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Thursday, October 1, 2015

Light and Crispy Fish & Chips

Frying. It's not something that I do a lot at home. To be honest, because it's messy. And it smells. But it tastes so darn good!

Today I picked up some beautiful fresh fish (snapper) and couldn't resist turning it into fish and chips. And it was amazing! Our daughter of course, who has eaten very little deep fried food, if any, in her lifetime of less than 2 years absolutely adored it, even though fish has been an on and off food for her.

The batter was light and crispy, and the tartar sauce was the perfect tangy accompaniment. Definitely worth the mess and smell in my kitchen!

Friday, September 4, 2015

Stirfried Beef with Zucchini, Ginger and Scallions

I grew up with amazing stirfries that my mom used to make for us all the time. My favourites were beef and brocolli, beef and zucchini and beef and green beans.

Although I also stirfry quite often for my family, I can never get them tasting quite as good as my mom's. That is, until this one. Usually my veggies are overcooked, my meat is a little on the chewier side, or the flavours just aren't the same. But it seems that I finally got one right. I managed to achieve a similar balance of flavours to the stirfries I remember and kept the meat tender and the veggies al dente.

The tricks?

- Starting with good meat, thinly sliced across the grain.

- Cooking everything separately. First browning the meat and removing it from the pan when it is just browned but not necessarily completely cooked. The slices are so thin that between residual cooking once removed from the pan and the additional cooking time once added back to the pan, they cook quickly and completely faster than we think. Then cooking the veggies until just fork tender. Doing these steps allows you to control the cooking time of the two main components, which cook at vastly different rates.

Hopefully this is a sign of great stirfries to come?

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Banana Blueberry Muffins (Whole Wheat)

I am always looking for new muffin recipes. Oh, and I am always looking for ways to use up bananas. Seemingly endless amounts of bananas.

You are probably wondering why I have so many bananas. It's not like I grow them in my backyard. I actually buy 2-3 bunches of organic bananas each week and always seem to have some overripe ones left over in the end. Why not buy less bananas you ask? Because my biggest pet peeve is not having ripe bananas around to eat and send to daycare, and we all know that the bananas in the grocery store are usually far from ripe and they ripen at varying speeds. So, I buy lots, using what we need throughout the week, and baking with or freezing the ones that ripen quicker than we can eat them. And this means that I always have bananas in the freezer for smoothies, baking, and popsicle making!

This week in particular, I was confronted with a ton a overripe bananas and a massive harvest of blueberries from our garden. So, off I went in search of a muffin in which I could use both. Of course, for those of you who follow my blog, I also like to make my food child friendly, which means less sugar and whole wheat flour or oats where possible.

And so this muffin came to be :) A banana blueberry whole wheat muffin with a tiny bit of citrus to kick things up. Yum yum!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Creamless Zucchini Soup

As the summer winds down (sigh), we are reminded that this is also the season of amazing squash! With zucchini galore, I have found myself trying to preserve the flavours or summer by turning this bounty of zucchini into soup to enjoy all winter long.

My almost 2 year old daughter just adores soups, and this one is no exception. Using very few ingredients, this soup's flavour really speaks to the season, with the taste of fresh zucchini really shining here. It's easy to make in huge batches, so you can enjoy some now and freeze for later, when your body and soul are craving a little taste of summer!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Ellie's Pineapple Salsa

I was introduced to this amazing salsa about a year ago. My friend Ellie brought it over as a part of a potluck playdate we were having and I haven't been able to get it out of my mind!

I have made it several times since then, usually opting to serve it as a variation of chips and salsa with corn tortilla chips, but have also served it alongside baked white fish fillets and have it on my list to try in fish tacos too.

Whether served to my family or to guests, this salsa has definitely been a crowd pleaser. It is a unique and flavourful alternative to regular chips and salsa or accompaniment to fish or grilled chicken. Regardless of the season, this salsa is guaranteed to please your palate! Thanks Ellie for introducing me to this one :)

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Meaty Coconut Kale Soup

Our daughter loves soup. Particularly pureed soups. But today I decided to take a chance on a chunky, meaty soup with chopped kale.

I was fairly certain that she would spit out the kale. Even chopped relatively small, it has a particular texture that doesn't fare well with 18 month old children. The other thing I wasn't sure about was the ground meat in the soup. Our daughter likes meat, but I wasn't sure she would like having to chew a lot while eating the soup. Lastly, the red pepper flakes. Our daughter loves food with good flavour, and I wanted to add enough to bring good depth of flavour without actually making the soup spicy. (If it was just me eating it however, I would have added more).

On the other hand, I knew the chunks of potato would be a hit. And the rich and creamy coconut milk I figured would be a no brainer.

Given all of this though, I really wasn't sure how this soup would be received in our household. So I made the soup, crossed my fingers, and hoped for the best.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Cheesy Sourdough Bread

So at dinner last weekend, my sister started talking about her favorite grocery store sourdough cheese bread and how good it was. However, she said that not every grocery store in the chain seemed to make it the same way and she was often disappointed by the lack of cheese. The best she said, was the one that not only has cheese melted on top of the bread, but also has cheese melted throughout. Yes, that's the most important part about this bread-- lots and lots of cheese.

As she talked about it, I mentioned that I have a sourdough starter in my kitchen and could make her some sourdough cheese bread. And since my sister is about 6 months pregnant, I figured it wasn't really fair to talk about this bread, then no somehow produce her some.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Baked Egg Frittata with Sausage, Feta and Sundried Tomatoes

So I am in love with The Pampered Chef stoneware. This has nothing to do with the fact that I just started as a consultant for The Pampered Chef ( and everything to do with the fact that I LOVE this stoneware for everything! I have no idea why it took me so long to get myself some! Everything that I cook on it turns out awesome--- evenly cooked and browned-- and the more I use it, the better it gets. Plus, I use them for sweet and savory and the stoneware doesn't retain any flavors or smells!

One of my favorite things to cook on my stoneware is an egg frittata. It's perfect for brunch and so easy to make! You just cannot go wrong with this dish. You can modify it to suit your tastes-- remove the feta and add a different type of cheese, add some sauteed onions, remove the sausage and add bacon or ham. It all works. Oh, and did I mention that it sure is impressive when it comes out of the oven :) Yum yum!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Festive Cranberry Orange Cream Cheese Dip

So, as you can see, I have been missing in action for the last few months. Doesn't mean I haven't been cooking, but it means that life has been crazy!

But, here I am, ready to post this fantastic, very festive appetizer. It's festive because of the cranberries so would be a great addition to an Easter, Thanksgiving or Christmas menu, but really, you could serve it all year round :)

It's so easy to make and it just gets better with age, so make it ahead of time and take the stress out of entertaining! The flavours are so fresh, but the ginger, jalepeno, cilantro and citrus juices just give this appetizer extra depth. Oh, and served alongside a block of cream cheese? To die for!