bits and bites - march 2012

First up: I have an announcement to make...

Thanks for the delish brownies the the tiny Netherlands flag Lindsey!
(no, they were not *those* kind of brownies. ha, ha)
The messy little cook is moving to Amsterdam!  Trev is going to be working there for six months, so I'm tagging along for most of that time.  What will I be doing there, you ask?  Exploring on my bicycle that has a basket on the front (that's how it looks in my mind anyways), shopping at local markets, taking lots of pictures, eating (lots, so I'm glad about the cycling), planning weekend getaways to other countries...yeah, it's going to be amazing.  We're both so grateful for this opportunity and I'm looking forward to sharing our European adventures here on my blog.

 Because we live so far south, we don't make it to Tres Carnales as often as we'd like, but by a happy coincidence we've been a couple times in the last two weeks.  As always, the food, the atmosphere and the people are awesome.

I love letting Danny pick stuff for me to order - recently he got me to try my tacos 'volcan' style, which involves frying cheese on the griddle before the tortilla is placed on top, flipped over and topped with whichever topping you want.  It was definitely a tasty addition to my chorizo taco (along with their house-made extra hot sauce).  Thanks for the excellent food Tres Carnales, I will definitely miss you while we're away!

Things have been pretty busy around here as we get ready to head overseas.  I'm way behind on blogging and I haven't been doing much cooking, but I still have a few things to share.  I made this banana chocolate chip loaf a little while ago.  It's a pretty healthy recipe that requires lots of very ripe bananas (brown spots are a must) to make up for the small amount sugar in the recipe.  It also had wheat germ and ground flax, so it made the perfect breakfast on the go or mid-morning snack at work.

I've had quite the sweet-tooth these days, so it didn't take much for Trev to convince me that we should stop at Whimsical Cake Studio for some cupcakes this weekend.  Their cupcakes are so good - I love that the cake is slightly dense, but flavourful and moist.  I also love that they make a variety of flavours of cake, rather than just chocolate, vanilla and red velvet like most of the cupcake shops in Edmonton.  My favourites are the 'Berry Lovely' a strawberry cake topped with vanilla buttercream and the 'Cookie Dough' a marble cake topped with cookie dough frosting and mini chocolate chips.  I have a confession to make...I even ate a cupcake for breakfast...don't tell any of the dietitians I work with.

Yesterday was St. Patrick's Day, which is always a lot of fun, especially when it's on a Saturday.  Usually I would go all out and make themed cupcakes, cookies, Irish stew or something, but it was a busy week at work with two potlucks, so I just ran out of time.  I did stop by McDonalds for a Shamrock Shake though.  I have fond childhood memories of Shamrock Shakes, and hadn't had one in years.  As we went through the drive-thru to pick up our milkshakes my excitement quickly turned to tasted like...toothpaste.  ewwwww.  Maybe the milkshake machine was just adding too much mint, I'm not sure, but I kept taking sips hoping it would get better and it just didn't.  Sometimes childhood memories are best left in the past.  I think next year I'll make a homemade version of the Shamrock Shake - peppermint schnapps & vanilla bean gelato, anyone?