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Weekend links

“At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.”

Coconut Curried Pumpkin with Cinnamon Rice | Simple Bites {vegan}

Coconut Curried Pumpkin with Cinnamon Rice {vegan}

My local farm stand closed for the season on Monday, leaving nothing behind save for a few wisps of straw and dried corn husks.

Driving by that day, I saw them tossing pumpkins with abandon into the back of a wagon. The season was over and it seemed the sooner they could rid themselves of the squash the better. I pulled off the road, grabbed my change purse and went to inquire.

The farmer let me take as many as I wanted for fifty cents each and I drove away with big plans to roast them all for purée. I also made off with several cabbages, romanesco, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts on the stalk. All for under 10 dollars. It was a good start to the week.

Coconut Curried Pumpkin with Cinnamon Rice | Simple Bites {vegan}

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Naked Lemon Layer Cake recipe and tutorial | Simple Bites

Rustic Lemon Layer Cake for a baby shower

November is the season of comfort food, which for me roughly translates into coffee and cake – at least today it does.

Lately I’ve taken to retreating into my warm kitchen in the morning with a stack of the fall’s latest baking books and only emerging when I feel adequately caffeinated and something delightful is cooling on the counter. We can only eat so much, and I gift a good portion of my baking, but it is always welcome to have a little assignment.

So last weekend when a few close friends and I teamed up on an (actual, not virtual, although today’s is virtual) baby shower, I volunteered to bake the cake. I’d been thumbing through both Homemade Decadence and Butter Baked Goods dreaming of layer cakes and fluffy frosting and this was the opportunity I needed  to break out the cake pans. I chose a recipe from each book and both were so spectacular, I requested permission from the publishers to share them with you here.

The recipes can be scaled up or down, should you one day find yourself committed to making a wedding cake or just want a crumb of something sweet for Sunday dinner.  I think you’ll agree, few things in life are as enjoyable a frosted slice of cake, so read on for the tutorial, recipes and virtual baby shower you can join, too!

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late night nibbles for two

Weekend links and photos

Yesterday morning the realization that it was already November hit me and I felt a fluttering of panic around my heart.

I spent a portion of the day making lists, arranging events in my schedule and taking a good honest look at what needs to be done before the holidays. Even though Book 1 is well on its way, the outline for Book 2 (!) is due in exactly one month. November is going to require some focus.

Today I’m feeling calm and determined, ready to move forward and finish out the year strong. I’ve put my garden to bed for the winter and I feel a kitchen hibernation coming on. I’ve got a gorgeous recipe line-up for you all, plus a few little surprises, too.

Now, incase you’re feeling less than enthusiastic over this bleak month, here’s some inspiration to get you back in the kitchen.

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The after school gingerbread project: 5 simple steps. 2 happy kids. 1 edible house. www.simplebites.net

Kids Cooking: How to tend to a kitchen burn

It seems like a long, long time ago that I taught first aid and CPR to pay my way through university.

I had taken all the swimming lessons possible at our local pool, up through the Red Cross system, Bronze Medallions and Cross, oxygen therapy courses, lifeguard, lifeguard trainer, CPR trainer, and then my teachers finally said:

“Dan, you’ve spent a bunch of cash on all these courses. You should be able to teach them by now – which would help you to recoup the costs!”

And so I did for four years. Although I only worked one summer as a lifeguard (by far my crappiest job ever), I’ve never worked “in the field” as a first responder or any other kind of first-aid related field.

Having kids at home, though, has brought much of my training, practice and demonstrations to point, as I have had to clean and bandage feet cut on shells from the ocean floor, faces cut from flying garden tools (yep), and a bunch of other weird stuff.

Although we strongly encourage our children to work alongside us in the kitchen, there is always the risk that someone will get cut or burned. This post was becoming waaaay too long, so today we’ll just cover burns.  Let me see if I can draw from my training and give you a quick crash course on what you should do if that happens. [Read more…]