Posted in Breakfast/Brunch, Condiments, Gluten Free, Jam, Kitcheninspirations Original Recipe, Recipes, Vegetarian, tagged Breakfast, cinnamon, delicious, Gluten Free, healthy, Light, Vegetarian on January 30, 2017|
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This is a naturally sweet applesauce, no added sugar or chemicals, just the beautiful sweetness of the apples!
Since JT and I have embarked on our diet, I have been expanding a recipe collection because there is nothing worse than eating ‘diet food’. JT can attest that our food has been the furthest from ‘diet’, at least, our perception of ‘diet food’. We’ve had:
- Chicken Schnitzel with cauliflower mash
- Zucchini spaghetti and chicken meatballs
- Mushroom and cauliflower crêpes with lentil béchamel sauce
- Apple and Dijon glazed pork tenderloin
- Pulled pork tenderloin crêpe with homemade BBQ sauce
- Navy bean mushroom ‘risotto’
- Pacific Salmon with cauliflower dill sauce on wilted spinach
- Chicken Tikka Masala on cauliflower ‘rice’
- Pork tenderloin on braised red cabbage
- Pork tenderloin with mushroom sauce on sautéd veggies
- Tilapia en papillote
The real challenge is finding alternatives that fit into the diet parameters so I created this apple preserve (or butter) as a condiment, but also as a sweetener in some of the dishes named above. I try to vary the meals so that we don’t get bored of the same thing.
The other thing that I’m finding quite helpful is weighing everything to make sure we are not having more than we should — I’ve fallen off that bandwagon a few times, so it’s great to get back to it. Measuring is a great tool to keep you on track and it keeps you from inching up the volume (which I can be guilty of)! I measure out 100 g (3.5 oz) portions of any protein we purchase and freeze them individually. I know each baggy is 100 g (3.5 oz) which is exactly the portion size we should be eating. It doesn’t take long to get used to the smaller volumes particularly since we have to drink a lot of water. And the veggies are quite generous (230 g 8 oz per portion), in fact, JT has a difficult time eating the allotted volume of veggies sometimes (I do a lot of wilted spinach…makes for a smaller amount!). Fortunately, we can season to our heart’s content so the food isn’t bland. The other thing about 100 g or 3.5 oz portions is that it makes the budget go further! I’m not going to post a lot more about my regimen but I will share the odd recipe I think you might enjoy. Plus, we have a few cheat days planned (Super Bowl for one!) so I’ll share some of those tasty treats. Thank you for allowing us to indulge in our resolutions, while I enjoy your wonderful recipes from afar, for the time being.
Unsweetened Apple Preserves
A KitchenInspirations Original Recipe
Makes 750 mL (3 cups) preserves.
- 1 kg (about 2 lb) red delicious apples, peel and core included*.
- 1 L (about 4 cups) water
- 6 cinnamon sticks
- 10 g (about 3 tbsp) freshly grated ginger
- pinch of salt
- In a medium Dutch oven, add chopped apples, water and cinnamon sticks and cook on medium heat until apples have broken down and thickened and most of the water has evaporated, about xx minutes.
- Add freshly grated ginger and pinch of salt, stir well.
- Pour into prepared containers and seal with new lids. Store in the freezer. Use refrigerated preserves within a month.
- Use to sweeten sauces and dressings instead of sugar.
- Pour over unsweetened yogurt or ice cream or gelato.
- Use as a condiment for pork.
- Combine with a little Dijon Mustard as a glaze over pork tenderloin.
*The peel and core add natural pectin to the preserves which help to thicken and preserve it.
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Posted in Breakfast/Brunch, Condiments, Gluten Free, Jam, Recipes, Vegetarian, tagged comfort food, delicious, Gluten Free, sweet, Vegetarian on January 9, 2017|
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My dear friend Lorraine recently launched her new travel company, focussing on unique food and travel experiences, traveling in the style and class that she has grown accustomed to! Her first journey is to Peru, a gastronomical hot-bed, who knew? Do take a gander to her new site Experiential Traveller and check it out.
It so happens that I have had Peruvian cuisine only a couple of times, in New York City, of all places! A few years ago, JT and I were sitting in our hotel lobby waiting for our dear friends Paul & T to arrive when this very animated woman, Melony comes in holding a bag of freshly baked bagels. She comes bounding over to us with such excitement and says, “I bet you’ve never had a Brooklyn bagel!” We said we’ve had bagels in New York but she interrupted and claimed with no uncertainty that they were most likely not authentic Brooklyn bagels and that today was our lucky day because she just bought a bag of the city’s finest and we MUST try them. It’s not like we had a choice, so we followed her into the attached hair salon (she was the manager) and she proceeded to hand us authentic Brooklyn bagels. Well, you can’t just eat someone’s authentic Brooklyn bagels without some small talk, and that’s how we found out about the BEST (THE BEST, Jerry. THE BEST) Peruvian restaurant in the city (Mancora in The Lower East Side)! And on the plus side, it wasn’t a wallet-breaker either! We had one of the best lunches there with our dear friends Paul and T! You see, I did come back around to Peru!
Orange marmalade goes so well with Brooklyn bagels so when I had a few oranges left over from a gig late last summer, I decided to make orange marmalade! I chose an Ina Garten recipe that took two days as we were heading up to the cottage and I didn’t have time to finish it in the city. Having to do it again, I’d probably go with a long cooking jam instead of macerating the fruit as I didn’t feel it gave anything different to the texture. But if you need a jam recipe spanning over two days, this one is for you!
This recipe is roughly based on Ina Garten’s Orange Marmalade
Easy Orange Marmalade
Yields: 500 mL (~2 cups)
- 2 large oranges (ends removed and sliced very thinly, yields about 575 g)
- 2 cups water
- 300 g sugar
- 45 mL lemon juice
- Combine thinly sliced orange slices and the water in a non-reactive pan (I used my Le Creuset). Bring to a boil, stirring often.
- Remove from heat and add sugar, stirring until entirely dissolved. Add lemon juice and stir.
- Cover and leave overnight.
- The following day, bring the mixture back to a boil, stirring often. Reduce to a simmer and simmer uncovered for 2 hours, stirring often. Turn up the heat again and gently boil for an additional 30 minutes, skimming off any foam that forms. Cook the marmalade until it reaches 105° C (220° F) or when a small sample forms wrinkles as you run your finger through it on a very cold plate. At this point, I felt there was too much peel and not enough jam, so I took about half and processed it smoothly with an immersion blender and returned it to the peel and combined. It’s quite a lovely texture.
- Pour into sterilized jars and apply lids. Process for 10 minutes in hard boiling water.
- The sugar was reduced to 300 g (a little more than the 3:1 ratio).
- I found the multi-process a bit much for the result, I will find a version that is not so labour intensive next time. You may wish to try Helene’s family recipe.
- The platter was a gift from my cousin and his wife when they stayed with us for a little more than two weeks, summer 2015. I adore gifts like that, I will always think of them when I use the platter. It’s hand painted Herend Porcelain, a very famous Hungarian porcelain house.
This is a good article on the differences between a Brooklyn Bagel and a Montréal Bagel (my favourite). Updated Jan 10/17.
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Posted in Breakfast/Brunch, Condiments, Gluten Free, Jam, Recipes, Vegetarian, tagged Berries, Breakfast, comfort food, delicious, fall, Gluten Free, low sugar, Ontario, Produce, Sauce, Vegetarian on November 14, 2016|
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On a recent trip to Europe, our dear friends Paul and T met us in Almeria to spend a few days together at my cousin Lucy’s flat in San José, Spain.
We stayed one night in Almeria because the flat was already booked. We stumbled upon Joseba Anorga Taberna quite by accident and had one of our most memorable meals in Spain (not counting the one star Michelin, but that’s another story). The Tapas were excellent and beautifully presented. It was a ridiculously hot and humid evening in Almeria so we didn’t want a heavy meal to weigh us down so sharing tapas was the perfect solution.
Joseba Anorga Taberna is a contemporary restaurant rated as one of the top ten in Almeria, what luck we had finding it! These are just a few of the tapas we enjoyed our first night in Spain. Buen Apetito.
Just before we left for Europe, I found the last of the Ontario strawberries at my local grocer and they weren’t even overpriced! I bought a few pints and decided to make strawberry jam out of them to enjoy over the winter. I used a pectin-free recipe using a 3:1 ratio, three parts fruit to one part sugar. The jelling will take longer than a full-sugar version but it’s worth it. It’s not a sickly sweet jam, which is just fine by me!
The jam is rich with strawberry flavour, just like Mom’s!
Yield: 500 mL or 2 cups
- 936 g strawberries, washed and hulled
- 309 g sugar
- 1/4 cup lemon juice, about 1 good size lemon
- zest of 1 lemon
- Combine all of the ingredients in the bowl of your 10-cup food processor. Plus until desired consistency is achieved (see notes).
- Pour content into a non-reactive, heavy bottom pan (I used my Le Creuset). Slowly heat until the sugar is dissolved and bring very slowly to a boil. Remove foam as it appears (see notes).
- Boil until the jam reaches 105° C (220° F) and has thickened up and reached the jellied stage (test a small amount on an ice cold plate and if you can wrinkle the jam, it’s done!)
We like this jam a lot.
- I reduced the sugar according to this website (see last paragraph). To get to the jelly stage will take a little longer than the full sugar version, but it’s worth it.
- I do not have a potato masher, instead of pulsing you may mash the berries with said masher, add the remaining ingredients and mix well.
- Apparently, foam contains a lot more air than the actual jam so leaving it may reduce the shelf-life of your jam (source here).
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Posted in Breakfast/Brunch, Kitcheninspirations Original Recipe, Left overs, Recipes, Tapas, Vegetarian, tagged Appetizer, Appetizer/Hors d'oeuvres, cheese, delicious, hors d'oeuvres, Vegetarian on October 10, 2016|
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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!
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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.
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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!
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Posted in Bread, Breakfast/Brunch, Recipes, Vegetarian, tagged almond, Breakfast, comfort food, Cottage, delicious, diy, furniture, healthy, Vegetarian on September 19, 2016|
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- 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.
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