Sharing is Caring!!

Welcome and enjoy! Please tell me what you are eating. Share your thoughts on food and what you see in your grocery store. Ask questions. This is a place where we can all learn from each other and share our skills, passions for flavours and love for eating.

Trio of Tuna, Smoked, Sashimi, Tataki

Trio of Tuna, Smoked, Sashimi, Tataki

Love A'Fare, A Catering Experience

Love A'Fare, A Catering Experience
Private Catering for in your home from a professional Chef.

Friday, December 31, 2010

New Years Eve Dinner with Friends, Lovers and a............

Communal toast around the world of well wishers and happy thoughts projected forward to the coming year and new decade.  The last ten years of the new millennium was a feisty little character. Showing all sides of an infantile decade of uncertainty, frustration and figuring out how to express ones emotions and get a point across.  Like a baby who can't talk but will fuss and cry until someone figures out what they need and then slowly gains a voice and starts to speak and put words together. Soon, looks at the world with unbridled enthusiasm and emits pure joy through a smile, a squeal and a sparkle in the eye (I know you have all seen that before, the smile and laughter of a child is irresistible).
Well, we are now closing in on our teenage years, having thrown our temper-tantrums and receiving mother nature's timeouts, spankings and other misfortunes combined with the moments of beauty and peace. (What, you didn't find that?? Time to relax, let go and enjoy the moment)  Now come the hormones, the eleven-teens,the ups and downs of teenagers.  We have all been a part of this the time. This immaturity where you think you know everything and then as you move forward and grow, you realize knowledge is acquired over many years and everyday is a new and learned experience.  Lest we forget this time in our own lives and now use this knowledge to grow this decade into a mature teenager who is taught the intolerance of bullying, not being judgmental towards others and learns that name calling and picking on someone is one of the weakest traits we can carry as humans.  It is our job as the human race to nurture this new decade and make sure it blossoms into a loved, respected, classy and charming young adult.
Don't worry about the past, it will always be there.  Don't fret about the future because no matter what you do, it is coming.  Live right now!  Enjoy the moment, enjoy your moment and do what you can to make the world a better place.  Celebrate today with the knowledge that around the world whether you have already or are about to embark on this celebratory night, we all acknowledge the New Year and we all share the positive outlook for the coming 12 months.
A toast to you all and I sincerely wish you the very best and hope that you do your very best to make this New Year a great one, one day at a time!

Thank you for letting me rant.

Enjoy your meal tonight as it is the last one of the year.  Here are a couple ideas!  The first is an Antipasto Platter with Pearl Onions and Capers, Sage and Walnut Pesto, Olives, Prosciutto and Basil Wrapped Asparagus, Grape Leaf Wrapped Heart of Palm, Feta Cheese and Olive Oil and Cracked Black Pepper Crostini.  Serve this with a Cheese Fondue or Raclette and spread the smiles!
Something I really enjoy doing on special nights, certain occasions or just to surprise and put a smile on a face, is to personalize a meal!  Using a Zucchini, Eggplant, Apple or what ever you have in the kitchen plus a small paring knife.  Cut out your pieces, usually I will shape them like leaves, and very carefully carve out the initials of your guests for dinner.  This is extra work and time consuming, until you get the hang of it, but worth it for the smile it receives. Once carved saute in a pan with seasoning, I like to use poppy seeds whenever doing this as the black poppy seeds are a great contrast especially with yellow zucchini. This is a Steak Dinner I presented to the Levitation Project while they were filming a ski movie at the lodge where I worked. 
Served with a Roasted Garlic Sauce, Parmesan Chip, Maple Roasted Carrots finished with coarse salt, Zucchini shaped and carved to resemble leaves and a Gratin of Potato (under the steak).  These boys need a big meal at the end of their day and this course of their dinner gave them that!

So while you are preping the last meal of the year, lift your glass in a silent toast around the world as we all celebrate New Year's Eve 2010.


Thursday, December 30, 2010

Leftover Dessert??? What the????

So sometimes after a cake making session, there are some leftover pieces that can't possibly be thrown in the compost or just eaten, creativity is the process.

Pouring a little Grand Marnier on the cake to keep it moist,not too much or it will break the cake down. Then it is layered in a fancy schmancy Martini glass with cream cheese icing, custard or whip cream and if there are some frozen berries, they will go in as well.  I try to use up ingredients, be creative so it doesn't look like leftovers that have been pulled out of the freezer.  I let all the ingredients rest for about 30 minutes so anything frozen can thaw and then serve.  Easy to make, use up some leftovers, make people smile!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Just a little favorite...Salmon Appy!

So after getting a whole Salmon and Filleting it there are scraps and this is one of the many things that are done with scraps.  A nice fresh Roma tomato filled with a Salmon Mousse and Baked in the oven.  On some Creamed Corn and a Smoke Black Bean Sauce.


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Meat Pie, A winter comfort.

This first shot is how Jo envisioned his dinner.....the whole pie!  Sharing is caring I reminded him and we ate together!
I love making pie crust and have found many different textures of crust by changing small things in the blending of the butter and flour, how long it rests, the amount of water....there are so many variables to making a crust and it amazes me because there are only 3 ingredients!!

1lb of butter
1.5lbs of White Spelt (or whatever you have available)
3/4 cup of water and that may vary as I look for a texture.

Light, flaky and delicious that is all this girl can ask for!

The meat of the meat pie was Ground Bison and holy moly was it good!   I was able to dig up vegetables from my garden the other night.....yes I am still digging the root veggies.  Pulling up 5lbs of onions, 1 giant leek, a couple of carrots and 1 beet!  Not bad for December 13.  These ingredients plus sweet potato were added to the stew that was going to become the filling!
Once the pie cooled so I could cut it and hope it stayed together......sometimes dreams do come true!!!  Served with a salad and a smile, my belly was very satisfied!

Monday, December 13, 2010

B52 Mousse Cups!

Here is a favorite dessert of mine.  I love b52 coffee after a ski so putting a twist on it and turning it into a dessert seemed like the logical thing to do!
I had made some Profiteroles the day before and had some left so I used them to separate the different chocolate and mousse flavours.  It was dark chocolate and Grand Marnier,white chocolate and Kahlua and the profiteroles were broken up and one on the bottom and one in the middle.  There is a splash of Baileys on the top, a little brulee, mint for garnish and dessert is served.  Although not the greatest pictures I try to take them before they are being served and it get a little busy in the kitchen trying to serve between 25-35 people all at once.......busy days!

Here are some pictures and I hope you enjoy!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Corn Meal Crusted Risotto Cake with Fresh Atlantic Lobster and a Smoked Corn and Sauteed Fennel Chutney.

Here is a favorite appetizer that I thought sharing would be fun!!!
I won't give out the recipe as it is a bit difficult but if you want to take this on then let me know and I will help!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Spicy, Sweet and Sour Beef Short Ribs.......Oh My!!!!

One of my favorite dishes right now.  I find when there is something that I like to eat, making it a few times and with a few different flavours really allows me to refine and get the most out of the dish.
For this one the short ribs were seasoned with just salt and then into a pan that will allow me to sear them and make the dish a "one pot meal".  I don't have a dishwasher and the less dishes the better in my world.

Making sure there is lots of colour on these before the ingredients for the sauce is added.  Also, don't let the pan get too dark or you will have a burnt flavour...unless you are going for that!

Then leeks, garlic, red wine, a little beef demi, tomato paste 1tbsp, Apple Cider vinegar 2tbsp, Some dried chilies and 1tsp of Sambal were added to this dish.  Letting the spicy and sour flavour cook into the meat.  This was covered and slow roasted in the oven at 250F for about 2hours.  Then taken out and let cool.

Don't touch the meat until it is cooled right down or it will fall apart in your hands.  The fat need to harden up so that you can put a glaze on it.  Once cooled the meat was removed and the rest was strained to make into a sauce.  All I added at this point was a bit of salt and 2tbsp of honey.  The was heated up again and tasted to make sure the balance was right for my taste to be put on as a glaze for the beef ribs.

The ribs were placed on a baking tray with parchment paper.  I brushed on the glaze and slowly baked the ribs letting the sweetness candy coat the ribs along with the balance of the sour and spicy.  Added to the bowl with some salad and as always blue cheese.  I was not sure how the blue cheese was going to pair with the rest but it turned out to be great!!!

Have a great day!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Spelt Bread!

A bit of a blooper but it still worked and tasted great!!!   Before I get started, the final rise of this bread was too long (as I tried to do this while I was working my day job......someday I will learn, slow down!!!)

So this is my favorite bread recipe and I make this 2-3 times a week as it saves tons of money on buying good bread and I really do love making it.

6cups of white finely milled Spelt flour.
2.5 cups of very warm water.
1tsp of dry yeast
1.5 tbsp of honey
2.5 tsp sea salt, use the good stuff (I actually will use almost 3tsp, the more salt the better your dough will taste, trust me!)

The flour and yeast go into a bowl and are blended together.  The very warm water and honey are stirred together, until the honey is dissolved, and poured into the flour and yeast mixture.  DO NOT ADD THE SALT YET!!  I mix these ingredients together until everything is properly blended.

Once the first four ingredients are well blended, then the salt is added and this is what will make the dough come together.  Just keep mixing and kneading (right in the bowl) and it will first be sticky and gooey but will come together and form a nice ball of dough.......give it a few minutes!

Let this rise for 1-2 days.  I usually put it on the top shelf in my kitchen and just let it go for 24 hours then on the second night I will either make bread or put it in the fridge until the next day.  If you do put it in the fridge, make sure you take it out and let it warm up before you use it again.  The dough is placed on a floured surface and a dusting of flour is put on top.

This is kneaded again for about 10-15 minutes.  The dough is then cut into pieces for shaping.  It is shaped (what ever you want) and put onto a tray,covered and placed back in the same place of initial rising for another hour.  While the shaped dough is rising turn the oven on to 425F and let it get hot.  Once you have done the second rising it is ready to go into the oven.  If you have or can find a spray bottle it is great to spray the dough lightly with water to get a better crust.  Place in the oven at 425F for 8 minutes and then turn the oven down to 350F and let it bake until it is ready.   The heat in your oven, the size of your dough, the shape will determine when it is done, usually about 10-25 minutes more.  You will know if your bread is ready when you flip it over and tap it on the bottom and it sounds hollow.

Some tips; 
1.  Let the dough rise in a warm and preferably moist environment.
2.  Don't be afraid if the dough stinks after a day of rising, it will taste better.
3. The more salt the better it will taste.
4. Don't worry if the dough is sticky and gooey and all over the place to start, it will come together and form into a ball but get in there!

I know there are more tips but start with this and let me know how your bread turns out.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

This little piggy came from a local farmer........

Buying locally is my favorite way to go.  Support your local business and do what you can.  Baby steps, don't try to hard and at the end of the day eat a great meal!
Another version of Pate Chinoix, Shepard's Pie or what ever you want to call it.
I had some great pork cubes which were thawed and then seared in a pan. 

Once they were seared and had some colour, I added some tomato paste, red wine, rosemary, salt and dried oregano.  This was covered and placed in the oven at 250F for 90 minutes.   While that was slowly cooking and becoming tender, the potatoes were boiled, with the skin on......leave the skin on that is where the nutrients are and the skins are delicious.  I caramelized onions and placed them with the potatoes.  This was then mashed together with butter and some almond milk and salt to taste.  Once the consistency was achieved, the potatoes were put aside.  Once the pork was finished cooking, it was removed from the oven, uncovered and I used the potato masher on the meat to break it down into a pulled pork texture.  The rosemary sprigs were removed and the potato mash was spread on top.  This was then covered with cheese and placed in the oven at 350F for about 20 minutes and broiled until the cheese was the golden colour that I was looking for!

Then we ate!!!!   The left overs are for lunches...
Tune in for one of my favorite Spelt bread recipe!

Sunday, December 5, 2010


After a weekend of skiing and cooking,there has been little time for taking pictures and posting what has been made.......I still need some more time as some of the pieces are still coming together.

Here is what has been on the weekend menu.

Short ribs, this time they were cooked sweet and sour style with some chilies that were dried over my fireplace.

I have some pork left from the half pig I split on with a friend.  Nice knowing the little piggy had such a good life living only 3km away.  So I am in the process of making a  version of Shepard's Pie, we shall see how that goes!

I also have been waiting and have gotten my favorite flour in the world.  It is a white Spelt and is used for everything form baking to pasta.  I replace Spelt where ever the recipe calls for a flour.  The dough has sat and gotten stinky for 24 hours and I am about to knead it, rise it and bake it.  I will be giving my recipe for this bread and how I make it as everyone has a technique (which I love).

I am also considering some cookies but lets see where the night takes us as the past three days have been full of adventures,......

Talk to you soon and have a fabulous day!  Until then you get George!!!

Friday, December 3, 2010

More upside down fruit, nut and seed cake.

 This is one of my new tweaked recipes that I will be using for a long time, as this turned out better then expected. These two cakes were made two days ago and are gone. They were shared with many and enjoyed by all.
There was this bag of apples that were sitting in the kitchen that I bought for $1.00 and I always look for cheap fruit to use in my baking as it is usually better to use riper fruit for this cake.
Preheat your oven to 350F
 So here is the recipe and I hope you enjoy this as much as I enjoyed playing with the ingredients.
In a mixing bowl you will need.
2 large eggs beaten
1 ripe banana
1 Cup of plain yogurt
4Tbsp of butter melted and cooled
1tbsp of vanilla
1/2 Cup of sunflower seeds
1/2 Cup of pumpkin seeds
1/4 Cup chopped almonds
1/2 Cup of dried fruit of your choice
1/2 Cup of chopped chocolate (I used Ritter Sport dark chocolate hazelnut because it was on the counter and I was out of other chocolate and will improvise with what ever I can find!)
I also soaked my seeds and nuts in some Sortilege which is a delicious maple whiskey but rum also works well if you want to add some kick.
In this mixing bowl bring the eggs,banana, yogurt, vanilla and cooled butter together and then add the seeds, nuts, chocolate, fruit and let rest together.

In another bowl you will place all you dry ingredients and mix them up before adding them to the wet ingredients. These are your dry ingredients!
2Cups of flour (I used spelt)
1/2 cup of brown sugar
1tbsp baking powder
1tsp salt
1/2 tsp of baking soda.

Once these have been mixed together you can add the wet and dry ingredients together, mix well and put in the fridge to let rest and the flavours come together.

While the mix rests it is time for you to get the apples ready.  Slice them up and place in a bowl (used 5 apples but next time will use more for a better topping. Once they are in a bowl, add brown sugar, some cane sugar or white but prefer an organic cane, also I am not giving out amounts as this is to your taste and you are the maker of the bread and the decider of the amount of sugar.
1tbsp of cinnamon
1tsp of nutmeg
1 pinch of allspice
1 pinch of salt (I add the salt because the butter and sugar are going to turn into a caramel and all caramel needs a little salt.)
This all goes into a bowl and is mixed around, I prefer to do the apples at the end so that my batter can rest but go for it at the beginning if you choose it does not matter.

Now prepare your pans, I used a small spring form pan and a loaf pan as my large spring form pans are retired and so I will use what ever I have,even considering the muffin tins (knowing the cooking time would be less).

Lining the pans with parchment paper the apples are placed in first with the addition of butter that is cubed and I used about 1/2 a cup of for both pans.  Then I take the batter out of the fridge and place it into my prepared pans with the apples already in.  This goes directly into a 350F preheated oven.  About 30-40 minutes later once tested and deemed finished, the cakes are removed and after about 10-15 minutes of resting, turn over on a cooling rack so that the apples can cool and the sugar does not continue to cook.
I hope everyone enjoys this as much as I did!  Have a fabulous day and don't forget to play!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

OX TAIL - Food for a winter wonderland and warm up ski!

I have only had Ox Tail a few times in my life but was ready to cook it for myself and Jo.  This is the beginning with the raw ingredients in the pan.  I also added some beef reduction from the short ribs that were cooked last week (Straining the drippings and freezing them either in ice cube trays or a jar like I did is a great way to add a little extra flavour.)

The Ox Tail were then covered and placed in the oven at 250F for 2.5 - 3.5 hours. Then removed from the oven to cool with the cover on.  The two pictures above are just after the cover was removed.  Once cooled the Ox Tail were then removed from the pan and placed on my cutting board where the meat was removed from the cartilage.  It can be left on but this dish was going to be a pasta dish and I wanted the meat right in the pasta.  The ingredients that were left in the pan were strained as to get most of the fat out.....honestly it was a little rich for me with all that fat and I could have made a sauce out of it but not that much was needed for my taste.  So after most of the fat was strained out (and kept for later use)I put the ingredients back into the pan with some red wine and water and let it reduce.....I also added some onions and leeks that were from the garden (my veggies are still out there under a foot of snow).

(This picture is before I strained)
While the sauce was coming together, the spaghetti was made and cooled.  Don't forget to generously salt the water you are making your pasta in and if you are using it later,let it cool on a flat surface and add some olive oil to it, mix it around, this will help it cool properly and it won't stick together.  The spaghetti was added back to the sauce once it was ready and tasted to my liking, cheese was added as always as I am a cheese girl and placed in the oven for about 6 minutes so the cheese could melt and the spaghetti could warm up and then we ate.  As much as I wish I had more time to make the dish look pretty and sophisticated for you the hunger over took the picture and we ate!!!

This dish was very rich and satisfying and a great dish to have the night before an active outside day in the snow.....that is where I will be for the rest of the day!   ENJOY YOURS!

Friday, November 26, 2010

It is cold outside!!!

Since there is more time inside in anticipation of a huge snow base for skiing,some braised beef short ribs were in the house.  I cooked these covered with tomatoes, tomato paste,onions, spices and SALT at 250 for about 3 hours.  Took them out of the oven, and while letting them cool took the drippings from the roasting pan and placed them in a pot, added maple syrup and a little sambal oleck (red chili sauce) and reduced.   Once the short ribs were cooled,(to room temperature and feel hard from the fat cooling) they were covered in the reduction, salted and placed back into the oven at 300.  I like 300, it takes longer to cook but the golden brown candy like coating is worth the wait!  I found some Blue Gouda and it is to die for.  A perfect addition to the ribs with a salad OF COURSE!

Short ribs are a cheaper cut of meat and delicious.  What cheaper cuts of meat to you like to buy and cook with, share your meals please!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Get kids to eat REAL food.....The Begining!

How do parents do it??   I don't have kids so "treading on thin ice" is what I may be doing but am up for the challenge.
One of the first things I hear parents with "picky eaters" say is how their children won't eat vegetables.  Then I see the vegetables they give them and have an understanding for the kids and the parents frustrations.  So here is what I am going to do.  Lets go back to the basics and try a different method to getting our kids to eat vegetables.
First, steaming seems to be the rage. It is quick easy and steamers are readily available and are great attachments with rice cookers.  My issue is there is no flavour being put into the vegetable, unevenly cooked, mostly over cooked and who wants to eat mushy flavourless broccoli...?
So the next time you have veggies to steam and picky kids to feed, try this and let me know how it goes.

Get a pot, fill it with water, salt the water (and make it salty don't be shy here as this is the time to add salt, not at the table).

Put the pot on the stove and bring the salty water to a boil.  Cut up your vegetables into nice small bite size pieces for a child.   Once the water has been brought to a boil drop in your veggies.  The water will stop boiling as you have added new ingredients and they are at a different temperature.  Wait for the water to come back up to a boil, let it boil for about 30 seconds and then remove from the stove, drain the water (or lift the veggies from the pot with a strainer to use the water again for the next vegetable)as fast as you can and serve immediately or run under cold water and reheat later for dinner.  By cooking your vegetables like this,they are still crunchy on the inside therefore holding some of the nutrients, they are a little salty and that brings out the true flavour of the vegetable.  My favorite is broccoli and finish it with some toasted and ground sunflower seeds they make broccoli taste great and just made the dish better for you. 
Kids seem to like everything in small pieces, separated on the plate with nothing touching nothing. So give them that, broccoli slightly cooked with a pile of sunflower seeds the kids can sprinkle on themselves.
One the of biggest things that I can't say enough about from my personal observations over the past few years of watching my friends have kids is the importance of FAMILY DINNERS.  I will get into more of this later but everyone in my life who honours the practice of family dinners doesn't have the food issues with their kids that I see other families struggle with.  But that is another day of thoughts and discussions.
Please let me know how cooking for your child goes for you.  I am here to help with new ideas and answer any questions you have and try to dispel some myths that I have come across with the excuses I hear parents give me about why their kids won't eat and the excuses kids give about why they don't want to eat what is on their plate.
It is all about change and being open to some new ideas of change for the healthier lives of the children that are near and dear to our hearts!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

What about the children????

Now that the opportunity to work in town is here, I am working in my favorite kitchen......mine!!!
As the organization of all this comes together the writing might be sporadic but will still appear.   I have a few ideas where I am going to need the help from people in the form of you sending me ideas!!
I am thinking a lot about children and what they eat, how they like to eat, what are the parents involvement in the nutrition of their children, tricks of the trade, problems, help needed, etc.  Please send me your ideas and I am going to work on them to dedicate something (still in the development stage) to the kids in the world.  Whether they are your kids, neighbours kids, children from a different country, where ever they are!  I want to get children eating healthy, enjoying food, learning about the food they eat and most importantly to me, get them in the kitchen and COOKING!!!
Lets see where this takes us!!!

Here are a few things that were made this week!!!

Duck Confit and a roasted beet salad with buffalo mozzarella, avocado and fresh delicious yellow tomatoes.   No sauce was needed for the duck as it was super juicy and delicious!!

Sunday brunch quiche with friends.  Filled with some left over vegetables, sausage and of course cheese..........don't forget the cheese!

MMMMM one of the favorites around here, Pate Chinois or Shepard's Pie, you choose.  This one is made with ground buffalo and for the potato topping, a twice baked potato was the thought.   I sauteed vegetables (onions, leeks, kale, bacon, rosemary, basil, salt and pepper to taste.  Mashed the potatoes then mixed them together.  Combining the ingredients together in the pan and then topped it with cheese!  I love these dishes because they last for a few days and are good for lunches, snacks, dinner the next night.  Having dishes like this allows for a break from the kitchen to do other things, knowing there is something delicious, nutritious and made with love in the fridge!

Have a magically delicious day!