Category Archives: food

apple tart

Simple and elegant. Apples neatly tucked into each other on a bed of shortbread.


Here’s the recipe:

  • 3/4 cup softened butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Blend well and add:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder

Press the dough into a springform pan.

Peel 4 apples and slice then thinly. Arrange them on the dough.

Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and slivered almonds.

Bake at 350 F for about 30 minutes.




new islands

A couple weeks after HAR had discovered Quebec City on foot – and had a selfie with Bill and Hilary — I arrived for a two-day conference on the shores of the St. Lawrence River, at the battle site of the Plains of Abraham.

The first day took us across the bridge, just north of the city, to the amazing microclimate world of Ile d’Orleans. The mostly agricultural island sits in the middle of the St. Lawrence River and captures a unique growing environment. Salt water flows in this fresh water river until about Quebec City.


It reminded me of other islands we love, that create a world within a world – Prince Edward Island and Nevis.

I would love to go back as soon as I finish the amazing samples I brought back — the ultimate artisanal Le Paillasson cheese from Les fromages de l’isle d’Orleans that was gently grilled and served warm, and a fortified black currant wine from Cassis Monna & Filles that tastes like port.

Thank you to the farmers of Ile d’Orleans – keep creating!



return of the roasted veggie

Summer is hanging on, but my internal clock says it’s time to start roasting pans of various veggies in the oven, slathered in olive oil, salt, pepper and perhaps a little herbes de provence. Seasonal veggies are the best, and I just did Brussels sprouts, chunks of carrots and some meaty cremini mushrooms – roasted at 375F for about 35 minutes, until tender.

And when I couldn’t imagine making any more tomato sauce – but still had part of a half bushel of market fresh romas staring me down…I remembered a Michael Smith recipe from years ago for roasting tomatoes. I cut the last 24 tomatoes in half, sliced up two onions in half rings, added a couple garlic cloves, olive oil, salt and pepper, and slow roasted for about 75 minutes until everything started to caramelize (well, kinda burned on the edges but I guess that’s just an extra dark caramel). I froze them to add to a hearty something in the deep of winter…when I’ll remember how warm and humid September really was.



spicy black bean burgers

There is a roadside restaurant in the Western Massachusetts town of Gill called Wagon Wheel that we stumbled upon last summer. We were heading to Vermont and looking for lunch, or ice cream, whichever came first. We found both. We started with the spicy black bean burger salad and ended with the Oreo Speedwagon ice cream (coffee and oreos-my new favourite flavour)

Last weekend we actually planned our drive home from Quebec City to include lunch at Wagon Wheel. We drove 6 hours for lunch! When we got home I started looking for recipes for black bean burgers to try and re-create the Wagon Wheel burger.

Here’s what I came up with. A hearty, slightly spicy, black bean & veggie burger.

Saute some onions, garlic and jalapeno in olive oil. Add 1 tsp cumin.

Blend 1/2 cup oats and 1/4 cup breadcrumbs and 2 tablespoons flax seed in the food processor. Set aside in a large bowl.

Pulse some carrots & parsley and any other vegetables you want in the food processor.

Add the pulsed carrot mixture to the oats/breadcrumb mixture. Pulse a 15-oz can of rinsed black beans in the food processor. Add to the carrots and oats. Add the sauted onion mixture. Add 1/2 cup steamed corn. Add an additional 15 oz can of black beans and salt and pepper to taste.

The recipe I was semi-following ended there but I added 1 egg because I couldn’t imagine how I could shape the mixture into burgers. After shaping the burgers, refrigerate for at least 1/2 hour. Then cook in pan and serve on a salad!


They were really good but way too much work to ever make again! I’m going to stick with Wagon Wheel or those frozen cardboard ones!



It’s taken me until the middle of August but I finally made homemade burgers this week. It was so worth the wait.

Homegrown beef from my friend Jeanine, tossed with local grated two-year old cheddar, and a heaping spoonful or two of my cousin Pat’s homemade pesto. I rounded out my summer backyard feast with lots of fresh veggies from my local farmers’ market – sautéed cremini mushrooms, diced tomatoes and fresh carrot sticks.

100% Simple. Local. Yum.



braised ribs take 2

It hasn’t exactly been crockpot weather – but I had a nice little package of local beef braising ribs. I cut them up and loaded them in my mini crockpot, added BBQ sauce, a little red wine, chopped onions and quartered cremini mushrooms.

I added new potatoes after about 3.5 hours, and it was all done in 4 hours (on high).

And then – the leftovers turned into this. I chopped everything up, tossed it in a saucepan with a little white wine, freshly shelled peas and a few cherry tomatoes.

 One bowl easy. Included lots of food groups. And was as tasty as it was colourful.


can’t. stop. canning.

Tis the season for a lot of fresh local produce…and I just keep looking for more things to preserve. It’s so satisfying – in a whole different way than cooking a meal – to make something that I can eat or share all year long.

Maybe I should have been born before refrigeration.

This week it’s been more raspberry jam. Bread and butter pickles. And zucchini relish – which I don’t even like but am so happy to make it on request for someone else. I’m waiting for some fresh apricots to ripen a little more to make them into jam.

I’m slowly getting the tools I should have had all along to avoid hot water bath burns and the inevitable cursing when I try and remove a mason jar with simple tongs.