In my house, jams and jellies rarely see more than a side of toast, but last week’s inspired bites at Fauna Ottawa have me looking at our favourite jewel-toned spreads in an entirely new light. Bonne Maman invited Fauna chef Billy Khoo to think outside the jar for an exclusive tasting featuring the company’s preserves. Here’s a look at the dishes we sampled. Maybe they’ll inspire you too! Continue reading Thinking outside the jar with Bonne Maman + A giveaway!
We had our share of adventures last week, starting with the kids’ first trip to a strawberry farm. We went with a friend and her seven-year-old daughter one warm, breezy evening.
The girls picked much faster than my guy, who’d show me each strawberry as he picked it and ask “Is this a good one, Mommy?” before putting it in his basket. It took us about an hour to pick three 4-litre baskets, as I wanted plenty of berries to make jam.
I’m not entirely impressed with the strawberries. They look and feel ripe, but a good lot of them are on the sour side.
But as it turns out, they make a fine jam. I tried three recipes on Saturday: a quick strawberry jam from Sweet Potato Chronicles (they wrote one of my favourite cookbooks, How to Feed a Family), a strawberry, chia seed and honey jam (I swapped the rhubarb for more strawberries) from Thankful Expressions, and a traditional strawberry jam with pectin from Bernardin. All of them are delicious in their own way, with the chia seed jam the less sweet of the three. The first two come together in less than 30 minutes and keep in the fridge for about three weeks, while the third, more traditional jam is a little more tedious with the boiling of the filled jars, but those keep for about a year. And I’ve got plenty of berries left, so I may make a few more jars this week.
The summer surprise garland has been a huge hit. Each day after the supper the kids argue about who gets to open a bag and then we do the activity on the note inside. We’ve painted pictures with some new paintbrush pens, made pom poms following an easy tutorial in the summer issue of EMMA Magazine, gone out for ice cream, stayed up late and done the limbo in the living room. And more surprises to come!
One afternoon I tried this easy cherry pie recipe. And I do mean easy — I used a ready-made crust and frozen, pitted cherries. You could say it was more “home assembled” than “homemade” ‘tho you do have to cook down the cherries. Next time I’d cut the sugar down to a half cup and add a couple of more tablespoons of cornstarch to thicken it up. What’s your favourite kind of pie?
Saturday marks the first day of Summer. Do you have a list of things you’re wanting to do? This one inspired me to write my own. What’s on yours?
Eating / Strawberries we picked ourselves.
Drinking / More of these strawberry watermelon daiquiris.
Practicing / How to write without over-thinking too much.
Mastering / Video Games on the ukulele.
Learning / How to improve SEO.
Trying / To make jam.
Playing / With my camera.
Finishing / A bunch of projects around the house. Starting them too.
Remembering / Naps are good.
Cooking / More recipes from How to Feed a Family.
Working / On being less hard on myself.
Traveling / Nowhere especially. But the kids would love to go back to Mont Tremblant.
Wanting / To make lots of happy memories with my kiddos. And this Kate Spade planner from Chapters. I die!
The Farmer’s market had a bounty of delicious goodness this week, with seasonal greens making way for more colourful fruits and veggies.
Here’s my daughter feigning interest in the radishes. Such a gorgeous pink!
And the early strawberries were in! We treated ourselves to one of the few remaining pints. I want to take the kids strawberry picking in a few weeks when the berries are more plentiful and bring home enough to make a few batches of jam.
The whole family pitched in this weekend to help me with a DIY for the fabulous blog So Fawned. You’ll see my post about it on the site in the next couple of weeks, but until then it’s hush hush. (This is very exciting!)
I saw this print at Target and it really spoke to me so I brought it home for the gallery-wall-to-be. Just $20, framed and all!
And to end things on a sweet note, two of my favourite digital magazines just released their summer issues. I can’t wait to curl up with my tablet and see what seasonal inspiration EMMA Magazine and Sweet Paul will bring. I’ve made many recipes from EMMA Magazine, including the one for this rather sophisticated orange olive oil and rosewater cupcake, and nearly all of them have been as delicious as they look. Will you be inspired too?