Saturday, November 14, 2020

Getting Festive: Caramelized Onion and Cranberry Focaccia

 This is a sponsored post. While I was compensated financially, all opinions are my own. 

I’m back with more Spanish Sweet Onion love, and this recipe is so perfect for the upcoming holiday season. I mean, just look at it! This is the sort of thing I want to nibble on while the furnace is purring and the windows are frosting up. It’s decidedly winter here, with the massive dump of snow from last weekend putting us firmly in place. Literally. I ventured out on the roadways for the first time in a week and only got stuck once, which is rather successful I think. It was nice to come home and relax with a slice of this savoury onion and cranberry focaccia. There’s enough sweetness from the onions to play with the tart cranberries, and that sprinkle of flaky salt brings everything together. It was a big hit in my house!

Monday, November 9, 2020

French Onion Macaroni and Cheese

 This is a sponsored post. While I was compensated financially, all opinions are my own. 

So much has happened in the last couple of months. I hope everyone is doing well and staying safe during these wild and crazy days. It’s been a bit of blur over here. The manuscript for Vegetables: A Love Story is fully and completely edited and on its way to the designer as we speak. I can’t remember a day in the last year when I haven’t been working on the book! Feels strange and yet exhilarating to send the book baby away and see what magic transpires with the words and images. With a little more time on my hands I’m catching up on cleaning (oh the dust bunnies!) and tidying up all the loose ends that I’ve shoved to the back burner this year. My office has never been so clean and organized! And, there’s a blizzard on its way this weekend, so I’ve hunkered down with the cats, and have a fridge and pantry well-stocked so you know there is going to be some comfort food happening too. Nothing like swirling snow outside to make me want to have the oven on all day, cooking and baking all the things. This creamy French Onion Macaroni and Cheese was exactly what the day needed - full of delicious caramelized onions and gooey cheese. I’m already excited about the leftovers for lunch tomorrow! 

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Grilled Garlic Sausage and Gnocchi Skillet Dinner


This is a sponsored post. While I was compensated financially, all opinions are my own.

I really love these late August days. This is the point of summer when I'm savouring every detail, every day. 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. In the evening, I love how the warm breeze moves the curtains, just so. The other night I fell asleep to the sound of thunder rumbling in the distance, and I’m almost certain there was a smile on my face. I savour every moment summer and I have together, whether it's driving out on country roads to look at the stars, or one last dip of the toes into the lake. And, I’m eating all of the delicious things like peaches and corn and tomatoes, oh my! For anyone who loves food, this is the best time of the year. Savour it all, while you can. 

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Summer Food: Caramelized Pear and Prosciutto Pizza

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

Hey there! It’s been forever since I dropped in to say hello. I’ve been up to my eyeballs
in vegetables and I’m so happy to report that my manuscript for Vegetables: A Love Story
is finally completed! I’m so darn proud of everything I’ve written and the recipes are
soooooo good. I can't wait for you to see them in about one year! The manuscript is
in the hands of my trusty publisher (TouchWood Editions), and now I’m just trying to
relax and get some summertime fun in before I get the edits handed back to me and
the work starts once again. It feels quite strange to not be sitting at the computer,
writing the recipes and stories. I mean, this is what I’ve been doing for the better part
of the year, and it’s kinda hard to train my brain to think of something else. I think
this means an escape is required. Somewhere quiet and woodsy and not too many
people around, because COVID. If not, then my backyard will have to do, alongside
a good book and a cold beverage or two. I have to admit that it’s been fun to cook
something that’s not for the cookbook, and this pizza is what I’m loving lately. It’s
got caramelized pears, for Pete’s sake, so you know it’s gonna be awesome! 

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

White Bean Panzanella Salad

This is a sponsored post. While I was compensated financially by the Ontario Bean Growers, I've been a huge fan of all things bean related for a very long time. All opinions are mine.

It’s so nice to see fresh spring produce finding its way back to local Farmers’ Markets again. Do you do a little dance when you see the bundles of asparagus at the farmers’ stall as well? Good! I’m glad I’m not the only one who adores this spring vegetable with abandon. How lucky am I that Dixon brings me all the asparagus I could ever want?! I certainly hit the jackpot with that man. Needless to say, I’ve been eating asparagus several times a week, making the most of the time we have together (which will be until the end of June.)  I like to trim the ends, discard the tough, woody stems, then I put it in a frying pan with a little water and steam it until it’s tender. I drain the asparagus, rinse it under cool water and toss it on salads like this. The fresh sweetness really shines through, as I eat one spear, and then another. Sometimes I’ll melt a little butter in the same frying pan and add the blanched asparagus. Season with salt and pepper and serve it with fried eggs and hot, buttered toast. Or if I’m feeling particularly gluttonous, I’ll whip up a batch of blender Hollandaise and drizzle it over the steamed asparagus. I eat it with my fingers and sigh heavily with happiness. Asparagus is also lovely roasted, wrapped in bacon, puréed in soup, and grilled on the barbeque. So many options for this verdant vegetable!

Friday, May 1, 2020

Grilled Smokies and Easy Baked Beans

This is a sponsored post. While I was compensated financially, all opinions are my own. This is the seventh week of isolation for me. It feels like the time has slipped by, and yet February feels like ages and ages ago. I was talking with a friend today, and she mentioned how much she loved her life three months ago; how good she had it. I couldn’t agree more. Those were the days of hugging your friends, going for coffee spontaneously, and no one thought twice about going into the grocery store. I miss those days. I miss a lot of things. But with the longing for “the old ways” comes an acceptance for what is the new “normal”, and a whole lotta gratitude for the life I have. It’s not that bad. Everyone I love is safe and well. I have a fridge full of food. I' have a little bit of money in my bank account. And, I've got all the springtime feels. We’ve had a burst of heat here in Saskatoon and it can’t come at a better time. I’m so grateful that I have a huge yard to spend time in. Me and the cats go outside for at least a few hours every day. They climb trees, sniff every flower bed, and curl up in the patches of sunlight. I dig in the dirt, happy to see all of the green stuff poking out, then I take a break and sit in my chair and drink tea, grateful for the sun shining on my face, warming me up from the inside out. 

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

White Bean and Chicken Chili

For the last few weeks I’ve been all about the comfort food. Like many of you, I’ve been hunkering down in my kitchen, testing recipes and trying to figure out what the “new normal” is going to look like. So far it looks like me eating a lot of bread and yummy soups, pasta, and chili. I’m into it. These are the days to reach for whatever brings you comfort, while also cooking healthy, nutritious meals without having to run to the grocery store every few days. I’m trying to hold out for at least two weeks and so far, so good. Having a well-stocked (but not hoarding!) pantry of canned beans, chicken broth, and other essentials, means dinner can come together easily, and taste mighty delicious. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Tomato and White Bean Soup with Sausage and Kale

This is a sponsored post. While I was compensated financially by the Ontario Bean Growers, I've been a huge fan of all things bean related for a very long time. All opinions are mine. 

So, how is everyone doing? I feel like the world has just been turned upside down, and like many of you, I'm holding tight to whatever I can grasp on to: the close relationships I have with my fella and my mom; working on my cookbook (it's so good to have a massive project to focus on); my four sweet and entertaining felines; voices of friends from afar; Netflix and books; short walks outside, far away from people; and of course cooking and baking. My kitchen is truly my sanctuary; I feel safe and comfortable there. With all of the scary stuff happening outside my house, standing at my counter creating recipes feels normal. And good. I like normal and good! I've been staying home LIKE YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO and honestly, it's going okay. I'd pretty much planned on self-isolating until August when my manuscript is due, but not quite as extreme as this. I long for the days far down the road when I can go out for dinner with my boyfriend. And go grab a coffee and chat with friends. And hug them! And pick my mom up so we can go get pedicures. I'm going to go to all of the movies and all of the concerts and I very well may hop a on a jet plane. And not be afraid. This all seems like a dream, but when the anxiety kicks in late at night, these are the small things I think of and honest to god I'll never take them for granted again.

Monday, January 20, 2020

Three Cheese Onion Tart

This is a sponsored post. While I was compensated financially, all opinions are my own. 

I’m back with more Spanish Sweet Onion love, but before I get to describing just how utterly easy and delicious this tart is (just look at it) here are some neat things about onions that you may not know. It’s monday! Let’s learn things! 

The onion is an ancient vegetable thought to have come from Central Asia and has been grown for over 5000 years in Egypt, 2000 years in Italy and more widely in Europe during the Middle Ages. That’s a really long time! The onion has collected a wealth of stories, myths, symbols, culinary and medicinal uses that connects us to a broader view of human activities and attitudes. Because relatives of the onion are found all over the world, it is likely that the onion has been a common ingredient of the cuisines of the world from the time before humans wrote, perhaps even before they spoke. In its long and robust life, the onion has found many champions. Greek physicians around 60 AD, prescribed onions for eating, as well as for medicinal reasons. Richard II, King of England, had many recipes using onions in his 1390 “cookbook.” Some ancient cultures raised the onion to symbolic heights. The Romans considered the concentric rings of cut onions and globe shape of uncut ones symbolic of eternity. The Egyptians painted or carved onion shapes on monuments and in tombs to depict their use as funeral offerings. And, lastly, Greek and Phoenician sailors carried onions on board their ships - the high content of Vitamin C came in handy when preventing scurvy. Cool, hey? Lots to think about the next time you pick up a bag of Idaho-Eastern Oregon Spanish Sweet Onions at the market!

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Buttery Pappardelle in Caramelized Onion Sauce

This is a sponsored post. While I was compensated financially, all opinions are my own. 

I don’t know about you, but I’m in full-on hibernation mode. Every day I thank my lucky stars that I’m writing my second cookbook (!!!) and don’t have to venture out of my house too much. This is especially welcome when the *Feels Like temperature is -40C in Saskatoon. Oh my stars, let me tell you, that is COLD. And when it’s this cold I want to fill my belly with delicious comfort food that is simple, budget friendly (it is January after all) and delicious. This recipe for buttery noodles swaddled in the most delicious caramelized onion sauce checked all those boxes. I just finished the last bit for lunch today and I already can’t wait to make it again!

Friday, January 3, 2020

A New Year, A New Cookbook!

"Anything can happen! Anything can be!" 
~ Shel Silverstein

Happy New Year! I hope everyone enjoyed their holidays, and while I can't believe we've slipped into a new year, a new decade, here we are. I'm slowly coming out of the chocolate and cheese coma that is December, and ready to get roaring on my brand new project that will consume a great deal of my 2020. I'm writing another cookbook! Vegetables: A Love Story will be published in the fall of 2021 by the fantastic team at TouchWood Editions once again. I'm super excited to finally share the news with you, though I first broke it on my social media a few weeks ago. You follow me over there too, right? For more behind the scenes cookbook adventures, be sure to see what I'm up to on the Instagram and Facebook. Plus, sometimes there are photos of cats! And cookies!
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