Friday, April 24, 2015

spring is in the air!


it's been a long, hard winter but it looks like spring is finally here! last weekend was the halifax crafters spring market & it seemed that everyone had a little extra bounce in their step & a bit wider grin. it was actually my most successful crafters event thus far - i had great neighbours & it's always a nice change of scenery from the seaport.

here's an aerial view of my little set up:


it was the first time i've had one of my cakes on my table for display - the response was overwhelming!!! i guess all those hours spent piping tiny dots are all worth it.

after an incredibly busy weekend, i had to jump right back in to prep. this week featured a whole whack of beef brisket from getaway farm. my first mission was to replenish my 'brisket & blue.' this is definitely one of the most popular items on my menu.

the beef is braised overnight with red wine, herbs & garlic. then the sauce is cooked down till it's nice & thick. it all gets mixed up with sun dried tomatoes & baby turnips.


the sides are maple roasted carrots with kale & creamy blue cheese gnocchi with roasted garlic.


small $10  large $20

then it was on to a paleo option. i've been toying with the idea of this dish for awhile & this week i finally took the plunge. i'm pretty much obsessed with thai peanut sauce. so, i combined it with another obsession - beef brisket. the results are delicious! there's a lot going on here - ginger, sesame, lime, cilantro, chillies & a bit of garam masala. there are a ton of veggies too: bok choy, roasted broccoli, bean sprouts, red peppers, carrots, mushrooms, green onions & sweet potato puree. it's paleo, gluten free & dairy free.


small $10  large $20

then i made a cake for a little girl with an awesome name.




my sweets for the market are:

goat milk fudge
snickers brownies
salted caramel pecan blondies
almond hello dollies
breakfast cookies
regular cupcakes
gluten free cupcakes with dairy free frosting!

now that spring is in the air, salads are increasingly popular. i made 3 varieties this week.

sweet potato:


broccoli (the original version with bacon & almonds)


old-school macaroni salad (my personal favourite)



also, if you've been on my Facebook page you may have noticed i'm not taking any orders for cakes or caterings for the rest of the spring/summer - i'll be out of town. may 17th is actually the last day my frozen food will be available for the foreseeable future. i'm working out the details now to keep the cupcakes & salads coming for the summer, so stay tuned.

hope that wasn't too much of a shocker but you still have four weekends to stock up :)

see you over the weekend!
saturday 7-3
sunday 9-3

Friday, April 10, 2015

i'm ready!

honestly, it feels like i was just at the market! i can't even believe it's friday again!

 i suppose i did spend the entire week in the kitchen & time has a sneaky way of elapsing without me noticing when i'm in there. at least i was pretty productive.

coq au vin is restocked. this dish has been wildly popular for me over the past 2 months. the chicken is braised in a rich mixture of red wine, herbs & garlic, then it's combined with leeks & loads of mushrooms (shiitakes, king eryngiis & creminis). it's accompanied by roasted parsnips, carrots & kale. the regular version has parmesan polenta and the paleo version has sweet potato puree - both options are gluten free.



small $10  large $20

my menu has been lacking in the vegetarian department lately, so this week i made a batch of roasted mediterranean vegetable ragu. the veggies are red peppers, red onions, zucchini & eggplant. they're in a rich tomato sauce with swiss chard, kalamata olives, feta & goat cheese. the side dish is quinoa dressed lightly with olive oil, garlic & basil. this is another gluten free option!


small $9  large $18

the thai chicken & rice soup has been selling out incredibly fast lately as well, so a new batch was on the docket this week. the stock is made from scratch & simmered with garlic, ginger, cardamom & star anise to build a nice layer of flavour. the veggies are carrots, red peppers, celery, baby bok choy & scallions. i add sesame oil, citrus, cilantro, sriracha & coconut milk to add to the thai flavours. this is another gluten free option!


$7/500ml

there are 3 salads this week & they're ALL vegan AND gluten free! in retrospect, i had quite a gluten free week.
broccoli: peanut, ginger, lime, sesame, red cabbage, carrot, red pepper


3-bean: green bean, adzuki, garbanzo, lentil, cucumber, red pepper, dill


potato: radishes, celery, green beans, dill, dijon, parsley


they're all $5/375ml container.

in other news, it seems that spring has finally sprung! the forecast looks somewhat optimistic & the first signs of rhubarb are popping up in my backyard.


it's not much, but it's there.

another sure sign that spring has arrived is the Halifax Crafters Spring Fair which will be taking place next weekend at the olympic centre on hunter & cunard.


the lineup is looking pretty dynamite! mark your calendars now cuz it's going to be a great show.

ok, that's all for now. hope to see you all over the weekend!




Friday, March 27, 2015

quite a week

a lot has happened since last friday's post.
namely, i spent the week in puerto rico with 3 of my favourite people in the whole wide world!!!




my flight home was cancelled last night so i spent the night in newark, flew in this morning, went grocery shopping & spent the rest of the day baking and making salads for the market tomorrow. thankfully it's all finished! not gonna lie, it was a rather harsh & abrupt return to reality, but at least i was lucky enough to even go on vacation in the first place.

ps: puerto rico is amazing!!!

ok for this weekend i have cupcakes:
vanilla
pink grapefruit
lemon-blueberry
red velvet-raspberry
carrot-maple
chocolate
chocolate-mint
paleo chocolate

brown butter, salted caramel, pecan blondies
hello dollies
breakfast cookies
passionfruit shortbread bars
snickers brownies
goat milk fudge

i have 2 types of salads - both vegan & gluten free.


broccoli-peanut with sesame-ginger dressing


quinoa with fennel, grapefruit & baby arugula

there are plenty of freezer meals to choose from as well:

beef shepherd's pie
paleo beef shepherd's pie
chili pork & cornbread
brisket & blue
coq au vin
paleo coq au vin
broccoli-bacon mac & cheese
lentil shepherd's pie
blue cheese gnocchi
lobster risotto

i didn't have time to restock the carrot/apple/ginger soup or the hearty chicken stew, but they'll both be back on the menu next week.

next week is also EASTER - how did that happen so fast? anyway, get your cupcake & pumpkin pie orders in asap cuz it's one of my top 4 busiest days of the year! i'm just waiting on confirmation but i'm hoping to be at the market on Good Friday & saturday and spend Easter Sunday at home eating baked ham, pumpkin pie & chocolate eggs. stay tuned to my Facebook page for updates.

hope to see you all at the market over the weekend. please don't forget it's open on sundays - it's much less crowded so you don't feel jostled or rushed & the vendors really appreciate seeing familiar faces to chat with.

ok time to pass out & dream of being back in this place:



Friday, March 20, 2015

we survived

what a week!
it seems we had a bit of snow. hopefully mother nature is finished with her cruel jokes & that's the last of it.

it's the last of it for me for a few days because i'm getting on a plane tomorrow and flying away. my table will be at the market as usual tomorrow but not sunday. i'll work until around 10:30am & then leslie will take over for the rest of the day & i will head to the airport to go to puerto rico!!!


i'll be back in time for the market next weekend.

all of a sudden it's way later than anticipated & i need to get to sleep, so this will be super quick.

i made ANOTHER batch of beef shepherd's pie this week. i didn't even bother to take any pictures because i seriously make this every two weeks and you've seen it all before...gluten free...grass fed beef...cheddar mash...you know the drill.

small $10  large $20

i only made two types of salad this week because i'm worried about leftovers.



they're both vegan & gluten free! the bean is the same as usual but the broccoli is a touch different. i used tamari instead of soy so it's gluten free. also instead of kale, there's savoy cabbage & i added curry and a bit more spice to the dressing. i hope you like the changes!

the freezer is brimming with meals & soups at the moment. there are a few secret paleo options (not enough room on the blackboard) so just ask if you're looking for some grain free goodness.

the sweet selections are pretty grain-centric but there are a grain free few options: snickers brownies, gluten-free cupcakes & goat milk fudge.

cakes have become a friday night tradition. here are tonight's creations:




ok time to get to sleep...it literally feels like christmas eve around here tonight!
see you at the market in the morning.


Friday, March 13, 2015

#stormcupcakes

alas, it appears winter has another wallop in store for us this weekend.

if the weather network forecast is actually true, and not just propaganda, chances are i won't be making it to the city on sunday. best to not take any chances, come by tomorrow to stock up on #stormcupcakes #stormmeals #stormsoup... i've got all your #stormgrub needs covered.

i'm pretty exhausted so this will be brief. yet again, i've allowed cakes to take over my life. this evening i experienced a frosting induced rage blackout. cakes are a lot of work & they make A LOT of mess but i guess they do look nice once they're finished. here's my handiwork from this week:




ugh.

at least i'm really happy with the salad selection this week.


broccoli slaw: broccoli, kale, carrots, red pepper, purple cabbage, peanuts, ginger, sesame, citrus, sriracha. paleo & vegan


bean: adzuki, garbanzo, green, lentils, celery, cucumber, red pepper, dill, dijon & garlic. vegan & gluten free.


quinoa: quinoa, millet, fennel, pink grapefruit, arugula, radicchio, white wine vinaigrette. vegan & gluten free.

there's a new batch of coq au vin too. red wine braised chicken with leeks & a mushroom medley - kings, oysters, shiitakes & creminis. served with kale & maple glazed root vegetables. the regular version comes with creamy parmesan polenta.


and the paleo version comes with sweet potato puree.


they're both gluten free & the paleo version is even dairy free!

i also decided that this is the week everyone should rekindle their love affair with snickers brownies. there's a reason they've been on my menu since day one.



& they're even gluten free.

that concludes my weekly blog update. i'm really looking forward to going to sleep!
hope to see you all tomorrow. fingers crossed the storm misses us on sunday but don't forget to stock up on #stormcupcakes just in case.





Friday, March 6, 2015

weekend update

i'm not sure where this week went but all of a sudden it's friday night again & i'm updating my blog.

i've been cooking away all week & the freezers are absolutely brimming with tasty grub.

first up was a batch of thai chicken & rice soup. i always start off with chicken stock made from scratch & then jazz it up with lots of garlic, ginger & aromatics. after this tasty concoction simmers all day, i add in the chicken, rice & veggies - carrots, celery, peppers, bok choy, bean sprouts, scallions & cilantro. it's both gluten & dairy free with a touch of coconut milk.


$8/500ml

then it was on to a batch of lentil shepherd's pies. this is pretty much the healthiest thing i make. it's gluten free, dairy free, sugar free & vegan. it seems that 1/2 of halifax is on some sort of restricted diet at the moment so this one is a great option for most people. in lieu of beef like a typical shepherd's pie, i use lentils cooked up with onions, carrots, peas, corn, mushrooms, tomatoes, kale & herbs. the mash is a cauliflower-sweet potato-parsnip-potato combo with roasted garlic, nutmeg & sage. there is so much stuff going on in this dish you won't miss the meat or dairy.



small $9  large $18

i've really been loving the 3-bean and quinoa salads lately (i've even been eating them myself & that NEVER happens) so i kept them the same for this weekend. they're both vegan & gluten free.



i have been getting pretty tired of the broccoli salad though. this week i switched it up & used a tangy peanut sauce, toasted sesame seeds, red cabbage, red pepper, a touch of orange & peanuts. it's now vegan but not gluten free because i used a splash of soy sauce in the dressing. i've been making the broccoli salad for so long, i thought a bit of a change would be nice - i hope you enjoy it!



the sweets are pretty much the same as last weekend except carrot cupcakes are back instead of strawberry. also, if you haven't had the goat's milk fudge lately, i've changed how it's portioned so it's all uniform & you don't have to wait around while i slice & package it.


it's $1/pc & so much more efficient like this!

ok that about wraps things up.
but just wanted to let you know, i've been accepted in to the halifax crafters spring show which will be held april 18th & 19th at the olympic centre on hunter & cunard. if you follow @halifaxcrafters or #halifaxcrafters on instragram you'll be able to see the work of all the great people who attend the show. mark your calendars now because this show is fantastic!




ok time for sleeping!
hope to see you all over the weekend.





Friday, February 27, 2015

hibernation

i made a ton of food this week! 

i haven't really been leaving the house much, just staying in & cooking and i'm actually ok with that at this time of year. if you're also hibernating, i made the perfect food for you - soups, hearty comfort food & cupcakes.

my first project of the week was a new batch of curried butternut squash soup. this is a vegan, gluten free & paleo option. i roast the squash first to enhance its flavour & sweetness and then simmer it all day with aromatics, coconut milk & lots of interesting spices. this batch is much less spicy than usual but has a bit of a bite on the finish. this is perfect cold weather food.


then it was on to beet, parsnip & pear soup - another vegan, gluten free & paleo option. this soup is ultra healthy & ultra flavourful. the beets and parsnips are strong & the sweetness from the pears really rounds things out. i brighten it up with fresh dill & a touch of lemon.


vegetarian soups - $7/500mL

then began the chilli pork & cornbread saga. i started with 20 lbs of local, pastured pork from getaway farm which i braised overnight with chipotle, cumin & charred tomatillos. once it was super tender & delicious, i stirred it in to a giant vat of red chilli with black beans, corn, bell peppers & lots of lime. then that delicious concoction was topped with homemade cornbread crumbled with cheddar cheese & scallions.




small $10  large $20

and last but not least, i made another batch of brisket & blue. this is a definite menu favourite at this time of year! again, i started with 20 lbs of grass fed beef from getaway farm. this time i cooked it up with lots of red wine, sundried tomatoes & pears. it's accompanied by blue cheese gnocchi with roasted garlic & kale.


small $11  large $22
i also have small servings of blue cheese gnocchi on its own, which always makes a great side dish. they're $6 each.

last week the 3-bean salad was quite a hit so i made it again, with the addition of lentils.


the broccoli & quinoa salads are also the same as last week.

if the crummy weather has you craving sugar, i also made lots of sweet treats for the market.

cupcakes:
vanilla
pink grapefruit
strawberry
red velvet-raspberry
lemon-blueberry
chocolate
chocolate-mint
gluten free chocolate

the gluten free raspberry cheesecake bars are back this week with the addition of blueberries. the pecan blondies with brown butter & salted caramel have also returned.


and of course, there's goat milk fudge, snickers brownies & breakfast cookies - those are pretty much staples.

well the forecast actually looks decent for the weekend, the days are getting longer & the end of winter is in sight. i'm feeling a bit more positive this week & i hope you all are as well.

hope to see you all over the weekend!

saturday 7am-3pm
sunday 9am-3pm

don't forget sunday! it's not nearly as crowded so you can take your time & chat with your favourite vendors (AKA me). you can also bring the kids, have a leisurely brunch & let them run free without fear of getting lost. sounds like a win-win to me ;)