Sunday, June 17, 2012


Like I mentioned earlier, I am visiting my mom and dad in Ontario for awhile.  Although I haven't been posting very frequently, I just knew I had to share with you a magical little place right near their home.  It is a walking trail on the edge of a forest and wetland.  Despite the huge amount of suburban development that is occurring in this area, there are tiny pockets of wilderness that remain, and I am always delighted to witness the bounty of nature thriving and providing even in the most unexpected places.  Each morning I take the boys for a walk along this trail, and I listen to the birds and observe the plants growing and bearing fruit.  I am especially enamored with the wild grapes that are growing profusely on the trees and bushes right at the edge of the forest.  It is amazing.  Who would have thought that you could harvest wild grapes smack dab in the middle of suburbia? Well you can, and I have.  The grapes aren't ready yet though, so I thought I'd share with you a little clip I took this morning that demonstrates how to harvest Grape Leaves.
     I grew up eating grape leaves prepared pretty much only one way - as Dolmades, or Greek Stuffed Grape Leaves.  But I do recall having seen some exciting recipes using grape leaves.  For instance, Mario Batali makes Stuffed Grape Leaves with Goat Cheese and Black Pepper.  Or how about Grilled Salmon in Grape Leaves?  Mmm this sounds good too..Grilled Beef in Grape Leaves.  Anytime you want to wrap stuff and grill it, go for the grape leaves.
     Like I said, I have yet to use grape leaves for anything other than Dolmades.  But after checking out these other recipes, I think I may have to branch out.  I had big plans to share my awesome Dolmades recipe with you, but I am going to have to wait until I get home to dig out the recipe..sorry!

Friday, June 15, 2012


Strawberry season is here!  Woo hoo!  

I get so excited about fresh, local strawberries because I've waited all year to eat them again.  (Ok, so I did buy a couple of packs of frozen berries this winter, but that was only because I never managed to freeze any local strawberries last summer.)  Well, if I still lived in Ontario, I would definitely be heading over to this organic farm again to pick strawberries.  We arrived nice and early this morning (to beat the heat wave of the afternoon sun) to this gem of a place so close to my hometown of Markham, Ontario.  Oh! What a beautiful farm they have over there.  I was having farm envy big time.  The best part was seeing the pigs running wild in the forest foraging for roots and whatnot.  

We couldn't resist, we had to buy some bacon on the way out.  As soon as we got home we fired up the cast iron and had a bacon feast.  So good.  But that was after the strawberry fiesta we had in the car.  Despite being so full of strawberries already, I attempted to make a grain free strawberry crisp with my new favorite ingredient, almond flour.  It was really yummy, but definitely not picture or recipe sharing worthy just yet.  I've got to tweak that baby a bit before I share.  Really glad I went picking this year, but so sad it wasn't my freezer I was filling...

It's all well and good to bake and such with your berries, but truly, the best way to enjoy them is straight up, still warm from the sun.  Happy Summer.

Saturday, June 2, 2012


Honoured to have contributed an article to Rhythm of the Home again.  This article on Fresh Herbal Teas is definitely going to inspire you to plant an herb garden so you can make awesome herbal blends to sip on all summer.