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Summer Eats: Summer Steak Salad

Summer Steak Salad, from 30 Minutes Low Carb Dinners

Valerie Azinge writes,  “I got into a motorcycle accident that left me in the hospital for over 3 months. I had to learn how to walk again and I’m still in recovery. I came up with the concept of low carb 30-minute recipes because I found that when I was bedridden in the hospital, I lost a ton of muscle mass. My metabolism slowed down, my diet was restricted to carbs, and I had very limited nutrition. Since I was still rehabilitating, I didn’t have the energy or capacity to exercise the way that I used to or also spend as much time in the kitchen. So, I started cooking and eating my way back to health with 30-minute low carb dinners.”

Her new book is 30-Minute Low-Carb Dinners, and we're pleased to excerpt her recipe for Summer Steak Salad with Gorgonzola.



4 (1-lb [454-g]) New York strip steaks

Kosher salt and ground black pepper

3 tbsp (45 ml) extra virgin olive oil

¼ cup (57 g) unsalted grass-fed butter



12 cups (360 g) baby arugula

⅔ cup (80 g) crumbled Gorgonzola

2 cups (400 g) cherry tomatoes, halved

2 tbsp (30 ml) balsamic vinegar

2 tbsp (30 ml) extra virgin olive oil


1. Season the steaks with salt and pepper. Coat a 12-inch (30-cm) cast-iron skillet

with the oil and heat it over high heat. Quickly add the steaks to the hot pan and

cook for 3 …

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3 Great Recipes from the 2020 Taste Canada Awards Shortlist

Foodies, take note!

Every year, the Taste Canada Awards are a literary and culinary highlight, celebrating the best in Canadian food writing. We also love them as a good excuse to share some of our favourite posts when books we've celebrated already end up on the shortlists!


Seafood and Chorizo Paella, from Gather: A Dirty Apron Cookbook, by David Robertson, nominated for Culinary Narratives

Go to the recipe

About the book: Bestselling chef David Robertson, of The Dirty Apron Cooking School, is back with a stunningly designed book of new recipes for the home cook and the whole family.

The Dirty Apron Cooking School has taught thousands of Canadians to cook. In this anticipated follow-up to his bestselling Dirty Apron Cookbook, David Robertson's latest book celebrates the simple pleasures of cooking food for friends and family.

Gather features an enticing collection of 80 delicious recipes designed to be shared, whether on platters or heaped high in big bowls, and served with care, generosity and a lot of love. From crème brûlée French toast, to a s …

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Butterscotch Squash Coffee Cake

Photo Butternut Squash Cake

A nutritious diet is key to both the prevention and management of chronic illness, but to make us feel wonderful, it must also taste wonderful—and a meal shared with family and friends is even better. Grounded in this perspective, Amy Symington's The Long Table Cookbook makes the transition to a health-optimizing plant-based diet simple and satisfying, featuring over seventy-five recipes along with the latest evidence-based nutritional advice, meal planning suggestions and tips for hosting community gatherings.

Amy Symington is a nutrition professor, plant-based chef, and culinary nutrition program coordinator at Gilda’s Club Greater Toronto, a not-for-profit group that provides social support for those who have been touched by cancer, to which she will be donating all royalties from the sales of the book. 


Yes, squash in cake, we have gone there! This decadent and kid-friendly cake could be your show-stopping moment at the next holiday meal. There are many reasons to hop on the orange vegetable cake bandwagon, including the high fibre and antioxidant content, but ultimately this cake is just plain delicious. Share it far and wide! Note: If buttercup squash is out of season and difficult to source, feel free to replace it with butternut squash, at a 1:1 ra …

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Food Writing: From My Bookshelves and Browser

Jennifer Cockrall-King is the author of three food books, most recently her co-authored tawâw: Progressive Indigenous Cuisine, by Shane M. Chartrand. In this recommended reading list, she shares the food books, and writing and podcasts, that inspire her. 


With my head buried in a cookbook project for two years solid (and a couple more before that as chef Shane M. Chartrand was seeking a place to begin the process of storytelling and recipe writing), I’ve kept myself inspired with the writing and talent of many Canadian food writers and cookbook authors.

Here’s a list of writers who’ve found a place on my bookshelves, my magazine stacks, and my bookmarks of good websites. I offer it up as a jumping-off point for a larger discussion of authors and thinkers who inspire us to think more deeply about the food we eat, cook, and share.


Let’s start with Anita Stewart, because how many other cookbook authors and culinary writers are also members of the Order of Canada, University of Guelph Food Laureates, founders of Food Day Canada? Stewart has spe …

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Cozy Eats: Real Hot Chocolate from DUTCH FEAST

Hot Chocolate Image

From Stock Photo

We're far enough into 2019 now that New Year's Resolutions can be safely abandoned for being unrealistic and sucking the sweetness out of life. In place of your juice cleanse, we bring you this incredible recipe for hot chocolate from Emily Wight's Dutch Feast (a finalist for last year's Taste Canada Awards). Even better: it serves six. Invite the neighbours over for a little warmth respite. 


(Makes 6 servings.)

Book Cover Dutch Feast

Where we live, it rains a lot—all the time for some parts of the year—and so we make the best of it. Hunter watches for puddles forming on the sidewalk, and when they are deep enough, he grabs his rubber boots and raincoat and demands to go outside. Aside from puddle-jumping, one of Hunter’s great joys is warming up after playing in the rain with a mug of hot chocolate—there’s not really any other time when he asks for it, so I am fairly certain he has tied a mug of chocolate and whipped cream to a feeling. Puddles are gezellig. Hot chocolate is gezellig. Of course, whipped cream is gezellig.
Fair warn …

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Summer Eats: Our Taste Canada Shortlist Extravaganza

If a few of the books on the 2018 Taste Canada Shortlists sound familiar to you, it might just be because we've been featuring them (and sharing their delicious recipes!) on our blog during the past year. And now with summer at its height and with the shortlists just announced, the time seems just as ripe as the fruit is to spotlight these incredible recipes again. 

Explore all the nominated books and blogs at the Taste Canada website. 


Make This:

Apricot Curd Tart

from Rod Butter's and Kerry Gold's The Okanagan Table

"My chef de cuisine Robyn Sigurdson, who has worked with us since Fresco, came up with this simple and yummy tart, showing off the tasty union that is apricot and thyme."


About the book: The Okanagan Valley, 125 miles long and 12 miles wide, is home to some of B.C.’s most historic farmland, and every summer, the region explodes with apricots, peaches, sweet cherries, pears, plums, nectarines, grapes, and apples. There is no greater pleasure than seeing the reaction to true, honest cooking, and home cooks know this feeling, too. The Ok …

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The Way to a Happier Life: Currant Bread from DUTCH FEAST

Currant Bread

In the dead of winter, we turn to cozy things to warm us, sometimes literally. And Emily Wight's new cookbook, Dutch Feast, has plenty of choices to offer in that area, with delicious stews and casseroles. But Wight's chapter about breakfasts is particularly remarkable for her assertion that breakfast is indeed the most important meal of the day—but not necessarily for the reasons you might believe. She tells the story of her family's visit to the Dutch region of Friesland to visit her husband's relatives, and how the breakfast table there would be heaped with seven varieties of bread and all kinds of sweet spreads. She writes, "It was, for me, a kind of paradise—the kind of thing the breakfast tables at home didn't offer." 

She continues, "I think I would be a nicer person if I could roll out of bed in the morning and eat pie. For a few weeks, while testing recipes for this book, I did eat an inordinate amount of pie... I was—dare I say?—merry. I was nice before 9:00 am. And I know this evidence is only anecdotal, but its compelling enough that I think we should all put down our smoothie bowls and our chia seeds and embrace Dutch breakfasts, sugar and white bread and cheese and all, because I think that is the way to a happier life. We can do better. We m …

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First We Brunch: The Summit Restaurant Pumpkin Pancakes

Photo Credit: Rebecca Wellman

While First We Brunch is part guidebook to the best places to eat in Victoria, but it's also all cookbook, with more than sixty recipes from the Brunch Capital of Canada. As befits this time of year, we're thrilled to feature the book's recipe for Pumpkin Pancakes from The Summit Restaurant. Bon appetit! 



The Summit Restaurant Pumpkin Pancakes

Serves 4


1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/4 cup finely chopped roasted chestnuts (or any other roasted nut)

1 tsp finely chopped orange zest

2 cups buttermilk

1/3 cup pumpkin purée (not pumpkin pie filling)

3 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 large egg

11/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup granulated sugar

11/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp grated lemon zest

1/4 tsp pumpkin spice blend (or combine equal amounts of ground cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, cloves)

Vegetable oil, for frying

Maple syrup, for serving

Orange marmalade, for serving

Icing sugar, for serving


Book Cover First We Brunch

This recipe puts me in mind of cool, sunny autumn mornings, but using canne …

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Summer Eats: Cranberry Mousse

Cranberry Mousse

Photo Credit: Tracey Kusiewicz

Here is a refreshing dessert perfectly paired with fresh summer berries from Maria Depenweiller's new cookbook, Russian Cuisine. You can eat it while discussing the virtues of Checkhov versus Munro. 


This light, festive looking dessert can be enjoyed with heavy cream and fresh berries. Add some mint leaves to the garnish for an extra splash of colour.

1/2 cup (125 mL) fresh cranberries

2 cups (500 mL) water

1/2 cup (125 mL) + 2 tsp (10 mL) sugar

1/4 cup (60 mL) Cream of Wheat

1/2 cup (125 mL) heavy cream or whipping cream (approx.)

6 fresh mint leaves (optional)

Place the cranberries in a small saucepan, crush them with a potato masher or fork, add water and sugar, bring to a boil and cook 3 to 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cranberries to a ceramic or plastic dish and reserve the cooking liquid in the pan. Metal dishes are not suitable as they oxidize the cranberries and give the mousse an off-taste.

Mash the cranberries well and use a fine sieve to separate juice from the skins and seeds. Add the juice to the saucepan with the reserved cooking liquid. Bring to a boil and gradually add the Cream of Wheat, stirring constantly to make sure there are no lumps. Continue stirring and cooking on low heat for 12 minutes.

Po …

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The Forgotten Parts of Food Culture: Unpaid Labour and Drudgery

Book Cover Food Will Win the War

Talking History focuses on a wide range of topics in Canadian history, and it consists of articles by Canada's foremost historians and history experts. Our contributors use the power of narrative to bring the past to life and to show how it is not just relevant, but essential to our understanding of Canada and the world today. "Talking History" is a series made possible through a special funding grant from the Department of Canadian Heritage.

Dr. Ian Mosby is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at McMaster University’s L.R. Wilson Institute for Canadian History.


In the past two years, my 92-year-old grandmother’s world has become enveloped by the fog and confusion of dementia. Not only does she sometimes forget the faces of her own children and grandchildren but she’s often trapped between the past and the present, unable to differentiate between the two. Lucid moments are too often followed by fear, confusion, and uncertainty.

As both a grandson and a historian—a person whose life and work involves engaging with and trying to understand and even reconstruct the past—this is deeply unsettling. I never knew my grandmother very well and now, it seems, I likely never will.

The last time I visited my grandmother I tried to make up for a lot of lost time and bo …

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Rosalind Chan: Around the World in Cake

Of all the international themes that we're considering this month, it all keeps coming back to food. Cookbooks and food books are fascinating ways to learn about other culture, and our own local food movement has only awakened interest in how food culture works in other places. However, world-renowned cake decorator Rosalind Chan's new book is a spin on global food quite like no other. 

Creative Cakes features 14 cakes inspired by by the symbols and flowers of places Chan has visited on her travels, with recipes that teach some of the most sought-after skills in cake making, plus how-to photos, templates, full-page images, and a variety of cake and confectionery recipes.

The wonders of the world have never been so sweet. 




Russian Faberge Beauty


Russia’s national flower is the chamomile. Looking very much like a daisy, the chamomile symbolizes energy. Russia is known for its famous jewelled eggs, made by the House of Faberge from 1885 to 1917 for the Russian imperial family.



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Gatherings: Hosting a Successful Open House

Book Cover Gatherings

Sustenance is fine, sure, but really, what is the point of food if not to bring people together?

In their new cookbook, Gatherings, celebrated food writers Jan Scott and Julie Van Rosendaal share great recipes and tips for all kinds of events big and small for which friends and family gather around a table—weekend brunches, kids' birthdays, cocktail parties, book clubs, beer tastings and more. Including the December holidays, of course, the month kicking off today and beginning the mad dash through it all.

But don't just be dashing—remember also to savour and enjoy. And to help you out with that, we're pleased to feature great advice from Scott and Van Rosendaal on hosting a successful open house, and a recipe for their "Cheesy Christmas Tree," an idea so brilliant and simple that you'll wonder why you didn't think of it first. 


Hosting a Successful Open House 

• Avoid cooking during an open house; with guests coming and going at different times you want to be free from the kitchen so you can greet them appropriately.

• This should be the easiest type of gathering you host; keep self-serve in mind when it comes to planning the menu.

• If serving hot foods, prepare them so they can be heated in batches, with a constant rotation of warm foods at the ready …

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