30 September 2013

Chocolate Raspberry Jam

This post could also be accurately titled: Or the time I ate jam with a spoon. Seriously this jam is THAT good. I kid you not. We went to a farm this weekend with hopes of picking our own raspberries unfortunately they weren't open for U-Pick that day so I had to settle with bringing home a couple of cartons of fresh raspberries. Last time I bought a carton of fresh raspberries they didn't make it through the front door I ate them all on the walk home. It was totally worth it. They were amazing. I have fond memories of picking raspberries of the bushes out behind my grandparents house when I was younger. I loved being able to eat the raspberries directly off the bush. Grocery store raspberries have never quite been able to live up to the standards of those freshly picked berries.


 I was able to get the raspberries through the door this time and straight into a pot with some sugar to make the most delicious jam ever.

I was a little bit nervous about actually making jam. I have never made it before in the past and I wasn't sure how it would turn out.  I followed this recipe from Love and Olive Oil. It was super simple and really easy to follow. I kind of cheated and didn't actually "can" my jars since I only made four and am planning on giving some to friends and family this week to be used right away so since I didn't have a canning system I felt like keeping them in the fridge was a better option. I am almost half way done one of the jars anyways so I don't really see spoilage as an issue.


I have been eating this pretty much non stop since and I then decided that I needed scones to go with the jam and proceeded to whip up a batch (what is my life).

Hope you enjoy this fantastic jam!
Jaclyn

27 September 2013

Feel Better Friday

Here are some things to make you feel better this Friday, whether you are feeling under the weather (like me) or just need a pick me up.


I drink tea whether I am sick or not. But lately it feels like the mug never leaves my hand. Some of my favourites when I am sick are: Cold 911, Bravissimo and Mother's Little Helper.


A green smoothie is a great way to get vitamins and nutrients when you are feeling sick. And you can't go wrong with some homemade chicken soup.

A good book or some Netflix always helps to pass the time. I have been binging on Heartland of all shows.


For me when I am sick I am always cold. I need a cozy sweater and some socks to stay warm! 

What do you do to feel better? 
Jaclyn  

25 September 2013

Niagara Falls Getaway

This past weekend we escaped to Niagara Falls for a mini getaway to enjoy the Grape and Wine Festival.

We purchased a Discovery Pass that allowed us to go to eight different wineries and sample their wine paired with a food item of their choice. Since we didn't know a ton about wine we decided to choose the wineries based on what food they were serving. We had everything from sausage's on buns to butternut squash soup.  The Discovery Pass was well worth the money and we even found a couple of new wines that we really loved.

Unfortunately we didn't get the best weather on Saturday when we were actually doing our wine tastings. We choose most of the wineries in Niagara On The Lake and many people were biking from winery to winery. I would love to go back for another weekend and do a bike tour. It looked like it would have been a lot of fun if it wasn't raining. We were lucky enough to have a friend DD for us, so we weren't caught in the rain too much. 

Sunday turned out to be a beautiful day. Our Bed and Breakfast, where we stayed, was a short walk away from the Falls. 

Outfit: Coat: Forever 21 (old). Purse: Marc by Marc Jacobs. Jeans: AE. Boots: Century 21.

Since we were only going for the weekend I packed light, only bringing one pair of shoes ( shocking I know!). A good trench coat was a must since it was raining and cool most of the weekend. 

Jaclyn

23 September 2013

Peach Scones


I had some peaches that were on the verge of going bad. Generally, when I have any fruit that I need to use up quickly I throw it in a smoothie or make it into a bake or crisp. I debated turning them into a peach crisp but I know that peach crisp never lives up to the high expectations that apple crisp has set for it and I would just be disappointed. I was at a lost for what to make with them when I came across this post from Cupcakes For Breakfast.  Cupcakes for Breakfast is one of my new favourite blogs.  I feel like I can really relate to Nikki and she always posts beautiful photos of delicious looking food. I had yet to actually try my hand at making on of her recipes.  


These peach scones did not disappoint. Sometimes scones can get too dry but these were the perfect texture and just the right amount of sweetness. I used a pastry cutter to make the batter and I am so glad I picked up this little inexpensive gadget. It will turn making pie crusts into a breeze this fall. 


These scones are wonderful alone or with a cup of tea! 
Jaclyn

20 September 2013

Link Love


Just some things I have been loving around the web lately: 
  1. This commercial on giving. So inspiring.  
  2. Everything useful I learned was from Gilmore Girls
  3. Why innovation is good for the economy. 
  4. Its fall. So many pumpkins ideas floating around. This is one of my favourites. 
  5. Female Entrepreneurship is on the rise!
  6. The perfect dress for fall and winter! Love it layered.
  7. The perfect party house.
What links are you loving lately? 

Jaclyn


18 September 2013

Caramelized Onions and Goats Cheese, Balsamic Chicken, Spinach Pizza


This pizza is amazing! It has some of my favourite food combinations plus with the addition of a balsamic reduction I was in pure food heaven.  Recently I have been on caramelized onions and balsamic vinegar kick. I just think all things can be made better with one or the other. But together they shine. 

Ingredients:

Pizza Dough (Store bought or homemade) 
3 oz of Goats Cheese
a couple of table spoons of milk 
1 red onion, caramelized
1 chicken breast 
Olive Oil
Balsamic Vinegar 
Handfull of Spinach 


Directions: 

1. Marinate chicken breast in olive oil and balsamic for half an hour or so
2. Preheat oven to 400F 
3. Caramelize onions  
4. Using about half of the goats cheese mix with a tablespoon or so of milk to create a spreadable paste (this will be used as the "sauce" for the pizza) 
5. Grill chicken breast until cooked through. Once finished cooking cut or shred into bit sized pieces. 
6. Roll out dough according to directions and pre-bake crust for 10 mins 
7. Once crust has pre-baked. Spread milk and goats cheese mixture in an even layer. Then add caramelized onions and chicken. Bake for another 10-15 mins. 
8. Remove pizza from oven top with spinach and crumble remaining goats cheese over pizza. Heat in oven for an additional 1-2 mins or until goats cheese is soft. 
9. Drizzle with balsamic glaze (directions below) if you so desire.
10. Enjoy.

For the balsamic glaze:  In a small sauce pan heat about 1 cup of balsamic vinegar. Do not let it boil. Once liquid has reduced to about half remove from heat and it will thicken further. Pour into a small dish for serving.  Drizzle over pizza and enjoy!



16 September 2013

Weekend Food Snapshots


I went to put together a Weekend Snapshots post and realized all I had taken photos of this weekend was food. Typical me. Here is what I have been making and eating lately.
Brownie Cupcakes with Cookie Dough Frosting. One was more then enough sugar for the day, but oh so good! 

 One of my favourite sandwiches: prosciutto, bocconcini, arugula with olive oil, balsamic and honey dressing on focaccia

 A green smoothie to balance out the cupcake. This one has a herbal tea base, spinach, avocado, pineapple and frozen mangos. It might be my favourite combination yet! 

My first attempt at homemade bagels. I wasn't 100% happy with the recipe. I will have to try out more before I share it with you.  

Some Greek yogurt with raspberries and homemade granola (oats, almonds, chocolate chips bound with agave). 


What did you eat this weekend? 
Jaclyn

13 September 2013

Moving On

PostSecret

This post secret from a few weeks ago stuck with me. I am part of a group of five close friends who are now entering our final year at university. We had been friends for years before we all went our separate ways to university. We all kept in touch while at school and continue to see each other during breaks from school or the occasional university visit.  I am proud to say that we have remained friends, and close friends at that. I know that I can call anyone of them no matter what time if I really needed them and they can do the same with me. We still tell each other everything. Yes, in some ways our friendships have had to shift to accommodate the distance and certain dynamics of the group have changed. But when we are all together its like we are back in high school, eating junk food and watching bad TV in one of our basements.  Moving on, leaving home, your friends and family is scary. But it allows you to grow as a person, discover who you are away from all of them and there are so many new friendships waiting for you at school. So don't be afraid, embrace the change but don't forget the friends you've had for your entire life.

11 September 2013

Goal Setting

I remember back in middle school sometime during the first week or so back at school my homeroom teacher would make us all sit down and fill out a goal sheet. At the time I thought it was dumb. What was the point of writing down my goals. Of course I wanted to do well in all my classes. Why couldn't she just accept that and move on? Why did I have to be so specific as to what I wanted my grades to be like? At the time I didn't understand the importance of goal setting and making sure that I was setting SMART (Specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely) goals. By putting pen to paper and reflecting on what I want to or need to accomplish is very powerful for me. I can take the time to determine what has to get done and what I need to do in order to achieve that. For myself personally Specific and Timely are two very important things. I can say I want to do well in a class but what does that really mean? Being specific helps me get things accomplished. Timely is important too, it allows for me to follow up with my goals at certain time increments. With classes time is somewhat built in, I can determine how well I am doing after a test or a midterm and reevaluate and readjust from there. For personal goals I need to be more diligent in setting time to evaluate them.

Do you set goals? If so, what is important to you in goal setting?

Jaclyn

PS. Here is my free printable goal setting template.

9 September 2013

NYC: The High Line


One of my favourite spots in NYC was the Meat Packing District and The High Line. My friend suggested in on a whim since Kate Spade Saturday was located there and we decided to walk the High Line rather then go to Central Park. I am so glad that we did. I have been to Central Park on previous visits to the city but I had never been to this area before. I loved that the park was above the streets and that you could see all of the interesting buildings. The Meat Packing District also had some really cool shops and boutiques and I loved Chelsea Market.  There were so many unique food options and it had a really great vibe. Overall, it was my favourite place I visited during my trip. 

6 September 2013

Alice's Tea Cup - NYC



On my trip to NYC to visit one of my best friends we went for tea at Alice's Tea Cup. This was one of those places that was meant just for me. They have a wall full of different loose leaf teas and you can order a variety of food including sandwiches and scones. We decided to share a Mad Hatter and got the choice of two sandwiches and three scones. 

The food was great and I loved all the choices you had for scones and teas (it of course took me forever to pick one).  The decor was adorable as well. The table we sat at was once a sewing tabling and there were quotes from the book on the walls. It was overall a great experience and I finally got to have my tea party! It is a place I would recommend going with your girlfriends or on a mother daughter date. I am so glad my friend took me to it, I would not have ever found it other wise!



You can see more photos from my trip here.

2 September 2013

NYC Snapshots

Top Row (right to left): Cupcakes by Melissa in Soho. Dress Display at Anthropologie. Brunching. 
Middle Row: Love the buildings in Soho. Visiting Kate Spade Saturday Pop Up Shop
Bottom Row: My dress matched the bathroom. A very mad men inspired office. Frozen Hot Chocolate at Serendipity

I finally got the chance to go and visit one of my oldest friends in NYC. It was a blast exploring the city with someone who actually lived there and could act as my own personal tour guide. I had an amazing time on the trip and could not believe how fast it went by. I will be sharing some of my favourite places  we visited soon.
-Jaclyn