homemade ricotta & a batch of baked spinach ricotta penne

I’m padding around my kitchen barefoot, late at night, on a rescue mission – making homemade ricotta from the milk that’s set to expire and cooking a batch of broccoli cheddar soup before the broccoli expires too. I love this – this quiet solo time in the kitchen. Pots on the stove. Fragrant aromas wafting through the house. Soft lighting. A shaft of moonlight falling across the dining room table. It’s a gorgeous August night. There’s a cool breeze, a waxing gibbous moon, and Neil Diamond singing “Stones” from the Hot August Night album on the radio. I’m on a massive trip down memory lane, remembering my beautiful best friend from high school, who succumbed to cancer way too early. We knew every single word to this entire album. Continue reading “homemade ricotta & a batch of baked spinach ricotta penne”

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”

Irish soda bread

Homemade Irish soda bread in 25 minutes or less – from start to finish including prep and cooking time! Continue reading “Irish soda bread”

Sweet Potato Soup

You know the Albert Camus quotation, “In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer…”? Continue reading “Sweet Potato Soup”

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”

Thai green curry

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the beauty of imperfection. I’ve written about this before – specifically about the Japanese practice of wabi-sabi – that is, of finding and embracing beauty in flaws and imperfection. And then recently, a friend told me that Mennonite women deliberately stitch errors into their quilting because they say, only God is perfect.

That perfection is neither possible nor even desirable, is such a beautiful and consoling concept. It’s worth repeating and embracing. Continue reading “Thai green curry”

roasted grape and brie flatbread

When I was a teenager, I spent a lot of time in the attic room over the garage at my best friend’s house. Her parents both worked so we went to her place where we were free to do whatever we wanted without any actual parental intervention. The attic was set up with an old TV and a couple of couches. And a record player. We didn’t have cell phones, Netflix, or computers. We didn’t even think about drugs or alcohol. There was no social media as a constant distraction. Time stretched out in front of us in the most luxurious way – a way that doesn’t seem to exist anymore. Continue reading “roasted grape and brie flatbread”

chickpea and gin-soaked raisin salad

It’s said that necessity is the mother of invention. In this case at least, necessity was the mother of these gin-soaked raisins. The original recipe was a pasta recipe that called for various things including farfalle, Swiss chard, and raisins soaked in vermouth. Somehow, the vermouth had disappeared, but the beautiful blue bottle of Bombay Sapphire was beckoning…. Continue reading “chickpea and gin-soaked raisin salad”