Wednesday, May 23, 2012

recipe: Greek Style Shrimp with Tomatoes and Feta Cheese

I’ll never forget the first time I prepared a meal for my now-husband David.  It was the fall of 2001 and I was excited to prepare something special for him.  As a true-to-form bachelor, he survived on:  cereal, roast beef sandwiches, eggs & toast, pasta, beans and rice and take-out slices of pizza.

I spent quite a bit of time debating what to make for him, and because we hadn’t been dating for long, I wasn’t aware of any of his food preferences or aversions for that matter.  I settled on spiced pumpkin soup with crème fraiche and chicken masala with rice.  I guess the old adage “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach” is valid because we’re still together eleven years later.

Thank goodness I didn’t stick to my original plan, which was to prepare Greek style shrimp with tomatoes and feta cheese. I found out later that he’s not a fan of shellfish or feta! (but being such a sweetheart, I know he would have “choked it back” and not said a word).

My husband may not like this dish but I love it – it’s delicious, super quick and full of flavour.  Serve it with warm pita bread and spiced olives – or over pasta (or rice for that matter) if you prefer.

Greek-style Shrimp with Tomatoes and Feta Cheese


·        ¼ (one-quarter) cup good quality extra virgin olive oil
·        1 (one) large sweet onion, finely chopped
·        2-3 (two to three) cloves garlic, minced
·        1 (one) 28 oz. can plum tomatoes, drained and chopped, juices reserved
·        ½ (one-half) teaspoon dried oregano
·        1 (one) bell pepper, chopped into ¾ (three-quarter) inch pieces
·        1½ (one-and-one-half) pounds medium-large shrimp, peeled and de-    
·        ½ (one-half) pound feta cheese (try the Greek feta cheese available at
       Vincenzo’s – it’s amazing!)
·        2 (two) tablespoons fresh mint, finely chopped
·        2 (two) tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
·        freshly ground pepper to taste (salt is not necessary as the feta cheese is
·        warm pita bread and olives, for serving


1.      Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the onion and 
       garlic and cook until soft but not browned.  Add the tomatoes, bell pepper
       and oregano.  Cook until thickened, about 8 minutes.  If the mixture
       seems too thick, add some of the reserved juices.

2.      Add shrimp to the sauce and cook 2-3 minutes until just pink.

3.      Pour mixture into a shallow casserole dish.  Sprinkle with the feta.  Bake   
       in a preheated 425 F oven for 12-15 minutes or until cheese melts.   
       Season to taste with cracked black pepper.  Sprinkle fresh herbs overtop.  
       Serve with warm pita bread and olives (or over rice or pasta if preferred).

Thursday, May 17, 2012

eblast - may long weekend update

The first long weekend of the summer is almost here!
We will be offering the following items in our fresh fridge from Thursday, May 17th through Saturday, May 19th (please note that we are closed on Sunday, May 20th and on Monday, May 21st)
beef burgers with rosemary and brown butter $8.98/2
veggie bean burgers - $6.98/2
"barrie's" local asparagus soup $10.98/L
"barrie's" local asparagus quesadilla with shallots, ham & swiss cheese - 10.98 each
various sweet and savoury scones - $8.98 for 8 small scones or 3 packages for $25 (yields 24 small scones)
lots of fresh dips, and of course, our famous cheese tortes!
Lastly, on Wednesday, June 20th, we are celebrating the one year anniversary of our extra virgin olive oil & balsamic vinegar tasting bar.
Chefs Mark & Emily will also be be preparing complementary samples of bite sized items for our customers to enjoy.
More info to come in the June newsletter.
Enjoy your long weekend!
Dana and the DSG team

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

recipe: Stuffed French Toast with Cream Cheese & Strawberries

What’s the quintessential Mother’s Day gift?  Breakfast-in-bed, of course.  I have so many happy memories of my brother and me fixing breakfast for our mom on this special day – although I don’t remember it being anything super-fancy (sorry, Mom).  But as a mother now myself, (to John, 4 years, and baby Michael, 3 weeks!) even an extra half an hour spent relaxing in bed is a surely a gift to be treasured.

Below is a delicious recipe to prepare for your mother (or the mother of your children) this year.  It’s rather easy and even relatively young children can get their hands “dirty” with this one (Dad should fry the French toast though). This recipe comes from a kids’ cooking class that I taught at Dish Cooking Studio in Toronto, ten years ago (has it been that long already?).  It was a hit with the kids during those classes – and hopefully a hit when those kids made it for their moms.

Stuffed French Toast with Cream Cheese & Strawberries
(serves 2)


·        4 (four) slices of whole wheat or white bread
·        4 (four) tablespoons cream cheese, plain or fruit-flavoured
·        4 (four) large strawberries, hulled and thinly-sliced
·        3 (three) eggs, lightly beaten
·        ¼ (one-quarter) cup milk
·        1-2 (one to two) tablespoons butter for frying pan
·        maple syrup, to taste
·        whipped cream, optional
·        additional sliced strawberries, optional


1.      Spread one tablespoon of softened cream cheese onto one side of each slice of bread.  Scatter thinly-sliced strawberries onto two slices of the bread.  Top with the remaining two slices of bread to make two “sandwiches”.

2.      In a small, shallow bowl, lightly beat the eggs.  Add the milk and stir to combine.  Carefully place the sandwich in the bowl, coating with the egg mixture.  Gently turn the sandwich over to coat the other side.  Repeat with the second sandwich.

3.      Heat and melt butter in a large frying pan over medium-high heat.  Ensure that butter has coated the entire surface of the pan.  Carefully add each French toast sandwich to pan.  Cook for approx. 2 minutes, until bottom side of bread is crisp and light brown in colour.  Using a spatula, flip each sandwich over and cook for another 1-2 minutes.  Turn off element.

4.      Remove stuffed French toast from pan and serve with maple syrup and whipped cream and/or additional sliced strawberries, if desired.  Enjoy!

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