How to Make Berry Tea Popsicles

How to make Berry Popsicles

Nothing much beats the thirst-quenching bliss that comes from sipping on a cold and sweaty beaded glass of iced tea on a hot summer’s day — except when you turn that same glass of iced tea into a cold berry popsicle.

Stay cool this summer by making these easy and refreshing pops; just add a handful of fresh, plump, in-season strawberries and blueberries to some ready-made, subtlety-sweet raspberry tea for a bright and healthy treat bursting with juicy flavours and an intense pop of colour.

How to make Fresh Berry Tea Popsicles

Berry Tea Popsicles

Makes: 8 Popsicles

Ingredients:
6 to 8 large strawberries
1/2 cup blueberries
1 cup Pure Leaf Raspberry Iced Tea (or you can use unflavoured iced tea)

Directions:
1. Combine all ingredients and pour into popsicle maker and freeze until ready.

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.

12 Farm-to-Table Restaurants Celebrating Canadian Cuisine

This Canada Day we should be celebrating the restaurants highlighting the fresh and local ingredients surrounding them. A hyper-local menu (very similar to local food and is in many ways the same thing) will taste differently on the west coast of Canada compared to the heart of the prairies, but our vast and diverse landscape is what makes this country so great.

Here are 12 must-try restaurants from coast to coast that do right by the farm-to-table approach and serve some pretty tasty food, too.

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Chives Bistro: Crab Cakes

Chives Canadian Bistro (Halifax, NS)

One of the institutions of the Halifax dining scene, Chives Bistro and owner Craig Flinn have always stayed true to the “work with what’s around you” mentality when it comes to their menu. Naturally, you’ll find some fresh East Coast lobster being offered here, but also a ton of local produce, Nova Scotia cheeses and more.

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Fable Kitchen

Fable Kitchen (Vancouver, BC)

With a name like “Fable” that merges the words “Farm” and “Table” into one, you’d better hope that the restaurant places an emphasis on knowing where their ingredients come from. Top Chef Canada’s Trevor Bird and his kitchen team work with a long list of B.C. producers onshore and offshore, receiving whole halves of beef or lamb and butchering them down in-house. Getting a side of the signature house-made bacon is a must when you’re popping by for brunch on the weekend!

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Farmhouse Tavern

Farmhouse Tavern (Toronto, ON)

When it comes to a meal here, diners looks to a chalkboard with an ever-changing list of options that go along with the season. In terms of libations to enjoy with the hyper-local menu, expect local craft beers and a nice list of VQA wines from the Niagara area.

Fusion Grill (Winnipeg, MB)

Though the name may not really imply it, Fusion Grill’s thought process with food is “local, local, local,” through and through. On the menu you’ll find Manitoba grass-fed beef (a protein that is not overly common in the city), pike, bison and even a variety of cold-pressed canolas used in various dishes that are specific to the Manitoba region.

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Fusion Grill

Langdon Hall (Cambridge, ON)

Hyper local has never looked quite as beautiful as (if you don’t believe me, check out his Instagram right this second: @langdonhallchef) the food coming out of Langdon Hall’s kitchen. If you’re looking to splurge a bit on local, foraged and good quality cuisine, then head to the proper restaurant, but those looking for something a little more casual then Wilks’ Bar on the same property, which has the same mentality but with more approachable fare.

Mallard Cottage (St. John’s NFLD)

Top Chef Canada season one alumnus Todd Perrin embodies Newfoundland cuisine in an old character cottage that (through much blood, sweat and tears) was transformed into a restaurant just outside the heart of St. John’s.
Like Farmhouse Tavern, the menu is ever-changing, but don’t be surprised to see uniquely Newfoundland ingredients like seal or salt beef popping up on the menu. To stay up-to-date with what Perrin is cooking up, check out his Instagram: @mallardcottagechef.

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Mission Hill: Halibut

Mission Hill Winery (Kelowna, BC)

In terms of location, the Okanagan offers one of the best growing seasons in Canada, which also means having access to locally grown produce almost all year round is sort of like a chef’s dream come true. Aside from working closely with a long list of Okanagan producers, the winery restaurant chef Chris Stewart also cares for the large on-site garden that has everything from herbs to peach trees and huckleberries (say, what?). All of these things will end up on the menu at Mission Hill in some shape or form.

It’s also pretty tough to beat the view while dining on the terrace here, especially when the sun begins to set and a light breeze comes up from Lake Okanagan.

Prairie Harvest Cafe (Saskatoon, SK)

I’ve mentioned this cozy Saskatchewan restaurant before because of their great weekend brunch, but one of the main reasons why most Saskatoonians (myself included) love Prairie Harvest is because they work closely with the city’s farmers’ markets to use local products like beef, pork, lake fish like trout and more.

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River Cafe: Fiddlehead Soup

RGE RD (Edmonton, AB)

The name of the restaurant itself is an ode to the country roads (range roads) that you can find in the Prairie Provinces; roads that cross over hundreds of kilometres of farmers’ fields. As it implies, RGE is all about using the best ingredients Alberta has to offer on the plate and showing you how tasty the province can be.

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River Cafe: Octopus Salad

River Cafe (Calgary, AB)

One of the first restaurants in Western Canada to embrace a “local” mentality and definitely the first in Calgary, River Cafe has been a staple of the dining scene since the 1990s. Being around for that long, you’d think the restaurant might have a hard time keeping up with what’s new and trendy, but the food remains as contemporary as ever, and the restaurant continues to be rated as one of the best establishments in the city for years.

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Rouge: Tartare 

Rouge (Calgary, AB)

Much like River Cafe, Rouge has long been a leader in the sustainable sourcing food movement in Calgary. A great sourcing ethic paired with one of the largest and most lush backyard gardens in the prairies means you’ve got a culinary experience worth trying. In the summertime, sit on the restaurant’s back patio while you watch Chef Jamie Harling and his kitchen staff pop in and out of the heritage home, picking greens and small vegetables to garnish plates with. Garden-to-table — it really doesn’t get fresher than that.

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The Wolf in the Fog

The Wolf in the Fog (Tofino, BC)

When you’re only a few hundred feet from the Pacific Ocean, it would be a real shame if you didn’t opt for using the beautiful (and sustainable) bounty that’s underneath the waves. The Wolf in the Fog, enRoute’s best new restaurant in Canada for 2014, is big on utilizing local oysters, more meaty underwater delicacies like Humboldt squid, as well as foraged mushrooms from the many forests that surround the beautiful little coastal town that is Tofino.

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 Raspberry Refresher Smoothie

This simple, nutritious and refreshing smoothie is the perfect energy boost pre workout or great for replenishing your body post workout. Featuring an electrolyte hydrator packed with the essential electrolytes your body needs to stay hydrated when you exercise, you’ll be replacing your regular coffee with this healthy smoothie day in and day out. Feel free to sub any flavour or brand of your choosing, but the berry flavour pairs perfectly with the raspberry and banana.

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Ingredients (makes 2 servings):
1 cup frozen raspberries
1 frozen banana
1 packet Vega Sport Electrolyte Hydrator, berry flavour
1 Tbsp fresh mint
1 Tbsp coconut oil
1 1/4 cup coconut water (or use 1 cup coconut water & 1/4 cup fresh orange juice)
1 cup ice cubes

Directions:
In a Vitamix or high powered blender combine all the ingredients until smooth.

See more from hot for food on their YouTube channel.

Thai Curry Pork and Pineapple Kebabs

Kebabs are a great finger food and ideal when serving a crowd. This recipe features tender pieces of pork marinated in a coconut milk, spicy chili pepper and lemongrass sauce, skewered between juicy pieces of pineapple and grilled to sweet perfection. This is the perfect meal to serve at any summertime party or BBQ.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

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Ingredients:
1 lb pork tenderloin, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 ½ cup pineapple chunks
1 Tbsp canola oil
½ cup Summer Fresh Thai Curry Sauce, plus additional for basting
Freshly chopped mint, for garnish
Salt and pepper

Directions:
1. In a large plastic bag combine pork cubes, oil and Summer Fresh Thai Curry sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate for 30 minutes and up to 4 hours. Meanwhile soak four medium wooden skewers in water for 15 minutes.
2. Preheat a lightly oiled grill over medium-high heat. Pat the pork cubes dry with paper towel. Thread the pork and pineapple onto the wooden skewers.
3. Grill skewers for 4 minutes per side, until cooked, about 16 minutes total. Transfer cooked skewers to a plate and let rest for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with fresh mint and enjoy!

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 Blog Network family.

S’mores Stuffed French Toast

As I was relaxing on my couch after a particularly long day at work, I had s’mores and sandwiches on my mind. Initially I was thinking s’mores sandwich, but that was too strange. But then, the obvious came to mind: S’mores Stuffed French Toast. What you’ll get is the gooiest, most chocolatey, belt-busting French toast you’ve ever tried.

S'mores Stuffed French Toast

Ingredients:
2 Slices of Bread (French, challah or brioche)
4 graham crackers
2 squares Lindt milk chocolate
4-5 marshmallows
Butter
2 eggs
1/8 cup half & half cream
1/2 Tbsp vanilla
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
Pinch of salt

S'mores Stuffed French Toast

Directions:
1. Start off by slicing your bread and crushing up your graham crackers.
2. Then toast your marshmallows by whatever means necessary. I used a blowtorch but you could probably get away with using a gas stovetop, barbecue on high, wood fire or any open flame.
3. Once you’ve toasted your marshmallows, remove the toasted outer layer to put in your French toast. Using just the outsides gives you optimal gooeyness and maximizes that delicious roasted marshmallow flavour.
4. After this is done, whisk your eggs, cream, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a bowl large enough to dip your bread in.
5. Dip your bread into the mixture, allowing it to soak for a few seconds, then place it in the crushed graham crackers, coating each side.
6. When you’ve crusted all your bread with the crushed graham crackers, place your chocolate and marshmallows and top it with the other slice of bread.
7. In a pan on medium heat, add a knob of butter and once properly melted, cook the French toast for 3-4 minutes per side, until golden brown.
8. Now slice it open and enjoy the pure decadence.

S'mores Stuffed French Toast

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.

8 Healthy Grab-and-Go Snacks Kids Will Love

An action-packed schedule can mean big gaps between meals. Resist the lure of the fast food drive-through and fuel after school practice with these belly-filling, good-for-you snacks that are packed with fresh ingredients and loads of nutrition.

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1. Kid-Friendly Sammies on a Stick
Just one of these protein-packed sticks is enough to satiate a hungry belly. Get your kids to help make them ahead of time by letting them pick and choose which ingredients they like from the items of your choosing. Nothing beats a homemade snack that they’ve helped make themselves!

2. Rolled Turkey and Apple Quesadillas
Turkey roll-ups get a bit of crunch when thinly-sliced apples are tossed in the mix. These protein-rich, nutritious snacks will keep energy levels up and little tummies satisfied.

3. Veggies with Creamy Chick Pea Onion Dip
Sliced peppers, carrots and celery get an added dose of nutrition with this creamy chickpea dipper you can pack in a container.

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4. Cocoa Banana Bran Muffins
Bake a large batch of these on Sunday and use as breakfast on the move or as a brown-bag snack the whole week. Stuffed with banana, fibre-rich bran and a hint of chocolate, these yummy muffins will be a hit with kids.

5. Grape and Cheese Bites
These fruit and cheese snacks make the perfect on-the-go munchable kids can eat anywhere — whether they’re in the car, at the park or on the bench before practice.

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6. Easy Quesadillas

Quesadillas are so easy to whip up and can be ready to eat in under 10 minutes. Try different variations from week to week. Some combos that kids love, include almond butter and bananas, tuna and cheddar cheese, and chicken and salsa.

7. Warm Banana Roll-Ups
For breakfast or dessert, sweet banana rolls have the built-in bonus of keeping little fingers clean during the chaos of the weekday rush. Just spread cream cheese on to a warm tortilla, place a whole banana on top then roll it up and grill until golden brown. The result? Crispy and warm on the outside and gooey and sweet on the inside.

8. Apple, Carrot and Flax Muffins with Streusel Topping
Kick up the nutritional value of carrot muffins by adding apple and a whack of flax seeds for a hearty and portable snack.

12 Sneaky Ways To Get Your Kids to Eat More Veggies

The secret to getting finicky eaters to happily gobble up a plate of vegetables lie in discreet and clever packaging. And these delicious and healthy dishes just happen to be packing a serious side of veggies.

1. Pasta sauce is the ultimate vehicle for smuggling veggies onto your kid’s plate and Michael Smith’s kid-friendly version features puréed spinach and carrots that are cleverly hidden in the bright red tomato sauce.

Get the recipe for Michael Smith’s Spaghetti with Hidden Vegetable Tomato Sauce

2. Moist and dense chocolate cake transforms from a decadent treat to what amounts to basically a health food when you add nutrient-rich beets to the mix.

Get the recipe for Anna Olson’s Rich Beet Chocolate Cake

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3. You’d be hard pressed to find a kid who wouldn’t be thrilled to see mac and cheese on the menu. This recipe calls for a significant amount of butternut squash to lend both creaminess and that bright orange hue kid’s love.

Get the recipe for Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese

4. What kid doesn’t like chicken nuggets?! And these clever bites include the healthy summer squash, zucchini. There will be zero complaints when these dunkable chicken and zucchini nuggets hit the table.

Get the recipe for Chicken and Zucchini Nuggets

5. The only thing children love more than noodles, is noodles doused in cream sauce. In lieu of calorie-rich butter and heavy cream, this alfredo sauce gets its smooth texture and taste from nutrient-rich cauliflower.

Get the recipe for Cauliflower Alfredo

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6. Sneak sweet potatoes into your weekend pancakes and watch little ones eat them right up. The subtle sugary flavour of  this sweet veggie means there’s less need to top pancakes with calorie-packed syrup, and will provide a nutritional kick at the same time. Just add already cooked mashed sweet potato – with lumps! – to a basic pancake recipe and cook on the griddle.

Get the recipe for Sweet Potato Pancakes

7. This rich dark chocolate pudding serves a vitamin-packed punch thanks to creamy yet undetectable avocados and chia.

Get the recipe for Chocolate Pudding with Avocado

8. Cut down on the calories by replacing much of the heavy cream and butter with smooth cauliflower for a healthier version of this brown rice risotto.

Get the recipe for Creamy Cauliflower Rice

9. Little fingers gravitate towards food that can be consumed without utensils. You’ll be happy to let them dive right into these easy to make, golden veggie-filled mini pies with store-bought rotisserie chicken and broccoli.

Get the recipe for Giada De Laurentiis’s Mini Chicken and Broccoli Pot Pies

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10. Add more cruciferous vegetables to your kids’ meals with this cheesy mash that will have them running for seconds and thirds. To prepare this dish, add steamed cauliflower florets to your boiled russets and mash away. Finish it with butter, cream and even scallions and watch as the little ones happily eat it up.

Get the recipe for Cheesy Cauliflower Mash

11. Serve these crowd-pleasing, super-moist chocolate muffins to your most picky eater and watch with delight as they devour the zucchini you’ve hidden inside.

Get the recipe for Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

12. They may look like deep-fried hash browns, but these cleverly disguised cauliflower pancakes boast more nutrition and less fat than their potato counterparts.

Get the recipe for Savoury Cauliflower Pancakes

 

Introducing Chopped Canada’s New Host

Time starts now for Brad Smith!  The CFL veteran, food lover, entertainment reporter and the star of the premiere season of The Bachelor Canada has been announced as the new host of Chopped Canada.

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Brad shared these words about joining the Chopped Canada team: “I’m beyond thrilled to be joining Chopped Canada and to work alongside such an esteemed roster of celebrity chefs. I’m an avid viewer of Food Network and I’m excited to take my career to new heights on the network’s [number] one series. I’m competitive by nature and I can’t wait to see what these chefs will cook up to compete, while tackling challenges along the way.”

Production on the third season began earlier this week. Brad shared a photo on Instagram from his dressing room on the set of the hit series — without disclosing where he was exactly. Very sneaky, Brad! Now that the beans are spilled, we can’t wait to see more behind-the-scenes shots from Brad. Please, keep them coming.

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Brad captioned this photo: First day on set of the new gig… I’m thinking by tomorrow I will be fired 😉 #nervous can I have a job where they don’t paint my eyebrows on!??? #ManCardProblems

Brad won’t be the only new face on Chopped Canada. Mark McEwan will be joining the roster of celebrity chef judges that dish out who gets chopped and who wins. Mark is no stranger to tough culinary competition; he was the head judge on Top Chef Canada for all four seasons. Find out more about this talented culinary titan and his favourite foods!

Mark-McEwan

The third season of Chopped Canada will be its most thrilling yet. Thirty-one episodes will hit the air next season including redemption episodes with past season chefs looking for a second chance and a very special Teen Tournament.

Only two more episodes left in this season! The last episodes air June 27th and July 4th at 9 E/P. To catch up on episodes online and get behind-the-scenes exclusive interviews and  photos, visit choppedcanada.ca.

Egg Breakfast Baskets

These egg breakfast baskets eliminate the steps when making a typical breakfast — frying the egg, toasting the bread, cleaning the pan and combining the different ingredients — and instead, this easy recipe brings them all together in one simple dish.

Try sprinkling some shredded cheese or chives on top of the egg spice up this delicious and well-balanced breakfast.

Egg Breakfast Baskets

Ingredients:
Cooking spray
4 slices of soft, 100% whole-wheat sandwich bread
4 large eggs
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp paprika

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Spray four 1-cup ramekins with cooking spray and place them on a baking sheet.
2. Place each slice of bread inside a ramekin, pressing gently to tuck it inside the ramekin to make a bread basket. Spray the slices with a little more cooking spray. Break an egg into each bread basket.
3. Bake for 20 minutes until eggs are set. Gently release from the ramekins and serve topped with salt, pepper and paprika.

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 Blog Network family.

10 Classic Delis You Need to Try Across Canada

It’s kind of a tease visiting great delis in different cities since you can’t always take the perishables home with you. But if you’re looking for the best fresh cuts of meat and classic sandwiches, here are 10 delis across the country everyone should try at least once.

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ABC Euro Deli

ABC Euro Deli (Toronto, ON)

You can walk into ABC Euro deli and pick up some classic European comfort food like giant cabbage rolls, but peruse the aisles and you’ll find more than a few interesting items to try, like brined watermelon, eggplant spread and more.

Ben’s Meats and Deli (Edmonton, AB)

Bologna, beer sausage, house-smoked hams, braised meat sandwiches (like their “rib on a bun”) — you name it, they’ve got it. If you’ve got a bit of a sweet tooth, Ben’s has a great selection of European candies (like licorice) as well.

Boucherie Atlantique (Montreal, QC)

Aside from having a large selection of prepared meats, fresh salads like potato salad or the slightly more unusual pickled herring salad, mustards and preserves, Atlantique also has a tasty array of fresh produce.

Bulk Cheese Warehouse (Saskatoon, SK)

Don’t let the name fool you — this Saskatoon institution offers a whole lot more than just cheese. With a butcher in the back and a main room full of salads, appetizers, fresh-made pasta and, of course, cheese (among other tasty things), Bulk Cheese is basically a one-stop shop.

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Italian Star Deli via Leaderpost (left) and CBC (right)

Italian Star Deli (Regina, SK)

Next year, Italian Star turns 50, which is no easy feat in today’s food scene. Initially, the market focused solely on Italian imports but now prides itself on offering unique food products from places like Greece, Eastern Europe and South America, to name a few.

The Italian Store (Calgary, AB)

Although you can pop in here and pick up anything from mortadella and salami to fresh mozzarella and ricotta, the true highlight of this deli would have to be its little cafeteria. They offer paninis, pizzas, pastas and a lot more at prices that won’t break the bank. It takes a bit about 20 minutes or so to get there from downtown but trust me, The Italian Store is well worth the drive.

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The Italian Store via Trip Advisor

The Italian Store (Halifax, NS)

With the same name as Calgary’s popular Italian deli, it can be assumed that you’ll walk into this shop and find similar products as far as produce, preserves and pastas go, but it’s fresh daily offerings is where these two spots differ. The (slightly calorie rich) pates made with smoked salmon and mascarpone are like the cheeseball’s cooler cousin, and it’d be a shame if you missed out.

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La Bottega via Not Just Vegetarian

La Bottega (Ottawa, ON)

This bustling specialty Italian food shop has more types of canned tomatoes and balsamic vinegars than you can shake a stick at. Walk to the back and you’ll find a large selection of cheese, cured meats, as well as their signature sandwiches, at a counter that garners long lines almost every day over the lunch hour, so you know they must be good!

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Myrer’s Deli

Myer’s Deli (Winnipeg, MB)

Sure, you can buy a lot of different items here like pickles, cheese and prepared foods, but if you’re getting a little hungry while you shop, opting for a classic corned beef or pastrami sandwich is definitely the right thing to do.

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Max’s Deli via Squarespace 

Max’s Deli (Vancouver, BC)

If you thought Italian Star’s near 50 years in business was an accomplishment, then Max’s 66 years slicing meats and serving Vancouverites will impress you even more. Obviously much has changed in the city’s dining scene over two-thirds of a century, but people still appreciate simplistic sustenance and no-hipster-frills of Max’s.

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.

Fried Egg Onion Rings

Along with wanting to make onion rings from scratch for quite some time, I had a plan to make Fried Egg Onion Rings. I was ecstatic when I came across this scrumptious looking recipe but I wanted to take it to the next level, thus the desire to bake onion rings was born.

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With this dish, you get that delicious crispy bottom on the egg with its runny yolk when you cut into it, mixed with your crispy fried onion ring. Hello perfect hangover breakfast!

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Baked Onion Rings

Ingredients:
2 yellow onions
1/4 cup flour
1½ tsp garlic powder
2 tsp Salt
2 cups panko bread crumbs
3 eggs

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Directions:
1. Start off by peeling your onions and cutting them into approximately ½-inch wide slices. Get 3 bowls for your breading station. In a bowl, combine flour, garlic powder and table salt. Put your panko crumbs in a bowl and scramble 3 eggs in another bowl.
2. To bread the onion rings, dip them in the egg, lightly coating them, then into the flour and into the egg once again, and finally into the panko. Then place the breaded onion rings on a pan coated with non-stick cooking spray. Repeat this process until you have breaded all your onion rings.
3. If you don’t have the patience or are feeling a little lazy, put all of your onions in a large plastic bowl, pouring some egg onto them, mixing them around until they are lightly coated. Move rings to a separate bowl, then pour your flour mix onto them, mixing until well coated. Once you’ve done this, dip them individually in the leftover egg wash and into the panko crumbs.
4. Once all your onions are breaded and placed on your baking sheet, give them a generous coating of cooking spray to help brown them, and bake on 450°F for 20-25 minutes or until they’ve browned, flipping halfway through.

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Fried Egg Onion Rings

Ingredients:
Batch of onion rings
Eggs
Butter

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Directions:
1. Once you have your onion rings, get a pan on medium heat and add butter.
2. Place your onion rings in the pan and slowly pour the cracked eggs into the centre of each onion ring, allowing the bottoms to cook quickly as they hit the pan, forming a seal to keep the rest of your eggs in.
3. Cover your pan and cook until the egg whites have solidified.

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.

Cauliflower Tacos with Mango Slaw and Avocado Crema

Everyone wants to eat a little lighter when it’s hot outside, so we’ve come up with a clever and delicious meat-free meal. Grilled cauliflower, mango slaw and avocado crema come together for a sophisticated vegetarian take on fish tacos, perfect for a family picnic or easy weeknight meal.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Servings: makes 12 tacos

Cauliflower Tacos with Mango Slaw and Avocado Crema

Mango Slaw:
1 cup thinly sliced red onion (approximately ½ an onion)
1 thinly sliced red pepper
1 thinly sliced red mango
¼ cup cilantro, finely chopped
½ lime, juiced

Avocado Crema:
1 ½ avocados
2 limes, juiced
2/3 cup canned coconut milk
1 garlic clove
1 tsp hot sauce
¼ tsp onion powder
¼ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp ground pepper

Grilled Cauliflower:
1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
½ tsp chili powder
¼ tsp cumin

Extras:
24 corn tortillas

Directions:
1. In a bowl toss together all the ingredients for the mango slaw and refrigerate until ready to serve tacos.
2. In a blender, combine all the ingredients for the avocado crema until smooth and refrigerate until ready to serve tacos.
3. Toss cauliflower florets in olive oil, minced garlic, chili powder and cumin, and grill for 20 minutes on the barbecue over medium-high heat.
4. Assemble each taco with 2 corn tortillas as a base to prevent tacos from tearing. Place a small amount of mango slaw on the bottom, then a few pieces of grilled cauliflower and top with a dollop or drizzle of avocado crema.
5. Add a squeeze of extra lime on top if desired.

See more from hot for food on their YouTube channel.

Simple Italian Meatballs

Meatballs are so a versatile and they make many meals more delicious. Think of the sub, pizza, pasta… My mouth is watering already! Remember that you can you substitute any combination of meat you’d like.

In this recipe, chicken and pork meld together to create moist and savoury meatballs.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Serves: 4-6

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Ingredients:
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, plus extra
1 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
1 lb ground chicken
1 lb ground pork
1 Tbsp oregano
1 tsp marjoram
pinch chili flakes
2 Tbsp milk
1 egg
Fresh flat leaf parsley
Salt and pepper

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Directions:
1.To make the meatballs, add both the chicken and the pork to a large mixing bowl. Season the meat with salt and pepper and add in the spice mixture, and using your hands start to blend the seasonings and the meat. Sprinkle in the breadcrumbs, then pour in the milk. Next crack in the egg. Mix with your hands to combine the ingredients, but make sure not to over mix or your meatballs with get tough. Finally add a sprinkling of freshly chopped parsley and combine until just mixed. To give these meatballs a little creaminess I like to add a little hit of fresh parmesan cheese before we start shaping them.
2.To shape the meatballs, grab about an 1/8 cup of the meat mixture. Using your hands, rolls the meat between your palms until it is a smooth ball. It should be about the size of a ping pong ball. Now I like to arrange mine on parchment paper to prevent them from sticking to the plate. Just keep going with the remaining meatballs.
3.Heat ¼ cup of olive oil over medium high heat in a large non stick skillet. Once the oil is hot add the meatballs one at a time. If necessary sear them in batches to avoid over crowding the pan. Sear the meatballs on both sides until they are nicely browned, this should take about 5 minutes a side. Once they’ve browned you can start to transfer them over to your pot of simmering marinara sauce. Transfer all the meatballs and then cover the marinara sauce. Simmer together until the meatballs are cooked through, about 15-20 minutes.
4.Now that are meatballs are all cooked it’s time to serve it up on our pasta. We’ll toss a couple of these juicy meatballs on there and then top it off with a fresh hit of parsley and some salty parmesan cheese.

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 Blog Network family.

Watermelon Lemonade

Quench your thirst this summer with a tart and sweet punch that will be a hit at any barbecue, party or get together.

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Serves: 12

Watermelon Lemonade

Ingredients:
10 cups (2.5 L) water
1 cup (250 ml) granulated sugar
2 1/2 cups (625 ml) fresh-squeezed lemon juice
10 cups (2.5 L) chopped watermelon
2 lemons, thinly sliced
Watermelon wedges
Mint sprigs

Directions:
1. Combine water and sugar in a saucepan, and bring to a boil. Simmer until sugar is dissolved. Cool to room temperature then stir in the lemon juice.
2. Cut the watermelon in half and reserve one portion. Peel and chop the remaining half. Place the chopped watermelon in a blender and puree until smooth. Strain the watermelon through a cheesecloth-lined sieve.
3. Stir watermelon juice into lemonade. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours or until chilled.
4. Serve in a large pitcher, beverage dispenser or punch bowl. Garnish with small watermelon wedges, lemon slices and mint sprigs.

Notes:
– Make this a cocktail by adding a splash of tequila, gin, vodka or sparkling wine.
– If you like a sweeter lemonade, increase sugar from 1 cup (250 ml) to 1 1/2 cups (375 ml).

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 Blog Network family.

Giveaway! Meet Culinary Greats at Taste of Toronto

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In its second year, Taste of Toronto, the delicious festival featuring world class chefs and over 70 exhibitors, is back again to wow your senses and give you a experience you won’t forget. From July 2nd to 5th, Fort York will host over 20,000 visitors in an alfresco feast featuring the city’s best foods, bevvies and entertainment.

You’ll get to check out chef demonstrations, participate in hands-on classes, enjoy live music and more. Sample dishes from Toronto’s exciting new restaurants and favourite destinations such as, Montecito, R&D, The Drake One Fifty, Morimoto Toronto, Rasa, America, Barque, Richmond Station, The Harbord Room, Splendido,El Caballito, Guu Toronto, Bosk and Little Sister.

And of course, you’ll get to taste innovative eats alongside Food Network Canada celebrities. This year, expect to see Beat Bobby Flay judge Jonathan Waxman, Iron Chef America‘s Masaharu Morimoto, Top Chef Canada winner Carl Heinrich and chef Cory Vitiello, from Chef in Your Ear, a new show premiering this fall. And of course, our favourite Food Network Canada regulars, Lynn Crawford, Mark McEwan and Massimo Capra, will also be at Taste of Toronto. It’ll be an event you won’t want to miss!

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Photo: Chef Roger Mooking and Carl Heinrich among others at last year’s event

Giveaway Details:

We’re giving away 10 pairs of tickets to Taste of Toronto (each pair worth up to $50).

For a chance to win one pair of tickets valid for any session, tell us a name of one celebrity chef that attended last year’s Taste of Toronto. Hint here. Please email your answer to giveaways@foodnetwork.ca with the subject line “Taste of Toronto 2015”.

This giveaway closes on Monday, June 22nd at 9AM ET. Read full rules and regulations here.

Good luck!

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10 Splurge-Worthy Steakhouses to Try Across Canada

As nice as trendy, no reservations, “our menu changes daily” type restaurants can be, sometimes it’s nice to dress up a bit, feel a little fancy and indulge.

Whether you’re taking someone out for an important business dinner or just want to celebrate a special occasion and have a little extra coinage to spare, here are 10 impressive spots to try across the country.

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Hy’s Steakhouse: Beef Wellington

295 York (Winnipeg, MB)

Winnipeg’s premier steakhouse is a great place to visit if you’re looking for more of a proper lunch or dinner. When it comes to the mains, there are the usual suspects like New York strips et al, but make sure to start with a few of Jesse Friesen’s fun, Asian-inspired appetizers, like the Korean-style short ribs or tempura broccolini.

Cut Steakhouse (Halifax, NS)

Before you even start with the full, meaty experience at Cut, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by their abundance of craft cocktails, especially the ones using pisco, liquor that you definitely won’t find being used in every Canadian city just yet.

Go big and rich with some seared foie gras to start or a gigantic chilled seafood tower if you’re willing to get a little messy. If you’re into sharing your steak, the 22 ounce bone-in rib eye should do just fine.

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The Shore Club: Steak

Gotham Steakhouse (Vancouver, BC)

Typically dubbed as Vancouver’s top steakhouse, Gotham is just coming on its 20th anniversary in the food scene. No easy feat, considering how many restaurants have opened (and closed) their doors during that time.

Combine oysters Rockefeller, Porterhouse steaks and a wine list that’s longer and more interesting to flip through than 50 Shades of Grey, and you know you’re in for a memorable steak experience.

Hy’s Steakhouse (Calgary, AB)

Some of the Hy’s in Canada are in need of a bit of a face lift, but Calgary’s location right downtown on Stephen Avenue (which reopened last year) is looking more Don Draper-approved than most steakhouses in the country.

The steak tartare is arguably the most classic way to start a meal here, swiftly followed by having a Caesar salad made tableside for you. Next up: the chateaubriand for two. So, grab a date and make it happen.

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Vintage: Mac and Cheese

Michael’s on Simcoe (Toronto, ON)

Outside of the standard line-up of dry-aged meats available on the menu, Michael’s also offers Japanese Kobe beef. Truly the largest “splurge” to be found on this list, seeing as a piece of a heritage breed like that is going to cost you around $22 an ounce. That being said, Kobe beef has a beautiful melt-in-your-mouth texture that most types of beef can’t seem to replicate. Savour each bite and get your money’s worth.

Moishes (Montreal, QC)

This classic dining destination is all about proper service in a comfy atmosphere. Have your pick of filet mignons, rib steaks and other dry-aged cuts for the main event. It’s hard to be in Quebec and not get your poutine fix, so try Moishes’ $25 spin on the traditional with chunks of tender beef.

On a side note, turning 77 years old this year makes this Montreal institution one of the oldest steakhouses in the country. Being open for that long, you’ve got to be doing something right!

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Vintage: Rib Chop

ONE11 Chophouse (St. John’s, NFLD)

Visitors at this restaurant in St. John’s might enjoy some of the P.E.I. beef cuts on the menu (although you’ll find Alberta and Ontario cuts, as well), seeing as this meat doesn’t make its way west very often.

If you aren’t feeling overly carnivorous, try One11’s take on a Newfoundland staple: pan-seared cod with salt beef, confit potatoes, mustard pickle puree, cabbage and gravy.

The Shore Club (Ottawa and Toronto, ON)

This elegant restaurant, found in Toronto and Ottawa, somewhat blurs the lines between a seafood restaurant and a traditional steakhouse, offering dishes like scallop and prawn ceviche or vanilla-battered prawns on one hand, and wedge salad, New York strips and Porterhouses on the other. Then let your inner kid finish off dinner by enjoying a banana split for two.

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Vintage: Baked Alaska

Vintage Chophouse (Calgary, AB)

In the heart of steak country, it’s hard to pick a place that does best with Alberta beef, but most Calgarians would award Vintage this accolade. Naturally, they’ve got all of the cuts you could ask for, including a gigantic 32-ounce prime rib chop. But this place knows that a steakhouse is only as good as its side dishes. Try the truffled mac ‘n cheese or the lobster mashed potatoes and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

Last but not least, you can’t walk out of Vintage without having their spin on Baked Alaska. It’s old school dessert at its best.

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.

Buckwheat Pancakes with Brandied Strawberries and Coconut Whip

There are many ways to make gluten-free vegan pancakes but buckwheat flour is our new fave! It cooks quickly, holds together without adding other binders and has a delicious nutty taste. Combined with a sweet brandied strawberry sauce and the most perfect coconut whip, you’ll be craving breakfast in bed every day of the week.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Makes: 8 pancakes

Buckwheat Pancakes with Brandied Strawberries and Coconut Whip

Ingredients:

Brandied Strawberries:
2 cups diced strawberries
½ cup maple syrup
¼ cup brandy
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp arrowroot flour (or cornstarch)
1 tsp water

Buckwheat Pancakes:
1 ½ cups buckwheat flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 ½ tsp baking powder
1 Tbsp melted vegan butter
2 cups non-dairy milk
2 Tbsp vegan butter (or cooking pancakes)

Coconut Whip:
1 can full-fat coconut milk (refrigerated overnight)
1 tsp sugar (optional)

Directions:
1. In a small saucepan bring maple syrup and brandy to a simmer over medium heat.
2. Once the mixture is bubbling, add in the diced strawberries and lemon juice. Continue to stir occasionally while you bring to a simmer again.
3. Mix together arrowroot flour and water in a small bowl until smooth and add this to the strawberry mixture.
4. Continue to stir occasionally while simmering for 10 minutes until thickened. Remove the saucepan from the heat and set aside while you make pancakes.
5. Bring a non-stick pan to medium heat and combine the pancake batter ingredients together in a mixing bowl until well combined.
6. You may need to waver between medium and medium-low heat to keep the pancakes cooking evenly. Place a little bit of vegan butter in the centre of the pan and pour 1/3 cup of batter per pancake. It’s best to cook 1-2 pancakes at a time depending on the size of your pan, for about 2 minutes per side.
7. You must use a can of full-fat coconut milk for the coconut whip and have it already refrigerated, so it’s really cold and the thick cream is separated from the liquid. Another tip is to place the beaters from your hand mixer and a stainless steel bowl in the freezer in advance of preparing the coconut whip.
8. When you open the can of coconut milk, scoop only the thick cream that is sitting on top into the stainless steel bowl. Do not let any liquid get in the mixture. Beat on high for a couple of minutes until thick and fluffy.
9. Serve the pancakes warm with brandied strawberry sauce and a generous dollop of coconut whip.

See more from hot for food on their YouTube channel.

Vegan Kale Caesar Salad with Tempeh Bacon

Caesar salad is something that non-vegans will swear we can’t re-create. But the truth is, a vegan Caesar salad is SO much healthier for you, you’ll only want to eat this version from now on. It will leave you feeling light, clean, and energized. Feel free to use romaine lettuce instead of kale for an even more traditional salad. We just like to switch it up and get our dark leafy greens in wherever we can. Tempeh bacon makes this more of an entree salad, but you can use coconut bacon for an appetizer version (as seen in right photo). You can also use the coconut bacon in the entree salad for added flavour and texture.

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I like the taste of roasted garlic in a Caesar dressing because it makes it sweeter and less overpowering. In case you don’t know how to roast garlic, just peel the outer layers off the garlic bulb, leaving a thin layer still in tact and cut the top of the bulb off (approx. 1/4 inch from the top) so the cloves are visible. Coat in 1 Tbsp of olive oil (per bulb) and a pinch of sea salt and then bake at 400°F for 35 minutes or until the cloves are browned and soft to the touch.

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Caesar Dressing

Ingredients (makes 2 cups):
3/4 cup raw cashews (soaked for a minimum of 3 hours)
3/4 cup water
1 bulb of roasted garlic (approximately 7-9 cloves. Feel free to do more/less depending on your taste.)
1 pitted medjool date
1 lemon, juice & zest
3 1/2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp  sea salt
1 tsp ground pepper

Directions:
1. Drain the soaked cashews and rinse with more water until it runs clear.
2. Place all the ingredients in a vita-mix or high powered blender and mix on high until smooth. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving on your salad.

Garlic Croutons

Ingredients:
3 cups cubed bread (your choice)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 Tbsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground pepper
2 Tbsp go veggie! vegan Parmesan

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. In a mixing bowl whisk together olive oil, garlic powder, onion powder, sea salt, and pepper. Toss the cubed bread in the mixture until well coated. If you’re adding the vegan Parmesan, then toss them in that next.
2. Lay out the bread onto a baking sheet and bake for approximately 10-15 minutes, turning over once in the middle of baking, until golden brown. Depending on the bread you use the time will vary so just keep an eye on them. Gluten-free bread takes longer, approximately 20 minutes. and gluten free bread is always a bit gummy so don’t expect them to be crispy crunchy croutons like when they’re made with regular bread. Italian baguette is our favourite for this recipe.

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Tempeh Bacon

Ingredients:
1 package of tempeh (approximately 250 grams)
1/2 cup tamari (can sub soy sauce or Bragg’s aminos)
1/2 Tablespoon water
1/3 cup liquid smoke
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 Tbsp smoked paprika
1-2 Tbsp coconut oil (for frying)
Extra water for de-glazing the pan

Directions:
1. Thinly slice the tempeh.
2. Whisk together all the liquid ingredients and smoked paprika in a shallow dish that you can use to marinate the tempeh in.
3. Lay the slices of tempeh in the dish and pour in half the sauce. Marinate in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
4. To cook, heat a non-stick pan to medium and add 1 Tbsp of coconut oil. When it’s heated, add the slices of tempeh.
5. Once the first side starts to brown you’ll want to start de-glazing the pan with left over marinade and a bit of water every so often to prevent them from sticking and to get them really caramelized and browned. Flip the slices and do the same thing on the other side.
6. You might want to use another Tbsp of coconut oil on the other side to get them frying up nice. You’ll start to notice the liquid becoming absorbed and the tempeh getting crispier and stickier. Cook time is approximately 15-20 minutes. Remember, you’re trying to caramelize the tempeh, times may vary.
7. Remove from the heat to cool while you assemble the Caesar salad.
8. All there is left to do is wash and chop your romaine lettuce or kale.

Garnish your Caesar salad with more black pepper, lemon wedges, and additional go veggie! vegan Parmesan if you like! And…I think we might just convert you to being a vegan Caesar salad lover.

Kale tip: If you’re using kale, finely chop it and massage it with your hands in some lemon juice for 3-5 mins. Massaging the kale is actually beneficial. It makes the tough, bitter green sweeter, softer and easier to digest. I like using lemon juice for this salad, but massaging kale with olive oil, lime juice or a pinch of sea salt will wilt it and break it down just the same.

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See more from hot for food on their YouTube channel.

Lobster Grilled Cheese

Lobster grilled cheese? Yes, please! Rich meaty lobster chunks, surrounded by melted cheese and toasty buttered bread… This is one rich, tasty sandwich! The idea for this bad boy stemmed from the thought of lobster mac & cheese, which seems to be fairly popular these days.

With that thought delicious combo in mind, I knew I didn’t want to stick with just one cheese, so I mixed in a little creamy, buttery Gouda and some aged cheddar cheese for a stronger cheese flavour. A little mayo on the bread for some zip, some salt & pepper to enhance the flavours, and you’ve got yourselves a winner!

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Serves: 1

Ingredients:
2 slices french bread (or similar)
1 lobster tail (around ½ a cup of lobster meat)
¼ cup gruyere cheese
? cup gouda cheese
¼ cup aged cheddar cheese
1 Tbsp clarified butter
1-2 Tbsp mayonnaise
Salt & pepper

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Directions:
1. Get a pan on low-medium heat, placing about 1 Tbsp of butter in it. Once butter melts and begins browning, remove film over top of the butter, until most of the milk solids have been removed.
2. While you’re waiting for the butter to clarify, begin preparing your sandwich.
3. Break the lobster tail in half, removing meat and roughly chopping.
4. Spread mayonnaise on top and bottom slice.
5. Shred cheese add ¼ cup gruyere, then an ? cup of gouda.
6. Chop up lobster tail, place on sandwich and add some salt and pepper.
7. Top with ¼ cup of aged cheddar cheese and top slice of bread.
8. Brush both outer sides of sandwich with clarified butter.
9. In a pan on medium heat, fry until golden brown on each side and cheese has melted.

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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.

How to Make Faux Pho

Pho, the Vietnamese rice noodle soup dish (pronounced “fuh” with the inflection and not “faux” as it’s commonly mispronounced), has quickly become a go-to comfort food for many. Its distinctive blend of aromatics and, of course, wallet-friendly price point, is a welcoming sight on a cold, miserable night. For those times when venturing out the door is too much of a challenge, here’s a surprisingly easy way to recreate the flavours in less than half an hour in your very own kitchen.

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Faux Pho Broth
Yields enough broth to cook noodles for two people, or make one XL-sized bowl.

Ingredients:
900 ml no sodium-added chicken or beef broth
3 star anise pods
2 teaspoons all-spice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon black pepper
Sriracha, to taste
Salt, to taste
Package of noodles (Vietnamese rice noodles or Japanese udon)

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Directions:
1. Bring the broth to a simmer in a soup pot. Add the anise, all-spice, black pepper, cinnamon. Continue to simmer for 10 minutes.
2. Season with salt to taste. Drizzle in Sriracha as well if you want a spicy broth.
3. Throw in noodles. Continue to simmer until noodles are tender.
4. Finish with various toppings and serve immediately.

Toppings:

Proteins
Make sure to slice the meat really thinly so that they’re easier to pick up (and eat) with chopsticks.

Grilled chicken
Roast beef or flank steak
Tofu steaks
Peeled shrimp (grilled or boiled in the broth)
Fried or boiled egg sliced in half

Vegetables
Raw veggies add that distinctive watery crunch that contrasts the hot, earthy broth.

Bean sprouts
Green onions
Snow peas or sugar snap peas
Kimchi
Green onions
Corn niblets
Mushrooms (add when the broth is simmering with the spices)
Raw baby kale or spinach leaves
Quick Pickles*

Quick Pickles*

Directions:
1. Simmer sliced cucumbers, julienned carrots, white onion, and daikon in a saucepan with 1/2 cup white vinegar, and a pinch of both salt and sugar for 10 minutes.
2. Remove from heat and pour into a bowl.
3. Let cool to room temperature or chill before serving.

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.