All posts by Marcella DiLonardo

Marcella DiLonardo, also known as “modest marce,” is a recipe developer, photographer and stylist. She is the creator of the blog Hey Modest Marce and author of the cookbook Bake the Seasons (Penguin Canada, 2019). She focuses on creating simple and seasonal recipes, putting a modern twist on the classics. Follow her over at @modestmarce to see her latest culinary creations.
Marcella DiLeonardo's strawberry rhubarb spritzer

Savour the Best of the Season With This Strawberry Rhubarb Gin Spritzer

Marcella DiLeonardo's strawberry rhubarb spritzer

Strawberry Rhubarb Gin Spritzer

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4

Related: Melon Frosé Sangria is Made for Warm Summer Nights

Marcella DiLeonardo's strawberry rhubarb spritz ingredient shot

Strawberry rhubarb pie in a cocktail? Yes please! This That’s the Spirit cocktail is a sweet-and-sour-lover’s dream. It features freshly picked local strawberries and vibrant pink garden rhubarb. However, if you only have frozen fruit on hand, that works too. Just adjust the honey based on the sweetness of the strawberries. Lastly, don’t throw away the leftover fruit compote, enjoy it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or mixed into your morning yogurt. Cheers!

Ingredients:

1 tsp lemon zest
½ cup fresh or frozen rhubarb, diced
1 cup fresh or frozen strawberries, diced
2 tbsp honey
1 pinch salt
¾ cup water
4 oz gin, divided
Sparkling water, to finish
Sliced lemon, to garnish

Strawberry rhubarb compote

Directions:

  1.     To a saucepan over medium heat add the lemon zest, rhubarb, strawberries, honey, salt and water. Stir to combine. Bring to a simmer and let cook for 10 minutes, until the fruit breaks down.

  1.     Using a fine mesh sieve, strain mixture to release the syrup. Set aside in a glass jar until ready to use. This syrup can be made up to a week in advance. 
  2.     Fill 4 cocktail glasses with ice. Evenly divide the syrup and gin amongst the glasses. Top with a splash of soda water, garnish with lemon and serve!

Related: Melon Frosé Sangria is Made for Warm Summer Nights

Vegan Nashville hot chicken sandwich on bun

This Vegan Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich Tastes Just Like the Real Thing!

With this Can You Vegan It? recipe, I’m turning everyone’s favourite spicy chicken sandwich into a vegan-friendly dish. What makes the Nashville hot chicken sandwich unique is that it is deep-fried to maximum crispiness and then dipped in a spicy hot oil mixture. To make this easy for the home cook, I’m pan frying the sandwich twice (vs. deep-frying it). Once to cook throughout and once to coat in a mixture of spices. Instead of traditional chicken breast, this sandwich features extra-firm tofu as the protein. Be sure to press out any excess moisture from the tofu before getting started.

Vegan Nashville hot chicken sandwich on bun

Vegan Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4 sandwiches

Ingredients:

1 pound extra-firm tofu, pressed
2 to 3 dashes of hot sauce
½ cup vegan egg substitute (if vegetarian, use traditional eggs)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup panko bread crumbs
Salt and pepper
½ cup canola or vegetable oil, for frying
1 Tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp smoked paprika
4 sesame buns
Vegan mayonnaise
Bread and butter pickles
Shredded lettuce

Vegan Nashville hot chicken sandwich ingredients on countertop

Directions:

1. Slice the block of tofu into 4 equally sized patties. Add a few dashes of hot sauce to the egg substitute mixture. Put the flour in it’s own bowl and the panko in it’s own bowl. Season the egg substitute mixture, as well as the flour and panko with salt and pepper to taste.

Related: You’ll Never Guess the Secret Ingredient in This Vegan Steak Recipe

2. Dip each tofu patty in the flour, followed by the egg substitute, followed by the panko bread crumbs. Set aside until ready to fry.
When ready to fry, heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Once oil is hot, cook patties for 2 minutes on each side, until crispy and golden.

Tofu for vegan Nashville hot chicken sandwich being coated in panko

3. Turn heat off and whisk brown sugar, cayenne pepper, garlic powder and paprika into the pan. Fry the patties once more over low to medium heat until coated, about 15 seconds. Once you remove them from the pan, drain any excess oil onto a paper towel or two.

Vegan Nashville hot chicken sandwich being cooked in pan

4. Slather buns with mayonnaise and add patty. Top with pickles and lettuce. Enjoy!

Person holding vegan Nashville hot chicken sandwich

Like Marcella’s vegan Nashville hot chicken sandwich? Try her vegan egg salad recipe or her vegan eggnog.

The Healthy Loaded Oatmeal Cookie You’re Meant to Eat for Breakfast

Cookies for breakfast? You heard us right. Think of these healthy baked goods as chewy (portable) granola, sweetened with maple syrup and packed with wholesome ingredients, like chia seeds and walnuts. The cookies are also gluten-free – the batter uses oat flour instead of all-purpose, but you’d never know it!

Don’t have oat flour on hand? Make your own by grinding whole oats in a food processor until the mixture resembles a flour consistency. Just be sure to measure the oat flour after you grind it, not before. To turn this recipe into a dairy-free breakfast, simply substitute the butter with equal parts coconut oil. Pairing these cookies with your morning coffee will make everything that much sweeter.

Related: Healthy High-Protein Oatmeal, Dressed Up 3 Delicious Ways

Gluten-Free Breakfast Oat Cookies

Prep Time: 18 minutes
Chill Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 12 cookies

Ingredients:

½ cup unsalted butter, melted
½ cup dark brown sugar, packed
¼ cup maple syrup
1 large egg, room temperature
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 ½ cups gluten-free old fashioned oats
1 cup gluten-free oat flour
1 Tbsp chia seeds
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¾ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp fine salt
¼ cup dried cranberries
¼ cup walnuts, roughly chopped
¼ cup pumpkin seeds

Related: Green Banana Flour is Here to Stay, And This Pancake Recipe Proves It

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the butter, sugar, maple syrup, egg and vanilla until well blended.

3. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the oats, oat flour, chia seeds, cinnamon, baking powder and salt until combined.

4. Fold in the cranberries, walnuts and pumpkin seeds.

Related: 3-Ingredient Breakfasts That Will Make Mornings a Breeze

5. Using a large ice cream scoop, evenly divide mixture into 12 rounds. Let chill in the freezer for 15 minutes.

6. Transfer dough to a prepared baking sheet and press each round to flatten.

7. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the edges are golden brown.

8. Let cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

For more inspiration, here are our best high-protein breakfast recipes, the only make-ahead breakfast ideas you need, and a look into what healthy people eat for breakfast.

Crispy potatoes in white bowl on kitchen countertop

Use Leftover Potatoes to Make This Internet-Famous Crispy Potatoes Recipe

Because the best kind of potatoes are the really, really crispy kind, it is no wonder these potatoes are taking TikTok by storm. The additional step of boiling the potatoes prior to roasting them yields a perfectly textured interior with an extremely crispy and golden exterior. A great way to use up those leftover boiled potatoes you intended to mash or that 10 pound bag on the brink of going bad. I highly recommend using avocado oil for this Love Your Leftovers recipe due to its high smoke point, but olive oil works too. Season them as you please, but I am sticking with my mix of garlic, oregano and smoked paprika. Bonus: you only need a handful of ingredients!

Crispy potatoes in white bowl on kitchen countertop

Crispy Potatoes

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40-45 minutes
Total Time: 50-55 minutes
Servings: 2

Ingredients:

2 lbs (6 to 8) Yukon gold or red potatoes, peeled and quartered
⅓ cup avocado oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp dried oregano (can substitute rosemary or thyme)
1 tsp smoked paprika
Flaked salt and pepper, to taste
Fresh parsley, finely chopped

Crispy potato ingredients on kitchen countertop

Directions:

1. If you don’t have leftover boiled potatoes: place potatoes in large pot and fill with cold water. Season generously with salt. Bring to a boil and continue cooking until potatoes are fork tender, about 10 minutes.

2. Strain potatoes and give them a toss to rough up the edges. Let stand for 10 minutes while you preheat the oven to 450°F degrees.

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

3. Transfer potatoes to a baking sheet. Drizzle with avocado oil. Sprinkle with garlic, oregano, paprika, salt and pepper. Toss to evenly coat. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, until crispy and golden.

Crispy potatoes on baking tray

4. Transfer to a plate and garnish with parsley. Serve immediately.

Like Marcella’s crispy potatoes recipe? Try her cinnamon pinwheel cookies (made with leftover pie dough!) or her vegan egg salad.

Save That Leftover Pie Dough and Make These Cinnamon Pinwheel Cookies!

Several pie crust recipes yield enough dough for the top and bottom of a pie, but not all pies require both. When you find yourself with leftover pie dough, don’t let it go to waste. Turn it into a new dessert with this Love Your Leftovers cinnamon pinwheel cookie recipe. They’re simple to make and are so good that you might just find yourself going out of your way to have “leftover” pie dough. We’ve forever changed your what to do with leftover pie crust dilemma.

Leftover Pie Dough Cinnamon Pinwheel Cookies

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Bake Time: 12 to 15 minutes
Total Time: 27 to 30 minutes
Servings: 12 pinwheel cookies

Ingredients:

½ batch pie crust, chilled
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
¼ cup light brown sugar, packed
1 tsp ground cinnamon
Pinch fine salt

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. On a lightly floured surface, roll pie dough into a 12 by 8 inch rectangle.

3. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together butter, sugar, cinnamon and salt until well blended.

Related: Start Your Morning on a Sweet Note With These Gooey Cinnamon Buns

4. Spread the prepared filling evenly over dough. Tightly roll the dough, beginning from the 12 inch side. Press the seam to seal. Trim and discard the ends, about ½ inch on each side. Cut log into ¼ inch thick slices and transfer to prepared baking sheet.

5. Refrigerate for 15 minutes to chill. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until edges begin to brown.

Like Marcella’s cinnamon pinwheel cookies? Try her leftover turkey pizza recipe or her pink beet pancakes.

Published April 30, 2020, Updated March 23, 2021

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.

Vegan egg salad on baguette

This One Ingredient Will Change Your Vegan Recipes Forever (Plus a Vegan Egg Salad Recipe!)

Kala namak AKA black salt is the secret ingredient to many vegan recipes. It is a kiln-fired rock salt with a similar texture to a pink Himalayan salt, but with a strong hard-boiled egg flavour. Often used in South Asian cooking, it is the perfect way to add egg flavour to any eggless dish. It is amazing in this Can You Vegan It? egg salad sandwich recipe — serve it between two slices of your favourite bread or on a toasted sourdough baguette (my preference!).

Black salt

Vegan Egg Salad

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4 sandwiches

Vegan egg salad on baguette

Ingredients:

16 ounces medium or firm tofu, pressed
¼ cup celery, finely chopped
¼ cup chives or green onion, thinly sliced
¼ cup vegan mayonnaise, store-bought or homemade
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
¼ tsp turmeric
½ teaspoon kala namak
Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
Sourdough baguette, for serving

Vegan egg salad ingredients

Directions:

1. Press the tofu before using to drain out any excess liquids and ensure it soaks up the ingredients.

Tofu chopped up on cutting board

2. In a mixing bowl, toss together the tofu, celery and green onion. Set aside.

Vegan egg salad mixed in bowl

3. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, mustard, lemon juice, turmeric, kala namak and pepper.

Related: Healthy Vegan Snack Ideas Featuring 10 Ingredients or Less

4. Pour mixture over tofu and toss to coat. Scoop mixture over bread, garnish with chives and enjoy!

Vegan egg salad mixed in bowl

Like Marcella’s vegan egg salad recipe? Try her vegan eggnog recipe or her six different recipes from one humble can of tomatoes.

Leftover turkey pizza

The Best Leftover Turkey Recipe You’ll Ever Need (We Promise!)

We’re sure you’ve come across a lot of ways to use up leftover turkey, but what about a recipe that uses ALL the holiday leftovers? Introducing the Love Your Leftovers holiday pizza! You will never need — or want — to find another holiday leftovers recipe again. You might even find yourself roasting up a turkey just to make this delicious pizza. For the carbs portion, feel free to use any leftover carb you have available, like roasted potatoes, mashed potatoes or stuffing. Add the cranberry sauce and Brussels sprouts and you’re good to go!

Leftover turkey pizza cut up on counter

Leftover Turkey Pizza Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 to 18 minutes
Total Time: 25 to 28 minutes

Ingredients:

1 lb pizza dough, store-bought or homemade
Olive oil, for brushing
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup leftover turkey, pulled or diced (Not a fan of turkey, but have leftover ham or leftover rotisserie chicken? They both work too!)
½ cup mashed potatoes, roasted potatoes or stuffing
½ cup cranberry sauce
½ cup roasted Brussels sprouts, thinly sliced

Leftover turkey pizza ingredients

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Place pizza stone in the oven. Divide dough into two equal portions. Stretch and roll out dough to desired thickness.

Person kneading pizza dough

2. Generously brush the dough with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a pizza paddle.

Related: Delicious Uses for Leftover Mashed Potatoes

3. Dollop with ricotta cheese. Top with turkey, potatoes, cranberry sauce and Brussels sprouts.

Leftover turkey pizza

4. Slide pizza onto the heated stone and bake until the crust is golden, about 15 to 18 minutes. Enjoy!

Leftover turkey pizza

Like Marcella’s leftover turkey pizza recipe? Try her vegan eggnog or her cinnamon streusel muffins.

bowl of stew with sourdough toast

One Humble Can of Tomatoes, Six Different Meals to Remember

As the weather turns cooler and we spend more time cozied up indoors, we often turn to our pantry to see what simple recipe we can whip up for a weeknight dinner. From pureed to chopped to strained, tomatoes are something I always have on hand as they can be used in endless ways. Here are six recipes you can make with a humble can of tomatoes.

Shakshuka

Shakshuka is a tomato-based dish that consists of poaching eggs in a spicy sauce. You can make it in 30 minutes with just a few simple ingredients. Start by sautéing garlic, diced onion and sliced red bell pepper in olive oil. Add your chopped tomatoes, paprika, cumin and chili powder. Let simmer for 10 minutes before cracking in the eggs. Cover with lid and poach the eggs until the whites are cooked, but yolk is soft. Garnish with crumbled feta cheese and fresh parsley.
shakshuka in a cast iron pan

Sloppy Joes

Have a can of tomatoes and ground meat in the freezer? Grab yourself some fresh buns and make sloppy Joes! A childhood favourite of mine, sloppy Joes consist of simmering together ground meat — beef, pork, chicken or turkey — as well as tomato sauce, onion, garlic, brown sugar and Worcestershire sauce. You can sneak in a few extra veggies if you’d like too. Serve the mixture on a bun.

bun with sloppy Joe mixture on black plate

White Bean and Tomato Stew

This stew consists of simmering white beans in tomato sauce, along with chicken stock, garlic, onion, celery, thyme and red pepper flakes. It is loaded with flavour and can be served a number of ways: over steamed rice, on sourdough toast or with pasta simmered right into the stew. Serve with lots of freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

bowl of stew with toast

Pizza Sauce

One of the most popular uses for canned tomatoes is homemade pizza sauce. We make a lot of pizza at home — and I prefer homemade sauce to the store-bought option, as you can control the flavours. It is so easy to make and requires no heating. Just stir together the tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper. You’ll be wondering why you didn’t always make your own sauce.

two slices of square pizza on a black plate

Salsa

Almost as easy as pizza sauce, you can turn a can of tomatoes into fresh restaurant style salsa. To a food processor: add tomatoes, green pepper (optional), fresh cilantro, onion, jalapeno, lime juice, garlic, salt and pepper. Pulse until the salsa is as smooth or chunky as you prefer. Open a bag of tortilla chips and dip, dip, dip away!

grey plate with tortilla chips and bowl of homemade salsa

Chili

The perfect hearty meal on a brisk fall or snowy winter day is — hands down — chili! You can add pretty much anything you like, be it lots of vegetables or just beans, ground meat, tomatoes and spices (chili powder, paprika, cumin and coriander). I like to include onions, celery, carrots and red and green peppers in my classic chili recipe.

chili in a white bowl

Want to cook with more pantry staples? Here is one humble can of chickpeas, six different ways and one can of black beans, six ways.

This Vegan Eggnog Recipe is So Good It’ll Impress All the Non-Vegans Too

Because it isn’t the holiday season without a cup of boozy eggnog, I’m serving up a vegan twist on this staple winter drink. This version is not only dairy free, it’s gluten- and egg-free too! The eggnog gets its delicious creaminess from canned coconut milk (don’t use the boxed variety) — and is naturally sweetened with maple syrup. Serve this warm on a snowy day or chilled over ice, whichever you prefer. For a kid-friendly option, just omit the bourbon or rum. Cheers!

Ingredients:

2 14-oz cans full-fat coconut milk
1 ½ cups unsweetened almond milk
½ cup pure maple syrup
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 pinch fine salt
½ cup bourbon or spiced rum
Coconut whip, for serving

Related: 20 Vegan Holiday Entrées You’ve Never Tried Before

Vegan eggnog ingredients

Directions:

1. In a saucepan over low heat, add the coconut milk, almond milk, maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla and salt. Whisk until combined. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.

Vegan eggnog in pot

2. Remove from heat and pour mixture through a fine mesh strainer to ensure it is smooth. Stir in bourbon.

Related: 12 Must-Try Fall Cocktails to Give Thanks for This Autumn

3. Serve warm with a dollop of coconut whip and a pinch of nutmeg. To serve chilled, transfer mixture to a glass serving pitcher and refrigerate until ready to serve. When ready to serve, fill a glass with ice, add eggnog, a dollop of coconut whip and a pinch of nutmeg.

Vegan eggnog in two glasses

Like Marcella’s vegan eggnog? Try your hand at her winter greens mac and cheese or her sausage, apple and sage-stuffed acorn squash recipe!

We’re Falling for This Sausage, Apple and Sage-Stuffed Acorn Squash Recipe

As the fall approaches and the summer heat comes to an end, the hearty comfort food cravings strike! This recipe is as cozy as it gets and hits all the fall must-haves: roasted acorn squash stuffed with sweet apple and a spicy sausage filling. Loaded with flavour, it is perfect for a small Thanksgiving gathering side dish, but easy enough for a weeknight supper. If you aren’t a fan of spice, simply substitute the sausage with a mild Italian or honey garlic variety.

Sausage, Apple and Sage-Stuffed Acorn Squash

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 60 minutes
Servings: 4 to 6

Ingredients:

2 medium or 3 small acorn squashes, halved and seeded
4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, diced
½ pound ground spicy Italian sausage
1 tsp dried sage
½ tsp dried thyme
1 apple, diced
1 cup panko bread crumbs (unseasoned)
½ cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the squash halves on a baking sheet, flesh side up. Drizzle with 2 Tbsp of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Roast for 30 minutes, until tender.

2. As the squash roasts, prepare the filling. In a skillet over medium heat, add the remaining olive oil, garlic, onion and celery. Cook until the onions begin to turn translucent, about 5 minutes.

3. Add the sausage, sage and thyme. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until the sausage is browned and cooked throughout, about 5 minutes.

Related: The Ultimate Squash Guide: All the Varieties and Their Best Uses

4. Stir in the apple, bread crumbs and parmesan. Remove from heat and set aside until ready to use.

5. Once squash is ready, evenly divide the mixture amongst the roasted squash halves. Place back in the oven & bake for an additional 20 minutes. Enjoy!

Like Marcella’s acorn squash recipe? Try her winter greens mac and cheese or make-ahead French toast bake.

How to Make Your Own Butter and Buttermilk (Plus a Cornbread Recipe!)

I’m sure many of you have made your own cornbread from scratch, but have you ever made this tasty dish using homemade buttermilk and homemade butter? Two commonly store-bought items are so simple to make at home. Yes, if you’re wondering how to make butter and how to make buttermilk, it’s as easy as two ingredients each. Once you’re done whipping those up, use them in this simple one-bowl cornbread recipe. It’s a great base to stir in any extra flavours you want, like spices, bacon, jalapenos and cheese!

Homemade Buttermilk

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp lemon juice or white vinegar
1 cup whole milk

Directions:

1. Add vinegar to a measuring cup and pour in milk. Stir and let rest for 5 minutes.

Homemade Butter

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream
Salt, to taste

Directions:

1. In a stand mixer, add the whipping cream. Starting on low speed and increasing to medium, whisk cream until the mixture breaks, about 5 minutes. Once the mixture has solidified, pour off the liquid and transfer butter to a mixing bowl. Rinse with ice water and squeeze to remove any additional liquid. Season with salt.

Related: Which Pie Are You, According to Your Zodiac Sign?

Simple Cornbread

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Bake Time: 20 to 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 to 35 minutes

Ingredients:

½ cup unsalted butter, melted
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 ½ cups buttermilk
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole-grain medium-grind cornmeal
2 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp cracked black pepper

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9-inch cast iron skillet with butter.

2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the butter, sugar, buttermilk and eggs until well blended. Add in the flour, cornmeal, baking soda, salt and pepper. Stir until ingredients come together.

3. Transfer to skillet and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool slightly before slicing and serving!

Like Marcella’s butter, buttermilk and cornbread? Try her cinnamon streusel muffins and s’mores butter tarts.

This is the Right Way to Freeze Vegetables and Fresh Herbs

Whether you stocked up on too many fresh vegetables at the market or your summer vegetable garden is growing wild, I am here to show you how to properly freeze your vegetables and herbs. There are a few simple steps you have to take to ensure they will stay vibrant, fresh and full of flavour. It will also give them a much longer shelf life than if you just placed the veggies and herbs straight into the freezer. Just be sure to use ripe produce. OK — let’s get freezing!

Related: Can I Freeze This? How to Freeze Fruit, Cheese, Leftovers and More

Step 1: Chop Vegetables and Herbs

If you’re planning to use the veggies or herbs straight from the freezer as a side dish or stirred right into your pot or pan, I recommend chopping them into bite-sized pieces first.

Step 2: Blanch Vegetables

Blanching is an important step to freezing fresh vegetables as it will stop enzyme actions that result in a loss of colour and flavour. This will also clean the vegetables. This step is not required for herbs. To blanch, simply bring a pot of lightly salted water to a boil and drop in the vegetables for 2 to 4 minutes. The timing will depend on the type of vegetable being blanched. For example broccoli and asparagus will be on the shorter end, whereas carrots will take a bit longer.

Related: Time for a Pasta Maker? (And 9 Other Kitchen Essentials You Deserve Right Now)

Step 3: Shock Vegetables

Once the vegetables are blanched, immediately strain and submerge them into an ice bath. This will halt the cooking process so the vegetables do not cook any further and it’ll keep them vibrant. This step is not required for herbs.

Step 4: Dry and Portion Vegetables and Herbs

Strain the vegetables from the ice bath and transfer them onto a kitchen towel to dry. Place them on a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze for 60 minutes. Portion them into desired freezer bags and label with the packaged date. Transfer back to the freezer and use when needed! Vegetables will stay fresh for up to 12 months. For herbs, transfer them to an ice cube tray and fill with water. This way they are ready to go for soups, sauces and stews.

Related: The Ultimate Herb Guide: Varieties and Best Uses

Looking for more sanity-saving kitchen tips? Here’s how to organize your Tupperware drawer once and for all, plus the best way to prevent freezer burn for good.

One Humble Can of Black Beans, Six Different Meals to Remember

With summer in full swing, grab a can of black beans from your pantry and make these six super simple recipes for your next barbecue night. Black beans are loaded with nutrients and are oh-so versatile. From grilled black bean burgers to a seasonal black bean salad, I am sharing a variety of recipes you can create with a humble can of beans. Just be sure to rinse and drain the can of beans before using to remove any excess liquid or sodium. OK — here we go!

Related: One Humble Can of Chickpeas, Six Different Meals to Remember

Spicy Black Bean Nachos
Nachos are the ultimate snack food: you can keep them as simple as you’d like or load them up with ingredients and flavour. Next time you whip up a skillet of nachos, try sprinkling them with smoked cheddar cheese, diced corn, black beans, taco seasoned ground meat (optional) and sliced jalapeños. Don’t forget to serve them with a side of salsa, guacamole and/or sour cream for dipping.

Black Beans and Rice
Rice is a staple side dish for just about any meal, but instead of serving plain white rice, why don’t we jazz it up a little bit? Mix steamed rice with black beans, olive oil, grated garlic, chopped cilantro and fresh lime juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste. This will pair wonderfully with grilled chicken, pork or beef.

Fried Egg With Black Beans and Toast
This quick toast is one of my go-to recipes for breakfast or an afternoon snack. A fried egg served with pureed black beans, diced tomatoes and cilantro. Serve over a taco shell or slice of toast.

Related: The Tastiest Things You Can Put on Toast (That Isn’t Avocado)

Black Bean and Corn Salad
Nothing says barbecue season like a colourful bean salad. It can be made a day ahead of time and travels really well for a picnic in the park. This one features black beans as the base with diced tomatoes, diced corn, minced red onion, grated garlic, olive oil and freshly squeezed lime juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Black Bean Burger
In my house, burgers are on high rotation during the summer months. If you are looking to reduce your meat intake, turn a can of black beans into homemade veggie burgers! You can mash just about any flavour into these burgers. Start by sautéing minced garlic, onion and peppers until softened. Add them to a food processor with a can of black beans, cup of panko bread crumbs, two eggs, barbecue sauce, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. For extra flavour, add paprika, cumin and a pinch of cayenne. Pulse until mixture comes together and shape into patties. Chill for 30 minutes to firm before pan frying or grilling.

Related: These Vegan Burger Recipes are Perfect for Grilling Season

Black Bean Dip
Turn a can of black beans into a flavourful summer dip to serve with tortilla chips. To make, simply blend a can of black beans with minced garlic, olive oil, jalapeño (seeds removed), cumin, fresh lime juice, salt and pepper. Add a splash of water until desired consistency is reached. Garnish with tomato, mango or corn salsa if desired.

Want to cook with more pantry staples? These canned salmon recipes and tortilla recipes might do the trick!

Celebrate Summertime With These Creative S’mores Butter Tarts

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

S’mores Butter Tarts Recipe

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

Ingredients:

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

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

Directions:

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

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

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

Related: Our Best Great Canadian Butter Tart Recipes

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

Filling
1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.

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

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

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

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

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

This Mint and Lemon Pearl Couscous Salad is What Every Dinner Table Needs

Looking for something simple and fresh to make this season? Look no further! This vibrant couscous salad utilizes the freshness of mint, citrus and cucumber, as well as pearl couscous. This grain is also called Israeli couscous and is similar to regular couscous, but is much larger in size and yields a chewier texture. However, if you have quinoa or regular couscous in the pantry, that will do the trick.

Mint and Lemon Pearl Couscous Salad

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4 to 6

Ingredients:

5 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 ½ cups pearl couscous (Israeli couscous)
2 cups low-sodium chicken stock, store bought or homemade
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 medium shallot, minced
1 Tbsp lemon zest
2 Tbsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
2 Tbsp fresh mint, finely chopped
½ cucumber, diced
½ cup crumbled feta or goat cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

1. In a saucepan over medium heat, add 2 Tbsp of olive oil and the couscous. Continuously stirring, cook until couscous is lightly toasted.

2. Add the chicken stock and bring to a gentle simmer. Cover with lid and let cook until liquid is absorbed, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a mixing bowl and let cool slightly.

3. To the mixing bowl, add the remaining olive oil, garlic, shallot, lemon zest, lemon juice, mint, cucumber and feta. Season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine.

Want more recipes you can whip up quickly? This simple miso chicken and this salad with tuna both come together in a flash!

The Whole Family Will Jump Right out of Bed for These Cinnamon Streusel Muffins

Love the smell and flavour of cinnamon? Then these muffins — a moist yogurt-based vanilla cake with a crumbly cinnamon streusel — are for you. But, wait! There isn’t just a topping of streusel. There’s also a hidden layer inside each muffin to ensure you get a hint of cinnamon in each bite. This recipe will work with both plain or vanilla Greek yogurt, but I highly recommend using the full fat variety for maximum flavour. If the aroma of these muffins cooking doesn’t get you out of bed in the morning, we don’t know what will.

Cinnamon Streusel Muffins

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Bake Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 12 muffins

Ingredients:

Muffins
¾ cups unsalted butter, melted
¾ cups light brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt

Streusel
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup light brown sugar, packed
½ tsp ground cinnamon
Pinch fine salt
¼ cup unsalted butter, cold and cubed

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a muffin tray with 12 liners.

2. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the melted butter and brown sugar. Whisk in the eggs, vanilla and yogurt until well blended.

3. Sift in the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Stir until ingredients come together.

4. Scoop a heaping Tbsp of the batter into each muffin liner.

Related: Start Your Morning on a Sweet Note With These Gooey Cinnamon Buns

5. For the streusel: in a medium mixing bowl, add the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. Stir to combine. Using your hands, work in the butter until a crumb mixture is formed.

6. On top of the batter already in the muffin tray, sprinkle with a heaping tsp of the streusel mixture.

7. Divide the remaining batter on top of the 12 muffins, followed by the remaining streusel mixture.

8. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Tip: Drizzle with vanilla glaze if desired! To make the vanilla glaze, simply whisk together 1 cup powdered sugar, 1 Tbsp cream and 1 tsp vanilla extract until smooth. If mixture appears thick, add more cream. If mixture appears thin, add more powdered sugar.

Love this muffin recipe? These lemon meringue cupcakes and matcha and white chocolate oat muffins will surely satisfy too.

One Humble Can of Chickpeas, Six Different Meals to Remember

Beans are not only one of the most versatile pantry ingredients, they offer a variety of health benefits, too! Chickpeas in particular are rich in vitamins, minerals and fibre. Aside from turning that can of chickpeas hiding in your pantry into homemade hummus, here are six ways you can incorporate them into a healthy snack or meal. Be sure to rinse and drain the chickpeas before using them to remove any excess sodium. OK — here we go!

Chickpea Pasta
I grew up eating chickpeas in pasta, so this dish is one of my favourite quick dinners to whip up! It adds a serving of protein and fibre to an otherwise carb-heavy dish, which will keep you fuelled for longer. To make: simply simmer the chickpeas in marinara sauce (store-bought or homemade) until slightly softened, about 15 minutes. Put it on top of the pasta of your choice and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

Related: The Best-Ever Pasta Recipes for Easy Dinners

Roasted Chickpeas
Roasted chickpeas make for a filling and healthy afternoon snack. You can toss them in any flavours or herbs you favour. My favourite flavour is everything bagel with a hint of garlic, but feel free to use any spices you already have on hand (onion powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, dried herbs, etc). To make: toss the chickpeas in extra-virgin olive oil and desired seasoning. Roast at 400°F for 30 to 35 minutes, until crispy. Enjoy them as is or add to a salad.

Salad With Chickpeas
Chickpeas are a great alternative to diced chicken on salads as it adds a plant-based protein, but they also work as a gluten-free substitute for croutons. Prepare your favourite mixture of vegetables and top with a handful of chickpeas. For additional crunch and flavour, try adding leftover roasted chickpeas.

Related: 70+ Chickpea Recipes to Make Your Heart Happy

Chickpea Salad Sandwich
This recipe is a twist on a tuna salad sandwich. It is great on its own or served between two slices of toasted bread. To make: add one can of rinsed chickpeas to a mixing bowl and mash slightly with a fork. Toss with mayo (regular or vegan), dijon mustard, diced celery, minced shallots, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Make a big batch and enjoy over several days for lunch.

Chickpeas and Eggs
For this quick morning breakfast, you can scramble the chickpeas right into the eggs or top the scrambled eggs with roasted chickpeas. If you have additional ingredients on hand such as cheese, spinach, tomato or roasted red pepper, try scrambling those in with your eggs and chickpeas too.

Related: The Most Creative Ways to Cook With Eggs

Chickpea-Stuffed Red Peppers
For this recipe, the red peppers can be stuffed with just about anything you have on hand including herbs, cheese and grains. I like to start with a base of chickpeas and quinoa, tossed with olive oil, parsley, crumbled feta, shallots and lemon. To make: hollow out each red pepper and stuff with filling. Bake at 400°F for 20 to 25 minutes, until the filling is warmed throughout and the pepper has softened.

Want to cook with more pantry staples? These canned salmon recipes and tortilla recipes might do the trick!

These Matcha and White Chocolate Oat Muffins Will Help Makeover Your Breakfast Routine

These are not your average breakfast oat muffins. They incorporate an unexpected (and vibrant) ingredient: matcha powder! Hailing from Japan, matcha is a finely ground powder of pure green tea leaves. It can be easily located in health food stores or online. In this recipe, the earthiness from the matcha pairs perfectly with the sweetness from the white chocolate. Your breakfast won’t be so average anymore.

Matcha and White Chocolate Oat Muffins

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Bake Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 12 muffins

Ingredients:

1 ½ tsp quality matcha powder
1 Tbsp boiling water
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup plain or vanilla yogurt
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp fine salt
¼ tsp ground ginger
1 cup quality white chocolate, roughly chopped

Related: Guilt-Free Paleo Carrot Cupcakes with Cashew “Cream Cheese” Frosting

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 12-tin muffin tray with liners.

2. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together matcha and water until the matcha is fully dissolved.

3. In a separate large mixing bowl, whisk together the butter, sugar, eggs, yogurt, vanilla and add in the matcha mixture until well blended.

4. Stir in the oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and ginger until smooth. Fold in the chocolate.

5. Using a large ice cream scoop, evenly divide mixture amongst the prepared muffin tray.

6. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes, until the muffins bounce back to touch.

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

Don’t let the muffin fun stop there! Try these pumpkin, feta and sage muffins, plus these 50 best muffins recipes that will make you love baking.

Irresistible Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream and Smoked Salt

The combination of chocolate and peanut butter will forever be a classic, but the addition of smoked salt takes these cupcakes to a new level. A childhood favourite, reinvented. The cupcakes feature a peanut butter base with a rich chocolate buttercream piped mile high. To find the flaked smoked salt, visit the spices section in your grocery store. Biting into one of these decadent beauties just might become the sweetest part of your week.

Related: 25 Sinful Chocolate Desserts That Are Worth the Indulgence

Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream and Smoked Salt

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Bake Time:
20 minutes
Total Time:
45 minutes
Serves: 12 cupcakes

Ingredients:

Cake Batter 
½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
⅓ cup natural peanut butter, smooth
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 large egg, room temperature
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour, sifted
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp fine salt
¾ cup whole milk

Frosting
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3 to 4 cups powdered sugar, or to taste
½ cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
¼ tsp fine salt
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
¼ cup whipping cream, cold
Smoked flaked salt, for sprinkling

Related: The Only Oatmeal Cookie Recipes You Need in Your Life

Directions:

Cake Batter
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line a 12 tin cupcake tray with liners.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, peanut butter and sugar.

3. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract until well combined.

4. Sift in the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

5. Turn the mixer to low speed and slowly add the milk. Turn mixture to medium speed and beat until fluffy, about 2 minutes.

6. Using a large ice cream scoop, evenly divide mixture among the prepared cupcake tray.

7. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the tops bounce back to touch. Let cool completely before frosting.

Related: How to Melt and Temper Chocolate for Perfect Candy Making

Frosting
1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the butter, powdered sugar, cocoa powder, salt and vanilla. Beat until well combined, about 2 minutes.

2. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the whipping cream. Beat until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.

3. Transfer frosting to a large piping bag fitted with a star tip. Pipe cupcake as desired and finish with a sprinkle of salt. These are best enjoyed within 24 hours!

For more cakey, frosting goodness try Molly Yeh’s Carrot Cake with Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting or Anna Olson’s Very Best Cupcake Recipes.