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. 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, I imagine, toss them about in finely ground coloured sugar while they’re still tacky to complete the Peeps effect, but I love the way they resemble whipped cream as they melt on top of hot chocolate. You can flavour them with vanilla or peppermint or coconut or cinnamon or anything else you think would go well with chocolate. (And if you want to go dairy-free, useContinue 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.) Then, a discovery that I’ve decided after much inner searching to share with you: fruit-filled hand pies at Bliss & Co. bakery in Chinatown: THE BEST EVER. (Also: really nice people there. Which is always an added bonus.) It was all I could do to take a few snaps before devouring one of thoseContinue reading

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What a novelty! Tonight I think I’ll actually post what I had for dinner. I couldn’t possibly relay the food that I’ve consumed over the past several days at the JPL-suffice to say it has been superb and in excess. Dinner tonight started with Sweet Potato Carrot Bisque, poured over crispy fried red onions (which were already in the soup bowls), then chicken stuffed with Fairwinds farm goat cheese and roasted fingerling potatoes, and white chocolate mousse with berry sauce for dessert. I figured the soup recipe was easy to share; plus it’s delicious. (I apologize for the nasty photo – it was dark, and the wine rendered me not as steady as I’d have liked.) And also – I had gone to Shoana’s most excellent (say like in Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure – am I dating myself?) mixology class in the afternoon, at which I tested no fewer than 7 cocktails – for research purposes, you understand. I think she may have convincedContinue 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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