Monday, November 24, 2014

Winter's Night Chilli

Days have been crazy recently. It takes me several days to put away the laundry and when I finally do I have another load to do! I have time to make breakfast, lunch and dinner for my girls and husband but I eat on the run myself and I am very rarely able to sit down to have breakfast, dinner, read something or watch unless it is after 10 pm.  I do not enjoy food eaten in a rush. We are all guilty of eating too fast and not celebrating the food. That is why sometimes I stop and try to really saveur the food that I cooked. And today's dinner was delicious and worth stopping everything for it! A heartwarming chilli with some quesadillas and a quick salad. Delicious!

When days are getting colder most of us crave comforting foods such as piping hot oatmeal, hearty soups, stews and steaming hot apple pies. A dish that I crave quite frequently in cold weather is chilli. I have never heard of it before coming to Canada. The first time I ate it, I remember nothing spectacular- it was a simple meat-bean-tomato stew with very little flavour. After becoming a little more adventurous in cooking I started to like this dish more and more until I finally cooked it in a way that I love. First of all I use turkey, a leaner and healthier meat. Then I add the Mexican chilli powder that has a gorgeous depth in its flavour. I add bacon, because bacon makes everything better. And for a special kick and something to make my chilli unique I add a tenderly spicy poblano pepper. Yum, yum and yum!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Celebrating Life Of Our Ancestors With Pan De Muerto

"The ground on which we stand is a sacred ground. It is the blood and dust of our ancestors."
                                    Chief Plenty Coups, Crow

Halloween in North American culture is a product of commercialism and focuses on costumes, scary decorations and children trick and treating to collect candy. It is definitely an event like no other but somehow I do not feel any spiritual connection to the actual holiday it should represent- to remember the dead ones.

In Poland we observe All Saints Day, which is November 1st and it is a statutory holiday. We visit the graves of our family members and take time to remember them and pray. We light the candles, more than usually and we go back to the graveyards again late in the evening. The sky lights up with the glow of the candles and the cemetery looks beautiful as if life after death was not scary or dark and lonely, but warm, bright and close to those we love. 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Down the Memory Lane Pineapple Upside Down Cake

It is getting pretty chilly outside and Jamie Oliver could not have picked a better time for the release of his new book titled Comfort Food. As it gets colder most of us tend to hide inside, covered with warm blankets, curled up on the couches while sipping hot chocolate, sweet ciders or spiced up mulled wine or one of my favourites- warm beer with spices and honey. 

Yum! It is a sad moment whenever I put away all the summer clothes. In winter it always seems like hours before we are all able to be ready and dressed to go outside. November and December are still pleasant as there is lots of excitement because of Christmas of course. But the rest of Winter is pretty miserable. January can hit really hard with crazy low temperatures and never ending snow storms. That is why we should all escape to warm climates and for the rest of those dark weekends we need to pick up Jamie's book and cook up heart warming meals for our friends and family. Lots of delicious food and lots of wine will help us get through this winter.

One of the first recipes I cooked from his book was a sweet one as I had some pineapple on hand and needed to use it immediately. I had two, actually, and I managed to use it up making naan bread Hawaiian pizza, pork with pineapple and finally this cake.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Thanksgiving Feast

The time has come to cook the turkey yet again. It is the only time of the year that we venture out and take on this Canadian tradition in our Polish-Mexican household. We celebrated the Mexican Independence Day few weeks ago, Christmas is all about Polish food and Thanksgiving is as traditional as it gets.

I have to say and I do not want to brag about it but I am pretty proud of myself that at 35 I can throw a pretty delicious Thanksgiving party and for the last 4 years I have. While most people are afraid of cooking the turkey I embrace the process and would be happy to teach anyone willing to learn. The first Thanksgiving I cooked brought on comments such as - This is so much better than my mom's from some friends and I stole the heart of my husband with the pumpkin cheesecake. It also took me 4 years to perfect this menu and the stuffing, turkey and all the sides are always so good I do not dare to make anything else anymore. This year however, since we have been invited to dinner two nights in a row I will not be throwing this feast ( which makes me exceptionally happy because my two girls are so active I do not have much energy to host a party this year) with the exception of brussel sprouts, squash and the cheesecake to bring for the host. So please be my guest and enjoy with your eyes but also cook your heart out!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Corn Chowder with Grilled Tuna Sandwiches

During my breastfeeding sessions I have been watching quite a bit of daytime television as you can imagine. My favourite shows are the Marylin Dennis show and the Chew. They really inspire me to cook up some delicious meals that are a little bit of a break from our routine and definitely more seasonal. The Chew and the chef and TV personality Daphne Oz inspired me to change up my tuna salad a bit. I usually add lemon juice, mayo, carrot and celery. She adds apple, curry and raisins and I thought it must be delicious! You could easily substitute chicken for tuna, especially any leftover chicken you might have will work.

Summer is here in full swing and the fresh, local produce is available and abundant. Tomatoes, pickles, peppers, zucchini flowers which I love in quesadillas, cherries, berries, peaches and pears. Soon we will have gorgeous apples. But for now I am trying to focus on corn. Corn is the sweetest and the juiciest now. I love it simply boiled quickly, served with lime and chilli butter or fresh in a potato salad. I love it in corn cakes or a Mexican lasagna. Best of all, a corn chowder where not only you use the kernels but also you flavour the broth with the cobs for a deeper and more fragrant flavour profile. In this recipe chipotle pepper gives it a bit of a kick but not too much. It has a perfect amount of spice and sweetness.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Balsamic and Beer Short Braised Ribs with Parsnip Mash and Creme Brulee

I am truly disappointed that with one click I deleted a post I have been working on for a whole week. Each of us does it once in a while and yet somehow magically we still do not learn from our mistakes and before you even notice here we go again. Click, gone! Oh no, what has just happened? And I thought it was saved! Oh, how wrong I was!

I wrote about the best meat dish I probably ever prepared and that I do not just make it for anybody or anytime. It has to be a special occasion- New Year's Eve, someones birthday or celebration of some sorts. This time I prepared it for my partner's brother who was visiting us here from Mexico. When I asked him which dish out of everything that I cooked while he was here he wanted for his last meal, this is what he chose. A perfect choice, indeed. Beautiful short ribs, that I usually buy at the local butchers, knowing they are the freshest. While they are cooking in the beer-balsamic vinegar bath I instantly crave red wine. And some sort of mashed potatoes. This time horseradish and parsnip mash. For dessert Creme Brulee. Could this meal be more perfect?

Saturday, July 19, 2014


Paying respect to all the victims of the Malaysia flight blown up in the sky. May the peace be with them. Let's be grateful for every moment as the one we are in could be our best.