Thursday, July 3, 2014

Rye Shortcakes with Roasted Strawberries & Rhubarb


"And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees,
 just as things grow in fast movies, 
I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer." 
~ F. Scott Fitzgerald

Oh summer.  It took you long enough.  Really.  But I'm so glad to finally see you.  Your first couple of official weeks were full of too much rain and not enough heat.  Glad to see you are making up for it now.  Never have I ever been so happy for the return of back sweat.  And excuses to eat ice cream for dinner.  And the feeling of bare feet in the tall grass.  I know you only have a couple of months to spend with me, but like any good, short, sweet romance, lets make the most of it, shall we?  

Friday, June 20, 2014

Go Green: Pesto Three Ways

Pesto is one of the most versatile sauces you can make in your kitchen, and with the plethora of lovely green leafy things hitting your garden and farmer's market right now, you don't have to limit yourself to making it with the usual basil, pine nuts, Parmesan and olive oil.  My recent article over at Culinaire Magazine (pg . 24-25) is all about pesto and ways to switch it up.  Like with arugula and pumpkin seeds!  Slather it on roasted asparagus and hot damn you've got a good thing going. 

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Sautéed Dates with Olive Oil & Sea Salt

When I grow up I want to write just like Molly Wizenberg.  I'm sure you know her blog Orangette.  And if you don't, please do yourself the biggest favour ever and head over there.  Now.  Her writing is honest, funny, so true to life and so goddamn good.  I was fortunate to have received a preview copy of her latest book Delancey way back before Christmas.  I saved it to savour for the flight to Phoenix.  I'm not good on planes.  I fidget and squirm, breathe deeply when there's turbulence, and grip on to the seat ahead of me when things get really dicey.  Seriously.  If you ever have the misfortune of sitting next to me, ask to move.  But with Delancey in my hands, I didn't even notice I was in a metal contraption millions of miles above the ground.  I was into it.  Molly's honest account of opening a pizza restaurant with her husband Brandon in Seattle is both charming and poignant. It's about finding your way as a couple and building the life you want to have together.  I think what I like best about the book is the vulnerability.  She doesn't gloss over the mucky bits, she lays them out flat for all to see.  It's a book about faith and love, perseverance and imperfection.  Oh, and food, too.  Each chapter concludes with a recipe; simple and straightforward.  What you would eat if you were building a restaurant and a life together simultaneously.  

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Where I've Been...

"In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.' ~ John Muir

Hello.  My name is Renee.  Maybe you remember me?  I write a food blog called Sweetsugarbean.  I know, I know.  I can be a cheeky wench.  But seriously.  Where have I been lately?  This space has been so quiet.  But life surely hasn't.  Let me tell you that.  You know when you least expect it, shit just happens.  In this case it's been all good.  So good.  I adopted another kitten.  Yes, for real.  She lived under my bed for two weeks.  Long story; all of it coming soon.  Also, I met a boy.  Who turned out to be my boyfriend.  Long story; all of it coming soon.  Maybe now the blog silence is beginning to make sense?  Ren's been busy!  Plus it's planting time and I've been busy digging in dirt rather than in computerland.  If you want to get in touch, I won't be on Twitter of Facebook very much, but in my garden and with my friends.  You know.  Interacting with real life.  Speaking of real life, at the beginning of May I made another visit to the yurt.  Maybe you'll remember when I took a little retreat there in the fall?  Well, as a birthday present to myself I went back for a couple of sweet days, just to unwind and regroup from the general unpleasantness of winter.  It was a long one here, and as you'll see from the following photos, winter was still clinging on a bit up in Northern Sask, but I didn't mind.  It was just as spectacular as the first time I went - a tonic for this soul, if there ever was one.  Flora Bora is definitely one of my favourite places on the planet, and since my stay there life has been so good.  Knock wood, touch wood, whatever you call it.  Good feeling, stay with me just a little longer.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

A Hello & A How-To

Oh my word.  It has been ages since I last checked in here.  Please forgive?  You know how life sometimes takes over and you just don't want to turn the computer on?  Yeah.  I got that happening right now.  But never fear, it's all good things, which I'll fill ya in on soon.  In the meantime, take a look at my latest article in Culinaire magazine (pg 23-24).  If you've ever wondered how to make beef carpaccio all by your little ol' self, I have all of the tips and tricks you need.  Plus a few recipes.  It's good stuff.  Hope everyone is enjoying these glorious spring days.  I admit to spending a little time in the garden tonight, admiring the rhubarb.  As you should.  Chat soon.  Renee xoxo

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Befitting: Baked Doughnuts, Two Ways

"I suppose this is what I mean when I say we cannot possibly know what will manifest in our lives. We live and have experiences and leave people we love and get left by them. People we thought would be with us forever aren't and people we didn't know would come into our lives do. Our work here is to keep faith with that, to put it in a box and wait. To trust that someday we will know what it means, so that when the ordinary miraculous is revealed to us we will be there ... grateful for the smallest things."  ~ Cheryl Strayed
That quote really is a kick in the pants, isn't it?  (By the way, if you haven't read any Cheryl Strayed, by all means you have my permission to leave this blog immediately and go get your hands on her books.)  Of course she's right.  And now that I've gotten a year older, ahem, I'm finally starting to understand what she means.  In my late twenties, I would have been:  Whatever.  I'm sad, leave me be.  In my thirties I was almost there, but not quite.  But now that I find myself firmly planted in my forties, I see the wisdom in the leaving and being left behind.  The down-right necessity of faith.  That holding on means just that.  Hold on.  You never know what will manifest in your life.  One day it will all make sense.  Each experience means something.  You'll be grateful for all of the bumps in the road that landed you where you need to be today.  

Friday, April 25, 2014

Favourites List: Spring Edition

I love these boots.  Pulled on, they make me powerful.  I splash through puddles like it's nobody's business.  And I need them.  Lately, it's been a mix of rain, snow, rain some more and then just for fun, maybe some snow.  I used to love wearing rubber boots as a kid, though I have very vivid memories of getting stuck in the mud and having to leave the boot behind, lying there like a wounded soldier.  Tears rolling down, walking back to the house covered in mud, calling for my mom.  But, like Winnie the Pooh said, "When you see someone putting on his Big Boots, you can be pretty sure an Adventure is going to happen." Adventures await.  They always do.  Here's to yours and mine and until then, take a peek at these things I'm currently crushing on.  
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