Friday, December 16, 2011

Brussels are not just for Christmas Dinner

The lowly brussel sprout receives a lot of undeserved criticism. The simple fact is they are a rather delicious vegetable and in my dealings with them they have possessed none of the unpleasant qualities so often attributed to them. Celebrate Winter by eating Brussels Sprouts.

Brussels Pureed with Roasted Eggplant & Garlic with Gnocchi and Crisped Prosciutto

Wrap a few unpeeled cloves of garlic in foil and place in a hot oven along side a Japanese Eggplant and bake until soft.

Halve brussels and boil in a large saucepan. When soft spoon into a food processor and retain the cooking liquid to thin the puree and to cook the gnocchi in.

Squeeze the soft sweet flesh from the garlic into the food processor and add the flesh of the eggplant, discard the skin and add half a rib of celery chopped small. Pulse a few times to combine. Season with salt and plenty of black pepper and a small grating of fresh nutmeg. Be cautious, nutmeg can quickly overpower all other flavours. Add a little of the cooking water and process, check consistency and add more water if needed. It should not be a smooth runny sauce, it should retain some texture. Transfer the puree to a bowl and stir through some finely grated parmesan.

Warm a small skillet and add a little olive oil, when hot toss in pieces of ripped up prosciutto and fry until crisp, allow to drain before using.

While the proscuitto is cooking bring the brussels water back to a gentle boil (add more water if needed) drop in gnoccchi. Once they float allow to cook for about 5 minutes then remove with a slotted spoon.

To serve spoon puree onto a plate or bowl. Nestle the gnocchi on top and sprinkle the crisp prosciutto pieces over all. Finish with a few twists of black pepper.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

lovely organic strawberries from my balcony

It's September 3 and I've just picked these wonderful organic strawberries from the hanging baskets on my balcony. It just makes me smile. Last year I was still picking strawberries at the beginning of November, hoping to do the same again this year!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

my organic balcony garden starts producing

Apart from the strawberries we've been enjoying for a couple of months now and the organic basil, marjoram, sage, thyme, rosemary and tarragon that have been adding great flavour to our dinners I'm excited the organic beans and san marzano tomatoes are now bearing fruit:

Prosciutto Wrapped Potatoes

Use the best quality small potatoes available, wrap each potato in a thin slice of prosciutto, place in a glass or ceramic oven proof dish with a little sunflower oil to prevent sticking. Cook in oven at 425 for 30 - 40 mins or until cooked through.

Prosciutto wrapped potatoes with BBQ wild sockeye salmon and heirloom tomatoes dressed in olive oil  & kosher salt.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Green Sausage Don - a kinda fusion

I was drawn to these sausages at Wholefoods because of their vivid green colour from all the kale packed in them. These are healthy; made with unmedicated chicken and very low in fat. There's nothing Japanese about the sausages but for some reason I wanted them on sushi rice. This is a pretty quick meal to put together and you can easily substitute any meat or protein for the sausages.

Thoroughly wash 3 cups of short white rice. Place in a large saucepan and add 3 cups of water. Cover tightly and bring to a boil. reduce the heat, leave covered and simmer for about 12 minutes until all the water has gone. Remove from heat and leave to stand, covered, for about 10 mins. This will produce much to much rice for two. Refridgerate the leftover rice in a sealed container to use in the next day or two.

While the rice is cooking place sausages on a hot grill. I used a George Forman.

Dissolve 1/4 cup white sugar and 1/2 teaspoon sea salt in 1/2 cup rice vinegar.

Thickly slice 1 zucchini and 2 tomatoes. In a bowl combine 1/4 cup sesame oil, 1 tablespoon tamari and 1 tablespoon mirin. Allow zucchini and tomatoes to marinate in oil mixture for 5 or 6 minutes.

When cooked remove sausages from grill, keep warm and grill the zucchini and tomatoes.

Put rice in a non-metalic flat bottomed dish, a pyrex baking pan is ideal. With  a flat spatula, or rice paddle if you have one, make cutting motions through the rice to both breakup clumps and cool. Lift the rice and turn it over but do not stir which will break the grains. While cutting add the rice vinegar mixture a little at a time, you may not need to use it all, the rice shouldn't be too wet.

Serve the sausage on top of the rice with the zucchini and tomato on the side. Drizzle a little of the marinade over the zucchini and tomato.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

I will not be at the market on June 19

I'm afraid I'm sick and therefore must be responsible and not prepare the focaccia for tomorrow's (June 19) market on Main Street. So regrettably I will not be at the Blim Market on June 19. Here's looking forward to July!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Sunday, June 19 BLIM Market hits the street

I'll be serving scrumptious fruit and herb focaccia on Main Street at 18th from noon 'till 5pm when the Blim Market joins up with Car-Free Day.

On the menu will be individual sized focaccia flavoured with fruits, herbs and spices in the following combinations:

strawberry, black pepper, vanilla
pineapple, basil
mango, cilantro, chili
blueberry, thyme, lemon

I'll also have refreshing cups of watermelon, mint and lime juice.

Looking forward to seeing you all there!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Bake for the Quake exceeds

Bake For The Quake exceeded all goals on April 20, when over 650 people showed up at the Roundhouse in Vancouver and helped raise $7,136. All proceeds from the sale of baked goods, raffles, silent auctions and donations will go to Doctors Without Borders to help their work in Japan.

I am very proud to have been a part of this wonderful display of caring and generosity and I am very grateful to everyone who bought the focaccia I had for sale. 100% of the sales was donated to Bake For The Quake.

I'd like to say a very big thank you to everyone who has tweeted about my bread, you are all very kind and make the long hours worth it.

A special thank you and kudos to the hardworking organizers:
Melody Fury &
Joy Jose

See you all again soon.
Bake for the Quake by photographer, Mananetwork

Monday, April 11, 2011

Don't miss Bake For The Quake, April 20


Focaccia stuffed with Mushrooms, Arugula & Garlic
Focaccia stuffed with Curried Chickpeas & Spinach
Capers & Olive Focaccia
Tomato & Rosemary Focaccia
Mixed Herbs & Lemon Focaccia

Crust is so very proud to bring these wonderful breads to Bake For The Quake and be among the stellar lineup of Vancouver bakers who will be raising money for Doctors Without Borders working with victims of the recent earthquake in Japan.

Drawing on the traditions of Italian, British and French breads and pies, Crust unashamedly blends tradition with today's tastes. Bold flavours in subtle combinations is the hallmark of everything Crust produces.

My plan is to establish Crust as a food truck and store and I am seeking a food-loving business partner who is as passionate about accounting and marketing as I am about making delicious treats and staples.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Bake For The Quake - April 20, The Roundhouse, Vancouver

On April 20, Crust will be helping to raise money to support Doctors Without Borders working in the areas of Japan devastated by the earthquake and tsunami of March 11.

Focaccia stuffed with Mushrooms, Arugula & Garlic
Focaccia stuffed with Curried Chickpeas & Spinach
Capers & Olive Focaccia
Tomato & Rosemary Focaccia
Mixed Herbs & Lemon Focaccia

The stuffed focaccia make a complete meal, the others are flavoured and make the perfect host for your favourite sandwich fillings.

Along with many other bakers in Vancouver, Crust has pledged to donate 100% of sales to this important cause.  Bring your containers and shopping bags and buy your lunch for the next few days, or better still fill your freezer with delicious breads, cookies and cakes to enjoy when the mood takes you.

Read all about this special event at: