Recipes – Storytelling – Delicious Photos

October 26, 2014
by sarah
1 Comment

Rolled Turkey Breast with Sausage and Mushrooms

turkey roulade with sausage and mushroomsI really, really love Fall. It’s my favourite. I love the crispness in the air, the changing leaves and the cooler, darker weather with the promise of the holidays and then shortly after, spring. Mostly though, I love cooking in the fall. I love the farm to table inspiration of the harvest, I also love slow cooking where the bulk of the work is done by the oven or a heavy, simmering pot. For me, Fall and Winter are the most ‘traditional’ seasons for cooking, not surprisingly because of the holidays and the ideas of big family meals garnished with tradition and steeped in expectation. Hmmm, there’s good stuff there, but also, a colossal amount of pressure. Shouldn’t cooking be a fun and rewarding activity? I tend to think so. We have to do it, so we may as well make the most of it. If the prospect of a ‘traditional’ family meal centers around a turkey, (not everyone’s traditions are the same, I realize), then I might have just the thing for you: a departure from what Thanksgiving or Christmas dinners of yore may have looked like, but also a nod to the classic turkey and every good feeling that comes from slow roasting meat with herbs and serving it with finesse.

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September 14, 2014
by sarah
1 Comment

Carrot Cake Juice Smoothie

carrot cake juice

Fall is right around the corner here, folks. Even the sunniest days in the last couple of weeks have taken on that thinner, more golden, end of summer light. The nights are downright chilly and pumpkin spice everything has made its annual invasion. I love cooking in the summer – all the freshness and vibrant produce, BBQ’d everything and the general low maintenance approach to food and its preparation. I do, however, really enjoy cooking in the fall when things get a bit more roasted, slower, deeper flavors and more robust ingredients. I like the feeling of “harvest time” and I look forward to the change in temperature and palate.

When a friendly rep from Williams-Sonoma reached out to me to ask if I’d like to participate in their Juice Week, I was in immediately. Juicing isn’t something I do a ton of but I do make smoothies most mornings for breakfast and they become my fruit quota for the day. Continue Reading →

September 12, 2014
by sarah
1 Comment

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Banana Snack Attack

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Banana Snack Attack

So, this happened.

I make no apologies. It was a rainy grey day, I was left to my own devices, and I wanted a snack that wasn’t fruit or baby carrots or hummus or anything even remotely healthy or responsible.

Want to be bad like me? Take chocolate chip cookies of your choice and sandwich them around slices of banana and a gob of peanut butter. No recipe needed! Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Banana Snack Attack!

In my defense, it was natural peanut butter and bananas are actually a fruit.

Great for a quick indulgence or dessert, and I made two, but one would have been enough.

phone 1800

September 6, 2014
by sarah
4 Comments

some assembly required

some assempbly required

How is it possible that we are in the second week of September already? Here in Vancouver that doesn’t quite mean that summer is over in terms of warm weather but it does mean that the pace and timing of one’s life may begin to return to normal: back to school or back to work, vacation memories fading quickly. Whether these few weeks are about ‘normalizing’ for you or not, chances are you’re feeling some sort of pinch, some sort pressure, I know I am. When we’re under stress or duress, even if that stress is “normal” for us, it can be so easy to let slide the most important things for our overall well being: eating well, sleeping, exercising and taking time to actually enjoy your life, not just letting it rampage past, leaving you a dizzy spectator.

I won’t preach on sleep or exercise, two things I’m in no position to lecture on, but eating well and enjoying life can so often go hand in hand – but how do we do so when there just aren’t enough hours in the day?

At our house, when no one wants to cook and take out is leaving us non-plussed, we do an antipasto style dinner, some assembly required: plates of this and that which everyone assembles as the wish. Everyone gets something they want, there aren’t many dishes and with a well stocked pantry and fridge it’s not a nuisance to prepare. Make the selection as simple or as elaborate as you like, just make sure you hit the main categories: fruit, veggies, protein (meat or cheese or both, usually) and some sort of vehicle to get it all in, like bread, crackers, tortillas, even fresh lettuce leaves. Beyond that, add something sweet, something zingy (think chutney and/or pickles or olives) and if you’re really feeling luxurious some hummus or baba ganoush to dip and spread.

So take a deep breath, put on some good tunes, crack a bottle of wine and enjoy the satisfaction of putting out a simple dinner without ever turning on the stove.

August 25, 2014
by sarah
1 Comment

Linguine with Salmon and Kale

I’m at our cabin right now. Two hours from home and it smells different here, out of the city. There’s no traffic, no congestion, no hurry up and wait, just water and trees and friendly people in a tiny, friendly town.  The cabin is affectionately known as The Trabin because it was once an RV trailer that is permanently parked with a sizable and comfortable addition built on: trailer + cabin = Trabin. It’s a little like playing house when you’re up here. everything is a bit funky, misfit, not necessarily efficient, and none of that could be truer than the kitchen. I surprise myself though, by not being thoroughly frustrated by the limited gear, dolllhouse sized stove, cold-water-only sink. Instead of being limitations, they become challenges – we can’t simply eat deli macaroni salad and BBQ’d everything when we’re here, the show must go on, and that show means just-as-good-as-home meals even when the resources are lacking. Continue Reading →

August 8, 2014
by sarah
2 Comments

Strawberry Rhubarb Cinnamon Rolls

I love strawberry and rhubarb together so, so much. They really are a perfect combo and I like them together like I like blueberry and cinnamon, blackberry and lemon, or raspberry and coconut. This is not at all the first time I’ve dabbled in Strawberry Rhubarb goodness, no, no, no. There was an epic open faced, unadorned Graham Crust Strawberry Rhubarb Pie that was essentially jam in a cookie crust. There was an understated and elegant whole wheat Strawberry Rhubarb Coffee Cake and of course, the adorably photogenic Strawberry Rhubarb Tarts with Ground Almond Crusts . So you see, I’m no stranger to the straw-barb game, in fact, it’s a flavor combo I seek out wherever possible and I love how it always tastes homey and rustic, and perfectly like summer.  Continue Reading →

July 15, 2014
by sarah
1 Comment

Red Wine Whiskey Sangria

As the saying goes: necessity is the mother of invention. I feel like there are millions of ways to prove this old adage true, but none more true than the desperate moment when a friend approaches you at your own party and says, with a grave look in his eye, “You’re out of punch.”  This happened. This is a true story. And he was right, the punch bowl was dry. Immediately we set to work, tipsy ourselves, and crafted a delicious drink primarily from two seemingly disparate ingredients: whiskey and red wine.

Stay with me. It was delicious, I promise.

Now, since that particular December evening (it was at last year’s annual Holiday Open House), I have thought about that sweet, tart, potent drink many times. Like most delicious things, perhaps more so than many, drinks can easily adapt to suit the season or what you have on hand. In this case, that made up punch has since been transformed into an ice cold summer drink full of boozy fruit and optional bubbles.  Continue Reading →