Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Asparagus with Mustard Vinaigrette

Wonderful springtime flavours, just don’t over cook the asparagus!

500 g fresh asparagus, trimmed
1/4 small onion, very finely chopped
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
4 cups baby greens
1/4 cup toasted almonds

  1. Steam asparagus until crisp-tender.  Drain and pat dry with paper towels.  Set aside
  2. Combine onion, vinegar, mustard, sugar, salt and pepper in a mixing bowl.  Gradually whisk in oil
  3. Divide salad mix on plates.  Arrange asparagus on top and drizzle vinaigrette.  Sprinkle with nuts.

Monday, 14 August 2017

Ice Capp Cooler

A perfect dessert on a hot day! I used chilled coffee leftover from the mornings no but a chilled espresso would also be nice.

1 oz Kahlua
1/2  oz Vanilla Vodka
4 oz chilled coffee
1 scoop vanilla ice cream (use a good quality)

Combine Kahlua, Vodka and coffee in a large glass and add ice cream. Enjoy

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Black Bean, Grilled Corn and Watermelon Salad

A perfect salad for your summer BBQ.  Sweet, tart, cool, fresh, with hints of barbecue charring, this salad is delightful all summer long, and not just with  Grilled Chicken Breast. The flavours and colours complement fish and shellfish, pork, grilled tofu or halloumi cheese. Add feta and turn this into a vegetarian main all on its own. Cilantro or coriander is a love-it-or-hate-it herb; it can be replaced with Thai basil.  From Food and Drink magazine
¼ cup (60 mL) gold tequila
⅓ cup (80 mL) extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup (60 mL) freshly squeezed lime juice
Zest of 1 lime
1 tbsp (15 mL) agave syrup
1 clove garlic, finely minced or grated
¼ tsp (1 mL) fine sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
2½ cups (625 mL) or 2 cans (each 398 mL)
black beans
4 cobs of corn, shucked
3 cups (750 mL) or about ½ a mini watermelon,
diced in 1½ inch (4 cm) cubes
1 to 3 jalapeño peppers, seeds and veins removed,
brunoised or very finely diced
1 sweet long red pepper, seeds and veins
removed, finely diced
8 green onions (scallions), white and tender
green parts, finely sliced
⅓ cup (80 mL) fresh mint leaves, chiffonade
or finely chopped
1 cup (250 mL) fresh cilantro (coriander) leaves
and tender top stems, finely chopped
1 To make vinaigrette, in a large non-reactive bowl add tequila, olive oil, lime juice, zest, agave, garlic, salt and pepper; whisk and set aside.

2 Rinse and drain the beans well. Set aside to dry.

3 Grill corn over medium flame, turning often, until a good amount of char forms on much of each cob—about 10 minutes. Set aside until cool enough to handle.

4 Once cool, stand the cobs up on a large chopping board and, using a sharp chef’s knife, strip the kernels off.

5 Add the corn to the vinaigrette bowl, followed by the beans, diced watermelon, jalapeño (as many as you can take!), red pepper, green onion and chopped herbs. Taste and adjust for salt.
Serves 4 to 6

Monday, 31 July 2017

Baked Sweet Potato “Mac” and Cheese

An excellent vegetarian take on this classic.  I don’t have a spiralizer but I just used a coarse grate and it worked fine.  From Food and Drink Winter 2017.

4 large sweet potatoes, peeled
2 tbsp (30 mL) cornstarch
½ cup (125 mL) unsalted butter, melted
2 cups (500 mL) 2% milk
1 cup (250 mL) half & half (10%) cream
1 tbsp (15 mL) Dijon mustard
½ tsp (2 mL) salt
Cracked black pepper
1 lb (500 g) sharp cheddar cheese, grated (1 cup/250 mL reserved)
2 egg yolks, beaten
1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).

2. Butter a large 9 x 13-inch (23 x 33-cm) baking dish and set aside.

3. Trim both ends of sweet potatoes to make them flat. Place onto the spiralizer glider making sure the centre of the sweet potato is aligned with the circular centre blade. Push the glider towards the front blades as you turn the handle and watch as your spiralized sweet potatoes materialize. Keep a large bowl nearby to collect “noodles” and clean out the pulp and cores as you go.

4. In a large, preferably nonstick pot over medium heat, sweat the sweet potatoes for 6 to 8 minutes, alternating between keeping pot covered and stirring so that potatoes don’t stick to the bottom. Turn off heat. Stir in cornstarch until well incorporated.

5. Add melted butter to the pot of sweet potatoes. Stir in milk, cream, mustard, salt and pepper. Toss in all but 1 cup (250 mL) of the grated cheese and stir well. Add egg yolks and give it one more big stir. Pour into prepared baking dish and bake uncovered in preheated oven for 35 to 45 minutes or until slightly browned. Remove from oven, sprinkle with remaining cup (250 mL) of cheese and broil until top is bubbly and darker brown. Let sit for 15 minutes before serving.
Serves 8 to 10

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Black Rice Pudding with Coconut Milk and Diced Mangoes

This is an unusual take on the traditional rice pudding.  The black rice pairs well visually with the mango and the contrasting flavours are a perfect match.  This is from Food and Drink Winter 2017 - I did not have Thai Basil but a regular basil works just as well. I substituted brown sugar for the coconut sugar.

1½ cups (375 mL) black rice
2½ cups (625 mL) coconut milk
3 cups (750 mL) water
⅓ cup (80 mL) coconut or brown sugar
⅓ cup (80 mL) dried blueberries
Pinch salt
1 cup (250 mL) diced mango, about 2 small mangoes
2 tsp (10 mL) lime juice
½ tsp (2 mL) chili flakes (optional)

8 Thai basil leaves
1. Rinse rice in a sieve then place in medium saucepan with a tight-fitting lid. Add coconut milk, water, sugar, dried blueberries and salt. Bring to boil uncovered. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer about 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes or until rice is very tender and has absorbed most of the liquid.

2. Sprinkle mango with lime juice and chili.

3. Spoon rice into serving bowls. Top with mango and garnish with Thai basil leaves.
Serves 4

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Apple Strudel

A dessert that is sure to impress and will not take you all day in the kitchen!

5 medium apples, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
6 sheets phyllo pastry, thawed
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup fine dry bread crumbs

  • Combine apples with sugar and cinnamon.  Stir in nuts; set aside.  Place 1 phyllo sheet on damp tea towel, keeping remaining phyllo covered with damp cloth.  Lightly brush with butter; sprinkle with about 1 tbsp bread crumbs.  Repeat with remaining pastry, butter and crumbs.
  • Spoon apple mixture down centre of pastry.  Fold sides over top of apples.  Fold under ends.  Place, seam side down on greased 15x10 inch jelly roll pan.  Brush lightly with butter.  Cut 4 horizontal slits, evenly spaced, on top of strudel.  Bake at 375F for 30 to 35 minutes or until apples are tender.  Serve warm sprinkled with sugar, if desired.  Makes 8 servings.

Friday, 14 July 2017

Nori Tempura Crisps with Tamari Dip

A great starter for any meal, these have a delicate sea flavour that is not overpowering.  Make ahead and warm up for visitors if you have a group.  From Food and Drink Holiday 2015.

2 sheets of nori, each 8 x 7½ inches (20 x 19 cm)
¼ cup (60 mL) tamari or reduced-sodium soy
1 tbsp (15 mL) balsamic vinegar
½ tsp (2 mL) sugar
1 tbsp (15 mL) finely grated ginger
Vegetable or peanut oil for frying
1 egg yolk
1¼ cups (310 mL) ice cold water
1 cup (250 mL) cake and pastry flour
½ tsp (2 mL) baking powder
Sea salt, preferably black
1. Tear each nori sheet into roughly 16 equal-sized pieces. In a small bowl, whisk together tamari, balsamic vinegar, sugar and ginger; set both nori and dipping sauce aside.

2. In a large saucepan, pour a depth of oil to 1½ inches (4 cm). Heat to 385°F (195°C).

3. While oil is heating, whisk together egg yolk and water in a large bowl. Add flour and baking powder; stir until just combined.

4. Working in manageable batches, dunk individual pieces of nori into batter, shake off excess and fry for 2 to 3 minutes, turning over mid-way through, until light golden; remove with a slotted spoon to a paper-towel-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle lightly with salt. Repeat with remaining nori (you may not need all of the batter). Crisps may be made up to 6 hours in advance and held in a single layer on a rack, uncovered, at room temperature. Heat for 3 minutes in a 400°F/200°C oven to re-crisp and heat through. Serve hot crisps alongside dipping sauce.
Serves 6 to 8

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Ginger and Blueberry Skillet Cobbler

I love using my cast iron skillet, it is by far my most used pan.  I rarely however use it for dessert and I was thrilled to try a dessert in it.  This recipe I followed pretty closely except for changing the Demerara sugar to dark brown sugar.  It is a great dessert with a home/comfort food feel to it.  From Food and Drink 2015.

This beauty can be assembled ahead and held in the fridge until you’re ready to slip it onto the grill midway through dinner. If you’re lucky enough to be making the cobbler with wild blueberries, decrease the amount of cornstarch to 3 tbsp (45 mL). Don’t sweat it if you don’t have the right skillet—a 9 x 13‑inch (3.5 L) metal baking pan can be used as a substitute.

8 cups (2 L) blueberries
¾ cup (175 mL) demerara sugar
¼ cup (60 mL) cornstarch
¼ tsp (1 mL) allspice
¼ tsp (1 mL) cinnamon
2 cups (500 mL) all-purpose flour
½ tsp (2 mL) salt
2 tsp (10 mL) baking powder
½ cup (125 mL), 1 stick, cold butter, cut into chunks
⅓ cup (80 mL) finely chopped candied ginger
1 cup (250 mL) cold whipping cream,
plus extra for brushing
2 tbsp (30 mL) white sanding sugar
2 tbsp (30 mL) maple sugar

1 In a 12-inch (30-cm) heatproof skillet, at least 2 inches (5 cm) deep, combine blueberries, demerara sugar, cornstarch, allspice and cinnamon; gently toss to combine; level and set aside.

2 Add flour, salt and baking powder to the bowl of a food processor; pulse to blend. Add butter and process until mixture resembles coarse meal. Turn out into a medium bowl; stir in ginger. Pour 1/2 cup (125 mL) cream over and stir until just combined. Gather dough with your hands and knead once or twice to bring together.

3 Tear an approximately 2-tbsp (30-mL) piece of dough and pat into a rough round about ½ inch (1 cm) thick. Place on top of blueberry mixture about ½ inch (1 cm) from edge of skillet. Repeat with remaining dough, spacing the biscuits equidistant from one another; blueberries will not be completely covered. (Cobbler may be prepared to this point and held in refrigerator for 6 hours.) Lightly brush tops of biscuits with a little cream and sprinkle sanding sugar over biscuits.

4 Light one side only of gas grill, turn to medium, close lid and bring to 375°F (190°C).

5 Place skillet on side of grill that is off, close lid and bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until blueberries are bubbling and biscuits are golden. Remove from heat and let stand for 15 minutes before serving.

6 Meanwhile, combine maple sugar and remaining ½ cup (125 mL) cream; whip only until sugar is dissolved and cream is lightened and soft (before soft peaks form).

7 Divide between 10 small bowls and drizzle each with an equal amount of cream.

Serves 10

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Eggs Baked in Toast Cups with Spinach, Asiago and Pancetta

There is lots of flavour in this breakfast sandwich!  I actually enjoyed these for dinner-but they are meant for a brunch/breakfast.  Make sure you buy small eggs for this recipe as the large eggs are too big for the cups.  From Food and Drink 2016.

1 tbsp (15 mL) extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 container (140 g) washed baby spinach
2 tbsp (30 mL) water
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

12 thin slices pancetta

2 tbsp (30 mL) unsalted butter, softened
14 slices good-quality white sandwich bread
2 tbsp (30 mL) unsalted butter, melted
¾ cup (175 mL) grated Asiago cheese
12 small eggs
Hot sauce for serving

1 For spinach, heat oil in a large pot over medium-heat. Add garlic. Cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add spinach, water, salt and pepper. Raise heat to high. Cook, turning spinach over with tongs, until just wilted, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to plate to cool.

2 For pancetta, preheat oven to 400°F (200°F).

3 Place pancetta without overlapping on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake until brown and crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven and cool slightly. Transfer to paper towel to drain. (Pancetta will keep, covered, layered in paper towel and refrigerated for 2 days. Microwave on high for 20 seconds to crisp them back up.)

4 For egg cups, preheat oven to 375°F (190°F). Generously butter a 12-cup muffin tin, using about ½ tsp (2 mL) of butter per cup.

5 With a rolling pin, roll 12 bread slices into squares—if the slices are rectangular, roll from long end to long end. Trim crusts. Carefully line tins with bread. (Extra bread is to patch any holes.) Brush bread edges with melted butter. Place 1 tbsp (15 mL) cheese in each cup. Make a ring of spinach around cheese so there is a well for egg. Working one at a time, crack an egg into a ramekin, then pour into cups.

6 Bake on lower shelf until whites are set but yolk is still runny, 20 minutes. Briefly cool, then transfer to serving platter. Crumble pancetta over eggs and serve with hot sauce.

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Spiced Squash Salad

I love anything squash and this salad is no exception.  I was unable to find Kabocha squash in my rural store so I substituted an extra acorn squash.  From Food and Drink Holiday 2016.

½ cup (125 mL) olive oil
2 tbsp (30 mL) lemon juice
1 tsp (5 ml) honey
½ tsp (2 mL) ground cumin
½ tsp (2 mL) ground ginger
½ tsp (2 mL) ground cinnamon
Pinch chile de arbol or cayenne

1 delicata squash, about 1 lb (500 g)
1 acorn squash, about 1 lb (500 g)
½ butternut squash or 1 small one
½ kabocha squash, about 1 lb (500 g)
3 tbsp (45 mL) olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 small head of radicchio
1 tsp (5 mL) olive oil
3 tbsp (45 mL) finely chopped green onion
1 Whisk together oil, lemon juice, honey, cumin, ginger and cinnamon. Add a pinch of chile de arbol or cayenne. Reserve.

2 Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).

3 Peel squash if you don’t want to leave skin on. Remove and discard seeds. Cut into 1-inch (2.5-cm) pieces. Toss with olive oil and season
with salt and pepper. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring the squash around occasionally to ensure it cooks evenly. The squash should be tinged with gold. Remove from baking sheet to a plate and season again if needed. Squash should all be combined.

4 Cut each radicchio leaf in half through the centre stem. Heat a skillet, preferably nonstick, over high heat and add olive oil. Stir in radicchio leaves and toss until hot but still crisp. Place a large spoonful of mixed squash on a plate and garnish with radicchio leaves.

5 Drizzle vinaigrette over everything. Scatter with green onions.
Serves 4

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Oven Fried Flank and Cauliflower Steaks with Leek Ash

Vegetable Ash is a new trend for me and I wasn’t sure about it, however it is well worth the work.  It first appeared at Noma Restaurant in Copenhagen and is a great way of using up vegetable pieces that might otherwise be thrown out.  This recipe is from Food and Drink Winter 2017.

2 tbsp (30 mL) olive oil
2 tbsp (30 mL) balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp (15 mL) Dijon mustard
1 tbsp (15 mL) chopped garlic
1 tbsp (15 mL) soy sauce
1 tbsp (15 mL) fresh herbs of choice (we used tarragon) 
1 flank steak, about 1½ lbs (750 g) 

1 head cauliflower
2 tbsp (30 mL) olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper

2 soft-boiled eggs
1 tbsp (15 mL) Leek Ash (recipe follows) 
1 tbsp (15 mL) lemon juice
½ cup (125 mL) melted butter

Leek Ash
Maldon or other finishing salt
¼ cup (60 mL) microgreens
1 tbsp (15 mL) tarragon leaves
1. Combine oil, balsamic, Dijon, garlic, soy and fresh herbs and brush over steak. Marinate for 2 hours on the counter or overnight in the refrigerator. 

2. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). 

3. Cut cauliflower in half through the stem. Cut each half in half again to make 4 steaks. Brush with oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast on a parchment-lined baking sheet, turning halfway through, for 30 minutes or until crisp-tender and golden at the edges. Reserve. 

4. Blend eggs, leek ash and lemon juice using a stick blender in a high-sided bowl. Slowly drizzle in melted butter. Season with salt and pepper and reserve at room temperature. (If you make ahead and refrigerate, return it to room temperature before serving.) 

5. Raise oven heat to 450°F (230°C). Place a baking sheet in the oven and leave for 10 minutes. 

6. Place steak on baking sheet and return to oven. Bake for 5 minutes. Flip the steak and bake 5 to 7 minutes longer or until medium-rare. Remove from oven and place on carving board. Let rest for 10 minutes. Reheat cauliflower in 450°F (230°C) oven for 5 minutes or until heated through. 

7. Dust serving plates with Leek Ash. Place a cauliflower steak on each plate and spoon leek ash emulsion around base of cauliflower. Slice steak thinly against the grain. Lay slices overtop of sauce and cauliflower. Sprinkle with a little Maldon or other finishing salt. Garnish with microgreens and tarragon leaves.

Serves 4

1. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Separate and thoroughly rinse the green tops only of 1 leek. Dry well. Place in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until greens are dry and deeply browned. Let cool completely. Place leek greens in a blender or food processor and process into a fine powder. Sift ash to remove any large pieces.
Makes 1 to 2 tbsp (15 to 30 mL

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Nut Cake

This is an old Danish recipe that goes well with coffee!

1 cup butter
1 1/3 cup sugar
1 cup flour
1/2 cup rice flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup nuts
6 or 7 egg whites
1 to tbsp rum or frangelico

Stir butter and sugar well together.  Put nuts through grinder once and add them.  Add flour, rice flour and baking powder.  Whip whites of eggs stiffly; fold into batter carefully.  Bake in a well greased baking dish with a detachable bottom for about an hour.  Turn out while still hot; sprinkle with rum/frangelico.

Monday, 12 June 2017

Zucchini and Corn Salad

A great summer salad!

1 tbsp canola oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 jalapeño pepper, chopped
2 lbs zucchini, thinly sliced into 1/2 inch rounds
1/2 cup corn kernels
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp chili powder
3 to 4 tbsp water

  • In large skillet over medium heat, heat oil.  Add onion and pepper.  Cook 1 to 2 minutes, stirring, until onion is soft.
  • Add Zucchini, corn, salt and chili powder; mix well.  Cook 5 minutes or until zucchini is softened.  Add 3 to 4 tbsp water, cover and cook 2 minutes more, until zucchini is soft and tender.

Saturday, 10 June 2017

Acorn Squash with Spiced Applesauce

Squash is one of my favourite vegetables and this is a nice variation.

1 acorn squash, seeded and cut into 6 wedges
2 tsp olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp freshly ground pepper
3/4 cup unsweetened chunky applesauce
2 tsp butter
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp maple syrup

  • Heat oven to 375F.  Brush squash with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Place on a jelly roll pan lined with aluminium foil.  Bake about 20 minutes, until squash is fork tender and slightly browned.
  • In a small saucepan, heat the applesauce.  Stir in butter and cinnamon, cook 1 minute more.  
  • Serve squash with a dollop of applesauce and a drizzle of syrup.

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Turkey Brunch Burgers

The slow roasted tomatoes here are the star of the show on these wonderful brunch burgers!  From Food and Drink Autumn 2016.

1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp (5 mL) fresh thyme leaves
1 tbsp (15 mL) extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp (5 mL) balsamic vinegar
8 large plum tomatoes
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1 tbsp (15 mL) vegetable oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, grated
4 tsp (20 mL) chopped sage
1 lb (500 g) ground turkey
4 slices smoked bacon, finely chopped
½ tsp (2 mL) salt
¼ tsp (1 mL) freshly ground pepper
Large pinch freshly grated nutmeg

6 English muffins
6 slices mild cheddar cheese
Grainy mustard to taste
1 cup (250 mL) baby arugula

1 For the slow-roasted tomatoes, preheat oven to 275°F (140°F).

2 In a large mixing bowl, whisk garlic, thyme, olive oil and vinegar. Halve tomatoes lengthwise. Scoop out and discard seeds. Place tomatoes in bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly. Place tomatoes cut-side up on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake 2 hours. Reduce oven to 250°F (120°F). Bake until tomatoes are shrivelled but still moist, 1½ to 2 hours. Remove from oven and cool completely. (Tomatoes will keep, covered and refrigerated, for 5 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.)

3 For the turkey patties, heat oil in a medium frying pan over medium heat. Add onion. Cook, stirring, 3 minutes. Add apple and sage. Cook, stirring, until moisture has evaporated and apples are al dente, 5 minutes. Transfer to plate to cool.

4 In a mixing bowl, combine turkey, bacon, cooled apple mixture, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Mix thoroughly. Divide into 6 even balls. Form balls into patties that are 4 inch (10 cm) diameter. (Patties will keep, covered and refrigerated for 2 days.)

5 Preheat barbecue to medium-high. Split muffins in half. Trim cheese slices to 3-inch (8‑cm) squares and set aside.

6 Clean and oil barbecue grate. Grill patties until cooked through, 5 minutes per side. During last minute of cooking, place cheese on top of patties to melt. Grill muffins on cut side until lightly toasted, 20 to 30 seconds.

7 Smear muffin bottoms with mustard. Top with a few arugula leaves. Layer with patties, 2 tomato halves each and muffin tops. Serve immediately. Refrigerate any leftover tomatoes for another use.

Monday, 5 June 2017

Apple Pie with Cheddar Crumble Topping

Who doesn’t love cheddar cheese and apple pie?  This is a wonderful twist to a traditional pie.  From Food and Drink Autumn 2016.

5 medium-size apples, such as McIntosh
¼ cup (60 mL) all-purpose flour
3 tbsp (45 mL) granulated sugar
½ tsp (2 mL) ground cinnamon

½ cup (125 mL) all-purpose flour
2 tbsp (30 mL) packed brown sugar
3 tbsp (45 mL) room-temperature butter
1½ cups (375 mL) finely grated old cheddar cheese, about 4 oz (125 g)

Easy Butter Pastry (recipe follows)

1 Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).

2 For pie, peel apples, core and thinly slice. They should measure about 4½ cups (1.125 L). Place in a bowl. In a separate bowl, stir flour with sugar and cinnamon. Gradually sprinkle over apples, tossing apples with your hands to evenly coat.

3 For crumble, stir flour with brown sugar in a bowl. Add butter and use your fingers to crumble together. Add cheddar and work in until evenly mixed. Press into clumps.

4 Using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll pastry on a lightly floured surface into a long rectangle, approximately 16 x 7 inches (40 x 18 cm). Lift and fit into 14 x 4½-inch (35 x 14‑cm) loose-bottom rectangular tart pan. Trim pastry even with edge of pan. Place apples in crust, spreading evenly. Do not mound. Gently press down and move slices to fill in any large gaps. Add cheese-crumble mixture, a handful at a time, to top of apples. It should look uneven.

5 Set on a baking sheet. Place in preheated oven. Immediately reduce heat to 350°F (180°C) and bake 40 minutes.

Serves 4 to 5


2 cups (500 mL) all-purpose flour
2 tbsp (30 mL) granulated sugar
½ tsp (2 mL) salt
¾ cup (175 mL) cold unsalted butter
3 tbsp (45 mL) ice-cold water

1 Whirl flour with sugar and salt in a food processor until blended. Cut butter into small pieces and scatter over flour mixture. Pulse until coarse crumbs form. With motor running, slowly pour cold water through the feed tube. Whirl just until dough starts to come together. Gather into a ball. Flatten into a thick round. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold, at least 30 minutes.

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Soft Sage and Cheddar Pretzels

A guilty pleasure!  These are soft and have an incredible texture from simmering them in a baking soda solution.  Recipe from Food and Drink Summer 2015.

3½ cups (875 mL) white bread flour
1 cup (250 mL) whole wheat flour
2 tbsp (30 mL) sugar
2¼ tsp (11 mL) kosher salt
1½ tsp (7 mL) rapid rise yeast
2 tbsp (30 mL) finely chopped fresh sage,
about 15 leaves
1½ cups (375 mL) lukewarm water
1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil
8 cups (2 L) water
¼ cup (60 mL) baking soda
1 egg lightly beaten with 1 tsp (5 mL) water
About 1 cup (250 mL) grated sharp
cheddar cheese
Maldon salt for sprinkling

1 Combine bread flour, whole-wheat flour, sugar, salt, yeast and chopped sage in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Add the lukewarm water and oil, and mix on low speed until the ingredients come together and form a ball of dough, 2 to 3 minutes.

2 Increase the speed to medium and continue mixing until the dough becomes smooth and elastic, about 4 to 5 minutes. The dough should clear the sides of the bowl and be soft but not sticky.

3 Form the dough into a ball and place in a lightly oiled medium bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until almost double in bulk, 1 to 1½ hours.

4 Transfer the dough to a work surface and divide into 10 equal pieces, about 3 oz (90 g) each.

5 Form each piece into a smooth round ball. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and rest on the work surface for 20 minutes. This will allow the gluten to relax.

6 Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Using your palms and fingertips, roll each piece of dough into a strand about 12 inches (30 cm) long. As you work, place the strands on the parchment-lined baking sheet and keep covered loosely with plastic wrap. Once all the strands are rolled out, return to the first strand, and roll out again until it is at least 20 inches (50 cm) long. (Giving the dough a rest while rolling makes it much easier to work with). Continue with the remaining strands. If the dough seems dry at any point, lightly mist the work surface with water.

7 Working with one strand at a time, shape into a large U with the curve closest to you. Cross the 2 ends of the rope twice to make a twist, then fold the twist back down over the bottom of the U to form a pretzel shape. Set the pretzels on the parchment-lined baking sheets and continue shaping the rest of the strands.

8 When all the pretzels are shaped, cover loosely with plastic wrap and set aside to rise until puffy, 20 to 30 minutes.

9 Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).

10 To prepare the baking soda solution, place 8 cups of water in a large high-sided pot and place over high heat. Bring the water to a rapid simmer, then add the baking soda. The baking soda will cause the water to foam up the sides of the pot. Make sure the baking soda is fully dissolved, then reduce the heat to maintain the water at a simmer.

11 Lower 2 to 3 pretzels at a time into the simmering water. Simmer for 30 seconds and, with a slotted spoon, flip the pretzels over. Simmer for another 30 seconds, then lift the pretzels with the slotted spoon, allowing the water to drain off. Place them back onto the parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat with remaining pretzels.

12 Once all the pretzels have been simmered in the water, brush with the beaten egg and top with 1 to 2 tbsp (15 to 30 mL) grated cheddar cheese. Sprinkle Maldon salt overtop.

13 Bake the pretzels, 1 tray at a time, in the middle of the oven until they are deep brown, about 20 minutes.

14 Transfer the pretzels to a cooling rack and let sit until cool enough to handle. They are best eaten fresh and warm, but can be stored for up to 1 day. Store in a paper bag at room temperature. Re-warm in a 350°F (180°C) oven for about 5 minutes before serving.

Makes 10 large pretzels

Monday, 29 May 2017

Japanese Squash Curry

The original recipe called for Kuri squash which is not available in my location.  I used a butternut squash which worked well.  This is a nice veg dish if served over some Jasmine rice.  Based on Food and Drink Holiday 2016.

1 Butternut Squash, peeled and cut into 1 inch cutes
6 tbsp vegetable oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tbsp Japanese Curry powder
1 cup diced onion
1 cup unpeeled coarsely grated apple
1 tbsp chopped ginger
1 tbsp chopped garlic
2 cups vegetable stock
4 cups chopped kale or baby spinach
2 tbsp finely chopped cilantro

  • Preheat oven to 450F.
  • Toss cubed squash with 4 tbsp oil.  Season with salt, pepper and 1 tbsp Japanese curry powder.  Placed on oiled baking sheet and roast for 15 to 18 minutes, turning once or until squash is fork tender and tinged with gold.
  • Heat remaining 2 tbsp oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add onion to skillet and sauté for 2 minutes or until softened.  Add half the grated apple, remaining curry powder, ginger and garlic and sauté for 3 minutes or until fragrant.  If mixture is too dry, add 1 to 2 tbsp more oil.
  • Stir in stock a little at a time until well combined.  Bring to boil, stirring.  Reduce heat and simmer for 2 minutes to thicken.  Add remaining apple and cook 1 minute more.  Taste and adjust seasoning.
  • Add squash to skillet and cook in sauce for 5 minutes or until squash has absorbed flavour.  Stir in kale and cook for 1 minute or until wilted.  Garnish with cilantro just before serving.  Serve with rice.

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Green Beans with Sun Dried Tomatoes

The combination of sun-dried tomatoes, goat cheese and white wine make this an elegant side dish.

500 g green beans, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 leeks, white and 1 inch green, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 cup white wine
2 tbsp sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and coarsely chopped
2 tsp chopped fresh thyme or 3/4 tsp dried
Salt and Pepper
4 oz soft goat cheese, crumbled

  • Cook green beans in lightly salted boiling water in a large saucepan until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes.  Drain and cool.
  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.  Add leeks and cook 5 minutes, until softened; add garlic and cook 1 minute more.  Add wine, tomatoes, and thyme.  Increase heat to high and bring to a boil.  Boil 2 minutes, until most of the wine evaporates.
  • Mix in green beans.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Transfer to a bowl; gently stir in goat cheese.  Serve immediately.

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Coconut Cream Puffs

Crispy creaminess defines these fancy French-style cream puffs. The craquelin layer adds sweetness, texture and, best of all, ensures that the puffs rise with a perfect dome shape. The coconut cream filling and craquelin can be made a few days in advance, but the choux pastry should be made, baked and filled the day of serving.  From Food and Drink Spring 2016.

6 tbsp (90 mL) unsalted butter, at room temperature
5 tbsp (75 mL) packed light brown sugar
⅔ cup (150 mL) all-purpose flour

½ cup (125 mL) milk
½ cup (125 mL) water
½ cup (125 mL) unsalted butter, cut into ½ inch (1 cm) pieces
1 tsp (5 mL) sugar
¼ tsp (1 mL) salt
1 cup plus 2 tbsp (250 plus 30 mL) all-purpose flour
4 to 5 eggs

½ cup (125 mL) sugar
3 tbsp (45 mL) flour
6 egg yolks
2¼ cups (560 mL) milk
3 tbsp (45 mL) unsalted butter
1½ cups (375 mL) sweetened shredded coconut

1½ cups (375 mL) whipping cream
¾ tsp (4 mL) vanilla extract

1 In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until light. Add the flour and continue to mix until the dough is smooth.

2 Place the dough between 2 sheets of parchment paper and roll it to be as thin as possible. Transfer the dough to a baking sheet and freeze until firm.

3 Place oven racks in the top and middle positions and preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

4 In a medium saucepan, combine the milk, water, butter, sugar and salt. Place over low-medium heat until the butter is fully melted. Raise the heat and bring the mixture to a full boil. Remove from heat and add the flour all at once. Stir immediately with a wooden spoon until the flour is fully incorporated. Place the pan back on medium heat and cook, stirring all the while, for 1 to 2 minutes. The mixture is ready when it congeals in a lump and begins to stick to the bottom of the pan.

5 Remove from heat and transfer the mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix the dough on medium speed for about 30 seconds to release some of the steam. Add the eggs one a time, mixing until each egg is incorporated. After adding 4 eggs, check the consistency of the dough. Stop the mixer and pull up the paddle. The dough is ready if it is smooth and shiny, and hangs down in a “V” shape. If the dough is too stiff, whisk the remaining egg to break it up and beat it into the dough bit by bit until the proper consistency is achieved.

6 Transfer the dough to a pastry bag fitted with a ½-inch (1-cm) round tip. Fill the bag about halfway and pipe mounds of dough about 1½ inches (4 cm) in diameter, spacing them about 1½ inches (4 cm) apart. You should have 20 to 24 in all.

7 Remove the craquelin dough from the freezer and let it stand a minute or 2 until it is just soft enough to cut. Using a round cookie cutter, about the same diameter of the puffs, cut out circles of the dough and set them on top of the puffs, pushing down very gently.

8 Place in the oven and bake until the puffs rise and begin to brown, about 15 to 18 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 325°F (160°C) and continue baking until the puffs are completely dry and golden brown, about 25 to 30 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

9 For extra crispness, cut the cooled puffs with a serrated knife, just below the craquelin line. Place cut-side up on the baking sheets and return to the 325°F (160°C) oven for another 5 to 10 minutes. Cool completely before filling.

10 For the coconut cream, combine the sugar and flour in a medium bowl and whisk in the egg yolks, making sure the mixture is smooth. In a medium saucepan, bring the milk to a boil. Stir half the milk into the egg mixture then pour the whole mixture back into the pan. Cook over medium-high heat, whisking constantly until the mixture boils and thickens. Continue cooking and whisking for 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in the butter, followed by the shredded coconut. Pour the coconut cream into a bowl, cover the surface directly with plastic wrap and chill completely.

11 Just before assembling the cream puffs, whip the cream and vanilla to stiff peaks and place into a piping bag fitted with a decorative star tip. Place 1 heaping tbsp (15 mL plus) of coconut cream into the bottom of each pastry puff. Pipe a layer of whipped cream over top and finish with the craquelin-covered lid. The puffs can be filled and refrigerated for up to 4 hours.

Friday, 5 May 2017

Hazelnut Torte

A wonderful coffee cake with only three ingredients!  This is a Danish recipe.

3 eggs
1 cup white sugar
200 g hazelnuts, ground in blender

Beat eggs and sugar well at hight speed until light and fluffy.  Add ground nuts.  Mix well; pour into greased and floured springform pan.  Bake in middle oven rack at 400F for 30 minutes.  Serve with freshly whipped cream and berries in season.

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Cranberry. Asiago and Walnut Galette

This is a simple pie with big bold flavours.  The Asiago and the Cranberry flavours are very complimentary and your friends and family will love this after dinner treat.  From Food and Drink Autumn 2016

2 cups (500 mL) all-purpose flour
2 tbsp (30 mL) granulated sugar
½ tsp (2 mL) salt
¾ cup (175 mL) cold unsalted butter
3 tbsp (45 mL) ice-cold water

¾ cup (175 mL) granulated sugar
⅓ cup (80 mL) all-purpose flour
½ tsp (2 mL) each ground nutmeg and cinnamon
2 cups (500 mL) frozen cranberries, thawed in refrigerator
2 cups (500 mL) grated Asiago cheese, about 5 oz (150 g)
1 cup (250 mL) coarsely chopped walnuts
1 egg plus 2 tbsp (30 mL) water (optional)

1 Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C).

2 For pastry, whirl flour with sugar and salt in a food processor until blended. Cut butter into small pieces and scatter over flour mixture. Pulse until coarse crumbs form. With motor running, slowly pour cold water through the feed tube. Whirl just until dough starts to come together. Gather into a ball. Flatten into a thick round. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold, at least 30 minutes.

3 Roll dough or refrigerated pie crust into a 12-inch (30-cm) round. It will be thick. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. In a bowl, stir sugar with flour and seasonings. Add cranberries and toss until coated. Add cheese and nuts and toss with your hands to evenly mix.

4 Tumble onto the pastry round, leaving a 2½‑inch (6-cm) uncovered border of pastry. Move some cranberries to the top so they will be visible when pie is baked. Gently press cranberries into the filling. Fold uncovered pastry up over filling, overlapping edges as needed. Gently press where they overlap. About 5 inches (12 cm) of cranberry mixture will remain uncovered. Cut out a piece of parchment paper that will approximately cover the exposed filling.

5 For a shiny crust, whisk egg with 2 tbsp (30 mL) water and brush over crust. Lay parchment cut-out over filling, but don’t press onto the crust.

6 Immediately reduce oven temperature to 350°F (180°C).

7 Bake until crust is deep golden, about 1 hour. Let rest about a half hour before serving. Pie will keep well at room temperature for at least a day.

Serves 6 to 8

Sunday, 30 April 2017

Plum and Feta Tart

This is a fabulous addition to any meal.  It works as dessert or brunch with yogurt and fruit over a crunchy phyllo pastry.  From Food and Drink Autumn 2016.

6 sheets of phyllo pastry
3 tbsp melted butter
6 ripe red plums
1 cup plain greek yogurt
2 eggs
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup crumbled feta
3 tbsp maple syrup (get the best you can!)

  • Preheat oven to 375F
  • For curst, lay 1 sheet of phyllo on an oiled 9 x 13 inch baking sheet with shallow sides.  Brush with some of the melted butter.  Lay another sheet of phyllo on top, matching the corners as best you can.  Brush with more butter.  Continue layering and buttering until there is a stack of 6 sheets.  Do not butter the top sheet.
  • To form a pastry edge, tightly fold up one long side of phyllo until an edge is formed just inside the pan side.  Repeat with the other long side, then the short sides.  Tuck in the corners.  Brush top of pastry edges with butter.
  • Slice 1 plum in half following the indented line on one side.  Holding half the plum in one hand, use your other hand to gently rotate the 2 halves apart.  Remove pits and discard.  Slice each half into 2 oval pieces, 1 having a border of skin all around, the other having skin covering an entire side.  Repeat with remaining plums.
  • In a blender, combine yogurt, eggs, flour, sugar and feta.  Pulse and whirl until smooth stopping occasionally to scrape down sides.  Pour into phyllo crust.  Brush 1 piece of plum all over with maple syrup the place, cut side down in the filling.  Repeat with remaining plums.
  • Bake at 375F for 25 to 30 minutes until crust is golden and the filling seems set when jiggled.  Serve in squares.  Best to serve the day it is made.
Serves 6 to 8.

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Turducken Burgers

The Cajun holiday roast—a chicken stuffed inside a duck, stuffed inside a turkey—gets a summery burger twist (and no deboning of birds is required). Buy good-quality ground turkey and chicken and packages of the sliced, smoked and dried duck at a butcher shop or specialty food stores. If you can’t find the smoked and dried duck, you can use a smoked duck breast with the skin and most of the fat trimmed off and chopped fine for the burger patties. You may want to use grilled prosciutto slices for the topping instead of the duck breast, as duck breast won’t crisp up. For ease, if you prefer not to stuff and layer the patties, you can combine the ground turkey and chicken and chopped duck all together with the egg mixture and form mixed patties instead. The Cherry Barbecue Sauce is worth making from scratch as it sets off the burgers just perfectly. Sweet potato fries are a most suitable side dish, along with some grilled sweet peppers.  

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Tomato Ancho Salsa

With patio season upon us here is a great little salsa to pair up with tortilla chips and your favourite beverage.  From Food and Drink Summer 2015.

1 small onion
3 large, ripe but firm tomatoes, about 750 g
2 dried ancho chilis
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1/3 cup cider vinegar
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

  • preheat grill to high
  • Cut onion in half through the middle; peel and grim off root but leave halves intact.  Arrange, cut side up on the grill; place whole tomatoes stem side down.  Cook, turning from time to time until vegetables are well charred on all sides, about 15 minutes total for the onions and 35 to 40 minutes for the tomatoes.  Remove from grill and cool to room temperature.
  • Meanwhile, toast chills in a small skillet over medium low by pressing against pan until fragrant and pliable, about 90 seconds per side.  When cool enough to handle, tear open; remove and discard the seeds and any pale coloured ribs.  Place in a small heat proof bowl and pour enough boiling water over to cover.  Soak for 30 minutes; remove chills with a slotted spoon to a blender.  Reserve soaking liquid.
  • Roughly chop the onion and tomatoes; add to the blender along with the garlic, vinegar, oil, salt, and cumin.  Add 2 tbsp reserved chili water and pulse to a chunky sauce.  Turn out into a serving bowl, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.  (Salsa will keep for 5 days in refrigerator.  Warm to room temperature for an hour before serving.)  Sprinkle with cheese and serve alongside your favourite tortilla chips.
Makes about 3 cups

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Chopped Salad

A small amount of wild rice adds texture and flavour to this easy to make salad.

2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp red wine vinegar
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup very thinly sliced red onion
500 g fresh green beans, trimmed
1 small head radicchio, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup cooked wild rice
1/2 cup crumbled feta

  • In a large bowl, combine, oil, vinegar, and salt; stir in onion and let stand until beans are ready.
  • In lightly salted boiling water, cook green beans 7 to 8 minutes, until tender but still bright green. Drain in a colander under cold running water; shake to drain excess moisture.  Stack in bundles and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • Place green beans, radicchio, rice and cheese in a large bowl; toss with dressing to coat.

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Thai Green Chicken Curry with Spaghetti Squash

2 tbsp canola or peanut oil
1 kg boneless, skinless chicken breast haves, cut into 1/4 inch slices
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp prepared green curry paste
1 (14 oz) can unsweetened coconut milk
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup cut green beans, cooked
1 spaghetti squash
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
2 green onions, thinly sliced

  • Heat the oven to 400°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Brush the flesh with 2 tablespoons of the oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Place the squash halves cut-side up on a baking sheet and roast until fork-tender, about 50 minutes. 
  • Scrape flesh out with a fork. 
  • Meanwhile heat oil in a skillet over medium heat until hot but not smoking 
  • Sprinkle chicken with salt. Add to skillet and cook 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally (do not let chicken brown). Stir in curry paste and mix to evenly coat chicken. Add coconut milk and broth. Bring to a simmer; cook 2 to 3 minutes. 
  • Add green beans, and basil and cook 2 to 3 minutes more, just until heated through. Stir in lime juice and pour onto serving platter. Sprinkle with green onions. Serve over spaghetti squash.

Friday, 7 April 2017

Baby Bok Choy and Chicken

Lots of greens and yummy chicken breast.  I love the flavour that sesame oil give this dish.

2 tbsp sesame oil
2 cups yellow bell pepper, sliced
2 cups broccoli, chopped
4 green onions, chopped
500g baby bok choy rinsed and chopped
1 tbsp sesame seeds
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cooked and sliced

  • In a non stick skillet, heat oil over medium high heat.  Add bell pepper, broccoli and green onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned.
  • Lower heat and add bok choy. Stir well.  Cook only until bok choy has wilted and the thicker, white ends are still somewhat crisp.  Add Sesame seeds and stir.
  • Divide between two plates and top each with chicken.
Serves 2

Monday, 3 April 2017

Apple Tart

A delicious dessert that is quick to make.  Serve warm with creme fraiche or lightly whipped cream.

5 large apples
125 g butter
125 g sugar
125 g flour
1 tbsp cinnamon

Grease a tart pan well with butter.  Peel and core apples.  Slice and place in bottom of pan.  Sprinkle with cinnamon.  Cut together butter, sugar and flour; spread over apples.  Bake tart at 200C for about 30 minutes.

Friday, 31 March 2017

Quick French Country Stew

An excellent flavourful stew without a lot of work!

4 tsp olive oil, divided
1 kg boneless skinless chicken thighs cut into 2 inch chunks
1/2 tsp salt, divided
1 yellow onion, cut into thin wedges
1 red onion, cut into thin wedges
2 medium garlic cloves, pushed through a press
2 tsp minced fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp dried
1 cup reduced sodium chicken broth, divided
1 tbsp whole wheat flour
1/3 cup dry red wine
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

  • Heat 1 tsp oil in a large nonstick skillet over high heat.  Add chicken, sprinkle with 1/4 tsp salt, and cook 2 to 3 minutes per side, until browned.  Transfer to a plate.
  • Add remaining 3 tsp oil to skillet; reduce heat to medium.  Add onions, cook 8 minutes, until lightly browned; add garlic and thyme and cook 1 minute more.  While onions are cooking, transfer 2 tbsp of the broth to a cup and stir in flour.
  • Add wine to skillet; let bubble 1 minute.  Return chicken to skillet, add plain broth, and cover.  Reduce heat to medium low and cook 12 minutes.
  • Stir in flour mixture and remaining 1/4 tsp salt, bring to a boil, and cook 1 minute, until slightly thickened.  Stir in mustard and sprinkle with parsley.

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Chicken, Sage and Ham Soup

This soup has a wonderful blend of flavours.  Pair it with a salad for a healthy and hearty dinner.

1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp chopped shallot
2 (14 1/2 oz) cans reduced sodium chicken broth, plus 1 cup water
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
4 oz ham, chopped
1/2 tsp dried sage leaves
1 lemon
1/2 tsp salt (I omitted this as the ham has enough salt for me)
1/2 tsp pepper

  • Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat.  Add shallot; cook 1 minute, until softened.  Add broth, water, chicken, ham and sage.  Bring o a boil.  Reduce heat to low.  Cook 5 minutes, until chicken is almost cooked through.
  • Add 1 tsp grated lemon rind, 2 tsp lemon juice, salt and pepper.  Cook 2 to 3 minutes more.
  • Enjoy

Monday, 27 March 2017

Butternut Squash Soup

I love squash soup, it is a favourite comfort food of mine, although I am alone in my house with this preference.  The good thing about this soup is that you can freeze it and enjoy at a later date if your family is like mine.

1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1 inch pieces
2 tbsp olive oil, divided
1/2 tsp salt, divided
1/4 tsp pepper, divided
2 yellow zucchini , cut into 1 inch pieces
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tbsp tomato paste
2 cans (14 1/2 oz) vegetable or chicken broth
1/2 cup milk or cream
Pumpkin seeds (optional)
Sour cream (optional)

  • Heat oven to 450F.  Toss butternut squash with 1 tbsp olive oil, 1/4 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp pepper.  Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet.  Roast 15 minutes, turning once.
  • Toss zucchini and onion with remaining oil, salt, and pepper.  Add to baking sheet with butternut squash.  Continue roasting 20 minutes until all vegetables are tender.
  • In a large saucepan over medium heat, cook pumpkin pie spice, stirring constantly, 1 minute or until fragrant.  Stir in tomato paste and cook 1 minute more.  Add roasted vegetables and broth.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer 20 minutes.  Stir in milk/cream.  Remove from heat.  Puree soup with an immersion blender.
  • Heat gently to warm through.  SEason to taste with additional salt and pepper.  To serve, divide soup in bowls and garnish with toasted pumpkin seeds and sour cream if desired.
** to make your own pumpkin spice combine 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp ginger 1/8 tsp each of allspice and nutmeg, and a pinch of ground cloves.

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Smoky Guacomole

BBQ season is back and this is a great addition to any burger.

1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 to 2 tsp minced canned chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
2 soft ripe avocados
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tomato, seeded and diced
2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro

  • Heat oil in a small skillet over medium low heat.  Sauté onion and garlic for about 3 minutes or until soft and just starting to turn golden.  Remove from heat and stir in 1 tsp chipotle.  Let cool.  (Add more chipotle for a hotter guacamole if you like heat).
  • Peel and pit avocados and place in a bowl.  Using a fork mash avocados, adding lime juice and 1/2 tsp salt.  Stir in onion mixture.  Add more chipotle to taste, if desired.  Place plastic wrap directly on the surface of guacamole and refrigerate for up to 4 hours.
  • Just before serving, fold tomato and cilantro into guacamole and season to taste with salt.
Makes about 2 cups

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Chili and Vanilla Chocolate Bark

Perfect for an Easter present!  This gives a little heat and a little sweet.  I really enjoyed this.

500 g quality dark chocolate, chopped
3 - 5 dried medium sized chilies or use 1/2 tsp to 1 tsp dried chili flakes
3 vanilla beans

  • Preheat oven to 300 f.  Line baking sheet with parchment paper.  Place vanilla beans and chilies on chest; toast in oven for 1 minute - just long enough to bring out their flavour.  Set baking sheet aside.  Trim and discard stems and seeds from chilies; trim and discard tops and bottoms of vanilla beans.  Coarsely chop chilies and vanilla bean; in a spice grinder and working in batches until powdery.
  • In a double boiler, or heat proof bowl set over a saucepan of hot (not boiling) water, melt chocolate; stir in vanilla and chili mixture until well combined.  Spread mixture evenly over parchment paper lined baking sheet to a 1/4 inch thickness.  
  • Set aside for 2 hours at room temperature until firm, then break into small pieces.  Store in an airtight container, up to two weeks.

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Beach Bonfire

It may still be cold outside but this should heat things up a bit

Crush 1/2 cup roasted almonds and put onto a plate.  Rim glass with Simple syrup and dip into the almonds to coat the rim.

In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add 1 oz rum, 1/2 oz Alize liqueur, 2 oz pineapple juice and 2 oz passion fruit juice.  Shake until frothy and strain into th rimmed glass filled with ice.

Combine equal parts sugar and boiling water.  Stir until sugar has dissolved.  Store in the fridge until chilled.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Late Night Latte

A home made ice cap!

To a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add 1 oz Frangelico, 1/2 oz brandy, 2 oz chilled coffee and 2 oz almond milk.  Shake and strain into a tall glass with ice.  Top with whipped cream and dust with cinnamon.

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Blueberry and Sparkling Red Moscato Jelly

I love the use of wine in this recipe, it is the first time I have added it to a jam and it gives it such a wonderful unique taste.  From Food and Drink Spring 2016.

4 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
1 cup sparkling red Moscato wine
6 cups sugar
Juice of 1 large lemon, about 1/3 cup
1 pouch (85ml) liquid pectin

  •  Before you start cooking, pop a plate into the freezer; you’ll use that in a little bit to test the readiness of the jam.
  • Into a large, heavy-bottom saucepan over medium-high heat, add the blueberries, wine, sugar and lemon juice. Bring up to a good boil, stirring constantly and watching closely, in case it starts to foam and boil over.
  • When it comes to a boil, add the whole pouch of liquid pectin—try to squeeze out every drop; you need it!—stir in and bring back up to the boil. Boil for about 1 minute stirring constantly.
  • Spoon a drop of hot jam onto that chilled plate and pop it back into the freezer; if it begins to gel or set within 30 seconds or so, it’s time to bottle. If not, boil for another minute, then retest.
  • To bottle, transfer the still-hot jam into warm, sterilized jars. Don’t overfill; about ¼ inch (5 mm) from the top is perfect.
  • Pop on the lids, tighten, and finish canning by submerging the filled, tightly sealed jars into a very large pot of boiling water for about 20 minutes. Remove from the water bath and allow to cool on the counter. You should hear a chorus of metallic clinks and clunks coming from the kitchen, as the seals set tight!

  • Makes about 6½ cups (1.625 L)

Monday, 6 March 2017

Easy Almond Cake

A nice cake to have with coffee! As a person with Danish heritage this kind of dessert appeals to me.

1 cup boiling water
2/3 cup butter
2 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 tbsp almond extract
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder

Melt butter in boiling water.  Let cool.  Mix eggs, sugar and almond extract.  Add flour and baking powder to egg mixture.  Add water and butter, stirring vigorously.  Pour batter into springform or 9 x 10 inch baking form.  Bake at 325F for 40 minutes.  Cake is spongy to touch.

Friday, 3 March 2017

Salmon Wellington with Arugula Hollandaise

A rich and decadent dinner that can be served hot or cold - from Food and Drink Holiday 2015

6 to 8 leaves of chard
2 tbsp (30 mL) butter
3 cups (750 mL) sliced leeks, white and light green portions only
½ cup (125 mL) cream 6 cups (1.5 L) spinach
Salt and freshly ground pepper
8 oz (250 g) scallops, chopped
2 tsp (10 mL) paprika
1 tsp (5 mL) ground ginger
Pinch cayenne
1 tsp (5 mL) cinnamon
2 pieces (1½ lbs/750 g each) skinned salmon, preferably centre cut
1 pkg (450 g) pre-rolled puff pastry, thawed
1 egg, lightly beaten

½ cup (125 mL) butter
2 egg yolks
11/2 cups (375 mL) packed baby arugula
1/4 cup (60 mL) Greek yogurt
Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 Bring a pot of water to a boil and immerse chard leaves. Boil for 1 minute, then drain. Refresh with cold water and drain again. Dry leaves with a paper towel. Remove and discard stems.

2 Heat butter in a skillet over mediumlow heat. Add leeks and sauté until soft but not brown, about 6 minutes. Add cream and simmer until thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. Add spinach and cook for 2 more minutes or until spinach has wilted. Season with salt and pepper. Mix in scallops. Cool to room temperature.

3 Combine paprika, ginger, cayenne and cinnamon. Season both sides of salmon with salt, then sprinkle with spice mixture.

4 Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).

5 Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place one 10inch (25cm) square piece of puff pastry on a lined baking sheet. Arrange 3 pieces of chard in centre of pastry, leaving a 1/2 inch (1cm) border. Brush edges with egg wash. Sprinkle chard with salt.

6 Place 1 piece of salmon on chard. Spread scallop mixture evenly over salmon. Top with second portion of salmon. Lay remaining chard leaves over fish, tucking in around the edges to wrap.

7 Roll second portion of pastry into a larger square, about 12 inches (30 cm). Lay overtop, enclosing salmon. Cut away any excess pastry and pinch pastry edges to form a package. Brush with remaining egg wash and cut slits into top of pastry.

8 Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until pastry is golden and salmon is cooked.

9 For hollandaise, place butter in pot on medium heat and bring to boil. Meanwhile, place egg yolks, arugula and yogurt in food processor. Process until well combined. Pour bubbling butter slowly down through feeder tube while machine runs, scraping down the sides. Sauce will thicken. Season with salt and pepper. Serve warm.

Serves 8

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Smoky Guacamole

A versatile condiment that will enhance you burgers and bbq chicken.  From Food and Drink Summer 2015.

1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 to 2 tsp minced canned chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
2 soft ripe avocados
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tomato, seeded and diced
2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro

  • Heat oil in a small skillet over medium low heat.  Sauté onion and garlic about 3 minutes or until soft and just starting to turn golden.  Remove from heat and stir in 1 tsp of the chipotle.  Let cool.
  • Peel and pit avocados and place in a bowl.  Using a fork, mash avocados, adding lime juice and 1/2 tsp salt.  Stir in onion mixture.  Add more chipotle to taste, if desired.  Place plastic wrap erectly on the surface of guacamole and refrigerate for up to 4 hours.
  • Just before serving, fold tomato and cilantro into guacamole and season to taste with salt
Makes about 2 cups

Monday, 27 February 2017

Black Bean Sweet Potato Walnut Burgers

I really enjoyed these Veg Burgers and so did my 13 year old son!!  That was unexpected.  The recipe cooks these on a BBQ but I pan fried them in my cast iron pan as I was worried about them breaking up.  The patties crisp up nicely on the outside but stay moist inside.  From Food and Drink Summer 2015.

1 large sweet potato, about 1 lb (500g)
2 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups walnut halves
1 can (540ml) black beans, drained and rinsed
1 egg
1 tsp grated lime zest
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
3/4 cup quick cooking rolled oats or quinoa flakes
Oil fro frying
6 soft hamburger buns, split
Romaine lettuce leaves
Sliced tomatoes

  • Preheat oven to 375F.
  • Peel sweet potato and coarsely shred on the large holes of a box grater or with a shredding blade in a food processor.  You should have about 3 cups lightly packed.
  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.  Sauté shredded sweet potato and garlic for 2 minutes or until potatoes are wilted.  Add vegetable broth and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover and boil gently, stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes or until soft.  Uncover and boil for about 1 minute or until any excess liquid has evaporated.  Transfer to a large bowl and let cool completely.
  • Meanwhile, spread walnuts on a baking sheet and toast for about 8 minutes or until golden and fragrant.  Transfer to a bowl and let cool completely.  Chop walnuts in a food processor until fairly finely chopped.  Transfer half to a shallow dish for coating and set aside.
  • Add half of the black beans, egg, lime zest, salt and pepper to remaining walnuts in food processor and puree until smooth.  Add to bowl with sweet potatoes.  Add remaining black beans and rolled oats and stir until combined.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, until mixture is chilled and set or for up to 12 hours.
  • Shape chilled mixture into 6 equal sized patties, making them about 3/4 inch thick.  Place on a baking sheet and cover and refrigerate until cooking up to 8 hours.
  • To grill, preheat BBQ to medium heat.
  • Press each patty into reserved ground walnuts to lightly coat each side.
  • Place patties on oiled grill.  Grill for about 4 minutes or until bottoms are browned and crisp.  Carefully flip over and grill for 3 to 4 minutes or until browned and hot in the centre.  Alternatively to fry patties, heat a thin layer of oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Fry patties in batches, turning once for 3 to 4 minutes per side or until crisp on the outside and hot in the centre, adjusting heat and oiling pan between batches.  Meanwhile, toast cut sides of buns.
  • Spread Guacamole on bottom half of buns and top with lettuce and tomato slices, then burger patty.  Top with move guacamole and replace bun tops

Saturday, 25 February 2017

Barbecued Sirloin Steak

Not much beats a great steak on the BBQ!  Here is a simple marinade to help that steak along.

2 cups canola or other vegetable oil
1 cup beer
3 cloves roasted garlic, mashed
2 tbsp chili powder
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp dry powdered mustard
1 tbsp cayenne
1 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp coarsely ground black pepper
One 14 to 15 oz sirloin steak

  • Combine marinade ingredients.
  • Lay steak in a shallow dish and pour the marinade over the meat, coating both sides.  Refrigerate for 4 to 12 hours.
  • Set grill to medium hot and grill steak for about 5 minutes on each side for medium rare, or to your desired degree of doneness.
  • Let steak rest on a cutting board for about 5 minutes.   Slice it crosswise against the grain.

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Tequila -Lime Grilled Chicken Breast

Use a BBQ or choose to bake in the oven at 400F for 40 min.  This marinade is versatile and will work with just about anything other than red meat.  From Food and Drink Summer 2015.

1/3 cup gold tequila
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup agave syrup
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
4 cloves of garlic, finely minced or grated
1 sp onion powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp smoked paprika or chipotle powder

12 green onions, roots, papery skin and tough green tops trimmed
4 chicken breasts, skin on, bone in, for best flavour and moistness
Lime wedges for garnish

  • In a non reactive container whisk together all marinade ingredients.  Add the green onions and chicken, skin side down; make sure its all well coated.  Cover and place in the fridge for a minimum of 4 hours to overnight (24 hours is best), turning the chicken over half way through.  Bring the chicken up to room temperature about an hour before you plan on grilling.
  • Pre heat grill at medium low to medium - no higher or the skin will burn before the meat is cooked through.
  • Place bone side down for the first half of the cooking time; about 10 minutes.
  • When you are ready to flip the chicken put the green onions on the grill.  Keep a close eye on them, turning every so often.   They will be done when the chicken is done about 10 minutes.  You should see some charred bits.
  • Flip the chicken over and grill for another 10 minutes, or until the juices run clear when pricked with a fork or a meat thermometer reads 160F at the breasts thickest point.
  • While chicken is grilling, in a large skillet over medium heat bring the leftover marinade to a simmer and reduce by half about 15 minutes.  You should have about 1 cup dipping sauce.
  • Set the cooked chicken aside to rest for about 5 minutes under a loose tent of tin foil.  Serve with salad.  Garnish with 3 grilled green onions each, fresh lime wedges and a side dish of the cooked, reduced marinade for dipping.
Serves 4

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Pound Cake with Chocolate, Cherries and Hazelnuts

This is a nice simple recipe that works well for company.  Switch up the hazelnuts for what you prefer - the original recipe called for Pecans.

4 eggs
2 cups sifted cake flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
2/3 cup dried cherries
3 oz (90g) semi sweet chocolate, chopped, about 2/3 cup
1 cup toasted hazelnuts
3/4 cup softened unsalted butter, about 175 g
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 pkg 250 g softened cream cheese
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup whipping cream
3 oz (90g) semi sweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped

  • Preheat oven to 325F.
  • Place eggs still in shells in a small bowl, temper by adding hot tap water to cover.  When ready to use eggs, drain and discard water.  In a large mixing bowl, stir flour well with baking bowser; add cherries, chocolate and hazelnuts.  Toss and set aside.
  • Preferably using a stand mixer, cream butter for 5 minutes, stopping and scraping down the sides twice, or until lighter in colour and somewhat fluffy.  Add sugar in 2 batches, beating after each addition.  Beat in cream cheese until fluffy; then beat in vanilla and salt.
  • Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each addition.  Meanwhile, grease and flour a 10 inch Bundt pan.
  • Fold flour mixture into butter mixture until just incorporated.  Evenly turn out batter into pan; smooth top.  Bake 70 to 80 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.  Cool on a rack for 15 minutes, then turn out to continue cooling on the rack.
  • For decorative drizzle, pour cream into a glass measure; add chocolate.  Microwave 30 seconds; stir.  Microwave another 20 seconds; stir until smooth.  Using a spoon, drizzle overtop fully cooled cake.  Place cake in a cool location (but not in the fridge); drizzle sets firmly in 2 to 3 hours.  Covered, cake keeps well at room temperature for several days.

Monday, 13 February 2017

Caesar Turkey Brochettes

I have never BBQ’d celery before and it was a fun choice for this dinner.  Turkey, chicken or lean pork work for this dinner.

2 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp vodka
1 tbsp sesame oil
3/4 tsp celery salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 boneless turkey breast, skinned, or 4 turkey thighs, skinned and boned, cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
2 ribs celery or banana peppers, cut into 1 1/2 inch chunks
1 red onion, cut into 1 1/2 inch chunks

1/3 cup ketchup
3 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp hot pepper sauce

  • Mix together lime juice, vodka, sesame oil, celery salt and pepper; toss with turkey until coated.  Marinate for 30 minutes or covered and refrigerated, up to 8 hours.
  • Alternately thread turkey, celery and red onion onto skewers.
  • BASTING SAUCE: Mix together ketchup, oyster sauce, Worcestershire sauce and hot pepper sauce.
  • Grill skewers, covered, on greased grill over medium heat, turning often and brushing with basting sauce during last 5 minutes until glad and turkey is no longer pink inside, about 18 minutes.
Makes 6 to 8 main course servings

Saturday, 11 February 2017

Marmalade-Glazed Chicken Thighs

Orange Marmalade is a wonderful tart yet sweet glaze for grilled chicken thighs.  This can also be used for chicken breast if you prefer white meat or pork loin.  This recipe is from Canadian Living - The Barbecue Collection.

2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 fps each salt and pepper
8 boneless skinless chicken thighs, halved crosswise
2 tbsp orange marmalade

  • Whisk together lemon juice, oil, rosemary, garlic, salt and pepper; toss with chicken until coated. Marinate for 15 minutes or covered and refrigerated up to 8 hours.
  • Reserving any remaining marinade, thread chicken onto double pronged bamboo skewers or 8 pairs of soaked wooden skewers; brush with marinade.  Grill, covered on greased grill over medium heat, turning once, until juices run clear when chicken is pierced, 12 to 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, microwave marmalade, covered, at high until melted, about 30 seconds. (or heat in small saucepan over low heat until melted.) Brush skewers with marmalade; grill, turning once for 1 minute.
Makes 4 main course servings

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Tom Collins

Usually this is a summer drink, but in the cold of February if you crank the heat, put on some summer music and close your eyes this also works.  Making your own lemon syrup is easy and it really makes this drink delicious.

2 oz gin
1 oz strained fresh lemon juice
3/4 oz lemon syrup (recipe follows)
3 oz soda water, chilled
Lemon wedge

Pour gin, lemon juice and syrup into a cocktail shaker.  Add 3 ice cubes.  Shake 5 seconds.  Strain into a chilled Highball glass filled with ice.  Top with soda and lightly stir.   Garnish with lemon wedge.

Makes 1 drink (you will go back for seconds)

This syrup also works great in herbal tea.

2/3 cup water
2/3 cup granulated sugar
3 lemons, washed

  • In a small saucepan, heat water and sugar over medium high heat, whisking until sugar is dissolved.  Remove from heat.  Cool to room temperature.
  • Using a microplane zester, zest the lemons, adding zest into syrup.  Let infuse for 10 minutes.  Pass through fine mesh strainer, pressing on zest with spoon to extract syrup.  Transfer to glass jar with lid.  Refrigerate up to 1 month.
Makes 1 cup

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Lentil Chili

I must admit I have not been a fan of lentils in the past but I am starting to understand their versatility and enjoy them.  This is a great vegetarian chili that will satisfy you without the meat.

2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1/2 cup brown lentils
2 bay leaves
2 cups water
1 - 19 oz can (540g) navy beans
1 - 19 oz can (540g) black beans
1 - 28 oz can (795 g) whole tomatoes
1 cup vegetable broth
Salt and pepper to taste

Toppings:  grated cheese, chopped cilantro, salsa, sour cream or greek yogurt

  • In a large pot or Dutch oven, warm oil over medium heat.  Add onions and garlic, and stir occasionally until they soften, about 3 minutes.
  • Add spices, stir and allow to cook for 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Add lentils, bay leaves and water.  Bring to a gentle boil and let simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Add beans, tomatoes and broth.  Bring dish back to a boil and simmer gently for 20 minutes.  Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper to your liking.
  • Serve chili over rice or with cornbread.  

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Turkey Meatballs

Using ground turkey lightens up this meal.  I used Cheddar cheese for this recipe but you could substitute you favourite cheese instead.

900 g ground turkey
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp dried oregano
1 tbsp paprika
1 pinch cayenne pepper seeds
1/2 tbsp cumin
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup red wine, divided
180 g cubed sharp Cheddar cheese
2 cups tomato sauce, no salt added

  • Using an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix turkey and all spices with garlic on medium speed for about 1 min.
  • Reduce speed and add 1/2 cup wine.  Increase speed to high and mix for 1 min or until mixture looks sticky.
  • Scoop out 32 equal portions of mixture onto a tray.  Flatten meat into patties.
  • Place a piece of cheese in the centre of each patty and wrap meat around cheese to form a ball.
  • In a skillet, lightly sear about 10 meatballs at a time on medium high heat.  Transfer to a large saucepan.  Repeat with remaining meatballs.  Add remaining wine to the hot skillet, scraping up brown bits; add to saucepan with meatballs.
  • Add tomato sauce to saucepan and gradually bring to a simmer on medium low heat, gently stirring every 2 min.  Once simmering, turn off heat.  Check meatballs for doneness.  If meat is still pink, cook on low heat for 2 more min.
  • Adjust salt to taste and serve.

Friday, 3 February 2017

Glaced Orange Cake

A simple cake that goes really well with a good cup of coffee.

1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp grated orange rind
5 eggs
3 cups cake flour
1 tbsp baking powder
Pinch salt
3/4 cup milk

1/4 cup butter
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup orange juice

  • Butter and flour 10 inch tube pan.  Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add vanilla and orange rind.  Add eggs, one at a time. Beat well.  Sift together cake flour, baking powder and salt. Add to creamed mixture, a little at a time, alternately with milk, ending with flour, beating well after each addition.  Spoon into pan. Bake in 350F oven for about 1 hour.  Cool for 2 minutes before pouring glade on.
Glace:  Heat all ingredients in a saucepan until sugar melts.  Pour over cake in pan.  Cool before removing from pan.

Monday, 30 January 2017

Asian Chicken and Mushroom Soup

Soup this time of year warms you from the inside out.  This has a different take to it with Asian inspired flavours.

8 cups chicken stock
20 mushrooms, sliced
2 tbsp minced peeled fresh ginger
4 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp chili oil
1 skinless chicken breast, boned, poached, and shredded
3 cups sliced bok choy
4 tsp rice vinegar
Freshly ground pepper
2 green onions, sliced

  • Bring broth, mushrooms and ginger to a boil in a large pot.  Reduce heat and simmer 3 minutes.
  • Add fish sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil and chili oil; simmer 2 minutes.  Add chicken and bok choy; simmer until bok choy is tender, about 2 minutes.  Stir in rice vinegar.  Season with pepper.
  • Ladle soup into bowl.  Sprinkle with green onions and serve.

Saturday, 28 January 2017

Carrot, Cranberry and Gouda Salad

Great colour and flavour in this simple salad.

1/2 cup toasted Hazelnuts, chopped
3 tbsp hazelnut oil
3 tbsp white wine vinegar
6 to 8 medium carrots, peeled and julienned
150 g Herbed Gouda, cut into small cubes (this is easily substituted with a smoked cheese of your choice or a nice strong cheddar)
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup fresh chives, chopped
Freshly ground pepper

  • In a large bowl, mix oil with vinegar.
  • Add Hazelnuts and remaining ingredients, season with pepper and serve

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Roasted Red Pepper Bites

This is a really yummy appetizer!

1 x 227 g Roasted Red Pepper Dip
4 links ground sausage meat approx 400g - your flavour choice, cooked and crumbled
1 x 170 g pkg bread stuffing, cooked

  • In a large mixing bowl combine Roasted Red Pepper Dip, sausage, and stuffing.  
  • Form mixture into small 2” diameter balls and place on baking sheet
  • Bake in a 350F oven about 10-12 minutes or until golden brown
  • Remove from oven and serve warm with toothpicks and extra dip for dipping

Saturday, 21 January 2017

Tossed Salad with Harvest Nuts and Cranberries

This is a great festive salad that works well with any holiday dinner.  The cranberries add tart flavour that complements the sweetness of the chopped nuts.  From Food and Drink Holiday 2016

1/2 cup each of pine nuts, coarsely chopped hazelnuts, sliced or slivered almonds, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds
2 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp hot smoked or regular paprika
1/2 to 3/4 cup dried cranberries or cherries

12 to 16 cups mixed salad greens
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tsp maple syrup
1/4 tsp salt
Several grindings of black pepper

  • Preheat oven to 350 F.
  • Combine pine nuts, hazelnuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds in a large bowl.  Mix olive oil with maple syrup, brown sugar, salt and paprika in a small saucepan; place over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes until hot but not boiling.
  • Pour hot mixture over nuts and seeds; toss until coated.  Turn out onto parchment-paper-lined, rimmed baking sheet; spread out in a thin layer.  Bake 10 minutes, then stir and spread out again. Bake another 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned.  Remove from oven and sprinkle with cranberries; cool.
  • Break up fruit and nut mixture into small clusters; store sealed in canning jars.  Mixture keeps well for a month if stored airtight.
  • When ready to serve, place greens in a large salad bowl.  Whisk oil with vinegar, maple syrup, salt and pepper.  Drizzle vinaigrette over salad to taste; toss.  Sprinkle with some nut mixture; serve right away.  Any remaining vinaigrette can be stored in the refrigerator.
Serves 8 to 10