March 23, 2008

So Many Egg Cups To Add To Your Collection

As a child I can remember my Nanny soft boiling an egg and serving it to me in an egg cup shaped like a little boy and placing a toque on top to keep it warm. I loved dipping toast fingers into that creamy yolk.

I now collect egg cups. Family and friends have been very generous and brought me egg cups from all over the world. I now have about 50 of them.

YumSugar recently posted a slideshow with some adorable egg cups. I'll take them all!

Take a Peep at this...

Peeps are adorable. They are a cute little marshmallow treat that always reminds me of Spring. Now I always assumed that Peeps were for eating. I have now found that to be not so true. Peeps have a bit of a cult following. There are websites dedicated to their research, photography, even a Peeps diorama. I really think I have been missing out

Real Simple has also created a slideshow of new uses for these sugary treats- the "Peeps as a table level" makes me a little sad.

...Those That Understand Teach

My profession is teaching. I teach Special Education to elementary school children. But last week I decided to broaden my spectrum and deliver a lesson to my colleagues about cooking. As part of our "Wellness Committee" initiative I presented a class about Quick and Easy Meals. It was great fun and the participants were great. Everyone worked together to create the meals and, in general, seemed to enjoy the food. I am hoping to get another class in before the end of the school year.

The menu included:

Mango Lassi

Baked Sausages with Fennel, Potatoes and Asiago

Mediterranean Turkey Burgers Stuffed with Feta Cheese

Ziti with Honey Roasted Salmon and Creamy Mustard Sauce

Mango Lassi (

3 cups yogurt
1 cup mango purée, fresh or canned (Mr. Goudas is a good brand)
1/3 cup honey or granulated sugar1 tray ice cubes

Put all the ingredients in an electric blender or food processor and blend until the ice is crushed and the liquid is frothy. Serve immediately in tall glasses. (The drink will keep, covered, for up to 3 days in the refrigerator. Whip again before serving.)

Makes 4 servings.

Baked Sausages with Fennel, Potatoes and Asiago (Food & Wine Magazine)

2 T olive oil

1 lb sausages

1 onion, sliced thin

1 bulb of fennel, sliced thin

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 t fennel seeds

2 large potatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes

S&P to taste

1/3 dry white wine (vermouth, beer or apple juice can be used)

1 – 28 oz. can of whole tomatoes, drained and chopped

1 ½ c grated Asiago

Heat the oven to 450 F. In a large, deep pan, heat 1 T of the oil over medium heat. Add the sausages and cook until browned and cooked through (about 10 min.). Remove from pan and slice when cooled.
Add the remaining oil in the pan and heat pan on medium. Add onion, fennel bulb, garlic and fennel seeds and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in potatoes and S&P and cook until vegetables begin to soften (7-8 minutes).
Stir in the wine and simmer until evaporated. Stir in tomatoes. Raise the heat and simmer until most of the liquid evaporates (5 minutes). Stir in the sausages and transfer to a baking dish.
Bake the sausage mixture for 10 minutes. Top with the cheese. Bake for about 10 minutes longer.

Mediterranean Turkey Burgers Stuffed with Feta Cheese

1 1/2 pounds lean ground turkey

6 tablespoons dry breadcrumbs

2 teaspoons grated lemon peel

2 teaspoons dried dill1

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

½ c feta cheese, in large chunks

6 whole wheat, hamburger buns

2 c baby spinach

6 slices tomato

6 slices red onion

1 c tzatziki sauce (recipe below)

Combine turkey, breadcrumbs, lemon peel, dill, salt and pepper in large bowl. Mix well. Divide turkey mixture into 6 equal portions. Form 1 portion into two 4-inch diameter patties. Place 1 tablespoon feta atop 1 turkey patty; place second patty atop cheese. Seal patties at edges to enclose cheese. Repeat with remaining 5 portions. (Can be prepared 4 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)
Prepare barbecue or indoor grill (medium-high heat). Grill burgers until cooked through, about 5 minutes per side. Toast buns. Place turkey burgers on bottom half of buns. Top burgers with tomatoes, spinach, onions and tzatziki.

Tzatziki Sauce (

You can buy drained Greek yogurt at some grocery stores. Substitute fresh dill or parsley for the mint if you like

2 cups whole milk yogurt, drained (500 ml)
1 medium English cucumber, peeled and grated
2 to 3 cloves of garlic, minced
Handful chopped fresh mint, optional
Coarse salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

Add the yogurt to a colander lined with cheesecloth and place over a bowl. Drain for a minimum of 2 hours or overnight in the refrigerator. If you don’t drain the yogurt, the tzatziki sauce will be looser.

Drain the grated cucumber and squeeze out the excess liquid. Mix yogurt with remaining ingredients. Season the mixture with salt and pepper and stir in the chopped mint. Makes about 1 ½ cups.

Ziti with Honey Roasted Salmon and Creamy Mustard Sauce

1 lb salmon fillet

1 T honey + 2 t honey

1/2 t fresh-ground black pepper

1 T olive oil

1 onion, chopped

1/3 c dry white wine

1 t grainy Dijon mustard

3/4 c heavy cream

S&P, to taste

2 Ts chopped fresh parsley

3/4 lb ziti

Heat the oven to 400 F. Put the salmon in the pan, skin side down. Spread 1 T of honey over the salmon and then sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper. Roast the salmon until just barely done, about 15 minutes, depending upon the thickness of the fillet. Remove from the oven.

In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the ziti until just done, about 13 minutes – drain.

In a medium saucepan, heat the oil over moderately low heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 7 minutes. Add the wine and simmer until about 1 tablespoon remains, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the mustard, cream, remaining honey and S&P. Turn off the heat. Flake the salmon and stir with the parsley into the sauce. Toss pasta with the sauce.

March 12, 2008

Cooking Club I - Mexican Fiesta

Our March meeting was hosted by Imogen and focused on Mexican delights. I enjoyed the food immensely but, once again, filled up on the chips, salsa and margs before the mains even showed up!

Imogen - Garden Tomato Salsa (mild & spicy) with Chips
Rosemary - Grilled Fish Tacos
Danielle - Cinnamon Churros with Dulce De Leche for Dipping

March 11, 2008

Battle of the Hors D’oeuvres for Big Brothers/Big Sisters

Windsor, ON - Canadian celebrity chef and cookbook author, Christine Cushing, will lead the critics’ panel at the 22nd Annual Battle of the Hors D’oeuvres on Friday, May 2, 2008. For the past two decades, local chefs have competed for the title of best hors d’oeuvre. This year’s competition will be enhanced by an all-new “Critics’ Choice Award” as well as the fan-favourite “People’s Choice Award”.

“We are incredibly excited to have Christine Cushing, one of Canada’s most distinguished chefs, join us to help determine Windsor & Essex County’s best hors d’oeuvre,” says Mary Vincente, committee chair. “However, celebrities won’t be the only judges; guests will be asked to vote for the People’s Choice award. It will be interesting to see if guests have the same palate as our critics’ panel.”

Besides Christine Cushing, the critics’ panel includes:

· Ted Whipp, food writer and blogger, Windsor Star
· Mike Deibert, editor of Ontario Restaurant News
· Ahron Goldman, president, Culinary Guild of Windsor
· Pina Ciotoli, food blogger, Windsor Eats
· Danielle Piche, food blogger, Maple Syrup and Poutine

· James Treadwell, sommelier and owner, Treadwell Farm-to-Table Cuisine

Guests can mingle with all of the celebrity judges during the wine tasting and food sampling reception that kicks off the evening. After the reception, the food competition begins and guests will be treated to 10 hors d’oeuvre-style courses created by local chefs, a dessert extravaganza, a diamond raffle, a silent auction and the sounds of the Detroit Pistons’ house band, the Sun Messengers.

The 22nd Annual Battle of the Hors D’oeuvres is a food competition fundraiser where all the proceeds benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters Windsor Essex. The 2008 event would not be possible without generous sponsorship from Flood Chiropractic, Sutts, Strosberg, LLP, Unique Tool & Gauge, Valiant Machine, AM800, The A-Channel and The Windsor Star.

Tickets are $100 or $900 for a table of ten. Tickets are available by phone at (519) 945-6232 ext. 13 or ticket order forms may be downloaded from

March 1, 2008

Food in the News

Looking for high salt content in your child's food? Go to A&W - CBC

How to dine when you have OCD - New York Times

Chocolate Conspiracy? - CBC

For all the sandwich lovers out there, the best in America! - Esquire

New food products - in stores now! - Toronto Star

Bakeries struggle and farmers rejoice as the price of flour rises - CBC

Recipe Reviews

Though I rarely crave sweets, there recipes were too good to pass up.

Pineapple Mojito - Miche Mache Blog (picture credit goes to them)

Plain and Simple Chocolate and Vanilla Cupcakes - The Cupcake Blog

Hot Tamale Macarons - Tartelette Blog

Waste Not, Want Not

I believe that we should all be doing our part to help the environment. This can include many simple things like turning off your car when idling for long periods of time or turning down your thermostat. In the Globe and Mail, Vikram Vij discusses how chefs can also be more conscientious in the kitchen. I think these tips also translate to the home cook. Here is how you can help in your own kitchen:

- don't buy what you won't use; having rotting food in your fridge is a waste

- put scraps (other than meats and fats) into a composter

- use food from sustainable, local farms as much as possible

- try to use each part of the food you buy (e.g. eat the chicken breast but use the bones for stock)

- don't buy overfished seafood and fish (e.g. Chilean SeaBass, Cod, Orange Roughy)

- the less processed the food, the more likely it is to have a smaller carbon footprint

- buy organic, but try to make it as local as possible

I'm sure these suggestions are just the tip of the iceberg. Please comment and add more ideas.

*Here is another article from TerraDaily, as well as one about Michael Pollan in the Toronto Star