Fun dishes to check out when you want to indulge

Cooking just for fun

This week, I feel like posting some of my favourite weirdly wonderful recipes, just for fun. No particular theme, no amazing insights, no words of wisdom – just the ramblings of a 50-something foodie who wants to share the joy of food and cooking.

Are you a fan of tahini? I have not tried it in sweet recipes, like the mousses and cookies I’ve seen posted recently, but one of my favourite fish recipes is one I call “April Fool’s Fish”. I was taught the recipe a very long time ago by a dear friend in France and I’ve never encountered anything like it. We made it on a Friday (remember me talking in a past column about “fish Fridays”? Scroll back down if you want the history of that.)

Said Friday also happened to be April 1, just like this year – which was what made me think of sharing it. I hope you will give it a go. It is not a prank, but rather a delightful surprise for the tastebuds.

Another savoury recipe whose secret I am happy to divulge is a chili-cumin dressing. I created while movie catering. Having to create seven different salads or appetizers daily meant getting adventurous with sauces and spices. This beauty was an inspiration born from the necessity to use cold roast beef slices on a day with a Mexican theme. It is still a favourite in our house.

If you’re still thinking about cozy recipes, how about a Yorkshire pudding or two? I was always amazed at the science of these savoury treats with Sunday roast dinner. My mom’s recipe is quirky, but it always works so I don’t question it. These little wonders are comfort food at its finest, satiating but not overly rich (which for us meant we had room for dessert.)

Speaking of dessert, let’s include a few easy but delectable options for you to try. I have another catering truck classic that never fails to delight and is adaptable—“Lemon Cloud.” I am especially proud of this dish, as it was born out of necessity, a think-on-my-feet innovation that turned out to be even better than expected.

The recipe on my blog uses tarts as the conveyance, but I have used it in profiteroles (aka cream puffs) with great success, as well as substituting it for the usual custard in a summer fruit trifle. Feel free to create your own new dessert with it.

I really agonized over the last entry to share, as there are a few weird and wonderful options I have loved over the years. It came down to two options…

Before the grapefruits are less than their best, you may want to try “Pamplemousse Pie” if you are a fan of citrus and caramel. I was entranced the first time I made this recipe in France and had to translate it to share with friends back home. But it was my runner up in old-time gnarly classics.

My deepest darkest secret from childhood was what my mom called “Chocolate Pudding Cake.” It was one of those magical desserts that transformed itself in the oven. This went from a muddy slurry on top of a batter into a glorious rich chocolate cake floating on top of a fudgy sauce.

My mom made this in a Pyrex bowl and would spoon it out to serve. It wasn’t very elegant I suppose, but with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, it became nirvana for me.

I do hope you indulge with your table mates in a bit of adventure and whip up at least one of these dishes. If you do, please consider sharing a photo or comment by email or Facebook or Instagram.

A Happy Gourmand is ideally one who knows they have comrades who are also enjoying the flavours of the same tasty endeavour.

Happy cooking and bon appetit.

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

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About the Author

Kristin Peturson-Laprise is a customer experience specialist by trade, which means she is someone passionate about people having a good time. 

Her company, Wow Service Mentor, helps businesses enhance their customer experience through hands-on training, service programs, and special event coordination.

Kristin enjoys her own experiences too, and that is what she writes about in this column. She and her husband Martin Laprise (also known as Chef Martin, of The Chef Instead) love to share their passion for food and entertaining.  

Kristin says:

"Wikipedia lists a gourmand as a person who takes great pleasure in food. I have taken the concept of gourmandise, or enjoying something to the fullest, in all parts of my life. I love to grow and cook food, and I loved wine enough to become a Sommelier. I call a meal a success when I can convey that 'sense of place' from where the food has come . . . the French call that terroir, but I just call it the full experience. It might mean tasting the flavours of my own garden, or transporting everyone at the table to a faraway place, reminiscent of travels or dreams we have had."


E-mail Kristin at:  [email protected]

Check out her website here:  www.wowservicementor.com


The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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