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Wait – don’t go. Hear me out. Last week I made a resolution to use the food I have in my kitchen, rather than go shop for more, deciding what’s for dinner depending on my mood or the (near-constant) desire to try something new. I go for milk and eggs and come home with bags full of whatever was inspiring or on sale at the time, and then can hardly cram it into my cupboards and freezer. I think this is pretty typical, considering the fact that walk-in pantries and chest freezers are standard issue in most houses. I hear a lot of people refer fondly to their fridges as that place produce goes to die. And it’s true – in North America (Canada very much included) it’s estimated that we throw out 40-50% of the food we buy. Half! Can you imagine the spending on groceries that takes place across the country on a daily basis? And that half of those purchases are tossedContinue reading

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I’m back to my McGyvering ways, this time orchestrating a meal around two leeks that I did not want to compost. I tend to get stuck at potato soup when I come across a leek, but this time the sight of them triggered the memory or a recipe I had set aside. I found it. I had Gouda! I had bacon! I started to make it, cooking the bacon, then the sliced leeks, until crispy, thinking it was essentially a frittata, wondering why it was called a pancake and why I had set it aside, anyway. Then I noticed the flour in the batter – ah yes, a pancake. A light, eggy pancake, something similar to those puffed apple pancakes, only savoury. Exactly the sort of thing I’d file away in my mental card catalog.

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Have I shown off my garden yet? I’m loaded – with spinach and chard, that is – between the CSA box and the boxes in my back yard, I should have X-ray vision or some such superpower by the end of the summer. Which is coming up all too quickly. I punched “chard” into the search box on Epicurious the other day, looking for more inspiration (but really just procrastinating), and these frittata bites jumped out – they suggest cold squares for a cocktail party. I wound up doing my own thing, but kept the sausage-chard-feta combo, and it was loved by all. (Except W, who struggled unsuccessfully to separate the green stuff from the rest.) Bonus: two huge bunches of chard went into this – it always amazes me how small it gets once it wilts. You could cook a bunch down to a spoonful and just eat it, like a real-food vitamin pill. One Year Ago: Browned-Butter Blueberry Muffins (made with saskatoons)

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I thought I might actually lose some weight this week. Ha! Instead I’ve become hooked on peanut butter toast, those chewy-salty peanut granola bars, and Oreos with 2% milk. When your very best choices are the snacky things, you tend to go a bit overboard. Or I do, anyway. Damn you, Mr. Christie. You make good cookies. I’ve been running on fumes this week. (Literally-I haven’t managed a shower in two days.) I haven’t been keeping up with the conversation here or at the Week in Their Kitchen blog as much as I’d like to. Today I didn’t have much time to spend trying to figure out what to do. I thought it was going to be a can of soup night. But I pulled out the thickly sliced zucchini and mushrooms in tomato sauce I made earlier in the week, thinking I’d put it on pasta. But it was so nice and chunky… I warmed it in a little baking dish, made some wellsContinue reading

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It would appear I’ve erased the photos of our 24 hours in Banff; not sure how I managed this, but I have. It’s amazing what I can accomplish when I’m not even paying attention. So I can’t even show you the blast from the past photos from our old-school Banff overnighter – we had a sleepover at the Banff Park Lodge last night, and dinner (strawberry margarita and Loco Gringo Salad – hey, it’s tradition) amid snowboarders at Magpie & Stump. W had his first introduction to chocolate bear claws and Rundle rock (chocolate dipped sponge toffee named after Mt. Rundle) at The Fudgery in the Sundance Mall. (As kids, this was our post-ski stop before the drive back to Calgary or our hotel; my sisters always got candy apples, but I chose fudge or something chocolate-and-caramelly – I wasn’t about to get suckered into fruit on a stick, disguised as chocolate.) M and W spent much of the evening/morning in the pool, and IContinue reading

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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 think if one is going to discuss tomatoes, the issue of classification (fruit or vegetable) should be cleared out of the way at the outset. Botanically, tomatoes are indeed fruit. This is a fact of common knowledge, yet although people are quick to point it out, they hardly consider treating them as such. One would no more make a sweet and cinnamon-scented crisp out of tomatoes than they would stuff an apple with crumbs and top it with cheese. (Although come to think of it, either one might be quite tasty. I have, after all, discovered this year that tomato paste makes a more than suitable addition to a spicy Jewish apple cake, and I’ve for a long time added a spoonful to carrot cakes.) And that’s because tomatoes are – ready for this? – vegetables. The term is purely culinary, referring to any plant whose fruit, seeds, roots, tubers, bulbs, stems, leaves, or flower parts are used as food. So from a culinaryContinue reading

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Made high tea today for donors attending the Family of Hope Tea at the Alberta Children’s Hospital; wee sandwiches with the crusts cut off, lemon scones with berry jam and cream, my Mom’s nut balls, vanilla bean meringues and lemon curd tartlets. I made it home (through rush hour) by 5, but after milling about with the neighbours out front it was suddenly 6, and so we had the last of the egg salad for dinner. Egg salad, in my opinion, must be eaten on soft white bread, spread with soft butter. Crusty bread and rolls are the natural enemy of egg salad, causing it to squirt out the other end upon biting. All teas must have small sandwiches, and among them must be egg salad and cucumber (I did mine with chives and fresh mint from the garden), but plain old egg salad, though I love it, seemed dull. So along with the mayo I stirred in a bit of curry paste (powder wouldContinue reading

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Oops. I blew right past Free Stuff Fridays, didn’t I? The past weeks have been a bit of a calendular blur – we’re shooting straight through the weekends too, so I’ve got the double whammy of no time management skills paired with no sense of what day it is. So instead of coming up with free loot for you last night post-shoot, I went shopping and cleaned the house in preparation for the entire crew to come shoot here today. Can I take a FSF hiatus until things resume to relatively normal on Friday the 20th? I’ll come up with something good then, I promise. I still have a backlog of the past weeks’ free stuff to ship out. Hopefully these yummy little numbers will make it up to you. The best part of my days this week have been reading W stories at night – practically the only time I see him. Green Eggs and Ham has been one of his favourites for atContinue reading

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