Recipes Roll

 

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

pumpkin spice cupcakes

Pumpkin recipes are everywhere right now and instead of seeming to get tired of it, it’s making me crave pumpkin even more. Today when I walked into the grocery store Pumpkin cans were upfront, centre isle.

Here is a warm cozy treat for a study break or to bring to a fall potluck.

Ingredients: (makes 12)

  • 1 cup pumpkin purée
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups AP Flour
  • 2 tsp Baking powder
  • 2 tsp pumpkin spice mix
  • zest of 1 orange

Pumpkin Frosting

  • 1 cup cream cheese
  • 1 TBSP pumpkin purée (not pie filling)
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 1 tsp orange juice

Toasted almonds (chop raw almonds toast in toaster oven for 2 minutes)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Line a muffin pan with paper muffin cups.

In a large bowl mix the pumpkin purée, vanilla, sugar and eggs together.

fresh orange zest

In a separate bowl add the flour, baking powder, orange zest and pumpkin spice together.

Add the four mix to the wet mix and lightly stir until almost combined.

Fill the muffin cups ¾ full with the batter.

Bake for 15-20 minutes- until golden on top and a toothpick comes out clean (no sticky batter)

Icing: With an electric beater mix all the frosting ingredients together until smooth.

Add a teaspoon amount of icing to each cupcake and spread out.

pumpkin cream cheese icing

Top with almonds.

Enjoy!

Leftover Turkey Sandwich

turkey gravy cheese sandwich

Ingredients:

  • 2 slices whole grain bread
  • leftover turkey
  • 2 TBSP leftover gravy
  • 1/4 cup grated cheese
  • dash pepper

Directions:

Layer turkey, cheese and gravy on the bread. Put in a toaster oven for 2-3 minutes until the cheese is all melted.

turkey leftovers sandwich

Eat with a knife and fork.

Autumn Spice Brittle

Autumn spice cake brittle

I don’t think anyone gets tired of the classic apple and pumpkin pie thanksgiving desserts but if you feel like a change or adding something new I think this recipe is it.

Try it with some vanilla ice-cream.

If you want a chocolaty version see this Brownie Brittle Recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 box Spice Cake Mix- Duncan Hines
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup oil
  • ¼ cup water

Directions:

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

In a large bowl mix the cake mix, water, oil ad eggs together.

On a baking sheet covered in parchment, spread out the batter to create a thin layer.

spice cake batter brittle

Bake for 40 minutes or until crispy/breaks easily. (It depends a bit on how thin you spread the batter).

Let it cool and break into pieces.

Sweet Potato Onion Soup

sweet potato onion soup

Here is a recipe my mom and grandmother made together the other day when they were visiting. It is a perfect lunch after a morning of racking leaves or a nice autumn walk. It tasted just like fall should. The soup is savory, a tad sweet, warm and filling.

The Sourdough croutons were an extra treat soaking up the soup and adding to the multitude of great flavours.

Inspired by a recipe on the side of a Grissol Bread Sticks Box: 

(Makes about 6 servings) 

Ingredients:

  • 2 Sweet onions ( Spanish or Vidalia))
  • 4 large carrots, finely chopped
  • 1 sweet potato , finely chopped
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 4 tsp of cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp of sugar
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp each salt & pepper (or more to taste)
  • 5 cups of vegetable broth
  • Several slices of sourdough bread into croutons
  • Shredded aged Cheddar

Directions:

Peel and quarter onions and toss with sweet potatoes, carrots and garlic.

Heat the butter in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat and cook vegetables for 20 minutes until tender.

Stir in 1/2 of the vinegar, the sugar, salt and pepper and thyme and cook for an addl. 5 minutes.

Stir 1 cup of the vegetable broth into the pan and scrap up browned bottom.

Remove from heat and purée in smaller batches in the blender, adding addl. stock as needed. Then stir in the remaining stock and vinegar.

Cut bread into thin slices and quarter. Bake in 350 degree oven until slightly crisp, add grated cheese on top and bake until melted. Serve on top of soup.

sourdough croutons on sweet potato soup

Enjoy!

 

Crunchy Coconut Oil Almond Cookies

almond coconut oil cookies

The first day of fall just crept right up.  Apple picking has happened, the pumpkins are out…Starbucks had Pumpkin Spice Lattes on the menu again.  Although I do love fall it is still hard to say goodbye to the warm weather.

Here is a super crunchy cookie recipe to enjoy on this crisp autumn day.

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • 1-cup sugar
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3 drops pure almond extract
  • 1 ½ cups AP Flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • ½ cup chopped raw almonds

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In  a large bowl add the coconut oil, sugar, egg whites and extracts together. In a separate bowl mix the flour, salt and baking powder together. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix in. Add the almonds and mix again.

Using a teaspoon, place dollops of batter about an inch apart on a baking pan covered in parchment.

crunchy coconut oil cookie batter

Bake for 10 minutes.

Enjoy!

Crunchy Roasted Cauliflower

roasted cauliflower

A great side for any meal. What better way to get in your daily dose of veggies?

Ingredients:

  • Half a head of cauliflower (broken into pieces)
  • 6 tbsp salted butter (cubed)
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • ¼ cup Panko flakes

Directions: 

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Prep baking dish by placing half of the butter in the bottom of the pan. Cut and wash cauliflower making sure it is fairly dried before putting it into your baking dish. Toss all ingredients in 2 baking dishes, making sure garlic and butter is evenly distributed. Bake uncovered for 15 min until cauliflower is softened and slightly browned.

Lemon Cake Cookie Recipe: The easiest and most tasty!lemon cake cookies

Probably the easiest/ cheapest and surprisingly delicious cookie recipes I have yet to make. These cookies lasted no more than an hour in my bustling student house this weekend, but really when you bake these cookies or for that matter any other college cooking recipe, you have to be prepared to share.

Ingredients:

  • 1 box lemon cake mix
  • juice of half a lemon
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • Turbinado sugar or unsweetened coconut flakes for sprinkling on top

Directions: 

Start by setting the oven to 350 degrees.

lemon zest

Then as the oven heats up, combine all the ingredients into a bowl and mix them together. No separating the wet from the dry, how much simpler can it get??

Now that you have your cakey cookie batter (should look more batter like than dough like) dollop 1 tbsp amounts onto a parchment paper prepared cookie sheet.

lemon cookie batter

Sprinkle your cookies with sugar or coconut for an added bit of pizazz, and bake for 9-12 minutes, taking them out when they have turned slightly golden but are still soft (they will harden as they cool).

Super easy, and super yummy, especially if you are a big fan of lemon inspired desserts!

Brownie Caramel Brittle

brownie brittle bark recipe

I don’t even know how to start this entry.

This stuff is good! Really good! Hard not to eat the entire batch in 2 minutes good!

It’s crispy, crunchy and extra chocolatey!

Ingredients:

  • 1 package dry brownie mix (Duncan Hines)
  • ¼ cup oil
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 egg
  • 5 caramel pieces-chopped

Directions:

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

In a large bowl mix the brownie mix, water, oil ad eggs together.

On a baking sheet covered in parchment, spread out the batter to create a thin layer.

brownie caramel brittle

I used the back of a spoon to even it all out. Then sprinkle with the caramel pieces.

Bake for 40 minutes or until crispy/breaks easily. (It depends a bit on how thin you spread the batter).

Let it cool and break into pieces.

caramel brownie brittle recipe

Enjoy!

Dessert Apple Sandwiches

peanut butter chocolate chip apple sandwich

I have been eating this snack almost everyday for a week. It’s fast and delicious. The crunchy apple  and the smooth peanut butter are perfectly paired!  This sandwich idea started popping up on Pinterest with a few different variations so I thought I’d create my own using some of my favourite ingredients.

Ingredients: (makes 2)

  • 1 apple- slice 4 rounds (I used Fuji)
  • 2 tsp smooth peanut butter
  • chocolate chips (approx. 10)
  • 1 tsp unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 tsp honey
  • dash of cinnamon

Directions:

Cut the apple to make 4 circles: either 2 on each side or core the centre and slice into 4 horizontally.

Divide the ingredients in 2. Smear the peanut butter on one apple round, then add the chocolate chips, sprinkle with the coconut, drizzle with honey .  Place another apple round on top.

cinnamon apple sandwich

 

Sprinkle with cinnamon.

peanut butter apple dessert

Eat!

Salted Chocolate Caramel Pretzel Bars

salted caramel pretzel bars

Why does it feel like summer is coming to an end! I vote another 2 solid weeks of sun and warmth!

The only plus side I can see to this slightly cooler weather are these Salted Chocolate Caramel Pretzel Bars. The story here is they were made a few weeks ago and served outside by the pool. The problem with this…the heat slowly started to melt the caramel and chocolate layers. Still delicious but a bit messier than planned. Therefore maybe they are more of a fall dessert or should stay indoors in summer :)

Ingredients:

Shortbread

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • ½ cup coarsely ground pretzels

Caramel

Chocolate

  • 8 oz chocolate, finely chopped (any kind you like)
  • 1 teaspoon corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • ½ cup ground pretzels for sprinkling

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 F. Line a 9×13-inch baking pan with parchment paper.

To make the shortbread layer: Mix the flour, baking powder and crushed pretzel together in a bowl. Then in a separate bowl, beat the butter and sugar until pale yellow and smooth. Then add the dry ingredients in parts to the wet ingredients, making sure not to over mix.

At this point take your short bread mixture and press it into the bottom of your pan. Bake for about 16-18 minutes, or until the crust is a light golden brown. Remove from oven at this point and cool.

When your shortbread is cooling you can make the caramel layer. Combine all the ingredients but the vanilla in a medium saucepan. Set the pan over medium heat. Stir occasionally for 5 to 7 min and then add the vanilla. Stir a minute more or until the mixture thickens and turns a light golden color. Pour the caramel mixture over the cooled shortbread and spread in an even layer. Allow to cool completely, then put in the fridge and chill for 2 hours (you can also chill overnight)

Wait till the caramel layer is almost completely set to start making the final chocolate layer.

Add the chocolate, corn syrup, and butter to a double boiler with a small amount of water in the second section of the boiler. Heat, stirring occasionally, until everything is completely melted. Pour the chocolate over the chilled caramel and spread into an even layer.

pretzel caramel bar chocolate layer

Let cool for a few minutes, then sprinkle the top with the crushed pretzel.

pretzel layer

 

Let everything set before serving, and enjoy!

caramel pretzel shortbread barspretzel bar dessert

Best served with Ovaltine hot chocolate ;)

Cheesy Pesto  Bacon Croissants

herb cheese pesto savoury croissants

Today is the first day back at school! This means a bit less time for prepping in the kitchen. These croissants are so easy to throw together in a hurry plus they can be frozen and baked whenever you want something filling and fast. They are flakey and cheesy and savoury all in one bite. Perfect for at home or on the way to class or work.

Ingredients:

  • Grand Pillsbury Crescent Rolls- dough
  • 4 slices bacon cooked
  • 4 slices mozzarella cheese
  • 4 tsp feta cheese
  • 2 tsp pesto
  • 2 tsp fresh dill
  • 2 tsp fresh parsley
  • 2 TBSP parmesan cheese grated

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Roll out the crescent triangles on a baking pan covered in parchment.

Divide the ingredients by 4 and place over the dough.

pilsbury bacon cheese crescent rolls

Roll wide end to narrow- not too tightly. Sprinkle with a little parmesan cheese. Bake for 15 minutes.

Let cool slightly.

croissant pizzas

Enjoy!

(if freezing: assemble,bake, cool then freeze or assemble and freeze pre-baking and defrost before baking later)

Ginger Snap Lemon Whoopie Pies

lemon ginger snap whoopie pie

Whoopie Pies seem to be everywhere right now. Have they become more popular than the cupcake?

Whoopie pies might even be easier to make than cupcakes with no muffin trays and muffin tray liners to prep.

Fun thought: Have whoopie pie assembly party where you have different batters, different cookies and different icing flavours!

Ingredients:

Directions:

Follow batter directions hereLemony Cupcake Pudding Batter.

Spoon batter onto a baking pan covered in parchment creating a circle shape. Each circle should be about the size of your bought cookies.

Bake for 10 minutes.

Let cool for 20 minutes.

whoopie pie assembly

Add a dollop of icing to one pie circle. Place on the cookie, then another dollop of icing and top with another pie half .

lemon cake whoopie pie vanilla cake sandwich

 

Enjoy!

Coconut Almond Vegan Raw Cookies- (Bliss Balls)

raw vegan coconut almond cookies bliss balls

On one of our days in Australia we went to the town of Kuranda near Port Douglas. To get to the town, you go up in a little train and down in a gondola and see lots of waterfalls, animals and some beautiful views.

For a lunch we stopped off at this little café “Sweet Leaf Café” offering freshly made  juice and smoothie, pumpkin and beet veggie wraps and “Bliss Balls” (a raw dessert). I’d highly recommend this place. I loved everything I ordered.

DSCN3573 bliss balls

Inspired, I decided to whip my own version of the “Bliss Balls”. The main ingredient and the “glue” of the recipe are the dates. As long as you have that you can swap and trade some of the other ingredients. I think the next variety I will make I will try some peanut butter and cocoa powder!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup pitted dates
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • ¼ cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 4 drops coconut extract
  • ¼ cup oats
  • 1 tsp almond butter
  • ½ tsp cinnamon

Directions:

Place all ingredients in a blender.

no bake raw cookie recipe

Blend and take a heaping teaspoon amount and form into a small patty. Continue this using up the mixture.  Keep in the fridge for up to a week.

Chocolate Ovaltine Dip

ovaltine dip

You know that delicious nutty chocolate spread…starts with an “N” ends in “ella”? Although utterly delicious it can sometimes turn breakfast into dessert pretty quickly.

ovaltine spread

Here is another chocolate spread with a few more nutrients and a bit less heavy.  Ovaltine has many nutrients and vitamins: Vitamin A and C, Iron, Thiamine and Niacin (reads the label)

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup light cream cheese
  • 2 TBSP Skim milk
  • 3 TBSP Chocolate Ovaltine Powder

Directions:

This one is simple. Stir all ingredients until smooth. That’s it!

ovaltine spread on toast

Use as a dip for pretzels or cookies or as a spread on toast.

Poached Egg Salad: Two Ways

poached egg salad

Summertime is for lazy days, relaxing, and catching up on your blogging. But it is also a time when temptations arise in the form of marshmallow roasts, gourmet bbqs, ice-cream runs, and every other satisfying summer delight. So if you want to try something on the lighter side so you will still be able to squeeze into that yellow polka dot bikini (or swimming trunks!) then try this simple salad instead.

Ingredients:

  • 1 egg (per salad)
  • Arugala lettuce (2-3 handfuls)
  • Toppings of your choice
    • For the first salad we used diced chicken, pear, and shaved parmesan, all topped with a simple balsamic vinaigrette (1 tsp balsamic vinegar, 1 tbsp grape seed oil or olive oil, salt/pepper, squirt of lemon)
    • For the second salad we kept it simple and sweet with fresh grapes, raw almonds, and no vinaigrette (the healthier option)

poached egg saladgrape salad

Directions:

To poach an egg: Bring a small pot of water to a gentle simmer. Add in a tsp of vinegar to the water. Create a swirl in the water using the back of a wooden spoon. Then crack an egg into a bowl (this extra step ensures no egg shells by mistake) and carefully place the cracked egg into the centre of the swirl you created. It takes a bit of practice/luck to get the perfect poach. Cook it for about 4 min and serve over the salad (with your choice of toppings).

Honey Lemonade with Watermelon Ice Cubes

watermelon ice cubes honey lemonade

So we have a new puppy (Franklin) that is crazy about watermelon. He would demolish the whole thing in a second if I ever gave him the chance.

Bernese puppy 15 weeks

To slow him down a bit I started freezing chunks of watermelon for him.

Light bulb moment! Why am I not enjoying this idea?!

I made another batch or frozen cubes for us humans and they are the perfect ice cube! Add them to any drink or make this honey lemonade!

Ingredients:

  • 3 Lemons juiced
  • ½ cup honey
  • 6 cups hot water
  • 6-8 squares watermelon- frozen

Directions:

Mix the honey and hot water together. Place in the freezer/fridge until cool. Add the lemon juice and stir. Pour into glasses. Add the watermelon.

watermelon honey lemonade

Sip away!

Corn Pops and Rice Krispies Marshmallow Chocolate Squares

Corn Pop Rice Krispie Squares

A change up from the usual Rice Krispies Square! These will have you hooked. Yes they seem like a kids dream but trust me kids and adults alike will love them. Sweet, crunchy and chocolaty!

Ingredients:

  • 1 jar Marshmallow Fluff
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 cup Rice Krispies cereal
  • 3 cups Corn Pops cereal
  • ½ cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

Prep a glass baking pan by covering bottom and sides with cling wrap.

In a large microwavable bowl melt the butter and fluff for 20 seconds. Add the cereals and chocolate chips and stir.

Corn Pop Rice Krispie marshmallow Squares

Place the mix in the baking pan and press down.

Corn Pop marshmallow Squares

Cut into squares and eat.

Pumpkin Paprika Hummus

pumpkin paprika hummus

Another travel inspired recipe. So recently I went to… AUSTRALIA! A completely awesome place to travel!

One ingredient that kept popping up was pumpkin. Pumpkin in salad, in pasta, on pizza, desserts. I find here pumpkin shows up around Halloween and thanksgiving in a lot of themed dishes. Pumpkin is loaded with antioxidants, vitamin A, C and E so lots of reasons to add it in whenever possible.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup pure pumpkin Purée (not pie filling)
  • 1 cup canned drained chickpeas
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp roasted unsalted pepita (pumpkin)seeds

Directions:

I read a while back that removing the outer skin of the chickpeas will make a smoother hummus.

skin off chickpeas

 

I tried it here and couldn’t really tell a difference worth the effort so you can decide about whether to add this step.

pumpkin paprika hummus lemon

Put all the ingredients into the food processor minus the pepita seeds. Blend until smooth.

lemon pumpkin paprika hummus

Place in a bowl. Sprinkle with pepita seeds and a dash of extra paprika. Serve with crackers, veggies or pita.

Roasted Apricot Crepes

roasted apricot crepes

This recipe is more about the apricot than the crepes but it is definitely a packaged deal. Last year I travelled to Switzerland and stayed in a hotel that had a garden dining area. Every time I passed it I kept smelling apricots. Sweet fragrant apricots. We were so busy travelling around that we never actually ate their but I checked out the menu and it was a crepe apricot dessert I kept smelling. The memory/smell stuck with me and a year later my version of apricot crepes.

I’ve always like apricots but heated up- roasted and toasted brings them to a whole new flavour level!

(Makes 3-5 crepes)

 Ingredients:

  • 1 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup flour
  • 1 TBSP melted butter
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (extra for apricot)
  • Butter for cooking and apricot.
  • 1 tsp Icing sugar
  • Maple syrup for the drizzle

Directions:

In a large bowl whisk the eggs and milk and water together. Then add everything else and keep whisking. Let the batter sit in fridge for about an hour. You’ll see a few bubbles start to appear. (my mom makes it this way- I’m sure there is some science behind it)

Heat a dab of butter in a frying pan at low-medium heat. Ladle one scoop of batter into the centre of the pan and swirl around to make it a larger circle and evenly thin. Watch carefully. In less than a minute-flip. And cook another 20 seconds or so.

Crepes took me a few tries to get the hang of – nice and thin and flipping at the right moment. If you like them extra crispy add a few seconds to each flip. Once you figure out the timing you will find them so easy to make any weekend morning!

Slice an apricot in half. Create a few scour marks and brush with butter and sprinkle with a tad of cinnamon. In a toaster oven- toast the apricot for 3 minutes. (you could do this in the oven too)

grilled roasted apricot crepes

Serve crepes with a drizzle of maple syrup, the apricot and a dusting of icing sugar.

 

Peanut Butter and Banana –Banana Bread Grilled Sandwich banana bread peanut butter banana sandwich

I love love love peanut banana sandwiches. I’ve been eating them since a kid and can’t imagine ever getting sick of them. But I suppose it’s always a good idea to change things up. So instead of my standard toast-peanut butter-banana, I decided to exchange the toast for banana bread!

I think this may be a new regular!

It’s crunchy and toasty on the outside and smooth and sweet inside.  A comfort classic!

Ingredients:

  • 2 slices banana bread (1/2 inch thick)
  • 1 TBSP Peanut Butter (homemade or your favourite brand)
  • 4 slices banana
  • Drizzle of honey
  • Dab of butter

Directions:

Heat a frying pan to medium heat. Lightly butter the two outer sides of the banana bread. On the other sides smear with the peanut butter.

Place one slice buttered side down on frying pan. Layer the bananas. Drizzle with honey.

peanut butter and banana fried sandwich

Place next slice, butter side up on top. Flip once or twice until peanut butter starts to get ooey gooey melted!

DSC_0421

Healthy Whole Wheat Maple Banana Breadwhole wheat banana bread

I have a master plan for this banana bread recipe. I actually made it to make another recipe which I will post next. This banana bread is purposely less sweet than your traditional version. Stick with me here! It will all make sense in the next post :)

Ingredients:

  • 2 TBSP Coconut Oil
  • 4 TBSP maple syrup
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 mashed bananas
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp ground chia seeds
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Butter a loaf pan then sprinkle with flour so the bread won’t stick later when it’s done.

In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, combine the bananas, eggs, maple syrup, vanilla and coconut oil together. It won’t look completely smooth because of the coconut oil but it’s ok if it seems a bit separated.

In a separate bowl mix the flour, baking soda and powder and the chia seeds and cinnamon together. Add the dry ingredients to the banana mix and lightly combine.

Pour batter into the loaf pan.

35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Cool for 10 minutes. Lightly run a knife around the edge of pan. Gently flip upside down and remove bread into you hands and place right side up on a plate.

not too sweet banana bread with coconut oil

Slice and eat with a dab of butter and honey….or save for what’s coming next!

Veggie Loaded Whole Wheat Honey Toasted Chickpea Chicken Wrap

honey chickpea veggie wrap

I used to live near a breakfast place that served the best chickpea wrap as a breakfast item. It was sweet and crunchy with lots of different  flavours. I went back recently and it was closed so thought I’d attempt the recipe myself from what I could remember.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup chickpeas- drained, rinsed and dried
  • 2 TBSP honey
  • 1 pinch smoked paprika
  • 1 pinch salt

 

  • 1 cooked chicken breast- sliced
  • 2 whole wheat wraps
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 2 TBSB crumbled feta
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 6 cherry tomatoes- cut in half

Dressing: lemon poppy seed

Directions:

To make the chickpeas I used the toaster oven. On tinfoil lay out the chickpeas. Drizzle with honey and sprinkle with paprika and salt. Toast for 3-5 minutes. You can also bake the chickpeas like I did in this recipe.

Layer ingredients between 2 wraps.

honey paprika chickpea salad wrap

Wrap up and eat!

Chicken Almond Asian Sesame Salad

asian sesame chicken salad

What to do with those BBQ leftovers?

Salads are a great way to have leftovers as a lunch or quick dinner. I have been making a variety of “leftover” salads and sandwiches all summer and some of these quick put-together are becoming some of my new favourites dishes.

This is one crunch filled salad! It will have you munching with happiness at every bite.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 2 Clementine’s
  • 2 TBSP toasted slivered almonds
  • 1 chicken breast with 1 tsp Montreal chicken spice (precooked)
  • ½ cup spinach

Dressing:

  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 3 tbsp warm water
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp rice wine vinegar
  • ½ tsp honey

 Directions:

Put all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and mix together. It takes a few minutes to combine with the almond butter but just keep on mixing.

In 2 bowls- to serve two-layer the spinach, then bean sprouts, carrots, chicken, almonds, Clementine’s and then finally the dressing.

asian chicken salad

Too easy! A must make!

BBQ Pepper Corn and Chicken Salad

bbq chicken salad

I realized I have been on a bit of a dessert theme lately so here is a salad to balance it out a bit. This was created from using some leftovers from a BBQ the other night.

Ingredients:

  • 1 chicken breast
  • ½ tsp Montreal Chicken Seasoning
  • 2 peppers (I used yellow and red)
  • 2 cobs of corn
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 10 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 green onion
  • 2 tbsp lemon poppy seed dressing

Directions:

To prepare the corn and peppers: Wash peppers, de-seed and slice in half. Hust corn. Brush both lightly with olive oil.

Chicken- season with Montreal Chicken Seasoning.

BBQ the chicken, peppers and corn directly on the grill for 15 minutes.

grilled peppers

Cut the tomatoes in half. Cut up the pepper into smaller pieces. Cut kernels off the corn. Cube the chicken. Add them altogether in a large bowl and add the dressing. Cut the green onion and sprinkle on top.

DSC_0363

Enjoy!

Skor Almond Hello Dolly Pie

skor hello dolly pie

The first time I ever had “Hello Dolly” bars was in university in the school cafeteria. Apparently I had been missing out on these my whole childhood. I love coconut so pretty much any dessert is a winner in my books if there is coconut in  and “Hello Dolly’s, coconut is the star ingredient ! This dessert is fool proof. Some things you could substitute out and add: mini marshmallows,

Ingredients:

  • Graham cracker pre made crust
  • 1 can light sweet condensed milk
  • ½ cup room temperature almond butter
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes.
  • 1 cup milk chocolate chips
  • ½ cup Skor bites
  • ½ cup slivered almonds

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Put half the chocolate chips, coconut, Skor and almonds in the bottom of the crust.

DSC_0437

Then evenly drizzle with the almond butter. Then evenly drizzle half the can of condensed milk over it.

Then sprinkle the rest of chocolate chips, coconut, Skor and almonds and drizzle the rest of the condensed milk evenly over the top. Put in the over for 20 minutes.

DSC_0440

Cool slightly, slice and eat!

Brownie Lindt Ovaltine Fudge Bar Birthday Cake

brownie ovaltine fudge bar ice-cream cake

There were so many birthdays this month so lots of reasons for cake eating and baking. Here is a very very chocolate laden birthday dessert.

Chocolate with a triple side of chocolate please!

Ingredients:

  • 2 boxes Duncan Hines Chewy Fudge Brownie Mix
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup water
  • ½ cup chocolate Ovaltine powder
  • Lindt chocolate bars- chopped
  • 5 Fudge ice-cream bars- off the stick and slightly melted
  • 1 package Ovaltine cookies
  • 2 tbsp butter (room temperature)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Empty the 2 bags of brownie mix and the Ovaltine powder into a large mixing bowl. Add the eggs, water and oil and beat for 2 minutes with an electric mixer.

lindt chips

Add the chocolate pieces and mix again.

In a food processor crush the Ovaltine cookies.

ovaltine cookies

Add the butter and pulse. Press the cookie mix into the bottom of prepared (parchment paper on bottom) release form cake pan.

cookie crust

Pour batter on top of cookie crust . Bake for 35-40 minutes. Top should not look moist and edges should look a bit crisp. Let cool for 30 minutes.

Using a knife slice the cake horizontally in half. Add the melted fudge bars on the bottom half. Place the top back on.  Freeze for a minimum of 30 minutes.

icing sugar stencil

Take out of freezer when you are ready to eat and decorate. I used a stencil and icing sugar.

chocolate lindt birthday cake

Make a wish!

White and Milk Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies

white chocolate chip peanut butter cookies

What time of day is it? Cookie Time! Sometimes there is nothing better than curling up with a summer read, a glass of milk and a plate of cookies!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1.5 cups white sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 ½ cups flour
  • ½ tsp each of baking soda and baking powder
  • ½ cup each milk and white chocolate chips

Directions:

Start by mixing together the wet- mix the butter and sugar together until smooth. I  used  an electric mixer for this . Add in the egg and vanilla and mix again until smooth.

In another bowl  add the flour, the baking powder and baking soda and stir. Then add this mix to the wet ingredients and lightly blend. After a few seconds add the chocolate chips.  Do not over mix.

peanut butter cookie dough

Cover a baking pan with parchment paper. Use a teaspoon to drop each cookie on the pan. Leave about an inch between each cookie.  Lightly press down each cookie using a wet fork.

Bake for 9-10 minutes until light golden brown.

white and milk chocolate cookies

Serve with a glass of cold milk!

Nectarine Caprese Salad

DSC_0422

I’ve mentioned before how much I like Caprese salad. I love the different directions you can take when assembling it. I’ve written about that before here.

When I saw this post I knew I had to try a new fruit in my Caprese salad.

Adapted from: Iowa Girl Eats

Ingredients:

  • 1 nectarine
  • 10 cherry tomatoes
  • 2 mini balls of fresh mozzarella
  • 10 basil leaves
  • a drizzle of balsamic vinegar
  • a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and fresh ground peppers

Directions:

Half all the tomatoes. Slice the nectarine to resemble the tomato size. Slice the mozzarella. Over two plates alternate the ingredients and layer in a row. Drizzle with the vinegar and oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Enjoy!

Patriotic Strawberry Maple Cheesecake Bars

strawberry maple cheese cake

I made this a few weeks ago to celebrate Canada Day at the cottage with the family. It was tons of fun and a great sweet treat at the end of a day on the dock.

Ingredients:

Cream cheese filling

  • 8 ounces. Light cream cheese
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup sliced strawberries (for topping)

Crust

  • 1/3 cup ground almonds
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup softened butter
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon

Directions:

First make the crust. Set oven to 275 degrees.

butter cheese cake

Mix softened butter and brown sugar together and incorporate flour in parts. Add cinnamon and almonds.

cheesecake crust

Press crust mixture onto a greased baking pan. Bake for 12 to 15 min until golden. Let cool before adding cheesecake mixture.

Beat cream cheese with sugar and slowly add in egg. Add in maple syrup, vanilla and beat until smooth.

Pour mixture into the cooled crust. Bake for 25 to 30 min until set at 375 degrees.

cheesecake pan

Top with sliced strawberries, in a Canada flag pattern if you are baking this for Canada day, or just arrange in a uniform pattern. Either way this delicious dessert will be enjoyed by your guests.

Apple Butter Spice Cookies

apple butter spice cookies

I still had a bit of that Apple Butter left from the gift a few weeks ago so I decided to try using it in a dessert. These are yummy! I’m definitely saving this recipe to make again in the fall. It has some autumn flavours with the pumpkin spicing. But really any cookies anytime are good by me :)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter- room temperature
  • 1 cups sugar
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups All purpose Flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp pumpkin spice
  • 4 TBSP Apple Butter

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In one bowl blend the butter and sugar together using an electric mixer. Then add the vanilla and eggs and blend. In a separate bowl mix the flours, spices, baking soda and powder together.

Add the dry to the wet ingredients and stir.

apple butter cookie dough

On a baking pan covered in parchment paper put teaspoon sized dollops an inch apart.

Bake for 10 minutes.

Let cool for 15 minutes.

apple butter spice cookies

Spread the apple butter on one side of 2 cookies and sandwich together.

Strawberry Summer Salad with Orange Vinaigrettestrawberry orange salad

Another yummy summer recipe from my day strawberry picking at the cottage!

Ingredients:

  • Dressing
  • 1 half of a medium freshly squeezed orange
  • 1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • a few glugs of Olive oil
  • Salad
  • 1 package of baby arugula
  • ¼ cup slivered almonds
  • ½ cup sliced strawberries

Directions:

Whisk orange juice, vinegar, mustard and oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

orange vinaigrette dressing

Toss strawberries almonds and arugula together, mix in dressing just before serving.

Almond Butter Banana Pancakes Almond butter Banana pancakes

Pancakes for dinner! Or breakfast or lunch… I think they are great for anytime of day!

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup White AP Flour
  • ½ cup Whole Wheat Flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 banana- mashed
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • butter for frying

Directions:

mashed bananas

Mix flour, salt, sugar, baking powder, and cinnamon together. In a separate bowl mix egg, milk, vanilla, banana and almond butter together. Add to flour mix and lightly stir. Don’t over mix. Let sit for 10 minutes.

Heat a dab of butter in a frying pan at low to medium heat. Pour t heaping tablespoon of batter into pan. When it starts to bubble flip. Continue until all the batter is used up.

Drizzle with maple syrup!

Apple Butter Cheddar Melt

apple butter cheddar sandwich

We recently received a jar of apple butter in a gift. I have never had apple butter before but am definitely a new fan! I can see it being great a great addition in savory or sweet dishes. It’s a new flavour that I can’t wait to use more!

Ingredients:

  • 1 bun (pumpkin seed diamond bun or baguette piece)
  • 3 slices old fort cheddar cheese
  • 1 tbsp Apple Butter
  • 3 slices apple (Fuji)

 Directions:

Preheat oven to broil.

Slice bun. On one side layer with cheese and broil for 2 minutes.

apple butter melt

On the other half spread the apple butter. Layer with apple slices. Place 2 sides together.

pumpkin seed apple butter and cheese sandwich

Enjoy!

Baked Turkey Mac and Cheese

turkey bacon mac and cheese

Mac and cheese is one of those dishes where you can experiment with different additions. Try adding some bacon like I did here or some carrots or cauliflower. Smothered in cheese is the way to go! The Ritz topping gives it a great crunch :)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dry shell pasta
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese (I used orange and white)- save a sprinkle for the top.
  • 1 tsp butter
  • 1 tsp flour
  • ½ cup skim milk
  • ½ tsp grainy mustard
  • ¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • ½ tsp freshly ground pepper
  • ½ tsp olive oil
  • 2 slices turkey bacon cut into small pieces
  • 5 Ritz crackers- crushed
  • ½ tsp Italian seasoning

Directions:

Cook pasta as directed on package.

Fry bacon for a few minutes in a frying pan at medium heat.

turkey bacon

In a sauce pot, melt butter at low/medium heat. Add the flour and whisk in with butter. Add the milk and continue to whisk until all the clumps are gone. Mix in the nutmeg and mustard.

cheese sauce

Add the cheese and mix until melted together and smooth.

Add the pasta and bacon to the sauce pot.

Baked Turkey Mac and Cheese with cracker topping

Mix until sauce covers all the noodles.

Preheat oven to Broil (550 Degrees F)

Smear olive oil into a small baking dish covering the bottom and sides.

Add the pasta mix to the dish. Top with the crushed crackers and Italian seasoning. Sprinkle with extra cheese.

Baked Turkey Mac and Cheese with ritz crackers

Bake for 2-3 minutes.

Iced Strawberry Pineapple Daiquiris

strawberry pineappledaiquiris

I just spent a lovely week off at the cottage! We went strawberry picking one morning which is always fun but it was extra hot that day!

Here’s a perfect drink to cool off with after a hard day of strawberry picking! What could be better to stay refreshed after all those long hard hours spent soaking in the sun?

Ingredients:

  • Pineapple juice (for ice cubes)
  • 2 cups strawberries, preferably fresh
  • 8 tbsp. rum
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup squeezed lime juice
  • ¼ cup squeezed orange juice

Directions:

Pour pineapple juice into two ice cube trays and place in the freezer.

frozen pineapple

 

frozen iced strawberry pineapple

Wash cut and hull the strawberries and when the ice cubes are frozen combine all ingredients in a blender and blend on high until smooth.

strawberry drinks 4

Cooling off!

Asiago and Herb Beer Bread

Herb and asiago cheese beer bread

A new beer bread recipe!

This would be great to use for this Beer Bread Grilled Cheese. With the two bottles of beer it rises up to create a perfect toast sized slice.

Ingredients:

  • 5 cups AP Flour
  • 3 tsp baking soda
  • 1 bottles Stella Beer
  • 1 tbsp Italian Seasoning
  • ½ cup grated Asiago cheese
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • ½ tsp pepper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl mix the flour, cheese, seasonings, baking soda and sugar together. Add the 2 bottles of beer and lightly mix.

Pour batter into a buttered and then floured loaf pan. Melt butter in the microwave for 30 seconds. Pour melted butter over the top.

cheese loaf bread

Bake for 60 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.

double the height beer breadsliced beer bread

Slice and enjoy!

Simple Peanut Soba Noodles with Green Onion   peanut green onion soy sesame soy noodles

I love the taste of soba noodles. They have a great nutty flavour. Soba noodles are filled with fiber and protein so you can feel good gobbling this dish up!

Ingredients:

  • 2 packages soba noodles
  • ½ cup unsalted peanuts
  • 3 green onions
  • 4 TBSP soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame seed oil
  • ½ tsp ground ginger

Directions:

green onions, peanuts, soba noodles

Cook noodles as directed on package.  Drain and rinse with warm water. Toast peanuts in the toaster oven for 3 minutes. Chop onions into small pieces. Pour the soy sauce, sesame oil and ginger on noodles and stir. Divide noodles into two dishes. Sprinkle with peanuts and onions.

peanut soy sesame soba noodles

Enjoy!

Baked Maple Blueberry Granola Crunch

maple blueberry granola

Looking for some new breakfast and snack ideas. This deliciously spicy and sweet granola can be frozen for a quick go to meal for anytime. Store fresh in an airtight container.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup chopped raw almonds
  • 1TBSP ground flax seeds
  • 1 cup dried blueberries
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup
  • ¼ cop brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 TBSP Butter

Directions:

In a sauce pan at low heat, melt the butter, sugar, syrup and vanilla together.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

In a metal bowl mix the oats, almonds, blueberries and flax together. Pour the heated mixture into the metal bowl and stir to cover all dry ingredients. Pour mixture evenly onto a baking sheet covered in parchment paper. Sprinkle with spices.

Bake for 20 minutes, stirring up the mix half way through bake time.

Eat as is or with some milk or yogurt as a crunchy cereal.

Pad Thai in a Hurry

Easy fast Pad Thai recipe

Here’s a super quick remake of one of my favourite take-out or out for dinner meals.

I know traditionally there are bean sprouts and not such an array of veggies but I felt like some more veggies today. Feel free to swap with bean sprouts.

 Ingredients:

  • 1 package thai rice noodles
  • 1 ½ cups frozen Asian- vegetable mix
  • ¼ cups unsalted roasted peanuts
  • 1 chicken breast
  • Presidents Choice Blue Menu Pad Thai Sauce.
  • 2 wedges lime

Directions:

Cook chicken breast in a frying pan at medium heat for 15 minutes. Flip half way through. Let the chicken cool slightly and cut into bite size pieces.

Cook noodles as directed on package.

Defrost vegetables by sitting them in hot water for 5-10 minutes.

Add the noodles, veggies and sauce together. Plate and sprinkle with the peanuts. Drizzle with a squirt of lime.

 

Blueberry Lemon Cookie CakeLemon blueberry crunch cookie cake

Happy Canada Day weekend! Between all the swimming and barbecuing why not whip up this summery dessert. It’s a little crunchy on the outside and deliciously moist on the inside.

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup butter – room temp
  • 1 ½ cup sugar
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 TBSP lemon juice
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 2 eggs
  • ¾ cup dried blueberries (or use fresh)
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1tsp baking soda
  • 1 pinch salt

Directions:

Pre heat oven to 350 degrees.

With an electric mixer, mix the butter, sugar, vanilla and eggs together. Then add the lemon juice and zest and mix. In a separate bowl mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt together. Add the dry ingredients to the wet.

dried blueberries

Mix lightly, and stir in the blueberries. You are done mixing when you can still see a bit of flour throughout the batter. Butter the sides of a cake pan and put a piece of parchment paper cut into a circle in the bottom of the pan.  Pour batter into cake pan.

Lemon Blueberry tea cake

Bake 25 minutes.

Blueberry lemon cake squares

Let cool slightly. Release from pan , slice and eat.

White Chocolate Almond Crunch Cookies

white chocolate almond cookies

The new puppy, Franklin, has settled in at home and is currently sleeping under the fan on this hot day. While I have a quiet moment it’s time to make some cookies! Perfect with some ice cold lemonade during this heat wave!

Ingredients:

  •  ½ cup butter – room temperature
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 ½ cups AP Flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/3 cup chopped almond
  • 1/3 cup white chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In one large bowl beat the butter and sugar until mixed well. Add in the vanilla and eggs and continue to beat. In another bowl mix the flour, baking powder and salt together. Add the flour mixture to the wet mixture. Slowly beat until partially incorporated. Add in the almonds and chocolate chips and mix lightly mix them in.

On a baking pan covered in parchment place teaspoon sized dollops of dough.

Bake for 10 min.

white chocolate almond cookie recipe

Let slightly cool.

 

Mango Citrus Guacamole mango citrus guacamole

Mashing your food is the activity of today!

It is a perfect day when your perfectly ripe avocado lets you do this!

perfect avocado

Ingredients:

  • 1 avocado
  • 1 mango
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon chopped green onion.
  • ½ each of teaspoon onion and garlic powder

Directions:

Remove flesh from avocado and cube into small pieces. Lightly mash with a fork. I keep a bit of chunkiness to the pieces. Cut mango into 1×1 cm cubes.

avocado mango

Add all the ingredients together and stir until all is incorporated.

chips and avocado dip

Serve with your favourite dipping chip or pita.

Open-Faced Lox on a Bagel : Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese lox cucumber dill bagel

Here’s a low key dinner idea or a fancy lunch or breakfast idea.

Or the perfect brunch addition!

There’s very little prep for this meal, just a little assembly.

Ingredients:

  • 1 everything bagel
  • A few pieces smoked salmon
  • 2 TBSP plain cream cheese
  • 2 TBSP sliced green onion
  • 1 TBSP fresh dill

Directions:

Cut the bagel. Toast the bagel.

Spread cream cheese over each face of the bagel.

salmon and cream cheese bagel

Layer with salmon, then cucumber, then dill, and then the onion.

dill green onion salmon cream cheese sandwich

Appetizer option: On a Triscuit cracker layer the same ingredients divided for cracker size.

Enjoy!

Skor Cookies

skor cookies

Everyone has a favourite chocolate bar or sweet treat. This cookie recipe is a great way to use your favourite chocolate bar as a star ingredient. Today I chose Skor, but Kit Kat, Oreo cookies, M&M’s would all be great too. Just cut/crush them up and add them to the batter.

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup butter – room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 ½ cups AP Flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 Skor Chocolate bars

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Chop Skor into small pieces.

Skor bites
In one large bowl beat the butter and sugar until mixed well. Add in the vanilla and eggs and continue to beat. In another bowl mix the flour, baking powder and salt together. Add the flour mixture to the wet mixture. Slowly beat until partially incorporated. Add in the Skor and mix a little more (try never to over mix batter).

skor cookie batter

On a pan covered in parchment place teaspoon sized dollops of dough.
Bake for 10 min.

skor cookie recipe
Let slightly cool.
Eat!

Baked Honey Wonton Chips

baked honey wonton chips

Here’s a quick snack idea. A little mix between sweet and salty with a lot of crunch.

They can be stores in a sealed container for a few days.

Ingredients:

  • 1 package wonton sheets
  • 2 TBSP honey
  • pinch of salt

Directions:

Separate the wonton sheets over a baking pan covered in parchment paper. Optional- cut squares into triangles.

wonton chips

Brush honey over the top surface. Lightly sprinkle with salt.

Bake for 10-15 minutes until golden brown.

sweet wonton chips

Eat up!

Smoked Paprika Cauliflower Steaks paprika cauliflower steaks

When I first heard of cauliflower steaks I thought it was a bit deceiving. When you make these don’t expect a major connection to a medium rare steak. Expect a vegetable that’s sweet yet savory all at once. Feel free to serve your cauliflower steaks with a side of meat :)

Ingredients:

  • 1 head of Cauliflower
  • 1 tsp of smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp of each salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Slice the cauliflower into ½ inch slices.

Drizzle with olive oil on both sides.

fried cauliflower

In a frying pan at medium to high heat, brown both sides of the cauliflower steaks for 2-3 minutes a side. Transfer to a baking pan covered in tin foil. Sprinkle with paprika, salt and pepper. Bake for 10 minutes.

paprika cauliflower

Enjoy!

Avocado and Tomato Mozzarella Grilled Cheese

Avocado Tomato Grilled Cheese

Another classic sandwich recipe with a twist.

As a kid grilled cheese was my favourite lunch. I liked it extra gooey, almost burnt with a dill pickle and a glass of milk on the side. Since I have ventured out of my comfort zone and like experimenting to create these delicious grilled cheese adaptations!

Ingredients:

  • ½ avocado (sliced)
  • 4 slices mozzarella cheese
  • 4 cherry tomatoes (sliced in half)
  • 2 slices multigrain bread
  • a dab of butter

Directions:

Butter the outside layers of the bread. Place one slice, buttered side down in a frying pan -heated at medium heat. Layer the cheese, tomato and then the avocado.

avocado grilled cheese

Place the other slice of bread on top- butter up. Flip after a few minutes. Cook each side until golden on the outside, gooey in the inside.

tomato grilled cheese

Enjoy!

Scrumptious Summer Cherry Pavlova’s

cherry pavlova

Summer time means two things: poolside tanning, and cherry season. And since I can’t imagine a recipe to do with poolside tanning at the moment, light and airy cherry pavlova’s are the next best thing to help you avoid those heavy desserts so you can look good in that little polka dot bikini . Gooey on the inside, crisp on the outside, pavlova’s are a perfect light treat for summer.

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup cherries
  • 4 egg whites
  • 2 tbsp. vinegar
  • 1 ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 ½ tbsp. cornstarch
  • 3 drops red food coloring
  • pinch salt
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup (for cherry topping)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 250 degrees

Start by separating the yolks from the whites carefully, making sure no yolk gets into the whites. Otherwise you will be snacking on pavlova pancakes, which are actually quite tasty if you were interested to know…

Your egg whites are best whipped at room temperature, so it is best to place them in a glass and immerse them in a bowl of warm water for about 10 min.

While you wait for the egg whites to reach room temp, wash pit and purée your cherries. You will only be adding the residual cherry juice to the mix as you do not want the purée to weigh down the egg white mix and keep it from rising.

At this point you can start whipping your egg whites adding a pinch of salt and the vinegar to start. Whip till soft peaks form, then increase speed and add vanilla, sugar and cornstarch, and beat until firm peaks form. Add in the residual cherry juice and the red food colouring to give it a pinkish hue.

pavlova sauce

Attempt the bowl over head test.

Place dollops of the Pavlov mixture onto a baking sheet covered with parchment paper.

pavlova drops

Bake 50-60 min till outside is crisp and inside is marshmallowy.

cherry pavlova's

Let cool and in the mean time make cherry sauce if you like by heating up reserve cherry puree with 2 tbsp. maple syrup over medium high heat for 5 min. Serve and enjoy.

Oatmeal Raspberry Bars

oatmeal raspberry bars

Feels like summer has finally hit! Walking home today I would smell the summery scent of BBQ coming from every other house I passed. Here’s an easy make ahead dessert idea for your next BBQ get-together. These squares taste summery and can be made a few days ahead and frozen.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups Precedent’s Choice Oatmeal Cookie mix
  • ½ cup room temperature Butter
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup Unsweetened Coconut Flakes
  • ¼ cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons raspberry jam.
  • 1 cup frozen mixed berries (defrosted and mashed)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Line an 8×4 loaf pan with parchment paper.

oatmeal cookie mix

Mix the butter together with the oatmeal cookie mixture, coconut and graham cracker. Add the oil and mix.

Take half the amount of batter and push it evenly into the loaf pan.

cookie layer

Mix the mashed berries and jam together and spread it out over the first layer of cookie.

jam mix

Then add the rest of the oatmeal batter on top of the jam layer.

cookie jam bars

Bake for 15 minutes.

oatmeal cookie bars

Cut into squares and serve.

Asparagus and Tomato Macaroni and Cheese

macaroni and cheese with tomato

Kraft Dinner, KD, macaroni and cheese are a pretty basic staple in the pinch of time kind of meal. Here is a variation on macaroni and cheese with a bit more of a home cooked feel and it takes almost the same amount of time.

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 5 tbsp flour
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 1 ½ cups White Old Cheddar Cheese
  • a pinch of nutmeg
  • ½ a tsp dry mustard
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper.
  • 6 spears asparagus
  • 10 cheery tomatoes
  • 2 cups dry macaroni

Directions:

Cook pasta as directed on package.

To create the Roux: In a saucepan melt the butter at medium heat. Add in a tablespoon of the flour.

basic roux

With a whisk, incorporate the flour into the butter. Keep doing this in small amounts until all the flour is used. Add the milk slowly while still mixing. This is a good base that can be used for other sauces.

roux nutmeg

Add in the cheese and stir until melted. Add the nutmeg and pepper. Slice the asparagus and half the tomatoes. Add the pasta and veggies to the cheese sauce.

Enjoy!

Cheesy Asparagus Puffs

cheese asparagus puff pastry

I’ve found myself extra busy lately so I feel I keep coming up with even quicker and easier recipes than normal.  I think this is good to have when in a pinch but I’m hoping to have some time coming up soon to get back to some quality cooking time.

Enjoy these yummy asparagus appetizers for a lunch idea or a pre dinner snack.

Ingredients:

  • 1 sheet puff pastry- defrosted
  • 12 spears of asparagus
  • 12 slices extra old white cheddar cheese
  • 1 TBSP Italian seasoning

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Cut puff pastry into 12 triangles.

Wrap each asparagus and cheese slice in one triangle. (Similar to a croissant).

asparagus wrapped appetizer

Sprinkle with Italian seasoning.

DSC_0306

Bake for 15 minutes until golden brown.

Deconstructed S’mores

coconut s'mores

These are so fun to make and eat!

The combinations are limitless so let your imagination go wild!

Other combo’s not listed in the ingredients:

  • Marshmallows dipped in vanilla icing then sprinkles
  • Marshmallows dipped in caramel sauce and skor pieces
  • Marshmallows dipped in fudge sauce and crushed Oreo wafers…the list is endless!

Ingredients:

  • 20 Marshmallows
  • 2 bars jersey milk chocolate bars (or any chocolate bar)
  • ½ cup graham cracker crumbs
  • ¼ cup chocolate ovaltine powder
  • ¼ cup shredded coconut

Directions:

s'more kit

Put cracker crumbs, ovaltine, and coconut each in a separate bowl.

Melt chocolate in a bowl in the microwave for 30 second increments until melted.

DSC_0360DSC_0373

Dip the marshmallows first in the chocolate then the added topping. Let set and eat!

Egg and Avocado Summer Sandwich

egg sandwich

This sandwich was created when I was rummaging through my fridge trying to find something to eat for lunch. So it isn’t very fancy, but it is very very yummy.

Ingredients:

  • 1 egg
  • 2 slices bread (your choice)
  • 1 tbsp. Marinara sauce
  • 1 tbsp chopped feta cheese
  • ½ an avocado (sliced)

* Feel free to make this into a grilled cheese sandwich as well

Directions:

Start by frying your egg (skip the salt as the feta cheese adds more than enough). To fry the egg heat a dab of butter in a frying pan at medium heat. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, flip and cook for another few minutes. The eggs are done cooking when the whites are set and the outer edges are just starting to curl up. Toast your bread and slather on some marinara sauce, which adds some nice new flavour that you wouldn’t expect. Slice half an avocado and spread the slices evenly on one side of the sandwich. Crumble on the feta and add the cooked egg.

Avocado Grapefruit Salad with Toasted Almonds

grapefruit avocado salad

A while back my hairdresser asked me if I had ever eaten grapefruit with avocado together. I hadn’t but since it has become one of my favourite combos.

It’s refreshing yet creamy all at the same time. A must try!

Ingredients:

(serves 2)

  • 1 avocado- cubed
  • 1 grapefruit- segmented
  • 3 TBSP sliced toasted almonds
  • 3 cups arugula
  • Dressing options: Lemon Poppy Seed, olive oil and lemon, fine herb

Directions:

Segment a grapefruithot to cut an avocado

Wash and dry the arugula. In a large bowl layer the arugula, then the segmented grapefruit and cubed avocado. Sprinkle with almonds and drizzle with dressing.

 

Lemony Heavenly Lemon Squares with a Coconut Twistlemon squares with coconut

These lasted less than 24 hours in my student house… how long will they last in yours?

Ingredients:

Filling

  • 2 lemons juiced
  • Zest of ½ lemon
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs

Crust

  • 2 cups flour
  • Zest of 1/2 lemon
  • ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 cup butter (softened)
  • ½ cup granulated sugar

Topping

  • Icing sugar

Directions: 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a blender, mix together softened butter, 2 cups flour, 1/2 cup sugar, lemon zest and ½ cup shredded coconut. Press into the bottom of an ungreased 9×13 inch pan.

lemon square crust

Bake for 20 minutes until firm and golden.

In another bowl, whisk together the remaining 1 1/2 cups sugar and 1/4 cup flour. Mix in the eggs, lemon zest and lemon juice. Pour over the baked crust once it has cooled.

lemon filling

Bake for about 20 minutes in the preheated oven until the filling has firmed up a bit. The bars will firm up more as they cool. Dust icing sugar over the bars until completely covered.

Mini Pita Sandwiches – Pita BLT and Pita Chicken Tzatziki

DSC_0360 DSC_0373

It’s time to think of what’s for lunch!

The basic sandwich is such a go to lunch option it can become monotonous after a while. Try something new by using some mini pita pockets as your outer sandwich layers!

Ingredients:

Mini BLT

  • 3 Mini Pitas
  • 3 slices of Bacon
  • 2 Tomatoes sliced
  • 1 cup arugula
  • 1 tbsp mayonnaise

Mini Chicken Tzatziki

  • 3 Mini Pitas
  • 3 chicken meatballs (Store Bought: PC Premade chicken meatballs)
  • 3 tsp Tzatziki sauce (PC brand)
  • 6 slices cucumber

Directions:

mini whole wheat pitas

Cut open each pita. Divide the ingredients by three.

DSC_0351mini pita with tzatziki and chicken

For each pita layer the ingredients inside, close and eat!

Grapefruit Wine Spritzer

grapefruit wine spritzer

The weather keeps changing its mind. One day it feels like summer, the next winter. Try this fun spritzer for those summer feeling days when you are looking for a refreshing drink to whip together!

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup white wine (I used Cupcake 2011 Chardonnay)
  • ½ cup grapefruit flavoured Perrier
  • ½ grapefruit (cut into segments)

Directions:

Cut up the grapefruit.

Place the grapefruit pieces into a wine glass.

grapefruit summer drink

Pour the wine and perrier into a wine glass over the grapefruit.

Enjoy!

Coconut Pecan Banana Bread

coconut banana bread

A new recipe for one of my favorite ingredients, coconut! The best banana bread you will ever have :)

(Makes 2 loaves)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 medium overripe bananas, mashed (about 1 cup)
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Butter two 9 by 5-inch loaf pan and set aside.

In the bowl using a mixer, mix the oil and brown sugar. Add the eggs and stir in the vanilla extract.

banana bread mix

In another bowl, stir together the three mashed banana and the coconut milk. In a separate bowl sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.

Gradually mix in the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients. Mix until just combined. Stir in the coconut, pecans and chocolate chips.

banana bread with pecans

Pour the batter into the prepared baking pans.

Bake for 45 min – 1 hour, or when a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean.

Enjoy!

Cheese Puff Bites

cheese puffs

Looking for a new cheesy snack idea?

These are fun as an appetizer for your next party or great just as a snack after work or class.

This is so easy- only 2 ingredients! Today I chose cheddar cheese as the star ingredient but feel free to experiment!

Other filler ideas: fill them with cream cheese, a square of dark chocolate, peanut butter, Nutella, jam…?

 Ingredients:

1 package defrosted puff pastry cut into 12- 2 by 1 inch squares

12 squares cheddar cheese

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F

Cover a baking pan with parchment paper.

Lay out puff pasty rectangles a few centimeters apart. Put a piece of cheese on each rectangle.

cheesy pastry bites

Fold over the pastry and pinch the edges.

cheese puff pastry

Using a fork, poke some holes in each cheese puff. Bake for 8-10 minutes until golden brown.

cheese stuff pastry pockets

Serve warm.

Leftover pasta con olio d’oliva

Leftover pasta con olio d'oliva

When your summer is still spent in school, us college foodies don’t have time for anything truly gourmet, or do we? This recipe is great as all you need is  a little leftover pasta of your choice, some generously donated thyme from your parents fridge, and a little bit of that staple olive oil.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup cooked pasta (any you like)
  • pinch pepper
  • 3 sprigs thyme (chopped)
  • 1 clove garlic (minced)
  • a little bit of grated mozzarella if you have it on hand

* throwing in some bread crumbs can also be a nice addition and you should have some at hand. I mean what student house does not have stale bread in it?

Directions:

DSCN2600

Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add in the pasta and cook for about 5 min, adding the thyme, garlic and pepper as it cooks. The Pasta should be nice and crispy from the oil after you remove it from the pan, or extra “al dente” you could say! Add the cheese and enjoy your easy but delicious meal before running off to your class. Be prepared for a bit of garlic breath… so if you received a bad mark from your prof, remember to sit in the front row and ask many many questions. Nothing like the smell of sweet garlic to enact grade related revenge!

Oatmeal Pancakes

oatmeal pancakes

The classic fluffy pancake is great but sometimes a change is good too. These oatmeal ones are a bit denser so I find you can eat a tad less and still be full and satisfied.

I also like these as leftovers heated up a bit and smeared with peanut butter!

 Ingredients:

(Makes 6 small pancakes)

  • 1 cup quick cooking oats
  • ½ cup AP flour
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • Butter for cooking

Directions:

Mix the oats, flour, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon together.

In a separate bowl mix the coconut oil, maple syrup, egg whites and milk together.

Gently fold both bowls of ingredients together.

Heat 1 tsp butter in a frying pan at medium heat. Pour 2 tablespoons of batter to form each pancake. When the batter starts to bubble, flip. Cook for another few minutes.

oat pancakes

Top with banana slices and maple syrup (REAL maple syrup!)

BLT Salad

BLT Salad

A classic sandwich turned into a Saturday salad! Plus I feel like if you are not normally a salad eater you might be if it’s topped with crispy bacon.

Salads are a go to lunch for me. They are easy to pack for work or a great weekend option.  I am getting so excited to be able to pick some of these ingredients up at the local farmers market soon!

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups arugula
  • 6 strips bacon cooked/crumbled
  • 10 cherry tomatoes- sliced
  • Croutons (used 3 slices toasted baguette drizzled with olive oil and cubed)
  • Dressing options- ranch, creamy Caesar, olive oil and lemon juice

Directions:

homemade croutons cherry tomatoes bacon

In a large bowl add all the ingredients together.  Drizzle with your choice of salad dressing. Creamy dressings give it that mayo feel from the traditional sandwich ingredient.

Summer Fruit Pizza

summer fruit pizza

First off I want to apologize for not posting as frequently lately. I had a few computer issues but now everything is super!

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to visit Sackville New Brunswick! It was a beautiful weekend full although still a bit chilly a nice sunny weekend.

Sackville, New Brunswick
Sackville, New Brunswick
Sackville, New Brunswick
Sackville, New Brunswick

While in Sackville we went to a BBQ and had this delicious dessert. It was so fresh and reminiscent of summer flavours!

Adapted from Betty  Crocker: http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/fruit-pizza/d0a63dd9-cbcf-4186-93e5-1ab204c88a2c

Ingredients:

  • 1 pouch: sugar cookie mix (Betty Crocker)
  • ½ cup butter- melted
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup cool whip
  • ½ cup cream cheese frosting (Betty Crocker)
  • 3 ½ cups mixed fruit- fresh kiwis, berries

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Lightly spray a 14 inch pizza pan with cooking spray.

In a bowl mix cookie mix with melted butter and egg until dough forms.

Press dough in bottom of the pizza pan. Bake for 10 minutes.

Let cool for 45 minutes.

In a bowl mix the cool whip and frosting together.

Spread over crust.

Layer with sliced fresh fruit.

cookie crust fruit pizza

Slice and serve!

Warm Mango Couscous Salad

couscous

Summer is in the air and that means it is time for some summer eats! There is no better way to kick off your holiday by cooking this easy and light salad for your friends and family.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup couscous
  • ¼ cup feta cheese
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup scallion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup mango, diced
  • ¼ cup red bell peppers, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar or red wine vinegar

Directions:

ingredients

First bring the water to a boil then add the couscous, immediately covering and removing from heat.

cooked couscous

While the couscous is cooking (about 5 min) start chopping all your ingredients.

mango cut up

Then put everything into a pan (excluding the feta), mix in the orange juice, vinegar, and olive oil and simmer over medium heat for about 5 min.At this point the couscous should be more than done. Fluff it up with a fork and transfer to a serving dish. Mix in the pan concoction and crumble in the feta cheese. Give it a stir, and eat up! Tastes great warm or cold. Also feel free to add in a ¼ cup of slivered almonds for a bit more CRUNCH.

Iced Baileys Nutella Hot Chocolate

nutella iced baileys drink

This is probably one of the best drinks if you have the same love of Nutella as I do!

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup Nutella
  • ½  cup almond milk
  • 6 ice cubes
  • 1 shot Baileys

Directions:

Mix the Nutella with the almond milk and warm in a sauce pan over medium heat until incorporated.  Take off the heat and cool.

iced drink

Blitz the ice, baileys and the milk and Nutella mixture until incorporated. Throw in some straws and get sippin!

nutella drink

Marco Salad

A story and recipe by guest writer Marco:

Recently, Marco went to a Latin dance conference in New Orleans, Louisiana. During the trip, the local Jazz scene was investigated. In particular, Preservation Hall.
After buying some voodoo dolls (only the good ones), I went on one of those ‘gator swamp tours’.

alligator swamp tour

Well, wouldn’t you know…one of them gators gave Marco a dirty look (he likely felt insecure with another silverback in his territory).

After this, Marco had no problem trying out the local cuisine…including fried alligator nuggets!
alligator nuggets

Well, the next day, the gator had his revenge. Marco was a bit slow doing his rumba routine. And things only got worse…Marco’s caboose could hardly keep up during the bomba, and mambo. By the time his bachata was unleashed, there were signs of crushing chest pain!

A pledge was made that a healthy detox was needed urgently.

And thus, was invented the Marco Salad!

salad with cold cuts

Recipe:

1. Cut up 5 spicy chicken cold cuts into small strips (I like Tandoori or Cajun flavour). Fry with spices sprinkled on top (dill, onion, garlic, and Italian spices).

Into a large salad bowl add the following:
2. Cut up 1 container of vine-grown tomatoes (for that ol’ Italian smell – smell them and you’ll know what I mean!)
3. Cut up 1 full container of multicoloured cherry tomatoes (yellow, orange, red).
4. Cut up 5 small radishes into small slices.
5. Cut up 1/3 of a green, yellow, or red pepper
6. Cut up 1/5 of a small to medium-sized cucumber.
7. Add about a cup of lettuce (I don’t add much lettuce…it masks the taste of the tomatoes I think).
8. Add a little bit of chopped red onion (10 grams)
9. Add crushed garlic parmesan pretzel crisps - use about 1/4 of a cup. This adds crunch and is a very tasty alternative to croutons and the like.

pretzel crutonsflat crunchy pretzels
10. Add a 200 g container of mini bocconcini cheese (cut each ball in half).
11. Now, add the friend chicken from Step #1.
12. Add a small block (2 tablespoons) of Gruyere cheese, cut up into tiny cubes.
13. Add onion, garlic, dill seasoning, and pepper on top.
14. Add dressing (I use balsamic or Italian herb…I don’t like creamy dressings on this).

gruyere cheese
15. This is critical. Serve with a French bread stick.
16. This is also critical. Finish with the merengue.

And don’t worry, after eating a few of these salads, Marco is back doing the paso doble!

Mango TartletsMango tart

This is a delicious and light (tasting) dessert. Perfect for mothers day brunch :)

Heres a few other mothers day ideas from Past recipes: Bacon and Onion QuicheCaprese SaladAsian Pear Galette, or some Cheesy Cheddar Corn Muffins.

Ingredients:

Filling

  • 3 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 cup cool unsalted butter cut into cubes
  • 2 mangoes puréed
  • a pinch of salt
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 whole egg
  • ½ cup sugar
  • Tartlet shells- Frozen (way too lazy for anything more time consuming- I’m a student!

Topping

  • Sliced mango and toasted coconut if desired

 Directions:

Use a double boiler and put in a little water to simmer on stovetop. Place all the ingredients in bowl excluding the butter and stir till combined.

double boiler dessert

Place over simmering water heat till the mixture coats the back of a wooden spoon.

It will very thick when done, remove from heat strain through a sieve and let it cool until it is warm.

Add to blender, and add the butter in sections. It should be pale yellow.

mango tart filling

Refrigerate overnight before filling your baked tartlet shells (pre bake your tartlet shells before adding the filling).

tarts with mango puree

Enjoy!

Bacon Onion QuicheBacon Quiche

As the weather starts to warm up I feel I am wanting less heavy meals and more salads and sides.

Quiche is one of those dishes that can be different every time. Change the added ingredients for a new taste: pepper and zuchini, leek and aspargus, tomatoe and feta…

Today I decided to go with: Bacon and Onion!

Ingredients:

Crust:

  •  1 cup flour
  • ¼ cup butter cold- cubed
  • ¼ cup water- cold
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp Italian seasoning

Quiche filling:

  • 4 slices bacon
  • ½ red onion (1 tsp olive oil)
  • ¼ cup grated Gruyere cheese
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • ½ tsp freshly ground pepper

Directions:

Mix all the crust ingredients together in the food processor. Create a ball and flatten or plastic wrap. Place in the freezer for 20 minutes.

Roll out dough with a roller to create a circle.

quiche crustpie dish

Carefully place dough in a buttered 9” pie dish.  If there is crust hanging over the edge

Filling:

Cook bacon as you normally would. Slice onions and saute in a frying pan with 1 tsp oil until soft.

Beat eggs, pepper, cheese and milk together. Add the (cooled) onions, and bacon to the egg mixture.

Put it all together:

Pour the liquid egg mixture into the pie crust.

onion quiche

Bake for 40 minutes.

Let cool for 10 minutes.

cheese quiche

Slice and serve.

Banana No-Bake Cheesecake

Banana cheesecake

This recipe is so easy and it can be changed to so many different varieties by just changing the fruit ingredient.

Also it can be made in a flash as it’s no bake!

A must try for all you cheesecake cravers!

Inspired by How Sweet it is

Ingredients:

Makes 1

Filling:

  • 1 container vanilla yogurt (single serving)
  • 2 tablespoons cream cheese (light)
  • 3 tablespoons icing sugar
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • 3 drops vanilla extract

Layers:

  • 3 Oatmeal cookies- crushed
  • ½ banana- sliced

Directions:

With a fork or electric mixer- blend all the filling ingredients together.

In a glass or jar layer crushed cookies, a few spoonfuls of filling, a few banana slices

no bake cheesecake

and repeat.

cheesecake in a glass

Enjoy!

Summer Strawberry Coconut Smoothie

Strawberry coconut smoothie drink F

Finally, the sun is shining!

To me this is summer in a glass! It has all the flavours that remind me of sunny warm weather. Blend one up. Grab a good book and enjoy some time lounging on your patio.

Ingredients:

Serves 1

  • 1 container “Silhouette” coconut yogurt (single serving size)
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 tsp unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries

Directions:

coconut yogurt

Blend all the ingredients together.

Strawberry coconut smoothie drink

Serve cold!

Vanilla Sprinkle Icing Cookiessprinkle icing cookies

I made chocolate icing cookies a while back and really liked the taste and texture of the cookies.

Here’s a version I made up for vanilla icing cookies!

I think adding sprinkles gives the cookies a fun and whimsical twist. On other blogs I’ve noticed sprinkles being added to the classic cupcake or cake batter but even waffle batter and pancake batter! People seem to want more sprinkles in their lives :)

Ingredients:

  • 1 container vanilla icing (Betty Crocker Brand)
  • 1 ½ cups AP flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup sprinkles

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

In a bowl mix the icing, sugar, vanilla and egg together. In a separate bowl mix the flour and baking soda together. Mix the two bowls together. Stir in the sprinkles.

sprinkle cookie dough

Plop 1 tsp amount of dough, 2 inches apart on a baking pan covered in parchment.

Bake for 10 minutes.

vanilla cookies

Enjoy!

Savoury Bacon Potato Saladbacon potato salad

BBQ season is starting so I’ve been thinking of a few of my favourite barbecue side dishes.

Potato Salad is great because you can make it ahead and throw it in the fridge for later. Bonus: A few hours in the fridge actually helps all the flavours absorb into each other.

Ingredients:

  • 6 large yellow flesh potatoes
  • ½ a red onion
  • 6 slices bacon (chopped)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 2 heaping tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp. red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. thyme (chopped)
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil (may not need depending on the fattiness of the bacon)
  • 1 heaping tbsp. plain yogurt

Directions:

Fill a medium pot with salted water and bring to a boil.

Thoroughly wash and chop your potatoes into bite size pieces, and transfer them to the boiling water and cook till tender (around 15 min).

potatoes potatoes 2

While the potatoes are cooking, chop the bacon and cook over medium heat.

bacon

While cooking, mince the garlic and slice the onions and add to the bacon when it is almost cooked through.

saute

By now the potatoes should be done. Drain and let cool.

After the bacon is fully cooked and the onions are translucent (about 5 min), remove from the pan. In the same pan mix in the mayonnaise, yogurt, vinegar, black pepper, and thyme. Simmer for a few minutes and then mix in with the bacon, onions and potatoes.

Serve at your next barbecue!

Grilled Summer Vegetables with Balsamic Reduction

vegetables with balsamic reduction

So it’s not quite summer yet but the weather sure feels like it! I can’t wait for my local farmers market to open up and start selling all my favourite fresh veggies. Until then I have to opt for the grocery store options. Sometimes I find the frozen veggies are fresher than the fresh ones shipped from other countries. Plus all the prep work is already done.

frozen summer vegetables

For today’s recipe I chose the Summer Blend frozen mix which includes carrots, asparagus, peppers and beans.

Ingredients:

(Serves 2)

  • 2 cups vegetables (Presidents Choice Summer Blend)
  • 2/3-cup Balsamic Vinegar of Modena

Directions:

In a small frying pan bring vinegar to a low boil at medium heat and simmer until liquid starts to thicken.

balsamic reduction

Remove from heat. This only takes a few minutes.

On a BBQ or indoor electric grill, grill vegetables for a few minutes on each side.

grilled vegetables

Last step: Drizzle with the balsamic reduction.

The Balsamic Reduction can be used to drizzle on a variety of foods: roasted sweet potatoes, salad, or even vanilla ice-cream!

 

Cinnamon Sugar Dough Bites: Baked Timbits/Munchkins

mini baked donuts

A few weeks ago I made these Pizza Balls as a savory appetizer. Here’s is my adaptation for a fun snack or dessert. These are like little Timbits/Munchkins and can be dipped into a chocolate sauce, dolce de lecher or your favourite caramel sauce.

(Makes 25-30 balls)

Ingredients:

  • Store bought pizza dough (use half- freeze the other half for another day)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon

Directions:

Cut pizza dough into 4 cm squares.

Roll each piece to create a small ball. Place sugar and cinnamon in a small dish. Roll the dough in the sugar until coated.

baked timbits munchkins

Place on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper.

baked pizza dough dessert

Bake for 15 minutes.

Serve warm with your favourite dipping sauce.

Healthy Ovaltine Breakfast Cookies

chocolate flax chia cookies

Chocolate is chocolate but there are slightly better ways to get your chocolate fix than others. Here’s a healthy cookie that can be great for a fast breakfast, mid morning or afternoon snack.

There’s a few secret ingredients that give it that extra health kick.

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup unsalted butter- room temperature
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup chocolate ovaltine mix
  • 1 tbsp ground flax seeds
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 2 tbsp ground almonds
  • 1 cup AP flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ cup dark chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Mix the butter, ovaltine and egg together.

Then add in the flax, chia seeds, and almond and mix together.

ingredients

In a separate bowl mix the flour and baking soda. Then add to the main mix. Add the chocolate chips  to everything and mix just until incorporated (no not over mix).

Create teaspoon-sized balls and place about an inch apart on a baking pan covered in parchment.

Bake for 10 minutes.

flax chia seed cookies

Enjoy!

Panko Crusted Ginger Shrimp

crunchy panko shrimp tempura

A few months ago I posted Panko Crusted vegetables: a healthier version of the deep fried tempura version you might get at restaurants.

Here’s my version for a healthier “tempura shrimp”.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups de-tailed pre-cooked shrimp
  • 1 cup AP flour
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1-cup panko bread crumbs

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F

In separate bowls, line up first the flour mixed with one teaspoon ginger. Next the egg whites. Next the panko mixed with 1 teaspoon ginger.

You want the shrimp to be almost defrosted but still a tiny bit frozen so they don’t over bake in the oven.

Taking the shrimp a few at a time, first roll them in the flour, then dip into the egg whites, then roll into the panko.

panko shrimp

Then lay out on a baking sheet covered in parchment. Then lightly spray with olive oil.

shrimp tempura

Bake for 10 minutes.

Dip into tempura sauce.

Breakfast Calzone

breakfast calzone

This is a great recipe to make ahead of time- freeze it and take it out as you need! When defrosted you can just pop them in the toaster oven for a minute for a flaky breakfast treat-to-go.

Also you can make them half the size and serve at a brunch.

Ingredients:

  • 1 package puff pastry- defrosted
  • 3 slices bacon (I used chicken bacon)
  • ¼ cup Gruyere cheese
  • 1 egg

Directions:

Cook bacon as directed.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Cut the puff pastry to create a circle. On one half layer the bacon, cheese and half the egg.

bacon egg pastry

Fold over. Pinch the edges together with a fork. Brush the rest of the egg over the top. Slit a few lines in the top.

egg wash

Bake for 20 minutes.

breakfast puff pasrty

And it’s ready to go!

Chicken Salad without the Chicken: Quinoa Salad

quinoa salad

This is a vegetarian version of a Chicken Salad recipe. I subtracted the chicken and replaced it with quinoa.  You can eat it on its own or put it into a pita or in a sandwich.  I’m not vegetarian but it’s nice to change it up sometimes. Quinoa has a ton of protein so I find this just as filling as the chicken version.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 2 TBSP Toasted sliced almonds
  • 1 ½ tsp plain Greek yogurt (or mayonnaise)
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 15 grapes (about) – sliced
  • 1 apple slices- cubed
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Cook quinoa as directed.

rinse quinoa cooked quinoa

Let cool.

Pour the lemon juice over the cubed apples to add flavour and prevents them from browning.

grapes and apples

Then mix all the ingredients together.

That’s it – so easy!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Icing Cookies

DSC_0332

Last week I made Ovaltine brownies. I didn’t end up using the icing I bought so decided to make icing cookies today with the icing container. These are fun to make and smell super chocolatey!

Ingredients:

  • 1 container  icing (Duncan Hines)
  • 1 cup sugar (extra for rolling)
  • ½ cup peanut butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups bread flour
  • ¼ cup semi sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

Mix icing, peanut butter and sugar together until smooth.

chocolate peanut butter

Add the egg and vanilla and mix. Then add the bread flour and mix. Add chocolate chips. Roll into teaspoon sized balls. Roll in the extra sugar. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Bake for 10 minutes.

chocolate peanut butter cookies

Enjoy!

Puff Pastry Dippers/ Bread Sticks

puff pastry bread sticks

You know when you are waiting for dinner at a restaurant and they bring you a basket of bread or breadsticks! Sometimes this can save the whole meal!

Hungry people= not so happy- breadstick eating people= happy!

Try it at home!

Ingredients:

  • 1 package puff pastry- room temperature.
  • 1 Tbsp Italian Seasoning

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Cut puff pastry into strips. Sprinkle with half of the seasoning.

puff pastry dippers

Twist each strip. Sprinkle again with seasoning.

puff pastry twists

Bake for 10 minutes, rotate and bake for another 5-10 minutes until golden brown.

bread twists

Use as dippers for this Dill Dip.

Dill Dipping Sauce

Dill sauce

The Firkin Pubs offer a dill dipping sauce, which is pretty addictive.

Here is my copycat recipe of this delicious, fresh tasting sauce.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • ½ cup mayonnaise (olive oil Hellman’s brand)
  • 4 TBSP dried dill.
  • ½ teaspoon fresh cracked pepper

Directions:

Mix the ingredients together and put in the fridge for at least an hour before serving.

Serve with: veggies, pretzels, meat balls, chicken skewers, pita, chips

Beef Goulash

Hungarian Goulash recipe

Goulash can mean a few different things: Some people think it is more of a soup, others more of a stew. It can be made with ground beef, made with beef chunks, top it on potatoes, top it on rice, top it on pasta, dip with bread…the list goes on.

Here is my interpretation of Goulash.

Adapted from Wolfgang Puck’s Beef Goulash

Ingredients:

  • 2 TBSP Extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups stewing beef
  • 1 onion- chopped
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 pepper- cubed
  • 2 garlic cloves- minced
  • 1 TBSP ketchup
  • 1 TBSP balsamic vinegar
  • 2 1/2 cups beef stock
  • 1 tsp caraway seeds
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp celery salt
  • 1 tsp each Salt and Pepper

Directions:

Time: About 2 hours 30 minutes (2 hours in slow cooker/crock pot)

Heat 1 tbsp olive oil at medium heat in a frying pan. Sear the beef until all sides are brown. Transfer to slow cooker.

browning beef

In a frying pan (low-medium heat) with a tablespoon of olive oil cook the onion and sprinkle with the sugar. Add the garlic and cook for 10 minutes. Add the onions to slow cooker.

Add the stock, ketchup, vinegar, pepper and spices to the slow cooker. Stir together and set for 2 hours at high heat. Stir occasionally. Remove Bay leaf before serving.

Hungarian Goulash recipe

Serve with pasta, potatoes, bread or rice. I served it with leftover Spaetzle my Omi had made last time she visited.

The Marco Sandwich!

homemade european sub sandwich

So a couple of months ago, I went on a food-finding trip to Budapest. On one of the days, I decided to check out the massive underground cave system in the hills of Buda, on the edges of the city. For those who are planning a trip to Budapest, it’s a definite must not to be missed! The amount of underground caves discovered keeps growing…I think it’s up to about 27 km now of underground caves!

Here’s a link with some pictures of it: http://www.budapest.com/city_guide/sights/caves/palvolgyi_cave.en.html?sid=

budapest caves budapest caves fairy pond

From the hotels on the river to the caves is about a 1.5 hour walk… I wasn’t counting on it being this long of a walk, but it turned out to be worth it. Why you ask?? Because of a tiny Hungarian delicatessen called ‘Piccante Delicatesse‘. If you walk to the caves, you’ll see this place along the way.

Here’s a shot from inside this little gem:

budapest deli 2

So after doing some major caving for a few hours, Marco got pretty hungry, and hit this place up for some grub. They let him create his own sandwich, which is now named, the ‘Marco Sandwich’, or the ‘Marcowich‘!

Here’s a picture of the Hungarian original:

budapest marco sub sandwich

It’s pretty basic. But when you make it, you feel like some sort of European delicatessen master.

Here are the ingredients and directions:

1. Take a baguette, and cut it in half. The thicker the crust, the better.

2. Add several slices of Prosciutto meat.

3. Add several slices of peppered/spicey Italian salami.

4. Add Gouda cheese.

5. Add Gruyere cheese.

6. Add Savrano cheese (or some sort of Parmesan-type cheese).

7. Add some sun-dried tomatoes on top.

8. Put on some dill spice.

9. Put on some Italiano spice.

european sub

10. Add a bit of Kraft Fresh Herb salad dressing. Or alternatively, add some balsamic vinegar syrup.

11. Eat quickly.

12. Repeat as necessary.

Another little surprise you’ll find at this Hungarian delicatessen if you go there…when you go up to pay at the cash register, you’ll see some Ovomaltine chocolate bars at the cash register! (We can’t find these in Canada…).

Peanut Butter Banana Dessert Calzone

peanut butter banana dessert

Peanut butter and banana is probably one of my favourite combos. I add both to my oatmeal, both on toast, both in a smoothie- the list goes on.

Here is my recipe for an easy peanut butter banana dessert!

Ingredients:

  • 1 banana
  • ¼ cup chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  • 1 pre-made pie crust (Pilsbury brand)
  • 1 egg white
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

Lay out pie crust on parchment paper on a baking pan.

Spread the peanut butter over the crust- not too close to the edge. Slice and layer the banana over the peanut butter. Sprinkle with chocolate chips.

peanut butter banana calzone

Fold over and pinch the edges together with a fork to create a tight seal.

peanut butter banana pie

Brush egg white over the crust top. Slice a few lines in the top to create vents. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon.

peanut butter banana pastry

Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

peanut butter banana dessert

Cool for 5 minutes, slice and serve.

Pizza Ball Dippers – 3 Ingredients!

pizza dipprs

I ordered Salty Pizza Balls as an appetizer the other day at this pizza place.  They were really yummy but pretty heavy as they were deep fried and dipped aioli sauce.

Here is my lighter version:

(Makes 25-30 balls)

Ingredients:

  • Store bought pizza dough (use half- freeze the other half for another day)
  • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 2 tablespoon Italian seasoning

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Cut pizza dough into 4 cm squares.

pizza dough apps

Roll each piece to create a small ball. Roll in the cornmeal and seasoning until coated.

pizza balls

Place on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper.

pizza appetizer

Bake for 15 minutes

dough balls app

Serve warm with your favourite marinara sauce to dip.

Iced Caramel Latte

iced caramel latte

Today on my way home I passed a Dairy Queen with a line up out the door! Warm weather has arrived-  it’s time for iced drinks!

I don’t normally chug a latte but this was so quick to make and tasted DELICIOUS it disappeared in the time it took to make: 2 minutes :)

A must try!

latte ingredients

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups skim milk
  • 2 teaspoons caramel ganache
  • 1-teaspoon instant coffee (Maxwell House)
  • 4 Ice cubes

Directions:

Heat 1 cup of milk, ganache and coffee in microwave for about 40 seconds to dissolve the coffee and melt the caramel. Mix well. Add the 2 cups of cold milk and ice and mix.

homemade caramel latte

Voila- Iced Caramel Latte!

Blueberry Almond Pecan Crunch Bars

(a.k.a your study snack for the rest of exams)

blueberry pecan bars

Well it’s that time of year again… exams. Now even if you aren’t a student, I am sure you can remember those long hours spent in the library. Studying for that 9 am exam, you felt you would never make it through that hellish night of cramming. Not without something sweet anyhow… Well here it is, the perfect study snack to get you through those long long nights of memorizing every structure of your brain, including the cerebellum, which control those keen taste buds of yours ;)

Adapted from Bon Appétit

Ingredients:

Topping:

  • Half a cup candied pecans (chopped- can find at your local Fortinos or Bulk Barn)
  • 1 cup reserved crust

Crust:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced almonds
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

Filling:

  • one 12-ounce package frozen blueberries
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest (finely grated)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Butter bottom of 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Mix flour, almonds, sugar, salt, and cinnamon in large bowl. Add butter; rub in with fingertips until mixture sticks together in small clumps.

Transfer 1 cup to medium bowl and save for topping.

Press remaining crumb mixture evenly onto bottom of prepared pan. Bake crust until golden brown – about 20 minutes. Cool until just warm.

Mix all the filling ingredients together in a bowl. Spread evenly over crust in pan, and then sprinkle reserved crust and pecans over.

Collages-001

Bake bars until the top is golden, about 35 minutes; cool and remember to share with your study buddies, just as long as they share their notes…

 

Zucchini Roll-Ups with Cashew Almond Pesto

zucchini with cashew almond pesto

This is a fun appetizer or lunch to make.

Make extra and you can also turn this into a fast salad recipe- just cut the zucchini into slices and layer with pesto!

Tip: I keep the pesto pretty chunky for this recipe. If it’s more liquid like it falls through the rolls.

 cashew almond pesto

Ingredients:

(Makes 6 rolls)

  • 1 zucchini

Pesto:

  • ½ cup roasted unsalted cashews
  • ½ cup roasted unsalted almonds
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1-tablespoon water
  • ¼ cup fresh basil

Directions:

Slice zucchini length wise into 6-8 strips.

Boil a pot of water. Place zucchini strips into water for 3-5 minutes until zucchini is flexible.  Remove from water and place in ice water. Remove from ice water and pat dry.

Pesto: Place all ingredients in a food processor. Blend until you reach a consistency you like.

basil  cashew almond pesto

Lay out zucchini strips. Put pesto along the strips.

zucchini with cashew almond pesto

Slowly roll and secure with a toothpick.

zucchini with cashew almond pesto

Enjoy!

Asian Pear Galette – 5 Ingredient Dessert

asian pear dessert

This recipe is super easy- I mean super super super easy to make!

My friend brought a galette from her mom last time she visited and ever since I’ve been meaning to try and make one myself.  I decided to try something a bit different so opted for an Asian pear instead of an apple or Bartlett pear.

Asian Pear
Asian Pear

Ingredients:

  • 1 Asian pear
  • 1 roll frozen puff pastry defrosted (President’s Choice Brand)
  • ½ -cup brown sugar
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 egg white

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Lay out the puff pastry on parchment on a baking tray.

Thinly slice Asian pear.

asian pear slices

Sprinkle half the sugar on the puff pastry. Layer pears. Sprinkle with the rest of the sugar and cinnamon.

asian pear dessert

Fold the outer edges. Brush egg white over the edge/crust.

asian pear galette

Bake for 30 minutes.

Sometimes the juices from the pear rise after baking; if so just take a teaspoon and scoop the extra liquid off the top.

asian pear pastry

Let cool, cut and serve.

asian pear tart

 

Caprese Salad with a Twist 

caprese salad

Caprese Salad (Insalata Caprese) originates from the Island of Capri in southern Italy. Since traveling to Capri last summer I’ve been experimenting with different variations on this classic  summer recipe.

This is an easy, quick salad filled with fresh ingredients and summer flavours.

I wrote this recipe for my friends at Big City Greens!  They are a Toronto urban farming team with a goal to grow as local as possible- your own backyard! Look for them this summer in Toronto!

Ingredients:

  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 10 fresh basil leaves
  • 200 g container buffalo mozzarella  (or bocchini mozzarella)- sliced
  • Zest of one lemon
  • Salt and Pepper to season
  • 3 Tablespoons of Balsamic Vinegar of Modena to drizzle.
  • 3 Tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil to drizzle.

Directions:

Wash lemon, tomatoes and basil leaves- dry.

There are many ways to assemble a Caprese salad:

1. Layer across a plate- slice of tomato, slice of cheese, leaf repeat. Then add the twist = lemon zest! Then add vinegar, oil, salt and pepper on top.

caprese salad

caprese salad balsamic

2. Or mix all the ingredients in a bowl, drizzle, mix and serve.

caprese salad

3. Or use a toothpick and add a piece of tomato, a piece of cheese, a basic leaf. Mix the oil, vinegar, lemon zest and salt and pepper in a small bowl to dip skewer into.

caprese salad appetizer

4. A great topping for any greens such as arugula, mesclun mix, spinach or mustard mix.

caprese salad

Banana Streusel Coffee Cake

banana coffee cake

This streak of poor weather is still going. Therefore another good day for baking!
This coffee cake is a mix between banana bread and coffee cake. It’s moist with a bit of crunch from the streusel topping.

banana coffee cake with crumbly topping

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup butter- room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 ripe mashed bananas
  • 2 cups AP flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 pinch salt

Topping:

  • ¼ cup ground almonds
  • ¼ cup AP flour
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup butter- room temperature
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp nutmeg

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a bowl mix the sugar and butter until smooth. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix until smooth. Then mix in the mashed bananas.
In a separate bowl mix the flour baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. Add the flour mix to the wet mix.
In a buttered cake pan add the batter.

banana coffee cake
Using a fork, smash all the topping ingredients together. Sprinkle on top of the batter.

banana coffee cake with streusel
Bake for 20-25 minutes. (done when a toothpick is put in the center and comes out clean/no sticky batter)

banana coffee cake

Cucumber Dill Salad

cucumber dill salad

In the mood for something fresh and spring tasting? This cucumber dill salad will hit the spot. It only takes a few minutes and can easily be multiplied to serve a crowd.

Adapted from Food.com

Ingredients:

  • 1 English cucumber
  • 1/4  cup fresh dill

Dressing:

  • 3 TBSP apple cider vinegar
  • 1 TBSP brown sugar
  • 1 TBSP water
  • ½ a TSP each Salt and Pepper

Directions:

Thinly slice the cucumber- I used a madoline.

cucumber dill salad mandoline

Remove dill from stem and cut up if some pieces are too big.

fresh dill

In a bowl mix all the dressing ingredients together.

Pour over cucumbers and dill.

Stir and serve.

Ovaltine Brownie Cake

ovomaltine brownie

Today it’s a cold rainy grey sky kind of day out here, which makes it a perfect day for curling up with some of this Nutty Hot Chocolate and a big slice of this Brownie Ovaltine Cake. It doesn’t take too long to make – plus it’s raining so for me it’s ok if it did- I’m not too into going outside in this weather :(

I think it’s also a good day to catch up on the last few episodes of New Girl (love that show!)

This brownie recipe comes out super chocolaty and fudgy! Great for a major chocolate fan!ovaltine brownie cake

Adapted from: group recipes

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/3 cups AP flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup butter
  • ½ cup Fry’s Cocoa Powder
  • ½ Cup Chocolate Ovaltine Mix
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Take a spring form cake pan and add a piece of parchment paper to the bottom.

ovaltine brownie cake

Butter paper and sides so the brownies will release easily.

Stir together all the dry ingredients: Flour, Baking powder, salt.

Melt butter in the microwave. Add in the cocoa powder and ovaltine and mix until smooth.

ovaltine brownie cake

Add the sugar, eggs and vanilla and mix.

Add the flour mix to the chocolate mix. Add the chocolate chips.  Mix until almost combined.

Add batter to cake pan.

ovaltine cake

Bake for 30 minutes.

Let cool, then serve – add icing if you’d like but I think they are so chocolaty and delicious on it’s own.

Cheesy Cheddar Cornmeal Muffins

cheddar cornmeal muffins

I’ve been looking for a snack that is quick, easy to grab and go but also feels a bit more filling and meal like. These cheddar cornmeal muffins are great for anytime of day. I eat them as a snack or as a side with soup or chili. I freeze the batch and take a few out at a time.

Adapted from here

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups A.P Flour
  • ¾ cup cornmeal
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • ¼ cup melted butter
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F

Butter a muffin tray.

Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, pepper and cornmeal together. Then add the milk, egg and cheese. Mix until almost all the flour is combined.

Spoon a large tablespoon amount into each tray.

Bake for 14-16 minutes.

cheddar cornmeal muffins

DSC_0357

Let cool then eat and/or freeze.

 

Glazed Carrots with Toasted Almonds

Glazed Carrots

As a kid this is how my mom would get us to  eat our veggies – add some sugar! As an adult this is how I get myself to eat my veggies!  ….well sometimes J

Ingredients:

  • 2 bags of baby carrots
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 garlic clove

Directions:

Boil 6 cups of water. Add carrots to the water and cook for 4 minutes. Drain and set aside.

In a large frying pan add minced garlic, butter, sugar and water and cook at a low/medium heat. Stir occasionally.

Glazed Carrots

Add the carrots and cook until the carrots are a bit soft- not mushy. Add some toasted almonds to the top.

Glazed Carrots

Serve.

Panko Crusted Cheesy Gnocchi

panko crusted cheesy gnocchi

I think it is safe to say that I probably eat gnocchi at least once a week. That may seem like a lot but it is my go to quick “spaghetti dinner”. I used to eat it the traditional boiled gnocchi with tomato sauce way but I have recently been experimenting and there are so many fun ways to change up gnocchi!

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag of frozen gnocchi
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • ½ cup grated asiago cheese

Directions:

Boil water and cook gnocchi for 5 minutes (or as directed on package)

In a bowl mix the Panko, cheese and Italian seasoning.

panko crusted cheesy gnocchi

Drain the gnocchi and toss it in the panko mixture until evenly. The stickiness of the boiled gnocchi allows the crumbs to stick easily.

panko crusted cheesy gnocchi

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Dump everything on a baking pan covered with parchment and spread out evenly.

Bake for 15 minutes.

panko crusted cheesy gnocchi

All done!

 

Exam Study Cookies - Chocolate Covered Espresso Bean Cookies

chocolate covered coffee bean cookies

Do you have to pull all nighters studying for exams? Tired of the coffee and teas. Try these for a wake up boost. Secret ingredient= chocolate covered coffee (espresso)  beans!

chocolate covered coffee bean cookies

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup Butter
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 2 table spoons peanut butter
  • I tsp Vanilla
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 cups Quick oats (I had slow so put them in the blender for a minute)
  • 3/4 cup All purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1tsp baking soda
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • ½ cup chocolate covered coffee (espresso) beans – put them in the blender for a minute

chocolate covered coffee bean cookies

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°

Blend with an electric mixer: the butter, oil, sugars and peanut butter. In a separate bowl mix the flour, oats, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Do not over mix. Add the coffee beans, and mix again.

Place a teaspoon-sized dollop of dough 2-3  inches apart on a pan covered in parchment paper.

Bake for 8-10 minutes until golden around the edges.

chocolate covered coffee bean cookies

 

 

Chocolate Covered Pretzels

chocolate covered pretzels

I have this theory…it’s important enough I think that we should call it a ‘life theory’ even. If ingredient A tastes good, and ingredient B also tastes yummy, ingredients A + B should taste superb! Ok…so this may not always work out (think Gruyerre cheese, peanut butter, and chocolate! although then again…).

Anyhoo, this simple recipe follows my life theory. Chocolate tastes great, and pretzels also taste great. So chocolate-covered pretzels are even better! And what makes these little gems taste even better, is the knowledge that you made these yourself!

Ingredients:

1 Lindt Milk Chocolate bar

20 pretzels (any shape)

Toppings- butterscotch chips, mini marshmallows, coconut flakes, Skor pieces….

Directions:

Break up the chocolate bar in a microwavable bowl.

lindt chocolate covered pretzels

Microwave for 30 seconds at a time, stirring between each interval. Takes a few times at 30 seconds.

chocolate covered pretzels

Dip pretzels into melted chocolate.

chocolate covered pretzels

Place on parchment paper.

chocolate covered pretzels

Add topping if you wish.

chocolate covered pretzels

Let cool, eat.

Peanut Butter Banana Sandwich Cookies

peanut butter and banana cookie

Whenever I buy too many bananas and they all go ripe the same day I freeze some. Now I have so many frozen bananas in the freezer I’ve been trying to think of different ways to use them up.

A Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwich is a go-to lunch or snack. Why not make it your dessert too!

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup butter (room temperature)
  • 1 cup mashed bananas
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 cups A.P flour
  • ½ cup mini chocolate chips

Filling:

  • ½ cup peanut butter
  • ¼ cup brown sugar

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Mix the butter and sugar together. Then add the egg and vanilla.

DSC_0279peanut butter and banana cookie

Then add the banana.

Add the flour, baking soda and baking powder.  Mix together.

Add the chocolate chips and mix slightly.

DSC_0280

Spoon a teaspoon sized dollop onto a cookie tray.

DSC_0281

Bake for 10 minutes.

Filling: Mix peanut butter and sugar together, spread on a cooled cookie and sandwich together with another.

 

Caprese Chicken Sandwich

caprese sandwich

I love sandwiches; I love salads so sometimes it’s fun to mix them up!

Ingredients:

  • 8 tomatoes
  • 1 chicken breast
  • 2 Ciabatta buns
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 8 fresh basil leaves
  • 6 slices of mozzarella cheese (or buffalo mozzarella if you can find)

Directions:

Cook chicken breast either in pan or oven.

Slice chicken breast into strips to divide between the two sandwiches.

Cut tomatoes in 2. Layer chicken, tomatoes, basil and cheese onto the bun.

caprese sandwich

Toast in the toaster oven to melt the cheese.

caprese sandwich

Drizzle with vinegar and oil.

caprese chicken sandwich

Eat!

 

Caitlyn’s Chocolate Raspberry Birthday Cake

chocolate raspberry cake

(adapted from epicurious.com)

So originally for my birthday cake I was going to make my usual blackberry brown sugar cake from bon appetite. But since I am going into my 20s I figure it was time for a change and went for something I don’t usually swing for, a rich chocolate cake! But this cake is sweet and surprising with the addition of raspberries and it has definitely become one of my new favourite cake recipes. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

Cake

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 cups white sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (used Fry’s)
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup pre-brewed coffee (Tim Hortons)
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil (can swap for apple sauce if you are feeling healthy)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Ganache and raspberry topping:

  • 18 ounces bittersweet chocolate (do not exceed 61% cacao), chopped
  • 2 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 6 tablespoons seedless raspberry jam, stirred to loosen (I used smuckers)
  • divided 2 6-ounce containers fresh raspberries
  • Powdered sugar

Directions:

Cake

Position oven racks in top and bottom third of oven.

Preheat to 350°F.

Spray two 9-inch-diameter cake pans with nonstick spray. Line bottoms with parchment paper and spray paper. Sift flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into large bowl. Mix and then create a well in the center. Whisk 1 cup coffee, buttermilk, oil, and eggs in medium bowl. Then pour the wet ingredients into the well in dry ingredients. Whisk until just blended.

Divide cake batter evenly between pans.

Bake cakes until toothpick is inserted into center and comes out clean. This takes about 25 minutes. Let the cakes cool completely in pans on a cooling racks.

Ganache and raspberry topping

Put chopped chocolate in medium heat resistant bowl. Bring the cream to a boil in a saucepan. Pour over the chocolate. Let stand for 1 minute, then stir until ganache is melted. Put  1 1/4 cups ganache into a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ganache is thick enough to spread, stirring occasionally, about 1 hour. Let remaining ganache stand at room temperature to cool until just a bit warm.

Now you need to remove the cakes from the pan.  Run knife around pan edges to free the cakes. Peel off parchment paper.

Set first cake on a plate.

cake

 

Spread jam over the top.

cake 3

 

Spoon small spoonfuls of chilled ganache over, then spread evenly.

Place second cake layer on top of the other layer. Don’t forget to remove parchment paper before you put it on top! It can happen…).

 

Spread remaining raspberry jam over top of second cake layer. Pour half of the room- warm ganache over cake, spreading over sides to cover.

cake 4

Freeze until ganache sets, about 30 minutes.

Pour remaining ganache over cake, allowing to drip down sides and spreading over sides if needed for even coverage and to smooth edges.

cake 5

Freeze to set ganache, about 30 minutes.

Place raspberries in a circles on the top of the cake. Sift powdered sugar lightly over raspberries and voila!

chocolate raspberry cake

Delicious b-day cake all for you! And MAYBE your guests… depending on if the presents are adequate :)

 

Maple Candied Bacon Grilled Cheese

maple candied bacon grilled cheese

A few weeks ago I posted a recipe for Maple Candied Bacon.

A few days ago we went to a maple syrup farm and maple has ever since been on my mind. Here’s a new way to use the bacon in a sandwich recipe!

Ingredients:

Makes 1

  • 2 slices rye bread
  • 3 slices candied bacon
  • 3 slices white cheddar cheese
  • 2 slices granny smith apple
  • 1 tsp butter

maple candied bacon grilled cheesecandy bacon

Directions:

Butter the outsides of 2 slices of bread. Butter will be face down on the frying pan.

Heat frying pan to medium heat.

Place one slice of bread, butter side down. Layer cheese, bacon and apple. Top with other slice of bread. Butter side up.  After a few minutes flip.

maple candied bacon grilled cheese

When golden on each side and cheese is melted it is done!

 

Maple Walnut Apple Sauce Cookies

applesauce cookies

I wanted to make cookies but I was all out of chocolate chips, my go to cookie ingredient. I looked around for a substitute. A few days ago I made these Maple Candied Walnuts.  I decided to try these in a cookie recipe. Boy am I glad I did.  These sweet omega 3 nuts were the perfect additive to applesauce cookies.

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup butter- softened
  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1  cup Whole wheat  flour
  • 1 cup cooking oats
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • pinch of sea salt
  • ½ cup candied walnuts (recipe found at Maple Walnuts)

maple walnuts

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350° F

Mix the butter, applesauce and sugars together with an electric mixer or fork. Add the egg and vanilla. Mix.

In a separate bowl mix the flour, oats, baking soda and powder and salt together.

Add the wet and dry ingredient together and the nuts- lightly mix all together.

Spoon a teaspoon amount 2 inches apart onto a baking sheet covered in parchment paper. Lightly…very lightly sprinkle with sea salt.

Bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden around the edges.

Let cool

eat

 

Maple Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

maple banana muffins

It’s maple syrup season here in Ontario. The trees are dripping with sap!

sugar bush ontario

Last weekend I went to check out a Maple Syrup Farm (Sugar Bush). There is no better smell than fresh maple syrup bubbling away.

sugar bush shaws

When we bought the maple syrup jug it was still warm!

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups A.P Flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • pinch salt
  • 3 mashed bananas
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup melted non-salted butter
  • Topping:
  • ¼ cup Crushed raw almonds (I blended whole almonds in the food processor)
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F

In a bowl mix mashed bananas, maple syrup, butter and egg thoroughly. In a separate bowl mix flour, baking power, baking soda and salt. Add dry ingredients to wet.  Do not over-mix. (you should still be able to see a bit of the flour in the final batter).

In a small bowl mix bowl mix brown sugar and almonds for the topping.

almond brown sugar

Line a muffin tin with muffin cups. Pour batter ¾ way full. Add a sprinkle of the brown sugar and almond mix.

maple banana muffins

Bake for 15 minutes of until a toothpick is pricked into a muffin and comes out clean (no sticky batter).

maple banana muffins

 

 

Baked Panko Onion Rings Dipped in Peanut Sauce

baked onion rings

This recipe was inspired by an appetizer I always get from Fresh Restaurant in Toronto. It’s a great crunchy snack before your meal and makes a good side too!

Ingredients:

  • 1 large white onion
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup Flour
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • Salt and Pepper

Directions:

Preheat Oven to 420 degrees F

Slice the onion to create rings.

DSC_0377

In a bowl coat onion rings with flour.  Beat egg and buttermilk in a shallow bowl. Add the onion rings and let soak for a few minutes.

DSC_0379

 

Take soaked onion rings and dip into panko crumbs.

DSC_0380

Place coated onion rings on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.

baked panko onion rings

Sprinkle with salt and pepper. (At this point you could drizzle with oil- I didn’t)

Bake foe 10 minutes, Flip, bake for 8-10 more minutes.

Let cool slightly.

Dip into this Peanut Sauce!

peanut sauce

Brie and Chocolate Croissant – Pain au Chocolat avec Brie

chocolate croissant

One of my favourite things is a Pain au Chocolat.

bordeaux

So I often slice open a croissant and melt some chocolate chips on it.  One day I will make a real Pain au Chocolate from start to finish – the 3 hour kind- but for today the 3 minute kind is perfect!

Today I decided to add some Brie cheese along with the chocolate.

I think it’s a new favourite!

Ingredients:

makes 2

  • 2 Croissants
  • ½ cup Dark Chocolate chips
  • 8 slices Brie Cheese

Directions:

Slice open a croissant.

DSC_0291

Add 3-4 slices of Brie on one side and a sprinkle of chocolate chips of the other.

Toast in the toaster oven until both are melted.

DSC_0297

Press the two sides together.

Enjoy!

 

Easter Lemon Coconut Cupcakes

lemon coconut easter cupcakes U

If you want- yes make dry cupcake mix from scratch.

Today I wanted to spend more time decorating so thought I’d cheat a bit and used a box cake mix as a cupcake base. I substituted vegetable oil for coconut oil and added lemon zest and lemon juice to the recipe on the box.

Ingredients:

  • 1 box lemon or vanilla cupcake/cake mix.
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup water
  • ½  cup organic coconut oil
  • Icing- I used Vanilla Whipped Icing.
  • Sliced Almonds.
  • Mini eggs

DSC_0282

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.

Pour the box mix into a large bowl. Add the zest, water, oil and lemon juice and mix- I used a whisk. Line a muffin tray with cupcake liners. Pour batter ¾ full into each cup.

Bake about 15 minutes or when a toothpick is pricked in the center cupcake and comes out clean.

DSC_0286

Decorate.

I used bought Vanilla Whipped Icing. Ice cupcake leaving a bit of a dip in the center.

DSC_0288

Toast almond sliced in a toaster oven for 2 minutes.

DSC_0290

Sprinkle on the outside edge of cupcake to make the nest.

Put a few eggs in the center.

easter cupcake

Enjoy!

Egg in a hole

Egg in a hole

It’s as simple as it sounds!

I make this recipe often as it’s quick, simple and fun!

Ingredients:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 slice of bread
  • Salt and pepper
  • Dab of butter

Directions:

Using a small glass or cookie cutter, cut a hole into the slice of bread.

egg in a hole

Heat a dab of butter in a frying pan on low/medium heat. Add the bread.

Inside the hole, crack the egg.

Let cook for a few minutes. Then flip. Add a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook for another 2 minutes.

egg in a hole

I like my yolk pretty runny but if you don’t add another few cooking minutes to each side in the pan.

Done!

Olive and Bacon Afternoon Tea Cake

olive6

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 cups flour
  • 1-1/2 tsps baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2/3 cup sliced green olives
  • 4 slices bacon, cut into pieces and cooked
  • 1 cup grated aged white cheddar cheese
  • Pinch of salt, to taste

Directions:

Heat the oven to 350º F

Butter and flour a loaf pan.

Mix the flour and baking powder in a bowl, and stir in the pepper.

olive2

 

Beat eggs into the flour. Stir through the remaining ingredients to distribute evenly. Place the batter into the pan. (I added the bacon to only one side for those who didn’t want a bacon piece)

olive3

Bake for 40-45 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.

olive4

 

Cool and enjoy.

Peanut Butter – One Ingredient!

Peanut Butter

Peanut Butter is probably one of my favourite things! I’m sure this topic has come up before. I don’t always make my own peanut butter- but it is fun to create different kinds by adding different extra flavour. I have tried making this a few times. The first time I thought it wouldn’t work but the key is to keep blending and blending and blending and it will eventually get smooth (without adding oil).

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups Peanuts- roasted- non-salted

Directions.

Put peanuts into a food processor. Turn on high speed.

Blend.

DSC_0279

Keep blending.

DSC_0283

 

Keep blending.

DSC_0285

Equals Peanut Butter!

Add flavours:

Peanut Butter

  • Honey
  • Cinnamon
  • Coconut
  • Chocolate chips
  • Maple Syrup

Store in a container in the fridge.

 

Maple Candied Walnuts

candied walnuts

Walnuts have a lot of healthy attributes so I know I should eat them all the time.  Heres a recipe that  makes me want to eat them with every meal and some.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups raw walnuts
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper

DSC_0307

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

In a frying pan melt the butter. Add the walnuts and maple syrup and stir for about 4 minutes at medium heat.

candied walnuts

Layer walnuts on a baking pan covered in parchment paper. Bake in oven for 8 minutes.

candied walnuts

Let cool, then transfer off the paper.

Eat as a snack, toss on salad, put in pancake batter, or on your morning cereal.

I store them in the fridge for weeks.

 

Toasted Marshmallow S’more Milk Shake

toasted marshmallow s'more milkshake

It may be too early for campfires and roasting marshmallows by the lake but I’d say it’s never too early for a Toasted Marshmallow S’more Milk Shake!

Ingredients:

Makes 1

10 or so baby marshmallows

3 scoops vanilla ice-cream

2 teaspoons chocolate chips

2 tablespoons graham cracker crumbs.

1/4 cup milk (I used skim)

toasted marshmallow s'more milkshake

Directions:

Place marshmallows on parchment paper on a small pan.  Place in toaster oven and toast for a few minutes. When they start to puff up and turn golden brown they are done- Watch this, they can burn fast. (you could also use an oven)

Let cool, then peel off the paper.

DSC_0314

Add the milk and ice-cream into a blender, then add all the other ingredients on top.

 

toasted marshmallow s'more milkshake

Blend on high until smooth.

Serve

Cheddar Waffle Sandwich with more Cheddar and Apple on Top!

cheesy Waffle sandwich

Tired of your usual sandwich for lunch? This sandwich is super cheesy and a great new twist to add some excitement to your weekly routine! These cheesy waffles are great on their own or make them into a sandwich!

Makes 2

Waffles:

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup Bob’s Red Mill Waffle mix
  • ½ cup cheddar cheese (I used white cheddar cheese- any cheese works)
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 2 eggs- separate yolk and whites

Sandwich toppings:

  • 6-8 slices  cheddar cheese
  • 1  granny smith apple- sliced

 

Waffles- Follow directions on package (whisk egg whites in separate bowl, in another bowl add milk, egg yolks, oil, mix, add waffle dry mix, stir, add cheese, stir. Then fold in egg whites.)

cheese Waffles

Heat waffle iron. When heated pour in waffle batter into each compartment leaving a little room for the waffles to expand.

waffles

Close the lid and open when machine signals done (mine beeps).

Take out waffles.

Put slices of cheese on 2 waffles. Toast in Toaster oven or oven until cheese melts. Layer apple slices and close.

Waffle sandwich

You can make this same meal with cheesy pancakes as your “bread”. Just add cheese to your pancake batter.

 

Peanut Butter Nutty Hot Chocolate

peanut butter hot chocolate

Ever think, gee, I really am craving some peanut butter right now, but also some chocolate… sure I could make a Nutella peanut butter sandwich or open a bar of Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups, but what if you want something hot? Finally a solution! This hot chocolate will knock your peanut butter taste buds out of this world!

It’s the first day of Spring!

spring flower

But where I am the ground is still covered in snow and the lake is frozen solid so I am making myself this today. Yummy warm and delicious to toast to Spring!

Ingredients

  • 3 cups milk
  • 2 tbsp of cocoa
  • 3  tbsp of brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter (not the crunchy kind!!)

 Directions:

Turn on burner to medium and pour all ingredients into a pot. Whisk everything together and bring to a simmer for about 5 min. Serve with whip cream on top and share with someone near and dear to your heart <3 WARNING!! This is amazingly delicious! But seriously there are peanut products in it, so don’t share with any of your freinds with peanut allergies. Even if they did forget it was your birthday last month…

Sweet Potato Hash with a Fried Egg: 5 Ingredients or Less!

sweet potato Hash

I’ve already got Easter on my mind (even though it’s snowing out today) so thought I’d whip up an egg recipe to remind me of the hopefully soon to come Spring.

Ingredients:

Serves 1

  • ½ sweet potato/yam
  • ½ yellow, orange or red pepper
  • 1-tablespoon goat cheese
  • 1 egg
  • Pinch of Salt and Pepper

DSC_0395

Directions:

Cut the potato and pepper into small squares.

Add a bit of oil or butter to a frying pan and on medium heat cook until potatoes are soft.

DSC_0408

 

Season with salt and pepper. Add an egg on top. Add cheese. Place a lid over the pan for 3-5 minutes.

DSC_0445

Then serve.

Smoothies 101

A few things to keep in mind when assembling your next smoothie:

I don’t generally add ice because I like my smoothie extra thick.

  1. Start with the liquid- whether it is juice, or milk
  2.  Add the frozen fruit and/or veggies.
  3. Add the protein: powder or yogurt
  4. Add spinach or kale- if you wish
  5. Add extras flavours- chocolate, honey, vanilla etc

 

Vegan Peach Mango Smoothie Recipe.

vegan smoothie

Using frozen fruit is good a way to get the fruit you want at any time of year. Either buy the bags of frozen fruit or freeze yourself in the summer months.  I also freeze bananas whenever they go a bit too ripe. I peel them and store in an airtight container in the freezer.

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup frozen peach slices
  • ½ cup frozen diced mango
  • ½ a frozen banana
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • ½ tsp chia seeds

DSC_0423 DSC_0420 vegan smoothie

Directions:

Assemble into a blender, blend and serve.

 

Basic Berry Smoothie Recipe

By guest author Marco

berry smoothie

Alright then, let’s get down to business. Fruit smoothies are one of Marco’s essentials for any given day. I’ve tried experimenting with many different ingredients. I was even convinced once to try putting in spinach and alfalfa sprouts (although to me, green is a colour better suited for the jungle than for a smoothie…).

This is a very basic (but highly tasty) smoothie recipe. Living in the great white north, it’s not easy or cheap to get fresh berries year round. Luckily, you don’t need them! Just buy one of those large bags of mixed frozen berries.

Here’s my recipe: serves 1

Ingredients:

  • -1 cups of orange juice (you can save money by using OJ from concentrate)
  • -1 cups of mixed berry yogurt (sometimes I use Greek yogurt, for the added health benefits)
  • -1.5 cups of frozen berries (I like the mixes that have raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries the best)
  • -1 teaspoon of flax seed (what can I say, Marco likes to stay regular)

Directions:

Put everything into a blender.

smoothie

Blend on high.

Serve.

This way you get lots of anti-oxidants, lots of fruit, lots of calcium, a little bit of fiber, and an enormous amount of flavour.

My roommate always tries to steal my smoothies. Luckily, she has a pineapple allergy. And unfortunately, it just so happens that I really like pineapple so much that it’s a ‘must have’ in any smoothie I make. (Just kidding, you probably shouldn’t risk poisoning your hungry roommates).

 

Irish Coffee

Irish Coffee

A good way to kick start your St. Patrick’s Day morning!!!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup freshly brewed coffee (I used Starbucks Blonde)
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 4 tbsp Baileys Irish Cream (traditionally you could use Whiskey)
  • ½ Cup warm milk. (can substitute with your favourite non dairy milk)

Directions:

DSC_0282

Stir all ingredients together

Serve with whipped cream or frothed milk on top

Also try these Bailey’s Irish Cream Crepes and Pancakes

DSC_0380 Bailey's Irish cream pancakes

Soft Pretzels

Joke:

Two pretzels were walking down the street.

One was a salted.

DSC_0348

We are big pretzel fans here! Soft pretzels and pretzel buns are sometimes hard to find at your local grocery store. These take a lot of time but most of the time is waiting for dough to rise so don’t be intimidated. These are great to make on a rainy movie or study day.

Total time:  2 hours

Ingredients:

1 packet Instant dry yeast

1 teaspoon white sugar

1 cup warm water

2 cups bread flour (use All purpose if you don’t have bread)

2 cups all purpose flour

1-teaspoon salt

½ cup baking soda

5 cups warm water

Sea salt for sprinkling

Directions:

Read fully through first. Get set up then start.

In a small bowl mix the yeast, warm water and sugar for a bout 10 minutes (should look frothy)

soft pretzels

I used a mixer (use a bowl and spoon) to mix flours, and yeast mixture together. Knead. Let rest in an oiled bowl covered with a tea towel for 60 minutes.

soft pretzels

Pre-heat Oven to 450 Degrees F

Divide dough into smaller sections (depending on what size pretzels you want to make.  Manipulate dough to create a long line. Twist into pretzel shape.

soft pretzels

You can also make bun shapes, bread sticks, mini buns etc.

soft pretzels

Heat water and baking soda in a cooking pot until baking soda is dissolved.

soft pretzels

Dip the pretzels into the water mix and place on a pan covered in parchment.

(If you want a darker pretzel, brush a beaten egg yolk over each pretzel right before baking- I didn’t do this in today’s pictures)

Sprinkle with salt

pretzel

Bake for 7-8 minutes

pretzel bun

 

Harlem Shake Cookies – Everything Cookies

Harlem shake cookie recipe

Why Harlem Shake? They are filled with every kind of ingredient possible in hopes to make something awesome! Use this recipe or create your own Harlem Shake cookie recipe!

Video: Big Bang Theory Harlem Shake

Ingredients:

1 cup butter- room temperature

3/4 cup white sugar

¾ cup brown sugar

2 eggs

2  cups all purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

½ cup Rice Krispies

½ cup semi sweet  mini chocolate chips

½ cup caramel chips

½ cup mini marshmallows

½ cup crushed peanuts

½ cup crushed pretzels

Harlem shake recipe

Directions:

350 degrees F

Mix butter and sugar together with an electric mixer until smooth. Then mix in eggs. In a separate bowl mix Flour, baking soda and Rice Krispies together.

Add dry ingredients to wet. Lightly mix. Add in all the chips, pretzels, nuts, pretzels and marshmallows. Mix.

Harlem shake recipe

With a teaspoon, scoop batter into mounds on a pan covered in parchment paper.

Bake for 10 minutes

 

Vegan Rice Crispy Squares

DSC_0313

I have a few friends who are vegan so was trying to think of some recipe adaptations to have some recipe ideas on hand for when they come over.

I really like eating these squares and they are not as super sweet as the traditional, which I think I prefer.

I love rice crispy squares! I eat them often but have lately been opting out the traditional marshmallow recipe for these delicious vegan squares. I am also a big peanut butter fan so these are great all around!

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup Agave Nectar
  • 3/4 cup Natural Peanut Butter (I used homemade peanut butter)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp Vegan Margarine (Earth Balance)
  • 3 ½ cups Brown Rice – Rice Krispies (you could use regular)

vegan rice crispy squares

Directions:

Take a baking pan and line with parchment paper. Set aside.

Heat Agave nectar, peanut butter, vanilla and earth balance on low heat until smooth and creamy looking.

DSC_0299

 

Add the cereal and stir until coated.

vegan rice crispy squares

Pour mix into pan, press down with a spatula and let cool.

vegan rice crispy squares peanut butter

Cut into squares.

Keep in an air tight container for up to a few days.

Chocolate Covered Grapes 

chocolate covered grapes

Perfect to serve with wine and cheese or as a juicier spin on chocolate covered raisins. You will never go back to the store bought packs again after trying this juicy alternative!

Curl up on the couch for a movie with this yummy snack :)

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup dark chocolate
  • 1 cup grapes

grapes8

Directions:

Melt chocolate in a double boiler.

grapes 2

 

Wash the grapes and pluck them off their stems. For the picture I left a few on the stem, but it is generally easier to eat them off the stem. Lay out some parchment paper.  Dip the grapes in the chocolate and place on parchment paper.

grapes 3

 

chocolate grapes

 

Cool in the fridge for 15 min, go put on your favourite movie, and enjoy a premium cinema snack!

Irish Soda Bread for St. Patty’s Day

irish soda bread

I lived in the England for a while after University and became obsessed with Irish Soda Bread. You could get it in most grocery stores and restaurants.

It is crusty and great for stews and soups or just toasted with butter.

Add this recipe to your St. Patty’s day menu! It’s really quick and easy, not like a traditional bread recipe. There is no kneading involved and no waiting around for the dough to rise.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups All Purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp white sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 ¼ cup buttermilk (use regular milk and add a tsp of vinegar or lemon juice if you don’t have buttermilk)

Directions:

Preheat Oven to 375° F

Mix flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt together. Add the butter, then the milk and egg.

soda bread

Mix with a wooden spoon until it forms a ball shape. If it is too sticky add a bit more flour.

soda bread

Cover a baking sheet with parchment. Form dough into a ball or bread shape and place on pan. No need to knead this dough. Score  (half cut into) the bread dough making an x shape for even cooking.

Place in oven for about 45 minutes.

irish soda bread

Cool slightly, eat warm

 

Zucchini Boats with Diced Tomatoes and Parmesan Cheese

With the floods of rain we have been having, I thought what better way to cheer peoples spirits was to give them a vessel to ride through the storm. These tasty sides are a great pair with my stuffed lemon chicken recipe or great on their own. I cannot guarantee their buoyancy, only their tastiness!

 

Note the hungry student in the background lunging for the food
Note the hungry student in the background lunging for the food

Ingredients

  • 2 zucchinis
  • 2 crushed garlic cloves
  • ½ cup diced tomatoes
  • shaven cheese (mozzarella or another cheese of your choice)
  •  ¼ cup bread crumbs (fresh or packaged)
  •  ¼ cup hard grated cheese (if you have it)
  • 1 tbsp chopped basil (fresh or dried- fresh preferred!)
  • 1tbsp olive oil

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degree F

Cut the ends off the zucchini, then cut lengthwise into halves. Scoop out some of the zucchini to make room for the filling.

zucchini boat filling

 

Mix your crushed garlic and olive oil together , and brush the inside with it. Spoon the the tomatoes into the zucchini boats, and finish by sprinkling some bread crumbs, and hard grated cheese on top.

zucchini boat

Bake for approximately 30 minutes. Remove from oven and add cheese and basil and then broil for about 10 min. Let cool for a few minutes before serving.

Bailey’s Irish Cream Crepes and Bailey’s Irish Cream Pancakes

With Whisky Maple Syrup.

Looking for some Irish inspired recipes for St. Patty’s Day next week? Here are a few to try.

bailey's

Pancakes and St. Patrick’s Day seem to go hand in hand. You could turn this recipe into the usual green pancakes/crepes by just adding a few drops of green food colouring to the batter (or a tbsp of frozen spinach liquid) or just leave them au naturel like I did here.  The addition of the Irish cream makes these pancakes taste extra creamy and warm. I highly recommend trying these…this may be a new weekend tradition.

The Whiskey Maple Syrup adds a stronger alcoholic taste than the Irish Cream so either use plain maple syrup or vamp it up with the Whiskey recipe below. Wait until next week or have them today!

Bailey’s Irish Cream Crepes

Bailey's irish cream crepes

Ingredients:

Serves 2- 3

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • pinch salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ½ cup milk
  • 1 tbsp melted butter
  • ½ cup Baileys Irish Cream

Directions:

In a bowl mix together the flour, salt and sugar together.

In a separate bowl beat the 2 eggs.  Add the milk, melted butter and Irish cream and thoroughly mix.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix.

Bailey's crepes

Use a ladle and ladle one scoop into a (medium temp) heated and buttered frying pan.  Lift off the heat and tip and rotate the pan to create a thin crepe. Then place down on the heated element again. Cook each side only a few minutes.

irish cream crepes

Drizzle with Whiskey Maple Syrup (recipe below)

 

Bailey’s Irish Cream Pancakes

Bailey's Irish cream pancakes

For this recipe you could use a box mix and substitute part of the added milk/water for Irish Cream but making your own mix is pretty simple so I’d give it a try.

Ingredients:

Serves 2-3

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1  cups milk
  • ½ cup Bailey’s Irish Cream
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp melted butter (plus more for frying)

Directions:

In a bowl mix together the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder and sugar together.

In a separate bowl beat the 2 eggs.  Add the milk, melted butter and Irish cream and thoroughly mix.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix.

Heat a frying pan or pancake skillet to medium heat. Melt a tsp or so of butter or oil into the pan. Use a spoon and scoop 1- 2 spoonfuls of batter  onto the frying pan.  When the pancakes start to show bubbles flip. Each side takes a few minutes.

Serve with Whiskey Maple Syrup (recipe below)

Whiskey Maple Syrup

irish whisky maple syrup

  • ½ cup Maple Syrup.
  • ¼ cup whiskey (or more…)

Mix together, heat in the microwave or stove top until warm.

Drizzle over crepes or pancakes

 

Lemon Chicken stuffed with Spinach, Bacon and Ricotta

I recommend this for a dinner date as it is simple, but will need a few extra ingredients that your student home may not have lying about. It takes a little bit of time, but well worth the effort!

ricotta lemon spinach Stuffed chicken 3

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium sized chicken breast (cut butterfly style)
  • Salt and pepper to season
  • 1-2 tbsp lemon juice

Filling

  • 2 tbsp lemon juiced
  • ¼ cup ricotta cheese
  • ¼ cup spinach (fresh or frozen)
  • 3 strips bacon
  • pinch salt and pepper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F

Start by making your filling.

Heat up a pan to medium high and cook the bacon until crisp.

Stuffed chicken 5

Remove the bacon and leave some of the fat in the pan and save some additional for browning the chicken. Add the spinach and lemon juice and simmer while crumbling the bacon (should take about 5 min).

Stuffed chicken 6

 

Remove from heat and mix all the filling ingredients together and season with salt and pepper.

Stuffed chicken 1

 

The recipe will yield a bit more filling than necessary to stuff the chicken, but this is for a very good reason. If while browning or baking your chicken, some of the filling melts out, you can always stuff some more in if you need to, or use it on the side.

Stuff the chicken with the filling, using toothpicks to skewer the chicken shut and brush with some lemon juice and sprinkle with some salt and pepper. Reheat the pan and the bacon fat on medium heat. Brown all sides of the chicken.

In an oven safe baking dish, bake for about 30 minutes, until chicken juices run clear.

 

Coconut Curry Soba Noodles

Tired of the usual go to Spaghetti dinner? This recipe is just as fast and easy but maybe something new and different.

curry soba u (1)

There are also a lot of variations to the recipe that can be made. Change up the veggie mix, change the protein, add some hot sauce, some crushed peanuts…whatever you like.

This dish is spicy and warm. It’s great for these winter days that keep hanging around.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 1-cup coconut milk (I used light)
  • 1 Cup water or chicken stock
  • 1 heaping teaspoon red curry paste (to start)
  • 1-teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 cups frozen vegetable mix (mine included water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, carrots, peas, peppers and edamame)
  • 2 bundles of soba noodles (seen in picture)
  • 20 (approximately) pre cooked de-tailed shrimp (can substitute with chicken or tofu)

DSC_0291

Directions:

Defrost veggies and shrimp.

Cook the soba noodles as directed on package.

In a saucepan add the coconut milk, water and curry paste together, set to around medium heat. Stir until smooth. Depending on how much of a curry fan you are you may want to add another teaspoon of paste or leave it as is.

DSC_0297

Add the ginger, then the veggies, shrimp and noodles. Mix together and serve.

Healthy Whole Wheat Coconut Banana Chip Banana Bread

with Dark Chocolate Chips

Why is it that when one show takes a week off, they all seem to. So How I met your mother wasn’t on, then New Girl wasn’t on, then The Mindy Project…  My weekly procrastination excuses are gone! 

I love banana bread! It is a great grab-and-go breakfast, easy to bring to class or a treat when you get home.

whole wheat banana chip bread

The problem is most of the recipes are filled with butter, oil, and sugar…good for sometimes but not how I usually like to start my day.

I took a regular banana bread recipe and made a few substitutions to create a guilt free banana bread for any time of day.

Ingredients:

  •  3 ripe bananas- mashed
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp ground flax seeds
  • ½ cup dark chocolate chips
  • ½ cup banana chips (This is nut-free and adds crunch but are not so healthy so you can substitute with walnuts for some added omega 3 if you are in a nut-friendly zone)

banana bread

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325° F

Mix the honey, maple syrup and oil together with an electric beater.  Add mashed bananas. Add in egg whites and vanilla and mix. In a separate bowl add flour, salt, cinnamon, flax, baking soda and mix. Add dry to wet ingredients. Lightly mix and lastly add the chocolate and banana chips.

banana bread with banana chips

Tip: You don’t want to over mix quick bread mix or muffin mix because it makes your end product dense so mix with caution.

Take a baking pan. Lighly grease then put a spoon of flour and swirl around until the flour covers the bottom and sidewalls. This makes the bread come out easier. Pour batter into pan.

Bake for 35-45 min (it really depends on your oven) When it looks done, stick a toothpick in the top and see if it come out clean. If it is covered in batter keep baking.

 

Thyme Marinated Goat Cheese in a Jar

marinated goat cheese

A few years ago I had marinated goat cheese in a jar as an appetizer at a restaurant and thought it was such a good idea! Since then I’ve had a cupcake in a jar, a brownie in a jar and cheesecake in a jar.

I like it!

Easy to make, seal then serve. Less clean up all around.

Marinated goat cheese has so many uses: Top on pasta, on toast, or on salad, dip with crackers or baguette, eat with a spoon….

Ingredients:

  • 1 package/log of goat cheese
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 1-teaspoon fresh thyme.

Directions:

marinated goat cheese

Put the goat cheese in the jar. Slice a few slits into the top.

Add the olive oil and seasoning.

Swirl around to get the flavours in all the nooks and cranny’s.

marinated goat cheese

Put the lid on.

Put in the fridge for at least a few hours or overnight.

Lasts for a week or two in the fridge (unless you eat it all the first day).

 

Orange –Pomegranate (POM) Popsicles with Honey Center

pomegranate popsicle pom juice

So popsicles may seem like a strange thing to be posting seeing as it’s early March but these are special popsicles J

Cold season seems to be lasting a long time this year so here is a cold-combat-popsicle!  These have vitamin C, antioxidants and honey to sooth a sore throat plus they taste great.

 Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp honey (any kind)
  • 3 tbsp water
  • juice of 3-4 oranges (can use store bought as well)
  • ½ cup POM pomegranate juice

 Directions:

First use the honey to make a simple syrup. Mix the honey over a low heat in a sauce pan and wait till the honey melts.  Add the water and stir.  Let it cool.

popsicle 1

Then juice the oranges .

To make the popsicles, first pour in 2 tablespoons of orange juice into the popsicle molds and freeze. Then pour in 2 tablespoons of the honey syrup and freeze.

popsicle 3

 

Lastly add the pomegranate juice and freeze. It will take a few hours.

For when you have a cold or when you don’t.

 

Baked Wonton Chips

baked wonton chips

There are definitely times when we crave salty, crunchy snacks.

Here is a healthy snack option that you can easily say yes to!

I like dipping them into hummus, guacamole, or salsa.

Try sprinkling them onto soups or salad for a new satisfying crunch.

Ingredients:

  • 1 package wonton wrappers
  • Extra Virgin Olive oil
  • Spices: choices- paprika, no salt garlic and herb,  salt and dill etc

Wonton Wrappers

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 F

Separate wonton sheets. Layer sheets on a pan with parchment paper.

Spray lightly with olive oil/cooking spray. Sprinkle with seasoning of choice.  Chose one flavor or mix and match or split the tray flavors 50/50.

wonton chips

Bake for 8 minutes or until golden around the edges.

Enjoy!

Baked Kale Chips

baked kale chips

I’m in a snacks for lunch kind of mood so I’m posting 2 healthy “chip” options today for some good snacking this week!

Kale is one of those vegetables that I know I should eat often but it doesn’t always work out that way. Here’s a recipe for a great way to get your kale on!

The flavour combinations for these healthier “chips” are countless. Basically whatever seasoning you chose will change the flavour each time so experiment with what you like.

Options: Dried Basil, Salt and Pepper, Curry Seasoning, Grated Parmesan Cheese, Nutritional Yeast.

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch fresh Kale (any variety)
  • Olive oil
  • Seasoning (I used no salt garlic and herb)

kale

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350° F

Wash and thoroughly dry kale.

Cover a baking pan with parchment paper.

Tear kale into smaller pieces and layer on pan.

Spray or drizzle kale with olive oil.

Sprinkle with seasoning.

Bake for 10 minutes. Flip the leaves over and bake for another 10 minutes.

Cool and eat. You can store in a reseal-able container for a few days.

 

Ovaltine Lindt Chip Mocha Milk Shake! (aka the ‘Marco shake’)

By guest author Marco.

Ovaltine lindt milkshake

Ok, I think that there was some medical study somewhere I heard about that found chocolate was good for you. So my conclusion from this is that you’re doing your body a favour by making this drink ;)

You *will not* find a better chocolate-mocha milk shake than this! In fact, I think I’d like to name this the ‘Marco-shake‘ if this name is available. My dream is that, 200 years from now, people will still be making the Marco-shake and thinking of me. I don’t want to sound presumptuous, but maybe some sort of statue would be appropriate (made of chocolate maybe?).

The recipe is very easy. You need a blender for this – I use a large blender, but one of those little hand blenders (I think they are called a Smart Stick Hand Blender) or a food processor are just as good for this job.

Personally, I think that this is a perfect ‘guy’ recipe. There is no sequence to how you mix things. There are no fancy-pants words like ‘froth’, or, ‘filet’, or ‘sear’, or ‘flambé’ (I always thought ‘flambé’ was some sort of dance. No wonder girls always said no to Marco when they were asked if they wanted to flambé…). You just dump all of the ingredients below into one blender.

This is my secret recipe:

Ingredients:

  • -6 scoops of chocolate ice cream (any brand, just simple chocolate ice cream)
  • -2.5 cups milk
  • -6 tablespoons of Ovaltine Chocolate Malt Mix
  • -(If available, 1 tablespoon of ‘Ovaltine Malted Milk Drink Mix’)
  • -2 small squares of a Lindt milk chocolate bar
  • -1 teaspoon of instant coffee

Ovaltine and lindt milkshakeOvaltine lindt mocha milkshake drink

Directions:

Put all of these in a blender, and blend. Keep blending until the Lindt chocolate squares are broken up (they have a tendency to hang out at the bottom of the blender, and take longer to break up than you’d expect).

Ovaltine Mocha lindt blended milkshake

Voila. Welcome to paradise.

If you ask me how many servings this makes…I would say it makes just enough for one.

Sometimes I add a bit of Bailey’s Irish Cream. If you like cinnamon, add a sprinkle.

 

Crispy Cheesy Gnocchi with Bacon and Spinach 

Crispy gnocchi with cheese, spinach bacon

I had a dish a few years ago at a restaurant in Edinburgh Scotland and I still think about it all the time. It featured one of my favourite ingredients, gnocchi.

It was crispy, cheesy and full of flavour. Since eating it I have made a few different versions of the dish.

Here’s one version for today:

Ingredients:

  • 1 package gnocchi (dry or frozen)
  • 2 slices bacon- chopped
  • 1 cup fresh spinach
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive oil
  • Season with pepper and smoked paprika

cheesefresh spinach

Directions:

Cook gnocchi as directed on the package. Drain water.

In a frying pan cook the chopped bacon.  Add the oil, then add the cooked gnocchi to the pan. Cook at just above medium heat. When you start to see the gnocchi turn a golden colour you have successfully made crispy gnocchi!

Add the spinach and cheese on top of the gnocchi. Stir around for a few minutes for the cheese to melt. Add the seasoning and then you are done!

Crispy Maple Candied Bacon

Maple Candied Crispy Bacon

Bacon is one of the food groups right?

There is not too much to say about this recipe except that there is a very good chance you will be craving this bacon for weeks to come.

Yeah Friday!

Ingredients:

  • 12 slices bacon
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons maple sugar
  • cracked black pepper

Directions:

Bake 350° F

Cover a baking pan with tin foil.

Place a cooling/wire rack on the baking pan.

Spray cooling rack with cooking spray.

Layer bacon over cooling rack. Sprinkle with brown sugar and cracked black pepper. Drizzle with maple syrup.

DSC_0295

Place in oven for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes check every 5 minutes. You want the bacon crispy but not burnt. As soon as areas turn dark take out of the oven.

Cool and eat.

Great as a side with eggs, pancakes or toast. Even in your next BLT.

 

Red Velvet Whoopie Pies with Peanut Butter and Cream Cheese Filling

Whoopie pies: not a cake, not a cookie, not a cupcake….a delicious mix of them all

Red Velvet Whoopie Pie with Peanut Butter and Cream Cheese Filling

Ingredients:

Whoopie pies:

  • 1 Box Red Velvet cake mix
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • ½ cup water

 

Cream Cheese Filling:

  • 1 container of Cream cheese (250mg)
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 1 cup of Icing Sugar
  •  1-tablespoon milk

 

Peanut Butter Filling:

  • ½ cup Smooth Peanut butter
  • 1-tablespoon brown sugar

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400° F

Whoopi’s: With an electric mixer blend cake mix, water, oil and eggs.  (Option: I didn’t but for a more red colour add a few drops of red food colouring into the mix.

On a pan with parchment paper spoon on 1 tablespoon of batter about 2 inches apart. Lightly smooth out batter to make the batter dollop into a circle shape.

DSC_0362

Bake for 8 minutes.

Fillings:

1. With electric mixer, beat cream cheese, icing sugar, butter, and milk together until super smooth.

2. Separately, mix together the brown sugar and peanut butter.

 

When the little cakes have cooled, layer one side with cream cheese filling, and the other with the peanut butter filling.

DSC_0384

Stick them together.

Voila whoopie pie!

Remember Whoopie’s come in all shapes and sizes :)

DSC_0401

 

Crunchy Roasted Chickpeas

Looking for a new snack idea? If you are craving something crunchy for a snack these are a great solution.

A healthy snack option

Chickpeas are a great source of protein and fibre among other things.

Double or triple the recipe depending on how many people you have over.  These will be gobbled up in seconds.

Ingredients:

  • 1 can chickpeas- rinsed and dried (garbanzo beans)
  • Olive oil to drizzle/spray
  • Seasoning- no salt herb blend, Italian seasoning, paprika.

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425° F

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Cover with chickpeas. Lightly spray or drizzle with olive oil.

Season. Today I used smoked paprika and salt but any spices you like will work.

DSC_0320

Place in heated over for a total of 30 minutes. After the first 10 minutes, shake the tray a bit for even cooking.  After the next 10 minutes shake again.

DSC_0322

After the last 10 minutes. Take out of oven.  Cool.

Eat

Oatmeal in a Jar  (Oatmeal Mix recipe)

Breakfast to go

In the last few years I have become a bit of a creature of habit in the mornings. Most weekdays I go for my daily oatmeal fix.

I make my own large mix and store it the fridge.  This is one version but I change it up the added ingredients week to week to keep things interesting.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups Slow cooking Oats or Steel Cut Oats
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 2 tbsp ground flax seeds
  • 2 tbsp hemp seeds
  • ½ cup raw almonds
  • ½ cup dried blueberries
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Sweeten as you wish (maple syrup, honey, agave nectar, stevia, brown sugar..)

DSC_0297

Directions:

Spoon a few tablespoons of mix into a jar, slightly over cover with water or milk and leave over night in the fridge. The next morning microwave for 60 seconds and oatmeal is ready to go.

Today I also posted a review for the Banana Guard to add to your breakfast to go routine: http://www.college-cooking.com/2013/02/26/banana-guard-a-review/

 

Blueberry Ricotta Muffin Recipe
(makes 12)

DSCN2830

These muffins are a great study snack and freeze really well so feel free to double the recipe and save some muffins for a rainy day, or for a post exam treat for you and your friends. How else are you supposed to get those lecture notes without bribing them with yummy muffins?

Ingredients:

Dry Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder

Wet ingredients:

  •  1/3 cup canola oil
  • 5 Tbsp whole milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • ¾  cup ricotta cheese (1 300g container)
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries (just be sure to soak your berries in some warm water if they are frozen)

Streusel Topping:

  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • ¼ cup chopped almonds

DSCN2822

Directions:

Preheat Oven to 375° F

Mix the dry and wet ingredients separately then using a spatula stir the two together until incorporated. Try not to over mix the batter, as the muffins will become very dense and tough. You don’t want to end up making blueberry rocks instead of delicious fluffy muffins!

 Fold in the blueberries then fill 12 muffin silicone cups 3/4 of the way full.

Sprinkle the streusel topping on the muffins.

DSCN2829

Then bake at 375° F for 20 min or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Let the muffins cool for a little while and then either serve or freeze to eat at another time.

If you are freezing them you have to let them cool all the way, so leave them for  about an hour.

A warning in advance, the smell will attract hungry students so don’t plan on keeping them all for yourself!

Tip: Silicone muffin cups can be bought at many kitchen or dollar stores. Makes for a super easy non stick option.

 

Cast Iron Skillet Pizza

It’s the Oscars tonight so before you settle down to watch the show here’s a yummy pre- Oscar dinner to fill you up for the entertainment ahead.

DSC_0290

Have you ever eaten at a restaurant with a wood-fired pizza oven? There is a crispy smoky flavour that it adds to the crust.

Wood-fired pizza oven from "Flatbreads" in Maui
Wood-fired pizza oven from “Flatbreads” in Maui

Without having one of these ovens I tried to create a similar flavour at home using a cast iron skillet. You will never beat the actual thing but this is a great alternative for a pizza night in.

Ingredients:

  • Naan bread
  • Toppings: 1 chicken breast, 3 slices bacon, peppers, onions, 1 garlic clove, ½ onion, 4 mushrooms.
  • Cheeses: goat cheese, mozzarella, white old cheddar cheese
  • Olive oil
  • Italian seasoning
  • Crushed red pepper flakes

Directions:

Cook a few slices of bacon.

Cook chicken.

Together cook the pepper, onion, garlic, and mushrooms in a frying pan for 10 minutes.

Preheat oven to 500° F/Broil

To make the crust crispy: Place cast iron skillet on a stove top burner at medium heat. Toast the naan bread in the skillet until lightly golden on the bottom. Leave the naan on the skillet and add a drizzle of olive oil, spices, then a thin layer of grated cheese, toppings and then top with cheese.

Place the pizza/skillet directly into the oven for 5 minutes on broil or until cheese starts to bubble. Watch this…it can burn quickly.

DSC_0309

Let cool for a few minutes then eat!

 

 

Ovaltine Sugar Cookies and Ovaltine Mocha Drink

DSC_0322

This summer I travelled to Switzerland where Ovaltine with milk (or rather Ovomaltine) is the go to drink at the local cafe. You can order it cold, or hot. You can even order your coffee with a spoonful of Ovaltine. While it is a different taste from your standard hot chocolate mix it is a nice alternative, especially the chocolate flavoured version. Ovaltine also claims to have a few more nutritional perks.

http://www.ovaltineusa.com/

You can find it in any grocery store but I have found it is always in a different aisle than where the hot chocolate mixes are kept so ask if you’re on a scavenger hunt.

Here are two recipes inspired by the ingredient Ovaltine.

Ovaltine Sugar Cookies

DSC_0350

Ingredients:

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup white sugar (extra 2 tbsp)
  • ½ cup Chocolate Ovaltine Mix
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter= room temperature
  • 1 large egg

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375° F.

Mix together flour, baking soda and salt in one bowl.

In another bowl beat sugar, Ovaltine and butter. Beat in egg.

Slowly mix wet and dry ingredients together.

Refrigerate the dough for 15 minutes- this makes the dough easier to handle.

Roll dough into teaspoon sized balls. Roll in sugar.

DSC_0326

Place balls about 2 inches apart on parchment paper and flatten slightly.

DSC_0327

Bake for 8-10 minutes

 

Ovaltine Mocha Drink

DSC_0287

Ingredients:

  •  ½ cups milk (whatever you drink regularly)
  • 1 tsp hot chocolate mix (I used Ghirardelli’s)
  • 1 tsp Chocolate Ovaltine Mix
  • 1-cup coffee (I used Starbucks Blonde)
  • Cinnamon

Directions:

Microwave milk with the chocolate and Ovaltine powders for 60 seconds, stir.  Add prepared coffee. Top with cinnamon. (Optional step- froth milk)

 

Emmental Chicken Burgers

Summer, camping, beaches, barbeques! Nope, sadly still months away.

In the meantime here is a burger recipe you can shovel out your BBQ for or make it indoors on a griddle or pan.

DSCN2357

I usually make a batch of these burgers and freeze them for easy meals when I have no time. I buy the buns at the same time and freeze extras to take them out as I need.  Today I bought pretzel buns so feel free to chose your favourite.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Package of Ground Chicken
  • 1 Egg- beaten
  • ½ cup grated Emmental Cheese
  • 1-Tablespoon Grainy Mustard
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 Teaspoon spices- each Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Italian Seasoning (substitute with ¼ onion and garlic clove if you have on hand)

DSCN2339

 

Directions:

In a large bowl mix all the ingredients together with a fork or clean hands. Try not to over mix.

Form patties using about half a cup of the mix for each burger. Individually wrap and freeze or grill burgers immediately.

DSCN2343

Grill for about 5-10 minutes per side or until no longer pink in the middle.

DSCN2352

Top with your favourite toppings

For sliders just form into smaller patties.

Easy Hummus Recipe

DSC_0324

Hummus is one of those recipes that can be made in so many different ways.

It is a pretty good go to snack or addition to many foods: dip with crackers, spread on pits, dip with veggies, spread on sandwiches, or use as a salad dressing.

 

Here is a classic hummus recipe.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (I can) canned/drained/rinsed chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp tahini (can substitute with peanut butter if you don’t have tahini)
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 garlic clove (chopped)
  • ½ tsp of each salt and pepper
  • Dash of Srirachi hot sauce optional *

DSC_0292

DSC_0299

DSCN2600

DSC_0308

Directions:

Put all the ingredients into the food processor. Blend until creamy smooth

Can keep in fridge for a few days or freeze.

 

Cheesy Chicken Pepper Puff Pastry Pockets

I am a big fan of puff pastry.

I may even be that person that sometimes eats the crust off the pie and leaves the filling. It’s just so delicious!

Here is the first of many puff pastry inspired recipes.

Of course you can make your own puff pastry to start this recipe but buying it saves some time.

DSC_0341

Makes 8 pockets

Ingredients

  • I package Puff pastry- thawed (store bought- comes with 2 sheets)
  • 1 chicken breast- cut into small pieces
  • 1 Red bell pepper -chopped
  • 5 mushrooms -chopped
  • ½ white onion -chopped
  • 1 garlic clove- chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • I egg
  • ½ cup Mozzarella cheese
  • 2 tablespoons goat cheese

DSC_0308

Directions

Heat oven to 400° F

Once you have all your main ingredients washed, and chopped heat a frying pan with olive oil at medium heat. Cook the chicken for about 5 minutes, and then add the garlic, onions, peppers and mushrooms to the same pan. Cook another 10 minutes and add the Italian seasoning. Remove from heat.

Roll out each sheet of the puff pastry on parchment paper and cut into 4 pieces about 4×4 inches (so you have 8 squares).

DSC_0316

Layer the cheeses and veggie/chicken toppings onto one half of the pastry leaving room around the edges.

DSC_0318

Fold the pastry over pinching the edges with a folk. Poke a few holes on the top.

DSC_0325

Crack the egg, whisk and brush a thin layer onto the tops of each pocket.

Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

Let cool and eat :)

Beer Bread Grilled Cheese
If you still have some of that beer bread left or feel like whipping up another because you now know how easy it is to make – I recommend this recipe.
Beer Bread Grilled cheese!

See Beer Bread recipe: http://www.college-cooking.com/2013/02/06/beer-bread/

 

DSCN2562
Ingredients:

  • Beer Bread
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Butter
  • Options: Ketchup

DSCN2548
Directions:
Slice your beer bread about half an inch thick. Lightly butter the 2 outer sides. Heat frying pan at medium heat. Place one slice butter side down. Add a slice of cheddar cheese. Layer with other slice of bread. Cook each side until golden brown flipping every few minutes. Dip with ketchup.

Pasta with Egg and Cheese

DSCN2615

I am going away tomorrow for a few days so was trying to scavenge through the fridge for something left to make/eat. This recipe is quick, simple and the ingredients are something I generally have on stock.

DSCN2605 DSCN2600

Ingredients

  • ½ pound of pasta (spaghetti or fettuccine)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup cheese (asiago, old cheddar, and or parmesan)
  • 1 garlic clove grated
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Spice options: Pepper, dried dill, onion powder or Italian seasoning

Directions Cook pasta as directed on package. While pasta is cooking get out a frying pan, and heat olive oil at low/medium and add garlic. When pasta is done drain and add to pan. Add 2 eggs and mix into pasta with a non stick spoon or tongs. Then add the grated cheese and spices. Cook until eggs are done.

DSCN2597DSCN2610DSCN2611

 

Coconut Popcorn I am a new user of Organic Virgin Coconut Oil. Have you used it? DSCN2420

So far I am impressed. I like the taste and it can be substituted into many dessert, snack, breakfast and dinner recipes easily. I do caution if you are not a fan of the coconut flavour you probably won’t end up using coconut oil as it does add a strong coconut flavour. I like the taste so plan on trying it out in a lot of future recipes. Also from what I have read it seems to have a lot of health benefits and is apparently a better substitute for butter and oil. I’ve also heard of people using it as a moisturizer, make-up remover or a hair treatment (I haven’t tried any of these options yet)

DSCN2531

Ingredients

  • Popcorn kernels
  • 1 tbsp of  Organic Virgin Coconut Oil

Chose a pot with a full seal lid (not a rice or sauce pot with spout for example). I used one tablespoon of oil but depending on the size of your pot you may need more. You want to cover the bottom with oil. Heat the oil, just over medium heat. When the solid oil turn to liquid add one layer of popcorn kernel to the pot. Close the lid and shake slightly to cover the kernels with the oil. Wait a few minutes. When you hear a few kernels popping shake the pot (without lifting it off the heat). Do this ever few minutes to avoid burning. DSCN2427 college-cooking.com popcorn

When you hear the popping stop remove from heat and pour popcorn into a bowl. Add salt or you favourite popcorn topping. Curl under the blanket, press play on your movie then EAT! Major procrastination warning- watch this: Popcorn popping in slow motion http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=yv7DZ7tY-bM#t=8s

college-cooking.com popcorn2

Beer Bread

DSCN2459

Beer (bread) for breakfast :) This bread is… Amazing! (Someone told me yesterday that ‘amazing’ is one of the most over-used words on the TV show The Bachelor so I thought I’d try it out to describe this recipe- meaning amazing in it’s full pre- over-used glory!) If you still have some left over Chili from last weekends Super Bowl you may want to whip up this Beer Bread to go with it for dinner tonight or maybe with a cup of coffee for breakfast tomorrow. This recipe can be made all in one bowl and requires very few ingredients.  Some bread recipes can be quite finicky to make but this bread is fool proof. You barely need to mix it and you can see the beer bubbling up and doing its bread making magic! Experiment with different beers for slightly different flavours. Today I chose Guinness, which offers a pretty distinct beer flavour while light beers will be a bit less prominent in the bread. This bread freezes well and can be taken out when needed.  Slather with butter, serve with chili, soup, or layer with tomatoes and bacon. Adapted from the Bisquick® recipe http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/bisquick-beer-bread/a7972952-f3af-4385-aa50-b2bf9aff4118

DSCN2439

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup of butter softened
  • 3 cups Bisquick® mix 1 cup shredded old cheddar (or your favourite cheese)
  • 1/4-cup sugar
  • 1 bottle Guinness Beer

Heat oven to 375° Grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan with 1 tablespoon of the butter. In large bowl, stir together Bisquick mix, sugar, cheese, butter and beer with whisk until lightly blended. Pour into pan.

DSCN2445

Bake 45 to 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let cool then eat

DSCN2466

Cinnamon Apple Orange Pancakes: made for one

There is nothing better after a long night of “studying” than Sunday morning pancakes. Of course, the smell may wake your roommates, which runs the risk of them taking some of your hard earned pancakes. How do you overcome this? Make more? Heck no! Put chairs outside their doors so they can’t get out of their rooms ;)

DSCN2407

We are all used to plain Jane fluffy pancakes, delicious but simple. I decided to jack up this recipe by adding apples, cinnamon, and a dash of orange zest to make Sunday mornings a bit more exciting. Enjoy.

DSCN2377

Ingredients:

  • Buttermilk pancake mix (a good mix will require you to add eggs, milk and 1 tbsp melted butter)
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 Orange
  • 1 apple
  • Maple syrup (the real stuff)
  • 3 tbsp oil (Veg or Canola)

Heat a large pan with 3 tablespoons canola or veg oil and set it on medium heat.

First make the syrup:

Pour about half the amount of syrup you usually put on your pancakes (for me it is about a ¼ cup). Then squeeze the juice of half an orange into the syrup and stir right before serving. This thins out the syrup a bit, but really enhances the flavour.

The pancakes:

Follow the instructions on the box to make the mix. Remember to not over mix, as your pancakes won’t rise properly if you do. Slice up half of your favorite apple, or whatever kind you have lying around the house. If you don’t have an apple, don’t worry; your pancakes will still taste good without. Add the cinnamon to the pancake mix and the zest of half the orange you just squeezed the juice out of (tip* if you don’t have a zester, just use a cheese grater and mince the zest with a knife if necessary). Mix this into the batter. DSCN2392

Once the pan is hot enough (should be by now) pour some mix into the pan (about 4 inches in diameter). Then place some apple slices into the pancake, gently pushing down so the batter just covers it. Wait till bubbles form on the top of the pancake, then flip.

DSCN2400

After you have cooked the pancakes, smother them in your orange maple syrup and enjoy! Note: You can enhance the syrup even more by adding segments of the orange and a bit of zest, if you have the time… I never do.

Baked Tempura: aka Panko Crusted Vegetables

DSCN2285

I really like going out for sushi. I have recently made it a bit of a habit to order the vegetable tempura and have been trying to come up with a healthier alternative. This version is baked not fried and tastes so good!

A must try if you are a fellow tempura lover. This is seriously fast! I used the frozen California Vegetable mix but you could buy, cut and chop specific veggies like sweet potatoes, zucchini etc but it will take longer.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 bag of Frozen California Mix (carrots/Broccoli and Cauliflower)- defrosted.
  • 1 Tablespoon All Purpose Flour
  • 1 Egg 1
  • -2 Tablespoons Sesame Seeds
  • ½- 1 cup Panko Bread Crumbs
  • Olive Oil

Panko crumbs are fairly new but they are easily found in most grocery stores near the sushi station. If you are new to them check out this link: http://www.kikkomanusa.com/homecooks/products/products_hc_details.php?pf=10518

DSCN2313

Preheat oven to 425° Once the veggies are defrosted mix in one beaten egg. Sprinkle with the flour.

DSCN2283

Layer the veggies/flour over a pan covered in parchment paper. This step is key; otherwise the veggies will make a sticky baked mess unless you plan to use a lot of oil.  Sprinkle the Panko crumbs over the veggies, mix then sprinkle again (Substitute with bread crumbs if you can’t get Panko).

DSCN2322

Add more Panko if you like extra crunchy. Then sprinkle with the sesame seeds (optional). DSCN2321

Spray lightly with olive oil or drizzle if you don’t have an oil spray container. (I got this one at Winners for around $10) Bake for 10-15 minutes. Yup that fast! Then EAT!

DSCN2294

I dip them into tempura sauce or soya sauce or the peanut sauce I posted a few days ago. Basic Oatmeal Cookies: Coconut Blueberry version It’s a very cold snowy day here so what better snack than a Baileys hot chocolate and freshly baked cookies. I’m more concerned with getting to the eating so here is a great quick recipe, which will get you there in no time.

DSCN2278  

If you are starting to see a pattern I love recipes that you can multiply and freeze for later.       Cookies are another great item that you can make the dough ahead of time or make and bake the cookies and then easily freeze for later consumption. You never know when a cookie craving will pop up.

Ingredients:

Wet:

  • ½ cup room temperature butter
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg

Dry:

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 cups quick cooking oats
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  •  ½ cup dried blueberries

Preheat oven to 350°

DSCN2265

Start by mixing together the wet- mix the butter and sugars until smooth. I just used a fork to keep things simple but an electric mixer is ideal. Add in the egg and vanilla and mix again until smooth.

DSCN2268

Today I decided to only use one bowl, this is generally a cookie no no but it’s saving me on time and dishes.  You normally want to mix the wet and the dry ingredients separately. DSCN2269

So in the same bowl as the wet, add the dry on top.  First add the flour, then the baking powder and baking soda. Lightly mix together with the flour without touching the wet below.Then add the oats. Before everything is combined, add the flavours,  in this case the blueberries and coconut.  Do not over mix. 

DSCN2271

Cover a baking pan with parchment paper. Use a teaspoon to drop each cookie on the pan. Leave about an inch between each cookie.  Lightly press down each cookie using a wet fork or spoon. Bake for 7-8 minutes until light golden brown. Eat! Or let cool and freeze in an air tight container or bag. For this recipe you can pretty much add any combination of extras such as chocolate chips, raisins, nuts, peanut butter chips, dried cranberries, crushed up chocolate bars etc.

Peanut Sauce

A small but important detail about myself is that I am a 100% Peanut Butter fan, the ultimate fan. In college I was known for dipping my carrot sticks into peanut butter ‘as a dip’. The recipe here is simple and is much much better/tastier for dipping veggies than my old peanut butter out of a jar. The recipe below can be adapted many different ways and I add different extras pretty much each time I make it.

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons natural-style peanut butter (room temperature)
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger (substitute ground ginger)
  • ¼ cup warm water

Optional add in’s: hot sauce, grated garlic, limejuice, honey.

Steps:

Use a Tupperware container to make the whole recipe for easy storage later.

Start by adding all the ingredients in the dish. (See tip for ginger below)

fig 3a

With a spoon start blending the peanut butter together with the other ingredients. Once it smooths out a bit (it will look clumpy at first- keep going) start whisking together with a whisk or fork until creamy smooth.

fig 2a

I double the recipe sometimes and freeze this into smaller portions and defrost, as I need it. I use it as a dipping sauce for fresh veggies or Asian-style rice paper wraps, a sauce on soba noodles, whole-wheat spaghetti or rice noodles. I’ve also added a can of coconut milk to this recipe to make a Thai peanut coconut soup base. The key to this recipe is that it is easily frozen and can be used for a multitude of other recipes. Make it when you have some time, eat it when you don’t.

fig 23

Tip: I keep a few pieces of ginger in my freezer.Don’t defrost them, just use a fine grater and grate frozen directly into the sauce.

fig a1

One thought on “Recipes Roll

  1. I just tried making the beer bread grilled cheese with Guinness – I highly recommend that! Great recipe guys:)