Friday, 29 November 2013

Three Cheers for Paneer!

I love Indian food, but I often seem to get it wrong when I try making it at home. Sure, of course I can pour a bottle of ready made sauce into a pan and we all lick our lips with anticipation of the yummy smells coming from the kitchen. But when it comes to making an Indian dish from scratch, I don't always get it right. 

But today I finally did it. I finally made a from scratch Indian dish taste like it was in an Indian restaurant. And since it's one of my favourite Indian dishes, I am pleased as punch. 

Palak Paneer has creamy little pillows of paneer, a delicious Indian cheese, floating around in an onion and spinach sauce flavoured with spices that Indian dishes are famous for. It might not be as spicy as some of the other dishes from India, but that's all right with me. 

Read on for the recipe, it's easier to make than you might think!

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Eggplant-cent "Meat"balls

Meatballs are universally loved and I have been struggling to find a veggie friendly meatball recipe that comes close to tasting like the real thing. Today's post does! 

You might think it's an easy task, but finding for a recipe that ends up with crispy, juicy, and flavourful balls that actually stay clumped together is hard. Most recipes seem to fall apart when I tried to make them and I ended making a "hash" for those dinners. But this recipe stuck together - and can be made without even the use of a single egg!  

I know that I'm excited to share this recipe, inspired by one from Connoisseurus Veg. It's delicious!

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Movember - Mo Sistas, Mo Cookies, and Mo-re

I like to think of myself as a Mo Sista this month. But before you start thinking I've been quietly growing a moustache behind your back, let me tell you that being a Mo Sista means helping to raise money and spread awareness in the battles against testicular and prostate cancer and mental health - all through the power of a moustache.

To start my journey as a Mo Sista, I decided I should put my talents to use and cook, bake, and creatively name my goodies. I thought about things that would be easy to make, fun to name, and about celebrity moustaches because what's a moustache without the likes of Burt Reynolds?

To start the fun I like the idea of inviting my good friend Burt Reynolds over for some Beet Reynolds Soup with mo croutons. :)

Read on for my recipe and save room for some Easy Mo Cookies. Then, if you're feeling generous, please click here to donate to a local Victoria, BC Movember team.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Crazy Ingredient Challenge - Onions and Gingerbread Spice

This month's Crazy Ingredient Challenge was the craziest yet. I love the holidays and I love gingerbread cookies, but when we were asked to pair gingerbread spice with onions, I almost didn't take part in the challenge. I couldn't come up with anything besides cookies to make with gingerbread spice and I knew that I did not want to try adding onions to cookies!

But then a month-before-Christmas holiday miracle happened and I came up with something delicious that I'll be making again before the holidays are upon us. And the gingerbread spice mix works surprisingly well in the recipe too.

My new Samosa Wonton Cups are perfect finger food for a holiday party and they're just as tasty as their more time consuming cousins too! Read on for the recipe!

Monday, 18 November 2013

My Recipe is in Country Woman Magazine!

Awhile ago I received a really exciting email from someone at Taste of Home magazine. I was told that they were considering using one of my recipes in a magazine and they wanted to know a little more about me. I quickly answered all of their questions and waited patiently for a response to hear if I made the cut.

After a couple of weeks of waiting patiently, I still hadn't heard back and I pretty much gave up. I knew lots of people had probably received the same email and there was only so much space in the magazine.

But last week something really exciting happened. I found a strange thick envelope in my mailbox and when I opened it up I found out that my recipe was actually chosen and featured in a Christmas edition magazine! The editor referred to me as "staff" and that made these cookies taste even sweeter than they did the first time I made them.

Check out my previous post for Rosemary and Lemon Tree Cookies, visit Country Woman's website, or pick up a copy of Country Woman to see me in print! :)

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Japanese Desserts

I was reading about a local Victoria, BC tea shop called JagaSilk and how they had delicious looking Strawberry Daifuku treats. I had no idea what those treats were, but I knew that I wanted to get my hands on one of them. The only problem was that this tea shop was open only from Tuesdays to Fridays and only from 12:00-5:00pm. I knew I would never get there. 

So I did what I do best, I researched how to make the treats myself. And I'm actually happy I did it this way because I'm pretty proud of the dessert I created. They look and taste great, plus I learned a new technique! 

Read on the recipe, inspired by one from Just One Cookbook, it's easier than you might have thought! 

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

The New Bolognese

I used to love a rich and hearty Bolognese sauce. I loved smelling it simmering on the stove and anticipating how comforting and delicious it would taste. And I thought that love affair was over when I stopped eating meat. Thankfully I was wrong. 

I just discovered this amazing recipe for a lentil Bolognese that is relatively quick to prepare and tastes just as good, if not better, than other beefy recipes I use to make. It was always slow cooking the veggies in the sauce that gave the best flavour, so I really shouldn't have been so surprised. 

The craziest part of this successful recipe is that I never thought I'd like lentils paired with pasta, I thought that any recipe that paired the two would be far too heavy. But I was again proven wrong, lentils and pasta are a match made in heaven. 

Don't believe me? Read on for the yummy recipe inspired by one from Clean Eating magazine.

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Pizza Provençal

Pizza is one of the few foods that I love to gorge myself with. I could eat pizza until I literally burst. All that dripping cheese, hot tomato sauce, and toppings galore make me tingle with happiness. But I've just discovered a truly gourmet pizza that begs to be savoured in ways my typical Friday night pizza can't imagine. And it's easy enough to make at home. 

The recipe is from this month's Chatelaine magazine but since they only included a delicious pizza dough recipe and a handful of suggested topping, I like to think that my new favourite go to gourmet pizza is sort of my own. 

Read on for the recipe! 

Thursday, 7 November 2013

The Canadian Harvest on Vancouver Island

There's something about the crispness in the air that makes me think of root veggies. And although root veggies go perfectly with a roast chicken, my favourite way to serve them is Asian tempura style.

Maybe it's because tempura done right is just as crisp as the autumn air or maybe it's because of the amazing China Town in my home of Victoria, BC, but I think that root veggies and tempura are a perfect pairing. So when I found out that our November Canadian Food Experience Project challenge was to write about a Canadian harvest experience, I knew I had to share my delicious tempura recipe.

My only secrets to perfect tempura are to use only drier veggies like squash, beans, and broccoli and to make sure that your batter is really cold. Now that you know those two tricks, you'll be making tempura like pro. So read on for my recipe and get started!

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Super Quick Pad Thai

Quick dinner recipes have been calling out my name recently and I think it's because of the recent time change. I know that we gained an hour on Sunday, but now we are stuck with extra early dark nights. And those dark night trick me into thinking I need to serve dinner as quick as possible because it must be late! 

Today dish is a perfect dish for nights when I feel like dinner should already be on the table. It's a really quick Pad Thai that might make your family do a double take on how quickly you whipped it up. 

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Harry Potter Pumpkin Pasties and a Giveaway!

My post on Harry Potter Butterbeer Cupcakes was so well received that I just had to create a second dish from my favourite movie franchise to share with everyone as a thank you! And if you read on past the recipe, there's a little giveaway opportunity at the end of this post too.

I absolutely love pie so choosing my second Harry Potter themed dish to share with you was incredibly easy. I always envisioned the Pumpkin Patsies sold on the Hogwart's Express as little Cornish Pasties style pies stuffed full of pumpkin. And if those pumpkin filled treats were good enough for Harry, I knew that they'd be perfect for me too.

I know they sound simple, but the magic created when these Pumpkin Pasties bake is truly amazing. But of course we all already knew that because they weren't featured in Harry Potter for nothing!