Cabin Weekend

Have you ever wanted to just get away for the weekend with your friends? Escape the crazy, fast-paced life in the city, days filled with work and school and a million other things you don’t have time for?

My friends and I did exactly that last weekend.

We packed up our bags and enjoyed a couple of days filled with pjs, sweatpants, no makeup, girl talk and lots of laughter.



In keeping with our group’s tradition, we made lots of delicious food – Dutch babies, eggs, quinoa, pizza, a wonderful salad and a variety of croissants/pastries. Yum. We also had a little campfire by the lake with s’mores, guitar playing and some singing.



Mary, Taylor and I drove together and we passed the time going there and coming back home by talking, singing at the top of our lungs, and dancing in the car. We probably got some weird looks from other drivers, but who cares. You only live once, right? I can guarantee we were having more fun than anyone else on the road.



There is something so nice about getting out of the car and smelling nature. Pine needles, trees, lakes, all of those things we can’t get in the city. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love Portland and I love being able to call it ‘home’, but there is something so nice about being able to unplug and escape from the hustle and bustle in PDX.




We had no cell phone reception, enforced a no makeup rule and were totally content to just sit around in our pi’s for most of the day. You know you have good friends when you’re comfortable doing that.


If you all ever have to opportunity to get away for a day, weekend, week, whatever works for you, I highly recommend it. Unplugging and getting some distance from the ‘real world’ for a while is the best.


My First Catering Job

On Sunday I had my very first catering job. Ever.

One of my favourite high school teachers retired at the end of the school year a couple of weeks ago and he asked me to cater his retirement party. I seriously said “yes” without even thinking about it. I rarely went back to my high school other than to watch my sister’s volleyball games, but when I did it was to catch up with him. Over the past couple of years I, along with my friends Mary and Taylor, made a point to go back to visit him a few times a year. He taught all of us at various points throughout our time in high school and we went on a trip to Italy with him, along with about 40 other students, out junior year of high school. {I just looked through some pictures from that trip. Oh my goodness, do we look young. Like babies!}

Rome-mary heb 1306

Rome-mary heb 1288

Rome-mary heb 1286

Needless to say, he was an important part of our time in high school. He’s been so supportive of all of us in the years since we’ve graduated from good ol’ SMA that catering this event for him seemed like such a great way for all of us to thank him for everything he’s done for us.

This was a super informal, open house style retirement party and that was the perfect way for me to step into the catering world. I had met with him and his wife a few weeks prior and we decided on a primarily Greek theme, along with a few of my favourite things to make.


Armed with some recipes from little Greek old ladies from his wife (which I can’t share with you because they are top secret :)), I set to work to make this the best party possible.

With the help of Mary and my mum (master kefthede roller), I made spanakopita, tiropita, eggplant parsley spread, kefthedes and baklava. After an afternoon of struggles I became one with phyllo pastry and it was glorious. {Pro tip: saying “work with me, buddy” while you’re pulling it apart, folding, rolling, getting it to do whatever you want to do works wonders. Who knew?}

I also made my famous(ish) chocolate chip cookies, chocolate macarons with white chocolate peppermint ganache and these lemon macarons but instead of the lemon curd I filled them with a lemon buttercream.


The party went so well. It was so fun seeing so many people there to celebrate Michael – former students, colleagues, family, friends.

I’m so excited and proud to say that the food was a hit! I had people ask me for some of my recipes and apparently people were walking around talking about the food. I was seriously so happy to hear that. I’m not going to lie, I was nervous about how it would all go. I’m used to cooking for friends and family, and my instructors in class, but I’ve never had to cook for 50+ people I’ve never met before. Hearing the positive feedback made me feel so good and reaffirmed that this is exactly what I’m supposed to be doing – sharing recipes and my food with people.

It was a lot of work. I literally cooked and baked all day Friday and Saturday, finished up a couple of things on Sunday morning and then went to the party to set up and have a good time. I was so busy with the food and chatting with people that I didn’t have a chance to take any pictures of the food, but I guarantee I’ll be making them all again so I’ll definitely take pictures then so you all can see what they looked like.

I owe a big thank you to Michael and his wife, Mary (not to be confused with the Mary I mentioned earlier) for this wonderful opportunity to allow me to experience the catering world. I couldn’t imagine my first catering job being for better people and I’m so blessed that they asked me to help them make this party happen.

I also owe big thank you’s to Mary and my mum for helping me out with the food preparation and cooking. I would have been up at totally crazy hours running on very little sleep if it hadn’t been for the two of them.

Happy retirement, Michael! I couldn’t be happier to have been part of this celebration!

Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble

A couple of weekends ago I went strawberry picking with my friends and ended up with a surplus of strawberries. Even after making strawberry shortcake and strawberry jam I still had lots left over. These were eaten, but seeing them in my fridge before my family devoured them inspired me to make some strawberry rhubarb crumble.

I developed this recipe a few months ago when I was taking my costing class and being that it’s strawberry and rhubarb season it seemed like the perfect time to make it.


Never cooked with rhubarb before? Don’t be intimidated. It couldn’t be easier. For this recipe, all you do is cut it up, mix it together with a couple of ingredients, put it in a pie dish then throw it in the oven. See? Easy.


Rhubarb and strawberries go together like peanut butter & jelly, milk & cookies, cheese & wine. See where I’m going with this? Together they are perfectThe sweet strawberries balance out the slightly tart rhubarb and they come together in an explosion of beautiful flavours. Okay, I’m gonna stop now. I might start drooling on my keyboard.


This crumble can be served hot or cold. Personally I like to heat it up and pour piping hot Bird’s custard over it. Yummmmm. It’s also good by itself or topped with some cream but if I were you I would try it with the custard. You won’t be disappointed.


I have one final standing between me and three weeks of glorious freedom. The first thing I’m going to do is cater a retirement event for one of my favourite high school teachers. I’m so excited! I’ll definitely be letting you all know how it goes. He’s quite the popular guy so I have a feeling lots of food will be needed 🙂 I’ll also be fitting in some World Cup viewing. I went through every possible emotion in front of friends and random strangers when England played Italy on Saturday and I’m looking forward to them kicking some more butt in their next two games against Uruguay and Costa Rica.

Here’s the recipe. Enjoy!

Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble:



  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 3 tbsp. sugar
  • 3 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 stick (4 oz.) butter, melted
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon (ground)


  • 1 lb. rhubarb, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 lb. strawberries, quartered
  • Juice from 1 lemon (or 3 tbsp. lemon juice)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tbsp. cornstarch
  • Pinch of salt


  1. Make your topping. Whisk flour, baking powder and both sugars together. Add the melted butter, vanilla and cinnamon, mixing together with a fork until “crumbles” form.
  2. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  3. In a mixing bowl, combine the rhubarb and strawberries with the lemon juice, sugar, cornstarch and salt. Put mixture into a pie dish.
  4. Cover the fruit mixture thickly and evenly with your crumble. Place on a baking tray to catch any spills and bake for 40-50 minutes, until fruit is bubbling and the crumble is golden brown. {If you think your topping is cooking too quickly compared to your fruit, cover with foil}
  5. Serve warm or room temperature with custard or cream.