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.

 

 

March Break Kickoff

March Break is upon us! I’ll be home to witness a lot more daytime kitty antics! I’m looking forward to a weekend of sewing (check out the Spool and Spindle destash sale this weekend), cooking, reading and relaxing. We haven’t ever felt we should go away for March Break. I know it would be wonderful but our summers are precious and we make the most of them, so don’t feel sorry for us lol. July will be here soon enough.

In case you want to make the most of cooking this break you can pick up my new magazine pics. I did get the new Milk Street and Bon Apétit but they are quite meat heavy this month. There is a delightful salted caramel chocolate tart in Bon Apétit though so it may have just been worth getting…IMG_3152IMG_3153IMG_3154IMG_3168

I’m excited about the Side-Dishes one especially. As veggies that is often our main meal. It’s also nice to have new sides to offer up guests. I’m looking forward to some of the potato recipes. Maybe the Cut the Sugar mag will help us get summer ready lol!

Jan-Feb Food Magazine Wrap Up

I know I say this all the time but how did 2 months just whip past! It really frustrates me that I don’t have magical powers to slow down time.

Anyways, March mags are cropping up at Costco (I keep forgetting that Costco is a great cheap option for magazines) and Chapters so I better share some of my food adventures from the last couple of weeks. Look out tomorrow for my February sewing make.

First, I finally made a few things from Bake: The British Issue…

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Tradition scone recipe with currants. Noticeably missing the clotted cream. Come on Canada get with the cream scene!

 

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Truthful, I was not thrilled with most of the recipes I tried. What I will keep though is the extended section in the middle of the magazine with “must-hit spots in the capital city”. With my lovely husband being British we are lucky to get to London regularly. My time in London usually involves dragging said wonderful, compliant, trained husband to every foodie shop I learn about in the London area. I don’t think he suffers though because it helps us explore like a local and eat well! On pg. 58 I was reminded to check out Spitalfields Market and on pg. 58 Violet (a little bakery, she also has a cookbook). The scone recipe I tried was nothing to write home about. I STILL MAINTAIN THAT THE BEST SCONE RECIPE IS FROM EDNA STAEBLER’S FOOD THAT REALLY SCHMECKS. Amazon link here, an oldie but a goodie. The Strawberry and Ginger Crumble, pg. 36 was sadly NOT good. Possibly user error but if you know my family you’d know we are crisp connoisseurs! There wasn’t enough liquid, not enough butter in the topping, way too bitter even with the most recommended sugar. The only thing I’ll take away is the idea to put ginger in my regular topping…IMG_3040IMG_3041

I’ll move on to the divine Custart Tart, p.37. Please don’t judge my crust edge. I will definitely make this again. It was creamy perfection. The fresh nutmeg on top was a winner too…

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Keeping with the dessert theme, from The Best Mediterranean Diet Recipes magazine I made the Semolina Pudding with Almonds and Dates p.92. This Middle Eastern pudding treat is right up my flavour alley. Have I mentioned I LOVE saffron and cardamom anything,yup…

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Last, I made one final recipe from the February Bon Apétit. The Wheat Berry Bowl with Merguez and Pomegranate, p.30, minus the sausage of course…

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Excellent!

 

 

 

Soup is on

February is cold, rainy, yucky and sometimes depressing. On that positive note…I tried to perk up with two delicious soup recipes from the Jan-Feb issue of Milk Street. I used the Instant Pot to make the Turkish Red Lentil Soup with Aleppo Pepper Oil. (It doesn’t call for the Pot, I just decided to give it a try.) While that was cooking I made the Red Lentil Soup with Coconut Milk and Spinach. Both were good but I personally liked the Coconut one better. Anything with coconut, typical Indian spices and spinach has my vote!

 

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Some sautéing in the Instant Pot for the Turkish Red Lentil Soup first.

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Cumin I love you. Please don’t notice my lazy garlic in the jar, shhhhhh!

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Heat Aleppo Pepper flakes in Olive Oil, yum. I saved this to use on pizza soon.

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Top with the oil, mint and a squeeze of lemon.

The Coconut Soup…

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Such wholesome goodness and quick options for a mid-week meal. Why not serve them with homemade pita .

Soup is on

February is cold, rainy, yucky and sometimes depressing. On that positive note…I tried to perk up with two delicious soup recipes from the Jan-Feb issue of Milk Street. I used the Instant Pot to make the Turkish Red Lentil Soup with Aleppo Pepper Oil. (It doesn’t call for the Pot, I just decided to give it a try.) While that was cooking I made the Red Lentil Soup with Coconut Milk and Spinach. Both were good but I personally liked the Coconut one better. Anything with coconut, typical Indian spices and spinach has my vote!

 

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Some sautéing in the Instant Pot for the Turkish Red Lentil Soup first.

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Cumin I love you. Please don’t notice my lazy garlic in the jar, shhhhhh!

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Heat Aleppo Pepper flakes in Olive Oil, yum. I saved this to use on pizza soon.

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Top with the oil, mint and a squeeze of lemon.

The Coconut Soup…

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Such wholesome goodness and quick options for a mid-week meal. Why not serve them with homemade pita .

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.

Milk Street Magazine Jan-Feb Recipes

Have you bought any of the Jan-Feb Magazines I’ve been making recipes from? Maybe this post will inspire you to try something new…

From the recent Milk Street (still in stores)…

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…I first made the Chickpea and Harissa Soup (Lablabi) p.22. I love the description “For an older generation, lablabi is hot breakfast. For a younger one, it is late-night after-club grub.” For John and I it was just a weeknight dinner for 2 (which made enough to feed an army by the way.) Here’s where I got creative. You basically had to sauté the ingredients and then add the chickpeas and water. I thought “hey! why don’t I forget about soaking and cooking the chickpeas first. I could just cook it all in the Instant Pot together”. You  know dried chickpeas are the best right…

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Instant Pot time!

You know what? It worked brilliantly! There are 3 quarts of broth in this soup which was more than enough to cook the chickpeas…

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Saute function first

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Toast up those spices

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Ready to pressure cook for 45 min

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All done kids

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Look at those gorgeous gems

There was no lack of fixin’ madness with this soup. Cilantro, capers, parsley, green olives, toasted sourdough croutons…you name it! I recommend adding some diced preserved lemon…

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Finished Product

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Those eggs! Great soft boiled egg tips in the recipe. Steam for 7 min then directly in ice water. Perfect softies every time!

Next up was an interesting take on Guac, Colombian Avocado Salsa (Aji de Aguacate) p.24. Avocado is mashed with some hard boiled egg then mixed with a tangy vinegar herb and chilli mix, topped with larger chunks of egg and tomato…

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The magazine suggests it could be traditionally served on patacones (double fried plantains) so why not try those too! I looked to the Nomnom Paleo app and my foodie friend Moody Little Kitchen for some advice. I think they turned out pretty well for my first go. You are meant to find green plantains but that’s not always easy at a Zehrs in the middle of an Ontario winter so yellow ones had to do (they just made them a bit sweeter which was fine)…

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John’s seal of approval

I really liked the addition of the egg. I can see trying my usual, memorized version of guac with some hard boiled goodness. Let me know if you give it a go!

 

 

 

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.

A Year of Cookbooks – 3 Recommendations

As everyone who has been following my blog will know I chose 1 cookbook a month in 2017 to see how many recipes I could make…

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All 12 challenge books

I learned some new techniques and ate some gorgeous new food. Here are the 12 books I chose. All vegetarian and all picked for different reasons:

January – Skinny Bitch, Ultimate Everyday Cookbook by Kim Barnouin (Picked because it was January and said Skinny in the title lol!) See the post here.

February – Rebar, Modern Food Cookbook by Audrey Alsterberg and Wanda Urbanowicz (Picked because I’ve been to the restaurant and have always wanted to make more of their recipes.) See the post here.

March  The New Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen (Picked because this is truly a Vegetarian Classic and published in 1977, my DOB.) See the post here.

April – The World of the Happy Pear by Stephen and David Flynn (Picked because I loved some of the salad recipes from the first book and hadn’t made anything out of their second yet!) See the post here.

May – A Modern Way to Eat by Anna Jones (Picked because I LOVE the aesthetics of her books, they are a pleasure to read. The recipes also looked very much the way we like to eat normally.) See the post here.

June – The Love and Lemons Cookbook by Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews (Picked because it is a GORGEOUS looking book with fresh, simple recipes.) See the post here.

July – The Green Kitchen by David Frenkiel and Luise Vindahl (Picked again for the beautiful photography and because the recipes look so healthy and flavourful!) See the post here.

August – Vegetarian Any Day by Patricia Green and Carolyn Hemming (Picked because the recipes looked like basic ingredients that could be accomplished on an island cottage! I.e. basic ingredients, no fancy mixers needed and crowd pleasing. It was a plus that they are Canadian authors.) See the post here.

September – Oh She Glows Every Day by Angela Lindon (Picked because the first Oh She Glows is one of my go-to vegan cookbooks and I wanted to try more recipes from her new book.) See the post here.

October – River Cottage Much More Veg by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall (Picked because I’ve LOVED Hugh and River Cottage ever since we lived in the UK. His first Veg book is a staple, one I always recommend people to take a look at.) See the post here.

November – Mildreds The cookbook by the chefs at Mildreds UK (Picked because I’m a sucker for UK restaurant cookbooks and the recipes looked yummy.) See the post here.

December – Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi (Picked because the food at his restaurants is my absolute fav way to eat and because I have all his books and do more drooling over them then cooking from them!) See the post here.

I thought that I should try and pick my top 3 that I think you should buy. If you love cookbooks as much as I do you’ll probably want to buy them all but I think some are more worthy to own. It was soooooooo tough to decide but…

1- Rebar, Modern Food Cookbook by Audrey Alsterberg and Wanda Urbanowicz. The recipes are really lovely and always turned out well. Unfortunately, it’s a bit “self-published” looking so you aren’t going to buy this for the pictures! It’s Canadian too which is cool!

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2- Vegetarian Any Day by Patricia Green and Carolyn Hemming. I picked this one, not because it was my favourite, but because it had a lot of recipes that I think all eaters (meat included) would like. They are simple without “fancy” spices and ingredients. I think it would be a good all arounder…

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3- Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi. I really just think everyone has to try some Ottolenghi. Really you could get any of his books though I’d think. Take a peep next time you are out and buy one!

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Ok I’m going to have to pick 4… The Love and Lemons Cookbook by Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews. The pictures are lovely and the recipes are fresh and vibrant. If you don’t fancy the book she has a great blog and instagram where you can probably find most of the recipes or ones very similar.

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From my posts you may have noticed that I tried a few follow up books from some of my favourite chefs. Below are their first books. If you are interested in these authors then I’d suggest getting these, their first triumphs…

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Definitely not his first book but his first dedicated to the glorious veg! If you are a meat eater you’ll want to check out his others for sure!

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Honestly all her books look like this one so you probably can’t go wrong with any of them. There are 3 out now I believe.

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If you are venturing more into the Vegan realm then DEFINITELY pick up this gem. The cashew cream will change your life!

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Looking for some neat salad ideas in particular then get this one to try.

Also, could you go wrong with any classic Molly Katzen, probably not…

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Happy Cooking and let me know if you buy something new!