Big Thanks to All.

Change is in the air this spring. As some of you may know, my column will no longer appear in the Chronicle Herald on Tuesday mornings. As a result, I plan on breathing some much needed new life into FeistyChef.ca. I am very excited about this. Please stay tuned.

I was very touched today by all the support. I am more motivated than ever to share my passion for good food and cooking. As I have not had the pleasure of meeting many of you, I thought it was appropriate to share a few of my thoughts on this quick video.

I encourage you sign up for my mailing list to find out about future updates, including the eventual relaunch of FeistyChef.ca. Thanks again!

Jambon Dans Le Petit Moulin

We all have childhood memories; smells, tastes, textures. One particular food memory for me was when my maman would boil a ham. It sounds pretty simple, and it was, but what came out of this ham was pretty darn good. The boiling liquid would get saved for ham and pea soup, and after a few days of ham with beans or potato salad, we would take all the little bits and pieces leftover and make “jambon dans le petit moulin” which is basically ham passed through the grinder.

I still remember the first time my husband came to visit me at my parents’ place and the look of wonder on his face when I pulled out an old school, hand cranked meat grinder and set it up at the end of the kitchen table. With ham scraps in hand, some celery, onion, mayo, relish and mustard, the magic began. The meat, onions and celery go through the meat grinder (followed by a wee bit of bread to clean it all out), mix with the other ingredients and savour the flavour of this yummy ham mix. To this day, it is a special treat to make and eat.

Minced Ham

Making minced ham at my parent's old kitchen table.

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Maple, Mushroom & Wild Rice Soup

Mushroom Maple Soup

Creamy maplely goodness.

By now, most people are aware that I do a monthly dinner with the Two If By Sea crew and we call them “TIBS Family Dinners“. Our last dinner, on March 30th, I decided to go hog wild on the maple syrup, and devote a dinner to the syrupy stuff. Well, the first course (after my amuse of home-made pork rinds!) was a rich and tasty soup of wild rice, mushrooms and maple. Many of those who attended, have asked me for the recipe, so here it is folks! Whip up a batch, close your eyes, and imagine that you are at the TIBS Dinner.

Maple, Mushroom & Wild Rice Soup

  • 1 lbs mushrooms (you can use white or cremini); sliced
  • 1 onion; roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic; minced
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 C wild rice
  • 4 C stock (chicken or vegetable)
  • salt & pepper
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1/4 C dark maple syrup
  • 1 C 35% cream

In a heavy bottomed pot, melt the butter. Add the onions and garlic and sautee until translucent. Add the mushrooms and cook until all the liquid has evaporated. Add the rice, stock, bay leaves, ample syrup and salt and pepper. Cook for about an hour; until the rice is very cooked. Puree half of the soup, and add back to the pot. Add the cream and more seasoning if needed. Also, thin out with more stock if the soup is too thick for you. This soup is better the next day, and for many days after that too.

If you’re interested in attending a TIBS Family Dinner, visit the TIBS Family DInner Facebook Page and/or send us an email to tibsfamilydinner@gmail.com to be added to our mailing list.

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Spring Series: Feisty Chef Cooking Classes

The flowers are in bloom, the sun is out and what better way to celebrate the Spring and Summer than spending a few evenings in the kitchen.

Join me for another series of “Feisty Chef Cooking Classes”, taking place every Tuesday evening in May (starting on the 1st) at 7pm at Two If By Sea Cafe in Dartmouth. Classes are $50 each or sign up for all 5 for $225. Classes are minimum 4 people and maximum of 15. Each class will last  between 1-1/2 hours-2 hours.

Come and sign up by emailing me at Renee@feistychef.ca and spend a fun filled evening of food, wine and new friends.

Class #1: Spice Is Ever So Nice!   SOLD OUT

MAY 1 – This class is entirely devoted to spices! How to store them, cook with them and eat them. Everything from a spicy curry to a mild yoghurt marinade and a salad.

Class #2: Cheese!

MAY 8 – Back by popular demand, an evening of cheeses! From soft to hard, blue to mild, a variety of local, Canadian and international cheeses will be showcased as well as making a batch of crackers to eat with them AND making fresh mozzarella!

Class #3: Spring Sensations SOLD OUT

MAY 15 – Fiddleheads, rhubarb, peas and lamb. Cook up some of the seasons’ finest and bring out the best in each.

Class #4: Get Your Udon On SOLD OUT

MAY 22 – I am by no means Japanese, but I love the food! Udon soup, soba noodle salad and a few surprises on this night. It’s not all about sushi.

Class #5: Sunday Night Dinner SOLD OUT

MAY 29 – What do you have for Sunday night dinner? Roast chicken? Spaghetti and meatballs? We’ll create a few spectacular dinners for that special Sunday night.

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My Secret Spaghetti Sauce Recipe

This spaghetti sauce was a favourite of mine growing up  and now it has become a favourite my own family. This is the first time that I’m sharing this recipe with the masses! Make a batch and invite your friends and family over for a feast.

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