Posts tagged ‘favorites’

Beets, squash, kale and chickpeas…together at last

There’s nothing like a week off work to spur on more blogging. I’ve been looking through a few photos I took in recent weeks and found this one of a veggie dish I made for a holiday dinner with friends. I started with an ingredient that everyone seems to love: roasted beets. I also had butternut squash, a fresh bunch of kale, chickpeas, pumpkin seeds and shallots, all things that have come to be staples in my kitchen one by one over the past few years, so that’s how this dish came to be.

Uplifting day-glo colours, healthy veggies, a bit of protein, and aside from the messiness of beets it’s a snap to make.

(more…)

January 4, 2012 at 4:03 pm 1 comment

Gnocchi with chanterelle mushroom sauce


We hosted a dinner party on New Year’s Eve and with that I decided to tackle a long held goal: to make homemade gnocchi. I consulted several recipe books for different variations on how to make the actual gnocchi pasta and landed on Mario Batali’s version, along with a sauce inspired by my affection for chanterelle mushrooms.

(more…)

January 2, 2012 at 11:34 pm 5 comments

Brandy mojitos!

Our first summer heatwave in Vancouver seems like the perfect opportunity to to share this recipe for the most dangerously delicious cocktail going – brandy mojitos! We discovered it a couple of months ago at a winemaker’s dinner at Fraiche, a very posh place in West Vancouver. I’m not sure that I’ve ever tasted brandy until recently, but now we’re hooked, at least for summer when mojitos are the perfect answer to a sunny patio.

Below are instructions for making one mojito. We’ve started making pitchers of them to avoid having to move from our sunny spot on the deck when it’s time for a refill – double, triple, quadruple as you like. (more…)

July 6, 2010 at 5:08 pm 2 comments

Kale and lentil potato bake

We all need to eat more leafy greens like kale and more lentils. Here is a recipe to help you do that! If you don’t like asiago cheese, try substituting mozzarella. I can’t believe that some people don’t like asiago, but apparently it’s true.

You’ll notice that there is a three-stage baking process with this dish. This is to help minimize the time it takes to bake the potatoes. Also, I like to add the kale right at the end so it doesn’t cook for too long – I think it tastes better this way and I’m sure it helps to retain more vitamins.

1-1/2 pound of potatoes, thinly sliced (about 4 baking potatoes or 8-10 mini potatoes)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 red onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 cup chopped mushrooms
1 cup French lentils
2 cups of water
1 cup red wine
1 cup of shredded cabbage or raddicchio
2 tablespoons fresh thyme, minced
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Fresh ground pepper
2 cups shredded kale
1 cup asiago cheese, grated

Layer potatoes in a greased casserole dish. Heat oven to 425F and put potatoes in oven while preparing rest of ingredients (this will help you get a head start on the baking time required to soften the potatoes).

Saute the onions and garlic in oil until softened, about five minutes. Rinse the lentils and add them to the pan with the garlic and onions. Add in mushrooms, half of the thyme, salt and pepper. Cook for a couple of minutes, stirring constantly, and then stir in the wine. Cook until the wine boils down and then add the water. Simmer for five to ten minutes until the lentils are just barely tender. Stir in the cabbage and remove from heat.

Take the half cooked potatoes out of the oven and pour the lentil mixture over top. Stir it around a bit to distribute the mixture with the potatoes and then put the dish back in the oven to bake for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, bring the dish back out again and stir in the kale and sprinkle with the cheese and remaining thyme. Return to the oven for another five to ten minutes until cheese is lightly browned. Serve with salad and a glass of red wine and bask in your healthy glow.

May 26, 2010 at 12:58 pm 3 comments

Zucchini and tomato strata

Egg stratas are a favourite food of mine. They’re healthy and nourishing and one of those foods that can be made with an endless variations of ingredients and flavours. This weekend it’s ripe tomatoes and small organic zucchini along with fresh herbs from my patio garden. The dill tastes beautiful in this dish with the tomatoes and zucchini. If you make stratas, I’d love to hear about new ideas for flavour combinations.

The recipe below serves two to four people and can easily double or triple if you’ve got a larger group.

Zucchini and tomato strata
4 slices of bread
3 eggs
1 cup of milk
1/4 cup onion, finely minced
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped (or 1 teaspooon dried dill)
1/8 teaspoon paprika
Fresh ground pepper
1 tomato, diced
1 small zucchini, chopped
1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup fresh chives, finely minced

Break bread up into small pieces and spread in a greased 9″ round baking pan. Whisk together eggs and milk and add onion, mustard and spices. Pour over bread. Scatter tomatoes and zucchini over top of bread and egg mixture and press down lightly. Top with cheese and bake at 375F for 25 to 30 minutes until egg is set. Sprinkle fresh chives over top.

Serve with muffins and fresh fruit for breakfast or with salad for lunch or dinner.

May 22, 2010 at 1:55 pm Leave a comment

Macaroni and cheese

Great mac and cheese is the holy grail of comfort food. I’ve been making the dish for a couple of years now and it has always been tasty, but never quite right. Until now. I think I’ve finally learned to cook my personal vision of perfect macaroni and cheese: creamy, cheesy, simple and delicate in texture and taste with a bit of heat from paprika.

I made this recently and there are two things I did differently than normal. First, I used tiny little bow-shaped pasta. Second, I added the pasta directly to the creamy sauce and cooked it in that until al dente. I haven’t tried it with a larger pasta like penne yet, but with these tiny little noodles (see photo below of their size next to a fork) it worked beautifully. Also easier and less clean-up.

The recipe below makes enough for a generous serving for two people. Double or triple for a larger crowd. It’s equally good served creamy right from the stovetop or baked with a simple breadcrumb topping. Serve with a green salad on the side.

Macaroni and cheese
1 small onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon flour
2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs (thyme, oregano, parsley, chives etc)
1-1/2 cups water
2 cups milk
250g mini-pasta shapes
2 cups of grated cheese (I used cheddar and asiago)
1 chopped tomato
Fresh ground pepper
Pinch of paprika
1/2 cup breadcrumbs

Saute onions and garlic in butter until softened. Stir in flour and herbs. Add in water and stir until smooth. Stir in dried pasta and add remaining milk. Stir continuously over medium heat until the pasta softens, about 10 minutes. Add a splash of water or milk if you find the sauce is boiling down too much. When the pasta is very close to being done, stir in the cheese until it melts and then add chopped tomato. From here you can dish it into bowls with a sprinkle of paprika and fresh ground pepper. Or if you like your mac and cheese baked, pour the pasta into a greased casserole dish, sprinkle with breadcrumbs, paprika and pepper and bake for 10 minutes at 425F. (more…)

May 17, 2010 at 12:10 pm Leave a comment

Blueberry coffee cake

Our big move has temporarily stalled most kitchen activities, but I did find some time last weekend for baking. Eating local means storing lots of summer produce in the freezer and I had an almost full bag of BC blueberries to use up. I’ve been meaning to make the blueberry coffee cake recipe from the Four Sisters Inns Cookbook for ages and the surplus blueberries created a perfect reason. (more…)

April 4, 2010 at 2:38 pm 3 comments

Older Posts


Flickr Photos


%d bloggers like this: