Tuesday, 15 October 2013

My Go To Salad

IMG_5231I think a lot of people have a salad they make over and over again. When Dave and I first moved in together that consisted of a bag of salad with bottled dressing, and maybe some croutons if I was trying to impress him. Now I like to think I've matured quite a bit since then and therefore this is now our go to salad. I'm pretty sure I found this over at What Katie Ate a long time ago, but I do remember looking at the recipe and not being overly impressed. The fact that it only had 4 ingredients is what really got me, so we decided to try it one day. Oh man. We both took a bite and looked at each other saying "Whoa, this is amazing!" I was so impressed I immediately made it for my foodie brother the next day and he too was really impressed. What I'm getting at is this salad is REALLY GOOD and SIMPLE. As in make it for people and bask in the compliments.

Rocket Salad


Ingredients



  • baby arugula

  • pine nuts or any nuts you have on hand (You can get pine nuts in the baking aisle at Freshco for $4.99)

  • parm

  • balsamic vinegar

  • fresh cracked pepper


Make It



  1. Dump your arugula into a serving bowl

  2. Lightly toast the nuts in a frying pan until slightly browned (I constantly forget about mine and burn them, don't forget about them!) set aside to cool

  3. Shave some parm over the greens, top with cooled nuts, sprinkle on some pepper, and drizzle about 2-4 tbsp of balsamic vinegar over it. Toss and serveIMG_5229


This salad always looks a bit dry, likes it needs more dressing, but make sure you taste it first before adding more vinegar, as balsamic has a very strong taste.

Enjoy!

Monday, 14 October 2013

Roasted Garlic

IMG_5221Roasted garlic is one of the simplest things you can make yet I feel like no one makes it. When I first read up on how to make it last year all I could think was "Seriously?? That's it?!" Roasted garlic is soft, slightly sweet and has a really deep but not overwhelming garlic taste to it. It's mellow enough that you could easily eat them by themselves and not think anything of it (a lot of people have a hard time believing this part at first).  So I am going to change your life and show you how to make it. Because once you make it, you'll want it around all the time.

Roasted Garlic


Ingredients



  • several heads of garlic (I usually do 5 or 6 at a time)

  • olive oil (I just use the cheap stuff for this)

  • salt & pepper


Make It!



  1. Preheat your oven to 400

  2. Take your heads of garlic and slice off the top part, like your giving it a little bit of a haircut. You just want to expose the tops of all of the garlic cloves inside.

  3. Place each clove in a piece of tinfoil and mold the foil around the bottom. Drizzle the top of the head with about a tablespoon of olive oil (it should kind of seep in between the cloves). Sprinkle some salt and pepper on top

  4. Now totally wrap the garlic with the tinfoil so the oil won't leak out

  5. Place the individual garlics in a muffin tin and put in the oven to bake for about 30-40 minutes. You'll know when they're done when your kitchen smells amazing and when you peel back the tinfoil the cloves are browned and soft. IMG_5211IMG_5214IMG_5215


When the cloves are cooled, I like to squeeze them out of their papery shells and put them in a little jar and cover with olive oil. Roasted garlic tastes amazing spread on grilled bread, in pasta, on baked potatoes, and is great to bring along with you camping. There are really endless ways to use it, and it's so cheap! I think I got my last pack of 5 garlic for about $1.50.

I highly recommend you give this baby a try, enjoy!

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Super Simple Pasta

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So I had this dilemma tonight. I was dying for pasta but currently can't stomach tomato sauces. *shudder* There's something about really tomato-y smells that makes me sick. Hopefully this passes because 90% of my go to pasta recipes are tomato based. Anyway what I'm getting at is that I made this really easy pasta that didn't involve tomatoes and it was totally awesome. And pictures don't do it justice, so I just took photos of the ingredients. 

Super Simple Pasta

Ingredients 

  • spaghetti noodles
  • 4 heads of roasted garlic (recipe to come!)
  • parm
  • juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • salt & pepper
  • olive oil
  • chopped parsley (or arugula)  

Make It

  1. Cook your spaghetti noodles in salted water. Before you drain the pasta though, use a mug to scoop out some of the pasta water and set aside.
  2. Add the pasta back to the (now empty) pot. Drizzle some olive oil and about half a cup of the reserved pasta water and toss the noodles. Then add in your lemon zest, lemon juice, roasted garlic cloves, cheese, and pepper. Use some tongs to really mix it up, you want the garlic evenly distributed, not in chunks, so mix mix mix. 
  3. Garnish with parsley and more parm. You can never have enough cheese.

IMG_5227 IMG_5228This is one of those recipes that doesn't look like much, but man is it good. Enjoy! 

Friday, 4 October 2013

Brown Butter & Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies

IMG_5204I can't believe I'm posting this recipe. I debated not posting it. It's not because they aren't good, they're actually amazing. Perhaps, dare I say it, they may be the best chocolate chip cookie I've ever eaten. And you know, sometimes I like to keep a few recipes a secret, hoard all the glory for myself. But pregnancy hormones have put me in an emotional and giving mood, so here it is.

Brown Butter & Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies slightly adapted from here


I still can't believe I'm sharing this...

Ingredients



  • 2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda

  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt

  • 1 cup unsalted butter

  • 1 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 1 tablespoon plain greek yogurt (I've used vanilla yogurt before and didn't notice a difference)

  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

  • 3/4 cup milk chocolate chips

  • Coarse sea salt for sprinkling


Make It


1) Mix together dry ingredients: flour, salt, baking soda and set aside.

2) Now you're gonna make some brown butter. This is what makes the cookie. But it can get a bit dicey if you don't watch it, so read this first. Once you've browned the butter, set it aside for a few minutes to cool.

3) Mix sugars and butter, then add eggs, vanilla, and yogurt. Then slowly add in the dry ingredients and mix until it just comes together. Gently fold in the chocolate chips.

4) Chill the dough for 2 hours in the fridge. Kinda a pain, but you can snack on cookie dough while you wait.

5) Preheat the oven to 350.  Roll out your dough into big or small balls and then squish them slightly on a greased cookie sheet. I personally like big cookies so I use about a 1/4 cup of dough per cookie. Whoa, that now seems like a lot when I write it down. Sprinkle a little bit of sea salt on top of each cookie and press down into the dough. You could always skip this if you don't like the salt on baked good craze.

6) For big cookies bake for about 9 minutes, for small cookies bake them for about 6-7 minutes. Take them out and let cool.

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Tips for cookies (aka things my mum taught me)



  • use the paddle attachment if you have it, there's less of a chance you'll over mix the dough with it.

  • always under-bake your cookies by a minute or so. When they come out of the oven they should be lightly browned on the edges but would break apart if you tried to pick them up. Just leave them on the pan for a few minutes before you transfer them to a cooling rack, they'll continue to bake a bit. This way you'll have soft-ish cookies once they've cooled.


These cookies (or rather brown butter) will change your life. Enjoy!

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Restaurant Nachos

IMG_5174Between high school and college I worked at a classy restaurant called Hannah's Bella Bistro and Tapas Bar (it's since closed). I was only there for a year but I remember it being a really great time in my life, food-wise. I remember my first night as a hostess where I was given the tour of the kitchen and realized that they made different kinds of bread in house, every night. That totally blew my mind! People actually take the time to make different bread, everyday?? I totally credit that place for getting me interested in cooking and good quality food the way I am today. I remember that it was so inspiring to be around people who just loved food, loved talking about it, loved eating it. And it wasn't just the chefs, the wait staff were all obsessed with it too. In fact a lot of them ended up branching out into their own restaurants /food trucks. (Check them out here: Nick & Nat, Carly & Chris

Anyway I could talk forever about my year there but let's get to the nachos! Now these probably aren't the exact same ones the Tapas Bar made but I distinctly remember olives, feta, peppers and tomatoes. I also remember that they were only ever served with sour cream. Which is weird right?

Restaurant Nachos


Ingredients



  • nacho chips

  • sharp cheddar, shredded

  • feta

  • sliced green olives

  • diced red peppers

  • diced tomato


Make It


Come on guys, they're nachos. Fool proof!

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I chopped up some avocado, onion and added garlic salt, pepper, lime and hot sauce as a side along with salsa my brother and mum made. But you can use whatever you want for dipping. Also, side note: you know what's really good on nachos? Arugula. After they're cooked, toss some arugula on top and it's awesome, just trust me.

Enjoy!
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