Friday, January 25, 2013

stick to your ribs

after the freakishly pleasant winter of 2012, everyone sort of forgot that winter is cold & snowy & it sucks. 2013 has thus far given us a reality check. 

i just want to eat. stick to your ribs, piping hot, comfort foods are really the name of the game at this time of year. it's pretty handy that i happen to sell those at the seaport market every weekend ;)

this week i actually didn't make any new main courses. on monday night i taught a little in-home cooking class/made a 3-course dinner for some gals. then as soon as that was finished i jumped on production to cater a lunch for 40 people on wednesday. this one turned out to be for a bunch of big names in provincial politics. 

things went swimmingly but didn't really leave a lot of time to cook for the market. fear not, my inventory is insane at the moment so there will still be lots of options this weekend.

italian braised beef with root vegetables, red wine, tomatoes & basil over soft, herb polenta  
small $10 large $20
thai red curry beef with coconut, lime & cilantro, with peppers, zucchini & japanese eggplant over rice
large $20
beef shepherd's pie with getaway farm ground, carrots, peas & corn with cheddar, mashed potatoes
small $10 large $20
chicken parmesan with buttermilk-marinated, breaded and then baked chicken breast with loads of cheese, pasta, spinach, fresh tomatoes & marinara
small $10 large $20
chicken, leek, broccoli & bacon pies in a rich, herb-gravy with a puff pastry lid
small $10 large $20
chipotle turkey with black bean & corn succotash, bell peppers, chillies, lime & rice with melted cheese
small $10 large $20
turkey and dressing pie with carrots, peas, sprouts & gravy topped with cranberry & sage, potato-bread dressing 
i think there are only 2 smalls left - $10 each
lobster mac & cheese with foxhill cheese curds, oven-dried tomatoes, leek bechamel & panko crust
small $12 large $24
fish cakes with salt cod, lemon, savoury, green onions & a breadcrumb crust 
 $10/pkg 4
vegan curry loaded with sweet potatoes, cauliflower, green beans, peppers, potatoes, tomatoes, coconut milk, lime, cilantro & chillies over basmati rice & quinoa 
small $9 large $18
lentil shepherd's pie with mushrooms, kale, zucchini, tomatoes, peas, carrots, corn, sweet potatoes & parsnips with fresh herbs & a splash of balsamic
small $9 large $18
moroccan pumpkin tagine with dates, olives, lemon, peppers, tomato-ginger sauce & harissa quinoa with almonds
there are just a couple smalls left - $9 each

geez louise that's a novel! it doesn't even all fit on the blackboard right now. i remember the good ole days when i had 2-4 options a week...

i'm cutting down on salad production this week a little. i'll still have four flavours (broccoli, quinoa, beet & sweet potato) just smaller batches of each. the quinoa is switching back to the holiday version with grapefruit, pomegranate, parsley & fennel. i figure it's more soup weather right now though.

speaking of soup, i finished the carrot/apple/ginger this week so here's what's in the freezer:
carrot/apple/ginger (vegan, gluten-free)
curried butternut squash (vegan, gluten-free)
vegetable stew (vegan, gluten-free)
beet, parsnip & pear (vegan, gluten-free)
miso mushroom (vegan)
baked beans (vegetarian)
seafood chowder
hearty chicken stew
classic beef stew

on the dessert front, i made a new concoction this week:

it's a brown, butter blondie base (a blondie is a brownie without the chocolate) topped with a fairground inspired concoction of caramel popcorn, pretzels & peanuts. i actually haven't eaten one yet so i'm not sure exactly how they turned out but they look pretty good!

these are in addition to the usual array of cookies, cheesecakes, brownies, bars, squares, tarts & cupcakes.

time to get in the kitchen & i hope to see everyone over the weekend because i have a lot of stuff to sell!!!

ps: please, please, please come on sundays. they have been really boring & i need visitors :)

Friday, January 18, 2013

the cupcake whisperer

today there was something in the air. i was in the cupcake zone & they all turned out great - better than usual. this week's flavours are:
vanilla, pink grapefruit, red velvet, carrot, chocolate & paleo chocolate coconut

the other baked goods are breakfast cookies, passionfruit tarts, snickers brownies, maple walnut shortbread bars, chocolate-almond-coconut squares and cheesecakes. this cheesecake flavour is my favourite yet. it's vanilla with mixed berry topping and hidden at the bottom is a peak freens fruit cream cookies, the ones with the jelly in the centre!

i actually made some healthy stuff too. it seems that the salads are getting more & more popular each week, so i upped production again. there are the usual broccoli, sweet potato & beet salads. i switched up the quinoa salad - this version has artichokes, green beans, radishes, grainy mustard, lemon, dill & parsley. 

there's also a new batch of curried butternut squash soup. it's vegan & gluten-free with coriander, cumin, lime & coconut. i toned down the heat this time too. there's a batch of carrot/apple/ginger soup in the works but i haven't had a chance to puree & package it yet but it will be back on the menu next week for sure... maybe even for sunday.

and last but not least, i made two of my all-time best sellers. beef shepherd's pie & chicken/leek/broccoli/bacon pies are both back on the menu in both the small & large sizes.
small $10  large $20

alrighty off to bed, 4am is fast approaching!
hope to see you all over the weekend & don't forget to check out my valentine's day delivery service :)

Thursday, January 17, 2013

valentine's day

well it's that time of year again - christmas is but a distant memory & thoughts are turning to chocolate and flowers as valentine's day approaches.

despite the anxiety & chaos of last year, i have decided to run my valentine's day delivery service again - dinner for two delivered to your door (or workplace). this year i vow to be more organized and i may even start deliveries on the 13th so i'm not a ball of stress, road-raging around town during rush hour on the day of.

so same rules as last year: choice of app & main, my only rule being that the meal has to be the same for each household. i will try my best to accommodate any food allergies as well. the delivery area is anywhere within halifax and maybe over to dartmouth too if there's demand.

ok so here goes with the menu. i've spent the last week agonizing over this and hope that i've come up with a nice variety of 'romantic' options.

choice of:
velvety indian spiced cauliflower soup with brown butter croutons (vegetarian)

roasted beet salad with tomatoes and arugula, herbed goat cheese, toasted pine nuts and balsamic dressing (vegetarian)

steak and stilton tarts on a puff pastry crust with port reduction, pecans and watercress

the last option is based on one of my favourite hors d'oeuvres of all time.

now on to the main courses.
choice of:

creamy fettuccine with artichokes, swiss chard, sun dried tomatoes, roasted garlic, lemon & parmesan topped with an herby bread crumb crust (vegetarian)

moroccan chicken tagine with green olives, preserved lemon, dates & fennel served over harissa quinoa studded with almonds and coriander

roast pork loin in a white wine, grainy mustard & maple sauce, with roasted root vegetables, pears, baby potatoes and sage

seafood and chorizo paella with saffron, smoked paprika, lobster, mussels, shrimp & tilapia finished with tomatoes & roasted red peppers

this one is sort of like the jambalaya i've done before...

...except less spicy and with more spanish flair and seafood.

heating & plating instructions will be posted on the blog this year because it seems my printer & i don't really get along.

new this year, for dessert, i decided it would be more fun to do a sampler platter with lots of little nibbles to share.
chocolate covered strawberries
salted caramel blondies
champagne truffles
mini pink grapefruit cupcakes
and just a bite of the decadent chocolate bars i made last year

pricing will be based on the main course you choose.

artichoke fettuccine - $60
chicken tagine or roast pork - $65
paella - $70

the price is for two people and includes your choice of app, dessert sampler & delivery.

when placing orders please e-mail me at with your address, phone number, preferred delivery time and menu selection of course. payment can be made with cash, cheque, e-mail money transfer, visa or mastercard.

okee dokee i think that's it. i hope the menu sounds good & that you're all scrambling to get your orders in ;)


ps: i decided that orders have to be placed by february 7th so i can get all my food shopping done, packaging organized & plan my most efficient delivery schedule. thanks!

Friday, January 11, 2013


this week i cooked a whole lotta beef. 
twenty pounds of getaway farm grass fed beef to be exact.
it went into three different preparations: thai red curry beef, braised italian beef & classic beef stew.

for the curry, i braised the beef with ginger, garlic, coconut milk & lots of spices. once tender, i added sweet potatoes, japanese eggplant, zucchini, red peppers & green beans.

then i finished it off with tomatoes, basil, cilantro & lime and then served it over a medley of jasmine, basmati, red cargo, brown & wild rice.

small $10 large $20

the italian braised beef is reminiscent of my beef bourguignon, but instead of mushrooms & bacon, there's tomatoes & basil. there's also lots of red wine, oregano, garlic & caramelized onions. for this one i cooked the veggies right in the sauce so they absorbed loads of flavour - there are carrots, parsnips, celery root & rutabagas. it's served alongside soft polenta with cheese & herbs.

small $10 large $20

the beef stew is my usual recipes with potatoes, turnips, parsnips, carrots, brussels sprouts, herbs, garlic and peas in a rich broth. i also made a batch of chicken stew this week... well actually it's a turkey/chicken hybrid. there are chunks of chicken but the broth is made with roast turkey stock. it has all the usual accoutrements.
per usual $7 for 500 ml

last weekend i ran out of salads pretty quick & saw lots of disappointed faces on sunday. this week i upped production and have four flavours on the menu.
1. thai curry quinoa: ginger, garlic, carrots, cucumbers, jicama, snow peas, celery, peppers, peanuts
2. sweet potato: bell peppers, avocados, tomatoes, green onions, lime, cumin, cilantro, chipotle
3. broccoli: red pepper, red onion, sunflower seeds, almonds, dried cranberries, bacon
4. beet: wheatberries, red onion, asian pear, arugula, balsamic, honey, basil, goat cheese
per usual $5 for 500 ml

as far as sweet go, the tarts are passionfruit, hello dollies have returned, pink grapefruit cupcakes are making their debut and gluten-free cupcakes are back.

i think that's it!
see you over the weekend :)

Friday, January 4, 2013

happy 2013

happy new year everyone!
i've got a pretty good feeling about 2013 already.

i can imagine that lots of folks made the resolution to eat healthier and lighten things up so i'm starting off with the salads.

this week i made the thai curry quinoa salad. there are peanuts, carrots, cucumbers, peppers, green onions, and snow peas with mint, basil, cilantro, lime, garlic, ginger & sriracha. i think this is my absolute favourite salad of all time. there are also lots of broccoli & sweet potato salads. the sweet potato salad has actually been getting loads of twitter love from the fine folks at jitterbug sodas, stickler chocolates & made with local. it has definitely become a market vendor favourite - thanks for all the support!

there are also two new main courses on the menu. i deboned and roasted up my 20 pound shani's farm free run turkey. i coated the dark meat in a nice spice rub with lots of cumin & paprika, then shredded the meat & mixed it with lots of chipotle lime barbeque sauce. it's paired with black bean & corn succotash, lime, cilantro, jalapeno havarti & brown rice.

small $10 large $20

the second main course is turkey & dressing pie. this one was a two-day process. i first had to roast the bones and then make a pretty serious stock before i could get to work on the gravy. it's with herb-roasted white meat, peas, carrots, celery, sprouts & gravy of course. it's topped with cranberry & sage dressing and it's essentially turkey dinner wrapped up in one bite.

small $10 large $20

this week i also tackled one of my new year's resolutions. i've been meaning to make gluten-free cupcakes for ages and ages and i've had a few requests to go paleo. this week i went for it. i made almond joy (chocolate-coconut-almond) paleo cupcakes. they are 100% grain-free, turned out better than i expected and gave me a reason to experiment with some new ingredients - coconut flour & oil.

now i'm not quite ready to make any concessions just yet when it comes to frosting. they'll be topped with coconut cream cheese frosting or chocolate buttercream... not quite paleo, but definitely gluten-free!

there are also lemon tarts (not passionfruit this week - sorry), pumpkin tarts, breakfast cookies, mixed berry cheesecakes, maple walnut bars, snickers brownies & the usual assortment of cupcakes.

sorry if anyone missed me at the market last sunday - i'm a little overprotective of my new car - but i'll be back to my regular schedule this week.
saturday 7am-4pm
sunday 8am-4pm

see you all over the weekend!