23 April 2015

Greek-Inspired Barley Salad with Arugula and Feta




I am ready to confess. Over the winter I had almost eliminated grains from my diet altogether. Porridge for breakfast once a week, a quinoa salad or two from the cafe downstairs at work, but other than that they have sadly been missing from my life other than endless varieties of rice and wild rice. Perhaps it is because I enjoy the chewy consistency of grains the most in salads that they have been absent over the winter months. But with Spring comes not only the hummingbirds, lilacs, and longer days but grains make a reappearance in my kitchen.

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19 April 2015

Sunday Picnics Inspired by Greek-Inspired Red Pepper Dip


Greek- Inspired Red Pepper Dip
With the thermometer rising it is time to take to the hills. Todays Greek themed picnic included dolmades nistimi, cold cuts, and a Greek Barley and Arugula Salad. To begin our feast we paired crispy, colourful garden vegetables with a roasted pepper and goat cheese dip. Begin by roasting 2 heads of garlic for a deep, earthy flavour. You can find instructions here from The Kitchn.

Roast red peppers and blend with herbs and mild goat cheese. Allow the flavours to blend for at least 2 hours or overnight. Pack it up in your picnic basket and this cheerfully coloured dip will turn heads at your next outing. It can also be used as a spread on sandwiches.

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13 April 2015

An Impromptu Spring Picnic on a Wanderlust Day


Green Goddess Avocado Dip with Crudites
The forsythia and almond trees are in full bloom, orchards are blazing with colour and the hummingbirds have returned. A visit to the farmers market last week cemented the idea in my mind and ultimately in my kitchen. Spring is when everything seems to come alive!!!!! The days are longer and the markets begin to burst with the colours of the bountiful fruits and vegetables of the season. Nothing comes quick enough as we wait impatiently to enjoy fresh rhubarb and sweet garden peas. It is the season for furled fiddleheads, asparagus and escarole and a wide variety of lettuce hand plucked from the garden for green salads. The delightful fragrance of chives, mint, chervil and tarragon fill the air to season our dishes. All of these tastes of Spring will be bursting from our gardens, forests, markets and window boxes…soon, yes soon…..
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1 April 2015

The Virtual Supper Club Celebrates April Fool's Day with a Chicken B.L.T. Salad


April Fools Day with Cooking Lights Chicken B.L.T.
We welcome you back to this months Cooking Light Virtual Supper Club where we continue our celebration of delicious food on the "lighter" side. We always appreciate you joining us for this event where we get together on the first Wednesday of every month to create a delicious meal from appetizers to dessert with a theme in mind. Ultimately our love of food, blogging and our commitment to a health conscious lifestyle is what has brought us all together. 

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3 March 2015

The Cooking Light Supper Club Celebrates The Luck O' The Irish

Champ
As we speak I have spent the past week exploring the Yucatan peninsula with a group of like-minded women on a culinary and photography "tour for the senses" and am now on the beaches of Tulum very far from the blustery days of winter. With St. Patricks Day coming up my mind moved briefly to the land of emerald green and the upcoming St. Patricks Day celebrations. Erin go bragh!!

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11 February 2015

4 February 2015

Cooking Light Supper Club Goes to the Oscars

Cranberry-Orange Trifle and Pimm's Cup
We welcome you back to this months Cooking Light Virtual Supper Club where we continue our celebration of delicious food on the "lighter" side. We always appreciate you joining us for this event where we get together on the first Wednesday of every month to create a delicious meal from appetizers to dessert with a theme in mind. Ultimately our love of food, blogging and our commitment to a health conscious lifestyle is what has brought us all together. 

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1 February 2015

Skillet Chili with Cheddar Cornbread


Skillet Chili with Cheddar Cornbread
Looking for something quick, easy and last minute for the game or to have on your table during your work week tout suite. Look no further. Chili with just the right amount of heat topped with cornbread t and Cheddar cheese baked in the oven suits nicely. Dinner is ready in half an hour.

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25 January 2015

Greek Lemon Chicken Soup for the Soul - Avgolemono Soup with Orzo

Soup for the soul
Today is a good day to be inside puttering away in the kitchen. With an upcoming trip to the Yucatan only weeks away I am dreaming of my first real sojourn many years ago. Greece is thousands of kilometres from the Yucatan but it was the vision of sun-drenched beaches and the need for something soothing with what I had on hand that instigated my endeavours. Today in my own kitchen I am taking an armchair journey and replicating an iconic Greek soup that can be found in almost every taverna in Greece; at least that would be my expectation. I remember as if it were yesterday being in a taverna in the mountainous regions of Greece in the tiny town of Metsovo in the northern most part of the Zagoria region. I was in the central square near the orthodox church nursing a lingering cold with a tasty version of this soup. Early evening had been a wonderful time to arrive. As we descended through the mist, dazzling lights twinkled in the ravine. Stone houses with grey slate roofs and sharply projecting balconies lined the steep serpentine alleyways. An oasis off the square promised a tasty bite or two to nourish my soul and my weary body while savouring every bite of the local version of Avgolemono. A frugal soup that can be made in a pinch with what is on hand. 

Sniffling I observed the elderly men sitting on a bench lined up like crows in black flat caps, dark baggy pants and wooden shoes. The older women coming from the market with their freshly picked garden greens wore dark blue or black with embroidered trim and brightly coloured aprons, jackets and scarves. 

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20 January 2015

My Best Bites in the Valley

Another year has come and gone and I look back fondly on the past year and on all of the memorable eating experiences we have had in 2014. Although it may be difficult to name just a few I will attempt to name my favourites among them. Some are just a memory without any photographic evidence but savoured on the tongue, some cannot be replicated, duplicated, or reinvented, but all of these food memories have left their footprints in my memory card; shared with good friends these memories will linger forever. The journey does not stop here.

Apple Doughnuts with Caramel Sauce and Rosemary Ice Cream
Technically this is not a dessert I tried last year but it was so perfect, it just had to be added to this list. I will consider it my first monthly choice for 2015 of the Best Bites in the Valley...Apple Doughnuts with Caramel Sauce and Rosemary Ice Cream at Local Lounge • Grille in Summerland. Now if that wasn't perfection….
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