Food | Kale Chips

"Stay committed to your decisions, but stay flexible in your approach."
Tony Robbins


I used to be a chip monster. In my tween and teen years, my lunch consisted of a slushie and a bag of chips; unbeknownst to my mother, whose rendition of lunch was tossed in the nearest bin. Chips to me, their nutritional devoid nature aside, are a perfect snack food- intensely flavored and easy to eat. The grown up me knows that chips for lunch everyday are the reason behind my tween and teenage skin; so the grown up me avoids them. Bad skin or momentary “culinary” satisfaction? Life is about choices; and I choose health.

Then kale chips happened.

I love kale, it’s one of those leaves that I was initially very frightened of; and then I had it sautéed with butter and sea salt. I was amazed at how this green, with little cooking intervention, could be rendered into such a flavorful dish. Since, I’ve put it in smoothies, pastas and soups; but chips were the final frontier. I honestly didn’t believe that kale could rival Old Dutch; but I was wrong. It happens sometimes.

With a quick toss in olive oil and a light dusting of salt, kale bakes up to be stiff opposition to the chips of my yesteryears. If you, like me, are frightened of kale; don’t be. And if you, like me, think that kale chips can’t possibly rival real chips; I say to you, trust me.


Kale Chips
1 bunch (about 6 ounces) kale
1 tablespoon olive oil
Sea salt, to taste
Preheat oven to 300°F. Rinse and dry the kale, then remove the stems and tough center ribs. Cut into large pieces, toss with olive oil in a bowl then sprinkle with salt. Arrange leaves in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, or until crisp. Place on a rack to cool.


Food | Tomato and Olive Salad

"Sun is shining. Weather is sweet. Make you wanna move your dancing feet."
~Bob Marley

Tomato Oregano and Olive Salad EDITED

Well folks, it is officially the dog days- it’s hot; and I love it. I spent the weekend lounging by a pool and sneakily sipping lime beer; if that isn’t part of a quintessential twenty-something summer, I have no idea what is.

Right now produce is something to be marveled at; and enjoyed. With tomatoes being a special kind of wonderful right now; from the moment I saw them, whispering to me at the market, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with them. The bounty that is summer produce is so much more conducive to ease and simplicity; with tomatoes being the leader of the pack. Tomatoes are incredibly versatile; lending themselves well to slow roasting on a cold winter day; yet making a light and refreshing summer salad.

This tomato salad is the picture of ease and simplicity- completely no cook; and perfect for the dog days!

Tomato and Olive Salad
Makes 6 starter size salads
2 pint cherry tomatoes
2 cups olives stuffed with garlic in brine
1 ½ tsp oregano
2 tbsp chives
¼ cup brine
¾ cup olive oil
1 cup bocconcini pearls
½ tsp sugar
Halve the tomatoes; drain the olives and set aside the brine. Halve the olives and remove the garlic. Mince the garlic and oregano; and mix with brine. Slowly add the olive oil while mixing with a fork. Sprinkle the tomatoes with sugar and combine with olives. Add the brine vinaigrette and bocconcini pearls and toss until coated. Allow to sit for 15 minutes before serving.


Food | Basil, Mint and Cashew Pesto

Basil Mint and Cashew pesto 1

It was about a month ago that I made this pesto; and I had fully intended to post about immediately- it’s so good and I was inspired to share.

But then summer happened; it seemed to come out of nowhere. Summer started slow here, but then it really began to pick up speed; and just like that, this lovely little pesto fell to the bottom of my to do list. What, with patio season being a blink around here, sitting at home and writing about my emerald wonder seemed preposterous.

Basil Mint and Cashew pesto 5

After an amazing week in Montreal, spent sampling some of the best that North American food culture has to offer, I came home revitalized and ready to get back to blogging business; or semi business really. Although temperatures are soaring, I can feel the denouement of summer dawning; so despite my renewed blog vigor, I am going to keep this brief.

This pesto features cashews, one of the butteriest nuts out there; and this said buttery-ness lends itself so well to this sauce. I slathered this on toast and I was adding it to my tuna salad- I was hooked. I was using it in almost every cooking endeavor I undertook. Believe me, it really is that good.

Basil Mint and Cashew pesto 6

To keep this on the summer side of things, you could use this as a part of marinade for grilled meats or slather it on freshly grilled corn; this is the time to go wild people! My love for this pesto runs deeps, so don’t be surprised if you see this lovely little concoction making a winter cameo in my soups and stews.

Cashew Pesto

1 cup cashews
1 cup mint leaves
1 cup basil leaves
3 garlic cloves
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp salt
¾ cup olive oil
1 tsp lemon juice
In a food processor blend the garlic and ¼ cup of oil; once smooth, add the cashews, mint, basil and pepper flakes. Power on the processor and slowly add the remaining oil. Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice and pulse for 5 seconds. Store in an air tight container, and enjoy for for 1 week.


Food | Brussel Sprouts, Pancetta and Almonds


Brussel Sprouts are one of the most misunderstood vegetables- they’re like Charlie Sheen minus the rants. Brussel Sprouts, given a bad rap by kids with turned up noses and perpetuated by poor cooking technique, are a lovely green jewel; and they have been sold short. They are incredibly healthy, filling and delicious; and I am here to elevate this vegetable to its proper standing.

I mean, I get how brussel sprouts have gotten negative press; when cooked poorly- by over boiling in water- they’re DOA. Because of its pungent raw aroma, boiling them in water alone, makes for an acrid side dish- at best. But when blanched quickly in flavorful broth and then sautéed until the edges are golden brown, brussels sprouts become the food of the gods. Yeah, they’re that good.


I speak to you as a convert, a former loather of the brussel- I’d had them in many ways, none of them good; but after two years of culinary school, I came away with a few lessons- never catch a falling knife, season appropriately and brussel Sprouts are amazing- when done right.

Brussel Sprouts are really good- seriously good; and if you naysayers still have your noses turned up I say, with love, grow up; and, trust me. There is no way to describe how delicious this recipe is and how much you will like it; but I’ll try. The result of these flavors in one bowl is nutty, salty, robust and romantic- if that’s at all possible. Why romantic? I don’t know, likely because everybody enjoys a little romance. I digress, brussel Sprouts with pancetta and almonds is perfect- plain and simple. Trust me on this one.


Brussel Sprouts with Pancetta and Almonds
makes 3 servings

2 cups brussel sprouts, trimmed of the woody outside pieces and halved
4 pieces pancetta
½ cup sliced almonds
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place pancetta in heated oven and cook until crisp- approximately 7-10 minutes. Cool and crumble.

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil- feel free to use chicken or vegetable stock; add the trimmed brussel sprouts and cook for 2 minuts or until they turn a vibrant green. Drain and set aside. In a dry non stick pan heated to medium high heat toast the almonds. WARNING: do not walk away during this point; once the nuts start to brown, burning is only seconds away- keep your eyes on them.

Heat olive oil to medium high in a non stick pan, add the brussel sprouts. Cook for 7 minutes or until they start to brown on all sides. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and sprinkle with toasted almonds and crumbled pancetta.


Pictures | Montreal Food Crawl

"The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page."
~St. Augustine

I spent the most amazing week in Montreal. We biked. We swam. And we ate and drank- a lot. I find myself drifting off into my own utopia periodically and recalling the amazing meals I enjoyed during my visit.

Montreal food crawl 5

Breakfast at B&M is a must. It’s located in the Mile End of Montreal; and not only is it delicious, it’s cheap. The first two days of my Montreal adventure were very expensive and by the third day I was hoping to reign in my spending; which is why I love B&M so much.

A breakfast sandwich with eggs, cheese, tomato and bacon served with roasted potatoes and a coffee; or waffles with fresh fruit and chocolate milk will run you less than $15. I call that a breakfast win!

Montreal food crawl 3 Montreal food crawl 2

Another thing I like about B&M is that they serve soda in glass bottles. In fact there were a handful of places that served soda in glass bottles- how Euro of them!

Montreal food crawl 10

B&M Restaurant
120 St-Viateur West

Montreal food crawl 7

Weekend brunch at Le Brasserie Les Enfants Terribles, located in Outremont, is a must do if you feel like feeling chic as hell while dining on a pretty amazing meal. I ordered the plain egg omlette served with roasted potatoes and bacon; and it was the best omlette I have ever eaten. It was perfectly cooked and well seasoned- egg heaven. And the specials were to die for- banana waffles with Chantilly cream, homemade raspberry pop tart with Quebec pears and more. We were spoiled for choice!

And of course a cappuccino. When in Montreal, cappuccinos are a daily indulgence.

Montreal food crawl 13

Le Brasserie Les Enfants Terribles
1257 Avenue Bernard
Outremont, QC H2V1V8
(514) 759-9918

And speaking of cappuccinos; for me, no trip to Montreal is complete without a visit to Café Olimpico. It was here, last summer, that I had the best cappuccino of my life- and I’ve worked at a number of coffee shops, so I know my capps. The café is decidedly euro, with soccer paraphernalia strewn about and Italian grandpas sitting outside for hours sipping espressos. If you do one thing in Montreal, let it be Café Olimpico.

Montreal food crawl 1

Café Olimpico
124 Rue St-Viateur Ouest,
Montreal - (514) 495-0746

During this trip, my friends and I were determined to eat poutine at least three times. Mission accomplished. Poutine is the newest IT food, with poutine only establishments popping up everywhere; but poutine ain’t easy baby. Because poutine traditionally only has three ingredients, those three ingredients need to be on point; and as much as I enjoy a well place turkey dinner or a deliciously flavored chorizo sausage, I must say I do not enjoy them on a poutine- what can I say, I’m a purist.

Montreal food crawl 6 Montreal food crawl 12

Almost the entire week I spent in Montreal, the weather was sweltering, pausing only momentarily for rain; so I still find it hard to believe that it took until my last night to finally find myself in the company of gelato. God, I love gelato. Nutella and pistachio gelato is what a mouthgasm is- complete with mmhhmm’s and ahhh’s. It’s the best. If you haven’t had a mouthgasm, I suggest you get your hands on some artisanal quality gelato.

Montreal food crawl 9Montreal food crawl 8

We ate at so many wonderful and note worthy restaurants; and although they aren’t captured on film, there are some other eateries in Montreal that merit a word.

L’Academie Restaurant on St.Denis has a moules (mussels) special from Sunday to Wednesday; where for $11.95 you get your choice of soup or salad and a monstrous bowl of mussels with eight flavors to choose from; and you can bring your own wine- no corkage fee!

L’Academie Restaurant
4051 Rue St-Denis, Montreal
(514) 849-2249
4051 St-Denis, Montréal

Le Petite Italienne in Outremont was one of my last meals and what a great meal it was. We enjoyed a lovely bottle of Sangiovese that was reasonably priced; and I had the pasta with fruit de mer and garlic cream sauce, the serving was generous with giant pieces of seafood- it was positively tops. Also, they offer half sizes for most of their pasta entrees which is nice, if you happen to have a modest appetite. And the atmosphere is super charming; dimly lit with soft music playing.

Le Petite Italienne
1265, ave. Bernard coin Champagneur
Montréal, QC, H2V 1V8

Restaurant Thailande in Mile End was just what the doctor ordered. After a night of excess and the resulting hangover, spicy thai was exactly what I needed. This restaurant is where you will get cheap thai food, plain and simple; and you know it’s cheap if I’m making a point to mention that it’s cheap- I mean thai food is already really well priced. Between six people we had wine and eight dishes and the total came in under $20 each.

Restaurant Thailande
88 Rue Bernard Ouest, Montreal
(514) 271-6733

As a final note on the service style in Montreal; it’s relaxed- very relaxed. Don’t expect to be doted on. As I said before, it is very Euro in Montreal, and that happens to be a more laid back approach to hospitality. But on the plus side, they always offer to split the cheque; which when travelling in large groups, is a bonus.


Food | Raspberry White Tea Lemonade

"This art of resting the mind and the power of dismissing from it all care and worry is probably one of the secrets of energy in our great men."
~Captain J. A. Hadfield

Raspberry White Tea Lemonade

Oh summer, I heart thou! Well, I would be saying that if mosquitoes weren’t Edmonton’s official bird. I would be saying that if I could stand outside for more than 2 minutes without being consumed. But a subtle breeze kicked in and offered us a respite from the blood suckers. Finally, alfresco dining and gallivanting no longer seemed unsuitable.

Suddenly the desire to sit out could be fulfilled; and coincidentally around the same time, I decided I needed a break from the interwebs. I will always be astonished by how completely consuming the internet can be. The connections made online are amazing and I am grateful for the ones I have made; but I just needed a break. The glow from my perpetually powered on computer was starting to mess with my sleep cycles. Yes I admit that I am addicted to the net.

Raspberry White Tea Lemonade

The first step is admitting that there is a problem.

So I am currently on a self imposed internet hiatus, allowing only brief moments to check emails and post the occasional tweet; I tried to give it up completely but I was starting to get the shakes; but in the name of rest, relaxation and the ability to sit outside; a raspberry, basil and white tea lemonade.

Raspberry White Tea Lemonade

Raspberry Basil and White Tea Lemonade
5 raspberry white tea bags
5 lemons, juiced
1 cup crushed ice
½ cup water
½ cup honey
15 leaves of basil (adjust to your liking)
Steep the tea bags in 4 cups boiling water. Meanwhile in small sauce pan bring to a boil water and honey; remove from the heat and add the basil. Allow to steep for 10 minutes, and then remove the basil leaves. Remove the tea bag from the water and stir in the ice. Add the lemon juice and 2/3 cup of syrup. Serve cold over ice with a slice of lemon and basil leaves.


Food | Quinoa Granola

"All happiness depends on a leisurely breakfast."
~John Gunther

real food photos

This week I’m in a breakfast kind of mood. I’ve been doing the breakfast thing for months now; but I’ve never truly illustrated my love. Although cheesecake smoothies for breakfast is nice; drinking a cream cake like rendition every single morning, is likely not a good idea. I used to be a notorious breakfast skipper; what can I say, I love sleep. But nowadays, I’ve learned to prioritize breakfast. For me to commit to something it has to be easy; breakfast was no different. Initially, I did the toast thing; toast is easy and it’s fast. And Nutella spread on toast is a glorious way to wake up; wouldn’t you agree?

But soon I grew bored with my elementary provisions; and eggs proved to be just as easy as the toast thing; but far more savory. Eggs became a regular morning feature; being scrambled, sunny sided and always served with toast. Then summer came along, and wine nights became more frequent; sitting on the patio, sipping on the white grapes is quintessentially summer- this also means I want more sleep time come 7:30 am. And I needed a breakfast that was just as fortifying as the aforementioned breakfast items; but effortless- completely effortless.

Enter Granola.

real food photos

Granola is a pleasure to make, because it’s so bespoke; there are so many approaches to granola- it’s anything you want it to be. Don’t like nuts? Use seed; an aversion to dried fruit? Leave them out. See, bespoke!

And granola keeps for days; it’s unfussy like that. I make granola on a Sunday, and relish it all week- with yogurt, with milk and completely unadorned. Granola is everything; and it’s effortless.

Quinoa Granola
c/o Fake Ginger

1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup dry quinoa rinsed and spread out to dry slightly
1/3 cup chopped almonds
1/3 cup sunflower seeds
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1/2 cup applesauce
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons honey
1/3 cup dried fruit cranberries
Preheat oven to 300.
In a large bowl, combine oats, quinoa, almonds, sunflower seeds, and sesame seeds. Set aside.
Stir together applesauce, cinnamon, vanilla, and honey. Taste and add more honey or cinnamon as needed. Pour over oat mixture and stir to moisten all of the ingredients. Spread the mixture onto a greased 9 x 13 inch pan.
Bake for 40 – 50 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, until granola is golden and crunchy. Remove from oven and stir in dried fruit. Let cool before serving.


Food | Blueberry Cheesecake Smoothie

People are just as happy as they make up their minds to be.
~ Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)

Blueberry Cheesecake Smoothie

Friday was one of those days that I just needed to end. I find it amazing how one person’s actions (and my subsequent reaction) can ruin a day. From that point onward, my day was shot- I wanted *several* drinks and to be LEFT. ALONE. I went to bed on Friday, hopeful that Saturday would bring sunnier moods- sleep is purported to do wonders for bad moods; instead I woke up to a torrential downpour- on the day of my birthday celebration no less; and just like that my bad mood was back.

If you follow astrology, then you know that anyone born on the 11th of July (as I am) is a true Cancerian; and characteristic to the Cancerian sun sign is moodiness- it’s always the first negative attribute on the list. And my Cancerian nature did not disappoint. All Saturday morning I was sour- I could not break free; I was down and even more upset by my inability to shake it. But by noon, and after back to back episodes of “So You Think You Can Dance” I made the choice to be happy; screw the rain, I was celebrating my birthday, and I was going to enjoy it, damn it. Regardless of Mother Nature’s f'ing plans.

Blueberry Cheesecake 2

As we all know by now, a good day starts with a great breakfast. On this day I wanted something celebratory, but, ultimately, a real breakfast- so cake got the kaibosh; the sugar high creating the inevitable crash would prove only to fortify my negative mood. Enter Tastespotting, the place where inspiration is made of; where I found a recipe for a cheesecake smoothie! Bluebrries, cream cheese, coconut milk and honey are healthy and indulgent; and a perfectly non alcoholic way to sip away a bad mood. Don’t believe the hype people you can have your cake and eat it too!

Happy Birthday to me. Good morning to you!

Bluebeery Cheesecake Smoothie

Blueberry Cheesecake Smoothie
Makes 4 servings

2 cups frozen blueberries
3 tablespoons simple syrup or honey
3 tablespoons cream cheese
1/4 cup coconut or soy milk
vegan cookie or graham crackers for topping
1 tbsp fresh blueberries for garnish

Combine berries and honey or simple syrup, cream cheese and coconut milk in a blender; and pulse until smooth. Pour into serving glasses and top with crushed cookies and fresh blueberries.

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Food | The Bee's Knees

First you take a drink, then the drink takes a drink, then the drink takes you. ~Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald

Bees Knees 3

I like the simple things in life. Someone holds the door for me- like. Someone smiles back at me, when I smile at them- like. A delicious cocktail- like, a lot. There really is nothing like a good cocktail to shake off a bad week or to toast a really great one; alcohol is equal opportunity- like!

My birthday is in a week and this weekend my friends and I are commemorating the day with a potluck bbq garden party- a who’s who of my nearest and dearest. Lately we have been into cocktails- mojitos, caprinia’s and spritzers alike; and this party is no different. We have been brainstorming all kinds of tipples for this event. But some of our favorite aforementioned cocktails require a lot of garnish; and from experience I know that garnish only serves to make the drink look better (for about 5 minutes or the time it takes to photograph) and to clog up the sink the next day. Rounding up cups with nothing but sticky residue and garnish is not cute at all.

Bees Knees 1

When I saw this recipe on Ashley Rodriguez’s site Not Without Salt, I was intrigued- likely due to her amazing photography; but I was also frightened. You see, I am not a gin drinker- I have had far too many of “those” nights when gin was in the mix; and although my hangovers aren’t as bad when I drink gin, I would rather tough out the vodka hangover rather than unleashed a gin-ed out Bianca into the world. Despite this, I decided to try this; also because the title of this cute little sipper is one of my monikers- for months my BBM handle was Bee’s Knee’s. If that wasn’t a sign, I don’t know what is.

The manual labor of this drink is slim; aside from making the honey syrup, this is all assembly. Gin, syrup, lemon juice, ice- shake. Pour over ice and top with a skiv of tonic water (which is the only variation.

Happy Birthday to me! Yes, this is what I said when I took the first sip; and no matter when you sip this lightly sweet and crisp interpretation of this notorious spirit, you’ll feel like it’s your birthday too.

And remember, they don’t call gin The Panty Dropper for nothing; so proceed with caution.

Bees Knees 2

Bee’s Knees
c/o Not Without Salt

1 ½ oz gin
½ oz lemon juice
¾ oz honey syrup*
1/3 cup tonic water

Combine ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake vigorously for 10 seconds. Strain over ice into a chilled cocktail glass; and top with tonic water. Garnish with lemon- if you'd like.
Feel free to adjust the honey- some like it sweeter than others.

*Honey Syrup
Combine equal parts honey and water in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Stir until honey is dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool slightly then place in an airtight container and keep in the fridge.

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Food | Tomato Sauce

"Only by indulging in good food, can one expect a good life"

Tomato Sauce 1

I confess that I’m a carb-aholic; I could easily eat a family sized portion of pasta and not think twice. I maintain that I have hollow legs. I’ve joked, that I'm never full, I just know when to stop; but my enchantment with pasta is another matter completely. I am thankful everyday for “smart” pastas; they definitely take the edge off my carbohydrate indulgences.

This past weekend I was house sitting for my parents; and after a few solo glasses of the grapes (read: wine), I was beginning to hunger for pasta and sauce. What is it about red wine that demands such heavy accompaniment? In any case, I went to bed hungry; and woke with my craving still heavy on my mind. Enter the easiest pasta sauce I have ever made.

And I know “easy” is sometimes seen as less flavorful or rich; but I assure you this is not only easy but delicious as well. And by easy, I mean quick prep; but, as for time, the sauce needs some time to simmer and create a wonderfully rich tomato sauce. I had two very large bowls in quick succession- one just didn't seem like enough. Initially I had planned to save some for my parents to try upon their return home; but gluttony prevailed and the sauce barely made it 24 hours. Next time I’ll make more; but, I’ll likely just eat more.

Tomato Sauce 2

Tomato Sauce

761 ml canned whole tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ medium sweet onion
¼ cup pinot grigio, or any medium sweet white wine
2 tbsp butter
¾ tsp honey or more if the tomatoes are too tart
1 tbsp oregano
1 ¼ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper

Heat a heavy bottom pot on medium high heat and melt ½ tbsp of butte, add the garlic and cook until fragrant and slightly colored- about 3 minutes. Add the wine and scrape the bits from the bottom of the pot. Simmer for a minute and season with salt; add the canned tomatoes, their juice, the onion and the remaining butter and bring back up to simmer. Simmer for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally; pressing the tomatoes against the side of the pot to break them up. Add the pepper and honey; and taste. You may need more honey if your tomatoes are too tart.


Food | Deviled Eggs

My camera is currently away at the manufacturer being fixed; so rather than allow this blog to remain idle while they mend the problem, I have decided to turn this blog into one big about me page!

Deviled EGGS

My family loves a good party; which explains my affinity for parties now. I have vivid childhood memories of being at my grandparent’s house, the kids downstairs, adults upstairs and music blaring everywhere. The food was always plentiful; and although I was far too young to indulge in all the vices, I know now that the alcohol was plentiful as well! I used to think that all families had gathering as boisterous as mine- I learned very soon that that wasn’t the case. After attending a family dinner at a friend’s house, I remember thinking “goodness, either my family is really loud or these people are really quiet”, the answer of course being the former- which explains my voices’ propensity to carry.

My mom always tells the story of when she was younger and my grandparents would be having one of their legendary parties, and her and my aunt would have to help my grandmother prepare food. Hours spent devilling eggs, rolling dates in bacon and mixing punch; and as the guest arrived, my aunt and mother were relegated to their rooms to watch television and stay out of the way. Past 8pm children were not to be seen or heard. My mother still claims that the worst torture was having to prepare all the food and then being forced to look through a crack in the door only to see adults enjoying the fruits of her labor. But despite that, she looks back on those times with fondness- I’m told my grandparents and their friends were a hoot in their day!

Deviled eggs are quintessentially old school and were a mainstay on my grandmother’s party menus. But despite their nostalgic roots, they are making a roaring comeback with very nouveau renditions; gone are the days of bland filling. Today people are deviling their eggs with chives, bacon, curry and everything but the kitchen sink.; and when a deviled egg is good, holy crap is it good. Eggs are so wonderfully versatile and their demonic renditions are no different- these little devils are positively heavenly. Every time I go to a party and see deviled eggs I get excited and a bit nostalgic- thinking of my mother, aunt and grandmother in my grandparents 70’s kitchen making deviled eggs.

Deviled Eggs
c/o Simply Recipes

1 dozen eggs
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 Tbsp minced onion or shallot
1/4 teaspoon Tabasco
Salt and pepper
First hard boil the eggs. Fill up a large saucepan half-way with water and gently add the eggs. Cover the eggs with at least an inch of water. Add a teaspoon of vinegar to the water (this will help contain egg whites from leaking out if any of the shells crack while cooking). Add a pinch of salt to the water. Bring the water to a boil. Cover, and remove from heat. Let sit covered for 12-15 minutes. Drain hot water from pan and run cold water over the eggs. (At this point if you crack the egg shells while the eggs are cooling, it will make it easier to peel the shells.) Let sit in the cool water a few minutes, changing the water if necessary to keep it cool.
Peel the eggs. Using a sharp knife, slice each egg in half, lengthwise. Gently remove the yolk halves and place in a small mixing bowl. Arrange the egg white halves on a serving platter. Using a fork, mash up the yolks and add mustard, mayonnaise, onion, tabasco, and a sprinkling of salt and pepper. Spoon egg yolk mixture into the egg white halves. Sprinkle with paprika.

Makes 2 dozen deviled eggs.


Pictures | Memory Lane

"Memory... is the diary that we all carry about with us."
~Oscar Wilde

Friends and family are so important- this past week, nothing has become apparent than that. While I was visiting my grandparents this weekend for father’s day, I couldn’t help but feel nostalgic. I started looking through their photo albums; I love old photographs. Soon enough the whole family was flipping through the albums and telling stories- I’m sure the laughter and storytelling were audible to anyone who walked by.

Those kind of times are the best kind of times; looking back on the moments that have made us, us.

While I was sitting there, surrounded by my family and our memories, I had an idea. A light bulb moment; because what has also become glaringly apparent over this past week, is that CANON is going to keep my camera as long as they feel like- while I sit here and wait, camera less.

So while I wait for those goons at CANON to fix my ailing camera, this blog is going to become a great big about me page!


When I was eight years old my grandmother took my cousin and I on a four week trip to Trinidad. Two words- Culture. Shock. My cousin and I are both born in Canada and we had become rather accustomed to our North American lifestyle, and Trinidad was a whole lot different at the time. Needless to say, it was a trip. For instance my cousin had a bug fly in her ear.

Most homes have tin roofs and the windows (if there are windows) are kept open at all times- it’s all about a cross breeze in that climate. So one night we're laying in the dark and my cousin starts losing it “grandma, grandma- a bug flew in my ear”. It was pandemonium; my great grandmother and grandmother panicking, while my cousin is freaking. Funnily enough, I don’t remember the outcome; they may have gone to the hospital, they may not have- I don’t remember. Eight year olds have an amazing capacity to sleep through anything.

One afternoon I had my very own run in with tropical insects; my Trinidadian cousins and I were playing outside, when they started stomping on a patch of ants. I, being eight years old and game for anything, started doing the same; but these weren’t just ants, they were some kind of stinging ant. The following scene, as you can imagine, is best described as, you guessed it, pandemonium; ending with my great grandmother hosing me down with water- and tears, of course tears. Good times.


*If you hadn't already guessed, I'm in the peach bathing suit...I loved that bathing suit.

These pictures were taken on the shores where my grandfather grew up. We had gone up to his childhood home- which faces the ocean, with a lovely little creek flowing by it. At the time I was far too young to appreciate Mother Nature’s wonders in my family’s native land; but as a confirmed water baby, I was in heaven! The day was free of insect snafus and the like; we beached, ate fruit off the trees and played with our cousins. The only pandemonium-ish moment was when my grandmother frantically paced the beach- screaming at me for going too far out into the ocean. Funnily enough, for people born by the ocean, very few of my family members can swim.


You. Are. Loved.

"One is loved because one is loved. No reason is needed for loving."


Today, please take a second to tell someone in your life that you love them- they may really need to hear it; today could be the day they need to hear it the most.

It could save their life.

Life is precious- it is the most precious gift there is; and although some days life can be rough- it always gets better.

Cherish yourself and the people around you; and please remember today- and everyday- that YOU. ARE. LOVED.


Food | Beets with Almonds

Beets with Almonds2

Summer is here; and I know that I start almost every post with this statement- but I really cannot contain my excitement! Summer is brief around these parts, so I can guarantee you that I am not alone in my enthusiasm. And although my excitement is palpable, I still continue to make soup and root vegetables- I'm mysterious like that; but I will say this, soup is perfect in the summer- rumor even has it, that soup on a hot day cools you down. But that's still a rumor. Despite this claim, soup and root vegetables are ever so winter, conjuring up thoughts of carb loading and heavy meals; but please stay with me, I do have a point.

I love beets- one of the quintessential root vegetables; and all winter I meant to make beets- as magazines and blogs were blowing up with them; but I never managed to get around to the task. There are so many recipes to get through and so few days, it can be terribly overwhelming at times- some recipes slip through the cracks. It really is a shame.

But I resolved not to let them all slip through these unforgiving cracks. So despite it being long overdue and rather unseasonable (a theme these days)- I made beets.

Beets with almonds 6

On a sunny afternoon in May, I made beets; and they shone a glorious crimson and tasted so deeply earthy and rich- they were perfect.

Although my love for beets is considerable, beets have gotten a bad rap in some circles; as this is a vegetable that if poorly prepared, suffers tremendously- they end up taking on the flavor of potting soil. And let's not forget about the fact that anything they come in contact with is branded with the characteristic violet that beets are known for. Personally I think the hand staining is half the fun of preparing these little gems- but that can be boiled down to eccentricity. However, no matter your sentiments on staining and regardless of the time of year, this is a go to dish. The beets alone- sauteed with balsamic vinegar- are divine; but because it's summer and the time to celebrate life with indulgence, I added toasted almonds.

Beet with Almonds4

Beet with Almonds

4 large beets, trimmed and peeled
1/4 cup toasted almonds
1 sprig of cilantro
1/4 cup balsamic oil
1 tbsp salt- for boiling
3/4 tsp salt- for cooking
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp olive oil

Dice the beets in large pieces; and bring 4 cups of water to boil with the beets and 1 tbsp of salt. Cook until a fork can be easily pierced into a beet. Drain and cool. Heat the olive oil in a non stick saute pan on medium high heat. Add the beets and toss for 4 minutes or the beets start to caramelize. Season with salt and pepper. Toss 1 more minute. Deglaze by adding the balsamic oil. Cook for 1 more minute. Remove from heat; add the almonds and garnish with cilantro.


An Homage to May

Seriously where did May go? Winter crawled by at its own, very slow, pace. And now it's June- where the days are longer yet time flies. Ill look at the clock and see 3pm and then look again and it reads 9:30pm. I feel like June 1st was yesterday, and here we are days into it already.

But it's the month of summer; although looking outside my window today, you wouldn't know it. May was fun- it brought with it gorgeous blooms, the outdoor farmers market, bike rides and the dawn of this seasons al fresco dining. So before we bid adieu to may and welcome June with open arms for it's even warmer temperatures and the official start of summer, I thought an homage to May- the month that was- was in order.

May started with me being asked to do a guest post for Wisconsin Cheese. I made pesto macaroni and cheese; and then proceeded to eat a shameful amount of cheesy, pesto-y macaroni and cheese. A great start to the month!

Wisconsin Pesto Macaroni and Cheese4

May saw me finally making White Bean and Rosemary dip from Heidi Swanson' s wildly popular cookbook Super Natural Every Day. Heidi of course being the author of the very popular blog 101 cookbooks.

White Bean Dip 1

Then I toasted to summer, with a hot bowl of soup- Spicy Carrot Soup to be exact. Crazy they call me. Anyways, despite it being slightly unseasonable, it was absolutely delicious. The recipe was from the cookbook Marie Claire Australia.

Spicy Carrot Soup 3

And then my camera went to the medic- and has yet to be returned. I miss my camera more than anything. I had a friend lend me hers; but in the meantime I turned to my trusty iPhone and the amazing app Instagram- documenting my rekindled love for Nutella and all around food love. God I love Instagram! If you have it, let's be friends (FoodAndPictures); if you don't have it- get it.


May ended up getting really busy toward the end; with planning a new menu for a restaurant and writing assignments flowing in- I barely had time for blogging. With pictures on my computer, taken with a borrowed camera, I finally got real and posted a recipe- on the very last day of the Month. I like coming in right before the bell. Another carrot recipe, of course. This time Roasted with Ginger and Garlic- what can I say, I love the little guys.

Carrots Ginger and Garlic

Happy June friends. Off to another great month we go!


Food | Carrots with Ginger and Garlic

Happiness is not the absence of problems but the ability to deal with them
~Author: H. Jackson Brow

Carrots Ginger and Garlic

Recently I decided that I wanted to start making fresh juices again. My Jack LaLanne juicer had been sitting unused, begging for some attention. Everyday I would say to myself "today is the day I will make juice"- and nothing. I have an uncanny ability to convince myself that "today is the day" when deep down I know that this is not the case.

One Sunday after a Saturday, I was beyond hungover; and since I desire to remain employed I thought that hair of the dog would only wreak havoc on my Monday- so I decide to make juice; a blueberry, carrot and orange juice- as I was convinced that this would kill my hangover. I dragged myself to the grocers to retrieve supplies; came home and set up my juicer- while trying to keep it all together. As an aside, whoever said that eating bread soaks up the booze, is a liar. But that is an aside.

Ginger Carrots and Garlic 3

So I went to power on my juicer- so proud that I had done it, I was finally making juice; and nothing. Now some of the outlets in my house are faulty, a by product of the former owners shoddy workmanship- so I deduced that the outlet was bad, and switched to a new one, hopeful that my juicer would power on. And nothing. I could have cried, I was hungover, and by this point I was really looking forward to this juice. After taking apart the whole damn thing, I threw my hands in the air and had a glass of wine- that helped. But here I was with 2 lbs of carrots, a bag of oranges (which I do not ingest unless juiced or smoothied) and blueberries. The blueberries were gone in a matter of days, playing nicely with my morning yogurt; the oranges were eaten by someone, just not me; but the carrots were just looking at me like "Bianca, what about us"?

So I did what anyone in a carrot bind would do, I roasted them- with garlic, cilantro and ginger. The twist- and, oh, what a twist- is that I blanched the carrots in ginger ale; now this may sound like I've gone mad, but hear me out. The ginger ale kisses the carrots with a subtle ginger-y sweetness; and once roasted with the garlic and ginger, this dish goes to the next level. My roommate said they were they best carrots she had ever eaten; and after my juicing fail, I needed a victory.

Carrots Ginger Garlic

Carrot with Ginger and Garlic
1 lb carrots
4 large cloves garlic
2 tbsp ginger
1/4 cup cilantro
3 cans ginger ale
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/3 cup olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In pot bring to boil the ginger ale and 2 cups of water; then plunge the carrots into the boiling mixture. Cook for 3 minutes. Drain and set aside. Dice the ginger and garlic into even little cubes and roughly chop the cilantro. Toss carrots first with the olive; then season with salt and pepper; toss again; then add the ginger, garlic and cilantro; toss again. Place the mix in shallow oven safe dish and bake in the oven for 20 minutes.

****To make this more summer friendly, you could marinate the blanched carrots in cilantro, garlic and ginger for 45 minutes; and then grill them. As my mother would say " there's no need to heat the house".