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Happy-Gourmand  

Rainy day eats and treats

May 21, 2016 / 6:00 am
What is it about the Victoria Day long weekend?! Every year we all get excited, planning a day in the garden or out on the boat, a big camping trip or a family BBQ... and what happens? The clouds roll in, the wind blows and the rain starts. What a bummer, right? Well, a good way to feel...

Planting & eating a rainbow

May 14, 2016 / 12:00 pm
If you are like me, this time of year you have an uncontrollable urge to have things growing at your house. We have all kinds of garden space and a little greenhouse so I could be called a bit obsessive about my green hobby, but even if you only plant a few boxes or containers you can still grow...

Running hot and cold

May 7, 2016 / 12:49 pm
Mmmmmm, coffee Perhaps it is my need to stay energetic in this busy early spring, but I have been thinking a lot lately about coffee. With my ever-curious brain and its search for more trivia, it led me to thinking about the psychology that goes with our coffee culture, and why a simple beverage...

The evolution of salad

Apr 30, 2016 / 6:00 am
Bountiful harvest As things heat up, I am encouraged to see the garden growing, and know that soon we will have our own veggies. Salad is a staple at our house during the warm season, and I love being able to gather the ingredients from the back yard - arugula, sorrel, chives, cherry tomatoes,...

Sticky fingers

Apr 23, 2016 / 7:00 am
Sticky fingers and dirty toes This weekend will mark the official beginning of the sunny season. The sunny season is more than spring, it runs into summer, it is the feeling you get that lasts right through ’til September . . . you know, that feeling when we get to be outside and soak up...

You can't get off

Apr 16, 2016 / 11:00 am
Ah, spring! Blossoms abound, and the buzzing of bees and twittering of birds are hard to ignore. It is a time when most of us feel happily connected to the earth as the days get longer and the landscape gets greener. Really, what's not to like? But are we truly connected to the...

Old fears, new tricks

Apr 9, 2016 / 6:00 am
I decided this year to conquer some of my old fears. At the grand old age of 50, it seemed I should be able to tick a few items off my bucket list, despite being an old dog. So, when we were in Jamaica I screwed up my courage and did my first night dive. Pretty good for the girl who...


Watercooler talk

Apr 2, 2016 / 6:00 am
Need some fun and interesting anecdotes, experiments, and other silly trivia to add to your repertoire of good conversation starters in case you find yourself at an awkward dinner party? Here goes nuthin’ ~ Luxury of peanut butter Did you know that peanut butter was invented by a...

Warm fuzzies of spring

Mar 26, 2016 / 4:00 pm
Who doesn't like spring? Blossoms bring back the colour in the landscape, baby animals soften everyone's heart, longer days mean more light and more smiles . . . and there's chocolate at Easter! Doesn't it seem as though spring is a reward for having endured the dark dreary cold...

Food. It's a superhero thing

Mar 20, 2016 / 1:00 pm
We all want kids to be healthy, and part of that is making sure they eat their vegetables. Maybe pop culture can help us out. Kids love things that are popular and hip, and what could be more popular and hip than superheroes? We have a heap of them to choose from lately - they all seem to have...

Baby, it's a cold inside

Mar 12, 2016 / 12:00 pm
A warm blanket, a cup of tea and chicken noodle soup I don't want to come across as self-indulgent this week, but I am in the throes of my yearly sinus cold. A sinus headache and stuffed up nose are inconvenient to say the least, but I can't smell or taste much of anything, and...

Hungry. No idea

Mar 6, 2016 / 5:45 pm
Are you ever stuck in the ‘what to make for dinner’ dilemma? It seems to be the toughest part, if you are the cook in the family. By most people's account, I am lucky, being married to a chef. He cooks much more often than I do. He is much faster than me, too, and he gets hungry...

Jamaican green eggs & ham

Feb 27, 2016 / 2:00 pm
Life is an adventure. Every day brings new opportunities, even at the kitchen table. Do you remember the book ‘Green Eggs and Ham’? Was there ever something that you were afraid to try? If so, I hope you found the courage to give it a try, and, if you did, that you liked it, just as...

Stand up and be counted

Feb 20, 2016 / 7:00 am
We’ve just returned from holidays in Jamaica - 18 glorious days in the tropics, enjoying the sun and sand and company of friends and each other. We went scuba diving, walked along the beach, dressed up and danced, ate jerk chicken and curried goat and grilled lobster. We went to a foam...

Want to get lucky?

Feb 13, 2016 / 7:00 am
This week’s title is less than subtle, but what do you expect for the most commercialized festive occasion of them all? Valentine’s Day falls in a season full of festivities, with Mardi Gras and Chinese New Year right next to it on the calendar. Yet it has become one of the days...

Making memories

Feb 6, 2016 / 7:00 am
As you read this, I will be lounging on a beach chair, or possibly blowing bubbles 60 feet under the Caribbean Sea, as I dive with the fish. I know, you hate me this week, because I'm on holidays. The best part, though, isn't being at the beach, it's being with friends and making...

Groundhog Day looming

Jan 30, 2016 / 2:00 pm
Celebrate the seasons February 2 is Groundhog Day, a day made famous in pop culture by the Bill Murray movie in which he lives the day over and over again until he learns that he must make the most of what life has given him. I thought I would share a more historical interpretation, which...

Time to reward ourselves

Jan 23, 2016 / 10:00 pm
Ready, set, splurge! I have been harping on healthy living for a couple of weeks now, so now it’s time to remember the good life. You know what they say, all work and no play makes for a dull boy - or girl. Same with food - you have to cut loose and splurge every once in a while. We...

Just . . . eat it!

Jan 16, 2016 / 9:55 am
What is 'healthy eating'? Here we are, with New Year's resolutions pressuring us to be better and news items telling us we should eat better and Facebook warning us about dangerous foods to avoid. What's a person supposed to do, really? Is the Paleo diet the best? Should...

Are we getting dumber?

Jan 9, 2016 / 8:11 am
I need more smart food! There are all kinds of ‘smart’ things in our world today - smart phones, smart appliances, even smart homes. I read an article this morning about a new smart fridge that is being launched at a fair in Las Vegas. The fridge will help prevent you from wasting...

I resolve to . . .

Dec 26, 2015 / 6:00 am
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? In the spirit of lists, and easing the stress of entering into a new year, I have prepared my Top Ten New Year’s Resolutions, in...

The perfect holiday table

Dec 19, 2015 / 6:00 am
Okay, we're on the home stretch to Christmas, so I thought it was time to make sure you had all the crucial information for the big day. We've talked about Christmas spirit, and traditions, and some of the treats . . . now we get down to the Christmas dinner itself. I'm here to fill...

Keep the magic in Christmas

Dec 12, 2015 / 6:00 am
We are getting down to the nitty gritty now - it's just a couple of weeks ’til the big day, so if you don't have your Christmas spirit dusted off, you’d better get to it. Wait, did I hear a ‘Bah, humbug!’? I'll not have any of that, thank you. I am here to...

Naughty or nice?

Dec 5, 2015 / 6:00 am
We had our Girl Guide Christmas sing-along this past week, and of course among the favourites on the song list was ‘Santa Claus is Coming to Town’. The young girls in the crowd were especially conscious of the warnings - you know . . . "He's making a list, And...

Time is the tastiest treat

Nov 28, 2015 / 6:00 am
I read an article this week that said couples who spend time together are happier, and live longer. I wondered just who had managed to bamboozle a government agency or research body into paying for that study, because it seemed like a no-brainer to me. Then I remembered all our friends who...

Traditions, old and new

Nov 21, 2015 / 6:00 am
I was catching up with family news on Facebook this past week, and it occurred to me that I was reading a new sort of Christmas card. It made me think how little things have changed in my lifetime about this time of year. You may wonder if I have had a bit too much eggnog, but read on and see...

50 years of food

Nov 14, 2015 / 6:00 am
I'm writing this column on my 50th birthday. That's a lot of cake and candles! Have to admit that I feel pretty good, better than I thought I would for a half century on the planet. The food I have consumed might have something to do with that, so here are some of my food memories and...

Foodie on the road

Nov 7, 2015 / 7:00 am
800 degree pizzas Photo: Kristin Peturson-Laprise Chartreuse soufflè Photo: Kristin Peturson-Laprise Chicken and waffles Photo: Kristin Peturson-Laprise Crepe Suzette - classically delicious Photo: Kristin Peturson-Laprise Doughnut Plant Photo:...

Living in the moment

Oct 24, 2015 / 6:00 am
The title sounds so simple, doesn't it? We talk about the spiritual ideal of enjoying life’s moments to their utmost, being true to ourselves so that we can make the most of every moment . . . yet I have found it's not nearly as simple as it sounds. I need a reminder to stop and...

Seventh inning stretch

Oct 17, 2015 / 5:00 am
October is a month when most things are winding down, but there is still anticipation and excitement for the end of the year. Gardens are getting wrapped up, farms are turning the ground over, and everyone starts to prepare for the hectic holiday season. It can be hard to know if one should sit...

The light within

Oct 10, 2015 / 5:00 am
The last week or so, walking the dogs in the morning has been an ethereal experience. With the sun rising later, we are often out just as dawn breaks, and with the first streams of light coming over the hills and across the lake, it seems to magically bring to life everything in the orchard. It...

Turning leaves, new and old

Oct 3, 2015 / 5:00 am
"Just before the death of flowers, and before they are buried in snow, There comes a festival season when nature is all aglow." ~ Anonymous The author of this quote is unknown, but it is certain...

Finish on a good note

Sep 26, 2015 / 5:00 am
As we approach the holiday season with all its meals, parties and treats galore, I thought it might be a good idea to get us prepared. Being able to comfortably digest all those goodies helps in one's enjoyment of the event, so I am offering a few tried-and-true digestive aids this week....

An apple a day...

Sep 12, 2015 / 5:00 am
It is apple season, but that is not so much what I'm going to talk about this week. Rather, I thought it would be fun to look at some of those everyday expressions we use that involve food items. Some of the stories behind them are quite intriguing. And of course, some of them come out of...

Shifting gears

Sep 5, 2015 / 5:00 am
It’s happened again. I wasn’t paying attention and it snuck up on me. Just when I was getting into the groove, too… You know what I mean, I am sure. I am talking about the ominous turn of the calendar page. It is September. Summer is over. Even though I have put it down on the...

Feeding the horde

Aug 29, 2015 / 5:00 am
This past weekend we hosted a family reunion for my Icelandic relatives. It truly was like having an invading horde at the house, and given that my family is of Viking descent it seemed somewhat fitting. It was a barrage of noise and movement, and a seemingly endless array of meals and coffee to...

The Okanagan at its finest!

Aug 22, 2015 / 5:00 am
The Okanagan has been known for its fruits for generations. People from around the world come here in summer to pick, buy and eat the many varieties fresh and in season. This year Mother Nature sped things up a bit, so we have already enjoyed much of the bounty. Peaches are almost done, and the...

Times they are a-changing

Aug 15, 2015 / 5:00 am
It used to be that families regularly ate together at a dining room table, and children were told to clean their plates, or there would be no dessert for them. Meals for the most part had a certain familiarity: cereal or toast for breakfast, a sandwich or soup for lunch and meat and potatoes with...

I am...happy

Aug 8, 2015 / 5:00 am
In recent years we seem to have transcended the stereotype that paints Canadians as almost-like Americans but with a colder climate and a funny accent, thanks in no small part to those beer ads that advertise all the passions Canadians have. All the wonderful pastimes we enjoy are certainly part of...

Gad-zukes!

Aug 1, 2015 / 5:00 am
Summer is the season that seems to be the most anticipated and the one that flies by the fastest. My garden works in the same way... everything sprouts and grows and flowers and then all of a sudden I am in a rush to make sure we enjoy it all. Radishes and lettuce first - we eat salad like rabbits....
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About the Author

Kristin Peturson-Laprise is a customer experience specialist by trade, which means she is someone passionate about people having a good time. 

Her company, Wow Service Mentor, helps businesses enhance their customer experience through hands-on training, service programs, and special event coordination.

Kristin enjoys her own experiences too, and that is what she writes about in this column. She and her husband Martin Laprise (also known as Chef Martin, of The Chef Instead) love to share their passion for food and entertaining.  

Kristin 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."

 

E-mail Kristin at:  [email protected]

Check out her website here:  www.wowservicementor.com

 



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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.


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