Before the cupcakes, we ate bread for dinner tonight and last. Aviv’s organic, handmade bread, thankfully. I had no plan in mind and was running out the door when the heavens parted and an angel in bike shorts stepped out of a modest hatchback bearing a multigrain loaf, wrapped in a paper bag with a small jar of cherry bourbon butter. We ate most of it, some with the butter and some with sausage, lentil & barley soup I had in a thawed yogurt container in the fridge. For those of you who haven’t heard about Aviv, every Monday he bakes dozens of organic artisan loaves (on Fridays he sends out a mass email letting everyone know what kind it’s going to be, and you can say yes or no) and then gets on his bike (or when he’s really overloaded, in his car) and delivers them around the core, selling them for $6 apiece (including delivery) and the proceeds go to support a schoolContinue reading

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I don’t ever use the abbreviated expletive OMG, but for the past hour my brain seems to be stuck on it. Really, nothing else applies. OMG: it’s John Cusack’s birthday. And apparently he’s just right out there in Vancouver, scouting out locations for something or other, which makes me doubly regret our move back to Calgary. Although the distance is probably keeping me from becoming a stalker, or doing something stupid like bake him a cake and then scour the city in an attempt to deliver it, ultimately giving up and eating it myself on some street corner or beach before walking home, dejected. That doesn’t sound too bad, actually. I’d love to be in Vancouver right now, eating cake. Regarding dinner, there really wasn’t one tonight. We were fed very well this afternoon at K & J’s place (sangria, cheese platter, beggar’s purses filled with goat cheese and caviar, steak on the barbecue, roasted veg, Caesar salad, and fruit-marshmallow kabobs with FIVE KINDS ofContinue reading

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This morning, something came along completely out of the blue that crept up and whacked us behind the knees, shaking us all down to our foundations. It was one of those things you can’t imagine could just show up without warning while you’re sitting blithely at the dentist and everyone is going about their morning routines. But it does, and it totally trumps everything you had previously scheduled, even what was considered the important stuff. And I can’t really share it here because it’s not my news to share with the world, and even though it affects us terribly I can’t really comment on much regarding our day, particularly the dinner situation, without giving it away. So I’ll just say that although everyone is (relatively) OK, we spent most of the day at the hospital and didn’t get home until close to 10. Because hospital food is questionable at best, I ran home mid-afternoon and made a batch of brown and wild rice salad withContinue reading

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So here’s the thing. I love strawberry-rhubarb pie; but I’m fairly lazy. It’s not that I don’t love making pies and pastry, but most often I figure I can get the gist of a strawberry-rhubarb pie in a less finicky format, like a crisp, cobbler or cake. Because really, half the reason for making strawberry-rhubarb pie is so that you can put vanilla ice cream on top of it, and this is as adequate a vehicle as any. Today we decided to step headstrong into the realm of grown-ups and get our roof redone. Spending $5000+ on something you can’t see or touch and that doesn’t really affect your life at all (it’s not like rainwater was dribbling through on our heads) was a hard sell for me, but I was ultimately convinced it was a good idea. This the same week I’m spending much of my time in the dentist’s office, and today, one of the hottest so far this summer, the AC inContinue reading

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We interrupt our regularly scheduled dinner program to announce that Good Bite has gone LIVE! Yes, finally, the Big Secret Project is not a secret anymore. And phew – what a relief, after two months of not being able to talk about it! I’m terrible at keeping secrets. (Just kidding – you can totally tell me stuff. Please do.) So here’s the gist – I nearly hit the floor when the DECA producers, the ones who brought us Momversation, called in April (from LA) and asked if I would be interested in being a part of this new online cooking conversation, putting me alongside the likes of David Lebovitz, Matt Armendariz of Matt Bites, Deb from Smitten Kitchen, Elise from Simply Recipes, Shauna and Danny from Gluten Free Girl, Diane and Todd from White on Rice Couple, Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen, Jeanne Kelley from her self-named Kitchen, Catherine McCord from Weelicious, and…. me. I’m still pinching myself, sitting here at my desk in pinkContinue reading

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I am so totally the opposite of Martha, I am like her antonym: I should have a magazine titled Julie Van Rosendaal Just Barely Subsisting. Or Keeping it Together the Best She Can. Or Julie Van Rosendaal: She Can’t Even Find the Vacuum Cleaner’s On Switch. (This one is for real: Mike bought a vacuum about a year ago – and last week W asked if he could vacuum. I thought I hit the jackpot – clean and play all in one? Well OK. But then the phone rang and I had no idea how to turn the vacuum cleaner off, because I had never used it before. And Mike wasn’t home. I had to ask W how to do it. In my defense, we have all hardwood floors… But still – we also have a large hairy dog. Even worse: about a month ago as I was chatting on the phone I noticed the clumps of dust up on the trim resembled cauliflower floretsContinue reading

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Fridays are house wine-drinking days on the Homestretch, and since I was taking over traffic duties I was around to partake. Jeff, who is (sadly) retiring next week, always brings cheese; this week it was a wedge of Piave, a cow’s milk cheese made in the Piave River Valley region of Belluno, Italy, and a runny brie-like goat cheese from Salt Spring Island Cheese. They had to pin me down and pry the Swiss Army knife from my hands to keep me from finishing that Piave; it’s a little like a cross between Parmesan and aged Gouda, and it is divine. As was the goat cheese. I’m glad I didn’t have to choose and could devour them equally. We ate all of it in the studio between 6 and 7, after going off the air. (Both, by the way, can be found at Janice Beaton.) To wash it down, Mount Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 2007. Very grapey and drinkable. I’m not usually a white wine person,Continue reading

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Dinner tonight was inspired by Linda’s comment. (I do read all of your comments, although I’m a bit behind – quel surprise – on replying to some.) She reminded me of the jar of rhubarb chutney I had in the fridge – I too heard a mention of rhubarb chutney recently, and it seemed to me a Very Good Idea. So I made some. Tonight we ate the last of it for dinner with a grilled pork tenderloin (excellent pairing), pickled beets (all eaten straight from the jar, with a fork, without making it onto dinner plates) and some grilled asparagus. To grill asparagus, roll it around in a bit of oil and throw it straight on the grill, running the stalks crosswise against the grills so that they don’t fall through. Thicker asparagus – which is not lesser asparagus, nor necessarily woodier – is easier to handle with tongs. If you’re looking to turn some rhubarb into jam, I made some last year thatContinue reading

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Romance is so not dead. I was just rooting around for chocolate (a habit I inherited from my Dad, who used to do this after dinner any night that there wasn’t a little dessert to be had – now he keeps the makers of Lindt 70% cocoa chocolate busy) and mentioned how much I would love to have a Drumstick right now (the ice cream kind), and Mike walked to the corner store and just handed me one. I think he may be hoping for some kind of payback later. It was some sorta crazy weekend. Friday night ended at 1am and Saturday morning began at 6:30 with W flicking/Lou licking me in the head. It was Gallery Calorie day, which was wildly successful and (almost) went off without a hitch, but had me out the door before 9 and home at close to midnight again. Sarah came and met me, and took a photo of our stunning pasta and bruschetta we ate on theContinue reading

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