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 |


Big Grapefruits, Squid and Roses…

Biscuit for Two with Rosehip Jelly |

I’ve had a few great recipes posted to the Pete’s Fine Foods blog recently:  a Valentine’s Day treat – Biscuits for Two with locally made rosehip jelly and coconut cream – which was a simple favourite in our house.

Then there was my attempt, at long last, to satiate my lust for Cantonese pastries with this spin on steamed custard buns, infused with the flavour of pomelo.  It worked:  I no longer have to show up at my favourite Cantonese bakery on a Monday only to wilt in disappointment that it is the one day they are closed.  My kitchen has been inaugurated, and I can whip up custard buns at my leisure.

Pomelo Steamed Custard Bun |

Finally, there was this simple salt and pepper calamari recipe, which I jazzed up with a beautifully vibrant seafood rub mixed into a classic aioli.  

Classic Calamari with Dave's Aioli |

So, as you see, my kitchen and camera are getting just as much love as always, but it’s being funnelled in a slightly different direction.  I’ve been doing a lot of other food and related writing lately as well, and it’s hugely gratifying.

Rhubarb Ricotta Croissants

Rhubarb Ricotta Croissants |

 So I was doing a bit of reflecting the other day, thinking about blogging, and why I’m here, what I want to say and what it means for me to be here.

And I realized that, aside from my friends who just so happen to follow me here, I’m not really sure who you are.  You occasionally comment, and sometimes share how you can relate to the stories I tell, or which recipes you’ve tried.  Sometimes those comments lead me to your website, where I find that you are telling compelling stories and taking beautiful photographs of your own.

But sometimes not.

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Pear, Cardamom and Hazelnut Muffins

Pear, Hazelnut and Cardamom Muffins |

Every so often, a cookbook comes along that makes me want to cook every single recipe written in it.

This is a pretty big deal:  there’s a reason why my cookbook shelf looks a lot barer than those of most other food bloggers.  I, like many others, get a lot of my recipes and recipe inspiration online, and a cookbook has to hold the promise of recipes that I can’t wait to make or know that I will make over and over again before I lay down the cash and slide it onto my shelf.

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