The Return of the Foodie PenPal

Those of you who have been around for awhile may remember the Foodie Penpal program. Basically, it’s like the pen pal thing you did when you were a kid. But for adults. Who like food. As adults it seems that it is far too infrequently we do something just because. No reason other than because it is fun and we want to. Well, the Foodie Penpal program is one of those things for me. Fun. Just because. Continue reading

The sting of spring.

I think I can, without jinxing myself, say spring has officially arrived in Vancouver. The morning air is still a bit cool, and there will still be monsoon rains to come, but the sun has a warmth to it that we have been missing for a long, long while. Trees and flowers are blooming, the birds are devouring the seed from the feeder daily and neighbours are stopping to say hello as I dig in the dirt. Yes. Hooray for spring.

Spring Chalk Continue reading

Foodie PenPals.

It seems hard to believe but it has been two months since I last wrote about one of my favourite things – the Foodie Pen Pal program. I came home one horrible rainy day to discover the hiatus was over. Because there, like a bit of sunshine, was a package from my new Pen Pal, Mo. Happy day! As you all know, to me one of the most exciting things about being a foodie pen pal is the opportunity to meet other like minded people. Mo is no exception. I’ve been having a great time reading through her blog, Not a Coupon Queen, and I’m sure you will too. Make sure you check it out.

Love the candy box!

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Birthdays, Thanksgiving & Noodles with Zucchini.

There are certain dates and anniversaries that seem to split the year into different and distinct parts. Everyone has their own. It might be the first day of school, new years eve, a wedding anniversary, a religious holiday or a season. For me, it’s fall. Not only is it the season of my birthday, a (scary) time of reflection, but it is followed shortly after by the Thanksgiving weekend, a time of thanks.

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The summer I learnt how to cook zucchini.

Zucchini, it is kind of an odd vegetable. Okay, maybe not that odd, but kind of odd.

Think about it. It often looks like a cucumber but is in actual fact a member of the squash family. It can be eaten cooked or raw and while it is most definitely a summer vegetable it is just as comfortable on a winter table.  I don’t quite get it.  I mean seriously? You can even eat the flowers. Now, it’s not as if the zucchini is some sort of “out there” esoteric vegetable. Quite the opposite. It is actually pretty common. It’s just that other than zucchini bread, for years it didn’t figure that high on my radar. And even then only if someone else made it. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always eaten it and known it was good for me. It’s high in potassium, vitamin A and antioxidants. I have never disliked it, I have never quite understood how to use it so it’s not just one of those boring, good-for-you kind of vegetables.

Until last summer.

That was when thanks to the magic of a summer holiday, a recipe from one of my favourite cookbooks and a friend more well versed in the subtleties of squash than I, it happened. I fell in love with this humble little vegetable.

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Being thankful.

This past weekend was Canadian Thanksgiving.  I’m still a little freaked by how early it was this year, but I think I’m kind of glad.  With the days getting shorter, the garden slowly going to sleep for the season and the Vancouver rains beginning I was starting to get a little cranky.  Cranky isn’t a good thing.  For me, cranky turns into eating too many wasted carbs, bad sleeps, a lack of any sort of activity and a proclivity to trashy “chick novels”. Not exactly the healthiest, most productive way to go about things.

Thanksgiving this year came at the perfect time.  It was about so much more than overeating and slipping into a turkey coma.  It was about life, about laughing,

about a wedding between two beautiful people….

… a surprise fun breakfast made for me

…. harvesting sprouts from the garden

… creating a new variation on pumpkin soup (recipe coming soon!)

… celebrating dinner with friends and family (and trying a new brussel sprout recipe with aforementioned sprouts!)

what the plate of a 19 yr old boy who lives on his own looks like!

…. a quiet nights dinner with some homemade pasta.

All simple things.

All a reminder of how lucky I am.  Thank you.