Best of Bridge – The Family Slow Cooker Cookbook Giveaway

When I started planning this post I had a very different tale to tell you.

I was going to talk about how the Best of Bridge franchise was a popular choice in my home when I was growing up. My Mom loved the books, she cooked from them, took them to bed with her to read at night and she shared them with us as we grew up.

Then I was going to talk about how excited I was when I found out that my friends Julie Van Rosendaal, Elizabeth Chorney-Booth and their friend Sue Duncan would be joining the original Best of Bridge ladies and working on the series. That was May 2015 and my Mom was still alive then.  I was excited to chat with her and talk about what the new book might be like.  Unfortunately I didn’t get to talk with my Mom about the new cookbook because she was gone a few months later.  However, when I received my copy of the new Best of Bridge The Family Slow Cooker cookbook in the mail I opened it and the memories flooded back.  Underneath the hard cover the coil spine was kept intact and the format of the book was just like it was in the 80’s.  It made me think of my Mom and brought a tear to my eye.

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I was also going to talk to you about how I came to choose the recipe I was going to share with you. I love cassoulet and so I was tickled when I found the Not-So-Gourmet Cassoulet in the cookbook, I knew this would be the one.

All that being said, the real story here is how I came to own a new slow cooker.

Saturday came and I was focused, I was going to make this recipe, I was going to get this blog post done, I was determined! The prep went great and everything came together nicely.  We have an old crock pot and it has served us well.  I pulled it out and loaded it up.  I set it on low just like the recipe said and checked on it about half an hour later and everything was looking good.  I went about my business.

best-of-bridge-not-so-gourmet-cassoulet-ingredients

An hour or so later we were getting ready to go to my son’s basketball game and I checked on the crock pot to make sure everything was ok before we left. It was stone cold.  I looked at the dial and I couldn’t be sure but it looked like it might have accidentally turned off.  So I turned it to high and hoped for the best as we headed out for the game.

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We were joking in the car on the way over and my son was saying what if the crockpot really is broken, do we get to have hamburgers for supper? I don’t think he was so excited about my cassoulet.  Then at the game he rocked it, he played the best game he had ever had.  My husband said to me at half time, I don’t care what really happens, that crock pot is broken and we are taking him for hamburgers!

It was like a self-fulfilling prophecy, when we got home it was still cold. So everything went into the fridge, we went for burgers and then we went and got a new a slow cooker.

Fast forward 24 hours, the new slow cooker was ready to go. All the ingredients went inside and it was almost like magic, it started to snow.  We went off to church with supper cooking and I was praying that everything would work out and it did.  It was like it was meant to be, we got home with all the snow fresh on the ground and my house smelled amazing.  It was so cozy to be inside snuggled up with our warm dinner ready.

best-of-bridge-the-family-slow-cooker-the-new-cooker

The only thing I did differently from the recipe below was include a can of white kidney beans instead of red. That’s only because I wanted a different colour really.

So, here’s the giveaway. I’m really excited to give one of you this book.  And now that I have a new slow cooker with a removable crock we can explore together all the wonderful new recipes inside.  I can’t wait to try the baking, which wasn’t an option for me with my old crock pot.    I will open the contest up to residents of Canada and the US, except for residents of Quebec.  Click on the link below to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And to give you a head start the lovely Ladies from the Best of Bridge have allowed me to give you this recipe below, I hope you enjoy it.

best-of-bridge-not-so-gourmet-cassoulet

Not-So-Gourmet Cassoulet

Easier and less fancy than the traditional version of this French bean stew, our “cheater” cassoulet is simple enough for weekday dining.

6 bacon slices, chopped

1 onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

12 oz or 375g kielbasa or other smoked sausage, sliced

8 oz or 250g boneless pork chops, trimmed and cut into 1 inch (2.5 cm) pieces

2 carrots, chopped

2 celery stalks, chopped

2 bay leaves

1 tsp or 5ml dried thyme

3 cans (each 14 oz/398 ml) red kidney beans, rinsed and drained (4 and half cups/1.125 L)

1 can (14 oz/398 ml) diced tomatoes drained

2 tbsp or 30ml tomato paste

1 ½ cups or 375ml of chicken stock or ready to use chicken broth

In a skillet, cook bacon over medium-high heat until it begins to release its fat. Add onions and sauté until onions are softened and bacon begins to crisp.  Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon mixture to a 4 to 6 quart slow cooker, leaving the fat in the pan.

Cook sausage and pork chops in bacon drippings until browned on all sides. Transfer to the slow cooker, add carrots, celery, bay leaves, thyme, beans, tomatoes and tomato paste, tossing to combine.  Pour in stock.  Cover and cook on low for 5 to 7 hours or until pork is fully cooked, vegetables are tender and sauce is slightly thickened and bubbling.  Discard bay leaves.

Serves 6 to 8.

Variation: Traditional cassoulet is made with duck confit, but we skipped it here to make the meal simpler and more affordable. If you’re aiming to impress, brown a couple of duck legs and add them to the slow cooker with the rest of the meat.  Chicken legs can be used if duck is not available.

 

Lest We Forget – Wartime Food

When we were kids my Grandma told us stories of her life.  Then when we got older she kept telling the same stories over and over again.  My siblings, cousins and I would look at each other with that knowing look and smile.  Later we would chuckle over how we have heard that same story told since we were kids.  But now that she is no longer with us I miss those times, I never thought I would say that.

However, my Aunt and Uncle were very smart.  Years before Grandma died they hired a biographer to come and sit with her to record those stories.  For that I will be eternally grateful because we all have a book now that keeps these well loved stories safe.

I often find myself pulling  the book out at this time of year because of the stories that happened during the war.  My Grandma grew up and lived in Glasgow, Scotland.  What she has to say reminds me how very lucky we are to be living in the world we live in today.

There is one section entitled “Wartime Food”.  There is a lot of talk in the book about food, which makes me smile.  I guess the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree.  Because Remembrance Day is close I wanted to take a post and share a few of my Gran’s words.  .

We always had lots of potatoes and lots of vegetables during the war, considering that you had to queue up for potatoes, for instance.  You had your ration book, and as I recall things weren’t sold by pounds or ounces but by amount of money.  You could buy one and four pence worth of meat.  Chicken wasn’t rationed and rabbit, but you never saw those anyway.  It was either mince or shoulder steak, whatever was cheapest because you couldn’t just put your money for expensive meat like a filet mignon.  As far as eggs were concerned you just didn’t get them.  If you were pregnant you got an egg a month, and if you had a baby, after six months you got an egg maybe every week.  You had to queue for your bread, but it was never rationed.

wartime-food-root-vegetables-heathers-eats

We got about eight ounces of sugar and four ounces of butter a week.  Jam was rationed.  You had coupons, you know, and you could either spend your sugar coupons on buying sugar or go to a sweetie shop and buy half a pound of candy, but that meant you had to give up your sugar ration.  That’s how I used my sugar.  It was really funny at the table, like you know, all our names were on these wee bags lined up in a row.  When you sat at the table you had your own bag of sugar but when mother bought the sugar she always took so much out of every bag for puddings during the week.  She always had a wee bit of butter off everybody too.  But there was never a dispute at the table because everybody had their ration.

wartime-food-butter-ration-heathers-eats

I included these photos to give a representation of what this might look like.  They are not exact measurements but it gives you an idea what a weekly ration might look like, not a lot.

wartime-food-sugar-ration-heathers-eats

Which leads me to my next request.  A story broke out on the news this week in Calgary about the Veteran’s Food Bank.  Their shelves are almost bare.  It’s hard to believe that these people who fought for our freedom may not have enough food to feed themselves and won’t be able to get the help they need.  I know that times are tough for everyone right now but I would like to ask you to consider helping out.

In Calgary, there is currently a food drive happening for the Veteran’s Food Bank.  You can drop off non-perishable food items and cash until November 15 at the Veterans Food Bank at 4539 6 Street NE.  Donations will also be accepted at any Royal Canadian Legion, Crown Surplus (1005 11 Street SE) and the Aero Space Museum (4629 McCall Way NE).  To find out more about this worthy cause please check out the Canadian Legacy Project by clicking here.

This is what is happening here but if you don’t live in Calgary I encourage you to look for other ways that you can contribute.

lest-we-forget

 

2016 Food Bloggers of Canada Conference Recap

Last week was the annual Food Bloggers of Canada conference and this year we were in Toronto.  I was again lucky enough to be a part of the volunteer crew.  And this year it just seemed to be busier and flew by way too fast.  When I got home I looked at my phone and there weren’t as many photos as I normally take and my notebook was empty.  It was because of that I almost didn’t do a post.

The view from our room at the Delta Toronto.

The view from our room at the Delta Toronto.

But I decided otherwise, obviously.  The theme of this year’s conference was “Do the Work” and I thought how my experience was perhaps different from everyone else’s.  I didn’t get to sit in on every workshop.  The ones I did get to sit in on, particularly on Sunday, my body was so tired I could barely reach my notebook to write anything.   Upon reflection, this is different to how I have experienced my past two conferences.  When you are focused on the physical work, like stuffing swag bags or labeling brussel sprouts, you need to figure out another way to find those little nuggets.  I was always listening and tried to pay attention to the interactions around me.  That is what influenced my takeaways from the conference.

On Thursday, after we stuffed all those swag bags, we went as a team to eat dinner at Loka.  I could do a whole post with just photos from this meal but here is my first takeaway.  Dennis Prescott and his wife Leanne came along with us and I was fortunate enough to have Dennis sit across from me.  I didn’t intend to talk about photography but it naturally went there.  I mentioned that I bought a new camera last year but I really should take a class to learn how to use it.  And here’s the nugget.

He told me that my first step should be to study the camera’s manual to learn what your camera can do.  That way you can adjust your settings and find what YOU want to photograph.  You can let the camera’s settings take over and just point and shoot but why let a machine control your vision?  So here’s one of my homework pieces, this weekend I have been pulling out my manual and this will be my ongoing project, to learn my camera.

Smoked Bone Marrow, Parsley Salad with Cured Egg Yolk from Loka Toronto.

Smoked Bone Marrow, Parsley Salad with Cured Egg Yolk from Loka Toronto.

Fast forward to Saturday morning sessions, which were different this year because we broke out into smaller groups instead of meeting altogether in the same sessions.  As a result, we as volunteers each took a session room to make sure things were running on time.  In my room I had the same two sessions run back to back and I got a double dose of Brittany Stager with Visual Branding for You and Your Blog and Heather Travis speaking about Key Messaging for Bloggers – How to Get Your Message out to Readers, Brands and PR Agencies.  Even though I saw the same two sessions twice I think it still important because I was able to hear things the second time that I missed before.

Both of the sessions were complimentary as Brittany and Heather had similar messages.  Both Ladies started by stating you need to figure out who you are and what you are trying to say before you fill in the rest.  Some of us know exactly who we are but I would venture a guess that there are some out there trying to figure that out, I know I still am.  This is the basic building block before you continue on with your visual brand or your words.  Both workshops were filled with practical information and good ideas to think about and I’m glad that I got assigned to that room.

Heather Travis at the beginning of Key Messaging for Bloggers.

Heather Travis at the beginning of Key Messaging for Bloggers.

The rest of the weekend was filled with a-ha moments that I smile and look back on.  Like I may not have been able to get the full on Breville breakfast experience on Sunday morning but I did take the bus to the restaurant on Saturday with Stephen Krauss, the President of Breville Canada.  He is truly passionate about his products and I loved the twinkle in his eye as he described what The Tea Maker in action looks like.

Finally, I want to talk about connections, which is why I come to these conferences in the first place.  I love chatting with all of you on social media but it doesn’t compare to seeing you face to face.  It’s so much fun to see my old friends but to also meet new ones and even better yet, see what you are all up too.  We have such a unique community and we all bring something to it.  Each of us is important and you really see that at the conferences when we are all there bubbling full of ideas.

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A big thank-you to Melissa and Ethan who are our visionaries.  They put together this conference for us every year and give us a safe place to learn, grow and be together.  They pull together the sponsors, who we need for this conference to exist, and all of the people that make the weekend move.  They thoughtfully choose speakers who provoke us and give us ideas to chew on throughout the year.  They also put people in place who help keep everything moving while we enjoy the meals and the sessions.  A big thank-you to Sandra Fernandes who is there behind the scenes dealing with logistics and the hotel staff so Melissa and Ethan can be available to talk to us.  She is a big part of these conferences and keeps us running smoothly.

And of course,  my fellow team members who are there to assist with the rest of the needs.  Sondi Bruner was good enough to room with me.  She has such a wonderful spirit and it was a joy to spend time with her.  I was able to reunite with friends Beth Dunham and my fellow Heather in crime, Heather Travis.   Our team was rounded out by new faces this year, Samantha Gutmanis, Ksenia Prints and Lisa Bolton.  I have said it before but I’ll say it again, I always enjoy hearing what is going on in your lives and what you are working on.  I learn so much by listening to you Ladies.  Thank you for your fellowship.

I guess I had a lot to say! If you stuck around to read all that thank you.  Next year is in Ottawa and I can’t wait.

And before I leave you, here are a few fun photos I got throughout the weekend that I wanted to share.

A fun photo of us doing what comes naturally, taking food photos!

A fun photo of us doing what comes naturally, taking food photos!

A tray full of baklava from lunch on Saturday hosted by Canadian Turkey. Turkey not included in this dessert!

A tray full of baklava from lunch on Saturday hosted by Canadian Turkey. Turkey not included in this dessert!

A beautiful set-up for our dinner Saturday night offsite at Montecito hosted by Canadian Lentils.

A beautiful set-up for our dinner Saturday night offsite at Montecito hosted by Canadian Lentils.

Sunday morning coffee break was hosted by Crosby's Molasses and Bite Me More Bakery made all thes Gingerbread Whoopie Pies for us.

Sunday morning coffee break was hosted by Crosby’s Molasses and Bite Me More Bakery made all these Gingerbread Whoopie Pies for us.

What’s Eating You? When a Food Blog and the Bible Collide

I know, I know , it’s been a really long time since I’ve written anything.  Over the summer my responsibilities at work changed and as a result I am finding that I don’t have much in the tank at the end of the day to write anything.  But Instagram has been a great outlet for me.  It has been much more my speed, getting quick posts out there and providing me with some balance.

I wish I could say this is the beginning of the comeback but I can’t make that promise.  But hopefully getting this out will help me get motivated to start writing again.

Before I start this post I want to state again I am not a theologian or a scholar.  I’m just me, reflecting back on what I have heard on Sunday mornings and how that relates to food.  This happens surprisingly often.  My thoughts around this have been whirling in my head and I’m hoping I can get some clarification by putting pen to paper.

A couple of weeks ago we were talking about worship at church and there were a ton of amazing ideas thrown out there. And of course food was involved and parallels drawn to food.

As we do in church, I think it’s wise to start with scripture.  Today we are looking in a few different places.  We’ll start with something sweet,  Exodus 16:31, just because I like the physical description of manna.  The people of Israel called the bread manna.   It was white like coriander seed and tasted like wafers made with honey.  The food blogger in me just loves this.  I have nothing to compare this to but I like to think it would be a little like eating bread and honey.  This sounds delicious to me.

bread-and-honey

Ok, now that’s out of the way let’s get down to more serious matters.  Let’s start with John 6:35. Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.  Now let’s go back to Exodus 16, verses 17&18.  The Israelites did as they were told; some gathered much, some little. 18 And when they measured it by the omer, the one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little. Everyone had gathered just as much as they needed.

So how does this all come together? I think what I really have been thinking about is how food is so much more, like other things in life.  I wrote this in my notes and it came from my friend Bob who was one of the speakers that day.  There’s more than taste and what we experience, it’s sustenance for our soul.

Take a look at those early days when the Israelites were wandering in the desert. God provided for them, He knew their needs.  Even though they didn’t always want to listen, just like us, we are human.  He gave them enough manna for the day, if people gathered too much it ended up being just enough and if they did not take enough, He gave them what they needed.  He carried them as He does us still to this day.  What that looks like for me may be different than what that is for you.  That’s the great thing, He knows us and our needs, we just need to trust in Him.

It may not be manna or bread but maybe something as simple as this, will I even make it through the day. And what do I need to get there?  How am I going to feed myself to get through the challenges.  And I’m not just talking about food but that’s important too.  What kind of situations am I going to put myself in to help those around me and myself?  What will I decide to feed on?  Garbage or nourishment?

What’s eating you? People use that phrase all the time, mostly when there is something wrong.  And you have to wonder what has happened to make that mood happen in the hours, days or even years previous?  What has that person been hungry for and feeding on?  But wouldn’t it be great if we could take a little bit of that what sustains us and let that eat away at the problems inside?  God can let that happen, He gives us our daily bread, something simple, to make that change.  All it sometimes takes is feeding on the simple goodness that is given to us from His hands.

bread

Finally, did you know that manna translated means, what is it?  I find that fascinating.  What is it that’s eating you?  Are you hungry?  Let Him give you more than taste but something that sustains you.   Wouldn’t it be something if what we fed on was something like happiness?  Life would sure look a lot different.

I don’t know if I have put this together quite right but I hope that I have started you thinking.  If you want to hear where all these thoughts started coming from take some time to listen to the sermon by clicking here.

I want to finish with this song as it has been on my heart a lot these past few weeks and I think it just ties it all together for me, as music often does.  Thanks for reading.

Craft Corner Kitchen in Penticton BC

Last February I received a message from my friend Chef James Holmes.  He told me he had a new restaurant in the works.  And then as the days ticked by and we chatted more and more I was asked to write a post about the new restaurant.  I, of course, said yes.

In an effort to widen the exposure I got in touch with my friends over at Eat North to ask if I could feature the restaurant on their website.  They said yes!  This was a new adventure for me and I’m not going to lie, I was pretty excited.  I mean, I got to travel to Penticton by myself without my husband or son.  I pretty much had an all access pass to the kitchen and restaurant to take photos.  And I made some life long connections with people I probably would have never met.  I was in heaven the whole trip.  Catching the behind the scenes of the new Craft Corner Kitchen will be one of the food highlights of my year.

So here’s the thing, I took a huge amount of photos while I was there but of course there is no way they could post them all over on Eat North’s site.  But because this is my blog I can do whatever I want so I am going to post all my favorite photos here.  But before I do that, here is the link to my post on Eat North’s website.  Click here and go take a read of that and come back for all the photos below.

Ok, back?  Good.  When I was going through my photos I thought it would be best to separate them into three groups.  First will be the prep, these photos were taken the day the restaurant cleared inspection and everyone was excited to get back in the kitchen.

Second will be the photos from the Industry Night Tasting Dinner, this is where you get to see all those great food shots, and there are some pretty tasty treats.  Last I will post my photos of the space and some of the unique features of the building.

I know that makes for a very long post BUT I promise it’s worth it.  So…let’s get to it.

The Prep

Craft Corner Kitchen Chef James Holmes

Chef James Holmes setting up his new Kitchen Bar Space.

Craft Corner Kitchen Chef Jason Meyers

Chef Jason Meyer celebrating getting back in the kitchen.

Craft Corner Kitchen Chef Holly Kernohan

Chef Holly Kernohan making magic happen at the stove.

Craft Corner Kitchen Chef Holly Kernohan

One of the very first things to happen, get those pickles ready.

Craft Corner Kitchen at the Kitchen Bar

The team standing at the new kitchen bar, all smiles to be in their new space.

Industry Night Tasting Dinner

Craft Corner Kitchen Cocktail

Starting with cocktails at the bar prepared by Jonathan Cote.

Craft Corner Kitchen From the Garden

From the Garden plates ready to send to the table, featuring items from Chef Holmes’ own back garden.

Craft Corner Kitchen Deviled Eggs

Plates and plates of Deviled Eggs.

Craft Corner Kitchen Skillet Cornbread

Skillet Corn Bread with Craft Herbs, Citrus Crème Fraiche and Maple Sugar.

Craft Corner Kitchen Industry Night

Everyone gathered around the family style table excited to try all the food.

Craft Corner Kitchen Housemade Bread

All the bread please. Good on it’s own or used to sop up all the goodness left on the plates.

Craft Corner Kitchen Cache Creek BC Pig Steak

Cache Creek BC Pig Steak with Peoples Craft House Ginger Beer, Pickled Fennel, Fresh Horseradish and Apple Syrup.

Craft Corner Kitchen Botanical Cured and Roasted Cauliflower

Botanical Cured and Roasted Cauliflower with Sun Steeped Vanilla Local Honey, Sun Dried Rose Yogurt and Salt Pressed Celery.

Craft Corner Kitchen Chicken Fried Sardines

Anyone for some Chicken Fried Sardines?

Craft Corner Kitchen Smash Burger

Smash Burger with Pork Belly, Alberta Beef, Onion, Housemade Pickles, Smoked Special Sauce and American Cheese Slices.

Craft Corner Kitchen Wilted Rapini

Wilted Rapini with Poached Egg, Beer Cheese, Bacon and Rye Crumb.

Craft Corner Kitchen Family Dinner

Meeting new people and enjoying dinner together, family style. Community Sourced Community Driven.

Craft Corner Kitchen Rhubarb Donuts

Donuts are different everyday, these beauties have Rhubarb inside.

Craft Corner Kitchen Pop Tart Fruit Loop Gelato Sandwich

Childhood Trio, Pop Tart with Fruit Loop Gelato Sandwich.  A sweet finish to an amazing meal.

Room Highlights

The light fixtures are unique, especially the ones above the family style table.

The light fixtures are unique, especially the ones above the family style table.

Craft Corner Kitchen Pop of Red

The space is mostly neutral except for the pops of red, like this repurposed palette.

Craft Corner Kitchen Photo on the Wall

Found in the basement was this portrait that hung in the Greek restaurant that used to be in the same building, a nod to the past.

Craft Corner Kitchen Patio

One of the best things about the space is the patio with the sparkling lights overhead.

So that’s the best of the rest, thanks for sticking with me.  If you are in Penticton you need to go see Craft Corner Kitchen located at 557 Main Street.  I promise you won’t be disappointed.

I also wanted to give a big thanks to James for asking me be there in the beginning.  It truly was an honour.  I loved the opportunity and I can’t wait to come back for more memorable meals.

 

 

The GLAD Canada Challenge

If any of my co-workers read this post, I know they will laugh.  That is because my week day lunches are usually ones of convenience.  There are times at the end of a busy weekend I’ll just grab veggies and fruits from the grocery store that are already chopped and ready to go.  It works and it keeps me healthy.

However, I was contacted by GLAD to try some of their products so I thought this would be a good opportunity to liven up my lunches and try to be more prepared.  I am no stranger to GLAD storage  containers and cling wrap as they are regulars in our kitchen but I was interested to try a couple of new things.

So first things first, I chopped my own vegetables!  I don’t always like to eat salad but prefer to eat a variety of chopped vegetables.  It’s kind of like snacking all day and it keeps me going until it’s time to go home.  The GLAD Soup & Salad Containers are perfect for this.  You can pack one for every day of the week and they will last that long when stored in the fridge.   And the GLAD Mini Rounds are the perfect companion when used for veggie dip, which will usually last me for the whole week.

Glad Challenge - Veggies

The product I wanted to try that was new to me were the GLAD FreezerWare Containers.  I decided to make some soup for the upcoming week.  You can make any kind of soup but Asparagus is in season right now so I decided to try a new recipe I had for Asparagus and Cheddar Soup.

After I made the soup, I let it cool down then ladled the servings into the containers.  I knew I wouldn’t be able to eat all of the containers at work for lunch that week so I left two in the fridge for the week and put the other two in the freezer for another time.

Glad Challenge - Soup

And sure enough, two weeks later those containers of soup in the freezer came in handy.  I was just back from holidays and only had a couple of days left in my work week.  I didn’t have time to go grocery shopping and wanted something quick.  Pulling these out of the freezer were my lifeline for the week.  And the best thing is that after I let the soup thaw and heated the containers up in the microwave the soup tasted just as it had two weeks before when it was freshly made. Oh, the GLAD Mini Rounds came in handy again when I brought some cubed cheese to go with my soup.

Glad Challenge - Lunch

My lunches weren’t the only thing I tried something new with.  My son likes to eat the same thing for lunch everyday and that includes green apples.  The problem is that he doesn’t actually like eating the apple so I help him out by cutting the apples into slices in the morning before I send him off to school.  The problem is that he only eats half the apple and so I end up putting the other half in the fridge and some of it goes bad.  But, I decided to try this great tip from GLAD.

On Thursday, which is the last day of the week I have to make a school lunch, I cut an apple in half, just like I normally would.  I wrapped one half with GLAD Cling Wrap and the other half I left naked.  Then I put both halves in the fridge.

Glad Challenge - Green Apple Before

Now this is where I confess, I actually forgot about the apple because it was in a drawer, out of sight and out of mind.  When I finally remembered it was exactly a week later, Thursday.  I pulled the apple out of the fridge and the half that was wrapped was just fine for my son’s lunch.

Glad Challenge - Green Apple After

There are lots of other things you can do with GLAD products but I really appreciate that they are helping me get back to healthy eating.  They make prepping easy and keep me on track.  And the great thing is that you can find GLAD products in any grocery store across Canada.

This post has been sponsored by GLAD Canada.  I have been compensated for this post but all opinions are my own.

 

Tick Tock, When a Food Blog and the Bible Collide

It has been such a crazy month, there has been a reason why I haven’t written.  Between events and personal things I feel like I have been thrown from one place to the next taking it one step at a time.  We’re all busy and I get it, it just seems like it is even more frantic than usual right now.

Today was a relatively slow day, Sunday, a day of rest.  I haven’t been to church for three weeks and to me it seemed like an eternity.  Even though my husband doesn’t go to church he encourages me to do so.  I told him today I had to go, I needed to.  In fact I was craving it.

I like driving to church on Sundays.  It is a mostly peaceful twenty-five minute drive from my house ending most of the time, on a clear day, with a breathtaking view of the mountains.  But why was it today that I couldn’t help but formulate a post in my head while I was driving.

My brain was still whirring as I stepped into our hall, and even worship, the singing, my most sacred of times couldn’t snap me out of it.  I smiled at my friends, who I missed dearly but still at the back of my head, I was putting a blog post together.

God  has a funny way of changing plans.

The sermon started, and one of my favourite teaching pastors was at the front.  Our church is just finishing up a three week series called Tick Tock: the seasons of life and the lessons of time.  Of course, because I was away, I have missed it.  You can see where I am going with this.

As my friend Bob spoke, I felt God’s hand  on me and finally my brain and heart started to listen.  It wasn’t subtle, it was almost like a firm talking to.  My Father was telling me to clear my head of all the other stuff and write about how a food blog and church can co-exist.  You may wonder this yourself and how it all ties to waiting on the Lord.

Here is the scripture that was our focal point this morning.

The Parable of the Growing Seed

26 He also said, “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. 27 Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. 28 All by itself the soil produces grain—first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. 29 As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.”  Mark 4:26-29 NIV

Yes, this just screamed to the food blogger in me and what a perfect scripture to read at this season in my life.  We focused on three main points and I feel like my day  somehow fits into each of these.

We talked about how at the beginning there is Active Busyness, when the farmer is actively planting his garden , scattering seed.  Now I don’t know if I could really say if the busy thoughts of my morning were really planting seeds but I certainly felt like I was involved in an act of busyness, productive or not.

Plantung the Garden, Active Busyness

After the planting comes the act of waiting, Patient Waiting.  This is where God works his magic, and  we have no idea how or why.  But yet if we wait patiently that plant is going to grow and produce in it’s own time, in God’s time.  In the craziness of my life right now this struck me hard.  On this day of rest, I stopped, took an immediate pause and listened.  It was actually in this moment I felt called to write this post.  I long for summer, I long for the restful time of growth, where God can work his magic when we rest in Him.

Garden Growing, Patient Waiting

And at the end after the waiting, the maturation, comes harvest, where Hope Is Realized. What a great reminder of what is to come.  I’m not there yet, I need to dwell for a time in the waiting period.  My strawberries and tomatoes have a little while to go before they are ripe.  But there is something to look forward to when I finally get there.

The Harvest, Hope Realized

There are so many comparisons I can draw here.  I am not a theologian or a scholar but I just know what I feel and I know what my Father is telling me.  I can only hope that my very human words can portray the conviction I felt this morning and you can draw from them.

And Bob, if you do read this, I borrowed heavily from your sermon this morning.  He spoke to me through you, I think to many of us this morning.

And that’s how a food blog and the bible collide.  This doesn’t even take into account Communion, which we also participated in today as a church family.  But that is a story for another time.