Archives for category: cooking

This is one of my all-time favorite splurges – a cooking class at the Dirty Apron. Wow, do they know what they’re doing, with every tiny detail perfectly thought through. You arrive to wine and appetizers at a family-style live-edged table. Once everyone is settled you move into the classroom/kitchen for your first demonstration. Then everyone breaks into individual cooking stations to make that course. Once finished, it’s back to the dining room to enjoy your creation with more wine. Repeat 3 times. Normally it’s an appetizer, two entrees and dessert. My expectations are higher each time and surpassed every time.

This class was BC Dine and Vine: A Celebration of Local Flavours and may be my favorite yet. The dishes were incredibly tasty and for once I was happy with my plating each time (I’ll chalk that up to the good demo). Time to start saving up for next year’s class!

Here’s what we made:

Proof I really did make the food!

Proof I really did make the food!

More proof :)

More proof 🙂

Prawn and yuzu ginger vegetable gyozas (I'll make these again for sure!)

Prawn and yuzu ginger vegetable gyozas (I’ll make these again for sure!)

Crispy seared sockeye salmon with a scallion potato rosti. (I still can't believe I made and plated this!!)

Crispy seared sockeye salmon with a scallion potato rosti. (I still can’t believe I made and plated this!!)

Crispy BC duck breast, sherry orange gastrique and apple, green bean saute.

Crispy BC duck breast, sherry orange gastrique and apple, green bean saute. (This one and the dessert are Jess’s creations)

Apple and almond tart with chai ice cream and vanill maple (I only ate half the duck course so I'd have room for dessert)

Apple and almond tart with chai ice cream and vanill maple (I only ate half the duck course so I’d have room for dessert)

The menu with the local wine pairings.

The menu with the local wine pairings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I feel like I say “this is my favorite season”, every time we start a new one. But for Fall, I really mean it – if I had to choose only one to live in forever it would be fall. The leaves are turning, the sun is out but the mornings are crisp or foggy. Plus my morning walk hits right when the sunrise is turning the bay aqua and orange. It’s time to pull out my favorite clothes, boots and even scarves and gloves. It’s all about orange and other cozy fall colors. It’s time to switch back to red wine, darken up the beer and enjoy some hot chocolate or apple cider. And… fall is the best season for cooking. The harvest is still in full swing so there are tons of fresh ingredients to pick from and I can turn the oven on again! I’m craving getting into the kitchen and making soup, pasta, pork, bread, anything with apple or pumpkin and of course it’s time to bake, bake, bake.

It was all about getting the house and yard ready for winter this weekend, but I did manage a trip to the farmers market first. And in between chores, I took time to play in the kitchen.

First up, Autumn Salad with toasted hazelnuts, goat cheese, arugula and roasted acorn squash.

Squash dish number two I’ve literally been craving since last fall! This was the first time I’d made brown butter on my own, so I’m sure that helped make it even more memorable. But what a perfect fall comfort food dish. Spaghetti squash with sage brown butter and parmesan cheese. (I know it’s not the most photogenic dish, but it sure is tasty!).

Just one more… Luckily I still had some acorn squash on hand from the salad, because after a trip to the dentist I needed some soft food. I heated the squash up, added some chilli, lime, garlic vinaigrette and a bit of parmesan and had an easy fall dinner.

Next up: pumpkin! (or maybe soup…)