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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 →

prosciutto-wrapped monkfish

prosciutto-wrapped monkfishOver the last decade I have made a conscious effort to support farm-to-table and know your farmer or fisherman, but sometimes not knowing what your food looks like before it lands on the table is good thing!  Let me explain. Take monkfish, for example, it’s one helluva an ugly fish!  Its body is composed mainly of a huge gaping mouth with razor sharp teeth that slant inward and eyes that sit on top of its flat head, all attached to a muscular tail; doesn’t that sound delectable?  Continue Reading →

greek yogurt labneh balls

DIY yogurt labneh ballsHow to turn Greek yogurt into a delightful soft cheese?  It’s quite easy and so simple!  Labneh is strained yogurt and found in Middle Eastern cuisines.   Serve it with a drizzle of olive oil and top with za’atar or do what I did by rolling into balls and place in a jar with olive oil.  Continue Reading →

stuffed peppers using leftovers

stuffed peppers using leftoversHi there!  I’m back from what seems eons since I last posted or even thought of posting.  How did August get so crazy that I only posted once?  Well, for starters our house went on the market in June and in the first week of August we received an offer (yay!).  The catch, though, was an ultra fast closing date – August 31st!  That in itself wouldn’t have been an issue if we hadn’t planned to be away the last two weeks in August.  So we countered and ended up changing the closing date to September 11th.  We arrived back from our trip late on the 1st of September and moved into our new home on the 8th; we don’t mess around!

I’ve been cleaning two houses for the last two weeks and meal prep took a backseat.  Continue Reading →

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 →

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 →

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 →

chocolate coated toffee

butter toffee with chocolateHello 2017!  By now most of you are back to your daily routine.  Our Christmas decorations and tree are still up but it’ll all be put to bed come Friday – or at least the tree will be stripped and out on the sidewalk (garbage collection day).  Over the holidays I made my usual goodies as that’s what my family has come to expect and heaven help me if I change any part of that tradition (insert happy face here).  Continue Reading →

holiday party food – part 2

At this point, the rush of the holiday season is in full swing.  On my previous post, I suggested three, easy-to-make party food treats and the three I have chosen today are just as easy.  Chocolate is a crowd-pleaser and lovely to have on hand when your friends and family pop over.  Making your own is easier than you may think.  Continue Reading →