• Life

    Brave No More

    It’s St Patrick’s Day and usually I would be thinking of Ireland and my pals there but the only thing on my mind today, again, is New Zealand and the terrible events of the past week. I was born in England and I live in Canada now…but I spent 45 years of my life in New Zealand and identify as a Kiwi. I am proud of that heritage. On Thursday night I saw the news via a post from Gracie, my niece, and had all the same shocked reaction as everyone. No need to describe the disbelief, fear and panic I felt – we ALL did.   Inadvertently one of…

  • Life

    A Shaggy Dog Story

    Anyone who has tried to adopt a dog will understand the heartbreak and frustration of scouring the classifieds, Kijiji, Petfinder and the local shelter websites looking for a dog that’s the right age, breed, gender and that’s actually available. There is a shelter in Mission I have phoned and emailed many times and never heard back from. We ended up buying our wee Molly from a breeder because we had spent months unsuccessfully trying to find a dog as a companion for Josie. And we love Molly to pieces – she is a joy to both of us but she was a bit of an accident because we did not…

  • Recipes

    Heavenly Lemon Ricotta Cookies

    Lemon is one of my favourite ingredients for both cooking and baking. My lemon cupcakes were for sure one of my personal favourites and by far the most fiddly and complex: a rich lemon cake, filled with home made lemon curd, glazed with lemon syrup, frosted with a rich buttery frosting and topped with a slice of candied lemon. Today I made Lemon Ricotta Cookies..a Giada De Laurentiis recipe I knew they were going to be gorgeous when I looked at the batter. I tasted it (quite a lot) and it was delicious! The Ricotta makes the mixture very moist and light. I was very generous with the lemon juice.…

  • Life

    For The Birds

    I don’t call myself a “birder” (heaven forbid) but I do love my wildbirds: we’ve counted 25 different birds who’ve visited our feeders and property. Man, they cost us a pretty penny too: I go through a 20lb bag of seed every 2 weeks then there are big sacks of whole peanuts, suet blocks by the dozen and woodpecker seed and nut squares. My guests LOVE the birds and many of them spend hours taking pictures of them. Europeans are particularly crazy about hummingbirds, as they’re native to the Americas. I love seeing some of the amazing “traveler photos” on tripadvisor on my B&B page. Jim built a great feeding…

  • Recipes

    Oatmeal Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies

    GLUTEN FREE – EGG FREE – DAIRY FREE and DELICIOUS! I had 2 groups of people recently staying for several days and two (one from each group) was gluten free, and dairy and egg free. I’ve got GF and DF pancakes down to a fine art. People always ask for seconds, but I wanted to do some baking for them too. I came upon an oatmeal recipe I liked the look of (probably because it had coconut in it) so I set about making the cookies. When I had the cookie dough all ready to measure out onto the baking tray I had a dizzy moment and threw a generous…

  • Recipes

    Pear & Pecan Ricotta Galette

    This pie was almost like a “Pantry Challenge”: I bought a huge bag of pears on special at Superstore and wanted to make something that would be good for breakfast. I also had ricotta in the fridge – I bought it at Costco for gnocchi and of course only needed ONE of the 2 tubs, so finding a use for the second one was becoming critical. I scoured dozens of recipes…and finally settled on a pear and ricotta galette which I adapted to make it more “Canadian”, eh. In other words I swapped out the walnuts in the original recipe for pecans. What I love about this pie is that…

  • Recipes

    Egg Free Banana & Coconut Pancakes

    One of the questions I ask guests before they arrive is “do you have any allergies or food preferences?” It is so much better to be prepared and nothing worse than being told right before breakfast that someone is lactose intolerant or allergic to eggs. I prepare my buttermilk pancake batter the night before so it can do its bubbly, ferment-y thing. So when the nice German couple arrived home from dinner and Stephi told me she was lactose intolerant I had to find a plan B. I had coconut milk. I love coconut. I found lots of coconut pancake recipes but after reading them I wasn’t really convinced any…

  • Recipes

    Lovecakes Gourmet Cupcakes

    Lovecakes Bakery was a huge part of my life for several years and I got so much satisfaction from seeing people truly enjoying my baking and being thrilled and amazed by the decorating. I cringe, absolutely squirm in my seat, when I see pics of some of my earliest icing attempts. Dear Lord. But I did get better and since there is no longer any record, anywhere, of my creations (I’ve closed the website and facebook pages) I thought I’d post some of my favourite cake pictures here for posterity. #cakes #cupcakes #lovecakes #baking #recipes #bacon #chocolate #pinacolada #rainbow #maplesyrup #oreos #cookiesandcream