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.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

November Schmovember

When I think of all 12 months of the year, November is the hardest one on the system.  It is getting darker everyday, the sun just doesn't shine as much, the air can't seem to decide whether it wants to be cold or warm, setting off a display of snow, rain and snrain (half rain/half snow).  The only joy in this month of Movember the moustache growning extravaganza for men and to remind them to take care of their health and have a check up at the doctor.  Women are reminded all the time and that is great, but the men had been left out until a few years ago when the moustache came back to party on the upper lips of men everywhere.  I love the moustaches that are grown, so many different varieties and even the guys who don't quite have enough facial hair make a go at it.
While the health and well being of all our men is on our minds this month, isn't it nice to know that there are foods that are great for your man as well?

Tomatoes, these are fabulous for the man in your life.  Tomatoes are widely known for their outstanding antioxidant content, including, of course, their oftentimes-rich concentration of lycopene.  Intake of tomatoes has long been linked to heart health. Fresh tomatoes and tomato extracts have been shown to help lower total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides. In addition, tomato extracts have been shown to help prevent unwanted clumping together (aggregation) of platelet cells in the blood - a factor that is especially important in lowering risk of heart problems like atherosclerosis. That is just one amazing benefit of these delicious and user friendly foods.
While there are many benefits to the tomato and the wide varities that are available I also like to refer to this delicious fruit the same way the French do, pomme d'amour, meaning "love apple," and in Italy, tomato is sometimes referred to as "pomodoro" or "golden apple," probably referring to tomato varieties that were yellow/orange/tangerine in color.
On these cold, wet days and early dark nights, have a read about the tomato and its benefits for you and your moustache wearing man!

It is also pomegrante season again!!  These delicious fruits, although some work to get into and will leave a nice red hue to your finger tips, are a very healthy choice!

"Risks of impotency and prostate cancer are some of the most common medical problems which men have to confront with. Men suffering from atherosclerosis (a stage of arteriosclerosis involving fatty deposits (atheromas) inside the arterial walls, thus narrowing the arteries) are more prone to developing impotency. The antioxidants found in pomegranate juice helps in checking arteriosclerosis and reduces the risk of the occurrence of impotency. Pomegranate benefits for men, when used with conventional treatment methods, is known to help in treating prostate cancer. This is due to its quality of reducing the levels of prostate specific antigen PSA (a protein manufactured exclusively by the prostate gland. PSA is produced for the ejaculate, where it liquifies the semen and allows sperm cells to swim freely. Elevated levels of PSA in blood serum are associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia and prostate cancer). Certain studies have shown that in patients who regularly consumed this fruit, prostate cancer cells also decreased in growth." -

I would highly recommend eating these throughout your day.  I like them in my smoothies in the morning and on my salad at night.  They are delicious, in season (you can't beat that) and abundant so they are cheaper to buy.  Crack one open and get your hues of red started early this year.
Have a delicious day and look out as my new business "bake'd" is starting up soon and so far the sourdough bagels are a hit!!!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Woke Up Ravenous!!!!

Woke up ravenous this morning. Moose eyes are just the fix.  Lining a muffin tin with prosciutto, adding a little goat cheese and Dijon mustard to the bottom and finish with an egg.  Into the oven at 350F for about 10 - 12 minutes (look for the white to be cooked and the yoke to still be is a very fine time line!  This does not need salt as the prosciutto is salty.  Finish with some pepper and get a fresh croissant to dip in.  
Not hungry anymore and ready to start the day!

                   Have A Fabulous Day Everyone

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Carrot Cake Recipe/ Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Here is the recipe for the carrot cake and with a few modifications, chocolate zucchini cake....which at this time of the year is a delight for all those giant zucchinis in the garden!!

For the Cake:

1 1/2 cups of white flour, 1 1/2 cups of whole wheat flour,(i will also substitute spelt flour for the wheat sensitive)  2tsp baking powder, 2tsp baking soda, 4 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp salt, 1 1/2 cups of brown sugar,1 cup of raisins,1 cup of walnuts,chopped, 1 1/4cup of oil(i have been using grape seed oil as of late).
4 eggs slightly beating, 2 cups carrots,grated, 1 cup crushed pineapple,drained, 2tsp vanilla.

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.  Stir in sugar, raisins and walnuts.  Make a well and add oil, carrots, pineapple, vanilla and eggs. Blend well.  Pour into a greased 9 or 10inch round baking pan and bake in a 350F preheated oven for approximately 1 hour until skewer comes out clean.  Cool.  To prepare the icing, beat together room temperature cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and icing sugar and continue beating until smooth.  Cut the cake in half horizontally and spread some icing between the two layers, before icing the whole cake......i didn't do this as you can see in my picture and the cake was still delicious. 

I also added some lemon zest to this recipe just to make it a little fresher tasting.  It was added in the icing and cake.

Now for the Chocolate Zucchini Cake.
Remove the pineapple.  Exchange the carrots for zucchini and add 3/4cup of Coco Powder.  I also added orange zest and a bit of juice for a nice fresh flavour.  the juice helps give a little more moisture since there is another dry ingredient (coco powder) being added.  I used the zest and juice of 2 oranges for my recipe.  Bake at 350F for about an hour or when a skewer pulls out clean from the centre.


Friday, September 23, 2011

Camping and Cooking

The best kitchen window in the world is no window, doors, walls, it is being outside!!  Whether back country skiing, summer camping the more remote the better.  It is amazing what can be pulled off on the fly!!
I recently join ROAM Adventures for an amazing camping/ rafting vacation as their chef and it was fabulous.  Although the original plans had changes on the way it was a beautiful trip with wonderful people and the scenery was spectacular with a huge water fall and lots of birds. Sleeping out under the stars wasn't bad either!
Here is a dinner that was enjoyed on the first night.  Some fresh BC Wild Sockeye  Salmon with a coarse cornmeal crust, fresh local blueberry, cucumber, onion and thyme salsa, coleslaw, mash potatoes (got to get the kids interested), asparagus and carrot cake for dessert....I did pre-make that as baking facilities were not available and prep is the name of the game out here in the wild!
Enjoy and please share your favorite outdoor back-country extravaganzas.
 The kitchen...............
 Best crew ever, singers, musicians, general comedians, dish assistants and guides!

The prep area.


 Carrot cake, oh yeah this recipe is incredible.

The dishes for 24 people and me cooking in at the camp.

Breakfast the next day was sausage, eggs to order, Spanish omelet, homemade granola, yogurt, juice, raspberry scones (pre-made), apricot and lemon cake.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Harvest, Hikes and Good Eats

  This is one of my favorite sunflowers in the garden this year.  I have found myself really examining it from bloom and now it is growing seeds for next years garden.....already planning!  The harvest thus far has been fabulous, potatoes, leeks, beets, butter crunch lettuce, broccoli, various peppers, strawberries, carrots, fava beans (my new favorite and there will be a lot of these next year), snap peas, various squash, kale, french beans, fennel, Brussel sprouts(i am hoping these finish, but great learning experience),Jerusalem artichoke,tomatillos, garlic, onions and lots of herbs!  A lot of new things were tried this year and the learning experience of the garden is one of my favorite things about summer.  Cooking various meals from the garden is my other favorite and I hope you enjoy some pictures as much as I enjoyed making the pictures!!!
A little Thai curry stew.  I love to go grocery shopping everyday in the garden and see what is ready to eat!!
Duck for dinner, yes please.  This particular one was a cupboard cleaning meal.  using ingredients that will need to  be eaten and replaced was fun.  There is a lot going on in this bowl but it was delicious!
 My quick version of Huevos Rancheros.  Hands down my favorite breakfast!!!  Not the prettiest but sure delicious!
This meal was some garden goodness!  Curried Lamb Shank....this was from the lamb that was purchased last spring from a local source.  The veggies were from the garden plus some Paneer, spice and coconut milk.  So Good!
What have you been eating from your garden?  Have any questions???? Please ask!
 The wee George and a Mountain Goat.  They hung out just staring at each other for a long time!
 The crew at the base of Gimili Peak!

 I almost stepped on this!  Large and in charge in the mountains!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Breakfast of Champions

I love breakfast.  The other day a delicious breakfast was made and now will be shared with you!

After soft boiling 4 eggs, peeling them and placing them in a bowl, avocado, salt and a spoonful of mayo was added.  This combination was mixed together with a fork and set aside. 
Bacon was salted and baking in the oven and was ready to go.  It was removed and had maple syrup drizzled on it.  (We are lucky enough to get our bacon local and there is no curing or salt and there for no additives or preservatives added.)
Two beets, from the garden, where left over from the previous evenings dinner.  These were sliced up and put aside.
Then my favorite, a slice of Sourdough bread.  There is a lot of good stuff in Sourdough bread, real sourdough.  The kind that has been fermenting for a long time.  The slices were toasted.
Two bowls were placed before me and the building began.
The toast on the bottom, the smashed egg mixture on top of the toast, followed by the beets and bacon on the side.
Seriously one of the most satisfying breakfasts I have had in a while!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Let The Creative Juices Flow

Trying to find the right words to start blogging again, it seems maybe I am trying too hard and it is time to just come back to reality and realize I am not a writer, poet and will probably never attain any recognition as one.  However, I can cook, I love to cook and share my thoughts feelings and inspirations to whomever is out there and reading!   Lets get to it!

The garden is planted and growing strong.   One of my favorite parts is figuring out where to put everything, using past misfortunes to aid in the proper growth of delicious produce this year.  First one to tackle is the tomatoes, last year there were around 18 plants and not one tomato as the blight set in.....well this year, I am on it and so far so good.  A great lesson learned from the tomatoes is the fact that growing them on my porch is way better then the garden as they don't like water on their leaves and the porch tomatoes are 2-3 times larger than the garden ones!  Next year I will get another full bed in the garden as the tomatoes will all be grown on the porch.

The kale is strong and grown close together as I prefer small kale leaves that are more tender and work great in my smoothies.   This also makes for quick baking of kale chips which are a hit everywhere I bring them!

Strawberries are fresh and delicious everyday.  They have been growing and ripening everyday for about the past two weeks, delicious!

I am not sure about the peppers but they look great and are flowering now to see if they will stand up to all of this rain.  Broccoli, brussel sprouts, fennel, corn, tomatillos, sugar snap peas (started eating those two days ago), broad beans, french beans, four types of beets, garlic, onions, potatoes, jerusalem artichoke, butter crunch lettuce, spinach and a few more herbs and lettuces to be planted and let the eating commence!  If you come to my house bring your veggie and fruit eating appetite and maybe we will take out some local lamb or local wild boar out of the freezer and have a party.

Last night was some spit roasted lamb shoulder with a scape (garlic flowers), almond and sunflower seed crust.  Paired with a fenugreek leaf, coconut curry vegetable mixture and a fresh salad.

The night previous was a leek, fennel, onion, scape and proscuitto tart.

I have pictures and they will be added in a bit, I promise!!

I hope everyone had a magical spring and are ready to be inspired through food.

Have a magically delicious day!
And this is my garden helper and snacker!!!

Friday, April 8, 2011

The day after Disco!

Three main components, potatoes, sauce or gravy and fresh cheese curds. After a night of dancing, using my once broken leg, having a few beers this is what is necessary for the next day, Poutine!  Now not being a Quebecer but indulging in the art of Poutine and how many changes it has taken over the years, adding my own cravings and this is ready to be devoured.  This is truly the best at 4am in Montreal and that is that.

This particular Poutine was made with root vegetables, potatoes, yams, sliced onions and parsnips.  They were chopped up (skin on, except for the onions) and tossed in some olive oil and dried herbs and spices, basil, marjoram, oregano,cumin, salt and pepper.  Left to bake in the oven until golden brown and crispy.  This was done at about 400F as I find they get a much crispier outside and are still soft inside.  I am very picky about the Poutine I eat, the vegetables or potatoes must stay crunchy as getting to the bottom of my bowl to a mess of gravy and mushy potatoes and veg is not my favorite.  Gravy on the side pour a little on at a time, cheese to room temperature so that it melts and a sauce or gravy of your liking....yes I will use a packaged gravy for this if I don't have anything in my freezer. The last ingredient I love to have on my Poutine is ketchup........

Have a delicious day!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Slocan Bagels

Never made bagels, always wanted to, read the recipe 4 or 5 times and was ready to give it a try.  Now questions had been asked in the past at bagel shops in Montreal (the best bagels) on how to achieve the texture.  The texture of bagels is what makes them.  Otherwise they are donut shaped bread.
So here is the recipe that was used for the first two batches, the one you are looking at is the second batch.  Enjoy, ask questions if you have any.  Adjustments have been made from the original recipe.
You will need;
To make a ferment.  200g of white bread flour (I used white spelt), 5g of fresh yeast (dry will also work), 100g of water.  Mix together and let rest for 2hours at least.
Then you will add 550g of flour, 20g of good honey, 10g of salt, 250g of water.
On the stove, place a pot with water in it, for every quart of water add a tsp of baking soda, this is what gives the texture. I usually use two to three quarts of water depending on the pot.
Have two baking trays ready lined with parchment or a Silpat and very lightly oil the trays.
You are ready to put the dough together and will need a rolling pin very soon.
Mix together the ferment with the flour, honey, water and salt.  When it starts to come together put in out on a dry, non-floured surface.  Knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic (about 12 minutes).  The surface will be very smooth, very smooth and it will form nicely into a ball.  If you are not sure, keep kneading.

Once you are finished kneading the dough now needs to rest for about 2 hours but if you are in a rush, 20 minutes is fine.  Cover the dough and let it rest in a slightly floured bowl.  Once the resting period is over, lightly flour your work surface, using your scraper, bring out the dough and form into 12 even balls.  Roll the balls until they are smooth and then using the end of your rolling pin, punch a hole in the middle of the dough ball, use your fingers to roll and make the hole a bit bigger and smooth. I was using the handle of the rolling pin and my fingers for this. lay them on your slightly oiled trays and let them rise again for about 1hour minimum.
Now that the resting period is over, heat up the water and baking soda, prepare your toppings, make sure your oven is preheated up to 425F. Once the water has come to a boil, you can add the bagels.  I usually cook three at a time, 30seconds on each side, bring them out of the water and place them into the topping and back to the baking tray.  Once the tray is full then into the oven.  I usually have about 6 to a tray but sometimes 8 as I am able to yield more bagels out of this recipe.  They are a little smaller and great for kids.  The recipe I starting using for this says 10 minutes but that is in a very good oven, something I don't have.  These bagels took about 18 minutes and had to be turned and watched carefully.  This is the part that is up to you and your knowledge of your oven, if you have a good one then try 10 minutes add an extra three minutes for a chewy texture.  Cool on a wire rack and ENJOY!!!!
Have a delicious day!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Oh Spring what you bring

Like a spring lamb to the freezer.  I got to watch this lamb grow up over last summer and run around, eat fresh grass, graze as he liked as the gate to his paddock was opened during the day and had the ability to roam and go where he pleased.  That is what I like to know about the meat that goes into my body.  It is too bad what we have come to in this technologically advanced age that we are trying to use these advances to mass produce meat, it is like they are not even animals anymore.  I am not a vegetarian or vegan but a very conscious eater. I encourage everyone to be a conscious eater as well.  Take the time in your fast paced lifestyle to know where your food is coming from, I don't mean at Whole Foods but see if you can locally source something in your kitchen that you cook.  Start with one thing and go from there.  Make a connection with the farmer directly, you will be glad you did!

Here the most recent lamb dish.  A curry lamb stew.  I made the stew vegetarian actually it is vegan and braised the lamb separately to add to the dish at the end.  OHHHH so good.  Giving the lamb a different infused flavour from the stew but still have each compliment the other.

Have a delicious day!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Left over Short Ribs Transformed

Leftovers waiting to be turned into something delicious, different from the previous meal and something new.  This one was a bit of work...not much though....and a whole lot of deliciousness!!!

Preparing the Mis en Place for the Wontons took about 10 minutes and this is what it looked like.  The base of this was Miso, a scoop of paste in water and bring to a boil adding salt to taste. 

 The Wontons were filled with beef and a piece of blue cheese.
 They rested on a plate until they were all ready to enter the boiling cauldron of Miso broth.

Into the bowl and into my belly.  Simple the whole process took about 45 minutes as the Wontons took a bit to prepare but it was easy to just sit and wrap.  The mess was minimal, the leftovers used up and the meal was delicious and will be done again.  Now to figure out what to make for tonight that will yield the leftovers necessary to do this again!