Author: Melissa

German Sauerkraut

Steins of beer, colourful lederhosen and dirndles, and folk music can only mean one thing…Oktoberfest is here! While I may not be in Germany to partake in these celebrations, I am celebrating at home with my recipe for German Sauerkraut! My German Sauerkraut (with an obligatory side of mustard) styled with flowers from Il Fioraio Florist, linen dinner napkin from Kaiko Design , and squash from Kins Farm Market!  Contrary to popular belief, Oktoberfest is not held during the month of October, rather in September. The festival is held annually in Munich and is 16 days long. I can’t even imagine how much beer can be consumed in 16 days LOL! With all that beer comes good food, entertainment, dancing and singing- sounds like a crazy party! If you are lucky enough to visit Munich during this fall harvest celebration, good for you! But if not, you can always celebrate at home with a few tasty German dishes and lots of beer (responsibly of course!). All in all, this recipe for German Sauerkraut HAS to be …

Fall For Local Market

This past weekend was full of wonderful local purchases from the one and only Fall For Local Market! Every since attending the previous FFL market in April, I have literally been obsessed with this market! Obviously, the products are absolutely amazing (and locally made),  but the vendors who create these products really make the market extra special. Take a read about my experience at the market and to see what locally made goodies I picked up! Obligatory shoefie! After a quick Seabus ride into North Vancouver and a short walk, I arrived at the market venue, the Pipe Shop Building. Let’s just say, I am in love with this building….so much so that I follow their Instagram (which will give you serious wedding fever/inspo)! I love the large windows, wooden beams and high ceilings in this newly renovated heritage building. It feels so light and airy, even on cloudy, grey Vancouver days. Bright and airy venue…. …filled with amazing goodies and people! Looking around the venue, you could see bright pops of colour from venue …

Pesto Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes

Basil + tomatoes = the best summer combination. Even though summer is winding down, you can still celebrate these two delicious summer foods for just a while longer. For the next few weeks, the basil will still be abundant and delicious and the tomatoes will be juicy and flavourful. By the end of September, these will all be gone until next summer. Thank goodness we are able to preserve these flavours well into the winter by making some pantry staples like tomato sauce, oven-fried tomatoes, and basil pesto. On this last long weekend of summer, I really want to sit back, relax, and enjoy the rest of the basil and tomatoes I have on hand (and maybe a drink or two :P). And what better way to do this by making my Pesto Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes! I picked up some fresh, local basil and cherry tomatoes (along with some other goodies) at the Burnaby Farmers Market today specifically for this recipe.  I love the rainbow cherry tomatoes for this recipe because they are super sweet …

Couscous Salad with Grilled Halloumi

With fall being just around the corner, our outdoor BBQ and grilling days are numbered. I know when December and January rolls around, I am really going to be missing hanging out on the patio and eating grilled chicken, burgers and grilled veggies. So in these last few weeks of prime BBQ and grilling season, indulge in your favourite grilled foods and mix it up with this recipe for Couscous Salad with Grilled Halloumi. Halloumi is a very firm cheese that originated on the island of Cyprus. It is typically made with a combo of sheep and goat milk (or even cow milk), salt and dried mint. Once made, the cheese sits in brine and gets super flavourful and firm. Now when I say that it is a firm cheese, I mean it. This cheese is so firm that you can grill it, pan fry it, do whatever you want to it over a heat source and it will not melt. It’s kind of magical actually. When it is cooked, it becomes soft and creamy. …

Basil Gnocchi with Peas and Pancetta

Happy Sunday everyone! I hope everyone is having a nice weekend and I hope the Sunday Scaries (i.e. fear of going back to work or school tomorrow) haven’t set in yet! To soothe your pain, or to seamlessly transition you from the weekend to Monday, do I ever have a meal for you: Basil Gnocchi with Peas and Pancetta. It’s like summer heaven on a plate! Whenever I think of summer herbs, I always think of basil. It’s large green lemony/liquorice leaves grow abundantly in the summer and has a fresh clean and light taste that everyone loves. It goes great with chicken, tossed right into raw salads, and of course pasta (the Italians know what’s up). I decided to give my original recipe for Homemade Gnocchi a great summer spin by adding basil to it. I simply puréed the basil in a food processor with a little bit of olive oil and salt and added the paste to my gnocchi dough. The tedious but fun process of making Gnocchi in three steps: 1) roll …

Savoury Cheese and Spinach Pastries

Peanut butter and jelly. Salmon and dill. Peas and mint. These are all ingredients that go perfectly together. Adding to this list of perfect food pairing is of course, spinach and cheese. Used in a variety of dishes, spinach and cheese compliment each other perfectly no matter what dish they are in together. I combine these two ingredients (with a few extra complementary ones) in this recipe for Savoury Cheese and Spinach Pastries. I am not just using any old cheese for this recipe. No, sir! This recipe makes use of a special, artisinal ingredient: quark cheese. Haven’t heard of quark cheese before? I don’t blame you. It is definitely not an everyday ingredient in North America. But in Germany, Austria and other parts of eastern Europe, they use this almost as much as North Americans use cream cheese. Once you taste it you will know why. This soft, smooth, unripened cheese tastes like a cross between Greek yogurt and cream cheese. It does not have a strong pronounced flavour, rather it has a light …

Grilled Vegetables

You may think of firing up the grill for grilling up some ribs, hamburgers, or chicken this summer, but while you’re at it, why not make a side of these healthy Grilled Vegetables?! These RAINBOW grilled veggies are just perfect for Pride weekend here in Vancouver! I love the flavour that the grill gives to the vegetables- that smoky, charred taste is irresistible. And the way the veggies get all soft and juicy…ugh don’t get me started! In order to get perfectly grilled vegetables, there are a few tips that you should know when handling the grill. Tip 1 is to cook the vegetables on high heat. This sears the outside of the vegetables and gives an nice char. Tip 2 goes hand-in-hand with the former, do not move the vegetables around too much when you are grilling them. Once you place the vegetable on the grill, don’t touch it. Let it sit, sear and char up- that’s also how you get those prominent char marks! Vegetables such as bell peppers and mushrooms take 2-3 …