UPDATE:  I wrote a cookbook!  My book baby is called All the Sweet Things:  Baked Goods and Stories from the Kitchen of Sweetsugarbean, and it was published on Apirl 25th by TouchWood Editions.  I'm over the moon! For ordering online, and book tour info, check out the My Cookbook Page.

 Sweetsugarbean is a combination of my favourite things: cooking, food photography and writing.  Cooking from scratch is one of the best things you can do for yourself and those you love, and I'm so happy to share my recipes with you.  I'm super fortunate to make a living doing what I love...and to be in the food industry for as long as I have, you really do have to LOVE it.  I've worked in various corners of the professional kitchen, from small restaurants to catering companies and everything in between.  Food truly is my passion, and I don't stop living it once I leave the work kitchen.  I still come home and cook for myself, family and friends.  Eating well, using as many fresh and local ingredients as possible, means the world to me.  I feel most at home in my little green kitchen; it's where I feel grounded and happy.  Be it simmering  chicken stock for soup, or whipping up a batch of whole wheat biscuits on a Sunday morning,  these simple pleasures are a part of my everyday life.  With a Bachelor's Degree in Fine Art and a diploma in Culinary Arts, my interest and education in both these areas are reflected on these pages.  I'm a self-taught photographer and I currently use my iPhone 6s for the photographs.     

     My Mom is a fantastic cook, and I was always in the kitchen with her as a young girl.  Baking cookies since I was about 10, I've eaten my fair share of cookie dough!  We ate really well growing up, and living on a farm for the first 7 years of my life, I learned early on where food comes from.  Some of my earliest memories are running through tall rows of corn, digging up potato plants to unearth the treasures beneath, and sitting on my pet calf  "Susie".  The connection between farm and fork is something I believe strongly in.  My own garden plot is a busy place, and there is nothing better than picking lettuce, or a cucumber or a tomato that you seeded by hand, watered and watch grow.

     For the recipes in this blog I try to use all good quality, natural ingredients - local and organic if possible.  Butter always, never margarine!  When you start with good, wholesome products, you will make good, wholesome food.  My garden is a busy place in the summer/fall and many of the vegetables will appear on these pages.  If I can't grow it, I'll often pick it up from the local farmer's market, where excellent farmers are doing excellent work.   Most recipes "come from my head", but I will give credit if I adapt it from another source.  Inspiration often comes from just looking inside the fridge and seeing that I have a pound of apples, half a block of cream cheese and some puff pastry to use up.  I hate throwing food out, so "clean out the fridge days" usually turn into tasty treats!  Baking and desserts often appear here, only because I have a horrible sweet tooth and I love to bake with all my heart.  While I do joke about loving butter and bacon (a lot!) I also try to make food that is healthy and not too fussy. I'm a comfort food kind of girl, so I can guarantee you will not see anything on the blog about foie gras or truffle oil. Cheese and chocolate, that's another story.

    Since August of 2013, I've been writing a Taste Saskatoon Column for the Saskatoon StarPhoenix.  I've also been asked to write a recipe column in the StarPhoenix, called In Renee's Kitchen and those articles can be seen under Portfolio.  I also write a weekly food column in Saskatoon's Bridges and Regina's QC newspapers, also published by the Saskatoon StarPhoenix.  Links to those articles are also in the Portfolio section.  Culinaire Magazine also features my food writing, and those columns can be seen under Portfolio as well.

NOTE:  The Portfolio page is in desperate need of updating.  Please forgive! 

     All text, recipes and photographs are copyright of Renée Kohlman.  Please, if writing about sweetsugarbean, or using a recipe, link back to the original post.

     Thanks for stopping by!  I hope you find something that will make you hungry and want to cook!


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