How to host a BIG backyard gathering

Today, while wandering the homestead in a t-shirt with a cup of coffee in hand, I discovered my rhubarb and ramps have sprouted up from the ground.

The kids dug out a Frisbee from the garden shed and dashed around the soggy yard, obviously invigorated by the warm winds. Spring has arrived! It’s time to start planning the many ways we will take advantage of the glorious warm weather.

If you’re anything like me, your mind turns to outdoor entertaining just as soon as the last hunk of ice melts into a puddle on the deck.

The upcoming months hold many opportunities for celebration from a Mother’s Day brunch to a wedding shower lunch, but today I want to talk about throwing a BIG backyard party. The sunup to sundown kind of event, where more people pass through your garden gate then you usually see in an entire month. The kind of party you only throw once in your life – unless you thrive on this sort of thing, of course.

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Spring cookbooks preview: the Canadian edition

It is going to be an incredible year for Canadian cookbooks.

Not only will my new cookbook drop in October (details coming very soon) but there is an every growing list of exciting titles being released from many unique Canadian writers.

An out-of-the-box vegan cookbook, a coast-to-coast ode to Canadian cuisine, a collection of 100 spirited/boozy recipes, a charming baking book from the Prairies and heavy ‘dose of awesome’ from Canada’s most famous food photographer and Instagram celebrity: these are the five cookbooks I am most excited about so far in 2017 and I’m sharing a peek at them here today.

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Do small things with great love

If we have no peace it is because we’ve forgotten that we belong to each other. ~ Mother Teresa.

I think we’re all at the point where we can’t go on tiptoeing around current events on the political front, and I’m mostly speaking for myself. Here in Canada we’re affected – no longer a country on the sidelines. We’re feeling the tremors; they’re impossible to ignore.

Quebec became involved this weekend, when an admirer of President Trump took brutal action against the Muslim community. The unthinkable. As a result, six families are fatherless and many more ravaged by fear and worry as their loved ones lie in hospital. And hate crimes spiked in Montreal today, because intolerance breeds intolerance, and it cannot be contained by borders or governments.

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Merry Christmas from our home to yours

From all of us here at Simple Bites, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

The Christmas chaos has subsided for a few hours and the children have retired into various corners of the house with books, games and candy canes. I think Danny is sneaking in a nap and I’ve just brewed a cup of tea.

We are loving being home this year (remember last year we were in the Halifax NICU lending support to family) with heaps and heaps of snow to play in, and an enormous tree filling our living room. We have much to celebrate.

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Favourite Cookbooks of 2016

We had our first snowfall this week and instead of melting into slush, it stuck around to transform our world into a winter wonderland. Suffice it to say, I’ve had that song stuck in my head for the past four days.

There’s nothing quite like an abrupt switch from fall to winter to get one thinking about Christmas. Thinking about gingerbread and orange pomanders, cookie swaps and gift giving. Today, I’m here to help with the latter in the form of a cookbook-specific gift guide.

I’m not much help in recommending anything else, really, and so year after year, I give you my personal picks, in hope that a title will catch your eye – for yourself or a friend.

Last year I had so many favourite new cookbooks, that I had to split them up into Canadian and International titles. This year, I’m cramming everything into one post, so bear with me.
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