Saturday, 12 July 2014

Neob Lavender Festival

Inside the lavender field
Today, the Neob Lavender Festival was held at their location in Niagara on the Lake. I have been to this lavender store quite a few times and love it! The store is located in a barn type building with a wine tour store adjoining the building. A wonderful antique store is also located on the property with a beautiful lavender field right next store. I visited the lavender store to purchase culinary lavender (recipe coming soon!) and the cashier gave me tickets to their lavender festival. I was so excited to go and I'm super glad I made it. 

The tickets for general admission are $5 and the upgraded tickets were $15. I sprang for the upgraded wristband and boy, was it worth it! I got to try so many different foods and beverages containing lavender. I never knew just how many foods lavender is amazing in.

Upon entering the festival, I received a complimentary lavender plant and the lavender tent filled with food and drinks was directly in the front. I tried lavender soda water (which was complimentary to all festival goers), lemongrass raspberry ice cream topped with lavender syrup, a treat the store has always had as far as I know, lavender lemonade, lavender flatbread pizza, but my favorite was their watermelon goat cheese salad also topped with their lavender syrup. It was so incredibly refreshing! Going further into the festival, I found a cooking seminar with the main star being lavender, of course!

There were multiple tents arranged on the field which had so many little homemade crafts, much like a trade show, along with culinary delights (jams, jellies, salsas; the usual suspects). I purchased a really cute sustainable ring from Argentina and a sampler pack of jellies in the flavors: Vanilla Pear, Tomato Garlic, & Red Pepper Jelly.
They are hosting another festival of Garlic & Herb on September 14th, 2014. I know what I'm doing on that day! I will post links to the festival's website for you to purchase tickets, I highly recommend going!

Shot of the tea collection at the lavender store
Tour being held inside the greenhouse

My new ring!
Thanks for reading! (ring)

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Nautical Thrift Haul!

Who doesn't love new clothes? I mean, they're so exciting and can spice up your closet with just an article of clothing. This is why I love thrifting! I can find really eclectic items that no one else has! The history behind pieces can be felt with each unique piece I find. Not only does it inspire creativity by developing stories for the pieces, but creating outfits out of them is so much fun. I recently went on a few trips to the thrift store for a course I'm taking and found a ton of new items! Here are a few shots of a nautical outfit I put together with purely thrifted items!

The entire outfit is ready for a weekend on a boat! This theme is so appropriate for summer.

The light chambray drawstring pant are comfortable, yet chic (when ironed, they look a mess right now). The white cropped-sleeve cardigan adds texture and a little warmth for the chilly ocean breeze. The bag with the ship hardware add a nautical touch, and the whale earrings are just so appropriate and adorable! The bright red flats add a pop of colour necessary to this oceanic outfit.

Each item was less than $10 and I find it so adorable. I wear the pants very often, since they're so comfortable, and I think each item is unique yet incredible wearable. I hope I've inspired you to thrift if you don't already! Let me know if you've found anything you really love!

Portabello Cheese "Steak"

Being from dairy country I love a good cheesesteak sandwich. However, since I'm getting married in a little over a month (woo!) I'm trying to watch what I eat and watch my wallet. I cut the bread out of the traditional sandwich and substituted steak for low fat ground beef.

I started by pre-heating my oven to 375 degrees F. Then I heat a medium skillet with a a tablespoon of olive oil. I then diced an onion into small bits and sliced green and red peppers. Added them to the pan and sauteed until the onions became opaque in colour and the peppers softened a bit.

I removed the pepper-onion mix and set it to the side. I added ground beef to the pan and sauteed that completed with salt, pepper, garlic powder. Once cooked, I added chipotle flavored BBQ sauce. (Tip: steak sauce would work great here! I just used what I had in my fridge).

While the beef was cooking, I took portobello mushrooms removed the insides with a spoon and cut off the stems. During this time I also cut up some cheese (can't have a cheesesteak without cheese!). For this I used provolone and american cheese.

Once the beef was finished cooking, I began building my cheesesteak! I spooned ground beef in the mushroom cap, placed the onions and peppers on top, and then the cheese. I baked the whole thing until the mushroom softened and the cheese was melty and delicious.

                                          I paired the dish with homemade oven baked fries.

Serving size 2

Portobello Cheesesteak

2 Portobello Mushroom Caps
3/4 lb ground beef
1 white onion
1/2 green pepper
1/2 red pepper
1 slice American cheese
2 slices of Provolone
2 tbls of steak sauce
1 tbls of olive oil
Salt, pepper, and garlic powder

Homemade Oven-Baked Fries

2 well scrubbed Russet or Red potatoes
2 tbls of olive oil
Season salt, pepper, dried parsley, & garlic powder

                Cut potatoes in half lengthwise, then into "fry"-esque shape. Put into a bowl, add olive oil, toss with spices, and bake for 35-40 minutes in 375 degree oven.