Archives for April 2013

9 photos that show my culinary journey

Aimee & Mateo with chickens

I‘ve just returned from a motivating and inspiring food blogging conference where I had the fortunate opportunity to speak on a panel and briefly share my culinary journey. It was such fun to dig up old photos and reminisce about my youth that I though I should share the images with you here.

Over the years I have alluded to my background in food, recounting stories about my bucolic back-to-the-land upbringing or hectic restaurant days; today you’ll have more of a visual narrative. These images are a really quick look at how my journey has shaped who I am today and why topics such as kids in the kitchen or urban homesteading are such a big part of this blog.

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12 ways to help you eat well and spend less (recipe: Buttermilk Dressing)

12 Ways to Eat Well and Spend Less

Two long years ago a small group of keen food bloggers kicked off our Eat Well, Spend Less series. The series focuses on ways to feed our growing families nourishing and totally delicious foods while still staying within a reasonable budget.

Eat Well, Spend Less was created with you, the reader, in mind, but it has helped me immensely as the posts have been published over the months. The series has whipped my spending into shape and helped me to build better habits in the kitchen.

Since we’ve made it this far, we thought it was appropriate to take a look back at where we’ve come and the topics we’ve covered. Today I’m highlighting the best tips that I’ve shared since the series’ conception.

The points are brief, yet contain links to the full article should you wish to read more on the subject. And don’t miss my favorite new salad dressing recipe at the bottom of the post.

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Honey Whole-Wheat Bagels Recipe

homemade honey whole wheat bagels on simplebites.net

The summers of my pre-teen years were spent a little differently than those of my friends. Well, weekends, anyway. There were no long gossipy phone calls, girly pyjama nights, or mall crawls.

Instead, my sister, Haidi and I spent many a Friday night dusted in flour, hair tied back, baking for the Saturday morning farmer’s market in town. We stayed up working until one or two in the morning, crossing off one item after another from our ambitious list of baked goods, and as the Yukon’s midnight sun was streaking golden colors across Lake Laberge, we would collapse into our bunk beds.

By then the counters would be lined with loaves of honey-wheat sandwich bread and glistening egg-glazed Challah. Our family’s famous Butter Tarts would be carefully packed between tea towels, and trays of sticky cinnamon buns awaited transportation.

Our pride and joy were the golden sesame-toasted bagels, with their crusty bottoms, chewey interiors, and distinctive, slightly misshapen forms. They were boiled, then baked, and a staple in our home – not just on market day.

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Preserving Spring: Spicy Pickled Asparagus

pickled asparagus

Written by Marisa of Food in Jars.

When I was a brand new canner, pickled asparagus was one of my very first projects. Asparagus has long been one of my favorite vegetables and so, when it went on sale in mid-spring, I bought several bundles, consulted a multitude of cookbooks and set to work.

I quickly learned that pickling asparagus was a task well worth doing (particularly since commercial versions can cost as much as $12 a jar) and added it to my list of mandatory yearly recipes. I have since made at least 100 jars and every year, I still run out well before asparagus season arrives again.

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Sunday Dinner: Tomato-Glazed Mini Meatloaves

TOMATO-GLAZED MINI MEATLOAVES ON simplebites.net

Before you scoff at the concept of individual meatloaves, consider the facts:

  • The cooking time is about forty minutes shorter than roasting a traditional loaf, making these an ideal main dish for a quick weeknight dinner.
  • Or a Sunday dinner, when you’re up to your ears doing life, but still want to sit down together, civilized-like, at least once on the weekend.
  • More surface area for the tennis ball-sized meatloaves means more delicious crust to enjoy and more room for the glaze to drip down and caramelize on the pan.
  • There’s also no awkward sawing of a loaf made from meat; the single serving meatloaves spoon up easily in tidy portions.

Sunday Dinner: mini tomato-glazed meatloaf

I served these Tomato-Glazed Mini Meatloaves yesterday for a very simple Sunday dinner, with a smattering of roasted mushrooms to accompany them. A humble baked potato made up our super simple side dish, and a bowl of Stir-fried Brussels Sprouts with Lemon, Bacon & Parmesan rounded out the meal. There were no complaints. Did I mention there was Dark Chocolate Beet Bundt Cake for dessert?

They would have also been brilliant with fluffy buttermilk mashed potatoes, or browned butter whipped sweet potatoes; I have a feeling we’re going to be trying out one of those combinations before too long.

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