What I’m Into September 2016


So September is over and I’m taking a break from looking at my to-do list for the term and panicking to share a few things that I’ve been into this month. I am, as usual, linking up with Leigh Kramer.


After months on the waiting list, I finally got to borrow Eligible from the public library. I enjoyed it a lot (and I particularly thought it was ingenious to break Wickham into two characters), though I do think the casual sex detracts from the Austen-ness of it all to be honest. I also read and loved Alexandra Bracken’s Passenger, and highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys time travel fiction. I’d completely forgotten until this month to borrow the last book in Keira Cass’ selection series, and I totally called Eadlyn’s final choice. It’s not a particularly deep read, but it’s fun. And finally this month I read through Jojo Moyes’ One Plus One when I was fighting a cold and needed a break from work. I suspect if I knew more math it would have driven me crazy, but it was a nice light read. This coming month, I’m hoping it might finally be my turn to get my hands on Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies and I can’t wait.


I’ve been in search of a new show to watch while cross-stitching and, now that I’ve exhausted Netflix’s better offerings, Scrubs mostly does the trick. I’m super over the idea of serial sexual harassment being played for humour, though, so I’m hoping we’re not stuck with Todd for the entirety of the show. I’ve also started watching through Black-ish and I’m really enjoying it. Diane is my favourite. Finally, I decided to try following This Is Us in hopes that it might fill the void Parenthood left. So far I’m loving Randall’s arc, but deeply unhappy with Kate. It would be nice if there could be more layers to her character besides “fat and unhappy about it.” Like, we haven’t even learned what she does for a job yet, or whether she has any friends she hasn’t met through Overeaters Anonymous. I’ll keep giving the show a chance for now, but I’m really hoping it gets better.


All Great Big Sea, all the time lately. I don’t know if I’m feeling homesick for the East Coast or just like the catchy tunes, but I’ve listened to literally nothing else since we heard some buskers in Stratford play The Night that Paddy Murphy died.


When I got back from Europe in early September it was ridiculously hot, so I had to get creative with my dessert experimentation. I decided to give panna cotta a try (topped with a cinnamon plum compote). It was super easy! I have yet to try dairy-free panna cotta made with coconut milk, but I think that might work quite nicely also.


I also took advantage of the fact that concord grapes have started arriving in store to try making this amazing concord grape cornbread with rosemary whipped cream, and it did not disappoint.


As usual, you can see all my favourite recipes of the month on my monthly What I’m Into Pinterest board.


September has been a month of transitions for us. Our church went through a very difficult leadership change earlier in the year, and over the summer we came to the realization that even though we love the people, we were not sufficiently on the same page with the remaining leadership to serve effectively, and so we made the difficult but necessary decision to leave. Which means that we’re now in full church hunt mode, trying to find a place where we can fit well and serve well. It’s a bit of a challenge. I was already an odd duck for an evangelical four years ago when we moved here, and my theology has liberalized a fair bit since then. We’ll probably spend most of the fall trying out churches in the area. We’re committed to maintaining our friendships from our old church, though, and they seem to be weathering the transition fairly well.

September has also been a month of trying new things for me. I tried sushi for the first time, went to my first ceilidh (Irish dance gathering), attended my first paint night (where an artist walks you through making a painting step by step), and tried my hand at a new embroidery technique called bargello thanks to a free workshop at the public library. I’m trying to be a bit more adventurous with my free time, and I’m enjoying it so far.

That’s it for me for the month, be sure to check out some of the other link-up contributions over on Leigh’s blog.

What I’m Into August 2016


Greetings from Strasbourg! August has been another jet-setting month for the Mosses. I had a conference in Bruges that overlapped with our 5th (!) wedding anniversary, so I decided to bring Aaron along and turn it into a bit of a European vacation. I’m linking up with Leigh Kramer to share a European-themed list of things I’ve been into this month.


One of the reasons I got into this link-up in the first place was for the book recommendations. Leigh always has such great book suggestions, and many of the other contributors do too. This month I read two books that I heard about from July link-up contributions. Sarah Prineas’ Ash and Bramble was so good–definitely a welcome addition to the redone fairy tales cannon. And as a book lover I enjoyed the suspense and book nerdery in Rachel Caine’s Ink and Bone, even though the premise was a little outlandish at times. I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for both sequels. I also read and enjoyed Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, especially the relationship between Hermione and Ron and between Albus and Scorpius.


I watched Florence Foster Jenkins in theatres this month, and I don’t think I’ve laughed that hard all year. And yet I also teared up in other spots. If hearing Meryl Streep purposely butcher opera music is your thing (it’s definitely mine) I highly recommend it. Also, am I the only person raised on Veggietales who feels compelled to end every movie review with “I laughed, I cried, it moved me Bob.”


The Florence Foster Jenkins soundtrack, obviously (apologies to everyone I annoyed on the train with my muffled laughter). I’m also anxiously awaiting the release of All Sons and Daughters’ Poets and Saints and enjoying the songs they’ve pre-released on iTunes.


The first week and a bit of August was spent making as many lovely peach things as I could before we went away on vacation. My favourites were this Peach, Mozzarella, and Basil Salad (I made it with panela cheese, because North American grocery store fresh mozzarella is, let’s face it, not usually awesome) and I think I literally gasped when I tried the goat-cheese stuffed prosciutto-wrapped peaches that top this salad. They would definitely work as an appetizer as well. I even managed to find a few late-season Ontario strawberries and turn them into these absolutely amazing Strawberry, Lime, and Black Pepper Popsicles. I know it sounds weird, but trust me when I say they are phenomenal (and also vegan and gluten-free, so a great dessert recipe to have in your back pocket. I bet you could turn it into a granita or sorbet as well.)

Moreover, being on vacation in Europe means getting to eat out a lot more than we normally would. I have made it my mission to personally seek out the best gelato spots in Europe, and, while nothing can rival gelateria Fatamorgana in Rome, I absolutely loved Oyya in Bruges and Toscani Eiscafe in Essen. Also, if you’re a fan of sundaes, you absolutely have to make it to a European ice cream cafe. The variations with toppings, sauces, etc. are unreal. Also in the vein of amazing cafes, I discovered a hot chocolate cafe in Berlin called Nibs Cacao and their strawberry hot chocolate was basically the first thing ever. I’ve also discovered that the best way to get me to go to a restaurant is to advertise spaetzle (a German side dish, sort of between noodles and dumplings). The two best restaurant meals I’ve had here have been spaetzle based: pork chops and spaetzle with bacon chanterelle cream sauce at Repke Spaetzlerei in Berlin and spaetzle and roast duck with a Pinot Noir at La Corde a Linge in Strasbourg. I’ll be glad to be back in my own kitchen, but I’ve enjoyed getting some new food ideas here.


My tourism magnet collection has grown again. This time around, I properly visited Belgium for the first time (not counting a layover in the Brussels airport). I had a three day conference in Bruges, which kicked off this whole trip. Bruges is just lovely, a city of old buildings and canals. I played hooky for most of the last day of the conference so Aaron and I could explore the city a bit and celebrate our anniversary.


We also added no fewer than three European capitals. We spent a rainy afternoon in Brussels touring the royal palace, the cathedral, and the city museum. I was pretty amazed by the sheer amount of chandeliers. We spent an afternoon walking around the main Berlin sights and then a whole day on museum island, which has some truly stunning exhibits. The Bode Museum and the Pergamon Museum in particular are definitely worth a visit. This is an actual wall from an Umayyad palace, nbd.


And finally we spent an afternoon in Amsterdam, which I didn’t love, mostly because we didn’t really make it out of the red light district. But I’ll be staying at a hotel in a different part of Amsterdam before I fly home, so I’ll explore some more then. Also, Amsterdam was where I got my first ever misspelled Starbucks cup, which I’m ridiculously excited about.


That’s my August in a nutshell. Be sure to check out Leigh’s blog to find out what other people have been into.

What I’m Into July 2016


Happy civic holiday, folks. July has wrapped up and, mercifully, the last few days haven’t been so hot that I felt like I might die. I was even able to use my oven! I am once again linking up with Leigh Kramer to share some of what I’ve been into this month.


I devoured Jessica Khoury’s The Forbidden Wish in one sitting. It was a stunning take on Aladdin. If you’ve been following my WII posts for awhile, you know I’m a sucker for redone fairy tales, and I’m pretty sure this one cracks my top 10. Definitely recommended.


I caught The BFG with my sister in theatres earlier this month, and thought it was delightful. My other movie of the month, Christian Mingle: The Movie, was much less delightful, but I fully expected that and just wanted something to hate-watch. It did not disappoint on that score.

TV-wise, I’ve been catching up on this season of UnREAL, and it’s so much darker than anything I’m used to. Simultaneously fascinating and terrifying. Rachel’s character in particular scares me because of how she convinces herself that all the manipulation and awfulness is really for the greater good. My husband and I also watched through all three seasons of Silicon Valley (I enjoyed it, but also found it painful to watch at times, because so many of their problems could have been very easily avoided with just slightly more social or business competence). We then started on Veep (amusing, but I miss the optimism of The West Wing) and the new season of Orphan Black.


My sister introduced me to I Am They and I’ve really been enjoying their music. It’s something between Rend Collective and All Sons and Daughters.


Peach season has officially started! I celebrated by making this grilled peach and bacon salad with buttermilk dressing.


I also made and loved this pavlova for my husband’s birthday. The lemon curd folded into the whipped cream took it over the top. Or, if you’re looking for a healthier summer dessert (and gluten and dairy free), these chocolate-covered kiwi popsicles were pretty adorable. On the side dish front, these green beans with frizzled prosciutto and gouda (I used smoked gouda) were stunning. As usual, you can find all my favourite recipes of the month on my monthly What I’m Into Pinterest board.

That’s it for me for the month. Be sure to head over to Leigh’s blog for more link-up contributions.

No Churn Basil, Honey, and Walnut Ice Cream

Last year, my sister and I visited Rome and I fell in love with a small local gelato chain called Gelateria Fatamorgana where I had hands down the best ice cream I have ever eaten in my life. They had such a wide array of mouthwatering flavours that it was hard to try everything that looked good. One surprisingly delicious flavour was a basil, walnut, and honey gelato, which I raved about to anyone who would listen for months.

This year, I (like many others on the Internet, apparently) have been obsessed with this no-churn ice cream recipe. It’s the easiest thing in the whole world: whip two cups of cream, fold in a can of sweetened condensed milk, add desired flavourings, freeze. I’ve made 8 or 9 variations on it already. It’s no Fatamorgana gelato, but it did give me the opportunity to recapture some of that delicious flavour in an easy to make at home way. I made this while out at the cottage with some friends, so I didn’t have time to stage any fancy photographs, but I assure you it’s delicious.

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To make this ice cream, you’ll need:

  • 2 cups cold whipping cream
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup packed basil leaves
  • 1/3 cup chopped toasted walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons honey

Whip the cream in a mixing bowl. Meanwhile, in a blender or food processor, process the basil, walnuts, and honey into a paste. (I threw mine into my Nutri-bullet with the condensed milk). Fold the condensed milk and the basil mixture into the cream. Freeze until set (7-8 hours) and enjoy!

What I’m Into June 2016


Happy Canada Day! I’m sitting here wondering where June went and trying not to think about all that I still need to get done this summer. As usual I am linking up with Leigh Kramer to share some of what I’ve been into this month.


This month I had a chance to catch up on new installments in a few different YA series I’d been following. Victoria Aveyard’s The Glass Crown was as gripping as The Red Queen, and I look forward to seeing how she’ll finish up the series. I also mostly enjoyed Morning Star, the conclusion to Pierce Brown’s Red Rising trilogy. The whole trilogy was rather darker than I tend to like, but I suppose that’s par for the course when you’re essentially trying to recreate Roman history, but with deadlier technology.

Non-fiction wise, I read and sobbed my way through the entirety of Rachel Held Evans’ Searching for Sunday. This book sat on my shelf for far longer than it probably should have, but I definitely pulled it out at the exact right time. I was a whole lot more optimistic about the whole church thing when the book just came out, but now I’m feeling pretty burned out and discouraged about the whole thing and need to be reminded why it’s still worth it. I’m so grateful for people like RHE who are willing to wrestle with their faith and their relationship with the church publicly. I’m sure it’s a difficult thing to do, but it makes me feel so much less alone in all of this. Also, her husband Dan reminds me a whole lot of my husband Aaron, and I’m so grateful to have him as a partner as we work out our faith together.


I’ve been keeping up with the usual shows (though the Mindy Project is starting to get a little tedious, tbh. I’m sort of over all the “Mindy annoys her coworker until he falls in love with her” arcs). I’ve also started watching Silicon Valley with Aaron (painful to watch, but also hilarious, and I definitely like Jared better in this than as Gabe in The Office). On my own, I’ve started watching through The Fosters (the amount of angst I feel when I see fictional teenagers making dumb decisions makes me never want to be a parent, ever). I especially like the way they handled the arc with Stef and her conservative evangelical father.


All Sleeping At Last, all the time, basically. Seriously, how hauntingly beautiful is this song?

Or this one?

And he does covers!


This month, I had the good fortune to stumble across a stupidly easy no churn ice cream recipe, so I’ve been experimenting with endless variations: nutella toffee and hazelnut, rhubarb ginger swirl, salted caramel pretzel, M&M cookie dough, etc. Next on my list is a strawberry balsamic swirl. I’m lucky to have so many people in my life who are willing to eat the food I foist on them. Also in the frozen dessert category, this dairy free chocolate ice cream is even better than normal chocolate ice cream if you have an ice cream maker (though I multiplied the sugar by 1.5 and I wouldn’t use any less) and these chocolate covered frozen banana slices were so easy and to die for.

I’ve also been loving all the affordable berries that have been starting to filter into the stores (yay summer cooking), and I’ve been using them in everything: salads, meat dishes, desserts. I’m particularly proud of this blackberry cardamom pavlova:


As usual, you can find my favourite recipes of the month on my monthly What I’m Into Pinterest board.

That’s it for me for the month. Be sure to head over to Leigh’s site for more link-up contributions.

What I’m Into May 2016


How is May over already? It’s been a whirlwind of a month, spent catching up with friends and family in Ontario and New Brunswick after being out of the country for three months. Once again, I’m linking up with Leigh Kramer to talk about what I’ve been into this month.


Now that I’m back in Canada, Aaron and I have resumed our watch-through of The Office. I’ve been loving it, though we’ve now reached the end of Steve Carrell’s time on the show, so I’m a bit apprehensive about the last two seasons. I also watched through the most recent season of Grace and Frankie (Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda are amazing!). And of course, I’ve been keeping up with the usual tv shows. I have all the feels about that Jane the Virgin finale! (loved most of it, unimpressed with the twist at the end).


Aaron and I went to see Anything Goes in St. Jacob’s earlier this month, and the soundtrack has been a staple in our house since. I’ve also been listening to and loving the soundtrack to Shrek the Musical. Basically, my show tunes phase continues apace.


Much as I’ll miss the easy access to good and affordable cheese in France, I’m enjoying being back in my own kitchen with my own kitchen gear. Though I realize it’s horrifically un-seasonal, I ended up on a bit of a pumpkin kick this month. I opened a can of pumpkin to make this lovely chocolate pumpkin layer cake with browned butter frosting and needed to find creative ways to use up the rest of the can (many of which you can find on my monthly What I’m Into Pinterest board). I’m particularly proud of these pumpkin spice latte cupcakes.


That’s it for me for the month. Be sure to check out some of the other link-up contributions on Leigh’s blog.

What I’m Into April 2015


I know we’re a quarter of the way into May by now, but I’m back in Canada and finally mostly over jet lag so I’m linking up with Leigh Kramer to talk about what I’ve been into this past month.


I didn’t read a ton this month, but I did devour In The Labyrinth of Drakes, the latest installment in the the Memoirs of Lady Trent series by Marie Brennan. I’m pretty sure I’ve gushed about this series in this link-up before, but it is just wonderful. It’s a great mash-up of Victorian-ish fiction (simulated non-fiction, really) and fantasy with a delightful protagonist.


I’ve been finishing up a cross-stitch this month, so I got a lot of TV watching in. After I finished my Friends watch-through (it’s honestly hard to root for Rachel and Ross when they’re both such awful, petty people, but I was happy for Chandler and Monica), I watched through Freaks and Geeks, Outlander (having my cross-stitch on hand to mask my computer screen came in handy sometimes tbh, but I’m just mesmerized by the storyline. Falling through a time tunnel without my husband is my worst fictional nightmare.) and the second season of Agent Carter. I’ve also been keeping up with the usual shows: Jane the Virgin, Once Upon a Time, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, etc. I even got to catch up on some movies I’d been meaning to watch on the flight home: Spotlight, The Lady in the Van (Maggie Smith forever and ever, amen), and Joy (mostly okay movie, but I thought making Joy’s dead grandmother the narrator was a bit of an odd move).


I managed to really take advantage of weekend travel opportunities during my last month in Europe. My travel magnet collection is this close to taking up my entire freezer door now, which is exciting.


I made it over to Germany twice in the month to visit family (once to see my aunt, uncle, and cousins, and once to go to a family reunion) and I went down to Lyon once to visit the family my sister au-paired for last year. It was lovely to spend time around families with younger children–it was definitely something I missed about my home church while I was away. I also got to see some new to me cities. One my way back to France from Germany, I took a detour to spend a few hours in Aachen, the city of Charlemagne. I am a terrible photographer who couldn’t do it justice, but Charlemagne’s chapel was just breathtaking.

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Also, I took an impromptu day trip to the city of Metz (pronounced Mess, apparently) in Lorraine and it was lovely!

Finally, I took advantage of Strasbourg’s proximity to Luxembourg to visit a whole new country (I did once spend half an hour in the Luxembourg train station, but I feel like that doesn’t quite count). It was beautiful, if a little more hilly than I expected. The views definitely made up for that though.

That’s it for me for the month. Be sure to head over to Leigh’s blog and check out some of the other link-up contributions.

What I’m Into March 2016

I’m a bit late joining in on Leigh’s link-up this month because I was over in Germany visiting family for the weekend, but as usual I’m linking up to talk about some of what I’ve been into this month.


The number one thing I’ve been into this month is getting to spend half of it with my husband! It’s been hard being apart, and it was good to be with him here and show him around Strasbourg. He left last Thursday, and I’m looking forward to being back with him for good when I head back home at the end of this month. I also got to see more family this month. My aunt, uncle, and cousin visited me in Strasbourg, Aaron and I visited my cousin and his partner in Strasbourg, and then this past weekend I got to visit another aunt and uncle and cousins. It’s been great to get to know my family on this side of the Atlantic better.


I got to add a whole new country to my list this month. I was able to travel to Austria, specifically Vienna and Salzburg. Both were lovely, but I especially enjoyed Salzburg. It was hard, but I was able to restrain myself from singing the Sound of Music soundtrack.

Seriously, how about those mountains? Insert obligatory The Hills Are Alive Joke here.

And of course I had to have schnitzel in Vienna. Austrian cooking definitely has my preferred meat to non-meat ratio.

Speaking of amazing food, I also had the chance to visit Munich and Ingolstadt this month, and Bavarian cuisine is officially one of my favourites.

Also, for my 25th (!) birthday, Aaron and I spent a quick day in London. We got to see In The Heights at the Kings’ Cross Theatre, and it was phenomenal. I just found out today that the play won two well-deserved Olivier awards for choreography and best supporting actor (David Bedella as Kevin Rosario). Since we flew out of Basel, we also took the chance to explore the downtown core of that city and look at the cathedral.

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I’m building a great mini collection of fridge magnets here to add to my full collection when I get home. I’m unreasonably upset about forgetting to pick one up in Ingolstadt though.


Surprisingly little other than watching my way through Friends. I’m halfway through season 10 now.

I also had the privilege of listening to this conversation between Julie Rodgers and Wesley Hill at City Church San Francisco on moral disagreement in the light of the cross. If you’ve got an hour and a half and care about loving the LGBT people in your church well please do listen to what they have to say.

That’s it for me for the month, please do head over to Leigh’s blog and check out some of the other contributions.

What I’m Into February 2016


Hello from France! I am once again linking up with Leigh Kramer to share some of what I’ve been into this month.


Not much by way of books, unfortunately, due to luggage constraints. I did read some fun light YA fiction on Kindle, though: Amy Bartol’s Kricket series and Aya Ling’s The Ugly Stepsister. Neither was particularly stunning, but both were diverting enough train ride reads.


I have spent nearly every evening watching Netflix and cross stitching, so a lot. The Netflix selection in France is somewhat limited, so I ended up doing something I vowed I would never do: binge-watching Friends. I’m now on season 4, and it’s fun enough, though I actually really don’t like Ross and Rachel as a couple (mostly, I really don’t like Ross). I also keep watching for hints of the Chandler/Monica thing, which I know is going to happen eventually, but so far I’m not seeing the writers moving in that direction.

I’m also catching up on a bunch of currently airing television, and my favourites are Jane the Virgin and Superstore (which I just started watching and it is brilliant).


This French worship song (a riff on Psalm 23) is my new fave right now.


I’ve taken advantage of my location on this side of the Atlantic to make quite a few weekend trips. So far, I’ve hit up Augsburg, Barcelona, and Madrid, all of which were lovely (I think Madrid was my favourite, of the three). Don’t let the coats the locals are wearing fool you, Madrid and Barcelona were both delightfully warm for February.

In the coming month, I’m looking forward to heading to Vienna, Munich, Basel, and a brief trip to London to catch a performance of In the Heights (happy birthday to me!). I am also really, really looking forward to seeing my husband again–he’s coming to visit for two weeks in mid-March.

That’s it for me for the month, be sure to head over to Leigh’s blog and check out some of the other submissions.

What I’m Into January 2016

This month has gone by so much faster than I wanted it to. It was my last month at home for a little while. This Thursday, I head to France to do archival research for my PhD and I don’t get back until the very end of April. I’m a bit apprehensive about leaving my community here, and especially my husband, who will only be able to visit for a few weeks in the middle. But January has been a whirlwind month, as I’ve tried to pack in time with as many people as possible before I go. As usual, I’m linking up with Leigh Kramer to talk about what I’ve been into this month.



Aaron and I have started watching though The Office together (it’s my first time, his second) and I’m loving it. We even stopped in Scranton for lunch on the way back from our NYC trip this month, although that turned out to be a bit of a letdown. I also saw the New Star Wars movie in theatres and and enjoyed it, although I still think Darth Vader should have used his force ghost powers to set Kylo Ren straight ages ago.


My favourite thing I cooked this month was this ridiculous caramel banana layer cake, which got all the compliments at our church’s brunch. You can see some of my other favourite things I cooked on my monthly What I’m Into Pinterest board.

I also got to eat some amazing restaurant food while I was in NYC. If you happen to be catching a Wednesday matinee on Broadway, I definitely recommend Pergola des Artistes on 46th street. Their matinee menu is reasonably priced and amazingly delicious. I had the leg of lamb with a red wine and rosemary sauce and Aaron had the spinach and cheese ravioli. We also tried out some pie from four and twenty blackbirds (I especially recommend the black bottom lemon pie) and had burgers and one of those huge fancy milkshakes from Black Tap (good, but I’d recommend waiting until the buzz dies down so you don’t have to wait in line for 40 minutes before the restaurant opens in order to get a seat).

Touristy Things

As mentioned above, Aaron and I visited New York City together for a few days this month. I’d never been, and we were able to find Wednesday matinee tickets for Hamilton at not resale prices back in November, so we got them as a Christmas gift to each other. Hamilton was, of course, phenomenal! I was blown away by just how much of the company was onstage at any given time–I think I nearly gave myself whiplash trying to take it all in. We also ended up getting tickets to Something Rotten (which was a lot of fun) and Fiddler on the Roof (which was a non-stop cryfest, especially since the guy who plays Tevye looked so much like my dad from where we were sitting). We even got to catch up with old friends from Fredericton, who are now living in NYC. We enjoyed our trip and I would definitely do it again sometime, though probably when the Canadian dollar is in better shape relative to the American dollar.

That’s been this month for me. Be sure to head over to Leigh’s blog to check out some of the other submissions.