All posts filed under: Spring

Toum ~ Creamy Garlic Sauce

You may not have known the proper name for this tasty sauce before reading this blog post, but I can guarantee that you have had this before if you eat a lot of Lebanese or Middle Eastern foods like shawarma or falafel. Toum is a traditional creamy (and dreamy) Lebanese garlic sauce that is often added to grilled meats or is served as a dip. In Lebanese, “toum” or “toom” translates directly to mean “garlic”. This sauce is aptly named as there is LOTS of garlic in this recipe- 30 cloves! Yeah, you read that right- 30 cloves of raw, fresh, mouth-tingling, gut-friendly garlic. Luckily, the garlic flavour is complimented by lots of clean tasting canola oil, tart lemon juice and some salt and mellows out the longer it sits in the fridge. This sauce has the same consistency as a homemade mayonnaise or aioli and is made in the exact same process of emulsifying the ingredients together very slowly to form a thick, stable, and creamy sauce. Now it took me a few tries …

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 …

Mother’s Day Tea Party

It’s been a while since I have done a party post on the blog and I have missed it so much! I love throwing parties and entertaining guests in my home. I love all the preparation and organization that goes into throwing a party such as preparing the food, decorating the table, mixing drinks…I just love it! Sometimes I love it almost as much as the party itself! I know…I’m a bit crazy! While I love hosting a get-together to feed my party-throwing soul, hosting a party also a nice way to show your guests that you care and appreciate them. Sometimes I think this is even better than giving a physical gift for the occasion because you aren’t just giving something physical that may be tossed away down the road, you are really giving them a memory which can last forever. Now with Mother’s Day coming up this Sunday, I couldn’t think of a better way to show your mom how much you love and care for her than by throwing her an elegant …

West Coast Niçoise Salad

As we progress through the spring season, I am now looking to make some lighter and healthier meals. Think lots of fresh veggies, healthy grains, and fish. So far, I have come up with some amazing recipes  that have been super refreshing and perfect for the warmer days to come. This week, I’m sharing one of the best spring/summer salads out there: a Niçoise Salad– but with a little twist 😉 First off, if you have never had a Niçoise Salad before, make it your mission to make this recipe ASAP. It is a composed salad meaning that the ingredients are cooked separately and assembled together. The original concept for this salad originated in a town called Nice in the south of France in the early 20th century (according to Wikipedia) and is still a very popular dish in the region today. The salad not only gets its name from the city of Nice, but also from the Niçoise olives that are one of the staples of this salad. Niçoise olives are dark black, round, …

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 …