Thursday, February 18, 2016

Apple Skillet Pancake with Rosemary & Cheddar

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.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Braised Chicken Thighs in a Mushroom Lemon Cream Sauce

It's a cold day across most parts of Canada - I know I had to throw an extra blanket on the bed last night and I don't dare go anywhere in my house without slippers on my feet.  It's a day for staying in and being cozy with your favourite people.  And, two words:  comfort food.  There's nothing better than curling up with a steaming bowl of something gorgeous and I've got just the right recipe for you.  The kind folks at Mushrooms Canada asked me to be a guest in their kitchen again, and I knew right away I wanted to use chicken thighs because 1) They're super economical right now.  2) Bone-in and skin-on thighs have loads of flavour, perfect for braising.  And 3) Chicken + Mushrooms = Together 4 Eva.  It's a great combo, especially when you throw cream and lemon juice into the mix. The meat just falls off the bone after 40 minutes of braising and the sauce, oh man, the sauce is delicious, great served over pasta or mashed potatoes.  If you are staying in and cooking for your love bug this Valentine's weekend, you'll find the recipe here.  Light some candles, pour the wine, and let love rule.     


Saturday, February 6, 2016

Five Whole Years (!!) and a Few Favourite Things

When I first started writing this blog, I had no idea what I was a) doing, and b) getting myself into.  I never in a million years expected it to be anything more than a little chat about what I was making in my little green kitchen.  But then I fell in love with my little corner of the internet universe, and like anything else when it comes to love, you work at it.  Often.  I'd come to this space whenever I had a second or two free from my full-time chef gig, with hopes (and dreams!) of one day writing more at home and working in kitchens less.  Five years later, that is my current reality, which still blows my mind a little.  Okay, a lot.  I've come a long way since that very first post about pears and waffles.  Don't laugh at those photos!  I had no idea what I was doing!  Besides being a creative outlet, the blog has opened up all kinds of opportunities for me.  I've been lucky and traveled to Washington State, Toronto, Montreal, and Southern Saskatchewan, twice.  I've met other bloggers who've turned out to be sweet, sweet friends.  I've gotten freelance writing gigs for newspapers and food magazines.  And of course, I'm near the end of writing my very first cookbook.  All because of this blog, and hard, hard work.  In short, Sweetsugarbean changed my life.  This was not what I had in mind when I sat at my computer in January of 2011 and pressed "publish" for the first time.  But holy smokes, I'm so happy the way things have turned out.  Thanks to all of you who have been with me from the beginning, and to those who have just joined in.  I'm so happy to have you here!  Giant hugs and kisses all around!

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