Summer of Wine…an update


So here I am, sitting on my porch on a wonderful afternoon with a glass of wine in my hand.

I suddenly realize, that I have sadly left my Summer of Wine blog un-updated. I will also be ranking them from 1-5, 1 being I wont pay for it again, and 5 being so good I wouldn’t even share with my best of friends.

Reynella Shiraz 

Tried this with my good friend Payton. She was super keen to be a part of Summer of Wine. This was an amazing bottle that was easy to drink, we actually ordered a second bottle before we even finished the first. I really liked it for a few reasons: easy to drink, you have to decant it so you feel kinda fancy, and it works well with meaty dishes without over powering it. This one gets a 4, good to share, not good enough to keep all to myself

Ex Nihlo Merot 

In all honesty I had tried Ex Nihlo in the past, this was before my palate became accustomed to wine and all the amazing pretentiousness that comes along with a “Wine Palate” . This was another bottled shared with Payton, and we both enjoyed it. She devoured hers and I slowly sipped mine. I liked it but wasn’t in love with it. It was a little to harsh for me.  I give this a 3, I’d take it to someones house for a nice dinner party

Shooting Star Merlot

This was the last of 3 wines shared in the same meal as the Ex Nihlo and the Reynella. I’m still not 100% sure how I feel about it, maybe it has something to do with the 3 bottles before and the intermittent martinis, but I digress. This was a nice aperitif wine, it was strong without being bold, as odd as that sounds.  I also give this a 3.

Big Tease Raspberry

This was an odd one, Big Tease is made by ‘Birds and Bees’ which is Alberta’s only organic winery. I thought I was being all ‘urban hipster’ buying this wine, which just goes to show that trying to be “hipster” never works out. I shared this bottle with 2 of my male roommates (Jerome and Tim) who are both from Quebec, and Jerome is a chef whos opinion I trust. We all decided it was “A good patio wine, if its cold. Good for Sangria”. We had it room temp which played a factor once we read the back label (WHO READS THE BACK OF WINE LABELS!!??), in reading it we learnt that its meant to be drank chilled,  which would have made it way better. I give it a 3, could have been a 4 if we drank it the right way. 

Brights Spumante Bambino “Champagne”

I was given a glass of this by a wonderfully hilarious man at a wedding in the winter, and decided to try it again. I loved it!! Its a sweet sparkling wine from Canada and I LOVED IT!! I could (and might have if not for Jerome and Tim) drank the bottle all to myself.  This is a great summer night faux champagne (legally it cant be called a champagne because it wasn’t made in the Champagne Region of France). I am a woman who loves her sparkling wine (Prosecco makes my heart happy)… and as someone once said “In Victory you deserve Champagne. In Defeat you need it” .. this gets a 5.

Wyndamn Estates Chardonay

I am currently drinking a glass of this, and made some punch with it this afternoon, and I have to say I really enjoy it. I tossed a frozen strawberry in it and BAM! Summer cocktail. This is a nice sipping wine, Id happily drink it at dinner or dessert, or in the afternoon in the sunshine… oh wait, I’m already doing it. 4 out of 5.

until next time

– be a river with me


BARWM- Epic Salad.

i made the most epic salad tonight. it had sweet, it had savory, it was creamy, it had all of the food groups….it was AWESOME!! So heres the recipe…and a recipe for BARWM Ranch dressing, which is a great way to make salad dressing go a bit further (that shit is expensive)


1 cup Low Fat Sour Cream 

1/2 cup Low Fat Ranch Dressing (i like a yogurt based one myself)

1/4 cup green onions chopped finely 


1 cup Kale

1 cup Spinach

1/2 cup cherry tomatos

1/2 cup green seedless grapes

1/2 cup marble cheese (cubed)

4 chicken fingers-

some BARWM Ranch dressing

Bake the chicken fingers as per the boxes directions.  While those are cooking rinse and dry all the veggies and cube the marble cheese (should be roughly the size of a nickel) and mix. When the chicken is done toss it on the salad and drizzle the dressing on top.

Ways to Jack’em Up:  Use a fancier cheese, goat or feta work nice. ditch the spinach and just use kale (its a super food…super good for you), add other fruits (i like mangos and apples personally, add some nuts to get a little more protein (almonds and pistachios have the highest protein)

until next time

– be a river with me


Recipe- Gluten Free Savoury Magic Sauce…….. yeah thats right

a few weeks ago, we had sweet magic sauce. this week its savoury. Mainly cause I am a firm believer that you need sweet and savoury in your life. And also, because I really wanted something salty to eat.


1 large white onion, sliced 

3 bell peppers sliced (I used Red, Green and Yellow) 

1 cup spinach 

1/4 cup water 

2 cups Low Fat Cottage Cheese 

1 tbsp honey

1 tsp salt 

2 tbsp Vegan Margarine Spread 

Sauteing the pepper and onions with 1 tbsp of the margarine, salt and the honey until soft , then blend with the water, spinach and cottage cheese until smooth.

Then you are good to go!

Its an easy dip thats perfect for veggies and crackers. The entire thing is only 4 Weight Watchers Points, is Vegetarian friendly (make it vegan friendly by using Agave Syrup  and Vegan Sour Cream instead of Cottage Cheese and Honey) and its Gluten Free!!

Try it as substitute for sour cream on tacos, nachos, or pierogies… really with anything that you use sour cream in. I tried it as a new salad dressing and it was awesome, it would also make a great  filling for the BARWM Beggars Purse.

until next time

– be a river with me

being an adult in Eastern Standard Time

i havent lived at my parents house for longer then 4 months at a time since I was 17 years old. I moved to another city for university and then shortly after graduating, I moved out West.

I come home for a visit roughly every 6 months or so. Staying for at least a week but no more than 3.

Every time I fly back East there are some rituals that are observed

  1. My mother and I go see as many movies in the theater as possible, the more chick flicks the better
  2. My dad and I have an in depth conversation about hockey during which my mother sits and looks at me like i am the martian child
  3. My younger brother calls me a hipster, then procedes to quote ‘The Chive’
  4. My older brother and I take turns calling my little brother ‘The Hipster Child’
  5. I plot to see CJ in whatever way I can
  6. SOOOO much Sushi and Starbucks is consumed its redonk
  7. I get caught up on the gossip for: The Young & The Restless, The Bold and The Beautiful, The Good Wife and Duck Dynasty (Yes Avery and Nick are sleeping together, no i cant believe Steffy is preggers, THAT is the guy who played Logan in the Gilmore Girls! and Jace is a babe.)
  8. My dog goes bananas and I spoil her with apples and carrots.
  9. I always end up watching ‘The Young Victoria’

and 10- We visit family.

Most of my extended family lives about 3 hours North of my parents, and have pretty much my entire life. And to be honest, I love that. The 3 hour buffer between us and them is magical. It lets you calm down or get revved up. I enjoy it.

My family is the assortment of characters and I dig that about them

My Grandma, who I affectionally call G (everyone else calls her Grams) is my only living grandparent. G I have gotten a lot closer since my Poppa passed away 6 years ago, I think its because I’m the only other single woman in the family, and the fact that I’m awesome. She’s the woman who literally has something planned EVERY SINGLE DAY! She has a busier social life then I do, and I live in a resort town!  Shes awesome, despite some health problems she’s still given’r all the time

My Aunts. Both my mom and my dad only have sisters, and they couldnt be more different. My Aunt Emily is a Soccer Mom who reads the same books AT THE SAME TIME as her kids do for school. My Aunt Norah is a school teacher who tries really hard to be cool. And then theres my favourite relative in my entire family next to my parents and brothers, Aunt Annie.

Aunt Annie is the family member I see the least but love the most, she’s always been my idol. She’s this balls to the wall- take no shit from no one woman who is amazing. I went to her house in Toronto with my parents the other day and was reminded just how awesome she is. We come over right after the hugs and pleasantries, she hands my dad a Fresca, (yeah Fresca, its delightful) and goes right to the red wine for my mom. Then asks me what I want

Annie- Wine kid?

Me- Sure!

Annie- White or Red? 

Me- Ummm Red’s fine

Annie- I’m opening both!

Me- White then

Annie- OR! I have Champagne! 

Me- Champagne!!

My Mom hates champagne but both her sisters and I love it.  So Annie and I proceeded to drink an entire bottle of champagne while my mom sips on one glass of Merlot, then my aunt brings out the snacky bits.  My parents are ‘cheese plate’ people, they love them. So Annie brings out cheese and crackers and then asks if we want pate. My mother shakes her head and my dad stays silent, I smile. So Annie and I had champagne and pate, which is one of my top 5 favourite meals of all time. Then we just sat and talked while my dad watched the hockey game (which, as a side note, I am SOOOO happy that hockey is back this season )

Annie is my only Aunt that makes me feel like I’m myself. I don’t have to be overly polite or complacent, I can be honest and say what is actually on my mind. Life keeps trying to keep her down but she wont let it. She has a great house, 2 kids that love her and a grandson that is possibly the cutest kid ever to walk this earth. And she keeps Pate and Champagne on hand, she rocks.

I have also gotten to see CJ a few times, and that is awesome. We’ve become closer since I moved away and I am so glad and thankful for that friendship. I have also seen my best friend Monika who was in Nepal the past few times I’ve been back. I missed Monkia, she’s been a great friend and a constant sounding board for a lot of things in my life.

The point of the whole blog is that this visit home was different. Usually I feel like a teenager who hasn’t quite found her footing in life yet. But this time I don’t feel like that. I feel like a grown up and got treated as such by my family, and I have to say, that feels pretty good.


throwing some one under a bus….not literally

Todays post is about ‘Sewering’ people.

Sewering is when you throw someone under a bus, essentially its cock-block (or clam jam) in life. Anytime some one prevents you from doing something (or someone) its a sewer.

thats the prologue to this weeks rant.

So Monty and I developed a pretty good relationship, none of the “fun” stuff but we had a good time. He’d come visit me at work and we’d play foosball at the bar. It was a solid friendship. But then Brenda came along, (not her real name).

Brenda and I have been friends for awhile, she was one of my good friends here in town, but she always kinda bugged me. She was never the kind of friends who would stop there life to help you, she constantly forgot her debit card when we went out for meals, she prided herself on not showering after hiking, she would sleep with any guy that even feigned interest. She had sewered me last summer, I told her I had a thing for one of the bartenders in town, Kenny (again not real name) and THAT NIGHT SHE SLEPT WITH HIM!! So that was strike one, and I could deal with that, she also slept with a mutual friend and tried to brag about him to me and told me that “One day I’ll be able to sleep with someone like him” ummmm he and I are friends and he told me about there “encounter” and it was less then impressive.

So this summer she comes to visit, we went out for some drinks with friends, this was after Monty and I hooked up. I told her outright “Bud, I have a thing for Monty, can you please not f**k him?” and her response was, “For sure”. The NEXT MORNING they come into the cafe, HOLDING HANDS! FOR BREAKFAST! there are 6 other places in town to eat breakfast, and they come into mine? WTF! So they started “dating” which here in Waterton means “We’re gonna sleep together and maybe go on a hike together, but not sleep with anyone else” . They kept eating at the cafe and the other restaurant we own. Me, being the mature one, ignored them. The best part is, that her brother…lets call him Jason, works for me. So called him out on it, and he said “Yeah she mentioned that you said something, but she was pretty black out wasted that night” so… she remembers me saying it but it to ‘blackout’ to remember? thats fucked up.  Luckily when this was all going down, my best friend CJ came to visit. So I had her and Dean to distract me.

He confronted me one day at a baseball game, and asked if I was mad at him, and I told him no, cause I wasn’t.  Its my own fault for not being honest with him about how I felt. Her on the other hand I was PISSED at.  I mean really?  what kind of girl does that? I mean c’mon!

I talked to Dean about it and he was super awesome, he was going to hire her to serve (and steal from him, i caught her stealing from her previous employer, but if you don’t have morals then i guess you have no morals) for the rest of the season but didn’t because of me. Which i don’t even feel bad about, don’t sewer me and then ask one of my best friends for a job, thats a stupid idea.

So they continued to see each other, he even made plans to go see her back East for Thanksgiving. Yeah that fell through, as he described it “sometimes things don’t work out”. I think its safe to say that Brenda cheated, cause thats what she does, she has no moral compass and is perpetually headed ‘due Slut’

Monty and I are still friends, we talk every now and again but its not like before, and I’m ok with that. He was a satellite friend before we slept together and after. I don’t really care either way, I was really only nice to him at the beginning because he worked for Dean. Dean and I’s friendship is what matters to me, not me and Monty.

Anywhoozle. thats my rant on Brenda.

Coming Soon- my rant on Jason who perpetually sewers me at work.

until next time

– be a river with me

Rewind on the Rewind- 2nd Catch Up

I’ve been SUPER bad at this but life has gotten rediculous lately. This will be one of 3 posts today, sorry about that. but not sorry at the same time

So Ive missed a couple weeks and here are my rambles about the missed albums:

Innervisions- Stevie Wonder.  Stevie Wonder is an icon, lets all admit that. If you dont agree stop reading this right now. Cause I am gonna praise him. This is his 16th of 23 solo albums (plus 4 live and 11 compliation albums) its awesome. I cant even pick a favorite song, its SW. C’mon folks, put it on and let the world slip into something magic.

Live at the Apollo- James Brown. James…. sweet sweet James another icon. I loved the entire album.

Rumours- Fleetwood Mac. I love Fleetwood Mac… theres something about them that just makes me smile, one of my favourite Glee episodes is one that payed homage to the famous group. ‘Dont Stop’ and ‘Go My Own Way’ are defs my top picks for the album… i mean c’mon.


The Joshua Tree- U2. My 2nd fave U2 album (right behind ‘All that you cant leave behind’) for several reasons, namely one particular song featured on the album; ‘One Tree Hill’. Yup, I love it for the song that became the title of one of my top 3 shows of all time (Resuce Me, One Tree Hill and The West Wing) Its a beautiful song that just makes me smile. TJH also features: Where The Streets have No Name AND! I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For. 3 AMAZING songs by an iconic band. Win for music. Straight Up Win.

Best 5 mins of the show.

King of the Delta Blue Singers- Robert Johnson. Not a fan, didnt see the appeal on this one.  Me and the Devil Blues was kinda great though.

until next time

– be a river with me


The Rewind Button- John Lennon/ Plastic Ono Band


John Lennon is an icon, any one who disagrees is an idiot quite frankly.

i dont like Yoko Ono. Im just gonna be honest from the get go, she broke up one of the most influental bands in history and frankly she annoys me.

This album however does not annoy me. I really enjoyed it. I listened to ‘Working Class Hero’ and ‘God’ 5 times in a row. I LOVED it!  As much as I dislike Yoko, I do respect her as a musician and  the impact she had on music.

This album what I like to call a love letter album. Its a love letter for music fans. Its something that John Lennon sent out there into the world (well to be totally honest, it was Apple Records that sent it out. *Sidebar…if you have a few free minutes check out the Wikipedia page on Apple Records its kinda cool*)

JL/POB is widely thought of as one of Lennon’s greatest solo albums, the perfect blend of artistic and personal integrity. Its a snap shot of Lennon’s mind at the time.  And what an amazing shot it is. Although I do have to say that of his 12 solo albums this ranks JUST behind 1971’s Imagine. (like you dont know the words to Imagine and kinda want to learn it in sign language ala ‘Glee’)

I dug a little deeper into ‘Working Class Hero’ and learnt a lot, its a song about the working class being “sucked into the machine of middle class” as Lennon said in a Rolling Stone interview. Its been covered by some AMAZING artists (Cyndi Lauper, Ozzy Osborne and Green Day) Green Day did a cover of it for Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur’  a compilation album of various artists covering Lennon songs to benefit Amnesty International‘s campaign to well Save Darfur. Its an amazing album that has a lot of JL/POB songs on it.  If you haven’t checked it out, i suggest you do.

Over all this is an awesome album that has spawned an amazing compilation album for a good cause. Take some time out of your day and check out these two albums. Good music and a good cause, you really cant go wrong.

I know i did this with ‘Thriller’ but heres another cover of my favorite song on the album, enjoy!

– until next time

be a river with me


heres what others thought: