Hands up: who loved dying easter eggs as a kid? Remember the crazy colours your fingers would turn? Or how egg salad was a menu item for what seemed like weeks and weeks afterwards. None of that mattered. For a day or two you would have a collection of Dr. Seuss-coloured Easter eggs that you dyed yourself and then magically the Easter bunny came and hid for you, along with a few cavity-inducing treats.
Last year, I was obsessed with trying to go au naturel. I had been on a tummeric smoothie kick and decided to try to combine my love of bright yellow with the power of my new wonder-herb obsession. I figured if my turmeric smoothie could stain my white shirts, maybe it could festoon egg shells. I also knew that purple cabbage was also a great natural Easter egg dye candidate. So what did I do? Enlist the help of my super crafty step mama and my other pal Pinterest.
While at my parent’s ranch for a brief visit, my stepmom and I filled every small pot she had with boiling water and various chopped, peeled, ground or grated brightly-coloured, vegetable matter. The result after an impatient three to four hours of egg dunking/soaking? Light coloured, earthy toned Easter eggs.
We tried to imprint the eggs with leaf patters by tying leaves to the eggs with string and wrapping in a layer of cheesecloth. It was kind of a fail, depending on which natural dye we used and the knot tiers tight-knot dying skills. But probably the most fun was the photo shoot and walking around the ranch collecting natural bits for our Easter lunch table decor (and photo shoot). To this day my kid still calls picking lichen, ‘searching for treasure.’ And yes, we have done this more than once (#hippieparenting).
This year we narrowed down our natural dye adventures due to my significantly smaller pot collection and also left the eggs in their potions for 24 hours. HUGE difference in hue. I’ve included a few tips on the best common kitchen ingredients to use for dying eggs in my humble attempts two years running…Read more
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
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
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