I Like Me Some Sweet Sticky Balls. Tong Yun, A Chinese Dessert.

I’ve never been much a sweet tooth kind of person, but one thing I’m always a sucker for, are Asian desserts. One of my favorites are these sticky rice/ glutinous rice balls filled Continue reading

I Made Noszki! A Polish Delicacy 

Besides climbing, one of the main reasons why I love to travel, is so that I can experience the world through my palate. This is also why I take pride in being able to recreate a lot of dishes by taste alone. Play by Ear? I Cook By Palate

One of the things I fell in love with, when I was visiting Adams birthplace, Warsaw, Poland, I was introduced by Ciocia (Auntie) to noszki. 

Noszki is a savory seasoned jelly filled with tender pork and typically peas and carrots. Like most cultural dishes there’s many variations including, using shredded turkey, boiled egg, and grzyby (mushrooms).

When I am creating traditional dishes I try to emulate the origianl recipe as much as I can. For those that know me, when I travel you’ll often find me asking about the local staple dish and then tirelessly ordering and eating the same thing in various places. 

I do this because it gives me a better idea what the staple dish tastes like. From this form of surveying I dedeuce the ingredients that are common in these dishes and try my best to make my own version applying the secret methods of preparation that I have learned over the years. 

The first time I had noszki it was in a prepackaged process form, and I didn’t really care for the flavor or texture. However I knew that this was a widely eaten dish and I endeavored to try it again… and again and again. 

The second time I tasted this dish was at a 50’s style milk bar diner  where you were able to experience the whole Milk Bar charm. Piece of bread roughly cut and carelessly buttered the. slapped onto a plate and place in front of you. A misshapen overturned bowl of noszki offset on a plate garnished by a smirk from your server. 

This was the most amazing noszki ever. A squirt of fresh lemon and a dash of Maggie sauce and my taste buds were exploding. The gelatin was delicate and melted in your mouth and the meat was perfectly spiced with bay leaves and peppercorn with a hint of nutmeg. 

From that point on every noszki I tried was delicious. Though not comparable to the milk bar I suddenly understood what it could and should be like. 

I find that in most cases. Until I try a very delicious version of a dish, I can’t quite grasp what it should be like. Perhaps it’s the contrast from a terrible rendition to a exquisite one, that allows me to finally crate a palatal spectrum. That’s definitely it, because from here I can imagine all the things in between! 

To those that love to eat and those willing to try things, here’s my recipe for noszki. 

(And to new readers, when I give recipes I typically only provide the method and the ingredients. This is because I practice cooking to taste so I find giving exact measurements makes it difficult to create the best outcome. )

“Cooking is an experience of the senses, one must learn to listen, taste, and feel in order to understand what the outcome should be.” – M.S


– Pork Hock / Feet 

– Gelatin 

– Fresh Parsley

– Carrots

– Celery

– Onion

– peppercorn 

– salt

– garlic

– marjarom /savoury/ thyme/ oregano (I didn’t have marjoram so I substituted with the other three, using very little oregano) 

– bay leaves 

– nutmeg


1. Place pork in a pot with just enough water to cover. Add fresh carrots, parsley, celery, onions and garlic. (Leave the whole) Add bay leaves, salt, peppercorn, nutmeg, and marjoram.  Boil on medium, until meat falls off the bone. (The longer the better, I boiled mine for about 4hrs) *Add water as needed. 

2. Strain the broth through cheese cloth/ fine strainer and return broth to pot.

3. Let meat and vegetables cool enough to dice. Return to pot.

4. Add more water if needed just enough to cover the ingredients. Add more fresh chopped garlic and extra spices to desired flavour. Should taste like a nice stew. 

5. Add roughly 1/2tbsp of gelatin per 1c of liquid. Bring to a boil. 

5. Remove from heat and pour into moulds! 

6. Chill overnight and serve with fresh lemon juice and Maggie sauce on toasted Ozery Morning Rounds

Please let me know how it goes and feel free to share your photos on Facebook or Instagram with #MelbasKitchen 

Black Bean Pasta With Espresso Balsamic Vinegar Chicken And Chanterelle Mushrooms

Here’s the recipe from my YES Friends canoeing in the Rockies adventure with my friend Sam.

For the video click here: YES Friends: Part 2

Vermillion Lake

Vermillion Lake

All my recipes are improvised and I encourage you to alter the recipe as you see fit and use it only as a guideline to tummy happiness!

Black Bean Pasta with Espresso Balsamic Vinegar Chicken and Chanterelle Mushrooms

Black Bean Pasta with Espresso Balsamic Vinegar Chicken and Chanterelle Mushrooms

Continue reading

Sheperds Pie : Melba’s Kitchen

Comfort Food

I spend a lot of time cooking, so much that it’s not unusual for my friends to know that when they invite me over for a meal, it will probably result in me cooking for them! A common thing I hear from my friends is “I miss [Melba] cooking in my kitchen!” especially when I haven’t been around for a while. So really “Melba’s Kitchen,” is a metaphor and not necessarily always a physical location.

Melba’s Kitchen is a metaphor for sharing meals made with love.

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Steinhart Distillery – Toast

Steinhart Distillery 

5 Stars

Reviewed 02 Oct 2015

For a video on a Mojito Recipe using Steinhart Gin Click Mojito: The Canadian Melba

Thomas Steinhart signed my guestbook

Thomas Steinhart signed my guestbook

Thomas Steinhart is the most charismatic and genuine and friendly distillery master I have ever met.

We ended up spending nearly 2 hours here just sharing stories and jokes. I think that’s the best part about any business… is that the owners don’t make it seem like a business but rather a friendly setting where everyone is at home having a drink with some friends.

Thomas was not only great at conversation but he took the time to show us his stills and you can feel and easily tell that this man has a passion for his profession. Actually, he used to be an engineer and decided to pursue distilling just like his father and his father’s father. 

We ended up ordering 6 bottles of the most delicious and aromatic vodka’s and gin from him. However it won’t be the last time we give Steinart Distillery a call. Even though I live in Alberta his family like demeanour and high quality liquors will bring as back for many years to come. 

PLUS! He’s uber professional and shipped our order very fast! I mean FAST!!!

For more information visit @steinhartdistil or facebook  SteinhartDistillery.com 

For a video on a Mojito Recipe using Steinhart Gin Click Mojito: The Canadian Melba