Recipes With Pete

La Tourangelle |


I’ve had the good fortune of working with one of my favourite local grocers, Pete’s Fine Foods, to develop a few recipes for some of their most interesting specialty products.  For those of you who have never had the pleasure of stepping into the sensory cacophony that is a Pete’s store, imagine finding the largest selection of both fancy imported and local foods – many of which are grown on Pete Luckett’s own property in the Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia – and getting completely lost in a world of culinary possibility.  

The recipe pictured above is a hearty salad of pistachio encrusted salmon, beluga lentils, candied squash, apple and pistachio dust drizzled with a simple vinaigrette of pistachio oil and lemon.  

Then there was this duck leg confit that I tossed with papardelle, local chanterelle mushrooms, and an exquisite cherry anise hyssop jam.  Though I was a little speculative about my idea to make pasta sauce out of jam (nothing like thinking outside the box…) it was outstanding.

Tagliatelle |


Also, there were these pumpkin chestnut truffles, which were so incredibly devour-able, and yet sophisticated and nuanced in their flavour.

Chestnut Truffles |


I’m excited to keep sharing with you some of the creations that are coming out of the Purple House Cafe kitchen via Pete’s Fine Foods, and, as always, on my business site, Nalumana Women’s Wellness.  

See you soon.

In Transition: A Baby and a Business


It’s been quiet here, in this little web-based lens on the world that I’ve built, because real life has been anything but.  Most of the food I’ve eaten lately has been, oh-so-thankfully, not prepared by me, but by my family and friends who have brought casseroles and soups to stock up our freezer and keep our bellies full as we focus on the needs of our recently expanded family.  

After a challenging year of ups and downs, including but not limited to my hubby’s six month deployment, the Terrible Two’s (please, pulling a reframe and calling them the Terrific Two’s just doesn’t cut it…), and a career shift, we welcomed into our family the little man that made the whole experience just a little more interesting.

Maxwell Brooks Harrold was born after a wild and powerful labour, at 8 lbs 8 oz, in the water, at home, surrounded by love and wisdom and support.  He is already proving to be the kind of stalwart, solid individual who appreciates a good feed and a satisfying nap:  he fits into our family just fine.

Ada and Max

Those who know me best know that I can’t leave well enough alone, that birthing a baby and nursing him around the clock, though exquisitely satisfying, isn’t the only endeavour I’m launching into this year.  

And so it is, my dear readers, that you become some of the first to find out the other reason Purple House Cafe has been dormant of late:  I am slowly and quietly unveiling a business, which has been in development for the better part of the last year, but which has lived in my dreams, in one way or another, for much longer.

Nalumana Women’s Wellness is an online and location-independent women’s wellness centre, a place where I will be offering doula, lactation educator, and life coaching services, as well as partnering with other local wellness practitioners to offer birth, life design and adventure-based retreats, workshops and community events.  

Nalumana is also an online venue through which I will continue blogging with an expanded repertoire including not just food and recipe posts, but wellness, birth, mothering, adventure and travel writing as well.  

At the centre of my purpose with Nalumana Women’s Wellness is to create a space that invites women to tend to their own wellness, to tap into their own courage and empowerment, and to create a community of likeminded ladies who can support each other to live  healthy, vibrant and wildly adventurous lives.

So, you might wonder, where does this leave us, internet foodies who’ve come to gather here for the last two and a half years (!), look at pretty pictures, patiently read my stories, and make great food?  

It leaves me grateful, first of all, for the gigantic learning curve of Purple House Cafe:  I hope that the lessons I’ve learned become evident the minute you bounce on over to the Nalumana website.  It leaves you reading recipes cross-posted a few times a month from Nalumana back here, at least for now, until I decide what lies in store for this space.  And, I hope, most of all, that it leaves you with a new favourite website for your bookmark list, which just might nourish you in all the same ways, and more, that I hope Purple House Cafe has over the years.

Before I let you hop on over there to learn more about what Nalumana is, how I came up with the name, and hopefully to subscribe to the Nalumana Wellness blog (and subsequently receive a free (awesome) workbook entitled “7 Steps to a Bigger, Bolder Life”), I want to give you a little sneak preview of what’s to come this month on Nalumana…

There’s this little kale salad with honey pepper bacon, pistachios and parmesan – simple but incredibly satisfying:

Kale Salad |

And then there’s this (and note, you’re getting a sneak preview that no one else has seen yet, here!) – my first true foray into the world of video, in a deeply personal and meaningful way…something I’ve been harbouring close for a few months now (as evidenced by the snow in the background) that I’m ready to share.  I hope you enjoy it.

Video music courtesy of Nina Lee, Sacred Pregnancy.

Cookbook Giveaway Winner!

Hi everyone!  

Thank-you SO much to everyone who entered the Brown Eggs and Jam Jars cookbook giveaway!  I am pleased to announce that Judy A. has won the book!

Thanks so much for entering, and for reading Purple House Cafe – your response was overwhelming!

To purchase Aimee’s beautiful book, head on over to Amazon.  And, to read more about her urban homesteading adventures, click on over to Simple Bites.

Have a great weekend!