Can you find me in this picture? Have I told you lately that I love you? I mean, wow. How lucky can a girl be to have friends like you? You guys are just too awesome for words. Truly. I don’t even know what to say. Can I have you all over for dinner? (Actually, I have a plan for that. But I’ll tell you tomorrow.) I couldn’t keep myself from popping to A) say thanks, you made me feel exactly like this photo, only more teary, B) I can’t believe how many F-bombs have been dropped here in the past 12 hours – it’s kind of like hearing your mom swear for the first time, and getting all giggly over it. Also, C) I want to share the news of a new project that has evolved since this morning into something real and exciting, thanks to you: you’ve inspired me to get over my damn self and go do something positive, to (at theContinue reading

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I have a hard time writing about anything other than what’s going in Haiti today, but I know you’re all waiting for an update on A. B. So I’ll go ahead and fill you in on the nitty and the gritty. Wardrobe issues aside, it went well. I didn’t throw up, nor pass out. I did forget some of my best jokes, but that tends to happen when you’re standing alone on stage in front of 2000 people (chefs and foodies and friends and peers – people in Calgary whose opinion I care about) and on top of it Mr. Anthony Bourdain is watching you from stage right. But here, let me backtrack and spin you the whole tale. Before the show I went for dinner with Greg van Poppel, the executive chef from the Fairmont Palliser hotel, and his wife Sarah, who were completely fantastic. They were the winning bidders on the package we auctioned off on CBC before Christmas, and they donated aContinue reading

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And not only was he hilarious, he was nice. Also: sweet, kind, and genuine. Right before we went on I told him the story of W asking what meat says. (Me: moo? W: No, it says “hi, I’m delicious!”) I’ll fill you in on the gory and not-so-gory details tomorrow – I’m about to fall asleep at the computer and have a dentist appointment in less than 8 hours. P.S. I got him to sign my boots. Loved the skirt. The jacket might have been a mistake.

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Have you ever panicked that there is just so much food and so little time? I do. Frequently. I remember the first time I felt a pang of THERE IS JUST SO MUCH TO EAT AND ONLY SO MANY DAYS IN A WEEK AND HOURS IN A DAY! AND MONTHS IN A YEAR! EVERY DAY I HAVE TO DECIDE! I’M NOT GOING TO HAVE TIME TO EAT IT ALL! THE MATH JUST DOESN’T ADD UP! – it was triggered by a coconut cream pie. So now every time I get overwhelmed by the food possibilities out there (eating in and out), or unreasonably angry that I’ve wasted valuable space and calories on something that was not all it should be, I think of coconut cream pie. OK, not really every time. But sometimes I have my coconut cream pie moments. I get this feeling a lot when I get sucked into the vortex of food blogs – skipping from one to the next, bookmarking stuffContinue reading

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I am of the firm belief that a nice fruit crumble (or crisp, cobbler, brown Betty or slump) makes a perfectly suitable breakfast (slumps being of course particularly suitable for Monday mornings), especially when topped with a blop of thick plain yogurt. Whomever came up with the breakfast rules of engagement and classified donuts, Danish and Pop Tarts as such while only allowing crumbles and crisps room at the dessert table was terribly unfair. Of course it’s the leftovers that are more likely to show up as breakfast, but on a winter weekend can you think of a nicer welcome for a group around your kitchen nook than a warm apple, pear and cranberry crumble pulled from the oven as the coffee percolates? (Or arrives in its Tim Horton’s cup, whichever fits.) I love the ballast of plain yogurt with sweet-tart crumbles, but sometimes, especially at dessert when there’s no ice cream, I’ll swirl in some maple syrup and a drop of the vanilla AContinue reading

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Aw, I’m all verklempt. I’m so glad to have you guys here, cheering me on, balancing things out, telling me what I need to hear when I can’t see past my thighs. (Especially my right one, which is inexplicably two inches bigger than my left one.) It’s silly, isn’t it? The hungry part of my brain easily convinces the part that controls my hands and mouth that life is too short to worry about aesthetics, that I shouldn’t waste my time caring about my hair or what I can or can’t wear and who might see me, but rather seize the day (and the donut) and appreciate what I have. Which is all true. Especially when news comes of the death of someone close to many friends and colleagues, and another old friend is suddenly admitted to the ICU. What better salve than a comforting meal shared with people you love? To obsess about that extra piece of buttered toast with tea before bed seemsContinue reading

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So um yeah, I won this award recently (click on it to enlarge), and it’s one I unabashedly admit I fully deserve. I’d like to thank all the little people for making me look so much bigger. I guess since this is technically a food blog I should at some point address the first-world shift in priority that comes with the new year; the clamouring to high-dive from marathon consumption of fat calories directly into ultra-lean and healthy everything all the time – an often all-or-nothing approach that bans entire food groups and tosses perfectly good chocolate in the garbage in hot pursuit of A BRAND NEW YOU! (One thing I know: if you can’t resist having chocolate around you won’t be successful in the long term – this is a caramel-filled, chocolate-covered world. Another thing I know: you have to be happy with the regular old you first and foremost. Think of a structurally unsound house to which hasty aesthetic improvements have been madeContinue reading

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One of my New Year’s Resolutions (or – thoughts I tend to get more of at this time of year regarding what I’d like to do more or less of) is to eat more soup. It’s important to have achievable goals. And to eat more vegetables. Here is yet another extreme leftover makeover wherein the sloppy seconds almost trumps the original: any soup started from a meaty ham bone, particularly one containing black beans or lentils. This ham first made its debut while the family painted across the street – a great easy meal for a crowd that costs less than ordering pizza. Honestly. (Ham – $15. Biscuits from scratch – $1. Having your sister move in across the street – priceless. Although that really doesn’t have much to do with the ham, but it sounds nice.) Also – do pizza leftovers take care of dinner another night? I didn’t think so. Pizza crust soup is nowhere near as appetizing. Ham & Lentil Soup 1Continue reading

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