Can you describe your cooking philosophy in one sentence?
Simple. Quick. Delicious. If 5 out of 5 of my family members are happy, it is a win-win meal!
What kitchen gadget or tool do you swear by?
Littledeer "lefty and righty' handcut wooden cooking utensils - featured in my POP-UP Shop!
What is your favourite foodie product right now?
An amazing grape jelly that my mom and I made together.
What is the one pantry ingredient you couldn’t live without?
Balsamic Vinegar di Modena Methode Tradizionale from St Helena Olive Oil Co.
How do you juggle being a successful food entrepreneur with raising a family with 3 young children?
I have lots of energy and I do like the variety of having lots on the go but I do drop the ball too. Mothers are hard wired to multitask. I am a serial entrepreneur and I am happiest when I am busy and my schedule is full. Also, my kids understand I don't have a traditional career, no day or season looks the same, and most days we all enjoy it together.
Has having children changed the way you cook or changed your food philosophy?
Simply put, my definition of success and expectation of excellence have evolved. The standard of what I cook and eat now is a bit more realistic.
You have authored 2 cookbooks, Dish Entertains and In My Mother’s Kitchen. Can you tell us a little bit about the inspiration behind each?
Dish Entertains - my professional life as owner of Dish, as a caterer and as creator and host of party dish - a collection of my most loved and used recipes that were my go-to for simple and beautiful entertaining.
In My Mother’s kitchen- a reflection and sharing of life at home. My mom and grandmother are amazing home cooks and this book is a collection of 3 generations of our families most loved recipes that our kids give the stamp of approval and love.
What is your family’s weeknight go-to meal?
Pasta, risotto or a simple roast chicken. We barbecue 365 days a year - steak, ribs, chicken or pork tenderloin.
What is the best meal you have eaten at a restaurant?
A seafood chowder from a tiny little cafe on the south shore of Nova Scotia. I am drawn to simple and casual dining experiences.
What are your necessary indulgences?
Coffee. Red Wine. Homemade chocolate chip cookies. Milk Chocolate.
What is your favourite cookbook?
Fresh Everyday by Sara Foster and The Cottage Cookbook from Georgian Bay - an old-school spiral cookbook with no pictures.
Do you have a favourite recipe we can feature?
The Cottage Cookbook's Chocolate Chip Cookies and my recipe for Family Granola.
I held a competition for the “best” granola, so many people contributed great recipes that I just couldn’t make up my mind. This recipe combines the best of my age-old granola and my friends Kara’s and Ebie’s versions. My seasoned recipe tester Chef Elena Embrioni stepped in with her final tweaks.
Makes 12 cups (3 L)
4 cups (1 L) quick-cooking rolled oats
2 cups (500 mL) sweetened shredded
2 cups (500 mL) slivered almonds, chopped
1 tsp (5 mL) cinnamon
1/2 cup (125 mL) vegetable oil
1/2 cup (125 mL) maple syrup
1/4 cup (60 mL) honey
1 cup (250 mL) dried cranberries
1 cup (250 mL) golden raisins or dried
1 cup (250 mL) chopped dried apples or mangoes
1 cup (250 mL) chopped dried apricots
1/2 cup (125 mL) sunflower seeds
1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped cashews
1/4 cup (60 mL) flax seeds
Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C). Line a large baking sheet with foil; lightly oil the foil.
In a large bowl, combine oats, coconut, almonds and cinnamon. In a separate bowl, combine oil, maple syrup and honey; gently fold into dry mixture until coated, allowing clumps to form. Spread mixture evenly on the baking sheet.
Bake for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until light golden brown. Remove from oven, stir again and cool. Stir in dried fruits, nuts and seeds.
Store in an airtight container. Granola keeps 2 weeks at room temperature (if you can keep it around that long!).
Kitchen Notes: This is the perfect breakfast with fresh berries and your favourite yogurt. It’s also an ideal car or stroller snack. I even sometimes have this as dinner or a late-night snack.
Variations: Add pumpkin seeds or sesame seeds, wheat germ or bran.
Best Ever Cottage Chocolate Chip Cookies
For years, I have been asked for the recipe for my “best ever” chocolate chip cookies. Well, here it is. The secret is to slightly underbake them, which keeps them chewy and tasting a little bit like that raw cookie dough we all secretly love. My sister-in-law Amanda has stolen the torch for making the best batch—I suppose they are a bit of a craft. My mom has to hide these from my husband or they disappear in seconds.
Makes 4 dozen
1 cup (250 mL) butter, at room temperature
1 cup (250 mL) packed brown sugar
1 cup (250 mL) white sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp (10 mL) vanilla
2 cups (500 mL) all-purpose flour
1 tsp (5 mL) baking soda
1 tsp (5 mL) salt
1 pkg (300 g) semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Lightly grease a cookie sheet.
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream butter and both sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla.
Combine flour, baking soda and salt. Add to batter and mix on low speed until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips.
Drop batter by tablespoons onto prepared cookie sheet, leaving a good inch (2.5 cm) between cookies. You’ll get 12 cookies per sheet. Dip spoon into hot water if batter sticks. Lightly press cookies to flatten.
Bake for 7 to 8 minutes or until lightly golden but still soft.
Let rest on the cookie sheet for 2 minutes, then transfer to flattened brown paper bags to cool.
Kitchen Notes: Brown paper bags from the liquor store, opened up flat, work brilliantly for cooling cookies. They absorb extra grease and so keep the cookies soft and chewy.
Pastry chefs always use unsalted butter, so they can better control the level of salt in a recipe. Older recipes never differentiated. I grew up in a house with salted butter. Even after ten years at dish, with all the chefs and pros and the fridge stocked with unsalted butter, I still reach for salted.
Variation: For butterscotch cookies, reduce white sugar to 1/2 cup (125 mL) and reduce salt to 1/2 tsp (2 mL). Substitute butterscotch chips. Bake for 8 to 9 minutes or until lightly golden.
Learn more about Trish by visiting her website trishmagwood.ca and following her on twitter @trishmagwood and Instagram instagram.com/trishmagwood