Tuesday, 25 April 2017

North African Merguez

In this modern world where people can work remotely from anywhere on the globe and therefore move to a place of their choice, there are major pluses as well as minuses. When moving from one area to another, the experience is fascinating but there are frustrations that come along with it. Yes it is always fun to discover new places, meet other people, learn another culture, add an additional language to your repertoire and discover new dishes. This is the thrill of moving away and you don’t have to move far away to experience changes.

Just moving out of Québec to Ontario was a big adaptation on many levels… well back there it was. Clubs in the 80s’ were closing at 1am instead of 3am in Québec. Drinking age was 19 versus 18 (I moved when I was 23 so I was okay). Everything was mostly closed on Sunday in downtown Toronto whereas in Montréal it was another crazy day to go out. People were dressing very conservatively in comparison to the ones from Montréal which back then the city held the reputation of being North America’s Fashion Destination next to New York City. With only 5 hours of driving between Toronto and Montréal, I couldn’t understand why there were so many food items from Québec we couldn’t find in Ontario.

Nine years ago, I fell in love and moved with David here in British Columbia. I didn’t move from Canada to Asia although sometimes it feels like this here in Vancouver… lol! Almost the same thing happened then when I moved in Ontario back in the late 80s’. I won’t pinpoint all the differences except food again – of course, this is a cooking website… lol! When I just moved in Ontario when visiting family and friends in Québec, I always had a cooler in the car so I bought food items, filled the cooler and brought them back home to Toronto. Now it is quite difficult to do that considering that I would have to drive 4 days non-stop going through the Rockies (this is if the weather is nice) just to have my fav food items. So the solution was to make my own!

There’s one food item that is incredibly delicious and till this day, I still don’t understand why butchers don’t carry it. It is Merguez sausage! I used to buy it often when living in Montréal. This sausage has so many earthy flavors and the spiciness in it is perfect! After inquiring at over a dozen butcher shops around and getting that puzzled look on their faces when asking for it, I’ve decided it was time for me to try making merguez sausage. This North African sausage is not for the faint of heart… it is spicy! If you like spice in your food and are not afraid to try something new then you definitely need to add this to your “must try” list.
Bon Appétit!

 

For ingredient amounts and much more, visit
 
 


Thursday, 20 April 2017

Chicken Cordon Bleu

I always like going out to restaurants and I love the whole experience of it. From dressing up to sitting down at the restaurant table, ordering, relaxing and enjoying flavorful meals cooked by amazing chefs plus sharing a nice bottle of wine along with great company and conversation, to me this is a lovely way to spend an evening! I’m very social and this is something I really enjoy in my life.

Back in the 80s’, on average I would say that I was going out for dinner 4 nights a week. I was definitely a “Restaurantaholic”! – if this word doesn’t exist, I just created one… lol! I always love trying new dishes from the menu, new wines while wearing a new outfit – did I ever mention that I love shopping? The same scenario in the 90s’ with me and restaurants but much lesser since the turn of the century and definitely less since I’m on the West Coast unless we’re travelling.

One dish that appeared in a lot of restaurants was Chicken Cordon Bleu. For some strange reason, restauranteurs removed it from their menus and I don’t remember seeing it since the late 90s’. A few years ago I got a flashback from that dish and decided to replicate it at home. My first attempt was pretty good but I wanted more flavor so I thought outside the box by adding a few new ingredients and with humbleness (… lol!), I have to admit, this is the best Chicken Cordon Bleu I ever had!

If you like classic dishes and want to impress your guests with a flavorful and well-presented dish, this one is absolutely perfect! I like to serve this recipe along with my Moroccan Couscous – click here for the link: Moroccan Couscous Salad– and some veggies. You can prep your roulades ahead of time (1-2 hours), tightly wrap them and when you’re ready to cook, bread them, sear them and transfer them to the oven… voilà! If you’ve never tried this dish, I highly suggest you do… you’ll be amazed how incredibly tasty it is!
Bon Appétit!

 

For ingredient amounts and much more, visit
 
 

Monday, 17 April 2017

Tiramisu

I can proudly say that I’m a person who likes almost everything. I don’t have a narrow mind and I’m willing to try food, ingredients, etc. that I’ve never had before. Some people without trying it, will lift their nose and refuse to taste it – can’t understand them… sorry! At least try it and if you don’t like it THEN you can make a legitimate comment about it.

Although as mentioned I like pretty much everything, there are certain dishes, food that I’m not crazy about. That doesn’t’ stop me from giving them another try until perhaps I might eventually like it. Well here’s a perfect example… Between David and I, I am the most adventurous one although he came a long way since we’ve met and now, we both try “new stuff” together. Though there is one dish that I never really enjoyed and it is David’s fav! It’s Tiramisu! WHAT? Yes… I’ve never been a big fan of that classic Italian dessert even though I like all the ingredients in the recipe. It reminds me of “baby food”. You know that big round cookie that moms pour hot milk over to make it soft for babies without teeth (or barely any). This is what the texture reminds me of and for some reason, it was not enjoyable in my mouth.

One of the rules of thumb for a healthy relationship is to not be too self-centered, selfish and compromise once in a while. So having said that, one day I decided to make David’s favorite dessert – I’ve been procrastinating to make it for years but it was the decent thing to do… I have to say, the guy is patient… lol! Each time David ordered it, he always wanted me to have a taste and as a good sport, that’s exactly what I was doing “A” taste, not more just one taste! I knew which ingredients I would need to make it so opening up my memory box located somewhere in my brain, I put ingredients together and adding my favorite liqueurs in it which were Tia Maria and Marsala Wine. A little confession to make – I was drinking Tia Maria in my coffee while making it and truly hoping this dessert will turn out okay. It is hard to have confidence about something you’re making when you don’t like it…

Well, well, well what a surprise this Tiramisu was! Not only was it amazingly delicious BUT I LIKE IT! Okay, I like it more – I’m still working on the “baby-cookie-mushy-texture” issue, it’s a work in progress! Is it because I used Tia Maria or because I made it and somehow the “ego” department of my person decides it was more acceptable? Who knows! The important thing was that David really loved it and since then, I’ve been making it more often.

The moral of this recipe is don’t lift your nose to something you never had before until you try it and if after that, you still don’t really like it, keep trying, your taste buds might surprise you!
Bon Appétit!

 

For ingredient amounts and much more, visit http://clubfoody.com/recipe/tiramisu/

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Popovers

In a couple of weeks I’ll be sharing my Roast Beef with Fresh Herbs for Easter dinner. Now if you’re like me, I love my roast beef medium-rare and next to it, the other goodies! Besides mashed potatoes, au jus, horseradish and fresh steamed veggies, I am a big sucker for Popovers. They are similar to the famous British Yorkshire Pudding except they’re no beef drippings in the popovers. Why choose these guys over Yorkshire puddings? Because they are more versatile… let me explain.

If I’m 100% certain that all the Yorkshire puddings will be paired strictly with my roast then I will make it with the beef drippings “buuut” if I want to use some of them along with other food, I make popovers instead. They are more flexible because I can enjoy them for breakfast as well and spread jam on them. Honestly I cannot see myself spreading jam over Yorkshire pudding first thing in the morning… something about the drippings don’t fit my taste buds!

I really like them! They’re light, fluffy and hollow. They’re also good looking… yes they are! It is a nice touch to add when serving roast beef or any other meat dish. If you have leftovers, you can always enjoy them for breakfast, spreading pâté over or making some sort of a sandwich… why not!
Bon Appétit!

 

For ingredient amounts and much more, visit http://clubfoody.com/recipe/popovers/

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Smoky Buffalo Wing Sauce

People love going to pubs! It’s a casual place to go where beer flows, the atmosphere is energetic as well as enjoying great food at a reasonable cost. One of the most popular pub foods which is also considered finger food is… chicken wings!

It originated in Buffalo, New York right across from Fort Erie, Canada – if you’re not sure where Fort Erie is, it’s just slightly south of the famous Niagara Falls. Apparently in 1964, the owner of Anchor Bar was the initiator of coming up with the idea of frying the wings from the chicken. Back then, this part of the poultry was kept for stock or simply thrown away. When I was living in Toronto, a friend took me to this place and guess what we ate… WINGS!

Since then, these little guys spread their wings – literally… lol! – and became famous not only in North America but also in many countries around the world. Wings are fun because you can choose many different flavors for your sauce. This dish usually comes with celery and carrots sticks and a dipping sauce which can be blue cheese or ranch.

Last year, I posted my Baked Chicken Drumettes (or Wings) recipe (click on this link: http://clubfoody.com/recipe/baked-chicken-drumettes-or-wings/).  I’ve decided to come up with a “healthier” way to eat these celebrities! The results are as excellent as if they were fried. If your guests don’t know they’re from the oven, they won’t see the difference besides having fewer problems with their vascular system (wink). To go along with this recipe, I also shared with you my Hawai`ian-Style Teriyaki Sauce which is awesome (click on this link: http://clubfoody.com/recipe/hawaiian-style-teriyaki-sauce/)! Yeah it’s okay to pat yourself in the back once in a while… lol! To complete this popular dish, I evidently had to post my Zippy Ranch Dressing as a dipping sauce for the wings and the crudités (click on this link: http://clubfoody.com/recipe/zippy-ranch-dressing/)

Now it’s time to share with you another delicious sauce for your wings… my delicious Smoky Buffalo Wing Sauce. This is my take on this famous sauce from the 60s’. It’s spicy but not overly so and if hot is what you’re looking for, add more cayenne or chili powder. I prefer my sauce to have a zip to it but not at the level where I’m sweating and my head is spinning. Anyway, this recipe is a good base and you can always adapt from there to your liking.
Bon Appétit!


For ingredient amounts and much more, visit http://clubfoody.com/recipe/smoky-buffalo-wing-sauce/



Friday, 24 March 2017

Indian Butter Chicken

 

In one of my previous blogs, I mentioned about myself in my early 20s’ with my friend Mario, when we were experiencing different ethnic cuisines in Montréal. This was when I first encountered Indian cuisine. It was “love at first… bite”. The complexity of spices, herbs and ingredients combined together was something very new and scrumptious to me. Although my experience was beyond expectations, somehow I didn’t have Indian food for almost 10 years.

When I moved to Toronto, a friend of mine who was East Indian took me to a very high end Indian restaurant downtown. As soon as we walked in, the aroma floating in the air took me back to Montréal and the first time I tried Indian cuisine. My first thought was “Why did I not come back sooner?” My experience that night was even more enriched than my first time because of my companion’s background. I tried some very interesting dishes and I was very pleased with them. I made a promise to myself to return regularly to Indian restaurants.

Here in the lower mainland of British Columbia, there are some areas that have a high East Indian population and a lot of East Indian restaurants. Even my local grocery store carries many items from Asia and the Middle East. One day I decided to try and make Butter Chicken on my own. With a mix of spices and herbs, my first attempt was a great success! This dish is now on our regular kitchen menu and after you give it a try, I’m sure it will be on yours as well. It is super easy to prep and make. Served with basmati rice and naan flatbread, (which I will post one day), this is a delightful meal to enjoy!
Bon Appétit!

 

 

For ingredient amounts and much more, visit http://clubfoody.com/recipe/indian-butter-chicken/

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Tahini Mango Peanut Butter Smoothie

I enjoy trying different ethnic food items. I get excited! You might think it doesn’t take much to get me enthusiastic and you’re probably right but what happens is I love to discover new taste sensations. Since I’m curious and adventurous, tasting new ingredients such as herbs, spices and food items makes me want to create new dishes – the more new food items I come across, the more fun I have in the kitchen!

There’s an ethnic food item that English countries were introduced to about 100 year ago but has been used for centuries in the

Middle East, Africa and around the Mediterranean region. This is tahini! Western countries use this condiment majorly in hummus recipes but in other countries people use it in sauce, dessert, breakfast, toppings as well as a side dish. We are slowly incorporating this condiment in other recipes beside hummus.

Back in January I posted my smooth and velvety Roasted Red Pepper Hummus and since then my tahini was sitting in the refrigerator. The longest I keep it stored in the fridge is about 3 months, no longer! So I had to do something with it plus I had a cup of frozen mango that had been in the freezer since August so it was time to get creative.

In this episode today, we’ll actually drink tahini! Some might find it slightly earthy but adding a small amount of agave nectar or honey will bring this breakfast smoothie to a different level. What is also great about incorporating tahini in a smoothie (or other recipes) is its nutritional values. It is a great source of calcium, fiber and protein. What better way is there to enjoy tahini than to drink this healthy smoothie for breakfast!
Bon Appétit!

 

For ingredient amounts and much more, visit http://clubfoody.com/recipe/tahini-mango-peanut-butter-smoothie/


Thursday, 16 March 2017

Beer Battered Fish

Great Britain is a nation with a dense population. Its foods reflect the British culture and its interesting multicultural diversity. Some of what are today British traditional recipes originated and were derived from other cultures. One of the best examples I can think of is “Fish & Chips”.

The fried fish for the popular Fish & Chips of today was initially introduced from the Spanish Jews back in the 17th century. If you are familiar with Spanish cuisine, Pescaíto Frito is a traditional recipe from the southern part of Spain and it means “fried fish”. Somehow this Spanish recipe got a twist to it and became what we know today as Fish & Chips.

This is a dish I like to enjoy once or twice a year but until recently never really made it at home. I had fresh fish and decided to give this British dish a try. It was so easy and the results met my expectations… they were just like the ones from the restaurant I like to visit in White Rock!

I let my batter sit for only 30 minutes. I tried 2 hours as well as 1 hour and frankly it doesn’t really make any difference. You don’t need a fryer to enjoy this recipe although this can make your life easier. With a deep saucepan with canola or vegetable oil, you can now have your Fish & Chips at home anytime you have the craving.
Bon Appétit!


For ingredient amounts and much more, visit http://clubfoody.com/recipe/beer-batter-fish/


Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Matcha Cheesecake

St. Patrick’s Day is not just a party or drinking occasion… although it fits very well in the program! This is a Christian religious celebration in honor of the death of Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland falling each year on March 17th. It is a public holiday for, obviously Ireland and surprisingly Canada. If you are living in Newfoundland and Labrador, this is a holiday for you guys! Now for the rest of the country, we still make it as a holiday but we have to go to work… oh well!

Alright, enough about the info and let’s get to what we like to do… enjoy the celebration! As many cities around the world make this event special, there are always some who will go far and beyond. Here’s my personal list (it’s okay if you don’t agree with my choices… just have a green beer) and the reason why I picked them…

Let’s first mention the city where it all started… Dublin. Its festival lasts 4 days with street performances, pub events, live music and on that special St Patrick’s Day its amazing parade! Now these Irish know how to throw a party… c’mon 4 days… I love these guys… lol! This is sooo on my bucket list!

Another very interesting city in my opinion is not far behind Dublin is Chicago. The party always starts on a Saturday (more convenient than during the week so the majority of partiers won’t call in sick the next day) and the city dyes the Chicago River a bright emerald green color. Don’t panic! Breathe in & breathe out… this dye is EPA-approved – I know what a relief… lol! Another city where there’s some green water going on is in Savannah, Georgia which apparently is the second largest parade in the world. The route takes 3 hours and goes thru the Historic District where the fountains spew the formal color of the celebration!

Boston is another one in my book for a St Patrick’s Day party escape as the state of Massachusetts has the highest Irish population. If you are fine with bagpipes, the sound is what makes everything start. Although this musical instrument is very cultural, some of you may not enjoy it that much. There are a few famous quotes that reveal either side of the coin. You either like it or hate it… there’s no other option.

Now if you want to be in the biggest (I think) Irish pub in the world, go to London to The Porterhouse in Covent Garden. Of course get there super early because even with its 12 levels and extended space, this pub will fill up pretty fast as it is located right around the corner of Trafalgar Square where the party is.

Now here at clubfoody, we do things right as well on St Patrick’s Day. I turn a cheesecake green! “Whoop-dee-doo” you say! At least I get into the St. Patrick’s Day spirit in my way! My Matcha Cheesecake is actually quite fun and different… never saw or ate a green cheesecake until I decided to create this recipe. If you are totally into this event and are hosting a dinner party then this is the perfect dessert to make!
Bon Appétit!

 

 

 

For ingredient amounts and much more, visit http://clubfoody.com/recipe/matcha-cheesecake/

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Blood Orange Ice Cream

 

I love going to the farmers’ markets and walking thru the aisles glancing at the fresh produce showcased in the displays but it’s not the same during winter. The selection is obviously more limited during the cold months but there are few fruits and vegetable that come specifically just during winter time and disappear before summer arrives.

One of them is Blood Oranges! They are amazing and bloody good! Lol From its counterpart, this fruit doesn’t have the same flavor, its texture is slightly different and definitely the color is what sets it apart from the others. There are a few different varieties of these sanguine oranges.

Moro is probably the deepest flesh color with the strongest flavor of citrus and raspberry, making this kind slightly more bitter than others. You can also find the world’s most popular one… Tarocco. Originated from Italy, this kind of blood orange is the sweetest and juiciest one of its kind. Although red in flesh, the color is not as pronounced as other varieties.

There’s another one that comes later during the season and it’s called Sanguinelli. It originated from Spain and its properties are pretty similar to Moro. From February to May, you can enjoy this variety before they all disappear until December. There are probably more varieties but these are the only ones I know of.

What gives them their dark maroon coloration is the temperature dropping during the fall and even after harvest, they will continue getting darker in color. I have a motto when it comes to food – I will choose red grapes over green and the same with cabbage because the darker the produce, the more antioxidants they have! The same applies to blood oranges versus navel and others. They are great to cook with and the color makes your dish look fun! Next time you go to your local grocery store, buy some… you might be bloody surpised!
Bon Appétit!

 

For ingredient amounts and much more, visit http://clubfoody.com/recipe/blood-orange-ice-cream/


Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Waldorf Salad

I’m sure you’ve had a Waldorf Salad before or at least heard about it! This great dish was created in the late 19th century in New York by Mr. Oscar Tschirky who was the maître d’hôtel of the actual dish that it got its name from. From what I remember reading the original recipe didn’t contain any nuts.

The first time I enjoyed this succulent salad was at the well-known Waldorf Astoria Hotel where I was staying for a few days. Of course when I saw the famous Waldorf Salad on the menu it was a “no brainer”, I just had to order it! I was very pleased with the flavors and since then, I’ve tried many versions of this salad. Most of them are pretty good all with a different touch to them.

In my personal version, I tried to keep it simple so it’s easy to make at home. My initial version was to show you the recipe with celeriac and truffles but I’ve decided to take it down a notch and make it simpler but still tasty!

It is a salad you can serve as an appetizer or a main course. It is easy to make and the flavors combine well together. Although this salad is perfect for summer, I like to enjoy it all year round so this is why I’m sharing this recipe with you in March. It is the perfect salad to serve your guests along with most entrées because it’s light… well, on the light side.

I don’t use light or fat-free plain yogurt in my recipe because I don’t want a runny dressing especially when it is combined with fruits. For those of you who watch your calorie intake and want to use a lighter yogurt, I would suggest you reduce the amount to avoid the dressing being too “liquidy”.

If you can find celeriac (celery root) in your supermarket, cut in in small pieces and let it soak in cold water for 15-20 minutes to remove the bitterness (also helps to prevent browning). When it’s time to mix it with the other fruit/vegetable ingredients, make sure the celeriac is well-drained. If you want to take this recipe up a notch, you can add a couple drops of black truffle oil to your dressing… yum!
Bon Appétit!

 

For ingredient amounts and much more, visit http://clubfoody.com/recipe/waldorf-salad/


Saturday, 4 March 2017

Lady Athena's Rockin' Crab Shell Pasta

Exactly a year ago Club Foody posted its first video recipe. Wow, time really flies! Today’s episode is the 106th posted recipe besides kitchen Tips & Tricks, plus Wine/Restaurant reviews. To commemorate Club Foody’s first anniversary, I thought it would be very special to feature a Celebrity guest recipe.

There are so many reality TV shows out there… it’s unbelievable! I have a few programs I enjoy watching because of the personalities of the cast members. There was one I really liked and it was “Ex-Wives of Rock”. It featured four ladies formerly married to some well-known rock n’ roll band members back in the 80s’ and now making a living, hanging out together or at least trying to! There was one lady I really enjoyed watching and she is Athena Lee.  

 

Athena Lee (Athena Michelle Bass) was born on December 8th, 1964 in Los Angeles where she grew up. She became interested in music at age 20 and taught herself to play the drums. Perhaps the influence of her older brother had an impact on her although he never taught her how to play – she is the younger sister of Mötley Crüe’s drummer Tommy Lee who was married to Pamela Anderson from Baywatch… ring a bell?

Besides the fame of her brother, Athena is an extremely talented woman on her own. She has played in a variety of bands including Hardly Dangerous, Ron Keel’s Fair Game as well as for the band Femme Fatale. She won an award as Best Female Drummer at the Rock City – Rockies and became the 1st female ever nominated for Best Drummer at the LA Music Awards. Wow, that’s awesome!

Her life might sound like a fairy tale but it hasn’t always been like that. She has three children with ex-husband James Kottak, former drummer of the rock band Scorpions. She also fought breast cancer during her relationship with Kottak. After a long divorce, Athena finally got her life back together.

In 2012, she became a cast member on the reality TV show “Ex-Wives of Rock” that aired on Slice-TV in Canada and Fuse in the United States. She has also been a celebrity guest commentator on VH-1’s Behind the Music and E! True Hollywood Story. Furthermore, she still performs in various rock and roll bands and started her own candle line called “Aphrodite” by Athena. For those of you who love beautiful scented candles, I highly recommend you visit her website: http://www.aphroditebyathena.com/

As I mentioned earlier, I initially got interested in Athena by watching the reality show “Ex Wives of Rock”. I really liked her personality and thought she would be someone I would get along well with. Interestingly enough, I recently got acquainted with her and of course I couldn’t resist asking Athena if she would allow me to create a recipe just for her on my Club Foody website. She accepted my offer and now here we are with my “Lady Athena’s Rockin’ Crab Shell Pasta dedicated to the one and only Athena Lee, an amazing, strong and talented woman!

This pasta dish “ROCKS”! There’s the nice subtle sweet taste of the crab along with a hint of spiciness wrapped up in a nice creamy sauce. If you enjoy crab like Athena and I do and want to savor it without losing its delicate flavor then this recipe is perfect for you!
Bon Appétit!


For ingredient amounts and much more, visit http://clubfoody.com/recipe/lady-athenas-rockin-crab-shell-pasta/

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Chocolate Honey Graham Pie Crust - Tips & Tricks #12

While some are making chocolate crust with store-bought cookies, this recipe is made from scratch... The results are amazingly delicious and you'll be proud to serve it to your family!


For ingredient amounts and more info, visit http://clubfoody.com/tips-tricks/chocolate-honey-graham-pie-crust/

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Cheddar Biscuits

Today is Mardi Gras and the recipe I’m about to share with you is a popular staple in the southern United States… biscuits!

I am sure you have been to the famous seafood restaurant chain called Red Lobster®. It was one of my favorite “chain restaurants” back in the late 80s’. As soon as you sat at your table, they would bring you a basket of warm biscuits. Oh My! I loved them! I’m not sure if my taste buds changed or the quality of the food did but I eventually stopped going there.

During the Holidays I decided to make Southern Gravy and Biscuits for breakfast. As much as it is absolutely delicious, this breakfast is quite heavy and we only have it twice a year at the most. Anyway, today is not about the gravy but the biscuits.

Although in the southern part of United States they love their biscuits and gravy, these biscuits can be served along with most any main course. They taste amazing plus they are not as heavy as most people think. They are very easy to make and if you enjoyed them at Red Lobster, you will definitely love mine. Could I have called them a copycat of theirs? I’m not sure but I know they taste pretty incredible. It’s up to you to give them a try and make your own judgment.
Bon Appétit!

 

For ingredient amounts and much more, visit http://clubfoody.com/recipe/cheddar-biscuits/


Thursday, 23 February 2017

Stuffed Baguettes

There are many meals we grew up with that we continue enjoying as adults. We also like to share these meals with our partners, kids and friends. This is like sharing a special part of us with loved ones and often this is how “new” traditions start!

There are also meals that we could’ve had just a couple times as a youngster and they had an impact on us. Perhaps your mother or father forgot all about, but you still remember it like it was a meal served often. This happened to me with my mother…

I remember a particular dish that she made just a couple of times and it was delish! It wasn’t anything fancy but it was “yummy in my tummy”! I asked her about this dish and after a few “I don’t’ remember!” – “Are you sure I made it?” – “When did I make it?” – I finally got an ‘OH YEAH, I remember now…!”. What a relief it was because I thought for a second that it could’ve been my imagination! But even my imagination couldn’t come up with something so simple with so many flavors at such a young age.

After my mother dug into her recipe notes – that’s a scary place to go… there’s no binder, just a couple of note books plus a stack of yellowish paper with her hand writing and somehow she can find her way through this mess…oh my! – she finally found it! This piece of paper had an “unidentified” stain on it but there it was that simple dish she made over 40 years ago that I still recall clearly… well clear enough anyway.

So after she gave me the recipe, I made it but after all these years of experimenting with new spices and flavors, this dish was slightly disappointing! As you guys should know me by now, I recreated this recipe to meet my “adulthood standard” (is it such a thing?) and today I’m proud to share with you a simple recipe that delivers deliciously! This is a great dish for either lunch or dinner with a nice salad on the side.
Bon Appétit!

 

For ingredient amounts and much more, visit http://clubfoody.com/recipe/stuffed-baguettes/


Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Ooey-Gooey Cinnamon Buns

There are certain recipes that you know just from the title that they will taste awesome! Sometimes you have to scroll down to see the list of ingredients to confirm that it will be something amazing. In this case today, I think the title speaks for itself!

Who doesn’t like cinnamon buns? I’m sure there is someone out there who doesn’t like them but in general, these little spiral cinnamon guys are pretty tasty for most of us! On the calorie side, they’re very dangerous… lol!

Most of you will go buy them from the bakery or enjoy one at Cinnabon®. Actually you don’t have to buy them anymore. Making cinnamon buns is actually pretty easy especially if you have a bread machine at home. For those of you who don’t own a bread machine, this recipe is still super easy especially if you own a stand mixer. Now for those of you who don’t own either one, put it on your Christmas list… it’s something every household should own and it makes life a lot easier!

In this video I could’ve shown you how to make it without a stand mixer but I didn’t because I felt lazy – it happens once in a while! Whichever method you chose, making cinnamon buns is really not difficult. Mix, let the dough rise a couple times and that’s about it. As many may think it’s hard to make cinnamon buns, it is, in fact, a super-easy recipe. If you have little ones at home, this is a great recipe they can participate in.
Bon Appétit!

 

For ingredient amounts and much more, visit http://clubfoody.com/recipe/ooey-gooey-cinnamon-buns/


Thursday, 16 February 2017

Potato Gnocchi

Wasting food is not in my vocabulary. I set a priority to use all the ingredients and leftovers in my refrigerator by making new and old recipes. Is that from my catholic background and the way I was raised? Maybe… but I’m pretty sure that the cost of living is the main factor of my “no-waste food” attitude.

Although I make an effort of not throwing out food, I sometimes have to. One food item I never really gave any thought to until I created this cooking website is mashed potato leftovers. Yes I have made some potato pancakes from the leftovers in the past which I should eventually share with you – they are very good – but besides that, I never made anything from them until recently.

I had a ton of leftovers from my Mixed Mashed Potato recipe and I didn’t want to waste any but didn’t want to eat potato pancakes for breakfast the entire week either. This is when the idea of making Potato Gnocchi came up! It is such an easy recipe and you can turn your mashed into a delicious meal! Of course this recipe is made with another recipe so if you want the full experience, I recommend you try my Mixed Mashed Potato recipe by clicking on this link: http://clubfoody.com/recipe/mixed-mashed-potato/ 



 Bon Appétit!

 

For ingredient amounts and much more, visit http://clubfoody.com/recipe/potato-gnocchi/

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Chocolate Lava Cake with Caramel

Chocolate Lava Cake with Caramel Sauce
 
Love is in the air and it has a date; February 14th for most of us! Restaurants will be busy from lunch to closing time. When there’s a special event like this one and places are packed, many prefer to either celebrate a few days before or a few days later. As I mentioned in my Hawai`ian Ham Bacon Pizza blog, David and I started dating on February 9th so because Valentine’s Day is so close to our anniversary, we’ve decided to combine those two together and "kiss" (not hit) two birds at the same time! WHAT? That’s cute... c'mon! It’s Valentines’ after all… lol!


 If you prefer to keep things on a more intimate/privacy level, you’ll probably make a nice dinner at home with candle lights, a nice bottle of wine and perhaps a box of chocolate OR you can make an amazing dessert that takes no time to make and the results are phenomenal! You want to go an extra mile to please your sweetie, right?

In this episode, I’ll share with you how to make my Chocolate Lava Cake with… Caramel! That’s right! The combination of chocolate and caramel makes everyone go “mmmm!” It’s a match made in heaven! Your only concern is to make sure that your loved one has a sweet tooth too and the rest is a piece of cake… literally!

Although it is super cute to serve this Lava Cake to your babe, this elegant dessert can be a hit for any special occasion! It requires about 30 minutes of your time and it’s ready! When hosting a dinner, after pouring the chocolate batter into the ramekins, you can transfer them in the refrigerator until you’re ready to bake them.

Either for your special someone or for a group of people, this dessert is so scrumptious you can use it to your advantage… there’s nothing wrong with that, is there?
Bon Appétit!

 

For ingredient amounts and much more, visit http://clubfoody.com/recipe/chocolate-lava-cake-with-caramel/



 
 



Thursday, 9 February 2017

Hawai`ian Ham Bacon Pizza

Overall I’m a pretty positive person. I don’t feel down that often but I can be nostalgic especially when I think about Hawai`i. I wish I was living there a few months a year. The Hawai`ian scenery is so breath taking and the people are just beautiful! There’s an incredible energy you get as soon as you get there.

Although we’ll go back soon, I couldn’t take my mind off Hawai`i so I’ve decided to create a dish that commemorates it but just before making it, I made a big “foody” discovery…

Did you know that there’s such a thing as National Pizza Day? Yeah… how cool is that! But it’s even more hip the fact that it falls on February 9th. You probably thinking “okay, so?” but this particular date has a strong meaning for me. First this is my brother Daniel’s birthday. He’s older than me of 8 years…. Fine okay, I’m the oldest one! Another reason why this day is so special to me is it’s the day when David and I started dating. Also, this video recipe is Episode 100! Wow 100 recipes already and much more to come! Now with this discovery, it basically put the cherry on top of the sundae or the cheese on top of the pizza… which ever one you prefer.

So taking all of these together (brother, partner, pizza, Hawai`i, ham & bacon, National Pizza Day, and the fact that this is the 100th Club Foody recipe), this pie is very special on my menu.
Bon Appétit and Happy Pizza Day!

 

For ingredient amounts and much more, visit http://clubfoody.com/recipe/hawaiian-ham-bacon-pizza/


Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Prawn Saganaki

A few years ago, I was approached by an American cooking website to be a food-recipe analyst. I accepted the position with enthusiasm and while I no longer work with them, it was a great experience. It was an opportunity for me to try something different. Once, I received a box filled with jarred sauce, seasonings and other food items along with recipes to try. One recipe in particular intrigued me and sure enough, it was delicious!

After, I made it several times it became a regular item on our menu. Although there were no preservatives in the jarred sauce, I had a problem with it… I had to buy the jar each time I wanted to make it. The solution was to make my own sauce recipe!

I found out that this recipe is a staple in Greece and it is a popular appetizer they like to serve. I prefer to enjoy it as a main course. It is light, amazingly flavorful, easy to make and served with crusty bread, this meal is very satisfying! You won’t feel “stuffed” after eating it – you’ll feel just right!

This dish is one of my favorite summer recipes although I make it all year round. I like to sip a nice crisp Sauvignon Blanc with it and truly savor every bite…!
Bon Appétit!

 

 

For ingredient amounts and much more, visit http://clubfoody.com/recipe/prawn-saganaki/


Thursday, 2 February 2017

Six Layer Chip Dip

In exactly 3 days, all the Super Bowl fans will be glued to their TV screens as this is a very big event in North America. Many of us will be gathering together with friends and family either at home, a bar or at a tailgate party. If you end up at a bar with your buddies, there are no worries about what food to make that day… just open the menu and order! For the rest of us who will probably be entertaining, we have to figure out what to make.

If you really want to be cute and fancy, you can make hors d’oeuvres and canapés but here’s a little tip… guys don’t care much about them especially during a sporting event. What they want is FOOD, more specifically finger food, greasy food and messy food – food that guys enjoy at the ball park… that type of food.

Now for us females, we don’t totally enjoy that type of food so to create some sort of compromise, here’s a dish that both guys and gals should enjoy… Six Layer Chip Dip! It falls into both the finger and messy food section.
Bon Appétit!

For ingredient amounts and much more, visit http://clubfoody.com/recipe/six-layer-chip-dip/

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Ultimate Slow Cooker Chili

Brrrr” is how I feel during the winter months! Thanks to the cave men who came up with fire pits which eventually evolved to the fireplace! I am not a winter person because I’m cold most of the time and my favorite spot in the house besides the kitchen is by the fireplace. Although I complain about winter often, the season gives me a reason to cook nice, warm, cozy meals.

My parents never cooked chili at home nor did I have it until my early twenties. Since my first spoonful of that delicious dish, I’ve been hooked! Very simple but enormously satisfying, this is a staple in our kitchen during the lovely winter months… yeah right (slightly sarcastic here… lol!)

Making chili in a Dutch oven is very good but I think it is even better when it slowly cooks in a crockpot for hours so the flavors can blend together. When you get home, dinner is ready and all you need at this point is to pull a bowl out with a tablespoon and a knife (that’s to spread the butter on the yummy crusty bread you bought before getting home), sit down and enjoy this comforting meal!
Bon Appétit!

 

For ingredient amounts and much more, visit http://clubfoody.com/recipe/ultimate-slow-cooker-chili/


Thursday, 26 January 2017

Mixed Mashed Potatoes

There are some simple dishes that differ greatly from one household to the next. One of them is mashed potatoes. Bob might make his completely different from Sue across the street. Both can be very good but ingredients are what separate one from another. Mine is probably different from Bob and Sue’s. There’s no right or wrong when it comes to mashed… it’s a matter of preference!

I make mine probably just like anyone else; the technique doesn’t really change that much. One ingredient (and probably a few) that I add to my regular russet potatoes is sweet potato. Making just all sweet potatoes really didn’t do anything for us but adding only one makes a tasty impact to this simple dish.

The healthy benefits I enjoy from sweet potato are what made me add this root vegetable to our diet. Here are the reasons for eating it regularly; regulates blood sugar levels, anti-inflammatory, boosts immune system, detoxifies heavy metals and is rich in beta-carotene. It also calms your stomach, great for the lungs and is very healthy for your heart as well plus it is packed with nutrients and full of fiber. Now with a list like this, it is a must to eat it as often as you can.

Besides using this superfood, I add other ingredients to make it more interesting. It is up to you to find out more about it in this video… I can’t tell you everything… lol!
Bon Appétit!

 

For ingredient amounts and much more, visit http://clubfoody.com/recipe/mixed-mashed-potato/


Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

My number one country to visit on my bucket list since childhood is Egypt. I have tons of books on the history of Egypt, maps, culture, information, sites and so on. I am so prepared to go that I already made a schedule and itinerary of my 4 week trip to Egypt years ago. This is a dream I’ve been looking forward to for a long time and I keep saying that one day, in the very near future, I’ll be there exploring this fascinating part of the globe.

On my pre-plan “itinerary”, I dedicated a couple of days for a cooking class; one in Cairo and the other in Sharm El-Sheikh by the Red Sea. I just want to cook like they have been doing for centuries – okay I’m sure they’ve evolved since but they should still have traditional dishes that haven’t been transformed much!

A dish that originated from Egypt is “hummus bi tahini” and apparently it was recorded as far back as the 13th century, according to Wikipedia – I personally thought it would’ve been even earlier like the 5th century… oh well! This popular dip became popular throughout the Middle East and North Africa and now you can find it at your local grocery store.

I love the stuff! I can eat it every week but although David likes it as well, he won’t eat it obsessively like me. I dislike buying premade food as you know therefore I knew this recipe would be easy enough to make at home so here I am sharing my version of this amazing dip with you; my Roasted Red Pepper Hummus.

Unlike most of them, mine is quite “moist” as David likes to say and I agree with him. When I bought the ones from the store, they were “dry”. What I mean by that is that they left a sensation of dryness in your mouth after a few samples. You don’t want to make it too wet otherwise you won’t have a dip anymore – it needs to be just right. The next time you have a craving for this tasty dish, try my recipe… you’ll love it!
Bon Appétit!

 

For ingredient amounts and much more, visit http://clubfoody.com/recipe/roasted-red-pepper-hummus/


Thursday, 19 January 2017

Lemon Meringue Pie

January on the West Coast can be pretty “blah”. What I mean by that is the weather is gray, wet, windy, and sometimes there’s a little snow on the ground. This is one of the months (the other is February) where I desperately miss some sunshine. I’m not saying that we don’t see any sun at all but it can be, some years, just “gray”.

To brighten things up, I like to prepare very colorful foods and the one of the best examples is Lemon Meringue Pie. With bright, shiny yellow and a fluffy cloud of white sitting on top of the pie, this puts a little sunshine in my kitchen. I also love the taste of Lemon Meringue Pie; tart and sweet at the same time… yum!

Making this pie is really not that complicated… If you have a stand mixer at home, it’s a piece of… pie!
I find Lemon Meringue Pie to be an elegant dessert to serve and also it’s pretty. It is quite fast to make so if you have unexpected guests showing up on your door step, this dessert can be put together in a very short time.
Bon Appétit!

 

For ingredient amounts and much more, visit http://clubfoody.com/recipe/lemon-meringue-pie/

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Homemade Tahini - Tips & Tricks #11

Making your own tahini is only a fraction of the cost of what you would spend at the store. Also, you know exactly what goes in it… it’s homemade!

This homemade tahini will keep for up to 3 months in the refrigerator

 

For ingredient amounts and more info, visit http://clubfoody.com/tips-tricks/homemade-tahini/


Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Winter is… yucky! I’m so not a winter person… plain and simple! I love warm, sunny days and enjoy leaving my windows open even if it is a little cool outside. I love hearing the birds, cycling, playing golf and barbecuing outside. I enjoy wearing my open-toed sandals…!

Winter time, I act like a bear and also feel like one. I retreat to my cave and hibernate until it starts getting warmer. I remember as a kid, my parents were forcing me to go outside during the winter months. They even enrolled me for figure skating, hoping I would somehow be more enthusiastic about that season. Although I was pretty good at it, I couldn’t stand being cold.

One dish that warms my soul and spirit during this time of year is soup. It’s comforting! It makes you feel good inside. I have tons of soup recipes around because I desperately need them to get through the winter. Fortunately, winter here on the West coast is not as harsh as it is either in Toronto or Québec so I won’t go on with my wining… I do feel sorry for my friends and family back East though.

This Broccoli Cheddar Soup is simple to make and the results are amazing. It is just thick enough with the right amount of cheese. Give it a try, you’ll be pleased!
Bon Appétit!

 

For ingredient amounts and much more, visit http://clubfoody.com/recipe/broccoli-cheddar-soup/

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Breakfast Quinoa Cereal with Mixed Berries

There’s nothing more encouraging than starting the New Year with “new” resolutions. Unfortunately, most of us will give up within a month. One of the resolutions we should never let go of is eating properly. Although we all have crazy-busy schedules, we should never put healthy eating on the back burner.

Thanks to global access, we now can eat almost any food from around the world. There are many “superfoods” out there that are very good for us. Today, I will focus on one which I use often in our diet and its versatility is very enjoyable. Quinoa – the super grain I like to call it.

This South American ancient grain has been consumed as far back as 4 000 years ago. It has significant nutrient and health benefits. It is an excellent source of manganese, phosphorus, iron, calcium, potassium, zinc, riboflavin and folate just to name a few. It is also high in protein and a great source of fiber. This amazing grain is gluten-free and has a high level of healthy fat. The list goes on; it’s an antioxidant, helps to prevent cancer, reduces diabetes risk and much, much more.

For today’s recipe, I will show you how I make my Breakfast Quinoa Cereal with Mixed Berries. There’s nothing healthier than your first meal with quinoa. This will provide you with great energy and you’ll feel good about yourself… well I sure do when I eat this delicious dish.
Bon Appétit!

 

For ingredient amounts and much more, visit http://clubfoody.com/recipe/breakfast-quinoa-cereal-with-mixed-berries/

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Asian Sesame Pork Chops

In one of my previous blogs in 2016, I mentioned that I find pork chops on the “boring” side. I like pork, don’t get me wrong but this particular cut of meat is… okay, nothing to rave about! The good thing about this is I have to create recipes so my taste buds will be satisfied.

The recipe I’m sharing with you in this episode is so yummy! The process of marinating the chops starts either the night before or early that morning so by dinner time, you have a tasty dish to enjoy. It is just what comfort food should be… delicious and simple!

The other plus of this recipe is with the marinade you end up making a delicious gravy with it. So now you have a flavorful pork chop with mashed potatoes and gravy on top of both… can’t get better than that for a weeknight dinner. Of course, don’t forget to add some fresh veggies to complete this tasty meal!
Bon Appétit!

 

For ingredient amounts and much more, visit http://clubfoody.com/recipe/asian-sesame-pork-chops/

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Red Velvet Boost

Many of us like to start the year off right with a New Year’s resolution and one of the most popular ones is to lose weight and be healthier. Besides going to the gym, eating properly has a big impact. One healthy habit to have for the New Year is juicing.


Juicing is very good for you although you should still eat whole fruits and vegetables. Why, you ask? The juicing machine extracts only the juice, leaving behind the pulp which is packed with fiber. You can always keep the pulp for later use in homemade broths.

The best time to juice is in the morning on an empty stomach when your body absorbs everything you give it. Your body will absorb all the good nutrients and you’ll have all day to burn the calories & sugars. If you do it later on during the day or evening, as the natural sugar from the juice causes a rapid rise in blood sugar, this will turn into “bad” sugar. If you are diabetic or have other health issues, please consult your dietician before you start juicing.

Juicing is a good way to cleanse but if you decide to start juicing regularly, your body might react to it at the beginning (headaches, joint pain, etc.). Don’t panic, your body is getting rid of the toxins and, depending on the level of toxicity, it may take one to two weeks before these reactions go away.

This juice recipe is quick to make and the flavor is absolutely beautiful. This is not the kind of juice where you have to plug your nose while drinking it. I like to drink this juice when I have a big day ahead of me because it gives me the vitamins & nutrients I need plus energy. Get yourself a good juicing machine and try this recipe… you’ll love it!
To Your Health!


For ingredient amounts and much more, visit http://clubfoody.com/recipe/red-velvet-boost/

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Perfect Meringue - Tips & Tricks #10

In this video, I will share with you my 10 tips to successfully make the perfect meringue every time!




Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Julienne Salad

I don’t know about you during the Holidays but for me personally, I went to bed quite late, ate more than I should have and enjoyed my wine a lot… maybe a slight bit too much. Now that the Holidays are over, it’s time to go back to a more “normal” schedule and a healthier diet.


 Although going back to the gym is on my schedule, eating at regular hours, healthier, lighter, and greener is on the top of my list.


Constantly creating, developing and testing my new recipes have great rewards but there’s also a part of this whole experience that can provide me a healthy eating habit. I have to be aware of what I eat and cleanse my body often.

One of my favorite healthy dishes is my Julienne Salad. It is packed with yummy fresh ingredients and flavors. You can either add your leftover turkey or forget about it. Eating this salad a couple times a week will definitely help you get yourself back on track. You can pour on your favorite dressing/vinaigrette or simply a very good quality oil such as avocado or walnut – this is what I use on mine.

In this video, I also show you how to “julienne” vegetables uniformly. After you master this knife skill, you’ll be more tempted to prep your veggies that way. Let’s not forget that we first eat with our eyes… lol! Get yourself back to exercising as well as back to the kitchen with this yummy recipe…
Bon Appétit!


P.S. For a vegan or vegetarian version, skip turkey and hard boiled egg.

 

For ingredient amounts and much more, visit http://clubfoody.com/recipe/julienne-salad/