Category Archives: Snack

Dawnald and Marcia’s Baby Shower

Sunday was my ol’ pal Dawnald’s baby shower.

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I have blogged about Mark and Dawn’s Jack and Jill, Dawn’s wedding shower, her Ottawa bachelorettetheir Jamaican wedding, their housewarming, and now there’s gonna be a baby!

Usually baby showers are for the ladies, as we all know, but this was a co-ed shower. Not quite as risqué as it sounds…but Evan and the rest of the boys did come and show their support for Mark. And then all the lads hung out in the basement mancave and drank beer. Evan said he had a really good day and I heard a lot of hearty laughter coming from down there, so while we may never know exactly what went on, it sounded like a good time.

We did have male representation upstairs with us though… Chester was there.

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Who is sporting a onesie with everyone’s favourite Dirty Dancing quote.

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(I really miss Patrick Swayze)

And the newest addition to the inflatable family, Kyle.

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Who looooves to smile.

Kyle spent most of the afternoon riding Dawn’s baby’s new rocking horse.

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The rest of us spent most of the afternoon eating and watching Dawn open her presents. The food table was pretty awesome.

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I spent a lot of time hanging around there eating. I brought a taco dip from Eat, Shrink and Be Merry (recipe if you follow that link, it’s awesome! I made it without shrimp though).

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And I need to highlight Joanna’s cucumber topped with avocado, smoked salmon, red pepper, and dill sauce. Because holy moly.

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Delicious.

And that wasn’t even lunch! That spread was followed by Dawn’s mom Brennie’s FAMOUS macaroni pie.

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Also delicious.

And then there was the best baby shower cake I’ve ever seen.

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That even reminded me of Dawn. It is from Kake Kreations in Whitby if anyone is interested. The breast area was chocolate cake and the belly was vanilla. Both were really, really good.

And Emily’s sister made her amazing sugar cookies that have been making their rounds to all the events lately.

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I can’t get enough of them.

Dawn scored some pretty great gifts, and I think she is all set! I like baby showers more than wedding showers because I like to ooh and ahh at all the cute baby things.

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Like baby tutus.

As part of our bigger present, Evan and I got their baby a very attractive soother.

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Not creepy at all.

And as is customary at baby showers, we played some games.

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Put a frozen soother in your drink and be the first to yell “MY WATER BROKE!!!!” when the soother breaks free of the ice. Right up our alley sense of humour -wise. Sherrie won this in like 2 minutes and we called her a dirty cheater. But I also won a game!

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Guess the celebrity baby. I was the only one to guess all the babies correctly and I am very proud of myself for this because there was a trick answer. Babies 1-4 were pretty obvious, but #6 was giving me some trouble. I originally thought it was Samuel L. Jackson, but then I noticed the “It’s a Girl!” sticker so at the last moment I changed my answer to Dawn (who was not even on the list). And Dawn was correct, not Samuel L. Jackson. Though I’m sure you could understand my mistake… Dawn and Samuel L. Jackson are practically twins.

Anyway, here was my prize.

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Probably the coolest baby shower prize I’ve ever received. I would say I think the prize buyer knows me, but anyone who knows me knows that rye makes me uncharacteristically angry… Only in excess though, so I should be alright ;).

It was a really great day with all my friends and the beautiful mama-to-be.

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Who is just glowing and looking fantastic. She doesn’t have much longer to go, so wish that girl luck! 

Uncle Leon’s Baby Shower

My good friend Leanne (or Uncle Leon, as you may have seen her commenting on my blog) is with child, and has been for quite some time. She is due in early November and yesterday was the baby shower for the beautiful mama-to-be.

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Leon is such a cute pregnant gal. I love her bump, and I am obviously rubbing it in this photo, but it got cut off.

I love showers for two main reasons: games and food. I loved this shower for a third reason. All the ladies were in attendance!

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Leanne is really the first one to have a baby out of all our old friends, so it’s a very exciting time. It was really good to see them and have a catch-up and mustard session.

The food was everything I was hoping for.

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I love giant snack plates like this. Party foods and mini sandwiches may be my favourite food group. Evan saw this picture and was like “Don’t you want to take a nice picture for your blog? That plate is a mess.” And he is not wrong, but my main objective is to fit as much on my plate as possible, not make it look attractive. So I think I am succeeding in my mission there.

There was a sweet baby cake.

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Actually the entire dessert area was pretty awesome.

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Emily’s sister Sara has started making these amazing sugar cookies for various occasions.

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They look professional! She does a really great job. And they taste as good as they look. I could have eaten them all day long.

Everyone also got one of these great chocolate moustaches made by Leanne’s brother’s girlfriend. Joanna and I had some fun with those.

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Moustaches are always a good time. I totally had chocolate underneath my nose after that moustache picture and I didn’t notice until I got in my car to leave. Thanks for telling me, friends.

For one of the games, everyone had to bring in a baby picture of themselves and then had to guess which baby was Leanne. I was not able to pick out Leanne from all the babies, it was quite sneaky, but here is the picture I brought of myself.

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My baby baby photos are packed away in a box somewhere, so a toddler photo had to do. My friends didn’t even recognize me because they said the brown hair threw them off. Interestingly I was born with black hair and it gradually lightened until I was about three and then it was just blonde.

Uncle Leon really cleaned up in the gift department.

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I love giving books as baby shower presents. I remember my parents reading to me every night before bed and it instilled a HUGE love of reading in me. So my present for Leanne consisted of some of the classic Robert Munsch books (of course I included Love You Forever, best children’s book of all time), and also a onesie with a moustache on it. I didn’t even know about the chocolate moustache theme, so that was a coincidence.

Some of the gifts were so ridiculously cute they made my ovaries hurt.

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Aww, baby plaid.

Leanne’s mom made her this gorgeous cloth book.

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It was such an original gift.

And this is my favourite card.

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From Dawn. And that is a photo of Leanne’s husband from high school. He has red hair, so we assume they are having a little ginger.

It was a fun time oohing and aahing and losing it over all the cuteness. I still can’t believe there’s gonna be a BABY!

The Cottage Birthday and Chicken Balls for Breakfast

We went to Evan’s cottage again this past weekend, likely the last time until next summer for me, although you never know.

Evan and I arrived Friday night, and sadly all of Saturday pretty much looked like this:

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Overcast and quite a lot of rain. But that is A-okay, it was pretty relaxing just hanging out inside. Evan’s friends Ian and Dorothy were with us, so the four of us decided to go out for brunch on Saturday morning at a local Chinese restaurant, the Rice Lake Harwood Restaurant.

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It was an interesting brunch choice but there was not really anywhere else to go in the area. We went to a more touristy spot first and found that the restaurant was closed for the season, so that was disappointing. But only disappointing until I saw the menu at this place, because where else can you get chicken balls with your breakfast?

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I really love chicken balls and I have eaten many of them over the years. I need to say that those were the BEST chicken balls that I have ever eaten. EVER. I mean it. They actually had real chicken breast inside, were more chicken than ball (a problem I find with many chicken balls) and were just deep fried to golden perfection. I could not get enough. Best brunch I have had in a long time, and I excitedly told our server this as we were leaving. Dorothy actually grew up in Hong Kong so we were asking her about all the North Americanized Chinese dishes. Chicken balls are not a traditional Chinese dish in case anyone was wondering. Nor are spring rolls. But chicken feet sure are, and Dorothy says they’re actually really good!

Anyway, next time we are at the cottage we are going there for dinner. I need to try out the best of the Americanized Chinese deliciousness.

I have been excited for this cottage weekend for a while because my friends Dawn and Emily were coming up with their lovers Mark and Corey and they had never been to the cottage before. I had also not seen the girls since our sushi/Pravda night and that is just way too long, so I was anxious for a catch-up session. Emily and Corey had just spent a week on the east coast and were driving back from Nova Scotia on Saturday morning, so they weren’t arriving until later in the evening, but Dawn and Mark got there in the early afternoon. Just in time for a hat party.

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There are a lot of good hats at the cottage…

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So we all tried them on.

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Sometimes several at once.

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Dorothy brought out the best snack plate ever while we sat around chatting.

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And Dawn was all “Lindsey, this is blog material!” And it was. There are few things in life I enjoy more than good cheese and crackers. And fruit I guess. And that was hot pepper raspberry jam, which sounds like an odd combination, but it was really good. Especially with a little brie on your cracker. I appreciate people who are snack-oriented so I loved Dorothy for busting this out.

For dinner Evan made us all vegetable and pork skewers on the barbecue. And he gets extra points because he cut both the pork and the vegetables up himself (and you can see all the other reasons why he is awesome here).

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He also toasted the pitas with butter and picked up three different kinds of hummus and Helluva Good Dip (the dip was my request). I loved all the selections. Such a good dinner! We were all praising Chef Evan.

Since this was only a few days before Evan’s birthday we had a mini celebration for him. Dawn and Mark brought him this “special rum” from Jamaica that apparently everyone has to have a shot of on (or near) their birthday.

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We all decided to try it, and at first I wasn’t sure about it…

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Hmm…what is this?

But then it was pretty clear that I did not like it.

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DO NOT LIKE.

And I really regretted drinking any rum the next day. Beer! I need to stick to beer all the way! It is bad news when I forget this.

Evan took his shot much more gracefully than I did.

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I think he might have liked it.

The six of us played Cards Against Humanity for about four hours while we waited for Corey and Emily to arrive (and no one had to go lie down because they were laughing too hard, so that is a success). Serious kudos to Em and Cork for even coming at all, because they had been driving all day long after a week’s vacation and I’m pretty sure if it were me I would have wanted to just go home and dive right into my bed. But they made it and they were in good spirits!

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I was so excited to see them and hear about their trip.

And I was waiting for them to get there so I could bring out Evan’s birthday cake!

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I don’t have any good pictures of the cake but it was so good! I picked it up at a bakery near my work and it was a Dufflet (apparently they are well-known) vanilla with buttercream icing. Seriously so moist and so good. Everyone was going on about it and there was none leftover, which I was very disappointed about in the morning. I think it would have cured my hangover.

Dawn and Mark also got this sweet party game for Evan.

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Stick the pterodactyl on the pterodactyl spot. Sounds like a party and a half. We didn’t end up playing, which is sad because it looks like a fun time. But Evan saved it and we may have to bring it out in the future. And Emily and Corey brought Evan moonshine. It was quite the array of birthday presents. Looking back I wish we had combined the moonshine with the stick the pterodactyl on the pterodactyl spot, because that would have been pretty interesting.

When we woke up on Sunday morning it was just BEAUTIFUL. The entire day looked like this:

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Sunny and clear skies!

We made a quick bacon and egg breakfast (I was on toast duty and I mentioned that there is no glory in it and toast duty is a thankless job and everyone started clapping and yelling “YEAHHH TOAST!” when I sat down, so that was nice) and then we spent the rest of the day outside. Emily discovered how amazing the hammock is…

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We did a lot of fishing (well, the boys did) and tube leisuring…

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And poor Dawnald got stung by a wasp on her pinky finger. Poor muffin. I hope that doesn’t make her associate Evan’s cottage with bad things because I believe this was a rare occurrence. I think they all had a great time, and I had a fun day with my beautiful friends.

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Evan and I ended up staying all day and didn’t get home until about 10pm Sunday evening. I really just wanted enjoy it I knew it was going to be the last cottage day and winter is coming and city winters suck. So I achieved my goal and spent the entire day in the sunshine. Yes yes. It was a good weekend.

Eat all the Froyo

Last night I was invited to the Liberty Village Yogurty’s for a little froyo patio party to celebrate some new frozen yogurt flavours, and also their free wifi.

I never realized how grateful I was for free wifi until I was traveling and couldn’t use my phone otherwise, so this is a very handy thing. So if you are visiting Canada, hit up Yogurty’s. Frozen yogurt AND free wifi? Wins all around.

Anyway, I was told I could bring a friend, and since Evan has never tried froyo like this before, he was my friend of choice. I knew he would appreciate.

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Evan really loved Froyo the Bear.

This was my second Yogurty’s event. Last year I went to a similar thing around this time with my friend Lisa, and I had the best time ever.

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Since Yogurty’s is a client of Lisa’s PR agency, rock-it promotions, she was in attendance once again.

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And I haven’t seen her in a while so it was great to catch up with her.

I wasn’t quite as excited this time around, and only because I am no longer a stranger to froyo. Last year was my first frozen yogurt bar experience and I remember being blown away by the selection of flavours and toppings. And the fact that we were allowed to have ALL OF THEM. I couldn’t get over that. I went absolutely crazy and my froyo to toppings ratio was probably 50-50.

So this time I knew what to expect. I was still pumped though.

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And this Yogurty’s did have a great selection of both flavours and toppings.

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And I could kind of relive my first Yogurty’s experience through Evan, because I noticed he was a lot like me. He seemed pretty overwhelmed by all the toppings and kept exclaiming “cheesecake?!”, “cashews?!”, “chocolate MALT BALLS?!” It made me laugh. I could totally relate.

But I have learned my lesson since last year. Don’t go crazy with the toppings. This is very hard for me because I just want to try everything and load them all on there, especially if they are free. But typically I prefer my ice cream/froyo to be light on the toppings for an optimal smooth and creamy experience.

So, in order to maximize my flavours and toppings I made myself two cups.

My first was the chocolately cup, and included Belgian hot chocolate, peanut butter, and salted caramel popcorn froyo flavours, and brownies, cookie dough and Skor pieces for the toppings.

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Ridiculous. It was so good.

My second was the fruity cup, which included mango, strawberry fields, and raspberry chocolate cupcake froyo, and then pineapple, mango, strawberries, mango balls and gummy bears as toppings.

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Both were delicious, but if I had to pick a favourite I think it would be the chocolatey one. Usually I don’t even bother with fruit stuff because I am chocolate all the way, but I decided to switch it up.

It was a very good time, and my love for froyo lives on. Thanks for having us Yogurty’s! I will be seeing you again very soon.

The Deer Run Inn

Hi friends!

As mentioned in my last post, a bunch of us spent the weekend doing winter stuff in the middle of nowhere Ontario, at Emily’s Dad Al’s hunting camp, the famous Deer Run Inn.

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Tripod for the group photo win. From left: Corey, Emily, Evan, myself, Dawn, Mark, and Dawn and Mark’s dogs Miyou and Bolt. You should recognize them all if you have been following my blog for a while since most of those beautiful faces tend to make an almost weekly appearance around here.

It was awesome to spend the weekend outside of the city with them all, and I had a really fun time.

The camp isn’t on an official road, so getting into it is a bit tricky in the winter because there is typically a LOT of snow and the “road” is unplowed and hilly. So we met Em’s Dad Al on the drive up in his 4×4 truck and he drove us in. I was grateful, as we had a lot of stuff.

Dawn and Mark came up a bit later though, so we made the trek back out so we could walk them in and help them carry everything.

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Dawn with her backpack and her brown blanket killed me. She reminded me of a movie character. I think the hunchback from 300.

The walk is about 30 minutes, but it wasn’t bad as we had beer to get us through.

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We liked to call Evan the Mechanic, or Coveralls, or Dan Ackroyd (because of Ghostbusters) because he was wearing an attractive one piece coverall set as snow pants.

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He said the coveralls were nice and toasty.

So a little about the camp. It’s gorgeous. Though the term “inn” is probably used a bit loosely…

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It has a lot of deer paraphernalia kicking around, and a lot of gun racks.

There are two rooms. In modern open-concept fashion, the main room is the kitchen and the living room together, and then there is the bunk room, which has five bunk beds with double mattresses on both the top and bottom bunks. Very functional.

The camp has no electricity (though there is a generator), and no running water. It is heated by a wood stove and a cook stove, and there is also a propane stove if needed (we used it for breakfast). There’s an old fridge on the porch that isn’t plugged in, and it kind of acts like a cooler. But in the winter keeping everything cold isn’t a problem, because you can just leave it outside.

We didn’t need a fridge for our snacks anyway.

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Epitome of health right there. We do not mess around when it comes to snacks. I had a lot of everything.

There is also no bathroom. Just this fancy outhouse.

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We were trying to figure out why anyone would put a window on an outhouse door, and we think it is because when all the men are up there actually hunting deer, they probably keep their gun nearby when they are using that in the morning. In case any deer wander by, you know.  It’s important to keep an eye out for your enemy at all times.

Anyway, the seat was frigid, but as far as outhouses go it wasn’t too bad. And besides the cold seat I have decided I much prefer outhouses in the winter to the summer, because there isn’t really a smell and there are no bugs. I have a feeling that thing gets pretty spider infested in the summer. And spiders, as you may know, are the one thing that make me panic inside.

The snow was up to our knees, so Evan shovelled a path over to the outhouse so we could easily get to it from the cabin.

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Very nice of him. Also, to the right of the cabin in that picture is the shower. We didn’t use it though. We just stayed dirty.

After we unpacked our stuff and got all settled, we got right into the winter activities. Like building snowmen!

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It was perfect snowman-building packing snow. We built two awesome ones, and then we trashed them.

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We had a pellet gun up there so we shot some cans off of that snowman before Mark tackled it. I actually have a pretty good shot!

And I have been wanting to make a snow angel for at least two years, so I got that dream out of the way.

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We also took the dogs on a big walk through the snow around the camp, and Corey showed us the tree stand he uses when he is there actually hunting deer with Emily’s Dad.

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I didn’t get a picture of it, but I wanted to post this one because in the top left of the photo is the “skinning shack.” We did not go in there, because I have a feeling it is just as horrifying as it sounds.

After dinner (lasagne), we played a round of Apples to Apples which I have never played before. It’s a really good family game and it was pretty funny.

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Coincidentally Evan brought the game Cards Against Humanity, which is exactly like Apples to Apples, only a million times more inappropriate.

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And I really do mean a million times more inappropriate. No exaggeration there. So we played that next, and let me tell you, it was the funniest game I have ever played. Ever. I was dying. Like laughing so hard I couldn’t breathe. A couple people had to actually take a Tylenol because their heads hurt so much from laughing. Emily eventually had to lie down, as she just couldn’t take the laughter anymore.

And I really appreciated that they tailored the game for Canadians.

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I don’t think Evan stole his copy of Cards Against Humanity, just for the record. But there were a few American cards we didn’t understand, so we appreciated the Canadian effort.

We played the entire game, while wearing hats.

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We went through every card. It took us about five hours, but we did take a break to squeeze in some nighttime tobogganing.

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The hill wasn’t the greatest, but it was still a good time. We lit it with flares so we could see where we were going.

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It was pretty.

The next morning we woke up and made the best breakfast ever.

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So good. The hash browns almost reminded me of the amazing hash browns we had in Jamaica. Almost.

We also had toast, which Evan brought cinnamon spread for. Cinnamon spread!

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It took me back to my childhood! I took the leftover tub home with me and have been stirring it into my oatmeal in the mornings. It is goooood.

Corey, Evan and I also all had very attractive onesies that came in handy for the morning chilliness. Corey missed the onesie picture, sadly.

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Bolt and Miyou enjoyed them. My onesie was super comfortable. I think I might start wearing it all the time.

Fun times at the hunting camp!

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I am already excited to go back.

The Guac-Off

I am a little late in blogging about this, but a couple Friday’s ago my work had a Guac-Off (guacamole contest) to celebrate the Super Bowl.

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So much guac. We had nine participants in total.

I have to be honest here and say I don’t even really like guacamole all that much. I think because I just LOVE SALSA SO MUCH so if I am eating my tortilla chips with anything, I prefer to eat them with that spicy tomato deliciousness (and a friggin’ lot of it).

But I do like contests or any sort of competition. Quite a lot. Also, the winner received a bottle of Jose Cuervo tequila, and again, not the biggest fan of tequila, but I think winning is more important than the prize.

So I was on board for the guac-off. And having never made guacamole before, I needed a partner who kind of knew what they were doing with guacamole-making if I stood a chance at winning. So I roped in Evan (who LOVES to cook, have I mentioned this? Score again) to help me.

We went out and bought a ton of avocados (and Corona, as you can see in the background, and we also had tacos for dinner to complete our Mexican night).

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We mashed those babies up with a potato masher, and then just started adding ingredients. We didn’t follow a recipe, or Evan didn’t, because I mainly just supervised and let him take over. He put onions, garlic, tomatoes, lime juice, cayenne pepper and cilantro in the food processor and then just added that to the mashed avocado.

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Which we then mixed together until we had a beautifully creamy guac.

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Which was not quite as fluorescent green as it looks in this picture. My iPhone likes to get excited about colours sometimes.

We thought the guac still needed a little somethin’ extra, so Evan had the great idea to add a little tahini as a secret weapon. I think it was a good call.

Honestly our guacamole was really good. Again, no expert here, but I really liked it. By this time I had been taste-testing guacamole for about two hours so I couldn’t tell anymore whether it was good or not, but the next day I was loving it. We didn’t think it was winning guacamole, but it was good!

We had a bunch of leftover taco beef from dinner, and Evan really wanted to add it to the guacamole, which looking back I think would have been an amazing idea. But at the time I voted that down. I love the idea of buafamole (haha), but I thought people would be weirded out by eating beefy guacamole. I kind of wish we did this though… Ah well. Next time.

I felt confident in my entry for the guac-off. My guac was in good company!

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(my guac is in the middle of the above pic)

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There was some gooooood guacamole kicking around.

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Alex on my left had a DELICIOUS and extremely well-presented apple tequila guacamole. He let the apples soak in the tequila before adding them to his guac, and I was definitely skeptical about this guacamole recipe when he told me about it the day before…but it was extremely good. His guacamole bowl was the only one that was completely empty by the end of the guac-off. And Christina on the right made a tex mex guacamole, which was also quite delicious.

Some people chose to bring all their ingredients to work and make their guacamole last minute.

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Which was a good idea, as then your avocado doesn’t brown.

This guacamole was definitely the best presented:

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I thought this should be the winner before I even tasted it. So creative. I was kicking myself for slacking on presentation after I saw this.

And then the taste-testers rolled in.

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And we enjoyed our guac with Mexican beer.

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I still can’t get over this beer-at-work thing. It’s great.

In the end,  the winner of the guac-off for both presentation and taste went to the football field guacamole, and one of our interns Christina (not the same Christina pictured with me above).

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The boys in the background look a little jealous…

But my guacamole did get three votes for taste! Fine, one was my own…but I didn’t expect to receive any votes at all, so I will take that.

I had an extra container of guacamole left and by then I was so sick of guacamole I never wanted to look at it again. Luckily my friends had a girls’ night that evening to rehash all of our Jamaican stories, and you know we love our food tables… My leftover guac fit right in.

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And that was the Guac-Off. Good times.