Quebec Travels – Fun Times!

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There was a guy like this who captured exactly how I feel when I’m skiing. No pictures allowed unfortunately.

How did almost two months pass so quickly? You mean this trip wasn’t just yesterday? Oh man. I guess I’ve been busy! :) Thankfully, there are lots of good memories and pictures from it to remember the fun!

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Also, good company! When I’m with my sister, we have fun:

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Portrait Fun-9We saw some really happy things – like this ecobus!

Fun Things-7And the pink pi house:

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Fun Things-6This wasn’t so much fun, but was quite the accomplishment – there is a flight of stairs from the river level to the Plains of Abraham  – this view is only about half way up.

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We had dinner at the La Saute Lapin – “The Jumping Rabbit” and it was really well decorated. Really great food as well – very gluten free friendly! I don’t think I’ve eaten that much bread in a single day for a really long time…

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Started with a Green Salad with GF Croutons

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Cassoulet with Rabbit Leg pour Moi

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Duck Poutine for Mr. Bean

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Charcuterie Board for the Sister complete with GF bread

What’s your favourite memory from a recent trip?

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SRC: I am a Honey Bee’s Watermelon Tomato Feta Salad

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For June’s Secret Recipe Club, I was paired with Nicole of I am a Honey Bee. Nicole is also a lover of Boston Terriers, beaches, and food! She recently had her daughter, Autumn, and she is so cute! Nicole also goes on lots of adventures and eats tons of delicious looking food – yum! On top of that, she has tons of delicious recipes on her blog, including these s’mores campfire banana splits, a legitamite Horiatiki salad, and sauteed green beans with lemon and almonds.  After much humming and hawing, I ended up choosing her Watermelon Tomato Feta Salad, which is perfect for summer – especially since we’re actually starting to have nicer weather around here!

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I didn’t change anything except the dressing – I’m not a huge dressing person, so I cut it back to 1/4 c. liquid total and added the lime zest.

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It turned out really well! The flavours worked together quite well and both Mr. Bean and I went back for seconds! (He even tried to eat the one I was photographing before I was done with it!)

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Watermelon Tomato Feta Salad

3/4 of 1 small watermelon, 1″ diced
1 english cucumber, diced
1 lb cherry tomatoes, halved
1 small block of feta, crumbled
Finely sliced red onion, to taste (I used about a quarter of a small one)

Dressing:

Zest of 1 lime
Juice of 1 lime
Olive oil
Salt and Pepper to Taste

  1. Toss together all the ingredients.
  2. Squeeze lime juice into a glass 1 c. measuring cup. Add enough olive oil to measure 1/4 c. Add zest, salt and pepper and whisk to combine.
  3. Pour dressing over salad, toss lightly to coat and serve immediately.
  4. Enjoy!

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Please check out the rest of Group D’s recipes below:

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SRC: Spiffy Cookie’s Peanut Butter Apple Bars

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For May’s Secret Recipe Club, I was paired with Erin of The Spiffy Cookie! She literally has the cutest little cookie figure  – especially the one that has its eyes closed! Erin is definitely a smart cookie – she has a PhD in Microbiology! Plus, she thinks chocolate and peanut butter is the best combination ever! Spiffy Cookie Apple Peanut Bars-1

She even has a whole list of gluten free recipes! I’m happy to know that I’m not the only person who struggles to get up more than 30 minutes before I need to get out the door! She has so many delicious looking recipes like these Avocado Brownies, Raspberry Mango Margarita Pie, Banana Foster Muffins and these Cinnamon Apple Quinoa Parfaits.

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In the end, I chose her Peanut Butter Apple Raisin Bars. I made them gluten free, vegan and reduced the sugar in half. Even then, I found them to be quite sweet, although the glaze is good as it adds extra moisture.

They were delicious! The best part were the apples, especially since they got drenched in the glaze. Yum! I sent them along with Mr. Bean to work and his coworkers loved them! They didn’t last very long!

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Gluten Free Vegan Peanut Butter Apple Raisin Bars

Bars Ingredients

1/2 c. each brown rice, sorghum and millet flours *(if you don’t have one of these flours, just use more of what you have)
1/2 c. each tapioca and potato starch
1 1/4 tsp. xathan gum
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tbsp raisins, finely diced
1/2 c. dairy free margarine (use soy free buttery spread to make soy free)
1 c. packed brown sugar
1/2 c. peanut butter (I used Adams all natural crunchy)
2 eggs or egg replacers (1 tbsp. powder + 1/4 c. almond or other dairy free milk)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1+ c. finely diced apples
Almond Milk (I used 4 tbsp as my peanut butter was really quite hard

Glaze Ingredients

2 tbsp. peanut butter
2 tbsp. almond milk (my peanut butter was fairly hard, so I added an extra tablespoon of milk)
1 c. sifted icing sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

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  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Line a 13″ x 9″ pan with parchment paper (I used a 15″ x 10″ cookie sheet).
  3. In a small sauce pan, melt maragarine and sugar over medium heat, stirring constantly until smooth. Remove from heat and add the peanut butter, stirring until smooth. Set aside to cool.
  4. Shift the flours and whisk the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Stir in the diced raisins. Set aside.
  5. Add eggs one at a time to the peanut butter mixture, stirring until combined. Mix in the vanilla extract.
  6. Pour peanut butter mixture into the dry ingredients, add the apples and stir until combined. Add extra milk if necessary to make the batter more easily spreadable.
  7. Transfer batter onto prepared pan and spread the batter into the corners.
  8. Bake in oven for ~20 min for a 15″ x 10″ cookie sheet or ~30min for a 13″ x 9″ pan. The bars should be slightly golden on top and edges are slightly brown.
  9. Remove and place on a rack to cook.
  10. As the bars cool, prepare the the glaze by whisking together the icing sugar, peanut butter, almond milk and vanilla extract. Add more milk/sugar to get it to the correct consistency  for drizzling.
  11. Drizzle the glaze over the bars and cut into squares.
  12. Enjoy!

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Please check out the rest of Group D’s recipes by clicking the link below!

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Quebec Travels – Architecture

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The other weekend Mr. Bean and I had a whirlwind trip to Quebec, where we spent a few days in Montreal, visited my sister and spent a day in Quebec City.

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I’ve always wanted to go to the old city in Quebec City as I love that style of architecture from the 1700′s with stone buildings and colourful wooden windows. Let’s just say that my inner 14-year-old was incredibly happy the entire time we wandered around.

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Architecture-4My favourite thing to do when visiting a new city or place is walk around and look at stuff. Then I get to see everything up close and I can pretend that I’m a local (plus, the exercise helps even out all the tasty food I inevitably eat. Priorities!)

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Chateau Frontenac

Another one of the things I wanted to see was the Plains of Abraham, where the Battle of Abraham took place in 1759 where the British defeated the French, essentially setting Canada up to be an English-speaking county. Not that I’m a nerd or anything. :)

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360° view at Dusk

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View from the Citadel

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We stayed in a really sweet hotel called the “Chateau des Tourelles“. It’s a pretty sweet setup as the hotel is a bunch of adjacent flats combined and renovated. We had one of the studio rooms, which was on the top floor (our bathroom window is the mini pseudo circular window under the gable – how cool is that?). They even had a deck on their roof, which looked over the newer parts of Quebec city. I would definitely recommend this place if you’re ever going to go to Quebec City!

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Where have you always wanted to visit?

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Winter Adventures!

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(Clockwise) Cross Country Skiing at Moraine Lake, Kananaskis and Snowshoeing at Emerald Lake

Winter is really much more enjoyable when you do something to enjoy it. I know, it’s May so winter should be the last thing on my mind, but it’s still winter-y here. Maybe it’s the snow today or I finally feel slightly organized for the first time in a long time, but I thought it was the right time to share pictures from my winter adventures with you!

I haven’t really shared here that I started doing something last year that I used to think I would NEVER do: I tried downhill skiing and I LOVE it. Like “I-sometimes-take-days-off-in-the-middle-of-the-week-to-go-skiing” love it.  Add in some cross-country skiing and snowshoeing and I can say that this (long) winter definitely wasn’t too bad!

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Snowshoeing up to the Fire Lookout in Peter Lougheed Park.

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Downhill Skiing at Sunshine and Nakiska

I even participated in this year’s work ski trip to Whitefish! It was a really fun trip despite a few adventures due to poor visibility and splitting up with the people I was skiing with.

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The best visibility that we had in Whitefish!

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Fun Times at Whitefish! The picture on the bottom left corner is the best visibility we had on the second day!

One day Mr. Bean and I decided that we were going to try going cross-country skiing, not realizing that it was too warm for any of the waxes that we had and that the snow was so bizarre it really wasn’t worth it. It was the “longest” trip we’ve ever had – about 50m of skiing. So we went for a walk at Kananakis Village instead. The sun even came out!

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View from Kananakis Village

I’ve met some pretty entertaining people on the ski lift – from the American guy in Whitefish who chewed us out for trying to put down the bar and then tried to make up for it by calling us “cute Canadian girls,” to the guy who asked me if I took selfies because it was my birthday to the old guys who were complaining how powder was horrible and they hated it.

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Skiing Nakiska & Travels Home

I’d have to say that my favourite day of skiing was my birthday! I took my flex day and you couldn’t have asked for a better day. It was sunny, warm and the snow was decent! By the end of the day the snow had really softened up, which was kind of fun as skiing through slush makes you feel like a hero!

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Birthday Skiing at Sunshine – Pretty much the best day ever! Look at Mount Assiniboine in the background!

Even though, as much as I love skiing, I am ready for spring to finally come!

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