Comfort muffins, the best almond butter, smoked salmon and lamb with a twist

I thought I would share a handful of my latest recipes for Pete’s Fine Foods.

First, there are these peanut butter and jelly muffins, made even more exquisite with the addition of all-natural peanut butter and rose-scented raspberry jam

Peanut Butter and Jelly Muffins |

Then, there’s this salted mocha almond butter, which essentially evaporated as soon as I pressed “off” on the food processor.  It was that good.

Salted Mocha Almond Butter |

I was challenged to make dishes that included smoked salmon and lamb, which I’m going to admit are not my favourites.  I took it upon myself to make each in a way that sounded totally irresistible.  I made these amazing open-face smoked salmon sandwiches with a huge pile of quick-pickled vegetables.  

Open-face Smoked Salmon Sandwich |

And then there were these lamb. halloumi and fennel skewers with a honey mint glaze.  The flavours in this dish were so beautifully balanced – earthy lamb, salty cheese, slightly spicy and aromatic fennel, the high notes of peppermint, and the sweetness of honey.  Perfect.

Lamb Skewers |


BBQ Chicken Adobo

Chicken Adobo |

The doula group that I work with meets on a regular basis to participate in continuing education, share stories, and just gather together.  A few years ago, we started centring our gatherings around a simple potluck, with dishes hailing from Iran to Costco, including everything from hand-crafted spanikopita to generations-old family fudge recipes.  The power of food always holds an allure, and it wasn’t long before these educational evenings became something to look forward to each month.

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Blue Cheese-Stuffed Hamburgers with Caramelized Onions and Apple Cabbage Slaw

Blue Cheese Stuffed Hamburgers |

Sometimes, this food blogging thing can get a little obsessive.  When you’re a bit Type A, like I am, you start food blogging, taking kind of crappy pictures with whatever ambient light you have (even after dark) of the food you make which happened to also taste good.  Then, as the years go by, you find yourself with a little studio in your basement, a window of about two hours when the light streaming into your little photography space is just right, and you refuse to post a recipe that isn’t original and hasn’t been subject to round after round of testing.

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Classic Meatloaf Sandwich

Classic Meatloaf Sandwich |

It’s spring, and I am feeling inspired.  Everything around me seems to incite big ideas, projects to work on, thoughts I’ve never thought before.  After going for a run last week I came home practically itching to jot down all the ideas I had come up with, in case I forgot them somewhere between unlacing my running shoes and making dinner, reading stories, and collapsing on the couch.  Long drives, showering, and kneading dough create the space I need to move my thoughts closer to clarity, and closer to action.  

A few weeks ago I checked out a new restaurant in town – The Canteen – which just so happens to perch above my favourite cafe in the city.  The food was simple, well-crafted and thoughtful.  It was absolutely phenomenal, really.  I had a meatloaf sandwich and kale salad, and immediately felt the need to try to recreate the sandwich at home.

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