Flavour Trip: Salal the unsung hero of B.C.’s coastal berries

Meet the humble salal berry, an earthy, waxy and sweet unsung berry hero

Hiking through most coastal forests in British Columbia, you’re likely to encounter thick, leafy salal bushes or Gaultheria Shallon. In the spring delicate bell-like flowers, white or baby pink in colour, hang in linear herd of five to fifteen. In early summer, the blooms transform into berries that reach their peak flavour and a blackish, deep purple colour from late July to mid-September.

Meet salal berries, B.C.’s unsung hero of coastal berries. It’s one of the province’s most plentiful, delicious and under appreciated wild edibles…. Read more on Edible Vancouver & Wine Country High Summer edition.  Read more

Flavour Trip: Easy, Addictive Mexican Spiced Chocolate Popcorn

Easy, Addictive Mexican Spiced Chocolate Popcorn

If you’ve ever had a Mexican hot chocolate made by an actual Mexican person, then you’ve probably cultivated an obsession with Mexican spiced chocolate. Years ago when I lived in Vancouver one of my favourite Saturday treats was to go to the Trout Lake Farmer’s market and grab a Mexican hot chocolate made by the sweetest mother/daughter pair who owned a coffee truck.

Once I even hosted a spiced hot chocolate Christmas party (and everyone received super, over-spiced homemade hot chocolates for Christmas that year #DIYFail). Long before contact, Mayan and Aztec people of Mexico drank chocolate and mixed it with local spices to help mask the bitterness of the un-refined chocolate. There are a tonne of Mexican hot chocolate recipes out there, one of my faves is this from the Latin Kitchen.

For years I’ve been experimenting with Mexican spiced chocolate flavours on everything from chicken to kale chips. This week I was in need of some delicious, slightly sweet but not too heavy snack food. Enter this fabulous popcorn recipe. Read more

Kelis’ cookbook as good as chocolate & chips + A Giveaway

Transitions have been a way of life for my family in the last three years. Food has been a constant through our ups and downs, moves, new jobs, new parenthood adventures and new travels. So I wanted to introduce you to one of my new favourite cookbooks, by Kelis of ‘Milkshake’ fame.

We’ve moved a total of five times since October 2014. That’s right: five different houses. I sometimes feel a bit nomadic. Like as in, we should just sell it all and trade our cars for camels or a LandRover and cross continents slowly steeping ourselves in food, culture and language.

But just when my global nomad fantasies were at their height, we landed on a pretty sweet island spot so no more round-the-world fantasies (for now).  During life’s transitional moments cooking, baking in particular, is my constant, my therapy, my way of relaxing. As long as I have my cookie sheets, my wee hand blender and some parchment with a well stocked baking cupboard, I’m happy. It’s what gives me a sense of home, when home is changing so often. Read more

Westcoast to Winnipeg – This Summer’s 5 Best Summer Sips

Victoria's Olo serves up a savoury summer sip: the What's up Doc?
Victoria’s Olo serves up a savoury summer sip: the What’s up Doc?

Summer is in full swing. My instagram feed is full of magic hour photos of patios, picnics and colourful cocktails. My real life feed is full of toddler trips to the beach, road trips with visiting family and when I can manage, a fancy cocktail or three. I love having folks for a bevvie on our deck. There’s nothing better than a tumbler full of quirky flavours spiked with some interesting spirits to mark the end of the day or the beginning of the weekend. I’ve been alternating my TGIF bevies between rose cordial spritzers and strong, extra sour mojitos. (The never ending pot of mint on our deck is a total enabler.)

Last year I interviewed some of Canada’s best bartenders for their favourite summer cocktail recipes and was completely inspired to up my host game. This summer, I decided to continue canvasing Canada’s cocktail stars to highlight the crazy talent we have in front of our bar stools from sea to sea to sea. Whether you love savoury sips with carrot garnishes or a rainbow twist on an old classic, I reckon you’ll swoon over the drink recipes below. Read more