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fish tacos (tacos de pescado)

fish tacos“What’s for dinner?” asked Mr. S.  I said I was thinking of fish and he said good!  We haven’t had fish in a while but these days with the way my memory works it was most likely only a week or so ago.  Cinco de Mayo (the 1862 victory of the Mexican militia over the French army) is just around the corner and making fish tacos seemed fitting.  A national staple and popular street food in Mexico, tacos are quick, fresh and inexpensive.  Continue Reading →

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artichoke pesto

artichoke pestoMaking use of what’s in your cupboard before expiration date always feels good.  I am guilty, at times, of having to throw food out.  According to Second Harvest, Canadians waste $31 billion of food every year of which 47% is wasted in the home.  Over 30% of fruits and vegetables are rejected by supermarkets because they aren’t attractive enough for consumers. The primary contributor to consumer food waste is high expectations—demand for high-quality, aesthetically-pleasing food is a key factor behind the volume of food waste among consumers. I reject ugly-looking fruit or veggies when there are visible signs of spoilage.  I don’t know why I expect my food to last longer.  The refrigerator is meant to prolong the life of fruits and vegetables and perhaps psychologically I have time on my side and, regrettably, that isn’t always the case – mea culpaContinue Reading →

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plum dessert – fresh and light

plum dessertA dessert concludes the main meal and for me, it’s the last thing I think about when planning a meal.  I’m just as happy to snack on fruit and a bit of cheese than fill my stomach with another course. I am usually too full.  But give me an option to savour fruit with yogurt, I’ll always make room.  It signals to my brain something fresh and light.  Continue Reading →

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bbq cauliflower wings

barbecue cauliflower wingsWe’re all familiar with buffalo chicken wings but cauliflower wings?  It was through a snapchat from my niece, Sara, that I discovered the vegetarian version.  She sent me the photo and I was intrigued; it’s a guilt-free snack.  The meat version happened quite by accident, as most ingenious recipes do.  The original Buffalo chicken wing was born in 1964 out of necessity.  Continue Reading →

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lamb tagine – a feast for the senses!

lamb tagineA tagine, the conical shaped cooking vessel, is traditionally made out of clay and was first used by North African nomads.   The tagine’s conical top allows moisture escaping from the ingredients to condense on the lid and fall back onto the dish, resulting in fork-tender meat and vegetables using a minimum of liquid.  Think of a slow cooker or Dutch oven.  Continue Reading →

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pizza smoked mozzarella and lemon slices

pizza with smoked mozzarella and lemon slicesIf I were to take a poll to find out what toppings people like to see on their pizza, I’ll bet tomato sauce, cheese, and some sort of meat would be at the top of the list.  Pizza is a centuries old snack although 2,000 years ago it looked more like a flatbread with olive oil and cheese.  Hard to believe, though, that tomatoes introduced to Europe from the Americas in the 1600’s were considered poisonous by the locals.  It wasn’t until the 1700’s when the Napolese added tomatoes to their flatbread; the birthplace of pizza. Continue Reading →

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baked summer squash – stuffed to perfection!

baked summer squash stuffed with porkSummer squash is available all year round which sounds a bit confusing.  The name refers to a squash harvested when it’s not fully mature.  The skin is soft and thin while the flesh is a softer texture.  Some of the most popular and familiar varieties are:  zucchini, pattypan squash, cousa squash, crookneck squash.  Summer squash is perfect roasted, grilled, sautéed, or stuffed.  This recipe is inspired by my mother in-law’s mom, Angelina Bocarisa, but I only knew of her as mama nini which was what all her grandchildren called her. Continue Reading →

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whole roasted cauliflower with a parsley sauce

whole roasted cauliflowerDo you remember eating cauliflower when you were a kid?  I do.  My favorite was smothered in my mom’s homemade cheddar cheese sauce.  Come to think of it, I don’t think I really liked cauliflower; I loved the cheese sauce!  Fast forward to my adult years and I have served cauliflower many ways and fondly enough, not smothered in cheese sauce.  I’ve roasted cauliflower pieces but never a whole roasted cauliflower – well, come to think of it, not strictly true.  Back in 2009 I baked a whole Romanesco cauliflower in a tomato sauce and that was a big hit.  Continue Reading →

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sautéed purple cabbage with pasta

purple cabbage with pastaDo you ever wish you could turn back time?  I do, not to alter events but to be more inquisitive with my elders thus being able to pass the story-telling torch onto my children.  My great, great paternal grandmother, Anna Marie Schmeltzer (Nanny Kent), died when I was 11 – she was 86.  My memories of her are limited but what I do recall most was her caring and loving way, the food she cooked was heavenly, and she always seemed happy even though her life wasn’t easy.  Continue Reading →

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marbled eggs – just in time for Easter

marbled eggs made with beet juiceLooking for a fun way to serve hard boiled eggs?  Start with the eggshell.  Years ago when the kids were younger, I would make colored eggs for them as part of the Easter egg hunt.  I would also make marbled deviled eggs to serve to the adults.  Marbled eggs are a cinch to make and you most probably have the ingredients on hand.  I prefer to naturally dye the eggs especially since the eggs will be eaten.  Continue Reading →

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