Wednesday, December 21, 2011

mini sausage rolls

cute little bites

These are really simple to make - especially because I used store bought puff pastry:)

what you need:
  • 1 package puff pastry
  • 6 or so italian sausages (or whatever kind you fancy)
  • 1 handful of flat leaf parsley, chopped finely
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 pinch of salt and pepper
  • 1/3 cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 2 green onions, chopped finely
  • a little bit of freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 egg
what to do:
  1. In a large bowl, mash together sausages (casings removed), mustard, breadcrumbs, salt & pepper, milk, greens and nutmeg.  Allow mixture to sit in the fridge for about 4 hours (or overnight).
  2. Roll out puff pastry and cut into 2 1/2" width strips.  (About 3 strips each sheet)
  3. Beat egg in small bowl.
  4. Brush egg onto one side of the strip.  Spoon out the sausage mixture and place it along the other side of the strip, taking up no more than 1/3 width.  
  5. Roll it up and make sure the seam is on the bottom. Refrigerate or freeze for about 1 hour, then slice into small bites and brush with egg on top prior to baking.
  6. Bake at 425 F for 20 minutes, until tops are golden brown.  Enjoy!

panko crusted chicken lollipops

eat me!

I made these for the christmas sweater party and they were a hit.  They are a bit of work but totally worth it - the bony lollipop part makes it easy for guests to pick up and eat with minimal mess.  You can marinate the chicken in whatever you like - here I've used some asian flavours.

what you need:
  • about 15 chicken drumsticks
  • panko (japanese bread crumbs)
  • 3/4 cup light soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 tbsp sriracha 
  • 3/4 ketchup
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire
  • a few pinches black pepper
what to do:
  1. Combine all ingredients (except for panko and drumsticks) - set aside.
  2. Clean chicken drums by cutting the bottom (skinny end) tendons with a paring knife, then use the knife to scrape down the skin to expose the bone to form the "stick" of the lollipop.  (Hint: this part is easier to handle if the chicken drums are a little frozen, it makes the tendons/skin easier to cut through).  Cut a diagonal vertical slit on the meaty part of the drum stick, then use your hands to push the meat down a little to make the "top" of the lollipop.                                                                                               
  3. Put prepared chicken lollies in a large tupperware and pour marinade over.  Cover well and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, up to 24 hours.  
  4. About 1 hour before you want to serve them, preheat oven to 425 F and prepare a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil.  Hold chicken by the stick part and roll the meaty part in panko bread crumbs. 

5.  Once you've crusted all the chicken, bake in the middle rack for about 40-45 minutes, until panko is golden brown and chicken is cooked.  Enjoy!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

easy party treats

something for everyone

People always want different kinds of tastes - sweet like chocolate, caramel/candy, salty, and everyone loves rice crispy squares!  These party snacks are super easy and just take the original recipes to a new level.

mars bar rice crispy squares
I always save my baby spinach plastic containers...
so useful for storing things like this or transporting to another party!

what you need:
  • rice crispies
  • 2 mars bars, chopped into small cubes
  • marshmallows
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
what to do:
  1. In a large pot, melt butter and then add marshmallows (about 250 g), stir and when the marshmallows are almost melted, add the vanilla and one mars bar.  
  2. Turn off heat and once mars bar is melted, add 6 cups of rice crispies.  Stir to coat with marshmallows, then add the remaining mars bar cubes.  These won't melt as much and will be a delicious chocolately/caramel surprise bite!

swirly cheesecake brownies
what you need:
  • your favourite brownie recipe ingredients
  • 1 package cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
what to do:
  1. Beat cream cheese with sugar until fluffy and smooth, then beat in the egg and vanilla extract.  Set aside.  Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. Prepare your brownie batter.
  3. You can make the brownies in a large square pan or make mini-brownie bites as I did this time.  The second is more labour intensive.  Basically for both, you pour the brownie batter first into a well buttered pan, then pour the cheesecake mixture on top and swirl with a butter knife to get the marble effect.  When you make them into small individual brownies, you have to make sure you butter the mini-muffin tin really well and use a smaller tool (e.g. chopstick or toothpick) to swirl the brownie batter up into the cream cheese to get the marbling.                  
  4. For the large square, bake for about 40 minutes and check with a toothpick.  It depends on how gooey you like your brownies, but usually a little sticky residual batter on the toothpick means it`s ready.  If it`s clean it`s a more cakey texture...and if its super wet then its not done yet.
  5. For the mini-brownies, bake for 8 minutes then check with a toothpick.  It will probably take about 8-12 minutes, but keep checking because they are so small they will over bake quickly.
  6. Be sure to gingerly remove the mini-brownies after a minute from the pan to a cooling rack - you don`t want them to continue cooking in the pan.  Enjoy!

caramel dip

what you need:
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup corn syrup
  • 1/2 whipping cream
  • 1 pinch of salt
what to do:
  1. In a small saucepan, add water and pour the sugar right in the middle.  Do not stir.  Place it on medium-high heat, and add the corn syrup.  Allow the mixture to bubble away, you can swirl the pan by holding the handle and gently swirling, but do not stir with a spoon or it will crystallize.
  2. Once the mixture becomes a dark golden brown, remove from heat and whisk in the cream.  Be careful as it will steam and bubble a little.  Add the salt.  The caramel will thicken once cooled.  Enjoy with any sliced fruit!
homemade bits and bites
I was inspired to make these after having some at my friend Hill`s.  So easy but such a crowd pleaser.

what you need:
  • 1 cup peanuts, unsalted
  • 1 cup pretzel sticks
  • 1 cup toasted O`s
  • 1 cup shreddies
  • you can add anything else you like...some people add the cereal corn bran, cheese nips, different nuts...
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp each of onion powder, garlic powder
  • 1 pinch black pepper
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp celery salt
  • a few dashes tobasco *optional
what to do:
  1. Preheat oven to 300 F.
  2. Melt butter in microwave and then mix in the spices.
  3. Combine peanuts, pretzels and cereals in a large bowl pour the butter and spice mix all over.  Toss a few times to coat the mixture as evenly as possible.  Transfer to a large baking dish or cookie sheet and place in the middle rack of the oven.  Bake for about 35-45 minutes, stirring every 10-15 minutes or so.
  4. Remove from oven and allow to cool to room temperature.  Enjoy!  It can also be stored in an airtight container for several days.

a christmas sweater party - holiday mojitos!

dodgeball boys
the girls
This weekend we hosted a Christmas sweater party for our dodgeball team.  It was a lot of fun and everyone had lots to eat and drink.  We had chicken lollipops, nachos with homemade mango salsa and guacamole, sausage rolls, sweets and holiday mojitos.  Super fun.

a festive cocktail
Holiday Mojito

what you need:
  • vodka
  • fresh cranberries
  • mint
  • sugar
  • water
  • club soda
  • ice
  • lime or lemon *optional
what to do:
  1. Make simple syrup by using equal parts sugar and water.  Bring to a boil and remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
  2. In a mortar and pestle, grind up some cranberries, mint and 1 tsp sugar.  
  3. In a cocktail shaker, add some ice, the mashed up cranberries and mint, a splash of simple syrup, and cold water.  Shake and pour into a glass, then top it off with club soda and a squeeze of lime or lemon.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

easy glazed salmon

Ok this is actually the easiest thing to make and it's so good you'll want to make it every week!  Serve it with salad, steamed veggies, some rice or sweet potatoes...anything goes.

what you need:
*serves 2
  • 2 pieces fresh salmon
  • 1 tbsp grainy mustard
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • salt and pepper
what to do:
  1. Preheat oven to 425 F.
  2. Pat salmon lightly with paper towel.  Season with salt and pepper.  Mix mustard and brown sugar well, then even coat the top of the salmon pieces.  
  3. Place salmon skin side down on baking dish generously lined with aluminum foil and fold opposite corners of the aluminum a little bit to cover salmon (but don't let it touch the mustard mixture).  Bake in middle rack for about 12-15 minutes or longer, depending on the size of your fish and how well done you like it.
  4. For the last minute or two, open the foil up to expose salmon and turn the oven to broil and watch carefully to avoid burning.  It is done once the sugar caramelizes slightly and is bubbling a little.
  5. Remove from oven and allow to cool a few minutes.  The salmon should come away easily from it's skin.  Serve immediately and enjoy!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

caramelized onion & goats cheese pizza

thin crust vegetarian delight
Creamy goats cheese, sweet caramelized onions, portobella mushrooms, and spring mix to top it all off. This pizza is deliciously vegetarian and satisfying.  Sonia, this was made with you in mind!

what you need:
  • pizza dough
  • 3 large yellow or vidalia onions
  • 1 portobello mushroom
  • about 1/2 cup goats cheese
  • about 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 1 big handful spring mix salad
  • extra virgin olive oil 
  • salt & pepper
  • red chili flakes 
what to do:
  1. To caramelize onions: this is a long process so start here first!  Chop onions into thin slices and get about 1 tbsp oil heating in a non-stick pan on medium heat.  Saute onions until they are caramelized (browned, sticky and slightly sweet) - it will take about 15 minutes and you will need to toss / stir them occassionally.  Do not turn the heat up or you will burn them.  Add salt, pepper and red chili flakes to taste, then remove from heat.
  2. Slice mushroom and roll out pizza dough.
  3. Brush pizza dough lightly with olive oil.  Load up the pizza dough first with a generous layer of caramelized onions, then top evenly with mozzarella, crumble goats cheese all over, and mushroom slices.  Bake on a pizza stone or pan for 10-12 minutes - until edges of pizza crust are golden brown.
  4. Remove from oven and top immediately with spring mix, they will wilt slightly from the heat of the pizza.  Slice it up and enjoy!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


This weekend I had my friends Liz and Sonia over for a girls weekend! We made a great dinner on saturday and samosas was on the menu.  Although these samosas are not exactly like traditional Indian samosas, they are really good and good for you.  Typically samosas are pockets of dough filled with garam masala spiced potatoes, green peas and then deep fried.  These ones were made with sweet potato, carrots, green peas, tofu, and a homemade blend if Indian spices including turmeric for a lighter flavour.  Even Sonia approved:)

what you need:
  • phyllo pastry (thawed, room temperature)
  • 1 small sweet potato
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 cup frozen green peas
  • 200 grams firm tofu
  • 1 medium onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • canola oil
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup cold water
for the spices:
  • 1 tsp each ground turmeric, coriander seed, cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp red chili flakes (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seed
  • salt and pepper
*you may choose to use garam masala instead (a blend of spices you can buy)
what to do:
  1. Dice the onion, and roughly chop garlic into small pieces.  Dice sweet potato, carrots, and tofu into small cubes, try to cut them about the same size.  
  2. In a large pan, heat up 1 tbsp canola oil on medium.  Add the mustard seeds; once they start making a gently popping noise (about 2-3 minutes), add the onions and saute until slightly translucent.  Add the rest of the spices and stir.  After about 1 minute the aroma should be intense, add in the rest of the vegetables and garlic.  Saute for another 2 minutes, then add water.  Cover and allow to simmer for several minutes.
  3. Remove cover after about 8-10 minutes and check if vegetables are tender.  If they are, remove lid and turn the heat down to medium-low and allow, if any, excess liquid to evaporate.  If the vegetables are still hard and your pan is dry, add a little bit of water and cover again.
  4. Remove vegetable mixture from heat and add frozen peas, stirring to incorporate.  At this point, add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Allow mixture to cool to room temperature (or it can be made a day in advance and refrigerated).
  6. Lay out phyllo pastry on a large cutting board (should be layers and layers stacked) and using the tip of your knife, cut into 2.5" strips.  Keep most of it under plastic wrap with a slightly moist tea towel on top to prevent drying out.
  7. Lay one strip of phyllo flat, brush with a thin layer of melted butter all over, then place a second strip on top.  Put 1 heaping teaspoon of the veggie mixture in one corner of the phyllo, then fold it over to make triangle (isosceles), and continue folding it upon itself until you are on the last triangle - brush with butter then seal to finish. 
Liz making samosas!
    folding onto itself into a triangle

    8.  Put them on a cookie sheet.  You can bake them right away at 425 F, for about 10 minutes.      
        Once they are gold brown, remove and place on a cooling rack for a few minutes and serve       
        hot with fruit chutney or plum sauce.  Enjoy!   

    9. You can also make these in advance; place the entire cookie sheet filled with samosas in the 
        freezer for about 20 minutes, then remove them and store in a container in the freezer to bake
        another day.
dinner with friends!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

broccoli mac & cheese

hearty comfort food

This recipe is dedicated to my brother, Jiash.  The first time I made mac and cheese was with him and it was pretty hilarious. I thought I could do it without following a recipe and I proceeded to instruct him on what to do.  I didn't bother to grate the cheese and we ended up with a huge lump in a pool of skim milk and butter.  In the end it was actually quite tasty, but maybe not the most attractive dish.  I've since modified my recipe and this one includes broccoli for some green goodness.

what you need:
  • 1 small broccoli
  • 3 large shallots
  • 3 large garlic cloves
  • 2 cups freshly grated extra old cheddar
  • 1 cup freshly grated mozzarella
  • 400 g dry macaroni pasta
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • a small pinch of nutmeg
  • 1 tsp red chili flakes
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan 
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 1/2 cup 1% milk
what to do:
  1. Prep everything you need: clean broccoli and trim rough parts off stems.  Finely chop stems, set aside.  Roughly chop up florets and set aside in a separate bowl.  Finely chop garlic and shallots.  Grate cheeses.  Mix grated Parmesan with breadcrumbs.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and start a pot of water to boil pasta in.
  2. In the meantime, heat up 1 tbsp of canola oil in a large non-stick pan.  Add shallots and broccoli stems, saute for about 2 minutes then add garlic and broccoli florets.  Season with pepper, salt, and red chili flakes.  Saute for another 2-3 minutes, then remove broccoli and set aside in a bowl.  
  3. Put a generous amount of salt in the boiling water and add pasta.  Should take about 8 minutes or so to cook to al dente.
  4. In the same non-stick pan on medium, heat up butter and then whisk in flour and keep stirring, making a roue.  Heat milk in microwave for 1 minute.  After about 3 minutes, slowly add milk, continuing to stir to avoid lumps.  Turn off the heat and add cheddar and mozzarella, stirring to incorporate.  Season with nutmeg, Worcestershire, salt and pepper.
  5. Drain pasta when al dente, reserving about 1 cup of pasta cooking water.  Fold pasta with cheesy mixture, and add in the broccoli.  Add a small amount of pasta cooking water to loosen the sauce, if it appears too dry.
  6. Pour pasta into a buttered baking dish.  Top with breadcrumb mixture and bake in oven for 12 minutes.  For the last 2 minutes, turn the oven to broil to brown the top (keep a close eye to avoid burning).  Serve hot and enjoy!

served up in a bowl, hot and gooey

so...this was that first time (years ago!)
 the cheese that couldn't quite melt. haha

Saturday, October 22, 2011

fresh local turkey

mom and little brother ray
Ok so my co-worker Dawn lives in Gananoque, just outside of Kingston, and her husband Joe raises turkeys on their property.  These turkeys are known for being flavourful, lean and just plain good because they are grain fed and not cooped up in a cage.  I just couldn't resist getting one (a 15 lb considered was huge!) - but very unfortunately I didn't let my mom know in time so she had already purchased one at the grocery store and marinated it.  I was forced to butcher the turkey because my freezer is not big enough to store it whole.  I got a good lesson from my mom on how to separate it into parts on Thanksgiving, while my brothers watched and learned as well.  It's kind of like butchering a chicken, but in a much larger and tougher scale.  We ended up freezing it into 6 separate portions- 2 breasts, 2 thighs + wings, and 1 tupperware full of bits of meat that was trimmed away from the back bone - which was made into a tasty noodle dish.  The back bone was used to make a great stock.

fruit bouquet

a fun display of fruit
This isn't difficult but it does require a lot of time and effort!  No wonder it's a business on it's own.  It's best of have a variety of different fruits for lots of colour and texture, as well as large fruits such as pineapple and melons to use cookie cutters to cut out fun shapes appropriate for your occasion.  For a special treat for Steph's shower, we dipped strawberries and apple slices in chocolate.  My father in law was happy to help since there was chocolate involved!  Ryan created a sturdy base by super glueing a styrofoam ball down to a weighted base - we had to ensure it would hold the weight of the fruit, and that as people removed skewers it wouldn't topple over.  

what you need:
  • an assortment of fruits
  • bamboo skewers
  • 1 1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • lemon
what to do:
  1. Prep fruit by cutting into various cubes/shapes/sizes.  For fruits that brown (e.g. apples, pears) - be sure to squeeze fresh lemon juice over them to prevent browning.
  2. In a double boiler, melt chocolate together with butter.  Remove from heat once melted and add pinch of salt.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil - hold strawberry by the tops and dip into chocolate, then place onto sheet.  Once your sheet is full, refrigerate for at least 2 hours to ensure chocolate is set and easy to handle to skewer.  (You can dip other fruits in the chocolate as well - we did some apple slices but it was tricky because the chocolate would sometimes slip off the fleshy parts of the apple).
  3. Create random skewers of fruit and leave at least 2 1/2 inches at bottom of the skewer so that you can stick them into the styrofoam ball.  Continue sticking fruit skewers into the ball - try to stick them into the ball somewhat evenly around so that you don't have one side heavier than the other.
  4. Enjoy!
Bevan dipping strawberries...

Bevan licks the chocolate bowl clean!

a bridal shower

Last weekend I helped cater a bridal shower for Steph, my cousin in law.  It was hosted by my mother in law and before we knew it, the guest list was 40+!  Everyone pitched in to help and it was a great success - there was plenty of food for seconds, a variety of flavours to please all palates, and most importantly, a happy bride that was showered with lots of love and gifts.

Our spread included lots of delicious breads, coffee cake, muffins, and tea biscuits baked by a few different aunts and a bakery in Shawville.  I made a few appetizers and dishes (with lots of help from Sue and Aunt Nancy!) which included bok choy salad, mini omelette tartlets, fruit bouquet, crostini with dips (white bean, hummus, olive tapenade, and creamy caramelized onions), spanikopitas, and panko crusted chicken fingers.
Sue and Nancy making lots of spanikopitas
cooking in my in-laws' newly renovated kitchen
(love this granite island)
the shower

Steph and Abby

bok choy salad

my version
the original - Laureen's
A few weeks ago I had this amazing salad alongside a fish fry!  It is super refreshing, light and very addictive.  I made it for Steph's bridal shower and everyone loved it (even those who had never tried bok choy).  The recipe makes quite a big salad - left overs are good until the next day.  Here's my version of the salad:

what you need:

  • 1 package baby or regular bok choy
  • 1 package bean sprouts
  • 2 green onions
  • 1 handful cilantro
  • 1 package ramen noodles
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 1/2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/8 cup soy sauce
  • black pepper, to taste
what to do:

  1. Cut off bottoms of bok choy and separate each leaf individually.  Wash thoroughly allow to dry (pat with tea towel or leave in sieve for awhile).  Rinse bean sprouts and allow them to dry as well, or spread on tea towel and dry gently).
  2. Stack boy choy leaves, about 5 at a time, chop into thin 1/2" slices width wise, and place into a large salad bowl  Finely chop green onions and add to bowl.  Roughly chop cilantro and add.  Then add the bean sprouts.
  3. Mix the rest of the ingredients (except for the ramen noodles) in a jar or tupperware and shake well, until sugar is dissolved.  This dressing can be kept in the fridge for several days.
  4. Right before serving the salad, toss all vegetables with dressing.  Remove the small flavour package from inside the ramen noodles and crush the dried noodles into little bits.  Top the salad with the noodles for extra crunch and texture.  Enjoy!

Friday, October 7, 2011

butternut squash ravioli

homemade ravioli with brown butter sage
Two days after we ran the medtronic twin cities marathon in Minneapolis, we were back in Thunder Bay and still hungry.  Homemade butternut squash ravioli with brown butter sage was so good that even though it took a lot of labour and time to make them, it was definitely worth the effort!  The salmon (caught in Lake Superior) was baked with lemon juice, dill, salt and pepper - simple and very fresh.

I've seen in other recipes that you need semolina flour to make fresh pasta - but we forgot to get some so we just used all purpose flour.  It tasted really good and worked out fine!

what you need:
*serves 2-3
  • 1 1/4 cup flour (or use half portion semolina flour and half all purpose flour)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 medium sized butternut squash
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • 6 fresh sage leaves
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • Parmesan cheese, 1/2 cup freshly grated
  • a little extra flour for work surface
what to do:
  1. Preheat oven to 450 F.  Cut up squash into small 1" cubes, toss lightly with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Spread cubes onto a baking sheet.  Cut a little bit off the top of the garlic bulb and drizzle a little olive oil on top and add a pinch of salt.  Wrap with tin foil and place on the baking sheet.  Bake for about 20-30 minutes, depending on your oven.  Check at half time to make sure they aren't burning and give them a toss for even browning - the squash is ready when it is fork tender and golden brown.  The garlic should easily squish (use oven mitts and gently squeeze to check).  Allow squash and garlic to cool to room temp.
  2. Remove skins from squash and place roasted squash into a bowl to mash.  Add 2 tbsp butter and squeeze the roasted garlic into the mixture - mash well.  Add a small pinch of salt and pepper.  You can also add grated Parmesan cheese (about 1/2 cup) and mix.
  3. On a clean counter top, make a mound with the flour and semolina flour.  Make a hole in the centre and crack one egg into it, mix with a fork until some of the flour incorporates with the egg. 
                                               eggs in the middle
    Add the other egg, and keep mixing until all the flour is incorporated.  Use your hands to knead the dough - if it seems too dry, you can add a little bit of water (1 tbsp at a time).  If it's too sticky/wet, add a little bit of flour.  Divide dough into four small even balls and roll them until 1/4" thick.  Fold in half and then in half again, then this time roll the dough out as thin as possible (this takes muscle!) - or you can use a pasta roller. 
    rolling the dough thin enough to see the black granite
     Try your best to make the sheets about the same size and shape - doesn't have to be perfect!
  4. Place 1 heaping teaspoon of the squash mixture onto the pasta sheet - each sheet should fit about 4 separate teaspoons.  Be sure to space them out to leave space to seal filling well.  Brush a little bit of melted butter around the squash mixture, then lay another sheet of pasta on top and cut into squares with a knife or ravioli square cutter.  You will have to use the back of a fork to press down around the edges of the filling to ensure a tight seal (or else it will fall apart when cooking!).  Any left over pasta can be re-kneaded and rolled to make another sheet.  Work quickly as the dough will dry out.
  5. Bring a pot of water to boil and add a few dashes of salt.  Gently place ravioli into pot and allow to cook, about 2-3 minutes. 
     They won't take too long, once they start
    floating to the top they are ready.
  6. In a small sauce pan on medium, heat up the 1/4 cup butter.  (add a tiny pinch of salt if it is unsalted)  Add the sage leaves, and watch, swirling occasionally - it will start to bubble/foam - and as soon as the butter begins to change colour watch carefully - take it off the heat once it browns.  
  7. Serve ravioli with about 1 tbsp brown butter drizzled on top, and garnish with the cooked sage leaves (they will be crispy, like a chip).  You can garnish with extra Parmesan shavings - enjoy!
little brown dots of goodness from the butter
we actually didn't have Parmesan cheese in our filling so
instead we topped each tsp of squash with a small slice of bocconcini.

my thunder bay experience

I had the pleasure of spending a few days in Thunder Bay with my friend Jillian and her family and friends.  I guess you could call it somewhat of a "Northern Canadian" experience!  One night we had a fish fry with pickerel that they caught the week before from Lake Superior (yum, doesn't get fresher than that!) and some amazing salads (recipe to come!) and appetizers.  It was supposed to be a small gathering - but after a day of running errands we ended up collecting a few more guests and soon it became a fun dinner party with lots of wine and awesome food.  Another night we made Lake Superior salmon (I honestly didn't know salmon was in fresh waters) with homemade butternut squash ravioli.  Nothing beats delicious food, spending time with friends, and meeting great people.

Laureen and Jillian, in their gorgeous kitchen
Andy frying up some yukon gold potatoes, Criff watching
beer battered pickerel
serving up some salad
Fish fry dinner, all plated up!
homemade pie (wild blueberries picked  in Tbay)
gossiping ladies :)
men outside, frying of course