Thursday, April 28, 2011

KidsAbility Fundraiser - May 6, 2011

is proud to host our third annual

Friday May 6th, 2011
10am - 5pm
This year we are sampling and selling various soups & crackers throughout the day and dana shortt gourmet will be donating all the profits from the featured soups, crackers & breads sold during this fundraiser to KidsAbility

::: menu :::

dana shortt gourmet

butternut squash, apple,
ginger soup
three bean soup
broccoli & cheddar soup
all frozen feature soups


ciabatta bread
(white, multigrain, olive)

thiru’s classic Indian

mullugtwanny soup
thakkali soup

barrie’s asparagus

stone wheat crackers
vegetable crackers

stonewall kitchen

all crackers

We hope to see you on the 6th!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

recipe: Gabriella's Committee Salad

It’s about time that I devote a column to David’s cousin, Gabriella, one of the best home chefs I know.

Gabe is one of those women that does everything – and everything well.  She manages to successfully juggle being a: wife, mother, chartered accountant, university lecturer, and a pampered chef sales rep!  She’s “crafty” too – she can make flax-seed-filled heating pads, soap and candles for crying out loud.  To top it all off, she’s a fantastic cook and baker!

I’ve been fortunate enough to taste many of her recipes, including her renowned “committee salad” which David and I adore on its own, or with a piece of grilled salmon, chicken or beef.  Check out several of her other recipes on my website ( ) – including her family’s famous amaretti cookies and cranberry orange biscotti.  This summer, I plan on making Gabe’s amazing basil-marinated roasted bell peppers as well as her rosemary focaccia bread.

One of these days, I’ll work up enough courage to ask Gabe how she is able to do it all… and then some.  Until then, I’ll enjoy our recipe exchange via email and (unfortunately) rare visits.  Gabe and her family live in Vancouver – yet another reason to visit.

Gabe’s Committee Salad
Serve on it’s own as a side salad or with a piece of grilled protein (think salmon, chicken, marinted flank steak…) for a meal-in-one.

ingredients for dressing

§         ½ (one-half) cup excellent quality extra virgin olive oil
§         5–6 () tablespoons excellent quality balsamic vinegar
§         1–2 (one to two) tablespoons lemon juice
§         1 (one) clove garlic, minced
§         1 (one) teaspoon dry mustard (use prepared mustard in a pinch)
§         ½ (one-half) teaspoon salt
§         1–2 (one to two) teaspoons sugar

method for dressing

1. Using a whisk, mix together everything but the olive oil.  Slowly whisk in the olive oil in a steady stream, until well combined.

ingredients for salad

§         1–2 (one to two) tablespoons of each butter and olive oil
§         1 (one) cups sliced almonds
§         ½ (one-half) cup sunflower seeds
§         ½ (one-half) cup pumpkin seeds
§         salt to taste
§         your favourite type of lettuce:  mixed greens, or spinach, or leaf, or iceburg, etc.
§         additions – such as, English cucumber, green onion, tomato, fruit (if not using tomato) – such as strawberries, kiwi’s and/or mandarin oranges

method for salad

1.       Heat butter and olive oil in a large saucepan set over medium heat.  Add almonds, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds and cook for 5 or 6 minutes, until toasted and golden in colour.  Set aside and let cool.  
Note:  you will have leftovers of this nut/seed mixture (save extra a in plastic ziplock bags for a future salad).
2.       Toss together your favourite type of greens, veg and or fruit, a handful or two of the nut/seed mixture and dress with dressing (you will likely have extras, depending on the size of your salad).  Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Recipe: Becky's famous "girls night" artichoke dip

Girls’ Night Out.  Three words to put a smile on any woman’s face, especially those of young moms…  

I’m fortunate to have such a great group of girlfriends – many of whom I met in Grade 4 at Bridgeport Public School (or earlier!).  We try to get together once a month or so, either for our potluck supper club, dinners out on the town, or for appetizers at home.  Good food, wine and chit chat can always be counted on.

The last gathering took place at Nichole’s house, and we certainly had our fair share of gourmet goodies.  Jennifer made vegetable pinwheels with smoky chipotle dipping sauce and herb-marinated shrimp with lemon aioli dipping sauce.  Mary made an amazing Caesar salad, and mini meatballs.  Nichole’s treat? – baked brie with cranberries and amaretto.  Julie brought a homemade carrot cake AND chocolates (keener!) and I brought some cheese tortes and mini samosa’s.  Martha, who’s always up for girls’ night, was in Florida, but she still managed to text us that evening.  Last but not least is Becky, who prepared her famous artichoke dip with green chili’s.  

Becky’s artichoke dip has made an appearance at many get-togethers over the years, and it’s always a crowd pleaser.  Becky loves preparing it because it’s easy (she’s a working mom with 2 young children – enough said) and it is always well-received.  She kindly shared the recipe with me and hopes that you enjoy it too – maybe at your next girls’ night?

Becky’s famous “girls’ night” artichoke dip  


§         1, (one) 398 mL can (14 oz) artichoke hearts, drained and finely chopped
§         1, (one) 127 mL can of chopped green chilis (you can find these in the Mexican aisle of any grocery store)
§         1, (one) 200 gram package of Monterey jack cheese, grated
§         1 (one) big scoop (¼ (one-quarter) to ⅓ (one-third)) cup mayonnaise
§         ¼ to ½  (one-quarter to one-half) cup finely grated parmesan cheese
§         crackers and/or fresh bread


1.      Preheat the oven to 375 F. In a large bowl, mix together everything but the parmesan cheese.  
Pour the dip into an oven-safe container.  Top with the grated parmesan.
2.      Bake in oven, uncovered, until dip is hot and cheese is bubbly – about 20–25 minutes.  
3.      Serve with crackers and/or fresh bread.

catering, gourmet food shop, gift baskets