Friday, July 15, 2016

Creamy Mushroom Soup

Sometimes in July, it gets cold and rainy and all I want to do is curl up with a blanket and a bowl of my favourite soup. 

Today is that day. 



Coconut oil
Large package of mushrooms, diced
1 small onion, diced
1 litre chicken stock (or vegetable or mushroom stock)
2 cans coconut cream
Garlic powder
Black pepper


> heat up a spoonful of coconut oil and sauté the minced onion and mushrooms until soft and slightly caramelized

> pour into a blender and blend with as much of the stock as needed to make it smooth

> return the blundered ingredients to the pot; add in the rest of the stock and coconut cream

> season with garlic, salt, and pepper to taste

> heat and serve

Monday, July 11, 2016

Ginger Beef

It is widely accepted that Ginger Beef was first created in Western Canada. The story goes that a Chinese restauranteur was having difficulty getting locals to try the exotic dishes on his menu. He created a dish with local beef and a Chinese-inspired sauce and a new classic was born. 

Fast forward to this weekend. Nine people in the house, a craving for Chinese food, as a chunk of beef in the fridge. Voila. 



Beef (prepare however you want - could be left over roast, grilled steaks, or ground beef)

1 tbsp oil for cooking
1 onion, finely minced
1 large hand of ginger, finely minced
A splash of water (maybe 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup fish sauce
1/4 cup Srirachia
2 lemons, juiced


> prepare beef as usual (grill steak, slice roast into strips and fry, cook ground beef or make meatballs, etc.)

> heat up the oil in a pan and sauté the onions until soft; add in the ginger and water and let cook another 5 minutes or so

> pour onion and ginger mix along with the rest of the ingredients into the blender; blend until smooth 

> pour the sauce over the beef, garnish with bell peppers, cilantro, green onion, and sesame seeds

> serve over rice or rice noodles and enjoy!!

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Sloppy Joes

A lot has happened in the last two years. The boys grew (a lot) and both now play football. My new one-year contract job has changed titles three times and should last over a year into the future. Our dog died. We got a new dog. We visited Chris's parents on the island. My parents both turned 70 (and were each thoroughly celebrated). And Chris got sick. It's taken nearly two years, but we might finally have some answers on that front. 

Just before Christmas, our stove died. The dishwasher was also on its last legs. So, we decided to replace the old flooring while we had both appliances out - why not?! And then the flu hit. It has been so awful for all of us for well over a week. The doctor said if Chris got any worse to take him to the hospital. That bad. 

Work has been amazingly busy these past few weeks, and I have zero ability at the end of the day to come home and make dinner. There are times this kind of chaos and difficulty inspire amazing dishes. 

Today was one of those days. 

Sloppy Joes


4-5lb ground beef (or whatever meat you want)
1-2 tbsp coconut oil
2 onions, chopped
1 large finger of ginger, diced
1/4cup coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp turmeric
2 tbsp fennel seeds
4 sticks cinnamon
20ish green cardamom pods, ground (or 1/2 tsp ground)
15ish dried juniper berries, ground
1 tbsp dried garlic or 1 head fresh garlic, minced
5 dried figs, chopped (or a handful of raisins)
2 green apples, diced 
1-2 tsp salt, to taste
1-3 tsp black pepper, to taste


1 bunch cilantro, chopped
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 loaf French bread
Butter, garlic, salt


1. Heat the coconut oil, add the spices, then the onion, ginger, and garlic

2. Once #1 is fragrant, add the meat. Now really, don't be super concerned about the method or timing here; if you do this 2 minutes after you add the garlic, great - if it's 15 minutes later and the onions have browned and the bottom of the pot is dark, no worries. It will be yummy, I promise. If pieces brown to the bottom, add some water and scrape them off. That's flavour. 

3. Add in the rest, whenever. Figs and raisins always benefit from being in the pot longer. If you'd like the apples to add a punch of fresh, add them right at the end. 

4. Cut the French bread lengthwise, like you're going to make a huge sandwich. Butter, garlic, and salt it; broil or bake like you would to make garlic bread. I like doing this in a cast iron skillet with the loaf cut in quarters. 

5. Serve; garnish with green onions, cilantro (any herb would be great here, including celery leaves), and eat with the garlic toast. 

I can hardly wait to have leftovers for breakfast tomorrow.  

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Chickpea Curry

Green onion chickpea curry with fresh ginger. Perfect. Sounds like dinner. Except I don't have green onion. Or fresh ginger. 

No worries!

Put about 1/4 cup coconut oil in a pot and fry 1 heaped tablespoon of cumin seeds until they are fragrant. Add 1 large can diced tomatoes, 1 can coconut cream, 4 cans chickpeas, 2 tablespoons dried ginger, 1 teaspoon of yellow curry powder (Madras curry), and 1 teaspoon salt. 



I sliced up an onion and two rogue apples to add in. No green onions. No need. 

Goes well with a hungry appetite and will be eaten in place of what I really wanted tonight - baked macaroni. Turns out, my body doesn't love wheat and dairy nearly as much as my mouth does. 

Goes well on rice, noodles, with other dishes, or by itself. It's one of my standards.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Hakka Chicken

Re-wind to August 2012 - last year.

My brother-in-law was just a day or two away from moving to Spain. He had to go ahead of his family to procure a home, vehicle, and various other requirements that the government of that country needed to have met. Then the would grant visas to his wife and children.

He was in the city just for a few days - selling the van, tying up a few loose ends, and waiting for his flight.

Let's celebrate this momentous occasion.  Let's go out for dinner. Indian food? YES!!! Let's go to Taste of India.

We ordered rice, naan (pronounced 'naaaaaaaaaaan' - like when you say aaaaaaa for the doctor, not Nan - the name some people use for their Grandmother), and various delicious dishes with veggies and meat.

The "Hakka" portion of the menu caught our attention and I remembered a columnist on CBC talking about this delicious blend of Indian and Chinese cuisines. We were intrigued. We ordered the chicken.

It was amazing. Incredible. DE-Lish-OUS!!!

My newest favourite dish and something I craved from the moment I finished licking the sauce off the plate. I used naan, by the way, not my tongue.

I was instantly addicted.

I need to eat this again. Yes, need. Soon. Like... tomorrow. And the next day. And the next.

How can I make this at home? It is too good... and A Taste of India is too far away to make this a daily order.

RECIPE: Hakka Chicken

chicken wings
madras curry powder (the yellowish curry powder)

sweet chilli sauce


> in a bowl large enough to accommodate all the wings, mix oil, garlic powder, and madras curry powder (I know I have not put quantities here - that is because some will like it more garlicky, others more curried, and the third lot will realize that cayenne is magic in this recipe)

> the idea is to thoroughly coat the chicken wings in the curry oil

> now line a rimmed cookie sheet with foil so the foil goes over all the edges and put parchment paper over that; this will save you from the wings sticking to the cookie sheet and makes clean-up super simple

> here us where a slight deviation occurs and you can do this one of two ways

A> bake the wings at 400°F or 205°C for about 40 minutes or until they are 84°C or 180°F internal temperature

A> pour the sweet chilli sauce into a clean bowl, then the chicken wings on top; I use about 1/2 to 1 cup

A> toss the wings in the sweet chilli sauce and enjoy 


B> bake the wings for 30 minutes, toss them in the sweet chilli sauce, and finish baking them to sticky perfection