Cheddar Beer Bread

So I need to be upfront with you guys.

I don’t like this bread.

I make faces when I eat it.

Even when dipped in a delicious, homemade white chili, it was not something I could eat more than half a slice of.

But it actually is quite good, I promise… as long as you like beer.

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O Canada, We Miss Nanaimo Bars…

There a lot of things I miss from Canada now that I live in Seattle. My friends and family of course. The snowy months leading up to December that made it feel completely Christmassy. The word “washroom”. Being able to instinctively say sorry when other people bump into me without it being strange (apparently Canadians are just as weirdly polite as sit-coms always told us we were).

Then there’s all the foods I have yet to see in supermarkets here.

Fudgee-Os, Half-Moons, Mint Aeros, Fuzzy Peaches, Coffee Crisp, Wine Gums, ketchup chips, maple sandwich cookies..

A lot of junk food it would seem. 

Oh and President’s Choice white cheddar mac & cheese. So many university meals…

One of Trevor’s favourite Canadian treats is a little less packaged than the things on my list. I can create it in the kitchen instead of unsuccessfully hunting it down in a supermarket.

Nanaimo Bars.

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Chocolate Caramel Pretzel Tart

One day, carpooling on the way home from work with Trevor and Joe, we decided to indulge a little with a stop at New York Cupcakes, our favourite cupcake joint in town. (Fellow Seattlites, if you like Cupcake Royale better, I can accept that. If you like Trophy better? I’m afraid we need to have a talk.) “Indulge” may be the wrong word because it makes it sound as if it’s unusual for us to stop and get cupcakes on the way home when we carpool.

It’s usual for us to stop and get cupcakes on the way home when we carpool.

Luckily for my waistline, Joe has some crazy work hours most of the time and we don’t usually carpool.

Anyway, this one particular day the cupcake shop was closed early due to an impending snow “storm” (2-in snow = “storm” in Seattle). I can still picture it clearly, Joe reading the handwritten sign, raising his fists in the air and howling in agony outside their doors at his discovery. A lone worker cleaning up shop heard his pained exclamation and quickly moved to the door, a box in hand. It was box full of half a dozen cupcakes.

Half a dozen free cupcakes, in apology for the early closure.

They all were the same flavour, but we didn’t care, they were free. Also, as we soon discovered, it was the sort of flavour you didn’t mind having six of. A moist chocolate cake, frosted with chocolate buttercream, topped with a layer of crushed pretzels and drizzled with caramel. Through a mouthful of cupcake, I asked Trevor what his opinion was of a full-sized chocolate/caramel/pretzel layer cake. He turned me down in favour of a different idea.

“A chocolate pretzel pie” he declared.

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Jam Ribbons

People love the red flavours of sweet stuff. The red skittles, red jelly beans, red gummi bears, red lollipops… and who could blame them, with red being such a vibrant colour that often imitates some form of red berry. Strawberry, raspberry, cherry…

Well, cherries aren’t technically berries, but they rhyme with “berries” and they’re red, so close enough.

Another red fruit? Apples. But they get the bum deal. Unlike raspberries, which produce vibrant, crimson jams, apples become apple butter, a dark brown substance.

I’m here to say “who cares?” because apple butter is downright delicious.

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