spicy ground venison


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).


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

lemon cheddar zucchini pilaf

I wasn’t sure what to call this rice dish. Cheesy Zucchini Rice sounded, well, cheesy, and Brown Rice with Zucchini & Cheese seemed a bit boring. So, I decided to highlight the wonderful hints of lemon and creamy goodness of cheddar and throw in pilaf for fun. This pilaf is perfect for summer or fall and just the dish to continue in my (unplanned) squash recipe series. It seems I could spend all autumn roasting various gourds and squash and be quite content. But don’t worry, I have only a few more dishes containing the heavenly squash that I hope still to share.

If you’re not a fan of lemon, simply omit it from the recipe. But to me, the lemon is what makes this cheesy dish unique. The grated squash and zest compliment each other wonderfully and the cheese melds everything together. I added in some chives and basil… 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

lemon-poppy squash bread

If e’er I had a hobbit drop by for second breakfast or elevenses, this would be the quick bread we’d share… with a pot or three of tea. Earthy and sugary, this bread is the perfect balance of sweet and savoury. Each bite is filled with subtle traces of candied winter vegetables, hints of carrot, roasted sweet potato and freshly-forked-out spaghetti squash, yet is balanced by the tang of lemon and punch of poppy. And perhaps the best part? That fine little layer of crunchy turbinado sugar atop the loaf. Simply perfection.

This was the first time I had ever made a quick bread using yellow summer squash, and I’m so glad I did. I’ve baked countless loaves using green summer squash (aka zucchini) but never thought of using its sister, yellow summer squash. I grated the squash super fine (the tiniest option on my grater) so that it almost… Continue reading

summer squash bake

The other night Graham offered to prepare some chicken for dinner. I was more than happy to oblige and promptly scooted my way out of the kitchen to make room for him. (Actually, come to think of it, I may have been reclining on the couch with nothing in the works for dinner… hence his offering to help get the ball rolling.) A plate of chicken, though tasty, doesn’t come quite close to sufficing as dinner in my book. So with Graham and Tobie at work in the kitchen, I brainstormed from the couch a side dish to accompany the chicken.

I had picked up a vintage recipe box filled with hundreds of typed recipes from a church rummage a few months back. In recent weeks I’ve been perusing through the box, pulling out ones that I could see myself making. In the vegetable section was this recipe for summer… Continue reading