Guys, my kitchen is gone. In its place, bits of plaster, layers of missing drywall and cords hanging out from everywhere. I made my coffee this morning using water from the hose heated in the microwave. (But look what we found when we chiseled off the tile backsplash! Barbie flesh-coloured plaster covered with phone numbers! I want to call them all. Especially the one that says “drywaller”.) People have been asking how my renovations are going – and is my kitchen finished yet? – since I mentioned it back in March. And now it’s mid July and how it’s going is slow, and I imagine all those (very kind, thoughtful, well-meaning) people who are asking how my new kitchen is have never actually undergone a kitchen reno themselves. After kicking it down the road for a month or three, I had the bright idea when I left for Italy in June to leave Mike with instructions to tear out the majority of the kitchen (leavingContinue reading

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My post from the plane, which I didn’t manage to put up last night, getting home late and opting to spend my pre-passing out hour hugging and kissing W: Today I spent 22 hours on the road to get from Parma, Italy back to Calgary, Alberta. The day started far too abruptly when after getting to bed at 2 and barely sleeping, knowing my alarm was going off at 5, it didn’t. A couple of us were to meet the driver in the hotel lobby at 6 and I jolted awake at 6:12, going instantly from fast asleep to not even remotely awake yet flying around the room in a mad packing panic, throwing on clothes without a shower after having spent an epically sweaty day yesterday walking around the city. No shower, no coffee, and a 22 hour trek ahead – starting with a 2 hour drive from Parma to Milan, then flights from Milan-Frankfurt, Frankfurt-Toronto, Toronto-Calgary, with transfers and customs in between. I’mContinue reading

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Thermomix 1

It’s probably no secret that my favourite room to be in is the kitchen. I spend most of my time here, and yet I’m not the kitchen gadgety type – my small appliances are limited to an ancient food processor, a blender, stand mixer and waffle iron. And slow cooker. And hand beaters – although I don’t use them for anything other than whipping cream anymore. And a hand-held immersion blender I couldn’t do without. ( Wait. I have more gadgets than I thought I did.) I really don’t need (or want) anything else – I’ve never even used a rice cooker, although many insist they are life-changing – but when I was asked to take a Thermomix for a spin I agreed, intrigued by its functionality. (Also? My blender – one with a good brand name – has always refused to blend anything unless I open the lid and coax the ingredients down with a spatula approximately elevenhundred times per smoothie. It isn’t goodContinue reading

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I feel like I should come clean about my kitchen. You’ve all seen it – little bits of it; when people come over who haven’t been over before but who read my blog, they recognize the table. And the windows. The windows are the best part. (Also? This is as clean as it gets.) Although I do love it, for the most part it’s not fantastic. The funny thing about blogging (and social media in general) is that you get to pick and choose what parts of your life to share. You get to capture your life and your dinner from just the right angle, with the sun streaming in through the window, and edit out the mess that lies inches away. I do this on a daily basis. I shared this photo before our pie party – remember? We need to have another pie party. Which isn’t to say I don’t have a fancy kitchen. It’s long and narrow, parts of it (the windows)Continue reading

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I’ve had a Word document titled “Seattle Post” sitting on the desktop of my laptop since last March, when we drove to Seattle for spring break and I started to write about it on our way home. Everyone wanted to hear where we went, who we saw (Shauna and Danny! Ashley! Molly and June!) and what we ate, and I never got around to posting about it. After a month or two it seemed too late, and yet it remains on my desktop, and I can’t bring myself to delete it. So last night – scratch that, now three weeks ago (!!) – we got back from a few days in Las Vegas and so many people have asked where we went (and ate!) I thought I’d write about it now, before I forget and a year slips by. The trip was a last minute Christmas gift for Mike, who had never been, knowing how grumbly he gets by mid-January (OK, mid-October) over the coldContinue reading

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cucina gnocchi

I often get asked for food photography tips, and I’ve been meaning to put together a post on what I’ve learned that might be helpful. And so here I am, actually doing it. I have no recipe today, but – To celebrate my birthday I’m giving away a Canon EOS Rebel SL1. Canon Canada supplied me with a Rebel SL1 and lenses to try out myself, as well as one to give away to one of you! And just in time – my old camera was dying a slow death. Photos are obviously a big part of what I do – food is so visual, and blogs tend to be reflections of ourselves, our personalities showing through our photographs. I shoot for my blogs as well as my cookbooks, and take photos to accompany articles in newspapers and magazines – my cameras are well used (and abused). I’ve been working as a food stylist for print and TV for years (those posters at Jugo Juice?Continue reading

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(Black & Blue, Vancouver) Thursday was a busy day – 14 hours away from the hotel, back near 11pm, and an early start today to catch our flight with time for a coffee and muffin at JJ Bean on the way to the train. And trying to minimize stops to photograph leaves at my feet. We started the day yesterday with a trip to Granville Island – on the Aquabus, just because we could – and ate pumpkin spice doughnuts from Lee’s. Then we headed out to Global in Burnaby for the noon news, and the job was made easy thanks to a wonderful food stylist named Darlene who had everything ready to go when we arrived, and cleaned up afterward when we left. So indulgent. Thanks Darlene.

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I fell asleep getting this up last night – what a fun day. That tree? One of my favourites in the world. It’s in Stanley Park, by the rowing club. If I lived in Vancouver I’d come sit under it every day. Vancouver is stunning in the fall – all the brilliant colours we don’t get in Calgary. W and I spent half our time stopping to wow over enormous maple leaves, adding bigger and bigger specimens to the bundle in my hand. We started the day early with a segment on BT Vancouver – you can watch it here. Then we headed to the Whitecap offices in Gastown to do a couple phone interviews. Fog!

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A shy woman and her daughter approached my friend’s ravaged house yesterday afternoon as a dozen muddy volunteers hauled its contents out of slimy, clay-like mud and water. “Are you the homeowner?” they asked him, “we made you some soup.” It was frozen and labeled. There is so much destruction, but so much more awesome. There are pop up food stands on practically every corner in the worst areas of Calgary – Mission, Rideau/Roxboro, Sunnyside, Elbow Park (where my sister lives), Inglewood (my ‘hood, which was spared from overflow from the river, but not from muck coming up through old pipes) and Bowness – where Mike has been every day helping our friends haul the wrecked contents of their house out onto the street. Including a 48 track recording studio they had built in the basement, and tons of instruments and music memorabilia. (Stuff from the Clash! A Rickenbacker signed by Lemmy!)

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