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Friday, October 30, 2009

How-to: Roast Garlic

I LOVE garlic!!! What I don't love is the way my breath smells after eating it. Roasting garlic takes away the strong, pungent flavour of raw garlic and turns it into something sweet and delectable.

Here is my easy how-to for roasting garlic:

Step 1: Take a whole head of garlic, and cut off the very top portion, to reveal the cloves.

Step 2: Place the head of garlic on a piece of aluminum foil and drizzle with about 1 tsp. of olive oil.

Step 3: Wrap the garlic in the foil and place in a 450 degree oven for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.

Step 4: Once cooled, unwrap the garlic and remove the cloves with a small fork or by squeezing the head of garlic. The cloves should now be soft and golden brown.

Step 5: Mash the cloves with a pinch of salt using a fork to make a paste.

Use this roasted garlic paste to jazz up your regular mayo, barbeque sauce, pasta sauce or mashed potatoes. You can even eat it as is, spread on some bread. Be creative, personally I find roasted garlic goes with everything. The paste will last for about a week in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Happy Halloween!!!

Halloween is by far one of my favorite holidays. As a kid there was nothing better then getting free candy, and as an adult I enjoy the opportunity to dress up and act like a kid again. For the past 3 years my fiance, Jordan and I have thrown a Halloween party for all of our friends. Jordan is in charge of carving the pumpkins, while I have been in charge of creating a large spread of food. I have thoroughly enjoyed trying to make regular party food into something spooky.

One of the big hits from last year's party were cookies made to look like Witch's fingers, here's a quick how-to so you can enjoy them yourselves this Halloween:

Step 1: Either make or purchase a basic sugar cookie or peanut butter cookie dough. I cheated and used store bought peanut butter cookie dough.

Step 2: On a lightly floured surface and with floured hands, roll the dough into very thin ropes, about 2 inches long.

Step 3: Using a small knife, score 3 thin lines in the centre of the ropes, to resemble knuckles.

Step 4: Place on a greased, or parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees until golden brown, about 8 minutes.

Step 5: Once cooled, use royal icing (see recipe below), dyed your favorite colour and pipe on creepy nails

Step 6: ENJOY!!!!

Quick Royal Icing
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 cups icing sugar
  • A squeeze of lemon juice

1. Combine all ingredients in a medium sized mixing bowl and whisk together until combined.

2. You can adjust the icing to your desired consistency using water

3. Mix in a few drops of your favorite colour food colouring or keep it white.
4. Store in an airtight container.

    Stay Tuned for pictures of all the other scary treats from this years party!!!!

    Wednesday, October 28, 2009

    "What's For Dinner?" Wednesday

    It's Wednesday, the middle of the week and the weekend is now in sight. I don't know about anyone else, but by Wednesday I'm exhausted, and the last thing I want to do is go home and prepare a fancy feast, so welcome to the first edition of "What's For Dinner?" Wednesdays. Every Wednesday I'm going to post a simple, quick, dinner recipe.

    On a rainy, cool day like today, I love to just curl up in my pajamas and enjoy a nice big bowl of soup. I developed this recipe while I was working for The Compliments Culinary Centre, and it was used in an edition of the Sobey's Inspired magazine. This soup is quite hearty and can be an accompaniment to a meal or paired with some nice crusty bread to make it a complete meal.

    photo courtesy of

    Creamy Potato Leek Soup
    Makes 6 large portions
    • 1 tbsp. olive oil
    • 2 leeks, the white parts, halved and sliced
    • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
    • 1 tbsp. fresh thyme, chopped
    • 1 cup white wine
    • 4 large yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into medium sized cubes
    • 1 carton (900 ml) of chicken or vegetable stock
    • 1 cup of cream (or milk if preferred)

    1. Heat a large stock pot over medium high heat, add the olive oil and saute the leeks, garlic and thyme until softened, about 3 minutes. Pour in the wine and let reduce by half.
    2.Add the potatoes and broth and bring to a boil. Cover, lower the heat and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes.
    3. Using a hand blender, puree the soup until smooth, add the cream and re-heat.
    4. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

    Tuesday, October 27, 2009

    My first blog

    I am new to the blogging world, but thought I would give it a try. I am a culinary school graduate, based in Toronto. Currently I am working for a corporate company downtown, providing them with catering services. Due to budget cuts among other things, I'm not able to be as creative as I would like, therefore using this blog as my creative outlet. The plan is to blog regularly with recipes, entertaining ideas, restaurant reviews, cook book reviews, etc. We'll see how it goes....
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