I celebrated a birthday a few months ago. It wasn’t a particularly special birthday other than the many wonderful birthday wishes that my many social media friends bestowed. JT took me to my favourite French restaurant, Le Select Bistro where we are treated like VIPs since we dined there with our good friends and neighbours Tom & Iona (Tom is an architect and designed the interior of the restaurant).
Several months back, my trusty old food processor’s plastic top broke. It didn’t entirely break, just the little, wee bit broke off that clicks into the special spot to allow the thing to be turned on. I get that it’s a safety feature so that you can’t turn it on without the top clicking in, but honestly, such a crappy little piece of plastic breaks off and my food processor is rendered useless?! Well, kind of useless, because I figured out that I can jam a chopstick into the spot and I had it working for a few additional months. It was all fine and dandy until I had to take it to a photo shoot and we were all jamming the chopstick into the top to get it to work, how embarrassing was that?!?!? So when my birthday rolled along, I decided I wanted a real, grown-up food processor and JT got me the Cuisinart 12-cup!
The 12-Cup version has a little 4-cup insert so you can make small amounts of stuff.
It’s been brutally hot and humid in Toronto so even though I had a brand new food processor, I just couldn’t bring myself to make anything, particularly something that required the oven! I broke down and baked these delightful cheese and onion scones for a little dinner we had; fortunately, the oven was only on for 15 minutes including the pre-heat time and I had the hood fan on full blast, sucking out the hot air so it didn’t heat up the kitchen too badly. The food processor worked like a dream, I can’t wait to use the little 4-cup bowl insert.
Cheese and Onion Scones
Original recipe from Jean Paré’s Company’s Coming Muffins and More cookbook
Makes 12-16 5 cm (2 inch) scones)
- 240 g All Purpose Flour
- 12 g granulated sugar
- 16 g baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 1 small shallot, finely chopped
- 150 g grated cheese (we used Gouda)
- 57 g cold butter, cut into small cubes
- 1 egg
- 158 mL milk (and extra milk for brushing tops)
- Preheat oven to 220° C (425° F).
- Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, shallot and cheese in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to combine. Add cubed butter and pulse until crumbly.
- Combine, milk and egg and whisk until frothy. Pour into food processor while pulsing to combine well. Turn dough out to a lightly floured surface and knead once or twice. Roll out to about 2.5 cm (1 inch) thick and cut into 5 cm (2 inch) circles. Brush tops with milk.
- Bake for 15 minutes or until lightly golden. Serve warm with butter.
Perfect for a light snack or with soup.
Posted in Bread, Cheese | Tagged Bread, comfort food, delicious, onion, Vegetarian | 26 Comments »
Occasionally, I click on a Facebook sponsored post, these waffle bites were one of them. But the photo was not for a recipe, it was just a photo and when I googled the bites the results were quite disturbing (like a train wreck of Mac ‘n Cheese, a total mess), nothing like the image that was sponsored on Facebook! So I put on my thinking cap and came up with this recipe. I basically mixed a serving of waffle batter with 1 serving of macaroni and cheese and sprinkled both top and bottom with more shredded cheese. These are bites so I did not fill the waffle pan, I wanted them small. You need to cook these slightly longer than a normal waffle because you want the cheese to crisp up, it’s the only way they will come away from the pan without leaving a cheesy mess.
Delicious Cheesy Morsels
Mac ‘n Cheese Waffle Bites
A KitchenInspirations Original Recipe
Makes 4 small waffles, cut into fourths, about 16 crackers
- 1 leftover serving* of your favourite Mac ‘n Cheese (any packaged or homemade will do).
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup AP flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 1 cup of shredded good quality old cheddar (or any good melting cheese)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Make sure your leftover Mac ‘n Cheese is at room temperature (not cold out of the fridge)
- Combine egg and milk and beat well.
- Sift flour, baking powder and salt into egg mixture and beat until well combined and thick.
- Pour over leftover Mac ‘n Cheese and mix well.
- Preheat your waffle iron. Brush both sides generously with olive oil. Add a couple of tablespoons of shredded cheddar to the base, spoon in about 1/2 cup of the Mac ‘n Cheese waffle batter onto the centre and add a couple more tablespoons of the shredded cheddar on top and close the pan.
- Waffles need to cook a little longer than normal so that cheese crisps up.
- Waffles are cooked when the top of the waffle pan easily peels away from the waffle, although you may need a little nudge to release if cheese is sticking to the iron.
- Cut into quarters with a pizza cutter.
If you like crispy cheese, you will LOVE these.
- *A leftover serving is basically a 1/2 cup of uncooked noodles and cheese sauce.
- To make more, simply multiply the waffle ingredients by the number of servings of Mac ‘n Cheese (for example, KD has 4 servings per box, so ingredients would be 4 eggs, 2 cups milk, 2 cups flour, 2 tsp baking powder etc…).
- I, intentionally did not make these bites the full-size of the waffle pan, I wanted them irregular and smallish.
- Waffle bites are crispy and not creamy, they are like a giant Mac ‘n Cheese chip.
- Add chopped green onions for extra flavour.
- Serve with salsa, a bruschetta topping or greek yogurt or sour cream for dipping.
A view of the lake.
I didn’t cook the first one long enough and it literally split in half. Perfectly edible but not pretty!
Posted in Breakfast/Brunch, Kitcheninspirations Original Recipe, Left overs, Recipes, Tapas, Vegetarian | Tagged Appetizer, Appetizer/Hors d'oeuvres, cheese, delicious, hors d'oeuvres, Vegetarian | 12 Comments »
Many of you are shaking your heads right about now. Breakfast Cake? Has she gone completely mad? How can it be? A cake for breakfast? This is actually a recipe I tested some time back and I loved it so much, I’ve continued to make it on a regular basis, particularly for the cottage.
This one was baked at home on the BBQ because it was way too hot to be turning on the oven, even if it is for such a lovely breakfast cake. JT developed a wonderful contraption inside our Weber gas grill: he inverted a vegetable grill basket and set it in the centre, this allows the ‘cake’ to be lifted off the grill so that the I can keep the middle burner on low and the two outside burners on medium, maintaining the inside ‘oven’ an even 350° F! So next time you want to bake something and it’s too hot, try this nifty idea!
Would you care for some maple syrup with that?
Blueberry and Peach Oatmeal Breakfast Cake
Please click here for the original recipe. This recipe serves 8 or one 9″ x 9″ cake.
- 500 mL (2 cups) 2% milk
- 250 mL (1 cup) egg whites
- 250 mL (1 cup) applesauce*
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 270 g (3 cups) large flake oats
- 1/2 cup blueberries
- 1 peach, cubed evenly
- A mix of strawberries, blueberries and raspberries
- maple syrup
- Combine wet ingredients and mix well. Add the cinnamon, salt and large flake oats and mix well. Allow to sit for several hours in the refrigerator or overnight (mixture will become very thick as oats absorb the liquid).
- Preheat the BBQ to 350° F.
- Add 1/2 cup blueberries and cubed peaches and mix well. Pour contents into a parchment lined pan and bake for about 50 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean from the centre. Serve warm with berries and maple syrup.
Serving size is based on 1/8 of the cake.
- This recipe works particularly well with any type of fruit, so allow your imagination go wild!
- I’ve also been known to serve this with whipped cream.
- Kids may only want half a serving because it is very filling.
- For truly Gluten Free, please choose oats that claim Gluten Free on the packaging as most oats are processed in non-gluten free factories and may be contaminated.
- * the apple sauce was the leftover apple pulp from when I made this apple jelly.
- This is not a sweet breakfast cake.
- Replace milk with orange juice for another flavour.
- Surprisingly, when I tested the original recipe, it also was very cake-like even though the picture on the original site shows more porridge than cake!
- Nuts are also a wonderful addition but I wanted a nut free version due to an allergy.
Posted in Breakfast/Brunch, Gluten Free, Recipes | Tagged Breakfast, delicious, Gluten Free, healthy | 25 Comments »
These tasty treats resemble English crumpets in both flavour and texture. Please click here to see my attempt at making the English treats.
Six years ago, we visited Morocco My how time flies. During our visit, JT and I took two cooking classes, one at our Riad and the other at a very famous restaurant, Maison MK with Chef, Omar El Ouahssoussi. Both lessons had us making popular Moroccan main courses which we have made several times since our return. All of the food in Morocco is exceptional, a wonderful contrast of savory and sweet, carefully paired. Even breakfast in Morocco was something special. Breakfast always had a bit of a continental leaning but with Moroccan specialties, like this pancake. I’ll never forget the first time I tried Beghrir, on the rooftop patio of our Riad. It came with a little pitcher of syrup that tasted like honey and melted butter, you drizzle this syrup on the little cakes and the holes soak up all of the wonderfulness. I was instantly delighted with the unique texture and flavour of these interesting yeast-based pancakes and loudly declared that I would make them as soon as we returned. Yes, that was SIX years ago. We’ve made most of the dishes we learned how to make in our cooking classes but I let this one fall off my list. Better late than never, eh?
Part of my hesitation to make this wonderful pancake was the prep and rest time, some recipes rest for one and half hours! I just didn’t have the time for that, so when I found My Moroccan Food blog’s Baghrir recipe, with only 30 minute resting time, I knew it was for me! As luck would have it, I only had about half of the required semolina in my pantry so I had to improvise. I also rather liked an ingredient I saw in the New Moroccan cookbook (please see notes below) so I altered the proportions of the original recipe to include almond flour. I am going to give this a try making it gluten free and hopefully, I won’t drag it out another six years.
Beghrir, THE Moroccan Pancake
Makes about 42 little pancakes about 5-6 cm (3-3.5″) diameter. For the original recipe, please click here.
- 120 gr of fine semolina
- 120 g AP unbleached flour
- 50 g almond flour
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 tsp yeast
- ½ tsp salt
- 500 mL (2 cups) warm water
- 2 tsp baking powder
- Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl and blend well with a stick/immersion blender. Allow to stand in a warm place for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes you should see the yeast taking action. Give the batter another blending and prepare your pan by spraying well with non-stick spray.
- Preheat the pan (see notes below). Using a 4.5 cm (2.75″) ice cream scoop, scoop a scant helping of batter and pour from the centre out on the hot pan. The Beghrir will cook from the bottom up, you do not flip this pancake. Cook until the batter is no longer wet. Repeat until all of the batter is gone.
These tasty Moroccan breakfast cakes are very similar in texture and flavour to English Crumpets.
The honey butter syrup makes this breakfast a treat and extremely moreish.
- The pan must be very hot for the batter to bubble, but not hot enough that the batter burns before it cooks, it’s a bit of a balancing act.
- I used a well-seasoned cast iron pan (the one I use to make crêpes) so I had to keep turning the heat down so the beghrir doesn’t burn.
- Beghrir will stick together while hot, so cool them laying out in a single layer.
- Beghrir freezes very well. I plan to repurpose them with a little cream cheese, smoked salmon and fresh dill during the holiday season, although JT really loved them with the syrup.
- To reheat Beghrir, steam them for a few minutes. Steaming maintains the crumpet-like texture. (updated October 15, 2016)
- The original recipe is a synthesis of Chef Mourad Lahlou’s 2011 cookbook, New Moroccan, (page 196) and this blog. I found Chef Mourad’s recipe a tad complicated for first thing in the morning so I simply borrowed the almond flour he adds, I figured it would add texture and flavour. Next time I may try his recipe for contrast.
- Chef Mourad used a flat indented silver dollar pancake pan (like this one) but I did not have one and I do not think it is needed, the pancakes turn out beautifully round on their own.
- The syrup is an equal combination of butter, honey and about half the volume of water, heat gently to melt butter and whisk to combine, serve warm.
- Beghrir can be topped with anything, try some jam, or even maple syrup, but I’ll stick to the traditional honey and butter, it’s so good!
- Beghrir can be spelled Baghrir or Beghrir, or so says the internet.
I can’t believe I didn’t post a pic of the new table yet! This is the newly improved table, havent decided to paint the legs yet!
Posted in Breakfast/Brunch, Moroccan recipes, Recipes, Vegetarian | Tagged almond, Breakfast, comfort food, delicious, Vegetarian | 22 Comments »
- 125 mL (1/2 cup) melted coconut oil
- 60 mL (1/4 cup) honey
- 60 mL (1/4 cup) milk
- 60 mL (1/4 cup) water
- 5 mL (1 teaspoon) vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 125 mL (1/2 cup) roughly mashed ripe bananas (about 2 smallish bananas)
- 60 mL (1/4 cup) dates
- 128 g (1 cup) whole wheat flour
- 94 g (3/4 cup) AP flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2.5 mL (½ teaspoon) ground cinnamon, plus more to swirl on top
- 2.5 mL (½ teaspoon)salt
- 70 g (½ cup) chopped almonds
- Preheat the BBQ to 177 ° C (350° F) using only the front and back burners. Prepare a 10 cm x 23 cm (4″ x 9″) loaf pan by generously spraying with non-stick baking spray.
- In the large bowl of a food processor, add melted coconut oil, honey, milk, water, vanilla extract, eggs, bananas and dates and pulse until dates and bananas have been well incorporated into the liquid.
- Sift the flours, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Add all at once to the liquid and pulse a few times to incorporate. Stir in chopped almonds.
- Pour into prepared pan and set into a larger pan. Place pan into the centre of the BBQ so that the elements that are on are not below the loaf pan. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean (mine was perfect in 50 minutes).
It’s a dense bread that is perfect for breakfast or a small snack.
Posted in Bread, Breakfast/Brunch, Recipes, Vegetarian | Tagged almond, Breakfast, comfort food, Cottage, delicious, diy, furniture, healthy, Vegetarian | 24 Comments »
A few months ago, one of my Chef FB peeps posted about a product she received called Mycryo®. I was intrigued, I had never heard of such a product so off I went to research it. The product is powdered cocoa butter and their website touts that it seals in flavour with fewer calories than pan firing in oil! How exciting is that?! I immediately thought of a few applications that release fluids quickly making it difficult to sear: Scallops, mushrooms, potatoes, and the list goes on! I HAD to HAVE it! So off I went to their website to see where I might purchase this unique product, and to my delight, there were quite a few stores. I made the mistake of not calling ahead to see if they had it in stock and I shuffled off to several stores (sigh, you know how I hate going to specialty grocery stores!) to track it down but was sadly disappointed, although I did make some other purchases so my trips were not entirely useless. I returned home, with a sunken heart and proceeded to call and email around but, I was not able to find it. What to do? My desire for this product had not waned, so I tweeted the Canadian company and they immediately responded and the next thing I knew, they sent me a full-size sample! Isn’t that lovely?
I’ve been using Mycryo® in my everyday cooking (I even transferred some to a small bottle to take to the cottage), although I haven’t had a blog worthy recipe before this one, it works just as they claim. I’ve tried Mycryo® with mushrooms, scallops, shrimp, pork shoulder (for pulled pork) and pork tenderloin (roast), oven roasted potatoes and sweet potatoes. It doesn’t splatter as much as oil does and that makes me happy because I don’t need to clean up a mess! Although, I must tell you that I haven’t had as much success with potatoes or sweet potatoes, but that may be due to the fact that I only have a small convection oven at the cottage, where I tried it. This recipe, however, works out perfectly with this unique product, the shrimp did not release any liquid, making a wonderfully crisp coating, just like deep frying but without the excessive calories.
That shrimp is either enormous or that’s a very small bowl 😉!
Chilled Pea Soup with Kaffir Lime Coconut Milk garnished with Toasted Coconut Shrimp
A KitchenInspirations Original Recipe
Makes 1.25 L (5.5 cups)
- 25 g coconut milk powder (around 4 heaping tbsp)
- 1 cup milk (I used 2%)
- 1 cup water
- 750 g frozen peas (about 1 lb)
- 10 g dried Kaffir Lime Leaves (a good handful, use less if fresh)
- 1 tbsp chopped cilantro
- 10 g grated frozen ginger (about 1 tsp)
- 2 cups vegetable stock or water
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- pinch of sea salt
- Combine coconut milk powder with milk and water and blend with an immersion blender until well blended.
- Add the defrosted peas, dried kaffir lime leaves, cilantro, ginger and 2 cups vegetable stock (or water) to the coconut milk. Blend with an immersion blender until smooth. Strain through a fine sieve and add the lime juice, blend again briefly (see notes below).
The soup tastes like summer!
Serving Suggestion, per person:
Ingredients, per person:
- 1 large shrimp, entirely peeled (I hate to have to fish the shrimp out with my fingers to pull off the tail)
- 1/2 tbsp AP unbleached flour
- 1/2 tbsp egg white with a pinch of sugar or honey, whisked
- 1 tbsp toasted coconut
- 1/2 tsp Mycryo®*
- To toast the coconut, Toss with 1/2 tsp Mycryo® and toast lightly in a small frying pan set aside to cool,.
- Dredge the shrimp in the flour and coat well. Next coat the shrimp with the egg white mixture. Then back into the flour and dip back into the egg white mixture (see notes). Then lastly, coat the shrimp well with the toasted coconut, set aside. Continue until you have all of the shrimp prepared.
- Preheat the oven to 190° C (375° F). Lay shrimp on their sides onto a baking sheet. Gently sprinkle Mycryo® on side one, then flip the shrimp and sprinkle on side two. Bake for 3-5 minutes or until entirely opaque.
- Pour the chilled soup into a soup bowl, gently add the shrimp so that it remains visible (I may have propped said shrimp on an inverted bowl in the soup, food styling trick for photography ONLY!). Serve immediately.
- Obviously, to be vegetarian and vegan, omit the shrimp!
- Substitute 1 cup coconut milk plus 1 cup water for the coconut milk powder and milk. To reduce calories, reduce the proportion of coconut milk to 1/2 cup plus 1 1/2 cup milk and 1 cup water.
- To get more out of your soup, blend the remaining pulp from the sieve a few times adding only a little water or vegetable stock, press through a fine sieve each time and add to the main soup. I usually do this 2 or 3 times and the pulp is reduced about 1/2 to 1/4 each time!
- Pulp broth: do yourself a favour and boil some water (I did about 500 mL or 2 cups) and pour it over the pulp, allow to sit until cooled and then strain it through a fine sieve (like a metal coffee filter) and reserve the liquid for your next soup. It packs a bunch of flavour and now you have stock from something that would have been compost! Compost the remaining pulp.
- Refrain from adding additional sweetness to the soup until you have tasted the final product, I feel the peas should be sweet enough.
- Other garnish options are:
- Whipped coconut milk with toasted coconut.
- 1 or 2 grilled shrimp per serving (just dust the dry shrimp in Mycryo® on both sides and put on a hot grill)
- Toast some coconut and chiffonade some mint, dress each bowl.
- a dollop of crème fraîche with some toasted coconut.
Eva Taylor/Kitcheninspirations received 550 g container of Mycryo® by Mycryo® Canada free of charge; this recipe was developed by Eva Taylor for Kitcheninspirations, and the opinions expressed in this post are that of Eva Taylor/Kitcheninspirations.
Nutritional facts based on 250 mL soup with 1 shrimp, approximately 26 g.
WW tables based on 250 mL soup with 1 shrimp, approximately 26 g.
Posted in Mycryo®, Soups, Vegetarian, Weight Watchers Recipes | Tagged coconut, delicious, lime, Soup, sweet, tangy, tasty, Vegetarian | 25 Comments »
This recipe nothing new. You’ve seen it posted a million times on a million blogs (OK, maybe I exaggerate!). And I wasn’t going to post about it, but it turned out SO WELL so I kinda felt like I had to. I’ve made the oven roasted garbanzo beans (chickpeas) before and although they were pretty good, they didn’t have the crispy crunch that I had been lead to believe they would. Sure they were crisp on the exterior but the interior was rather pasty. These beans are crunchy through and through! In fact, if I hadn’t “unfried” them, I would not, could not, have believed that they were not deep fried. Yes, you read that correctly, my dear friend: they are UNFRIED.
Some time back, I cooked for a short testimonial-piece for the T-Fal ActiFry Express XL appliance (not published yet) where I had to cook twelve dishes in advance for an on-location motion shoot with a local celebrity. The great folks at T-fal gave me an ActiFry Express XL for the job. I started cooking at 5am so that food would look fresher than cooking it the night before and left just in the nick of time to get there (far end of town). We got the house at 12:30 and had to be out at 3:30! It was challenging, to say the least, particularly because the kitchen was the commercial set! I had to prep on the floor in the hall, and at one point, in the garage so that I could have access to an electrical outlet! That profession kitchen truck would have come in very handy!
JT and I are not big on fried foods, so this cool appliance is perfect for us and recently I needed a cocktail snack for the cottage and I wanted something healthy with protein and crispy garbanzo beans (chick peas) popped into my head. I thought the beans would be perfect for the ActiFry (see notes). So I purchased two 540 mL (19 oz) cans of low sodium chick peas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and dried them on a clean towel and popped them into the non-stick coated ActiFry. The result was magical, it did not dehydrate the beans (which sometimes makes them a bit leathery), it actually fried them in 1 tbsp oil! They are crunchy through and through! And the next best part? I didn’t have to turn on the oven because it was 30° C (86° F) outside and humid! And cleanup was a cinch (I vacuumed it and wiped it out with a soft cloth).
I know that this recipe will be a repeat for all parties from now on!
“Unfried” Garbonzo Beans (or chick peas)
A KitchenInspirations Original Recipe
Makes ~250 g or 2 cups unfried garbanzo beans (chick peas)
- 540 mL (19 oz) cans of low sodium chick peas
- 1 tbsp dehydrated onion powder (see notes)
- 1 tbsp granulated garlic (see notes)
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp canola oil
- dash of sesame oil
- Combine all of the spices and salt and mix well.
- Drain and rinse the garbanzo beans (chick peas) and lay out on a clean towel to dry for 30 minutes).
- Add the dried beans to the ActiFry bowl and drizzle in the oils. Set the timer to 45 minutes and close the lid. Start, allow the paddle to rotate a full circle and open the lid and sprinkle about 1/3 of the spice blend onto the beans. Close the lid and allow the paddle to go around twice. Repeat until all of the spice blend is used up. Close the lid and wait for the magic to happen.
- Test the beans around 35 minutes and then about 5-minute increments. You want a crunch, much like the crunch you get when you eat potato chips. Keep it going until you achieve a great, crunchy bean.
- Pour the beans out onto a clean cookie sheet (with sides) and allow to cool. Store in an air-tight container in the fridge until needed (it was too humid to store in the pantry).
- I keep a container of Kirkland Signatur Chopped Onion and I combine it with Kirkland Signatur Granulated Garlic (not garlic powder) and blitz it in a coffee come spice grinder for this purpose (great on popcorn too!).
- Be creative and come up with your own blend of spices, like garlic, ginger and sea salt.
- I did not have time to use dried beans but feel free to soak, dry and ActiFry dried beans, I’m sure the result would be the same.
- Although the ActiFry paddle moves around at a very slow pace, I find larger things get a bit beat up without the stationery tray but it’s perfect for these beans.
Eva Taylor/Kitcheninspirations received T-fal ActiFry Express XL from Group SEB, Toronto; this recipe was developed by Eva Taylor for Kitcheninspirations, and the opinions expressed in this post are that of Eva Taylor/Kitcheninspirations.
Posted in ActiFry, Appetizers/Hors D'oeuvres, Gluten Free, Kitcheninspirations Original Recipe, Recipes, Vegetarian, Weight Watchers Recipes | Tagged ActiFry, Appetizer/Hors d'oeuvres, garlic, Gluten Free, healthy, hors d'oeuvres, Light, low fat, onion, tasty, Vegetarian | 25 Comments »