Hello friends and Happy Friday! Today I’m joining up with Clare at fitting it all in for “Five Things Friday.” Since I missed a lot of posting in November/December, I’m going to fill you in on a few things that made me happy over the Holidays! Enjoy!
- The Cook Book Co. experience! The hubby and I went to a group dinner at the Calgary Cook Book – where the staff “put us to work” in an “Iron Chef type” competition to learn some new dishes, and test our culinary innovative skills. My hubby’s boss thought it would be fun to put us into teams and give all the ingredients to prepare the designated dishes (as well as a “mystery ingredient”), so we could be judged on presentation, taste and execution. Our menu for the evening will make your mouth water! Cranberry and Prosciutto Stuffing Cups / Citrus and Leek Risotto with Seared Prawns / Orange, Olive, and Fennel Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette / Duck Filet with Soft Polenta and a Port and Grape Reduction / Pumpkin Spice Whoopie Pies. I may not be the best cook….but I sure had a blast preparing the Risotto while drinking fine French wine!
- Calgary Hope Gala. The hubby and I attended the 2014 Calgary Hope Gala on November 15th – a fundraiser for JDRF. We got to dress up fancy AND support an amazing cause – that which aims to cure, treat and prevent Type 1 Diabetes. We met at our hosts house for appetizers and champagne. Then we were royally transported to the venue via limo!!! The evening was quite lovely, filled with various auction items and lots of food and drink. As the evening wound down, we were treated to a live performance by LoverBoy! I received a beautiful (early) Christmas gift from the hubby – an amethyst necklace. And he received a fun (early) Christmas gift of Hockey tickets! And then we donated a lil’ extra to receive this plush lil’ JDRF bear. It was a fabulous evening.
- Oiselle Secret Santa exchange! As a new member of the Oiselle Flock…this was the first year I was able to participate in the Oiselle Secret Santa gift exchange. I was super excited to pull Laura Hugo, a distance runner for the Oiselle Team Volée. At the top of her wish list was the new Lauren Fleshman Believe Training Journal! I also checked out her blog and noticed that a major theme throughout was lil’ baby Hugo 🙂 So I also threw in a cute lil’ stuffed moose…because hey…it’s the Holiday season…and I love giving gifts!!! Check out in Laura’s blog post HERE how she is using the journal to help her achieve her 2015 goals. I absolutely love this train of thought: “Typically, when looking at the cover of a journal like this one in a year with a major goal ahead of me, words like compete and train would catch my eye. But in 2015, I am choosing to adapt. I am realizing that I have very little control over the roadblocks causing me to reroute my journey through this wild life. The only thing I can do today is adapt to what tomorrow may bring.“I have yet to receive my gift my secret santa…but I’m assuming it’s just a Canada customs thing?! I’ll be sure to share once I do receive!
- Cooking Shows. Yes….back to the topic of cooking. Chopped and Cutthroat Kitchen. I watched WAY TOO MUCH of these two shows when I was sick and laying around like a zombie. I can’t cook worth a damn…but this show is so fascinating to me!!! On Chopped, four chefs call on their culinary skills as they face off against one another to prepare a spectacular three-course meal consisting of an appetizer, entrée and dessert. The catch? In each round, they have to use all the ingredients the show provides them, however unlikely they might be (Gummi Bears, anyone?). At the end of each course, a panel of three guest judges “chops” one chef who fails to measure up in terms of taste, presentation and creativity. The last chef standing takes home bragging rights and a cool $10,000. I’m totally fascinated that these chefs can take such unusual ingredients and make amazing meals!!! And on Cutthroat Kitchen, four chefs compete in a three-round elimination cooking competition; however, the contestants face auctions in which they can purchase opportunities to sabotage each other or benefit themselves. Each chef is given $25,000 at the start of the show; the winner keeps whatever money he/she has not spent in the auctions. Honestly guys…in one episode a chef had to stop all cooking and dig through a sandbox to find a penny before she could resume cooking. The whole round was only 20 minutes…and she STILL won the round… I can’t even cook basic mac’n’cheese in 20 min!!! haha. I was totally transfixed with all the sabotages – and how the seasoned chefs could cook their way out of the most dire situations.
- Reading. I’m currently reading My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories by Various Authors…and I’m absolutely loving the short stories! I can’t remember the last time I read a collection of short stories…but they are all centered around the Christmas holiday…and so far there have been a couple that have tugged at my “hopeless romantic” heart-strings! *sigh*