recipe: chicken pot pie stew

talk about comforting. i made this chicken pot pie – minus the crust – for our night of tree-trimming (which ended with a tree covered in malfunctioned lights, but i digress). i was originally going to make as a chicken pot pie, but couldn’t get my head around how much unnecessary fat and calories came from the crust. i decided to add some dumplings instead, and let me tell you… it was divine and probably better than the original. the great thing about this recipe is that all of the ingredients are usually already on hand; love when that happens! i’ll definitely be making this one again, if not regularly.

the few other tweaks:

  • throwing in a few sprigs of thyme with the bay leaf gave the flavour some depth
  • i added an extra half cup of chicken stock just for extra moisture
  • subbing milk for cream cut down the fat and calories
  • using organic chicken always makes it taste that much better

recipe: the kitchen sink salad

everything but the kitchen sink salad

one of my go-to meals is what i call ‘the kitchen sink salad’, meaning ‘use what you have’ and ‘create a masterpiece’. what i love about this version is the mix of flavours and textures, the simplicity and unpretentious approach. not to mention it’s filling and nutritious!

my version is dressed with a drizzle of balsamic crema… yum!

fresh and sweet

tangy and juicy

as you’ll see, it’s as simple as chopping up a few things and tossing them in. one knife, one bowl, one cutting board. swap out one ingredient for another, play with balance and make it your own.

rich and hearty

cool and creamy

p.s: i’ve started a recipe index where you can find all of my recipes in a snap. visit and bookmark it! {the sparkle} recipe box

brunch at café régalade

cafe regalade pain

restaurant: café régalade
2836 w. 4th ave in kitsilano. closed mondays.
cuisine: french (bistro style)
food: 4/5
service: 3/5
atmosphere: 4/5
value: 4.5/5
overall: 4/5
worth a repeat?: definitely!

i find it curiously difficult to find a noteworthy brunch spot in vancouver. to me, fantastic brunch means casual, satisfying, cozy, plenty of choice and the opportunity to enjoy a great pastry… and of course, fabulous coffee. with the exception of abigails party, and joe fortes patio in the summer, this frequent bruncher usually draws a blank on which restaurant will get my (frequent) business. this is a gem i’ll be introducing to all of my friends!

on the table:
pain au chocolate
lyon breakfast $12.75 (two poached eggs, mushrooms, bacon, pearl onions, spinach, potatoes, and red wine sauce, salad)
paris breakfast $12.50 (two sunny side up eggs, cooked ham, pan fried tomatoes, swiss cheese, potatoes, salad)

cafe regalade lyon vancouver

cafe regalade paris vancouver

  • the coffee here is absolutely delicious. we ordered americanos, and as you can see in the photo above, the crema was thick and luxurious which is the trademark of excellent coffee. i bet their drip coffee is also excellent and will give it a try upon my return.
  • the pain au chocolat were flaky if not a bit doughy and could have used a touch more ‘au chocolat’. that being said, i ate two of them so you be the judge…
  • the brunch is served in a deep cast iron skillet with tremendous attention to detail. i ordered the lyon breakfast and it came with toast soldiers, and three slices of fresh baguette to sop up the rich red wine sauce. i would have liked a bit more depth and seasoning in the sauce, but adding table salt helped.
  • the eggs were perfectly poached and the potatoes tender and tasty. the salad definitely acted as garnish for me. possibly because i ate two pain au chocolat.
  • my girlfriend ordered the paris breakfast and reported it was excellent. she “couldn’t wait to bring her fiancé here!”.
  • the service was not spectacular but not awful. if anything, it just wasn’t fussy. same goes for the decor. it’s lower end bistro/deli style but cozy at the same time. you’d be fine in leggings, a ponytail and a swipe of lipgloss. i was.
  • the little details of this place really tell the story and this attention to detail can also be tasted in the food. from the red and white checkered paper under each food item to the cover on the pat of butter and the special dish for the bill, this spot charms.
    cafe regalade details 1cafe regalade details

the food lover’s cleanse by bon appetit

the food lovers cleanse

liquid cleanses aren’t only hard on the body and your social life, but they are difficult to sustain. this cleanse is for those of us who actually enjoy chewing. the guide comes complete with a grocery list, a make-ahead plan, and the recipes!

two weeks, maybe a little more work in the kitchen, but the payoff will reap rewards like getting rid of water weight, cravings and general cloudiness; plus you won’t starve.

miso lime dressing, braised leeks and greens, chicken breasts with citrus pan sauce… so many of the items might make into your usual rotation!

tip: try the cleanse with a friend and swap cooking days to halve your effort. sharsies!