Friday, May 10, 2013
These mini cast-iron skillets add serious cuteness points to plain old brownies and blondies. For my full baking instructions (and the most perfect brownie and blondie recipes ever), head over to Food Network Canada. Be sure to check back weekly for more fun ideas on how to dress up your food!
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
How do you like your chocolate chip cookies? Chewy, crunchy or a venerable combination of both? It's like asking someone how they take their coffee -- everyone has a preference. I (thought) I liked mine chewy and just undercooked, but these chocolate chip cookies from charming San Francisco bakery Miette have me thinking otherwise.
These cookies are crunchy, light and buttery. Ground oats and walnuts give them a nutty finish and keep them airy and crisp. One bite and you're hooked. Before you know it, you're helplessly downing five cookies by the minute and wind up, quite literally, doused in a pile of crumbs and drops of milk, full-bellied and asking yourself how you wound up there.
Not that I ever experienced that.
Just saying, they're really good and you should bake these and bring them to a party or serve them to your kids after school because they will be a hit. Here's the recipe for these elegant and addicting chocolate chip cookies:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 2/3 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup walnuts, toasted and cooled
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
11/3 cups sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons milk
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups semi-sweet mini chocolate chips
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Soft together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a bowl. Set aside.
3. In a food processor or blender, process the oats to coarse crumbs and transfer them to a plate. Add walnuts to food processor or blender and pulse until jut coarsely ground. Set aside.
4. Combine butter and sugar and beat with an electric mixer until light-coloured and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add egg and beat until fully incorporated. Add milk and vanilla and mix well. Add dry ingredients and beat until just combined. Add oats, chocolate chips and walnuts and stir by hand until evenly distributed.
5. Roll into 3/4 sized balls and flatten with the palm of your hand. Bake for 10 minutes. Store in an air-tight container for up to two weeks.
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
It's amazing what one woman can accomplish with a lot of passion and a little wood. I am awe-inspired by woodmaker Ariele Alasko's beautiful creations. She uses reclaimed wood to make headboards, cheeseboards and tables in her signature wood-panel style. I love how she mixes different finishes and bits of colour. Her pieces accomplish something that is hard to do -- they have an industrial feel while still maintaining the warmth of the wood.
Check out her blog, Brooklyn to West, where she chronicles her work. Also, be sure to follow her on Instagram at arielealasko. She'll fill your feed with an abundance of stunning photos of her day to day life as an artist.
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Quinoa, with it's superfood status and nutrient-rich anatomy, can (sometimes) taste bland -- that is, if you don't know how to cook it. I've made many-a-quinoa dishes and have finally come up with the perfect recipe for flavourful quinoa every time.
The first and most important step is this: cook it in broth, not water. I like Campbells Chicken Stock (the no salt added version), but you can use whatever you please. Beef and vegetable stock work just as well. Generally, I like to use half water and half broth for a mildly flavoured quinoa that pairs well with just about anything.
Second, here's how to dress it up: with olive oil, lemon juice, sea salt and pepper. It's as simple as that! Just a drizzle of this and a splash of that and you're on your way to the perfect quinoa dish.
For the third and final step to the perfect quinoa dish: toss it with colourful fruits, veggies, and legumes. Like a good outfit, the best meals are the ones with an unexpected element, so be bold and add something you wouldn't have normally thought of. In this case, I used pomegranate seeds for an unexpected burst of tartness. Other ideas are roasted nuts and seeds for crunch, sweet potatoes for colour and sweetness, bitter greens like boiled kale, or chopped orange pieces for a citrus kick.
See? Healthy eating really can be delicious!
Thursday, March 21, 2013
I'd like to thank my digital nutritionist, Sarah Britton from My New Roots, for introducing me to this miraculous, life-changing loaf of bread.
You might be questioning why it deserves such grand compliments, but I assure you this little loaf certainly deserves all the credit, and I'm about to tell you why. It's gluten-free, vegan, rich in protein and fibre, extremely easy to make, oh -- and it's really, really delicous. What's the secret, you ask? Well, this miracle loaf of bread is made possible by this miracle ingredient: psyllium seed husks. They are a natural source of fiber that can absorb up to ten times their weight in water, and therefor make a great substitution for flour.
No longer will I feel pangs of guilt after eating toast for breakfast, nor will I have to strain for sandwich substitutions for lunch, or resort to bland melba-toast in place of its softer, crustier counterpart. This bread has allowed me to munch freely on what I used to consider my nutritional nemesis. And it can do the same for you...
1 cup sunflower seeds
½ cup flax seeds
½ cup hazelnuts or nut of choice
1 ½ cups rolled oats
2 tbsp. chia seeds
4 tbsp. psyllium seed husks (3 Tbsp. if using psyllium husk powder)
1 tsp. fine grain sea salt
1 tbsp. honey or maple syrup
3 tbsp. melted coconut oil
1 ½ cups
1. In a flexible, silicon loaf pan combine all dry ingredients, stirring well.
2. Whisk honey, oil and water together in a small bowl. Add this to the dry ingredients and mix very well until everything is completely soaked and dough becomes very thick (if the dough is too thick to stir, add one or two teaspoons of water until the dough is manageable).
3. Smooth out the top with the back of a spoon. Let sit out on the counter for at least 2 hours, or all day or overnight. To ensure the dough is ready, it should retain its shape even when you pull the sides of the loaf pan away from it it.
2. Preheat oven to 350°F / 175°C.
3. Place loaf pan in the oven on the middle rack, and bake for 20 minutes. Remove bread from loaf pan, place it upside down directly on the rack and bake for another 30-40 minutes. Bread is done when it sounds hollow when tapped. Let cool completely before slicing.
4. Store bread in a tightly sealed container for up to five days. Freezes well too – slice before freezing for quick and easy toast!
Thanks for this amazing recipe Sarah!!
Friday, March 15, 2013
Whether you're celebrating with a family brunch or hunkering down at the local pub for some green beer, this recipe for all-natural green pancakes is sure to help you secure a kiss from that special someone -- Irish or not. Pistachio paste gives them a lovely pale green hue while the orange-maple syrup is a perfect accompaniment to the flapjack's nutty flavour.
You can make them from scratch with this easy recipe, or just add 3 tablespoons of pistachio paste to a boxed batter. For the orange-maple syrup, simply add 1 teaspoon orange zest and 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed orange juice to 1 cup of real maple syrup.
Pistachio paste can be found at most specialty food stores and Summerhill Market.
Thursday, March 7, 2013
Get ready ladies, because wedding season is just around the corner. Do you love them as much as I do? I must admit, I’m quite the hopeless romantic - with a healthy addiction to beautiful things like florals, cake and party favours. So when I recently discovered a magazine called Wedluxe, I was so inspired I just had to share.
Wedluxe Magazine is a luxury wedding magazine that features the most talented, high-end vendors in the biz. Their stunning fashion shoots and beautiful feature stories make every page look like a tangible Pinterest board. Whether he recently “put a ring on it” or you’re just a wedding fanatic like me, check out their website for a little sneak peak at Wedluxe’s lust-worthy eye candy. It’s like a lollipop for those pretty peepers of yours, because a little bit of sugar never hurt the eyes.