All posts filed under: Season

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 …

Blueberry-Almond Tart

Summertime and blueberries go hand-in-hand. These tender, juicy blue jewels are in season right now and I just cannot get enough of them- especially the locally-grown BC blueberries. Lucky for me, BC produces some of the best blueberries in the world, and what a way to celebrate them with none other than my Blueberry-Almond Tart. It is just perfect for summer! As you can see from my previous blog and Instagram posts, I recently took a trip across Europe for the entire month of July. While Europe was nice and all, I am so happy to be home. Not so much for going to work and doing all my adult things…but just to be home in my apartment and cooking my own food with local ingredients. I mean….the food in Europe was good and all, but it’s nothing like homemade. I knew that upon coming home there was two things that I wanted: 1) Pork and chive dumplings (Love my Asian food), and 2) blueberries. During my trip, I saw so many Instagram posts featuring …

Spot Prawn Festival

The weather did not stop Vancouverites from coming together to celebrate the opening of BC Spot Prawn season at the 11th Annual Spot Prawn Festival. Held annually at False Creek Fisherman’s Wharf on Granville Island, this is a festival that is not to be missed! Not only can you taste the first BC Spot Prawns of the season at the Spot Prawn Boil, you can purchase these sweet and succulent prawns that have just hauled up from the ocean from the fishermen who caught them right off their boats. You can’t get much fresher prawns than that! Now, spot prawns are some creepy little buggers, but they are incredibly delicious and are one of the prized delicacies of the sea in BC. From looking at them, you can tell they are spot prawns from their white spots on their tail and their thin white stripes on their shells. They are also quite large in size- actually the largest from all prawns from the BC coast. In terms of taste, spot prawns are definitely sweeter than …

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 …

What’s In Season: Spring

After the long and dreary winter we had this year, I am so happy that spring has finally arrived in Vancouver! If you look around the city, you can see that the tell-tale signs of spring have started popping up all over the place. The daffodils and crocuses have bloomed, the rhododendrons and cherry blossoms are on their way, the birds have started singing again, and we have already had a few days of +10°C weather. Some Vancouverites are even ahead of the game and have busted out their shorts and skirts and have already started enjoying patio season. No, I’m not kidding. But after having suffered through 5 major (and really uncommon) snowstorms this winter, I really can’t blame them for taking advantage of our nice spring weather. I myself have been enjoying the start of spring as well. While I may not be outside in my shorts sipping sangria on a patio, I have been busting out some spring cleaning and doing some major re-organizing. I honestly cannot tell you how happy I …

What’s In Season: Citrus

It’s surprising that in the dead of winter, tropical citrus fruits are in peak season. With the high-quality imports of oranges, grapefruits, tangerines, clementines, lemons and limes, we can enjoy a taste of sunshine at a relatively low price. Truly, for us Canadians who can’t grow citrus en masse, citrus season is a real blessing. Varieties Sweet Oranges: The most common of all citrus fruits. From every day varieties such as Valencia and Navel to the exotic Cara Cara, oranges are sweet and juicy. The majority of oranges that are imported to Canada come from tropical regions such as Florida, California, and sometimes Australia and Brazil. While they are available year round, the most flavourful oranges can be bought from November to April. Mandarins, Clementines & Tangerines: Much smaller than a regular orange, these little gems pack a flavourful punch and are the perfect on-the-go snack. While these three may look the same, there are some differences in terms of their origins and flavours. Mandarin oranges originated in China (hence the name Mandarin) and have a sweet …

Broiled Grapefruit with Ginger and Honey

Over the past few days, it has been very cold, but we finally have sun! Like so sunny to the point that there’s not a cloud in the sky- very peculiar for Vancouver winters. Despite the cold, these days have me reminiscing of those beautiful, warm, sunny days of summer at the beach… and how I would give anything to be back there again. While the sun is still around, I am going to take full advantage of it’s positive, happy, summery vibes. I’m even going to increase the happy summer vibes even more with my delicious and healthy breakfast of Broiled Grapefruit with Ginger and Honey. Not only is grapefruit a lovely bright fruit that just screams happiness and summer, it’s also in season! #CitrusSeason 😀 Obviously, we can’t grow grapefruit in BC, but we can definitely import it from warmer countries to enjoy while they are in season. I had this breakfast for the first time at a cute little B&B in Victoria, BC a few years ago and I have been making it ever since. I …