Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Wide Angle: Vol. 13

Pin It You know what's busy? Summer. Summer has got to be the busiest time of year, but in the best way possible. It's full of food, drinks, cottages, pool days, patios and just general plans. Throw in the final weeks of wedding planning and ooooooh boy the days fly by.

As you probably guessed by the title of the post, it's time for another wide angle look at life behind the scenes… much of which will involve all these plans. It's been a great summer so far, but also one of the busiest.

1 & 2 - As I wrote about here, leaving our jobs behind in China was very bittersweet.  We had to say goodbye to a lot of great humans, colleagues and students alike. On the plus side, I got to feel like I was in high school again by getting my yearbook signed.

3, 4, & 5 - Before leaving for Canada we did a little traveling around China to squeeze in some pretty major sites that we hadn't yet had a chance to see in our travels. Beijing was the first stop and had some pretty cute street art with a message, and sitting serenely on the Great Wall was one of those moments that feels more surreal than anything else. Finally, I found some flowers in the mass of concrete that is Beijing, they were hidden in Jingshan Park behind the forbidden city.

6 & 7 - Our next stop was the Guangxi Province to see the karst formations around Yangshuo, and the Longji rice terraces. Totally worth it.

8 - This is what two years of life for two people looks like in suitcases … not that bad.

9 - Getting welcomed home with some Canadian themed flowers was pretty great!

10 - Those pool days I mentioned up above are usually spent with these people. These are the best people.

11 & 12 - Canada is beautiful and has a lot of nature to offer. Both Other Half and I have marvelled at the clouds since returning and the quality of sunsets has been unreal. The garden this flower comes from is one of my favourites, and this bloom is particularly charming.

13 - When it rains, we play Settlers of Catan (get into it) and eat ice cream sandwiches. It's the best.

14 - This is my city. And I love it.

What's been going on behind the scenes with you?

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Scotch and Ginger Beer Cocktail

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You know what's awesome about summer time? It seems to come with a built in excuse to soak up the warm rays (will full factor SPF of course!) and experiment with boozy drinks. Is that included in your definition of summer? Because if it's not, it totally should be. 

A simple Scotch on the rocks is one of my favourite drinks, it's easy, the flavours are rich, and it forces me to sip slowly so I don't turn into one of those weird booze guzzlers (which is precisely what happens when I drink fruity-boozy things that taste like juice … oh boy). However, a drink like that has a time and a place, and rereading the Harry Potter series for the 10th time super intellectual summer blockbuster is not it. So it was time to mix it up. 

This cocktail was whipped up in about 30 seconds flat and has a real juxtaposition of flavours. The scotch gives it a rich, deep flavour, but the ginger beer balances it out and makes it zippy and fun - which basically means you can serve this to anyone and everyone (of legal drinking age… I'm not promoting any wrong doing here). 

While we're here, let's talk about Ginger Beer for a second. Have you tried it? Do you know what it is? I'm discovering the many from North American are not privy to the delight that is this spicy/lively non-alcoholic beverage. Think of it as a less sweet, more gingery Ginger Ale and you're just about there. It's can pack a bit of a punch, so if this is your first time trying it, sip small at first but guaranteed you'll be back again and again!

Served over ice and with a twist of lime if you have it this would be the perfect drink to accompany some lime roasted cashews or a snack of sweet potato fries. yum!

Keep reading for the recipe!

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Mint Lime Iced Tea with Simple Syrup

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There is nothing like summer in Canada. More specifically, there is nothing like summer in Ontario.  Our summers are sunny, hot, and filled with endless shades of green and blue. Quite frankly, it's stunning. It's the type of weather that makes you want to sit back, put up your feet, and sip on something gold and refreshing - and that's exactly what we're going to do today!

This recipe was inspired by a meal I had well over a year ago on our trip to Cambodia.  We dined at Friends restaurant (which remains one of the best meals I've had) and I ordered this drink in hopes of finding a thirst quencher that would help me beat the heat.  It did, and I've been wanting to drink it again ever since. Well, I finally got around to making it, and of course it was about the simplest thing ever, which means it's likely to become a refrigerator regular.  Huzzah!

The base of this recipe is a simple unsweetened iced tea (read: cold black tea), but the mint and lime combine to make it oh-so-refreshing, and the simple syrup served on the side lets you adjust the sweetness to your tastes and makes it seem extra fancy - everybody wins!

This would be a great addition to your next BBQ, girls-day-at-the-beach session, or anytime you want to sip on something yummy and refreshing.

Enjoy, and keep reading for the recipe!


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