Recent Posts

Thank you, Anthony Bourdain

Anthony Bourdain was my hero.

Irreverent, whip smart, a rebel with a heart of gold, he inspired me to write, to love food writing culture and stay curious about the people and places that create the things we love to eat. He was authentic within himself, and carried just enough ‘tortured artist’ energy to be utterly fascinating. Today has been a sad day, one of tears and grief and exhaustion, one of empathy for his family and closest friends, one of frustration and anger that the world can become so small and dark for people that they can only see one way out. My heart feels broken and the existentialist in me wonders how, if someone as seemingly strong and resilient as he was, can give in and give up, what hope do the rest of us have? His candid writing on addiction and mental health was inspiring and real, hard to read at times because it was so raw, but he had made it through, he’d lived to tell the tale. His stories helped me, and I’m sure countless other people stay in the fight and push through to see another day. To call his suicide tragic is not enough. It is profoundly sad and numbingly surreal. I want to turn on Netflix, watch his shows, hear his voice, be a part of the wisdom and poetry that he gave us, but it’s too soon. (more…)

Vanilla Latte Donuts

The world has really gone donut mad in the last while. First it was cupcakes, now donuts rule the counters at cafes and bakeries, and with good reason: they are super delicious and so delightfully versatile. Everyone is making them in a incredible flavor combinations. Yes, it’s really the donut’s time to shine and these Vanilla Latte Donuts are no exception.

I’m a certified coffee addict and I always find that coffee flavored treats are sorely lacking in most bakeries and coffee shops. If you’re a true coffee lover, you want to have a coffee flavored something sweet to go with your coffee. Coffee with coffee – you can’t go wrong. I take my coffee black, and I prefer straight espresso or espresso based drinks. If I indulge in a milky, sweet coffee drink, it will nine out of ten times be a vanilla latte. I love the soft sweetness of vanilla with coffee, it’s both familiar and comforting yet still exotic and interesting. Add a dash of chocolate and I’m in heaven. For these Vanilla Latte Donuts I have combined deep, dark chocolate baked donuts laced with strong espresso and dipped in a creamy coffee and vanilla glaze. A few milky white sprinkles add fun flair, reminiscent of the foam atop that perfect latte.

I’ve started with my favorite chocolate cake recipe and made some changes to it, yielding a denser, more donut-like texture and adding a big shot of dark espresso to the batter. The good folks at Gourmesso reached out and gave me the opportunity to try their selection of espresso blends so of course, I wanted to make something special that really highlighted coffee, for all the coffee lovers out there! (more…)

Classic Potato Salad

It was recently Victoria Day weekend in Canada and Memorial Day weekend in the US, or as most people observe them: the unofficial beginning of summer. And what is more summery than picnics and backyard grilling? Not much. I made a huge batch of this potato salad this last weekend for our first dinner party/BBQ in our new house. Just a couple of our best friends and their kids, but it was a lively gathering and the weather was perfection. This Classic Potato Salad hearkens back to the nostalgia of picnics and checkered blankets, of big metal coolers and jugs of tart lemonade. It’s as old school as it gets and we like it that way. If you like a potato salad that’s not so creamy and less traditional, try my Balsamic Potato Salad instead, but if you’re craving that Classic Potato Salad combination of egg, dill and and creamy dressing, this is the one.

This is absolutely a simple recipe and it comes together quickly, the cooling of the boiled potatoes being the longest part. Everything else is a quick chop, stir and toss. Make sure that you do have the time to properly chill it and that if you’re taking it for a potluck or picnic, which I absolutely suggest you do because it’s a crowdpleaser and this recipe makes a lot, be sure you’re keeping it cool as it sits out and is served. No one wants to tangle with potato salad that’s been sitting in the sun. (more…)

Light and Tropical Ambrosia Salad

I was pleasantly surprised by the (super official and unbiased – ha!) Instagram poll with a picture of my Light and Tropical Ambrosia Salad. So many more people liked it than I expected! Usually if the words Ambrosia and salad come up together they are met with moans of disgust, often misguided, and a litany of bad childhood memories of overly sweet, gloppy concoctions that were too “retro” to be cool and just felt out or date and unappetizing. I always think of that scene in Edward Scissorhands where he’s being fed all the ambrosia salads by the eager and repressed housewives of the neighbourhood. The kitschy pastels, the questionalble gloppity-gloop of it all, it always makes me smile. He’s so clearly repulsed and overwhelmed by a confection that is named for the food of the gods. Thank you, Tim Burton, for that nostalgic absurdity.

This particular Ambrosia I am calling Light and Tropical Ambrosia Salad because I have kept it more refreshing and focused in its flavours. If you look into Ambrosia recipes from the last 60 years or so you will see that there’s almost an Ambrosia for every cook out there. Much like other “salads” of its day, the term salad seems to just mean “all in one bowl”. For the uninitiated, Ambrosia seems to always include a few key elements: gelatin, whipped cream, and marshmallows. The combinations of fruit, and sometimes vegetables, is vast, with dividing lines drawn around specific additions – to add maraschino cherries or not, for example. (more…)

Sticky Chicken Bowls with Cauliflower Rice

Sticky Chicken Bowls with Cauliflower Rice

Around here we are pretty much obsessed with all sorts of “bowl” meals. The Buddha Bowl craze seems to be sticking and while it seems that the true Buddha Bowls are vegetarian of vegan, they have inspired many home cooks and restaurants to take a bunch of something delicious that goes well together and put it in a bowl. Voila. Burrito bowls, Tex-Mex Bowls, Breakfast Bowls, Smoothie Bowls, basically anything can go in a bowl and it makes for a fuss free, casual presentation and a great excuse to put together lots of fresh, fun ingredients and call it dinner. Or art.

These Sticky Chicken Bowls with Cauliflower Rice are as easy as can be and ridiculously healthy. This really should be called the Redemption Bowl because I put it together the day after a dinner of fried chicken and two bite brownies. But those nights happen, right? Sometimes you have to go with the urge to splurge or just throw your hands up and order take out. For the nights where you’re feeling somewhat more invested in your health and meal planning this particular Bowl is easy to prep and cook and it’s filling but light with regular rice swapped out for super flavorful coconut-lime cauliflower “rice”. Add a quick slaw and any other veg you like and you’re on your way to dinner Nirvana.