New this week

April 2, 2012

Roasted Butternut Squash

Squashes are beautiful fall and winter vegetables (see my entry under What’s in Season)and butternut squash is one of my favourites. It has a natural sweetness that is enhance by a bit of brown sugar that softly caramelizes on its flesh. When I roast big chunks of the squash I don’t bother peeling it. The skin cooks and softens as it roasts and is perfectly good to eat. It also provides a nice ribbon that... View Article

April 2, 2012

Pizza With Tomatoes, Basil and Goat Cheese

This is a quick pizza recipe to make from scratch that is easy to whip up when you have a couple of hours before you want to bake. You can make this dough by hand but it also works well in a food processor or a bread mixer. If you do not use the whole dough you can either freeze half of it or keep it in the fridge and bake it in the next... View Article

April 2, 2012

Vegetable Lasagna With Carrot, Broccolini, Mushrooms, Corn and Peas

Who doesn’t like lasagna? It’s one of those comforting dishes that appeals top most people. You can put almost anything you like into the recipe and it still turns out good. I make it in a few different ways, depending on what’s in my fridge when I cook. Sometimes it gets a red, tomato based sauce, other times it’s béchamel type white sauce with cheese, as in this recipe. For me, together with a crisp... View Article

April 2, 2012

Lentils, Potatoes and Kale with Goat Cheese

A nice way of combining vegetables to create a complete meal or a substantial side dish. The potatoes and onion are sautéed until crisp and then the kale is added with a bit of stock and cooked until the kale is just wilted. I then add some cooked lentils and continue cooking just until flavours are merged and liquids are absorbed. Serve the dish immediately as the kale will lose it bright green colour if... View Article

April 2, 2012

Barley with Fennel, Apples and Dates

Barley is such a versatile grain. It’s easy to cook, retains a nice texture and keeps in the fridge for a number of days. When I cook barley I usually cook more than I need so I have some on hand ready to be incorporated into soups, salads, vegetables dishes, breakfast and even desserts (think barley pudding). In this recipe I use barley that has already been cooked and add it to the sautéing fennel... View Article

April 2, 2012

Barley and Mushroom Pilaf

Pilafs are easy to make and keep whatever grains you are cooking nice, fluffy and separated. The grains get coated with oil before you add the liquids, and this helps them stay apart. I cook this barley pilaf just as I would a rice pilaf. Quite delicious in my opinion, and why not try a different grain? Ingredients: 2 tablespoon olive oil 1/2 small onion, chopped 1 small carrot, diced 1 inner celery leave, chopped... View Article

April 2, 2012

Scrambled Eggs on Poilâne Bread

Poilâne is a renowned bakery in Paris, France on Rue du Cherche-Midi, producing beautiful, chewy country breads that are shipped all over the world. Holt Renfrew in Toronto sells Poilâne loaves at their bakery and at Holt’s Cafe they make wonderful tartines using thin long slices of the imported bread. Urban Fare in Yaletown in Vancouver used to carry the bread as well. Needless to say I have the bread shipped to me and I... View Article

April 2, 2012

Piadinas (Italian wraps)

These are fun and so easy to prepare. The dough is unleavened (no yeast) and quite sturdy. I start it in the food processor and finish by hand. You need to roll the dough very thinly but don’t worry, it’s a very easy dough to work with, it doesn’t tear and doesn’t fall apart. I use the piadina rounds to wrap around different fillings. Any sandwich filling would do. If you make the piadinas ahead... View Article

April 2, 2012

Breadsticks

Breadsticks are a fun addition to an appetizer selection. These are made without yeast and are light a crisp. You can flavour the dough with herbs or sprinkle it with exotic salts and seeds. Some suggestions: black Hawaiian salt, pink Himalayan salt, sesame seeds, poppy seeds etc. Ingredients: 2 cups flour 1 teaspoon salt 2 teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoon paprika optional 2 tablespoon grated Parmesan 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped 4 tablespoons olive oil... View Article

March 29, 2012

Crisp Flat Bread with Herbs

  Fine restaurants often serve a lovely bread basket that includes crisp breadsticks and flatbreads. They are very easy to make and are a nice addition to your entertaining table at home. They can be prepared a day in advance. I make this dough in a Bosch bread mixer but you can try it with a large food processor or another mixer, or, of course, it can be done by hand. Ingredients: 1 3/4 cups... View Article

March 4, 2012

Pears

One of the treats of fall that extends into the early winter season is the pear. Sweet in flavour with textures ranging from grainy to buttery, pears make a welcome addition to the fall and winter cooking repertoire. Pears can be incorporated into breakfast dishes from cereals to pancakes to muffins, served in salads, with cheese course and desserts. They can also add flavour to main courses and side dishes. How about chopping a firm... View Article

March 3, 2012

Hacienda Sacnicte, Yucatan Penninsula

We stumbled upon this dreamy Hacienda quite by accident but it turned out to be the highlight of our visit to the Yucatan. We stayed there on the way back from Merida to Cancun and couldn’t believe our luck. The 10 room Hacienda is situated on the outskirts of the quaint Mayan town of Izamal. It is surrounded by beautiful gardens attended to by a local Mayan couple, Paco and Hermita who live on the... View Article