coffee cups

Weekend Links and 20 Canadian Instagramers Who Make Me Hungry

This week was rather extraordinary, in the very literal sense of the word; there were a handful of rare, and very special events.

On Sunday we met our newest nephew and there is nothing so wonderful as holding a seven-pound newborn bundle. Then Spring finally got her act together and bestowed us with a week of glorious warm weather which made the grass turn a pale shade of green and the wild ramps grow three inches in the back forest.

I even spotted rhubarb buds in the garden. It’s starting!

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Sugaring off on SimpleBites.net

Sugaring Off and Bacon-Wrapped, Maple-Glazed Roasted Carrots

I grew up as the younger sibling to both a brother and a sister and everything happened to them first: sleepovers, concerts, dating, driving lessons…

It was one of those things I had to make peace with, knowing that eventually I too would be able to wear make-up, get a summer job, or go overnight camping with just friends and no adults.

Watching spring come to our Southern neighbours in a splash of vibrant colour on Instagram while we are still sitting in slushy mud requires a similar resignation. I know it won’t be long before I too am snapping the ends off of bright green asparagus or roasting strawberries for an ice cream sundae, but for now, I have to be patient.

Fortunately, here in Eastern Canada we have a fifth season to tide us over until the blossoms bloom and the bulbs burst – the maple sap run. It’s an utterly magical few weeks when the towering maples, which already give so much in shade, oxygen and sheer beauty, offer up their sweet, sweet sap for the taking.

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drinks bar Easter

Weekend links and photos

This week was a range of ups and downs, including a wisdom tooth extraction for me which I’m still slowly recovering from.

On the bright side, warm rains melted nearly all of our snow, I found the first ramp on the forest floor, and we had sap running all week. I’ll be bringing you a short update on our small scale sugaring off operation later this week, but first, here’s what I’ve been loving around the web.

Hit the jump for a few of our Easter photos. Brunch, lunch, and more brunch.

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Rolling flour tortillas

Kitchen Tasks for Kids Ages 6 to 8

So you’ve survived cooking with pre-schoolers. Congratulations! I have good news for you: the next stage is really, really fun.

From rolling meatballs to chopping apples, watching the Yorkshire pudding rise or turning fruit into sauce, the kitchen is now a science lab, the heart of the home, and the best restaurant in town.

Around age six and continuing through seven, children graduate from play cooking to serious cooking and they are eager to make a good impression. They can plan a simple menu and pull together an entire meal, if given the chance. Now, more than ever, it’s important to give them space to be creative. Guide them, give instructions, but don’t hover. And heap on the praise.

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Tangy Quinoa Spring Salad Cups | Simple Bites

Eat Seasonal: Tangy Quinoa Spring Salad Cups

There’s a sunny spot on my bedroom dresser on the second floor of my house and I’m growing two flats of seedlings in its warmth. If it wasn’t for the perky tomato shoots and the sprouting chives growing there, it would be hard to find a single sign of spring anywhere around for miles.

We woke up to more snow and plummeting temperatures on Easter weekend. I wore fuzzy leg warmers under my flowered-print dress and the children ran their easter egg hunt in full snowsuits. There wasn’t a crocus to be seen all holiday long, although the cold didn’t stop us from having a string of lovely gatherings.

During this confused weather, my cooking has featured a melding of the seasons: the requisite hearty cold weather comfort foods enhanced by a few spring delicacies. Today’s Tangy Quinoa Spring Salad Cups are a good example of such a marriage. A sturdy black bean and quinoa salad topped off with a crunchy mix of cucumber, mango, jalepeno, radish and avocado; good enough to forget all about the snow – for a few minutes.

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