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”

happen-to-be-vegan Valentine’s Day cookies

It’s Valentine’s Day this week and in my kitchen I’m making these four-ingredient, (happen-to-be-vegan) Valentine’s Day cookies. These are a breeze to whip up and are beautifully soft and delicious, almost disproportionately so when you consider how simple the ingredients are. Plus they’re good for the planet.

Continue reading “happen-to-be-vegan Valentine’s Day cookies”

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”

perfect pumpkin scones

The love of place is as real, as strong, and as important as any love. I felt it on the wild remote coast of Tasmania. I’ve felt it over and over on visits to Yorkshire – my ancestral home and the place I spent my formative years. I’ve felt in the south of France – the north of France – the middle of France. The sunshine coast of Australia. Salt Spring Island off the coast of Vancouver. I’ve felt it in the rugged, wilderness of Northern Canada. In Killarney Provincial Park as I watched a blue moon rise over the lakes and listened to the loons call to each other. I’ve felt it the Rocky Mountains, in Mexico. And absolutely in Newfoundland. Definitely there. That was love at first sight.

Continue reading “perfect pumpkin scones”

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”

rhubarb sorbet

rhubarb sorbet 3

The other evening when I was out with my dog just after sunset, in that time after dusk but before the full, velveteen darkness of night has descended – I watched a field of fireflies lighting up like fairy lights twinkling across the land.  Continue reading “rhubarb sorbet”