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5 Cheap Ways to Spruce Up Your Gathering & The Kitchn Cookbook giveaway

The brand new cookbook from the creators of the beloved The Kitchn blog was waiting for me when I returned home earlier this week. Oh joy!

I had met Sara Kate at Big Summer Potluck two years ago and I had the pleasure of hosting Faith here on the homestead last fall. These two kitchen geniuses teamed up to author The Kitchn Cookbook: Recipes, Kitchens & Tips to Inspire Your Cooking, a warm, inspiring cookbook that offers much more than just recipes (although the recipes are great, too).

If you like peeking into other peoples kitchens, you’ll love how this cookbook opens, with snapshots and stories of real kitchens around the country. Tucked in and around the features are solid, practical tips for setting up and caring for your kitchen. There is so much to learn here, whether your kitchen is tiny or too-large (is that really a thing?).

The next section is close to my heart: Stocking the Pantry and Planning Meals. This is the backbone of really cooking well. The authors guide you through the best set up so you can be prepared for my favourite part of the book: The Kitchn’s Cooking School! These 50 essential skills are so darn practical and well-written, I wanted to reach out and give both Faith and Sara Kate a virtual high-five.

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Returning home and Tomato Farro Salad

I‘ve returned from a week of travel on Canada’s West Coast and have found myself surprisingly short on words. Could I be talked out? It’s entirely possible.

First there were two short days on my brother’s homestead nestled under the towering peaks of Hudson Bay Mountain. Over meals such as grilled wild salmon and apple cider braised grouse, we shared our hearts with each other far into the night, making up for lost time.

Beautiful British Columbia

From there I took two flights and two ferries to meet up with my retired parents who are setting up on Cortez in the Discovery Islands. We roamed beaches in the first light of day and pried open oysters harvested from under our feet at the water’s edge. We talked of the past, present and future; we laughed and even argued a bit. Family does that.

Cortez Island, Beautiful BC

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Brown Eggs & Jam Jars cookbook cover reveal!

Dear readers. If you forgot about that cookbook I told you over sixteen months ago that I was writing, I wouldn’t blame you one bit.

I imagine it has felt like radio silence since the announcement from your perspective, but believe me when I say I’ve been steadily pouring my heart and soul into the recipes, tutorials, sidebars, essays, headnotes, photographs and cover of Brown Eggs and Jam Jars. At this point there are decisions made nearly every day, heaps of emails, final edits galore, and lists like you wouldn’t believe.

I can’t wait to share the book with you. We have a release date: February 10, 2015. February could use a little something special, don’t you think? It’s a dark, cold month here in Montreal; an ideal time to warm up the kitchen with something new and inspiring.

For now though, I am so very excited to reveal my first cookbook cover. I’m also sharing an exclusive pre-order offer from Canadian bookstore/online retalier Indigo.ca, so keep reading to find out more.

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Beet Braised Lentils with Thyme and Apple | Simple Bites #recipe #dinner #vegetarian #meatlessmonday

Eat Seasonal: Beet Braised Lentils with Thyme and Apples

Fall comfort foods tend to have a reputation for being all kinds of rich and that is probably why we love them so, but today’s recipe proves that healthy can also be craveable.

We love our lentils around here and they make frequent appearances on the table in the vegetarian versions of Shepherd’s Pie and Sloppy Joes. They take on a satisfying meaty quality when cooked low and slow that makes them an ideal meatless main dish. Today’s braise is another perfect example.

I first intended this simple recipe as a side dish, but when topped with a quick slaw of julienned apple and tangy sauerkraut, I found it was everything I wanted for dinner.

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TWO DAIRY-FREE PUMPKIN DESSERTS FOR THANKSGIVING

Dairy-free Spiced Pumpkin Pie and Chocolate Pumpkin Baked Doughnuts

In October, we lug home golden pumpkins and red-skinned apples from the markets and transform them into a sideboard of sweets for a Canadian Thanksgiving celebration.

The correlation between Thanksgiving baking and cooler fall temperatures is no coincidence. My kitchen begins heating up with crimped pies and tender cakes right around the time our evening walks start requiring scarves and sweaters. It’s a good balance.

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