It’s the first Saturday Sun of 2024! I had a nice holiday break that was extremely low key. I slept in, hung out with family, cooked and baked, read lots, played board games, sat by the fire, and just overall enjoyed myself. I feel a bit out of tune after the first week back to normal work pace if I’m being honest, but I know that I’ll get there eventually! It feels like everything is taking me twice as long as it usually does haha.
I hope that you’ve been well and that you got a chance to rest up! We are going to my nephew’s birthday party this weekend and probably stepping out for a nice coffee at some point. They’re calling for a bit of snow and miserable weather on Sunday, so I’m making a snacks/grocery list as I work on this (all dressed Ruffles chips, Tamari almonds, green grapes, and Unreal Peanut Gems are my faves right now). I’m also definitely making my banana bread this weekend. I really want to change the wallpaper in our front entrance this winter, so I’ll be endlessly scrolling for wallpaper samples online too.
Happy new year to you! I have lots of great recipes coming this year that I can’t wait to share. And of course I always love catching up here. If you have questions for next week’s edition, don’t hesitate to leave it in the comments or email me directly. Thanks so much for being here!
5 Things I’m Reading:
- Power move: two Anishinaabeg farmers are decolonizing Toronto’s hydro fields
- The 7 Keys to Longevity
- It’s okay to suck when you try something new
- Why Keeping a Streak Boosts Your Motivation
- What to Do When You’re Super Cranky and Hate Everyone
5 Things I’m Enjoying:
- I treated myself to this Zojirushi rice cooker over the holidays and it is incredible! The most fragrant and tender brown rice of my life. It also has a GABA rice setting! And the timed steel cut porridge setting is so convenient. It’s a mega life upgrade if you love the whole grains as much as I do.
- Basket making process
- The comments of this post are fun to scroll through: Where Do You Live, By Naming a Food?
- Can’t wait to watch You Are What You Eat: A Twin Experiment.
- Mark got Wingspan as a Christmas gift this year and it’s a really fun game! I love that you can play it in a collaborative way (rather than strictly competitive).
- Cozy homemade drinks you’ve been enjoying?
I’ve been loving Dandy Blend lattes with some cacao whisked in for good measure lately. Also loving my Golden Serene Latte made café au lait-style with decaf coffee. Also just so much tea and hot chocolate.
- Who inspires you professionally?
I really admire Sally from Sally’s Baking Recipes so much. Just her commitment to recipe testing, clarity in communication, descriptive blog writing, email marketing, beautiful photos and videos, building out a team to support her work/maintain such a large community, and also just how she’s maintained her voice and style over many years. I’m a big fan and I also personally learn a lot about baking from her recipes.
- What do you eat when you just don’t want to make a mess?
I love this question as it’s a genuine hurdle for me at dinner sometimes. Despite the name of my site/book, I am a strict clean-as-you-go type of person. Messes do not hang around in my kitchen for long! Low mess dinners for me include anything made in the Instant pot because it usually only involves the pot insert, cutting board, knife, and wooden spoon. This vegan mushroom risotto is a fave. Sheet pan meals are another good strategy. I have a veggie sausage and veg one as well as a sweet potato broccoli rabe one with peanut sauce. A roasted veg puréed soup is another low mess option–especially if you use parchment paper to line the baking sheet. My butternut squash soup is a good example here. In general, I’m really hoping to expand my one pot meal repertoire this year! Sometimes the idea of hauling out all the gear and knowing that you’ll have to clean it all later can be discouraging. I really want to help folks move past this and streamline the process.
- Your baking sheets are so clean. How do you clean them again?
I use a baking soda and water paste with a Scrub Daddy sponge (and elbow grease)! I feel like this combo gets rid of most of the grime in my life in general. It also keeps my stainless pots and pans sparkling.
- Favourite ingredients/components for building a well-balanced bowl?
This is my current favourite combination: the golden garlic brown rice from this recipe, chickpeas crisped in the air fryer with za’atar, paprika, olive oil, salt, and pepper (400 degrees for 10-12 minutes–shake the basket a few times), a quick vinegar-y cabbage and carrot slaw with parsley, and creamy tahini sauce to finish (tahini, lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper, cold water, sometimes a splash of Tamari and maple). I finish with chopped pickled red onions, chopped dill pickles, and toasted sunflower seeds. I’ll also add some roasted cauliflower/other vegetable if I feel like it. This combo is just really doing it for me lately! I’m trying to figure out how to streamline it so I can post a full recipe here. Stay tuned!