Apple picking at Orchalaw Farms

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

After a few attempts, a friend and I finally went apple picking at Orchalaw Farms this week. It was a quick trip, but fun nonetheless. My friend has a little guy around 17 months and he gets along so well with Mila. The two of them were giggling and screaming laughing away in the back seat while I drove.

It was pretty cold, but we were able to pick some really nice and crispy macs and macoun apples and I grabbed a bag of galas because they're just too yummy to pass up.

Well the apples stayed by the door for the better part of the day and the next day until I finally got around to peeling the macs to make apple sauce.

There really is nothing like home made apple sauce. It is delish. I'll have to see what else I can manage to make with the rest of the apples!

Have you made it out picking yet this year?

Recipe: slow cooker vegetarian chili with chickpeas and lentils

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Slow cooker vegetarian chili with chickpeas and lentils

Mondays are my veggie box days from MamaEarth Organics which means that before the box comes to the house, I don't have a ton of food in the fridge. I tend to organize my meals around the box, so Mondays are typically make whatever I can find in the house days.

This Monday was no exception. It was damp and a bit chilly so I was craving chili, only I didn't really have any beans in the house and I was lacking a few staple vegetables like carrots. Not to worry, I combed through my freezer and found some chickpeas and frozen corn and went to my pantry for some lentils. A dash of this and a squirt of that and I had super yummy chili! I was a bit worried but it turned out fantastic so I thought I'd share. Feel free to mix it up!

Slow cooker vegetarian chili with chickpeas and lentils

Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chili with Chickpeas and Lentils
2 cloves of garlic, minced
Half of a red onion, chopped
1-1.5 cups of canned or cooked chickpeas
1-1.5 cups of dried green lentils (soaked over night)
1 cup of frozen corn
1 cup of celery, diced
1 cup of salsa
1 can of whole or diced tomatoes
1 pepper, diced (yellow, red or orange)
2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon of chili powder
1 teaspoon of cumin
1 teaspoon of smoked paprika
A few dashes of liquid smoke
Cooking oil of your liking
Salt and pepper to taste
Slow cooker

1. Sautee onions and garlic in a tablespoon oil for about 5 minutes, adding 1 teaspoon of chili powder to the pan. Transfer to the slow cooker.

2. Add all the other ingredients to the slow cooker, mix and cook on low for 8-10 hours.

3. Serve with greek yogurt and shredded mozzarella for extra yummyness.

  • I used dried lentils and didn't make time to cook them so I soaked them over night and threw them right into the slow cooker. You can obviously use canned if that's what you have.
  • Also as mentioned above, I didn't have any carrots, but if I had had them I would have used them here.
  • I cooked my chili all day and it was a perfect consistency by the time we ate it (about 10 hours). I left it extra long to make sure the lentils were cooked since I didn't precook them.
PS- The chili tastes even better the next day! I even ate a bit for breakfast in a breakfast burrito with eggs.

Happy cozy eating friends!

Other cozy recipes you might like:

Interview with: Alison Kelly, owner of Cherry Valley Studio Bed & Breakfast and Cool Mama

Monday, September 15, 2014

Prince Edward County Bed and Breakfast

I first met Alison Kelly when I was her don at Ryerson University. She filled a room to the brim with her energy. She made people laugh, brought up their spirits, drove us crazy (in a good way Alison I swear!) and was super sweet. Fast forward 16 years (yikes!) and she's a wife, proud mama of two, and most recently, a bed and breakfast owner in Prince Edward County.

I wanted to interview Alison because she's made a few on-the-fly decisions in her life that have changed her perspective in more ways than one. She went with her gut and took some risks and I admire that. Read more about Alison below. All photos care of Alison Kelly

Prince Edward County Bed and Breakfast

Tell me about Alison Kelly. What do you love to do, hate to do, wish you could do?

Alison Kelly, the lady with two first names. The lady who jokes how she took her husband's last name knowing her brother has now won the ultimate sibling war (my brother's name is Kelly). Let's see, I love ice cream and singing along very loudly to More Than Words the rare times I hear it being played. I love Kill Bill vol. 1 and get overly-excited when Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood kicks in during The Bride and O-Ren Ishii sword fight. Olives are my nemesis, I am not a fan of the band Rush and I hate my dry feet. My ultimate wish is to discover my passion.

You recently moved to Prince Edward County from Toronto and bought a house you’ve turned into a bed and breakfast – tell me about it. What motivated you to make this move?

We decided to move to Prince Edward County on a whim. After visiting family in their remote home, I told my husband that I too wished to move away from the big city and be neighbourless in 5-10 years. A week later I was perusing mls after someone mentioned Cherry Valley and saw this house.

After passing through many obstacles that should have prevented us from picking up and leaving Toronto, we found ourselves selling our house and buying the one we are in now within 12 hours.

Once we got settled into our new home and made the decision that our baby-to-be would be rooming with our son in the warmest/coolest room in the house, we started talking about how we didn't make use of one side of the house. And just like that, we decided to open our house to country visitors.

Prince Edward County Bed and Breakfast

What do you love most about your new surroundings? What do you miss about city life?

The sense of relief. Everything moves at a slower pace here and time really does seem to stand still.

You know that feeling when you arrive at your vacation destination and you can finally sigh? That's what it's like living here. Open roads, farmers markets, secret beaches, historic buildings, neighbours growing wine grapes, the fresh air. After a visit to a farmers market, my husband said to me "You fit in here. You belong in the County".

Some downsides to County living is the lack of delivery food (ethnic food in general), lack of ethnic diversity, and of course missing our family and friends in Toronto. Being a seasonal community, stores close on sundays and mondays (some are only open three days a week) and we're still trying to get use to this. My husband Jeremy misses the city more than me mostly for the music scene. We also miss TekSavvy very much.

What have you learned since moving?

The biggest thing is that I'm actually a pretty decent breakfast cook. Did you know cooking on high does not equal a quicker/quality meal? Ha!! It's also very expensive to heat a 3,600-square-foot house with oil. Sweet bananas!! We're still learning about rural living in a 150-year-old home and will likely need 30+ years to figure it out. By that time, the kids will be long gone and it will be time to downsize to a quaint waterfront oasis.

Favourite drink?

My beer of the summer is Sacred Mule Sparkling Ale by Barley Days Brewery, and my daily fix is coffee. I really love coffee. I recommend you try the local roasted beans from The Bean Counter in Picton. Fabulously delicious.

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?

I would go back to Iceland without an agenda and spend two weeks discovering and soaking in the viking magic. I blame Iceland for our spontaneous move to Prince Edward County.

Thank you Stephanie for reaching out to me with an interest in our spontaneous life change. I encourage more people to jump the big city ship and come visit the County. I promise, you will leave your heart here.

Thank you Alison! We will definitely stop by the next time we're in the area! If you want to learn more about Alison and her bed and breakfast you can follow her here:

Bed and Breakfast: /

Read past interviews here.

Moving right along...

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Things have been moving right along over here in real life, some things are slow and some are a little too fast for my liking. The fast? Hmm let's see:

Some how this little girl turned two a few weeks ago.

And this boy started school

I've been spending my time with Mila on my own which has been fun. She's growing up so fast and it's neat to be with her one-on-one. I'm also slowly getting back into the swing of things for blogging and work. I'm attending BlogPodium this weekend so I'm sure that will help with motivation!

Hope everyone is doing well!

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