Archive for April, 2011

Remember that all-time favourite, deep-fried restaurant version? Well, I’ve changed it to a much healthier oven-baked version! Enjoy!

Coconut Shrimp


  • 2-3 uncooked shrimp per person
  • 2-3 tbsp white flour per shrimp
  • 2-4 tbsp egg whites per shrimp
  • 1 tsp honey per shrimp
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened coconut per shrimp
  • sea salt to taste


  1. Pre-heat oven to 400°F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment (for easy cleanup)
  3. In three separate bowls, put the flour in one, the coconut in another and the egg whites and honey in the last one.
  4. Whip the egg whites and the honey until slightly frothy.
  5. Completely dry off the shrimp.
  6. Dredge each shrimp in the flour first until well coated.
  7. Now dip each one into the egg and honey mixture.
  8. Repeat dredging into the flour mixture next until well coated.
  9. And repeat into the egg and honey mixture until thoroughly coated TWICE.
  10. Now roll into the coconut until it is entirely coated.
  11. Lay the shrimp carefully onto the lined cookie sheet.
  12. Repeat step 6-12 until all the shrimp have been coated.
  13. Bake for 8-10 minutes (depending on the size of your shrimp – my fav’s are the 21-30 per pound) until cooked thoroughly and the coconut is just starting to turn a golden brown.
  14. Serve with a sweet and sour dipping sauce (and lots of napkins!)

Sweet and Sour Dipping Sauce
Makes about ½ cup, enough for 12-16 shrimp. Like any sauce, the longer it sits the better it tastes!

  • ½ cup lime juice
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp fish sauce (or salt if you don’t have fish sauce)
  • ¼ tsp chili paste (the Thai version)
  • 2 tbsp cilantro leaves finely chopped


  1. Put all ingredients but the cilantro into a blender (or container for the emersion blender) and blend until smooth.
  2. Strain into a decorative bowl and garnish with cilantro leaves.

The photo shows the shrimp sitting on the Lee inspired slaw and a papadum, but they are very tasty on their own as well.

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Please don’t buy a real bunny as a gift at Easter. A bunny will live to about 12 years; this is a real commitment. A bunny needs as much attention as a dog; they have delicate digestive systems that upset easily and not every vet knows how to deal with them (I know of 1 in Toronto) $$$. This is not a decision to be made lightly while you are caught up in the Easter festivities.

This post is dedicated to all the bunnies that end up at the humane society after Easter is over.

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Mini Cupcakes

Mini Paris Cupcakes
Adapted from Epicurious | February 2008, by Lara Shriftman and Elizabeth Harrison’s Party Confidential

Makes 19 cupcakes

Mini Cupcakes


  • 3/4 cup self-rising flour
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • Batter 1: 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • Batter 2: Melt 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips with 1 tbsp unsalted butter

Frosting (I found that this made about 1/3 too much frosting).

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, or flavour each colour as desired
  • 3–4 cups confectioners’ sugar

For cupcakes

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350°F.
  2. Line 12 mini muffin tins with mini muffin papers.
  3. In a small bowl, combine flours. In another bowl, cream the butter and sugar together, beating until fluffy. Add eggs and beat well.
  4. Add half flour mixture and beat well, then add milk and vanilla and beat again. Add remaining flour mixture and beat until completely incorporated.
  5. Divide the batter in half. Add the almond extract to one half and mix well. Add the melted chocolate chips to the other.
  6. Fill muffin papers about 3/4 full. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove cupcakes from oven and let cool.

For frosting

  1. Place butter, milk, vanilla and 2 cups of the confectioners’ sugar in a mixing bowl.
  2. Beat on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Gradually add remaining sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Divide icing into the number of colours you wish to use, and add a couple of drops of food colouring and flavouring and stir well.
  4. Ice tops of cupcakes with the coloured frosting and decorate with sprinkles and sugar.
  5. Serve on a beautiful tray or tiered cake plate.

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I have been making Cheese Straws since I received my first food processor in 1987 (it came with a similar recipe). I am now making a different recipe but they still taste the same! This one is adapted from The Book of Christmas Foods by Janice Murfitt, published in 1989.

Cheese Straws

Cheese Straws

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • pinch of cayenne (omit if you are serving to children)
  • 2 tbsp granulated garlic (or a flavour of your choice)
  • 1/2 tsp dry mustard
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (cold)
  • 1 cup dry grated Parmesan cheese (I buy any brand on sale and freeze)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1-2 tbsp water


  1. Pre-heat oven to 400°F.
  2. Put all dry ingredients into a food processor and process to mix well.
  3. Add the butter and process until coarse granules form.
  4. While the blades are running, pour in the egg and process until a soft ball forms. If this does not happen, drizzle little bits of water until a soft ball forms.
  5. Remove from processor and using a small amount of flour, roll out the dough to about 1/2cm thickness. Cut into 10cm x 1cm straws and position evenly on a cookie sheet.
  6. Bake for 8-12 minutes until golden.
  7. Remove and allow to cool. This will store well in a cool, dark place.

Note: the Parmesan is generally very salty, which is why this pastry is not salted.
Parmesan Cheese Sticks on Foodista

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Normandy Apple Tart

Adapted from Traditional Cakes and Pastries and Five Roses Flour Cookbook

Serves 10-12

Normandy Apple Tart

Pastry Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ½ tsp pure vanilla
  • 1 tsp finely grated lemon rind

Pastry Directions:

  1. Pre heat oven to 350°F
  2. Put all ingredients into a food processor and process JUST until the dough sticks together (over processing will cause tough pastry).
  3. Lightly flour your board and roll out pastry to fit your preferred pan (pictured is my 8” pan with two 3” pans). Poke bottom with a fork several times.
  4. Par bake crust 15 minutes.

Custard Ingredients:

  • 250 mL milk (I used skim)
  • 1 vanilla pod, split
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 40 g sugar
  • 40 g all-purpose flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp ground almonds

Custard Directions:

  1. Heat milk and vanilla pod to a boil.
  2. In a separate pan, mix flour, sugar and egg yolks well.
  3. Pour the hot milk slowly onto the flour mixture, beating well all the while.
  4. Heat until mixture thickens to cover the back of a spoon (this will bake and thicken more).
  5. In a frying pan, melt butter and brown the ground almonds.
  6. Pour the custard through a fine sieve to remove any large egg flour lumps.
  7. Add brown butter almond to the strained custard.


  • 2 Granny Smith Apples, peeled cored and sliced very thinly.
  • ¼ cup apricot jam, heated so it is very thin.
  1. Pour the custard into the par baked pastry.
  2. Arrange the thinly sliced apples
  3. Bake in the 350°F oven for about 1 hour.

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