For the love of food

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens*Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens*Brown paper packages tied up with strings*These are a few of my favorite things*Cream colored ponies and crisp apple streudels*Doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles*Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings*These are a few of my favorite things*Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes*Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes*Silver white winters that melt into springs*These are a few of my favorite things

Christmas Rum Stollen December 21, 2008

Filed under: Food,Recipes — lovemyfood @ 12:59 am


Stollen is a traditional German holiday bread with rum dried fruits and marzipan. It has quite a few ingredients but the process is not cumbersome so if you have a bit of patience to read through this and make it over one of these days when the weather outside is properly winter like (at least here in Vancouver, its snowing and its -6c) and you want to feel the smell of freshly naked goods and add some heat by cranking up the stove.

The Stollen has 4 components – dough, filling, marzipan surprise and glaze so get a pen :)


Marzipan surprise

Two components – plain marzipan and almond cream (creme d’amande) – you will need:

 200 gr natural marzipan cut into pieces

60 gr unsalted butter

60 gr (1/3 cup) sugar

60gr (2/3 cup) almond meal (=ground almonds)

1 1/2 Tbs flour

1 egg (large)

1 Tbsp Rum

Cream the butter with sugar until pale and fluffy; add almond and mix; add flour and mix; add egg and rum and mix again. Keep in an air tight container until you need it (can make it a few days in advance).


90 gr (2/3 cup) raisins (preferably golden)

50 gr (1/3 cup) Glace cherries (I didn’t have any but I had sugared dried cherries so I used those)

100 gr (3/4 cup) candied citrus peel (usually sold as a mix of lemon and orange, mine had lime in it as well)

30 gr (1/4 cup) toastes slivered almonds

2 Tbsp rum

1/2 tsp cinnamon

Mix all of the ingredients :)

The Dough

500 gr (3 3/4 cups) white bread flour

1 Tbsp dry yeast

250ml (1 cup) warm milk

100 gr unsalted butter

25 gr sugar 

1 tsp salt

2 large eggs

 To make:

1. Add the sugar into the warm milk and sprinkle the yeast on top, mix and leave in a warm place for about 10 minutes until it becomes bubbly.

2. Combine all other ingredients and the yeast and milk mixture together. Knead the dough until smooth.

3. Shape the dough into a ball and let rest in a lightly floured bowl, covered by a baking cloth or cling film for 1-1 1/2 hours.

4. On a lightly floured surface flatten your dough, sprinkle with the “filling” and incorporate it into the dough by folding it.

5. Form again into a ball and back into the bowl for 1/2 hour.

6. On a lightly floured surface cut the dough in half. Flatten each piece into a rectangle, spread half the almond cream and arrange half of the marzipan pieces on each.

7. Fold one of the long sides (over the marzipan and cream) into the center, then fold the other side over the top, fold at the ends to seal the filling. Put seam-side down on a buttered baking tray.

8. Cover with a baking cloth and let rise for 2-2 1/2 hours until doubled in bulk.

9. Bake at 350F for 30-35 minutes until light golden.

10. Make the glaze (before they come out of the oven): melt 50 gr of butter, add 2 caps (from the bottle) of rum and mix to incorporate.

11. As soon as the Stollens are out brush each with 1/2 the glaze. Sprinkle liberally with powdered sugar and Enjoy!!!christmas-stollengerman-stollenrum-stollengerman-rum-stollengerman-holiday-breadstollen







*** I found that the rum was not very noticeable so if you do not like alcohol in your baking just avoid it altogether and if you do just double the quantities I have given – I will try to double them next year when I make it again :)

*** The quantities given are for 2 large Stollens.

*** The recipe belongs to R. Bertinet.


The Last post about squash this year December 20, 2008

Filed under: Food,Recipes — lovemyfood @ 11:43 pm

Tomorrow is the day of the equinox, the first official day of winter which makes today the last day of Fall and since squash is a Fall vegetable I want to share two more recipes with this super versatile vegetable.


Squash, Yam and Potato Soup 

1kg (2lb) cubed squash

2 medium yukon gold or any other potatoes

1 yam

scant tsp corriander seeds – crushed

for serving – grated gruyere cheese, ground corriander and sea salt.

1. Cube the yam, potatoes and squash into equal pieces; add water to cover – not more!

2. Add coriander seeds – I use an infuser (just like the ones used for tea, the small metal ball with the holes) because I find that the food processor or immersion blender do not always get those and I don’t like encountering whole coriander seeds when I eat the soup. You can use cheese cloth instead – just make a little bundle :)

3. Cook until the vegetables are soft 20-30 minutes. Puree with an immersion blender or in your food processor until smooth. 

4. serve with grated Gruyere, a sprinkle of sea salt and ground coriander.


Acorn Squash, Potato and Corn Puree

1. Preheat the oven to 450F

2. Cut your squash in half, remove the seeds and strings.

3. Put the squash together with 2 medium Yukon gold potatoes and roast until soft.

4. Scoop the flesh out of the squash.

5. Peel the potatoes.

6. Mash the squash and potatoes with a bit of butter, salt to taste and a small dash of nutmeg.

7. Mix in 1/2 a cup of corn kernels.

8. Return the puree into the empty squash shell or transfer into a baking dish; sprinkle some grated sweet Swiss cheese (like Emmental) on top and reheat in the oven melting the cheese at the same time.


Thai Style Seafood coconut soup

Filed under: Food,Recipes — lovemyfood @ 11:17 pm


This is super easy, super quick and could be also super hot if you make it so :)

SO…go to your grocery store and get:

1. Jar of Red Thai Curry paste – I get the one made by “Thai Kitchen”, its a small glass jar – 112gr and it is made of garlic, lemongrass, ginger, onion, coriander root, kaffir lime peel and spice among them red chili.

2. Coconut milk – I buy the “light” version also by Thai Kitchen.

3. Thai noodles – stir fry rice noodles, the ones that do not require cooking only a few minutes in boiling water.

4. Chicken stock – your choice, I use a low sodium organic one :)

5. Your favorite seafood – I get shrimp, bay scallops (because they are small and cook as long as the shrimp does) and/or squid tubes and tentacles. You can use all of the above or whatever you have at home, you can add white fish or salmon, clams or mussels – really…your choice…

6. Other ingredients – bean sprouts, peas in a pod or snow peas (which I like to cut into strips), tomatoes, green onions, bell peppers or anything else that comes to mind. The only ones I am afraid I will have to insist on are Cilantro, garlic and fresh ginger.

How much to buy…?

For 4 people you will need:

One can of coconut milk (400 ml)

400 ml of chicken stock

1/3 of the red curry paste jar (about 40 gr)

1/2 package of the noodles (100 gr)

2 garlic cloves and and equal amount of minced ginger

 A hand-full of seafood per person and whatever vegetables you choose, including 4 Tbsp or so chopped cilantro.

How to make:

1. Prepare the noodles according to the directions on the package.

2. Chop your veggies of choice.

3. Divide noodles and chopped veggies between your serving bowls.

4. In a pot combine coconut milk, chicken stock, garlic, ginger and red curry paste and bring to a boil.

5. If you are planning to consume all of the soup at this time add your seafood in order of cooking time (for example: shrimp and bay scallops together first and calamari a couple minutes later as they cook much faster). If not, cook your seafood separately and divide it between the bowls, it will heat up when you pour the hot soup over it.

6. You are done actually as soon as your seafood is ready just pour the soup into the bowls, chop your cilantro and sprinkle it on top – Bon Apetit!



I have been making bread

Filed under: Food — lovemyfood @ 10:45 pm

It took me nearly a week from the day I started the ferment and the day I baked the actual bread but it was all worth the wait. The crust is just perfect, the taste is as if the bread came from a bakery and the amount of personal satisfaction and feeling of achievement is beyond words. There is something primal about making bread; the satisfaction when I lay my hands on a perfect loaf of bread is always above and beyond for me, its bigger than with any other dish I cook or thing I bake, its an enormous pride and I want to share the “fruits of my labor” with you :)


Have yourself a Merry little Christmas December 17, 2008

Filed under: Food,Recipes — lovemyfood @ 3:29 pm


This is an appetizer you can serve or bring with you in case you’re spending Christmas in someone else’s place. Basically its a pie dough (short crust) shell topped with a cream cheese mixture, smoked salmon and dill but… it looks festive, its easy and the pie shells can be made a day in advance :) Enjoy.

Pie crust:

500 gr white flour

250 gr unsalted butter

2 large eggs

pinch of salt


Mix dry ingredients, mix in eggs; if too dry add a splash of milk. Form into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Roll out the dough about 1/2 cm (1/4 inch) thick, cut into rounds (the size is your choice) and make a fairly high rim (you can use tartlette molds and just pad the molds with the dough, the walls will fall during baking but to a sufficient height don’t worry). Pierce with a fork and bake at 350F until golden brown; if you see the dough is rising creating air pockets pierce with a fork again while its baking. Let cool.

For the filling – mix the following:

1 part Ricotta (if you have a more liquid kind let it sit in a colander above a bowl for 30 minutes in the fridge)

2 parts cream cheese

pinch of salt

a tiny pinch of white pepper – so little that there is just a hint of its smell


1) Chop the dill 

2) Arrange two thin slices of smoked salmon in the pie shell

3) Cover the salmon completely with the cream cheese mixture

4) Sprinkle the dill (as much or as little as you like, it will stick to the cheese mixture) to create a rim that will resemble a wreath which is what you want and is holiday appropriate :)

5) The smoked salmon in the center is optional :) 



Ossobuco alla Milanese December 1, 2008

Filed under: Food,Recipes — lovemyfood @ 8:17 pm

Its getting colder and it is time for all those rich slow cooked dishes to take the stage, Ossobuco is one dish I absolutely love, its aroma while in the oven is just to die for and when its combined in your plate with some creamy risotto (w/saffron, if you stick to tradition) and the Gremolada smells so fresh…ahhh…

This is a traditional dish and what better source is there for such a recipe than Marcella Hazan’s Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking…? Pay attention, the recipe is really easy to follow and the result is out of this world.


You need:

8 pieces Ossobuco – veal hind shanks, 3-4 cm (1 1/2 inches) thick tied with a string.

1 cup chopped onion (I use shallots)

2/3 cup chopped carrot

2/3 cup chopped celery

1/2 (4 Tbsp) stick of butter

1 tsp chopped garlic

2 strips lemon peel

1/3 cup vegetable oil


1 cup dry white wine

1 cup meat broth

1 1/2 cups canned coarsely chopped tomatoes with their juice (preferably Italian plum tomatoes)

1/2 tsp fresh of 1/4 tsp dried thyme

2 bay leaves

2-3 sprigs of parsley (do not cut off the thick stem)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Gremolada: Mix – 1 tsp grated lemon peel (no pith), 1/4 tsp garlic, 1 Tbsp chopped parsley.


To make:

1) Preheat the oven to 350F.

2) Use a dutch oven that can accommodate all your shanks in one layer. Heat the butter over medium heat add the carrots, onion & celery cook for 6-7 minutes.

3) Add garlic and lemon peel – cook for another 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

4) In a large skillet, heat the oil on a medium-high heat, drench the meat in flour and into the hot skillet – brown all over. Remove from the skillet  and into the pot with the vegetables [the instructions in the book are to put them standing on their side but my dutch oven is large enough to put them flat so I do that].

5) Spoon off the oil from the skillet leaving enough the cover the bottom, add the wine and over medium deglaze the pan (=scrape all the bits stuck to the bottom); pour into the pot with the meat and veggies.

6) Heat the broth and add to the pot.

7) Add tomatoes, thyme, bay leaves, parsley, salt and pepper.

8) Bring the liquids in the pot to a simmer and cover tightly and into the oven (lower third of the oven).

9) Cook for about 2 hours, turning the shanks every 20-30 minutes. If there is not enough liquid add a couple Tbsps of water.

10) Transfer to a platter, remove the strings, pour the sause over the shanks and sprinkle the Gremolada. If the sauce is too thin just reduce it for a few minutes over high heat.



Beard Papa’s Cream puffs in Vancouver

Filed under: Canada,Food,Hidden Gems - Vancouver,Travel,Vancouver Restaurants — lovemyfood @ 7:31 pm

Choux pastry shells filled on the spot with Vanilla custard (real one, I saw the seeds) – yum!  

Cash only =)

Address: 1184 Denman Street