Monthly Archives: May 2012

Bacon Salt & Vinegar Kale Chips

Who knew it was possible to improve the Kale Chip! I sure didn’t! Well, until I discovered the Bacon Salt & Vinegar flavor that is.

If you must know…I’m obsessed with Kale Chips. And it’s not because of the whole “low fat low calorie” thing– ok, well maybe just a little. Think about it though, what’s better than being able to satisfy that “chip crunch”..guilt free!?

That’s what I thought!

Now, let’s talk about Bacon Salt for a hot sec. My friends always approach me with what I like to call the “Bacon Salt Dilemma”. The stories all share common grounds, “I got way too excited when I saw it…had to buy it …and now it’s sitting in my pantry because I have no idea what to do with it”.

If you are experiences any of the symptoms above, suffer no more! Sprinkling Bacon Salt on Kale Chips is as genius as the invention of the Kale Chip itself. For those of you who have never seen or heard about Bacon Salt—I apologize for the over excitement I may have caused. I purchased mine from LaLa’s Gift Store in my beautiful hometown of Deep Cove.

Bacon Salt & Vinegar Kale Chips

(Serves 2)

1 bunch kale
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 ½ teaspoons bacon salt ( a little goes a long way!)



1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

2. Separate the leaves and wash the kale thoroughly in cold water. Pat dry (easiest done with paper towel).

3. Slice out the tough center stem, then tear the leaves into bite size pieces. Toss onto a large baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, balsamic vinegar & season with bacon salt. Massage the pieces until coated. Spread them evenly (single layer) in pan.

4. Place in oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned & crispy.

5.  Once ready, remove from oven & transfer to a cooling rack.

I got you covered for beach season!

Love always,
R x

Pumphouse Pub- Take Two!

A few Friday’s ago, the Pumphouse Pub in Richmond BC invited me to experience another one of their fantastic Long Table Dinners. This time however, it was a Wine Long Table Dinner which was created around a lavish Italian menu. Trust me—I know what a lucky foodie I am to have been invited!

The menu was created by none other than the brilliant Italian Chef Daniela Iaci. Each of the five dishes was cleverly paired to a wine (all under the $20 range) and which can be easily located at your local liquor store.

The first dish I got to try was Crisp Apple & Prosciutto Salad with a Lime Vinaigrette. It was by far my favorite dish of the night. The crispiness of the granny smith apple, the saltiness of the prosciutto and the sharp acidity of the lime vinaigrette was absolutely mind blowing. If it’s even possible—each bite was better than the last.

This light & refreshing salad was brilliantly paired with a crisp Bollini Trentino Pinot Grigio. This Pinot can be found in your local liquor store in the $14 price range. Though I am not a big pinot grigio fan, I can say with confidence that the fruitiness and smoothness of this wine is a great pair to any summer salad.

The second dish was a Wild Mushroom Risotto with Smoked Chicken. It was paired with my favorite wine of the night: Bodegas Ateca Garnacha de Fuego. Please don’t ever ask me to pronounce the name for you, I will surely fail at its Latin Roots.  When I went to the liquor store the other night to buy a bottle of this brilliant red I described it as “the bottle with the red flame” and thankfully the lady knew exactly what I was talking about! It sells at the BCL for $15, and let me tell you- this is a steal!

This Garnacha had a medium-full body, a rich earthiness and just the perfect touch of acidity. It played exceptionally well with the saltiness of the risotto.

The risotto was excellent.  Coming from a foodie who eats out a couple times a week- it’s hard to find a good risotto. I that with risotto it often has to be ‘in your blood’ (aka Italian!).  Lucky for me Chef Iaci comes from Italian roots and her risotto really meant business


The third dish I got to try was the Slow Roasted Italian Meatballs and this dish was paired with a full bodied red wine called Bodegas Olivares Altos de la Hoya. Again, I won’t be able to pronounce this wine but what I can do is describe it for you. It’s was a deep, full bodied, dark wine with the ability to maintain a sort of elegance. It was surprisingly quite smooth and had a blackberry-like finish to it.

Pairing a full bodied wine to a hearty dish such as the comforting classical Italian meatball was a very smart choice.  Only a protein can withstand the boldness of such a wine.

The final main dish of the night was a Cassoulet with slow cooked Pork, Sausage Bacon & Beans. 

This dish is the epitome of what I would call a comfort meal. Personally, I found the meat trio to be a little overwhelming; however, if you are a meat lover, your taste buds will be in an extremely happy place.

The dish was paired with Razor’s Edge Shiraz Grenache. It was a great bold wine that finished with hint of spice.  It matched with the dish nicely because it was strong enough to withstand the meat trio in the Cassoulet without overpowering it.

We ended the night with a divine Dark Chocolate Creme Brule that was topped with blackberries & accompanied by Henry’s Drive Morse Code Shiraz. This was my first time having a chocolate crème brule, and I must admit, I’m not sure if the regular is going to do it for me anymore! It was absolute heaven. I heavily suggest that the Pumphouse incorporate this desert to their every-day menu.

For those of you who are dying to have a similar foodie experience–i got some good news for you! The next Long Table dinner will be on June 15th! It will be an ode to our loyal friend bacon–as your 5 dishes will be infused with bacon and paired with 5 craft beers from Beerthirst. As if it can get any better, the money will be donated to sponsor one special Richmond athlete for the PGA tour.

Let me guide you to the tickets!

Thank you again to the Pumphouse Pub for having me! It was a pleasure as always and I would like to give another thank you to all the lovely Vancouverites, and Richmond Locals whom I had the privilege of meeting, eating & drinking good wine with. You were all excellent company.


Love always,
r x

Frozen-Yogurt Strawberries

Morning foodies! I hope you all treated your Mother’s well this year.

This morning I launched the easiest dessert recipe known to man-kind on Vancity Buzz. No seriously, it requires only 2 ingredients & 5 minutes of work. You can let the freezer take it from there.

I present to you… The Frozen-Yogurt StrawberryMay I guide you to the recipe?

Love always,

The Small Girl with the BIG Plate. x

Strawberry, Goat Cheese & Chocolate Balsamic Flat Bread

It seems as though the sun has finally come out for us Vancouverites! About time I would say..after all, it is May 7th weather gods.

I’m going to go out on an optimistic limb here but I have a good feeling that the sun is here to stay. To keep the good weather coming–I’m going to share one of my absolute favorite summer recipes: Strawberry, Goat Cheese & Chocolate Balsamic Flat Bread.

I can’t describe how perfect this flat bread is for a summer day. All you need is a refreshing glass (or pitcher!) of sangria for absolute perfection. The caramelized onions, strawberries, goat cheese & mint leave the most unbelievable flavors in your mouth. The drizzled chocolate balsamic then ties everything together… in matrimony.

Pardon!? Chocolate Balsamic?

Yes ,Chocolate Balsamic. Such a thing does exist my fellow foodies! I got mine from the most adorable store called LaLa’s In my hometown Deep Cove.  Regular balsamic will work just fine, however, this chocolate balsamic is out of this world. It takes this flatbread to a whole new level.

One great thing about making a flatbread is its versatility. Feel free to get creative with your flavors. I added BBQ chicken to my second flatbread. It was great, and the guys really seemed to prefer it with the chicken (go figure!). You can use whatever BBQ sauce you like, but one brand which I recommend is The Gourmet Village Beer BBQ Grilling Sauce. It also sells at Lala’s gift store in Deep Cove.

Confession : I was on a tight schedule so I used a pre-made flat bread (I hope I haven’t insulted anyone here). But any flat-bread recipe will do.



2 (6-inch) round or square flatbreads
olive oil for brushing
6 large strawberries, sliced
 1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
1/4 cup chocolate balsamic vinegar
1 onion, sliced thinly
6 mint leaves, chiffonade
3 tbsp of toasted sunflower seed


Additional Toppings:
BBQ Chicken Pieces ( I used Gourmet Village Beer BBQ grilling sauce)


1. Thinly slice the onion & caramelize on medium heat until golden brown. Roughly 15-20 minutes.

2. Place flatbread(s) on a cookie sheet and lightly brush a little olive oil on them. Distribute the strawberries on top, followed by the goat cheese & the caramelized onions when ready.

3.Drizzle a few tablespoons of the Chocolate Balsamic Syrup. (The sugars of the balsamic will come out in the oven…absolutely divine) .

4. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until just golden.

5. Sprinkle with toasted sunflower seeds & mint.

Easy, Sinful & Elegant. It’s perfection.
-r x