Archives for July 2014

Family travel on Prince Edward Island (part 1)

My first visit to Prince Edward Island was last summer, when we spent two night at a B&B on tall red bluffs overlooking the ocean. The boys hunted for sea glass on the shoreline, we climbed a lighthouse during a wild storm, and Danny fell hard for a locally distilled gin.

On that trip we played Anne of Green Gables on the minivan’s DVD player and didn’t resist falling in love with the Gentle Island. We knew we had to come back to explore more of P.E.I. and this summer it happened, with a little help from their tourism board.

Travel is a big part of our developing family food culture; our children learn about and sample the local fare, whether it is freshly dug clams or pan-fried fish. This topic is a little different from my usual blog content, but as many of you enjoyed reading about Mexico and Nova Scotia, I thought you’d like to join us on the beautiful Prince Edward Island.

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Kale Tabbouleh with Cucumber, Mint and Garlic Scapes

I never know which direction my summer salad obsession will take me until that first forkful.

Last summer it was the grilled green bean salad. I experimented with every possible variation from June through September, then I picked my favourite and added it to my upcoming cookbook. The summer before was a smoky grilled corn, red onion and bell pepper salad, served warm with plenty of torn basil.

This summer, it’s all about the tomato salad in every possible form. Paired with briny olives and salty feta in a tangy Greek salad, sliced with fresh mozzarella and basil in the Caprese, and married with watermelon and mint for a refreshing bite.

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Rhubarb Vanilla Bean Jelly

It’s a little late in the season to be sharing rhubarb recipes, but my patch is still producing, fighting for space next to the English peas and the garlic that keeps getting taller.

Besides, I’ve been talking about making this jelly for far too long, ever since a friend brought a case to exchange at my very first ever jam swap. It was a clear favourite of both Danny’s and mine, and we hoarded our jars for as long as possible.

You’d think that after six years I’d develop my own recipe for the rhubarb vanilla jelly, but here’s the honest truth: jelly scared me. Homemade jelly is a whole ‘nother ball of wax from making jam. Jelly either sets or it doesn’t (becoming syrup). It’s cloudy or it’s clear. It either works – or it doesn’t.

Today I’m sharing a homemade jelly recipe that most definitely worked for me. It’s not actually that scary after all.

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A garden inspired picnic

I‘m currently running around trying to pack for a little family getaway to Prince Edward Island, but I have a recipe up over on Jamie Oliver you won’t want to miss.

It’s a spontaneous snacking weeknight supper that tuned into a little garden-inspired picnic. I brought outside for us to nibble on while we wound down from the day. The children buzzed around barefoot on the lawn, chasing chickens, while I walked Danny through a garden tour and we got caught up on our respective days.

It turned out to be one of my favourite meals from the week, and one I plan to reproduce several more times before the summer is over.

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Coming together over Cantaloupe Honey Sorbet

This post is sponsored by KitchenAid Canada.

Melons are a summer fruit we can all agree to like in my little family. Believe it or not, I have one boy who despises berries of all kinds and another boy who will have nothing to do with stone fruits. Melon, however, disappears as fast as I can cut it into wedges.

I’m trying to be patient with these peculiar tastes of my children, even though I’m yearning to make summer berry crisps and peach cobblers a part of our regular dessert line-up. (And sometimes I do, just for Danny and I.) Clara, on the other hand, eats all fruits, and all vegetables, for that matter. Can I attribute this to baby-led weaning? Partially, I am sure.

Taste buds can change – I’ve seen it happen – and I am confident the boys will eventually grow out of this picky phase. They heartily enjoy foods like beans, lentils, olives, avocado, seafood, and salads, so I have that to be thankful for.

For now, we’ll come together over cantaloupe, sticky our fingers with watermelon and hang out over a plate of honeydew on hot summer days. This sorbet is a perfect example of that happening.

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