Family favourites (old and new)

Month: October 2012

Great Balls of…Energy

Great Balls of…Energy

This recipe comes via Dance Mom and Swimmer Mom Annemarie Nordman …oh and she also happens to be President of Rainmaker Marketing & Design in her own right (thanks Annemarie!). Her eldest daughter was a competitive swimmer with a training schedule much like the Dance […]

Monica’s Great Grandma’s (Not So) Nutty Biscuits

Monica’s Great Grandma’s (Not So) Nutty Biscuits

Ms Monica (pictured above) is one of the many committed dancers at Dance Co. Her mom Annemarie advises these cookies have received “The BEST cookies I’ve ever made”,  seal of approval. That’s more than good enough for me! For reasons that will remain a mystery […]

Cranberry Sauce Muffins

Cranberry Sauce Muffins

It’s a muffin kind of day. Two hours of raking leaves left me a bit hungry. This is an adaptation of a cranberry sauce muffin recipe I found online here. I made this recipe and liked it (although I substituted yogurt for the sour cream). This time I was out of sour cream and had some buttermilk I needed to use so I just used that. I also changed up the whole wheat flour for a combination of oatbran and ground flax seed.

For my version you will need:

1/2 c. white sugar
1/2 c. vegetable oil
1 1/4 c. buttermilk
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 c. flour
1 c. oatbran
2 Tbsps ground flax seed
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
12 Tbsps chunky cranberry sauce

  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. Line muffin tin with paper liners.
  3. In a large bowl whisk together the wet ingredients except the cranberry sauce.
  4. In a separate bowl whisk together the dry ingredients.
  5. Add dry to wet and mix until just blended.
  6. Spoon batter into muffin cups (they will be quite full but don’t worry about it).
  7. Spoon one Tbsp of cranberry sauce on the top of each cup of muffin batter.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes or until a tooth pick comes out clean.
  9. Cool in pan for 5 minutes then remove and finish cooling on a wire rack.
  10. Store in airtight container (they will keep about 3 days).

Yield 12 muffins.

Arugula Pasta Toss

Arugula Pasta Toss

Quick, easy, delicious. You will need: Roasted tomatoes 4 cooked chicken breasts sliced (I used leftovers from honey-mustard chicken I made last night) 2 handfuls of arugula 1/2 c. grated cheddar cheese 1 c. orzo (boil in salted water for 6 minutes and drain) Freshly […]

Chayote..not to be confused with Peyote

Chayote..not to be confused with Peyote

My friends Doris and Wilson brought some chayote squash into the office last week and I thought I’d give it a go cooking it up for lunch.  The picture shows two squash cut into slices but you can see what a chayote squash looks like […]

Great Food Blog: Love & Lemons

Great Food Blog: Love & Lemons

My friend Tracy Rowand is the beauty and brains behind A Taste to Savour catering here in Vancouver. Recently, she’s embarked on a gluten free adventure and has been posting recipes. One of them was for polenta with mushrooms that looked absolutely incredible – of course everything Tracy makes is incredible so I guess I’m not surprised. Tracy plays well with others and agreed to pass along the recipe (I wasn’t the only one clamouring for it). Anyway, the blog it came from is a gem called Love & Lemons. First, this blog looks absolutely gorgeous and second if the photography doesn’t blow you away the recipes will. There wasn’t one I read that made me go “meh”. The only sad thing is neither Jeanine or Jeff (the J&J behind L&L) like olives. But that’s ok…I will just add them in on the sly. Thanks Tracy! And I’ll be keeping an eye out for those party platters and the new bloggity blog.

Roasted Campari Tomatoes

Roasted Campari Tomatoes

My local veggie market (Young Brothers Produce on Broadway) had Campari Tomatoes on special this weekend so I ended up buying two packages. I like making pasta tosses and roasted tomatoes go well with just about any toss you can think up. Tomorrow I’m thinking […]

Quinoa (Keen-wah) Salad with Tomatoes, Feta + Fresh Herbs

Quinoa (Keen-wah) Salad with Tomatoes, Feta + Fresh Herbs

Quinoa is perfect if you’ve got a kid who needs to eat gluten free. It’s now available at most grocery stores. Look for the organic, yellow one (it has a mild nutty flavour…without the nuts). This is a super easy recipe and you can pretty […]

Butternut Squash and Apple Soup

Butternut Squash and Apple Soup

We are heading into soup weather (also time to clean out the vegetable drawer!). This recipe is cobbled together from half a dozen different recipes I found online and what I had on hand that needed to be cooked. The result was flavourful and spicy. I had initially used 1/2 tsp ground white pepper but have reduced it to 1/4 tsp here because the goal is not to overpower the sweetness of the veggies with too much heat. If you like the heat then go ahead and use the 1/2 tsp.

You will need:
1 small butternut squash (cut in half, deseeded, oiled and roasted @ 375 F for about 40 minutes or until soft to poke with a knife, cool and remove cooked squash set aside)
2 Tbsp butter
1 chopped medium yellow onion
2 peeled and chopped carrots
1 stalk celery chopped
2 apples peeled and chopped (I used Spartans but any old apple will do)
1 half bulb fennel cleaned and chopped (optional…I happened to have one)
4 c. stock (chicken or vegetable – I used 2 cubes McCormicks and 4 c. water)
1/4 tsp ground white pepper
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp curry powder (optional)

  1. Melt butter in soup pot and saute the vegetables and the apple until soft.
  2. Add stock and spices.
  3. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer for 45 minutes (or until veg is soft).
  4. Cool and add the cooked squash and blend in batches or use an immersion blender. I left about a quarter of the soup chunky.
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Yield: 6-8 bowls.

A lot of recipes I have read talk about peeling and chopping the butternut squash. With all due respect, that is waaaay more work than roasting it. Squash is hard to peel and tough to cut especially if you don’t have a good peeler and a decent chef’s knife. Roasting is two cuts (top off and cut in half length-wise), scoop out the seeds, oil the cut edges, place cut side down on a parchment lined cookie sheet and put in a 375 F oven for 45 minutes.  With roasting you end up with more of the cooked flesh and less of a mess to clean up. Further, you get a caramelized flavour from roasting. However, if you really want to spend the extra time peeling and chopping…go for it. I’d rather pop it in the oven and go read a book or prep the rest of the vegetables while the squash is roasting.

 

Skunkworks Pasta Toss

Skunkworks Pasta Toss

I first made this for my colleagues at Skunkworks Creative Group Inc., thus the name. It works best with a hefty pasta like rotini, fusilli, penne or cavatappi. You will need: 2 c. pasta of your choice 1 bag of baby spinach or arugula (washed […]