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Yam Lentil Ginger Soup (VEGAN)

Eating healthy has become more important to me lately. Like many people, spending so much time at home has meant more comfort eating and less movement. It's a tough time for many, and the comfort of good food is an undeniable pick-me-up. For the benefit of my physical and mental health (and my jeans!), I'm trying to find ways to combine comfort food and food that's just plain good for me. Soups are a go-to in my kitchen right now, mainly for quick and easy lunches. Somehow working from home doesn't feel any less busy than working in the office, and keeping homemade soup in the fridge helps me grab something hot and healthy at lunch that will keep me going until dinner. Let's be honest, o n cold days a lunch salad doesn't always appeal quite like a hot bowl of soup. Each pot of soup I make is a little bit different, but yams have been a regular feature lately. Puréed with other veggies, lentils, coconut milk and spices into a silky blend makes for a quick bowl of
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Perfect Peanut Butter Cookies

I have arrived at the opinion that the best cookie of all time is a simple classic - peanut butter. Chewy and glorious with a glass of cold milk, the peanut butter cookie seemed to fall by the wayside when we became distracted by ‘fancy’ things in our cookies like lavender and matcha. The classic peanut butter cookie does that salty/sweet thing like no other, and it's back big time in my kitchen. Through experimentation with different recipes, and a few adjustments, I have landed on the ultimate version of this cookie classic. Salt is key, along with natural unsweetened peanut butter for maximum nuttiness. These come together in a flash and are out of the oven in 10-12 minutes for a snack worthy of sharing. In fact, my latest batch was shared with some friends who are really going through it. They're just cookies, but they're also more than that. You know? Here's how to make them. Perfect Peanut Butter Cookies Makes about 20 cookies 1/2 cup (12

Tzatziki

It took me a long time to figure out grilling can be so much more than burgers and dogs. Over the years as I've become more experienced on the grill, and in the kitchen in general, I've expanded my grilling lineup to include vegetables, chicken, fish and more. These days my favourites off the grill include  cream cheese-stuffed mini peppers and marinated chicken souvlaki served with cool, creamy tzatziki. This traditional Greek sauce is made with cucumber, yogurt, lemon juice and fresh herbs (I like dill best) and can be served with a variety of meats, vegetables and flatbreads. Unlike heavy mayonnaise-based aioli or sour cream dips and spreads, tzatziki feels fresh and bright, and can be made with everything from low fat to heavy Greek yogurts. I think I was in my late teens when I first heard the word tzatziki. There was a pita wrap takeout place in downtown Ottawa that my friends and I used to frequent when we were 19 or so and enjoying the nightlife in the Byward M

My New Kitchen

Now, more than ever, the kitchen is my favourite place. It's a creative space, it's where I feed my favourite people, there's usually music playing - lots of reasons. It's also an escape from the craziness going on the world, where I can disappear from the 24-hour bad news cycle and just focus on home and family. And now, after a year-long renovation, I can also say my kitchen is a beautiful place to escape. My love of pale turquoise endures. It has been my favourite colour since I bought a retro radio that colour about 15 years ago. Around here it's just called Amy Colour now. So when it came to designing our kitchen, I wanted it to be there, but I didn't want it to overpower. The overall colour palette is bright white and light maple wood with a pop of turquoise in the island cabinets in a shade chosen to match exactly with my stand mixer.  Read on and I'll tell you a little more about the features... We brought natural gas into the ho

Two Mushroom Soup with Parmesan Croutons

Everyone has their immediate yes foods. When I'm dining out or just stepping away from the office to grab some lunch to go, if the daily soup on the menu is cream of mushroom I will order it. You really don't need to tell me what other soups are available because it's a yes to the mushroom. Every time. That's why I'm excited to share this new recipe for a creamy mushroom soup with crunchy, cheesy croutons. It's robust and filling enough to make a meal, with loads of deep and earthy mushroom flavour.  The soup starts by browning a thinly sliced onion under a heap of fresh mushrooms. The temptation to stir while the onions are browning is strong, but if you restrain yourself as the recipe suggests, you'll be rewarded with the most beautifully browned onion and mushroom aroma and flavour. The extra mushroom goodness comes from soaking dried porcini mushrooms in boiling water to create a dark and delicious broth for the soup. You can find packages of dried

Quick Chickpea and Carrot Salad Topper

It has been a long time since I last shared a recipe from my kitchen, but it seems I'm back. After a couple of very busy years - the busiest of my life - things are starting to settle down in my life and in my kitchen. In 2016, after nine years at home with the kids while food writing on the side, I picked up my career again and went back to the office Monday to Friday. The steady income and routine has been good for me, but it has meant less time in the kitchen and adjusting to the weeknight scramble to figure out what's for dinner - a routine I know many of you live everyday as well.  On top of that, in 2017 we started planning a major house renovation. And at the start of 2018 we moved out of our house for ten months, relocating four times while the renovation was completed. Builders put on additions at the front and back, re-did the layout, replaced the stucco with siding, replaced the electrical and plumbing, new roof, new deck, new stairs, three new bathro

Blueberry Pie That'll Make You a Hero

The job of family baker, and I'm guessing that's you since you're reading this, is a special one. You get to tempt taste buds with a plate of homemade chocolate chip cookies and Sunday morning cinnamon buns, and everyone ooh and ahhs over your creations. Yes, baking is work and there isn't always a lot of time to make the magic happen, but when the time is there and the ingredients are handy, there's something empowering about being the one with the white thumb (like a green thumb, but dusted in flour). Unless of course they don't ooh and ahh. Unless they say no thanks, I don't really like pie/those cookies/that kind of cake today. Yes, there are people out there, including one in my very own home, who are extra particular about what they eat or don't have a single sweet tooth to count. Or they do have a sweet tooth but it belongs to candy. Let's not pretend it makes sense, it's not logical. We can only hope to win them over one day. The