I know I don’t need to educate anyone on the benefits of pitcher cocktails. Too many to count really! More time with friends, less time prepping and making drinks is my rationale. The longer this sits, the better it gets. Perfect for late summer afternoons and dining al fresco. The sangria is close to the colour of rosé wine and so pretty in a glass pitcher. Enjoy!
1 bottle dry white wine
3/4 cup unsweetened pomegranate or cranberry juice
1 1/2 cups sparkling water/club soda
6 shakes angostura bitters
3 tablespoons grand marnier
1 tablespoon sugar
1 orange, lime and lemon
Slice orange into half moons. Drop into pitcher followed by grand mariner and sugar. Leave covered in refrigerator for two hours. Add remaining ingredients and juice of half a lemon. Serve in ice filled glasses garnished with lime wedges.
This recipe reminds me of my Polish grandmother. I find so many people in love with food attribute it to a grandparent who got them hooked. Lucky I say. I make the frittata using beet greens but you can easily use baby spinach, which is quicker and easier.
frittata with beet greens
Serves four to six
2 cups peeled potatoes sliced 1/2 inch thick
greens of one bunch beets washed and chopped (or boxed baby spinach)
1 onion chopped
1/3 cup olive oil
half of a zucchini sliced (red pepper/mushrooms also work well)
6 eggs beaten with a dash of milk
salt and pepper to taste
mozzarella cheese torn onto chunks (or feta) to taste
Boil the potatoes in salted water for five minutes. Drain well. In a frying pan waute onion on low-medium heat in half of the measured olive oil, with salt and pepper for 15 minutes until caramelized. Use a pan that is oven safe.
Add zucchini to pan when the onion is almost done. Cook for an additional two minutes and then remove veg and onion from pan.
Add remaining olive oil back to the now empty pan and fry potatoes, adding salt and pepper for 5 minutes until starting to brown. Preheat your oven’s broiler to high. Fold in the greens to the pan with the potatoes to wilt. Add the onion and vegetable back in.
Pour the egg over top, allowing it to cover the entire bottom of the pan. Let egg “set” on stove for 2 minutes. Place the cheese on top, then transfer to oven to broil for 5 minutes. You’ll know it’s done when the frittata poofs up a bit and cheese begins to melt. Remove from oven and slide a spatula around edge of pan to loosen. Shimmy onto a waiting large plate.
Wonderful served with a light green salad. Slice into four large or six smaller servings. Leftovers often
fought over enjoyed in our house the next day for lunch with a little hot sauce.
I started roasting a chicken every other Sunday a few years ago, the ultimate comfort food. The house smells amazing and leftovers abound. I simmer the bones for stock. If you don’t have time, just store in the freezer for the next time you make soup. Roasting a big piece of meat can be intimidating, and chicken is a great way to start. After the recipe see my tricks for roasting.
Back to the main event – this killer roast chicken. It might seem like a lot of garlic. It’s not as it gets sweet as it roasts. If you’re a fan of roasted garlic, add even more. Serves 4-6.
killer roast chicken
1 organic chicken – approximately 1.5-2 kg
1/2 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 onion peeled and quartered
5 cloves of garlic
2 sprigs of rosemary
1/2 cup water
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly dry off the chicken with paper towel. Place the chicken breast side down on baking dish. This keeps the meat moist. Drizzle oil on top. Snuggle the onion and garlic and one rosemary stick in the chicken cavity. It will all fit. I promise. Wiggle the other rosemary stick underneath some of the skin.
Season the top of the chicken generously with pepper and a generous shake of salt. Pour water into the pan, avoiding the chicken. Roast in the oven for 1 hour at 400 degrees, basting twice. Reduce heat to 350 degrees for a final 30 minutes. Use less time at the end or more depending on the weight of your chicken. Insert a knife to check to see if cooked when the juices run clear. Let rest for 15 mins. Carve and dive in.
1. Buy the best meat you can afford. Find a butcher in your neighbourhood. Always cheaper and better quality than the grocery store. Go organic if you can, the difference in taste and texture is worth it. My favourite organic produce is from Mama Earth, and meat is from Blue Goose.
3. Let it rest. Always. 15 minutes minimum. Flavours get to know each other and all the juices redistribute. Get yourself something to drink and go chat with your guests and sit down on the couch. You deserve it after slaving in the kitchen.
2. Timing is everything. Prep the sides before and reheat them if this is the first time pulling off a roast for a crowd. This means you can focus on the meat. My strategy is always start hot (400 degrees or more) for 45 – 60 minutes and then take down the heat. Works well for pork, chicken, lamb and beef.
Sweet, spicy, crispy. Chicken at its best. This tastes like really good take out. Pair with a green salad, or rice to make a perfect weeknight meal. I make the marinade in the morning or night before so the chicken absorbs lots of flavour. This marinade works for up to eight chicken thighs or drumsticks, or a dozen chicken wings.
honey garlic sticky chicken
2 cloves chopped garlic
4 heaping tablespoons honey
2 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
2-3 tablespoons siracha (depending on how spicy you prefer)
6-8 chicken thighs or drumsticks
Mix marinade and pour over chicken. If making chicken wings reserve half of marinade to brush on wings in last 5 minutes of cooking. Bake at 400 degrees on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet for 25-30 minutes, flipping halfway through. Broil for an additional 2 minutes, if you like.
Roasting is my favourite cooking method for vegetables, hands down. Texture wins every time. Crisp and browned on the outside and moist and flavourful inside. If hosting people for dinner. I often make this earlier in the day and just reheat. They’re that good. Nourishing, unpretentious and earthy with a touch of cumin. This could easily pass for a Thanksgiving, Christmas or holiday side dish. Delicious made into a frittata or thrown with some arugula and goat cheese for a lunch the next day. Serves four.
roasted root vegetables
1 carrot chopped
1 red onion chopped
1 large sweet potatoe roughly peeled and chopped
2 yukon gold potatoes roughly peeled and chopped
50 ml of olive oil
Salt and black pepper to taste
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Heaping teaspoon of cumin
Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes, flipping halfway.