Spaghetti Carbonara with Poached Eggs


I mentioned this in my last post, and I feel a bit weird about announcing it over the internet, but here goes: Over the holidays Jordan proposed, and I said yes. It has been a magnificent couple of weeks, full of celebrating with friends and family. Jordan told me that the wedding is off if I go on a “wedding diet” and I assured him that it wouldn’t happen, because it can’t happen. Because everywhere I turn these days someone is pouring me a glass of bubbly, and then refilling it, and then refilling it again. Let me tell you friends, it is hard to stay sober when you’re recently engaged.

So this post is against all the new years resolutions, and against the very principle of a wedding diet, because it is hang-over food.

Spaghetti Carbonara, or “bacon and egg bascetti” as I used to call it when I was wee, it basically just that- bacon, eggs, parmesan, and loads of black pepper. You don’t need to cook the sauce, it cooks as the it’s tossed with the hot pasta. You can easily make this without the poached egg of course, but there is something about adding that makes the pasta feel like breakfast. Which is sometimes just the ticket.



Spaghetti Carbonara with Poached Eggs


1 lb Spaghetti

7 Eggs (use good quality free range organic ones, it really will make a difference)

400g Bacon (good smoky stuff please!)

200g Parmesano Reggiano, or Grana Padano

Salt and Pepper


Cut the bacon into ½ inch pieces and cook them in a small frying pan over medium heat for about 15 minutes, or until they are crunchy, but not burning.

Strain the fat off into a jar of can. Put the bacon aside.

Fill a large and a medium sized pot with water and bring to a boil.

Meanwhile grate the parmesan and mix it in a large bowl with 3 of the eggs and healthy cracking of black pepper.

When the large pot of water comes to a boil, season it liberally with salt and cook the pasta to the directions on the package.

Just as the pasta is done and you’re about to strain it, crack the eggs into the remaining medium sized pot.

Strain the pasta and add it, and the bacon to the egg and parm mixture. Stir vigorously until it has completely combined, making sure it doesn’t curdle.

Divide among 4 bowls.

Using a slotted spoon remove the eggs from the water- testing to make sure they are done by gently poking at the yolk and white with your finger, ensuring that the white is hard but the yolk is soft.

Put the eggs on top of the pasta and enjoy immediately!


Sunday Salads- Semolina Crusted Cauliflower with Arugula and Capers



The last month has just about taken it out of me. Valentines was very near the death of me. For serious.

The thing about doing the pastries for 4 different restaurants is that, when one is busy usually all of them are busy. And then it gets crazy.

Post Valentines there will be lots of deep breathing, lots of yoga, and lots of writing. I know I’ve been bad to you you all lately. I just haven’t had a chance to breath lately.

But now is the prime time to start again, to write again, and to eat salads again.

This one is one of my all time favourites, one I make pretty regularly and one that gets lots of praise every time I do. It’s full of super crispy cauliflower, peppery arugula and the sharp acid of capers. It’s admittedly, not one of the healthiest salads I make, I know it, and you could bake the cauliflower if you wanted to, I have and it’s still good, but there is just something about it when it’s pan fried in bubbling olive oil that just makes it better. It might make everything better.


Semolina Crusted Cauliflower with Arugula and Capers.

1 head of Cauliflower

1 cup Semolina Flour

1 cup Olive Oil

Half a Lemon

1 tsp Dijon Mustard

1 tbsp Capers- I like the really little ones if you can find them

2 cups Arugula

Bring a large pot of water to a boil

Mix a tsp of salt with the semolina flour in a medium bowl.

In another medium bowl mix together the lemon and mustard and slowly mix in a couple tablespoons of olive oil. Taste and add salt to your liking.

Meanwhile cut the cauliflower into small-ish florets.

Generously salt the water and blanch the cauliflower for about 1 minute.

Drain it well and immediately mix it into the semolina flour and toss to coat.

In a large saucepan over medium- high heat warm about a quarter of a cup of olive oil.

Put in half the cauliflower and fry until it’s nicely browned.

Drain off the oil, and put the cauliflower into the bowl with the dressing.

Repeat this process with the rest of the cauliflower, adding more olive oil as needed.

Mix in the capers and arugula and serve immediately.

Tuesday Tutorials- Better Than a Restaurant Steak with Wild Mushroom Sauce


About a year ago I wrote an article for a local online magazine on finding the best steak in the city. I ate some great steaks, and had an extremely happy boyfriend who came along with me. But while I was eating my way through the city, I realized something; there is no reason to order steak at a restaurant.

I’m going to tell you something else; I don’t buy expensive steaks.

I’ve never been a big tenderloin fan, I find sometimes the tenderness verges on mushy and that totally freaks my mouth out. I like something with a bit more chew, although not too much. Mostly though, what I like in the cheaper cuts of meat is the flavour.

The rich beefy flavour comes from muscles that have moved and been worked, which means cuts like the flank, the flatiron, the sirloin are all great cuts of meat, if you give them a little love.

And to back up this argument, I encourage you to think of steak frites in France, where the steak is always a bit tough.

The easy way to get the sinue out is to marinade it. It takes nothing but planning your meal 12 hours in advance, which, well, I know that doesn’t always happen. In that case, buy a ribeye.

But if your feeling prepared, and thought about dinner the night before, marinade your steak.

The other thing that is easy to do at home is make a super fantastic sauce. It requires not much money, and about 15 minutes of your time. And the rest, as they say, is gravy. Sorry, I couldn’t help it.


Seared Steak with Wild Mushroom Red Wine Sauce

1 Steak, Flat Iron, Flank, or some Sirloin

2 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar

2 tbsp Soy Sauce

1 tbsp Salt

1tsp Black Pepper


1 pckg Dried Wild Mushrooms (I found dried chanterelles!)

1 lb Cremini Mushrooms, thinly sliced

1 Large Onion, thinly sliced

2 cloves Garlic, minced

1c Red Wine

1 tbsp Flour

3 cups Chicken Stock

2 tbsp Tomato Paste

Olive Oil

Salt and Pepper

Mix all the ingredients in a medium sized bowl. Cover with seran wrap and put in the fridge overnight.

Put the dried mushrooms in a small bowl and cover with 1 cup of water.

In a large saucepan over medium high heat, warm a big glug of olive oil and start sauteeing the cremini mushrooms. You want to get them nice and browned.

When they’re brown push them to the edges to the pot and in the middle, put in the onions and brown them. Add the garlic and the tomato paste and and stir them until the middle as well.

Push that to the outside of the pot and put in another glug of olive oil and the flour. Stir that for a minute.

Now mix it all up and add the red wine and stir to make sure there are no lumps.

Add in the chicken stock.

Season with salt and pepper and simmer for 10 minutes.

Once your sauce is simmering, start getting ready to cook your steak.

Bring a large saute pan on a medium-high heat and let it get hot for about 3-4 minutes.

Pour in a glug of canola oil, and tilt the pan to spread the oil all over the whole pan. Carefully put the steaks into the pan, making sure you face it away from you so no oil will splash at you.

Cook until it is deep brown and then flip it and do the same.

Here is a trick for telling how done your meat it: Relax your hand, and then bring your index finger to your thumb. With your other hand press the meaty bit of your hand at the base of your thumb. That is what your steak should feel like when it’s rare.

When you do the same with your middle finger your steak is medium rare.

When you do the same with your ring finger your steak is medium.

When your do the same with your pinky finger your steak is medium-well

Anything past that is well done.

BUT If your not sure pull it off and let it rest for a minute and then cut into a corner of it.

If your steak is cooked let it sit for at least 5 minutes before you cut.

Then, slice it into thin strips, and serve with your perfect sauce!image

Cauliflower and Cumin Fritters with Lime Yoghurt

I find myself over and over again seasoning everything with fennel seeds, dried chilis and lemon zest. A little rosemary if I’m feeling crazy. It’s a fantastic combination, for pasta sauces, a big plate of sauted veggies, roasted meats, it works on nearly everything. But I’ve been finding lately that I’ve been a little bit on auto-pilot with them. It’s easy, it’s comforting but I’m finding it a little tired lately.

And whenever I’m in a food rut, I turn to Ottolenghi.
His food is simple, easy, and elegant, but it’s also heavily influenced from his Isreali background, and his use of spices is immaculate.

It’s never heavy or laden with them but there is always a waft or coriander, or a hint of rosewater in his food that makes you curious about your food. I like to be curious about my food.

These fritters are no exception. The cauliflower and cumin are a brilliant marriage and the lime yoghurt cuts through any heaviness, making it a perfect appy on it’s own or a great light supper with a salad. Although, with a poached egg on top, this could also be an epic breakfast.

Cauliflower and Cumin Fritters with Lime Yoghurt

(almost exactly how it appears in “Ottolenghi”


1 small Cauliflower, cut into florets

1 cup AP Flour

3 tbsp Chopped Flat leaf Parsley

1 clove, Garlic- minced

2 Shallots- minced

4 Eggs

2 tsp Cumin, ground

1 tsp Cinnamon

1/2 tsp Tumeric

1 1/2 tsp Salt

1 tsp Black Pepper

Oil to fry

Lime Yoghurt

300g Greek Yoghurt

2 tbsp Finely chopped Cilantro

Zest of 1 Lime

2 tbsp Lime juice

2 tbsp Olive Oil

Salt and Pepper

Mix all the yoghurt ingredients together in a bowl, set aside.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add in a healthy pinch of salt and cook the cauliflower until it’s soft, about 15 minutes. Drain.

While the cauliflower is cooking mix together all the other ingredients (except oil) and beat until smooth. Add in the cauliflower and mix that in too.

In a frying pan on medium heat add in a good glug of oil and heat until it’s hot- put a tiny dollop of the batter in, when it starts bubbling your ready to go.

Carefully spoon in the batter and let fry until a bubble or two appears on the top and the edges and the bottoms get a nice brown color. With a spatula flip them over and repeat on the other side. Continue cooking until they are all done, then serve them with a generous helping of the lime yoghurt.

Almost a Martha Casserole


When we were kids we always used to play vet. I was the vet, and my sister Nina was the secretary. That’s what she wanted to be when she grew up. A few years ago my mom was moving and we stumbled across a recipe box filled with index cards. All of our stuffed animals names were alphabetized and behind each name were 3 index cards, white for check-up, red for emergency, blue for surgery. It was almost creepy how organized it was.

All of which to say it should come as no surprise that by the age of ten she was in love with everything Martha Stewart. She might have been Martha’s youngest ever subscriber, saving all her babysitting money every January to buy the magazine. So if my sister was 10, I was 6. And while Nina was trying to be Martha Stewart I was trying to be Nina, so Martha rubbed off on me as well.

I know Martha has had her weak moments, (my boyfriend, a former stock broker, and I have decided it’s just best for our relationship if we don’t talk about Martha) but I love her. I really do. Everything she makes I want to make. What, you might ask, would I do with a silk thread covered carrot? Well I’m not totally sure but I know I want to make one none the less, because Martha told me to. Along with silk covered carrots and fabric silhouette bunnies, she also had a feature on casseroles. So at 10 this morning I decided I needed one.

But I had nearly no ingredients and it is (surprise surprise) pouring rain in Vancouver so there was so improvisation. But it worked. It totally worked.

A good glug of Olive Oil

1 large Onion, diced

2 cloves Garlic, diced

half a pound of Mushrooms, (whatever you have kicking around or is at your local market. I used enoki and oyster but creminis, buttons, portobello, anything really would work here, except maybe shiitake?) cut them into slices.

2 cans of plum tomatos, look for the kind without citric acid added!

3 sprigs of Thyme, picked

1 lb Shell Pasta

100g Cheese, I had some asiago which is grated and some sliced cheddar that i just laid across the whole thing. But if you had provolone, or parm, or even goat cheese use it! Whatever you have kicking around I think is great!

Preheat oven to 375F

Get a big pot of water on the stove on high heat.

Get another pot on the stove on medium heat.

Add in that glug of oil and saute the onion until it starts to get soft and translucent. Add a good pinch of salt.

Add in the garlic, mushrooms, and thyme and stir until the garlic gets aromatic and mushrooms are soft.

Add in your tomatoes and a little more salt. It will look soupy.

But don’t worry, it will get beautiful and thick, see?

Get your pasta in your boiling water. Add a healthy pinch of salt. Simmer then for 2 minutes less then it says on on the package, you’ll be cooking it more in the oven!

Once the pasta is cooked and strained mix it with the sauce until it all combined.

Now pour the whole thing into a casserole dish

Sprinkle it with cheese. If you have sliced cheese layer it on.

Put it in the oven for about 30 minutes.

 It will be bubbly and starting to get brown and your whole house will smell delicious.

Let it cook for about 10 minutes and then eat eat eat!!