Sunday, 27 May 2012

Livin' la vida local ... in Prince Edward County

What was originally intended to be a week long holiday back in New Orleans, got turned upside down when work demands proved unavoidable.  Ah the joys of being self-employed.  I can't complain too much though, as we were able to shuffle a few things around and take two days mid-week to dash off to Prince Edward County.  My hubby's old stomping grounds ... well, not exactly "stomping" as wine-country out that way is relatively new in comparison to say, Niagara on the Lake.  He was also less of a foodie-nerd back in his teenage days (he's come a long way baby!) and sent more time at the auto wreckers looking for spare parts for his cars.  I digress ...

We booked ourselves a room at Huff Estates Inn (near Bloomfield) and breathed a sigh of relief after FINALLY getting across Toronto (is the 401 ever NOT a total nightmare?).  If you're looking for a great home-base for touring "The County" - I would highly recommend Huff.  Beautiful setting, really helpful staff and even though you need a car to get around, you're minutes to great restaurants (Lake on the Mountain Inn & Restaurant), wineries galore and some of the most amazing scenery - the colour of the water  was often  'like Bermuda' and the calm glassy waters of the inland lakes rivalled 'cottage country'. 

What's nice about "The County" is that the terroir is so different from other places we've visited, that the wines have this wonderful mineral-ness (?!?!?!) ... minerality ... to them that we haven't found elsewhere.  We came home with a trunk full of whites from Huff Estates, few cheeky rosés from Waupoos Winery, some easy-drinkin' ciders from The County Cider Company and unfortunately the beer we got from Barley Days Brewery didn't make it home ... 'cause we drank 'em all on our balcony at the Inn :)

Sunday, 13 May 2012

So a vegan walks into a bar ...

After a weekend of pure indulgence (mini-foodie-fueled-vacay to Niagara on the Lake) hubby and I needed a little break from decadence and sheer (over?) indulgence.  My liver also needed a day or so sans-wine, which came as a surprise to me - who knew I could have 'enough wine'?  I think it may have been the 5 hour winery tour followed by the 5 hour 5-course wine-inspired dinner that finally did us in.  (More on THAT amazing dinner to come ...)  "We need CLEAN EATING!" I shouted.  Hubby's face dropped.  Fear.  Followed by panic.  Followed by more fear.  Then finally he agreed. 

I know that he envisioned his dinner being a bowl of water with some lemon bits floating around in it.

So before he could change his mind, I sprang to the pantry - what treasures are buried within?  And the fridge - what do we have on hand?  I'm certainly not leaving the house to go to the grocery store.  Not after a weekend away!  I'm still trying to eek out the last possible hours of 'vacation mindset' before the work week begins ...

A while ago I picked up some brown-rice couscous.  As someone who is wheat-intolerant ("I will NOT tolerate it!") I'm always on the look-out for new grains to try ... so why not 'new' couscous?  And thankfully good old cucumber and tomato were also on hand.  So, armed with my trusty trio of ingredients, I grabbed a tin of lentils and set about making our dinner.

Brown Rice Couscous and Lentil Salad with Tahini Dressing
Harness your inner vegan-goddess!  Vegetarians unite!  We're going meat-free.  We're going WHEAT FREE!  We're going gluten free ... and we're loving it!

You will need:
A bowl, a can opener, a magic bullet (all hail the Magic Bullet)/or a blender would also do the trick, spoon for stirring, knife and cutting board, measuring spoons/cups.  Normally I would say glass of wine, but tonight, dear friends, perhaps a tall glass of water with a wedge of lemon will suffice.

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Super moon and the night sky ...

Last night we witnessed the largest moon that will appear this year - a SUPER MOON the media called it.  And with it being only 221,802 miles away from Earth, it begged the question ... are we really alone in the universe? 
In what we thought was a seemingly unrelated event, The Short Stack Foodies (yup, plural!) came across a disturbing video buried deep in the darkest recesses my partner-in-crimes basement yesterday afternoon.  How long the video has been hiding there, we may never know.  We may also never know who brought this video to earth.  What we do know is that we will never look at the night sky in quite the same way again.  Will you? 

Happy star-gazing.


Tuesday, 1 May 2012

A Spring Open House ... put a spring in our step!

The Short-Stack Foodie was on location in  SUNNY Burlington this past Sunday; serving up a spring-time-inspired menu for a group of wonderful women who had gathered to do some shoppping at a local paper-craft-company. 

The "Spring-gria" flowed, the crostini crunched and the lemon-lime squares disappeared before my very eyes. 

Thank you ladies for the laughs, the requests for recipes (check your inboxes over the next couple of days!) and the heartfelt support for this new venture of mine. 

I hope the vanilla-scented caramel corn made it home to your kids and husbands ... actually, who am I kidding, I hope you ate it in the car on the way home! 

Happy spring everyone, I look forward to seeing you all again REALLY soon!  But until then, do give the Herbed Chèvre & Sugar Snap Pea Salad Crostini a try for yourselves ... it's sure to put a 'spring' in your step!

Herbed Chèvre & Sugar Snap Pea Salad Crostini

You will need:  Food processor, cutting board, small/paring knife, bread knife, measuring spoons-n-cups, baking sheet, parchment paper or aluminum foil, squeeze bottle (to help make the plating a little bit easier) and a serving platter. 
NOW throw open your kitchen window ... I did, as the flowers on our crab apple tree are in full bloom ... the smell of spring is in the air ...