Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Grilling Caesar

I think I actually can now say that I am a big fan of grilled lettuce. I used to think that lettuce was something I'd never like warm, it's like cucumber and should always be kept cool and crispy. But now that I've tried a second recipe for a grilled salad, I know I am officially a fan. 

My first grilled salad recipe was for Iceburg lettuce wedges with a ranch dressing, and it was delicious, but my second grilled salad recipe is awesome too. It's a grilled Caesar salad and who doesn't love Caesar salad? 

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Flavour Bombs

I have a favourite recipe for banana muffins so I am always unsure about trying something new. So even though when I heard that Janet and Greta Podleski's Bananaberry Bombs were too good to pass up, I almost passed them up. 

After just one bite, I was happy I tried out the recipe. They're now my favourite banana muffin recipe and these flavour bombs really shouldn't be missed! 

If you don't like bananas, or don't have any super ripe ones, I would suggest trying these muffins with apple sauce in the banana's place. I often substitute mashed banana and apple sauce and have always gotten great results. 

Read on for my version of Bananaberry Bombs (AKA Applebarb Bombs) or visit the Looneyspoon's website for their original delicious version. 

Friday, 26 July 2013

President Obama's Favourite Salmon

This recipe is adapted from Art Smith's Healthy Comfort and as Art and the President are neighbours in Chicago, he should know what President Obama's favourite salmon dish is. 

I don't know why I thought I should make this dish my own, but I did. I decided that despite the original version being President Obama's favourite, I wanted my version to have a little more honey, a little more ginger, and a lot more sesame seeds. I am sure the original version tastes great, but I wonder what President Obama would say if he tried my sauce?  

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Speedy Desserts Guest Post on Hungry Little Girl

Yesterday I guest posted on Hungry Little Girl and I just had to share the recipe with all of you today. It's super quick to make, plus it tastes amazing. And when I say quick, I mean quick - it's a microwaveable chocolate cake that cooks in the microwave for 90 short seconds! 

I'll let you head over to Hungry Little Girl to read my whole guest post, or you can just read on for the recipe now, make it, and read my post on Hungry Little Girl while you're eating it! 

Monday, 22 July 2013

Picnic with A Punch

Dill hasn't always been one of my go-to herbs. It packs a big punch and I usually only like it in a pickle form. But today dill has a starring role in the dish I'm showing you and I have to say that the flavour it brought to my salad was amazing. 

I don't know if dill will continue to star in a lot of dishes I make, but I do know that my Roasted Beet and Lentil Salad wouldn't have been the same without it. I think it would be perfect for a picnic or for night relaxing on your back porch.  

So here's to dill and a salad that dill helped to make dill-icious! Read on for the yummy recipe! 

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Spicy Chocolate Dusted Cauliflower

Do you remember the scene in the 2003 Christmas movie "Elf" where Will Ferrell's character, Buddy the Elf, is eating spaghetti? He's covering his spaghetti with maple syrup, pop tarts, M&Ms, chocolate syrup, and mini marshmallows? When I first saw that scene I thought about the gross sugar overload, but then I wondered if it might actually be yummy. 

Today's post is similar in theory to my Buddy the Elf challenge (a challenge I have yet to take), but not quite the same because I don't think cauliflower is one of an elf's main food groups. Today's post is based on a challenge I received to pair chocolate and cauliflower in one delicious dish. It was hard to come up with something, but I think I ended the challenge as a winner! 

We really enjoyed the end result of Hungry Little Girl's Crazy Ingredient Challenge and I hope you do too. Read on for my Spicy Chocolate Dusted Cauliflower recipe!  

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Caesar Pasta Salad

Caesar salad and I are great friends. We often hang out together on a warm summer night with a glass of cool white wine. But this summer I've gotten a little bored with my old friend and decided that she needed a little sprucing up, so I introduced a little pasta, veggies, and beans into the mix. And talk about hitting it off, this salad is amazing. 

My favourite thing about this salad, besides the Caesar dressing, are the zucchini ribbons I tossed in. They were lightly heated with the warm pasta, so they wilted slightly and were warm. I know I'm going to toss them in to a lot more pasta salads too. 

Monday, 15 July 2013

A Doll of a Dal

Dal is a delicious and easy first vegetarian dish. It's made with lentils which are easy to make and little protein powerhouse to boot. 

To make lentils all you do is simmer them away in salted water. They're pretty hard to mess up and taste great in everything from appetizers to dinners and even desserts. 

Dal is an Indian dish, but I think it would taste great with a lot of different spices. I know I will be trying out a few different combinations and I hope you do too. 

Saturday, 13 July 2013

A Cup of Happiness

I love heading to my local Farmer's Market and picking out fruit for a weekend brunch fruit salad, but I'm always looking for new ways to make my fruit salads sparkle. Sometimes I add in special fruit like gooseberries with their little wrappers still on or star fruit cut into slices and slipped onto the sides of bowls for a special garnish, but today I've topped all my previous tricks. Today I've finally made successful Chocolate Chip Cookie Cups to serve my fruit salad in! 

I've tried to make chocolate chip cookie bowls before but I've failed miserably every single time. I think my biggest problem was that my dough has always been too soft and wet so my cookie bowls slid down their moulds into sloppy messes. This time my dough was very dry and my cookies stayed in place and baked to perfection. 

Now my only problem is that I'm going to need to go to the Farmer's Market again because we've eaten all the fruit in my Chocolate Chip Cookie Cups! 

Thursday, 11 July 2013

The Thrill of the Grill

I've told before that I love grilling, but I know I've never told you about grilling scallops. Because scallops are so small, especially bay scallops, I've never wanted to run the risk of trying to grill them and losing some of the sweet little treasures through the grates into the coals below.

But that's all changed now because I came up with an awesome and truly simple idea. I threaded bay scallops into skewers and grilled them like kabobs. It was so simple and, since I've never had a better scallop before, I know I'll be grilling scallop kabobs for appys all through the summer! 

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Greek Freak

Lately I have been enjoying salads a lot more. I think it's because summer is here and a quick, cool meal during a weeknight is an amazing treat. 

But I often find that salads don't always fill me up because for the most part, salads don't have enough carbs for my liking. That's where this cold pasta salad packed full of tuna and Greek salad veggies and feta comes in! 

I came up with it one night when I was in the mood to veg out on my sofa for the night and had little energy for anything else. I ended up whipping up this quick and filling salad full of veggies and vegged out until my hearts content! 

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Fanny Bay Makes Good Oysters

About two hours away from me is Fanny Bay, BC and when anyone around here hears the words "Fanny Bay", there's only one thing I know of that comes to mind - oysters! 

I remember the first time I tried an oyster and it was not a pretty sight. I was working in tourism and was on a working trip to PEI. We visited the lovely Avonlea Village and they had brought in a fiddling group and an oyster shucker for us. I loved the fiddling group and was wiggling away in my own special version of dancing, but was definitely shying away from the oyster shucker. 

The oyster shucker was interesting and talented, he barely touched the oysters and they were shucked, but I did not want one of those slimy things in my mouth. Unfortunately it looked like everyone else felt the same as I did and no one was heading over to eat one of his freshly shucked oysters.

I couldn't let the oyster shucker shuck away without anyone eating the oysters, so I went over and tried one. My colleagues lovingly took a few photos of me "enjoying" my slurp, but they will never see the light of day because I very obviously did not enjoy them. 

So why am I sharing this with you? Because I now love oysters, that's why! I still am not interesting in a slimy raw oyster, but I've learned how to not only easily grill oysters and how to make them taste amazing too. 

So from my part of the world to yours, I bring you my West Beach Oyster Roll - starring Fanny Bay oysters! 

Friday, 5 July 2013

Martha Madness

Even in Martha's darkness days, I was a fan. I was never I fan of what she did to get into those darkest days, but I was always a fan of her cooking because Martha makes good, honest food. 

I love Martha's Meatless cookbook. I have flagged a ton of recipes to try and I know that even if you're not keen in eating meatless everyday, that you'd love a lot of her recipes in Meatless too. 

Today I am sharing my spin on Martha's Arugula, Potato, and Green Bean Salad with Creamy Walnut Dressing. I've substituted asparagus for Martha's green beans and changed her dressing a little too by adding a little curry to the party with my Curried Citrus Yogurt Sauce, but both options are as tasty as can be. :) 

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Pimm's Cup on a Plate

Today is my dad's birthday and as George and my mom introduced me to a Pimm's Cup, it's only fitting that my dessert for George be based on Pimm's Cup. 

If you've had a Pimm's Cup before, you'll know that Pimm's No. 1 Cup is a gin based drink with a lemony or gingery carbonated beverage as well as fresh fruit, cucumbers, and herbs. But before I scare you off, you won't find any cucumber in this dessert - just cake, peaches, and fresh herbs! 

I know you'll love this dessert. I think it's so delicious and creative that I'm submitting it as part of my MasterChef Canada audition! 

So happy birthday George, here's what I'd make for you today. Lots of love sent all the way from Victoria, BC! I wish I was there. 

Monday, 1 July 2013

Canadian Love

Every Canada Day I like to make a new Canada Day themed dish. Once day I'll get away from my thoughts of red and white food parties, but not this year. The dish I've sharing today is at least slightly more elegant than some I've created in past years, but it's still a red and white dish.

I ended up making a salad this year that could complement any grilled main, or could even be dinner on its own. It's made with beautiful roasted red beets, toasted white hazelnuts, orange segments for a burst of extra colour, tart fresh raspberries, maple syrup, and a little torn purple basil. I was going to add in some crumbled goat cheese for little extra white, but I stopped myself. I knew the salad didn't need cheese especially with the maple syrup, and I was only going to add it for the colour. That's a first step to no more colour themed dishes, right?