February 25, 2012
Sometimes, you just want some soft, gooey, sweet cinnamon bread. This is the kind of recipe that's best made on a lazy Sunday morning when you're doing laundry. You can put in your loads while you let the dough rise a few of times.
The dough needs to rest and rise three times.
The funnest part of the recipe is when you get to make the cinnamon sugar. And then spread it on the dough and then bundle it all up into a pretty roll.
After 50 mins in the oven, serve it up after it rests for 10 mins but is still nice and warm, and enjoy!
Here's the recipe!
Cinnamon Swirl Bread
by Martha Stewart
February 20, 2012
I didn't make these tasty grilled peaches with feta, my husband did. We went to the store and he picked up some canned peaches and proceeded to make our house smell like sweet sugary butter.
Here's all you'll need:
My husband is a mean griller. He grills everything from steaks to asparagus, and everything turns out 100% pure delicious every time.
The secret to his success is... well, I'm not sure, you'll have to ask him. But I suspect it has something to do with patience. I always try to flip things over before they're ready. Mr. A placed the peaches onto our cast iron grill pan and covered them and waited. And voila! Perfectly grilled peaches, with nice grill-marks and everything!
Here's the recipe!
Grilled Peaches with Feta
by Chef Peggy
Canned or fresh, recipe peach halves
Heat the skillet on med-high heat. When it's hot, place the peach halves onto the skillet and cover. When the peaches have grill-marks on one side (about 3 mins), flip and repeat. Once the peaches have been grilled on both sides, crumble some feta on top on the side with the hollowed out pit area.
Wait 5 mins to cool down, and serve.
February 19, 2012
Tabouleh! (pronouced Tabouli!) This is one of my all-time favourite salads. I learned how to make it from my mom, much like many of the other dishes and salads I make often.
The keys to a delicious tabouleh, in my opinion is: 1) chopping everything as small as possible, and 2) being generous with your dressing.
I also like using whole bulgur wheat, 'cause I think it's tastier than the non-whole version.
If you've ever wondered what bulgur wheat is, wonder no more! Bulgur is a coarsely ground wheat that has been parboiled and dried. It's sometimes confused with cracked wheat, but it's not the same thing. Bulgur has a slightly nutty flavour, and no tabouleh is whole without it.
Here is my attempt as the tiniest cubes of cucumber:
Here's the parsley chopped up real fine, and the shallots ready to go:
and the flowers I got for Valentine's Day.
Here's the recipe!
by my mom
1/3 cup whole bulgur wheat
1 bunch of parsley, thoroughly washes and chopped very fine
1 tomato, finely cubed
1 english cucumber, finely cubed
2 shallots, or 3 green onions, or 1/4 onion, chopped fine
1 tbsp vinegar
2 tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp olive oil
salt & pepper
dash of dried chili pepper for a bit of heat
Wash the bulgur wheat and drain, leaving a bit of water. Let the wheat soak for at least 30 mins, until they are softened.
Combine the bulgur with the vegetables and toss. Pour vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil, and seasonings on the salad and toss well.
February 14, 2012
We made hummus and rotis on the weekend! We took them to our friends' place for lunch. We had a great time.
Hummus is a great appetizer/snack/light dinner. Another thing that's great about hummus is that it's super easy and fast to make. I like to add some parsley to my hummus because I think it gives it a little je-ne-sais-quoi.
Here's how it looked like before it got zapped in the food processor.
We made rotis to scoop up our hummus with. If you like making your own bread, this little flat bread is one of the easiest to make. It only has 3 ingredients: whole wheat flour, a little bit of salt, and water. Yup, that's it!
That's me rolling the rotis out!
After the rotis get rolled out, then go into the cast iron skillet.
Then, they get flipped, and finally brushed with melted butter or oil.
Here's the recipe!
1 can chick peas
2 tbsp tahini
small handful of parsley
1 tbsp lemon juice
3-4 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp paprika
2-3 gloves of garlic
Mince the garlic and parsley in the food process. Add the rest of the ingredients and puree in the food processor until well combined.
by Manjula's Kitchen
makes 8 rotis
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup lukewarm water
1 tbsp butter, melted
Mix flour, salt and water together to make a soft dough (add more water or flour as needed). Knead the dough on a lightly greased surface to make the dough smooth and pliable. Divide the dough into 8 equal parts. Roll them info smooth balls and press them flat. Take 1 ball; press it in dry flour from both sides.
Roll in to a 4-inch circle. If the dough sticks to the rolling pin or rolling syrface, lightly dust the roti with dry flour. Tip: Use just enough flour to roll the roti, too much flour will make the roti dry.
Heat the skillet on medium high heat. Tip: An iron skillet works best. To know if the skillet is hot enough, sprinkle few drops of water on the skillet. If the water sizzles right away, the skillet is ready.
Place the roti onto the skillet. When you start to see air pockets, turn the roti over, about 3-4 mins. Flip again after a few seconds. Take a flat spatula and press lightly on the puffed parts of the roti. This will help the roti puff.
Flip the roti again. The roti should have light golden-brown spots on both sides. Remove the roti from the skillet and place on a paper towel. Butter the roti on one side.
Rotis can be kept outside for up to 2 days wrapped in aluminum foil or in a closed container, or they can be refrigerated for 5-6 days.
February 11, 2012
There's nothing like a warm, comforting, not to mention incredibly delicious hot chili to tuck into on a cold winter day.
This one's my own recipe. I combined a couple of different recipes to create this tasty concoction. I'm calling it "I'm going for seconds" Chili. Make it and see for yourself.
I'm Going For Seconds Chili
300g of bacon (I use less salt bacon), chopped
500g of ground turkey (you can also use ground beef)
2 onions, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 jalapeno peppers, minced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 cubano pepper, diced
3 tablespoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons dried oregano
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons hot paprika or cayenne
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons hot sauce
1 can tomato paste
4 cups of beef broth
2-3 bay leaves
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
1 can black beans
1. Heat a large cast iron pot (or heavy bottom pot) over medium-high heat and add bacon. Add a splash of water and let the bacon render its fat. As the water evaporates, the bacon will brown. Cook until the bacon is brown and crispy.
2. Pour off slightly over half the fat from the bacon. Add the onions, garlic and peppers. Saute until they are softened.
3. Add cumin, oregano, chili powder, cinnamon and hot paprika and continue to cook another 5 minutes.
4. Add turkey and saute the meat until browned, about 10 minutes, breaking apart the meat as it cooks.
5. Add Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce and tomato paste. Continue cooking until the tomato paste turns nicely brown and caramelized, another 3-4 minutes.
6. Add beef broth and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook, 1 hour.
7. 10 minutes before the end of the cook time, add the beans and season with salt & pepper, to taste.
I like to serve it with thick yoghurt. My husband likes to add grate cheese on top too. Trust me, you'll want seconds.
February 05, 2012
Today, I made one of my favourite baking recipes: lemon poppy seed cake!
This cake is light, fluffy and moist, and I love how the poppy seeds crack under my teeth.
It all begins by rubbing sugar and the lemon zest together to release the lemony oils in the rind. I love this part. The sugar will smell so lovely and lemony once you're done.
Poppy seeds are so pretty aren't they?
There's the batter in the bundt pan. I also love bundt pans. I think they're making a come-back.
Here's the recipe:
Lemon poppy seed cake
adapted from Joy the Baker
2/3 cup granulated sugar
zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup buttermilk or sour cream (I substituted with non fat yoghurt)
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 stick (8 Tablespoons) butter, melted until browned and cooled
2 Tablespoons poppy seeds
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar (for topping the batter before baking)
For the Glaze: 1 cup powdered sugar whisked together with 2 or 3 Tablespoons of lemon juice
Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Butter a bundtcake pan.
In a large bowl, rub the granulated sugar with the lemon zest until the sugar is lightly colored and scented with lemon. Whisk in the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a medium sized bowl whisk together the eggs, buttermilk (or sour cream) vanilla extract, melted butter and lemon juice.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and fold together. The batter will be quite thick. When almost thoroughly mixed, add the poppy seeds. Pour the batter (I had to scoop and place it) into the bundt pan. Sprinkle each would be muffing with granulated sugar.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the top is golden and a skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before glazing.
February 04, 2012
We haven't had much of a winter around here. I think it has snowed a total of 2 times since October. I keep hoping we'll get a real, snowy winter. Fingers crossed. Maybe that's why I made us some warm comforting food to tuck into: I made beef stroganoff for dinner tonight.
I bought some very pretty button mushrooms from the store and some grilling steak.
All in all, this was a quick and easy recipe. And hubby really liked it (he went for seconds!).
Confession: my stroganoff, while tasty, did turn out kinda watery. But I can tell you what to do to prevent that from happening:
1) definitely fry your steak in two batches. I did mine all at once and the steak gave off alot of liquid. Not what you want.
2) I used yoghurt instead of sour cream. I think this gave off more liquid, and we also lost the creamy tanginess of the sour cream. Next time, I'm sticking with sour cream.
Here's the recipe:
adapted from BBC Food
675g beef filet
1 1/2 tbsp hot Hungarian paprika
1 large onion, thinly sliced
350g button mushrooms, thinly sliced
300mL sour cream
2 tsp lemon juice
small handful of parsley leaves, finely chopped
salt & pepper
whole wheat egg white noodles
Cut the steak into slices 1cm/0.5in thick, then cut each slice across the grain into strips 1cm/0.5in wide.
Melt the butter in a large frying pan, add the paprika and onion and cook slowly until the onion is soft and sweet, but not browned.
Cook noodles in boiling water.
Add the mushrooms and fry gently for three minutes. Transfer the mixture to a plate and keep warm.
Using the same pan you cooked the onion mixture in, heat one and a half tablespoons of sunflower oil until very hot. Add half the fillet steak and fry quickly, seasoning and turning it as you do so, for just over one minute. Transfer to a plate and repeat with the rest of the oil and steak.
Return the onion mixture to the pan and pour in the soured cream. Bring to the boil and simmer for a minute or so, until thickened. Return the steak to the pan and heat very gently for one minute - the beef should not be cooked any further.
Stir in the lemon juice and parsley and serve over the prepared noodles.