Why we do what we do...

Through the ups and downs that life sometimes throws at you, the people in your life want to help. A lot of times that help comes in the form of food. 

Lori and I have often been on the receiving end of these gifts of food. They arrived during the obvious happy events of life - marriages and births, but also during the not-so-happy events - long term NICU stays, death of a spouse, cancer diagnoses, single parenthood, mental health disorders. These are a few of the situations that have allowed us to see the value in receiving meals and that gave our families one less thing to worry about when there's already a million worries that seem more important.

Our circumstances in life are some of the reasons why we wanted to open a business that offers the service we do. Lori and I are not alone in what we've experienced. We know that so many people have to go through crazy and traumatic situations in their own lives. Our people (friends, family, & perfect strangers alike) came together every time to lend a hand where they could. We were so blessed to be surrounded by our people. 

We are hopeful that our meals can help families who have enough on their plates. If there is a family that you know of that could use a little boost, give them the gift of food. You may not know how much it helps! Support your people, love your people, stand by your people all the way. They need you, even if they don't always tell you they do. 

If you're wanting to start a meal train and don't know where to start, let us help! If you want to pop by and be able to give a meal anonymously to someone who could use it, we'd be happy to deliver! If you've got a different idea, just send a message letting us know how we can help! 

xo,

Leah & Lori

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Lori Nikkel
Turmeric, Cardamom, and Lemon Crepes

I LOVE crepes! Who doesn't, really? I typically go for the nutella crepes myself, but you can basically do anything with a crepe. Sweet - with chocolate, yogurt, fruit, syrup, sprinkles, ice cream... or savoury - fried eggs and mushrooms, cheese, peppers and spinach... the possibilities are endless!

I woke up this morning with a twinge of panic, as I hadn't anything in the fridge that would be suitable for my 9 year old's lunch. And, truth be told, I'm out of ideas and inspiration for school lunches. It's nearly June and I want to be done with that. But I digress. So there I was in the kitchen, with some baking supplies, a spice cupboard, and 20 minutes to get my kid out the door.

Side note: I've been hearing a lot about turmeric in the last little while, and how good it is for you! If you haven't used this spice before, it is a bright orange spice that brightens up any dish, and is a major ingredient in curry. It is said to have a lot of benefits, including helping with inflammation. We use it in some of our meals at Supper Studio, but I thought I'd try something different with it this morning!

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YOU GUYS. You need to try this! If you can get past the idea of eating a crepe that is orange in colour, you will not regret this. I used white flour, because that's all I had, but whole wheat, or even buckwheat flour would be amazing, fresh eggs, turmeric, cardamom, a bit of ginger, lemon zest, and milk. Whisked it up so that no lumps remained, and voila! It took me less than 20 minutes to have three crepes rolled up, covered in strawberries and yogurt, and maple syrup drizzed on top, packed up and in a lunch kit. And the best part? When he got home, he said (and I quote), "Mom, those crepes were to die for!". TO DIE FOR! Ah, there's nothing better than a compliment about a school lunch from your child. Especially at the end of the school year! 

Turmeric, Cardamom, and Lemon Crepes

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 egg (or chia seed egg)
  • 1 cup milk 
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp cardamom
  • zest of one lemon
  • pinch of salt

Combine the egg and milk and mix until frothy. In separate bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients. Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and whisk until there are no more lumps.

Heat a frying pan and add 1 tsp of coconut oil. When the pan is hot, spoon in your batter and move the pan around to get a nice thin layer. Flip the crepe when it starts to bubble and cook for another minute until other side is cooked. 

Repeat with the rest of the batter. Makes about 6 large crepes. Fill or top with desired toppings and enjoy!

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Lori Nikkel
The Gift of Time.
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With Mother's Day around the corner, I find myself wondering what the most popular gifts are for the mom in our lives. I know our pre-school and elementary school kids often bring home cute crafts that a really ambitious teacher has dreamed up. Flowers and chocolates are a common gift. Dads often think that a super last minute run to the grocery store for flowers and a card is the ticket. Sometimes, if we organize a babysitter and make plans, our husbands will generously come along. amiright? I sound a little cynical, after all, I will acknowledge that sometimes our families do get it right... but rarely. 

What do we as moms really want...? There are some really amazing moms that all they really want is a beautiful day spent with their beautiful children doing all the things while laughing, playing and getting along. You are a better mom than me for wanting this. For me,  I know I'd love some time all to myself - I want to be called by my real first name - not "mom", I want to wear clean clothes without something sticky smeared on the legs or yogurt on the shoulder. It'd be pretty cool to drink a coffee while it's still hot or better yet, a full meal, still hot and not shared. 

I spend most of my days planning playdates and activities, phoning to organize said dates and activities, refereeing fights between kids, entertaining (which often includes dance-offs and singing competitions), doing laundry, folding laundry, planning meals, making meals, grocery shopping for those meals... it's the mental load of a mother (or parent). And that's not even going to work at a full-time job. So for a mom to ask for a break is completely okay!

So give the mom in your life the gift of time! Give her a little tiny break from the regular hum-drum of life! I have often said that Supper Studio meals give the gift of time. It frees up the hour every night that meal prep takes. The is a small plug for Supper Studio, but it truly does give a little breather at the end of the day when it's needed the most.  Give her the gift of an extra hour of sleep. Give her the gift of a clean kitchen after dinner is eaten. Give her the gift of an empty laundry basket! Give her the gift of clean sheets on the bed. Give her the gift of the toys put away. Give her the gift of a glass (bottle) of wine and a bath - with no little fingers creeping under the door. Give her that little bit of extra time that she can take in and fully appreciate the people around her. It truly is the little things! 

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms and moms-to-be! Let's make sure to celebrate all the amazing, hard-working moms in our lives!

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Photo credit for beautiful cover photo/thumbnail: Rachel Joyce Photography, Calgary, AB

 

Lori Nikkel
The Dilemma of Leftovers

Leftovers are often a little daunting to deal with. The thought of warming something up that was cooked yesterday and now looks a little unappealing is not exciting. I usually end up pawning them off on my school-aged son for lunches, or making sure my husband knows that he only has one option (leftovers) for supper.

Something that is always a hit with our two families is making some version of PIZZA with the leftovers. Let the creative juices flow, give the pizza a catchy name, and I feel like it's a win for everyone. Here are some ideas to get you started.

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As a "crust", there are many options. Naan bread, tortillas (corn or flour), buns, bread. The sky's the limit really.

Next you need a sauce. The obvious choice is pizza sauce, but you can use plain tomato sauce with some Italian spices, BBQ sauce, ranch dressing, pesto, hummus, heck, even refried beans taste amazing!

Use any leftover protein you have to layer on next (chicken, steak, deli meat, taco meat, bacon, beans, etc), and cover with veggies. Fresh veggies work well, but you could also use cooked leftovers - cubed sweet potato, squash.  I have been known to pile on leftover spinach salad here - goat cheese and all!

Basically all that's left is cheese! Cheddar, marble, gouda, feta, goat cheese - it's all acceptable. (maybe not at the same time!). 

From here just pop it in the oven on low broil for 6-8 minutes until edges are brown and the cheese has melted. You can eat it with your hands or with a fork! Give it a shot and let us know if this was a hit with your family too!

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I know this probably isn't going to solve all of the leftover problems in your house, but I wanted to give you an idea of what often happens in our houses. This might not be the meal that you choose to serve to the in-laws (or maybe it is... ) but it keeps some of those leftovers out of the compost!

Lori Nikkel
The Wish of a Lifetime

As some of you may know, Lori’s family was recently blessed with a Make-a-Wish Trip. Lori (and her Husband Ed’s) middle daughter, Cailyn, was diagnosed with ALL - Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia - when she was 7. This is a little bit about how special their Make-a-Wish trip was and how awesome the organization is from Lori’s perspective. 

 Beautiful Cailyn and Lori, waiting for a diagnosis in August 2016.

Beautiful Cailyn and Lori, waiting for a diagnosis in August 2016.

From our very first meeting with Vickie and Alyssa from Make-a-Wish Southern Alberta we felt the excitement. They were so excited and wanting to help with anything to give our family a little something to look forward to.

Throughout Cailyn's treatment, while at home and in hospital, we watched the Food Network and any cooking show that we could find. My kids fell in love with Gordon Ramsay. They've memorized every show, every contestant, every challenge. When Vicki asked Cailyn, “What's the thing that you would want to do more than anything?”,  Cailyn said, “Make Beef Wellington with Gordon Ramsay.”  My oldest daughter Ariana, Cailyn, and our youngest, Grayson, came up with this wish together. I thought it sounded absolutely crazy and there's no way that they could make that happen. 

Turns out, Make-a-Wish can literally make your dreams come true!

We put the wish on hold for almost two years while we dealt with a different diagnosis and treatment for our oldest daughter, Ariana. Vickie waited patiently until we were ready to pack up and go. Then, with less than a weeks notice, we were on a plane  to LA.  All the details were taken care of. It’s shocking how much time, energy, money and effort goes into one wish for one little person; how many people were in the background, that I will never get to meet, that were personally invested in Cailyn and our family.

 

And then Cailyn’s dream came true! We found ourselves on the set of MasterChef!  Not only did we meet the one and only Gordon Ramsay, we had the privilege of meeting the dozens of people that work in the wings to make such a huge production run smoothly. It’s amazing to see first-hand something that you are so familiar with on TV and how it compares in real life. 

*Sidenote* - I have MAJOR  pantry envy. Seriously. Forget watching filming and meeting all the cool people. I NEED that pantry. There’s actually three pantries and three kitchens and soooo many chefs. Food heaven. But I digress.

And then…. The Beef Wellington. Standing in the MasterChef kitchen receiving instruction from Gordon Ramsay. They were soaking in the moment. Watching them listen intently and follow instructions. He called them by their names, nicknames even. So caring and familiar, hugging and kissing them. He gave them so much care and attention. The person that they admire so much and was so much a part of our time at home. He made her laugh and gave my kids something to do together while Cailyn was in treatment. It was surreal for all of us to now experience him in real life too. 

 Beef Wellington made by Chef Cailyn with assistance from Chef Gordon Ramsay.

Beef Wellington made by Chef Cailyn with assistance from Chef Gordon Ramsay.

Unfortunately, we are unable to post pictures of the Chef here. So as much as I want to post every picture I have of the wonderful person he is, we don't have permission. But take my word for it, he is AWESOME. (and when we do get permission, I will probably blow up your Instagram newsfeed...)

Thank you for all of it Make-a-Wish Southern Alberta. Thank you. You've made my little girl so happy, and we were given the opportunity to celebrate Cailyn's health at the end of it all. 

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Lori Nikkel
WELCOME TO THE DISH!

Welcome to The Dish - a place where we will be sharing delicious food ideas, seasonal inspiration for your kitchen, news and updates about Supper Studio & personal happenings.

It has been a whirlwind of excitement since opening in August 2017! We (sisters and owners -Lori & Leah) have embraced the ups and downs of owning this wonderful business, and we absolutely relish in the fact that we are able to make busy lives a little less busy. Our customers are moms and dads with kids in activities, brand new parents who are feeling exhausted but still hungry, bachelors who want to eat real food that isn’t difficult to prepare, retired couples and singles who find it hard to cook for one or two, those who have had the unfortunate experience of a sick loved one and even those who have had to live through the tragedy of losing one they love. When times get tough (whatever tough looks like) – keeping a belly full of nourishing food can go a long way.

Something we have found both heartwarming and satisfying, is that more and more of our customers are gifting meals to friends and family – we LOVE that we get to play a part in helping out.

Our hope is that this blog will inspire you in the kitchen, help you through a bad day, or make you giggle at some of the silly things we do to each other (because sisters can be really silly)! Maybe you’ll get a small glimpse inside our crazy lives too!

So, make sure to follow us on social media as that’s where all the good stuff happens, and sign up for the newsletter because we want to keep you informed about all the assembly dates, workshops, classes and other news happening at the Studio.

As always, we appreciate all of your feedback!

xo,

Lori and Leah
 

Lori Nikkel