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db profileHey there!

Welcome to my little corner of the internet.

I’m Denise, the girl behind Sweet Peas and Saffron.  This is where I like to share my love for simple, delicious food.

A bit about me…

I’m a small-town girl from a teeny-tiny town in northern British Columbia, but I now live in Calgary with my partner in crime, Ben, and our little chubster, Kai.  I’m on maternity leave from my PhD program.

I named my blog Sweet Peas and Saffron because I had initially intended to blog about cooking stuff that I grew in my garden.  That was great for the summer, but what to do in the winter?  Naturally the cooking part took over {plus it turns out I have a bit of a black thumb}.

 My cooking philosophy…

I have no culinary training, but I love food, and I love to experiment with recipes of all kinds.  I pretty much can never just stick to a recipe!

My favorite ‘experiments’?  I love baking, preferably something fruity or chocolatey, or best of all, full of booze.  To balance out all that sweet/chocolatey/boozy baking, I also try to keep things lightened up whenever possible.  But sometimes, you just need some good old comfort food.

I also love trying food from around the world.  In a former life, I was fortunate enough to visit Australia {where I lived for nearly two years and picked up a souvenir in the form of a fiance}, New Zealand, Thailand, Brazil, Argentina, Cuba, Croatia, Nepal and Norway.  I LOVE experiencing different cultures and trying different food, and try to incorporate that ‘thrill’ into my cooking.

I used to have all the time in the world to putter in the kitchen, but now with a baby, my recipes must be do-able during nap-time, or that magical 30 minutes in the morning where he amuses himself in his exersaucer.  My focus is 100% on fast, simple, and delicious food.

I have very high standards and don’t post any recipes on my website that I wouldn’t make again.  The recipes that make the cut are truly recipes that I adore!  Currently, I test my recipes multiple times before posting, however I am in the process of re-testing my earlier dishes that were only tested once {and re-photographing some of them}.

That being said, I think that eating {and cooking} should be a fun experience, so I don’t take my food {or myself} too seriously.

Thank-you for stopping by and I hope you enjoy Sweet Peas and Saffron :)

denise kai profile

My future sous-chef

Favorite thing to bake: cookies.  I just love cookies: they are so versatile, quick to whip up, and they normally last for several days at least.  But I have lately been working on branching out into blondies, brownies, and cupcakes.

My baking bucket list: I need to get a solid birthday cake recipe.  There have been too many disasters at my place :(  I am also still on a quest for ‘the’ chocolate chip cookie recipe.  But also fast & easy breadsticks, foccacia bread, cinnamon buns, monkey bread, anything with yeast, really.  But I am currently too busy filling up my recipe index with bars.

Favorite happy hour cocktail: a good old margarita.  My favorite margarita on this blog is the Jalapeno & Cilantro Margarita.

Favorite cuisine from around the world: Thai.  I love Thai curries best of all…they are sweet, salty and spicy!  I am so fortunate to have been taught how to cook a variety of Thai dishes by my Thai mother-in-law Ning, while in Thailand!  Thank-you, Ning!

Next on my list of places to visit: I really want to say Morocco, but with a baby, it will more than likely be Mexico {which is also great!!}

Next on my list of cuisine to master: I am going to branch out from Thai food, people!  I want to get more comfortable with Mexican food, Indian, Ethiopian, all those places with big, bold flavors!

Favorite comfort food: I have a soft spot for macaroni and cheese.  No breadcrumbs allowed!

Favorite healthy food: I love a big, fresh, crunchy salad.  Our salads are always packed with veggies and topped with cheese, something crunchy {usually a nut of some sort}, and protein {usually chicken or beef}.  We just have one salad rule in our house: NO LETTUCE!

Favorite fruit: raspberries

Favorite vegetable: it’s a tie between kale and sweet potato

Best flavor combination: salty & sweet.  Love love love.

Coffee or tea: um…COFFEE!!!!

Chocolate or cheese: do I really have to choose?  Cheese.

My three most popular recipes:

1. Apple, Pear & Pomegranate Sangria

2. Key Lime Cupcakes with White Chocolate Frosting and Salted Pistachios

3. Strawberries & Cream Cheese Muffins

My three favorite recipes:

1. Jalapeno & Cilantro Margaritas {or limeade!}

2. Soft Ginger Cookies with Brown Butter Frosting

2. Salted Peanut Butter & Nutella Sandwich Cookies

3. Chipotle Cornmeal Waffle Tostadas with Chicken & Lime Crema