Good food (including ice cream!) and exercise!

Hello everyone, I hope you had a wonder Easter, for those who celebrate it! I had a family and food filled weekend and somewhat miraculously managed not to over eat! Thank goodness for self-control!

Things are back to normal after a nice four-day weekend I  have fallen back into my routine, which includes plenty of cooking and exercise! Don’t get me wrong here, I’m not an exercise nut, but I do enjoy my runs and am currently running eight kilometers in 48 minutes on slightly hilly circuits and in 51 minutes on my new, more steeply inclined Westmount circuit. I ran it for the second time today and am quite proud to announce that I shaved 11 seconds off my previous running time on it! I’m gonna have glutes of steel pretty soon! Right now, I’m doing my hill work run once a week and a lighter run once or twice a week depending on the weather and how I’m feeling.

A very important part of my feeling good enough to exercise is naturally to eat well, which is why I’m very happy that I enjoy cooking! We very, very rarely eat any processed food at our place. We keep two emergency pizzas in the freezer and two bags pierogies as well. I made pierogies myself once, but ended up losing it because of how damn long it took me to get it done, so never again unless I have an army of helpers including my Polish mother-in-law and two Polish friends! Aside from that though, I buy everything fresh and as local as possible and make as many things as possible from scratch. My challenge for yesterday was my second ever batch of Bigos, or Polish Hunter’s stew (can you tell my darling is Polish?). It is a delicious and hearty mix of sauerkraut, venison, lamb or pork, beef, bacon, polish sausage, cabbage, prunes, mushrooms and I threw some carrots in yesterday as well because I had some left in the fridge from last week that I didn’t want to lose. I had a lot of fun making it like the first time I tried it. Make sure you have a good chunk of time on your hands if you’re going to make this though, because it has to simmer for two to three hours (the longer the better) and the prep time is at least 45 minutes if you’re speedy. It took me two hours, but I am known for being a slow mover…except when I’m jogging! If you want to give making Bigos a try, which I strongly encourage you to do, as it makes a nice, big batch, ages beautifully, keeps in the fridge forever and freezes well, you can find the recipe I use here.

On another note, my Sweetheart also have absolutely no issue with treating ourselves every once in a while and while we can make our own ice cream and sorbet as well (my Darling came with an ice cream machine!), we love going out for ice cream every once in a while. We treated ourselves to our first visit of the season to an ice cream parlor last Thursday while out in the West Island (Pointe-Claire Village to be exact). We saw that the place was open and it was eight degrees and sunny (You know you’re a true Canadian when…), so in we went! We wanted to go out for another ice cream cone tonight because Darling had a rough day at the office and needed a pick-me-up. This time it was one degree, but still more than nice enough for a walk, so we got ready to go out. Then, it started to snow. Darling nearly backed down from the idea of going, but I gave him a nudge and he shrugged and off we went. We know there was a chance the parlor would have closed down for the night by the time we got there and sure enough, they just had. Oh well, off to Starbucks we went instead for a nice hot drink, because by then the wet snow was starting to seep through our clothes. Hey, at least we got our walk in and more hills for me!

If ever you are in Montreal and are looking for some nice places to go for ice cream, here are our favorites:

Kem CoBa ice cream parlor on Fairmount in the Mile End neighborhood on Montreal.
Kem CoBa ice cream parlor on Fairmount in the Mile End neighborhood on Montreal.

1- Kem CoBa This place, I kid you not, has the best ice cream in town and changes their flavors all the time. They make it on the spot with fresh and local ingredients. Give their salted butter ice cream a try, you will not be sorry. They’re open from late April or early May through to mid October and also have the great advantage of being right next to Fairmount Bagels, where some of the best bagels in Montreal are made.

2- Le Bilboquet The second best ice cream in town. Many of their locations close for the Winter, but their Westmount and Pointe-Claire Village locations stay open year-round.

3- Wild Willy’s, a Pointe-Claire Village staple open from March to October. It’s where we got our ice cream last weekend. It’s right by Lake St-Louis on the corner of Cartier and Lakeshore roads though, so be aware that it can get buggy in the Summer, mostly with what I refer to as lake bugs. I’m sorry, I don’t have their scientific name for you, but they’re harmless compared to mosquitoes, of which there are not very many because of the wind coming off the lake in the evening.

There are many other great places to get ice cream in Montreal, but these are our favorites and will keep us from ever setting foot in a Dairy Queen again.

Enjoy!

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