Monday, 30 July 2012

Sweet Strawberry Salsa in the Summertime

A week or so ago I spoke of my family's homemade version of Salsa Fest, in which we sampled a variety of salsas. Most of these salsas made their way into our mouths via tortilla chips, the common vehicle for this delish dish. However, my dessert loving self thought, "Why stop at savory?" and carried the salsa fun into the dessert course!

When I found out that it was Salsa Fest and decided that I MUST have a salsa party of my own, I immediately paroozed the internet for some salsa inspiration.  I am not a huge lover of spicy foods (something I am currently working on building a tolerance for), so when I found this recipe by Michael Smith for a sweet version of this usually spicy condiment I thought, "I can handle this."

And who can't handle Sweet Strawberry Salsa? Served on vanilla ice cream. I know, I know, part of me thought that salsa on ice cream would be kind of weird... but so many things that you think would be weird turn out to be THE BEST THINGS EVER. (i.e. salted caramel, french toast+syrup+peanut butter, tea, sudoku)

So try it. And love it. And eat it outside because it is summer and that is what you do. 
I pretty much followed the recipe (with a small adaptation) but it would be neat to try it with other fruit either replacing or added along with the strawberries. Peaches, mangoes, kiwi... yum.

Sweet Strawberry Salsa in the Summertime
(I like alliteration...)

  • 12 strawberries rinsed, hulled and chopped into pieces
  • zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 2 tbsp chopped mint
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut (I used sweetened but unsweetened would be totally cool too)
Okay this is the hard part: Toss everything in a bowl.

Serve it over vanilla ice cream, and be surprised at how great salsa can be as a dessert. You can count on me to find a way to turn anything into dessert form. As my big bro would say, are you a Mexican, or a Mexican't?

XO Lari

Sunday, 29 July 2012

5 Things of Awesome.


  1. Salad Inspiration
  2. Deep Fried Banana Bread...
  3. This charmer of a mug
  4. The fact that this band and this band will be touring together and coming to Calgary in November!
  5. My mom just told me that cinnamon buns are in the oven. Not a link, I know, but totally awesome nonetheless.
Salad, banana bread, mugs, music and homemade cinnamon buns. What's not to love?

What do you think is awesome right now?

<3 Lari

The View From Up Here: The Good and the Bad

I have really been wanting to post more lately, but the past few days have been packed full. I have especially been wanting to share my passion for Pinterest, however seeing that I am "working" right now, it is blocked so alas that post shall have to wait. This is also the reason this post will sadly be photo-less. :(
I've been busy lately, but loving it because Folk Fest is happening! It's my very first Folk Fest, and I now realize how much I've been missing out in not going the past 18 years of my life... 
Folk Fest is all the awesomeness of summer packed into 4 days. Warm sunny days, in a beautiful park, snacking on fresh fruit and  other delicious foods from a large selection of food trucks (ps Salted Caramel gelato from Fiasco is DIVINE), listening to great music, shopping in outdoor markets, wearing summery hats, throwing frisbees etc etc.

For a while I have been feeling down because:

  • Work (gift shop at Calgary Tower) is not always a rewarding experience and takes up a great deal of my time
  • I crashed my bike and BROKE MY BASKET ALONG WITH MY HEART :( (and got rather beat up in the process)
  • I am lacking my regular fitness routine which for me guarantees discontent
  • I am also lacking art, and NEED TO MAKE MORE. (But my studio is a disaster zone.) 
HOWEVER there is good in the world! And today I am finally noticing it, about time...

  • I am somewhat enjoying work today. The customers are friendly for once (not counting one in particular who acted very threatening when I told her we did not sell stamps) and I realized how awesome of a view I have working 525 feet up in the air...
  • I get to go to Folk Fest again tonight!
  • I have full intentions on buying kettle corn from the "Lazy Dog" lemonade booth tonight. This has been on my list for a while. If you have never tried it, dude, it is amazing.
  • I am wearing my most recent purchase of a silk scarf, a souvenir from Folk Fest costing me a whopping $2. And I look darn cute.
  • I plan on decorating my poor bike-basket with some flowers to make it (and me) feel better.
  • I am super stoked to start my WEEKLY CRAFT PROJECT (more to come about this later...)
  • THE OLYMPICS ARE HERE and that is great news.
So long story short, life is looking brighter.
When you think things are not going your way, fear not my friends. There is good out there too.

<3 Lari

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Wishlist Wednesday!

Time for the first edition of Wishlist Wednesday!

I am a list maker. I make a lot of lists. To-do Lists, To-buy Lists, To-Wear Lists, To-make Lists, To-bake Lists, Checklists... and of course Wishlists. I get a little list crazy sometimes, but a girl's gotta feel organized! Lists are helpful that way. I think I got it from my Pa, he too is a list maker. They keep you on track, keep you focused, and keep you dreaming!

Speaking of dreaming... here is a sampling of what's been added to my Wishlist recently:

FYI, I have been getting really into pie lately. I am becoming a major Pie Fan. Hence, this pan is kinda high on my list. I am also a fan of pans. A pan fan, you could say. If I had a trillion dollars, I would just stock my kitchen with pie and cake pans of all types and sizes... Not a necessity, I know, but hey. I would have a trillion dollars, so why not? Also on the pan wish list, THIS one! (The link is mostly for the picture...I would probably not buy it from the lovely-but-out-of-my-price-range store of Williams-Sonoma, Michaels had an awesome set of three in different sizes!)
A book that shows you haw to make all sorts of dairy products at home from scratch. I first fell in love with this book when I saw it featured here. I love making things handmade, even if it is super easy just to buy them. It's more about the process of doing it that makes me happy. (Also, how awesome would it be to serve people Super-Handmade-Desserts by using your very own butter/cream cheese/ricotta/yogurt??)
I am still kicking myself for not buying a super-cheap one I found at Value Village a few months ago. They are not that expensive to begin with, but after picking up a sweet little cocktail recipe book at a garage sale this summer, I am all inspired to make fun drinks. With a fancy cocktail shaker. It would make me feel oh so classy.

What is on your wish list this Wednesday?
XO Lari

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Obsessions: Summer Berries

I love to daydream, a lot. I pretty sure 99% of my daydreaming adventures have something to do with food. Hey! That is not weird or sad. That's just the way it is. Often I will become obsessed with a certain ingredient or theme and I spend my time thinking about all the different uses for it. So you will notice that once in a while or more I will make posts of my current foodie obsessions, and who knows! Maybe I will try making one of them.

Berries at this time of year are crazy delicious, and my Ma and I eat many many many of them. They are so tasty that we usually just eat them fresh, and can't be bothered to cook with them. Why change a good thing right?

However, I also firmly believe that cooking with awesome ingredients can only yield one thing: more awesomeness. SO... if fresh summer berries like raspberries, blueberries, blackberries etc are so flippin' good all on their own, imagine how yummy they'd be in a pie? Or on top of a cheesecake? Or folded into cake batter? Or with a summery creme brulee? Or cobbler...or...or...

Hence I present to you the first edition of my Obsessions: Summer Berries. If that was not obvious already.

I know for a fact! that my Mother went to a farmers market today, with the intent of buying more fresh berries. So I have brilliant timing on this one. Thanks Marmy :)


These Blueberry Scones with lemon zest From Mrs F would make a lovely breakfast or tea time treat

These simple but cute Sweet Tarts from Bakerlla are a classic summery treat, which I could eat everyday, all summer. With ice cream of course, Dad.

Also, Mini Raspberry Mousse Tarts via Bakers Royale sound divine. Probably because of the dark chocolate bit on the bottom...


So berry much love?
(that was bad, sorry.)

This is Lari signing off, telling demanding you to eat more berries this summer. Copious amounts. In all forms.
XO Larissa

Salsa Fest: Our Version

IMPULSIVE DECISIONS! Are the best kind. Especially when they turn out to be awesome. On Sunday we had an impromptu Mexican Fiesta, which is something everybody needs to do.

So just this past weekend was the annual Sun and Salsa Festival in Calgary... something that I have never been to, but was hoping to attend this year. Alas, due to the fact that I have to earn money to pay for important things like cookbooks etc, I was unable to make it down to Salsa Fest.

No Fiesta is complete without
chill-pepper garland... obviously.
BUT I will NOT let that stop me from enjoying in my own Salsa-Inspired festivities! I marched to my parents and demanded a change in dinner plans.
To my great joy, they not only approved of my grand salsa plans, but offered to go out (right then) to buy groceries and to invite family over to join in the Partay. I love my family.

We made three kinds of salsa (four if you change the name of our classic guacamole to Tomato Avocado Salsa) and they were all delish. Served up with grilled chicken, cheese, sour cream, lettuce and a variety of chips... We had a winner of a dinner.

Black Bean & Corn Salsa
Grilled Pineapple Salsa
Avocado & Tomato Salsa
OH and of course I made dessert... duh.

And keeping with the theme (because themes are my thing), I made a Sweet Strawberry Salsa to use as a topping on vanilla ice cream. Which was totally different, and totally rad.

Also, my Aunt brought over a freshly baked Saskatoon Berry pie... with berries that were picked fresh from her backyard that very same day. You can't get any fresher, people.

Courtesy of The Amazing Aunt

I ask you, does that not look like a perfect pie?

The moral of this story is: If Lari cannot come to Salsa Fest, Lari makes the Salsa Fest come to her.

Enjoy having a salsa experiment of your own!
XO Larissa

Monday, 23 July 2012


So, here we go. My first blog. I'm pretty stoked, but this is all very new to me! So please excuse my new-ness.
I have been thinking about starting a blog for a while now, just to have a place to keep track of what I've been baking, creating, and daydreaming about.

More posts will be coming soon, so stay tuned. :)

Thank you for reading!
XO Larissa