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Happy New Year, friends! I’m back, still trying to fix this place up, but it’s an improvement, no? I hear the search functionality is not operating as it should, so I appreciate any feedback you can give as I try to complete this overhaul and get everything in working order. If I could just call a time-out, that would be awesome. But we still have to eat. The week between Christmas and the New Year we traditionally live on leftovers – chunks of cheese and crackers from Christmas parties, chunks of cake and tins of cookies that take up the countertop for the entire month of December, ham and turkey and mincemeat in the fridge. And eggnog – every year I buy it thinking we should have some, and every year no one drinks it. So I use it up in waffles and scones, and it’s perfect for baking with, being essentially sweetened, spiced milk. But here it is January 1 and I still haveContinue reading

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Today seemed like a good day to make pumpkin scones – not only because it’s Sunday, it was a late night (Halloween) and an extra-long morning (daylight savings), but because there was a half a can of pumpkin puree in the fridge, and I will go to great lengths to keep food from winding up in the compost bin. Also, on mornings that require some recovery from the night before, I don’t go running to plates of greasy bacon and eggs, but to soft-centred carbs with craggly edges that I can nibble with copious amounts of coffee. I was not neat when I brushed these with cream and sprinkled them with coarse sugar (I use Turbinado – sugar in the raw) before sliding them into the oven, thus the dark sugary polka-dots. Also, I like splattering things. It’s my attempt at being artistic and Jackson Pollok-y in the kitchen.

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It’s becoming typical of me and my time management skills (or lack thereof) to do things like post my Sunday morning breakfast so late at night that no one sees it until they’re already well launched into their Monday mornings. That said, these aren’t as complicated as they sound, and a batch on the weekend has the potential to produce leftovers that can go from freezer to toaster on sleepy/harried weekday mornings. You can streamline the spice list to just cinnamon, or add a shake of pumpkin pie spice if you have some on your shelf. A dollop of whipped cream wouldn’t be out of place, either.

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Growing up, when our dog (a bearded collie named Sundance) was getting old, I remember my horror when I realized why my mom was buying smaller and smaller bags of dog food. It feels a little like that here… we’re in the final stages of tweaking the back end of the new website and moving everything over, at which point most of the photos won’t fit the new layout, and so posts are getting fewer and further between – more stuff means more to move, and resize. And I’ve been in Edmonton all week – I just got back – but I did bake a batch of muffins on Sunday night before I left, to bring with me in the car on my pre-dawn drive out to Viking, Alberta, and for Mike to tuck into W’s insulated lunch fish (it’s a fish) to relieve some of the guilt I always have over going away. These are good muffins – ones we used to go toContinue reading

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We’ve been exploring different parts of our province this summer, checking out places I’ve been meaning to visit that don’t require a huge driving commitment. Turns out there’s a whole lot more to see around here than I thought. I had heard mention a few times over the past year of a provincial park I’d never visited before – Writing-on-Stone, which is south of Lethbridge, almost at the US border, and apparently quite stunning. We took a drive. It was long, but beautiful-I love driving through the prairies, especially when we get the chance to pass grain elevators. There aren’t many left. The drive took us through Nanton (Bomber Command Museum! epic candy store with antiques in the back!) When we were getting close, I had to keep checking my map; the landscape still looked like barely rolling, grassy farmland. There was no sign of hoodoos or badlands – until suddenly, at the turnoff indicated on my map, there was. The ground dropped away toContinue reading

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I made this out in Tofino over spring break. I meant to tell you immediately, but then didn’t… and even though it’s far from the weekend now, I’m thinking about it and don’t want to forget again. This is like cinnamon buns for those intimidated by the thought of making cinnamon buns… you start with balls of dough, dip them in melted butter and cinnamon sugar, then pile them in a Bundt pan to bake, then pull apart and eat by the bite. It’s like a pile of Timbits, amalgamated with butter and sugar. You upend it onto a plate, letting any excess stickiness contribute to its gilded sides, then splatter it with a quick icing sugar drizzle and a fork. If you’re not so much into making dough, you could start with the kind of frozen dough they sell at the grocery store to bake your own loaves and buns, but it’s worth giving this smooth, sweet dough a go.

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Today’s forecast: a fierce southwesterly, piles of cookbook edits, earaches all around coughs that won’t quit. On the upside: a batch of warm muffins. Welcome to spring break in Tofino. We’ve run out into the storm twice for essentials – coffee, Pringles (I’m easily convinced when under the weather) and meds – and both times had to retreat out of our wet clothes back in to PJs upon walking in the door. The second time I cranked the oven on first, before taking off my yellow rubber rainjacket, craving the warmth and comfort of a working oven plus a buttery, crunchy-topped muffin to go with my rained-in coffee. Generally I make muffins with grainier flours and healthier oils, but have you seen it outside? It’s a day for cupcakes passed off as muffins. And yes it’s pouring and blowing, but things are green and growing… In the freezer there was a flat of blueberries left over from last year – the very best kind forContinue reading

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This. Life is all about the crispy bits. I love going out for breakfast, but we rarely do; Calgary is a city of weekend morning lineups, which when you’re twentysomething are social events in and of themselves, but after 40, standing in line for anything begins to lose its cool. Also: rarely nursing a hangover or having stayed out until 4 am, I’m never hungry enough to warrant an enormous meal of eggs and potatoes and meat – or a short stack of anything – until it’s late enough in the day that everyone has moved on to lunch. As a bonafide grown up (apparently it’s so), I instead like to take it upon myself to pack up the car and drive somewhere with clean sheets, deep tubs, good coffee, no breakfast lineups and the option to go back upstairs and crawl back into bed afterwards. Having lived in Calgary since the ripe young age of grade two, I spent much of my childhood inContinue reading

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Sorry I’ve been neglectful of you guys this week – I’ve been off meeting and eating from Toronto to Richmond. Today I’m still digesting noodles and soup dumplings and what feels like half a dozen pineapple buns from the Lido, but today I have a baby shower to bake for. I’ve been planning a Meyer lemon tart, but since tart pan rings and bottoms have a way of losing each other in the basement, Meyer lemon scones it is. And curd, just to up the ante. Meyer lemons are here – they’re bigger (or sometimes, smaller) and smoother, with a slightly orange tinge, which can be credited to their breeding; a Meyer lemon is a regular lemon crossed with a mandarin orange.

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