Sojourn by Horseback in Rojas de Cuauhtemoc

A great way to experience the Oaxaca countryside is by horseback. Mary Jane Gagnier and her team of horses offer excursions onto trails less travelled for newbies and experienced riders // read more

Welcome to the Grilled Meats, Oaxaca City

The sign above the entrance reads, Bienvenidos a las Carnes Asadas. You can't miss this long hallway off the Viente de Noviembre market in Oaxaca. It's filled with smoke, with fires // read more

Locavoracious in Mexico

What better way to find the soul of a place than to eat the local specialities of the region? The open air markets of Mexico hold the key.In Puerto Escondido, villagers come down from the // read more

El Pantero Strikes Again

Everyday around noon, El Pantero emerges from the water in front of Playa Carrizalillo with a sack of freshly picked oysters. Nicknamed The Panther for his lean physique and black wetsuit // read more

Devouring Puebla

Puebla, a two-hour drive from Mexico city, is smaller in scale and known for its colonial buildings and ornate tile work. Wandering the cobblestone sidewalks, there is always something // read more

Ricardo Munoz and Azul y Oro in Mexico City

The National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) is blessed with one of the best restaurants in the city, if not the country. Azul y Oro, a 200-seat restaurant housed in the Centro // read more

Hot Chocolate, Churros and Goat Meat Tacos. A Brief Snapshot of Mexico City

Mexicans are notorious snackers. Every morning, stalls throughout Mexico city are set up to serve tacos with a myriad of ingredients, picante salsas at the ready. Here is one that serves // read more

First Tastes and Sights in Mexico City

Arriving in Mexico City late one evening, we wandered around to get our bearings. The evening was unfolding as it should,  with tiny eateries getting ready for the onslaught of hungry // read more

Vegetable Frittata or Strata.

Those roasted anaheim chilies stashed in the freezer. That leftover turkey meat, the chard or kale stalks, the cool red-tinged corn and various herbs on the verge of extinction, we've all // read more

Meatloaf with Caramelized Onions, Wild Mushrooms and Tomato Sauce

Nothing like a bout of tomato sauce, redolent with onions and garlic to take the edge off a cold rainy afternoon. Simmer with oregano until the tomatoes break apart and soften. To further // read more

Chef Roberto Santibanez’ Chilie Relleno with a Picadillo of Chicken, Capers, Olives and Almonds

Stuffed chiles, or chiles rellenos in Spanish , show evidence of the many cultures that showed up on the shores of Mexico. For example, through trade came the introduction of olives, // read more

Iguana Mole, Chayote Salad and Mushroom Quesadillas

I keep three big tubs of chilies in my cool climate pantry, but cooking Mexican has been on the back burner for a while. When I came across a bag of chile costeno rojo, I felt the need to // read more

Mole Amarillo – Not the one with chocolate!

Fall and winter are perfect seasons to make moles. These renowned labour-intensive stews of Mexico, especially Oaxaca state, are slow-cooked, healing dishes infused with earthy chilies and // read more

Cornflake-Crusted Fish in Tomatillo Sauce

Breadcrumbs are versatile but can be substituted in many dishes with crushed cracker crumbs or that breakfast staple, cornflakes. Think breaded and fried oysters whose briny goodness pairs // read more

Roasted Tomatoes & Cauliflower with Breadcrumbs

For centuries, cooks from around the globe have cobbled together delicious meals with minimal ingredients. Bread is a prime example, and no matter what variety you enjoy, it remains one of // read more

The Bacon Explosion. Seen and Tasted in Seattle

The first day of this year's annual Seattle Tiki Home Bar Tour had some tasty snacks along with Pete's Voodoo punch and appropriate tunes by DJ and tour organizer Terence Gunn. This // read more

Deep Cove Chalet – Paradise Found

In the late summer, early fall, Deep Cove Chalet beckons. Run by cci and his wife Bev, the Chalet serves French country cuisine. Koffel's culinary roots are in Alsace and you'll find many // read more

The Pumpkin, a Saw and a Few Good Cooks (Guest Bloggers)

There's really only one way to handle this 25 lb. pumpkin. I attempted to open up the beast with a chisel and hammer first - too tedious - so out came the saw. This exquisite specimen is // read more

A Quick Dish of Chickpea and Swiss Chard

Forget the hummus just for one second and give this chickpea treatment a whirl. Swiss chard is abundant at this time of year and the two together produce a delicious dish easy to whip up // read more

Vegetarian Cabbage Rolls of Wheat Berries, Mushrooms and Vegetables

A recent find in the Saanich farmlands, this spectacular Savoy definitely needs its own chair. What a beauty. And what an inspiration for cabbage rolls. The main grain consisted of 1 cup // read more

Simple Baked Apple Tarts

You bet I'll cycle for apples. Not only is it a balancing act but there's nothing like the taste of an apple pie. Even if it's of the rustic variety. I added the chopped zest of one lemon // read more

Sticky chicken wings

I came across this treatment reading Nigel Slater's book, The Kitchen Diaries. Cracked pepper, lemon juice and sliced lemon, fresh bay leaves, olive oil and sea salt season the wings // read more

Easy Granola

I find making granola a form of meditation. I don't really even like granola but I like the process of adding ingredients, slowly toasting them in a low-heat oven, stirring occasionally and // read more

Crispy Pig’s Ear Salad

Yes, you heard right. Driven by a desire for challenge, a way to shake up the same old culinary routine, I decided to wade into the shallow end of what U.K. chef Fergus Henderson has made // read more

Julie Usher’s Easy Pasta Dish

Here's a delicious pasta dish that can be assembled and cooked with ease. It's one of those dishes that you can return to repeatedly - and I do - when the cupboard's looking a little bare, // read more

Green Bean Salad & Beet Salad

Gratefully, the weather still dictates al fresco dining. Lately, I've been buying some great looking green beans. And for two days in a row, I've treated them equally. A quick blanch in hot // read more

Olive oil and Rosemary cake

Here is a simple cake that is perfect for Sunday lunch or brunch. It is great served alone, with Italian cheese and honey, or as I did, with ripe figs and pots of thick yogurt and honey for // read more

Garlic Soup. A true restorative

One of the cookbooks I return to frequently is Cooking at Home with a Four-Star Chef by Jean-George Vongerichten and Mark Bittman. The recipe for garlic soup is a revelation, using the // read more

Wicked Butter Tarts

You have been forewarned.   Short-Crust Pastry (You might have your own recipe, but this number works for both sweet and savoury dishes) 1 1/2 cups unbleached flour 1 tsp. // read more

Salmon Wrapped in Fig Leaves

Fig leaves, under-utilized, unlike their kin, fennel pollen and dill flower heads, impart a subtle figgy aroma to ingredients like salmon or goat cheese when wrapped and baked. I happen // read more

Baked Figs Stuffed with Gorgonzola

In keeping with a leafy theme, we have figs and their longtime companion. Till death do they part. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Gently wash the leaves and shake dry-ish. With a sharp // read more

Dolmades – Stuffed Grape Leaves, Vegetarian Version

A friend generously dropped off a bag of grape leaves for a session of dolmades rolling. Stuffed grape leaves are a tasty appetizer of Greek and Lebanese origins. (There could be other // read more

Corn Chowder

That luscious corn from Saanich has to be used up and there's nothing better to take the chill out of the air these days than a hearty corn chowder. Get your mise en place ready. 3 - 4 // read more

Spaghetti al limone

With the glut of cookbooks on the shelves, sometimes a recipe will escape you until a casual flip through will bring a surprise. Why didn't I see this before, you might ask. And I did. I // read more

Simple and Quick Tomato Sauces

When supplies of fresh produce just aren't within reach, I turn to canned goods. And I feel no shame. When cans of Italian whole tomatoes are on sale, I buy a couple of cases at a time, // read more

Cheese on Toast

This little ditty was a staple of my childhood. We called it either cheese on toast or Welsh Rarebit. I understand that it's not exactly the latter but having an English mother, who were we // read more

Chanterelles. Heralding the Return of Autumn

Every year, the August long weekend brings a chill in the morning air. A sure sign of autumn to come.  We've had blazing summer days and nights this year, and I don't want to move on, but // read more

Albondigas en Chipotle

Good 'ole meatballs. A 1001 variations, tasty little morsels all. Translated to the Mexican table, albondigas (Spanish for meatball) are a national standby, appearing regularly on comida // read more

Summer Bean Salad

No matter how hard we try to grow various kinds of vegetables, I swear it's the garden that dictates what grows and what doesn't. And the garden says, beans. Our runner beans are a given // read more

Two Easy Tomatillo Salsas, Guacamole with Peaches and Chicken Kabobs

Tomatillos, that green fruit surrounded by a papery husk has been a staple of the Mexican diet for eons. It's easy to buy ones of uniform size in Mexico, but in Victoria, B.C., size // read more

Salsa Arriera "Mule Driver’s" Salsa

Any budding aficionado of Mexican cuisine should have one - or the whole collection - of Diana Kennedy's cook books. Therein you'll find a rich resource of dishes - obscure and well known // read more

Nopales/Cactus Paddles/ Guacamole, etc.

A prickly subject. Nopales or cactus paddles are a tasty treat if you can get beyond its stubble. They are worth the trouble and so much better than the cactus bits you can get in a can. I // read more

Watermelon Margaritas

Thirsty? The best way to make easy work of an oversized watermelon is to juice it. Cut off the peel of a seedless watermelon and whip the melon in a blender, until you have juice. There // read more

Salsa Macha

Not for sissies.According to my notes, this earthy salsa macha hails from Central Veracruz. Toast 20 - 24 chiles de arbol, stemmed. Careful not to burn. I use a root brush for scooting the // read more

Salsa, an ongoing exploration

One thing is certain, salsa in Mexico is always on the table. Going through my Mexican food journals and recipe files I was struck with the endless combinations and possibilities for that // read more

Baja-Style Fish Tacos

The key to successful fish tacos, or for any dish you are about to undertake, is preparation.  When friends are coming round, I like to set the table first. To keep things in a fiesta // read more

Squash Blossoms for Quesadillas and Stuffed, Battered and Fried

We wait all year for this event. When the squash blossoms open wide. Really we could care less about the squash, it's the flowers we want. My love of the flower began during my first trip // read more

Easy Elegant Summer Salads:Watermelon and Goat Cheese, Fennel and Orange

Watermelon and goat cheese is an unlikely combination but completely refreshing as a starter or elegant finish to a meal on a hot summer day.  Crumble goat cheese over four wedges of // read more

Tomato Meet Oven

Stepping into the tomato world of SunWing Farm is like stepping into an alternate universe. While I could go for any of their first rate heirloom varieties, for my first foray into // read more

Green Goddess Dressing

One of my favourite salad dressings of summer. Green Goddess. She's a lovely accompaniment with fresh crab over greens and tomatoes. She livens up an artichoke and is a natural with big // read more

Queso Fundido with Roasted Anaheims, Mushrooms and Cheese, served with Salsa Fresca

Queso fundido, a dish of hot melting cheese, is a popular Mexican appetizer served with hot corn tortillas. I like to fancy it up a bit, layering cheese with sauteed mushrooms and onions // read more

Mezcal and a Meal in Matatlan

Don Renaldo and the Guttierez family are Oaxacan artisan mezcal makers and gifted cooks. We dropped in one afternoon for a tasting and to partake in a special meal. Unfortunately, we missed // read more

Goat barbeque at La Capilla

La Capilla is an open air restaurant in Zaachila, a 30 minute drive outside of Oaxaca City. My first visit there was over 12 years ago. Peacocks roamed the grounds then, dazzling diners // read more

A Glimpse at Market Specialties from Puerto Escondido

While some people prefer to surf the waves of nearby Zicatela beach, I wake up early in Puerto Escondido to get to the public market. Market days are the best, meaning the days when // read more

Dining in the Clouds/Sunday’s Special in the Sierra Juarez

Sunday is the day that Doña Leecha makes criollo potato and corn tortillas. Her restaurant Casa Piedra located at Rancho Benito Juarez in Oaxaca is located at a breathtaking 10,000 // read more

Cherry Clafouti

It's July and cherries are in season. Looking forward to sitting in the garden with a bowl of cherries, I purchased some dark red  juicy-looking ones at a local farmer's market. Seduced // read more

Leg of Lamb Cooked in Fresh Alfalfa/Hay

Every few months or so I check the online menus of Chez Panisse. Mostly it's for inspiration tinged with a subtle form of torture. Me on the cool Canadian West Coast, she to the South in // read more

A Silk Purse from a Sow’s Ear AKA Anthony and Me

The claim, reminiscent of those ads in the back of comic books, seemed to be speaking just to me. It read, "Bask in the moral certainty that you are the baddest-ass king hell, fearless // read more

Potato Salad

The stellar spud. So versatile. So willing to be boiled, fried, baked, peeled, stuffed, mashed, smashed and otherwise violated, works for any season, served cold or hot, vegetarian-style or // read more