Vegetarian Mushroom Stew

A few weeks ago while watching Food Network I saw a chef create a delicious looking mushroom stew.  I decided I wanted to try my own stew and found a recipe that was open to interpretation.

What you’ll need:

  • 2 pounds of mushrooms, chopped.  I used portobello and cremini.
  • ½ pound shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 can of pinto or kidney beans
  •  2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large Spanish onion, diced
  •  Salt and pepper
  • teaspoons chopped thyme
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary
  • splash of lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons of soy sauce
  •  Pinch red pepper flakes or cayenne
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  •  3 cups of vegetable broth
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons chopped italian parsley
  • 1 tablespoon 18% table cream


  1. Clean mushrooms, chop into bite sized pieces.
  2. In a french oven or large saucepan, warm 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium high heat. Add onion, garlic, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring, until onion has softened and browned, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add portobello and cremini mushrooms, season lightly and stir-fry until nicely colored, about 3 minutes. Lower heat to medium. Add thyme, rosemary, pepper flakes and tomato paste. Stir well, and cook for 1 minute.  Add pinto beans, lemon juice and soy sauce. Season again with salt and pepper.
  4. Add 1 cup vegetable broth and stir until thickened, about 1 minute. Gradually add 1 more cup broth and cook for 2-3 minutes on medium. Sauce should have gravy-like consistency.  Turn to low and let simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally
  5. 15 minutes before serving, bring back up to medium heat, add shiitake mushrooms, parsley and table cream.  Stir well.
  6. Serve with a side of your choosing (we had mashed potatoes)

Mushrooms… is there anything they can’t do?


Modified from the original recipe I found in the New York Times

Apple-Rhubarb slow cooker crisp

It’s January.  There’s a slight chill in the air.  And by slight chill, I mean it’s snowing and I’m cold. giphy-1

But cold Sunday afternoons call for baking something warm and hearty.  Cue the Apple Rhubarb crisp.

While doing groceries yesterday I noticed that honeycrisp apples were available. Honeycrisps are my favourite apple for baking, as they are just the right amount of tart and sweet.  I also had some rhubarb in the freezer from when it was in season in the summer, so I decided to experiment with slow cooker baking.  This was a first for me. I’ve been making apple crisp for years and am generally pretty good with my measurements, so here’s what I tried:


  • 5 Honeycrisp apples (diced)
  • 2 cups of diced rhubarb
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tbsp of granulated sugar
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 cups of large flake oats
  • 1/4 cup apple juice


  • 3/4 cup of flour
  • 1 cup of brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp butter, cold
  • 1 cup of oats
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon


Place diced apples and rhubarb into slow cooker.  Mix dry ingredients (spices, sugar, and oats) in a small bowl.  Pour apple juice and lemon juice over the fruit.  Add dry ingredients and toss fruit in the mixture until fully coated.

Mix topping ingredients in a medium bowl, cutting the butter into the dry ingredients. I found its easiest to use a fork to help fully incorporate the butter.  Once mixed, spread topping over the top of the fruit.

Put on the lid, set slow cooker to low and leave for 4 hours. With 1 hr left, take the lid off so the topping can crisp up a bit.IMG_9395

Might I suggest a serving with a little vanilla ice cream?   Really happy my first foray into slow cooker baking worked.  🙂 Enjoy!IMG_9396



Pizza Buns

At some point over the Christmas break between baking cookies and pies, I experimented a bit with a new alternate for party appetizers.  While I love to do a cheese or charcuterie board, I also like to serve something warm and freshly baked.  My usual go-to is pretzel bites, but I decided to try something different.  While I was making a pizza dough, I had full intentions of making a pizza out of it later.  But then I thought, “what can I make that tastes like pizza, but isn’t pizza?” Voila, pizza buns were being made.


  • pizza dough (store bought, or my favourite from scratch recipe)
  • thinly sliced pepperoni, as needed
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese
  • dash of sea salt
  • Marinara or your favourite tomato sauce


Preheat oven to 400F

On a bread board, roll out your dough into a rectangular shape, ensuring it is of an even thickness all around (about a 1/4 of an inch)

Spread almost all of the mozzarella around the dough and then place pepperoni on top.

Roll the dough length wise, sealing the seam at the end

Cut into even slices, should get 8-10 buns from this recipe

Place buns on to foil lined tray and sprinkle remaining mozzarella onto the tops.  Also hit them with a dash of sea salt

Bake for 14-16 minutes until the cheese is bubbling and the dough is golden brown.

Let buns cool for 5 minutes and then arrange around a bowl of marinara sauce, for dipping. (on a side note, this Trader Joe’s Marinara is SO GOOD and i strongly suggest smuggling some back with you after your next trip to the US.)

Have already thought of a few variations on this instead of plain ole’ pepperoni and cheese.  Prosciutto and peppers?  Hot genoa salami with arugula? Go with whatever your tastebuds desire…