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This.! The computer added that exclamation mark. Really. It’s very intuitive. Did today need a pot of chicken and dumplings simmering on the stove? Mine did. It was all I could do to keep myself from devouring the lot, standing at the stove, and the only deterrent was the risk of incinerating my tongue. It may have been worth it. I tried to take pictures. I mean I did, but I could barely focus. The steam was making me ravenous, like that cartoon steam that winds out of delicious things and swirls up your nose. I snapped a few, grabbed a fork and took the bowl to the couch for some alone time. Then I came back for a rendezvous with the pot. This feels like the sort of thing I should have grown up with, but it wasn’t. My childhood never knew a dumpling. These are the deal deal – sticky dough you drop by the spoonful onto the surface of the simmering stew,Continue reading

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Guys! I dunno.. my paper wall calendar says it’s October. I think it might be broken. We still have no kitchen.. our makeshift dining room kitchen now has a slow cooker and an electric skillet, which take turns on the chair closest to the one electrical outlet that is currently occupied by the microwave and coffee machine. Apples are in, butternut squash is in.. and sausage is always in. This is something you can chop on a rolling cart and make in a slow cooker – even without a kitchen. Update soon! Promise.

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This is what I left the boys with a Tupperware container of when I left them to drive up to Edmonton today for the BlogWest conference. Here’s hoping I don’t come home to it still in the fridge and a stack of pizza boxes in the recycling bin. It was one of the last recipes I made for the Soup Sisters cookbook – a Hungarian Goulash contributed by the awesome Anna Olson. I must admit – beef stew is not my thing, having grown up with flank steak stew that reminded me of rope cooked in stewed tomatoes. (Sorry mom.)

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I woke up this morning craving -nay, requiring– vegetables. Since the back yard is still half covered with thick, dingy ice floes I’m not quite in full-on salad mode. (At this point I’m not fully convinced spring is going to actually come – I’ll believe it when I see something green poking through.) My brain was trying to push me toward butter chicken, so I compromised with this veggie-based curry of sorts. I’ve seen a lot of curried sweet potato-legume (lentil, black & kidney bean) concoctions in the past month, so I may as well go ahead and make one and get it out of my system. This one came from the New York Times, by way of SmittenKitchen. I meant to make naan, but my timing was way off. (Timing is not my forte. It’s particularly apparent at Thanksgiving and other multi-course meal events where there are a lot of witnesses.) I’m kind of glad I didn’t – had I made it I wouldContinue reading

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As promised, I hauled out my Crock-pot today. (Partly to celebrate the shiny new ones that are en route to Maureen and Theresa! I am heeding the request to post winners’ names. Sorry I’m so late.) And last night I pulled out a boneless leg of lamb that had been taking up altogether too much space in the freezer. When outside it’s the same shade of grey all day long, so that you can’t tell what time it is until it begins to get dark at 4 o’clock, and the gritty snow and slush require you to halt the dog upon entering the house and wipe down his muddy paws every single time he has to go pee or sniff something, it puts me in the mood for a dark, sticky, robust, slow-cooked stew, preferably served over a mound of warm carbohydrates. I’ve been thinking about braised lamb shanks, but this caught my eye as I flipped through magazines in the car on our driveContinue reading

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Tonight, after 4pm, after an already jammed day, I made two batches of pulled pork, stuffed turkey cutlets, Southwestern soup, cranberry poached pears, granola bars, cookies, upside-down pear gingerbread, butternut squash soup with apples, and roasted pepper and goat cheese gratin. None of this, mind you, was for dinner. It was all destined for CBC, foodstyling gigs and a cooking class, all of which happens tomorrow. If I may be allowed to complain for just a minute, I’m totally exhausted and my back hurts. And I have to be up again in 5 hours. If I hadn’t made a batch of this Tuscan soup yesterday, it would have been toast and peanut butter all around. Fortunately, I hacked all the requisite vegetables into the pot as I unpacked produce from the market, with the directive of leaving it overnight to bake again today. That’s right, baked soup. And it really wasn’t so much a soup as a stew. It could, in fact, be more accuratelyContinue reading

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Except that I can’t eat any. I’m having a minor test done tomorrow, which means I can only ingest clear fluids for 24 hours. Me! Going without food for 24 hours! Plus however much time I spend at the hospital tomorrow afternoon, which I’m sure will seem far longer on an empty stomach. So, planning to spend a full Sunday out of the kitchen (very unusual for me), I made a batch of chicken stew with pesto yesterday for Mike and W. If I didn’t work in the food world, and had just a few go-to dinner recipes in my repertoire, this would be one of them. If I was one of those Moms who made meals on rotation – meatloaf Mondays, spaghetti Tuesdays, pork chop Wednesdays, and so on, this would definitely make the cut. Willem loves it (possibly on account of the pesto, which he seems to be in love with), and so do Mike and I. For some reason it turns out creamierContinue reading

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Today I’ve been working on an article about chiles, and as such, testing recipes that use them. My countertop is covered with dried guillano, ancho and as-yet-unidentified green, red and purplish chile peppers. One of the recipes I tested was sort of a pulled pork-goulash-sloppy José kind of thing. Using pork shoulder, I wanted to braise it, so since I didn’t get started until after 10 pm I browned it first in my skillet, then put it all in the slow cooker last night before I went to bed, fully intending to get up at 3am and check on it – in fact, I got a little giddy at the idea of sitting alone at the kitchen table in the middle of the night, writing something stirring that could only come to me at such an odd hour. The single light above me might swing subtly back and forth, as if I was in the bowel of a ship. Why does the image of aContinue reading

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