The Girl Who Tried To Cheer For An American Hockey Team

I have discovered that seeing an NHL hockey game in Los Angeles is a very affordable thing to do.  You can get tickets for $30-40 and they always have availability! I’ve been taking advantage of this with a few other Canadian friends and we have now been able to see all of our favourite Canadian teams as they come out here to play the American hockey team; LA Kings.

You can imagine our surprise when we all met up at the subway station and one of our friends was sporting an LA Kings shirt! She announced to the rest of us that she felt she had been living in LA a long time now, so she thought it was time to start rooting for her home team. You can bet we all let her have it for that!  You see … it’s an unspoken rule that no matter where you live, when it comes to hockey, any Canadian team will always be your home team. On this particular day the Winnipeg Jets were playing.

 

Canada sweater and LA Kings shirt

You otherwise wouldn’t know it, but BOTH of these girls are Canadian!

 

If we own jerseys, hoodies, or any apparel of the visiting team, we wear them to the game.  If not, we wear whatever Canadian gear we have.  It’s amazing how many others from the ‘True North’ you’ll spot at the Staples Center. Our friend, however, didn’t think all of this through! Of course, we made friends with other Canadians around us and pointed out the trader in our presence.  She would hush us and say that she was busy trying to concentrate on training her eyes to follow the other team. If the Kings scored she would clap and cheer, but it lacked any real look of joy.  She really did put in a lot of effort.

Somewhere in the 3rd period, when the Jets scored for the second time, our friend unleashed a fist-pump to the sky accompanied by a loud, deep from the belly cheer that had everyone around turning their heads. The rosy colour of life returned to her cheeks and she proclaimed, “I’m back!”

When we went out for a drink after the game, she explained that while she was watching the game as a Kings fan, she really wasn’t enjoying the game at all, but when she switched back to cheering for the Jets she started to have a great time and love hockey again, even though the Kings won the game. Let this stand as an experiment that was conducted on behalf of all Canadians, so no one else will have to go through it.  You have permission to cheer for other teams, but when you are out of country and ANY Canadian team is playing, even if you’re not normally a regular fan of them, THEY ARE YOUR HOME TEAM! It’s for the love of the game, and your own good.  After all, WE ARE HOCKEY!!!

 

A Night Out With Jim Fox

Jim Fox must have been happy to see some fellow Canadians at the LA Kings game the other day.  It shouldn’t have come as any surprise, as they were playing the Toronto Maple Leaf’s! For those who don’t know, Jim Fox is a retired Canadian NHL player who spent all 9 of his seasons with the Kings.  Before the game started they gave a special ceremony honoring him. On the way in the door they gave each of us our own Jim to hang out with!

Our Jim started off being pretty cool.  He hung out and watched the game with us, ready to broadcast the highlights at any moment if we needed him to.

 

bobble head at a hockey game

Looking good Jim! Our view from the Platinum Lounge at The Staples Center.

 

After a while, Jim wasn’t satisfied with just standing around and he decided to get in on our fun.  Turns out Jim’s a lot of fun himself!

 

bobble head and beer

Jim’s still a good Canadian, enjoying a fine beer! (That’s Shock Top with a slice of orange)

 

I wonder how he felt about the outcome of the game? The Leaf’s beat the Kings, so being that hockey is such a Canadian sport would he be sad that his team that he played for lost, yet still be happy because it was a Canadian team who won? He must have felt a bit conflicted because he insisted on coming out with us after the game.

 

bobble head at a juke box

Jim took over the joint and had to set the mood with his favorite party songs!

 

Trouble came when Jim realized he wasn’t the only Jim at the pub! You see, other hockey fans went out after the game and they had their own Jims too.  That’s when our Jim went a little crazy trying to prove he was the man.

 

bobble head gives a kiss

He planted some fresh ones on the ladies!

 

bobble head drinking

But soon got in way over his head … seriously, he could barely keep his head on straight!

 

It was pretty clear to all of us that Jim didn’t really think any of this through.  He went all out, and was a ton of fun, but in the end he just wasn’t the playa he made himself out to be … he ran out of money.

 

bobble head at an ATM

I have to admit, I did feel for the guy.

 

Better luck next time Jim! Hey, think of it like this … I saw a lot of people leave their Jims behind when they left, but you got to come home with us, so in the end you really did win!

 

Kisses and Nuzzles from the Paynes Prairie Wild Horses!

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, I thought I’d share a beautiful moment filled with love, nuzzles and kisses that I enjoyed last week with the wild horses of Florida‘s Paynes Prairie.

 

Wild Horses kissing on Paynes Prairie

The Kiss!

 

So very magical!

 

A long kiss between wild horses on Paynes Prairie.

… still kissing …

 

Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

A wild colt's kiss on Paynes Prairie

A child’s love!

 

Kisses,

Emme   xoxo

PS A big thank you to Ford Canada for the Ford Escape that got me here, and to Roam Mobility for keeping me connected along the way!

Simply Delicious Recipes at the Chateau Laurier

Cocktails in kitchen of the Fairmont Chateau Laurier

Cocktails in the Chateau Laurier Kitchen! A great start to an Ottawa evening!

I’ll admit it, I am a bit of a foodie, although I do find the term slightly pretentious. Reality is I like good food, quality ingredients, and quite frankly I’m a good cook.

Most of what I do, however, is quite simple, using quality ingredients and intuitively knowing what will taste good together.  I don’t spend hours over recipes, and often find the tastiest things I create are the simplest things.

As a result I have very little time for seemingly fancy cookbooks with obscure ingredients, and where everything needs to be measured out exactly and be perfectly presented on the plate.  This is simply not enjoyable to me.

So when I was lead down to the kitchen of the Fairmont Chateau Laurier, I was not quite sure what to expect.  I do love a good kitchen party, but what would the chef be like?  Would he be uptight and pretentious about his cooking?  Quite the contrary!  He was a delight, fun to flirt with (for whatever reason men that create tasty morsels tend to illicit my overly flirtatious side), and got it as far as I am concerned with food. Executive Chef Louis Simard‘s attitude towards creating culinary delights, as he informed us, was selecting choice fresh local ingredients (for which the Chateau Laurier is well situated, just steps away from Ottawa‘s Byward Market) and putting them together in simple ways that would tantalize the tastebuds.  And that is exactly what he did with me! Flushing just thinking about it!

 

Fairmont Chateau Laurier Executive Chef Louis Simard

Eying up Executive Chef Louis Simard in anticipation!

 

Here were a few of the ways Executive Chef Louis Simard teased and tantalized:

 

Basil Infused Watermelon Appetizers

Ingredients

  • watermelon
  • fresh basil
  • heirloom tomatoes (ideally yellow ones, to create a colour contrast to the watermelon)
  • espelette pepper
  • olive oil

Preparation

 

Fairmont Chateau Laurier Executive Chef Louis Simard prepares the Basil Infused Watermelon Appetizers

Deneen Perrin watching on as Executive Chef Louis Simard prepares the Basil Infused Watermelon Appetizers.

 

First Executive Chef Louis Simard prepared the basil infused watermelon by:

  • Placing a large chunk of watermelon (rind removed) into a bag with fresh basil and vacuum sealing it.
  • I’m am not sure how long he vacuum sealed the basil and watermelon, but my understanding is that the vacuum seal accelerates the marination process, so this should not take long, and will give you a fun home experiment in determining the perfect marination time.

* This also works with vodka and watermelon, if you want to pack some tasty boozy snacks for that music festival next summer!

Meanwhile Executive Chef Louis Simard had whisked a pinch of espelette pepper in olive oil and was marinating hearty bite size chucks of heirloom tomatoes in the espelette pepper and olive oil.

Just prior to serving, he:

  • Removed the watermelon from the vacuum sealed bag and cut it into sturdy bite sized chunks;
  • And on top of each chunk, he placed a marinated tomato chunk;
  • Securing the two layers together with a toothpick.

 

Executive Chef Louis Simard's Basil Infused Watermelon Appetizers

Looking forward to tasting one of these!

 

Enjoy!

 

Locally Cured Chorizo & Homemade Ricotta Crostinis

 

Cooking in the Fairmont Chateau Laurier Kitchen

Salivating at the thought of putting these ingredients together!

 

Ingredients

  • fresh slices of ciabattas or crostinis (slices of ciabattas lightly brushed with oil and toasted)
  • ricotta (sadly I don’t have the recipe for the Chateau Laurier’s homemade recipe, but ricotta from the store will do)
  • mango chutney
  • chorizo (definitely recommend finding some locally cured chorizo)
  • radishes
  • pea tendrils

 

Executive Chef Louis Simard in the Fairmont Chateau Laurier Kitchen

… and the prep begins!

 

Preparation

 

Making crostini appetizers in the Fairmont Chateau Laurier Kitchen

Did I mention how much I love mango chutney!?!

 

This simple hors d’oeuvres is all about using choice ingredients.  To put it all together, simply:

  • Place an evenly distributed dollop of ricotta on the crostini;
  • Add a dollop of mango chutney on top of the ricotta;
  • Cover the mango chutney with a slice of chorizo;
  • On top of the chorizo place a radish slice;
  • And finally top the whole thing off with fresh pea tendrils.

 

Crostini Appetizers in the Fairmont Chateau Laurier Kitchen

Yum!

 

Bite in and enjoy!

 

Honey Cured Balderson Cheddar Flamed on a Cedar Plank

 

Honey Cured Balderson's Cheddar

With ingredients like this, how could this turn out as anything less than amazing!

 

Ingredients

  • 3 year aged Balderson cheddar
  • local honey

 

Cheese Torching in the Fairmont Chateau Laurier Kitchen

Far too exciting!

 

Preparation

Fell in love with Executive Chef Louis Simard as I watched him prepare this:

  • Prior to us arriving, he had soaked chunks of the Balderson cheddar for 24 hours in local honey;
  • When we arrived, he placed the honey soaked chunks of cheddar on a cedar plank; and
  • Slowly smoked and caramelized all of the honey soaked cheddar with a culinary blow torch!!!
  • Serving them up on toothpicks, so we could pop the ooey gooey goodness in our mouths!

 

Flaming Cheese in the Fairmont Chateau Laurier Kitchen

I think I’m in love!

 

This was bar none, my favourite, but then who wouldn’t be swooped off their feet by flaming hot cheese soaked in honey!  And I had no idea that Balderson Cheddar came from the Ottawa area.  Drooling just thinking about it! My only regret … that no one let me get my mitts on the blow torch, to take it for a spin.

 

Fairmont Chateau Laurier's Executive Chef Louis Simard and Deneen Perrin

Our two wonderful kitchen party hosts, Executive Chef Louis Simard and Deneen Perrin. Thank you both!

 

Now while these were all the tasty tidbits that Executive Chef Louis Simard demonstrated his culinary prowess with, I did do a bit of culinary sleuthing and heard a few rumours on how the chefs at the Chateau Laurier make their drool worthy maple butter!  It is quite simple from what I understand – an equal part maple syrup to butter, whipped together.  It was served over their scrumptious crepes warm, so I suspect they heat up the maple syrup a bit and then whip in the butter.  Will most definitely have to try my own experiment with this in the kitchen!

 

Kitchen Party at the Fairmont Chateau Laurier

Our Kitchen Party (almost) in it’s entirety! … now how to get invited back for another kitchen party?!?

 

Kisses,

Emme  xoxo

PS. In Full Disclosure: As always, the opinions and thoughts shared here are my own and honest ones. I am bought out by no one. In the spirit of disclosure, it should be noted that on this trip I was a guest of Ottawa Tourism.

Missing Canada

I am really missing the good Samaritans of Canada.  Unfortunately, here in the United States, people sue each other so much that the possible repercussions of helping out prevent people from lending a hand.  Last night I suffered because of that.

I got a flat tire while driving on a busy road.  With nowhere to pull over, I drove up the street a bit to a cultural center where I knew I’d be out of harms way.  It was 5:30 pm, but the center was already closed. The security guard came running right over to find out what I was doing there.  I told him I had a flat tire and he told me to call my roadside assistance.  I very sweetly asked him if he would help me change the tire, but alas, he had rounds to do and there was only one other person inside working.  I started to unload my truck to do it myself, then he yelled, “Stop!”, threw his arm in front of me and said, “You have to call your roadside assistance!

 

Flat Tire

Good thing I was finally able to pull over, I couldn’t have driven another second on this!

 

I spent half an hour on hold waiting for my service provider to answer.  I then spent another half an hour while they tried to find a company with somebody available to come change my tire, with no success.  At that point my phone died, but luckily my son had his phone on him so I had given them his number right before hand.  Of course, during this whole time the 2 cultural center workers were just nice and cozy inside looking at us. We were parked right outside their front doors. They even ordered themselves a pizza!

Feeling totally fed up I just started changing the tire myself.  This of course brought the security guard running back outside.  He said he wanted to help me, but had to go get his supervisor’s permission. He came back with his supervisor who told me he was not allowed to help me! This whole thing came down to them not wanting to be liable for anything, and I couldn’t do it myself because they couldn’t have me hurting myself or messing up my car on their property!

It was 2 hours after getting the flat tire that my roadside assistance finally called back on my son’s phone and a truck arrived to help us.  Of course, they changed the tire in under 2 minutes.  When I told them my story they said people even try to sue them if there’s even any tiny thing wrong with their service. People try to blame scratches and dents in their car on them.

I seriously miss the giving without hesitation in Canada!

 

Flat Tire

Here it is…the slash that stranded me.