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what makes a good salad?

tips to make the best homemade saladsWhat makes a salad stand out? Last night, fondly enough, as I was preparing a salad (it was a scorcher of a day) I pondered the same thing.  I looked at the ingredients laid out before me:  avocado, leftover grilled steak, cherry tomatoes, fresh sugar snap peas, leftover grilled broccolini, and chilled lettuce leaves picked the day before from my garden.  This was the foundation for what my salad would look like.  But how does a salad go from plain Jane lettuce leaves to something tasty enough, you cannot wait for the next mouthful? Continue Reading →

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oysters and mussels (PEI’s own merroir)

oystersOysters and mussels get their flavour from the sea much like wine gets theirs from the land (terroir).  The chefs and fishermen of Prince Edward Island are coining their own treasures from the ocean by calling it merroir (from the sea). PEI is famous for its Malpeque oysters all due to a Paris exhibition in 1900; they were judged as the world’s tastiest oysters. Continue Reading →

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5 cool foodie things to do in PEI

5 cool things to do this summer in Prince Edward IslandThe culinary media tour I participated in last month resulted in my knowledge of Canada’s food island getting a good kick in the backside!  I was relying on my memories of more than three decades ago!  I pigeon-holed Prince Edward Island as a place to eat lobster in church basements, go camping, take in the tourist attractions, spend time soaking up the sun at their awesome sandy beaches, but not really giving a second thought to the diverse foodie haven it has become…or perhaps always was but my youthful mind couldn’t see it back then.  I am truly grateful to have had the opportunity to see PEI through the eyes of The Culinary Institute of Canada and Tourism PEI.  I was like a child discovering something for the very first time. Continue Reading →

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PEI – Canada’s Food Island

Prince Edward Island - Canada's food islandEarlier this month I received an email from Mark DeWolf of The Chronicle Herald asking if I would be interested in attending a 3-day media tour on Prince Edward Island.  I said sure, send me the details.  PEI holds fond memories for me (lobster suppers/camping) and has a special place in my heart so when Mark proposed this opportunity, I had to say yes!  It’s the smallest province in Canada and most are familiar with its red soil, Anne of Green Gables, and the Birthplace of Confederation.  As of 2017 according to Statistics Canada, PEI population was estimated to be 152,021 (I wasn’t kidding when I said it was a tiny island!) and you can drive tip to tip in 3-hours. Continue Reading →

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pearl couscous, fresh peas, mint, pancetta & ricotta

pearl couscous with fresh peas, mint, pancetta & fresh ricottaLast month I posted a recipe on how to make fresh ricotta; a process that was kick-started by me purchasing a bag of fresh shelled peas.  So, here I am today sharing with you that pasta dish I made using the homemade ricotta.  Pearl couscous is also known as Israeli couscous and is larger than regular couscous with a slightly chewy texture (similar to barley).  Continue Reading →

all-dressed fiddleheads

all-dressed fiddleheadsMost people associate Spring vegetables with asparagus, leeks, rhubarb, ramps, and peas.  But for a very brief time, fiddleheads are sold at markets and grocery stores.  They are the unfurled fronds of a young ostrich fern and are collected in the wild before the frond has opened. They are aptly named because they resemble the curled ornamentation (scroll) on the end of a stringed instrument, such as a fiddle.  North American Indians were eating fiddleheads long before the arrival of the first Europeans. The Australian and New Zealand aborigines and the Japanese are also very fond of fiddleheads. Continue Reading →

easy-to-make homemade ricotta

easy to make, homemade ricotta cheeseIt all began with a bag of shelled green peas.  I was thinking sautéed spring vegetables with pasta; the Italians call it primavera.  But, I did not want to use traditional pasta such as linguine, penne, or tagliatelle.  And, I had a yearning for some sort of fresh sauce, too, in lieu of a creamy one.  The bag of peas held the answer to my quest.  Continue Reading →

fugazza (Argentinian pizza)

fugazza - Argentinian pizzaLast month Mr S and I were in Buenos Aires.  I knew Argentina was originally a Spanish colony but never realized how Italian immigrants influenced the makeup of food until we visited.  For sure, regional dishes can be found (parrilla) but surprisingly, day-to-day eating is dominated by la dolce vita.  I read that 40% of the population are descendants of Italy and estimates at 1.4 million speak Italian.  Who knew?  So, here we were in a Spanish-speaking country where you’re just as likely to hear Italian.  Oh, and the Argentines LOVE their pizza!  Continue Reading →

green apple sorbet with roasted pecans

green apple sorbet - vegan & dairy freeFrozen desserts such as a sorbet are easy to make and a delight to eat!  Traditionally used as a palate cleanser, sorbet is made up of fruit and sugar; perfect for those who are lactose intolerant or vegan.  Sorbet (pronounced sor-bay) is rumored to have started back in the first century A.D. when Roman Emperor, Nero, positioned runners along the Appian Way. They passed buckets of snow from the mountains to his banquet hall where it was then mixed with honey and wine. Continue Reading →

zucchini noodles with creamy avocado sauce – a vegan delight!

zucchini noodles with avocado cream sauceIt’s good to shake up our eating habits now and then.  For us that means meat takes a back seat and the veggies reign. When the word vegan is mentioned, the carnivores in my life shiver.  And I get why.  Those who were brought up eating meat and vegetables could easily cut back on the veggies.  For me it’s not a difficult transition as I was raised with more vegetables on my plate than meat.  It’s been well documented that eating more veggies than meat is essential for a healthy body and mind. Continue Reading →