This here? My Favourite View From a Porta-Potty.

Remember when I used to post what I ate for dinner every night? Yeah, me too. Now when I fall asleep or need to meet a deadline (not nearly as much fun as propping my laptop up in bed and recounting our evening meal – OK, maybe the sleeping part is) and a day or two slips by, the events of the day before yesterday seem so day before yesterday. But I don’t want the weekend to slip by unreported. Even though I didn’t actually cook anything. I didn’t actually cook anything!

(Dinner tonight was roast chicken, roughly smashed potatoes and some baby zucchini, quickly fried up in a skillet with oil and garlic. There, now you’re up to speed.)

We skipped out for a quick getaway to Jasper – the highway 93 is as stunning as any I’ve ever driven, and yet we had only seen it in winter. I imagined it would be gorgeous in fall, and it was. Just completely. (I’d show you, but it was raining.)

Our destination: the Jasper Park Lodge. One thing I love about this place is that you can go and then just hang on the property – you never have to leave. Well, you do on Sunday at checkout.

We sat by the fireplace and ordered bison burgers and mushroom ravioli with crème fraîche. We played ping pong. We high-fived a bear.

I even snuck away to their brand-new spa. For research purposes, of course.

We rented a canoe and paddled around the lake. Which I didn’t manage to document because a) it was rainy and b) we were in a boat, after it had been raining. You understand. I was willing to get my butt wet, but not my camera. (Yes, I have taken to using the word butt. W thinks it’s hilarious.)

Even rain can’t put a damper on your weekend when this is the view from your cabin window.

And I was introduced to artichoke dip poppers – the best use of leftover artichoke dip (apparently it exists) I’ve ever seen. I’ve baked one tonight for the express purpose of poppers tomorrow. It probably won’t matter that I picked off and ate all the bubbly cheese on top.


About Julie

You May Also Like

14 comments on “

  1. molly
    October 4, 2011 at 7:58 am

    oh honestly, if you weren’t so sweet this might just be cruel.

    (seriously, been to banff, you’ve got some of the most jaw-dropping beauty anywhere. must get to jasper. to use the porta-potty.)

  2. Sarah
    October 4, 2011 at 8:28 am

    You know what else is awesome about JPL? If you like one of the recipes, they’ll mail you a copy! I have their sweet potato and bacon soup recipe, from that main lobby restaurant next to the fireplace, and it’s one of my standbys now.

  3. Jeannie Henke
    October 4, 2011 at 9:16 am

    Hi Julie, we spoke a couple of yrs ago when you were helping me launch my book, Compass Companions. You accidentally met my friend Margaret Dickenson at a filming at Willow Park Winery; we are having her back on Nov. 05th – all appetizer at our fundraiser are from her award winning cookbooks. Would you like to attend?

    Love to hear from you & catch up! Jeannie

  4. Laurie from Burnaby
    October 4, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    Isn’t Jasper beautiful? :) I went there this summer (actually midSeptember when we had summer this year)
    I climbed onto the Athabasca Glacier! It’s amazing how it’s shrunken since 1890 (the oldest time peg) down near the road to where it is now. Wonderful trip, and I’m glad you had a good time 😀

  5. mmac
    October 4, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    I agree about Hwy 93. Spectacular. Next best thing to staying at the JPL is staying within walking distance. Rented a cottage on Lake Edith for a few days last month and hiked over for (world’s most expensive) soup, salad and espresso in the lounge. Felt quite virtuous to be there in hiking boots. Very “valderie, valderah …”. Didn’t test the spa but did enjoy playing “what if?” in the art gallery.

  6. Robyn in Mountain (Ontario that is)
    October 4, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    Mmmm, nice to get away every so often — good for you. Can’t wait to hear about the poppers.

  7. natalie - ga
    October 4, 2011 at 1:52 pm


  8. Anita
    October 4, 2011 at 3:20 pm

    Research purposes!! haha!

    Here’s an invite for you Julie: Do you want to come visit Alexandra, Victoria and Katherine sometime before xmas and learn how we make traditional layered Icelandic cake called Vinarterta? It’s a Xmas tradition around here.

    • JulieVR
      October 4, 2011 at 10:01 pm

      Um, YES! I’d love to come learn to make Icelandic vinarterta! My neighbour used to make it!

  9. Erica B.
    October 4, 2011 at 5:50 pm

    I’ve never had leftover artichoke dip but me thinks I’ll have to make some just so I can try artichoke dip poppers-two of my favorite appetizers in one *swoon*.

    Oh, and I really have to get out to the JPL. DH and I went to Jasper when we were newlyweds and well Friday we celebrate 11years… I think it’s high time we went back!

    Can’t wait for the poppers recipe! :)

  10. mmac
    October 4, 2011 at 8:51 pm

    Anita — are you near Calgary? I would BUY some of your Vinarterta to take to my mother in Winnipeg. She loves it. (sorry Julie for the hijack)

  11. JulieVR
    October 4, 2011 at 10:11 pm

    Mmac – Not at all! Perhaps we should have a vinarterta party? 😉

  12. Ani
    October 5, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    There’s a guy who makes/sells vinarterta at the Spruce Meadows Xmas market every year. Lots of flavours, including APRICOT! Yum. I just can’t bear to sell mine. They are so much work! Julie, you can email me (hidden)…we’ll set a date! The girls will be ridiculously excited.

  13. Cheryl
    October 5, 2011 at 3:02 pm


    I picked the jalepenos in the CSA bin for the express purpose of making poppers. Love the artichoke dip idea.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.