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 …

Frosé All Day

There has been a very strong obsession with rosé wine lately. The phrase “Rosé All Day” has become a mantra of many millenials who enjoy sipping on this tasty pink beverage. This phrase has been emblazoned across shirts, phone cases, and even swimsuits (lol) and everyone is just drinking it up! While it’s a little obnoxious, and basic AF, there truly is a lot to celebrate with this delicious type of wine. Rosé is produced in three ways. The first and most common way to make rosé is through maceration. In this process, red grapes are placed into the white wine and are left so sit and macerate for a period of time. The red colour from the grapes bleed out into the wine, producing a pink colour. It’s basically like letting a teabag steep in a cup of water. The longer the red grapes sit in the wine, the darker the colour gets. The second way to make rosé is to blend the wine. In this process, red wine is simply added to a …

Herb-Stuffed Pork Loin (almost Porchetta)

You guys, I’m literally crying. I just created this recipe for Herb-Stuffed Pork Loin and I am just over the moon. This salty, porky, herby roast is heaven and you definitely have to try this this spring! We picked up a large pork loin at Costco a few weeks ago for a really good price (I know, I know….Costco isn’t always local…but for this price, we couldn’t pass it up). We sliced the loin up into various pieces, making sure to save 2 large portions for roasts. Typically, I make pork loin in the fall with stewed apples and onions and various fall spices such as cinnamon and cloves, but I was just inkling to make a tasty summer pork loin roast for us. When I think of spring, one of the first things that comes to mind is herbs. Parsley definitely comes first, followed by oregano and basil (more of summer herbs). But then out of the blue came sage (a fall/winter herb) and I knew I was on to something. Herbs + pork…maybe …

Rhubarb Collins

Patio season has finally arrived in Vancouver! After the long and rainy spring that we had this year, I think that everyone is the city is happy that the sun and warm weather is back. I know I sure am! To celebrate the start of Patio Season (and to start pre-gaming for summer!), I have come up with a special “Patio Series” theme for my blog this June! Every Friday, I will be posting a special cocktail that you can make to kick off the weekend. These recipes feature local and seasonal ingredients- right down to the alcohol. Yes, you read that right! Vancouver has a wonderful distillery and craft beer scene which I am going to take full advantage of 🙂 As a bonus, I will be posting a few extra cocktail recipes in throughout the month of June (i.e. not just on Friday’s) so keep your eyes open for them! To kick off the start of the series, I present my Rhubarb Collins, a spring-like play on a Tom Collins. A regular Tom Collins …

Strawberry-Rhubarb Compote

Lots of people wonder where I learned to cook so well. Here’s the truth: I got it from my mama!… and my grandma too! My mom and my grandma are two of the best cooks that I know. They have always cooked the most amazing, and most flavourful food. One of their secrets is to buy the best ingredients available. So even if this means spending a bit more money, they will do it because they know the food will be that much better and they know people will remember them for it. Another one of their secrets (and one that works so well that it is the main focus of this blog) is to buy local food wherever available. I remember going to pick strawberries as a kid just outside of Mississauga, Ontario to make jam, or driving through Niagara to get fresh peaches and plums in the summer to make a fruit pie, and going to Hazel Ontario to get smoked pork chops, corn, and lots of cheese for a hearty fall meal. …