Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Alberta Open Farm Days: Wild Country Gardens


Paulette Sparks, Owner/Operator of Wild Country Gardens

This year marks 10 years since Paulette Sparks moved to Wildwood.  While her husband Rennie lived on the farm most of his adult life, it wasn't until Sparks moved in with him that their fruit farm began. 

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Campfire Compote w/ London Fog Whipped Cream



A few weeks back Sarah and I camped out at Wildhorse Lake for a couple of nights.  Being as how we were so close to town and had vehicles to store our coolers in at night, we were able to do a little gourmet camp cooking that weekend.

On Saturday, I went back into town for a friend’s housewarming party, and at Sarah’s request, I grabbed some rhubarb from her yard on the way back.

When I got back to camp, Sarah got to work chopping up the rhubarb, and I grabbed some raspberries from my cooler.  We added some brown sugar and butter she had brought, and stewed it all over the fire.  While Sarah worked on the compote, I grabbed a mason jar, and got to work on the London Fog Whipped Cream, using ingredients I had brought for coffee, and an Earl Grey Tea bag.  The result was one of the best desserts I have had in awhile, let alone camping. 

This compote would work well on top of French toast, pancakes, toast, or as a crustless pie/crumble, which is how we ate it that night.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Edible Cookie Painting


It’s no secret that in addition to cooking, I am also a huge fan of art and creativity. This recipe is the perfect example of when two of my favourite pastimes combine. 

I first started painting when I was a young teen.  I took lessons from a local artist, and painted my first canvas, which is hanging on the wall beside me as I write this.  My brother built me an easel in wood shop, and for a time, my painting gear always came with me wherever I went - especially on family vacations where I would spend hours on the beach painting.  It’s been several years since I’ve really just sat down and painted, until I started experimenting with cookies as the canvas.

Last year for the holidays, Sarah and I set out to master sugar cookies and I quickly realized there was a bit of a learning curve to painting cookies with royal icing.  It turns out it wasn’t nearly as quick and easy as the countless YouTube videos I binge watched indicated it would be (mad props to Sarah though, her cookies were works of art).

Determined to create something beautiful that required less time and supplies, I experimented with a few different methods and settled on this style of cookie painting as my favourite.  It’s quick, easy, and you can freeze sugar cookies in advance for a fun and creative rainy day activity.  

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Mozza Stuffed Meatballs


Meatballs are quite delicious on their own, but add adding a river of cheese to the centre of them really steps them up a notch.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Bacon Dog Treats


My first recipe for homemade dog treats appeared on the blog back in 2011.  I took a photo of my dog, Raya, holding a bone shaped cookie cutter in her mouth, and the photo ended up appearing on the popular website “Post Secret”, making my senior pup famous for the week it was on the front page.  After being in our lives for nearly 14 years, Raya sadly passed away last winter.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Jiggs Dinner


This upcoming Sunday, I’ll be helping cook a traditional Newfoundland Jigg’s Dinner for the largest crowd I have ever cooked for to date - alongside my friend Allan, Newfoundlander and fellow foodie.

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