This salad is perfect for a spring detox, I don’t know about you but I always feel like cleansing come this time of year.
And not just the body, but everything- the cobwebs and dust bunnies nesting in all corners of the house. The more intensely tangled cobwebs of the mind are trickier to clean out.
This week I opted out of social media, yep, a whole week without crackbook, I wish that wasn’t such a grand accomplishment. It was necessary, the reset, the relenquishment of my attachment to distraction. Multitasking is the absolute best way to accomplish nothing. I always learn this the hard way, for some reason the drive to multitask is hard wired in my brain. Along with the rise of childhood ADD/ADHD there’s also been a significant increase in adult ADD. I blame the endless distractions, the little red notifications that release happy hormones in our brains, the glorification of busy, the emphasis on multitasking supposedly being the key to efficiency. But I also blame myself, because I know better, yet sometimes I still ignore that little voice.
Lesson of the week: just let it go and focus. Focus is the path to success, all those distractions, all the wayward worrisome thoughts, they’re useless.
A note on this recipe, it’s incredibly simple and fresh. The ginger gives a spicy warming feel to the fresh lingering taste of anise from the fennel. Fennel haters aka J actually greatly enjoyed this pairing. The burst of sweet citrus really goes a long way in bringing everything together. Don’t skip the red onion either, it really adds a necessary intensity.
My giant 110 lb pooch is laying on me as I write this. He’s the sweetest bubba, biggest cuddle bug, and most loyal wolf companion. I think I’ll have to invent some special dog treats to share the recipe testing duties with Ranger.
Today I longed for summer, I pined for the warm water and even the mosquitos, the dragonflies, the bees. My feet are itching for the warm earth. The celebrations of true love filled with toasts and endless dancing. The thick mist that rolls through the mountains early in the morning while I weed the garden and sip strong coffee.
Are you pining for summer yet?
I was thinking also about strawberries, the sweet little ones, freshly picked just hours before they would lose their prime, still warm from the red hot sun. You know the kind right? You squeeze them gently between your fingers and they become instant jam. Impossible to compare summers strawberries to those shipped from California barely ripe. I always aim to freeze ample amounts every summer. It never happens because they are too good, but I did have a little stash of berries in the freezer.
A humble amount of strawberries will do in this recipe. It’s delightfully summery, with the crisp red stalks of swiss chard and fresh sprouts locally procured. This strawberry balsamic vinaigrette will definitely be happening in bulk quantities as soon as those bright red berries come into my life again. I hope you’ll try this dressing with whatever salad variation you fancy and feel like summers right around the corner.
Hey guys, woweeee it’s officially 2015, happy new year to you all and I hope it’s the best yet! I’ve seen a lot of talk around of people starting their cleanses and whole 30 resets come January so I thought I would start the year off with a delicious salad recipe suitable for any of your new years challenges. I myself really need to give my adrenals a break and stop drinking so much coffee. Aside from that, I’ve really questioned my belief in setting new years resolutions this year. Every day is an opportunity to set goals and make changes. Every moment a chance to change and improve.
It’s been awhile since I made a real shin diggery of a new years affair. Last night was no different, though we did have a little dance party with classic hits on much more retro, kool and the gang anyone? When we got close to midnight my dad tried to turn on Dicks countdown but instead got stuck on some interactive channel where you find santa, the credits were already playing by the time we got to the right channel. Kisses and hugs and a tired baby wondering why everyones clobbering him ensued. We’ve been having such a wonderful visit with the family, I came here prepared to be productive but it’s all fallen to the wayside. Food photography on location isn’t our strong suit but hey, it’s a learning curve. We have been eating some amazing food, including a brined turkey, which I wanted to post on but it got gobbled up too fast to take any photos. I will recreate it to share, promise, it was just too good not to.
This salad is super simple and it has all those lovely pad thai flavours. Normally when I make this dressing I add all sorts of thai flare like lemongrass and fish sauce but here at my parents those ingredients weren’t so handy, so I simplified it and it’s still delicious. There’s a huge snow storm today so our trip home has been postponed until further notice. In the meantime I’ll just imagine i’m perusing the amazing food markets of Thailand.
Those days when you wake up and realize the house is an absolute disaster, the plants are thirsty, the dust bunnies are about to come alive and yet all I want to do is cook and make more of a mess. The benefit of working in restaurants is you don’t usually have to do the dishes, creative prowess is unleashed when there’s no dishes involved, I swear. But I won’t let my creative urges be tamed, the dishes can pile up, until eventually someone decides to crank some bouncy tunes and get ‘er done. Until then, there’s this rejuvenating fennel salad speckled with sweet pods of the juiciest pomegranate ever, crunchy green and purple pistachios, salty firm organic feta all drizzled with a simple olive oil, lemon and sesame seed dressing. This salad is amazing by itself but I can only imagine would be the perfect side for lamb shanks or grilled chicken.
I know it’s time to get baking delicious festive treats but to tell the truth I haven’t been struck with the spirit yet. Actually it feels a lot more like March than December and I’m not complaining. Though I do hope there’s a bit of snow in Edmonton when we go for Christmas. By then I’ll likely post 7 cookie and treat recipes in 2 days because my mom decorates to the nines and even if there’s not a flake of snow on the ground it’ll still feel like christmas when we get there. Poor mom, she had to take down all her fake snow blankets and move baby Jesus and the crew over to a higher table so that baby Mav won’t pull them all to their demise. He’s getting pretty agile and his absolute favourite thing is to pull stuff off of high tables, but he’s certainly got some guardian angels watching over him. Yesterday he pulled down a light wicker shelf that had a heavy piece of pottery sitting on it along with my heavy golden snale, it missed him by an inch though I think he learned his lesson as it was quite the shock.
As a young girl I was given full freedom to experiment and have fun in the kitchen. I remember once combining raw rice, strawberry jello powder and flour resulting in a horrid red goo and a nightmarish dish to clean. My best friend growing up would always join in and together our cooking antics messed both our mothers kitchens daily. Our most memorable kitchen nightmare were the famous salsa sandwiches, we thought they were genius at the age of 9. Pitas stuffed with tortilla chips, salsa and cheddar. We’ve both come a long way, she’s an amazing chef at an accomplished Edmonton eatery and I write about my creations on this wee little blog. We all start somewhere, you can’t expect to not make mistakes in the kitchen. The key to finding your cooking mojo is to just have fun. Cooking is an art form and this quote rings true for me, you don’t hold back when you’re in love. You can’t. You can’t hold back when you make art of any type, or it will lack the essence of expression which has no boundaries or rules. So open your fridge, rip apart your cupboards, forget the rules, blend,mash,chop, throw together what inspires you. Okay there are basic boundaries an artist stands by, you want your paint to stay on the canvas, you want your food to taste amazing. Here’s my equation for creative success in the kitchen… Balance the sweet, salty, bitter, spicy, umami aspects and the rest is cake. If I’m making a salad for example this mandarin (sweet) kale (bitter) ginger (spicy) sunshine sauce (umami) lime roasted cashews (salty) I can use whatever I have on hand and create something delicious by following this simple guideline. Look closely at your favourite recipes and you will likely see this pattern.
Athena, Eirene, Gaia, the list of greek goddesses and their stories goes on and on. I’ve been thinking about Greece recently because some beautiful friends of ours are moving there. Often I day dream about living in foreign places, what it would be like, how the cultural mindset would be compared to Canada. My life goal remains to see the world, I want to show my son the diversity inherent in our humanness. Our buddy describes the Greek as being very warm and generous, they have stories from so long ago, a history rich and deep in mythology. There are no comparable characteristics in our culture, if we have ancient stories it is because we came from elsewhere. Both a curse and a blessing, since stories are interwoven in our bones, we seek them out. Why else would people read a newspaper everyday, or talk to the shop owner on the corner about the latest gossip. Stories are a deep craving. Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could speak every language, travel to every place, and hear every story? If only a magic genie would appear, that would be my wish.
The story behind this salad dressing is that it’s amazing. My dear friend stopped for a visit before returning back to Greece and he came bearing the best olive oil and wild mountain oregano. This dressing is an ode to these fundamental, pure Grecian ingredients, simple, delicious, simple. Perfect for adorning salads, dipping crispy potatoes, dousing gyros, or swirling in a roasted soup.
Hey I'm Chantelle, my alter ego would be a mermaid if I wasn't such a terrible swimmer. I love writing authentically and cooking in my pyjamas. My favourite pastimes include eating avocados, travelling the world and hanging out with a toddler.