Cherry Almond Cake/Loaf

Sometimes I crave sweets, and even though I’m definitely more of a savoury snack kind of gal, sometimes the sweet tooth needs to be satisfied. I recently purchased a bag of frozen cherries, and was intending to use them for smoothies, but I do love the tartness of cranberries in cakes, so why not cherries; I thought. Here is a recipe for a super quick cake or loaf, that is not too sweet but totally satisfies the sweet snack craving.

Cherry Almond Cake/Loaf Cherry Almond Cake/Loaf Cherry Almond Cake/Loaf

Easy Cherry Almond Cake

Ingredients:
⅓ cup orange juice [juice of one orange]

1 tbsp grated orange zest from 1 large orange

⅔ cup buttermilk

6tbsp. unsalted butter, melted, plus extra for greasing pans

1 large egg, beaten lightly

2 cup all purpose flour and 1 cup whole whet flour [or you can use 2 cups all purpose flour]

1 cup sugar

1/2 tsp almond extract or vanilla extract

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder

¼ teaspoon baking soda

1 cup frozen or fresh pitted cherries cut in half, [if using frozen, defrost in colander]

½ cup almond slivers or slices

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375ºF. Grease a round 9″ cake pan and line the bottom with some parchment paper or grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan.

Stir the orange juice, orange zest, buttermilk, melted butter, and egg in a small bowl or measuring cup.

Whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in a large bowl. Stir the orange liquid mixture into the dry mixture. Stir in the cherries and almonds.

Bake for 35 mins or until done when tested with a skewer.

Cherry Almond Cake/Loaf

Cherry Almond Cake/Loaf

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Easy Chili with grilled peppers

When we travel, we don’t seem to come back with trinkets or those types of souvenirs, we come back with food!  Spices, a couple of kilos of parmigiano reggiano, some pumpkin seed oil. That’s our way to bring home a piece of this new place we explored. I love filling our spice cabinet with spice blends from near and far, it makes me happy.

Chili is one of our favourite meals to make, it comes together fairly quickly, you can switch a few ingredients up easily and make it  taste different than the time before, it usually leaves a good amount of leftovers AND it has toppings…my fave!!!

Let me know what you think once you make this recipe, try it, it’s amazing!

Easy Chilli with grilled peppers Easy Chilli with grilled peppers Easy Chilli with grilled peppers Easy Chilli with grilled peppers

Chili with grilled peppers

Ingredients:

2 fresh peppers [I used one poblano and one red pepper]

1lb ground beef

1/2 medium onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, grated

1 tbsp tomato paste

1/2 cup beer [lager or something light]

1 398ml can diced tomatoes

1 398ml can black beans [or your fave] drained, and rinsed

1 1/2 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp chili powder

1 tsp mexican oregano or majoram

1 tsp cacao powder [unsweetened]

1/2 tsp ancho chili powder

1/4 tsp serrano chili powder

pinch of cinnamon

salt + pepper

olive oil

toppings: cheese, avocado cream

, crushed tortilla chips, sliced green onions, cilantro, lime juice etc.

Directions:

Grill peppers until skin is charred, place in bowl, cover with plastic wrap OR place peppers in paper bag. When peppers are cool, peel the charred skin away, take out seeds, and chop.

Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add chopped onions and ground beef. Sautee for 5-7minutes, breaking up the meat with a spoon as it cooks.

Add the garlic, cook for 30 sec. Add tomato paste and all of the dry spices, cook for 30 seconds. Add beer, and scrape any browned bits off the bottom of the pot.

Add diced tomatoes + chopped grilled peppers. Cook for 15 minutes. Add beans, cook for 15 minutes.

Ladle into bowls top with your favourite toppings!

Avocado cream

1 avocado

2 tbsp sour cream

juice of 1 lime

salt + pepper

Mash all together with a fork or in a mini food processor until smooth.

Awesome on chili, tacos, burrito bowls etc.

Easy Chilli with grilled peppers Easy Chilli with grilled peppers Easy Chilli with grilled peppers

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One Pot chicken and potatoes

This truly one of my favourite chicken dishes. It’s as simple as it gets, fills your kitchen with amazing aromas, is great for a quick weeknight dinner, and fancy enough to serve guests. If I have not sold you on it already, I will add that it makes the chicken moist, the potatoes fill of lemony deliciousness and it’s topped with grated cheese! GRATED CHEESE, PEOPLE! ;o)

One Pot chicken and potatoes
One Pot chicken and potatoes One Pot chicken and potatoes One Pot chicken and potatoes One Pot chicken and potatoes

One pot chicken in white wine with potatoes & artichokes

Ingredients:
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts

1 can of artichoke hearts in water, halved

2 cloves garlic, grated

4 medium sized yellow potatoes, sliced into 1cm slices

1 cup chicken stock

1/2 cup of dry white wine

8 sprigs thyme

juice of 1 lemon

grated parmesan, to serve

olive oil for searing

salt and pepper

Directions:
Heat the oil in a large shallow saucepan over high heat.

Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper and cook for 2–3 minutes each side or until golden brown.

Remove from the pan and set aside.

Add the artichokes.

Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.

Add the potatoes, stock, wine and thyme and bring to a boil.

Top with the chicken, cover with a lid and reduce the heat to medium.

Cook for around 12 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the potatoes are done.

Add the lemon juice and stir to combine.

Top with the parmesan and serve.

*I have used bone in skin on chicken breasts, simply simmer a bit longer until the chicken is cooked through

Adapted from Donna Hay

One Pot chicken and potatoes One Pot chicken and potatoes

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Caesar Salad with Shrimp

I thought spring was on it’s way, this past weekend my husband and I pruned our apple tree, hopefully it bears bushels this year.
We also planted some cool weather veg under the wee hoop houses we have in our garden. Some lettuce, spinach, arugula, radicchio, radishes and beets. And then on Sunday the temperature dropped again. So today’s recipe is perfect for a quick lunch, and it definitely has the vibrant colours to welcome spring. I absolutely love me a good Caesar salad, it’s tangy, it’s fresh, crunchy and is a staple here. Top it with bacon or as I often do, just have a huge bowl of lettuce all by itself. This fancied up version is topped with delicious spicy shrimp.

Caesar Salad with Shrimp
Caesar Salad with Shrimp

Caesar Salad with ShrimpCreamy Caesar Salad

1 head romaine lettuce [washed and chopped]

raw shrimp

1 tbsp creole chipotle rub

for the Creamy Caesar Dressing

1 tbsp mayonaise

2 tbsp buttermilk

juice of half a lemon

1 tsp dijon mustard

1/2 tsp anchovy paste or 2 anchovy fillets finely chopped

1/4 tsp or a couple of squirts of Worcestershire sauce

1 clove garlic grated or finely chopped

a handful of grated parmigiano reggiano

freshly ground pepper

Directions:

For the dressing, place all ingredients in a jar, shake or mix with a fork.

For the shrimp, heat pan on medium high heat, rub the creole chipotle rub on each shrimp, sear in a hot pan for a few minutes each side or until cooked

To assemble salad, place lettuce in a bowl, drizzle with dressing, top with shrimp, add more shaved parmigiano reggiano if desired.

for the Creole Chipotle rub:

½ tsp salt

½ tsp cayenne

½ tsp chipotle powder

½ tsp sweet paprika

½ tsp granulated garlic

¼ tsp ground pepper

1 tsp granulated onion

½ tsp dried oregano

½ tsp dried thyme

Mix in a bowl.

{I usually make a lot more of these rub mixes and store them in a jar}

Creamy Caesar Dressing

Caesar Salad with Shrimp Caesar Salad with Shrimp

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Quinoa spinach stuffed portobello mushrooms

We all need to eat more veggies…seriously we do! ;o)

Honestly I love food, veggies, meat, I love it all, and I’m so happy to be married to a guy who loves my culinary experiments.

Portobellos are awesome for stuffing, I have many more recipes to come with these lovely fungi.

This is a super easy but a super satisfying meal, that will satisfy not only the vegetarian in your life but also the meat eater as well as the cheese-atarian…that’s a thing right?

Quinoa spinach stuffed portobello mushrooms
Quinoa spinach stuffed portobello mushrooms
Quinoa spinach stuffed portobello mushrooms Quinoa spinach stuffed portobello mushroomsCheesy Quinoa Spinach Stuffed Portobello

Ingredients:
4 portobello mushrooms
1 cup quinoa
chicken/beef or vegetable stock
1/2 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
2 cups fresh spinach
1/2 cup parmiggiano reggiano
5 springs fresh thyme
1 cup mozzarella or cheddar, grated
olive oil
salt & pepper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425F

Cook quinoa according to package instructions, but instead of water use chicken stock.

De-stem the portobellos, place on an oiled baking sheet, salt pepper and drizzle with olive oil, bake for 10 minutes.

While portobellos are baking, heat pan, add one glug of olive oil, add onions, cook until translucent, add garlic, cook for one minute.

Add spinach, salt and pepper to taste, cook until wilted.

Add cooked quinoa, and sprinkle in parmigianno reggiano.

Take spoonfuls of the quinoa stuffing and top the portobellos with stuffing.  Sprinkle with grated cheese.

Bake in preheated oven for 15 min. Until cheese is olden and bubbly.
Quinoa spinach stuffed portobello mushrooms

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Blueberry buttermilk pancakes

Every so often I love having pancakes or waffles for a lazy weekend breakfast. My husband thinks of them as the perfect sponge for copious amounts of maple syrup. I love that pancakes are easy, as in mix everything in one bowl, fry them up, and you are enjoying a delish breakfast. What I love about making waffles or pancakes as well, is they freeze well, and you have a quick on the go breakfast when you feel like a pancake during the week.

Blueberry buttermilk pancakes Blueberry buttermilk pancakes Blueberry buttermilk pancakesBlueberry buttermilk pancakes Blueberry buttermilk pancakes  Blueberry buttermilk pancakes

Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes

Ingredients:

1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
3 tbsp sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
2 eggs
2 tbsp melted butter [and a bit more for cooking]
a few handfuls of fresh blueberries

Directions:
Preheat oven to 250F, place baking sheet in oven.
Whisk the dry ingredients together.
Whisk the buttermilk, eggs, and melted butter in a measuring cup.
Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients, stir in berries.
Heat large pan over medium heat, brush with butter.
Drop batter by 1/3 cupfuls. Cook until golden brown, and cooked through, about 3mins per side.
Transfer to sheet in oven, keep warm.
Serve with maple syrup or peach butter.

Blueberry buttermilk pancakes

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Tourtiere

My husband’s mom is French Canadian, his dad Italian, so I love being introduced to yummy Canadian delicacies, such as tourtière, ragoût de boulettes and such.
The idea to mass make
tourtières came when Valerie, a French Canadian friend of mine, decided to make fruit ketchup as a wedding favour for their guests. A few of us got together and made massive amounts of this, and it’s absolute awesome on any dish with pork.  It’s a sweet and tang and savoury condiment, and basically Quebec in a jar.
We later decided to get together to make tourtière pies, so we can each take a few home and freeze for a quick dinner. It was a great evening, with cooking wine and lots of interesting conversations. The evening ended with us enjoying the fruit of our labour, tourtière, with jars and jars of fruit ketchup. Yummm!

Tourtiere Tourtiere Tourtiere Tourtiere

Ttourtière – Meat Pies

Ingredients:

4 onions, chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
olive oil
2 lbs ground veal
2 lbs ground pork
2 lbs ground beef
4 potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
salt + pepper
12 rolled out shortcrust pastry rounds, home made or bought

Directions:
In a large pan, soften onions, and garlic in the oil.
Add the meat, cook for about 15 mins, all the while crumbling it.
Add the rest of the ingredients and cook for about 45mins, until the potatoes start to fall apart.
Season to taste.
Chill in refrigerator.
Line six pie plates with pastry.
Fill with cooled mixture.
Cover with 2nd crust, make a slit in the centre, seal outside of pie.

Bake at 350 for 50mins-1hr

Freeze remaining pies, bake form frozen at 350F for 1h 15min or until hot.

Fruit Ketchup

Ingredients:
2 28oz/796ml cans of whole tomatoes
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 peppers, chopped
2 granny smith apples, peeled and chopped
1 398 ml can peaches, drained and chopped
1 398 ml can pears, drained and chopped
1 cup sugar
1 cup vinegar
2 tbsp pickling spice blend, tied in a sachet
1/ tsp salt

Directions:
Place all ingredients in a pot.
Bring to a simmer on medium heat, lower heat and simmer for 45min-1hr.
Ladle into hot sterilized jars, seal.
If jars don’t seal, place in refrigerator and consume within a week.

*http://healthycanadians.gc.ca/eating-nutrition/safety-salubrite/food-canning-conserve-aliment-eng.php

 

Fruit Ketchup Fruit Ketchup Fruit Ketchup Fruit Ketchup Fruit Ketchup Fruit Ketchup Fruit Ketchup Fruit Ketchup Fruit Ketchup

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Spinach Pesto Pasta - www.goodandgooder.com

Most of the meals we cook are not fussy, or difficult, but this Spinach Pesto pasta is such an easy delicious dish.
I had a huge bag of baby spinach on hand, and usually we use it for a super simple side dish. But I felt like something a bit different. To me spinach is such a spring leafy green, and I am so itching for spring. So here is the recipe for the simplest spinach pest pasta ever!

Spinach Pesto Pasta - www.goodandgooder.com

Spinach Pesto Pasta - www.goodandgooder.comSpinach Pesto Pasta - www.goodandgooder.com Spinach Pesto Pasta - www.goodandgooder.com  Spinach Pesto Pasta - www.goodandgooder.comSpinach Pesto Pasta - www.goodandgooder.com

Spinach Pesto Pasta

Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups tightly packed spinach [you can use any green you have on hand, arugula, basil, parsley, kale, etc]
1/3 cup toasted pine nuts [you can use any nuts, pecans, almonds, walnuts]
1 tsp lemon zest
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese *
salt & pepper
1 box of your favourite pasta

Directions:
In the bowl of a food processor, combine the spnach, pine nuts, lemon zest, cheese & olive oil, blend until slightly chunky. Add salt & pepper to taste. Place in a large bowl.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until the pasta is al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the pasta water.
Add the pasta to the pesto. Using a large spoon or rubber spatula, toss the pesto with the pasta, adding pasta water as needed to thin the sauce. Serve warm or at room temperature.

*I usually purchase a large wedge of parmigiano reggiano, grate it all, and store it in a ziplock bag in the freezer.

Spinach Pesto Spinach Pesto Spinach Pesto

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