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Tuesday, August 1, 2017



Immigration lawyers warn of border confusion and travel nightmares that may come with legalized pot and admitting use to a U.S. border guard.

Ross Rebagliati became a role model for countless Canadians when he won the inaugural gold medal for men's snowboarding at the 1998 Nagano Olympics. But Rebagliati is also a notable example of what could soon be an increasing cohort of Canadians: those banned from travelling to the United States because of admitted marijuana use.
Rebagliati's story is of course closely entwined with the marijuana debate: he was initially disqualified in Nagano after testing positive, then reinstated. And of course, Justin Trudeau's Liberals have pledged to legalize the substance next year.
Rebagliati's U.S. travel ban, however, was only recently reversed. And his lawyer, Len Saunders, says the march to legalization won't stop such incidents from happening; in fact, he expects it to make them more common.
The "pot issue" has been simmering for years, stemming from the fact that admitting an instance of past marijuana use to a U.S. border guard can get you permanently banned from entering the U.S., even if the use took place in a jurisdiction where marijuana use is legal.
"When the person admits to the essential elements of a controlled substance violation, then they're basically barred for life," says Saunders, who is based in Blaine, Washington.
According to Saunders, incidents of drug-related border bans have risen sharply since the state of Washington legalized recreational marijuana five years ago.
"Before, I would see these situations once or twice a month, and now I'm literally getting calls every day," he says.
'U.S. border marijuana hell'
The no-tolerance approach can be a shock to travellers who don't realize that they can be penalized for casually admitting use, and that the laws of the country they're leaving and the state they're entering don't factor into it at all.
This is because U.S. Customs and Border Protection is a federal agency, and therefore subject to federal laws that consider marijuana a schedule 1 controlled substance. So you can be entering Washington or other states, where pot is legal, and still get hung up at a border that plays by different rules.
This can lead to some truly confusing situations.
Mark Belanger, an immigration lawyer in Vancouver, had a recent client who went through the ringer of U.S. border marijuana hell.
The client, a German citizen who had recently moved to British Columbia with his German-Canadian wife, was required to leave Canada and re-enter to activate his workers' permit, and decided to spend the day in Seattle.
"What to they do when they're down there? They smoke some marijuana because it's legal," says Belanger.
When they returned to the border, Canadian officials detected marijuana on him and told him he wouldn't be allowed into Canada until the marijuana was out of his system. So the couple did a U-turn with the intention of staying overnight on the U.S. side.
But to do so required them to go through U.S. border controls, where officials asked why he had been turned away at the Canadian border. When he admitted the legal marijuana use, they banned him from entry there as well.
"He's a German national, and they can't send him back to Canada, so they put him in deportation proceedings. They arrest him, handcuff him, bring him down to Tacoma to the detention centre," says Belanger. "We were able to get him out in three weeks. That's fast, believe it or not."
Of course, Canadian citizens don't have to worry about being turned back at both the Canadian and U.S. borders, but they can be banned from U.S. travel, as is Belanger's client.
Typically, border officials will only ask about pot use if triggered by something, such as physical evidence, a conversational snippet, or something suggestive like a T-shirt with a cannabis leaf on it. Belanger says a group of teenagers crossing the border for a concert would also raise red flags and probing questions.
But the fear is that legalization of the drug in Canada could both prompt more aggressive questions from border guards and perhaps embolden Canadian travellers — unaware of the border rules — to admit to using it.
"The border officers are going to have more of a tendency to ask questions to Canadians when they know that it's legal," predicts Saunders.
Lying is not advised, as misleading a border official carries even stiffer penalties. Canadians do, however, have the option of withdrawing their application to enter the United States. Border officials may hassle you about it, but they will have to let you go. However, you will likely face questions about it the next time you try to cross.
And while a ban can usually be worked around by obtaining a waiver, as in Rebagliati's case, doing so is costly and requires hiring a lawyer. This means that both Saunders and Belanger expect their already busy schedules to become more crowded starting next year.
"This is a major problem on the horizon and I'm not entirely sure if the liberal government's thought it through," says Belanger.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Strawberries and Cream Cookies

Julia Ewan


Shortbread dough is enlivened with a splash of cream and bits of dried strawberries. To prevent the cookies from spreading, work with chilled dough and do not press the dough flat before baking.

STORE: Wrap each cooled cookie in wax paper, then place in a jar or on a plate with a domed cover; cookies will be good for 4 to 5 days. Wrapped dough may be refrigerated for 2 to 3 days. To freeze the dough, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and seal in a heavy-duty resealable plastic food storage freezer bag for up to 2 months.


3/4 cup sugar (may substitute superfine sugar)
16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups flour, plus more for dusting
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup finely chopped white chocolate
3/4 cup dried strawberries, finely chopped

Finely pulverize the sugar in a food processor, letting the machine run for about 10 seconds. (Skip this step if using superfine sugar.)

Combine the sugar and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer or a hand-held mixer; beat on low speed for several minutes, until fluffy. Add the flour, vanilla extract, cream and salt; mix well. Stop the motor and stir in the white chocolate and dried strawberries, mixing until evenly distributed. The dough should be firm (if not, add up to 2 tablespoons flour and incorporate well). Transfer to a lightly floured work surface; knead gently for about 1 minute, until it holds together and becomes firmer. Flatten the dough into a disk, wrap well with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and as long as 12 hours.

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Stack 2 baking sheets together and line the top sheet with parchment paper.

Gently roll out the dough to a thickness of about 1/2 inch; use a 2-inch round cookie cutter to cut out the cookies. Place at least 1 inch apart on the baking sheet; reduce the temperature to 300 degrees and bake for about 40 to 50 minutes, until lightly browned around the edges. Let cool on the sheet for 5 to 10 minutes, then transfer carefully to a wire rack to cool completely.

Adapted from "A Passion for Baking," by Marcy Goldman (Oxmoor House, 2007).

Tested by Maryann Haggerty and Bonnie S. Benwick.

Nutritional Facts
Calories per cookie (based on 36): 98
% Daily Values*
Total Fat: 5g 8%
Saturated Fat: 3g 15%
Cholesterol: 14mg 5%
Sodium: 18mg 1%
Total Carbohydrates: 12g 4%
Dietary Fiber: 0g 0%
Sugar: n/a
Protein: 1g

Strawberry Barley Scones

MAY 5, 2010

Barley has very little gluten, which means it needs another agent -- all-purpose flour, in this case -- to bind it. The barley flour and bits of butter ensure the tenderness of this crumbly scone, while the jam caramelizes at the edges.


8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces, plus more for greasing the baking sheet
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons barley flour, plus more for the work surface
1 cup flour
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 cup regular or low-fat buttermilk
1 large egg
1/2 cup strawberry jam or marmalade
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon granulated sugar

For the scones: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Use a little butter to grease a rimmed baking sheet.

Sift the flours, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a mixing bowl, pouring into the bowl any grains that may remain in the sifter. Add the butter, then use your hands or a pastry knife to break the butter into pieces the size of grains of rice. The quicker you work, the more solid the butter will remain, which is important.

Whisk together the buttermilk and egg in a small bowl, then pour it into the flour mixture and stir until barely combined.

Liberally flour a work surface. Transfer the dough to the surface and dust the top of it and your hands with additional flour, folding the dough a few times so it is not sticky.

Divide the dough in half. Flour your hands and pat each piece into a disk 7 inches across and about 3/4-inch thick. Use the pastry scraper to loosen the disks from the work surface.

To assemble: Spread 1 disk of dough with the strawberry jam or marmalade. Place the remaining disk on top, pressing down gently so the dough settles into the jam. Brush the top of the second disk with the melted butter, then sprinkle it with the sugar.

Use a sharp knife to cut the double-decker disk into 8 equal wedges. Carefully transfer them to the baking sheet, spaced a few inches apart. Bake on the middle rack for 22 to 26 minutes, rotating the sheet halfway through. The scones are ready when their tops are golden brown and some of the jam or marmalade has bubbled over onto the baking sheet.

Use a metal spatula to transfer the scones to a wire rack to cool slightly (and to keep them from sticking to the sheet as they cool).

Serve warm.

Adapted from "Good to the Grain," by Kim Boyce with Amy Scattergood (Stewart, Tabori and Chang, 2010).

Tested by Samuel Fromartz.

Nutritional Facts
Calories per scone (using low-fat buttermilk): 330
% Daily Values*
Total Fat: 14g 22%
Saturated Fat: 9g 45%
Cholesterol: 60mg 20%
Sodium: 600mg 25%
Total Carbohydrates: 47g 16%
Dietary Fiber: 3g 12%
Sugar: 17g
Protein: 5g

Strawberry Bread

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

JUN 18, 2014

Ripe, local strawberries are just right for this moist quick bread.

Serve with cream cheese.

MAKE AHEAD: The bread can be stored at room temperature for up to 4 days, or frozen for up to 3 months.

Tested size: 8 servings; makes one 7 1/2-to-8-inch loaf

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour, preferably pastry flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1 1/4 cups hulled, mashed strawberries

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 7 1/2- or 8-by-4-inch glass loaf pan with cooking oil spray, then line with enough parchment paper so that the short sides have an overhang (which will help you lift out the baked bread).

Whisk together the flours, sugar, salt, cinnamon and baking soda in a mixing bowl.

Add the eggs and oil, then the mashed strawberries (and their juices), stirring to form a batter that turns a raspberry pink, with visible chunks of strawberries. Transfer to the loaf pan, spreading the batter evenly and into the edges. Bake for about 75 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then lift out using the parchment paper, transfer to a wire rack to cool before serving.

Rating *****[2]

Adapted from a recipe on the Spiral Path Farm Web site.

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

Nutritional Facts
Calories per serving: 350
% Daily Values*
Total Fat: 20g 31%
Saturated Fat: 3g 15%
Cholesterol: 45mg 15%
Sodium: 220mg 9%
Total Carbohydrates: 39g 13%
Dietary Fiber: 2g 8%
Sugar: 20g
Protein: 4g

Strawberry-Rhubarb-Glazed Chicken Thighs

Michael Temchine for The Washington Post

NOURISH MAY 13, 2009

This is my riff on sweet-and-sour chicken. I've cleared away the goop to get a dish that tastes great, with a fun mingling of flavors.

Gone is the canned pineapple, replaced with grilled pineapple slices. Out went the breading and frying; skinless chicken thighs are grilled instead. The fruity tang comes from a homemade glaze that is applied to both the fruit and the chicken. I've added some blanched and quickly charred scallions.

The dish requires a few steps, but I bet you'll like the results.

If you happen to have strawberry-rhubarb jam, you can substitute 3/4 cup of it for the strawberries, rhubarb, water and sugar. Just combine the jam with the onion and mustard seeds and cook for about 25 minutes, until the onions are soft.

I'd be up for trying to make over a favorite a dish of yours. Send an e-mail with NOURISH MAKEOVER in the subject field to



1 stalk rhubarb (about 2 ounces), cut into 1/4- to 1/2-inch dice to yield 1/2 cup
4 to 6 large strawberries, hulled and cut into 1/4- to 1/2-inch dice to yield 1/2 cup
1 small onion, cut into small dice (1/2 cup)
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons mustard seed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup water
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
8 scallions (root ends trimmed off), remaining white and light-green parts about 6 inches long
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 pound peeled and cored pineapple, cut into four 1/4- to 1/2-inch slices
8 (32 ounces) bone-in skinless chicken thighs
Freshly ground black pepper


For the glaze: Combine the rhubarb, strawberries, onion, sugar, mustard seeds, salt and water in a small saucepan over medium to medium-high heat. Stir to mix well until bubbles form at the edges. Cook for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally and making sure the mixture does not boil over, until it has reduced by half; the vegetables should be quite soft.

Carefully transfer to a blender. Remove the center portion of the lid to let steam escape, then place a dish towel over the lid. Puree until smooth, then add the vinegar and pulse to combine. Divide the glaze evenly between 2 small bowls.

For the chicken and pineapple: Prepare the grill for direct and indirect heat. If using a gas grill, preheat to medium (350 degrees). If using a charcoal grill, light the charcoal or wood briquettes; when the briquettes are ready, distribute them on one side of the cooking area. For a medium-hot fire, you should be able to hold your hand about 6 inches above the coals for about 6 or 7 seconds. Have ready a spray water bottle for taming any flames. Lightly coat the grill rack with oil and place it on the grill.

While the grill is preheating, bring a shallow pan of lightly salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the scallions and cook for 2 minutes (for thin scallions) to 4 minutes (thick), then use tongs to transfer them to a plate. They should be tender and bright green.

Lightly salt the pineapple slices and chicken thighs; season the chicken with pepper to taste. Place them on the grill over direct heat; close the lid. When the pineapple has good grill marks on one side (5 to 6 minutes), turn the pieces and move to the indirect-heat side of the grill.

Use one bowl of the glaze to brush the pineapple. Grill (with the lid closed) for 5 to 6 minutes. At the same time, turn over the chicken thighs once they have grill marks (10 to 13 minutes), allowing the second side to get color and grill marks (10 to 12 minutes). Then transfer to the indirect-heat side of the grill and brush with the glaze in the second bowl.

As the pineapple and chicken thighs are done, transfer them to a platter; use the space on the grill rack to grill the par-cooked scallions close to the indirect-heat side of the grill just for a few minutes, until they are slightly charred.

To serve, cut each slice of grilled pineapple vertically in half, placing a half-slice on each plate. Top with 2 grilled chicken thighs, 2 grilled scallions and a second pineapple half.


From columnist Stephanie S. Sedgwick.

Tested by Stephanie S. Sedgwick.

Nutritional Facts
Calories per serving: 386
% Daily Values*
Total Fat: 8g 12%
Saturated Fat: 2g 10%
Cholesterol: 165mg 55%
Sodium: 266mg 11%
Total Carbohydrates: 37g 12%
Dietary Fiber: 2g 8%
Sugar: 28g
Protein: 41g

Stir-Fried Chicken With Red Onion and Basil

MAY 19, 2004

"Serve hot": Those words often appear at the end of recipes.

But some dishes benefit from a few moments off the heat. It allows the ingredients to meld with one another.

This is one of those dishes. Taste the difference for yourself.



1 cup tightly packed holy basil, Asian basil or Italian basil leaves
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped garlic
1 large red onion, cut into 1-inch chunks or wide half-moons
3/4 pound boneless, skinless chicken, cut into bite-size pieces
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh green chili peppers, such as Thai, serrano or jalapeno (optional)


Cut the basil into chiffonade (very thin slices) or tear it into pieces. Set aside.

In a wok or large, deep skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Add the garlic and onion and toss to coat. Add the chicken and stir-fry until golden on all sides but not cooked through, about 5 minutes.

Add the fish sauce, soy sauce, water and sugar and cook, uncovered, tossing now and then, just until the chicken is cooked through and a thin, smooth sauce forms, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the chili peppers, if using, and basil and toss well. Remove from the heat; set aside for 5 to 10 minutes to allow the flavors to mingle. Serve warm, not hot.


Adapted from "Quick & Easy Thai" by Nancie McDermott (Chronicle, 2004).

Tested by Renee Schettler.

Nutritional Facts
Calories per serving (based on 4): 183
% Daily Values*
Total Fat: 11g 17%
Saturated Fat: 1g 5%
Cholesterol: 32mg 11%
Sodium: 883mg 37%
Total Carbohydrates: 7g 2%
Dietary Fiber: 1g 4%
Sugar: n/a
Protein: 14g

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

No-Bake Chocolate Oat Cookies

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post


More confection than cookie, these make an easy addition to a holiday tray assortment.

Make Ahead: The cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks or frozen for several months.


1/2 cup sliced raw almonds
6 ounces high-quality bittersweet chocolate (preferably at least 60 percent cacao), chopped
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup whole milk
2/3 cup almond butter
1 teaspoon almond extract
3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (do not use quick-cooking or instant oats)
1/2 cup unsweetened dried cherries, chopped
2 tablespoons fleur de sel or other flaked sea salt
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper.

Toast the almonds in a small, dry skillet over medium-high heat, shaking the pan frequently, until they are lightly browned and smell toasty, 2 to 3 minutes, being careful not to let them burn. Cool completely.

Combine the chocolate, sugar, instant espresso powder, butter and milk in a large saucepan over medium heat; cook for a few minutes, stirring, until the mixture is melted and smooth.

Stir in the almond butter and almond extract until well incorporated, then add the oats. Cook and stir for 3 to 5 minutes so the oats become slightly softened, then remove from the heat.

Stir in the cherries and toasted, cooled almonds. Allow to cool slightly, then scoop out 36 rounded tablespoons of the mixture, dropping them onto the baking sheet. Sprinkle with the fleur de sel or other sea salt, then sift the cocoa powder over the tops.

Transfer the sheet to the refrigerator; chill for at least 1 hour or until the cookies are firm.

From Food editor Joe Yonan, from his "Serve Yourself: Nightly Adventures in Cooking for One" (Ten Speed Press, 2011).

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

Nutritional Facts
Calories per cookie: 120
% Daily Values*
Total Fat: 8g 12%
Saturated Fat: 3g 15%
Cholesterol: 5mg 2%
Sodium: 260mg 11%
Total Carbohydrates: 13g 4%
Dietary Fiber: 2g 8%
Sugar: 6g
Protein: 2g