Category Archives: Top 5 Friday


Top Five Friday – 5 Easy & Delicious Treats for Valentines

I’m on a bit of a K.I.S.S. kick at the moment.  Two blogs will do that to a girl.  I’ve been spending a lot of time in front of the computer, which means less time in the kitchen…and dinners that are less than elaborate.

With that in mind, I’ve already planned our Valentine’s dinner — I’m way better off when I have a plan, aren’t you?

My plan consisted of phoning Howard at work and asking him to take me to Pender Sushi next Tuesday.  He made the reservation that very afternoon, and now my plans are complete!

Like I said, I’m way better with a plan.  The simpler, the better.

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Top 5 Friday – My Favourite “Photos That Didn’t Make It” – 2011

It’s that time of year again, kids!

Self-reflection, while recovering from the most emotionally draining holiday of them all, can turn bad on you pretty quickly — especially after a tough economic year like this one.

That’s why I like to keep it simple – don’t go too deep.  Last year, it was bread.  I resolved to never again spend $6.25/loaf on mediocre, inconsistent store-bought bread.  I didn’t do too badly — I bought a few buns from the grocery store bakery to get by here and there (and maybe a loaf or two), but for the most part, I stuck to my resolution — and I learned a lot about dough.

But, after signing myself up for a year of kneading (even if I made most of it in my Kitchen Aid), I decided to go even simpler this year.  And so, I present you with the 2011 Island Vittles’ Year in Pictures, (that for one reason or another, didn’t make it into a post of their own).

Not a resolution to be found…. ;)

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Top 5 Friday – The 7 Links Meme (aka Seven Superlative Links)

I know. — before we go any further, we have to acknowledge what I’m trying to do here:  I’m attempting to force 7 links into a Top 5 Friday post.  It’s kind of like trying to fit the batter for a 13″ x 9″ cake into an 8″ round pan.  Fortunately, my little squeeze play won’t result in burnt batter all over the bottom of my non-self-cleaning oven.

Tasty Trix tagged me on this 7 Links Meme on September 6  — when she gave it the name I prefer, Seven Superlative Links — now that’s what I call lighting fast response time, don’t you?  On top of that, Howard reminded me that I haven’t written a Top 5 post since the start of summer.  And so, in a fit of desperation, the 2 blog-related guilts weighing on my mind have collided into a single post that sort of fits together.

The challenge? Participants are tasked with choosing one post each of the most beautiful, overlooked, helpful, successful, popular, controversial, and the one of which they are most proud.

Given that November 30 marks the 2 year anniversary of Island Vittles, I think this is the perfect opportunity to take a look back over 2 years worth of posts, don’t you?  I’m glad we agree.

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Top Five Friday – 5 Best Homemade Condiments for BBQ Season

I’m ready for another celebration of homemade condiments.  Yay!  After all, I live my life (except in times of extreme, hormone-induced weakness) attempting to avoid what I refer to as “food from a bucket” — over processed, artificially glossy sauces in jars, for example.

That’s not to say that all store-bought condiments should be shuffled into the bucket category — because there are a lot of tasty ones on the shelves. But the good ones are usually the most costly (REAL ingredients cost $), and I’d rather spend my money on some grass-fed hamburger, or a few links of artisanal sausage.

After all, I can easily mix up a batch of homemade barbecue sauce or sweet chili sauce on the stove, but island “officials” may have more to say about me raising a bovine or porcine in our backyard.  I don’t think they give out permits for that.

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stinging nettles

Top 5 Friday: Five Interesting & Delicious Ways to Eat Stinging Nettles

How much do you know about stinging nettles?  They’re very hot with foragers and lovers of wild food, and they’re gaining a growing mainstream acceptance — both as a highly nutritious super-food, as well as a greener source for cloth and paper.

I’ve been a bit of a nettle head since we moved out of the big city, and I’ve got company here on Pender — one friend makes a beautiful nettle, calendula, lavender and chamomile blend that is more of a tonic than a tea.  Others make tasty soups, quiches and spanokopitas. If you can make it with spinach — you can make it (BETTER) with nettles.

So if you’re driving on Pender at this time of year, you may see more than one of us wearing our yellow dish gloves poking around in a clearing at the side of the road.  We’re not crazy — trust me — we’re just tending our nettle patch.

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