green thumb

With the kind of weather we're having on the west coast, no one will have to wait until after Memorial Day to plant their garden.

Here are a few ideas to get your hands a little dirty...

make a basket for your bike
plant a tacklebox with spring herbs (for ones that can handle shallow planting)
buy some garden markers for your herbs
plant some wheatgrass in a fun container


chicken and herb burgers

Crispy outsides and moist, flavourful insides make for tasty chicken burgers.

First, we enjoyed them on buns with mayo and lettuce, and then as leftovers, with rice and a salad. Both meals were good... but I kind of missed the sweet potato fries the second time around.

chicken and herb burgers
adapted from a Real Simple turkey burger recipe
makes 6 small burgers

1 lb ground chicken
1 medium zucchini, grated, squeezed of excess water
1 medium carrot, grated
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3/4 teas dried thyme
3/4 teas salt
1/4 teas black pepper
1 large egg
olive oil for frying

In large bowl, combine all ingredients except olive oil. Mix well and form into 6 small patties, or 4 large patties. (I froze a couple patties at this point.) Heat a couple of tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Fry the patties until cooked through (no trace of pink), about 5 minutes per side depending on their thickness. Serve.


i heart steve

From a Bon Appetit magazine interview with Steve Carell...

What would people be surprised to find in your kitchen?

I think people would be surprised to find a unicorn in my kitchen. So would I.


hot or cold

Spring's fickle weather is here.

Yesterday, I enjoyed a minty lemonade in the balmy afternoon sun. Today, I'm curling up with a hot chai tea and waiting for the clouds to pass.


a new loaf

I looove the smell of fresh bread. It has a way of transporting me to my grandma's blue kitchen. My grandma would bake about a dozen loaves at a time, and up until the last few years, when she finally started using an electric mixer, she used a huge copper-coloured bowl fitted with a hand crank for all that kneading. Anyway, the most enticing aroma would waft all over the house when the fresh-baked bread cooled on racks around her kitchen. Then we'd enjoy a fresh slice with her beef stew, or perhaps topped with a spread with spicy Finnish mustard and roast beef.

Kind of a silly thing to share. It's like saying, 'I like the smell of fresh bread 'cause it reminds me of this one time, there was fresh bread,' but there you have it. Fresh bread and my grandma are inextricably linked.

My new goal is to make two loaves a week. Granted, it'll take more time and effort than throwing some bread into my grocery cart, but I don't really care for that stuff anyway (and they have too many ingredients I can't pronounce.) If my grandma could make so many loaves virtually by hand at the age of 80, I can surely handle a couple with the help of my KitchenAid.

I've made Soulemama's W.H.O. bread, but it's a little sweet for everyday toast and sandwiches. Alicia's version cuts the sugar, but I want to do a little experimenting with heartier ingredients. Know any good recipes?


bunny butter

I am feeling very appreciative for our good friends who thought of every detail for our easter brunch together -- from egg-shaped salt and pepper shakers to individual maple syrups, from bunny toothpicks to bunny butter. Oh, and amazing food!

- the menu -
* breakfast breads, including two kinds of rugelach, hot cross buns, and spinach-stuffed bagel
* fruit salad, yogurt, and granola
* scrambled eggs, served with sour cream and chives, four kinds of bacon and sausage (can there be too much of a good thing?!) french toast, and marinated tomato and cheddar skewers.

For place-settings, she had us draw plastic eggs out of a basket. The four eggs contained a mini fuzzy chick, mini rubber ducky, mini bunny candle, and chocolate eggs, respectively, and we sat at the corresponding decorated place-cards. Fun!

Yes, that is butter and cheese in the shape of bunnies. My friend gets creative with her cookie cutters.

The granola (recipe here) was my small contribution -- individual bags decorated with "bird seed" and "rabbit food" tags.