Tag Archives: summer

Steak Salad with Onions and Cilantro Chimichurri and grilled onions

How to Grill Any Cut Of Steak Perfectly

When it comes to steak, nothing beats a perfectly cooked, well-seasoned, juicy cut. But this is easier said than done. It can be difficult to know what tools to use, what to buy at the butcher, how different cuts of steak vary and the best way to cook them.

With the stakes so high (pardon the pun, but these cuts can be expensive!), we’re giving you the ultimate guide to choosing and grilling steak this summer and beyond.

Mise en place for Steak Salad with Onions and Cilantro Chimichurri

BBQ Steak Basics

1. Let steak come to room temperature before grilling: About 30 minutes before grilling, take it out of the fridge. This will allow the meat to cook evenly.

2. Get the grill super-hot: You want to get good sear on your steak for the perfect finished crust. Heat your grill to at least 450ºF before cooking.

3. Season with a bit of oil and lots of salt: Brush steaks with a thin layer of high-temperature oil, like grape seed or refined avocado. Then, don’t just sprinkle salt on your steak, season with reckless abandon. A thick slab of meat needs more salt than you think. Use kosher or coarse salt on both sides and apply until you can see it on the surface of the meat.

4. Use a thermometer: Unless you’re a veteran grill master with tons of experience cooking steak, it’s difficult to tell how well cooked the meat is just by touching it. Quit guessing and take the internal temperature with an instant-read of meat thermometer. To avoid burning the exterior if a steak is very thick, remove it from direct heat and finish cooking on indirect heat until it has reached your desired internal temperature.

5. Rest the steak: Let your steak rest for at least 10 minutes on a warm plate before slicing. The meat needs time to recirculate its juices, and that can only be achieved through patience. Once you’ve come this far in cooking the perfect steak, it would be a shame to ruin it! Your steak will not get cold (this is where a warm plate comes in handy). When your time is up, slice against the grain for more tender slices.

Steak Salad with Onions and Cilantro Chimichurri and grilled onions

Steak Doneness Temperatures

  • Rare: 120ºF to 130ºF
  • Medium Rare: 130ºF to 140ºF
  • Medium: 140ºF to 150ºF
  • Medium Well: 150ºF to 155ºF
  • Well Done: 160ºF +

With the basics mastered, it’s time to discuss some of the common cuts and how they differ.

The Best Cuts of Steak for Grilling

Ribeye (Rib-eye, Rib Eye) Steak: Sometimes called entrecote, it can be purchased with the bone intact or boneless. It’s a tender steak with plenty of delicious fat marbling. This cut has a big, beefy flavour and is supremely juicy. For this reason, ribeye is usually on the pricier side, making it perfect for special occasions.

Flank Steak and Skirt Steak: Both very affordable (though the popularity of flank steak has made it rise in price recently) and tasty steaks, but they require a bit more work than other cuts. Flank steak can be tough and chewy, however, marinating overnight and cooking only to medium-rare can help keep it tender. After marinating, grilling and resting, flank steak must be thinly sliced across the grain to remain tender. Skirt steak should be prepared the same way as flank steak: marinated, grilled to medium-rare, rested and sliced against the grain. Flank and skirt steaks are great for weeknights and entertaining large groups.

New York Strip Steak: This cut is also known as the strip steak, top sirloin, top loin and contre-filet. The meat has a finely-grained texture and rich, beefy flavour. Its medium fat content, decent marbling and tender texture (less so than ribeye, but this cut is also less expensive) make it an ideal steak for barbecuing.

Porterhouse Steak: This steak is also known as the T-bone, a bone-in steak that has two of the most prized cuts of beef in one tidy package. On one side, the tenderloin, and on the other, the ribeye. The tenderloin portion will generally cook a bit faster than the ribeye portion, but the bone helps to keep the meat juicy. The porterhouse is the perfect steak for high-heat barbecues and entertaining to impress.

Now that you’ve nailed barbecued steak 101, it’s time to fire up the grill and dive into a recipe. Try this Steak Salad with Onions and Cilantro Chimichurri for a majorly satisfying meal.

chocolate sandwich cookies

These Creme-Filled Chocolate Cookie Sandwiches Will Make You Feel Like a Pro Baker

Looking for a quick and easy summer baking idea? Say hello to this simple yet sophisticated homemade version of your favourite creme-filled chocolate cookies. They’re soft, chewy and best served with a cold glass of milk. To get that striking dark chocolate look and feel, try jet-black cocoa powder – don’t worry if you don’t have any though, traditional cocoa powder works great too. The real question is: Will you dunk, twist, or lick them?

chocolate sandwich cookies

Creme-Filled Chocolate Sandwich Cookies

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Bake Time: 5-8 minutes
Total Time: 15-18 minutes
Servings: 14 sandwich cookies

Ingredients:

Chocolate Cookies

1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup cocoa powder
1 Tbsp cornstarch
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
¾ cup brown sugar
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temp
1 large egg

Filling

1 stick unsalted butter, room temp
½ cup coconut oil
2 cups icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Ingredients for chocolate sandwich cookies

Directions:

1. For the chocolate cookies: Preheat oven to 375F. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper, set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, on medium-high speed, cream together brown sugar and butter until combined. Add egg and mix until fully incorporated, 1 minute. Turn off mixer, add the dry ingredients and start mixing on low, gradually increasing to medium until the dough starts to come together, about 2 minutes.

4. Scoop 1-inch balls of dough, roll between your palms to create a smooth ball and slightly flatten to about 1/2-inch thickness. Space the cookies at least 2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheets, bake for 5-8 minutes until the edges are set and the tops begin to crack. Remove from oven and let cool on cookie sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to wire rack to cool completely.

Assembly for chocolate sandwich cookies

5. For the filling: In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and coconut oil. Add the icing sugar and mix until creamy. Finally mix in the vanilla.

6. To assemble: Scoop 1-2 tsp of filling on to the bottoms of half the cookies and top with the remaining cookies.

chocolate sandwich cookies cooling on a wire rack

Like Sabrina’s cookie sandwiches recipe? Try her mochi donuts or her chocolate peanut butter skillet cookie.

No-bake yogurt mango tarts on kitchen countertop

No-Bake Saffron Yogurt Tarts With Mangoes Were Made for Summer

These tarts are quick and super easy to make. What’s more, they don’t require baking and are actually healthy. The shells are made with dates and mixed nuts and yogurt, saffron and mangoes are used to make the filling. They are the perfect dessert to complement your summer meals. Bonus: the recipe only calls for nine ingredients!

No-bake yogurt mango tarts on kitchen countertop

No-Bake Saffron Yogurt Tart With Mangoes

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Rest Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours
Servings: 4

Ingredients:

8 Medjool dates
1 cup walnuts
½ cup cashews
1 cup Greek yogurt
2 Tbsp honey
1 tsp saffron
2 Tbsp mango puree (optional)
½ cup mango, chopped
Few Mint leaves (optional)

No-bake yogurt mango tart ingredients on kitchen countertop

Directions:

1. For the crust: in a food processor pulse the dates, walnuts and cashews until the mixed nuts are coarse and the mixture has combined.

2. Press the mixture into four small tart pans (or one 8-inch tart pan with a removable bottom). Chill in the freezer for at least 1 hour.

Related: No-Bake Desserts You Need to Make This Summer

3. For the filling: in a mixing bowl add the Greek yogurt, honey, saffron and mango puree.

4. Remove the crust from the freezer and carefully remove it from the tart tin, placing each one on to a serving platter or individual plates. Spread the filling on top of the crust, top it with mango pieces, a few saffron strands and mint leaves if you desire.

No-bake yogurt mango tarts being assembled on kitchen countertop

No-bake yogurt mango tarts on kitchen countertop

Like Yakuta’s no-bake tart? Try her one-bowl flowerpot cupcakes.

Campfire s'mores ice cream being scooped into cone

This No-Churn Campfire S’mores Ice Cream Will Be on Repeat All Summer Long

Nothing says summer like making s’mores, am I right? This Baking Therapy no-churn campfire s’mores ice cream is super easy to make. It combines brown sugar graham crackers that soften to the perfect cake-like texture, sweet chocolate folded into a toasted marshmallow cream. This treat will definitely be on repeat all summer long. Added bonus: it only requires eight ingredients!

Campfire s'mores ice cream being scooped into cone

No-Churn Campfire S’mores Ice Cream

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Rest Time: 8 hours or overnight
Total Time: 8 hours, 30 minutes
Servings: 8-10

Ingredients:

3 cups heavy cream
3 cups mini marshmallows, toasted
8 sheets graham crackers
¼ cup (½ stick) of butter
¼ cup brown sugar
Flaky sea salt
1 300ml can condensed milk
¼ cup chopped semi-sweet chocolate

Campfire s'mores ice cream ingredients on countertop

Directions:

1. In a saucepan, over medium heat, bring the heavy cream to a simmer.

2. Spread the marshmallows in a single layer on a cookie sheet. With a blow torch or with the oven set on broil, toast the marshmallows until they are completely charred on the outside. Reserve 1 cup of marshmallows for later. Add the remaining marshmallows to the heated cream , stir until completely melted into the mixture. Transfer to a glass bowl, cover with plastic and place in the fridge to chill, about 2 hours.

Person using a blow torch to toast marshmallows

3. Place the graham crackers on a cookie sheet in one single layer. In a saucepan, over medium heat, melt the butter and brown sugar. Bring the mixture to a boil and let bubble for 1 minute. Remove from heat and pour directly over the graham crackers. Smooth into one thin layer and sprinkle flaky salt on top. Set aside to cool. Once cool, break up into small pieces.

Graham crackers laying on baking tray to make campfire s'mores ice cream

4. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk chilled cream mixture to medium peaks, may take a little longer to whip up. Stream in the condensed milk and whip until mixture is thick and creamy. Make sure not to over-whip.

5. Fold in the reserved toasted marshmallows and half of the graham cracker pieces.

Related: Easy Ice Cream Sandwich Recipes for a Sweet Summer Treat

6. To assemble, grab your loaf pan, add in half of the whipped cream mixture. Sprinkle half of the remaining graham crackers and half of the chopped chocolate. Top with the rest of the whipped cream followed by the remaining graham crackers and chocolate. Cover with plastic and freeze for at least 6 hours or overnight.

Campfire s'mores ice cream ready for the freezer

Like Sabrina’s campfire s’mores ice cream? Try her no-churn ice cream cake or her no-fry fried ice cream.

Fried ice cream on brown plate

This No-Fry Fried Ice Cream Needs Just 5 Ingredients (Yes, Really!)

One of the easiest (and delicious) cool treats to try this summer is this Baking Therapy no-fry fried ice cream that uses just 5 ingredients: corn flakes, cinnamon, brown butter, salt and your favourite ice cream, although I’m partial to this vanilla, chocolate, peanut butter swirl. It’s crunchy, creamy, sweet, salty all in one bite — and without all the mess of frying!

Fried ice cream on brown plate

No-Fry Fried Ice Cream

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Rest Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 8

Ingredients:

1 pint of ice cream
5 cups corn flakes, crushed
6 Tbsp butter, browned
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp salt
Caramel sauce for topping (optional)

Fried ice cream ingredients on countertop

Directions:

1. Scoop 2-inch balls of ice cream onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Place into the freezer.

2. Place the corn flakes in a plastic bag and crush into small bits.

Related: This Dreamy No-Churn Ice Cream Cake Requires Less Than 10 Ingredients

3. In large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Continue to cook and stir the butter for 8-10 minutes until the milk solids begin the turn a golden brown colour. Add in the crushed corn flakes, cinnamon and salt and continue to cook for another 5 minutes until the corn flakes are well coated and golden. Remove from heat and transfer to a cookie sheet to cool, about 10-15 minutes.

4. Roll the ice cream balls in the corn flakes, making sure to cover the entire surface. Serve immediately as-is or with a drizzle of caramel sauce.

Ice cream being rolled in corn flakes

Fried ice cream with caramel sauce on top

Like Sabrina’s no-fry fried ice cream? Try her lemon poppy seed coconut buns or her Vietnamese coffee popsicles.

Ice cream cake on plate next to bowl of raspberries

This Dreamy No-Churn Ice Cream Cake Requires Less Than 10 Ingredients

If you’re a big fan of sweet and tangy, this summertime treat is for you. This Baking Therapy raspberry almond ice cream cake is made up of layers of creamy no-churn ice cream, graham cracker crumbs and a tangy raspberry sauce. The no-churn ice cream comes together really quickly and the combination of tart raspberries with sweet cream will keep you coming back slice after slice. Make this sweet treat, it’ll keep you cool all summer long. Added bonus: this easy ice cream cake recipe requires less than 10 ingredients.

Ice cream cake on plate next to bowl of raspberries

Raspberry Almond Ice Cream Cake

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Rest Time: 8 hours or overnight
Total Time: 8 hours, 40 minutes
Servings: 8-10

Ingredients:

4 cups frozen raspberries
⅓ cup icing sugar
4 Tbsp lemon juice (about 1 lemon) + zest of  1 lemon
1 ½ cup graham cracker crumbs
¼ cup sliced almonds, toasted
¼ tsp salt
6 Tbsp melted butter
1 300ml can sweetened condensed milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups heavy cream

Ice cream cake ingredients on countertop

Directions:

1. Line a 10-inch loaf pan with enough plastic wrap to fold over the top to cover the cake. Place in freezer.

2. In a saucepan, over medium heat, add the raspberries, icing sugar and lemon juice. Cook until raspberries have browned down and the sauce begins to thicken, about 10 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve and set in the fridge to cool slightly.

3. In a medium bowl, mix together graham cracker crumbs, almonds, salt and butter until it resembles wet sand. Set aside.

Related: Naturally Bright Dishes That Celebrate All Things Pink

4. In a large bowl, mix together the condensed milk and vanilla extract, set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whip the heavy cream to stiff peaks, about 5 minutes. Fold in ¼ of the whipped cream to the condensed milk to lighten the mixture, then add the remaining whipped cream. Divide this mixture equally into 2 bowls. To one half, add about 3 Tbsp of raspberry sauce and ⅓ cup to the other half. Mix to combine.

5. Remove the loaf pan from the freezer and add the lighter coloured cream to the pan. Layer half of the graham crumb mix. Then add the other whipped cream mixture. Top with the remaining raspberry sauce and finally the rest of the graham crumb mix. Fold the plastic wrap over top and freeze for 8 hours or overnight.

Ice cream cake being made

6. When you are ready to serve, run the outside of the pan under warm water for 5-10 seconds to easily lift out of the pan. Slice and enjoy!

Ice cream cake on plate next to bowl of raspberries

Like Sabrina’s ice cream cake recipe? Try her no-bake key lime pie icebox cake or her Vietnamese coffee popsicles.

This 10-Ingredient Japanese Grilled Chicken is the Easy BBQ Recipe You Need

Yakitori is a Japanese recipe that simply translates to “grilled chicken” and it’s so popular in Japan, restaurants specialize in this seriously delicious protein on a stick. Traditionally, chicken thighs are best, they’re forgiving and still juicy if you accidentally overcook the skewers. Serve as an appetizer or as a main course with steamed rice or a fresh salad. I recommend serving with grilled shishito peppers!

Japanese yakitori grilled on serving platter

Yakitori

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4 to 6

Ingredients:

½ cup Japanese soy sauce or soy sauce
½ cup mirin (a syrupy, sweet Japanese cooking wine low in alcohol content used for seasoning and glazing. Look for it in the cultural food aisle in your local supermarket or Asian grocery store)
¼ cup sake or Chinese rice wine
¼ cup packed brown sugar
1 Tbsp water
8 pieces green scallion + 8 scallions cut into 1-inch pieces, divided
8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
½ tsp kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Equipment:

12-16 bamboo skewers or 8-10 metal skewers

Japanese yakitori ingredients on countertop

Directions:

1. Submerge bamboo skewers in a casserole dish half-filled of water for 20 minutes or up to overnight.

2. Make the glaze: combine soy sauce, mirin, sake, brown sugar, water and 8 green onion pieces in a small saucepan and stir. Cook over medium-high heat and bring to a rolling boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, uncovered until thickened and reduced to by half, about 15 minutes. Discard the green onion and let cool, glaze should be syrupy. (You can store the glaze in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 2 months).

Related: Our Most Popular Skewer Recipes for Summer Grilling

3. In a bowl, stir together the chicken, oil, salt and pepper. Working with 1 chicken piece at a time, fold in half and thread onto a skewer tightly together, repeat with 1 more chicken piece alternating with a scallion. Repeat with 2 chicken pieces and 1 scallion making sure they’re tightly packed. Repeat.

Japanese yakitori being skewered before hitting the grill

4. Preheat a grill to medium-high then clean and oil the grate. Place skewers over the heat and cook, covered. Turn after browned on each side, about 4 minutes per side. Brush the chicken and scallion with some of the glaze and cook for 30 seconds, turn and repeat with more glaze for another 30 seconds. Brush with more glaze and place on a serving platter. Serve with skewered and grilled shishito peppers, it takes about 1 minute per side for the most deliciously blistered accompaniment.

Tip: Don’t have a BBQ? Line a heavy baking sheet with foil and top with a greased cooling rack and broil for 6-7 minutes. Brush with glaze and broil until nicely charred and caramelized.

Like Soo’s yakitori recipe? Try her pan-fried pork chops with roasted cabbage wedges or pork banh mi burgers with grilled pineapple.

vegan no-bake strawberry lemon tart on countertop

Say Hello to Spring With This Healthy No-Bake Vegan Strawberry Lemon Tart

Pucker up for this bright and tangy, no-bake strawberry lemon tart. You don’t have to be vegan to love this dairy-free dessert, but you can still appreciate how healthy it is — a gluten-free and paleo-friendly dessert, with no refined sugar. Plump Medjool dates make the nut-based crust perfectly sweet and chewy, paired with a fruity filling of coconut milk, fresh strawberries, lemon juice and a splash of maple syrup. (It’s thickened with just a bit of agar and tapioca powders, which you can find at most bulk or health food stores).

vegan no-bake strawberry lemon tart on countertop

Vegan No-Bake Strawberry Lemon Tart

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Rest Time: 2-3 hours or overnight
Total Time: 3 hours
Servings: 8

Ingredients:

1 ¼ cup raw walnuts
1 ¼ cup raw cashews
1 cup oats
2 ½ cups pitted Medjool dates, roughly chopped
1 Tbsp coconut oil, melted (plus extra for greasing pan)
3 tsp vanilla, divided
¼ tsp sea salt
4 cups fresh strawberries, chopped
½ cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
Zest of 2 lemons
¼ cup maple syrup
4 Tbsp tapioca starch/flour (or 2 Tbsp of arrowroot powder)
4 Tbsp cool water
1 (14 oz) can full-fat coconut milk
2 tsp agar powder

vegan no-bake strawberry lemon tart ingredients

Directions:

1. In a food processor or heavy-duty blender, combine walnuts, cashews, oats, dates, coconut oil, 1 tsp vanilla and sea salt. Pulse for about 1 minute or until the dates and nuts are combined and stick together.

2. Press the crust mixture into the bottom and sides of a greased 9-inch tart pan (preferably with removable bottom). Set aside while making the filling.

vegan no-bake strawberry lemon tart crust

3. Add strawberries, lemon juice, lemon zest, maple syrup and 2 tsp vanilla extract (and arrowroot powder only if you’re using it as a substitute for tapioca) to a blender or food processor and pulse or blend until pureed, about 1 minute, and set aside.

4. Stir the tapioca powder into 4 Tbsp of cool water. Set aside.

Related: Healthy Baking Recipes for When You’re Bored at Home

5. Add coconut milk and agar powder to a small saucepan, stirring while it simmers until thickened, around 1 minute. Once it’s bubbling, gradually add tapioca slurry, stirring continuously until it’s glossy and even thicker, about another minute.

6. Remove from heat and stir in strawberry mixture until combined. (If you have any clumps, don’t worry! Pass the mixture through a fine mesh strainer).

vegan no-bake strawberry lemon tart being cooked in pot

7. Pour filling mixture into tart crust, chilling in the fridge for at least  2-3 hours or overnight. (Store for up to one week). Before serving, decorate with pretty berries, lemon slices and flowers.

vegan no-bake strawberry lemon tart on countertop

Like Claire’s vegan strawberry lemon tart? Try her vegan Girl Guide cookies or her vegan Moroccan doughnuts.

What’s in Season? Your Guide to Canadian Fruits and Vegetables

Crisp lettuce and juicy tomatoes in your favourite salad. A ripe peach fresh from the farmstand. Sweet, earthy leeks in a creamy soup. Is your mouth watering yet? As Canadians, we have a plethora of seasonal produce at our fingertips throughout the year and knowing what and when to buy seasonally empowers home cooks with the best local flavours possible. Whether you are looking to shop local or support Canadian farmers across the country,  make food shopping a breeze all year round with our Canadian seasonal produce guide covering January to December.  Grab your tote bags and get shopping – bounty awaits!

What’s in Season in  Winter

The dead of winter brings the blahs for most of us. Winter fare, however, can be quite inspiring. Think warm soups and stews, gorgeous roasts with luscious mashed or roasted potatoes, sweet potatoes, squash and rutabagas. Fry onion rings and add sauteed garlic to everything. Braise cabbage or roll it around meat and rice filling for cabbage roll perfection. Dream even bigger with a moist, cream cheese frosted carrot or parsnip cake (yes, parsnip cake!) or rich, dark and dreamy chocolate beet cake. With dishes like these, winter won’t seem long enough!

potatoes-white-red-in-basket

What’s in Season in December

Pears, Brussels Sprouts, Rutabagas, Turnips, Beets, Carrots, Cabbage, Red Onions, Garlic, Leeks, Potatoes, Squash, Sweet Potatoes, Pears

What’s in Season in January

Rutabagas, Turnips, Beets, Carrots, Cabbage, Red Onions, Garlic, Leeks, Potatoes, Squash, Sweet Potatoes

Related: The Best Ingredients to Cook With in Canada This Winter (Plus Recipes)

What’s in Season in February

Rutabagas, Turnips, Beets, Carrots, Cabbage, Red Onions, Garlic, Leeks, Potatoes, Squash, Sweet Potatoes

What’s in Season in March

Rutabagas, Turnips, Beets, Carrots, Cabbage, Red Onions, Garlic, Leeks, Potatoes, Squash, Sweet Potatoes

What’s in Season in Spring

As the seasons change, so does the fresh produce. Asparagus arrives in April in British Columbia, May in the rest of the country, continuing into July towards the East Coast — along with fiddleheads, radishes, spinach and later peas, beans, cauliflower and broccoli. We begin to see fresh lettuce and radicchio, along with celery and fennel in British Columbia, following in July in the rest of Canada. Fruit also begins with outdoor rhubarb, as well as strawberries and cherries in May, continuing into July. Make the most of these months with light pastas, simple salads, pies, tarts and where weather allows — a little grilling.

asparagus-cooked-sauce

What’s in Season in April

Asparagus, Radishes, Fiddleheads, Spinach, Fava Beans,  Rhubarb, Peppers (greenhouse), Tomatoes (greenhouse)

What’s in Season in May

Asparagus, Radishes, Fiddleheads, Spinach, Rhubarb, Kale, Salad Greens, Morel Mushrooms, Arugula, Swiss Chard, Green Onions, Peas, Cherries

Related: Our Fave Spring Dishes That Celebrate Seasonal Vegetables

What’s in Season in June

Asparagus, Radishes, Spinach, Rhubarb, Kale, Salad Greens, Arugula, Beets, Lettuce, Green Onions, Gooseberries, Saskatoon Berries, Strawberries, Broccoli, Celery, Swiss Chard, Garlic (Fresh), Peas, Summer Squash, Tomatoes, Turnips, Zucchini, Fennel, Cherries

What’s in Season in Summer

As summer hits, things kick into high gear with seemingly unending produce options. Stone fruits like peaches, plums, apricots and later nectarines burst onto the scene, tending towards an earlier arrival in British Columbia, soon ripening across the country and finally arriving in the Atlantic provinces in September. Berries also arrive this time of year, making it the perfect opportunity for crumbles, preserves and general good eating. Melons are now in full bloom, begging to be soaked in summery sangrias, wrapped in prosciutto and added to salads. And early pears and apples make their way onto the scene in late August, rounding out fruit season. Vegetables like homegrown corn, peppers, tomatoes, zucchini and rapini are now in their prime. It’s also the start of leek and eggplant season in August.

fresh-strawberries-in-a-basket

What’s in Season in July

Gooseberries, Saskatoon Berries, Strawberries, Raspberries, Currants, Cherries, Blackberries, Apricots, Nectarines, Green Beans, Broccoli, Carrots, Cauliflower,  Celery, Swiss Chard, Cucumber, Garlic (Fresh), Leeks,  Lettuce, Green Onions, Peas, Peppers, Potatoes (New), Radishes, Rhubarb, Salad Greens, Spinach, Summer Squash, Tomatoes, Turnips,  Zucchini, Beets, Peaches, Watermelon, Kale

Related: Ina Garten’s Best Summer Dinner Recipes

What’s in Season in August

Raspberries, Currants, Cherries, Blackberries, Apricots, Apples, Crab Apples, Blueberries, Gooseberries, Melons, Nectarines, Pears, Plums, Prunes, Strawberries, Artichokes, Green Beans, Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower,  Celery, Swiss Chard,  Corn, Cucumber, Garlic (Fresh),  Leeks,  Lettuce, Green Onions, Parsnips,  Peppers,  Potatoes (New), Radishes, Rhubarb, Rutabagas,  Salad Greens, Shallots, Spinach, Summer Squash, Tomatoes, Turnips,  Zucchini, Beets, Eggplants, Grapes,  Peaches, Watermelon, Kale, Pears

What’s in Season in Fall

We end our big season on a high note with pumpkin, leeks, eggplant, Brussels sprouts, cranberries, crabapples and the continuation from August of muskmelon and grapes. We begin to crave in-season apples and pears — and as cool weather approaches, so does the need for warmer dishes. Back indoors, get set for roasting, holiday feasting and all of the apple desserts.

fall-apples-on-a-cutting-board

What’s in Season in September

Cranberries, Apples, Crab Apples, Blueberries, Grapes, Melons, Pears, Plums, Prunes, Artichokes, Green Beans, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower,  Celery, Swiss Chard, Corn, Cucumber, Garlic (Fresh), Leeks,  Lettuce, Green Onions, Onions, Parsnips, Peppers, Potatoes (New), Pumpkin, Radishes, Rutabagas, Salad Greens, Spinach, Tomatoes, Turnips,  Zucchini, Beets, Eggplants, Nectarines, Watermelon, Kale

What’s in Season in October

Cranberries, Apples, Crab Apples, Pears, Quince, Artichokes, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower,  Celery, Swiss Chard, Corn, Garlic (Fresh),  Leeks,  Lettuce, Green Onions, Onions, Parsnips,  Peppers, Potatoes, Pumpkin, Radishes, Rutabagas, Salad Greens, Spinach, Turnips, Beets, Eggplants, Kale

Related: Our Most Popular Fall Recipes on Pinterest

What’s in Season in November

Cranberries, Pears, Quince, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower,  Leeks, Onions, Parsnips, Potatoes, Pumpkin, Radishes, Rutabagas, Turnips, Apples, Beets

What’s in Season in Canada Year-Round

Don’t forget about options available regardless of the season. Take mushrooms, for instance, which are grown year-round and across the country. In addition, many greenhouse farms are using methods that help cut down on waste and reuse water, soil and energy, producing year-round. Cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes and lettuce are excellent greenhouse-bought options in winter when local outdoor choices have dwindled so you can enjoy a taste of summer, whatever the weather.

mushrooms-crimini

Published May 5, 2018, Updated April 7, 2021

Photos courtesy of Getty Images

These Oven-Baked Zucchini and Corn Fritters Are the Perfect Dinner Side Dish

Got too much summer zucchini and corn? Don’t quite know what to do with it? This recipe combines two of summer’s greatest hits and uses the oven to bake crispy vegetable fritters without all the hassle of deep frying. Lots of corn fritter recipes use only corn, but by adding grated zucchini, you’ll add a different texture (and a pop of colour!). The fritter is perfect on its own, served with a little sour cream and some pesto for the ultimate light summer meal. However, they’re also a great side dish, served with roast chicken or as an accompaniment to a summer BBQ. These will be on repeat in the summer and can just as easily be made in winter using frozen corn.

Oven-Baked Zucchini and Corn Fritters

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 60 minutes
Servings: 16 fritters

Ingredients:

2 medium zucchini, washed and grated (approx. 2 cups grated)
1 ½ cups corn kernels (from 3 small cobs or thawed and drained if frozen)
¼ cup panko breadcrumbs
1 cup shredded cheese (use something sharp, like Cheddar)
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp flaky sea salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
Pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
Sour cream and pesto to serve

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 375˚F. Line two baking trays with parchment paper. Place a few layers of paper towel on your countertop.

2. Squeeze the water out of the grated zucchini with a cheesecloth or tea towel. Place the squeezed zucchini on the paper towel in a single layer. Place a few more paper towels on top and gently pat dry.

3. Once dry, place the zucchini in a large bowl with the corn kernels, breadcrumbs, cheese, eggs, salt, pepper and optional red pepper flakes and mix well to combine, using a wooden spoon or your hands.

Related: 50+ Zucchini Recipes You’ll Absolutely Love

4. Using a 3-Tbsp cookie scoop and packing the mixture in tightly, scoop out mounds of the mixture and place them about 1 inch apart on the baking trays. If you don’t have a cookie scoop this size, use a ¼ measuring cup filled ¾ full of the mixture. If you notice lots of liquid in your mixture, make sure to drain it before you place on the tray.

5. Bake for 15 minutes, then use an offset spatula to carefully flip the fritters flattening them slightly as you do. Be careful, they are a bit fragile still!

6. Bake a further 10 to 15 minutes, until the fritters are crispy and golden on both sides. Serve with sour cream and pesto. Enjoy!

Like Mardi’s fritters? We also love her cheesy, comforting butternut squash tartiflette and mixed berry galettes for a sweet treat.

These No-Churn Rose-Pistachio Ice Cream Sandwiches Need Just 8 Ingredients

There are times for ice cream made with a custard base that’s cooked over the stove and churned in an ice cream maker, but there are also times for a simple no-churn ice cream that comes together with few ingredients and tools. In this recipe, a simple no-churn rose ice cream studded with raspberries and pistachios is sandwiched between two cookies of your choice. I like using less-sweet and simpler cookies like speculoos cookies or sugar cookies to sandwich the ice cream.

No-Churn Rose-Pistachio Ice Cream Sandwiches

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Rest Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours, 20 minutes
Servings: 10 to 12 ice cream sandwiches

Ingredients:

9 oz (266 ml) sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
½ tsp culinary-grade rose water
¼ tsp salt
2 cups (480 ml) heavy cream
1 ½ cups (160 g) fresh raspberries, divided
½ cup (60 g) roasted pistachios, coarsely chopped
20 to 24 cookies of choice

Directions:

1. Line a 9 x 13–inch (23 x 33–cm) baking pan with parchment paper, leaving some parchment paper hanging over both sides. Set the baking pan aside.

2. In a large bowl, combine the condensed milk, vanilla, rose water, and salt. Set the milk mixture aside.

Related: 20 Easy Baking Recipes for Kids (All Less Than 10 Ingredients!)

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whisk the heavy cream on high speed for 2 to 3 minutes, until medium-stiff peaks form.

4. Fold about 1 cup (60 g) of the whipped cream into the condensed milk mixture to lighten the milk mixture. Then fold in the remaining whipped cream.

5. In a small bowl, mash ¾ cup (80 g) of the raspberries with a fork. Fold the mashed raspberries and their juices, the remaining ¾ cup (80 g) of raspberries and the pistachios into the ice cream mixture.

Related: This No-Bake S’mores Cheesecake Was Made for Summer

6. Transfer the ice cream mixture into the prepared baking pan and cover the pan tightly with plastic wrap. Freeze the ice cream for 4 to 5 hours (or preferably overnight) until it is firm.

7. Lift the ice cream from the baking pan and use a large knife or cookie cutter to cut out 10 to 12 portions roughly the same size as the cookies you are using.

8. To assemble the ice cream cookies, top a cookie with the ice cream, then place another cookie on top. Serve immediately.


Reprinted with permission from Blooms and Baking by Amy Ho, Page Street Publishing Co. 2020. Photo credit: Amy Ho

Love Amy’s beautiful baking creations? Try your hand at her Nanaimo bar popsicles or sweet honeycomb cake.

Vietnamese Coffee Popsicles: Transform Your Favourite Drink Into a Cool Treat!

Vietnamese coffee is traditionally made with two ingredients: strong drip coffee and sweetened condensed milk, served hot or cold. With summer in full swing, I wanted to transform one of my favourite drinks into a fun and cool treat. These Vietnamese coffee popsicles are creamy, sweet and perfect when you need a little caffeine kick!

Related: Our Best 5-Ingredient Popsicle Recipes (From Fruity to Fudgy Chocolate!)

Vietnamese Coffee Popsicles

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Freeze Time: 7 hours (or overnight)
Total Time: 7 hours, 10 minutes
Servings: 10 popsicles

Ingredients:

Base Layer
1 cup freshly brewed strong coffee or espresso
1 cup heavy cream
½ cup sweetened condensed milk
2 tsp espresso powder (optional)

Top Layer
¾ cup heavy cream
¼ cup condensed milk

Directions:

1. In a large measuring cup, whisk together the freshly brewed coffee, heavy cream and condensed milk. Pour the mixture into a 10-popsicle mold about ¾ of the way full. Cover and freeze for an hour until set.

2. Mix together the heavy cream and condensed milk for the top layer. Carefully pour the mixture on top of the coffee layer, cover and insert popsicle sticks and freeze for at least 6 hours or overnight.

3. Run the mold under warm water to release and enjoy!

Love Sabrina’s baking? Check out her no-bake key lime pie icebox cake, these pastel-happy fruity cheesecake pastry pockets and white chocolate funfetti cookies.

Ree Drummond’s Rustic Strawberry Tart is the Perfect Way to Celebrate Canada Day

Baking doesn’t always require hours in a hot kitchen, especially if you try something as quick and simple as The Pioneer Woman‘s rustic strawberry tart. Ree Drummond skips the homemade pastry and opts for store-bought pie crusts to cut down on prep time, then she fills it with ripe summer strawberries and bakes the tart for 30 minutes until golden. Topped with sweetened whipped cream, it’s the perfect dessert for your Canada Day celebration at home.

Related: Ina Garten’s Easy Recipes That Start with Store-Bought Ingredients

The Pioneer Woman’s Rustic Strawberry Tart and Sweetened Whipped Cream

Total Time: 1 hour (plus cooling time)
Serves:
6

Ingredients:
4 cups strawberries, halved
1/2 cup granulated white sugar
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting your work surface
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp lemon juice
2 store-bought pie dough crusts, thawed if frozen
1 large egg
1 Tbsp water plus a splash
1/3 cup apricot preserves
Sweetened Whipped Cream, for serving, recipe follows

Sweetened Whipped Cream:
1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp granulated white sugar

Related: The Pioneer Woman’s Best Summer Grilling Recipes

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.

2. Add the strawberries to a bowl along with the sugar, flour, vanilla extract, lemon zest and lemon juice and toss together until well combined. Set aside while you prepare the crust.

3. Lightly flour your work surface so the crust doesn’t stick. Unroll the pie crusts and lay one on the other, overlapping about halfway. Use a rolling pin and roll the crusts in the center to join them together and to spread them out slightly. It should be about 19 inches by 11 inches and fit on a sheet pan.

4. Use a knife to round the top and bottom edges slightly and along the sides to neaten up the edges; no more than 1/2-inch of dough should be cut away. (Discard the extra dough.) Transfer to a parchment-lined sheet pan.

5. Spoon the strawberry mixture into the center of the dough leaving a 1-inch border around all sides. (Be sure they aren’t too mounded so they bake evenly in the oven.) Working carefully, fold edges of the dough up and over the strawberries, pleating them as you go.

Related: The Pioneer Woman’s 30 Most Popular Cake and Pie Recipes

6. In a small bowl, whisk the egg and 1 tablespoon water together. Use a pastry brush to lightly coat only the folded edge of the dough.

7. Place the sheet pan into the oven and bake the tart for 30 minutes. Rotate the pan halfway through the bake to make sure it bakes evenly. While it is baking, heat the apricot preserves in a small pan with a splash of water until warmed through.

8. When the crust is golden brown, remove it from the oven. Brush the strawberries gently with the warmed apricot preserves and cool completely before cutting and serving with the Sweetened Whipped Cream.

Sweetened Whipped Cream:

1. With a whisk, a handheld mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the heavy cream and white sugar until it has formed soft peaks.

Related: Red and White Desserts to Celebrate Canada Day

If you’re looking for more of Ree Drummond’s kitchen shortcuts, check out The Pioneer Woman’s Top Cooking Tips for Easier Weeknight Dinners.

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

Baked Salmon With Spicy Mango Avocado Salsa, Because Summer is Coming

Summer is all about simple cooking: few ingredients that are fresh and easy to prepare. That’s why this salsa is about to become a staple in your home. It’s one of the quickest salsas to whip up and it has big zesty flavours. It marries so well with salmon — but, the truth is, this salsa is really versatile and the perfect addition to grilled chicken or shrimp, over a cabbage slaw or even dolloped on top of a coconut curry or stew. A quick tip: if you don’t have access to fresh mango, we tested it with frozen and it worked just as brilliantly!

Baked Salmon With Spicy Mango Avocado Salsa

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 16 minutes
Total Time: 31 minutes
Servings: 2

Ingredients:

Salmon
2 pieces salmon (5 oz each)
½ tsp chili powder
¼ tsp sea salt
Pinch of pepper
Splash of extra-virgin olive oil

Salsa
½ large or 1 small mango, diced (or heaping ½ cup diced frozen mango, defrosted)
1 avocado, diced
3 Tbsp cilantro, finely chopped
1 stalk green onion, finely sliced or 2 Tbsp finely diced red onion
½ to 1 jalapeno pepper, finely diced
3 Tbsp lime juice
½ tsp sea salt
Pinch of pepper

Directions:

1. Preheat your oven to 375°F.

2. Season salmon with chili powder, sea salt and pepper.

3. Place a pan, that’s also oven safe, on the stove over medium heat and add a splash of extra-virgin olive oil and swirl it around.

4. Once hot, place the salmon in the pan, flesh side down and sear it for 2 minutes, then flip and sear for another 2 minutes on the other side.

Related: Middle Eastern Sumac Chicken With Date Syrup, Lemon and Pecans

5. Carefully take the pan off the heat and place it in the oven to cook for 12 minutes until perfectly flakey and tender.

6. While the salmon is cooking, prepare the mango avocado salsa. Start by dicing both the mango and avocado: first score them lengthwise and horizontally, then scoop out the fruit into a bowl.

7. Add the remaining salsa ingredients and mix until well combined.

8. When the salmon is done, remove from the oven and top with fresh mango avocado salsa.

Craving more easy summertime recipes? You can whip up this simple miso chicken and this salad with tuna in almost no time!

strawberry-jam-what-to-do-with-fruit

10 Brilliant Ways to Use Fruit That’s Going Bad

Spring and summer are full of bright and fresh flavours, especially in the fruit department. Beautiful berries are calling our name, melons are at their ripest, baskets of juicy peaches and nectarines are readily available, and perfect plums take us well into the fall.

That’s probably why it’s so easy to overstock on some of these offerings—especially as we tell ourselves we’re going to eat better, lighter and fresher.

So what do you do with that big batch of berries once it’s starting to get mushy, or that basketful of peaches that’s starting to bruise?
Well we have a few ideas!

raspberry-smoothie

1. Blend up a Smoothie
The best part about ripe fruit is that it’s usually sweetest. That makes it a great natural sweetener for your next power breakfast smoothie. Can’t use it all at once? Freeze washed and prepared fruit in airtight containers or plastic bags and enjoy summer-inspired smoothies long into fall. Try this recipe for a Raspberry Refresher Smoothie.

how-to-make-fruit-popsicles

2. Freeze Fruity Popsicles
Turn that fruit into a natural popsicle that’s loaded with flavour and good-for-you ingredients. Puree ripe fruit in a blender until smooth then either pour directly into popsicle moulds or mix in some Greek yogurt or milk for a creamier treat. Learn How to Make Summer Fruit Popsicles.

cornmeal-pancakes-with-blueberry-sauce

3. Whip up Pancakes
Who doesn’t love fresh fruit on top of their stack with a little maple syrup? So why not alter your recipe and incorporate a fruit puree either on top or in the actual batter? It’s a great way to use aging fruit while switching up your weekend breakfast routine. Try The Pioneer Woman’s Cornmeal Pancakes with Blueberry Syrup.

Citrus-chicken-with-raspberry-barbecue-sauce

4. Make a Marinade
We don’t often think of mixing meat and fruit, but some fruits actually make for great tenderizers. Chicken and pork can always benefit from a little fruity marinade; in fact we pretty much consider them a match made in heaven. Try Citrus Chicken with Raspberry Barbecue Sauce.

spinach-and-strawberry-salad-with-warm-bacon-vinaigrette

5. Toss Together a Summer Salad
We’re fans of fruit in our salad, especially when you play around with the flavour profiles. Peaches and steak go great with arugula and goat cheese, while strawberries, spinach, toasted pecans and chicken are a classic match. Riper fruit adds an unexpected sweetness that really livens up your plate. Try Valerie Bertinelli’s recipe for Spinach and Strawberry Salad with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette.

Summer Berry Sangria

6. Shake up a Fruity Cocktail or Boost Water with Flavour
Muddled fruit adds infinite flavour to regular old booze like vodka and gin. Create a signature cocktail (bonus points if you can mix in some fresh herbs too) for your next barbecue, or just stick to regular old sparkling water if you want to go easy on the drinking under that hot sun. Try this Summer Berry Sparkling Sangria.

ree-drummond- strawberry jam

7. Jam Out
There’s nothing quite like fresh jam, is there? When done correctly it keeps forever and makes for great gifts. Jam is a terrific way to use up fruit that’s about to expire, especially if you want to liven up plain old toast or cookies. Try The Pioneer Woman’s Strawberry Jam.

plum-cheesecake galette

8. Fill a Pie
We’re always fans of pie, no matter what the season. If you’ve got extra fruit, go ahead and whip up a few to freeze for later. Or, if you’re in the mood for a single serving of pie flavours, cut up some fruit into a bowl, add a little cinnamon and microwave it for a minute or so. Or try this Plum Cheesecake Galette.

Berries-Romanoff-Parfait-bobby-flay

9. Jazz up Your Yogurt
Know those “fruit-on-the-bottom” yogurts you buy? Yeah, they’re loaded with cornstarch and other added sugars. Why not whip up a healthier, fruity yogurt on your own? Muddle or blend your fruit and stir it into plain Greek yogurt. Add a little granola or chopped nuts for some extra crunch. Try Bobby Flay’s Berries Romanoff Parfait.

Raspberry Peach Fruit Leather

10. Make Fruit Leather
This works best if you have a food dehydrator, but you can do it with a regular old oven too. These “fruit roll-ups” are perfect for children and adults alike, and make for a perfect snack to-go. Try Anna Olson’s recipe for summer Raspberry Peach Fruit Leather, subbing in ripe fruit for the frozen stuff.

Too much fruit? Learn how to Get Rid of Fruit Flies for Good.

This Heirloom Tomato Galette is a Summer Show-Stopper

Sun-ripened tomatoes are my favourite thing about the late summer. They taste so fresh and sweet. I remember my grandma slicing up tomatoes from her garden, drizzling them generously with olive oil and sprinkling with sea salt, to serve to us as the perfect snack. Sometimes the simplest things in life are the best. Maybe it’s the Italian in me, but I can’t help but love every variety of tomato. This galette combines a rainbow of heirloom tomatoes, but regular red cherry tomatoes will do the trick.

Heirloom Tomato Galette

Prep Time: 25 minutes (prep pie dough ahead of time)
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 70 minutes
Serves: 6 to 8

Ingredients:

Single Pie Dough
½ cups all-purpose flour, sifted
¼ tsp fine salt
⅓ cup unsalted butter, cold and cubed
3 Tbsp shortening, cold
¼ cup ice water

Galette
1 batch Single Pie Dough, chilled
⅓ cup basil pesto, homemade or store-bought
½ cup thinly sliced fresh mozzarella cheese
2 cups mixed heirloom cherry tomatoes, halved
2 Tbsp extra- virgin olive oil
Pinch of fine salt
Pinch of freshly ground pepper
1 egg, whisked, for egg wash
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

Single Pie Dough
1. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour and salt. Add the butter and shortening. Using your hands or a pastry cutter, work the butter and shortening until the mixture forms pea-sized crumbs. Add the water 1 Tbsp at a time, tossing until the dough begins to come together.
2. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and shape into a disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Use within 2 days or freeze for up to 2 weeks. Thaw in the fridge the day before using.

Galette
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pie dough into a circle that is ¼ inch (5 mm) thick. Gently lift and transfer the dough to the prepared baking sheet.
3. Brush the dough with the pesto, leaving a 1-inch (2.5 cm) border. Layer the mozzarella over the pesto.
4. In a large mixing bowl toss together the tomatoes, oil, salt and pepper. Spread the tomatoes over the cheese. Gently fold the dough border over, pleating it as needed. Brush dough with the egg wash and sprinkle the edges with the Parmesan.
5. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and the tomatoes burst. Serve immediately.

Recipe Excerpt:
Excerpted from Bake the Seasons: Sweet and Savoury Dishes to Enjoy Throughout The Year by Marcella DiLonardo. Copyright © 2019 Marcella DiLonardo. Photography by Marcella DiLonardo. Published by Penguin Canada®, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved. 

This Berry, Lemon & Tahini Pound Cake is Summer in Dessert Form

Tahini adds a pleasingly nutty, bitter note to this sophisticated summer berry pound cake, while lemon zest and juice, in both the cake and glaze, cut through this dessert’s richness. The addition of the oil-rich tahini keeps the cake moist for days on the counter, though it will keep for up to a week in the refrigerator. It’s just sweet enough without tasting cloying, allowing every ingredient to shine through. The cake gets a final flourish from edible flowers, making summer tea time that much more magical. And, it’s dairy-free!

Dairy-Free Summer Berry, Lemon and Tahini Pound Cake

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Bake Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Cooling Time: 6 hours
Total Time: 7 hours 40 minutes
Makes: 1 loaf
Serves: 10

Ingredients:

Cake
½ cup well-stirred tahini, room temperature
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1¾ tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp fine-grain salt
½ cup unsweetened plain almond milk
Zest of 1 lemon
2 cups fresh or frozen (do not defrost) berries (raspberries, blueberries, sliced strawberries)

Glaze
2 cups icing sugar, sifted
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp almond milk
Zest of ½ lemon
Edible flowers

Directions:

Cake
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease a standard loaf pan and line with parchment paper, leaving overhang for easy removal.
2. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat tahini, oil, eggs, sugar, lemon juice and vanilla. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes, until lighter in colour and texture.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk to combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

4. Turn on mixer to low and slowly add flour mixture, alternating with milk and finishing with flour mixture. Stop mixer before all of the flour is incorporated. Using a spatula, gently fold in fresh berries and lemon zest. Spread evenly into prepared pan.
5. Bake for 1 hour 5 minutes to 1 hour 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out with just a few damp crumbs but is mostly clean. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then loosen the edges with a knife. Using the parchment overhang, transfer pound cake to a wire cooling rack and cool completely.

Glaze
1. In a medium bowl, whisk icing sugar, lemon juice and milk until smooth. Keep the fully cooled pound cake on the wire rack and place the rack on top of a clean baking sheet.
2. Pour glaze evenly over cake, allowing it to drip down the sides. While glaze is still wet, top with lemon zest and edible flowers. Let glaze set, if desired, about 2 hours, and then slice and serve.
3. Store pound cake (with set glaze) airtight at room temperature for 3 days, or refrigerate for up to 1 week.

Baking with tahini lends a certain creaminess and earthy flavour you never knew you were missing. Want more? We recommend these Healthy 7-Ingredient Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies!

Anna Olson Dessert Station

Anna Olson’s Best Dessert Station Recipes for a Picture-Perfect Party

It’s time to party!  We as Canadians know how to appreciate every bit of sweetness that our summer season gives to us and that includes entertaining guests for birthdays, bridal and baby showers, graduations and family reunions, and even better if we can host outdoors. Maybe you’ve figured out the snacks and nibbles, and you know that the grill will be fired up to take care of the main part of the meal, but what to do about dessert?

Dessert stations are the hot ticket at professionally catered events, but you don’t have to be a caterer to create a beautiful, themed dessert bar.  Having such a set up is ideal for a large group because there are some guests who will make one visit to grab a sweet plate, some may take a pass altogether, and there are others who may sneak in multiple trips.

Anna Olson Party Desserts

A dessert station also allows you to use time before the party starts to set up the table nicely, leaving space for your bowls and platters that need to be refrigerated to be added last minute, and all of the work is done ahead of time — anything that allows you to be more of a guest at your own party gets a checkmark in my book.

Here are a few fun ideas for summery desserts that suit a party:

Waffle Dessert Station

Hosting a brunch party or shower? Waffles don’t have to be a part of the breakfast portion… make them dessert! If you have space and the inclination, you could set up an “action station” and let people make their own waffles, or you (or a “voluntold” family member) could make them.  As your guests take their waffles, have an assortment of sauces and toppings ready for dressing. There are two main types of waffles you can make:

1. Classic buttermilk waffles are made from a batter similar to pancakes, but have whipped egg whites folded in right before making.

2. Liege waffles are a yeast-raised waffle dough, that has crushed sugar cubes added before portioning.  This dough can be made ahead and chilled (which might be handy before a busy party day).

Cupcake Garden Dessert Station

Cupcakes are the perfect summer party dessert.  They are easy to pick up and eat with your fingers, the perfect single portion and as pretty as can be!  You may have thought that cupcakes were just a dessert “phase” we were going through, but they have stood the test of time and are still a popular choice at weddings, showers and other garden parties.

Of course, you can decorate your cupcakes as simple or as elaborate as you wish, but if hosting your party outside, why not make a flower garden of your cupcake display?

Anna-Olson-Cupcake-Garden

Get the recipe for Vanilla Cupcakes With Floral Frosting

All Things Sprinkles!

Anything with sprinkles is hot right now, so make a colourful dessert station out of just about any assortment of desserts, so long as sprinkles abound on top and/or within them! Tarts, cakes, cupcakes, ice cream, cookies, squares — just about any sweet treat takes on a playful tone when sprinkles are added.

Confetti-Frosted-Sugar-Cookie-Squares

Get the recipe for Confetti Frosted Sugar Cookie Squares

You can use bowls and jars of sprinkles as part of the table decor or just provide spoons so people can add sprinkles as they wish.

Party Table Tips

Now that you’ve picked your dessert table theme, here are a few tips for success as you plan and assemble:

1. Location

If setting up your dessert table outdoors, be sure that it is shaded, so that desserts don’t melt in direct sunlight. This also applies to indoors — avoid setting a dessert table near a window with direct sunlight, which can magnify the heat and melt the icing off a cake!

2. Labels 

Place tags next to each dessert item, so that if unattended, guests know what the desserts are. Include potential allergens, or note if items are “free” from gluten, eggs, dairy, etc.

3. Serving Tools 

Place serving tools on each platter or plate, but have a few spares on hand, just in case a spoon slips into the whipped cream bowl.

4. Use Battery Twinkle Lights 

Tea lights are pretty, but can be dangerous on a dessert table if an arm with a sleeve reaches over an open flame. Strings of battery-operated twinkle lights are easy to arrange and add the perfect sparkle.

5. Takeaway Boxes 

Want guests to take treats home with them? Bakery boxes or more decorative boxes can be purchased affordably at craft stores. I hope you are as excited as I am for the summer hosting season… I’ll see you on the back deck!

Nutritionists Reveal 10 Surprising Ways to Reduce Carcinogens When You Grill

Grilling on the BBQ is a summertime must. Who doesn’t love a juicy kebab or burger that’s fresh off the grill? While grilling adds incredible flavour and is an easy cooking method, studies have shown that it may increase the risk of cancer. Here’s how: when meat that’s rich in muscle (think: burgers and steaks) is grilled or pan-fried above 300°F or is hit by an open flame, it forms heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). These chemicals may mutate DNA, leading to possible cancer risk. While getting that great char on your burger may add flavour, it also adds possible carcinogens into your meal, which definitely puts a damper on summertime grilling; but, fear not, because we have must-know tips for grilling safely this BBQ season!



Get the recipe for Bobby Flay’s Grilled Salmon Steak With Hoisin BBQ Sauce

1. Marinade, Marinade, Marinade

Several studies have found that marinating meat before grilling greatly decreases its carcinogenicity. For example, marinating chicken in a combination of cider vinegar, mustard, lemon juice, salt and even red wine significantly reduced the HCAs in grilled chicken. Marinating pork in beer resulted in the same significant reduction in HCAs. So, marinate your meat before grilling, but minimize the sugars and oils, which can actually increase HCAs and PAHs. If you’re marinade is laden with sugars and oils, reserve it for the end of the grilling period.

2. Rosemary is Your Friend

That aromatic, woodsy spice may be your new best friend when it comes to grilling. Studies have found that the compounds in rosemary, known as rosmarinic acid, carnosol and carnosic acid, can block HCAs from forming during grilling. You can use rosemary dried or fresh in marinades, or simply rub the extract on the surface of your meat before grilling to reap the benefits. Other studies found that combining antioxidant-rich herbs (like oregano, thyme, basil, mint and parsley) together in marinades were also effective at reducing HCAs.

3. Pass the Pepper, Please

You may want to add more than a pinch of pepper when it comes to grilling your favourite meat this summer. A study found that mixing 1 gram of pepper with 100 grams of ground beef worked well at inhibiting HCAs, but it was unpalatable, so researchers encourage cooks to load up on pepper and other flavourful herbs to reduce HCAs and give it a pleasing taste. Meats only need to be seasoned a few hours before grilling (seasoning for too long can have the opposite effect, as the antioxidants can decompose).

4. Smother in Garlic and Onion

Studies have indicated that adding garlic and onion to meat before grilling showed a strong reduction in HCAs. It’s best when you combine garlic and onion together, as they can target different HCAs and reduce them. Another study found that adding freshly cut onion to a beef patty that’s fried at 445°F for 8 minutes per side greatly inhibited HCAs. The point is, no matter the form (fresh, powdered, granulated) just make sure you add this allium duo to your meats prior to grilling.

5. Clean Your Grill

Before using your BBQ, make sure all of the grates are clean, and if they’re not, get in there with a brush and scrub! When there’s leftover burnt bits on the grates, it’s likely to drip down when the heat turns up, igniting a big flame. When meats are in direct contact with fire, that’s when PAHs form on their surface. A really easy way to reduce PAHs is to thoroughly clean your grill before and after use.

Related: The Correct (And Simple) Way to Clean Your BBQ: A Step-by-Step Guide

6. Go Lean

HCAs and PAHs are most likely to form at incredibly high temperatures, and over longer cooking periods. Choosing leaner cuts, like flank steak, can help reduce the carcinogens because the cook time is quicker, so it’s not exposed to direct heat for that long. If you are using a fattier cut, don’t cook to the point where it’s completely charred or very, very well done. Instead, take it off the BBQ before it gets to that point. You can also slice your meat into smaller pieces so it cooks faster. Stay away from grilling processed meats like sausages and hot dogs that have nitrates, which are precursors to carcinogenic compounds.

7. Go for the Veg (or Fish)

When veggies and fruits are grilled over a flame, HCAs don’t form, mainly because produce doesn’t have the same muscle and protein content that meat does. For this reason, switch up some grilling habits and add lots of colourful veggies to your BBQ menu. You can also take a break from red meat, instead opting for fish and seafood, which cooks much quicker and doesn’t require being on the grill for too long, reducing overall HCA and PAH levels.

Get the recipe for Candied Maple Balsamic Brussels Sprout Skewers With Red Onion (Plus 4 More Tasty Plant-Based Skewers)

8. Flip It Real Good

Studies have found that continuously flipping your meat on the grill can minimize the formation of carcinogens. As you flip, the surface of the meat is moving around, so it won’t get as charred or burned, which helps to reduce both HCAs and PAHs.

9. Layer with Foil

Since many carcinogens are formed when fat drips down and flames flare up, you can always line your grill with foil and puncture little holes for the drippings to glide down. This helps to prevent your meat from being in direct contact with an open flame.



Get the recipe for Foil-Pack Grilled Sweet-and-Spicy Chicken Wings

10. Master the Gas

Gas grills are the safest when it comes to summer grilling. You can easily control the temperature and place meat away from the direct flame. Your meat can still cook in the heat of the enclosed BBQ, but it doesn’t necessarily need to come into contact with flames. If there are fiery flare ups, you can keep a spray bottle of water close by to help minimize. You can also pre-cook meats in the oven to limit the time they have on the grill.

Annie Sibonney’s Comforting North African Shakshuka

Ever since we were little, my twin sister has always been willing to cook, and I’ve always been willing to eat. No one was surprised when Annie Sibonney became a chef (and Food Network host ), while I became a journalist who writes a lot about food. Though we pursued different interests and have even lived in separate countries over the years, sharing food together brings us back to our roots.

Growing up in a French Moroccan home, one of the most cherished food memories from our childhood is shakshuka, an impressive North African dish of eggs poached in a bubbling, fragrant stew of tomatoes and spices. This was the dish that got everyone out of bed in our house. It’s the kind of one-skillet meal that connects everyone around a table. It’s cutlery-optional. All you really need is a perfectly crusty loaf of bread for sopping up the sauce and the rich, runny egg yolks.

Shakshuka-ready-on-a-table

Photo by Claire Sibonney
Claire Sibonney

Shakshuka is wildly popular throughout the Middle East for breakfast or brunch but can stand on its own for any meal of the day. With its heady aromas of garlic, onion, paprika and cumin, it’s the kind of dish that gets people’s attention.

Eggs simmered in a spicy sauce is so simple and satisfying that it’s eaten in many iterations around the world—from Italian eggs in purgatory to huevos rancheros in Mexico and menemen in Turkey—all of these dishes involve a little magic as the resulting meal is so much more than the sum of its parts.

Some people add feta, olives, sweet bell peppers or even potatoes to shakshuka, but for purists it’s not necessary. Although a bowl of labneh—Lebanese strained yogurt—or olives on the side never hurt.

More than anything, it’s a dish that’s meant to be shared—the bigger and louder the gathering, the better. When it’s served, the shakshaka pan (Annie uses a cast-iron bottom of a traditional Moroccan tagine here) is placed in the centre of the table and the portion closest to you is yours. One of the only rules of sharing shakshuka: never dip your bread into someone else’s yolk, even if it’s your twin sister’s!

annie-sibonney-with-Shakshuka-ingredients

Photo by Claire Sibonney
Claire Sibonney

North African Shakshuka Recipe

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Makes: 4 servings

Ingredients:
1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling over the final dish
2 pounds ripe tomatoes, coarsely chopped (or 28 oz canned whole peeled tomatoes, crushed by hand)
1 medium onion, finely sliced
6 garlic cloves, chopped
1 small green chili pepper such as jalapeño or serrano, seeds removed and finely chopped
4 large eggs
1 ½ Tbsp sweet paprika
1 tsp hot paprika or substitute with ground ancho powder, optional
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 cup water, plus more if necessary
salt and pepper to taste
1 handful of roughly chopped cilantro or parsley leaves, or a mix of both

Shakshuka-ingredients

Photo by Claire Sibonney
Claire Sibonney

Directions:
1. Heat a medium-sized heavy skillet, such as cast iron over medium heat. Add the olive oil and sauté the onions until they have softened but not browned. Add the garlic, chili pepper and spices and stir for 1 minute, just enough for the kitchen to smell wonderfully aromatic.
2. Add the chopped tomatoes, water and salt to taste and increase the heat to high for 1-2 minutes, stirring the mix so that the tomatoes start to break down into a sauce and comes to a bubbling simmer. Reduce heat to medium once more. Taste and adjust for seasoning.
3. The sauce should have a pungent flavour and a deep-red colour from the spices. Cook for an additional 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, being careful not to scorch the sauce. Add more water if necessary to maintain the consistency of a rustic pasta sauce.
4. With the back of a large spoon, make room for each egg in the pan by creating little wells in the sauce. Carefully crack the eggs one at a time into a small bowl, making sure to keep the yolks intact.
5. Gently tip in your eggs, one at a time into the sauce, making sure to leave enough space between them. Season each egg with a little more salt. Cook for 10-13 minutes longer at a gentle simmer, rotating the pan constantly (do not stir!) to poach the eggs evenly in the sauce. The shakshuka is ready when the egg whites are set and cooked but the yolks are still bright, golden and velvety. Sprinkle the chopped cilantro and parsley over the finished dish with a liberal drizzle of olive oil.
6. For an authentic family-style meal, serve the shakshuka in its pan at the centre of the table and don’t forget plenty of good quality crusty bread to soak up the tomato sauce and to dip into the decadent yolks.

claire-and-annie-sibonney-eating-Shakshuka

Photo by Masumi Sato

Looking for more fresh summer recipes? Try our 40 Fresh Tomato Recipes.

 

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