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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Healthy Quinoa Cookies

These protein packed treats will leave you wanting more then one! These don't only have the comforting taste of peanut butter and chocolate chip cookies, but they also offer a good source of energy with protein for that afternoon snack you always crave. The best part about these? You won't feel guilty about this addiction! 

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chips Quinoa Cookies
2 cups chilled, cooked quinoa (I used a quinoa blend which also contained black quinoa)
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter (I used chunky and worked perfect)
1/2 Tbsp maple syrup 
1 pinch of salt 
1/4 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut 
3/4 cup rolled oats 
1/2 cup chocolate chips 

Mixture after adding chocolate chips.

1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Combine all but the chocolate chips in a mixer bowl equipped with a paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until mixture come together and becomes smoother (see picture above). 
3.Stir in chocolate chips.
4.To shape these cookies, I used my tablespoon measure which has a nice dome shape to it. Place shaped cookies onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until bottoms a golden. 
5. Allow to cool completely after taking out of the oven. 

Cookies placed on tray BEFORE baking. 

Happy baking and enjoy! 


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Mid winter night's dream!

Raspberry-Strawberry Cupcake with Cream Cheese Buttercream
            Winter in Winnipeg, MB is at its peak and mother nature is not sparing us from her strengths. While the -45C winds were howling at my windows and the 5 feet snowbanks were casting the full moon's shadows, I was dreaming of warmer days! Green meadows, flower gardens along river banks and full-leaved trees in all their majestic splendor! All of a sudden, I caught myself laying in the grass, cupcake in hand, summer breeze gently caressing my face. Wait... cupcake in hand?! 

         When I woke up the next morning, the endless snow was reflecting the sun's rays and that never relenting wind had only grown stronger. All of a sudden it seemed like a brilliant idea to turn on the oven and start baking what else, but cupcakes. Trying to hold on to any memory of the warmth found in my dream, I decided to try our these whimsical treats and kick them up a notch!  

 All of a sudden I felt transported back in my summer meadows enjoying the warmth of a summer afternoon, and all in the dead of winter! Here we have a "Vanilla sprinkle cake, with a Strawberry-Raspberry Jelly Filling and topped with a light and creamy Cream Cheese Buttercream"!

Split view of the cupcake
Well, after enjoying this treat, I sadly had to go outside and confront this lasting winter and make the most of it! 

Happy baking and keep warm! 


Friday, July 20, 2012

Maple Candied Bacon

After having made this, I feel compelled to share this with all of you! Maple Candied Bacon has become a new obsession of mine and I become the happiest man on Earth when bacon falls on sale. This is an even better trick for you if you have difficult salad eaters at home.

Let's start with the bacon. This is a simple trick which will create a flavor explosion.
1. Slice your bacon slices in 1/4 inch strips and place in a medium heated frying pan.
2. After 3-4 minutes, when the bacon is almost cooked through, Add a drizzled of Maple Syrup in the pan. If the heat is too high, turn it down a pinch to let the bacon simmer away and take on more color. At the same time it will start caramelizing with the Maple Syrup.
3. When it's nice and crispy, carefully remove the bacon pieces from the pan and place on a plate to cool down, making sure that the pieces are divided. Because they have been caramelized they will stick to each other if not separated before they cool.

Here's an amazing SALAD flavor combination;
- Baby Arugula, (sold in bags, prewashed and all for your convenience)
- Radishes, thinly sliced
- Maple Candied Bacon
- Balsamic Vinegar and Olive Oil dressing

I hope you get to try this out soon and fall in love with this as much as I did!

Eat well and till next time!


Monday, July 2, 2012

Over Easy with Style

Many many researches demonstrate that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and this for many reasons. Basically, eating breakfast kicks starts your metabolism and breaks your overnight fast. Eating a good meal comprising of proteins and whole grains will keep you going through till lunch and will prevent you to snack too much on those office doughnuts laying around. Other benefits include, controlling your blood sugar levels. Waiting till mid day will through off your entire body and you will feel tired and unorganized. So make time for breakfast!

The biggest excuse people give themselves is usually the time factor. Trust me, I am in that boat, especially living on your own, you tend to eat what you want and when you want. With a little self discipline, cooking breakfast will give you self satisfaction and help you feel the best you can be! Here is a favorite of mine that does not require too much effort and can impress anyone, including yourself!

Over Easy With Style
This does not require a recipe and can be made in any portion size. Basic things you will need;
-Shallots (or a small white onion), finely diced
- Bacon, finely diced
- Basil or other fresh herbs
- Eggs

Pretty simple concept to put it all together.
1. In a medium sized frying pan on medium heat, melt a nut of butter. When the butter is melted, throw in some finely chopped bacon and shallots. Fry gently until the shallots are translucent and bacon seems to be cooked.
2. Carefully crack the eggs over the bacon mixture and sprinkle with seasoning, including your herbs. Cook until the whites become opaque. Place a lid over the pan and leave for about 3-4 minutes to lightly solidify the yolks.
3. Serve with your favorite breakfast sides (toast, juice, coffee etc) and sprinkle some fresh herbs on the eggs for presentation. Enjoy!

Eat well and till next time!


Monday, May 7, 2012

Weeknight Pasta

Sometimes weeknight dinners make us think outside the box. This time, thinking outside the box, resulted in the sausage coming out of it's casing. In doing so, you will save valuable time and get dinner on the table faster.

Italian Sausage Pasta Sauce
- 6 Italian Sausage, meat taken out of casings
- 1 large white onion, finely chopped
- 3 celery sticks, finely chopped
- 1 -  796ml can Diced tomatoes
- 1 - 126ml can tomato paste
- 1 Tbsp chopped Oregano, fresh or dried
(Choose your favorite pasta and prepare as directed.)

1. Taking the sausage meat out of its' casings, fry in a medium-high heat, large pan. When the sausage meat has almost frinished cooking, add in the onion and the celery. Cook until the onion have become translucent.

2. At this stage pour the diced tomatos and tomato paste in the pan and stir to combine everything. Add the oregano, salt and pepper to taste.

Letting this simmer will only make it better but it can be served immidiately if in a hurry, over your favorite pasta. This versatile recipe can be used for lasagna stuffing, served with spaghetti, with cheese, fresh herbs, or anything other way you can think of. Try it for dinner tonight!

Eat well and till next time!


Saturday, April 21, 2012

Express Pizzas

Perfect dish to make for lunch or dinner when you're in a rush. Very versatile and delicious in minutes. I remember making this when I was younger and it all came back to me when I was thinking what to do with the leftover pepperoni from the other night.

The concept is very simple. To make 1 pizza, you take 2 tortillas so it can support the weight of the ingredients. After that you decide on a base, i used some pesto which I had in the fridge. The rest is up to you for toppings. This time around I went for a simple medley of vegetables; yellow pepper, mushrooms, cherry tomatos and cilantro. Topped it with pepperoni and some cheese.

To bake these, simply place on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Place the oven rack second to the top position and turn your oven on LOW broil or at 375F degrees. Of course, if you put it on broil, make sure to watch them carefully.

This recipe can easily be adapted for vegetarians by simply not putting on any meat; presto magic, a garden pizza. Hope you get to try this one soon!

Eat well and till next time!


Friday, April 20, 2012

Blueberry Orange Scones

Saturday mornings are a perfect time to stay in bed and wake up to a hot cup of coffee, and while your at it, why not treat yourself! In my house, the rich smell of roasting coffee beans is often accompanied by the smell of fresh breads and even sometimes, scones. Perfect to go with coffee on a lazy morning. 

Orange Blueberry Scones
- 2 Cups Flour
- 1/3 Cup Sugar
- 2 Tsp Baking Powder
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 1/3 Cup Butter
- Zest from 1 Orange
- 1 Egg
- 2 Tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1/2 Cup Milk, or Cream (i used a leftover of cream and some milk)
- 1 Cup Blueberries, fresh or frozen

1. In a large bowl combine; the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Using a pastry knife, or your hands, break in the cold butter in the flour mixture to create a crumb texture. Mix in the zest with the flour butter mixture.
2. In a small bowl whisk together; the egg, vanilla and dairy product.
3. Create a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour the liquid ingredients inside. Bring together slowly with a fork, just until it comes together, as show in picture above. Dump mixture on a floured surface and incorporate blueberries.
4. Press dough together so it hold. Shape in a 1 1/2 inch thick square. Fold in half and roll again into a square (this will create a layering effect in the dough. Wrap with plastic wrap and place in fridge for 30-40 minutes.
5. Preheat oven to 375F .Take dough out from fridge, unwrap and cut in desired sizes. (as shown below) Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush top raw scones with cream and sprinkle with a little sugar before placing in oven.  Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the top edges become golden.

These warm scones will melt in your mouth and will compliment any breakfast wonderfuly!

Eat well and till next time!