Friday, January 13, 2017

A New Year and Chicken Noodle Soup

Happy new year, friends.  I hope so far 2017 is treating you well.  It's always hard going back to work/school/routine after the holidays.  I already miss those Baileys in the coffee mornings, the guilt-free chomping on Toblerone (it's the holidays!), and the merry-making.  Christmas chez RenĂ©e was super fun.  My lovely mom helped me make dinner on Christmas Eve, where my handsome beau was also an attendee.  My tiny dining room was all aglow in candlelight and the food, well, the food was delicious.  For future reference, if you don't already brine your turkey, I highly recommend you do so.  So flavourful!  So juicy!  My mom and I both swear it's the best turkey we ever tasted.  And that counts the year that she wrapped the bird in bacon.  Afterwards, we opened gifts and the cats had the best time in the boxes and wrapping paper.  So easy to please those furkids.  New Years was quiet, just me and the guy.   Movies and homemade pizza.  Cuddles and champagne wishes/kisses.  New Years Day we went for a long walk in the cold, though popped into a fancy hotel for boozy hot chocolates halfway through.  Time spent with your perfect person is really the best gift.  And then I got sick.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Merry! Merry! Matcha Shortbread and Cookbook News!

It's just a handful of days before Christmas, but my biggest and best present came a little early.  All the Sweet Things cookbook went to print today.  Hooray!  Guys, I'm so, so happy.  And proud.  And feeling all the feels.  This has been quite the journey, from the time I was approached by TouchWood almost 2 years ago, to finishing my proposal in June of 2015, to the offer of a contract in July, then the completion of the manuscript this past April.  With the expected publication date of late April 2017, that's almost two years of gestation for my book baby!

Friday, December 9, 2016

Watermelon, Pomegranate and Feta Salad with Mint

This is a sponsored post.  I was compensated financially by the National Watermelon Promotion Board.  As always, I wouldn't tell you about a product unless I really really love it.  And I love watermelon.  

So, we're in the thick of it, aren't we?  Hustling to and fro, going to holiday parties and Christmas concerts, and doing our best to make the season bright.  If you're like me, and busy busy busy, you're behind on your baking and unsure if those Christmas cards will be sent out before the Big Day.  Don't fret.  Do the best you can.  And if in doubt, hum along to Good King Wenceslas.  It works!  I swear!  And, of course, the Plan B is always a shot of something boozy into a hot beverage.  Baileys in hot chocolate is a fave around here!

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Brown Butter Pumpkin Cookies with Milk Chocolate Chunks

Hey all!  Oh my gosh, long time no chat.  I feel badly about that.  The hours, the days, they are so jam packed lately, it's honestly hard to find time to hang out here.  I hope you understand.  The gigs that pay the money - like my regular food columns and recipes development often come first, because, well, I like to eat good things and I have to pay the mortgage.  And buy cat food!  And save for a new bathroom, because I hate mine so much every time I have a shower.  Speaking of bathrooms, if you follow along with me on social media, you know how I visited Toronto last month for a Food Bloggers of Canada Conference, thanks to the kind and generous sponsorship of Canadian Lentils. My suite was on the 29th floor, next to the CN tower, and it had the most magnificent bathroom that ever was.  Floor to ceiling windows.  Soaker tub, big enough for me to stretch out my long legs, amazing views of the harbour and CN tower.  I felt like the luckiest girl alive.  I would call my handsome farmer back in Sask, and talk to him all the while in the loo.  Sweet soul, he just laughed at me.  I probably spent too much time hanging out in this great bathroom, but who knows when such opportunities will surface again for me.  Seriously, if you find yourself in Toronto, book room 2914 in the new Delta.  It's so good!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Greek Stuffed Zucchini with Rice and Lentils

This is a sponsored post.  I was compensated financially by USA Rice.  All thoughts and feelings and opinions about rice are entirely my own.  As always, I wouldn't tell you about a product  unless I loved it.   

I didn't grow any zucchini this year.  In fact, I didn't grow much of anything except pots of herbs and 3 tomatoes.  No, not tomato plants.  Tomatoes, singular.  I'm not sure why the heck my tomatoes did not flourish, but I have an inkling it's because my yard has become tremendously shady over the past couple of years.  Veg hate shade, that's a known fact.  Good thing I'm dating a vegetable farmer so there has been no shortage of tomatoes, or zucchini or anything else that grows in the ground around here.  If I were an emoji right now, I'd be the one with hearts for eyes.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

A Thanksgiving Weekend of Fall Favourites

Good gracious, is it me or is this year flying by?   Canadian Thanksgiving is this weekend, and yes, we've had our first flakes of snow fall here in Saskatoon.  I see you shudder with disbelief.  Now you know how I feel!  Flannel sheets are now on the bed, and the furnace is now my friend.  Which reminds me, I need to change the filters.  Fall house maintenance.  It's a thing.  Next up is raking all of the leaves (once the snow melts) and my fella has offered to clean out my eaves for me.  What a guy.  There may just be an apple fritter in it for him.  That's right.  I said apple fritters!  I made them recently for an article I was writing and they were so delicious they left me without coherent words.  Only sounds of complete and utter satisfaction were able to leave my lips.  Tasty treats, those apple fritters.  Find the recipe here.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Back-to-School With Pulses: Carrot Lentil Muffins & Spaghetti with Chickpea Tomato Sauce

Backpacks are bursting with pencils and notebooks as the kids head back to school this week.  The excitement of a fresh start is in the air, and with this fresh start comes a shift in focus on how we eat.  Meals need to be simple and quick, yet nutritious and tasty.  We want snacks to be healthy, and yet we don't want to find them lingering in the bottom of the lunch bag at the end of the day.  That's where pulses come in handy.  2016 in International Year of Pulses (lentils, chickpeas, dried peas and beans), and if you have yet to take the Pulse Pledge, I urge you to do so and peruse the website for all kinds of fantastic ways to incorporate pulses into your back-to-school menu plans.  You basically sign up to eat 1/2 cup of pulses a week, which is so easy to do.  Bursting with protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals, pulses are essentially superfoods.  They are good for the heart, manage blood sugar levels and help in weight management.  Gluten free and vegetarian, pulses are tremendously versatile.  I love adding them to just about everything: main dishes, breakfast, as a side dish and even dessert.  One of their many positive attributes is they take on the flavour of whatever you cook them with.  Plus, they are a super affordable source of protein.  One pound of lentils is a fraction of what 1 pound of ground beef costs.  These things matter when it comes to feeding a family.  Pulses are also super good for the environment.  They fix their own nitrogen in the soil, making them a sustainable crop.  Highly water-efficient, they enrich the soil where they grow.  Canada is the world's largest producer and exporter of pulses, and if you took a road trip across Saskatchewan this summer, I bet you drove by a lentil field and didn't even know it. 

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