hoisin glazed cornish hens & happy holidays


Its that time of year!

Holiday parties, baking, gift giving, wrapping, tree trimming, hot cocoa, snowy late night walks and yule tide tunes.

These are just a few of my favourite things about this time of year and a holiday dinner of course. This year I tried to switch things up a bit and try something a little different.  No turkey and non-traditional sides with an asian twist.



It was refreshing, especially since there's usually still two or three more holiday dinners I'll be attending serving the good ol' classics and its nice for a bit of change.

Once again I have collaborated with Natrel to come up with a non-traditional holiday meal. Find the recipe here.

Happy holidays all and a merry new year!

Roasted Chestnut Carrot & Curry Soup


    We had a big dumping of snow yesterday.  Like lots. Not Boston like lots but enough where tredging to work in not quite adequate boots made for one not so pleasant trip. Especially when working a fifteen hour day only to put your boots back on to go home and realize they're still wet.

Yep. Gross.

I learned my lesson.

Today I unboxed my storm troopers aka waterproof boots and I am not looking back. Not ever.

So what does this have to do with soup? Lots, because there is nothing better then the combo of  snowy days and hot bowls of homemade soup to keep you cozy. Even when you walked with wet socks for forty minutes.

carrot and chestnut soup - butterflyfood

roasted chestnut carrot & curry soup
serves 4-6

2 lb bag carrots, peeled and chopped
1 leek sliced
2 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic
1 ½ tsp curry powder
½ tsp turmeric
1 tsp smoked paprika
200 g roasted chestnuts peeled and chopped (or chestnut puree)
1 tsp fresh thyme plus extra for sprinkling
5 cups vegetable or chicken stock
2 cups Natrel Lactose free milk
salt and pepper to taste
¼ cup Natrel Lactose free cream for garnish
Smoked sea salt for garnish

Preheat the oven to 400°

Cut a ‘X’ into the chestnuts with a small serrated knife, making sure to slice deep enough past the shell.  Place on a baking tray and roast in the oven for 15-20mins. The ‘x’ in the chestnuts should start to open and peel back slightly.  Let cool slightly, peel the shells off and chop roughly.

In a large saucepan on medium heat, add the olive oil, leeks and garlic. Cook until fragrant and the leeks have softened. Add the carrots and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the chestnuts, spices, thyme and stock.  Cook for 20 minutes until the carrots are nice and soft.  Blend in a blender or hand blender until smooth.  Add the milk and place back on the heat until piping hot. 
Add a swirl of cream, sprinkle with smoked salt and thyme and serve.


1. Have you guys seen this amazing gingerbread farm?
2. Or checked out the cookie party we've been baking up over at baked
3. This year I plan on wrapping all my presents like this
4. And getting crafty by making my bearded man something to tame those manly facial locks.
5. And lastly really trying to drink this daily but failing.

Happy weekend all!

smoked sausage, potato and kale stew


       With winter so closely heading this way, cold nights already in play and sunlight sadly disappearing by five o'clock.  I myself am having a little bit of a hard time with it getting dark so early. Oh I'll get use to it for sure.  Its just right now when I'm going to work in the dark and then coming home in the dark... Its a little depressing.  Especially when going home on a cold and rainy evening and you just can't beat the chill even long after you've come home had a big ol' mug of hot tea and equipped  yourself with your favourite cozy knit socks. Sometimes a hot bowl of stew is the only thing that will do.  

   I used a sausage that was a little on the spicy side which gives the stew a nice kick and really warms the innards and a hearty flavourful beer that was the perfect combo for this 'Oktoberfest' style stew I found at the local LCBO.

serves 4-6

1 tbsp olive oil
2 smoked andouille sausages sliced into bite-sized rounds
2 small onions, halved then sliced thinly
1 carrot, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 of a medium size savoy cabbage sliced into thin strips
1 (355ml) bottle of  Samuel Adams 'Octoberfest' beer
1 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 bag of small new potatoes, quartered
4 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 tsp dried dill (or fresh)
1 bay leaf
1 big handful of baby kale
salt and pepper to taste
chopped parsley for garnish

       In a large pot over medium high heat add the olive oil then sliced smoked sausage. Cook for 5-6 minutes until they begin to caramelize.  Once the sausage has browned add in your onions and carrots and cook for another few minutes. Add the cabbage and garlic and stir to combine.  Add in your beer and vinegar and cook off for 3-4 minutes.  Add in your potatoes, stock, kale and spices and stir well. Allow to come to a boil then reduce the heat to low, cover your pot with a lid and simmer for 35-45 minutes until your potatoes are nice and soft. Adjust seasoning if needed.
Top with chopped parsley and serve.

roast dinner

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   Sunday dinners are one of my favourite things, probably not often done enough in my house since its seemingly opted out for easy take-out or heating up a can of soup on this lazy day because well... you just want to be lazy.  But on those Sunday's where I'm not feeling particularly lazy I like to cook up something just a little more special. Something Grandma would be proud of.

You can find the recipe over on Natrel and more photo's here.

orange creamcicle smoothie and the end of summer

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   Who else isn't saddened by the end of summer?  The days of longer sunshine, warm breezes and flip-flops is quickly coming to an end.  I'm not sure I'm exactly ready for that yet.  Nope not at all.
   So to hang on to that last little bit of summer days here's a sunny summery smoothie you can enjoy for those few hot days we have left.
This too could be easily frozen in ice pop molds for a healthier take on the good ol' childhood favourite creamcicle.

You'll find me over on the Natrel site with the recipe for this dairy free hack.

lactose free cookies and cream milkshake

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   Cookies and cream is one of the first milk shakes I've ever tried. I remember standing in my Aunt's kitchen when she made me one and I couldn't believe that I had never seen or thought of this before. I was quite young and totally blown away by the goodness that was coming to me.  But now being older and looking for a somewhat healthier and lactose free version I came up with this hack that doesn't sacrifice flavour.

Check out the recipe here.

shepherds pie for fathers day

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            Celebrate Father's day with giving Dad a comforting hearty dish of Shepherds pie (my Dad's particular favourite) made with Guinness and a creamy-cheesy green onion and bacon mashed potato top.
I have collaborated again with Natrel to come up with something delicious just for Dad.  Check out the recipe here on their site.