Chow down on Chowder

 

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Soups and stews are two of our favourite ways to make a one pot meal; the protein, vegetables, fats and carbohydrates all cook together in one pot, melding complimenting flavours and textures and pretty much resulting in a complete, delicious and healthy meal. And at the heart of a good soup or stew is the stock, be it meat, fish or vegetable; a good stock is full of nutients and provides the base for your one-pot meal. When it comes to making a stock for a chowder or fish soup, we like to keep it simple; whenever we have a feed of lobster we freeze the shells, heads and tails and antennae, and when we have shrimp we peel the shell and freeze them along with the heads. When we have enough, in it all goes into the stock pot along with the usual mirepoix, resulting in a flavourful stock perfect for the next batch of fish soup or chowder.

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Kaffir Lime leaves

 

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If you are a fan of Thai or Indonesian cuisine, no doubt you are familiar with the fragrant, lemon-lime perfume of the Kaffir lime leaf. Also known as the makrut lime, the shiny, deep green leaves, similar in size to bay leaves, but distinguished by a unique, hourglass shape, add a distinctive, South Asian flavour and appeal to soups, stews, curries and even desserts. And once you get used to cooking with them, you just may find yourself going out of your way to use them at every opportunity. Continue »



Happy Fall!

Wildflowers blooming like crazy on a curbside hellstrip.

Wildflowers blooming like crazy on a curbside hellstrip.

It’s the fall solstice, with the day and night having exactly the same number of hours. Also known as the Equinox, it’s all longer nights from here on in, but the process is gradual, and there are many more days for fitting in some important gardening.

Yes, it’s technically the end of summer, but who’s counting? For gardeners, fall is a great season for getting things done. Digging new beds, planting bulbs, planting new perennials, shrubs,trees, clean-up and raking are all waiting to be done. And, let’s face it, doing all these things in cooler weather is a blessing. So don’t put away those tools yet.



Baking 101: Carrot Cake

 

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This is a fantastic time of year for gardeners, growers and all those who love just-harvested, fresh produce. Our friends who have gardens are dropping by with little cornucopias of fruits and veggies, and it must have been a good summer for carrots because they seem to be front and centre and taking over. Happily for us all, carrots are an essential ingredient in one of the most beloved of all cakes, and, as the average cake will use up about 3 cups of grated carrots, what better way to use up a bunch than to make this classic dessert? Continue »



Woodsy, Wonderful Watercress

 

photo courtesy of Ilona Daniel

photo courtesy of Ilona Daniel

 

Foraging judiciously for delicious edible plants in the wilds is a great way to get in touch with nature and add a little environmentally friendly wow factor to your dinner table. Every spring, it seems, people traipse through woodlands on a culinary quest for fiddleheads, ramps and dandelion greens, and summer lures into the forests and fields for morels and other wild mushrooms, and raspberries, wild blueberries, serviceberries and, if you live in Newfoundland, bakeapples. And, if you are lucky you can add another item to nature’s shopping cart the next time you’re foraging in the woods near a cold stream; watercress.

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