Eat Outdoors!

I love everything about the look of this book, from the photo, to the title with the little tent as part of the font, and even the recipes inside. But I’m not a fan of eating (or sleeping) outdoors. I want to like it, but my Princess-vibes come out and I can’t imagine the lure of sleeping on the hard ground, or sharing a tent with a million mosquitos.

However, for someone else, this looks like an amazing book! FEAST BY FIRELIGHT by Emma Frisch aims to capture the delight in eating while camping, at the cabin, or anywhere in the great outdoors. Her recipes aren’t just one or two ingredients, so plan on packing a heavy load, but they sound like so much more than the usual camping fare. From items like Coconut Quinoa Breakfast Bowls with Lemon and Blueberries, to Smoky Baba Ghanoush, your foodie needs are covered here. She even plans menus for a full trip so that you don’t have to think too hard.

This book is available at the library, or place a hold and we’ll call you when it comes back in. With lots of summer weekends still ahead, this looks like the perfect way to surprise your group.


Frivolous Friday Fondue

FondueIt’s almost that time of year again…..maple syrup season!!  And if you live in Eastern Ontario, that means you’ll be eating a lot of this stuff on pancakes, waffles, and ice cream over the next few months.

So, when I came across a fun recipe that incorporated maple syrup into a more savory meal, I thought it would be a worth a share. Maple Syrup Fondue, anyone?

Design Sponge has a great series called, “In the Kitchen with…..”, and they recently featured a recipe by Laura and Dana Putnam of Finding Home Farms that uses maple syrup as a base for their tasty fondue. Pair it up with wonderful items like crusty breads, spicy meats, and crunchy veggies, and you have a brand new way to enjoy maple syrup.

Stop on over to the post right here to see more, and to get the recipe. You’ll need it once that sap starts running……

Vegetables, Schmegetables!

I’m not a fan of vegetables. I blame this on my mother who, bless, mostly fed us green things that came in a can or were previously frozen. Her preparation methods included throwing them into a huge pot of boiling water, or…wait, that was pretty much it. No wonder my aversion to the green stuff carried over into adulthood.

I must say that my husband has done wonders to turn my hatred of produce into something closer to toleration. I’ll probably never love vegetables, but I’ll eat them when they’re steamed, broiled, sauteed or roasted. It turns out, the way you make them really changes how they taste.

Lately, I’ve been trying to add more veggies to my diet for a variety of reasons. But sometimes, when I’m in the grocery store, I see vegetables I either don’t recognize or I have no idea what to do with the ones that seem vaguely familiar.  I’d like to expand my repertoire (I’m sure my husband wishes for that, too), so I’m going to take out a bunch of magazines and cookbooks to find some inspiration. We have plenty of great items at the library to look through.  Maybe someday I’ll even be able to claim that I “love” veggies. Cross your fingers.

In the meantime, if you’re interested in knowing more about in-season vegetables, I came across a great website that has everything clearly laid out. And Then We Saved not only shows you what to buy right now, but to understand that by buying in season, you’ll save money!


Now, if I could have someone come to my house to make everything for me!

Bake-off and write a book!

We often copy recipes and pass them around to all the staff in the library. Someone will no doubt find a new winner and want to share it with the rest of us.  It is difficult to pass up a great recipe and so we are thrilled when new cookbooks arrive at the library for us to peruse.  We are all avid cooks and bakers and so it was no different last week when Shirley found us a new great recipe for Warm Chicken Taco Salad that uses lime yogurt of all things in the dressing. And where did this great recipe come from?  Of course, the Pillsbury Bake-Off Winners Cookbook.pillsburyPillsbury has a bake-off contest on a regular basis which allows the great bakers and cooks of America to try their hand at creating the winning recipe to win $1 Million! (Sadly, it is only open to US residents, but we can all reap the rewards of the great recipes!)  The recipes must be original, include at least 2 of the products that are eligible and fit into one of the four categories.  Each year, thousands of people enter the contest with family favourites or newly inspired recipes hoping to win.

One such entrant is a woman named Ellie Mathews.  She was a Seattle-based software developing manager and write who loved to enter cooking contests for both the love of cooking and the thrill of the contest.  She soon found herself fascinated by the idea of cooking contests and the people that enter them, from foodies to PhD candidates, all with the love of fod and the desire to compete.

Upon entering her Salsa Couscous Chicken in the Pillsbury Bake-Off contest, she was thrilled to win and even more than the million dollar prize, she walked away with a fascinating idea for a book about the cooking contest itself.  The Ungarnished Truth: A Cooking Contest Memoir (A Woman, A chicken Dinner, A Million Dollars) is Mathews’ finished product, which includes her winning million dollar recipe in the back of the book.

ungarnishedThe book is a great look into the world of cooking contests (Mathews has since won several different prizes for her recipes) and the people that enter them.  Even if you aren’t a big fan of cooking, this is a fun book with lots of insight into the world that not many of us ever get to experience.   It might inspire you to get out there and try your hand at some creative recipes. Who knows, maybe you’ll be the next million dollar winner!