a november bowl with balsamic vinaigrette by sevengrams

November is always a weird eating month for us. Caught in between all the incredible Fall produce and the warm bowls of winter stews and curries, our meals often feel confused. I'll make a light soup, a giant bowl of noodles, or some sort of bulked up salad - light on the greens, heavy on the grains and roasted veg.

I was running out of weekday lunch time inspiration, so turned to the menu at a salad joint in Toronto for some inspiration. Modelled after their "maple greens" bowl, this November bowl is perfect for this time of year - with brussels sprouts, roasted squash, dried cranberries, and balsamic vinaigrette laced with maple syrup.



Pumpkin Muffins / Sevengrams

We're heading out of town tomorrow to get married (!!!), and snacks for the car/airbnb was a must. The cooler bag will be packed with all the usual suspects (trail mix, grapes, cucumber slices and hummus), but we needed something a little more festive.

That's where these pumpkin muffins come in. They're super easy to throw together, and the pumpkin purée and seasonal spices just scream October. They may not be fancy, but they will forever remind me of the time we hopped on the 401 and drove west to our wedding. Can't wait!



Maine | Sevengrams

We spent Quebec's birthday in Maine this year. Neither of us had ever been, and being only a 6 hour drive away, we figured what better way to spend a few June days. So we loaded the car, hit the road, and ventured south-east.

We spent the first 2 days in Acadia National Park, hiking, camping, drinking blueberry soda and eating lobster. Then we headed to Portland, and made several stops along the way for lobster rolls, blueberry loaf, and local beer. Once in Portland, we toured the town, ate phenomenal food, drank more beer, ate more lobster rolls, and loaded up on sweet potato donuts. We couldn't have asked for a better few days, and will most definitely be back.


Germany | Sevengrams

Back in June, I travelled to Germany with my family - a long overdue family trip to visit my Oma and Opa's birth country. Growing up, we didn't speak much about Germany, but as we grew older, our curiosity to visit my grandparents' childhood homes and learn more about our family's history grew stronger. So we organized a 10 day whirlwind trip through Germany, with stops in all the key places, giving us just enough time to take it all in.

We started the trip in Frankfurt, Oma's hometown. We saw her childhood home, and the park she used to play in, we visited one of the only remaining synagogues in Frankfurt and strolled around her old neighbourhood. We then day-tripped to Cologne, to see where my Opa grew up. His childhood home is still there, adorned in the same red carpet and gold detailing that existed over 80 years ago. It was incredible. We then hopped a train to Munich and spent 2 days walking and exploring. We drank our share of 1L beers, spent copious amounts of time in local beergartens, and ate several giant pretzels and oversized schnitzels. Our final stop was Berlin, where we took in all the history, museums and vegan food we could handle, before parting ways and heading home. It was an emotionally heavy week, but also a once in a lifetime experience. Some highlights and recommendations below.



Zucchini noodle salad | Sevengrams

We tried our hand at gardening this year, and I can confidently say that we totally rocked it. Neither of us knew what we were doing, but we read books, asked friends and family, and just went for it. It definitely wasn't easy, and the quantity and abundance of weeds were far more than we could have ever expected, but nothing felt more satisfying than picking and eating produce that we grew, straight from the earth. We had rainbow chard, snap peas, cucumbers, beets, radishes, green peppers, kale, some herbs and onions, wild dill and tomatoes. We were also able to reap the benefits of perennial rhubarb, asparagus, raspberries and blueberries. The little garden that could. It was amazing.

Last weekend's garden haul led to tons of basil and juicy red tomatoes. Then a friend gifted us a giant summer squash, and from there, this salad just came together. It was on repeat all week, and always with a side of garlic bread. Don't forget the garlic bread.



strawberry quick jam | sevengrams

One can never prepare for bad or unsettling news, or how we might handle it. Six pounds of strawberries later, I can tell you that I buried myself in the kitchen and let the strawberries be a distraction. Some were chocolate dipped, others were pulverized with campari, lemon and sugar and turned into popsicles, some were diced and frozen for smoothies, some we buried and baked into a whole-grain galette crust, and the final pound were destined for jam. This jam.

It's been a hell of a week, and I'm glad to know its Friday and we'll soon be cruising into the weekend. Here's to health, strawberries and quick jams.



rhubarb coconut ice cream (vegan) | sevengrams

I don't talk about it very often, but I'm lactose intolerant. For years I fooled my body into thinking otherwise by popping a dairy pill just before devouring a pizza, a soft serve cone or a big bowl of yogurt. On the cusp of turning 30 though, my body has decided that its done with the pills and now chooses to just reject dairy all together.

Sure I'm a bit bummed, but I'm taking this on as a new culinary challenge. Pizza toppings need to be more exciting to make up for the lack of cheese, breakfast can't just be yogurt and granola, and ice creams need to be coconut based. So here I am, almost exactly one year later, trying to replicate last years rhubarb ice cream goodness, but without the dairy.

If you've been around here long enough, you'll know that my love for rhubarb runs deep. We inherited a garden that's bursting with perennial rhubarb (winning!) and I couldn't be more excited. This week alone there's already been crisp, compote, this ice cream, and dreams of this cake. Its going to be a good couple of weeks. Happy end of Spring friends!