Monthly Archives: June 2015

Roasted Cherry Salad with Maple Vinaigrette

Roasted Cherry Salad with Maple Vinaigrette

Roasted Cherry Salad with Maple Vinaigrette

This year all the berries and cherries are coming to the market ahead of their usual schedule. From strawberries in May, cherries at the beginning of June and blueberries this past week, it seems like everything is loving the early summer weather. I’ve got to say, I’m loving it to. I’m definitely a sun seeker and am usually more than ready for summer when it arrives. I get pretty excited about all the new produce in the market and find that the change of season brings new inspiration into my cooking. Kind of an “out with the old, in with the new” mentality when it comes to recipes. This recipe came about last week while I was trying to figure out a way to use up what was left of the cherries I had, as usual, over bought. I wanted something light and refreshing and remembered a time I had a roasted grape salad at a restaurant in town that, sadly, closed down a year or so ago. I was curious to see what would happen if I applied a similar idea to cherries. I expected them to taste a little bit sweeter, if anything, which didn’t really happen. They just developed a deeper flavour and tasted a little like red wine. Obviously, I didn’t need much more convincing to carry on with this recipe for roasted cherry salad with maple vinaigrette. I’m just surprised were enough cherries to make the salad after all the sampling I did. I hope you enjoy it!

 

1 Cup cherries

3 Cups mixed greens

1/4 Cup fresh sage, chopped

2 tbsp chives, sliced

1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted and cooled

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 tbsp white wine vinegar

3 tbsp maple syrup

pinch of salt to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit

Cut the cherries in half and remove the pit. Then place the cherries on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place them in the oven and roast them for 15 – 20 minutes. Remove them from the oven and set aside to cool.

While the cherries are cooling, add the greens, sage, chives and almonds to a large salad bowl. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, maple syrup and salt. Set aside.

Add the cooled cherries to the greens mixture and toss with the maple dressing right before serving.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pineapple Chicken Teriyaki Kabobs

Pineapple Chicken Teriyaki Kabobs

Pineapple Chicken Teriyaki Kabobs

It’s BBQ season!!!

Sorry if I seem a bit excited. I tend to get that way when summer arrives. Although, if I’m being completely truthful, our bbq season never really left. Our winter here on the West Coast was incredibly mild. By mild, I mean that it never really happened. I think I pulled my winter coat out of the closet twice and made do with my rain coat the rest of the time. I didn’t mind, at all. My kids, on the other hand, felt like they got completely ripped off. No snow?! No fair!! I have to admit, for a kid, that’s a pretty raw deal. Snow should really be a part of the whole “childhood” package. Especially, in Canada. Hopefully (for their sake) we’ll get some snow next year. In the meantime, I’m really enjoying the sunshine and have been bbqing almost every night. That can get a bit boring once in awhile, so I’ve been mixing it up a little bit and playing around with different bbq ideas. This one is a take on my sons favourite dish whenever we go for sushi. We usually have to order an entire plate of chicken teriyaki just for him. This recipe would be entirely effortless if you bought the teriyaki sauce from the store, but, as I stated in my previous post for falafel,  I like to try and make things myself. Here is my recipe for Pineapple Chicken Teriyaki Kabobs. I hope you enjoy it!

This recipe was featured yesterday on Lyfe Foodie. Check out their website for this and other delicious recipes.

1 Lbs chicken breast, cubed

11/2 cups pineapple,

2 red peppers

3/4 Cup brown sugar

1/4 Cup tamari (or other soy sauce)

1/4 Cup chicken stock

2 tbsp rice wine vinegar

2 cloves of garlic, papery skins removed

2″ piece of ginger, peeled

If you’re using wooden skewers, soak them in a pan of water for at least 30 minutes. This will help prevent them from burning.

In a small sauce pan, whisk together the brown sugar, tamari, chicken stock and vinegar. Add the garlic and ginger to the pan and heat over low-medium heat for about 10 minutes until it’s reduced and thickened. Set aside.

While the sauce is simmering, begin preheating the bbq.

Thread the chicken onto the skewers alternating with the pineapple and red pepper. Add the skewers to a greased grill and cook for about 10 – 15 minutes, occasionally basting with the teriyaki sauce, until the chicken is cooked through.

 

 

 

 

Liebster Award

liebster3

I started this blog about a year and a half ago. Actually, that’s not true. My husband had this blog built for me as a Christmas present. I’m a bit of a planner and I was struggling to figure out what I wanted to do when both my kids were  in school full time (we’re still a year and a half away from that). I knew I wanted to get involved in the food industry, but I wasn’t quite sure in what capacity. So my husband had a friend build me a blog site to support me in my foodie tendancies and aspirations. For the first few months, I would agonize over every post and cringe everytime I clicked the “publish” button. I never thought I would get to the point where I was comfortable blogging and I certainly never thought anyone would nominate me for a blogging award. Thank you for the honour Tuciona Creations. I truly appreciate it 🙂

Here are my answers to Tuciona Creations questions:

 1.       What is the story behind your Blog name ? One of my favourite ways to relax is spending a couple hours in the kitchen, creating a special meal while sipping on a glass of wine. I also tend to add wine and other alcoholic beverages to a fair amount of my recipes.

2.       Describe your ideal job. I used to think I wanted to be a chef, but after starting my blog, I realized I loved learning and writing about food. So my current ideal job would be as a food writer. I’d also like to write a cookbook one day

3.       What is your best “Grand’Ma” recipe ? When my grandma comes to visit, we spend most of our time in the kitchen cooking, baking, or thinking about cooking and baking. My favourite recipe of my grandma’s is her porridge bread recipe. It’s from her old purity cookbook which is filled with her scribbles and notes from over the years. Part of this question was to share the recipe, which I will, I just have to find it first. It’s buried in with my ever growing collection of cookbooks.


4.       What’s are the top 3 places you most want to visit/or you had visited already and totally loved it ? For our honeymoon, my husband and I went on a safari in Kenya and then spent a few days on the beach in Zanzibar. That’s my favourite travel experience, so far. Number 2 would be New York City.There’s so much life, vibrancy and history there. I’ve visited New York 2 times and would always jump at the chance to go again. Number 3 on my list is Italy. I’ve never been, but would love to visit and spend a few weeks taking cooking lessons and visiting wineries. 

5.       What did you want to be when you were a kid ? I don’t remember what I wanted to be as a little kid, but as a teenager I wanted to be a lawyer, until I realized that meant standing up and speaking in front of people. I’m entirely terrified of public speaking, so that quickly ended that potential career path.

6.       What is the best photo you have taken? My favourite picture is one I took recently at our family cabin. I didn’t realize that my camera was set to black and white. When I was looking through the pictures later, I loved the result.

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7.       What makes you smile? Really good food or when I cook something that turns out even better than I thought it would. And of course, my family, who make me laugh every day.

8.       What is number one on your TO-DO list right now ? Make it through all the kids end of year activities in one piece (joking, not joking)

9.       What is your best memory? Seeing my babies for the first time. 

10.    Any goofy story you want to share ? I’m having a hard time with this questionI feel like I have goofy stories almost everyday, mostly brought on by my forgetfulness or clumsiness. 

Nominees:

Dad What’s 4 Dinner

Wood Kitchen

The Little Blue Mixer

Dish n’ The Kitchen

My questions for you:

1. Why did you start blogging?

2. What’s the story behind your blog name?

3. Who is your dream dinner party guest?

4. What is number one on your travel bucket list?

5. What was your favourite class in high school?

6. Is there one food that is your nemesis to cook (For me it’s toasting pine nuts. I always burn them)?

7. What’s your favourite recipe to make?

8. Aside from blogging, what’s your favourite hobby?

9. What are 3 of your favourite blogs?

10. If you had to choose one thing to eat for the rest of your life, what would it be?

And finally, I should not forget to mention the rules for the next nominees :

– Each nominee must have under 200 followers
– Thank and link to the nominating blog
– Answer their 10 questions and propose 10 new ones for your nominees
– Nominate  4 to 10 blogs and tell them that they’ve been nominated
– Write a post containing the questions
– Include these rules in the post

Falafel with Tzatziki

Falafel with Tzatziki

Falafel with Tzatziki

Firstly, please excuse the picture. It’s not my best. My husband and I had a ball game that night and I was in a bit of a rush. I didn’t want a bad picture preventing me from posting a delicious recipe, so I’ve decided to go ahead, unflattering picture and all.

After making a delicious chocolate tart last week and then eating far too much of it, I’ve decided to try and eat a bit healthier this week. Actually, I’m usually a pretty healthy eater throughout the week, it’s the weekend that I struggle with. We seem to be on the go a lot or just in the mood for over indulging. Come Monday I always feel like healthier fare. Keeping that in mind, I decided to start this week off with home made falafel and tzatziki sauce, served along with a salad. If you’ve never or had falafel before, they’re definitely worth trying. They’re full of flavour and loaded with nutrition, plus, “falafel” is just a really fun word to say. Or maybe that’s just me 🙂

Falafel are a traditional middle eastern food, though where they originated in the middle east is still debated. Made from mashed chickpeas (or fava beans in Egypt), the mixture is formed into a ball or patty and then served in a pita. They can also be served by themselves as an appetizer, which is my preferred way of eating them. While you can find these little gems pre-made at the grocery store, I prefer to make them myself. Mostly because I’m a pretty big fan of knowing what exactly is in my food. Even though the ingredient list for this recipe is long, it comes together quite quickly.

I served the falafel with tzatziki because I love how it’s tangyness (I don’t think that’s a word, but you know what I mean) off sets the savoury flavour of the falafel. Enjoy!

Falafel:

398 mL chickpeas, drained and rinsed

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1/4 Cup onion, finely chopped

1/4 Cup carrot, grated

1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 Cup mint, chopped

1/4 Cup italian flat leaf parsely, chopped

1 lemon, juice only

1 tbsp all purpose flour

1 tbsp ground coriander

2 tsp cumin

1 tsp ground cardammom

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp cayenne

salt and pepper

2 tbsp vegetable or coconut oil

Remove the skins from the chickpeas and then mash them in a bowl using a potato masher. You could also use a food processor. I just find that by the time I assemble mine, I could have already mashed the chickpeas by hand. Stir in the remaining ingredients until well combined.  Roll the mixture into 2″ balls. Heat the vegetable or coconut oil in a frying pan. A few at a time, add the falafel to the pan and cook until golden on all sides and heated through.

*Another option for cooking the falafel is to place them in the oven at 400 degrees Farenheit for  15-20 minutes.

Tzatziki:

3/4 Cup full fat plain greek yogurt

1/4 Cup cucumber, grated

2 tbsp mint, chopped

2 tbsp lemon juice

1 clove of garlic, minced

Stir all the ingredients together until well combined. Store in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, until ready to serve.

 

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