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It’s my sister’s birthday today. (The one who lives across the street.) She’ll spend the day going to work and soccer and the usuals, and I wanted to do something small to make her day better. She adores pumpkin pie – something we don’t have in common – but she hasn’t been allowing herself to eat it over the past few months, as she’s been busy losing almost 100 pounds. I know! I’m so proud of her, and not only for that accomplishment. She loves granola, so I thought I’d make some that tasted like pumpkin pie. A dollop of plain or vanilla yogurt could be like whipped cream almost, couldn’t it? With a drizzle of maple syrup? I’m just now realizing that although I made it for her, it’s still sitting in my kitchen, so it will require an early morning sprint across the street in the snow if delivery is going to be made in time for breakfast. Happy birthday Ali! We loveContinue reading

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Happy Pop’s Day! I do love my dad. I wish I could pass on stories of and recipes for the elaborate homemade meal I whipped up for Mike tonight, but I did no such thing. It was easy to okay W’s request to take him to Five Guys for burgers – having spent the week in Kelowna (after a week in Ontario) and having woken up at 5 am yesterday for the 6:30 flight home after a late night at Tantalus Vineyards with Cam and Dana of Joy Road in the kitchen, I then spent the day yesterday at Beef – the Festival at Heritage Park talking up all that is good on a cow. Early this morning we went for brunch at my mom & dad’s, where I helped cook the bacon and pass around my sister’s pull-apart cinnamon buns, but didn’t actually assemble anything from scratch myself. Despite being out of the kitchen for so long I was perfectly happy not to cook,Continue reading

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I’m a little smitten with quinoa salads right now, y’all. Maybe that’s not new. I’ve always loved a good tumble of quinoa with black beans or chickpeas or sautéed leeks or kale. Usually with feta. OK, so totally not new. This one though? Totally is. The same but different. I know apples are out of season. Most everything is. But I’m starting to grow little green things in my kitchen – like sprouts and basil – and either would be fab torn and tossed into a quinoa salad. As green things begin to poke out of the ground, you can pluck them and toss them in. That’s the beauty of these beany, grainy salads – anything goes. This is one I did awhile ago for Swerve, and I can’t get enough of it.

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Back in December when I was bedridden with a back that capsized on the day of our cookiepalooza, which resulted in Mike bringing up Oreo truffles and shortbread at hour intervals, I started to fantasize about big salads, and would have paid $100 to anyone who delivered a hefty dose of kale. I started flipping through food sites and blogs, looking for pictures of green things. Guys, I had it bad. I bookmarked this kale and quinoa salad with cranberries and feta, and swore I’d make it the minute I could stand at the kitchen counter again. I didn’t of course, and then it was Christmas, and the new year, and now February. So today, amongst it all, I made it for lunch. No biggie. The great thing about a quinoa salad – besides its obvious deliciousness and ability to transform hard core leafy greens like kale – is that you can keep it in the fridge and have something great to dip into atContinue reading

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I know I’ve shared plenty of granola here before, but I have a new favourite. This clumpy, crunchy granola is bound together with peanut butter and pure maple syrup. I KNOW!! The peanut butter adds a light crunchiness I’ve never achieved with other granola formulas – like Harvest Crunch, without the over-the-top sweetness. Next time I’ll venture into peanut butter and honey territory. I’ve had a big baking sheet of this on my kitchen counter all afternoon, and when I had to leave the house I got all panicky for a minute that I had to leave my new bff, and wound up filling a ziplock bag of it to tuck in my pocket and sneak handfuls of. You could of course spice it up with cinnamon or a pinch of ground ginger, but I kind of like it straight-up. Of course feel free to take liberties with nuts, seeds and dried fruit, too.

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It’s funny, when I get swept up in weeks and months of eating poorly – too much grazing on too much junk (I really am more lowbrow than people think I am) – how quickly I forget how much I love grainy salads like this. Quinoa with black beans and mango, wild rice and lentils, brown rice with barley and chickpeas – all jumbles of good things that make me feel and function so much better (and far wider awake) than a diet of toast, Cheezies, coffee and wine. Funny, that. Funny too how my body never seems to forget how much it adores Cheezies and chocolate. I do need to wean myself off of a few things. I’ve been dancing around the subject of the new year here – I haven’t quite embraced it with as much chutzpah (yet) as I usually do, but I suppose I should go ahead and address the obvious before it turns into February. Apologies in advance for theContinue reading

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I think I’ve found my new favourite Christmas food gift. Granola, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways: 1) By the time we actually get to Christmas, some of us are feeling Christmas cookie burnout. (No offense, shortbread. I’ll still eat you.) 2) I have friends who are gluten free, dairy free, egg free – this makes everyone happy without seeming like a compromise. 3) I make a big batch every year for my dad, anyway. 4) It’s easy to stir together and bake, and fun to package in glass jars or Christmassy little bags. 5) It has a long shelf life, so will still be fine if the recipient doesn’t get around to eating it immediately. 6) No one will regift it or get rid of leftovers before their new healthy resolutions. Have I sold it strongly enough? Today it’s about all I’ve been eating – with plain Vital Green Farms yogurt – on account of picking up Mike’s stomach fluContinue reading

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We’re in Tofino, in the rain. It was a long drive, snowy in parts, impossibly overloaded with the groceries we prematurely piled into the car in Vernon. I had a meeting in Vancouver I was late for due to poor calculations and too much construction on the highway. We’ve been behind and trying to catch up since leaving Calgary, and I kind of wish we had just waited out the rest of Tuesday and left at a leisurely pace. My late meeting had a domino effect, and we found ourselves doing that crazy stressful right-at-the-wire mad dash to the ferry to make the 5 o’clock. As we were pulling up to the booth, I reached down for my wallet, and it wasn’t there. It appears someone either lifted it while Mike took the boys for a walk during my meeting, or I left it on the roof after our stop in Hope to find a tiny old-school bakery that sells, among other things, big squaresContinue reading

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OK, this is a good one. I have little mental capacity left, and am holding on to my reserves in order to get necessary work done before bed, never mind packing for Tofino (we leave tomorrow – I hope), but I can offer up this. (I’ve been up before 5:30 for almost two weeks, and not compensating at bedtime – I feel like I’m 90, with far fewer IQ points. How do people function on no sleep?) The good news – Ataulfo mangoes are here, which means there’s a case of them ripening on my kitchen counter, and I’m cutting one for W approximately every five minutes. (Ataulfos are the slightly smaller, slimmer, yellow-green mangoes you might start seeing in the produce section – they’re creamier, smoother and lack the sinewy fibers you may associate with the big green-red Haden or Tommy Atkins varieties that are hardier and thus available year-round.) There are a ton of things I’d love to do with them, but IContinue reading

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