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.

Vanilla Bean Sticky Buns with Bailey’s Caramel Sauce

Vanilla Bean Sticky Buns with Bailey’s Caramel Sauce

I’ve been playing around with enhancing some of my favourite recipes lately.  Yup, that’s right:  I’ve been talking the talk and walking the walk, as they say, when it comes to being brave and experimenting in the kitchen.  Rather than starting with a bottle of ketchup, a fillet of fish, some artisan cheese and a head of broccoli and attempting to create the next Pinterest trend made up completely from one’s imagination, it can be helpful to start with what you know works, and add delicious little changes to make the recipe your own.


That’s what I did with my classic Cinnamon Roll recipe.  I hosted a St. Patrick’s Day brunch this year, and I was trying to think of ways to infuse a bit of Irish charm into my menu plan.  As I lay awake nursing Ada one night, I started with the idea of adding Bailey’s.  What could be more Irish than that, right?  I knew I wanted to use some of the vanilla beans I’d brought back from Mexico.  Soon, my plan was ready to be hatched.


So, all I did was make my Cinnamon Rolls, but instead of adding cinnamon to the filling, I adding the scrapings of one vanilla bean crumbled into my brown sugar.


For the Bailey’s Caramel Sauce, I switched out the heavy cream from my vanilla bean caramel sauce recipe and added Bailey’s instead.  This is where the proverbial rubber of recipe development hits the road:  my caramel sauce was REALLY strongly alcoholic tasting, and though I love Bailey’s (a LOT!), it was too much.  Also, it acted kind of funny when added to the boiling sugar – I think it was some kind of kitchen chemistry stuff that I don’t understand.  Instead, maybe just do 1 cup of cream and 1/4 cup of Bailey’s.