I have not forgotten that I am the only contributor to this blog.

I can not believe I have not posted since September. My intention was never to have a schedule for posts, keep this blog to human relationship casual, but neglect? I never meant for that to happen! I still have a running list of things to post about on my phone, I have just not composed any of the actual posts. Life happens. I’m back, kind of, I’m busy, but I intend to be back. Absence makes the heart grow fonder? Here’s hoping and a pretty picture of a gorge.

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On the way to Taos, New Mexico

Celiacaversary…I still think it should be added to the dictionary

I almost forgot that it was my celiacaversary!  I have to do something!  I have to mark this day with more than just making up a word!  Ethiopian?  Me thinks yes.  Perfect.  Delicious.  Always Happy.

Round up the troops and make this happen.  I don’t know why we don’t think of this meal more often; it’s so easy for Andrew to avoid nuts, Chris can be a vegetarian, I can not worry about gluten and Jonathan can eat meat.  Good times were had by all.  If you still haven’t tried this place a year after I mentioned it, you should be ashamed.  Now get over my frustration towards you and go to Nil Bleu.

Enjoy!

NB: I thought I posted this a month ago, but my iPad and my computer seem to be fighting.

Chipotle, I had to.

During the month of June, I was in New Mexico taking part in a fantastic singing program (still working out the post in my head), but upon my arrival in Albuquerque, I decided to eat at a Chipotle.  This is a Mexican food chain essentially owned by McDonald’s, but it has some heart.  I know what you must be thinking…this girl is surrounded by Mexican/New Mexican food in New Mexico, why would she choose to go to a fast food chain? My favorite New Mexican restaurant is in Santa Fe and it was already in the books for the next day and I was in a hurry.  If I had a buddy, I would have gone to a proper restaurant, but when you are by yourself, if you’re not in the mood to dine alone, fast food becomes more appealing.

Check out this link and see why I have some love for this chain:
click me!

Hears a taste:

Chipotle.

The website advises to ask for the server to change their gloves and follow you along the line to avoid contamination (as much as you can).  I’m making this sound so risky, but I have been to various Chipotle’s and (knock on wood) not had any problems.

I always order the Burrito Bowl;  it’s huge and can be shared or eaten solo, leftovers are good too.  Andrew and I were visiting his Mom in Albany and we split 2 between the three of us and still had leftovers for his sister.  All the meats are delicious and they are all gf.  My favorite is pork.  You pick your rice, your meat, and your toppings.  Always get the guacamole, it’s tasty.

Carnitas Burrito Bowl with cilantro rice, corn and guacamole, with a blackberry IZZE.

Does this look like fast food to you?  I think even if I could eat everything on the menu at any fast food joint, Chipotle would be my fast food of choice.  I am a sucker for Mexican cuisine, but this place is tasty.  Of course, the nearest location to Montreal is Burlington, Vermont, but I highly recommend keeping this place in mind if you’re in the US or Toronto, especially over a McDonald’s.

Website:
click me!

Addendum - this little story might not help sell my gf experience at Chipotle, but I have to tell it:  When I stepped up to the counter, I asked the server to change her gloves because I have an allergy to gluten.  With a flour tortilla in her hand, she says: “I haven’t touched gluten in these gloves”,  giving her the benefit of the doubt, I reply: “oh, is that a corn tortilla in your hand?”.  She says: “No, it’s just a tortilla”  Devon’s eyebrows furrow: “so that is a wheat flour tortilla, there is gluten in wheat”.  “No,” says my new ‘about to get educated’ friend, “it’s a tortilla tortilla”.  Oy, needless to say, I asked for the next girl over to help me.

Guacamole

This was one of the best bowls of guacamole I’ve ever made / eaten. I would have taken a picture of the guac, had Andrew and I not devoured it. And I really mean devoured.

I’ve always made a pretty good bowl of guacamole, if I do say so myself. Lots of people think cilantro is the key, but I’m not a big fan of the flavour it adds to my version of guacamole. I use soy sauce instead of salt and serrano chili paste to spice things up a little. A few weeks ago, my newly Canadian friend Damla and I went to my favourite grocery store and I bought way too much feta. Andrew and I have been putting it on and in everything. It’s made a delicious addition to Anew’s sandwiches and I’ve been eating lots of tasty tomato salads. All this to say, I finally thought to add feta to a bowl of guacamole!  How did this not come to me sooner!?

This was so delicious, I had to run out and get more avocados for our BBQ! This time I took some pictures, before we dug in! This massive bowl was also devoured.

Devon’s Epic Guacamole (the party size)

5 ripe avocados, pitted, peeled and mashed to desired smoothness
juice from 2 limes
2 tbsp. serrano chili paste (more if you like the heat)
4 chopped garlic cloves
1/2 medium red onion, diced
2 cups cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 cup crumbled feta
Salt and Pepper

Mash together the lime, chili paste, garlic and onions.  Mix in the tomatoes and feta, add salt and pepper to taste!  Voila!  Enjoy!

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Cabane à Sucre

This is one of my favorite things about living in Quebec.  Every year when the snow melts the maple sap starts to run and the blessed people of Quebec go out and collect all that yummy sap and turn it into even yummier syrup!  Then, these fabulous people host these incredible meals to celebrate this syrup that they have made.  Pea soup, creton, beans, potatoes, bacon, ham, eggs and ‘les oreilles de Christ’, MAPLE TOFFEE!  All drizzled in maple goodness.  Maple is a Quebec staple.

“What to eat first…the maple bacon or les oreilles d’Christ?”

My first experience with Cabane was in 2000, I went with Nadia, Lara and the Concordia Psychology department.  We went to a giant Sugar Shack with space for about 300, they had an arcade, dance floor and I think I remember some ski-ball.  It was quite the adventure and I figured it was something you had to do at least once.

Fast forward a few years and some of my new friends wanted to go somewhere for Cabane.  I ask one of my favorite Francophone’s where to go and she sends me to a place I will try to visit annually for the rest of my life.  Louise’s family has been going to the Cabane à sucre famille Éthier for years and I’m happy to continue the tradition with them and all the people I love.

Hears a taste:

Cabane à sucre famille Éthier.

There is no menu.  You arrive.  You eat.  The only thing I (the celiac) can’t eat is the omelet (there is a touch of flour to make it giant and puffy) and dessert, but la Famille Éthier is always happy to fry up a couple of eggs for me and this year, for dessert, they poached an egg in maple syrup!  Be jealous, it’s delicious.  The last part of the meal is my favorite, you roll a popsicle stick across a bed of snow covered in hot maple syrup, it’s called: La Tire d’Érable.

A meal with bacon, pork rinds (the French call them Christ’s Ears), eggs and maple syrup is really hard to mess up, but this place is special because of the people who run it and the music and the love of maple syrup.  Did I mention they refill the bowls?  Did I mention that it’s bring your own wine?  Wonderful.

This year, I went twice.

This does not look appetizing, I know, but it’s a bowl of hot maple syrup with an egg in it, you can’t deny that you want to try this. And you should, it’s amazing.

There are tons of Cabane in the Montreal area and throughout Quebec.  I highly recommend any of the ones that fit less than 100 people, it’s a way more realistic and pleasant experience!

Click me! for the Quebec Tourist website to find your own favorite Cabane!

Another one of my favorite things about living in Quebec is living in the same city as Dayle:
HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAYLE!!!

Sweet sweet potato salad

I had a bad day and I wanted to eat it away.  I came home and declared: “I want French fries!”, to which Andrew replied: “Really?  Even after eating out for the past few days?”  Sad, he was right, we needed something healthy and light, but we had no groceries.  I searched through the fridge and found green onions and a couple sweet potatoes in the pantry.  Now what?  A little google search and a skim through 6 recipes, this is what I came up with:

Sweet Sweet Potato Salad

You have to try this dish!  It was fresh and light and surprisingly satisfactory in the comfort food department.

Sweet Sweet Potato Salad (a mix of recipes from a few places)

Dressing
¼ cup avocado oil (or light oil)
2 tbsp. maple syrup
2 tbsp. orange juice
2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. grated ginger (fresh of course)
½ tsp. cinnamon
½ cup chopped green onions

Salad
3 sweet potatoes (1 pound-ish), peeled and cut into bite-size cubes
½ cup dried cherries or cranberries
2 tbsp. crystallized ginger, finely chopped
(I’m sure pecans would be delicious too, if you can eat that kind of thing)

Mix all the dressing ingredients and set aside.  Steam the sweet potatoes until tender (not too soft or you will be eating mashed sweet potato salad).  Rinse in cold water and ice cubes (some people call this blanching), drain.

Mix everything together.  Enjoy!

Duben Wilde

Dear friend,

It has been too long since we have spoken and now it is too late.  A day later and already I miss your smile.  You were the best person, the kindest person, a great man.  I’m sorry I never got to see how amazing a husband and father you’ve been, I imagine that you were great at both.  Time passes and we let it go by without words, but you have always been in my thoughts and in my heart.  You were my friend and you will be missed.

I remember our trip to the circus, despite my fear you made me stand next to a clown!  We laughed our way through the picture, I have the proof framed forever with my photographs, I will cherish those memories.

I often think of our trips to McDonald’s, we would order 20 chicken nuggets with all the sauces and spend the afternoon eating and mixing sauces and catching up.  I think one of your favorite mixes was honey and bbq sauce, I was more partial to the honey mixed with mustard, but it was never really about the nuggets, it was about the company.

I still have the letters you wrote while you were on your mission.  I was so proud of you for going, for learning a whole new language and devouring the culture you were surrounded by.  You asked me to only ever speak French to you so you could practice and never forget all that you had learned.

You turned every negative into a positive and drew out all the good you could from every experience.  I hope that rubbed off on me, it was a great quality.

I’m glad that in your final days you were surrounded by people who love you and will think of you often.   You will be remembered, you will always be loved.

Goodbye sweet friend,
devon