Chopped Canada Mystery Solved: January Recipe Round Up

Author Dan    Category Thoughts     Tags

Chopped Canada pantry

Every year , I have a blast doing my ‘Top Chef Canada: Taking The Challenge Home‘ blog series for Food Network Canada online. When the finishing touches were being put on the inaugural season of Chopped Canada, I was lucky enough to get set to do corresponding series with the new hit show as well.

While I am slightly dreading the weeks where Chopped Canada will overlap with Top Chef Canada and I’ll be cooking twice weekly with some more unusual ingredients and combinations for Food Network Canada online, it will be good chance to spend some more time in the kitchen; something that I didn’t quite do enough of this fall.

What’s different with this current series of pieces as opposed to the Top Chef Canada-focused ones are the fact that it’s meant to make different basket items from episodes slightly more approachable (read: less bizarre) to the home cook. Trust me, there’s definitely a learning curve taking place for myself as well!

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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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The Canadian Food Experience Project: A resolution

Tate Modern

(Strolling through the Tate Modern in London)

This is part of The Canadian Food Experience Project, initiated by A Canadian Foodie, the monthly blog series encourages Canadian food writers and bloggers to embrace the Canadian culinary elements in their lives that make our country as delicious as it is!

It’s no secret that I travel a lot. I’m often away for 7-10 days of the month. Viewing from Twitter or Instagram, there’s often a misleading ‘playboy’ kind of lifestyle that I promote. My life is certainly not one big vacation. I just don’t post selfies of me getting writing done first thing in the morning, or transiting around to different chef/culinary professional interviews during the day. I mean, where’s the fun in that, right?

Like Alexandra Gill mentioned in my interview with her earlier this year, everyone’s palate gets tired. She was referring to something more short term, but nonetheless, whether it’s a week long trip where you’re hosted by a media board or have a string of events to go to, sometimes you just don’t want or care about having another bite.

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Turkey and Broccoli Fried Rice

turkey fried rice

For the past few weeks I have been traveling in the United Kingdom. After flying into London in mid-December and traipsing around town, my friend and I flew up to Northern Ireland to spend the holidays with a welcoming family who fed and watered us with everything from a traditional Christmas dinner with flaming Christmas pudding to a pile of holiday baking that I couldn’t stop eating. Needless to say, I will be eating light (doesn’t everyone say that they’re going to do that in January?) this month!

Before I left Calgary for my European sabbatical, I had an early holiday dinner with some good friends. Naturally, with any up-to-snuff turkey dinner, there is bound to be leftovers…and cue a delicious mish-mash that is this recipe. Looks like a hot mess (not unlike myself at times), but damn, it was delicious!

This is by far not the most beautiful or refined plate of food I’ve shared on this website, but it certainly is a crazy simple one and perfect for those times when you just want to cook something up, not caring too much about what it looks like and gobbling it down.

Happy New Year!

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Swerve Calgary – Behind The Line: Chef Recipe Highlights For The Fall

Continuing along with my ‘Behind The Line’ column this year, I’ve been learning so much about different chef’s backgrounds, and the history of Calgary’s food scene in general. Ever sit-down with these local chefs has been amazingly interesting and if I’ve learned one thing since this biweekly column in Swerve began back in the springtime, it’s that everyone has got a story to tell.

Here are some of the chef recipes that I shared along with the interviews over the past few months. All pretty damn tasty!

John Michael Macneil Teatro Chicken Sauce

Chef John Michael MacNeil’s Chicken Sauce

Leaving the modernist techniques aside for this recipe, chef John Michael MacNeil says, “Serve this with your Sunday roast dinner. It works great with fish as well.”

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Roasted Garlic Pork Meatballs and Walnut Pesto

Author Dan    Category Appetizers & Co., Recipes     Tags

Roasted Garlic Meatballs with Arugula Pesto

Now that fall is just around the corner, everyone is back and school and your workload is a bit more substantial (ok, a lot more substantial) than it was in August it can be hard to find extra time to put dinner on the table. While this is not quite a complete meal, both the meatballs and the pesto can be made ahead of time so when it comes to the 30 minutes between walking in the door and sitting down for supper, you’ll be ahead of the game.

Of course, these pork meatballs would also be fantastic in a variety of pasta sauces and the pesto makes a great spread for sandwiches when mixed with a little bit of greek yogurt or mayonnaise.

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