• Dolmadákia

  • Parisian Potatoes

  • Borscht

  • Image by Caroline West

    Fritatta with Onion Relish

  • Potato Gnocchi & Sage

  • Cranberry Jelly

  • Linzer Torte Cookies


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Dolmadákia

I was first introduced to dolmadákia, or dolmas, at Colossus of Rhodes, a Greek tavern in Mississauga, Ontario. My best friend and I, big-haired and single in those days, loved the place and enjoyed coaxing gossip from the bartender about the dark, handsome, and very single owner, Manny, who made us feel as if we […]

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Parisian Potatoes

Parisian Potatoes may sound elegant but they’re just everyday potatoes shaped with a dollar store melon baller.  It’s a simple trick that transforms ho-hum potatoes into a dressy side-dish for steak, roast chicken or pork. The potatoes can be sautéed in any sort of fat but duck fat transcends all others. When you shape potatoes […]

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Borscht

This savoury roasted beet soup is made special with the addition of spicy chorizo sausage and tart green apples. Buy the best chorizo you can afford, it makes a difference. And, if you have the time to make your own chicken stock, do so—there’s simply no comparison to homemade.   A dollop of sour cream, bright […]

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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