All posts filed under: summer

Pesto Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes

Basil + tomatoes = the best summer combination. Even though summer is winding down, you can still celebrate these two delicious summer foods for just a while longer. For the next few weeks, the basil will still be abundant and delicious and the tomatoes will be juicy and flavourful. By the end of September, these will all be gone until next summer. Thank goodness we are able to preserve these flavours well into the winter by making some pantry staples like tomato sauce, oven-fried tomatoes, and basil pesto. On this last long weekend of summer, I really want to sit back, relax, and enjoy the rest of the basil and tomatoes I have on hand (and maybe a drink or two :P). And what better way to do this by making my Pesto Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes! I picked up some fresh, local basil and cherry tomatoes (along with some other goodies) at the Burnaby Farmers Market today specifically for this recipe. Β I love the rainbow cherry tomatoes for this recipe because they are super sweet …

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 purΓ©ed 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 …

Savoury Cheese and Spinach Pastries

Peanut butter and jelly. Salmon and dill. Peas and mint. These are all ingredients that go perfectly together. Adding to this list of perfect food pairing is of course, spinach and cheese. Used in a variety of dishes, spinach and cheese compliment each other perfectly no matter what dish they are in together. I combine these two ingredients (with a few extra complementary ones) in this recipe for Savoury Cheese and Spinach Pastries. I am not just using any old cheese for this recipe. No, sir! This recipe makes use of a special, artisinal ingredient: quark cheese. Haven’t heard of quark cheese before? I don’t blame you. It is definitely not an everyday ingredient in North America. But in Germany, Austria and other parts of eastern Europe, they use this almost as much as North Americans use cream cheese. Once you taste it you will know why. This soft, smooth, unripened cheese tastes like a cross between Greek yogurt and cream cheese. It does not have a strong pronounced flavour, rather it has a light …

Grilled Vegetables

You may think of firing up the grill for grilling up some ribs, hamburgers, or chicken this summer, but while you’re at it, why not make a side of these healthy Grilled Vegetables?! These RAINBOW grilled veggies are just perfect for Pride weekend here in Vancouver! I love the flavour that the grill gives to the vegetables- that smoky, charred taste is irresistible. And the way the veggies get all soft and juicy…ugh don’t get me started! In order to get perfectly grilled vegetables, there are a few tips that you should know when handling the grill. Tip 1 is to cook the vegetables on high heat. This sears the outside of the vegetables and gives an nice char. Tip 2 goes hand-in-hand with the former, do not move the vegetables around too much when you are grilling them. Once you place the vegetable on the grill, don’t touch it. Let it sit, sear and char up- that’s also how you get those prominent char marks! Vegetables such as bell peppers and mushrooms take 2-3 …

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 …

The Lazy Mojito

Happy first day of Summer! I have been crazy busy the last few weeks and I haven’t found enough time to do any recipes for you guys! I’m sorry! But you will probably forgive me when you find out why I have been so busy…. I’m going to Europe for a month! I am BEYOND excited! My first stop is in jolly old London- where I will be a bridesmaid in my best friend, Anita’s, wedding! I met Anita in my second year of undergrad at UofT on Halloween. Up until the end of our fourth year we were inseparable. Anita moved back to Iran and later studied interior design in Italy and we haven’t seen each other in person since that last day of undergrad when she flew home 😦 It will be quite the reunion! And my other bestie, Tyler (who moved to Australia after undergrad and who I haven’t seen in 2+ years) will also be joining so it is going to be even better! After London, I will be traveling to …