All posts tagged: spring

oolong iced tea green iced tea

iced tea, two ways

Well it’s officially that time of year when it’s already so hot in the mornings that I’m sweating while drinking my morning tea (TMI?). I love the ritual of making a hot drink in the morning, the smell of earl grey tea (or occasionally, coffee) making my ears perk up, blinking away the sleepiness with each additional sip. But based on the temps outside, it’s time to say kudos to my usual morning tea and oatmeal and find a cooler summer routine.

asparagus nettle shiitake pizza

asparagus, nettle, and shiitake pizza

Real talk: this was a spur of the moment post, which is not usually how I roll. I have a few ideas sketched out for this month, but as this week was rolling along I wasn’t feeling motivated to work on any of them. But it just sort of happened organically, one of those situations where what I have in the fridge also happens to be seasonal and also jives with a bookmarked recipe I’ve been meaning to try out. 

vegan raspberry rhubarb buckle cake

raspberry rhubarb buckle

Normally this is the time of year when I’m so ready to bust out of my winter cocoon and flip on the extroverted switch. Usually I’m feeling so prepared to go out and socialize after months of hibernating, to host a BBQ, and plan some fun summery adventures. But I haven’t hit that mode yet. For the past while I’ve been more focused on looking inward rather than outward, trying to figure out how to feel healthier and happier.

vegan bagel fattoush with fava beans

everything bagel fattoush with fava beans

As a result of our continued eagerness to spend time outside, we grilled our dinner on the deck one night last week, each wrapped in a blanket huddled next to the BBQ. The weather here hasn’t been terribly chilly, but after spending so much time soaking up the sun on vacation I became accustomed to walking around in birks and shorts, no sweaters in sight. I can’t wait to sit on the deck with a cold radler, eat dinner straight off the grill, and relax while the warm sun fades to dusk and my new twinkly patio lights blend in with the starry night.

vegan artichoke penne with leeks and ricotta

artichoke and leek penne with ricotta

Seems the April showers are a bit delayed this year, but I really don’t mind. I love the gloomy grey skies, getting to wear big boots and my bright yellow rain jacket, and how fresh all the rain makes the air feel. Plus it definitely helped our garden along: I came back from a week-long family vacation in the Dominican Republic only to discover some giant rhubarb, loads of mint and lemon balm, and some asparagus and garlic sprouting out of the earth!

spring-y filo quiche

Well, it seems that spring is finally upon us. The days are slowly getting warmer and longer, and more people are spending time outside. Downtown has been filled with people the past couple weekends, and I’ve noticed a number of people in my neighbourhood outside getting their yards and gardens ready to plant once more. People are so eager to reacquaint themselves with the outdoors, buzzing with the sight of flowers at the market, the promise of BBQ season on the horizon, and to see friends they may have seen infrequently due to extreme hibernation (that would be me).

vegan sourdough crumb cake

sourdough rhubarb crumb cake

My interest in bread baking continues to grow, which means I always have a hungry starter sitting on our kitchen counter. Most often I throw out the excess, but lately I’ve been daydreaming of other ways to use it: cinnamon buns, pancakes, muffins, banana bread, etc. A quickbread/cake seemed like an easy place to start, so when I saw this simple recipe for coffee cake it seemed like the perfect opportunity to expand my sourdough baking horizons beyond bread! I initially had a REAL hard time playing around with this recipe. Even though the original is a great starting off point, I kept making changes because I am slowly trying to gravitate towards baking in a more wholesome way. Don’t get me wrong, I could never give up doughnuts or pies or the amazing focaccia at Pasta G; but since I like to have treats fairly often, I want them to be slightly better for me so I can have them more often. What that means for me is less sugar, trying to use more natural sweeteners, …

vegetarian socca

socca with scallions, honeycomb and pine nuts

Much like everyone else in the world, I am hooked on the American presidential campaign. I have this page bookmarked and check it pretty much every day to see what’s happening with our neighbours to the south. Most of my recommended videos on Youtube right now consist of election-related stuff (…and bread baking). This speech by Seth Meyers (side note: man, I miss him on the Weekend Update) at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner back in 2011 gave me a few good laughs! It seems making fun of Donald Trump is a tradition that will span the ages. On a more grim note, the reality of him clinching the Republican nomination seems almost inevitable at this point, with twice as many delegates as Ted Cruz and John Kasich combined. Speaking of delegates, if the American voting process baffles you slightly (I took an entire seminar on it and still find it confusing at times), this article breaks it down to the basics. While catching up on the latest primary results, I came across this article from the Washington Post back in September, …

spring-y egg drop soup

spring-y egg drop soup

Hopefully this will be the last soup recipe for a while! It appears that it might ACTUALLY stay warm now (no more snow storms, please and thanks), so we can start gravitating towards lighter meals and forget about the potatoes and cabbage and squash for a little while. Despite being an obviously warming recipe, this soup is all about spring. We have been craving green vegetables and wanted something to reassure us that those blustery days of winter were behind us. It’s not a conventional egg drop soup in terms of aromatics, but if there’s a way to add an egg to my meal, 9 times out of 10 I’m gonna go for it. This soup also felt appropriately timed because eggs are a sign of spring! Since eggs are available year round in the grocery store it seems strange to think of them as a seasonal food like fruits and vegetables. Normally hens produce little to no eggs during the winter since all their energy goes to keeping their bodies warm. Commercial producers of eggs maintain the …

maple braised fennel

maple braised fennel + maple madness

March is all about maple, at least in Canada and the northern United States, since it is the season to start tapping the maple trees! We went to the sugar bush a couple weeks ago for Maple Madness; we lucked out with really nice weather to witness the old and new ways of transforming sap into the beautiful golden syrup we know and love. I wanted to make a savoury recipe featuring maple syrup since I feel like I’ve drifted toward a lot of dessert/snack recipes. Not that I don’t love those things, but I lately I’ve been eating a lot of chocolate and candy (thanks Easter bunny)! With spring on our doorstep, I want to get into a savoury recipe mindset since we’ll soon be surrounded by lots of local fresh produce 🙂   This has all the requirements of a great side dish: it’s fast, easy, and has few ingredients. maple braised fennel (vegetarian, vegan, gluten free) serves 2-3 1 large fennel bulb, large stalks removed (leave base in tact) 2 tablespoons olive oil freshly ground black pepper …