Archive for Author Rebecca Coleman

Garlic Scape Jam Plus a Giveaway!

Scapes! Scapes! Scapes! I’m obsessed. Every year I look forward to early June, when the Scapes are in season at the Farmer’s Market. I buy handfuls and then come home and turn them into pesto. The season is short, so I usually go back every week until they are gone just to snag more.

With ice cube trays full of frozen pesto now safely stowed in the freezer, I started thinking about other things I could do with scapes. Last year, I’d tried making a jam, but it failed miserably. I added a couple more fails to that count this year, but I finally hit on the right recipe.

The idea for this jam is more along the lines of a red pepper jelly–combining sweet, along with spicy, the tang of the vinegar, and, in this case, garlicky goodness.

I’d serve Garlic Scape Jam atop a baguette or crackers and cream cheese or brie. It brings a savoury element and pairs nicely with the softness of the cheese.

Garlic Scape Jam

I think this would also be killer to serve with any grilled meats. Try including it in your favourite glaze recipe (many glazes call for jam or preserves) to finish off grilled chicken, pork or steak.

The sweet-savory with the hint of garlic really, really rocks.

Bernardin Giveaway

I have one of these awesome home canning kits from Bernardin, and they sent me another one, so I thought I’d give it away to one of you so you can make your own Garlic Scape Jam or whatever you like!

It comes with:

  • a rack for easily raising and lowering your jars into the canning bath
  • a 21 quart canner
  • a jar lifter
  • a funnel
  • a magnetic lid lifter (this is my fave thing!)
  • a bubble remover
  • a 4 pack Collection Elite decorative jars with lids
  • Original Crystals pectin and
  • a recipe booklet.

To win: in the comments section below, tell me what you’d make with your new canning kit.

(fine print: this contest is only open to residents of the Lower Mainland, as I will deliver it to you myself. Contest closes July 19.) 

For an additional entry, tweet:

Garlic Scape Jam

(recipe adapted from Wood Ridge Homestead)

A good day's work! Turned the last of the garlic scapes into pickles and a delicious jam! @bernardinjars @vanmarkets #scapes #garlicscapes #eatlocal #preserving #canning


  • 2/3 cup Garlic scapes, washed–trim off anything above the flower
  • 2 green Bell peppers, washed, seeded, and cut into chunks
  • 1 cup white or apple cider vinegar
  • 5 cups sugar
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional–if you like a little heat)
  • 1 package Bernardin liquid Pectin


  • Place 6 clean 250 ml mason jars on a rack in a boiling water canner; cover jars with water and heat to a simmer (180°F/82°C). Set screw bands aside. Heat SNAP LID® sealing discs in hot water, not boiling (180°F/82°C). Keep jars and sealing discs hot until ready to use.
  • Chop up the scapes into manageable 2″ sections, and put them in the blender. Blend the crap out of them until they are nicely pureed. Place them in a large, heavy-bottomed, stainless steel pot.
  • Repeat the same process (pureeing) with the green peppers, and add them to the pot as well, including any liquid that results from the blending.
  • Now add the vinegar and the sugar (and the hot pepper if you are using), and stir everything well to mix. Bring to a boil and allow to slow boil for 10 minutes. Add the pectin, and hard boil for one minute to thicken.
  • Using the funnel, ladle jam into hot jar to within 1/4 inch (0.5 cm) of top of jar (headspace). Using the air bubble tool, remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if required, by adding more jam. Wipe jar rim removing any food residue. Using your magnetic lid lifter, pull a lid out of the hot water, and centre hot sealing disc on clean jar rim. Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip tight. Return filled jar to rack in canner. Repeat for remaining jam.
  • Using the jar lifter, fill up the canning rack that you’ve placed in the canner, in the position where it’s not in the water. Lower the rack into the water, ensuring that all jars are covered by at least one inch (2.5 cm) of water. Cover canner and bring water to full rolling boil before starting to count processing time. At altitudes up to 1000 ft (305 m), process – boil filled jars – 10 minutes.*
  • When processing time is complete, turn stove off, remove canner lid, wait 5 minutes, then remove jars without tilting and place them upright on a protected work surface. Cool upright, undisturbed 24 hours; DO NOT RETIGHTEN screw bands (listen for the “pop”s! It’s the most satisfying sound in the world!).
  • After cooling check jar seals. Sealed lids curve downward and do not move when pressed. Remove screw bands; wipe and dry bands and jars. Store screw bands separately or replace loosely on jars, as desired. Label and store jars in a cool, dark place. For best quality, use home canned foods within one year.

Check out my other canning and preserving recipes here.

3 Food Movies Reveal the Secret Sauce of Life

I don’t get to the theatre often. It’s a reality of my life, despite the fact I love theatre and film, and remain deeply connected to the local communities. My schedule just doesn’t support it.

But last night, I did get out to see Chef, and it made me think of all the other food movies I love, and I thought I’d share them with you.


Currently still in the theatres, Chef is a movie about… not shockingly… a chef! Jon Favreau writes, directs and stars in this piece about a man who is lost and finds himself in the kitchen. The film starts with Chef Carl in a place that most of us would consider to be professionally successful–running the kitchen of a restaurant. But the restaraunt isn’t his, and whenever he wants to spread his wings creatively, he gets kiboshed by the owner (played by Dustin Hoffman). A big critic comes, and pans the place, so Carl gets taught Twitter by his 10-year-old son and starts a flame war with the critic (played by Oliver Platt, whom I love in everything). The film is partly a case study of “what not to do on social media,” and there were a lot of laugh-out-loud moments. Carl leaves, or gets fired, and needs to start his life anew. He finds his passion in a food truck, and a cross-country drive with his son and his sous (John Leguizamo).

See it, see it, see it! This movie gives new meaning to the words “food porn.” There is one shot in particular of pork belly….  drool. As much as I love Sophia Vigara, who plays Carl’s love interest, I could have done without that particular plot point, but other than that, I really loved this film.

Julie and Julia

Going back a bit further to 2009, this is a film I can’t stop watching every time it comes on TV. First of all, it’s about a food blogger. Which I love. And it stars Amy Adams and Meryl Streep and Stanley Tucci, all of whom I adore. Julie and Julia is the film based on the book by Julie Powell, and it’s a semi-autobiographical story. Julie Powell actually did write a blog about cooking her way through Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and I love how it weaves in Julia Child’s life and struggles as she tried to publish a cookbook that, it appeared, no one wanted. I love this one as a foodie and as a feminist, and as someone who regularly turns to Julia Child for cooking advice.

Big Night

Interestingly, this movie also stars Stanley Tucci, and it is fantastic. Released in 1996, the film is about two Italian brothers who own a struggling restaurant. They will soon close if they don’t get a good review, and the reviewer is coming that night. They cook the most amazing meal of their lives, and the film takes place over that day. We get to know the characters and come to care about them deeply. The critic, like Godot, never shows. The food porn is outstanding, as is the soundtrack, and the final scene of the film is one of my all-time favourite film scenes–10 minutes, no cuts, not a word said. It’s worth seeing for that alone.

So. Here it is, kids. The meaning of life according to food films: follow your heart. Listen to your passion, and go where it takes you. Always be yourself. And you won’t go wrong.

What’s your favourite food movie? Share in the comments below!

Food Artisans of Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands

When my friend Don Genova left the big city a few years back to live in Cobble Hill, I’ll admit, I was jealous.

I’ve always dreamt of having a place on an island, and a place in the city.

Cobble Hill, if you’ve never been, is kind of the epicentre of artisan-produced goods on Vancouver Island. Last summer, while house/garden/kitty sitting for Don and his wife, Ramona, who were away, I was amazed at the amount of fantastic artisan-produced food within a short drive. There’s DrumRoaster Coffee, Hillary’s Cheese, Kilrenny Farm (fresh pasta), and True Grain Organic Bread. There’s Merridale Cidery and a bunch of wineries. There’s even a gorgeous lavender farm.

Don Genova: Food Artisans of Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands

Don Genova shows off “Food Artisans of Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands” at his recent book launch at Barbara Jo’s Books to Cooks.

So, with all this locally-grown bounty nearby, Don has taken the last 3 years to write about about all of them. Don Genova recently published Food Artisans of Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. 

This is less of a cookbook (although there are recipes I really want to try!), and more of a profile book. Don has a real relationship with each of the businesses he profiles in the book, and it really shows.

The profiles include:

  • Bakeries and cafes
  • Butchers and charcuriers
  • Cheese, chocolate and ice cream makers
  • Cideries, wineries and distilleries
  • Coffee roasters and tea stores
  • Farms and farmer’s markets
  • Fishmongers and seafood outlets
  • Kitchen supply stores

My favourite part of the book is at the back, where Don has maps with outlines of routes you can take to hit up a bunch of the artisan outlets in a day or two. I really want to follow some of his directions this summer!

You can purchase Food Artisans of Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands here.

Book Review: “Delicious!” by Ruth Reichl

Note: I’m off on vacation (well, working vacation) this week, so no new recipes until I get back. Instead, I have a couple of food-related book suggestions for you… 

A couple weeks back, I got invited to meet Ruth Reichl. I must confess, at the risk of sounding dangerously uncool, when that email landed in my inbox, I had a full-blown nerdgasm. Li’l oll me? Get to meet the former editor of Gourmet Magazine? The notorious food critic and the toughest critic on Top Chef Masters? The author of four food memoirs? Oh, yeah. I couldn’t reply to that email fast enough.

Ruth Reichl

The book signing took place at Barbara Jo’s, and Ruth was lovely. I felt like it must be such a strange experience, being on a book tour; traveling from city to city, meeting random strangers and trying to have meaningful conversations, or even small talk with them.

We chatted about Top Chef, and what really went on behind the scenes, and where she had eaten in Vancouver. She posed for photos with us and signed our books.

Oh, hi, Friday night. It's been a busy week, but we survived, and there's a batch of overnight yeasted waffles rising on the counter for breakfast tomorrow. If you need me, I'll be on the couch with Ruth Reichl and a glass of Morse Code. #fridaynight #shiraz #australianred #booknerd

I went home and started reading it right away.

The protagonist is Billie Breslin, who comes to NYC seeking her dream job–and actually gets it. She lands the position of the assistant to the Editor of Delicious! Magazine (see any real-life parallels, yet?). There is a colourful cast of characters working at the magazine, and she develops relationships with all of them, as well as with the owners and family of an Italian Deli a few blocks away. But the times, they are a changing, and Delicious!’ publishers shut the magazine down suddenly one day, and Billie’s dream job and new friends are simply gone overnight.

Billie ends up staying as the lone employee of Delicious!, managing the magazine’s “money back guarantee.” While alone in the mansion that houses the magazine’s offices, she stumbles across a hidden library, and even more deeply hidden correspondence between James Beard (who had been an editor at Delicious! during the Second World War) and a young girl who loved cooking.

The book intertwines a coming-of-age story, a love story, food and cooking, and a mystery. I really liked it. I’d not read Ruth Reichl’s books before, and I enjoyed this one so much, I just purchased another of hers to read.

There is one major plot point that I found difficult to swallow, which has to do with a growing stench at the Delicious! offices after everyone but Billie has left. It seems like an incredibly improbable thing to happen in real life, but it’s essential to the plot, so remember your “willing suspension of disbelief” and go with it.

Delicious! is light, summer reading, and pairs well with a lawn chair with a glass of wine.

Canada Day Caesars With Maple Candied Bacon

On Tuesday, July 1, we’ll celebrate our country’s 147th birthday. It’s always a fun day, with lots of festivities, a day off work, and red and white.

Maple bacon caesars

Many people will celebrate with a barbecue, and probably a few icy-cold drinks. For Canada Day this year, I wanted to make the quintessential Canadian Cocktail. It had to include bacon and maple syrup.

You may not know this, but the Caesar is a Canadian drink. Back in 1969, a guy named Walter Chell was opening a new Italian restaurant in Calgary, and he thought “hmmm… vodka, tomato juice and clam nectar… sounds like a winner to me!” And it was. To this day, we enjoy the tomato-and-vodka based cocktail, garnished with a celery stick, with our brunches and at cocktail hour.

There are lots of places in the city to get a fine caesar. One of my faves is at Chewie’s. It’s hot–comes with lots of fresh-grated horseradish, and is garnished with a prawn. The caesar at The Score on Davie is an entire meal unto itself–it comes garnished with a grilled cheese sandwich, onion rings,  and a deep-friend pickle.

Well, the timing couldn't be better! Arrived in the post just in time for my Canada Day Cocktail blog posts! Nothing is more "Canadian, eh?" Than a Caesar. Anyone tried this one, yet? @waltercaesar #its5pmsomewhere #canadiancocktails #caesars #boozy #craftcocktails #canadian

However, making your own is a snap. If you want your Caesar to be truly Canadian, then stock up on Walter’s All Natural Craft Caesar Mix. A local company, based right here in Vancouver, Walter’s sources premium Canadian ingredients to craft a truly Canadian and also super delicious Caesar mix. What I especially like about this stuff is what it does not contain–high fructose corn syrup and MSG. They have two different flavours, Mildly Spiced and Well Spiced, I’d encourage you to check them out.

Canada Day Caesars with Maple Candied Bacon


for the bacon:

  • 5 slices of thick-cut bacon
  • 2/3 cup good maple syrup (grade B Amber if you have it, but anything will work)


Heat the oven to 400 degrees, and bake the bacon for about 15 minutes, until brown and crispy. Remove from the oven and drain well on paper towels. Reduce the oven heat to 350 degrees, and place back on the pan. Pour over the maple syrup, and turn the bacon to coat well. Bake for 15 minutes, turn, and then bake another 15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on parchment paper. Bacon will crisp up as it cools.

For the Caesar:


  • 1.5 oz Vodka (I’ve also made this with Bourbon)
  • Walter’s All Natural Craft Caesar Mix
  • Worcestershire sauce & hot sauce (optional–the caesar mix already has them)
  • Lime
  • Celery salt
  • Ice


  1. Pour some celery salt out onto a flat plate. Cut the lime into eighths, lenght-wise, and then cut a small slit in one of the eighths. Place the lime over the rim of the glass, and run it all the way around, transferring lime juice onto the rim of the glass. Now, dip the rim of the glass into the celery salt, until it is well-coated. Squeeze the rest of the lime wedge into the glass, and drop it in, or save it to garnish the glass.
  2. Fill the glass 2/3 with ice, and then pour over the vodka. Hit it with a couple dashes of worcestershire sauce and/or hot sauce, if desired. Fill the glass up to the top with the Caesar mix, and stir well. Garnish with maple candied bacon and serve.



Overnight Yeasted Waffles

I can’t imagine a life without waffles. When I was a kid, sometimes my mom would make waffles for dinner on the weekends, and those were special times. Homemade waffles in and of themselves were pretty special, but for dinner?? Extra bonus special.

Overnight Yeasted Waffles

Waffles are comfort food. Warm and steaming, fresh out of the waffle-maker, a good waffle is crispy on the outside and soft and pillowy on the inside. All those little divots make the perfect vehicle for butter and real maple syrup. And these days, there’s often bananas and Nutella, as well.

Waffles are my go-to recipe when having friends over for brunch, but they aren’t just reserved for company in my house. I often make a huge batch on the weekends, and then freeze them to pull out on weekday mornings. I pop them in the toaster for a few minutes, and voila! So much better than Eggos. Also, because I make them myself, I get to sneak a little whole wheat flour in there, too.

Recently, I’ve started using this overnight yeasted waffle recipe. I used to make waffles that were leavened with baking powder or baking soda (or both). But this recipe makes the fluffiest, crispiest waffles I’ve ever made. It’s super easy, too. Put everything together before you go to bed, allow to rise overnight, finish the batter off in the morning, and then waffle it!

This recipe makes a lot, but don’t worry about it–they will disappear.

Overnight Yeasted Waffles

(recipe adapted from The Kitchn)

Hello, Lover.

Hello, Lover.


  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 tbsp yeast
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda


  1. The night before, place the warm water in a large bowl, and sprinkle the yeast over it. Allow it to sit and get happy for about 5 minutes, then stir to dissolve completely.
  2. Combine the liquid ingredients together (melted butter, milk and vanilla) together with the salt and sugar, and mix well. Then add it to the yeast and water.
  3. Add the flour and stir until there are no dry bits.
  4. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit on the counter overnight.
  5. The next morning, beat the eggs together with the baking soda and add to the risen dough. Mix everything well.
  6. Prepare waffles according to your waffle maker’s manufactures’ directions. I have a Cuisinart Belgian Waffle Maker, and they take about 7 minutes on medium heat in mine. I also like to brush the waffle plates with a little oil, even though they are non-stick, just for insurance.
  7. A cleaning tip: I have the kind of waffle iron where the plates don’t detach to clean them. When I’m done making waffles, I wet a piece of paper towel, unplug the waffle iron, and lay the wet piece of paper towel down and close the waffle iron on top of it. This steams out most of the leftover crumbs and goo.
  8. To freeze the leftovers, lay the waffles out in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Separate layers of waffles with parchment or waxed paper, and freeze until solid. When frozen, store in a ziploc bag in the freezer.


The Chocolate Volcano Waffle From Waffle Gone Wild

Have you been to Waffle Gone Wild, yet?

It’s one of the few places in town you can get an authentic Liege Waffle. The sad thing about Liege Waffles is that you can’t make them at home, because they require a special (Belgian) waffle-maker that is capable of really hight heat, and special (Belgian) pearl sugar that you can’t get here in Canada. So, if you want one, and trust me, you do, you need to get to a place like Waffle Gone Wild.

The Chocolate Volcano Waffle

The Chocolate Volcano Waffle from Waffle Gone Wild

One of the things I love about Waffle Gone Wild is how creative they are with their waffles. They have some amazing creations, like the Chocolate Volcano, but they also have some funkier waffles, like an open-faced breakfast sandwich (made of waffles), a green tea waffle, or my favourite, the okonomiyaki waffle. Read more about Waffle Gone Wild in this post I wrote for Vancity Buzz. 

Meanwhile, here’s an interview with Hanna, who is the resident waffle artist (she really is–wait till you see how pretty she makes these waffles!), who tells us little about what makes Liege waffles different, and then shows us how to make the amazing Chocolate Volcano. It includes strawberries, Oreo cookie crumbs, chocolate shavings, mocha whipped cream, two different kinds of sauce, ice cream, and Oreo cookie crumbles. It’s outrageous. And outrageously delicious.

Tune in tomorrow when I share my favourite waffle recipe–it’s not a liege waffle, but it’s pretty darn close!

Red Wine Ice Cream: the Ultimate Girl’s Night Treat

There are few things I love more in the world than getting a pedicure. There’s something so self-indulgent about it… it feels so luxurious. For me, it’s a rare treat.

Even rarer still is combining my pedicure with some wine and juicy gossip. Earlier this week, Raj, Eschelle and I all got together at E’s place to have a girl’s night in.


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Our pedicures were compliments of Feel Fabulous Mobile Spa. Catherine and Nav set up a spa right in Eschelle’s living room, which meant we could eat and drink and gossip to our heart’s content without bothering anyone else, all while being pampered. And we did! We drank sangria, ate pakoras, and talked and talked and talked. It was all extremely therapeutic, and I can’t really recommend it enough!

As is often the case with potlucks, I was responsible for the dessert. I wasn’t sure what to make, at first. What would be the ultimate girl’s night in treat? And then it hit me: ice cream + wine = red wine ice cream! Winning!!

A few notes about this recipe: first of all, ice cream made with booze is never going to freeze as hard as ice cream made without booze. The alcohol keeps the ice cream from getting really hard, so be prepared for more of a soft-serve consistency. Second, you’ll want to use a sweeter wine for this recipe, not something really dry. A sherry, a port, an ice wine, or a fortified wine would all work with this. I went with a fruit wine from Saltspring Vineyards that was recommended to me by the nice folks at Broadway Wine, and it worked really well. Your other option would be to use a table wine, but to reduce it on the stove for a while, thus concentrating the flavours and the sugar, and creating a more syrupy consistency.

Red Wine Ice Cream

(adapted from Sunset Magazine)

Red Wine Ice Cream


  • 1 1/2 cups low-fat milk
  • 1 1/2 cups whipping cream
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla or vanilla beans
  • 1/2 tsp Amola Cabernet Sauvignon Salt (optional)
  • 1/2 cup red wine (I used Saltspring Vineyard’s Blackberry Wine)
  • a few drops red food colouring or beet powder


  1. In a medium-sized, heavy-bottom saucepan, mix milk, half-and-half, and vanilla. Stir often over medium heat until mixture just begins to steam and bubbles form at pan edge. You don’t want it to boil, you just want to bring it to the boil.
  2. In a bowl, whisk the three egg yolks together with the sugar, until they are pale and smooth.
  3. Ladle about 1/4 of a cup of the hot milk mixture into eggs, and then whisk them together with the warm milk well. Now, add the eggs slowly into the hot milk on the stove, on low heat, whisking the whole time.
  4. Cook, stirring, until the custard thickens. It should hold its shape for a moment when you coat the back of a spoon with it and then run your finger across the spoon.
  5. Mix in the wine and the salt. If the colour goes grey, add a few drops of red food colouring. Cover with plastic wrap (making sure to stick the plastic wrap to the custard, to keep it from forming a “skin”, and then refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
  6. Freeze according to manufacturer’s directions. Remove from ice-cream maker and place in the freezer to harden slightly. Serve frozen with girlfriends.

A huge “Thank You!” to Catherine and Nav of Feel Fabulous Mobile Spa–they were awesome! 





Bourbon Marshmallow Brownie S’Mores

There are birthdays, and then there are milestone birthdays. My friend Michelle recently celebrated a milestone birthday (I won’t tell you which one), and I wanted to make her something special.

Now, I realize most people would have picked up a card or a bottle of wine. But I’m not most people. As much as I love the written word, I’m not a huge fan of cards, and bottles of wine… well, I’d rather drink them myself. Or at least with my friend who’s celebrating.

Bourbon Marshmallow Brownie S'mores


This recipe is inspired by something that Michelle and I saw while having coffee one fine sunny morning at Butter Baked Goods. It’s a riff on a S’more, but this version ain’t for the kids.

If you’ve never made marshmallows, they aren’t particularly difficult, although they are a little fiddly. Ideally, you want to have a large stand-mixer for this. My wee food processor was overwhelmed. I dream of having a Kitchen-Aid stand mixer to call my own.

Bourbon Marshmallow Brownie S’Mores

Bourbon Marshmallow Brownie S'mores

Any day I get to use my brulee torch is a good day!

For the crust: 

  • 1 2/3 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 6 tbsps melted butter.

Mix both ingredients well together, and press into the bottom of an 8″ by 8″ pan you’ve lined with parchment. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 8 minutes.

For the brownies (adapted from Rachael Ray):

  • 3/4 cup, butter, melted
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • eggs
  • 1 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup flour
  1. In a bowl, whisk the sugar and butter together with the vanilla and salt until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking well between each one.
  2. Sift the cocoa and add it in, mixing well. Finally, add the flour and mix until incorporated.
  3. Pour the batter over top of your prepared graham cracker crust. You can decide how deep of a layer you want your brownies to be. I used about half of the mix in my brownie s’mores, and baked up the other half as plain brownies.
  4. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 20-30 minutes, or until a pick inserted in the middle comes out with crumbs clinging. Allow to cool for at least 30 minutes.

For the marshmallow (adapted from Epicurious):

  • 1 cup water
  • 7 1/2 tsps or 3 (1/4-ounce) envelopes powdered unflavoured gelatin
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 1 tbsp bourbon
  1. In a medium-sized bowl, put 1/2 cup of water. Sprinkle the gelatin on top, and allow to sit for a few minutes.
  2. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup, salt, and 1/2 cup of water. Bring it up to boiling, stirring and allowing the sugars to all dissolve. Using a candy thermometer, cook until the syrup registers 240 degrees. Place to the side just for a few moments to allow it to stop bubbling.
  3. Scrape the jellied-gelatin into the bowl of your mixer. Start the mixer on low speed. With the mixer running, slowly add the syrup in a slow stream. When all the syrup has been added, slowly start to increase the speed on the mixer until it is high. Allow to beat for 5-10 minutes, or until the marshmallow looks like glossy, beaten egg whites. You should get a ribbon of marshmallow streaming off of the beaters when  you lift them up. Finally, add in the bourbon and the vanilla beans, and give it one last whirl.
  4. Pour the marshmallow on top of the brownies in a layer. Carefully spread it so that it is even. It will be very sticky! You can try a moistened spatula or wet fingers.
  5. Allow to stand at room temperature for at least 4 hours, or overnight.

To finish: 

  1. Remove the brownies by pulling them out by the parchment paper. Cut into squares.
  2. Finish by torching each one (the marshmallow part) with a brulee torch.

Wine Country Mushroom Burger with Goat Cheese

It’s officially BBQ season, and just in time for Father’s Day this weekend, I have a vegetarian BBQ recipe for a mushroom burger to share with you.

Wine Country Mushroom Burgers with Goat Cheese

Earlier this week, I interviewed Chef Michael P. Clive about his very best tips for doing vegetarian BBQ. Portobellos are almost the perfect vegetarian burger food, because they are exactly the right size, and they have a juicy, meaty texture. Plus, because they are mushrooms, they are very good at absorbing whatever flavours you marinade them with. In this instance, red wine. One thing I love about this recipe is that the portobello becomes the perfect vessel to carry the gorgeous caramelized onions and goat’s cheese, which add to the layers of flavour in this burger.

This recipe comes from Weber’s Big Book of Burgers: The Ultimate Guide to Grilling Backyard Classics. I’ll likely be featuring more recipes from this cookbook in the future.

Weber's Big Book of Burgers

Now get grilling!

Wine Country Mushroom Burger with Goat Cheese


PREP time: 20 minutes
Marinating time: 30 minutes-1 hour
Grilling time: 10-12 minutes


  • ¼ cup full-bodied red wine
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced or pushed through a press
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 large portabello mushrooms, each 4 to 5 inches in diameter, stems and gills removed, wiped clean


  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large yellow onions, thinly sliced (about 3 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons full-bodied red wine
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the burger

  • 4 ounces fresh goat cheese, crumbled
  • 4 ciabatta rolls, halved
  • 2 cups mixed baby greens


1. Whisk the wine, rosemary, garlic, salt, and pepper. Add the oil in a steady stream, whisking constantly to emulsify. Arrange the mushrooms in a single layer on a rimmed sheet pan. Liberally brush the mushrooms on all sides with the marinade, and marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Meanwhile, prepare the onions.

2. In a skillet over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the onions, rosemary, salt, and sugar. Cook until the onions turn golden brown, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the wine and cook until the liquid evaporates, about 2 minutes, stirring once or twice. Remove from the heat and season with the pepper.

3. Prepare the grill for direct cooking over medium heat (350° to 450°F).

4. Grill the mushrooms, gill side down first, over direct medium heat, with the lid closed, until juicy and tender, 10 to 12 minutes, turning once or twice and basting with any juices from the sheet pan. During the last 2 minutes of grilling time, turn the mushrooms to remove any collected juice in their caps, arrange them gill side up, and sprinkle the cavities with an equal amount of the cheese. During the last 30 seconds to 1 minute of grilling time, toast the rolls, cut side down, over direct heat.

5. Build each burger on a roll with greens, a mushroom, and onions. Serve immediately.


©2014 Weber-Stephen Products LLC. Recipe from Weber’s Big Book of Burgers™ by Jamie Purviance. Used with permission.

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