Sunday, 31 March 2013

Dip a Dee Do Dah

I love a good spinach dip, especially one that's served hot and covered in cheese. But while they're as tasty as can be, they're not very good for you. 

Spinach dips clearly have spinach in them and spinach is of course good for you, but most dips are also chock full of mayonnaise and full fat sour cream. My Spinach Dip doesn't have mayonnaise or sour cream in it and it also doesn't have a lot of cheese, but this doesn't mean it's not tasty. 

My dip has yogurt to make it creamy, artichokes to add extra flavour, and enough cheese so you can taste it. It goes great with veggies, but it would also be wonderful served in a bread bowl!

Friday, 29 March 2013

Bun Buns

These buns are too perfect for Easter dinner. They're easy to make, taste like they're from a bakery, and they even look like little bunnies. I think. The only problem with them is that they're almost too cute to eat.

It took me a few tries to get them as close to perfect as I could for the holdiay. The first time they turned out like fat cats. If I had intended to make fats cats they would have been perfect, they tasted great! But I wanted bunnies for Easter.

Another try showed me my mistake was that I rolled round balls instead of longer pear shapes, my dough was too wet and I needed a little flour tossed on at the end, and I also didn't reshape the ears after I snipped them with scissors.

I don't think my Buns Buns are perfect yet, but I know they'll make a few smiles at my Easter dinner table. Read on for a chance to make your own Bun Buns, or Cat Buns if you like!

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

When Life Gives You Lemons...

Don't make lemonade, make this Lemon Meringue Pie! 

I might be a sucker for tart, lemony desserts, but even a sucker knows a great lemon dessert from an okay version of one. And this Lemon Meringue Pie is nothing but the best. 

I made it with a delicious shortbread crust instead of pastry to mimic lemon bars, the meringue is a mile high and fluffy, and the filling has orange juice in it as well as lemon juice so it's extra tart and bright yellow. 

I'd love to know if you ever discover a recipe that beats this one, but I won't be holding my breath while I wait! 

Monday, 25 March 2013

Oyster Mushrooms

Last Christmas Luke was given a kit that would grow oyster mushrooms. I was very excited to see how it would work, but a little unsure of the results would be because some similar kits I be received in the past didn't amount to much. 

This kit was different though. Seeing that first little mushroom erased every doubt in my mind and I was excited. Growing mushrooms we easier than I thought, once they got going, and I knew that a just picked mushroom would taste like a million bucks. 

Today's post doesn't feature oyster mushrooms I grew myself, they're still busy growing. Instead, I made a dish with mushrooms and oyster sauce. I like to think if it as a little snack before the main event of eating my harvest!

Saturday, 23 March 2013

From the Vault

I might be taking a break from eating steak right now, but I sure wasn't in the summer. Today's recipe is  one I created in the summer and I have to say that it would be perfect served on anything barbecued - fish, chicken, steak, or veggies. 

This sauce is based on my favourite chimichurri recipe but I've made it wonderfully creamy to make it extra special. I'm not sure if the South American creators of a chimichurri would agree with me about this, but I sure do love it!

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Carrot Cake in a Cup

When I serve dessert, I love to serve individual portions. Individual portions always look prettier and we eat with our eyes first, so looking good counts for a lot. 

Today's dessert recipe is a new version of one of my old faithful desserts, my favourite recipe for Carrot Cake and I added in a fruity banana frosting to make it extra special. I think my dessert looks yummy and I know you'll agree after just one bite! 

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Far Out Risotto

I almost always use arborio rice when I make risotto, but not today. Today I found a bag of another grain in the back of one of my cupboards and I thought I would try to make risotto out of it. 

Farro is a great grain; it has four times the amout of fibre as white rice and its complex carbs break down slowly so that you're full all day after eating it. 

Well, actually it's not true when i said was going to make risotto because you need rice to make risotto. I guess that means I'm making farotto!

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Best-o Pesto

Last year my basil did not not grow well. I might actually go so far as saying that it was the worst basil I've ever grown. And the worst part of that was that I didn't get to make any basil pesto for my freezer.

But I'm not worrying about that anymore. For one reason, I'm growing basil inside this year to ensure my plant doesn't get blown away by the wind and rain. And for the second reason, I've made a yummy Arugula Pesto that I am keen on making again.

Nothing says happy St. Patty's Day like green dinners, does it? And I think this pesto would be great on a simple Irish side of potatoes!

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Souper Trooper

Oh, soup. Soup is a wonderful thing. It can be hot or cold, silky smooth or chunky, meaty or vegetarian, and elegant or rustic. The possibilities for soup are pretty much endless.

Today I wanted a really simple soup and I wanted it to be spicy, bold, and smooth. I got hooked on the idea of making it a mushroom soup and it was amazing. The only thing I wasn't so fond of about this soup was the colour, but a little yogurt and basil garnish went a long way.

Thursday, 14 March 2013

In a Jam

The other night I was baking cupcakes for a friend and realized I had very little icing sugar. I wasn't going to serve my cupcakes bare, so I had to figure something out.

I looked through my cupboards and saw that I had some jam and decided I would try to make something work. While I mixed up my new recipe I envisioned myself stopping at the grocery store the next morning to pick up some pre made icing, but I still crossed my fingers that my recipe might turn out. 

Amazingly, it worked. I was out of my jam by using jam. :) And you know what, it tasted great!

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Paella - Take Two

Paella used to be one of Luke's tiny pile of recipes that he could make and I could enjoy, but that's no more. Now I've improved upon his recipe so much that it's turned into a dish that I can make and he can enjoy.

I'm not so sure that I like the sounds of being treated to a home cooked meal less, but I know I love my new recipe. It's more authentic because there is only fish in it, no chorizo, but the awesome flavours are still there.

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Popeye Sandwich

As a child I loved a breakfast my mom called a Popeye Sandwich. It doesn't have spinach or any muscles at all, so looking back, I am not sure why I just accepted the name.

Most people call this breakfast Egg in the Hole Or Toad in the Hole, but I'll keep my old name. I'll keep the name even though I now don't think that it was named after the muscular, spinach eating man. I now think the sandwich was named a Popeye Sandwich because there's one egg, or one eye, in the middle and the other eye was popped out.

Who knows if I'm right, all I know is the sandwich tastes yummy and brings me back 20 years ago.

Friday, 8 March 2013

Gardener's Pie

I read the name Gardener's Pie in a cookbook the other day and loved it so much that I had to make my own version. I think that this recipe goes to show that eating a vegetarian meal can lead to sentences like "this is delicious" instead of "this is delicious, for a vegetarian meal". 

I packed a lot of flavours into this dish and it is really quick to make, especially if you make a double batch of my Garlic Cream Cheese Mashed Potatoes, one for the night before and one to save to top this dish the next night. 

The ground soy product tastes great to me, but you could always substitute ground meat if prefer. 

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Squashing Hunger

I am a hungry person. I see food, I get hungry, and I want to eat it. This happens even after I've just finished a great meal. 

To make myself feel better about the little bowl of chips I often want after dinner, I try and fill up on healthy veggies at dinner. And to keep myself interested in said veggies, I try and make lots of new combinations because who can get excited about steamed broccoli seven nights a week? 

Today's post is a new casserole that filled me up and also filled me with excitement. It was delicious and easy, perfect for a weeknight. 

Monday, 4 March 2013

Duck and Cover

Yesterday I went to China Town and bought a half Peking duck. I don't normally get excited about buying pre-cooked poultry but Peking duck is something I have no interest in making. It just sounds way too time consuming and they're done right in China Town, so why bother. 

I was planning on making some amazing duck spring rolls, but my wrappers wouldn't cooperate and I ended up with a delicious salad instead. I guess it just goes to show you that a new recipe is just around the corner and you never know where you'll find it. 

Stay tuned for my duck spring roll recipe in the future and read on for this tasty salad recipe now.

Saturday, 2 March 2013

The New Soup Topper

I have dishes on my blog that I make on a regular basis, my Chocolate Banana Brownies and my newly discovered Celebration Lasagna often top that list. But neither of those posts are your favourite. My most viewed post is for my Crispy Spiced Chickpeas and today I'm sharing a recipe to make that snack into a great meal. 

I love a good spicy tomato soup and I love crackers with a bowl of it, but there are no crackers in today's post. Today I'm swapping crackers for Crispy Spiced Chickpeas and thrilled about it. Read on for my recipe!