Currently viewing the tag: "FOOD"


A lot of our canning expeditions begin with an inspiration at the farmer’s market. This trip to the market began looking for cherries – we love canned cherries. On the way there…we got distracted by the beautiful beets and radishes. We were particularly inspired by the variety of radishes. This recipe makes a delicious clean picked radish that is perfect on sandwhiches, hot dogs, or tacos. We love this on a pulled pork sandwich (with lots of delicious cumin) because it gives a fresh, tangy and peppery flavour. The radish blend is something you can experiment with. We like an even mix of Easter egg, French breakfast and black radishes. They look beautiful in the jar and all contribute to the flavour in the jar.


6-8 cups of thinly sliced radishes
4 cloves of peeled garlic
4 tsp. whole black peppercorns
2 cups fresh dill


3 cups water
3 cups white vinegar
2 tbsp. sugar
2 tbsp. sea salt
1 tsp. coriander seed


Place 1 clove of garlic, 1 tsp peppercorns and 1/2 cup of dill in each sterilized jar. Top with sliced radishes.

In a large pot, combine all the ingredients for the brine. Bring to a boil, stirring gently.

Ladle hot brine into jars. We like to do small batches of radishes as fridge pickles. In this case, let the jars cool and top off with additional brine. Cover and store for 1 month. If you want to process the jars, fill with brineand drop in a hot water bath for 6-8 minutes to seal.

Makes approximately 4 pint sized jars.

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The sight of a delicious basket of Portabellini mushrooms at the farmers market inspired this dish. We love to find great vegetarian recipes – this is one of them. These have a clean, earthy and healthy flavour that gives you a delicious, guilt free summer slider to savour. We love a good Portabello burger but this slider sized biteful is our new summer favorite.


6 Portabellini mushroom caps
3 medium garlic cloves
1/4 cup toasted almonds
1/4 cup coarsely chopped parsley
1/4 cup coarsely chopped swiss chard
1tsp grainy mustard
1tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1/4 tsp worcester
2-3 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup feta
Salt and pepper to taste


Rinse the mushrooms thoroughly. De-stem the mushroom, trim the end off the stem and dice finely. Mince garlic. For a quick and easy approach we throw the garlic in our mini food processor and add the remaining ingredients in the order below pulsing each time. Grind the almonds to a very fine chop. Give the parsley and chard a rough chop. Stir in diced mushroom, minced garlic, mustard, vinegar, worcester and olive oil. If you use the food processor remove the mixture and put the filling in a bowl. Stir in feta leaving it coarsely crumbled.

Stuff the mushroom caps with the filling and grill on the BBQ until the stuffing starts to bubble and the mushroom softens. We like to serve ours on brioche slider buns, with a little mayo and homemade relish. Happy summer vegetarians!


We have been working on this recipe for a while. We love pulled pork Sunday at our house. You can throw the roast in the slow cooker and go about your day. At the end of the day you have a delicious pulled pork sandwich and a great protein for the week’s meals. You can throw the leftover meat with some peppers, onions and fresh corn for a delicious pulled pork taco or used it to top a quick dinner of pizza or perogies.


4 lb. pork shoulder
2 tbsp. olive oil

2 tsp. yellow mustard seed
2 tsp. black mustard seed
2 tsp. toasted fennel seed
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. coriander
2 tsp. toasted cumin seed
2 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. celery salt

3 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1-2 tbsp. of dried chili flakes (to your desired spice level)
6 tsp. brown sugar
1 cup tomato purée


Toast the fennel and cumin seed in a dry pan on medium heat. Remove from heat when you can smell the herbs being careful not to burn. Grind the seeds to a fine powder. Combine the remaining dry ingredients and stir to form a rub. Crust all the surfaces of the pork shoulder with the spice rub. Heat oil in pan and brown all sides of the pork shoulder. Place browned pork in the slow cooker – add tomato, chilies, brown sugar and vinegar. Cook on low heat for 6-8 hours or until the meat begins to fall apart. We like to serve the pulled pork on a bun with fresh coleslaw.

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This recipe comes from a freelance hobbyist sometimes known by the name of Guitar Blair. Perhaps it’s the influence of the delicious Indian food in the South Okanagan but this blend of spices brings great balance and depth of flavour to any curry dish. We are particularly fond of it in our creamy curry roasted cauliflower soup. The best tip for curry blends is to use fresh ingredients and make it often, so it always tastes fresh! Keeping track of spice variations in each blend helps hone the mix that best suits your palette!


3 tbsp. coriander seed
2 tsp. cumin seed
1 tsp. fenugreek seed
1 tsp. fennel seed
1 tsp. yellow mustard seed
1 tsp. black cardamom seeds
2 tsp. crushed peppercorn
6 whole cloves
2 tbsb. turmeric
2 tsp. red pepper flakes (to taste)


Break open the cardamom pods to reveal the seeds inside. Slow toast all the seeds in a dry skillet being careful not to burn! When you can start to smell the spices take them off the heat. Cool seeds. Add the peppercorns, cloves and red pepper flakes. Grind the blend till fine, stir in turmeric and start cooking!

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This is an annual hobbyist canning tradition and signals the end of winter and beginning of canning season. Along with a delicious marmalade the first signs of spring means making Preserved Lemons. This is one of the easiest things to can and it has so much versatility for cooking. We inevitably devour ours over the Fall and Winter months. Since you eat the peel of the lemons we always use organic lemons. Regular table salt will give them a chemical taste so be sure to use kosher or sea salt.


10-12 lemons
Sea Salt or Kosher Salt


Wash and dry the lemons. Slice off the stem end and place flat part down on the cutting board. Cut a ‘X’ through the lemon stopping about 1/2″ from the end. Pack salt into the lemon (1-1/2 tbsp. per lemon). Repeat, stuffing salt filled lemons into a clean glass jar with a tight fitting lid. When the jar is full press down on the lemons firmly to get the juices flowing. Cover and let stand overnight. In the morning press them down again to release more juice. Repeat this for 2 days. If you need extra liquid squeeze the juice of an additional lemon into the jar to cover the salted lemons.

Put the finished jar(s) in the fridge and wait 4-6 weeks. When they are ready to go, scrape out the pulp and slice or dice the peel. This is a fun one to experiment with so be creative. We love it tossed with some quinoa, shallots and roasted vegetables. It is also a hobbyist favorite on naan bread pizza. Enjoy!

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Some believe that all good things begin with a dream. Cartems Donuterie in Vancouver is proof this is true. Currently housed out of a shared kitchen space on the Drive, with an additional pop-up location on the corner of Carrall and Hastings, it began with a dream by owner Jordan Cash. In 2002, while teaching English in South Korea (which he told a captive audience in the shop waiting for his next batch of donuts, is what you do when you don’t know what you’re doing with your life) he had a dream. Jordan dreamed about opening a donut shop, about serving donuts with a knife and fork and about a name for the shop: Cartems.

Fast forward 10 years later and the little donut shop that could (and opened only 3 weeks ago) is taking the Vancouver food scene by storm. The donuts aren’t served with a knife and fork (yet) but they are delicious. Finding Cartems’pop-up shop in Gastown proved easier that we expected – the line of customers out the door gave it away. If there is no line to guide you – it’s in the Pennsylvania Hotel. We joined the line, waiting in the drizzling Vancouver rain to see what all the fuss was about. When we got to the end we were part of a few waiting for the next batch to arrive. For the next hour a well-spirited crowd of donut-seekers waited eagerly for a fresh delivery from the kitchen on Commercial. The happy chattered ranged from the changing neighbourhood (we shared an ice cream sandwich from nearby restaurant Meat and Bread), other donut hotspots in the city(or lack thereof) and as is inevitable in Vancouver the price of housing. The owner’s and their friends who volunteered on this unexpectedly busy day chatted with the waiting crowd until an hour later, a vintage green Porsche arrive, with a rubber bin full of donuts.

We took home one of each flavour available: early gray, sweet heat, citrus zest, triple chocolate threat, carrot cake and a classic. We rushed home warm box in hands to devour two while they were still warm (the other four were going to some much deserved Hobbyists for dinnertime dessert). The first two we tried were delicious. The classic was just that: a plain donut with a slightly crispy, but moist vanilla bean glaze. The kind of donut that reminds you of your childhood, but just a little more gourmet. The outside of the citrus zest had that fantastic deep fried crunch with a moist cake inside. The zest was surprisingly potent, creating a sweet citrus tingle on your tongue. The two favourites at that night’s dinner party were the sweet heat and earl gray. The amount of heat in the sweet heat was pleasantly surprising. If you love a good chili/chocolate combination this is donut for you. The heat lingers and the cinnamon in the dusting rounds out this full flavour combination. The earl gray is beautiful looking and has a subtle but unmistakeable flavour. For this donut texture pulled it to the top of the list: soft crunch to the icing, crunchy donut outside and moist middle. If you like carrot cake you will like the carrot cake donut. We were missing the candied carrots and oats topping (they ran out) to give the donut that extra blast of carrot flavour. The triple chocolate was a little bit dry and heavy – our least favorite of the day. We will try it again – even a donut has an off day.

The donuterie has been open for 3 weeks. They have gone from making 60 donuts a day to over 700 – who knew Vancouver foodies were yearning for a great donut? Apparently the team at Cartems Donuterie did. If you are in the area stop by. We’ve already got a coffee and donut date planned for next weekend – so you can count us in as repeat customers.

4 jalapenos
5 poblano peppers
1 serrano pepper
1 tbsp butter
1 large yellow onion
4 cloves of garlic (diced)
most of a bunch of cilantro (chopped finely)
2 pounds of potatoes, peeled and diced
4 cups of chicken or vegetable broth
½ tsp cumin
1 ½ cups of milk
1 cup of half and half or yoghurt
1 lime, juiced
salt and black pepper to taste

Cook the peppers under the broiler for about five minutes on each side or until thoroughly blackened, removing those that blacken first as the rest finish. Place poblanos in a paper bag, closing it to let them steam for 15 minutes. Rub the skin off of the poblanos, then remove the stems and seeds of all of the peppers and dice them. In a large pot, melt the butter, then add the onions and cook them for 10 minutes or until they are just starting to soften and turn brown. Toss in the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the chilis, potatoes, broth, cilantro and spices. Bring to a boil and let simmer for about 20 minutes or until the potatoes are softened enough.  Scoop out 2 cups of the soup and set aside. Puree the rest of the soup in a food processor (or with a wand) until smooth and then mix in the portion set aside. Add the milk and half and half (or yoghurt) and cook until warmed. Add the lime juice and serve with queso fresco and a bit more chopped cilantro.

Thanks to the Homesick Texan, Lisa Fain, for her livening up of an El Paso Junior League recipe, which we played with a bit further and hope she approves. Check out her site for some great recipes.

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A few of the hobbyists are known for their unabashed love of bubbly. This super easy sparkling wine pairing is an easy way to introduce some glamour to a special evening. It is great for New Years, an Oscar night party or Valentine’s Day. We normally serve it on crackers but some outside the box thinkers at our last bubbly tasting discovered that it’s even better on a plain potato chip. The salty caviar and chip pairs incredibly well with almost any good bubbly but the fruit notes in a sparkling rose gives the perfect salty/sweet blend.


8oz cream cheese
1.5 oz lumpfish caviar
2 tbsp. very finely diced chives
2 tbsp. sour cream
2 tbsp. lemon juice
Zest of 1 lemon

Warm the cream cheese to room temperature. Blend the cream cheese, caviar, lemon zest, green onion and lemon juice. Serve a dollop on a bite size cracker with a sprinkle of fresh chives on top.

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We are always looking for quick, delicious and healthy snacks. We fell in love with these crispy baked chickpeas and have been meaning to post this for a while. We often have canned garbanzo beans in our pantry so these are a great low prep nibbly.


1 can chickpeas
2 tablespoons olive oil
1-2tsp garam masala or other curry mix
salt and pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (230 degrees C).

Drain and rinse chickpeas. Spread on a baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the oven and toss the chickpeas, olive oil and seasoning in a bowl. Place them back on the baking sheet and back for another 5-10 minutes or until the desired level of crispiness is reached.

We love Vij’s Garam Masala mix which you can buy pre-blended or find the recipe in their most recent cookbook Vijs at Home: Relax Honey – a must have for any Indian food lover.

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This recipe is so easy…once you have your Homemade Hobbyist HP Sauce canned and ready to go. We love this recipe because we usually have the ingredients on hand if we forget to plan dinner. It is the perfect no fuss meal for Christmas eve or boxing day. You can throw it together and relax with friends and family.



1 lb lean ground pork
1 cup onion diced
1/2 cup HP Sauce
1/4 cup Panko
1 egg
1 tsp. rosemary
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp. Worcestershire
1/4 cup finely diced parsley


2 tbsp. panko
1/4 tsp. salt
2/4 tsp. garlic powder


Preheat oven to 350F. Combine first 10 ingredients in a big bowl. Spoon mixture into a shallow baking dish and flatten. Mix the Panko, salt and garlic powder to make the crust topping. Sprinkle over top of the meat and throw it in the oven. Bake for ~ 1 hr or until golden brown on top.

We love this winter hardy recipe with roasted squash and a leafy green braised kale. We paired this with some Pink Bulles sparkling Gamay and it was a great refreshing combination.

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