Monthly Archives: March 2016

post-wedding brunch ideas

We are hosting the post-wedding brunch the morning after our son’s wedding in May so I decided to test a recipe for strata –  a make ahead mixture of bread, egg, cheese and any assortment of vegetables or meats you want to include. It was incredibly delicious – the best kind of comfort food.

The pictures DO NOT do it justice! It was so good and we were so hungry that I forgot to take a picture when the pan came out of the oven. The recipe called for prosciutto but neglected to say when to add it so I put it on top. The next time I would layer it somewhere in the middle but it still tasted great. The combinations are endless…mushrooms, spinach, broccoli and any type of breakfast meat if you enjoy it.


books we haven’t read

We keep thinking we will write a post about all the books we’ve been reading but it never seems to happen.

So instead, here is a list of books I haven’t read but are on my nightstand, waiting for my attention! Feel free to add yours to the list!


My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante. A recent article in the NYTimes about the Naples of the media-averse Elena Ferrante caught my eye, so I bought the book and it sits on my nightstand.

I loved Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann and so I bought Transatlantic and have yet to crack the cover.

Julianna Baggott was a guest author at an event I helped plan at our local library last fall and I received a copy of her latest novel Harriet Wolf’s Seventh Book of Wonders. I would like to read it!

My friend who once owned a bookstore recommended The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller. I bought it. I haven’t read it.

What haven’t you read???





friday favourite – Cadbury mini eggs

Don’t listen to my sister with her declaration that ham is better than chocolate! I can’t believe we’re related! No one has a late night craving for ham…but chocolate, that’s another story.

I don’t actually crave Cadbury mini eggs. In fact I don’t even think about them until I walk into the grocery store and THERE THEY ARE. And then I can’t stop thinking about them.

So I buy them, eat them, enjoy them, then I hate them…until next year when it starts all over again.



love that ham, honey

Every Thanksgiving, I order a honey baked spiral cut ham for our extended family pot luck dinner. It’s become something of a ritual. And every year, as I begin carving it up in the kitchen of the rented hall, my siblings and relatives hover around to grab bits of the scraps. It is the perfect blend of sweet and salt. And it’s made from local pork. Even better.

I know, it’s not Thanksgiving this weekend, it’s Easter. But the treat that’s better than chocolate is that I’m picking up a honey ham for family dinner. 

I’m taking a road trip on Good Friday to McMaster Meats to pick up a honey glazed ham.


the soil is alive

I gave myself a week or so to get used to the spring forward time. And now, it feels like this fantastic transitional time of year. The darker mornings aren’t great, but after work I actually want to walk the dog. And I’ve noticed as we do our loop around the neighbourhood, I’m walking taller and happier. Could be the years of yoga, regular massages and weekly trainer…but I’m going to give the spring season the credit.

And although I wouldn’t really call myself a gardener…I completely understand the itching to get your fingers in the dirt and start digging and planning and scheming about what will grow this year. For me, it starts with cleaning up the dog poop that has been aging under the snow all winter! But after that’s done, I’m actually thinking (like I do every spring) about what I might, possibly, maybe do in the garden and yard this year.

So step outside. Take a deep breath (or three) and soak up all the new sunshine and warmer weather headed our way. And enjoying what is springing up in the soil.

Happy vernal equinox!


friday favourite – online art classes

We are on our fourth online sketching class. And it’s definitely a new favourite. We’ve taken two through Sketchbook Skool. One with Jane LaFazio. And the latest with Sketchbook Skool teacher Koosje Koene.

It’s called Just Draw it. After three courses where we just jumped right in to sketching – with no real aptitude or skill – this class is about learning the basics.

If you have any interesting in drawing, sketching and buying cool watercolour sets, check out these online art classes!



I was a waitress at the Elora Mill Inn all through college. The mill sits on the edge of a gorge in Elora, Ontario at the end of a quaint street filled with shops and restaurants. One of those restaurants was the Desert Rose Cafe. I loved everything about the cafe. Resa Lent, the owner, was the coolest woman I had ever met. She had traveled, she owned a cafe, she played awesome music and her food was delicious. Any time I was in Elora, I tried to have lunch there. I particularly loved her quiche.

Last year, my sister showed up with a copy of her cookbook for me – The Desert Rose Cafe Cookbook – and the quiche recipe was in it! What I like about it is the crust. It is a combination of flour, butter and cheese that you simply press into the pie plate. No kneading or rolling required.

I was responsible for a crudite platter at a bridal shower on Sunday. The platter was beautiful (thanks Maddie!) but no match for all the delicious food at the shower so I came home with a lot of vegetables. Desert Rose Quiche to the rescue!

Here’s the recipe:


1 1/2 cups unbleached flour, 1/2 cup whole wheat flour, 1/2 tsp ground mustard, 1 cup grated cheese, 1 cup melted butter (I use less, more like 1/2 cup)

Mix flours and mustard. Add cold grated cheese. Add melted butter and blend well. Press into a 9″ pie plate.


6 eggs, 1-2 cups milk  (depending on how many vegetables I have I need less milk)


Whatever you have in the fridge. (This seems to be a recurring theme!) You need about 2 cups of filling. Saute or steam the vegetables first. Today’s quiche had peppers, asparagus and mushrooms.

Sprinkle some grated cheese over the base of the crust. Add the filling. Pour the egg mixture over the filling.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes or until set.






friday favourite – BUFF headbands

I have been letting my hair grow and needed something to hold the dreaded wings down. When I asked around for headband recommendations for someone with thick hair, I kept being told to check out BUFF. I went to their website and watched a 2-minute video that showed me 10 different ways to wear the headband! According to their marketing, this headband appears to be the most important item to pack when traveling!


I bought two — a half headwear and a headband. I like them. They are my friday favourite.



sharing food

There are so many times when bringing food to someone is the perfect gesture. And when you like to cook, it is an easy thing to offer up when there is a new baby, an illness, a new house, or maybe you are just visiting your kids and want to bring them their favourite meal. Certain foods lend themselves to sharing. They need to travel well and be easy to reheat.

A few months ago I went a little over-the-top and made individual chicken pot pies for my sons. They were beautiful and delicious, but a ridiculous amount of work. Not doing that again.

Recently I made lasagna to deliver to a friend. I have followed the Moosewood recipe forever with a few modifications. I add pesto to the ricotta mixture and saute a combination of spinach and mushrooms to layer between the noodles. Using no-cook or fresh lasagna noodles is a game changer. I remember the days of draping the cooked noodles over the edge of the pot til I needed them, what a pain!

And check out these meatballs for a great sharing treat – they simmer right in the tomato sauce for amazing flavour.