Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Nutella Stuffed French Toast Sandwich

Are you the type of person that likes to eat your french toast with syrup or do you prefer ketchup? I have to admit that even though I don't eat ketchup on anything, I do like it on my french toast. I'll save the syrup for my pancakes or waffles. Unfortunately, french toast is not something I eat all that often and so I have been known to forget that I like the ketchup combo best and instead smother the bread in syrup. Only then does somebody decide to pull out the ketchup and remind me of my mistake.

Well, with this combination you do not need ketchup (it would actually taste pretty awful if you did use it) and you can get away with no syrup (unless you really want a sugar high). Instead, I just add a bit of butter to the top surface to give it a bit of moisture, and it's perfect.

I've never actually made this recipe with the strawberries before and I almost missed my chance this time. I had the sandwich all ready to dip when the basket of berries caught my eye. I quickly disassembled my sandwich and sliced a few berries to add, and I'm so glad I did.

Usually I make this on my griddle or frying pan but today I decided to use the trusty George Foreman Grill which has become sort of an obsession of mine as of late. It worked great because I didn't have to fret about flipping the sandwich to cook the other side. Which usually results in the top and bottom slices of bread detaching from each other due to the nutella thinning out from the heat and becoming slippery, resulting in a lovely mess of goop. Yup, if you have a grill, please use it. Otherwise, I wish you the best of luck and my thoughts are with you...but that shouldn't stop you from trying this though. The goop still tastes fabulous.

On a side note, try drizzle your finished sandwich with the blueberry sauce that can be found here.

I originally found a recipe for Banana Nutella French Toast on the back of a loaf of whole wheat D'Italiano bread. This is essentially the same idea but with strawberries added in. And if you are anti-Nutella or unfortunately can't eat it because it contains milk, I guess you could settle with making this with Peanut Butter.

Serves 2


4 Eggs
2 Tbsp. Milk
1/2 Tsp Vanilla
4 Slices of Bread
1/4 C. Nutella
4 Strawberries
1 Banana


~Preheat a grill (or a griddle / frying pan).
~Crack eggs into a dish large enough to accommodate for the size of the bread.
~With a fork, gently whisk the eggs, adding in the milk and vanilla as you go.
~Lay out the bread and spread the nutella on each slice.
~Peel the banana and half ways down the length of it, cut it in half. Thinly slice each half lengthways into thin slices (avoid slicing into rounds as they just slide around when the sandwich is heated)
~Wash, de-stem and thinly slice the strawberries.
~Arrange the strawberries and banana on top of two of the slices of bread, then place the other two slices, nutella side down on top (essentially making a peanut butter & banana sandwich, minus the PB)
~Place the sandwich in the egg mixture, and flip to coat each side.
~Cook sandwich until both sides are golden and the egg is no longer runny & raw.
~Serve with a dollop of butter, or a dusting of icing sugar and whip cream.


Monday, 24 September 2012

Smashed Potatoes with Herbed Butter

I've made these once before. The first time instead of using the greek spices I used fresh dill. Unfortunately, the time for fresh dill has come and gone and I was left staring at the dried spice drawer trying to come up with a substitute. I briefly considered some Montreal Steak Spice (which would be very good I'm sure), but not exactly what I was hoping for, for tonights dinner. So, I went garlicky and lemony and let me tell you, it has been hours now since I ate and my mouth is still burning from the garlic. What I'm trying to say is, if you aren't a huge garlic fan (let me slap some sense into you...kidding) you might want to reduce the number of garlic cloves in this. Then again maybe not, as I was using amazingly fresh and crisp (not rubbery in the slightest, hallelujah), local farm garlic. So I think it may have had a bit more of a kick than the grocery store variety would have.

The idea for smashing the potatoes has come from multiple blogs. The herbed butter is my own creation.

Makes 8 servings


16 medium Red Potatoes
1/2 C. Butter
Zest of 1 Lemon
1 Tsp. Lemon Juice
1/2 Tsp. Hot Sauce
5 Cloves Garlic, minced
1 Tsp. Greek Spice Blend


~Bring a large pot of water to the boil and place potatoes in the pot.
~Meanwhile in a small bowl, whip the butter until it is smooth.
~Zest the lemon and add it in to the butter along with the lemon juice, hot sauce, minced garlic and greek spices.
~Mix well to combine.
~Place into fridge while the potatoes boil, allowing for the flavours to develop.
~Boil potatoes until they are fork tender. Then drain.
~Preheat oven to 375 F.
~Grease a cookie sheet and line up the potatoes on it.
~With a potato masher, gently press evenly on the top of each potato to crush it just enough so the whites of the potato are visible.
~Place a dollop of the butter mixture on top of each smashed potato and then spread so it covers the entire top surface.
~Season with salt & pepper
~Bake potatoes in the oven (or on the BBQ as I had to do) until the top surface begins to brown and crisp (10-12 minutes).
~Serve with a dollop more of the herbed butter.

Enjoy (and don't think of all the cholesterol)!

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Blueberry Swirl Ice Cream

My poor dog. She may have had to experience a bit of a spill in the kitchen. Now typically that wouldn't be a problem. Either she would quickly clean it up, or one of the humans would be mean and shoo her away and then clean it up themselves. No, this time clean up was not easy. You see I spilt hot custard on my beautiful dog's back. Luckily her furs so thick I don't think she felt anything (plus it wasn't like I dropped the whole pot on her, it was more like a quarter size dollop that dropped off the sieve as I moving it to the sink.) If she hadn't been in her usual spot (the mat right at the sink) she could have avoided this accident but hello, have you tried to keep a dog out of the kitchen? I mean, there's food in there, come on.

Unfortunately for Kona, the custard landed on a part of her back that she was unable to reach to lick away. I swiped at it with a towel but all I managed to do was spread it around. So now she has a lovely crusty patch on her back. Oh well, it's experience (or maybe that's when there's mud on a truck). She sheds so much that it really doesn't matter. I'm sure she has about a three day turn around time on fur, so I'm sure by the weekend she'll be back to her pretty little self.

By the way, this vanilla ice cream recipe is AWESOME! I was so happy with the way it turned out, because it actually resembles ice cream (unlike the ice milks that I've made in the past).

I used David Lebovitz vanilla ice cream recipe and the blueberry sauce was adapted from Dollface Delights (a blog name that makes me think of my pup who's given name by her breeder was called Kinkel Delight).


For the ice cream
1 C.Half & Half
A pinch of Salt
3/4 D. Sugar
2 C. Heavy Cream
5 Egg Yolks
2 Tbsp. Vanilla

For the blueberry swirl  (Cut these measurements in half if you don't want any leftover sauce.)
2 C. Blueberries
2 Tbsp. Orange Juice
3/4 C. Sugar
2 Tsp. Cornstarch


For the ice cream
~In a medium saucepan, heat the half & half, sugar and salt.
~In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks.
~Pour about half of the warmed cream mixture into the yolks, whisking constantly.
~Place yolk and cream mixture back into the saucepan.
~Cook over medium-low heat, while stirring constantly and scrapping the bottom of the saucepan with a spatula
~When the mixture thickens and coats the spatula, strain the mixture through a sieve into a bowl.
~Add in the cream and vanilla. Stir
~Refrigerate mixture to chill thoroughly.

For the blueberry swirl
~Place berries, juice and sugar in a saucepan and cook on medium heat until berries burst and mixture cooks down. Stir constantly as to prevent burning.
~If too liquidly scoop a couple spoonfuls of the liquid into a small bowl and add in the cornstarch (or a ratio of the cornstarch) and whisk to get rid of the lumps. Pour back into saucepan and stir.
~Refrigerate sauce until it is cooled through.

Assemble the swirl
~Place ice cream custard into ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer's instructions.
~When ice cream is done, place a layer of cream in a container and place blueberry syrup by the dollop on top. Layer more cream and gently spread it out, making sure not to mix the two layers too much then repeat with more syrup. Continue until you run out of ice cream and syrup.
~Gently swirl with a spoon the top two layers together.
~Place ice cream in freezer.


Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Grilled Tomatoes

Our tomatoes are finally ripening much to the little tomato addict's (and peanut butter, cheese, peas, bananas, garlic...addict's) delight. Yes, that would be my dog. You know, I think she only likes her little bite of steak she gets occasionally because we smother it in garlic. The steak, well it just messes with her being a vegetarian. I believe she's truly a vegetarian at heart.

Back to the tomatoes. It's amazing some days that I get any fruit off the plants because Kona runs up, grabs a tomato off the plant and runs to go eat it on the grass. It's not just tomatoes though. She sits under the raspberry bushes and aggressively nips each individual berry off the bush. Then there was the pea fiasco a few years ago. Let me tell you first, that we don't plant peas any longer. The first summer we planted them, Kona ran and picked the peas off the vine. Then the next summer, she got so excited that there were going to be peas in the garden that she ripped the vines right out of the ground and started flinging and chasing them around the back yard. Unfortunately, she pulled all the vines out before they produced any actual peas (the vines themselves must to a dog smell the same as the peas).

Moral of the story is: My dog is a vegetarian.

Back to the tomatoes. I was able to wrestle a few nice looking tomatoes out from under her nose and I decided to grill them. Typically I do these on a pan under the broiler, but because our oven is still broken and we were BBQing, I did them out on the grill instead.

Serves 3


3 Tomatoes
2 Cloves Garlic, minced
2 Leaves Fresh Basil
1/2 Tbsp. Olive Oil

Feta Cheese


~Wash tomatoes and slice in half.
~Brush flat surface with oil.
~Spread the garlic and finely chopped basil over the oil.
~Season with salt & pepper
~Lightly brush over the top again with oil.
~Sprinkle with feta cheese if desired.
~Place on a baking sheet and under the broiler or directly onto the grill and grill until tomatoes soften and warm through.


Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Banana Soft Serve

Yes, I finally had to try this and I'm really glad I did because it's a dairy-free, vegan friendly, diet worthy ice cream (or yogurt). It was so, so simple. The only problem was I've discovered (and so has my dog) that we actually like frozen banana chunks better than normal banana. When frozen they are so incredibly creamy. Yum. It's amazing we had any left over for the actual 'ice cream'.

Then when I finally got around to putting the frozen chunks in the food processor, I was really glad that I'd read somewhere that it will take quite a bit of time for the bananas to whip. If I hadn't have read that, I may have just given up because all the bananas did for a long time was crumple into course chunks. Eventually though it miraculously (or maybe it was just because the chunks melted slightly) stopped being crumb like and whipped up into this beautiful, fluffy soft serve. You want to know what was even more amazing? It tasted that much better than I had thought it would. I was expecting it to just taste like banana (which it did), but it was more of a lighter taste, like a banana flavoured ice cream would taste like. I'm telling you, it tasted like there were other flavours and ingredients at work here, but there weren't. It's hard to explain.

I've seen this 'recipe' on many, many blogs, so I'm not going to post a link to credit one blog in particular.



Chocolate Chips
Peanut Butter
Chocolate Sauce
Caramel Sauce
Fruit / Berries


~Peel bananas and slice into chunks
~Freeze chunks.
~Process frozen banana in a food processor until a crumb forms then keep processing until banana begins to whip.
~If you wanted any mix-ins, add them and pulse briefly to combine.


Sunday, 16 September 2012

Raspberry Pancakes

I know that every person that spends any time in the kitchen has that one fear. Be it pastry, yeast breads, or pancakes. Yup, I'll make bread a few times a week and if I had a need for a pie I wouldn't have a problem with making one. But pancakes, those are my nemesis. Pancakes are my Dad's specialty. The first day that everyone is all together at the cabin is always pancake day. Now I've never seen him make pancakes from scratch though. He always buys that Aunt Jemima Buttermilk Pancake Mix (I am not being compensated for this, and all opinions are my own) and adds eggs and oil and vanilla soy milk and then more pancake mix. His batter looks like paste as there is no measuring going on, just dumping things in (or so it would appear). I know a double batch is never enough, usually he ends up tripling or quadrupling. Anyway, if we have company they always take their first bite of pancake and you can see them thinking how can this taste like this, it comes from a box? Wanna know the secret? Of course you do. It's the soy milk. Vanilla, fat free soy milk. Even though it's fat free, it is still a million times richer, creamier and vanillaier than regular milk. Resulting in the best buttermilk pancakes (minus the buttermilk) that you could ever image. Then to top it off, they're cooked on a gas stove on an ancient old cast iron griddle (instead of the electric griddle we have at home). The end result is a pancake that looks like it's burnt to snot, but actually doesn't taste one bit charcoaled.

My dad even got one of the neighbourhood kids in a jam because he got the poor kid to confess that the pancakes were better than the ones his mom made. Of course that didn't go over so well with her.

So you can probably see why pancakes are my nemesis. I could count on my one hand how many times I've tried to cook pancakes and I could also tell you how many times I've wrecked them (those numbers would be equal). I either end of having them raw in the centre, or like shoe leather they are so tough because I'm trying to avoid the rawness. Yup, not good.

Today I decided to tackle them though, and while they weren't raw or tough, they were slightly burnt (and you could taste it because electric heat and teflon is not as forgiving as a flame and cast iron). All-in-all though, I was pretty happy and I will be making these again, probably with some slight adaptations (such as the addition of some lemon zest and a bit more lemon juice). The original recipe was intended to be a raspberry streusel pancake, which sounds amazing (plus it had coconut oil and coconut milk in it, yum), but I didn't go that route. When I have a chance I might make the original recipe just as it was written, but for today I decided to change things up and go raspberry lemon (you know it's my fave right?) instead.

Please check out the original Raspberry Streusel recipe at Baking Serendipity (who got it from Two Peas & Their Pod), as it still does look truly awesome and mine has been adapted a bit from the original.

Makes ~10 pancakes (1/3 C. batter each)


2 1/2 C. Whole Wheat Flour
2 Tbsp. Sugar
2 Tsp. Baking Powder
1 Tsp. Baking Soda
Pinch of Salt
2 C. Vanilla Almond Milk
2 Eggs
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/2 Tbsp. Vanilla
1 Tsp. Lemon Juice
Zest of 1 Lemon
1 C. Raspberries


~Mix dry ingredients (flour, sugar, powder, soda & salt) in a large bowl.
~Add in the wet ingredients (milk, eggs, oil, vanilla and lemon juice) & stir.
~Wash & smash raspberries with a fork then fold berries and lemon zest into batter. (It's okay if the batter is slightly lumpy.
~Scoop batter (I used a 1/3 C. measuring cup to transfer the batter) onto a hot and greased griddle or skillet.
~Flip when bubbles in the centre burst.
~Cook the other side until it is golden brown.


Nutrition Facts
Per 1 Pancake
Makes: 10 (1/3 C. Batter) Pancakes
Calories: 160
Carbs: 29g
Fat: 4g
Protein: 6g

Friday, 14 September 2012

Grilled Apple Cheese Sandwich

Not much to say about this except it was just something I had to try. I've heard (and seen) about all these recipes / ideas for fancy schmancy grilled cheeses. Now I've in the past had a grilled cheese with ham on it or even tomatoes, both of which are pretty good tasting, but I always found the addition to the sandwich made the cheese go kind of funny (aka it never melted properly / went stringy as it should / etc). But, I like apple and I like grilled cheese and I though I should give it a try. I used a really flavourful apple (I know because I sampled a few slices before making the sandwich), but I can honestly say that I really didn't taste the apple on the sandwich (maybe that's a good thing if you're trying to sneak in a fruits & veggies serving for the kiddos). So, my verdict is, I'm going to stick with plain old grilled cheese sandwiches.

Makes 1 Sandwich


2 Slices of Bread
1/2 Tbsp. Mayonnaise (yes I used it for once)
2 Tsp. Butter
1/4 of an Apple, thinly sliced (skin can be left on)
3-4 slices of Cheese


~Preheat either a frying pan or a panini press/grill.
~Spread mayonnaise on one side of one slice of bread.
~Place apple and cheese slices on top of the mayonnaised side of the bread.
~Put the second slice of bread on top.
~Butter the top outer side of the sandwich.
~Flip sandwich over and place buttered side down onto heated pan / grill.
~Butter the top surface.
~Grill until both sides are golden brown and the cheese begins to ooze around the edges.
~Pull off of heat and allow to sit for a minute.
~Slice in half.


Thursday, 13 September 2012

Jello Shots

I don't know if this post is really appropriate for a food blog, but I'm going to post it anyways, because I don't want to forget the flavour combinations I used. Anyway, the pictures are rather fuzzy (not because we had consumed any shots before pulling out the camera (honest - we were making them okay, not eating them yet), but because I never actually had any intention of posting these pictures to the blog when I took them.

So the flavour combinations I used were:

Watermelon Jello & Gin
Orange Jello & Malibu
Lime Jello & Tequila
Lemon Jello & Tequila
Grape Jello & Vodka

Unfortunately, we never got to try the green shots. They sacrificed themselves when the top shelf of the fridge decided to take a nose dive and the entire plate of green shots (the ones I'd most been looking forward to) followed. Let me tell you, what a mess. We had glass shards from the plate from one end of the kitchen to the other, half congealed jello in interesting places, and a dog that decided it would be a good idea to come in and see what all the commotion was about. So, after all that I didn't get to try the ones I wanted to, so we decided to make some yellow ones to replace them. They were okay, not my favourite. I'll definitely be trying to try the green combo again.

The orange combo was great, and I loved the taste of the watermelon jello, but I think I'd mix with vodka next time. It was my first time trying gin and all I can say is it tastes like paint thinner. Which isn't really on my food bucket list of things to try. The grape ones were fine, I'm just not a big artificial grape fan, but I made them for a friend kind of as a joke because her drink of choice for a long time was grape juice and vodka.

So, now you're probably wondering how much alcohol you actually need to put into the jello. Well, it's really pretty simple.

1 (3 oz) pkg Jello
1 C. Boiling Water
1/2 C. Cold Water
1/2 C. Alcohol

I spent a bit of time trying to track down some containers to make the shots in. Everyone I know said just use dixie cups, but I didn't want to have a tiny bit of jello in a large paper cup. Finally I tracked down something perfect. Medicine cups. You know the little plastic 1 oz cups that come with the children's liquid Tylenol, etc. Well, I didn't go and buy 100 bottles of Tylenol to get all the medicine cups. I work at a pharmacy, and what do you know, you can buy those handy little, multipurpose things by the 100 pack. You know what's even better? They cost me under a buck for the whole sleeve. Now before you go and judge me, I must inform you that I wasn't the only one scooping up a few sleeves of these things. And it wasn't just medicine cups either. One girl was eyeing up some 20 & 30 ml oral syringes that she was going to try and experiment with. The verdict's still out on whether they worked or not.

Anyway, how to make these things. Right, I guess I should get to that.

Each batch (1 box of jello) makes ~15 - 1oz shots.


1 (3 oz) pkg Jello
1 C. Boiling Water
1/2 C. Cold Water
1/2 C. Alcohol


~Boil water.
~Place jello powder and boiling water in a medium sized bowl. Stir until jello crystals have dissolved.
~Pour in the cold water.
~Allow the mixture to cools slightly (or the alcohol will evaporate - or so I am told)
~Add in the alcohol. Stir.
~Transfer jello into individual serving cups. (I found the easiest way to do this was to pour the liquid into a liquid measuring cup that has a spout and use that to pour into the individual cups.)
~Place cups onto plates and put plates in the fridge to set (about 4 hours).

Enjoy (responsibly!)

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Beef Udon with Peanut Sauce

In the past I've attempted to make Thai / Asian Food, and it usually turns out less than stellar. This recipe on the other hand was anything but mediocre. Plus, as an added bonus, it looked pretty (it actually looked exactly like the dish I had last weekend at the local Japanese Restaurant that cost me $12. So score for restaurant quality looking food). I think what made it look so professional was that the carrots were cut into matchsticks, and the beef was cut really fine (instead of chunked liked we normally cut meat), and we used cabbage. I know you're probably thinking eww cabbage, and I typically think that way, but it really worked in this recipe.

One thing I may do for next time I make this is slightly reduce the peanut butter measurements and increase the thai sauce amount to compensate, because when it was really hot I didn't notice so much, but as it cooled down I found that the peanut butter began to become a bit sticky. Not that that's really a bad thing or anything, it's just for me that doesn't like peanut butter (I sure seem to be using it a lot lately though, ironically), I found it a bit strong. But, I think the main thing I don't like about peanut butter is the after taste, and this recipe did not have that after taste, so I enjoyed it. Also by reducing the peanut butter proportion, you'll be saving a lot of calories. I never really though about it when I was making it, but the original recipe didn't call for any meat and the reason why is because the peanut butter probably supplies what protein you need for the meal. So with both the peanut butter and meat in this dish, you're looking at a wopping 43g of protein per serving (hmm, I guess I do protein dishes well. I come by it naturally though, I always tell my Mom she's a protein addict.) Unfortunately, the calories and fat are also wopping numbers in this dish, but it tastes good (and it is your whole meal after all, so you shouldn't feel the need to consume any additional calories on top of this).

It's recipes like this one that make me with I had 6 hands so I could be manning all the different frying pans and woks at the same time, but even more so I wish I had a bigger stove. I've never understood people's obsession with gas ranges (because I cook on one at my cabin and I just never thought it was that great. Then again, we make toast and boil water on the stove at the cabin, we never stir-fry, etc. there so I guess that's why), that is until I start making recipes like this. More importantly, I understand why people want the extra wide, 6 burner ranges. A little 4 element electric stove just isn't good enough when you have 1 wok and 2 frying pans going (or trying to go) at the same time.

Recipe adapted from Damn Delicious who adapted from Recipe Girl .

Serves 4


1/2 C. + 1 Tbsp. Water
6 Tbsp. Reduced-Fat Creamy Peanut Butter
3 Tbsp. Brown Sugar
3 Tbsp. Soy Sauce
3 Tbsp. Rice Vinegar
1/4 Tsp. Ground Ginger (or 1 1/2 Tsp. Fresh Ginger, grated)
5 Tsp. Olive Oil (divided)
1 Tsp. Cornstarch
1 Tbsp. Thai Sauce
4 Cloves Garlic, minced
3 (7 oz) Packages Udon Noodles
1 C. Carrots, julienned
1 Small Onion, diced
1 C. Green Cabbage, shredded
1 C. Mushrooms, diced
1 lb Beef, sliced thin
*Optional* Sesame Seeds


~Prepare your vegetables and meat, set aside.
~In a large sauce pan, combine water, peanut butter, sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, ginger, 2 Tsp oil (reserving the rest), cornstarch, thai sauce and garlic, and bring to a boil. Whisk to get rid of the lumps as you heat.
~Cook udon noodles according to package instructions (or if they just need heated like mine, skip this step and place the noodles directly into the hot sauce and heat there.)
~Place noodles into sauce mixture and heat on low until mixture is heated through.
~Meanwhile, heat a wok and place part of the remaining oil into the hot wok. Add your carrots and stir-fry for ~30 seconds.
~Add the onions to the carrots and fry until they begin to soften.
~Next add in the mushrooms. After a quick stir, add in the cabbage. Keep on the heat until everything has just started to soften, then remove from the heat.
~Heat a frying pan, and add in the remaining olive oil. When oil is hot, cook your meat until it is cooked through.
~Transfer meat and vegetables into the noodle and sauce mixture and stir to combine.
~Serve with a sprinkle of sesame seeds if desired.


Nutrition Facts (per serving)
Serves: 4
Calories: 673
Carbs: 72g
Fat: 26g
Protein: 43g

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Twisted Tuna Wrap

This is not your typical tuna salad. If you've read any of my previous posts (especially my Potato Salad Post), you'll know that I try to avoid mayonnaise whenever possible. Not because I don't like it (I really do enjoy it), but I don't find it absolutely necessary, like some other things I consume, so I try to skip it. Plus, this has a way better flavour as it has a bit of a kick that normal tuna salad doesn't have. Plus, it contains very little calories and a lot of protein (and the only fat comes from the wrap, not the tuna salad).

While you can use the entire can of tuna (and the nutrition facts at the bottom of this post are for the entire can / mixture), I found that about 2/3 of the mixture was sufficient for myself for lunch (but I'm not a big eater at lunch time). If you use 2/3 of the tuna mixture, you'll be at about 290 calories for the entire wrap.

Serves 1


1 Can of Tuna
5 Baby Dill Pickles
1 Tbsp. Yellow Mustard
1 Tsp. Hot Sauce
3 Cherry Tomatoes
1 Whole Wheat Wrap


~Drain tuna and place in a small bowl.
~Cut pickles into bite sized slices.
~Add pickles, mustard and hot sauce to bowl and use a fork to mix.
~Cut tomatoes into quarters.
~Spread tuna mixture down the centre of a wrap and place the tomatoes on top.
~Roll wrap and place in a panini press and heat until the outside is crispy.


Nutrition Facts
Serves: 1
Calories: 334
Carbs: 37g
Fat: 6g
Protein: 37g

Monday, 10 September 2012

Cookie, Cookie Dough Ice Cream (Dairy Free)

A couple of months ago I finally got my ice cream maker that had been the reason why I bought my KitchenAid in the first place. Unfortunately, my first attempt at making ice cream went horribly wrong, and it was not the machines fault in the slightest. Instead of following the written recipe, I substituted out the heavy cream / half-and-half / 2% milk for plain old almond milk. Then on top of making ice milk instead of ice cream, I also added in almond extract. Now my experience with this flavour of extract is very limited. I'm typically a vanilla fan (and by that I mean I always increase the amount that the recipe calls for by 50-100% usually), but I decided to give the almond a go this time. Unfortunately, I didn't realize how strong this extract was and I may have put a slight bit too much in (and by slight I mean way, way, way too much). Yup, it was awful, and so I stayed clear of the ice cream maker until today.

Today I decided to do it right though. I made a custard base, whereas last time the recipe I used boasted that it didn't require a custard base (so I thought 'oh great it's healthier because there's no egg yolks'), and I used a combination of almond milk and soy milk just because. The original recipe called for 2 cups heavy cream and 1 1/2 cups whole milk. I used 2 cups almond milk (vanilla) and 1 1/2 cups low fat vanilla soy milk (full fat would probably be better but I used what I had). While this means that the ice cream isn't as creamy as it should be, I did it so the lactose intolerant in the house could enjoy this ice cream. Another note, I subed out the heavy cream called for in the cookie dough recipe for the same low fat vanilla soy milk. I think next time I'll get the regular vanilla soy milk and use 3 1/2 cups of that and completely eliminate the almond milk in an attempt to get this ice cream a little less icey.

The neat thing (yes I did just say neat) about this ice cream base is that it actually tastes like chocolate chip cookies. It's not just some vanilla or chocolate ice cream with cookie pieces in it. It is truly a double chocolate chip cookie ice cream. And it is absolutely AMAZING! Actually it's beyond what even my wildest imagination could have suspected it would be. And the smell when it was cooking in the sauce pan = heaven. This will definitely be a make-again. But as more a note to myself, don't use all the cookie dough balls in the ice cream. Save a few for later, eat a few now, I don't really care, but I put them all in and it was a little too much dough and not enough ice cream (seeing as the ice cream is so good). I'd suggest about 3/4 of the dough should be used.

After making this, I do realize why Ben & Jerry's is $7 for a small, small container. It's a heck of a lot of work to make ice cream. 

I adapted the ice cream recipe from Annie's Eats and the cookie dough recipe from Brown Eyed Baker.

Makes ~ 1.5 L


For the Ice Cream:

2/3 C. Brown Sugar
4 Egg Yolks
3 Tbsp. Margarine
2 C. Vanilla Almond Milk
Pinch of Salt
1 Tbsp. Vanilla
1 1/2 C. Vanilla Soy Milk

For the Cookie Dough:
1/2 C. Margarine
1/2 C. Brown Sugar
1/4 C. White Sugar
2 Tbsp. Vanilla Soy Milk
1 Tsp. Vanilla
2 Pinches of Salt
3/4 C. Whole Wheat Flour (AP would work fine too)
3/4 C. Mini Chocolate Chips

1/2 C. Milk Chocolate Chunks


For the Ice Cream
~In a medium sized bowl, combine the egg yolks and brown sugar and whisk well to dissolve the sugar.
~In a medium sauce pan, melt the butter and continue to heat (stirring continuously) until the butter browns.
~Whisk in the almond milk and heat mixture until it begins to simmer.
~Add a small amount of the hot cream mixture into the yolk bowl and whisk to combine. Add in the remaining cream mixture and whisk.
~Pour the mixture back into the sauce pan and heat until it begins to froth and boil (temperature reaches 170-175 F on a thermometer).
~Transfer the mixture back to the bowl, running through a fine sieve first.
~Add in the soy milk and vanilla. Mix.
~Place mixture in the fridge to cool. (At least 3 hours). Proceed with making the cookie dough.
~When the mixture has cooled thoroughly, transfer to ice cream maker and mix according to manufacturer's instructions. 
~As ice cream is churning, roll cookie dough into bit sized balls.
~Add in the cookie dough balls and chocolate chunks in the last couple of minutes of mixing or after mixing is done (depending on your machine - For the KA I found it best to add in after the mixing was done to keep the cookie dough as balls and not have them squashed to pieces by the mix attachment).
~Place ice cream in the freezer to set (about 2-4 hours).

For the Cookie Dough
~As the ice cream base is cooling in the fridge, combine butter and sugars in the bowl of an electric mixer and cream until well combined.
~Add in the soy milk, vanilla and salt and mix well.
~Pour the flour in and mix again until well incorporated.
~Finally add in the chocolate chips and mix until evenly distributed.
~Cool dough in refrigerator until ice cream is churning.
~While ice cream is churning, remove the dough from fridge and roll into bite sized balls. Return to fridge to keep cool until ready to incorporate into ice cream.

Enjoy! this Double Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream (or to make it Triple Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream, simply place a scoop of ice cream between two chocolate chip cookies. Mmm)

Sunday, 9 September 2012

The S'mores that weren't S'mores

So I'm Canadian, which means I've always heard that when you make a s'more you have to first break the graham cracker in half. Well, with Canadian graham wafers that would be impossible to do. I always wondered as a kid how you were supposed to break them in half, but now I know. They were actually talking about American Graham Crackers that actually look like this...

...whereas Canadian ones are already the half's.

About a month ago I was in the US for a music festival (best weekend ever!!) and we made a Costco run. In addition to buying a Costco size box of graham crackers, we also bought the Costco size box of Cheeze Its (which incidentally I shoved a handful of into my mouth and almost spat them out because they tasted absolutely nothing like I was expecting them to taste, much to the amusement of our neighbours at the campsite who were like 'what are you talking about? Cheeze Its taste like Cheeze Its,' except they didn't taste at all like they were supposed to.

I guess I shouldn't have been surprised then when I bit into my first American Graham Cracker and just about laughed out loud. They tasted so different (in addition to looking very different). I couldn't place the flavour for a bit and then it clicked...they tasted like Teddy Grahams, which are supposed to taste like graham wafers. Obviously the graham crackers that I'm used to actually don't have a graham taste. The other thing that was different about them was that the crackers I'm used to are very dense and almost chewy, while these new species are light, crisp and almost flakey. Total opposite. Now, why am I saying this? Other than to prove that I probably need to be locked somewhere far, far away from society (or maybe that would be counterproductive and I'm actually this crazy from being a recluse and antisocial??) that is. Well, because I want to introduce to you the s'moreless s'mores. Yes, you read that right, now sit down (or stay sitting) and I'll explain.

Usually about part way through the summer a fire ban gets put into effect and we don't get to have any more campfires until the weather turns wet and cool again. Unfortunately, we have now survived 2 summers in a row where there has been no ban (meaning it's been too cold and wet out). Typically though we get our s'more fix from February to June (yes February, you read that right, we have some of our best fires when we're celebrating that's it's not snowing out, even though I love the snow. Run on sentence much?) Anywho, sometimes in August when I'm up at the cabin and just want a s'more that I can't have (and I don't want to roast one on the BBQ because it's just not the same), I have this little treat. It's really simple. Nutella and graham wafers. Nutella on the graham wafer and a wafer on top and squish. Mmm, because really, the marshmallow is not the best part of a s'more in my opinion. All it does is melt the chocolate (which is what you really want), but because the Nutella is not a solid, you don't need a hot marshmallow. So problem solved in an oh, so delicious way.


Graham Wafers


~Spread Nutella on one side of a graham cracker.
~Place another wafer on top.
~Squish down to make a sandwich.


*On another s'more note, I just want to mention the other trick we have always used when making s'mores and that is instead of having to cart around a package of graham wafers and a bar of chocolate, you can use chocolate covered digestive cookies (Peak Freans) that have the one side of the cookie coated in chocolate. At one point they even had an orange flavoured biscuit which was very good.*

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Lemon Garlic Pasta

I wanted pasta. But I wasn't interested in a rich tomato sauce, nor could I stomach the fat in (nor did I have the ingredients for) an alfredo or cheese sauce. This recipe worked though because it used butter instead of olive oil (which I find has a very strong flavour) and it had lemon in it (my fave). While it was very good (surprisingly good even) the first night, it wasn't as great as leftovers because the pasta really absorbed the limited liquid and was really dry and flavourless the next night. So my recommendation: eat it, enjoy it, love it the first night and don't leave any leftovers.

I looked over multiple recipes before making this, but ultimately this creation is my own, and I don't usually brag, but I'm really proud of this recipe.

Serves: 6-8


1 lb Pasta
2 Bell Peppers
1 Onion
20 Cherry Tomatoes
4 Cloves Garlic, minced
2 Lemons, Zested
1/2 C. Lemon Juice
2 Tbsp. Basil
2 Tbsp. Parsley
3 Tbsp. Butter
*Optional* Parmesan or Feta Cheese


~Slice onions and peppers into matchstick slices.
~Slice tomatoes into quarters.
~Prepare garlic and zest the lemons.
~With kitchen scissors, cut up your fresh herbs into small pieces.
~Bring a pot of water to a boil and add your pasta and cook according to the package instructions. ~Drain the water when pasta is done.
~Heat a large frying pan and add the butter.
~Season with salt and pepper to taste.
~When the butter is melted and hot, add in the onions and stir until they begin to soften. 
~Add in the peppers. Continue to cook and stir until they too soften.
~Add in the fresh herbs, the zest and the minced garlic.
~Stir until the garlic cooks, making sure not to overcook.
~Add the drained pasta into the frying pan and pour the lemon juice over top.
~Stir to coat the mixture evenly.
~Toss in the tomato quarters and give one last stir to mix.
~Serve with a sprinkle of parmesan or feta cheese if you so desire.


Thursday, 6 September 2012

Chocolate-PB-Oatmeal (No-Bake) Cookies

Unfortunately, I'm still ovenless. Meaning that I'm also cookieless. I've now officially cleared out the freezer of every extra cookie I had hidden away. So I went on a hunt-a rather difficult hunt actually-to find a no-bake cookie recipe. What I came up with was this one. It seems that basically all the no-bake cookies are only a slight variation from this one. Some use less peanut butter or more or less oatmeal, or a different amount of vanilla, but for the most part they are the same.

I was impressed with these cookies as far as no-bake go, but if I make them again I think I'll substitute in nutella instead of peanut butter. Because even though I can tolerate a bit of peanut butter in desserts, I found it a bit overwhelming of a flavour in these cookies.

I was pleasantly surprised that even though these cookies had a fair amount of oatmeal in them, they were more than just dry, oatmeal filled cookies. I probably won't go out of my way to make these again once my oven is fixed (the PB version...I might make a nutella version), but they definitely satisfied the craving currently.

On another very positive note, I'm now for the most part done with all my plums. So it's back to chocolate time we go.

This recipe is from the Food Network.

Makes: 4 dozen cookies


2 C. Sugar
4 Tbsp. Cocoa
1/2 C. Butter
1/2 C. Milk (I used vanilla low fat soy milk)
1 C. Peanut Butter
1 Tbsp. Vanilla
3 C. Oatmeal


~In a saucepan, melt the butter, then add the sugar, cocoa and milk. Stirring constantly as you bring it to a boil and boil for 1 minute.
~Add the peanut butter and vanilla, and stir to melt.
~Mix in the oatmeal and reduce the heat. Cook oatmeal until it begins to soften.
~Drop mixture by the spoonful onto a wax paper lined (or greased) cookie sheet.
~Place sheets into fridge to cool and set.
~Remove cookies from cookie sheets when set and store in an airtight container in the fridge.


Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Rhubarb Plum Crisp

Well, I've pulled approximately 315 plums off our tree (yes I counted...don't judge) and that equalled 9 crisps & cobblers. By the end I stopped using a recipe or even measuring ingredients for that matter. It became a free-for-all, for real. I also stopped writing my recipes down (because there really was no recipe to write), and I stopped taking pictures, because trust me, even if you sub out brown sugar for white sugar or put in less oatmeal or even none at all, each crisp hardly looks any different. So no picture for this post. If you want to see basically what it looks like, scroll down to my last post. The only thing I would say is that after all this, I think I've learned that I like my fruit desserts either as a full blown crisp (loaded with oatmeal) or as a biscuit style cobbler. I'm not as big of a fan of the toppings that are more doughy (such as this one). That's not saying that this one is bad though, it's just that after making 9 crisps, I'm allowed to be judgemental and a little picky because I've tried it all (or so it feels). But I do love this filling from this recipe. I feel like the orange really rounds out the flavour a lot better than the lemon of this one ever did.

Topping recipe is loosely based off of two of my mom's crisp recipes, while the filling is my own creation.



4 1/2 C. Plums
4 C. Rhubarb, (I used frozen, even fresh, you'll have to increase the amount of juice added and likely decrease the amount of cornstarch as well.)
1/2 Tsp. Cinnamon
6 Tbsp. Brown Sugar (or 1/4 + 1/8 C.)
2 Tbsp. Cornstarch (+ additional 1 Tsp. if too liquidy)
1 Tbsp. Orange Juice (+ additional if too thick)

3/4 C. White Sugar
1 C. Flour
1/2 C. Oats
1/4 Tsp. Cinnamon
1/2 C. Butter


~Wash and slice rhubarb into bite size chunks.
~Wash and cut plums.
~Combine rhubarb, cinnamon, and sugar in a pot. Heat until it bubbles and the rhubarb begins to soften. Add the cornstarch and orange juice. If too thick add more juice, if too runny add more cornstarch. If you're using frozen rhubarb, there will be a lot of liquid seeping out as it cooks.
~Add plums and stir until everything is combined
~Pour mixture into greased 9x13 baking dish
~In another bowl, combine the first 4 topping ingredients. Toss to combine.
~Add in the butter and with fingers cut into the flour mixture until it is a course crumb.
~Pour evenly over fruit.
~Bake at 375 F for 40-45 minutes or until fruit is bubbly. (Or freeze before baking and bake later).


Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Prune Plum Crisp

83 plums cut up later and my next few posts are going to consist of just that. Plums. Everybody left me and went away on holidays and I'm stuck with a plum tree that is finally producing plums that all decide they want to ripen on the same day. Yeah, not good.

The Topping comes from a combination of a few of my mom's crisp recipes, while the filling recipe is my own creation.


8 C. Plums
1/2 C. White Sugar
1 Tbsp. Lemon Juice
3 Tbsp. Flour

1 C. Flour
1 C. Quick Cooking Oats
Zest of 1 lemon
3/4 C. Brown Sugar
1/4 Tsp. Cinnamon
1/2 C. Butter


~Wash and slice plums.
~Place plums in a greased 9x13 baking dish.
~Sprinkle with the sugar, flour and juice and gently toss to evenly coat
~In a separate dish, combine the first 5 topping ingredients. Toss gently to combine.
~Add the butter and with your hands crumble together until you getting a crumbly mixture.
~Spread topping evenly over fruit.
~Bake at 375 F for 40-45 minutes or until fruit is bubbling. (Or freeze it first and bake it later as I did.)