• Root Vegetable Terrine

    Root Vegetable Terrine

  • Minestrone Soup

    Minestrone with Pistou

  • Ratatioulle Tart

    Ratatouille Tart

  • Classic Lemon Meringue Tart

    Lemon Meringue Tart

  • Dumpling 2 copy

    Shiitake Dumpling Soup

  • Rhubarb Strawberry Crumble

    Rhubarb Berry Crumble

  • Vegetables, pasta and marinated tofu.

    Veggie & Tofu Bowl


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Root Vegetable Terrine
Photo by Denise Marchessault

Root Vegetable Terrine

Potato pave, terrine, gratin — it’s all the same: layers of thinly sliced potato laced with cream, butter, a hint of cheese and baked until fork tender. In this recipe, I’ve alternated new potatoes with sweet potato for a striking presentation. Simple, decadent and well worth the splurge. The process is perfectly straight forward but [...]

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Minestrone Soup
Photo by Denise Marchessault

Minestrone with Pistou

I love Minestrone soup but ordering it in a restaurant is dicey. Often the broth is too weak or tomato-y for my taste and if pasta is added, it’s soggy and bloated beyond recognition. I prefer a robust broth made from tomatoes and roasted chicken stock. I’ve infused mine with Kielbasa sausage and a generous [...]

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Ratatioulle Tart
Photo by Denise Marchessault

Ratatouille Tart

This lovely tart is a simplified version of my Ratatouille Pie recipe, featured in British Columbia From Scratch.  It’s a great company dish because it can be made well in advance and heated just before serving. To keep the pastry crisp, I pre-bake the pie shell before adding the filling. I dust the pastry shell [...]

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A message to the reluctant cook,

Sometimes you’ll scorch the rice, burn the sugar or overwork the dough.  You might under-cook, over-salt or overcrowd the pan.

I’ve made all these mistakes and plenty more.

But with every blunder, a new lesson unfolds. Knowing what NOT to do is as important as knowing what to do. If your cooking history is, um, colourful, consider yourself ahead of the curve.

With practice, you’ll learn to trust your senses:

Touch your food.  You’ll feel when the dough is ready or when the meat is perfectly cooked.

Smell  your food. Your nose knows if the fish is fresh or funky — or when the garlic’s about to burn.

Listen to the sizzle and the sputter.  It’s telling you if your pan’s the right (or wrong) temperature.

Watch your food. It’s always perfect — just before it burns.

Taste as  you cook.  You’ll know if the soup needs a pinch of salt or a squeeze of lemon.

Most importantly, relax and enjoy the pleasures of the kitchen. And have a glass of wine while you’re at it.

Just don’t toss in the apron!


Denise Marchessault