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Saturday, 13 May 2017

Beautiful Florence

In Florence for 2 days with new friends Summer from Dallas, David & El from Florence.  What an amazing time hosted by two very lovely people.  At the Phamaria di Santa Maria Novella we spent time looking at the amazing original Fresco's. Awestruck !

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Easy-Peasy Almond Butter & Cilantro Hummus

Recipe created by: Miriam Borys Busby

2  x  540 ml can chick peas – well rinsed under cold water
⅓ cup olive oil
2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 shallot  (approx. 3 tbsp.)
1/2 - 3/4  cup vegetable stock ( or water) liquid is used to thin the hummus to the desired consistency
3 tablespoon almond butter
1 cup cilantro with stems
1 large serranno pepper (fresh) if you like more heat in the hummus, feel free to add more pepper
Cracked pepper & salt to taste 

  1. Drain chick peas well. Rinse under cold water in a wire mesh sieve and drain well.
  2. Add all ingredients into the food processor. To help in the processing cut up pepper into chunks first.
  3. Process until large pieces are gone. Scrape the sides of the processor bowl down.
  4. Continue to process while adding vegetable stock or water  until the hummus is at the desired consistency. This stage is up to you and your personal taste so add more liquid if you don’t want the hummus too thick.
  5. Store in the fridge until needed. Goes very well with crackers or a  fresh vegetable tray.

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Everything pastry class at Cook Culture such a success!

The pastry class tonite was great!  Lots of great food, lots of pastry and not to mention the amazing guests that came to Cook Culture on Lonsdale for an amazing pastry class. My daughter Alexandra and cousins Kye & Taylor from Alberta came to join in on the fun...what a great evening. Thank you to Laura, Maureen & Kate (Cook Culture Peeps) for your hard work.

Salmon Wellington with Maggie's Yogurt Hollandaise Sause

plating the delicious salmon !  delicious

Fruit medley pie and sour cream strawberry rhubarb delicious!

delicious quiche 

You know what they say?...If you can't sleep....bake!

By: Chef Miriam Borys

Yield:  3 dozen small cookies


¼ lb. Butter (½ cup)
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup white sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour ( or ½ cup a p flour & ½ cup wholewheat flour)
1 large egg
1 tsp. Vanilla
1 cup  large oat flakes (not instant) (can be baked for 7-8 minutes at 350 and let cool first)
½ cup coconut flakes
1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2  tsp. Salt
1 cup of chocolate chips or more (I use 1/2 dark and 1/2 milk chocolate chips)

In a mixer or by hand cream room temperature butter and sugars together. Add the egg and and vanilla and continue to mix.
  1. Add all the dry ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon until it forms cookie dough
  2. Add chocolate chips of choice.
  3. Scoop to bake or roll in parchment paper to freeze for later use.
  4. Bake cookies at 350° for 15 minutes 
cream the sugars

yummy....fresh baked cookies

Friday, 24 March 2017

My dream team of amazing Teen Chefs at Cook Culture!

The last day of spring break was also the last day of the Teen Cooking & Baking Bootcamp at Cook Culture on Lonsdale, North Vancouver. What an amazing group of young chefs in-the-making.
Menu today:  Orange Spinach Salad with an Orange Balsamic Dressing, fresh marinated Tomato Basil Garlic Pasta sauce & Herb Garlic Toast with Chocolava cookies for dessert.  We made everything from scratch and at Cook Culture we are so very proud.  Thank you to all the parents for encouraging their children to be creative through cooking.  Way to go Mason, Milo, Jack, Riley, Angelo, Mia, Pierce, Jade, Sophia, Kate, Lucas, Rachel...See you next Spring Break Chefs! (due to privacy issues the photos have been cropped).
each 'Young Chef' received their very own 'Cook Culture' apron

the teams are making curry corn chowder soup

fresh focaccia bread on day 2 - 1st proof

2nd proof before it goes into the oven

the beautiful commercial kitchen at the Cook Culture store on Lonsdale

proper chopping technique is a must at bootcamp

kitchen safety is a priority

the boys are making their orange spinach salad 

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Focaccia Bread - Easy to Make

Original Recipe By: Eileen Little (my Mom)

Recorded and adapted by: Miriam Borys Busby
1st proof  (letting dough rise)

3 pkg. instant yeast (3 X 8g or 7 tsp.)
2 ½ cup of warm water (not too hot or it will kill the yeast)
½ cup olive oil + ¼ cup for drizzling
2 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. white sugar
1 egg
6 1/2 cups flour + flour for kneading
Dry herbs of choice (1 tbsp. each of rosemary, thyme, oregano)

1 tsp. cracked salt for the top of the focaccia
1/4 cup corn meal to line the pan

In a large liquid measuring cup measure the warm water and then add oil, sugar & egg. Whisk with a fork. Add yeast and stir. Leave this mixture for a few minutes to activate the will bubble up on the surface as the yeast 'blooms'. If your yeast does not bloom it should not be used.
Add flour, salt and herbs to a large mixing bowl or a stand mixer bowl if one is available. Pour yeast/water mixture into the flour. 

shape dough & add toppings
Mix with the dough hook or by hand until the bread dough comes together into a ball and cleans the bowl.
Transfer to a workable surface and knead for 5 minutes, adding flour so that the dough does not stick to the surface.
Once the dough is smooth, form into a large ball and place in an oiled bowl. Turn the dough over in the oil so that all the bread dough is covered in oil. Cover with parchment or a tea towel and allow it to sit in a warm place. This is the first rise and the dough needs to double in size. This takes approximately 45 minutes.
When the dough has doubled in size, punch down the bread dough.  Remove the dough from the bowl and place into the middle of a large baking pan coated with corn meal. Shape dough by gently pulling (don't tear) the dough so that it stretches into a large rectangle shape (see photo). Once the dough is shaped, make indentations in the dough with your fingertips (this is to allow the olive oil to pool).
Drizzle approximately 1/4 cup of olive oil over the surface. Sprinkle with fresh or dried herbs of your choice (Italian seasoning works well) and lightly sprinkle salt over entire surface.
2nd proof
Allow to proof for the 2nd time until the dough has risen above the baking sheet doubling in size (another 45-60 minutes).
When the 2nd prpoof is complete reheat oven to 400°.  
Bake focaccia for approximately 25-30 minutes until golden brown.
Serve with a dipping bowl of olive oil and balsamic vinegar sprinkled with dried or fresh herbs.
baked focaccia
1st rise

punch down 

shape the dough - use cornmeal on the bottom of the baking pan

shape the dough to fit a baking sheet & proof for the second time