Friday, February 29, 2008

i sense a theme

Continuing with our love of eggs this week, here is the newest kitchen gadget I'm in love with. The good people at Apartment Therapy found these Eiko egg boilers from Vessel that go right from the pot to the table. Genius!! No more cracked shells and watching helplessly as your egg leaks out. Not to mention they're adorable and come in 4 colours plus a transparent option. $19 for 4 makes it even harder to pass these up!

Oh Vessel, can you do no wrong? Earlier this week there were these adorable Luau Portable Lamps that we saw at DWR this past weekend (and they were also featured in the fantastic movie The Anniversary Party if you remember). A line of these on your patio is pure summer perfection. At $199 each though, perhaps for now we just the much less sassy flashlight.

summery top

This Michael Kors top is currently staring at me every morning from the window of a store by my office. I think I super love it. I don't like it tucked in like in this picture though -- more blousy and flowy is my preference. I'm afraid that if I go in to examine it further I might buy it. What to do??

Not to mention that if I do go into the store and this bib front top is there too I'm really in trouble...

Thursday, February 28, 2008

to be followed by a book burning at 8pm

Read this story in the Globe and Mail and tell me it's not Reason #423 to be worried about a Conservative government managing our cultural industries. If the federal budget earlier this week wasn't enough for you this story should bring it on home.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

hi there

Hi there! Me and my friend here are 2 huge nerds! We sure do love math! We hate sustainable arts and culture though but gosh darn it, if you want to run with a torch in your hand for 10 minutes well here's $25 million for ya! I'm a robot!!

PS.  That is all the political rant you will get from me after all this is a blog about pop culture, shoes and pretty things.  Not big fat stupid politicians and their big fat stupid faces.

PPS.  I don't hate the Olympics I just like my job and would like to keep it.


Hearts to Jamie for finding these Williams Sonoma egg cups! I just adore them! After my yummy breakfast of Toast Soldiers at Easy this past weekend (complete with little green army soldiers) where I happily dunked my toast into deliciously soft-boiled eggs, I now want to eat that exact breakfast all the time. These cups would make that process so much more fun. Try to look at these and not's impossible!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

red shoe cuteness

Don't tell anyone but tonight I may have caved and bought these adorable Steve Madden red ballet flats.  I hesitate to use the word "caved" as I bought them on sale at Winners and they cost me next to nothing.  My favourite kind of shoes.  I might have also bought a skirt.  And a sweater.  And a little tan jacket at Old Navy.  And new jammies.  

six degrees of tara

You know that game where you try to connect yourself to someone famous in 6 moves?  Well they say all you need is that one "in" and then you can connect yourself to almost any celebrity provided you know enough about movies.  Well a few years back I found my "in."  At the office, we worked with a production company while they filmed a Shania Twain movie of the week here in Sudbury.  The producer of that movie was a guy named Brian Dennis.  In the movie was Gordon Tootoosis who was also in Legends of the Fall with Brad Pitt.  So that's me to Brad Pitt in 3 moves.  And you can safely say that Brad Pitt will get you pretty much to any other celebrity if you look hard enough.  

Well now I have another one.  At NXNE a few years back I met a woman named Sandy Pandya and have since dealt with her through work a handful of times.  Sandy Pandya is the manager for Hawksley Workman.  Hawksley Workman is best friends with Marion Cotillard.  That's now me to an Oscar winner in 3 moves.  

Between Brad and Marion, I might not need any other "ins."  I might be set for life.  All you need is one.  

it's official, we're old

Prince is undergoing a hip replacement as apparently years of "sexy dancing" have taken their toll on our tiny friend. What?? Dude is 49!!! According to the esteemed journalists at News of the World without surgery Prince would "develop a severe limp and have to use a walking stick." That is crazy. Please someone tell me this story is a big fat phony. Prince is the yardstick we should all be measured by I say. Dude is fiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiine.

Monday, February 25, 2008

oscar round-up

Ahhh another year, another silly Oscars -- I love it! This year had some lows and highs as usual but here are my noteworthy points:
  • I love Jon Stewart and nobody else should be allowed to host ever;
  • Short speeches this year. Like oddly short.....
  • Marion Cotillard: Yes she stole the award from my fave Julie Christie but man is that ever okay. Her speech was really touching and you could tell she was truly moved. Also worth mentioning, the sheer gorgessity (to quote Lainey) of this girl! She is BEW-TEE-FULL! Those heavy-lidded eyes, that curly hair, the Perfection.
  • The huge suck factor of the musical numbers, "Falling Slowly" excluded obviously. Now I saw Enchanted with my nieces and while it was what it was and not my favourite movie, the live performances of those songs did not do them justice at all. The normally great Kristen Chenowith had about as much charisma as a set of salad tongs. Just awful...
  • The outstanding win of Marketa Irglova and Glen Hansard for "Falling Slowly". I haven't seen the movie yet but have watched the following clip of "If You Want Me" nine times since Christmas. I know it's not the winning song but it's a stunning 4 minutes of visuals not to mention the pureness of Marketa and I just haven't been able to let it go. Like everyone else watching them perform on the show, I was teary at the end. It's a perfect, perfect song that breaks your heart every time you hear it;

    Julie Christie: If I look even a quarter as good as she does at that age I will be thrilled. Hell, I don't even look that good now! And don't even get me started on Cate Blanchett. That woman is a whole other kind of beautiful;
  • Sarah Polley: I'm heartbroken you didn't win for Best Adapted Screenplay. It's such an important film and you undertook a huge task adapting Alice Munro you absolutely should have won.. That and I really just wanted someone I once held an umbrella over outside a Port-a-Potty to win an Oscar;
  • I'm afraid of Nicole Kidman. Her un-moving face is going to come and get me in the night;
  • Diablo Cody: I love you just as you are! Even though you picked the worst dress ever I still think you're great! Now go away for a bit because I'm a bit tired of hearing about you;
  • Yay Coen brothers!!! Now Ethan, would it have killed you to be a bit less of an ass? It's a good thing you're so darn adorable;
  • Dear Mrs. Day Lewis: Why didn't you pick the really big brooch to wear on the front of your dress? The one you chose seemed so......understated.

interior design show

Yet more design fun! The Toronto Interior Design Show one was much more of a commitment than the DWR store but still fun. I doubt I'll go again but it's definitely worth one trip. For me, it's really hard to enjoy those large trade shows just because I get people-claustrophobic when they're all up on you like that. Personal space people! Another thing I did not like was that the Design Live section was cornered off as if to keep the all-holy HGTV design personalities away from the likes of the plebians. The line to get in was astonishingly long at all times and we opted not to stand in it despite my love of Sarah Richardson. What's up with that?? I was bummed. Nevertheless, we saw a bunch of stuff that was actually useful to us (tile suppliers etc) and a bunch of stuff that was just pure design porn. Here are my faves:
The Baby Guru stand: Clean and simple baby furniture that's, dare I say, hip and cool and graphically appealing? With nary a teddy bear or duckie to be seen? Indeed! Items of note are the Argington Sahara crib and modern HiLo high-chair. I don't even have/want kids and I hate the look of high-chairs! I can't imagine how happy this thing would make a modern parent.

Nature's Dryer: This is an outdoor clothes dryer made in a tree shape and I adore it. Tell me this isn't 100 times better than those awful metal contraptions you get at the hardware store?? I met the woman who makes them and she couldn't have been nicer or more informative. This is not only adorable but entirely practical and is able to hold a whole set of bedsheets or up to 35 shirts. Pricey though at $775 but it's handmade, comes in 2 colours and made to weather extremely well.

The EcoSmart retro fire cube: Completely environmental friendly fireplaces, they're flue-less and don't require any installation or utility connection for fuel supply, fueled by a renewable modern energy (Denatured Ethanol) that burns clean and is virtually maintenance free.
The lighting creations from AM Studio Architectural Art: I can't even really describe how beautiful these pieces were in person and I can't at all pick a favourite. Absolutely breathtaking.

This mustache dresser cuz it made me smile and was the first thing I saw when we walked in the door. I don't know how makes it or really anything about it - it's just awesome and if I had a baby boy, this would be his dresser.

This crazy wall radiator from the Radiator Factory. I would never have this in my house but I love that someone is at least trying to do something cool with new rads. If you can't have big old-fashioned rads in your house maybe this is right up your alley. They had many different styles to choose from this was just the most photogenic.

This crazy-ass sink! It folds up like a tool chest! I can't fathom why you'd need this but again, I love that someone does!

And here's a picture of Marc lounging in one of many Louis Ghost chairs that were around. Now call me crazy, but if I was picking chairs for big fat tourists with fanny packs to sit on, my first choice wouldn't be $400 Ghost chairs and $5000 Barcelona chairs! And there were about 5 different seating areas, all with at least 10 -15 chairs. Sounds like trouble in the making...

Bottom line: fun show if not a bit over-whelming.

design within reach toronto

Yay for great new stores close to home! new Design Within Reach Toronto store was just what the doctor ordered. It feels like forever since we've looked at great furniture and it felt good. From the street I could see my George Nelson Saucer Pendant that I've been coveting and did a little schoolgirl squeal and point. The store is gorgeous but strangely carries no stock so don't go there hoping to walk out with the Eames chair you've been stalking. But still, lovely lovely things and I petted all of Kaili's favourite things including 2 Saarinen tulip tables and a stack of Louis Ghost chairs (and I took pictures). I'm still on the fence for the Nelson lamp mainly because I need proper measurements before I put it in my dining room and the nice lady we met is emailing me tons of info.  Here are the faves:

My lamp that I loooooooove (the big fat one on the right).  I love the simple shape and the warm light in throws.  I just need to make sure my dining room is big enough, which I suspect is probably is.

Petted for Kaili: the Philip Starck Louis Ghost Armchair, a Saarinen dining table and a too adorable for words Saarinen low coffee table.  Darlin, if I had an extra $1900.00 I would have bought it for you in a heartbeat!  On a sidenote, I did see a pair of Bertoia chairs in a junkshop on Queens for $300.

This line of Eames molded plywood lounge chair is pure eye-candy not to mention uber comfortable.  Note to Dennis: I also sat in this Freedom Task Chair that was the most comfortable chair ever made and for $2700 I can't see how we can't just nab a bunch for the office, you?

All in all, fun was had for sure!  It's a gorgeous store and I'll be back for sure.  Probably to buy my big fat beautiful Nelson light....

weekend round-up

This weekend Marc and I hit the big bad city of Toronto for a wee bit of a weekend getaway. We headed down Friday afternoon and kicked things off with an out of this world dinner at Colborne Lane for our friend Michael's birthday. I've had a lot of good meals in Toronto in my life but this was truly spectacular. The Globe and Mail called it better than marvelous and Toronto Life says this restaurant is the only one they've given 6 out of 5 stars. It was absolutely glorious. First of all, look at it -- it's stunning! Designed by the ladies at Mute (Sarah being from Sudbury no less) the atmosphere was complete luxury. My favourite aspect? The huge tables! None of this trying to squeeze all your food onto this tiny table. This place has huge harvest style tables and feels more like eating in your dining room than some uppity restaurant.

Anyway, the food was that highly stylized variety you see mostly on TV. You know, the long skinny plate with the 3 piles of food and the puddles of this and that with a swoosh of some sauce and a crazy garnish and even though you read the menu and know what you're getting you still can't identify the food on your plate? One of those but in the best way possible. Outstanding. If you go, and I highly recommend you do, I insist you order the tiramisu ice cream that they make at your table complete with dry ice -- it's the greatest thing ever! A giant bowl of dry ice is brought to your table and when you pour in the cream and spices all that lovely dry ice smoke pours over your whole table and onto the floor and the tables around you and everyone ooh's and aah's and it instantly turns into ice. You keep adding the cream and the waiter keeps stirring and before you know it you have glorious smooth ice cream. FUN! Colborne Lane really is one of the best places I've been in Toronto and I would gladly go again and eat exactly the same meal.

Post meal we waddled our way over to the Jamie Kennedy Wine Bar for cocktails only to leave immediately in favour of the Pravda Russian Vodka Bar -- a huge error in judgement on our part. To be fair, this bar is gorgeous and a fantastic idea and as Brittainy said, at 2pm on a Thursday would be her favourite bar. Friday night though? Not in any lifetime. We were far too old and married to be in this bar and in comparison to the other girls there, I may as well have been in full Prairie garb. This is a place to be on the prowl and to be prey but beautiful to look at and we did appreciate the full-on Russian opera music sandwiched in between the Daft Punk and Radiohead. Needless to say we pounded back our drinks and got the heck outta dodge before anyone started pointing and singing "one of these things is not like the other, one of these things just doesn't belong..."

Saturday was day o'design!! Yay! Made our way to the grand opening of the Toronto Design Within Reach store and did some serious furniture oogling. So much so that it's worthy of its own post so stand by for that. In a nutshell, I visited my George Nelson lamp and petted some things for Kaili. Onwards to the Interior Design Show at the CNE (also solo-post worthy) and was more than a bit overwhelmed. I took tons of pics of all the stuff I liked so keep your eyes open for that. Possibly even later tonight depending on how ambitious I feel. Strange run-in of the day? Practically walking into friends/cousinSylvia and Randy in the Fluevog store only to find out they were staying in the same hotel as us! Wha? Crazy indeed. Even crazier, me not buying anything but shoelaces at Fluevog. Even though I tried the "but Randy's letting Sylvia buy new Fluevog boots!" argument and the "But I'm going to Austin and I need these Fluevog cowboy boots" with Marc, he was not easily swayed. I drowned my sorrows in 2 new coats from Zara so that helped -- a cuter than cute red swing coat with a wide stand-up collar and a retro floral pattern blazer with big white buttons.  No pics I'm afraid cuz the website is on hold at the moment.  After the shoe disappointment etc we took a trip to the Distillery District to see our pal Leif Benner who made my engagement ring and our wedding bands, to get Marc's ring sized (Leif does amazing work and here's one of his pics of my ring for curious folks).  It's only been about 8 months so we figured the time was right.  Then a visit to Soma, the happiest place on earth for Mayan Hot Chocolate and treat buying.  Then (and I'm still mad) Marc tricked me into walking from the Distillery District all the way back to our hotel which was FAR AWAY.  Unfair.

Supremely yummy and well-deserved dinner at Il Forchetta (bresaola of Arctic muskox = yum!)brought us to our Cowboy Junkies show at Massey Hall. I've said it before and I'll say it again: Massey Hall is THE best venue and my absolute favourite place to see live music in. I would rather drive to see an artist at Massey Hall than see them 5 minutes from my house in Sudbury. The sound is phenomenal and it just has that feeling of the thousands of artists who have played that space lingering in the air. It's just a place populated by people who love music and I can't get enough. Venue aside, the show was amazing, despite Ryan Adams being too ill to play the show (poor Marc). The Junkies really just keep getting better and Margot? Damn woman! She is sexy!! Still!! She looks just as good as she did 20 years ago leaning on that mic with her killer red shoes! Basically, this was a show I've been waiting my whole life to see. Trinity Session is just one of those records. I've got lovely memories attached to it and artistically it never fails to give me goosebumps and man, did they ever do it justice. Joined onstage by Sudbury's own Jaro Czerwinec on accordion, this show was them at their best. Tara had 2 hours of swaying happiness and all was right with the world.

Sunday we ventured down to the very end of Queen West (and I do mean the very, very end) for breakfast at Easy, one of my fave breakfast spots due to being smack in the middle of the Queen West junkshops. Scouring the junkshops is one of our favourite things to do whenever we've got time in Toronto, especially now that we have a house. Alas we didn't buy anything but saw tons of great stuff. Homeward bound with a quick stop at the Holt Renfrew Last Call store in Vaughn and Bob's your uncle. Made a quick chicken-on-a-bun stop and made it home in time to pick up Bailey from my folks and in time for the Oscars (also worth it's own post). And to think Marc did it all while sick! Poor guy. And poor Tara actually as Marc is the grumpiest sick person I know. He's off to Toronto again this week for work so I'm flying solo. Can you say workout dance party??????? I'm taking soundtrack suggestions.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Hot Bunny Radio Playlist for February 21st

CKLU 96.7 FM
* denotes Canadian talent
italics denotes a new release

This week's show was in rememberance of one Canada's greatest songwriters who passed away last week: Willie P. Bennett. He was a consumate storyteller and a legend in the roots music world. He will be missed by us all.

  • Willie P. Bennett -- Sunset Pendulum -- Heartstrings *
  • Jolie Holland -- Moonshiner -- Springtime Can Kill You
  • Proof of Ghosts -- Summer's Wasted on the Young -- Proof of Ghosts *
  • Cowboy Junkies -- Mining For Gold -- The Trinity Session * (vinyl)
  • The Silver Hearts -- Lush Love -- No Place *
  • The Pickups -- Augusta -- Country Houses, City Streets *
  • Jenny Whiteley -- Halls of Folsom -- Hopetown *
  • Wille P. Bennett -- Last Word -- Heartstrings *
  • Bill Withers -- Ain't No Sunshine -- Best of (vinyl)
  • Old Man Luedecke -- Quiet Creek -- Hinterland *
  • Elliott Brood -- Oh, Alberta -- Tin Type *
  • Josh Rouse -- Wonderful -- Subtitulo
  • The Zombies -- She's Not There -- Best of (vinyl)
  • Jason Collett -- Charlyn, Angel of Kensington -- Here's to Being Here *
  • Jill Barber -- Two Brown Eyes -- For All Time *
  • Willie P. Bennett -- Heartstrings -- Heartstrings *
  • Wilco -- Hate It Here -- Sky Blue Sky (vinyl)
  • Novillero -- Abbey -- A Mint Harvest: Fall 2006 Sampler *
  • Cat Power -- Blue -- Jukebox
  • Cowboy Junkies -- Dreaming My Dreams With You -- The Trinity Session (vinyl) *
  • Oh Susanna -- Filled With Gold -- Short Stories *
  • Katie Moore -- My Old Dog -- Only Thing Worse *
  • Porter Wagoner -- Late Love Like Mine -- Wagonmaster
  • Waylon Jennings & Willie Nelson -- It's Not Supposed to be That Way -- Waylon & Willie
  • Ron Sexsmith -- Drifters -- Beautiful: A Tribute to Gordon Lightfoot *
  • Willie P. Bennett -- High Park Feeders -- Heartstrings *

Notes this week:

  • The Silver Hearts were one of the best shows I've seen at the Townehouse. A spaghetti western salloon band sound, tons of fun and they picked up and played out in the street on the hoods of cars at the end of their show;
  • Jenny Whiteley, it's okay that my husband has a big fat crush on you. I might too;
  • Old Man Luedecke "Quiet Creek": This is what being in love in silence sounds like. My biggest disappointment of the 2007 OCFF conference was missing his showcase;
  • Elliott Brood: You need to be as good on your records as you are live cuz live you're better than just about anyone;
  • Go and look at a picture of The Zombies and tell me every emo-band ever didn't completely steal their look;
  • Jason Collett status update: new record love affair still continuing;
  • Oh Susanna, your voice is just the clearest and loveliest thing a person can hear.

it's really all about...

...having frozen blueberries from the summer in February.  It's also really all about living in a place where you can go blueberry picking at the end of your street.  Forget paying $60 a basket -- sorry city folk, we got'em coming out the wazoo.  My mother-in-law made the most amazing blueberry muffins this week with berries she picked this summer and then froze.  It was like a bit of summer in a little wrapper.  Oh blueberry, let's never be apart this long again.

slow cooker success #5: sweet and sour any kind of meat

So this is a recipe that is a bit of a family standard. My parents have been making this forever, usually with spareribs, and is my go-to lazy dinner of standard pantry items. Serve it on it's own or on rice, it makes great hot sandwiches -- whatever turns your crank. We'll go with chicken for this one cuz that's what I typically use;

Sweet and Sour Chicken

chicken thighs (about 8 is good for dinner and leftovers for the week)
1 cup of brown sugar
1 - 1.5 cups of vinegar (start with 1 and add more later if you need it, I also like to mix up my vinegars and use half a cup of one kind, and half a cup of another cuz I'm crazy like that)
a pile of fresh grated ginger -- I like lots but use however much you want as long as it's fresh.
1 big can of pasta sauce (this is not the place to get fancy. There's a lot of strong flavours in here so best not to use your basil and garlic with gorgonzola sauce etc. You could make your own sauce if you're so inclined but as I said, this is my lazy pantry stock dinner so I use a big can of Bravo)
minced garlic
1 can of tomato paste
chopped onion
salt and pepper

1. Season your chicken with salt and pepper and sear it with your onions and garlic.

2. Dump all that into your crock pot.

3. Pour in your pasta sauce, brown sugar, vinegar(s), and grate in the ginger.

4. Stir it all up, turn on your slow cooker to low and walk away.

5. Stir occasionally and add the tomato paste if you want it to be thicker.

6. Sample about an hour into the cooking to see if you want more tang -- if so, add more vinegar.

7. Cook on low all day or until the texture is to your liking. I like the meat to fall apart and shred but some people don't.

8. Serve on top of rice or whatever you want.

slow cooker success #4: spiced chocolate bread pudding

Ok, so I talked about this in my Gommfest d'Hiver post and promised the recipe to a bunch of people so here it is. This is the "Dessert of the Month" in the January issue of Martha Stewart Living and is meant to be served in individual rammekins and only cooked for about 30 mins. I tweaked this recipe for use in the slow cooker and that's what this recipe is. If you decide to make it be prepared for 1) lots of leftovers cuz it makes a ton 2) teary-eyed hugs from all who eat it. Oh yeah, it's that good.

Spiced Chocolate Bread Pudding

3 cups of heavy cream
2 cups whole milk
2 cinnamon sticks
2 dried hot red chiles, crumbled
½ vanilla bean, seeds scraped and reserved
6 ounces milk chocolate, finely chopped
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
6 large egg yolks
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
¾ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons bourbon (we didn't have any so I used brandy)
1 loaf challah or brioche about 1 pound. Cut into ¾ inch cubes (we made our own challah bread b/c you can't buy it anywhere around here but that's a whole other story)
3 tablespoons course raw sugar, such as turbinado
½ cup sour cream
1 tablespoon confectioner’s sugar
ground cinnamon, for garnish
chocolate curls

1. Bring 2 cups cream, the milk, cinnamon sticks, chiles, and vanilla bean and seeds to a simmer over medium heat. Remove from heat, cover and let stand for 30 minutes.

2. Place milk chocolate and bittersweet in a heatproof bowl. Return cream mixture to a simmer, then strain over chocolate, discarding solids. Gently stir until smooth.

3. Whisk egg yolks, granulated sugar, and salt in a medium bowl until pale and thick. Whisking constantly, add chocolate mixture in a slow steady stream. Whisk in boozey goodness.

4. Place bread in a large bowl, pour in chocolate custard, and gently fold until combined. Let stand for 30 minutes.

5. Dump the whole mix into the slow cooker. Sprinkle generously with raw sugar.

6. Cook on low for a long while or on high for about 3 hours, stirring occasionally to make sure it doesn't burn on the bottom. Don't let the bread dry out -- you want it still a bit sticky but not wet.

7. Just before serving, beat remaining 1 cup cream with the sour cream and confect sugar until soft peaks form. Top each serving of bread pudding with cream, garnish with ground cinnamon and chocolate curls.

8. Eat and be happy someone invented this recipe. Take the praise.

wine away

Our friends over at Apartment Therapy have put out the question: Does it really work? My answer: Oh my god, YES! My mother got us all some for Christmas 2 years ago and it honestly is the best stain remover in the history of stain removers. My mother watched in horror as she spectacularly wiped out her glass of red wine onto their pale brown carpet and expensive sofa. Enter Wine Away and there is no sign that anyone even thought about wine in that room. For a $15 investment you get peace of mind that even the rowdiest of houseguests/over-exuberant Golden Retriever tail won't best your handmade Persian carpet.

total eclipse

Eclipses are cool. I watched from the comfort of my living room. My science nerd of a husband watched with binoculars from the driveway in the freezing cold. Gotta love the nerds.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

gommfest d'hiver!

As promised, Gommfest d'Hiver/Winter Gommfest this past weekend deserves its own post, that's how good it was. Out we trekked to Rock Lake on Saturday to the family camp of Miss Gomm for winter fun on a glorious winter day. We even pulled our goodies in on a sled -- always a good start to winter fun!

We hung out around an outdoor fire and drank Miss Gomm's homemade hot buttered rum --wha?!?! That's right --how winter fun is that? I wanted to climb inside my mug and sit in it. I also rediscovered snowshoeing. My only memories of snowshoeing are from elementary school when we were dragged out snowshoeing once a week in the winter. Now, keep in mind I didn't break 5 feet until high school so you can only imagine how small I was in elementary school. Due to my extreme wee-ness, I was doomed never to have a pair of snowshoes even close to my size and therefore spent every outing walking with my legs splayed out barely being able to lift them out of the snow. Of course, nobody seemed to notice/care that this was a bad situation and I was sentenced to many winters falling all over the schoolyard, hating every second of it. Well, all that has changed my friends. All thanks to Mike and Jocelyne and their swanky new snowshoes! Joc let me try hers and I gotta say -- SO much fun! These are not at all the shoes I remember. God bless these new smaller, lighter models! It's like walking on the sidewalk. I'm now completely considering picking up a pair -- I hate walking in deep snow and this way Marc might stand half a chance of getting me out into the bush more in the winter.

Post snowshoeing brought us to food! Ahhh the food!! We stuffed our faces on tasty snacks (avocado rolls -- YUM!) and Miss Gomm made a giant batch of squash and carrot soup that was so delicious. Pair that with oven sammiches and you've got a winter camp dinner fit for a king. I tried a fun experiement and trekked to Gommfest with our slow cooker for dessert -- that's how committed I am to my slow coooker. I brought it out into the bush! January's dessert of the month in Martha Stewart's Living mag was a Spiced Chocolate Bread Pudding that I adapted to our slow cooker instead of individual servings. Oh. My. God. Was it ever the dessert of dessert!!!! Red chilis, dark chocolate, booze, eggs, cream and homemade challah bread = head exploding levels of good. The recipe isn't posted on her website yet but I'll type it up into another post for you all to try. It makes tons though so best to make it for a group. Or just for you if you like -- you're the boss of you.

Post face stuffing brought us to the pasta sculpture contest and although we declared the winner to be group creativity -- I think our team's was pretty kick-ass. We made a pasta banjo. Life size. And playable. Ok, maybe not playable but still pretty impressive. Good times for sure.
Thanks to Miss Gomm for again welcoming us to Camp Gomm!! Below is a sampling of pics from the day o'fun.
1. Camp Gomm in the a postcard
2. The boys augering for tough.
3. Post-auger Caesar in a can.
4. Gypsy: dog of the day
5. Jocey and Gypsy having a snow romp.
6. Marc and hot buttered rum cheers!
7. Mike and Joc hot buttered rum cheers!
8. Marc and I.
9. My team hard at work on our pasta banjo.
10. Our opponent's entry: Rock Lake championship trout.
11. The ladies' entry: the Brooklyn bridge complete with giant Pasta Alison that we did for extra credit (note the pasta boobs).
12. Pastalison and the real Alison.
13. Marc and our amazing pasta banjo.
14. Marc and Camp Gomm's Pleasant the pheasant.