Author: Melissa

Italian Fig Salad

In the midst of summer, it is easy to turn to simple salad recipes. They don’t require any cooking or any intense preparation, and can be assembled (and eaten!) within minutes. Plus, a nice cool salad is perfectly refreshing on a warm summer day! Move Over Lettuce Leaves… While I eat lots of green salads, I like to mix things up once in a while to enjoy a more decadent salad. Because lettuce leaves are not always that filling!  I tend to lean towards more composed salads that use some fancier ingredients. Mozzarella and prosciutto are definitely very decadent, and I could probably just eat these two on their own. But adding in some sweet summer figs and basil make this salad a bit healthier and really bring the flavours together. Topped with some creamy olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt, and you have a fantastic Italian-inspired summer salad! Supporting Local  I picked up my fresh mozzarella and prosciutto from my favourite Italian shop in Victoria, Italian Food Imports. They have a great …

Summer Tomato & Rosemary Focaccia

One of the best ways to tell that summer is here (other than the heat) is all the fresh garden produce that is available. I’m so happy to see fresh cucumber, zucchini, beans, figs, and my all time favourite: tomatoes! You can’t beat sweet, juicy and incredibly flavourful, summer tomatoes! Whether they are red tomatoes, yellow tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, green tomatoes, or fancy heirloom tomatoes, you have to gorge yourself on them while they are in season! Plus, since they are so easy to grow and have a high crop yield, they end up being dirt cheap at the grocery stores during the summer! I’m all for that! Tomatoes are an incredibly versatile fruit and can be prepared in many ways. You can simply eat them fresh with a drizzle of olive oil and salt and pepper, make them into tomato sauce to serve with pasta, or even dry them out to make sundried tomatoes. The possibilities are literally endless with tomatoes! But no matter which way you prepare them, they will always pair perfectly …

What to Eat at the Richmond Night Market

Every summer, millions of people make their way to enjoy the Richmond Night Market. This world-famous international night market is the largest in North America and is well known for the delicious international food and fun carnival entertainment. It’s a great way to spend a summer evening with your friends, family, or even a date! Creative & Tasty Food at the Richmond Night Market Last weekend, David and I made our annual trip to Richmond, B.C. to check out the Night Market. While the entertainment is fun, we mainly go there for the delicious food …obviously 😛 We love that there are so many food vendors that get super creative and think outside the box, and that it’s not just regular carnival or festival food that is available. We always discover something new every year and also enjoy the tried-and-true Richmond Night Market classics! Read on below to see what we ate at this year’s Richmond Night Market, along with some useful tips, and our must-trys for 2019! Crazy Zhang- The King of BBQ From …

DIY Garden Fence (for under $30)

As you may have seen from my previous Home & Garden post, we have started a vegetable garden at our new home. We are growing tons of fruits and vegetables including beans, lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, peas, raspberries, blueberries, and even lemons!  While we have been working hard on maintaining and tending to our garden, we were at risk of not being able to enjoy the fruits of our labour. We had noticed that something was coming into our garden, picking a piece of fruit, taking one bite out of it, and just leaving it to rot. Like I know you’re hungry, but at least eat the whole thing!  After wondering what it could be for a few days, we caught the little culprits in the act one evening after work! It turns out that a family of pesky squirrels had been getting into our garden and wreaking havoc on our fruits and veggies! Knowing that we had to stop these little critters from getting in, we built a garden fence to border our raised garden …

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. …