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And it’s vegan! My first attempt at vegan baking has turned out so lovely I felt the need to share. Moist and flavourful, this was the perfect way to top off Hubby’s already awesome 29th birthday. Now I did start off with a recipe for this cake, but in true Jodi fashion I had to change it up a little because… well I didn’t have as much coconut milk as I thought! So feel free to use either a whole cup of coconut milk or almond milk… or regular milk really – but necessity is the mother of invention so here is my cake!
One Bowl Coconut Vanilla Cake
1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 TSP baking soda
1/2 TSP salt
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup almond milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 TBSP vanilla extract
1 TBSP white vinegar
3/4 cup coconut
2 TBSP almond milk
1 TSP vanilla extract
1/4 cup icing sugar
Spray a cake pan with non stick spray – it’s important to have it ready to go once your cake is mixed.
In a large bowl wish together flour, sugar, baking soda and salt.
Add milks, oil and first bit of vanilla and mix until blended. Whisk in vinegar until just blended. The combination of vinegar and baking soda is what makes it rise.
Immediately pour batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle with coconut. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes until a toothpick inserted at the centre comes out clean. Let cool.
Mix remaining ingredients in a small bowl and pour over cake top. It will absorb into the cake and make a nice sweet top!
As a side note of birthday fun for all you Ottawa peeps, check out www.urbanquest.com - we did the original quest for hub’s birthday and it was great! They send you around different areas of the city looking for clues, and if you like they can also make you a dinner reservation to top it all off. The location of which you only learn once you finish all your clues.
Strawberry season is in full swing! The pick your owns are open and the farmer’s markets are full of ripe, local, bursting with flavour berries. But what is one to do to make the most of these summer treats? I freeze a lot of mine, then use them as ice cubes in frozen drink recipes. I also love eating them fresh with a little whip cream or just a drizzle of honey. And of course… there is strawberry shortcake. Not the cartoon girl with the strawberry dress, the mouth watering dessert! This one is adapted from a recipe from Canadian Chef Riccardo – changed when I couldn’t quite remember what I had seen him do on TV (so many of my meals start out this way…). Here is the original - and here is mine!
3/4 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup water
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 TSP salt
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup plain yogurt
6 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered
1/2 cup sugar
1 TBSP amaretto (other liquors work well too like triple sec)
2 cups 35% cream
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 30 x 43-cm (12 x 17-inch) baking sheet with parchment paper, allowing the paper to overhang 2 opposite sides. Butter the paper.
In a small saucepan, melt the butter in the water. Let cool partially.
In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In another bowl, beat the eggs with the sugar and vanilla using an electric mixer until the mixture is thick and falls from the beaters in ribbons. With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients, alternating with the butter mixture and the sour cream.
Spread the batter evenly over the baking sheet. Bake until lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Let cool partially. Unmould with the paper (to help keep the cake moist). Let cool on a rack.
Trim the edges of the cake to straighten them. Cut into 2 rectangles 30 cm (12 inches) on their longest side.
For filling, in a bowl, toss the strawberries with 2 TBSP sugar and the liquor. Let marinate for about 15 minutes.
In another bowl, whip the cream with the remaining sugar until stiff peaks form.
Lay 1 cake rectangle on a rectangular serving plate, paper side up. Remove the paper. Top with half the whipped cream and strawberries. Cover with the second cake rectangle. Remove the paper. Top with the remaining whipped cream and strawberries. Serve immediately.
It’s been more than a year since I first posted about my Rhubarb Rosemary Muffins, but I’m taking another look at them today as I will be on CBC Radio 1 discussing them on the program D is for Dinner. I’ve made a few slight changes to my original recipe that makes them a bit lighter, though they are still a pretty dense muffin. I love how savory they are!
Rhubarb Banana Rosemary Muffin
7 – 8 stalks of Rhubarb
1 cup sugar
1 TBSP fresh rosemary, diced
2 TBSP maple syrup
1 ripe banana peeled and mashed
2 1/2 TSP baking powder
1 TSP baking soda
1/4 TSP salt
2 TBSP vegetable oil
1 cup whole grain flour
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup water
Wash and cut rhubarb into 1/2 inch pieces. Add to a small pot with sugar and 1/2 cup water. Boil until rhubarb has broken down. Add rosemary and cook 2 minutes longer. Let cool.
In a large mixing bowl add the cooled rhubarb mixture to all other ingredients. Add the cup of water slowly until you reach your desired muffin batter consistency. Depending on the moisture level of the rhubarb mixture you may need to add more or less water at this stage. Also depending on the ripeness of your fruit, you may need to add more sugar.
Here is my interview on the CBC! I meant to say that once the rhubarb mixture is cooked I add the rosemary… but happened to say that once the mixture is cooked I add rhubarb again. Oops – guess the nerves got to me a bit…
Bake in a lined or oiled muffin tin at 350 for 30 minutes or until a fork inserted into the centre of the muffin comes out clean.
I’ve been trying to get more beans and legumes into my diet after reading this thought provoking article by Theresa Albert. I’m always up for trying to make small changes in my diet that will have big health benefits for me and my family. And from the sounds of it, eating just 1/2 a cup a day of ‘beans and pulses’ can be enough to lower your risk for many heart related conditions. One of my favourite ways of getting these servings is in snack form, and roasted chickpeas is a great way to do it!
Step one – hydrate dried beans / chickpeas, or rinse off some from a can. Make sure you get the low sodium kind. There really isn’t much sense in doing something for your heart just to add a bunch of sodium to your diet.
Step two – spread them out on a baking sheet and roast at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Check them every 10 minutes or so to make sure they do not burn on the bottom or over cook.
Step three – while the chick peas are finishing up, try toasting some of the spice / herb combos listed below and then adding the liquid ingredients with a splash of olive oil. Add the spice mix to a bowl over the roasted chickpeas while they are still warm from the oven. Toss and cool. Then eat!
Flavor combos to try (Mix 2 TBSP of each ingredient for every cup of chickpeas):
Lime juice, chili powder, pepper, cilantro (pictured)
Sesame Seeds, Soy Sauce, Lime Juice (use Sesame Oil instead of Olive Oil for added kick!)
Diced Sundried Tomatoes and Pepper
Brown Sugar, Cayenne Pepper, Rosemary
Tomato Juice (3 TBSP per cup of chick peas) and Curry Powder
Sage and Roasted Garlic
Honey, Nutmeg and Cinnamon
Tarragon, Fennel, Roasted Garlic, Honey, Lemon Juice
Cinnamon, Cumin, Cayenne Powder, Smokey Sea Salt and Smoked Paprika
What’s your favorite flavour combination?
This past weekend one of my very best friends got married. It was a beautiful wedding, very casual and very ‘Rick and Shannon’. It was an evening ceremony followed by a cocktail party where guests were served an array of appetizers in lieu of a big formal sit down dinner. So today I’m offering three tasty cocktail party inspired recipes!
Smoked Salmon Dip
1 package light cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup milk
2 green onions, finely chopped
1 TBSP lemon juice
4 dashes bottled hot sauce – more if you really like heat!
2 TBSP fresh dill
6 ounces smoked salmon cut into thin strips
Thoroughly mix the cream cheese and milk with a fork. Add green onion, lemon juice, hot pepper sauce, and the 2 Tablespoons snipped fresh dill. Mix until well combined. Fold in the salmon. Cover and chill 4 hours before serving. Garnish with fresh dill sprigs and serve with crackers.
Roasted Potato Bites
12 small Yukon Gold potatoes
1 TSP extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground pepper and salt
1/2 cup crumbled goats cheese
4 slices bacon , cooked until crisp and crumbled
2 TBSP minced chives
Place potatoes on a baking sheet. With a paring knife, score top of each potato. Top each with equal amounts of goats cheese and bacon. Bake until cheese melts, 5 to 7 minutes. Sprinkle with chives and serve.
Figs with Ricotta and Honey
8 dried figs
1/4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
1 TBSP honey
Salt to taste
Toast the pistachios in a small dry skillet over medium-high heat until fragrant, 3 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Set aside to cool, then chop coarsely.
Cut each fig in half crosswise and place the fig pieces on a serving dish, cut side up.
Make a small indentation into the cut side of each fig half with a small spoon or your finger. Put 1/2 teaspoon of the ricotta on each piece of fig and sprinkle with pistachios.
Drizzle with honey, sprinkle with salt, and serve.
*Fig recipe courtesy of Fine Cooking
Yesterday I wrote a post all about high energy foods, naming cold water fish such as wild salmon as one of those foods. After that you could say I got a little craving and decided to share my recipe for Brown Sugar Soy Grilled Salmon. A sweet and savory dish with a hint of smoke from the BBQ. I can taste it now!
Brown Sugar Soy Grilled Salmon
1 lb salmon fillet
Zest of one lemon
Ground pepper to taste
1/3 cup each : soy sauce, water, brown sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
Season salmon fillet with zest, pepper and garlic powder. Combine all other ingredients in a bowl. Pour over salmon and allow to marinate for at least 2 hours.
Pre heat grill to medium high heat. Place salmon on preheated grill. Cook 6-8 minutes per side until it reaches your desired doneness and flakes easily with a fork. Discard left over marinade.
It’s a gorgeous day today in Ottawa. The kind where the patio just calls your name. In celebration here are a few refreshing summer drink recipes.
Mango Marrakesh Cocktail
1 small lime, juiced
1 oz (30 mL) simple syrup (combine equal parts sugar and boiling water, stir until sugar has dissolved. Once cooled, store in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.)
Generous pinch nutmeg
1½ tsp (7 mL) orange blossom water
2 oz (60 mL) soda
Combine all of the ingredients, except the soda, in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake and strain into a highball glass filled with ice and top with the soda. Garnish with fresh mango.
½ tsp kumquat syrup (recipe follows)
1½ oz gin
1 oz freshly squeezed orange juice
½ oz lime juice
½ oz Chambord liqueur
Garnish: kumquat skewer
In a tall chilled glass, add poached kumquats and syrup; muddle. Add crushed ice to fill glass. Pour in gin, orange juice, lime juice and Chambord and stir gently. Top with soda and add a fresh kumquat skewer for garnish.
Store any remaining poached kumquats in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
¼ cup sugar
½ cup water
½ lemon, juiced
1½ tsp sugar
1½ oz gin
2 oz water
Garnish: lemon wheel and mint leaves
Recipes courtesy of the LCBO.
Did you know that May 5 is Cinco de Mayo? A holiday commemorating the Mexican triumph over France in the battle Puebla. Oddly enough it is mostly celebrated in the Mexican state of Puebla and the United States as a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride. What better way to celebrate than with a stellar guacamole recipe?!!?
3 Mexican Avocados
2 TBSP olive oil
1 lime, juiced
1/2 TSP each sea salt, ground cumin, cayenne
1/2 medium white onion diced
2 roma tomatoes seeded and diced
1 TBSP chopped cilantro
1 clove minced garlic
Cut avocados in half and remove pits. Brush with oil and grill on BBQ until you get nice grill marks – about 3 minutes on a hot grill.
Scoop out avocado flesh and put into a bowl. Add lime juice and stir to coat. Drain left over lime juice after coating but reserve it for use later. Use a potato masher to beat up avocado and add salt, cumin and cayenne – mash together. Fold in onion, tomato, cilantro and garlic. Add a TBSP of reserved lime juice and let sit at room temperature for one hour before serving.
This post is for Ali.
Artichokes are great but cooking and eating them can take some work. They can be especially daunting if you have never done it before! Here’s a quick and easy step by step guide to steaming an artichoke.
Step 1 – Take a medium sauce pan and add about an inch of water. You will need to add a steamer basket to the pot and do not want the water level rising up over the steamer. If it does, get rid of some of the water. These are steamed artichokes, not boiled.
Step 2 – Before you add the steamer basket to the pot, squeeze one lemon worth of juice into the water and add a bay leaf and a few black peppercorns as well. Add the steamer basket, bring water to a boil then reduce heat down to a low simmer.
Step 3 – Trim the artichokes by pulling off any brown leaves from the outside. Next cut the stems but leave about half an inch, then slice off the pointy top third of the artichokes. Rub the cut stems and tops with the juiced lemon halves to keep the artichokes from discoloring. Put the artichoke stem side up in the steamer basket and put the lid on. Steam for 20 minutes.
Step 4 – After 20 minutes test to see if the artichokes are done. Pull off a bottom leaf. If it comes off easily and you can insert a knife into the stem without adding much pressure it is done. If not continue to steam for up to another 15 minutes. Cooking time will depend on the size of the artichoke.
Step 5 – Eat your artichoke with a variety of dipping sauces. For more info on how to eat an artichoke check out this great photo step by step guide from Chow.
A while back I asked my twitter friends to give me the names of any vegetarian cookbooks they use. I’m always on the look out for great vegetarian recipes and for some reason I need more help being inspired in this style of cooking than others. Quite a few people got back to me suggesting the Moosewood series of books. In fact so many people suggested them that I immediately decided to check them out. They are just great books! In one I found a recipe for Stuffed Eggplant that I fell in love with and wanted to share a version of it with you. This isn’t the original recipe out of the book, as always I had to make my own little tweaks – whether on purpose or because I didn’t read it properly.
Stuffed eggplant… simple idea and wonderful meal.
2 medium eggplants
1 TBSP olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped finely
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 TSP ground cloves
1/2 TSP cumin
1/2 TSP cinnamon
1 TBSP Hot sauce of your choosing
1 cup sliced mushrooms
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/2 cup wheat germ or bread crumbs
2 cups cottage cheese
2 cups brown rice, cooked
4 handfuls cheddar cheese
Slice eggplants in half lengthwise. Score the flesh of each half with paring knife, being careful not to pierce skin. Use spoon to scoop out flesh and leave about 1/2″ thick shell. Reserve flesh to use in filling.
Heat oil in non stick skillet. Saute onions until translucent, 5 minutes. Add garlic, cloves, cumin, cinnamon, and hot sauce and continue to saute for about 1 minute. Cut reserved eggplant flesh into small cubes and add them. Saute about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add mushrooms and cook 5 minutes longer, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and mix in salt, black pepper, wheat germ or bread crumbs, rice and cottage cheese.
Preheat oven to 350. Fill eggplant halves with filling and top with a handful of cheddar cheese and sprinkle some seeds. Bake for 30 – 40 minutes until eggplant shells are soft.