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chocolate fudge

chcolate fudge - homemade holiday giftI cannot recall the last time I made fudge.  It was a family favourite growing up and around the Christmas holidays, there was always some to be had.  My mom always had the pantry and freezer full of cooked goodies.  The laundry room became the storage area for fruit cake, plum puddings, cookies, squares not to mention tins of Ganong chocolates.  It was an out-in-the-open treasure chest that as a kid I could not ignore (a few times caught with my hand in the cookie jar).  Continue Reading →

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pasta with basil sauce

pasta with basil sauceAfter three weeks overseas, I am happy to be back home.  Mr. S and I love to travel almost as much as we enjoy being in our humble abode.  When away, I encounter (stumble upon) new ways to dress up old dishes.  Stumble upon; another word perhaps for getting lost.  Not that we are frequently lost when walking around new cities or neighbourhoods, it’s just that what seems to be a logical route turns out to be a completely different area.  Not to fret, though, as these missteps can deliver a sense of jubilation when one sees something unique.  For us, it’s finding an enchanting historic building or a hole-in-the-wall cafe.  I don’t go out of my way looking for clothing shops, instead, I hunt down historical spots with places to eat and drink injected along the way.  In doing so we have discovered many hidden treasures and were able to eat like a local. Continue Reading →

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tuna noodle casserole

ultimate comfort food, tuna noodle casseroleI don’t know why, but of late I am drawn to nostalgia and in particular food.  This nostalgic feeling is all good and although I am not one to dwell in the past, there’s something so familiar about comfort food that pulls me back to my childhood.  In the 1950s and well into the ’70s casseroles were all the rage.  The classic all-time favourite casserole of the ’70s was tuna noodle.  Continue Reading →

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bruschetta with white anchovies

bruschetta with white anchoviesBruschetta (pronounced bru-sketta) is a classic Italian appetizer consisting of toasted bread slices topped with fresh ripe tomatoes, fresh basil, and extra-virgin olive oil.  There are oodles of variations and I’ve named a few here for you to consider: smashed avocado with chopped tomatoes; zucchini goat cheese bruschetta; smoked salmon with mascarpone cheese. Continue Reading →

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Eliot & Vine – new menu tasting

ev-restoI received an invite to sample Eliot & Vine’s new menu and to show off their chef, Lachlan Culjak.  I am always grateful when a request like this comes my way.  The restaurant is tucked in a residential area of the north end of Halifax – a stone’s throw away from the Halifax Common.  Johanna Eliot (owner) opened Eliot & Vine in April of this year and said she had a vision for her restaurant to be part of the neighborhood. Continue Reading →

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homemade quince paste

quince pasteQuince is a yellow fruit that looks like a cross between an apple and a pear.  It is high in pectin and was typically used in jam and jelly making.  It’s too tart and hard to eat on its own but cooked it turns sweet with a slight floral taste.  My mom used to have a quince bush in our back yard which she used when it came time to make her jellies. Continue Reading →

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clam chowder

clam-chowder

For generations, my family has made clam chowder and I continue the tradition.  I recall my pleasure of crumbling saltine crackers atop the bowl of mom’s homemade clam chowder; not to thicken it up but, simply put, it was a tradition in my parents home.  The maritime autumn weather can be lovely and sunny but temperatures later in the day tend to drop off dramatically leaving me in search of a warming supper.  A chowder is simple and delicious.  It’s hearty enough to satisfy one’s appetite and easy on the pocketbook, too. Continue Reading →

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potato quiche (gluten-free)

grated potato quicheThis recipe takes the rösti, a classic Swiss comfort food, and turns it into a savoury, delicious pie.  Nearly every cook I know has their own favourite version of quiche and my mom’s quiche Lorraine recipe, a family favourite, is so darn good but I have also made a few non-traditional ones, too.  After tasting this potato quiche you might consider it a contender to rival the traditional…just sayin’. Continue Reading →

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spätzle – a budget friendly meal

spaetzleSpätzle, also known as spaetzle, is a soft egg noodle with Germanic roots.  My great grandmother used to make something similar to this with what she called, her German dinner (dumplings with roast pork and hot purple slaw).  Her dinners were the best!  Three simple ingredients are all that’s required to make spätzle.  Continue Reading →

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pan bagnat – a delicious French sandwich

pan bagnat - a french sandwichLooking for new ideas to make interesting sandwiches your kids will eat? Pan bagnat, the street food of Nice, is the answer.  Think of salade niçoise and you have the portable sandwich version.  I have to admit my lunches were not that inspiring…sorry mom.  To be fair, though, she had to make four lunches so some days (usually after grocery day) those would be the best-packed lunches.  To my mom’s credit, they were usually healthy with at least two servings of fruit and dessert consisted of miniature canned fruit.  I liked peaches and apple sauce but if there was a can of mixed fruit (too many chopped pears for my liking), I’d use them as a bargaining chip with some of my school friends; one fruit cup for one bag of chips or whatever was on that day.   My youngest sister used to hide her lunches behind the furnace until one day my father smelled something a bit off.  What were your school lunches like? Continue Reading →

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