Pasta & Grains

Black Bean, Corn and Barley Salada
Black Bean, Corn & Barley Salad

So, Eric Idle came to dinner and was seated beside me. We were going to entertain the other guests with a ripping rendition of The Dead Parrot skit. Only I was so busy thinking up clever tweets I forgot my lines. So I went upstairs to...

Cheddar with Avocado, Lime and Shell Pasta
Mac and Cheese Makeover | Cheddar, Avocado, Lime & Shell Pasta

Some cookbooks have a way of breathing life into everyday ingredients. Some produce delicious dishes you will turn to again and again. Others peek into foreign worlds — celebrity kitchens, orchard tours, or chef-approved culinary techniques. Melt: The Art of Macaroni and Cheese by Stephanie...

Browned Butter Mushroom Ravioli with Sage - TheMessyBaker.com
Browned Butter Mushroom Ravioli with Sage

This ruffled plant is not a flower. It's a King Oyster mushroom. I grew it from a kit I got at the Food Bloggers of Canada Conference back in February. The kits, courtesy of Mushrooms Canada, are intended for kids. It says so right on...

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Improv Recipe: Garden Greens Pasta Sauce with Tomatoes

Cooking with seasonal foods can be a bit like getting dragged on stage for an improv act. Even though you've been told the basic premise you don't really know what's coming, you've little time to think, and your success requires saying "Yes!" to what's handed to...

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Trying Again – Lazy Quinoa Lasagna Recipe
For some reason, the recipe for slow-cooker vegetarian quinoa lasagna didn't attach to its post the other day. Could have been technology. Could have been me? I choose to blame technology. Either way, I had people asking for the recipe. So here it is.
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Lazy Quinoa Lasagna
Mairlyn Smith owes me a new crockpot. Sort of. She didn't actually come to my house and break mine, but because of her I learned just how bad my old one was. At her recommendation I made the slow-cooker lasagna from The Vegetarian's Complete Quinoa Cookbook (Whitecap, 2012), and a potential new entry to my Kitchen Disaster & Fixes app was born. Turns out my slow cooker was okay as long as the meal inside was liquid. Soup? Bring it on! Sloppy curry? No problem. Hot apple cider? You bet. But once that layer of protective moisture was gone, my now ex-slow cooker turned into a lean, mean charring machine. In less than the recommended cooking time, set on Low, it burned a well-defined ring around the bottom of  my lasagna. When I made the dish in my sister's fancy new, 6-litre, programmable KitchenAid slow cooker it worked perfectly. So, Mairlyn, I'll place my order for one of those. Okay?
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Recipe: Paella
Making and enjoying paella - TheMessyBaker.com One of these days I'll learn how to take notes, shoot pictures and eat, all at once. This sort of multi-tasking would have come in very handy last week when I attended a paella class at Pimenton in Toronto. Greeted by a table full of tapas, fellow bloggers chopping vegetables and a warm and welcoming Chef José Arato, my anxiety over arriving late due to the rush hour drive melted. It took at couple of Tortilla & Chorizo Tarts to calm me down, but they did the trick. Until the class, most of my knowledge about paella came from Posh Nosh, a British cooking show spoof. Unlike the TV version, Chef José's paella was cooked on the stove top — not in the ancestral Aga — and uses bomba rice, not Italian arborio. Who knew you can't trust the BBC for cooking advice?
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Quick Fresh Tomato and Herb Pasta

Bet you thought I was done with the fresh tomato recipes for a while. So did I. But I was given some environmentally conscious, on-the-vine hydroponic Ontario tomatoes (say that three times fast!) at the Royal Winter Fair and I just couldn't bear to toss them in...

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