I’m not going all hardcore California health club wheatgrass shooters on you, but I’ve just discovered that I can deliver large handfuls of leafy greens – in the form of fresh parsley – into the boys (and myself), completely undetected. And I wanted to share the happy news. In fact, they did bust me stuffing about half a bunch of curly parsley – stems and all – into their smoothie, and said little more than “oh wow! check it out!” I didn’t really intend to be sneaky about it – I don’t hide all their veggies – but I’d likely turn my nose up a bit if I caught someone stuffing a bunch of leaves into my smoothie. And you know how easily 5 and 8 year old boys can be grossed out. After that, there’s no turning back. Of course fresh parsley, being dark and green and from the ground, is incredibly good for you. Among it’s other virtues it’s one of the foodsContinue reading

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Peeps! You can make them yourself, then float them in your hot chocolate! Yes, I do lie awake at night thinking about this stuff. Some girls think of George Clooney – I’m counting Peeps. Sure you can always pick up a bag, but marshmallows are fun to make yourself, can be flavoured any number of ways – try adding peppermint or coconut extract – and are far more delicious than the packaged kind by virtue of being homemade. Bonus: you can shape your mallows into letters or shapes by spooning the mixture into a zip-lock bag and piping it out. It’s just marshmallow goo, spooned into a zip-lock bag and squeezed out through one corner. Easy. In fact, once you have the bagful of creamy marshmallow (made with plain gelatin simmered into hot syrup with sugar and water, whipped with corn syrup until it has the same consistency as meringue) you could squeeze it out into letters, numbers or any shape you like. You could,Continue reading

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I KNOW!! I’ve weaned myself off of that late afternoon cup of coffee. With this. Oh wait, I also had some of this. This one’s just plain old hot chocolate, straight-up. That white creaminess on the top, by the way? aren’t dollops of whipped cream – they’re (melting) homemade marshmallows. Which yes, I know, are oh-so-very Martha. And to be honest I don’t have the patience for the cutting and the dusting with icing sugar (I can never cut them cleanly, and wind up a total mess with marshmallow goo stuck to me and less-than-Martha looking mallows all over my kitchen. And myself. And the floor. And the dog. Black-haired dogs and sticky freshly sawed-apart marshmallows do not mix.) So I discovered if you just drop spoonfuls of the marshmallow mixture onto parchment paper or pipe it out from a zip-lock baggie (in which case you can make Peeps!) it’s far easier and less labour-intensive, and you don’t need to dust everything with icing sugarContinue reading

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There seems to be an awful lot of interest surrounding the topic of hot cocoa. Specifically, how to make it. This is not surprising considering the recent enormous dump of snow that has blanketed Calgary, slowing it down considerably and sending it scrambling to find its mittens and snow shovels. (Confession: I love it. Even the driving part. I love walking the boys to school and shoveling the sidewalk and coming in with the bottom inches of my jeans cold and wet. I’m sure the novelty will wear off sometime around January 2nd.) So to make real, for-true-life hot cocoa this is what you do (or what I do): stir together a tablespoonful each of cocoa and sugar (or honey) in a small pot, and add about a cup of milk (soy or almond milk is fine, although it’s sweeter so you may want to cut down the sugar). Heat. (You’ll have to heat the water anyway-you may as well heat milk, right?) Or, ifContinue reading

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It was a good weekend, if busy. It may sound like the picture of domesticity, in fact, when I recap: coffee to go and some good, artsy garage sale-ing Saturday morning, at which W (finally!) became the proud owner of a Slap-Chop – a real one, not the 1950s version my Grandma had that he took one look at and declared “not the real thing”. (He has been asking for one since Christmas. When he got the Graty that came with it, he turned to me and said, “hey Mom! You can put your cheese in it, you can keep it in the fridge and fuggedaboutit!” in full-on New York slang.) This morning the boys decided they wanted to have a lemonade stand. We pulled out the old mixer with juicer attachment my sister acquired at some antiques/curios shop ages ago, which is pulled out a few times per summer for this purpose and no other. I realize it sounds a bit Martha to setContinue reading

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It started snowing this afternoon in Jasper – big, clumpy flakes that fell quickly, like wee snowballs, blowing sideways past the window in the main lodge. We were sitting by the stone fireplace, eating hot seafood chowder and sliders, after an hour or so of full-contact ping pong downstairs. Feel free to hate me a little bit. It was a fitting reception for the first group arriving for Christmas in November. Chef Michael Smith arrived late in the afternoon with chef Paul Rogalski (of Rouge) followed by Ken Kostick and Karl Lohnes. Chris Standring arrived yesterday, like us, and Gail Hall and the crew from the Edmonton Journal. Next week Anna Olson will come, and one of my favourite ladies of all time – Elizabeth Baird, with her sidekick, Emily Richards. I’m so sad to be missing them. I’ll get over it. Perhaps another hot chocolate will help. As guests arrived, giant silver tureens of real hot chocolate sat in waiting with bowls full ofContinue reading

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Another clue in the Mystery of the Tight Pants: I had to run over to the gas station to buy cream to whip for our peach crisp the other night. Want to know why? Because the pint we bought earlier this week (in anticipation of a veritable parade of fruit cobblers, crisps and pies-we managed one, anyway) was used up by my SISTER while making us COFFEE every morning (and more than the occasional afternoon). Here I thought it tasted so good because the freshly ground beans were organic and from Salt Spring Island and I was sipping it on the porch overlooking Clayoquot Sound. Nope – apparently it had more to do with the 35% cream, in (according to my calculations) outrageous quantities. We decided to launch a sort of coffee project this week, partly because both of us are a little bit workaholic and she, as a single mom of three and full-time teacher, grabs on to projects like lifelines when faced withContinue reading

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Still had some of that garlicky hummus from the weekend, whole wheat tortillas and fresh parsley; took some frozen shredded chicken from the freezer and had something made before I had time to nibble through enough to count as dinner. The motivation behind the mandarin milkshakes was mainly to reclaim¬†a large chunk of prime real estate in my freezer that has been occupied for far too long. Besides, I had to put that vanilla ice cream out of its misery (if just to shut it up); likewise the last of the mandarin oranges that were getting too soft to be appealing. (Kind of like me.) I didn’t partake, but whizzed about 5 peeled mandarins with a few scoops of vanilla for Mike, Ben and W as they came back from playing at the park and ice skating. I buttoned the middle button of my pea coat today – comfortably, without fear of someone losing an eye by the sheer force of it popping off inContinue reading

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I had a bit of a scare this morning. I woke up, or rather got pushed out of bed by two three-year-old feet and licked awake by the dog, and went to get an espresso and check my blog (as always Saturday mornings are a bit like Christmas on account of the surge of comments I get for FSF), and it was GONE. This blog. Nothing there. No connection, through the www. or WordPress. For hours. P.A.N.I.C. I called tech support and they said the system was being upgraded but I didn’t quite buy it, and fretted through a three hour long panic attack which included a lot of reprimanding myself for not backing this thing up, only because I never got around to figuring out how. I have now. Phew. The thing popped back online at around noon. There is a moral to this story: BACK STUFF UP. Just in case. I’m sorry that some of these recipes come along a little too late,Continue reading

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