October 2nd, 2010
Ok since we came back from South America, I’ve been trying to eat more meat. Just once or twice a week. Last weekend I decided we would be having bison. But I also wanted something different. So off I went to Gluten Free Goddess to see what I could find.
I found a fantastic alternative to eggplant parmesan. Basically a casserole of eggplant, tomatoes, onions, bison and some seasoning. It was fairly easy to make, just a bit time consuming. You need to plan to let your eggplant ‘weep’ for about an hour at a minimum. The mint on top of the dish is a nice touch. It actually helps the dish taste even better the next day.
The nice thing about this dish is you could use bison or beef. Or if you wanted to stick to a vegetarian option, use a variety of mushrooms instead of ground meat. Next time I make it, I’ll also add some extra veggies, like carrots, green peppers and celery instead of just tomatoes.
The pictures don’t do it justice – I only had my Iphone handy but I swear it was really good. R never eats eggplant and he couldn’t wait to get to the leftovers! I will definitely make this again.
September 26th, 2010
We are back from a great three weeks in South America. The trip was lots of fun…the good was amazing!
My first baking task when I got back was a gift for someone. She’s had a craving for coffee cake with a taste of pumpkin. And she really likes lemon tasting things. Lucky I found a recipe for maple glazed pumpkin coffee cake, and the glaze had a hint of lemon to it.
One thing I noticed was that when I was pouring it into the bundt pan is it was heavy and thick. I was worried that it wouldn’t bake all the way through, but it was fine and everyone seemed to like it. Also, the glaze doesn’t taste “very maple-y” more like a citrus glaze.
This was pretty easy to make and tastes like pumpkin pie. It would make a great addition to a fall menu or a nice substitute at thanksgiving.
August 10th, 2010
Obviously I haven’t been blogging but that’s because I haven’t been baking. After pastry boot camp, I had weddings, birthdays, work and we’re off for a few weeks to South America. When we get back in the middle of September, I will resume posting. My sincerest apologies. See you in the fall.
July 11th, 2010
No new post as I’m in Edmonton for the week taking NAIT’s pastry boot camp. I’ll try to post during the week but the days are long, 7 am to 7pm. I’d like to make it to the gym in between and visit with my wonderful hosts (a friend of the family was kind enough to let me stay with her and her husband and her two twin daughters…cutest kids ever!). Stay tuned…
July 4th, 2010
These are my favourite! They are so delicious and make a great breakfast snack or a light evening dessert. They also freeze really well. I got the recipe from Alive magazine. It’s a great magazine that always has healthy recipes that are easy.
I made a few substitutions but overall the recipe is really easy. Just a few suggestions. First, in order to get your egg whites hard, put your bowl and cake beaters in the freezer for as long as you can. That way the egg whites stiffen. Second, do not try to double this recipe. It’s better to make two separate batches. I tried to double and it was really hard to get 4 egg whites to stiffen and I didn’t really get double the recipe. Also, instead of putting the strawberries on top of the tea cake next time I would try mixing it into the batter.
Here’s the recipe I used:
3/4 cup almond flour
1/4 cup millet flour
3 Tbsp agave
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 Tbsp applesauce
1 Tbsp butter, melted
2 large egg whites
1/2 cup fresh strawberries
1. Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C). Lightly grease a muffin pan; set aside.
2. Mix together almond flour and millet flour; and baking powder in bowl. Stir in applesauce, agave, and butter.
3. In separate bowl, beat egg whites with an electric mixer for 4 minutes, or until soft peaks form. Gently fold egg whites into almond mixture.
4. Fill each muffin cup half-full with batter and top with an uneven number of strawberries (or try stirring into the batter).
5. Bake 15 to 20 minutes, or until edges are slightly browned. Cool 10 minutes before unmolding.
June 6th, 2010
It’s pretty rare that R. and I can eat the same dinner. He’s not really a lover of fish. The other day S had a post for wonton soup and R. and I were salivating! Since I can occasionally have turkey we decided to try turkey wonton soup. Delicious! And so easy!
The foodnetwork had a great recipe and we just made some substitutions. One thing that no recipe told me was how to cook the meat. I always assumed you cook the meat first then fill the wrapper. Apparently not, you just boil the wrapper with the raw meat and it cooks.
Some recipes suggested cooking the wontons in the soup broth but other recipes suggested cooking the wontons seperately so they don’t stick together. R. and I opted for the latter, which increases your cooking time but you can always snack on a few wontons in between!
Also, be sure not to stuff the wontons with too much meat otherwise they’ll explode.
Here’s the recipe we came up with:
500 grams ground turkey (or any other ground meat)
1/4 c canned water chestnuts, finely chopped
One bunch of chives, chopped
2 tsp soy sauce
Salt and pepper
6 c vegetable broth
1 c water
2 tbsp fish sauce
As many veggies as you like: We opted for chopped carrots, spinach and bok choy
Preparing the Wontons
1. In a bowl, combine all the ingredients (except the wrappers). Season with salt and pepper. Mash everything together.
2. Place approx 2 teaspoons of the meat mixture in the centre of the wrapper. Moisten the outside border with water. Seal by lifting up the wrapper and squeezing the edges together. Transfer to a baking sheet. Stuff remaining wrappers.
3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, gently lower all wontons with a slotted spoon into boiling water, dropping them one by one, so they don’t stick together. Boil until the meat is cooked and the wontons float, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Be careful not to add too many wontons to the pot otherwise they will stick together.
4. Drain in a colander.
Preparring the Soup
1. In a large pot, bring the brother, water and fish sauce to a boil. Add vegetables and cook for 6 minutes. Add wontons and let simmer for 1 to 2 minutes. Serve.
May 30th, 2010
I wanted to make some cupcakes for a co-worker’s birthday recently. When I asked him what his favourite combination was, he said chocolate and caramel. Coincidentally, foodbuzz had a chocolate caramel cupcake recipe that I was dying to try. The bad news? I only had four hours to bake and ice the cupcakes as I had a mani/pedi appointment. I could do it, right? Epic fail! The first batch was fine except I have lots of scratches on my muffin tins so they actually stuck to the pan. When making these cupcakes, make sure you line your muffin tins as opposed to grease them.
Since I had to make another batch, I was short on time so I didn’t cut out the centers of the cupcake and fill it with icing. Instead, I iced the cupcakes and shoved a caramilk bar square in the middle. It was a great combination and was a hit with the taste-testers.
I have two criticisms of this recipe though: t the icing isn’t as thick as it could be, it’s more of a glaze (but it is delicious) and the cupcakes are a bit dry. I think maybe I baked them one or two minutes too long. However, anything after those delicious chocolate guinness cupcakes would seem dry. In fact, a few weeks later I made those chocolate guinness cupcakes again and used the caramel icing from this recipe. Delicious!
Overall, the recipe is easy to make. And I’m sure it would be easy to fill them if you had the time. Enjoy!
May 23rd, 2010
Tonight is the end of LOST. It was a tradition in law school for me and A to watch it together. When I moved back home, it became a tradition for R and I. It’s a great show and I will miss it as much as I will miss the tradition that goes with it. To celebrate the end I decided to make a Hawaiian style meal (for those of you that don’t watch the show, that is where they film it).
I opted for Mahi Mahi because I had never made it before but have always heard great things about it. It was so easy to work with and I think I even overcooked it by a minute and it didn’t crumble or turn rubbery like other fish can. As well, it didn’t have a strong fish smell so my house didn’t stink. And it tasted awesome. It’s dense and kind of tastes like chicken (weird I know). This recipe was super easy and only took about an hour including marinating time. A side tip my fishmonger gave me for cooking fish is that you want it to be about 60°F. You can measure the temperature with a small meat thermometer by inserting the thermometer parallel to the fish. There is also the touch test which I didn’t really understand and it’s too hard to tell what works.
As my side dish, a salad was most appealing since R and I are both on strict training diets. Plus I always love the spinach strawberry salads at restaurants so might as well come up with a homemade recipe. This was so easy. It took about 15 minutes to make. It was light and refreshing.
If you’re an average cook, I strongly recommend these recipes as they will make you seem like a pro!
May 16th, 2010
A couple of months ago, J had us over for dinner. She gave me some recipes to pick from and we decided on Martha’s Steamed Halibut with Lemon Olive Quinoa Salad
. Sound delicious? Well it was and it required no substitutions. It was so good that I decided to make it for my dad a few weeks ago (mom was out of town). My dad is an awesome cook; nobody’s cooking is ever good enough. Well, he was sufficiently impressed with this meal. It didn’t wow him but there was no complaints either. I had never used a bamboo steamer so I was unsure about this dish but the bamboo steamer is idiot proof and it does the trick!
The best part is it’s really easy to make. My Lemon Olive Quinoa Salad was pretty plain though. It’s not as flavourful as some of the other Quinoa dishes I’ve made. Perhaps more salt next time. The salad keeps pretty well as leftovers in the week.
As per Jen’s suggestion, I also made up a cucumber, green pepper and blanched asparagus salad with some balsamic vinegar. This worked as the perfect side dish.