Friday, May 13, 2016
I know it's just the middle of May, but aren't you getting excited about summer? I know I am. The grass and trees have burst into all of their verdant glory, and my perennials are shooting up from the ground. I can't wait until my yard is in full bloom. Better yet, I can't wait until all of the glorious produce is in season. My favourite farmer has been supplying me with just-picked asparagus, so for the past week I've been eating it daily. And I figure I will be doing so for the next month or so. This is also the time to think about what I want to preserve this year. Sure, apple butter and plum jam are a given, using the fruit from my backyard, but a new cookbook has landed on my doorstep recently and it has made me want to preserve all of the things. I have a feeling my canner is going to be busy!!
Many of you may already know the blogging duo Joel MacCharles and Dana Harrison from Well Preserved, a Toronto-based blog devoted to preserving. They've recently launched Batch: Over 200 Recipes, Tips & Techniques For a Well Preserved Kitchen from Appetite by Random House and if any of you have any inclination to preserve anything this summer and fall, this is a must-have for your kitchen. With beautiful photographs and well-written recipes, plus loads of tips and instructions, the cookbook covers 7 methods of preserving: dehydrating, cellaring, fermenting, canning, salting, smoking and infusing. So many options for so many things. I'm dying to try the Charred Pickled Beets and the Chili Infused Vodka. Roasted Apricot Vanilla Jam sounds like it would be absolutely divine on scones, and I've always wanted to make Kimchi, and now I have the recipe at my fingertips. The variety of recipes in this cookbook is impressive, and I know it will be a wonderful resource for many years to come. Congratulations Joel and Dana on an impressive achievement. You should be very proud!
My love of breakfast, brunch and pancakes is no secret, so my first recipe selection from Batch is Fermented Pancakes with Maple Syrup with Dried Blueberries on page 140. You might be like, what? And I'm like, trust me, these are killer. I first stirred together buttermilk and flour, let it rest on the counter for about 24 hours, then I stirred in some egg yolks and the usual suspects into the batter. The beaten egg whites at the end gave them a nice lift, but these aren't your traditional pancakes. With their slight tang and light, almost bubbly texture, they remind me a little bit of the Ethiopian bread injera. Smothered in a blueberry-infused maple syrup and topped with fresh fruit, I loved every bite. This may just be my new go-to pancake recipe. I made them bigger than the recipe called for - partly to save time and partly because I wanted nice, round pancakes. The batter is quite thin, so the small ones ran into each other. But, who doesn't like big pancakes!
I'm so happy that Joel, Dana and Appetite by Random House have generously offered one copy of Batch to a lucky reader. Simply leave a comment below telling me what you plan on preserving this year and a winner will be chosen randomly.
Other wonderful food bloggers are also participating in the giveaway, so be sure to stop by the following for another chance to win! My lucky winner will be chosen on Monday May 16th, so enter soon! And happy preserving!
Getty at GettyStewart.com
Mardi at eat. live. travel. write.
Jan at Family Bites
Kelly at KellyNeil.com
Amy at Family Feedbag
Valeria at A Canadian Foodie
Isabelle at Crumb
Food Bloggers of Canada
Sunday, May 1, 2016
While I haven't been sharing many recipes on the blog lately, don't fret that I've turned into an immobile couch lump binge watching Grantchester. No, that's not my style. In fact, I don't think I've ever been busier, but in all the best ways. So, I'm going to catch you up on where you can find some of the recipes I've been writing for on other publications (dream job!) plus I'm going to share some favourite links I've been loving lately. But first, I must tell you about this wonderful book that found its way into my mailbox recently.
Saturday, April 23, 2016
I feel like it's been forever since I've sat down at the computer and just wrote to you guys. As you can imagine, there's been a whirlwind of activity around here for the past 6 months, and I finally have a few quiet hours to chill in the morning light and just say hey. The manuscript for my cookbook is in the hands of the publisher and very soon I'm going to get the edits back then the whirlwind of activity will resume - except this time I'll also be working a few days a week at my pastry chef gig and the phrase "how am I going to do it all?" flits in and out of my mind on a loop. But, as they say, we shall cross that bridge when we come to it.
Thursday, April 14, 2016
You guys! I did it! The manuscript and photographs for my first ever cookbook are now at the publisher’s and I’m still kinda in shock that hey, I just wrote a cookbook. No big whoop. Except of course, it is. A very big whoop. I’m still kinda processing the whole experience, really. When people ask what it was like, all I can say is that I loved it. So much. Even the parts where I had to wash dishes until midnight, only remembering then that I never even brushed my teeth that day. Such was the life! I want to talk more about it later, after I’ve kinda calmed down a bit, but today, I’m spilling the beans on these really, really good tacos I made my mom went I went to visit her last week.
Monday, March 28, 2016
With my manuscript and photographs for the cookbook due in just a handful of days, time around here is tight. The days are long - testing the last few recipes and going through the manuscript, crossing i's and t's and making sure I make sense. My house is a mess. I don't leave the dirty house, unless it's to get groceries and have a little human contact with the outside world. I can't believe on April 1st, it will be all over. What in the world will I do with myself?! I know, clean the house! Go for a massage! See friends I haven't seen for 6 months. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, but still so much work to do before then. Wish me luck!
Wednesday, March 9, 2016
Time is flying by, isn’t it? We’re already well into March, and spring is definitely in the air given the amount of melting going on around here. My cookbook manuscript and photographs are due on April 1st, so you can well imagine what I’ve been up to. I’m almost done the recipes - just 10 left to shoot - and my testers are hard at work making sure everything is turning out the way it’s supposed to. Let me tell you, having all these sweets in the house sounds pretty dreamy, and for the most part it is, but holy smokes, I’m having to run across the street with a dozen cream puffs for my neighbours, or calling up friends asking them to take away a cake. I figure I’ll need a month of green smoothies to detox from the sugar and butter I’ve accumulated in my system over the past 7 months, but oh my, the treats coming out of my little green kitchen are impressive. I made French honey crullers the other day, and oh lord, I swooned. Needless to say, meals around here have to be relatively easy and healthy - I don’t have much energy to feed myself after a long day of baking, photographing and writing. That’s where pulses come in - they are quick, tasty, economical and good for me. Now if only someone could wash the dishes and give me back rubs…
Thursday, February 18, 2016
Perusing the produce aisle isn’t super fun in February. The prices are high, the selection isn’t great and it seems like everything has to travel so far to get to Saskatoon, especially the fruit. I don’t even look at the fresh berries, and I don’t like melons. Bananas are only good for banana bread in my world, and mangoes are alright, but you never quite know what you’re going to get when you slice them open. This lack of availability combined with my pickiness means I load up on gorgeous citrus because it tastes so good right now, frozen berries and apples. All the apples.