Category Archives: Main

Spinach Pasta with Pesto


They say that your first attempt at making pasta should be an easy, basic one without any fancy flavourings. Once you get the feeling for the dough, you can try other flavour combinations. Of course I ignore that sage advice and try my hand at spinach pasta.

Making pasta is a sensory experience. While most people are intimidated by strict instructions, I need structure. I like working in grams and digital thermometers so when I’m left to my own devices to judge whether something looks/feels “right”, my heart starts palpitating.

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Mushroom and Black Bean Tortilla Casserole

Mushroom and Black Bean Casserole

One of the biggest misconceptions people have about me is that I must eat really well and make fabulous intricate dinners because I have a food blog. My passion for food is high, but laziness and lack of time and energy will usually win out. People will ask me eagerly, “What did you eat for dinner?” and I shamefully answer “Toast.”

I’ve been searching for easy to put together meals and this mushroom and black bean tortilla casserole are mostly made from pantry staples. This is a “throw random ingredients together” recipe where you can fool around with what’s kicking around in your kitchen and still turn out with something decent.

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Cookbook Revival: Blackened Chicken Pizza

Cookbook Revival is where I take a look at books I used to love, but haven’t used regularly.

Blackened Chicken Pizza

I was not someone who cooked back in the day, I was a frozen food junkie. I never thought I would enjoy cooking.

One day I came across the Food Network and saw Rachael Ray cooking. People either hate her or love her and I was unabashedly in the latter. I loved how she made things look so easy and her catch phrases like “Yummo” and “EVOO”. Even if you don’t like her, you have to admit she makes cooking accessible to people like (the former) me.

I have her first two books, 30-Minute Meals and Cooking ‘Round the Clock. I’ve made several dishes out of each and back then I was pleased with the results. Would I still find them “repeat worthy” or would I find them lacking?

I remember the first time R and I made the Blackened Chicken Pizza. We didn’t know how to stretch out the dough and it took forever getting it right (Rachael Ray’s meals were never 30 minutes for me). I remember that the pizza was good enough for me to make a mental note to make again. I never did make it again (since 2004!).

Making the pizza again I used my own pizza dough recipe and made my own grill seasoning by mixing up some thyme, garlic granules, smoked paprika, salt and pepper. I’d add onion powder if I had any in my pantry.

I have to say this recipe is still repeat worthy. The seasoning gave the chicken a burst of flavour and despite all the cheese I threw on there, it didn’t feel heavy as the tomato salsa lightened things up. I toned down the spice as anything remotely hot will make me break out into a sweat. Not the look I go for when I take my meals into work.

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Quick and Easy: Quinoa, black bean and tomatoes

Quinoa with tomatoes, black beans and scallions

I’m a little (okay…a lot) late to jump on the quinoa bandwagon. I wasn’t interested in eating healthier so this little superfood was never really on my radar as something to try.

My co-worker is a quinoa lover and kept urging me to try it. I caved into the peer pressure.

The first time I tried cooking it, I put in too much water. I still find it more finicky than rice to cook with all those little faux grains sticking everywhere.

I love The Kitchn’s quinoa, black bean and heirloom recipe. It’s become a weekly ritual for me to make this because it was just so simple and flavourful. I love using cherry tomatoes instead of cutting up heirlooms because of the tiny bursts of flavour you get once you bite down on them. If I don’t scarf the entire thing for dinner it makes for a great light but filling lunch.

How do you cook quinoa? I once tried it in the rice cooker to cook it ahead of time and it became mush. What is your favourite quinoa recipe?

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Blood Orange Marmalade


I’ve only dabbled a bit in canning. A jam here and there and a batch of salsa. But I am mad for marmalade. I have made marmalade 3 weeks in a row. I think it’s the process of learning and trying to get it down pat that has led to this obsession. To be honest, I don’t even intend to eat all of what I made, I just like making it. If this obsession doesn’t stop soon, I will be a perfect candidate for Intervention and Hoarders.

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