some of the teas. I thought this would be a good way to document our thoughts on which teas we enjoyed and would repurchase.



First up is Angel's Dream. This tea was recommended to me last year by Crystal as it's one of her favourites, and I immediately put it on my list to purchase. This tea is a blend of Sri Lankan, Assam, and Chinese green and black teas; cornflower and mallow petals; and natural maple and wild blackberry flavours. You can really smell the maple and blackberry notes (it also smells a bit like anise to me, but pleasantly so). I first drank this black with no sugar, and it was very aromatic with just a hint of sweetness. Crystal recommended that I try it with milk and honey, which brought out the flavours even more. It tasted like a decadent treat, and I would definitely repurchase this.


Hubby and I both loved the Milk Oolong from David's Tea, so I decided to pick up 200 grams of the Creamy Oolong from the Tea Haus. The website describes this tea as follows: "A premium Oolong from China and the successor of our Milk Oolong. This Oolong has a smooth, creamy flavour almost vanilla like. Remember to make multiple infusions as oolongs tend to improve in flavour and body in latter infusions." This is one of hubby's favourites--he frequently requests this if I ask him what after-dinner tea he would like. I really enjoy it too and would repurchase it.


The last tea we've tried recently is the Se Chung Oolong. The Tea Haus describes this tea as follows: "Se Chung is a speciality Chinese Oolong with a slightly earthy aroma and delicious aromatic taste." One of the reviewers described this as the best tea she's ever drank, so of course I was intrigued. I've only tried it once so far, and it is indeed very nice, but I'm not sure I would repurchase it. I'll try it a few more times before deciding.


Have you tried any delicious teas recently?

Friday, November 16, 2018

Dear Future Me

The future is a funny thing. There is so much uncertainty, and it can cause so much anxiety. But once you learn to trust yourself, to surround yourself with people you love, and to be fully present, the anxiety starts to fade away. The uncertainty becomes much more bearable, exciting even, because you appreciate each moment as it happens, and the people around you just as they are.

My dear friend and I got together today for a long chat, and we took the opportunity to write another letter to our future selves. We wrote our first letter at Grail Springs last August, and we decided to open that letter in August 2019. We decided to open today's letter in five years, in November 2023, to allow some more time for our current selves to develop into our future selves. Who will we be in 5 years? What will we be like? What will we be doing?

The funny thing about the future is that it will always be mysterious and unknown, no matter how much you think about it. I tend to overanalyse but I'm trying to trust my gut more, and I think it's working as I no longer stress out about making decisions. I'm excited to see what happens in five years, but that certainly won't distract me from enjoying each day until I get there.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Beef and Turkey Sliders

Sliders have been on my mind since yesterday, and they are in my belly today! I made seven mini burgers for dinner this evening. I used a combination of ground beef and ground turkey--ground turkey is my favourite way to lighten up a dish. I use that in place of ground beef in pretty much all my recipes, with the exception of burgers, where I like to maintain the ground beef flavour. I used to use a 4:1 ratio of beef to turkey, but today I used 1:1 ratio and the burgers still tasted rich and meaty. I'm not a fan of adding filler like bread crumbs, but I got the idea to use hemp hearts some time ago, and the result was tasty and nourishing. I have a package of wheat bran I'm trying to use up, so today I used a combination of hemp hearts and wheat bran. These burgers were tiny but tall and surprisingly hearty. The sliders were super delicious, and I plan to make them again in a day or two. I've included my recipe below as a rough guideline, but if you decide to make these, please feel free to tweak the recipe to suit your tastes!


INGREDIENTS

• 1 lb ground meat (today I used ½ ground beef and ½ ground turkey)
• 5 tbsp hemp hearts (today I used 3 tbsp hemp hearts and 2 tbsp wheat bran)
• 2 eggs
• Seasonings to taste (you can use whatever you like--today I used salt, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, white pepper, and cumin)
• Splash of red or white wine (optional--today I used a splash of dry vermouth)
• Grated cheese (optional)
• Oil (for cooking)
• Buns (today I used Dempsters Pull-Aparts)
• Condiments and toppings to taste (today I used spicy ketchup and pickled hot peppers)

METHOD

1. Put meat, hemp hearts, eggs, seasonings, and wine into a bowl and combine thoroughly (I use my hands).
2. Separate into 5 equal patties (or 7-8 for mini burgers).
3. Heat oil in a large pan or cast iron skillet.
4. Cook patties over medium heat until cooked through (approximately 5 minutes on each side).
5. Transfer patties to a plate and pile grated cheese on top.
6. Place patty on a bun and add desired condiments and toppings.

Serves 2 generously.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Mercedes Launch Party

In one of my recent vlogs, I mentioned that hubby has been signing us up for lots of free events. I used to sign us up for stuff too, but hubby was never keen on going, so I stopped. Things are different now because his colleague tells him about these events, with a strong emphasis on the free drinks and food. And since hubby signs us up, he doesn't complain, which is a win-win in my book. Tonight, we went to a Mercedes launch party at REBEL, which featured the new 2019 A-Class Sedan and 2019 A-Class Hatchback. It was so crowded that we could barely see the cars, but we had lots of fun chasing the cater waiters! Since I'm on the eat-at-home challenge, hubby ate my share. His stomach was bursting by the end, and I was drowning in my tears. The sliders in particular looked and smelled incredibly delicious. Guess what I'm making for dinner tomorrow night. That's right, burgers.



Tuesday, November 13, 2018

ProFusion Expo 2018

Hubby signed me up to go to ProFusion, which is an expo for people interested in photography and videography. He actually signed us both up to go, but the expo is happening during the day, and he has to work. Even though he couldn't make it, he asked me around four or five times over the past two days if I was planning to go. I wasn't sure yet, but he seemed so eager for me to check it out that I looked at the list of presentations and found a couple I was interested in. The first presentation I attended was at the main stage. Jessica Kobeissi is a YouTuber and photographer. She gave a talk that was essentially about perseverance and not giving up on your creative dreams. Her channel looks like it's full of content I would love so I can't wait to watch some of her videos.


The second presentation was at the Canon booth. Jesse Driftwood is a videographer, who changed the trajectory of his career when he mastered the art of storytelling on Instagram using a vertical format. He was full of energy and stressed the importance of honing your craft while doing work that excites you. Both presentations were incredibly relevant and inspiring. I also liked that both speakers echo something that I fundamentally believe: that creators will feel the drive to create regardless of gear. This blog post kind of parallels that concept, as I only took photos using hubby's hand-me-down iPod. The photos were really crappy, but black-and-white makes them better, so here they are anyway.


If you are interested in checking out the ProFusion Expo 2018, it is happening for one more day (Wed Nov 14 from 10am to 5pm). Both Jessica and Jesse are speaking again, and their presentations are worth watching. Tickets are free and available here.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Coconut Flour Chocolate Chunk Bars

When my sister and I were in Ottawa, we ate some yummy coconut bars from the hotel lounge, so naturally I wanted to make some when I got home. I found a recipe online, but it called for so much butter, sugar, and condensed milk that I quickly decided to look for something else. I've been wanting to try another recipe using coconut flour, and I stumbled across this one, which looked fantastic. I had all the ingredients on-hand, and the reviews were mostly positive, so I decided to go for it. I followed the recipe almost exactly (except I omitted the vanilla extract, only added 2 ounces of dark chocolate since that's all I had, used a loaf pan, and increased the baking time to 25 minutes), and the result was delicious. While my bars aren't as pretty, I can attest to them being incredibly moist, flavourful, and filling. The texture is cake-like and a bit crumbly, but the sweet treats still have a really nice mouthfeel. Hubby and I both loved the result--we ended up eating half the pan! Nom nom nom.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Home Sweet Home

Super exhausted after a whirlwind adventure in Ottawa, but it's good to be home!

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