Gramma’s Little Helper – Scottish Butter Tart Shortbread

Thank you Danielle for the lovely write up on the Buttertart Festival and my mini business :)

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My favourite part about summer time is all the festivals; especially food related festivals! This year one of my best friends, Emily, had her amazing butter tart shortbread  for sale at the Midland Butter Tart Festival. Yes we have a butter tart festival in Ontario and yes it’s amazing!

I had no idea that butter tarts are distinctly Canadian and one of our “quintessential desserts.” What’s better than flaky pastry, brown sugar and butter? Delicious! Add in either pecans or raisins and it’s even better! (well I like plain or pecan not a fan of raisins altogether).

It was my first time hearing about a festival dedicated to a butter tart, plus I had never been to the cute town of Midland. Midland is located on Georgian Bay and as you walked around the festival there’s a beautiful view of the waterfront. Classic Canadian cottage country vibe for any downtowners from Toronto.

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Oscars 2015: The Best Dress Over The Best Dressed

Let’s celebrate the extremely talented designers of these gorgeous gowns. Incredible talent all around.

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The Oscars’ red carpet was a breath of fresh, fashionable air! I love red carpets because they are an opportunity to witness the craftsmanship in design, and construction that is a couture gown.  While with the Grammy’s red carpet, I struggled to find one dress I even liked, at the Oscars almost every star that stepped out was impeccably dressed and had me fawning over the television. To the celebs, way to put on an awesome dress. But, to the designers whose imaginations, ripe with magic, dreamed up these beautiful designs, and to the skilled hands that undoubtedly, painstakingly brought them to life, thank you for inspiring this designer to pour out everything in her head and heart and turn her own dreams into dresses! Here are my top choices for best dress!

Im usually not a fan of red, but this Yves Saint Laurent gown worn by Dakota Johnson…

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Celebrating My 26th Birthday in Nassau, Bahamas

This might sound crazy but the best birthday cake I have ever had was from a bakery in the Bahamas. For my 26th birthday my entire family was in the Bahamas visiting my friend Shavanti. Shavanti, knowing I am a baker, went out of her way to find this extraordinary cupcake. Although the icing had melted and the candle would not stay lit, it still out shined cakes I’ve had from Paris, London and back in Toronto.

Shavanti showed usConch around the city and we finally got to try Conch Salad, something she had been talking about since I met her first year of university. She took us out back of this restaurant where they showed us how they get the Conch out of the shell and what part we actually eat. We perhaps should have watched this after we ate however it was still delicious. The restaurants are brightly painted and built on top of the conch shells. Thousands and thousands of them as this is a very popular dish. Some chefs will make a couple hundred conch salads in a single day! We also tried conch fritters and grilled conch.

Nassau is a beautiful city. Shavanti was explaining to us how all the buildings in Nassau are colour coded. Government buildings are pink (conch pink) and white, hospitals are yellow and white and finally the police and fire stations are green and white. We had just missed Junkanoo where thousands of people flood the street dancing in bright costumes in a celebration of freedom. The islands of the Bahamas is the only place you can experience Junkanoo and something I hope to experience one day. We saw some of the floats/costumes on the side of the road as we drove around. Some of the costumes are so intricate they can take up to a year to create.

Thank you Shavanti for showing us around!

Bahamas Family Birthday

Copenhagen, Denmark

Copenhagen, Denmark

No sovereign nation has used the same flag as long as Denmark! It is saCopenhagen Canal Tour Bridgeid that the image for their national flag descended from the heavens as a sign from God during a battle against Estonia in 1219, lead by King Waldemar II. Denmark defeated the Estonians and from that point forward the flag design has remained unaltered. Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark, is a city packed with national landmarks, historic buildings and modern architecture, all within walking distance of each other.

The Little Mermaid CopenhagenWe took a canal tour, and I must say, seeing all the major sites from the water truly gives you a different perspective. The tour left Nyhavn, an old commercial port pictured in the featured image. The oldest house on this strip is dated back to 1681. It also took us down to Langelinje Pier where The Little Mermaid sits. The sculpture was inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale. We also boated by Christiana, the freetown of Copenhagen where the boats on the water looked like they were built by residents of the area. Apparently most of the buildings throughout the area were built by the residents there, which make it a cool spot to check out architecturally. The space was originally the military barracks in Bådmandsgade. If you do plan on visiting this area please read this link for safety reasons as some of the locals are not so friendly towards outsiders.

The royal family was home on the date we visited as the flag could be seen The Queens House Copenhagenfrom the water on top of her house. This area is well worth checking out by foot as the buildings are placed around an octagonal palace yard. Directly across from the Queen’s house the new opera house can be seen. It sits right on the water and was a gift for the Queen. This modern building is incredible from the water as is The Black Diamond, the Royal Library of Denmark. The Black Diamond also sits close to the water with granite tiles from Zambia reflecting the light from the water causing it to sparkle. When it is not sparkling it looks like an iPod dock.

After the canal tour we walked through Strøget, one of the longest pedestrian shopping streets in all of Europe. At the end of the street is City Hall and Tivoli. Tivoli is another old amusement park in Denmark with live music every day. We did not go in as we experienced the oldest amusement park in Denmark (Dyrehavsbakken), just outside of the city which is free to enter.

David & Emily Purkiss

Just Married

We’re just married and our first “home” together will be away from our closest family and friends. I’m not talking a few hours away, I really mean far. We’re moving to London, England from Toronto, Ontario. I’m going to keep a blog for friends and family to follow our adventure with us. We are both feeling every sort of emotion as our flight has been booked and we leave in just a few short weeks! As for now, we really need to start gathering our things for storage.