The Liebster Award.

I was quite surprised to receive a nomination for the Liebster Award from Crichton’s Co-op (it’s a great blog, and is definitely worth checking out). I am new to the blogosphere, and didn’t think my humble little blog was award-worthy (I’m my own worst critic). But I guess my recipes and silly, rambling stories must have touched their heart’s.

Cholay my baby…

There are many different regional iterations of chana masala, most of which contain the same ingredients: chickpeas, garam masala, onions, tomatoes, chilli peppers, garlic, ginger, and some type of sour flavouring (such as tamarind). I prefer to make chana makhani, which has a more creamy texture, and pairs quite nicely with basmati rice.

Steaks, For My Love…

Valentine’s Day is upon us once again, and joy of joys, you actually have a date! The question is, do you take them out for a romantic dinner at a fancy restaurant, (and wind up spending so much money you have to sell your blood for the next week to make your car payment), or…

The Little Fish That Could…

It’s easy to get into a happy little rut in your kitchen. You buy the same ingredients, and make the same meals day after day, because familiarity and routine are comforting. Anything new or unusual is viewed with suspicion and distrust, like when the pit boss sends a new dealer to a hot blackjack table….

Tomatoes Rule the World! (part 2)

Picture a cold, blustery winter day in the Canadian city of Calgary. I return from playing outside, all rosy of cheek, and snotty of nose. As I huddle at the kitchen table, wrapped in a blanket, shivering and coughing, my mother places a steaming bowl of tomato soup, and grilled cheese sandwiches before my rheumy eyes. Slowly, as I dip sandwiches, and slurp soup, my vitality and health miraculously restore. By the end of my lunch, I have recovered sufficiently to go back outside and begin the cycle all over again. For a good many winters of my childhood, this was my routine every Saturday.

Tomatoes Rule the World! (part 1)

Tomatoes were originally prepared similarly to eggplant, fried in oil with a little salt and pepper. This is the genesis for the humble tomato sauce (or pomodoro sauce). Pomodoro literally translates as ‘golden apples’, which is how ancient tomatoes appeared. Pomodoro sauce is the basis for many Italian dishes, but is mostly associated with pasta in North America. I’m here to tell you though, tomato sauce isn’t just for noodles.

Hey Leftovers, get stuffed!

There are many ways to create new meals from leftovers, and one of my favourite ways is stuffed peppers. Stuffed peppers are healthy, colourful, and ridiculously easy to make. It’s also a great way to make your humble scraps into a truly elegant-looking dish.

Spice up your (kitchen) life!

I thought it might be useful to break down what spices are essential, what are recommended, and what can be skipped, when it comes to purchasing spices for your home. Hopefully, this will be a handy tool to use when you’re setting up your home for the first time, or to help you declutter your spice cabinet.

Get the Lead Ragoût!

Ragoût is a thick, hearty stew, usually made with well-seasoned meats and vegetables. The term is from the french verb ‘ragoûter’, which means “to stimulate the appetite”. This humble little dish certainly delivers on that promise! It’s also an excellent way to use up any little bits and bobs that might be lurking in the refrigerator. Although ragoût is typically made with different meats that are stewed for a long time; I prefer to add more vegetables, and use lentils or beans instead of meat.

The (not quite) Italian Job…

When I was a lad growing up in Calgary, Italian fare in our household generally consisted of Kraft Dinner, lasagna or pizza on special occasions, and that ubiquitous old stand-by: spaghetti with meat sauce. The spaghetti nights were by far my favourite. I loved the slightly sticky noodles, the thick, meaty tomato sauce spooned on top, and of course, garlic bread!

If it’s not Tatties & Mince, it’s crap!

Everyone has a few dishes that they consider comforting. Comfort foods are a great pick-me-up for whenever you’re feeling a bit down in the dumps. They make an easy meal for picky eaters as well. One of my favourites comfort foods to make is tatties and mince.

Vegetable Soup… As a Meal?

There must be something we can make that will be filling, healthy, and inexpensive too. Which brings me to the humble vegetable soup known as minestrone. Minestrone is a hearty vegetable soup/stew, usually made with beans and pasta. Traditionally, it was made as a way to get a healthy meal in a time when meat was very expensive.