Hemp and Honey Granola

Oatmeal - Bowl Oatmeal - Ingredients Oatmeal - Yogurt

Since the end of August my morning routine of waking up at 11 and leisurely sipping coffee has done a complete 180. Now, I wake up hours before I leave the house so I can be aware of current events and look presentable for class. I’ve also become less inclined to make myself a decent breakfast, but that’s where granola comes in!

It’s easy to do ahead and make a lot of, and it’s delicious over a big bowl of fruit and yogurt. The recipe I use is adapted from a recipe I found on The Daring Gourmet. The added hemp protein is from Manitoba Harvest, which has a wide variety of edible hemp products that are grown, and processed, in Manitoba. As well, the honey I used is from Honey-Glo Apiaries in Anola, MB, and can be found at either of the Tall Grass Bakery locations.

Hemp and Honey Granola

Makes 6 cups

 Ingredients

4 cups raw oats (not quick or instant)
¾ cup unsweetened dried flaked coconut
⅓ cup chopped or sliced almonds
3 tablespoons sunflower seeds (I used pumpkin seeds)
1 tablespoon flax seeds
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
⅓ cup raw honey
3 tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil
1/4 cup hemp protein powder
1 cup assorted dried fruit, like apricots, raisins, cranberries, cherries, pineapple, dates, etc. (I used apricots and cranberries)

 Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Place the oats in a large mixing bowl. Add the coconut flakes, nuts and seeds and stir to combine.
  3. Place the honey and coconut oil in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil for one minute and remove from heat.
  4. Pour honey mixture over the oat mixture and stir until coated.
  5. Spread the granola out on a large baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until lightly toasted, stirring every few minutes to prevent burning.
  6. Let the granola cool completely then add the dried fruits and stir to combine.
  7. Store in an airtight container. Keeps for about a week.

Watch your granola very carefully, I’ve burnt many a batch walking away for to long!

Manitoba Rocks

Manitoba Rocks curling bonspielManitoba Rocks curling bonspiel

Manitoba Rocks curling bonspiel

Working at a bar has its perks, especially when it includes an entire day of curling and drinking beers. Last weekend the crew from the Pyramid got together for the annual Music Manitoba Curling Bonspiel, which you can read about here. The competition was fierce and even though we didn’t win any games it was such a fun day. All of the photos are complements of my dad Robert Tinker.

Watermelon Shots and a Cabin Party

Group

This is the story of a wonderful winter cabin party that I hosted and the little jello shots that inspired such a weekend to come together. I have been lucky enough to have a beautiful winterized cabin, an hour out of the city, for the better part of my life. Yet, up until last month I hadn’t had a big get together out there in the winter. Thanks to a decent amount of pestering from friends I finally made an event of it and was thrilled that so many people could make it out. The overnight party featured a full out beer pong tournament, potluck, watermelon jello shots, a very late night trek, and (I’m so sorry again) two busted air mattresses and a pretty cozy sleeping situation! The following are some pictures from the cabin and the recipe for some fantastic watermelon lime wedge jello shots that I am ever so proud of!

Beerpong

Iceshacks WinterLimes Limebooze Inards Vodkamelon Halves Slice Hostinh Cheers

The recipe for these, and many other inspired Jello shots, was found at the blog That’s So Michelle. I used Stolichnaya Vodka as I was told it chills very well and isn’t overpowering flavour wise.

Watermelon Lime Wedge Jello Shots

10 ish limes
1 cup vodka
1 cup boiling water
1 package Jello brand watermelon jello mix (apparently other brands don’t work as well)

1) Halve limes and hollow out the peel. I used a paring knife to score the white center veins of all the limes to make this part easier (be careful not to pierce the lime through the skin or else the jello will leak out of the peel). I also reserved the inside of the limes to make homemade lime juice by muddling the limes in a bowl and working the juice through a strainer.

2) Combine the 1 cup of boiled water with the vodka and jello mix, stir until the jello dissolve completely.

3) Place the hollowed lime halves on a baking sheet and ensure they are sitting as evenly as possible. I used a measuring cup to pour the vodka solution into each lime half.

4) Very carefully place the full limes into the fridge and allow to set for several hours, I sped this up slightly by putting them in the freezer partway through.

I’m hoping I can organize another cabin party before winter is over because I have plenty of other jello shots I want to try. Also, I’m thinking a pick-me-up party in mid February will be a nice escape from school and the wretched city for most people.

 

Polar Bear Capital of the World

Churchill, Churchill, Churchill…I had no idea how hard I would fall for you! The whole trip was absolutely magical; travelling two full days on the train, feeling like locals almost immediately, walking around town cautiously in case of wayward polar bears, getting a tour of the backroads, renting a truck and having our own off-road adventure, finally seeing a polar bear! I definitely enjoyed my time up North more than I had expected to.

The whole point of the trip was to pay a visit to one of my best friends who had moved up to Churchill last year because of a job offer. She has since fallen in love with the tiny town and has “settled down” with a great guy (whom I was sick of hearing stories about and ready to meet). He was even nice enough to let us crash in his pad for the entire week never having met us either! I like to think that we did a good job of being entertaining guests because of drunken debauchery and a belated Thanksgiving dinner.

Our first weekend was a pretty rowdy one which included a Friday night meat draw followed by bar hoping between the Tundra and the Seaport, and a Saturday night beer pong tournament which lasted until 5 am but was broken up by a toga party at the complex. Besides all of the liver damaging we did manage to fit in some sight seeing and got driven from Port Mary to the research centre in hopes of seeing our first polar bear. While we didn’t have any luck this time we did learn a lot about Churchill’s history and former connection to the military and see some interesting landmarks. The grounded plane, for example, is called Ms.Piggy since it crashed on a ridge just short of the airport because the cargo it was carrying was too heavy, none of the passengers where injured.

Our (my) disappointment in not seeing a polar bear was exacerbated by story after story of nightly bear sightings in town, there was even paw print evidence on the side of our favourite local diner one morning. We (I) started brainstorming how we could see a bear before the week was up, this included seriously considering going on a $400 buggy tour or a $500/hr helicopter tour. Thank god logic prevailed and we ended up renting a truck for 24 hours and only spending $140 (and holy crap $45 on a quarter tank of gas). But it was all worth it!

Our second stop of the day brought us to Brian Ladoon’s dogs, a track of crown land where Ladoon raises endangered eskimo dogs thanks to government intervention. The area is somewhat controversial because Ladoon has started blocking access to the area and charging tour groups a fee to enter. He seems to be getting away with this because his land is a great place to see bears because they like to coesxist with the dogs, and it seems tourists will pay any amount to see a polar bear. Similar to our last visit out there the road was blocked, but lucky for us there was a big mound of white fur lying about 200 meters inside the gate! It was hard to tell what we were looking at without the camera zoomed as far as it could go, and until the bear moved I was sure we were looking at a rock. But there it was, and there it remained until we returned 2 hours later. And thats how we saw our only polar bear twice in one day!

Satisfied, we spent the rest of the trip playing bingo, going out for dinner, enjoying open mic night and helping my bestie and her boyfriend organize a high school volleyball tournament. By the time Thursday evening rolled around we were both considering coming up for another visit, and despite tearful goodbyes I would be lying if I said wasn’t excited to get back on the train. So we left a dreary, slushy Churchill (the weather was unseasonably warm for the rest of the trip by the way), and embarked yet again on a two day train ride back to Winnipeg.

I do have to talk about the train before I close because it was just as much an adventure as the time we spent in Churchill. I’m lucky to have a relative working for Via Rail who didn’t mind us name dropping and even wrote a letter to support our cause for upgraded accommodations (Thanks Art)! This meant we rode home in the berth, or sleeper car of the train, being rocked to sleep in a very luxurious bunk bed. This exceeded expectations because we had been told that we wouldn’t be fed for two days and that we would be bored out of our minds. Not the case! We frequented the dining car, meaning I ate too many perogies, drank wine, played cards, watched movies, and read for two extremely relaxing days. I have since been recommending Churchill by train to everyone that I talk to because it is an extremely reasonable way to travel and if you have 11 days to spare you have the chance of exploring a gem in your very own backyard!