Archive for the ‘Thoughts’ category

A Shower for My Sister

June 6th, 2012

Strawberry cheesecakes

Later this summer, my little sister is getting married.  I started planning her shower back in the early spring, playing around with Pinterest, reading dessert cookbooks, and flipping through magazines.


The theme came together quickly – lipstick & lingerie – with the guests contributing to the bride’s visit to MAC and a pile of frothy underthings.  We spent the day before the shower getting primped and pampered, just like a bridal party should.

Sugar cookie wedding cakes

The food was where I had the most fun.  My grandma, an amazing baker, pulled off the shortbread wedding cakes seen above.  I ordered macarons from the lovely Bake Lethbridge, and everything else played into the fresh spring feel of the shower.  My favourite treat was also the easiest to put together – a tray full of bruschetta and goat cheese on baguette slices.  Half were a traditional tomato bruschetta; half were a summery strawberry bruschetta.

Desserts Garter from mom Party snacks

It was a wonderful afternoon, and I can’t wait for the big weekend.

Recipes from the English Grandma

March 7th, 2011

My English grandma passed away last week. Here are two of her recipes that I’ve posted to the site over the years:

I’m making the salmon pie for dinner tonight.  It’s a great thing to have on hand – tasty hot or cold, and very easy to pull together.  Just the thing when life needs to be as simple as possible.

Salmon crumble pie

One of the wonderful things she left me is a set of cooking journals.  One belonged to her mother, the other belonged to my grandpa’s mother.  My grandpa’s mom was at one time apprenticed to a baker, so the book is filled with the recipes in the order she learned them.  Both women lived through two wars, so it’s very interesting to read the recipes and see the substitutions that had to be made in times of hardship.  I have yet to try out any of the recipes, but it will happen.  It will be nice to have a bit of a baking project to get me through the rest of the winter.

A New Kitchen Toy

January 30th, 2011

New kitchen toy

My Christmas and birthday lists are always heavy on kitchen gadgets and cookbooks.  Santa came through in spades this year with an antique silver pie server, a Le Creuset honey pot, a set of French wine goblets, gift certificates for locally roasted coffee and Nigella’s new cookbook.  And this – a Zyliss Julienne peeler.

The peeler makes quick work of carrots and zucchini, slicing them into perfect, thin strips.  It’s quite easy to use – I just took a single straight peel off one side of the carrot, placed that side flat on my cutting board, and ran the Julienne peeler down the length of the carrot until it was too floppy and thin to keep slicing.  (That last little bit became a healthy and speedy cook’s snack.)  The handle is a nice size and sits at a good angle in my hand.  If and when my cheap straight-edge peeler bites the big one, I’ll definitely be picking up one of the Zyliss swivel peelers as a replacement.

Summer Barbecue

June 24th, 2010

Having a friend with a wazoo camera sure makes food look even tastier:

BBQ Steak

Even basic salads look fancy:

Potato Salad


Potato salad

August 22nd, 2009

potato salad

This isn’t all that profound of a salad, except for the fact that it’s the first dish I’ve blogged from my new house. The chef girl has landed, and she has her very own turquoise, red and white kitchen.


The main colours were there when I moved into the house and just happened to look perfect with all my red kitchen accessories. The kitchenaid looks especially at home, as does my spiffy red colander. I’m settling in – setting up a pantry, determining which drawers will house which utensils, and making the place mine-all-mine.

Dinner tonight was especially nice. I’ve had friends and family over for most of my free evenings, and tonight was the first night that I had all to myself, to indulge in some foodie pampering. One of the local grocery stores has upped the ante at their meat counter, offering tasty-looking, ready-to-go meat, fish and fowl. I picked up a spinach and swiss cheese beef rouladen and made an almost-all-local potato salad as a side. (the same grocery store sells veggies from one of the area Hutterite colonies) Tasty stuff, and pretty much guilt-free, as far as carbon footprints go. Here’s the recipe – adaptable to location, though it obviously tastes best in Southern Alberta. ;)

4-5 small white creamer potatoes
handful of fresh green beans
handful of baby carrots
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tbsp grainy mustard
juice of half a lemon
1 tbsp dill
salt & pepper
handful of small dill pickles

Scrub the potatoes and chop them into bite-sized pieces.
Toss the potatoes into boiling water (just enough to cover) and cook for 5 minutes.
Add the carrots and beans to the pot and cook for another 3-5 minutes.
While the veg are cooking, mix the mayo, mustard and seasoning together in a salad bowl.
Slice the pickles into finger-width pieces and add to the dressing.
When the potatoes et al. are finished cooking, drain them and immerse in ice water until cooled.
Add the cooled veg to the dressing and toss to coat.

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