This story category covers quick, easy, healthy recipes; it also covers entertaining plus tools and techniques that make cooking easier.

Stack Of Cloth Napkins shutte

Why You Need To Use Cloth Napkins Daily

Here’s why you should use cloth napkins every day—and how (and where) to sew beautiful mitered-corner ones for yourself. (VIDEO)

Stack Of Cloth Napkins shutte


MONEY WELL SPENT | You should be using cloth napkins every day not only because doing so will save you money by cutting down on paper waste but also because you deserve nice things, and cloth napkins are nice all around: better next to the skin than paper ones, generally larger and more absorbent. Read more

Fresh berries (plate clipping path)

Make The Berry Best Dessert In Under 5

Clafoutis is unquestionably the most delicious and fruity dessert you can make in less than five minutes.

Fresh berries (plate clipping path)


EASY & DELISH | Some people call French clafoutis (pronounced cla-FOU-tee) a pancake-like dessert, while others say it’s more flanlike. No matter how you describe it, if it’s made with any fruit besides black cherries, it’s technically not a clafoutis but a flaugnarde—though no one we know, including superstar cookbook author Donna Hay, whose recipe we’ve adapted here, uses that term. So we’ll continue to call our favourite summer dessert—the easiest/sweetest thing you’ll ever make—a mixed berry clafoutis too. Read more

Eurow Microfiber Kitchen Towels

Finally, Attractive Microfiber Dishtowels

These microfiber dishtowels look stylish in the way that linen ones do—and function superbly, too.

Eurow Microfiber Kitchen Towels


GET THIS | I can’t help but think that if for some mysterious reason Fog Linen Work, a Japanese company that produces an exquisite line of linen products coveted by design devotees everywhere, were to suddenly go rogue and use microfiber rather than Lithuanian linen to make their kitchen towels, they might make a waffle-weave product like the one pictured here from the American company Eurow & O’Reilly. “Yes, aren’t these towels awesome,” my designer friend Margo concurred when I enthused about how attractive and effective hers were as we stood hand-drying dishes after dinner at her place awhile back. Read more

Sweet Surprise

Inexpensive Tortes That Take The Cake

If you’re in a rush or dessert from scratch isn’t your thing, one of these inexpensive frozen tortes will take the cake.

Sweet Surprise


EASY & DELISH |  Whenever I have a dinner party and, pressed for time, serve the attractive ready-made gluten-free dessert pictured here, my guests are often astonished to learn it was purchased at a home furnishings store. “No way,” was how one incredulous friend who knows my penchant for purchasing sweets put it recently. “I would have sworn you picked it up at some pricey little Euro-type bakery.” Read more

Whole Foods Wedding Cake - Wonderlust Photography

Alternatives To The Multitier Wedding Cake

 Instead of a single—and expensive—multitier wedding cake, some couples are serving up something different.

Whole Foods Wedding Cake - Wonderlust Photography


TREND ALERT | Traditional multitiered wedding cakes are expensive. Top Vancouver pastry chef Peter Fong of Ganache Patisserie charges on average $9 per guest for his wedding confections, while Sweet Thea, former pastry chef at some of B.C.’s very best restaurants, charges between $5 and $6 for hers. There’s no doubt that both of these talented cake makers make cakes that look and taste exquisite, but with so many other expenses plus guests to wine and dine, is it really necessary to spend between $600 and $1,000 (for an estimated 100 plus guests) for a delicious, eye-catching wedding cake? Read more

Sophia Vartanian - Modern Farmer magazine

A New Magazine For Modern Farmer Types

This new international magazine with a Vancouver connection is for anyone interested in where their food comes from.

Sophia Vartanian - Modern Farmer magazine


NEW NOW NEXT | While magazine publishers everywhere are getting out of print, Vancouver billionaire philanthropist Frank Guistra is jumping in. Last month, Modern Farmer, a new quarterly magazine on farming, which comes in both print and digital versions, launched in the U.S. with Guistra’s name listed prominently on the masthead as equity partner. Guistra is betting on the public growing ever more inquisitive about where their food comes from, how it’s produced, and how they can participate in the modern farmer movement. And he is counting on the talent and international connections of editor-in-chief Ann Marie Gardner, who made a name for herself as a writer and producer at Monocle and New York Times T: Travel, two stylish magazines known for nailing the zeitgeist. Read more

Glimma-tealights- IKEA

Which Tea Lights Burn Longest? Read This.

When using tea lights to illuminate a special event, you need to know exactly how long they will burn. Here’s what we discovered.

Glimma-tealights- IKEA


BUY RIGHT | One thing I know for sure about tea lights is that the burn time listed on the package never lives up to its promise. I have only my own experience to back up this claim, but over the past few weeks, I have been testing tea light burn times for an upcoming wedding reception, and, without exception, every wee candle came up at least one hour short. It may be possible for tea lights to burn for as long as the manufacturers contend, though I can only imagine that to do so, they would need to be in a place where the air is still. Read more

Gaby Dalkin's muffin-tin frittata

How To Make Muffin-Tin Frittatas

Super easy muffin-tin frittatas let you socialize with brunch guests instead of slaving in the kitchen. (RECIPE)

Gaby Dalkin's muffin-tin frittata


QUICK & EASY | In a few weeks, I’ll be hosting a post-wedding brunch. I want to serve something eggy, but I don’t want to hang around in my kitchen cooking eggs when I could be kibitzing with our guests. My friend Kerry suggested that to save time and whole lot of stress I might want to make muffin-tin frittatas, either baking them in advance (and rewarming them before serving) or mixing the ingredients ahead of time, plopping them into tins and popping these into the oven when we start to lay out our spread. Read more


Your inspiration for no-bake bird’s nest cookies for Easter

These chocolate and peanut  butter cookies are the easiest thing you’ll make this Easter.

Bird's Nest Easter Cookies - C. Rule



EASY & DELISH | If you’re casting around for an Easter adventure to share with the junior cooks in your life, these quick-made no-bake chocolate-and-peanut butter bird’s nest cookies are a slam dunk.

Read more

Black Bananas - C. Rule

How To Ripen Fresh Bananas In 15 Minutes

Who knew that if you needed to, you could ripen bananas this quickly.

Yellow Bananas-  shutterstock


EASY & DELISH | Several weeks ago, I was invited to a dinner party and asked to supply dessert. I wanted to take along Caren McSherry’s no-brainer five-minute banana ice cream (CLICK HERE for the recipe) but did not have overripe bananas on hand, could not find any at the grocery store and lacked the (several days) time it takes to force-ripen fresh bananas in a brown bag.

I was explaining this predicament to my foodie friend Anne when she suggested I speed-ripen my bananas by popping them the oven. “This trick is so easy,” she told me. “And oven-ripened bananas taste just as sweet as ones that have been left to over ripen on their own. I love they way they look, too. Their transformation is so radical it makes me think of magic.”

Here’s how Anne ripens bananas, and what yellow bananas look like after they’ve been in the oven. Read more