Browsing: Food Products

10 Things I Loved at She’s Connected


1.  My new gel nails- that exactly match the turquoise of my business card and my bracelet from World Vision.  These were lovingly applied by the nicest team from Bio Seaweed Gel at the Shades of Grey party.

2. My gorgeous new ilashme eyelashes-I feel years younger with them on.  They take five minutes to become accustomed to because they are light weight but securely affixed.  They make your eyes open wide and make me feel sophisticated and sassy at the same time.

3. Molson Canadian 67 Sublime -I was already a lover of the beer all by itself but I now have fun recipes for cocktails that I can’t wait to try out and the knowledge of cheese pairings to impress with at my next dinner party.  I was blown away that a company like Molson’s hires so many savvy women in key roles.  My understanding (and reverence) of their product has been elevated.

4.  Meeting Stephanie from World Vision-I am quite sure that we will stay in touch.  Her enthusiasm and passion was genuine and something just clicked when I spoke with her.  I am so impressed that an organization like World Vision understands that female bloggers are a key way to get their message out in a compassionate way.

5.  Getting to meet Heather, her staff and the rest of the Canadian Beef Ambassadors from Canadian Beef IRL (in real life)

over dinner at the Lonestar Texas Grill (amazing steak sandwich).  The opportunity to attend the conference was because of Heather for the purpose of meeting the rest of the team.  I was so impressed (and rather humbled) that I was in the company of such successful bloggers.  Christine, Alexa, Lina-you have already coached and connected me in so many ways.

6. The Speakers for She’s Connected-I cannot even begin to list and share all that I have learned.  I must admit I did some day-dreaming in a couple of sessions but that is good because I have been inspired to write a third blog that I can’t wait to get at.  Stay tuned.

7.  The hard-working Ambassadors for She’s Connected-(including my roommate Little Miss Kate), SoberJulie, Life On Manitoulin and Mommyoutsidethebox you all welcomed me into your circle and I cannot express my gratitude. I look forward to staying connected with you and blogging alongside you.

8. Donna Marie the founder of She’s Connected-I finally got a chance to introduce my self to her on our last evening.  In spite of all the details, stress and people that she had encountered at the event, she recognized me, knew my work and praised me for it.  I was very touched and look forward to spending more time with her in the future.

9. Getting to hang with the lovely ladies from the Manitoba Canola Growers.  Thanks Jenn and Leanne.  It was a comfort to start the conference off with friends from home.

10.  Being in TO again.  The city energizes me with its diversity, culture and natural and man-made beauty.  I love to visit and I love to come home.

The view from my office window at home.

Until next year, lovely ladies….

Kath’s (overheard at conference) quote: “Go big, or go home.”

Love-that is all.



Birthday Steaks and Mock Apple Pie


When it was J1’s family birthday dinner recently, I was surprized when he asked for a steak supper.  After all, he works part time as a dining room server at The Keg Steakhouse and Bar, wouldn’t he have had his fill of red meat?  Apparently not.

D went to great lengths to select the chicest of cuts.  Nothing was too good for our son on his 25th birthday.  The selection of Angus Beef meant that the steaks were beautifully marbled and oh so tender.  Since I am the daughter of a meat man, I know that marbling contributes to taste and aging enhances tenderness.

The Cutco steak knives that I took out of their wrappings for the evening certainly impressed.  J1 demonstrated just placing the knife on top of his steak and the utensil sliding through (with no effort on his part) to produce a perfect forkful.

Also on the menu were all of J1’s favourites: baked potatoes topped with real bacon, green bean casserole and herb pull apart loaf.  The heart image below is a random piece of the loaf-I kid you not! For dessert though I was stumped as J1 is not a cake guy but I remembered chatting with a friend about a Mock Apple Pie recipe and had to give it a try.

Would you know that it was filled with zucchini from this photo?

Zucchini Mock Apple Pie
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
Fooled ya!
  • 6-8 c zucchini, peeled and cut into "apple-sized" pieces
  • ¾ c sugar
  • ½ c brown sugar
  • 2 t cinnamon
  • ¼ t nutmeg
  • ¼ t cardamom
  • 1½ t cream of tartar
  • 2 T corn starch
  • ½ t salt
  • 1 t vinegar
  • 1 T butter
  • 2 pie crusts (I cheat and purchase frozen Tenderflake)
  • ½ t sugar, topping for crust
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Follow package directions t defrost pie shell.
  3. Cook zucchini in boiling water until barely tender (about 2 minutes).
  4. Cool and drain. Squeeze out as much excess moisture as possible with paper towels.
  5. In a bowl, well toss zucchini with sugars and all other ingredients from list stopping with the salt.
  6. Fill the pie shell with mixture.
  7. Dot with butter, drizzle with vinegar.
  8. Top with second crust.
  9. Create steam cuts in the crust.
  10. Dust with sugar.
  11. Bake for 15 minutes at 425.
  12. Reduce heat to 350 and continue baking about 45 minutes.Serve hot with vanilla ice cream.

D said with amazement at a taste of the pie: “Well this proves that you can put sugar and cinnamon on anything and it will taste good!”

Kath’s quote: “Every year the number of new cookbooks increases, but in spite of them the progress made in this most useful of the arts is not ever overpowering. On the contrary, we must regretfully admit that nowadays people no longer prepare the fine and nourishing dishes that our mothers used to make.”-Anna Dorn, Cookbook Author (1834)

Love-that is all.

This and That


Where did September go (or the summer for that matter)?  There have been a couple of little things that I have been meaning to mention.  So here goes, in no particular order:

1.  On Labour Day weekend, we invited J2’s parents to join us for a beach day and barbeque.  Unfortunately, the weather kept us away from the beach but we still ha a lovely barbeque supper.  J1 who is a wizard at the grill, created new twist on a burger.

When the patties were fully cooked, he placed them on the centre of a flour tortilla, folded it into a hexagon and then placed it back on the barbeque.

The result was a crunchy version of a burger.   Try it sometime.

2. We are almost at the final week of our garden share with Blue Lagoon Organics.  We have especially enjoyed roasted beets with their jackets still on-something that I am not hesitant to do with organic produce.

We also loved pit pat squash.  It is so pretty and so delicious.  But our biggest surprize were Jerusalem artichokes.  The tuber is not grown anywhere near Jerusalem and the veggie is way more akin to a potato than an artichoke.

Recently, they have been referred to as sunchokes perhaps because their yellow flower resembles a sunflower.  When tossed in a little canola oil, roasted and then sprinkled with sea salt, they are absolutely delicious! The texture is like a potato but the taste is both sweeter and nuttier.

3. The last stop of our “Be Well” weekend was at the Blue Moon Saskatoon Orchard near Rossburn, Manitoba.

We enjoyed one last lunch on the farm and I was enthralled with the purple-edged carrots and the addition of Saskatoon preserves to our chicken wraps.

I now cannot imagine a wrap without the sweet inclusion.

I am not inclined to desserts but enjoy jams and jellies with a piece of multi-grain toast after a hearty breakfast at the lake.

Kath’s quote: “This is not that, and that is certainly not this, and at the same time an oyster stew is not stewed, and although they are made of the same things and even cooked almost the same way, an oyster soup should never be called a stew, nor stew soup.”-M.F.K. Fisher

Love-that is all.

Ten Things I Know About Manitoba Canola Growers


1.  Those beautiful yellow fields that you see in July around Manitoba are canola fields.  (I always thought were mustard fields-duh!)

2.  After the pretty flower has disappeared a pod is formed which contains the tiny seeds that are crushed to make the oil.

3.  Canola growers are some of the nicest people you would ever want to meet. Many farms are multi-generational and the operators and their families are highly educated and care deeply about their land, their crops and our environment.

4.  Many canola growers produce a variety of crops, raise livestock and have “other” jobs too.  They are all trying to just do their best for their families and their communities.

5.  Canola oil tastes really good.  I have recently started baking with canola and have replaced my olive oil bottle with a canola bottle by my stove for sauteeing.  I still will use a drizzle of olive oil for its unique flavour (especially my coveted bottle from our friends’ own olive trees in Sicily).  Infused canola oils are fantastic!

6.  I am still learning about cold-pressed canola but understand that it is “purer” and therefore (in my mind at least) even healthier.

7.  Canola is a key crop which contributes to more jobs in Manitoba and thereby accelerates the growth of our provincial economy.

8.  Manitoba Canola Growers are wonderful community supporters.  You will see their sponsorship at work wherever you go in this province.

9.  Canola growers want us to “Be Well”.  I am taking this to heart and have really stepped up my game in examining many aspects of my life and lifestyle.

10.  Ellen, Jenn and Leanne are decidedly the most thoughtful and considerate people that I know.  Their passion about their product and brand is nothing short of astounding.  They LOVE their growers and speak proudly about them at every opportunity.  They are so kind to those who are considered part of the Canola family.  The attention to detail of the recent “Be Well” camp was meticulous.  Literally every single thing that you could possibly need, want or desired was already planned on our account.  The “campers” felt listened to, valued, coddled and loved.

Kath’s quote:

The best six doctors anywhere
And no one can deny it
Are sunshine, water, rest, and air
Exercise and diet.
These six will gladly you attend
If only you are willing
Your mind they’ll ease
Your will they’ll mend
And charge you not a shilling.”
~Nursery rhyme quoted by Wayne Fields, What the River Knows

Love -that is all.

Meet Hannah Kucher and her Family


As soon as we pulled up to the Freefield Organic Farm, we knew that we were expected because three blonde heads were peering out the window in anticipation of our arrival.

The first to burst from the house was eldest daughter Hannah who’s sweet face looks like the yellow flowers that bloom everywhere on the property.

Soon we meet Franz and Erna Kucher who moved from Austria to Inglis, Manitoba with Hannah and their two sons Elias and Jonathon.

Two years ago little Samuel was born and it was this entourage (as well as a neighbour who helps out in the orchard) who proudly led us on our farm tour.  In between the children showing us their wide variety of squashes, Franz and Erna explain how they decided to leave Austria and their full time jobs (he a Policeman and she a Teacher) and move to Canada when they were delivered a wake-up call in the form of a flood.

Over the years, they have moved a number of former schoolhouses onto their property and one serves as the farm house while another has been renovated to become a milling house.  The kids attend school in nearby Inglis and Franz has a job which takes him away from the farm.  Erna, Sam and two dogs keep the home fires burning and the entire family participates in the operation of their 560 acres of land.

They grow Heritage vegetables, raspberries, apples, cherries, plums, currents, hazelnuts and a variety of other berries.  In 2012 they added Golden flax, hulless oats, Red Fife wheat, amaranth and red clover.  Three milling machines have been purchased one by one, so that they will be capable of producing a number of gluten free flours, flakes and bread mixes.  They also press oils and package herbal teas.

The tour has been casual, but so informative, and the enthusiasm of these first generation Canadians is contagious.  It is obvious that the kids are hating to see us go, but they are so polite and obedient that no fuss is made.  As we pull away the family has gathered on the lawn to waves us on and wish us well.

Kath’s quote: “Burn down your cities and leave our farm, and your cities will spring up again as if by magic; but destroy our farms and the grass will grow in the streets of every city in the country.”

Love-that s all.

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