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Best of Bridge Home Cooking


I have never received any formal culinary training and yet I have been told that I am a very accomplished home cook. I credit this to a number of factors: my Momma and Daddy who taught me well and early, my Home Economics teachers and The Best of Bridge Ladies. Their first cookbooks were published at the same time that I was establishing my own home, juggling a wonderfully hectic time of career, babies and married life, while all the while still wanting to host dinner parties with friends, new and old.

The Ladies as they began being known as, had the knack of taking simple ingredients found in our freezers and pantries and with their easy to follow recipes, magic was created. When I look back through my extensive Best of Bridge Collection, I can remember first tastes as well as who was gathered around our table,while the babies were sleppy snugly in their upstairs beds.

Many of our family recipes are B of B creations, passed along when a sister-in-law would say as she put on her coat at the front door “Can I get that recipe to impress my girlfriends when we get together next week?” We could not possibly celebrate our early Thanksgivings or Christmases without  Wild Rice Broccoli Casserole or Elsie’s Potatoes.

There is rarely a wedding or baby shower put on by the “Aunties” without Artichoke Nibblers making an appearance. With this, new generations would fall in love with the recipes of our ever-growing family. In fact, I believe that I am such a fervent artichoke fan because of the B of B Ladies.

On Christmas mornings, my most anticipated gift would be the newest B of B recipe collection. While the little ones played with their new toys and D was cleaning up the wrapping paper, I would hurry to get the turkey in the oven, so that I could sit down and page through the book and dream up events to wow my friends.

That “Christmas Morning feeling” was upon me recently, when I found my review copy of the newest B of B cookbook in my mailbox. The babies are not toddlers, tweens or even teens, but all grown up and firmly established in their own homes. In fact, I had the house completely to myself as D was away on business. I made a cup of tea, curled up in my favourite reading chair and paged through The Best of Bridge Home Cooking.

I often felt sorry for the new generation of home cooks, my own kids included, searching for recipes on Pinterest or on line. They couldn’t thumb through a much loved copy of the B of B books and read their own notes in the margins or see the evidence that a cookbook copy might have gotten too close to a stove element, like mine had. That is, until now. There is a new generation of B of B Ladies, including fellow member of Food Bloggers Canada-Julie Van Rosendaal. She has connected with two other accomplished recipe creators and the Best of Bridge lives on.

Julie will be in Winnipeg promoting the cookbook on October 16th and although I have food-styled for the Best of Bridge Publishers in the past and as much as I would have loved to have been involved in this project, alas, I will be making food memories of another kind…in Tuscany.

Kath’s quote: “Time is what keeps everything from happening at once.” From Best of Bridge Home Cooking

Live simply, laugh often, love deeply.

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“Tasting The Seasons”-by Kerry Dunnington



I do not say this to boast: D and I are really good cooks. I say this to explain why it is not very often in our house that D will go on and on about how tasty a recipe was. But such was the case, the first time I prepared a dinner from a new cookbook on my shelf “Tasting the Seasons”. I was looking for a one-bowl dish that we could enjoy in the living room whilst watching the Jets game. This dish was so easy to assemble with items that I already had on my pantry shelves and in my freezer.

The dish was entitled “Greek-Style Shrimp” and had caught my eye because we had just had a lovely visit with Boo and The Frenchman to hear about their upcoming honeymoon to Greece. As we spoke about all the things that they would see and taste, I had a yearning for olives, lemon and oregano. In this recipe, I had to switch out the shrimp for rockfish as that is what I had defrosted for our dinner.


The results were so delectable. Not only did D scoop up two helpings but he could not speak of anything else. This is even more unusual in the middle of a thrilling Jets game, where we are typically either in concentrated silence or yelling at the screen to go after the puck! The casserole was a layered dish starting with spinach, then tomatoes, garbonzo beans and brown & wild rice. Cooked shrimp was called for next but I layered the uncooked rockfish that I had tossed in olive oil and lemon zest and then placed it right on top of the other layers. More tomatoes and crumbled feta went over the fish and then it was covered and baked. The “icing on the cake” was a mixture of Greek yoghurt, oregano, red pepper flakes and pitted & diced Kalamata olives. Wow-deep pungent tastes enhanced by the spritely lemon zest and fish!

I guess that we could have ordered a pizza but in keeping with author Kerry Dunnington’s philosophy we were content to taste the seasons:

…we are reducing our fast-food indulgences (and their wasteful packaging) in favour of home-cooked meals, served with eco-friendly, china, glass and flatware. …the meals you cook at home are more likely to be nutritious and satisfying-as well as far less taxing on your budget and the environment-than store-bought, carry out, drive-thru or prepared food.


By the end of the evening D was delighted by another circumstances-the Jets beat Detroit in a shoot out! He had burned all the calories of our delicious one-bowl dinner by jumping up and down in front of the TV during the game’s exciting conclusion.

Kath’s quote: “It is probable that the lemon is the most valuable of all fruit for preserving health.” -Maud Grieve


Live simply, laugh often, love deeply.


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“Go Barley” Wins Canadian Cookbook Award


Last evening I received this press release:

TouchWood Editions is pleased to announce that Go Barley: Modern Recipes for an Ancient Grain (TouchWood, 2014) has been named the Canadian winner for Best Historical Recipes Book by the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards. The announcement was made January 22, 2015.

The cookbook, which was co-written by Calgarians Pat Inglis, a home economist and food writer, and Linda Whitworth, market development manager for Alberta Barley, will continue on to the Gourmand Best in the World competition. As the English-language winner in Canada, Go Barley will compete against winners in its category from a considerable number of other countries, including Chile, Kuwait, Samoa, and Zambia.

The announcement of the winners for the Best in the World competition will be announced June 9, 2015, at their annual awards benefit, to be held this year in Yantai, China.

Each year, the prestigious Gourmand World Cookbook Awards receive thousands of cookbook and wine book submissions from over 150 countries. Cookbooks must first qualify in a national competition in their original language before moving on to represent their country in the world-wide competition. Please visit for more information.

I have had the pleasure of food-styling for Linda Whitworth on two occasions. Here is a reposting of the last time she was in town promoting her award winning cookbook:

I am fascinated by ancient foods especially those referred to in the Bible.  Add barley to that list as it is mentioned over 30 times-in fact there is archeological evidence that wild forms of barley were being harvested as early as 17,000 BCE!

In my recent efforts to increase my soluble fibre, I have been seeking out recipes for whole grains like barley.  In addition to reducing the risk of heart disease, barley helps improves glycemic control and the soluble fibre helps with digestive health.  Barley is also a super food when it comes to vitamins and minerals, containing thiamine, niacin, folate, riboflavin, iron, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, zinc, selenium, B vitamins and amino acids!  I feel better, just having typed this long list….

Barley is a local food and I love to see fields of graceful, long blonde haired stems, blowing in the farmer’s fields throughout Manitoba and the rest of the Canadian prairies.


But the truth is, no nutritional food is worth knowing about if it doesn’t taste good.  I love barley’s unique nutty flavour.  In my enjoyable work as a food-stylist, I sometimes am recruited when a new recipe book is being launched.  Such is the case, with a gorgeous new book entitled “go barley-MODERN RECIPES FOR AN ANCIENT GRAIN” by Pat Inglis and Linda Whitworth.


Linda and I have worked together before and she is a delight to work alongside and is the “Barley Queen” as far as her knowledge of the grain is concerned.



The book itself is a perfect size and is packed with gorgeous photography that make you want to pick up a spoon or fork and break through the pages.  This is what ingenious recipe writing (and a good food stylist) can achieve. My favourite of the three recipes: Wild Rice, Barley, and Fruit Salad; Raspberry Rhubarb Cobbler and Barley Tabbouleh, is the latter.


I left it for D’s dinner last evening with a grilled chicken breast and just now I crumbled some feta on top for a refreshing (from fresh mint) and yet satisfying lunch.

D with his sweet tooth, loved the Cobbler and I am planning on making the Ole Fashioned Ginger Snaps for him and the Sunflower Barley Crackers for me.

With Linda’s permission, I included the Barley Tabbouleh recipe, just to whet your appetite until you get a chance to buy the book or check out their website: Go Barley.

Kath’s quote: “For the Lord thy God bringeth thee into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths that spring out of valleys and hills; a land of wheat, and barley, and vines, and fig trees, and pomegranates; a land of oil olive, and honey.” Deut 8:7-8


Live simply, laugh often, love deeply.


Seafood Paella


I had the good fortune to travel to the Spanish island of Majorca many, many years ago.  I still remember the people and the beaches.  The clearest memory was of the seafood.  We had been travelling through Europe that spring and had arrived back in England where we still had another week of vacation before we flew home.  The time was May and although it had been warm and pleasant in Greece and Italy, Britain was suffering through a late and miserable spring.  Instead of enduring the rain and gloomy skies, we decided to see if we could find an affordable warm spot to spent the dwindling days of our vacation.  We went back to the travel agency that had booked our original tour and trusted them to point us in the right direction.  Our spending money had dwindled as well and upon arrival, we decided that we would find a market and stock up on fruit, cheese and lunch fixings and only dine out once a day.  On our second day we longingly watched people stream into the dining room and inquired about lunch details.  Lo and behold, we were booked into an all-inclusive without even knowing it and were missing out on our three meals per day!  That lunchtime, we were served a cold whole lobster salad and from that moment on, the seafood meals came in a continuous stream.


Friends for 40 years

The same friend that I traveled with that spring. now lives in Toronto and she told me about a paella party that she and her husband had attended.  Supposedly a huge paella caldron was set up in the yard of their friends and they got to watch and participate in the preparation of this famous dish.  It has been years since I’ve enjoyed paella in Winnipeg but understand that both Hermano’s and Bonfire Bistro include it on their menus.

This past weekend, we dined at the home of good, good friends.  She is Italian and an amazing cook.  I know that we would have loved anything that they put in front of us.  To our delight, it was their favourite paella recipe.  She showed me the Anne Lindsay Heartsmart cookbook that her recipe came from but unfortunately it was not one that I had in my Anne Lindsay collection.  I have had the pleasure of meeting and being cooked for by Anne, a very long time ago (about the same time as this European adventure) and I remember the time (and the food) fondly.

I searched on line to try to find the recipe and could not come up with anything.  I found instead this one that looks to be pretty close.  It is from the Epicurious website and is credited to Claudia Roden-The Food of Spain.

Seafood Paella
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Spanish
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 5 T olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed to a paste or finely chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • ½ t sugar
  • salt
  • 1 t sweet paprika
  • a good pinch saffron threads
  • 4 cleaned small squid, bodies sliced into ¼-inch-wide rings, tentacles left whole
  • 2 c medium-grain Spanish paella rice or risotto rice, such as Arborio or Carnaroli
  • 3 c fish or chicken stock, plus more if needed
  • 1 c dry white wine
  • 12 jumbo shrimp in their shells
  • 16 mussels, scrubbed and debearded
  1. Fry the onion in the oil in a 16-inch paella pan until soft, stirring often.
  2. Stir in the garlic, and before it begins to colour, add the tomatoes.
  3. Add the sugar, salt to taste, paprika and saffron, stir well, and cook until the tomatoes are reduced to a jammy sauce and the oil is sizzling.
  4. Add the squid and cook, stirring, for a minute or so.
  5. Add the rice and stir well until all the grains are coated.
  6. (You can prepare the dish to this point up to an hour in advance).
  7. Bring the stock and wine to a boil in a saucepan.
  8. Pour over the rice, bring to a boil, and add salt to taste (even if the broth tastes a bit salty, it will not be salty when it is absorbed by the rice).
  9. Stir well and spread the rice out evenly in the pan (do not stir again),
  10. Cook the rice over low heat for 18 to 20 minutes, moving the pan around and rotating it so that the rice cooks evenly.
  11. Lay the shrimp on top after 10 minutes and turn them when they have become pink on the first side.
  12. Add a little more hot stock toward the end if the rice seems too dry and you hear crackling frying noises before it is done.
  13. When the rice is done, turn off the heat and cover the pan with a large piece of foil.
  14. Steam the mussels with a finger of water in a pan with a tight-fitting lid. As soon as they are open, they are cooked.
  15. Throw away any that have not opened.
  16. Arrange the mussels on top of the paella.


Toni’s version did not include squid but did include Italian sausage, chicken and clams.

Kath’s quote: “Do not overcook this dish. Most seafoods…should be simply threatened with heat and then celebrated with joy.” -Jeff Smith


Love-that is all.


“Cooking with Frank’s RedHot Cayenne Pepper Sauce” by Rachel Rappaport


I was first introduced to Frank’s Hot Sauce years ago when it was the hot sauce of choice used by The Keg (dubbed The Keg ‘n Cleaver in those days) on their Buffalo Chicken Wings.   Since that time, we often grab it from the door of the fridge to add some extra “oomph” to a chili or jambalaya.  One of my favourite dishes is J1 and J2’s low cal variation of cauliflower tossed in hot sauce that caramelizes when broiled-yum.

If you are interested in spicing things up in your kitchen in ways you never dreamed possible, you need to get yourself a copy of this recipe book.  There are 65 imaginative recipes that turn up the heat with Frank’s: Honeyed Beer-Hot Sauce Ice Cream (J1-did you hear that?), Cinnamon Cayenne Buns, Smoky Hot Bacon Mac and Cheese and Tangy Pineapple Pulled Pork.  The illustrations in the book are mouth-watering and best of all the font is big enough for me to see without my reading glasses!


I made up a batch of the Spiced Party Mix with excellent results.  The recipes are well-tested and produce predictable results.

Kath’s quote: “I mixed business with pleasure, added some hot sauce, and ate it.”-unknown


Love-that is all.

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