As a kid growing up in Québec, maple syrup season was a much anticipated time of year. Every March, the local maple syrup producers would set-up rows of snow-packed troughs that stretched all the way down the schoolyard in preparation for tire d’érable (maple syrup taffy). From grades one through six, the entire student body would pack like sardines, a rainbow of hats and scarves, popsicle sticks in hand, as generous ribbons of hot golden maple syrup were poured all up and down the snow. There would be an awestruck silence as we watched the hot syrup solidify into a gooey taffy as it hit the snow and then we snapped into action, wrapping as much of the taffy as we could around our little sticks.
It has always pained me to buy salad greens that have been shipped from halfway around the country. In the summer, salad greens are easy to grow or purchase locally. But in these colder months, there aren’t really any local options where I live. So this winter, I decided I would grow my own baby salad greens right in my home. Even though it’s a snowy tundra outside my window, I’ve had a steady flow of vibrant microgreens, grown right on my windowsill. It’s been a very delicious (and very nutritious) adventure!
What do Valentine’s Day, the Olympics, and these pancakes have in common? Beets!!!
In my family, Christmas is all about food. We don’t spend a lot of money on presents (we hand-make many of our gifts), and we generally don’t make much of a fuss about it. It’s more about spending cozy time together by the fire and going for long walks in the snow. But when it comes to food, we like to go all out, splurge a little, and put a lot of love into some special seasonal dishes.
These holidays cookies combine the light texture of whipped shortbread with ground pistachios and the sweet fragrance of cardamom. They are made entirely with whole spelt flour (though whole wheat can also be used), which gives these cookies a nutty wholesomeness. But don’t worry, they don’t have that “healthy cookie” taste, they are sweet buttery shortbread through and through.
When I first told my housemate I was making this salad, she was sceptical. It’s not that she doesn’t like kale, in fact she’s a die-hard kale salad fan, but she found the parsnip aspect not so appealing. But I was pleased to see she changed her mind the minute she tasted that crispy maple-caramelized roasted parsnip intermingled with sweet pomegranate seeds and shredded kale. I hope you’ll give this one a try as well. I have yet to meet someone who doesn’t love this salad.
Cranberries oh glorious cranberries! Hopefully you’re all making your own cranberry sauce from scratch this Thanksgiving. It’s easier than boiling an egg, you really can’t go wrong! Get my easy 10-minute recipe here. But the best thing about making your own cranberry sauce is having fresh cranberries on-hand. At Thanksgiving and Christmas, I love to stock up on tonnes of these little red jewels. I put them in muffins, cakes, and pies, but I especially love the vitamin C and antioxidant boost they give to my morning smoothie. So be sure to buy an extra bag of fresh cranberries so you can make this marvelously nutritious and refreshing smoothie for the morning after turkey-day.