Molly Yeh’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake is Your New Favourite Birthday Treat

Many of us have elevated our at-home baking game in recent months, seeking solace in the nostalgia that comes with revisiting quintessential desserts. But what happens when you combine two sweet tooth classics – chocolate chip cookies and cake? Well, it’s a whole new level of dessert that you’ll want to add to your repertoire ASAP, birthday or not.

Almond flour, brown sugar, hazelnut flour, chocolate chips and colourful homemade buttercream frosting come together beautifully in this mouth-watering dessert that comes straight from Molly Yeh‘s oven. It’s as delicious as it is gorgeous and can be enjoyed year-round.

Related: Molly Yeh’s Show-Stopping Carrot Cake With Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting

Molly Yeh’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
Yields: one 8-inch cookie cake

Ingredients:

Cookie Cake
Nonstick cooking spray, for the pan
1 cup almond flour
1 cup hazelnut flour
1/2 cup lightly-packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 large egg
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Buttercream
3 cups powdered sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp kosher salt
3 Tbsp heavy cream

Related: Our Best No-Bake Desserts That Won’t Let You Down

Directions:

1. For the cookie cake: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease an 8-inch cake pan with nonstick cooking spray and line it with parchment. Set aside.

2. In a large bowl, combine the almond and hazelnut flours, brown and granulated sugars, salt and baking soda. In a small bowl, combine the vanilla and almond extracts and egg. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, add the chocolate chips and stir to combine. It may seem dry at first but keep on stirring. Pat the dough out evenly in the prepared cake pan.

3. Bake until golden brown on top; begin checking for doneness at 22 minutes. Let the cake cool fully in the pan.

4. For the buttercream: In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together the powdered sugar, butter, vanilla and salt. Once combined, beat in the heavy cream until smooth.

5. Remove the cake from the pan. Transfer the buttercream to a piping bag and decorate the cake as desired (or spread on the cake to decorate).

Special Equipment: a piping bag, optional

Get to know the cookbook author and blogger behind Girl Meets Farm with 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Molly Yeh.

Watch Girl Meets Farm and stream Live and On Demand on the new Global TV App, and on STACKTV. Food Network Canada is also available through all major TV service providers.

How to Cook for One Without Eating the Same Meal All Week Long

No matter how much you love to create in the kitchen, cooking for one can be a bit of a challenge. It can be hard to figure out how to shop and cook for yourself without eating the same darned thing until you’re blue in the face (or until your leftovers are green with mould). Sometimes it seems that creating a satisfying meal for one is more work than it’s worth. When I lived solo I certainly reached for a few pickles and scoops of hummus on occasion. And sure, sometimes a dinner like that is exactly what you need. But if you’re looking for more than a snack plate for dinner, here are a few tips I’ve learned over the years to help make things easier – not to mention more fun.

Plan Some Meals

Planning out all your meals isn’t for everyone, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find some semblance of meal planning that works for you. Are you the kind of person who loves slotting in every single meal for the entire week on a giant chalkboard wall and sticking to a plan? (Guilty!). Go for it. Does that seem like way too much work? No problem. Start by scribbling down a few meals that you want to cook in a notebook or on your phone and then go with the flow each day. The important part is to think about what you’re going to eat in advance, so that you’re not blankly staring into the fridge come 5 p.m. and turning to delivery instead.

Related: 9 Easy Weekly Meal Plan Ideas That Really Work

Consider Your Schedule

Figuring out the kinds of food you plan on eating isn’t the only part of meal planning — deciding what you eat depends on how busy you are too. When I was living solo and I knew I’d be swamped with work, I’d roast up a chicken and some grains on Sunday and repurpose that all week long — into salads, sandwiches, tacos, etc. On the opposite side, if I had a lighter week, I’d plan to simmer up some soups, casseroles or other larger dishes that I could then portion out and freeze for later. Knowing your schedule is an essential component when it comes to successfully cooking for one.

Get the recipe for Ina Garten’s Lemon and Garlic Roast Chicken

Shop Accordingly

It may seem obvious, but when you’re cooking for one you’ve got to shop for one too. Otherwise your fridge will start to rot from the inside out. Shopping for one means not giving into several fresh fruits and veggies and sticking to a few you know that you’ll consume instead. It means buying the two-pack of chicken breasts instead of the value size (unless you plan on dividing and freezing). And it means making friends with the people at the deli, meat and cheese counters, because odds are you can get a small portion of what you want from one of those helpful folks (hi Catherine!). Last but not least, always try to have a list and never shop hungry, because that’s when impulse or bulk buying is always at its worst.

Stock up on Staples

Just because you need to be careful about how much fresh food that you select, doesn’t mean you can’t stock up on things that will keep for a long time in the fridge or cupboard. Eggs have a long shelf life and I love how ridiculously versatile they are. Oatmeal and grains can last me for months and canned beans are the perfect thing for a last-minute salad, chili or taco night. Bulk stores are great too because you can pick up the portions you need for basically the same price or cheaper than at the regular grocery store, so maybe consider investing in some airtight containers and giving your pantry a makeover. For me, when I have more options to choose from, I always feel less bored with what I’m eating and making for myself.


Get the recipe for Pinto Bean Salsa Salad

Related: Budget-Friendly Pantry Staples You Should Always Have on Hand

Halve Your Recipes

One of the most frustrating things about cooking for one is when you come across a recipe you want to try out and realize that it inevitably serves two to four people. Because no thanks, I don’t want to gamble on having to eat a new dish that I might not like for the next four days. Luckily, it’s a problem that can be easily solved by learning to halve your recipes. Know your basics (there are three teaspoons in a tablespoon; a quarter cup has four tablespoons) or do what I do and turn to good old Google when you’re stuck. Need to halve an egg? Put it in a container, whisk it, and save half for later.

Make Meals You Can Repurpose

I seriously love roasting up whole chickens. You get more bang for your buck, they’re delicious and most importantly, they can be transformed into so many other dishes throughout the rest of the week. Tacos, power bowls, salads, a chicken pasta, soup… the possibilities are endless. Think beyond chicken though. Cook up a batch of quinoa that can be transformed into bowls, patties or even sushi, roast some beef for a variety of meaty dishes or steam up a big bowl of rice to be made into some creative mains… or even dessert.


Get the recipe for The Pioneer Woman’s Red Wine Pot Roast

Organize the Freezer

The freezer is your friend, especially when you’re trying to portion out meals for one. Veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and peppers can be saved for later by washing, cutting and flash-freezing them on a parchment-lined baking sheet before transferring them to a freezer-friendly container or bag. Herbs can be saved by dividing them into ice-cube trays and freezing them with some water or stock. And anytime you make a soup, casserole or other freezer-friendly offering, portion it out and freeze it so that you can have your own “microwave dinners” whenever you need something quick. I’ve learned that this works well for desserts too. Divide and freeze pies and cakes or whip up some cookie dough and portion it out onto trays. You can flash-freeze and store them, so that you can pop a cookie or two into the oven whenever the sugar craving strikes.

Related: 35 Easy Freezer Meals You Can Make Ahead (And Devour Later)

Have a Go-To List of Single-Serving Recipes

We’ve agreed that the two to four serving recipe struggle is real, but that doesn’t mean all recipes are the single-person’s devil. Mug cakes are a delicious way to microwave your way to a quick dessert after a long day, for example. Or a quick omelette with a salad is the perfect mid-week meal. Take note of any recipes you make (bookmark them, print them out or file them away in the old memory bank if you prefer) and refer back to them when you need a little inspiration.

Find a Support System and Share

One of the less glamorous parts about eating and cooking alone is that you can never quite participate in bulk purchases, family meal packages or organic produce boxes. The good news is that you probably aren’t the only one feeling like you’re missing out on those deals, so why not grab a fellow singleton and go in together to reap those rewards? Splitting a grocery bill or bulk shop with a friend, family member or even roommate lets you fill your fridge and pantry with a wider variety of options of things that (hopefully!) won’t go bad, while keeping you on track with your budget and dietary needs.

Related: How to Host a Successful Freezer Meal Swap

Let Go of the Idea of “Traditional” Meals

Cooking for one doesn’t need to be bleak, but it also doesn’t have to be fancy. Before you feel guilty for not breaking out the fine china or cloth napkins for yourself, remember that any balanced diet is a good diet. So if that means grilled cheese for dinner or a simple salad, you do you. In my days of cooking for one I was just as likely to whip myself up a New York striploin or master a new recipe as I was to throw a tuna melt in the toaster oven or put a hunk of cheese and a few veggies on a plate and call it a day. That’s the beauty of cooking for one: anything goes. By embracing that mentality, then suddenly all of the pressure is off. And for me, that not only means that I have more fun in the kitchen, but I’m more likely to try new things too.

Need more inspiration? Here are 40 quick and easy meals for one.

Ree Drummond Tomato Soup 2.0

Ree Drummond’s Tomato Soup 2.0 is a Feel-Good Pantry Staple Lunch

In her Staying Home special, Ree Drummond turns canned tomato soup on its head in this easy at-home recipe that’s comforting, simple and can be made with ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen. Golden croutons made from thick-cut garlic-parmesan Texas toast make for the perfect accompaniment to this hearty lunchtime soup. The pantry-friendly dish starts with store-bought pesto, condensed tomato soup and dried herbs before Ree adds a large splash of heavy cream (if you have it on hand) to make for a creamy, velvety finish.

Related: Ree Drummond’s Easiest Dinner Recipes to Make This Week

The Pioneer Woman’s Tomato Soup 2.0

Active Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Serves:
6

Ingredients:

Garlic Bread Croutons
6 pieces store-bought frozen garlic cheese bread, cut into large cubes (about 1 inch)
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan

Tomato Soup
1/4 cup olive oil
3 Tbsp jarred pesto, plus more for serving
About 50 oz condensed tomato soup (I’m using one 26-oz can and two 10.75-oz cans)
One 14.5-oz can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
2 Tbsp sherry cooking wine
1 Tbsp dried parsley leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 to 4 Tbsp heavy cream

Directions:

1. For the garlic bread croutons: Preheat the oven to 425°F.

2. Toss the cubed garlic bread with the Parmesan and place on a baking sheet. Bake until golden and crisp, 7 to 8 minutes. Set aside.

3. For the soup: In a saucepot over medium heat, add the olive oil and jarred pesto. Cook the pesto for a couple minutes to allow the flavours to come out. Add the tomato soup, diced tomatoes, Parmesan, sherry, dried parsley and about half the amount of water listed in the soup can instructions. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and simmer until heated through. Stir in the cream.

Related: The Pioneer Woman’s Cheesiest Recipes

4. Serve the soup in bowls and top with the garlic bread croutons. Sprinkle over some additional Parmesan and drizzle with pesto. Serve extra croutons on the side.

Want to finish off with something sweet? Try Ree Drummond’s rustic strawberry tart.

These Freezer-Friendly Russian Pelmeni Dumplings Are the Perfect At-Home Cooking Project

If you’ve ever visited a Russian restaurant, you’re probably familiar with pelmeni. Pelmeni are savoury dumplings stuffed with ground meat and onion. They can be served in a broth or on their own with a healthy helping of butter or sour cream. Regardless of how you choose to serve them, these dumplings make for a great cooking project. Make a big batch and split among friends or store in the freezer for those times when you’re running low on groceries.

Russian Pelmeni Dumplings

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Rest Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes
Servings: Approx. 50 pelmeni

Ingredients:

Dough
1 large egg
¾ cup lukewarm water
2 ¾ cup all-purpose flour
½ tsp fine sea salt

Filling
1/3 cup grated onion, about ½ medium onion
100 grams ground pork
100 grams ground beef
¾ tsp fine sea salt
¼ cup ice water

1 bay leaf (optional)

Directions:

1. Whisk egg and water in a large bowl. Add flour and salt, stirring with a wooden spoon until dough comes together. Knead the dough either in the bowl or on a clean surface lightly dusted with flour, until it is smooth, about 5 minutes. Form into a disc then wrap tightly in plastic and transfer to the refrigerator to let rest for 30 minutes.

2. In the meantime, combine the onion, pork, beef and salt in a large bowl. Stir with a wooden spoon until thoroughly mixed. Add 1 tablespoon of ice water and stir vigorously until absorbed. Repeat this process with the remaining 3 tablespoons until no liquid remains.

Related: 15 Perogie Recipes That Are Pure Comfort

3. Lightly sprinkle a sheet tray with flour. Divide dough into two halves. Wrap one half and set aside. Roll out dough until it measures 1/16-inch thick. Using a 2 3/4 or 3-inch cutter (or overturned glass) cut out circles.

4. Place a generous teaspoon of filling in the centre of each circle. Fold the dough over itself to create a half moon. Press the edges tightly with your fingertips (if the dough does not stick to itself lightly brush the edges with water) then fold the edge upwards. Grab both ends of the half moon and draw them towards each other so they overlap. Press firmly to seal. Transfer to prepared tray. Repeat with remaining dough. Scraps can be rerolled to use up excess filling, but the resulting pelmeni will be tougher.

5. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the bay leaf, if desired. Cook pelmeni in boiling water until cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes. Pelmeni can be frozen on prepared sheet tray, then transferred to a tightly sealed zip top bag for storage. To cook from frozen, boil for 5 minutes. Enjoy!

Want more at-home cooking projects? These mini bagels and 12-layer chocolate cake will surely impress.

This No-Bake Key Lime Pie Icebox Cake is the Perfect Summer Treat

As the weather gets warmer, all I want is ice cream and sweet treats that will keep me cool. This Baking Therapy key lime pie icebox cake is made up of layers of creamy vanilla ice cream, a tangy lime curd and graham crackers that soften to the perfect cake-like texture. The best part is, you won’t even have to turn on the oven!

Key Lime Pie Icebox Cake

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Rest Time: 8 hours or overnight
Total Time: 8 hours, 30 minutes
Servings: 8 to 10 pieces of cake

Ingredients:

2 cups white sugar
4 large eggs
2 egg yolks
1 ¼ cup fresh lime and lemon juice (6 limes, 2 lemons)
¼ tsp salt
¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter
2 cups heavy cream
150 mL condensed milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
16-20 graham cracker sheets

Directions:

1. In a medium saucepan, whisk together the sugar, eggs, yolks, lime and lemon juice and salt. Heat over medium-high heat, whisking constantly until hot to the touch. Whisk in 1 Tbsp of butter at a time until the curd begins to thicken. Bring back to a boil, then remove from heat.

2. Strain the lime curd through a fine sieve and into a bowl or shallow dish. Cover with plastic directly on the curd to prevent a skin from forming. Place in the freezer for 20-30 minutes to chill.

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk the heavy cream and condensed milk until medium peaks, add the vanilla and whip until stiff peaks. Make sure not to over-whip.

Related: No-Bake Cookies You Can’t Mess Up (Because Ovens Are Overrated)

4. Line a 10-inch loaf pan with parchment paper with a 1-inch overhang to easily lift the icebox cake out of the pan once its’ frozen. To help the parchment paper adhere to the loaf pan, lightly grease with vegetable oil.

5. Layer one layer of graham cracker on the bottom of the pan. Spread about ½ cup of the ice cream followed by the lime curd, about 1/3 cup. Continue layering until you fill the loaf pan. You should have about 4-5 layers.

6. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for at least 8 hours or overnight until completely firm.

7. When you are ready to serve, run the outside of the pan under warm water for 10 seconds to loosen the parchment. Using the parchment paper overhang, pull the icebox cake out of the pan. Slice and enjoy!

Like Sabrina’s baking? Check out her easy recipe for soft rolls, along with her gooey overnight cinnamon buns and fudgy gluten-free sweet potato brownies.

Watch out for Sabrina’s baking videos on the Food Network Canada Instagram account.

Famous Recipes We’re Making at Home, From McDs Hash Browns to IKEA Meatballs

Full disclaimer: I cook. Like, a lot. I’m the type of person who tries not to order too much takeout, I’ll meal plan with my kids and in the pre-coronavirus days, grocery shopping was basically my sanctuary. But you know how when the option to do something is taken away and that just makes you want to do it even more? Enter me and my current obsession with greasy, sweet or downright indulgent fast food. So I decided to pull off a weekend of copycat recipes, in which I replicated some favourite famous recipes from the pre-coronavirus days. Call it a (not-so) fast food culinary marathon, if you will…

McDonald’s Hash Browns

When I first heard that McDonald’s had released their recipes for sausage McMuffins and hash browns I did a freaking happy dance — my kids are obsessed with those golden fried potato parcels. And honestly, even though I typically pass on them, I’ve been imagining biting into those warm, oily things myself. It was a no-brainer to make hash browns my first order of business on a sleepy Saturday morning when everyone was up before 6AM and I had had one too many glasses of mom juice the night before to celebrate the weekend. (While catching up on Real Housewives, naturally).

Ease of Recipe: Honestly? This seemed suspiciously easy. The recipe I found called for one grated potato, one egg, oil and salt and pepper to taste. It didn’t say which type of oil to use or how much salt is ideal. Heck, I didn’t even know how many hash browns one potato would actually make. So I decided that for our family of four I’d go with three potatoes, two eggs and vegetable oil.

The Curveball: You know how McDonald’s hash browns come in those perfect little oval shapes so that they can fit into those grease-catching sleeves? Yeah, mine did not pour out like that. Instead I was spooning bits of potato and trying to shape them into log-like blobs while dancing around, listening to whining kids and trying to avoid all of that splattering hot oil. I’m kind of pumped that my hands are still intact and unburnt so that I can tell this tale today.

Related: From Homemade Bread to Pickles, 20 Recipes to Master While Indoors

“Chef” Notes: In my head, McDonald’s hash browns look like they’re made of little potato squares, not grated spuds. So I tried to replicate that by using the slice function on my food processor and then putting the slices a second time through using the grate function. I still didn’t have chunks, but at least the shavings were small. Then, because I’m well aware water and oil don’t mix when you’re looking for a crispy texture, I rung out the grated taters with a cloth towel to try and remove as much water as possible before mixing them with the eggs. 

Results: Misshapen and under-salted final product aside, these went over quite well with the whole family. I put out a plate of them for breakfast and even though the responsible adult in me wondered if I should cut all that grease with some fruit or something, I got lazy. Kids have had worse than just a plate of hash browns for breakfast before, right? Anyhow, my eldest ate four (FOUR!) of them and asked if we could eat them again the next day, while my picky youngest, who had been clamouring for pancakes, had two. (Probably because I told him they were potato pancakes, which technically isn’t a lie.) Needless to say I’ll be making these again, 100 per cent.

Canada’s Wonderland Funnel Cake

If you’ve ever been to Canada’s Wonderland, then you know that everywhere you look someone is devouring a funnel cake. Like, you almost feel the pressure to eat one as soon as you enter the park because everyone else is walking around with one. Yeah, you came for the rides and atmosphere, but let’s be honest: you also came for that perfectly crispy pastry topped with fruity sauce and a dollop of whipped cream or ice cream. So Wonderland was doing the world at large a favour when it released its iconic funnel cake recipe for everyone in quarantine to make at home. Naturally that was next up on my weekend of indulgences.

Ease of Recipe: If you looked at the expansive ingredient list and walked away, I don’t think you’d be alone. You definitely have to plan out making these because the sauce calls for things like strawberry extract, modified corn starch and strawberry glaze, three things I didn’t have, couldn’t find and ultimately decided to omit. The recipe does state that you can use regular old corn starch, although the instructions aren’t very clear on how to make that substitution. I definitely had a moment where I was scooping out gross white chunks of the thickening agent where I thought I may have to start again because my guesswork was off. But I’m happy to report that I eventually figured it out and made a decent, if not a touch starchy, sauce.

The Curveball: Not only do you need a specific list of ingredients to pull off these at-home funnel cakes, but you actually need some sort of a funnel with which to pour out and fry the batter. I didn’t have a squeeze bottle handy so I used a clean watering can with a long spout, which… kind of worked. At least the spout was long enough that I wasn’t scared I was going to burn myself around all of that hot oil. And speaking of the hot oil… once those cakes were fried on one side, flipping them over was akin to a death-defying stunt. Even with my creative use of spatula, flipper and tongs that I had going on, I definitely broke more than one cake while shooing the kids back outside for fear they’d be burnt.

Related: I Tried “Beyond Meat” Meals at 5 Popular Canadian Chains. Here’s How They Stacked Up

“Chef” Notes: The most annoying part about this recipe (other than the length of time it took to make that sauce) is that some measurements are in grams, some are in millimetres and others are in teaspoons. So for example, instead of knowing you need about three cups of flour you have to actually measure how many grams you’re putting into the batter. Luckily I have a kitchen scale so I was able to figure all of that out, but if I were trying to recreate this recipe without one I honestly would have given up. I wondered more than once if they made it hard on purpose so that you would still go to the park for one of these fried cakes if and when it opens back up. This recipe can definitely be simplified.

Results: This recipe was supposed to make 3-4 large funnel cakes or 5-7 smaller ones, but because I had to pour the batter a bit thicker than the park does, I actually used less per batch. I wound up with 12. Some family had stopped by for a (social distant) visit, so they each got to try one. My father-in-law said it was “better than the EX” (apparently they serve them there?) and my brother-in-law ate three, so that’s a win. The kids were just lukewarm on them though and I found pieces of one floating in the dogs’ water bowl a couple of hours later courtesy of my son. Meanwhile, because we had so many extra, my husband also ran one over to our neighbours, but he came back right away for another after they apparently “fought” over the first one. For the record our neighbours are awesome (AND they’re quarantining with young kids), so they definitely deserved a cake each. Long story short? I would probably make these again, but only for a very special occasion. And next time I’ll most likely just throw some jam and ice cream over them and call it a day on the sauce.

IKEA Meatballs

The last time I made Swedish meatballs was when I was still pregnant with my second kid. At the time, my daughter devoured about eight of them and my husband licked the plate clean, so I’m not really sure why I haven’t made them since. Needless to say when I was coming up with famous recipes to recreate at home, including this recipe for Almost Famous Swedish Meatballs was a no-brainer. As in, I was immediately craving them as soon as I decided to make them.

Ease of Recipe: If you’ve ever made meatballs or gravy, then you already know what to expect from this pretty straightforward dish. The only real thing to consider is the amount of ground pork and beef that you’re picking up at the store, because unless you’re going to a butcher then finding a ½ pound packet of pork or a ¾ pound packet of beef can be tough. In my case I just decided to double up on the recipe because leftover meatballs freeze pretty well.

The Curveball: Here’s the thing… if you’re going to make hash browns and funnel cakes on the same day, maybe you don’t want to plan on having these delicious (but heavy) meatballs for dinner. By the time I had prepped them and placed them in the fridge (all 58 of them thanks to my doubling the recipe), I was too full and tired to cook them. Luckily they held up in the fridge pretty well until Sunday night.

Related: Our Fave Food Trends to Come out of Quarantine, From Pancake Cereal to Bread Art

“Chef” Notes: I didn’t actually have two cups of breadcrumbs, so I improvised by throwing a box of crackers in the food processor and mixing them with panko. Had I also cooked the meatballs that same day and not saved them I think it would have been a fine substitution. But because I waited, I think the meatballs were slightly more moist inside than intended, but really we were all fine with it. Because…

The Results: Holy heck I’m genuinely still full of meatballs. Remember how I said I made 58 of them? There are only 16 left in the fridge — forget freezing them. And of those 42 meatballs that we devoured, the kids only had four. They were more interested in the rice and veggie sticks I provided, mostly because the meatballs had a bit of a gray colour from the sauce. (Parsley garnish is pretty for adults, but a real turnoff for tots). My husband and I though? LONG after we were full we sat at the kitchen table sipping some white wine and picking at the tray eating more. And more. And more. It was all kinds of glorious, even as the kids ran around us and we avoided thinking about the dishes that had piled up in the sink. For that memory alone I’ll probably make more of these in the very near future. I do have some extra cream and beef stock to use up, after all…

Starbucks Iced Coffee

If this experiment happened in the fall, putting a pumpkin spice latte on my list would have made total sense. But because the days are super hot and it’s nice to feel like you’re having a cool treat, I went on the hunt for a reasonable iced coffee recipe that would make me feel like I was having some expensive Starbucks concoction. Enter Molly Yeh and her inventive Fresh Mint Iced Coffee.

Ease of Recipe: Honestly the hardest part about this was making the simple syrup, but even that was as simple as it sounds. I did half of the suggested amount because I figured the fridge would be full of meatballs, but it was so freaking good that I’ll probably be making more of it next week to put in my iced coffees all summer long.

The Curveball: This recipe calls for one tablespoon of heavy cream and one tablespoon of simple syrup, but I knew that wouldn’t be enough for my husband, who typically likes his coffee on the lighter and sweeter side. Luckily all I needed to do to fix that was to just add one more tablespoon of each. Easy peasy. It honestly gave me vacation vibes and made me feel like we were at a café, rather than chilling in the yard while the kids drew over all the patio furniture with chalk.

Related: Which Canadian Comfort Food Are You, According to Your Zodiac Sign?

“Chef” Notes: Was I fan of the mint flavour in my coffee? Surprisingly, yes. I actually wasn’t sure if I would be. Did I enjoy when that fresh mint got caught in my straw? Not so much. Next time I may consider playing with the fresh mint by infusing it in the simple syrup and then straining it or else I’ll just skip on using a straw. (But I mean, using a straw is half the fun of an iced coffee in my books).

Results: I feel like there’s a whole new world of iced coffee creations to try out now that I know just how easy this simple syrup business is to pull off. Whenever I’ve made “iced coffee” in the past I’ve always added sugar and the grains are just gross. This was easy, delicious and I didn’t need to invest in a cold brew coffee maker to get it. I’m going to be saving a lot of money on expensive beverages for the rest of the summer, that’s for sure — and I can’t wait to experiment with more flavour combinations. Salted caramel, vanilla swirl, here I come.

All in all it was a successful weekend of “new” recipes that reinvigorated my groove in the kitchen and I wouldn’t write off plotting out another weekend of making at-home favourites in the near future. Except maybe this time, I’ll pick some recipes with a little less hot oil.

Feeling ambitious? Try your hand at these mini bagels and 12-layer chocolate cake to expand your cooking repertoire (and impress anyone at the table).

Pork Banh Mi Burgers With Grilled Pineapple Will Be Your Go-To Summer Recipe

The ingredients and flavours in a Vietnamese banh mi sandwich is an umami and sensory dream: a light and crispy mini baguette loaded with richly marinated meat, tangy and crunchy pickled veggies, fragrant and fresh cilantro, creamy mayo and pate. We’ve added our own twist of caramelized pineapple and a squishy bun to complement the patty, while honouring the original ingredients. Canada: this juicy burger is your summertime BBQ must-try.

Grilled Pork Banh Mi Burgers With Grilled Pineapple

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Rest Time: 60 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 90 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients:

Pickles
1 carrot, peeled and cut into matchsticks
¼ daikon, peeled and cut into matchsticks
1 tsp kosher salt
¼ cup warm water
3 Tbsp granulated sugar
½ cup distilled white vinegar or rice vinegar
1 jalapeño, thinly sliced and divided

Burger
3 slices bacon, roughly chopped
1 cup of cilantro leaves and tender stems
1/3 cup chopped shallots or onion
2 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 ½ Tbsp fish sauce
1 ½ Tbsp minced garlic
2 tsp soy sauce
½ tsp ground black pepper
1 stalk lemongrass, trimmed, pounded and minced
1 pound medium or lean ground pork

Other
4 thick pineapple ring slices
4 hamburger buns, halved horizontally
2 mini cucumbers, thinly sliced
Cilantro
Mayonnaise (optional)

Directions:

1. In large bowl, toss together the carrots, daikon and salt. Let stand for 30 minutes. Drain in colander and squeeze excess liquid.

Tip: To cut carrots and daikon into long, even matchsticks, a Japanese mandoline (benriner) is an affordable secret tool favoured by home cooks and professional chefs.

Related: Vietnamese Dishes to Make at Home, From Pho to Banh Mi

2. In a small bowl, whisk together the warm water and sugar until dissolved, then stir in the vinegar. Add reserved carrot mixture and half of the jalapeño; let pickle for 30 to 60 minutes and refrigerate.

Tip: You can store your pickled carrots and daikon in a covered jar in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

3. Meanwhile, you can make the burger patties. In a food processor, combine the bacon, cilantro leaves and tender stems, shallots, sugar, fish sauce, garlic, soy sauce, pepper and lemongrass. Pulse to combine. In a large bowl, add the pork and bacon mixture until combined.

Tip: To use lemongrass, trim the base and top. Remove the outer woody and dry layers and crush 4 inches from the bottom using the base of a chef’s knife to release the oils. Cut into 1-inch pieces and use in marinades and pastes.

4. Divide patty mixture into 4 equal portions and form each into 4 ½-inch rounds; place on squares of parchment paper and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour or up to 24 hours.

5. Preheat grill to medium-high; brush and oil grill. Press centre of each patty with thumb to make a shallow indent to help keep their shape during cooking. BBQ the patties with lid closed until browned and cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Grill pineapple until slightly charred and caramelized, 1 to 2 minute per side.

6. To assemble, top bun with patty, pineapple, pickled vegetables, cucumbers and cilantro. Serve with mayo if desired.

Want more summertime grilling recipes? These stuffed zucchini boats and grilled salmon recipes will surely do the trick.

Ree Drummond’s Rustic Strawberry Tart is the Perfect Way to Celebrate Canada Day

Baking doesn’t always require hours in a hot kitchen, especially if you try something as quick and simple as The Pioneer Woman‘s rustic strawberry tart. Ree Drummond skips the homemade pastry and opts for store-bought pie crusts to cut down on prep time, then she fills it with ripe summer strawberries and bakes the tart for 30 minutes until golden. Topped with sweetened whipped cream, it’s the perfect dessert for your Canada Day celebration at home.

Related: Ina Garten’s Easy Recipes That Start with Store-Bought Ingredients

The Pioneer Woman’s Rustic Strawberry Tart and Sweetened Whipped Cream

Total Time: 1 hour (plus cooling time)
Serves:
6

Ingredients:
4 cups strawberries, halved
1/2 cup granulated white sugar
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting your work surface
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp lemon juice
2 store-bought pie dough crusts, thawed if frozen
1 large egg
1 Tbsp water plus a splash
1/3 cup apricot preserves
Sweetened Whipped Cream, for serving, recipe follows

Sweetened Whipped Cream:
1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp granulated white sugar

Related: The Pioneer Woman’s Best Summer Grilling Recipes

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.

2. Add the strawberries to a bowl along with the sugar, flour, vanilla extract, lemon zest and lemon juice and toss together until well combined. Set aside while you prepare the crust.

3. Lightly flour your work surface so the crust doesn’t stick. Unroll the pie crusts and lay one on the other, overlapping about halfway. Use a rolling pin and roll the crusts in the center to join them together and to spread them out slightly. It should be about 19 inches by 11 inches and fit on a sheet pan.

4. Use a knife to round the top and bottom edges slightly and along the sides to neaten up the edges; no more than 1/2-inch of dough should be cut away. (Discard the extra dough.) Transfer to a parchment-lined sheet pan.

5. Spoon the strawberry mixture into the center of the dough leaving a 1-inch border around all sides. (Be sure they aren’t too mounded so they bake evenly in the oven.) Working carefully, fold edges of the dough up and over the strawberries, pleating them as you go.

Related: The Pioneer Woman’s 30 Most Popular Cake and Pie Recipes

6. In a small bowl, whisk the egg and 1 tablespoon water together. Use a pastry brush to lightly coat only the folded edge of the dough.

7. Place the sheet pan into the oven and bake the tart for 30 minutes. Rotate the pan halfway through the bake to make sure it bakes evenly. While it is baking, heat the apricot preserves in a small pan with a splash of water until warmed through.

8. When the crust is golden brown, remove it from the oven. Brush the strawberries gently with the warmed apricot preserves and cool completely before cutting and serving with the Sweetened Whipped Cream.

Sweetened Whipped Cream:

1. With a whisk, a handheld mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the heavy cream and white sugar until it has formed soft peaks.

Related: Red and White Desserts to Celebrate Canada Day

If you’re looking for more of Ree Drummond’s kitchen shortcuts, check out The Pioneer Woman’s Top Cooking Tips for Easier Weeknight Dinners.

Watch The Pioneer Woman and stream all your favourite Food Network Canada shows through STACKTV with Amazon Prime Video Channels, or with the new Global TV app, live and on-demand when you sign-in with your cable subscription.

Celebrate Canada Day With These Mini Bagels (and Epic BLT Bagel Board!)

When you think of Canadian cuisine, you likely think of poutine, maple syrup, smoked salmon, bannock — and Montreal-style bagels. And with Canada Day quickly approaching, I wanted to share a fun way to get the family involved to create these delicious mini bagels and an epic BLT bagel board. These Baking Therapy mini bagels are covered in white and black sesame seeds and perfectly chewy on the inside. Once you try your hand at homemade bagels, you’ll be making them every single weekend!

Mini Bagels

Prep Time: 40 minutes
Rest Time: 10 hours (or overnight) plus 10 minutes
Bake Time: 13-15 minutes
Total Time: 11 hours
Servings: 15 mini bagels

Ingredients:

Dough
250ml warm water
2 tsp honey
2 tsp active dry yeast
3 cups bread flour
1 Tbsp neutral oil
1 ½ tsp salt
¼ cup white sesame seeds (optional)
¼ cup black sesame seeds (optional)

Boil
1 Tbsp baking soda
2 Tbsp honey

Directions:
1. In a small bowl, mix together the water, honey and yeast. Let sit for 5-10 minutes until foamy.

2. Pour into the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the bread flour, oil and salt. Mix on medium-low for 10 minutes until dough is soft, smooth and elastic. Form the dough into a ball, cover with a bowl and rest for 10 minutes.

Related: 12 Canadian First Nations Recipes to Make for National Indigenous Peoples Month

3. Portion the dough into equal portions (15 x 45-50 gram balls). Roll each piece of dough against a non-floured surface to create smooth, round dough balls. Place the dough balls on a parchment lined cookie sheet, cover with plastic and chill in fridge for at least 10 hours or overnight.

4. Remove the tray from the fridge and let come to room temperature, about 30 minutes.

5. Preheat oven to 400°F. Bring a pot of water to a boil, add the baking soda and honey.

Related: Snack Plates Are the Easy Dinner Option You Need This Week

6. To shape the bagels, grab a piece of dough, slightly flatten. Grab the edge furthest from you and fold the dough over itself and continue to roll the dough over into a log. Roll to about 6 inches long, wrap around your finger as though tying a knot. Pinch the seams together to seal. Give it one last roll to smooth everything out. Place on a parchment-lined sheet.

7. Turn the heat down to medium and keep at a rolling boil. Drop the bagels in (5-6 at a time), boil for 1 minute per side. Transfer to a cooling rack and while the bagels are still hot and sticky, press them into the sesame seeds. Place the bagels back on the parchment lined sheet and bake in the oven for 13-15 minutes until lightly golden brown.

8. Enjoy as a breakfast sandwich, as part of a BLT bagel board or simply with a little cream cheese. Bagel board suggestions include: crispy bacon, boiled eggs, tomatoes, iceberg lettuce, avocado, cucumbers, red onion, cream cheese and dijon mustard.

Like Sabrina’s baking? Check out her easy recipe for soft rolls, along with her gooey overnight cinnamon buns and fudgy gluten-free sweet potato brownies.

Watch out for Sabrina’s baking videos on the Food Network Canada Instagram account.

What is Food Insecurity? FoodShare’s Paul Taylor Explains (Plus What Canadians Can Do About It)

If you want to know what food insecurity is, Paul Taylor is the man to answer that question. He is the executive director of FoodShare, a Toronto-based non-profit that advocates that everyone have access to affordable, fresh and nutritious food. His personal experience has informed his life’s work: he was raised by a single mother on Ontario’s welfare system. He has worked as a teacher, in a Toronto homeless youth shelter and the Downtown Eastside in Vancouver. We chatted with Paul about what food insecurity is, the link between racism and food insecurity and how Canadians can take action.

Photo Credit: Daniel Neuhaus

What is food insecurity? And what does FoodShare do to work toward making change?

Food insecurity is inconsistent or uncertain access to food due to financial constraints. There are 4.4 million people living in food insecure households in Canada. It’s a problem that is only getting worse. Since the 1980s, Canada’s default response to food insecurity has been food banking and food-based charity. Instead of dealing with this growing public health crisis, a number of politicians seem to prefer photo-ops of sorting food at food charities, instead of sorting the policies that allow households to experience food insecurity.

At FoodShare, we recognize that we can’t position our work as a solution to wicked problems like food insecurity or poverty. FoodShare’s work includes working with communities across the city of Toronto to co-create community-led food assets, such as urban farms and fresh produce markets, but our work cannot solve food insecurity. We publicly acknowledge that reality, while also recognizing the potential impact that public policy can have on food insecurity. Disappointed with the provincial government’s decision to roll back the planned increase to minimum wage, FoodShare openly challenged the Premier to live on $14/hour for the remainder of his term. More and more food charities recognize the limited role that we can play in challenging food insecurity, so we continue to advocate for a political commitment followed by a public policy approach to address this crisis.

Can you explain the link between racism and food insecurity?

The research that we conducted in partnership with PROOF, an interdisciplinary research group, looks at food insecurity in Canada. We found that anti-Black racism had much more of an impact on who gets to eat than we had imagined.

To be Black in Canada means that you’re 3.5 times more likely to live in a food insecure household than if you’re white. We also found that while 12% of white children live in food insecure households, that skyrockets to 36% for Black children.

Photo Credit: FoodShare

We also looked at home ownership, which has generally been understood to correlate with lower levels of food insecurity. Unfortunately, this is only true for white households. The percentage of Black homeowners experiencing food insecurity (14.5%) is almost equal to the percentage of white renters who experience food insecurity (14.3%).

The ubiquity of anti-Black racism doesn’t end there. When it comes to immigration status, it doesn’t matter if Black people are born in Canada or abroad — the risk of food insecurity remains consistently high.

Aggregate food insecurity statistics suggest that single parent households are more likely to experience food insecurity, but for Black households it doesn’t matter how many parents are in the home, there remains a significantly higher probability of food insecurity.

Related: 10 Facts That Will Shock You About Racial Injustice in Canada

How has food insecurity been impacted by COVID?

Physical distancing and other restrictions brought on by the pandemic meant that people needed to take fewer trips to the grocery store and began to stockpile food and toilet paper. Doing this was near impossible for those who were already food insecure. As the pandemic went on, we saw unprecedented job losses. All of these people suddenly had to figure out how they were going to afford to pay for rent and food.

At FoodShare we immediately pivoted so that we could deliver free Emergency Good Food Boxes filled with fresh produce to households across the city. We provided a $4/hour increase and additional paid sick days to all of the FoodShare staff involved in our pandemic response. We quickly partnered with 80 community-based groups to help identify people that were especially vulnerable. The free Good Food Boxes are being delivered to undocumented workers, survival sex workers and other individuals made vulnerable by our current system. So far we’ve provided over 26,000 free Good Food Boxes.

Photo Credit: FoodShare

What is the biggest misconception people often make about food insecurity in our country?

Food insecurity will not be solved by casseroles made in community kitchens, the repurposing of two-legged carrots, donated cranberry sauce or even the current government approach of hopes and prayers. Food insecurity is an income issue that requires income based interventions. 62% of Canadians living in food insecure households derive their income from paid employment, which means that their jobs don’t lift them out of food insecurity, but instead trap them in it.

How can Canadians take action? How can we help?

You can donate (www.foodshare.net), order a Good Food Box online (it’ll be delivered straight to your home) and get involved in $15 and Fairness. We need to remind our elected officials that we have the right to food in Canada — and that it’s long overdue for food insecurity to be something that we talk about in our history books.

Related: Ranking Canadian Retailers Offering Grocery Delivery Right Now, by Price

What is one of your favourite things you’ve cooked from your Good Food Box delivery?

I’ve signed up for a weekly subscription of the Good Food Box and I’ve added on the whole-wheat sourdough bread and the organic fair trade coffee that we sell. My breakfasts are usually 100% inspired by the Good Food Box. Most recently I’ve been enjoying my oven-roasted tofu sandwich. I marinate the tofu for 24 hours in some Frank’s Hot Sauce, olive oil and smoked paprika. I roast it for 20 minutes and then throw it on some sourdough bread with sliced cucumbers, mayo, a slice of tomato and then stuff it with the living pea shoots that came in this week’s box. On the side, I chop up fresh carrot sticks and celery.

Related: 35 Sweet and Savoury Tofu Recipes for Every Meal

This interview has been edited and condensed.

Casting Call: Apply Now for Top Chef Canada

Canada’s biggest and most prestigious culinary competition is back! Top Chef Canada is searching for the country’s best and brightest professional chefs to compete for the title of Canada’s Top Chef.

Related: Watch Full Episodes of Top Chef Canada

We are looking for chefs showcasing a broad range of cooking styles with a passion for food and a desire to compete. You’ve persevered through the current challenges of the culinary industry and now we want you to bring that dedication and determination to the Top Chef Canada​ kitchen!

CLICK HERE TO APPLY NOW

For more casting opportunities, check out the Food Network Canada casting page.

Watch Top Chef Canada and stream all your favourite Food Network Canada shows through STACKTV with Amazon Prime Video Channels, or with the new Global TV app, live and on-demand when you sign-in with your cable subscription.

Grilled Stuffed Zucchini Boats With Roasted Cherry Tomatoes is the Vegan Summer Recipe You Need

Grilling isn’t just for carnivores. And this grilled stuffed zucchini boats with roasted cherry tomatoes recipe proves it. It’s not only healthy, it’s a visually gorgeous dish that has a hearty, yet summery vibe. The recipe incorporates vibrant red cherry tomatoes, dark green zucchini and mineral-packed lentils and rice. We promise — this is certainly the summertime vegan recipe you need right now.

Grilled Stuffed Zucchini Boats With Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 60 minutes
Total Time: 75 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients:

Shallots
2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 shallots, thinly sliced
Pinch of sea salt and pepper

Tomatoes
1 pint cherry tomatoes
2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
¼ tsp sea salt
A few cracks of pepper

Mixture
¼ cup green lentils
½ cup brown rice
1 ½ cups water
4 Tbsp parsley, divided and roughly chopped
2 tsp lemon juice
Pinch of sea salt and pepper

Zucchini
4 zucchinis
3 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
½ tsp sea salt
A few cracks of pepper
¼ cup walnuts, chopped and toasted

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.

2. Thinly slice the shallots. Place a pan on the stove over medium-high heat. Add oil and once it’s hot, toss in the shallots, salt and pepper. Let them cook for 7-8 minutes until they get browned and crispy, then transfer them to a towel or paper towel.

3. Place the cherry tomatoes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, toss with oil, salt and pepper. Roast for 20 minutes until blistered and bubbling.

Related: Grilled Za’atar Carrots with Halloumi & Mint

4. While the cherry tomatoes are roasting, place the lentils, rice, water and a pinch of salt in a pot, bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

5. Once cooked, toss the lentils and rice with 2 Tbsp of parsley, lemon juice, salt, pepper and ½ of the crispy shallots.

6. Turn your grill to medium heat or if you’re using a grill pan over the stove, wait until the zucchinis are prepped then turn to medium heat.

7. Slice the zucchinis in half lengthwise, then scoop out the seeds using a spoon to create a hollowed out well down the middle.

Related: 10 Veggie-Forward Grilled Skewers and Kebabs to Try This Summer

8. Rub the zucchini with olive oil, salt and pepper. Grill hollowed side down for 5-7 minutes, then flip and grill for another 5-7 minutes.

9. Stuff the zucchini with the lentils and rice mixture, topped with the roasted cherry tomatoes, crispy shallots, chopped parsley and walnuts.

Want more summertime recipes? These vegan sloppy Joe sliders and strawberry chia frozen yogurt pops will surely be a hit.

Ina Garten’s Skillet-Roasted Lemon Chicken is a Game Changer for Weeknight Meals

Roast chicken isn’t just for Sunday dinners any more thanks to this easy recipe from The Barefoot Contessa. Using a cast-iron pan, nestle an herb-marinated, butterflied chicken on a bed of lemon slices, onion and garlic and roast at a high temperature. In just under an hour, you’ll have perfectly tender chicken with golden, crispy skin. With a little help from Ina Garten, you’ll be channelling your inner chef in no time at all!

Related: Ina Garten’s Quick Recipes Using Store-Bought Ingredients

Ina Garten’s Skillet-Roasted Lemon Chicken

Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes (includes resting time)
Serves:
3

Ingredients:
2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1 tsp whole fennel seeds
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup good olive oil
1 lemon, halved and sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 yellow onion, halved and sliced 1/4 inch thick
2 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 (4-lb) chicken, backbone removed and butterflied
1/2 cup dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio
Juice of 1 lemon

Related: Ina Garten’s Best Chicken Recipes: From Roast Chicken to Pot Pie

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 450°F.

2. Place the thyme, fennel seeds, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper in a mini food processor and process until ground. Pour the olive oil into a small glass measuring cup, stir in the herb mixture, and set aside.

3. Distribute the lemon slices in a 12-inch cast iron skillet and distribute the onion and garlic on top. Place the chicken, skin side down, on top of the onion and brush with about half the oil and herb mixture. Turn the chicken skin side up, pat it dry with paper towels (very important!), and brush it all over with the rest of the oil and herb mixture.

4. Roast the chicken for 30 minutes. Pour the wine into the pan (not on the chicken!) and roast for another 10 to 15 minutes, until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast registers 155 to 160°F.

5. Remove the chicken from the oven, sprinkle it with the lemon juice, cover the skillet tightly with aluminum foil, and allow to rest for 10 to 15 minutes. Cut the chicken in quarters or eighths, sprinkle with salt, and serve hot with the pan juices, cooked lemon, and onion.

Related: Any Hour is Cocktail Hour Thanks to Ina Garten’s Classic Cosmopolitan

For more kitchen inspiration from The Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics, check out the 15 Cooking Techniques That Ina Garten Wants You to Know.

Watch Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics and stream Live and On Demand on the new Global TV App, and on STACKTV. Food Network Canada is also available through all major TV service providers.

Every Food Network Canada Show You Can Binge Watch Right Now

As we settle in for an extended period of time at home, we’re brainstorming fun activities we can do in the comfort of our own abodes. One great way to relax? Binge-watching all your favourite Food Network Canada shows, of course. From Buddy vs. Duff to Top Chef Canada here are all the shows you can watch either on Foodnetwork.ca, STACKTV with Amazon Prime Video Channels or the Global TV app. You can also check out Food Network Canada daily on TV with your cable package for delicious marathons that the whole family can enjoy.


And now, while Canadians are #HomeTogether, we’re inviting you to vote on your favourite binge-worthy series! Three fan-favourite series will compete for the #FanFavouriteFriday marathon spot each week. Check back each weekend and vote for your fave on @FoodNetworkCanada’s Twitter account. The winning series will air with back-to-back episodes the following Friday from 11AM to 7PM.

Vote all weekend and check back on Monday to see the winner. #FanFavouriteFriday runs on Food Network Canada until June 26.

Related: 20 Recipes to Master While Stuck Indoors, From Homemade Bread to Pickles

Watch Your Binge-Worthy Favourites on STACK TV or the Global TV App

Watch Food Network Canada Classics Online on Foodnetwork.ca

Related: Every HGTV Canada Show You Can Binge-Watch Right Now

 

These Easy Sourdough Discard Crackers Come Together With Just 5 Ingredients

Cheese, meet your new BFF: sourdough discard crackers. With just a few ingredients, you can turn your sourdough discard into crispy, buttery, delicious crackers to enjoy with literally everything. Make these crackers, throw together a cheeseboard, you can thank me later.

Sourdough Discard Crackers

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Bake Time: 32 minutes
Total Time: 37 minutes
Servings: 1 cup crackers

Ingredients:

½ cup sourdough discard
2 Tbsp butter, melted
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp sesame seeds

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

2. In a medium bowl, mix together the sourdough discard, melted butter, salt and pepper.

3. Spread the discard onto the parchment paper in one thin layer. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

4. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes, pull out the pan and cut into pieces with a knife or pizza cutter. Continue to bake in the oven for another 20 to 24 minutes until golden on the edges.

5. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Like Sabrina’s baking? Check out her easy recipe for soft rolls, along with her gooey overnight cinnamon buns and fudgy gluten-free sweet potato brownies.

Watch out for Sabrina’s baking videos on the Food Network Canada Instagram account.

How to Cook the Perfect Grilled Chicken Every Time

Moo-ve along burgers and other beef cuts, crowd-pleasing chicken is the perfect protein for grilling.

What is the best way to grill chicken?

Different cuts, myriad marinades and lots of cooking styles mean you’re never at a loss for ideas about what to make. With all these options, though, can come many questions. Dark meat or light, can you treat them the same? (Short answer, no.) What do I need to beware of before I get started? And how long does it need to cook
for?

A few simple tips and tricks will serve you well when it comes to grilling chicken, ensuring a delicious meal every time.

The Pioneer Woman Perfect Grilled Chicken
Get the Recipe: The Pioneer Woman’s Perfect Grilled Chicken

How long do you cook chicken on the grill?

Just as some people prefer barbecued chicken thighs over drumsticks or breasts, the grill doesn’t treat all these cuts equally either. The size and thickness of the pieces and whether they’re boneless or not affect both the cooking time and the minimum safe internal temperature that indicates when the chicken is fully cooked and ready to eat.

Using an instant-read meat thermometer is the only way to know for sure if it’s time to take your chicken off the heat. But there are some rules of thumb when it comes to gauging just how long that should take.

Related: You’ll Love These BBQ Side Dishes

Grilled Chicken Breast with Spicy Peach Glaze
Try it: Grilled Chicken Breasts with Spicy Peach Glaze

Bone-in cuts need to cook longer than boneless breasts or thighs. If you’re looking to save some time, feel free to opt for cuts without the bone. Those with them, though, will stay juicier throughout grilling.

Boneless chicken breasts — a blank canvas for all sorts of dishes and flavours— are ready to eat the fastest. They need only about five or six minutes per side and you’ll want to pull them off just before they’re cooked all the way through. The residual heat from the grill will continue to cook them as they rest. Their internal temperature should be between 160°F and 165°F.

The dark meat of chicken thighs doesn’t dry out as quickly, making it your juiciest (and, arguably, most flavourful) option for grilling. Boneless thighs are as fast to cook as breasts — give them about five minutes on each side. You’re looking for an internal temperature of 165°F.

Grilled Chicken Wings with Spicy Chipotle Hot Sauce and Blue Cheese-Yogurt Dipping Sauce
Get the Recipe: Grilled Chicken Wings with Spicy Chipotle Hot Sauce and Blue Cheese-Yogurt Dipping Sauce

A snacking and game day favourite, chicken wings need to be turned a few times while they’re on the grill and you’ll want to plan a little further ahead because they take between 25 and 30 minutes to fully cook. They’re ready to go — maybe after a little toss in some buffalo sauce or spices — when an instant-read thermometer indicates 165°F.

For drumsticks and bone-in thighs or breasts, patience is needed. Turn them occasionally over their 40 to 50-minute cooking time and watch for an internal temperature of 160°F to 165°F.

Of course, you’re not limited to pieces alone. The perennial crowd favourite, Beer Can Chicken and similar recipes are popular for a reason. A whole chicken should take about an hour on the grill —
depending on its size, of course.

Bobby Flay's Beer Can Chicken
Get the Recipe: Bobby Flay’s Beer Can Chicken

How do you marinate chicken?

Infinitely adaptable chicken does well on the grill after it has been marinated in any number of saucy options. These can be as simple as oil and some summery herbs or more complicated versions using dairy products like yogurt or buttermilk and spices.

Related: Flavour-Packed BBQ Sauces, Marinades and Condiments

No matter what the recipe, keep the chicken in the fridge, for as little as 30 minutes or, even better, up to overnight, while it soaks up the flavours. Don’t forget the salt!

How do you grill chicken?

Once you’re ready to go, pull the chicken from the fridge so it has time to come up to room temperature before it hits the grill. This ensures the meat cooks evenly. Use that time to preheat your grill to medium — the ideal temperature for cooking the chicken through without drying it out. (Nothing spoils a meal like chewy chicken!) Also, prepare your grill by cleaning and oiling the grates to keep the meat from sticking or tearing during the cooking process.

See More: 65 Drool-Worthy Grilled Chicken Recipes

Do you close the grill when cooking chicken?

Just as steaks are better when they’ve been grilled with the lid open, chicken benefits from a closed lid. This creates an oven effect inside the grill, which helps cook the chicken all the way through. If you still want nice grill marks — and who doesn’t? — start by searing the cuts on both sides before closing the lid to finish cooking.

Your patience will be tested, but avoid opening that lid to see what’s happening. Every time you do, heat escapes, which could make the cooking uneven or take longer.

Barbecue Grilled Chicken
Get the Recipe: Valerie Bertinelli’s Barbecue Grilled Chicken

When do you add sauce to chicken?

Tangy barbecue sauce is truly the taste of summer. Apply it too early, though, and you’ll end up with a sticky, burnt mess. Since most barbecue sauces, especially those from the grocery store, are high in sugar, they tend to burn quickly.

Save the sauce for close to the end — about 10 minutes before the chicken is ready to come off the grill — to get it nice and caramelized. And, of course, you can always get even saucier once the chicken is ready to eat.

How long do you let chicken rest?

Don’t sit down to the table just yet! Letting your cooked meat rest for 10 to 15 minutes means juicier chicken from the first bite to last. While you wait, all those juices redistribute and that’s what’s going to keep it moist and tasty.

For even more great grilled recipes, check out 10 Easy Grilled Dinners That Go Beyond Burgers and 12 Tantalizing Grilled Chicken Thigh Recipes.

Watch Fire Masters Thursdays at 11ep and stream Live and On Demand on the new Global TV App, and on STACKTV. Food Network Canada is also available through all major TV service providers.

Your New Favourite Dish Starring Avocado: Molly Yeh’s Guacamole Salad

With all the glorious warm weather in recent weeks, we’re seriously craving more light, healthy summer recipes that will curb our hunger pangs without leaving us feeling overheated. So, if you’re looking for something quick and easy – and that doesn’t require an oven – try this unique guacamole-inspired salad straight from Molly Yeh‘s kitchen.

Diced avocados, cucumber, red onion and roughly chopped garlic are drizzled with a homemade dressing that boasts the complementary flavours of paprika, oregano and lime. It’s definitely one of our new favourite ways to eat avocados.

Related: Molly Yeh’s Bagel Salad Recipe is an Instant Brunch Classic

Molly Yeh’s Guacamole Salad Recipe

Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4-6

Ingredients:

3 avocados, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 English cucumber, seeded and finely diced
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 medium red onion, finely diced
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 lime, juiced
Hot sauce, as desired
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Related: Molly Yeh’s Chicken Shawarma Tacos

Directions:

1. In a medium bowl, combine the avocado, garlic, cucumber, cilantro and red onion.

2. In a separate small bowl, stir together the olive oil, paprika, oregano, lime juice and some hot sauce, salt and pepper.

3. Drizzle the dressing on top of the vegetables and fold to combine. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Get to know the cookbook author and blogger behind Girl Meets Farm with 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Molly Yeh.

Watch Girl Meets Farm and stream Live and On Demand on the new Global TV App, and on STACKTV. Food Network Canada is also available through all major TV service providers.

How to Always Make the Perfect Veggie Burger (Plus One Easy Recipe!)

Regardless if you’re vegetarian or not, veggie burgers are the perfect main to accompany any side dish (especially french fries!). They can usually be made with pantry staples you already have on hand and are filled with whole ingredients. But, there is an art — or rather a science — to making a good veggie burger. You’ve likely eaten or made a veggie burger before that was too mushy or fell apart immediately after taking a bite. Or maybe it was too dry or completely bland and flavourless (read: cardboard patty). Veggie burgers require more thought than typical beef burgers, because you need to consider texture and flavour that much more. So we’re offering up tips to crafting the perfect patty, as well as one of our favourite recipes: The Southwest Burger! We also adore the Crunchy Sunshine Burger and Cashew Mushroom Slider.

Veggie Burger Rules

1. You Need a “Binder” and a “Dry” Component
● If you want a veggie burger that holds together, use binding agents like cooked grains (rice, quinoa, millet), eggs, flax eggs, bread crumbs, oats, flour or nut/seed flours like almond flour.
● The amount of grains or flour will depend on the recipe, but it’s usually anywhere from ¼ to 1 cup.

2. Any Bean Will Do
● Truly any bean you use will be great, whether it’s chickpeas, black beans, kidney beans, white beans, mung beans, lentils or a melange of beans.

Related: Dinners That Start With Frozen Veggies (But Don’t Taste Like It)

3. Choose the “Right” Veggies
● Water and excess moisture will drown your burger in mushy sorrows, so choose veggies that have a low water content, like sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, beets, broccoli or cauliflower.
● If you choose veggies like zucchini, grate them first, then squeeze out the excess water. This is a must!
● Or if using mushrooms, cook them first to release the moisture.
● It’s always good to start a veggie burger with onion and garlic as the flavour-base.

4. Make it Flavourful
● It’s really easy to wind up with a bland veggie burger. Beans don’t have a high fat content, like ground beef, which is where most of the flavour comes from in a traditional burger.
● It’s important to rely on flavour-bombs like:
– Spices (cumin, coriander, garam masala, curry powder, chili powder, paprika, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, turmeric).
– Fresh herbs (cilantro, parsley, mint, dill, thyme, rosemary, basil).
– Nut or seed butters (tahini, almond butter, pumpkin seed butter).
– Condiments (balsamic vinegar, tamari, hot sauce, mustard). Tip: use these sparingly if liquid so you don’t add more moisture.
– Others (sun-dried tomatoes, olives, feta, nutritional yeast, roasted red pepper).

Related: 10 Veggie-Forward Grilled Skewers and Kebabs to Try This Summer

5. Resting and Cooking
●  Once shaped into patties, let the burgers rest in the fridge, if only for a few minutes, this will help them stick together.
● Most veggie burgers are not grill-able, because their texture is fragile. They may fall through the grates, so we recommend baking or pan-frying. If you desperately want to grill, bake them first then finish them on the BBQ once they’re a bit more solid.

6. Toppings
● Of course, toppings only add more flavour, crunch and excitement.
● Obvious ones are pickles, tomatoes, onions, lettuce, mustard and ketchup.
● Not as obvious ones are avocado, guacamole, BBQ sauce, cashew mayo, salsa, sprouts, sauerkraut and caramelized onions.

Related: 20 High-Protein Vegan Meals That Are Beyond Tasty

The Southwest Burger

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Rest Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 75 minutes
Servings: 4 burgers

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp ground flax
2 Tbsp water
½ yellow or red onion, roughly sliced (about ½ cup)
1 garlic clove
1 small sweet potato (about 1 cup chopped)
½ tsp sea salt
½ tsp cumin
¼ tsp chili powder
¼ tsp smoked paprika
¼ tsp granulated garlic
1 x 19 oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed (or 2 cups cooked beans)
½ cup cooked brown rice
3 Tbsp oat flour
Olive oil for brushing the burgers

Directions:

1. Combine the ground flax with water to make a vegan “egg.” Let it sit while you prepare the rest of the ingredients so it congeals.

2. Using the S-blade of a food processor, run the onion through. Then move it to one side or take it out and squeeze it to release excess liquid. If there is liquid pooled in the food processor, gently pour it out without losing any onion.

3. Turn the processor back on and run the garlic and sweet potato through. Pulse it a few times until the sweet potato resembles little rice kernels.

4. Next, add the spices, beans, rice, oat flour and flax egg. Pulse until everything is combined. If you like a more “textured” burger, then you can leave some of the beans unprocessed and whole.

5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Take out 4 equal parts of the burger mixture and shape them into 4 patties.

6. Place the uncooked burgers in the fridge for a minimum of 15 minutes. During this time, preheat the oven to 375°F.

7. Brush the tops of the burgers with olive oil and bake for 20 minutes, then flip, brush the other side with oil and bake for another 15 minutes.

8. Let them sit for 5 to 10 minutes so they can harden. Top with your favourite toppings.

Want more summertime recipes? These vegan sloppy Joe sliders and strawberry chia frozen yogurt pops will surely be a hit.

Celebrate Summertime With These Creative S’mores Butter Tarts

What do you get when you combine two classic Canadian desserts? The ultimate summertime treat: s’mores butter tarts! These feature a classic butter tart filling along with the three components of a s’more: milk chocolate, graham crackers and marshmallows. Get the campfire songs ready — this dessert doesn’t disappoint.

S’mores Butter Tarts Recipe

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Rest Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours, 50 minutes
Servings: 18 s’mores butter tarts

Ingredients:

Crust
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour, sifted
¼ cup graham cracker crumbs
¼ tsp fine salt
½ cup unsalted butter, cold and cubed
¼ cup ice water

Filling
¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
½ cup light brown sugar, packed
½ cup corn syrup
1 large egg, whisked
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 pinch fine salt
½ cup chopped milk chocolate, plus more for topping
1 cup mini marshmallows
Graham cracker crumbs, for topping

Directions:

Crust
1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, graham cracker crumbs and salt. Using your hands, work in the butter until a crumbly mixture is formed.

2. Add the ice water and mix until dough comes together. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and shape into a disc.

3. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours.

Related: Our Best Great Canadian Butter Tart Recipes

4. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/8-inch thick. Using a biscuit cutter, cut dough into 18 circles and shape into a muffin pan. If using a larger muffin pan, cut dough into 12 circles. Refrigerate while you prepare the filling.

Filling
1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.

2. In a medium-size mixing bowl, whisk together the butter, sugar, corn syrup, egg, vanilla and salt until well blended. Transfer to a pourable measuring cup.

3. Sprinkle a few pieces of chocolate in each tart shell. Evenly divide filling amongst the shells. The tarts should be ¾ of the way full.

4. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes, until the filling is bubbly and crust is golden.

5. Remove from the oven and top with marshmallows. Just before serving, broil the tarts for 30 seconds or until marshmallows are toasted. Top with a sprinkle of graham crackers and shaved chocolate. Enjoy!

Want more fun summertime treats? These Nanaimo bar popsicles and strawberry rhubarb cheesecake pastry pockets are so delish.

Celebrate Pride Month With This Colourful Rainbow Crepe Cake

While celebrating Pride may look a little different this year, you can still live it up at home with this colourful rainbow crepe cake. In this Baking Therapy recipe, there are 24 layers of soft crepes between layers of light whipped cream. It may look intimidating at first, but once you’ve mastered making crepes, stacking it into a cake is pretty easy (and fun)!

Rainbow Crepe Cake

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Rest Time: 3 hours
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours, 55 minutes
Servings: 6 to 8 pieces of cake

Related: 25 Yummy Rainbow Foods to Celebrate Pride

Ingredients:

6 eggs
3 ¼ cups whole milk
3 Tbsp oil
1 ¼ tsp salt
2 Tbsp sugar
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
Gel food colouring
4 Tbsp butter, melted
2 cups heavy cream
½ cup icing sugar, plus extra for dusting
2 tsp vanilla extract
¼ cup your favourite jam, plus extra for topping
Fresh berries (optional)

Related: LGBTQ+ Terms You Keep Hearing and What They Mean

Directions:

Crepes
1. In a blender, mix together the eggs, milk, oil, salt and sugar. Add the flour and pulse until just combined. Chill in fridge for at least 1 hour or overnight.

2. Divide the crepe batter into 6 bowls/cups, mix in the gel food colouring to your desired pigment.

3. Heat a 9-inch non-stick frying or crepe pan over medium-low heat. Brush lightly with melted butter, pour in ¼ cup of batter at a time, swirling the batter around to cover the pan with one thin layer. Cook for 30-45 seconds. Flip and cook for another 15-30 seconds. Transfer to a tea towel to cool. Continue until you’ve cooked all the crepes. Set crepes aside to cool completely.


Filling

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer or with a hand mixer, whip together the cream, icing sugar and vanilla until medium peaks, making sure not to over-whip.

2. Divide the whipped cream in half and fold in your favourite jam into one half.

Assembly
1. Layer the crepe cake on the dish you’ll be serving it on. Start with one crepe, spread on about 2 Tbsp of the whipped cream, layer another crepe on top, again with the cream (alternating between the plain and jam-flavoured cream) until you’ve used up all the crepes.

2. Let set in the fridge for at least 2 hours to set before slicing.

3. For the final touch, spread a thin layer (about 2 Tbsp) of your favourite jam on the top of the cake, layer on fresh berries and dust with icing sugar.

Tip: For a completely flat top, halfway through chilling the cake, invert the cake onto a flat dish or plate. When you’re ready to serve, invert the cake back onto your desired dish.

Like Sabrina’s baking? Check out her easy recipe for soft rolls, along with her gooey overnight cinnamon buns and fudgy gluten-free sweet potato brownies.

Watch out for Sabrina’s baking videos on the Food Network Canada Instagram account.

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