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The Only Recipe You’ll Need This Thanksgiving

Let’s face it, the only reason to celebrate Thanksgiving is so we can much on guiltless calories of cinnamon and pumpkin and a lot of spice. This recipe has everything that you need and more. Just don’t forget to spend time with your family while you’re sneaking seconds at your kitchen table!

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Crumble Bars

Ingredients:

Crust
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), softened

Cheesecake 
8 ounces cream cheese, softened (use brick-style, lite okay)
1 large egg
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Apples
about 2 cups small dices apples (from about 2 med apples, peeled and cored; I used 1 Fuji and 1 Gala)
2 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Crumble 
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup old-fashioned-whole rolled oats (not quick-cook or instant)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter (3/4 of 1 stick), softened

Caramel
1/2 cup+ (salted) caramel sauce, for drizzling (homemade salted caramel), or storebought; use a thick caramel sauce and not thin, runny ice cream sundae topping)
ice cream, optional for serving

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8-inch square pan with aluminum foil leaving overhang and spray with cooking spray, or grease and flour the pan; set aside.
  2. Crust – In a large bowl, add the flour, brown sugar, and cut in the butter with two forks. Keep working until mixture is combined and pea-sized crumbly bits are present.
  3. Turn mixture out into prepared pan, hard-packing it with your fingertips in an even, smooth, flat layer to form a crust. Bake for 14-15 minutes, or just until set (set a timer). Remove from oven; set aside. While crust bakes, prepare the remaining layers.
  4. Cheesecake – In a large bowl (same one used for crust is okay, just wipe with a paper towel), add all ingredients and beat with a hand mixer (or whisk vigorously by hand) until smooth and combined, about 2 minutes on high power; set aside.
  5. Apples – Peel, core, and dice apples and place in a medium bowl. Sprinkle with sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and toss well to combine; set aside.
  6. Crumble – In a medium bowl, add the flour, brown sugar, oats, and cut in the butter with two forks. Keep working until mixture is combined and pea-sized crumbly bits are present. If necessary, add an extra tablespoon or two of flour or oats for preferred consistency if mixture is loose.
  7. After removing pan with the crust layer from the oven, pour cheesecake mixture over the crust, smoothing the top lightly with a spatula.
  8. Lightly and evenly sprinkle the apples.
  9. Evenly sprinkle with the crumble mixture. It looks like a lot, but it sinks some while baking.
  10. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes (I baked 48 minutes), or until crumble topping is just set and very lightly golden browned. Place pan on a wire rack to cool for about 30 minutes.
  11. Caramel – After 30 minutes, evenly drizzle with (salted) caramel sauce. Allow bars to cool, in pan, on wire rack for at least 4 hours, or overnight. Cover with foil if cooling overnight. Don’t slice bars too early because you’ll have a literal hot mess and bars will likely fall apart. Prior to slicing, lift bars out using foil overhang, slice, and serve. Bars will keep airtight at room temp for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 6 months. Optionally serve with ice cream.

Recipe from: Pinterest

 

5 Fruit Smoothies To Quench Your Thirst

Summer is here! With the warm weather tickling our fancy for a cold, summer drink, we couldn’t resist putting together these smoothie recipes for you to try. The colours will excite you, the taste will please you, and the satisfaction will complete you. What are you waiting for? Grab your blender and try out these 5 smoothie recipes now!

 

watermelon-frosty

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Watermelon Frosty
serves 2

2 1/4 cups frozen watermelon cubes
1/2+ cup water
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1 large lemon, squeezed
1 fresh banana

Directions: Add all ingredients to the blender – plus 1/4 cup of water. Start blending. Add more water as needed to blend. Add as little liquid as possible to keep your frosty thick and “frosty!”

 

 smoothie 1 FINAL

Basil- Lime Delight

Serves 4 

1 lemon peeled, sliced and seeded.

2 limes peeled and halved

1/4 cup sugar or sweetener of choice

6-7 fresh basil leaves

3 cups ice

1 cup water or apple juice

Directions: Place all ingredients in a blender and secure lid. Turn machine on and quickly increase speed to high. Blend for 90 seconds. Garnish with fresh basil leaf or lemon wedge.

 

 Blueberry-Smoothie-Marla-Meridith-IMG_4652

 Very Peachy BlueBerry

Serves 3-4

1/4 cup Stewed Peaches

1/2 cup frozen Blueberries (plus extra for topping)

1 tablespoon Lemon Juice

3/4 cup unsweetened Almond Milk

handful of Ice

Stevia, Honey, Agave or Maple Syrup to taste

Fresh Mint for garnish

Directions: Stew peaches by cutting them into pieces and placing them in a saucepan with a few tablespoons of water. Bring to a boil then simmer. Mash them against the side of the pan to release juices. Simmer about 6 minutes. Let the peaches chill in the fridge.

Blend all ingredients together. Sweeten to taste if needed. Garnish with mint and frozen blueberries.

 

mango_pineapple 

Mango Tango Pineapple-o

Serves 2

1 cup chopped fresh pineapple

1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen mango, peeled, cubed, and frozen

1/2 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt

1/2 cup cranberry-pomegranate-cherry juice

Directions: Blend all ingredients together. Sweeten to taste if needed. Garnish with mango chunks and one slice of pineapple.

 

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If you’re up for a challenge or have some extra time (and fruits) laying around, try this layered smoothie to leave a lasting impression on your friends- and their tummies! 

Dare to Layer

Serves 4

10 ounces frozen raspberries, thawed

2 tablespoons honey

12 ounces unsweetened lemon-lime sparkling water

5 kiwis, peeled

1 teaspoon lime juice

1 cup roughly chopped cantaloupe

4 kiwi slices, for garnish

 Directions:

1. In the basin of a food processor or blender, combine raspberries and honey. Pulse or blend until pureed. Strain raspberry puree through a fine mesh sieve and discard seeds. Mix in lemon-lime sparkling water and set aside.

2. Combine the peeled kiwi and lime juice in the clean basin of a food processor or blender. Pulse or blend until pureed. Set aside.

3. Add the cantaloupe in the clean basin of a food processor or blender. Pulse or blend until pureed. Set aside.

4. To layer your drink, gently spoon equal amounts of kiwi puree into each of four bowls or glasses. Repeat with cantaloupe puree and raspberry puree. Garnish with kiwi slices.

 

Happy blending!

 

Featured Image

 

Review: Strawberry & Nutella French Toast

Nothing gets me excited like Nutella does. So when I came across this recipe on Pinterest , I knew I had to try it with my roommate. Although you may find it to be a bit heavy for a traditional french toast brunch, these ‘churro-like’ rolls are the perfect dessert for fellow sweet tooths. In other words, you must try these Strawberry Nutella French Toast Roll Ups.

Ingredients 

8 Slices of Whole Wheat or White Sliced Bread

1 1/2 tbsp of Nutella or as desired

1/4 cup of strawberries, diced

1/2 cup white sugar

1 tbsp ground cinnamon

1 large egg

1 1/2 tbsp milk

Preparation 

1. Whisk egg and milk together, put aside

2. Mix cinnamon and sugar together on flat plate, put aside

3. Begin by removing the crusts and flattening the sliced bread out with a rolling pin

4. Spread desired amount of Nutella on each slice and place one side with 5-6 pieces of diced strawberries

5. Roll the bread up tightly and secure it with egg mixture

6. Dip each roll in the egg mixture and place in a pan with melted butter to fry

7. Once golden brown, remove each roll and dip them in cinnamon mixture

8. Garnish roll with chocolate syrup and strawberries and serve

 

Beware: It’s hard to have ‘just one’ Roll Up.

 

 

RECIPE: The homemade granola formula

The first time I decided to make my own, I felt like some sort of domestic goddess. The truth is, making this tasty cereal at home couldn’t be easier and, because it’s endlessly customizable, you’ll never get bored and can tailor each batch to suit whatever you’re in the mood for. Try using the basic formula below to make your own blend (share it in the comments below if you do!), or try my favourite spring-time mix.

Yummy homemade granola

3 cups of rolled grains
1.5 cups nuts and seeds
3/4 cups dried fruit
6 tablespoons liquid sweetener
1/4 cup ground flax seeds
2 tablespoons oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 to 2 tsp dried spices
1 teaspoons salt
Optional mix-ins, like dried coconut and chocolate chips

Springtime granola mix

3 cups rolled oats 1/4 cup almonds, roughly chopped
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup cashews, roughly chopped
1/4 cup sun dried raisins
1/4 cup dried cherries
1/4 cup dried blueberries
1/4 cup ground flax seeds
2 tablespoons pomegranate juice
4 tablespoons agave nectar
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tea spoon sea salt

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 300F.
2. Mix all ingredients together (except dried fruit and chocolate if you’re using it) in a large mixing bowl.
3. Spread the mixture onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
4. Bake for approximately 20-30 minutes, checking every 5 until it starts to get golden brown. It won’t be crunchy yet.
5. Remove from oven and allow to cool, at which point you can mix in your additional ingredients.
6. Store in airtight containers. Enjoy with milk, yogurt, or all on its own as a great snack.

3 healthy meal ideas for busy women

Baking has never been healthier and easier. No one knows this more than former Olympian Diane Clement, who’s also an award-winning author of eight cookbooks. “Sunday is our family day, so I enjoy surprising them with one of my international menus and a favourite dessert,” says Clement.

Diane’s husband, Dr. Doug Clement, is a two-time Olympian himself and has also co-authored two of her lifestyle books. In Start Fresh, she shares some of her favourite dishes, beginning with Max’s branberry muffins.

Dessert

Let’s start with dessert. Why not?!

Max’s branberry muffins

Makes 1 dozen small muffins

Ingredients:

3/4 cup (180 ml) brown sugar
3/4 cup (175 ml) whole wheat flour
1/2 cup (125 ml) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (125 ml) whole wheat bran
1/4 cup (60 ml) wheat germ
1 tsp (5 ml) baking soda
1 cup (250 ml) blueberries, fresh or frozen
1/2 cup (125 ml) seedless raisins
1 tbsp (15 ml) orange zest
1 large egg
2/3 cup (150 ml) plus 2 to 3 tbsp (30 to 45 ml) buttermilk
1/4 cup (60 ml) vegetable oil

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C) and lightly grease a 12-cup muffin pan with vegetable oil. Mix together the brown sugar, whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, bran, wheat germ, and baking soda in a large bowl. Stir in blueberries, raisins and orange rind. Whisk the egg with buttermilk and oil in a separate bowl. Add to dry ingredients all at once, mixing well. Add 2 to 3 tbsp (30 to 45 ml) more buttermilk, if necessary, to bind the batter. Spoon 1/4 cup (60 ml) of batter into each muffin cup and bake about 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the muffin comes out clean. Serve immediately.

Per serving: 217 calories, 5 g protein, 6 g fat, 37 g carbohydrate, 5 g fiber, 114 mg sodium

Brunch

Spanish omelet and tomato relish, with a tuna olive tapenade appetizer.

Dinner

For a dinner party with friends, Diane suggests you start with Italian antipasto platter salad (from your local deli) featuring a mozzarella and fennel salad and a tuscan chicken and orzo entree. For dessert: Italian gelato, biscotti.

Diane says most recipes can be done in advance and the ingredients are available in food markets across Canada.

She adds, “We have a loyal following across Canada. From my first Chef on the Run, printed in 1982, to Doug and my first lifestyle book Chef and Doctor on the Run to our present Start Fresh lifestyle book,” and acknowledges her contributions to the culinary arts.

RECIPE: Herb roasted chicken breast

Roasting the turkey at 325 degrees and allowing it to rest for fifteen minutes ensures that it will be very moist.

Serves 6 to 8

  • 1 whole bone-in turkey breast (6½  to 7 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
  • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons dry mustard
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage leaves
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½  teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¾ cup dry white wine

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Place the turkey breast on a rack in a roasting pan, skin side up.

In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, mustard, rosemary, sage, thyme, salt, and pepper. Rub the mixture evenly all over the skin of the turkey breast. (You can also loosen the skin and smear half of the paste underneath, directly on the meat.) Pour the wine into the bottom of the roasting pan.

Roast the turkey for 1½  to 1 ¾ hours, until the skin is golden brown and an instant-read meatthermometer registers 165 degrees when inserted into the thickest and meatiest area of the breast. Check the breast after an hour or so; if the skin is overbrowning, cover it loosely with aluminum foil.

When the turkey is done, remove from the oven, cover the pan with aluminum foil, and allow the turkey to rest atroom temperature for 15 minutes. Slice and serve warm with the pan juices.

 

 

Excerpted from Barefoot Contessa How Easy is That? by Ina Garten. Excerpted by permission of Clarkson Potter, a division of Random House of Canada Limited. All rights reserved.

RECIPE: Banana bread sandwich

Susan Russom is the author of The Encyclopedia of Sandwiches

A toasty sweet treat!

Two hunks of fresh or toasty grilled banana bread can be sandwiched with sweet ingredients, such as ice cream, grilled bananas, or peanut butter and jelly. Banana bread is a quick bread—a sweet, cakey type made with baking soda instead of yeast—that contains mashed ripe bananas. It is typically flavored with vanilla extract, cinnamon, and chopped nuts. Making banana bread from scratch is easy, but for a truly low-maintenance brunch, a store-bought loaf is your best bet. Thanks to well-known chefs such as Paula Deen, this old-fashioned favorite has been getting a lot of attention as the foundation of a delicious dessert sandwich.

  • Vanilla Spice Cream Cheese
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1⁄8 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon pure maple extract
  • 1 loaf banana bread, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 2 ripe bananas, sliced on the diagonal

1. In a bowl with a mixer, combine cream cheese and cinnamon. Slowly add vanilla, maple syrup, and maple extract, beating until smooth and fluffy. 2. Butter both sides of banana bread slices. Place on a hot griddle and toast 2 minutes per side; set aside. In the same griddle, melt butter, add banana slices, and cook 1 minute per side, or until golden. Sandwich cream cheese mixture and grilled bananas and serve warm.

Makes 4 to 6

Go Bananas!

  • Banana Bread Tea Sandwiches: Cut sandwiches into finger-length pieces.
  • Banana Bread PB&Js: Use banana bread instead of white bread.
  • Banana Bread Elvis: Smother sliced bananas and bacon with peanut butter on grilled banana bread.
  • Banana Bread Ice Cream Sandwiches: Place a scoop or two of ice cream between two slices of grilled banana bread.

 

Excerpted from The Encyclopedia of Sandwiches by Susan Russo Copyright © 2011 by Susan Russo. Excerpted by permission of Quirk Books. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

 

RECIPE: Chickpea tacos!

There’s a good chance your first thought when you hear of chickpea tacos is “Ew, who’d want to eat that?” But trust me on this. They are amazing.

What you need:

  • 1 can of chickpeas
  • 1 package of taco spice
  • 1 clove of garlic (minced)
  • Dash of lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon of water
  • Vegetable oil or extra virgin olive oil (how much is up to you)
  • Hard taco shells (blue corn if possible)
  • taco fixings (lettuce, onion, tomato, salsa, cheese, sour cream, guacamole)

Take a can of chickpeas, rinse them, then put them in a bowl.  Evenly coat the chickpeas with the taco spice, garlic, lime juice, water and oil. Bake them for 20 minutes. Cook the taco shells for 10 minutes.

Take them out of the oven, add your fixings.

I actually found these because I said chickpea to someone in an e-mail. Gmail picked up the word (as it scans your e-mails for keywords and directs ads at you based on these) and promoted a recipe link to me. For the record, this recipe is the only reason I am okay with Gmail reading my mail.