Sweet Eats: Panettone Bread Pudding

When I used to work in an Italian restaurant, Christmas was a very busy season. Despite all the food that needed to be cooked and prepped for service, the chef made us stop working to enjoy an Italian Christmas tradition—eating and sharing a Panetonne. One chef would make the zabaione, an Italian custard, and we would all gather into a very tiny pastry room to rip apart a giant, delicious, fragrant Panettone and dip it into the zabaione. This 10 minute break taught me how to eat Panetonne like the Italians do.

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If you end up with an extra Panetonne or two at Christmastime and can’t quite manage to eat it on your own, try making it into bread pudding. The bread is sweet, filled with raisins and tons of flavour. It may not look like the prettiest dessert you’ve ever served but it will certainly be one of the tastiest!

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Panettone Bread Pudding

Ingredients:

1 Panettone, sliced into 1½” thick slices
4 large eggs
1 ½ cups milk
1 ½ cups 35% cream
½ cup granulated sugar
Zest from 1 lemon
Zest from 1 orange
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ teaspoon salt

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Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 9 x 13” baking dish.
  2. Layer the slices of Panettone evenly in the prepared dish. Mix the eggs, milk, cream, sugar, orange zest, lemon zest, vanilla and salt together in a large bowl. Pour the custard mixture over the Panettone ensuring most of the bread is soaked.
  3. Bake for 30-40 minutes until the custard has set. If you want to bake the dish another time, cover with plastic wrap or foil and place in the fridge.
  4. This dish is delicious served warm with custard or cream poured all over top.

SONY DSC Miranda Keyes is a freelance food stylist, recipe developer and writer who used to live in London, UK but moved back to Canada for nanaimo bars, maple syrup and poutine. To learn more about her, follow her on Instagram @littlemirandapiggy and Twitter @mirandaak.

Dan’s Good Side: Lobster and Green Pepper-Stuffed Mushroom Caps

I was chatting with my friend Mel the other week about the fact that green peppers always seem to suck. They aren’t great raw, they aren’t great cooked. Is there a good way to cook them? Is there? I may just be a jaded, old green pepper hater, but I’m willing to keep trying avenues where they can be more enjoyable.

Anyway…recently I spent a good chunk of time out on the east coast, so I decided to bring a few lobsters back home with me to cook up a lobster-centric dinner for some friends. I thought it would be fun to go a little old school with some stuffed mushroom caps and there happened to be a green pepper from my last Spud Calgary delivery pre-travels, staring at me every time I opened the fridge, so it was time to use it.

It’s hard to go wrong with stuffed mushroom caps, especially when cream cheese and lobster are involved, but I must admit, the green pepper was an enjoyable addition to this recipe and everyone seemed to love them, so maybe I just need to cool it on my anti-green pepper campaign…

Lobster and Green Pepper-Stuffed Mushroom Caps

Yields: 24 stuffed mushroom caps
Total Time: 45 minutes

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Ingredients:

1 green pepper (halved and seeds removed)
1 Tablespoon canola oil
1 yellow onion (diced)
2 cloves garlic (minced)
2 Tablespoons white wine
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups cream cheese (softened)
2 cups cooked lobster meat (finely chopped)
1 Tablespoon liquid honey
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
salt and pepper (to taste)
24 white mushroom caps (stems removed)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 °F.
  2. Place green pepper on a small roasting pan, drizzle lightly with oil and let roast until tender, approximately 20 minutes.
  3. Heat remaining oil in a medium pan on medium-high heat and cook onion and garlic for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add white wine to pan and let cook until almost completely reduced, then add the butter and continue to cook for 5 more minutes.
  5. Transfer contents of pan to a blender, puree until smooth and set aside to cool. While that’s cooling, dice up the roasted green pepper and place into a large mixing bowl along with the next 4 ingredients.
  6. Once onion puree is cool, add it to the bowl and stir until everything is well-incorporated, then season to taste with salt and pepper.
  7. Place mushroom caps on a large baking sheet and spoon the cream cheese and lobster mixture into each cap. Bake in oven until mushroom is tender and the filling has started to brown, about 18-20 minutes.

Dan-Clapson-Avatar Dan Clapson is a food writer and culinary instructor based out of Calgary. He is constantly creating new recipes and striving to expand his culinary horizons. He thinks yam fries are overrated.

The Hot Plate: Maple Sriracha Popcorn

When we want to share our love with all of our great friends at The Hot Plate, this Salted Maple Sriracha Peanut Popcorn recipe is our secret weapon. Make a big batch of this sweet and salty snack to share with all of your friends over the holidays. Don’t forget to save some for yourself too!

Salted Maple Sriracha Peanut Popcorn

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 14 cups

maple sriracha popcorn recipe

Ingredients:

1/4 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 Tablespoon sriracha
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon maple extract
10 cups popped popcorn
1 cup mini salted pretzels
1 cup dry roasted cashews
1 cup dry roasted salted peanuts

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 300°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Melt butter in a large saucepan set over medium heat. Add brown sugar, maple syrup, sriracha, and salt. Bring to a boil, swirling pan to combine. When sugar has dissolved, boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in maple extract.
  3. In a large bowl, toss the brown sugar caramel with popcorn, pretzels, cashews and peanuts. Spread evenly on prepared baking sheets. Bake, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes or until caramel has set. Cool completely and break into clusters.

amanda riva Amanda Riva is the host of The Hot Plate, a free online cooking show dedicated to inspiring culinary confidence in new cooks. The Hot Plate also offers regular cooking tips and advice, how-tos, and information on seasonal ingredients. 

Amanda Riva is part of the Lifestyle Blog Network family.

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What’s New This Winter on Food Network Canada

Get ready for a deliciously thrilling New Year! When the dust settles on 2014, we’re ringing in 2015 with new shows and new episodes of your returning favourites.

The hit series Chopped Canada returns January 10th at 9 E/P with new judges and more thrills (and spills!) as we watch the next batch of Canada’s culinary talent try and cook their way to a $10,000 prize. Catch new episodes every Saturday night at 9 E/P this winter.

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What’s the first rule of Knife Fight?
Everyone should watch Knife Fight.

After the restaurants close and when a chef is itching for a (culinary) fight,  Knife Fight happens.  From executive producer Drew Barrymore, Knife Fight is a gritty and rowdy after-hours culinary battle of chefs facing off, cooking at least two dishes in one hour using  secret ingredients — all in front of a wild, late-night crowd. What’s the prize? Bragging rights and respect. Top Chef season 2 winner Ilan Hall hosts this culinary bare-knuckle fight at his L.A. restaurant and celebrities, die-hard foodies and industry pros are the timekeepers and judges.

Catch back-to-back episodes every Wednesday night at 10 E/P this winter.

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Guy’s Grocery Games is keeping it all in the family when it returns with new episodes on January 10th. The first four new episodes to kick off the season will have families racing down the grocery store aisles and competing for a shopping spree of a lifetime worth up to $20,000. This family trip to the grocery store sounds way more exciting than any weekly grocery shop we’ve heard of!

Tune into a new episode every Sunday night at 10 E/P this winter.

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Starting the week of January 5th, our schedule is stocked with new episodes of Beat Bobby Flay, Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, Mystery Diners, Cutthroat Kitchen and Chopped! For more details, click on each show name to view the show’s website and schedule information.

Jamie Oliver is back with a second helping of Save with Jamie on Sunday, January 11th at 11am ET He’ll be sharing even more delicious, clever, affordable dishes that completely reimagine cooking on a budget. Check back weekly to the show website to find recipes posted online from the new season.

Watch new episodes this winter on Saturday mornings at 11 E / 8 P.

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Ree Drummond is sharing a whole new season of family-friendly comfort food when The Pioneer Woman returns with new episodes this winter. Starting January 10th, catch her every Saturday with back-to-back episodes beginning at 12pm ET.

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Have an appetite for more cooking inspiration? We have new seasons of Southern at Heart and Farmhouse Rules premiering on Saturday, January 10th at 11am ET. Click on the show title to be taken to the show website for episode and schedule details.

For full schedule information, visit our schedule page here.

Sweet Eats: Christmas Meringue Kisses

Meringue is one of the most versatile recipes to have in your back pocket. This fluffy sweet confectionery can be transformed into so many different desserts: Eton mess, Pavlova and baked Alaska, but they are equally delicious as meringue kisses.

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Always use whole eggs and separate the eggs from the yolks to make meringue—boxed egg whites never quite whip up to form soft peaks, the same way as whole eggs.

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Meringue Kisses

Ingredients:

5 egg whites
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
Red food coloring
Piping bag
Star tip or 1” round tip
Paint brush

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Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Before whisking your meringue, prepare your piping bag. Place the tip in the bag and using your paint brush, brush stripes of food colouring inside the bag (painting 3 or four stripes around the inside of the bag). Set aside in a large pint glass for easy filling.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk the egg whites on medium until frothy. Add the salt and vanilla. Turn the mixer onto medium-high and add the sugar, 1 Tablespoon at a time.
  4. Once all the sugar has been added, continue to whisk until the meringue is shiny and very stiff, about 5 minutes. Put the meringue into the prepared piping bag and pipe meringue kisses 1” apart.
  5. Bake for 1 hour or until the meringues are dry and can be lifted easily off the parchment paper. Let cool completely.
  6. *Alternatively use green food colour to make mini Christmas trees. Use a star tip and pipe one big kiss with two smaller ones on top to create a tree. Bake for 2 to 2½ hours until dry. Decorate with royal icing and sprinkles.

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SONY DSC Miranda Keyes is a freelance food stylist, recipe developer and writer who used to live in London, UK but moved back to Canada for nanaimo bars, maple syrup and poutine. To learn more about her, follow her on Instagram @littlemirandapiggy and Twitter @mirandaak.

Make The Best Of What’s Left

Because when it comes to food, the morning after should give the night before a runny egg for its money.

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“When you’re a chef and that’s your primary lens on food,” says chef Michael Smith, “leftovers take on a bad cast.” Diners often think that restaurant specials are made of unsold food from the night before. “But when you’re a home cook it’s just part of life. So you anticipate that. It’s one more reason why you try to cook whatever you’re cooking right in the first place, so the leftovers are valid as well.”

Hiding last night’s holiday meal in morning eggs is an easy default use of leftovers, but Smith, a judge on Food Network’s Chopped Canada, sees it more as a cheat for concealing overcooked food.

“You can make a frittata out of anything. What’s wrong with it is, it really comes down to the quality of the leftovers.” Dried out hams and turkeys, says the television host and cookbook author, are the result of improper cooking — heat too high, too long, not enough moisture from basting.

“Make a broth,” advises Smith. A quick stock, bones thrown into a pot of boiling water while the table is being cleared, can reinvigorate those dishes when they are reheated. “That broth is the key to moisture the next day with the leftovers.”

But even with a properly cooked ham, he is more interested in its secondary use. “Rarely do we roast a ham and eat every single bit of it,” says Smith. “You know you’re gonna have leftovers. So as you start to carve the ham, right away, take a big chunk off it, and maybe even the very best chunk, for sandwiches.”

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Ham-and-Egg Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Ingredients:

4 slices sourdough bread
1 cup (250 ml) butter, softened
6 oz (175 g) each thinly sliced cheddar
cheese and ham
2 fried eggs

Directions:

1. Preheat frying pan on medium-low heat
2. Brush one side of each slice of bread lightly with butter. Pile two slices, butter side down, with half of cheese, ham and 1 egg each.
3. Top with remaining slices of bread, buttered side up.
4. Place the sandwich in pan and cook until lightly browned, about 3-5 minutes. Flip and repeat. Serve.

Credits:

Story: Cory Mintz. Recipe: Andrea Nicholson. Photography (for sandwich): James Tse. Food Styling: Ashley Denton. Prop Styling: Carolyn Souch. Creative Direction: Jessica Hotson.

Get more holiday recipes and tips here: The Kit Holiday Issue.

Indulge in Holiday Marathons on Food Network Canada

Indulge with us over the holidays and watch 14 days of delicious marathons! We have all your favourite hosts, shows, and holiday specials to help you savour the flavour of this delicious season.

Sunday, December 21st starting at 12pm ET:
Watch the entire six-part special series Holiday Baking Championship from start to finish!
Host Bobby Deen and judges Nancy Fuller, Duff Goldman and Lorraine Pascal are looking for the next great home baking champion. This sweet series will truly inspire you!

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Monday, December 22nd starting at 1pm ET:
British superstar chefs Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsay are creating gorgeous dishes that are perfect for holiday dinners with your loved ones. Get up close and personal with Jamie Oliver and his family in his series, Jamie’s Comfort Food and his latest holiday special, Jamie’s Festive FeastGordon Ramsay and his wife, mum and kids are back with a new three-part series, Gordon Ramsay’s Seasonal Specials that will show you the best recipes to warm up with on these cold, winter days.

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Tuesday, December 23rd starting at 1pm ET:
Hit the street from the comfort of your own sofa with decadent back-to-back episodes of the best food on four wheels!
Host Jesse Palmer and a panel of celebrity chefs are on the lookout for food truck newbies that have the skills to make it big on Food Truck Face Off.  James Cunningham of Eat St. travels across the US and Canada to show you outrageous, creative and delicious street eats.

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Wednesday December 24th at 1pm ET:
Travel across North America with Carnival Eats host Noah Cappe as he shares the best guilty pleasures found at festivals, fairs and carnivals.

Thursday, December 25th:
Merry Christmas! Indulge Christmas day with an all-day marathon of Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.

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Friday, December 26th:
Do you need an adrenaline rush after all that feasting? Watch back-to-back episodes of Chopped all day!

Sharing is caring! To make Boxing Day even more exciting, we’re sharing a new episode of Chopped Canada at 8 E/P to get you even more excited for the show’s season premiere on January 10th!

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Saturday, December 27th:
If you’re a bit tired of all that holiday niceness,  indulge your naughty side with a full-day marathon of sabotage on Cutthroat Kitchen.

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Sunday, December 28th:
Food Factory reveals how some of your favourite foods are made (like all those treats you’ve been indulging in this holiday) with an all day marathon.

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Monday, December 29th:
Restaurant mysteries are solved all day long in a Mystery Diners marathon! Charlie Stiles and his team of undercover diners reveal the mysteries of what ails failing restaurants.

Tuesday, December 30th:
Grab a cup of coffee and get ready to indulge in the most outrageous donuts you’ve ever seen with a Donut Showdown marathon.

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Wednesday, December 31st:
Tune in to a whole day of kids and grown ups competing for culinary titles in marathons of Rachael Vs. Guy Kids Cookoff and Chopped Ultimate Championships Tournament.

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Thursday, January 1st:
Happy New Year! Throughout the day we have another serving of dastardly sabotage with more episodes of Cutthroat Kitchen  including the five-part special, Cutthroat Kitchen Superstar Sabotage.

Friday, January 2nd:
Get your heart pumping in the New Year by racing down the aisles with Guy Fieri in an all day marathon of Guy’s Grocery Games.

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Saturday, January 3rd:
You have a couple more days before 2015 kicks into high gear. Indulge the first weekend of the New Year with a full day of Chopped and Chopped Canada.

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BS’ in the Kitchen: Mini Breakfast Strata

I was first introduced to strata by my girlfriend, whose Mom makes a large one for breakfast every Christmas morning. Being that I’m swamped with work, I really didn’t have time to think up some elaborate Christmas themed recipe, instead opting for a delicious dish that could be easily and quickly made for either a group breakfast, or even as an appetizer! So here you go, Mini Breakfast Strata! It is super delicious and perfect for serving breakfast to a group!

Mini Breakfast Strata

Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 35 mins
Serves: 8-12

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Ingredients:

200 grams frozen puff pastry (thawed)
1½ cups of diced ham
½ cup packed diced spinach
½ cup diced mushrooms
½ cup diced red pepper
½ cup diced green onion
2 cups shredded cheese
5 eggs
Salt & pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Once you have thawed your puff pastry, on a floured surface, flatten the dough with a floured rolling pin until quite thin, and covers about a 12×12 inch area.
  3. Using a circle cutter, or mouth of a cup, cut circles out of the puff pastry large enough to fill the bottom of a muffin tin.
  4. Place puff pastry in the bottom of each muffin cup. You should be able to fill 12-15 cups.
  5. Whisk your eggs in a bowl, add salt & pepper.
  6. Now begin layering your ingredients on top of the puff pastry. I layered ham, spinach, mushroom, red pepper, green onion, then poured in 2-3 Tablespoons of egg, and topped with a generous amount of shredded cheese.
  7. Bake in the oven at 400°F for about 20-25 minutes until it has puffed and cheese becomes golden brown on top.
  8. Remove the mini strata with a spoon and serve!

100x100_BS Carlene and Bob Deutscher are the dynamic sibling duo behind BS’ in the Kitchen. While Carlene leans towards the sweeter side of things, baking up delicious desserts, you can count on Bob to cook up something savoury! Aside from blogging on BS’ in the Kitchen, Carlene works in marketing & communications, and sidelines as a lifestyle & wedding photographer, while Bob operates his own media company, with a focus on food photography, and videography!

Carlene and Bob Deutscher are part of the Lifestyle Blog Network family.

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Food Fetish: How to Make Salted Butter Caramels

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Soft, chewy and full of buttery goodness, these homemade salted butter caramels are an unexpected cookie-swap alternative and are a snap to whip up.

When I was a kid, the only caramels I knew of were those hard-as-a-rock Halloween candies that threatened to remove fillings and practically broke your teeth. That all changed when I discovered the salted caramels from a chic little bakery in Toronto’s east end. These were not the candies of my youth. No, these were soft and buttery and had the slightest dusting of flaky salt that catapulted them into a new, much more grown-up stratosphere. In an instant, I was converted and never looked back.

This holiday season, give your oven a rest and shake up your cookie swap by taking a crack at these homemade salted butter caramels instead.

(Adapted from Bon Appetit)
Ingredients:

Nonstick vegetable oil spray
? cup heavy cream
1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise
2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
Fleur de sel or flaky sea salt (such as Maldon)
4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces

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Directions:

1. Coat 8×8″ baking pan with nonstick spray and line with parchment paper leaving a 2” overhang on all sides.

2. In a small saucepan, scrape seeds from vanilla bean into the cream and then add the pod. Heat until cream starts to steam, remove from heat and discard vanilla pod.

3. In another small saucepan, bring sugar, corn syrup, and ¼ cup water to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil, swirling pan occasionally (don’t stir) and brushing down sides with a wet pastry brush, for about 5 minutes or until mixture turns a deep shade of amber. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla cream and a pinch of fleur de sel. Return to medium heat and cook, swirling until caramel is smooth, about 1 minute.

4. Remove caramel from heat and a little at a time, whisk in butter. Pour mixture into prepared baking pan and let cool 4 hours or overnight.

5. Use the parchment paper to lift caramels from the pan; cut into small, 1/2” pieces and sprinkle with fleur de sel.

BonnieMo Bonnie Mo is a Toronto-based editor and the face behind Food Network Canada’s Food Fetish column. She’s also a contributing editor over at slice.ca.

The Hot Plate: Mini Potato Latkes

Celebrate the start of Hannukah with this delicious latke recipe. These classic potato latkes are absolutely addictive so you should probably make a double batch!

Mini Potato Latkes

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 12

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Ingredients:

1 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled
1/2 onion
1 egg, beaten
2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Canola oil
4 ounces smoked trout
1/4 cup crème fraiche
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh chopped chives

Directions:

  1. Using a food processor or box grater, coarsely grate potatoes and onion. Place in a sieve and squeeze out excess liquid. Transfer to a bowl. Stir in egg, flour, salt and pepper.
  2. Heat enough oil in a large nonstick skillet set over medium-high to cover the bottom of the pan. Fry in batches, adding 2 Tablespoons potato mixture per latke, spreading to flatten. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes per side or until golden brown and edges are crisp. Drain on paper towel.
  3. Garnish latkes with a little smoked trout, dollop of crème fraiche and a sprinkle of chives.

Notes:

  • For easy entertaining, fry latkes up to 8 hours in advance of serving. Store refrigerated and reheat in 400°F oven for about 5 minutes.
  • Substitute sour cream for crème fraiche if desired.

amanda riva Amanda Riva is the host of The Hot Plate, a free online cooking show dedicated to inspiring culinary confidence in new cooks. The Hot Plate also offers regular cooking tips and advice, how-tos, and information on seasonal ingredients. 

Amanda Riva is part of the Lifestyle Blog Network family.

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How to Cook With Your Kids

Celebrity chef—a dad of four!—Roger Mooking dishes on how to get children into the kitchen.

Roger-Mooking

Roger Mooking’s a busy guy. The celebrity chef appears on several television shows and has a music career but at the end of the day he’s got a house full of kids and dinner to be made. Who can blame him for enlisting a little help from his girls? “I’ve got four kids,” Mooking says, of his daughters ages 1, 3, 6 and 7. “They eat a lot of food and it’s not gonna make itself.”

Step 1: Gauge interest.
Just because you love cooking doesn’t mean your kids are as enthusiastic. If your kids aren’t interested, don’t force them. Make cooking a chore and you risk turning them away from the kitchen for good. “[Cooking] was a big part of how I grew up as long as they’re interested I’m going to support that, Mooking says.

Step 2: Let them choose the meal.
Making a popular meal can be key to getting little helpers on-board. Even for Mooking, the menu can help inspire his most reluctant helper. “If I’m making something that she likes, she’ll be interested,” he says. “Other than that she just prefers to eat.”

Step 3: Assign tasks.
Once you know what you’re going to make, you can delegate age-appropriate jobs. Anything that’s not sharp or hot is good for any age. “My girls all know how to beat eggs, how to make dough and cut it with cutters for biscuits,” he says. “I’ll let them hold the measuring cup when I pour out the flour and they’ll dump it in the bowl, or they’ll use things like the potato masher.”

Step 4: Enjoy!
If all goes well, you’ll have a great meal and some good memories. “They’re my happiest customers, y’know?” says Mooking.

Get more holiday recipes and tips here: The Kit Holiday Issue.

5 Ways To Master Phyllo Pastry

Transforming this wispy-thin pastry into a myriad of festive options is easier than you think. From a delightful cherry almond strudel to brunch-friendly smoked ham and egg cups, here are five reasons to get your phyllo on right now.

1. Phyllo Egg Cups with Ham and Cheese

Churning out brunch for a crowd with the ease of a seasoned line cook is a breeze with these delightfully light phyllo pastry cups, filled with smoked ham, shredded cheese and eggs, all baked to a golden brown perfection.

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2. Cherry Almond Strudel

Brimming with ripe, juicy cherries encased in crisp, flaky layers of phyllo pastry and topped with a dusting of cinnamon, brown sugar and almonds, this delicate and sophisticated treat is a cinch to pull off thanks to the PC® Black Label Sour Cherry Fruit Spread.

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3. Classic Greek Baklava

Dripping with honey and crunchy bits of walnut, this showstopper dish is where phyllo pastry really shines. Serve alongside grapes and a dollop of Greek yogurt to balance out the sweetness of this classic Greek dessert.

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4. Tomato Cheese Tart

This knock-out recipe for savoury tomatoes on a crisp, buttery tart can be thrown together in a snap, making it the perfect recipe to have on hand during the holiday season.

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5. Camembert Feuilletee with Apricot Syrup and Pistachios

Sweet apricot, creamy Camembert and pistachio, all wrapped up in a buttery phyllo purse is bound to become a dinner party staple. Because who doesn’t love melted cheese paired with fruit and nuts?

Laura Calder’s Random Acts of Christmas: Giving and Giving (and giving!)

Here’s the latest video from Laura Calder.  The host of French Food at Home has been experimenting (and having tons of fun as you’ll see in the videos) with telling food stories where food isn’t directly mentioned.  The last one was about the humble chopstick, this one involves a tall, handsome stranger and perseverance.  It’s also hilarious.

What to Give the Person Who Eats Everything

Chopped Canada judge Eden Grinshpan picks the perfect presents for the foodie who eats everything.

Eden-Grinshpan

1. Saveur: The New Classics, $45, Indigo
With more than 1,000 recipes and handy tutorials covering everything from brunch to pizza, meat to desserts, this new tome from the trusted culinary magazine is reminiscent of the holy bible itself: The Joy of Cooking. There’s enough in here to keep hard-core home cooks and part-time dabblers happy.

2. Le Creuset Rectangular Bakeware, $250, The Bay
Just as jewellery lovers squee! at the sight of a blue Tiffany box, no cook can contain their delight at seeing the cheery hues of Le Creuset bakeware. This trio of dishes is versatile enough for roasts, baked pastas and whatever else the recipient owes the person gave them these dishes.

3. Marble and Wood Pedestal, $45, Indigo
Elevate the treats the avid baker on your gift list makes from the simple to the sublime with this elegant pedestal. Bonus points if you load it up with brownies or cupcakes before gifting it.

4. Lucky Peach Subscription, $48 for 8-issue Holiday Collection, Lucky Peach
The quarterly magazine from Momofuku chef David Chang offers an inside look at chef culture around the world with insightful essays, gorgeous photography, cheeky illustrations and—of course—recipes. An anti-gourmet mag, the food is often messy, the kitchens less than gleaming, and the restaurants loveable holes-in-the-wall.

5. Toronto Cooks, $38, Indigo
Food writer Amy Rosen compiled dozens of recipes from the city’s most popular restaurants in a beautiful coffee table book that also serves as a yearbook capturing 2014 in Toronto dining. It’s heavy on the burgers, donuts and bacon. And that’s all right by us.

6. Gyokuro Yamashiro Tea, $39/100 Grams, DAVIDsTEA
This is definitely a splurge item, but the buttery richness of these leaves will ruin the drinker for all other green teas. Excellent on a cold morning or as a palate-cleanser after dinner, gyokuro leaves also do surprisingly well in baking, ground in a coffee grinder and added to shortbreads and cakes.

7. Susur Lee’s Happy Holiday Basket, $60, Susur – Lee
Toronto’s original celebrity chef, Susur Lee has put together a basket containing a bottle of ice syrup, signed chopsticks, a cranberry-raspberry-lemon compote, a jumbo fortune cookie and a spice mix called Golden Sand. Perfect for Lee groupies out there.

8. Soma Truffles, $2 Each, Soma Chocolate
The gold standard of chocolate-making in Canada, you can always count on Soma for unusual and innovative flavours (Douglas Fir truffles, anyone?). This season, they’re releasing new worldly flavours such as mulled wine, Vietnamese coffee, Thai iced tea and a spicy Mexican Chamoy.

9. Dropp! Bowl, $80, Bergo
Add a literal drop of whimsy to the kitchen counter with this adorable fruit bowl (why yes, it is a Scandinavian design, how’d you guess?). Made of dishwasher-safe silicone, you can splash the bowl all you want and it’ll bounce back.

10. Macaroons, $38 for Box of 16, Nadège Patisserie
These candy-coloured confections are as delicate and pretty as glass-blown ornaments, and will be a hit either passed around a party or put under the tree on Christmas morning. A box of 16 from Toronto patisserie Nadège come in beautiful boxes designed by Canadian artists (the box by illustrator Brandon James Scott is shown below), letting you bypass gift-wrapping.

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Market Edit: Karon Liu.

Get more holiday recipes and tips here: The Kit Holiday Issue.

Celebrity Chefs By the Number: Five Things You Probably Didn’t Know

1: The number of Barefoot Contessa stores that exist in the world. Although Ina Garten could have brought her gourmet taste to cities across North America (there was certainly a demand for it), she held on to a single Barefoot Contessa specialty food shop in the Hamptons before selling it to her long-time employees. Her charming exclusivity turned her into a cult hit among the well-heeled Hampton set before she launched her cookbook and TV career.

Barefoot-Contessa-store-cookbooks

via tedkennedywatson.com

2: The number of appearances Bobby Flay made on Entourage, as the nemesis of super agent Ari Gold. Flay is obviously no stranger to TV — he’s been a guest on countless talk shows including Jimmy Kimmel Live and Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, but it was his turn on Entourage that really cemented his place in pop culture.

Bobby-Flay-in-Entourage

via hbo.com

3: The number of cookbooks by Food Network Canada’s resident dude, Guy Fieri. Two of his cookbooks spent months at the top of the New York Times Bestsellers list.

4: Gordon Ramsay and Jamie Oliver count four children apiece in each of their families. The coincidences don’t end there: both have 3 daughters and 1 son. Must be a British thing? (The Pioneer Woman Bree Drumond also has 4 kids, so maybe it’s a chef thing.)

Jamie-Oliver-with-family

via Daily Mail

5: The number of reality shows Chopped Canada host Dean McDermott has starred in, mostly with his wife Tori Spelling. An unfortunate tabloid fixture, you can read Dean’s exclusive interview with Food Network Canada here.

Maria Maria Tallarico is a writer and editor with several years experience in the lifestyle realm, covering everything from luxury travel to pop culture for both print and digital publications including Forbes, LaineyGossip.com and VitaminDaily.com, as well as appearing regularly as an on-air entertainment contributor for CTV Morning Live. She lives in Vancouver with her husband, two boys and grumpy Scottish Terrier.

Made Easy: Chewy Ginger Cookies

I love making cookies at Christmastime because 1. It’s a heck of a lot cheaper than buying presents and 2. Anything homemade automatically trumps anything store-bought. Unfortunately, I don’t have the time (or the steady hands) to make icing and meticulously squiggle happy faces on gingerbread men. Also, let’s be honest—no one ever eats more than one iced cookie because the sugar content is through the roof.

Instead, I turned to this recipe for a spiced molasses cookie developed by my friend Eric Vellend, who in turn adapted his recipe from American cookbook author Dorie Greenspan. It’s like a very delicious broken telephone.

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When I first made these cookies, I misread the recipe and used freshly grated ginger rather than ground ginger (in my defense, Chinese kitchens are way more accustomed to cooking with fresh than ground ginger). In the end, it didn’t turn into the ginger snap it was supposed to. Instead, I got an incredibly moist, fluffy, and chewy cookie, with an intense fresh kick of ginger. I loved it, my family loved it, and that’s why I kept doing it.

The original recipe also calls for brown sugar, but you can make your own by simply adding a Tablespoon of fancy molasses for every cup of sugar. The recipe uses molasses and sugar anyway, so you might as well use a little extra and save yourself from having to buy an additional ingredient.

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Ingredients:

2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar, plus more for rolling
1/2 cup and 1 Tablespoon fancy molasses
1 large egg

GingerCookies-2

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl combine flour, baking powder, salt, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, and pepper.
  2. In an electric mixer, cream the butter, sugar, and 1 Tbsp of molasses on medium speed until it reaches a fluffy consistency. Turn down the speed and add the rest of the molasses and egg. Continue mixing until everything is well incorporated.
  3. Carefully add the dry ingredients and continue mixing until just blended. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for two hours.
  4. Preheat the oven at 350°F.
  5. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a 1-Tablespoon cookie scoop (or measuring spoon), form balls of cookie dough and roll them in granulated sugar.
  6. Place the balls on the baking sheet 3 inches apart from each other. Flatten the balls with the back of a spatula until they reach about 2 inches (5 centimetres) in diameter and about 1 centimetre thick. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until the edges start to brown but the centre is still soft. Let cool for 5 minutes before carefully transferring to a metal rack to cool completely. (The centre of the cookie will solidify a bit more but still remain soft.)
  7. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.

734863_10151322355189438_2070375187_n Karon Liu is a freelance food writer based in Toronto who is slightly lactose intolerant but will otherwise eat and cook anything.

5 Mouthwatering Recipes for Pork Tenderloin

Whether you’re throwing a dinner party or just planning a family meal at home; pork tenderloin is always a winning dinner centrepiece. Dress it up with an ice syrup-glaze, stuff it with gouda and cranberries or just wrap it in bacon. There’s simply no end to the versatility of this ultra lean cut of meat. Here are five foolproof recipes for pork tenderloin you’re going to want to save.

1. Ice Syrup-Glazed Pork Tenderloin

Roast pork tenderloin is simply sublime when drizzled with a luxuriously rich pan sauce, made with our PC® Black Label Vidal Ice Syrup and a touch of creamy butter. Slice and serve the roast on mashed potatoes and with crisp sugar snap peas to complete the meal.

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2. Bacon Roast Pork Tenderloin

This beautiful pork tenderloin is wrapped in bacon and sprinkled with herbs. A quick, easy and incredibly delicious dish for any occasion.

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3. Miso and Citrus-Glazed Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Apples

In this dish you’ll find intensely-flavoured miso balanced by bright, tart citrus and sweet honey, making it a perfect glaze for the pork tenderloin.

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4. Pork Tenderloin with Spiked Gouda and Cranberries

A festive way to reinterpret the classic combination of cheese and fruit, this tenderloin dish gets a splash of orange liqueur to shake things up.

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5. Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Wild Berry Port Sauce

An herb and port-infused berry and citrus sauce pairs beautifully with the tenderloin in this recipe. Swap out the mixed berries for frozen cranberries to give it a holiday twist.

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Laura Calder’s Random Acts of Christmas: An Underground Movement

Laura Calder, the host of French Food at Home, has been busy shooting a series of videos just in time for the holidays. She told me she wanted to experiment with telling food stories where food isn’t directly mentioned.  Here’s the first in the series, centred on an every day kitchen utensil.

Can a simple, little chopstick really save a dreary day? Watch and find out.

How to Build A Canadian Cheese Plate

In Canada, you could serve a football-sized brick of cheddar as an appetizer at a holiday party, without complaint from guests. But a good cheese board has a variety of flavours, textures and aromas. It has cheese of cow, sheep and goat milks, with soft, sharp, creamy and pungent notes to contrast one other, plus great bread, something sweet and something nutty. “I have 500 cheeses to choose from,” says Afrim Pristine, co-owner of Cheese Boutique in Toronto, advising me on what makes a great cheese board, “which makes it hard and easy at the same time.”

Here are some recommendations for a balanced board. And because this is Canada, don’t forget the cheddar.

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1. Grey Owl
Beyond creamy, the ash-covered Grey Owl goat cheese (the white and grey will be a great addition to the colour palette) from Quebec is lush, and soft as powdery snow.

2. Bonnechere
This semi-firm Ontario sheep’s-milk cheese gets a smoky, caramel scent from toasting the rind over flames before it’s aged. Its wood and copper colour also makes it pop on a cheese board.

3. Thunder Oak Gouda
Bold Thunder Oak, with its microscopic salt crystals and undertone of butterscotch, will represent next to a full-bodied glass of red wine and contribute firm saltiness to the mix.
ALT: While the Thunder Bay cheese is spreading in popularity, a good alternative for a muscleman on the board is a ubiquitous Dutch Beemster or Gouda.

4. 5 to 10-Year Cheddar
It’s not a Canadian holiday cheese plate without a good cheddar. Make it a sharp one, aged five to 10 years. We do great cheddar well in Canada, with great candidates from Prince Edward Island (Cow’s Creamery) to B.C. (The Farm House Natural Cheese Cheeses).

5. Fruits & Jams
Sweetness rounds out the flavours on a cheese board. We need a bit of fruit — pears, figs, dates, grapes —between bites. For jams, seek texture from fig jam, lemon marmalade or mango chutney — and serve it in a small bowl with a tiny spoon so people know not to make a sandwich of it.

6. Texture & Crunch
Make your own spiced nuts by roasting almonds, cashews or pecans with a splash of oil, cumin and paprika. Either way, add crunch on the board. For the sweetness of honey but way more texture, try honeycomb, or the thick, white, creamy seashore honey from Société Orignal, which smells like the sea and is smooth as melted marshmallow.

Tips:

  • Choose a neutral bread — a crunchy baguette or fluffy ciabatta. Avoid olive loaf or eggy, buttery challah or brioche.
  • Cheese is best served at room temperature. Remove it from the fridge at least one hour before guests arrive.
  • There’s no such thing as too much cheese, but estimate about 100 grams of cheese per guest.
  • Stay away from olives. Their brininess will detract from the cheese’s flavours.
  • Place a separate knife next to each cheese. People who don’t like blue cheese really don’t like it, and won’t want it scraping on the cheddar.

Credits:

Utensils: Cheese Knives, $23, Westelm.Com
Story: Corey Mintz. Photography: James Tse. Food Styling: Ashley Denton. Prop Styling: Carolyn Souch. Creative Direction: Jessica Hotson.

Get more holiday recipes and tips here: The Kit Holiday Issue.

5 Mind-Blowing Caramel Desserts

Caramel, the sticky-sweet love child of melted sugar, water and, if you’re lucky, a pad of butter, is a delectable ingredient in this indulgent dessert. Send your meal over the top with one of these impressive caramel-drenched desserts.

1. Salted Caramel Apple Sundaes

Steeped with aromatic vanilla and warming cinnamon, this luxurious apple-caramel sauce poured over rich PC® Black Label Salted Caramel Ice Cream is sheer decadence. For added crunch, sprinkle with toasted pecans and, to really wow them, add few crispy Belgian waffle cookies.

PCBL-Apple-Sundae

2. Beignets with Brandy Caramel Sauce and Chocolate Bourbon Sauce

Beignets are those little puffed squares of fried dough that are synonymous with the city of New Orleans. While these mini fritters are perfect the way they are, pairing them with rich caramel and chocolate dippers makes them simply irresistible.

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3. Chocolate Tart with Caramel Sauce

The only thing better than serving a chocolate tart as the grand finale to a meal, is serving a chocolate tart drizzled with warm and gooey caramel sauce.

pitchin-in-chocolate tart

4. Salted Caramel Pots de Crème

Silky-smooth caramel pudding topped with the unexpected crunch of fleur de sel. This delicious little pot de crème is sinfully addictive and so easy to replicate, it’s bound to become a regular indulgence.

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5. Molten White Chocolate Caramel Cakes

Sometimes using chocolate in desserts can get a bit predictable, so spice it up with this white chocolate and caramel treat. Sprinkle a dusting of Maldon sea salt on top for a swoon-worthy treat.

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