All posts filed under: Spring

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 …

Lemon Roll Cake with Lemon Curd Filling

While Easter may still be a few days away, it’s never too early to plan your Easter meal- especially the dessert! This year I have cooked up a show-stopping Easter dessert for you: a Lemon Roll Cake with Lemon Curd filling. Lemon is a quintessential spring flavour. It’s light, tart and very refreshing, which is nice change after the rich and hearty meals (and desserts) that we have been eating since autumn began. I use all the components of the lemon in this recipe: the juice, the zest and even the oil found in the lemon rind. I don’t press the oil myself (that would be insane), I use a fabulous, convenient food-grade oil from my friend Liisa at DoTERRA Essential Oils. When we met at a networking event, Liisa was kind to give me a sample of the Lemon Essential Oil after hearing that I had a food blog. I had never cooked with essential oils before (since I couldn’t find any food-grade oils…only extracts) and she thought it would be a great addition to …

What’s In Season: Spring

The start to the spring season has officially begun today and I couldn’t be happier! Pink, purple and yellow flowers have begun popping up all over the city and little lime green buds have been emerging from the trees- it’s a start of a fresh new season! Besides these tell-tale signs of spring, what I mostly look forward to this season is the wonderful new produce that is hitting the market shelves. Don’t get me wrong, I love winter veggies, but there is only so much cabbage, kale and potatoes you can eat. Spring brings fresh salad greens, tender asparagus spears, crunchy radish and rhubarb, colourful chard, artichokes and refreshing herbs- all of which can brighten up any spring dish. What’s more is that these spring foods are delicate and tasty on their own , so you don’t have to do too much to them to make them taste good. Just keep it simple by tossing them into a salad, or steaming them quickly to enjoy as a side. Check out the fresh produce that …

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 …

Börek

Börek, burek, boreka….no matter how you say it, this savoury pastry is everything that you are looking for. It’s salty, flaky, crunchy and smooth all at the same time and is slightly on the unusual side for most Canadians (and North Americans alike), which makes this recipe even more intriguing. Made with a few simple ingredients, but combined in a special way, this recipe is sure to captivate and satisfy you, your friends and family. Before I get into explaining how to make börek, you probably want to know what it is first. Börek is a traditional Turkish pastry that is made by layering sheets of yufka dough and wrapping the sheets around a cheese and spinach, egg, or meat-based filling. If you haven’t heard of yufka dough before, don’t worry, I didn’t know what it was until I began researching börek. Yufka dough comes in large round sheets (when I say large, I mean they’re large- as in the size of a truck tire) and is very similar to phyllo dough as is very …

Croque Monsieur & Madame

If you want to feel like you have been transported to a quaint bistro tucked away somewhere in France, look no further than this recipe for Croque Monsieur and Croque Madame. For me, this classic French sandwich is so much more than a sandwich… it’s a masterpiece. A work of art. Something truly amazing to behold. A Croque Monsieur and Croque Madame are simply ham and cheese sandwiches that are taken to the next level. Both these sandwiches are made of simple, everyday ingredients but they are combined and assembled in a way that makes the sandwiches look so elegant and taste so rich. That must be because of all the butter… Now if you are wondering what the difference between a Croque Monsieur and a Croque Madame is, it’s simply the addition of a fried egg. If you make this sandwich on it’s own (no fried egg involved), it is called a Croque Monsieur. Top this sandwich with a fried egg and voilà- you have a Croque Madame. I really do prefer the Croque …

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 …