IN SEASON: Ontario Peaches

Spelt Peach Galette with Honeyed Chèvre

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Loblaws Companies Inc.. All opinions are 100% mine.

Spelt Peach Galette w Honeyed Chevre

PEACH SEASON! Are you filling your carts, baskets, bags and pockets with all things peach? I know we are. My motto for the month is “put a peach on it!”. Salads, gazpacho, stuffed chicken, tacos… everything can benefit from a sweet & tangy bite of peach.

Ontario peaches are piling up on your local Loblaws grocery shelves, farmers markets and street-side vendors and if you don’t grab them soon, you’ll miss out on the produce jackpot! Look for peaches that are firm with a little “give” to ensure you’ve got the ripest picks. If you give it a sniff, it should smell peachy and ripe. Keep in mind the 2 major variaties of peaches – Clingstone and Freestone. Clingstone are a real pain to pull the pit from so these are best for straight up chowing down on. Freestone peaches are better for baking & slicing since the pit is much easier to remove.

Spelt Peach Galette w Honeyed Chevre

Now that you’ve picked the perfect basket of peaches, let’s talk GALETTE! This beautiful and simple rustic tart showcases peaches wrapped in a spelt flour crust that’s just ever-so sweet. It’s topped with a tangy sweet chèvre that plays up the tang in the peaches and really compliments the sweet, juicy peaches.

Spelt Peach Galette w Honeyed Chevre

Now that you have a recipe to get going on, GRAB THOSE PEACHES! And if you share your photos on Instagram of your Ontario peaches, Loblaws Ontario will give you the chance to WIN your groceries (up to $250). See below for details and happy peaching!

  • Follow @LoblawsON on Instagram (please ensure that your Instagram account is public)
  • Upload an original picture to your Instagram page highlighting the monthly Food Alert Item (July is Sockeye Salmon, of course)
  • Include the campaign hashtags #WeLoveFood and #ShareTheFoodLove

And if you’re looking for even more recipe ideas and inspiration, check out these inspired recipes using Ontario peaches

Spelt Peach Galette w Honeyed Chevre

Spelt Peach Galette with Honeyed Chèvre
makes 1 large galette

1 cup All Purpose Flour
1 cup Spelt Flour
1 tbsp cane sugar
pinch fine sea salt
2/3 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
4-6 tbsp ice water

5-6 large ripe Ontario peaches (about 2 cups sliced), pitted and sliced
2 tbsp-1/4 cup cane sugar, depending on ripeness of peaches
1 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 tbsp cornstarch

1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tbsp cane sugar, for garnish (optional)

1/4 cup fresh goats cheese
1 tbsp honey

In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar and salt. Cut the butter into the flour mixture until pieces are no bigger and pea-sized and it’s a sandy texture that holds together when you pinch it. Add in 2 tbsp of the ice water and stir with a wooden spoon, adding more ice water 1/2 tbsp at a time until it comes together in a ball of dough. Press the dough into a disc between two sheets of parchment and chill for 1 hour in the fridge.

Preheat oven to 400.

In another bowl, mix the sliced peaches, sugar (add 2 tbsp if your fruit is very ripe and sweet, more if it’s tart), lemon juice and cornstarch. Mix until cornstarch and sugar have dissolved.

Once chilled, dust a surface with flour and roll the crust into a circle 14–16″ in diameter, dusting dough with flour as needed to prevent sticking. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Spoon in the filling leaving a 2″ border all the way around. Fold dough over itself to contain the filling.

Brush the exposed crust with the egg wash and sprinkle with cane sugar, if using. Bake for 20 minutes, rotate pan and bake for another 20-25 or until the crust on top is light golden brown. Stir together the chevre and honey and dollop over the galette or slice first and serve with the chevre.

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In Season: Sockeye Salmon

Jerk Sockeye Salmon with Spicy Mango Avocado Salsa

Jerk Sockeye Salmon with Spicy Mango Avocado Salsa

I find myself saying, “we need to eat more seafood” far too much these days. On the odd occasion that I do find myself in the seafood section of the grocery store/market, I always end up bringing something, whatever is ethical and in season, home with me and vowing to do it more often as I scrape the plate clean of every tiny morsel. And yet, inevitably, it’s another 3 months before I remember to take that right turn in the store.

Jerk Sockeye Salmon with Spicy Mango Avocado Salsa

I was reading about sockeye salmon the other day and happen to see that it was in season. Like right now. Well damn, what better time to go grab some (answer: never). Sockeye is such a luscious, stunning fish to cook. It’s flesh a vibrant red, the most so of all salmon species, texture firm and meaty and a rich flavour that is both delicious on it’s own or standing next to big flavours like this jerk rub. When buying sockeye or any salmon, really, you’re looking for a moist fillet/portion that smells of either nothing or like the sea (not fishy!) and has beautiful colour. Get to your local Loblaws and grab some while it lasts – don’t be like me and wait far too long! You need some jerk sockeye (or any sockeye salmon) in your life. And to boot, Loblaws is looking for salmon lovers to share their photos of sockeye salmon in the month of July for a chance to win your grocery trip for FREE. I love that word. Here’s how to enter.

  • Follow @LoblawsON on Instagram (please ensure that your Instagram account is public)
  • Upload an original picture to your Instagram page highlighting the monthly Food Alert Item (July is Sockeye Salmon, of course)
  • Include the campaign hashtags #WeLoveFood and #ShareTheFoodLove

And if you’re looking for even more recipe ideas and inspiration, check out these sockeye salmon recipes.

Jerk Sockeye Salmon with Spicy Mango Avocado Salsa

Jerk Sockeye Salmon with Spicy Mango Avocado Salsa
makes 4 main dish servings

If you want to add another element to this meal, making a coconut rice on the side would be a lovely addition.

4 5oz portions of Sockeye Salmon Fillet (skin on)
jerk rub, recipe follows
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 large mango, diced (about 3/4-1cup of diced flesh)
1/2 large avocado, diced
1/2 large jalapeno
1 tbsp minced red onion
2 tbsp rough chopped cilantro
juice from 1 lime
1/2 tsp sea salt

Rub salmon portions down with enough jerk rub to lightly coat the flesh of the fish. Let it sit on the fish for 10-15 minutes before frying so the flavour can soak in.

While the fish sits, put together the salsa. Stir together the diced manga and avocado, jalapeno, red onion, cilantro, lime juice and salt. Taste for seasoning and add more salt or lime juice if needed. Set aside.

Heat coconut oil in a non-stick or well seasoned cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat.  Place salmon, skin side down, on the skillet and let sear until golden (5 minutes). Flip and cook for another 4-5 minutes. Place each fillet on a plate and spoon salsa over top.

Jerk Rub
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
pinch red pepper flakes
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

Measure all ingredients into a small jar and stir or shake until spices are combined. Keeps for 4 months if air tight (will lose flavour and potency otherwise)

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In Season: Ontario Asparagus

Grilled Asparagus & Potato Salad with Lemony Scallion & Charred Garlic Vinaigrette

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Loblaws Companies Inc.. All opinions are 100% mine.

Grilled Asparagus & Potato Salad with Lemony Scallion & Charred Garlic Vinaigrette

Vegetables at their peak – is anything more beautiful? I’m sure by now you’ve spotted vibrant bundles of Ontario asparagus lining the produce shelves of your grocery store. We can’t seem to get enough of it here at home; grilled, pan fried, roasted, raw & shaved… any way we can get it, sweet, grassy asparagus is on our plates from late May to early July.

When picking asparagus, which you should do before it’s gone for another year, look for straight, crisp spears with tightly bundled green or purple tips. Although it’s best eaten fresh right away, you can refrigerate for 2-3 days before consuming. Asparagus also freezes well; just trim the tough ends, blanch in boiling water for 1 minute followed by a plunge in an ice bath. Dry off and place in a freezer bag for up to 1 year.

Grilled Asparagus & Potato Salad with Lemony Scallion & Charred Garlic Vinaigrette

If you head on over to the produce aisle at your local Loblaws, you’ll no doubt find bundles upon bundles while it lasts. And what’s better – they want to pay for your grocery trip (up to $250). It’s easy to enter, too!

  • Follow @LoblawsON on Instagram (please ensure that your Instagram account is public)
  • Upload an original picture to your Instagram page highlighting the monthly Food Alert Item (June is Asparagus, of course)
  • Include the campaign hashtags #WeLoveFood and #ShareTheFoodLove

How easy is that? If nothing else, you’ll be eating a delicious dish of asparagus! If you’re looking for even more inspiration, head to their website for some asparagus recipes!

Grilled Asparagus & Potato Salad with Lemony Scallion & Charred Garlic Vinaigrette

Grilled Asparagus & Potato Salad with Lemony Scallion & Charred Garlic Vinaigrette
serves 4 as a side dish

4 cups New Potatoes (alternatively, any local baby potato), sliced in half
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
2 large cloves garlic
1 bundle Ontario asparagus, ends trimmed
1/2 small red onion, left in one chunk
salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup olive oil
juice from 1/2 lemon
zest from 1/2 lemon
4 large scallions, sliced thin
1 tsp sweet grainy mustard
pinch red pepper flakes (more if you like it spicy)
salt and pepper, to taste
2 cups arugula

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add your sliced potatoes and let them cook until almost fork-tender, 5-6 minutes. Strain and toss with olive oil and a few pinches of salt and pepper.

Preheat your grill to medium-high heat and let it get nice and hot. Place your precooked potatoes cut-side down on the grill and cook until they’ve become nicely charred, about 5 minutes. Remove to a large mixing bowl. With the BBQ still going, place your garlic cloves on the grill for about 1 minute per side. They should be lightly charred and fragrant. Remove and set aside. Toss your asparagus spears and red onion with a tbsp of olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper and place on the grill taking care not to let them slip between the grates. Cook asparagus for 1-2 minutes before turning over and cook for another minute. Let the onion get nice and charred on both sides, remove and cut both the onion and asparagus into bite-sized chunks and add to the potatoes in the mixing bowl.

In a smaller mixing bowl, whisk together the 1/4 cup of olive oil, lemon zest and juice, scallions, mustard, pepper flakes and a few pinches of salt and pepper. Get your charred garlic and mince it until it’s almost a paste. Whisk into the vinaigrette. Taste for seasoning and add more lemon or salt and pepper, if needed.

Add about half of the vinaigrette to the mixing bowl with the potatoes, asparagus and red onion. Add in the arugula and toss everything until combined. Add more of the vinaigrette, if needed.

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In Season: Fiddlehead {sponsored}

Fiddleheads with Garlic Roasted Tomatoes, Chevre and Chili Herb Oil

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Loblaws Companies Inc.. All opinions are 100% mine.

Sauteed Fiddleheads with Garlic Roasted Tomatoes, Chevre and Chili Herb Oil

Sometime around mid-late April, the fronds of the Wild Ostrich Fern start to unfurl from beneath swamps, marshes and forests around New Brunswick, Ontario and Quebec and make their way into the hands of keen foragers. The fiddlehead, which gets it’s name from its resemblance to the head of a fiddle, has a short but sweet harvest season and to make the most of it you’ve got to keep your eyes peeled and grab them as soon as you see them.

Prized for their mild flavour (think; grassy, earthy and slightly sweet) and stunning coiled appearance, fiddleheads are versatile and delicious cooked in so many ways. I tend to keep things simple so as not to take away from their unique and gentle flavour but if you’re feeling adventurous, these little guys can stand up to some big flavours, too. Try them on a barbecued pizza with spicy garlic oil, buffalo mozzarella and basil or tossed with a short grain pasta, light pomodoro sauce and a soft boiled egg on top. They bring a lovely freshness to most dishes and would make an equally delicious pesto blended up with some mint/olive oil/pine nuts and feta cheese. Many compare the flavour to asparagus so try swapping your favourite asparagus dish with fiddleheads for something new and adventurous. These coiled little beauties don’t mess around when it comes to nutrition either – with twice as many antioxidants as bluberries, tons of fiber and a vegetarian source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids, they are a superfood powerhouse.

Sauteed Fiddleheads with Garlic Roasted Tomatoes, Chevre and Chili Herb Oil tomorrow

Note: Fiddleheads are grown in the wild and carry a risk of contamination if not cooked properly. Always blanch or steam your cleaned fiddleheads for at least 10-12 minutes before eating. Once cooked, they can then be sauteed, fried, pureed or eating just like that with a bit of salt and olive oil.

Sauteed Fiddleheads with Garlic Roasted Tomatoes, Chevre and Chili Herb Oil tomorrow

This new series of posts, titled “In Season”, is in partnership with Loblaws Ontario and hopes to bring awareness to seasonal produce with limited availability. We’re aiming to show you how to cook these items, what makes them so good (and good for you) and why you’re going to want to run out and stock up ASAP. As part of the series, you’ll be invited to take part in their Instagram Contest each month in hopes of winning your next grocery shop (up to $250).

The rules are simple:

  • Follow @LoblawsON on Instagram (please ensure that your Instagram account is public)
  • Upload an original picture to your Instagram page highlighting the monthly Food Alert Item
  • Include the campaign hashtags #WeLoveFood and #ShareTheFoodLove

The only thing better than coming home with a bag filled with colourful, seasonal produce is not having to pay for it! Good luck to all who enter and for more recipe ideas, check out Loblaws’ fiddleheads recipes

Sauteed Fiddleheads with Garlic Roasted Tomatoes, Chevre and Chili Herb Oil

Fiddleheads with Garlic Roasted Tomatoes, Chevre and Chili Herb Oil
serves 4 as a side, 2 as a main

1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, smashed
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
2 cups fiddleheads, cleaned and trimmed of tough ends
2 tbsp olive oil
Chili-Herb Oil, recipe to follow below
1/4 cup chevre

Preheat oven to 400.
Toss tomatoes with the olive oil, salt and pepper and add to a baking sheet/pan with the garlic. Cook until tomatoes soften and burst, releasing some of their juices, approximately 20-30 minutes. Give the pan a good toss to make sure all that delicious garlic juice coats the tomatoes.

While tomatoes roast, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Toss in your trimmed/cleaned fiddeheads and turn down to a simmer. Let cook for 15 minutes then strain. Add the oil to a sautee pan over medium heat. Add the fiddleheads and let fry on both sides until starting to brown, 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

In a serving bowl, add a few spoonfuls of fiddleheads, a few tomatoes, some crumbled chevre and a drizzle of your chili-herb oil.

Chili Herb Oil
makes approx 1 cup

1/4 cup loosely packed basil
1/4 cup loosely packed Italian parsley
2 tbsp chopped chives
1/2 tsp red chili flakes
1 tsp lemon zest
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
3/4 cup good quality olive oil

Blend all ingredients in a food processor or blender until herbs are broken down. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper, if needed.


Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post put on by Loblaws Ontario. I was compensated via a cash payment, gift, or something else of value to write it. Regardless, I only recommend restaurants or products I use/enjoy personally and believe will be good for my readers.

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Raising a Glass to Mama

Minty Bourbon Peach Sweet Tea with Blueberry Mint Syrup

Minty Bourbon Peach Sweet Tea with Blueberry Mint Syrup

I used to think I knew what it was to give all of myself. To dig deep and push harder, love more, be kinder, forgive more easily. And then I became a mother and realized that I had a lot more of myself tucked away, hiding in the shadows waiting to be summoned. Though I’m barely through my probation period as a mother, I can truthfully say I have given more of myself emotionally, physically and mentally in the last 10 months than I ever imagined I had to give. And I’d happily, gratefully give even more.

I always knew my Mom was special, with her kindness, specific brand of humor, ability to turn tears into grins, sadness into hope. But until I was a mother myself, I never knew how powerful that relationship was in my life. After I had Ruthie, she was all I wanted. As I struggled through PPD and questioned my abilities as a Mom, she was the shoulder I sobbed on and the confidence I lacked. She made me strong when I felt weak and defeated. She carried me through days when I thought I might not be able to make it out of bed and care for our daughter. She, after 30 years of motherhood, is still giving all of herself and then some to my sister and I. I’ve never been more grateful for her friendship, her love, and her guidance.

Minty Bourbon Peach Sweet Tea with Blueberry Mint Syrup

Whether it was your mother, your sister, your best friend or any other strong female figure in your life that helped shape you, don’t forget to raise your glass (of sweet tea!?) to her on Sunday. Because daaaaamn, she works hard. And if you’re lucky like I am, she always will.


Minty Bourbon Peach Sweet Tea with Blueberry Mint Syrup
makes 6-8 servings

I used Peppermint Tea & Organic Peach Tea (with a black tea base) here. If you can’t find peach tea bags, you can puree some frozen peaches with a little water and strain the puree through a fine mesh sieve.

The iced tea here is just barely sweet so you can add the blueberry mint syrup to taste.

8 cups water
1/4 cup cane sugar
3 peach tea bags
3 peppermint tea bags
2 sprigs mint, leaves bruised to release the oils
juice from 1/2 lime
1 cup sparkling water
1/2 cup blueberry-mint syrup (recipe to follow)
lime and mint, to garnish, optional
Bourbon (I like Bulleit Bourbon), optional

Bring your 8 cups of water to a boil in the kettle or stovetop. Add the tea bags, sugar, mint and lime juice to the bottom of a carafe. Pour boiling water over the ingredients and let sit for at least 1 hour, up to overnight (in the fridge). Remove tea bags and cool.

Fill some tall glasses with crushed ice. Pour in 1oz bourbon into each glass. Top with iced tea, 1/4 cup sparkling water, and a drizzle of the syrup. Because the syrup is so sweet, add a little at a time to your liking. Stir and top with a round of lime and a few mint leaves.

Blueberry Mint Syrup
makes 1 1/2 cups

1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
4 sprigs mint, leaves bruised to release oils
1 cup cane sugar

Bring everything to a boil over med-high heat in a sauce pan. Let simmer for 10 minutes and remove from heat. Strain syrup and toss solids into your sweet tea.

Whatever Works

Crispy Sumac Mushrooms and Chickpeas with Lemon Yogurt

 Crispy Sumac Mushrooms and Chickpeas with Lemon Yogurt

Fixing dinner with a teething, growth-spurting, crawling-all-over-and-getting-into-everything, pulling-on-your-pant-leg 9 month old can be a challenge (every parent everywhere, “wait until she’s walking!”). Each morning I imagine the delicious meal I’ll shop for, prep and cook during the day but ultimately I end up eating a bowl of Lipton’s chicken noodle soup…. sometimes I might even add some chopped green onion and carrots if I’m feeling real creative.

I’m trying to get my meal planning skills up to snuff by starting to pull together some recipes I know are filling, simple, healthy and that keep well for a few days and a few meals in the fridge. These mushrooms and chickpeas are great to make in advance and serve for lunch with the lemon yogurt and some greens (they are best warmed up in a little coconut oil in a pan), or for a more substantial meal you can stuff them into a baked sweet potato topped with feta or goat cheese. Or you can do as I do, and eat them cold out of the fridge with your hands while trying to scoop Rue away from the oven for the 300th time. Whatever works, you know?

 Crispy Sumac Mushrooms and Chickpeas with Lemon Yogurt

Crispy Sumac Mushrooms and Chickpeas with Lemon Yogurt
serves 4

16oz mixed mushrooms (button, oyster, shiitake)
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp sea salt
1 can rinsed chickpeas
1 large leek (white and light green tender parts only)
2 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp sumac
1/ tsp pepper

2 cups plain Greek yogurt
1/2 tsp salt
Zest from 1/2 lemon

Clean mushrooms* and tear into bite-sized pieces. Add coconut oil and mushrooms to a large skillet/dutch oven over med-high heat. Let oil melt and stir to coat the mushrooms. Let them cook, untouched, until their liquid has been released and they’ve started to shrink and brown, 5-8 minutes. Stir and leave again for 5 minutes. Repeat until mushrooms are crisp and golden brown – it should take around 20 minutes if you want to get them nice and brown. Turn heat to medium-low and add salt, chickpeas and leeks. Let cook for a few minutes until leeks have softened. Add in the garlic, ginger, cumin, sumac and pepper and cook for another 2 minutes until everything is fragrant. Add the lemon juice, taste for seasoning and add more salt or pepper if needed. Give everything a good stir.

In a small bowl, mix together the yogurt, salt and lemon zest. Spoon into shallow bowls, top with the crispy mushrooms and chickpeas and garnish with green onion, arugula (if using) and a few turns of olive oil.

*Never soak your mushrooms. Ever. To clean them, wet a paper towel or a clean dish towel and wipe them gently.

life is good, I am happy

Creamy Coconut-Basil Braised Romano Beans

Creamy Coconut-Basil Braised Romano Beans

Sweet jeeze and peas. I’m back…. or am I? It’s been a long time.

After my last post, as I struggled my way through post-partum depression/anxiety, I realized I needed to put all my focus on my family and my health and let everything else fall to the wayside. It’s been hard finding my way back to who I was before I was a mother… and I realize now that it’s because I won’t. I needed some time to find out who I was all over again.

Creamy Coconut-Basil Braised Romano Beans

I’ll try to keep my piece on PPD brief; When someone you know has a baby, especially if it’s someone you love, offer them your support and your ear (and probably your arms and your cooking skills too) and pay attention to the signs of postpartum depression. I was lucky to have the support of all my family, my partner, his family, my doctor and a local support group for women/families struggling with PPD/PPA(nxiety) (Family Services Ottawa). I can’t imagine trying to deal with it all alone. Birthing and then tending to a newborn child is amazing/wonderful/miraculous/joyous etc etc etc…. but HOLY SHIT IT’S ALSO SO SCARY AND LONELY AND EXHAUSTING AND ISOLATING AND (sometimes) SAD. I was a real mess. BUT I found a plan that worked for me, and it saved our family. It helped me collect all the tiny pieces of myself that had been stolen by depression, and gave me the courage to find new pieces. My daughter Ruthie is almost 8 months, crawling/standing, eating anything (like raw ginger?!) and everything, and is just, in general, the very awesomest baby and addition to our family we could ever have imagined. Life is good and I am happy. Happy like I was scared I might never be again. Every day I relish how good it feels to laugh and smile and eat and enjoy my life. And though it wasn’t a walk in the park, I wouldn’t know this joy without having gone through some heavy sadness. I am a stronger person for it, and a better mother and wife.

Ruthie MaeI’ve been cooking my little heart out the last few months, trying to find my groove in the kitchen again, but didn’t want to put too much pressure on myself to return to documenting until I was ready… though I’m not sure I ever would have been. But then I had a vision of these beans and knew they’d be a perfect return to my former love, blogging. Hearty, healthy, bright and full of flavour. It’s the kind of easy lunch or dinner that whips up quick (assuming you start by soaking the beans the day before you want to dive into them) and gets better as it sits. They’re good on their own in a deep bowl with a few dashes of hot sauce, they are killer on crusty toast; the bread acting as a broth-sponge to sop up anything that might be left on the plate, they’re a great side to some crispy, seared chicken thighs or some marinated, battered and fried tofu. The jist here is, they are tasty, you should make them and eat them immediately.

Creamy Coconut-Basil Braised Romano Beans

Creamy Coconut-Basil Braised Romano Beans
serves 6 as a side, 4 as a main

2 tbsp coconut oil
1 large onion, diced
1 1/2″ chunk ginger
1 ripe tomato (about 1/2 cup chopped)
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp turmeric
Pinch cinnamon
1/2 sea salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
2 tbsp lemon-basil pesto (recipe below)
3 cups cooked romano beans*
1 can (400ml) coconut milk (full fat is best, of course)
2 cups vegetable stock
3 cups packed, chopped kale
salt and pepper, to taste

Melt the coconut oil in a large, heavy dutch oven over medium heat. Add the diced onion and use a micro-plane to grate in the ginger (a cheese grater will work in a pinch). Once the onion is translucent, add in the tomato, garlic, turmeric, cinnamon, salt and pepper and cook for another 2-3 minutes until the garlic is nice and fragrant. Add in the pesto and stir to combine. Add the cooked beans, coconut milk and stock and bring to a simmer. Cover for 10 minutes. Remove the lid and let simmer uncovered for another 20-30 minutes until beans are tender. Stir in the kale and let cook for 5 minutes. Taste the broth for seasoning and adjust to your liking. Spoon into bowls and top with fresh ground pepper.

*dried romano beans are easy to find and have a nice subtle flavour. To prepare, place 1 1/2 cups dried romano beans in cold, chlorine-free water for 24 hours (about 3 cups water to every cup of beans is the rule). Once soaked, rinse the beans and place in a pot of cold, salted water. Simmer for 1 hour or until tender.

Lemon-Basil Pesto
1 cup packed basil leaves
zest from 1 lemon
juice from 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until smooth. Taste for seasoning and add more salt or lemon if necessary.

And the winner of the KitchenAid® Torrent™ Blender GIVEAWAY…

….LEANNE CZED. She promised to make:  “I would for sure make an extra chocolatey milkshake because, well, you know, preggers. And then I would try my hand at almond butter. And then put that in a milkshake”


Congratulations, Leanne! Please get in touch with me at thegoualife [at] gmail [dot] com and we’ll get your new baby sent off ASAP.  Many thanks to KitchenAid Canada for this amazing giveaway.

KitchenAid® Torrent™ Blender GIVEAWAY!

Strawberry Mango Spinach and Oat Baby Food
KITCHENAID TORRENT GIVEAWAYI don’t often get to play with new toys in the kitchen. In fact, I’ve had the same blender for over 10 years… and it barely does it’s job. So when KitchenAid got in touch asking if I’d like a chance to play with the new KitchenAid Torrent Blender, I was IN. Like, really in. Really, really.
I may as well have skipped home with it from the Purolator pick-up. It was like Christmas. I tore the box open and heaved out the new appliance with enthusiasm of a rabid dog…which was no easy feat given it’s heft (which I love). I sat and inspected, pulled, poked and prodded at it’s shiny bits. And then, we got down to business.KITCHENAID TORRENT GIVEAWAYThis blender is the sh*t. For real. I was thinking it would probably blend things up pretty well, being new and from KitchenAid and all, but it surpassed all expectations. I made smoothies, soups and even almond butter and damn if it didn’t blend them all to the perfect consistency. The key to this blender is in the presets. Fill the bowl, lock it into the magnetic drive (it uses the same technology as an induction burner and blends using the power of magnets), push the pre-programmed Adapti-Blend settings (juice, soups/sauces, milkshakes/creamy drinks, icy beverages/smoothies) and walk away. The blender takes care of the rest. It starts slow, getting all those big bulky pieces into smaller more manageable ones, and then as the speed picks up you start seeing the true power of the Torrent. With jet-engine like power, it turns even the toughest chunks into silk. When making baby food, I prepared my fine-mesh sieve over a bowl to strain out any skins or extra bits that didn’t get blended (which is common with my usual blender) but as I pressed the mixture through the sieve I as surprised to find that there was really nothing left in there. SAY WHAT. Hardly a speck of spinach left over, nay a strawberry seed. Well I’ll be damned. From a chicken/rice/sweet potato baby food which blended the meat into the SILKIEST smooth mixture to an iced coffee that was so smooth and creamy. I had half a mind to just start throwing random items from the fridge into the Torrent in a “WILL IT BLEND?!” frenzy. The top cap, complete with measuring cup, allows you to add liquids and other ingredients in while you’re blending and the magnetic drive makes it easy to pop the bowl of the blender in and out, much like a coffee pot,  making it ideal to store under cabinets.Because the blades aren’t removable like most blenders, cleaning is a bit different. I found putting some warm soapy water into the bowl and blending on high speed cleaned it up perfectly. If you have a dishwasher, a quick rinse to remove any seeds or stuck-on residue and then into the dishwasher would likely tidy it up perfectly. Needless to say, this is a welcome addition to our kitchen. Especially as our baby approaches her solid-food stages and I’m becoming more and more invested in making her food myself. And the bowl is BPA free, to boot!


The Torrent is slick looking and combines style and functionality for those of us who like to display our appliances on the kitchen counter rather than stashed away under the cabinets. I’m looking forward to many loving years with my Torrent by my side.BUT THERE’S MORE! Because KitchenAid is amazing and wants you to be able to play with the Torrent too! One lucky winner will receive a KitchenAid® Torrent™ Magnetic Drive Blender (MSRP $599.99) in Sugar Pearl Silver, Onyx Black, or Candy Apple Red.
Leave a comment below answering the following questions:
WHAT WOULD YOU MAKE FIRST WITH YOUR KITCHENAID TORRENT BLENDER?Entries open through Thursday, September 3rd at 11:59pm. I’ll be selecting the winner via random number generator on the morning of the 4th. This giveaway is open to CANADIAN Residents only. Be sure to use the correct email address as I will be contacting the winner via email and if I don’t hear back within 48 hours, I’ll pick a new winner.

For extra entries (leave a separate comment for each entry telling me that you’ve liked/followed):

1. FOLLOW thegoudalife + KitchenAid on Instagram
2. FOLLOW thegoudalife + KitchenAid on Twitter
3. LIKE thegoudalife + KitchenAid on FacebookAnd for the love of nothing, make something delicious when you win this baby! Below is a recipe for a fruity baby food/smoothie that we really enjoy in our house!

********************************************* THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED**************************************************KITCHENAID TORRENT GIVEAWAYStrawberry Mango Spinach and Oat Baby Food (/Smoothie)
makes approximately 4 cups baby food

1 cup fresh or frozen mango cubes
1 cup hulled strawberries
1 cup cooked oatmeal*
1 cup packed spinach leaves
1/4 cup water or milk (soy or cow)

Place all ingredients in the Kitchen Aid Torrent, set to the soup setting (I found this one really got things silky smooth) and press the start button. Walk away and let the Torrent do it’s thing! You’ll come back to a silky smooth baby food that barely needs straining, though I did just to be sure any leftover chunks would be taken out… there were none!*I cooked mine in both milk and in water and found both to work well for this. Use whatever your child likes best.

Back At It

Cheesy Charred Corn | Black Pepper | Honey Biscotti

Cheesy Charred Corn | Black Pepper | Honey Biscotti

Here we are! Back again and feeling more like myself every day. That last post was intense but felt so important for me to share for a multitude of reasons. The most important being that a) I needed to get it out. They say the truth will set you free and while I surely didn’t feel free after, I felt slightly lighter and more able to keep going. b) I felt like sharing might help me meet/gain support from/be able to help other struggling mothers. And boy did it. Though I’m still not done responding to you all, I have read ALL your comments, emails, notes and they made my heart swell. And at times break all over again for you and for what seems to be such a normal struggle of new motherhood (and even for some veteran moms). So thank you. I felt the love and outpouring of support and it helped me get over that hump.

Cheesy Charred Corn | Black Pepper | Honey Biscotti

Last week, as Ruthie and I grooved into a bit more of a daily routine, I found some time to get back in the kitchen and play with some flour + butter. These biscotti were born from a desire for sweet summer corn and simple one-handed snacks to be able to grab while your other 6 hands are filled with diapers and bottles. They are decadent and buttery with a lovely sweetness from the charred corn and luscious honey and a bit of spice from lots of fresh ground black pepper. I also added in some chunks of old cheddar as I wanted to use it up. While the cheddar was delicious, I feel they would be wonderful just the same without it. So use your discretion on that front. Though, gooey cheese never hurt anybody, am I right?

Cheesy Charred Corn | Black Pepper | Honey Biscotti

Cheesy Charred Corn | Black Pepper | Honey Biscotti
makes approx 2 dozen biscotti

1 1/2 cups corn kernels (fresh or frozen)
4 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
3/4 cup 1/2″ cubed old cheddar (or other favourite sharp cheese)
3 large eggs (2 for biscotti, 1 to brush tops)
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup honey

Place a dry heavy skillet on the stove over med-high heat. Pour in the corn kernels and let cook, tossing every so often so they char evenly, until they are cooked through and lightly charred all over., about 15 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cumin and ground pepper. Fold in the corn and cubed cheese. In a smaller bowl, whisk 2 eggs, buttermilk and honey until combined. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and fold together until no clumps of flour remain.

Knead the dough gently just until it comes together in a ball. Divide it evenly into two pieces and form each into a long, skinny oval (14×4″) on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Beat the extra egg lightly in a small dish and brush each log with the eggwash. Bake until firm and lightly golden, about 30 minutes. Let cool and set for at least 20 minutes.

Using a sharp serrated knife, cut both logs across diagonally into 1/2″ slices. Place back on the parchment-lined cookie sheet and bake, rotating pan half-way through,  for another 18-20 minutes until each cookie is golden brown. Let cool for 10 minutes before eating.