Author: Melissa

What’s In Season: Early Summer

Summertime is officially here and that means lots of new, bright, and fresh fruits and veggies will be making their appearance in our gardens and shopping carts once again. Early summer is marked by berry season here in British Columbia. Strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and Saskatoon berries have been bursting out of the ground (or are just on the cusp) and are as juicy and flavourful as ever! Plus, they taste WAY better than imported varieties from the USA or South America. In term of veggies, zucchini, cucumbers, peas, and rhubarb are all in season right now and are plump and fresh! We are currently still waiting on stone fruits like peaches, cherries, plums and apricots to come into season, which is typically in mid- to late July. Additionally, melon, grapes, squash and corn are well on their way! Check back next month for my guide to stone fruits- but for now, read on below to find out how to cook, store and buy the fruits and veggies that are available now! Strawberries: Strawberries are a …

What’s In Season: A Guide to Steak

There’s nothing like chilling outside in the sun with an iced drink, listening to some funky music, and grilling up a fantastic meal. Luckily, as temperatures rise and the days get longer, we inch closer and closer to these days that I live for. I really enjoy this slow-paced, relaxed and somewhat primal form of cooking as it’s quite different from my every day kitchen-bound cooking. You get to hear different sounds, smell different mouth-watering smells, and feel different textures and sensations. Plus, barbequing is relatively effortless. All you really need is some good, high-quality ingredients to start out with and the grill will take care of all that intense flavour building. To kick off the start of barbeque season, I thought I would provide a thorough overview of how to make the most popular barbeque food: steak. There are so many ways to cook a steak, but in my opinion, grilling the steak is your best bet at getting that delicious, juicy, beefy steak flavour. But before we get into the cooking methodology, it’s …

Strawberry-Rhubarb Coffee Cake

Strawberries have just come back into season and that can only mean one thing: summer is on the way! I am so excited to start making (and experimenting with) some new summer recipes for you all! As the days have been warming up, I have been preparing for the shift in seasons by checking out local markets and doing some online research to see what is or will be coming into season in the next month or so as we roll into summer. Fresh peas, spinach, turnips, and garlic are all early signs of summer, however, I always know that when you start to see local strawberries at market that times are changing. Now, there are about a million and a half ways to eat strawberries, but this Strawberry-Rhubarb Coffee Cake has to be one of the best. The combination of strawberry and rhubarb is a total classic as the sweet strawberries merry extraordinarily well with the tart and tangy rhubarb. When they are cooked together, they become juicy and jam like- and who wouldn’t want …

Toum ~ Creamy Garlic Sauce

You may not have known the proper name for this tasty sauce before reading this blog post, but I can guarantee that you have had this before if you eat a lot of Lebanese or Middle Eastern foods like shawarma or falafel. Toum is a traditional creamy (and dreamy) Lebanese garlic sauce that is often added to grilled meats or is served as a dip. In Lebanese, “toum” or “toom” translates directly to mean “garlic”. This sauce is aptly named as there is LOTS of garlic in this recipe- 30 cloves! Yeah, you read that right- 30 cloves of raw, fresh, mouth-tingling, gut-friendly garlic. Luckily, the garlic flavour is complimented by lots of clean tasting canola oil, tart lemon juice and some salt and mellows out the longer it sits in the fridge. This sauce has the same consistency as a homemade mayonnaise or aioli and is made in the exact same process of emulsifying the ingredients together very slowly to form a thick, stable, and creamy sauce. Now it took me a few tries …

BC Spot Prawns with Bagna Cauda Butter

It’s that time of year again, people! Spot Prawns are back in season and they are more sweet, succulent and juicy than I remembered ❤ Spot prawn season typically begins in early May and lasts for about six to eight weeks. Spot prawns are delicious, sweet prawns that are orange in colour and have little white spots on their bodies, mainly around their heads and tails. They are harvested just off the coast of BC during the prawning season using baited traps and are the largest variety of prawns that are harvested in BC. The cold, nutrient rich waters of the BC coast make these prawns sweet, succulent and very clean in taste compared to the typical frozen Tiger Shrimp variety. The meat is very tender and juicy, and has the texture of both a lobster tail and a shrimp combined. Sounds amazing right?! A squeeze of lemon brings out all the fresh flavours in these BC Spot Prawns! Since the season is so short, I love to eat as much spot prawns as I …

Maltese Stuffed Artichokes

Of all the delicious spring vegetables that are in season right now, the gorgeous globe artichoke is one of my favourites. Not only do they taste amazing when cooked, I love the springy, flower-like look of them in general. When uncooked, the tightly packed, overlapping leaves on the artichoke looks like a budding flower, and then when it’s all cooked, the leaves open up and it looks like it has magically bloomed. So cute! If you have ever heard the saying “With every rose comes its thorns”, this definitely applies to the artichoke…almost literally. The most prized part of the artichoke is the heart. When cooked, it is soft, creamy and meaty and is definitely the reward of the vegetable. But in order to get to the heart, you have to get passed the prickly leaves and spiny thistle inside of it. At the center of the artichoke, there is a thistle called the “choke”. My grandma (who is Maltese) always used to say that if you ate the “choke” you would choke. I was …

Mother’s Day Tea Party

It’s been a while since I have done a party post on the blog and I have missed it so much! I love throwing parties and entertaining guests in my home. I love all the preparation and organization that goes into throwing a party such as preparing the food, decorating the table, mixing drinks…I just love it! Sometimes I love it almost as much as the party itself! I know…I’m a bit crazy! While I love hosting a get-together to feed my party-throwing soul, hosting a party also a nice way to show your guests that you care and appreciate them. Sometimes I think this is even better than giving a physical gift for the occasion because you aren’t just giving something physical that may be tossed away down the road, you are really giving them a memory which can last forever. Now with Mother’s Day coming up this Sunday, I couldn’t think of a better way to show your mom how much you love and care for her than by throwing her an elegant …