February is my most dreaded dreary month, and this year I started it with NOROVIRUS, so it could only get better from there:
- Jenny, Heather and I trekked up to Richmond Hill to see Molly Yeh do a food demo and talk about her new book Molly on the Range. I’ve followed Molly’s blog over the years, but only made my first recipe of hers in December when I made Chicken Pot Tot Hotdish (basically Chicken Pot Pie with Tater Tots on top). I wanted to go see her more because of her interesting life (half-Chinese/half-Jewish, Julliard trained percussionist-turned food blogger, who now lives on a farm in North Dakota) and overall adorkable persona, plus the fact that the list of recipes she was making at the demo sounded delicious (spinach & feta rugelach, cauliflower shawarma tacos, chocolate tahini cupcakes). She was super cute, and I loved listening to her talk about her life and travels, and how she gathers inspiration from her family and farm life to develop her recipes. We got to try all the food, and everything was so good. The girls and I all bought the book and I can’t wait to make a bunch of stuff from it. Jenny already has and you can read her post about it here.
- After not baking for all of January (no one wants to eat your treats post-holidays), I made so many Valentine’s Day treats this year for my friends. These Chocolate Hazelnut Linzer Hearts of course, but also giant heart shaped sugar cookies with royal icing (pictured above, with a “We Go Together Like” theme, ripped off Cake & Loaf), plus a Valentine’s Day remix of these Confetti Cookies to send to Alexis and her family.
- My Galentine Lydia came over to watch the Bachelor and I made us this Marinated Goat Cheese with Crostini from Shutterbean, and some Rosemary Roasted Cashews from my friend Gwendolyn. Both recipes are actually from The Barefoot Contessa, love that.
- Lydia and I also went to meet Aoife & Brad’s new baby Nolan and I brought a small care package of Oh She Glows GF Faves: Banana Bread Muffin Tops and Super Seed Granola, both in OSG Everyday.
- I haven’t been able to get a good picture of them, but this is my current favourite dinner: Swiss Chard & Mushroom Quesadillas. I’m finding I’m like 75% vegetarian at home (and currently going through another lengthy chicken aversion), so I love when I find a new meatless meal that I love.
- Here are some of the Planet Byn All-Stars I made this month: Swedish Meatballs, Sloppy Janes, and My Favourite Buttermilk Pancakes for Pancake Tuesday!
- I was in Florida for the last week of February and picked up a pint of Ben & Jerry’s new non-dairy frozen yogurt (it’s made with almond milk). It was decent except I didn’t finish it due to the fact that we also got pints of Blondie Ambition and Chocolate Cheesecake Core at the same time.
- Finally, on a bittersweet note, Gastropost came to an end this month. It meant so much to me because it connected me with my first foodie friends! At the very first meet-up they hosted, I met Libby & Carole, my fellow OGs – Original Gastroposters – and we’ve been friends ever since! You can check out a bunch of my posts here, with links to the print editions of National Post my photos appeared in. A few of my favourites: Maple Syrup Tarts (my first mission), Fresh Strawberry Tart (I was the Mission Inspiration for this one), S’mores Ice Cream (the 100th Mission), and of course, thanks to Gastropost, I got to bake cookies for Chuck Hughes!
Other non-foodie things I was obsessed with this month:
- I’ve been obsessively watching the Oscars since 1994 when I was in Grade 10 (Pulp Fiction was robbed!), and I love them so much I cannot adequately express my emotions. Every year I say I’m going to see each movie nominated for Best Picture, and I’ve still never done it (made harder since 2009 and the Academy expanded the Best Picture category to include up to 10 nominees). This year was the closest I’ve ever come, and I saw 6/9!!! Kristine and I did really well over the past few months, seeing La La Land, Manchester By The Sea, Lion and Hidden Figures, plus I watched Hell or High Water and Moonlight on demand at home. So close!
- My new TV obsession is Riverdale on Netflix, and I also got Season 3 of The Americans from the library to watch which is so great. Plus I rushed my girls out of El Caballito last Thursday to get home in time for Season Finale of How To Get Away With Murder, and my jaw literally dropped open in the last 2 minutes. I freaking love that show!
- When I was in Florida I finally read Wild by Cheryl Strayed (totally motivated by Lorelai Gilmore on this one), It’s Not Okay by Andi Dorfman (50% great Bachelor gossip, 50% useless advice on break-ups), The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon (now #3 on my Teen Romance YA Power Rankings after Eleanor & Park and Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist) and The Wangs vs. The World by Jade Chung (this may be racial profiling, but I couldn’t help but compare this to Crazy Rich Asians, and it was not as good).