Thursday, October 29, 2009


The book is filling up nicely and my fridge is stocked up with lots of yummy ingredients to make the desserts. The first dessert I intend to make is poached pears. I have bought a selection of pears to test which ones hold up better to the recipe. The choice is between red, bartlett and bosc.  Pears poached in dessert wine or sugar water sweetens them up nicely and with a few spices added it makes a a nice warm dessert and is best served with vanilla ice-cream. You can pretty much add any spices and use any liquid to poach pears, it all depends on your personal tastes. Some people will add vanilla or honey and others will use red wine to poach pears and serve it with a chocolate sauce. As long as you use the basic principles of the recipe you can make what ever you like. I love the warmth that the spices give, I use cinnamon, cloves and star anise. These flavors remind me of mulled wine that we we usually drink at Christmas. It is such a comforting dessert.

When buying the pears I always make sure that they are firm and have a good shape as I want the dish to look pleasing to the eye. People want to know what their eating and if it looks like a pear, then most probably it is going to taste like a pear. I try to keep the stalk on, again for aesthetic reasons. To be honest I cannot really tolerate eating uncooked pears. I think I have an allergy to the fruit proteins as my mouth gets really itchy. I am the same with cherries and kiwis, but once these fruits are cooked I'm fine. I thought it may be the pesticides, so I tried organic but I still had the same issue. Typical!!!

Ok, so moving onto news about the book. It is looking awesome!! There is still a lot that needs to be done and honestly I don't think it will be ready by Christmas. I would love it to be, but I don't want to rush it and spoil it. The book has evolved so much since my first impressions on how it should look, the chapters remain the same, however some of the layout is different. On each of the chapter pages there are now photos of my favourite dish associated to that chapter and there are a lot more photos through out the book. The reason being that some of the recipe methods took up a couple of pages so the photo of the dish could not be presented on the same page. To remedy this the photos have been displayed within the recipe method, hence more photos. I am so proud of how it is turning out and this is now giving me more motivation to finish it. Once finished I will get Ian to proof read it and make any changes and then its time to publish. Wahooo!!!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


As you all  know I love to  cook. It is my hobby and my passion, I love to prepare meals and more importantly I love sharing meal times with family and friends. It is a time where people can spend time talking, whether  it be catching up on current news or reminiscing on old stories. It slows your day down as you make time for each other. Our most relaxing meal time has to be a day where we have both been off work, this typically is a Sunday for most families, however with us working shifts, it can be any day of the week. I always try and plan to have  a  'proper dinner' at least once a week (meaning a  meat  and two veg dinner, although it is not always meat) serving a main course followed by a dessert. with a bottle of wine also making it to the table. We have planned so many of  our adventures over dinner and no doubt will continue to do so. Come to think of it, the blog idea came from  one of those conversations and look where that has got me now!!!

This weeks proper dinner will be on Sunday and I am  planning to do a dish with pork belly. It will be an experiment as I have not cooked with pork belly before. I am thinking  of poaching it in cider and  apple juice with a couple of bay leaves, thyme and mixed  peppercorns and then allowing it to cool overnight before roasting it  in the oven to make it  crispy. I'll use the poaching  liquor to make  a sauce and serve it with braised red cabbage with BC grown apples and  a  potato dish. I'll let you know how it turns out. Who knows it could become a favorite.

Monday, October 26, 2009

I'm back

After a much needed holiday I can now refocus on the cookbook, Yay!!! Many people have asked me what the title is going to be and to be honest I haven't got a clue. I don't want to sound selfish and name the book after myself and I don't want to make the title into a one word statement for example; Enjoy. I would like to keep it casual and grab peoples attention. I feel a visit is needed to the book store to research possible titles and gain inspiration.

Although there is no title to the book, the front cover photo has been designed and processed and it looks awesome. We spent a whole afternoon taking photos from every angle you could possibly think of. Ian was stood up on chairs, the tripod was at bizarre angles and the flash was going into overdrive. The photo turned excellent and was well worth the effort and the gymnastics!!!!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Food for thought

Keep everything basic, let the flavors speak for themselves. Experiment  with flavors  and  test your palate. Make food exciting,  theme your dishes and more importantly, have fun.

That's going  to my statement on food! and  it  will definitely be added to the book.  On return from this holiday I plan to finish all of the recipes and start inputting all of the photos  and hopefully have it finished by Christmas. I can't  wait to start making my planned desserts. Ian best  be ready with his camera, or the desserts  may disappear very quickly.  Its then  time to start planning  my next adventure!!!

Monday, October 12, 2009

A cheeky little entry

Well hello. Yes I have  found time to write a little entry. The road trip is awesome despite the weather dropping down  to - 15 at some places. It is definatley a back to basics lifestyle from keeping warm to cooking. Everything has pretty much been cooked in one pan. I always take two cast iron pans with me, a dutch oven and a skillet.  As we have been back road camping a  lot of tinned food has come in useful. I have used tinned salmon to make the best fish cakes ever and my baked beans went down a treat  served alongside grilled pork chops.    Acorn squash  baked with butter and honey was a delicious sweet treat too. When we go camping we  long for good hearty warming meals and we sure have had a few.