Lemon Tarts

Lemon Tarts

After a bit of a brunch hiatus, I finally stepped up for my turn. I prepared my favourite lemon tarts for dessert. The filling turned out nicely but the pastry was an unmitigated disaster. Perhaps it was the NBA playoff beer consumption but I prefer to chalk it up to inexperience. The dough mixture was a bit dry and, as I was reluctant to overwork it, the dough never came together as it should. Oh well… the pre-fab frozen tart shells worked in a pinch.

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Better Bread Box

Better Bread Box

A Saskatoon based non-profit organization has launched an innovative program that provides training opportunities and work experience for young people and baking consumption opportunities for Better Bread Box subscribers.

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Planet S doles out its props!

Planet S doles out its props!

A favorite of ours who made a HUGE entrance into the Planet S readers poll this year is Dan Walker  at Weczeria Food and Wine. Dan took home the best chef honors in the category’s first year. Dan most definitely has the most enthusiasm for the trade out of the chefs I know. He lives for all the romantic perks, shopping local at the farmer’s market, sourcing rare wine, and taking time to greet all his customers. Last time I had dinner there, Dan personally brought me out a pinch of fennel seeds to settle my hiccups. (Some times I eat like an animal.) Dan has plans to expand his business soon, a updated location and expanded hours including a lunch service. I hope this means a return of Dan’s famous burger. Dan edged out Calories owner (and Dan’s ex-boss) Remi Cousyn.

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Chocolate Pots de Crème

Chocolate Pots de Crème

Not to be confused with “Pots au Feu” — which is something totally different (thanks Megan!) — these chocolate custards are easy to make and dreamy with whipped cream! It should be noted that I forgot to cover these with foil and a bit of cakey crust formed on the top. Details »

BBQ Pork Ribs and Black Beans

BBQ Pork Ribs and Black Beans

I christened my new charcoal grill with a weekend cookout. I cooked the beans and braised the pork the earlier to minimize exertion on a sunny and hungover Saturday afternoon.

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Dumplings

Dumplings

As my thoughts were turning to sunny afternoon picnics, prairie winds intervened to remind me that Canadian weather could give a fuck about my lunch fantasies. Unusually high winds pounded us with sleet and I spent the weekend taking refuge in my home. To occupy myself, I watched Julie and Julia (which I like, btw) and made a big ol’ pot of soup.

I was not particularly interested in the soup itself, but needed it to prepared my ultimate comfort food — dumplings. These little blobs of dough cook in the soup broth until tender. I often pick the dumplings out and eat ’em straight up and usually on the down low (I don’t want to seem like a pig). The recipe is from the Joy of Cooking.

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Frittata

Frittata

A dish like this can be prepared in an infinite number of variations. It can be made with or without meat and can include any variety of ingredients including zucchini, asparagus, mushrooms, olives, etc. The Emmental could also be swapped for the cheese of your liking. I’ve seen recipes with paprika and I think a bit of red chili would be a nice addition. The frittata can be cooked in advance and served at room temperature offering another good option for brunch.

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We’ll blog about it!

We’ll blog about it!

The single greatest thing about writing for a food blog is the opportunity to eat and drink and over indulge in the name of “research.” In the past month or so I’ve spent a few evenings with Todd and Megan, sampling import beers, and thoughtfully consuming late night snacks that Megan seems to so effortlessly produce.

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Short Ribs and Parsnip Mash

Short Ribs and Parsnip Mash

On first glance, an early March visit to the Saskatoon Farmer’s Market may seem to hold little promise. Fresh vegetables aren’t likely to arrive for some time and the isles are lined with all sorts of handicrafts and jars of things. This fascinating and almost eerie look into a not so distant pioneer past is tempered with colourful arrangements of chutney, Indian spices and smiling contemporary hippy types. My first stop was to the familiar and friendly looking beef vendor who graces the Weczeria ads I’ve seen in local papers. Sold on his reputation and celebrity chef endorsement, I picked up a couple pounds of short ribs. The ensuing lap around the building yielded a couple of rather large and depressing looking rustic looking parsnips and I headed home with ingredients for one last wintery dinner.

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Braised Lamb Shanks

Braised Lamb Shanks

My mom made these shanks for the New Year celebratory meal and I liked them so much I requested an encore performance for my birthday dinner! Although the original recipe called for dried cherries, cranberries worked well and other dried fruits like dates or apricots would make for an equally wonderful dish. 

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