Recipes

Charmian-Logo-New-transparent
Slow Cooker Refried Beans Dip
There are two problems with refried beans. One: They tend to be very fattening. Two: They look like something that came out the back end of a flatulent donkey. This slow-cooker recipe solves the high-fat issue. The lovely dish my sister's boyfriend gave me for Christmas solves the other. Look at the sensual, distracting curves. See the bright red tortilla chips? Isn't it festive! Ole! You hardly notice the brown glob in the centre. The resulting "refried" beans have the depth of flavour you get from the authentic version but without the frying or the fat. Make them as spicy or mild.  Use Pinto or Romano beans. Toss in some black beans if you like. Serve this dip with some sour cream, guacamole, salsa and chips. Or slather some on a burrito. It's up to you. No matter how you eat them, just serve them in a very distracting bowl.
Charmian-Logo-New-transparent
Raspberry Hot Chocolate and a Book Giveaway
When I was a child, my father used to make an ice rink in the back yard. He'd pile us onto the toboggan and pull us around to flatten the snow. Then, night after night, he'd zip up his navy blue snowmobile suit and disappear into the dark. When he came back in, his mittens would be coated in ice and his nose and cheeks would be bright red. The fix? Hot chocolate. When the rink was finally ready, after what seemed like weeks, mom would lace  up our skates, stuff us into an envelope of winter wear and send us out to slip and slide the afternoon away. We'd return with numb toes and ice-encrusted lashes. The cure? Hot chocolate. Today, as I face yet another snow shovel, I find myself craving this drink -- only a grown up version. As luck would have it, Dominique and Cindy Duby, chocolate artisans from Vancouver, have released a new book focusing entirely on chocolate. And their hot chocolate recipe is a raspberry version. And  raspberry is the only chocolate flavour  my lemon-loving dad likes. So I figure this was meant to be. I had to try it.
Charmian-Logo-New-transparent
Spicy Green Beans
Wouldn't you know it? The week I post my culinary resolutions, my gas range rebels. The stovetop works just fine, but the oven fluctuates wildly,  making baking a crap shoot with wheat and a roast chicken dinner  the poultry equivalent of Russian roulette. And the real kicker? My stove's so old a replacement thermostat is no longer available. Since I want to replace my aging 24-inch range with a 30-inch version (which requires moving cupboards in a 145-year-old kitchen with plaster and lathe walls) it's not going to happen until spring. Something tells me it's gonna be a looooong winter.
Charmian-Logo-New-transparent
Marcy Goldman’s Apple-Raspberry Patchwork Crostata

We have a tradition in our house. One of us usually kicks off the new year with a kitchen disaster. Last year, I discovered dried beans can, in fact, go stale. This year? I botched the pastry. Crostata no less. What else? I learned the hard...

Charmian-Logo-New-transparent
Rosemary, Raisin and Pecan Crisps

I can't believe I'm about to make these again. The recipe makes a two loaf pans' worth and the entire batch is almost gone.Bored with plain crackers and still hyperventilating from the sticker price on the artisanal crisps, I was thrilled to find a knock-off...

AIX-EN-PROVENCE
Aix-en-Provence Black Olive Tart

[caption id="attachment_2017" align="alignnone" width="814"] Photo courtesy McClelland & Stewart.[/caption] The area of a circle is ∏r². This bit of high school math comes in handy when a recipe calls for a 12-inch tart pan and you go to three stores in search of one and all you...

Charmian-Logo-New-transparent
Readers Question: Herb-Roasted Potatoes

This is another of James Ingram's photos, snatched from the pages of Michael Smith's The Best of Chef at Home because I was too hungry to take a shot. In my defense, these potatoes were cooked alongside the Apple Roast Chicken so it was one...

Charmian-Logo-New-transparent
Michael Smith’s Apple Roasted Chicken

This is another photo I didn't take.  And not because my roasted chicken didn't turn out beautifully. It did. I just didn't have the time or patience to do a photo shoot. I give full credit to James Ingram, not only for his camera skills but...

Charmian-Logo-New-transparent
Saffron and Modern Spice Cookbook Giveaway

Lora has great confidence in me. She was so pleased with the Matar Paneer recipe she asked what I can do with saffron rice. Buoyed by her enthusiasm, I headed to the Indian specialty shop and searched for saffron. There was none on the shelves. When...

Subscribe to my newsletter.

It’s easy. It’s free. It’s informative.

 

Receive weekly tips, recipes and advanced notice of upcoming events.

Yes, please!