Sunday, July 7, 2013


I love food.  I can't be as adventurous as I would like to be with 2 kids under 10 in the house (in my experience, that way leads to tears and misery), but I put a great deal of thought into the food I buy and the meals Phil and I prepare for our family.  Preparing a meal I know my family enjoys, making something special for the kids' snacks, spending endless hours canning tomatoes in August... it's one of the ways I tell my family I love them.   

I don't know whether I'd go so far as to call myself a Foodie or anything, but there you have it.  I spend a good part of each day preparing/planning/thinking about food.  And yet, in the almost 6 years I've been blogging, I don't think I've posted a single recipe here. 

That ends today.

 Last time I wrote about how the garden had gone nuclear and I had more garlic scapes than I knew what to do with.  On Friday morning I harvested a bunch and put them in the fridge before I went to work, thinking inspiration would hit and I'd figure something out during the day.  I HATE not using things comes from the garden. 

Later that morning while scrolling through my Instagram feed (you can find me under DearKnits!), I came upon a picture of a pasta dish with red onions, garlic scapes, pistachios, cream and parmesan.  And inspiration hit. 

I used my scapes in a pasta dish, but added sauteed mushrooms and substituted pine nuts instead of pistachios.  I also cut out the cream and added some cherry tomatoes for colour.

And holy JEEZ was it good.  So, SO good.  Even the kids loved it.  And Phil, who isn't overly fond of pasta dishes that are too "noodle-ey" liked it too. 

I made it again tonight, just so I could snarf it down photograph it and share the recipe.  You're welcome.

Pasta with sauteed mushrooms, garlic scapes and red onions


4 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp butter
1 8oz (227 g) package of mushrooms (I used a blend of oyster, shitake and enoki mushroms), chopped.
1/4 cup of red onions, sliced
1/3 cup garlic scapes, cut into 1 inch pieces (about 5 scapes)
1 tbsp  freshly grated ginger
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 cup freshly grated parmesan
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
250 g pasta (I used a mix of fusilli and penne rigate)
5-6 slices smoked salmon (optional)


- Heat 1 tbsp olive oil over med-high heat.  Melt 2 tbsp butter and add mushrooms.  Sautee for 3-4 minutes until mushrooms have softened and have begun to brown.  Add red onions and sautee until softened.

- Reduce heat to medium.  Add garlic scapes, ginger and thyme and continue to sautee 5-10 minutes.

- Meanwhile, cook pasta in salted water until al dente (about 7 minutes).  Drain, and return the pasta to the pot. 

- Add remaining olive oil to pasta and stir to coat evenly.  Add the mushroom/red onion/scapes mixture to the pasta and mix well.  Add the grated parmesan and halved cherry tomatoes and stir.

- If vegetarian dishes aren't your thing, or if you want to add a bit more protein to this dish, throw in a few slices of smoked salmon before serving. 

Personally, I found this dish to be absolutely delicious, and I hope you will too!  If you give it a try, do let me know what you thought of it! :)

Happy Cooking, Everyone!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The Bright Side

I don't know what the weather has been like in your part of the world, friends, but up here it has been WET.  Sure, we've had the occasional warm Spring Day (or now, technically Summer Day), but on the whole it's been rainy and grey and sometimes downright cold.

Now, in case you didn't know, Winter is a big deal in Canada.  After enduring six months of ice, snow, sleet, and mind-numbing, soul-sucking cold, we're all a bit shell-shocked, you know?  We need our oh-so-brief-but-glorious Spring and Summer to bring us back to life, to forget the horrors of Winter and remind us why anyone would ever choose to live in this God awful climate in the first place.

But this year, Spring just... didn't sprung.  And thus far, Summer's interest in making an appearance seems to be casual at best.  I'm not going to lie, it's been taking a toll on our moral. The first drop of rain,the slightest dip in the thermostat has us sighing in heavy exasperation and muttering to ourselves about the Gosh Dang Weather.  I've been trying to make the best of it (Knitwear is still appropriate!  Yay!  Everything is green and lush!  Super!), but this week I finally had to admit that the game was up and that the whole "It's good for the plants" spiel just wasn't going to cut it anymore.

The thing is though?  All this rain we've been having?  It really IS good for the plants.

The garden has EXPLODED, my friends.  Seriously, it's like a Girls Gone Wild video out there, only for plants.  The tomatoes I planted (that I grew from seed!!!) have gone berserk, the carrots are doing splendidly, I've got more garlic scapes than I know what to do with, and the basil, while tender, is fragrant and wonderful.

The only thing that hasn't been going crazy are the cucumbers (I suspect they aren't getting enough sun - Hah!  Get in line, dudes!).  I also had ZERO luck with my watermelon despite sowing the seeds twice, so I've changed plans for that raised bed and have planted spaghetti squash instead.  They look teeny now, but I know the ways of squash.  They'll be joining the veggie party, taking up all the room and making googly eyes at the green beans in no time.

So yeah... there's that.  And for those doldrums that the garden can't cure?  Well, there's always cross stitching.

Happy Knitting, Everyone!