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Sunday, February 20, 2011

Whoopie Pies

Lately, it seems that everywhere I look I see Whoopie Pies! At first I wondered "what the heck is a whoopie pie?". After some research, I found out that Whoopie Pies are just a creamy filling sandwiched between cake like cookies and they are becoming super trendy.So now that I knew what all the hype was about, it was time for me to make my own. The flavour combinations are endless, and I had a really hard time deciding what flavour to make when I noticed the dozen clementines in a bowl on my kitchen counter. I decided on a clementine cake with a creamy clementine buttercream filling! They turned out great!!! After the success of these, I am ready to get back into the kitchen and try out some more. What flavour should I make next?

Clementine Whoopie Pies
Makes about 18 bite size pies
For the Cake:
  • 1 cup (200 grams or 7 ounces) sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
  • zest and juice from 2 clementines
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
For the icing:
  • 1 cup (2 sticks)
  • 3 cups icing sugar
  • Juice and zest from 1 clementine
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a small bowl sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt, set aside. In a measuring cup, place juice of clementines (you should have about ¼ cup) combine with buttermilk, set aside.
  3. Using a stand or hand mixer cream together butter, sugar and zest. Mix in half of the flour mixture, followed by half of the buttermilk mixture. Repeat. Mix until thoroughly combined but don’t over mix.
  4. Using a mini ice cream scoop, scoop the batter into rounds onto a parchment lined baking sheet.
  5. Place the tray in the oven and bake until set, about 12 minutes.
  6. Remove the cakes from the oven and let cool.
  7. While cooling, prepare the icing. Beat the butter until fluffy, continue mixing while adding in the icing sugar. Mix until combined then mix in the zest, juice and vanilla. Place the icing into a piping bag.
  8. Once the cakes are cool, flip them over so the flat side is facing up. Pipe some icing onto one cake and top with another. Repeat with remaining cakes and icing. 

    Friday, February 18, 2011

    Chimichurri Chicken

    Chimichurri is an Argentinian sauce made from parsley, garlic, vinegar and other  various ingredients. It can be used on its own as a condiment or as a marinade as I used it tonight.Today I used chicken but this marinade is great with anything!

    Chimichurri Chicken
    Serves 4
    • 1 cup packed parsley leaves
    • 1 clove of garlic
    • 2 Tbsp. chopped red onion
    • 1/3 cup olive oil
    • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
    • zest of 1 lemon
    • 1/2 tsp. red chili flakes (or more if you like heat)
    • 1/2 tsp. paprika
    • salt and pepper
    • 1 chicken, cut into 4 pieces (breast and legs), excess fat removed
    1. Combine all the ingredients except for the chicken in a food processor and puree until smooth.
    2. Reserve 1/4 cup of the marinade and pour the rest over the chicken and marinate, covered for up to 8 hours.
    3. Preheat your bbq to high heat. Remove chicken from the marinade and grill until juices run clear (about 6 minutes/side if using bone in chicken) Alternatively, the chicken can be baked in the oven at 400 for  about 18-20 minutes.
    4. Drizzle the 1/4 cup of sauce over the chicken before serving.
    I forgot to take a picture so here is one from of Chimichurri sauce with steak. My sauce pretty much looked the same.

      Friday, February 11, 2011

      Pretty in Pink Valentine's Marshmallows

      Who doesn't love marshmallows? I know I do, and I have always wanted to try to make my own. I thought Valentine's Day would be the perfect time so I whipped up a batch and dyed them pink for the occasion. These marshmallows will be great dipped in chocolate or with a steaming cup of hot cocoa!

      Homemade Marshmallows
      Recipe Courtesy of Martha Stewart
      • 3 packets unflavoured gelatin (1/4 oz./7g each)
      • 1/2 cup plus 1/4 cup cold water
      • 2 cups granulated sugar
      • 2/3 cup light corn syrup
      • 1/4 tsp. salt
      • 1 tsp. vanilla extract (to mix it up, replace the vanilla with another flavour or extract)
      • few drops of food colouring of choice ( I used Wilton gel food colouring)
      • non-stick cooking spray
      • icing sugar
      1.  Lightly spray a 9-by-9 inch baking pan with cooking spray.
      2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with a whisk attachment, sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 cup cold water. Let stand for 10 minutes.
      3. In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, corn syrup, and 1/4 cup water. Place saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Boil rapidly for 1 minute. Remove from and heat.
      4. With the mixer on high, slowly pour the boiling syrup into the gelatin mixture. Add salt and continue mixing for 12 minutes.
      5. Add the vanilla beans and food colouring, mix well until combined.
      6. Spray a rubber spatula with cooking spray. Spread the marshmallow mixture evenly into the prepared pan with the sprayed spatula. Spray a sheet of plastic wrap with cooking spray, and place, spray side down, on top of the marshmallows. Let stand for 2 hours.
      7. Carefully remove the marshmallows from the pan. Remove the plastic wrap and discard. Cut marshmallows into 2-inch squares using a sharp knife, sprayed with cooking spray.
      8. Place icing sugar into a large bowl. Add the marshmallows into the bowl and toss to coat (you may have to work in batches).
      9. The marshmallows can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days. 


      Wednesday, February 9, 2011

      Kefta Kebabs

      This month's issue of Martha Stewart Living had a great article featuring a basic ground meat recipe, which can then be used as the base for various recipes. You can check out the base recipe here. Tonight, I took the base recipe, swapped out the pork for lamb, made a few minor changes and then added my own spices and herbs to make delicious, Middle Eastern Kefta Kebabs. I also whipped up a simple mint and yogurt dip to serve with the kebabs and some warm pita.

      Kefta Kebabs
      Makes 10 Patties
      • 2 slices white bread, torn into large pieces
      • 1/4 cup whole milk
      • 1 lb. ground lamb
      • 1 lb. extra lean ground beef
      • 1 large garlic clove, finely minced or pureed with a grater
      • 1 small onion, grated
      • 1 large egg
      • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
      • 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
      • 1/2 tsp. paprika
      • 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
      • 1 Tbsp. finely chopped mint
      • salt and pepper to taste
      • olive oil
      1.Pre-heat your oven's broiler.
      2. In a small bowl, soak the bread in the milk until soggy. (This is called a panade.) Set aside.
      3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the meat with the remaining ingredients and the panade. Using your hands, mix until thoroughly combined.
      4. Form the meat mixture into patties, or traditional log shapes (these can be skewered as well).
      5. Brush the keftas with olive oil and place in the oven. Cook until brown and cooked through, flipping halfway through cooking time about 7 minutes a side. In the summer, these are great for the BBQ!

      Mint-Yogurt Dip
      Combine, 1 cup plain yogurt, 1/4 cup mint leaves, a squeeze of lemon juice, salt and pepper into a food processor and puree until smooth.

      Saturday, February 5, 2011

      Resse's Peanut Butter Cup Brownie Bars

      When it comes to junk food, I am not a huge chocolate eater, I would usually rather a bag of chips, BUT I have a huge weakness for Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. When I saw the blog post here, I immediately started drooling. The next day, I picked up all the necessary ingredients and got to work as soon as I got home. The result....

      AMAZING! It is a good thing I promised to bring them to a party, or I would have eaten the whole tray.

      I followed the recipe exactly, and wouldn't change anything!!!


      Friday, February 4, 2011

      Superbowl Sunday Spinach Dip

      I first made this dip years ago for a Superbowl party with my girlfriends (really just an excuse to pig out and watch the half time show). Ever since then, this dip has been a staple at pretty much every party I throw. When I first started this blog it was the most requested recipe by all my friends.

      In honour of the 2011 Superbowl (or the Snackbowl as it is referred to in my family) here is my Spinach Dip recipe. It is sure to be a crowd pleaser at any Superbowl party, whether you are actually watching the game, or just the Black Eyed Peas.

      Warm Spinach and Artichoke Dip
      • 1 package (300g) frozen chopped spinach, thawed, excess water squeezed out
      • 1 can (398 mL) artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
      • 1/2 Cup finely diced red onion
      • 1 package (250 g) cream cheese, at room temperature
      • 1 1/2 Cups mayonnaise (I use Hellman's half the fat)
      • 1 Cup plus 1/4 cup shredded cheese (various cheeses can be used, I find the best are cheddar or asiago)
      • Siracha chili sauce or Frank's Red Hot sauce to taste 
      • salt and pepper to taste
      1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
      2. Place all the ingredients, reserving the 1/4 cup of the shredded cheese, into a large mixing bowl. Mix until thoroughly combined.
      3. Transfer the dip into an ovenproof baking or casserole dish and sprinkle the top with the remaining cheese.
      4. Place in the oven and bake until heated through and cheese ontop is melted and bubbly, about 30 minutes.
      5. Serve with your favorite dippers!!!

      Thursday, February 3, 2011

      Toronto Kitchen Supply Store and Cooking School: Nella Cucina

      If you are a foodie living in Toronto and have not yet visited Nella Cucina, you must go NOW!!!

      From meat grinders, to china, to quirky kitchen gadgets, this store has it all! If that isn't enough to grab your attention, the store also has a cooking school! The school caters to the home chef and runs recreational classes like Traditional Thai and Knife Skills.

      For more info check out their website, blog, Facebook, or Twitter

      photo courtesy of

      Wednesday, February 2, 2011

      I'm Back!!!!!

      It has officially been a full year since my last post! I can not believe it!

      I sincerely apologize for the lack of posting, things have just been crazy busy; new job, new house and a new husband!!!

      Although I am starting a little late, it was my New Year's resolution to start blogging again, so here goes!!!

      For my return, here is a delicious and easy side dish recipe to accompany any dinner.

      Roasted, Shaved Brussel Sprouts with Raisins and Pine Nuts
      • 1 lb brussel sprouts, tough leaves removed, and root trimmed
      • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
      • 1/4 cup pine nuts
      • 1/4 cup golden raisins
      • salt and pepper
      1. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees F
      2. Thinly slice the brussel sprouts lengthwise, keeping the root in tact
      3. Toss the sliced brussel sprouts in a mixing bowl with olive oil, pine nuts, raisins, salt and pepper
      4. Spread onto a baking sheet and roast in the oven until golden, about 25 minutes, mixing halfway through cooking.

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