Hey happy weekend to you! We have a return to summer-like temperatures over in my neck of the woods and we are spending as much time as possible outside this weekend. Sorting and splitting wood for our wood stove is on the agenda, along with finally putting away our patio furniture, and building out an extremely utilitarian/not at all fancy garage gym. I think I’m going to make a nice beet and arugula salad with focaccia for dinner tonight and tomorrow, I’m doing a cauliflower pasta recipe from the new Evergreen Kitchen cookbook.
We took a little day trip over to the Buffalo/Amherst area yesterday, and it was nice! I like the vibes of the area and it’s fun to pick up some grocery things that aren’t available in Canada. People always ask me what I absolutely have to get at Trader Joe’s, Wegmans etc, and we mostly change it up every time. In the spirit of this post style, here’s the 5 things that I do get pretty much every time we hop over: 1. Culina vegan yogurt, 2. Trader Joe’s “Ode To The Classic Potato Chip” chips (perfect texture and salt level), 3. Forager Project’s cashew coconut oat milk (it froths really well for lattes and is a nice treat), 4. Kite Hill almond-based cream cheese, and 5. beverages galore (sparkling water, tea, non-alcoholic options, new kombuchas etc).
Hope you’re taking care and cooking up something good this weekend!
5 Things I’m Reading:
- I Am Tired of Watching People Go to Italy
- We Left Iran in 1982. I Should Be There Now.
- How one factory in the mountains of Mexico helped put pickled jalapeños on the world’s culinary map
- “At the end of the day, it’s better than dumping produce in the garbage. Independent grocers who are willing to take the risk and have knowledgeable staff willing to work on selling the produce at an affordable price and to hustle and be entrepreneurial can use this to their advantage.”
- Retirement the Margaritaville Way
5 Things I’m Enjoying:
- Kate Coulson’s stunning gardens on Instagram
- Inner Compass cards. Playful reconnection and themes to reflect on in daily life!
- Dry skin season is coming and this tip from Sandra Lanshin Chiu absolutely changed my life as far as skincare goes.
- This Fall flavour of GT’s kombucha is a top 5 all time drink for me. It’s tangy, effervescent, spiced, has a light apple cider feel, the earthy turmeric is doing its part, and I LOVE the name! It’s brilliant and I stock up every year.
- The other day I rewatched the Chef’s Table episode with Jeong Kwan, a Zen Buddhist nun who cooks at a temple in South Korea. I’ve watched it several times and it still takes my breath away. Cooking as a communication medium, food that fortifies the mind for calm focus, thriving together, it’s all so beautiful.
- What are your favourite vegan cookbooks?
Of the strictly vegan cookbooks, my favourites are Vegetable Kingdom by Bryant Terry, Love is Served from Café Gratitude, Cool Beans by Joe Yonan (there are vegan substitution recommendations for every recipe), and I’ve really been into Plant-Based India by Dr. Sheil Shukla this year.
- Best alternative milk type and brand for frothing/making lattes?
Forager Project makes a great cashew, coconut, and oat blend that froths nicely and tastes great. I also really like the Nutpods cinnamon dolce-flavoured barista oat milk for frothing! New Barn’s barista almond option is also great. I also find that homemade almond or cashew milk froths really well. I use a ratio of 1 cup of nuts to 6-7 cups of water when making it for this purpose.
- Favourite Fall dinner recipe?
This Butternut Minestrone with Sage, Chickpeas & Chard along with crusty bread.
- What prompted you to explore non-alcoholic drinks?
I stopped drinking this year, but still enjoyed having a glass of something nice nearby while I was cooking dinner, winding down for the day etc. I feel like the options have really exploded in the last year or so, going way beyond sparkling water with sugar and flavouring. It’s still very exciting and new for me.
- Favourite F1 driver?
Carlos Sainz is my guy! I think he excels in less predictable situations, seems quite methodical, and is generally underrated. Loved watching him win at Silverstone this year! It’s all #forzaferrari at our house as we love Charles too. Sometimes the Scuderia’s strategy seems a little 🥴 this year, but who am I to judge haha.