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(Naturally Sweetened) Rhubarb Compote

Naturally Sweetened Rhubarb Compote

This is a selfish post, as I’m satisfying a craving that just won’t let go. Rhubarb compote (stewed rhubarb?), one of the most unique textures, delightfully seasonal, extremely easy to prepare and for some of us, deeply nostalgic.

Naturally Sweetened Rhubarb Compote

We moved to the suburbs when I was 11. This move brought with it a bigger back yard which meant a big garden, already filled with fun and mysterious fruits and veggies that kept popping up before our eyes. We had more raspberries than we knew what to do with (at least above the snout level of our giant dog) and lots of exotic-looking, jungle-y rhubarb plants.

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Millet & Butternut Squash Polenta with Roasted Beets

Millet & Butternut Squash Polenta with Roasted Beets

I was picking up my husband from work one of those very icy nights in January when you wonder why you’re anywhere but home. I left early (because Vancouver + snow = unpredictable everything) and got there a bit early. I was parked and listening to the CBC and they had one of those calm-voiced announcers on talking about a Danish word/concept called ‘Hygge’.

Millet & Butternut Squash Polenta with Roasted Beets

I had never heard of it before, but sitting in my chilly car, around dinnertime at about 40 weeks pregnant, they had my full attention. As it turns out I want to live in Denmark. Hygge is something that we don’t have a direct translation for let alone a word for in the English language. Roughly, it means ‘cozy’ but it’s more than that.

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Spiced Pear Baked Steel-cut Oatmeal

Spiced Pear Baked Steel-cut Oatmeal

I know I’ve mentioned it here before, but I don’t have the warmest feelings towards traditional oatmeal. I think it is because I was ruined by those instant packs as a kid. You know, the ones you rip open, pour into a bowl, observe with excitement all of the sugar mixed in with the oats and add tepid water to? Bonus points if there were pictures of cute animals on the pouches.

As a semi-adult making my own oatmeal and realizing how much actual sugar I needed to add to make it taste like the stuff I was familiar with was sort of embarrassing and so I just lay off it altogether.

Spiced Pear Baked Steel-cut Oatmeal

My husband loves it though and will order it any time we go out for breakfast and even make it when he’s feeling inspired. So when we went surfing a few months ago (baby belly and I were surf-watching/walking/reading), I knew we were staying in a place with a questionable kitchen situation (a kettle) so I decided to try something. I filled a big mason jar with instant (not ideal) oats, chia, hemp hearts, dried fruit and lots of warming spices (as seen in this recipe) and shook it up.

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Warm Eggnog Chia Pudding (with Pear & Cranberry Compote)

Warm Eggnog Chia Pudding

My husband bought a scented candle a couple of weeks ago called ‘wood smoke’ (so manly). I think he was trying to compliment his favourite tv show, the channel that just has the burning fire log with the guy’s plaid arm stoking it once in a while. Anyway, (luckily?) it doesn’t smell like burning anything, but mysteriously, more like how you want Christmas to smell, which is just so awesome.

Warm Eggnog Chia Pudding

As much as I love the lights and decorations and the Peanuts Christmas soundtrack, by far my favourite thing about the holiday season are the smells. Everything from the fresh cut trees outside the grocery store, freshly peeled mandarin oranges, your neighbours up the hall getting a jump on their gingerbread baking, the way the air smells when its thinking about snowing, simmering mulling spices and warm roasty dinners all make this season so nostalgic and infectious. It’s hard not to jump on board with both feet, at least in the beginning.

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