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A Whack-load of Photos and a Recipe

Yes, this is gonna be a photo-laden post.

But that’s because it’s been a week of friends, fun, and food!

Our dear friend, Kathleen, was visiting from Toronto:

And what terrific timing, as she was here for our Gamesmas party last weekend! (Christmas + Games = Gamesmas!)

‘Twas a merry evening full of laughter, fun games and crafts, good conversations, food and drinks galore, and wonderful friends…

Kathleen and I also went on a couple of refreshing outdoorsy excursions…

New Brighton Park and Burnaby Heights Trail (at least that’s what I think the trail was called):

No matter how long I’ve lived here, the sight of those mountains never fail to take my breath away…

And the next day we wended our way through misty Lynn Valley Park:

Classic Kathleen look :-) :

Somebody decked out a park bench with some Christmas cheer:

It was, as always, a great visit with Kathleen!

I’m officially in the holiday mood! I’m fully immersing myself in all things Christmas, from humming Christmas tunes all day, to writing Christmas cards, to holiday baking…I’m lovin’ it all!

Speaking of which… We were left with a full, unopened carton of eggnog after Gamesmas, and as no one in our home is a huge fan of drinking it straight up, I decided to use some of it up in the form of muffins:

Eggnog Muffins

  • 1 C whole wheat flour
  • 1 C whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 TB baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 C brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 C eggnog
  • 1/4 C canola oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 C chopped nuts (I used hazelnuts today)
  • 1/2 C dried cranberries

 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Sift together the first 6 ingredients in a large bowl.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, brown sugar, eggnog, oil, and vanilla until combined.

Pour wet mixture into the dry and mix together until just combined. Do not over-mix; a few floury lumps are fine.

Fold in nuts and cranberries.

Spray a muffin tin with oil. Divide batter amongst the 12 tins. Bake for 15 – 17 mins.

Lightly spiced, nutty, and with just enough sweetness, these muffins made our whole house smell like Christmas.

And because this post isn’t photo-laden enough, I’ve two more for you…while I was outside doing my little photoshoot for my muffins, I discovered this beautiful frosted spider web:

Happy Friday everyone!

 

Posted by on December 9, 2011 in Hanging Out, Kitchen Adventures

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Christmas 2010 Part 4

The last few days of Mr. and Mrs. Pelletier’s visit was filled with more fun activities and yummy eats.

Starting with coffee made in my new coffee maker the next morning!

YUM. I actually like the smell of coffee even more than the taste, and I can’t describe to you how fantastic it is for me to smell that brewing coffee in the morning… Len and I have been enjoying coffee every morning since then in our new Christmas mugs that Charmaine gave us!

We went on a rainy day excursion to Stanley Park.

I’ve lived in this city for 14.5 years now, but the sight of the mountains never ceases to take my breath away.

 

 

 

 

Then we came across this extraordinary sculpture on Beach Ave:

This is “We” by Jaume Plensa from Spain.

“A work that celebrates the linguistic diversity of the human race by putting multiple alphabets together on a single human form. Sitting proudly, without a face, the larger-than life figure is made up of characters from eight alphabets, Latin, Greek, Russian Cyrillic, Hebrew, Hindi, Japanese, Arabic and Chinese. Characters make up the skin of the body form and open for interpretation by a global and multi-lingual Vancouver audience. The 16 foot, painted stainless steel sculpture, draws us away from the daily distractions of a constantly bustling city and helps us appreciate the beauty of linguistic diversity.”  (Source)

 

We then headed to West Van and had lunch at one of our favourite places, Savary Island Pie Company.

 

I tried tortiere for the first time, and it was really good! And it was paired with a red lentil and spinach soup that was seriously outta this world!

That evening was very special. We sang Christmas carols while I played the piano! I’ve always wanted to do that with family, and it was even more fun and special than I’d imagined it to be. It also reminded me of the times when my dad and I would jam together, me on piano and him on his various chinese instruments, and put our own spin on these Christmas classics.

 

 

 

It was a rip-roarin’ good time!

As a side note, did I mention that I’ve been eating a ridiculous amount of chocolates, cookies, and just food in general? Oh my. Oh dear. But I did try to have stabilizing breakfasts, such as this quinoa porridgy goodness:

And lots of fruit. Like this vibrant dragon fruit:

 

 

 

One night, we went out for a scrumptious dinner at the Golden Star Seafood Restaurant:

 

 

Mmmm lobster! :-)

On one of the only sunny days we had, we took a little walk in Lynn Valley:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In between all our gallivanting, we did find time to finish the puzzle!

It sure was a tough one! Mrs. Pelletier was truly the puzzle master!

It was a good thing the puzzle got done when it did, cuz I was starting to see the world in puzzle pieces, even in my dreams!

We also had a lot of hearty laughs playing the Wii!

 

 

 

And on their last evening here, we had a lovely dinner at The Keg:

 

 

It was a beautiful, happy Christmas, full of all the things that I’ve always loved best about this holiday season. Everyday I was filled with such thankfulness in my heart, for all the wonderful people whom I love and who love me, for all the laughter we share, and for all the innumerable blessings in my life. We were sad to see Mr. and Mrs. Pelletier go. I look forward to many more Christmases together!

 

Posted by on December 31, 2010 in Hanging Out

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