Author Archives: joinmefordinner

About joinmefordinner

. . . living in the Cowichan Valley, cooking for my appreciative family and friends, and taking advantage of all this area has to offer including local organic produce, cheese, wine, artisan breads, and fresh-caught seafood.

Chocolate Quinoa Cake–(gluten-free)

His first taste of chocolate. Need I say more? I’ve been conspicuously absent from this blog for two months. Changes in my diet left me uninspired to collect and hang on to recipes and new food combos to post here. … Continue reading

Posted in cakes, desserts, gluten-free | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Kiwi-Cucumber Salad with Toasted Walnuts

February is Heart Month and today is Valentine’s Day. Let’s skip the chocolate (nooooooo . . . ) and be kind to our hearts. I learned something new today. I’ve always known that kiwi fruit were a good source of … Continue reading

Posted in salads | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Feed a child. Nourish a Mind. #feedsouthafrica

I am a Grade One teacher. You can tell right away that I’m Canadian, as I’d be calling myself a First Grade teacher if I lived in the US. I have a delightful class of 6 and 7-year-olds who live … Continue reading

Posted in lunch | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Black Bean Brownies

I was dubious. I mean, really . . . how good could they be? Black beans belong in soups and stews and chili, not in baked goods, right? If you’re expecting a clone of the Betty Crocker boxed mix, you’ll … Continue reading

Posted in cookies, gluten-free | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Mexican Hot Chocolate

This unusually cold weather has made us all want to hunker down and hibernate. Winters where we live are generally very mild and may or may not bring snow. This year we’ve had a couple of cold snaps with below … Continue reading

Posted in beverages | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

How to Plan a Menu in 3 Easy Steps

I love having people over for dinner. It’s one of my absolute favourite ways to spend an evening. Good friends or family. Easy conversation. Appies. Wine.* ¬†First course. More wine. And so on, right through to dessert, which, in my … Continue reading

Posted in Favourites lists | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

DIY Almond Milk

Why make your own almond milk? Laura tells me it is definitely not to save money. Commercially processed almond milk can be produced much more cheaply than buying raw organic almonds. But if you’re like Laura, and you care about … Continue reading

Posted in beverages | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Shaved Brussel Sprout Salad with Apples and Cranberries

This Brussel Sprout salad has been making the rounds of Pinterest lately, and it is certainly pin-worthy. If you haven’t tried raw Brussel Sprouts, you must. They are nothing like their boiled or steamed cousins–no stench of cruciferous vegetables in … Continue reading

Posted in salads, vegetables | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Pomerita Cocktail

It’s time to celebrate as we welcome the New Year! What better way than with a heart-healthy glass of pomegranate juice. Or . . . ¬†how about a pomegranate margarita–a pomerita. The Prado restaurant in beautiful Balboa Park in San … Continue reading

Posted in beverages, Christmas | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Top 10 Reader Favourites of 2013

Have you noticed that having a Christmas tree in your room makes you sit and read more often? The soft light from the tree invites me to curl up on the couch and lose myself in a book, (or in … Continue reading

Posted in Favourites lists | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Gingerbread Smoothie

What do you serve for Christmas breakfast? A search of Pinterest boards dedicated to Christmas breakfasts brings up fat and sugar-laden dishes:  cinnamon rolls baked in the shape of a Christmas tree, Monkey Bread dripping with eggnog drizzle, baked French … Continue reading

Posted in beverages, breakfast, Christmas, vegetarian meals | 2 Comments

Chocolate Chunk Whipped Shortbread

I have a classroom elf. No, not an Elf on the Shelf–I have one of those too. This elf is a lovely parent volunteer, actually a grandmother, who comes in to help out in my Grade 1 classroom. She is … Continue reading

Posted in Christmas, cookies | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Greek Salad on a Stick

Kids love anything on a stick, and the kid inside all of us does too. These mini Greek salad appetizers are fun to eat and they offer a healthier alternative to all the high calorie finger foods we often find … Continue reading

Posted in appetizers, Christmas, kid's cooking, salads, vegetarian meals | Leave a comment

Got it under Contreau? Cranberry Sauce for Grown-ups

Shopping. Wrapping. Decorating. Baking. Cleaning. Then Eating. And More Baking. Christmas time is a busy time of year, but with a focus on keeping it simple and enjoying the things that are really important in our lives, it can be … Continue reading

Posted in Christmas, sauce | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Christmas Finger Foods

Years ago, one of my Christmas traditions was to participate in a cookie exchange. With young children underfoot, year after year I somehow made twelve dozen Nanaimo bars. (Do you know how hard it is to cut through that chocolate … Continue reading

Posted in appetizers, Christmas | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment