I'm not going to preface this recipe by telling you a story of the time I frolicked through an orchard with my kids and husband. Nor will I say anything about how the smell of fruit warmed by the sun on a late summer afternoon turns me on. You know what turns me on? When my husband comes home from work, rolls up his sleeves, and starts helping with whatever needs to be done around the house.
This summer, I have company coming from France FOR ONE ENTIRE MONTH! Besides being excited to spend time with family I rarely see, I’m looking forward to playing tour guide and local know-it-all. It’s become tradition to take visitors to every place we love within a two-hour(ish) radius of home base in the Greater Toronto Area.
When we imagine our kids as adults (it will happen someday, even if you think you'll be stuck in diaper land forever!), we see them as happy, healthy, and well-adjusted people. Hopefully, we haven't scarred them too badly and they come out of childhood with fond memories of that time mom and dad thought making them pose with a giant, deranged Easter Bunny in a mall was a good idea. We also hope they will have ability to make smart choices about important aspects of their lives.
What's a person who has a sweet tooth to do, especially when she's sworn off baked goods (at least temporarily... or this week anyway) in order to fit into a favourite pair of jeans? Find an alternative that includes fruit with a dash of healthy coconut oil for good measure. This is another one of those childhood recipes I grew up on. Mom made it for us when we'd begged and begged for dessert that wasn't yogurt.
Here's a secret: even food writers come down with cooking fatigue.
Look up cooking fatigue and a picture will pop up of parents who ARE DONE. We've worked all day — either in the home or out of it — maybe our kid hasn't slept for the 2,465th day in a row, our nipples are cracked from a poor latch (ignore this one, dads) and there isn't enough Lansinoh in the world to fix it, and we've lost track of what our seven year-old will eat this week. It happens.
The best part of my family's weekly get-togethers, next to seeing each other, is the call that comes when Sunday rolls around and my mother issues an invite for one of mine or my brothers' favourite dinners. The best meals are the ones someone else prepares, am I right?
New parents and new pet owners fall into two camps:
Annoyingly Saccahrine Because Their Sweetums Are Just the Most Perfect Little Sweeties or ...
Never mind. There is only one camp. Scientific research points to a loss of density in the frontal lobe responsible for the ability to form cohesive sentences and hold thoughts for anything other than their new precious bundles, no matter if the offspring have two or fou...LOOK AT MY PUPPY! He's so smarty smart, aren't you, baby?
Some of the buzz words floating around the food industry this year are bugs as meal options and "drynuary," but that's just crazy talk and we're going to pretend we didn't read that. Along with those ideas we'll also be seeing carbs make a comeback, natural sweeteners, craft beverages, and pulses. "What are pulses," you ask? Apparently they're not a 90s dance craze enjoying a resurgence, which is too bad because I was quite good at the Elaine Dance.
Have you ever received the dreaded letter from school informing you of a lice outbreak in your kid's classroom? It makes your head itch just thinking about it, doesn't it? Many parents are seasoned pros when it comes to dealing with runny noses, but many of us become irrational when it comes to crawling critters.
I know what it’s like to wonder why my daughter has an itch that just won’t stop, and then find lice crawling through her waist-length hair. Twice. I reacted each time as any well-adjusted, sane mother would.
Holiday season is nigh and that means shaking the dust off the reindeer sweaters, mandatory visits with Uncle Stan who tells the same joke every damn year, and divvying up the list of who makes what dish for family dinners. Well put your name down next to Homemade Cranberry Sauce, stat!
Dog owners spoil their pups almost as much (or more than) their own kids. There's now a pet store in most neighbourhoods where we can shop 'till we drop for toys and dog beds and an endless selection of food. We love our dogs and we're not afraid to show it, or to feed them treats. Peanut butter is a healthy favourite treat for adding to chew toys, like Kongs, and the result is often hours of fun for dogs, and even more fun for us as we watch them smack their gums together trying to unstick their lips.
"Maman, when can you make some soup?" "We never have soup." "Other kids get soup." The frequent reminders of how other kids are so lucky and why couldn't we ever eat like other people and why oh why could I not feed my poor kids soup finally got to me this weekend.
I made soup.
But I made soup with Guinness because if I have to cook after listening to all the complaints there has to be some joy in it for me. I'm joking, of course; there was extra cheese too.
We were at an all-day horse show last weekend and it was HOT, so my husband and I planned ahead (he planned ahead) and prepared a cooler of refreshments for the horse show parents to enjoy once our kids were done competing. The problem with bringing alcoholic drinks to a party or event is that eyeballing the first serving works, but our eyeballs become less and less accurate as the day and heat take their toll. Premixing drinks at home ensures no one over-indulges.
I'll eat pretty much anything with mangoes in it, so it's a bonus that Thai food (one of my favourites) and Lao food (my favourite) include mangoes in many dishes. This recipe is not 100% Thai or Lao, but it does include fish sauce, which Lao people put on everything, and also sriracha, which Hipster people put on everything, so basically it's perfect.
If it ain't broke don't fix it, and that's why this peaches and cream skillet cobbler uses almost exactly the same batter as the one in my zucchini chocolate coconut loaf. So bascially, I'm plagiarizing myself.
Canada is knee deep (if your neighbourhood looks anything like the savannah in my backyard) in the middle of summer BBQ season and Canadians are relishing every minute of the two months without snow. Because Canadians are a friendly bunch, you’re all probably having a steady stream of family and friends over to join in the festivities as you light up your BBQs, dive into the pool, and roast marshmallows over a fire pit.
Camping is a Canadian family tradition. From the moment my family emigrated to Canada, my parents dove into Canadian life, and soon after, four recent arrivals from the Parisian suburbs were backcountry camping in Algonquin Provincial Park! We did everything from canoeing, portaging, hanging our packs in trees kind of camping — and we loved it! We all pitched in to put the trip together and learned how to be prepared — together.