Magic Soup


My ever problem solving daughter is always creating new suggestions for dinner and desserts; favourites like Mialita, Chuchetta and the like. Her recipes, with the addition of marshmallows, ketchup and eggs kind of remind me of that show that aired around here in the 80’s I always wanted to go on, “Just Like Mom” But this morning, when I rolled out of bed complaining of still feeling under the weather from the night before, she suggested Magic Soup.

Magic soup is something that we’ve made before and she will eat it. All of it, as if it were well, like, magic.

First she’ll tell me onion, then a carrot, some tomatoes maybe a little celery if she’s daring and somehow this soup is normal… soothing and delicious, kind of like Minestrone.

Although my barren stomach felt it couldn’t handle much more than the thought of dry toast, her idea of this to make me better was just what I needed.

Like the kiss on the forehead you’d get from your mom when you were sick, I got one from my five year old and her bowl of soup.
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Roasted Red Pepper Soup


Needless to say we all like soup in this house. Nothing beats a warm bowl on a cold day. Well, maybe that warm bowl with some of that fresh bread I’ve finally been able to be baking…

Red peppers, to me, are one of those amazing vegetables. You see, I absolutely, without a doubt hate it’s cousin the green pepper, but a red one, especially a freshly roasted one? I will put in and on just about everything.

Roasting the peppers take about as long as the soup, so it’s a quick and delicious lunch…. So quick, I was very glad to have photographed it first, since the pot did not last.
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Last Minute Gifts – Grapefruit Pomegranate Marmalade


It’s a little more last minute than I wanted to post but after a Christmas Eve car crash delay (we’re ok), I’m back to wish all of you a wonderful Holiday and a very Merry Christmas.

Taking some of my two favourite Holiday ingredients I had on hand, I simmered up a pot of marmalade. For so long I always perceived jam and jelly making as being a day long mess but I’ve quickly come to realize that it’s really not that tough.

Sugar, temperature and flavour are just about the only things you need to remember.
Adding enough sugar to fruit and juice then boiling it to the 220ºF setting point is pretty much all you need to ensure a delicious gift.

If you couldn’t tell already, I absolutely love pomegranates. Come December, I typically buy out my local grocers stock and snack on half at a time instead of popcorn.
Combined with a zesty, sweet red grapefruit, I made a marmalade I’m sure any Scottish Gran would love.

Wishing you all a very merry and safe Holiday, I hope you enjoy your families… and your feasts.
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Red Borscht With Porcini Mushroom Pierogies


From my fractional polish heritage, I was so lucky to have been included in my sister in laws family Christmas Eve tradition.

Once horrified by the memories of beet soup with homogonized milk, that puce nightmare was no comparison to the hard work and detail which had been presented before us to gobble up.

The bright colour and warmth of this simple, smooth broth sets the perfect stage for the celebration ahead. Borscht is may be peasant food, but like it’s counterparts, it is pure comfort. Served as the first course during the Christmas Eve feast with miniature mushroom filled pierogi packages called uszka, this wonderful tradition becomes the delight of the Holiday table.
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Chambord Poached Pear Tart


As fantastic as it is shaken in a French Martini, upon discovering the delightful liquor of Chambord*, I could hardly wait to also cook with it. Chambord is a deep red black raspberry liquor which dates back to the rein of Louis XIV in 1685.

It is a concentrated fruit flavour with raspberries, currants and hints of spice which I thought would match with pear and of course, chocolate. I chose the Asian pears since I just love the juiciness and texture. I don’t find them to be as grainy as some varieties and I really wanted the softness of the poaching and satiny jelly of the raspberry reduction to combine well.

The dessert is rich yet light and not too sweet. If I had the tins and the time, I think this recipe would be a elegant as individual tartlettes. Large or small it’s a great way to end a Holiday meal.


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Latkes With Pomegranate Quince Chutney


I love latkes. It’s almost bad, how much I like latkes. A holiday tradition usually brings sharing and that might be my biggest problem. To date the best solution I’ve had is to make them smaller so I have more. That way it takes me a little longer to eat them and gives others a chance to snag one.

Usually served on their own with a choice of apple sauce or sour cream on the side, I wanted to offer something with them to dress them up, especially when served as an appetizer. Slathered on a plate, I like the sour cream option, but there’s something about the salty grease that goes so well with a little tartness.

For platter passing, otherwise known as sharing, I conjured up my own applish sauce, just a little fancier for the Hoildays. I added the glimmer of pomegranate to quince to make this tart and spicy relish.

It was pretty good. I ate the whole plate.
… But after I was done, I thought I might just make another batch, maybe even double it – to share.
The relish in a little jar tied with a red bow, might just make a pretty sweet hostess gift.


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