Chewy Ginger Snaps

20 Dec IMG_0895

I started making these ginger snaps last year as a request from my sister for her birthday. “Gingersnaps… but chewier” was the request, which at the time was a bit paradoxical, being that its characteristic hard texture is part of the cookie’s name.  Nevertheless, one party favor led to  another and I’ve become known for these soft gingersnaps, regardless of what time of the year it is. Gingersnaps in summer? Why not.

Luckily its the holidays, so now I can feel a bit more temporally justified in making gingersnaps to go along, perhaps, with some mulled wine. Really I just want to make the two of them together because in the film Amelie, her darling neighbor offers her gingersnaps and mulled wine, an endearing gesture and a fine culinary combination.

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IPA, Mustard, and Cheese Twist Bread

14 Aug 1010910_10200226235762905_1975993206_n

Ohhhh so good. All my friends have been asking for this recipe and I’ve been quite lame and long to respond. But I am here nonetheless to post!

The original idea of the recipe comes from smittenkitchen.com, I’ve adapted the recipe a bit to make for a curious twist in the bread. Easier and quicker preparation.

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Mulligatawny… in a Slow Cooker!

6 Jun IMG_0088

This is an easy-peasy mulligatawny. Delicious as a soup served with some toast or as a dinner time meal or over a bed of rice and garnished with cilantro.

I was originally inspired to make this recipe for the blog spoonforkbacon.com but adapted the recipe and shaved some calories by not cooking the veggies in butter or oil, but just throwing them in the slow cooker and letting them infuse with fellow spices and flavors overnight. I’m also trying to steer clear of baking and cooking over the stove during this already horribly humid summer, so it was doubly rewarding to make this meal in a slow cooker! Slow cookers are great for that reason in the summer, and I would have no doubt that this would take great served cool on a hot summer day.

I’m really happy with how this came out. Vegan, low cal, gluten free, dairy free, and full of veggies, some fruit and spices, it’s easy to make, inexpensive, and tastes delicious. Directions are here too, but really all you do is chop everything up, put it in the slow cooker, put it on low, sleep, and wake up to delicious food. Amazing, right?

  • Prep time: 30 minutes
  • Cook time: 8-10 hours or overnight (on low) or 3-4 hours (on high)
  • Nutritional information: 264 calories per serving (without rice) More here.

You’ll need:

  • 1 leek, chopped
  • 2 whole carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 2 small apples, peeled, cored, and diced
  • 1 green chili pepper, seeds removed, chopped
  • 1/2 C dry red lentils
  • 85 g coconut cream dissolved in 1 C water, or 1 C of coconut milk
  • 3 C chicken stock
  • 1 T freshly minced ginger
  • 1 T curry
  • 1 t turmeric
  • 2 t Garam Masala
  • 1 t cumin
  • 1 t sugar
  • dash of cinnamon
  • dash of cardamom
  • salt and pepper
  • OPTIONAL: Raisins and cilantro to garnish

Directions:

1. Chop up all the vegetables you will be using, and place them in the slow cooker.
2. Pour coconut milk and chicken stock on top.
3. Add spices and stir.
4. Set on low overnight or about 8 hours, or high for 3-4 hours.
5. Turn off slow cooker. Allow to cool.
6. Cream ingredients in food processor or using immersion blender.
7. Serve as soup, or over rice to make a hearty meal.
OPTIONAL: Garnish with cilantro and raisins.

Makes 4 generous 1-cup servings

TIP:

You may use onions, green onions, and tomatoes if you like. I happened to have leeks but did not have green onion or yellow onions, however, these would have been more traditional ingredients for Mulligatawny. A lot of recipes include tomatoes too. I actually just totally forgot about those vegetables. Put tomatoes in yours if you like!

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The Cookies Everyone Beg For

14 May

All my friends have been asking for my cookie recipe, you know, the one I use on a day-to-day basis, the easy and simple chocolate chip for everyone.

I have to admit to everyone that due to the high volume of cookies I make, I rarely do cook a full batch. Thus, I make a half batch. And when I make a half batch, it is never worth all the liquidity of an entire egg. So… I use liquor! I know it sounds strange, but it gives it a nice crispiness on the outside and a softness on the inside. So its my new favorite trick.

You’ll need:

  • 1/2 c brown sugar (100 g)
  • 1/2 c butter (115 g)
  • 1 t vanilla extract (5 ml)
  • 1-2 T liquor (rum, whiskey, a flavored something of your choice!) (15-30 ml)
  • 1 t salt (5 ml)
  • 1 t baking soda (5 ml)
  • 1 c flour (125 g)
  • 1 T corn starch (15 ml)
  • 1/2 c chopped up chocolate or chocolate chips (84 g)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325* F ( 160*C)
  2. Mix brown sugar, butter, vanilla, and liquor until creamy and well blended.
  3. Add salt, baking soda, and corn starch
  4. Add half of the flour and stir until incorporated. Add remaining flour.
  5. Add chocolate.
  6. Divide into round 2T dough balls and place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper or sprayed down with cooking oil.
  7. Bake for 8 minutes in preheated oven.
  8. Makes around 12-18 cookies.
  9. Enjoy!

Easy Variations:

Soft Gingersnap:

  • Use only 1/3 cup of brown sugar
  • Add a couple T of molasses
  • Add 1T freshly grated ginger
  • Add 1/2 t pumpkin pie spice and 1/2 t of cinnamon
  • Roll dough balls in sugar or sesame seeds before baking

White Chocolate and Crasin:

  • Substitute chocolate chips for equal amounts of White Chocolate chips and Crasins

Gluten Free Quinoa-Banana Pancakes

13 May OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

These are really a delicious and hearty breakfast option. Even the lover of all carbs will be charmed by this number.

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You’ll need:

  • 1 banana, mashed (preferably one which is more ripe)
  • 1/2 cup of uncooked quinoa, prepared to package instructions (around 1 cup prepared quinoa)
  • 2 T sugar
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 or 2 t cinnamon
  • 1/4 c corn starch
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • Maple Syrup for serving
  • optional: Almond milk

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, whisk egg whites until frothy.
  2. Add sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, baking soda, and corn starch. Incorporate until smooth.
  3. Using a spoon or spatula, add all of the cooked quinoa and banana. Stir well. Batter should have same consistency of normal pancake batter. If too thick, add almond milk by the tablespoon. Too thin, add corn starch by the tablespoon.
  4. Heat a griddle on medium-high. Be sure to use a non-stick pan and grease before each pancake.
  5. Pour 1/4 cup of batter onto the griddle. Once bubbles form and pop on batter it is time to flip. Cook on both sides and serve with maple syrup.
  6. Make about 8 pancakes.

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Japanese Ginger-Carrot Salad

13 May OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Pardon me for my hiatus from food blogging. It has been a busy past couple months, and I’ve recently finished my undergraduate at the University of Toronto! Although I have been cooking and accumulating a great deal of photos to post, I haven’t quite gotten to the computer to document the magic.

I’ve been cooking up a fair share of Vegetarian and Vegan dishes lately. This one, is Vegan, Gluten Free, and Dairy Free, so invite all your friends and cook this up for a refreshing Spring/Summer meal!

You’ll Need:

For THE {Ginger-Carrot Dressing} SAUCE

  • Ginger, minced
  • half a lime,  juiced (or more to taste)
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil
  • 2 T Soy Sauce
  • 2 t Sesame Oil
  • 3-4 t Apple Cider Vinegar (or Rice Vinegar if you have it!)
  • 5-6 Baby Carrots
  • 1-2 cloves minced garlic
  • Couple tablespoons of ketchup
  • 1 T sugar
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • Ingredients for the SAUCE

    Ingredients for the SAUCE

For The Salad:

  • Half of Napa Cabbage, shredded
  • Half of a cucumber, julliened
  • 5-6 radishes, cut into disks
  • Sesame seeds for sprinkling

Directions:

  1. Get ready to blend your ingredients for the sauce together. Using a food processor, blend all your sauce ingredients.

    A fun trick: Cut your lime in half, and place in a low dish. Microwave for 30 seconds. This will help you get the most of the lime juice from your lime.

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2. Then, slide up your salad. Assemble with dressing (use it liberally!) and cover with sesame seeds.

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Enjoy!

Braised Chicken Breast stuffed with Feta & Sundried Tomato

23 Mar IMG_3990

(Did I mention its wrapped in bacon and served with roasted potatoes and Hazelnut Crusted Brussels Sprouts)

Mmm. I love braised chicken, its always a go to. Ever since I met Chicken Cacciatorie I’ve been in love. Bone-in chicken always does quite well with braising, but why not jazz up chicken breast for this easy but impressive eat? You’re next dinner party, perhaps?

You’ll need:

For the chicken:

  • 1 lb chicken breast, sliced thin and pounded flat
  • 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup feta
  • 1/4 cup parmesean cheese
  • 4-5 sun-dried tomatoes in their juices, (or with additional olive oil if they are not preserved in oil)
  • Juice of half a lime
  • Zest of a lime
  • 6 slices of bacon (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • olive oil for searing
  • twine for tying

For the Brussels sprouts:

  • 1lb of Brussels sprouts
  • 2 to 3 T olive oil
  • 1/3 cup of hazelnuts, minced
  • salt and pepper

For The [Gravy] Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup of white wine
  • 1 1/2 cups of chicken stock
    • 2 T butter
    • 2 T flour
    • 1 t group savory, or whatever seasoning you fancy

Directions:

Brussels Sprouts to be baked with Chicken

  1. Preheat oven to 350*F
  2. Mince hazelnuts and set aside
  3. Halve brussels sprouts and set aside
  4. In a tupperware container, add brussels sprouts, hazelnuts, olive oil and salt and pepper, and toss to coat.
  5. Place on a non-stick tray and cook with chicken (below) in a 350*F oven for about 20-25 minutes.

Chicken

  1. Preheat oven to 350*F
  2. Slice your chicken breasts if necessary, and smack them smartly until flattened.
    IMG_3983
  3. In a bowl or food processor, mix sundried tomatoes, olive oil, cheese, lime and zest until ingredients create a fine grain that forms when squeezed together.
  4. IMG_3984
  5. Place your chicken on wax paper or parchment and spread a drop of olive oil on each and flip over.
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  6. Season the flip side with a hint of salt and pepper. Divide the cheesy sun-dried tomato mixture on the chicken breasts and press it down firmly.
  7. IMG_3986
  8. Carefully, or perhaps even with the help of a friend, roll each breast up tightly (rolling lengthwise) and securing with twine.
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  10. In a hot pan, heat a table spoon of olive oil and sear the chicken on all sides until brown. Don’t concern yourself whether the chicken is fully cooked, it will be baked thoroughly in the following steps.
  11. IMG_3988
  12. If you dare (I would recommend), wrap each chicken in 1 or 2 slices of bacon.
  13. Place the chicken in a baking dish, and add wine and stock. Cover with a tin foil.
  14. Bake for around 35 minutes or until cooked.
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  16. Serve with Brussels sprouts and enjoy!
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Gravy

  1. After you cook your chicken, reserve the chicken stock and wine mixture for gravy.
  2. In a man on medium heat, melt butter.
  3. Add flour and whisk until combined.
  4. Slowly, add wine & stock mixture
  5. Allow to bubble and thicken. Add salt to taste. Serve with the chicken. :-)

Mofongo Relleno with Lime-infused Black Beans and Rice

2 Feb Mofongo_2

It was a Friday night and the ladies stayed in, taking pictures of food, making chocolate molten cakes with ice cream and watching bad romantic comedies. So much food. To start the day off right, I decided to cook up these black beans that had been sitting around for a while that needed to be eaten. I made way too much. We’ll be having black beans for a while, but they’re versatile, so its OK! Check out what I’m making with the leftovers after the recipe.

P.S. If you omit the mayonnaise for some tahini, this is an easy vegan recipe!

You’ll need…

For the Lime-Infused Black Beans you’ll need:

  • 1/2 pound dried black beans, rinsed and picked over
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 T Mexican spicy seasoning or Cajun Seasoning with a little cumin
  • 1 lime, halved

For the Mofongo Relleno you’ll need:

  • 3 plantains
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 handful cilantro, minced
  • Lots of olive oil
  • Salt, pepper
  • 1 cup of rice, for the side

For THE AVACADO-GARLIC AOILI SAUCE (not pictured, sorry) you’ll need:

  • 1 avacado
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 spoonfuls of  tahini (or mayonnaise if you wish)
  • pinch of cumin
  • salt, pepper

Directions:

Before you get cooking, know that the black beans will take around 8 hours to cook unless you’re planing on using canned beans. Wake up and start the beans, make the rest around dinner time.

For the beans:

  1. In a slow cooker, add beans, vegetable stock, seasoning, and lime.
  2. Put a lid on it, cook at low for 8 hours. Easy.
  3. 8 hours later, turn off your slow cooker and work on making dinner!

For the Mofono Relleno:

  1. Start by preparing your rice.
  2. Peel and slice your plantains and add them to a pot of boiling water and cook them with salt for about 10 minutes
  3. Drain water and set plantains aside in a bowl
  4. Return pot to stove on medium heat and add oil
  5. Add minced garlic and stir
  6. Add plantains and chicken stock
  7. Cook for several minutes and begin mashing plantains with mashed-potato masher
  8. When a good consistency, add minced cilantro and salt and pepper to taste.

For the Avacado-Garlic Aoili:

  1. In a medium bowl, mash all the ingredients together with a fork. Done.

To serve:

Take a small bowl and cover inside in olive oil. Add the mashed plantains to the bowl and press down firmly. Flip the small bowl onto a plate and allow plantains to fall out. Serve with black beans, rice, and Avacado-Garlic Aoili sauce. Add cilantro for garnish or Sri Racha if you like.

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Leftovers?

With the leftover Mofongo Relleno I made:

  • Puerto Rican Plantain Patties

Mofongo_3

With the leftover Lime-Infused Black Beans I made:

  • Spicy Black Bean Dip
  • Refried Black Beans

Salvadorian Breakfast Cakes

10 Jan IMG_3838

…They’re so good. I’ve been oogling over this recipe for quite some time and decided to make them today for my Birthday. This is a lightly adapted recipe that I found on Food52, I just tried to make it a little more healthy. Seems to have worked out pretty well- these little cakes are still super super savory, buttery, cheesy delicious and gluten-free.

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Makes 18 cakes.

You’ll need:

  • 1/2 cup of butter
  • 1/2 cup nonfat greek yogurt
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 cup of sour cream
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 grated parmesean
  • 1 cup rice flour
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1 t salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350* and line muffin tin with cup-cake tins.
  2. Cream together butter, yogurt, and sugar.
  3. Add eggs 1 by one until fully incorporated.
  4. Add grated parmesean and sour cream and mix thouroughly.
  5. Finally, add rice flour, baking powder and salt gradually into the mix.
  6. Divvy batter into 18 cup cakes (filling batter pretty high in the tin, these guys won’t rise so much since they’re made of rice flour so don’t worry about overflow.)
  7. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. You can use either white or black (or none) but I thought the black gave a nice aesthetic touch.
  8. Bake for 20-22 minutes. Enjoy! Continue reading

Savory French Toast Sandwich with Bacon, Sauteed Onions, and Arugula

31 Dec IMG_0757

I made this for breakfast today when I couldn’t decide between french toast and something like meat and eggs. I’d heard a bit about savory french toast but never actually experimented myself, so I decided to give it a go and found that it was the best decision in a very very long time. This was heavenly: savory by the nature of the french toast and sauteed onions, made sweet by a dab of maple syrup mixed into the batter, and finishes off crispy and fresh with the arugula….and then bacon. Of course. Who doesn’t love bacon. Since the french toast makes it savory and dense already, I opted for dressing the sandwich with baby bell spreadable cheese rather than sliced cheese, and just added a good spread of dijon mustard because I am a dijon aficionado. This sandwich makes the BEST breakfast and can be an awesome lunch too- it doesn’t need to be bothered by any luncheon meats or heavy cheeses. It’s all good the way it is.

Make this for someone who’s indecisive like me, and needs the best of all worlds.

Prep: 10 minutes. Ready in 30. Makes 3 sandwiches.

You’ll need…

For THE SAUCE You’ll need:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup non-fat yogurt
  • 1 t each of nutmeg, coriander, and any Italian herb of your preference (I used dried oregano)
  • 2T maple syrup

For the rest, You’ll need:

  • 6 slices of bread
  • 1 medium-large onion, sliced
  • 1T each of salted butter and olive oil
  • 1 or 2t Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 triangles of baby bell spreadable cheese (any spreadable cheese like goat cheese would work well too)
  • dijon mustard
  • 6 slices of bacon
  • handful of arugula

Directions:

  1. Mix ingredients for THE SAUCE in a bowl with a whisk until well blended. Pour into a deep plate to dip slices of bread.
  2. Warm up a frying pan to medium heat and pour a bit of olive oil and swirl around. After covering both sides of bread in the savoury-sauce batter, place the soaked bread in the frying pan and do your normal french toast magic. Flip on both sides, and place on a plate until all slices are cooked. Set aside, in a warm place if possible.
  3. In the same pan, heat olive oil and butter. Add sliced onions and saute until wilted and fragrant.
  4. While cooking onions, cook your bacon.
  5. Return to your onions and add Worcestershire sauce. Turn off heat.
  6. Time to assemble your sandwiches! This part is easy. 1 slice french toast, cheese, Dijon, onions, bacon, arugula, other slice, and then slice that baby and enjoy.

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