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?

16 Comments on “Garlic-Rosemary Roast Beef and Versatile Blogger Award”

  1. Congratulations, Barb! I’ve been enjoying reading your blog since I found you through Eva, and the award is well deserved. I look forward to checking out your nominees…and this roast beef recipe, too…been looking for a good one of those. Cheers! ~Betsy

  2. Ann says:

    Congratulations on your award and thanks for sharing the 7 facts about yourself! You have been to some very interesting places! Also, congratulations for expanding your horizons and making a dish that you previously didn’t enjoy!

  3. Kristy says:

    What fun facts! I can’t imagine being chased by a wild pig. I was chased by wild dogs on our honeymoon, but I think a pig would be far scarier! Thank you so much for the mention. I’m enjoying reading your blog as well. And congratulations on the award – it’s very well-deserved.

  4. Hi Barb – thank you so much for the nomination – I am honored you thought of me!

    I loved reading your 7-things! I was living in Canmore, AB a few years back and had friends in Lake Louise. I never got to visit, but I hear it’s stunning.

    Have a wonderful weekend!

    • Canmore is a great little spot. It has changed so much over the years–espcecially since I worked there in 86/87. It is the kind of place that you wish you had invested in a piece of real estate way back when. The rockies sure are a special part of the country aren’t they?

  5. Sissi says:

    Dear Barb, I am honoured to receive the Versatile Blogger Award from you and extremely flattered and proud to read such kind words about my blog. I am very happy you like some of my recipes and so glad you agree with the blog title 😉 Photographs are the most difficult part of blogging for me, so thank you for such a precious compliment.
    I also am a big fan of Five Euro Food! Charles has an extraordinary blog with gorgeous recipes from all around the world and beautiful photos.
    Thank you also for introducing all the excellent bloggers I don’t know!
    As a new follower of your blog I really feel lucky to find so many personal and hilarious details about you. I have never made a beef roast in my life! I prefer beef in “extreme” forms: either falling apart in a curry-type dish or raw, in spicy steak tartare 😉
    I am thrilled to see so many Swiss accents. You look really sweet as a Swiss miss!
    Thank you for this highly enjoyable post!

    • As a new blogger, the most unexpected but enjoyable aspect is getting to know other bloggers through their posts and recipes. It has been a pleasure meeting you Sissi and I look forward to your posts this year. Also good to know that I’m not the only person on the planet who hadn’t made a roast beef!

  6. Charles says:

    “guests were well-advised to be polite to the operator, especially when returning to their rooms after a large meal.” – hahaha, that made me chuckle. Oh the fun I’d have if people were any less than sweet as candy to me 😀

    I loved reading your 7 things Barb, especially the bit about being chased by a pig too – lol, and I can’t believe you only made your first roast beef last week? Kristy, from Eat, Play, Love has an incredible looking roast beef recipe if ever you want to give it another go. I try and try, and I have great problems getting mine looking as good as that one!

    Congratulations on the award – well deserved, and thanks for mentioning me! I’m so pleased you enjoy my blog too 🙂

    • Charles, I have to tell you that most people were really lovely to us elevator operators. I think it was such a surprise to find a person controlling the elevator, and that made it really fun. The worst was the 6:30 am shift after a late night at Dick Turpin’s Pub.

      It’s funny but my husband commented that he hadn’t had a roast in a long time to our guests, and I said “well I’ve never made a roast.” Our friends thought I was being sarcastic given how much I like to cook!

      Kristy’s roast looks GORGEOUS. I’ll definitely tuck her recipe away for next time!

  7. Brian says:

    i thought the pig was a highlight of the trip!! 🙂
    For the record it was Cipanas, close to the foothills of Mt. Gede, which we would have climbed had i not been so physically decrepit. It was so strange to find such an isolated guest house on one of the most densely populated islands on earth.
    Congrats on the award. Great blog.

    • Thanks Brian. Yes, it did feel strange that the guest house was so isolated. Although, there were plenty of mice to keep us company! Good to know where we were. It has been so long now that I couldn’t remember and it was well of the tourist track — which was why so many people were photographing us in that park!

  8. Eva Taylor says:

    Thanks for the shout out and many mentions, Barb. I sincerely hope we will never have to test out the ‘alliance’ thing… 😉 but then again, Kevin doesn’t make cookies at Christmas….
    Your first roast looks gorgeous. I seldom make roast beef but I do love to make a roast tenderloin (an Epicurious recipe); it’s an unusual recipe that has you putting a couple of tablespoons of salt on the raw beef and allowing it to sit in the refrigerator for a day or so. You would think that the salt would draw the moisture out, but it is quite the opposite. I may just pull out that tenderloin for next weekend!

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