What’s Good This Week

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Hey folks! For those of you who were celebrating Thanksgiving this week, I hope it was a good one with lots and lots of pie. It’s kind of weird being a food blogger and being so invested in a holiday you don’t even really get to celebrate. I have to admit that I had a bit of FOMO watching everyone’s family dinners unfold on Instagram, especially since it’s been so many years since I’ve spent a Thanksgiving with my own family. 

But! We did have a ton of leftover pie from our expats dinner, so I was sure to raise a slice to you all on Thursday. 

Remember how last week I told you guys about how we got called home early from our Thanksgiving dinner early because Niko was sick? Well it turned out that he had strep throat and scarlet fever. 

Scarlet fever?! What is this, Little Women?! I didn’t think scarlet fever was a thing anymore, but apparently it is and it’s caused by the same gross bacteria as strep. Anyways, a couple of days of penicillin under his belt and he was right as rain, though taking the meds has been a process of negotiation. 

Why can’t they make medicine for kids that doesn’t taste disgusting? Is that so hard? We’ve been marking every dose on a chart with a sticker, and I told him that after he’s filled up the whole chart we’ll go buy a toy. He has informed me that he wants to get a hard hat, so I guess we’ll be getting off easy. 

Did you do any Black Friday shopping? I am, once again, obsessing over getting a Roomba, but haven’t yet (at the time of writing) pulled the trigger. The deals go on for most of the weekend so I’ve still got time. 

On the one hand it seems like such a frivolous expense. On the other hand, today I spent an hour vacuuming my apartment and then thought about how I could have just picked up all the kid crap from the floor and taken my monsters out while Randy the Roomba was scooting around dealing with all the sand and daycare detritus that piles up faster than I ever knew was possible. 

Other than that, I just picked up a few professional memberships that were discounted (keyword research programs and other sexy stuff like that) but more or less stayed away from the consumer frenzy. I took the kids to a museum this afternoon that meant switching from the tunnelbana (metro) to the bus in the city center, and man oh man was it crazy out there. 

Can you believe it’s December 1st already? What in the actual hell. I feel like I blinked and this year flew by me. I won’t be sad to see the backside of this year, that’s for sure. 

We’re almost at the one year anniversary of our bathroom getting ripped out – that happened December 3rd last year – and I remember packing up my tiny newborn and my sick toddler and pushing our enormous double stroller to the snow to head to a friend’s apartment for the day because we couldn’t be home during all of the jack hammering. 

I look back on all of that and just shake my head. People live through worse, that’s for sure, but man were those some trying times. I was dancing in the kitchen with Odin the other day, my big happy tank of a 13 month old, and crappy sleeper though he may be, he sure is a lot of fun right now. 

He has a keen sense of humour and is fast to learn new jokes. He loves playing games, and he LOVES reading books. I don’t remember Niko ever doing this, but Odin has recently become VERY opinionated about what books we read. He went through a week of being obsessed with Eric Carle books, then Dr. Zeuss, then Sandra Boynton, and now he’s onto these books about a scruffy dog called Hairy Maclary

There is no mistaking which book he does and does not want to read, and he’ll make sure you know what’s what. He loves “helping” with the laundry, either by taking it in and out of the laundry machine, or, if I’ve put it on the living room sofa to fold, by moving it from on the chair to under the chair and back. 

We got this piece of blue ribbon on a bakery box recently, and he keeps putting it around his neck and walking around the house wearing it like a tiny tailor. It cracks me up. 

He’s an increasingly steady walker, a fearless climber, and the biggest flirt I’ve ever met. I wish that when you were in the weeds with a little baby you could get little windows into life one, three, five years from now, and see that you’ll be just fine. I remember one day when he was maybe four months old and I was trying to sort some laundry while he was in his little baby bouncer seat, and I just couldn’t get anything done, not even folding the socks, because he was so fussy. 

I’d like to have shown that tired, frustrated momma a little window into toddling around the museum with this little guy today, not even having to carry him all that much. And I’m sure that the me with five and seven and ten-year-old kids would like to show the me right now the same. 

Anyways. Another year, just like that. Who’da thunk.

We’re kicking off our Christmas baking this weekend with some surely haphazard gingerbread baking with Niko and his best gal pal Elliot. We’re using my Grandfather’s recipe (there’s a terrible old post with the recipe here) and will be doing rolled cookies so we can decorate them with the copious amount of candy and whatnot that I bought.

I’m also going to do a batch of Brown Sugar Shortbread and, of course, a batch of Nicky Balls. 

Speaking of which, a few people reached out about the Nicky Ball recipe after reading this post on how to make peace with holiday eating. I’m probably not ever going to post it here on the blog because it’s just not a HNL kind of recipe, but if you want the recipe just shoot me an email and I’ll send it to you. 

Bros before hose.


We kicked the week off by squeezing in one last veggie side dish for Thanksgiving, but it’s so good I’m planning to make it for Christmas dinner too. This Vegan Sweet Potato Casserole is free from refined sugar, and has a super tasty pecan crumble topping. 

vegan sweet potato casserole on a white plate

Next up, I updated and revised my list of My Favourite Healthy Cookbooks. If you’re planning to get a cookbook or two to give as Christmas gifts, be sure to check out this list!

A stack of healthy cookbooks on a white table

And, because it’s that time of the month again, another edition of Just Between Us. Glad to hear that #9 resonates with so many of you! 


Here’s a look at what’s trending this week, according to Google Analytics:

1. Amazing Vegan Gravy. This week obviously has a big Thanksgiving theme to it. 

2. Homemade Pumpkin Purée. I expect this one will be dropping off after this week. 

3. Naturally Sweetened Pumpkin Pie. Another whole year before pumpkin pie again. Say it ain’t so!

4. Black Bean and Quinoa Freezer Burritos. An outlier! But a tasty one.

5. Turmeric Latte Mix. Adding a video to this post this week, so be sure to check it out!


Andrea left the following comment and 5-star review on my Vegetarian Ravioli Bake

Made this tonight and it was a hit with both adults and kiddos! I love how easy this was to make and appreciate the minimal cleanup afterwards. This is definitely going into our regular rotation. Thanks for sharing such a great recipe!

overhead photo of a serving of vegetarian ravioli bake on a blue plate and a casserole dish to the side

Yes! It’s one of my favourites as well!


icon of globe with text "what's good around the web" 1. Don’t be mad, but hangry might not be a thing

2. Cooking is the ultimate antidote

3. Why your doctor can’t tell you what to eat

4. Intermittent fasting is the diet of the moment



  1. Katie says

    Wait, there’s more than one Hairy Maclary book?!

    (I’m a book nerd in general , so I’m currently a toddler book nerd with 16 month old twins, I love reading your atuff about food and nutrition, but Harry Maclary surprised me into commenting;D).

    Saundra Boynton has written so many books, but if you haven’t read But not the hippopotamus and and it not the armadillo back to back, I recommend them.

    • Katie Trant says

      Yes! I think there are at least 3 Hairy Maclary books. We have two of them but I noticed another when I was looking online. We have but not the hippopotamus but we don’t have the armadillo book so I’m going to order it, thanks for the tips!

  2. TESSA says

    Just as I suspected. Cooking is not only good for your health, but can be just as good for your mental health. Lately I’ve been chasing my dh out of my kitchen. I think there is meditation in the solitude, creativity, and pleasant mundanity of many kitchen tasks. I am lucky to have the time and space for it.

  3. Claire says

    I totally agree with Molly: robot vacuums are amazing. We have a Eufy brand and love it! I did a lot of research and used Consumer Reports to pick. My husband found it on sale for $150 earlier this year and we haven’t looked back. We use it every day when we’re out for a walk with the dog or if we’re all out for the day. It picks up so much dog hair, dust, dried leaf detritus, etc. It has honestly helped me keep my sanity and has been well worth the $150. If it died tomorrow I’d get a new one immediately on Amazon Prime. I for sure recommend you get one-you work hard and you deserve it!

    On the topic of Thanksgiving: This may be the first year I can remember not eating myself sick. I had plenty, don’t get me wrong, but after dinner I was so full I had a sliver of pumpkin pie and that was all. I didn’t have any dessert the next day, and I had a little apple crisp the next day (for breakfast of course). This also happens to be the first year in probably six where I’m not tracking on weight watchers or Lose It or actively trying to lose weight. Your post about holiday eating and all your posts about relationships with food have helped me. After falling into a depression caused by feeling completely overwhelmed, I decided to give myself a break on some things, including the 10 lbs that has been hanging out that I normally would fight. It gives me so much mental space back to not be counting every calorie I consume and just focusing on mostly eating healthy and sometimes eating mashed potatoes and gravy. It seems like the less I’m focused on food the more room I have to actually figure out what I want, how I feel, and what my body would like to have. Not that I’ll never count calories again, but for now it’s awesome.

    • Katie Trant says

      Claire! This is such an awesome comment! I’m so glad you’re finding some peace with food choices, and that you enjoyed your thanksgiving eats without getting overwhelmed by it. It’s not a linear process by any means, but every guilt-free food day matters.

  4. Molly says

    Robot vacuum cleaners are amazing. I think they will become as normal as dishwashers within the next ten years – why spend time on a boring chore like vacuuming when you have other stuff to do?

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