Friday, July 25, 2014

a big week

yet again it's late on a friday night & i'm just sitting down to write a blog update.

this week it really was just my fault. i wanted to take a bit of time off to recuperate from last week. i ended up with one & 1/2 days off (ummm not even a weekend) and i'm paying for it now.

anyway, i'm heading in to wedding season so i tried to stock the freezers as best i could this week - not sure when i'll be able to prep much for the market over the next month.

there's a whole whack of beef - it's all local from getaway farm.

first dish is red curry beef brisket with zucchini, peppers, eggplant, sprouts, bok choy, lime, coconut, basil & jasmine rice. it's gluten free & dairy free but does contain shellfish from the red curry paste. it's not as spicy as i typically make curries - decided to give some people a break this week ;)


small $11  large $22

i also made a new batch of indian-spiced cauliflower soup. it's got fennel, cumin, a touch of curry, ginger & coconut. again this one isn't super spicy. it is vegan, gluten free & paleo.


$7/500mL serving

then it was on to some menu staples.

i made regular & paleo batches of beef shepherd's pie. the paleo version is also dairy free & has sweet potato puree on top. the regular version has super cheesy, green onion mashed potatoes.
i didn't take any pictures cuz i make this ALL the time.

small $10  large $20

next up was moroccan meatballs. the beef is seasoned up with garlic, ginger, herbs & spices. it's in a tangy tomato sauce with olives, date puree, citrus, sumac & harissa. the veggies are roasted red peppers, swiss chard, kale & cherry tomatoes. the regular version comes with harissa quinoa with toasted almonds, scallions & lemon.


small $10  large $20

the paleo version comes with an eggplant/zucchini/parmesan puree.


small $10

then i made another batch of crab cakes. there were lots of disappointed folks last week since i sold out within about 20 minutes of announcing on social media that i would have them. they are my version of jazzed up crab cakes with fresh corn, red pepper, green onions, lime, cilantro & chillies. they're panko crusted & deep fried so you just need to reheat them in the oven.

before:


after:


$16 for a pack of 4

there's broccoli salad as well as,

vegan potato


beet. wheatberry & kale


thai peanut slaw


there are lots of baked goods & plenty of goat's milk fudge.

i just made a cake


and i just have to finish up some tomato ginger jam to send to obladee.

clearly it was a big week. thank you to krista & kelly (who's 9 months pregnant!!!) for helping me out.

see you over the weekend
saturday 7-3
sunday 9-3
unless i accidentally sleep in either day which is a definite possibility...


Friday, July 11, 2014

flat out

well it's been another jam packed week here at little red kitsch'n. i'm exhausted & need to go on another vacation...and maybe NOT cater a wedding while i'm away.

the week started off with a big luncheon catering for the port authority in pavilion 20 next to the market. it was quite a spread with mustard & horseradish braised beef brisket, chipotle lime pulled chicken, coleslaw, homemade sesame seed rolls, quinoa, broccoli & potato salads, cookies, cupcakes & fresh watermelon. it was quite a production but turned out really well.


then it was on to market prep.
i made extra of the proteins for catering to use for my freezer meals - thank goodness!

first up:


paleo chipotle lime pulled chicken with sweet potato puree, peppers, tomatoes, lime, cilantro & cumin.
small $10

second was beef:


it's the braised beef with local turnips, beets & greens served with roasted garlic & asiago polenta.
small $10  large $20
there's also a paleo version without the polenta & extra veg.
small $10

third was some more chicken:


chicken parmesan to be exact. it's served with parmesan marinara with swiss chard & cherry tomatoes, buttered fettuccine, mozzarella & parmesan cheese. this one is always a top seller.

small $10  large $20

there's also a paleo option with sauteed peppers, mushrooms & zucchini in place of the noodles.


small $12

then today i baked all of the cupcakes, cookies, brownies, squares & fudge for the market this weekend. plus i made a cake:


and then i made the salads.

sweet potato:


beet:


and broccoli (which i neglected to photograph)

and now i'm going to sleep. hope to see you all over the weekend!



Friday, July 4, 2014

#stormgrub

unless it's absolutely bonkers in the morning, i will be at the market from 7am-3am. i've had an incredibly busy week in the kitchen & am ready for all your #stormgrub needs.

check ca:


if you popped by my table last week, i'm sure your realized how dismal my menu board was; well it's been a crazy productive week & i'm back... in a big way! june was a huge month for frozen meals (who knew???) and coupled with a working vacation for 10 days, i had no inventory. this week i made four new main courses, two soups, four salads & the usual assortment of baked goods just in time for you to stock your freezers before arthur's onslaught.

i actually don't think the tropical storm will be so bad tomorrow - my sources further south down the eastern seaboard fared just fine today. fingers crossed, we'll get lucky tomorrow!

ok here's what's new & exciting:


smokey mac & cheese: brother's double smoked bacon, corn, den haan tomatoes, green onions, foxhill cheese curds, parm, mozzarella, panko with some chipotle & cumin for added smokiness.

small $10  large $20


classic beef shepherd's pie: getaway farm beef, peas, corn, carrots, tangy gravy, super cheesy cheddar-green onion mashed potatoes. it's gluten free & has lots of pizzazz.

small $10  large $20

i also made a paleo/dairy free version with sweet potato mash:


small $10

then it was on to my new favourite dish - chile pork with cornbread crumble. this is only my second time making this, but it starts with getaway farm pork which is braised in a green chile sauce. meanwhile i make a red chili with beans, peppers, spices & chillies. then the two get mixed together & seasoned with lime & cilantro.


this delicious concoction then gets topped with homemade cornbread crumbled up with cheddar cheese, fresh corn & green onions. it cooks up in to some super flavourful comfort food.


i love this dish.
small $10  large $20

the final main course was a fresh batch of vegan curry. curry is perhaps my most favourite thing to make. i just love combining the spices, layering the flavours & waiting patiently while it all comes together. this curry is packed with roasted cauliflower & sweet potatoes, chickpeas, green beans, white potatoes, tomatoes, lime, cilantro, chillies & coconut milk...and a secret blend of about 14 spices. it's paired with a mixture of basmati rice & quinoa.


it's vegan, gluten free & dairy free.
small $10  large $20

there are also fresh batches of seafood chowder & chicken stew - my two best selling soups.



all soups are $7/500mL serving

salads this week are:
broccoli - red onion, red pepper, almonds, sunflower seeds, dried cranberries, creamy dressing
potato - garlic scapes, baby arugula (from my garden), radishes, cucumbers, celery, green beans, herbs, dijon
beet - wheatberries, balsamic, kale, red onion, basil & local strawberries


macaroni - hard boiled eggs, radishes, cucumbers, green onions, celery, tangy dressing


this is pretty old-fashioned but it's one of my all-time favourite foods.

ok fingers crossed that arthur misses us. i really hope to see you all over the weekend so you can try the food i've been slaving away on...i actually had help in the kitchen this week from my friend kelly...thank goodness...there's no way i could have done it alone!

g'night




Friday, June 27, 2014

ready

well, i didn't think it was possible, but i'm officially ready for the market this weekend.

i flew in last night, did a quick grocery shop & then prepped til midnight. got up this morning & headed to the market. i emptied my freezer before i left so i defrosted & reloaded that. then it was a few more grocery stops & i zoomed back home to start work. it's now 11:45 & i just sat down...it's actually a bit earlier than i was expecting.

clearly there was no time to put together any frozen food, but the salads & all the baking are ready to go. the salads this week are:

broccoli - double smoked bacon, red onion, red pepper, sunflower seeds, cranberries & almonds
potato - parsley, dill, dijon, cucumbers, celery, radishes, green beans & green onions
sweet potato - lime, cilantro, chipotle, green onions, avocados & bell peppers

in the freezer, i don't have a whole lot (!!!) but i'll work my tail off next week to restock. as of right now i only have shepherd's pie, moroccan meatballs & mediterranean vegetable ragu in the large size. there's lots more selection in the smalls & LOADS of paleo options - i'll actually list those on the board this weekend.

then for sweets there's:
cupcakes - vanilla, lemon, grapefruit, red velvet, chocolate, chocolate-mint & paleo
snickers brownies
spicy brownies
maple walnut bars
hello dollies
breakfast cookies
goat's milk fudge

ok, i'm wiped. hope to see you over the weekend!

ps: i'll be at the market on canada day too - there's a big picnic, family fun day that was apparently a huge hit last year... i'm making special themed cupcakes :)

Friday, June 13, 2014

menu update



i just got home from catering a cocktail party for 120 people! it definitely interrupted my usual friday routine, but everything went really well & the feedback was fantastic. 

i didn't add to my frozen stock this week but there is still a ton of selection:

beef shepherd's pie in small & large (i have small paleo versions)
moroccan meatballs in small & large (i have small paleo versions)
braised beef with roasted veg & polenta large (i have this one in a small, paleo, dairy free option)
chile pork with cornbread topping small & large
mediterranean vegetable ragu in small & large
jerk chicken in large
chipotle pulled pork in small
green curry, coconut tofu in small

there are four salads on the menu. it's so hard to know how many to make - two weeks ago i wasted a dozen & last week i sold out pretty quick. fingers crossed it's a good week.
flavour options are: beet, broccoli (not vegan but with vegetarian option), sweet potato & potato.

ok now i've gotta sleep.
see you tomorrow, & don't forget, i'm at the other end of the market near noggins & the dutchman.

Friday, June 6, 2014

market shake up

the entire market is being turned on its head...fantastic.

tomorrow will see all of the changes put in to place. i will be at the opposite end of the market from my beloved nook where i've spent the past 3 1/2 years. please bear with me as i get situated but i can imagine tomorrow morning will be a bit of a gong show... the rage is brewing.

my location isn't the issue, i think it'll be a pretty high traffic zone - the dutchman, laughing whale, maritime nut company, ironworks distillery & pretty much every nova scotia winery will be my new neighbours. my issue is the lack of space. i know right now i won't be able to bring as much frozen food or cupcakes with me as usual. COME EARLY!

it's sort of shame because i made a ton of frozen food this week. there are 3 new main courses & plenty of variations to suit all your dietary restrictions.

first up: beef shepherd's pie. this one is pretty much a staple of my menu but i shouldn't diminish its awesomeness. the beef is from getaway, the sauce is based on my bbq sauce & the mashed potatoes are loaded with cheesy goodness. they're all gluten free and i made up paleo versions with sweet potato mash (& no corn).



small $10  large $20

then it was on to moroccan meatballs. again the beef is from getaway; it's seasoned up with lots of fun spices, garlic, ginger & coriander. it's served in a tangy tomato sauce with citrus, olives, dates, roasted peppers, sumac & fennel seed with a side of toasted almond & harissa quinoa. they're all gluten free & dairy free and i made up a paleo version too with extra veg instead of the quinoa.



small $10  large $20

and finally, it was time for a new batch of mediterranean vegetable ragu. the ragu is jam packed with grilled vegetables - baby eggplant, zucchini, red peppers, red onions - in a marinara sauce with feta, parmesan, goat cheese & swiss chard. it's served with a side of quinoa dressed with olive oil, roasted garlic & basil. it's vegetarian & gluten free.


small $10  large $20

salads this week are sweet potato, broccoli & potato. the broccoli is back to normal so it's no longer vegan...but still delicious, gluten free & paleo. the potato salad & sweet potato salads are both vegan & gluten free.




as always, they're $5 each.

oh yeah, the blog has fallen by the wayside of late, but here's a recap of a really delicious dish that i recently made. i started off by making a smokey, slightly spicy chilli with kidney beans, peppers, chipotle & citrus. then i stirred in big chunks of braised getaway farm pork shoulder that i cooked in a tomatillo sauce. then it was topped with cornbread crumble with nuggets of cheddar cheese & green onions. the feedback has been pretty stellar for this dish & i think it'll become a menu regular.



small $10  large $20

ok i'm out. it's already past midnight & i haven't even picked out an outfit for tomorrow!!!

ps: i'm sorry if i'm a big grump tomorrow.


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

the royal roundup

yesterday was kind of a big deal for me.

in case you haven't heard, Prince Charles & Camilla were in halifax yesterday and a stop at the seaport market was on their agenda. i knew i had to seize the opportunity to make something memorable. caricature cupcakes of the royal couple were what i came up with & as it turns out, they were quite a hit:


i was a smidge worried they would be offended, but they both got quite a kick out of them...phewf!! they were way more chill than anticipated, even laughing and joking about the cupcakes adorned with their likenesses. 


Leslie Evans (aka my voice doppelganger and stand in at the market) took care of all the grunt work. i am most definitely not technologically inclined or crafty but i knew what i wanted & she made it happen. 

i'm so glad it all came together because they made it in to the daily mail, the national post & apparently loads of other publications across the country!!! 


the market also enlisted me to make a giant cake to mark the occasion. out of everyone in the city they could have asked, they chose me, which was incredibly flattering. i'm so grateful for the opportunity!!! it also meant the pressure was on to create something great...and not drop it on the floor.

i wanted to go with lavender as it has particular significance for the royal family & Prince Charles even carries lavender biscuits in his line of organic foods. but i also wanted some citrus to balance it out, originally i thought lemon but decided that was too plain & went with pink grapefruit for more pizzazz. when i was chatting with Prince Charles (yeah that's right, we chatted) he seemed quite taken with the idea of a pink grapefruit cake :) i also wanted some fresh berries for added brightness.


the lavender was graciously donated by Dave of Seafoam Lavender.

the blackberries were all hiding in the centre.


i thought shades of purple & yellow would be both regal & springlike. so after i assembled the cake, i got to work mixing up the shades. this stage of cake building is one of the hardest & most time consuming. here's a work in progress shot after i had 7 shades mixed up:


and there were still a few more to go...

then i got to frosting. the pictures don't really do it justice but the cake was really big - 15 inches in diameter before frosting & four full batches of cupcakes! i finished frosting the cake at one in the morning. Prince Charles really noticed all of the detail work & asked how much time went in to it. when i told him i finished at one, he told me 'i needed a stiff drink when i got home!' - what a guy.

here are some of my favourite shots:




as the royals approached my table, we were swarmed by photographers, it seriously felt like the paparazzi. with the commemorative cake & the royal cupcakes, i anticipated a few photos being taken but i never expected anything like what happened. leslie & i just stood behind the table, awkwardly giggling because we were so overwhelmed...it was sort of awesome!

Charles & Camilla stopped & chatted for much longer than i expected. we were briefed on how to greet them - curtsying was at our discretion - but they both shook our hands & were much more laid back than i would have guessed. it was so great that they were able to see all the hard work that went in to everything - super rewarding.

and then they were whisked away & the cake was cut up & handed out to everyone around.

and then my cake looked like this:


but that's not all.

i was also asked to cater a tea that Camilla was attending over in dartmouth. i met Tara Grude through the halifax crafters society - we were table neighbours at a tibs pop up show. she loved my table display & treats, so automatically thought of me to provide the catering for the event.

for the menu, i was thinking british high tea & went with:

lemon shortbread bars with fresh raspberries
white chocolate & cranberry cookies
assorted pastel cupcakes
lavender cream scones with butter & jam


so the royals were in town for 1 day & i was asked to bake for 2 events - hard to believe!!!

it has been such a whirlwind. on friday i catered in the morning, then ran around buying more butter & eggs for all the extra royal baking, and as soon as i got home, cbc called & wanted to come over to interview me. i was in the middle of baking & trying to get organized for the weekend, i had to holler to my mum in the back yard, 'come wash the dishes, cbc's coming over!' not what you'd typically hear in a back yard in prospect village.

the exposure has been unbelievable & the positive feed back so gratifying. i'm so glad it all worked out, i was more than a little stressed! 

i wonder who'll come to visit the market next...