Salad Days of Summer

24 Jul

It’s too hot to cook. Enter the cool, crisp days of the summer salad.

Inspired by the cult-like status of the Kardashian klan’s ever-present take out order (hello Mango Iced Greentini), this is what lunch is looking like these days.

The California salad craze is nothing new.

Whether it’s a sophisticated Chez Panisse baked Goat Cheese Salad with rounds of chèvre marinated in olive oil and herbs, coated in bread crumbs, and baked, served with lightly dressed mesclun (David Lebovitz here) or a healthy hippie garden bowl with the classic iceberg, avocado, sprouts, cuke, tomatoes, sunflower seeds and Jack cheese, these salads are perfect for summer.

We’ve seen this 1970s concept as a salad, a sandwich, or as a salad sandwich. On a bagel, it was our junior high bagged lunch fave. Enter the 1980s Seventeen magazine recipe, complete with tarragon-powered cream dressing:

FullSizeRender (3)

Stampede Grub

10 Jul

Just a few days left of Stampede.

Real Baked Beans, a la Medicine Hat

Or this stunner from Jamie Oliver: BBQ Baked Beans over smashed sweet potatoes and cheesy croutons.

Atco Bean Dip

A tasty variation of chili – perfect for holiday get-togethers.

6 slices bacon
1 lb. lean ground beef 500g
1 onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
2 Tbsp. molasses 30ml
2 Tbsp. brown sugar 30ml
2 tsp. dry mustard 5ml
1/3 cup vinegar 75ml
19 oz. can tomatoes 540ml
14 oz. can kidney beans 398ml
14 oz. can lima beans, drained 398ml
14 oz. can pork & beans 398ml
1 tsp. worcestershire sauce 5ml
salt, pepper & tabasco sauce, to taste
Fry bacon until crisp. Crumble. Brown beef and onion. Combine with remaining ingredients in a large casserole. Bake at 300F (150C)oven for 2 hours. Serve with caesar salad and baguette sticks. Serves 4-6

8 slices bacon
1 cup chopped onion
1(14 ounce) can green beans, drained
1(14 ounce) can lima beans, drained
1(14 ounce) can pork and beans
1(14 ounce) can kidney beans, drained
34 cup brown sugar, packed
12 cup vinegar
12 teaspoon garlic salt
12 teaspoon dry mustard

Cut bacon into small pieces & fry till crisp.
Remove from pan.
Cook onion until soft in bacon grease.
Put all ingredients into 2 1/2 qt casserole.
Bake at 350 F for 1 hour.
You can also cook in a low crockpot for 4-5 hours, on low.


1 1/2 pounds bulk sausage
3-4 ounce cans green chilies, drained
1 pound cheddar cheese, grated
1 pound Monterey Jack cheese, grated
9 eggs, beaten
2 tbsp. flour

Brown sausage and drain well. Split chilies and remove seeds. Save 1/3 of the chilies and cut in thin strips. Layer sausage with cheeses and remaining 2/3 chilies in a greased 9 x 13″ glass baking dish. Beat eggs, milk and flour together until well-blended. Pour over layered mixture. Decorate top with strips of chilies in a lattice-work pattern. Sprinkle with paprika and bake at 350 for 45 minutes. Serves 12.

Pieathalon: Prune Whip Edition

8 Jun


What. The. Eff. Is. Prune. Whip?

The WASPy among us will feel some familiarity with this beige concoction. The rest? Well, it will take some convincing.

When I saw my Pieathalon assignment, I felt instant familiarity: my childhood Charlie Brown lunchbox cookbook had a recipe for prune whip. I knew what I was in for.

But although Betty Crocker circa 1975 had a hand in this version (hello miniature marshmallows and instant coffee) I was nervous.

And I’ll be honest, one look at this refrigerator pie and my hubby recoiled.

“Is that turd pie?”
turd pie

For the record, the recipe ticks the vintage boxes: prunewhip2 prune whip is indeed a thing, although typically a meringue-type mix with egg whites. Betty Crocker has no time for that fussiness: just cook up those mini marshmallows and let’s get this thing in the fridge.

I did like the coffee flavour, but it was sickly sweet. The cinnamon pie pastry was a nice treat though, and smelled heavenly.

Laughably, there is no way to dress up this prune pie: it is what it is – a harbinger of what’s coming from your intestines.

But don’t let us put you off the retro pie train: check out these amazing bloggers!

Happy pie eating, folks!

Indian Summer, Rockies style

13 May

banff springs hotel indian summer, vikram vij Summer lounge alert: Vancouver chef Vikram Vij has come back to the Banff Springs to create a menu for its new seasonal restaurant, Indian Summer, which is taking over the upper Rundle Lounge.

This is a great partnership with an authentic connection: Vij worked in the Banff Springs’ kitchen in the early 1990s (wish our paths had crossed, but alas). Here’s his family chicken curry recipe.

Since we are a wee bit obsessed with the Colonial curry buffet at the Empress’ Bengal Lounge, it’s rather thrilling to see something similar in Banff.

Springs chefs are intended to start travelling to Vij’s every spring to develop summer menus.

We can hardly wait to play Colonial castle. Whether it’s a hot summer night or a rainy day, we’re keen on sinking back and enjoying the heady aroma of Indian spices. Give us a chilled glass of bubbles or fizzy lime-ginger soda and we are ready for Indian Summer, Rockies style.

To tide us over, we’ll try to create this fun cocktail hour soon: Vij’s ginger lime cocktail, spiced cashews and pate.

Hy’s Cheese Toast

6 May

Hooray for this!


31 Mar

Found this Seventeen recipe gem circa 1978 just in time for Easter:

Seventeen page courtesy

Seventeen page courtesy

Check out The Recipe Wench for a sweet story — and recipe — for this braided Easter bread. It will make your day!

And if you are in the Easter baking mood, check out our darling bread birdies post and the very prim supper post.

Retro pottery…

26 Feb

alberta pottery, connie and bob pike, retro potterymugs2We’ve been using this set of 1970s pottery in the office. And we have to say we’re pretty charmed.

We are not fans of pottery per se, but we do have a fondness for retro mugs, platters, casseroles and bowls we’ve grown up seeing adorn ranch house/ski chalet/lake cabin shelves.

This red Alberta clay is especially lovely as is its prairie landscape theme.

They were created in Lavoy, AB in the late ’70s.

Should there come a day when we clumsily lose (read: break) these, we will at least have a photo to remind us!


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