Worth a Mess [Broccoli-Lemon Gnocchi with Chili Brown Butter]

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I’ve had my fingers in a lot of bowls this week. Experimenting, creating and cleaning. Experimenting, eating, cleaning. Cleaning, cleaning, cleaning. Eating, eating, eating. 

I’ve been unduly fortunate to have a week to myself, to do with what I please. And what I please usually involves making a mess. Especially in the case of these gnocchi. I don’t know about your gnocchi process, but mine always creates a lot of mess. Mess that is, without any question, worth it once your teeth descend into the pillowy little bundles of savory joy. These are worth it. Worth a mess, worth the time, worth finding the perfect hiding space so your boyfriend can’t find them. That last one is important if you’re a jerk like me. But in that case, a jerk with lots of gnocchi, you’ll be. And ask yourself, is that really so bad? 

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Broccoli-Lemon Gnocchi with Chili Brown Butter
adapted from Local Kitchen Blog
makes 40-50 gnocchi

1 1/2 cups good-quality Ricotta (strain if it’s got excess moisture)
1 egg
1 tsp sea salt
fresh ground pepper
pinch nutmeg
zest from 1/2 lemon
1 heaping cup finely diced broccoli florets
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/4 - 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
whole broccoli florets
Parmesan, for garnish
lemon wedges, for garnish

In a bowl, vigorously whisk together the ricotta, egg, salt and pepper until shiny and smooth. Add in the nutmeg, lemon zest, broccoli florets and Parmesan and whisk to combine. Add in half the flour and fold together. Add the rest, slowly, while mixing and folding, until a sticky dough forms. Dump onto a well-floured surface and knead gently until dough is uniform. It should still be a bit sticky. Divide dough into 4 portions and place in the fridge for 30 minutes. 

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Remove 1 portion at a time and use your finger tips to roll the dough portion into a finger-width rope. Use a light touch and encourage the dough to lengthen by spreading your fingers as you’re rolling it out. Use a very gentle touch as you don’t want to squish the dough, you want pillowy gnocchi. Once finger-width, cut the rope into 1” sections. Place on a parchment-lined, flour-dusted baking sheet and cover with a damp towel. Repeat with remaining sections. Shape by quickly pressing against a gnocchi board or the back of a fork. Good gnocchi groves means more potential to catch sauce - something worth noting! 

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add about 8-10 (one layer) gnocchi at a time. They will sink to the bottom. When they rise to the top, they are ready. Place on a paper towel lined baking sheet and cover with damp towel. Repeat until all gnocchi are cooked.  

Add butter, pinch salt and chili flakes to a large skillet over med-high heat. Melt, swirling the pan until foam subsides and there are golden flecks in the butter (5-6 minutes). Add in the broccoli florets and 1/4-1/2 of the gnocchi and cook, tossing occasionally, until gnocchi are golden brown in spots and broccoli is cooked but still bright green. Serve with extra Parmesan and lemon wedges. 

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Making Way: A Reflection [The Bourbon Bastard - a cocktail]

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And just like that, the tide of another year is to be washed out to sea, lost and forgotten. It couldn’t have been 365 days since we did this last. Some unknown force must be stealing our minutes, hours and days, tucking them away from us, time disappearing into itself. It can’t be that we’re here, preparing ourselves to accept another year, unknown and beguiling. 

It’s safe to say that I have had a year. A full circle, it feels. I suppose that’s the way it should feel. Reflecting on it makes my stomach turn with so many emotions. From skin-tingling joy to burying sadness, gut-tightening anxiety to some of the calmest moments I can remember feeling. Twenty-thirteen has carried me through them all, stumbling at times. I feel closer to who I am than I have before. Twenty-thirteen has brought me new friends, some of the warmest, kindest-hearted, wild and wonderful people and has kept and rekindled relationships with old friends who keep me honest, remind me where I come from and push me to where I’m going. I am so lucky. So very lucky. 

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I have learned a lot this year. Most notably: 

1. shut up. close that giant mouth and just be quiet. you don’t need to be yapping all the time. sometimes life has a way of speaking for you. and other times, saying nothing means everything. 

2. letting my happiness come first doesn’t make me a selfish person. a happier me means a higher capacity to make everyone around me happy. and a happier me means… a happier me!  

3. if it doesn’t serve me in a positive way, teach me something, appreciate me or provoke thought, it’s probably not worth my time. 

4. SAY NO. enough already. helping people out is well and good but to make yourself broke and miserable so you can is plain silly. choose your yes’ wisely for the love of {expletive}. 

5. make the time. stop saying you’re too busy before it’s too late and you’ve lost everyone. there will always be more time to work. always. there won’t always be more time for the people you love. 

I’ve decided to let 2014 be my year of exploration. I’ve quit my desk-job after 8 years (an incredibly tough decision for me), come to terms with a big pay cut, a complete change of routine, to explore something new. I’ll still be working a full week, but I’ve decided to dip my toe in the food industry and see what happens (more on that at a later date). Life is too short to be stressed. Too short to be miserable. Too short to let your brain make the decisions that sometimes only your heart can. There will always be another desk that needs an ass in it, but I won’t always have the opportunity to flip my life upside down and take a chance. I have no idea what’s going to happen but that fear and unknowing sparks a light in my gut that will keep me going.  

When the clock strikes 12 tomorrow night I’ll take a deep breath, pulling in all the good and bad and wonderful and painful things from the last year, and let it out slowly, doing my best to release it all and make space in my heart and mind for another year of experiences, relationships, frustrations, hard-work and love.  

Thank you all for such a changing year. Thank you for reading, commenting, following along on recipes, watching Whoops, sharing stories, sending support in times of hardship and for being your fine-ass selves. I raise my glass to you and hope that you’re celebrating, learning, and making space for all of the new and exciting things that are coming. 

The Bourbon Bastard
serves 2

Our good friends, Justin and Mallory, are two of the wonderful people I’ve become closer to this year. They make me feel relaxed and at ease in their company and we’ve had some of the most memorable times eating, laughing and drinking beers around their table. As we left their place last night, Justin handed me a bottle of this Kentucky Bastard Imperial Stout and I thought it fitting, them having made such an impact on my last year, to work this into my reflection. To come across kind hearts like theirs doesn’t happen every day or even every year. Thanks for being rad, guys. 

juice from 2 lemons (+ a few strips of rind to garnish)
3 tbsp peach preserves (I used Michael’s Dolce Peach-Cardamom Jam)
2 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp pure vanilla
2 ounces bourbon
1 cup Kentucky Bastard Imperial Stout 
ice cubes

Whisk together the lemon juice, jam, syrup and vanilla. Strain so it’s smooth. It should be quite tart but have a nice sweetness to it. 

Divide the lemon mixture between two short rocks glasses. Add 3-4 ice cubes. Pour 1oz bourbon into each glass and top with the Kentucky Bastard stout. It will separate, but feel free to stir it together. 

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Get Your Grill On [Sponsored Post]



I recently developed some recipes for a killer campaign/eBook titled Get Your Grill On With Turkey & Mushrooms put on by Mushrooms Canada and Turkey Farmers of Canada. 

A talented round-up of Canadian bloggers have been chopping and stirring away, tasked with creating two recipes each containing both mushrooms and turkey. I was pretty thrilled to be able to work with some of my favourite people for this book and it came together so beautifully thanks to all the work of all the MC/TFC staff. The book contains beautifully shot, creative recipes like Grilled Thai Turkey Salad Rolls with Enoki Mushrooms & Peanut Sauce by Renee,  Pizza Bianca with Grilled Rosemary Rubbed Turkey Fillet, Shiitake Mushrooms and Truffle Oil by Michelle and Grilled Stuffed Mushrooms with Turkey-Sage Filling by Isabelle. They’ve got me running out and stuffing my shopping bag with mushrooms and turkey almost every week so I can taste the food in all those lovely photos. 

For my first recipe, I created a simple salad of pan-crisp wild mushrooms, spice-marinated turkey breast, sweet apples and grapes, hazelnuts and a lemony vinaigrette to bring it all home. It’s got flavour for days, it’s filling thanks to the turkey and mushrooms, and it’s easily adaptable to whatever produce you have on hand. I was so thrilled with how it turned out, I’ve made it almost every month since I developed the recipe. 

If you’re interested in this recipe and all the others, you can find it on the Mushrooms Canada Facebook page. Just click download and you’ll be ready to go! And don’t forget to visit the Turkey Farmers of Canada Facebook page for the second part of the e-cookbook (you’ll find my recipe for Grilled Turkey and Cremini Sandwich with Fig Jam & Feta in that one). 

Enjoy and Grill On, friends! 

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Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post put on by Mushrooms Canada and Turkey Farmers of Canada. I was compensated via a cash payment, gift, or something else of value to write it. Regardless, I only recommend restaurants or products I use/enjoy personally and believe will be good for my readers. 

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Knock Out That Cold [Spicy Kale Ginger Lemonade]

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There is something ominous lurking around. 

A dirty, nasty cold/flu that seems to be knocking my friends and family out one by one. I woke yesterday with a sandpaper throat and what felt like two corks in my sinus’. Immediately I started trying to knock it out before it did me in. 

Water (a lot of water), raw garlic (mashed into yogurt), oil of oregano and two full glasses of Green Juice later, and I seem to have come out victorious. I had plans to share a galette today, but in the spirit of health, I thought I’d share the recipe for the green juice that I’m adamant saved my ass from this TKO cold. 

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Spicy Kale Ginger Lemonade
based on Café My House's version

The ingredients are pretty rough here. Taste and adjust based on what you like best. This method is for those not lucky enough (like myself!) to have a juicer. It takes a little more time but it’s well worth it. 

1 bunch kale (curly or lacinato), rough chopped
1 large apple (2 small), skin on, cored and rough chopped
Juice from 2 lemons
1/2 english cucumber, rough chopped
large handful flat-leaf parsley
2” ginger, peeled and rough chopped
1/2 - 1 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 - 1 cup water

Place all ingredients in a blender with the 1/2 cup of water. Blend until everything is combined in a sludgy mess. Place a mesh strainer over a bowl and pour the contents of the blender into the strainer. Using a spoon or a potato masher (I have the best success with the masher, but it’s whatever works for you) and work the juice out of the pulp until it’s fairly dry. Taste and add more lemon if needed. Chill the juice or pour over ice and serve.

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Speedy Meatless Monday [Caramelized Fennel, Roasted Garlic and Tomato Soup with Lemon]

Spring may be inching closer, but that doesn’t mean the lingering chill in the air can’t be battled with a warm bowl of bright, fragrant soup. 

Today’s meatless Monday dish has spent many cold, winter nights wrapping my bones in a blanket of steaming hot, vibrant red soup made rich with the addition of savory caramelized fennel and roasted garlic. The splash of lemon at the end brightens the deep flavours and balances everything out. It’s a lick-the-bottom-of-the-bowl sort of soup and one that’s especially well-received when there is little in your fridge to make a meal out of, as seems to be my case lately. 

If your evenings are cool and you need something soothing, this soup will fit the bill wonderfully. 

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Caramelized Fennel, Roasted Garlic and Tomato Soup with Lemon
serves 2 as main, 4 as sides

1 large bulb fennel (about 1 1/2 cups), diced
olive oil
1 head of garlic, roasted*
1 can (1/2 cup) tomato paste
4 cups chicken or veg stock
1 cup water
2-4 tbsp fresh lemon juice, depending on taste
salt and pepper to taste
fennel fronds, optional

Drizzle a pan over med-high heat with a few glugs of olive oil and let it get hot. Add the fennel and a few pinches of coarse salt and let it cook, stirring every 5 minutes or so, until deep brown and caramelized around the edges, 20-30 minutes.

Add the tomato paste and roasted garlic cloves and cook until the paste has deepened in colour and become very fragrant, 6-7 minutes. Add the stock and water, bring to a boil and stir, scraping the bottom of the pot to release all the flavourful bits of fennel and tomato paste. Turn down to a simmer and let it bubble away for 20 minutes. Puree if desired (I like it smooth, but there is nothing wrong with a chunky soup). Add lemon juice, 1 tbsp at a time and taste to see if you’d like to add more. Taste for salt and add more if needed. Ladle into bowls and garnish with fennel fronds and a drizzle of olive oil. 

*Roast Garlic
cut top off garlic, drizzle with olive oil and salt, wrap in foil and roast at 400 until golden brown, 30-40 minutes. Let cool, squeeze cloves out into soup. 

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Bright and Happy [Lemon-Herb Wild Mushrooms with Israeli Couscous]



Resolutions? Not up in here. 

I’m not much for them. Setting myself up to feel badly that I haven’t kept a promise made 12 months prior isn’t my idea of productive. That said, I do usually try to start a new year off on a healthier foot. This is mostly because I have eaten and drank myself into early diabetes and alcoholism over the Christmas holidays. Am I over exaggerating? Unlikely. 

Healthy to me means adjusting my eating habits, not existing on raw carrot sticks and lemon juice with cayenne for a month. Food is not the enemy and the people who make it out as such give me a wicked case of the face-palms. I’ve been filling up on better-for-you grains and swapping out my usual heavy pasta toppings with lots of quick fried vegetables and nuts. Finding dishes that are as delicious as they are good for you makes a healthy lifestyle adjustments a lot easier to stick to. 

I always turn to my good friend, Fungus, when I need something rich and meaty… without the actual richness and meatiness. Mushrooms are the only vegetable that naturally contain Vitamin D. Any other natural food sources of Vitamin D are from animal, poultry or seafood origin. So when it’s mid January - late March and you’re missing the sun and feeling a little down in the dumps, grab a handful of mushrooms and fry them up. Your mood will be brighter and your tummy will be happier because of them. 

I cooked this decadent lemon-herb mushroom dish on CTV Ottawa Morning Live today (see my nervousness here!) and wanted to get the recipe up right quick so you could whip it up over the weekend if you’re so inclined. I’d like that.  I think you would, too! It’s going to fill you and and keep you satisfied through the afternoon if you have it for lunch, and would be super delicious with an arugula salad on the side for dinner. 



Lemon-Herb Wild Mushrooms with Israeli Couscous
serves 4 as side, 2 as main

A note on browning mushrooms: Really take care to be patient when browning the mushrooms. Don’t overcrowd the pan or salt the mushrooms before they’ve browned. Don’t be shy with the oil, this helps dissipate the moisture in the pan and will help them crisp up. 

1 1/2 cups dry Israeli Couscous
Olive oil
2 cups water or stock
1 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 tbsp lemon juice
fresh ground pepper
salt

1 1/2lbs wild mushrooms (chanterelle, shiitake, oyster, porcini etc)
3 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, rough chopped
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tbsp lemon zest
1 tbsp tarragon
3 tbsp fresh Italian/flat-leaf parsley, rough chopped
1 tbsp lemon juice
sea salt & fresh ground pepper
high quality olive oil, to garnish
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts, to garnish (optional) 

In a medium sauce pot over med heat, add a glug or two of olive oil (maybe 2tbsp) and th couscous. Let it cook, stirring every minute or so, until couscous is lightly toasted. Add the water  or stock and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer and let cook, covered, until couscous has absorbed all the liquid, 8-10 minutes. Add the lemon juice, parsley and a generous amount of pepper.  Taste for salt and add more if needed. 

While couscous cooks, take a heavy (cast iron would be ideal!) skillet and place over medium-high heat. Add a good layer of olive oil to the pan and place 1 layer of mushrooms down. Let them brown well (2-3 minutes) and them flip and brown the opposite side. Remove to a paper-towel lined plate. Repeat until all your mushrooms are brown and crispy and delicious. 

Wipe the pan down and add 1 tbsp olive oil and warm over medium heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook 1 minute. Add the mushrooms back along with the herbs, lemon zest and a pinch or two of salt. Toss a few times to combine and remove from heat.  Add the lemon juice.

Spoon couscous into a serving dish and top with mushroom mixture. Sprinkle with pine nuts, olive oil and any remaining parsley. Pour a glass of wine (or seltzer if you’re being really good and healthy) and enjoy! 


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A Shift in Comfort [Chermoula Chicken with Toasted Almond Couscous & Coriander Yogurt]



And just like that, winter came. And liked us so much it decided to stay for 4 long months. 

As the nipping air blows into town and we wrap our bones in layers over layers like flaky croissant dough around a piece of rich Swiss chocolate, I find myself feeling a constant power struggle in the kitchen. Comfort vs. Health. Does there need to be such a decision? Can’t we have it all?



The short answer is yes! We can! But there needs to be a bit of a shift in the way you prepare and buy ingredients for your favourite comfort foods. If you love macaroni and cheese, add the cheese to a pureed cauliflower or squash base instead of the classic butter-filled bechamel and use whole wheat pasta. Take time to learn how to adjust your seasoning with herbs and spices instead of salt. It’s not only healthier, but you really learn how to use all those little jars collecting dust on the shelf. Love a gooey lasagna? Try using thin slices of eggplant to replace the noodles, or place a spoonful of meat sauce at the end of an eggplant slice and roll it up like cannelloni  There are so many simple ways to make the dishes we crave most when the temperature drops just a little bit healthier, we just need to be a bit more mindful of how we shop and what goes into our meals.



The dish I’m sharing today might not bring visions of couch-snuggling, wine drinking or cozy evening movie-watching to mind initially, but to me it’s as quintessentially comforting as a bowl of noodles and broth. The couscous with toasted almonds is surprisingly satisfying, the fiery chicken with it’s array of warm spices can take the chill out of any frigid evening, and the cooling coriander yogurt really brings everything together. All of these flavours of lemon, yogurt, coriander, paprika and cumin compliment each other so wonderfully your mouth won’t even realize you’re eating something packed with nutrition. I chopped up all the leftovers and tossed them together in a salad for lunch that I just happen to be eating RIGHT NOW. And let me tell you, if it tasted good the first day, you’re going to be blown away by day 2! And it’s lovely cold, as well.

Invite a few close friends over and serve this up family-style over the holidays. It’s a meal that’s meant to be shared and enjoyed together. And since you’ve already saved yourself a few calories, why not have an extra glass of wine with dinner? Live a little! I give you my permission.



Chermoula Chicken with Toasted Almond Couscous & Coriander Yogurt
adapted from Fork Magazine
serves 4

Ingredients:

6 sweet red peppers (if you can find the long skinny ones, those are best)
6 skinless, boneless chicken breasts

For the Coriander Yogurt
1/2 cup coriander (cilantro), minced
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
Juice + zest of 1 lemon
salt, to taste 
½ tsp fresh ground pepper

Stir all ingredients until combined. Taste for seasoning and add more if needed. Place in the fridge until ready to eat. Can be made 1 day in advance. 

For the Chermoula spice: 
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp whole cumin
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 small red chilli, chopped & seeds removed (substitute: ½ tsp cayenne pepper)
1 small bunch of coriander, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, peeled
Olive oil

Place all ingredients in a bullet or food processor and blend until smooth. Can be made a few days in advance and kept in the fridge until ready. 

For the couscous:
3 cups cooked couscous
1 cup toasted almond flakes or slivers
2 tbsp olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt & pepper, to taste

Stir all ingredients except for salt and pepper. Add a few pinches of salt and fresh ground pepper and taste. Add more if needed. Keep warm in a pot over low-heat on the stove, stirring every so often. 

For the Chicken and Peppers: 
In a large container with lid (or a food-storage bag), add the chicken and Chermoula spice. Squish around until the chicken is coated and place in the fridge for 3 hours up to overnight. The longer you leave it, the better the flavour the chicken will have. 

Bring a grill pan or cast-iron skillet with a couple glugs of vegetable oil to high heat until sizzling. Add the chicken and cook for 6 minutes on each side or until juices run clear. Keep the pan on the stove and remove the chicken to a plate to rest for a few minutes. Place the whole peppers, 3 at a time, on the pan and let the skin blacken and blister slightly, 3-4 minutes. Flip and let the other side blister. Alternatively, you can move your oven rack to the top ledge and cook the peppers under the broiler. Remove and slice the peppers into thin strips and place them in a serving bowl. 

Pour the couscous onto a large serving dish. Sliced the chicken and serve over the couscous. Serve with Coriander Yogurt and Grilled Peppers. 

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Dinner for One [Grilled BC Sardines with Lemon-Herb Oil]



Eating alone is something I’m familiar with. Something I’ve grown to love, to cherish. 

It gives me the opportunity to cook the things that I know Mr GL doesn’t appreciate. A time to be selfish and create dishes that want to eat. This usually means fish, sometimes beans, maybe something consisting entirely of vegetables. Or cheese. Sometimes I get pretty awesome and just eat bread and cheese for dinner, panicking the whole time that I might get caught. Then I remember that I’m a big girl and can have whatever I want for dinner. Where’s the ice cream and whiskey? 

 
Cooking for one wasn’t always something I treasured, but I’ve been doing it for so long that I’ve developed a list of quick and easy go-to meals that both satisfy and provide a health kick on those busy days that leave little time to muck about in the kitchen. 

Sardines. BAM. 

I know, ok? I know. I’m sure I just lost a few of you with that. Bear with me, I promise I’m getting somewhere delicious with these. We’re not talking about the oil-packed, greasy little suckers you find in the rectangle can with a twist key. I’m talking about big, fresh from the waters of British Columbia, sparkling and clear-eyed sardines.  Inexpensive, sustainable and full of healthy omega-3 fatty acids, they make eating fish feel good. Really, super, incredibly good. And they are nothing to be afraid or apprehensive of. You should try them. You must try them. They are oilier than other fish, but they have the most decadent flavour. And you can grill them up in under 10 minutes and have a dinner-for-one that’s unrivaled. 

 
Grilled BC Sardines with Lemon-Herb Oil
serves 1

I grilled these whole, bones, head and everything. If you prefer, you can ask your fish monger to gut them for you so you don’t have to do it at home. 

If you’re unable to find fresh sardines, smelts will do in a pinch but are smaller and require a shorter cooking time. 

2 whole sardines, rinsed and dried
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 tbsp fresh sage
1/2 tbsp fresh thyme 
1/2 tbsp parsley
1 small cloves garlic, pressed
zest from 1/2 lemon
juice from 1/2 lemon 
coarse salt
fresh ground pepper
sliced lemon to serve
shaved fennel, optional

Preheat the grill to medium-high.

In a small bowl, mix the olive oil, herbs, garlic and lemon.  

Rub the sardines with a generous amount of the oil and let them rest for 10-15 minutes while the grill heats up. When you’re ready to grill, sprinkle the fish with coarse salt and a few grind of freshly ground pepper. 

Grill 2 minutes on each side, until skin is nice and charred and flesh is flaky. Brush with any remaining oil. Serve with a lemon wedge. 

Serve sardines with shaved fennel drizzled with olive oil and a squeeze of lemon. If you do want to filet the sardines, click here for details. But if, like me, you don’t mind picking through messily, then you’re welcome to do just that. 

 

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Find Your Joy [Lemon-Yogurt Linguine w Arugula, Sugar Peas & Roasted Hazelnuts]



Things have been sad this week. A close loss that’s left many feeling a constant aching numbness. 

It never feels completely real - and leaves us all feeling slightly less invincible and secure of our place in life.  I’ve been through a few of these by now, and I’m familiar with the unique numbness that only a death can cause a family, their friends, and their friends friends. The hurt and pain that seems to expand as wide and long as an ocean, tremendous and gaping, filled with grief and sadness. 

My place in life, to be sure, is the mother hen. Always doting, always trying to offer comfort, whether needed or not, always acting out in hopes of a smile or even the slightest upturn of a frown. I have an unquenchable need to be needed, which can be a downfall at the best of times. I yearn to make others feel at ease, to usher away the bad thoughts and tears. Death is a hardship I am left defenseless against. It makes no mind of life plans or kindness paid. It’s ugly and mean and howls irrationally in the face of logic and love. It changes every single thing, in a mere blink.

Without being able to help or provide any lasting comfort, I’m finding myself increasingly lost. In moments of scattered thoughts, I turn to my kitchen, the only other thing that makes sense in a world of uncertain timing and premature endings. I’ve spent much time toiling in there this week, trying to make sense of life, to wrap my head around the why’s and the how’s. Of course, there will never be an answer - but it feels right to be surrounded by the beautiful ingredients, sun streaming through my dusty kitchen windows, everything placed on the counter with purpose and meaning. My kitchen is my joy. My truest happy place.

Life is far too short. Love hard and long, linger a while in the moments of happiness (and sadness), forgive quickly and find your joy, wherever it may rest.



Lemon-Yogurt Linguine with Arugula, Sugar Peas and Roasted Hazelnuts 
serves 4

A pasta made for my fellow lemon-lovers. Tangy, bright and tart balanced with peppery arugula, sweet sugar peas and a deep, toasty crunch from the roasted hazelnuts.

If I may, try to find some locally-grown arugula - it’s flavour is incomparable to that found at the super market.  

Lemon-Yogurt Sauce
1/4 cup Greek yogurt
1/4 cup olive oil
juice from 1 lemon
zest from 2 lemons
1 1/2 tsp good quality Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp salt
pinch red pepper flakes

Pasta
1/2lb linguine (I used whole wheat)
1/2 cup starchy pasta water
2 big handfuls arugula
1/3 cup hulled sugar peas
1/3 cup Roasted Hazelnuts (recipe to follow), crushed
Fresh Ground Pepper

For the Sauce: 
In a bowl, whisk the yogurt, olive oil, lemon juice + zest, Dijon, salt and a few grinds of pepper together. Set aside. 



For the Pasta: 
Cook the pasta to Al Dente according to package instructions. Before straining, reserve 1/2 cup of the starchy cooking water. Strain and return to large pot. 

Add 1/2 the pasta water to the yogurt sauce and whisk well. Pour into the pasta pot and toss well until the pasta is coated. Add the arugula, peas to the pot. Taste for seasoning, add more salt and pepper if needed. If the pasta is dry, add more of the starch water to loosen it. 

Divide the pasta among plates and garnish with the crushed hazelnuts and a drizzle of good quality olive oil. 



Roasted Hazelnuts
Preheat oven to 350° F.
In a baking pan toast hazelnuts in one layer in middle of oven 10 to 15 minutes, or until lightly colored and skins are blistered. Move nuts to a kitchen towel or paper bag and cover (or seal) for 5 minutes. Rub nuts in towel to remove loose skins (don’t worry about skins that don’t come off) and cool completely.

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A Thyme Tequila [Lemon-Thyme Tequila Spritzer for Taste of Home]



Oh man! It’s Friday! 

You know what that means, right? Time to roll up your sleeves, crush up some ice, and end your busy week with something icy cold and brightly flavoured!

Taste of Home asked if I might be interested in submitting a cocktail recipe for their “Cocktail Friday” feature on the blog. Clearly, we have yet to become too acquainted or they would have know that I would jump at the mere mention of the word cocktail. I am a lady who believes a day is not complete without indulging in a beverage of the alcoholic varaiety. Yes, I have ousted myself as a lush, but I’m sure this isn’t news to you. Avert your judging eyes! 

I spent yesterday working on a Lemon-Thyme Tequila Spritzer that is as refreshing as it is soothing. Bright and citrus-packed with an herbal punch of flavour that first hits your nose and then delicately tickles your taste-buds. 

Follow the link for the recipe and you’ll be thanking me come 6pm tonight when you’re happily sipping on the perfect summer libation! 


 
[ps: bonus points to anyone who gets where I was going with the title of this post. I bet you clever chickadees got it right away!] 

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