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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 →

holiday party food

holiday-party-food-collageTwelve days to Christmas! Yikes! Why is it with the best-laid plans things slip? I finally got around to making my first ever Christmas cracker snaps even though I had the materials 2-weeks ago.  They were a cinch to make and took half an hour to assemble.  I think the same goes with party food.  We create lists of what we plan to make and yet as the date draws closer, it’s as if we never had a plan and we’re scrambling to pull it off.  Continue Reading →

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 →

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 →

blueberry-blackberry fool

blueberry blackberry foolBlueberry-blackberry fool has to be one of the easiest desserts to make.  Not everyone is a fan of blackberries but mixed with blueberries and cream, it’s guaranteed to be a hit at the dinner table.  Both blueberries and blackberries are in season so look for fruit that’s plump but not mushy to touch.  Continue Reading →