Tuesday, November 11, 2014


I was always mistified in the university residence cafeteria when students would actually pick up the small side dishes that held a blackish slimey blob that someone identified for me as "spinach". I had heard of spinach, but I'm pretty sure I had never eaten it. And the way that spinach looked I wouldn't even sit near someone who had a bowl. Just in case.

Now that I'm grown, I have eaten a lot of spinach in salads and pasta dishes and even spanakopita. But, I still haven't been able to do plain old sauteed spinach despite my many friends' assurances that it's delicious. "Just sautee it with some garlic", "Squirt a little lemon", etc. Nope.

Until today. No photo this time, just a link to a really simple and delicious (yup, I just said that about spinach!) Spinach Saag. We had it with butter chicken, curried chickpeas, yellow rice, naan, chutney. YUUUUM!

From MyRecipes.com, Spinach Saag

Spinach - free high resolution photo

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Choking Down Artichoke

think the title says it all. Of course I have no idea what it is supposed to look like or how it should taste. I quote Joe "It was ok. I wouldn't do it again..." I hate the big pile of leaves left on his plate. I couldn't even try it. Sorry.

EWWW. Don't eat that!
(If you must, here's the recipe. The leftover sauce made a delicious base for pizza on Sunday. I might do that again!)

Don't let the results of this test taint this recipe book for you. It's usually good. I blame artichokes. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Braised Turnip?! Rutabaga?! Sweet!

This one was pretty simple. I think I would cube the turnip next time so every bite is coated with the sweet glaze (still pretty rutabaga-ish for me) but my family really liked it. Charlotte had seconds. ( can you see the beans in the background? That's the buttery walnut beans from a week ago - already a staple food - not sure the rutabaga was quite that much of a success!)

Ps this was actually a turnip recipe but in canada we tend to get rutabaga and call it turnip so i used rutabaga and called it rutabaga. So there.

I use this book a LOT. Easy to follow recipes and a wide variety and no low-calorie-low-fat-gluten-free-low-fat malarkey. 

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Roasted Cauliflower

This is from Bon Appetit magazine, Feb 2013. Pretty yummy. I made a smaller batch with half an onion, but I think I would use MORE onion and lots of olive oil, salt and pepper.



I actually get lots of really good recipes from Bon Appetit. I've enjoyed my subscription. I always go through it with post-it notes in hand and usually find 5 or 6 recipes that I will (and can) make. Of course they do cook with fennel a lot. Maybe I'll have to put that on my vegetable list...

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Month of Eating Vegetables

I confess. I am a bad vegetable eater. Or rather, I am bad because I am a vegetable non-eater. I was ashamed at thanksgiving dinner when my virtual niece asked me to put some brussels sprouts on her plate (!) and when I gave her a wee spoonful she asked me for a couple more scoops. "I love brussels sprouts" she said, loading her plate with rutabaga and squash and red cabbage. I gave in to my own pressure and put a teaspoon of bs on my plate and actually ate it, but not with much relish.

I don't like many vegetables. Some raw carrots are delicious but cooked? Bleh! Swiss chard looks nice in magazines, but not on my plate. I really do think I have the genetic marker that makes vegetables taste bad BUT. I am a grown-up (well, I look like one) and I have children (teens now) who also don't go in for veg in a big way. My husband says it's his fault because he does the cooking and he just doesn't know what to do with them. We do get vegetables because he puts them in stirfries and soups but we really could stand to pump up the volume. 

So, I introduce to you, The Month of Eating Vegetables. From today (just after Canadian thanksgiving until American thanksgiving I will make a concerted effort to find vegetable recipes that will make them taste good to me. And I will post the results and recipes here. Starting with... basic green beans.

Green Beans With Lemon, Walnuts, and Parsley

Normally we just steam beans but this time of year they are a little past their prime so I turned to my giant orange Bon Appetit Cookbook for the recipe. The results? DELICIOUS! Decadent even. My son w.d. said wow and best beans ever. This recipe is a keeper. 

Sunday, June 30, 2013

School's Out for Summer.....

Well, the first day of summer vacation is being draaaaawwwwwnnnnn out to its inevitable closure with a bit of help from a) friends, and b) wine.  So. Updates. Some of the plants in the last post are still alive. Ha. And some are not. The cream was sour when I poured it in my coffee this morning but my SWEET children went  to the store for fresh cream. How nice is that. And friends have been here until the wee hours. I suppose it's bad policy to post when one's had wine. oh well. here's to summer!

Saturday, June 15, 2013


Today was the first non-rainy day in ages. I didn't have the energy to cut the lawn which is getting fairly deep... but I did have the energy to plant the few flowers I bought last night into my planters on the back stairs. I have a policy of trying never to spend money on flowers so I limited myself to $5 - total came in at just $4.48! I'd much rather divide and share plants and spend my hard-earned cash on wine!

Here are the results of my puttering...
Most of my planters are filled with various sedums that somehow survive the winter in the garage. In late spring I pull them out looking all pale and stringy. Within days they have perked up and turned their lovely pale and deep greens and burgundies. I usually add a few cheap annuals for colour - this year deep purple petunias, lighter purple alyssum and a white lobelia.
The collection on the wall started when two hubcaps appeared out of the melted snowpiles near our driveway one spring. Now anything round (that should be trash!) makes its way onto the wall.

More recycling in the garden...
Yup, it's a toilet tank, but doesn't it look like one of those really expensive ceramic planters? It's filled with chunks of styrofoam packaging to make it light enough to move into the garage in the winter. Note the bits of broken teacup. And a broken teaspoon handle. I don't know.

The toasters are a big hit. My dad gave me the first one (at the bottom). It didn't work but he thought I might like it for decoration. The second one (middle) came from a friend who said "It's to add to your collection." I said, "I don't have a collection." She said, "Now you do." The third was a christmas present for my husband. It made one piece of toast and burst into a tiny flame.

After perking up the planters,  I decided to tackle the back porch. It's a bit neglected. I started with this candle holder which I never use because a) we never hang out on the back porch at night and b) I'm a bit afraid of putting flame next to this obviously tinderboxy porch wall. So, I put some creeping thyme that is overtaking my other garden into these little pots. I hot glued them on so they won't be swept away by a vigorous wind.

You can se the planter above the chair. The bunting was moved from the front porch this spring. I like it here. It gets more flapping action. 

Finally, my favourite putter of the day. On the right is a candle holder that hasn't had candles since I left the glass holders in it over the winter. They filled with water and snow, then froze solid and broke. I've filled these ubiquitous KW teacups with creeping thyme and one morning glory each. They too are hot glued to the candle rack. The wreath has an ingenious hidden bit of dirt in a slice from a juice container. It's tied on at the bottom and filled with the thyme. There's also a wee plastic bag at the upper left with more dirt and thyme. I feel this will likely fail but it looks cute today!

Only 10 more working days until summer vacation. Not that I'm counting. 

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