April Foodie Update

This has been a busy month and sadly I haven’t made as many new recipes as I normally would. Not a complete wash though!…

FROM THE APRIL BON APÉTIT…

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Roasted Cauli version with the Coconut-Tumeric Relish. Delish!

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Smashed Cucumber Salad, gorgeous.

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We tried the Za’atar and Feta version. It was dreamy and easy. New go to summer salad for sure!

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Cherry Upside-Down Cake, yum!

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It could have been saucier. I think you could use a variety of other fruit. There just needs to be enough juice to soak in nicely.

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Cherry Cake before the up-side-down part.

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Kimchi Fried Rice

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Add an egg for a complete meal. Extremely easy. I’d add extra Kimchi!

FROM FOOD AND DRINK, SPRING 2018:

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Roasted Squash Salad with Maple-Apple Cider Vinegar Gastrique

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Perfect combo of sweet and salty. The ricotta dollops were lovely. Super easy too.

BAKE FROM SCRATCH, BREAD SPECIAL EDITION:

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To die for Cinnamon buns!

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Can’t go wrong with Cream Cheese icing!

 

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Rising Cheesy Scallion Pull-Apart Rolls

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Soaked in butter and topped with cheese and onion.

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OMG!!! Sooooooo tasty.

I still need to look for some May mags. I haven’t seen ones I want yet. There does seem to be a Mexican food theme moving into summer though.

 

 

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Recipe From The Box

Aside from Rice Crispies have you ever made a recipe from the box of anything?! Well, I haven’t but I recently found myself with a half leftover box of PC Phyllo pastry. (Remember I made those gorgeous fig cookies, see post here.) I spotted a quick spanikopita recipe on the back of the box and decided not to waste the already defrosted phyllo (I guess I could have kept it in the fridge but that’s no fun, it probably would never have been used.)…

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I highly recommend! I think I would add some lemon zest to the mixture for an added tang! Worth looking at the recipes on packages I guess! Happy making!

Lady Sunnyside

At the end of January I posted that I was finally going to finish my Lady Sunnyside sweater by Tanis Fibre Arts. (See that post here.) It’s a lovely top-down cardi. It’s a simple stockinette stitch but with a fancy boarder option. I chose the lace but there is also a simple cable twist version as well…

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Totally comfy to wear. I can see it being a staple already. On to the next WIP!!! Hint…my husband will finally get a sweater. Stay tuned lol!

 

Food and Drink Free Magazine

If you live in Canada you can easily add the LCBO (where us Ontario folks buy our spirits) free magazine to your recipe collection. The Winter edition is out right now…

 

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The magazine is obviously a great way to advertise different wines and spirits but I still quite enjoy it. It’s fun to see the recipes they come up with that use different liqueurs etc. As I vowed to make recipes out of magazines this year (yes, even free ones) the other night I made the recipe for Tahini Swirl Brownies p.32IMG_2429.jpg Don’t let the tahini put you off. Personally, I LOVE tahini and could eat it by the spoonful and it does give it a subtle nutty flavour. I admit I did over bake them and they were too dry at the edges so BE CAREFUL! It says to bake until the skewer comes out clean but perhaps not too dry! I may have also left them in too long because my self-diagnosed ADD kicked in and I got doing something else. I’m sure I did hear the buzzer lol!…

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I’m actually very curious about this recipe because the new Sweet cookbook by my fav Ottolenghi and Goh also have a tahini brownie recipe. I’m going to try it soon to compare!

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First Magazine Recipe Meals

A Saturday night spent with friends and new recipes is one of my favourite past times. This weekend was no exception. I tried 3 new recipes from “display until March” magazine, The Best Mediterranean Diet Recipes by America’s Test Kitchen...

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I figured if you’d like to cook along with some of the recipes then I shouldn’t wait to post at the end of the month like I did last year with my monthly cookbook challenge. In this way, you can get the magazine and cook the recipes too! If you do PLEASE let me know what you made.

Last night we started with the Roasted Beet and Carrot Salad with Cumin p.21. I LOVE beet salads and this one didn’t disappoint! The addition of the pistachios and parsley really shined through. Will be my new go-to beet salad from now on I think…

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Roasting the carrots in my new oven.

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Mix the carrots and roasted beets with the dressing to cool and marinate.

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Before serving add the toasted pistachios, parsley and lemon zest. Gorgeous!

For the main we had the Artichoke, Bell Pepper and Chickpea Tagine p.55. I love a Tagine of course and this was a good one. I love kalamata olives in anything so right there I figured it would be good. The addition of 3 cups of roasted artichoke hearts also made it for me. I didn’t cheap out on the chickpeas either. No canned peas for this girl with access to a new Instant Pot (Dad got one for Christmas so I only have to run to the downstairs flat). In 40 minutes I had gorgeous chickpeas, done with no soaking time! Can’t beat the flavour of dried chickpeas, I say…

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Starting the simmer.

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Just before serving you add some greek yogurt. This makes it creamy and dreamy.

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Serve with couscous.

Not that you need a recipe for couscous but the Tagine recipe does direct you to use the one on p.85 called Simple Couscous. It gets you to brown the couscous in oil for a few minutes before adding the liquid. Careful, it can spurt up!

Let me know what you decide to make from The Best Mediterranean Diet Recipes Magazine. On sale now until March.

June Book Done: School’s Out, Summer’s here!

June’s Cookbook Love and Lemons was a huge success! I was torn yesterday because I was thrilled it was Canada Day, Happy 150, but I was so sad that Love and Lemons was coming to an end. I found so many “keepers” or “MA” (make again) recipes! The book is gorgeous to look through but I find just as many pretty pictures and recipes on her blog and instagram feed. So, if you don’t feel you can purchase another cookbook head over to instagram for sure.

Where to start…everything was exactly my taste and style of eats. I will give a special shout out to 3 of my favourites though. The Strawberry Salad with Toasted Hazelnuts P.41, the Millet Pilaf with Herbs & Grilled Asparagus P.25 and the Flatbread with White Bean Puree & Asparagus Ribbons P.23…

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Strawberry Salad is my new go-to this summer I think.

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The addition of the soft-boiled egg is a must.

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I feel like the white bean puree for some would sound gross but seriously give it a go!

This book is organised “ABC order” (as the kiddies would say) by vegetable/fruit. I appreciate the idea but it’s definitely not my preference. When I cook I usually have a type of meal in mind e.g. app, main, dessert etc. It becomes a real pain to have to search through every veg/fruit to find what you need. That being said this book is not hard on the eyes so it’s a bit of a pleasure to be forced to scroll through. With that theme in mind I’ll review the recipes in veg order…

Cardamom  Apple Crisp P.5, Yup! Yum! I’d use more cardamom I think but overall a nice light, not too sweet crisp and really who doesn’t love a crisp. Made this for John because he doesn’t get enough apple pie or crisp, his favs…

Apple Fennel Salad P.7 Amazing. I LOVE fennel shaved thin in a salad, enough said…

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I also love making salads so I can use my gorgeous salad bowl (Stinson Studios at One of a Kind. His bowls are the best ones!)

Apple Radish Slaw P.11 Ok, this could not have been easier, especially with my matchstick attachment on my V-slicer mandoline. This salad is proof that the simplest ingredients often make the best flavours…Ah, refreshing…

Raspberry Lemon Dutch BabyˆP.49 DANGEROUS, I almost at the whole thing myself. It’s like a puffy, airy, light, beaver tail! Squeeze on lemon and icing sugar and go. I can see doing other “beaver tail” inspired toppings like cinnamon sugar…

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Chickpea Salad Sandwich with Crunchy Red Cabbage P.83 I fell in love with a chickpea salad sandwich (basically a faux tuna salad) from Oh, She Glows’ first book. This rendition is as delightful. I love the cabbage topping and caper additions too. I’ll be making this many times this summer for sure!…

Vegan Carrot Waffles P.87 Nothing vegan scary about these waffles. The got the kid stamp of approval too…I thought they’d be a bit heavy but I was wrong. The flavour was subtle…

Carrot Gazpacho with Lemongrass P.89 I was nervous of this recipe. I wasn’t sure if we were going to like it but we had so many carrots to use I needed to try. Turns out it was oddly refreshing. I would recommend small portions though. The sherry vinegar really added a depth of flavour and I think it would be lacking if you chose to omit. It was fab to just whip it up in the Blendtec…It got paired with the Spicy Cornbread P.125 and yes that was a bizarre combo that I wouldn’t recommend! I would also suggest using a fine cornmeal. I used a medium ground and I found them a bit too grainy once cooked…

Roasted Cauliflower & Red Pepper Soup P.101 This turned out well. Nice and creamy because of the cashews. The roasted cauli on top is a must…Worth trying…

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Near the end of this month I kept forgetting to take nice pics!

Eggplant & Mushroom “Meatballs” P.141 If you don’t eat meat like us then you will love these veg balls. They are worth the effort! I made it with the Simple Fresh Tomato Sauce P.251 which I don’t think was worth the effort to roast the tomatoes. In the health food section of Zehrs they carry a can of roasted diced tomatoes and they will do the trick just fine!…

Cashew & Caper Dill Spread P. 161 with Quick Pickled Onions P. 187  I’ve decided to always have quick pickled onions in the fridge, so easy and go with just about everything! This spread was a tasty, creamy vegan dip. Served it with Ciabatta but crackers and veg would be equally yum…

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If you don’t read ahead and blend the capers and dill in with the other ingredients you get a nice green version, oops!

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Quinoa Tacos with Quick Pickled Onions P. 183/187 and Mango-Basil Salsa P.281 I served this to friends and it went down a treat. Such a nice alternative to a simple veg fajita. I highly recommend this dish with all the extras. It was totally worth the effort. Make extra salsa because you could eat it on its own!…

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Roasted Red Pepper & Carrot Soup P. 203 Made this as part of friend’s birthday lunch with the Heirloom Tomato Panzanella with Fresh Oregano P.249 and the Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins P.269. I could have done without the soup but I think others liked it. It was a bit bland for me and was just ok “ish”. The Panzanella turned out a bit dry. I probably used too much bread. The oregano was a nice add though. The zucchini muffins saved the meal. They were moist and tasty and a must try if you like that kind of thing…

Grilled Pepper & Quinoa Taco Salad P.209 I’m not sure the grilling of the peppers was totally necessary but it was fun to make in my grill pan as we don’t have a gas stove. I also just bought ready made tortilla salad topper…It was totally tasty, especially with the Spiced Chili-Spiced Yogurt P.287

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Good one for company!

Loaded Sweet Potato Nachos P.219 HELLO! These were gorgeous. The mango and avocado work so well together. I recommend extra cheese 🙂 The sweet potatoes shrink to like 1/2 their size so don’t stress if it looks too much on the pan initially…

Butternut Squash & Black Bean Enchiladas P. 259 YES! Such goodness. You could totally make this ahead of time for company. Worth the effort. It was rich and “meaty” with a bit of spice from the adobo sauce. I used extra chipoltes for more spice…Get pre-diced squash at the grocery store if you are short on time…it even made enough for a second dinner the next night…

I think that’s all she wrote for Love and Lemons. I tried some of the smoothy combos at the end of the book that were nice too. The peach, ginger and lime combo was delightful. Overall, get yourself over to the Love and Lemon blog and start cooking! So glad I chose this for June.

I’m super pumped for July…The Green Kitchen! I chose their first book. They have a new one out now that I can’t wait to purchase! They also have an amazing app that may be more up your alley…I’ve tried a few things from the book in the past couple of years but am yearning for more healthy goodness. There are some ingredients that will be hard to find in Canada (they are Swedish and Danish) e.g. Nettle leaves and juniper berries, good luck here! I’m away in England for 2 weeks this month but other than that have time to make some of the longer recipes in Green Kitchen and I can’t wait…Check out their website here.

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Summer Come Back

Well…the summer is over and it’s time to get back to school. I’m so fortunate that I’m a teacher and get 2 months off in the summer. Crazy awesome! John laughs at me because I sure take full advantage and keep very busy. This summer there were some crafty bits happening but more travel than we could keep up with, that was NOT a complain! Here’s the quick run down!…

A couple days after school let out we were off to England for a lovely friend’s wedding (if you kept up with my blog while we were living in England you will know that we went to visit this friend a few times at his house in France.) He normally lives in Eastbourne and was married this summer there to his Aussie sweetheart…

She had a gorgeous dress made by a friend.

She had a gorgeous dress made by a friend.

At the Grand hotel in Eastbourne for the reception. Pimms and Lemonade anyone!

At the Grand hotel in Eastbourne for the reception. Pimms and Lemonade anyone!

After the wedding we jumped on the Eurostar to Paris for a few days of fun with Lady Fia and Lord Isaac’s family and our other good friends Anne and Neil. It was surreal to meet as we’d been planning the trip for ages…

First night happy hour!

First night happy hour!

Versailles gardens

Versailles gardens

Versailles for the day, scratch one off the Bucket List

Versailles for the day, scratch one off the Bucket List

Learning to make croissant and pain au chocolat in Paris, dreamy

Learning to make croissant and pain au chocolat in Paris, dreamy.

After Paris we took the train up to St. Malo to take the Ferry to Jersey in the Channel Islands for about a week. Lady Fia’s mum is from Jersey and they go back every summer. If you haven’t been to Jersey I highly recommend! It is a magical island with beautiful beaches and old world charm…IMG_7126 IMG_7130

Then back to England for more fun. Of course a trip to Cath Kidston, Liberty, Ottolenghi, the National Portrait Gallery restaurant for the view and a West End Show were in order . John knows how much I love Carol King so he got tickets to Beautiful for my birthday…7C26D1FB-248F-4175-8893-8ACF71EED26F 236D58C4-CDF5-4D99-9F28-445D8BCE983D 91E889A0-0FE2-4F57-957E-7F4B41EE4640 EA1FAE21-FBC3-4136-B4D9-9DC83AC8A28D 90D816EF-3B52-4F8D-B0F6-F83396AECC77

When we returned from England it felt like the summer was already over and school was about to start but luckily we had much to look forward to…

A trip to a friend's new cottage in Muskoka...

A trip to a friend’s new cottage in Muskoka…

Sewing new tops with jersey fabric...

Sewing new tops with jersey fabric…

A trip to see friends in South Hampton and Port Elgin. This is also where I really splurged and got a new SUPLove board. Soooo lucky me.

A trip to see friends in South Hampton and Port Elgin. This is also where I really splurged and got a new SUPLove board. Soooo lucky me.

Then last but not least Georgian Bay…Paradise…

Sunset SUP paddle!

Sunset SUP paddle!

Taking my yoga to the next level.

Taking my yoga to the next level.

Mom got up on the SUP too.

Mom got up on the SUP too.

Well, that’s me caught up so roll on the Fall. School’s back in session for another year and full time crafting should begin too. In fact, I’m planning some knitting catch up today!