Wendy Burke

  • Make the most of berry season

    They say you have to make hay while the sun shines -- well, the same goes for picking berries. The berry season is brief but sweet in Manitoba, so you won't want to waste any time if picking is your thing. Get out there as soon as you can and get as much as you can.
  • Love is in the air, cher

    With Valentine's Day falling on a Thursday this year, it's the perfect chance to stretch out that weekend to three days' worth of romancing. Just pace yourself a little. Start out with an intimate dinner for two at home on the day, and then take it out on the town for Friday and Saturday at Winnipeg Mardi Gras. On Thursday
  • Bean there, done that?

    Are you looking to find some delicious ways to increase the fibre content of your diet? Maybe you want to reduce the amount of meat your family is consuming. The solution is simple and inexpensive. You can turn to beans and pulses, and the place to find some wonderfully creative recipes is the new book Spilling the Beans: Cooking and Baking with Beans and Grains Everyday (Whitecap, $25) by Julie Van Rosendaal and Sue Duncan. Julie Van Rosendaal lives in Calgary, where she hosts CBC Radio's The Calgary Eyeopener. She is best buddies with fellow Calgarian Sue Duncan, who has since been transplanted to the Okanagan Valley. The two cooking comrades have spent a lot of time in the kitchen together and got to chatting about beans one day and they quickly realized they had an idea for a cookbook.
  • Using your noodle

    Whip out your colanders, folks, World Pasta Day is just around the corner. It's easy to remember the date, just two months before Christmas, each year on Oct. 25. And as major producers of the world's finest wheat, that should give Canadians (especially Prairie folk) something to celebrate.
  • Farm fresh

    How are you going to keep yourself down on the farm? As luck would have it, an opportunity to visit a working farm comes this weekend. The second annual Open Farm Day on Sunday, Sept. 18 gives you a chance to visit one (or more) of over 40 farms across Manitoba as they open their gates for visitors for the day.
  • 'Cue ball

    The first thing you need to understand is the difference between barbecuing and grilling. Grilling takes place over direct heat and is a quick method of cooking. Generally speaking, you grill hamburgers.
  • Freshen up

    The farmers markets are in full swing now and this is the time to get out and make sure you're enjoying the best our local producers have to offer. To start you'll want to check out a few websites to find out where the markets are and when they are open. Do take note of the hours and days and also note the closing dates of each market. While some are open right up until the Thanksgiving weekend or beyond, some end their season much earlier. Here are a few sites to visit:
  • Make over the mundane

    What do you do if your family has declared your favourite recipes boring? Don't give them up -- make them over. That's the solution Dairy Farmers of Manitoba and Dairy Farmers of Canada came up with when they asked two master chefs to come up with remakes of some classic recipes. I spoke to one of those chefs, Paul Rogalski, chef and owner of Calgary's Rouge Restaurant, to pick up a few tips on how to spruce up those recipes.
  • A recipe for better health

    Mairlyn Smith is a home economist who likes the glow of the footlights -- and studio lights. But while her heart may belong to the stage, she keeps it healthy in her kitchen. The Second City alumnus says getting into the kitchen was a survival tactic because her mom was such a terrible cook.
  • Gobble it up!

    There are, no doubt, a few dads around Winnipeg who feel that they've already had their Father's Day, what with the return of the NHL and all. But for those who are not necessarily hockey fans, and for those who are but still insist they are entitled to the day, the opportunity for annual acknowledgment has arrived.
  • Do ya wanna go... healthier?!

    What do you get when you cross a blender with a bicycle? You get a fruit smoothie on the go.
  • Fire up the flavour

    If you haven't already hauled the grill out of the garage (and judging by the smoke in my neighbourhood last weekend, most of you already have), the long weekend is the time to do it. There are a few things to get ready, so let's get right to it, starting with maintenance, courtesy of Weber.
  • Feed yourself, feed the world

    EASTER is late this year, and it’s probably a good thing — it’s less likely to arrive with more snow. After a long, long winter, many people associate Easter with the promise of renewal and hope. And there is an opportunity to share that promise of renewal and bring hope to many people, particularly children, who are subject to the wordwide problem of hunger.
  • Spicy bootstraps

    If there is one person on the Food Network who has a “pull yourself up by your own bootstraps” story — it’s Spice Goddess Bal Arneson. A lot has happened in the two years since I last spoke to her. She had just published her first book ( Everyday Indian, Whitecap $30) and was seeing the first wave of success. Today, she’s published her second book, Bal’s Quick and Healthy Indian (Whitecap, $30 at www.whitecap.ca) and is hosting her own show.  She's never forgotten her roots, though. And that's where bootstraps, and gratitude, meet.
  • Olé

    A LOT of us start out in the kitchen depending on cookbooks or recipes from magazines. That was the story for Kelley Cleary Coffeen when she made her first dessert as a teenager. It was a peanut butter brownie she found in Seventeen magazine that became the hit of her neighbourhood. She baked it for the next four years.
  • Get cultured

    LAST fall I was possessed of the idea of trying to make my own yogurt. This is the kind of fleeting thought that hits home cooks from time to time — trying to make something truly from scratch, such as wine, or cartoon-character birthday cakes, or bread. (I once also toyed with the idea of acquiring a kitchen-sized grain mill. Good grief.) Most of the time, these sudden fits of creativity come and go. Sometimes, they stick and actually become a viable skill, even if it's just a "culinary hobby." Other times, you just learn your lesson -- as in what is known at my house as the "Great Yogurt Experiment of 2010." This was quickly revised to the "Great Yogurt Failure of 2010."
  • Pizza with purpose

      You may remember Father Dominic Garramone from his PBS cooking series Breaking Bread With Father Dominic, which aired for a few years at the turn of the millennium.
  • The March to nutrition

    March is Nutrition Month in Canada, and it’s a great time of year to take stock of what your family is eating. Once again, Dietitians of Canada are encouraging folks to think about where their food is coming from with the theme From Field to Table.  In addition to encouraging Canadians to eat locally produced foods, dietitians are also looking for ways to help folks overcome the barriers to home food preparation, something that affects almost everyone one way or another, whether the issue is time, know-how, finances or family foibles, such as picky eaters.
  • Feel it in your bones

    AN email arrived on my desk a few weeks ago from the Manitoba chapter of Osteoporosis Canada. They’re holding their annual fundraiser (details on C4) and they sent me a package of information about this stealthy disease. It's sneaky because the slow but steady loss of bone mass occurs silently, without warning until the day when someone suddenly suffers a fracture.
  • Big taste, Big fun, Big easy

    February is a tough month. It hands you bitter cold, and then teases you with a few days that hover around zero. Then, just as you're getting used to the icicles that hang off your eavestroughs dripping all over you when you leave the house, the wind chill comes back to slap you upside your head. If you can't get away to a warm vacation, it's enough to make you feel like jumping out the window... except that then you'd be back out in the cold again, so you're really not getting any further ahead. The next best thing is an indoor party with some spicy foods, and that means Winnipeg's version of Mardi Gras (see left for tickets and details). You'll want to grab some feathers and beads, but keeping your shirt on is entirely your call.
  • Misery loves company

    She sang about being an old soul, but these days, she's more of a crabby one. Jessica Harper has had a long to-do list. She's a mom to two college-age daughters, author of 11 children's books, she's recorded seven CDs for kids, and she is an actor whose films include Woody Allen's Stardust Memories, Steven Spielberg's Minority Report, and Pennies From Heaven.
  • Slow & steady

    THE festivities are over for another holiday season, and that means hunkering down and waiting out weeks of cold weather. For me, the best part of the cold weather is using the slow cooker. My kitchen smells good, and when I’m really cold I can hover over the thing, rubbing my hands together while I wait for the kettle to come to a boil for tea. Vancouver chef Eric Akis has now added Everyone Can Cook Slow Cooker Meals: Recipes for Satisfying Mains and Delicious Sides (Whitecap, $25) to his ongoing series of cookbooks. I like Akis's cookbooks because when he says "everyone can cook," he means it. He writes in a way that is friendly for the novice, but incorporates both simple and very creative flavour combinations that will interest experienced cooks.
  • Have a tapas New Year!

    The Spanish word tapas means "to cover," and some say tapas started with Spanish barkeepers resting bread and meat on top of the glasses in which they were serving libations. Although not everyone agrees with that story, it's the most popular explanation, and chef Adam Donnelly and his partner Carolina Konrad, of Segovia Tapas Bar and Restaurant, are willing to go along with it.
  • Changing courses at the U of W

    A COUPLE of years back, Jamie Oliver (a.k.a. “The Naked Chef”) had the brilliant idea of going into British schools to try to change the way kids, parents and educators related to their food. He did it by changing the way their food is sourced and prepared. Under the leadership of 36-year-old chef Ben Kramer, Diversity Foods is taking the same experiment to the University of Winnipeg on a grand scale.
  • Have a very merry cookie party

    If you've been dutifully keeping up with Alison Gillmor's series of cookie recipes this month, then you have the raw material, or at least the raw cookie dough, to organize yourself and your fellow bakers for a cookie party. And since it will be all adults, you are not required to serve milk.

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