New this week

August 11, 2017

Avocado salad with dukkah vinaigrette and goat cheese

A beautiful ripe avocado is a special treat and once in a while I indulge. You have to buy it just right, either to serve immediately or to ripen on your counter for a day or two before serving. I have thrown away many avocados that I bought with good intentions and never got around to using. Once they go soft there is nothing to do but discard them. The softness of the avocado is... View Article

August 9, 2017

Berries, ice cream and meringue shards

Here is an easy summer dessert that uses the beautiful seasonal berries. I macerated the berries with a little sugar and ice wine (or dessert wine) top them with ice cream and whipped cream, then cover it all with meringue shards that add an element of surprise (you cannot see what’s under) and a crunch factor to this refreshing, simple dessert. I had an opportunity to cook for visiting friends in the last couple of... View Article

August 2, 2017

Beets sous vide

On my last trip to the local farm stands a few blocks behind where we live I picked a whole bunch of beautiful new and local produce. Small new potatoes, plump green onions, field cucumbers and these small sweet bunches of red and yellow beets. Normally I would roast them but I recently bought a new gadget for the kitchen, a sous vide immersion circulator, and decided to cook the beets sous vide. If the... View Article

July 31, 2017

Tomato salad with basil and homemade ricotta

We are lucky in the Okanagan to have winery restaurant chefs that pride themselves on creating dishes using local produce that are beautiful to look at and packed with flavour. One of my favourite is the Terrace Restaurant at Mission Hill winery. Not only the Tuscan architecture, the bell tower, the view and the beautiful wines, but the food at their Terrace restaurant is always outstanding. My gal friends were visiting from Calgary last week... View Article

July 19, 2017

Lentils and vegetables salad

Lentils are versatile and I use them all year, for soups and stews in the winter and salads in the summer. I often have cooked lentils in the fridge to pull out on the spur of the moment to make a lunch or dinner salad. In this salad I used leftover beets and carrots from my new sous vide experiment, more on that later, but you can make this without a sous vide by boiling... View Article

July 16, 2017

Matcha cake with matcha buttercream

Matcha became trendy a few years ago as a drink and soon found its way into modern cooking. Matcha is green tea leaves ground to a powder and there is a ceremonial ritual to follow when making an authentic version of the drink. When it comes to cooking with it matcha has a sweet, slightly smoky and nutty quality and a lovely green colour. You control the shade of green by the amount of matcha... View Article

July 14, 2017

French beans and asparagus salad with burrata

One of the culinary treasures of southern Italy (Puglia) is the burrata: a creamy, perishable cheese that is shipped daily to vendors and restaurants in other parts of the country to be consumed the same day. Burrata means “buttered” and in the categories of cheeses it is not a mozzarella, nor a mozzarella di bufala, although it is made with buffalo milk. To make burrata cheesemakers fill a thin skin  of mozzarella with a mixture... View Article

July 12, 2017

Black beans and corn enchiladas

Enchiladas are a delicious Mexican comfort food and and now and then I absolutely crave these tortillas, wrapped around a flavourful filling and baked in a mildly spicy chile-tomato sauce. I fill them with beans and corn, potatoes or vegetables and scatter a little cheese to melt on top. What type of tortillas to use: Traditionally, white or yellow corn corn tortillas but flour tortillas also work. Red or green sauce? Either. I usually make... View Article

July 8, 2017

Grilled salad of radicchio and mushroom with poached egg

  If you have your grill fired up it’s an opportunity to try a few grilled salad versions with summer produce. I particularly like to grill radicchio and serve it as a warm salad and this time with a few shitake mushrooms I had on hand. If you don’t grill you can make this in a skillet on top of the stove. The process is simple: cut the radicchio in half or quarters, brush with... View Article

July 5, 2017

Homemade Ricotta

After watching an entire season of Masterchef Australia where home cooks prepare amazing foods and seeing them make ricotta within a short time frame to use in ravioli and other dishes , I decided to give it a try and make the cheese myself. Now, considering that I try to stay away from dairy in my daily cooking, this is a pretty adventurous move for me. The process is very simple and the cheese really... View Article

July 2, 2017

Grilled artichokes, French lentils, pickled beets and cucumbers

This spring was not a good season for artichokes locally. I barely saw an artichoke once or twice at the local grocery store and nothing at the markets. That’s unfortunate because I love cooking with them. On my last trip to the store though I found a few reasonable looking specimen and thought I’d take them. Instead of cooking the artichokes whole, I  cut the outer leaves down almost to the heart and then into... View Article