photo img_03.jpg  photo img_04.jpg  photo img_06.jpg  photo img_05.jpg  photo img_07.jpg

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


Sunday, May 31, 2015

Tart of the Month - Quick Dessert Tarts

I was away this weekend four our third annual cousins retreat where my sister-in-law and three lady cousins and I enjoy a weekend in Blue Mountain, Ontario.  

We enjoy great food and drinks.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The Beer Baron - The Hybrid We Deserve

This post comes from Matt, the Beer Baron.  He can be found on Twitter @geekcanuck

It used to be that when I thought of the word hybrid, I'd think of orchids or drought-resistant corn or even a liger. Then I spent the last decade of my life stuck behind the soul-crushing commuter appliance that is the Toyota Prius and the word “hybrid” made me think less of awe-inspiring felines and more of the legalities of slapping someone at a stop light. Thankfully, the good folks at my city's newest and smallest craft brewery are working hard to make me think of “hybrid” as a good thing again.

Although London Brewing Co-Op doesn't yet have their brew pub or retail store, their beers are regularly available at The Root Cellar organic cafe and on occasion at Milos’ Craft Beer Emporium. While I missed their first pop-up store – which was the first chance to be able to buy bottles to take home – I didn't miss the second one and got to bring home two lovely craft beers I believe are good examples of hybrids.

Just as a liger is a hybrid of a lion and a tiger (and a Prius is a hybrid of a car and self-loathing), a hybrid craft beer is a mix of two traditional styles of beer.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Spring Pasta with Peas and Fresh Herbs

I love spring. I love the mild temperatures and green things popping up everywhere. 

If you need to spend extra time out in the garden this spring, this super-easy meal will save time in the kitchen.  It can be whipped up quickly with staples in the pantry, as long as you have some fresh herbs on hand.  

We love orrcchiette because the little ears fill up with all the ingredients making a perfect bite every time. Here, diced pancetta and peas nestle inside the pasta in a quick cheesy sauce.  This recipe comes from Food & Wine magazine.

Here's what you need for this tasty spring meal. 

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Happy Hour - Bourbon Old Fashioned

Tonight is the series finale of Mad Men, so I thought I'd raise a glass to the show with this classic cocktail.  

I've loved watching Mad Men over the past seven years. The characters are fascinating and the writing is exceptional. It's a show I love so much, I read as much about it as I can. So I was thrilled to discover Tom and Lorenzo's Mad Style, a weekly analysis of the costuming on the show.  They talk about the historical significance of the costumes, as well as how the costumes relate to the characters' moods and motivations. It is really marvelous and I don't know what I'll miss more - the show or Mad Style.   

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Trip Report - Akumal Bay Beach & Wellness Resort, Mexico

When Matt and I travel, it's usually not exactly relaxing. We generally like to explore new places like San Diego, Iceland or Nashville, and end up walking or driving a lot. Or we go to Las Vegas which is always fun and exciting but not exactly restorative.  

We took this picture right in front of our resort!

This time we decided to indulge our love of swimming and snorkeling and visit an all inclusive resort. We did some research and looked for places that had good snorkeling right off the beach so we wouldn't have to take excursions away from the resort to snorkel. We read about Akumal Bay, which means "place of the turtles" in Mayan. It's a sea turtle feeding ground and nesting area, and the bay is generally always calm enough for snorkeling right off the beach.  We couldn't say no to snorkeling with sea turtles so we booked it!

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Cinco de Mayo Mexican Food Roundup

We just got back from our first trip to Mexico! We had a relaxing beach vacation with some fun activities and amazing food and I'll tell you all about it soon. 

I was looking through my archives and I think Mexican food is the kind of food I cook the most. Matt loves it and so do I, so I have a lot of Mexican and Mexican-inspired recipes on this blog, and I thought I'd do a round-up for Cinco de Mayo this week.  

Salsa Verde

First a fantastic salsa verde that's great with chips but even better as a sauce or condiment with grilled or braised meats. We made our own from tomatillos in our garden, which grow amazingly well in our climate, but you can easily buy tomatillos in the summer, or even buy pre-made salsa verde for a tangy change from red salsa. 

Home Made Corn Tortillas

These tortillas are so easy to make, and masa is widely available now. It really makes sense to make your own tortillas if you like them as fresh as possible.