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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One Last Scandinavian Meal Before The Big One!

One Last Scandinavian Meal Before The Big One!

Rye sour dough, smoked salmon, capers and herring!

Whole Earth Deli and Bakery

Whole Earth Deli and Bakery

Here’s a lovely sour dough loaf from the Whole Earth Deli and Bakery on 8th Street. I also had an amazing salami sandy from PineView Farms (the salami that is) and then a latte on the house ‘cuz Trent (baker/owner) didn’t want to break my twenty. Sweet!

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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Thursday Night is JapoDogs at Sushiro

Thursday Night is JapoDogs at Sushiro

In the Avalon/University/Broadway area there is always a dinner option for the budget dining set. Monday is a five dollar burger at the Yard, Tuesday is wings, Wednesday is pizza and pints at the Aroma, and up until now, no Thursday option. Now at Sushiro we got the JapoDog. The clever and inspired street meat from Vancouver now on the corner of Broadway and Tenth. Take one american tube steak, local mennonite sausage, or tofu dog and lavish it with spicy mayo, bonito, nori, cheese, teriaki sauce, or daikon. So far the reception has been hot, selling out on our first night. We’ve been tweaking our special, simplified the menu and replaced the confusing Olympia for the more popular Great Western Light. This coming Thursday, December 17th, will be our last of 2009 (we’re not serving dogs on the 24th or the 31st) returning January 7th. Come and enjoy!

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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A Modern Salad

A Modern Salad

Our homie, Colin, received a “modern salad” cookbook and it has been an ongoing source of amusement. I’m not sure if this salad qualifies as “modern” but a variation of it is currently available at everyone’s favourite national restaurant chain. Easy to prepare and lovely to look at, this roast beet salad is a certified banger.

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King Trumpet Mushrooms

King Trumpet Mushrooms

As a young vegetarian I realized that if I wanted to enjoy chewy food textures I would have to get over my aversion to mushrooms. I slowly integrated fungi into my diet and ten years later I guess I qualify as a mushroom fan. That said, I must confess that I’ve only encountered the regular grocery store varieties – buttons and browns, portabella, shitake, oyster and the like. When I stumbled on a package of King Trumpet mushrooms at Chinese grocery store, I took the plunge.

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Roasted Oyster Mushrooms with Caramelized Onions and Celeriac puree (or the other way around)

Roasted Oyster Mushrooms with Caramelized Onions and Celeriac puree (or the other way around)

I spent most of my summer foraging for food. Not in the romantic way – there were no morels or Saskatoon berries to be had – but rather in the manner accustomed to college students and bachelors. Having sustained myself on méli-mélo and salty, smoke injected veggie dogs (the love affair re-ignited by a spicy Trinidadian condiment, Geeta Green Seasoning), the change of seasons seems to have spurred some primordial urge to cook. This was my first experience with celery root and I was very pleased with the slightly sweet, light and aromatic mash. I paired the puree with my favourite mushroom for roasting and caramelized onions.

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Oxtail Part 2: Gyoza

Oxtail Part 2: Gyoza

Earlier this month I was avoiding real work by braising everything I could bet my hands on. In part two of my oxtail epic, i tried to make a jamaican style oxtail ragu. I stuffed the braised meat in a gyoza and used the rich sauce to accompany. I also did a different version of this where I flared out the recipe in a more typical asian way, with napa cabbage and ginger etc. I guess that version made a little more sense as a gyoza, where as this might work better as a dumpling or a ravioli.  I didn’t love them to death, mostly cause I didn’t cook off the tomatoes first and everything tasted kinda ketchuppy, but they did sell out at work so maybe I’m just being too critical.

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