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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!

Alix

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!

Alix

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!

Alix

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!

Alix

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!

Alix

Easy Taco Night


Quick and easy dinner ideas are always my favorite! And this Mexican themed dinner is no exception! Fresh flavors and sweet aromas of chili take over this delicious dish. In 3 easy steps you'll have dinner on the table, packed with flavors! 

What you'll need;

- 8 flour tortillas 
- 4 chicken breats, cut in strips
- 1 Tbsp chilli powder
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 1 bell pepper (red) cut in slices
- 1 large white onion, thinly sliced
- Your favorite type of cheese
- Fresh avocados (2) , sliced 
- Cilantro, 1 bunch, rinced and dried

1. First you will want to fry your chicken strips in a large pan with a little olive oil. When your chicken is cooked through, add the chili powder and ketchup and stir to combine.

2. In another frying pan on medium-high heat, throw in your peppers and onions with a little olive oil. Do not stir often if you want to have some good grill marks on the peppers. 
3. With the avocados ready and your cheese sliced, you are ready to assemble your soft tacos. I proceed by placing the cheese on the tortilla first, followed by the chicken mixture, the peppers and onions, the avocados and then the cilantro. 


Packed with healthy flavors, this is definitely a crowd favorite! The contrast between the heat of the chili powder and the sweetness of the ketchup is very surprising and fills your mouth with flavors!  If you want serve with fresh salsa and nachos and who knows, maybe even a good cerveza! Try this recipe soon for an easy dinner idea! Hope you enjoy! 

Eat well and till next time!

Alix

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Hot Cross Buns


Hot Cross Buns is a recipe full of historical controversy due to some of its religious associations. In the end the people overcame decisions due to its popularity and the recipe soon became know world round. Here is a new French Kiss Cook video in HD with the recipe which you can find on this page under the video.


Hot Cross Buns
- 1 1/2 cup milk (warm)
- 2 tsp dried yeast
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 60 g melted butter, cooled
- 1 egg
----------------------------
- 4 Cups All purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1-2 tsp freshly grated ginger
- 1 cup Sultana raisins
- 1/2 cup pitted dried prunes, chopped
----------------------------
- 1/2 Cup AP flour
- 1/3 Cup water

1. Stir together the warm milk, the yeast and the sugar. Set aside and let the yeast activate, 5-10 minutes.
2. In a large bowl, combine the 4 cups flour, the cinnamon, salt and ginger.
3. Whisk in the egg and the melted cooled butter into the yeast mixture and pour in the flour mixture and mix till combined. Take dough from bowl and transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic. Cover and let relax for about 10-15 minutes.
4. Make the flour water mixture by whisking the 1/2 cup flour and 1/3 cup water and placing the mixture in a piping bag with a small hole at the end.
5. Divide your dough in 16 equal pieces and place in a 10"x10" pan, butter and parchment paper in the bottom of the pan. Make 4 rows of 4.
6. Pipe the flour water mixture in lines in the center of the buns, going one way and the other. (watch video for technique.
7. Place in 375F oven till golden brown on top.
8. Make a syrup by boiling 1 cup water with 1 cup sugar and 1 tsp of vanilla. Cool till buns are ready. As soon as the buns come out, brush this syrup on the buns for a glossy and tasty finish!

Happy Easter everyone!

Alix

Friday, March 9, 2012

Oriental Style Ribs


Ribs, wonderful ribs. I have to admit, this was my first time preparing ribs, as I am always hesitant to cook a new piece of meat. Who does not love  juicy, fall off the bone, finger lickin', flavorful ribs?! This is one of these "set it and forget it" recipe. The slow cook process really does some good to this piece of meat and will give all the results you're looking for in a rib.



Oriental Style Ribs
- 1 rack of pork ribs

Dry Rub
- 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
- 2 Tsp Garlic powder
- 1 Tsp Chili powder 
- Salt & Pepper

Sauce
- 1/2 Cup Barbecue Sauce
- 1 Tbsp Soy Sauce
- 1 Tbsp Teriyaki Sauce
- Few squirts of Sriracha sauce for heat (optional)


How to make:
PREHEAT OVEN TO 300F DEGREES
1. You will see in the above picture, there is a very thin skin from under the rack that needs to be removed.
2. After this is done, place the rack on a piece of foil  inside of a baking sheet. You may rub liberally the dry rub over and under the rack. Close the foil pouch tightly to keep all the humidity and the juices inside with the ribs.  Place it in your preheated oven for 90 minutes.
3. After an hour and a half, remove the ribs from the oven and open the pouch of foil, being careful of the steam coming out. Mix the ingredients for the sauce all together and spread on the top of the ribs, keeping a Tbsp of the sauce for a final glaze.
4. Leaving the foil open, place the ribs back inside the 300F oven for another 30 minutes. Take the rips out of the oven and apply the reserved sauce to give them a nice shine. Cut rack in portions of 3-4 ribs and serve


Recipe for an Asian flavored salad 
- 2 Cups Soy Germs
- 1 Cup Broccoli florets in small pieces
- 1/2 Bell Pepper (whichever color) Finely diced
- 1/2 cup roasted sliced almonds
Dressing; Same amounts of soy sauce and sesame oil (about 2 Tbsp of each) whisked together

This light crunchy and fresh salad pairs very well with the tenderness of the ribs.
This time I also made a potato and rutabaga mash to add more consistency to the meal. Hope you enjoyed this post!

Eat well and till next time!

Alix

Healthy Snacking


Many of us think that snacking causes weight gain and stops us from losing those extra pounds for the summer months. This is only true if you are snacking on the wrong foods. Of course, if you starve yourself, eventually, you will lose weight but in a very unhealthy way and dangerous for your life. So while shopping for snacks, avoid picking out boxes of crackers and premade dips which can both contain dangerously high amounts of salt and other products which will only leave you feel bloated and retain water weight.

Thankfully there is a way to get you out of this rut; and the answer to this is HEALTHY snacking. By learning to keep your body satisfied you will in turn largely benefit and in turn be in a better shape. You blood sugar drops down after only 3-4 hours of eating a meal. At this time, your body may go into famine mode, where it will want to store nutrients simply to survive. By snacking, you will keep your metabolism going and burning those stored nutrients we commonly see as fat storage. This does not mean you will be munching down of cardboard or flavorless foods.

Nuts, whole grain cereals and vegetables are what you should be eating between your meals to keep you going through the day. Here is one of my few new favorite snacks which keep me focused and energized during my weirdly scheduled days.


Red Pepper and Cilantro Hummus 
- 1 - 540ml can chick peas, drained
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 cups Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1/2 of a red pepper, chopped finely

Puree all ingredients until smooth consistency. Goes great with homemade roasted pita chips to which you will find the recipe by clicking here.


Monday, March 5, 2012

New French Kiss Cook Promo

video

Thank you to everyone who has been watching the new Vlogs! I have gotten great responses and even better comments! Your input is still needed to make this vlog an even bigger success! Here is a new promo for the show, hope you like!

Friday, March 2, 2012

BBQ Chicken Pizza

This whole wheat pizza crust is one of my favorites and is a healthy alternative to doughy white pizza crusts. BBQ Chicken Pizza has a lovely smoky flavor all combined with the convenience of peing stacked on a pizza for your feeding pleasure! Enjoy!


To let us know about any ideas you would have for the show, please comment below and we will make it a reality! Share with us, favorite family recipes and even tips and tricks you may want to share! All comments are welcomed! Thank you!

Alix

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Madeleines

Here we have one of our first vlogs! I am looking forward to reading all your comments on how I could improve, or to hear what you all have to say! Thank you and happy vlogging! 


Eat well, and till next time!

Alix

Monday, February 6, 2012

Blue Cheese Burger



Incorporating blue cheese in hamburgers is becoming more and more of a trend in restaurants. Then why not try it for yourself, and while doing that, impress your family and friends! This technique will prevent the cheese from melting all over and create a flavorful and juicy burger.

To put this burger together you will need;
(6 Hamburgers)
- 1 lb of lean ground beef
- 1/4 cup bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup Oatmeal
- 1 egg
- 1 Tbsp Soy Sauce
- 1 Tbsp Worchestershire Sauce
- 1 package (40g) onion soup mix
- Blue cheese, your favorite kind
- 1 large onion, thinly sliced
- 1 handful of mushrooms, sliced


To make the patties
1.  In a non- reactive bowl (stainless steal or glass) mix together the ground beef, bread crumbs, oatmeal, egg, soy sauce, Worchestershire and onion soup mix. Mix well with your hand to get a smooth, homogenous mixture.
2. Before stuffing them with the cheese, form your patties with your meat mixture to get the amounts and sizes of patties you desire. After that, devide each patty you just made, in two and reshape each new ball of meat in a patty, essencially making a top and bottom for your patties. Lay out the bottom of the meat patties, place thin slices of your blue cheese in the center and place top piece of meat patty on top pressing lightly on the sides to seal both disks of meat.
3. While you are cooking your stuffed meat patties, you can prepare your topping simply by throwing in your prepared onion and mushrooms with some olive oil in a medium-high heated pan. Cook till golden and set aside.


The rest is simple;
Place a patty in a hamburger bun with some lettuce and place the toppings on top. If you really like blue cheese, you may also add some crumbled pieces on top of the onions and mushrooms.

Serve this burger with a simple red leaf lettuce with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, pine nuts and cranberries and you'll have a tasty side that wont blow you up like fries. 

Eat well and till next time!

Alix

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Carrot and Orange Soup


Since we were kids, we've been exposed to games involving color association. So when it comes to putting things together that are of the same color, it comes to us naturally to do it in our cooking.  This would be a great example of an easy, fresh and healthy recipe, in which we feature the color orange. This soup is full of flavor and vitamins to get you through the dead of winter in great shape!


Here's what you'll need;
4-6 portions
- 6 carrots, diced
- 2 onions, diced
- 900 ml beef broth (could be substituted with vegetable broth)
- 250ml (1cup) orange juice

1. In a large pot, heat up a tbsp of olive oil and throw in the carrots and onions. Cook until the onions are translucent.
2. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the carrots are cooked through.
3. When the carrots have cooked, bring the soup off the heat and let cool down. When soup has cooled, put in your blender and puree. As you are doing so, add the orange juice.
4. Return to the pot and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Serve hot with a wedge or orange to squeeze in some extra taste if desired.


How easy is that? Fast and easy, you won't get better then this! I've already made this soup twice in 2 weeks and it is always a favorite! Chances are that you have a big bag of carrots in the bottom of your vegetable drawer, so what are you waiting for?! Hope you enjoy!

Eat well and till next time,

Alix

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Zesty Orange and Maple Sticky Buns


Another very comforting recipe for these cold Canadian winter months. Comforting, yet, healthy enough so you won't feel so bad having one! These whole wheat sticky buns are flavored with orange zest and glazed with pure maple syrup from Qu├ębec. This recipe is one for the books, so take note!

Whole Wheat Maple Sticky Buns
- 1/4 cup Water
- 3/4 cup Milk
- 1/3 cup White Granulated Sugar
- 2 1/4 tsp instant yeast (1 package)
- 1/4 cup Butter
- 3 Egg Yolks
- Zest from 1 orange
- 1 Tsp
- 2 cups Whole Wheat Flour
- 2 1/2 cups All-purpose Flour


FILLING
- 1/2 cup Brown Sugar
- 1 Tbsp Cinnamon
- 1/4 Cup Butter (melted)

TOPPING
- 3/4 Cup Pure Maple Syrup
- 1/3 Cup Butter

TO MAKE THE DOUGH:
1. Place the water and milk in a microwave safe container and heat just till warm (45 seconds on high). When the liquids are warm, add the sugar adn the yeast. Put aside and wait for the yeast to activate.

2. Meanwhile in you mixer bowl, measure your flours, with the butter, yolks salt and orange zest.

3. When the yeast mixture is bubbling, add to the flour mixture in the mixer bowl and miz with the hook attachement on low to obtain a smooth dough. When the dough is smooth, turn the speed up medium speed for 5-8 minutes to firm up the dough.






4. Place the firm ball of dough in a buttered bowl and rowl the ball around to cover in butter. Place a cloth on top and let double in size in a warm place for about 1 hour.

5. To make the topping, place the maple syrup and the butter in a small saucepan and heat up to melt the butter with the syrup.  Take off heat and put aside to cool slightly.

6. When the dough is ready, punch it down and roll it out onto a well floured surface. Form a long rectangle (40cm x 100cm). With a brush, spread the 1/4 cup of melted butter on the dough. Sprinkle the sugar and the cinnamon on the melted butter.

8. Proceed with rolling the dough, not too tightly but securely closing the roll by pinch the dough together with your fingers.










9. Pour the Maple syrup topping into a  buttered 9x13" pan or 2 - 9" circle buttered pans.

10. Cut the roll in 15 pieces and place in the pan on top of the filling. Place in a preheated 375F oven and back for 15-20 minutes or until the dough has reached a nice golden color.

11. Take out of the oven, let cool for about 10 minutes before flipping over the sticky buns onto your platter. Enjoy!


If you want to add extra flavors to this favorite, sprinkle 3/4 cup raisins inside the roll, or 3/4 cup chopped walnuts in the maple topping before placing the rolls on top for baking.






Eat well, sleep well and till next time!

Alix

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Banana and Date Loaf


Nothing quite comforting then the aromas of a banana based loaf, baking on a crisp winter morning! I find myself adding many things to this basic recipe everytime I make a load. You may add any type of nuts, dried fruit, other berries, or even chocolate chips. The combinations are endless! This time around I went and added about 1/2 cup of chopped dates to add another level of flavours and sweetness.



Banana and Date Loaf
PREHEAT OVEN TO 350F

- 3-4 Very ripe bananas (brown), depending on the size
- 1/3 cup Melted butter
- 3/4 Brown sugar
- 1 Large egg
- 1 tsp Vanilla extract
- 1 tsp Baking Soda
- 1 1/2 cup Flour
- 1/2 cup Dates, dried, pitted, chopped (or same amount of nuts, chocolate chips or any berries)


1. In a medium sized bowl, mash the bananas and the melted butter together. Add to this; the egg the vanilla and the brown sugar. Stir all together with a whisk.
2. In a small bowl, sift together the flour and the baking soda. Add to the liquids and fold gently until ingredients are just combine to create a smooth mixture. Fold in the dates or other.
3. Bake for 45 min to an hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. It is normal for this loaf to become a dark colour in order to have a complete baking.


Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did!

Eat well, and happy baking!

Alix