Monday, 24 March 2014

Eat Alberta 2014 - Come Cook, Play, Learn

Learn how to cook this delicious dal in a hands on session with me.

If there was one event that really integrated me into the food community here in Edmonton, it was Eat Alberta (2011 and 2012) I first went in as a participant, then a volunteer, and this year I am proud to announce that I will be one of the presenters at this celebration of local food.

Want to come and cook delicious food with me and several other super talented chefs and drink connoisseurs? And also learn about local food, attend food and wine tastings and meet lots of like minded people?

You shouldn't miss Eat Alberta 2014. And I can tell you, I just know that tracks are going to sell out early, so you snooze, you lose :) Check the link below for details.

See you there.



http://www.eatalberta.ca/ 

On April 26, 2014, the fourth annual Eat Alberta conference will take place at NAIT. Through a mix of hands-on and demonstration workshops, tasting sessions, and presentations from some of the leaders of our food community – farmers, chefs and local food advocates – we hope that participants will learn how to use and source local food as well as develop nurturing and ongoing relationships with one another and with those that produce our food.


Displaying News_Release_2014.docx.

Monday, 17 March 2014

Indian Festival Specials - Thandai (Spiced Chilled Milk) for Holi


It's Holi. Holi-day. Yay!

A celebration of springtime, this year it feels very apt, as after a cold, harsh February, the weather seems to have finally turned a corner here. The sun is warm on my face, the skies are a brilliant blue, the birds are singing and starting to fill the nesting boxes, it stays light later and later in the day and my life just feels brighter and happier. Kay planted his seeds for the garden last weekend, and I started getting excited about all the fresh harvests and bounty coming my way soon.

Holi is characterised by colour. People throw coloured powders up in the air, douse each other with coloured water and celebrate the arrival of flowers and fruit. Holi is also the festival of love and this bittersweet emotion is embodied in Hindu mythology. Legend has it that Lord Shiva, in his anger at being shot by Kaamadeva's arrow (the Indian God of love, similar to Cupid) reduced him to ashes. The arrow worked, however, and Shiva married Parvati. Rati, the wife of Kaamadeva, begged Shiva to revive her husband, and Shiva, understanding true love, granted her wish (and everyone lives happily ever after...)


When I got back after India, one of the things I missed so much about it was it's colours. I said to Kay that Edmonton felt cold, blue and grey after that vibrant chaos. And Holi is a festival that is, in itself, an embodiment of the fabulous riotousness and colours of India.

The picture above, for example, just makes me smile. Jemma and I were driving around in India, and we just came across these stalls full of coloured powder, ready for rangoli. Our driver stopped (right in the middle of the street in full on traffic, as it happens, just one of the awesome crazy things about India) and we were just snapping away. The colours were so beautiful and bright they almost hurt my eyes.


I miss celebrating Indian festivals. In Edmonton, for example, I'd be more likely to celebrate St. Patrick's Day today, rather than Holi (for what its worth, St Patrick is my guy, I am even named after him) I celebrate Indian festivals virtually, checking them out on my friends' Facebook walls and wishing I could be there to celebrate. But in the absence of Holi colours, I make up my own traditions. This thandai is one of them. Traditionally a Rajasthani drink made with dried fruit and nut pastes, it's a delicious spiced, chilled milk drink that is made for Holi. 

I love the fragrances in this drink. I adapted the method a little to make it more suitable for life here, but the flavours are the same, and the taste takes me straight back to my carefree university days of playing Holi, drinking way too much bhaang, flinging colours in the air, hunting down recalcitrant friends and rubbing colour on their cheeks, and best of all... smelling the sweet scents of springtime in the air.

Happy Holi, everyone!


Recipe: 

Almond Paste

1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup ground almonds
1 teaspoon poppy seeds (optional) 

Thandai 

2 cups whole milk
1/4 cup, or to taste, sugar
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon dried rose petals
5 green cardamom pods
1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1 stick cinnamon
A generous pinch of saffron
2 tablespoons warm milk
Small handful pistachio nuts, to garnish

Method: 

Blend together the ground almonds, 1/2 cup milk and poppy seeds, if using, to a fine creamy, paste. Chill this mixture. 

Place the remaining 2 cups milk and sugar in a heavy based pot. Place the fennel seeds, rose petals, cardamom pods and black peppercorns in a mortar and pestle and crush. Add the crushed spices and cinnamon stick, and turn on the heat. 

Bring to boil, then turn the heat down to a low simmer and simmer for about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the spices infuse into the milk, at least an hour. 

Once the milk mixture is cool, strain it through a sieve. Discard spices. 

Whisk the saffron into the warm milk, and add this to the spiced milk. Stir in the almond paste, and refrigerate until chilled. Serve with chopped pistachio nuts sprinkled over. 

Notes: 
  • Dried rose petals are available in all Indian groceries. 
  • You can use cashew nut paste instead of almonds. 

Friday, 7 March 2014

Indian Street Food (and Drinks) - Saffron, Cardamom and Rosewater Lassi


There are a few things I miss about India. Having been back for close to four weeks now, Adz and I are slowly adjusting back to normal life... well, if normal life means dealing with early morning school runs, -42 C, layers and layers of clothes and frozen nose hair (yes, really!) February and March aren't usually this bad in Edmonton, but this year seems unusually harsh. Or maybe its just that we haven't managed to get used to the cold after the balmy tropical breezes of India.

So yes, missing the warmth is probably top of the list. And this...

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

(Warm or Chilled) Roasted Red Pepper Soup


 I should have really titled this post 'Ottolenghi Battles the Blue Demons' :) It will become clear soon.

If you've been hanging out with me in recent times, both online and offline, you'll know that I have been struggling a little bit. I realised a few things in the last week or so. First, I completely forgot that it was my blog's sixth birthday last month. Things were so hectic, that it really just slipped my mind. So I decided to go back and look at some of my older posts, and to be honest, I was quite surprised at how far I've come along and how much I've grown as a blogger. For a small, personal blog, I am not doing badly at all. A lot of people visit this website every day, and they come from all over the world. A lot of people like The Tiffin Box on Facebook, and I love getting messages from them, everything from how to make a particular dish, to troubleshooting, to asking for new recipes or offering suggestions, to complimenting me on my work.

Ah, yes. The compliments. To be honest, I do not know how to deal with praise. I have my faults, and one of them is that I just can't take compliments gracefully. I'll always be self effacing and go... 'Oh, thanks, but its not me, its my camera, lens, blogger, cookbook, recipe source, mom, aunty', and so on. I feel like I don't deserve any praise because what I do here is ordinary, and there always better bloggers, photographers, writers, cooks, chefs and I am just a poor imitation of them. This inability to take any kind of credit for my own work has meant that I am almost always really hard on myself, and I have felt that I am not really accomplishing anything. My complete lack on confidence in myself is probably what led to my breakdown in the last few weeks, and I am not ashamed to say that I was not in a good place mentally or physically. And that reflected in my inability to focus, or write or photograph, or just be creative in the many ways I know I can.

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Masala Pepper Mutton Chops


If there is one thing any blogger dreads, it's those two words - writer's block. I don't know if its post-holiday blues, but I've struggled to even sit in front of the computer, let alone process any pictures, or read or write. Most of the time its easier to pull the covers over my head and stay in bed. The smartphone doesn't help... it just means access to emails and papers, and harder to write on it, so its an easy way out... albeit one that doesn't help in the long term, as it merely enables the wallowing. And I can keep pretending that I am working, with the odd status update on Facebook, or a Twitter message... or an Instagram post. I am fooling no one though, because I am not actually writing.

It shouldn't be so hard. I assumed that when I got back from India, I'd be brimming over with ideas and that words would flow out of me in this easy, effortless stream. I assumed I'd be refreshed and head back with a clear head, with my life in order, with enthusiasm for writing up and testing all the recipes I brought back with me.

Instead, each day has been a drag. Its a struggle to get out of bed in the mornings. Only the fact that my kid needs to be packed off to school gets me up. Jet lag didn't help. I didn't have any on the way in to India, so I naively thought that I'd be fine getting back - I wasn't. It took me a week to get over it, and all I want to do is sleep, sleep and sleep some more.

How do I get over it?

Frankly, I don't know. I just don't. When words are your living, losing them creates a massive hole in your world. How I am going to patch it, I honestly don't know. What I am going to selfishly ask, is for your support, as I fight my way out of this. It feels like a fight, and I don't want to give it up. I love doing what I do, and I love my readers, and it feels like I am letting you down by not posting every week. I am sorry, and I am going to ask you to bear with me while I get my head straight and my inspiration, passion and drive back. I am reading and rereading this Food Bloggers of Canada post, and I am hoping that following its advice will bring me back, refreshed and ready to rock again.

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Turkey Kofte/ Kofta (Turkey Meatballs in a Spiced Tomato Cream Sauce)


If you've been following me on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, you'll already know that I have been loving my sojourn in India. When I first started out on my journey, I'll be honest, I had mixed feelings. Everyone seemed to be India-bashing, there were tons of really awful things happening in the country, and every second day there seemed to be another terrible story being reported in the media. So, even though I knew that the India I grew up in was very different, I was still apprehensive, especially after four long years had passed since I had left.

These fears and apprehensions disappeared the moment I landed in India. Funny how family, friends, warmth and sunshine has a soothing, comforting effect on the soul. So it works out almost prophetic, that when the Turkey Farmers of Canada asked me to create two recipes for their comfort food makeover, I chose to play with dishes that is very reminiscent of India and the food that I grew up with.

My first recipe is the universally popular Turkey Mulligatawny  Soup, which has its roots in South India, and for my second recipe, I chose this slightly more North Indian dish. Kofte, or Kofta is a type of curry that was originally introduced by the Muslim rulers of India, presumably travelling in from the Middle East.

This recipe is popular all over India, in many different variations. Its called malai kofta if its made with paneer and vegetables. The meat version is also known colloquially, as the slightly odd 'ball curry'. Essentially, its a version of meatballs and tomato sauce, but the delicate Indian spices really add a different dimension to this simple, comforting dish.

As kids, kofta or ball curry was a treat for us. My mum, as I may have mentioned before, rarely uses recipes, but this is one of those rare occasions that  she would pore over an old recipe book that we used to have. Over the years though, the original recipe has been lost, but there are different versions floating all around the family.

The list of ingredients for this dish might appear a tad long, but this is a simple dish that uses ingredients easily found in a large supermarket. Ground turkey is very easy to find, and is also a lot healthier so it balanced the slight richness of this sauce. I've played around with the techniques and flavours in this recipe, and come up with a easy, comforting, delicious, yet elegant dish that is just as home served at a family dinner, or at a posh dinner party.

Download or print the recipe for this delicious kofte from here.

And when you're there, why not check out some of the other wonderful comfort food makeover recipes that my fellow bloggers have come up with? 


Disclosure:
I was offered a stipend to create these recipes. The recipes are original and were developed, tested, written and photographed by me, in keeping with the theme of this site and my personal cooking and eating philosophies. But then you know that already, right? :)
 

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Indian Classics - (Mangalorean) Pork Indad


Pork Indad is one of those classic Indian dishes, that truly is a combination of communities that have made India the cultural melting pot that it is. Originally derived from the vindalho, pork indad is similar dish, but one that is made by the Mangalorean Catholic community.  

These, technically, are some unusual flavours for South India, mint, for example, and rum. This is the influence of the Portuguese community, and results in a dish that takes in Portuguese ingredients and marries them to Indian spices. The resulting combination is a heavenly one, of tender melt-in-your-mouth pieces of pork, enveloped in a sweet/ spicy sauce, with the heady aromas of mint and a good kick of rum at the end. 

This one of my absolute favourite pork dishes. I used to carry it all the way to Delhi when I was at University there... a whole three days on the train, nibbling at it every so often. I always promised my friends the taste of pork indad, and sadly, none would remain by the time I actually got to the hostel. Burp.


Pork indad is a traveller's dish. The meat is first salted, and then cooked to the point of preservation, after which a good glug of rum is added at the end in order to 'preserve' the meat even more, and make it suitable for carrying on long journeys. Today, pork indad is synonymous with the Catholic community, with each household boasting their very own recipes. This is a recipe that was originally given to me by my mom, who makes a really delicious indad. Over the years, I have refined it, using techniques that I learned at work, and while the method is not strictly traditional, the taste absolutely is spot on. 

I am reposting this recipe, as I recently made it again for my uncle, an ardent foodie and food historian, and we ran through the recipe, making a few more tweaks as we went along. My mother actually ground the ingredients for the sauce in her giant mortar and pestle, and I'll be honest, that is one aspect of this dish that really cannot be replicated with a mixer, as I have found to my cost. Canadian airlines do frown on excess baggage though, so I sadly have to leave the heavy beast behind :)


Recipe: 
(Printable Recipe

Ingredients

1 kg pork shoulder, marbled with fat and cut into 1 - 2 inch chunks. 
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unscented oil
25 ml dark rum

Spice Mix:

10 long mild red chillies, preferably Kashmiri
1 teaspoon whole cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon whole black pepper
1/2 teaspoon whole cinnamon sticks or cassia bark
1/2 teaspoon whole cloves

Sauce:
 
2 large onions, chopped
Thumb sized piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
12 garlic cloves, crushed
1 green bird's eye chili, chopped
1 teaspoons tamarind concentrate
25 ml white or red wine vinegar 
Small handful fresh mint leaves, chopped
50 ml of water, if required + an extra 1/2 cup beef stock or water

Garnish

Fresh mint leaves
50 ml dark rum
Salt and sugar to taste

Method

Salt the pork and keep aside for about half hour.

In a heavy pan, dry roast the chillies, cumin, pepper, cinnamon and cloves, one by one, for about 30 second to a minute, until fragrant. Blend until finely powdered.

In the same pan, dry fry the onion for a few minutes until the raw smell has disappeared and the onions are very lightly toasted.Add the ginger and garlic, and fry for another minute. Remove to a blender, and add the green chili, tamarind, vinegar and mint leaves. Process to a fine paste. Add the spice mix, and blend until well mixed. Add a splash of water to help the process, if required.

Heat the oil in a a heavy based pot. Add the salted pork slices, and fry on a high heat, in batches, until the meat is caramelised and sealed. Remove to a plate, leaving any rendered fat behind. 

Deglaze the pot with the rum. Add the onion-spice paste to the pot, and saute for a few minutes, scraping up any caramelised bits. Turn down the heat, and fry this masala for about 15 minutes, stirring often. The oil and fat will start to separate at this point. Season with a little salt.

Add the 1/2 cup water or stock to the pot and simmer gently, until the sauce is quite thick.

Gently lower the fried pork into the sauce. Bring to a gentle boil, then stir until the slices are well coated with the masala. Add a little more water, if required, and simmer the pork on a low heat for at least an hour, topping up with more water is the sauce looks dry. The meat should be fork tender once it is cooked and the sauce should be thick, but not dry.

Season generously with the salt and sugar to taste, then stir in the rum.

Simmer for a few more minutes, then take off the heat and garnish with the fresh mint leaves. 

This dish tastes best if made a day ahead, and left to mature in the fridge. Reheat and serve with sannas, pulav rice or fresh bread. 


Friday, 27 December 2013

Easy Chicken Mughlai

  

India, a land of contrasts. Every time I think I have a handle on this extraordinary country, it throws me a curveball. From the first step off a long flight, the smell of wood smoke, chill and the hints of dust in the air... the cheerful faces of relatives, even at the unearthly hour of 3 AM...  the sparkling lights of Christmas time (any excuse for a holiday, here) and of course, the hot food at my aunts, that she prepared for me, even though she works full time.

I loved the feeling of being home with my aunt  Jessie. I've already spoken about my aunt, in this post here, but I have to reiterate, that she's an amazingly simple, elegant, down to earth person, who happens to be a super cook to boot. Lucky uncle and my cousin Jas.

The next morning brought back to me why I miss India so much. As Adz and I, bleary eyed, straggled our way downstairs - jet lagged and exhausted - the aroma of fresh, hot chai floated up and into our grateful insides. Along with sizzling, hot, buttered rotis and a crisp fried masala egg... well, to be honest, that's my idea of heaven. 

I've been documenting my everyday adventures here on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, so don't forget to head over and ogle the beauty of my chais and chapathis :)  


As it turned out, my aunt decided to take the day off, and along with another of my aunts, Aunt Justine and my cousin Jas, we decided to hang out in Bangalore, refreshing my memories of choking traffic and the sheer chaos of riding on roads without rules. I was mentally compiling a list of ten things about traffic and driving in India, and I will definitely share that with you all soon... trust me, it will make for exciting reading.

Meanwhile, when we got back from our meanderings, my aunt Jessie had been cooking all morning. On our way back from the airport, the driver of our car noticed that the vegetable trucks had just started unloading vendors loaded down with fresh greens and vegetables. A quick word to my uncle, and we stopped right there by the roadside, and off they went to grab some bargain fresh fenugreek, cilantro and spinach.

(Note: apparently, as the day gets on, prices go up significantly, so it does pay to be out at 4.30 AM)

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Winter, India, Plane Trips and Survival

 Skating at the Legislature Grounds 

I am so excited to be sharing this news with you.

This week, Adz and I are travelling to India for the first time in four years. And I will be spending almost seven weeks with my family and catching up with all my friends and relatives. You can only imagine how happy I am to be doing this after all this time.

India is close to my heart in many ways. I'll be honest, absence makes the heart grow fonder, and I am sure I am looking at it with the rose tinted glasses of an expat making my way home. And while I know India has its share of problems, but for me the number one reason going back is my wonderful family. Its hard not seeing them for almost four years, especially when I have never been away for so long before. So its hard not to be bubbling over with excitement.

I am also looking forward to showing my baby girl her mother's homeland. Adz has been to India before, but she was only two, and doesn't remember much of it. And my little girl is a very typical Canadian kid, so its doubly exciting to not just introduce her to family, but also show her all the places I grew up as a child. And ahem... the ice cream parlours. She's very excited about them, wink.

Part of me is unsure, even nervous about going back home. Its been a long time and things will have changed a lot. My beautiful childhood home no longer exists, for example. For the first time in forever, I will be living with my parents in an unfamiliar place, their rented apartment. Its going to be a definite adjustment, not just in terms of space, but also thinking about where to go and how to get there. And while I love the idea of sharing space with my family, you can imagine that the lack of space and privacy will take its toll. Not as much on me, as I grew up in India, and I revert to being Indian, down to the accent when I get there, but for Adz who is used to space and having her own room. But at the same time, it is a valuable lesson to learn for my little girl, and even if it may be a culture shock, its going to be one that is a learning experience too.

I am not going to miss the cold, that's for sure, neither am I going to miss the shoveling (ouch, my poor back). I will, however, miss the crisp days where the sun is warm on the cheeks, even as the ground sparkles with snow. I will miss a real, white Christmas, and the joys of snuggling in front of a warm wood fire on a cold night. And yes, I will miss my family and friends in Canada very much. But at the same time, I am looking forward to basking in some blazing hot warm sunshine, and heading down to the beach to watch the sunsets.

Ten tips for travelling on a long flight with a child. 


My survival kit for a long flight with a slightly older child (don't have a baby anymore) - these are probably old hat for those of you that travel frequently, but I always like reading such tips, because I usually learn something new every time.

  1. A decent pair of headphones. I hate airline issued earbuds, and they are pain to wear for Adz too, so we carry our own lightweight sets. 
  2. A book. Computers and phones and movies are all well and good, but there is nothing like a good book to while away the long hours watching your kid sleep. This time, I am taking with me the delightful looking 'The Dilettantes' by local author Michael Hingston. 
  3. A change of clothes for said child. Whether your kid is 6 months or 6 years, there will inevitably be an accident which requires a change of clothes (trust me, I speak from experience...) An extra t-shirt and sweatpants will be your saving grace from overpriced airport duty free clothes (again... talking from experience, $90 tee-shirt, yipes
  4. Snacks. To get rid of the dreaded 'I am hungry' whines. I usually carry granola and fruit bars.
  5. A few activities. There are only so many movies a child can watch before getting bored. So we are taking a few books as well.
  6. Pyjamas and their favourite stuffed toy, and even a blankie if its an overnight flight. It settles kids down, and you can get a few hours rest while they sleep.
  7. A water bottle. You can't take liquids through security, but I carry an empty bottle that I fill with 1/4 juice + 3/4 water + pinch of salt. Its a great way of keeping hydrated through the journey. 
  8. A portable charger for your phone. We don't have a tablet, but I do have a few games on my phone, and they sure do drain the battery fast. This portable charger is lightweight, the same size as my phone and takes the same USB charger, and is invaluable for long trips. It charges my phone from dead to full life twice, and its worth its weight in gold :) Thanks for the tip, Diane.
  9. OK, considering everything I just said earlier, this is a little contradiction, but pack lighter carry on luggage :) Especially if you have connecting flights. Its a pain to drag a child, a whole bunch of bags and race through terminals trying to find your boarding gate. If you can do without it, check it in. While some European airports are wonderful and have in-lounge trolleys, most airports make you walk through. So I pack a lightweight suitcase that turns into a backpack, if necessary, and double up my camera bag as my handbag, so I am only carrying 2 pieces of luggage. I also keep space in my bag to put in Adz's books and toys, so when she gets tired of carrying her backpack, I can easily stow her stuff in mine. I found this carry on size bag a massive help! 
  10.  And finally... I know this is a hard one. Do try and enjoy the flight. It used to be that flying was so much fun. We were all excited and looking forward to it all the time, and it was a big deal. We even got all dressed up to fly. Somewhere along the line, flying became a stressful activity, full of angst and anger and rage. I want to reclaim the joy of flying, of that excitement, of that sense of wonder of being in a tin can far above the world. This year, I have made the decision to not get angry with bullies, to ignore the tut tuts of passengers who don't think kids should be fly, and I am going to just relax and try and recapture the wonder of flying with my beautiful daughter. I want her to grow up to be a considerate passenger and the only way I can do it is if I myself am one, a relaxed, happy passenger, who loves the idea that flying just means that we're one step closer to getting to what matters most - family.
So my next post will be from India - follow along as I gluttonously eat cook my way through my vacation with family and friends... you can join me on my adventures here on The Tiffin Box... but also, for more everyday adventures follow along here - 

Twitter 

Instagram

Facebook Page 

 

PS - None of the links on these posts are sponsored. These are all products I paid full price for and love so much that I recommend them personally :) 




Sunday, 8 December 2013

Turkey Mulligatawny Soup


You can only imagine that a tropical girl like me might find it hard to like winter. Well, for the majority of the time, I can just about handle it. I mean, we did make a choice to come to one of the colder places in Canada... so to say.

But when the temperature dips to -42 with windchill... well, then I get a bit grumpy and miserable. I love the joke that we find it warm when the temperature rises to -15... what can I say, I might even be caught in a tee shirt (ha, not likely). The one thing you will find me doing, though, is cooking a lot of comfort food.

Comfort food means different things to different people. For my husband, his comfort food is a simple root vegetable stew. I, on the other hand, turn to my spices when I am in need of comfort. So of course, when the Turkey Farmers of Canada asked me to come up with a couple of recipes for their series on 'Comfort Food Makeovers'... well, I knew that I had to come up with something that embraced my culture, as well as something that is easy to whip up and comforting to everybody.

So of course, I turned to a classic Indian-turned-Western soup, the mulligatawny. Mulligatawny soup has an interesting history, having first originated in British India. The origin, and recipe of mulligatawny soup is hotly contested. Some people claim that the recipe is based on the hot South Indian broth, rasam, while others say that it is a predominantly Muslim dish.

Even the recipe has its share of controversy. For example, one of the versions I make is a vegetarian one, based on the rasam, and I like to keep it simple with just lentils and stock. The only ingredients that people seem to agree on are lentils and Madras curry powder. Everything else is up for debate, including the use of coconut milk.

I decided to go all out, and I created this recipe as a nod to the traditional mulligatawny soup, but with a few of my own flourishes. I loved using turkey in this recipe. Not only is turkey healthier, but this is an unusual way of using different cuts of turkey. In this recipe, I have used turkey thighs, as I like that they stay moist when grilled. I have also grilled the thighs separately, as I love the smoky, chargrilled flavour of the meat. But you could always use turkey breast, and poach it in turkey stock before shredding and adding to the soup. The base of the soup is super simple, and the flavour is exotic, yet comforting, with its creamy texture, fragrant spices and light coconutty flavour.

Either way, for me, this is comfort food, redefined.

You can check out the recipe and print it here.

And when you're there, why not check out some of the other wonderful comfort food makeover recipes that my fellow bloggers have come up with? 


Disclosure:
I was offered a stipend to create these recipes. The recipes are original and were developed, tested, written and photographed by me, in keeping with the theme of this site and my personal cooking and eating philosophies. But then you know that already, right? :)
 

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Lemon Scented 'Canada Cornstarch' Shortbread Cookies - The Canadian Food Experience Project: A Canadian Christmas


 

Christmastime means many different things to people. For some it is a religious holiday, a time to celebrate Christianity, and indeed, the spirit of Christmas. For others, its a winter holiday, a time to celebrate with family and friends, to revel in the season for giving and for its cheer and happiness.

Preparations for Christmas start early. The stores have their lights on and their goodies early. Halloween is no sooner done, than the Christmas decorations come out. Everyone puts up their trees and houses are beautiful with twinkling lights and sparkling reindeer (I even saw a moose this year, yay!) In our family we do things a little differently. We have two birthdays to celebrate first, and so in order to make sure everyone gets their moment in the lights, we start our Christmas preparations after the second birthday is done. Our tree and lights go up a little later, and (by this time, poor, broke me) starts thinking about Christmas presents. I don't bake all that much, to be honest, simply because its just the three of us and I don't love all that sugar floating around :)  Plus we have lovely friends that always bring us Christmas goodies.

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Giveaway! Falcon Enamelware Review + Chocolate Pots De Creme with Himalayan Pink Salt


Giveaway Closed! 

We have a winner. Congratulations commenter number 48, Minna. You have won my set of Falcon Enamelware mini-tumblers. I have emailed you for your details, please respond as soon as possible. Enjoy! 

Thank you so much to everyone who commented. Keep an eye out, I have a few more giveaways coming up this December for you to enter, and hopefully win. You guys are wonderful!

I am a sorry excuse for a food blogger. Other than a rather impressive collection of motley props, I don't really have very many useful gadgets. I'll be honest. I am gadget girl. I love gadgets of all kind, the electronic versions, the photographic ones, the computers, the phones... but kitchen gadgets? Erm, not so many. 

I don't have the de rigueur stand mixer, no food processor, no coffee machine (does the French press count?), I am babysitting a pizza stone (and yes, I do have to give it back) and my oven is ancient. I am lucky my mom made me carry back her mixer-grinder back from India, so at least I don't need to find a spice blender, and my parents-in-law gave me their (really) old, silly powerful blender that I use for everything.

So as you can see, I am a 'tried and trusted' kind of person, rather than go for the new and fancy kind (and if I want new and fancy, I just wait for my friend Diane to get her gadgets first, because eventually they will get passed down, cough, cough, nudge!!)

And this is why I want to tell you about a few of the best and hardest working kitchen sets I own. Which are - my classic prep set, my beautiful red baking set and my adorably cute mini tumblers from Falcon Enamelware.