Tag: Kelly Neil

The Doughball & Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

The Doughball & Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

What is a Doughball? Well, it’s the most delicious kind of event where businesses from all over the city make baked goods, put them in the one place and people come and get to eat it all up, all the while drinking wine and coffee. 

In Search of Nova Scotia Peaches

In Search of Nova Scotia Peaches

A Collaboration for the Love of Peaches: Words by Gabby Peyton & Images by Kelly Neil Last week Kelly and I went in search of peaches. Having visited a friend in Berwick a week earlier and discovering that Dempsey’s Corner Orchard grew peaches (amongst a 

And That’s a Quiche: My Foray into Food Film Making

And That’s a Quiche: My Foray into Food Film Making

I am SO freaking excited. Last week, the lovely Kelly Neil and I got together and made a real live, fancy looking food film!

We have a lot in common besides being members of Halifax Food Bloggers and I was flattered when she came to me with the idea of working on this project. It just made sense to make a film with Kelly; we both love pretty things and food, so why not get together and make something that is good-looking and delicious?

Kelly and I both adore French and Italian cuisine, so we felt that it was appropriate on our first collaboration that we marry the two styles and create a recipe that reflected this: a Quiche with Italian ingredients. Géniale!

In honour of the film, we created Prosciutto, Asparagus, Fontina Quiche with Oven-Roasted Honeyed Tomatoes. 

And it tasted SO GOOD!

Kelly’s honeyed tomatoes complimented the rich and salty fontina cheese that flavours the crust and the custard, while the asparagus and prosciutto were the perfect addition to the creamy, rich egg mixture.

Prosciutto, Asparagus, Fontina Quiche-9 WEB

Even though it’s my hands and the ingredients that have the starring role in this production, I was pretty nervous about making the film; I have never really been on camera before, and at first I didn’t know how to act without looking awkward. But Kelly was ever so patient with me and I think it turned out amazingly!

We spent the full day making this three minute film, and I cannot lie, it took way longer than I thought it would. All we were doing was cooking on camera right? No, the angles had to be changed, ingredients rearranged, and lighting adjusted in order to make pretty, delicious things. Just look at the shot below, if we had filmed front on, there is no way the quiche would look as beautiful as it does.

Prosciutto, Asparagus, Fontina Quiche-7 WEB

While I spent most of the day chopping, kneading, posing and looking pretty, Kelly worked her magic. My day looked like this:


In the meantime Kelly made things that looked like this:

Prosciutto, Asparagus, Fontina Quiche-2 WEB

She is pretty awesome, right? I mean, this girl is good, she can make me, the awkward first timer, look like a fierce Food Network chef (if I do say so myself).

Look out Kinfolk, Kelly Neil and Gabby Peyton are coming for you.

Prosciutto, Asparagus, Fontina Quiche-6 WEB

Without further ado, here is our labour of love:


Are you drooling?

I don’t blame you.

If you want to make this Quiche at home and taste just how delicious it is, here is the recipe. ENJOY!

Prosciutto, Asparagus, Fontina Quiche with Oven-Roasted Honeyed Tomatoes

Oven-Roasted Honeyed Tomatoes
1 Roma tomato
2 Tbsp honey
1Tbsp olive oil
kosher salt

1 C flour
2 Tbsp grated Fontina
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 C butter, cut into small pieces then frozen
2-3 Tbsp ice water

1 C blanched asparagus, chopped
1 C chopped prosciutto
2 C grated cheese
3 eggs
1 C milk
1/2 C heavy cream
1 tsp salt


1. Preheat oven 225º – slice tomato thinly into 6-8 round slices – arrange on parchment lined baking sheet – drizzle with honey and olive oil – sprinkle each slice with kosher salt– bake 1-1.5 hours until dark red and shriveled

2. Combine flour, Fontina and salt in food processor – pulse to mix – add frozen butter pieces and pulse until crumbly – with the machine running, add ice water, 1 Tbsp at a time until the dough starts to form into a ball – dump dough onto floured surface, gather loosely into a ball, wrap with plastic wrap, chill in fridge 30 minutes

3. Preheat oven 350º – roll dough on well-floured surface, large enough to cover the bottom plus inside walls of 9-inch tart pan – pick up dough with hands, drape over pan, press dough into bottom, in along  the edges and up the sides of the tin –roll pin over the edges of the tin to cut off the excess dough – prick bottom of dough all over with a fork and bake dough 35-40 minutes until golden – remove from oven and cool on rack

4. Bring 2-3 cups water to a boil (we used the kettle) – chop asparagus into 1-inch pieces – in a heat-proof dish, cover asparagus pieces with boiling water and let sit two minutes – rinse asparagus under cold water until cool – drain

5. Sprinkle half of cheese over bottom of baked crust – top with prosciutto and asparagus – sprinkle remaining cheese on top – whisk eggs, milk, cream, and salt until frothy – pour egg mixture into pie crust – top with oven-roasted honeyed tomato slicesBake quiche at 350º 30-40 minutes until edges are set but still jiggly in center – cool 20 minutes minimum

6. Bake quiche at 350º 30-40 minutes until edges are set but still jiggly in center – cool 20 minutes minimum

*Here are a few useful links that helped us create this delicious recipe:

How to Create Foodproof Quiche
Ina Garten’s Apple Crostata
Savour Food & Wine 2014: Halifax

Savour Food & Wine 2014: Halifax

Imagine if all the best restaurants around Halifax and Nova Scotia got together in one place, made a crap load of food, and served the best of the best in spirits. Oh wait, it happens every year at Savour Food & Wine Show where I 

TKLucky 7 Recipe Challenge

TKLucky 7 Recipe Challenge

Kelly Neil has the chops. She, along with her succulent recipe for Sweet Red Chili Pork Chops Stuffed with Goat Cheese, Cherries, and Basil are competing in the TKLucky7 Recipe Challenge. Never heard of it? You really should have by now! Conceived by Thai Kitchen 

Devour! Food Film Fest: Wolfville, Nova Scotia

Devour! Food Film Fest: Wolfville, Nova Scotia

A whole film festival about food? Yes please! Films about growing food, making food, eating food? This is what the world is made of people. A few weeks ago, Adam and I drove out to Wolfville to attend the Devour Food Film Fest. I was pumped!

To start our day of DEVOURing, we decided to fuel up at The Naked Crepe Bistro on Main Street. Even though it was 11am, I decided that I had to try the French Onion Soup as a little appetizer before my crepe.

French Onion Soup

When it got to the table, I was like “where the heck is all the cheese?” until I realized that the little nugget floating near the side of the bowl was a delicious cheesy chip! It melted slowly in the flavourful broth and was a delightful little twist on a classic dish.

Adam chose The Parisian as his crepe du jour.

The Parisian

Filled with shaved black forest ham, Swiss cheese, and the perfect dollop of Dijon, The Parisian was delicious. Adam ate it in about one minute.

I chose the Nicolette.


This crepe was stuffed with Brie, spinach, strawberries, almonds, and drizzled with maple syrup. It was great balance of sweet and savoury, although there was a little too much spinach up in there if you ask me. Delicious nonetheless.

After lunch, Adam headed off to the library to study, and I headed off to the Library Pub to drink. The Merchant Wine Tavern and Library Pub was dubbed the Devour Lounge for the duration of the festival and in the evenings there were delicious food offerings available to ticket holders. When I got to the pub, there wasn’t a whole lot going on, but I helped myself to a pint of cider and perused the program.

Library Pub

Next, I headed off to the Acadia campus for an industry session for food bloggers. As chance would have it, I caught the tail end of the session going on just before, Nose to Tail Cuisine, which was given by Scott Vivian, chef of Beast Restaurant in Toronto, and Chris Velden, co-owner of The Flying Apron Cookery, located in Tantallon. The early birds from our session were even able to try some freshly made sausage with sauerkraut; it was wicked!

Nose to Tail Cuisine

The industry session I participated in was The Food Blogger: Food Photography. Bonjwing Lee of the amazing The Ulterior Epicure, a food and travel blog, gave this talk. Here he is being introduced by the lovely Lia Rinaldo, Managing Director of the festival:

Food Photography

Bonjwing’s session was really interesting. We got to look at amazing pictures of meals he has eaten all over the world, and I picked up some great tips about white balance and shooting in dark restaurants. His thirst for travel and food is relentless, and his work-to-eat mentality is very similar to my own. He is pretty much my new idol. This session made me want to walk out the door, head straight to the airport and take photos of awesome food all over the world (even more than I already did).

The main event of our day at Devour was Food Porn: a series of short films about, what else? Delicious looking food. Adam and I met up outside the Al Whittle Theatre on Main Street and headed inside, found our seats, and gobbled down some yummy popcorn donated by Pete’s.

The films were mouth watering, tear jerking, and just plain lovely. There was variation in theme and context, but all the films revolved around food. Some of my favourites were:

Nettle Fettuccine Alfredo by Aube Giroux

This film was so well shot and looked delicious! I don’t even know what nettles taste like, but this short was enough to make me start growing them on my tiny apartment patio. You can see more of Ms. Giroux’s recipe films on her website Kitchen Vignettes.

Risotto by James Ingram

James Ingram of Jive Photographic directed this mouth-watering short with the help of Kelly Neil, a fellow Halifax food blogger and photographer extraordinaire. The music and images of this film induced such desire, I could almost taste the risotto. AMAZING!

The next three films were done by the same documentarians, The Perennial Plate, who are truly inspiring. All their films are dedicated to the presentation of sustainable and adventurous eating; they are filmed beautifully, and make you think about food in so many different ways.

Tea for Two from The Perennial Plate.                                                                                             A super cute film about love and the making of tea. I cried a little.

A Time for Foie from The Perennial Plate.                                                                                  This film is about a man, his geese, and the ethical making of foie gras. So awe-inspiring.

My overall favourite from the selection of films at Food Porn was also by the Perennial Plate and made me want to jump on a plane to Italy. Immediately. And live there. Forever.

10 Things We Love About Italy from The Perennial Plate.

The films at Devour represent a way of looking at food that isn’t simply about making it big on the Food Network, or scoring the most hits on your blog. It is about the creation of sustenance, the creation of community, the creation of art. It brought people together from all over the world who are passionate about food because it is a universal unifier.

Everyone needs to eat.

Cultures across the world use food to communicate tradition, to celebrate, and to come together. I loved the films that I viewed at Devour because they made me remember why I wanted to write about food in the first place. Coming together over food is one of the most innate and revered events that there is, plus it all tastes so good. I encourage everyone to attend Devour Food Film Fest next November, and always remember to Explore.Eat.Repeat: You never know where the next food adventure will take you.
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