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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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Steamed Garlic & Chili Cabbage

Steamed Chili and Garlic Cabbage

The last time I was in New York City was also my first time ever. It was shortly after my Mom passed away and it had been her wish that the whole family go as sort of a celebration of her life. With 11 of us, including 2 babies, it took a great deal of organizing, back and forth emails, and reservations, navigating tastes, dress code, high chair availability, location proximity to hotel/show etc. It was really fun and memorable, but emotional for all of us and overall pretty stressful.

Steamed Chili and Garlic Cabbage

This past weekend we took another shot at it with no babies (except for the one rutabaga-sized stowaway in my belly), no boys, no reservations and no plans whatsoever. My three sisters and I were met by spring-like warmth, blue skies, a surprisingly well-located hotel and no pressure to see or do anything at all.

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Dill Pickle Kale Chips

Dill Pickle Kale Chips

In case you haven’t guessed by the recipe this week, I’m pregnant. Like actually very pregnant, I don’t know how time has flown by so quickly, but we are already six months along. It is really exciting news for us, and appropriate that this post happens to land on (Canadian) Thanksgiving.

Dill Pickle Kale Chips

I feel very lucky and beyond some nausea in the first trimester and worrying that I may never feel like cooking ever again, (and being SO EXCITED, that it’s hard to focus on anything else) it’s been a good pregnancy so far.

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Lemon-y Greens with Chickpeas

Lemony Greens with Chickpeas

I have a real thing for spanakopita, to the point where it occasionally takes over my brain until I do something about it. Does anyone else feel this way sometimes? I rarely give in to it entirely (although, sometimes I definitely do) but I realized at some point, that it was less about the actual Greek pastry and more about the cooked, flavourful, dense amounts of lemony greens.

Lemony Greens with Chickpeas

So this is what I have been making to fill that triangular pastry void, and it’s totally been working.

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