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Gnocchi is one of those dishes that can feel fancy and intimidating until you learn how to make it – and if you grew up with your family making it from scratch on the regular, and perhaps your job was to sit at the counter and roll little nubs of dough into gnocchi like it was for my good friend Emily Richards, it’s not intimidating at all, but a meal you can make quickly on any regular night.

Emily is truly one of the best people I know.. and also one of the most knowledgeable when it comes to cooking. She comes from an Italian family, and is a fountain of knowledge when it comes to pastas and sauces and gnocchi, which she mastered at the side of her mom, aunts and grandmas.

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Fava beans are here! They are some of spring’s first arrivals, along with asparagus and fiddleheads, and are well worth seeking out in their fresh state while you can find them. If you’re not familiar with the fava (or faba, or broad) bean, they’re the big, spongy, cartoon-like beans you see in farmers’ markets in the late spring, and they require a little more effort to access their buttery goodness, but are well worth the effort. I kind of like food you have to work at, or can sit around outside and peel + eat.
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I’ve been making focaccia a lot this year… OK, I’ve been making all kids of bread a lot this year, but often it’s a quick dough I make in the morning, not knowing if it will be pizza or focaccia at dinnertime, but that I’ll be prepared for both. (Or naan, even, with balls of dough pulled off and rolled thin on the countertop, then cooked in a hot skillet.) This dough is pretty universal.

Here, I’ll show you how to turn it into focaccia. This dough requires no strict rising time – you can leave it on the countertop all day, until dinner, or stick it in the fridge to slow it down overnight if you don’t get around to baking it. (Breakfast focaccia is divine, by the way.) I love how oily it is… you drizzle a generous pour of olive oil into a large skillet or 9×13-inch baking pan, push the dough in and flip it to coat, then press deep into the soft dough with your fingers to make divots that will catch the oil, salt, herbs or whatever you decide to top your focaccia with. I stuck with just oil and flaky salt for this one, but often stir some garlic, chopped rosemary or za’atar into the oil beforehand. (Warning: garlic bits burn easily – often I’ll just infuse a ramekin of oil with a crushed clove of garlic, then pour it into the pan, leaving the garlic behind.)


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I’ve been getting a lot of requests for this pavlova recipe – it’s one I’ve been making for years, and I often teach it in classes and use it as a base recipe for other pavlovas, but this is my go-to, with lemon curd made out of the egg yolks you’ll have left after you make the meringue. It’s perfect – you need something sweet-tart to go with the crunchy-chewy-marshmallowy meringue and creamy-sweet whipped cream. Pavlova truly is the ultimate dessert. This makes a relatively small one, but you could scale it up – I often double the recipe (6 egg whites + 1 1/2 cups sugar) to make a larger pavlova, or two, or one large and a bunch of small ones, or just straight-up meringues. It’s a very versatile formula.

And if you’re at all nervous about the meringue turning out, or if it doesn’t look perfect (who cares though!), you could bash it up and layer it in glasses or a trifle dish to make Eton mess – my other favourite dessert!


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Friends!! I’ve been working on a sort of experimental project. It’s been super fun.

It’s Hip to be Square is my first digital recipe download! It’s a collection of a bakers’ dozen (13!) of my favourite recipes for squares (and a few bars!), from Nanaimo bars to butter tart squares to Sweet Maureens, to download and/or print for your holiday – or year-round – baking pleasure. Cookies get all the attention at this time of year, but a pan of squares is perfect for packaging up to do door drops.
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I make a lot of galettes – which sound fancy, but are really free form pies you assemble and bake on a sheet without needing to trim or crimp – and in the fall and winter, they’re often apple ones. Sometimes, I spread some jam onto the bottom of the crust before I pile on the apples, but a couple weeks ago I had a jar of mincemeat on the counter and inspiration struck. It turned out to be a very good idea.

I adore mincemeat – a thick sort of preserve of fresh and dried fruits, citrus, brown sugar, booze (if you want it) and spices you can simmer on the stovetop until your house smells fantastic (it only takes 20 minutes, really) or buy in the jar without shame. (The smell of a jar of Robertson’s all-fruit mincemeat reminds me so much of my grandma, I nearly tear up when I take off the lid.) You don’t need suet (which is beef fat) – I grate in some butter once the mince has cooled down, so that it’s evenly distributed as it hangs out in the fridge or freezer.


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I’ve been in rugelach mode all weekend, making batches of sweet versions (dark chocolate-tahini! apricot-pecan! apricot-chocolate! Nutella! pistachio paste! cinnamon-sugar! for a couple virtual cooking classes (these ones were fundraisers for the CBC Calgary Food Bank Drive), and then doing a shortbread Instagram live bake with Amy, she mentioned having made everything bagel rugelach… and thus the seed was planted.

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Hey friends!

So I’ve had an idea brewing for awhile now, and it seems like a good time to jump in and just do it already. I promised myself I’d get it out there by December 1, and I’m just squeezing it in before my midnight deadline.

I’ve been trying to reimagine how to best utilize all the digital technology that’s available to us to do more fun things between my kitchen and yours. I’ve been getting a ton of requests for Zoom cooking classes throughout the pandemic, and have been trying to wrap my mind around how to best accommodate more people – most of the classes and events I’ve been doing have been for private companies, agencies and organizations, some of them fundraisers, cooking shows and such… but I’d like to do more classes that are open to anyone. (Remember back in February, we had the first of what was supposed to be a series of real-life and live-streamed kitchen parties? The second had been planned for March… what timing!)

I’ve been learning how to work with various platforms, but most of my classes have been on Zoom — I love that I can see you cooking in your kitchen too (if you want me to!), and you can show me what you’re making, how your dough looks, and talk and ask questions. So! I’m going to start doing pop-up kitchen classes (pop-up meaning I won’t have a set schedule), and I’d like to keep them small and intimate, and also affordable… I’ll announce them on social media as I plan them – and I’m thinking they’ll be limited to 25 in order to keep them intimate, on a pay what you can basis (suggested $20?). Of course since you’re in your own house, you can tune in with whomever you happen to be living with – you could take a class with your kids, or make dinner with your partner! We’ll have some fun and learn some things!

But! my idea has two parts: because small classes will only accommodate a limited number of people, I’m also launching… a Dinner Club!! A community of cooks and eaters who want to learn more (or just eat more), whose clubhouse would probably be a sandwich.

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I’m astounded I haven’t managed to post this recipe yet- it’s been part of my toolbox for years, called into service anytime I have cheese but no carrier, or need something quick and interesting for a snacky board or some such.

Once you know how to make this one massive cracker, which is baked and then smashed into pieces, they’re easy to make by memory- 1 1/3 cups flour, 1/3 cup each oil and water. With salt, of course- and any seasonings you like, which makes them super easy to customize. I’ve been into using za’atar and everything bagel spice mix, but you could use finely chopped fresh or dried herbs, or ground nuts, seeds, sharp cheese… they’re a blank slate, really. You roll the dough out very thin on a baking sheet (or the underside of one, if it’s rimmed, so that the edges don’t get in the way), bake the whole thing until it’s golden, then bash into pieces, which is super satisfying, with no pressure for perfection whatsover.
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