It’s hard for me to believe that 2017 is flying by so quickly, but in just a few more days it will be Canada’s 150th birthday celebration! There are all kinds of ways people love to celebrate Canada Day and over the years, I’ve tried most of them. Heading out on the lake for a day of boating, hosting friends in the backyard for a barbeque, joining in a large public celebration in the nearest city…choosing my favourite way to spend July 1 is like choosing my favourite thing about Canada: pretty much impossible!
As somebody that loves to travel, I absolutely adore discovering handcrafted trinkets from around the world. Whether it’s a treasure discovered on a vacation, like my embroidered Romanian blouse and Irish crystal glasses, or something shipped to my door like my painted salt and pepper shakers from the Palestine Territories, those little mementos let me enjoy the world’s beauty in the comfort of my own home. But on my quest for the world’s most stunning handmade goods, I sometimes forget how many beautiful arts and crafts are created right here in my own country of Canada!
That’s why I’m loving the idea behind the Canadian Originals subscription box. Each month, a box packed with artisan goods created by talented Canadians arrives at the lucky recipient’s front door to enjoy. From food to beauty products to wall art, the variety means the whole family will find products to love. And discovering great new products and companies right here in Canada is always a treat! I recently received the debut July Subscription Box, celebrating Canada’s 150th birthday, to review and I couldn’t wait to check out the contents.
I love cooking up special treats for special occasions, and with Canada Day coming up so quickly, I couldn’t resist making something tasty to celebrate our country! The Kraft Canada website is always a go-to resource for me when I want delicious Canada Day recipes and its Jell-O based Flag Cake is a treat I’ve made many years in the past. But this year I decided to switch things up a bit and make cupcakes instead! To keep with the theme, I used Red Velvet cake mix and a tasty cream cheese frosting.
Maple Leaf Cupcakes
- 1 box Red Velvet cake mix
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 1/3 cup oil
- 4 oz. Philadelphia Cream Cheese softened
- 1/2 cup butter softened
- 3 cups icing sugar
- 1/2 cup sliced strawberries
Prepare cake mix using eggs, milk and oil. Pour into paper-lined muffin tin and bake according to package directions.
Meanwhile, beat cream cheese and butter together until fluffy. Gradually beat in icing sugar.
Cool cupcakes completely and frost with cream cheese icing.
Arrange strawberry slices on top to resemble maple leaf.
I’ve lived in a small town in the Saskatchewan prairies for my entire life and no matter where the future takes me, I’m sure that the lush Qu’Appelle Valley and the endless farmland fields will always feel like home. But while I may have always lived in the same small town (and even in the same house), I’ve had the opportunity to see so much more of Canada over the years. I’ll always be a Saskatchewan woman at heart, but being Canadian means so much more to me.
In fact, since I was a child, I’ve loved the mountains and forests of British Columbia almost as much as I love the fields of Saskatchewan. My mother was raised in B.C. and most of her family still calls the province home. As a youngster, road trips to visit my aunts, uncles and cousins were a must every summer. And while connecting with family was fabulous, the landscape was just as wonderful to me. On every trip we used to spend at least a few days camping on the private family beach. Waking up to go for a swim in the crystal clear lake and then wandering the forest picking wild blackberries is one of my fondest memories.
As I grew older, I had the chance to see a different side of Canada as well: the urban side! Saskatchewan is very much a rural province and I remember how shocked I was to learn that the population of the city of Toronto was 2.5 times bigger than my entire home province! While the number of people in the city overwhelmed me at first, I soon fell in love with the art and culture of the city. The diversity of Toronto is like a living testament to the diversity of Canada itself! [Read more…]
When I want to know absolutely anything, I fire up my laptop and search the Internet for an answer. Whether I’m looking for a cute new spring outfit or I want to find a substitution for semolina flour, I know that I’ll be able to find what I need online somewhere. But it never occurred to me that Canadians may be searching differently than the rest of the world!
Now, just in time for Canada Day, Bing, the search engine designed to help people make more informed decisions faster, has announced their Top 50 Canadiana Search Terms! This year, Canadian Tire took the top spot, rising eight places since 2012! Who else made it into the top ten? A long winter and dreams of sunshine no doubt helped Air Canada claim second place. And Canadians clearly have our country’s best interests at heart since Environment Canada took spot number five! [Read more…]