Hosting the Perfect Parisian Dinner with Laura Calder: Good Wine is Not Pretentious

Here’s part three in a series of charming short Paris videos from Laura Calder.

Laura and her friend Philip Haddad are throwing a dinner party in Paris for expat friends and we’re invited along for the ride.

Their first stop was the local market for inspiration, their second stop was for some incredible bread, third stop — wine and cheese, bien sûr!

I love how Laura just breaks stereotypes about wine, pretensions and dare I say it… the French. I also love the line about wine-loving company — that you need one bottle for two people but 20 bottles for 10! Ha… I’ll drink to that.

Food Fight

Food Network Canada celebrity chef and father of three David Rocco shares hard-won tips for getting kids to —gasp!—eat their veggies.

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Get them involved
“When my kids are engaged in the kitchen they’re more inclined to eat whatever they cook. They help stir or pour and come mealtime they can say “look what I helped make.” They’re proud of it and certainly they will sit down and start eating.”

Set expectations
“When it’s something new my rule is ‘If you don’t like it that’s fine, but you have to try it.’ They have a little piece, then there’s something else that they can have alongside it. But if they try it, more often than not they’ll end up enjoying it.”

One family, one meal
“One thing that I think is very important is the family meal, and the whole family eats the same thing. There’s no ‘Little Johnny gets this, Little Jenny get’s that,’ no kids’ table at celebrations. It’s just the whole family together eating a meal.”

Start them young
“Until my daughters turned three, we had steamed vegetables we’d puree and freeze in ice cube trays to be introduced in risottos. The kids got used to those flavours, which helped introduce them to vegetables. The more kids are exposed to food, the more they taste, the more their palates expand and they start appreciating.”

Give the veggies some help
“There’s ways of encouraging your kids through, not necessarily bribery, but by adding other elements that they like. If you sprinkle some Parmesan cheese, for example, over broccoli, it gives that nice saltiness and it’s still nutritious.”

Act like a grown up
“For going out, there’s a deal: if my kids want to eat at an adult restaurant, they’ve got to step it up, eat what adults eat and finish what’s on their plate. We’ve never given them kids’ menus.”

Stay strong
“I get it: with work and life, parents are exhausted, and kids are going to want to eat cereal for dinner every night. Some parents just buckle in, but I’m like ‘You don’t wanna eat it? No problem, you’re going to bed hungry.’ It’s too easy for kids to say ‘I don’t want to eat it’ and have mom make something else. It’s not my first choice to have my kids go to bed hungry, but there’s a power play: kids who are one or two years old, the only thing they really have control over is what goes into their mouths—they spit it out, they close their mouths. You have to be pretty strict.”

Learn to make David Rocco’s Lemon Granita here.

Top 10 Vegan Hacks: Tips for Making Recipes Vegan

Everybody’s doing it — Beyoncé and Jay Z did it, Bill Clinton did it, Ellen Degenerous does it… Of course, I’m talking about going vegan. Eating a vegan diet offers a myriad of health benefits to the body (when done correctly). Being vegan means that your diet consists of only plant-based foods such as nuts, seeds, grains, legumes, beans, fruit and vegetables. Vegans don’t eat animals or anything that’s been produced by animals – this includes eggs, cheese, poultry, fish, meat and even honey.

Plant-based eating has been associated with preventing heart disease, cancer, lowering cholesterol and losing weight. This is mostly because a vegan diet is high in fibre, vitamins and minerals. Being vegan does require some thought to ensure you are getting all of the proper nutrients. One of the biggest vegan missteps is when the diet consists mainly of refined carbs and sugar. This happens a lot and can lead to many health problems. Being a healthy vegan is about eating the right amount of protein from legumes, beans, grains, nuts and seeds and eating lots and lots of vegetables. It’s also about converting your favourite dishes into vegan ones with these top 10 vegan hack recipes.

1. Lima Beans = Cream Sauce
It’s shocking to think that beans could emulate a creamy, dairy filled sauce… but they can! One of the best lasagnas I ever ate was vegan and was filled with a lima bean béchamel sauce. The beans give a creamy texture that actually emulates the appearance and taste of cheese and cream. 1 cup of lima beans also provides 53% of your daily required intake of fibre.

Lima Béchamel

Serving Size: 1 cup
Prep Time: 1 minute
Cook Time: 3 minutes

Ingredients:
1 can of lime beans, washed and rinsed (or ½ cup dried beans, cooked)
¼ lemon, squeezed
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
3 Tablespoons water
2 cloves garlic
¼ teaspoon sea salt

Directions:
1. Blitz everything together in a food processor until a smooth consistency forms.
2. Layer this on top of lasagna noodles, use it as a cream sauce over pasta or eat it as a dip.

2. Chia Seeds = Eggs & Yogurt
Chchchchia… do you remember chia pets? Well, chia seeds actually grew on these plants! Chia are tiny little seeds that contain omega 3 fatty acids, zinc, magnesium and B vitamins. They are mainly known for their high content of fibre 25 grams of chia seeds provides you with 6.9 grams of fibre. When mixed with liquids, chia becomes very gelatinous and sticky. This consistency works perfectly in vegan baked goods when a binding agent is needed. In baking, eggs help to leaven and bind, chia seeds don’t leaven but they are amazing binders.

Chia Egg

Serving Size: 1 egg replacement
Prep Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:
1 Tablespoon chia seeds
3 Tablespoons water

Directions:
1. Mix chia seeds and water together. Let sit in a bowl for 10 minutes until it becomes gelatinous.

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Tip: Chia is also a great substitute for yogurt. A very common breakfast is yogurt with fruit and nuts, but if you’re vegan, yogurt is a no-no. Making a chia pudding provides a somewhat similar texture to yogurt. Although it’s more pudding like, it’s a great meal to eat first thing in the morning. Get the chia pudding recipe here.

3. Coconut Oil, Avocado, Applesauce = Butter
In the past, margarine was the classic non-dairy substitute for butter. Now that it’s common knowledge that some margarines contain hydrogenated oils, it’s time to make the swap to better butter alternatives. Coconut oil is the best butter substitute and can be used 1:1. It’s high in medium chain saturated fat which gets converted into energy after consumption. It can be solid, softened or melted and is actually great at making a flaky pie crust.

Avocado sounds like a weird butter substitute but it’s fantastic. You can substitute avocado 1:1 for butter, your baked goods will be delicious but the consistency will be a little different. Avocados are also less calories and less fat than butter.

Applesauce works wonders in baked goods. It can actually be substituted for eggs or butter and it’s naturally sweet so you don’t need to use as much sweetener. Applesauce can also be used 1:1. ¼ cup of applesauce replaces 1 egg.

4. Cashews = Cheese
Cashew cheese is one of the biggest crazes to hit the vegan and raw food scene. Cashew feta, cashew cream, cashew cheese cake… you name it, cashews can do it. These nuts are incredibly silky so they lend themselves well to making a variety of cheeses. They also have a mild flavor and can take on other seasonings really well.

Super Simple Crumbly Cashew Cheese

Serving Size: 1 ½ cups of “cheese”
Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients:
1 ½ cups raw cashew
3 Tablespoons water
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt? and freshly ground pepper
Place the nuts in a bowl, cover with fresh water, and let stand for 2 hours.
Drain the nuts and place them in a food processor or blender.
Add 3 Tablespoons water, lemon, garlic, sea salt and pepper
Blitz until crumbly. You may need to add a little more water and blend again to adjust the consistency, if necessary.
The cheese will get a little more solid as it sets.

Raw Cashew ‘Cheesecake’

Serving Size: 7
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours

Ingredients:

Crust:
1 cup almond meal
¼ cup pecans
½ cup dates, soaked/softened

Filling:
2 cups cashews, (soaked for 4 hours, rinsed & drained)
1 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
2 oranges, juiced
2/3 cup maple syrup
pinch sea salt

Fruit Topping:
1 cup blueberries, raspberries or strawberries
2 teaspoon maple syrup

Directions:
1. Place almonds and pecans in food processor and process until finely chopped.
2. Add dates and process until well blended. The mixture will stick together when you press it.
3. Press the crust into a 9” pie dish. You can also press them into muffin tins to make mini cashew cheesecakes.
4. Combine the cashews, coconut oil, orange juice, maple syrup and sea salt in a food processor and blend until smooth and creamy.
5. Spoon the filling over top of the crust.
6. Place in the freezer for 1 hour.
7. Remove from the freezer and allow to set in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
8. Take the cashew cheesecake out of the pan it is in.
9. Blend the berries and maple syrup in the food processor until a sauce is formed. Drizzle this over cheesecakes right before serving.

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5. Tempeh = Bacon
Tempeh is a fermented soy product that has bacterial cultures that nourish your gut. It’s also a great substitute for bacon. Since tempeh is made from soy it is a complete protein, which is rare for vegetarian sources of protein. To make a delicious tempeh bacon it requires paprika, liquid smoke, tamari and maple syrup. It also should be marinated for at least an hour to absorb all of the necessary bacon flavours.

Get the ultimate tempeh bacon recipe here.

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6. Nutritional Yeast = Cheese
Nutritional yeast is a vegan’s best friend. It is a deactivated yeast that tastes incredibly cheesy. It can be sprinkled on top of dishes or mixed with nut milks to create creamy, faux cheesy goodness. It’s high in B vitamins, especially B12 which is needed to produce energy in the body. It also has a surprising amount of protein. My favorite nutritional yeast experience is when I ate vegan mac n’ “cheese”. It completely emulated the cheesy taste of mac n’ cheese.

Mac n “Cheese”

Serving Size: 5
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:
1 package of rice noodles or noodles of choice
1 small butternut squash, cubed
¼ cup nutritional yeast
1/2 cup daiya cheese
1 can coconut milk
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup ground almonds

Directions:
1. Cook the pasta in a pot over the stove.
2. Peel and cube the squash into small pieces.
3. Place the coconut milk in a pot on the stove and put the squash in the pot. Allow the squash to cook until completely softened.
4. Place the coconut milk, squash, nutritional yeast, daiya and sea salt into a blender and blend until a smooth consistency forms.
5. Once the pasta is cooked, drain it and pour it in a casserole dish. Pour the cheesy mixture over and mix well.
6. Sprinkle the top with almond flour and place on a low broil for 5-7 minutes. The almonds will act and taste like parmesan cheese.

7. Sunflower Seeds = Caesar Dressing
Nuts and seeds are truly the best substitutes when it comes to vegan cooking and baking. They can mimic so many different textures and flavours. Sunflower seeds have a mild flavour and lend themselves easily to this amazing Caesar dressing. Sunflowers are one of the best sources of vitamin E, meeting 82% of the daily recommended value. Vitamin E has a lot of jobs, one of them is to protect the fats that line the cells of the body.

Sunflower “Seed-sar” Dressing

Serving Size: ½ cup
Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 2 minutes

Ingredients:
½ cup raw sunflower seeds (soaked for 2 hours, rinsed & drained)
1 lemon, juiced
3 dates, soaked
1 clove garlic
1 Tablespoon olive oil
? teaspoon sea salt
1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
? cup water to thin out

Directions:
1. Blend together the dressing ingredients in a food processor until creamy and smooth. Pour over salad mix of choice.

8. Cocoa Powder + Almond Milk = Chocolate Milk
Chocolate milk is a favorite beverage for kids and adults alike. 1 cup of chocolate milk contains 24 grams of sugar, 5 grams of fat and it’s 190 calories. A healthier, lighter and vegan alternative is to make chocolate almond milk. You can either make your own almond milk or buy it from the store. 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk contains 0 grams of sugar, 2.5 grams of fat and is only 30 calories.

Chocolate Almond Milk

Serving Size: 1 cup
Prep Time: 2 minutes

Ingredients:
1 cup almond milk
3 Tablespoons raw cacao or dutch cocoa powder
2 medjool dates

Directions:
1. Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend. If you are using raw cacao you will need to add more sweetener because it is bitter.
2. If you don’t have medjool dates you can use maple syrup, coconut sugar or honey. Dates simply give it a great consistency and flavour.

9. Almonds = Milk
Making the switch to non-dairy milk is very popular right now. A lot of people opt for almond milk, rice milk, soy milk, hemp milk and quinoa milk! Yes, apparently you can get milk from quinoa! Making your own milk at home is really easy and it’s safe – meaning, you know what goes into it. Store bought nut milks are great if you don’t have the time to make your own, but they are filled with preservatives in order to make them shelf stable and to maintain their consistency. If you do have the time, I highly recommend making your own and it always tastes so much better when it’s homemade.

Almond Milk

Serving Size: 2 cups
Prep Time: overnight or 12 hours
Cook Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:
1 cup raw almonds
2 cups of water
2 teaspoons maple syrup

Directions:
1. Soak the almonds overnight, then drain and rinse.
2. Place the almonds and water in a blender and blend on high for 2 minutes.
3. Pour the nut mixture in a large piece of cheese cloth over a bowl and squeeze hard to press all of the liquid from the meal.
4. Place the liquid back in the food processor and blend with maple syrup.
5. Keep refrigerated for 2 days.
6. You can use the leftover almond meal in cereals, porridges and baked goods

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10. Tofu = Eggs
Tofu is the most classic vegan and vegetarian fare. It’s a white block made with soybeans that has minimal flavour and can truly become almost anything. It’s an amazing substitute for cheese such as cubes of feta in a Greek salad; it can replace chicken such as seasoned BBQ tofu skewers; it can replace cream and it can even replace eggs. One of the best ways it replaces eggs is with a tofu scramble. Opt for organic tofu to ensure it is GMO free. Tofu can provide the body with a great source of protein and calcium. In ½ cup of tofu there is 10 grams of protein and it meets 25% of the daily recommended intake of calcium. Try the recipe here and say goodbye to eggs and hello to tofu.

tamara-green-living-kitchen Tamara Green is co-founder of The Living Kitchen, and a Holistic Nutritionist and Natural Cook. She combines her knowledge of nutrition and passion for cooking good food to work with clients to create lasting changes in their lives.

Chicken Soup for the Soul. Literally.

Simplicity is key for matzo ball soup that warms your heart.

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From bagels to brisket, kreplach to kishkes, Jewish cuisine has never experienced such mainstream popularity. For chef Eden Grinshpan, judge on Food Network Canada’s Chopped Canada, its day in the sun is a long time coming. “I don’t think it’s a surprise that it’s popular,” she says. “It’s a surprise it took this long.”

She has a point: Matzo ball soup has comforted food lovers for generations, regardless of their heritage. In a culinary world in constant flux, part of what makes its appeal so lasting is that at its best, matzo ball soup is always as you remember it. Grinshpan recalls being fresh from culinary school and eager perfect her version of the classic. “I started getting super-complex with the stock,” she says, “then I went over to my friend’s house and had his mom’s chicken soup and I was like ‘What is it about this broth that I’m just not getting from mine?’ ”

Turns out, all you needs is countless generations of refinement. “You can’t change what’s already perfect,” says Grinshpan. “If you start fussing around with it you’re just kind of ruining it.” Best of all, the old-school way is the easiest. For the stock “take a whole bird—skin on, bone-in, not cut up—and throw it in,” says Grinshpan. “You want every piece of that bird in there to add to that flavour.” The dumplings are even less fussy. Whether grandmas are willing to admit it or not, pre-packaged matzo meal is fine. “Everyone uses it,” laughs Grinshpan. “I don’t think anyone talks about it, but it’s just an accepted thing.” Even the veggies are the same that have been used for generations: parsnips, carrots and onions, as are the crucial flavours of dill and parsley. Season properly—“Don’t skimp on the pepper!”—and you’re there, in comfort-food heaven.

Chicken Soup with Dill Matzo Balls

Prep Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients:

Chicken Soup:
1 whole chicken, about 3 pounds
2 each onions and parsnips, peeled and cut into small chunks
4 celery sticks, cut into small chunks
4 medium carrots, peeled and cut into small chunks
½ cup each chopped parsley, chopped dill (plus more for serving)
Kosher salt and cracked black pepper

Dill Matzo Balls:
1 cup matzo meal
1 teaspoon each baking soda (omit if making for Passover), freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons salt
4 large eggs
¼ cup chopped dill
¼ cup vegetable oil or melted chicken fat
½ cup soda water

Directions:

Chicken Soup:
1. In a large pot, bring 16 cups of water to a boil. Season generously with salt and pepper. Add chicken and vegetables. Return to boil then reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook, skimming off foam and fat, for 1 hour. Add herbs and simmer another 30 minutes. Taste for seasoning.
2. Remove chicken. When cool enough to handle, remove and dice meat. Return meat to pot. If not using immediately, cool soup completely. Refrigerate up to 1 week, or freeze up to 3 months.

Matzo Balls:
1. In a large bowl, mix matzo meal, baking soda (if using), salt and pepper. In another bowl, whisk eggs, dill and oil or chicken fat.
2. Pour the wet mixture into the dry and stir in soda water until well combined. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Take the mixture out of the fridge. With oiled hands, roll into 2-inch balls. Add to water, cover and turn down heat to low. Simmer until cooked through, 35 to 45 minutes.
4. While matzo balls are cooking, reheat soup. Ladle soup into warm bowls. Add one or two matzo balls. Sprinkle with chopped dill.

Recipe courtesy of Eden Grinshpan

Eden grinshpan is a judge on Chopped Canada, airing saturdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT. Follow Eden on twitter @edeneats.

Jarlsberg Cheese Biscuits with Creamy Garlic and Herb Butter

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Soft and pillowy on the inside with a light, cheese-topped outer crust, these homemade biscuits make even the speediest meals feel special and are bound to become a family favourite. Whether you to eat them fresh out of the oven, smothered in garlic-herb butter, as a vehicle to mop up chili, or as a base for eggs Benedict, the subtle sweet and nutty taste of Jarlsberg cheese give these warm biscuits an added layer of flavour you’ll love.

The best part about this recipe is that they freeze well, so you can double the recipe and stash away the extras for an easy weeknight treat.

Do you have a winning Jarlsberg recipe? Share it now for a chance to win a set of Le Creuset cookware worth $1500 and a 10 kg wheel of Jarlsberg cheese. Details here.

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Jarlsberg Cheese Biscuits with Creamy Garlic and Herb Butter

Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Serves: Makes about 12 biscuits

Ingredients:

2 cups all purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons shortening
1 cup shredded Jarlsberg cheese
1 cup buttermilk
extra shredded Jarlsberg cheese for topping

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
3. Using a pastry blender or your fingers, mix cold shortening into flour mixture until combined.
4. Quickly blend cold butter into the flour mixture until butter is roughly the size of peas. Add the shredded Jarlsberg cheese and mix until blended.
5. Make a well in the centre of the flour and pour in the buttermilk. Working from the outside in, bring the flour into the centre with a large spoon, scooping and turning the bowl until the buttermilk is incorporated into the flour. Do not over mix.
6. For rustic-style biscuits, drop large tablespoon-sized pieces of dough onto an ungreased baking sheet. Brush the tops with the garlic-herb butter and add some shredded Jarlsberg cheese.
7. Bake for about 12 to 15 minutes. Serve warm with more garlic-herb butter.

Jarlsberg Cheese Biscuits with Creamy Garlic and Herb Butter Recipe
Creamy Homemade Garlic and Herb Butter

Ingredients:

1/2 lb unsalted butter
2 tablespoons of rosemary, minced
2 tablespoons of parsley, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Directions:

1. Add minced herbs, garlic and butter to a food processor and blend until well combined and creamy.
2. Spoon mixture on to a waxed paper and roll, twisting the ends to secure. Put in fridge until ready to use or store in the freezer.

BonnieMo Bonnie Mo is a Toronto-based editor and the face behind Food Network Canada’s 1 Dish, 2 Ways column. She’s also a contributing editor over at slice.ca. For more recipe ideas, visit bonniemo.ca, or catch her on Instagram @bonniemo

Hosting the Perfect Parisian Dinner with Laura Calder: Go the Distance

Here’s part two in a series of short Paris videos from Laura Calder.

Laura and her friend Philip Haddad are throwing a perfectly bohemian dinner for expat friends in Paris and we’re invited along to see how it’s done.

Their first stop was the local market for inspiration.  For their second stop, Philip who happens to be a bread aficionado, takes Laura waaaay across town for some incredible bread.  Low-carb be damned!

Giveaway: Tickets to See Alton Brown Live

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Alton Brown, celebrity chef and host of Cutthroat Kitchen, is coming to Canada! The Edible Inevitable Tour is an entertaining, two-hour show that includes large food experimentation, stand-up comedy and even live music.

Do you live in the Toronto area? We’re giving away two tickets to see Alton Brown Live in Toronto on March 27, 2015. For a chance to win, tell us which of these kitchen tool tips you like best: http://foodtv.ca/KPmWj

Email your answer to webmaster@foodtv.ca or comment on our Facebook page.

This giveaway will be closed on Friday, March 27, 2015 at 9:00am ET. The winner will be contacted via email or on Facebook. See full Giveaway Rules and Regulations.

Mexican Corn & Black Bean Waffles with Lime Sour Cream

I have given up on making neat, perfect-edged waffles. If I follow the manufacturer’s instructions and gently nudge the batter evenly over the iron’s surface, it inevitably overflows, leaving a trail of wasted, almost-waffle down the side. Since taste trumps precision, I throw caution to the wind and add batter to the centre of the hot iron. Then I gently close the lid and let pressure and heat decide the waffle’s fate. I open the lid to potentially unpredictably shaped waffles, and I don’t lose a drop of batter. The key? Use about 2 tablespoons less than the manufacturer calls for. It’s as simple as that.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4 to 6

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Ingredients:

Waffles:
1 1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup oil
2 eggs
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup fine cornmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup cooked black beans (about 1/2 a 19-ounce can), rinsed and drained
1 cup corn, frozen then thawed
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves

Lime Sour Cream:
1 cup sour cream
Zest of 1 lime, finely grated
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
Generous pinch fine sea salt (optional, especially is using salsa)

Garnish:
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro
1/2 cup salsa (optional)

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Directions:

Waffle Batter:
1. Spray the waffle iron with cooking spray and heat to medium-high or according to manufacturer’s instructions. If you plan to make all the waffles before eating, preheat the oven to 200°F and line a rimmed baking pan with parchment.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, oil, eggs and garlic. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, cumin, coriander, chipotle, salt and black pepper. Add the beans, corn and cilantro, tossing to coat evenly with flour. Make a hollow in the centre of the flour mixture and pour in the egg mixture. Fold until just combined. Don’t over mix.
4. Spoon the batter onto the hot waffle iron. The amount varies between 1/3 cup to 1 cup, depending on the model. Close the lid and cook until the waffles are crisp and browned, about 3–4 minutes, or until your waffle iron’s timer sounds. Lift the waffle from the iron gently with a fork. Spray the iron again if the waffles begin to stick.
5. Serve immediately topped with the lime sour cream, a bit of black pepper, a sprinkle of cilantro and a tablespoon of salsa, if desired.

Tip: Alternatively, keep the waffles warm in the oven by placing them in a single layer on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Do not cover or stack as this will make the waffles soggy.

Lime Sour Cream:
In a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream, lime zest, lime juice, and salt, if using.

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100x100_Charmian Christie Charmian Christie is a cookbook author and food writer whose wants to mess up your kitchen so she won’t be alone in the chaos.

Hosting the Perfect Parisian Dinner with Laura Calder: Get Inspired

I just adore these short videos by Laura Calder from Paris. It’s the next best thing to being in “The City of Light” (“La Ville Lumière”).

This latest in a 7-part series is all about how to throw the perfect bohemian Parisian dinner.

Laura’s first stop is the local market, bien sûr, where she heads out with her friend Philip Haddad, Toronto dental surgeon and bread aficionado.

For me there are so many Parisian moments in this video — like when she says she’ll slip into something more “uncomfortable” (Parisians dress impeccably even to take out the trash) or the “revolutionary” concept of buying just one slice of pumpkin or one stalk of celery. LOVE.

Strawberry Cheesecake Fun Dip For Kids

We love getting kids in the kitchen to teach them how fun cooking can be! Make fondue fun for budding little chefs with this easy recipe that parents and kids can enjoy together.

Strawberry Fun-do Dip

Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Yield: 3 cups
Serves: 12

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Ingredients:

2 cups hulled strawberries
2 tablespoons icing sugar
1/2 cup whipping cream
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup marshmallow fluff
Assorted fruit such as sliced bananas, blackberries, strawberries and grapes
Animal crackers

Directions:

1. Mash strawberries with icing sugar, set aside.
2. Whip cream until stiff peaks form, set aside.
3. Whip cream cheese with marshmallow fluff, stir in strawberries and fold in whipped cream.
4. Serve dip with assorted fruit and animal crackers.

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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Hex Appeal

Sculptural serving dishes, witty glints of gold and a slice of fresh peach adorn a spring table like jewellery.

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Steal This Style:

1. Runner, $20, homesense.com.
2. Copper Creamer, $30, crateandbarrel.com. Flatware in Mug, $70/20 Pieces, cb2.com.
3. Large Bowl, $16; Small Bowl, $8, Both westelm.com. Grey Platter, $18, cb2.com.
4. Coasters, From $8, anthropologie.com.
5. Printed “Ito” Salad Plate, $20; White Appetizer Plate, $4; Both crateandbarrel.com. Pink Salad Plate, $7, cb2.com.
6. Eight-Sided Melon Plate, $9; Eight-Sided Marble Trivet, $28, Both cb2.com.
7. Grey Mug, $3, cb2.com.
8. Candleholders, $12, cb2.com.
9. Small Pink Bowl, $3, cb2.com.
10. Graphic Napkins, $25/Set Of Four, cb2.com. Grey Linen Napkin, $9, crateandbarrel.com. Serving Spoon, $6, zarahome.com.
11. Wine Glasses, $22 Each, anthropologie.com.

Table Top Photography: James Tse. Food Styling: Ashley Denton. Prop Styling: Carolyn Souch. Creative Direction: Jessica Hotson

 

8 Great Ethnic Restaurants from Coast to Coast

The cultural melting pot that is Canada can leave many people stumbling to find an appropriate culinary identity for our country. But if you ask me, this truly allows for global flavours to infiltrate our contemporary food scene. Lemongrass, Szechuan peppercorns, tamarind… Whatever the worldly ingredient, I say, bring it on. My taste buds are all the better for it.

They may not all be overly glossy or mentioned in all the cool food magazines, but here 8 places that definitely do some foreign flavours justice.

1. Eats of Asia (Calgary, AB)

A touch more contemporary than the other spots on this list, this Asian street food-focused eatery is found in one of the city’s farmers’ markets (Crossroads Market) and also at various festivals throughout the warmer months in its trailer. The menu changes frequently, but you can always count on finding some tasty bao (think steamed bun sliders with fillings like braised pork belly), or freshly made Dandan noodles.

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2. The Golden Turtle (Toronto, ON)

Any seasoned Vietnamese food fan would agree that it’s a lovely thing when you’re offered a variety of sizes when it comes to serving pho. So, no matter if you’re a little hungry (small), have a rumbling stomach (large), or are absolutely starving (extra-large), Turtle can serve you appropriately. The pho broth here is fresh and flavourful and starting off with a plate of salad rolls is a safe bet.

I also have it on good authority that George Stroumboulopoulos loves this place (he told me, I swear to the pho gods) and his go-to order is No. 13 – a tofu, vegetable and noodle soup.

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3. Juree’s Thai Place (Calgary, AB)

Calgary has no shortage of Thai restaurants, but this is one of my favourites because of the consistent quality of food and the personable women behind the business. The crispy fried fish with tamarind is highly addictive, as are the standard classics like Juree’s pad Thai and the unusual drinks like the sweet gin coconut cocktail (served in a coconut). Trust me; one of these drinks with dinner is more than enough!

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4. Keo’s Kitchen (Saskatoon, SK)
For a little taste of Thailand in the middle of Canada head to Keo’s Kitchen in the Broadway district of Saskatoon. In addition to the Thai specialties like panang curry and tom yum soup, Keo’s offers a few Vietnamese dishes including pho and spring rolls, so there is no shortage of South-east Asian cuisine to chopstick into here.

If you want to feel a little burn, try their take on the spicy dish Crying Tiger made with seared, hot strips of beef, jalapeno and veggies.

5. Khao San Road (Toronto, ON)

Named after the famous road in Bangkok, the bustling restaurant does right by Thai whether it’s the fresh, tangy green papaya salad or a plate of the warming massaman curry with roasted peanuts, potatoes and fried shallots. If you’re hesitant when it comes to heat, do not fret as Khao offers heat levels of 0 to11 (11 is ridiculously hot, obviously) with all applicable dishes. Another cool thing about dining here is that if you decide to order one of the daily specials, the restaurant participates in Mealshare – a relatively new initiative where purchasing an indicated menu item (like the specials) will also provide a meal to a person in need.

6. King of Donair (Halifax, NS)

This 42-year-old donair dining destination was the east coast’s first spot to serve up this meaty wrapped goodness not only in the area, but allegedly in all of Canada. Though they’ve expanded to offer donair pizza and subs, stick with the original and get the spiced meat in a warm pita with their “secret” sweet sauce, diced onions and tomatoes – best enjoyed the morning after a night out on the town.

7. Legendary Noodle (Vancouver, BC)

Before You Gotta Eat Here! took the country by storm, Guy Fieri and his convertible would occasionally pop across the border to highlight a few Canadian eateries featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, and Legendary was one of them. Their fresh-made noodles are served in many different ways to a typically packed restaurant. If the signature noodles aren’t your cup of tea, there are dumplings, rice, soup and a lot more to be ordered too.

8. Top Shanghai (Richmond, BC)

There’s a lot of Chinese deliciousness to be had here, but one of the most popular items is the xiao long bao, also known as soup dumplings. What you’ll find with this order is not a bowl of soup with dumplings floating in it, but rather dumplings with warm broth inside of them. I know that sounds sort of crazy, but here at Top Shanghai, it’s absolutely true. I’m told the proper way to eat these babies are to bite the tops off, suck the broth out, add a splash of vinegar to the doughy remains and scarf down the rest. Sounds good to me!

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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.

How to Throw Your Own Chopped Canada Dinner Party

Everyone – yes, everyone – who watches Chopped Canada looks at the four ingredients inside the mystery baskets and wonders (for at least a split second) what they would do if they were in the chefs’ shoes. While most of us may not have the chance to whip up seemingly random ingredients into a pleasing dish on national television, that doesn’t mean we’re consigned to the couch to dream of culinary glory.

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We imagine that opening the mystery ingredient basket feels like the most thrilling and most terrifying gift unwrapping ever.

Bring the competition into your home by throwing a Chopped Canadastyle party. Even the judges on the show do it! Anne Yarymowich and her husband hosted their own Chopped Canada dinner party, inviting two other couples to join them. She and her husband put together a dessert basket for their friends that included a tin of Pillsbury crescent rolls, a jar of Nutella, fresh apricots, and soft goat cheese. With those ingredients their friends were tasked with making a dessert pizza; rolling out the crescent roll dough as a crust, layered with crumbled goat cheese, fresh rosemary, grilled apricots dusted with brown sugar, a warm Nutella drizzle and chopped almonds.

Yes, it sounds wonderful and Anne confirmed that it was absolutely delicious.  She and her husband received a ‘Wild West’ entrée basket that included a wild moose shoulder roast, wild boar ribs, fiddleheads and wild asparagus. Good thing Anne is a professional chef — the basket seems daunting! With the ingredients, Anne and her husband made dry-rubbed BBQ boar ribs, moose steaks (cut and flattened from the large roast), a sauté of fiddleheads, asparagus and portobello mushrooms, and simple smashed potatoes.

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On the left: Anne Yarymowich happy. On the right: Anne Yarymowich not impressed. Whether your guests are happy with their food or seriously unimpressed depends on the below tips.

Taking Anne’s lead on how to throw a Chopped Canada dinner party, here are our top six tips you need to know.  Anne wasn’t afraid to bend the rules a bit and you shouldn’t be either.

1. Organize details ahead of time.
Decide how many courses you’ll  have — you don’t need to do all three, two would suffice — and  pick who will take care of which mystery ingredient baskets: appetizer, entrée and dessert. If your friends are worried about cooking solo, team them up to make a dish.

2. Prep the pantry.
Make sure the pantry is stocked well enough for the cooks to have enough basic ingredients to supplement the food in the basket. If you cook regularly, you probably don’t need to get much. Here’s a quick list of things to keep on hand for your cooking friends: fresh herbs, onions, garlic, spices, cooking oils, stocks, vinegars, baking dry goods, and a selection of dairy (butter, cream, cheeses).

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The Chopped Canada pantry is awe-inspiring. Your pantry won’t have all of this but just making sure you have key staple ingredients on hand will make sure your chefs are set up to cook an amazing dish.

3. Prep the cooking area.
Not everyone knows how your kitchen is organized. Pull out basic tools like cutting boards, knives, measuring cups and spoons, whisks, and spatulas and organize them for easy access. Show them ahead of time where the pots, pans, and bakeware is stored. Your friends will appreciate not aimlessly rummaging around your kitchen!

4. Be considerate when putting together the mystery basket ingredients.
This is the most important tip. You want everyone to have fun and enjoy eating the finished dishes, right? If your guests aren’t fond of sardines, then don’t make them cook them or eat them. The cooking skills of your guests is important to consider, too. If they’re more accomplished, put together a complex combination of ingredients or give them more uncommon ingredients they can use to show off their skills. If they have more basic skills, keep it easy with ingredients they know how to work with (i.e. skip the rack of lamb and go with chicken breasts). Don’t know their comfort level? Find out. It’s not going to be fun for anyone if a dish or expensive ingredient ends up in the bin.

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The chef on the left looks pretty scared with his mystery ingredient! Try to get your guests looking forward to what they have to work with  — like the chef on the right. 

5. You don’t have to stick to just four ingredients in your basket.
If you’re nervous about having enough pantry ingredients to complement the mystery ingredient baskets, add a few more ingredients to round out the offering. For instance, in the entrée basket, you could add some ingredients like rice, pasta, or root vegetables to create a side dish.

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This is just some of fresh ingredients available to the Chopped Canada chefs!

6. Add time to the clock if you need it.
Anne did this at home with her entrée round because the ribs would have taken more time to cook — and no one wants to eat undercooked ribs. The goal of the dinner party  is to have a delicious dish and if you need a bit more time to do that, we say it’s OK.

Time starts now Chopped Canada fans! We want to see your Chopped Canadastyle dinner party. Tweet photos to @foodnetworkca or post on our Facebook and Instagram and include the hashtag #ChoppedCanada.

Want to find out more about Anne? Visit the Chopped Canada bios page here and follow Anne on Instagram here.

Maple Pecan Crêpe Cake

Can you imagine living in a country that doesn’t have maple syrup? I can’t. I feel especially fortunate to have grown up in Quebec, one of the central maple-producing provinces of Canada – meaning we poured maple syrup generously on our warm breakfasts of pancakes, crêpes, French toast, and waffles. Growing up, my mom would collect bowls of snow during a heavy snowfall and make us maple taffy, since we were stuck inside. Even though we’re lucky to have access to it year round, maple syrup remains an ingredient to be celebrated and cherished in the spring time. There is no substitute. It’s the best.

Crêpe cakes may seem daunting, but they shouldn’t be. The pastry cream, crêpes, and maple-glazed pecans can be made ahead so all you have left to do is assemble it and chill for a few hours. If anything, crêpe cakes are a great opportunity to sharpen your crêpe-making skills. When I pour the batter in the hot pan, I like to use a jiggle-motion, moving the pan back and forth, to distribute the batter to the edges, then I finish it off with a swirling motion by tilting my wrist. The goal is to thinly yet evenly distribute the batter throughout the pan.

It’s not hard, it just takes practice. Since this cake calls for 30-some crêpes, you have plenty of time to figure out the crêpe-cooking technique that works for you. And if you don’t feel like assembling a whole cake, you can serve the crêpes filled with pastry cream, rolled or folded into neat triangles, perfect for a spring brunch with a generous drizzle of maple syrup.

A note on skillets: For this recipe, I used a 10-inch non-stick fry pan, which has sloped sides and therefore yields 8-inch crêpes, as the pan size is often measured at the top, where it’s widest.

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Serving Size: Makes one 8-inch cake (serves 10–12)
Prep Time: 45 min
Cook Time: 60 min

Ingredients:

For the maple pastry cream:
2 1/4 cups milk (2% or whole milk is best)
3/4 cup maple syrup (medium)
3 large eggs
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
1–2 tablespoons Gelinotte maple liqueur or a splash of vanilla extract

For the crêpes:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
6 large eggs
3 cups milk
2 tablespoons oil, plus more for cooking the crêpes

For the maple-glazed pecans:
1 cup pecans
3 tablespoon maple syrup

For serving:
Lots of maple syrup

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Directions:
1. First, make the maple pastry cream. Place a strainer over a large bowl and have it ready next to the stove for later.
2. In a large saucepan, heat the milk with half the maple syrup on medium–high heat. Meanwhile, crack the eggs into a bowl and gradually whisk in the flour, cornstarch and the rest of the maple syrup. Whisk mixture well, to try and eliminate all the lumps before proceeding.
3. When the milk is almost boiling, pour it over the egg mixture to temper the eggs, whisking constantly, then transfer it all back to the saucepan.
4. Whisk the custard over medium–high heat to bring it up to a boil, then boil for 2 minutes to thicken it. Don’t stop whisking because it can catch on the bottom of the pan and may burn. When the pastry cream has thickened, immediately pour it through the strainer to remove any lumps.
5. Cover with plastic wrap placed directly in contact with the custard so it doesn’t dry on the surface. Wrap well and refrigerate until completely cooled, preferably overnight.
6. When you are ready to assemble the crêpe cake, whisk the pastry cream to loosen it and smooth it out, then whisk in the maple liqueur or a splash of vanilla.
7. Prepare the crêpe batter by blending together all the ingredients with a hand-blender. Let sit for at least 30 minutes (or overnight) in the fridge before making the crêpes. Cook the crêpes in a 10-inch non-stick fry pan set over medium–low heat. You should make about 32 8-inch crêpes, using a scant 1/4 cup batter per crêpe.
8. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Coat the pecans with the 3 tablespoons of maple syrup. Lightly toast them in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet for about 6 minutes, stirring them half-way through the baking time. Let cool completely.
9. To assemble the crêpe cake, place a crêpe on a cake stand or plate, then spread a thin layer of maple pastry cream (a little less than 2 tablespoons-worth). Top with another crêpe and then more pastry cream. Continue layering until you have used all the crêpes and pastry cream.
10. Chill the cake for a few hours so that it firms up, then decorate the top with the maple-glazed pecans (either kept whole or chopped) just before serving. Serve with lots of maple syrup.

Janice Lawandi Janice Lawandi is a PhD-chemist-turned-baker with a serious sweet tooth, working as a recipe developer and food stylist in Montreal, Quebec. To learn more about Janice, visit her blog Kitchen Heals Soul.

1 Dish, 2 Ways: Easy No-Bake Weeknight Lasagna

In these final halcyon days of winter, I’ve mentally set fire to my coat and am two seconds away from dragging the BBQ out of the garage and starting an herb garden. And while these extended sunny evenings don’t exactly put me in the mood for cranking up the oven, I’m not quite ready to give up comfort food just yet.

Enter the no-bake lasagna. This dish boasts all the flavours of this heartwarming dish —homemade tomato sauce, melty cheese and succulent ground beef — in a fraction of the time.

While there’s no shame in simply breaking up plain old lasagna noodles for this recipe, I opted for prettily-shaped fiorelli pasta, which has lovely petal-like edges that not only reminded me of lasagne noodles, but expertly capture the sauce.

The best part of this dish is that you can stretch your leftovers to make a killer soup. A spoonful of ricotta on top is an unexpected topping that mimics the richness of your typical baked variety and the beefy tomato broth helps satisfy your inner cold-weather soup addict.

So go ahead and embrace winter just a little longer.

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Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Serving Size: 6

Ingredients

For the sauce:
1 can, San Marzano tomatoes
1 Spanish onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
4 large fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

For the lasagne:
3/4 package fiorelli pasta
1 lb. ground beef
1/2 yellow onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons, olive oil
kosher salt, to taste
fresh ground pepper, to taste

1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup spinach, chopped
1/2 cup ricotta

For the soup:
All of the above ingredients, plus…
6 cups beef broth
1 cup homemade tomato sauce (see above)
Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste

Directions for No-Bake Lasagna:

1. In a large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Sweat onions and garlic until onions are translucent, about five minutes.
2. Add canned tomatoes and gently stir, being careful not to break the tomatoes (it can make them bitter). Stir occasionally. Let simmer for at least 30 minutes. Add basil and puree with immersion blender. Set aside.
3. In a large skillet, add olive oil, onions and garlic and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, letting the oil get infused with the flavours. Add ground beef and break up with a wooden spoon. Cook until there is no more red in the ground beef, about 12 minutes. Drain fat from beef.
4. Ladle prepared tomato sauce into skillet with the beef and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Add cooked noodles directly to skillet and stir to combine. Stir in tomatoes, spinach and gently stir.
5. Serve in individual bowls and garnish with a spoonful of ricotta, grated mozzarella and basil.

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Directions for Lasagna Soup:

1. Cook pasta to al dente according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
2. In a large saucepan, bring broth and tomato-ground beef sauce to a boil.
3. Add cooked noodles and stir. Ladle into bowls and garnish with a spoonful of ricotta, grated mozzarella and basil.

BonnieMo Bonnie Mo is a Toronto-based editor and the face behind Food Network Canada’s 1 Dish, 2 Ways column. She’s also a contributing editor over at slice.ca. For more recipe ideas, visit bonniemo.ca, or catch her on Instagram @bonniemo

How to Make Irish Coffee

Irish coffee is a hot cocktail made with strong coffee, Irish whiskey, brown sugar and topped with cold cream. This classic drink was created in Limerick in the 1940s by Joe Sheridan, a chef who offered this warming beverage to winter travellers at Foynes Port. Since then, the drink has made its way over the Atlantic, into our favourite pubs and satisfied bellies.

In celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, treat yourself to your own tasty Irish cocktail. Here’s how to do it in a few simple steps!

See more St. Patrick’s Day recipes here.

Traditional Irish Soda Bread

This bread is a quick and simple one to enjoy whether your favourite St. Patrick’s Day meal is a potato soup, beef stew or green eggs and ham.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Serves: 6-8

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Ingredients:

3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons caraway seeds or cumin seeds
1 teaspoon baking-soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups (about) buttermilk

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. Lightly flour baking sheet.
3. Mix flour, cumin/caraway seeds (if using), baking soda and salt in large bowl.
4. Mix in enough buttermilk to form moist clumps. Gather dough into ball.
5. Turn out onto lightly floured surface and knead just until dough holds together, about 1 minute.
6. Shape dough into 6-inch-diameter by 2-inch-high round. Place on prepared baking sheet.
7. Cut an “X” 1-inch deep across the top of bread, extending almost to edges.
8. Bake until bread is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped on bottom, about 35 minutes. Transfer bread to rack and cool completely.

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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Collard Green Scrambled Egg Wrap

Being new to collard greens, I am quite the fan — the large, hearty leaves make a great vehicle for other ingredients. Although this isn’t an entirely healthy recipe (see: bacon & cheese), using a collard green as a wrap instead of your typical tortilla is a great alternative for breakfast if you’re looking to eat more veggies and cut down on carbs. Of course, if you want deprive yourself, you can omit the bacon and cheese, making it super healthy. But I say spoil yourself and stick with the good stuff!

Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 25 mins
Serves: 1

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Ingredients:

2 slices of bacon
2 collard green leaves
2 eggs
2-3 slices of cheddar cheese
1 slice of red onion
3 cherry tomatoes, chopped
Handful of chopped green onion
Salt & pepper
Butter

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Directions:

1. Place bacon in a pan, turn to medium heat. Flip bacon once the first side has browned.
2. Add red onion to the pan and continue cooking until desired crispness, then remove bacon and onion, placing bacon on paper towel.
3. In the same pan, lay your collard green leaves one over the other, cooking covered for about 5-10 minutes until tender. Remove to plate once done.
4. In a bowl, scramble eggs, add tomatoes, green onions, and salt & pepper to taste.
5. Add butter to pan if needed, cook eggs to your liking.
6. On top of collard greens, add cheese, bacon, onions, and eggs. Fold collard greens over top of egg mixture, rolling until leaves overlap one another, allowing them to stick to one another.
7. Serve and enjoy.

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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3 Tasty Ways to Jazz Up Pizza Night

Everyone loves pizza; from a young age, this beloved junk food finds its way into our hearts and never leaves. Takeout pizza, however, tends to be the first thing I think of when I want to order in. It can become an all-too-familiar routine. But all you need to jazz up your ho-hum pizza night is to have a few key ingredients on hand. Let the kids get involved. Little ones can start chopping, older kids help put it all together.

Here are three pizza recipes that are super fun to make and delicious to eat.

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Pepperoni Pizza Muffins

Yields: 16
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 12-15 minutes

Ingredients:
2 cups flour (1 cup all-purpose white, 1 cup whole wheat)
¼ cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1½ teaspoon dried basil
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 cup cubed cheese (marble, cheddar or mozzarella)
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 eggs
½ cup milk
¼ cup butter, melted
½ cup finely chopped red pepper
? cup pizza sauce
½ cup shredded mozzarella
½ cup pepperoni, chopped
Cooking spray

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line large muffin pan with liners or spray muffin cups with cooking spray. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, basil and baking soda.
3. In a second bowl, mix yogurt, eggs and milk. Slowly whisk in melted butter until combined. Pour into dry ingredients and slowly mix until well combined. Toss in pepper, cubed cheese and pepperoni. If you find your batter thick, thin it with a little milk.
4. Spoon the mixture evenly into muffin cups. Spread a teaspoon of pizza sauce on top and a sprinkle of mozzarella.
5. Bake for 12 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Start testing at about 10 minutes.
6. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes and then completely cool on wire rack.
7. Don’t be afraid to make extra – they freeze well.

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Pizza Burgers

Yields: 8
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:
2 pounds ground beef
1 cup chopped pepperoni (sticks or slices)
1 ½ teaspoons dried basil
1 ½ teaspoons dried oregano
2 tablespoons pizza sauce
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
8 slices mozzarella or provolone cheese
8 buns

Directions:
1. In a large bowl mix together ground beef, pepperoni, basil, oregano, pizza sauce, parmesan cheese and a pinch of salt and pepper until just combined.
2. Form 8 burger patties.
3. On a pre-heated BBQ, grill your burgers approximately 5 minutes per side over medium-high heat.
4. Place a slice of cheese on each burger, close lid and allow cheese to melt slightly.
5. If you like your buns toasted, now is the time to put your buns on the grill for about 1 minute or until toasted.
6. Remove burgers, please on buns and serve with your favourite pizza toppings and/or condiments.

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Pizza Soup

Yields: 4
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup brown or white mushrooms, sliced
½ cup red pepper, diced
1 can (28 ounces) whole tomatoes
2 cups stock (beef, chicken or vegetable)
1 cup pepperoni sticks, sliced thin
½ teaspoon basil
Mozzarella or Monterey Jack Cheese, grated

Directions:
1. In a large pot heat your oil. Add onions, mushrooms and pepper. Stir and cook until soft.
2. Pour in tomatoes, breaking them up with a spoon or your fingers. Add stock and bring to a boil.
3. Turn heat down to a simmer and add pepperoni, basil and a pinch of salt & pepper. Mix and cook for 15 minutes. Ladle hot soup into bowls. Top with shredded cheese and enjoy.

100x100_Wanda Baker Wanda Baker is a busy mom of 2 who blogs about food and adventures in Calgary and beyond.