Cheddar Vegetable Pie

IMG_5518Mom used to make a cheese noodle pie that was so incredibly good, but when looked at through today’s lenses, makes me think that perhaps it was a little too good, too much starch, and too much fat.  It was a great pie to take along to a potluck, a lunch en route, or for a weekend family dinner.  This recipe appeals to me for exactly the reasons that I loved Mom’s pie.  Everything is in it, just add a salad or some raw vegetables, and we’re good to go.

The pastry is just a simple short-crust, and the filling has a few staples, but there is room for experimentation (in other words – what you have on hand).  Make the pastry ahead of time, so it can rest in the fridge for a few hours, or overnight.  Continue reading

Parmesan & Bacon Strata with Spinach

IMG_4890This is my very favourite Strata.  To be honest I’ve never been a fan of Stratas in general. Ones I’ve had in the past tend to have too much cheese, too much sausage, and left me feeling overfull.  To fix this, I thought it best to figure out the right ratio of bread, egg, & milk.  Once that was figured out, I started to build it up with just enough ingredients to give it a full flavour.  I’m happy to serve this for any breakfast / brunch event, and it disappears quickly.

The bread, egg, & milk ratio (1# bread to 3 cups milk and 10 eggs) can be accented with either savoury or sweet ingredients; just use your imagination.  For instance, add some vanilla and maple syrup to the egg mixture, and tuck in some thin apple slices and pieces of cream cheese.  This will give you a lovely, French toast type Strata.  Be inventive! Continue reading

Salmon Florentine

IMG_3185For several years, my partner and I used to open up a marina during the winter for special dinners, brunches and lunches.  They became so popular that we would be sold out within a day or two of advertising the event.   We didn’t have a liquor license, but folks would bring their own if they wanted a glass of wine with dinner.

One night soon after everyone was tucking into their dinners, there was a knock on the door.  Two RCMP were standing there in the cold.  Invited in and asked if they wanted to join us, they declined, simply saying they wanted to moor overnight, but had their own dinner ready to go.  I am absolutely sure they were oblivious to all the hurried clinking as bottles went back into bags under tables.

These meals were so much fun, and somehow squeezing in seating for 36 in a small store made it more intimate.  The night would finish with folks chatting over coffee, with us wondering to ourselves how late they’d stay, so we could get on with clean up.

One early spring dinner, we toyed with the idea of serving salmon, but had no grill and limited cooking facilities, so I came up with this recipe.  It’s easier than it looks, and presents beautifully. Continue reading

Polenta & Veggie Slice

IMG_2910A warm breakfast without eggs or gluten is easy to do ahead of time by making this savory polenta slice.  It makes enough for 4 good-sized servings, and has enough of a nutritional punch to keep you going for several hours.  Simply reheat it either by using the microwave or gently frying in a bit of oil or butter.  If you want to add more protein, put some grated cheese on top, and broil it until the cheese is melted.  My favourite add on is to top a slice of polenta with a poached egg.  Either way, it is delicious and nutritious, an easy start to your day.  Continue reading