Leek and Potato Soup With Kale

IMG_1796When I was growing up, I hated soups. My mom always made me eat them, as she is a firm believer that warm liquid keeps guts healthy. Maybe she is right, but I don’t mind eating soups any longer. I love them, specially when prepared by her. During my early cooking days I was quite intimidated by soups and thought that making them was a form of fine art. And then I discovered cream soups and everything got less scary. Somehow, pureeing the soup hides any imperfections, makes it look sophisticated AND even kid-friendly (all the lovely vegetables are hidden from the vegetable-wary eaters). Continue reading

Food Shopping: Korean Food Market

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Located in Toronto’s Korean Town, this corner store hides many gems behind its unpretentious facade.

As I have mentioned previously, I actually enjoy food shopping. Regular weekly grocery store runs put me in the ‘medium happy’ bracket, but any kind of specialty or ethnic food store sends me over the moon. Today was the day to visit a Korean Food Market.

P.A.T. Central looks like any other small ethnic supermarket, but wait until you get inside! It is not ‘new and shiny’ store with carefully arranged displays and immaculate rows of produce, but I am pretty sure that within its walls you will find anything you need for a night of Asian cooking.

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Cheese Board

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On this board: Aged Cheddar, Camembert, Saint-Paulin, Oka. Don’t figs look so pretty?!!

I love to entertain and usually serve at least 3 courses: appetizer, main, dessert. Mains and desserts happen to be the dishes that I have been inspired to cook for that particular dinner party, but appetizers can stress me out sometimes. So lately I have been into cheese boards: they look awesome, cheese is delicious and my guests are happy. If you serve a nice variety everyone can find something they like.  Cheeses can also be brought out for dessert to supplement whatever is on the menu. Later I eat the leftovers for lunch. Cheese is the all around winner! Oh, and don’t forget the wine (recently, I have been favouring Rosé).

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Chicken Strips

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Juicy and crunchy: the whole package!

My elder daughter is an extremely picky eater. Her list of approved dishes is pretty short: pizza, pasta, rice. I can kill myself cooking all kinds of delicacies and she would look at them as if they are about to jump off the plate and bite her. Packing her lunch bag is a nightmare and it consists of a steady rotation of pasta and french toast. In an attempt to broaden her palate I have even read a book titled “French Kids Eat Everything” but it turned out that I am not a French parent and she is not a French kid, alas! But I have recently discovered that she started looking favourably at chicken strips. I try not to buy frozen meals if making my own is an option, so I decided to give chicken strips a try. Continue reading

Okra Stew, Iraqi Style (AKA Bamieh)

IMG_1198.jpgMy husband’s dad’s side of the family is from Baghdad and Arabic dishes make regular appearances on our dinner table. Today’s post is about okra stew. Bamieh is the official name our Iraqi family has for this dish, but I stick to a safer ‘okra stew’ as I only witnessed my husband’s cousin’s wife cooking it once and tried to learn the steps the best I could (so authenticity of the recipe cannot be guaranteed). I improvised with the ingredients a bit and came up with a recipe that satisfied myself and the extremely picky eaters I happen to share my life with. Even my 6 year old likes it, and it says a lot! Continue reading

Match Made in Food Heaven

When I was grocery shopping this weekend, a little container of duck fat caught my eye. I immediately thought about potatoes cooked to crispy perfection in the duck fat. Maybe with some onions and a dash or garlic? Seasoned with a bit a salt and black pepper? Arugula salad on the side? Mmmm….

Can you think of any other perfect food pairings? Do you have your own favourites? I would love to hear from you 🙂

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