Originally published on Houzz.com – This is a great way to encourage community!
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Originally published on Houzz.com – This is a great way to encourage community!
Here is a post I wrote some time ago for Eat Love Savor – I hope you enjoy!
For The Love Of Fondue
When cooler weather drifts in, many turn to comfort food as a way to keep warm and draw everyone indoors. One of the most fun and interactive ways to accomplish this is to host a fondue party.
The word fondue is derived from the French word fondre, which means ‘to melt.’ Fondue was born out of necessity in the 18th century when Swiss villagers found themselves with nothing to eat but stale bread and cheese during long winter months. They discovered that melting the cheese then dipping the bread made both much more palatable. Later with the addition of wine and spices, it became a very enjoyable and popular meal. From cheese to chocolate, and hot pot style oil and broth fondues, this is a tasty way to gather family and friends for an entertaining culinary experience.
Your fondue will only be as good as the ingredients you use, so don’t skimp. A few extra dollars goes a long way in producing the best fondue possible. Provide each guest to the table with their own fondue fork and raclette plate. Skewering some ingredients beforehand with bamboo picks and skewers allows people to dip as soon as they sit down.
Cheese : Ooey, gooey and oh-so good, everyone loves a cheese fondue. Cheese should be cubed or shredded to ensure even melting. Choose firm cheese with a fat content of 45% or more and don’t be afraid to experiment. Use a cheese you’ve never tried, or mix two or three together remembering that older cheeses produce a richer flavor and creamier texture. For a beverage, good quality wine is a perfect accompaniment. I recommend a visit to Nat Decants to pair your wine with the type of cheese in your fondue.
The most popular cheeses to use are:
The best dippers
Bread – a hearty French loaf cut into cubes
Vegetables – lightly steam your favourites to soften and bring out their vibrant color
Hot Pot Style: Using a specialized fondue pot, oils and butter or savory broths are heated and used as a cooking base for thinly sliced meats, seafood, and a wide variety of vegetables and tofu. Use good quality cuts of meat such as tenderloin or prime rib and free range chicken. Hot pepper sauce, teriyaki, and herb butter sauce all make great dips to serve as accompaniments. Tea, beer and sake go well with this type of fondue.
For Your Sweet Tooth
Sweet fondues are a perfect way to end a meal, or serve alone for an evening with friends. Enjoy one with your favorite fruits and sweet breads like pound cake and banana bread. Sweet fondues call for sweeter beverages. Indulge in chocolate martinis, vintage port and ice wine. And always have plenty of water.
Chocolate: Bitter or semi sweet fair trade, gourmet chocolate is your best choice for a rich fondue. Flavor extracts or liqueurs can be added for that special touch. A fun twist is to make mini ice cream balls and keep them in the freezer until just before serving!
Butterscotch: A twist on the traditional chocolate fondue, butterscotch provides another sweet fondue option.
For very special occasions why not combine fondues and amp up the lux ~ but please, no double dipping!
For some reason when I was 19 years old and new to Vancouver I decided to buy a lifetime membership to Fitness World – I’m not going to tell you how long ago that was. But I will say it was a very good decision. Besides the fact that I probably have thee lowest monthly dues on any given day of the week I have been able to maintain a pretty solid fitness level for years.
Soon after I chose a career in fitness and became a personal trainer. During my two years in this role I saw so many people come through the gym, but not everyone would stay. Sometimes they gave up because it was too hard, sometimes they didn’t give it long enough to see results and sometimes they simply didn’t see the results they were looking for. But there were always new ones to replace those who didn’t last.
Things haven’t changed much over the last 23 years (gave it away). Every January the gym fills up with fitness hopefuls and their shiny, new fitness cards (Thank you Steve Nash for giving me a handy bar code card for my keychain) and by mid February many of them have left. To those who stick it out I salute you, along with those die hards that show up faithfully at 6 am most week days. What’s the difference between the two groups? Time. Just time. And the decision to keep going over time.
All of us start somewhere on the path to better fitness. When I started running again after my children were born I would run one block, walk two. I worked up to running five minutes walking 1 until after many years and many miles I could actually run a 1/2 marathon without stopping. It’s been a couple of years since I’ve been able to do that, but I’m still out there working at it. And that’s the key.
So if there’s anything I can say to the newbies at the gym and on the seawall it would be this:
And remember, those of us in the gym or on the seawall who you think are in better shape than you – we’re actually rooting for you. So don’t give up!
Life’s like that. Big or small, change affects us all, everyday, in different ways. We’re asked if we can spare some change – most people would give it away if they could. But not their money, just the verb. We don’t want to part with our money, but how volatile the change can be when it comes to our money. No, that’s not where we should place our faith.
We resist it. Comfort comes from the familiar and so we work hard to stay rooted in what we know. We miss out. Adventures occur when we step out and allow change to happen. Good or bad depends on our outlook to begin with. Let’s choose good and see what happens.
We change our minds, our clothes, our passwords. We change time forward or backward. We change lanes and we change direction. How often we change something everyday, yet continue to resist change if we see it coming. The weather changes – we can’t control that.
What would it look like to embrace change? To allow people around us to change, to allow ourselves to change without judgement or expectation. That’s when growth occurs, we’ve all experienced it. Change is good, it’s reasonable, it’s exciting.
Life is a gift. Change is part of life. Embrace change.
I’d like to thank Louise Bell from @table_tonic for introducing me to this fabulous food blog. Our daughter has been vegetarian now for six years, and I’m always looking for new recipes to inspire our family to eat healthier and support her choice.
What I love about this blog
September is just around the corner. The evenings are cool, it’s misty in the morning, it’s time for a steaming bowl of hearty hamburger soup. Also a way to enjoy this season’s fresh tomatoes!
The amount of each ingredient can vary depending on the thickness of the soup you desire.
In a large stock pot brown:
Once cooked almost through add:
For last minute of sauté add
If you don’t have any fresh tomatoes add:
You can top up your soup with water if a bit more liquid is required or desired
Bring to a boil then simmer until sweet potato is cooked through – taste and add salt &/or pepper as needed.
Serve with chunks of bread torn off a country style, hearty loaf
For a vegetarian version substitute Yves veggie ground round or a head of roughly chopped cauliflower for the sausage and beef, and use organic vegetable stock instead of chicken or beef stock.
Very early Saturday morning my friend Kathi and I arrived at the base of Grouse Mountain in North Vancouver. We love the Grouse Grind, a 2.9 km trek up the mountain, committing to the climb at least once a week. Each time we begin we see the sign pointing the way to BCMC – another option for getting up the mountain. So this time we decided to climb the alternate route.
The beginning of the BCMC is a bit easier, the incline not so aggressive at the start. The rest of the climb is, for the most part, challenging with much less maintenance than the grind and much more natural rock and root present on the trail. The destination is the same, the top of Grouse Mountain, although we did deviate from the trail near the top for a bit of added adventure. Climb time is roughly the same.
And the view from the top ~ absolutely spectacular
From about the 3/4 way up the climb the flies became bothersome. I didn’t really enjoy their presence and they continued once at the top. After grabbing an iced coffee we wanted to enjoy the spectacular view and made our way to an outdoor seating area. Surrounding the tables are long planters filled with fresh herbs, so great! Unfortunately, the scent of lemon thyme did not help keep the flies away… We were hoping it would.
Needing to keep moving, we walked behind the chalet to the wildlife habitat where two grizzly bears have found sanctuary. Grinder and Coola were both orphaned as cubs and now live on top of Grouse Mountain.
The paws & the claws are large and quite intimidating, but we watched two very calm bears enjoying a swim and chewing on some plants. Pretty amazing sight right in my ‘backyard’ and an amazing way to begin the weekend.