Category Archives: Travel

Happy #CanadaDay and Happy @calgarystampede – 2 #coolthings about where live in #alberta #canada

Canada Day cookies - photo - Karen Anderson

Canada Day cookies – photo – Karen Anderson

Cool thing #31 – The Millarville Races and
Cool thing #32 – The Calgary Stampede
2 more great reasons to Explore Alberta

I love that summer starts with a big bang in Calgary. We get dressed up in red and white for Canada Day…

…and then we rock our maverick culture with an ode to western heritage for the 10 days of The Calgary Stampede. It’s the world’s largest outdoor show and one of the world’s largest music festivals.

This post will be a photo essay of how I usually spend Canada Day – at the Millarville Races – along with some food ideas for your own celebrations and then a quick look at the fun of our beloved Calgary Stampede.

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#EatPrayPlay – Would you like to join the cuisine and culture trip I’m hosting to #India November 7 – 23, 2015?

at a Sikh Langar (free food kitchen for all regardless of background) in Delhi - photo - Pauli-Ann Carriere

at a Sikh Langar (free food kitchen for all regardless of background) in Delhi – photo – Pauli-Ann Carriere

This will be the fourth time I’ve lead cuisine and culture journeys to India. It gives me great joy to share this year’s itinerary here.

This year’s trip is all about #EatPrayPlay.

#EAT – because this trip is for food lovers and our shared passion for the mouth-watering cuisines of India.
#PRAY – because India’s religions are so much a part of the vibrant daily life of her people – we make an effort to learn about them and the culture that forms around them.
#PLAY – because, though we’ll see lots of “life in our face”, India will surprise you with the joy and love in most of her people. We make sure to play, have fun, join in festivals and unwind with a restorative form of yoga that anyone can take part in.

Interested?
Let me share some photos and highlights from trips past and plans for this year’s custom tour designed by me and my partners at Indus Travels.
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Filed under Cooks I know, Farm Tours, Food markets of the world, food tours, India, Joy, Travel

Art Installation #13 – #Paris – a #daytrip to #Giverny and another visit to Monet’s true masterpiece


The first time I went to Giverny – and inside the high walls surrounding Claude Monet’s home and garden – it was May. Iris were everywhere.

They were tall and sparkling with dew in shades of mauve, purple, yellow and white. They took the lead in a joyful song of spring with lilacs and wisteria as voluptuous back up singers. My mind grabbed that purple haze of flowers and sealed it away. Irises became synonymous with Giverny for me. I never thought of how it would be the rest of the year. My recent visit was an epiphany.

April means tulips at Giverny.

The iris were only thinking about their diva-ish debut. The wisteria were wistfully waking, the lilacs were racing the apple blossoms for heightening senses with their scents-ability.

I think I’ll need to go every month of the year to truly understand the beauty of Monet’s intricate masterpiece. This visit was the fulfillment of an innocent wish made at another time and another place – far from Paris or Giverny. I’ll tell you a bit about that before I share some of the photos I took of Monet’s true masterpiece.

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The Gastronomic Meal of the French – #recipes from my friends @SucculentParis

My friends at Succulent Paris enjoying the treats I brought them from Alberta - photo - Kim Irving

My friends at Succulent Paris enjoying the treats I brought them from Alberta – photo – Kim Irving


My friends Marion Willard and Aurélie Mahoudeau of Succulent Paris food tours are wonderful cooks who love to share their passion with visitors to their city. This post will highlight a day where I booked them for a private gourmet tour. We met for coffee, shopped on Rue de Levis near their home and then prepared a seasonal multi-course gastronomic meal.

Cooking with Willard and Mahoudeau is a joyous occasion. Sitting down and sharing a meal together even more so. I hope that you’ll see that in the photos I’ll share here and that you’ll try some of the recipes as well. If they all seem a bit too much skip ahead to the next post where I share a ridiculously easy and fun Mug Cake that anyone can make and enjoy. It’s all good.

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Filed under Alberta at Noon, Cooks I know, food tours, Great ingredients, Heritage cooking skills, Recipes, Travel

The Gastronomic Meal of the French – a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Value and my CBC @AlbertaatNoon food column for May

I’m just back from Paris.

I had the opportunity during my visit to spend a day shopping and cooking a multi-course French meal with my friends Marion Willard and Aurélie Mahoudeau of Succulent Paris. For my Parisian friends, this is a daily occurrence. They have culinary skills that have been passed down through the generations of their families. They learned to cook both at extensive family gatherings and in the day-to-day preparation of meals with their parents. They enjoy shopping daily for what is fresh and in season and they use their culinary skills to pull together meals to celebrate those ingredients.

While this is la vie quotidienne (daily life) for my two friends in the food business, cooking a multi-course meal is no longer taken for granted by French families. Families in France also have two partners working outside the home, just like other families around the world, and here in Alberta. This means that their children and ours have less access to cooking mentors than previous generations.

The French government nominated The Gastronomic Meal to UNESCO’s list of Intangible Cultural Heritage values in 2008 (it was accepted in 2010) in an effort to preserve its essence – taking time to care and enjoy family and life through gathering at the table to share a thoughtfully prepared meal. The traditional preparation of Kimchi in Korea is currently being considered for UNESCO’s list and Japanese and traditional Mexican cuisine have also already been accepted to the list.

The French realize future generations will need help to sustain this part of their culture due to the evolution of modern family life so they are working with UNESCO to save this intangible part of their heritage. As children’s health advocate Jamie Oliver puts forth in his Food Day Revolution, the life skill of cooking is necessary to the health of future generations. Suddenly, the intangible values surrounding a culture’s way of eating become very tangible supports for a healthy lifestyle when their manifestation has this outcome.

This post will talk a bit more about what’s involved in The Gastronomic Meal of the French and how the values it embodies translate to resilience needed for daily life.

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Recipes for Easter and a menu for Passover – my @AlbertaatNoon column for April

Crown Rib Roast of Pork - photo - Karen Anderson

Crown Rib Roast of Pork – photo – Karen Anderson

It is both Passover and Easter this weekend. May everyone have a peaceful weekend and enjoy sharing the warmth of community and great food together.

I’m going to refer our Jewish friends looking for great recipes to this Saveur article with a beautiful Passover Menu (not something I’d want to get wrong). And for those that can enjoy pork and non-Kosher eating, I’ve got an Easter Refresh Menu for you.

Hamming it up at Easter is delicious but a little predictable. If you’d like to change things up try frying a few slices of ham steak for your Easter brunch – with a side of chocolate eggs fresh from the annual hunt – and enjoy this special occasion Crown Rib Roast of Pork for the big feast.

I’ve attended several Long Table Dinners over the last few years in Alberta and the Easter Menu that follows is inspired by the great tasting food I’ve been served.

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Taste and memory blend in Mahabilapuram #Tamilnadu – South #India

tropical Tamilnadu - photo - Karen Anderson

tropical tamilnadu – photo – Karen Anderson

Mahabalipuram lies about an hour south of Chennai in the state of Tamilnadu in South India. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site because of the sixth to eighth century temples carved in great detail from rock and sand. They’ve withstood time. They’ve withstood Tsunamis.

The beach here is long, curved and cascaded upon by never-ending wave chasing wave. They’ve arrived in this little crook in the Bay of Bengal in a chaotic but somehow predetermined rhythm. They seem to collapse exhausted on the shore after realizing the futility of racing each other across the breadth of the Indian Ocean. Plunging into them at dawn you feel the strength the moon lends them in tidal force. They want to pull you to the ocean’s depths with them but just in time a bigger stronger wiser wave floats you safely to shore.

Temples and beaches are impressive attractions but my reason for being in Tamilnadu was to see a dear friend and meet and cook with his family. Read on for a crispy Tamilnadu lamb fritter recipe and a few photos from my recent visit.

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Filed under Cooks I know, food tours, India, Recipes, Travel