Potato and Celery Root Gratin




2 pounds potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4 -inch (.6 cm) slices

1 large celery root, peeled and cut in half, then cut into 1/8-inch (.3 cm) slices

1 clove garlic, peeled and minced

1 small onion, diced

2 tbsp. butter

2 tsp. (10 ml) fresh thyme leaves

3 cups (750 ml) heavy cream

sea salt and pepper to taste



  • Preheat the oven to 375F. (190C).  
  • Melt the butter over medium heat in a skillet and cook the onion until soft. Add the garlic, thyme and the potatoes. Toss and then add the cream. 
  • Cook the potatoes over medium heat until just starting to soften and the cream is starting to thicken. Season the mixture with salt and pepper to taste.
  •  Place half of the celery root on the bottom of a buttered 9x13 ovenproof baking dish. 
  • Using tongs, place half the potatoes over the celery root, overlapping as necessary. Place remaining half of celery root and then remaining potatoes. Pour cream over top. 
  • Cover with foil and place in a preheated oven and bake for about 1 hour or until vegetables are tender. Uncover and continue to bake until the gratin is golden on top (about another 30 minutes). 
  • Remove and let sit for at least 10-15 minutes before serving. Serves 8- 10


Fennel and Potato Soup

Tamara Stimpson



3 tbsp of unsalted butter

2 medium-sized fennel bulbs (sometimes called anise), trimmed, chopped and reserve some of the fronds for garnish

1 large leek, halved lengthwise, rinsed and thinly sliced crosswise

1 tsp of fennel seeds

1 1/2 lbs of potatoes, peeled and cut into 2" cubes

5 1/2 cups of broth (I use vegetable, but you can also use chicken)


  • Melt butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add fennel, leak and seeds and cook until the vegetables become soft. Make sure to stir often to prevent sticking and burning!
  • Add potatoes and broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium. Cover with a lid and simmer until potatoes are tender (approx. 15 mins).
  • Either using an immersion-style blender (a MUST for soups in my books!), or a standing blender, puree the soup until smooth. If it is too thick for your liking, you can thin it using water or stock.
  • Season to taste with salt & pepper.
  • When serving, garnish with fennel fronds. If you enjoy smoked salmon, you can also garnish with a few pieces of this too!

Roasted Sweet Potatoes

3 Sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into bite size cubes

2 tsp olive oil

1 tbsp butter

1 tbsp of brown sugar (organic)

1 tsp of ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp of ground nutmeg

Pinch of ground ginger

Sea salt, to taste


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Coat a small baking dish with cooking spray.
  • Peel and dice the sweet potatoes into bite size cubes and place in the baking dish.
  • Melt butter in the microwave and pour over the potatoes along with the olive oil, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and salt.
  • Add more sugar or cinnamon if desired.
  • Toss to coat evenly.
  • Bake in the oven for 60 minutes*


Layered Vegetable Casserole

Tamara Stimpson



10 to 12 medium sized potatoes, peeled and halved

4 tbsp unsalted butter

1 cup sour cream

1 tsp salt

300g of frozen, chopped spinach - defrosted and squeezed dry

2 thinly sliced green onions

1 egg, slightly beaten

300g of frozen, squash puree

1 tbsp grated ginger

1 cup of grated, sharp cheddar cheese

EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil) or cooking spray for casserole dish


  • Place peeled and halved potatoes in a large pot filled with salted water. Boil for 20 to 30 mins. until soft. Drain and mash stirring in 2 tbsp butter, sour cream and 1/2 tsp salt.
  • Stir drained spinach together with green onions, egg, 1 tbsp butter and 1/4 tsp salt.
  • Stir squash puree together with 1 tbsp butter, ginger and 1/4 tsp salt.
  • Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a large casserole dish with EVOO or cooking spray. Using a silicone spatula (I find this is the best tool for the job!) spread 1/3 of the mashed potatoes evenly, on the bottom of the dish. Evenly spread all of the squash on top of the potatoes, followed by 1/2 of the remaining mashed potatoes - remember to smooth out evenly. Then follow with the spinach mixture and the remaining potatoes. Sprinkle cheddar over top of the casserole and bake in the oven, uncovered, for 55-60 mins!
  • ENJOY!

Greek Lemon Roasted Potatoes

Tamara Stimpson

There isn't a person I've served this to that hasn't loved it! Hopefully you're family will too!



4lbs of potatoes (I tend to use Yukon Golds), peeled and cut into 1" dice

1 tbsp dried oregano

1 tbsp Kosher salt

1/2 cup EVOO

1/2 cup lemon juice

1 cup water

freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  • Heat the oven to 500F.
  • Toss the potatoes with the lemon juice, EVOO, salt, pepper and oregano. Put into a casserole dish.
  • Add the water to the casserole dish and place in the oven.
  • Bake for 50 minutes, keeping an eye on the potatoes and stirring to ensure even browning.
  • ENJOY!

Spanish Tortilla

Tamara Stimpson

This delicious "cake" can be cut into wedges and served as a side or main course!



2 potatoes

3 tbsp oil

2 onions, thinly sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

Pinch cayenne pepper

6 eggs, beaten


  • Peel potatoes. Cut in half lengthwise and thinly slice crosswise.
  • In 10" nonstick oven proof skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat; cook potatoes, onions, garlic, salt, pepper and cayenne, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender and onions are light golden.
  • Smooth top. Pour eggs over mixture; cook over medium-low heat for 20 minutes, until set around edge.
  • Broil, about 6" from heat, for approximately 2 minutes or until golden and eggs are completely set. Loosen edge. Let stand for 3 minutes. Invert onto plate; invert again onto another plate so top side is up.
  • To ovenproof a skillet, wrap handle in heavy-duty foil!

Sweet Potato Orange Cups

Tamara Stimpson

This is a sweet side dish that perfectly compliments a savoury entree. 



3 large sweet potatoes (2 to 2 1/2 lbs), peeled and cubed

1 can orange juice concentrate, thawed

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 cup half-and-half cream

2 tbsp butter

3/4 cup miniature marshmallows

1/4 cup chopped pecans

4 large oranges, halved

32 additional miniature marshmallows


  • Place sweet potatoes in a large sauceapn or Dutch oven; cover with water. Bring to the boil, reduce heat, cover and cook for 25 to 30 minutes, or until just tender. Drain.
  • In a large bowl, beat the sweet potatoes, concentrate, sugar, cream adn butter on low speed until smooth. Stir in 3/4 cup marshmallows and pecans; set aside.
  • Remove the pulp from the orange halves, leaving a shell (discard or reserve for another use). Spoon the sweet potato mixture into orange shells. Place four marshmallows on top of each.
  • Place filled orange shells in a greased 15"x10" baking pan. Bake uncovered, at 350F for 20 minutes, or until sweet potato mixture is heated through and marshmallows are browned.

Roasted Roots with Balsamic Vinaigrette

Tamara Stimpson

This recipe comes from Canadian Living and is a great side dish to any main- especially roast turkey!



1 small acorn squash

4 parsnips

4 carrots

2 sweet potatoes

3 small onions

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 1/2 tsp dried sage

1/2 tsp each salt & pepper


1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 tbsp white balsamic vinegar

1/2 tsp Dijon mustard

Pinch each of salt, pepper & granulated sugar


  • Peel squash, parsnips, carrots and sweet potatoes. Cut into 1" cubes; place in a large bowl.
  • Leaving root end intact, cut onions into 1/2" wedges. Add to bowl along with oil, sage, salt and pepper; toss to coat.
  • Spread out on a greased roasting pan; roast in 425F oven, stirring once, until tnder, 60 to 75 minutes.
  • Meanwhile in a serving bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, mustard, salt, pepper and sugar; add vegetables and toss to coat.

Homemade Ground Cayenne Pepper

A quick guide to making your own ground cayenne peppers!


  • Cut the stem end from the cayenne peppers and remove seeds. Place them on a rimmed baking dish in a 350F oven until completely dried out. Keep an eye on them to ensure they don't burn! Remove from the oven and let cool completely. With a mortar and pestal, combine the dried cayenne with a small amount of salt - this helps the grinding process. Once ground to your taste, place in an airtight jar and store in a dark cupboard.
  • If you wish to simply have the dried cayenne (or red chilis) on hand, follow the above recipe and skip the grinding process. You can even leave the seeds and create your own red chili flakes by grinding with the mortar and pestle until flaked instead of ground.

Green Poblano Rice

Sandy Kitely 

Lisa's mom is at it again! Here is another tasty poblano pepper recipe to satisfy your pepper cravings this summer.



1 2/3 cups chicken broth or water

2 fresh poblano chiles, stems and seeds removed, and roughly chopped

12 sprigs cilantro, plus extra for garnish

Salt, about 1/2 teaspoon if using salted broth, 1 teaspoon if using unsalted or water

1 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil

1 cup rice, preferably medium grain

1 small white onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice

5 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped


  • The flavoring: In a 2-quart saucepan, combine the broth and chiles, bring to a boil, then partially cover and simmer gently over medium to medium-low heat for about 10 minutes, until the chiles are very soft. Pour the chile mixture into a food processor, add the cilantro (stems and all), and process to a smooth puree. Press through a medium-mesh strainer into a bowl and stir in the salt.
  • The rice: Wipe the pan clean, add the oil and heat over medium. Add the rice and onion, and cook, stirring regularly, until the rice is chalky looking and the onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook a minute longer.
  • Add the warm (or reheated) chile liquid to the hot rice pan, stir once, scrape down any rice kernels clinging to the side of the pan, cover, and cook over medium-low heat for 15 minutes. Uncover and check a grain of rice: It should be nearly cooked through. If the rice is just about ready, turn off the heat, re-cover and let stand for 5 to 10 minutes longer to complete the cooking. If the rice seems far from done, continue cooking for 5 minutes or so, retest, then turn off the heat and let stand a few minutes longer. Fluff with a fork, scoop into a warm serving dish, decorate with cilantro sprigs and it's ready to serve.
  • Advance preparation: The rice can be made several days ahead; turn out the fluffed rice onto a baking sheet to cool, transfer to a storage container, then cover and refrigerate. Reheat the rice in a steamer basket set over boiling water.


*You could use 3 or 4 long green (Anaheim) chiles, or to mix poblanos and long greens with hotter chiles like jalapeño, manzano or habanero. Grilled corn cut from 1 cob or 1 large grilled zucchini (cubed) are tasty vegetable add-ins. About 1 cup coarsely shredded roast (or barbecued) pork or smoked salmon, mixed in toward the end of cooking, will make green rice a full meal.

Chili Stuffed Poblano Peppers

Sandy Kitely

Lisa's mom is famous for her amazing pepper dishes! This is one of Steve and Lisa's favourites.



1 pound 90% lean ground beef

4 large poblano peppers*

1 can (15 ounces) chili-seasoned beans

1 can (14-1/2 ounces) chili-style chunky tomatoes, undrained

1 tablespoon Mexican (adobo) seasoning

2/3 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend or Monterey Jack cheese


*Poblano peppers can sting and irritate the skin, so wear rubber gloves when handling peppers and do not touch your eyes. 


  • Preheat broiler. Bring 2 quarts water to a boil in 3-quart saucepan. Meanwhile, cook ground beef in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat 5 to 6 minutes or until no longer pink.
  • Meanwhile, cut peppers in half lengthwise; remove stems and seeds. Add 4 pepper halves to boiling water; cook 3 minutes or until bright green and slightly softened. Remove and drain upside down on plate. Repeat with remaining 4 halves. Set aside.
  • Add beans, tomatoes and Mexican seasoning to ground beef. Cook and stir over medium heat 5 minutes or until mixture thickens slightly.
  • Arrange peppers, cut side up, in 13X9-inch baking dish. Divide chili mixture evenly among peppers; top with cheese. Broil 6 inches from heat 1 minute or until cheese is melted. Serve immediately.
  • Serve with corn bread and chunky salsa.

Stuffed Poblano Pepper Casserole

Sandy Kitely



1 cup brown rice

2 1/4 cups vegetable broth

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon coriander

1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions

2 cloves garlic - minced

1/4 cup fresh oregano - roughly chopped (or 1 tbsp dried)

1 1/2 cups corn

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

4 poblano peppers - sliced in half, seeds removed


  • In a large pan, add the rice, vegetable broth, cumin and coriander.
  • Bring the broth to a boil, reduce the heat to low and cook for 45 minutes or according to package directions.
  • Stir the green onions, garlic, oregano and corn into the pan of cooked rice.
  • Add the shredded cheese, and stir until well blended and the cheese has melted.
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Spray a 9 inch by 13 inch glass or ceramic baking dish with non stick cooking spray.
  • Place the poblano peppers on the bottom of the baking dish.
  • Stuff each of the poblano peppers with the rice and cheese mixture.
  • Extra filling can be placed on the bottom of the casserole dish, around the stuffed peppers.
  • Place the baking dish in the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until lightly brown on top.
  • ENJOY!


Tamara Stimpson

This traditional Hungarian meal is simple and delicious!



1 onion, coarsely chopped

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 large 28oz can of diced tomatoes

2 - 3 banana peppers, thickly sliced

2 - 3 green or red bell peppers, thickly sliced

1 package of smoked sausages, sliced in 1/2" rounds

Vegetable or olive oil


  • Heat oil in a large skillet with a lid, over medium high heat.
  • Add onions and garlic and saute for a few minutes, or until fragrant.
  • Add all the peppers and saute, stirring often, for approximately 5 minutes. Add the can of tomatoes with all the juices. Stir in the sausages. Bring to a boil while stirring occasionally and then turn to medium low.
  • Cook, covered, for approximately 40 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
  • Serve alone or over boiled potatoes that have been coarsely mashed with a fork!

Roasted Fingerlings with Red and Yellow Peppers

Tamara Stimpson

I usually make this dish around Thanksgiving. It makes quite a bit so you'll have some yummy leftovers!



1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp olive oil

2 large red & 2 large yellow bell peppers, cut into 1/4" wide strips

1 large red onion, thinly sliced

salt and pepper, to taste

3 lbs fingerling potatoes, halved lengthwise

1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

1/4 cup chopped shallots

1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

1/4 cup chopped fresh chives

1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme

1/4 cup white wine vinegar


  • Preheat oven to 425F
  • Pour 1/2 cup oil onto a large rimmed baking sheet. Spread all peppers and sliced red onions over the pan evenly. Season with salt and pepper. Toss gently to coat and place in oven to roast for 10 minutes.
  • Remove pan from oven and place halved potatoes and remaining 2 tbsp oil in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Arrange potatoes in a single layer on top of peppers (ensure cut sides are facing up).
  • Place pan back in the oven and roast until potatoes are tender and beginning to turn golden, approximately 50 minutes. *This can be done 2 hrs ahead if preparing a meal in advance - just let stand at room temperature and reheat in a 425F oven for 10 minutes*
  • Sprinkle chopped parsley & shallots over potatoes and roast for 5 minutes longer in oven.
  • Remove and transfer to a large platter before sprinkling with chives, basil and thyme. Drizzle with vinegar and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper if necessary

Smashed Pea Crostini

Tamara Stimpson

This is the "green" dip that has made its rounds at the open house!



1 baguette

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 cup fresh peas

1 cup ricotta cheese (or firm tofu)

1/4 cup ginely grated Parmesan Reggiano cheese

3 tbsp packed fresh mint leaves

2 tsp lemon juice

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 tsp salt and pepper


  • Cut baguette into 1/2" thick slices; arrange on baking sheet. Brush with 2 tbsp of the oil. Broil the bread, turning once, until golden and crisp. Set aside crostini.
  • In a food processor, puree the peas with the ricotta until a chunkier texture. Add mint, lemon juice, garlic and salt & pepper. Puree until smooth.
  • Spread on top of each crostini and serve with curls of Parmesan Reggiano on top (optional)

Parsnip and Ginger Soup

Tamara Stimpson

My children love this one!



2 tbsp EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)

1 onion, chopped

1 clove of garlic, peeled and chopped

1 carrot, peeled and chopped

1 lb parsnips, peeled and chopped

1 tbsp freshly grated ginger

4 1/2 cups of vegetable stock

2 tsp of creamy peanut butter

1 tbsp Tamari (or regular soy sauce)

salt & pepper


  • In a large pot, saute onion in EVOO until translucent and then add the garlic, ginger, carrot and parsnips. Saute for a few minutes and then add the stock.
  • Bring soup to a boil and then reduce heat. Simmer until parsnips are tender.
  • Add peanut butter and tamari to taste.
  • Puree with an immersion or standing blender.

Spiced Parsnip Soup


3 tbsp butter

1 onion, chopped

1 1/2lbs parsnips, peeled and diced

1 tsp ground coriander

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp ground turmeric

1/4 tsp chili powder

5 cups vegetable stock

2/3 cup light cream

  • Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the chopped onion and parsnips and saute for approximately 3 minutes. 
  • Stir in the spices and cook for 1 minute more, or until fragrant.
  • Add the stock, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 45 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.
  • Cool slightly and then puree in a blender or food processor until smooth.
  • Return to the pot and add the cream, heating gently. 
  • Put into bowls and garnish with fresh coriander...ENJOY!

Okra in Yogourt Sauce




1lb okra

3 tbsp sunflower cooking oil

1 tsp cumin seeds

½ tsp onion seeds

2 large onions

2 large tomato

2 tsps coriander

1 tsp cumin powder

¾ tsp turmeric powder

½ tsp red chilli powder

3 tbsp Balkan-style plain yogurt

Salt to taste

Chopped fresh coriander to garnish


  • Top and tail the okra and then cut them into 1′′ pieces
  • Slice the onions and cube the tomatoes
  • Heat the oil in a deep pan over medium heat and add the cumin and onion seeds.
  • When they stop spluttering, add the sliced onions.
  • Fry till the onions are translucent and golden.
  • Add the coriander, cumin, tumeric and red chili powder and stir well. 

Okra and Lamb Stew




1½ lb [ 700g ] okra

2 lb [900g ] lamb [ beef may be substituted ]

2¾ cups of red wine vinegar

1 cup tomatoes

3 Tbsp tomato paste

2 cloves garlic

2 onions

6½ tblsp; [ 100cc ] butter

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

1 cup water

2 Tbsp fresh mint

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Juice of 1 lemon


  • Top and tail the okra using a sharp knife. Then place the okra in a glass or ceramic bowl to which you have added the ¾ cup of red wine vinegar.
  • Let stand for about a ½ hour.
  • Drain, rinse & dry the okra ( this technique helps remove the slimeyness when the Okra is cooked. ) Reserve.
  • Preheat oven to 325F
  • Cut the Lamb [ or beef ] into 1′′ [ 2½ centimeters ] cubes
  • Peel, seed and chop the tomatoes
  • Mince the garlic cloves
  • Chop the onions finely
  • Chop the mint
  • Warm the butter in a large frying pan (skillet) over medium heat (reserving the ½ tbsp).
  • Add the lamb and fry, turning untill browned on all sides - you will have to brown the meat in batches for satisfactory results. This will take approximately 10 to 11 minutes for each batch of meat
  • Using a slotted spoon tranfer the meat to a casserole dish. Add the onions to the melted butter remaining in the frying pan; if there isn't any left you will have to add a little.
  • Saute the onions over medium heat until they are translucent and tender, this should take between 8 and 10 minutes
  • Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, garlic, onions, cumin, water and mint.
  • Stir this mixture to ensure all ingredients are combined, then pour over the lamb in the casserole dish
  • Add the salt and pepper to taste.
  • Cover the casserole dish, place in the oven and bake for about 1½ hours until all the liquid has been absorbed.
  • Saute the okra for 3 minutes, over medium heat in the ½ tblsp of butter which had been melted and warmed in the frying pan before adding the okra. You should be stirring gently while doing this.
  • Remove the stew from the oven. taste and add more salt or pepper or both, if required. Arrange the okra on top of the stew like the spokes of a wheel.
  • Sprinkle the lemon juice over the top of the stew
  • Replace the cover on the casserole dish and return the Okra Stew to the oven
  • Bake for 35 minutes, adding water if the stew appears to be too dry.
  • The stew should be served immediately, as hot as possible

Okra and Potatoes


Frying okra and potatoes together creates an awesome flavour combination!



1 lb young okra pods

2 large potatoes

1 onion

1/2 cup cornmeal

1 tbsp Salt.

2 pints ice water

Oil for frying

Salt and pepper for seasoning, to taste


  • Top and tail the Okra pods, (cut off the ends).
  • Cut the pods into approximately 1/4 inch rounds.
  • Peel and dice the potates into 1/2 inch pieces
  • Peel the onions and chop finely
  • Place the sliced Okra into a glass or stainless steel bowl and sprinkle the salt liberally over the pods.
  • Cover the pods with the iced water, making sure that all the slices are under water.
  • Place the bowl containing the Okra and water in a refrigerator and leave for 2 or more hours.
  • Remove the bowl from the refrigerator and drain off the salt water.
  • Place the Okra in a bowl and add the potatoes and chopped onion
  • Season the cornmeal with the salt and pepper
  • Place the sliced Okra potato and onion mixture together with the seasoned cornmeal in a large plastic bag and shake until the vegetables are well coated with the cornmeal.
  • Heat some oil (1/2 inch deep) in a frying pan until it begins to shimmer. Place the vegetables in the pan and fry until the potatoes are done and the mixture has browned nicely.
  • Remove the Okra and potato mixture from the oil, using a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
  • Serve hot as a side dish