Homemade Chips & Salsa


If you are anything like me, a big bowl of chips and salsa can make the perfect dinner on occasion. I’m obsessed with fresh salsa, and usually can’t stop eating it until all the chips are gone. Salsa is surprisingly simple to make too. These homemade salsa and chips come together in minutes. Using fresh ingredients in the peak of summer is the key to a good salsa that is full of flavour. Juicy garden tomatoes, luscious cilantro, perfectly ripe bell peppers, spicy jalapeños and zesty lime will have you craving taco Tuesday on Monday through Sunday.

This post was made in partnership with PADERNO. The salsa quickly comes together using PADERNO’s 3-Cup Food Chopper and it’s Vortex Blade Technology to make chopping everything together perfectly. Tortilla chips are fried in the best deep fryer I think I’ve ever used. Seriously, I can’t get over how easy it is to clean. It has a 3.5 L oil capacity, perfect for family-sized meals and the auto-drain function drains the oil into a storage reservoir.



  • 2 Large ripe tomatoes

  • ¼ Red onion

  • ½ Red pepper

  • 1 Jalapeño

  • 1 Garlic cloves

  • 1 Tbs olive oil

  • 1 Tsp sugar

  • 1 Tsp salt

  • 1 Tsp garlic salt

  • ½ tsp onion powder

  • 3-4 Sprigs of fresh cilantro

  • Juice from ½ lime


– I like to add a little sugar in the salsa, which balances out the heat from the jalapeños and acid from the tomatoes. 

– Cut the white membrane and seeds from the jalapeño. The membrane can be quite bitter and removing the seeds will allow you to control the heat better.

Roughly chop the tomatoes, onion, red pepper and jalapeños. Add all the ingredients into a food chopper and pulse until desired consistency. Taste and adjust as needed to your taste buds (more lime/salt/jalapeños etc). Serve with fried tortilla chips. 

Tortilla Chips:

  • 8 fresh corn tortillas

  • Oil for frying

  • Salt, to taste

Preheat deep fryer to 350° F.

Cut tortillas into equal wedges. Fry tortilla wedges in small batches, turning occasionally, until lightly golden brown and crispy. Drain on paper towel and sprinkle with salt while still warm.


Family Fish Crackers


It was so much fun collaborating with my friend Emily Mardell from GetJoyFull, and her daughter Cela, on this recipe. A special thanks to our partner, Armstrong Cheese, for providing the delicious Canadian cheddar as well.

I’ve always been a sucker for goldfish crackers, and I will hands down venture to the kid's table to enjoy some if given the opportunity. Emily and I wanted to take that same treat children love (and adults), but add some healthy ingredients like whole wheat, wheat germ and real cheese to make this a truly family friendly cracker.

These crackers are strong on flavour, contain no preservatives and are honestly super simple to come together with only handful of ingredients and some spices. I can’t wait to make these cracker for my nephews when they visit!

I hope you enjoy making them for your family as well.

Emily & Cela

Emily & Cela

Homemade Whole Wheat Cheddar Cheese Fish Crackers

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour

  • ¼ cup cold butter, unsalted, cubed

  • 2 cups Armstrong Medium, or Old Cheddar Cheese, shredded fine

  • 3-4 tbs cold water

  • 1 tbs wheat germ

  • ½ tsp baking powder

  • ½ tsp onion powder

  • ½ tsp garlic powder

  • ¼ tsp ground white pepper

Pulse the butter, flour, wheat germ, onion powder, garlic salt, white pepper, and baking powder together using a food processor until the mixture resembles coarse meal.

Add the cheese, and 3 to 4 tablespoons of water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and only enough so that the dough forms a ball. Remove, wrap in plastic, and chill for 30 minutes.

Working with half of the dough at a time. Roll out the dough on parchment paper to 1/8 inch thickness. Cut into desired animal shape. If making goldfish, use the tip of a toothpick to make the eye and press the toothpick lengthwise to make a smile.

Heat oven to 350 F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Place crackers on prepared baking pans. Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden.

Store in an airtight container to preserve crispiness.

Goldfish Crackers
Goldfish Crackers
Goldfish Crackers
Goldfish Crackers
Goldfish Crackers
Goldfish Crackers
Goldfish Crackers
Goldfish Crackers
Goldfish Crackers
Goldfish Crackers
Goldfish Crackers
Goldfish Crackers
Goldfish Crackers

Green Pea Fritters with Chickpea Flour

Green Pea Fritters

It’s hard to escape the lure of these vibrant green fritters. Fluffy, and cheesy, they are quintessential spring on a plate. Made with chickpea flour for a power-packed protein and fibre boost (and gluten free). Top with fresh ricotta cheese, or a poached egg for your St. Patrick’s brunch party.

It is also the perfect recipe for those little helping hands in the kitchen. Getting children involved in the process is a fun way to always getting them interested in what they eat, including green foods.

This recipe was made possible as part of a collaboration project with Get Joyfull and Alberta Pulse Growers.

Remi's green pea fritters

Green Pea Fritters with Chickpea Flour

  • 3 cups (750 mL) frozen green peas, divided

  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) fresh parsley, chopped

  • 1 green onion, chopped

  • 3 large whole eggs

  • 1/3 cup (70 mL) ricotta cheese

  • ½ cup (125 mL) chickpea flour

  • ½ cup (125 mL) hemp hearts

  • 1 tsp (5 mL) baking powder

  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) canola oil

Steam frozen peas for 3 minutes. Drain.

Add 1 ½ cups cooked peas, onion, and parsley to food processor, and pulse until smooth.

Transfer pureed pea mixture to medium mixing bowl. Add eggs, ricotta. Stir to combine.

Add baking powder, hemp hearts, and chickpea flour. Mix until batter forms.

Gently fold in remaining steamed peas for texture, and yumminess.

Heat pan to medium, and lightly coat with oil. Add dollop of batter into pan, and cook for 2-3 minutes per side or until fritter is golden, and fluffy.


  • Substitute with rolled oats if you don’t have hemp-hearts on-hand. 

  • Cook fritters in a cast-iron skillet for added iron, and a beautiful golden crust.

  • Garnish with extra ricotta, or a poached egg and fresh pea shoots.


Citrus Poached Shrimp with Lemon Dill Horseradish Dipping Sauce


Some of the equipment photographed in this post were provided by Paderno. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

I find this recipe super versatile. It’s a quick, no-fuss entertaining option. I’ve also whipped up a batch for a quick picnic lunch too. I like to leave their shells on. They get much more flavourful in the poaching liquid, and are super fun and hands on to dig into.

Citrus Poached Shrimp with Lemon Dill Horseradish Dipping Sauce

  • 2 pounds of shrimp (I like leaving shells on)

  • 1 oranges, sliced

  • 2 limes, sliced

  • 1 lemon, sliced

  • 1 tbs of salt

  • ½ tbs black peppercorns

  • ½ tbs white peppercorns

  • ½ tbs coriander seeds

  • 3 bay leaves

  • 4 litres of water

Bring water to a boil and add the citrus slices, salt, peppercorns and bay leaves. Let simmer for 10-15 minutes so the aromatics can infuse the water.

Prepare ice bath.

Add the shrimp to the aromatic water. Remove from heat and let stand for 3 minutes or until the shrimp are bright pink.

Using a spoon, remove the shrimp from the poaching liquid and place in the ice bath. Let cool, then drain. Serve with your favourite cocktail sauce or lemon dill horseradish dipping sauce.

Lemon Dill Horseradish Dipping Sauce

  • ½ cup mayonnaise

  • ½ sour cream

  • 2 tsp dried dill or 1 tbs fresh chopped dill

  • 1 tbs horseradish

  • 1 tbs lemon juice

  • 1 tsp garlic salt

 Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Let refrigerate for at least 30 minutes prior to serving.


Truffle Cheese Ball


I don’t think it’s possible to show up with a cheese ball at a party and it not be star of the party! You don’t even have to tell how easy it was to make. Shhhhh. This version also has a kick of healthy nutrition with some wheat germ added to the crust.

Truffle Cheese Ball with Wheat Germ

  • 340g cream cheese

  • 1 ½ cups shredded truffle cheese

  • 2 tsp white truffle oil

  • ¼ tsp salt


  • ½ cup nuts, toasted (pecans/walnuts)

  • 1 tbs wheat germ

  • 2 tsp rosemary, finely chopped

  • 1 tsp garlic salt

  • Dash of cayenne

  • Sliced almond slivers (optional)

In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese, shredded truffle cheese and white truffle oil with a hand blended until smooth and combined. Shape into a ball and refrigerate for an hour.

To make the coating, combine toasted nuts, rosemary, garlic salt, cayenne and wheat germ in a spice grinder, or small food processor, and pulse until just combined.

Roll the ball in the coating. Decorate with sliced almonds.

Serve with your favourite crackers or veggies.


Garden Dip


Our growing season in Alberta is so short.  I savour the time we have in the summer to enjoy Mother Nature's magnificent bounty. My tiny backyard garden produces herbs galore, including basil, cilantro, oregano, thyme, dill, parsley, rosemary, sage, chives, and tarragon. Fresh herbs make such a huge difference in cooking. I love being able to just open the back door, pop into the garden and pick what I need.

Quite often I'm not actually able to keep up to the herb production. Friends and family often get 'herb bouquets' as a hosting gift. At the end of the season I'll dry trays and trays of herbs for use in the winter months. This summer, however, I wanted to add some more diversity to their use.

This dip was inspired from my desire to use more of what herbs I am able to grow.  I love its versatility too. It's great as a bread dip, drizzled over new potatoes and on salads, or even just a simple accompaniment to a vegetable platter.  

Garden Dip

  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt 
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • roughly 1 cup chopped green onions or chives (~ 1 inch pieces, packed loose)
  • 2-3 garlic scapes or 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 - 2 tbsp fresh dill
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley (sometimes I'll add some fresh basil to mix) 
  • 1 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper  

Place all the ingredients in a small food processor and blend until all the herbs are well incorporated. Let rest in the fridge 30 minutes before serving. 



Cookbook Review & Salmon Gravlax from The Wickaninnish Cookbook: Rustic Elegance on Nature’s Edge

I was invited by  Penguin Random House Canada  to review the recently released  The Wickaninnish Cookbook: Rustic Elegance on Nature’s Edge.  So they sent me a free review copy—but even better, they want to send one to you as well! I’ll be running an Instagram contest where one of my lucky followers could win a copy of this beautiful book. Be sure to check out my  Mushroomsandthyme  feed for details on how to enter. (Note: open only to entries with a Canadian mailing address. Contest closes July 1, 2018).

I was invited by Penguin Random House Canada to review the recently released The Wickaninnish Cookbook: Rustic Elegance on Nature’s Edge. So they sent me a free review copy—but even better, they want to send one to you as well! I’ll be running an Instagram contest where one of my lucky followers could win a copy of this beautiful book. Be sure to check out my Mushroomsandthyme feed for details on how to enter. (Note: open only to entries with a Canadian mailing address. Contest closes July 1, 2018).

The moment you lay eyes on The Wickaninnish Cookbook: Rustic Elegance on Nature’s Edge you are instantly transported to the ocean and the welcoming embrace it imparts on your soul. It’s the first cookbook that made me stop dead in my tracks from rushing to open the book and flip through the recipes and photos in a mad frenzy. The texture of the front cover draws me in instantly. I’m running my hands over the front, my mind even more curious as to what I’ll find inside.  

From reading the charming introduction and history of the Wickaninnish Inn you understand the connection of the cover. The wood grain that graces the cover is embossed to replicate the texture of the hand-adzed cedar posts and beams of the Inn, hand carved by master carver Henry Nolla using traditional First nations tools.

The recipes are compiled from many of the chefs who have led The Point restaurant since 1996. From Chef Justin Labossiere’s Dungeness crab and mascarpone ravioli in saffron pasta, to Chef Matt Wilson’s Tuff Session Sourdough Bread and Chef Rod Butters’ shellfish potlatch. All recipes that you can now make in your home kitchen!

It’s this attention to detail and thoughtfulness to weave the history of the restaurant, the Inn, and the tiny surf town of Tofino, B.C. on the west coast of Vancouver Island, throughout the book that makes it so remarkable. The beautiful photography of Makito Inomata that flows alongside the recipes takes the book to a whole other level.

The cookbook also includes several cocktails that I’m dying to try as well—‘cedar-infused rye whisky’, ‘foraging through the woods’,  ‘huckleberry liqueur’ spark instantly intrigued me. Not to mention, the last chapter of the cookbook, the Pantry, is a hidden gem. The Pantry details the vinegars, oils and preserves that are needed in some of the recipes. Leek oil, dill oil, strawberry jam, apple butter and cured egg yolks to name a few. For those that love to experiment in the kitchen, these pantry items are sure to inspire beyond the recipe they are called for. 

Admittedly, I have yet to visit Tofino. It’s been on my wish list of places to see within Canada. After reading this cookbook, it’s definitely jumped up several spots on that list!

Recipes that have left me inspired to recreate, include:

  • Sunflower seed cheese

  • Mini beef tartare burgers

  • Mushroom tortellini

  • Root vegetable torte

  • BBQ beach oysters

At the top of the ‘I MUST TRY THIS!’ list was the salmon gravlax recipe, which is detailed below. I’ve never made gravlax before, but have been curious about it for a long time. You’ll find me eating smoked salmon almost every Saturday breakfast, served over grilled sourdough, an over easy egg and all the fixings—a little treat to kick start the weekend. For some reason I had it in my mind that gravlax would be difficult to tackle or turn out successfully. I always talked myself out of making it. However, it was surprising easy, and with a little planning ahead of time, really easy to make for a brunch gathering. Completely in love it the results.

Salmon Gravlax

Wickaninnish Salmon Gravlax

Picture British Columbia’s west coast and thoughts of salmon won’t be far behind. Executive Chef Barr’s recipe for a simple but flavourful gravlax makes the most of the bountiful and sustainable wild fish. Perfect for canapés or as part of a seafood charcuterie platter, this is one party dish you will make again and again.

  • 1 cup (145 g) salt

  • 1 cup (200 g) sugar

  • Finely grated zest of 1 orange

  • Finely grated zest of ½ grapefruit

  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon

  • Finely grated zest of 1 lime

  • 1 Tbsp (5 g) toasted fennel seeds, crushed

  • 2 sprigs dill, leaves only, chopped

  • 1 side fresh coho or sockeye salmon

In a small non-reactive bowl, combine all the ingredients, except the salmon, and mix well. This is the cure.

Remove the pin bones from the salmon. Rub the cure onto both sides of the salmon, making sure the flesh is completely covered. (You may not use all of the cure mixture.) Wrap the salmon tightly in plastic wrap and store on a tray in the fridge for 6 to 8 hours.

Rinse off the cure, then put the salmon back on the tray and leave it uncovered in the fridge to air-dry overnight.

Slice the salmon thinly, being sure to leave the skin behind. Serve with crackers, bread, cream cheese, capers, red onions, and pickles.

Excerpted from The Wickaninnish Cookbook: Rustic Elegance on Nature’s Edge by Joanne Sasvari. Copyright © 2018 Wickaninnish Inn. Photography © Makito Inomata. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.

Salmon Gravlax
Salmon Gravlax
Salmon Gravlax
Salmon Gravlax
Salmon Gravlax