Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Cauliflower Chickpea Curry


1 large cauliflower, chopped into florets
1 carrot, peeled and sliced thinly
1 can of chick peas
2 tbsp coconut oil
3 tsp fennel seeds
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp curry powder
1/4 cup tomato passata (strained tomatoes)
1/2 cup water
salt to taste
3 tbsp creamed coconut


Chop cauliflower into florets. Peel and thinly slice carrot.  Drain chickpeas.  Set aside the cauliflower, carrots, and chickpeas.

Heat the coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add fennel seeds and stir for for 1-2 minutes until aromatic.

Stir in the crushed garlic, ground turmeric, curry powder, tomato passata, and water. Bring just to a boil.

Stir in the cauliflower, carrots, and chick peas. Add salt to taste. Cover the skillet with lid and simmer over low heat for approximately 10 minutes, stirring every few minutes.

Final step is to stir in the creamed coconut. Continue to simmer for approximately 5 minutes or until coconut cream is incorporated and the cauliflower is tender.  Check for salt and adjust accordingly.

Serve warm and enjoy! 

Friday, October 14, 2016

Enchanted October!

We're nearly half-way through October and the fall season is in full swing here. I snapped several photos this past week showcasing some of the beauty and splendor of autumn in Ontario.

Here we are driving along the Highway 60 corridor into Algonquin Park to see the gorgeous fall colours at their peak!  We're so lucky to live just a short two-hour drive from this, the oldest provincial park in Canada!  It is one of the most picturesque places to see the fall foliage in Ontario, with the dominant colours being red and orange.  I actually stood in the middle of the highway to get this shot!  

We pulled over to breathe in the fresh air and gaze at the vibrant colours reflecting in the water.  I will never tire of this view!

Annabel, sitting and reflecting...

 Anita and I posing for a photo amidst the gorgeous scenery. We are both in our element here.  I so love this picture. In fact, we got it printed at the Algonquin Park Visitor Centre on the same day! 

These are some of the trees we saw on our hike through the "Lookout Trail".   I spent most of the day in absolute awe of our surroundings.  We were even lucky enough to spot a Mama moose and her calf walking alongside each other in the forest by the highway.  I look forward to visiting again next year! 

Photo opportunities are lurking all along the old country roads in and around our city. I couldn't help snapping a photo of this pretty scene!  Don't you just love a rail fence?

And here's one last photo of Annabel enjoying a hay ride into a local pumpkin patch last Sunday! We picked out our pumpkins to take home where we will eventually carve them for Halloween. The tractor ride back to the barn was so much fun!  We ended the visit with a cup of hot apple cider before heading home. Our annual trips to the pumpkin patch always remind me of the Peanuts episode, "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown".  And not one October goes by that I don't watch it.  It's tradition!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

CRISPY Lemon Rosemary Roast Chicken

Hello friends!  It feels good to be back in Blog Land after being AWOL for an entire year! I've really missed this space and the connections I made on here with so many of you.  I hope you're happy to see me, too!

I made this CRISPY lemon rosemary roast chicken for dinner last night and was inspired to write this post when a friend asked me for the recipe.  This meal is a favourite at our house, especially on chilly autumn evenings.  It really hits the spot!


1 whole chicken 
course salt
fresh ground black pepper
1 lemon, cut in quarters
1 bunch of fresh rosemary sprigs 
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (for brushing)

1 - 2 cups of chicken broth
assorted vegetables (I used cubed potatoes, butternut squash and carrots)
fresh rosemary and thyme leaves


In order to achieve the crispiest results, the skin of your chicken should be completely dry before you begin.  I suggest wiping it all over with paper towels until any visible moisture is gone. If you have the time, place the fully dry chicken in your fridge, on a plate without any wrapping or covering and let it sit there for an hour or two.  This helps the skin dry even further, hence producing an even crispier skin.  The drier the skin, the crispier the chicken will be.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Sprinkle coarse salt and black pepper into the chicken cavity, as well as a handful of fresh rosemary sprigs and lemon quarters.  

Place your chicken, breast side down on a roasting pan and brush the skin all over with olive oil. Sprinkle with coarse salt and black pepper.  Now flip the chicken, breast side up and repeat the same step (brush with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper).

Your chicken is now ready for the oven.  Place the roasting pan in the center rack of your oven at the preheated temperature of 375 degrees Farenheit.  

I roasted my 3 pound chicken for 2 hours.  Adjust cooking time (more or less) depending on the size of your chicken.

After 30 minutes in the oven, add approximately 1-2 cups chicken broth to your pan, enough to cover the base of your pan.  I used approximately 1 cup, but you can add more if you like. 

With 45 - 60 minutes left on your cooking time, add the cubed potatoes, butternut squash, and carrots to your pan.  You don't want to add them too soon, as they will overcook and fall apart by the time your chicken is ready.  

At this point, check to see if you need to add more chicken broth or not. You want your vegetables to be sitting in the broth, but not fully immersed. Sprinkle a little salt to taste over the vegetables if you wish, as well as fresh chopped rosemary and thyme leaves. 

Allow the chicken and vegetables to roast until the chicken is done.

I added steamed broccoli and cauliflower to the pan once my chicken was done.  This is optional, if you like.  

Now gather around the table and enjoy!  Bon Appetit! 

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Quick and Easy Cornbread

I am always on the lookout for food and baking inspiration, so last week I came across a recipe in an old Better Homes and Gardens publication that intrigued me.  The recipe was for cast-iron skillet cornbread.  I had never made cornbread before.  The ingredients were really basic and the method so simple, I decided to give it a go, and I'm so glad I did!  Who would have thought that homemade cornbread could be this simple!  I feel like I have to tell the world now and want to share this terrific recipe with you. The good news is that you don't necessarily need a cast-iron skillet.  I actually baked the cornbread twice this past week - the first time, in a cast-iron skillet and the second time, in a 10 inch pie dish. To be honest, I preferred the cornbread baked in the pie dish!  



2 1/4 cups cornmeal 
2 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup of butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt  *if you use salted butter, omit the salt


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place a 10 inch round pie pan or cast iron skillet in the oven for a few minutes to heat through.  Meanwhile, whisk together the cornmeal and buttermilk in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  • Add butter and oil to the hot pan and brush the interior with it.  Now pour the butter mixture into the cornmeal mixture in the medium bowl.
  • Add beaten eggs, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Mix with a wooden spoon until well combined. Pour the batter into the hot pan.  
  • Bake for approximately 15-25 minutes, depending on the type of pan you are using.  A cast iron skillet will bake quicker than a pie pan will.  To check that it's cooked through, insert a wooden toothpick in the center.  If it comes out clean, then the cornbread is done!  Allow to cool for several minutes before slicing.  Can be served warm or cold, but warm tastes best, slathered in butter, of course! 

Here's a slice of the cornbread I made using my ceramic pie dish.  I served it with chili just the other night.

Leftovers can be sliced and wrapped in plastic wrap to maintain freshness and can stay out for a couple of days this way.  You can reheat each individual slice in the microwave or oven as needed.

I am actually going to be baking another one of these this weekend to take to my parents' house for our annual Thanksgiving dinner.  I look forward to gathering with my family and enjoying some delicious food, especially my mom's turkey and stuffing!   

Happy Thanksgiving to all my Canadian friends (near and far) celebrating the holiday this weekend.  Much love and blessings. xoxo  

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

A Time for Apples and Apple Crumble!

Hello friends! Happy first day of autumn! My favourite season has officially arrived and I couldn't be happier. The weather around here has been glorious with crisp mornings leading way to warm, sunny afternoons.  The maple leaves are starting to change colour and the crickets are chirping their happy songs.

Apple season is in full swing here in Ontario, so we took advantage of the lovely weather this past Sunday to visit a fabulous local "pick your own" apple farm - Pine Farms Orchard - in the heart of King City.  We had such a fun time!

The orchard boasts row upon row of pick-your-own apples.  There are so many varieties to choose from.  We picked three types -  honeycrisp, royal gala, and russet apples.

The honeycrisp apples are my favourite!  Not only are they sweet, tart, and crisp, but they're perfect for baking with as they retain their shape and texture really well!

Look at the pretty pumpkins all lined up along the storefront!

If you don't fancy picking your own, you can buy these fresh picked apples at the barn/store instead.

Now that our home was stockpiled with apples, I looked for some fall baking inspiration in one of my favourite seasonal dessert cookbooks -
 Rustic Fruit Desserts by Cory Schreiber and Julie Richardson.  

Every recipe I've made from this book has turned out marvelous, and this time was no exception.
I decided to give the apple crisp with brandy-soaked currants a go.  It was utterly delicious and captured the essence of fall with every bite.  When I shared the photo of the finished dessert, a few friends asked me for the recipe, so I am sharing it here with you today.

The recipe suggests using Golden Delicious, Gala, or Jonagold apples.  I used Honeycrisp and they were perfect - sweet, tart and held their shape/texture very well.


1/2 cup dried currants (I used dried raisins)
1/4 cup apple brandy (you can substitute regular brandy or orange juice)
1 tablespoon butter for greasing the pan

Crumble Topping
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted 

Fruit Filling
8 large apples, peeled, cored, and sliced 1/2 inch thick (3 pounds prepped)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour


First soak the currants in brandy or orange juice for at least two hours and up to 24 hours.  I used apple brandy because I just happened to have a bottle of it at home.  It was given to my husband and I a few years ago and I've finally found a use for it!  Yay!  

Butter a 9 inch square baking pan and preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. 

Make your topping first because you will need to place it in the freezer while you work on the apple filling.  

For the crumble topping, combine the brown sugar, flour, salt, and cinnamon in a medium bowl.  Stir in the melted butter and work it together with your hands, making sure to leave some small clumps or crumbles.  Place the topping in the freezer while you make the filling.  

Now toss the apples, sugar and flour together in a large bowl until well combined.  Transfer the apple filling into your baking pan.  Scatter the currants over the apples.  Add your crumble topping evenly over the fruit. 

Bake for approximately 50 minutes, or until you see the apple filling is bubbling.  My apple crumble only started bubbling after 60 minutes; only then did I remove it from the oven.

At this point, the aroma of cinnamon, apples, and brown sugar will be wafting throughout your house and you are going to want to dive right into that apple crumble, but you are NOT going to do it!  Cool the crumble for at least 30 minutes so the juices can settle and thicken a bit.  

You can top the apple crumble with vanilla ice cream or heavy cream.