Tabbouleh Style Salad

Is anyone else’s garden swimming in herbs? Our garden is going nuts, most notably, our parsley. I love growing parsley because I find recipes never call for very much and then I’m always left with a massive bunch that I … Continue reading

Caprese Salad

Everyone has that meal that makes their mouth sing. For Andrew, it’s likely a warm cookie bottom sundae. For me, it’s the combination of tomato, soft fior di latte cheese, basil, and balsamic vinegar. This salad is my absolute favourite … Continue reading

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

  Admittedly, I have taken better photos. Lesson: pretending there is good lighting when there is a one way street to a cheesy photo. Also, parsley garnishes? BUT, I have not made a better hummus than the recipe that follows. … Continue reading

Watermelon and Feta Salad

It hasn’t exactly been a blazing hot summer here in Southwestern Ontario. When I think of August my mind wanders to biting into a piece of watermelon as means of refreshment and relief from the sticky summer air. This past … Continue reading

Buffalo Chicken Quesadilla

This is delicious. It certainly is not fancy. It certainly is a lil’ bit indulgent. It’s quick. It requires little skill.  This meal combines familiar flavours with melted cheese. As a result, this recipe is perfect comfort. Spicy, spicy comfort. I … Continue reading

Sausage Tortellini Soup

Winter is getting old. I know, I know. So too is weather commentary. Sometimes, however, a daytime snowstorm extends your commute to beyond expectations. And sometimes, you’d like to come home to a dinner that can be prepared easily, quickly, … Continue reading

French Onion Soup

I remember how I felt after I made this soup for the first time. I was in awe that such flavours could be developed in my little kitchen. I felt like I had made something truly special and humbled that … Continue reading

Pulled Pork Nachos

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Okay. Go make pulled pork…and then come back and make these nachos. They will blow your mind.

Serve with guac, this salsa, and a sports match.

Don’t measure…just trust your belly.

Ingredients
1 bag of tortilla chips
Leftover pulled pork
Shredded cheddar cheese (don’t skimp. We’re talkin’ nachos here, folks.)
Your favourite nacho toppings.
We used: diced peppers, diced and sliced jalapenos, diced tomatoes, and red onion

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Dinner Inspiration: Italian “Tapas”

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Sometimes I get bored with the same old formula of meat + starch + vegetable = dinner.  I love having a bunch of simple, small plates to pick and choose from. This is another reason why finding Dolcetto in Montreal was so exciting (see: this post for more details).

This dinner was a spread of prosciutto, ham, roasted red and yellow peppers, and crostini topped with ricotta and a tomato basil mixture. The highlight of this dinner, and the only one that might benefit from a recipe post, was the crostini. Use it for this purpose, or as a stand-alone appetizer

This was a really fun dinner shake up, and is completely doable on a weeknight.  It’s a way to slow down, have dinner last a little longer and spend a little more time with your favourite company. Best served outside (in my opinion!), so hurry before the summer evenings quickly turn into autumn nights.  Bring wine.

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Crostini with Ricotta with Tomato Basil Topping

Ingredients
1 cup ricotta cheese
salt and pepper to taste

1 demi-baguette, sliced
olive oil, for brushing

1 pint grape tomatoes, halved/quartered
¼ cup red onion, finely diced
1 clove of garlic, grated/finely minced
several leaves of basil, thinly sliced
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Combine ricotta and salt and pepper, lightly whipping with a spoon. Get creative here; add herbs and seasonings as desired!
  2. Combine tomatoes, red onion, garlic, basil, olive oil and salt and pepper. Set aside
  3. Preheat the oven to 400F. Brush one side of each slice of bread with olive oil and place on a baking sheet. Toast until lightly golden, about 5-7 minutes or so. Watch closely.
  4. Assembly: spread desired amount of ricotta on toast and top with tomato-basil mixture.

Sweet Potato Hummus

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Hummus is a frequent flyer in our kitchen.  It is so quick, inexpensive, portable, and nutritious – it is hard not to justify making it at least monthly.

Until we obtained a food processor we (by ‘we’ I mean Andrew; I do not have the patience) would use an immersion blender to make hummus. It was tedious, I hear, but I suppose it worked. The food processor makes this such a dream that you can quite literally pull it together in minutes and have lunch for the week.

The recipe below is our go-to and the roast sweet potato addition is one of many variations that we have tried.  If sweet potato is not your thing, switch it out for avocado or roasted red peppers, and replace the cumin with cilantro or herb/spice of your preference. Or just have it naked.

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Ingredients
1 medium sweet potato
1 can chickpeas (low sodium, if possible)
2-4 tablespoons of tahini
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus additional for serving
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 clove of garlic
1 teaspoon cumin (more, or less to taste)
Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F
  2. Poke holes in the sweet potato with a fork. Wrap in tinfoil. Bake in oven for about an hour, or until softened. Remove from foil and slice in half to permit faster cooling. Allow to cool.
  3. Combine chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice and zest, garlic, cumin, and salt and pepper in a food processor. Spoon cooled sweet potato from skin into food processor. If you’re like me, you will eat the skin.
  4. Run on low until smooth, scraping down the sides as necessary. Don’t rush this step – I find at least 3-4 minutes provides a nice and smooth hummus.  If you prefer a smoother dip, add more olive oil as desired. Serve in a dish with a dash of olive oil and a sprinkling of cumin. Enjoy with cut vegetables and pita bread.

Source:
Adapted from Chef Michael Smith – Chef at Home