How to Host a Modern Dinner Party

I count myself among those who have realized that the act of gathering is much more important than a styled table or fancy food.

When I take a close look at the modern dinner party these days, I feel like it is about embracing the simpler things in life and valuing relationship above all else. We’re busy people, and getting together with friends is sacred in this digital age because face-to-face interaction is essential for true community.

My table – indoors and out – is going to be packed this summer; not only do we have a stream of family members coming to visit, but we’re making friends here in our new province. Everyone is invited over, basically, beginning with my cookbook club in June. Hooray!

So with summer entertaining kicking off I thought we’d take a look at the modern dinner party here on the blog. Read on!

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Spring 2019 Cookbook Picks

The Spring 2019 cookbook lineup has been so incredibly inspiring, it’s been challenging to pick my favourites.

I must have bookmarked at least twenty recipes to share with you, alas, other work commitments took precedence over recipe blogging. While my committments are exciting and fulfilling (hey, I’m speaking at Women Deliver 2019!) sometimes I wish I could cook, bake and write seven days a week.

You’re just going to have to discover these cookbooks for yourself. Pull up a chair at the Prairie Table or take a trip to the Wildness of Newfoundland. Cook up a modern lunch and remember that fibre is important.  You’ll find inspiration aplenty on this list. [Read more…]

Easter Appetizer Round-Up

Inspiring recipes for simple spring appetizers.

I was a natural-born feeder from as early as age four or five, when I would set the table for my mum and help with simple kitchen tasks for the family meal.

The days we were anticipating guests were always incredibly exciting; I’d get to pick the wildflowers for the table and draw place cards to set above the dinner plate. My mother instilled a love of hospitality in me at a young age, and to this day I love gathering people around my table.

Cooking for others has always been my most comfortable form of self-expression and Easter is one of my favourite times of the year to host friends. Last year I gave you an Easter brunch menu and two lunch menus for your entertaining inspiration; today I’m simplifying it even more with suggestions for spring appetizers.

I hope you’ll be encouraged to invite a few people into your home over the April long weekend and make a few memories around the table.

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How (and why) to Start a Cookbook Club

For a long, long time, I’ve wanted to start a cookbook club, the kind where you all read the same book, prepare a recipe, and bring it to a pot-luck to share.

There just wasn’t enough margin in my life before now; I couldn’t have added another event to the calendar. However, now that we are in Halifax, our lifestyle change has opened up pockets of time and I’ve been intentional about filling those spaces with activities that bring me joy.

Enter the cookbook club. While it’s technically a social event, the gathering dovetails nicely into my line of work as an author and recipe developer – a perfect intertwine of work and play with delicious food as a result.

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Holiday Brunch Tips and Recipes

My holiday brunch strategy goes like this: a decadent baked treat, a flavourful egg dish, a winter fruit salad and heaps of coffee. That’s it.

Every year there are slight variations to the plan, like crispy maple-glazed bacon or a pot of hot spiced mulled cider, but the trio of carb + protein + fruit is a solid one that I recommend you master first. If you plan it right, there are at least two dishes for everyone on the guest list, be they your vegan friends, the gluten-free gang and the paleo-ish folks.

I’ve already shared previously about my love of hosting brunch, and so today’s post is a closer look at how I make it work with minimal stress. You’ll find a simple breakdown of my holiday brunch strategy, with favourite recipes linked and totally acceptable shortcuts listed for when you need them. After all, the act of gathering is far more important than what is actually on the table.

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