All posts filed under: Dinner

Easter Dinner Menu

Celebrate Easter stress-free with this elegant and easy spring-inspired menu. I have planned out a wonderful dinner spread including a main dish, two sides and a show-stopping dessert that will not only thrill your guests, but make things easy on you so that you can enjoy the meal as well. These recipes are a piece of cake! Actually, the last one really is 😛 Apricot Chutney Glazed Ham For me, a nice home cooked ham is always the star of the show on Easter— I simply cannot do Easter without it! For a few years now, I have typically make a Hawaiian-style ham (just like my mom makes) with a sweet and spicy pineapple sauce… and adorned with pineapple rings of course! But this year I wanted to change up my regular ham recipe, so I came up with this tasty Apricot Chutney Glazed Ham. The Apricot Chutney can be made a few days before your celebration, which comes in handy on the big day, so all you need to do is take it out …

Salt Spring Island Mussels with Ale-Cream Sauce

Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone! No matter if you are Irish or not, you can’t pass up this holiday without a beer or two. But rather than drinking it straight, why not cook with it? And if some local mussels, garlic, cream and lots of parsley end up in the mix, it’s all the better! Shortly after moving to the west coast, mussels became one of my favourite seafoods to eat. They are relatively inexpensive for seafood and can be cooked up in many different ways. I really enjoy the local Salt Spring Island mussels which are line-grown off the coast of Salt Spring Island, in the Strait of Georgia. The waters around Salt Spring Island are cold, incredibly clean and there is a high abundance of phytoplankton and microalgae- which the mussels love to eat. Because of this environment, the mussels are deep orange in colour and are consistently sweet and briny- truly the best I’ve ever had! Not only do these mussels taste amazing, they provide habitat to small fish as they grow …

Homemade Margherita Pizza & Dough

When making homemade pizza, having a tasty crust is essential. While some may like thin crust pizza (I actually only like thin crust from take-out pizza shops), I love making thick-crust style pizza at home— mainly because of this amazing pizza dough recipe. This pizza dough is like a cross between regular pizza crust and a foccacia bread. It’s flat and holds up against the toppings just like a regular pizza crust should, but it is also thick, soft, moist and airy just like a foccacia.  This is from adding one special ingredient to the dough…olive oil! I add quite a bit of olive oil to the dough (5+ tablespoons) which makes the dough so moist, flavourful and crispy once baked. I really have not found any restaurant or pizza place that makes their dough like this (and I eat a lot of pizza), which is why you need to try this recipe for yourself! Now I know what your’re thinking. Pizza dough is hard to make, I need special ingredients, tools etc. I’m here …

The Ultimate Veggie Nachos

Superbowl LII is just a few days away and it’s time to start thinking of some tasty snacks to serve on the big day. Chicken wings, pretzels, meat (in any form), and dips all make an annual appearance at the big game, but the Superbowl won’t be complete without nachos! Nachos are the ultimate Superbowl snack food. They are salty, savoury, cheesy, spicy, fresh, and hearty…and just about everyone loves them. There is little to no fuss for the host as well, just layer up the nachos, cook them in the oven and serve them to your guests right off the tray! It really couldn’t get any easier than that! Of course, there is a bit of a science to making the “ultimate” nachos- and that science involves layering. You can’t just dump the toppings onto nacho chips and call it a day- that would be horrible. Rather, you need to layer the chips, toppings and cheese in a certain way to: 1) make sure that every little nacho chip gets some of these delicious …

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 …

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 …