Tangy Quinoa Spring Salad Cups | Simple Bites

Lunchbox Renewal & All-Purpose Citrus Boost Dressing

You know you’re in trouble when your lunchbox board on Pinterest fails to spark any excitement.

All around us, a spring renewal of sorts is in progress. My Facebook friends are donating their entire closet of clothes in favour of something called a ‘capsule wardrobe’. My neighbour is filling half his driveway with junk every Wednesday for the garbage man to take. And in nature, florescent greens are overtaking the soft browns with each passing day.

One thing hasn’t changed: the doldrums of the bagged lunch. Danny and my boys take one every day, but the school year is long and we still have two months until summer vacation. Can we revive the lunchbox? I think so.

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family picnic time

Weekend links and photos

A lot of lovely things happened this week, although none of them were blogging, for better or worse.

Let’s see, there was a morning spent teaching a cooking class to twenty-five 4th graders, which made my palms damp and my heart swell with pride. I discovered it’s just as much fun teaching in a classroom setting than it is in my kitchen.

There was more gardening and planting, including a Concord grape vine, which I am hoping will eventually grow to cover my pergola. It will, right? Grapes vines are new to me, but I am hopeful for future jam, juice and jelly.

There was recipe testing in earnest for a few freelance projects and my next cookbook. There was a Mother’s Day picnic planned and then cancelled, due to rain. There was Saturday’s rained out barbecue and Thursday’s cinq à sept with local food bloggers, which not surprisingly, finished at midnight.

There were a few interviews for a few upcoming publications and one lady asked a question that really got me thinking: “What kind of strengths do you think city folk have that could lend themselves to a homesteading lifestyle?” I thought about writing a post on it…but then writing time was scarce this week.

Then there was this post, which kept me hopping for the better part of the day trying to make sure this little blog didn’t crash with the traffic. Welcome, new readers! It’s been a full week; now onto favourite links and photos.

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Sour Cream and Ramp Gnocchi with Sautéed Kale

Sour Cream & Ramp Gnocchi with Sautéed Kale and Crispy Bacon

It is my firm belief that many spring foods need to be just as hearty and filling as winter fare, at least for those of us with gardens to plant.

From turning the compost to prepping the ground for planting, hauling soil and rocks and clearing brambles, an afternoon of work on our homestead can leave me utterly famished. It’s on those days when a meal featuring bacon, gnocci and sour cream makes complete sense. I love my spring salads and soups, I DO, but I won’t say no to refuelling with fully loaded bowl of carbs.

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All About Avocados

All About Avocados

Happy first day of May! My favourite picnic weather is finally here; no bugs, a cool breeze and an abundance of spring wildflowers.

I ‘m planning a picnic for Mother’s Day, but every spare minute before then will be spent in the garden. The children and I have been planting the very first crops – lettuce, peas, carrots, and beets – and the seedlings have to move into their permanent home soon.

All About Avocodos

Thanks to sunshine and warm weather, I’m outside most days, but I had to pop in here and tell you about my latest post for Jamie Oliver.

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cookbooks on bookshelf

Favourite Spring Cookbooks and Authors for Indies Events

I finally admitted to myself this week that I was missing the hustle and bustle of book tour days past.

It’s not the smell of a Sharpie or the late nights I find lacking, but getting out and connecting with you readers. That was absolutely the best part of that whole crazy month. It sure wasn’t the inflight snacks.

Meeting so many of you was such a highlight of my year to date, that I decided we should do it again soon. At least locally for now. This Saturday, May 2nd is Canadian Authors for Indies Day and I am jumping in with both feet, with events booked all day at independent bookstores around Montreal.

Read on to see where I’ll be throughout the day and to find out if I’m bringing the kids or any snacks (yes, and yes). Then, I’m sharing nine of my favourite Spring 2015 cookbooks. Books, books, books!

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