Four-year old Breanna was quite determined to created her own salad with cucumbers, cauliflower, broccoli, mushrooms and rice. She thoroughly enjoyed her creation.  |  Betty Ann Deobald photo

Creativity can breathe new life into salads

Recently one of my granddaughters gave me a lesson in salad creativity. From the serving plate of fresh raw vegetables, four-year old Breanna proceeded to make herself a salad. She carefully broke cauliflower, broccoli, mushrooms, and cucumbers into small pieces and put them on her plate. She was encouraged to quit playing with her food […] Read more

Granddaughters Keira and Olivia Deobald have fun mixing up a batch of slime.  |  Leanne Deobald photo

Squishies and slime help make fun summer activities

Squishies and slime. If you don’t know what these are just ask your kids or grandkids. While shopping at a craft store recently, I was amazed at the number of kits for making squishies and slime. Squishies are soft squeezable toys similar to stress balls but with more personality. They provide a calming distraction that […] Read more


Browning a roast on a barbecue before cooking in a slow cooker produces a rich beef flavour and colour in the broth.  |  Betty Ann Deobald photo

Make-ahead food for leisurely summer entertaining

Whether at the cabin, entertaining on the back deck or for busy farm seasons, food prepared ahead of time frees up the cook to enjoy the fun or help with the work. Barbecue slow cooker beef dip Beef roast is browned on the barbecue and then cooked in a flavourful broth. The sliced meat is […] Read more

Garden to plate philosophy yields taste sensations

SO WHAT’S UP?… In our kitchen, it is winter onions, fresh asparagus and rhubarb stocks! We have waited for many months to once again bite into something from our own garden. I like to think of it as, ‘garden to plate philosophy!’ The fresh picked flavour cannot be replicated. What a taste sensation! Please enjoy […] Read more


Vietnamese-style fresh rolls are like a shrimp salad in a roll served with peanut sauce. Create some visual appeal with fresh herbs or fruit when placing the filling items on the softened transparent rice paper.  |  Betty Ann Deobald photo

Fresh spring rolls one way to make eating light possible

For many people, spring, the season of new growth and renewal, is synonymous with fresh food and lighter, simpler meals. Spring rolls are one of those simplified foods. Originally from eastern and southeastern Asia, spring rolls have been enjoyed and adapted to western culture. The thin rice paper rolls are filled with raw vegetables, cold […] Read more

Relive warm holiday flavour memories with Mexican tortilla chicken soup. It will warm the body and soul when the Canadian winter can’ t.  |  Betty Ann Deobald photo

Soups offer warmth and comfort for cold winter days

Winter and hot soups just seem to be a natural union. Hearty soups loaded with fresh ingredients and flavourful seasoning give a comforting warmth on cold winter days. Mexican tortilla chicken soup This is an intensely flavoured soup; adjust the peppers and seasoning to your personal taste. 2 tbsp. canola oil 30 mL 6-8 boneless, […] Read more

Pluma moos, a traditional Mennonite recipe, would make a wonderful addition to a hot breakfast. The cooked dried fruits are soft, flavourful and full of fibre.  |  Betty Ann Deobald photo

Implementing new Canada’s Food Guide at breakfast

Three key ideas promoted in the recently released new Canada’s Food Guide are the reduction in the use of processed foods, the increased consumption of whole grain foods and being mindful of what, when, where, why and how we eat. Breakfast is a perfect example of how to implement these ideas. Boxed breakfast cereals are […] Read more


Pap, a traditional white maize meal dish, is served with curry, stew, grilled meats or vegetable stir fry. It is similar to western polenta or grits. In East Africa it is known as ugali.  |  Betty Ann Deobald photo

African safari introduces travellers to new cuisine

Tours to explore the national parks and game preserves of Africa have become a source of income and pride for many people who live in Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia and other African nations. The thrill of sitting in an open safari truck as a large male lion walks toward the vehicle and then leaps, only to […] Read more

Have your meat and potatoes in one simple dish. This traditional oven meal is perfect for a cold winter night.  | Betty Ann Deobald photo

There’s nothing like comfort food for a cold January

When the cold January winds blow it is a good time to settle in with a good book and some nice, warm foods that stimulate strong memories of home and family. Some of these recipes are from our readers and others are from my family’s recipe box. Ye Olde Shepherd’s Pie Nielle Hawkwood of Cochrane, […] Read more