Wild And Raw – Calgary

I went down to Wild and Raw in Kensington (Calgary) today because I had to meet someone.

I had never been there before, but I knew that they at least served bone broth (because the person I was meeting was the person who supplies their grass-fed beef bones that they use in the broth (Rachel from Trail’s End Beef).

When I walked in to Wild and Raw, the first thing they did was ask how they could help me.  I asked for advice, explaining that I could not have anything with dairy, gluten, soy, seeds or nuts (I forgot to mention nightshades)…  and they came up with a few recommendations.

They have a pretty extensive menu – lots of juices, lots of smoothies (that they call shakes), their “Euphoric Elixirs” (this category includes Bulletproof Coffee, Bone Broth and Veggie Broth among others), and even Kombucha “on-tap”.

But by this time, I had already decided that I was going to try the bone broth despite the fact that it contained “spices” (which almost certainly included nightshades).  And as I have never reacted to nightshade spices in the past, I decided to heck with it…  even if I am supposed to be doing an AIP-exclusion “reset”, I was still having that broth!

And let me tell you that broth was delicious!  Gingery, spicy, and you could just tell that it was doing you good!

I would recommend it to anyone unless they really do react to nightshade spices…

Wild and Raw is quite a small place – only half a dozen tables or so (I did not count them), and it had only been open less than 30 minutes when I walked in, so it was empty…  but after about 5 minutes Rachel, her husband Tyler, her 2 children and a friend all came in….

It was a really friendly place and I will most definitely be going back!

And I would recommend it to anyone, whether they are Paleo, AIP or whatever they eat.  This is a really nice place that has something for everyone.  (They even do a vegetarian broth for the non-meat-eaters…)

Next time, I want to try their Kombucha…

Music n Motion

C plays flute in the Calgary Roundup Band, and today they were performing at Music n Motion – an event produced by the Calgary Marching Show Band Association (CMSBA).

A fantastic picture of C playing her flute at the High River Little Britches Parade

A fantastic picture of C playing her flute at the High River Little Britches Parade

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There were 7 bands in total, and it was a really good show.

The Roundup Band’s performance was called “Believe” and was based on the music from Peter Pan, and was excellent.  There is a good reason why they are considered one of the best junior high marching bands and have won many awards.  This was the first time that the band had performed it in public.

C playing her flute

C playing her flute

C said she really enjoyed herself.

After the performance

After the performance

And luckily, the rain held off until after it was over.

She survived

She survived

 

Charcut Resturant – Calgary

Way back in early December last year I mentioned that Hubby and I visited Charcut for our wedding anniversary.  And I promised to do a post about our meal.

I apologise, but I completely forgot about that until I found the receipt in my bag yesterday!

So here is the post I promised, just a month or so too late…..

The pictures are not of the best quality, partly because they were taken using a cellphone, and partly because it was so dark in there (mood lighting taken to the extreme!).  But what the pictures lack in quality was more than made up for by the food, which was excellent.

Our reservation was not until fairly late – 8pm at night, but that was OK with us as we like to make a night of it when we go out, and if we start eating earlier, we finish early and then start wondering what to do next, which usually means we end up in a bar.  At least this way, we finished eating, came home and cracked open a second bottle of wine to enjoy.

We decided to get the bus downtown because parking is expensive and we intended to have a bottle of wine.  Hubby does not like to drive if he has had even one drink, so this was a good solution.  We arrived a little early, so we visited a bar close by and had a glass of red wine, then we walked to the restaurant.

The staff are always wonderful – Hubby had told them it was our wedding anniversary when he made the reservation, so as soon as we told them our name they wished us a “Happy Anniversary”.  They took our coats and hung them up in a closet, and then we were shown to our table, which was a 2 person one tucked out of the way.  Almost as soon as we had sat down, a server showed up and asked us whether we would like still or sparkling water (both of us opted for sparkling), and they brought us an amuse of “Italian Bar Snacks” (pork jerky that I attempted to recreate here)

We had one bottle of red wine, a red called B de E:

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The appetizers that we ordered were a portion of bone marrow (with added snails) each (I chose the gluten-free toast, hubby went with the regular):

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and a portion of warm olives to share:

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Take my advice, if you ever visit Charcut and have the bone marrow order one each.  One between 2 is really NOT enough!  You will only get a few spoonfuls of marrow and your brain will be saying “Give me MOARRRRR!” and there will be none left.

In fact, forget the “if” you order bone marrow, if you visit Charcut you simply MUST order the bone marrow!  At least one each!  It is delicious. Rich, fatty, savory and oh so satisfying.  Don’t worry if you are on the squeamish side, it isn’t gross at all…  I just tastes a bit like a meaty, fatty spread.  I was tempted to lick the cavity out of mine just so that I could get every last bit out, but I didn’t (manners and all that!)  I actually commented that perhaps next time we visit we should order 2 bone marrow each!  Seriously, it is THAT good….

We went with 2 different main courses:

I ordered a Butchers Steak (as rare as they could make it), which came with a chimichurri sauce, arugula and matchstick potato fries:

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It was absolutely beautifully rare as you can see….

Hubby ordered pork belly which came with aged cheddar grits:

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And we also got a side of red cabbage to share, which came in the most adorable little pot:

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Of course we tasted each others main course (I didn’t try the grits as I am allergic to cows milk cheese – Hubby said that they were really good though), but Hubby’s pork was delicious, and he agreed that my steak was wonderful.

The red cabbage was a bit “Meh” – not bad, just not as wonderful as the meat, but hey, it was very good red cabbage….

Seeing as they had a sheep’s milk cheese (which I can eat) on the menu,

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we then decided that we would go for a cheese course:

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This was served with some Buzz Honey, a relish, some toast (which I avoided) and some seeds.  It was wonderful.

Then we went for a dessert.

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Hubby had a blueberry cheesecake:

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and I chose the chocolate parfait:

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which was so rich that I could not eat more than a spoonful or two of it.

And we rounded the meal out with a coffee each.

Then it was a gentle walk to the bus-stop and we got the bus home, where we shared a second bottle of wine while watching some TV.

It was a wonderful evening, but I think it really should have been seeing that it cost us a whopping $221.55….

Having said that, despite the high price, it is always worth eating at Charcut – the food is always excellent, the service is wonderful, and we always end up enjoying ourselves immensely.

The food was wonderful as was the service.

If you are Paleo and want a good night out, this is the place to visit.  And even if you are not Paleo, but just enjoy eating good food (and don’t mind lots of meat), I would also recommend it.  The only people I would not recommend visiting this restaurant are vegetarians and vegans – seriously, there was only 1 thing on the menu a vegan could eat – the olives!

OK so our meal was not perfectly Paleo – Hubby had toast, we both had some sheep’s cheese, I had potatoes as a side with my main, and Hubby had those cheesy grits.  And the deserts we chose were not really Paleo either… but if you really wanted to make your meal strict Paleo I am sure you could talk to them and they would help you out.

I think if I had to give them a rating out of 10, I would probably say a good 8-9/10.

Paleo Chilli (in the slow cooker)

We have a busy night tonight…

Not only do I have to go to a band camp meeting at C’s school, C also has jazz band practice after school and then Roundup band practice after that (it coincides with the band-camp meeting), so I am going to the band-camp meet, and Hubby is taking C to the Roundup band practice, dropping her off and then coming over to join me at the meeting.  Then we will pick her up after.   Poor C is going to be exhausted!

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So I expect to be back late…  very late.  We seem to be on a run of late nights this week as there is just so much that needs to be sorted out right now.

Because C, Hubby and I won’t be back home to eat until at least 9:30, a slow-cooker meal seems ideal, especially if it is one that everyone can dip into as and when they want to eat.

So I made a paleo version of chilli in the slow-cooker.   The plan is to serve this with cauli “rice” that is already cooked and in the fridge, but it would be just as good by itself.  I am planning that those who do want the cauli “rice” can just nuke it in the microwave.

This is an AIP Stage 4 reintroduction recipe because it contains both tomatoes and chilli.  When reintroducing foods on the AIP, I recommend this guide.

Paleo Chilli (in the slow cooker)

serves 6-8

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2lb ground beef

1 onion – chopped

1 stick of celery – diced

2 carrots – diced

1 green pepper – diced

6oz mushrooms – sliced

2 cloves garlic – crushed

156ml/5.5 floz can of tomato puree

3 cups bone broth

1 cup of red wine (optional – replace it with more broth or water)

2 chipoltle chillies in adobo sauce

1 green jalapeno – seeded and chopped

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp chilli powder

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp oregano

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

This is simple to make – throw everything in the slow cooker, mix it up, put on the lid and turn it on.

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Cook on low for as long as you need, at least 8 hours, but it can sit for a lot longer if needed.

I know a lot of slow-cooker chilli recipes say to brown the meat first, but I don’t bother.

Serve hot either by itself in bowls or with cauliflower “rice”

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Now that the recipe is done, back to the Roundup Band….

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C has just been accepted to join this, and we are very proud of her.  It is a Junior High marching band based in Calgary, and is one of the best junior high marching bands in Canada (and I suspect North America too).  Last year in 2012, they were a gold medal junior band at the World Association of Marching Show Bands competition in Calgary.  They play, not only in Calgary (they are featured at the Calgary Stampede and the Stampede parade amongst other things), but throughout Canada and even internationally.

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This makes it the third band that C is a member of as she also plays with her Junior High Concert Band and Jazz Band.

So now you see why we are so proud of C!

BTW we got home at around 9:45 and C said she was mentally tired and her feet hurt but she felt fine….  and that it was good fun 🙂

She has a band-camp for roundup band at the weekend too which came as a bit of a shock for us…

Hiking Up Baldy Pass

Yesterday, I mentioned in a post that we had gone hiking…..We decided to go to Kananaskis Country, the place where we do most of our hiking.  A didn’t want to come with us this time, she stayed at home with the dog and cooked dinner (a ham from the pastured half pig that we picked up at the farmers market yesterday).

In the car park, waiting to go hiking

In the car park, waiting to go hiking

The hike that we decided to do this time was Baldy Pass, a fairly easy, 8km hike, with about 570m elevation gain,  that usually takes no more than 4 hours.

Baldy_Map

After leaving the car-park, which is on the east side of Highway 40, aprox 1km beyond the southern end of Barrier Lakes, you cross the road to find the trail head.

Baldy pass viewed from the car park

Baldy pass viewed from the car park

Initially, you are walking along a fairly good path through a wooded area.

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There were quite a few flowers in this area despite the lateness of the season, although some of the leaves on the bushes were starting to change colour (the trees were mostly conifers):

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Baldypassflower2

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Eventually, you come to a junction in the path, and you turn left, passing a signpost:

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This path is not as good the first, it is rutted and has a surprising number of sinkholes – the result of the dramatic flooding that Southern Alberta suffered in July of this year…  Kananaskis was badly hit, and there are still some roads and campsites that are closed.

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Eventually, this path gives way to what was a scree/dried up river bed – lots of gravel, lots of stones and rocks.  It is pretty hard going at this point – good footwear is needed (although Hubby and I were wearing our Vibram five fingers and they stood up to this terrain very well!)\

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Here too were signs of the recent flooding.  The following picture shows what it looked like before the flooding:

Image from hikingwithbarry.com

Image from hikingwithbarry.com

And this is what it looked like after the flooding:

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You can clearly see where the flood waters gouged out a new river bed, creating deep gulleys.

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The following picture shows the remains of the path that has been destroyed by the floods:

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Despite the damage, it is still passable.  My recommendation is that you stick to the left hand side as much as possible on the ascent in this section (and stick to the right hand side on the descent) as for most of the way there is a fairly usable path.  But despite this, this section is the worst part of the entire trip.

Eventually, you come to a small inuksuk that forms a marker where the trail leaves this section and heads back into the woods.

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Hubby stopped at this point and took the following panoramic view looking back down the valley:

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In this wooded area, the trail is very much steeper than the first section, with lots of tree roots and rocks in the path.  It became quite hard going at times.

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This wooded area is much damper than the one down below and it is far more shady.  There were very few flowers and even a few mushrooms/toadstools growing by the path:

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And eventually, you come to the top of the pass, where there is a small cairn:

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The view from the top looking back the way we had come:

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The gaps in the trees you can see in that photograph are the ski runs for the Nakiska ski resort.

This is the view looking the other way:

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Hubby took a picture of me at the top – the problem with being the one behind the camera is that there are never any photographs of you!

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But I did manage to get pics of Hubby and the girls:

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Thee return trip was pretty much retracing your steps – it was much easier and faster going down however…

And by the time we got to the car, we were more than grateful for the homemade energy bars that I had brought along!

Flooding

Calgary has been hit hard by flooding.  Up to 75 000 people have been evacuated from 25 different communities, downtown is mostly underwater and everything is just a mess.  All schools are closed, they are advising everyone to stay home and lots of roads are closed.  Even the Saddledome is flooded up to the 10th level.

Luckily I live on a hill way away from the river so my family and home is safe.  But the pictures are really incredible.

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It isn’t just Calgary that is affected though – High River has been mostly destroyed, Canmore, Banff, Red Deer, Okotoks, Bragg Creek and several other towns around Calgary are also affected.