Posts Tagged ‘dinner’

Mushroom Tortellini and Vegetable Soup

Mushroom Tortellini and Vegetable Soup

We’re slowly springing out of the dreary days of winter.

Through the incessant rain and cold, there are gentle signs of spring’s emergence; this morning I noticed the tiny red buds of the magnolia tree across the street.

Our winter wasn’t as bad as it was in other places, it just felt like a long dark one; I’m ready for daffodils and cherry blossoms, and longer days as our clocks spring forward this weekend.

Meanwhile we’re enjoying the last bits of winter with the warm comforts of soup – that’s exactly what this mushroom tortellini and vegetable soup is, it’s a hearty comforting soup that warms the soul.

Mushroom Tortellini and Vegetable Soup

This type of soup usually starts with a text from my sister; she found dried mushroom filled tortellini at the Italian market thought of the classic Italian tortellini en brodo (in broth) but with chunks of broccoli, cauliflower and carrots, to add a bit of colour and vibrancy.

My sister and I try to get together and cook once a month, being a far better cook than I am, I always jump at the opportunity – she mostly does all the cooking and I get to reap the benefits – like this awesome soup.

Mushroom Tortellini and Vegetable Soup Mushroom Tortellini and Vegetable Soup

We’ve been making soups like these all winter long, particularly for those gloomy rainy days, and there’s been quite a few of those days.

And the soups are always so tasty and filling and nutritious and warming. It literally melts the chills away.

And the best part is this soup is even better the next day and days after, just keep leftovers in the fridge and reheat before serving.

Mushroom Tortellini and Vegetable Soup
Mushroom Tortellini and Vegetable Soup

Mushroom Tortellini and Vegetable Soup

Roasted Vegetables Pasta

Roasted Vegetables Pasta

I think it bears repeating that I love the romance of love, it often times makes me wish I could fall in love repeatedly just for that delightful magical rush.

Perhaps that is what Valentine’s Day is, a reminder to celebrate the romance of love.

This year I thought about red themed desserts, and discovered Pinterest boards of adorable heart-shaped red and pink food and crafts.

Floral Arrangement Roasted Vegetables Pasta

And then I thought about flowers… of roses and anthuriums… bright in hues of red.
Somehow this pasta is what I saw; easy, light, tasty and fresh – so simple it’s magical.

It reminds me of simple things… early morning walks, dancing to your favourite songs, humble bouquets that gladden your heart and long quiet afternoons in bed.

Happy Valentine’s Day! May you find romance in the ordinary… Always.

Roasted Vegetables Pasta
Roasted Vegetables Pasta


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Black Beans and Okra

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I’ve been a little unwell lately, it started with a little tickle in my throat that turned into a cough, days later I’ve developed a cold or something like it.
Whatever it is, I hope it passes soon, I don’t like feeling this way and I can’t seem to do the things I want to do.
I’m lethargic and weak, and all I want to do is sleep.

I had plans for cook up a storm this past weekend but I got tired from a short trip to Bellingham.
I was going to make a nice rice and lentil salad with broccoli, granola, apple pies and this charming focaccia with garlic and cilantro for our breakfast.

But then, I’m glad I didn’t make my boring granola because I just discovered these buckwheat clusters – which I’m going to make instead when I’m feeling better.

It’s in these moments when I can’t bring myself to cook that I truly appreciate all those soups I have stashed away in the freezer. I tend to double soup and stew recipes I’m making and freeze portions for later.

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So I’m eating this black beans and okra this week, from a huge batch I made a while back.
Ladled over rice, it makes a comforting and satisfying meal – the kind of food I ate growing up.

Months ago we got a special delivery of red palm oil from Ghana, the good kind… with all the controversy surrounding palm oil, it’s the only kind I trust.

We’ve been savouring the memorable earthy flavours of palm oil in some of our favourite foods from childhood, and this black beans and okra is cross between gumbo and the okro stews my mom used to make.

It’s okra and a mélange of vegetables sautéed in palm oil with a tasty helping of black beans in a tomatoey sauce.

And the best part is, it freezes well. I wasn’t going to post this recipe initially because I didn’t like the way the pictures turned out – but I enjoyed it so much this second time around, I didn’t care about the less than stellar pictures, I just had to share.

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Christmas 2013

Christmas 2013

It truly is the most wonderful time of the year, Christmas is my favourite holiday – I love everything about it, the preparations, the giddiness and the anticipation leading up to the day, the carols and the adorable twinkly lights.

I love that we’re a little compassionate during this season, and I love that I get to spend the day in my PJs, be merry and spend quality time with my very favourite people.

Christmas 2013
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There’s always a peaceful quietness I relish about Christmas day, as always, our day was super relaxed and cozy.
We slept in, ate spiced banana cake with tea and shared a delightful moment hanging out and opening presents.

For Christmas 2013 we decided on dinner instead of the breakfast/brunch we normally do.

We had a little feast of wild rice salad with dried fruits and nuts, lentils baked in pastry (lentils en croute), a simple balsamic vinegar roasted fennel and cilantro and cranberry sauces to go with it.

Dessert was a citrus and ginger bûche de Noël from one of our favourite bakeries.

I loved the rustic simplicity of our meal and maybe next time we’ll do some baked salmon for the pescetarians.

I hope you had a magical and merry Christmas! :-)

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But wait, there’re some more photos from our Christmas Day… !

Honey Mustard Roasted Potatoes

Honey Mustard Roasted Potatoes

I can’t remember a more perfect fall than the one we’ve been having lately.
This is the first time I’ve loved fall this much since I moved here; it used to be my favourite season.

This autumn in Vancouver has been absolutely gorgeous; from colourful foliage unlike any we’ve seen in a while, to clear breezy sunny days, and occasional rain that charmingly sets the mood for craving warm cozy comforts… like a steaming bowl of soup or warm fragrant roasted vegetables.

There’s just something special and settling about the smell of vegetables roasting on a crisp autumnal day – there’s nothing I love more these days.

Honey Mustard Roasted Potatoes Honey Mustard Roasted Potatoes

And to think this time few months ago I was still excited about strawberries and tomatoes at the market.
And now comes this season of hearty roots vegetables that I can’t get enough of; potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, beets, carrots, parsnips and turnips – of all kinds.

It’s really easy to get excited about these wholesome, nourishing and abundant fall produce when you can enjoy them in so many versatile way; roasted, mashed, grilled, braised, or make delectable fries or chips for snacking.

When I saw purple potatoes at the store this past weekend, I loaded a couple onto my cart picturing these honey mustard roasted potatoes.

Roasting with mustard, a tip I picked up last year makes tasty scrumptious caramelized vegetables; it heightens the natural sweetness of the vegetables intensifying the flavours.

Honey Mustard Roasted Potatoes Honey Mustard Roasted Potatoes

It’s truly excellent; in that it’s a breeze to whip up, and the reward is a cheerful cozy meal, perfect to come home to after a crisp day outdoors in the chill and crunchy fallen leaves. Or perhaps a colourful side dish at your Thanksgiving feast.

Maple syrup works exceptionally well in place of honey for this recipe. Feel free to use whatever potatoes you have, or experiment with other root vegetables – I’ve been dreaming of sweet potatoes…

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