Recipes With Pete

La Tourangelle |


I’ve had the good fortune of working with one of my favourite local grocers, Pete’s Fine Foods, to develop a few recipes for some of their most interesting specialty products.  For those of you who have never had the pleasure of stepping into the sensory cacophony that is a Pete’s store, imagine finding the largest selection of both fancy imported and local foods – many of which are grown on Pete Luckett’s own property in the Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia – and getting completely lost in a world of culinary possibility.  

The recipe pictured above is a hearty salad of pistachio encrusted salmon, beluga lentils, candied squash, apple and pistachio dust drizzled with a simple vinaigrette of pistachio oil and lemon.  

Then there was this duck leg confit that I tossed with papardelle, local chanterelle mushrooms, and an exquisite cherry anise hyssop jam.  Though I was a little speculative about my idea to make pasta sauce out of jam (nothing like thinking outside the box…) it was outstanding.

Tagliatelle |


Also, there were these pumpkin chestnut truffles, which were so incredibly devour-able, and yet sophisticated and nuanced in their flavour.

Chestnut Truffles |


I’m excited to keep sharing with you some of the creations that are coming out of the Purple House Cafe kitchen via Pete’s Fine Foods, and, as always, on my business site, Nalumana Women’s Wellness.  

See you soon.

Quick Pea, Asparagus and Bacon Carbonara

Asparagus, Pea and Bacon Carbonara |

This summer, may there be….

…cups of tea on the front porch in the morning.

…birds singing, ears open, deep breathing.  Pausing.  Noticing.

…hammock time.

…backyard bonfires.

Asparagus, Pea and Bacon Carbonara |

…weekend getaways with our pop-up trailer, the woods, and books read by flashlight.

…bike rides.  Walks.  Lake swims.  

…maybe even some surfing. 

…time to cultivate my garden and notice as each bud and sprout noses out of the ground.

…frivolous reading of juicy books. 

Asparagus, Pea and Bacon Carbonara |

This summer, may there be salt water-tangled hair, a few lazy Saturdays and ice cream.  Make that affogatos.  More stretching of the body than the mind; I’ve done enough ruminating this winter.  May there be enough sleep, enough stillness, enough calm.  And, with all of this, may there be the kind of deep happiness that makes my toes curl with gratitude.

Quick Asparagus, Pea and Bacon Carbonara
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  1. 3-4 cups pasta, cooked
  2. 4-5 slices bacon
  3. 1 cup asparagus, diced
  4. 1 1/2 cup peas
  5. 5 eggs
  6. 1 lemon
  7. Salt and pepper to taste
  8. Parmesan cheese to top
  1. Begin to sauté the bacon in a large frying pan over medium heat. While the bacon is crisping, boil generously salted water to cook the pasta.
  2. When the bacon is mostly crispy, throw the peas and asparagus into the pan.
  3. While the vegetables and pasta begin to cook, in a medium bowl, mix together eggs and the zest as well as the juice of the lemon. Add a sprinkling of salt and a few grinds of pepper.
  4. When the vegetables are tender and the pasta cooked, drain the pasta and add it to the sauté pan. Reduce the heat to low. Slowly pour the egg mixture into the pasta mixture, stirring continuously as you pour. As long as you keep the mixture moving, the eggs won't scramble but instead thicken to make a lovely carbonara sauce.
  5. Once the sauce has thickened, divide the pasta into 3-4 bowls, topping with a generous sprinkling of Parmesan cheese and cracked black pepper. Serve.
Purple House Café




Chocolate Strawberry Salad

Strawberry Chocolate Salad |

I think it’s safe to say that many of us spend quite a lot of time fantasizing about having other people’s lives.  Or even our own, before we had kids/gained 30 pounds/bought the house.  We daydream about what it might be like to have more money, live abroad or be able to run a marathon.  I know I am guilty of this, even to the extent that I can be acutely unaware of the blessings I do have, in favour of having someone else’s.

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How to Spatchcock a Chicken

How to Spatchcock a Chicken |

It’s Thursday night, and you need dinner on the table in less than an hour.

I know:  roasting a chicken sounds like not the solution you’re looking for.

Enter a method with a dirty-sounding name that is revolutionizing our quick weeknight meal!

Spatchcocking is a technique used to essentially open up a small-sized chicken so that it lays flat, and cooks ridiculously fast!  I also find that it helps the bird retain a ton of moisture, and makes for a really wholesome, one-pan meal that can be thrown together in minutes and out of the oven within the hour.

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Roasted Root Vegetables for the Week

Roasted Root Vegetables |

Sunday is cooking day in my house.  Especially through the winter, when I don’t seem to have much energy and whimsy when we all finally stumble through the door after daycare and work, I love knowing that there is a selection of ready-made foods in the fridge awaiting assembly into something delicious.

Remember that week I talked about meal planning?  Well, I’m still a big fan, although nowadays with just me and Ada to feed, it’s a little looser in structure (because both of us love a good dinner of scrambled eggs with spinach, feta, and zataar just as much as anything!).  

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