Meal Prep 101: How to Freeze Grains

My mother instilled a love of whole grains in me from a very early age, back on our original homestead in the Yukon.

I can still picture the orange oval cast iron pot that she would set in the middle of the table at meal time when the six of us were gathered. That pot of rice or barley or millet rounded out most of our meals, filling the corners in the tummies with comfort.

Nowadays grains of all kind fill my pantry – red quinoa, basmati rice, wheat berries and farro, in addition to my childhood favourites. I add them to everything from citrus salads to quick stir-fried dinners.

You all know that meal prep is key for helping me to get organized for dinner and I’m also a long-time believer in batch cooking. Freezing big batches of grains checks both those boxes and makes my life a little bit easier; here’s how I do it.

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9 culinary lessons learned in London (for the home cook)

One cannot expect to immerse oneself in a foreign food culture for five days straight and not have an epiphany or two afterward.

Not surprisingly, our trip to London in May was almost exclusively about the food. I observed and absorbed everything from their café culture to street market and restaurant trends. I ate and walked and ate again. I stocked up on UK food magazines for the plane ride home to continue my education.

Why? Well, while research and culinary inspiration were strong motivations for my exploration, I was also genuinely curious about what the Brits were still into (scones and clotted cream, Sunday roast), obsessing over (toast, cider), trend watching (whole bowls, ferments) and doing really well (sausage rolls, cake).

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How to use preserved lemons in cooking and baking (recipe round-up)

I get asked so often how to use preserved lemons in cooking and baking, that I decided to expand my usual response into a post.

From what I have noticed, home cooks tend to purchase a jar of preserved lemons for a specific recipe – and then stuff the remainder in the back of the fridge for a year or two. Others get fired up over a DIY recipe, like my Spiced Preserved Lemons, but then don’t know what on earth to do with them afterward.

I use preserved lemons in practically everything. I should state from the beginning that I am a longtime devotee to preserved lemons and always have a jar or two in my refrigerator. Hopefully by the end of this post you are both inspired to stock your pantry permanently with preserved lemons and feel confident adding them to your cooking and baking.

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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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An introduction to grinding grain for flour

Baking bread when I was growing up meant first slipping down to the basement larder and grinding the grain. The machine was absolutely deafening, but I loved the smell of freshly milled flour and the way it floated down to form miniature snowy mountains in my bucket.

My mother still grinds her own grains and regales me with tales of her kamut lasagna noodles and soft wheat pizza dough; as always, she’s years ahead of the current whole foods movement. I had quite a few tools and appliances that I needed to invest in when I set up my own kitchen and a grain mill was low in the list. It was there, though, for my ‘someday’.

Naturally I was very excited last fall when KitchenAid Canada provided me with a grain mill attachment to go with my beloved 7-quart stand mixer. It’s funny, I feel as though I have both traveled back in time to to that flour dusted larder floor and taken a step ahead into another level of baking with whole, unprocessed ingredients in my kitchen.

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