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mustard pickles

mustard picklesIt’s canning season (the process of  preserving cooked food by sealing in jars or cans).  I come from a lineage of women who made their own preserves, jams, and jellies.  It was the best way to enjoy the summertime produce over winter.  Although in today’s world it might sound laborious and unnecessary with canned or frozen foods readily available, for me it’s a tribute to the women in my life who preserved food because it was a necessity.  Continue Reading →

roasted vegetable stacks with goat cheese

roasted veggie stacks with goat cheeseI am in veggie heaven with these roasted vegetable stacks and in one recipe I get the daily recommended servings of vegetables; my kind of dish.  Although the end of Summer means goodbye to warmer days (sigh), its departure signals the bounty of the harvest (yay!).  It’s the perfect time of the year to grab all the locally grown goodies from markets and farmers roadside stands.  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 →

grilled radicchio with bagna càuda

grilled radicchio with bagna caudo sauceSometimes less is more and in cooking terms it’s spot on.  Simple ingredients can make any dish shine. Bagna càuda is an Italian sauce made with butter, olive oil, garlic and anchovies.  The Italians eat it with fennel, peppers, carrots, cauliflower.  Fresh bread dipped in this sauce is simply scrumptious!  Or, give your taste buds a real treat by grilling radicchio wedges and slather with bagna càuda.  I’ve grilled radicchio before as well as romaine but never served it with bagna càuda.  The oil and butter help to round out the garlic while softening the salty flavour of anchovies.  It’s a sauce that is super easy to make, has minimal ingredients and loaded with flavour. Continue Reading →

pita bread pizza

pita bread pizzaSummer allows us to use our barbeque nearly every day.  It also saves me from using the oven or stove top especially when it’s hot outside.  One staple I like to have on hand is pita bread.  This ancient flatbread has been around since 2500 BC and its uses are numerous.  I love it in a fattoush salad, stuffed with meat, crisped up to use in a dip or simply grill and then splash olive oil over it and sprinkle with dukkah.  But my all-time favourite is making a pizza with pita bread. Continue Reading →

grilled zucchini roll-ups – a summer snack

grilled zucchini roll-upsThe farmers’ markets these days are showing off the bounty of the harvest.  It’s a favourite time of the year for me and for all who enjoy eating locally produced food.  The market is a perfect way to re-engage with the farmers, to ask questions about their produce, meat or fish and leave with a sense of being part of the community.  These farmers love to talk about the food they help put on your table.   Continue Reading →

baked eggs with salsa – perfect brunch food

baked eggs with salsaIf I’ve had a big lunch, dinner gets pared down to a lighter fare.  Baked eggs are simple to make and you can add just about anything to the dish that suits your fancy.  Or for something super duper easy chop up fresh tomatoes, add eggs, and pop into the oven.  There are oodles of baked egg recipes out there and I like mine with a bit of heat and spice.  My recipe is an adaptation of the Arabic dish called shakshukaContinue Reading →

garlic scapes hummus

garlic scapes hummusGarlic scapes are the flower bud of the garlic plant and are cut to force the garlic bulbs to grow bigger. Some gardeners throw these away! The flavour is less pungent than a garlic clove and has a subtle scallion flavour. How to use? Think of how you would cook a green vegetable (stir-fry, sauté, steam, grill) and go from there.  Hummus is a favourite go-to dip when I want something in a pinch. Continue Reading →

rhubarb cake – so easy your kids can make it

rhubarb cake

My mother in law, Aida, is visiting from England and has been with us for the past 12 days. It’s been a whirlwind visit with us trying to fit in every day with something to see, do or eat. At 92 you’d think we would be home more than usual but not with Aida. She’s game to go anywhere…well, most places that is.  I enjoy cooking for her and getting her to try some of my new recipes but this visit feels as though we’ve been eating out more than we have been in.  Last Monday we took Aida to Peggy’s Cove.  It’s one of the ‘if you haven’t been there, you haven’t visited Nova Scotia’ list of attractions.  Continue Reading →

open-face sandwich with poached egg

open-face sandwich with poached eggSandwiches have been around for centuries.  The term sandwich is believed to have been named after John Montagu who was the 4th Earl of Sandwich. Legend has it that in 1762 he asked for meat (most probably salted beef) to be served between slices of bread to avoid interrupting a gambling game.  I love a sandwich that’s loaded to the gills but eating it with some degree of grace is not easily achieved.  Introduce an open-faced sandwich and now you talkin’ (spoken like Joey Tribbiani from Friends).  Sourdough is one of my favourite types of bread.  It is lovely toasted and used as a base to build a sandwich. Continue Reading →