All posts by Michelle Rabin

Michelle is a Toronto-based food stylist and recipe developer. When she is not in the kitchen, which is almost never, you can find her doing ceramics or biking. Her favourite food is simply soft scrambled eggs.
Cauliflower Crust

3 Healthy New Ways to Eat Cauliflower Crust (That Aren’t Pizza)

Cauliflower crust has become the latest craze as a pizza base. Everywhere you turn, cooks are swapping out the carb-heavy, flour-based crust for a nutrient-rich, naturally gluten-free cauliflower mixture. There’s no need to stop the party at pizzas though. The vegetable-based crust is incredibly versatile, and can be used in all sorts of delicious applications, well beyond your typical slice.

We take the new, health-driven crust and create savoury tarts, quiches and pot pies with it. Forget about rising times and intimidating dough recipes, cauliflower crust is here to save the day, deliciously.

Cauliflower-Crust-Tart-1

Classic Cauliflower Crust

Keep this master recipe on hand for all of your cauliflower crust needs.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Makes: 1 Cauliflower Crust

Ingredients:
1 head cauliflower
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp salt

Directions:
1. Cut cauliflower into florets, discard tough core and pulse florets in a food processor until it resembles the size of a small grain (like rice).
2. Steam cauliflower “grain” in a steam basket or fine-mesh sieve until tender, about 5 minutes.
3. Using cheesecloth or a clean kitchen towel, ring any excess liquid out of cauliflower. Discard liquid.
4. Add rung cauliflower to a large bowl and mix in mozzarella, eggs and salt.
5. Use as directed in recipes (below).

Zucchini and Ricotta Tart with Cauliflower Crust
On a large rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper, spread 1 recipe Cauliflower Crust (recipe above) into a 1-inch-thick rectangle. Bake at 400ºF, until mixture is cooked though and beginning to turn golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from oven. Spread 1 cup ricotta cheese over baked cauliflower crust, leaving a 1-inch border around the edge. Top with thinly sliced zucchini and halved cherry tomatoes. Drizzle with a touch of olive oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Return tart to oven and bake until zucchini is cooked through and crust is golden brown, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and garnish with fresh herbs of choice. Slice and serve. Serves 4.

Cauliflower-Pot-Pie-1

Cauliflower Crust Muffin Tin Quiche
Grease a 6-cup muffin tin with butter or oil. Press 2 to 3 Tbsp Cauliflower Crust (recipe above) into a bowl shape, up the sides of each muffin cup, until an even layer is formed (this is the “pastry shell”). Bake at 400ºF for 15 minutes, until baked through and beginning to brown. Reserve. In a large bowl, mix to combine 2 large eggs, 1/2 cup grated cheese of choice and 1/2 cup whole milk. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Divide egg mixture among baked cauliflower crust shells. Bake for an additional 20 minutes, or until filling is puffed and cooked through. Cool for 5 minutes in pan. Remove quiches from muffin tin by running a sharp knife around edges. Garnish with fresh thyme and serve. Serves 6.

cauliflower-pot-pie

Miniature Cauliflower Crust Pot Pies
Preheat oven to 400ºF. Divide your favourite chili, pot pie or stew recipe into 6 medium ovenproof ramekins, leaving a 1-inch space at the top for crust. Add 1/4 cup Cauliflower Crust (recipe above) over each ramekin of chili, pot pie or stew. Smooth tops by gently packing the mixture down. Sprinkle crust with 1 Tbsp grated Parmesan or Cheddar. Bake until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbling, about 20 minutes. Serve warm. Serves 6.

Kick cauliflower up a notch and explore the vegetable’s crispier, spicier side with these vegan cauliflower “fish” tacos, complete with avocado crema.

Spaghetti Squash Fritters

3 Delicious New Ways to Eat Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti squash is known for being the healthy alternative to carb-heavy pasta, but it can take on more than its traditional garnish of tomato sauce and meatballs. Spaghetti squash also happens to be a rockstar ingredient that can be used in a variety of fresh, inventive ways. From a sweet slice to a salad topper to a snack-sized fritter, check out these three creative recipes that champion spaghetti squash as the hero, all without a meatball in sight.

Cooking Tip: Microwave, steam or bake spaghetti squash until tender before you start the following recipes.

 

Squash-Salad Topper

Middle Eastern Spaghetti Squash Salad or Sandwich Topper
Mix 1 cup cooked squash with 1/4 cup almond meal, 1 tsp ground cumin and a few pinches of salt. Use to top a salad or layer onto your favourite sandwich for a healthy, nutrient-packed vegetarian meal. Serve warm or chilled. Serves 1 to 2.

Squash-Fritters-1

Spaghetti Squash Fritters
Mix 1 cup cooked spaghetti squash with 1 large egg and 1/4 all-purpose flour. Stir in 2 Tbsp Parmesan cheese and 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley. In a non-stick skillet over medium, heat a knob of butter. Cook batter in batches, like pancakes, until browned on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. Serve warm with Greek yogurt and fresh lime. Serves 1 to 2.

Spaghetti Squash Quick Bread
Give zucchini bread a break and whip up this cozy, spiced loaf for a subtly sweet breakfast or teatime treat.

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Bake Time: 1 hour
Cooling Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
Makes: 1 loaf

Ingredients:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened, more for pan
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp orange zest
2 large eggs
2 cups cooked spaghetti squash
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 tsp baking soda
2 cups flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup whole or chopped pecans

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease a standard loaf pan with a bit of butter.
2. In a large bowl, cream butter, sugar and orange zest together until light and fluffy. Add eggs and continue to beat until mixture is combined.
3. In a separate large bowl, mix together squash, yogurt and baking soda. Stir squash mixture into butter mixture.
4. In a medium bowl, mix to combine flour, cinnamon and salt. Stir flour mixture into butter and squash mixture until just until combined. Transfer batter to prepared loaf pan and evenly top with pecans. Bake for 55 minutes to 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Slice and serve.

From breakfast to dinner, discover a dozen more ways to use magical, healthy spaghetti squash in your favourite meals. 

honey-lime-chicken

Make This Super-Juicy BBQ Chicken Before Summer Turns to Fall

Chicken on the barbecue is hands down one of the easiest and tastiest meals grilling season brings. But as summer nears its end, it can be hard to make this staple shine with fresh, new flavours. Luckily, this recipe gives a bright and refreshing twist to the standard chicken dinner. Finish off your chicken on the grill with a honey-lime glaze and then get even more into the groove of summer by serving it with one of these seasonal, fruity and fresh salsas.

honey-lime-grilled-chicken

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: about 30 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients:
4 chicken breast or 6 chicken thighs (skin on or off, boneless or bone-in)
Salt and pepper
Olive oil
1/2 cup honey
Zest of 1 lime
Juice of 1 lime
1 Tbsp soy sauce
Fresh lime and cilantro for garnish

Directions:
1. Preheat grill to medium high.
2. Season chicken with salt, pepper and olive oil
3. In a small bowl mix honey, lime zest, lime juice and soy sauce.
4. Place chicken on the grill, skin side down if using skin-on pieces.
5. Once chicken is golden, flip and continue to grill on the other side until chicken is almost cooked through, about 10-15 minutes depending on cut and whether bone is in.
6. Brush grilled side with honey-lime mixture. Close cover. Continue to brush every 2 minutes until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken reads 160°
7. Serve chicken with lime wedges, cilantro and fresh fruit salsa.

chicken-lime-grilled--salsa-1

Pineapple, Orange and Cumin salsa
Heat 1 tablespoon of cumin in a dry pan set over medium-high heat. Once fragrant and toasted, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1/4 cup of thinly sliced red onion. When onions are soft, add 2 tablespoons of orange marmalade and stir. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add 2 cups of chopped fresh pineapple. Stir to combine and season with salt and pepper. Makes about 2 cups.

Mango Salsa
Combine 1 diced mango with 1/2 cup each of diced red pepper and cucumber. Add in 2 finely sliced scallions, the juice and zest of 1 lime and then season with salt and pepper. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with fresh cilantro. Makes about 2 cups.

salsa-2

Peach and Avocado Salsa
Dice 2 peaches, 1 avocado and 1 small tomato. Mix together with fresh lemon juice and 3 tablespoons of fresh basil. Season with salt and pepper. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Looking for more ideas? Try our 12 Tantalizing Grilled Chicken Thigh Recipes.

Pesto

5 Pesto Recipes to Preserve That Garden-Fresh Flavour

It’s the end of summer, and gardens around the country are overflowing with beautiful, aromatic herbs. While this bountiful news is very welcome for flavour-craving home cooks, it can also be a little daunting. One can only garnish so many pizzas with fresh basil, and there’s a limit to the amount of tacos one can top with cilantro. But don’t let those gorgeous greens go to waste; instead, make pesto.

From classic basil-pine nut to a more modern kale-walnut creation, there are countless pesto possibilities and combinations to inspire new dishes and brighten up old favourites.

5-pestos-summer

Classic Basil Pesto
In a food processor, blend 2 cups packed fresh basil, 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, 1/3 cup toasted pine nuts, 2 minced garlic cloves, 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil and salt, to taste. Continue to blend until a thick, green paste forms.

 Parsley and Pistachio Pesto
In a food processor, blend 1 1/2 cups packed fresh parsley leaves, 1/2 cup chopped fresh chives, 1/3 cup pistachios, 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese, 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil and salt, to taste. Continue to blend until a thick, green paste forms.

Cilantro, Mint and Pumpkin Seed Pesto
In a food processor, blend 1 cup packed fresh cilantro (including tender stems), 1 cup packed fresh mint leaves, 1/2 cup toasted unsalted pumpkin seeds, 1/3 sliced green onion, the zest and juice of 1 lime, 1 tsp ground cumin, 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil and salt, to taste. Continue to blend until a thick, green paste forms.

Arugula and Almond Pesto
In a food processor, blend 2 cups packed baby arugula, 1/2 cup toasted almonds, zest and juice of 1 lemon, 1 minced garlic clove, 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil and salt, to taste. Continue to blend until a thick, green paste forms.

kale-pesto

Kale and Walnut Pesto
In a food processor, blend 11/2 cups packed green kale leaves including ribs, tough ends discarded, 1/2 cup packed fresh parsley leaves, 1/2 cup Asiago cheese, 1/3 cup toasted walnuts, 1 minced garlic clove, 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil and salt, to taste. Continue to blend until a thick, green paste forms.

How To Store Pesto
Store pesto airtight in the refrigerator with a thin layer of olive oil over top to avoid oxidation and preserve that vibrant green colour. Or, spoon into an ice cube tray and freeze; pop out pesto “ice cubes” and store in a zip-top bag for portioned use throughout the fall and winter.

How To Enjoy Your Resh Pesto
– Mix pesto with your favourite vinegar to create an herbaceous salad dressing
– Mix pesto with mayonnaise to create a herby dipping sauce for kebabs, vegetables and chips
– Spread pesto onto sandwiches, burger buns or avocado toast
– Dress warm or cold pasta with pesto for a vibrant pasta dinner or lunchtime pasta salad
– Add a pop of freshness to soups and stews with a dollop of pesto on top
– Mix pesto with cream cheese for a fresh bagel topper
– Mix pesto into quiches, frittatas or spoon into omelettes

While you have the food processor out, try your hand at a few more pesto variations.

Fruit Bruschetta

Fresh, Fruity Bruschetta to Sweeten Your Summer

Bruschetta is a crunchy Italian appetizer that celebrates summertime tomatoes, fresh basil, garlic and olive oil, all of which is spooned over crispy, toasted bread. With all of that goodness packed into one bite, it’s no wonder it’s so popular!

While tomatoes are lovely, the concept of bruschetta is open to interpretation. Instead of the standard tomatoes, we put some of summer’s best stone fruit in the spotlight, creating three scrumptious, tomato-free bruschetta using peaches, cherries and apricots. Enjoy one, two or all three of these sweet-meets-savoury creations for a bright, stunningly beautiful alternative to typical tomatoes.

peach-bruschetta

Peach and Radish Bruschetta
Thinly slice 2 ripe peaches and place in a medium bowl with 2 thinly sliced radishes, 1 Tbsp thinly sliced green onion and 2 Tbsp fresh cilantro leaves. Toss in 1 Tbsp olive oil and 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Mix and let peach mixture stand for 10 minutes. Garnish toasted crostini with peach mixture and serve immediately. Makes 8 to 10.

cherry-bruschetta

Cherry and Chive Bruschetta
Pit and slice 2 cups cherries and place in a medium bowl with 1/4 cup minced fresh chives, 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar and 1 Tbsp olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Mix and let cherry mixture stand for 10 minutes. Smear extra-smooth ricotta on toasted crostini and top with cherry mixture, spooning over residual cherry juices. Serve immediately. Makes 8 to 10.

Apricot-Basil

Apricot and Basil Bruschetta
Slice 2 cups ripe apricots and place in a medium bowl with 1/4 cup sliced red onion and 1/4 cup finely chopped basil. In a small bowl whisk 1 Tbsp white wine vinegar with 2 Tbsp apricot jam and microwave for 30 seconds. Toss apricot mixture with jam mixture and let stand for 10 minutes. Top toasted crostini with apricot mixture and garnish with crumbled feta. Serve immediately. Makes 8 to 10.

Don’t get us wrong, we still love tomatoes! Here are our finest fresh tomato recipes for summertime and beyond.

bbq corn on the cob

5 Insanely Tasty Ways to Top Corn on the Cob

When the heat of summer hits and its bounty finally brings sweet corn, there’s no better way to celebrate than by throwing some ears on the grill.

Eating corn right off the cob is so satisfying and the smokiness from the grill only adds to the depth of flavour to these sweet ears. Most people dress their corn the classic way, slathering on butter and salt before gnawing away. But grilled corn on the cob is basically a blank canvas, perfect for adding flavours and toppings.

This summer, skip the butter and get creative with one of these five ways to top your cobs.

bbq corn on the cob

Middle Eastern
Spread with a little butter then add Za’atar, a Middle Eastern spice blend. Top with feta cheese and a squeeze of lemon.

Maple Mustard
Mix equal parts grainy mustard and maple syrup to make corn on the cob that begs to be served with ribs.

Everything Bagel
If you are reminiscing about breakfast, test out this recipe that mimics the best bagel flavour out there. Give your corn a good smear of either butter or cream cheese and sprinkle with equal parts dehydrated onions, poppy seeds and sesame seeds.

bbq corn on the cob

Korean Spice
Add a bit of Korean flare to your corn on the cob by drizzling mayonnaise and gochujang, a sweet-and-savoury Korean condiment, over the corn. Sprinkle with sliced green onion and toasted sesame seeds.

Cacio y Pepe
Italians know that the best way to top their pasta is simply with butter, Parmesan, salt and pepper. Adopt the Italian mentality, but apply it to corn. Slather your cob with butter, then sprinkle liberally with finely grated Parmesan cheese. Finally, season with fresh ground pepper and a pinch of salt.

Can’t get enough summer corn? Try these 40 Fresh Corn Recipes.

Watermelon-Fattoush-Salad-feature-image

3 Delicious Ways to Use All That Leftover Watermelon

There is nothing better than a cold, crisp slice of watermelon on a hot sunny day. Biting into sweet, refreshing fruit that leaves juice dripping down your face is one of the quintessential moments of summer.

Unless you’re having a seed spitting contest, chances are, you won’t eat the whole melon in one sitting. Watermelon loses its fresh texture when it’s been in the fridge for a few days, getting soft and mealy. To make the most of this seasonal melon, you’ll need to think beyond the standard wedge. Don’t feel burdened by this extra large fruit; instead, try one of these recipes to savour those watermelon leftovers.

Watermelon Fattoush

Watermelon Fattoush Salad
Watermelon and feta salad is old news. Replace it with this fresh and flavourful summer salad. Drizzle pita with olive oil and za’atar and toast until crisp. Break the pita into bite-size crackers. If you don’t have za’atar, just use some sesame seeds and salt. Cube watermelon into 1-inch chunks and toss with sliced cucumber and some finely sliced red onion. Mix the pita, onion, cucumber and melon together with some parsley leaves. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Slice halloumi cheese into 1/2-inch slices. Grill it over high heat until crisp and then top the salad with it.

watermelon basil lemonade

Watermelon Basil Lemonade
Muddle 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves with 1/3 cup sugar and 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice. Blend 3 cups watermelon with 1 1/2 cups cold water. Pour through a fine-mesh strainer and transfer to pitcher. Mix in the basil and lemon mixture. Pour over ice and garnish with fresh basil, lemon and lime slices.

watermelon pops

Watermelon Kefir and Kiwi Popsicles
Blend two cups of chopped watermelon with 1 cup kefir, the juice of one lime and 1 tablespoon of honey. Slice 2 kiwis into 1/4-inch slices. Divide kiwis into 6 popsicles molds and then pour in the watermelon mixture to fill. Place in freezer until frozen through, about 4 hours.

Looking for more marvelous melon? Try these Refreshing Watermelon Recipes.

Butter Tart Doughnuts

Treat Yourself With Canadian Butter Tart Doughnuts

We love Canada, so there’s no reason not to inject some of our classic recipes with a little extra patriotism. In this dessert, we (literally) inject light, fluffy, yeasted doughnuts with a gooey butter tart filling. This recipe celebrates our love of Canada, our love of doughnuts and our love of our classic Canadian dessert, the butter tart.

Butter Tart Doughnuts

Prep Time: 40 minutes
Rising Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Makes: 12 to 14 doughnuts

Ingredients:
Dough:
1 cup 2% milk
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 (8 g) pkg quick-rise instant yeast
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 large egg, beaten
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
Oil for frying (amount depends on size of pot)

Filling:
1/2 brown sugar
1/4 golden corn syrup
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt

Assembly:
1/2 cup icing sugar

Butter Tart Doughnuts

Directions:

Dough:
1. In a small saucepan, heat milk over low until temperature is slightly warmer than room temperature (should feel comfortable to touch). Stir in sugar and pour into the bowl of a stand-mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment. Sprinkle yeast over warm milk mixture and set aside until foamy bubbles appear on the surface, about 10 minutes.
2. After yeast is foamy, beat in butter, egg, vanilla and salt until smooth. Add in flour and beat on medium-high speed until a smooth dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl cleanly and climbs the dough hook, about 5 minutes.
3. Form dough into a ball and place in a well-oiled bowl. Cover with a dish towel and place in a warm place until dough doubles in size, about 1 hour.
4. Prepare a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Roll out dough onto a lightly floured surface until ¾-inch thick. Using a floured 3-inch round cutter, press into dough and twist to release dough from sticking to cutter. Place dough rounds on the prepared baking sheet. Reroll dough scraps one at a time and repeat. Cover dough rounds with kitchen towel and set aside in a warm place until dough doubles in size, about 1 hour.
5. Prepare a baking sheet lined with a few layers of paper towel. Pour enough oil into a large pot until 3- to 4-inches deep. Set pot with a clip-on thermometer and heat until temperature reaches 350ºF. Adjust heat to maintain 350ºF temperature.
6. Working in batches of 3 or 4, fry doughnuts until golden, about 1 minute per side, for a total of about 2 minutes. Using a spider or slotted spoon, carefully transfer fried doughnuts to prepared baking sheet. Cool.

Filling:
1. Combine all filling ingredients in a double boiler. Heat over high while stirring until mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes. Place mixture in the refrigerator until chilled, about 2 hours.

Assembly:
1. Transfer chilled filling into a piping bag. Poke a hole in the side of one doughnut using the back of a wooden spoon until you reach the centre of the doughnut. Pipe filling into doughnut. Repeat with remaining doughnuts.
2. Dust doughnuts with icing sugar before serving.

Looking for more tasty recipes? Try these 20 Great Canadian Butter Tart Recipes.

Great Canadian Burger

Get Ready To Taste The Great Canadian Burger

This weekend, celebrate Canada’s extra-special birthday with a big, bold burger. Wildly delicious, moose is a lean meat endless in versatility. And this recipe brings the majestic animal out of the woods and onto your barbecue in the tastiest way possible. The key to juicy moose is to mix it with Alberta beef before it hits the grill. Slather in wild blueberry and red onion jam for a crave-worthy-burger that’ll make you proud to be Canadian.

Great Canadian Burger

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients:
1 Tbsp butter
1 cup thinly sliced red onion
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp wild blueberry jam
1 lb(s) ground moose meat
1/2 lb(s) medium ground beef
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
4 ciabatta buns
1/4 cup full-fat Greek yogurt
1 cup baby arugula, lightly packed

Directions:
1. Heat butter in a small pan over medium. Add in red onion and cook until soft and fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add in vinegar and continue to cook for another 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Stir in blueberry jam and simmer for 5 minutes or until mixture is thick.
2. Combine moose meat, ground beef and salt in a bowl. Divide meat into 4 portions and form patties using your hands. Pack tightly, but do not overwork meat.
3. Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium-high. Add in oil and gently place burgers down. Cook until a golden brown crust forms, about 4 minutes per side.
4. Cut ciabatta buns in half. Smear 1 Tbsp of Greek yogurt on to the bottom of each bun. Place burger on top of yogurt. Divide onion jam among burgers. Top with arugula and close with top bun.

Watch this Burger Edition of You Gotta Eat Here! where host John Catucci enjoys some of the craziest burgers out there.

You’ll Love Every Single Layer of This Nanaimo Bar Trifle

Transform the ultra Canadian dessert into an impressive party pleaser. This recipe takes the flavours of Nanaimo bars — coconut, chocolate and vanilla custard — and layers them into a decadent, drool-worthy trifle. We make it over the top with layers of chocolate wafer cookies and topping it off with whipped cream. Literally dig right into this deep-dish dessert of inspired by a classic Canadian square.

nanaimo-trifle1

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Serves: 8

Ingredients:

Chocolate Cake:
1 box chocolate cake mix
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

Vanilla Custard:
6 Tbsp Bird’s custard powder
1/2 cup sugar
3 3/4 cups milk

Assembly:
1 cup 35% whipping cream
1 Tbsp sugar
1 cup desiccated sweetened coconut
10 chocolate wafers, crushed

nanaimo-trifle2

Directions:
1. Mix the cake batter according to box directions. Stir in walnuts.
2. Bake in a 9×9-inch baking pan according to package directions. Let cool.
3. In a microwavable bowl, mix custard powder with sugar and milk. Microwave on high for 3 minutes. Whisk mixture until smooth then microwave for another 3 minutes. Whisk again, then let stand for 1 minute. Cover with plastic wrap flush to the custard to avoid a skin. Refrigerate until cool, about 15 minutes.
4. Whip cream to soft peaks and fold in sugar.
5. Remove cake from pan and cut cake into 2-inch chunks. Layer 1/3 of cake pieces in the bottom of a trifle dish, spoon 1/3 of custard over cake pieces, then sprinkle on 1/3 coconut,  then1/3 of chocolate wafer. Repeat twice.
6. Spoon whipped cream on top, and sprinkle with reserved coconut and chocolate wafer.

Looking for more Nanaimo-inspired desserts? Watch these videos for Nanaimo Cheesecake Bars, Nanaimo Ice Cream Cake and Nanaimo Bar Pie.

S'more Pops

Get All the Flavour Sans Campfire with Fudgy S’mores Pops

Toasty, chocolatey s’mores are great for cool summer nights by the campfire. We love the Canadian flavours of graham crackers, chocolate and golden, toasted marshmallows so much that we created a whole new s’mores inspired treat. This one is for hot summer days by the lake or pool. Fudgey, frozen pudding pops are covered with toasted meringue and dipped in graham crumbs to create the ultimate summertime snack when there’s no campfire nearby.

S'more Pudding Pops

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes + 8 hours
Makes: 6 pops

Ingredients:
3 cups prepared chocolate pudding
1 1/2 cups superfine sugar, divided
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 cup water
3 egg whites
1 cup graham cracker crumbs

S'more Pops

Directions:
1. Divide prepared pudding into 6 popsicle moulds. Let freeze for minimum 8 hours.
2. To make the meringue, heat 1 cup sugar, cream of tartar and water over high in a small sauce pan. Let the sugar fully dissolve and the mixture reduce slightly, about 4 minutes
3. Meanwhile, beat egg whites to soft peaks in an electric mixer. Add remaining sugar and whip.
4. While the motor is still running, pour a stream of the sugar mixture into the egg whites along the side of the bowl. Careful not to pour directly into the whisk or the hot sugar mixture with splatter.
5. Whip until peaks are stiff and mixture is cool, about 10 minutes.
6. Place graham crumb in a small bowl.
Place a baking tray in the freezer.
7. Working quickly, spoon meringue on both side of one pudding pop. Using the back of the spoon, make swoosh patterns in meringue coating.
8. Dip the top of the pop into graham crumb to coat the top inch.
Using a kitchen torch, toast both sides of meringue until lightly golden. Avoid torching graham crumb.
9. Place pops on baking sheet set in freezer and repeat with remaining popsicles.
10. Keep in freezer until ready to serve. Or enjoy immediately.

S'more Pops

Craving more s’mores? Try our delectable Nanaimo S’mores.

perfect bbq chicken tips

8 Tips for Making the Best Barbecued Chicken Ever

Chicken is one of this most popular items to grill during BBQ season. When done right, it’s juicy and flavourful, but when done wrong, well… you know. Don’t let obvious mistakes come between you and a delicious chicken dinner. Follow the tips below and get perfectly barbecued chicken every time.

Lemon and Herb Marinated Grilled Chicken Thighs

Get the recipe for Lemon and Herb Marinated Grilled Chicken Thighs

1. Not All Cuts Are Created Equal
Different parts of the chicken cook at different times, making it harder to cook different pieces at once. A good tip to keep in mind is that bone-in chicken cooks slower than boneless and thicker cuts take longer than thin. Whole birds, like summertime favourite, beer can chicken, take the longest. Know your cuts so you can ensure you time it right, and avoid hangry barbecue guests.

2. Don’t Cook Cold Chicken
While it’s important to keep chicken in the fridge for marinating, don’t take it straight from the cold and slap it on the grill. Allow chicken to come to room temperature before you start cooking. This will allow for even cooking throughout.

3. Start With a Good Sear
Searing meat gives beautiful grill marks and adds that mouthwatering barbecue char to chicken. The key to a good sear is dry meat and a hot grill. First, pat the chicken skin with paper towel to take out as much moisture as possible. A super-hot grill allows the chicken to get a good sear and is less likely to stick. If you have thicker cuts, like a bone-in chicken breast, sear on both sides then move to indirect heat until cooked through. Clean and oil the grates before cooking is key to prevent meat sticking and tearing. Chicken is quite delicate. It would be a shame if you lost the beautiful skin to the grill, or tore your meat.

Related: Best BBQ Chicken Marinades

4. Closed for Business
Resist the urge to open the lid over and over to check on your chicken. The barbecue retains heat when the lid is closed and helps cook chicken evenly. The more you open, the more heat will escape.

5. Marinate or Season Ahead
Chicken is like a sponge that absorbs whatever flavours you throw at it. Properly season with salt when the chicken is raw and give it time to absorb the seasoning. Experiment with different marinades and brines. Chicken can be marinated for as little as 30 minutes and up to overnight.

Grilled Chicken Breasts with Spicy Peach Glaze

Get the recipe for Bobby Flay’s Grilled Chicken Breasts with Spicy Peach Glaze

6. Get Saucy at the End
Many BBQ sauces have a high sugar content, especially those sweet, sticky ones. If they’re applied to the chicken too early, they’ll burn on the grill. If you’re looking for the sauce to caramelize onto the chicken, apply 10 minutes before cooking is complete. Add more liberally once it has been taken off the grill.

7. Use a Thermometer
It’s difficult to tell when chicken is cooked by looking or touching it. Use a meat thermometer to avoid the guessing game and get the most accurate results. Chicken should reach a temperature of 160°F when taken off the grill and will continue to rise to 165°F off the grill.

8. Let it Rest
If you cut it right away, you’ll lose all those lovely juices and flavours you’ve locked in! Allow grilled chicken to rest for 10-15 minutes after it has been cooked so that the juices can redistribute throughout the meat, resulting in perfectly juicy chicken breast every time.

spring galette

Say ‘Goodbye’ to Winter with These 5 Springtime Galettes

After a long winter of root veggies, we can’t help but get excited over the beautiful bounty of spring produce nature brings. Asparagus, rhubarb and fresh peas are among the first delights of the season, and that’s a delicious reason to celebrate!

You don’t need to make an elaborate meal to harness the goodness of these spring flavours. A simple galette is an easy and excellent way to make the most of spring. These five, no-fuss recipes will have you and your guests overjoyed to officially say ‘goodbye’ to winter.

Spring pea and leek galette

For The Pastry:

Ingredients:
1 cup flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 cup cold butter, cut into chunks
1 Tbsp white vinegar
2 tsp or more cold water

Directions:
1. In a food processor, mix flours, salt and sugar. Add in butter and pulse until butter is evenly dispersed into pea-size pieces. Add vinegar and pulse. Run the food processor as you add water 1 tsp at a time through the spout on the top. Dough will come together into a smooth ball.
2. Roll out on a floured surface until dough is between 1/4 and 1/2 inch thick. Refer to recipes below for shape.

Leek, Pea and Egg Galette:
Chop 3 leeks into 1/2-inch rounds. Heat 2 Tbsp butter in a large pan. Cook leeks in pan with 1/2 tsp of salt until fragrant but not soft, about 2 minutes. Let cool. Roll out dough into a 12 inch circle. Toss leeks with 1/2 cup freshly shucked peas. Place mixture in the centre of dough leaving a 3-inch border from the edge. Create a 3 inch divot in the center of the mixture. Crack an egg inside the divot. Fold the edges over mixture and brush pastry with heavy cream. Sprinkle fresh thyme and ground pepper over pastry, egg and leeks. Bake on a lined sheet tray in a 400°F oven until pastry is golden brown, about 35 minutes.

spring--asparagus-tart

Asparagus and Lemony Ricotta Galette
Trim 1lb of asparagus and blanch. Roll dough into a 12×8-inch oval. Mix 1 cup of extra smooth ricotta with 1 tsp of lemon zest. Spread mixture into centre of dough leaving a 3-inch border around the edge. Toss blanched asparagus with 1 Tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper. Arrange asparagus spears side by side over ricotta. Fold over edges of dough and brush with heavy cream. Sprinkle 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese over pastry and asparagus. Season with salt and pepper. Bake on a lined sheet tray in a 400°F oven until asparagus is bright green and pastry is golden, about 35 minutes.

Fig and orange galette

Fig and Orange Marmalade Galette
Roll dough into a 12-inch circle. Quarter 3 cups of black mission figs. Microwave 1/4 cup of orange marmalade for 20 seconds. Gently toss figs in marmalade to coat and place in the centre of the circle, 3 inches from the edge. Fold over edges of dough onto figs. Brush dough with heavy cream and sprinkle with 2 Tbsp of turbinado sugar. Place on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment. Bake in a 400°F until pastry is golden, about 35 minutes.

strawberry rhubarb galette

Strawberry Rhubarb Almond Galette
Roll out dough into a 12-inch circle. Mix 1 cup of quartered strawberries with 2 cups of sliced rhubarb, 3 Tbsp granulated sugar, 1/4 cup almond flour, 1 Tbsp of corn starch, and 1/2 tsp salt. Place mixture in the centre of dough leaving a 3-inch border around the edge. Fold over edges and brush with heavy cream. Sprinkle 3 Tbsp sliced hazelnuts over pastry and filling. Bake in a 400°F oven on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment until pastry is golden, about 35 minutes.

pear-galette

Pear, Lavender and Black Pepper Galette
Slice 3 small ripe pears in half. Remove core with a spoon then place pears cut side down on surface. Slice the pear halves vertically being careful to leave the top 1 inch uncut. Roll out pastry into a 12-inch circle. Place pear halves cut side down in the centre of the dough.
Press on pear halves gently until they fan out. Brush 1 Tbsp of melted butter over pears then drizzle 2 Tbsp of honey. Sprinkle 1 Tbsp of lavender and season with black pepper. Fold over edges of dough and brush with heavy cream. Bake in a 400°F oven until pastry is golden, about 35 minutes.

Looking for more spring dishes? Try our 40 Fantastic Spring Cake Recipes.

lattice-rhubarb-tart

Spectacular Spring Rhubarb Lattice Tart

Sometimes you need a show-stopping dessert, and this rhubarb tart takes the cake! It may require a little more time than your typical tart but the result is well worth the effort. Tender, sweet spring rhubarb shines like jewels over a lovely light almond and ricotta filling. Just like a lattice-topped pie, you may need a slice of patience to assemble this impressive dessert.

lattice-rhubarb-tart

Prep Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 40 minutes
Serves: 8

Ingredients:

Pastry:
1 cup flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 cup cold butter, cut into chunks
1 Tbsp white vinegar
2 tsp or more cold water

Rhubarb:
5-6 stalks of fresh rhubarb
1/4 cup apple jelly

Ricotta Almond Centre:
1 cup extra smooth ricotta
2/3 cup almond meal
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp almond extract
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg

lattice-rhubarb-tart

Directions:
1. In a food processor mix flours, salt and sugar. Add in butter and pulse until butter is evenly dispersed into pea-size pieces. Add vinegar and pulse. Run the food processor as you add water tsp by tsp through the spout on the top. Dough will come together into a smooth ball.
2. Roll out dough on a floured surface until dough a circle about 12 inches in diameter and 1/4 inch thick.
3. Preheat oven to 425°F. Grease a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Place rolled out dough into the tart pan and gently press into and up sides. Discard excess dough. Poke the surface of the dough with a fork. Place a piece of parchment over dough and place baking weights over top. Bake until edges of crust begin to turn golden, about 12 minutes.
4. Remove from oven and remove baking weights and parchment. Return to oven until crust is golden, about 12 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.

lattice-rhubarb-tart

5. Decrease oven temperature to 350°F. Slice rhubarb along a mandolin into long, thin strips. Set the strips on a flat surface and form a lattice pattern with rhubarb by weaving strips over and under each other. Continue to weave until a square forms 9 inches wide. Trace a circle 8.5 inches over lattice. Cut out circle carefully ensuring to keep lattice intact. Set aside.
6. In a large bowl, whisk ricotta with almond meal, sugar, almond extract, salt, and egg together until combined. Transfer mixture into the tart shell. Smooth over surface and spread into an even layer. Lift the rhubarb lattice circle and place over ricotta mixture.
7. Microwave apple jelly for 15 seconds and brush over rhubarb. Bake in oven until rhubarb is tender and ricotta mixture is set, about 25 minutes.
8. Remove from oven and let cool for 20 minutes before serving.

Looking for more spectacular spring recipes? Try these 20 Fresh and Beautiful Rhubarb Recipes.

Gorgeously Gooey Creme Egg Nanaimo Bars for Easter

Creme Eggs are one of the guiltiest pleasures around Easter, with a deliciously sweet centre covered with smooth milk chocolate. Everyone has their different way of eating them, weather it be licking out the middle or biting into it whole. Our way is the Canadian way: in the form of Nanaimo bars.

In this recipe, we start with the classic coconut base and swapped out the custard middle layer of the classic Nanaimo bar, replacing it with a cream egg centre and topping the chocolate layer off with some crushed mini eggs. The result is an ooey, gooey scrumptious Easter treat.

creme egg nanaimo bar

Prep Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 55 minutes
Serves: 16

Ingredients:
Crumb:
1 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cocoa powder
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
3 Tbsp granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 egg, lightly beaten

Cream Egg Centre:
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups icing sugar
4 drops yellow food colouring
1 drop red food colouring

Chocolate Topping:
4 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup candy coated chocolate mini eggs, roughly chopped

creme egg nanaimo bar

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix the graham cracker crumb with the cocoa powder, coconut, sugar and salt in a bowl. Pour in butter and egg and stir to combine. Press mixture into an even layer in a greased 9×9-inch cake pan. Bake in oven for 10 minutes. Let cool.

2. To make the cream filling, combine corn syrup, butter and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer. Mix on high speed until fully combined and creamy colour. Add in icing sugar 1/2 cup at a time until mixture is thick and creamy. Remove about 1/3 of mixture and place in a separate bowl. Mix separated mixture with yellow and red colouring until colour is a rich even yellow.

3. Spread the white mixture over crumb into smooth even layer. Swirl spoonfuls of yellow mixture into white layer. Place in the refrigerator to chill.

4. Place chocolate and butter into a glass bowl set over a heated pot of water. Do not boil water. Stir until chocolate is melted and shiny. Remove bars from refrigerator and spread chocolate evenly over cream filling. Sprinkle chopped mini eggs over chocolate. Refrigerate until chocolate is set, about 1 hour. Cut bars into 16 even squares.

Looking for more treats? Try 10 Tasty Nanaimo Bar Recipes.

Bubbie's Manichevitz and Chocolate Matzo Cake

Bubbie’s Manichevitz and Chocolate Matzo Cake

My Bubbie used to make this cake for my family every Passover. My siblings and I used to get so excited for the first Seder, so we could finally dig into the layers of chocolatey deliciousness.

To carry on the tradition, I started making this luscious cake using coconut between each layer for some crunch and nuttiness. Serve this no-bake treat chilled or right out of the freezer for a tasty Passover dessert.

Bubbie's Manichevitz and Chocolate Matzo Cake

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Serves: 8

Ingredients:
4 oz. bitter sweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
3 eggs separated
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups Manischewitz wine
8 matzo sheets
1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut

Bubbie's Manichevitz and Chocolate Matzo Cake

Directions:
1. Melt chocolate over a double boiler on the stovetop, or microwave in 10 second intervals, stirring until glossy and smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.
2. Beat butter and sugar together with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in egg yolks, 1 at a time and then vanilla. Pour in melted chocolate and stir to combine.
3. In a separate bowl, whip egg whites to soft peaks. Gently fold into chocolate mixture.
4. Pour wine into an 8×8-inch baking dish. Soak 1 sheet of matzo in wine for 15 seconds then transfer to a cutting board or cake stand.
5. Smear 2-3 Tbsp of chocolate onto matzo. Sprinkle 1 Tbsp of coconut over chocolate. Repeat with remaining 7 layers.
5. Use remaining chocolate to cover sides of the cake. Sprinkle with remaining coconut.
6. Chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes, or serve frozen.

Matzo cake

Looking for more ideas? Try our 15 Gluten-Free Desserts for Passover.

matzoh-brie

The Ultimate Cinnamon-Strawberry Matzo Brei for Passover

If you’re a pancake or French toast fanatic, it can be tough to find an equally delicious breakfast during Passover. Sweet matzo brei is the perfect solution. Similar to French toast, matzo is soaked in an egg mixture and fried in butter until golden and crispy. It’s super satisfying, delicious and comes together in a snap!

matzo brei strawberry

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Serves: 2

Ingredients:
3 sheets matzo (you can use egg matzo, gluten-free or any other type)
2 eggs
1/3 cup milk
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp butter
1/4 cup strawberry preserves
5 strawberries, sliced matzo brei berry

Directions:
1. Break matzo into mismatched pieces and place in a bowl. Run water over matzo for 20 seconds then drain.
2. Beat together eggs, milk, sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Place wet matzo in mixture and let soak for 1 minute.
3. Heat butter in a large skillet over medium. Add matzo and pour in any residual egg mixture. Let cook for 1 minute, then stir using a rubber spatula, scraping the sides. The matzo will break apart. Cook, while stirring until egg is cooked through, about 2 minutes.
4. Remove from heat and divide between two plates. Top with strawberry preserves and fresh strawberries.

Looking for more delicious recipes? Try these 10 Delicious Things to Make with Matzo.

S'more Cookie Pizza Featured Image

5 Genius Ways to Hack Store-Bought Cookie Dough

Chocolate chip cookies deserve praise for their modesty and simplicity, but sometimes you want to shake up your dessert game. We’ve got five recipes that use store-bought chocolate chip cookie dough and surpass the humble beginnings of just a plain ol’ cookie. So grab a log of that dough and get ready to give your chocolate chip cookies a new groove.

Cookie smore tart pie

Chocolate Chip Cookie S’more Tart
Press a log of cookie dough into a 9-inch pie plate and up the sides in an even layer. Chill in freezer for 10 minutes. Bake in a 350°F oven for 20 minutes. Let cool. Set oven to broil. Place marshmallows over cookie base to fill the pie. Place under the broiler for 10 seconds. Immediately sprinkle chocolate chucks over top of marshmallows to melt.

Oreo Cookies

Oreo-Centered Cookie
Wrap 3 Tbsp of cookie dough around an Oreo cookie. Bake in a 350°F oven on greased cookie sheet until edges are golden, about 10 minutes.

banana cookie muffins

Banana-Chocolate Chip Muffins
Let a log of cookie dough come to room temperature. Line a 24 cup mini muffin tin with paper liners. Mash 2 ripe bananas into dough and stir to combine. Divide mixture into liners and bake in a 350°F oven  for 15 minutes or until golden and baked through.

Cookie brownies

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies
Prepare the batter of boxed brownie mix as per package directions. Pour into a 9×9 inch baking pan. Break up log of cookie dough into 2 inch pieces. Disperse throughout brownie dough. Bake as per brownie directions, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

cookie dough pizza

Milk and Cookies Pizza
Roll out cookie dough into a large circle 1/2-inch thick and bake in a 350°F oven until cookie is cooked through and edges are golden, about 15 minutes. Beat 1 stick of butter with 1/4 cup malted milk powder and 1 1/3 cup icing sugar. Smear over cooled cookie leaving a 1-inch border around the edge. Top with chocolate, or toppings of choice.

Looking for more delicious ideas? Learn 5 Ways to Hack a Can of Cinnamon Rolls.

Nest Cake Feature Image

Show-Stopping Easter Nest Cake

Impress your guests with this show stopper of a cake that celebrates Easter and the coming of spring. Not only does this dessert make a stunning centrepiece, the buttery, fluffy sponge cake is a light and tasty treat that gets added texture and flavour thanks to the toasted almonds and coconut. Don’t forget the egg-cellent chocolate filling!

Easter nest Cake

Prep time: 25 minutes
Total time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Serves: 8

Ingredients:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
3 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 1/4 cup icing sugar
2-3 Tbsp milk
1/2 cup desiccated coconut, toasted
1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1 cup of chocolate mini eggs

nest cake

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. In a bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer beat butter with sugar, until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
4. Add in eggs 1 at a time and then vanilla. Continue to beat until mixture is fluffy.
5. Stir in 1/3 of the flour mixture, then 1/2 the buttermilk. Repeat, then stir in last 1/3 of flour mixture. Stir just until combined.
Pour batter into a greased 10 cup Bundt pan.
6. Bake in oven until golden on top and a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean, about 55 minutes.
7. Let cool for 15 minutes then invert pan to release cake.
8. To make glaze, whisk milk with icing sugar. Add more milk to thin if necessary. Drizzle glaze over cooled cake. Sprinkle coconut and almonds over glaze. Fill centre of the Bundt with chocolate mini eggs.

Looking for more delicious Easter ideas? Try our 50 Fantastic Easter Desserts from Anna Olson.

Super Crispy Salt and Vinegar Potatoes

When I was a kid, I used to eat salt and vinegar chips until my tongue hurt — and that salty, acidic crunch is still just as addictive in my adult life.

If you’re just as keen on this indulgent snack, you can satisfy that craving for tangy, salty chips in the form of roasted potatoes! And the best part is that they can be served as a part of your breakfast, lunch or dinner.

888_salt-and-vinegar-potatoes2

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Serves: 4-6

Ingredients:
1/4 cup vinegar, plus 2 Tbsp
1 Tbsp salt
2 lbs baby potatoes, such as Yukon gold or red skin
2 Tbsp butter, melted
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp sea salt
Pepper, to taste

888_salt-and-vinegar-potatoes

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 425°F. In a large sauce pan, combine vinegar, salt and potatoes. Add water just until potatoes are covered. Heat sauce pan on high until mixture reaches a boil, reduce to a simmer and continue to cook until potatoes are fork tender, about 10 minutes.
2. Drain liquid. Cut potatoes in half and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Combine butter and olive oil and pour mixture over potatoes, shaking the baking sheet to coat potatoes.
3. Bake in preheated oven until golden brown and crispy, about 30 minutes, shaking the pan every 10 minutes.
4. Remove from oven and immediately drizzle remaining 2 Tbsp of vinegar over potatoes. Garnish with sea salt and season with fresh ground pepper.

Want more tasty tater recipes? Check out these 10 ways Canadians are eating potatoes.