November 29, 2012
A recent Tenderflake survey revealed that one in five Canadians consider tourtière their favourite savoury pie. Inspired by the classic French Canadian favourite, these mini versions are perfect for holiday gatherings. Save yourself time on the day of your event by baking these pies ahead of time and freezing them in an airtight container. Once needed, simply defrost, reheat for 5-10 minutes and serve. More holiday tips, recipes and free printable stencils can be found online at www.tenderflake.com.
- 1 package (18) Tenderflake Frozen Mini Tart Shells
- 1/2 lb (250 g) lean ground pork
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 carrot, finely grated
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp (5 mL) salt
- 3/4 tsp (3 mL) celery seed
- 1/2 tsp (2 mL) ground pepper
- 1/2 tsp (2 mL) allspice
- 1/4 tsp (1 mL) ground cloves
- 3/4 cup (175 mL) apple cider or juice
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) mashed potatoes
- Defrost tart shells according to package directions. Place on baking sheet.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
- Crumble pork into a large, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook, breaking the meat into small pieces with a wooden spoon, until browned. Drain off any excess fat.
- Add onion, carrot, garlic, salt, celery seed, pepper, allspice and cloves. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Stir in cider and potatoes; reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat; cool to room temperature.
- Divide pork mixture evenly between tarts shells.
- Bake on lowest rack, for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown.
November 29, 2012
Are you looking for a new way to engage your family in healthy eating? This cauliflower popcorn recipe from leading child nutrition organization, Breakfast for Learning, is a fun and healthy twist on the classic. It can be served as a side dish, or even as a new snack at your next movie night. Cauliflower is filled with nutrients that help keep bodies healthy and strong, such as vitamin C, potassium, and fibre.
- Cauliflower 1 head
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil 3 Tbsp
- Salt ½ tsp (2 ml)
- Spice (e.g. Paprika, garlic power, or onion powder) ½ tsp (2 ml)
- Preheat oven to 425F (220C).
- Cut cauliflower head into florets about the size of a ping pong ball.
- In a large bowl whisk together oil, salt, and spice.
- Add cauliflower and toss thoroughly.
- Spread cauliflower on parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Roast in the oven for 45 – 60 minutes. During this time, turn cauliflower 3-4 times until most of each piece has turned a golden brown colour.
- Serve and enjoy your special popcorn treat.
More information and recipe ideas can be found online at www.breakfastforlearning.ca
November 29, 2012
Fall is the perfect time to relax, enjoy the changing colours outside and invite friends for an evening of good food and great company. Entertaining can be as easy as preparing a few simple, yet impressive appetizers—and olives and olive oil are a great way to add life and flavour to any menu.
Olives and olive oil are incredibly versatile. They're bursting with flavour and health benefits, making them essential ingredients in every cook's kitchen. Olive oil is an excellent choice for all your cooking needs. When heated, olive oil stands up well to high temperatures—its high smoke point of 210°C is well above the ideal temperature for frying food (180°C). Olive oil can be used for many types of cooking methods including: deep frying, frying, stir-frying, sautéing, baking and basting.
With a few tasty recipes in your back pocket, you'll always be ready to impress. Try one of these delicious, easy-to-prepare recipes created by the International Olive Council. Visit www.addsomelife.org for more inspiration and stay up to date on all things 'olive' by following Add Some Life on Facebook and Twitter.
Tips for Casual Entertaining
For some people, entertaining a group seems effortless. Follow these easy tips to make your casual evening one to remember.
• Keep it Simple. Guests don't expect a five-course meal. Instead, offer plates of appetizers and finger foods. It can be a delicious way to offer guests a variety of flavours—just make sure there's enough for everyone.
• Have appetizers ready. If you're also planning to serve a meal, then make sure your guests have something to nibble on when they arrive. Even keeping it as simple as a bowl of olives paired with one or two types of cheese will keep guests satisfied until the main event.
• Practice makes perfect. Try your recipes out at least once before serving them at a dinner party to prevent first-time cooking disasters from spoiling your night.
- 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive, divided
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided
- 1 egg white
- 2 large cloves garlic, minced
- 32 raw medium shrimp, shelled and deveined (about 1 1/4 pounds)
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh dill or parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel
- Dash salt, optional
- 1/3 cup finely shredded Pecorino or Parmesan cheese
- 3/4 cup Panko bread crumbs
- 16 pitted large green olives
- 16 pitted large ripe olives
- 32 grape tomatoes
- 1/2 medium cucumber, sliced lengthwise and cut into 32 pieces
- 32 (4 to 6-inch) appetizer skewers
- Heat oven to 475°F. Blend 3 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon lemon juice and garlic in small bowl. Add shrimp; toss to coat; set aside. Blend remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, dill, lemon peel and salt in small bowl. Set aside.
- Mix bread crumbs and cheese on waxed paper; dredge shrimp to coat evenly. Place in single layer on baking sheet. Bake 8 to 12 minutes or until light golden and thoroughly cooked. Gently loosen shrimp from baking sheet; cool 1 to 2 minutes.
- Thread a single shrimp, olive, tomato and cucumber piece on each skewer. Serve immediately drizzled with olive oil mixture.
TIP: To make bread crumb mixture, rub bread crumb and cheese mixture between your palms for uniform consistency. The mixture will adhere more evenly to the shrimp.
November 29, 2012
This is a vegetarian version of the popular Indonesian favorite. Serve as a light meal or see the variation for a snack or appetizer.
Let the Mushrooms marinate for 30-60 minutes before threading onto skewers.
- 1/3 cup (75 mL) fresh lemon juice
- 3 tbsp (45 mL) EACH liquid honey and soy sauce
- 1 ½ tbsp (22 mL) grated fresh ginger
- 1 large clove garlic, minced
- 32 (1 lb/500 g) medium fresh Mushrooms
- 8 bamboo skewers
- 1 small red or sweet onion, cut into wedges
- 24 (4 oz/125 g) sugar snap or snow peas
- (optional) sesame seeds and/or peanut sauce
- In large mixing bowl, whisk together lemon juice, honey, soy sauce, ginger and garlic. Stir in whole mushrooms until coated. Marinate at room temperature 30 –60 minutes, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile soak bamboo skewers in water for the same time. Separate red onion wedges into individual layers. Remove mushrooms, reserving marinade in a small saucepan. Thread mushrooms, alternating with onion wedges and sugar peas onto wooden skewers. Grill on the barbecue for 3 minutes on each side.
- Meanwhile cook noodles as directed on package and heat marinade until boiling for 1-2 minutes or until thickened slightly to use as sauce. Serve skewers on cooked noodles. Drizzle sauce over noodles and sprinkle with sesame seeds if desired. Serve peanut sauce on side for dipping.
For convenience marinate mushrooms in a sealed plastic bag, turning a couple of times.
To serve as a snack or appetizer, omit the noodles and sesame seeds. Serve skewers with warm sauce for dipping. You can broil skewers under broiler for about 3 minutes on each side.
For more delicious recipe ideas visit Mushrooms Canada at www.mushrooms.ca
November 29, 2012
When it comes to comfort foods, nothing quite compares to warm caramelized onions or stretchy melted cheese – and this appetizer has plenty of both. Created by TV host and cookbook author, Sabrina Tutino, these Mozzarellissima Pan-Seared Scallops with Caramelized Onions and Figs are sure to please any palate at your next get-together. More tasty recipes can be found online at www.mozzarellissima.ca.
- olive oil, to taste
- 4 to 6 large sea scallops (approximately 1 lb (500 g))
- 2 large onions, finely chopped
- salt and pepper, to taste
- ¾ cup (175 mL) brandy, to deglaze (or white wine, water or broth)
- ⅔ cup (150 mL) fig jam
- 8 oz (250 g) Mozzarellissima cheese, grated and divided
- fresh parsley, to taste
- Preheat a non-stick frying pan over high heat. Add a drizzle of olive oil and place the scallops in the pan, ensuring they do not overlap. Sear scallops for a few minutes on each side without moving, until they are a nice golden colour. Remove from pan and set aside.
- In the same hot pan, add a drizzle of olive oil and toss in onions. Stir well to coat the onions with oil, and add a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Cook the onions for a few minutes, stirring occasionally until they become soft and dark caramel in colour. If they begin to stick to the pan, add a splash of brandy (or white wine, water or broth) to deglaze and continue cooking. This step can be repeated until the desired colour is obtained.
- Remove the pan from heat and thoroughly mix in the fig jam with the onions.
- Place 4 to 6 ramekins on a cookie sheet, placing one scallop in each, topped with 1 tbsp (15 mL) of the onion and fig mixture. Sprinkle with grated Mozzarellissima.
- Cook for 5 minutes on broil until cheese is melted and slightly golden brown in colour.
- Garnish with a sprinkle of parsley and serve.
- For easier grating, put Mozzarellissima in the freezer for 20 minutes, then grate.
- Caramelized onions can also be used to add great flavour to soups, sandwiches or salads.
November 29, 2012
Prepare yourself for an exciting flavour sensation that combines your favourite indulgent appetizers into one delicious dish. Topped with mouth-watering bacon-wrapped jalapeno poppers, this cheesy pizza bread is sure to be a crowd-pleaser at any get-together. The recipe is a creation of Nelson Lacourse from Red Deer, Alberta, a finalist in the D'Italiano Cook-Off Challenge. More tasty recipes can be found online at www.ditaliano.ca.
- 1 lb (500 g) bacon
- 5 jalapenos
- 1 cup (250 mL) plain cream cheese
- 1 mango, chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 1 D'Italiano Garlic Bread
- 1 cup (250 mL) pizza sauce
- Parmesan cheese, to taste
- 1 cup (250 mL) provolone cheese, grated
- 1/4 cup (50 mL) Asiago cheese, grated
- Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
- In a frying pan, cook half of bacon, leaving the other half to wrap jalapeno poppers. Cut or break cooked bacon pieces in half.
- Cut stemmed jalapenos in half lengthwise and remove seeds. Fill jalapeno halves with cream cheese and place one piece of mango on each. Wrap each stuffed jalapeno with a piece of uncooked bacon.
- Place bacon-wrapped jalapenos on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake for 15 to 20 minutes.
- While jalapenos are in the oven, cut the D'Italiano garlic bread in half lengthwise and place each half on a foil-lined baking sheet, cut side up. Spread pizza sauce on the open-faced bread and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
- After removing from the oven, place jalapeno poppers on bread and sprinkle with grated provolone and Asiago cheeses, and top with cooked bacon pieces.
- Place back in the oven at 350°F (180°C) for 5 to 10 minutes. If desired, you can broil to brown the cheese on top. Remove from oven and cut into 10 individual servings for guests.
November 29, 2012
This reduced-sugar twist on the classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich was created for those who live with diabetes – and for those who simply love this lunchtime classic. More tasty recipes can be found at www.peanutbureau.ca.
- 3 cups (750 mL) strawberries, hulled and sliced
- 2 tsp (10 mL) cornstarch
- 2 tbsp (30 mL) maple syrup
- 2 tsp (10 mL) balsamic vinegar
- ¼ tsp (1 mL) freshly ground pepper
- ¼ tsp (1 mL) sea salt (optional)
- ¾ whole grain baguette (about ½ lb/250 g), sliced into 24 thin slices
- ½ cup (125 mL) natural smooth peanut butter
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss the strawberries with the cornstarch. Stir in the maple syrup, balsamic vinegar, pepper and salt (if using). Spread evenly on the prepared sheet.
- Roast the strawberries in the oven for 30 minutes or until softened and juices have thickened on the sheet. Scrape the strawberries and any juices into a bowl.
- Meanwhile, bake the baguette on a second baking sheet for 5 minutes, or until lightly toasted, turning once. Cool to room temperature.
- Spread about 1 tsp (5 mL) peanut butter on each slice of toasted baguette. Top each with a spoonful of the strawberry mixture.
Note: If you add the optional sea salt, the sodium increases to 158 mg per serving.
• If strawberries aren't in season, substitute 3 cups (750 mL) unsweetened, individually quick frozen sliced strawberries. Spread out on a baking sheet lined with paper towel until thawed. Roast for 20 minutes.
• Reserve any leftover roasted strawberries in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. The toasted baguette can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.
• The strawberries are also delicious when spooned over a yogurt parfait or frozen yogurt as an occasional treat.
November 29, 2012
Don't feel guilty about the simplicity of these hors d'oeuvres—they're sure to be a big hit and get devoured in a flash. It's important to finely chop the peanuts so they adhere to the pastry. More tasty recipes can be found at www.peanutbureau.ca.
- 2 cups (500 mL) old cheddar cheese, grated
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) salted peanuts, finely chopped
- 1/2 tsp (2 mL) cayenne pepper
- 1 package frozen puff pastry, thawed (14 oz/397 g)
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. In a bowl, combine cheese, peanuts and cayenne pepper.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out half of the puff pastry into a 12-inch (30-cm) square. Trim to size if needed. Brush egg all over surface. Sprinkle half of the cheese and peanut mixture over lower half of square, leaving about 1/2-inch (1-cm) border on three sides. Fold top half of pastry over bottom half, pinching edges firmly to seal. Using rolling pin, lightly roll over pastry to seal layers together. Brush with egg.
- Using a sharp knife, cut rectangle vertically into 1/2-inch (1-cm) thick strips, each 6 inches (15 cm) long. Twist each strip several times and place in a single layer on prepared pan.
- Repeat with remaining pastry and cheese mixture. Bake in centre of preheated oven, rotating pans halfway through, until straws are puffed and golden, 15 to 18 minutes. Once made, straws can be kept in an airtight container for a couple of days or frozen for a month.
November 29, 2012
For most Canadian families, the start of a new school year often means dinnertime gets abandoned for soccer practice, math homework and PTA meetings. Once the hustle and bustle of back to school dies down, why not bring the family together for a special dinner where everyone can kick back, relax and enjoy each other's company.
In the Chinese culture, families gather together every year to celebrate Moon Festival, a holiday marked with delicious meals and mooncakes enjoyed under the harvest moon.
This September 30th, add a little excitement to your mealtime routine by moving dinner outside for a Moon Festival celebration. With a few basic ingredients, cozy sweaters, a picnic blanket and an Asian-inspired meal, you'll have your family moon gazing in no time.
For a recipe that is no mess, no fuss and sure to capture the spirit of the holiday, try the pork and cashew rice paper rolls below.
- 1 lb (500 g) pork tenderloin
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) vegetable oil
- 1 cup (250 mL) VH Medium Garlic Rib Sauce
- 10 rice papers (or as many as needed)
- 10 lettuce leaves, a tender variety such as red or green leaf, Bibb or Boston
- 4 ½ oz (125 g) thin rice vermicelli noodles (half a package), soaked and drained
- ¼ cup each (50 mL) fresh mint, green onions, cashews or peanuts, finely chopped
- 1 cup (250 mL) julienned cucumber (and/or julienned red pepper strips, carrots or mangoes)
- Slice pork tenderloin in half lengthwise, cut halves into thin strips. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat; cook pork until browned, about 10 minutes. Add ½ cup (125 mL) of the garlic rib sauce. Cook for another 5 minutes until sauce glazes the meat, set aside.
- Place one rice paper in large bowl of warm water to soften, about 1 minute. Carefully remove paper and lay on work surface. In the bottom third of paper, place small piece of lettuce, top with small pile of noodles (about 2 tbsp/30 mL). Top noodles with fillings, being careful not to overstuff or the paper will tear.
- Fold the bottom of paper over top of fillings and begin to roll into a cylinder. Fold sides in and continue rolling to enclose. Once all the rolls are finished slice in half; serve with remaining ½ cup (125 mL) of the garlic rib sauce for dipping.
For more recipe ideas visit www.VHsauces.com. No time to cook? No problem. Ready in five minutes, VH Steamers Kung Pao Chicken is the perfect solution for busy weeknight meals. Grab one in the frozen aisle of your local grocery store.
November 29, 2012
Whether you're hosting an elegant cocktail party or a gathering after an afternoon of skating, hors d'oeuvres are essential for holiday entertaining. “From mini versions of comfort food classics to elegant desserts, flavourful hors d'oeuvres are a popular option for everyone,” says Anna Olson, Home Hardware's Kitchen Expert and the star of Bake with Anna Olson ... Read More