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carmen’s capers (with no capers) casserole recipe

carmen’s capers (with no capers) casserole recipe

The recipe for the ever-delicious-certainly-not-low-fat Carmen’s Capers (with no capers) from a Company’s Coming cookbook by Jean Paré.

Turkey Lurkey: November Cover Recipe Challenge

Turkey Lurkey: November Cover Recipe Challenge

Happy uber belated Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas everyone! Yes, this is a post about my Thanksgiving meal, and this is another late posting for my Food & Wine Cover Recipe Challenge. For November’s issue there was a major focus on Thanksgiving meals because of the 

Grown Up Peanut Butter and Jelly: October Cover Recipe Challenge

Grown Up Peanut Butter and Jelly: October Cover Recipe Challenge

With all the guests I hosted and cooking I did in October, the month just flew by, and somehow the Cover Recipe Challenge got pushed to the back burner. However, in true Food Girl in Town fashion, I finished the challenge and posted late, so here it is!

For October’s Food & Wine Cover Recipe Challenge, we decided to shake things up and move the whole endeavour over to Matt and Erin’s place. On the menu for the evening was:

Thai Coconut Seafood Soup

Honey-Soy-Roasted Pork with Braised Vegetables

Creamy Peanut Butter Pie with Concord Grape Gin Fizz

First up, the Thai Coconut Seafood Soup. I was pretty excited to make this soup because we all love Thai food, and I rarely work with shrimp so it gave me a new challenge.  The recipe was very easy to follow and the soup only takes about 15 minutes to make! Pretty much anyone can make this dish. It does, however, require a lot of green chopped things, like jalapeno, green onion, cilantro, basil and mint:

Green things

If you are not a fast chopper this recipe will definitely take you longer because of all the ingredients involved, but we managed to take care of the dicing at a quick pace. Then all that we had to do was pour the ingredients into a pot and let it cook for a few minutes. Even though Erin was a little premature adding the cilantro, the flavour of the soup turned out amazing! Served over rice, the soup’s broth of coconut milk, green curry paste, and fish sauce was the perfect compliment to the scallops and the shrimp; a super easy to follow recipe that turned out just like the picture!

Thai Coconut Seafood Soup

For the main course I made the cover recipe for October: Honey-Soy-Roasted Pork with Braised Vegetables. The instructions for this recipe were pretty easy, as were the ingredients. One of the only alterations that I had to make was for the pork itself: the recipe called for boneless pork shoulder roast, and I went with bone in, pretty much for aesthetic value, and because I didn’t want the roast to dry out too fast.

After searing the pork, it went in the oven with the sauce and the vegetables.

Oh yea. The sauce.

So this recipe called for a cup of veal demiglace, and after numerous grocery store trips and countless tweets, I finally was able to track down some veal demiglace courtesy of fellow blogger and photographer extraordinaire Kelly Neil. Unfortunately, on the night of the challenge I wasn’t able to pick up the demiglace so we had to make due without it. I made a quick red wine and balsamic reduction to replace the demiglace and it ended up tasting pretty good!

Pork Loin

The pork came out at the perfect temperature in the time indicated by the recipe and I served it with the carrots, brussels sprouts, and turnip that it was cooked with. I also served up a healthy portion of mashed potatoes to complete the main course.

The pork was SO juicy and it really didn’t take very long to cook at all, it was delicious!

Pork Plated

Though the pork was delicious and we all enjoyed it thoroughly, the piece de resistance was dessert: Creamy Peanut Butter Pie with Concord Grape Gin Fizz.

Basically this dessert is grown up peanut butter and jelly and it rocks! The Creamy Peanut Butter Pie was surprisingly easy to make, despite the fact that it took a while to complete all the steps. The pie consisted of a peanut butter cookie crust with a rich and creamy filling of peanut butter and cream cheese, and topped with vanilla whipped cream and chopped peanuts….what’s not to like about this pie? It was divine. I couldn’t blame the boys for hovering over me to lick all the spoons I used while baking it, it was DELICIOUS!

Creamy Peanut Butter Pie

Concord Grape Gin Fizz

The magazine paired the pie with a delicious grape alcholic beverage, the perfect match to this grown up twist on a classic. The Concord Grape Gin Fizz is a gin-based cocktail which I am normally not a huge fan of, but the combination of muddled grapes, port, sugar, and egg white made this a drink to remember. At first I was afraid the drink and the pie would be too sweet, but it was delicious and I could not believe how well they went together.

PB & J

The ‘theme’ of October’s issue was Wine so obviously I have to mention our pics for the evening. There was a major emphasis on versatile white wines, and both the appetizer and the main were paired with Rieslings. Sadly the selection of Rieslings is not the best at the NSLC, which is a shame because I really love this variety. Most people think that all Rieslings are very sweet, but it’s just not true! Some Rieslings are clean and fresh, like the one that we paired with the pork, Dr. Loosen from the Mosel Valley in Germany. It was a sweeter wine for sure, but still light and fresh and the sweetness paired well with the pork and the root vegetables and balanced the meal.


The wine that we served with the Thai Coconut Soup was definitely more of a classic Riesling, it was very yellow in colour, but was on the dry side. The Anselmann Riesling from Pfalz, Germany, matched the spiciness of the curry and jalapeno and helped balance the acidity. Both Rieslings were different and delicious!

Overall the meal was a great success. All the recipes that were chosen ended up being fairly easy to make and had great results, and despite the lack of the selection at the NSLC, both wines paired perfectly with the dishes. And with another Food & Wine Cover Recipe Challenge in the books, I can say without a doubt that I have found the best PB & J recipe that is out there: grown up PB & J with whipped cream and booze, how can you not Explore. Eat. Repeat. this delicious combination at your next dinner party. Bon Appetit!

Dinner at 2 Doors Down: Halifax

Dinner at 2 Doors Down: Halifax

I finally had dinner at 2 Doors Down! For months, I have been peering longingly into the windows of the Barrington Street location two doors down (get it?) from its older sibling Chives and drooling over the menu online. So, when my dear friend and former classmate 

Chicken Fried Chicken Livers: September Cover Recipe Challenge

Chicken Fried Chicken Livers: September Cover Recipe Challenge

9 Months. That is how long I have been doing the Food & Wine Cover Recipe Challenge, and it feels like an eternity. I seriously cannot imagine how women are pregnant for this long because this labour of foodie love is getting old. I can’t 

27 and Cobless: July Cover Recipe Challenge

27 and Cobless: July Cover Recipe Challenge

I hated July’s Cover Recipe Challenge. Why? There are so many reasons.

First of all, it has to be said that I actually create the monthly challenge, choosing recipes from the issue of Food & Wine and centring the meal around the cover recipe. Therefore, one might ask: “How could you hate cooking food you have chosen to make?” Three words:

Creamed. Summer. Corn.

This is a late posting; usually I have the challenge and the post completed by the end of the month. I was actually going to pretend that I didn’t do July’s cover recipe, but once I set my mind to something I want to finish it. That being said, I was so annoyed with the result of the cooking that I did not even want to write about it… Well, here it goes.

Adam and I moved in June, and being the procrastinator I am, I neglected to change the address of my subscription to F&W, forcing me to buy July’s issue off the newstands. This is the copy I bought:

July Cover

This is the copy that I received in the mail a few days later once I finally retrieved my mail from my old apartment:

Other July Cover

The covers were different! The cover recipe for the first copy I got was Michael Symon’s Creamed Summer Corn with Bacon. I was not impressed. Creamed corn? Never liked it, and it always reminds me of hospital food. Ew. But, like the true cover recipe challenge warrior, I planned my meal around the dish, choosing to make Mussels with White Bean and Chorizo to start, followed by Triple Pork Burgers with Quick Cucumber Kimchi, the notorious corn, and roasted potatoes. Why didn’t I just forgo the newstands’ cover for the freedom of choosing whatever I wanted in the other copy? I do not know, I guess I am stubborn.


Creamed Summer Corn with Bacon

Rating:  -1000 out of 5

To start the evening off, I choose the “7 Minutes” recipe feature for July: Michael Schlow’s Mussels with White Bean and Chorizo. I choose them because a) I love mussels and b) it looked like a simple recipe to start off an evening of complicated dishes.

And easy it was. All I had to do was combine the ingredients (cherry tomatoes, crushed red pepper, chorizo sausage, and white beans) in a pot and steam the mussels in the delicious smelling broth and bam! There is your appetizer, and a very delicious one at that!


Everyone at the table enjoyed the mussels. Erin and Matt, who joined us once again for the challenge, taught Adam and I a little trick about eating mussels. They taught us to use an empty mussel shell to pinch the meat out! How, as a Newfoundlander and someone who eats mussels all the time, I didn’t know about this trick, I don’t know, but it has changed my life. I was amazed!

Mussel Eating

So, the appetizer went well. This is where it starts to get complicated. The main course for the evening was Triple Pork Burgers with Quick Cucumber Kimchi. Adam and I prepared the kimchi beforehand because it had to sit for 2 hours in order to turn into kimchi. Those vegetables pretty much turned themselves into kimchi with a little slicing and coaching from me.


Basically all I had to do was slice up a crap load of cucumbers (2lbs in fact) and add garlic, ginger, salt, gorchugaru (Korean dried red peppers), sesame oil, and fish sauce and let it sit for two hours and VOILA! Cucumber kimchi!

Usually kimchi actually takes several days to ferment and become the delicious Korean condiment that we know and love, but this quick kimchi liquified before my eyes, and stirring occasionally for a few hours was enough to turn it into something delicious. I loved this recipe and will definitely use it again!

The pork burgers on the other hand were a different story. They were a big pain to make, and had a lot of ingredients. There were over fifteen ingredients in one pork burger patty…that is a lot! It took a very long time to slice and dice all the ingredients, but everyone rallied together and took turns chopping while we danced and sang around the kitchen. Note Adam in the corner singing his little heart out, and the delicious kimchi:

Erin chopping

And Matt’s protective gear while slicing onions:

Matt Chopping

Adam and Matt also really loved adding the fish sauce to the mix:


Once all the ingredients were finally chopped. Adam and I made the patties. They were supposed to be done very thinly, which was really hard to do because of the thousand ingredients in the patty and the fact that there was no binder to keep the raw meat together. It was really frustrating, and took a long time to make them thin enough to be stacked but thick enough not to fall into the BBQ at the same time.

In the end the burgers actually tasted amazing. Despite how long they took to prepare, the cilantro, lime, and other thirteen ingredients in the patties were so flavourful and the kimchi was the perfect condiment. If I ever used this recipe again, I would probably tweak the patties to make them a little denser and easier to make.

Kimchi Pork Burger

And lastly, and certainly least, the creamed corn. I have to admit that I made a HUGE rookie error when buying the ingredients for Michael Symon’s Creamed Summer Corn with Bacon:

I didn’t read the recipe before I bought the ingredients. 

Because of this, I bought frozen corn instead of corn on the cob trying to shortcut the recipe so I wouldn’t have to cut the corn off the cob. Lazy. The result of this was not having the cobs reserved to make the broth for the creamed corn. Now, don’t get me wrong, I do not think that I completely sabotaged the recipe by being cobless, but I could not get the broth to thicken. Was it because of the lack of cob? I will never know. All I know is that the recipe had lots of yummy ingredients like bacon and sour cream so I thought it might turn out okay. But, like the other recipes that evening, it took a long time to make. An hour and twenty minutes to make creamed corn? You’re kidding me, right? I am sorry, but this is not a recipe that I will ever make again, not even to see if I can thicken the broth with those stupid cobs.

Creamed Corn

Granted, the corn actually did taste pretty good despite the lack of creamyness. Everyone enjoyed it, and I have to say, it probably was some of the best creamed corn I have ever had; the bacon, sour cream, and coriander made it rich and savoury. However, it will also probably be the last time that I make creamed corn.

To those reading this, you may think “Well that didn’t turn out so bad.” It is true that everyone at the dinner enjoyed the meal and the food was good, minus the not-so-creamy creamed corn. I just didn’t like making these particular recipes. The pork burgers were overly complicated, and though I was thrilled with how the kimchi turned out, I will never make them again, and don’t even get me started on the creamed corn. I love to cook and for some reason, none of these things were enjoyable to make. I really look forward to these challenges every month because I make things that aren’t in my usual repertoire and I really challenge myself into cooking and eating new things. This month felt average and just not fun. Hopefully August’s challenge will be better, I am cooking that next week. Stay tuned and wish me luck.

Dinner at The Salt Shaker Deli: Lunenburg, Nova Scotia

Dinner at The Salt Shaker Deli: Lunenburg, Nova Scotia

Back in April right after Adam finished his first year law exams, we decided to take a spontaneous mid- week vacation to Lunenburg. Being born and raised in Newfoundland, neither Adam nor I had ever been to Lunenburg, and after hearing countless Haliogonians going on 

Dinner at EDNA: Halifax

Dinner at EDNA: Halifax

Halifax, say hello to EDNA, the north end’s newest restaurant! Opened last week by Jenna Mooers, daughter of Jane Wright from janes on the common, EDNA, which stands for “eat, drink, nourish, always” was buzzing with activity last night when I went for dinner. My 

Dinner at Brooklyn Warehouse, Halifax

Dinner at Brooklyn Warehouse, Halifax

A few weeks ago a bunch of friends and I went out to celebrate my friend Jessica’s twenty-sixth birthday. Jess is a fellow Newfoundlander and a mutual friend of Adam and I, but in the most odd of ways. Jess is my distant cousin, who became a great friend upon the discovery of our relation when both our fathers happened to meet each other online, brought together by their passion for genealogy and the exploration of graveyards. Adam and Jess went to high school together and became close friends in university, and because St. John’s is a microcosm the size of a neighbourhood, of course we all know each other!

Jess decided that she wanted to go to Brooklyn Warehouse for her birthday dinner, and I could not have been more excited upon receiving that Facebook inbox describing the birthday plans. I have been dying to go to Brooklyn Warehouse since I moved here, but for some reason (maybe because Adam and I rarely go north of Spring Garden these days) I had yet to visit the fine establishment.

On a cold Thursday night we all headed to Windsor Street to Brooklyn Warehouse and were seated at the long table in the middle of the room. At first I felt exposed, but once we all arrived it felt like we were the only ones in the place. The restaurant is really cool, with eclectic dim lighting and trendy bohemian decor that exhibits lots of great artwork and cool nic-nacs which line the banquettes.

To start off, our friendly server asked us what we all wanted to drink and I have to admit, there is such a great selection, it took us all quite awhile to decide on various cocktails and craft brews. Aside from the awesomeness of a 1$ Corkage for BYOB on Wednesday nights, BW has a large selection of muddled and old-school classic cocktails, booze, and a great draught variety. I decided to be brave and order the Elderflower Fizz, which contained an Elderflower liqueur and an egg white! At first I was intimidated by the idea of a raw egg white in my drink, but thoroughly enjoyed the meringue-like layer that topped my cocktail. It was different and delicious, and I loved the anqtiquey glassware!




Jess and her boyfriend Patrick both ordered a Pimm’s Cup, which is a classic British cocktail and is awesomely old school. Pimm’s No. 1 is a liqueur, also known as a “fruit cup” which is an alcoholic mix, meant to be made into a long drink with soda or juice. The seven Pimm’s “fruit cups” rose in popularity in the 1800s in Britain and have become a classic beverage in the UK. I had a sip and I have to say, the orange, lime, and cucumber were refreshing and the presentation was cute in mason jar glassware, a trend which seems to be taking over the restaurant scene.




After taking such a long time to order our drinks, I was very happy to see our appetizers arrive, because I was starving. To start off, I had the PigFish which consisted awesome scallops and probably some of the crispiest, most flavourful pork belly that I have ever had. I know that I have discussed my love for pork belly numerous times in various blog posts, but it must be said that I was blown away by the texture of the fictionally named aperitif . The pork belly was so crispy on the outside and so soft and flavourful on the inside that my mouth waters typing the very words. Combined with the Hazelnuts and Sherry Caramel that was drizzled on the plate it was a food experience that I did not want to end.




The rest of the table was equally impressed with their appetizers and we all delighted in  the flavourful dishes as forks flew from one end of the table to the other containing the delicious morsels for all to try. Jess’s best friend Stephanie ordered an appetizer titled simply  “Mushrooms” that consisted of Shiitake, Cremini and Oyster Mushrooms with giant potato gnocchi in a flavourful and delicious sauce. Jess and Patrick shared the app Momofuku, whose namesake gives a nod to the Japanese Fusion restaurant that is taking over the world one noodle bar at a time. The noodle bowl consisted of soy Pork Belly, glass noodles and a poached egg in a delectable broth.




Adam ordered the Beef Tartare and claims it was the best that he ever had. The presentation of the appetizer alone was enough to make your mouth water.




The poached egg atop the local raw beef  from Getaway Farm was amazing, and along with the horseradish, made an awesome trio of flavours atop the crostini. Adam thoroughly enjoyed, as you can see from the photo below:




Though the appetizers were amazing, we were all anxious to receive our mains and the local fair continued into the main courses. Alyson ordered the Steak Frites and was delighted by the Béchamel sauce that covered the Getaway Farm’s Rib Eye and I was no less pleased with the taste that I received! Adam was also very happy with his interesting main: Lobster Chowder. The seemingly simple dish was amped up like a hundred notches by the vanilla-foie gras broth and giant lobster claw smothered in brown butter. It looked, smelled, and tasted amazing. I think that perfecting the trifecta of senses is hard to attain when it comes to food, but Brooklyn Warehouse had it in the bag with this entree.




Both Laura and Patrick ordered the Brooklyn Burger which was also made from local ingredients, topped with PEI cheddar and Brothers back bacon, and both were extremely happy with their classic selection. Jess had the Duck Confit which consisted of a giant crispy duck leg and an awesome mixture of lentils and blueberry braised Napa cabbage. Not a huge cabbage lover, Jess was less than impressed by the side, but raved about the Duck and after my taste test, I could not help but agree.




For my main I ordered the Squash Tortellini, as did Stephanie. Even though I usually order meat for my entree, the server, who was also a self-proclaimed carnivore, suggested the Tortellini. I am so glad when I take server’s advice and they are right. It was amazing! There were so many of my favorite flavours going on, I could barely contain my love for this main, and neither could Stephanie  The combination of flavours from the creamy squash stuffed ravioli, the coconut curry sauce, and the gruyere slivers atop was a unique collaboration that I never would have considered, but was so good in all the right ways.




By the time the forks were put to rest no one had room for dessert. Jess’ quarter century plus one birthday celebration ended with laughter as we closed out the restaurant and parted ways on the sidewalk. Overall, Brooklyn Warehouse is an awesome place for a romantic dinner, or a large group of friends celebrating someone they love. I am excited to try this restaurant again, maybe for a romantic dinner with Adam, and because the menu changes monthly, I will no doubt be able to Explore. Eat. Repeat. the Brooklyn Warehouse for many months to come, in search of the illusive PigFish and other local fair that the creative chefs concoct. Happy Birthday Jess!




Things Worth Mentioning:

Cost: 135$ including tax and tip for two people who had 2 apps, 2 mains, and multiple beverages each!

Things I liked: The classic cocktails in classic glassware, the decor and, of course, the PigFish.

Things I didn’t: We all found the Duck salad appetizer uninteresting, but there was little else to complain about.

The best place to sit: Anywhere in the winter months, but outside in the newly renovated outer dining area in the summer months to come.

What to order next time: Whatever the servers tell me to!

Brunch at The Foggy Goggle: Halifax

Brunch at The Foggy Goggle: Halifax

Saturday afternoon Adam and I woke up late. I am not talking slept in until noon and woke up rejuvenated; I mean woke at up 2pm feeling horrible. The night before we had indulged in ten too many libations at Obladee with our friends Sam and 

Dinner at The Bicycle Thief: Halifax

Dinner at The Bicycle Thief: Halifax

Over Thanksgiving weekend my parents came to stay with Adam and I. On Sunday we were lucky enough to enjoy an amazing turkey dinner that was cooked by yours truly and my mom…who am I kidding? I have to give pretty much all the credit