Monday, June 30, 2014

Tony cooks

Tony made this amazing roast chicken with leeks, zucchinis and mushrooms for dinner yesterday, seasoned perfectly with paprika, rosemary, salt, and I don't even know what else. The sight and smell could make you weep. He isn't an official author here but it would have been a crime to not share this with you. 

I had leftovers for my lunch today, all alone in the quiet, clear gray light of the Birks common room - a fitting location, as it was something of a religious experience.

Friday, June 27, 2014

one love Caribbean food

I went on a speech-therapy trip to Jamaica. Matt tagged along and visited the communities he had served when he lived there. 

In Mobay, we stayed with a generous Canadian couple (Rob pictured below) who opened their home to us for several days without knowing anything about us. In Kingston, we stayed with the Catholic church. I have never experienced so much generosity and hospitality outside of my family and friends. We were never strangers to anyone, but rather, were always treated as family.

And yes. Everyone in Jamaica actually says, "Yeah man!"

obligatory window shot

Every day in Montego Bay, I came home to this really, REALLY excited face and 4 drinks poured in succession. 

...and who naturally made me pose next to the Montreal vs. Rangers game on satellite TV. Hockey in Jamaica. Right. 

they also took us to a country club on the beach, where I got to dip the fets in the ocean for 5 minutes. amazing.

Our Kingston hosts had a million mango trees on their propety.  Oh my god, guys, the mangos. 

LOOK QUICK! Mangos so good they made HIM smile!!!

and papayas so good they bring you to tears.

my view every morning. 

Matt's Jamaican grandma. Within the first few minutes of meeting her, and Matt out of earshot,  "so when is the wedding?"

Jamaican cherries off trees in her backyard. Tart. Flavorful. I loved their shape. 

Keeping her chickens fresh with lime

A community Matt had visited cut us some coconut.


There wasn't much left, which lends itself to my silly posture.

A family having us over for fried chicken. SO. GOOD.

Ackee and saltfish--food of the gods. This is literally the best culinary discovery I have made in a LONG time. 

Bammy: fried cassava cakes

cooked ackee vs. raw ackee

Our hosts were through the Catholic church. Lebanese Christians. Her mother's cookbooks. I cried. 

happy man with sugar cane

The mangos: this variety was called "Julie". Succulent, deep, complex, and floral. 

peeled ackee: look for the bright and shiny ones.

The lovely lady who taught me how to prepare ackee


Just way too excited about hummus in the caribbean

tough love...but not enough to keep me away from Julie mangos!

naturally, I would find an arab resto. 


Lionfish (an invasive species that is INCREDIBLE) and parrotfish. Lobster wasn't in season. Everthing on that tray was fried. God bless Jamaica.

Matt getting busy peeling ackee/trying to get brownie points with me 

we climbed a really, really steep hill to get these red coconuts: but they weren't terribly great.

fried dumplings. amazing. I can still taste them, 

goodbye breakfast from the ackee we peeled

Monday, June 16, 2014

Pink Apple Sauce

Apple sauce is terribly easy to make, and its nice to throw in some random fruit to see how well it mixes, especially when berry/fruit harvest is starting. The whole process took me about 15-20 mns

1 bunch of rhubarb chopped (gave me about 3 cups or so)
about 1 cup each of strawberries and raspberries
2 McIntosh apples, peeled and chopped (some people keep the peel but i don't like it)
1 orange, grated and juiced.

Cook the apples with a splash of water for about 5 mns in a big saucepan (medium heat), then add the rhubarb and simmer for another couple of minutes until there is more liquid in the saucepan. Add the remaining ingredients and continue to simmer until the fruit is tender and cooked through, then give it a whirl with a food processor (or I used a hand blender) until desired consistency. This gave me 4 x 250ml jars with a bit extra. Some of those are going as gifts and the rest is being used to mix with my yogurt in the morning, and to be used in place of oil in recipes (making some bran/oat/honey muffins with the applesauce, going to be delicious!).

Note: I didn't add any sugar because I didn't want any in there, the result was a tart sauce. If you want/need some sugar, add it in at the same time as the strawberries.

Sunday, June 8, 2014


Makin salsa - tomato, peach, onion, garlic, a little kombucha, salt, and seasonings to follow after I post this - we'll have this with corn chips tonight before roasted chicken & kale.

From instagram last week - I've started trying to precut my tougher, hardier veg at the start of the week to simplify things. Going well so far!

Spicy chicken tacos with plantain tortillas. 

Leftover chicken, zucchini noodles, celery, green cabbage, tomato, cheddar, balsamic vinegar, garlic, don't remember what else, it was amazing.

My handsome husband cooking at my mom's last weekend.

Me serving lazy sangria cocktails...

Boxed red wine, orange juice, ginger, raspberry, green apple & ice.

Beating egg yolks with hot milk syrup to make custard (and eventually ice cream popsicles).

We have also been enjoying outdoor eating lately... Sigh! Could life be any better? (Maybe if Sam were here ;) I start TWO new classes tomorrow that will end July 10, it's going to be mental; the real test of whether I can handle five classes in the fall. Anyway things will be a bit quiet here, though I hope to report after my birthday party, which will be fantastic. I am already happily making to-do lists in my head. I've got to get fermenting!

Peace to y'all, and happy weekending!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

peanut butter & jelly cookies

Remember these babies from this post? Finally, it's recipe time! First, some random, possibly helpful pictures, recipe immediately following.

hollows created, ready to fill
I use Crofter's; it's the only jam I buy
I use this mini herb pestle, the small end dipped in cold water, to create the hollows in the cookies. You can use something similarly shaped, preferably non-porous (wood doesn't work very well). You can use your fingers if you have nothing else that leaps out at you.
filled & ready to bake


75 g butter
50 g peanut butter (or 115 g butter if you want them to be peanut-free)
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c scant cassava flour
1/2 c slightly heaping brown rice flour
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
~75mL-120mL jam, to taste

Do the usual cookie things (preheat oven to 350 F, cream butter & sugar, beat in egg, then vanilla, add pre-combined dry ingredients), then divide into 12 balls on a silicone baking sheet. Using clean, wet hands, shape and just slightly flatten cookies, then create indentations, finally polishing up any cracks that developed during the creation of the indented hollows (you want your hands just wet, not damp, not sopping; wash them, run them under a bit of cold water, then shake off excess water). Fill each cookie with about 5-10mL (1-2 tsp) jam, depending on how wide and deep the hollows are. Bake about 10-15 minutes, until set but not visibly coloured (in gluten-free baking, it's extremely important to not overbake by even a few minutes - cookies are always done when they just reach the peak of being aromatic plus about one minute). Let cool fully before eating.