Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Creamy Pumpkin Pie with Chocolate Glaze

It's mid-November, and I know many of us have been playing with pumpkin for a couple of months now, so I understand if you're feeling a little squashed out. It happens. And I blame Starbucks. But, I'm popping in quickly to say how yum this pie is I made the other day. It's got a creamy, cream cheesy filling, with those warming spices we all love this time of year. The chocolate cookie crust is so easy, even a novice baker could do it. No rolling of pie dough with this recipe! There is a rich chocolate glaze poured over top, which really does make the pie even more fantastic. With a dollop of whipped cream, this is a tasty addition to any winter supper or Thanksgiving for my American pals.

Monday, November 5, 2018

I Won Gold!

Last Monday night, in a fancy hotel ballroom in downtown Toronto, my little world went bonkers, but in the very best way. I won Gold for All the Sweet Things at the Taste Canada Awards in the best single subject category! It's one week later, and I still get goosebumps as I remember hearing my name being called, and all of the whoops and cheers that followed. I somehow made my way up on stage to receive the award, fighting back tears all the way. Overwhelmed and overjoyed, I said a speech I had been practicing in my head all day. I felt like it was a good thing to be prepared - just in case! I thanked everyone who loved and supported me from the very beginning of the project. There was laughter and tears and by the time I left the stage, a huge round of applause. I made my way back to my seat, and to the arms of my darling Dixon, and then the tears I had been fighting so hard to keep back fell from my eyes. Tears of such incredible joy and gratitude. What a night! It was so great to finally meet Taryn, my publisher at TouchWood Editions for the very first time, as well as the company's co-owner, Pat. These ladies are simply the best. I'm so glad my old friends Josée and Sonia were there with me, as they've been cheering me on for so long. It's good to have friends like them in your corner. After much mingling and merry-making we fell into an Uber and made our way back to the condo, where that night, sleep was slow to come, but in the morning, I made sure to pinch myself to make sure I wasn't dreaming. Thanks to so many of my followers who have sent me messages and emails. I love you guys. Everything happened because of this blog. Cheers to you, for reading along for all of these years. If I could send you all cupcakes, I totally would! xoxo Renée

Friday, October 19, 2018

Flaxseed and Apple Brown Butter Blondies

"When you pay attention, even the constants in life are changing." ~ Brooke Semple I'm interrupting my bonkers busy schedule to say hi and to tell you about these fabulous blondies I made recently. I love them so much I made about 750 pieces for a catering gig tomorrow. That's right - 750. If you're curious, that equals about twenty two 9x13 pans. I was basically a machine when I whipped them up all on one day this past week. But, my house smelled like brown butter and apples, so that's a win! If you're in Saskatoon, pop by the Saskatoon Farmers' Market tomorrow (Sat October 20th) where I'll be sampling the blondies, and beef and lentil meatballs (yes, 750 meatballs too!!), from 10-12. This is all to celebrate AgMonth in Saskatchewan and I'm a proud partner with Farm and Food Care Saskatchewan for the event. Follow along on my social media to see posts profiling farmers and producers, my favourite foods, food stories and lots more. It's a fantastic initiative to get people thinking about where our food comes from, and to celebrate those who make it.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Get Seasonal: One Pot Pumpkin Macaroni and Cheese

This is a sponsored post. I was compensated financially by Barilla Canada, but all the opinions are my own.  

Everyone loves macaroni and cheese. It’s classic comfort food at its best, and because World Pasta Day is October 25th, I thought I would switch it up my favourite mac and cheese with seasonal pumpkin and sustainable split red lentils. Don’t worry - the end result is still bowls of delicious mac and cheese goodness with the bonus points for added nutrition. Another pasta event happening in October is the Barilla Pasta World Championships in Milan, Italy from October 23rd -25th. This year’s edition is the seventh annual competition, and it’s exciting because for the second time ever, a Canadian chef is competing. Chef Angela Villalta from Toronto is representing Canada, and I’m sending her all sorts of winning vibes.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

In the Kitchen: French Pound Cake

I first met Mardi Michels at a Food Bloggers of Canada conference back in 2013, and have had the pleasure of bumping into her at least once every year since then. Not only does she write her popular food blog Eat.Live.Travel.Write. she's also a full-time French elementary school teacher, and she runs cooking classes for boys aged 7-14. Fun Fact: Mardi never took any time off to write her gorgeous debut cookbook In the French Kitchen with Kids. What a woman. After days spent teaching the boys, she would go home and work on the cookbook. As someone who has written a cookbook, I pretty much locked myself in the house for five months, and the thought of working full time while doing so terrifies me. Mardi is a powerhouse of creative energy and culinary skill, and I'm so happy that she has birthed the most gorgeous book baby!

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Everything Good To Eat: Apricot Pie

"Summer was everything good to eat; 
it was a thousand colors in a parched landscape." 
~Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

This is the point of summer when I'm savouring every detail, every day. The way the warm breeze flows into the house at night, moving the curtains just so. I know the cool nights are coming, but I'm not quite ready for them. I'm thoroughly enjoying ice cream on the patio, as the dragonflies swoop under the trees, which are beginning to change, but I pretend I don't see the yellowing of leaves. Whenever I put on a pretty summer dress, I feel the fabric and admire the way it swirls about my hips, all the while thinking that this could be the last time I wear it this year. End of August always has me feeling a little choked up, like I'm saying goodbye to a lover, forever. I savour every moment we have together, whether it's driving out on country roads to look at the stars, or one last dip of the toes in the lake. Late August has me feeling like this Cat Stevens song and I'm not sorry.

Friday, August 3, 2018

Pear and Goat Cheese Tartlets with Honey Drizzle

This is a sponsored post. I was compensated financially by California Bartlett Pears. All thoughts and opinions about these pears are my own.

My love for pears runs deep. It always has and always will. Pears whisper their flavour, rather than shout it from the rooftops like many of the fruits currently having their moment. Pears are the underdogs of the fruit world, and I kind of love them for that. Their subtle sweetness is still something I crave in this season of peaches and cherries. For a fruit lover like, me, I’m pretty much in heaven! That’s why when I saw baskets full of beautiful California Bartlett Pears at my local supermarket, my heart leapt a little. These sweet and juicy pears are only available for several weeks in July and August which means I can get my pear love in the summer and then in the fall with the pears from beautiful British Columbia. It’s a win win for me!

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Summer Fresh: Linguine with Shrimp, Tomatoes and Basil

This is a sponsored post. I was compensated financially by Barilla to write it. All thoughts, 
feelings and opinions about their pasta are my own. 

Happy Summer everyone! Oh, it feels glorious to be kicking off my favourite season. We've had gorgeous weather in Saskatoon, and already there have been several days of It's Too Damn Hot There's No Way In Hell I'm Going To Turn My Oven On. I think it's been a week now, and I'm beginning to miss my baked goods! My house is so old and just loves to retain the heat of the day. It's a beast, I tell you. Alas, one shall not complain of the heat, as those -30C temps are only 6 months away. Instead, I shall embrace the back sweat, and just change more often into my pretty summer clothes. When it's too hot to sleep, I'll step outside and admire the solar lights my mom has plunked all over the garden. If the house feels like it's on fire, I'll turn on the hose and douse myself with the cold, cold water. It's basically the 45 year old woman's version of running through the sprinkler. Afterwards, there will be ice cream in the shade, and the trees will sway in the summer breeze and I'll be glad that I live where I do, back sweat and all.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Breakfast Sandwiches With Maple Mustard Dill Sauce

This is a sponsored post. I was compensated financially by Egg Farmers of Canada. All opinions about eggs are my own.

Eggs are my go-to when it comes to breakfast. You can’t go wrong with poached, scrambled, or my personal favourite - gently fried in a little olive oil so we get those glorious crispy edges. Healthy, delicious, versatile, I love waking up to some yellow! So, when I was asked by Egg Farmers of Canada to attend a unique pop-up egg farmer’s market in downtown Saskatoon on May 31st, I immediately said yes. I think eggs are absolutely glorious. Always free of added steroids and hormones, and with six grams of the highest-quality protein and fourteen important vitamins and nutrients like iron, folate and vitamins A, D, and B12, eggs are a natural, delicious way to start my day. A dozen eggs are always in my shopping cart (I love that you can find them everywhere from big box stores to tiny convenience stores), and I go through them like crazy around here. Blended into Dutch baby or crepe batter, whisked into pancake mix, or cooked sunny side up for a tasty breakfast sandwich, I always know my day is going to be great when it starts off with eggs.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Skillet Mushroom Lasagna with Greens and Mozzarella

This is a sponsored post. I was compensated financially by Mushrooms Canada to develop this recipe. All opinions about mushrooms are my own. 

Hey all!  I'm hanging out with the fine folks at Mushrooms Canada again. I love it when they ask me to be a guest over on their blog, as mushrooms are pretty much a staple in my kitchen and I look forward to developing delicious recipes featuring this beloved fungi! 

Everyone loves a good lasagna, and this one cooks up in a cast iron skillet in no time. While the noodles are par-cooking, simply make a basic cream sauce, and stir in a little Dijon, cayenne and nutmeg. Mushrooms love those flavours! Sliced cremini mushrooms are cooked in a bit of butter with another good friend – garlic. Stir in your favourite baby greens and cook just until they are wilted. Wipe out the skillet and lightly grease it with some canola oil. Layer in the sauce, noodles, mushroom mixture and top with more cheese. It cooks quickly in a hot oven and has a short stint under the broiler to get that ooey gooey cheesy crust. Served with a side salad, it’s fancy enough for company, and simple enough for a weeknight family meal. Find the recipe over on the Mushrooms Canada Blog

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Get Ready: Penne with Tomatoes, Basil and Bacon

This is a sponsored post. I was compensated financially by Barilla Pasta to write this blog post, and they sent me product to try. All opinions are my own.

Long before the kind folks at Barilla Pasta wanted to work with me, their pasta was what I reached for when I was in the grocery store. This partnership is a natural fit for me and I’m so pleased to be working with them and creating all kinds of fun recipes with their pasta. First out of the gate is Ready Pasta, and it’s just in time for a busy summer season when you want to be outdoors pretty much all the time, right? The cool thing about this pouch of pasta is that it’s already cooked, making it an ultra-convenient pasta option to anyone who needs a quick meal solution or snack. You can microwave it for one minute, then stir in  your favourite ingredients. And, don’t fret if you don’t have a microwave. I don’t either, and the pasta is fabulous just warmed up in a skillet with a little olive oil. Heating up the pasta allows you to enjoy the al dente texture without sacrificing taste. And no, there are no wonky ingredients in the Ready Pasta. It’s crafted with high quality semolina (wheat), durum wheat flour, extra virgin olive oil and sea salt. There are no preservatives. You could eat it straight out of the bag, but heating it up for just a minute or two allows for that perfect al dente texture and delicious flavor you’ve come to expect from Barilla.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Ushering in Spring: Swedish Pancakes with Lemon

"The best things in life are nearest:  Breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of right just before you." Robert Louis Stevenson

So here we are in the midst of April, and I hope wherever you are the snow has melted and spring is in the air. We are getting another dump of the white, fluffy stuff today, but in a day or two it will all be forgotten as the temperatures rise and melt away the last dregs of winter. It has been a long, suffering one, has it not? I can't wait to trade in my lace up winter boots for footwear that requires less effort to put on. I know. So lazy of me! I've been wearing the same boots for 6 friggin months. Time to switch it up, right?

Monday, February 19, 2018

Honey Chipotle Roasted Fish Tacos with Peach Salsa

This is a sponsored post. I was compensated financially to write about California Cling 
Peaches. All opinions, thoughts, feelings about canned peaches are my very own.

My Instagram feed is currently flooded with folks frolicking on tropical beaches, 
and I have to admit I’m a little jealous. Clad in slippers and wool, I stare out onto a 
snow-covered front yard, and the only things frolicking are the brave birds, happily 
eating up the food I put out for them. How I wish I could trade in my boots for sandals, 
my shower for a swim-up bar, and the snow for some sand. And, everyone seems to 
be eating tacos on their tropical vacations, which makes me crave the sun and the 
beach even more. Seeing as I can’t transport myself to a place where the cold doesn’t 
hurt my face, I made my own fish tacos with a delicious peach salsa and pretend 
there isn’t another month of winter left.

Friday, January 26, 2018

California Dreaming: Roasted Peach and Ricotta Focaccia

This is a sponsored post. I was compensated financially to write about California Cling Peaches. 
All opinions, thoughts, feelings about canned peaches are my very own.

With summer months and months away, this is the time of year when I start to daydream about wearing flip flops, eating burgers outside in the shade and hearing thunder rumble off into the distance. Alas, my reality is feet in slippers, stew for supper and freezing rain being the crazy menace that it is. Oh, a girl can dream. When it comes to eating fruit, California Cling Peaches bring me a little taste of summer in the dead of winter. Easy to find on the store shelves, and affordable as all heck, canned peaches have no preservatives and according to a study by the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University, canned peaches are higher in antioxidants and Vitamin A and are nearly four times higher in Vitamin C and 10 times higher in folate than fresh peaches. Healthy and tasty, I love opening a can of these beauties.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

A New Year & a New Kitchen Toy: Roasted Beet Hummus

Disclosure:  Cuisinart sent me this lovely food processor free of charge.  All opinions about it are my own.  

Happy New Year, dear friends.  I hope you all survived the holidays relatively unscathed.  I'm super glad they are over, and now we can carry on with everyday life.  Keep in mind that my everyday life still involves cookies and cakes, but also plenty of vegetables and pulses.  It's all about the balance, you know. 

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