Category Archives: food

My Recipe is Featured on Dishing For Dana!

Hey everyone,

You may or may not have heard about Dana’s (The Broke-Ass Bride) plight, but she is having to undergo her TWELFTH surgery for an autoimmune disease that is attacking her eyes. At this point she has a ton of medical bills (poor thing lives in the US!) and will have yet more costs accrued as she tries to recover.

To that end, the Dishing For Dana site was created. In exchange for your donation you’ll receive varying levels of access to a compilation of superstar blogger recipes!

And guess who is one of those bloggers?


On Monday my Parsley Butter Soup recipe was posted to the collection, you can check it out here!

If you donate you’ll receive access to all these amazing recipes, or you can submit a recipe of your own to help the cause.

Click on the image below to help out Dana and The American Autoimmune Related Disease Association:



A Tale of Two Citrus

Went to the market the other day, hungry for some tasty citrus.

I found a couple of nice looking oranges and brought them home. They seemed pretty happy to be here.




All was good.











And then I found out she was pregnant.




Orange babies!




Discussion: The “Nostalgia” Trend

Our crop of pickles after a canning session in the summer

Background: Ellie and I have ourselves a little ladies canning group with some other gals in the area. A few times over the summer we got together to make and can some of our own foods, such as pickles, salsa, tomatoes, applesauce, etc.

This blog post is taken from an email discussion we had regarding an article I found on Granny Miller’s blog. I thought it was an interesting subject for discussion and wanted to see what others thought about the trend towards “simpler times” and reviving homesteading methods of yesteryear.

Do you see it as a fad, a trend, or something that is here to stay? Leave a comment or answer this in your own blog post and we’ll get the discussion going!

From Ellie

I got this from Ginger via Google Reader, but I took the time to read it this afternoon and thought it was really interesting.  We started canning largely because our mothers had done it before us and we decided to start on a whim.  Canning and the “survivalist” mentality have apparently been sweeping North America just like knitting did a while back.  The nostalgia for simpler times is becoming a trend.  The lady who wrote this article finds it appalling and draws some distinct lines between the lifestyle of the past and today’s trends.

Check it out and see what you think.

Reply from Ginger

Interesting article, isn’t it?

While I think she does have a point, canning and “prepping” are not just a fad in my eyes. My family has always done the whole emergency-preparedness thing. My brother and I have both learned how to survive on the bare necessities, fend for ourselves and other things along those lines.

In fact, my brother is currently at a college taking survivalist courses so he can become a ranger or work in that field.

Extending this kind of thinking to our food preservation, preparation and housekeeping seems natural to us. Plus, we grew up with the Mennonites out in the country. They didn’t have electricity sometimes! When you wanted popped corn, you had this weird contraption to use over the stove or the fire, no microwave in sight!

Perhaps I am an old soul. I have always seen value in knowing how to do things yourself. While I don’t know how to knit anymore (I did when I was a child), I DO know how to sew and do handy things and repairs around the house. I know how to cook over an open flame (for the most part) and build an “outdoor fridge” as well as garden and grow things to eat.

While I won’t say I wasn’t influenced by the whole nostalgia trend, I will say that it has certainly made it easier to find supplies, information and other interested folks! Without this trend maybe I wouldn’t have met you wonderful and talented ladies :)

Haha, this sounds like it’s turning into a blog post!

I feel for the lady, she and her family take this style of living very seriously, and I understand what it’s like to be passionate about something, then suddenly it goes mainstream and everyone is doing it. It takes the shine off of what you’re doing and becomes annoying–everyone and their sister is suddenly an “expert” on it, while all the while you have been living it without trying to be trendy.

What does everyone else think?

Lend me your strength! The detox saga

Update: You can find all weight loss/Slimband-related posts under the Weight Loss category or by clicking here.

It’s my first day both at work and on my pre-op detox diet, and man, is it HARD!

This morning we got several chocolate deliveries as well as a large box of mini gourmet cupcakes from some fancy shop.

Pure torture.

At least I’m not alone in this, after death by chocolate (a whole afternoon sampling the entire menu at MoRoCo in Yorkville thanks to work!) on Friday, me and several of the other girls are on detox and other diets. But the temptation is still there… and so easy to fall prey to!

Only one of us was able to abstain from the adorable mini cupcakes (hint, it wasn’t me).

I really need to do better with this diet though, because it directly impacts my surgery. I am hoping that the first day is the hardest and subsequent days will become easier.

The detox diet I am doing is to help reduce the fat around my liver. The smaller my liver is, the less the surgeon has to root around in my innards to install the Slimband. My diet is full of veggies and spinach, and a little low-fat dairy and protein. I’m able to sub in protein/meal replacement shakes at any point, so I picked up some Slimfast to help me out.

I wish there was a better time to do this… The Holidays were definitely NOT my first choice! But I’ll work with what I’ve got; at least it should be pretty quiet and easy up until Christmas Eve (my family is doing a big gathering up north). I’ll have to deal with that when it comes.

Does anyone know how I can spice up spinach salads, low fat cheese, yogurt and chicken breast? What about canned tuna?

It’s day 3 overall and I’m already running out of ideas!!!

Thanksgiving Challenge

Off to my hometown for Thanksgiving weekend!

This year I’ll be cooking the big dinner as my folks are on vacation in Las Vegas until late Sunday night. I’m cooking for my parents, brother, cousin and granny this year. I’ve cooked a smaller version of Thanksgiving dinner before, but never a whole bird with all the side dishes! This’ll be an experience!

I’m planning to rope my bro and cousin in to help do all the prep work on Sunday so we can just pop things in the oven on Monday. I’m gonna have to learn how to tress a turkey… *sigh*

Here’s the menu:

  • Turkey
  • Cranberry/lingenberry sauce
  • Stuffing
  • Mashed potatoes & gravy
  • Candied sweet potatoes
  • Candied dill carrots
  • Some kind of green (broccoli, maybe?)
  • Pumpkin pie
  • Sour cherry pastries, maybe?

Just the basics, really. If it were the whole extended family getting together there would be a larger number of dishes and more elaborate ones, too. I’m keeping this low key since it’s my first, and also because I don’t want to be too stressed the day  before I start my new job!

This year I am thankful for my support network, both online and offline.

What are your plans this weekend? Any interesting traditions?

DIY: Magnetic “spice rack” for the fridge

My "spice rack"!

Lately I’ve been trying to learn how to cook more at home. What I’ve come to discover is that proper application of herbs and spices can make all the difference in a good meal!

As my cooking skill grows, my spice drawer has also grown exponentially. It’s so full that when I went to buy some oregano, I didn’t have anywhere to put it!

A crafty and creative storage solution was needed!

I have been lusting after those adorable spice containers with magnets on the bottoms that stick to your fridge. This weekend I grabbed a few on clearance and went nuts stocking up on essential spices from the bulk food store.

But what about the spices I already had?

I had several of those little orange tins of spice from Club House. Seeing the magnetic tins from the store got me thinking…why couldn’t I get the orange tins to stick to the fridge, as well?

How to make your existing spices magnetic:

If you’ve got a bunch of the little spice tins like I do, or something similar you can give this a shot!

You will need the following items:

  • spice tin
  • scissors
  • magnetic tape with sticky backing

Cut two strips of magnetic tape to the width of your spice tin.

Adhere to the tin, like so:

Plonk it on the fridge and PRESTO CHANGE-O you have a cute new way to display your spices!

This method worked out great for me because the side of my fridge is part of my kitchen workspace. The spices are now easily within reach when I’m prepping and I can quickly see how much is left of my commonly-used spices.

Plus, making my existing tins magnetic cost loads less than buying those little tins from the store! This cost me about $6 for the magnetic tape, and 10 minutes of time to assemble. I’m rather proud of myself! LOL

Do you have any other crafty kitchen hacks to share?

Tea Party: Pulling it off

Well! I’d say the tea party was a resounding success, despite a few minor setbacks!

Friday night I went all over the place to pick up the final ingredients and such for the main event. I visited a number of bakeries, cheese mongers, florists and grocers to get everything I needed. By that point I was so exhausted I got myself a pad thai and a taxi home :S

I spent Friday night setting up the table, the flowers & decor and prepping some of the foods for the next day. I got the chicken salad successfully curried and… well… now that I look back I think that may have been the only food-related thing I got done, aside from washing the fruit. Next time around I will definitely prepare more ahead of time!

I totally could have done the minted cream cheese for the cucumber sandwiches, and pre-rolled all the asparagus spears in smoked prosciutto. Thank goodness for helpful friends!

My new pal “Hattie” came over early to help me set up, and boy am I glad she came! Despite waking up early to get things done, I was still scrambling at the last minute. I put her to work slicing bread and applying delicious, delicious cream cheese while I got the asparagus and cucumber ready.

We went along at a clipped pace until I realized that we had already passed my “3pm SHARP!” arrival time for guests. Ruh-roh! This is one of the few times I was glad my friends were tardy! Hattie offered to finish the sandwiches for me while I went to get dressed.

It was then that I realized that I had completely forgotten about the focal point of my tea party: THE SCONES!!!! Chaos ensued while I got up to my elbows in butter and flour to whip a batch out before everyone came. Good thing I did the practice run last weekend!

After a hasty mixing session I was shooed out of the kitchen in order to dress myself. When I popped out Hattie and another gal pal were finishing everything up in the kitchen. I love my friends! Pulling me out of the fire at my own party and all that…

Finally, everything was pretty much done, and we got down to the business of socializing like the wonderful, civilized ladies we are! The scones turned out beautifully, by the way :)

Now, everything in a tea party is about the details and little touches, so I offer you:

The Details

My menu consisted of the following:

  • Fresh-from-the-oven sugared scones
  • An assortment of homemade jams (plum, apple butter & raspberry…except the raspberry wasn’t homemade. Oh well) plus double Devon cream which was a total bitch to find, but absolutely necessary in my cream or low tea
  • An assortment of petit fours I picked up from the local boulangerie
  • Cucumber mint sandwiches
  • Smoked prosciutto and asparagus with honey mustard sandwiches
  • Curried chicken salad sandwiches with apple & cranberry for a kick+colour!
  • About 20 different types of teas, from traditional to rooibos to the exotic!
  • Fresh fruit
  • Candy!
  • A special liqueur plus champagne drink recipe I brought back with me from Europe

Tea party buffet

The set-up:

  • The main table set with delicate china, flowers, ornaments, bowls of jams & creams and my very special handmade Italian tablecloth I picked up at a traditional lace-making school in Venice
  • A buffet for the food
  • Flowers and decorations throughout the room
  • My cat. Decorated. With a pink bow. She’s awesome.

Tea table set-up
Flowers that match the decals in my kitchen
More flowers!

The only details left to mention are the fashion and the meaning behind the tea party. Stay tuned!