Category Archives: new flavours

Citrus Almond Meringues

Holiday feasting can get to be a bit much by the time December 25th rolls around, so sometimes it’s nice to keep dessert a little lighter. These meringues incorporate seasonal citrus flavours, and make the perfect airy end to a heavy meal. Meringues are inexpensive, easy, and super low calorie. You might say they’re the new “super food”. This recipe  makes 12-16 meringues. You’ll need:

  • peel from 1 large grapefruit and 2 tangerines
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsps slivered almonds
  • 1/2 cup egg whites (equal to about 4 lg eggs, but I buy them in the carton)
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup super fine sugar

Peel your fruit with a vegetable peeler so that you get just peel without the pith. Finely chop the peel, or pulse it in a food processor until you have tiny pieces. Scatter the chopped peel on a parchment lined baking sheet and dry it out in the oven for about 10 minutes at 250 degrees.

On low heat, toast your almonds in a small sauce pan tossing them frequently. Finding the perfect balance between deliciously toasted nuts and burnt garbage can be a challenge, so watch them carefully. When your almonds are slightly brown, and a nutty flavour is wafting from the pan, take them off the heat and put them in a bowl to cool. Don’t leave them in the pan or they will continue to cook (and will probably burn).

Preheat your oven to 225 degrees. In a metal mixing bowl, combine your egg whites and cream of tartar and whip on medium speed until soft peaks form. Add your vanilla, and whip on high, adding the sugar 1 tbsp at a time. Continue to whip until very stiff peaks form.

When your meringue is stiff, slowly fold in your dried citrus peel (reserve 1 tbsp) and 1/2 cup of your toasted almonds. Line two baking sheets with parchment, and drop 1/4 cup spoonfuls of your meringue mixture onto it. You can create oval shapes by filling a large spoon with meringue and scraping it off with another spoon, or just drop haphazard dollops. The great thing about meringue is that it will hold its shape perfectly without expanding, so you can be creative. Check out these Meringuebows for inspiration.

Sprinkle the rest of your toasted almonds and citrus peel on top and bake your meringues in the middle rack of the oven for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. You can vary the time depending on how crunchy or chewy you’d like them.

Feel free to indulge in 2 or 3 (or 10) of these without feeling guilty. They’re basically air, right? I mean, you’re probably burning calories just chewing them. I’ll be sharing another meringue recipe this week, so keep your eyes peeled. Happy baking!

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Filed under cookies, holidays, new flavours, relatively healthy

Food Crush: PC Cran/Raz Greek Yogurt

I go through phases where I become so completely obsessed with a food that I eat it to death. Right now, I am majorly crushing on: President’s Choice Cranberry & Raspberry Fruit on the Bottom 2% Greek Yogurt

I have been on a greek yogurt kick for the past few months, but this stuff totally kicks it up a notch. It’s indulgently rich and creamy, and the fruit bottom topping adds the perfect amount of sweet to  the tart yogurt. It’s also less expensive than a lot of other greek yogurts, so bonus there.

It is particularly delicious with a little bit of warm fruit compote on top. Just take some ripe fruit, chop it into little bits, and simmer it on the stove with a few spoonfuls of sugar. When it thickens up a bit, let it cool and spoon a few mouthfuls over your yogurt. The contrast between hot and cold is unbelievable.

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Filed under new flavours, relatively healthy

And then my dad ate a bee

The other day I made some delicious fried zucchini blossoms from a recipe in Bon Appetit magazine. The zucchini in my garden has been growing out of control, and we just can’t eat it fast enough. So I went out to harvest some blossoms to batter and fry. Little did I know that collecting the ingredients would be the most challenging part of the recipe.

Apparently bees are highly attracted to zucchini flowers. They like them so much, in fact, that some of the flowers that I picked had more than 10 bees buzzing around inside. Now, I wouldn’t consider myself a wimp, but I was panicking, envisioning a swarm of blossom-hungry bees chasing after me as I ran off with their dinner.

I managed to gather a dozen blossoms without being stung, and shook out what I thought was every last bee from the blossoms. Then I coated them in batter, deep-fried them, and served them up to my mom and dad. “Mmm, delicious,” they cooed… And then my dad ate a bee. I guess one of the little guys just wouldn’t be ousted from his blossom. Apparently bee isn’t an overly unpleasant flavour, just a hint of extra crunch.

For anyone who is willing to brave the swarms, you can find the recipe here. I swear, it’s worth the risk!

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Filed under new flavours, savory, super simple

Carrot Cake, To Go

 

Who doesn’t love carrot cake? It’s moist, and sweet, with thick creamy icing. And the best part is that you can trick yourself into thinking that it’s good for you, ’cause you’re eating VEGETABLES!

I’ve taken everything you love about carrot cake and packaged it up in a perfectly portable snack. My “carrot cake trail mix” can follow you to work, on a hike, just about anywhere. This recipe makes about 8 cups worth, and trust me, you’ll eat the whole batch. You’ll need:

  • parchment paper
  • 6 cups grated carrot
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 4 cups rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 1/2 cups yogurt covered raisins

 Dried carrot: Preheat your oven to 250 degrees, 225 if you have convection (preferable). Toss spices, sugar and carrot together, and spread out on a parchment lined baking sheet. Slowly dry your carrot mixture in the oven for 2-2 1/2 hours, tossing occasionally, until almost all the moisture has evaporated. Set aside to cool.

 

Granola: If you wish, you can save time by purchasing 4 cups of store bought granola (without added fruit and nuts), or use this recipe. Preheat your oven to 300 degrees. Coat a baking sheet with your oil, and set it in the oven to heat up. When the oil is hot (about 10 minute), toss in your oats until they are coated, and then spread them in a thin layer. Bake them for about 1/2 hour, then add your corn and maple syrups, coating the oats evenly. Place them back in the oven and continue to bake for another 45 minutes to an hour, tossing the mixture frequently. They will be ready when the oats are golden brown and slightly crunchy. Set aside to cool.

 

When your granola and carrots have cooled, toss them together in a large bowl with your yogurt covered raisins and walnuts. Keep in an airtight container for up to a week. If I were you, I would plan to take this on a very long, and very steep hike, because it’s deadly. Once you start eating, you won’t be able to stop. Enjoy! 

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Ladies Who Lunch…with Anna Olson!

Here are a few more updates on the happenings at the RWoP gathering in Toronto. I spent the morning catching up on the forums at www.realwomenofphiladelphia.ca before heading off to a lovely lunch at Scarpetta. We were accompanied to a private dining room by Anna Olson herself, and sat down to a beautiful table lined with copies of Anna’s cookbook “Fresh” which she later signed for us to take home.

The Thompson hotel’s head chef,Robert Mills, prepared a sumptuous meal of seared tuna, tender lamb, and chocolate tarte. The tables were turned when he came into the dining room to introduce himself and his dishes, as he had judged our creations at the cook-off yesterday. Everything was delectable, and in true “foodie” style, we were all snapping away trying to capture each course on camera.

Lyndsay was in full form channeling Lurleen by popular demand.

Anna moved down to our end of the table half way through lunch, and we chatted about food, travel, and of course, RWoP. She is even lovelier in person than on camera, and she personally signed each of our beautiful new cookbooks. I can’t wait to try her Blueberry Corn Toss, one of her favourite recipes from “Fresh”.

Other highlights of the afternoon included a trip to the St. Lawrence market, and a walk through the distillery district. Anna suggested we visit Soma, a chocolate shop that transforms their product from bean to bar on site. It was well worth the trip.

We finished off an incredible day by treating ourselves to the epitome of Toronto dining at Canoe restaurant. Each course was spectacular, and Chef John Horne surprised us with a tour of the kitchen. To say that the day was memorable is a major understatement. Gourmet overload!

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Filed under new flavours, pop culture, Real Women of Philadelphia