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W lives in Minecraft world, where even when he’s not attached to the screen everything revolves around swords and armor and pickaxes and protecting oneself from creepers. The creepers in my world are the cinnamon buns that I have to bake in the morning for a photo shoot, and then sit lustily on the countertop, warm and needing to be eaten. The succession of recipes to be tested and photographed – the pizza straight from the oven, the baked cheese and waffles and pasta carbonara that I have to make and shoot, still steaming, before it gets dark. The lunch meetings and restaurant openings, the rationalization that I need to eat all this, in the name of research. It’s my job, dammit.

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Amid a flurry of baking – I have another book manuscript due in a week – I decided that we should have something that’s not a scone/cookie/cinnamon bun to nibble on (crazy, I know), and I’ve been meaning to make another batch of roasted chickpeas since having the very best ones I’ve ever eaten at Rostizado in Edmonton. I could have happily eaten their crunchy/spicy/tangy bar snacks all night, and when I asked what made them so crazy good, they showed me a bottle of a Mexican spice blend that as far as I could tell contained merely chile powder, salt and lime. I could do this. Roasting chickpeas is really easy – all you do is drain a can really well and pat them dry as best you can – moisture is what keeps anything from getting nice and crispy – then sread them out on the darkest baking sheet you own (it will conduct heat more efficiently than lighter ones) and drizzle withContinue reading

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Guys! I dunno.. my paper wall calendar says it’s October. I think it might be broken. We still have no kitchen.. our makeshift dining room kitchen now has a slow cooker and an electric skillet, which take turns on the chair closest to the one electrical outlet that is currently occupied by the microwave and coffee machine. Apples are in, butternut squash is in.. and sausage is always in. This is something you can chop on a rolling cart and make in a slow cooker – even without a kitchen. Update soon! Promise.

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Two years ago I baked a couple loves of white bread using Julia Child’s recipe. They were nothing particularly special as far as breads go – the kind with the not-too-crusty crust that’s shaped like a caricature of toast when sliced. Soon after I made a peanut butter and jam sandwich on the aforementioned bread to pack in a school lunch (no allergies!), and it has since become referred to by W as My Favourite Bread. He asks for it by name, with butter or peanut butter or poached eggs or as a sandwich, and always quietly smiles when I have a loaf of it, or he sees me making a batch. But at one point I started to feel guilty for doling out so many thick slices of white bread, and figured I’d best inject some nutrition into it. In the form of pureed white beans, of course. They’re starchy, thick and have very little flavour on their own – they literally blend rightContinue reading

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Ah, January. Everyone’s so busy making this our Best! Year! Ever! And to that and, I know many of you are juicing it up, pumping it up, sweating it out, paying your holiday penance by eschewing fat/carbs/protein/solids or being exclusive to any of the above. As for me, I downloaded a “good habit” app and instructed it to remind me to drink more water, and now I turn off the alarm on my phone several times a day and feel guilty about the fact that I should be drinking more water. I’d like to say I’m immune to it all, but I do get caught up in the healthy eating vibe, and post-cookiepalooza is as good a time of year as any to realize that Almond Roca for breakfast is not necessarily a good life habit, and a dramatic drop in food-centric parties and epic 8 course dinners makes it a bit easier to wean oneself off the literal gravy train. Most years, instead ofContinue reading

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It should not be chili and fuzzy socks weather. Alas, it is. I made this chili a few weeks ago for some sci-fi celebs, and pulled some leftovers out of the freezer today. The day also included (not necessarily in this order): errands, editing, glittery blue nail polish, ice cream cones and Brazil. (Did you know Robert Di Niro is in it? Fact.) So back on the day when I made this, the first guy who came into the gold room – who had that famous movie star air about him but I have no idea who he was – surveyed the spread, and when I offered up myriad vegan options, laughed and said “no, I’m going for the chili!” Fast forward twenty minutes and he was walking out as I gave my chili elevator pitch to Michael Dorn, who’s vegan. He overheard the description of the chili and stopped, then turned around. He: “That chili was vegan?” Me: “Yep!” He: “No way. That didContinue reading

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This one’s going to be short and spicy. Pun fully intended. There is no way to make this pretty, but damn, it’s yummy. Like hummus meets refried beans with a kick of sriracha – the perfect car snack when you need something munchy but with some semblance of nutritional value. I’m not against junky nibbles on road trips, but always feel a bit like a movie theatre floor by the time we arrive wherever it is we’re going. No road trips this week, but plenty of eating at my desk. This.

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It was -33 today. I can think of no better argument for bringing out the slow cooker. Wait – there was a better reason. Kelsey and Phoebe and Cara (from Big Girls Small Kitchen – who’s new cookbook I became smitten with in early December when I was bedridden with a wrecked back) asked me to be a part of their slow-cooker love-in. It’s cold, and I love slow cooked food. Why not? They’re giving away some slow cookers too, if you want to get in on the action. They’re also swapping ideas and links and pins and such, if you’re looking for slow cookin’ inspiration, which if my inbox is any indication, a lot of people are. I must keep this short – have a story due today, which technically ends at midnight, right? There are so many possibilities when it comes to slow cookers. So many cool things to make, but I couldn’t see past a bowl of baked beans. These are thickContinue reading

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