Peanut Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Peanut Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

I’m having a terrible morning.

I bundled Theo up to walk the dog (sweater, warm jacket, mitts, hat), put him in his bike/stroller thingy, and only 20 minutes into our game of fetch at the park did I notice that I FORGOT BOOTS. Poor little guy. At least he had socks. Which are like mitts for his feet… and we don’t put boots on our hands… so by if you follow the logic, it’s okay, I’m still a good mom.

(And for the record, it’s quite mild in Vancouver – so he wasn’t freezing or anything.)

No-Knead Cheesy Garlic Bread Fingers

No Knead Cheesy Garlic Bread Fingers

When my mom was visiting us a couple of months ago, she filled our freezer with her homemade spaghetti sauce. We sadly finished the last freezer bag this week, but we made the meal special with these cheesy garlic fingers.

This recipe started with a deep dig through the freezer in search of a baguette to serve as a vehicle for regular old garlic bread. With nothing but a freezer-burnt hot dog bun to work with, I thought, hey – we can do this from the ground up.

9 Apps Every Blogger Needs

9 Apps Every Blogger Needs

I’m a busy gal – who isn’t?  I lean hard on technology to organize myself so that I can run a blog in the limited time I have. You see, I only have a couple of scheduled childcare days each week, and these chubby fingers make a move on all the tasty food I’m trying to shoot, when they aren’t busy closing my laptop for me with a thundering “NO!”. It’s good, actually, he keeps me in line.

With planning, shopping, creating a recipe, photography, photo editing, writing and promoting a blog post (not to mention time-sucking daily administrative tasks such as managing expenses, emails and invoices) running a successful, income-generating blog can easily be a full time job for a duo or even a team. But in my world, it’s just me.

If I didn’t have this arsenal of apps and other technology tools to facilitate my workflow, you would eventually find me muttering, crazy-eyed and ratty-haired, under a mountain of notebooks, receipts, food magazines and to-do lists.

I know I’m not alone – many bloggers have other things going on, whether it’s freelance clients (uh huh, I’ve got those, too!), a houseful of ankle biters, or a day job – so I want to share my collection of best apps for bloggers – the time- and mental health-saving tools that I love and use constantly. Here they are, in no particular order. 

Onion-and-Mushroom Smothered Baked Pork Chops

Onion and Mushroom Smothered Baked Pork Chops

Growing up, one of my favourite weeknight meals was my mom’s smothered pork chops. She’d pour cream of mushroom soup over a pan of bone-in chops, and bake them until fall-off-the-bone tender. A big scoop of sticky brown rice would soak up all the yummy sauce. Simple and comforting.

I make this version now, with that memory in mind. My pork chops are first browned, then smothered in a quick homemade onion and mushroom gravy. The bake till fall-off-the-bone stays the same.

Lamb Donair White Pizza

Lamb Donair White Pizza

I know this comes hot on the heels of another middle eastern lamb recipe, but I feel really inspired by all the delicious food we devoured on our recent trip, and I’m just loving bringing these fresh, bold flavours into my own kitchen.

When we ordered Lebanese food in Dubai, it always came with this insanely delicious fluffy white garlic sauce called Toum – lighter in texture than mayonnaise but just as creamy, and just a bit sweet. Upon first taste, my eyes rolled right back in my head, because the flavour brought me instantly back to the “donairs” of my childhood.

The bunny ears are present because the “donairs” I was remembering are unique to the atlantic provinces of Canada, and have only a little in common with authentic middle eastern sandwiches of the same name.

The donairs I grew up with were served in pizza shops, and consisted of thinly sliced seasoned beef served on pita bread with chopped tomatoes and yellow onion, iceberg lettuce, sometimes mozzarella cheese and “donair sauce” – which is apparently most commonly made from sweetened condensed milk and garlic powder. The same joints offer the donair in pizza form – all the fixins piled on a pizza crust with lots of gooey mozzarella and more donair sauce for dipping. While not authentic, these things are delicious in their own right.