All posts tagged: local

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 …

Fried Cauliflower with Coconut-Curry Dipping Sauce

As we are nearing the end of cauliflower season, I suddenly can’t get enough of this cruciferous vegetable. I’m doing all sorts of things with cauliflower: baking it with breadcrumbs and cheese, making it into soup (tasty recipe coming soon!) and even frying it in this recipe for Fried Cauliflower with Coconut-Curry Dipping Sauce. While cauliflower is pretty healthy (a great source of Vitamin C and K), I’m taking it and making it semi-unhealthy by frying it. While it may not be super healthy for you, it is so incredibly crunchy and flavourful and pairs perfectly with a dipping sauce. It is sure to impress all of your friends and family and definitely has the potential to become a signature recipe! I had a version of this tasty appy during a recent work trip to Ottawa, Ontario at a fabulous Asian restaurant called Datsun. They have great Asian fusion vibe, tasty cocktails and a wonderful appy/small plates menu. Of all the tasty dishes that my work colleagues and I tried that night, this fried cauliflower …

German Sauerkraut

Steins of beer, colourful lederhosen and dirndles, and folk music can only mean one thing…Oktoberfest is here! While I may not be in Germany to partake in these celebrations, I am celebrating at home with my recipe for German Sauerkraut! My German Sauerkraut (with an obligatory side of mustard) styled with flowers from Il Fioraio Florist, linen dinner napkin from Kaiko Design , and squash from Kins Farm Market!  Contrary to popular belief, Oktoberfest is not held during the month of October, rather in September. The festival is held annually in Munich and is 16 days long. I can’t even imagine how much beer can be consumed in 16 days LOL! With all that beer comes good food, entertainment, dancing and singing- sounds like a crazy party! If you are lucky enough to visit Munich during this fall harvest celebration, good for you! But if not, you can always celebrate at home with a few tasty German dishes and lots of beer (responsibly of course!). All in all, this recipe for German Sauerkraut HAS to be …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

Fall For Local Spring Pop-Up Shop

If you are always on the hunt for new and interesting foods, decor and entertaining supplies like I am, local markets are the place to be. Vancouver has a few rotating markets that are held throughout the year such as Got Craft, Refresh, Etsy, and Make It, plus there is a whole swath of seasonal farmers markets across the city. All of these markets are always incredibly popular, and their popularity is a great sign that these markets are here to stay. I mean hey, who doesn’t like to shop for wonderful (and very unique) hand-crafted items, all while supporting local artists and the local economy?  I definitely do- and have really tried to support local since moving to Vancouver. While all of our local products are amazing in their own right, I really tend to appreciate them a lot more since I (most-likely) got to chat with the actual person who made them and hear their story behind it! Now that is something that just doesn’t happen too often nowadays, but regardless I am happy that we are …