Chill-In-The-Air Classic Comfort Foods Blog

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“Spreading love, one recipe at a time!”

The back-story that inspired the menu that inspired the recipes! Foodie and Love stories combining love, romance, and adventure (remember this is all fiction my friends)! Let me take my paintbrush, paint the scene and the mood to take you there…

Inspired Quote to love by:  “Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.” ~ Edith Sitwell

Cozy Up to Our Virtual Fireplace

You bring the company, we bring the wood! A crackling fire always brings a feeling of comfort ‘n joy (see, we do think of everything)!  Enjoy the hottest thing on television. The best time to watch this is in the middle of winter (like right now in some parts of the world) or when it’s raining, in your favourite pjs, under a warm blanket with hot chocolate and a great book! Or even better yet, make this Comfort Foods Menu and dine in front of our roaring fire (it’s OK every once in a while). The ending is a cliff-hanger…the wood burns (spoiler alert)! Oh and warning, don’t touch the screen!



Where: Vancouver’s Granville Island

When: Summer 2014

Mood: Free, hungry and ever-curious

Emotion: Joy…food = joy for me

The Humble, Sometimes Lonely Polenta

Polenta – right from the first meeting of this humble cornmeal, polenta has always piqued the interest of my taste buds. The first time I tasted it was at a high-end Toronto restaurant with my husband (he was quite a connoisseur of unusual, exotic and different foods). It was quite an education in food as we dined at the crème-de-la-crème restaurants of the city. I was in my element and I ate it right up (yep, pun intended). OK, back to polenta. I had never tasted polenta before in my life (I know what you’re thinking, where have I been). I was curious, when it comes to food, I’ll try anything. His polenta appetizer was delivered to the table with flair (of course it was, you pay for the show), I took a bite and fell in like (not love) with this unusual grain. I tried to recreate the dish at home, I barbequed it, I tried many variations of polenta dishes, but was never, ever to find a recipe to WOW me (and that’s what I always look for in food)! I found that polenta was, well…elusive…until…

Step Right Up Creamy Polenta with Mushroom Ragout

…where have you been all my life?

A friend and I spent a few days exploring Vancouver as part of our ‘deer in head-lights’ recovery from a bizarre ‘cult-like’ experience in the mountains that we endured and escaped from (don’t ask, long story or maybe I’ll tell you more once I know you better)! In any event, we explored and savoured the freedom of this big, beautiful city and made our way to Granville Island, located right smack dab in the culinary heart of Vancouver. We wandered, led our stomachs, and were intrigued by the Edible Canada Bistro as it focuses on Canadian cuisine. My friend is American, so she wanted a true ‘taste’ of Canada and this was ‘the’ perfect set up. Unpretentious and welcoming, this restaurant celebrates the best food from across Canada – BINGO! My friend and I sat out on the expansive patio and soaked up the Canadian experience. Eh!


My friend’s Creamy Polenta with Mushrooms arrived and this is where I bumped into one of the most impressive dishes I’ve ever tasted (and I collect food experiences for a living). Presentation-wise and taste-wise, this dish was ‘bang-on’ and ‘hit it out of the park’. It looked and tasted like a piece of art! I wished that I’d had ordered one myself…ho hum…I tasted it and drooled as she ate the rest (that’s what napkins are for…right)?! I just had to recreate this dish again back home – I barely unpacked! I’ve done my very best to recreate the taste and culinary experience in this recipe…it’s impressive (if I don’t say so myself), so I hope you like it as much as I do! What the humble polenta and mild-mannered mushroom can do for a dish! Wow!


If you’re ever in Vancouver, check out Edible Canada Bistro – I love their food philosophy – here it is: “Food Unites All Of Us Today, if you ask a sample of 100 Canadians what Canadian food is, you will see many a confused face and hear terms such as smoked salmon, poutine and maple syrup. And while these are certainly foods that Canadians enjoy on special occasions, they surely do not form the foundation of our cuisine. Our goal at Edible Canada is to share and explore the historical and current cultural influences on Canadian Cuisine. We aim to offer familiar Canadian dishes – simple + rustic, with an element of creativity and a representation from Coast to Coast. The idea is that we serve up the best of what’s local + seasonal, paired with unique and interesting ingredients such as an array of game meats.” Yum, what a great philosophy, definitely go hungry! Eh!  Try the Polenta, ‘the’ perfect dish of comfort!


Jackie's 'signature'_Briar Rose

Check out the complete “Chill-In-The-Air Classic Comfort Foods” menu

PS: Polenta is the absolute BEST comfort food when recovering from a bizarre ‘cult-like’ experience in the mountains! If you ever encounter a situation like this (and I hope you don’t unless you’re writing a book), then your first ‘go-to’ comfort food is definitely the humble, ever gracious polenta!