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"A gourmet who thinks of calories is like a tart who looks at her watch." - James Beard


Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Mulled Wine

I've been really enjoying hot beverages this holiday season.  Normally I prefer cold drinks, but hot apple cider (with rum), hot chocolate (with Peppermint Kahlua), and hot mulled wine with spices have been keeping me warm lately.

Mulled wine is so easy, I can't believe I've never made it before.  You can add any spices you choose.  I went with a wide variety but you can select just a few of these:

plus about 1/4 cup of brown sugar

Pour a bottle of wine over the spices.  You can do this in a pot on the stove or in a crock pot.  If you're serving a crowd, go ahead and double this.

Warm over medium heat until steaming, then keep warm for serving.  

I like the spicy flavour the ginger adds, but you can play around until you find your personal ideal spice combination.

Ladle into mugs to serve and enjoy this winter treat.  Happy Holidays!  

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Pappardelle with Sausage Tomato Sauce

99% if the time when I make pasta, I use whole wheat noodles.  I've found a wonderful brand that really tastes great.  But whole wheat pappardelle isn't easy to find, and I have to admit I loved the white pasta in this.  But it us just as good with whole wheat! 

The recipe comes from Lidia Bastianich and it tastes fantastic.  It's a little more time-consuming than ideal for a weeknight, but if you make it once you can eat for a week (or refrigerate or freeze the leftovers for next week).  

Here's what you need:

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Beef Barbacoa Tacos

One of the best techniques I discovered this year is creating a rich, flavourful sauce from dried chilis.  It works beautifully with pork, chicken, and now here's a beef recipe that tastes incredible.  

The original recipe comes from Serious Eats.  I made a few adjustments based on the chilis and meat I had available.  Here's what you need:

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Gougères (Cheese Puffs)

It is the secret dream of my life to become a pastry chef. Pastry is usually considered more exact and less forgiving than savoury cooking and it appeals to my love of being careful and following rules.  Particularly, I would love to make croissants.  There's a course at the Cordon Bleu school in Ottawa on Viennoiseries (croissants, brioche) that I would love to attend.  

These little cheese puffs are made from pâte à choux.  The dough steams to create a light, fluffy puff that can be used to make cream puffs, profiteroles and éclairs.  Or you can add cheese like I did for a delicious, savoury treat.  

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Baby Beet Salad with Goat Cheese and Pecans

This is a lovely, fresh salad.  It makes a great side dish or main course.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Cookies! Ginger Crackles

It's about that time of year.  Time for baking.  

I've made these cookies almost every year for a while now and they're very easy and delicious.

The recipe came from Chatelaine magazine.  It makes a soft and spicy ginger cookie that freezes well.

Here's what you need: