Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Better Burgers From The Global Kitchen Community...


WHO is the Global Kitchen Community Burger Meester?

Photo Credits: From top left clockwise- Chef Damien, Lindsey Shifley,
Thomas Stahlmann, BestRecipeBox.com, Lara Butteriss and Jaroslav Guzanic 

Reunited with fellow ambassadors from the voluntary global foundation Food Revolution which I was a proud member of for four years- check here for more. This time around, our much smaller motivated group came together to create a Global Kitchen Community comprising of chefs, nutritionists, and real food & health enthusiasts on a mission to help our local communities get affordable, accessible, delicious and family-friendly meals on their tables πŸ₯˜πŸ²πŸ₯£πŸ₯—.

We dish out recipe challenges to inspire cooking together, sharing and drawing on each other's specialties and strengths to adapt our collective resources to our community outreach goals πŸ’Ÿ.

Global Connection.
Local Execution.
Food For Everyone!

Thank you Chef Damien from the Netherlands who has been tirelessly working to feed the homeless for bringing us together again πŸ₯°. 



Our first group challenge: better burger!


I got the idea of a messy beef burger thinking back of salisbury steaks in mushrooms gravy I made months ago that easily goes from skillet to a bun (for a saucy Salisbury Steak Burger) and serve with your favourite toppings. The sad fact is that I haven't a chance to make it again in burger form with my head and heart entrenched in my recent home things. Alas, my home sold but I am past the July end submission deadline. In exchange of lateness, I will share our talented group's burger efforts. Be prepared to have your taste buds transported below. I chose the best on-line photo with credit to showcase my idea.

To meet the participation criteria, I have simplified my recent Savoury Mushroom Salisbury Steaks post to make it more affordable with less ingredients priced accordingly to my local lower-end grocery store. The key to the savoury flavour boost is a part pkg. of onion soup mix in the burger and gravy.


Savoury Mushroom Salisbury Steaks

For 6, priced per portion at $2.33 Cdn or 1.48 euros

Savoury Mushroom Salisbury Steak Burgers
Makes 6 Patties

For the patties:
1-1/2 lb. lean ground beef
1 egg
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1/4 package (40 g) of onion soup mix
Salt and ground black pepper
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs

For the sauce:
1 lb. mushroom, sliced
1 package of gravy mix powder or a can of prepared gravy, brown or mushroom flavour
1 Tbsp. onion soup mix
Add in to taste: Dijon mustard and/or ketchup

Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in medium hot fry pan or skillet and cook meat patties four minutes each side or until nicely brown. Remove patties aside. Drain excess oil. In the same skillet, sautΓ© mushrooms for a few minutes then stir in gravy powder (add water according to pkg. instructions) or prepared gravy and stir. Add 1 Tbsp. onion soup mix and ketchup and Dijon mustard if desired to preferred taste.

Add beef patties to the skillet and continue to simmer for 15 to 20 minutes spooning sauce over meat patties occasionally. Serve salisbury steak and mushroom gravy on a burger or kaiser bun with your fave toppings.

Photo Credit: BestRecipeBox.com

Here is a handful of our group's burger submissions that is surecto whet appetites!

From top left clockwise: Chef Damien's hearty Santorini Adani Burger is dressed with creamy feta yogurt and topped with roasted red peppers, black olives and dill inspired by his favourite travel destination Greece and love of Greek Food.

Lindsey Shifley from Illinois, U.S. created this burger with her special sauce, gruyere cheese garnished with beautiful purple basil.

Special Sauce:
2 Tbsp Mayo
1.5 tsp mustard 
1.5 tsp ketchup
1 tsp basil paste 
1 tsp garlic paste
1 tsp banana pepper juice
Salt & pepper to taste

Thomas Stahlmann from Germany created his Balkan burger with layers and layers of flavour. From his seasoned meat patties to marinated salad mix, crunchy coleslaw and kajmac-creme and luti sauce (spicy chili sauce with onion cubes).

My versatile comfort Savoury Mushrooms Salisbury Steak Burger with photo credit to BestRecipeBox.com.

Lara Butteriss from London showcases her Hamburger di Nonna inspired by her grandma's meatball recipe with a twist- adding boiled potato to the meat mixture and topping with rocket and Dolcelatte cheese on a brioche bun.

Jaroslav Guzanic in Miami, US created his Parmigiana-Style burger inspired by the fond summer memories of his trips to Italy. Oregano and rosemary spices grace his burgers along with olive tapenade, homemade marinara sauce, eggplant, cheese and fresh basil pesto.


In addition, a big deal actually... Chef Damien has been working hard to create and has finished his Magnificent Mince cookbook with 120 fully tested 'simple' recipes (with ground meats), all costed using Aldi/ LidL catalogue (a popular economical grocery store in Europe and US) with minimal equipment needed.

The goal of the book is very much in line with the mission of our Global Kitchen Community 'To empower people to eat better' with fully costed, simple recipes, with ingredients from a budget supermarket and the book is absolutely free and open sourced. Grab the fabulous pdf e-cookbook on DamienChef.com.

A great example of his affordable delish creation is Moroccan Meatball Shakshouka.

Monday, August 3, 2020

Savoury Mushroom Salisbury Steaks...


Ahh... the humble hand-formed meat patties making a splash at the dinner table with its sumptuous gravy sauce and juicy mushrooms... comfort perfect for a weeknight dinner with the classic sides of potatoes and simple salad. Get an instant flavour boost with just onion soup mix in both the patties and gravy!

Salisbury steak was prescribed as the diet antidote for health and nutrition back in the Civil War times by creator American physician James Henry Salisbury (1823-1905). He was a devoted advocate of shredding all food to make it more digestible, recommending hamburger be eaten three times a day along with drinking cups of hot water, especially for soldiers who were suffering from "camp" digestive issues. The term Salisbury steak was first recorded in 1897 but became popular during World War I when patriotic Americans wanted an alternative for the German word hamburger, which was created in the city of Hamburg, Germany.

Here was Dr. Salisbury’s recipe: "Eat the muscle pulp of lean beef made into cakes and broiled. This pulp should be as free as possible from connective or glue tissue, fat and cartilage. The pulp should not be pressed too firmly together before broiling, or it will taste livery. Simply press it sufficiently to hold it together. Make the cakes from half an inch to an inch thick. Broil slowly and moderately well over a fire free from blaze and smoke. When cooked, put it on a hot plate and season to taste with butter, pepper, salt; also use either Worcestershire or Halford sauce, mustard, horseradish or lemon juice on the meat if desired."

Aside from being an early contributor to the low-carb diet philosophy, I think we can all agree Salisbury steak has its delicious merits especially coupled with mushrooms drenched in savoury gravy. Take the dish up a notch by trying it with a mixture of wild mushrooms available to you such as oysters, chanterelles and shiitakes.



Savoury Mushroom Salisbury Steaks
Makes 6 Patties

For the patties:
1-1/2 lb. lean ground beef
1 egg
2 cloves garlic, minced

1 medium onion, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 package (40 g) of onion soup mix
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs

For the sauce:
1 lb. white or cremini mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup butter
1 Tbsp. flour
1 cup beef stock or 1 cup water with 1 Tbsp. beef bouillon seasoning
1/2 cup red or white wine, dry
1/4 package (40 g) of onion soup mix
1/4 cup ketchup
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper to taste
4 whole sprigs fresh thyme, or leaves plucked
water as you need


Buy meat in bulk to save money. Freeze leftovers.

In a large bowl, combine all meat patty ingredients well, adding bread crumbs last.

Use a disposable glove to make mixing well a cinch!




Add the breadcrumbs last. Mix well.


Shape into 6 oval patties. Refrigerate for at least half an hour to firm and flavours to meld.

I used 2lbs. meat to make 8 patties.

Looks imperfectly perfect to me! A large heart amongst the 'shrooms- how could this be anything but love and joy?


Serving with baked potatoes, prick potatoes (I use thicker skin russet for baking) all over with a fork or skewer, rub generously with olive or avocado oil and sea salt. Bake in preheated 425F oven for 50 to 60 minutes until skin is crispy and baked through (wooden skewer should pierce through nicely for doneness).


Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in medium hot fry pan or skillet and cook four minutes each side or until nicely brown. Remove patties onto paper-lined towel to drain and set aside. Drain excess oil from pan or skillet.


In the same skillet, sautΓ© mushrooms in butter for a few minutes then stir in flour. 

Add beef stock, wine and stir until mixture comes to a boil. Stir or whisk in remaining ingredients and simmer for a few minutes.


Add beef patties to the skillet and continue to simmer for 15 to 20 minutes spooning sauce over meat patties occasionally. Add some water if sauce seems too dry.

This is done when meat is cooked and sauce has thickened down. Serve hot!


Niiiiice πŸ”₯!


Mashed potatoes are always a hit with saucy "steak" like these, but steamed or baked potato are just as good to save some time on the mashing. Add a simple side green salad and you've got a delectable meal for the family!

If you like Salisbury steak give my Japanese Hambagu in Creamy Mushroom and Teriyaki Hamburg Steak a taste for an Asian twist.


My kids have been enjoying since babies 🀀!


How about throwing it in a bun (for a saucy Salisbury Steak Burger) and serve it with your favourite toppings? See my next post for more burger inspirations from around the world...

Photo Credit: BestRecipeBox.com

Full Recipe:

Savoury Mushroom Salisbury Steaks
Makes 6 Patties

For the patties:
1-1/2 lb. lean ground beef
1 egg
2 cloves garlic, minced

1 medium onion, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 package (40 g) of onion soup mix
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs

For the sauce:
1 lb. white or cremini mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup butter
1 Tbsp. flour
1 cup beef stock or 1 cup water with 1 Tbsp. beef bouillon seasoning
1/2 cup red or white wine, dry
1/4 package (40 g) of onion soup mix
1/4 cup ketchup
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper to taste
4 whole sprigs fresh thyme, or leaves plucked
water as you need


In a large bowl, combine all meat patty ingredients well, adding bread crumbs last.

Shape into 6 oval patties. Refrigerate for at least half an hour to firm and flavours to meld.

Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in medium hot fry pan or skillet and cook four minutes each side or until nicely brown. Remove patties onto paper-lined towel to drain and set aside. Drain excess oil from pan or skillet.

In the same skillet, sautΓ© mushrooms in butter for a few minutes then stir in flour. 

Add beef stock, wine and stir until mixture comes to a boil. Stir or whisk in remaining ingredients and simmer for a few minutes.

Add beef patties to the skillet and continue to simmer for 15 to 20 minutes spooning sauce over meat patties occasionally. Add some water if sauce seems too dry.

This is done when meat is cooked and sauce has thickened down. Serve hot.


Monday, July 27, 2020

Argentinian-Style Meat Board With Chimichurri...


Meet my meat board Argentinian-style!

My best friend's family over can only mean serving my best. Grilled steaks, chili sausages and shrimps wooden plank-presented and jazzed with the ever-so-scrump green goddess chimichurri sauce- a parsley and garlic oil condiment that elevates your churascos in a jiffy. Also fab on grilled firm tofu πŸ€—! Baste your meats with it and ladle on some to eat. Your taste buds will do a happy Latin dance πŸŽ‰πŸ€€.


Authentic Chimichurri (cafedelites.com)

1/2 cup olive or avocado oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 cup finely chopped parsley (half a bunch)
3 to 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 small red or green chilies, deseeded and finely chopped
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon coarse salt
Pepper, to taste 

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes to release all of the flavours into the oil. Ideally, let it sit for more than two hours.

Baste your meats with it and serve a couple of tablespoons atop your grilled meats.


The spread with sides of beer-battered fried asparagus, cucumber and tomato salad with miso-onion vinaigrette, vegetable crudites, simple lettuce and onion salad with avocado vinaigrette and corn on the cob.


From one meat feast to make the next... πŸ₯© grilled steak fajitas with weekend leftovers!

Everything from grilled peppers to side salads, anything that remained got remade for another hearty, colourful meal! Gotta πŸ’š it! More chimichurri yum!

Creative leftovers with steak fajitas!

On a very different but important note. One that has kept me insanely busy mainly mentally...

The all consuming journey of selling our house is sealed with this last bite out of it! A humbling experience, sometimes the Universe doesn't give you what you Want but what you Need. At the end of the day "it's not about playing not to lose, but playing to win!" And we Won πŸ”₯!!! #trusttheprocess 

Yasss... this is what you call Eat Your House πŸ‘πŸ€€πŸŽ‰! Gladly with Gusto!! πŸ’₯



Thank you Roman @luxehomereno my incredible contractor for this AmaZing good luck cake he got customized by his talented Patissier friend @caYKery (chocolate layered with fresh strawberries). Just like you do with a wedding cake, I froze half to devour after we sell. It tastes Mighty Good and even better than fresh lol πŸ”₯! To my Fantastic Award-Winning top producer real estate agent and long-time friend @jasonyeunglau We did it πŸ’₯!! So blessed to have you on this ride with us. Thank you for everything πŸ’–πŸ™!

By CayKery


My family is so excited to move on and move into our new home next month 🏑... Another journey awaits us!

My quarantined shaggies lol

YASSSS 🀜πŸ’₯πŸ€›πŸ‘ŠπŸ”₯!!!



Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Cucumber and Tomato Salad with Miso-Onion Vinaigrette...


It's well into summer 🌞! While days are long and really hot, it's important to keep hydrated and stay cool. Our eating has changed too... reaching for the Bbq for cheery grilled foods and refreshing cool sides to complement. Happy to announce that I have partnered with Produce Made Simple to promote Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers (OGVG) by sharing one of my favourite summer sides with their local produce of cool cucumbers and tangy tomatoes.

Try them with this brilliant Japanese-inspired chunky dressing. Grated onion's sharpness is tempered by miso's delicate umami flavour imparting savoury sweetness without adding salt or sugar. Lifted with acidic rice vinegar and tart lemon juice and finished with creamy bodied avocado oil, it is super delicious to enliven our fresh green and red tasty friends. The key is to maximize the flavour infusion in cucumbers with a fun Japanese knife cut using the help of a ruler. Read on to see how.


Cucumber and Tomato Salad with Miso-Onion Vinaigrette
Serves 4 (
Makes 3/4 cup dressing)

1 medium OGVG cucumber, see how-to images below
3 medium OGVG tomatoes, cut into wedges, then halved 

1 small onion, large grated (about 1/4 cup)
2 Tbsp. rice vinegar
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 tsp. white miso
1/4 cup avocado oil
Pinch of salt and white pepper (optional)
Toasted seame seeds

Additional tool: a ruler

Cook's Note: use any miso; the darker like red is saltier and more intense. Add a little first and adjust according to taste.

A handy ruler is used as a knife stop guard.

Grate the onion in the big hole grater.


Mix the onions with vinegar and lemon juice. Dissolve the miso by mixing well. Whisk in the oil.


Prep the cucumber with a ruler as a stop guard, cut thin slices right across the top on a bias; then flip over to its bottom and do the same across. Remove ruler and cut into 3/4" coins. You will get cross accordian slits on its top and bottom to absorb maximum flavour! For thin long or mini cukes leave them as coins. For thicker cukes, cut them into moons. Their size should be uniform with the tomatoes.

Toss with some of the dressing to coat well. Refrigerate for an hour for refreshing coolness and to let the flavours meld and seep into the cukes. Sprinkle with sesame seeds before serving. 

Note: Extra dressing can be refrigerated for up to 3 days!


Accordian slits for maximum flavour to seep in! This works well with mini cucumbers as coins- use a pair of wooden disposable chopsticks instead of a ruler. For regular cucumbers, cut in half for moon shapes.


This guy loves his juicy tomatoes and wanted to drink the savoury miso-onion sauce :).


What a salivation-inducing stunner!


A unique and tasty refreshing side to your fave grilled summer foods! Try it with yours!


Full Recipe:

Cucumber and Tomato Salad with Miso-Onion Vinaigrette
Serves 4 (
Makes 3/4 cup dressing)

1 medium OGVG cucumber, prep as per below
3 medium OGVG tomatoes, cut into wedges, then halved

1 small onion, large grated (about 1/4 cup)
2 Tbsp. rice vinegar
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 tsp. white miso
1/4 cup avocado oil
Pinch of salt and white pepper (optional)
Toasted seame seeds


Cook's Note: use any miso; the darker like red is saltier and more intense. Add a little first and adjust according to taste.

Mix the onions with vinegar and lemon juice. Dissolve the miso by mixing well. Whisk in the oil.


Prep the cucumber with a ruler as a stop guard, cut thin slices right across the top on a bias; then flip over to its bottom and do the same across. Remove ruler and cut into 3/4" coins. You will get cross accordian slits on its top and bottom to absorb maximum flavour! For thin long or mini cukes leave them as coins. For thicker cukes, cut them into moons. Their size should be uniform with the tomatoes.

Toss with some of the dressing to coat well. Refrigerate for an hour for coolness and to let the flavours meld and seep into the cukes. Sprinkle with sesame seeds before serving. 


Wednesday, June 17, 2020

My Culinary Project Updates...


What I've been up to and in the works...

Around this time for the past two years, I would be brainstorming with the awesome folks and church members @splconline in preparation for our Neighbourhood Table summer program in conjunction with @acctonline (ACCT), cooking with kids (6 to 12) in preparations of serving a free healthy and delicious dinner to the registered families and guests. πŸ‘©‍πŸ³πŸ‘¨‍🍳πŸ₯—πŸ§.

However, Great News- the Neighbourhood Table is at home this year with #covid19 food boxes from @foodshareto and further funded by the Government of Canada and @aplaceforfood for providing essential funding to help offer emergency food relief to the Etobicoke community, doubling the number of families to receive the support πŸ’₯!

Hoping to contribute in some way, we just had a meeting as they are applying for a United Way grant for a September/October program. The program scope will be a combination of delivering fresh produce and offering some food skills opportunities alongside. We talked about doing a mix of pre-recorded food demos and online food literacy engagement focusing on parents'- their challenges and inspirations around mealtimes! Excited in hopes to continue the partnership this year and to help families in whatever capacity I can. We will bring the neighbourhood table to your home πŸ‘πŸ’ž.

The Neighbourhood Table 2019


Excited to partner with Toronto Star to build their online recipe search database thestar.com πŸ€—πŸ”ͺ🍽πŸ₯’!


Happy once again to partner with OGVG and Produce Made Simple to develop a tasty summer salad idea with Ontario greenhouse vegetables! Stay tuned in mid July...


Reunited with fellow ambassadors from the voluntary global foundation Food Revolution which I was a proud member of for four years- check here for more. This time around, our much smaller motivated group came together to create a Global Kitchen Community comprising of chefs, nutritionists, and real food & health enthusiasts on a mission to help our local communities get affordable, accessible, delicious and family-friendly meals on their tables πŸ₯˜πŸ²πŸ₯£πŸ₯—.

We dish out recipe challenges to inspire cooking together, sharing and drawing on each other's specialties and strengths to adapt our collective resources to our own community outreach goals πŸ’Ÿ.

Global Connection. 
Local Execution. 
Food For Everyone!

Thank you chef Damien @theworkplacechef from the Netherlands who has been tirelessly working to feed the homeless for bringing us together again πŸ₯°.  More to come...


Our first challenge...


Times a-changed, and we have to adapt in order to thrive. As business meetings and educational programs move towards online conferencing, I will be considering instructing culinary demo classes on these platforms with TDSB Learn4life as well as with TDSB Newcomer Services in the Fall.

Asian Cooking Program with Seniors

Newcomer Parents Culinary Engagement Program

Hopefully, I will have my kitchen renovated by then in our recently bought home πŸ€— and ready to cook and instruct out of πŸ‘©‍🍳πŸ”ͺ.

Blessing this house we are selling, as first owner with immense pride for all the joys, escapades and memories it has brought me and my family. May it continue to bring warmth, happiness and most of all delicious adventures from this gorgeous new kitchen!

From my family's hearts to yoursπŸ’“... Namaste πŸ™ 


Wishing everyone good health and stay safe!