Delicious Fall Apple Galette

appleGLately I’ve been feeling very inspired by fall. The weather is definitely starting to change in Vancouver, the cozy fall sweaters are coming out and I’ve even had to pull my Hunters out for a day of pretty intense rain. Welcome to the west coast…the next 4-5 months will be mostly grey and gloomy but I’ll gladly take the milder temperatures over -40 degrees Celsius and 5 feet of snow!

So my mom visited from Whistler the other week and she brought us a bunch of little (but extremely delicious) organic apples from a farmer’s market. I ate through quite a few of them but I still had about 6 apples left so I decided to get my baking hat on and make something delicious.

I don’t have a Kitchen Aid mixer so I don’t get overly creative when it comes to baking but this recipe was simple and so darn delicious. I usually just stick to things I can whip up in a bowl without too many kitchen gadgets. I guess it’s time to up our kitchen game…

I’ll share the recipe and hopefully inspire you to get your baking hat on too. Ps. Sorry for the terrible photo of the finished product but it didn’t last long enough for me to photograph it properly.

INGREDIENTS:

For the pastry:

2 cups of whole wheat flour

1 1/2 teaspoons of brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon of Himalayan salt

1 stick plus 2 tablespoons of cold unsalted butter cut into small pieces

1/3 cup of ice cold water

For the topping:

4-6 apples (depending on size)

2 tablespoons of brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon

1 tablespoon of wildflower honey (you can also use regular honey)

1 tablespoon of cold unsalted butter cut into small pieces

Directions: 

In a food processor, combine the flour with the sugar, butter and salt. Process for about 5-8 seconds. Sprinkle the ice cold water in and process the pastry for about 10 more seconds. You’ll still be able to see the butter chunks and that ok! Transfer the pastry onto a large enough piece of wax paper, roll it into a ball, wrap it up in the wax paper and put it in the fridge for about 20-30 minutes.

2. In the meantime, peel and core the apples. Slice the apples in half and then into 1/4 inch slices. Set the larger 1/4 inch slices aside and chop the end bits up into small pieces. This will make the filling a little later on. You should use roughly half of the apple slices for the coarsely chopped apples. In a small bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon.

3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

4. Flour your kitchen counter or a surface to work on and roll out the pastry into a 12 inch by 14 inch rectangle. Transfer the rectangle pastry to a large baking sheet.

5. Spread the chopped apples over the pastry to within 1 inch of the edge. Drizzle the honey over the apples and decoratively arrange the apple slices on top. You could also get wild and use like a salted caramel or something!

6. Sprinkle the cinnamon/sugar mix over the apples and dot with the pieces of butter.

7. Fold the pastry edge up and over the apples to create a 1 to 1 1/2 inch border.

8. Bake the galette for about an hour or until the pastry is nicely browned. Transfer from the pan to a rack and let it cool.

9. This is optional, but you can melt some more butter (who doesn’t love butter!) and paint it onto the edges of the galette.

I used whole wheat flour in this recipe and thought that it was going to make it very dry but the filling actually makes it amazingly moist and sweet.

Let the pastry cool, cut it into slices and maybe, just maybe, serve it with some vanilla bean ice cream and enjoy. Trust me, you’ll be coming back for more!

Most importantly, I wanted to share this recipe because you really don’t need very many ingredients and it’s sure to be a crowd pleaser. I had everything that I needed kicking around the house.

I wanted to share my galette with others but sadly it didn’t last very long. This would also be a perfect treat at Thanksgiving dinner. Bon appetit!

-ML

 

 

lost in the lyrics

It’s been a while and it’s so good to be back.

I’ve been meaning to get back to writing for so long. I recently found my push.

What I’m about to share spoke to me in a big, BIG way.

I recently started a two week trial at @ridecycleclub in North Van. What I thought was going to be absolute torture, became a bit of an obsession and hopefully a habit I continue for many reasons.

First, I want to start off by giving recognition and praise to one of my (already) fave coaches, Barb.

Barb – you kill it every time you teach. Your energy is infectious. Your spirit is wild. It’s hard enough getting out of bed for my own workout sometimes, let alone getting out of bed to teach a class of random people at 6am. BIG kudos to you. Ps. I hope you’re enjoying every minute in Mexico right now.

***

The purpose for my post is the fact that I heard one song at RIDE that just absolutely spoke to me. So much so that I repeated the lyrics in my head until the class was over. My second purpose? The fact that I know it will speak to the majority of you too. You’re welcome.

The next time you’re in your car or working out or even just looking for a song to jam out to, throw on Odesza – Falls (feat. Sasha Sloan).

Turn it up LOUD, REAL loud.

If you’ve already heard it and appreciate it as much as I do, keep playing it over and over again.

***

The first time I heard this song, I was clearly at spin. I was on my bike, the room was dark and my eyes were closed. Sweat was absolutely dripping down my forehead. What was supposed to be a solid push on the bike, ended up being a series of thoughts and emotions that would lead me to write this post.

Including myself, we are ALL going through something, big or small. Everyone is fighting a battle. Let’s face it, we’ve all been at our lowest lows.

We’ve all been down in the absolute dumps.

We’ve all faced adversity at one point or another.

The crazy thing is that only a small fraction of us have been lucky enough to or will be lucky enough to overcome whatever it is we were fighting.

Cue the lyrics. 

I wanted to share this tonight because there are SO MANY important messages in this song:

“Everybody falls down. All the way down. You just gotta hold on tight. You gotta get up.”

I challenge you to melt into this song and really believe in the lyrics.

I challenge you to take this song and take these lyrics and overcome whatever it is that you’re battling right now. Muster up whatever courage you have inside you to make things better, to work towards an end goal or to get help.

And if not, I challenge you to, at the very least, help someone who’s fighting.

“It’s gonna be alright. Never gonna leave your side. It’s gonna be alright.”

YOU are so strong. YOU have so much fight inside you. YOU are going to overcome whatever it is you’re fighting.

At the end of the day, sometimes we all just need a helping hand or a little ‘push’ and no matter how incredibly shitty you think your life is right now, someone else’s is worse.

You’ve got this. I promise you.

Be kind to one another. Help each other and be there for each other.

It’s SO good to be back.

-ML

all kinds of crazy.

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You learn all sorts of valuable lessons in life so here’s a little something…

We are all NUTS. Everyone is CRAZY in their own way and if you stand here and go “I’m not nuts”, that makes you even more crazy.

Everyone has their own shit. Whether its family or friends or work or life in general…we ALL have our own shit.

The truth is, your shit makes you…YOU.

It’s the way you bounce back from adversities or challenges or those uncertain obstacles that life gives you.

Sit back for a second right now and think of the hardest thing that has EVER happened to you and ask yourself…how has this made me a better person?! Seriously, just think about that for a second. 

Whether it’s work or family or I don’t even now what, we get faced with challenges each and EVERY day. The way you decide to react to those challenges…that’s your shit.

I can think of just about 1001 things that have made me stronger, more independent and, perhaps, a bit more resilient. Take that “shit” and build on it. Build a stronger foundation, build a stronger mindset and build a stronger (and better) life.

All of this right now might sound like every meme, every life lesson and every inspirational quote you’ve ever heard or read…BUT…it has a whole lot of truth to it.

-ML

 

 

 

RIP Kate and Anthony

I’m not usually one to post long rants or opinions but when I woke up this morning, I felt the need to speak out.

This week has been an emotional roller coaster for many. Icon and fashion leader, Kate Spade, took her life at the young age of 55 and today we woke up to the news that world-traveler, celebrity chef and author, Anthony Bourdain, 61, has also succumbed to suicide.

I can’t even begin to imagine the emotion that immediate friends and family are feeling. My heart breaks for them. Many have always argued that suicide is such a selfish way to go. That there are people willing to listen and help. Each time that someone passes away as a result of drug/alcohol addiction or mental illness, everyone always comments that help is just a phone call away.

Is it? Is it really that easy? If it was, icons, mentors and millionaires like Kate and Anthony would be calling too, wouldn’t they?!

We idolize, follow and live our lives vicariously through celebrities/athletes/influencers each and every day. They make such an impact on our lives. We need these people to bind together and make a difference. We need political leaders to stop f***ing tweeting nonsense and start paying attention to what matters in this lifetime.

As a just-turned 33 year old I can safely say that this is such a difficult time to be “growing up” in. These are some of the most challenging times that we are living in right now. Life is complicated, it’s stressful and unfair. We need a movement, we need help and we need it now.

Anxiety lives in my family and I am extremely thankful that my my mom, sister or I have never had any life-altering episodes. Knocks on wood. 

I want to be super clear that I am not a specialist, a doctor or a genius in these topics but what I do know is that I try to do little things to avoid negativity in my life and I want to share those things with you in hopes of them making the slightest little difference in yours, especially if you’re struggling:

  • Cut the bullshit (that you can control) out of your life. Stop immersing yourself in the Trump disgrace, stop reading articles that are going to make your blood boil. Stop following garbage on social media. Find the stuff that makes you smile and follow that.
  • Get 8 hours of sleep a day. This has changed my life! It’s changed my energy levels and it’s changed how I function on the daily. It allows me to wake up with a clearer and rested mind and it helps me make the most out of my days. Sure, we all have days where we are dragging our butts but only you can control that.
  • Eat healthy and exercise. I honestly give thanks to my fiance, Jordan, for being the one to guide me to a healthier lifestyle. I don’t think I could have done it on my own. We workout together, we workout often and we hold each other accountable to eating healthy. Grab a friend or your significant other and do the same. Trust me you’ll be happy you did.
  • Slow your life down. I used to be a ball of STRESS each and every day but I had control over whether or not that was going to be how I continued to live my life. I made a change and I’m happier and healthier because of it. You can too.

Disclaimer: Now let me make one thing very clear here…I’m not saying that by doing the 4 things I just mentioned you are going to prevent suicide, anxiety or mental illness. But what I am saying is that they are baby steps to achieving a healthy mind. They are little steps towards surrounding yourself with the right people. People that can hopefully make a difference in your life.

I don’t know what the answer is to preventing suicide or mental illness but what I do know is that I can, and you can too, control things that make a small difference. Small things that would otherwise bundle up into bigger things.

Thanks for reading. I hope that at the very least you’ve become a bit more aware.

Rest in peace Kate and Anthony. Thank your for your contributions to this world.

-ML

joe fresh faves

joefresh1

Last week Vancouver had a couple of super warm days and it made me so excited to bust out all of my open toed shoes/sandals! I am so sick of boots and booties and SO over the winter months. For some reason I checked the Joe Fresh website one morning and I had found a super cute pair of block heels (mine current black ones are so done and need to be thrown out but they are such a staple in my closet!). I went to go check the Joe Fresh one’s out in person to see if they were actually a) comfortable and b) what the website illustrated. I ended up walking out with a nude pair (see picture) but I am going to go back and get the black and coral ones too! A girl can NEVER have too many shoes!

I wore them to work one day thinking that they might ruin my feet but they were fantastic. I mean, any shoe is going to hurt if you’re gallivanting in it all day but these ones were actually quite comfortable! I highly recommend them.

So this afternoon I went back to Joe Fresh and found a couple of other gems for the Spring. As you can see in the picture there are the three different colours of the block heels I bought.

The trench coat in the top right is SUPER cute and only $49! I had to order it online because they didn’t have my size in store. I have an army green spring coat but was looking for something light and fun in a beige colour. The detail on the cuffs is so adorable and it fits really really nicely!

The army green and navy pants are my fave. I bought them in navy today (they were $29!!). They’re amazing because you can put them on with a pair of heels and dress them up OR you can throw on a pair of chucks and dress them down – you decide. Super versatile pants and extremely comfy to boot!

Lastly, the super super super cute ruffle sandals! They are absolutely adorable and would look gorgeous with a pair of white jeans. They actually have them in solid black as well.

I know that the Joe Fresh stuff (quality wise) might not last as long but for these prices, it is a no-brainer to wear these items for a season or two and then retire them.

So with that being said, I hope I brought some springtime inspo to your closets! 🙂

-ML

Whole30

Fourteen days ago I decided to test my will power and start the Whole30 diet after hearing about a success story at work. It came at a time where we had just gotten back from vacation with my fiancé so I figured I could use a bit of a detox. In summary, Whole30 is a strict program that disallows sugar, gluten, dairy and alcohol. Easy, right? Wrong.

If you’re like me and you can’t say no when someone brings donuts into the office or buys a tub of sour keys for all to share, starting off on this program will pose to be a bit of a challenge. If you’re also like me and you love a good glass of wine to wind down in the evening, this will be a big adjustment.

I really underestimated what this was going to do to my eating habits but I sincerely love the awareness that it has brought to my/our eating habits.

First off, let’s talk about coffee. For as long as I have been drinking coffee I always dressed my morning cup of coffee with milk and honey. Well that had to change! I’m pretty sure I avoided coffee for the first few days because nothing about a black coffee was appealing to me. A few days into the program I caved and had my first ever black coffee. To be honest, it wasn’t so bad! The only thing that I really hate about it is that I have to wait until it cools…first world problems.

After I got over the coffee dilemma, I had to adjust to what I was eating for lunch. Usually I love a good salad with protein which is totally fine but who doesn’t love some goat or feta cheese on their salad?! Unfortunately, that is a no-go so your salads end up being extremely plain and consisting only of vegetables and protein. That’s the stuff that’s going to help the waistline though! So since I couldn’t have any of the store-bought dressings, I had to make my own. Usually, I just whip up a simple vinaigrette in our Vitamix consisting of olive oil, balsamic, lemon juice, salt, pepper and garlic. Mustard powder is compliant and adds a bit of flavour to the dressing too.

Dinner wasn’t a massive adjustment in our household because I typically cook following a protein and vegetable type of menu anyways.  The only thing that was a bit shocking on this program was that you can’t even have brown rice or quinoa – Jordan didn’t love that! What you can have, though, are potatoes. If you jump on the Whole30 bandwagon, sweet potatoes are going to be your best friend!

A typical dinner at my house will consist of chicken, boiled broccoli and I absolutely love brussels sprouts. I would have to say that we always have broccoli and brussels in the fridge. I got a bit creative recently as it was nice enough to start barbecuing outside again, and made chicken and steak kebabs for dinner. Those were a hit! Marinate the chicken in balsamic vinegar olive oil and garlic for an hour before grilling and you’ll be wanting seconds almost instantly.

Another little hidden gem on this program is clarified butter. We bought a big tub of ghee at Whole Foods. It wasn’t cheap but it really saves certain meals. If potatoes aren’t your thing, I suggest you try cauliflower mash. It is TO DIE FOR. Here’s what I do:

  • cut a head of cauliflower into florets and boil in a big pot for about 10-15 minutes or until somewhat soft
  • drain the cauliflower and put the florets into the vitamix
  • add a tablespoon of ghee, a bit of salt and pepper and blend to your desired consistency

Jordan is a big time foodie and he can’t wait until we make it for dinner again. You can even get creative with it and toss in some garlic for extra flavour. The world is your oyster!

I’ll leave it at this for now but if you have any questions for me, I’d be happy to answer them! Leave a comment or contact me. I also highly recommend buying one of the cookbooks that the program has. I’ve linked them here for you. I really enjoy ours.

Bon apetit!

-ML

 

what’s important

I’ve been travelling for the last 16 days and my final day has been spent with my best friend, in Houston, TX. Today has reminded me of the fact that it’s the simple things in life that you should appreciate each and every day.

In the last 16 days, I have seen 3 wonders of the world, yet, being with my best friend has been the most rewarding/important.

If you don’t know the details, my best friend lives in Houston and I live in Vancouver, Canada. Seeing each other isn’t easy (and speaking every day isn’t always easy either) but each and every time we do get to see each other, it’s like nothing has changed.

Today has taught me that it’s the little things we should be grateful for. Whether that’s friendships, relationships or being able to spend an hour over lunch laughing and making memories.

Figure out what makes you feel good, wholeheartedly, and do more of that.

Love you Ally!

Hugs,

-ML