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linguine with clams (linguine alle vongole)

linguine with clamsThis is a busy time of the year with most of us running around doing last minute errands in preparation for the holidays.  When I’m short for time, pasta is my savior and the time it takes to cook it I can have dinner on the table in 30 minutes!  Toss in some clams and you’re experiencing a Venetian staple that started off as peasant food.  Clams have roughly the same protein and fat content as chicken but contain more vitamins and minerals.  Serve this delicious and light dinner with a side of salad, sit back, and relax. Continue Reading →

puff pastry pizza tart

pizza tart by The Culinary ChasePizza can be an easy midweek meal to make and it’s one where you can get the family involved.  Make individual pizzas to cater for the fussy eaters in your family or have them build their own.  I like making my own pizza dough but sometimes, to save time, it’s just as easy to buy the dough from the grocery store.  Puff pastry is so versatile and is another alternative I like to use as a pizza base.  It’s so airy and light. Continue Reading →

Yaki Udon

Yaki UdonDeciding on what to make for dinner, day in and day out, can sometimes seem monotonous.  Even for a foodie like me, I get stuck from time to time and lose the desire.  The other day, as I looked into the pantry to see what would jump out – I stood there for what seemed eternity.  I just couldn’t get into the mood to cook.  Continue Reading →

Braised Eggs with Pork

braised eggs & porkEggs for dinner?  You betcha!  This dish gently cooks the eggs while sitting atop a glorious, well-seasoned ground pork surrounded with dollops of yogurt and pan-seared cherry tomatoes.  Braised eggs take center stage.  This recipe is slightly adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi.  In the past I’ve cooked eggs in a chunky tomato sauce, sliced chorizo sausage with local cheese curds and baked in the oven – that’s a weekend breakfast treat for us.  Continue Reading →

Turkey Stew

30 minute turkey stewEvery Thanksgiving and Christmas we indulge in a massive turkey dinner and each year I say next time I will buy a smaller turkey with enough food for the evening and leftovers for the following day.  Every Thanksgiving and Christmas we end up having too much turkey leftover and as a result eat our way through turkey fajita wraps, tetrazzini, jambalaya, casseroles, and chili.  Continue Reading →

Fish Taco Recipe

fish tacoLooking to serve fish in a fun, slightly messy way?  Tacos have been around for hundreds of years and we all have our favorite fillings but have you tried using fish?  Baja California is considered the birthplace of the fish taco – Continue Reading →

Chicken, Peach and Quinoa Salad

chicken, peach & quinoa saladAs much as I like cooking a whole chicken, I can’t seem pass by a grocery store rotisserie chicken without stopping to inhale its amazing aromas.  And, how is it they’re cheaper than buying a raw one?  I bought a 4 lb. rotisserie chicken for $7.99 whereas an uncooked 4 lb. one was nearly $11.00.  From what I can gather by nosing around the internet, a supermarket sells fresh ingredients before the best-before-date and anything after that gets chopped up and sold in a salad bar and the meat is cooked and sold hot (helps minimize food waste).   Continue Reading →

Chanterelle Mushrooms with Pasta

chanterelles with pastaThe glorious golden child of the mushroom world, chanterelles, have a short growing cycle and are only available July through to September.  Their deep yellow color (think apricot), a trumpet-like shape, and hints of sweetness can be easily enjoyed simply by sautéing in butter and dressed with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.  I did not know this but chanterelle mushrooms are picked in the wild – which explains why they’re expensive – and are usually found growing around trees and shrubs.  But before you go out there looking for these golden beauties, take along a knowledgeable forager.  They’ll help you to identify the real deal and keep you from getting food poison if you happen to choose what you think ‘look’s like a chanterelle mushroom. Continue Reading →

Roasted Butternut Squash and Couscous

roasted butternut squash and couscousIt’s been wet and foggy the past two days and as such has put me in the mood for vegetables I would usually cook in the cooler months.  That said, there’s absolutely no reason why squash shouldn’t be included in a summer dish.  When I think of the winter squash family, butternut always comes out on top.  It’s sweet to begin with but when roasted nothing beats the caramelized flavor of browned edges.   Butternut squash doesn’t really need doctoring but experimenting with different seasonings such as cumin, allspice, anchovies, cinnamon, nutmeg, thyme, truffle oil, rosemary, sage, lemon juice, and so on will only heighten your senses making butternut squash a superstar veggie! Continue Reading →

Shrimp Kebabs with Cilantro Dressing

shrimp kebabs with cilantro dressingLife is strange. I can’t recall the last time I made kebabs and yet in the space of two days I made two kebab dishes. I hadn’t planned it that way; it just happened. While I was food shopping the other day, not sure what I was going to make for dinner, I found myself hankering for grilled shrimp.  It was that simple, dinner was sorted but now I needed to think of a sauce that would enhance the shrimp but not overpower it. I had just passed the aisle where the cilantro (coriander) was and felt a Thai-infused dressing would be perfect for the shrimp kebabs. Continue Reading →