October 15, 2015

Oktoberfest - Munich, Germany - Part 1

I've been feeling the travel itch but with no plans to go anywhere this fall, I started reminiscing of our past travels.  I thought I'd share some photos of our adventures to Munich's Oktoberfest!  We have been fortunate to attend 2 different years and it's always a good time.

Tidbit of info: Oktoberfest actually starts in September and ends the first Sunday of October.

Germany Oktoberfest Lederhosen & Dirndls

First thing to remember, dress up in some lederhosen with a checkered shirt for men and a colorful dirndl for the ladies!  Even dark pants/shorts with a plaid shirt and a frilly, summer dress will do.  You will surely feel left out as the majority of people get into some form of costume for the occasion and it adds so much to the atmosphere.  There are many, many stores selling lederhosen and dirndls throughout Munich if you show up and realize last minute you want to join in on the fun.

Throughout the day, horse drawn carriages make way through the grounds to bring beer barrels to the many tents.  The horses are beautifully groomed and the wagons adorned with hops, flowers and various decorations.  I've read stats that over a 2 week period, more than 7 million liters of beer are drunk!  Don't worry tee-totallers, you can purchase non-alcoholic drinks, and there are even wine tents for those who want a change from beer.

Munich Oktoberfest Horse Carriages with Beer Barrels

Don't think that Oktoberfest is just for adults!  Oh no!  Children are welcome.  Not only is it fun to just wander and see all the outsides and insides of the tents, there are many family-friendly activities. The grounds - Theresienwiesen or affectionately named Weis'n by the locals, has an amusement park filled with rides and games.  

September 29, 2015

Bao Bun Pop Up - Dovetail Delicatessen

What do you do when you find yourself home alone and with no interest in making dinner for 1?

Well, first, you stumble upon this online....

Bao Bun pop up
(images courtesy of Dovetail Delicatessen)

Second, you realize you haven't had any exercise that day and a 20 minute walk to get there is right up your alley.  

And third, it gives me something to do instead of vegging on the couch watching another documentary on Netflix.

Seems like a win-win situation.

May 18, 2015

Hope you had a great May long weekend!

May Long Weekend Gardening!


This may long weekend has been a blur!  Reno work.  Painting.  Gardening.  More Painting.  Get togethers.  More Painting.


Wouldn't change a thing!


Hope you had an amazing weekend!

February 27, 2015

Talking Food with Gordie Johnson of Big Sugar

I thought it would be fun to put a little rock and roll into my blog.  I got the chance to talk food with Gordie Johnson, lead singer of group Big Sugar. I have seen Big Sugar play during my University years and remember quite a few of their songs.  This week they played 2 sold out shows at Festival Place in Sherwood Park.

I had the option to do a phone interview but I really wanted to do an interview in person.  Festival Place is a wonderful, intimate venue for a concert and I got to come in during the sound check, which was a great experience for me.  Also, how else could I bring Gordie, a big foodie, treats from Duchess Bake Shop!  The whole crew could not wait for the box to be opened up.  

Gordie is really down-to-earth and easy to talk to.  He definitely loves food as much as music. Talking food with someone who loves it as much as you do is always a fantastic experience. 

Maki Interview with Gordie Johnson

I heard that you are a big foodie. I was reading that you grew with Italian food.

Italian food and Ukrainian food.  I grew up with 2 great schools of thought and it’s interesting because there are some places that it intersects.  Perogies are potato-filled ravioli. My father makes fresh pasta and my mother makes fresh perogy dough. They both have to roll them out, cut them into circles, fill them, pinch them and boil them so then... this is the exact same thing though we all know it’s not but at the end of the day, it kinda is.

It’s like how every country has their version of meat on a stick...

There are these things you eat your entire life and then one day you realize when you are looking at them … like my mother used to make Babka, which is a Ukrainian Easter Bread.  She used to let it rise and made it in a big ole coffee tin and it was this yellow, yeasty, cakey stuff with raisins inside.  The Italians have Pannetone on the holidays and I was at my mom’s house one day and I was looking at it thinking this is exactly the same thing. It’s not similar, it’s identical.

You cook a lot of Italian.  Are there specialties you make? You mentioned your father makes pasta dough.  Do you?

No, my father has the machine and the whole restaurant set up.  If I’m having pasta, I use the dry, I like it better. Hard to say what my specialty is… I’m the guy who makes the sauces once a week. I make my own pesto and tomato sauce. I make a giant pot of (tomato sauce) it and by the end of the week, we are down to just a little leftover which goes into next week’s sauce.  We have sauce that has potentially 10 year old sauce in it.

Do you experiment in the kitchen?  Do you make your own cheeses or yogurt? How adventurous are you in that sense?

In that category, I would say when I make Texas chili.  I can make Indian food, Jamaican food ... but living here in Texas, I have gotten into the whole science of chili making.  There are so many techniques into making chili, it can be very complex dish so I take an Indian approach by making a curry for my chili.  We use local peppers, I will dry them for 6 months, hanging them in the sun in my kitchen and grind them in a coffee grinder.  Chipotle peppers, Ancho chilies, which are very dry and raisiny, so when you grind them down to a powder, it’s amazing.

Big Sugar soundcheck Festival Place ShPk

January 20, 2015

Once Upon a Date Night: Corso 32

I has been a long while since my last post.  I left my blog on the sidelines, leaving it a low priority but I'm trying to get back on it.

First off, Happy New Year!

It has been a whirlwind these past 5 months.  Having spent 3 months abroad and returning in December made life very busy.  Getting children back to school here (where did I put your indoor runners and all your school supplies?!?) to splashing Christmas decorations throughout the house and gift shopping and social gatherings and well, you get the point.  Exhausting.  Now with the new year, we finally have a rhythmic routine going and the other day, the hubby says "We should plan a date night".

"When was the last time we had a date night?" we wonder, staring at each other with giant invisible question marks above our heads. I have no clue and neither does he.  Obviously it was a long time ago and we are very overdue.

Dinner at Corso 32

And that is when I was reminded about our night out at Corso 32.

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