Monday, August 30, 2010

Day 1: Calgary


I have begun my 2 month bus trip of North America and my first stop is Calgary.  Some friends have commented that Edmonton feels like a town in comparison to Calgary.  And now that I have visited Calgary on my own since living in Edmonton, I can see why.  Calgary’s downtown has many more skyscrapers than Edmonton does and seems more dense.  Calgary definitely feels more city like. 


The first overnight bus trip was pretty good.  It wasn’t full and I managed to get some sleep.  On my first day out of Edmonton I nearly got lost trying to find the downtown HI Hostel.  I blame it completely on the quadrant system that is centered in the middle of the city.  I went west when I should of went east.  But don’t worry, I eventually found it.

Today’s activities consisted of the Calgary Tower and a self guided tour of the downtown core.  I must admit the cost to take the elevator up to the top was pricey but I think the photos and the view is worth it.  The glass floor was a lot of fun,  especially to see people who were afraid to go on it, lol.  Front the view up there I thought that many of the buildings seem to built to display their most unique sides and features towards the tower, such as roof top art meant to be seen at a distance.




I will be here to Wednesday morning when I will head out to Drumheller for a day.  Tomorrow I plan to go to the zoo and explore some other, non-downtown, areas of the city.

That is all for now!  I hope to check in again after Drumheller, but I may have to wait till Winnipeg.  We will see.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Working in an Indian restaurant has a few perks.  I get to eat delicious food, enjoy a cup of tea, and also I get to learn a few things about preparing Indian food.  Recently I have been asked to get more involved in desserts.  At Karma we have a few different desserts, but my favourites are definitely the ice creams and the ice cream like products; namely mango ice cream and kulfi. 

Kulfi is similar to ice cream but has a lighter texture and a creamier taste in my opinion.  It is traditionally available in flavours such as pistachio, rose, mango and saffron but can also be made using more convenient ingredients.  At Karma we make pistachio kulfi that is garnished with falooda noodles and rose syrup.

I talked to one of my co-workers about sharing the restaurants recipe, but he didn’t seem enthusiastic about sharing the recipe with everyone.  Basically Kulfi is made with cream, condensed milk, evaporated milk and desired flavouring.  Several recipes are available on the internet if you are interested.

When I made it at home I flavoured the kulfi with banana and mango.  I used 4 frozen bananas and 4 fresh mangos.  In hindsight, I suggest finding canned mango or mango pulp if you want mango flavour; peeling mangos can get messy!  I made about 2 liters of kulfi; enough for a large bowl to share with a friend and to use in a pie!


For the pie I used a pre-made pie shell, banana mango kulfi for the filling and a meringue topping.  I failed at the meringue, but it still tasted great. 

Friday, August 13, 2010

Please Sir, Can I Have S’more?

I am sorry that I have been ominously silent as of late.  I would not say that I am too busy to blog, but rather I am too lazy!  Lately I have been watching LOST (all 6 seasons), playing Starcraft II, and getting everything ready for my big trip.  But now that I am nearly done both LOST and Starcraft II I am ready to try blogging again.

I have also had some time to spend baking when I am not working each night at Karma (an Indian Restaurant).  This brings me to the tipic of today’s blog:  S’mores.  A while ago I was at a friends place and was treated to a S’more and it got my creative juices flowing.  Naturally I wanted to know if I could make a S’more themed Pie;  I made 2.  Each of them are made of the essential S’more ingredients of Graham Cracker, Chocolate, and Marshmallow.

In the first Pie, which I will call, “Fudgesicle S’more Pie”  I used a store bought graham crust, chocolate pudding and a marshmallow sauce as a topping.  The marshmallow sauce can be found here.  There isn’t really  much to this recipe other than the marshmallow sauce.  Just put it all together, put it in the oven at 400F till the marshmallow sauce turns golden/brown.  Keep it in the freezer  to make the filling taste like a fudgesicle.



In the second S’more pie, “Graham Crumb S’more Pie”, I again used a store bought graham crust, but this time I put mini marshmallows in it, topped with a chocolate sauce and graham crumbs.  I felt that having the pie surrounded with graham better represented a S’more than the first pie.  Like the first pie, there isn’t much work involved in assembling it other than the sauce. I was hoping that the sauce and the marshmallows would have stayed separated while it was baking so it would be while and brown inside, but they ended up melting together.


1 Graham Pie Crust

enough mini marshmallows to nearly fill the pie crust

2 Tbsp butter

2 Tbsp all purpose flour (use more as needed)

1 C. chocolate milk

1 C. semi sweet chocolate chips

Enough graham crumbs to cover the pie completely


The chocolate sauce is made in a roux style:

1. Melt butter, then at low heat add flour to produce a thick paste.

2.  Add chocolate milk a little bit at a time and stir it into the paste until it becomes a thick sauce.  Continue until ass the milk is added.

3. Add the chocolate chips until they are all melted.


Assembling the pie:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.

2. Fill the pie crust with mini marshmallows almost to the top of the crust.

3. Pour the chocolate sauce on top of the marshmallows.

4. Sprinkle the graham crumbs evenly and completely on top of the chocolate sauce.

5. Bake for 30 minutes or until the graham crumbs turn brown.  Don’t let them burn black!

6. Let the pie cool then place in the fridge or freezer to keep it solid. Also, the extra graham crumbs may be shaken off at this point.


Anyway, that is all for now.  I have one more blog on back log, but I will talk about it later.