Archive for January, 2009

Dreaming of Veggie Garden Days

home grown garden veggies

This past summer I experimented with my first vegetable garden. I planted beets, peas, carrots, tomatoes, beans, lettuce, spinach, strawberries and raspberries. For herbs, I had basil, cilantro, dill, rosemary, oregano and thyme. Most of the plants did well, and harvesting our own fresh, home grown veggies was a total thrill for me. It was a unique and wholly satisfying experience to watch beautiful bits of green emerge from tiny seeds in all the nooks and crannies of our small inner city yard. It was even more exciting to use the food that grew right before my eyes to create delicious meals. (more…)


January 14, 2009 at 9:44 pm Leave a comment

Corn and Cheddar Strata

corn & cheddar strata

A strata is almost like a souffle, except much, much easier to make! And probably tastier. It’s a warm, light, fluffy egg-bread-cheese casserole dish with a yummy crunchy topping that makes the kitchen smell impossibly good – perfect for rousing the sleep-in crowd. It’s also pretty good paired with a salad for a simple comfort food dinner. (more…)

January 14, 2009 at 8:55 pm 2 comments

Cranberry Lemon Scones

Another cran-scone recipe - from The Kitchn

I hope my appreciation and continued enjoyment of the recipe books I’ve received as gifts comes through in these posts about my life in the kitchen. Browsing through cookbooks is great inspiration to try new things. I usually can’t help tinkering, though. This recipe is an adaptation of the various scone recipes in the Four Sisters Inns cookbook my in-laws brought back as a gift when they stayed at the Healdsburg Inn in California’s Sonoma Valley a couple of years ago. (more…)

January 11, 2009 at 12:09 am 1 comment

Early mornings

early_morningI’ve always found the early, early morning to be kind of a magical place. There is something entirely perfect about waking up very early. Especially if no one else is awake and you can revel in the solitude and space. Especially if it’s spring or summer and you can wander outside to visit the garden with a steamy mug of sweet coffee. Or winter when you can curl up  with a cup of hot tea and listen to quiet chamber music on the radio. Almost as good as dreaming. (more…)

January 5, 2009 at 9:11 pm 1 comment

Tea of immortals

ginger-teatea-glass-cupSilk Road Tea Company in Victoria, BC is a favorite shop of mine. One of their products, a loose-tea blend called Tea of Immortals, has been helping me nurse a miserable cold this week. It’s delicious tasting tea: an earthy, spicy tasting combination of Chinese semi-green tea, ginger root and ginseng. Each steaming mug is bringing comfort and all of the ingredients are said to boost immunity. Other stellar health benefits include cancer-fighting properties, increased mental alertness and longevity. With any luck I’ll be back on the road to everlasting health and well-being in no time.

January 4, 2009 at 5:31 pm Leave a comment

Flowers in January

my lovely paperwhites

I purchased some paperwhite bulbs for the first time during our recent trip to Victoria, BC at Dig This, my favorite West Coast gardening store. I planted them about 2 weeks ago in an antique ceramic chamber pot I found at a neighbourhood garage sale last summer. It feel like I’ve found a treasure. (more…)

January 2, 2009 at 9:13 pm Leave a comment

Best brownies!


As part of our toast to the New Year, I made some brownies for dessert from Jeanne Kelley‘s new book, Blue Eggs and Yellow Tomatoes: Recipes from a Modern Kitchen Garden. They were amazing and even survived the translation to gluten-free that happens with much of my baking. It was a simple recipe with great ingredients: bittersweet chocolate, real butter, sugar, eggs. I loved that I mixed it all up in the same pot that I melted the chocolate in. So easy and good! (more…)

January 2, 2009 at 1:17 am 2 comments

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