Holiday Tourtière

For Christmas Eve this year, I decided to make a homemade tourtière. A tourtière is a French-Canadian meat pie, traditionally including game (rabbit, elk, etc…), but many contemporary recipes include a mix of ground beef and pork (or just one or the other!). This is a dish that various members of my Canadian family have…

My Favorite Cookie: Shortbread

Ah, shortbread. Buttery, delicious shortbread. Eating a tin of Walkers shortbread cookies is one of my FAVORITE things to do around the holiday season. Shortbread cookies have been a pretty typical stocking stuffer in my family for as long as I can remember. There is something about the simple, melt-in-your-mouth butter cookie that just gets…

The Great Sweet Potato Harvest of 2020

A couple of weekends ago, we decided it was time to turn over our raised garden beds. We have three, 3×5 foot raised beds in our back yard. In late spring we finally set it all up – installed our own drip-irrigation system and all! It was a good quarantine project to keep us busy….

Traditional Dark Fruitcake

As usual, it’s been quite some time since I’ve added a post – and I realized that I missed celebrating the 10 year anniversary of Twizzling Whimsies!?!? Time flies during quarantine, or something? I started this silly little blog in 2009, and I never would have guessed that it would still be alive (just barely)…

The search for the perfect salsa recipe

In the nearly 7 years since we moved to Tucson, I’ve been searching far and wide for the perfect salsa recipe. I don’t know if I’ve found it yet, but this one has come pretty close to replicating the salsa of one of my favorite Mexican restaurants in town – Rosa’s. This is a great…

Curried Nuts (plus a new focus on spice)

All! Hello! It’s literally been YEARS since I posted on the blog. I’ve been in a writing funk; work was so busy that I lost sight of many of the things of I enjoy, including cooking on a regular basis. This morning I decided that there was no time like the present to refocus, so…

Gymnocalycium pflanzii v. albipulpa, and a giant pancake

‘ve added some great new plants to my collection the last few weekends, and I’ve been meaning to do some general repotting as well (some plants have started to outgrow their current homes). It s fabulous cactus (and I miraculously haven’t killed it yet) and it flowers consistently – last year and this year I’ve gotten 4-7 flowers.

Melocactus Conoideus

My Melocactus Conoideus is a recent addition to my collection. This is an incredibly rare variety of melocactus (also known as Turk’s Cap Cactus) – in fact, it is nearly extinct in the wild. We’re lucky here in Tucson – apparently there is a local cactus aficionado who cultivates them from seed and painstakingly cares for the plants for YEARS until they reach this maturity – and then sells them to a few select nurseries around town.

Today in Tucson: Za’atar Restaurant & Bakery

Today was a day for patience and waiting: waiting to take my car into the dealership for servicing, waiting in the dealership lounge for a shuttle to take me to work, waiting for meetings to start at work, waiting to hear from the car dealership about what was wrong with my car (and then never hearing and having to call them instead), waiting for a ride back to the dealership, waiting in the lounge for my car to actually be ready, waiting for my dinner take-out.

Aloe Mitriformis Variegata

About 2 years ago, while I was wandering around the cactus and succulent section at Mesquite Valley Growers in Tucson AZ, I saw an older man putting a plant on display. It was the only one of its kind and it was overgrown in its container with offshoots (baby plants that grow from the base of the main plant). I looked at it for a few minutes and realized I’d never seen an aloe that looked like it before. Thus, my obsession with weird plants began.