New this week

June 12, 2012

Rice and Noodles with Pistachios

You would usually think of rice and noodles as an Asian dish but not this time. Here is a mediterranean version of combining these two ingredients for the starch component of your dinner. There is something about this dish that is very satisfying (probably the starch factor). I use the thin soup noodles that are sold rolled up in little “nests”, broken up for the occasion, and cook them in olive oil until nice and... View Article

June 10, 2012

Pasta with Creamy Goat Cheese and Thyme

Love goat cheese? Here is a simple and quick sauce to make with the subtle but distinct flavour of goat cheese. A few toasted pine nuts sprinkled on top add buttery flavour and a bit of texture. Thyme goes nicely with this flavour palette. Serve with a glass of white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio. Their crisp acidity will balance the creamy sauce. Ingredients 1/2 lb pasta (spaghetti, linguine, spaghettini etc.) 1 ... View Article

June 9, 2012

Spicy Carrots with Harissa

Have you ever used harissa in your cooking? It’s a Northern African (Tunisia, Morocco) spicy condiment or spice blend that migrated to neighbouring middle east countries and has become an integral part of middle east cuisine. There are various ways of making it and the basic ingredients are chili peppers, garlic, coriander, cumin, carraway, sometimes cinnamon and maybe even fennel and lemon. You would need to add olive oil to make it into a paste.... View Article

June 7, 2012

Fudgy Cream Cheese Brownies with Baileys

For adults only, these creamy, fudgy, chocolaty cream cheese brownies are so good and so easy to make I am sure you will add them to your favourite brownies collection. I have been experimenting with brownies for a few days with different results in textures. Some were cake-like with a crackly top layer, some were  light, others heavier. A lot of chocolate came and went through my kitchen this week. This one seems to have... View Article

June 6, 2012

Silky Puree of Asparagus Soup with Baby Potatoes

I made this soup a while ago, early in the asparagus season, but I thought I’d post it now. It’s a simple soup to make and requires only cooking the asparagus in boiling stock and then puréeing it in a blender. The cooked potato blended with the soup adds body and natural creaminess without adding any cream. You can however  enhance it with cream for a creamed soup version or just add a dollop of... View Article

June 5, 2012

Peasant Pasta with Herbed Crumbs

What can be more satisfying and comforting than a bowl of pasta? okay, maybe there are a couple of things but a bowl of pasta is certainly among them. Here is a simple pasta to make when you are low on ingredients or just feel like something good and quick. The herbed bread crumbs are one of the things I usually have in the freezer, ready to be incorporated into many different dishes. Of course... View Article

June 5, 2012

Roasted Acorn Squash with Quinoa, Apricots, Ginger and cumin

Acorn squash along with other squashes are fall and winter vegetables and I cook with them often as soon as summer is over. I do however like to use squash as a “container” and stuff it with various grains and vegetables and I can do that any time of the year. Being the starch lover that I am, I can never have too much starch (read The Starch Solution by Dr. John McDougall). Acorn squash... View Article

June 4, 2012

About Cheese

I think of cheese as one of the most exquisite culinary pleasures.  Whether served with fruit after a meal, paired with a glass of wine, enjoyed on its own with a chunk of crusty bread or included in the process of preparing a dish, cheese is a captivating flavour and texture element in culinary experience. Wine and cheese have a lot in common. Both in a way are living organisms, created by their own Terroir... View Article

June 3, 2012

Baguette with Brie and Tomato chutney

Baguette sandwiches are such a treat. They have bread, they have cheese, what more does one need? I recently had a couple of good ones on great bread, one in Seattle at Le Panier and another in Calgary at La Boulangerie bakery cafe on 4th street. I bought a baguette from them yesterday and I am making baguette sandwich  for lunch with their sourdough baguette today. I happen to have tomato chutney in the fridge... View Article

June 3, 2012

Watermelon and Feta Cheese Salad with Raspberries and Mint

I am ignoring the not-spring-enough weather outside and pretending it’s nice and warm. It’s not too bad, at least it’s sunny outside. So I am making a cool-looking salad today. On my last trip to the market watermelons were looking pretty good, probably grown in a green house somewhere but yet sweet enough to enjoy them until the real sun-ripened crops arrive later in the season. I have always combined watermelon with feta, have you... View Article

June 3, 2012

Rice Pudding with Rhubarb Compote

Oh-so-delicious rice pudding with tangy rhubarb compote at the bottom. I saw this offered for sale at the Okanagan Grocery Artisan Bakery in Kelowna over the long weekend in May and for the next few days went there every day and purchased a couple of jars of this delicious pudding to serve after dinner. I must admit that not all of them made it to dinner, as we enjoyed them just for fun while sitting... View Article

June 2, 2012

Spinach Salad with Coconut-Lime Cream

Our place in Mexico has gorgeous coconut trees swaying right in front of our second floor covered patio. They provide shelter for birds perched on their branches and are heavy with large coconuts hanging in clusters, green and heavy with coconut juice. While on vacation there, I try to use coconut in my cooking and have developed a bit of repertoire incorporating it into dishes, both sweet and savoury. One of those creations is this... View Article