Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for April, 2012

There are many ways to make Bruschetta and all of them equally divine.  My first time sampling these delicious little bites was in the early 90’s when my boss’s wife made them for a function she was hosting at her house.  I called them Kathy’s Crostini’s when she gave me the recipe.  She added goat cheese to hers which is equally delicious. Over the years the recipe has changed. Husband loves Bruschetta and orders it often as an appetizer when we eat out. 

I recently made Bruschetta the same night we had Arugula & Prosciutto Crostini knowing he would prefer the Bruschetta.  Bonus points for wifey ;).

My version goes like this….

Simple Bruschetta

2 cloves garlic, minced
4-5 large, ripe tomatoes (red, orange, yellow, mixed)
1/4 cup basil, chiffonade/sliced
2 tbsp olive oil
salt & pepper
1 baguette or focaccia, sliced 1/2 inch
olive oil (extra)

Preheat oven to 400F. Ensure top rack is moved up in oven. Place sliced baguette on cookie sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Put in oven and toast 4-5 minutes or until starting to brown. Turn them over, drizzle a little more olive oil and give them another minute in the oven. Remove from oven and set aside.

In a bowl mix together tomatoes, garlic, basil, 1-2 tbsp olive oil, fresh cracked pepper and salt. Mix and taste for seasoning. Add in a little more salt as needed. Set bowl aside until ready to serve.

When ready to serve put bruschetta mixture on toasted baguette pieces and serve immediately.   This also pairs nicely with a Moscato D’Asti (wine).

Read Full Post »

Another recipe on the radar for awhile…..I love anything with coconut.  I finally pulled the chicken out of the freezer and got them into the marinade.  Then after a long day and with an activity night ahead of us, I decided against grilling the chicken and opted for quick sandwiches instead.  It was just one of those days.

The chicken ended up getting grilled the next night and as such marinating for 24 hours.  Uh, yum.  The coconut did it’s job and the chicken was delicious but did not have an overpowering coconut flavour.

Adapted from ATCO Blue Flame Kitchen

Coconut Chicken Thighs

1 cup canned coconut milk, stir well
1-2 tbsp fresh lime juice
2 tsp lime peel, grated
1 tbsp fish sauce
2 tsp fresh ginger, grated
1 clove garlic
10 bone-in, skin on chicken thighs

Combine all ingredients in ziplock bag, except chicken. Swishy the bag to incorporate and mix up ingredients. Remove 1/2 cup of the marinade, cover and refrigerate.

Add chicken to the bag, close bag and move around to marry it with the marinade. Marinate for a minimum 30 minutes up to several hours if you have the time.

When ready to grill remove chicken from the marinade. Grill over medium heat for approximate 15 – 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Keep an eye on them as flare ups may occur and the skin will get quite charred.

Serve with reserved marinade and coconut rice.

Read Full Post »

I’ve made these skewers too many times to count over the years.  Oddly enough I have never posted the recipe to the blog.   

The photo is not the best and taken just after the kabobs came off the grill.  (Husband skewered them which is why they appear unevenly skewered.) Sometimes when you have guests waiting and smelling the food, trying to get the perfect shot doesn’t always work.  And sometimes husband grabs the camera and starts taking pictures without thinking about the end result (keener to get a better shot than me).  Will try and take a better photo next time.

This mushroom kabob is a delicious accompaniment to any grilled meat.

 

Adapted from ATCO Blue Flame Kitchen

Mushroom & Green Onion Skewers
 

1/3 cup soy sauce (your favourite kind)
1/4 cup water
2 tbsp white wine, dry
2 tbsp brown sugar, packed
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 tsp dried ginger (fresh works if you have it)
1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp hot pepper sauce
6 green onions
20 large fresh mushrooms

small bamboo skewers

Soak bamboo skewers in water for minimum 30 minutes.

Combine soy sauce thru hot pepper sauce in a small pot. Place over medium heat and bring to a boil. Stir regularly until mixture thickens slightly. Remove from heat and set aside. This is your sauce.

Cut your green onions into 1-1/2 inch pieces. Clean your mushrooms.

Thread mushrooms onto skewer, stem end first followed by a piece of green onion placed crosswise. Do not overcrowd mushrooms but continue until you have filled your skewers.

Brush mushrooms/onions with sauce.  Grill over medium heat, basting regularly with sauce until golden brown, approximately 5 minutes.

Read Full Post »

I came across this recipe a couple of weeks ago and thought what a great way to start the day.  It takes about 30 minutes from start to finish so allow time to make it if you have a busy morning.

Also note you can add whatever toppings you like or have in your pantry. I used cranberries, raisins, apricots and almonds.  I’m happy to have found another super food to add into the breakfast rotation of egg whites, oatmeal, red river cereal and yogurt!  This is a very filling breakfast. Quinoa is also a great source of protein/iron.

This makes a couple of servings.

 
Quinoa Porridge


1 cup milk (1%, 2%, almond, soy)
1/2 cup quinoa
1/2 tsp cardamom OR cinnamon (don’t use both together)

Toppings:
Nuts (toasted walnuts, pecans or slivered almonds)
Dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, mango & apricots | slice bigger pieces)
Fresh fruit (berries, bananas)
Honey or maple syrup

Pour your milk into a sauce pan and heat over medium high heating watching & stirring regularly so as not to burn the milk. Bring to a light boil and then turn heat down to a simmer. Add in your spice if using and then add your quinoa. Cover pot and simmer for 12 minutes. Again watching so your milk does not boil over (yes this happened to me!).

At 12 minutes remove from heat, fluff and let sit covered for an additional 15 minutes.

Spoon cooked quinoa into a bowl. You can add more milk if you wish and whatever toppings you want. Drizzle a little honey or maple syrup on top and more cinnamon if using. Yum!

Read Full Post »

This is an easy and elegant dish to make. It needs to set up in the fridge for several hours so plan your time accordingly when making it.

If I am making this for just our family I half the recipe.  Based on what I have, the full recipe fills 3 x 4oz ramekins + 4 x 7oz ramekins.

We make this recipe so often we have a creme brulee torch. They do not cost very much and make darkening the sugar much easier.  If you do not have one bake in the oven as directed below.

 

Adapted from The Complete Canadian Living Cookbook

Raspberry Creme Brulee

3 cups whipping cream
8 egg yolks (whites can be frozen for later use)
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1-2 cups fresh cleaned raspberries

1/2 cup granulated white sugar (for topping)

Preheat your oven to 350F.

In a pan over medium-high heat add your cream and heat until it is steaming (not boiling).

In a bowl whisk together your egg yolks with your sugar. Mix well. Now you need to temper your eggs. Pour in 1/4 cup of the hot cream and mix well. Then pour in another 1/2 cup of the hot cream, mixing well again. At this point your eggs should be tempered and you can slowly pour the rest of the hot cream in. Whisk and add vanilla. Skim off foam with a spoon.

Add a minimum 6 raspberries to each ramekin. Pour egg mixture into  ramekin with raspberries. Place in a large casserole pan. Pour in enough boiling water to come halfway up the sides of ramekins.

Bake in oven for 30 minutes or until edges set, centres still jiggle and toothpick inserted comes out creamy. Remove from water bath and let cool on racks. Once cooled relocate to the fridge, cover and leave for several hours until set.

Turn oven to Broil and move oven rack up. Place ramekins on rimmed baking sheet.  Sprinkle sugar evenly over entire top of ramekins.  Broil approx. 6 inches from heat for 2 – 5 minutes or until sugar bubbles and darkens.  Remove from oven and let cool down enough to place back in fridge for at least 30 minutes before serving.

To serve put single ramekin on a place and sprinkle fresh raspberries on top.

Read Full Post »

I really like bulgur wheat.  I’ve been eating it in tabouleh for over 20 years.  One more thing I can thank my mom for since she is the one who first ventured into the world of tabouleh and healthy eating many moons ago.

Thing is you can add almost anything to grains and make them yummy. I would eat them every day if I could.

This combination of flavours is lovely.  The grapes add sweetness.  The feta is salty and tangy lime. The toasted walnuts bring a whole new flavour profile of nutty goodness to the salad. And the arugula brings a tangy zest that does not overpower or get overpowered by the rest of the family. Simply Delicious.

Adapted from ATCO Blue Flame

Bulgur Salad with Arugula & Grapes
 
3/4 cup fine Bulgur wheat
1 cup boiling water
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lime juice
2 tsp lime zest
1-2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup feta crumbled
1 cup red, seedless grapes, halved
1 cup toasted walnuts
1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions
1 cup arugula

Place bulgur in a bowl. Cover with boiling water and give a quick stir. Cover bowl and let sit 20-30 minutes or until water is absorbed and bulgur tender.

Stir in lime juice, lime zest, olive oil, salt and pepper. Add your cheese, grapes, walnuts and green onions. Mixing well.  Spoon into a bowl or on a plate and top with a good handful of arugula.  Serve immediately.

Serves 3-4

Read Full Post »

Hard to believe I’ve gone over a decade without making a gazpacho.  It’s a cold summer soup with a delicious blend of flavours.  I also find it sort of a palate cleanser.  It was a last minute addition to my dinner Saturday night and as such I served it as a gazpacho shooter.  It was divine.

Note salt is important in this soup to bring out the flavours. So do not skimp on the salt!

This makes at least 4-6 servings if you are not serving it in a shooter glass.  If you are going with the shooter theme it makes at least 8 cups or too many soup shooters to count.

Gazpacho Soup

6 large red, ripe tomatoes
1 cup peeled, seeded cucumber, chopped
1/2 cup red onion
1 yellow pepper, seeded & chopped
1 clove garlic
1/3-1/2 cup white wine, dry
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
1/2 – 1 tsp salt

Let’s begin….
Halve tomatoes crosswise and squeeze out juice/seeds into strainer set over bowl (you want to keep the juice, not the seeds). Reserve juice.  Dice tomato and put into bowl with juice.

In bowl add cucumber through salt. Give a quick mix and then pour into a blender. Pulse and blend until smooth. You made need to do this in 2 batches. Pour into a covered bowl or tupperware type container and refrigerate for a minimum 4 hours.

Dice some cucumber, tomato and red onion.  Place in a bowl and set aside as a garnish.

Take soup out, stir and when ready to serve pour into a bowl or in my case shot glasses (I love serving soup this way).  Sprinkle some of the garnish on top and serve with a small spoon.  This soup is a little thicker and as such a small spoon may be required.

Besides the added salt this is a very healthy soup.

Read Full Post »

Always looking for a new recipe to try, I came across this one and the photo really sucked me in. It looked amazing so I marked it and decided to make it for dinner guests (family) we were having over for supper Saturday night.

All I can say is it turned out fabulous AND it was easy to assemble. Our guests arrived early and were sitting at the counter watching me make it. It’s light, tasty and people think you’re a Rock Star because it tastes as good as it looks.

Adapted from Flavours Magazine

 

Arugula & Prosciutto Crostini

1/2 cup cantaloupe, diced small
6 slices prosciutto, torn into strips
12 slices of baguette cut on the bias, approx 1/4 inch thick
ricotta cheese
arugula
cracked pepper
Olive oil

Glaze
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Preheat your oven to 400-425F. Lay your sliced baguette on a cookie sheet. Drizzle all over with olive oil.

Place in oven and toast for about 4-5 minutes watching closely as they start to turn golden brown. Turn them over and give them one more minute. Remove from oven and place toasts on serving platter or board. Give them one more quick drizzle of olive oil.

Start by adding a few arugula leaves on each piece of toast. Next fold/roll up your prosciutto pieces so they sit nicely and place on top of arugula. Top each piece with 1 tsp ricotta. Then take a tsp or so of diced cantaloupe and place on top of ricotta.

Just before serving drizzle each piece of toast with your glaze & some cracked black pepper. Serve immediately.

Read Full Post »

I did not grow up eating apple pies. I like them, I do not love them and as such I can admit I do not make them….Sam I Am. Enter husband. He very much likes apple pie.

I love to search the web for recipes.  In doing so I came across a recipe to make an apple pie in a cast iron pan. Brilliant. Even more enticing was the caramelized goodness underneath the actual pie. This recipe entered the rotation and tonight it was created much to everyone’s delight.

Due to my son’s obsession with scrambled eggs every morning I ran out of eggs and was not able to make the egg white wash for the top.  Didn’t affect anything other than browning on top of pie.

Also the original recipe called for 4 lbs mixed apples. I used approximately 10 cups mixed apples (green, macintosh and a wrinkled gala thrown in for good luck). You could use a little more if you have them.

Another confession – I also cheated and purchased a double pie crust instead of making from scratch (shoot me now).

If you do not love apple pies, this recipe will have you reconsidering that thought. Simple Apple Goodness.

 

Adapted from Southern Living

 

Cast Iron Pan Apple Pie

10 cups cored, peeled & chopped apples (green, gala, macintosh)
1-2 tsp cinnamon
2/3 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 tenderflake deep dish pie crusts (or your own homemade)
1-2 tbsp white sugar
2 egg whites

1 x 10-inch cast iron pan/skillet
Vanilla ice cream or whipping cream

Preheat oven to 350F.

Peel & core apples. Slice into thick wedges and place in a bowl. Toss with cinnamon & sugar, set aside.

Melt butter in cast iron pan over medium heat. Add brown sugar and cook, stirring until sugar mostly melted (a few minutes). Remove from heat and set aside.

Place one of your pie crusts in cast iron pan over brown sugar mixture. Pat down a little. Pour in your apple mixture. Top with second pie crust. Whip up your egg whites a little with a fork. Brush on top of pie. Sprinkle with 1-2 tbsp sugar. Cut slits on top of pie crust.

Bake in oven for 1 hour or until golden and bubbly. Cool a little before serving. Serve with vanilla ice cream, whipping cream or a spoon.

Read Full Post »

Pancakes really are that easy to make.  The next time you want some, instead of using a bisquick (or other) pancake mix…try this recipe. It’s so quick/easy you will wonder why you didn’t make them from scratch before.

This is my go to pancake recipe.  I typically double the batch and once they are on the skillet sprinkle on my add-ins (allowing everyone to get involved and make their own or have options).  Leftover pancakes get separated by parchment paper and frozen in ziplock bags. To reheat let them sit out for a few minutes and then drop them into the toaster.

Adapted from Canadian Living

Simple Pancakes

1 egg
1 1/2 cups milk
2-3 tbsp butter, melted in microwave
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tbsp white sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp wheat germ
1 tsp cinnamon

Add-ins:
Chocolate Chips, Butterscotch chips or chopped white chocolate
Marshmallows, crushed graham crackers, chocolate chips (smores)
Fruit (chopped banana, mango, strawberries, blueberries, etc.)
Chopped toasted nuts

Let’s begin…

Grab 2 large bowls.

Heat your pan or griddle.  If using a pan add in some oil or butter.

In first bowl beat your egg, add in your milk and butter mixing well.

In second bowl whisk your flour, baking powder, sugar, wheat germ, cinnamon and salt together. Pour dry ingredients on wet mixture and stir until smooth and no lumps remain.

Using 1/4 cup measure scoop up some batter and pour onto griddle. Cook for about 1 minute or until underside is nicely browned and bubbles break on top. Flip pancake and cook for an additional minute until golden brown.

Serve with fruit preserves (jam), honey, butter, maple syrup, bacon…more chopped toasted nuts if you wish, whipped cream, creme fraiche, vanilla greek yogurt – whatever you like!

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »