All posts by Soo Kim

Soo Kim is a freelance recipe developer and food stylist who has worked and eaten around the globe from Moscow to London. She is a food content media specialist and the former food director of Canadian Living and Chatelaine magazine. A firm believer in flavour first, she curates meals with a balanced palate and a keen curiosity.

Make-Ahead Gory White Chocolate Truffles for Your Halloween Bash

Playfully gory, these adorable crafty treats are just a cake box away from impressing your Halloween enthusiasts, with just the right amount of fun and horror. Make these bite-sized desserts ahead and freeze them for up to one week. You have the choice of serving them cold with a crunchy coating, or at room temperature for a soft, cakey texture. That’s what we call frightful meets delightful!

Make-Ahead Gory White Chocolate Halloween Truffles

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour + 45 minutes (includes cooling, rolling, dipping, decorating and refrigeration times)
Servings: 48 cake pop truffles

Ingredients:

1 box yellow or white cake mix, prepared according to package directions in a 9-by-13-inch cake pan and cooled
3/4 cup prepared vanilla frosting (approx)
48 candied cherries (optional)
450g (16 oz) white chocolate, finely chopped
2 Tbsp coconut oil (optional)
1 tube red decorating gel
Red food colouring or paste (optional)
Mini royal icing decorative knives (optional)

Directions:

1. Divide the cake into six equal portions. Working with one portion, finely crumble cake into a large bowl (large bits will give you lumpy cake truffles). Repeat with remaining cake.

2. Add frosting and stir into cake using the back of a spoon until evenly combined. Don’t be tempted to add more frosting, it will be too soft to shape into balls.

3. Using a generous tablespoon for each, shape the cake batter into rounds and place on a baking sheet to give you 48 portions. Gently roll each to form balls. If using cherries, open the centre to add, then cover with cake, rolling to shape. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.

4. Melt chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl, stirring every 25-30 seconds, stir in coconut oil (if using). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Working with a fork, dip each cake ball into chocolate, tapping fork on edge of bowl to remove excess; transfer to prepared pan. Repeat with remaining cake balls (refrigerating cake if softening and reheating chocolate if firming up to evenly coat). Refrigerate truffles until chocolate is hardened, about 15 minutes.

Tip: The melted white chocolate will coat and firm up without the addition of coconut oil, but will not be as solid.

5. For the bloody decoration, gently squeeze decorating gel on top of truffle and spread using toothpick. For a deeper red colour, stir decorating gel with red food colouring to desired tint and decorate using toothpick. If using royal icing knives, poke top of truffle with tip of paring knife and gently wedge in cleaver.

For more fang-tastic desserts, make these easy chocolate witches’ cauldron cupcakes and get inspired by these 50 killer Halloween party recipes.

8 Cooking Tips to Make the Perfect Mashed Potatoes Every Time

The perfect mashed potatoes should be creamy, fluffy, decadently buttery and so good it requires little to no gravy if made right. Why then have we grumbled over gluey, lumpy and sloppy interpretations of what is a simple staple on every holiday menu? You need only follow 8 incredibly easy tips for the lightest and most sublime mashed potatoes. This spuds for you.

1. Mix it Up

We like Yukon gold potatoes for their buttery texture and golden hue, and Russet potatoes for their starchy, dry quality, making for a lighter mash. Choose one or mix the two for the best of both worlds.

2. Size Matters

Peel and cut the potatoes the same size and add to a large pot of cold water. Both measures will ensure even cooking to prevent the outer layer from breaking down, avoiding lumps.

3. Seasoning is Everything

Add enough kosher salt or sea salt to boiling water until salty to the tongue, about 1 Tbsp salt to 6 cups water. Two cloves of garlic will flavour the cooking liquid and the potatoes when you mash together.

4. Shake the Pot

Drain the potatoes and return to the pot. Set over medium heat, shaking the pot, uncovered until all moisture has evaporated, about 1 minute.

5. Hot Liquid Equals Smooth Mash

Heat butter and cream or milk in a saucepan until steaming, and keep warm. A hot mixture is easily and quickly absorbed into the mashed potatoes. Starch requires full-fat dairy for a creamy texture, so don’t skimp out during the holiday.

6. A Ricer is Nicer

A ricer or food mill is a professional cook’s tool to push the spuds through small holes to get that restaurant-quality texture every time.

7. Fresh is Best

Reheated mashed potatoes are never as good as freshly made. To prep ahead: peel, cut and soak your potatoes in cold water, and combine the butter and cream or milk in a saucepan, covered. Stir in the seasoned cream mixture into the potatoes and taste for seasoning. You may need to sprinkle more salt, and remember, reserve any remaining cream mixture, as the potatoes will continue to absorb the liquid.

8. Dress for Success

Perfect in its natural state, don’t forgo a simple garnish like a square of butter, and or chopped chives, green onions or parsley. You can also stir in a spoonful of sour cream for a tangy finish.

Classic Creamy Mashed Potatoes Recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 8 to 10

Ingredients:

1.5 kg russet and Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut in large chunks
3 cloves garlic, smashed
¾ cup 35% cream
¼ cup milk
½ cup butter
1 ½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
3 green onions, chopped (optional)
2 Tbsp butter (optional)

Directions:

1. Fill a large pot of cold salted water; add potatoes and garlic. Bring to boil over medium-high heat and cook until potatoes are falling apart, about 15 minutes.
2. Drain potato mixture and return to pot over medium heat; shake pot, uncovered until potatoes are dry, about 1 minute. Transfer to bowl.
3. Using a ricer or food mill, press potatoes and garlic through ricer back into pot.

4. Heat cream, milk, butter, salt and pepper in saucepan over medium heat until butter is melted, and mixture is hot. Stir into potato mixture and taste for seasoning, adding more salt and pepper if needed.
5. Transfer to serving dish and top with butter and green onions (if using).

See here for the ultimate guide to turkey cooking times, a reliable Thanksgiving checklist to stay ahead of the stress, and the best make-ahead baked stuffing.

Easy 20-Minute Leftover Pasta Frittata With Radicchio Salad

Often, we end up cooking more pasta that we can chew on a giving evening, which means: extra helpings for the week ahead! But before you lather those leftover spaghetti noodles in tomato sauce and call it a meal, think outside the pan. This creative 20-minute dish gives leftover pasta a delicious makeover, resulting in a comforting, cheesy frittata. Top with fresh basil and tomatoes, and serve alongside prosciutto and a simple salad for a complete bacon and egg Italian mash-up!

Leftover Pasta Frittata with Quick Radicchio Salad

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients:

Frittata
2 slices prosciutto or thick sliced bacon
5 eggs
⅓ cup sour cream or Greek yogurt
¾ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
2 Tbsp olive oil
4 cups leftover cooked spaghetti or other long pasta
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
⅔ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
Basil leaves

Radicchio Salad
1 head radicchio, torn
1 Tbsp olive oil
Balsamic vinegar (optional)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2. Cook prosciutto or bacon in a 10-inch heatproof skillet or cast-iron pan over medium heat, turning once, until crisp. Set aside. Wipe pan clean.
3. In a large bowl, beat the eggs with sour cream, and salt and pepper until blended. Toss in pasta and 1/3 cup of the cheese.

4. In same pan, heat 2 Tbsp of the olive oil over medium, add pasta mixture and cook without stirring, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining 1/3 cup cheese. Transfer to oven.
5. Cook until puffed and slightly jiggly, about 5 minutes. For a crispy browned top, broil 2-3 minutes. Top with tomatoes and basil, and serve with bacon/prosciutto (or chop in pieces to scatter on top).

6. Tear radicchio and toss with olive oil and balsamic vinegar (if desired), garnish with shaved Parmesan.

Tip: Radicchio lettuce is slightly bitter and lends itself easily to a good olive oil and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and Parmesan cheese for the quickest and elegant weeknight salad.

Tip: The centre will look slightly loose, puffed and jiggly, the hot pan will continue to cook the frittata with residual heat called carryover cooking.

How long do leftovers last in the fridge? We break it down. Plus, 30+ meals that taste better as leftovers, and tasty ways to use leftover rice.

30-Minute Harissa Tofu, Broccoli and Carrot Sheet Pan Dinner

Sheet pan dinners are unfussy and virtually mess-free, with no pots and pans to deal with after a long day. The trick to cooking an entire meal on a baking sheet is choosing the right vegetable and protein combination for even cooking. All that’s left to do? Sit back, relax and dig right in. This 30-minute healthy dinner, that’s vegan-friendly and jam-packed with flavour, will have you doing just that. We even paired it with a tangy cucumber salad that can be whipped up while the tofu, broccoli and carrots get all crispy in the oven. Dinner is served.

30-Minute Harissa Tofu & Broccoli Sheet-Pan Meal with Sumac Cucumber Salad

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients:

Sheet Pan Meal
350g firm tofu, patted dry and cut in 8 slices
5 carrots, halved or quartered lengthwise
¼ cup olive oil, divided
4 Tbsp jarred harissa
4 Tbsp white wine vinegar or cider vinegar
¾ tsp kosher salt or flaked sea salt, divided
1 head broccoli, trimmed and cut into quarters with stem
¾ red onion, cut in wedges
Half lemon, halved

Sumac Cucumber Salad
5 baby cucumbers, cut in chunks
¼ tsp kosher salt or coarse sea salt
½ cup parsley leaves or mint leaves
¼ cup thinly sliced red onion
2 Tbsp olive oil
Half lemon
¾ tsp sumac + more

Directions:

1. Position racks in top and bottom thirds of oven. Preheat to 425°F.
2. Lay tea towel or double layered paper towel on work surface. Layer with tofu; top with another tea towel or double layered paper towel. Press with a baking sheet to absorb liquid.
3. Whisk together 4 Tbsp of the olive oil, harissa, vinegar, and all but the pinch of salt, in a casserole dish.
4. Add tofu and marinate for 5 minutes, turning often. Remove, and arrange on one side of a baking sheet. Repeat with carrots; arrange to other side of baking sheet. Reserve remaining harissa mixture.

Tip: Harissa, a spicy chili condiment, is widely used in North African and Middle Eastern cuisine. Made of crushed chilies, garlic, cumin, coriander, caraway, mint and olive oil, it can be purchased as a paste in a tube or as a jarred sauce. Harissa paste is concentrated, to use in this recipe, reduce to 2 Tbsp and whisk in remaining ingredients.

5. Add broccoli and red onion to another baking sheet. Brush with remaining 2 Tbsp oil, turning to coat and sprinkle with remaining pinch of salt. Roast tofu and vegetables, switching racks after 15 minutes; flip tofu and vegetables and roast until vegetables are tender crisp, about 5 minutes.

Tip: Cut your vegetables into even pieces or you’ll end up with mixed tender and mushy results.

6. Sumac Cucumber Salad: Meanwhile, make the salad. In a medium bowl, sprinkle cucumbers with sumac and salt; stir to combine. Add onion, parsley and squeeze lemon over top. Drizzle with olive oil.
7. Transfer to serving plate and sprinkle with more sumac and parsley if desired.

8. To serve, brush broccoli and tofu with reserved harissa mixture and serve with additional prepared harissa. Divide tofu and vegetables among plates and serve with Cucumber Salad.

Keep the summer sheet pan meals coming with this 25-minute citrus rainbow trout recipe, paired with broccolini and bok choy. We’ve also rounded up 15 sheet pan breakfast bakes to feed a crowd.

These 30-Minute Gochujang Korean Chicken Skewers Are Straight-Up Delicious

Sweet and sticky with chili heat: Gochujang chicken skewers are a popular street food in South Korea, and you may become an instant convert with this quick and easy grilling sauce. Switch things up and brush the homemade sauce on grilled beef, pork, firm tofu or mushrooms – the applications are endless.

Gochujang Glazed Korean Chicken Skewers with Quick Cucumber Salad

Prep Time: 20 minutes (includes marinating time)
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes (includes soaking skewers)
Serves: 4

Ingredients:

Chicken Skewers
8 boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut in 1 1/2-inch pieces
2 Tbsp white vinegar or cider vinegar
4 tsp canola oil
1 Tbsp sodium-reduced soy sauce
½ tsp each salt and pepper
6 green onions, cut into 2-inch pieces
¼ tsp toasted sesame seeds (optional)

Gochujang Sauce
4 Tbsp gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste)
2 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp sodium-reduced soy sauce
1 Tbsp white vinegar or cider vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced

Cucumber Salad
2 baby cucumbers, cut into thin coins
¼ English cucumber, cut into thin coins

Directions:

1. Soak 8 wooden skewers in a pan of hot water for 15 minutes.
2. In a large bowl, combine chicken, vinegar, oil, soy sauce, salt and pepper, tossing to coat. Let stand for 15 minutes, stirring a few times.
3. Preheat grill over medium heat. Grease grill.
4. Gochujang Sauce: In a small bowl, stir together gochujang, honey, sesame oil, soy sauce, vinegar and minced garlic until smooth.

5. Reserve 2 Tbsp of Gochujang Sauce, and mix into bowl of cucumbers for a quick cucumber salad.
6. Alternately thread chicken and green onions onto skewers.

7. Cook chicken skewers in closed grill, turning once and brushing with remaining Gochujang Sauce halfway through until juices run clear when chicken is pierced, about 10 minutes.
8. Brush with remaining sauce, and sprinkle with sesame seeds if desired.

Tip: Gochujang or Korean hot pepper paste is made of fermented soybeans, glutinous rice and sweeteners. Often referred to as the backbone of Korean cooking, this shelf-stable ingredient can be found in Asian grocery stores or on Amazon. Look for the number of chilies on the package to find the right heat for your taste, 1 chili for mild and 3-5 for medium to spicy.

For more inspiration, check out our 25 most popular skewer recipes for summer grilling, or whip up one of these 20 vegan BBQ dishes that pack a flavour punch.

How to Make 5-Ingredient Strawberry Chia Frozen Yogurt Pops

Luxuriously creamy and speckled with chia seeds, our modern-day superfood, this frozen treat allows for more than the odd after-dinner sweet course. No electronic gadget is required, just a bit of muscle to muddle the strawberries for texture,  ensuring intense flavour in every bite. Make this healthy version and dip it into granola for a refreshing breakfast and snack option, or drizzle with honey and coat with chopped peanuts for a PB&J throwback.

5-Ingredient Strawberry Chia Frozen Yogurt Pops

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Freeze Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours and 10 minutes
Serves: 6

Ingredients:
1 cup hulled, finely chopped strawberries, divided
3 Tbsp liquid honey
2 cups Balkan-style plain yogurt or 2% Greek yogurt
1 Tbsp chia seeds
2 tsp vanilla
chia seed garnish (optional)
6 popsicle sticks

Directions:
1. In a bowl, using a fork, mash 1/3 cup of the strawberries. Add honey and mash to soften. Stir in yogurt, chia seeds and vanilla.

2. Spoon and divide yogurt mixture into moulds, tapping on counter to eliminate air bubbles. Sprinkle with more chia seeds on top (if using) and insert popsicle sticks.

3. Freeze until solid, 3 to 4 hours. To remove from mould, dip casing into cup of warm water to loosen yogurt pop.

Tip: For a fun decorative look, slice one strawberry. Fill moulds halfway and slide a slice directly on wall; top with remaining yogurt mixture.

Your love for this vibrant seasonal fruit doesn’t have to stop here. We’ve rounded up our 50 best strawberry desserts for summer. You can also keep cool with these 40+ no-bake sweets to make this season.

a skillet of kungpao chicken on a bright blue countertop

The Keto Kung Pao Chicken Recipe That is Better Than Takeout

Whether you’re a keto follower or not, this weeknight chicken dish will satisfy protein lovers and healthy veggie seekers alike. At first glance, the ingredient list may seem daunting, but you’re really just re-using the same pantry staples with a few extra options. Better than takeout, you won’t need to invest in a wok, we’ve made this delicious meal in a large cast-iron pan, and no one was the wiser.

30-Minute Keto Kung Pao Chicken Recipe

Prep Time: 20 minutes (this includes marinating. While the chicken is marinating, prep the vegetables and sauce).
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients:
450g boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut in 1-inch chunks
2 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
2 tsp cornstarch
3 Tbsp olive oil or sunflower oil, divided
4-6 dried red chilies
4 green onions, cut in 1-inch pieces
1 red finger chili (optional)
1 bunch asparagus, cut in large pieces
1 sweet bell pepper, halved, cored and cut into cubes
4 tsp each minced garlic and ginger
2 mini cucumber, cut in small cubes
1/3 cup roasted salted peanuts or cashews
1 tsp toasted sesame seeds

Sauce:
3 Tbsp cold water
1 Tbsp Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
2 Tbsp each soy sauce and white vinegar
2 tsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp Asian chili-garlic sauce (optional)

Directions:
1. In a bowl, combine chicken, 2 tsp soy sauce, 2 tsp rice wine and 2 tsp cornstarch; stir to combine. Let stand to marinate 15 minutes.

2. In large cast-iron pan, heat 1 Tbsp oil over medium-high heat. Add dried chilies, green onions and finger chili (if using) and cook, stirring until green onions are slightly charred, about 1 minute. Transfer to a baking sheet or large plate.
3. Heat 1 Tbsp of remaining oil in the pan. Add asparagus and bell pepper and cook, stirring until slightly charred, 2 to 3 minutes.
4. Transfer to baking sheet. Add remaining 11/2 tsp oil to pan; working in 2 batches, stir-fry chicken until browned, 3 to 4 minutes per batch, repeating with remaining oil.

5. Sauce: In small bowl, stir together water, rice wine, soy sauce and cornstarch until smooth. Return the chicken, vegetables and chilies to the pan. Sprinkle with salt; stir in the sauce and cook until liquid is bubbling and thickened, 30-45 seconds. Stir in cucumbers, peanuts and chili-garlic sauce (if using); sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Tip: For evenly browned chicken, avoid crowding in the pan, and don’t stir immediately. Check one piece before turning the remaining with a spatula.

Looking for more healthy recipe inspo? We’ve rounded up 20 Easy Keto Dinners to Make This Week, plus 15 Recipes Packed with Healthy Fats to Keep You Full