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Happy-Gourmand  

Fave thingamajigs

Sep 24, 2016 / 8:00 pm
My favourite thingamajigs and doohickeys Every hobby has its tools. Sports all have equipment of some sort, musicians have instruments, gardeners have trowels, and so on. There are also all the gizmos and gadgets that you can add to your repertoire. Some are just goofy. You know, the kinds...

Know thy food

Sep 10, 2016 / 3:00 pm
You might think I am espousing the idea of introducing yourself to the vegetables in the supermarket (“How do you do, Mr. Potato Head, my name is Kristin”). I'm not crazy. I will introduce you to someone who is doing the same thing, mostly for kids. As school gets back up to...

A bite of nostalgia

Sep 3, 2016 / 3:00 pm
I Isn't it funny how the taste of something can transport you back in time to a particular place, a definite memory? Just like a song can make you remember a time In your life, a taste can pinpoint an experience, too. Once in a while, it's not a good memory (that's tequila for...

An appetite for life

Aug 27, 2016 / 6:00 am
My best friend has an insatiable appetite; she loves to eat. She is never afraid of not looking good or not fitting into her clothes. She exercises regularly and most of what she eats is healthy, organic food. I am inspired by her every day. Her gusto for life reminds me to seize the moment...

A rainbow of vegetables

Aug 20, 2016 / 6:00 am
I was in the garden this week when a thought sprouted and grew. I was searching for cucumbers and zucchinis, when it occurred to me: we have seen square watermelons and squashes with faces, but when is someone going to come up with vegetables that are practical? Who decided cucumbers and...

I scream, you scream....

Aug 13, 2016 / 6:00 am
What does your ice cream say about you? Have you ever been asked that all-important question? You know, the one that divides us into two camps? Everyone has a clear position in this debate: Are you a chocolate or a vanilla person? We defend our choice with a connection to certain...

From dirt to dinner

Aug 6, 2016 / 6:00 am
With agri-tourism, the opportunity to enjoy fresh food has expanded from the dinner table to the farm. The line of cars at the end of our road gets longer every year with people stopping to pick fruit off the trees. And it’s not enough to have a picnic, numerous wineries and farms offer...


A taste of America

Jul 31, 2016 / 12:00 pm
Last weekend was our change of scenery and pace; we drove down to Washington State. We had no real agenda aside from the fact that we wanted to attend a sock-hop dance in Wauconda, population a hand full, and then on to Winthrop for some blues music, population a few handfuls. Martin and I...

Sock-hop memories

Jul 16, 2016 / 6:00 am
We're off on our yearly trip to a sock hop and vintage car show in Washington. It's a taste of years gone by, back to even before what it was like when I was a kid. Martin and I are now recognized at the sock hop. The locals at first just couldn't believe a couple of Canadians...

Forbidden pleasure

Jul 9, 2016 / 6:00 am
Have you ever had too much of a good thing? You know, when you overindulged or expected too much and someone inevitably tells you that’s what you’ve had, like an I-told-you-so comment? Well, this week, I was prepared to test that theory when our cherry tree announced it was ripe...

National Jam Buster Day?

Jun 25, 2016 / 6:00 am
I was thinking about Canada Day coming up, and celebrating our culture, and it occurred to me that there are lots of food days for celebrating too. (Did you know that there is a Tapioca Day, Bologna Day and even Sneak Some Zucchini on Your Neighbour’s Porch Night?) What would be a Canadian...

Make List. Do. Repeat

Jun 18, 2016 / 7:00 am
So many things to do, all summer to do them Life is busy. We all complain about not having enough time to do the things we want. How do we fix that? It’s like the Nike folks said, “Just do it.” This week, I am urging you, make time to enjoy yourself. If you like,...

Cooking for dad

Jun 11, 2016 / 7:00 am
Father's Day is fast approaching, and they say that the fastest way to a man's heart is through his tummy, so cooking seems like a good idea, don't you think? What does your dad like to eat? Does he like to cook? Taking mom for brunch or for dinner on Mother's Day is the obvious...

A recipe for friendship

Jun 4, 2016 / 8:00 am
I am off to Vancouver this week to see a friend who lives across the world. We've been friends since I was 19 years old. I am a godmother to her daughter; she and her daughter were in my bridal party. Martin cooked some of the food for her 25th wedding anniversary. We have visited on three...

Gizmos, gadgets for foodies

May 29, 2016 / 4:00 am
It never ceases to amaze me how many things can be invented that claim to make our lives easier. The plethora of gadgets you can own is only limited by the space you have. You might never have made smoothies before, but that doesn't mean you don't need a Bullet mixer, right? The guy on...

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...
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

 



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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