Thursday, 28 February 2013

Potato Confit

Food lovers (myself included) know all to well the term 'confit.'  But for those of you who might be in the dark with the french word, simply put, it means 'cooked in fat.'  Aka, immersed in deliciousness, aka, how (in a world where calories don't count) I'd like all of my food to be cooked.

Today's dinner side dish is just that, baby red potatoes slow roasted in olive oil and garlic.

Oh confit, how you make everything taste so much better.  Don't ever leave me.  Yours Truly, ME.

Potato Confit

1 1/2 lbs baby red potatoes
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, peeled
sprigs of fresh thyme

sea salt

Preheat oven to 350F.
In large baking dish combine potatoes, oil, thyme, and garlic.  Bake for 75-90 minutes, or until fork tender, turning every 15-20 minutes throughout.
Remove potatoes from oil and transfer to a serving dish.  Sprinkle with sea salt.  Enjoy!

Serves: 6-8

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Eggs in a Pepper

Today's lunch is brought to you by the word simple.


Quite possibly one of the greatest words in the English language.


In between playdates, school, and working (okay, semi-working), my days are hectic.  In order to make it through with as much energy as possible, I need nourishment, and I need it fast.  Otherwise, like those who know me can attest,  I get "hangry" (hungry + angry = hangry)
So in order to remain as friendly/non-hangry as possible, I turned to a brightly coloured red pepper, a couple eggs, and some whole wheat bread to fill the void.  Hunger/Hanger crises avoided.  Avoided and completely satisfying.

Eggs in a Pepper

4 large eggs
1 Bell Pepper, cut into 4 - 1/2" rings

salt and pepper to taste

In lightly oiled non-stick pan over medium-low heat, place pepper rings in pan and cook for 1 minute.  Turn over and crack 1 egg into each of the 4 rings.   Cover and cook until whites turn opaque, and yolk is done to desired consistency.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serves: 2

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Weekend Eats: Belgo Brasserie

Last night we went to Belgo Brasserie, located at 501 - 8th Avenue for dinner & drinks, and more importantly, to celebrate a friends birthday.  Aside from great conversation and a much needed night out on the town, here is a quick snapshot of what a few of my tablemates and I enjoyed.

Happy Sunday!

Club House Wrap |  grilled chicken breast, bacon, lettuce, Havarti, avocado, roasted peppers, tomato, onions, siracha mayo.  served with frites

Blackened Tuna Taco | guacamole, chipotle mango sweet & sour sauce, corn & black bean salsa, cilantro

Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin | vegetable pave, celeriac puree, star anise maple jus, spice apple chutney

Short Rib & Lobster | slow braised Angus short rib, broiled lobster tail, sour cream mashed potato, sauce bordelaise

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

For The Kids: Rice Krispie Sushi

L is on 'snack duty' at school tomorrow, and it just so happens that he'll also be celebrating his birthday.  Double whammy I know.  This now means that our regular snack just won't cut it, bring on the extra fun, sugary one instead.

It's no secret that we love/adore/long for Japanese food in our home.  Sushi frequents our weekly menu and with that in mind, I decided to play with our food and make sushi inspired Rice Krispie treats.

Break out the chopsticks, this is the real deal....sort of...

Rice Krispie Sushi

Rice Krispie Treats
Red Swedish fish
Licorice assorted candies or Gummy Worms
Fruit-by-the-Foot or Fruit Roll-ups

How to assemble:

"Sushi" -  Cut Rice Krispie treats into squares.  Place Swedish fish on top, and secure in place with a strip of Fruit Roll-up or Fruit-by-the-Foot.
"Rolls" - cut out circle shapes using a cookie cutter.  Depending on size of candy you are using, you'll have to poke or cut a hole in the centre of the circle that corresponds.  Insert candy.  Wrap exterior of circle with Fruit Roll-up, cut to size, or with Fruit-by-the-Foot.

Monday, 18 February 2013

Glazed Lemon Biscotti

A biscotti for my hottie...

I decided to surprise my husband this morning with a good cup of joe and a homemade biscotti.  It's the beginning of his 'birthday week,' and because he spoils me everyday, this is me reciprocating.  

Glazed Lemon Biscotti

1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbsp lemon zest
3 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder

1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest

Preheat oven to 350F.  Line cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
In a medium bowl, beat together the oil, eggs, sugar and vanilla extract until well blended.
In separate bowl combine flour, baking powder and lemon zest.  Add into the egg mixture to form a heavy dough.  Divide dough into two pieces.  Form each piece into 12-inch long by 2-inch wide by 1/2-inch thick rectangle.
Bake for 25 - 30 minutes, until golden brown.  Remove from baking sheet and allow to cool on a wire rack.  When cool enough to handle, cut into 1/2 inch slices.  Place cut side up back onto baking sheet.  Return to oven and cook for an additional 6-10 minutes on each side, until lightly toasted.
Allow cookies to cool completely.
To make glaze:  whisk together all ingredients.  Dip or drizzle each cookie in/with the glaze.  Allow glaze to harden before enjoying.

Yields: approximately 3-4 dozen
Store in air-tight container.

Adapted from Rocco Dispirito

Guess Who's Five

Stop the presses.  It's official.  I'm now the mom of a five year old boy.  I'm still not entirely sure how this happened, wasn't it only yesterday that I brought L home from the hospital?  I still remember his newborn scent, rocking him to sleep, and the 2, 4, & 6am feedings, all of which are now just memories.  Even though I love my uninterrupted sleeps, part of me wants to get up again.  Why can't they stay little for longer than a nanosecond?  It's just not fair.

L has been counting down to this birthday since what seems like summer, and I'm sure the countdown to his 6th birthday will begin tomorrow.  This year pie, pancakes, and Spiderman, reigned supreme as the birthday requests.  Truth be told I couldn't be more excited about the pie.  That's always my birthday request.  Smart kid.  Of course you can't have pie without ice cream, so with this in mind I decided to go ahead and make an ice cream pie.  Two worlds colliding into one dessert.  Winner, winner birthday dinner dessert.

Happy Birthday L!  You make me proud to call myself a mom, I couldn't ask for a better son, brother, or all around individual.  I love you more and more with each passing day.  Muwah.  xoxo.

Cookies 'n Cream Ice Cream Pie

1 1/4 cup oreo cookie crumbs
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 quarts cookies 'n cream ice cream, softened
2 cups cool whip topping, softened
cookie crumbs or mini oreos for garnish

Combine cookie crumbs and melted butter in medium bowl.  Firmly press into bottom of 9-inch springform pan.  Transfer to freezer to firm up.
Spread softened ice cream over frozen crust.  Place back in freezer for 1-2 hours.
Top with cool whip and garnish with some cookie crumbs or mini oreos if desired.  Freeze for 4-6 hours till completely set, or overnight.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Break Out the Heart Shaped Cookie Cutter

Today is February 14th which only means that I will, without question, overuse my beloved 'heart-shaped' cookie cutter.  You can bet it will be used for breakfast, lunch, and the all important snack-time.  The only meal not heart-shaped, dinner.  And only because I'm pretty sure sushi restaurants don't do that.  Hmm, or do they?  (stay tuned)

First things first.  Pancakes.  Cute, heart-shaped, and pink.  Perfect for the three valentines in my life (also for me.)  

Valentine Pancakes

** note you can prepare these pancakes by using your favourite store bought mix or, feel free to make them from scratch.  

1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
red food colouring

maple syrup for serving

In large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
In separate bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, and vanilla.  Add to dry ingredients until just moistened.  
Divide batter into two bowls.  Add red food colouring to one of the batters and mix to incorporate.
Spoon batter in 1/4 cup portions onto lightly oiled griddle or pan.  Cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until bubbles form on top and underside is golden.  Flip and cook for 30-1 minute longer.  Repeat with remaining batter.
Using a heart shaped cookie cutter, cut out the centre of each pancake.  Swap white and pink hearts and place on opposite coloured pancake.
Serve warm with syrup.

Yields 8 pancakes

Monday, 11 February 2013

White Chocolate & Cherry Chip Cookies

Valentine's Day is officially within arms reach (hint hint J) which means it's also time to start baking treats for my kids to share with their special valentines.  So when coming up with what to make, I went with what my gut, and kids told me they wanted.  Cookies.  It's always cookies with those two.

So in honour of the holiday that celebrates pink and red, I decided to make White Chocolate & Cherry Chip Cookies.  Little bits of pink studded throughout, topped off with white chocolate chips, I'm certain Cupid himself would be impressed.  What's better yet, is your ingredient list can be counted on one hand, guess now there is no excuse not to make these cookies.

Happy (almost) Valentine's Day!

White Chocolate & Cherry Chip Cookies

1 box cherry chip cake mix
2 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
splash of vanilla
white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350F.  Line baking sheet with parchment paper  or silpat mat.  Set aside.
In large bowl, combine oil, eggs, cake mix, and vanilla, blend together using a wooden spoon.
Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto prepared baking sheets, top each cookie with 3-5 white chocolate chips.
Bake for 7-8 minutes.  Remove from oven and allow to cool for 3 minutes before transferring to wire rack.

Yields: approximately 2 - 2 1/2 dozen cookies
Adapted from my Birthday Cake Cookies

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