December 04, 2013

Monthly Recap - November 2013

November has been the start of snowfalls, cozy meals, warm drinks, and the festive season! Here's what I did and ate this month:

tahini quinoa & chickpeas with beets

One of my favourite meals I tried this month was a quinoa and chickpea bowl with roasted beets, kale, and a tahini dressing. It was pretty filling because of the tahini sauce but also healthy and tasty, even though it certainly wasn't the prettiest dish I've ever made! The recipe is from Dishing up the Dirt if you want to give it a try (which I recommend)!

quinoa, sweet potato, black bean chili

I also loved this comforting and healthful sweet potato, black bean, and quinoa chili with smoked chipotle from Ambitious Kitchen. This is just a horrible phone picture of my leftovers, so please visit this page to see beautiful photos of the dish and get the recipe! And if you love chili, Monique has another great looking recipe on her site for a lentil & quinoa chili that I might try next!

brusels sprout naan pizza

I've been eating a lot of quick and easy meals this month, which as usual includes a lot of naan pizza! This one was made up of whole wheat naan topped with mozzarella and some brussels sprouts that had been chopped and tossed with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper. So good!

cinnamon buns

One of my favourite special treats to make, even though it's a ton of work, is cinnamon buns. I've made my version of cinnabon-style buns quite a few times and always love them, and I had planned on blogging them this month when I made them for a special occasion. Unfortunately, something went differently this time (perhaps it was my attempt to use less butter and sugar) and they turned out too bready for my liking. Hopefully I'll get it right next time and will share the recipe I use, but it might be a while as these are definitely a rare treat!

red velvet cupcakes

I also made cupcakes this month for a going away celebration. I used Annie's Eats recipe for red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, which I've made before and quite liked. I've also discovered that it's so easy to add letters to cupcakes to spell out a message (in this case, "best wishes"). Just melt your desired colour of chocolate melting wafers (I buy mine at a bulk store but they sell them in bags at Michaels and other places), transfer the melted chocolate to a Ziplock bag and snip a tiny amount off the corner, then line a baking sheet with wax paper and pipe your desired letters or shapes onto the paper. You then transfer the baking sheet to the fridge (or freezer if you're in a hurry like me) until the chocolate hardens, and they're then ready to top cupcakes!

soft molasses cookies

For a departmental cookie swap at school this month, I made these soft molasses coconut oil crinkle cookies from Averie Cooks. They were definitely soft and very heavy on the molasses (almost a touch too sweet for my taste, though I have a sensitive sweet tooth), but I still loved them!

cookie swap

This was part of the haul I brought home from the cookie swap. Everyone in my department is so talented and I loved everything they made, though my favourite was probably the homemade version of a skor bar with chocolate and toffee (top of the container), which I'll have to get the recipe for!

Other things I've enjoyed this month include:

waffle day

A random "waffle appreciation day" with my lab, which included homemade fresh waffles and tons of toppings. So fun!


The first snowfall and Starbucks gingerbread lattes.

timothys latte

Timothy's winter wonder macaroon latte (with chocolate, coconut, and caramel flavours) - so good!

Christmas in Bayfield

A day trip to Bayfield, Ontario for their Christmas festivities.

 photo 11-lunch_zpsc613accb.jpg

Including a delicious lunch at the ArtSee cafe, where I enjoyed this "gourmet grilled cheese" with apples and a ginger mango chutney.

Ottawa in November

And a brief trip to our wonderful nation's capital, Ottawa! Where we saw the parliament buildings (pictured above),

snow in Ottawa

got lots of snow,

Byward Market

strolled through the lovely touristy area of Byward Market for some shopping,

beaver tails

couldn't resist getting the famous "beaver tails", which is basically fried dough covered in cinnamon sugar,


and enjoyed a few good meals (which I took terrible dark photos of). Pictured above is a bento box from Wasabi, some bbq pulled chicken and mac and cheese from the Smoque Shack, which has some really great food at great prices (definitely recommend going here if you like bbq food), and a pesto, apple, onion, and arugula pizza from a food court, which was surprisingly good!

christmas tree

And finally, I've enjoyed getting into the Christmas spirit over the past couple of weeks and am looking forward to all the holiday festivities now that December is here! Hope you all had a great month!

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