Thursday, April 26, 2012

True: Chocolate & Peanut Butter Cup Crème Brûlée

"The great thing about getting older is that you don't lose the other ages you've been." 
~ Madeleine L'Engle

When I was a kid I wanted to be Molly Ringwald.  Me and my sister watched and re-watched Sixteen Candles over and over until my brothers had had enough and confiscated both the remote control and VCR, not without us putting up a fight I might add.  We never got tired of the Geek and Jake and Long Duck Dong and the annoying little brother.  And the ending.  I mean how perfect is the ending?  Samantha finally gets to see Jake after her horrible sister gets married, and there he is looking all super hot in his super hot car.  On her sixteenth birthday no less.  I mean, come on.  What girl in her right mind didn't want to have a birthday like that one day?  She set the bar high, that Molly Ringwald girl.  

Saturday, April 21, 2012


Hi.  How are things today?  I hope you're all doing rather swell as the end of April approaches.  If you've been a regular reader here, you know all of the crazy good fortune that's been coming my way lately.  Sheesh!  This week there were requests for radio interviews and even a possible TV spot next week.  It's all super flattering and incredibly awesome, but for this sometimes shy girl who's used to typing away at her computer with slippers on her feet and a cat in her lap, it's almost a wee bit overwhelming at times.  No way in my wildest of dreams did I think writing in this space would lead to such wonderful opportunities and recognition.  Like I've said before, I'm bruised from the pinching to see if it's really real. 

My whole intention for this post was to write about some individual frittata cups I cooked up...but it turns out they were rather mediocre in taste and I didn't really love the way the photos turned out.  Frittata for the fail!  You all deserve nothing but the best in recipe content and visual content, so if it's crap I'm not going to post it.  And maybe I'm just feeling a teeny bit of pressure, now that I have had exposure and recognition as one of Canada's best food bloggers, to step up my game a bit.  I'm fully aware that this is pressure I'm putting onto my own shoulders, and it's silly even telling you all about it.  While I'm generally confident in everything I create on these pages, it is also tempered with a little insecurity.  Right before I hit "publish" I think to myself, oh God I hope they love this post as much as I do, and is that photo good enough, and did I really need to talk about my cats so much? 

So for the next few days I'm just gonna chill out, take a deep breath and enjoy the ride.  Lucky for you I've got a list of all kinds of great stuff I've been loving lately.  Below are inspiring links or notes to words, sounds, images, recipes and events that have rocked my little world.  Expect a new recipe here sometime next week, but until then, have a great weekend!  xoxo Renee

1.  I so can't wait for the local strawberry u-pick to open just so I can make these and these.  Yum! 
2.  Blood, Bones & Butter is currently on my bedside table and I'm savouring every word. 
3.  This lipgloss is making me happy!  I'm not crazy about having toxins in my makeup, and because I have a massive addiction affinity for all things lippy, I love that this stuff is good for me. 
4.  God I love this song. 
5.  Tamar Adler in video and print.
6.  Brown butter, brown butter I love you brown butter.
7.  Blind dates.  Sometimes they can work out really, really well.
8.  Red wine and chocolate - two of my favourite food groups.  Imagine them in a cake!
9.  Stevie Nicks.  This July my friend Stacy and I are going to see her in Toronto.  Stevie Nicks!
10. If you are a cat person, you have to see this, and if you aren't then skip to 11.
11. Holy guacamole!
12. So I'm kind of addicted to Sons of Anarchy.  No, I don't have a tattoo or ride a motorbike or have any affiliation with a "brotherhood".  Plus I think I'll be Jax for Halloween.  Where can I find those all white sneakers?! 
13. For surely it is a magical thing for a handful of words, artfully arranged, to stop time. ~ Jhumpa Lahiri
14. I stumbled across this lovely new to me blog; so exciting to see all of the crazy good food blogging talent out there.  I just have to scroll down my reader to be inspired every day. 
15. The photo below appeared in the April 14th edition of the National Post newspaper.  Super cool to see my name in the small print beneath my photo. Those breakfast tacos really are photogenic!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Pinch Me: Curried Carrot Soup with Coconut Shrimp

Where do I begin?  This week has been insane - but in the best way.  On Friday I found out I won for Best Main Dish in the Canadian Lentils Recipe Revelations Contest.  Remember that Lentil & Chickpea Curry with Coconut Milk?  That was the winning entry!  Lucky, indeed.  Thank you so much to Canadian Lentils for the recognition.  I'm super pumped, and that Amazon gift card is going to be put to good use:  new chef's knife, maybe an ice cream maker because I keep whining that I don't have one.  And books. Like this one, and this one.  And maybe the Drive soundtrack, if only to remind me of Ryan Gosling every time I hear it.  Le sigh.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Little Blessings: Cream Cheese & Pistachio Cinnamon Twists

So I'm reading before bed last night, like I do most nights, and in the acknowledgements section of Still Life by Louise Penny (a great book if you dig crime fiction or if you've ever loved Agatha Christie like I do) I come across this:

I went through a period in my life when I had no friends, when the phone never rang,
when I thought I would die from loneliness.  I know that the real blessing
here isn't that I have a book published, but that there
are so many people to thank.    

Louise Penny nailed it, no?  I haven't felt the pit of loneliness for a very long time, but I remember it.    Sometimes the void was filled with chocolate or inadequate boyfriends and we all know the former is better than the latter.  Friendships truly are little blessings - be it old friends who knew you when you had the baddest hair and biggest glasses, or new friends you met over Twitter.  There's a bulletin board in my den, and it's absolutely plastered with photos of loved ones - from the faded pic of me and my sis sitting on our pet cow Susie when we were 3 and 5, to the latest pic of a sweet friend's little boys.  There is no room for lonely here.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Quinoa With Roasted Butternut Squash and Pecans

So check it out - these photos were all taken in my backyard a couple of days ago.  The cats stretched out, chewing on new shoots of grass while I snapped away.  Every once in awhile they'd stop chomping and start horking and give me a look like "she's still at it - that quinoa must be cold."  Oh the feline attitude I deal with.  I'm totally loving these days of longer light and the ability to shoot outside again.  I've gots the springtime fever I tell ya!  There are baby buds on trees and life is popping out allover.  Spring just oozes possibilities and I'm totally digging it.  

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