Healthy moscow mule cocktail on countertop

Celebrate National Moscow Mule Day With This Low-Sugar Moscow Mule Cocktail

March 3rd marks National Moscow Mule Day! This modern classic is great for ginger beer lovers and is typically made with vodka, lime and ginger beer, plus a little sugar. This That’s the Spirit Moscow Mule recipe shows you a fantastic way to add some fruit and herbal notes, and depending on the spirit preference, even more in-depth flavours that will really elevate this yummy cocktail. Bonus? It’s low in sugar and can be made non-alcoholic simply by omitting the spirit.

Healthy moscow mule cocktail on countertop

Low-Sugar Berry Sage Moscow Mule

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Rest Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours, 10 minutes
Servings: 1

Ingredients:

200 ml gin (or spirit of choice)
3-4 leaves sage + 1 for garnish
1 heaping tsp of blackberry jam
½ oz lime juice
4oz light ginger beer
Blackberries for garnish (optional)

Healthy moscow mule cocktail ingredients

Directions:

1. In a non-reactive container, pour in spirit of choice (I picked gin to pull out some evergreen botanicals to compliment the sage in the drink). In your palm, gently lay down 3-4 leaves of sage and clap your hands together to release oils. Add sage to gin and cover with lid. Let the mixture sit for 3-4 hours or overnight. Agitate once in a while.

Healthy moscow mule cocktail syrup

2. Remove sage leaves from the mixture. This infused spirit is shelf stable for a few months.

3. In a shaker tin or mason jar, add 1 ½ oz sage-infused gin, plus blackberry jam and lime. Shake without ice to break up the jam. Add ice and shake vigorously for 10-15 seconds. Strain into tall glass packed with ice.

Related: Ina Garten’s Fresh Whiskey Sours Will Be Your Go-To Cocktail

4. Top with ginger beer (¾ way to the top). Stir. Garnish with 3 blackberries and a sprig of sage (don’t forget to give it a gentle clap to release the oils!). Enjoy immediately.

Healthy moscow mule cocktail on countertop

Like Evelyn’s low-sugar berry sage mule? Try her non-alcoholic winter colada or her whiskey, green tea and honey cocktail.

Ree Drummond’s 30-Minute Vegetarian Pasta Makes Peppers the Star

This veggie-forward recipe with a boozy kick is one of Ree Drummond’s all-time best pasta dishes, and it’s easy to see why! Serve up this creation from The Pioneer Woman when you need a 30-minute stress-free meal that’ll also immediately brighten your dinner table.

Ree starts mini sweet peppers, garlic, onion, red and orange bell peppers, poblano and jalapeno in butter and olive oil over medium-high heat for a flavourful base. For a bit of a boozy kick, she adds 1/2 cup clear tequila and serves it all up with fresh cilantro and reserved mini pepper rings for toppings.

Related: 16 Minutes Until Dinner With The Pioneer Woman’s Honey-Garlic Shrimp Skewers

The Pioneer Woman’s Six Pepper Pasta

Total Time: 30 minutes
Yields: 4 servings

Ingredients

Kosher salt
1 lb fettuccine
2 Tbsp salted butter
2 Tbsp olive oil
6 multi-colored mini sweet peppers, sliced into rounds, a few rounds reserved for garnish
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 orange bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 poblano pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup clear tequila
2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup heavy cream
3 Tbsp adobo sauce from canned chipotle peppers, plus more if needed
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Related: The Pioneer Woman’s Fast White Chicken Chili Will Become a Weeknight Staple

Directions

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to package instructions, then drain and set aside.

2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the butter and olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the mini sweet peppers, garlic, onion, red and orange bell peppers, poblano and jalapeno and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until the onions and peppers begin to darken, about 3 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to a plate and set aside.

3. Return the skillet to the heat and allow it to come back up to temperature. Turn off the heat and pour in the tequila. Turn the heat back on and let it cook for 1 minute while scraping the bottom of the skillet to loosen any browned bits. Add the broth, bring to a simmer and simmer until reduced slightly, 3 to 5 minutes.

4. Reduce the heat to medium low and pour in the cream. Add the adobo sauce, stirring constantly. Cook until the sauce starts to thicken, another 4 to 5 minutes.

5. When the sauce is thick, add the vegetables to the skillet, making sure to include all the juices that have drained onto the plate. Stir and cook until the mixture is bubbly and hot, 1 to 2 minutes. Taste and add salt, pepper and/or adobo sauce if needed.

6. Add the drained pasta to the sauce and toss to combine. Transfer to bowls and garnish with fresh cilantro and a few reserved mini pepper rings.

Watch the How-To video


For more inspiration, check out The Pioneer Woman’s 16-minute dinners.

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

Fresh Northern Thai papaya salad and crispy fried pork belly

Fried Pork Belly Pairs Perfectly With Crunchy Papaya Salad in This Traditional Thai Dish

We may not be able to travel right now, but you can still send your taste buds on a flight to northern Thailand with this Taste Of recipe from Lakana Sopajan-Trubiana. Spicy, crunchy and full of flavour, this papaya salad pairs perfectly with salty fried pork belly.

“This is the style of papaya salad we make at home on our family rice farm in Isaan in northeastern Thailand,” says Lakana. “It’s different from the Bangkok ‘big city’ version: it’s funkier and more pungent from the addition of fermented fish sauce and salted crab. Traditionally, the salad is eaten with grilled or fried meat. Here we pair it with pork belly; the crunch and tang of the salad cuts the heaviness of the pork and balances out the dish.”

Related: Delicious Thai Takeout Recipe to Try This Week

Isaan Papaya Salad With Fried Pork Belly

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients:

Som Tom (Papaya Salad)
4 to 10 fresh Thai bird chiles, depending on taste
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp palm sugar
½ cup halved grape tomatoes
3 Tbsp fermented fish sauce
1 Tbsp fish sauce
2 Tbsp tamarind juice
2 slices lime
2 cups shredded young green papaya
¼ cup shredded carrot
¼ cup salted crab

Fried Pork Belly
¼ cup fish sauce
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp ground black pepper
1 ¼ lbs pork belly, cut crossways into ½-inch-thick slices
2 ½ cups tempura flour
Canola oil, for frying

Equipment:

Large mortar and pestle (optional)

Fresh Northern Thai papaya salad and crispy fried pork belly

Related: Ground Pork Recipes You’ll Make On Repeat

Directions:

1. For the som tom (papaya salad): combine the chiles, garlic and palm sugar in a large mortar and bash with a pestle until it forms a coarse paste, 2 to 5 minutes. (You can also combine the ingredients in a medium bowl and use gloved hands to break, shred and mash the ingredients together). Add the tomatoes, fermented fish sauce, fish sauce, tamarind juice and limes and mix well. Add the papaya, carrot and salted crab and mix gently.

2. For the fried pork belly: combine the fish sauce, sugar and pepper in a bowl and mix well. Add the pork and massage the ingredients into the meat. Refrigerate 15 to 30 minutes to marinate.

3. Place the tempura flour in a large bowl. Coat the pork belly in the flour and place on a sheet pan fitted with a cooling rack. Pour oil to the depth of 1 to 2 inches into a large heavy skillet and place over medium to low heat. When hot, gently place the pork belly in the skillet and cook until golden brown and crispy, 15 to 20 minutes.

4. Drain the pork briefly on a clean wire rack set over a sheet pan. Serve with the papaya salad.

Cook’s Note: Hand-shredding with a large sharp knife, not with a box grater, is the traditional way to prepare the papaya for this salad and will give you a crunchier texture. You can tweak the flavours in this recipe to your preference: add more palm sugar for a sweeter dish, more chiles for spicier one and so on.

Looking for even more salad recipes? These hearty salads will brighten up any winter meal.

Carrot cake cinnamon rolls with icing

Two Popular Desserts Join Forces to Make the Ultimate Sweet Treat: Carrot Cake Cinnamon Rolls!

Carrot cake lovers, we’ve got you. These Baking Therapy carrot cake cinnamon rolls combine all the delicious flavours we love in a classic carrot cake: carrots, pecans, coconut (and don’t forget the cream cheese icing!) all rolled up to make the ultimate cinnamon roll. They’re made with bread flour — which gives it that pillowy, but chewy texture — but it can be easily swapped with all-purpose for a cakier treat. Make this any day of the week! You’ll thank us later.

Carrot cake cinnamon rolls with icing

Carrot Cake Cinnamon Rolls

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Rest Time: 1 hour
Bake Time: 30 to 40 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours, 10 minutes
Servings: 8 cinnamon rolls

Ingredients:

Cinnamon Rolls
1 cup milk
¼ cup granulated sugar, divided
2 ¼ tsp active dry yeast
4 cups bread flour
¾ tsp salt
2 large eggs, beaten
6 Tbsp butter, melted and cooled
1 cup grated carrots

Filling
¾ cup brown sugar
1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
6 Tbsp butter, melted and cooled
½ cup chopped pecans
⅓ cup shredded coconut

Cream Cheese Icing
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
6 oz cream cheese, softened
1 ½ cup icing sugar
1 Tbsp heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla
Pinch salt

Equipment:

Quarter Sheet Pan, Amazon, $34

Stand Mixer, Amazon, $400

Carrot cake cinnamon rolls ingredients on countertop

Directions:

1. Start by making the cinnamon roll dough: warm the milk in the microwave or on the stove until warm to the touch. Stir in 1 Tbsp sugar and the active dry yeast. Cover loosely with kitchen towel and set aside for 5-10 minutes.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the hook attachment, combine flour, remaining sugar and salt. Add the proofed yeast mixture, beaten eggs and butter. Work the dough until it just begins to come together, about 5 minutes. Add the grated carrots and continue on medium speed for another 5-8 minutes until the dough is smooth and has pulled away from the sides of the bowl. Transfer to a large clean bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm place to rise and double in size, about 45 minutes.

Carrot cake cinnamon rolls dough

3. Preheat oven to 350°F and grease a casserole dish or quarter sheet pan with melted butter and set aside.

4. Now for the filling: in a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar, cinnamon and ginger.

Related: The Ultimate Dessert Mashup: Caramel Apple Cheesecake Meets Chinese Fried Wontons

5. Put the dough on a lightly floured surface, lightly flour your rolling pin and roll out to about 1/8-inch thick rectangle, about 17 x 14 inches.

6. Brush the top of the dough with the melted butter and sprinkle evenly the filling mixture and sprinkle the pecans and coconut overtop. Leave about a 1 cm border to allow the dough to adhere to each other when rolled. Start with the longest edge nearest to you, tightly roll the dough away from you into a firm log. Pinch the seams together and set the log seam side down.

Carrot cake cinnamon roll dough before being rolled up

7. With a serrated knife trim off the ends and divide the dough into 8 pieces. Transfer the rolls to the prepared pan, cover with a kitchen towel and let rise for another 15-20 minutes, until doubled in size.

Carrot cake cinnamon rolls before being baked in the oven

8. Bake for 30-38 minute until golden brown and bubbly.

9. For the cream cheese icing: in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream both butter and cream cheese until smooth, scraping down the sides as necessary. Add the icing sugar, cream, vanilla and salt and beat for 1 minute on medium-high speed.

10. Spread the cream cheese icing over top while the rolls are still warm and enjoy!

Carrot cake cinnamon rolls

Like Sabrina’s carrot cake cinnamon rolls? Try her matcha and raspberry mochi doughnuts or her 7-ingredient Basque cheesecake.

All products featured on Food Network Canada are independently selected by our editors. For more products handpicked by our editorial team, visit Food Network Canada’s Amazon storefront. However, when you buy through links in this article or on our storefront, we earn an affiliate commission.

za'tar flatbread on serving platter

This Easy Vegan Za’atar Manaeesh AKA Flatbread is the Breakfast Dish You’ve Been Craving

Za’atar is the name of a Middle Eastern herb, but it’s also the name of a spice mixture made up of the herb, roasted sesame seeds, sumac and a few other spices. It’s so versatile and can be used in a variety of ways: in salad dressings, meat marinades and sauces. But the most common and traditional way of consuming za’atar is on a flatbread mixed with olive oil. This Can You Vegan It? za’atar flatbread is a Lebanese dish called manaeesh and it’s typically served with breakfast alongside a hot cup of tea. It’s often topped with cheese or labneh (strained yogurt), but you can also top with an assortment of fresh veggies and drizzle with more olive oil. This delicious breakfast is easy to make and the perfect start to the day!

za'tar flatbread on serving platter

Vegan Za’atar Manaeesh

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Rest Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 13-15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes
Servings: 10

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp instant yeast
1 cup warm water
2 ½ cups + 2 Tbsp flour, divided
1 Tbsp sugar
1 cup olive oil, divided
1 tsp salt
12 Tbsp za’atar blend

For the garnish (optional): cucumbers, tomatoes, parsley, onions and/or radish

za'tar flatbread ingredients on kitchen countertop

Directions:

1. Start by mixing together the yeast with the warm water and set aside for a few minutes.

2. In a bowl, add 1 cup of the flour along with the sugar and the yeast mixture. Mix well with a spoon, cover with plastic wrap and set aside for 10 minutes.

Related: Flexitarian Recipes Where Meat Isn’t the Star

3. After 10 minutes, add the rest of the flour (1 ½ cups plus 2 Tbsp), ½ cup olive oil and the salt and mix well until a shaggy dough forms.

za'tar flatbread dough in bowl

4. Using your hands, knead the dough for 3-4 minutes, then smooth it out and set aside to rise for about 30 minutes, covered.

5. Preheat your oven to 375°F. Mix the za’atar and ½ cup olive oil together.

Related: This Middle Eastern Bulgur, Pomegranate and Almond Salad is Full of Whole Grains

6. Once the dough is ready, separate into 10 equal-sized balls. Using a rolling pin and a floured surface, flatten each dough ball and spread a few Tbsp of za’atar paste on top until sufficiently covered.

za'tar flatbread on baking sheet about to go in the oven

7. Place on a floured sheet pan and bake for 13-15 minutes until the bottom is golden. Top with fresh chopped vegetables of choice and enjoy.

Like Amina’s za’atar manaeesh? Try her roasted cauliflower with tahini or her 20-minute pomegranate molasses glazed salmon.

Beauty shot of Molly Yeh's Kung Pao Chicken, as seen on Girl Meets Farm, Season 6.

Skip Takeout With Molly Yeh’s Saucy and Spicy Kung Pao Chicken

Whether it’s scrumptious chicken shawarma tacos or a hearty zucchini pizza, Molly Yeh is an expert when it comes to comfort food classics. This is why it’s no surprise that we’re obsessed with the Girl Meets Farm star’s saucy, spicy twist on this Chinese takeout staple.

Boneless chicken thighs are cut into cubes, seasoned and mixed together with garlic, ginger, hoisin sauce, bell peppers, green beans, dried red chile peppers and Sichuan peppercorn powder for a hot and delicious one-dish meal you’ll want to eat on repeat.

Related: Molly Yeh’s Zucchini Pizza With Fresh Pesto Will Be Your New Go-To Pie

Beauty shot of Molly Yeh's Kung Pao Chicken, as seen on Girl Meets Farm, Season 6.

Molly Yeh’s Kung Pao Chicken

Total Time: 1 hour
Yields: 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

2 tsp cornstarch
3 Tbsp soy sauce
3 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 Tbsp hoisin sauce
1 tsp sugar
2 cloves garlic
One 2-inch piece ginger
2 Tbsp neutral oil
2 to 3 dried red chile peppers
1/2 lb green beans or Chinese long beans, sliced on a diagonal into 1-inch pieces
1 small red bell pepper, seeded and sliced
1/2 bunch scallions, trimmed and sliced on a diagonal
1/2 tsp Sichuan peppercorn powder or crushed black peppercorns and coriander seeds
1/2 cup unsalted roasted peanuts, plus more for garnish
Cooked white rice, for serving

Beauty shot of Molly Yeh's Kung Pao Chicken, as seen on Girl Meets Farm, Season 6.

Related: 25 Tasty Chinese Takeout Dishes You Can Master at Home

Directions

1. Whisk together the cornstarch, 1 tablespoon soy sauce and 1 tablespoon rice vinegar in a medium bowl. Add the chicken, then toss to coat and let marinate at room temperature, 20 minutes.

2. Combine the hoisin, sugar, remaining 2 tablespoons soy sauce, remaining 2 tablespoons rice vinegar and 2 tablespoons water in a small bowl. Grate the garlic and ginger into the sauce. Stir and set aside.

3. Heat a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil, then add the chicken. Stir-fry until browned on the outside, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the chiles, green beans, red pepper, scallions whites, Sichuan peppercorn powder and peanuts. Stir-fry until fragrant and the veggies are crisp-tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the sauce and simmer until thickened slightly and the chicken is completely cooked through, 2 to 4 minutes. Garnish with the scallion greens and additional peanuts. Serve with the rice.

Related: 15 Recipes From Around the World That’ll Help Fill Your Travelling Void

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

Watch the how-to video here.


Vietnamese coffee creme brulee in white ramekins on countertop

This Easy Make-Ahead Vietnamese Coffee Creme Brulee is the Dessert You Need

Coffee + condensed milk + creme brulee — need we say more? This Baking Therapy dessert combines the sweet delicious flavours of Vietnamese coffee with the silky smooth creme brulee we all know and love. An easy make-ahead dessert you’ll make again and again!

Vietnamese coffee creme brulee in white ramekins on countertop

Vietnamese Coffee Creme Brulee

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Rest Time: 2 hours or overnight
Bake Time: 30 to 35 minutes
Total Rime: 2 hours, 55 minutes
Servings: 6

Ingredients:

1 cup heavy cream
1 cup half-and-half
¼ cup dark roast coffee, coarsely ground
4 large egg yolks
1 (300 ml) can sweetened condensed milk
Pinch salt
1 tsp vanilla
½ cup granulated sugar for tops

Vietnamese coffee creme brulee ingredients on kitchen countertop

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Place 6 (3 ½ oz) ramekins in a baking dish. Set aside.

2. In a heavy bottom saucepan on medium-high heat, heat the heavy cream, half-and-half and coarsely ground coffee. As soon as the mixture begins to simmer, remove from the heat. Steep for 15 minutes then strain through a fine sieve.

Vietnamese coffee creme brulee ingredients steeping in pot

3. In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks and condensed milk until pale yellow in colour, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the salt and vanilla extract. Slowly add one ladle of the hot cream to the egg mixture, whisk to combine so the eggs don’t scramble. Continue adding and whisking until well incorporated. Pass through a fine sieve again to ensure a smooth mixture.

Related: Tropical Desserts That’ll Make You Forget It’s Still Winter

4. Ladle evenly into the 6 ramekins. Carefully fill the baking pan with about ½ inch of boiling water and bake for 30 to 35 minutes until the edges are set, but the centre is still jiggly. Remove and let cool completely on a wire rack. Chill in the fridge for 2 hours or overnight.

Vietnamese coffee creme brulee on cooling rack

5. When ready to serve, working with one creme brulee at a time, sprinkle about 1 Tbsp of sugar over the top. Using a kitchen blowtorch, melt the sugar until it gets golden and bubbly. Let sit for 1 minute so that it hardens. Enjoy immediately!

Like Sabrina’s Vietnamese coffee creme brulee? Try her matcha and raspberry mochi doughnuts or her 7-ingredient Basque cheesecake.

Steve Hodge on the set of Project Bakeover

Steve Hodge Shares His Best Tips on How to Run a Successful Bakery

The life of a small business owner can be a challenging one, with small profit margins, fickle clientele and staffing issues looming as potential issues just over the horizon. The COVID-19 pandemic in particular put many small businesses in peril, and the hospitality industry was particularly hard hit (according to industry association Restaurants Canada, 10,000 restaurants closed between March and December 2020).

Steve Hodge and Tiffany Pratt discuss renovation plans for OMG Baked Goodness on the set of Project Bakeover

Steve Hodge knows these challenges like the back of his baking pan — as the owner of Temper Chocolate & Pastry in Vancouver, he has built up his business from a single location to one that sells treats in retail stores across the country. Now, on Project Bakeover, Steve brings the lessons he’s learned from his own success to small bakeries across North America.

We caught up by phone with Steve, who shared some of his best tips from the early episodes of this season for struggling entrepreneurs and bakery owners.

Related: Here’s What You Need to Know About Steve Hodge

Think Outside the Store

The first thing Steve does before even entering a bakery is to eyeball the signage outside. If the word “bakery” isn’t front and center, customers can get the wrong first impression (at Mrs. Joy’s Absolutely Fabulous Treats in Episode 1, the word didn’t even appear on the signage, but “classes” and “parties” were highlighted. “This could be a party store,” said Steve). Often, the customer’s decision as to whether to enter the shop is based on curbside appeal and a clear sense of the store’s direction.

See More: Mrs. Joy’s Absolutely Fabulous Treats Gets a Bold New Look

Out of Sight, Out of Mind

If the customer can’t see what your shop is selling, then they are less likely to buy. In Episode 2, Steve recommended that OMG Baked Goodness’ poorly organized and half-empty counters be loaded full of bright lights and inviting products. Remember to spotlight the best sellers and popular products.

Close up shot of the baked goods at OMG Baked Goodness

Bigger is Not Always Better

Sometimes customers want a big over-the-top treat, but more often, they are looking for a small indulgence. As soon as Steve bit into Mrs. Joy’s cream puff, he knew it was too large and a waste of her ingredients. “She’d get a bigger bang for her buck if she cut it down a bit,” he says. Consider that customers have varying appetites and budgets, and plan accordingly.

See More: We Share Our Go-To Bakeries Across Canada

Be Ready to Change on the Fly

Especially during pandemic times, where rolling lockdowns can mean an open dining space one day and a closed storefront with takeout only the next, flexibility is essential. At Temper Bakery, Steve and his team were ready to make some quick changes to adapt when the COVID-19 lockdowns began. “As bakeries, we can change the way we run our business — we can be a dine-in or grab-and-go,” he says. “At Temper, we now sell more frozen bake-at-home products than we sell fresh from the store. It was a matter of simplifying our business model and streamlining the elements to maximize profitability.”

Keep It Simple

In the same vein, Steve advises bakery owners to think outside the box, but not to hold onto inventory because they’re too attached to it or think they’ll need it later on. “This is a great time to simplify,” he says. “At Temper, we took 20 per cent of our menu off when the pandemic first hit, and we’re never returning to the old way.” The worst mistake he saw at the bakeries he visited was an overabundance of product choice, which led to the bakery owners being overwhelmed and working day in and day out.

Related: Watch Steve Hodge’s Video Bio

Harness Social Media

“If you’re not online, get online,” says Steve, who recommends that bakery owners use social media to identify and spotlight their hero items. “When I was in culinary school, there was no social media. Now, home cooks around the world can pick up the phone and take a picture of their baked goods. Social media changed the world of pastry in terms of who we knew were the best, and you learn more by inventing and creating.”

Take It Outside

Putting tables outside for curbside pickup is a perfect opportunity to draw traffic and boost curb appeal, says Steve. “It will draw you out of the kitchen and make you more interactive as a business owner,” he says. “If you haven’t been involved in [the] community, go outside and say hello and stay safe to your customers. Really take the chance to interact with them — they’ll remember it.”

To Make Money, You Have to Spend Money

Even if margins are tight, Steve recommends some low-cost ways to garner some publicity, such as contacting the local paper and buying a small ad, or running a contest on social media. “It can be as simple as saying ‘if you like this picture, send to this person, or recommend it for a gift and you have a chance to win a gift box’,” he says.

Put Your Logo Out There

Think beyond flyers when it comes to logos. “If you sell coffee in your shop and don’t logo your cups, go buy a $20 stamp with your logo and stamp away,” says Steve. “The majority of stuff for takeout that people carry around outside is in paper cups. You want your logo everywhere: on stickers, poles, and in peoples’ hands.”

Steve Hodge at OMG Baked Goodness

Keep an Open Mind to New Ideas, Even After the Pandemic Ends

Don’t just innovate in terms of trend chasing, advises Steve.  “We ask ourselves as business owners, ‘why didn’t we think of this before?’ — well, we didn’t always have to think of that next step,” he says. “But out of the pandemic, we’ve learned a lot of great things as to how to run a business, and we’ll keep doing them.”

Watch Project Bakeover Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT. Watch and stream all your favourite Food Network Canada shows through STACKTV with Amazon Prime Video Channels, or with the new Global TV app, live and on-demand when you sign-in with your cable subscription.

Blackened trout and green beans on white plate

This Blackened Trout With Green Beans Only Takes 10 Minutes to Make (Yes, Really!)

Whether you seriously have no time to cook or you just have no desire to cook long, lengthy recipes, this is the perfect dinner for you! Blackening fish for this We Know You Have 10 Minutes recipe may seem complicated, but it is far from it. You simply combine a few spices, place them on the flesh of the fish and sear. Voila, that’s it! As the fish is cooking, you add orange juice in the pan to help poach and sweeten it. The fish isn’t actually blackening or burning, rather it is the spices that are and this technique helps enhance their flavours. Pair it with blanched green beans for a speedy side of veggies.

Blackened trout and green beans on white plate

Blackened Trout With Green Beans

Prep Time: 3 minutes
Cook Time: 7 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 lb French green beans
1 Tbsp paprika
1 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp sea salt, divided
4 4-5 oz pieces of trout
1 Tbsp + few tsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
¾ cup orange juice (3 oranges), divided
½ lemon squeezed
3 tsp orange zest
¼ cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped

Blackened trout and green beans ingredients on kitchen countertop

Directions:

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt the water. As you’re waiting for the water to boil, prepare an ice bath in another big bowl.

2. Carefully drop the green beans into the boiling water and let them cook for 2 minutes, then drain and place them in the ice bath.

Related: 10-Minute Vegan Antipasto Skewers Are the Creative Plant-Based Appetizer You Need

3. While the green beans are cooling, mix the paprika, cayenne pepper, Italian seasoning and ½ tsp sea salt together in a wide dish. Place the trout flesh side down in the spices to ensure the flesh is coated.

Blackened trout seasoned on kitchen countertop

4. Place a wide pan on the stove, heat to medium-high, add 1 Tbsp oil and swirl around the pan. Place the trout flesh/spice side down.

5. Once the spices look like they’re browning, after about 2-3 minutes, add in ½ cup orange juice. Once the juice has mostly evaporated and caramelized, flip the fish over and cook for another 3-5 minutes. If your pieces are thick and aren’t cooked on the inside, place them in a 350°F oven for a few minutes.

Related: Healthy 10-Minute Meals When You Just Don’t Feel Like Cooking

6. Drain the beans again and place them in another bowl. Season with few tsp of oil, ½ tsp salt, the rest of the orange juice and lemon juice. Put the green beans on a dish with the trout and top both with orange zest and fresh parsley.

Blackened trout and green beans on plate

Like Tamara and Sarah’s 10-minute blackened trout with green beans? Try their 10-minute sauteed cauliflower and chickpeas.

Get the how-to recipe here:

West African mafe AKA peanut lentil stew - in a bowl

Vegan West African Peanut Lentil Stew: The Comfort Food You Need

This hearty and flavourful stew, also known as mafé, is one of many delicious delicacies that hails from West African cuisine. Traditional West African peanut stew uses ground peanuts and contains beef, but my Can You Vegan It? spin uses natural peanut butter since it’s more accessible, as well as lentils for extra protein. However, the sweet potatoes in this quick 45-minute dish perfectly seal the deal.

West African mafe AKA peanut lentil stew - in a bowl

West African Peanut Lentil Stew

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 12

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
3 shallots, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp fresh ginger, chopped
2 tsp crushed red pepper (plus more to taste)
1 tsp kosher salt (plus more to taste)
½ tsp ground black pepper (plus more to taste)
2 tsp cumin (optional)
½ tsp cardamom (optional)
5 cups low-sodium vegetarian broth
1½ cups red lentils
2 medium sweet potatoes, cut into chunks
1 (16 oz) can crushed tomatoes, with liquid
1 cup natural raw peanut butter (smooth or chunky)
Fresh chopped parsley for topping (optional)

West African mafe AKA peanut lentil stew ingredients on kitchen countertop

Directions:

1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the shallots, garlic and ginger in the hot oil until softened, about 5 minutes. Season with the crushed red pepper, salt, pepper, as well as the cumin and cardamom (if using).

Related: Best Vegan Soup and Stew Recipes You’ll Crave All Winter

2. Pour the broth over the mixture. Stir the lentils and sweet potatoes into the liquid and bring the mixture to a boil; reduce heat to low and cover the pot partially with a lid. Cook at a simmer for 15 minutes.

West African mafe AKA peanut lentil stew - in a bowl

3. Stir in the tomatoes and peanut butter. Turn up the heat slightly to medium-low. Cover the pot and continue cooking for another 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Top with chopped parsley and serve.

West African mafe AKA peanut lentil stew - in a bowl

Like Valerie’s vegan mafé? Try her healthy sriracha-honey oven-fried chicken or her spicy vegan cassoulet.

Leftover Grits, Ham & Gruyere Cheese = The Ultimate Fried Snack From Kardea Brown

Can a bite-sized fried recipe really be the snack of your dreams? As Kardea Brown proves time and time again with her mouth-watering comfort food on Delicious Miss Brown, the answer is yes with a capital Y.  Ready in 45 minutes, these crispy balls have all the goods thanks to the combo of ham, cheese, paprika, breadcrumbs and leftover cooked grits. It’s the afternoon snack we’ve all been waiting for.

Related: Kardea Brown’s Pan Fried Collard Greens Are the Garlicky, Bacon-y Vegetable Side Dish of Your Dreams

Kardea Brown’s Cheesy Country Ham Grit Balls

Total Time: 45 minutes
Yields: 10 to 12 servings

Ingredients:

Canola oil, for frying
1/2 cup diced country ham
2 1/2 cups leftover cooked grits
1 cup grated smoked Gruyere cheese
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp paprika
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
Kosher salt

Miss Kardea Brown rolls her Cheesy Country Ham Grit Balls with Spicy Mayo in breading, as seen on Delicious Miss Brown, Season 3.

Related: 32 Easy Air Fryer Recipes That Are Simply Delish

Directions:

1. Fill a large Dutch oven two-thirds full with oil and heat over medium-high heat to 360°F.

2. Add 2 tablespoons oil to a large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ham and cook just until browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to a large bowl. Add the grits and cheese to the bowl and stir until combined. Using wet hands, scoop 1/4 cup of the grit mixture, roll it into a ball and place on a platter or large plate. Repeat until all the grit mixture is used.

3. Whisk together the flour, paprika and cayenne in a shallow bowl. In a separate shallow bowl, add the eggs. Add the panko to another separate shallow bowl. Dip each grit ball into the flour mixture and shake to remove any excess before dipping into the eggs and then into the panko, spinning to coat completely.

4. Add the grit balls to the Dutch oven in batches, frying until brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Remove to a sheet pan lined with a wire rack and immediately sprinkle with salt.

Looking for a Southern-style finish to your fried snack? Kardea Brown’s Caramel Apple Cake should hit the (sweet) spot.

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

Watch the how-to recipe video here:


Feta tomato pasta on plate

This Feta Tomato Pasta Trending on TikTok is as Easy as 1-2-3

As we’ve all been spending more time at home and in the kitchen this past year, it seems that everyone is getting more inventive with their cooking (and sharing it all over their socials). Some of our fave food trends to come out of quarantine cooking include everything from pancake cereal to focaccia bread art. The newest cooking craze? TikTok’s baked feta tomato pasta. Is it worth the hype? With just nine ingredients and 25 minutes from start to finish, we think so.

Feta tomato pasta on plate

Feta Tomato Pasta

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients:

2 pints cherry or grape tomatoes
⅓ cup olive oil
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper
½ tsp minced garlic
1 tsp chili flakes
200 g block of Greek feta cheese
1 Tbsp basil
300 g pasta of choice

Feta tomato pasta ingredients on kitchen countertop

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 450°F and boil water in a large pot for the pasta. In a 9 x 9 baking dish, add the tomatoes, olive oil (reserve about 2 Tbsp), salt, pepper, garlic and chili flakes. Mix to coat. Place the block of feta in the centre and drizzle the top with the remaining olive oil. Bake in the oven until the tomatoes blister and the cheese melts, about 15-20 minutes.

Feta tomato pasta ingredients in dish

2. Season the boiling water with salt, cook the pasta to al dente or according to the package directions. Reserve half cup of pasta water for later.

Related: Best-Ever Pasta Recipes for Easy Dinners

3. Remove the baking dish from the oven and with the back of a fork, mash and mix the feta and tomatoes. Add the fresh basil and cooked pasta. If the pasta looks a little dry, add a splash of the reserved pasta water. Garnish with fresh basil and enjoy!

Feta tomato pasta ingredients in dish

We tried the KFC Cinnabon Dessert Biscuits and Popeye’s Famous Chicken Sandwich — are they worth the hype?

Composite image of Noah Cappe, Eden Grinshpan and Steve Hodge over a close-up image of Valentine's Day conversation hearts

Local Restaurants That Food Network Canada Stars Are Loving This Valentine’s Day

This Valentine’s Day, Food Network Canada stars are sending love notes to their favourite local restaurants across the country. From baked goods to a romantic takeout meal at home, these are the local spots across Canada that our stars are crushing on (and with one bite, you will be too!). To participate in the #MyLocalValentine campaign, head to Food Network Canada’s Instagram on February 14th, and share your love notes to your favourite local restaurants using the Valentine’s Day templates in stories.

Related: Easy Pink Beet Pancakes Are the Perfect Valentine’s Day Breakfast

Tiffany Pratt: Tori’s Bakeshop (Toronto, Ontario)

 

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Toronto’s first vegan café and bakeshop in 2012 that has gained a loyal following with Food Network Canada staff and chefs alike. “I love Tori’s Bakeshop in the Beaches so much! I have been eating those breakfast cookies for as long as they have been open! Also their Easter cream egg is the most addictive thing I have ever put in my mouth. I even designed one of their locations! The food is made with love and everything tastes amazing and is good for you too. Gluten-free and vegan alike – this food is for everyone! I LOVE YOU TORI!”

Love the design of Tori’s Bakeshop? Did you know that it was designed by Tiffany herself? See more of Tiffany Pratt and her local restaurant designs in Project Bakeover.

Mijune Pak: AnnaLena (Vancouver, BC)

 

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In Vancouver’s Kitsilano neighbourhood, AnnaLena offers contemporary Canadian fare. “Love the creativity, quality of ingredients and commitment to flavours at AnnaLena, and they’re offering a Valentine’s Day tasting menu available for dine-in as well as a take-out.”

Speaking of Valentine’s Day, we tried Mijune Pak’s new chocolate creations (a perfect gift?) and here’s what we thought.

Renee Lavallee: Doraku Sushi (Dartmouth, Nova Scotia)

 

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A post shared by 道楽 Doraku (@dorakudartmouth)

This Japanese restaurant has been open for nearly thirty years, and is considered a local staple. “My favourite local love goes to Doraku Sushi in Dartmouth. Hands down THE BEST sushi in Nova Scotia. Perfect for a Valentine’s date night at home.”

And if you’re wondering where else to eat in Nova Scotia, here are Renee Lavallee’s top picks.

Eden Grinshpan: Joso’s (Toronto, Ontario)

Another longstanding favourite, this restaurant is a Yorkville staple. In business since 1967, it aims to transport guests to the warmth and beauty of the stunning Dalmatian coast. “My family and I have been going to Joso’s for years and are dear friends with the owners, Leo and Shirley. We LOVE their fresh seafood, squid ink risotto and the overall ambience. We always have the best time there.”

Looking to make a sweet dessert for your Valentine at home? Have you tried Eden Grinshpan’s Pistachio-Dusted Rose-Glazed Yeast Donuts?

Noah Cappe: Mallard Cottage (St. John’s, Newfoundland)

 

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Located in an 18th Century Irish-Newfoundland vernacular-style cottage, you can expect to find traditional fish and chips, moose croquettes, fishwiches, and Nutella crepes on the menu.

Restaurant picks aside, here are 10 more things you ought to know about Noah Cappe.

Suzanne Barr: TORA

 

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If you’re a fan of aburi sushi (or if you’re looking to try the novel flavours of this flame-seared take on the original), TORA ought to be on your list, as it’s on Suzanne Barr’s: “Since we’ll be celebrating Valentine’s Day at home this year with our son, we’ve opted to go for a family-friendly menu from TORA – one of our fave spots for high-quality sushi and lots of it. And of course, a nice bottle of sake for after the little one goes to bed ;)”

Here’s how chef Suzanne Barr will make you think about your dinner plate differently

Steve Hodge: Two River Meats (Vancouver, BC)

Two Rivers Specialty Meats has something for those who enjoy the process as much as the results; offering house-made sausage, steak burgers, and more, the meats are thoughtfully sourced from farmers who care about their animals.  “For anyone looking to cook at home, they are the best and can be shipped!”

Aside from being in Project Bakeover, here are 10 more things you need to know about Steve Hodge.

Basque burnt cheesecake with raspberries on top

This 7-Ingredient Basque Burnt Cheesecake Recipe is Totally Foolproof

This Baking Therapy Basque burnt cheesecake is a no-fuss, foolproof dessert that requires only seven ingredients and is super easy to make. Yes, it’s intentionally burnt, which gives it a slightly bitter caramelized flavour that pairs perfectly with the creamy interior. The texture is lighter and less rich than traditional cheesecake, ensuring you can have more than a single slice in one sitting.

Basque burnt cheesecake with raspberries on top

Basque Burnt Cheesecake Recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Bake Time: 50 to 60 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour and 15 minutes
Servings: 10 to 12

Ingredients:

3 ½ cups (875 g) cream cheese, room temperature
1 ¼ cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 ½ cups heavy cream
1 Tbsp vanilla bean paste
½ tsp salt
⅓ cup + 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour

Equipment:

Round Springform Cake Tin, Amazon, $32.

Basque burnt cheesecake ingredients


Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Line a 9-inch springform pan with 2 15×18-inch sheets of parchment paper, making sure the parchment comes up the sides all the way around the pan.

Related: Best Baking Recipes From Food Network Canada’s Sweet Treat Queen

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the cream cheese until light and smooth, about 2 minutes. With the mixer on medium-low, stream in the granulated sugar. Cream until the sugar has dissolved, another 1-2 minutes. Scrape down the sides.

Basque burnt cheesecake batter

3. Increase the speed to medium and add the eggs, one at a time, making sure it’s fully incorporated and scraping down the sides of the bowl before adding the next.

4. Reduce the speed to medium-low and stream in the heavy cream. Add the vanilla and salt and scrape down the sides of the bowl again. Mix until smooth and creamy, another 10-15 seconds. Remove from the mixer and sift in the flour over top. Use a spatula to fold in the flour until just combined.

Making Basque burnt cheesecake batter

5. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan and bake in the oven for 50-60 minutes until the top is deeply golden (resembling a burnt top), the cake has puffed up and the centre is still jiggly.

6. Let cool in the pan for 40 minutes then remove from the springform pan and let cool completely on a wire. Carefully peel off the parchment paper, cut into slices and enjoy!

Basque burnt cheesecake

Like Sabrina’s Basque burnt cheesecake? Try her matcha and raspberry mochi doughnuts or chocolate PB skillet cookie.

All products featured on Food Network Canada are independently selected by our editors. For more products handpicked by our editorial team, visit Food Network Canada’s Amazon storefront. However, when you buy through links in this article or on our storefront, we earn an affiliate commission.

Tiffany Pratt’s Top Tips for Giving Bakeries New Life

We all love freshly baked goods, but who doesn’t love a visual feast to accompany those mouthwatering croissants, cookies, and sky-high stacked deli sandwiches? HGTV Canada designer (and everyone’s favourite Queen of Pink) Tiffany Pratt gets it, which is why she’s here to help struggling bakery owners with her new series Project Bakeover. In each episode she teams with master chocolatier Steve Hodge to give new life to rundown places, tackling one bakery at a time.

Headshot of Tiffany Pratt smiling on the set of Project Bakeover

Of course, resto-design is something that Pratt is passionate about, having transformed numerous GTA eateries in the past. We sat down with the designer to pick her creative brain on what it takes to give any bakery (or restaurant for that matter) a whole new visual life.

Related: Gorgeous Restaurant Designs By Tiffany Pratt

Attract Customers at the Curb

Before a customer even walks into your establishment, it’s important to set the tone and mood with plenty of curb appeal. Go for a warm and welcoming vibe that gives patrons an idea of what they can expect when they step inside. “The space being welcoming doesn’t start when you walk in the door, it starts before you actually walk through the door, on the sidewalk from the street,” says Tiffany. “Create impact to get people inside. How I do that is with colour and shapes and textures and prints.”

Whether that’s a bright façade, a watercolour fence, or graffiti on the walls remains up to you, just make sure that it stands out and that it speaks to the vibe you’re going for.

Embrace What Makes Your Business Unique

Nothing gets customers more excited than knowing they have the option to try something new, even when you’re talking about the comfort fare featured at most bakeries. In terms of design, Tiffany says that means looking at different shapes, colours and textures that stand out and alert people that what you have going on at your space is unique and special. Of course, adding a different type of food or a daily special doesn’t hurt either. “It’s really about giving people an experience,” Tiffany adds.

See More: Mrs. Joy’s Gets a Dramatic Makeover

Maximize the Takeout Experience

These days with takeout being more necessary than ever, it’s a chance for eateries to appeal to customers on a whole new level. Because let’s face it: everyone could use a little more joy in their lives, and what’s more joyful than feeling like your regular old Tuesday night takeout is an entire experience?

“I’ve had a few people that, instead of having a door, they just did a temporary cloud window, and made it a fun little pickup window,” Pratt says. “Cafes that I’ve designed turned their diner into one of those 1950s drive-in style places. And they actually did it so that people didn’t even have to leave their cars. They brought their food outside, drive-in style. There are so many fun ways to package things.”

Put Care Into Packaging

Speaking of takeout and delivery, Tiffany says it’s just as important to think about how you package your food as it is to think about how you design your space. Because that takeout is travelling away from your eatery, with every potential to bring new and returning customers back. “We focus less on what the space looks like right now as how the food is packaged,” she explains. “How can we take pictures of this fun takeout food? This comes into the conversation about branding and stickers and bags and logos, because if people can’t go into the restaurant or the bakery, they still want an experience.”

Related: Watch Full Episodes of Project Bakeover

Take Your Clientele Into Consideration

When Tiffany designed the dining room at Piano Piano, she knew that customers would be sitting down to a long and lengthy meal—as you do at nice Italian restaurants. Add in the fact that some meals would be heavy, and she wanted to ensure that people would be more than comfortable for extended periods of time. The designer says that taking the menu and clientele into consideration when designing any space is super important, and it’s one of the first conversations she has.

“I’ll say to myself as a designer, ‘OK, well, this is the food, this is what people are expecting.’ And then what can I do that is unexpected that no one has done yet that would make more people come here instead of anywhere else?” she explains.

Create An Overall Vibe

Whatever vibe you create with your eatery’s exterior, be sure to continue that feeling on the inside. Tiffany says that she always brings samples back to the spot itself in order to see how natural light affects her selections, and then she creates her famous colour combos in order to evoke all those feelings.

“Combining colours for me is about how I want the person who’s sitting in the space to feel,” she says, pointing to her dusty pink, teal, blue and mustard yellow design at Café Cancan as an example. “I just felt like that was making a more masculine clientele feel happy by that deep teal. The orange is very playful, but the pink always no matter who you are, makes everyone feel cozy,” she adds.

See More: Explore Bakeries From Project Bakeover

 

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A post shared by Café Cancan (@cafecancanto)

Don’t Forget the Instagram Crowd

These days everything is visual, and customers who are inspired to take a photo of your space to share with their social media crew creates a great opportunity for more publicity. Tiffany always ensures that she has such a space in her designs, whether that’s a fun dresser by the restrooms with inexpensive props, a colourful wall, or fun accessories on the tables.

“My favourite is to have something else to take pictures of. That’s what everybody—influencer or not—gets excited about,” Pratt says. “This is a very visual culture that we live in. If we give people beautiful things to experience, to try, and to look at and take pictures of, that becomes a trifecta of the commercial bakery industry, in my opinion.”

Last But Not Least, Don’t Focus on Perfection

Looking ahead, Tiffany predicts waste-free design trends with less expensive finishes. She also thinks people will continue to be excited by colour and things that spark joy and creativity. But she also says that we’re learning to be more forgiving with ourselves, and that extends to design as well.

“We have to be less attached to perfection and doing things perfectly and spending tons of money on things,” she says. “Often just opening the doors and creating great food and creating a fun, inviting atmosphere is more important than anything. Don’t focus on perfection, focus on fun. Focus on creating an environment that people want to be in. That’s the most important thing.”

Watch Project Bakeover Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT. Watch and stream all your favourite Food Network Canada shows through STACKTV with Amazon Prime Video Channels, or with the new Global TV app, live and on-demand when you sign-in with your cable subscription.

The Ultimate Vegan Pizza Recipe with Almond Ricotta Cheese and Coconut Bacon

If you can’t eat dairy or just want to try out a healthier alternative to cheese-laden pizza, then you’re going to love this vegan weeknight dinner recipe. Making your own dairy-free ricotta “cheese” is easy when you use almonds, which pairs perfectly with fresh, zippy basil pesto, marinara sauce and slivered kale. You’ll really impress everyone with the simple homemade crust recipe, but you can always use a pre-made one instead if you don’t have time to make it from scratch. Take your vegan pizza toppings up a notch by trying out coconut “bacon.”  Even if you aren’t vegan or want to share this dairy-free dinner recipe with your friends, you’ll find the savoury and slightly sweet bacon alternative adds the perfect crunch and a unique smoky taste that everyone will love.

Vegan Pizza with Almond Ricotta, Coconut Bacon and Pesto

Prep Time: 40 minutes (add 8 hours to soak nuts for “almond ricotta” recipe below)
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 70 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients:

Almond “Ricotta”:
1 cup slivered blanched almonds
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup water
1/2 small clove of fresh garlic, chopped

Coconut “Bacon”:
2 cups coconut flakes, unsweetened
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil
1 Tbsp tamari
2 tsp maple syrup
1 tsp smoked paprika

Pesto:
1 cup basil leaves
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp hemp seeds or pine nuts
1 tsp lemon juice
1 small garlic clove, minced
Sea salt and pepper, to taste

Homemade Pizza Crust:
1 packet rapid rise yeast (or 2 tsp of baker’s yeast)
1 cup warm water
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 1/2 cups spelt flour or whole wheat flour

Additional Ingredients:
2 cups green kale, chopped finely
2 cups marinara sauce

Directions:

Almond “Ricotta”:
1. Place the almonds in a bowl and cover with water so the nuts are fully submerged.
2. Place on the counter and let sit overnight. Alternatively,  soak the almonds early in the morning and then finish the rest of the steps later in the evening. You’ll want the nuts to soak for 8 hours.
3. After the nuts have soaked, drain them out of the water and rinse off.
4. Place the rinsed off nuts, lemon juice, sea salt, 1/2 cup of water, and garlic in the food processor. Blend for a few minutes until the mixture is smooth and creamy. You can scrape the mixture down the sides of the food processor to make sure it blends evenly.
5. Pour the blended almond mixture into a bowl and store in the fridge until ready to use.

Coconut “Bacon”:
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
2. Toss together the ingredients so the coconut is evenly coated in the oil, tamari, maple syrup, and smoked paprika.
3. Spread out onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
4. Bake for 5 minutes, check and stir around. Make sure to keep your eye on the coconut so that it doesn’t burn (it can go from fine to burnt really quickly).
5. Once the coconut is beginning to crisp on the edges, remove from the oven.
6. Let it cool for 5 minutes before removing from the baking sheet.


Pesto:
1. Rinse off the basil well and make sure to dry it with a paper towel or tea towel.
2. Add all of the ingredients to the food processor and blend for 30 seconds to a minute, until everything is finely chopped.
3. Add sea salt and pepper to your taste preference.

Homemade Pizza Crust:
1. In a large bowl, mix the packet of yeast in warm water and stir for 1 minute until dissolved.
2. Add in the olive oil and flour. Using your hands, knead the dough until a smooth ball forms. Add extra flour to the bowl if the dough is too sticky.
3. Cover the bowl with a towel and let sit on the countertop for 15 minutes.
4. Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
5. If you’d like to make 2 pizzas, divide the dough in half to make 2 balls.
6. You’ll need to roll out the ball of dough to make a circular crust. The best way to do this is by placing a large piece of parchment paper on the counter. Sprinkle some flour over top. Then place the dough in the center. Place a second sheet of parchment paper over top. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough out into a circular shape. Then carefully pull off the piece of parchment paper that’s on top.
7. Poke a few holes in the crust with a fork.
8. Slide or lift the piece of parchment paper with the crust on it onto a large baking sheet.
9. Bake for 5 minutes.
10. Remove from the oven and keep on the baking sheet.

Pizza Assembly:
1. Preheat oven to 375ºF.
2. Spread the marinara sauce out evenly over top of the crust.
3. Sprinkle the chopped kale over top of the sauce.
4. Add dollops of the almond ricotta cheese and pesto.
5. Bake for 15 minutes until the kale is cooked.
6. Remove the pizza from the oven. Sprinkle the coconut “bacon” over top.
7. Serve immediately by slicing into pieces.

As showcased above, making your own vegan cheese is easier than it seems. For another crave-worthy option, check out this Herbed Cashew Ricotta Cheese recipe.

pink beet pancakes with fruit on top

These Easy Pink Beet Pancakes Are the Perfect Valentine’s Day Breakfast

With Valentine’s Day falling on a Sunday this year and everyone cozied up at home, waking up to a fresh stack of pancakes is a must. These pretty in pink pancakes use a roasted beet puree to give them a naturally vibrant hue, meaning no artificial colouring whatsoever. The beets add a touch of sweetness as well, so the kids will love them too. OK — maybe just don’t tell them breakfast has vegetables!

pink beet pancakes with fruit on top

Pink Beet Pancakes

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients:

⅓ cup pureed roasted beets (2 beets)
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 pinch fine salt
3 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 large egg, whisked
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 cup whole milk (can substitute oat or soy milk)
Butter or oil, for cooking
Fresh berries, for serving
Maple syrup, for serving

pink beet pancake ingredients

Directions:

1. To prepare the beets for the pancakes, simply wrap 2 beets tightly in foil and roast them at 400°F for 50 to 60 minutes. Once cooled, peel and puree until smooth! Add a touch of water to the blender or food processor if necessary. This step can be done in advance.

pink beet pancake puree in food processor

2. In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Create a well in the centre.

3. Add the egg, pureed beets, vanilla, melted butter and milk. Whisk until the batter just comes together, a few lumps are okay.

pink beet pancake batter

4. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat and add a touch of butter. Swirl it around the pan to evenly coat the whole surface. Pour in a scoop (about ⅓ cup) of batter. Cook until the top begins to bubble, about 2 to 3 minutes. Flip and cook for an additional minute, until both sides are golden brown.

Related: Valentine’s Day Cookies That’ll Make Your Heart Skip a Beat

5. Repeat until no batter remains, coating the pan with a touch of butter each time. Stack cooked pancakes onto a serving plate. Garnish with fresh berries and a drizzle of maple syrup!

Like Marcella’s pink beet pancakes? Try her cinnamon streusel muffins or s’mores butter tarts.

Whiskey and green tea cocktail

Whiskey, Green Tea + Honey = The Only Cocktail Recipe You’ll Ever Need

My father used to drink blended whiskey with a pre-made green tea as an aperitif to dinner. I will always remember him giving me a little sip despite my mother running towards us in the background. It is a very nostalgic, typical Chinese businessman drink. This That’s the Spirit version has beautiful blended Scotch, whisked matcha tea, honey and soda. It is a refreshing cocktail suited for any occasion.

Whiskey and green tea cocktail

Tea and Honey Cocktail

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Rest Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:

3 large slices of ginger
¼ cup + 4 Tbsp water, divided
½ cup honey
1 ½ oz blended Scotch
1 oz matcha tea
½ oz lemon juice (approximately ¼ lemon)
Soda
Ice for shaking
Candied ginger and lemon wheel for garnish

Whiskey and green tea cocktail ingredients

Directions:

1. In a blender, combine ginger slices, ¼ cup water and honey. Pulse two or three times and then blend on low for 20 to 30 seconds until ginger is broken down. Let mixture sit for about a half hour.

2. Strain out solids through a colander or strainer into a non-reactive container. Recipe can remain in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Related: Celebrate Lunar New Year With These Must-Have Chinese Kitchen Tools

3. In a bowl, add matcha tea and 4 Tbsp water. Whisk until bubbly and all powder is dissolved.

4. In a shaker tin, add blended Scotch whiskey, ginger-honey mixture, matcha tea and lemon. Add enough ice to cover the liquid, plus a little bit more. Cover the other side of the shaker tin and shake vigorously for 10 to 15 seconds until well chilled.

Green tea mixture being poured into shaker

5. Strain the contents of shaker tin into a tall Collins glass. Fill glass with ice and top with soda. Garnish with lemon wheel and candied ginger slice. Enjoy immediately!

Like Evelyn’s tea and honey cocktail? Try her non-alcoholic winter colada or her apple spruce gimlet cocktail.

Molly Yeh’s Zucchini Pizza With Fresh Pesto Will Be Your New Go-To Pie

Our all-time favourite Girl Meets Farm recipes often include Molly Yeh’s healthier comfort food classics – think bagel salads and chicken shawarma – and this mouth-watering zucchini-forward pizza is no exception. Whether you’re looking for a hearty lunch or family-friendly dinner main, this pie is a slice of pizza heaven.

Make use of all that luscious basil and mint growing in your indoor herb garden by combining it with toasted pine nuts, garlic, crushed red pepper, zucchini and cheese for a meal you’ll want to eat on repeat. Find more tips and recipes with our ultimate herb guide.

Related: Molly Yeh’s One-Pot Wonder Taco Hot Dish

Molly Yeh’s Zucchini Pizza With Basil Mint Pesto

Total Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes
Yields: 4 servings

Ingredients

Pizza Dough:
500 grams (3 1/4 cups) all-purpose flour
2 tsp fine sea salt
1/4 tsp active dry yeast

Pizza Toppings:
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
4 cloves garlic
1/2 cup fresh basil, plus more for serving
1/2 cup fresh mint
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper, plus more for serving
1 lemon, halved
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan, plus more for serving
1/2 cup olive oil
All-purpose flour, for dusting
1/2 lb fresh mozzarella, torn
1 small or 1/2 large (6 ounces) zucchini, cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices

Related: Molly Yeh’s Flaky Dill Bread: The Perfect Use for Leftover Herbs

Molly Yeh's Zucchini Pizza with Fresh Basil Mint Pesto

Directions

1. For the pizza dough: Mix together the flour, salt and yeast in a bowl, then stir in 350 grams (1 1/2 cups) water until combined. Cover with plastic wrap and put it down for an 18- to 24-hour nap at room temperature until it’s doubled in sized and bubbling.

2. For the pizza toppings: Preheat the grill with a pizza stone over medium-high heat. (If you don’t have a pizza stone, you can use a baking sheet.)

3. Combine the pine nuts, garlic, basil, mint, crushed red pepper, juice of half a lemon, 1/4 teaspoon salt, a few turns of black pepper and the Parmesan in a food processor and pulse to a coarse crumb. With the processor running, drizzle in the olive oil and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasonings as desired.

4. Divide the pizza dough in half. On a floured pizza peel or baking sheet, flatten out one half of the dough into a 10- to 11-inch round. Spread with a thin layer of the pesto and top with half of the mozzarella. Bring it out to the grill. Grill the zucchini and remaining lemon half on the grates until charred, a few minutes. Add half the zucchini to the pizza and slide it onto the pizza stone. Close the grill and cook until the bottom is browned and cheese is melty, 6 to 9 minutes. Drizzle with more pesto, squeeze with juice from the charred lemon and add more Parmesan, crushed red pepper and basil and serve.

5. Repeat with the other half of the pizza dough and ingredients.

Related: The Best Homemade Pizza Recipes (Including Dough From Scratch)

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Watch the how-to video here:


 

Mochi doughnuts on wire cooling rack

These Vibrant Matcha and Raspberry Mochi Doughnuts Require Just 10 Ingredients

These Baking Therapy matcha and raspberry mochi doughnuts are fun, playful and super easy to make. They’re made with glutinous rice flour (also called sweet rice flour) which gives them their unique texture: crispy on the outside and soft and chewy inside. Dip them in your favourite glaze (matcha or raspberry!) or toss them in sugar.

Mochi doughnuts on wire cooling rack

Matcha and Raspberry Mochi Doughnuts

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Rest Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 to 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 25 minutes
Servings: 8 doughnuts

Ingredients:

Doughnuts
2 cups glutinous rice flour
⅓ cup granulated sugar
1 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 egg
½ cup + 2 Tbsp warm water
Vegetable oil for frying

Matcha Glaze
1 cup icing sugar
½ tsp matcha
2 Tbsp milk

Raspberry Glaze
1 cup frozen raspberries
1 cup icing sugar

Mochi doughnuts ingredients on kitchen counter

Directions:

1. In a large bowl, whisk together glutinous rice flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Create a well in the centre and set aside.

2. Whisk the egg with the water and pour into the centre of the flour mixture. With a spatula, mix until a dough forms. Knead with your hands until the dough is soft and slightly tacky, about 5-8 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm area for 30 minutes.

Mochi doughnuts dough in glass bowl

3. In a heavy bottom saucepan, heat 4 inches of oil to about 375°F. Cut and lightly grease 4-inch x 4-inch parchment paper squares.

4. Transfer the dough to a clean surface. Divide into 8 portions, roughly 65 g each and roll into round balls. Further divide each ball into 8 more portions. Roll the dough into round balls.

Mochi doughnut dough cut into eight pieces

5. Arrange the 8 balls in a ring, resembling a doughnut, making sure the balls are touching each other. They will relax and fuse to one another. Repeat with the remaining dough.

Mochi doughnut dough, formed and ready to be fried

6. Using a spider or slotted spoon, carefully place the doughnuts and parchment paper into the hot oil. After about 20-30 seconds, the doughnut will rise, gently remove the parchment paper backing and continue to fry for 4-6 minutes per side until lightly golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Mochi doughnuts on wire cooling rack

7. For the matcha icing, whisk together the icing sugar, matcha and milk until desired consistency. For the raspberry icing, create a puree by cooking down the frozen raspberry over medium-high heat, about 5 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve. Whisk together the icing sugar and 5-6 tsp of puree until desired consistency.

Related: Best Baking Recipes From Food Network Canada’s Sweet Treat Queen

8. Dip each doughnut into the icing and let set at room temperature.

Mochi doughnuts on wire cooling rack

Like Sabrina’s mochi doughnuts? Try her chocolate peanut butter skillet cookie or her baked Alaskas.