Monthly Archives: August 2012

Food & Wine Magazine: August Cover Recipe

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As part of my culinary New Year’s resolutions, I have committed to creating each month’s cover recipe from Food & Wine Magazine. Joining me along the way is my fellow blogger Aimée from Food, Je t’Aimée, and our resident wine expert Kendall Harris of Wine2Three who provides us with fantastic wine pairings for each month’s cover.

Want to join in on the fun? We’d love the company! Pick-up a copy of the latest issue of Food & Wine and get cooking. Be sure to send me an email at to let me know you made the cover recipe, and if you’re a blogger don’t forget to post a link to your post in the comments below.

Heirloom Tomato Salad with Anchovy Vinaigrette

Rating: 5 out of 5 (fresh & full of flavours that highlight the tomato perfectly)

Initial Thoughts: Looking at the cover picture I could practically taste the fresh, juicy tomatoes…bring on summer’s bounty!

THE TEST: This month I found myself cooking alone, as Aimée from Food, Je t’Aimée is in the middle of launching her new site and is currently stuck in cyber limbo for the time being. Glad I had Kendall Harris of Wine2Three to keep me hydrated while preparing this tasty summer salad! Don’t forget to check out her fantastic wine pairing at the bottom of this post…she opted for a pinot gris from one of my favourite vineyards.

This recipe has several layers of flavour that are each made separately and then assembled just before serving. Bright, jewel toned heirloom tomatoes are sliced and diced and showcased on a platter over which shallots pickled in red wine vinegar are sprinkled, a warmed olive oil, anchovy (I used anchovy paste), garlic and lemon zest dressing is poured overtop the tomatoes with sliced hardboiled eggs placed on top. This recipe is perfect to make ahead when entertaining as you can quickly assemble it at the last minute, and your guests will be impressed with this tasty twist on the usual tomato salad.

THE RESULTS: Despite all of the different layers of flavour in this salad the taste of tomatoes is never overshadowed. The taste explosion of the juicy, sweet fruit paired with the salty anchovy vinaigrette and tang from the pickled shallots is fantastic. I love how each ingredient works so hard to help the others shine. Talk about good culinary teamwork!

I was a bit anxious serving this to the kids as I had no idea what they would think, but my unease was for nothing as they gobbled it up and asked for seconds. Needless to say I walked away from the dinner table that night feeling triumphant. Another Food & Wine success!

Cover Recipe:
Heirloom Tomato Salad with Anchovy Vinaigrette 

The mission of Food & Wine Magazine is to find the most exciting places, new experiences, emerging trends and sensations in the culinary and wine industries. From travel and entertaining to luxury and design, this magazine brings an energetic and stylish take on food and wine. For more information on Food & Wine Magazine, please visit


Wine Pairing by Kendall Harris of Wine2Three

Nothing more summery than an heirloom tomato salad, and with so many wonderful flavours going on in this recipe you will need a wonderful summery white wine to stand alongside. This Pinot Gris, from British Columbia’s Poplar Grove winery, hits all the right notes!

Pinot Gris is also called Pinot Grigio in Italy or if the wine has been vinified in the more zippy Italian style (zippy = more acidic), whereas Pinot Gris is the term winemaker’s use when the grape is vinified in the more French style, as is this the case with this particular wine.

Pinot Gris is the signature white wine of Poplar Grove winery, and they’ve won many accolades for this and past vintages of Pinot Gris. You’ll notice aromas of lemongrass, apple and peaches, and on the palate (as you sip it), you’ll get refreshing lemon and apple flavours with a hint of apricot. Pinot Gris also has a characteristic “minerality,” which some describe as a wet stone flavour, so look for that. I like to think you taste B.C.’s wonderful terroir when you detect that minerality! Pinot Gris, or Pinot Grigio in general, is a great wine to have on hand and is a widely appealing white wine – not as lemony as Sauvignon Blanc, not as buttery and oaky as some Chardonnays, not as lime-ey or sweet as Rieslings can be – really, the perfect “house wine”. And if you happen to be in B.C., be sure to look for Poplar Grove’s version…it’s one of the best!

Kendall Harris is a wine blogger who shares her adventures in the wine world as Wine2three on Twitter & Facebook. She has an Advanced Certificate from the Wine & Spirits Education Trust (WSET) and is passionate about sharing her wine knowledge with others. “Like” her page on Facebook for fun, informative wine posts!

Muffin Monday: Cinnamon Blueberry Amaretto Muffins

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I’m back baby! Due to the typical busyness of summer I’ve unfortunately had to take a few weeks off from Muffin Mondays. But thank you to all of the readers who sent me concerned emails worried I was retiring from the world of muffins. Glad to see you are as addicted to this monthly venture as I am!

This week’s recipe is for a no frills blueberry muffin. Hailing from Gourmet, it showcases the beauty of a simple muffin. The batter itself is straightforward, and in terms of flavour the berries are paired purely with cinnamon.

I dusted the blueberries with the flour mix in order to prevent discolouration of the muffins during the baking process, which also helps keep them suspended in the batter rather than sinking to the bottom. The only change I made to this recipe was in terms of the sweetener, substituting amaretto flavoured agave nectar for the brown sugar.

These muffins disappeared at the speed of light! In fact, I must apologize for the lack of well-styled final glamour shots of these muffins, but what you see is what I got to take before the hands of my hubby and kids made a grab for them. And I couldn’t blame them. They were completely addictive! A muffin that is simple in flavour and texture should never be underestimated. And the subtle sweet almond flavour from the amaretto went perfectly with the blueberries and cinnamon.

Bring on a second batch!

For a copy of this week’s Muffin Monday recipe, please click here

Don’t forget to visit Baker Street’s site and be sure to check out what the other food bloggers have baked up this week!

Muffin Monday is an initiative by Baker Street. A culinary journey of sharing a wickedly delicious muffin recipe every week. Drop in a quick line to join her on her journey to make the world smile and beat glum Monday mornings week after week.

COOKBOOK REVIEW The Mom 100 Cookbook

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The Mom 100 Cookbook is available for purchase through our online store or at local bookstores. For more information on this cookbook please visit Thomas Allen & Son

The Mom 100 Cookbook (published by Workman Publishing Company, $16.95 USD) is described as providing “recipes every mom needs in her back pocket”. Written by Katie Workman, it is specifically geared to young families and deals with 20 typical mealtime dilemmas by providing five recipes per predicament. For example; getting the kids fed and out the door on time (Quick & Easy Breakfasts), going beyond hamburgers and hotdogs (Main Dish Meat), healthy munchies (Handful of Snacks), meatless dishes (Vegetarian Mains), and new twists on old favourites (Pasta & Pizza).

By the time I started testing this book I was fully aware of all the hype and had read positive review after positive review. As a mother of two small children, I am always on the lookout for a new cookbook that will make my life easier and hoped this one would live up to my expectations.

I love the overall look and vibe of this cookbook that compliments Workman’s playful writing style, and found the recipes to be both fun and practical for the family table. The “Fork in the Road” sections are really helpful, and provide you with options for serving the same dish to the entire family by including suggestions for various adaptions that allow you to incorporate additional flavours or spices for more adventurous palates. It was always a pet peeve of my mother’s when she found herself serving up four different meals based on our family’s likes and dislikes.

“What the Kids Can Do” sidebars provide helpful tips for getting children involved in the cooking process, allowing them to feel more invested in the food on their plate and therefore more open to its consumption. Nearly every recipe contains tips and suggested cooking techniques, serving ideas and storage instructions.

Although the photos are not what I would consider to be overly inspiring, they showcase the food in a clear manner that is far from fussy and leaves the food looking relatable (the approach most parents take to food when feeding children).

I must say that The Mom 100 Cookbook is definitely geared towards parents of young children, so if you are searching for a book that deals more in technique or fancy fare I would give this one a pass. The recipes are very basic, and therefore perfect for people with little to no cooking experience. For those of you who know your way around the kitchen, I would suggest using this book as a jumping off point and build upon the recipes. Personally, because I am constantly subjecting my family to all sorts of recipes tests this book is a good reminder for me to include some kid friendly meals into the mix. Yes I want to expose my children to a wide variety of tastes and flavours, but sometimes they just want some plain ol’ chicken strips.

Katie Workman is a food writer whose work has appeared in publications such as The Huffington Post, The Daily Beast, and AOL Food. She is the founding editor-in-chief of and an active supporter of the largest hunger relief organization in the US; Share Our Strength. The Mom 100 Cookbook is Workman’s first book.


Monthly Miettes: Strawberry Charlotte

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Dear readers, I must apologize for the lateness of July’s Monthly Miettes challenge. First of all, when I read in Meg Ray’s Miette that the Strawberry Charlotte is considered to be a “challenging” cake I kinda freaked out. I mean if the professionals think it’s hard to do am I even gonna stand a chance?! Then between the kids’ summer camps and family vacations I suddenly found myself at the end of the month with one heck of an intimidating cake still to make. Trust me when I say I was crossing all of my fingers and toes!

The Strawberry Charlotte truly showcases the beauty of strawberries and is best made when these berries are at their peak. It is a light, cool dessert that is perfect to serve when you find yourself craving something sweet but you’d rather die than turn on your oven and add to the shimmery heat wave in your kitchen. In the Miette version of this dessert, sponge cake is brushed with raspberry simple syrup and then layered with a fruit purée mousse, the exterior surrounded by a band of ladyfingers, and a final crown of fresh strawberries decorates the top. Needless to say this cake will make a stunning entrance onto your dinning room table, one that is sure to elicit “ooohs” and “ahhhs” from your guests.

The results of my Strawberry Charlotte were magnificent both in appearance and taste. The journey to get to the finished product? Not so pretty! Because of the numerous steps involved in making this dessert, I decided to tackle one element each day.