Holiday Happiness Bites

I don’t like chocolate. There I’ve said it. It’s true. I really just don’t get the allure. About twice a year I try some, and at least once a year I end up spitting it out. I know. I’m weird. Personal feelings aside, I get that chocolate makes most people happy, and I like making people happy. So since we are heading into one of my favourite holiday seasons I thought it only right to share a bit of love. Recipes for little bites like this abound and there are about a zillion possible variations, but these are tarted up a bit for the holidays. I won’t join you in eating them, but I do hope they make you happy this holiday season.

IMG_52351 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
½ cup carob powder
1 tsp. vanilla
4 dates, pitted and ripped apart
½ cup raisins
2 Tbsp. maple syrup
¼ cup coconut oil
2 Tbsp. chocolate chips

3 (chemical free) candy canes, crushed and powdered

In a food processor (or strong blender) blend all ingredients, except candy canes, until fairly smooth and pasty (the blender will melt the coconut oil). Place crushed candy canes in a bowl. Using your hands make marble sized balls with the batter. When you have several ready, drop them in the crushed candy canes to lightly coat them. Place finished treats on a piece of parchment paper (or tin foil) in a container. Cover and keep in fridge for up to one week. Makes approximately 25 the size of a large marble.

Blogging and brussel sprouts.

It seems as if almost every post I have written lately begins with some sort of apology for my infrequent blogging. A year of school, days in the garden, summer holidays… lots of reasons and excuses, but enough is enough already. I officially graduate in less than a week so school isn’t an excuse, the garden is (almost) ready for winter, and I’m attending a blogging conference just days from now. Gulp. Let me repeat that, the woman who has averaged about a blog a quarter is attending a conference. For food bloggers. Filled with people who write (and publish!) for a living. Double gulp. With that looming motivation in mind I pulled out my notebook and started looking at the list I’ve been keeping of topics I want to turn into brilliant, informative, funny or tasty stories. But where to start?Sprout harvest Continue reading

Tomatoes. They’re sooooo good.

When I was a kid my Mom, as most moms do, drove me crazy. As soon as tomato season started every time she would bite into a tomato, and I mean every time, she would swoon. Really. Not just get a bit excited, but the “do you need smelling salts’ kind of swoon. She would take one bite and in a fit of slight rapture she would exclaim “oh….. this is sooooooo good”. “Yes Mom, we know. They are good.” we would say. “No.” she would say, ” but these are SOOOOOOO good”. Sigh. As a teenager it was mortifying.

tomato plant Continue reading

Potluck and picnic potato salad.

I love summer. It really is the best time of year. The heat, the humidity, the sun, the fresh vegetables – heaven! The only downside I can think of is that it is usually (hopefully!) too nice to want to spend much time in the kitchen. I want to be at the pool, in the garden or playing bocce with friends. When I do step into the kitchen I want to create meals that are fast, seasonal and adaptable. Like potato salad. Now I’m not talking the mayonnaise loaded salad of our youth but a fresh, zingy, loaded with vegetables one that is a full on meal in a bowl.

Potluck Potato Salad Continue reading

Are you in or are you out?

Dear mostlynoodles Email Subscriber,
In accordance with Canada’s anti-spam legislation coming into force on July 1, 2014, I am contacting you to obtain your consent to continue sending you email.

If you would no longer like to receive email, please click at the bottom of this email to unsubscribe from my blog and all associated email. If you do not unsubscribe, you will continue to receive email from mostlynoodles after July 1, 2014.
Thank you,

Phew. Unless you are brand new to my blog, in which case thanks for stopping by, you have probably assumed I wrote the above email under a bit of duress. You would be correct. Seriously, who says “In accordance to” ?

So what’s with the legal speak you ask? Well some of you may have heard that effective July 1, 2014 Canada has a new anti-spam law. That means I need to ask you wether you are in or your are out? Or in more legal speak, do you still want me to send you emails when I post something new on the blog. I’m sure, in the bigger picture, an anti spam law can only be a good thing because, seriously, who likes spam? But, it does mean a whole bunch of work and confusion for a lot of people. If I have interpreted this new law correctly (and it’s quite possible I haven’t) it doesn’t really apply to me because on this little blog while not only have you graciously chosen to follow me (implied consent) and I don’t currently sell anything or get sponsored by anyone, I do send you an email (or the automated computer mail room does) when I produce a new post. So the new law might apply. And furthermore (I’m getting quite good at these big words aren’t I?) should I decide to sell or advertise something in the future and I tell my existing readers about it – I just spammed! Now isn’t that just a funky little legal loophole? Now normally I would plead blissful ignorance, smile sweetly, and hope the powers that be would focus on the people who are spamming with a capital S, but, the fine is a million bucks and given I don’t sell or advertise on this site and therefore couldn’t actually pay the fine…. well, you can see where I’m coming from right?

So there it is. I have requested your “express consent”. I hope you stay. I promise in the future there will be significantly fewer posts with big words and legal mumbo jumbo and always predominantly be, mostly, about noodles.

Noodles in Italy


Happy Blogiversary

Dear blog,

I’m sorry I forgot your birthday yesterday. In fact, I apologize for the past few months of neglect. I didn’t get you a gift, and you know I don’t create recipes for desserts, but as an apology please accept and devour the most divine apple cake inspired by Smitten Kitchen .

I promise the next year will be filled with words, recipes, nutrition and love.

Apple Cake

Getting outside and nettle soup.

If April showers do in fact bring May flowers then Vancouver should have an amazing May. But May is here and while there are lots of flowers the continued rain (and snow in certain parts of the country – shudder) is making me think that perhaps May needs a little reminder what its job is, to be warm enough that we can all get outdoors after a long, cooped up winter and raise our pasty faces to the sun.

Spring boots Continue reading

Spring and radish greens pesto.

Polar vortex or not, it is officially spring. To celebrate I spent my spring break holiday in northern Canada where it is definitely still winter. Despite the winter weather I kept warm with bundled up walks along the ice covered river, days spent on the couch in my pajamas reading and a glass (or two) of restorative red wine.


But, after a relaxing week of warming holiday comfort food, and with optimism in mind, I’m craving the tastes of spring. One of the first crops that is poking up out of the ground this year are the radishes. Continue reading

Pancakes for dinner.

Shrove Tuesday, Fat Tuesday. Whatever you want to call it, I call it Pancake day and it’s here!

Traditionally, pancake day is the last day before the beginning of Lent. During Lent, it is customary to give up things we love (think drinking pop or alcohol, tv, or eating chocolate) so historically families would try to use up things like meat, butter, and flour, and thus the tradition of Pancake Day began. As a kid for Shrove Tuesday my family usually went to a Pancake dinner at the church, which was always an awesome excuse to see friends in the middle of the week. These days, as someone always looking for an excuse to have friends around the table, Pancake Tuesday dinners seemed like a great tradition to start in my house.

Pancake batter Continue reading

Winter Grapefruit and Greens Salad

I remember as a kid we always seemed to be fundraising for something. Girl Guide cookies, raffle tickets or boxes of citrus for band trips. I was never a massive fan of the fundraising but was a huge fan of the arrival of those big boxes of Florida oranges and grapefruit. Growing up in Ontario, Florida was a pretty common winter vacation spot for most of my friends. Maybe my friends got their fill of citrus on holiday, but the closest I ever got, or have been, to Florida was getting those big boxes of oranges and grapefruit. Makes me, almost, miss high school band…

I was a lot older, when I first saw grapefruit growing on a tree. I could not believe my eyes. Tree after tree so overloaded the fruit was falling on the ground around me. I gourged myself on that first trip. It was divine.

Growing Grapefruit Continue reading