Healing Winter Foods

Thai Kale Soup | www.purplehousecafe.com

I’ve recently had a couple more recipes published to the Pete’s Fine Foods blog – one for an awesome Thai Kale Coconut soup that will help you get your greens in a warmer, maybe-even-more delicious way than the ubiquitous green juice.  The other is a variation on the Ayurvedic kitchari, which is meant to help restore the body and immune system, as well as detoxify without all the deprivation.

Kitchari Bowl | www.purplehousecafe.com


Brown Eggs and Jam Jars COOKBOOK GIVEAWAY!


Brown Eggs and Jam Jars | www.purplehousecafe.com

Having followed the urban homesteading adventures of Aimee Wimbush-Bourque on her much admired blog, Simple Bites, for the past couple years, I was delighted to be asked to review and make a recipe from her new book, Brown Eggs and Jam Jars, for the Food Bloggers of Canada Brown Eggs and Jam Jars blog tour.

Brown Eggs and Jam Jars | www.purplehousecafe.com

The book is every bit as heartwarming and down-to-earth as Aimee’s blog,  and really deserves the time it takes to occupy the kids with some play-doh, brew yourself a cup of tea, and cuddle up by the fire for a leisurely peruse.  Packed with irresistible seasonally-inspired recipes like sticky maple blueberry pudding, roasted peach barbecue sauce, and sour cream pear pie with cornmeal pecan streusel (!!), your copy of the book is bound to quickly look like mine – riddled with sticky tabs on the concoctions you can’t wait to try.  Connecting the recipes is Aimee’s beautiful prose, telling the stories behind the food she presents the reader, and offering tips on urban homesteading and involving kids in the kitchen – two of my favourite culinary pursuits.

As you can imagine, choosing just one recipe to make as a contributor to the BEJJ blog tour was unspeakably challenging, but I thought it my obligation as the sole East Coaster from the group of bloggers participating on the tour to make Aimee’s Nova Scotia Seafood Chowder.

Brown Eggs and Jam Jars | www.nalumana.com

I was happy enough NOT to have my daughter participate in the making of this chowder, I have to admit – it ended up being a thoroughly meditative, contemplative process I embarked on, on just the type of blustery, damp day that seafood chowders are meant to brighten.  Not an original East Coaster, I had always thought that my simple version of chowder – onions, garlic, wine, seafood and cream – was quite delicious.  I have realized, after making Aimee’s version, accented with fennel, saffron and tomatoes, that my chowder is truly just adequate, and that this will be my go-to recipe from here on out.  This recipe pulls together in time to decide, spontaneously, on a somewhat indulgent weekend lunch – complete with a glass of white wine – but is exquisite enough to save for when your prairie-dwelling relatives show up expecting fresh, locally-caught seafood.

Brown Eggs and Jam Jars | www.purplehousecafe.com

There are two ways to get your hands on this recipe and the 99-or-so others that grace the pages of Brown Eggs and Jam Jars:  you can enter my give-away, sponsored by Penguin Random House Canada Limited, who graciously provided me with an extra copy of the book to give to YOU, or you can grab it on Amazon or at your favourite bookstore.

To enter, simply comment below, and I will draw for the giveaway on Thursday, February 26th.  Only Canadian residents will be considered for the give-away.

To increase your chances of winning a copy of Brown Eggs and Jam Jars, hop on over to the other blogs on the FBC Blog Tour, and enter their giveaways too!  Here’s who they are:



On Food Security…and mushroom barley soup

Mushroom Barley Soup | www.purplehousecafe.com

I am so (so) lucky – as are most of you who browse this blog and other food blogs, who commit to buying only organic local produce, who thrill at the idea of being the first in the door at a hip new restaurant, or who consider yourselves to be foodies – that food is not only readily available to us, but that we have options regarding what we can eat and that we can find comfort, solace, and community in the kitchen and around the table.  

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The Best Carrot Coconut Soup

Carrot Coconut Soup | www.purplehousecafe.com

I may be a food blogger and a self-professed foodie, but I’ll be the first to admit that not every meal I make hits it out of the park.

In fact, a lot of what we eat is pretty regular and comforting, but not elaborate.  We eat a ridiculous amount of spinach-feta omelettes.  Not to mention, the more I’ve been experimenting with recipe development, the more abject failures I’ve been generating in the kitchen.  Like the time I made salted caramel pots de creme and shattered a baking dish all over the kitchen and in the pots de creme themselves, and actually had to think long and hard about just how unsafe they were to eat.

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Dairy-Free Mushroom, Bacon and Corn Chowder

Here are some things that are going on with me lately:

My daughter says “bye bye water” when we drain the bath tub.  That’s three cohesive words put together in the epitome of cuteness.  If you’d told my childless self that these little words would make my heart soar, I would have rolled my eyes, and felt a bit of a stomach flip.

Mushroom, Bacon and Corn Chowder | www.purplehousecafe.com

The other day I had to fill out a form and under “occupation” I got to put “doula,” and refrained from also writing “blogger; freelance writer.”  This was the equivalent of writing “astronaut ballerina hair stylist” for a five-year-old, and brought the same confidence and satisfaction.

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