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Sunday
Jun072015

Fuel to Go Muffins

Mornings can be hectic, and the last thing I have time for is preparing a meal. I like the concept of grab-and-go. That is why muffins make for an easy breakfast. Although, sometimes eating a muffin is basically like eating a cupcake...sweet and not so good for you. Not that I'm complaining, because I love a good chocolate chip muffin from time to time, but I would prefer to start the day on a slightly healthier note. These muffins do just that. They are chock-full of healthy fruit and seeds that give you the energy you need to power through your day, or at least until lunch time!

 

2 cups Whole Wheat Flour
2/3 cup Sugar
1 tablespoon Cinnamon
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 cup Raisins (I used dried cranberries instead)
1/4 cup Dried Apricots, diced
2 cups Grated Carrots
1 Apple, cored and shredded
3 Eggs
8 ounce can Crushed Pineapple
2/3 cup Olive Oil
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1/2 cup Sunflower Seeds
1/2 cup Pepitas
1/4 cup Chia Seeds

 

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. Stir in the raisins, apricots, carrots, and apple and mix to combine. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and add the crushed pineapple, oil, and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Stir in the sunflower seeds, pepitas, and chia seeds. Line a muffin tin with liners and fill the wells until heaping with mixtrue. You should be able to get about 14-16 muffins. Bake at 350 degrees for 34-38 minutes, or until the tops of the muffins are golden brown. 

 

Sunday
May312015

Dark Chocolate Coconut Bites

 

I've been holding out on you. This recipe is leftover in my files from Easter. I can't believe I haven't gotten around to posting it until now. If you like Mounds bars, you'll love these bites. Not only are they easy to make, but they are a huge hit with a crowd! I ate a few more than I'd like to admit, but there were plenty to go around for all of my guests. Next time, I might add an almond to the center of these to mimic that of an Almond Joy bar. That would be delicious! 

 

4 cups Shredded Coconut (I used sweetened, but unsweetened is fine, too)
1 can Sweetened Condensed Milk
12 ounces Dark Chocolate, chopped (I used dark chocolate chips)
Sea Salt, optional

 

Mix the coconut and condensed milk in a large bowl until a sticky paste is formed. Roll the mixture into 1-inch balls (you should be able to make about 36) and place them on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Freeze for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, melth the chocolate. You can either do this in a heatproof bowl over a pot of gently simmering water, or in the microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring between each. Using 2 forks, dip the coconut balls into the melted chocolate, rolling to cover evenly. Place them back on the parchment lined baking sheet and top with a pinch of sea salt, if desired. Repeat with the rest of the coconut balls. Allow the chocolate to set, either at room temperature or in the fridge. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

 

SOURCE: Port and Fin
Monday
May252015

Coconut Vanilla Tapioca with Mango Sauce

 

Wow, has it really been a month since my last post? I apologize! It's been a busier month than expected. School is almost out and the track season is just about over, so I'll have more time to cook when it is still light enough to get some decent pictures.

It's Secret Recipe Club Reveal Day! This month, I was assigned to Chocolate & Chillies, written by my neighbor to the north Asiya. Asiya lives in Toronto, which is a favorite city of ours, and is only about 2 hours away from our house. Asiya is a stay at home mom to 2 boys. Her family is from India and her husband is Pakistani, so she has some amazing recipes to choose from, including Chicken Biryani, Falooda, and Muhammara Pasta just to name a few. As you can imagine, it was pretty difficult to choose just one. But, as soon as I saw Asiya's recipe for tapioca, I was sold! When it comes to dessert, pudding is usually pretty low on my list of preferences. Generally, I'll pass if given the option. However, tapioca pudding has always been a favorite of mine. While we didn't eat dessert often growing up, there was always a box of instant tapioca pudding in the cabinet ready to be made whenever the craving hit. Since I have grown up and moved out, I don't have that constant box of tapioca in the pantry, although after trying this recipe, I very well might! The coconut milk gave the pudding such a delicously rich flavor, and the flecks of vanilla bean were so pretty. The mango puree gave the pudding just the right amount of sweetness. Thank you for the delicious dessert recipe, Asiya!! I had a great time getting to know you this month!

For the Pudding:
1/3 cup Small Pearl Tapicoa
1 can Coconut Milk
3/4 cup Milk
1 Egg Yolk
1/3 cup Sugar
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/2 tablespoon Vanilla Bean Paste (or 1/2 inch piece of Vanilla Bean, scraped)

Pour the milk and coconut milk into a medium saucepan and add the tapioca pearls. Soak for about 30 minutes. Whisk in the egg yolk, sugar, salt, and vanilla and place the saucepan over medium heat until the mixture comes to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and cook until thickened, stirring often. Pour the mixture into pudding cups and chill in the fridge overnight.

For the Mango Puree:
1 Mango, peeled, pitted, and chopped
2 teaspoons Sugar

Place the mango and sugar in a food processor and process until smooth. Store in the fridge. To assemble, spoon some of the puree over the top of the pudding. Enjoy!

SOURCE: Chocolate & Chillies

Monday
Apr272015

Pineapple Jam

Pineapple jam

Today is Secret Recipe Club reveal day! SRC is such a great way to get to know bloggers from all over the world. Case in point, this month, I was assigned to Shirley’s blog, Enriching Your Kid. Shirley blogs from India! Even though she is half a world away form me geographically, it is so cool to be able to click a button and get to know her as if she was right next door! Shirley is a clinical psychologist turned stay at home mom of two children. I felt an instant connection when I saw that her son and my husband share a name! Shirley’s blog is filled with amazing dishes that have been passed down to her from her mom, as well as her own creations. There were several recipes that I was immediately drawn to, such as beetroot paratha, homemade paneer, and paneer burji, and I definitely will be revisiting those recipes soon to give them a try. While all of those were savory recipes, I had a hankering for something sweet this month, so I ultimately made this pineapple jam. A simple recipe of 3 ingredients makes for such a versatile jam that can be used in many ways. To me, it seemed to have the consistency of applesauce, and while I suppose you can eat it as is or use it on a sandwich as you would any other jam, I found that it makes a delicious topping for an ice cream sundae! I also stirred a bit into my morning oatmeal, along with sliced banana and mango. It was as delicious as it was easy! Shirley, thanks for such a delightful recipe! I look forward to giving many others a try, too! 

1 Pineapple, cut, cleaned, and cored
2/3 cup Sugar
3 Cardamom Pods, crushed

Chop the pineapple into small pieces and place them in a saucepan. Add the sugar and cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring often. Cool the mixture and pour into a blender. Puree the mixture, then pour it back into the saucepan and place back over medium heat. Cook, stirring often, until it reaches the consistency of applesauce, about 10-15 minutes. Add the cardamom and remove from the heat. Allow the jam to cool before placing it in a covered container and putting it in the fridge. 

SOURCE: Enriching Your Kid

 

Sunday
Apr192015

Romesco Sauce

Romesco

With the warm weather finally arriving, I’ve been thinking a lot about sprucing up my backyard and garden. I started my vegetables from seed again this year, but learned from my mistake last year of overcrowding things in a tiny little space, and therefore planted much fewer. Hopefully this year, we will actually be able to grow our own produce. Just thinking about it is making me crave light and healthy meals, made up of mostly vegetables. However, you can only add so many spices to vegetables as you roast (or grill) them before they start to become boring. So, I’m always on the hunt for ways to bring more flavor to my roasted vegetables. Enter this sauce. This recipe was very easy to make and absolutely delicious. It reminded me of a pesto, except red. If my garden has any success this year, I could potentially end up with a lot of red peppers, so it’s always nice to have a recipe to make that will use some of them up. We tossed this sauce with roasted vegetables and served over some fresh ravioli, but it would be just as delicious as a topping for chicken or fish, or even just for topping crostini. 

2 Roasted Red Bell Peppers (either roast them yourself or use the jarred peppers)
3 Garlic Cloves, smashed
1 cup Slivered Almonds, toasted
1/2 cup Tomato Puree
1/4 cup Parsley
2 tablespoons Sherry Vinegar
1 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Powder
1/2-3/4 cup Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper, to taste

Place all ingredients except for the oil into the bowl of a food processor. Process until blended, then slowly add the oil through the top until the sauce has reached the desired thickness. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serving suggestions: toss with pasta, vegetables, poultry, seafood, or crostini. 

SOURCE: The Vintage Mixer