Day 361: BBQ Turkey Pizza and Hot Spiced Ginger Lemonade

It turns out it’s a leap year. I thought for a minute I had miscounted, having reached day 360 (!) with a week left until New Year’s Eve. I don’t know how I didn’t notice this in February, but we have an extra day this year, so 366 it is. (Of course I won’t be stopping entirely. I can’t say for sure whether I’ll continue writing every single night, if I do Mike might move out of the house or at least into another bedroom, but I will keep this going. I have 4 more days to work out the logistics! Have I told you DwJ will be in the National Post? On January 3rd! A little ironic that it will run 2 days after this project was supposed to end…)

I think I love Boxing Day even more than Christmas Day. We did a whole lot of sitting around, playing with W’s marble games and puzzles and hockey with his new net set in the hallway, chipping away at the Boxing Day crossword (Mike was the hero of the day when he came up with haberdasheries – a 14 letter word for men’s clothing stores – finally all those years of watching This is Spinal Tap was put to good use) and grazing on Cheezies (the real ones) and stocking chocolate. We did escape to the hill to try out W’s new red sled and needed warming up when we got home, but having already plowed through the Hershey’s kisses in my pocket and half a Toblerone, the thought of hot chocolate shockingly did not appeal. So we simmered up some hot spiced lemonade, which did the trick without being too reminiscent of the mulled cider we’ve had on and off the stove all week.

Hot Spiced Ginger Lemonade


Yields1 Serving

2 L lemonade (preferably not pink)
1 cinnamon stick
5 whole cloves
5 whole allspice berries
a 2" chunk of peeled fresh ginger, coarsely grated or sliced


In a large saucepan combine the lemonade, cinnamon, cloves, allspice and ginger and bring to a simmer; cook for about 10 minutes. Strain into a glass pitcher, insulated carafe or Thermos and serve warm. Serves 8.



 2 L lemonade (preferably not pink)
 1 cinnamon stick
 5 whole cloves
 5 whole allspice berries
 a 2" chunk of peeled fresh ginger, coarsely grated or sliced



In a large saucepan combine the lemonade, cinnamon, cloves, allspice and ginger and bring to a simmer; cook for about 10 minutes. Strain into a glass pitcher, insulated carafe or Thermos and serve warm. Serves 8.

Hot Spiced Ginger Lemonade

Then it started getting dark and it was apparent we’d need some sort of dinner. Normally a turkey sandwich or perhaps a skilleted turkey hash with plenty of crispy bits would have fit perfectly into our day, but all we had was a baggie of turkey – no gravy, no stuffing, and most importantly no cranberry sauce. So what’s really the point? So I turned the turkey into something that didn’t remind me of our two previous dinners at all – a pizza using a skiff of barbecue sauce instead of tomato, topped with a caramelized onion, shredded turkey, roasted red pepper and grated cheese. W thought it was weird, so he ate apples and cheese.



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60 comments on “Day 361: BBQ Turkey Pizza and Hot Spiced Ginger Lemonade

  1. A
    December 26, 2008 at 10:22 pm

    Hey I’m the first commenter-that’s a first. Do you want a top 10 list of my favourite foods or food you have prepared over the year(that’s a good question for your New Years Eve comments). I suggest you make a top ten list of bizzarr food combinations that work- like your bacon brittle. My top ten will always start with the pizza from Popi Popi in Rome.

  2. JulieVR
    December 26, 2008 at 10:27 pm

    Well you’ll just have to take me to Rome with you for a taste test! I was thinking more of asking what everyone’s favourites from this blog are – too limited? If so, I’m always interested in what rocks your world from other sources too!

  3. Nancy
    December 26, 2008 at 10:28 pm

    Top Ten Food is Calgary — hmmmm, that would actually be Route 50 in Turner Valley. I love the drive there, and nothing has ever been bad . Especially there gluten free chocolate cake is to die for — field trip I see in my future.

  4. corinne
    December 26, 2008 at 10:35 pm

    I am in the middle of a kitchen renovation (yes – at christmas….). so here is my top 10 list of what i need for my kitchen…
    – a place to put my cookbooks
    – lighting in the right place (ie where I actually need to see…)
    – a countertop that is actually at real persons counter height and not a little persons (even though I am only 5’4″)
    – windows that do not weep more than I do at a ‘chick’ movie..
    – a tile floor that does not pinch my feet because it was laid incorrectly
    -even better – a heated tile floor
    -cupboards for electronics (food processor, coffee maker etc
    -a cooktop with more than 2 functioning burners
    -a dual purpose microwave that sucks bad stuff out of the kitchen! cool!!!
    -an eating bar that will hide the unwashed dishes and mess from dinner

    Hopefully this will all come true within the next few weeks!!!

  5. elektra
    December 26, 2008 at 10:52 pm

    top 10 Julie blog entries…

  6. glenda
    December 26, 2008 at 11:15 pm

    Okay – I’m in for the corelle square and the extra goodies. And for the top ten?….so many choices, but I’d have to nominate the sweet potato black bean soup. Or maybe the humour and wit of the writing style? or the close-to-superwoman status of getting this blog out every day for a year? See my dilemna…so many options!

  7. julie
    December 27, 2008 at 10:35 am

    first time post as well –
    in honor of all the freebies, why not top ten things you can’t live without in your kitchen?

    I have difficulty with top ten food choices usually, since it changes every hour depending on how hungry I am and what I want to eat! 🙁

  8. Linda
    December 27, 2008 at 11:01 am

    For some of the top ten…..your wonderful wit, writing ability, zucchini chocolate cake recipe, biscotti recipe and the wonderful classes I have volunteered for at the Cookbook Company that features you…..

  9. Pat
    December 27, 2008 at 11:35 am

    My all time favourite recipe from Grazing is the pizza using phyllo dough as the crust. I agree with Linda~~~your wit and writing ability are tops with me too.

  10. Sandra
    December 27, 2008 at 11:44 am

    I love gadgets in the kitchen.. so for me thats what my top 10 would be… #1 is a rasp. What a great and usefull tool
    Julie.. love this site and hope that your able to work out a formula that will statisfy your need to write( which by the way is wonderful) and our need to read your posts
    Made the sugar cookies and they were a hit..did try to make the violets but my dough must have been too soft and they just flattened out..

  11. Jenn
    December 27, 2008 at 11:50 am

    Our favorites are risotto and the chipotle peanut pork chili, but you have given me lots of tips and ideas too. Since reading you daily, I’ve been able to think of substitutions or come up with ideas of what to do with something sitting around in the fridge, when I used to really require recipes and adhered to them without question. You are an inspiration!

  12. Erin
    December 27, 2008 at 11:50 am

    Top ten reason I love this site! Great pics, funny funny funny, witty, good food, free stuff! lol…hmmm thats not ten but I could go on.

  13. Donna
    December 27, 2008 at 12:10 pm

    top ten:
    -Inspiration to try my favorite fudge recipe -this time with attention to cooling and not over beating.
    -Homemade bagels
    -pound cake in a rose shaped pan (that did not stick)
    -a salad with feta cheese and nuts (I think)
    -the stack of recipes printed out and waiting to be tried
    -a peek into busy life with a toddler (my boys are over 6 ft. now)
    -the Starting Out cookbook – good for novices and their moms
    *That is only seven – but I haven’t skimmed the index

    Thanks Julie

  14. Erica B.
    December 27, 2008 at 1:42 pm

    It’s hard to pick just 10 days…every entry is valuble in it’s own right. (amd apparently brevity isn’t my strong suit so sorry for the long comments)

    10. Day 352 for the cookies but also the priceless pic of W looking out the window…reminds me of so many Christmases on the farm whe Gran was baking.

    9. Day 334’s Caramel Cake and the Fleur du Sel Caramels. I love all things caramel and own Pure Desserts but was always intimidated by the recipe.

    8. Day 297: the chocolate panini – inspired me to get a panini press and make Chestnut Pannetone and chocolate panini 🙂

    9. Speaking of Paninis, Day 262 the Turkey, Cranberry and Brie paninis… I plan to make some with leftovers this week.

    8. Day 255: Peanut Butter and Bananas on toast. My fave comfort food of all time and proof that you put your pants on one leg at a time like the rest of us ; )

    7. Day 199: Dinner in Tofino: the entry made me consider abandoning our vacation plans to go to Toronto/Ottawa and all the associated stress for the bliss that is Tofino (and SoBo’s Key Lime Pie)

    6. Day 141: Tomato Soup and Pesto & Cheese Slab Scones. The slab scone is a brilliant idea and has graced our table more than a few times since May both sweet and savoury… My fave scone of yours is the whole wheat raspberry white chocolate one that is a trimmed down version of the one at Starbucks.

    5. Day 127: Falafel – I’ve never made any except from a box so I was in awe and got a good laugh: ” Turn into a bowl and refrigerate, covered, for several hours.#$@!$#%@#$%!!” I’ve soooo been there lol!

    4. Day 119: A fave for both the spaghetti pie and the chocolate dipped cheesecake. I’ve made the spaghetti pie a few times now… still want to make the cheesecake lollis …maybe for NYE : )

    3. Day 111 Cinnamon Bun French Toast and Chocolate Cake: Love the french toast, what a decadent treat! The chocolate cake has become a hands down family fave. I made cupcakes a few times now and the kids like them more than Crave. T-h-a-n-k-Y-o-u!!!

    2. Day 40 Party Food: Specifically the curried mango chicken in wonton cups. I made them for a party for DH and before they left the kitchen half the platter was gone. YUM!

    1. Day 1: The day that started this wonderful journey.

    Thank you Julie!

  15. Erica B.
    December 27, 2008 at 1:44 pm

    OMG apparently the kids distracted me enough that I can’t count backward from 10! *BLUSH* OK so a misnumbered and unedited top 12… doh!

  16. Anne
    December 27, 2008 at 1:55 pm

    My List of 10:

    #1 your wit and sense of humour!!
    #2 no-knead bread
    #3 fruitcake triffle (looks very interesting)
    #4 Citrus shortbread
    #5 Stromboli
    #6 Steel-Cut Oats & Barley
    #7 Mini Lamb Burgers with Feta and Tzatziki
    #8 Pulled Pork and Baked Beans
    #9 Dr. Oetker Spinach Pizza ( I top this pizza with a little leftover chicken and some feta cheese mmmh sooo good)
    #10 Anything with curry

    there is so much more I could add but these are the faves right now…

  17. A
    December 27, 2008 at 1:56 pm

    Erica, WOW!!!! You do your homework. Want to come organize my life? Seriously

  18. mmac
    December 27, 2008 at 1:59 pm

    The power of ten, if not top ten. There are at least ten things/month that I PLAN to make from your blog .. but probably not ten that have actually materialized all year. I check your blog within the first ten minutes after I log on to my computer every day. I’ve sent the link to easily ten more readers (probably more like 20). There are many recipes from OSC and Grazing that I’ve made more than 10 times. “Julie says…” comes out of my mouth more than ten times/week. And I’m 10 to the nth times happy that you’re going to continue DwJ in some form or another in 2009.

  19. JuneyB
    December 27, 2008 at 3:25 pm

    The sticky chicky drumsticks were a TEN…but I shoulda’ made at least 20. My husband went nuts over them. I agree, your wit, wisdom & precious little lad score huge too, never mind the fact you’re in Calgary. Checking your blog is the first thing I do every day. So happy that you’re going to continue in 2009. Happy new year!

  20. Kathy
    December 27, 2008 at 3:35 pm

    My top 10 list. In random order. With comments because I am an extrovert.

    1. Baked Penne with Sausage and Spinach – tasted delish, had a bit of an ‘ick’ factor when I had to squeeze the sausage out of the casings but the taste more than made up for it!

    2. Upscale Bake Sale – I hadn’t heard of this before and therefore missed this year’s, but will definitely be going next year!

    3. Festive Slow Cooker Rice Muesli – on my “want to make” list. Bonus feature: will get all to myself – dh doesn’t like Muesli!

    4. Breakfast Bean Cookies.

    5. No-Knead Bread.

    6. Power balls – although mine are more like “power squares” as I just put them in a pan after they’re all mixed up, rather than form into balls.

    7. Chocolate Panini – again, on my “must make” list; what’s not to like?

    8. Browned Butter Bliss.

    9. Slow Cooker Apricot Jam.

    10. Sugar Plums. I didn’t know these were actually a real food item! I always thought it was just a made up treat in the poem.

    And a bonus #11 – Your writing style, humor, and honesty! I’ve enjoyed getting to know you through this blog.

  21. JulieVR
    December 27, 2008 at 3:46 pm

    WOW you guys! I was thinking more along the lines of “I kinda liked the black bean soup”, or “I’d put the pavlova on a top 10 list”… instead here you are coming up with entire lists! And compliments on top of it. Well hot damn.

  22. Carolann
    December 27, 2008 at 5:28 pm

    You might be first on the blog “A” but how about being the eldest – 70 on Monday 29th. And yes you youngsters out there, there is still vim and vigor in this old broad. Since I was invited hither and yon for Christmas Dinner there was no turnkey to make the pizza but what a loverly excuse to buy a bird. Pulled out salmon from the freezer with the last of the small potatoes from the garden and carrots. No dessert save my honey crisp apple. Truly hope to hear from you in the new year Julie, but will understand if you take a rest. I hope your web will still be up tho so we can search out meals. Thanks for a great year and a happy and healthy one to your whole family.

  23. robyn
    December 27, 2008 at 5:55 pm

    1. It’s written by Julie
    2. It’s written by Julie
    3. It’s written by Julie
    4. It’s written by Julie
    5. Stromboli
    6. It’s written by Julie
    7. It’s written by Julie
    8. Black bean soup
    9. It’s written by Julie
    10. Reading your blog complements my morning coffee very well.

  24. Margaret
    December 27, 2008 at 7:50 pm

    I could live on soup and salads the rest of my life, if I didn’t have to cook for the man in the house.
    South West Soup
    Roasted Red Pepper Soup
    Curried Chicken Noodle Soup
    Leek and Potato Soup
    French Onion

    Marinated Cuke Salad
    Watermelon Salad with Feta
    Bacon and Egg Spinach Salad
    Lentil, Barley and Spinach Salad
    Black Bean Salad

    These are the top 10 favs I’ve prepared over the year, with a few changes.
    Keep them coming, Julie.

  25. Melanie
    December 27, 2008 at 8:51 pm

    It’s so silly but I’m having a hard time thinking of something original for a top 10 – I like the ideas that everyone else has come up with! Top 10 things in the kitchen I can’t live without comes to mind… I’m especially attached to my measuring spoons (pampered chef) and measuring cups (old Martha Stewart line from Zellers). I love my canning jars full of spices, my oven, my sink, and my wooden spoons…
    Fave from your website? I love your turtle bars especially snuck from the freezer!!! Plus your great talent of writing what we are all thinking!
    Enjoy the last few days!!!

  26. margaret
    December 27, 2008 at 9:31 pm

    Top Ten from your blog:

    1. Inspiration. All the great ideas of how to turn what’s in your fridge or freezer into a great dinner.

    2. The daily anticipation and enjoyment of reading your blog for new recipes, great photos, interesting anecdotes of your busy life.

    3. The long list of recipes that I have yet to make, but definitely will, so I hope they stay posted!

    And some of your recipes that have become family favourites:

    4. chicken satay and peanut sauce

    5. lemon squares

    6. maple butter tart squares

    7. choclava cookies

    8. brown rice salad with pecans and fruit

    9. roasted chick peas with garlic and chard

    10. puffed wheat squares

    Thanks Julie, for the last 361 days!

  27. Elaine
    December 28, 2008 at 7:11 am

    my favorites from here–in no particular order–are stromboli, leek and potato soup, curried chicken in won ton cups(actually, all of your suggestions for won ton wrapper use), pork satay, ribs!, pita pizzas (the idea sparked a bit of a feeding frenzy on my part), and every single poached egg photo.

  28. supersu
    December 28, 2008 at 7:58 am

    top ten? seems like everyone else has covered it….
    i love love love this blog…read it everyday and either laugh out loud, or wipe a tear away! either way you touch me with your down to earth style. you are AMAZING!
    would love the freebies like everyone else 🙂

    have a great new years eve! all the best to you and yours in 2009.

    i look forward to the ‘new version’ of this blog

    thanks so so so much

  29. Rebecca
    December 28, 2008 at 8:06 am

    I’m pretty happy to have stumbled upon this site. I love listening to your segment on Tuesday mornings and was happy when the blog was mentioned one day. I check it out every morning and am amazed at a) how much I enjoy reading about what other people eat (I truly love food so I guess that this isn’t much of a surprise) and b) how many great recipe suggestions I have gotten from this site. So, my favorite recipe ideas are (in no particular order):
    1. Sausage and Spinach Pasta
    2. No-knead bread
    3. Mini-lamb (except that I used chicken) burgers with feta and tzatziki
    4. Buffalo burgers, buffalo chili, buffalo smokies (I LOVE buffalo!)
    5. Chocolate zucchini cake
    6. Pan Bagnat Salad
    7. Nut balls
    8. Chewy Chocolate chip bars
    9. Sauted spinach (but we didn’t eat it with the poached eggs)
    10. Classy chicken

    I am hopeful that you will continue posting but I see what a busy life you have and can imagine what a challenge it must be for you to keep this going. I’ll take what I can get, even if it’s only weekly posts.

    Happy New Year!

  30. Jan
    December 28, 2008 at 8:48 am

    No knead bread
    black bean soup
    brown sugar shortbread (sooooo good)
    turtle bars (voted best by the family)
    wor won ton soup
    banana bread
    Fudgy brownies
    Easy Veg curry
    Upside down pear gingerbread

    Thank you so much Julie, it was a great year. All the best in 2009.

  31. Jan
    December 28, 2008 at 8:50 am

    Darn I forgot Browned butter bliss. That’s eleven.

  32. Cheryl
    December 28, 2008 at 9:00 am

    OMG, we’re about to go into serious withdrawal with the advent of the new year and no more daily DwJ!!! I depend on your hilarious, witty and insightful blog entries to figure out the culinary side of my life!! This is by no means an exhaustive list of recipes we’ve enjoyed, but here goes:
    1. Black bean soup
    2. Brown & Wild Rice and Barley Salad with Chickpeas
    3. Mincemeat Christmas Cake
    4. Greek Lamb Kabobs
    5. Asparagus Frittata
    6. Chipotle Peanut Pork Chili
    7. Jerk Chicken Skewers
    8. Roasted Chickpeas with Garlic and Chard
    9. Sausage and Spinach Pasta
    10. Chicken Satay and Peanut Sauce
    11. Meringue Nuts
    ….and many more that I’ve used as inspiration to leap off the cliff and make my own!
    Can’t thank you enough Julie! It’s been a terrific year, and I too won’t know what to do with myself every morning when I log on to the laptop!
    Happy New Year!

  33. Melanie
    December 28, 2008 at 9:16 am

    I don’t know what I’m going to do without your daily blog postings..I look forward to them every day and they have definately helped me become a better cook, and entertained me along the way.
    I don’t often follow the exact recipes, but they give me inspiration for new food to make in my household where the requirements are: dairy-free, soy-free, sulphite-free, preservative-free, & egg-free due to numerous food insensitivites.

    1. peanut sauce – i use this all the time as a quick meal fix
    2. roasted garlic, chickpeas, and chard
    3. balsamic roasted beets
    4. banana bread
    5. brown & wild rice pudding
    6. power balls
    7. roasted veg with quinoa & feta
    10. bluebarb jam
    11. corn & black bean salad with lime-cumin dressing
    12. potato & leek soup

    Thanks Julie! You seem to have made an impact on lots of lives through this blog!

  34. Rose
    December 28, 2008 at 11:09 am

    Hi Julie,

    I continue to check your blog everyday and love it. My top picks from your blog are more to do with teaching us how to cook and making life simpler in the kitchen. For example, I saute shrimp quite often for a quick appetizer, but when you told us to switch the heat off when partially cooked and just cover for a minute or two to fully cook the shrimp, it was excellent! Do it every time now and have more tender shrimp. Simple but perfect. Those sorts of tips you give out constantly and are what I love.
    I do love to refer back to recipes too, so hope they’re going to stay?

    Thanks, Rose

  35. Larissa
    December 28, 2008 at 11:28 am

    Hey Julie!

    Here is my list of favorites…

    You first grabbed my attention with your greek lamb kebabs and ive made those a bunch now.

    My family loves your baked beans. My dad makes them all the time.

    After that comes my sweet tooth… i love desserts! So i also love your upsidedown gingerbread pear cake,

    chocolate zucchini brownies

    turtle bars…

    and many more! thanx for all the recipes, and i hope they keep coming.

    my suggestion for your future blogging (i dont know if you’ve had this suggested yet, but i will anyway) would be to blog on specific days of the week… like 3 times a week. monday, wednesday and friday. or something like that. that way, you have specific days that you have to blog on, but you dont have to do it every night. just a thought.

    happy new year!


  36. charlo
    December 28, 2008 at 11:57 am

    Sorry Carolann,but your not the eldest,I’ve got you beat by 6 years!! I also love the blog ,its the only one I’ve ever read. A top ten would be difficult as I seem to make a recipe once and never repeat it !! There are so many out there, and I try new recipes with reckless abandon and then move on!!!
    No-knead bread,your banana bread,a apple crisp thingy etc.are a few of my favs. Thanks for a great year hope you can keep up your hectic pace for another year!!

  37. liza
    December 28, 2008 at 11:58 am

    i love any entry that mentions your ma-in-law.
    i share your love of baggies in the freezer with just enough of something, to make something.
    my daughter and i have fun making and eating your bagels.
    no knead bread.
    pizza dough.
    chewy chocolate chip bar.
    peanut sauce.
    you got me started on a fried rice kick.
    i love your Woodwards bowl.
    i have really, really enjoyed this ol’blog of yours.
    thanks a whole lot.

  38. Marilyn
    December 28, 2008 at 2:06 pm

    Top Ten (in no particular order)
    1. Chocolava
    2. Chewy Chocolate Chip Bars
    3. Cold Sesame Noodles
    4. Memphis Blues Dry Rub
    5. Dorset cereal
    6. Cinnamon Sticky Biscuits
    7. Blueberry,Lemon,and Coconut Squares
    8. Goat Cheese with Roasted Peppers,Tomatoes & Olives
    9. Peanut Sauce
    10. Inspiration for using up whatever is taking up space in my fridge/freezer

    But, best of all, is your willingness to share your life, thoughts, and family with the rest of us.

  39. pauline
    December 28, 2008 at 2:20 pm

    I am not much of a writer, but I sure have enjoyed your blog Julie, so many chuckles I have had. Inspiration to be a better cook. In January I am going to start again with day one of your blog and am going to make many of your recipes, I have printed lots, but my resolution is to get busy and make them. I absolutely love the pasta with the sausage meat and spinach. Lemon squares where really good too. I need dishes too. I just bought a new set, they are so big they take up way too much room in the dishwasher. so now I end up doing a lot more by hand, not good. I look forward to still reading all about your life Julie even though it will be only once a week, I will have to start checking out some of the sites you have listed.

  40. Theresa
    December 28, 2008 at 4:55 pm

    Holy crow,
    it took me a while to do my homework! 🙂

    1. hummus Feb 23
    2. artichoke crab dip
    3. panna cotta spoons June 25
    4. Shrimp ceasar salad June 23
    5. crab cakes with hollandaise Ap 16
    6. Bageleggs May 3
    7. crab, spinach and artichoke Omletes Nov 25
    8. portobello mushroom pizza June 28
    9. Improv pasta Jan 12
    10. Peroghies on Aug 21. This one is not only hilarious, but I could almost see the photograph of M’s grandparents. I laughed and laughed. Never made perogies though……… 🙂

  41. Theresa
    December 28, 2008 at 4:57 pm

    Forgot a date!! Nov 23 artichoke crab dip was two days before crab, spinach and artichoke omlettes…. coincidence?? 🙂

  42. Kirsten
    December 28, 2008 at 5:21 pm

    So many things to choose from….. Chocolate sorbet is a HUGE hit around our house. Over Christmas I have been very grateful for the Boursin cheese and pasta “recipe” – it so good and so easy when there isn’t much time (or inclination) to cook dinner. I haven’t had a chance to try them yet, but I really liked your post about your Grandma’s marmalade cookies. My grandfather died this fall, and I have become the keeper of the recipes for our family. Your comments about valuing your Grandmother’s recipe box as much as anything really struck home. I didn’t get any measuring cups, but I also got some old cookie cutters, the kind with handles on top.

  43. Rebecca
    December 28, 2008 at 5:26 pm

    Darn – I forgot about the Boursin cheese and pasta suggestion. Such a good one 🙂 I’ve actually got some leftover Boursin from our Xmas party and plan to use it for that very “recipe” later this week. Thanks for the reminder Kirsten.

  44. Jen C
    December 28, 2008 at 7:53 pm

    Ok…ehem…the entries all have a life of their own, both on a food level and on a life level. I love both equally however decided to make my top 10ish list all about ‘Julie-isms’…they go a little something like this…

    About a year and a half ago – I “threw my hat over the fence” (Day 1) (we ALL thank you for that!)

    Serve with red wine (or beer, or prossecco, or scotch, or ginger ale) in front of Earth vs. the Martians. It’s becoming apparent I enjoy eating dinner on the couch. (Day 11)

    Does this count as a same-day post? I haven’t been to bed yet. (Day 16)

    JULIE!! YOUR BACK IS ON FIRE!!! (Day 41)

    I have far too many kinds of animals stuck between my teeth right now. (Day 53)

    I had always envisioned myself in a sunny kitchen with lots of windows and a big white porcelain sink. Usually I was baking pies for my husband John (Cusack) and had a 29 inch waist, but this will do. (Day 131)

    Speaking of getting home, we drove right past Peter’s (Drive In) on the way, and even though it was a Saturday afternoon in June there was no one in line due to the torrential downpour, so we really had no choice but to go and get a hot fudge sundae. (Day 159) (mmmm….Peters…)

    This morning I was pummelled awake at 7 am by a 3 year old and his 65 pound puppy. It was chilly and rainy and grey, so I pulled on my big brown socks with the orange stripes (damn sexy, they are) and went downstairs, made oatmeal for W, put on his beloved (and very dated) Green Eggs and Ham DVD, and made cream puffs. (Day 244)

    I am struggling with a way to write this post without the use of expletives. Unfortunately, there is no scotch in the house to help me out with this. (Day 255)

    Check this out….I was rummaging through the fridge, trying to identify the contents of the 7 or so yogurt containers in there. (Day 297)

    Lou went for the Big Snip yesterday. Today he is slightly drugged, sporting a giant plastic cone around his head and a fresh Brazilian wax. (Day 296)

    Today has been an enormous, pregnant albatross attempting to take off from a well-greased runway. With a piano tied to its ass. (290)

    Ah to be three again, when the absolute worst thing that could go wrong in a day is to not be given free reign with your Halloween candy basket, or maybe the dog takes off with your Buzz Lightyear or you have to have your hair washed. (Day 310)

    Day 358! I may just have a heart attack.

    I know we all look forward to more entries in the coming year as we can all relate on some level at any given point in time and we are all foodies at heart.
    Another fave reference I couldn’t find was the one where you had ‘finally become an adult driving in the rain with your coffee listening to CBC radio’….one of those realizations similar to W being big enough for the IKEA corral.

    Kitchen gadgets – LOVE THEM!

  45. Haruko
    December 28, 2008 at 8:08 pm

    Though I have only been able to test out a few of the following recipes, they are definitely on this list, just by the description, the pictures or the ingredients….(In no special order)
    Brown Butter Bliss
    Roasted Veg with Quinoa and Feta
    Pad Thai
    Vanilla Barley Risotto
    Pickled Beets
    Mushroom Empanadas
    Tuna Noodle Casserole
    Mince Meat Cake
    Curried Daal Dip
    Lentil Mushroom and Pecan Burger

    Thank you for the ideas and your wit. I truly enjoyed your blogg and hope you continue as much as possible as I will keep this site bookmarked!

  46. Natalie
    December 29, 2008 at 6:45 am

    My top ten would be a list of kitchen items I could not live without:

    1) toaster-oven: forget the measly little two-slice toaster! I need the flexibility of my toaster-oven, especially when I use it as a mini-oven at Christmas, because the turkey is hogging the other oven!
    2) mixing bowls: can never have enough!
    3) chefs knife
    4) silicone spatulas
    5) cutting boards
    6) the perfect potato peeler
    7) my stoneware: cookie sheets, casserole dishes of every size
    8) bamboo mixing spoons
    9) huge non-stick skillet pan: gets used almost everyday
    10) 12-quart pot for making a triple batch of homemade spaghetti sauce

  47. Theresa
    December 29, 2008 at 9:12 am

    Jen C
    THANK YOU for pointing those out! OMG this is just the best blog ever……..

  48. dl
    December 29, 2008 at 9:38 am

    Top 10 things you made with ‘surprises’ in your freezer!
    I imagine your freezer to be like some people’s walk in closets where there are all sorts of surprises waiting…

  49. Katie
    December 29, 2008 at 11:04 am

    Hi Julie! I only *just* discovered this blog, as it’s about to end. I’m excited to go back through the year and see all these recipes your readers are raving about 🙂

    I also wanted to share what we had for dinner on the 27th, which was possibly the BEST way I have ever eaten turkey leftovers, seriously, EVER. I mean, I love love love open-face turkey sandwiches on crunchy french bread with mayo, stuffing and cranberry sauce, but this beat those.

    My husband made turkey (and goose, actually, since we had 2 birds this year!) *pie* – which doesn’t really sound so very miraculous but somehow it was just incredible (4 of us devoured the entire thing, and this was a big pie, probably weighing about 7 or 8 pounds!!!).

    Husband keeps his recipes pretty close to his chest (mostly ’cause he makes it up as he goes along), but I’m pretty sure the ingredients that made it so great included: a fair bit of carefully browned butter and a whole bottle of Anchor Brewing’s Christmas Ale (, and, the best part, pastry dough from Savary Island Pie Company (

    PURCHASED pastry dough? YES. Oh my goodness. Savary Island makes the best pies in the world. I know lots of places say that, but these really, really are (heck, people don’t think twice about paying $30 – yes, $30!! – for one of their organic apple pies – just goes to show how good they are!). I make a lot of pies, and make my own pastry, and I have the Savary Island pastry recipe (just shortening, flour, salt & orange juice) but it never comes out quite right. So, when we found out a few months ago that they sell their dough ($4/lb, worth every penny) we bought some to try it out. I don’t think I will ever bother making my own again!! Husband used just over 1 pound for the bottom & top of the turkey pie and it came out perfectly. So amazing. The pie just got inhaled.

    Of course, you need to live relatively close to Savary Island Pie Co. to get their dough, but I would suggest that if you live within 200km of West Vancouver, it’s worth the drive (well, maybe not just to get the dough, but to try one of their pies AND buy the dough, it’s worth the drive!). It’s a very good place to stop if you’re coming back from Whistler (like if you’ll be flying home to somewhere else from Vancouver) – you can just get off the highway at the 15th St. exit and it’s at the bottom of the hill.

    MMM YUMMY! 🙂

    Happy eating, thanks for this blog, glad I stumbled upon it!
    Take care, all.

  50. mmac
    December 29, 2008 at 11:35 am

    Jen C — perfect summary! And examples of why you could read Julie’s blog every day even if you never made any of the recipes. I also love “you guys!” and “Check this out.” and “Did that sound too Martha-y?” and the reminders that if you string all the ingredients together in a description like on a menu with a couple of verbs such as “drizzled” or “layered” or “infused” that even ordinary food can sound quite spectacular.

  51. Fiona
    December 29, 2008 at 11:38 am

    I love Jen C’s retrospective of your year. I laughed and laughed.

    I think if you were to do a top ten, you should do “Top Ten Things I Made Instead of Ordering Inglewood Pizza.” And then I can make my lovely husfriend read the post, so he starts to realize how easy it is to put together dinner rather than ordering in.

  52. piccola
    December 29, 2008 at 4:01 pm

    I couldn’t possibly make a Top 10 list without re-reading the whole thing – even if I tried skimming, I always get sucked in! But I vote for all the accidental recipes, the ones you didn’t intend to make but somehow put together on the fly. Those often turn out the best, and I can totally relate to the process!

  53. RMB
    December 29, 2008 at 8:59 pm

    My favourite food items are:
    Turtle squares
    Cinnamon Sticky Biscuits

    But my favourite thing is your writing — I feel like I’m right there with you — in your kitchen, in Jasper, in Montreal, etc. and that you’re now a friend.

    I also seem to find you everywhere, besides this blog — on the radio, on TV, in magazines: What’s Up Kids(don’t ask how we ended up with a subscription!), Canadian Family, Food for Thought. And I live in Calgary. So, if someone you’ve never seen before starts talking to you like they’ve known you forever — that will be me!

  54. Lindsay
    December 30, 2008 at 8:21 am

    1. your wit and writing talent! (Just about peed myself laughing about your dog and the Christmas tree)
    2. barley lentil salad
    3. sausage/lentil/barley soup
    (I’m so happy you helped me use the foreign packages of lentils and barley left in my kitchen from a former roommate)
    4. mint brownies (that one might not actually be on here, but thanks for writing One Smart Cookie)
    5. various marinades for pork tenderloin
    6. bacon carmel corn
    7. bagels!
    8. butter chicken and naan bread
    9. pulled pork pizza
    10. power balls

  55. allibaba
    December 30, 2008 at 10:40 am

    i’m not sure i could pick a favorite or even 10… i can barely get through 1 blog post without wanting to try the recipe as soon as possible. this blog might be my #1 way to feel transported away from my cubicle for a bit every day… and to send the recipes off to friends and family. everything i’ve tried has been delicious.. so happy holidays and thanks for that 🙂

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