Honey-Drizzled Raspberry Brie Brûlée

The first time I met our elderly neighbour, Oskar, he was leaning on his shovel on the edge of his sprawling corner plot of land.

I can’t remember who nodded hello first, but we hit it off at once in a discussion about his garden. It was a beautiful, well-maintained plot, surrounded by a low rock wall, which my three children scrambled up in mere moments. He didn’t bat an eye at their antics, as they skipped up and down the ledge, probably because his children used to do the very same thing.

Over the years, and many visits across the rock wall, I came to learn that Oskar was a true homesteader. His wife had passed away shortly after delivering his sixth child, and Oskar raised the family himself. He had an impressive garden – the raspberry patch itself could supply his large family with berries galore. But alas, they had all grown up and moved away, save for one.

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Mexican Molletes (avocado, bean & cheese melts)

I wish I could spin a story about feasting on molletes during our trip to Mexico with the kids, but even though we ate like kings on the local fare, I can’t recall ever coming across the traditional dish of beans and cheese melted on bolillos.

I suppose molletes (pronounced: mo-YEH-tehs, alright?) are more of a comfort food in Northern Mexico, and we were in the state of Nayarit at the time. Nope, I didn’t grow up eating them either, unlike bolillos, instead, I discovered the idea on a wonderful little corner of the web written by Lisa of Homesick Texan.

Open-faced sandwiches? Piled high with refried beans and salsa, then topped with cheese and broiled? Everything about them sounded delicious – and I knew my burrito-loving children would likely echo my sentiments.

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How to build a tiered cheese wheel ‘cake’

This week, I sent out invitations for my annual jam swap, a birthday party for Noah, and our Thanksgiving celebration; ready or not, we’re heading into a new season of entertaining.

If you read my last post, I’m singing the praises of keeping the party out of doors this fall, however, this simple tiered cheese ‘cake’ is perfect for any well-attended event from a grown up birthday bash to a festive holiday party.

Cheese platters tend to be rather sprawling, which is fine if you have all the table space in the world. However, for the recent wedding reception we hosted here on the homestead, I was limited to, ahem, the space of canoe (that story coming soon).

I had to tighten up my whole buffet and a stacked cheese platter in the shape of a wedding cake seemed perfectly apropos.

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Savoury Steel-Cut Oats with Ramps, Parmesan and Tamari

As a child, I can remember my dad occasionally stirring a spoonful of Marmite and a splash of Tamari soy sauce into his morning bowl of oatmeal. At the time, such a combination was of no interest to me, so content was I with a drizzle of honey and a pour of goats milk in mine.

However, I now see the appeal, after a recent success – nay, revelation – with a bowl of savoury steel-cut oats. My dad was onto something, with his decidedly bold umami flavourings first thing in the morning. A man ahead of his time, as savoury oats, kasha, and all sorts of breakfast bowls are trendy right now.

Our family has always been a champion of oatmeal (cookies, muffins, bread, breakfast, cake, scones, baked, instant…) and we are continuing the obsession with today’s Savoury Steel-Cut Oats with Ramps, Parmesan and Tamari.

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Stew and Scones: a St. Patrick’s Day recipe round-up

During my culinary school days, I shared a loft with a girl who was half Irish.

We sipped our first Guinness together, staked out for the front row at a U2 concert, and dyed our hair green on St. Patrick’s Day. We’d show up to the Montreal parade so decked out in shamrocks and flags, it’s no surprise we landed ourselves on the front page of the local paper one year.

As enthusiastic as I was about being Irish for one day, I never delved into cooking a feast inspired by the Emerald Isle. I know Irish cuisine is spectacular (I’m admittedly addicted to the food blog, Farmette), and so this post is an attempt to showcase a handful of recipes suitable for your St. Patrick’s Day celebration.

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