Monday, April 22, 2013

Baked "Fried" Pickles - Secret Recipe Club

This month for Secret Recipe Club I was assigned a beautiful blog called Life's Simple Pleasures. I absolutely love the design of the blog and there are so many YUMMY looking recipes. There were a lot of desserts which normally would make me jump with joy. (As you might have guessed I like baking) But my husband and I decided to go sugar free for a month. No refined sugar, no unrefined sugar, no sugar at all unless it was naturally occurring in the food. (7 more days till were DONE!).

If you are able to eat some sugar please go and check out Jess' blog. Seriously, like maybe you feel like a lemon square, or possibly some swirly roasted banana bread, or maybe these double apple mini bundt cakes, or if you are feeling really brave these amazing looking 7 layer magic bars.

There were also some really great looking savoury dishes. We were having some people over for our weekly Game of Thrones potluck party (yeah we are those people). So I decided on these "fried pickles" that are actually baked. I changed the recipe slightly to make them vegan. They were salty, crunchy and very delicious. Thanks for the recipe Jess!

Baked "Fried" Pickles
Via Life's Simple Measures

1/4 cup water
3 to 4 tbsp. all purpose flour
1 tsp. vegan worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. seasoning salt
1/2 tsp. dill
2 to 3 dill pickles, thinly sliced
1-1/2 c. bread crumbs

Turn on broiler in oven (500°F). Place bread crumbs into shallow bowl; set aside. In another shallow bowl, beat water, flour, worcestershire and seasoning together. It should become a paste.

Add the pickles to the paste mixture and toss until well coated.

One at a time, coat pickles with bread crumbs and place on cookie sheet. Bake 4 to 6 minutes or until golden. Remove from oven and flip over each pickle slice. Bake an additional 3 to 4 minutes. Serve immediately.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Secret Recipe Club - Vegan Cinnamon Swirl Bread

Secret Recipe Club time around here. This month I had the pleasure of being assigned Julies Eats and Treats blog. Julie has a bunch of really awesome recipes on her blog with some great and delicious looking photos. I had a tough time choosing between recipes but I had a bowl full of ripe bananas that needed using so when I came across this Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread I was sold. But check out these lemony treats that I was thinking about making - Lemon Drop Cupcakes and Lemonies. Don't they look good?

The recipe was easy to make vegan and was very delicious. The only thing I found was that there was too much cinnamon sugar on top of the banana bread that just ended up falling off, so I adjusted the measurements a bit.

Thanks Julie for the yummy recipe!

Vegan Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread
Via Julies eats and treats

3 over-rip bananas, mashed
1/3 c. melted vegan butter
3/4 c. sugar
Vegan egg replacer equal to one egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
Dash of salt
1 1/2 c. flour

1/3 c. sugar
1 Tbsp cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Oil and flour a loaf pan.

2. Mix bananas, vegan butter, sugar, faux egg and vanilla together. Add soda, salt and flour. Gently stir. Do not over mix.

3. In a small bowl mix the sugar and cinnamon together.

4. Pour 1/2 of batter into pan. Sprinkle 1/2 of the cinnamon sugar mixture on top of batter. Add the rest of the banana mixture to the pan. Top with the rest of the cinnamon sugar mixture.

5. Bake for 50-60 minutes.

Monday, February 18, 2013

February Secret Recipe Club - Graham Cracker Candy

I am happy to say I am back! It has been a crazy 6 months. Everyone always tells you how much having a baby changes your life - but you don't really understand until you have your own. We also made a big move in December across the country.

We are now in Calgary waiting to take possession of our new house. (So sorry about the photo's I don't have my camera or my regular set up. These are camera phone pics)

And how fitting that my first post back be for the Secret Recipe Club. I got a bit worried when I saw the name of the blog I had been assigned. Steak N Potatoes Kinda Gurl. Yikes. Because I am mostly vegan and not a steak N potatoes anything. But then I checked out the fabulous Desi's blog and was relieved because she has a ton of awesome recipes. Everything from drinks, dips and appetizers to desserts and even a whole bunch of restaurant reviews. I had so much fun looking through your blog Desi - thanks! I was trying to decide between a couple of things. These drinks look delicious as does this bean dip but in the end I decided on this graham cracker candy.

My advice - Do not make this recipe. Because if you make this recipe you will have to try a slice. And then just to be sure you will have to try another slice, and another, and another and then suddenly you will realize you have eaten a whole pan of graham crackers, butter, sugar and nuts. And that you were suppose to bring a dessert to brunch and now you have nothing except an empty pan and a lot of guilt. So save yourself the trouble and don't make this recipe. If you do decide to make this and eat the whole pan please blame Desi and not me! I also think these dipped in dark chocolate with a little sea salt on top would be delicious.

Vegan Graham Cracker Candy
Via SteakNPotatoesKindaGurl

1 Cup plus 3 Tbsp Earth Balance
1 Cup Brown Sugar
1/2 Cup Sliced Pecans
Vegan Graham Crackers

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil so that it hangs over the edges of the pan and spray with nonstick baking spray or coat with a bit of olive oil. Do not skip this step or your candy will be stuck to the pan.

Arrange graham crackers to fit the entire baking sheet.

In a large saucepan, melt the Earth Balance on medium-high heat and add the brown sugar. Stir and bring to a boil. Continue stirring until the sugar dissolves and the consistency turns into caramel. You don't need to worry about using a candy themomoter or anything as it will cook in the oven. Just be sure the sugar is dissolved and the mixture has had a chance to boil for a few minutes.

Lower the heat to medium-low, stir in sliced pecans, and cook for a minute stirring constantly. Turn off heat and evenly spread the mixture onto the graham crackers. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before breaking apart.

Store in an air tight container. (or eat directly from pan until nothing remains. Ugh.)

Thursday, August 30, 2012

On Vacation

My little girl Huxley was born on August 12 so I am taking a bit of a blogging break while we get settled as a family of three!

Photo's by the lovely Carling Ashley Photography

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

July Foodie Pen Pal

I participated again this month in this really cool group called Foodie Pen Pals. The way it works is you sign up and at the beginning of the month you are assigned someone else from the group. You get in touch with that person to check if they have any food allergies or dislikes then (while not spending more than $15) you put together a little package of goodies and send it off. Someone else will do the same for you and when you get your package you take a photo and blog about what was in there.

This month I received a package from Deanna at Coastal Storm. You should definitely check out her blog. These are all the goodies I received:

1. Blueberry Jam - which I have been using pretty much everyday
2. Awesome no nut granola which I intend to use in some cookies once the heat dies down a bit here.
3. Hemp Hearts - I love the packaging
4. Young & Smylie Licorice - Deanna mentioned that this was her families favourite. I put it out at a get together and no one could stop eating it. The licorice is super soft and yummy.
5. Homemade granola bars - I barley got a picture of these because they looked so good I wanted to eat them right away. Trust me they are delicious. Deanna also sent the recipe for them so I will make them soon and blog about them so you can enjoy them to (There is a non-vegan version on her website)
6. Luna bar - Yummy!
7. Fruit Source bar - These are my favourite snack!

Thanks so much Deanna for the awesome package.

If you want to participate check out the The Lean Green Bean blog for more info.

And if you want to see the package I sent this month head over to to check it out.

The Lean Green Bean

Monday, July 23, 2012

Vegan Pineapple Sorbet & Blueberry Curd - Secret Recipe Club

This month for the Secret Recipe Club I was assigned a lovely blog called Manu's Menu written by the Italian born Manuela. This blog has it all going on. The recipes are varied, the pictures are lovely, and there are a ton of regional dishes from Italy, Australia and India!

Manuela is Italian, married to an Indian, living in Australia so her culinary background is pretty diverse. You should definitely check out her blog as there are a lot of yummy looking recipes.

There were a number of dishes that I wanted to try and veganize from Manu's Menu, including this yummy looking yogurt cake and this dish of cannelloni. However it has been extremely hot here in Montreal pretty much this whole month. Hot enough that the idea of turning on the oven makes me feel queasy. Plus being 8 months pregnant does not really add any motivation to bake anything. So in the end I decided to go with something cool and refreshing Pineapple Sorbet and Blueberry Curd.

For the sorbet I decided to add some fresh mint that is growing on our balcony and man did it add a nice flavour to the dish. Isn't it a pretty colour?

I also veganized the original blueberry curd recipe by cutting out the eggs and replacing with a bit of corn starch. Thank Manu for the tasty recipes.

Pineapple Sorbet with Fresh Mint
Adapted from Manu's Menu 

2 cups pineapple, chopped
8 Tbsp sugar
1/2 water
2 sprigs of fresh mint

In a blender blend pineapple, sugar, and water until smooth. Chill mixture for an hour. Once chilled, add mixture to your ice cream maker and follow the manufactuer's directions. Meanwhile, julienne the mint leaves and add them to the ice cream maker in the last 2 minutes.

Transfer to a container and freeze for at least 3 hours before serving.

Vegan Blueberry Curd
Adapted from Manu's Menu

1 pint of blueberries (Fresh or frozen)
1/4 cup of water
6 Tbsp unsalted vegan margarine
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp corn starch
pinch of salt

In a medium pot cook blueberries and water over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until blueberries burst open.

Using a fine mesh sieve starin the mixture. Be sure to press the blueberries with a spoon to make sure you get as much of the liquid and pulp out of them. Discard the skins and put the liquid/pulp aside.

Using the same pot, whisk together the sugar and margarine. Add the cornstarch, the blueberry liquid, and the salt.

Whisk over medium heat. Allow the mixture to simmer but not boil for 5 - 7 minutes. The mixture should coat the back of a spoon and will thicken more as it cools.

Pour into a glass jar and store in the fridge. Serve over ice cream, on toast or with cake! Yum.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Hazelnut Pesto Pasta with Roasted Tomatoes and Asparagus

Originally this post was suppose to feature delicious homemade gnocchi, however after carefully reading a recipe and crafting beautiful little pockets of goodness I put them in simmering water to cook. And it was disaster. I ended up with a huge pot of potato water. So now this post is about the pesto I made to go with the gnocchi.

Hazelnut Pesto

1/4 cup roasted hazelnuts without skin
1 - 2 cups of fresh basil leaves
1 clove of garlic
1 tsp lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Blend all ingredients together in a food processor or blender. You may need to add more olive oil or some water to help with blending.

To serve I roasted some cherry tomatoes in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes and saute some asparagus and peas with a little lemon juice.

Once my pasta was cooked I tossed it with the pesto mixture and served with the tomatoes, peas and asparagus.

This dish would be amazing with homemade gnocchi!