Painted Plates

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Curried Cauliflower with Almonds, Raisins, Spinach and Gnocchi

For some people art or music is their source of creative expression. Not me, I can scribble a little and love music but it’s not an outlet or an extension of my personality. For me the most creative and most me I feel is in the kitchen. It’s my canvas

The prep is my meditation, I get into Zen mode thinking out the rough form of a recipe. And as I cut and prep it’s like an artist sketching in pencil before picking up the paints. Then cooking starts and I find myself tasting and dancing around the kitchen. Smelling spices and peeking back in the fridge.  New ideas coming like little jolts from the divine cooking gods. “What about curry….oooohhhhh what about curry and raisins…yes!”. I feel free and joyful and excited to share my masterpiece, (or crayon drawing, depending on the day). Continue Reading »

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Doing the broke dance – a week of meals for $100

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We all have fears and things that create anxiety in our lives. For me it’s money or the lack thereof. I hate being broke more than anything and I can tend towards obsessiveness around finances. Not that I’m good at it. In fact I kind of suck and that really doesn’t help. It takes me a million hours to create a budget and make sure the bills are all paid.

Looking back my concerns probably started in university. I had next to nothing and there were times where the best meal plan I could create was rice with either hot sauce or soy sauce. Coffees were an absolute luxury and I snuck on the train to get to school. I hated it and everything I thought it said about me. Since then I’ve always squirrelled a little away or stockpiled toilet paper and pasta to get us through the little bumps that all families face. Continue Reading »

Curried Yogurt Marinade

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or How to Make Anything Taste Good

Years ago I realized I go through so many dried herbs and spices that those little dink jars  were just silly. So I started buying in bulk and storing them in reused glass jars with the label washed off. I’ve been using the same jars for so long that I know what size jar the chili powder is in and that the cumin’s lid has a trace of rust on it. However, if you aren’t me and don’t know the jars and aren’t super familiar with what’s in them cooking could be a bit of a crap shoot.

My spice cupboard

My spice cupboard

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Comfort in a bowl – Split pea soup

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My husband grew up in a small community in rural Newfoundland. It’s really small, like 400 people small. He spent most of his time outdoors on dirt bikes, snow mobiles or on the water and not much time watching Much Music or wearing neon. Because of this I sometimes tease that he grew up under a rock, (or on a rock depending on how you look at it). However, both of us were pretty fortunate and had adventurous cooks in our homes. It’s probably why he loves me so much.

His dad is the cook in the home and always willing to try new things in the kitchen. However, in his own way he is really picky and there were certain meals that didn’t make it to the table like pizza or pasta.  I think that’s why to me its so cute that when hubbers was growing up and they got to go to a restaurant he ordered pea soup. Going out for supper in such a small community would be a big deal. And my lovely, sweet man wanted pea soup. Continue Reading »

Turning Points

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I have to be honest, I had a hard time writing this week.  Life just feels kind of beige, like being stuck in neutral or purgatory. Work is slow, the kids are pooped from daycare and at the end of the night hubby and I just plop on the couch to watch garbage TV. Not that I crave excitement, that usually means drama or stress but something would be good.

I see it too. That’s the worst part. I walk by the mirror seeing my apathetic face and all I do is shrug and plunk back down on the couch. I’d score a 2 out 10 on the “I give a crap” scale.  Continue Reading »

Braise’n Dinners

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A dear friend and fellow blogger, Tasha from an Imperfect Girl, stopped by the other night and I immediately dragged her into the kitchen to taste the sauce from the braised short ribs I had made. She thought it was delicious and was interested in how I made it. I started rambling and she suggested I write about it, (hmmm excellent play my friend). Since I have less time lately to develop recipes I thought it was a great way to still share what happens in my kitchen. So here it is, a post lovingly dedicated to the art and science of the braise. Continue Reading »