Where are we?: Germany
countries Visited: 9
Days on the Road: 111

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

National Post

Be Still My Heart

  I have some very exciting news to share; one of my photos posted on instagram, was seen by National Post Newspaper. Yes my Honey Lavender Chicken will be used in their new Gastropost; a community of food lovers, who go on weekly missions. They have also asked me to join the group.
  As I understand it, we will be given a food challenge each week, and the results will be posted in the National Post, and on their website gastropost.com. I am always up for a challenge, so I accepted.
  Today I got my first mission, which is to feast! Since it Thanksgiving, they want to see our feast, and our favorite part, plus how we use our left overs.
  I’m excited to be part of this new adventure, and look forward to new challenges, and sharing the results with you.

For more information;

Monday, October 29, 2012

Time is passing to fast!

So today is October 29/12 and it is exactly 63 days before we hop on a plane and spend a couple months in Europe. I cant believe how quickly time is going....it seems like yesterday we were back in college and talking about taking a trip to Switzerland to learn for an amazing chocolatier, or a trip to Spain to eat some amazing sea food...and now 6 years later its actually happening,.. in 63 days!

Our villa is wonderful. Less then a Kilometer from the ocean, with a roof top terrace and a pool. only 3 hours from Barcelona and 3.5 from Madrid! Its got two bedrooms and 3 beds, a full living room and dining room, kitchen and laundry facilities en suite! I didn't know where to start looking when we decided to rent a place for a couple months so i just googled cheap temporary accommodations in Spain. It led me to this awesome site airbnb.com. I had no idea this site existed...a few friends from Europe have herd of it but to me it was all new and wonderful!

I wont bore you with the hours i spend on this website looking for the perfect fit for Sarah and i...but eventually I found it...Sarah agreed and we booked!

I think this trip to Europe is going to give me a lot! My love for food and knowledge is going to grow 10 fold, it will give me some amazing new friends and places to call "home", it will give me back that fierce fire in my belly, a passion, that can sometimes get lost in a day to day world, and most important, I wish for it to give me a new appreciation for the city I call home!

So folks the count down is on...and you guys are coming with us...well not in our suitcases or anything, but in 2 months, 3 days, 13 hours, 24 minutes, and 12 seconds we will be on our way to our greatest adventure yet...and our computers will be right at our finger tips sharing every yummy experience we have!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Soup Stock 2012! GO GREEN THURSDAY!

 A Great Day for a Mug of Soup

Soupstock 2012

   This past Sunday, I had the wonderful opportunity to attend Soupstock at Woodbine Park, an event put on by The Chef’s Congress to raise money for Stop the Mega Quarry. What a wonderful day, it was sunny and warm, and the trees were at the peak of their fall beauty, and not to mention the dozens, and dozens of soups to try, made by 200 of Toronto’s finest Chefs!
   So Chaza and I grabbed our mugs and spoons, and headed down early to beat the crowds. At 11:30am, there were already a surprising number of people crowding into the park, but the line ups were quick, and the soup was plentiful. We split on 9 tickets, and decided to share so we could try a number of different soups. Now 9 out of 85 does not sound like a good ratio, but we ended up getting 2 for free, as well as a sample of bear sausage that was to die for. Trust me when I say, I could not have eaten another bite! So I could go on, and on about all the soups, but to make it easier I’m just going to list the restaurants and their soups.
  Rock Lobster- Lobster Cappuccino----Delicious!
  The Chef’s house- Lobster and Mushroom
  Loic & Ruby Watchco soup duo- Navy Bean Veloute & Red Beet Bisque
  Stone Road Grill- Borscht - Amazing!
  One 99 Restaurant- French Canadian Onion Soup- It had French fries
  Gastronomo Vagabundo- Spicy Tom Yum- Good name, it was yum, and super spicy!
  Oliver Bonacini-Potato and Leek- Not just any potato and leek, it had braised Beef Shank, and Sweetbreads.
  Biff’s Bistro- I’ll be honest, I can’t remember the name of the soup, but it involved potato, it was damn good, and he gave it to us free.
  Le Select Bistro- Duck Consommé w Pork and parsnip-apple meatballs
La Carnita- Pig Head Tortilla Soup- Mmmmmm
Sanigan’s Meat Locker- Potato and Bacon- Free as well, Thanks Mike!
    All the soups were delicious, but my hands down favorite was the Lobster Cappuccino. It was like drinking lobster flavoured butter, with chucks of lobster in the bottom. What a great day! I can’t wait for Soupstock 2013.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Apple Picking

A Little Trip to the Country

   Sometime life can be so busy, it becomes hard to meet up with friends, and family, and almost impossible to fit in a little fun time. Toronto I find does have quite a few little fun spots, that are close buy if you look into it.
  This adventure was entirely inspired by a misread google search. I punched in apples, and a suggested search said apple picking. Yes please! So as most people that know me, and hopefully you that read this blog, know, I am always up for something new, and will drag anyone down with me.
  So on this past beautiful Sunday, 2 friends, Hester and Zina, and I made the trek to north Markham, to Applewood Farm and Winery. Boy we in for a surprise!
  So about a 45 minutes drive north of the city, even with traffic, we find our farm. First we hit the winery, and I found myself pleasantly surprised by their variety, and delicious wines.
  Next we head out apple picking. Being a bit discouraged by the giant sign on the road that said picking closed, and the girl at the counter that said we were welcome to try; I was perfectly happy just to take a walk through the orchard. It was in fact Hester who insisted on getting bags, and was delightfully looking among the apples on the ground to find some good ones. So 30 minutes later, Hester’s bag is almost full, and Zina has her bag half full it’s time to get down to business!
  We all ended up with almost full bags, and then went to catch the wagon ride, which unfortunately we didn’t get on because it was too late in the day. It was sad, but our day became even more successful when Zina found a cute little tree frog, hidden among the trees.  Later dubbed Stuart, this small, fat little guy was probably the highlight of my day.
  So a wagon full of apples, pumpkins, and of course WINE, plus a plan for turkey day, we were on our way home. What a great experience, Thanks again Hester and Zina, for letting me drag you on my weird ideas of fun. A day none of us will forget I’m sure.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

GO Green Thursdays


  Looking for a fun and green event this weekend? Soupstock is on this weekend, and not on mine or Kristen’s stove! This is a free event, at Woodbine Park, in the Beaches, Toronto to raise awareness for the Mega Quarry.

  The Mega Quarry is a proposed 2300km limestone quarry, located 100km northwest of Toronto. A quarry of this magnitude has serious environmental complications, including the manipulation of 25% of Ontario’s water supply.

   This Sunday, David Suzuki, along with 200 other Toronto based chefs, are giving it their all, in an ultimate soup off, to raise awareness to these issues. At 10$ for three servings of soup, you can’t go wrong and proceeds go to the David Suzuki Foundation. So dress warm, bring a bowl and a spoon, and let’s get our soup on!

For more info on the Mega Quarry, or Soupstock:



Hope to see you all there,

Xoxo Sarah

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Recipe of the week! Oatmeal cookies!

So yesterday I was playing around with an old recipe that I have that wasnt very good! I tewaked and added and subtracted a few things and came out with a perfectly moist, tender and yummy oatmeal cookie!

here it is for all of you to try and enjoy!

This recipe makes ALOT of cookies so you might want to cut it in half!

Oatmeal Cookies

500g butter unsalted
500g white sugar
420g brown sugar

4 eggs
splash of vanilla extract

500g All Purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
560g rolled oats
200g chopped walnuts (optional)

cream the butter and the two kinds of sugar until light and fluffy. Add the 4 eggs and vanilla extract one at a time and paddle away until totally combined.

add all the dry ingredients at once and paddle just till it comes together, it should be a little bit sticky!

they spread about double the size you scoop them so be sure to leave space on the baking sheet!

Enjoy and let me know what you think in the comments bellow!

Love Kristen

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


Ontario It’s Peach Season!!!!!
   Well actually, peach season is coming to an end. I’m sorry, this post is late, but I got caught up in the peach fun and got carried away. For the last few weeks, I’ve been buying baskets of peaches, and just going nuts.

  So what can you do with peaches? Well...anything.  I started with some preserves. I did hot pepper and ginger, cloves and sage, and purple basil with lemon. Pour over some hot simple syrup, and put on the lids. Wait at least a week before opening. I even pickled some during my pickling event, perfect for your wine and cheese, or just a snack.
   My next project was spicy peach compote. I stewed the peaches (skins off) for a few hours, and then added my secret ingredient. Actually it’s just a habanero pepper sauce a friend brought me back from Jamaica, shhhhh.  I then used this compote, on a roasted flattened chicken. It was tasty!
   For an after yoga dinner with a friend one night we did slow roasted duck legs. We decided to sautéed up some peach slices, and added some stinky cheese. We got the stinky cheese at the Duffrin Grove Farmer’s market, along with some patty pan squashes. We added some zucchini with my garden, and had ourselves quite the meal.
   Now for some real fun; dessert peach wontons. A Sarah original! I took grilled peach slices, some mascarpone cheese, and blueberries, and made some dessert wontons, I baked them for 25 minutes, and served warm, a delicious little dessert, and not too sweet.
   So there you have my peach fun. Do you have any fun ideas? Share them with us and we’ll give them a try!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Announcments !!!!!

So I must make known that my absence since Thursday has not been because of laziness, but i have fallen pretty ill and haven't had much energy! I am happy to inform everyone that I am slowly back on the mend, and should be back to the regular programing  as of today!

Now on to the announcement! I have decided it would be a good idea to get more interactive with our readers. So in honor of that I am going to start having votes on the next food series (for when the SLM one is complete), food challenge ideas by you the reader, and last but not least, prize give aways!

Our First prize give away will happen when we hit 4000 views. My Post that day will have a question and the first person to email me with the correct response will be the winner. I will give you two clues, The question will have to do with a previous blog post, and the prize will be one of my favorite cook books!


Love Kristen

Friday, October 12, 2012

Lavender Crazy Week 6! CUP CAKES !!

Lavender Cupcakes
  So this weeks’ Lavender experiment was cupcakes, because really, who doesn’t like cupcakes? This recipe was pretty simple, but I have a super handy Kitchen Aid; a much loved birthday present from my parents a few years ago. Now lacking a kitchen aid, a hand mixer can be used or, good old fashion elbow grease. You will need;

½ Cup butter, soft
1 Cup sugar
2 Eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 ½  Cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp baking powder
¼ Tbsp dried lavender
2/3 Cup milk

Mix the butter and sugar together in your kitchen aid, then mix flour, salt, and backing powder in another bowl. Mix the lavender into the flour mix, crushing the buds between your fingers in the process. Pour the flour mix into the butter and sugar, and turn on low, add one egg at a time, then the vanilla and milk until fully mixed. Pour into your lined baking cups, and bake at 350, for 15 to 18 minutes, or until your toothpick comes out clean.
  While these are cooking you can make your icing. I used a cream cheese and honey icing that is as follows;

½ Cup butter
8 oz, or one package of cream cheese
4 Cups of powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp honey

  Just for fun I added a few drops of red and blue food coloring to make it purple. It turned out a bit liquidy, because of the food coloring, but you can add extra powdered sugar to fix this.
  Once your cupcakes are cooled (which I’ve always had a problem with) you can decorate!!!
  I thought these were so great I actually had 2, which is strange for me. I brought 8 to work, all I could fit, and they were all gone before the end of the night. In fact a co-worker of mine insisted I register a name for myself, before I show off any more of my cooking. If that’s not a complement, I don’t know what is.
  So any ideas on next week? Suggestions are always welcome!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Recipe of the week!

So as you may or may not know, this past weekend we celebrated "Thanksgiving" here in Canada! Its a time to celebrate, love, friends and family....and lots and lots of food! Being Wednesday I thought I would share with you my favorite recipe for a very traditional "Thanksgiving" treat!

Pumpkin Pie


  • 1/3 cup cold unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup cold vegetable shortening
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 4 to 5 tbsp ice water

Pumpkin Pie

  • 2 cups canned pumpkin (500 mL)
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 3 tablespoons fancy molasses
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/3 cups whipping cream
  • 3 tablespoons brandy or orange liqueur


  1. For pastry, freeze butter and shortening for 30 minutes. Combine flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Using a box grater, grate the butter and shortening into flour. Toss this mixture with your fingers to coat the fats, breaking up lumps with your fingers as you go. The dough should be a rough, crumbly texture and take on a slight yellow tone. Add 3 Tbsp of the water and mix with a spatula or wooden spoon to bring dough together, adding a little more water if needed. Shape dough into a disc and chill for an hour before rolling.

Pumpkin Pie

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to just under ¼-inch thick. Dust the bottom of a 9-inch pie shell with flour and line with dough. Trim edges, keeping scraps to roll and cut for garnish, if desired. Chill while preparing filling.
  3. For filling, whisk pumpkin with brown sugar, molasses spices and salt. Whisk in eggs, then whipping cream and brandy or orange liqueur. Pour into chilled pie shell.
  4. Bake for 10 minutes, then lower temperature to 350 degrees F. and bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until filling puffs just a little around edges but still has a bit of jiggle in center when moved. Allow to cool to room temperature, then chill completely.
I like to serve my pumpkin pie at room temperature, but some like it warmed up! Add some whip cream and you've got yourself a fantastic treat!

Let me know what you think in the comments bellow!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Go Green Thursdays!

The simplest and most effective way to be a green earthling is to follow the rules you were taught in grade school....the 3 r's!

Reuse- dont be waste full when you can reuse somthing do! Dont just throw it away because its easier to buy a new one!

Reduce- Your consumtion, this step also comes from reusing

Recycle- finally if you cant reuse it anymore, if its broken and cant be fixed, recycle it!

its the simplest form to GO GREEN on earth. take the few seconds it takes to separate your recycling from your garbage! Soon it will become habbit and it wont waste any of your time at all!

Really none of us have any excuse to not recycle. Our streets all have recycle/garbage pick up, our buildings have garbage shoots and that sorting buttons, out street trash cans are separated for us into 3 compartments.

So take the challenge, try and reduce your waste, and when you cant make sure you sort it properly!

here is a list for Ontario, Canada's  recyclable goods, it differs for every city/state/province/country so hop on Google and check it out for your city!

Empty, rinse and place these "containers" loose in one Blue Box:
  • All plastic bottles with a twist-off top (lids left on), up to 15-litres in size.
  • Plastic tubs and lids (yogurt and ice cream type containers), up to 4-litres in size.
  • Metal food and beverage containers.
  • Glass bottles and jars (metal lids removed and placed in blue box separately).
  • Paper milk and juice cartons.
  • Empty aerosol cans with lids removed.
  • Empty metal paint cans with lids removed.
Place these "papers" loose in a second Blue Box:
  • Junk mail and envelopes.
  • Catalogues, magazines, paperback books and phone books.
  • Newspapers, office paper and computer paper.
  • Shredded paper should be placed inside a smaller box, such as a cereal box.
Cardboard and Boxboard
  • Fold boxes flat, then tie and bundle the same size as your blue box. Place next to or on top of your blue boxes.

  • Clam shells or take-out containers.
  • Oversized 15-litre jugs.
  • Styrofoam or paper coffee cups.
  • Egg cartons: plastic and styrofoam cartons go into the residual waste stream. Fiber cartons go in your green bin.
  • Plastic grocery bags
  • Nursery plant pots and trays.
  • Styrofoam meat trays.
  • Ridged plastic clothes hangers, plastic plates and utensils.
  • Plastic watering cans and gas canisters.
  • Plastic children's toys.
  • Clothing and shoes.
  • Pots, pans, metal coat hangers and scrap metal.
  • Furnace air filters.
Note: Recyclable bottles and jars with food or liquid remaining cause sorting difficulties at the recycling facility. Please empty and rinse out these items before putting them in the blue box.

have a great day :)

love kristen

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Lavender Crazy Week 5!

Lavender Experiment # 5

Honey Lavender Chicken

   So I’ve been on this Lavender kick for a few weeks now, planning out things to try and make, most of which are desserts. But what about savory???? So for dinner I tried Honey Lavender Chicken, and this one I recommend everyone try.

  So I have no standard recipe for you this time, just a few simple instructions.  First mix together honey, dried lavender, and cracked black pepper.

   Next, season your chicken breast with salt, pepper, and dried lavender, and press into the skin. Bake your chicken at 350, for about 20 minutes.

   Pour half the honey mixture over the chicken, and return to the oven, repeat again in 10-15 minutes. I turned the broiler on low for the last 3 minutes to crisp up the skin.

   Take your chicken out to rest for at least 5 minutes before serving. During this time I reduced the left over honey mixture in the bottom of my baking dish pour over top my chicken and vegetables.

   It was only me for dinner this time, but I was very impressed, if that counts. The honey and lavender compliment the chicken so well. I served it with roasted vegetables and Israeli cous cous, which included brussel sprouts, and the honey lavender mixture complimented them as well.

Altogether a win, and one that I’m adding to my dinner rotation.

Next up is Lavender cup cakes, so keep checking back!!!

St Lawrence Market Series

St Lawrence Market Series- Merchants of Green 

Merchants of Green Coffee is one of the newest additions to the St Lawrence Market north. Don't let them being new fool you, they are far from the weakest link! They hand out sample coffee like its no ones business. The vendors themselves, Bret and Celdon, seem almost to happy to be there at 5am, but with good reason!

Merchants of Green is a "Certified Green Bean"  coffee shop established in 1994. They serve Freshly roasted(on site) Arabica coffee beans, and only certified fair trade. They teach about drinking coffee at its freshest to completely enjoy the experience. For example did you know that in order for you to not "enjoy" your coffee with that oh so wonderful bitter bite you should drink it within, 15 min of brewing, within the 3 hours after grinding it, and within 5 days of roasting your beans. This will help you ensure that you are going to enjoy a sweet, smooth cup of the energy juice!

They teach about the growing, and how the coffee bean tree is the same as any other fruit tree. Its flavors and construct depend on their geography, soil, water, air and plant life!

They sell certified organic and fair trade coffee from all over the world in whole bean form, ground and even brewed...yummy!

their vision: "to lead the evolution of the coffee industry to a sustainable state, 'from tree t cup'."

Their coffee Shop is located at
2 Matilda Street Toronto Ontario
and store front hours are:
Monday to Friday- 8am-6pm
Saturday- 9am- 6pm
Sunday- 10am-6 pm
and the SLM hours are roughly 5am-3pm ish!