What I'm Reading: Kanye West Owes Me $300

Kanye West Owes Me $300 by Jensen Karp

Kanye West Owes Me $300 

[And Other True Stories from a White Rapper Who Almost Made It Big]
by Jensen Karp

"After Vanilla Ice, but before Eminem, there was "Hot Karl," the Jewish kid from the L.A. suburbs who became a rap battling legend—and then almost became a star."


Jensen Karp, formerly known as rapper Hot Karl, is an LA-based writer, comedian, and co-owner of Gallery 1988, the nation's leading destination for pop-culture themed artwork. He has appeared on several VH1 television shows, hosts and cohorts podcasts and web series and has written and produced for Funny or Die, the MTV VMAs, Rolling Stone, WWE Raw and the ESPYs, to name a few. 

I must preface this review by saying, I am not a fan of Kanye West or rap. But, with Kanye's reputation in the media, when I saw the title of this book, I was immediately intrigued. This memoir is a hysterical look at the rap and hip hop scene and cutthroat music industry in the early 90s to 2000s. And while Kanye plays a minor role is Karp's adventures, this book kept my attention through all 19 chapters. As an early teen when Karp's career in rap took place, I was the furthest thing from a rap or hip hop lover (hey, Backstreet Boys). But, even for this boy band lover there are many familiar faces that make an appearance throughout the book. Some that remain a household name in today's music scene. 

"Kanye West Owes Me $300" was an outside of the box book for me, but I'm glad I chose to give it a chance. Bottom line, it is an easy, no brainer kind of summer read that I would recommend to anyone interested in just that, or rap. 

To & Fro rating: ★ ★ ★ 1/2 / 5 stars


What books have you read lately?

Past reads:
March 
April
May
June


I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. All opinions are 100% my own. 

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The Best Lemon & Blueberry Muffins

I'm a big fan of muffins. They're such an easy grab and go breakfast. The best are always made with fresh fruit, or even vegetables. 

At around 84 calories per serving (1 cup), blueberries alone make a delicious low calorie treat. They are also a good source of vitamin C and fibre, making them an even better choice for a summer snack.

You want to know what's even better? Blueberries in muffins.

Here in Ontario, blueberries are in season July to September. Now is the perfect time to take advantage of this delicious berry, starting with the best lemon and blueberry muffin recipe.


The Best Lemon and Blueberry Muffin Recipe

Lemon & Blueberry Muffins


Yields: approximately 12 small muffins


Ingredients

  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 2 tbsp lemon zest
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (or plain yogurt)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Lightly grease a muffin tin.
  3. In a small mixing bowl, combine the sugar, egg, oil, milk and vanilla in a bowl and stir until well combined.
  4. In a separate mixing bowl, combine lemon zest, flour, baking powder and salt.
  5. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and combine. Lightly mix, until no longer lumpy.
  6. Stir in the sour cream until it is well distributed.
  7. Fold 3/4 cup of blueberries into mixture. Do not over mix the ingredients.
  8. Evenly distribute the batter into the muffin tins, approximately 3/4 full. Top each muffin with the remaining blueberries.
  9. Bake for approximately 25 minutes, or until golden brown on top and inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  10. Remove from pan and allow to cool.
  11. To keep muffins moist, store in sealed container while they’re still warm.
The Best Lemon and Blueberry Muffin Recipe

Did you know that North America is the largest producer of blueberries and accounts for about 90% of the world’s crops? High bush blueberries, such as the ones used in this recipe, are grown in more then 30 states and in provinces like Ontario and British Columbia!

If you’re just a big a fan of muffins as I am, check out these recipes:

What is your favourite muffin recipe?

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Keeping Baby Cool in the Summer Heat

Whether you spend it inside or in the great outdoors, summer is a tricky season for keeping cool. Excessive heat can be very dangerous, especially for infants and young children. 

In my neck of the woods, temperatures have soared above 30 degrees C (mid 90s F) this summer, which means the babe and I have had to postpone our daily nature walks and entertain ourselves indoors until the temperature is in our favour.  Not always an easy task when you have a babe that always needs to keep moving and live in a tiny one bedroom apartment, but we make do. 

Keeping Baby Cool in the Summer Heat

To make sure your little one stays safe during the long, hot and humid days of summer, check out these 5 tips for keeping baby cool in the summer heat.


5 Tips for Keeping Baby Cool in the Summer Heat


Dress appropriately.

A good rule of thumb is to dress baby the way you’re dressed. If you must go outside, put baby in light-coloured long pants, a loose-fitting, lightweight long-sleeved shirt and a wide-brimmed hat. Removable layers are great so that you can adjust as the temperature fluctuates, such as from moving outside to inside. Remember that baby shouldn’t wear sunscreen before 6 months of age because of their sensitive skin. Sunglasses are also a good idea to protect their eyes and reduce glare. 

Keep hydrated. 

Like adults, babies need to drink plenty of fluids to avoid becoming dehydrated. However, they tend to get dehydrated a lot more easily due to the lack of fluid reserves in their tiny bodies. Since infants under 6 months of age shouldn’t yet drink water, replace lost fluids by giving them extra formula or nursing more frequently. According to What to Expect, there are no health benefits to heating up a bottle, so, if the baby takes it cold, it may help cool them down. Dehydration signs to look for include fewer wet diapers, dry mouth, restlessness and rapid breathing.

Moms should also remember to keep hydrated. Keeping hydrated will help maintain your milk supply so that you can in turn keep the little one happy and hydrated. 

Stay indoors.

While summer is a time to be outside, for baby’s sake, sometimes its best to stay indoors. Take advantage of fans and the air conditioning during these months. If you do not have air conditioning, find some place that does such as a mall, museum, library, etc.

In Toronto, some great indoor spaces to visit with your kiddos include Ripley's Aquarium of Canada, Royal Ontario Museum, Ontario Science Centre and Art Gallery of Ontario.


Keeping Baby Cool in the Summer Heat

Limit activity.

Baby’s temperature-regulating systems aren't yet fully developed, so they are not able to sweat as efficiently as adults to keep cool, meaning they can become overheated far more quickly. If you are outside, or even playing in a space without air conditioning, limit physical activity, such as playing in jumpers, so baby doesn't overheat. 


Plan your time outdoors.

If you must go outside, make sure you avoid certain times of the day. The worst time to be outdoors is between 10 am and 5 pm, when it is hottest and UV radiation is at its highest. Also be sure to make shade your friend. If you are at the park or beach, look for a protected spot, such as under a tree, umbrella or canopy. If baby is a fan of the water, briefly dip their feet in to cool off.

Keeping Baby Cool in the Summer Heat


And remember, NEVER EVER leave a child unattended in a parked car. Even with the windows cracked open in moderate temperatures, cars can rapidly heat up to dangerous levels in just a few short minutes.

For those lacking air conditioning (something I know all about), I highly recommend the Seville Classics UltraSlimline 40" Tower Fan. We recently purchased this fan from Costco ($59.99 Canadian APR) for our living room and it is pure magic. The tower fan is equipped with four ultra-quiet speed settings (high, medium, low and “eco”) that will leave you feeling cool and comfortable on those hot and humid days, and can be operated by the LCD remote equipped with a timer feature so you don't have to waste the energy getting up to switch setting or turn it on and off. 

To see how I'm spending my summer with my little family, check out my Instagram (@toandfro21).

How do you beat the summer heat and humidity?

Baby Products I'm Loving Lately | 4 Months

Guys, the living room of our teeny tiny one bed room apartment looks like a mini amusement park. Baby gadgets and gizmos eeevvveeerrrryyyywhere. From swings to mats, jumpers and more, who knew a 4 month old could come with so. much. stuff?! 

Thoughts of amusement parks aside, there are some baby gadgets that we couldn't live without. Today, I'm sharing 5 [smaller] baby products that I'm loving this month.


Baby Products I'm Loving Lately

5 Baby Products I'm Loving Lately


1.  Aleva Naturals Bamboo Baby Pacifier & Toy Wipes 
Morley is at the stage where everything goes in her mouth, which means I am constantly cleaning toys, soothers and her hands. Made from bamboo cloth, these Aleva wipes are gentle, green, unbleached and 100% biodegradable. They contain certified organic aloe vera which has skin healing benefits, including relieving inflammation, redness and itching. The package of 30 wipes is designed to conveniently fit in your diaper bag - perfect for the on the go baby.

2.  Philips AVENT Bottle to Cup Trainer Kit
Miss Independent has started learning how to hold her own bottle. And while she still has some work to do, this Natural trainer kit will help ease her into her first 'big girl' cup. The comfort grips allow baby to hold the bottle independently while drinking from the familiar nipple, and, when they're ready, the nipple easily switches to the silicone spout to complete the transition. Suitable for babies 4 months and up and comes in pink, blue and transparent BPA-free coloured bottles. 

If you use AVENT baby products, don't forget to sign up for the AVENT Instant Advantage Card at your local Babies R Us. With this card, you'll receive 10% off your AVENT purchases!

3.  Oball Rollin' Rainstick
We have 3 Oballs in the toy box and this one is hands down Morley's favourite. Featuring multi-coloured beads that make raindrop sounds and 30 fingers holes for grasping, the Oball Rollin' Rainstick encourages interactive play and helps improve baby's coordination. Made from strong, durable, BPA-free, yet soft, plastic, it is also suitable for teething babes and very easy to clean. Oball products come in various shapes, sizes and colours and are recommended for babies 3 months and up.

4.  Huggies® Little Swimmers® Disposable Swim Pants
Morley recently started swimming lessons and the pool she is at requires all infant swimmers to wear a special swim diaper. Little Swimmers® Disposable Swim Pants are made with unique absorbent material that won't swell in water. Their Finding Dory design and stretchy side material not only makes them look fancy, but also provides a comfortable fit for baby. Swim pants comes in three different sizes - small (16-26 lb.), medium (24-34 lb.) and large (33+ lb.).

5.  JOHNSON'S® Natural Nourishing Baby Lotion
When it comes to Morley's sensitive skin, we only want what's best.  JOHNSON'S® natural nourishing baby lotion is 99% natural with nourishing plant and fruit-sourced ingredients such as coconut, palm, cottonseed and soybean, and is free of paragons, silicones, dyes, animal byproducts, phthalates and more. Made with  JOHNSON'S® ALLERFREE® natural fragrance, this lotion is clinically proven to moisturize for 24 hours to help strengthen baby’s natural skin barrier, leaving skin feeling nourished and soft all day. The pump bottle allows for easy dispensing, and the formula applies nicely, not leaving the baby's skin feeling sticky. 

And a product for the mamas...


Baby Products I'm Loving Lately  |  4 Months
//  via  //
6.  HASK Bamboo Oil Strengthening Hair Care Collection*
Pregnancy does wonders on your hair they say. What no one told me is what post-baby does to your hair. Before learning about the benefits of bamboo, I would have been skeptical try the HASK Bamboo Oil Strengthening collection. However, since I love trying new beauty products, especially those made with natural ingredients, I was excited when I received the entire Bamboo Oil collection free to review. Bamboo oil is proven to strengthen hair and deliver essential nutrients that revive weakened and lifeless strands. Perfect for my postpartum hair. Since having a baby, my hair has been very fragile and feels very thin. Not only does this product smell great, but after a few weeks of use, it left my hair feeling soft and much stronger than it was prior to using. I also received the Deep Conditioner and Hair Shine Oil free to try, and while they also smell fantastic, as a new mom I am limited on time in the shower, and would therefore prefer to just use the Strengthening Shampoo and Conditioner. I would definitely recommend this product to a friend that was experiencing damage and breakage, or one that enjoy trying new and natural products (especially one that does not test on animals). 

Check out other baby products I've been loving lately: 1 month  |  2 months

Have you tried any of the above products? What are your thoughts? 

*I received these products free for review, however, all opinions are 100% my own.


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Teriyaki Salmon Bowl

A few weeks ago, I confessed my love for spicy mayo. Seriously, I could eat that stuff by the spoonful.

Want to know another ingredient that spicy mayo is yummy on? Salmon. Specifically, this Teriyaki Salmon Bowl recipe.

Teriyaki Salmon Bowl Recipe

I can't say it enough that when I look for dinner recipes, they need to be three things: 1) healthy 2) easy and 3) inexpensive. 

When it comes to healthy eating, salmon is on the list. Salmon is a good source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, which are good for your heart.  In fact, The American Heart Association reports that consuming 8 ounces of fish per week (approximately 2 meals) can lower your risk of heart disease. It is also high in vitamin D, which helps maintain healthy bones and teeth. So, why wouldn't you want to eat it? 

When I say easy and inexpensive, I truly mean it. Having a 4 month old is a full time job and not one that's kind on the wallet. This meal only takes about 20 minutes start to finish, and all ingredients considered, each portion of this recipe costs around $3.00. My kind of meal.

So dinner needs to be one, healthy. Check. Two, easy and three, inexpensive. Check. Check. 

Winner, winner, salmon dinner.

Teriyaki Salmon Bowl Recipe

TERIYAKI SALMON BOWL


Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Serves: 2 people

Ingredients
  • 2 - 4 oz pieces of salmon
  • 1/4 cup teriyaki sauce
  • 1 large carrot, julienned or grated
  • 2 green onions, diced
  • 1 cup white rice, cooked
  • 2 tbsp low fat mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp sriracha 
  • sesame seeds (optional)

Directions
  1. Marinade salmon pieces in teriyaki sauce. This can either be done at time of purchase by adding two fresh fillets and 1/4 cup teriyaki sauce to a medium-sized freezer bag and freezing in sealed bag (for up to 6 month) or by marinading in sauce for at least 2 hours in the fridge.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  3. Cook rice as per package.
  4. While rice is simmering, cook the salmon for 15 minutes, or until done.
  5. In small bowl, mix mayonnaise and sriracha to create spicy mayo. Add more sriracha for desired spiciness.
  6. In an individual serving bowl, layer ingredients: rice, salmon, carrots and onions. 
  7. Drizzle with spicy mayo (see below for instruction on how to garnish).
  8. Garnish with sesame seeds (optional).
Teriyaki Salmon Bowl Recipe

How to Garnish with Spicy Mayo

Materials
  • spoon
  • scissors
  • small sandwich bag
  • small drinking glass
  • spicy mayo

Instructions
  1. Gather materials listed above.
  2. Place small sandwich bag inside small drinking glass and fold top of bag over the edges of the glass.
  3. Using the spoon, scoop the spicy mayo into the bag.
  4. Remove the bag from the glass and carefully squeeze the spicy mayo into one bottom corner of the bag.
  5. Holding the bag at the top of the spicy mayo, carefully make a small cut in the corner of the bag. Make sure not to squeeze the mayo too tight as it will come squirting out of the bag.
  6. Applying a bit of pressure, squeeze the bag until the mayo starts coming out of the corner of the bag.
  7. Garnish the salmon (or other food item) as you see fit - straight thin lines, squiggly lines, thick lines, etc.
Teriyaki Salmon Bowl Recipe

Remember when purchasing seafood, sustainable is best. When it comes to Atlantic salmon, open-net pen farmed is why you're looking for. And if you prefer wild caught, make it gill net caught Chinook from British Columbia and Alaska.

If you love seafood, check out this recipe for Scallop and Chorizo Bites or Mussels with Garlic Wine Sauce. The perfect appetizer recipe for your next dinner party.


Do you like salmon? What is your favourite seafood recipe? Do you make sustainable seafood choices?

Cottage Life

Over 40 years ago, my Grandma and Poppa bought a little piece of lake front property on the northern Bruce Peninsula, approximately three hours north west of Toronto. With their three girls in tow, over the next few years they built what is now the family cottage. Four decades later, the family cottage tradition is still going strong, with numerous family members, friends, and even pets, visiting each summer.

This past weekend, we added one more to the list of cottage visitors, little miss Morley. Or, as we figured out, the 5th generation cottager. 

Cottage Life

My parents first took me to the cottage when I was less than a month old. And while I can't recall that exact visit, I do have fond memories from the 30 years that followed - spending time with my cousins, nature hikes and scavenger hunts, catching crayfish, swimming in the lake no matter how cold it was, scuba diving, and now, introducing my daughter to one of my favourite places on Earth.

Here is how Morley spent her first weekend at the cottage.

Cottage Life

Each trip to the cottage usually involves a drive into Tobermory, a tiny harbour community at the northernmost tip of the Peninsula. Since the weather wasn't exactly in our favour on Friday, it seemed like the perfect day to make the 20ish minute drive. What was once a hidden gem, is now a popular tourist attraction, drawing people from all over Ontario and the bordering US. We took our normal tour around the harbour, checking out what was new since we were up last, and stopped to sample the beers at the Tobermory Brewing Company.

Cottage Life
Cottage Life
Cottage Life

Saturday the weather was perfect, so we hopped in the kayaks and went for a little tour. With the water level being at its highest in years, we were able to venture a little further into the marshier areas of the lake perimeter to check out the new cottages that have popped up in recent years.

A dip in the crystal clear waters of the lake was also warranted, but it didn't last too long. Seems as if I'm becoming a bit of a wuss as I get older.

Cottage Life
Cottage Life

Morley loves the water and was drawn to the waves hitting the rocky shore. While it was still a little chilly for her bathing suit, she was happy to hang out with her Poppa and dip her toes in Lake Huron for the very first time. I foresee many hours spent in the water on future cottage visits.

Cottage Life

For little miss Morley, it was a successful first trip up. So much so that she didn't want the days to end. Either did mom and dad. Even if it meant pushing bedtime later and later each night. Why is it that time always flies so fast when you're enjoying yourself?

Cottage Life

Cottage Life
Cottage Life

If the cottage walls could talk they would tell you about the holiday celebrations they've been a part of, new friends they've met and even the happy, and sad, moments they've witnessed. This weekend we added another milestone to the cottage history.

And while my Poppa is no longer with us, I know he is the ray of sun shining down on us, smiling at what he created.

I can't wait to make more memories at the cottage with our daughter.

Do you have a family cottage? 
Where is your favourite summer vacation spot?

The Perfect Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

The Perfect Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

One thing I can bring to the table when it comes to desserts is a crisp. Whether it is an apple crisp in the fall or this strawberry rhubarb crisp recipe in the summer, my crisp game is on point.

In Ontario, strawberries are currently at their peak. If you are lucky enough to have one nearby, now is a great time to visit your local u-pick farm to take advantage of these delicious berries. Fruit picking is also a great family activity - you get some exercise from all the bending you’ll do, can teach your kids about where their food comes from and the importance of eating their fruits and veggies and you get to spend some quality time together.

The Perfect Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

My mom and I recently took Morley with us on a strawberry picking adventure. Adventure is the appropriate word whenever we try something new with the little lady, not knowing whether she'll love it or hate it. It's safe to say, she was not the biggest fan. But, I got in a great squat workout and was able to whip up my favourite strawberry rhubarb crisp, so I'd call it a win. 

The Perfect Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp


Ingredients
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups + 3 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 3 cups fresh strawberries, sliced
  • 3 cups fresh rhubarb, diced
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup butter (at room temperature)
  • 1 cup rolled oats

Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
  2. In large bowl, combine white sugar, 3 tbsp all purpose flour, strawberries and rhubarb and mix well. Place the mixture in a 9x13 inch baking dish.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix 1 1/2 cups flour, brown sugar, butter and oats until crumbly. Spread mixture evenly on top of the rhubarb and strawberry mixture.
  4. Bake in oven for 45 minutes, or until crisp and lightly browned. 
The Perfect Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

Whether you enjoy eating them plain, or with other ingredients, such as rhubarb, strawberries are an excellence source of Vitamin C, potassium and fibre, and are low in calories, at approximately 28 per 1/2 cup.

Rhubarb is an underestimated fruit and if you haven’t had it before, you don’t know what you’re missing. It is very similar to celery, but treated like fruit and paired with berries, takes any dessert recipe up a knotch. Available from January to June, it is grown both in the greenhouse and outdoors. It is an excellent source of calcium, Vitamin C, Vitamin K and potassium, and while you might not want to eat it raw due to its tartness, it is also low in calories, at around 27 calories per 1 cup diced.

The Perfect Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

Strawberries and rhubarb go hand in hand, like two peas in a pod. Delish!


Have you ever made a crisp before? What is your favourite berry recipe?


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Lemon & Zucchini Muffins

Zucchini is one of my new favourite vegetables. And mid to late summer is the perfect time of year to take advantage of this delicious summer squash. Not only is it yummy, at around 21 calories per cup it is extremely healthy for you - loaded with fibre, magnesium, potassium, vitamin C, lutein and zeaxanthin (which promote healthy eyesight) and manganese. It can be eaten plain, with hummus, in a salad, sautéed in a stir fry, or my new fave... in muffins!

Muffins are such an easy grab and go breakfast, and work perfectly with our crazy morning routine. Today, I'm sharing one of my favourite recipes for lemon & zucchini muffins - flavourful, light and fluffy and most importantly, healthy.

lemon zucchini muffin recipe

Lemon & Zucchini Muffins


Makes: 12-14 muffins

Ingredients
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon rind (approximately 1 medium-sized lemon)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 medium-sized zucchini, coarsely grated (approximately 1 cup)
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg
  • Cooking spray or vegetable oil

Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Grease muffin tin with vegetable oil or cooking spray.
  3. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, lemon rind and salt in a bowl. 
  4. Mix zucchini, milk, oil, and egg in a separate bowl and stir well. 
  5. Add to flour mixture to wet ingredients, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened.
  6. Divide batter evenly among 12 muffin cups. 
  7. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes or until golden. 
  8. Remove muffins from tin and let cool on a wire rack.

Notes about baking: Since each oven cooks differently, I don't always trust them.  When making muffins, I usually use a 6-cup muffin tin. It may take longer, but it also gives a more even bake. 

lemon zucchini muffin recipe


Are you a fan of zucchini? What is your favourite muffin recipe?


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Scallop & Chorizo Bites with Lemon-Wasabi Yogurt

Even though I work with fish, I am a big fan of seafood. Seems cruel, I know. But, it also means that when it comes to seafood, I am knowledgeable about what I'm eating, where it is coming from and how it is caught. From the small scallop to the large salmon, I make sure that the choices I make when it comes to catching, buying and cooking seafood limit the impact on the environment. 

Have you ever tried scallops before? They are such interesting critters. Scallops belong to the mollusc family, which also includes other tasty seafood such as squid, octopus, clams, mussels and oysters. They are considered bivalves, which means they have a two-hinged shell made from calcium carbonate. If you enjoy shelling, you may have found one of their ridged fan-shaped shells on the beach. Scallops swim by opening and closing their shells using their powerful adductor muscle. This muscle is the round, fleshy part that you actually eat! 

There are many ways to eat scallops, including grilled, baked and my personal favourite, pan seared. Looking for something different to serve at your next house party? If you love seafood, this recipe for scallop and chorizo bites with lemon-wasabi yogurt is sure to win you, and your party guests, over.

scallop and chorizo bites with lemon wasabi yogurt recipe

Scallop & Chorizo Bites with Lemon-Wasabi Yogurt


Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 15 minutes

Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp wasabi
  • zest 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 bag sea scallops (toonie-sized), thawed
  • 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper
  • thin sliced chorizo dry sausage (1 per scallop)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • chives, cut into 1 inch lengths

Directions
  1. To make yogurt topping, combine yogurt, wasabi, lemon zest and juice in small bowl. If too spicy, add more yogurt. Refrigerate.
  2. Pat dry scallops with a paper towel. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  3. Brown chorizo in a skillet on medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes each side. Pat dry to remove excess oil. Set aside.
  4. In the same skillet over medium-heat, add olive oil. Sear scallops, 1 to 2 minutes a side, until firm and lightly browned.
  5. Arrange chorizo slices on a platter. Layer the scallop and a small dollop of yogurt mixture. 
  6. Garnish with a piece of chive. Serve warm.

scallop and chorizo bites with lemon wasabi yogurt recipe

Remember - when making seafood choices, look for one of the three logos below to know you are making a sustainable choice and the best one for the environment. For example, diver-caught or farmed scallops are the most sustainable options when it comes to scallops.

Scallop & Chorizo Bites with Lemon-Wasabi Yogurt
Vancouver Aquarium Ocean Wise // Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch  // Marine Stewardship Council

What is your favourite seafood recipe? Do you make sustainable seafood choices?


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5 Days in Edmonton

When our summer travel plans to Alaska were unexpectedly cancelled, we took it as a blessing in a serious disguise and jumped on the opportunity to book a trip to Edmonton, Alberta to visit my sister and celebrate a friend's wedding.

While Alberta's capital and Canada's 6th largest city may not be the most popular place to spend your summer vacation, it definitely surprised us with all that it has to offer during the summer.

How We Spent 5 Days in Edmonton, Alberta

Despite only being in Edmonton for less than a week, we crammed a lot in. Here's how we spent our 5 days...

Day 1: The first day we had full intentions of visiting the Zoo, but the weather gods weren't playing in our favour, so we were forced indoors. Instead, we got lost in the 5.3 million square feet that is the West Edmonton Mall. As the largest shopping and entertainment complex in North America, the mall has every store you could ever imagine and then some. From shopping to ice skating, to dinner and a movie or getting your adrenaline pumping on one of the roller coasters or water slides, there is something to do for everyone at the mall. 

Day 2: We played detective at the Telus World of Science. One of the highlights of the museum was the The International Exhibition of Sherlock Holmes, a travelling exhibit where we were able to learn about the history and inspiration of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes and what it meant to be a detective in London in the 1800s. We then put on our detective hats on to examine a crime scene and solve a mystery. The activity was definitely geared toward an older crowd, and we had a blast competing to see who was the better detective. Safe to say, I won't be quitting my day job.

How We Spent 5 Days in Edmonton, Alberta
How We Spent 5 Days in Edmonton, Alberta

Day 3: Morley has recently taken a liking to dogs, so with my sisters' friends' dogs in tow, we took a quick visit to Terwillegar Dog Park. At 186 hectares, Terwillegar is one of the city's largest and most popular parks. While intended as a multi-use destination for both human and dog walking, as well as cycling and accessing the river, that day, it was especially jam packed with the happiest dogs on earth.

How We Spent 5 Days in Edmonton, Alberta

While one of our more 'low key' Canada Days, we couldn't let it pass without celebrating Morley's first. After the dog park, we took a walk down Whyte Ave, exploring all of the shops, people watching and listening to the live bands. We ended the afternoon the only logical way to celebrate Canada Day with a baby, with lunch at a local pub. She partied so hard that she pretty much slept through all of the celebrations.

Day 4: We visited the downtown Farmer's Market. Despite the new Rogers Place being built for this upcoming hockey season, downtown Edmonton really doesn't have a lot going on. In fact, as we walked to the market, the streets were eerily quiet and void of people. A complete opposite to what you would expect downtown Toronto to look like on a Saturday morning. When we got to the market, the streets were buzzing with people, food trucks, fresh produce and locally made goods. 

Later that day, we celebrated the wedding of our good friend and roommate from Alaska. While the weather was touch and go earlier in the week, you couldn't have asked for a better day for a small backyard ceremony. With Morley hanging out with my sister for the night, we had the chance to catch up with friends over a cocktail, or two, while enjoying those 18 hours of sunlight that Edmonton is blessed with during the summer months.

How We Spent 5 Days in Edmonton, Alberta

Day 5: Before heading home, we decided to attempt the Zoo one last timeNestled on the banks of the North Saskatchewan River, the Edmonton Valley Zoo is a small zoo, home to approximately 350 animals from all different climates and habitats.  Opening in summer of 1959 as the Storyland Valley Zoo, in recent years the Zoo has undergone a huge transformation, transitioning from the original quaint zoo to a zoo noted for its learning opportunities and work in conservation. Despite a bit of rain and Morley sleeping through the majority of the tour, we had a blast visiting with the grey wolves (below), black-and-white ruffed lemurs (below) and everything in between. 

How We Spent 5 Days in Edmonton, Alberta
How We Spent 5 Days in Edmonton, Alberta
How We Spent 5 Days in Edmonton, Alberta
How We Spent 5 Days in Edmonton, Alberta

We were so happy to get the chance to spend the time with my sister, especially since we never know when we're going to see her next. I thought for sure that all of the sister/niece time would help lure her back to Ontario, but unfortunately, I think I'm out of luck. We even offered her a full time babysitting gig, with promises of a place to sleep and a fully stocked fridge, but she politely declined.   I thought the full stocked fridge would definitely hook her. So, until then, we'll enjoy every second we get with her, and I'll keep working on my kidnapping tactics.


Safe to say, baby girl had a blast on her first big trip. And despite needing to sleep for a week, mom and dad did too. She was a rockstar on both flights, making traveling with her extremely easy. We can't wait to continue adventuring and sparking the travel bug within her.

For more on our summer adventures, be sure to follow me on Instagram: @toandfro21

Have you been to Edmonton before? What are your favourite summer family activities?

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