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recipes

Easy Prawn and Broccoli Risotto

The Silver Spoon is well known as the Italian cookbook bible. Though I am generally too lazy of a cook to put in enough effort to cook from it, I do love looking through it for inspiration (and every now and then my husband cooks from it for me!). Needless to say, my interest was piqued when I learned they had come out with The Silver Spoon for children. Flipping through, I saw that the recipes were all super easy, yet still very high quality. It was no coincidence that Charlotte received it from my parents as a Christmas gift this year. 😀

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recipes

Spritz for a Crowd

By Kate Davies

It may only be Wednesday, but that doesn’t mean we can’t already be thinking about Friday! This is also a great recipe to stick in your pocket for Valentine’s Day. <3

Meet the Spritz, a festive, quaffable winner of a cocktail that is the essence of easygoing and stylish. In Italy, the Spritz has seen a surge in popularity during the last decade, and it’s catching on among cocktail lovers everywhere. Low in alcohol, refreshing and colorful, the Spritz is a basic combination of ingredients that lends itself to exploration and experimentation. Aperitivo (plural Aperitivi) and Amaro (Amari) are two of the terms used to describe the many bittersweet liqueurs that form the foundation of Spritz, along with fizz and a bit of citrus.

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recipes

Sweet Potato Slow Cooker Chili

When Charlotte (my eldest) was nearly three, she moved from a daycare to a nursery school. My schedule then went from three full days of childcare per week, to five partial days (12-3pm). Given that it took nearly an hour to get her to school by bus, and another hour to get home by bus, I was left with about an hour of childfree time every day. In addition to the crazy schedule, I was pregnant with my son and feeling absolutely knackered all the time. In order to save my sanity, we eventually moved across the street from my daughter’s school, but before that happened, we spent about four months with this bonkers schedule. The only way I could get dinner on the table was for us to live off of slow cooker meals.

Not being big meat eaters, I found it tricky to find meat-free slow cooker meals that weren’t just combinations of tinned ingredients. (This recipe still calls for tinned ingredients, but far fewer than many other recipes I found!) I tried all sorts of recipes and this sweet potato chili was definitely a favourite. (These Korean beef tacos are a favourite as well, but are much more involved!) This recipe is also great because you can dress it up with lots of fun accoutrement such as sliced radishes and tortilla chips. It is also excellent with some hot cornbread! Continue Reading…

recipes

Lentils with Farro

By: Kate Davies

I discovered the joy of these savory lentils in my early twenties. In addition to being a simple, affordable meal, stewed lentils and rice topped with fried onion is pure comfort. Mujadra, Mejadra, and Mujadara are all names for the middle-eastern dish, which typically has warm spices and is sometimes served with yogurt sauce. Mejadra (as I’ll call it from now on) is like chicken soup. There are many ways to make it, and those of us who have developed our own version regard it as a warm and satisfying staple when comfort food is required.

Lentils with Farro

Some versions of Mejadra are ‘one-pot’ meals (Hungerpot, anyone?) however I love pairing my lentils with Farro (a hearty, ancient form of wheat). Farro requires a longer cooking time than rice, which can complicate the timing if you don’t want your lentils to turn to mush. This is a marvelous opportunity to use chicken or vegetable stock instead of water to increase the rich, savory profile of this dish. Continue Reading…

recipes

Quick Pickles, or ‘Quickles’

By Kate Davies

Quick pickles, or ‘quickles’, are a great way to sneak some flair into your cooking. They are also a quick and relatively healthy snack. Store them in the refrigerator, because they are not preserved or canned. I make a simple brine with vinegar, salt, a touch of sugar, and whatever spices I feel like throwing in (mustard seeds, coriander, peppercorns, bay leaf, and star anise are my favorites). There’s lots of room to play around with the components to dial in your flavors. The following brine recipe calls for apple cider vinegar, but unseasoned rice or white vinegar work just as well.

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recipes

Artichokes

Artichokes – by Kate Davies

Cooking for my family is one way for me to stay connected to my professional and personal love of food. We have family favorites which (miraculously) please everyone. Then there are nights when it feels good to make one or two of us exceedingly happy by preparing a favorite dish, even if it’s not a universal hit.

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recipes

Brussels Sprouts With Preserved Lemon

by Kate Davies

Recently my stepson Luc was asked about his favorite food, and he gleefully replied ‘brussels sprouts!!’. The inquiring adult assumed he was joking, but the boy does love some sprouts. We all do, and in fall they are a staple. This recipe calls for bacon, but it can be made vegetarian and it’s still delicious. Brussels sprouts are often overcooked for my taste; to avoid mushy sprouts crank up the heat and don’t overcrowd your pan. Resist the urge to stir frequently; they will caramelize nicely if left alone. The stock allows you to manage the color on the bacon and the aromatics, so if they are getting too dark add a dash of stock to keep them from burning. If you are unfamiliar with preserved lemon, it can be found in middle eastern and mediterranean grocery stores. Only use the peel, keeping in mind it is quite salty.

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recipes

The White Dinner

The White Dinner – by Kate Davies

We all know them: the Picky Eaters, kids who only eat white foods. I’ve often told my kids that I will never force-feed them anything weird or gross, so if I put it on the table the odds are good that the food is both edible and nutritious. Somehow, even when faced with such wisdom, I get complaints.

We are quite lucky, as our dinners can literally be quite colorful (see Lettuce Wraps). One evening I served a meal everyone loved, and after we tucked in we realized that I had inadvertently served every kid’s dream dinner: all white. Here it is, I hope your kids like it as much as mine do!
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chicken/ recipes

BIG NEWS (and lettuce wraps)

Kate and I have been friends for nearly 25 years. For nearly a quarter of a century, we have laughed together, cried together, traveled together, and even lived together. I more or less think of her as a sister. 

When I started to think that I could use some help keeping up with the blog, Kate was an obvious choice. Not only is she one of the best cooks I know (she studied at the Culinary Institute of America), but she is also one of my most favourite people on the planet. Though she has never blogged before, she is a much better writer than I am, and I know she is going to be awesome. You guys will totally love her. 

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