March Break Love

For once I feel quite good about what I accomplished over the break. There is nothing worse than feeling you slept the week away! I got up to some great sewing this week as well but I’ll share that later. For now, you’ll have to check out the magazine recipes I tried.

From Milk Street (March-April 2018):

Gruyère and Chive Omelet with Mustard Croutons p.4.

This seemed an odd recipe at first with the croutons in the middle of the omelet but if you think about it it’s just like eating it with toast. This recipe was truly dreamy and I’ll be making this one again for a quick weekday meal…

 

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Egg whipped with chives.

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Croutons soaked in a white wine reduction with grainy mustard and then fried. YUM!

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Serve with a green salad for the win!

In Rome, Broccoli Is a Sauce, Not a side p.7

Broccoli sauce, weird you say? Yup, a little bit but packs a flavour punch. Broccoli stalks are whizzed up into a sauce with seasonings. I’m just annoyed I didn’t think to make it for St. Paddy’s day. Next year…

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From Bon Apétit (March 2018):

Salted Caramel Chocolate Tart p.22

Very sadly I was not a fan of this tart and it took AGES to make! I think I prefer something sweeter. The crust was a bitter chocolate, the caramel was yummy but lacking something and, my fault, I didn’t use the best chocolate on the top so it tasted flat as well. Oh well, they can’t all be winners. The only thing good about this recipe was I got to practice making caramel and that is never a bad thing…

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An excellent method for getting tart pastry in the pan. Not like doing a pie crust where you roll the dough on the pin and lay it on top of the shell.

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Reserve dough off the edges to fill cracks after the blind bake.

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Clearly, my second attempt on the right was correct. You really do need to almost burn it. That light coloured goodness still tasted a treat.

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Looks good, right. I know! So sad it didn’t have the flavour for me.

Twice-Roasted Squash with Parmesan Butter and Grains p.89

Soooooooooo tasty. As the weather this break was horribly grey and depressing I felt ok making this fall-like recipe…

 

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Roasted Squash for the parmesan butter mash.

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Filling. Used farro but I think quinoa would have been nicer.

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Saving the best for last…

Spiced Sweet Potato Sandwich with Feta P.63

Holy cow, this was the sandwich of champions. I can’t express the awesomeness of this sammy! It had a layer of feta, roasted sweet potato, lemon and garlic mayo, pickled red onion and beets and fresh herbs. I can still taste this dreamy concoction…

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I have to make this again soon! Yum, yum, yum.

 

 

Pita Pride

A couple weeks ago I wanted a baking challenge so I decided to tackle the Pita Pocket from the Jan-Feb Milk Street Magazine. I’m going to brag a little here because man did they turn out fab! Actually, they were super easy and I feel foolish for not making them sooner…

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Look at that Puff!

I really followed the directions for these babies. There were lots of helpful pics in the recipe too. Check out the process…

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Make the dough and let it rise.

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Weigh those suckers to get an even size.

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Form into cute little balls.

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A second rise does the trick. Then swipe with a touch of light oil (I used grapeseed).

Cooking was the fun part. It took some attention though because you can only put 2-3 in the oven at once. They only cook for 3 min in a 500F oven, yup that’s super hot…

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I used my pizza peel to slide them in.

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I also used my pizza stone.

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They’re puffing, they’re puffing! Awe, pride, success!

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There was some inconsistent puffing but WHATEVER because they worked. They even had a pocket…

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How cool is that! I’m getting excited again just writing about them. They didn’t just look pretty. They tasted scrumptious too…

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Hummous dipping time. 

Please try this recipe if you grab the mag. I’ll be making these again for sure.

 

 

Bon Appétit Feb 2018 Update

I’m starting to forget which magazines I’ve updated on or not! I’ve had to put check marks beside the ones I’ve blogged about. Follow me on Instagram to get more updated pictures before I write about them here.

Did I mention I also got the Bon Appétit February issue? I got it because of the Tahini Brownie recipe. Remember I made a batch of these from the latest LCBO Winter Mag, see here for that post. What is absolutely hilarious is that just before I saw this mag at Chapters I said to John, “I totally think tahini brownies are a THING, I’m seeing recipes everywhere!”. I’m not even exaggerating…fast forward about 5 min and this is staring me in the face…

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Yes! It is officially a thing.

I liked these brownies better than the ones from Food and Drink. They were very fudgy. Keep in mind I did overcook the Food and Drink ones, making them WAY too dry. Here are the Bon Appétit ones…

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These are worth a try for sure!

I figured I best make something else from this magazine so I tackled the Mango Toast with Hazelnut-Pepita Butter. I’m soooooooooo glad I did. What a wonderful combo. You also sprinkle Aleppo red pepper flakes and honey on top, gorgeous. I used defrosted frozen blueberries instead of freeze dried. It turned out amazing…

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Kitty update just in case you love cats! They are learning new tricks too…

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The Best Mediterranean Diet Magazine Update

As I’m waiting for recipes to cook for tonight’s dinner I thought it the perfect time to update on recipes I’ve been making from America’s Test Kitchen’s The Best Mediterranean Diet Recipes. I’ve been plugging a long and finding some nice little recipes along the way…

First, we were invited to an impromptu evening gathering (when you are younger I think that’s just called a Saturday night lol). Anywho, I decided to make 2 of the dip recipes that I hadn’t been thinking to try. First was the Tzatziki on p.7. I tried it with the beetroot variation. It was nice but I think I put too much beet in for my liking. I think I’d make it again with maybe 4 oz instead of the 6. Actually, I wouldn’t be rushing to make it again, not sure I can put my finger on why. Could just have been because I’d prefer less beet, hmmmmmm, perplexed…

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There is still cucumber in this beet Tzatziki.

The other dip I made was a different story for me altogether! The Muhammara on p.9 was gorgeous. It had a tanginess  from the pomegranate molasses (yes I used store bought and not the recipe at the bottom of the page, deal with it!) and a gorgeous after bite of spice from the cayenne. Loved it!…

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Are those store-bought pitas in those pictures. Well, no, thanks for asking! They are toasted up fresh from large pita pocket rounds. You totally don’t need a recipe to cut these open and drizzle olive oil and salt on top but just in case there are directions on p. 7…

Before we left for that gathering I made the Roasted Winter Squash Salad with Za’tar and Parsley p.24 for dinner. It was delish! If you don’t want it too dressing’y then maybe add a bit more squash. Could eat this one for days…

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Check out p. 25 for the cover recipe. We had that on the past weekend and it was a total hit. Curry and cauliflower can’t be beat in my books…

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John went goo-goo-gaga over this next recipe on p. 64, The Roasted Mushrooms with Parmesan and Pine Nuts. I thought they got a bit dry with the addition of 1/2 cup of Parmesan so just gauge for yourself how much you want to put in. The picture in the magazine didn’t look as cheese coated as mine…

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The neatest thing about this recipe was that you actually soaked the mushrooms in salt water for quite awhile. Odd because we are usually taught to NOT wash these bad boys. It worked though…

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Finally, the BEST recipe so far. The Fig and Phyllo Cookies on P. 90 were truly divine. Now, I lOVE, LOVE, LOVE fig or date anything so I knew I’d like these but I almost ate all the filling before the cookies were rolled, oops! I’m not convinced you even need to use the filling with phyllo (they are a traditional Italian cookie by the way). I think you could do a traditional Date Square with this filling instead. It had hints of orange from the orange syrup and the Sherry is a must…

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That’s Test Kitchen all wrapped up! Let me know if you make any of the recipes. I already know that Moody Little Kitchen has bought the mag to make some of these gems. Find her amazing blog at here.

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.

New Year’s Resolutions!

I NEVER made New Year’s Resolutions until I met John. In fact, I thought they were pretty pointless and ridiculous. But…after years of seeing they are possible to carry on and that they can add enjoyment and focus for your life I decided to give it a try! Of course mine are not quite as serious or focused on success and self-improvement. I needed to find a fun way to make myself do MORE of what I love! Thus, 2 years ago I decided to not buy any clothes for the whole year so that I would wear more of the clothes I already had that I liked. Didn’t hurt that it saved money to spend while travelling. It was an interesting experiment. Last year, I vowed to make more recipes out of my cookbooks. I chose 1 book a month to make as many recipes as I could.

It’s taken me time to nail down this year’s fun but I think I got it sorted…

1. Make at least 1 finished garment a month. This could be for me or someone else. Like cookbooks, I also seem to have collected an impressive amount of sewing patterns, paper and digital. I WANT TO MAKE MORE!

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Just some of the patterns I hope to accomplish this year.

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My gorgeous custom sewing area.

You can see a pile of gorgeous fabric waiting in the wings! The first project is actually for a dear friend Anne. I hope to work more on my fitting skills so making things for different people will be a fun challenge. I also hope to move away from simple projects like shift dresses and make more tailored pieces.

2. Cooking Magazines. I feel like this next challenge is very reminiscent from last year but…I seem to also have a small problem with reading food magazines and never making any of the recipes! Part of me feels it’s totally ok to just enjoy reading the articles and looking/drooling at the pictures but once I get a couple piles like this I start to feel a bit guilty…

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When we lived in the UK I went on a crazy magazine organizing scheme in the hopes that I’d actually cook from all the recipes I’d cut out, no house is big enough to keep years of magazines right! Possibly crazy but I still think my headings are clever!…

Most pre-made recipe folders have meat headings so what are us veggies to do. In case you organize in your head like this too…these categories seem to describe everything I’ve cut out of magazines:

  • Salads
  • App like recipes
  • Soups (Chilies, Dahls etc.)
  • Other (Nuts, Snacks)
  • Drinks
  • Dips/Sauces/Dressings
  • Mains-Pasta
  • Mains-Pastry
  • Mains-Other
  • Veggies Solo
  • Baking-Savour
  • Baking-Sweet
  • Cakes, Tarts-full size-showstoppers
  • Puddings

Once I make a recipe I write the name and quick rating on the front of each folder. Since the initial culling of the magazines I realised that I haven’t done it again since, eek. Hence…

I felt incredibly guilty over all the money spent on these until I sorted them and saw that more than half were Waitrose mags which are free with your Waitrose store card. For those that haven’t been to the UK and shopped at a Waitrose all I can say is we are missing out here in Canada! Waitrose and M&S food halls are 2 of the things I miss most about the UK lol! Think gourmet, higher end but EVERYWHERE! The Waitrose magazine every month is dreamy and I miss that John isn’t travelling to and fro anymore to get them for me, snurp.

For the past week I’ve felt overwhelmed with going through every issue again to cut out recipes to file away…soooooooo…I’ve decided to donate the mags I have to school and move forward with more intention. If/when I buy a new food mag I vow to make some of the recipes and then keep the ones I try and like.

I also wanted it to be fun and interactive in case anyone else wants to follow along and make the recipes I make too! I’m not going to go nuts buying new mags all the time but I usually do buy a few a month just for fun, or as time killers on car/plane trips. I’ll post them as soon as I buy them so you can decide if you want to play along.

I ENCOURAGE YOU TO LET ME KNOW IF YOU MAKE SOMETHING FROM A MAGAZINE I POST SO THAT I CAN HEAR YOUR REVIEWS TOO!

I’m going to started with these…

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These looked good in the store today. Test Kitchen mags are always a good read and bonus because it’s January diet food lol. This Milk Street mag just looks nice to look at and Bake British issue, well that’s a must.

Milk Street and Bake are Jan-Feb issues and Test Kitchen Best Med recipes is displayed until March so lots of time to buy these and make.

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August Book Done

I’m in serious denial that August is over and school has actually started! I have to say that I’m pretty impressed with myself for how many recipes I was able to do out of Vegetarian Any Day at a cottage on an island, at least 1/2 an hour from a grocery store! It took some serious planning I chose this book for August because it didn’t look like it needed a lot of fancy schmancy kitchen equipment. I was able to get by with a Nutri-Bullet. I would say that most people thoroughly enjoyed all the recipes and I would recommend this book as an intro veggie book. I was not keen on the zucchini wraps but other than that there are a lot of recipes I’d make again. One interesting observation was that there appeared to be a ton of recipes that called for a head of cauliflower! It’s such a versatile veg. I think it’s also becoming a hot ingredient so it was nice to find a few different ideas. There was the standard cauliflower pizza crust that is a bit more popular but I thought that Buffalo “wing” bites were amazing and the halloumi bites, yum!

I think I forgot a few pics but check out the highlights below…

Toasted Baby Arugula and Zucchini Salad P.90

This extremely simple salad was so delicious and refreshing. I already have the lemon dressing memorized.  A simple crowd pleaser for sure! I’ve already been asked for the recipe.

Crispy Buffalo Cauliflower Bites P.40

Hello! This app was so tasty and unique! Faux chicken wings if you will! So simple and tasty. I served it with the suggested Herbed Kefir Ranch Dressing P. 102. It was delightful.

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Black Quinoa and Cauliflower Halloumi Cheese Balls, P.44. We had these twice because after the first time Dad asked me everyday to make them again! I served them with BBQ sauce and Frank’s Red Hot but you easily eat them on their own.

Mushroom and Caramelized Onion Pizza with Brie and Maple P.131

This pizza was incredibly delicious. First of all the Cauliflower crust is amazing. (Use any toppings you want though.) I’m not convinced I tasted the Brie. I think other cheese would  have been fine.

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Horrible  picture! But this is a gorgeous Cauliflower and Sweet Potato Bake that I’m definitely making as a side for Thanksgiving dinner! P. 157

Caramelized Onion with Gruyere and Sauerkraut P.132

This sandwich was so moorish! This was a hilarious meal because we got my mom to eat sauerkraut! My dad and I love it but mom wouldn’t normally eat it; I think my dad was feeling hard done by that I got her to eat it but he couldn’t!

Coconut Chili Lime Collard Green Wraps P.123

These wraps were a pleasant surprise. I’ve been been meaning to use collard greens for wraps for some time now but just haven’t gotten around to it. DO NOT MAKE MY MISTAKE! Simply, they rock. The red lentils in this dish were cooked in coconut milk, stroke of genius. If you buy this book, try this recipe please.

Lentil Cake Salad with Roasted Red Pepper and Feta P.110

This was just ok for me. The cakes needed more seasoning but I liked the idea. The dressing and fixings were nice. The overall appearance was a tad sketchy though!

Chipotle Sweet Potato Tacos with Grilled Pineapple Salsa P.124

For me, this was a book winner! The pineapple salsa was so simple and delish. I love the sweet potato idea as well. Definitely try and find corn tortillas too. I like the Casa Mendosa ones that have shown up Zhers recently.

Zucchini Wraps P. 118

Ok these…too much work for not many wraps and they did not taste that great in my opinion! Mom liked them though. As you can tell I was totally not convinced.

Portobello and Pepper Fajitas P.126

PLEASE DON’T WASTE YOUR TIME WITH THESE! The marinade was sub-par. Please use the Oh She Glows recipe for this same idea. It’s in her first book, Oh She Glows. She has a recipe for the same thing and the marinade for the mushrooms is a zillion times better. Fact, true story!!!

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Ripe Peach and Pistachio Butter Lettuce Wraps P.120

Weird little recipe but with fresh Ontario peaches you got to get going! I made these until the blue cheese ran out. They were fantastic! Such an odd combo of ingredients but somehow they totally worked. I had a honey white balsamic in the cupboard so used that instead of the suggested white balsamic. A hit!

Slow Cooker French Onion Miso Soup

I made this after we got back from the cottage. Funny enough it was the reason I bought the book because I LOVE French Onion soup but it always has a beef broth. Try it!

On to September…

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I knew September was going to be busy with school starting up so I wanted to pick another simple book where I knew I’d have most of the ingredients lying around. Thus, the second Oh She Glows book. I love her first book and recommend it to everyone that asks for a go to Veg book! (She’s also vegan but whatever.) It was the first book that introduced me to cashew cream (a heavenly substance). I have to admit I was extremely disappointed by the second book. Many of the recipes looked recycled from the first book, just changed a bit. I also immediately tried a few smoothie combos and was disheartened. That being said…I loved the first book so much that I feel it is only fair to give the second one a proper go. So here goes…

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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May is A Modern Way To Eat

May is over and that means 4 more weeks of school, I mean time for another cookbook! I love, love, love a modern way to eat by Anna Jones. I wanted to eat every recipe. It’s just how we like to eat. Lots of fresh ingredients and different flavours. Not too crazy though, real, everyday eating. Not to mention the simple white theme for the cover and pics, love the style. I will definitely be using this book again and recommend it to buy if you need a new cookbook treat.

Breakfast: We tried the…

  • Overnight Bircher with Peaches (we used strawberries)
  • Morning Smoothies (Go To Green, Avocado and Toasted Coconut and the Sesame Date
  • Lemon Maple Granola
  • Huevos Rancheros (Super yum and could eat for any meal
  • Banana, Blueberry and Pecan Pancakes (Cooking these was a disaster. It was basically fried oatmeal. Tasty though!)
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The Sesame Date Smoothie was the perfect combo. I’m adding tahini to all my smoothies these days! Ugh, that counter top needs to go soon!

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Eggs steaming for the Huevos Rancheros

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Mmmmmm a Mexican morning feast

Dinner:

  • Maple Peanut California Wrap (Tempeh is not my fav but the marinade was good and all the other ingredients helped to mask/complement the flavour of the tempeh)
  • Chickpea and Preserved Lemon Stew (This was a huge hit! Will make again for sure)
  • Sweet Tomato and Black Bean Tortilla Bowls (Can’t decide if I liked this or the preserved lemon stew the best, love a preserved lemon)
  • Lemony Lentil and Crispy Kale Soup
  • Caramelised Leek and New Potato Salad
  • Spiced Carrot and Cashew Salad With Fresh Coconut and Coriander (This looked VERY impressive)
  • Lemon-Roasted Feta with Traffic-Light Tomatoes (If you like feta, and who doesn’t, then you have to try this)
  • Raw Thai Citrus Crunch Salad
  • Dhal With Crispy Sweet Potato and Quick Coconut Chutney
  • Proper Chilli
  • Any Night of the Week Pizza (with a cauliflower crust)
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      Preserved Lemon stew. I used store bought preserved lemons.

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      The Lemon stew was topped with arugula, pine nuts and saffron yogurt. The yogurt was a must, so simple to whip up, if you have saffron laying around.

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      One of my favs, tomato and black bean soup/stew. Fresh and tasty.

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      Roasted carrot salad was a dinner party delight! It looked really Ottolenghi worthy 🙂

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      Roasted Feta salad, the mint was a lovely addition rather than the more traditional basil.

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      Hello tasty Dahl! Who can resist a roasted sweet potato topper.

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      Sorry, horrible picture but I love me a vinaigrette potato salad. The radishes and celery gave a nice crunch.

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      Worth the cutting Thai Slaw. Could not have tasted more fresh.

Sweet Endings: there were actually a ton of dessert recipes I wanted to make but it’s almost bathing suit time everyone, what’s that…only 4 more weeks of school, that’s right! I’m dying to try Cardamom and Carrot Cakes with Maple Icing, but they will have to wait a bit…we did try…

  • Strawberry Poppy Seed Crisp (great little crisp recipe, the lemon and orange zest is a must)
  • Salted Caramel Crack Brownies (Yes, the name is justified, so good)
  • Butterscotch Chocolate Chip Blondies (Wasn’t impressed, really, too cakey for me)
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These really were probably the best brownies I’ve ever made. You make your own caramel and then once it’s hardened you crack it on top and then bake. As it cooks the caramel oozes in.

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Strawberry and Rhubarb crisp. Really nice with the almond flour.

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Blondies. Not my fav but some liked the cakiness.

So, if you’ve been following along with my New Year’s challenge to pick one of my cookbooks a month to cook from then you will be wondering what’s next…

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I’ve been saving this baby for closer to the summer when we can get more fresh produce. June…close enough I’ll say. Every recipe in this book looks like it uses simple, fresh ingredients which are usually the best recipes. I need to start flagging meals…

March Cookbook Done

The Moosewood Cookbook was the perfect choice for this month’s dreary Southern Ontario weather. Think comfort food for vegetarians! Pies and casseroles with lots of cheesy goodness. At some point, every veggie probably needs to host a dinner for hardcore meat eaters and I for one refuse to cook meat for them. I’m not totally cruel though I have an arsenal of hearty, filling recipes that should satisfy anyone. Moosewood is chalked full of these recipes. Seriously, when was the last time you saw a cake recipe call for a pound of butter, yikes right!

This is what I got through this month…

Cauliflower-Cheese Soup P. 16
Ginger Marinated Chick Peas P.64
Marinated Mushrooms P.67
Balkan Cucumber Salad P.69
Beet Puree P.86
Feta-Walnut Dip P.101
Greek Pilaf P.148
Stuffed Grape Leaves P.149
Zuccanoes (Stuffed Zucchini) P.154
Spinach-Ricotta Pie P.156
Swiss Cheese & Mushroom Quiche P.157
Cauliflower-Cheese Pie (with Grated Potato Crust) P.159
Zucchini-Crusted Pizza P.166
Samosas P.170
Satyamma’s Famous Cauliflower Curry P.173
Vegetarian Chili P.176
Date-Nut Cake P.187
Lemon-Blueberry Pound Cake P.190-91
Banana Bread P.193
Cardamom Coffee Cake P.195
Apple Strudel P.196
Apple Custard Pie P.202
Moosewood Fudge Brownies P.213

Wow, when you write a list like that it doesn’t look like I even made a dent in the recipes but I sure felt busy cooking!

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We started with this Mezze dinner. The Feta Walnut dip was a fav for sure. The marinated chickpeas were good too. There were a lot of leftover chickpeas so I roasted them in the oven to make a delightful chickpea snack.

Take a look at some of my other book favs for dinner…

I even made Samosas from scratch. Don’t know why I haven’t done this before, it couldn’t have been easier. I’d like to find a different filling though or add more spices to this one.

I probably tried too many desserts from this book for my waistline but hey, it helped get through this drizzly month! The Pound Cake recipe was definitely a must do. The nice thing about this recipe is that you can create as many variations as you can imagine. Of course, start with lemon-blueberry!

As you may know, I’m quite the Banana Bread connoisseur and I heartily approve of this one…

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Butter, butter, butter! I love the addition of walnuts and the sesame crust layer underneath. I also appreciated the orange zest and the coffee soaked bananas, neat eh.

The Brownies and Apple Strudel were also a hit…

Strudel really does look impressive, doesn’t it, like you worked all day on it! Aside from the lovely Apple Custard Pie, it was the easiest recipe in the book.

As much as I loved Moosewood, I’m ready to move on. Most of the recipes I tried were heavy and dairy laden which is not the kind of vegetarian food I really like to eat. I’d say they are a bit old-fashioned/traditional compared to today’s vibrant use of veg, grains, nuts and seeds, whole foods right! I’m thrilled to have these recipes in my back pocket now but April’s book is just more me!

I’ve decided on the second Happy Pear Book, The World of the Happy Pear

I’ve made a few things from the first Happy Pear book and they were all extremely tasty and fresh. Check these guys out online here. In a nutshell, they are 2 brothers who started a bit of a veg food revolution in a small town in Ireland with their Heart Healthy recipes and education. They also have some fun, short videos on how to make quick, healthy veg meals. I’m looking forward to lightening up in April with some of their amazing looking salads and snacks. Stay tuned…