Jan 7 2015

Provencal Pan Trout

You know what’s really great? One pan dinners. Though, I find that really good ones are hard to come by. So, when you find one that works, it’s your duty to tell all your friends, yell it from the roof tops, no one likes it when someone keeps a good thing all to themselves. Feel free to swap out trout for salmon, they both work well. If you don’t have herbs de provence, don’t worry about it, just use some dried thyme and oregano, and if you have it some savory, marjoram and rosemary. To be honest, I don’t really care for traditional herbs de provence due to the lavender; it’s much too floral.

Provencal Pan Trout

1 pint cherry tomatoes

500 g baby potatoes, halved

1/4 cup black olives, pitted

1 medium zucchini, sliced

2 tbsp  olive oil

3 1/2 tsp herbs de Provence, divided

1/2 tsp salt

500 g trout or salmon fillet

Fresh pepper

1 lemon, cut into wedges

Preheat oven to 450F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment or foil. Toss zucchinis with 1 pint cherry tomatoes, baby potatoes, black olives, olive oil, 1 tbsp herbes de Provence and 1/4 tsp salt on prepared sheet. Bake in centre of oven for 10 min.

Pat a salmon or trout fillet dry with paper towels. Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp herbes de Provence and 1/4 tsp salt. Season with fresh pepper. Remove baking sheet from oven. Stir vegetables and move to edges of sheet. Lay fish in centre. Continue baking until a knife tip inserted into thickest part of fish and held for 10 sec comes out warm, about 8 to 10 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges.

Jan 6 2015

Ginger Cookies

I know it’s a little late to be writing this post, we’re much too far into January, the month of dieting and calorie counting, for many of you to appreciate another cookie recipe. The time for sweets is over and ginger cookies surely aren’t high on your New Year list, but hear me out because this cookie is worth it. Sweet, spicy, and chewy, this cookie is arguably the best ginger cookie and the only recipe you’ll ever need. So save this link to your delicious account and make a note to yourself for later in the year when you are in need of a surefire cookie that comes through on both texture and taste. This recipe comes to you from that excellent restaurant/bakery in Kingston Ontario that I’ve blogged about many time before, Pan Chancho.

Ginger Cookies

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tbsp ground ginger

2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

1-1/4 cups + 2 tbsp granulated sugar

1 large egg

1/4 cup fancy molasses

In medium bowl, whisk together flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.

In large bowl using electric mixer on medium, cream butter and 1 cup plus 2 tbsp sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg, scraping down sides of bowl. Add molasses; beat well. In three additions, beat in flour mixture just until incorporated.

Shape dough into 24 balls, each about 2 tbsp. Roll balls in bowl with remaining 1/4 cup sugar. Place on a cookie sheet and pop them in the freezer for an hour. Note that this step is not mandatory, but I do believe it produces a chewier cookie.

Place several inches apart on large, parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake 15 to 17 minutes in preheated 325F oven until just golden. (Cookies will spread to about 4 inches/10 cm.)

Makes 24 large cookies.

Nov 5 2014

Autumn Root Vegetable Gratin

When I came across this recipe, I knew right away that it was going to be delicious. And let me tell you, it’s more than delicious, it’s deeply satisfying as well. I really love root vegetables; I especially like how creamy their texture is when cooked. Other than the lovely creaminess of the vegetables, I think there are two keys to this gratin’s success, the first being the garlic steeped milk and the other being fresh nutmeg. Whatever you do, don’t skip those steps. I mean it! Fresh nutmeg! I made the gratin in a dutch oven, even though the recipe specified a much smaller baking dish, and I was happy I did since I didn’t measure my vegetables and ended up making quite a bit more than I should have. Which was a good thing in the end, since Mick and I annihilated the entire pot in a very short period of time.

Autumn Root Vegetable Gratin

1 ½ cups whole milk ( I used 2% and some cream)

2 cloves garlic

Pinch freshly grated nutmeg

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

¾ pound butternut squash

¾ pound white potatoes

½ pound parsnips

Salt and pepper

¼ tsp chopped fresh thyme leaves – optional

¼ tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary – optional

1 cup grated Gruyère

1 cup grated Pecorino

Heat the oven to 400° F. Put the milk in a small heavy saucepan and peel and smash one of the garlic cloves. Add it to the milk and then heat the milk over low heat until it just starts to bubble at the edges. Remove from the heat, add the nutmeg and let steep while you continue with the recipe.

Peel the second garlic clove, cut it in half and rub the cut side around the inside of a 6-cup baking dish no more than 2 inches deep. Rub 1 tablespoon of the oil all over the inside of the dish.

Peel the squash, potatoes and parsnips and cut them into very thin slices (1/8-inch thick). If you have a mandoline, now’s the time to use it.

Layer the vegetables into the baking dish, alternating between squash, potato and parsnip, and fanning them into concentric, overlapping circles. Season generously with salt and pepper and sprinkle a third of the cheese and a third of the chopped herbs over the slices. Repeat twice, making the top layer as neat and tidy as you can.

Remove the garlic clove from the hot milk and pour the milk evenly over the vegetables. Drizzle the remaining olive oil over the top of the gratin and bake for about 50 minutes, until the top is browned and bubbly and the vegetables yield easily when you poke them with a sharp knife. If the vegetables are tender but the top isn’t as brown as you’d like, turn on the broiler for a couple of minutes — watch it carefully so it doesn’t burn! Let the gratin cool for at least 5 minutes before serving.

Sep 3 2014

Peaches on Ricotta

I would probably eat just about anything with ricotta on top. While at the cottage a few week back I found myself fully stocked with fresh local foods and had nothing but my imagination holding me back. Peaches on ricotta toasts with honey and cinnamon was born one evening when I was craving something sweet. It’s the perfect end to any long summer day, and comes together effortlessly.

Peaches on Ricotta

Bread, toasted

Ricotta cheese

Peaches, sliced



Layer in that order and enjoy.

Aug 28 2014

Ricotta & Marinated Summer Squash

These cool appetizers are a lovely way to showcase all the summer squash that are in season right now; like zucchini and patty pans. But beware, the squash needs to marinate for a couple hours in the fridge before you can assemble and serve, so this is definitely a think ahead dish!

Ricotta and Marinated Summer Squash

3-4 medium-sized zucchinis and patty pans

½ bunch basil, minced fine

½ bunch mint, minced fine

3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Juice of 1 lemon

1 tsp red chili flakes

1 tsp black pepper

Salt to taste

1 shallot sliced into thin rounds

Ricotta cheese

Marinate the Squash

With a vegetable peeler, peel ribbons of squash.

Mix in bowl with herbs, olive oil, lemon juice, seasonings and sliced shallot.

Cover and chill 2 hours or overnight.


Slice fresh crusty bread in 1/3-inch slices. Toast if you would like (I did).

Spread with ricotta and top with ribbons of marinated summer squash.

Drizzle with a bit more olive oil.