Monday, 30 April 2012

Colour, Colour Everywhere

Colour's what I think about when Thailand comes to mind. The culture is vibrant, the landscape is amazing, and the food explodes to excite your senses with spicy, sweet, salty, sour, and bitter notes. 

Of course, that's only what I think of when Thailand comes to mind, because I have yet to go on my dream vacation (as I've already told you when I made Pad Thai last year). I would love to visit the land of beautiful beaches, experience a Thai massage, see the Grand Palace, go on a canal tour, and most of all - eat delicious authentic Thai food until my heart's content (not an easy task!). 

My recipe for Sweet Potato and Chicken Salad incorporates flavours, colours, and ingredients that I think are a Canadian version of a Thai picnic dish and I would love to find out if I am right. 

Saturday, 28 April 2012

It's That Time of Year Again...

Do you remember when I first started posting here? Well if you don't remember, and apparently I forgot my own blog-aversary too, it was with a post for a contest with the Real Women of Philadelphia. 

The cookbook that I'll be in with the Real Women of Philadelphia is almost out and now there's another contest! This time the prize is for a dream vacation and entries must be inspired by the destination you wish to visit. 

My Dream Destination is French Polynesia. I'd love to visit Tahiti and see the beaches, the culture, and taste the food. The food is something I've only researched because it's not really something you can get in Canada, but by getting a little creative, I think I've managed to make a fun recipe that says French Polynesia. 

My French Polynesia Mushroom Caps incorporate a stuffing of bacon, spinach, and Philly as a Canadian take on Polynesian suckling pig, fafa (taro leaves), and coconut milk, are surrounded with crescent roll dough as a Canadian take on French croissants, and topped with a sprinkle of French parsley and Parmesan cheese. 

The crescent roll dough makes the appetizer easy to pick up so that the mushrooms don't slip from your fingers and everything about them is delicious. You have to try them!

Thursday, 26 April 2012

King Of The Castle

The origin of any "a la King" meals is difficult to determine. It could be that the first of the creamy chicken dishes was created by someone with the last name King, or perhaps that an owner of a restaurant had the name King and it was his favourite dish, or maybe a chef just thought that the dish he whipped up was fit for a king.

Regardless of the origin, I think that the meal is comforting and easy to make when I'm feeling a little under the weather. And these aspects of preparing the dinner make me love it.

Here's my easy recipe for Turkey a la King. You can serve it with pasta or with toast, but I prefer toast because it saves me a pot to clean and that sure helps to make it even easier!

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

A Crouton Fit For a Meal

It isn't too often that I think a crouton makes a salad complete. Maybe a crouton fully complements a Caesar salad, but even then I don't think that a crouton makes the salad complete. 

But in this case, I truly think everyone will agree with me when I say that these croutons make this salad complete. Without them, the salad wouldn't be worth mentioning. It would only be spinach, cucumber, and a little balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing. 

That being said, these "croutons" are a little more work than the average joe. I'll let you figure out if you think they're worth it. I certainly do!

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Save The Turtles

Today is Earth Day, the anniversary of the modern environmental movement, and that means it's time to do something good for the environment. You can remember to turn the lights off in your home when you leave a room, take your bike to the store instead of your car, pick up litter on the side of the road, or save the turtles. Whatever you think is a good step for you. 

I am try and celebrate being environmentally friendly as often as I can; I bike to work as often as I can, I never litter, I try and eat locally whenever possible, and instead of turning my heat up I put on a sweater first. 

One of the ways I am celebrating earth Day today is by cutting back on the amount of meat I eat by snacking on healthy chickpeas. Cows eat a lot, drink a lot, and do a lot of other things I don't think about when I'm thinking about eating. All those things affect the environment, so eating less meat and filling up on heathy chickpeas is an easy way to celebrate Earth Day.

And if you think I am going to share another hummus recipe, you're wrong. Today's recipe is Crispy Spiced Chickpeas.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Getting a Wee Bit English

In North America, the word pudding refers to a custardy dessert. But, in England it's an entirely different story. 
A custardy dessert is still referred to as a pudding in England, but a pudding doesn't just stop there. In England, a pudding is so much more. 
Any kind of savoury homogenous starchy or dairy filled dish is a pudding in England. And, just to make it even more confusing, the English also informally use the word pudding to describe all kinds of desserts. 
So when I finally knew what a pudding is in England, I had to make one of their most common puddings, a summer pudding.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Snack City

The "new" fad of cupcakes definitely has not escaped Victoria, BC. And while I love biting into a delicious cupcake unsure if the cake will be dense and moist, have a creamy filling, or if I will be heading back for a second serving of cupcake heaven, I agree with the majority of the population that the cupcake craze should be over. 

There is, however, one kind of cupcake that I had yet to try at any of the cupcake boutiques. (And, yes, I did just say cupcake boutiques...) That new cupcake is a pizza cupcake, complete with an edible pepperoni cupcake wrapper. 

When I thought up the idea for this cupcake, I knew we would be a match made in heaven. Especially because the cupcake is perfect for breakfast!

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

The New Toast and Jam

I love waking up and enjoying a piece of toast smothered in jam with endless cups of tea in the morning. I laze around in pajamas and watch tv shows I missed during the week and couldn't be happier. 

So when I figured out who to incorporate toast into a dessert, I really thought I had created a winning recipe. Obviously not everyone agreed with that this recipe was a winner, because I didn't get into the finals of the recipe contest I entered it into, but I sure think it deserves a taste or two!

Sunday, 15 April 2012

The Best of Bread

I enter a lot of recipe contests. Sometimes I lose, sometimes I make it into the finals, and sometimes I win. Honestly, most of the time I lose...

Last month I entered quite a few recipes into contests about bread and not one of the recipes I entered made it into the finals. That's ok, though, because you while I didn't win anything, I created a lot of yummy recipes that I wouldn't have thought of otherwise!

This week (and probably next week too) I'll be sharing all of my newest recipes I created when racking my brain to come up with entries for this last round of contests. Who knows, maybe you'll think one of them is a winner!

Here's the first of the bunch, Bread and Butter Fish - the new crispy "skinned" fish!

Friday, 13 April 2012

The Best Leftovers Ever

Sometimes an idea just hits me and I wish I had come up with it years ago because it’s just that good. Usually those great ideas don’t have the word “leftover” in them, but this one not only has the word “leftover” in it, but it also may top the list of savoury treats I’ve come created.

This leftover ham recipe is a riff off something that you may have already seen on my blog. In fact, I actually won 4 litres of milk for a year from Island Farms with the original recipe!

So since I have already won a prize with a variation of this recipe, I know it’s off to a good start. And by adding ham and cheese into the mix, I had a good feeling that the recipe would be a winner.

I think I was right and this snack really is a winner, what do you think?

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Simple and Satisfying

Not all dinners need to be prepared in advance to avoid utter exhaustion. Some dinners can be whipped up in a flash and thoroughly enjoyed.

This dinner is one of those dinners and I have to say that it may be simple, but it’s also extremely satisfying. It’s creamy and good for you, all at the same time. You’d never know that I used skim milk and no cream!

Just don’t tell your friends that it only took one pot and 20 minutes to make, because they’ll all want the recipe and then the secret will be out.

Monday, 9 April 2012

Egg-cellent Idea!

This time of year you see a lot of pastels – pale pinks, baby blues, butter yellows, and spring greens. And I am not just talking about what people are wearing or flowers in gardens; I am talking about kitchen crafts.

Using eggs to get crafty in the kitchen is great because there are so many directions you can go:

- You can boil them and paint them, with the fun of eating strange coloured egg salad sandwiches after your project is finished.

- You can carefully breakaway the top of an egg, remove the egg white and yolk, fill the egg shell with a melted wax, stick a small candle into the still hot wax, and lay your creation over an egg cup for a unique holiday candle centerpiece. 

- Or, you can gently poke pin sized holes into either end and blow the egg white and yolk out one end before painting the egg shell, making your painted egg projects last longer.

The only problem with most of these projects is that you always have tons of leftover eggs, and scrambled eggs get old fast. So, here’s a fun spring recipe for a new take on a bread pudding. It uses a lot of eggs and tastes so good that you’ll wish you decorated more eggs! 

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Not Just For The Birds

Once upon a time, North American’s used the small, round, yellow grain called millot as a bird food. They didn’t eat it, even though it was protein rich and very healthy. African’s have always known better and eat the grain daily.

Today, North American’s eat millot. It’s eaten like rice pilaf or couscous and the mild, sweet flavour is very tasty.

I love indulging in a new grain because rice can get boring. And a new grain that pairs perfectly with cheese – well I think that millot and I are match made in heaven.

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Quick as a Bun

Everyone knows that the Easter Bunny is very quick. He runs around and delivers chocolate to all the little boys and girls of the world, all in one night.

And he doesn’t just place one basket of treats on the floor of each home either. Instead, he hides chocolates all over everyone’s homes. And I think that this year the Easter Bunny deserves a break.

At least a break from cooking something time intensive.

Today’s recipe is barely a recipe, but it is delicious and suits Easter perfectly.

So enjoy your egg hunts and don’t worry about what you’re going to make for dinner for the holiday because this recipe is as quick as a bun.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Luke's Super Sweet Twenty-Six

My Sweet Sixteen party was a night to remember. But not in the best way imaginable…

I had chosen a Barbie cake, you know the one where the cake is the Barbie’s skirt and then the baker puts an actual Barbie on top covered in icing?

Well, when the bakery made a slab cake and put a tiny Barbie in the corner instead of my special Barbie cake, I made myself into a super un-sweet person.

They realized their mistake and they not only gave me the slab cake for free, but they also gifted me with a dozen of roses. I should have taken the roses and the cake and smiled because everything was free, but I didn’t. I pouted.

That’s right, I pouted. But that was a long time and enough about me. 

Now it’s time to celebrate Luke’s Super Sweet Twenty-Six. Happy Birthday Sweetie! 

Here’s my Lemon Almond cake recipe; it’s sure to knock your socks off!

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

A Honey of a Meatball

Meatballs are like the chameleon of food because they can act amazing in so many different styles of cooking.

There’s the obvious choice of pairing meatballs with spaghetti and tomato sauce, my brother’s choice of stuffing them with cheese and rolling them with rice, the Italian wedding choice of serving them in soups, and the Hawaiian way of serving them with pineapple for an appetizer.

Meatballs are delicious in all of these ways and more. For instance, meatballs are also great served with a sticky sauce and rice.

Today’s recipe is a simple sticky sauced meatball meal that’s great to put together on a weeknight. But, the best part of this meal is that it doesn’t taste like you through it together on a weeknight.

It tastes special and delicious. Here’s my Easy Honey Garlic Meatball recipe!

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Snap, Crackle, Pop

I recently went to a cooking class and learned about the difference between buying pre-ground spices and grinding them yourself. The chef passed around a small container of pre-ground cumin seed and everyone thought it smelled delicious. 

Then he brought out some cumin seeds and brought them to life. That really made everyone smile and now I will ever seek out pre-ground cumin again. 

Want to toast your own cumin? It’s easier than you think and it smells a million times better than the pre-ground “dust”. 

First, put a small dry frying pan on high heat and put in the amount of cumin seeds you want use for your recipe.