I don’t know if you remember last summer but if you were living anywhere near Toronto, you will recall that it was H-O-T. I’m talkin’ popsicles for breakfast hot. Of course, this was also the first year that we made a real effort at growing an edible garden in our tiny city backyard and if you’ve gardened even a tiny bit, you will know that super heat and plants don’t mix. The one crop that did do insanely well were the hot peppers with jalapenos and chillies that produced straight through until October. Most of our tomatoes made it through as well which meant I could experiment with hot sauce. I fermented a few batches but the biggest hit by far was a stove-top hot sauce. Bonus: these cute hot sauces made great Christmas gifts!
If you’ve ever been to Portugal, you will have noticed how much we love our cod fish. This fish has been a staple of the Portuguese diet for centuries and every family has their own favourite way to prepare it. In my house, we make a casserole with salt cod, chickpeas, potatoes and eggs – often called “Bacalhau a Gomes de Sa”. This recipe is even a hit amongst our non-Portuguese dinner guests who have been known to enjoy the cold leftovers for breakfast.
I am a cookbook junkie. I know, I know, you can find a recipe for just about anything on the internet but cookbooks are special. I love to sit down on a Saturday morning with a stack of cookbooks and a cup of tea to plan out meals for the week ahead. My most well-loved cookbooks have cracked spines, notes in the margins and splatter stains on the pages. The problem is that most of my cookbooks are not well-loved. Sure, they look pretty all lined up on my counter but when it comes down to it, the recipes just aren’t for me.
In the past few years, the bridal shower invitations that used to clutter my mailbox have been replaced with baby shower invitations. And while I’m not a fan of shower games, I do love an opportunity to make a unique (and tiny) gift! After playing around with knit booties and scrapbooks, I came up with the idea to make a baby quilt. I had seen numerous patterns online to make baby blankets with that soft minky/chenille fabric and I wanted to find a way to do something a bit more challenging. And while I’ve never officially learned how to quilt (Take a quilting class if high on my 2017 to-do list), I figured it wouldn’t be too tricky to patch something together.