How to set up a functional outdoor bar || Simple Bites #entertaining #bar

How to set up a functional outdoor bar

If the beginning of fall has made you concede the end of outdoor entertaining, think again. This is the best time to move the party outside.

Think about it. The bugs are gone, the heat waves have passed. The fall air feels invigorating and bushels of autumnal produce are here to inspire you to cook. Are you with me yet? I hope so, because I’m kicking off a six-part series on fresh air feasts right now.

Last month we had the honour of hosting a casual wedding reception for my younger sister, Miranda, and Danny’s brother, Mike (fondly referred to as M&M from henceforth). My good friend and incomparable Montreal photographer, Tim Chin, was here to document the event – and how!

I’ll take you into the heart of my biggest party of all times and share my best tips for making it happen. Let’s get started with a drink at the bar, shall we?

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Backyard beer brew

Our Beer Chronicles: Part 1

If you want to brew your own beer at home, and learn how to do it more or less “properly”, there are innumerable blogs, books, videos, podcasts and conferences that you can use to learn. This is my preferred route, as I like to know what I am doing, and why, and what will go wrong if I don’t do it.

I’ve learned, though, that for some things, it can also be good to just jump in and get some hands on experience – ideally with someone guiding you through the process.  And so that is what I have done with some of my co-workers who have brewed together in the past with reasonably good results.

Based on the “Mild Mannered Ale” we made together a few months ago, which was fantastic, I’d say the recipes and process we followed so far are pretty good, and so we had the itch to give it another go.  I’m reading up in bits an pieces along the way, and figured I’d share about my basic understanding of the process.

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Eat Seasonal: Easy Roasted Vegetable Spaghetti || Simple Bites #recipe #dinner #vegetarian

Eat Seasonal: Easy Roasted Vegetable Spaghetti

I want to talk about tomatoes and corn, eggplant and zucchini, and all the other beautiful produce that is so abundant right now, but first, I must say thank you all for your kind responses to my last post.

You commented, emailed and left messages on social media; I read every one and was much encouraged. It really helped to hear from so many people that the emotional toll if an car accident is just as severe as the physical one. As it turned out, after a week of exhaustion, sensitivity to noise, and bad headaches, the conclusion is that I did suffer a mild concussion. Rest is needed, as is time away from screens, so this post will be short.

Fortunately I developed and photographed this simple summer pasta the day before the accident, and I’m so excited to share it. If your kitchen is anything like mine, there’s a pile of vegetables begging to be roasted and tossed with pasta, herbs and olive oil tonight[Read more…]

Weelicious Lunches

The School Lunch Blindside

There are a few things that happen after a car accident that they don’t tell you about. Such as how the muscles in your ten fingers will ache and simple tasks – like wrapping your daughter’s ponytail with an elastic or shampooing your hair – become all awkward and send spasms up your wrists to your elbows.

But everything aches. It’s just that sore fingers are a new sensation after thirty seven years.

Before Sunday, I never knew what would happen nearly every time you close your eyes in the days following a car crash. I’ve discovered that as soon as they’re shut, your mind hits “Play” on a little memory it has called “The Moment of Impact”. The replay is startling every single time: from the sickening, heart-dropping slam of metal on metal to the thud of your head on the side window.

What people do tell you is that you will be sore, maybe even for weeks, and that you should rest as much as possible. Oh perfect. Not a problem. Just as soon as I get these three kids a hot breakfast, out the door for their first day of school, meet the teachers and lug a wailing and writhing Clara out of the school yard because she wants to go to ‘cool too.

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The summer tablescape

Weekend links and photos

This weekend, with its long walks, picnics, and slow gardening, felt like a long exhale after an incredibly busy summer.

It’s been a little quiet around here, as you may have noticed. Other projects have taken up a lot of my time, as well as three little ones trying to squeeze every ounce of fun out of summer. And how!

School starts on Monday and we will be embracing that routine wholeheartedly. For me, it is a return to blogging and book writing, fall baking and just being. September, you are lovely. Thanks for finally getting here.

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