Pasta with Rapini

A lot of the time, the most tasty dishes are simple and uncomplicated. I recently saw a cooking/travel show that featured regional Italian cooking and I was inspired to cook up this pasta dish.

I used some delightful handmade orecchiette ("ears") imported from Italy. The sauce just hugged the pasta and the flavours of the garlic, anchovy and hot pepper flakes were a hearty backdrop for the slightly bitter rapini. Instead of rapini you could use broccoli, and in the spring, arugula would be great!

Buon appetito!


A Romanian Cookbook

My Romanian-German friend Erhard recommended this Romanian Cookbook, especially the Grilled Minced Meat Rolls. Thanks Erhard!



Pancit is the Filipino word for noodles. Filipinos cuisine has a large variety of pancit recipes.

I developed my version of Pancit, Pancit Rolando, when I moved away from home to go to University. It has certainly evolved over the years and it is one of my favourite dishes to eat and to cook. It's based on the classic Filipino recipe, Pancit Guisado, which is fried. I use cabbage, celery, mushrooms and carrots but you can use other vegetables like broccoli, and green beans. I use chicken but you can also use pork.



I cooked Tinola yesterday. Tinola is a traditional hearty Filipino stew made with unripe papaya or chayota. Perfect fare for cold winter nights. Here's how it looks.


Southern Behl

One of our favourite dishes at Surat Sweet is bhel, a tasty mixture of Indian puffed rice and fresh vegetables. This can be served as an appetizer or a snack.

My friend Kamal gave me suggestions of vegetables to put in this southern Indian dish. This is my version of bhel. I used puffed rice from the cereal aisle (Kamal says you can even use rice krispies!!), as the Indian bhel mixture that I found was deepfried (but looked delicious!).


Happy Valentine's Day!

I baked Valentine's cookies for my friends and family. I made citrus sugar cookies and this chocolate shortbread.

To glaze the sugar cookies, I made a thin glaze of sifted icing sugar and milk and tinted it pink. To decorate the chocolate shortbread, I piped the cookies with melted white chocolate and melted red chocolate wafers. You could also pipe your valentine's name or initials on the cookies for a personalized touch!

Happy Valentine's Day!


I love Ma Po Tofu!

Ma Po Tofu is one of my favourite Chinese recipes! I keep trying it at every Chinese restaurant I go to, but invariably I am disappointed! Either they add peas or it's not hot enough or the ground pork is wrong (I prefer pork that's been ground at home) .... You get the idea! I also collect Ma Po Tofu recipes! I have at least 5 or 6 if not more!

This recipe from a classic Chinese cookbook is the best I've found so far.

Here's a picture to whet your appetite!


Chocolate Orange Cake

Last night our friends Lisa, Rebecca and John hosted a video night of favourite dance sequences from musicals. For dessert I brought a chocolate orange cake.
Here's a picture of how the cake looked.

Instead of using orange liqueur for the syrup, I used Kahlua for a different flavour dimension. You could also substitute any other sweet liqueur you like.


Korean Noodles with Beef and Vegetables--Jap Chae

On the topic of great Asian noodle dishes, jap chae is one of my favourites. The noodles in this Korean dish are somewhat unusual. They are made from sweet potato starch and are a translucent greyish, green before cooking. After cooking, the noodles are chewy and are mild flavoured.

You can find these noodles in some Asian grocery stores. If you can't find them, you can substitute lightly cooked rice vermicelli.


Padh Thai

Teresa gave me this Padh Thai (Thai noodles) recipe many moons ago. It is absolutely delicious and is a perennial crowd pleaser.



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