Wednesday, September 30, 2015

oatmeal chocolate chip cookies

When we make cookies at our house, chocolate chip cookies are usually the go-to. They are usually everyone's favourite. It had been forever since I had made oatmeal cookies and thought this baking project would be the perfect way to start my day.

I was looking for a one-bowl recipe - the less dishes I need to dirty, the better! This recipe from Robin Hood was perfect. Everything went in the mixer and they took minutes to prepare. The cookies turned out perfect - crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside and went great with a glass of milk. The oats kind of make them filling so you're not eating as many!

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
From Robin Hood

3/4 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
2 TB water
2 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
2 1/2 cups oats
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream first 6 ingredients together in large mixing bowl on medium speed of electric mixer until light and creamy. Add flour and baking soda and beat on low speed until blended. Stir in oats and chocolate chips. Drop dough by heaping spoonfuls onto lined baking sheets. 

Bake in preheated oven for 12 to 15 minutes, or until light golden. Don't overbake. Let cool 5 minutes and remove to wire cooling racks.

Monday, September 28, 2015


When we purchased a tandoor a couple years ago, one thing we wanted to work on was a good naan recipe. It needed to be fast, it needed to be tasty and it needed to stick well to the side of the clay oven.

It's been fun trying out various versions of naan in the tandoor. Doughs with eggs that were nice and smooth were finicky in the tandoor. Doughs that I thought for sure wouldn't work well were the ones that worked the best. After a lot of trial and error, we discovered the best recipe.

This naan recipe is very simple and doesn't need a lot of rising time. Perfect when you want to make a batch at the last minute. Don't worry, you don't need a tandoor to enjoy these. We tried these on the grill over the weekend and they turned out great!

(for the tandoor or the bbq)

1 tsp instant yeast
1/2 cup water
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 TB oil
1/4 cup yogurt
2 cups flour

In a mixer bowl, dissolve the yeast in the water along with some sugar. Let it sit for about 10 minutes until it's frothy. Add the remaining ingredients and knead the dough using the kneading hook. Place the dough in a warm place for about 20 minutes covered with a moist cloth.

Divide the dough into eight balls and roll them out. They can be done either on the tandoor or the bbq. They should only take a few minutes a side. Remove and butter the naan.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

yyc pizza week + blogger challenge

Starting on Friday, it's everyone's favourite week - YYC Pizza Week! What better way to support Meals on Wheels than by stuffing your face with delicious pie at participating restaurants. With so many options to choose from, you could technically have pizza for every meal - all for a good cause, of course.

I was happy to participate once again in the Food Blogger Pizza Challenge. We were supposed to pick two out of the four ingredients from The Italian Store to come up with our creation. The four ingredients were: fig spread, homemade pesto, ricotta, pitted assorted olives.

I chose to use fig spread and ricotta and Hubby helped in creating the Fiery Fig BBQ Chicken Pizza. The fig spread was used in creating the fiery bbq sauce. Made with the spread, poblano peppers, ketchup, balsamic and spices, the sauce was tangy and sweet and oh so good. We literally licked the pot clean.

I topped the pizza with cheese, bbq'd chicken and red onions. Once out of the oven, I topped the pie with ricotta fresca, which added a creamy, cool component to the pizza.

The pizzas from all the challengers will be posted on Friday where you'll have a chance to vote. Be sure to visit a participating restaurant next week and support Meals on Wheels!

Fiery Fig BBQ Sauce

1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
3 TB fig spread
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp paprika
1/2 poblano pepper, roasted
sriracha, as hot as you like it

Heat some oil in a pan and add the onions and garlic. Add the ketchup, vinegar, fig spread and spices and cook for a few minutes. Add the mixture to a blender along with the pepper and sriracha. Blend until smooth. Enough for one pizza.

Monday, September 21, 2015

home for dinner, volume 1

How can the love of food help the refugees of the world? Read on to find out!
With so many displaced people around the world, Julie Van Rosendaal came up with the idea of creating an ebook to raise money for an organization that supports refugees. It was to be a book to celebrate cultural histories with food. After a call out for recipes, the submissions were more than what would fit in one book. Volume 1, which includes Starters and Mains, is the first in a series of collections of family recipes, celebrating everyone's backgrounds.

For only $5, you will get a pdf of this fabulous cookbook filled with recipes from the heart all while supporting UNHCR Canada - the UN Refugee Agency.

Julie and a team of volunteers put together this beautiful book. Below is the list of recipes in the book. I can't wait to get cooking!  Click here to get your copy! 

1. Cazuela De Pollo (Chilean Chicken Stew)
2. Tortiere
3. French Canadian Tourtiere
4. British Baked Beans Meet Punjab
5. Macaroni & Cheese
6. Baba's Pyrohy
7. Turnip Cake/Lo Bok Cake/Radish Cake/Daikon Cake
8. Chestnut & Sausage Unstuffing
9. Grandma Elizabeth's Turkey Stuffing
10. Sauerkraut
11. Lemon-Ginger Salmon
12. Big Mac Sauce
13. Cac Pizza
14. Cucumber Salad
15. Caesar Salad
16. Butternut Squash & Coconut Ginger SOup
17. Slow Cooked Blackeyed Peas and Ham Hocks with Wild Greens
18. Dutch Oven Cooked Meal
19. Grandma Leggett's Beef Carbonnade
20. Nana's Sandwich Spread
21. Mary's Ukrainian Noodles
22. Maple Bacon Mac N' Cheese
23. Hungarian Chicken Paprika
24. Chicken Birayani
25. Beet Leaf Rolls or 'Beetniks'
26. Cod Filets Thermidor
27. Mom's Spareribs
28. Red Chicken
29. Grandma Gerry's Tomato Relish
30. Stoorum
31. Syrian Tabbouleh

Thursday, September 10, 2015

homemade fruit roll-ups

School is in full swing and so is trying to figure out what to send for lunches and snacks. Things Q likes one week may not be a fave the next. Making sure I send things that he will actually eat and not stay hungry can be a struggle.

I was so happy I found this recipe for homemade fruit roll-ups. You can use whatever fruit is seasonal or the favourite that week and unlike the store variety, you know exactly what is going in them. These are super easy to make and always a hit!

Homemade Fruit Roll-ups
From Kitchen Daily 

4 cups berries
1/2 cup sugar
1 TB lemon juice
In a food processor or blender, puree your fruit, sugar and lemon juice.

Cook in a saucepan over medium heat until thick, 20-30 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve onto a baking sheet lined with parchment or Silpat. Shake the pan to level.

Bake at 170 degrees until dehydrated, about 3 hours (puree should be just slightly sticky but not dry). Let cool for 10 minutes.

If you lined your baking sheet with parchment you can cut the dried fruit into desired shapes. If you used a Silpat, place a sheet of parchment (cut to the size of your baking sheet) on your work surface. Carefully invert the fruit and Silpat onto the parchment and peel the Silpat away.

Cut into eight rectangles, or about 13 crosswise “strips”. Roll up with the parchment and tie with twine or baker’s string. Store at room temperature for up to 1 month.

Monday, September 7, 2015

calgary home + design show - giveaway!

One of my favourite trade shows that comes to Calgary is the Home + Design Show. Although we moved in a couple months ago into our new home, we're still looking to get things just right. The show always provides lots of inspiration and great ideas which I'm looking forward to!

The show will be held from Thursday, September 17th to Sunday, September 20th at the BMO Centre. You can buy tickets online and save $3 courtesy of RenovationFind at

With big names like Bryan and Sarah Baeumler, stars of HGTV’s House of Bryan: In the Sticks, design duo Janette Ewen and Jef Hancock, founders of Parker Barrow, local design favourite Alykhan Velji, lifestyle expert Leigh-Ann Allaire Perrault and the winner of Western Canada’s Next Home Stylist, plus more than 350 exhibitors and a slew of sensational new features, there’s expert insight, innovation and inspiration for stylish living at every turn.

I'm excited to be a judge for the Samsung Junior Chef Challenge! On Saturday, September 19th, two local teens (ages 12-17) will be selected to couple up with Calgary chefs Michael Dekker of SAIT and Eric Mah of CRAFT Beer Market in a $5,000 winner-takes-all showdown on the Trail Appliances Cooking Stage.

Want to go to the show? You can win a Fall-Ready Prize Pack valued at over $100, which includes the following:
  • 2 x Fiasco Gelato Cards
  • 1 x Real Deals Candle
  • 1 x Thank You Card from Curate by Alykhan Velji
  • 4 x Tickets to the Calgary Home + Design Show 
There are several ways to win (see below). Contest closes on September 15th. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, August 31, 2015

minute rice cups - and a giveaway!

It's back to school week! I can't believe that the summer just flew by. It was a fun summer, with busy days at camp or at the beach and lazy days hanging around the house. We enjoyed our trips to the mountains and our trip to our nation's capital. It just went by too quickly!

Back to school means back to a routine. Not just a school routine but also those after school activities that make the days seem so long. Life is busy and sometimes trying to get food on the table and enjoyed in a short amount of time can be hard.

Minute Rice® Ready to Serve Cups are pre-portioned single serving mini-bowls of rice that take only one minute in the microwave to cook perfectly every time. Available in Basmati, Whole Grain, Oriental Style, Vegetable Medley, Long Grain; Wild Rice – Fine Herbs, Long Grain; Wild Rice – Chicken Flavour and Mexican, the rice can be eaten straight out of the cup, as a side dish, or combined with a protein for a quick one-dish meal.

GIVEAWAY! Want a chance to win some Minute Rice for yourself? You can win three cases (48 cups – a $66 value) of Minute Rice Ready to Serve Cups. Enter below! Contest closes on September 15, 2015.

*Contest is open to Canadian (excluding Quebec) residents only; prizes are limited to one prize per winner – i.e. while a person may enter multiple Minute Rice Ready to Serve Cups online contests, he or she is eligible to collect a prize from only one of the contests entered.

 a Rafflecopter giveaway
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