Tuesday, March 31st8.1°C
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What is it about pickles?

Mar 28, 2015 / 5:00 am

Does anyone remember the old Arlo Guthrie tune? You know, the one about the pickle? He comments in the lyrics on how absurd it is that he could be so successful with a song about a pickle. It makes me think of today and how the food trends have become so extreme, so exotic. Are we yearning for imagi

Spring inspirations

Mar 21, 2015 / 5:00 am

Photo: Contributed Dandelion salad Now that the seasons are changing I seem to be wanting different flavours on my plate. I head towards the produce section with renewed vigour and if I'm cooking meat or fish it's in a lighter sauce. Maybe I'm motivated by the lack of bulky

There isn't much a cookie can't cure

Mar 14, 2015 / 5:00 am

My Mom used to say that when I was a kid. It should be said that she was a mean maker of cookies, still is (when I get one). She made lots of treats and cookies were the most fun as a kid because they were so transportable. She made all kinds: hermits, chocolate chip, ginger snaps, butterscotch... a

And the winner is...

Feb 21, 2015 / 5:00 am

We talk often about how every day in life should be enjoyed and it is important to make the most of every moment. Movies illustrate that point for us on a regular basis, whether the story is about everyday life, like this year's "Boyhood" and "Still Alice" or about an extraor

Food is life and what a good life it is!

Feb 14, 2015 / 5:00 am

With Valentine’s Day this weekend, I thought decadence would be a valid column topic. Often we speak of the importance of everyday food in a tone that is more about comfort or health than luxury but there is nothing wrong with a bit of decadence now and then. In fact, I think it should be requ

Breakfast: best way to start the day

Feb 7, 2015 / 5:00 am

I am a firm believer that having breakfast does wonders for starting your day in the right direction. Perhaps my conviction is in part due to the fact that my father was quite insistent about breakfast when I was growing up – I remember him saying he didn’t care if I was late for school,

Beginner's guide to aphrodisiac foods

Jan 31, 2015 / 5:00 am

Photo: Contributed What better month than February to focus on aphrodisiac foods? As the month of love starts off, I thought I'd get you started with a bit of history and some ideas, just in case you need a kick start for your Valentine's Day celebrations... Apple - of course,

Chase away the winter blues

Jan 24, 2015 / 5:00 am

I don't know about you, but January puts me in the doldrums. The seemingly endless stretch of grey days, the cold wind, my runny nose... not my favourite time of year, for sure. Now that we have had our New Year's cleanse and we've been to the gym a few times, a little fun can't hurt

The Bean Scene: For the Love of Coffee

Jan 20, 2015 / 11:37 am

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Sprinkles on broccoli, really?!

Jan 17, 2015 / 5:00 am

(First, I must apologize for leaving my regular readers hanging last week. I was down and out with a cold and couldn't formulate enough coherent thought. Thanks for missing me! If you'd like to read my post-sickie column on my blog, click here.) As the New Year starts and I see all the re

I resolve to...

Jan 3, 2015 / 5:00 am

Photo: Contributed It’s that time of year again. Did you make a resolution? Have you resolved to improve on some area of your life? Are you aiming to reach a new goal? I read an article recently entitled “Top Ten New Year’s Resolutions”, so in case you haven’

The right way to start the New Year

Dec 27, 2014 / 5:00 am

I hope, dear reader, that as you read this you hear the joyous laughter of loved ones and you smell the aromas of a holiday kitchen. Perhaps there are children playing or pets running about, and you are warming your hands with a warm cup of coffee or tea. But what would the holiday be like if you st

Holiday eats: thumbprint cookies

Dec 20, 2014 / 7:30 pm

Photo: Val Palmer This recipe was submitted by Castanet's very own Val Palmer.  "These cookies are a bit fussy to make, but are definitely worth the effort!  My family loves them!" she said. By the looks of them, I'm trying this on the weekend. The rec

We need to believe

Dec 20, 2014 / 5:00 am

When I was a kid life was simpler. We didn't have the Internet to answer all our questions, and there was no such thing as "reality TV" to claim to show you what life was really like when you grew up. It was easier to believe in magic then, but I don't think it's impossible now

Holiday recipes: DIY Baileys

Dec 19, 2014 / 7:21 pm

Photo: Bill Everitt Holiday celebration would not be complete without all of the food groups, including a cocktail! On Christmas morning my family usually has a mimosa or two (sparkling wine and orange juice) but Baileys or some other form of irish cream liqueur is another common

Holiday recipes: Lemon tarts

Dec 17, 2014 / 5:00 am

Photo: Bill Everitt Lemon tarts are a dessert (or anytime holiday snack) that my grandmother Jean faithfully baked every Christmas season of my life and my mother's before me. You end up with a flaky pastry cup and the liberty to add as much lemon curd as you wish - Freed

Nuts at Christmas

Dec 13, 2014 / 5:00 am

Photo: Contributed Here we are, coming up quick on the Big Day, and everyone is running at mach speed trying to check everything off the list and be sure that they are ready to fulfill all their holiday obligations. Fight the traffic to get to the mall, wait in line to buy the gifts, atte

Breakfast for Champions

Dec 10, 2014 / 10:34 am

3 simple secrets, that are not really secrets at all, to become a better chef in your kitchen. 1 – Always Trust your senses. You are the one in the kitchen. Forget about the recipe. If it looks burnt it is probably because it is burnt. There is no recipe more accurate than your taste

Christmas without a Santa-size tummy

Dec 6, 2014 / 5:00 am

We all would love to have our cake and look good too (did you see how I manoeuvred that expression?!) However, we know that is unrealistic. Don't worry though... were you afraid I was going to suggest the best way to achieve this is some ab exercise or extreme diet? You should know me better tha

Meet your Makers Series - Monika the Baker

Dec 3, 2014 / 10:27 am

Something truly magical happens when you meet your taste makers. You bring back to your kitchen the love, and respect that the ingredient was created in. You don’t just put that cheese away, but you make sure it has a good spot in your fridge, that it is well wrapped and well cared for.
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Wishful Drinking - Joyce Wegner

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