Tag Archives: travel photography

2016 Top Food, Travel and Horror Movie Posts

2016.  Many people found 2016 to be a rough year, but I’m thankful that I seem to have emerged reasonably unscathed.  I feel really accomplished because I successfully blogged consistently for a second straight year.  I started this blog way back in 2009 (!) but I only buckled down and got serious with this site in 2015.  I have worked so hard and am proud of how far I’ve come.  My writing, recipe developing and photography skills have all improved and I continue to trouble shoot my own self-hosted website.  Social media is a whole other beast that I’ve had to conquer and continually battle, but I actually find that aspect of blogging really interesting, I just wish there were more hours in a day! When I looked at my analytics for the year, I was happy to see that they have all increased since 2015. I’m so grateful for new and old readers who dropped by my site this year, it’s a daunting web out there with so many blogs and social media avenues, I’m amazed and happy to see when one of my posts does well. These  2016 top food, travel and horror movie posts were the ones all of you kind and inquisitive folk enjoyed the most. 

My top post of 2016 continues to be my review of Gordon Ramsay’s Sticky Toffee and Chocolate Pudding, a post from my first year of blogging. I decided to reshoot this recipe because I cringe when I look back at my first attempt at food photos! I’m hoping my new and improved dairy free version of his sticky toffee pudding does just as well this year.

2016 Top Food, Travel and Horror Movie Posts Gordon Ramsay's Dairy Free Sticky Toffee Pudding

Gordon Ramsay’s Dairy Free Sticky Toffee Pudding

I was happy to see these new recipes in the top three food posts for the year:

Cherry Coffee Preserve Goat Cheese Crostini

2016 Top Food, Travel and Horror Movie Posts Cherry Coffee Preserve Goat Cheese Crostini

Cherry Coffee Preserve Goat Cheese Crostini

This year my friend and I expanded our canning repertoire and picked our own cherries. Many hours later we had an array of canned cherry products. I was really please with how these cherry coffee preserves turned out, and I was inspired to pair them with goat cheese on top of a crispy crostini. The result was a delightful bittersweet, creamy, crunchy bite, and made for a festive appetizer over the holidays.

Apple Cornmeal Flax Muffins

2016 Top Food, Travel and Horror Movie Posts Apple Cornmeal Flax Muffins

Apple Cornmeal Flax Muffins

I had been wanting to develop this recipe for awhile, as I loved the flavour combination of tart apple and sweet cornmeal. I still had some apples leftover from apple picking in the fall, so I was happy to finally make these muffins. Packed full of fresh, juicy apples, they made for a tasty high fiber breakfast or a yummy, healthy dessert.

Asian Sesame Sweet Potato & Squash Soup

2016 Top Food, Travel and Horror Movie Posts Sweet Potato Squash Soup

Asian Sesame Sweet Potato Squash Soup

I love incorporating my Japanese culture into my recipes, and this soup was a perfect example. I wanted to change up the usual butternut squash soup, so I added hints of sesame and topped the soup off with some nori. I also used miso instead of cream which made it lactose-intolerant-friendly for my boyfriend. A creamy, hearty soup that was really popular over the holidays.

As for travel, my big blog project this year was posting my two-week trip to Turkey. These posts took a really long time to put together as I diligently compiled all my thoughts and notes from diaries and photo logs. Many posts from this series did well throughout the year, though it made me sad to reminisce about this amazing trip with all the political turmoil this country has been through recently. I feel lucky we were able to travel to Turkey when we did, as we probably wouldn’t be advised to go there during these unstable times.

2016 Top Food, Travel and Horror Movie Posts Turkey in Two Weeks

How We Toured Turkey in Two Weeks

Speaking of Turkey, my top horror movie post was also Turkish, a hellishly creepy movie called “Baskin”.  I loved the surreal imagery in this film and the political analogies that are implied in regards to police brutality in Turkey. If you like H.P Lovecraft mixed with Dario Argento then this movie is for you!

2016 Top Food, Travel and Horror Movie Posts "Baskin" Property of Film Colony, Mo Film, XYZ Films

“Baskin” Property of Film Colony, Mo Film, XYZ Films

I reviewed this film as part of my “Dinner and A Movie” category and paired this movie with a Turkish breakfast. My boyfriend and I still have a Turkish breakfast every weekend; a little part of Turkey that we brought home with us.

2016 Top Food, Travel and Horror Movie Posts Homemade Turkish breakfast

Homemade Turkish breakfast

So there they are!  My 2016 top food, travel and horror movie posts.  Thank you for visiting and hope to see you in 2017!

What were your top posts of 2016?  Did you accomplish your blogging goals?

Grundy Provincial Park – Swan Lake Trail

On our last day, we returned back to our base camp and decided to go on an afternoon hike.  Grundy has many hiking trails or different levels and distances, and we decided on the 1.5 km Swan Lake Trail.  The hike goes through some wetlands, has a few nice lookouts and rocky ridges and includes a walk across a boardwalk.  We took our time enjoying this relaxing, interesting and diverse trail, pausing for many breaks to take photos and draw.

Swan Lake Trail, Grundy Provincial Park

Swan Lake Trail, Grundy Provincial Park

Along with my love for cloud photography is my love for tree photography – alive and dead.  I love trying to capture a new angle, either to express the grandeur of a living tree or the creepiness of a dead tree.  I like to pause and appreciate how magnificent they are, and explore even the smallest details found in their bark, branches and leaves.

Swan Lake Trail, Grundy Provincial Park

Swan Lake Trail, Grundy Provincial Park

Swan Lake Trail, Grundy Provincial Park

Swan Lake Trail, Grundy Provincial Park

Swan Lake Trail, Grundy Provincial Park

Swan Lake Trail, Grundy Provincial Park

Swan Lake Trail, Grundy Provincial Park

Swan Lake Trail, Grundy Provincial Park

Swan Lake Trail, Grundy Provincial Park

Swan Lake Trail, Grundy Provincial Park

Swan Lake Trail, Grundy Provincial Park

Swan Lake Trail, Grundy Provincial Park

Taking a moment to  draw some trees.  I like to imagine this is how the Group of Seven must have felt painting and becoming one with nature.

Swan Lake Trail, Grundy Provincial Park

Swan Lake Trail, Grundy Provincial Park

Swan Lake Trail, Grundy Provincial Park

Swan Lake Trail, Grundy Provincial Park

Swan Lake Trail, Grundy Provincial Park

Swan Lake Trail, Grundy Provincial Park

 

Grundy Provincial Park – Beaver Lake

Over the long weekend, we went camping in Grundy Provincial Park.  Located 80 km north of Parry Sound, Grundy is a a beautiful Ontario Park.  A hidden gem that we discovered a few years ago, and there were so many lakes and hiking trails left to explore I wanted to return this year for our annual camping adventure.

We decided to have base camp for five days, and off shoot on a canoe trip for two of them.  We dropped off our gear on Beaver Lake, then canoed across Pakeshkag Lake portaging 195 metres back into Beaver Lake, picking up our gear on the way to our site.  This wasn’t a big portage trip so we brought along luxuries like a cooler and chairs – the best of both worlds!

Beaver Lake, Grundy Provincial Park

Beaver Lake, Grundy Provincial Park

The first night my boyfriend and I went fishing and the lake was so calm and still.  We were the only ones out on the water and I relished the peace and quiet.  I even caught a fish!

Beaver Lake, Grundy Provincial Park

Beaver Lake, Grundy Provincial Park

Beaver Lake, Grundy Provincial Park

Beaver Lake, Grundy Provincial Park

Beaver Lake, Grundy Provincial Park

Beaver Lake, Grundy Provincial Park

As the sun set over the glassy waters, a curtain of ominous clouds rolled over us. I never tire of taking photos of clouds, they’re always shifting and evolving, and you’ll never shoot the same clouds twice.

Beaver Lake, Grundy Provincial Park

Beaver Lake, Grundy Provincial Park

Beaver Lake, Grundy Provincial Park

Beaver Lake, Grundy Provincial Park

Beaver Lake, Grundy Provincial Park

Beaver Lake, Grundy Provincial Park

I love playing around with light, saturation and contrast in post and exploring the many ways to process the same scene to emote a different feeling or emotion.

Beaver Lake, Grundy Provincial Park

Beaver Lake, Grundy Provincial Park

Beaver Lake, Grundy Provincial Park

Beaver Lake, Grundy Provincial Park

Beaver Lake, Grundy Provincial Park

Beaver Lake, Grundy Provincial Park

I think the photo above is my favourite from this set.  I like how the clouds frame the sunset in a slanted perspective, allowing just a sliver of golden light to highlight the canoe and my boyfriend in the foreground.

Beaver Lake, Grundy Provincial Park

Beaver Lake, Grundy Provincial Park

The ultimate Canadian experience: sitting in a canoe listening to the call of loons.  A perfect moment.

Beaver Lake, Grundy Provincial Park

Beaver Lake, Grundy Provincial Park