New this week

December 14, 2018

Down Under (and dinner at Billy Kwong)

    We have been in Australia for almost a week and are well into our Aussie routine. The flight here was long and involved having to change seats but I did get through it and after about 15 hours in the air landed at Sydney’s airport at 10:30 am in good spirit and ready to explore. Not so fast. The apartment we rented and paid for in full (non-refundable) did not live up to... View Article

December 4, 2018

Raspberry flaked Tuille with matcha-lime curd, roasted white chocolate and more

    Well, we are off to Australia and New Zealand to spend the winter (their summer) “down under”. It’s a daunting trip as Australia is a continent, not just a country, and it took some learning, planning and advice from an ex-Aussie friend to make it all happen. Travel is an education and this is how I approach it. This continent does not have the familiar European western history and few of us are... View Article

November 20, 2018

Carrots three ways: carrot tahini, roasted and pickled

    In late summer I received a bag of heirloom carrots, small, delicate and so fresh that they lasted a while in my fridge. I wanted to do something special with them because they were given to me by a special family that grows produce with love and integrity (sunshine farm seeds) and I wanted to honour their work and extend it to my kitchen. I thought I’d follow the trend of cooking and... View Article

November 5, 2018

Apple and Thyme cake with hazelnut crumb

    Apples are in season and other than sinking your teeth into a crisp, cold apple  it’s nice to incorporate them into a dessert. This is a French style simple cake that French women may cook at home. As you know, at least when it comes to Parisian women, they never cook desserts at home. I hear that they buy it at a pastry shop and show their expertise by finding the best possible... View Article

November 2, 2018

Grilled eggplant with sesame oil, herbs and flat bread

    Grilling the eggplant over flames gives it a charred smoky flavour that you don’t get by roasting it in the oven. Same thing for the grilled bread. The blackened, caramelized strips on the flatbread are a good accompaniment to this eggplant dish. Having said that, if you do not have access to a grill you can still make this dish successfully roasting the eggplant in the oven and cooking the bread in a... View Article

October 30, 2018

Cacio e Pepe

The first time I encountered this dish was at a cooking demonstration by my friend Gaby of Gaby’s Italian Kitchen and I was blown away by the simple elegance and flavour of what seemed like a simple dish of pasta, water and cheese. Where did all the sauce come from? Shortly afterwards we left for Italy where we spend four months travelling around and there I tried the dish at many restaurants and became a... View Article

October 29, 2018

Crispy gnocchi with grana padano

  Sometimes I have craving for crispy gnocchi without much of a sauce other than the oil or butter they were cooked in and of course a good shower of grated parmesan. I used to make gnocchi with russet potatoes but recently have been making then with Yukon gold and love the results. I now bake the potatoes rather than steam whole but had successful results either way. One thing you don’t want though is... View Article

October 26, 2018

Vegan banana peanut butter muffins with caramel walnut crunch

Here is an easy recipe for vegan banana muffins with peanuts butter as a second flavour. The caramel walnut crunch is a nice addition to the soft muffins. Enjoy.           Ingredients: 2 cups flour 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 tsp baking powder 1 teaspoon salt   1/2 cups sugar 1/4 cup canola oil 3 ripe bananas, mashed with a fork 1/3 cup peanut butter Caramelized walnuts 1/2 walnuts 1 tablespoon sugar... View Article

October 22, 2018

Turnip “ravioli” with figs and gorgonzola, no, really, it’s turnip, not pasta

It’s always fun to experiment and change things around a bit. For inspiration I look to cookbooks, restaurant foods, TV food shows and online sources. Recently Masterchef Australia has been a steady source of inspiration. I have been indulging in binge watching of this show for quite sometime and it forms part of my research for our upcoming four months stay in Australia and New Zealand this winter (their summer). In one of the old... View Article

October 5, 2018

Plum cake

You know that saying that a balanced life is a life without passion? well, it tends to describe my life pretty well. I have never had a “balanced” life. I am usually “all in” on one thing or another and it tends to throw everything else off balance. Is balance really that important? I’d say it’s over rated. Right now I am all into baking bread and developing sourdough starters. Considering it’s just the two... View Article

September 3, 2018

Peach pie

I don’t make too many pies here, mostly tarts or free-form galettes for me, but now and then I crave a peach pie and when my friend B can’t make one for me I have to resort to making one myself (how is that for guilt-inducing?). When I made this pie the first time the bottom crust dissolved from the juice of the peaches. It was still good with a flaky, buttery top crust, but not really a... View Article

September 1, 2018

Grilled yellow zucchini ribbons

  Zucchini takes well to grilling and looks beautiful when cut into long ribbons and grilled. I had two yellow zucchini from a recent trip to the market and thought that grilling them would be nice tonight. The smoke has cleared over the valley after settling here for several weeks and we finally see the lake, the sky and can take a breath of fresh air for a change. So it was fun to be on... View Article