Archive for August, 2009

I had this idea over the weekend to make a deconstructed Caesar Salad and it turned out much better than I ever thought. What’s a little different with this one is that I grilled the Ice burg lettuce (normally Ice burgs are not welcome in our home, but for this occasion we allowed it!)
Deconstructed Caesar Salad

Deconstructed Caesar Salad


  • 1/4 tightly packed Ice Burg Lettuce per person
  • 1 prosciutto slice per person
  • 2-3 cherry tomatoes per person, sliced in half
  • 1 slice of dark rye toasted
  • 1 tbsp Parmesan cheese finely grated

For the dressing:

  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 large + 1 small clove garlic minced finely or microplaned
  • a couple of drops of fish sauce (from Thai stores)
  • 2-3 tbso EV olive oil
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste


  1. Prepare dressing by mixing all ingredients well.
  2. Crisp the prosciutto slices under a broiler, watching carefully as it burns easily. Blot with paper towel and set aside.
  3. Rub dressing on all sides of the Ice Burg, let stand to absorb the flavours.
  4. Rub the small clove of garlic on the toast, sprinkle with Parmesan and return to broiler so Parmesan melts (1-2 minutes).
  5. Grill Ice Burg Lettuce on a very hot grill for about 1 minute per side.
  6. Plate Ice Burg lettuce, prosciutto, cherry tomatoes and Parmesan toast.
  7. Drizzle with remaining dressing.
  8. Serve immediately.

Deconstructed Caesar Salad on Foodista

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I had some tomatoes in the refrigerator that needed to be used up and fast, so what better than a chilled soup on a hot summer’s day? JT doesn’t like raw onions so I always make this soup cooked and then cool it down. JT gave this one a 9.5/10! The balsamic gives the soup a sweetness but because you reduce it, there isn’t the sharpness!

Serves 2 for lunch or 4 as a small cup Appetizer


Ingredients Soup

  • 1/2 an onion thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp E.V. Olive Oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 450 g chopped tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 100 g finely diced celery
  • Sea salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 cup beef broth (I always use low sodium)

Directions Soup

  1. Place olive oil and onions in a medium saucepan (not cast iron), and sweat for about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the balsamic vinegar and cook until the balsamic is reduced.
  3. Add garlic, celery and beef broth and cook until everything is soft.
  4. Purée with an immersion blender until smooth.
  5. Force through a fine mesh sieve to remove tomato skins and seeds.
  6. Salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Chill for several hours.

Ingredients Garnish

  • 60 g celery finely diced
  • 6 cherry tomatoes (these were from my tomato garden) finely diced
  • 1 small radish finely diced
  • 1 small garlic very finely chopped (or on a microplane)
  • 3-4 sprigs each parsley and basil finely chopped
  • 1 medium leaf mint finely chopped
  • Sea salt to taste
  • 1 tsp crumbled feta per plate

Directions Garnish

  1. Mix all ingredients together and set aside to allow flavours to develop (1/2-1 hr should be enough).
  2. Pour soup into bowls, and spoon garnish onto centre (some will sink, but then you can build it up so the garnish shows in the centre).
  3. Add crumbled feta. Drizzle with olive oil if you wish.
  4. Enjoy!

Gazpacho - Chilled Tomato Soup With Raw Vegetable Salsa on Foodista

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We accumulated quite a bit of left-over lumber from our deck-building project – even over and above what we’d given away already. I had a plan. I’d always hated stepping onto the dirt in front of our shed in the back 40, so I convinced JT to build a mini deck so that the dirt doesn’t splash up against our lovely shed and give us a good landing stepping in and out of the shed. Of course, we picked Sunday to do this task. Outside. During the bloody hotest day this summer! I was sweatin’ like an Eastern European Woman. Oh.

Hotest Day Yet

The really important number is the “Feels Like” because that is what it feels like with the enormous amount of humidity!

We got it done, just in time for a late lunch.

New Mini Deck

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Adapted from Epicurious.com

I love these light cake-like cookies on their own, or presented as a lovely dessert, with sauces and fruit. I reduced the sugar and made minor changes to the directions. Hope you like them.

Makes 24 Madeleines

Almond Madeleines


  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup almond flour (finely ground blanched almonds)
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly


  1. Pre heat oven to 375°F.
  2. With about 2 tbsp additional butter, generously butter Madeleine pan and put it into the freezer (mine is aluminum so it cools quickly).
  3. Melt butter in the microwave or small saucepan. Set aside to cool.
  4. Put about 2 tbsp of the melted butter in a frying pan and brown the almond flour (carefully, this burns quickly). Set aside to cool.
  5. In a bowl with an electric mixer beat the whole eggs with the granulated sugar until the mixture is thick and pale and forms a ribbon when the beaters are lifted (15-20 minutes).
  6. Beat in the almond extract and the zest.
  7. Sift in the flour in 4 batches over the mixture, folding it in gently after each addition.
  8. With a fork, press the browned almond flour so that it becomes mealy and doesn’t lump
  9. Fold the almond flour into the batter.
  10. Put about 1 cup of the batter into the cooled melted butter and incorporate well.
  11. Gently fold this butter-batter mixture into the remaining batter.
  12. Spoon the batter into twenty-four 3- by 2-inch cooled and buttered Madeleine molds and bake the Madeleines in the lower third of a preheated 375°F oven for 10 minutes, or until the edges are golden.
  13. Turn the Madeleines out on a rack, let them cool.
  14. Once cooled, Madeleines freeze well.

Lemony Almond Madeleines on Foodista

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The Menu Marlatt Weekend

Our good friends the Marlatt’s are coming up north and we always do some interesting menus. Rae kindly ‘wine pairs’ to round out the experience. Here is the work in progress menu.

Friday – Lunch




  • Roasted seasoned nuts


  • Breakfast
  • Croissants, Coffee and 1/2 grapefruit


Cocktails and Dinner


  • Roasted seasoned nuts


  • Breakfast
  • Smoked Salmon, Bagels and Cream Cheese

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Last night we ventured out to Ossington between Queen and Dundas for the Blackout Anniversary Street Party. This party is held every year in a different hood in Toronto. I guess we should have stayed later, because for us it was a bust. We had reservations at Delux at 7:30 and the party was to start at 8 – we were finished dinner around 8:30 and the street was deadskie. Nothing going on. We found a cute little bar that had a huge selection of Tequila so we had a drink (or two) and were done by 9:30 (the bar was sweltering because they turned off 95% electricity so no AC). Still nothing, so we went home. Note to self, next year, go much much later.


Very cute, minimalist decor approach, limited menu; not terribly expensive. The chef is Corinna Mozo and the style is Cuban/French. We had the curried mussels (about 25–35 already checked mussels (no dead one’s in this pile!). They serve it with what tastes like home made bread, kinda heavy but really good for slopping up the tasty Currie. Then we had the Cuban sandwich, which we mentioned we were sharing, so they actually split it onto two plates, which was lovely. The sandwich had a grainy mustard mayo, pickles, caramelized onions, Gruyere and pulled pork (I think) and it’s grilled until it’s hot and crispy – YUM! I had about 3 bites and handed it over to JT to finish, very filling. The fries were thicker than I prefer, but they came with a Chipotle mayo which as fantastic. I gave half my fries to JT.

Overall rating: Decor 3/5, service 4/5, food 4/5 and Value 4/5


Definitely a place to bring our good friends Paul and T (they love Tequila, and I have to admit, if it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t have tried one!). They specialize in Tequila and cocktails made from Tequila. Being newbe’s we decided to try a couple straight up so we can really get the flavour.

JT had El Jimador (photos from Reposado website)

El Jimador Tequila

I had the Los Arango. I wasn’t totally in love with it but it was a nice treat. My favourite poison is still the Hungarian Palinka (which is kind of like the Swiss Kirschwasser).

(photos from Reposado website)

Los Arango

Overall rating: Decor too dark to tell, service 4/5, food n/a and Value 3/5 (not too expenisve).

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The Marlatt’s are coming to the cottage in a few weeks and I am already thinking about the menu. I was inspired by Iron Chef last week, where the secret ingredient was melon and you had to have a frozen component. One of the chef’s created a version of melon and prosciutto that I loved, so here is my rendition.

Chilled Melon & Kiwi Soup with Crispy Prosciutto Chiffonade and Frozen Melon & Kiwi Balls

Serves 4-6 small portions

Chilled Melon Soup with Prosciutto

  • 500g + 100g Sweet Cantaloupe
  • 80g + 20g Kiwi
  • 1/2 cup no fat yogurt
  • zest of 1/2 lime
  • 1 tbsp Agave Nectar (if melon is not sweet enough)
  • 1 slice of Prosciutto per person (omit if you are making this vegetarian)
  1. Seed and peel cantaloupe. Cut 500g into smallish cubes.
  2. Peel and core Kiwi and cut 80g into smallish cubes.
  3. Put cantaloupe, kiwi, lime zest and yogurt into blender and blend until smooth.
  4. Taste and season with agave nectar if not sweet enough (my cantaloupe was plenty sweet enough, so I didn’t need the extra sugar)
  5. Pour through a fine sieve to avoid the kiwi seeds and cantaloupe pulp.
  6. Chill 4-5 hours.
  7. Cut the remaining 100g cantaloupe and 20g kiwi into 1/4″ cubes (I have a mini melon baller so I used that (of course you did!)). Place on parchment paper and freeze 4-5 hours.
  8. When you are ready to serve, chiffonade the prosciutto and fry until very crispy (broiling works too, just watch it carefully, it burns quickly!). Drain extra oil onto paper towel.
  9. Pour soup into small cups, dot with the frozen cantaloupe and kiwi and place the chiffonade of prosciutto on the centre top.
  10. Serve while the prosciutto is still hot (it’s a great contrasts of textures and temperatures, melon soup being cold, prosciutto being hot, and the little balls of melon and kiwi being frozen!)
  11. Enjoy!

Chilled Kiwi and Cantaloupe Soup With Prosciutto Chiffonade on Foodista

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