Dutch oven No Knead bread. Staub

No Knead Dutch oven Italian 00 Flour bread!

Happy Sunday great long lost foodie friends! It’s been far too long since my last post!

Ever since we got our new Staub Cocotte I have been literally been dreaming about making bread.

I did have some criteria that were a must and 00 flour from Italy was the “Must Have” in the recipe!

I have loved everything we have used this Cocotte pot for and expect it to perform equally in every way making perfecto italiano no knead bread.

I used Molino Favero 00

Why 00 flour? I’m looking for a similar feel to the bread that any Italian would have grown up eating and expect. Typically 00 is best for pasta and cakes.

To better explain:

The names 00 and 0 Flour refer to specifically Italian milled flour that is used for pasta making. You will find that this is also called Doppio Zero just meaning double zero. The grading system is 2, 1, 0 or 00 and indicates to how finely ground the flour is and how much of the bran and germ has been removed.  2 for instance is a wholemeal flour while 00 is the most refined of the three and has the lowest level of bran. It is similar to unbleached all purpose/plain flour, which is a mix of hard and soft wheat, and though while finer, it creates a dough that is silkier and maintains a chewiness when the pasta is cooked.

If you are looking for pasta, bread flour or baking flour, 00 will work for all and you can substitute 00 flour if you run out mid way through pasta making with just plain old high-grade flour. Again this has been refined more so than standard flour making it higher in protein. Pizza dough is perfect with single 0 flour but again it is interchangeable.

Grading systems for flour are used elsewhere in the world as well so the Italian system is not unique. The French have a grading system that is similar but it seems most recipes will call for the Italian 0’s.

To make life more confusing the terms hard and soft get used to also explain flours so to try and put it simply:

Low Protein + Low Starch + Low Gluten = soft flour – 00 flour or high grade flour – use this for pasta, pizza and cakes as you would any high grade flour

High Protein +High Starch + High Gluten = hard flour – semolina flour or standard flour – perfect for bread doughs and most other uses.

In basic the 00 will likely make my loaf not quite as tall and a little more silky and chewier.

I have no doubt that the taste and texture will be good but I may experiment with a few different Italian flours until we find that “just right bite”

What you will need:

1/2 cup warm water

1/2 tsp organic sugar

1/4 to 1/2 tsp of active dry yeast

1 to 1 1/4 tsp of sea salt

3 cups 00 (Doppio zero) Italian flour or 01 or 02 semolina flour

1 cup warm water

What you will do:

Stir yeast and sugar into the 1/2 cup warm water & let sit 5-10 mins or so or until you see a foamy cream start to form.

In your favorite mixing bowl add the flour and salt and stir to mix up.

Add the yeast mixture and the cup of warm water and mix well to ensure that all of the ingredients are mixed together – this is “no knead” so we want to make sure all of the ingredients are well integrated.

When you have finished mixing ensure all of the dough is together in the bottom of the bowl. No cover with plastic wrap or a tea towel and place somewhere that is draft free.

When the dough has approx doubled in volume it should be ready to bake. I have learned that this is not the time to rush but instead patience is in order. It could take approx 5-6 hours BUT here’s a bonus, if your not ready to bake it then you can leave it proofing over night and bake the next day, the dreamy bread will be the same either way!

Place your Staub or le Creuset Dutch oven into the oven and pre-heat the oven to 450 F

Now place some parchment paper on your work surface, flour it AND your hands and gently work the dough into a large round ball, tuck in the sides if needed.

When the oven has come to 450, carefully remove the Staub from the oven and equally carefully take off the lid (Hot is an understatement)

Now carefully lift the parchment and place the loaf into the Staub pot and put the lid back on.

Place in the oven and bake for 30 mins.

After 30 minutes, take off the lid and bake for another 15 mins or so until the bread gets a nice golden brown.

Now remove the pot from the oven and the bread from the Cocotte Dutch oven and place your Golden magical loaf on a cooling rack.

Allow the loaf to cool (at least a little) now cut and enjoy anyway that you desire!

I like to cut fresh and dip in olive oil and balsamico or toast and have with butter and jam.

Feel the accomplishment of making something with so few ingredients and so tasty! You might never go back to store bought! Come to think of it, that’s why I love all things Italian… they make magic out of only a few perfect ingredients not to mention real food!

The Italian flour was truly a game changer! Use different Italian flours to receive different textures like more crisp or more chewy (00 makes it nice and chewy with). That said I am sure to try Italian Semolina flour next time to test out the difference.

The Staub Cocotte performed just as expected, Perfecto.

You Gott Try This”


Bourbon Maple Bacon Jam

I’ve been dreaming about this and think I’ll whip up a batch this weekend! Try it, you will Love it!


Bourbon Maple Bacon Jam


I first tried bacon jam this summer from a favorite spot of mine on Granville Island. It was an instant thought of “I can’t believe I haven’t tried this delectable flavor medley before!”

The smoky, sweet, salty combination with an ancho chili kick to finish of the flavor depth along with the main star attraction Bacon is truly a flavor explosion in your mouth.

Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: approx 1hr. 15-30 mins
Total time: approx 2 hours
Yields: approx 1 1/2 cups

    What you will need:

1 large sweet onion sliced
2 cloves garlic minced (more if you wish)
1 pound (good quality bacon) chopped into “bacon bit” size
1/3 cup bourbon
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup Guinness beer
1/3 cup maple syrup (use 100% pure)
1/3 cup brown sugar
Fresh ground pepper to taste
Ancho chili powder…

View original post 416 more words

2017 – 5th Annual Chocolate Challenge – Gournet warehouse 

This April 27th at 6:30 the Gourmet warehouse hosts the ever popular Chocolate Challenge. 

This worthy event is not simply a reason to get together and eat Chocolate (though that is a side benefit) but rather a ongoing generous effort to support the community and the kids. 

The focus on ensuring that the local children can Have access to healthy food in the weekends supplementing there school food programs – the Strathcona Back Pack Program now feeds over 350 kids / families every week.

Click here for the website
The second program and one that theory that I completely subscribe to is Project Chef – this is a school program that is aimed at teaching kids how to cook and enjoy nutritious meals. This enables the kids how to make good choices and gives them the tools and confidence how to prepare their own great dishes. 

Teach our kids to eat and create a healthier society! 

Some of our top pastry chef / chocolatiers will be offering you a taste of their talented culinary magic and submitting their creation for your vote! 

This list includes 

Barefoot Bistro

Chez Christophe

Greg Hook – Choclate Arts

Peter Fong – Ganache Patisserie 

Okanagan College 

Purdy’s Chocolate 

Steve Hodge – Temper Pastry 

Thomas Haas 

With other tasty goodies and sips from Earnest Ice cream, the Preservatory, Stumptown coffe, Tacimo, Tartine Tarta, Terra Breads and Yorkshire tea.

If that isn’t enough you have access to great deals at Vancouvers own Culinary Disneyland at your disposal! 

I promise you that this is a great event and full of great flavors with good company! 

Buy your tickets here and support a great cause

You gotta try this! 

BC & Garden contest – 

Happy Sunday great foodie friends, 

Just around the corner is the BC Home & Gardn show! Feb 22-26th at BC Place.

This years show is set to to show case a mountain of ideas, savings and great new products to improve, update or add some wow factor to your home. 

I wanted to write just a quick posting about the show to encourage you to check out the website and be sure to buy your tickets and set the date aside! 

Click here to go to the show website
You can either buy tickets by clicking on this link OR comment on this blog posting by answering any of these trivia questions and retweet or reshare the twitter posting tagging @bcfoodieblogger for a extra entries for a chance to win 1 of 2 sets of two ticket to attend the show. BC home and Garden has been kind enough to team up with me to offer this give away. 

Click here to buy tickets
Trivia questions to have a chance to win 1 of 2 sets of two tickets to the show:

1- What chefs will be on the cooking stage ? And what restaurant are they from? 

2-Name 3 of the key sponsors to the show

3-What is the value of the prize for the Lifespace Gardens Sweepstakes ? 

4-Name 3 of the key HGTV speakers 

Answer these questions by commenting on this posting and or on twitter and retweet the blogpost on twitter for extra entries. 

Winners will be announced via twitter and my blog on Feb 20, 2017 

The show will feature well known HGTV celebrity experts as well as many booths showcasing new products as well as cooking stages to showcase local fare from some great local chefs:

BRYAN BAEUMLER will be sure to please the crowd along with some of his co-stars on the HGTV  with a list of who’s on stage here 



HGTV host & Owner

Baeumler Quality Construction

Bryan doesn’t believe he’s put in an honest day’s work unless he gets his hands dirty. A natural-born teacher, the Gemini-award winning host has been educating and entertaining viewers across Canada and the US since 2007 on the hit shows Disaster DIY, Canada’s Handyman Challenge, Leave it to Bryan and House of Bryan. Bryan’s quick wit and easy-going personality have made him a huge hit with viewers on all of his home renovation shows. 
Learning valuable tricks of the trade from his father, a meticulous aircraft engineer, Bryan spent his childhood summers building his family’s cottage from the ground up. After earning a dual degree in Political Science and Business, Bryan was headed towards a career of practicing law. Realizing he’d rather be renovating than being chained to a desk, his innate passion for building took over and he traded in his tie for a tool belt and founded Baeumler Quality Construction.
A few kids and number of hit TV shows later, Bryan continues to tackle home renovation projects, be the spokesperson for numerous products and expand his growing businesses to include Baeumler Approved and Baeumler Custom Cabinetry. Currently filming Bryan Inc. with wife Sarah, viewers will follow the couple on their journey as they flip two investment properties while balancing their busy home lives together. For more information about Bryan, visit bryanbaeumler.com.  

List of HGTV speakers here
Exciting for myself and our foodie friends will be an exciting line up at the cooking stage featuring some fantastic local talent cooing up some signature dishes. 

Check out the list of chefs and dishes here! 

Chefs stage schedule Click here 
Keys sponsors and supporters:

Good luck and the more you retweet the more entries you get! 

See you at the show! 

Top 3 Food Trends of 2017

Think of food in terms of the standard terms that we have always heard, “you are what you eat”
It isn’t hard to ask ourselves why are we as a society getting to heavy, why are we all of the sudden getting allergies when I’ve never had them before?
It’s no secret that if we make things from scratch vs. processed foods or foods from a can or a box, make sure we read what is in it. For example if you buy corn or peas or orange juice, shouldn’t there be only 1 or 2 ingredients? (And the 2nd ingredient should likely be water ?) no guilt honestly, just get back to the basics at the same time as looking out for the chefs that can teach you how to make magic with good natural ingredients! You would be amazed and the benefits of making this one change, for you and your family. Then do the second best thing, teach your kids how to cook with real ingredients and then we can evoke change back to a simpler time.
Happy anew years to all of my followers!
Please know that I realize that sometimes we need to have fun and enjoy something yummy and maybe even not in the “nice” list health wise but that is the or should be the exception, not the rule.
Have a great year of culinary fun, just try and make it a wonderfully happy and healthy culinary journey!
“You Gotta Try This”

Everything we love about Italy ! 

Happy Sunday great foodie friends, 

This is a great short piece but long enough to make your mouth water and remind you how Italians influence (and beautifully by the way) the culinary world! 


Cafe Crema 

Happy Thursday great foodie friends, one wet afternoon I happens upon Cafe Crema in West Vancouver near Ambleside. 

Crema (@cremawestvan)

1495 Bellevue Avenue

West Vancouver, BC

V7T 1C3 | Map

The atmosphere is cozy and comfortable and the aromas of fresh baked goods, sandwiches grilling and coffee being crafted by the baristas you settle in to enjoy a nice break from the weather or a rest stop / sip after walking the path along the beach. (They are just near Ambleside beach) 

My sandwich was fresh and filled just right with the tastes of Montreal smoked meat and soft melted cheese! 

We also thought long and hard about needs and wants and decided the wants  outweighed the needs and opted to try the delectable looking Almond Croissants.

The croissant was slightly warm and was the perfect sweet bite to follow the sandwich.

No coffee for us today but it smelled fantastic and we are sure to go back and try a sip or two! 

Treat yourself to a nice break at Cafe Crema, you will be pleasantly surprised.


Cook with your Kids & Family- eat real food 

Happy Monday great foodie friends.

The more I see what people consider food (especially the young and young families) the more I realize that we as a society need to get back to the basics. 

Don’t get me wrong, fast food every once in a while should be ok but making it the rule vs. the exception  begs the term “You are what you eat”.

I fully realize how busy life is and that time is short and a rare comoddity for most families but in some way or another through the generations one could always say the family is busy. 

Let’s look at this way, planning and learning are the keys to what I am proposing.

  1. Stay to the outer 4 walls of the grocery store.
  2. Watch cooking shows or look through cookbooks and plan out at least 5 meals for the week. 
  3. Go to farmers markets 
  4. A lot of foods or meals freeze well so you can make it ahead.
  5. Reduce refined sugars, salts and msg loaded seasoning. There are easy recipes to create your own seasoning, sea salts and healthy herbs that will make your foods taste much better.
  6. Do all of this with your kids! 

When you cook with your family it brings us back to our roots. Think about the “family” meal and sitting around the table with friends. It’s what connects us as people and what feeds our soul as well as our bodies. 

Teaching the young that hamburgers and French fires are not the healthiest way to eat but rather roasting a fresh chicken and serving it fresh vegetables are the “norm” will pay off for the future. 

Please don’t take this as a lecture but rather a friendly nudge to remember to learn where your food comes from. Make things fresh ahead that you can incorporate in your weekly meals (pasta sauce, chicken, beef or vegetable broths) and watch how you reconnect with your family and friends as you sit together, cook together and laugh together.

You gotta try this! 

Sidecut Modern Steak & Bar- Whistler BC 

Hi great foodie friends. It’s been sometime since my last blog as life can hop in the way sometimes.

Where did I eat?

Sidecut Modern Steak & Bar

Atmosphere: Westcoast warmth and a balance of contemporary and traditional west coast. 

We happened to go to Sidecut located in Whistler at the Four seasons in September. Knowing we were in for a big meal we kept the appies to a minimum and they ended up not really being the star attraction. 

What I can say is that they are known for their steaks and coupled with a la cart sides that’s is where the star factor showed up! 

I had the WAGYU GOLD LABEL FLAT IRON 8OZ. $44 and it was cooked to perfection! True to its form the Wagyu was ripple marbled which kept it moist and very flavorful. 

Sidecut offers you 1 of 5 choices of seasoning, I chose the Black Angus.


I added the CORN AND JALAPEÑO GRATIN $9. This side dish was out of this world good. 

We enjoyed our steaks with a nice bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon and the warm fresh bread with Maple butter. 

To finish we shared a few sweet treats. 

I was very happy to see the… 

meyer lemon, torched meringue
$12 – 

I was impressed with the presentation but honestly that is where the smile ended. If you are going to have a name like Everyone Loves the Lemon Tart  – I think you have set the bar of expectations high. I honestly found it to fall flat, it wasn’t what I expected and wasn’t something that you wanted to keep diving into! Normally I love anything lemon or lime and protect my lemon dessert with my life! 

All in all a nice time with family, a great steak and sides but a sweet ending that wasn’t satisfying. 

All of my opinions are my own and reflect my personal opinions and tastes. 

Would I go back? Yes, the steaks and accompaniments were that good. The prices are a little steep but the quality of ingredients shine through. 

You Gotta Try This! 

My Shanti – by Vikram Vij 

Happy Tuesday great foodie friends. Just an update to a wonderful newer restaurant in our South Surrey community. 

There is no mistake that the outside of My Shanti will catch your attention! The outside is proudly sparkling and those “sequin” like discs move with the wind and glisten with the sun or light. 

My Shanti means “my peace” and that is defined as soon as you enter the door. 

The beautiful tapestry filling the main wall tells a story of peace and friendship. Now that you are literally in Chef Vikram’s and Bena’s dining room / living room settle in for a dining experience of a flavor ride thorough India with a twist of having My Shanti and Chefs twist of dishes from yesteryear growing up. 

The beginning of your flavor experience starts hours before entering the dining room. 

The magic starts in the kitchen where the chefs are creating fan favorites as well as new dishes with a twist and house made from the freshest ingredients possible. Some of the fun is seeing it all beginning from the spice pallet and then what shows up the table to tingle your tastebuds. 

My shanti is now open for Lunch Thursday – Sunday and now that the summer weather is settling in the great patio is also now open. 

We really need to be thankful for the diversity of culinary choices that are now in our community and take advantage of them being in our back yard. 

We shouldn’t just “eat” and I think you know what I mean. Rather you should eat real food and take the time to experience the diverse flavors that dance across your mouth and warm your tummy.  The measure for me is if I have a great and quality meal made from real food and seasoned with true spices that create flavors rather than the known flavor enhancers that aren’t healthy, and go home not feeling bloated or God forbid guilty then I know I have just had a quality dining experience. 

Bena and her team have created a perfect summer lunch menu including this flavor packed Naanwhich – yes I said Naanwhich filled with wild boar, lamb and topped with masala paneer and pickled onions, tomatoes, spinach and mint yogurt and accompanied with cassava fries! 

A perfect measure of restaurantuers that care about your experience is coming around your table and truly asking of your are enjoying your dish. You will see either Bena or Vikram walking through the dining room doing just that. Taking the time to honor those who grace your doors is something that we deserve! We work hard for our dollar so shouldn’t you enjoy what you spend it on, and feel let alone be appreciated by the restaurant? That is what you can expect at My Shanti.

Let’s get out and enjoy the summer and support our great new restaurants in our community! 

This is my first write up in what will be a series or short posts celebrating the restaurants on the South Surrey / White Rock Peninsula. We are so fortunate in the lowermainland with top restaurants and fantastic chefs, we also should not forget that many of them have looked and our community and come to feed us! 

You gotta try this! 

My opinion is my own and Soley based on my experiences. This review was not previewed by the restaurant nor influenced by anyone other than me.