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About a dozen years ago, the Elbasi family immigrated to Canada from Turkey, opening one of the best eateries in town – Anatolia Turkish Cuisine in the Crossroads Market. They now have a bricks-and-mortar location downtown, and at their farmers’ market location they have the only phyllo sheeting machine in Canada. But more importantly, they’re a lovely family, cook wonderful food, and when I was researching different varieties of dumplings for CBC, walked me through how to make tiny manti – Turkish dumplings filled with lamb or beef, encased in a soft dough and drizzled with melted butter. On the day I was pestering them with questions, they happened to be making some for that evening’s iftar. They said tomatoes were typical, and when I came across some browned butter tomatoes, I couldn’t not make them.

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This was all that I salvaged from the show this morning – we all stood around the plate at the studio and stabbed at it with forks at 8:30 am. Alright, so it’s not really a *pie*. But it was baked in a pie plate and is technically topped with pastry, so I call it fair game to celebrate Pi day. Plus it’s unbelievably delicious, and outside my regular wheelhouse – normally I would have celebrated by clearing the last of the rhubarb out of my freezer, but David put in a subtle request yesterday for CBC this morning, and so I went ahead and made it. Which is why I have these photos taken on my phone in the dark of late last night and early this morning – not ideal, but you get the gist. I wanted you to see what the stewy part looked like, and the crumpled phyllo on top. It’s pretty straightforward, as far as braises go – the originalContinue reading

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I adore lamb, but am particularly fond of it ground, spiced with garlic, cumin, cilantro, coriander and salt, and grilled kabob-style. Despite my endless love for lamb kofta (a word that refers to all kinds of spiced, minced meat-balls, kabobs et al), I rarely think to make it, and I can’t fathom why that is. It’s meat on a stick, and it cooks in about ten minutes, and you can drag it through garlicky yogurt. At any rate, I was reminded how easy they were to make when I fired up the grill at 6:30 am to make them for CBC this morning, and cooked some flatbread alongside while I was at it, using the same naan recipe I’ve used for years – because I knew I’d be cooking early in the morning, I made the dough last night and kept it in the fridge to slow the rise.

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A tiring day. Cooked brunch for 25 at an event that combined yoga class with vegetarian appetizers – a sort of class/sit down brunch for which I made a lot of things, one of them veggie samosas. A wonderful Indian cook – Tahera Rawji – taught me the easy, cheater’s way to make samosas – using frozen hash browns. If it’s good enough for a real Indian cook and cooking teacher – a cookbook author even – it’s good enough for me. I’m sorry I don’t have a photo – since it was during the day I didn’t think to bring my camera. (So it wasn’t really dinner, either. Although it was the most substantial thing I ate closest to dinnertime.) Then at 5 I made dinner for 12 at the home of the guy who was the highest bidder on a private in-home cooking class/dinner I had contributed to a silent auction – you may have read about our fundraiser earlier this year for Nicole Pageau, an Edmonton woman in her 60s whoContinue reading

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It turns out I am a grown-up, after all. I spent last weekend choosing a new washer and dryer. When it arrived yesterday, Mike and I were so excited that we sat in front of it and watched the water level rise through the window, as if it was a TV. Today I took the dog to the vet and drove home in the rain and rush hour, listening to the CBC news. Then I made a practical dinner; something I actually planned ahead this time. By the time I got home One day not so long ago while I was attempting to do inventory in my freezer, I pulled out a small chunk of lamb, thinking I’d do something with it. I didn’t, so cubed it, tossed it with some spices in a plastic bag, sealed the bag and tossed it back in the freezer with ROGAN JOSH written on the outside. (I think I am finally beginning to learn that what goes inContinue reading

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