Making gnocchi for the first time.

Taro gnocchiI’ll tell you a story. A couple months ago, I attempted to make gnocchi. Somebody told me it was simple and judging by the recipe, it seemed like something I could do. I had all the ingredients on-hand and I didn’t think it would take me so long. I woke up at 6:30 that morning to try and make them before I left for work. Big mistake. It was a complete disaster. Without a ricer and a masher, I ended up with these sticky dumplings that weren’t at all reminscient of gnocchi. I was disheartened.

But a friend of mine, Westley, who is actually the chef de partie at the restaurant at the Marriott hotel where I used to work encouraged me to try it again — this time with taro. Yes, folks. I made taro gnocchi with sauteed kale and pesto from scratch. Bitch, what!?

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Cookies for an occasion.

Lemon crinkle cookiesThis past weekend was my friend Devon’s birthday and, of course, being the baker that I am, was designated “dessert girl”. I never get a say at these things. Since I was in charge of dessert, I decided to bake something up to use up a few of my organic lemons that have been looking lonely in my fridge and that could easily be shared by everyone at the party. I made some simple lemon crinkle cookies for the occasion which was a hit!

But let’s be honest, when has my cooking or baked goods ever NOT been a hit?!?!
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Ketchup spaghetti!!!

Japanese ketchup spaghettiMan, it feels like I haven’t cooked a lot of Japanese-inspired recipes. Japanese cuisine is my absolute favourite — I could eat Japanese food every single day — breakfast, lunch, and dinner — and not ever get tired of it. True story.

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Roasting vs. sauteing mushrooms.

Roasted mushroomsHow have I gone this long without roasting mushrooms!? SERIOUSLY. This is the only way I will have my mushrooms from now on…besides mushroom risotto, that is. This roasted mushroom recipe will complete your life. Guaranteed.
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Finding a new use for old ingredients.

Couscous cakesThe title of this entry is obviously a favourite of mine. There is just something so thrilling about having the ability of taking something old dish and making it into something even more amazing than the last. Case in point: leftover couscous from my asparagus and double couscous salad. Having not made a ton of couscous in my life, little did I know that a little goes a long way. Since I didn’t want my salad to be overly carby, I decided to save half of the couscous for a later use. Days go by and it’s still sitting there. What do I do with that? I pull a Giada de Laurentiis and make her recipe for couscous cakes.
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Soba salad + keeping yourself within budget.

Spicy shimeji and enoki mushroom soba noodle saladOkay, I remember complaining last week that it didn’t feel like spring, but now I think it totally does! The sun peeks out a bit every here and there and oh, RAIN. Yes, I’m talking about a Vancouver spring. Seems like it’s been such a drab week – grey skies and rainfall. But honestly speaking, we have been getting some great sunny days randomly — not complaining one bit. Atleast the temperatures have been increasing and we’re (almost) consistently in double digit weather, hurrah!

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The BEST Vietnamese salad roll, ever.

Raw enoki mushroom and avocado salad rollsI absolutely LOVE Vietnamese salad rolls. Whether it is the traditional one with shrimp, minced pork, Vietnamese ham, or whatever, they are one of my favourite ways to eat a salad because who has the time to sit down and eat nowadays?! They are great for an on-the-go lunch or snack and are even more delicious with a few dabs of Sriracha and hoisin sauce. Mm….

Lately I have been finding myself skipping the rice noodles traditionally found encased inside the roll as a lighter and healthier way to eat my rolls. I usually throw more lettuce or greens in there but sometimes, I do miss those carb-y noodles. I hadn’t ever found a suitable substitute those noodles…UNTIL NOW.

Introducing to you, my raw enoki mushroom and avocado salad rolls.
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