a summer salad of arugula, cherries, and chèvre

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how fortunate I am living this sweet, simple, happy life here in Kingston. I love this place. The shabby-chic-ness of it. The history. The old stone buildings. The massive waterways. The proximity to other places – Montreal, Ottawa, the Adirondacks – and yes, Toronto. And better yet, how fast I can leave everything behind and be in the middle of nowhere. Continue reading “a summer salad of arugula, cherries, and chèvre”

Vietnamese tofu spring rolls

I love this time of year. Not because I love winter – but I love the fact that the days are slowly, steadily getting longer. I like the quiet of winter. The long dark evenings. The clean blanket of snow. The fact that it’s actually easier to sit at my desk now than it will be in six months when the garden will be luring me outdoors. Mostly, I love the fact that spring is coming, and then summer, and then autumn. I spend a good portion of winter looking forward to the other three seasons.
Continue reading “Vietnamese tofu spring rolls”

on self worth and mini cornmeal crabcakes

 

This week I’m thinking about self-worth. Or self-esteem. Or the ability to believe in oneself. Self-love. Call it whatever you like. It’s so important and yet for many of us, our sense of self-worth is difficult to maintain, so shaky, so fragile, so easily eroded….  Continue reading “on self worth and mini cornmeal crabcakes”

more sushi, less sorrow

I’m navigating a rocky, erratic path through the #100HappyDays project. If you don’t know about #100HappyDays – you can read about it hereContinue reading “more sushi, less sorrow”

slow cooked leek, bacon, and split pea soup

It’s Sunday and the early morning sunshine is streaming in lighting up trails across the floor as dust motes swirl in the sunbeams. The coffee pot is on. Ella Fitzgerald is singing her heart out in my living room. I am assembling recipes and ingredients all over the kitchen – preparing for a cooking marathon. I text my daughter who lives only a couple of blocks away:  Got any bay leaves? Continue reading “slow cooked leek, bacon, and split pea soup”

a $450 kitchen makeover and some lemon rosemary hummus

I’ve just moved for the second time in six months. I’m really hoping it will be the last move for a while. At least for a year or two. But I know enough to never say never. I actually like moving. I like shedding possessions. I like the challenge of a new space. I love getting organized – making a place my own. I find houses interesting. I love the chance to reinvent myself. Continue reading “a $450 kitchen makeover and some lemon rosemary hummus”

spicy mussels in white wine and garlic

Writing about food is challenging. How, for example, would you describe a peach to someone who’d never seen or tasted one?

It’s so hard to find the language to explain the sumptuousness of a peach – a fuzzy-coated, sweetly fragrant, summer fruit whose ripe, soft flesh yields to the mouth, whose sweet juices run down your hands and face as you bite in. A peach smells of sunshine and honey and the summer wind.  In size, it is like a cross between an apple and an orange – sporting a warm soft, pale orange sweater-coat, kissed with shades of pink. In texture – it is more akin to a plum. Peaches tastes like nectar, like honey, like flowers, like summer itself.

But no matter what words you find – no matter how florid the description – a peach is a peach. Nothing but eating one actually does it justice.

Continue reading “spicy mussels in white wine and garlic”

stilton and pecan shortbreads

 “Maybe I should make a coulibiac of salmon with a whole salmon.”

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on not becoming a food wanker

baked brie with caramel pecan, cranberry. and applesWarm Caramel Brie with Cranberries, Apples, and Pecans

Sometimes I just want to sit in a pub with a glass of white house wine (yes, house wine, spare me all the wine jargon, puh-lease!) and a good old-fashioned BLT sandwich – that is – decent bacon, thinly sliced ripe tomato, and head lettuce (which must be an heirloom plant by now) – all slathered with old-fashioned, high-fat mayo and served on toasted rye. Preferably marbled rye – buttered. French fries on the side. Ketchup and vinegar. And yes, salt. Table salt will be fine. Continue reading “on not becoming a food wanker”

trauma, triumph, and pea pesto

pea pesto2

When I was a little girl – my mother always bought season tickets for the symphony orchestra and took (dragged) me along. I had to get all dressed up in skirts or dresses and stockings and good shoes or boots. I had a little gold hair-band with pearls on it that dug in behind my ears and gave me a headache. And I had to behave which meant sitting absolutely still and listening. And not talking. Or coughing. Or sniffling. Or even yawning. It was painful. Continue reading “trauma, triumph, and pea pesto”