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


Monday, April 28, 2014

Spring Lamb Chops & Asparagus Ravioli

I like these simple meals that are fancy enough for company but quick enough for a weeknight.  This dish just sings spring.  Tiny lollipop lamb chops and store-bought asparagus ravioli with fresh asparagus on top.  Easy as pie!  

Here's all you need for the grilled lamb chops for two:

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Easy Veal Marsala

Veal Marsala sounds super fancy but it couldn't be easier. Thin cutlets of veal cook so quickly in the pan and are topped with a rich wine and mushroom sauce.  See?  Easy!

Even the ingredients are simple.  Pick up a bottle of Marsala and keep it in the pantry for cooking.   Here's what you need for this tasty weeknight meal:

Friday, April 18, 2014

Tart of the Month: Spring Asparagus & Goat Cheese Tart

We have an asparagus patch in our garden and it is the greatest.  Every year it gives us more and more fresh asparagus in the spring.  But not quite yet this year.  The asparagus from this tart came from the store but maybe I'll make it again with garden asparagus when it's ready.  

This tart also uses spring onions if you can find them.  They are the ones with large white bulbs and green stems.  Once again, I didn't have any ready yet so I used regular green onions.  

Here's what you need for this spring tart:

Monday, April 14, 2014

Easter Cupcakes

Easter Cupcakes

These adorable cupcakes are fun and easy to make.  Vanilla cupcakes are frosted with cream cheese icing and dipped in toasted coconut to resemble a bird's nest. Then chocolate mini eggs are added to complete the Easter theme.  

Really, you can use any cupcake and frosting to make these, but I like the subtle vanilla flavour of this recipe.  

brown eggs

Here's what you need for 12 cupcakes:

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Beer Baron: Liefmans Goudenband

  Post by Matt, the Beer Baron

While I’d certainly love to live in San Diego and enjoy an endless stream of perfect weather and world-class IPAs, there is something to be said for living in the great, white north and having the beers change with the seasons. While there is never a wrong time for a great stout, after the polar vortex-y winter we just endured, it is nice to enjoy a beer that seems like a celebration of spring and to me.  Liefmans Goudenband is just such a beer.

Goudenband falls under the broad category of sour beers, which are exactly how they sound: tart, acidic and, well, sour. Normal beer is typically made in a pretty sterile environment using brewer’s yeast while sour beer gets its funkiness from allowing wild yeast strains and bacteria into the brew.  In many sour beers, lactobacillus provides the lactic acid that gives the beers their tartness.

Bruges, Belgium

Specifically, Goudenband is a Flemish Red Ale, which is also known as a Flanders Red Ale because – you guessed it – they often come from the West Flanders area of Belgium. Really though, names and nomenclature and science aside, all you really need to know is that Goudenband is awesome, complex, interesting, unique and wonderful – and is a perfect beer to ring in spring.

Seriously, you can almost hear Vivaldi when you drink it.

Speaking of drinking it, beyond just sour, how does it taste? For me, I get hints of caramel and malt that you might expect from a dark beer, but also so much more. There are bright notes of apple and cherries and maybe even rhubarb as well as pleasant woody notes that come from the cellaring process.

So, at least to my palate – and your mileage may vary, as they say – Goudenband is vibrant and bright and has notes of spring fruits and fresh woodiness. That is to say, it is about as perfect a beer as I can think of to celebrate spring.

Note: Sadly, the LCBO is currently sold out of Goudenband. They do get it, along with other sour beers such as Cuvee Des Jacobins Belgian Lambic Ale, on occasion. Right now, if you want to celebrate spring with a sour beer, track down a bottle of Lindemans Cuvee Brut, which is Goudenband brewed with cherries!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Short & Sweet Sunday - Summer Memories

Remember summer?  Sitting on the deck, fresh vegetables and fruit for snacks.  A glass of wine.

Those are purple radishes!

And prosciutto-wrapped honeydew melon.  One of my all-time favourites.

Spring is here!  Soon it will be time for snacks on the deck again.  

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Spring Lobster Salad with Corn, Potatoes & Tarragon

It's finally starting to feel like spring around here.  So I decided to celebrate with a simple but luxurious dinner salad.  

Tarragon is easily found in most grocery stores. It's has a liquorice flavour that's a great match for lobster.  

This recipe is inspired by Epicurious but I made some small changes.  

Here's what you need to serve two as a main course or four as a starter: