Mini Pizza Buns


It’s Friday!! Let the weekend begin! Are you hosting friends or family this weekend? Or are you bringing food to a potluck? I have the perfect appetizer recipe for you! You can throw it together in just a few short minutes. It also makes a tasty lighter meal with some salad on the side. Check the recipe at the end of this post, for the instructions on how to make these tasty, Mini Pizza Buns.



Is it just me, or do you also crave greasy food when you’re cold? In past summers, I have worked at The Salad Bowl Greenhouses’ garden stand. On a side note, if you haven’t visited this local garden stand yet, make sure to do so next year (I’m talking to you Winnipegers!). They sell beautiful plants, and the owners are the kindest people, and such a joy to work for.


Back to my story. At the garden stand we’re open through sunshine and rain. The awesome and awful part about this job is, that there is an ice cream shop and a Salisbury restaurant right close to it. On hot days, all I wanted to do was buy ice cream to cool off (and our boss definitely spoiled us with some cold treats sometimes). On cold days, however, when we would sit wrapped up in our blankets, sipping at our hot tea, all I wanted was Salisbury’s greasy yam fries.


For years the employees at the garden stand have used the washroom at Salisbury, as the garden stand doesn’t have one. So, on cold days, I would always go and warm up my hands and face with the hand dryer in the washroom. Of course, that just made matters worse, as I would walk by all the people sitting with delicious, greasy food in their hands. On occasion, my co-worker and I would cave into our temptations and indulge in a platter of greasy yam fries.


We are having a cold and cloudy fall day in Winnipeg today. Mini Pizza Buns anyone? I hope you try this recipe. Do you have any quick, go-to recipes? Please do share!

Cheers to a fun weekend! -Erika

Mini Pizza Buns
Yields 6
Easy and delicious appetizer!
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  1. 3 whole-wheat buns, cut in half
  2. 6 Tbsp. pizza sauce
  3. 12 slices peppered salami
  4. Grated mozzarella cheese
  5. Olive oil
  6. Pepper
  7. Basil (dried and fresh)
  1. Spread one tablespoon of pizza sauce on all six buns.
  2. Top each with two slices of peppered salami.
  3. Add grated mozzarella cheese to taste, then drizzle with a little bit of olive oil.
  4. Add dried basil and pepper to taste.
  5. Bake in toaster oven (or any other oven) at 400 degrees, until cheese is melted, and crust is golden brown.
  6. Garnish with fresh basil leaves.
Sweet Blooming Roots

Travel Tuesday: Vancouver, BC


Another week is on its way, and I hope it has started off well for all of you. It’s time for another travel post, and our next stop on our West Coast trip was Vancouver. I’m sure there are thousands of things to do in Vancouver, but here are a few of things the things that we saw and did in Vancouver. 


First of all, we were excited to find Winnipeg on the street in Vancouver! We had to take a picture with it, of course. 😉


We visited Canada Place, which is located in downtown Vancouver’s waterfront. This building (pictured at the top of the page) looks unique because of its tent-like peaks.


If you want to get a better view of the city, Vancouver Lookout is the place to be. We went up this tower twice, once during the day, and then we came back to see the city lit up at night. 



The view from the lookout was great!


Next, we went to Granville Island. This was my favourite part of the city. There was a market, and a lot of small local shops. We went to a soap shop, as well as a candle store, and it was nice to talk to the owners about what it’s like to own small businesses. It turns out that the owner of the candle store was actually from Winnipeg, where she has another candle business. 


These Granville Silos have got to be the funnest Silos I’ve ever seen. They were painted by two internationally acclaimed street artists, known as OSGEMEOS. They are two Brazilian twin brothers, who are popular for their public art. 



We spent some time browsing the market. So many plants! So much good food! So many things!




We decided that we absolutely had to buy some desserts from Stuart’s .The choices were endless!






After the market we made our way to Stanley Park. This park is massive! We spent a short amount of time there. We saw some skillfully crafted totem poles, and walked around the sea board walk. It offered such a great viewpoint of the city and Canada Place (the building with the white peaks). We drove through part of the park, as we didn’t have time to walk through it all.









At the end of the day we drove to Gastown and enjoyed some delicious burgers at Black Frog. It was closely located to this old steam clock, which would play a melody every half hour with steam and pipes. The cherry on top was the delicious churro we enjoyed at a small Peruvian restaurant. 



We went back to the lookout tower one last time to see the lit up city. We got lucky to see a beautiful crescent moon. The Canada Place building looked neat at night, as it was lit up with different colours. 




Next week I will write about the Capilano Suspension Bridge, and the Vancouver Aquarium, which are two other fun activities that we enjoyed in Vancouver. 

Thank you for reading along!

Celi at the Forks


I was SUPER lucky to have one of my best friends from Mexico visit me just over two weeks ago. Let me tell you, this girl is a blast to be around! She can light up the whole room with one of her hearty laughs. She will always lend you a listening ear and has a heart of gold. She is a true gem.

She had the great idea to go to the forks for a hangout, which of course gave us the opportunity for a little photo-shoot. We froze our butts off, and enjoyed some fresh and hot cinnamon mini donuts. This is my beautiful friend Arcelia. 🙂  











End of Summer Photoshoot


A couple of weeks ago my friend and I did a photo-shoot, capturing the last bit of summer. Now many trees are almost bare! I’m absolutely loving fall and the rich earthy colours that come with it.

I have really been enjoying taking more pictures of people. I look at the outcome and know that my picture taking/editing skills are far from perfect, but I’m not letting that stop me. I’m just learning. 🙂 Having said that, do any of my lovely readers have any photography advice for me? I would like for my pictures to turn out a little sharper. Any suggestions? How do you avoid getting the subject blurry?

Without further ado, here is my friend Chantelle, who was kind enough to be my photography model (while being eaten alive by mosquitos!). Chantelle has proven to be one of the most aware and caring people that I know, always going the extra mile. She always strives to make everyone feel included, and welcomes people into her home. She deeply cares about social justice, and equality for all. She is brave. She is fierce. She is intelligent. She is beautiful.

















Travel Tuesday: Summerland, Hope, Chilliwack, BC




Today I’m going to combine and write about three places that we visited on our West Coast trip, since the time spent in some of these places was pretty short. First, I’ll show you some pictures of Summerland, then Hope, and finally some pictures of our time spent with my relatives in Chilliwack. 




When we first got to the small town of Summerland, most of the stores were already closed. We explored the main street briefly, then got settled in at our campground and had a delicious stove-cooked supper. We also got to enjoy the purple bell pepper that we had previously bought at the fruit market in Peachland! Don’t you just love the color?



The campground in Summerland was one of my favorite campgrounds (with the exception that we had to pay for showering with quarters!). It had a large willow tree and plenty of other trees. Our tent was right next to a creek, under a large maple tree. We enjoyed long conversations at our picnic table before settling in for the night.



The following morning we went back to Summerland’s Downtown area. We started the day with a delicious breakfast burrito at Beanery Café. They also served THE BEST Peach, Apricot, and Pear smoothie. I would definitely recommend this little Café.



And because we love food, we went to the True Grain Bread bakery next, as this place had been recommended to us by Kevin’s relatives. True Grain Bread is a small local bakery, which crafts its bread from fresh, local, and organic ingredients. They also have a flour mill right inside the shop! We tried their Copenhagen Swirl and the Carrot Pumpkin-seed Cookie. They were both excellent, but the Copenhagen swirl is to die for! If only I knew how to re-create it! 

After all the deliciousness, we browsed some art, craft, quilting, and antique stores. It was definitely my kind of little town. I found a beautiful mint green stove (1935) in one of the antique stores, and it broke my heart that I wasn’t going to be able to take it home with me. So, I guess a little part of my heart stayed in Summerland with the old stove.

One of the top things to do in Summerland is to drive down the Bottleneck Drive. There are many wineries along this stretch of road. We were not sure which winery to go to, so a lady that worked in one of the craft stores, recommended the Dirty Laundry Winery to us. So, that is what we did next.

Dirty Laundry Winery



The Dirty Laundry Winery is definitely the prettiest winery that we went to. They had a beautiful patio, covered in grape vines and other plants, with red patio umbrellas. 


Down in the valley the luscious grape vines were being watered, creating a beautiful scenery, surrounded by hills and lake Okanagan. 



We did some wine tasting and bought the Say Yes wine. They also sold some food at the winery, so we enjoyed a spinach dip with crackers on the patio.


Here and here are two lists of the top things to do in Summerland, if you ever do decide to visit. 



We continued on to Hope, BC for the night. We rented a tiny cabin at Hope Valley RV & Campground. It was a simple room with beds and a picnic table outside, but it was nice not having to bother with a tent. The campground had very tall trees. It was basically like camping out in a forest. It also had a pool, which would be great for hot summer days. We only made use of it the following morning though, and it was SO COLD! It definitely woke us up, and made taking a warm shower right after feel like pure bliss. 

Family Time


We had the privilege of spending time with my uncle and aunt and some of my cousins while in BC. I had not seen one of my cousins for over 10 years, so we had a lot to catch up on. They took us to a beautiful lake, and we got to enjoy the evening there. The guys went in for a short swim. We also got to enjoy a lot of delicious food, and great company. These are the perks of having family all over the place!



Thank you for reading along! And don’t give up! I’m sure some of you are waiting to see pictures from Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam. I haven’t forgotten about these, but I have some more West Coast pictures to show you first. 🙂 

Travel Tuesday: Kelowna & Peachland, BC


The scenery changed dramatically driving towards Kelowna, BC. The tall green mountains were replaced with flatter mountains and hills, covered in tall grass. There were lakes in the valleys, and we saw more agriculture, particularly apple orchards, corn fields, and of course, vineyards.  


We had a difficult time finding good campgrounds in Kelowna, which is why we decided to drive back half an hour outside the town to Wood Lake Terrace RV & Campground. The view was beautiful here, overlooking a lake in the valley. There were also some cherry trees right close to our campsite. I don’t recall eating from them, as they probably planted for selling.


Our campsite wasn’t particularly great. As you can tell our campsite was quite steep, and our car had to work really hard to get up there, haha. However, after a leftovers Alfredo and salad dinner, I got to enjoy sitting wrapped up in my blanket, looking at the flickering lights across the water, while being serenaded by the crickets. 


The next morning, after packing up and reorganizing our food bins (which included wiping off a lot of sticky honey that had spilled in one of the bins!), we stopped at a local fruit market and bought some apricots, yellow plums, cherries, apricot jam, green peppers, and even a purple pepper! I always think the odd colored vegetables are so beautiful. The people at the market were even kind enough to give me some paper fruit baskets that I intend to use as props for food photography. 




Some of the vegetables came from a garden that was planted right next to the market. I wish I could have fresh vegetables straight from the garden all year round! 


One of the most popular things to do in Kelowna is to visit wineries. The first winery we visited was called House of Rose Winery. 


We got to see their different kinds of grape vines, and then got to taste test the different kinds of wine that they make there. Our favorite wine from this winery was called “Grapes with Benefits”. We enjoyed a small picnic outside on the yard.


The second winery we went to was called The Vibrant Vine. What made this place unique was that all the art on the walls, including the wine bottles, was 3D. We picked up 3D glasses on our way in, and got to enjoy all the colorful art!




Our favorite wine here was called The Woops. The label on this bottle was upside-down. How this came to be was that one of their workers was put in charge of shrink wrapping a large amount of bottles, when the owners of the business left for a while. She accidentally put the label on upside-down. And here is the story of how this particular wine ended up gaining a lot of fame, and turned out to be one of their best wines.    



After leaving Kelowna, we made a brief, but relaxing stop in Peachland. We drove down to Beach Avenue and rested under a large tree, next to the water, before driving to Summerland. More on that next time though!


Cheers! – Erika

Papaya Face Mask


I remember not liking the taste of papaya as a child, but somewhere down the road I must’ve learned to love it. On one of our recent grocery shopping trips, I bought a papaya. I was excited to eat it, not only cause it’s delicious, but also because it’s healthy. To my great disappointment, when I tried my first bite after all that work cutting it up, I realized that it was oddly bitter. So, for the next while it was sadly sitting in our fridge. I wasn’t eating from it, because I knew it wouldn’t taste good, but I also hate wasting food, so I couldn’t throw it out. Finally, I decided to see if there were any ways to use papaya for skin care. It turns out there are! After researching what other natural products are great for skincare, I came up with a papaya face mask recipe!    


As you can imagine, a whole papaya made a great amount of face mask. Definitely way more than I could ever use before it spoils, unless if I want to cover my whole body in it each time!

I saw this great idea online that solved all my problems (all my problems… I wish!). Simply freeze the excess face mask in an ice cube tray. Once frozen, remove the cubes, throw them in a resealable bag, and continue freezing.

When you are ready to use a face mask, simply take one cube out, leave it to thaw, or briefly pop it in the microwave. I find that one cube is enough to last me for two applications. Store the remainder in the refrigerator.

I have used the ice cube method for freezing homemade dog food, and pureed spinach for smoothies, but I hadn’t thought about doing the same with my face mask. Don’t you just love it when you find great hacks!?

Quick tip that I believe I learned from one my great friends: line the ice cube tray with plastic wrap before filling it. This will make for an easy clean up.


And there you have it. An orange papaya face! Isn’t it appealing!? 😉 It does have a good smell going for itself though, I promise! Plus, here and here you will find some of the health benefits that the ingredients in this face mask have to offer. 

To use the mask, apply generously directly to your skin, avoiding your eyes and mouth areas. Leave it on for 15-20 minutes, then rinse off with warm water. Yes, you are allowed to lie down, listen to some calming music, and my favorite, light a scented candle. Everyone needs some self care once in a while. 


To make the papaya face mask, combine in a blender:

2 cups papaya

1/4 cup oats

3 tbsp. honey, preferably raw

1-2 tbsp. coconut oil

Gel of one Aloe Vera leaf

Here is a you-tube video that shows how to remove the gel from an Aloe Vera leaf in case you haven’t done it before:

Have any of you ever re-purposed food for skin or hair care diys? Please do comment below! Have a great weekend!

Dad’s Favourite Beans


So I totally meant to post this yesterday for Mexico’s independence day, BUT I wasn’t able to finish it. I had other things to catch up on, and then in the evening Kevin took me out for a lovely supper for my birthday. We were going to go out for Tapas for the first time, but this place didn’t take any reservations, and when we got there, there was a waiting list of an hour to an hour and a half. No thanks… we were way too hungry to wait for that long. Instead we went to a place called Hermanos. The food there was amazing! You know what else is amazing? The bean recipe that I’m about to share with you. 


I grew up eating beans as a meal. In Canada beans are usually eaten as a side dish only, but for my family it was a meal. But before I continue on, let me say that beans and tortillas simply go hand in hand. My parents would buy a fresh kilo of tortillas (sometimes still warm!), and then once at home, someone had to pick apart the stack of tortillas to let them cool off to prevent them from sticking together. This would provide us with the perfect opportunity to pick up a fresh tortilla, shake some salt on it, roll it up and eat it.

Goodness, I miss being able to buy completely fresh tortillas! One time when we were visiting my parents, my dad took me along to town and we bought some fresh tortillas from the “tortilleria”. I couldn’t help but dig right in before I even got the chance to get some salt from home.

Where was I? Right. I was talking about how we ate beans in my family. We would warm up some corn tortillas on a metal skillet, spread some butter or margarine on them, which would immediately melt, and then we’d roll them up, ready to be eaten along with the beans, and sometimes some veggies or a salad (oh, and a cup of cold milk!). We usually held a tortilla in one hand (which was usually dripping with melted margarine), and a fork in the other, and together they made the perfect team to bring the food from the plate to the mouth, while also scooping up the delicious sauce that was being left behind on the plate. There’s really nothing quite like it!


There are different ways to eat beans. When I had them at my grandparent’s home, I remember them being accompanied by “schmont faat” (white gravy sauce) that I’m assuming was made with heavy cream and bacon drippings. At home, I followed my dad’s example and always added sugar to my beans. Over time I saw my cousins in Canada adding ketchup and cheese to their beans.

So with all the different ways of eating beans that I’ve observed over the years, this is currently my favorite way to eat them. It is also my dad’s favorite bean recipe (minus the ketchup and cheese). I can’t remember if it was my mom or dad who came up with this recipe, or a different person altogether, but whenever my dad cooks and has the choice of how to prepare them, this is the recipe he uses.

Oh and one last tip! I learned this trick from one of my lovely aunts in Mexico (you know who you are). If you really want to take things up a notch, crush a whole bag of original doritos chips and stir them into the beans just before serving. YUM!


I should also talk about the beans that are used in this recipe. My parents use “cabra” beans. Unfortunately, I have yet to find them in Canada (so if anyone knows where to find them, let me know!). I’m slowly making my way through the bag of beans that my parents brought me from Mexico. I would say that the closest beans I found to the “cabra” beans, are pinto beans. I have tried making this recipe with pinto beans. It’s good, but honestly not quite the same. So, if you ever get your hands on “cabra” beans, never let them go! And bring me some while you’re at it! 😉


I hope you try out this bean recipe. It makes an excellent meal for quick warm ups, when time is not your friend. Canning the beans is probably what takes the longest, but even that is actually quite easy once you get started. The most emotionally damaging part about the canning process for me, is probably how much the pressure cooker scares me every time, haha. I’m always so scared it’s going to explode on me! I mean, really, you can opt out of using a pressure cooker, but it speeds things up, which is why I keep on doing it (plus to make use of wonderful gift from my parents!).

The recipe posted below assumes you already have homemade canned beans. If you need to know how to can them, here’s how: in a large bowl, soak the desired amount of beans overnight in hot water. Make sure to add a couple of extra inches of water, as the beans will swell quite a lot. The following day drain the water, add the beans to a strainer, run cold water over them, and rinse them thoroughly. Add beans to your pressure cooker (or other pot, which will take longer). The amount will depend on the size of your pressure cooker (my pressure cooker is medium sized, and I add about 5 cups of soaked beans to my pressure cooker). You basically want to fill most of the pot with beans, about an inch below the pot’s limit, and then fill it with room-temperature water all the way to the limit (about 1/2 to 1 inch above the beans). Add salt to taste (I add about 3/4 Tbsp. of salt), and about 3 halved cloves of garlic. Seal the pressure cooker according to the instructions. Bring to a boiling point on high until the pressure builds, then turn it to low for about 20 minutes, making sure it continues to simmer/boil. When the time is up, turn off the heat and let the pressure settle completely before opening your pressure cooker. Finally, immediately after taking off the lid, fill your preferred size of canning jars with beans, seal tightly, and let cool until all the lids have popped. Store in the refrigerator until they are ready to be used. 

I hope you are all having a lovely weekend, and even though I’m a day late, VIVA MEXICO! 


Dad's Favourite Beans
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  1. 1 L homemade canned cabra or pinto beans
  2. 2 good dollops of butter or margarine
  3. 1 large onion, diced
  4. 3 large tomatoes, diced
  5. 2 small zucchinis, sliced, and cut into small quarters
  6. Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Melt butter or margarine in a pan.
  2. Add the onion and fry on medium-high while cutting up the tomatoes.
  3. Add the diced tomatoes and continue frying while cutting up the zucchini.
  4. Add the zucchini, salt and pepper, and continue frying until all liquids have evaporated, and the mixture begins to brown (this adds great flavour).
  5. Add the beans, bringing them back to a boiling point, then lower the heat to medium low, and simmer for another 10 minutes to incorporate the flavours.
  1. Optional: stir in a bag of crushed doritos chips just before serving
  2. Optional toppings: ketchup, grated cheese
  3. Optional sides: warmed up and buttered corn tortillas, avocado, veggies or salad
Sweet Blooming Roots

Travel Tuesday: Mt. Revelstoke National Park, BC


After a long break from travel posts (I know some of you have been anxiously waiting for those!), today I will be continuing with our West Coast 2015 trip. Now I’ll warn you, if flowers, trees, and nature aren’t your thing, than maybe this blog post is not for you. 😉

Today is all about Mt. Revelstoke National Park. It’s the traditional territory of the Secwepemc (anglicized name is Shuswap) people. We spent all of our time here surrounded by nothing short of breathtaking nature.

Giant Cedars Nature Trail 


Our first stop was a walk through the Giant Cedars Nature Trail. There is no way for these pictures to do it justice!


These trees make me feel humbled. They are so strong, have endured really harsh weather year after year, and yet they manage to stand upright, faithfully doing their job in nature (while being gracious enough to let us humans admire them in person).  



Skunk Cabbage Boardwalk Trail


Our second stop was at the Skunk Cabbage Boardwalk Trail. This was such a bizarre place! It felt like a tropical hidden treasure, in the midst of a temperate forest. It is, in fact, the home of tropical birds in the summer, which migrate from Central and South America.  



The skunk cabbage plants come out with yellow flowers in the Spring.


We didn’t get to see the yellow flowers, as we were there in the summer, but we still got to see the impressively large leaves!



They were so large, that I thought they could totally eat me, had they been carnivorous! 



We really enjoyed our stroll along the boardwalk, encountering some new plants! For a while, I just sat on a bench, listening to the unique bird songs, trying to chirp back (leave it up to me to try to communicate with birds!).

Meadows in the Sky Parkway


Last, we drove up the mountain and saw the town of Revelstoke from a lookout. We then took a shuttle van up to the hiking trails on Mt. Revelstoke to see the beautiful flower meadows. We were really lucky that we got to see the flowers in bloom, since they usually don’t bloom until August. However, since Spring came early that year, we got to witness this beautiful miracle. 


What a magical hidden gem the flower meadows are! We spent so much time here! The following pictures are examples of the many different flowers growing on the mountain. They are all common alpine wildflowers.





Mountain arnica (Arnica latifolia)


Partridgefoot (Luetkea pectinata)


Western anemone (Anemone occidentalis) -These were THE WEIRDEST flowers!



White-flowered rhododendron (Rhododendron albiflorum)


Sitka valerian (Valeriana sitchensis) – These plants attract a lot of flies!



White mountain-heather (Cassiope mertensiana)


Pink mountain-heather (Phyllodoce empetriformis)



Arctic lupine (Lupinus arcticus)


Willowherb (Chamerion latifolium) -formerly Epilobium latifolium


Common red paintbrush (Castilleja miniata)


I saw the above quote, and thought it was very fitting for the paintbrush-like red flowers. This quote, as well as this national park in general, remind us of times when these lands were not owned by anyone. Instead, they were protected, respected, and cared for by our indigenous brothers and sisters. They didn’t see land as something that belonged to them. Instead, they coexisted with it, and took only what they needed.

Having lived in Mexico, and now in Canada, the story of Western people intruding and taking land for themselves remains the same. Therefore, this national park is also a reminder of the countless acts of injustice that were/continue to be committed against the First Nations people. Even though this national park is now being preserved for its beauty and being well taken care of, it is, after all, the traditional territory of the Secwepemc people, and should have never been taken away from them.

These flowers have seen it all. They have seen better times. They have seen the worse times. Hopefully these flowers can yet see the best of times, as they remind us of all the healing that has yet to happen, so that in the future we can all live in this land together, with mutual respect, seeing and treating each other as equals. May we break down walls, instead of building more and higher walls.


Thank you for reading along and letting me share some thoughts with you!

A Twist on Fresas con Crema


Hola amigos! Less than a week from today, on the 16th of September, Mexico will be celebrating its 206th year of independence! Here I am, watching videos on youtube of the celebration of the Grito de Independencia. Tears are flowing, and my heart is hurting with a deep love for my home country, remembering faded but unforgettable memories. 


I am realizing that my heart will probably always be torn, while also being completed by two countries. Being, and having grown up Mennonite I never felt like I could fully identify as Mexican. This was because being a Mennonite wasn’t only a matter of faith, but also a different culture altogether. However, because I was a more progressive Mennonite and didn’t dress traditionally, many Mexican people wouldn’t believe that I was Mennonite. When I moved to Canada, I perhaps took on more of a Mexican identity, because that’s what many of my friends saw me as. In Canada, however, I’ve had to convince individuals so many times that I’m Mexican, because I don’t look Mexican. It’s kinda funny. Having grown up Mennonite in Mexico, and then moving to Canada, I have often felt like I don’t completely belong or fit in anywhere. Each place transforms and shapes who you are. However, my life has been enriched by people and experiences in both of my homes, and ultimately I wouldn’t trade that for anything.


The Mexican Independence Day was always particularly special to me, since it happened the day after my birthday. Not only did it mean that I never had to go to school the following day (which was PERFECT for sleepovers!), but late at night on my birthday a great amount of people would gather up in Cuauhtémoc city for the Grito de Independencia. Sharing a birthday with this special event, had the effect of making me feel special, while also feeling so proud to be Mexican. I clearly remember my friend and I looking out of the bedroom window into the dark night, trying to catch sight of the fireworks far in the distance. You could always see the city lights flickering, as Cuauhtémoc is built around and partly on a mountain. When I was old enough, I got to go to the Grito de Independencia myself. The Grito, in short, is an event on the night leading up to Mexico’s Independence Day (on which there usually is a parade). It symbolizes the way Miguel Hidalgo gathered his people by ringing the church bells, declaring the beginning of the War of Independence against the Spanish colonial government. People gather to honour heroes, and to celebrate Mexico’s independence, with fireworks, music, and lots of cheering, of course. I used to always joke that the fireworks were meant for me though!

Here is an example of one of the many Mexican Gritos de Independencia:

I have to admit, I haven’t really celebrated this Mexican holiday all that much in Canada, especially not in the later years. I’ve always thought it would be cool to do something, maybe even have fireworks. Perhaps one year I’ll make it into something special and form a tradition, before I forget what it’s like! Speaking of forgetting, I have noticed my Spanish getting a little rustier, so this weekend, believe it or not, I decided to have a Spanish conversation out loud, while driving home. Clearly it ended up being a one-sided conversation! Haha! I thought to myself, hey, I should do this more often, so that my tongue remembers how to speak Spanish. 


Can you tell I’m feeling incredibly nostalgic!? Lets move on to a new recipe! Recently, I shared a corn on the cob recipe, somewhat, but not quite similar to the Mexican street-food version. Another amazing Mexican street-food is “Fresas con Crema” (strawberries swimming in sweet cream). It is to die for!

So, continuing with the Mexican celebration vibes, today I’m sharing my own version of Fresas con Crema. This recipe was originally inspired by a recipe that I found on Pinterest, but ultimately, it reminded me of a Mexican street-food favorite. No, it doesn’t really taste the same at all, but it’s still really delicious! Find the recipe below:


Thank you for taking the time to read my long story!

A Twist on Fresas con Crema
Serves 2
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  1. 8 strawberries, hulled and sliced
  2. 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream (35%)
  3. 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  4. Salt to taste
  5. 2 Tbsp. icing sugar
  6. 1/8 tsp. almond extract
  7. 1/8 tsp. cardamom
  8. 1/4 tsp. orange zest
  9. 4 Tbsp. cream cheese
  10. 3 Tbsp. shaved, toasted almonds
  1. Add the cream, vanilla extract, and salt to a bowl. Whip mixture until stiff peaks form.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients (except almonds) and mix until a smooth mixture forms.
  3. Toast the almonds in a frying pan, stirring gently, but consistently.
  4. Using two small bowls, layer the dessert alternating between the cream mixture and the sliced strawberries, starting and ending with the cream. Top with roasted shaved almonds. Serve immediately or chill in the refrigerator until later.
  1. You may choose to leave out the following ingredients for a simple vanilla taste: almond extract, cardamom, orange zest.
Sweet Blooming Roots