Arugula and Harissa Frittata

Breakfast is not my favorite meal of the day, at least during the week. During the week it’s an apple, maybe some green juice if I was on top of things to buy it (I don’t have a jucier, not do I have space in my tiny kitchen!). On a good day I’ll scramble and egg and throw some salsa on top. Totally premade, store bought crappy salsa. I’m too busy. I’m not organized enough to make overnight oats. Every few months I’ll make a batch of homemade instant oatmeal and think “I should do this more often!” and then I eat them all and don’t make it again for 4 months.

Breakfast is not my place to shine on a weekday.

Weekends though? That’s another story.

I love brunch, in a major way. Soft poached eggs, potatoes, vegetables cooked in interesting ways. Bacon. Sausages.

I have two qualms with most brunches though, the first, is that, unless I got too deep into some bourbon the night before, I want my brunch to be light enough that I still want to move afterwards. I love me some bacon, but maybe I need some salad with it, so shoot me. The second is that, and I am totally tooting my own horn here, but I’m pretty good at cooking brunch. If I go out I want those eggs to be perfect. And if they aren’t I’m going to feel a bit jilted. A good brunch doesn’t come cheap, and I want it flawlessly.

Which means I end up making brunch at home a lot of the time. I’m just a bit finicky about some things, especially in the mornings.

So this is the sort of thing I end up making. It’s incredibly simple, very satisfying, rich without being heavy, and almost foolproof to execute. It’s just the ticket for an no fuss brunch in .


Arugula and Harissa Frittata

Serves 2

1 Shallot, peeled and thinly sliced

4 cups Baby Arugula

1 tbsp Harissa Paste*

2 tbsp Olive Oil

4 Eggs

Salt and Pepper

  • Harissa is a Moroccan spice hot sauce. You can find it at most meditteranean stores, but in a pinch you can mix1 tsp  Sambal (rooster sauce) with 1 tsp ground cumin for this recipe.

Preheat your oven to broil.

Crack the eggs into a small bowl and mix vigorously for 2 minutes.

In a small frying pan over medium heat warm up the olive oil.

Put in the shallots and let cook slowly for about 10-15 mintues until they start to color.

Add in a healthy pinch of salt and stir in the harissa.

Cook the harissa for about a minute and then add in the arugula, a handful at a time so it doesn’t overflow in the pan.

Let it start to wilt and then add in the next handful, You don’t want to cook the arugula entirely, just let it start to wilt.

Add in the eggs with another pinch of salt and stir it up, like your making scrambled eggs. Keep stirring until it’s about half way cooked- but the top still is still smooth.

Take the pan off the heat and put it under the broiler.

Cook until the top gets puffy and the edges are a little bit browned.

Serve immediately. 

Blood Orange Tart!


You know when you see foods that’s too pretty. Like it can’t possible taste good?

I kept seeing pictures of blood orange tarts, and thinking “oh my gosh they are so beautiful, but I bet they aren’t super delicious”. I’m rarely a big fan of cooked oranges. I felt like baking them, even in a buttery crust, might not be the best idea. I mean, blood oranges are perfect as is, why do anything to them?

Well, I’m here to tell you that you should.

You should make a pastry cream, you should make some super flakey dough, and you should layer a whole bunch of blood oranges on top.


Because suddenly the butter and vanilla bring something extraordinary to the blood oranges, and the oranges themselves stay almost exactly the same. They are still juicy, and bright and crisp, they just happen to have married themselves with some sweeter things.

It’s a simple tart, but one that’s rather showy, and one that perfectly uses up the remarkable produce available right now.


Blood Orange Tart

For Flakey Pastry

1 cup Butter, cut into small cubes

2 cups AP Flour

1 tsp Salt

Cold Water

For Pastry Cream

1 cup Milk

½ Vanilla Bean, or 1 tbsp Vanilla Extract

2 tbsp Cornstarch or AP Flour

¼ cup Brown Sugar

1 Egg

8 Blood Oranges

1 Egg Yolk

1 tbsp Milk

¼ cup Coarse Sugar

Bring the milk and vanilla bean up to a simmer in a small pot.

Meanwhile mix together the sugar and egg in a medium sized bowl. Add in the cornstarch or flour, depending on what you use.

Slowly add in the hot milk, whisking the whole time.  Pour the mixture back into the pot, and turn the heat down to low.

Stir constantly until the mixture thickens consistently.

Immediately strain into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and chill.

Cut Oranges:

Cut the tops and bottoms off the oranges. Cut the skins off too, leaving no white pith.

Cut the oranges widthwise, into rounds.

Make dough:

On a large clean surface mix together the butter, flour and salt.

With a rolling pin roll the butter into the flour, scraping the strips of butter off the rolling pin, and the counter. Keep rolling and scraping until all of the butter is stretchd into long thin strips.

Tablespoon by tablespoon add in the cold water, with the help of a pastry scraper gently mix the flour and butter with the water. You want to keep the butter in strips as much as possible.

Once the dough has begun to come together flatten it with your palms, and fold the dough in half. Do this again and again until the dough has lots of layers, but before the dough begins to get tough. It’s best to stay on the side of too soft, and only fold the dough a could times.

Line a baking tray with parchment paper.

Roll the dough into a large rectangle and fold it gently into quarters. Lift the rectangle and place it onto the lined tray.

Scrape out the pastry cream into the middle of the dough. Spread it out, and cover the whole thing except for an inch and half border around the edges.

Layer the slices of oranges on top.

Fold the edges of pastry up around  the fruit, pleating as necessary.

Put the tray in your freezer for at least 25 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Take the tart out of the freezer.

Mix together the yolk and milk in a small bowl.

Brush the edges of the pastry with egg wash and sprinkle liberally with the sugar, both on the fruit and on the edges.

Bake for 35-45 minutes, until the pastry is nicely browned.

Let the tart cool for at least 30 minutes before cutting and eating!


Tuesday Tutorials- Pastry Cream

Pastry cream is one of those things that I hated as a kid.  I was totally obsessed with these cinnamon danishes a local café made, only the cinnamon ones, because all the fruit ones had pastry cream in them, or as I called it as a kid “sweet mayo”. It was creamy, it was flavorless, and it was unessesary. Not into it.

And then I started working for pastry chef who made the most incredible blueberry tarts. Extraordinary blueberry tarts. They were made with the most beautiful wild blueberries, the softed shortbread crust, and the thinnest layer of the creamiest pastry cream known to man that had just had a hint of vanilla and lemon. It was a total revelation.

Now, pastry cream is a staple for me. They add a sophistication to tarts,  to pies, to cookies. To danishes.  The best part is that it is super easy to make.  You can make it with cornstarch or flour, if you’re gluten free, and you can easily change the milk to coconut milk if you’re dairy free. If you want a bit of a caramel flavour, you can change the sugar to brown sugar. It’s a wonderful thing.  Get into it!

Pastry Cream

(adapted from the Tartine Bakery)

2 cups Milk (or coconut milk)

2 Eggs

½ cup Sugar (or brown sugar)

3 tbsp Flour or Cornstarch.

½ tsp Salt

½ Vanilla Bean, or 1 tbsp Vanilla Extract

Zest of ½ a lemon

In a medium pot  bring the milk, vanilla, and lemon to a simmer.

Meanwhile crack the eggs into a medium bowl. Mix with the sugar, and then add in the flour or cornstarch.

Slowly add in the hot milk mixture, whisking constantly, until it is all combined.

Pour this mixture back into the pot, and stirring constantly, cook over low heat until it has thickened consistently.

Strain into a clean bowl, cover with plastic wrap and cool completely. 

Sunday Salads- Fennel, Citrus, and Pistachio Salad


So, I think I need to stop following people from LA on Instagram. I have never thought that much about it, or California to be honest, but this time of the year every time I look at my phone it is flooded with pictures of the most beautiful citrus fruits, and the bright colours, and it takes all I’ve got not to pack up everything and move South.

As that would be a wee bit impulsive, instead I’m buying enormous amounts of the most beautiful California citrus from the organics shop down the street from me. It’s not really the same even a little bit, but it gives me my bright colour, fresh fruit fix that I need through these grey days. Seriously, have you ever tried a Cara Cara orange? It might be the best orange I’ve ever had.

This is a salad that you could make with nearly any citrus, and if you can’t find cara cara oranges where you are, don’t worry. Any one will do, but if you have the change, this is the perfect place to make it shine.


Fennel, Citrus, and Pistachio Salad

1 head Fennel

2 Oranges

1 Grapefruit

¼ cup Olive Oil

¼ cup Pistachios, toasted.

2 cups of Greens – Baby arugula, mesclum mix or a mix of sprouts work very well.


A small hand full of flat leaf parsley,

A small handful of fresh mint

Cut the tops and bottoms off the oranges and grapefruit. Cut the skin off down to the flesh, and then cut between the membranes to release slices of the citrus without any bits of white on them.  Do this over a bowl to catch all the juices.

Pour most of the juices into a cup and drink them! (so good!) leaving about ¼ cup left in the bowl.

Very thinly slice the fennel- if you have a mandolin this is a good time to use it, but you can do it by hand no problem.

Mix the fennel in with the citrus, and stir in the olive oil and a generous pinch of salt.

Lay the leaves of parsley and mint on top of each other, and roll them into a thin log.

Slice that log thinly so that you can long thin strips of the herbs.

Mix them into the salad too, and then toss in the greens.

Sprinkle the pistachios on top and serve immediately. 


Tuesday Tutorials- Ganache and Coconut Truffles

Today, let’s take about Jordan.

He’s handsome, and charming. He’s so kind, sometimes it blows me away. He also has no problem saying no to me, which I find to be an incredibly great thing about him. He will bend over backwards to do anything for me, but if I’m bring a brat, he won’t hesitate to tell me.

He’s tall, but not too tall. He makes great cocktails.

Generally, he is an exceptional guy. I’m very fond of him.

His greatest fault though, is his lack of a sweet tooth. I am constantly shoving pastries around him, and he’ll eat a bite or two, and then move on. He’s supportive, he tells me if it’s great, but he’s not into eating a huge bowl of something.

Unless it’s chocolate. That man can down chocolate. Brownies, ice cream, cookies, consider it gone.  And above all, he has absolutely zero control when it comes to ganache.

He gets a sneaky look in his eye, and if I leave him near a bowl of it for an hour, the bowl will be scraped clean when I return. It’s actually kind of crazy.  And for that reason, I don’t make it often.

Except after Valentines. I always feel like guys have a rough go on Valentines, I mean, no one wants to be told that they have to be extra nice one day or they’ll get in trouble, even though no one really knows why they have to be extra nice. But none the less, off they go. Jord bought me some gorgeous flowers, made me a beautiful meal of pistachio roasted lamb and wild mushroom risotto, and took me to an awesome show. It was a wonderful night. And as such, I made some ganache.

This is the ganache recipe to end all ganaches. It is perfect in every way. I so wish that I had come up with it, but the geniuses at Eleven Madison Park did.

To make a ganache you are basically emulsifying chocolate with fat and liquid, and it can be a bit finicky. This one uses honey (well, if we’re being totally real here it uses cornsyrup, but I use honey because it’s more delicious and non GMO) and it helps the whole thing stay together. The butter we whisk in at the end makes it just the tiniest bit richer, and the whole thing has the perfect consistency for making truffles, or glazing cakes, or eating by the spoonful out of the bowl.

Sometimes, you have to give the man a treat.


Honey Ganache

2 2/3 cup Heavy Cream (or Coconut Milk)

1/3 cup Honey

½ cup Butter

4 cups Chocolate chips, 60% cocoa or higher

1 tsp Salt


In a medium pot bring the honey, salt, and cream to a simmer.  Milk is apt to boiling over so be mindful.

Pour the cream mixture over top of the chocolate and let sit for 1 minute.

Use a whisk and gently stir the ganache to emulsify it, working just in small twirls in the center of the bowl until it is all mixed in together.

Add the butter piece-by-piece whisking until each piece is emulsified in before adding the next.

Use immediately if you are glazing a cake, if you want to make truffles or use it as a frosting allow to sit, covered with seran wrap at room temperature for at least 12 hours.  For these ones I used coconut milk instead of cream, and rolled the set truffles in toasted coconut. 

Sunday Salads- Potato, Lox, and Boiled Egg Salad


Last night was girls night. I kicked Jordan out of the apartment for the evening, and had some quality girlfriend time. 

It’s hard to come by these days I think, we’re all so busy all of the time and it’s so much easier it seems to get together when the guys are with us, but man did I need some girl time. 

We danced around to the Pointer Sisters, we cried, we watched the Brene Brown TedTalk on vulnerability, and we cried some more. We played the Dirty Dancing soundtrack, and watched the scene at the end where they do the lift. 

We talked about the totally unrealistic relationship expectations we have because John Hughes created Jake Ryan. We laughed. We laughed a lot.

And we drank wine. Cleaning up this morning made me realize just how much wine. And sake. And mojitos. I don’t feel terrible this morning, I’m actually not feeling bad at all. But I do feel like I need to eat something substantial. Something that’s going to soak up some booze. Something a bit heartier, not not greasy, not heavy. 

Enter the smoked salmon, potato, boiled egg, salad.

A salad that is filling and rich and just what is required of a hangover salad.

It’s a salad to eat for supper. Or at 10 am after girls night.

Sometimes, that’s just the thing.


Boiled Potato Salad with Lox, Dill and Eggs

4 cups Fingerling Potatoes, or waxy Nugget Potatoes

4 Free Range Eggs

150g Smoked Salmon or Lox (I like lox best)

1 Lemon

½ cup Olive Oil

1 tbsp Dijon Mustard

¼ cup Dill

Salt and Pepper


Scrub the potatoes. Cut them in half and put them in a pot. Cover with cold water and a healthy pinch of salt and put the pot on a burner with medium high heat.

Bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to simmer and cook until the potatoes are fork tender, but still holding their shape- about 15 minutes.

Strain and run cold water on them, stirring often until they are cooled.

Meanwhile bring a small pot filled with water to a boil.

Put the eggs in with a slotted spoon, first dipping them in, and then putting them in entirely- this will help prevent the shells from cracking.

Reduce the heat to medium and set a timer for 7 minutes. When the timer goes off remove the pot from the heat, strain off the hot water and fill with cold running water, stirring often until the eggs are cooled.

Peel and quarter them.

Meanwhile make the dressing- in a large bowl juice the lemon.  Mix in the Dijon with a pinch of salt.  Slowly add in the olive oil whisking vigorously to emulsify it in (it will still be tasty if it splits though so don’t worry too much if it does)

Taste for seasoning and add more lemon, olive oil, or salt as you see fit.

When the potatoes are cooked and cooled toss them into the dressing with the dill. To serve toss in the arugula, portion onto plates and tear pieces of the lox on top.  Place 4 quarters of eggs per plate seasoning each with salt.

Serve immediately. 


Coriander Roasted Carrots

My life right now is filled with butter. Like crazy, up to the ears filled with butter.

I’m testing recipes. Recipes for my company. The company that I am setting up, for the cafes I’m working with. It’s very exciting. 

My company.


However, at some point rationale has to take over. And my poor little up to the ears with butter body has needed a break from butter. So this week, I went macrobiotic. Nothing too crazy, just no dairy, sugar, wheat, or red meat for a week, a mini cleanse. A sort of cleanse.

Guys, I feel good right now. My skin is better, my stomach isn’t aching.  I didn’t even yell at anyone at the Apple Store yesterday when I went in for the 5th time to get my 3 month old computer fixed. I am feeling good.

I think this is because I really like vegetables. I like veggies as much as I like cookies. I’m lucky like that. Also, because instead of going on a cleanse where I only eat steamed broccoli I went on a cleanse where I ate a whole lot of roasted carrots. Coriander roasted carrots in fact. Carrots that were so sweet, with just a tiny bit of lemon juice and olive oil, more salt that GOOP would tell me to use I think, and a healthy pinch of ground coriander. Carrots that I am going to continue to make long after this cleanse, because they are devilishly delicious.

That it’s healthy is just a happy coincidence.


Coriander Roasted Carrots

1 bunch of really good Carrots

1 ½ tsp Coriander

2 cloves Garlic

1 tsp Salt

1 tbsp Lemon Juice

1 tbsp Olive Oil

Preheat oven to 450F

Clean the carrots well- I find with good carrots you don’t need to peel them, but you can if you want.  Cut them I half lengthwise.

Squish the cloves of garlic with the side of a knife. Mix the garlic, coriander, salt, lemon and olive oil in a bowl. Toss in the carrots.

Place them in a single layer on a parchment lined tray.

Roast for 15-20 minutes, or until they are wrinkly and slightly browned but still crunchy. Serve immediately. 

Curry Squash Soup and Some Real Talk

Yesterday was my Dad’s birthday. It should have been a happy day, because he should have been turning 61, but he didn’t and it’s not.

My tradition on his birthday, and on the anniversary of his death is to drink a good beer in his honor and paint my toenails. He hated nail polish, and I like to imagine him rolling his eyes at me wherever he is. It makes me smile.

Often Jordan and I go to this great Cambodian restaurant and eat huge plates of these amazing fried prawns and big bowls of noodles. It’s the sort of place he would have loved.

Often I go for a bike ride, because that was his favourite.

Yesterday I forced Jordan to go to a Superbowl party, but I stayed in. It was nice to just have the place to myself for a while, and watch bad TV while my nails dried. Double eye roll.

Today I woke up with what I think of as an emotional hangover. You know when it’s not so much that your sad, it’s just that sort of exhausted from being sad the day before? That’s today.

So I worked for a few hours this morning, and I got some baking done at home, cleaned up a bit. When I finish writing this I’ll go drag my butt out of the apartment and do the laundry.

It felt like the sort of day that needed some comfort food. Rich and thick but also good for me. Nothing that was going to keep me feeling sluggish.

So I found some squash and made this, a lightly spiced squah puree that lies somewhere between a soup and a curry. At the recommendation of 101Cookbooks I served it with brown rice, but to this I added some cumin and a can of chickpeas, to give it a bit more oomph. It’s deeply filling without being heavy. It’s warm and comforting, and it’s just what I needed on a day like today.


Cumin Brown Rice with Chickpeas

2 tsp Ground Cumin

1tsp Ground Corriander

1 tbsp Olive Oil

1 cup Brown Rice

2 cups Water

Ginger Squash Soup

1 large Onion, sliced

3 cloves Garlic, minced

1 large or 2 small Butternut Squash, peeled and cut into cubes

1 inch Ginger, grated finely

2 tbsp Olive Oil

In a large pot over medium heat warm up the olive oil.

Sautee the onion until they’re soft and slightly browned. Add in the garlic and the ginger and sautee it for another minute or two.

Add the squash and cover with water.

Season liberally with salt and bring to a boil. Turn it down a simmer and let simmer for about half an hour.

Meanwhile, make the rice: In a small pot over medium heat warm the olive oil. Add in the spices and toast them until they are fragrant but not burning! Add in the rice and the water with a big pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down low and cover. Simmer for 45 minutes.

Rinse and drain the chickpeas and stir them in. Cook for another 5 to 10 minutes or until the rice is totally cooked.

Serve the two together!

Tuesday Tutorials- Polenta!

Let’s talk about polenta.

I love polenta. I love it a lot.

It is, for me, the ultimate comfort food. It’s smooth and creamy and, perhaps most importantly is super cheap. I pretty well lived off of polenta for a couple years. Breakfast? Put an egg on it. Lunch? Some tomato sauce. Dinner? My favourite is with sautéed mushrooms and onions. You can serve it with steak, or Bolognese sauce, or darn near anything.

But when I was young and ever so broke, mostly I ate it with straight up tomato sauce. When I was feeling rich I would buy some parm and add some in, but most days it wasn’t so fancy. I could make a big batch and feed myself for a few meals for under $3.00. Mega cheap.

And, even in my intense poverty, it was a deeply satisfying meal. It takes only a few minutes to make and it is rich and as comforting as any dish could be.

And it is almost ridiculously easy to make. It is a no fuss sort of a dish. You simply bring some liquid to a boil (stock, milk, or a combination of both) whisk in the polenta and let it simmer for half and hour or so.  That’s it.  Unless you’re trying to keep your costing at a minimum, you should add in cheese and a little nub of butter for a bit of flavour.

Once it’s cooked it becomes a creamy porridge, but your left over’s will harden up in the fridge and become something that you can bake or fry and give it some crispy texture. But I like it best hot out of the pot, eaten with a spoon, feeling like a kid again.



Serves 4

3 cups Chicken Stock, or water

2 cups Milk

1 cup Polenta

½ cup Parmesano Reggiono, or Granda Padana (optional)

2 tbsp Butter (optional)

In a medium pot over medium heat bring a pinch of salt, the stock/water and the milk up to a boil.

Reduce the heat to medium low.

Pour the polenta into a fine sieve and shake it over the pot whisking the whole time- this will prevent lumps from forming.

Keep whisking until the polenta starts to thicken, about 2 minutes.

Switch from a whisk to a spatula or wooden spoon and stir on occasion for 25-35 more minutes, adding a bit of water if it starts to look too thick.

Add in the cheese and butter and stir until it is totally incorporated. Check for seasoning and add more salt if you need it. 

A Love Letter to Little Nest

There are, of course, lots of people who you meet and who change you. People who inspire you and people who push you and people who show you sides of the world and yourself you never would known without their help.

But when you really look at your life and the people and events that change you fundamentally, for me at least, the list is pretty compact. But today I want to talk to you about one of these people, someone who took an enormous risk and hired me at the alarmingly young age of 20 to be the chef at their restaurant, and not only showed me an entirely new way of cooking, but also allowed me to watch as she owned a restaurant that used beautiful ingredients, paid everyone over minimum wage and truly contributed to the community that I live in.

For anyone who knows me well they know that I could only ever be talking about Mary McIntyre.

When I moved into my apartment over 6 years ago, while I waited to meet the landlord I ran into a friend at the café in the building. It was a beautiful space, filled with light, vintage furniture and small children. There was great coffee, and smiling servers hustling plates of gorgeous food around strollers and little ones to tables filled with stylish people, about equal parts parents and single people. I ate a salami sandwich, a crisp baguette, filled with bocconcini, parm, salami, roasted tomatoes and olive mayo. As soon as I moved into the apartment upstairs I became a devoted customer.

About a year later that devotion turned into a job, a chef job. It was my first job running a restaurant and it was a steep learning curve, and lord or lord I made some mistakes. But it was Mary who encouraged me and pushed me and made me a much better cook. It was Mary who showed me how to use middle eastern spices, taught me the importance of using the best produce, and made me appreciate that an egg can, and should, go soft poached on every meal.

But it wasn’t just her kitchen finness or passion for food, it was that she was passionate about using great ingredients, even if that meant taking a bit less in profit. She paid every person on staff more than minimum wage to be an example of a small business who looks after their employees. And she didn’t call us employees, she called us family.

For years I’ve always used her an example of what I want to do with my life, how I want to run a business, how I want to contribute to my neighborhood.

Today is Little Nest’s last day. Our terrible landlord has forced her rent up more than double in the last 4 years, and she has been forced to shut her doors.  I have worked in many restaurants in my life, but never have I been anywhere with more love. There is so much care and thought in every little part of the restaurant, and I am absolutely heart broken to see it go.

It has been a landmark for my adult life, as has Mary, for showing me time and time again that it is possible to own a business that feels ethical, that you can run a café that uses great produce, and hires great people. You can and you should run a business that way, and I will forever hold myself to the standard left to me by Little Nest. 

Winter Slaw with Roasted Garlic Yoghurt Dressing with Thyme


Are you tired of talking about New Years resolutions yet?

Last year, my resulotion was to be healthier, and my idea to do this was with this column, the Sunday Salad. And, while I’ll admit to missing a few throughout the year, it seems fitting to start off the year with a Sunday Salad post. I feel good about it.

I’m feeling good about a lot of things right now. About an amazing Christmas holiday with my family, about really spending some quality time with my Mom. I’m feeling good about food photography, I’m still learning but last year I spent a small fortune upgrading my camera, buying new lenses and taking workshops. And I see a big jump in the quality of my work.

I’m feeling good about my body. I haven’t lost or gained a pound this year, but for whatever reason I put on a tight shirt yesterday and for the first time in ages, I thought I looked pretty good.

I’m feeling good about my career, which is totally in flux right now, but things are moving forward, projects are starting to happen, opportunities are opening up and I am so excited to see what happens with them in the next few months.

And I’m feeling good about Jordan. Which isn’t new or surprising, but is wonderful. We’ve both had a terrible flu for the last week, but nonetheless we sat on the couch and giggled for hours yesterday. It’s good to think about that sometimes.

My life isn’t perfect of course. There are a million things wrong right now, and I am certainly no exception, but I’m feeling positive. It’s a good way to start out the year.

All of which has nothing to do with this salad, I just wanted to tell you that.

This salad is what I’m always looking for in a slaw. Namely it’s got a lot of flavor, and isn’t drowning in a mayo driven sauce.

It’s got the cabbage, because I love cabbage, but it’s also got carrots and kale. And instead of mayo it gets it’s creaminess from yoghurt, which is accented with roasted garlic, thyme and lemon.  And it’s lovely.


Winter Slaw with Yoghurt, Roasted Garlic and Thyme.

½ small head of Red Cabbage

1 bunch Carrots

1 bunch Green Onions

1 bunch Kale

1 cup Yoghurt

1 tbsp Dijon

½ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

5 cloves Garlic

5 sprigs Thyme

1 Lemon

Salt and Pepper

Preheat your oven to 350F

Wrap the garlic cloves, still in there skins in aluminium wrap and put it in the oven. Roast for about 30 minutes, or until the cloves are very soft.

In a food processor put the garlic and yoghurt. Zest half of the lemon and juice half of the lemon and add that into the food processor too.

With the motor writing slowly add in the olive oil. Mix in the thyme and Dijon.  Season with salt and pepper.

Thinly slice the cabbage with a mandolin.

Using a vegetable peeler make thin ribbons from the carrots.

Thinly slice the green onions on a bias.

Tear the kale from the fibrous veins.

Mix all of the vegetables into a large bowl. Toss with the dressing and serve immediately.


Stocking Stuffer Sundays- Caramel Bourbon Marshmallows with Free Downloadable Labels!

Have you ever made marshmallows? And then given them away? I mean you eat a few for yourself first, but then you put some in a cute little box and give them to a friend who’s sick, or stash some into a stocking. And then that person becomes your best friend.

Because homemade marshmallows are amazing.

They are the best ever.

They are soft, squishy, melt-y and most of, flavorful!

These aren’t those strange hardened pieces of sugar from the supermarket. They are filled with whatever your heart desires.

These days,  my heart desires bourbon. Which changes hot chocolate from this super sweet thing into something much more adult, and much more compelling.

CLICK HERE for the labels.

Caramel Bourbon Marshmallows

2 tbsp + ½ tsp Powdered Gelatin

2 cups Sugar

½ cup Corn Syrup

2 Egg Whites

1 tbsp Vanilla Extract

1 tsp Salt

2 oz Bourbon

In a small bowl mix together the gelatin and ½ cup cold water.

Mix ½ cup of water with the corn syrup.

In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment put the egg whites.

In a medium pot stir together the sugar and another ½ cup of cold water.

Put over medium heat with a lid on.

When the sugar is totally dissolved take the lid off and let the sugar bubble away until a auburn caramel color is achieved. Immediately add in half of the corn syrup mixture. It will bubble and spit like crazy so be careful! Stir for a moment, then put in the rest of the corn syrup.

Put your candy thermometer in and, stirring occasionally, bring it up to 240F.

As the sugar heats up scrape the gelatin mixture in with the egg whites and turn the whisk on medium high.

When the sugar is 240F slowly pour it down the edge of the bowl with the whisk running.

Turn it up to high and keep it running for about 10 minutes, until the mixture is very thick and pillow-y. Stir in the vanilla and bourbon.

While it’s running line an 8 inch square pan with parchment and grease liberally with canola oil.

Pour the marshmallows into the prepared pan and let set for at least 6 hours.

Cut and bag!


Red Wine Salt

You know that moment the morning after a couple too many drinks when you first wake up, and realize that you forgot to put the cork in the bottle of red, that you opened much too late and drank only half a glass out of?

And it’s sort of heart breaking that that lovely bottle that so many grapes died for is now just going to be thrown down the drain?

And you think, well, maybe I opened it late enough and you put the cork back in it and hope for the best, but by the time you open it up the next day (lord knows you’re not trying anything boozy that night) it’s absolutely tragically off.

I can’t be the only one who does that right?

So recently a friend of mine suggested red wine salt as a solution, and my brain nearly exploded.

There is a use for corked and terrible left over wine?

How am I only just figuring this out?

It’s a day full of questions.

Here’s what you need to know.

You take that wine, you reduce it down like crazy, and when it’s a thick syrup you stir in a whole bunch of coarse salt, and then you spread it on a tray and let it sit out overnight.

And the next day, unlike the last when you woke up knowing that you’d ruined a bottle of wine, you wake up to something wonderful. Something that will instead add a bit of depth to your steak dishes, and gussy up a piece of duck, and look tres chic on your dinner table when you’re entertaining.  Or bottle it up and give it as a hostess gift!

Just don’t tell them that really, it’s just the cheapest salt around with an old bottle of wine.

Red Wine Salt

1 bottle of Red Wine (give or take a glass)

2+ cups of Rock Salt

In a medium pot over medium heat reduce wine until it becomes a thick syrup. This will take about 30 minutes.

For every tablespoon of liquid that you have add in 1 ½ cups of salt

Mix together well and spread on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Allow to sit out overnight, or until very dry.

Bottle up and give as gifts, or save for you

Stocking Stuffer Sundays- Calvados Caramels

Last Christmas was awful. Beyond that actually, last December was awful. It was single handedly the most stressful month of my working life, I learnt the important lesson of saying no, I can’t do that, albeit too late. And poor Jordan had major hip and knee surgery and couldn’t do much of anything without a lot of assistance. Which is why this year I decided we needed to truly get into the Christmas season and do everything we could do make up for last year.

This means dinner parties with friends, decorating our apartment even though we’ll be out of town for the actual day, and trying to just do little festive things for each other to get us in the spirit.

And then today it snowed! It never snows in Vancouver! I am so excited. It’s a little ridiculous.

Also ridiculous are these calvados caramels. It’s like eating a candy apple, only much richer and unctuous. Little bags of these will be going in everyone’s stocking this year, and while you might be intimidated by any recipe that needs a candy thermometer, I promise these are actually very easy to make. 

Calvados Caramels

3 ½ c Sugar

1/3 cup Corn Syrup

¼ cup Water

200mL Heavy Cream

100mL Apple Cider

100mL Calvados

3 ¼ c Butter, cut into pieces

1 tbsp Salt

Line a baking sheet with parchment, and lightly grease. Put aside.

In a large heavy bottomed pot stir together the sugar, corn syrup and water.

Put a lid on it and bring it to a simmer over medium heat.

Allow all the sugar to dissolve with the lid still on- this helps keep sugar from crystallizing on the edges.

Remove the lid when it’s all dissolved and, without stirring, allow the sugar to caramelize.

When it is a nice auburn colour add in the cream. It will spit and boil like crazy- it’s okay, just be careful!

Add in the apple cider and 50 mL of the calvados. Stir in the butter, piece by piece, with a whisk. DO not stop whisking, this will make sure it’s totally emulsified.

Put in your candy therometer and, while stirring constantly bring the caramel sauce up to 254F

Stir in the remaining calvados (again it will bubble and hiss, again be careful!)

Pour into prepared pan.

Allow to sit for at least 4 hours before cutting and rolling. 

Orecchiette with Yoghurt, Spinach, Hazelnuts and Feta

Sometimes I just get stuck on a recipe. I’ll see it in a book and think, that’s weird/different/crazy/maybe delicious but I’m not sure yet, and I won’t make it for fear that what ever is weird/different/crazy/or maybe delicious will actually be awful and I’ll have wasted time and money on something I’m going to end up pushing to the back of my fridge so I can’t pretend I forgot about it until it’s too old and I have to throw it out.

I do this a fair bit. Because usually when I think something is weird and might not turn out, it doesn’t. And there are few things more frustrating than making something you think might not work, and then having it not work for just the reason you thought before you started. I’m learning to trust my gut on this.

The exception to this rule is Ottolenghi. Because he puts some things together and I think “I’m not sure about this” and then it’s always amazing.

And so with this proven track record of exceeding my expectations, I made pasta with a yoghurt based sauce.

I have been staring at this recipe since I bought the Jerusalem cookbook over a year ago.  My love affar with yoghurt is logn and well documented, but on pasta? I’m a little bit Italian and that seems pretty sacreligious to me.

Guys. I should not use my head, and instead to use Ottolenghis. I shouldn’t pretend I know better.

I don’t.

This pasta is wonderful. It’s light and creamy and tangy- the way you would expect from the yoghurt, but it’s also crunchy from the nuts, and super salty in certain bites from the feta.

I had to make a few changes to the recipe- I switched the pine nuts from the original to hazelnuts, because I had them kicking around, and inexplicably my local shop was out of frozen peas (seriously, who runs out of frozen peas?) so I used spinach instead.

The result was a pasta that was totally unexpected, and one that you should probably make right away. Seriously. Do it now.


Orrecciette with Yoghurt, Spinach and Hazelnuts

1lb Orecciette

2 cups Greek Yoghurt

4 cups Baby Spinach

¼ cup Basil, roughly torn

½ cup Toasted Hazelnuts, coarsely chopped

½ cup Feta, crumbled

2 tbsp Olive Oil

Salt and Pepper

Bring a very large pot of water to a boil. Salt generously.

Cook pasta to directions on box.

Meanwhile, in a food processor pulse the yoghurt with 2 cups of spinach, the olive oil and some salt.  Mix until smooth.

Pasta is cooked, strain. Immediately mix together with the yoghurt mixture, and then toss in the basil, hazelnuts and feta.

Eat immediately. 

Stocking Stuffer Sundays- Homemade Irish Cream with FREE downloadable labels


Oh I’m so excited for Stocking Stuffer Sundays! They were easily one of my favourite series I’ve ever done on the blog and, perhaps because I am such a huge lover of all things Christmas, I’m so jazzed to be starting it up again!

Just like last year every Sunday I’ll post a fun edible gift that you can make and give. And just like last year there will be a cute fun free downloadable gift tag option! Only this year, with my mad new photoshop skills that I learnt at Blogshop a couple weeks back, I was able to design the tags myself.

On a side not, how fun is photoshop? I was so intimidated for so long, but no longer!

So without further ado here is one of the easiest recipes you’ll ever find on this site- Irish Cream. Sometimes known as Bailey’s, it literally takes 5 minutes to make, but instead of being full os preservatives this stuff is just cream, condensed milk, whiskey, vanilla and coffee.

But I hope you look at this as a jumping point- add in more coffee if you want a darker flavour, stir in some melted chocolate, or caramel for a more dessert flavour. Basically, mix it up as you like, this is just the beginning!


Click here to get the FREE downloadable labels!


Irish Cream

1 cup Cream

1 cup Whiskey

1 can Sweetened Condensed Cream

1 tbsp Vanilla Extract

1 oz. Very strong coffee, or a shot of espresso

pinch of salt

Mix all your ingredients into a blender and mix for 30 seconds. Don’t over mix of it 


Yoghurt Rice Pudding with Grapefruit and Pomegranate

I don’t remember my mom ever making us rice pudding.

My mom, the best woman you could ever hope to meet, and a very gifted cook, is a terrible baker. She makes brilliant pies and biscuits, and fails miserably at just about everything else. I grew up with banana bread for every birthday- it was the only cake dense enough that it couldn’t fall in the middle after it came out of the oven.

So her standard throw together desserts were not cakes or cookies, but pudding-y things. In the summer this meant ice cream with warm blueberry compote, and in the winter it was custard with stewed apples.

I love stewed apples and custard. To this day my favourite flavour to pair with apples isn’t cinnamon, it’s vanilla and I know it’s because it reminds me of weird powdered Bird’s Custard with slow cooked apples melting on top.

Imexplicably it was only ever the powdered variety. She never made it from scratch. That was the way it was.

Which seems so strange to me, having discovered the joys of rice pudding as an adult. Why did she never cook rice in cream and put a compote on top of that? She made everything by hand, why not pudding, which is so crazy simple to make?

Life’s big questions friends.

All of this leads up to two things- one of which is that homemade pudding is just the most glorious thing, and two, that rice pudding is a close second.

I love rice pudding. So much.

My only qualm with it is how heavy it feels, really it’s just whipping cream and refined rice. Rice pudding is not for the faint of heart.

So when I saw a recipe for sweet buttermilk risotto in Aran Goyaoga’s cookbook  I knew it needed to be mine right now. I substituted yoghurt for the buttermilk, mostly because I had some in my fridge and I was flipping through my cookbook having just gotten out of the bath, and there was no way I was not emotionally ready to take off my slippers and put on boots and head out into the rain. But also because I like yoghurt just as much as buttermilk.  And then I switched up the kind of rice and used Arborio, so it was super starchy, and so instead of stirring it for half an hour I just simmered it. I also, as I usually do with rice pudding, used some water with the cream, just because I don’t like thinking about eating that much whipping cream in one sitting. It’s delicious, but also a bit hard to rationalize.

Yoghurt Rice Pudding

Serves 4

2cups Heavy Cream

¾ cup Arborio Rice

¼ cup White Sugar

½ Vanilla Bean, split lengthwise with the seeds scraped out and reserved.

1/3 cup Greek Yoghurt

2 Grapefruit

1 Pomegranate

In a medium pot over medium low heat bring the cream, rice, 1 cup water vanilla, and sugar to a boil. Immediately turn down the heat to low and allow to simmer for about 25 minutes, or until it is very tender. Stir occasionally through this process, adding more water as needed so that it keeps a nice consistency.

Remove from heat and stir in yoghurt.

Segment the grapefruit- cut the tops and bottoms off of the fruit.

With it standing up, cut the rind off, making sure there are no little bits of white pith.

Carefully pick up the grapefruit and, over a bowl, cut out each segment of fruit between the membranes, so that you take out the fruit and leave all the white pith behind.

To serve spoon the pudding into 4 bowls, top with the grapefruit segments and liberally sprinkle the pomegranate seeds over top.


Green Olive and Orange Tapenade

I’m not sure why, but I’ve been thinking a lot about my trip to New York last year. Maybe it’s because it was this very date, last year, when we were there, or maybe it’s because  I’ve been flipping through the pages of of the Ann St Studio blog lately and she has the most gorgeous pictures of that fabulous city. Or maybe, and mostly likely, it’s because I have felt like I haven’t left Vancouver in too long. I’m feeling wistful and dreaming about hoping on a plane to go somewhere, anywhere maybe. Thinking about it, I’ve realized that I’m often somewhere else in the fall. It might be my favourite time to travel. 

Not that I’m complaining or wining, I’m going to be in Seattle not once, but twice next week for workshops, and I think that will push this feeling out of my system. 

But in the interim, I’m going to sit here and think about New York. 

I’m going to imagine my next trip and plan it in my head and pretend I’m going to visit my sister and that we’ll go to galleries, and drink cocktails, and just hang out and catch up. In this dream she isn’t working full time and doing her MBA but would have time to show me her favourite spots and introduce me to her friends and let me see the life she’s building there. A life I would love to see. 

And I’m imagining going back to this wonderful little restaurant called Left Bank where I ate the most amazing chicken of my life last year. 

The chicken itself was nothing crazy, just roasted simply with some lemon and thyme, but the sauce was revelation. 

And also, possibly the most basic sauce I’ve ever had on a meal at a restaurant. 

It was simply the most gorgeous bright green olives that were torn into small pieces and mixed with lemon and orange zest and bound in a very loose way with olive oil. 

But these olives. They were the best olives, and the orange was just this hint in the back that brightened the whole thing. 

There was absolutely nothing fussy about any of it, but it was perfect. 

Just perfect.

So I was thinking about this the other day when I was panning on having some friends over, and I made this sauce, only I made a great pile of it and we slathered it on baguettes and ate it with our wine. 

I’ve never had a tapanade with green olives but that’s basically what this was. 

With the left overs, I have dolloped it on top of poached eggs, put spread it on toast and made a chicken sandwich, served it along side pork. 

It’s just the most lovely sauce, that is both deeply savoury and a little bit fruity. 

And it’s wonderful. 

Green Olive and Orange Tapenade

500mL Green Olives*

1 large Orange

1 Lemon

3/4 cup Olive Oil 

*do not bother making this with the canned green olives you get at the store, you will be disappointed. Instead go to an Italian grocer and try a couple different kinds. I like the dark green nocarella olives the best. 

Pit the olives- if you have an olive pitter this will be fast work. If you don’t use the palm of your hand to press the olive down and squish it. Then from the squished olive pull out the pit. If you have bought pitted olives (and I would recommend you don’t, they are often of a worse quality) still go through them and make sure there isn’t a pit to be found. There is nothing worse than turning on your food processor and realizing that there was a pit that you missed and it is now splintered throughout your sauce.)

Put them in a food processor and zest the orange and half of the lemon in. Now cut the orange and squeeze in the juice of half.

Add in half of the olive oil and pulse. You don’t want it to grind into a paste. You want a loose consistency. 

Taste. Does it need a bit more orange or lemon? Add it if you think it does. 

Now stir in the rest of the olive oil, put it in a bowl and serve!

Tuesday Tutorial- Vegetable Broth with Shelly from Vegetarian 'Ventures

Hi All! 

I’m so excited today, because instead of me writing for you, you get the fabulously talented Shelly from Vegetarian ‘Ventures is here instead! She’s going to do a much needed Tuesday Tutorial on veggie broth, and next week you can see what I made with it! So here we go. 

Heyyya! My name is Shelly and I usually blog over at Vegetarian ‘Ventures. I’m filling in for Claire today and am going to teach you my favorite kitchen tutorial.

Today I’d like to talk about my favorite winter kitchen secret: homemade vegetable broth! Excuse me while I nerd out a little but this really is one of my favorite kitchen topics. I know, I know - broth?! But really - it’s one of the easiest and most practical ingredients in the kitchen.  How many times have you bought a can of broth only to throw half of it away? Or let those cartons sit in your fridge until they start to expand so much they are going to explode? Well, I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be like that. You can make your own broth by the gallons and freeze it to hold you over all winter. Homemade veggie broth lasts for two months in the freezer! No more letting those cartons explode after a week and a half!

Not sold yet on why this is the best winter kitchen trick? Here is another reason why it’s great: you don’t have to spend any extra money on ingredients (except if you factor in a small part of your water bill). I just freeze leftover veggie scraps (ends of carrots, celery after it’s gone limp, kale stems, slightly wilted cilantro, etc) until I’ve filled up a freezer bag full. Once the bag is crammed with vegetables, herbs, stems, and spices, I know it’s time to whip up some broth.

Use whatever kind of vegetables you have on hand – there are no wrong veggies here! But don’t limit yourself to just vegetables. Here are some non-vegetable ingredients that also add depth to your broth:

- Herbs (or the sprigs from herbs once you’ve used the leaves for other recipes)

- Whole peppercorn

- Garlic

- Tomato paste 

- Bay leaves

Okay, so let’s make some broth! There is no exact science to this and no real wrong / right way. I love the way no two batches of broth turn out the same. In the summer, my vegetable scraps reflect a light broth with red hues from tomato chunks. In the winter, my broths tend to be dark brown with loads of root vegetables and leftover rosemary. As I keep stating, use what you have on hand and experiment. It’s going to turn out delicious no matter what.

Homemade Vegetable Broth

1 gallon-size freezer bag full of vegetable scraps (stems, ends, peels, etc)

1 gallon of water (or enough to cover the vegetable scraps and fill up your pan)


1 pound of carrots, chopped

1 pound of celery, chopped

2 large parsnip, chopped

2 large onion, chopped

2 Tablespoons whole black peppercorn

1 gallon of water (or enough to cover the vegetable scraps and fill up your pan)

And I usually also throw in (just because I can):

Any lingering vegetables in my fridge that won’t be used otherwise

A bay leaf

An assortment of herbs from my garden

A splash of soy sauce (OPTIONAL, to give it a salty tang at the very end)

Place all vegetables in a large stockpot and cover with water. Heat over high until boiling. Lower heat to a simmer and let simmer for one hour. Remove from heat and strain the broth into a large saucepan to let cool. Add a splash of soy sauce if you’d like (completely optional).

Okay, cool - I made vegetable broth! Now what?

Well, let’s talk about freezing. You could freeze it in a block but it sure is a hassle when trying to break off only a cup full. I recommend you freeze it in ice cube trays and then transfer them to zip log bags once frozen. The amount will completely depend on how full you make the trays, but 6 ice cubes = a half cup for me. If you want to figure out an equation for you, fill a measuring cup with 1/2 cup of vegetable broth and pour it into ice trays. Easy. Done. Now you can pull exactly the right amount out next time you are looking to make that certain soup recipe.

You may think ‘well, I don’t use that much broth… there is no way I’ll use up a gallon of it in 2 months.” Oh, you’d be surprised! Especially once you have it on hand and taste how delicious it is. Not only can you incorporate it into warming soups and stews but you can also use it in risotto, pot pies, and even slurp it by itself for an afternoon boost. And now is a great time to make some broth to have on hand for the holidays coming up!

Still need some more inspiration? Check out these delicious recipes from Claire and I that use plenty of broth:

Barley Risotto

Cauliflower Soup with mint Almond Pesto

Chickpea Tomato Minestrone 

French Onion Soup

Thanks so much for reading my rant about vegetable broth! I hope I’ve inspired you to try it out for yourself. Feel free to come visit me over at Vegetarian ‘Ventures if you’d like to be friends!