dinner

baked camembert pasta

When I made this pasta dish the other night, I immediately remembered the last time I made it. Three Christmases ago with good friends over for dinner, before we moved into our home. That’s how good this pasta is. Why then, haven’t I made it for three long years? Two reasons: Camembert can be pricy. This dish as it’s quite delectable (cheese and pasta… perhaps not the best to eat too, too often). And I really don’t repeat many-a-dishes. Okay that was three reasons, but you get my drift.

Not only is this pasta delish, but it’s easy. Heavens, it’s easy. Besides the pasta and the Camembert, there are only four other ingredients: spinach, garlic, rosemary and grated Parmesan. It also only takes about 30 minutes to throw together, including prep time. Including prep time! I can’t tell you how many “30 minute” recipes I’ve attempted that end up taking… Continue reading

spicy ground venison

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To celebrate May, I have for you a simple, tasty recipe for ground beef, turkey, venison or any other game. I’ve made it with ground venison several times, and over this past winter, it became somewhat of a comfort dish for Graham and me. I usually serve it over black barley or wild rice with a healthy blanket of Sriracha sauce atop. We think it’s the best.

Something about the heat of the sauce coupled with the hearty, healthy venison and the crispy vegetables mixed throughout, pleases the brain and tongue simultaneously, leaving you wanting more and more. A healthy lure, I’d say. And serving it over a not-too-filling bed of rice or barley, tames down the heat just perfectly, yielding the most superb lunch or dinner any time of year (not just hunting season, mind you).

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I’ve made large batches before and frozen leftovers in dinner size portions, making… Continue reading

sweet potato shepherd’s pie

This was a fun dish to make. I grew up eating shepherd’s pie. I fondly remember it served from my mother’s deep square-ish CorningWare dish. A layer of deliciously seasoned beef blanketed the bottom of the casserole. Next came a layer of canned green beans seasoned with Mrs. Dash (one of my mums favourite spices). And finally, a soothing layer of creamy, buttered, homemade mashed potatoes.

It was either Sunday afternoon, after we returned home from church with grumbling belly’s (we had a thirty minute drive!), or a not-so-busy week night that she could corral all three kids and her husband around the dinner table. This version is slightly different, but I still give mom the credit. She not only taught me the importance of comfort food and casseroles, and their place in a healthy and balanced diet, but she married a hunter, thus teaching me the importance of being… Continue reading

acorn squash mushroom lasagna

I’m not your typical lasagna kind of girl. Never have been. Never will be. Especially since Christopher Kimball told me recently that a measly pound of ground beef contains DNA from over 400 different animals. I had to listen to him say so (on his America’s Test Kitchen podcast) about 5 times before it truly sunk in. Four hundred. I told Graham we will grind our own meat henceforward. Heck, it’ll be an adventure.

As I was saying, I like non-typical lasagnas. And I like squash. A lot. Mushrooms, garlic and spinach are also fabulous contenders. And so, given my likes and dislikes, this vegetable layered treat was born. Both Graham and I thought it was a most comforting dish. Not too heavy with the absence of meat, and neither too rich, as there isn’t an overabundance of cheese.

This lasagna does require a bit of time to make. But… Continue reading

fried green tomatoes

Last night’s supper was super yummy and easy to throw together. I fried up some lovely green tomatoes and warmed some of my homemade applesauce on the stovetop to go with. The tomatoes were tart, crunchy and packed with summer goodness. I’ve fried green tomatoes before, but this time I changed things up a bit and added buttermilk to the egg dip. The tartness of the buttermilk added a nice zing to each bite, and the cornmeal-chive coating was the perfect blanket to keep the tomatoes warm and cozy.

So if you come across some deliciously under-ripe tomatoes when next at the market, pick up a quart or two and dine in Southern style. Fry, fry away and pair your dinner with some sweet tea, whiskey or freshly squeezed lemonade… whatever strikes your fancy. And if you get a bit zealous with your frying, leftovers crisp up wonderfully in the… Continue reading

roasted spaghetti squash with herbs & parmesan

So say you happen to purposefully pick up a nice big, pale yellow, beautifully strung spaghetti squash at the market. May I recommend this tasty take? All you will need is a heaping 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan, a drizzle of olive oil and a tiny mound of fresh cut herbs. All sorts of herbs would be a fine addition to this squash supper. I chose to mix in basil, chives and parsley. It was absolutely scrumptious. A big bowl is supper in itself, or add a slice of grilled chicken or fish to the plate and you are dining first class.

Roasting squash is one of my favourite fall pastimes. I enjoy the whole process: picking out the perfect sqaush, trying to whack the thing open with my largest chef knife, scooping out its seeds and flesh, and then taking in that lovely smell wafting from the oven a… Continue reading

butternut squash & root vegetable soup

Let’s forget the fact that I thought I was picking up a spaghetti squash at the farmers market last weekend. The thing is, I know my squashes. Acorn, butternut, spaghetti, summer… but somehow I managed to buy one and bring it home, thinking all the while that soon I would be scooping out its pale yellow roasted strands, slathering it in homemade red sauce with caramelized onions and mushrooms, enjoying my non traditional autumn pasta dish. Well, not so much. Not even close. There would be no mushrooms, no red sauce and surely no spaghetti. I’m blaming the incident on the fact that I only had one cup of coffee that morning. It was early. I was foggy brained. Tomato, tomahto. Spaghetti, butternut. Definitely doesn’t have the same ring.

So after staring at that big yellow oval of a squash perched on my kitchen counter for a day or two… Continue reading