Here’s a springish recipe (one that was a hit at the Mediterranean potluck I went to recently!) based on my favourite tzatziki at my favourite restaurant in the entire world, The Plaza in Kenora.  Here is a gratuitous Kenora shot:

I recommend a) going to the plaza and having the lemon soup, kalamari appy and the chicken souvlaki pita, or b) making this recipe to serve with toasted pita triangles, sliced tomato and cucumber sprinkled with sea salt and coarse black pepper. Mmmmm…. Spring-alicious…. This recipe takes a while, but its worth it to follow the first two steps well, otherwise the tzatziki is too runny. Nothing worse than a runny tzatziki! And here goes:

Plaza Style Tzatziki

  • 2 cups plain yogourt (FULL FAT!! jk, you could use lo if you like, but why would you?)
  • 1 large or 2 small cucumbers, peeled, seeded and grated
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 2 tsp finely chopped dill
  • 2 tsp finely chopped mint (I skip this in the winter – still tasty!)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper
  • 2-3 tsp. white vinegar
  • Olive oil (to garnish)
  1. Line a colander with at least 2 layers of cheese cloth. (Paper towel or a coffee filter will also work as substitutes.) Place colander into large bowl. Mix yogourt well and spoon into cheesecloth. Fold edges over to cover. Allow to rest 1/2 hour, draining liquid from bowl. Scrape yogourt from cheesecloth into medium bowl.
  2. Meanwhile, mix grated cucumbers with 1/2 tsp salt in a medium bowl, then allow to rest 1/2 hour. (Salt draws liquid from cucumber.) Press cucumbers into bowl, draining excess liquid.
  3. Mince salt into garlic, mashing until mixed.
  4. Mix cucumber into yogourt, adding garlic, dill, mint, vinegar, salt and pepper and stirring well. Chill at least one hour. Drizzle with a little olive oil just before serving, then serve with toasted pita triangles, tomato and cucumber slices. Or if you’re really ambitious, serve with fried calamari! And enjoy!

If you happen to have some mint growing, this would wash down nicely with some mojitos. I will try to post my mojito recipe soon- its almost that time again! Anyway – good luck, and OPA!! (I was Greek in a past life. Did you know?)

Its Almonte in the winter!

I took this picture on the way back from dropping Peter off this morning. The whole downtown of Almonte is covered in frost – so pretty. And cold: -24 with the wind chill this morning! Gross. Worth it though. ANYhoo!

This recipe is always a hit. Basically because you can wrap anything in bacon and people will devour it. A Kenora holiday favourite! Remind me to get some stretchy-waistband pants before I go home this year.

This recipe is from the Pellatt Community Cookbook, circa 2002. I am getting some good mileage out of this cookbook.

Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts

  • 3/4 c. Ketchup
  • 1/4 c. Orange Juice
  • 1 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 lb. Bacon
  • 2 tins Water Chestnuts (whole)
  • 2 T Soya Sauce
  1. Cut bacon strips in half or thirds. Wrap around water chestnuts and secure with toothpick.
  2. Place on cookie sheet and bake in 350 degree F oven until bacon is done, not crispy.
  3. Boil the ketchup, OJ, sugar and soya sauce until sugar is dissolved.
  4. Place bacon wraps in casserole dish, cover with sauce. Bake at 300 degrees F for around an hour. (Until sauce is well boiled)

Serve with copious amounts of red wine to keep your blood thin enough to get through your arteries. : ) ENJOY!

I might have a different idea from you of what the world’s greatest bruschetta is, but I have to say that my recipe is AWESOME! I think, anyway. If you don’t like balsamic vinegar (shame!) you might not like it, but if you do? Bliss!! So here goes, a nice summery bruschetta recipe, just as my first tomato turns red!

Danielle’s Killer Bruschetta

  • 1 baguette (if you’re in ottawa, try Art-Is-In Bakery: white, full of delicious salt and olive oil and totally terrible for you, and you won’t be able to stop eating it ever. Seriously, they call it crack bread.)
  • 2 medium ripe tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup finely diced red onion
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-1/2 Tbsp. Balsamic Vinegar (the best you can afford!)
  • 1 tsp. fresh basil, chopped finely (In the winter I put in some chopped chives or green onions for colour when I don’t have fresh herbs.)
  • 1/4 cup grated fresh parmesan cheese (leave this out for vegan alternative)
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit
  2. Slice baguette on an angle into 1/2″ to 3/4″ slices, lay out on baking sheet
  3. Combine remaining ingredients in small bowl, mix well. Adjust seasoning to taste.
  4. Spoon tomato mix onto baguette rounds on pan. Top with a sprinkle of parmesan.
  5. Toast in oven 15 minutes or until bread begins to turn golden. Enjoy!!

So thats my contribution for this week – I’ve been busy finishing orders that have come in: a tiny leaf ring for a tiny girl from my jewelry class, a custom parker cap for a girl from Art in the Park, and a custom Ruth cap for a girl in California. My hat is going to California! I am jealous. I am going to Kenora. AGAIN! No, I’m not complaining, Kenora is fabulicious in the summer, and I have many fun wedding-related parties to attend, so I am excited. Sure, there’s no DisneyLand there, but I’ll deal.

OK, back to it. Go make some bruschetta!