print by the beautiful & ultra talented kaye blegvad.
you are so rad(ish)!
a few weeks ago, my handsome & talented boyfriend came to visit from vancouver, where he works & lives, and in his honour i held a dinner party for 8 of my dearest friends.
it’s been slow at the restaurant lately so i knew i wanted to do something cheap + cheerful, like a curry, stew or soup of some sort. leah + i brainstormed and came up with a beautiful winter minestrone, swirled in some homemade arugula pesto at the end + topped it with freshly grated parmigiano. voila! perfection. you can add anything to this soup & it will be delicious; a perfect way to use up last week’s wilting vegetables & the can of kidney beans you’ve had in your pantry for god knows how long. dinner for 8 can cost less than $20 if you do it right (or if your pantry is as stocked as mine).
perfect winter minestrone
4 of your favourite sanagan’s sausages (we tried 5 spice + maple syrup- sweet + delicious, but simple italian sausaged would work here too)
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 ribs of celery, chopped
2 carrots (not the price chopper monsters- smaller + sweeter works best here), sliced or chopped
couple cloves of garlic, minced
8 cups homemade chicken stock (storebought is fine)
1 26oz can chopped tomatoes
half a small head of cabbage (red + green both fine)
2 sweet potatoes, peeled + diced
spinach, cleaned well + trimmed (kale, escarole or another bitter green works well here; a great way to use up some old, wilting rapini leaves)
1 can organic kidney beans, rinsed + drained
parmesan rind (optional, but i always keep these! they can add a lot of flavour to soups & sauces!)
remove sausages from casings and fry in olive oil + butter until cooked through in a heavy dutch oven, such as a le creuset or staub. remove with a slotted spoon & let rest on a plate lined with paper towel. add onion, celery, carrot + cabbage to pot, cook for 2-3 minutes or until just tender. add garlic and cook for a minute more.
at this point, add chicken stock, diced tomatoes + sweet potatoes and a cheesecloth sachet filled with parsley stems, black peppercorn + bay leaves. simmer on medium-low heat until potatoes are al dente + soup is thickened slightly. here, you can also add the parmesan rind (optional). return the cooked sausages to the pot along with the spinach + kidney beans until spinach has wilted. season with s+p.
ladle into bowls & serve with arugula pesto, good quality olive oil + freshly grated parmesan at the table to the ones you love. we melted gruyere, emmenthal + parmesan on grilled country bread for dipping, and couldn’t have been more popular.
note: this soup, like most things tomato-based, works nicely with a light, spicy red wine such as a barbara d’alba or barbara d’asti. in this case, we could have used 10-15 bottles but then i’d probably still be too hungover to write this post.
cards by sugarboo designs.
Great food is like great sex. The more you have the more you want.
spppprrrrriiing is just around the corner! and we can’t fucking wait!
le bar à huîtres at hotel ramshackle.
lundi 16 avril. mark your calendars.
last night leah & i ,along with krysta oben (of cowbell), were invited to participate in the order of good cheer; a cocktail faceoff hosted by ivy knight of the newly launched toronto-based food site, swallow food which took place at the drake hotel as a part of 86’d mondays. we were each asked to reinterpret one of my favourite all-time classic cocktails, the french 75.
those who know me, know me well. you can often find me at the toronto temperance society after work having a drink (two, three… oops!); sometimes a rye sazarac, sometimes something new & interesting by our good friend oliver stern, but more than likely, a french 75. i love this drink so much, it oftens leaves me in tears, and oliver makes the best one in the city by far.
with the help of benjamin deacon, head bartender at there restaurant in where i work, we came up with this little ditty… and it’s delicious. light, dry, floral and slightly herbaceous; southern sweet tea with an alcoholic’s twist, i hate to say i might even prefer it to the classic. sorry, olly.
the virginia housewife
1oz plymouth gin
0.5oz carpano antica formula sweet vermouth (cinzano works in a pinch)
0.5oz cold loose leaf earl grey tea
0.25oz honey syrup
0.25oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
barspoon of wild bergamot jelly (forbes wild foods)
combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker + shake with ice. strain through a fine mesh strainer into a chilled champagne flute. top with prosecco or cava (but preferably champagne) & an earl grey tea ice cube (frozen earl grey tea). enjoy.
Happiness is a dry martini and a good woman… or a bad woman.
The only time to eat diet food is while you’re waiting for the steak to cook.
—Homegirl, Julia Child.