One of the first crafts I made with a teeny 18-month old Scarlett was a mask of a cat. I could sit here and pretend that I don’t know what happened to it, but being an overly sentimental person, I can admit that I have it lovingly pressed into an art portfolio that houses many of Scarlett’s first crafts and artwork. I created it one afternoon, post nap, when I had that hour before dinner to kill–you know the one, the one that actually feels like two weeks. I made a cat because other than absolutely nothing else, a cat is the only thing I can draw well. However, Scarlett thought it perfectly resembled our family pet, Abbie. Read more
We used to have a joke at my house. Every Saturday before we headed out for the grocery store, Ben would open the fridge and say, "Time to throw out the groceries!" Sadly, it was true. We'd have to pitch out the decaying bit of fruits and vegetables that hadn't been consumed in time in order to make room for the new batch of fruits and vegetables. That wouldn't get eaten. And then thrown away. Really not so funny. With the cost of groceries being what they are, we had to do something. And so do you! According to StatsCan, the average Canadian household wastes 13% of all food purchased. It's a lot of money.
These days I go out of my way to waste as little food as possible and there a few easy ways to do it.
First of all I meal plan. When you know what you'll be cooking and eating all week, you make better, less wasteful choices at the grocery store. I don't plan every single thing we consume but I know most dinners and I know what I need for school lunches. I make sure that we eat produce-heavy meals at the beginning of the week and lean on my pantry by the end. And I batch cook on the weekends so that I'm using lots of food almost as soon as it gets home. Read more
We heard from a reader today who said they can't wait to make pumpkin fritters this weekend. Thanks so much for writing in response to our cornbread post. It's funny. When I was at FASHION magazine as the beauty director, I always wondered if any one read our pages. In fact, I used to randomly stand up, pop my head out of my cubicle and, with a laugh, yell to my co-workers, "Does any one read this stuff?!" Obviously, as the most read fashion magazine in Canada, lots of people read our pages. However, when it's your fifth late night at the office and the 600 word story for a new mascara that you wrote, re-wrote, edited, cut and then cut two more times for space has broken your spirit down to a nub you can't help but wonder if any one actually stops to read a story. Your mind plays tricks on you. You wonder crazy things like, "Is all this laborious activity just for one bored soul in a doctor's office who actually hates mascara? Or will people love the fact we've broken down the technology behind this product to give them a snapshot of all the science that goes into the simple tool."
I sometimes have similar moments with the blog. You write a post, publish it and then pray it will help make a difference to someone's meal-time dilemmas. What we learned at the magazine is most only bother to write when they're either really mad or really happy. Otherwise, who has the time to say, "Hey, fyi, I'm going to do that!" As former magazine editors, Ceri and I completely understand it's usually an extreme emotion that motivates a response and, because we're busy parents, we do the same. I can't remember the last time I wrote a comment just for the heck of it. So, to any one who is moved to write us, thank you so very much. We'll take the good and the bad because we know it matters to you. And to the lovely reader who is making pumping fritters, I've been thinking a lot about creating a pumpkin fritter recipe so let me know how it goes with the one you're using.
Since we're guessing you all have a deficit of time but are loving pumpkin right now, here are some more recipes from our archives. However, don't let this list fool you, we've got way more. Just search pumpkin. In the meantime, I highly recommend the pancakes. And please don't bother writing to tell me you liked them too. You've got better things to do and I get that. Read more
You can't ignore the health benefits of pumpkin. It's why you may not want to just leave this fruit on your doorstep. Aside from the fact the vibrant orange orb is packed with beta carotene which is converted to vitamin A in your body and is responsible for boosting immunity and supporting eye health, your friendly neighbourhood pumpkin also has a supersonic dose of vitamin C. It is also stocked with fiber. If you want to hear more about its weight loss benefits and how it may help lower your risk of certain cancers you can check out this CNN article.
I have to admit that I'd rather visit the dentist (um, sorry, to my beautiful dentist, Nisha) then carve one of those sugar pumpkins. They're always so hard to cut and getting the guts out makes such a mess. I don't even like to do it on Halloween. Although, when it comes to soup and pasta dishes, you kind of can't replicate the flavour that comes from roasting. When I'm short on time (which is always) I use canned puree. Like here, for this recipe (and most of my baking), I like to use canned but if you have some time and a sharp knife, carve a pumpkin and roast it with some olive oil then puree it in a food processor. You won't be disappointed.
Laura and I have been thinking a lot lately about the school year and the particular challenges it presents to parents. Because, let's be honest, it's not just our kids who have to tackle school, it's the whole family. There are so many moving parts: the school run, or in our case, the school bus, getting kids, lunches, homework, gym shoes and that freaking science project, all to school along with the child, the after school period of classes, team practices, home work supervision and, yep, dinner and lunch making so you can do it all again tomorrow. Frankly, it's bonkers. And even though we all signed up for bonkers we can still use some help, right?
This recipe is some help. I think this may be my new quiche. Long time readers of SPC know that I had a good, long run with making quiche for my kids' lunches but their affections are waning. Never mind, now we've got broccoli cheese patties to take their place. These are a great vitamin, carb, protein combo that you make ahead, freeze and pull out as you need them. One or two patties, along with some fruits and veggies and you've got a really great school lunch.
Oh, and here's that video we made about lunches again! More coming soon, I promise.