Happy New Year! Don’t you find that when Christmas Day and New Year’s Day fall in the middle of their perspective weeks, we all seem to relax a lot more over than holidays? I certainly do. Having said that, I’m back from a couple weeks of rest and relaxation (and one hell of a trip to New York City), so I’m refreshed and ready to take on 2015 as best I can.
I originally came up with this salad recipe for the Chopped Canada Mystery Solved blog series on FoodNetwork.ca last winter, but thought it would be perfectly fitting for January. A month where most of us try to eat better (or less), but still want what we’re eating to taste good.
Bulgur wheat is a fun grain to play around with and nowadays you should be able to find it at most major grocery stores. So, go find some and try this salad out!
It’s extremely rare that you’ll find me baking desserts in my kitchen. I leave that sort of task to my much more talented friends (Stephanie Eddy), my mother or grandmother. But, when the Calgary Food Bloggers Bake Sale rolls around, I feel obligated to brush the dust off my rolling pin and stand mixer and whip something up for a good cause.
Before you start thinking butternut squash in a dessert is weird, I assure that it practically tastes identical to pumpkin once this is all over and done with. So…phew. Exactly.
To finish off the squares, I used a chai caramel sauce that I made at home (a recipe that you can find on EatNorth.ca), but if making homemade caramel sauce isn’t your thing or extremely hot sugar in a pan scares you, then just go out and buy some good quality stuff!
Earlier this fall, I got to have a little mountain getaway in Banff while taking the new Volkswagen Touareg for a spin. The weekend of relaxing (which I don’t do often) and eating wrapped up nicely with this beauty of a breakfast pizza from The Bison, but let’s rewind 48 hours here back to the beginning.
Now, most of you would find this hard to believe, but I lived in Calgary sans-vehicle for almost 7 years until this summer when I decided that it was probably time to get a set of wheels again. While it was nice having a reliable 2008 car in my possession in August, it was even cooler to be able to drive this one for a few days. I’m not a vehicle expert by any means, but it was nice to head out to the mountains in an SUV that had all kinds of voice activations, navigation systems and more. Yes, my car sitting outside my home was seeming older and older by the minute the closer we drove to The Rockies.
I was chatting with my friend Mel the other week about the fact that green peppers always seem to suck. They aren’t great raw, they aren’t great cooked. Is there a good way to cook them? Is there? I may just be a jaded, old green pepper hater, but I’m willing to keep trying avenues where they can be more enjoyable.
Anyway…recently I spent a good chunk of time out on the east coast, so I decided to bring a few lobsters back home with me to cook up a lobster-centric dinner for some friends. I thought it would be fun to go a little old school with some stuffed mushroom caps and there happened to be a green pepper from my last Spud Calgary delivery pre-travels, staring at me every time I opened the fridge, so it was time to use it.
It’s hard to go wrong with stuffed mushroom caps, especially when cream cheese and lobster are involved, but I must admit, the green pepper was an enjoyable addition to this recipe and everyone seemed to love them, so maybe I just need to cool it on my anti-green pepper campaign…
Every time I sit down and chat with a local chef for this Behind The Line column, I end up learning more about them and the history of Calgary’s food scene than I’m expecting. It’s so interesting how individual in the city’s culinary community has helped shape it into what it is today in some shape or form.
(Chef Dilan Draper’s food is pictured above, by the way. Good stuff!)
Below, you’ll find some great recipes chefs have shared with me over the past few months, but before we dive into tasty food, I’m excited to share that Behind The Line has moved onto EatNorth.ca now with a more national focus. I’ll still be sharing candid conversations with chefs from Calgary, of course, but I am also pretty eager to get to know chefs in other cities like Winnipeg, Vancouver, Halifax and more.
Anyway, onto the food!
At this time of year, you can never have too many soup recipes up your sleeve. As much as a part of me misses the shorts, flip flops and t-shirts of summer, I like that feeling where I can sift through my closet, rummage through my drawers and find the sweaters and jackets that have been waiting for the temperature to dip.
This soup is really simple and really good. If you don’t have any Thai curry paste kicking around in your fridge, you should really go buy some. Just a spoonful adds a ton of flavour to a soup like this. It’s definitely one of my go-to’s when I want to add that ‘warming’ sort of feeling to a dish.
Anyway, make this soup, sip it and love it. OR ELSE!