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Start From Scratch on BT Calgary and a recipe for Barley, Lemon and Tomato Risotto

Barley risotto recipe

Alright, not the prettiest picture, but, in my defence, it was early in the morning and I was having a ‘cook off’ on Breakfast Television with my co-instructor Vincci Tsui and some of our participants. The cook off was a ton of fun and my team ended up making a barley risotto with kale, lemon and roasted chicken. It may not look like much, but it was unanimous with the group (and the TV host) that is tasted great.

Start From Scratch BT CalgaryAgain, not the best capture, but click on the image (or here!) to watch the compilation of clips from our morning on BT Calgary. It was fun cooking in our Calgary Co-op kitchen, but I also got to mention an exciting event that is happening on Friday, May 29th that we’re partnering up with The Calgary Farmers’ Market for. Going to be a good one! Watch the video for some details about it! Risotto recipe below!

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Spaghetti with Parmesan and Rosemary Pork Sauce

pork pasta recipe

I always seem to forget how fantastic a plate of spaghetti can be. That being said, I have never quite seemed to master the art of using a spoon to spin the noodles around my fork, so eating this pasta can be a somewhat messy endeavour on my end. C’est la vie!

After I cooked this pasta sauce and happily covered my spaghetti with it, I realised that it may have not been the sexiest-looking sauce ever created. Nonetheless, it is delicious and if you don’t think pork, cream and a bit of cheese won’t be tasty on a pasta, then let this dish prove you wrong.

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Winter Squash, Tomato and Split Pea Stew

Tomato and Split Pea Stew

I spent the November long weekend in Jasper for the 25th anniversary of Christmas in November. The landscape was breathtaking, the company was amazing and the food was, well, extremely filling. After returning home to Calgary, I was a little hungry, but after having more than my fair share of rich dishes over the past few days, I opted for something a little healthier.

I had some meyer lemons and leftover tomato sauce in my fridge after whipping up a batch the week prior (similar to this recipe, sans-vodka and artichokes), so decided on making a simple vegetable-forward stew for dinner.

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Honey Roasted Chicken Thighs with Tomato and White Bean Cassoulet

Roast Chicken and Cassoulet

Love it or hate it, the cold weather is upon us! Warming up during dinner has never felt so important, so best do it in a delicious way. This dish is easy to put together and when plated has a nice colour contrast (dare I say almost a Christmas colour palate?) making it look pretty damn nice too.

Toss any leftover cassoulet the next day with some extra chicken or vegetable stock you have lying around into a big pot with some chopped up root vegetables and you’ll have a nice, rich batch of soup to feed the masses for the rest of the week. Repurposing dinner is always a great thing!

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Butternut Squash and Pancetta Risotto

Squash and Pancetta Risotto

I have a confession: I’ve been using the lamest blender in my kitchen for over seven years. Alright, so perhaps it wasn’t so ‘lame’ when I moved here from Saskatoon in the summer of 2006 (likely a hand-me-down from my parents, I can’t quite remember), but the old gal has definitely seen better days. The handle is starting to crack off, I lost little plastic piece that goes in the centre of the lid about a year ago and have been using a cup to cover the hole while blending. Seriously, this is starting to sound a little ghetto…

Well, as luck would have it, a brand new blender showed up at my doorstep last week. I’m not really sure if KitchenAid Canada could sense my need for a replacement, but, regardless, they’ve provided me with the slick, new 5-Speed Diamond Blender. It’s shiny, it’s new and it’s red. Three of my favourite things.

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Thai Coconut Pasta and Meatballs

Coconut Thai Pasta and Meatballs

I hate the word fusion. Upon hearing it, my mind refers to ‘upscale’ chain restaurants that put a ‘soy glaze’ on this or a ‘ginger aioli’ on that. Having said that, I do love to play tricks on people. April Fool’s Day is one of my favourite days of the year, queue this interesting take on the classic spaghetti and meatballs.

People eat with their eyes first, so when my friend sat down to eat, she was not expecting what she was about to bite into. Of course, the wafting smell of lemongrass and ginger may have given a bit of the surprise away, it’s still interesting to enjoy these kind of Asian flavours in an unexpected fashion. While this may very well be a bastardization of both Asian-style cooking and Italian, I was pleasantly surprised with the tastiness of this dish. I stand behind 100% and think you should try it out for yourself!

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