{Carnival Eats, Mango Avocado Dill Salsa, Dark Chocolate Macadamia Cranberry Cookies and a Stampede Detox in the Mountains}

The smell of mini donuts, the wailing sound of the siren from the midway and the bounty of cowboy hats in the city can only mean one thing..the annual Calgary Stampede is upon us once again. This year being particularly special because it’s the centennial of this famed 10 day event.

On Friday after work, me and the boy headed down to the grounds for our once a year “carnival food binge”. Indulging in some old favourites..

Gooey and piping hot deep-fried jalapeno cheese sticks with a side of spicy ranch sauce..

Big T’s pulled pork parfait layered with tender shreds of meat, thick gravy and a cloud of mashed potatoes..

An ear of sweet and juicy roasted cornsans butter..

Our unanimous favourite, the German bratwurst from the Sausage Haus topped with a mound of sauerkraut, fried onions and dijon mustard..

We sampled one of the new additions this year…The beef bacon sandwich served BLT style (also available as a wrap or if you’re feeling extra carnivorous – 8 greasy strips served in a cup).

Other unpictured eats:

  • Sugar Creek sweet and salty kettlecorn
  • Mango smoothie with green tea
  • Vanilla cream filled mini cakes
We didn’t manage to eat as much as last year, but still left pretty stuffed...Until next year..
On Saturday morning, I was faced with the challenge of making an appetizer for a birthday get together with what I had on hand and little time. I dug into the fridge and came up with this refreshing mango avocado salsa with fresh dill served alongside bite size tortilla chips.
Made with 2 ripe and super sweet ataulfo mangos, 2 avocados, 1/2 cucumber, couple handfuls of cherry tomatoes, handful of fresh dill and lots of fresh lime juice, salt and pepper. Super simple and super tasty. A nice healthy alternative to those creamy mayo filled dips.
For dessert, I browsed through the pantry and came out with container of macadamia nuts, dried cranberries and an oversize bar of Lindt dark chocolate..The perfect add-ins for a brown butter cookie base..
Two bite cookies with a crisp golden exterior and a chewy molten chocolate inside. Feel free to sub in your favourite combination of nuts and dried fruit.
Dark chocolate macadamia cranberry cookies
(makes two dozen small cookies) Inspired by Joy the Baker
  • 1/2 cup butter (NO margarine please)
  • 1 cup packed golden brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons almond milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon aluminum free baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped macadamia nuts
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup chopped dark chocolate

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  In a medium saucepan melt the butter, swirling and stirring the butter until nicely browned bits appear in the bottom of the pan.  This may take about 5-7 minutes.  Once the butter is browned, remove pan from heat and set aside to cool a bit while you measure out the dry ingredients and set them aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer add the brown sugar and slightly cooled butter.  Beat on medium speed for about 2 minutes.  Add egg and beat for one minute more.  Add milk and vanilla extract and beat to incorporate.

Turn the mixer off, scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the dry ingredients all at once.  With either the stand mixer on low, or by hand with a spatula, incorporate the dry ingredients until just mixed in.  Fold in the chopped nuts, cranberries and chocolate.

Scoop two teaspoon sized balls onto a lined baking sheet (I used a medium sized cookie scoop).  Bake for 9-12 minutes or until cookies are deliciously golden.  Remove from oven and let rest of the baking sheet for 3 minutes before removing to a cooling rack.

*You can also freeze the dough balls to enjoy on a later day. Bake from frozen for 12 minutes until golden around the edges.


We hung out on the patio in the sunshine nibbling on snacks while sipping on ice cold beer and later drove out to the river to play catch with the dogs as they cooled off in the water.
On Sunday, I woke up early to get in a quick 8km run (it was already 29 degrees celsius by 9am – I thought I was gonna melt on the pavement!). Then around noon, me and the boy escaped the Stampede madness in the city in favour of a peaceful and serene 14.5km hike through the picturesque Peter Lougheed Provincial Park in Kananaskis
The perfect end to a fun-filled weekend.
2 Responses to “{Carnival Eats, Mango Avocado Dill Salsa, Dark Chocolate Macadamia Cranberry Cookies and a Stampede Detox in the Mountains}”
  1. alfie6 says:

    Wow, I am so in love with your photography – beautiful stuff! And that cookie recipe is bookmarked. Yum!

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