• Homemade Herbal Simple Syrups

    Sometimes you just want to liven up your morning coffee with something different! In Jordan, coffee is often flavoured with cardamom pods, usually ground right along with the beans. There’s a really satisfying balance between the two flavours, with the cardamom adding just a hint of an herbal caramel flavour. Not too long ago, Starbucks offered a drink called the Vanilla Spice Latte. I tried it on a whim and there it was, that beautiful cardamom flavour. They quickly discontinued it, so I figured FINE, I’ll just make my own!

  • Homemade Cherry Liqueur

    Every summer, I keep a close eye on my mother’s Nanking cherry trees. When the bright red berries have finally soaked up enough sun, I pick the trees clean and either eat them all or force my mother confect them into Nanking jelly. This year, there weren’t many cherries on offer. The trees had been struggling to grow and when I had picked what was suitable, there was only about a cup of cherries in a bowl. The local magpies nattered at me the whole time, clearly claiming ownership of the tree’s fruits, but I’m a people and I wanted them, even if there were only a few. After listening…

  • Cold Brew Coffee

    It’s been really hot in Calgary and as a caffeine addict, this really puts a damper on my morning latte. Of course, brewing a latte and then adding ice is an option, but I always find this ends up tasting so watered down. Recently, Starbucks has been offering cold-brewed coffee in its shops, but I really don’t feel like paying $5 a cup when I know it’s something I can make myself. A friend of Stephen’s had been making his own, so I asked for the recipe. Fellow Calgarian blog Dinner with Julie has a great recipe for cold-brewed coffee that I’ve really been enjoying, so I thought I’d share…

  • Shopping for Housewares and Epic Baked Potatoes

    Laura and I left in the evening of the 18th to make our way – fumbling – to Varna. Broken Bulgarian and several scares about being on the wrong bus later, we pulled up in the bus station in Varna and a short taxi ride away from my hotel and her soon-to-be-home. Laura has done a very gutsy and respectable thing in my book… She’s moving here. A series of unfortunate events left her with nothing but wanderlust and an eye on a new life and having spent a few weeks in Bulgaria earlier this year, she decided volunteering for Balkan Heritage and finding her own path was the life…

  • Goodbye Emona Dirt Roads, Hello Sozopol Nights

    We have driven down the treacherous 8km stretch of land – generally referred to as road around Emona – that connects Emona’s remoteness to the coast’s highway for the last time. A quick album cover shoot and a send-off from the hostess of the local pub and we left for Sozopol, another coastal town along the Black Sea. It feels very bizarre to be somewhere where we see other people walking down the road instead of donkeys, cows, and wandering horses.