web analytics

fresh mozzarella, sweet cherry peppers and arugula pie

pizza made with no-knead doughFlatbreads have been consumed by the ancient Egyptians, Romans and Greeks.  The humble pizza/pie (an expanded version of a flatbread), became popular in the USA in the mid-1900s when the Neapolitans came over for factory jobs.  According to history.com, the first documented pizzeria was Lombardi’s in Manhattan, licensed to sell pizza in 1905 and is still in operation.  Loads of people love pizza but making your own can be tricky.  The dough is key and can make it a wonderful or just so-so eating experience. Continue Reading →

Comments { 0 }

double chocolate chip parfait – how to use a failed recipe

double chocolate chip parfaitIt happens.  Cooks of all levels have experienced a failed recipe at least once, maybe more.  The thing is, a failed recipe has room for improvement and making it into something better the next time around.  That’s how we discover things, through trial and error.  Continue Reading →

Comments { 0 }

hummus (with a surprising ingredient)

hummus - with a suprising ingredientMost of us have, at some point, enjoyed hummus either as a dip with pita bread and veggies or as a condiment slathered over a falafel.  The recipe is simple;  grab a can of chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans), garlic, tahini, lemon or lime juice, coriander and process in a blender.  Hummus is a healthy substitute for mayonnaise or butter.  That said, I went off it for a period of time as I found it boring until I decided to add anchovies…blame it on the anchovy butter I made a couple of weeks ago.  Sure, you can jazz it up by adding sumac or cumin but nothing quite took hold of my taste buds the way anchovies did. Continue Reading →

Comments { 0 }

cioppino and a San Francisco mini trip

Italian American fish stew - cioppinoDuring the first week in March, Mr. S and I were in San Francisco; he was attending GDC while I was a tourist for 5 days.  I had never been before and was eager to explore as much as possible and I did!  Each day was packed with something new.  We stayed in the Mission District (so glad we did) and would walk to the Moscone Center every day.  Breakfast was in a different place each morning usually eating at establishments that promoted locally grown food.  Some of the memorable ones were Blue Bottle Coffee (the softest poached eggs on toast with avocado), Chow Food Bar (buttermilk pancakes to die for), and Tartine Bakery & Cafe (ham and swiss croissants that melted in your mouth).  I would have breakfast with Mr. S and then bid him farewell as he went on to the GDC. Continue Reading →

Portland Street Crêperie – a taste of France

Portland Street Crêperie - Dartmouth, NSWho doesn’t enjoy a delicious crêpe? Even better when a father and son duo decided to open a crêperie 18 months ago in downtown Dartmouth. Over the past 24 months the downtown core has seen a resurgence in the retail and food industry; mostly started by young, enthusiastic entrepreneurs. Mr. S and I are always delighted when we hear about new ventures coming to our neighbourhood. When Neil and his son, Max, opened their doors back in October 2015, we were one of their first customers. Portland Street Crêperie (55 Portland Street) is a delightful 16-seat bistro with 4 additional tables for outdoor seating in Spring through to the Fall. Large windows mean an abundance of natural light making for a cheery place to enjoy a meal there.

Continue Reading →

homemade anchovy butter (umami-rich)

Making flavoured butter isn’t a new invention but when anchovies are added, you get a whole lotta umami-rich going on.  Say what?  Umami is a trendy foodie word for a pleasant savoury taste.  In a nutshell, something to pump up the flavour like adding a splash of fish sauce or lime juice.  I read that you can even use soy sauce in lieu of parmesan over tomato sauce; who runs out of Parmesan cheese?  Anchovy butter can be used in many ways to enhance the food you put on the table. Continue Reading →

avocado and shrimp wonton baskets

When entertaining, I like to make appetisers that err on the side of healthy.  I also make sure there’s a mix of food while being cognizant of the dietary restrictions our guests might have.  Last month I made wonton noodle soup but only used half the wonton wrappers; the rest I froze.  There’s always a bag or two of shrimp in the freezer and I usually have an avocado on hand.  This recipe is easy to make and in roughly 10 minutes you can have the filling completed by the time the wonton baskets are cooked and cooled.   Continue Reading →

homemade grainy mustard

easy to make grainy mustardThere’s an immense satisfaction when something homemade turns out well and puts a smile on your face.  It gives that boost in confidence and lets you know you can tackle the next project on a high note.  We love grainy mustard almost as much as we do Dijon.  In the past 20 years, I have made a conscience effort to read food labels, understand what’s inside, and make an informed decision as a result.  So when I got it into my head to make my own mustard, I was surprised to see additives such as fruit pectin, citric acid, tartaric acid in Dijon mustard and lactic acid and flavour (no mention of what the flavour is) in grainy mustard.  Oops!  Did I forget to read the labels on these mustards?  Or did I think the additive list wasn’t too long?  It’s not as if we consume mustard on a daily basis.  Moral of the story; read the blinkin’ label! Continue Reading →

celery soup

celery soup - easy to make, healthy & budget friendlyCelery soup?  You betcha!  I bought a bunch of celery a couple of weeks ago for a recipe that called for two stalks.  It’s a food dilemma for me and figuring out what to do with the remainder stalks usually ends up in the compost box.  Around lunch time I pondered what to make for tonight’s dinner.  The vegetable crisper looked a bit bare with a lone carrot, sunchoke, and leek; all were on their last legs.  Celery is abundant in vitamins, helps lower inflammation, protects the liver and more.  The thing is, I can only stomach eating one stalk at a time so what was I to do with eight? Continue Reading →

lime & cashew fish rolls

lime and cashew fish rolls This is the second time I’ve made this dish. The first was the week of the new year and I was in search of something different from the food I usually make during the holidays.  Lime and cashew paste smeared over the fish sounded so good – it was delicious!  But…I struggled with the rice paper!  I’ve made fried Vietnamese spring rolls oodles of times but for some reason, the rice paper was not co-operating (both times!).  Continue Reading →