{Recipe: Melissa’s race recap, a Fresh Fig and Brie Tart and a GIVEAWAY!}

Happy Thanksgiving weekend all!

Remember when I said I would get back to my regular blog schedule in the Fall..yea

The past few weeks have been craziness! The combination of training for my full marathon and taking on more freelance work has left me stressed out and drained. A typical day for me has consisted of waking up, working a full day at my design job, going to the gym for 1-2 hours, then coming home and grabbing whatever is in sight, scarf it down and working another 4-5 hours on the computer till I can’t keep my eyelids open anymore. Drag myself to bed..repeat…repeat…repeat.

Needless to say, blogging has been pretty unappealing after spending the majority of my day sitting in front of the glow the monitor. Sorry all. I love all you readers and I promise lots of pics of our yummy eats from our trip to San Francisco (which is only a week away! woo hoo!)

And to show you how much I appreciate you all, I’m doing a GIVEAWAY!

TWO TICKETS to Swirl, Sip and Savour at the 14th annual Rocky Mountain Wine and Food Festival on October 14th (4pm-10pm). This includes complimentary access to the Grand Tasting Hall at Stampede Park’s BMO Centre where you can enjoy culinary creations, premium beer and spirits and world class wines. (Prize worth $54-$60)

Some unique hightlights:

  • Flavoured fruit sakes such as a Takara Hana white peach sake;
  • Dessert inspired vodkas from Pinnacle including cookie dough, cake and whipped chocolate
  • Spice infused beers including a Mexican chilli beer
  • Braised pork belly served with an orange gastrique glaze and orange fennel slaw from the Newport Grill on Lake Bonavista;
  • Ancho chili rubbed albacore tuna, topped with a chipotle gastrique, served with rocket frisee salad and avocado mousse from Spur Gastropub; and
  • Lobster corn dog, tempura style lobster served with a lime aioli courtesy of UBU Lounge
Note: Does not include festival sampling coupons.

All you have to do is let me know “What are your plans for Thanksgiving?”, leave a comment below and on Monday I’ll randomly draw a winner!

So what have I been up to lately…

I ran my third race of the year..Melissa’s 22km road race in beautiful Banff..

The race had an 11am start and the sun was up in full force getting up to almost 29! (Thank goodness I’ve been training all summer in the heat). Some of my running friends were hit hard by the high temperatures.

This is my third year in a row racing this course..Luckily we have all this gorgeous scenery to distract us from our fatigue and heavy breathing.

I was on the fence about whether I would race this one since I’ve been dealing with a painful knee injury (IT band syndrome) for the past month. About 9km into the race, the pain hit me and I was seriously contemplating disqualifying myself. On top of that, my anti-inflammatory medication was making my stomach upset which turned into crippling cramps starting at 3km all the way to the end. Yea…it was not my day.

BUT, I dug deep and somehow mustered up the will power and determination to finish (and in a pretty decent time too), only a couple of minutes slower than my PR. Not too shab since I felt like I took a bazillion walk breaks. Big thanks to the runner on the course that gave me the encouragement I needed in the last few km 🙂

And that picture below? That is the race course photo of me as I’m sprinting to the finish line. And that tendon jutting out of my thigh is what’s causing my knee pain..yowch…

The best part of the race for me? Being DONE!

All smiles here!

Me taking a picture of a person taking a picture..

My reward? A yummy post race brunch at one of favourite eateries in Banff, The Maple Leaf Grille.

The boy enjoyed his go-to dish: The signature Maple Leaf Benedict with split grilled buffalo whiskey sausage, spinach and side of maple baked beans.

I had their Candied Salmon Salad served on a bed of lightly dressed spinach greens. Salmon is loaded with Omega 3’s and protein to help reduce inflammation and help speed repair of muscles.

Something I look forward to this time of year..FRESH FIGS!

I’ve been gobbling these plump jewel-toned bulbs of goodness by the dozen. They are high in fiber (fills you up), potassium (helps control electrolyte levels in runners), calcium (good for bones) and vitamin B6 (supports the nervous system).

Here is a quick and elegant way to showcase these beauties. If you’re like me, it’s the perfect solution when you’ve bought a HUGE flat of these and need to find a way to use them up before they go bad.

I present to you this fig, brie and bacon puff pastry tart.

No need for a recipe, it’s THAT easy. Just defrost a sheet of frozen butter puff pastry on the counter (or if you’re a keener, you can make your own). Unroll the dough and spread a layer of homemade bacon jam across the surface leaving about an inch border on the outside. Don’t have bacon jam? Well what are you waiting for? Here’s the recipe.

Neatly place the quartered figs in rows and sprinkle chunks of creamy goat’s brie all over the top. Fold in the edges and brush with an egg wash. Bake at 400F for about 20 minutes till the edges are golden brown and voila!

Finish it off with a pinch of freshly chopped rosemary. Serve this alongside a mound of lightly dressed arugula with petals of proscuitto and a glass of refreshing crisp white wine and dinner is served.

The sugar in the figs caramelize in the oven and combine with the gooey melty brie for an utterly tasty combo.

Are you hungry yet?

Cause I sure am..

Other eats I’m lovin’ lately.

The addictively refreshing carrot apple ginger juice at THE BEST vegetarian spot in town, The Coup. I instantly feel 100% healthier and energized when I have this.

And my favourite lunch here, their smoked tofu, roasted red pepper and sheep’s feta panini with a side of greens with maple balsamic vinaigrette.

Dinners have consisted of “whatever is in the fridge” salads enjoyed in the biggest bowl I own. This one included:

  • chickpeas
  • double smoked bacon (from Creston)
  • shredded beets and carrots
  • crumbled feta
  • cherry tomatoes
  • fresh corn off the cob
  • hemp hearts
  • red oak lettuce
I whip up a quick batch of vinaigrette on Sunday (this is my fave) which I store in a mason jar in the fridge with enough to get me through a week worth of salads. To save time, I cut all the veggies ahead of time and store them in airtight containers so I can come home, throw it all together and scarf it down.

Talk to you guys soon! Bon appetit!

8 Responses to “{Recipe: Melissa’s race recap, a Fresh Fig and Brie Tart and a GIVEAWAY!}”
  1. That fig tart looks incredible. I always think figs look so enticing and striking.

  2. Jen says:

    You should come see the physios at the Running Injury Clinic at U of C, we see lots of ppl with ITB pain. As for Thanksgiving, making my first turkey this year which is exciting but scary…hopefully dinner does not end up being turkey sandwiches from Lazy Loaf!

  3. I don’t know how you fit it all in! I would love to the Rocky Mountain Wine and Food Festival!! We just moved here in the spring and are loving trying out all the new food! Thanksgiving will be quiet for us but will include a ham and fresh squash from the market…mostly so that J can make his fabulous pea soup with the ham bone tomorrow – now THAT will be yummy!! Cheers!

  4. tri says:

    I am going to sit around all day and eat as much as I can

  5. Matt says:

    Jen I like wine and food…

    That is all.

  6. That fig tart looks fantastic! For Thanksgiving, I cooked turkey dinner with all the fixings for a bunch of other students who, like me, didn’t make the trek back home for the long weekend. Great food, great friends, it doesn’t get much better than that! Also congrats on the race!

    • Natalie says:

      I wasn’t able to make it home for Thanksgiving this year so I ended up making pasta using your homemade basil recipe (which is so tasty) and, tomato and white bean toasts. For dessert I made carrot and quinoa muffins. Not you typical Thanksgiving feast, but it turned out to be an awesome meal.
      I went to San Francisco this past summer and the food was phenomenal…hope you have a great trip!

  7. Katelyn says:

    Congrats on Melissa’s! I was also there! Such an amazing day! For thanksgiving, I opt for a less traditional, turkey dinner. Wild Coho Salmon! So delicious on the BBQ with quinoa stuffed acorn squash and a pumpkin cacao brownie for desert topped with cashew cream! Lived in Calgary for 10 years and never been to the Rocky Mountain Food and Wine Festival, but have heard such great things. Have a lovely Thanksgiving, it’s a beauty fall day in Calgary.

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