Monday, August 18, 2014

Turkey Lasagna with Ricotta & Basil

Hey you guys.  How are things in your neck of the woods?  Just popping in today to say hey, and also to tell you about this crazy good lasagna I made over on the Turkey Farmers of Canada website.  I'm so proud to have partnered with them, so stay tuned for more yummy things turkey coming your way.  While this recipe is made to be kid-friendly, rest assured the adults in your household will likely love it equally.  I added in a little baby kale for extra nutrition, who in their right mind doesn't love basil?  Hop on over here to get the full recipe.  Okay, back to regular summer programming, i.e. the raspberry patch that needs picking, lawn mowing and general sloth-like behavior afterwards.  I'll pop in soon with a summer salad that I can't stop eating.  Until then, enjoy these late summer days. 

Friday, August 1, 2014

On The Road: Easiest Energy Bars

"Keep your face towards the sunshine and shadows will fall behind you."  ~ Walt Whitman

First off, tell me how it's August.  August.  This past week I've noticed how there is less daylight when I wake up.  Yes, even at 5:00 am, one notices these things through blurry eyes and foggy brain.  It's happening, this loss of light.  But let's not think about that yet, shall we?  There are plenty of sun-soaked memories yet to be made.  Go out and get yours.

I'm officially calling this my on the road summer.  I haven't been around home much, and I kinda like it.  My beau and I recently explored the southwest part of this province, and holy smokes, we were blown away by all of the gorgeousness the prairie has to offer.  I sounded like a broken record with "it's so pretty" being repeated over and over again.  We whisked ourselves away to a little cowboy cabin in the woods, and yes it was just as romantic as it sounds.  Coffee was sipped on the front porch, while we watched horses graze on the opposite hill.  Wind rustled through the trees at night, and the stars were so bright, so luminous, it made me a little verklempt.  Peace and quiet - that's what we had, and it was glorious.  During the day we rolled along back roads, with the windows down.  Sadly, one gopher was killed on our excursion, but alas, these things happen.  Road trips are a great way to get to know someone.  Stories are told, songs sung.  There is silence and laughter and hands held.  Faces brown with sun, our smiles luminous like the stars.  

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Summer Bubble: Cherry Dutch Baby

"Cherries bring with them a certain frivolity, a carefree joy like hearing the far-off laughter of a child at play.  Their appearance, in deepest summer, comes when life is often at its most untroubled.  A bag of cherries is a bag of happiness."  ~ Nigel Slater

I'm taking a break from stuffing my face with all of the glorious summer fruit to say hi.  Hi.  I hope your summer is especially untroubled and frivolous.  It's the only way to behave right now, right?  Someone told me the other day how many weeks, no days, are left in summer and I told them to shhhhhhhhh.  No one burst my summer bubble.  I'm not thinking past the middle of September, thank you very much.  Right now it's all about reveling in the sunshine, letting the warm air wash over my skin and driving on back roads with the windows rolled down.   I've been on a few road trips here and there, exploring beautiful pockets of Saskatchewan and Alberta.  If you've been following me on Instagram, you've no doubt seen the deluge of prairie vista shots.  I can't stop!  The photos will no doubt show up in a post here very soon.  But today I want to tell about this Dutch Baby I made my mom for her birthday breakfast.  It's so good, it's worth turning the oven on for.  Promise.  

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.
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