Sunday, November 30, 2014

Whole Wheat Beef Empanadas with Green Olives and Figs

'Tis the season of busy busy, rush rush.  I know.  I'm living it as well, though trying to find a bit of balance by curling up with the cats and watching A Charlie Brown Christmas.  During the upcoming crazy Christmas season it's important to plans meals ahead and eat well.  Gotta keep your strength up to fight the crowds.  For my latest article in Culinaire Magazine I made empanadas - basically a savoury turnover - with a traditional beef filling.  Don't be scared by the addition of olives and figs.  It's a winner!  I know making pastry freaks some of you out, but don't be afraid.  If I can do it, so can you.  These little turnovers are super tasty when dunked into salsa and sour cream, and they also make great on-the-go snacks to take with you on road trips or to the hockey rink.  Did I mention they freeze super well, too?  Just pop in the oven to reheat and there's your light supper.  Head on over here for the recipe.  You can pretend you're waltzing down the streets of Buenos Aires, instead of shuffling kids to the rink.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Tradition: Tourtière with Cranberry Brandy Compote

Ever since I was a kid my mom would make tourtière - it's a Christmas tradition.  Not being French Canadian, we just called them meat pies - savoury pork/beef filling with cinnamon, cloves, a touch of sage, mixed with mashed potatoes in the middle of a flaky crust.  Simple enough, and so delicious.  Today on the Mushrooms Canada Blog I'm happy to be sharing my mom's recipe, though I've altered it a bit by adding crimini mushrooms.  They not only help to blend and extend the filling, but they add extra nutrition and flavour.  Tourtière freezes very well, and is perfect to have on hand when company drops in over the holiday season.  You know it's going to happen, right?  Young and old enjoy this hearty pie, and with a little cranberry compote on the side, it's just so darn seasonal.  So, head on over to Mushrooms Canada and get the recipe.  I think you'll be happy you did.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Bison & Bean Stew with Wilted Swiss Chard

I love to eat bison.  Like, a lot.  If it's on a menu, my eyes light up and I get really excited.  I've always enjoyed its rich, slightly sweet, robust flavour, that's not at all wild or gamy.  But, I've never really cooked it much at work, or at home.  So when the offer came to review Jeniffer Bain's new cookbook Buffalo Girl Cooks Bison, I jumped at the chance.  Jennifer is the food editor and columnist for the Toronto Star, who happens to also be married to a bison rancher in Alberta.  She divides her time between the big city and the ranch, and over the past several years has come to love the majestic herbivore.  She's on a mission to convince everyone to love bison meat as much as she does.  This cookbook is a grand beginning.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Make Your Own: Pumpkin Spice Latté

"The wild November comes at last." ~ R.H. Stoddard

I have a treat for you, just in time for the weekend.  This beverage is like a warm, liquid hug, and maybe, just maybe it's just what you need right now.  November can be tricky.  All of the pretty leaves are gone, and those moody skies can be a bit much.  I myself love a moody sky; shades of blue grey melancholy that seem to stretch on forever.  I want to read mysteries and snuggle deep into flannel sheets.  I want hot buttered toast with honey and my hands wrapped around mugs of delicious things to drink.  I want slippers and sweaters and slumber so deep.  It won't be long until the first flurries fly.  I can smell it in the air tonight.  I pull on my boots, wrap my scarf twice around my neck, fit my fingers into gloves.  November may be wild, but I'm ready for whatever comes my way. 
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