Posts Tagged ‘Recipe’

Nov
24


The other week, I tried TWO new side dishes and both were “blog-worthy”.  So here I am on a Thursday night sharing these two recipes with you. Both these recipes were not only tasty but I could make them in advance, which comes in handy when you work full time and have guests coming over.

Israeli Couscous Stuffed Butternut Squash Bowls (original recipe from A Communal Table)

Ingredients

4 butternut squash (I bought one and cut it into quarters)
6 Tablespoons olive oil
2 cups Israeli couscous
2 teaspoons garam masala
2 cups vegetable stock (I used water)

1 cup shallots, sliced
4 cups fresh baby spinach, stemmed
1 Tablespoon sherry wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 cup shelled, toasted pistachios

Instructions

  1. Pre heat the oven to 375 degrees and line a sheet pan with foil.
  2. Peel the butternut squash and cut the butternut squash just above where the squash begins to flare out. (as you can see from the photo – I didn’t peel the squash)
  3. Using a small spoon, scoop out the seeds and pulp as you would with a pumpkin. (NOTE: this was the hardest part of the recipe)

squash-bowl

4. Using a pastry brush, brush 2 Tablespoons of the olive oil inside the squash and over the outside.

5. Roast the squash in the 375 degree oven for 25-30 minutes or until the squash is just fork tender but not mushy! Remove the squash from the oven and cool.

TO MAKE THE COUSCOUS FILLING

7.  Place the dried cherries in a small bowl and cover with warm water. Set aside.
In a large saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium high heat. Add the couscous and stir for 5 minutes to toast the couscous.
Add the garam masala and cook for another minute.
Add the vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce the heat to a simmer.
Simmer for 10 -15 minutes or until all the stock is absorbed and the couscous is all dente – tender but still firm.

8. In a medium skillet over medium high heat, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the shallots and cook for 5 minutes or until the shallots are tender and lightly browned. Add the spinach and cook for another 3 minutes or until the spinach is wilted.
9. Drain the cherries and add them to the spinach mixture.
10. Add the couscous and stir to combine.
11. Add the pepper and sherry vinegar and stir to combine.

12. Fill each butternut squash with the couscous mixture.
Place on the foil lined sheet pan and re heat in a 375 degree oven until the squash is heated through. Serve.

FINAL RESULT..isn’t it gorgeous? I got fancy and added some crumbled feta and pomegranate seeds too!

squash-final

Recipe #2:  Cauliflower With Pumpkin Seeds, Brown Butter and Lime  (original recipe from Bon Appetit)

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 large head of cauliflower
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
¼ cup raw shelled pumpkin seeds
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus leaves with tender stems for serving
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 450°.

1. Coat a large rimmed baking sheet with 1 Tbsp. oil.

2. Slice cauliflower and arrange cauliflower slices in a single layer on prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 Tbsp. oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast until underside is deeply browned, 20–25 minutes. Turn cauliflower over, season with salt and pepper, and continue to roast until other side is dark brown and crisp, 15–20 minutes longer.

3. Melt butter in a small skillet over medium.

4. Add pumpkin seeds, bring to a simmer, and cook, swirling pan occasionally, until pumpkin seeds are toasted and butter is browned and smells nutty, 6–8 minutes.  (it’s freakin’ delicious)

brown-butter

 

Remove from heat and add red pepper flakes; let cool 10 minutes. Add chopped cilantro and lime juice; season with salt and pepper.

5. Arrange cauliflower on a serving platter and drizzle with dressing. Serve topped with cilantro leaves.

FINAL RESULT

cauliflower-final
I would make both of these recipes again but I know myself and will be scouring Pinterest for more recipes to try. What on earth is wrong with me? ARGHH.

In fact we have guests coming over next weekend and I’ve already started looking at Pinterest for new recipes. Please take a peek at my Pinterest Food Board and tell me what you think!

Happy Cooking!!

 

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Nov
17


I’d like to take a bet that it would be hard to find someone who doesn’t like macaroni and cheese. It’s comfort food at it’s best.

Plus it’s easy to make. I think it was probably the first thing I learned to make on my own when I was a teenager coming home at lunch time!!

These days, Italpasta has introduced a macaroni and cheese that has 100 percent Canadian wheat and real Canadian cheese. Added bonus: No artificial flavours, colours or preservatives. I’m all too happy to support this concept of using Canadian ingredients. Wouldn’t you agree?

italpasta-box

The other night I made macaroni and cheese and brought it to another level of yummy-ness.

Heres’ four secret ingredients: (which clearly aren’t a secret anymore{

  1. Add 5% cream instead of milk. What a difference. (or use both!!)
  2. Add panko and more grated cheese on top of the mac and cheese and bake in the oven for 10 minutes
  3. Add a touch of cream cheese.

Bingo, you will have a freakin’ delicious macaroni and cheese to serve.

italpasta-final

Trust me. Everyone will be digging into this dish.

Another tip I received on facebook when I posted the above photo included:

-try making the mac and cheese in a slow cooker. Apparently it comes out really really creamy. (which I’ve never done before)

The other tip I would like to share is that this dish freezes beautifully. This means, I always make a big batch and then freeze it for those nights when I come home and I’m too tired to cook (you know what I mean, right?)

Happy Cooking!

For more information: www.Italpasta.com

Disclosure: I was compensated for this blog post however all opinions are my own.

 

 

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Nov
13


I try hard to participate in Meatless Mondays and thought I would share what I made last week. This plate contains; arugula salad with shaved parmesan and tomatoes, wilted spinach, and cucumber noodles topped with sesame seeds. Not bad for Meatless Monday eh?

banana-healthy-meal

This meal should be called: Three Shades of Green!!

An hour later, I had a “not-so-healthy” moment as I had discovered a recipe on Pinterest (click on the link to see my Food Board. Hint)  that I always wanted to try: Banana Fritters.

Before I knew it, I was whipping up dry ingredients and mixing them into the wet ingredients. Then I was DEEP FRYING. I even brought out a thermometer to make sure the oil was hot enough!

banana-final

Here’s the recipe for this super easy but not-so-healthy-dessert:

Banana Fritters (recipe courtesy of OMG Chocolate Desserts)

Ingredients

Approximately 4 large bananas

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 cup sugar

Pinch of salt

1 cup plain greek yogurt

1 egg white

Vegetable oil for frying

Powdered sugar for dusting…(I used cinnamon)

Instructions

  1. Peel bananas and cut into 1.5 inch long pieces .
  2. In a bowl mix together flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and cinnamon.
  3. Add egg white and yogurt into dry ingredients and stir well with a wooden spoon until it’s smooth.
  4. Heat about 2 inch oil in a frying pan.( Be careful not to over heat the oil or the fritters will be too brown, it should be about 350F). This is an important step!!
  5. Using a fork dip each banana slice into to batter to coat it well and transfer it into oil and fry until it’s golden brown. Work in small batches because you have to work fast. (agreed – I had to work fast. Do not answer the phone or do anything else)
  6. Remove fried fritters to a paper towel lined plate to drain .
  7. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve

Happy Meatless Monday Everyone!!

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Oct
25


Lately, my favourite activity on a Saturday has been to visit Wychwood Farmers’ Market  (601 Christie St – Bathurst and St. Clair) and then head home to start cooking a storm.

Seriously, you are never going to find produce like this at your local grocery store.

cabbage

In between chopping, I will be honest – I spend some time on Pinterest. Click here to see my Food Board which has over 350 ideas!

I’m now going to share with you what I served for Saturday night. As much as I like going out to restaurants – I really do enjoy the simple pleasure of cooking and eating in!

Here’s what was served:

Roasted Carrots with Curried Chickpeas and Creamy Citrus Dressing (original recipe found here)

dinner-carrots

Side note: I’ve made roasted chickpeas before and they didn’t come out. I’m convinced this time the recipe turned out as I followed an important step to take them out out of their shells. Trust me, it wasn’t fun and it was time consuming but it was worth it.

dinner-chickpeas

Chicken with Teriyaki Sauce (original recipe can be found here) ps bought the chicken at Sanagans and we think it was worth it.

dinner-chicken

Squash Stuffed with Candied Walnuts (sorry, no recipe..just made it up).

dinner-squash

A Simple Salad made with veggies I bought at the Farmer’s Market.

dinner-salad

As you can see, dinner was delicious.

Happy Cooking!!

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Oct
21


Honestly I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to make this dish. I swear I make salmon almost every Friday night and I regularly scour the internet for new recipes but for some reason, I’ve never made a Salmon Wellington before. Till now!!

I’m so glad I tried this recipe even though my “braiding” skills could use some improvement, however the results came out pretty decent. There’s no question that I will make this recipe again.

All you really need is a few ingredients and poof – you have a pretty elegant main course.

Recipe: Salmon Wellington (original recipe from www.simplyhomecooked.com)

Ingredients:

4 (7 oz) salmon fillets
salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp butter
2 garlic cloves, divided
1 shallot, chopped
1/4 cup white wine (I didn’t use any and it still came out delicious)
3 oz cream cheese
5 oz fresh baby spinach
2 tbsp plain bread crumbs
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 (1 lb.) package puff pastry
1 egg (for egg wash)

Instructions:

1. Season the salmon with salt and pepper to taste.

2. In a pan, heat butter, chopped shallots, and garlic over medium heat. Sauté until the shallots become translucent.

salmon-ready-to-go

3. Bring the heat to high and add the white wine. Let the liquid cook out for about 5 minute, then add the cream cheese and sauté for 1 minute. (note: I didn’t add any wine)

4. Lastly, add the spinach, bread crumbs, and Parmesan cheese. Sauté just until the the spinach softens.

5. Unfold the puff pastry onto a light floured surface and roll out the 2 sheets, then cut them in half. So you end up with 4 pieces.

6. Place each seasoned salmon fillet in the middle of each puff pastry sheet. Depending on the size of the fillet, you may need to roll out the puff pastry a little more or less. Leave about 2 inches around the edges.

7. Divide the spinach mixture into 4 equal parts and evenly spread it on top of the 4 fillets. Then brush the edges of the puff pastry with egg wash (1 egg + 1 tsp water).

salmon-fishspinach

8. Begin folding the the puff pastry over starting with the longer side. When folding over the short edges, brush more of the egg wash before folding.

9. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the salmon wellington seam side down.

10. Make crosshatch slits on top of the Wellington with a knife. Then brush with more egg wash. (ok I didn’t do this stop either – I did a braid).

11. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 25-30 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown.

Final Result!! – As you can see, I braided it and didn’t make the crosshatch. I guess I was feeling creative. LOL

salmon-finalI served this along with a salad, vegetarian stew and couscous. The stew was prepared in the slow cooker while I was asleep. Oh how I love my Breville Rice Cooker which also has a function to “slow cook”.

salmon-side-dishesNaturally I had fun setting a “fall inspired” table.

salmon-tableHappy Cooking!!

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Oct
12


Often when I bake or cook, I find myself posting a photo of the “final result” on Facebook. I then receive comments like “Recipe, please!!”.

Then it occurs to me that I should blog about these recipes and not just post photos of the final result. Here’s two recipes that I tried recently that are definitely worth making!

Recipe #1: I saw this recipe somewhere on the internet (for a change) and decided it would make a great vegetable side dish for a meat meal that was being served over the Jewish New Year. Several of my facebook friends also made it and we all had winning results

green-beans

Green Bean with Honey Tahini Glaze (recipe taken from www.MyJewishLearning.com by Leah Koenig)

Ingredients
1 Tablespoon Tamari or soy sauce
2 Tablespoons honey
2 Tablespoons tahini (sesame paste)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 lb trimmed green beans
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons orange juice
1 teaspoon finely grated ginger

Directions
Preheat oven to 425. Spread beans in a 9×13-inch baking dish; drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Toss to coat beans evenly. Roast for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk together the tahini, honey, tamari, garlic, orange juice, and ginger in a small bowl.

Remove beans from oven. Pour honey-tahini mixture over beans and toss to coat evenly. Return beans to oven and roast for 10-12 additional minutes, until brown and starting to shrivel. Transfer to serving plate and sprinkle with additional salt and pepper to taste.

PS I steamed the green beans and then poured the tahini glaze over them and it was still delicious.

Recipe #2: Apple Crisp Cookie Cups (original recipe on this video by www.delish.com). This video showed up so many times on my facebook feed that I just had to try it. Guess what? I will be making it again!!

recipes-oatmeal-cookie-cup

This week, I’m going to make something I’ve never made before. Once again, I found it on Pinterest.

So stay tuned for a more detailed blog post about my experience making Salmon Wellington!

 

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Sep
29


Yes – it’s true. I made chicken soup for my very first time.

How did this happen? The answer is simple: My kitchen has been dairy since 1990. Therefore I made the chicken soup in my boyfriends’ kitchen.

What inspired me? Several things: a) the Jewish New Year is around the corner b) the temperatures are cooling outside and c) there was a 3 day sale for fresh whole chickens at Longo’s!.

To be honest, it was my first time even buying a whole chicken.

As for the recipe: I did my research online and chatted with several friendly chefs. (um, I harassed at least 3 people). LOL

I decided to try two recipes:

Recipe #1 – How to Make Roasted Brown Chicken Stock, from www.simplebites.com

I chose this blog post as she is a respected food blogger (that I’m pretty sure I met many years ago) and I loved her 7 tips that she included in her blog post. Click here.

Here’s the recipe for Roasted Brown Chicken Stock – taken from Simple Bites.

Ingredients
10 chicken carcasses (I was nervous and only bought 3 and then reduced the recipe)
3 gallons cold water, approximately
2 large onions, peeled
1 large leek, washed (oops forgot this ingredient)
4 sticks of celery, washed
2 medium carrots, peeled
2 bay leaves
6-8 garlic cloves (00ps – forgot this ingredient too)
1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorn
Handful of fresh parsley
2 springs of fresh thyme
2 tablespoons tomato paste (optional)

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350° F.
Do not rinse the bones, but place them directly in a large oiled roasting pan.  I brushed them with tomato sauce for more flavour and colour.

simple-bites-roasting
Roast the bones, turning once with a sturdy pair of tongs, until the bones caramelize, approximately 1 1/2 hours. Do not let them burn, or your stock will be bitter. (easy peasy)

Roughly chop the onion, leek, celery and carrots and toss them with a little oil.
Place them in another oiled roasting pan or sheet, and roast alongside the bones until lightly caramelized, approximately 25 minutes.

simple-bites-veggies
Remove bones from oven and transfer to a large stock pot. There will be a pool of fat at the bottom of the pan which you can drain off before deglazing the pan, or you can add it to your stock. It will only add more flavor to the final product.

Add a few cups of cold water to the roasting pan to deglaze it, and use a solid spatula to lift off the remaining food particles on the bottom of the pan and all the flavor they bring. Add mixture to the pot with the bones.

Add roasted vegetables herbs, garlic, peppercorns and bay leaves to the pot of bones. Fill pot up with cold water until the ingredients are just barely submerged and place on stove burner.

simple-bites-pot
Bring stock to a boil — and reduce heat immediately. Simmer slowly for 6-8 hours, occasionally skimming excess oil or scum off the top. You don’t need to babysit it much, just make sure it is at a temperature where it will will simmer, but not boil.
Using a sturdy Spider Skimmer, dip into the large pot and fish out the bones.

When you have fished out all the large ingredients, strain the broth through a fine sieve into a sturdy bucket or another pot. ( I chose to keep the veggies)

If you have the time and patience, strain the stock a second time through a cheesecloth to further remove impurities. (I didn’t do this)

Final Result…the bowl on the right!!

simple-bites-final

Next week, I will share Recipe #2 wth you to explain how I made the bowl on the left.

Stay tuned!!

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Aug
11

Meatballs….


I had a packet of ground beef hanging around in the freezer from TruLocal and wanted to do something with it besides making a hamburger. So I decided that meatballs might be a good idea. Believe it or not, this was my first time making meatballs!

I then headed over to Pinterest and selected the recipe where I didn’t have to buy anything for the recipe. Am I the only one who does this? LOL. I love cooking but hate having to go get the ONE item I might be missing for a recipe.

Here’s what I made:

Incredible Baked Meatballs (Original Recipe Found Here)

Ingredients:
1 lb hamburger
2 eggs, beaten
1⁄2 cup milk
1⁄2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 cup panko breadcrumbs or 1 cup breadcrumbs
1 small onion, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1⁄2 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon salt
fresh ground pepper
1⁄4 cup minced fresh basil

Directions:

1. Mix all ingredients with hands.
2. Form into golfball sized meatballs.
3. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Before I knew it I was making those golf sized meatballs.

meatball - oven

And 30 minutes later I was eating these delicious baked meatballs.

meatball - finalHappy Cooking!

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Jul
13


I read a blog post this week from Glimmer Life and had a good chuckle when I read the following line:  “I basically designed my whole house around inspirational pics on Pinterest”. I left a comment on her facebook page that my entire menu is curated from Pinterest. Seriously.

Here’s a few recipes I tried last week that I found on Pinterest!

Pesto Salmon and Italian Vegetables in Foil Packets (click here for the original recipe by www.cookingclassy.com

1 lb of trimmed and washed Green Beans

4 pieces of Salmon

Pesto (I made my own – click here for an easy recipe)

Directions:

1. Cut tin foil into 4 large squares.

2. Take a handful of green beans and place it in the middle of the square.

3. Take the salmon and place it on top of the green beans.

3. Spread the pesto over the salmon.

4. Wrap the packet up and bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes

FINAL

dinner - salmon

Zucchini Boats ..the original recipe by www.domesticsuperhero.com can be found here). please note: I improvised a lot!

1. Take 4 zucchinis and scoop out the inside to make a “boat”

2. Spread some pizza sauce in the “boat”

3. Sprinkle with shredded cheese and oregano.

Bingo – you have a side dish for the salmon.

FINAL RESULT

dinner - zucchini

As for dessert….Apple Pie Bites:

It really was a simple recipe (um ….3 ingredients)  but I messed up the directions and it looked NOTHING like it was suppose to. However my guests did not notice as they didn’t see the original recipe.

The original recipe from www.cakescottage.com can be found here . (please click on the link so you can see what it was SUPPOSE to look like)
dinner - dessert
 Happy Cooking!

 

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Jun
26


Today I hosted a brunch for the first time in a long time. It was a delight to put together the menu as I had seen a recipe on my facebook feed that inspired me (one of those sponsored posts!!).

I didn’t think it would turn out so I tested the recipe during the week to ensure that is was “guest worthy”. Guess what? It worked and was indeed guest worthy.

It’s a freakin’ brilliant recipe. The star of the recipe is …WONDER BREAD (believe it or not) and your rolling pin.

brunch - rolling pin

All you need is just a few ingredients and bingo you will have your main course!!

brunch - ingredients

Here’s the recipe for Cinnamon Toast Roll Ups (original recipe here)

8 slices of WONDERBREAD
1/2 cup Ricotta Cheese (I added a touch of cream cheese too)

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 tbsp ground cinnamon

3/4 cup butter, melted

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1. Trim crusts from bread and flatten each slice with a rolling-pin.

2. In a medium bowl, combine Ricotta Cheese with a touch of cream cheese and stir until smooth.

3. In a separate bowl, combine granulated sugar and cinnamon; set aside.

4. Spread about 2 tablespoons of Ricotta Cheese mixture on each slice of bread. Roll up, jelly roll style. Dip in melted butter, then in cinnamon-sugar.

4. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Final Results

brunch - final

I served this along with:

-A gorgeous salad. (hint it was worth the visit to Wychwood Barns Farmers Market to pick up the edible flowers and the gorgeous salad mix)

brunch - salad

-Spiralized cucumber salad

brunch - cucumber

-Mozzarella, Basil and Tomato with a Balsamic Glaze (that I made myself. Thank. You. Very. Much!!

brunch - tomatoes

-Baked oatmeal cups (oops can’t find the photo)

-Watermelon Skewers dipped in Campari

brunch - watermelon

-Baked eggs in a bun!!

brunch - baked eggs

As for refreshments: I served Campari in Soda with the cutest straws that I picked up at Michaels. By the way, I can’t remember the last time I went into Michaels but I clearly need to go more often. I could have bought a lot more than just the straws!!

brunch - drinks

More recipes in upcoming upcoming blogs K?. I promise.

Happy Brunch-ing

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