What? Another Recipe Blog?
The simple reason for starting this blog was my fascination with all different kinds of food. I love eating, which means that I need to learn to love cooking. Having gone a little ways down this road, I realized that I get real enjoyment from making good food from scratch using fresh ingredients. I wanted to write about these experiences so that others could get that same enjoyment.
I've been on a bit of a health kick lately and that's reflected in the recipes I've been working on. I try to stay inside a calorie limit six days out of seven and I try to eat 10 servings of fruits and vegetables on those days. I do my best to get sufficient protein without resorting to meat (although you'll see that I eat a fair bit of cheese). I can honestly say that I feel better than I've felt in years.
That's not to say that I don't enjoy comfort food, far from it. Perogies, pizza, pancakes and many other foods that start with the letter "p" are high on my list of favourites. I just try to hold these high-calorie adventures to one day of the week: Saturday, which is where the name of the blog came from.
I've tried to include detailed descriptions and photos of the process of making these recipes. The descriptions include unflinching accounts of the pitfalls that I've encountered when making a recipe for the first time so that you don't have to suffer the same fate.
Each recipe that follows has a number of hashtags that you can click to see just the recipes that also have that tag. You can also click on any of the "Popular Topics" on the left like "healthy" and "comfort_food" to see only those recipes. When you're done zeroing in on these topics, just click the "Home" link in the top left corner and you'll see the full list again.
Who can say what it is about the holidays that makes us want to bake? I realize there's a practical side to it -- without a pile of baking, those big family dinners would be just a bunch of people sitting awkwardly in a room. And it's important to have something nice in your hands to give Aunt Gwen to say thanks for the ridiculously long day of cooking she just completed. But beyond the practical considerations and family obligations, baking around the holidays imbues us with a kind of internal emotional glow that you don't get from cooking at other times of the year. It probably has to do with deap-seated memories of childhood sugar rushes and laughter around the dining room table. More
I grew up in Windsor, Canada, just across the river from Detroit. When I was a student, one of our favourite destinations in the Motor City was a small strip of Mexican restaurants just on the other side of the border. The flaming cheese (queso flameado) appetizer was always a big reason for making the trip. Rich melted cheese and a spicy sauce served with fresh tortillas has to be pretty close to the very definition of comfort food. More
I think of tapenade in somewhat the same way that I think about pesto. Both are fairly simple to make -- you just combine a bunch of interesting ingredients in a food processor and let them mingle with eachother. Another similarity is the richness of the the flavours, flavours so rich in fact that you might be a little put off by their intensity and unfamiliarity the first time you taste them. Foods that start out being too intense to love often become my favourites with repeated tasting. More
If you've ever tried to find a satisfying non-meat substitute for dishes where you would typically use meat, you know how difficult it can be. The price you usually pay for the herbivorous alternative is a rubbery texture and a bland flavour (with a faint undertone of sawdust). That's why I was so happy to find Oh Naturel Meatless Meatballs, a soy and wheat based fake meat product that actually tastes good. More
Picture a Saturday morning in mid-winter. Saturday-morning-type jazz is playing on the radio. The smell of fresh brewed coffee is wafting. A light snow is falling and the kitchen window is pleasantly half-fogged. The realization that you have no commitments today causes you to smile contentedly. Does this scene not scream out for blueberry pancakes? More
In his interesting book, Eat to Live, Joel Fuhrman challenges the typical notion of what constitutes a meal. His plan emphasizes nutrient-rich foods like whole fruits and vegetables over the high-calorie, low-nutrient staples of the typical western diet. Here is a simple vegetable stir-fry that does just fine as a meal all by itself, without any extras like rice or noodles. More
Pita bread always seems to disappear immediately after arriving in the house, probably because there are so many good things to serve with it. Making pita bread at home may seem a poor use of time, but I bet you won't be thinking that when you're looking at a stack of fresh, hot, soft pita goodness. More
Chickpeas are virtuous and versatile: so many nutritional goodies inside and so many delicious ways to prepare them. Hummus is especially good -- a perfect balance of chickpeas, lemon, garlic and sesame flavours. The downside to working with chickpeas is the advance planning required. I've never been a fan of the flavour or texture of canned garbonzos, and that means that chickpea dishes start with a night of soaking and a few hours in the slow cooker. For me it's totally worth it. More
Sweet potato is one of the foods that the diet gurus are always trying to get you to eat. You'll hear terms like anti-oxidant, beta carotene and complex carbohydrate. I don't dislike them, but I can't say I've ever come home from work with a sweet potato craving. Since I started making a serious effort to improve my diet, I've been looking for ways to work more of these "good" carbs into my regular menu. More
I'm going to confess right off the bat that I've never been much of a dessert maker. My major previous experience includes a couple of mediocre banana breads for potlucks at work and the very occasional batch of oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. Scones are one of my favourite coffee accompaniments, especially if there's a little fruit in the mix, so I thought I'd give blueberry scones a shot. More
Portobello mushrooms are the steak of the vegetarian world -- they respond very nicely to a BBQ grill, and their juicy flavour and tender texture are extremely steakish. They also get along well with melted cheese... More
Dal is a thick curried lentil stew. Yellow split pea dal always makes me happy, but especially on cold winter nights. It's also very economical -- you get three or four decent meals for a few pennies worth of split peas and spices. I usually combine it with rice, or if there are leftovers, it's great with toast. More
I guess it's a bit of a guilty pleasure, but I really enjoy plain old white bread fresh from the oven.... Homemade bread really has a bit of an undeserved reputation of being a time waster. The initial work is probably about 30 minutes, and then most of the rest of the work is done by the yeast while you're off doing other things. The sight and smell of freshly made bread on a cooling rack makes the time seem completely irrelevant. More
Sure, you can press a few buttons on your phone and get a box of pizza to your door within a half-hour, but you would be missing out on the aroma that your kitchen would acquire from your own pizza creation getting to a state of delicious, bubbly, crispy goodness in your very own oven. And sure, you can get a precision-manufactured frozen pizza for a few bucks at the grocery store that will leave your belly full, but will it leave your soul content? Don't think so... More
In the vast universe of comfort food, perogies have an entire rich galaxy all to themselves. This delicious area of space, known as the sour-cream-way, is densely populated with subtle variations on a basic theme... More
Mollie Katzen (of Enchanted Broccoli Forest fame) says that it's difficult to not get wistful when talking about breadmaking. The warm, yeasty smells conjure up memories of home and holidays... More
One of the benefits of living in a big city is easy access to Chinatown. In my case there are two, and one of them is a fifteen-minute walk from my house, through a big park and a quiet neighbourhood. A couple of times each year... More