Laura at porch&table Food Blogger Conference 2014 Golden Ticket

Food Blogger Conference here I come!

The day has almost arrived for me to jet off to Vancouver and attend my first ever Food Blogger Conference!

I’m both nervous and excited, but I know it will be an amazing time to meet the faces behind the blogs, and to tap into the immense resources of having great minds in one room.

Laura at porch&table Food Blogger Conference 2014 Golden TicketYou might remember a little while back, I won the “Golden Ticket” to attend the conference, and I actually remember the exact day that I decided I should commit to going. Spending money on myself isn’t something I’m particularly good at. Sure there were things that I could do be doing at home, but every once in a while you need to take that jump and do it for yourself.

This also marks my first trip on my own that’s not for work – it might not seem like a big deal, and it is “just Vancouver” but it’s a big deal. It’s a foreign concept to purposely put myself in a situation where I’ll known no one personally, I’m much more comfortable on the other side of the table at a booth, talking about someone else or company project.

The Food Bloggers of Canada group has been so receptive, and has given us all the tools to have the best time possible. I think as a new food blogger, it’s easy for me to celebritize other food bloggers, they’re the people I’ve been reading for years, and I get giddy when one of them follows me on twitter, I can only imagine how I’ll be when I come face to face with them!

So, for now, all I can do is take a breath, and take it all in. Vancouver, Food bloggers, here I come!

no-bake macaroons - porch&table

no-bake coconut macaroon

no-bake macaroons

You know those days where you’re in a hurry but you promised you’d bring something to the baseball game/pot luck/friends BBQ? Don’t worry, i’ve got you covered with these no-bake coconut macaroons.

There just isn’t enough time in the day to get everything done, plain and simple. Even when you think you’ve created a timeline or a to-do list that will get you going, something always happens.

I have been busy busy. It’s not an excuse, I chose to be busy. Let’s talk multi-tasking. I’m a self-proclaimed expert multi-tasker. I can have 9 projects on the go, and frankly I feel better if I have more than one thing to focus on. It’s flow of consciousness, your brain naturally flows through the different things going on in your life, and sometimes these are the thoughts that lead to great ideas, or things you may have not thought of.

The project nearest and dearest to my heart is a dog rescue called Sit With Me. I have been their co-chair of events & fundraising and there’s always more I can do, and I know it. This rescue is such an amazing group of people, and they have to face some pretty challenging situations that not everyone can face. They pull dogs of all shapes, sizes, and conditions, and together, we find a home for them. Our committee plays a role in this too, by helping to raise funds we help the rescue be able to save more dogs, and that makes me feel amazing!

You’ll likely hear more about Sit With Me in the future, it’s a big part of who I am!

All this to say, there’s not enough hours in the day to do it all, and sometimes you need a little cheat. These no-bake coconut macaroons taste like you’ve spent a lot of time on them, but other than the refrigeration (which takes about 30 minutes) it’s the easiest, and delicious-est quick and easy cookie you can make.

Did I mention they taste like more?? No but seriously. It was hard to STOP eating them, they’re sweet but not too sweet, and I added some cinnamon

no-bake coconut macaroons
Yields 20
Quick and easy no-bake coconut macaroons will leave you wanting more!
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Total Time
45 min
Total Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups shredded unsweetened coconut
  2. 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  3. 1/4 cup condensed milk
  4. 3 tablespoons ground cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl until well combined.
  2. Using your hands, or a spoon, form cookies into small rounded drops and place on a lined cookie sheet.
  3. Refrigerate for 30-45 minutes or until solid.
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to them which brings a nice warmth and complexity that isn’t hard to create.

Let’s get to the no-bake coconut macaroon recipe!

 

morocccan chicken stew

moroccan chicken stew

morocccan chicken stew

I know we’re just entering September, but it’s felt like comfort-food weather for a while and that led me to this Moroccan chicken stew.

The summer has flown right by, and I think it feels like that more-so because the weather just hasn’t been all that summer-like for the most part. I think we’ve had the air conditioning on a total of 3 nights this summer. Don’t get me wrong, for those of us who love fall it’s been an ideal summer – cool nights, warm but not stuffy days, I really can’t complain!

When we visited Washington D.C on our baseball roadtrip, I experience humidity like I had never experienced before. The moment you walked outside you were drenched in sweat, and not necessarily because you were hot (though it was) but just sheer humidity covered you. It was disgusting. Coming home after that made me appreciate the cooler and less humid days of Ottawa. Sure we get days where it’s 99% humidity, but they don’t make up the majority of our days so it’s really not so bad.

Between work trips, personal trips, and wedding planning, I have all but lost my summer. That came off really cynical, i’ve enjoyed all of it, but I could use a few more months of beautiful weather!

Temple's Sugar BushThis past weekend, my bridesmaids, mom and I had a wedding day while Kevin was away at a bachelor party. Honestly, it couldn’t of gone any better. We took our time and made a full day of it starting with visiting our venue at Temple’s Sugar Bush just past Carleton Place. Piled into my SUV, I drove there and remember the feeling I had initially had “it’s so far.” When I pulled up to the parking lot, I remembered just how pretty it was, and the thought of distance was a fleeting one. It’s totally worth it.

I wanted a location that was going to be cozy and not too much. I’m actually surprising myself how non-bridezilla I am, and I think it’s a good thing! Going back inside reminded me why we chose Temple’s Sugar Bush as our ceremony and reception location. It’s the perfect balance between rustic and modern, with harvest style tables or as I like to think of them family-style tables. I want this day to be about bringing families and friends together to celebrate. My bridesmaids and mom approved! :)

We than made our way to Sinders Bridal House to try on dresses. I always thought this was going to be the thing I looked forward to the most, but quite honestly it was the thing I feared the most. I had a bad experience on the phone with another bridal house which made me feel incredibly self-conscious and uneasy, and i’m already self-conscious to begin with. My experience at Sinders was amazing; Ruth walked us through the store looking at different options. Before I got too overwhelmed I tried on about 12 or so dresses. Low and behold, I committed to the second dress I tried on with resounding approval (and tears) from my entourage, which included my bridesmaid in the states via skype!

But now, as the days get shorter, and the summer starts to dwindle down, I find myself craving comfort food. Stew really is one of those delicious comfort foods you can’t go wrong with. Curl up on the couch with a bowl of this Moroccan chicken stew, and you’re good to go! The best part of this recipe, you can make it in the slow cooker, so even on those super hot days you’re not warming up the house even more by turning on the oven.

Onto the Moroccan chicken stew recipe

Moroccan Chicken Stew
Serves 12
Comfort food at its finest and easy to make in the slow cooker for those days you don't have time or don't want to turn on the oven.
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Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
7 hr
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
7 hr
Ingredients
  1. 4 chicken breasts, boneless and skinlees
  2. 1 can peas
  3. 1 (15 1/2-ounce) can chickpeas
  4. 1 medium onion, chopped
  5. 1 (28-ounce) can of tomatoes, diced and undrained
  6. 1 cups chicken broth
  7. 1 teaspoon ginger
  8. 1 tablespoon cinammon
  9. 1/2 cup coconut milk
  10. 2 bay leaves
Instructions
  1. Place all the ingredients in the slow cooker on low for 7-8 hours, or 3-4 hours on high.
  2. Once done, remove the chicken and using two forks, pull chicken in different direction to shred.
  3. Return the chicken to the slow cooker and mix well.
  4. Enjoy.
Notes
  1. This freezes well, so think about making a full batch and freezing some for another night!
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