PESTO pesto

pesto recipe

This is really easy to prepare and it goes together so quickly that you’ll be calling it “Pestissimo”. Unfortunately, pine nuts have gotten quite expensive, but believe me, they’re worth every penne. 🤦‍♀️ Pulse the basil and pine nuts several times in a food processor. Add the minced garlic and cheese and pulse several more … Read more


I used to eat at the Red Devil Barbeque and Grill all the time. There was one fairly close to where I lived in Etobicoke and there was one in the Entertainment District of downtown Toronto as well, where I would often eat between matinees and evening shows.  Side note: It was at one of … Read more

Pizza Ex-Machina

I’ve eaten those fancy 900 degree brick oven virgin buffalo pepperoni pizzas, and they’re good, but with a couple of machines and not a lot of time, I think I make a pretty darn good pizza – without the brick oven. THE MACHINERY Breadmaker Any bread machine will work for mixing the dough. I suppose … Read more

Hummus a few bars…

Scott Irvine hummus recipe

OK, let’s face it.  It’s hard to screw up Hummus.  Basically, throwing some garlic, a can of chick peas, tahini, salt, a bit of lemon juice and oil into a food processor and shmooshing it up is going to taste pretty good.  But this recipe is partially the result of a happy accident.  Having a … Read more

Fondue, fondue, for you and Hugh and yew

Scott Irvine tuba fondue (fonduba)
Scott Irvine tuba fondue (fonduba)
The Fonduba

So at least one person out there in cyberland likes the recipe section, so to celebrate, I’m adding a new one.

OK, there’s about two and a half feet of snow on my front and back lawns right now and when that happens, my thoughts turn to cheese fondue.  I will say for the record, that the President’s Choice packaged stuff is pretty good, but I enjoy the ritual of making this from scratch, so here we go:

Classic Cheese Fondue

1 garlic clove, halved

1 1/2 cups dry white wine (Sauvignon Blanc is nice)

1 tsp. lemon juice

1/2 lb (8 oz) Emmentaler cheese, grated (approx. 2 cups)

1/2 lb (8 oz) Gruyère cheese, grated (approx. 2 cups)

1 tbsp cornstarch

2 tbsp kirsch (it’s a cherry brandy)

1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard

Pinch of white pepper

Pinch of freshly ground nutmeg

1 loaf of French bread, cubed (but feel free to use other things as well, like small boiled potatoes, zucchini chunks and mushrooms).

Rub the inside of a heavy saucepan with one of the garlic halves and then discard garlic.  Pour the wine and lemon juice into the pot and bring to a simmer over medium heat.

Gradually add the cheeses, a bit at a time, stirring in a constant zig-zag/figure eight motion.  Wait until each handful of cheese has fully melted before adding the next.  Do not let it boil.

When all the cheeses have melted, in a small bowl, whisk together the kirsch and cornstarch until blended and then pour into the cheese mixture. Continue to cook gently for a couple of minutes more.

Continue to stir, and add the mustard, white pepper and nutmeg.  Reduce heat to low and keep the fondue warm until really to serve.  Stir occasionally.

Rub inside the fondue pot with the other half of garlic and then transfer the cheese mixture to this pot and keep warm according to the type of fondue pot you have.

Serve with the bread cubes (and anything else you like) using traditional fondue forks for dipping.  Recently, I discovered that having a shallow dish of Kirsch on the table to lightly dip the bread into before dipping into the cheese can be a good thing.

And there are few things in life more delicious than the bottom layer of cheese buildup in the pot when you’re done.

Perfect Pecan Pie

Scott Irvine pecan pie

My search for the perfect recipes to stuff I like to eat has also extended to the humble pecan pie.  I found this recipe in the early 1980s out of a local newspaper’s column that focused on different chefs around Toronto.  This came from a trendy Queen Street West establishment (sadly, now closed).  What I … Read more

TRY IT! YOU’LL LIKE IT! (Zucchini pie)

OK, it’s Summer and this is a fabulous recipe for using up all of those zucchinis that have taken over your vegetable patch, or perhaps that your friendly neighbourhood gardener very kindly dumped on your doorstep.  This dish is great summertime fare with a tossed salad and a nice medium-dry white wine!  Consider making a … Read more

Scallops a la Doug

Doug Purvis was a fellow tuba player in Toronto, and was quite the bon vivant himself.  He played for over thirty years in the National Ballet of Canada Orchestra, and we performed together in the tuba section of the Hannaford Street Silver Band for around twenty years.  This recipe is the result of hanging out … Read more

Linguine with White Clam Sauce

Before making this, you must say the following in a sotto voce Homer Simpson voice: “Ummmmmm.  Linguine-with-white-clam-sauce. Aaghgahgahghgagh.”  Yes, there’s nothing quite like it.  I’ve had it in many, many establishments.  My recipe search has taken me from the Toronto Star’s Chef Showcase, to an old Philadelphia Orchestra cookbook, and to places on the internet … Read more