Sweet Potato Chronicles - THE NEVER ENDING STORY OF THE WELL-FED FAMILY… - page 2

It's Chilly — Make White Chili!

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Win­ter may not offi­cially arrive until Decem­ber 21st, but the white stuff that twirled and drifted its way to the ground yes­ter­day said oth­er­wise. After spend­ing a day indoors with our two kids and two oth­ers over for a play date, the house was get­ting way loud by mid-afternoon. A rowdy game of Catopoly upstairs and an ill-advised archery com­pe­ti­tion down­stairs sent vol­umes well above 11. Which, among other things, made it tough for me to plough through my usual Sun­day batch cook­ing ses­sion. So, when Julian remem­bered a gift cer­tifi­cate he had been sav­ing for ice cream I had every­one in their parkas quick­ety quick. Maybe an ice-cold day doesn't make your thoughts run to ice cream but I needed those kids out of my house!

Our lit­tle excur­sion was only a block away but it was exactly what we needed. We started with a jog over in the brisk air, had a messy ses­sion with the drippy soft serve and fin­ished with the girls get­ting locked in the wash­rooms (momen­tar­ily). I got to hear about the news­pa­per Esme and her friend are launch­ing (it's called Big News, watch for updates here) and which restau­rant each kid would eat from for the rest of his or her life if made to choose. By the time we got back home some sil­lies had been burned off and the vol­ume fell to a com­fort­able 7. I was able to whip off a cou­ple of quick recipes by the time the par­ents came to col­lect their kids. This easy chili is one of the beau­ties now wait­ing for us in the freezer. It's a creamy, white ver­sion of a clas­sic, red chili. It will make a great din­ner and then fill up a cou­ple of ther­moses the next day. Warm, cozy meals like this are a small com­pen­sa­tion for din­ner, but for now, I'll take them. Read more

Kitchen Aid Cook for the Cure

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It's prob­a­bly the world's worst-kept secret that Laura and I are both slightly obsessed with cook­ing shows. We love every kind — edu­ca­tional, com­pe­ti­tion shows, broad­cast, online — and our kids do, too. And it's also pos­si­ble that we some­times stage at-home ver­sions of our favourites. Ahem. If you're a cook­ing show fan, too, then you're going to want to get in on this action. Our lovely pals over at KitchenAid invited us to the Cana­dian Breast Can­cer Foun­da­tion KitchenAid Cook for the Cure Culi­nary Show­down last year and it was such a blast. Well, it's com­ing around again and there's still time for you to be up on stage with Lynn Craw­ford, Susur Lee, Vikram Vij, Marc McE­wan, among oth­ers, for a great night of culi­nary com­pe­ti­tion. Read more

Quickie Dinner Week: Pumpkin Pasta with Ricotta and Sage

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I no sooner fell in love with this recipe that it had to be ban­ished from my reper­toire. My daugh­ter was recently told to fol­low a gluten-, dairy– and egg-free diet due to some belly issues. It's only for a month until we know the evil cul­prit of her tummy aches but it means this lit­tle ditty needs to be sidelined–or have some major alter­ations done to it–before I serve it again. Buh bye ricotta and parme­san, it was so lovely know­ing you. I mean it. It was so deli­ciously lovely.
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Netflix & SPC: Faux Pho for the Soul

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After last year's epic win­ter, I'm brac­ing myself. Turn­ing the cor­ner into Novem­ber sig­nals the oncom­ing fun of the hol­i­days, but also the time of lost mit­tens, being stuck inside for too many days and… duh duh duu­u­uuh: cold and flu sea­son. And I'm scared, peo­ple. Just writ­ing that gives the back of my throat a scratchy feel­ing. Last year it felt like some­one in our house­hold was sick at all times. It can be chal­leng­ing enough trudg­ing through a Cana­dian win­ter with­out drag­ging sick peo­ple behind you. (And by drag­ging, you know I mean cud­dling and spoil­ing with extra screen time, right?)

So this time around I'm pre­emp­tively force feed­ing every­one immu­nity boost­ers from the get-go. Kale for break­fast! Cit­rus at every meal! And, of course, there will be chicken soup. Sci­ence has con­firmed what grand­moth­ers have known for gen­er­a­tions, that a steam­ing bowl of chicken noo­dle soup really does help fight ill­ness. The com­bi­na­tion of the heat, along with the pro­tein and vit­a­mins, really does your body good. I wanted to come up with a new twist on the clas­sic and also get some trac­tion on my kids' new sense of adven­ture with food. So I came up with this Faux Pho. Tra­di­tional pho, the Viet­namese noo­dle soup, is often made with broth, rice noo­dles, herbs and rare meat. But in Toronto, where there are many fan­tas­tic Viet­namese restau­rants, you can get pho just about any­way you'd like it — not-so-rare beef, chicken, veg­e­tar­ian. I decided to keep mine very sim­ple with a creamy base, crunch from fresh veg­gies and with no heat at all. But you could absolutely add some chilis if your crew is up for it. It's a very slurpy soup, which my kids loved. It makes a great, quick week­night din­ner but could be packed up in a ther­mos for school, too.

And if all else fails, there's always the couch, a blan­ket for the cud­dles and extra screen time to spend a sick day with. Cold or no cold I'm look­ing for­ward to a Net­flix after­noon with my kids watch­ing Cloudy With a Chance of Meat­balls. A funny movie all about the power of food? Sounds like the best med­i­cine ever. Read more

Netflix & SPC: Easy Character Masks

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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