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Happy Gourmand

Chocolate really is good for you!

Apr 19, 2014 / 5:00 am

This weekend you should just be enjoying your treats. Whether you are celebrating the end of Lent and a traditional Easter feast, or you are helping the kids with all the loot from the treasure hunt it's all good. Just in case you are feeling the slightest bit guilty though, here are some...

Politics, religion & dinner - oh my!

Apr 12, 2014 / 5:00 am

Are there subjects that are off-limits at your dinner table? One of the age-old debates in the western world is the separation of church and state, and certainly politics and religion tend to be heated debates at the best of times. But you could argue that the convivial nature of the table might be...

What is the value of good food?

Mar 29, 2014 / 5:00 am

How much are you willing to spend on good food? I don't mean a quick stop for a snack or something at a drive-thru, I mean a tasty piece of fresh-caught fish, or the best cherries you can get in the summer, or a handmade treat like a pastry or piece of pie? Often I hear the discussion on food...

The rainbow in a spring garden

Mar 22, 2014 / 5:00 am

She says: I have been looking at the garden seed catalogues trying to plan out what we will grow this year in our wonderful garden, but it seems every year the dilemma of deciding becomes more difficult. It is bad enough I have to choose between beets and turnips or decide whether the extra...

School break - let's eat!

Mar 15, 2014 / 5:00 am

This week I'm letting the Chef go first, since he's so keen to share. My theme this week is to take a break from the busy schedule when school is in and try to cook a meal with your kids! He says: Last week I gave a cooking class to a bunch of 10 kids, aged 7 to 11 years old. I...

Spring ahead!

Mar 8, 2014 / 5:00 am

She says: This weekend we will be changing our clocks over to Daylight Saving Time, a bit earlier in the year than usual, but I don’t think many of us will begrudge that lost hour of sleep after the colder and snowier winter we had! It is a manufactured phenomenon, but one that we try to...

Red carpets and champagne

Mar 1, 2014 / 5:00 am

We talk often about how everyday in life should be enjoyed and it is important to make the most of every moment. Sometimes, this means not taking things too seriously and just having fun, but other times you need to be very serious about how you plan your event. Rolling out the red carpet and...

Sounds, smells and tastes

Feb 22, 2014 / 5:00 am

Words like "pamplemousse" and "flambé"... aromas of tropical fruits and flowers in a wine glass... combinations of flavours like curry and coconut in a marshmallow... all these are reasons why I am a food geek. There is wonder not just in every bite of food or sip of...

De-stress at dinner...meals on vacation

Feb 15, 2014 / 5:00 am

We just got back from ten days in Jamaica, another epic vacation. We stay at two different all-inclusive resorts - one in Negril, and one in Jamaica. Both have their specialties in terms of activities and sights to enjoy, and we like to make the most of our time away to have new experiences. Of...

Why does food taste better on holidays?

Feb 8, 2014 / 5:00 am

Yup, it's true - I am still on holidays. I am writing about my experiences - honest! - but I have sent in this reprint for you to enjoy as the internet is a bit iffy in the tropical heat. See you next week with a Jamaican recipe! They say that February is the toughest month of the year to...

Fun foods from A to Z

Feb 1, 2014 / 5:00 am

This week I am away "doing research" on the best rum cocktails and jerk marinades in Jamaica, so I am reprinting a favourite column from years gone by. I promise to try and find something from every letter while I'm here! Watch my blog for updates from our trip. I have been reading...

Chicken soup, orange juice and hot tea

Jan 25, 2014 / 5:00 am

I am blessed with a strong constitution and thankfully I live in a part of the world where sickness most often means a cold or flu. However I do have weak sinuses, and as a result I end up every so often with a stuffed up nose and a horrible frog in my throat. In honour of all those suffering the...

In the heat of the moment

Jan 18, 2014 / 5:00 am

Usually this is the time of year when many of us start to get cabin fever, being a little stir crazy from all the grey days and cold winds and sometimes even snow and ice. As a result, many people look to warmer climes to get a break and rejuvenate themselves until our sun returns in the spring....

Let's hear it for comfort food!

Jan 11, 2014 / 5:00 am

As I write this, Martin is making one of his cherished grilled cheese sandwiches, using an old iron to ensure the bread gets good and crispy (not to worry, it is the cast iron variety, not the electric kind). It made me think about comfort food and all its traditions. I am not sure if the actual...

Keep the spirit alive

Dec 28, 2013 / 5:00 am

She says: I was thinking about a topic for this week, and I began to ponder the waning of the Christmas spirit after December 25th. There are so many great traditions but all centered around that one season. That made me think about some of those traditions and how they got to be…. maybe...

The Christmas Table

Dec 21, 2013 / 5:00 am

This year I am offering both sides of the discussion around what makes a Christmas table such a magical thing. My husband Martin starts off, relieved that as a chef he can take the day off! Chef Martin says: I have managed to avoid Christmas turkey cooking one more time. We are...

It's a wonderful life

Dec 14, 2013 / 5:00 am

She says: I have been extra busy this year and so haven't had any chance at all to do my usual work preparing for the Christmas season. When an email hit my Inbox saying there was a cookie exchange happening with the Girl Guide leaders, I jumped at the chance to be involved. Nothing fuels...

A great idea back in Vogue

Nov 30, 2013 / 5:00 am

In today's busy world, meals have sometimes become a challenge to fit in the schedule. Drive-throughs are busy on nights that include hockey practice or Girl Guides because no one has time to spend in the kitchen preparing a meal, or everyone is there at a different time. One way to ease that...

What's in your lunchbox?

Nov 23, 2013 / 5:00 am

When I was a kid, lunch was something most kids brought in a brown bag from home, and it was a simple affair. There were no pre-packaged cheese and crackers or pre-mixed tuna salad in those days unless Mom put it in a Tupperware for you herself. Usually Mom would just put a straight-forward...

Isn’t it funny...

Nov 16, 2013 / 5:00 am

Isn’t it funny how things work out? When I was a kid I never would have guessed that I would become a Foodie – we ate simple food, I thought, and my parents told me more than once that we were not rich so I knew I was not destined for a life of caviar and champagne. We did spend a lot...

BBQ Tips

About the author...

Kristin Peturson-Laprise is a customer experience specialist by trade, being someone who is passionate about people having a good time . Her company, Wow Service Mentor, helps businesses enhance their customer experience through hands-on training, marketing and service programs. Kristin enjoys her own experiences too, and that is what she writes about in this column.

She says:

"Wikipedia lists a gourmand as a person who takes great pleasure in food. I have taken the concept of gourmandise, or enjoying something to the fullest, in all parts of my life. I love to grow and cook food, and I loved wine enough to become a Sommelier. I call a meal a success when I can convey that "sense of place" from where the food has come... the French call that terroir, but I just call it the full experience. It might mean tasting the flavours of my own garden, or transporting everyone at the table to a faraway place, reminiscent of travels or dreams we have had.

Happy Gourmand is about enjoying life and living in the moment; sharing that joy with others is how I keep those good vibes going!"


E-mail Kristin at:  [email protected]

Check out her website here:



The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet presents its columns "as is" and does not warrant the contents.


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