When in doubt, make pasta.

Sausage, kale, and caramelized pasta in a spicy Dijon sauceI love the combination of hot sausage and Dijon mustard. It’s a very common combination found on charcuterie platters with different kinds of meats and cheeses or even in German food. The saltiness from the sausage, the tanginess from the mustard… It just seems to work.

Tonight I made a Dijon mustard-dressed spicy sausage, kale, caramelized onion pasta.
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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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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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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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Meat makes everything better.

Chipotle sausage and spinach pasta with vodka sauceEven though practically almost everything I make is vegetarian and/or vegan, I still crumble when it comes to meat. Don’t get me wrong – I just LOVE the stuff every once in a while. Like, for instance, I just had the most craziest craving for pho and it was so bad that I actually went to the Metrotown food court and grabbed a bowl from there. Desperate, much!? Nah, it’s just me answering my body’s natural calling to…meat. Instead of banning it altogether (which I think is SO bad when people are dieting — I’ve seen so many people yo-yo up and their bodies go up and down with this), I have enough self control to “treat” myself here and there.

Remember when I made that penne a la vodka sauce the other day and suggested that it would probably taste good with a saltier component? Yeah, I threw some sausages in the mix and it was pretty ridiculous. Can’t say no to chipotle sausage and spinach in spicy vodka sauce pasta.

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My favourite comfort food of all time.

Caramelized onion, garlic and green pea mac n cheeseMan, the amount of mac ‘n cheese I make in my household might be embarassing. I am simply OBSESSED with the dish. It is the perfect comfort food — carby, rich, and totally sinful. I mean, you know it’s bad for you but you just don’t care because it’s that good.

Yeah, I made yet another amazing version of mac ‘n cheese again — this time it was a caramelized onion, garlic and green pea mac n cheese. Ugh, drool.
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