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FOOD + DRINK RECIPES + menus

Valentine’s Day Breakfast Menu

baked eggs served with sautéed kale

baked eggs served with sautéed kale

Breakfast is one of favorite meals. This is why I selected a breakfast in bed as my ultimate Valentine’s Day gift. If you are celebrating Valentine’s Day this weekend, you will have the time to do it. To help you plan a romantic Valentine’s Day, I scoured more recipes online.

+ The talented team at Sunday Suppers made those baked eggs with cream and truffle salt. The side is sauteed kale with olive oil, sea salt and a squeeze of fresh lemon. And what not to love about these adorable heart butter patties. To realize those, you will need a heart-shaped ice tray. Then, you simply added chopped cherries (or any fruit that you like) to soft butter and scoop them inside the ice tray. It is that easy to make. Get the full recipes at Sunday Suppers.

delicious food for Valentine's Day

+ My second suggestion are those adorable Blackberry “Cheesecake” Yogurt Pops prepared by Citrus and Candy. The color of those pops looks amazing. And it is more stylish way to eat your daily yogurt. I feel that it is worth to pass mixture through a fine sieve to remove the berry bits. Karen of Citrus and Candy suggests that you push through to extract as much syrup as you can. It is best to start the recipe one day in advance if you wish to serve it in the morning.

SOURCING:
+ Valentine’s Day Breakfast from Sunday Suppers – photos by Karen Mordechai
+ Blackberry “Cheesecake” Yogurt Pops from Citrus and Candy

FOOD + DRINK RECIPES + menus

To Grow Your Own Citrus Trees at Home

tips to grow citrus trees at home on sunset magazine

tips to grow citrus trees at home on sunset magazine

If there is a thing I envy from people who live in a warm region is their capability to grow their own citrus fruits. I wish i could have my own citrus orchard since I am a huge fan of citrus fruits for cooking and eating just by themselves.

For the ones who can grow their own citrus trees at home, I invite you to read this excellent article on Sunset magazine. The gardener tips come from Todd Porter and Diane Cu, the couple behind the White on Rice Couple blog. For the rest of us, the article is an eye candy.

SOURCING:
+ Growing citrus at home on Sunset – photo by Andrea Gómez Romero
+ photo of the Oroblanco grapefruits by Todd Porter and Diane Cu of White on Rice Couple

FOOD + DRINK RECIPES + menus

In Season: Kale

kale chips by honest fare

baked kale chips :: chickpea sausage and kale pasta recipe

When a leafy green vegetable shows up on food trend lists, there must be something truly wonderful about it. That’s what made me consider kale as a new addition to our fridge’s crisper during a recent weekend grocery shopping trip.

A relative to every vegetable kids (and adults) love to hate – including cabbage, broccoli and brussel sprouts – it was kale’s pretty, curly-tipped leaves and velvety, rich green color that caught my eye.

Think kale is just a decorative plant for your fall garden? Think again. Loaded with antioxidants like vitamin C and vitamin K, it’s also rich in iron, beta carotene and calcium. Rosie Schwartz, one of Canada’s best-known nutritionists and a registered dietitian, says these antioxidants protect against heart disease, stroke and guard your eyesight. In short, kale makes spinach seem like it has the nutritional value of candy.

Cooking Tips

kale chips by honest fare

So how does it taste? The longer you store kale, the stronger and more bitter it becomes, so it’s best to use it within a day or two or purchase, as I learned the hard way. To prepare kale, wash it thoroughly to remove dirt or sand, then trim the roots and separate the leaves.

Unlike other greens, the leaves can be tough to eat raw, so cooking them is the best way to introduce your tastebuds to this new flavour. Check out the Sourcing section below for a few recipes to get you started.

Finally, check out this adorable instructional video to learn “How to Make Kale Quiche Your Kids Will Actually Eat” from Canadian food blog award finalist Sweet Potato Chronicles. There are excellent tips for how to cook kale and get your kids in on the kitchen fun.

RECIPES TO TRY:
+ Baked Kale Chips from Honey & Jam (see photo)
Chickpea, Sausage and Kale Pasta from Bitchin’ Camero (see photo)
Pomegranate and Kale Stuffed Portobello from Making Love In The Kitchen
Kale Chips from Honest Fare (see photo)
Kale, Sausage and White Bean Stew from Cooking Books
Sautéed Kale from Best Health Magazine

FOOD + DRINK RECIPES + menus

Three Fish Cake Recipes

recipes for crab cakes and fish cakes

recipes for crab cakes and fish cakes

Crab and fish cakes are a crowd pleaser appetizer. Plus, they are not hard to make.

Aun Koh of Chubby Hubby adapted a recipe from Teage Ezard’s cookbook Lotus to make her stylishly served Crab cakes with green chilli mayo. If you prefer the taste of haddock or cod, you might enjoy the lemon-and-dill-flavored taste of the Yankee Fish Cakes that I found on Saveur. One last idea is to cook tasty Salmon croquettes.

SOURCING:
+ Crab cakes with green chilli mayo photographed by Aun Koh
+  Yankee Fish Cakes photographed by Todd Coleman for Saveur

FOOD + DRINK RECIPES + menus

2011 Food Trend: Pie

Low-carb impossible breakfast pie by sheknows

Low-carb impossible breakfast pie by sheknows

I love cupcakes as much as the next girl, but I’m not alone in thinking they reached their (sweet, fluffy) peak last year. Pie sliced through its sweet competition to top countless lists of predicted food trends for 2011, including Serious Eats, Everyday with Rachael Ray magazine, and England’s The Independent.

No surprise there: its versatility straddles the sweet and savoury divide. There’s a pie style for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert, plus it can be dished out in miniature form, a true qualifier of “it food” status.

Best of all, homemade pie almost always takes the cake compared to store-bought or restaurant-created versions, which is why I couldn’t resist rounding up a few must-try recipes.

Pie for Breakfast

A slice of leftover fruit-filled pie makes a surprisingly satisfying breakfast indulgence, but for a more traditional option pair eggs with other breakfast staples like bacon or sausage. Pair them with fruit or a smoothie for a balanced meal.

+ Low-Carb Impossible Breakfast Pie from She Knows
+ Mini Smoked-Salmon Quiches from Eat My Shots
+ Egg Pie from Kayotic Kitchen

Pie for Lunch

Pie is open for interpretation, but typically always includes an inventive filling in a flaky crust. Try these with a side salad or soup for a light lunch.

Pie recipes for lunch

Caramelized Pear and Gorgonzola Quiche from Closet Cooking
+ Tortilla and Black Bean Pie from Martha Stewart

Pie for Dinner

Pie for dinner will need to be include a substantial filling, incorporating meat, vegetables. Be sure to add a side or two to round-out your meal.

pie recipes for dinner

+ Classic Tourtière (Québec Pork Pie) from Simple Bites
+ Butternut Squash Quiche with Kale and Sausage from My Kitchen Addiction
+ Chicken Parmesan Pot Pie with Mushrooms from Modern Comfort Food

Pie for Dessert

The options for dessert pie are truly endless as almost anything tastes wonderful inside a slight salty pastry base. I looked for interesting twists on three classic pies: apple, lemon meringue and pumpkin.

dessert pie recipes

+ Mini Lemon Meringue Pies from Flaming Pot
+ Apple Caramel Cheesecake Pie from The Fig Tree
+ Deep Dish Pumpkin Pie with Walnut Crunch and Cranberries from The Meaning of Pie

FOOD + DRINK RECIPES + menus

In Season: Persimmons

Persimmons

Persimmons

Oblong and orange, a persimmon is one of those rare fruits (yes, it’s a fruit) that – unlike apples and oranges – hasn’t made it to top billing in lunchboxes or kitchens. Their bright colour always catches my eye in the produce aisle, but I’ve never been brazen enough to buy one. In season during the late fall and winter, I did a bit of recipe research to learn more about the flavour and uses for this exotic-looking fruit.

green salad with pomegranates and persimmons

Like most fruit, there are several varieties of persimmon, but the most popular are fuyu and hachiya. Versatile persimmons can be eaten fresh, dried or cooked, but unless perfectly ripe the flavour can be bitter with a chalky texture. To ensure it’s ripe and sweet, a persimmon should feel like it’s about to burst in your hand – like an overfilled water balloon.

quinoa with persimmon, pomegranate and walnuts

You can bite into a persimmon just like an apple, but check out the recipes below for a few more options to treat your tastebuds.

For inspiring recipes, look at:

Green Salad with Pomegranates and Persimmons from Brooklyn Supper
Persimmon Oat Crumble with Coconut Sorbet from Desserts for Breakfast
Persimmon Martini from Lisa Is Cooking
Persimmon Bread at David Lebovitz
Quinoa with persimmon, pomegranate and walnuts from Kosher Camembert

SOURCING:
+ Photos: Top left and the persimmon oat crumble by Stephanie Shih Photography
+ Photo: Hachiya persimmons from Pham Fatale
+ Photo: Persimmons for breakfast from Big Flavors From A Tiny Kitchen
FOOD + DRINK RECIPES + menus

Holiday Baking Tip: Lining Pans with Parchment

Parchment Paper Lining Tip

Parchment Paper Lining Tip

Started your holiday baking yet? Me either. Though in between choosing my recipes and preparing my ingredient shopping list, I’m on the hunt for tips to help make the baking process a little sweeter.

If you’re not already using parchment paper to bake, let this be the season you start. Parchment paper is similar to wax paper – minus the wax, so it’s oven-safe. Use it to line cookie sheets and baking pans to eliminate the need for greased pans (and, ahem, a few extra calories too). Parchment paper also helps to make clean-up easier.

To ensure your pans are perfectly lined, try these simple tricks from goodLife {eats}. Place your pan on the parchment paper to ensure the correct size, then snip the corners of the paper. How sweet is that?

SOURCING:
FOOD + DRINK RECIPES + menus

Sparkling Sangria and a Fruity Fennel Salad for Brunch

sparkling sangria

sparkling sangria

I spotted those on the last issue of Sweet Paul Magazine. Although it was intended for a Holiday brunch, I feel that it is something fresh and appetizing that you could serve anything. A sparkling sangria can replace any welcome punch. And for a modern twist, forgo the traditional punch bowl for a big glass jar.

grapefruit, fennel and apple salad with a grapefruit dressing

I often serve a fennel and fruit salad with a grilled fish. Remember the tropical fennel salad I prepare with a mango and a green apple. Fish and salad make a healthy meal that you can serve on a week day to your family or whenever you entertain. The grapefruit gives it a morning twist. I like to use a frisée salad because it feels elegant and adds textures. I bet that this salad will become popular on my salad repertoire. Get the recipe for his Grapefruit, fennel and apple salad with a grapefruit dressing.

SOURCING:
+ Brunch menu with recipes on the Holiday 2010 issue of Sweet Paul Magazine
+ Styling and photography by Andrew Purcell

FOOD + DRINK RECIPES + menus

Reinventing the Latke Recipes

Apple Latke recipe from Smitten Kitchen

Apple Latke recipe from Smitten Kitchen

December 1st marked the first day of Hanukkah. Even if you don’t typically celebrate the eight day Festival of Lights, making potato latkes is an easy way to enjoy this holiday. Latkes are essentially pancakes make of flour, egg and shredded potatoes, fried in hot oil. Since they can be modified with savoury or sweet flavours, they make an incredibly versatile side for brunch, dinner or entertaining.

Here are a few delicious interpretations of this traditional dish.

If your tastebuds favour all things sweet, Smitten Kitchen’s apple latkes won’t disappoint – especially as a brunch buffet option. Top them with her simple apple caramel sauce, and you have dessert.

Butternut squash and leek latkes :: purple potato latkes

Butternut squash and leeks take the place of potatoes in this seasonal latke alternative created by Viviane Bauquet Farre of Food & Style. (Don’t miss her follow-up post with wine pairings!) If you prefer a pure potato latke, consider a colourful twist by using purple potatoes as shown on eCurry.

Do you have a favourite latke recipe?

FOOD + DRINK RECIPES + menus

Turkey Roasting 101

turkey roasting tips

turkey roasting tips

Preparing a perfectly browned bird can be a daunting task even for a “seasoned” cook. After all, most of us only do it a few times a year.

Last week I confessed that I’ve never roasted a turkey, which made me determined to find the ultimate collection of tips and how-to for others who may be facing a similar challenge this holiday season. Most popular magazine and cooking websites have their own guides and suggestions, but nothing compared to the resources compiled at Epicurious.

This awesome guide – just one of many in their “How To Cook” series – includes step-by-step instructions plus video tutorials for the entire process, from choosing the perfect type and size of turkey to cleaning, trussing and carving the bird. For a flavorful and moist bird, see what you can accomplish with butter rubs, flavor injections, brining or dry herbs rubs. Plus, you will get all the facts to determine whether you want to roast with or without stuffing.

I’ll definitely be studying as I countdown to Christmas dinner.

SOURCING:
+ Turkey Roasting Tips at Epicurious.com