Poor Man’s Pudding

Poor Man’s Pudding

This childhood staple is also known as “Half Hour Pudding” or, as it was recently revealed to me, “John D. Pudding” (I can only assume the alternate title was my grandmother’s strange tribute to Saskatchewan’s lone Prime Minister, Dief the Chief).  A sentimental favourite, this pudding is warm and comforting and like most of my grandma’s desserts, it features raisins. Grandpa referred to the caramel-esque sauce as “gravy.” I remember it being prepared in a cast iron skillet although my mom insists a 9 x 12” pan is the default pan. This recipe was transcribed from my grandma’s original recipe card and contains at least two cute and quirky details.

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Baked Eggs + Brunch!

Baked Eggs + Brunch!

This summer marked the start of a delicious new food ritual. Every Saturday, a group of pals would get together for a brunch date. First initiated by our homie Christie, we have made an effort to bravely endure in her absence (she set the bar pretty high). Cooking and hosting responsibilities have been shared admirably and in anticipation of my forthcoming brunch debut, I tried baking eggs.

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Halibut Poached in Olive Oil

Halibut Poached in Olive Oil

This was a bit of a disappointment. Although it was pretty, the fish was overcooked and rather flavourless. If I attempt this again, I think I’ll experiment with alternate fish and keep a close eye on the cooking time! I’m thinking 10 minutes in a 200 degree oven would have sufficed.

Caramelized Fennel and White Bean Soup

Caramelized Fennel and White Bean Soup

I’ve always been hesitant to cook with dried beans. Although I fully comprehend the appeal of “the real thing” over something out of a can, I was uncomfortable with the amount of planning it required. Even one night seemed like an excessive commitment. Part of growing up for me (even if it’s a little bit) has been linked to a greater appreciation of ingredients and taking time in the kitchen. This soup is hearty and satisfying and was my first foray into fennel.

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Quinoa Salad with Grilled Zucchini

Quinoa Salad with Grilled Zucchini

Quinoa is an ancient super food well known to the vegetarian world. The grain-like seeds that pop between your teeth are packed with protein, fibre and minerals. This dish was inspired by one of my favourite summer salads — a similar version made with couscous — and gave me the opportunity to test out my new grill pan!

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Losing the Moral High Ground – A Vegetarian Fall From Grace

Losing the Moral High Ground – A Vegetarian Fall From Grace

I have been a vegetarian for most of my adult life. The prevailing winds of ethical eating and all other things just and right swept through university campuses ten or fifteen years ago. An encounter with a dismembered deer carcass in the back of a pickup truck (and I’m sort of embarrassed to admit it but this also helped expedite the decision making process) provided the impetus I needed to take a break from eating flesh. Unable to differentiate between human flesh and that of our animal counterparts, eating meat seemed unimaginable. I could not be tempted with bacon or chicken wings. I even abstained from gelatin.  Details »

Turkey, Mushroom Ragout & Brussels Sprouts

Turkey, Mushroom Ragout & Brussels Sprouts

This Christmas I spent the afternoon in the kitchen with my mom. I was interested in bringing something new to our traditional turkey fare and decided on an asparagus soup with oven roasted tomatoes, a mushroom ragout (not sure if it technically qualifies as such but whatever) and Brussels Sprouts with shallots and smoky bacon. The preparation was pretty straightforward and flavours were simple and homey.

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Butter Tarts

Butter Tarts

My mom makes the best butter tarts. The filling is sweet, sticky without being gummy, and the pastry is flaky and altogether wonderful. This recipe was passed down from her mother, Florence and she was happy to share it with us. Proceed with one word of caution: these tarts may induce diabetic coma.

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Sugar Cookies

Sugar Cookies

Try fending off your inner Christmas Grinch by whipping up a batch of these classic holiday cookies. I decorated small metal spice containers and shared these with friends, coworkers and the like.

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Juletide Scandinavian pantry party!

Juletide Scandinavian pantry party!

Facing sub 40 wind chill factors and seasonal depression, I turned to my Scandinavian pantry for inspiration. These hardy folks know how to cope with the arctic climate – boozy house parties and black outs are de rigueur. A bottle of Lingonberry drink concentrate – purchased with the intention of creating the perfect holiday martini for our traditional Scandinavian Christmas – inspired an impromptu get together to refine my drink recipe and create a little imaginary Scandinavian holiday spirit.

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