Entertaining at Easter: A Brunch Menu

The Easter long weekend just might be one of my favourite occasions to entertain and I’ve been hosting a brunch for well over a decade on the spring holiday.

Easter brunch is the perfect opportunity to invite friends and family over and set a pretty table. Clara and I always dye a few eggs for a centrepiece, playing around with real ingredients for natural dyes. I iron my grandmother’s embroidered tablecloth and round up all my floral and pastel dishes. It’s okay if they are mismatched; they still look elegant.

And then there is the menu, which is always so fun to plan, but whether you simply bake a tray of hot cross buns and brew a pot of coffee or go for an elaborate ham & eggs spread, it’s the act of gathering that matters the most.

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Mini Citrus Pavlovas

A quick check of the weather before I sat down to write this post informed me that another snowstorm was on the way.

We may be all dreaming of spring, with its rhubarb galettes and strawberry pie, but the reality is that we’ll be embracing citrus fruits for a while still here in Montreal. That’s fine with me, because a friend’s new book, Simply Citrus, is inspiring me to stock up on grapefruit and tangerines, limes and lemons.

Around here, blustery winds and fresh snowdrifts are totally normal for March, and today’s mini pavlovas match the elements.  Crisp white meringues are reminiscent of the frosty snowbanks that blanket our homestead from end to end, while soft peaks of whipped cream cover them like the freshly fallen snow.

I think winter desserts are every bit as elegant as summer, and pavlovas are at the absolute top of the list. Read on for the mini citrus pavlova recipe, plus a giveaway of Simply Citrus.

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How to make a Chocolate Icebox Number Cake

It’s no secret that I like to play around in the kitchen, and today’s birthday cake is a perfect example of such amusement.

My leap year baby hits double digits this year, and since there is no 29th this month, we celebrated with friends and family last weekend. In the past he’s had a chess cake, an ice cream cake, and various other confections, but this year he specifically wanted an icebox cake.

The icebox cake is also know as a chocolate wafer cake or a Zebra cake, and consists simply of Nabisco chocolate wafters and sweetened whipped cream. In Canada, people use Mr. Christie chocolate wafers, and the ‘recipe’ is everywhere. My kids discovered this dessert one Christmas, when we made Joy the Baker’s icebox Yule log, and have loved it ever since.

When Mateo requested an icebox cake for his birthday, I decided to raise the bar and have some fun in the process.

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How to serve up a DIY breakfast taco bar

The Olympics are almost over; is anyone else as addicted as I am?

The performances are so inspiring and the athleticism absolutely jaw-dropping. I was moved to tears by Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir’s gold medal ice dance – and like the rest of the internet, I will continue to hope for a real-life romance (they actually train here in Montreal, not that far from where I live).

On a recent Saturday, when there was nothing but grey skies and freezing rain outside, the kids and I prepped the ingredients for breakfast tacos. Getting the little ones involved is part of the fun, and I can always use help grating the cheese or slicing the peppers. We spent a cozy morning watching Olympic snowboarding and munching on soft corn tacos. The kids assembled their own, customizing each to their tastes, and everyone was very, very happy.

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Double Chocolate and Maple Tahini Puffed Cereal Treats

I‘ve been packing school lunches for eight years and lunchbox treats are one thing I have down to a science, thanks to plenty of practice and a whole lot of honest feedback.

Today I’m sharing two versions of puffed cereal treats that I regularly make with my kids: Double Chocolate and Maple Tahini. They are no-bake, one-bowl, vegan recipes, with just a handful of ingredients, perfect for a kitchen project with little ones.

Yes these are based on the popular Rice Crispy treats, but you find that my version is a little more nourishing. I love to play around with puffed ancient grains such as millet or quinoa, I use natural sweeteners, stir in seed butter for protein, and leave out the marshmallows entirely.

Read on for two new recipes and then stir up a treat for Valentine’s Day with the kids.

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