Local Fare: Bake Sale!

Hello Friends!

Long time no chat. So much to catch you up on! First of all, I have fig&fennel cookbooks in again finally. They look awesome! If you would like one, email me at alison.leontaridis@gmail.com and I will send you one. They are $30 and you can pay me by paypal or email transfer. There are a few retail outlets in Calgary that will have them as well…Should have a list to you by the end of the week!

In other exciting news…Calgary Food Bloggers are joining forces to put on a bake sale this weekend!!! All proceeds will go to the Brown Bagging project with the Calgary Kids Society. There are going to be amazing, delicious treats, and it’s going to be a lot of fun, SO, you should come and visit me there this weekend! Feb 11 and 12, 10am-5:30pm at Casel Marche at 17th Ave SW and 24th St. I will be there Saturday, Feb 11 from 10-12. I will actually have cookbooks available too if you want to pick one up from me there.

On a personal note: I survived January with nary a scar. It was the most beautiful January ever. Lots on the go: Picky Princess is loving Kindergarten, I have changed Foodie Baby’s name to Baby Light because she lives on about 10 calories a day and no longer loves food. Sexy Husband and I are working on some exciting things including The 1Night Benefit Concert, that we produce every year to raise money for a local charity. This year we are hoping to raise $50,000 for the Calgary Dream Centre. You should come, it’s going to be a great concert. Check it out here!

Hope to see you Saturday!

Recipe: Chocolate Raspberry Shortbread Squares

Chocolate Raspberry Shortbread Squares

Well Hello!!!

It’s been a long time! I hope you are all warm and well with people you love. I can’t believe fall is gone and Christmas is nearly upon us. I’m finding myself drawn to simpler things this year. Other years I find time and inspiration for decor and crafts and elaborate desserts and dinner parties and new recipes galore. This year I’m happy to read the girls Christmas books, toboggan, and meet friends for a glass of wine. But I am grateful for the season. Grateful for winter magic in little girl eyes.

Mini Cookbook update: I know. I know. I’m working on it. It’s too long and dreary to explain but let’s just summarize: new publisher, new format, first experience outsourcing(amazing), new graphic work, not a lot of free time, setting up online purchasing, soon.

I’m pretty sure I haven’t cooked anything since I last blogged which was…2 months ago. It’s true. Sexy Husband is on tour, Picky Princess and (super picky) Foodie Baby eat about 1 calorie each for supper, so I slice a lot of apples and boil a lot of eggs. I’m unapologetic. It’s the season. And seasons change all the time.

THIS recipe, however, is amazing. It is a no-fail-go-to-every-winter-binge-worthy dessert. It is easy and was handed down to me by a lady named Gail, who is wonderful. Gail is a friend of mine from Saskatoon, where I went to university. I was just there to watch a show Sexy Husband sang in and…she made it again! It brought back the happiest most nostalgic memories, even though I’ve made them myself every winter. Something about Gail making them, reminded me of cold COLD winters in Saskatchewan, surrounded by the warmest people I’ve ever met. I can’t actually find the original recipe she gave me, but it’s one that I can make in my sleep because it’s THAT GOOD. If you have holiday parties, cookie exchanges, or boring lonely nights when your husband is away on tour: this is a great treat. I’ve discovered this year that is pairs nicely with red wine(go figure).

Chocolate Raspberry Shortbread Squares

1 cup unsalted butter

1/2 cup icing sugar

2 cups flour

1/2 can sweet and condensed milk(Eagle Brand)

1 bag(approx) chocolate chips

raspberry jam

Preheat oven to 350. Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add flour and stir to combine. Press 2/3 of dough into a 8×8 glass baking dish. Bake for 15 mins. Remove from oven and drizzle with Eagle Brand, chocolate chips, small dollops of raspberry jam(try to space evenly for a little on every square) and the rest of the dough. Bake for 20 minutes more until edges are turning golden. Remove and cool completely. Cut into small squares(or large ones, whatever). They are much easier to cut if they’ve been in the freezer for a little bit.

Happy December!

Cookbook: Release Party

amazing and beautiful friends and family

prepping in the kitchen



seriously beautiful friends

I can’t believe it’s come and gone! We had such a great night. A deep and heartfelt thank you to all of you who came out to the Fig & Fennel Cookbook Release Party. I had such a beautiful night and feel deeply loved and supported! Cookbooks are sold out but I have another order in and will get an online order system set up soon! In time for Christmas orders!

A few things:

Thank you to Phil&Sebastian Marda Loop who were the most incredible and gracious hosts. It was a crammed full coffee shop and they made latte after latte, friendly as can be. Warren, gave up lots of space in his kitchen for us and was about the sweetest guy in the world. Brodie at Phil&Seb’s was so great to work with, and Kate who ran the night was sweet and lovely. I seriously couldn’t be more grateful.

Thank you to my amazing family for all the support. Jacquelyn who like the beaters, my Dad who stayed up way later than normal, my Mom and Auntie Rosie who ran the kitchen, my cousin Alex who came all the way from Toronto. They delivered sample after sample, and made sure it was a happy party. I couldn’t have had better help. I know they were prepared to buy my entire stock of books too, in case I needed them to step in.

Thank you to Leon and Graham for organizing music and sound. What’s a party without music? All week they worked for me, instead of the other way around. So grateful. And to the beautiful and talented Sarah Vann who came and sang and played and lit the room up with her incredible smile.

Thank you to the most supportive group of friends I have ever had. You have all treated me like the cookbook was equivalent to a Nobel Peace Prize. I was overwhelmed by one friendly face after another. It was honestly one of the most beautiful nights of my life.

Cookbook: Announcement


This morning I made my muffins, from my own cookbook. I can hardly believe it. After a year and a bit of cooking, writing, editing, cooking, cooking cooking, editing, crying….it’s done! I received the sample copy earlier this week and last night in the wee hours, I ordered my first batch of fig & fennel Cookbooks! Yay!

I’m figuring out order options etc, so stay tuned, but I will tell you that we are having a Cookbook Release Party on October 22 7-9pm at Phil & Sebastian‘s in Marda Loop (for you Calgary friends and foodies). There is going to be live music (obviously) and lots and lots of samples of food from the cookbook. Plus, as always, amazing coffee from P&S! Come buy a latte and a cookbook!

Cookbook Preview: Toasted Coconut Cookies

toasted coconut cookies

Thought I’d break out a little cookbook recipe to share with you all this week! I love this beautiful picture Kristy-Anne took. Something about the light makes me hopeful for spring. Enjoy!

Toasted Coconut Cookies

makes approx 3 dozen

1 cup coconut flour

1 cup spelt flour

1 cup dried unsweetened flaked coconut

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 cup coconut oil

1/2 cup honey

1 egg

large handful of chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350

Whisk dry ingredients together.

In a 2 cup measuring cup, stir together coconut oil, honey, and egg. Pour into dry ingredients and stir together. Add chocolate and stir. Drop teaspoons full of batter onto parchment lined baking sheets. Lightly pat down. The cookies will not spread hardly at all. Bake for 15 minutes until toasted looking.


Cookbook Preview: Brussels Sprouts

Brussels Sprouts

This post is dedicated to my fabulous blog friend Danielle in Vancouver, who has discovered a new love for Brussels sprouts and was looking for recipes. I happen to have the YUMMIEST Brussels sprouts recipe ever and it also happens to be in the cookbook, so: Cookbook Preview! Photos courtesy of Kristy-Anne at Up & Away Studios.

My dad, who is the healthiest man alive, loves all food EXCEPT Brussels Sprouts. Growing up, it was the only food that seemed to me like even grown ups think is DISGUSTING. They looked like awful little green brains and I refused to eat them. Then, we were visiting some family last year in Toronto. And my cousin Alex made this dish for us. I should title the recipe: Brussels Sprouts Are Not Disgusting. In fact they are amazing. And everytime I make this recipe, I hoard as many of them as possible. One of my favorite recipes of all time.


Brussels Sprouts

approx 2 lbs of fresh brussel’s sprouts, halved

1 large sweet onion, sliced

3 tbs extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup vegetable stock

3 tbs apple cider vinegar

1 tbs fresh rosemary, chopped

1/2 cup roasted sunflower seeds and/or pumpkin seeds

salt and pepper

Directions: Preheat oven to 400. Parboil brussel sprouts, drain. Combine sprouts with onions and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast in oven until golden and a bit crispy, approximately one hour. Combine herbs, stock and vinegar in a small saucepan. Simmer for 5 minutes. Put sprouts on a serving plate and pour stock mixture over them. Add sunflower seeds.

Cookbook: Production Update

Kristy-Anne and I met this week to go through and do an initial edit of the cookbook images. I haven’t seen most of them since they were actually taken when we did the final cooking of the recipes, mostly last spring, and I was totally stunned by how beautiful all the images are. I LOVE them. Fig&Fennel is going to be full of beautiful images of delicious healthy food. And it’s coming along! Once the chosen images are edited, I’ll start the graphic design part of the cookbook and from there we’ll decide if any other recipes need to be added, any blog favorites, and hopefully, we’ll have it out, at least for sale locally, sometime in the spring.

So there you have it. Cookbook Update.

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