31 May 2010

Beautiful BC is Right: The Coquihalla and Kamloops

The Coquihalla Highway runs North-South in the Okanagan Region of BC between Hope and Kamloops. On this past Victoria Day weekend, Kirk and I drove up to Kamloops for our friends Mike & Danielle's wedding, and the drive was just gorgeous. Some of the mountain passes are so high that it was snowing, and there was snow visible on the surrounding mountains. The views really are breath-taking.

Kamloops is a beautiful little city on the Thompson River. We got to town a few hours before the wedding, and made our way to Riverside Park, which runs along the waterfront. We had a great stroll and saw some interesting wildlife, including a gopher (correction: my friend Shaunna tells me it's a Hoary Marmot), some Canada Geese and a huge flock of evening grossbeaks (I'm a city girl - that's wildlife to me!).

30 May 2010

Beautiful BC is Right: Horseshoe Bay & Bowen Island

A couple of weeks ago I made a quick overnight visit to my friends Shannon & Matti on Bowen Island. Just about every time I go there they take me to a different beach, each more beautiful than the last. Of course I forgot my camera when we went to the beach, but I did take my customary glut of photos of Horseshoe Bay from the ferry.

Beautiful BC mountains

The Langdale ferry coming in to Horseshoe Bay

The Coast Mountains still have lots of snow in April

Me on the ferry, MySpace style

I wouldn't mind living here...

I don't have any Bowen scenery photos this time, but I do have a couple of beautiful Bowen dogs:

Chanel (Shannon holding her with Matti in the background)

Gorgeous Shiva

Beautiful BC is Right: Garry Point

A few weeks ago, my Mum and I drove out to Garry Point Park, which is in Steveston, BC, in the southwest part of Richmond. It's a short drive from Vancouver (depending on traffic!), and is so beautiful! We had lunch at Pajo's (fish & chips for Mum and a veggie dog & chips for me), then walked around the park, which is always filled with dogs & their owners, kite flyers and casual strollers like ourselves.

Pajo's: Famous for Fish & Chips always has a line up

I love taking guerilla group photos

That's Mum picking up some paper that fell out of my pocket

The wharf. Steveston is a fishing village.

There's a ladybug in that prehistoric looking jungle

BC's logging industry has many faults, but I do enjoy
the unintended byproduct of driftwood on the beaches!

Anyone know what this flower is?

Look at that sky!

More flowers that I can't identify.
I need a book or something.

Shrimp boat

18 May 2010

This Week in My Kitchen: Veggie Chorizo 3 Ways + Vegan Prailines

The last time I made veggie sausages they were good, but I didn't like the bean skins in them. This time I set out to make better ones, so I used the recipe in Vegan Brunch as a jumping off point, but ground the beans in the food processor to make a smoother texture and adjusted the seasonings more to my taste. The chorizo came out great (although the first batch was a touch too spicy), and we ate it all week!

Chorizo Stuffed Poblano Pepper, Grilled
I stuffed fresh poblano peppers with chorizo crumbled and sauteed, then Kirk grilled them just until the skin was scorched. Yum! I made a Mexican style red sauce and served it with over the peppers, which we ate with salad and grilled pineapple. I love having a barbeque! Grilled pineapple is seriously my favourite food right now.

Chorizo Jambalaya with Polenta and Salad
When my friend Stephanie came over for dinner, I used one of the packages I got in New Orleans to make jambalaya, which I served with polenta (because I suck at making corn bread), salad and young pickles. Now I need to learn how to make jambalaya from scratch!

Huge Salad with Chorizo
I did not feel like cooking tonight, so I made a HUGE salad with baby greens, bell pepper, tomato, cucumber, green onions and chorizo. Definitely satisfying!

Pecan Pralines
I had a sweet tooth this week, and was craving the (non-vegan) pralines I had in New Orleans. I found this vegan praline recipe and, because I am obsessive about keeping my pantry well-stocked, I had all of the ingredients on hand. So I decided to give it a shot. I have never made candy of any kind before, so I was a little nervous about that. I did do a little internet research beforehand and came up with this handy site. One thing I'd recommend to anyone attempting candy-making is to invest in a proper candy thermometer. I just have this kind, and I had to rig it to the pot with a binder clip. Not ideal! But it did work out in the end and the pralines turned out fabulously. I totally overdosed on sugar for two days, and finally gave the rest to my mother today.

Here's a bonus shot of Jerry in her new bed, given to her by her Aunt Nova (Mum's cat).

Click below to see the products mentioned in this post:

Postcards from the edge...

... Well, not really. More like postcard from my couch. I'm having a hard time getting motivated to do the laundry today (it's raining and I have to go outside to get to the basement), so instead I made this fun promotional postcard for Kirk:

Now I guess I'll get on with the laundry. Sigh.