Thursday, July 26, 2007


This isn't a recipe for ratatouille, but boy that movie was *awesome*. I loved it so much! I highly recommend it to all, as it is the best movie I have seen in awhile. I love how there are so many culinary-inspired movies out there lately, and I can't wait to see Catherine Zeta-Jones in No Reservations... although it will probably be cheesy and incomparable to Ratatouille.

The recipe below is in fact for a fresh and lively Thai Beef Salad, which is amazing for the summer months and so easy to make. I love it! It is adapted from a recipe I found in the Toronto Star years ago.


Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 5 minutes

You'll need:
  • 3/4 lb (350 g) flank or fast-fry steak
  • 1/2 tsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp rice wine
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • pinch of pepper
  • 1 tsp corn starch
  • 1 green house cucumber
  • 1/2 red pepper
  • 2 green onions, thin-sliced
  • 1 Thai red chili, seeded and chopped
  • 1 tbsp coriander, chopped
  • A few leaves of a variety of fresh Asian herbs (like Thai basil)

For the dressing:
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tbsp sugar

With a sharp knife (like a cleaver), cut beef into thin slices. In a large bowl, mix soy sauce, rice wine sesame oil, salt, pepper and corn starch. Add beef and mix well. Let sit about ten minutes.
Meanwhile, cut the cucumber in half lengthwise and slice thinly. Toss with red pepper, onions and chilis in a large bowl.
Heat a large fry pan and add oil. When hot, add beef and stir-fry about three minutes.
Add the beef ro the salad along with the dressing. Top with coriander and fresh herbs.

Sooo yummy and fresh!

This recipe is totally Mike approved.

Side note: Mike and I are going to be eating at Babbo in NYC soon! We are so excited.

Monday, October 02, 2006

My very first non-recipe: Crazy Crab

Prep time: 0.0001 seconds
Cooking time: N/A

So it's only been about five weeks into school and already I've reached the all-time low of culinary debauchery. That is, I now no longer even have the time to heat up cold food in the microwave. Those two minutes are just too precious. They cannot be wasted. So here is the one meal that you don't have to do ANYTHING at all, no cutting up anything, no washing, no cling-wrap needed - oh but you do actually have to physically open a jar.

You'll need:
  • 1 jar seafood sauce (can be store-brand, some other brand, spicy or non-spicy)
  • 1 package fake crab meat (because pollock made to look like crab is just so delicious)
First you'll need to open the jar of seafood sauce and pour some of it into some kind of vessel conducive for dipping. Then you peel away the plastic to open the fake crab meat package. Then you grab a fork, stab some crab, dip in the sauce and eat.

See? No fuss, no muss, no microwave cooking time required. It is ingenious.

(Ever so sadly, this recipe idea isn't even mine, it's actually something A&P makes for you to get rid of their old crab).

This recipe is not Mike approved.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Savoury Italian Flatbread

Prep time: 1 minute
Cooking time: 5 minutes

I apologize for not posting in over half a year - I have been cooking since then, I swear! This summer so far has one of the best in my life (the last one was when I was working in Saskatoon in 2002). While I didn't really pick up any culinary skills while volunteering in Africa, I did try lots of delicious Kenyan dishes such as ugali (maize), sukuma wiki (spinach-like), chapati and beans... yum yum yum!

This recipe is from one of my bestest friends Shayna, who cooked dinner for me the other night. I couldn't believe how easy and simple it was to turn a pre-made flatbread into an absolutely delicious perfect accompaniment to any pasta dish.

Oh, and after reading the book "Heat" by Bill Buford, which is all about real, authentic and organic Italian cuisine, I realize how my Bolognese sauce isn't really a Bolognese sauce at all and my Italian cooking in general is a crude, butchered format of the real thing - but us poor students don't have time to create masterpieces, so please forgive me now. I promise I will partake in real cooking in the future.

And here's the recipe...

You'll need:

First preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Then drizzle olive oil all over the flatbread, followed by Italian seasoning and salt. Place in the oven for five minutes, until the bottom begins to brown. And voila, that's it, it's done and it's sooooooooooooo good.

Does this constitute as cooking?

This recipe is soon to be Mike approved.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Bestest Bolognese Sauce Ever

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes

I would have to say that this is my best dish - I've made it countless times for my always-grateful little sister Rose and for some reason I've only thought of making it for Mike now. I like to use ground pork because it's tastier, but lean ground beef is good too. I also like to use fine spaghettini because not only does it cook faster but it's more delicate. The secret to this dish is the Ragu sauce - it can be substituted by no other and there are also a few other special ingredients, as you shall see...

You'll need:
  • 300 g ground pork
  • 2 medium-sized carrots, diced
  • 1/2 white onion, diced
  • 1/2 red pepper, diced
  • 1 jar Ragu Original tomato sauce
  • 200 g spaghettini
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tbsp red wine vinegar (another secret ingredient)
  • 1/2 tbsp chopped garlic
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tbsp red chili pepper flakes
Boil a big pot of water to get the pasta cooking. By the time you're done with the sauce the pasta should be done too. In a small pot over medium heat, add the onions and garlic to the olive oil. Let the diced onion brown and then add the remaining vegetables. Meanwhile, in a separate small pan, heat some olive oil over high heat and add chopped garlic and then the ground pork. Cook and brown the ground pork for about three minutes along with some Italian seasoning. When cooked through, take off heat and drain off the excess oil. Then in the pot with veggies, add the ground beef and the whole jar of tomato sauce along with lots and lots of Italian seasoning, the chili pepper flakes and red wine vinegar. Bring to a boil and then simmer over low heat. When your pasta is ready then you can feast!

Trust me, this is the shizz.
Mike and Rose approved.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Grilled Tilapia in Teriyaki Sauce

Prep time: 1/3 minutes (literally)
Cooking time: 5 minutes

I haven't posted in a long time because the spare time I have to cook is few and far in between, now that final exams are less than a month away!

Although I love my T-bone steak, every so often I make it a point to eat fish because not only is it filled with omega 3-goodness (and my mom nags me to) but it cooks so fast!

It is also so rewarding to make your own teriyaki sauce (the bottled stuff is gross) and it is so easy. All you'll need to get is a good bottle of soy sauce (e.g. Kikkoman) and also a bottle of mirin, which is a Japanese rice wine. Trust me, they are very wise investments!

You'll need:
  • 1 grilled tilapia filet from your local poissonerie
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp mirin
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • a grill pan!
First heat up the grill pan to medium-high. Pop your tilapia on the grill for about two minutes on each side. Meanwhile, in a small pan, heat up the soy sauce together with the mirin. Then add the sugar and the sauce is ready when it dissolves! Pour it over the fish and voilà, you have dinner.

For side dishes, I usually make 1/2 cup of Uncle Ben's Natural Select Chicken and Herb rice. It is sooo good (Mike introduced me to it), it cooks in ten minutes and is surprisingly super tasty with teriyaki sauce. Recently I have also added a veggie side of delicious ginger-sesame asparagus (the recipe is below).

If you ever try making this recipe, you'll totally believe me when I say there is nothing better than homemade teriyaki sauce (and fish cooks soooo fast!)

This recipe is totally Mike approved.

Yummy Side Dish: Ginger-Sesame Asparagus

Prep time: 1 minute
Cooking time: 5 minutes

This recipe is shamelessly taken from Chatelaine, but it is so good and easy to make that I just had to share it. I've also recently been a fan of reading Chatelaine and especially its recipe section, which indicates to me that possibly (1) I am getting way too old and (2) I'm crazy.

Anyways, this recipe is a great accompaniment to any dish, be it chicken, beef or fish.

  • 1 bunch asaparagus, about 1 lb (500 g)
  • 2 tbsp hoisin or teriyaki sauce (1/2 soya sauce, 1/2 mirin and a dash of sugar)
  • 1 mL grated fresh ginger
  • 1 mL hot chili-garlic sauce (yummy!)
  • 5 mL sesame seeds (optional)
Partially fill a large frying pan with water and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, snap tough ends from the asparagus (this seems so wasteful, but it's so much fun!) and discard. In a small bowl, stir teriyaki or hoisin sauce with ginger and chili-garlic sauce. Add asparagus to the boiling water. After three minutes, immediately drain off water and return the pan to the burner. Add the sauce mixture and stir often until the asparagus is tender-crisp and evenly coated with sauce, about 1-2 minutes. Turn onto a plate and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Soooo yummy!

This recipe is yet to be Mike-approved.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Asian Beef Lettuce Wraps

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 7 minutes

I realized I haven't posted anything Asian... possibly because I've eaten Chinese food all my life and now that I'm living away from home I'm so happy don't have to have stir-fry all day, every day... but I do miss mummy and daddy's home cooking very much. So here is my little recipe that can serve as a full meal or perfect snack, depending on how much you've used your brain that day. Very substantial yet very fresh - the only thing is you'll need some Asian ingredients.

You'll need:
  • 1/2 lb ground beef

  • 1 red pepper, diced

  • 5 small shitake mushrooms, diced

  • 3 chinese sausages, diced

  • 2 green onions, chopped

  • 1/2 head lettuce

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil

  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce

  • 1 tsp sesame sauce

  • 1 tsp chopped garlic or shallots
First heat up the oil in a wok or non-stick pan. On high heat add the garlic or shallots and then add the ground beef, stir-frying rapidly until browned (about three minutes). Remove the beef from the pan and drain excess oil. Then add the vegetables and chinese sausage to the pan and stir-fry for about three minutes. Then add the ground beef back to the pan and douse with oyster sauce and sesame sauce, stir-frying for another minute. Now it's ready to serve! You just have to tear the half head of lettuce up into little cups so you can spoon the beef mixture into them and chow down. Soooo yummy.

Mike approved.
Perfect for an appetizer dish at a dinner party.

Chicken & Steak Wraps

Prep time: 3 minutes
Cooking time: 7 minutes

Today is going to be wrap day... this is totally Mike's dad's recipe, so it's definitely delicious! I adapted it a bit so it's not as good as the real thing, but what I love about wraps is that they're easy to eat fast... no fuss, no muss (unless you can't wrap wraps properly, like me sometimes). This recipe makes two wraps easy - you can choose to have chicken, steak or both!

What you'll need:
  • 2 tortilla wraps - sun-dried tomato and basil ones (the red ones) are the best!

  • 10 grilled chicken strips or beef strips - you can be lazy and buy pre-cooked Jane's grilled chicken or use yesterday's leftover steak.

  • 1 tbsp plum sauce or Diana's bbq sauce or salsa (you can basically use any sauce you like)

  • 1/2 red, yellow or orange peppers sliced thinly

  • 1/4 onion, sliced thinly

  • 3 lettuce leaves, shredded

  • 1 tsp chopped garlic
Heat the wraps up for a quick 20-second zap in the microwave. Heat a pan up to stir-fry the vegetables with the garlic and sauce for about three minutes. When they're softened a bit, place them in the wraps. Then heat up the chicken or steak with some more sauce and put them in the wraps as well. Then add some lettuce shreds, wrap your wrap up and voilà, a quick and easy meal.

Mike approved, but I'm sure he prefers his dad's.
Leftover steak is the best damn thing in the world.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Fresh Summer Salsa

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 0 minutes (but let it sit to let the juices percolate)

This recipe is for salsa lovers everywhere and is perfect for a picnic! The following makes about four servings.

You'll need:
  • 4 medium-sized tomatoes or equivalent

  • 1 small onion

  • 1 jalapeño pepper

  • 1 yellow or red pepper

  • 2 green onions

  • juice of 1 lime

  • salt and pepper to taste
Dice all the vegetables and place them into one bowl. Add the juice of one lime and add salt and pepper to taste. Mix everything together. Let the whole thing sit in the fridge for half an hour or so to let the juices flow... and then serve with your favourite chips! I recommend Tostitos scoops®. Mmmmm... this recipe may sound too easy to be good but seriously the mix of the tomato juices with the lime juices and the spice of the jalapeño pepper accented by the yellow pepper makes for a delicious salsa... this is good stuff!

Mike approved.
Even better when left outside in the sun (like on a picnic).

Mini Pita-Pizzas

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes

When you're in a crunch for time or just craving some pizza, this is definitely the meal to have. It takes less than ten minutes to bake and you can make as many as you want.

What you need:
  • Pitas (I prefer the Greek variety because the regular ones with pockets tend to crisp up and leave air bubbles)

  • Pizza sauce (surprisingly, Master's Choice makes a damn good pizza sauce. For a no-name store brand, this is the sh*t)

  • Any toppings you want, such as mushrooms, green peppers, onion, grilled chicken broccoli, pineapples, bacon bits (yah I love Hawaiian pizza, damn straight) or whatever happens to be in your fridge

  • Shredded cheese (like mozzarella... yummy!)

  • If you like, you can add more zip with a dash of Italian herbs, oregano, pepper, or red chili flakes

  • Having a pizza cutter rolly-thing makes this whole thing a great deal funner
First things first you have to preheat your oven to 375°C. My oven is busted because my landlord won't fix it so I always use my toaster oven. This recipe is perfect for the toaster oven! Then you can pile your pita with sauce, any toppings you like and most importantly cheese. I like to sprinkle some Italian herbs on top for more authenticity. By this time the oven is nice and preheated and you can pop the pita in... and you will have the most delicious express lunch or dinner in ten minutes! This is much better then pretending people are pizza and everything.

Mike approved.
Since pitas come in packages of 6 you can have this 6 days in a row!

Chicken Souvlaki!!

Prep time: 5 minutes + marinade overnight
Cooking time: 15 minutes

This is totally Mel's recipe - she's the best. For a non-Greek girl I love my souvlaki... almost as much as a Greek, I'm sure. I crave this stuff all the time and would be at my most optimal happiest if I could have it at least once a week. The only thing about this recipe is that you have to think ahead - marinating the night before is best.

You'll need:
  • 2 chicken breasts, cubed

  • 1/2 cup or 125 mL olive oil

  • 1 tsp black pepper

  • 2 tbsp lemon juice

  • 2 tbsp oregano

  • 3 garlic cloves chopped thinly (you could add more depending on how much you love garlic)
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well. You can leave them in the bowl or place everything in a plastic bag to refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight. You can check on your beautiful souvlaki from time to time, because the smell of the marinade and garlic is damn good! The next day put your oven on broil (I use my trusty toaster oven) and broil the chicken for about 15 minutes, flipping once.

I usually like to serve my souvlaki in a Greek pita with tons of tzatziki sauce. It's up to you!

Mike and Des approved.
Almost as good as the souvlaki found at Mr. Greek or Greco's!