Author: Melissa

Broiled Grapefruit with Ginger and Honey

I have been going through my previous posts and I noticed that I haven’t posted a breakfast recipe in a while! Shame on me! I know that breakfast can vary throughout the week–from a quick bowl of granola or a smoothie on a weekday to an elegant spread of pancakes or perhaps some smoked salmon bagels on the weekend. There’s a lot of in between! One great breakfast dish that is suitable for either a weekday or a weekend is this recipe for Broiled Grapefruit with Ginger and Honey. It has a beautiful presentation and it can be made in just a few minutes, which is perfect for those busy weekday mornings! Seasonal and local ingredients As with most of my recipes, I like to focus on seasonal and local ingredients. While we unfortunately cannot grow grapefruits here, I opted to use them since they are in season right now. Actually, they are close to being out of season, which means spring is coming!!! I used the ruby red variety for the beautiful bright pink …

Chocolate Ganache Tart

Love is sweet. Love is salty. Love is this Chocolate Ganache Tart. If there is one thing that I must have every Valentine’s Day, it’s got to be a chocolate dessert. And when I say chocolate dessert, I mean pure chocolate. No chocolate covered fruit or anything like that– chocolate must be the star! This year, I would have to say that I hit it out of the park with this sinfully rich Chocolate Ganache Tart! This tart is so decadent (thanks to two kinds of chocolate and some whipping cream) that you only need to eat a small slice to get that chocolate fix. This is great since this tart can be shared amongst a large group of people, or enjoyed over the course of a few days by you and your loved one! 😉 Chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate There are two basic elements to this Chocolate Ganache Tart. First is the chocolate tart base that gets its chocolate flavour from unsweetened cocoa powder. The second (and arguably the most impressive) is the …

Homemade Hot Chocolate

If you’re fed up with all snow and the cold weather we have been having lately, a cup of Homemade Hot Chocolate is just what you need. Rather than buying a pre-made hot chocolate mix that is full of preservatives and unnecessary ingredients, I encourage you to make your own. Not only is it super easy, you likely have all the ingredients in your pantry! Pantry Staples & Fancy Additions Simply combine some unsweetened cocoa powder, granulated white sugar, vanilla extract and salt in a pot of warm milk and you will have a rich and creamy hot chocolate in under 10 minutes! You can use whatever milk you like, but my favourite is 2% milk from our local BC dairy farmers! While this is a basic recipe, you can also go all out and add whatever toppings you like. I like to keep it pretty simple with whipped cream and maybe a sprinkle of chocolate chips. But if you want to take it up a notch you can add chocolate shavings, a cinnamon stick, …

Dine Around Victoria 2019

Dine Around Victoria is one of the most anticipated foodie events of the year. During late January to mid-February, restaurants across the city are on their A-game, showcasing their best dishes for us hungry customers. This year, a total of 57 restaurants took part in this event, and offered set-price, three course menus at various price points ranging from $20-$50.  While I wish I could have gone to many more restaurants this Dine Around season, I managed to get out to two fabulous local restaurants. With the festival all wrapped up for 2019, I thought I would tell you about the great experience I had and to hopefully inspire you to get out and enjoy this event next year! Disclaimer: I am not interested in writing restaurant reviews, and by no means is this one. I just want to share my experiences (that both happened to be fantastic) during Dine Around Victoria. Little Jumbo Little Jumbo is Victoria’s best kept secret. This restaurant serves up some of the best local West Coast/Canadian casual cuisine that I’ve …

Two Delicious Pizzas for National Pizza Day + Homemade Pizza Dough

To me, nothing beats the taste of homemade pizza. Made with fresh toppings, cheese, and dough from scratch, you just can’t go wrong. And with a food this popular, you must celebrate it with it’s very own national food holiday! That’s right… it’s National Pizza Day! And I have two delicious pizza recipes to share with you: a Traditional Margherita Pizza and a fresh Spring Veggie Pizza. My Traditional Margherita Pizza – a true pizza classic! My pizza dough is much fluffier and thicker than what you may be accustomed to, but everyone always loves it! It’s more of a Roman style pizza dough that’s thicker and loaded with olive oil– kind of like a thin focaccia. It is really sturdy and holds up the toppings really well. Plus, Roman style pizza is rectangular shaped, and since those are the only pans I have, then that’s what I went for! Once you have the basic dough recipe down, you can add whatever toppings you like. For a Traditional Margherita Pizza, use some tomato sauce, mozzarella …

Vegetable Spring Rolls

Happy Chinese New Year! To celebrate the Year of the Pig, I am serving up lots of delicious Chinese dishes this evening and throughout the week. But on the first day of the new year, I decided to share my most crowd-pleasing Chinese recipe: Vegetable Spring Rolls! These Vegetable Spring Rolls are a crowd-pleaser for many reasons. They are warm, crispy and full of delightful vegetables and noodles. Plus, they can be enjoyed by everyone—vegetarians included! For the filling, I combine shredded carrots, cabbage, woodear mushrooms, scallions, rice noodles, and a few key Chinese sauces and oils. Then, I wrap the filling in store-bought spring roll wraps before they are plunged into a pot of oil and are deep fried until crispy. I have another recipe for Baked Spring Rolls that works great too, but I like to deep-fry these when celebrating as special as Chinese New Year. Crisp and golden fried spring rolls with plum sauce for dipping. Oh yeah, and that filling is 100% vegetarian! Once they come out of the fryer, I …

Soy Sauce Chicken

Soy Sauce Chicken is a classic Chinese dish. A whole chicken is marinated and then poached in a pot full of soy sauce and various spices. Once cooked, it’s cut up into chunks and served warm or at room temperature. While this recipe is a bit challenging to make at home, it’s much cheaper than purchasing a Soy Sauce Chicken from the store– and you get to modify the spices to suit your taste! Winner, winner, chicken dinner! Am I right? Recipe Testing: 3 chickens and a jug of soy sauce later… I set out to make Soy Sauce Chicken mainly to see if I could actually make it at home. I love a culinary challenge! While I had eaten this dish numerous times (and loved it), I had never made it from scratch…so I did LOTS of research on how to make it. There are tons of variations for the preparation of this dish. Some recipes call for the chicken to be marinated for just a few hours to marinating it overnight. Some stuffed …

Chicken Udon Noodle Soup

I have really been into making Asian foods lately—and who could blame me— they are so good! Since it’s been cold out, I have been turning to lots of soups from all over Asia to warm me up such as Chinese Wonton Soup, Korean Kimchi Jiggae and now this fantastic Japanese recipe for Chicken Udon Noodle Soup. This soup combines basic ingredients like chicken thighs, spinach, scallions, and egg with some of my favourite Asian ingredients. These include shimeji mushrooms, enoki mushrooms, shitake mushrooms, sesame seeds, udon noodles, nori snacks, and kombu (also known as seaweed). If you are unfamiliar with these types of Asian  mushrooms that I just referred to, check out my last post “What’s In Season- Mushrooms” for the low-down. Asian ingredients all in one warming, healthy bowl! I have only recently began experimenting  with more Asian ingredients after moving to Vancouver Island and finding a large gap in the quantity and variety of Asian cuisine available. I came from Vancouver, so there is no comparison with what Vancouver offers! While there …

Morning Glory Muffins

How’s this for some Monday motivation?! These Morning Glory Muffins are a healthy and nutritious breakfast that can be enjoyed any day of the week! I’m still on my New Years health kick! While muffins aren’t always considered to be the healthiest food in the world, these Morning Glory Muffins are chocked full of healthy ingredients. Plus, they make me feel less guilty of the flour, brown sugar and a pat of butter 😛 These muffins start with a basic mixture of flour, baking soda, baking powder, eggs, oil, brown sugar and vanilla– and they just get better from here on out! I add a ton (about 3 cups in total) of sweet and delicious shredded carrot and shredded apple. Carrots and apple contain lots of vitamin A and carrot contain lots of beta carotene and fibre. So these are good for your vision and your gut! I also add a heaping teaspoon of orange zest for its bright citrus flavour and the health benefits of vitamin C. Rather than adding white sugar, I opt …

What’s In Season: Mushrooms

Porcini, shiitake, lobster, matsutake, enoki, oyster, shimeji, button, crimini, portobello, cauliflower, morel, chanterelle. What do these names all have in common? They are all varieties of mushrooms! I am back with my “In Season” guides on the blog! Since it is the dead of winter and there are limited fresh fruits and vegetables available in BC at the moment, I am speaking to the mighty mushroom, since they are grown and harvested year-round. In this guide, I walk you through some fun facts about mushrooms and give you tips about buying and storing them. I also run through some of my favourite mushroom varieties–focusing on mushrooms from an Asian origin. I have been using these mushrooms in my cooking a lot recently (especially in preparing recipes for Chinese New Year!) so I decided to shine the spotlight on them at the moment. Don’t worry, I will still cover off my other favourite mushroom varieties in another post in the future! For now, let’s dig in and learn all about mushrooms! Some Fun-gi Facts Mushrooms are …