Garlic-Rosemary Roast Beef and Versatile Blogger Award

Over the holidays, I was nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award by Eva at Kitchen Inspirations, which I humbly accepted. Eva is a long-time friend, who I have known for more than 20 years. Food has been a constant in our friendship—we’ve shared a meal and a laugh in countless restaurants in both Toronto and out West (Eva and her husband John visited me when I lived in Vancouver), and our homes. Receiving an invitation to dinner at Eva’s is akin to winning the lottery because you are guaranteed a Michelin star-worthy meal with perfectly-paired wines. One memorable evening was a relaxing international tapas dinner in front of the fire, which I’m not soon to forget because all the courses were captured on a printed menu keepsake. Fortunately Eva and John took an instant liking to my husband Kevin 10 years ago—so much so, that I’m not sure where their alliance would fall if my husband and I ever separated. Let’s hope we don’t have to put that one to the test ever.

I made two recipes from Eva’s blog for our New Year’s celebration and I highly recommend them both. The Caramelized Onion and Cheddar Dip and Cheez-Itz crackers were both gone in a flash.

Blogs I Nominate for Versatile Blogger Award:

  • The Gouda Life – This is a blog I have followed for quite a while. Kelly’s fresh and fun approach to food is down-right addictive. I highly recommend this blog. (I made her Green Lentil Soup with Brown Butter Curry last night. Kevin and I both loved it, but I’m afraid it wasn’t a hit with the ponytails.)
  • With a Glass – I recently discovered this blog and I’ve quickly become a big fan. Isn’t everything better “with a glass” of something adult-friendly? The photography is lovely and I have a long list of recipes that I’d like to try.
  • Two Peas & Their Pod– This is another recent discovery. I was instantly attracted to the wide range of cookie recipes on this family-friendly blog.

Other Blogs I Enjoy (they also received the award over the holidays)

As part of this award, I’m to share 7 Things About Myself

  • I made my first roast beef last week. I never liked roast beef growing up, so I’ve just never made it. My inspiration came from reading the online version of Everyday Food on our new iPad (the online version is THE BEST). The Rosemary-Garlic Roast Beef and Potatoes with Horseradish Sauce just looked so good and simple to prepare. And it was! This is a great dish to prepare when having company—just prepare the rosemary-garlic rub in advance and then sear the beef about 40 minutes before you want to eat and pop it in the oven. I used a sirloin tip and made the recipe’s horseradish sauce, along with roasted asparagus.

  • I used to live in the basement of my good friends Eva and John (Eva from Kitchen Inspirations). It was more years ago than I’m willing to admit. They offered me a nice space at a very reasonable rate, and it worked out quite nicely. It was the only time in my life I’ve been known as Bargain Basement Barb, although Eva still likes to call me that on occasion (mostly when I’m being cheeky, so very rarely).
  • For my first summer job, I was an elevator operator at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise (Alberta, Canada). It was back when the hotel was managed by Canadian Pacific and I worked there for two summers as a university student. Our crew of elevator operators will go down in history as the last crew—the elevators were automated shortly after we left. The elevator was controlled by a manual lever, and you had to watch for numbers on the shaft wall as you ascended or descended and then release the lever at just the right moment to ensure a smooth landing for passengers. You can imagine how many times I was asked if the job had its “ups and downs” by tourists. I was definitely on the fast track, as I was promoted to Tea Service Waitress my second summer. The view of the lake is one of the most spectacular in the world, and when I look at pictures of it now I still feel as though it is my own special little corner of the world. The hiking was incredible, and we took full advantage on our days off. The most challenging and memorable hike of my life was an overnight excursion up to a stone cabin called Abbot’s Hut (here’s a video of the hut), which is perched at the top of a glacier path called The Death Trap and straddles the British Columbia/Alberta Border.

I'm the swiss miss on the far left.

  • I was chased by a wild pig while on vacation in Jakarta, Indonesia. My friend and I were out late one night trying to find a place to get something to eat while staying at a remote inn just outside Jakarta. After being chased by what sounded like a wild pig (I was too afraid to turn around), we returned to the isolated inn empty-handed and hungry. I have no idea where we were, but I don’t recommend that you stay there.
  • My first 10 km run was the Vancouver Sun Run, which I ran with three good pals. We called ourselves the Red Rovers and we were known for our ability to talk fast and run slow.
  • I was a “temp” in London, England for a summer during university. Over the course of my two months working there, I lived in a couple of different flats—one at Seven Sisters and one at St. John’s Wood. Can you guess which flat was just down the road from the walkway where The Beatles’ Abby Road album cover was photographed?
  • My all-time favourite chocolate bar is Toblerone. I spent a few days in Switzerland during the summer I worked in England and I thought that I’d died and gone to heaven when I discovered the vending machines were filled with Toblerones and Lindt chocolate. Not sure why I didn’t just stay there and settle down. No really, why did I leave?