Author: Melissa

Simple Grilled Clams

While clams are abundant year-round on the west coast, I particularly love to enjoy them in the summertime. They make the perfect light (yet satisfying) summer meal, especially when they are combined with fresh summer flavours and eaten outdoors on a patio or at the beach. This year, I decided to experiment with cooking clams. I typically steam-cook clams in a large pot on the stove, but realistically, I can do that any time of year. However, I can only grill my food for a few months before the rain starts up; so naturally, I opted for experimenting with grilling clams. After a few tries of experimenting with various ingredients and flavour combinations, I came back to keeping it simple, and that’s how my recipe for Simple Grilled Clams came to be! Direct or Indirect, that is the Question I had seen a few recipes where the clams were grilled directly on the metal grates of a grill. While I thought this would be great, I found that the tasty clam juices easily fall into …

What’s In My Garden: Early Summer

Hello everyone! I am so glad that you are checking out my FIRST post on my new Home & Garden page on my website! I have been wanting to create a page like this for years, and now that we have a house to call our own, I am so glad that I am able to create, grow, and bring my own sense of style to all of you! Today, I will be giving you an update on our vegetable (and fruit!) garden. This is our first summer in our new home, and our first time ever gardening here and at this large of a scale! I’ve had a few patio gardens from living in apartments for the last 5 years, but they haven’t done nearly as well as this! Come along and check out all the delicious vegetables and fruits that we are growing this year. Make sure to check back on my garden updates to see how it changes over the seasons! Welcome to our garden! Vegetables Peppers Despite the cool summer that …

Cedar Plank Salmon

This Canada Day, I am grilling up the perfect west coast Canadian recipe: Cedar Planked Salmon. On the west coast of Canada, we love to eat fresh, wild salmon. While there are many species of salmon available, my favourite has to be sockeye salmon. It’s deep rich orange flesh is so succulent, full of omegas, and is always juicy– there’s nothing else like it! I picked up my salmon fillets from my favourite seafood store in Victoria, Finest at Sea. They always have a great selection of seafood available and it is always fresh! Not only is their seafood fantastic, I love that they tell you exactly where the seafood was harvested along the coast of B.C.– and even what fishing vessel caught it! Bringing this awareness to the customer is amazing and really makes me appreciate my seafood every time I get it! While I used sockeye salmon in this recipe, you can use whatever variety of salmon you prefer– pink, spring, coho, you name it! Just make sure that it is fresh and …

Cumin Lamb Skewers

As the days get hotter, I am preparing to send BBQ season into full swing! While I love hamburgers, veggies, and chicken on the grill, I sometimes like to treat myself with something special, like these delicious Cumin Lamb Skewers. These Cumin Lamb Skewers were inspired by the delicious variety of skewers at one of my favourite barbecue restaurants in Vancouver: Happy Tree House BBQ. While the name of the restaurant may be a little crazy, the food is totally on point! They have a variety of skewers available (that come pre-BBQd) including beef, chicken, seafood, chicken skin, and lamb. Spice Up Your BBQ this Summer! Since it’s a northern Chinese restaurant, that means the food is seasoned with lots of spices to give it amazing flavour. All their skewers come with this amazing cumin and chili spice on them. It’s spicy and smoky and just makes you want to keep eating them! Since I haven’t been to Vancouver in a while, I’ve been missing them and decided to recreate them at home! I bought …

Getaway Guide: Tofino & Ucluelet

A few weeks ago, David and I took a weekend trip to Tofino and Ucluelet to celebrate his birthday. For us, it’s an annual tradition that we visit these two lovely ocean-side towns in early spring. While it’s a bit of a trek to get there, we always have fun along the way. Plus, it all pays off when you take that first breath of ocean air and feel calm, relaxed and completely serene. I look forward to that feeling every year.  Located about four hours away by car from Victoria (and five hours from Vancouver), these two small towns are nestled on the very west coast of Vancouver Island. They are located about 40 minutes away from each other and are separated by the beautiful Pacific Rim National Park. Fishing vessel in Ucluelet Of these towns, Tofino is the most popular. It has become world-renowned for its hippie vibe, outdoor activities, nature and amazing local and sustainable food– especially seafood. Additionally, Tofino has varying types of accommodations available at just about every price point. You …

Rhubarb French Toast

Happy Mother’s Day! Do I ever have a recipe for all the moms out there today! It’s seasonal, sophisticated, beautiful, and tastes absolutely delicious! My recipe for Rhubarb French Toast is a great way to greet your mom, or any mom (fur-moms included) this Mother’s Day. For this special holiday, I decided to make French Toast. What mom doesn’t love French toast?! It’s fluffy, warm, and sweet and makes you feel great inside. While my classic French Toast recipe is always a hit, I decided to add a few extra special ingredients for this occasion. My Twist(s) on a Classic First, I decided to top my French Toast with a delicious Rhubarb Sauce. Apart from the fact that my HUGE rhubarb plant needed a bit of a trim, I knew this would be perfect since rhubarb is tart and would offset the sweet maple syrup perfectly. Plus, I can’t get over that pink colour! All I had to do was chop it up, and stew it in a pot with water and a dash of sugar. …

Spicy Jalapeño Margarita

May has finally arrived and I could not be happier. We are one month closer to those long summer days, warm weather and relaxing outside with a drink…or two. But for me, I don’t need the long days and warm temperatures to enjoy a drink, even a summery one! Cinco de Mayo is my excuse to kick patio season off and begin to enjoy my light and fruity cocktails. See you in the fall, negronis! This time of year, you will find me sipping on some delicious margaritas! These classic Mexican cocktails are light and refreshing, and in this case, a bit spicy! A Classic, but with a Twist A classic margarita is made with only four ingredients: lime juice, tequila, triple sec, and salt (for the rimmed glass). Mix up all the liquids in a cocktail shaker, pour over ice, and with one sip you will feel like you are sitting on the beach in Mexico! While this is a delicious cocktail in its own right, I add a bit more flavour with some …

Easy Cauliflower Gratin

Cauliflower is all the rage these days and can be seen in everything from rice to pasta to pizza. While I love that this vegetable is so versatile and can be transformed into these low-carb options, my favourite way to eat cauliflower is in this Cauliflower Gratin. Topped with Parmesan cheese, panko breadcrumbs, and a bit of butter, this dish is sure to satisfy everyone! Plus, now that this cruciferous vegetable has now come into season (and will be around until December!), a great way to celebrate it is at Easter dinner! Just look at all those spring vibes! The Gratin Technique This is by far, the easiest gratin you will ever make. If you have never heard of a gratin before, it is simply a French culinary technique whereby a dish is topped with breadcrumbs and some type of cheese. The breadcrumbs and cheese become crispy when baked and offer a crunchy texture to the dish. Typically, gratins are made with thinly sliced potatoes that become softened during the baking process. Rather than taking …

Quiche Florentine

No matter what time of day, quiche is always a good idea. You can serve it for breakfast or brunch as a protein-packed way to start the day. You can serve it as a light lunch or dinner with a side salad. Or you can just eat a slice for a snack! No matter what, it will always be satisfying and will taste delicious…especially if you use my recipe for Quiche Florentine! The Meaning of ‘Florentine’ If you have had anything in a ‘Florentine’ style before, you will know that spinach is going to be involved in the recipe. This ‘Florentine’ style comes from France where recipes were served on a bed of spinach. Who knew? Of course, this Quiche Florentine is packed full of spinach (about 8 cups worth) along with some other tasty ingredients including shallots, eggs and cheese. Crust is Necessary One if the beauties of quiche is that you can modify the filling however you please, but ALWAYS make it with a crust! I feel that it’s the proper way to …

Lemon & Herb Salmon Burgers

As you may have recently seen on my Instagram, I have collaborated with my good friend Liisa (@Essential_oil_health) to give away a few of my favourite essential oils. Not only are essential oils great for diffusing into the air and making your home smell amazing, you can actually use them in cooking (in small amounts of course)! This month, we are giving away a bottles of essential oil from DoTERRA: Lemon and Lime. We thought that these oils would be perfect for spring since they are so uplifting and refreshing, and can be used in tons of recipes, like this one for Lemon & Herb Salmon Burgers! There is not a can of salmon in sight with this recipe—it is made with fresh salmon fillet. I really prefer fresh salmon as opposed to canned salmon since it’s often less pungent and less cat food-y…if you know what I mean. I like to cook with sockeye salmon, but when it is out of season, it can be quite expensive. As an alternative, I like to cook …