New this week

April 13, 2012

Tartine with Bean Spread and Purple Basil

I make this bean spread often as an appetizer to spoon onto small crostini. Here I use it to top grilled bread for a lunch or a light supper. Serve accompanied by a small salad with crisp vinaigrette. For a vegan version leave the pecorino out. Ingredients:   Long slices of country bread Olive oil Parmesan or pecorino, shaved or chopped  roasted peppers Purple basil   Bean spread:   4 tablespoons olive oil 1 small... View Article

April 13, 2012

Tartine with Roasted Fennel and Goat Cheese

For this tartine I roast the fennel first and then pile it on a long slice of Poilane bread between layers of crumbled goat cheese. I then bake it in the oven for a few minutes to lightly melt the cheese and warm up the tartine. The fennel can be roasted a few hours in advance and kept at room temperature until you are ready to proceed. Save some fennel fronds for garnish, or use... View Article

April 13, 2012

Lentil Soup with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

A hearty lentil soup is comfort food for anyone with a Mediterranean palate. I make it in many different ways but it’s all variations on the same theme of aromatics (onion, garlic, carrot, celery) sautéed in olive oil and then the lentils are added with stock and cooked until softened. I sometimes add a grain such as rice or barley. Sometimes I add roasted peppers or another vegetable and sometimes I even add thin pasta,... View Article

April 13, 2012

Barley and Bean Soup

Barley and beans is a nice combination for either soups or salads. See the salad category for the salad version of this pair. I often have cooked grains in the fridge and it’s easy to make a quick and delicious soup with them. Barley however cooks quickly so this soup can be prepared on a short notice. You can use vegetable stock but I find that chicken stock gives it a wonderful flavour. Ingredients: 3... View Article

April 13, 2012

Bean Soup

If I had to choose a couple of favourite soups this would certainly be one of them. Simple, wholesome and easy to make, this is a delicious soup and has been part of my soup repertoire for many years. I make it with small white cannelini beans that have been soaked overnight. If you are in a hurry and wish to make the soup the same day you can boil the beans, leave them in... View Article

April 13, 2012

Fresh Corn and Potato Chowder

I make this corn chowder with fresh corn scraped with a knife straight off the cob. In addition I do not throw away the cobs but rather use them to flavour the stock. It sounds like a lot of work but really, it isn’t, and the resulting soup is delicate and flavourful. The potatoes make the soup thick and velvety and the corn give it a lovely texture. I suggest that you use an immersion... View Article

April 13, 2012

Roasted White Pumpkin and Coconut Soup

I found these giant white pumpkins at a farmers market in Kelowna and brought them home to Calgary at the end of the summer. After sitting on my kitchen counter for a couple of weeks observing the scene, they ended up being cut in half, rubbed with butter, sprinkled with brown sugar and roasted in the oven until tender soft. We ate one half just at it was, scooping the sweet flesh out of the... View Article

April 12, 2012

Banyan Tree Mayakoba – Luxury Breakfast on the Mayan Riviera

This is my fourth review of hotels on the Mayan Riviera offering breakfast to non-staying guests. See previous submissions on Esencia, Maroma Orient Express and Rosewood Mayakoba. I am going to repeat information about Mayakoba that I have written about in my review of the Rosewood, but this will save you from going back and forth between the two reviews. The Mayakoba development is situated about 10 km north of Playa del Carmen. It is... View Article

April 12, 2012

Rosewood Mayakoba – Luxury Breakfast on the Mayan Riviera

As promised, this is the third submission in the breakfast on the Mayan Riviera “series”. Check out the submissions featuring the Esencia and Maroma Orient Express. More to come so stay tuned. The Mayakoba development is situated about 10 km north of Playa del Carmen. It is a large resort property built among mangroves, forest, luxury golf courses and a beautiful beach that seems to never end. The large Mayakoba entrance is well marked and... View Article

April 12, 2012

Maroma Orient Express – Luxury Breakfast on the Mayan Riviera

This is a second installment in a series I am offering on breakfast on the Mayan Riviera. Most hotels on the Riviera are all inclusive and it is often difficult to find resorts that are open to non-staying guests. We love good food, perfect settings and excellent service, right along with simplicity and authenticity and have developed quite a repertoire of breakfast places to go to wherever we travel. I have decided to share my... View Article

April 12, 2012

Breakfast at Hotel Esencia, Mexico, Mayan Riviera

A leisurely breakfast is the ultimate luxury and we have made quite an art of the breakfast ritual, wherever in the world we are. While on the Mayan Riviera we frequent a few places that add an element of luxury or authenticity (sometimes both) to our Mexican experience. I thought I’d share some of them with you without (hopefully) writing a tome (large scholarly work…) about it. Here it goes: Hotel Esencia on Xpu-Ha beach... View Article

April 12, 2012

Hartwood restaurant in Tulum, Mayan Riviera

We spend a month on the Mayan Riviera each winter and, given my interest in food, I am always on the lookout for special places to eat. We have our usual haunts, from the ultra luxurious to the local and quaint. This year I heard about Hartwood from a Bon Appetite article a while back and drove down to Tulum to explore and try it out. The Hartwood website advised that they are open for... View Article