All posts tagged: homecook

Winter Spices

Happy December, everyone! I can’t believe how fast this year has come and gone… but I can say that this year is going to go out with a bang! Amongst all the exciting events that are coming up, I am looking forward to all the delicious treats that are to come over the holiday season! If you follow me on Instagram (@seasonserveblog) you will know that for the month of December, I am bringing back my holiday blog series called AppyHolidays! For this series, I will be posting a fabulous holiday appetizer that you can serve at a holiday party that you may be hosting or to bring to a holiday party that you are attending this season. This has to be one of my favourite series on the blog since appetizers are my favourite part of any meal! In addition to AppyHolidays, I am also working on another festive blog series for December called The 12 Days of Christmas! If you are into food blogs, you will have probably seen other food bloggers run …

Chai-Poached Quince

If we want to talk about seasonal fruit, then the quince reigns supreme in the autumn months. At first glance, the quince may look like little, mis-grown pear, however, it is so much more than that and it has tons of amazing uses in the kitchen. One of this fruits great uses in the autumn is this recipe for Chai-Poached Quince. Before I give you a run-down on my recipe, let me tell you a bit more about the quince fruit. For the most part, this is an unknown fruit to most Canadians as it is difficult to find and is highly seasonal. I actually hadn’t tried quince ever (other than quince jam) until earlier this autumn…and boy, have I been missing out! Quince can actually be grown in B.C. and are in season from September to early November. Quince are a soft yellow in colour and are covered in a hefty layer of greyish-yellow fuzz when they grow. It’s similar to the idea of peach fuzz, but you can rub off the quince fuzz …

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 …

Chinese New Year Dumplings

Whether you like your dumplings steamed or fried, they are a MUST for Chinese New Year. This traditional dish, eaten on Chinese New Year and Chinese New Years Eve, symbolizes wealth and prosperity for the coming year. This largely has to do with their shape, which are made to look like silver ingots (an old form of currency used under the Qin dynasty). As legend goes, the more dumplings you eat during Chinese New Year celebrations, the more wealthy and prosperous you will become in the new year. If this legend is true, I’m well on my way to being a millionaire! Dumplings have been around for hundreds of years and as such there are many different variations. Delicate dumpling wrappers can be filled with meat (typically pork, chicken or beef), seafood (typically shrimp), vegetables, fungi, or eggs and the dumplings can be boiled steamed or fried. The possibilities and combinations are truly endless! But no matter what filling you make or how they are prepared, dumplings will always taste delicious! In this recipe, I …

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 …

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. …

Power Up! Choco-Coconut Power Balls

With this cold, dreary March we have been having so far, I am in desperate need of a pick me up. With the weather we have been having recently (it snowed AGAIN on Sunday) I have been so sluggish and unmotivated to do anything. At this point, all of the coffee, puppies, and flowers, in the world couldn’t help me at this point.  Ok… maybe the puppies would help. But, instead of continuing to mope this past weekend, I took matters into my own hands to create a few little pieces of happiness for myself. As it so happens, these little pieces of happiness are delicious and are also good for you. My Choco-Coconut Power Balls are a tasty, healthy, and filling snack to have on hand when you need a little bit of extra energy. These Power Balls are packed with sweet dates, creamy nut butter, crunchy oats, tender coconut, and rich cocoa powder that when combined, really fills you up. While I am excited about the fact that these Choco-Coconut Power Balls are …

Happy Chinese New Year

To celebrate the Year of the Rooster, I have curated my tastiest Chinese recipes in this post. Now, my experience cooking Chinese foods has not been that extensive, but I have nailed these recipes. They key to cooking these foods is to have the right ingredients. I go to Asian grocery stores (such as TNT Supermarket) to get the freshest and most authentic ingredients and it definitely pays off. Plus, I often discover new ingredients are am inspired to cook new dishes. These appetizer and main course recipes were inspired from my visits to these grocery stores and are a great way to ring in the new year. Let the celebrations begin! Pork and Chive Potstickers These Pork and Chive Potstickers are the perfect appetizer for the New Year. In Chinese culture, potstickers are traditionally eaten on Chinese New Year as they symbolize wealth. These delicious little bundles are stuffed with pork, chive, and cabbage and are fried and steamed and fried again to create crisp yet juicy bites. Now, these potstickers do take a while …

Sesame Chicken

With Chinese New Year just around the corner, I thought I would share some of my favourite Asian recipes. While Sesame Chicken is certainly not a traditional Chinese dish, it always comes to mind when I think of Chinese food. Sesame Chicken is an Asian-American dish that was invented in North America and still appears on Chinese take-out menus to this day. Why, you ask? Because it is damn delicious! Tender pieces of chicken are breaded, fried and topped with a sweet sauce- I mean, what’s not to love? I have tried many recipes for Sesame Chicken, but none have come close to this recipe. The foundational recipe came from my favourite Asian food blog, The Woks of Life, but I have made some tweaks to their original recipe. In my recipe, I fry the chicken rather than bake it since I think frying gives it more flavour and also enhances the crispiness (which you definitely need before you drown it in sauce). I’ve also added/omitted other ingredients to suit my taste from the original recipe. …

Coconut & Date Bars

Apples with nut butter. Bananas. Carrot sticks and hummus. Frozen grapes. A handful of mixed nuts. I’m stuck in a healthy snack rut. 🙁 As good as I am with coming up with new recipes, the meal that I struggle with the most is snacks. While I’m all for eating snacks (I mean who isn’t- snacks are amazing and prevent you from getting hangry), after eating the same ones over and over again, it gets a bit boring. Enter my Coconut & Date Bars. Made with sweet and sticky Medjool dates, shredded coconut, lemon zest, and toasted walnuts, this easy no-bake snack can be whipped up in 10 minutes. They’re basically date bars without the flour and butter, making these bars a perfectly healthy snack that satisfies your sweet cravings. They’re so sweet naturally that they can even be called a dessert. Yes, I said it, dessert. Add these Coconut & Date Bars into your healthy snack repertoire and your belly will thank you. See the recipe here! Items photographed: “Groc” Succulent plant: Kermodei Living Art, Parliament …