Friday, August 7, 2015

In Dreams: Saskatoon Berry Galette & Big Book News

 "Do anything, but let it produce joy." ~ Walt Witman

There I was, standing in my little green kitchen on the afternoon of February 13.  I had just put the kettle on for tea, as the wind was howling outside and I needed to warm up after coming in from the cold.  A few days earlier I did this, and frankly I felt like my life was at a crossroads.  I was excited and scared and aware that I was on a new path; I just didn't know what it was yet.  While the water was beginning to simmer, I scanned my phone for anything of interest.  Hmmm.  What's this?  An email from an associate publisher at TouchWood Editions.  She introduced herself, and thanked me for the wonderful review I did of this book.  She also said that if I had any ambitions of writing a cookbook, I should get in touch with her.  My heart skipped a beat.  Maybe two.  It does that when I get really excited.  I re-read that email a few times to make sure I wasn't hallucinating.  And then I called my mom.  

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Kitchen Sink Cookies & A Farm to Table Lentil Tour

I've always wanted to stand in a lentil field.  That's a fact.  It may seem like an odd goal to shoot for, but if you know me, you know how much I love lentils.  They are a major part of my diet at home, and I love coming up with creative recipes for the website.  So when I received the invitation to go on a farm to table media tour with the friendly folks at Canadian Lentils, you can just imagine my excitement!  Me, in a lentil field.  It was going to happen!  I was also super pumped to see some friendly faces (Ethan, Amy, Aimée, and Dan) on my home turf.  Food editors from Chatelaine, Canadian Living and Style at Home rounded out the troop, and our leader was none other than Chef Michael Smith.  Yes, that very tall, very handsome chef from P.E.I.  I was in most excellent company, to say the least.  

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Warm Mushroom, Bacon & Lentil Salad

This summer is already memorable for so many reasons - many of which I'll delve into later this month - but one thing that stands out already for me is the HEAT.  Oh man.  It's been so hot in Saskatchewan.  And dry.  I heard someone say that it rained more in Vegas than in Sask last month.  Yes, that dry.  So, when it's super hot the last thing I want to do is turn my oven on - I don't have A/C in my house, you see.  I make a lot of big, simple, creative salads like the one I'm featuring over on the Mushrooms Canada Blog.  It has all of my favourite things - mushrooms (of course!), bacon, lentils, arugula, garden fresh tomatoes and a fried egg.  Makes a killer light lunch or supper, or even a hearty breakfast.  Go grab the recipe here!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Twelve Things You Need To Make This Summer

I've been scrolling through my recipe archives lately, and it's pretty neat to see how far I've come since 2011.  It's sort of like looking back at your high school yearbook and thinking oh god I really had glasses that big.  Oh, but there's some good stuff hiding in these archives.  I've pulled out some of my favourites that I know I must make this re-summer and thought you might be interested.  The next couple of weeks are busy busy - I'm road trippin' to see my mom and sis and sweet nieces for a few days, then heading over to Regina to meet up with other food writers from across Canada.  Canadian Lentils is hosting us for a couple of days - we'll be touring lentil fields, and a processing plant and having a hands on cooking demo with Chef Michael Smith.  I'm beyond excited!  I'll be seeing friends I haven't seen in a long time, and I get to show off my beloved prairie to them. A grand adventure is waiting to be had.  That's what summer is all about, right?  But before I leave I wanted to share these hot weather gems with you.  I'll be back with a new post in a couple of weeks.  In the meantime, Happy Canada Day to all my crazy Canucks and Happy 4th to my American pals.  Talk to you soon.  Renée xoxo

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Dive In: Spiced Rhubarb Skillet Cake with Streusel Topping

"Oh my God, what if you wake up some day, and you're 65, or 75, 
and you never got your memoir or novel written; 
or you didn't go swimming in warm pools and oceans all those years 
because your thighs were jiggly and you had a nice big comfortable tummy; 
or you were just so strung out on perfectionism and people-pleasing 
that you forgot to have a big juicy creative life, of imagination and radical silliness 
and staring off into space like when you were a kid?  
It's going to break your heart.  Don't let this happen."  ~ Anne Lamott

And just like that, we've shimmied into summer.  My God, I love it.  All of it.  Tank tops and late night thunderstorms.  Warm pools and lakeside picnics.  Fireworks and flip flops.  Peaches and more peaches.  Road trips and just-picked raspberries.  Cold beer and warm hearts.  Toes in sand.  Tomatoes on the vine.  The evening breeze through wide open windows.  Ice cream, always.  A bonfire's crackle and pop.  The smell of a forest.  The sound of early morning, when it's just you and the birds.  Tall glasses of iced sweet tea.  A good book and some shade.  The laughter of old friends.  The glide of a canoe.  The call of the wild.  The sun's rays on damp skin.  Floating on water.  Staring up at the sky.  What are you waiting for?  Dive in.  

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The Canning Kitchen: Salted Caramel Pear Butter & A Giveaway

I first met Amy Bronee almost 3 years ago in Wenatchee, Washington's small airport.  Both of us had flown in on a media tour sponsored by the U.S. Organic Trade Commission and we couldn't believe our lucky stars that we were seeing such a beautiful part of North America on someone else' dime.  Over those few days in September, we wandered orchards, apple packing plants, and Pike Place Market together, bonding over our love of Coronation Street and good coffee.   I remember watching Amy thrive in her element when we were given a preserving lesson at a Whole Foods in Seattle.   This lady clearly loved to can.   Amy's passion for preserves was so visible, I had no doubt then that she would one day write a book about it.  And you know what?  She's done just that!  The Canning Kitchen is being released this month by Penguin and I couldn't be more proud of this lovely lady I'm fortunate to call my friend.  

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Savory Broccoli, Cheddar & Sausage Scones

One of my favourite things about cooking is taking a look in the fridge and using up what I have on hand to make a meal, snack or baked good.  Others may find it challenging, but I get a thrill out of it.  Some of the best things that come out of the little green kitchen are creative takes on leftovers or ingredients almost (but not quite) off.  The whole mantra "waste not, want not" is key in my household, and also the smart title of Cinda Chavich's new cookbook.  Cinda is an award-winning freelance journalist specializing in food, wine and travel writing.  She's also penned 6 other cookbooks including my favourites High Plains and The Girl Can't Cook.  I had the pleasure of cooking for her on this adventure three years ago, where we bonded over pecan pie and prairie sky.  A wonderful lady.  And she knows food.  Her recipes are creative and inspiring, and her latest cookbook offering is that and much more. 
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