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Weekend specials – Second weekend 2019, first real snow :)

Second weekend of 2019 came with first real snow in Toronto.

Snow blanketed the city from Saturday morning to well into the early hours of Sunday.

My initial plan was to go out and look for some flower pots but the biting chill in the air and the eye-watering winds changed my mind.

And it was just as well since I had a few projects to finish while inside: two scarfs that are ready to go to charity to hopefully help someone in need to keep warm this season, as well as starting my new pullover. (I am thinking of making a post sometime next week to showcase the progress of my pullover – if that’s something you think you’re interested in seeing, please leave a comment below!)

I also had plans to spend some time in the kitchen, doing what I enjoy best: cook. Which brings me to the best bit: weekend specials!

Saturday morning for breakfast, I decided to try a recipe that caught my attention: Potato Latkes from jyospassions.

Breakfast in the making: shredding 5 small to medium potatoes, drain well the excess water; season with salt a pinch of smoked paprika and dried dill.

Heat a nonstick pan and with a scooping spoon add the latkes to the pan. I pressed a bit the mixture and arrange the edges.

After the latkes were ready, in the same pan I grilled a few breakfast sausages which made this a more wholesome breakfast.

Shredded potatoes, salt, dill, smoked paprika and a bit of flour
Potato Latkes in the making
Potato Latkes and breakfast sausages

Since Saturday was a day for savory dishes, and so on Sunday we started the day with two kinds of pancakes: Orange oats pancakes – gluten free and double chocolate pancakes-also gluten free ūüôā
I was so lucky to discover a very nice blog where I will return to for some more inspirations: giverecipe. 

In this post I will show you the Double chocolate pancakes.

Ingredients needed:

  • two large eggs
  • 1 cups of original almond milk (you can use whatever milk you prefer)
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 cup 1/3 white rice flour
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter powder (optional, I used it because I wanted to finish what I had left in the cupboard and the recipe was asking for chocolate chips which I did not have at this time )
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • cocoa syrup ( the original recipe was asking for chocolate genache and I am pretty sure would have been delicious, I just didn’t have what I needed so I made a cocoa syrup instead )
  • raspberries for garnish I would definitely recommend this to add some acidity to go with the rich cocoa ūüôā
Double chocolate pancake


Double chocolate pancake

Looking at the snowy white canvas outside the kitchen window and knowing that I had to brave the biting cold come morning, was enough to arouse my craving for some good old-fashioned hot soup. And the winner was Lemon Chicken Soup from Pinchofyum.com. It is rich and hearty and frankly, quite delicious. Just the perfect hot dish for all soup lovers out there.

Lemon chicken soup
Lemon chicken soup

What I used for my soup: three large carrots, two medium parsnip, a quarter of a celery root,two medium 2 zucchini, fresh dill, two chicken breast, juice from one lemon, almond milk ( about a cup and a half ) and half a teaspoon turmeric, seasoned to taste with salt and pepper.

And of course there has to be another more substantial dish which was my adaptation of a Mediterranean lunch. I had some chicken breast stripes which I grilled in a non-stick pan over medium heat. I seasoned the chicken only with salt and lemon juice. I made a quick homemade tzatziki sauce, with Balkan yogurt, cucumber, fresh dill, salt and a pinch of garlic powder.

Pan roasted chicken stripes, oven roasted wedges with homemade tzatziki sauce


Pan roasted chicken stripes, oven roasted wedges with homemade tzatziki sauce

And if you were wondering if there was enough room left for desert I will let you know there was. Driven by the holidays that we just passed I decided to fall back on my favorite Apple crumble recipe.

Apple crumble
Apple crumble
Apple crumble – a bit messy but delicious

And I cannot end this post without showing you who kept me warm throughout the weekend ūüôā

Sherlock , the grey tabby and Steve, the white and orange
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Long Weekend Specials

We celebrated Victoria Day this Monday, so we had a long and relaxing weekend. The weather was not friendly, and I had in mind a weekend with smoothies and salads, but it did not turn as I wanted.

The strawberries that I bought for the smoothies ended up in a melt-in-the-mouth goodness: Strawberry Clafoutis. I know I have another post about Clafoutis, which you can read here.  This time I used strawberries ( abut 250 grams) but they were giant in size, so I cut them into pieces.

Ingredients :

  • 250 g strawberries¬†

  • 4 eggs

  • 400 ml cashew milk (warmed up)

  • juice from half of lemon

  • 1/4 cup of grape seeds oil¬†

  • 3 tablespoons¬†of sugar¬†

  • 1¬†cup of all purpose flour

Preheat the oven at 350. Oil a baking dish. Wash, drain and cut the strawberries.  Place the strawberries on the baking tray.

Lightly beat the eggs; add the sugar and whisk together until smooth. Stir in the flour.

Add the milk ( warmed up ) and the lemon juice. Pour into the baking dish over the fruits.

Bake for about 40 to 45 minutes until golden brown.

Spaghetti Squash Boat with Mushroom Mustard Chicken

This recipe was born from my stubbornness to try spaghetti squash again. First time was a failure, not complete but close. I liked it. It did not pass my family test ūüė¶

This time I was thinking I will cook something that can be added to spaghetti squash as well as to rice or pasta so everyone can have their preferences.   When hubby saw me scrapping  the squash said

” I want that too for my lunch “.

“You did not like it last time!”

” I don’t remember trying this ever. I want this today with my chicken. Please ?!¬†”

For the squash:

  • 1 medium spaghetti squash
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and black pepper

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  • Preheat the oven to 400 F
  • Wash and slice the squash in half, lengthwise
  • Scoop the seeds with a spoon
  • Scoop out the seeds using a spoon. ¬†You can discard the seeds or save them and ¬†roast them for a snack.
  • Sprinkle the squash with salt, black pepper and olive oil. Place the squash in a backing tray lined with parchment paper; cut side down.
  • Cook the squash for about 30 to 45 minutes. The squash is done when is tender and you can easily pierce a fork through the flesh.
  • Use a fork to separate the flesh into strands
  • Serve immediately¬†by itself or seasoned with rich sauces and meat

 

For the Mushrooms Mustard Chicken:

  • 8 organic chicken thighs ( boneless, skinless )
  • 300 g white mushrooms ( sliced )
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 150 ml water
  • salt, black pepper
  • 2 tbsp mustard powder
  • 2 tbsp of sour cream ( 5 %)
  • olive oil

 

In a porcelain bowl add the chicken thighs. Season with salt, pepper mustard. Marinade for a few hours.

Bring a skillet to a medium high heat and add the meat. Cook for about 15 minutes turning on both sides.  Add  the sliced mushroom and  water and cook covered for about 15 minutes. Add the sour cream and cook for about 5 more minutes.

Pour the sauce and chicken over the squash  and just enjoy it !

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Enjoy !

 

Tandoori Meatballs with zucchini

Inspired by https://sugarpeppercooks.wordpress.com/tag/tandoori/
Meatballs are a kind of dish I cook pretty often.  This time I found inspiration in Indian cooking.

Ingredients for the meatballs- 6 servings of 4 meatballs DSCN6677

  • 300 g ground chicken
  • 300 g ground turkey
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • ¬Ĺ a red onion diced
  • Turmeric, tandoori mix, salt, pepper
  • 1 large egg

Mix all ingredients listed above. Form balls, lined them on a backing tray, that was lined with cooking paper and bake them for about 25 to 30 minutes. Last 5 minutes’ turn on broil if they did not brown enough.

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For the Zucchini bed:

  • 3-4 medium zucchini ( I used green and yellow )
  • Fresh or dried dill
  • 1 tomato, peeled and diced (discharge the excess liquid)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Wash zucchini very well and dry them in a towel or paper towel.

Shave them with a peeler lengthwise.

Bring a non-stick pan to a medium heat and add 1 table spoon olive oil. When oil is hot add the zucchini shaves. Season with salt and paper. Add the diced tomato and dill and cook for about 10 minute for a crisp texture.

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Ingredients for the sauce:

  • 1 bottle drained tomato juice
  • ¬Ĺ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¬Ĺ teaspoon sweet paprika
  • ¬Ĺ teaspoon tandoori mix
  • Turmeric
  • Dried dill

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Bring all the above ingredients to a simmer. Cook for about 10- 15 minutes on a low to medium heat.

When the sauce is ready just dip the meatballs in and serve them on the zucchini bed.

 

Bon Appetite!!!

 

 

 

ChiCken SouP with CauliFlower

Chicken soup is a very special soup for me. I was a picky eater as a child but my mom’s chicken soup got my attention almost every time ūüôā

I still crave it from time to time and sometimes even if I don’t have all the necessary ingredients,¬† I can still figure out a way to make a tasty ¬†alternative¬†ūüôā

Ingredients fro about a 5 L pot:

  • 1 chicken preferably organic ( I used a kosher chicken this time )
  • 3,5 – 4 liters of cold water
  • 3-4 carrots
  • 1 large parsnip
  • 1 yellow onion, cut in half
  • celery root ( 1/4 from a root )
  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • red pepper ( 1/2 of a large one )
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt to taste
  • 1 pinch of turmeric for a bright yellow color

Cut the chicken in pieces, wash them well and bring the chicken to a boil in about 3,5-4 liter of cold water. Bring it to a boil over a medium heat, skimming off the scum with a ladle when needed.

When the stock is clear of scum add the carrots, onion, celery root, parsnip, garlic, red pepper and the bay leaves. Bring back to a boil. Skim again if needed. Turn the heat down to a gentle simmer and cook uncovered for about two hours, skimming regularly.

Almost at the end you could start adding the salt little at a time, until you get the right seasoning.

For the traditional chicken soup I will strain the stock and add some cooked hair pasta noddle to it and fresh herbs and just serve it hot with fresh back pepper on top.

As I mentioned above, sometimes I don’t have the proper ingredients for a chicken soup, but this won’t stop me to create a new version. This time I had a beautiful cauliflower head handy so I created a chicken – cauliflower soup.

 

I cooked this late at night and I had to refrigerate it so I missed the serving pictures the next day. ūüė¶

What I did : I removed the chicken pieces. I removed some meat from the chicken legs and¬†and put it back to the soup, ¬†added some fresh chopped dill and just enjoyed it ūüôā

Bon Appetite

ChiCken – Smoked Paprika Roasted Chicken

 

DSCN6587

Curry Roasted Cauliflower with Sweet Green Peas was a real success. Everyone wanted some more … I will definitely¬†¬†be doing it again.

We served the  Curry Roasted Cauliflower as a side dish to go together with a very delicious roasted chicken: Smoked Paprika Roasted Chicken.

What I used:

  • 1 carved chicken ( you can also use a whole chicken, I just wanted to have it done faster¬†)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 cup of cold water
  • juice from one lemon

Instructions:

 

Preheat the oven to 425 F.

Wash the chicken pieces. Place them in a glass baking dish or a roasing pan, skin up.

Drizzle the lemon juice and olive oil over the chicken. Sprinkle the above mentioned spices and herb: salt , pepper, turmeric, smoked paprika and oregano. Add the water between the chicken pieces.

 

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Roast for about an hour basting at least ones with the cooking juices.

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To check if the chicken is done, insert a skewer deep into a thick end of a thigh. If the juice running is clear  the bird is done.

DSCN6587

We served the chicken with Curry Roasted Cauliflower.

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Yummy ūüôā

 

Curry Chicken Spaghetti ~ re-post

(Why I am re-posting this recipe? I was making this again and I wanted to check if I posted the recipe and I just found a few display errors in the first post that needed to be corrected.)

curry-chicken-spaghetti-3

I love the challenging myself to cook for Friday meals (because come Thursday night, our fridge is almost always empty) with what I have left in the fridge and pantry from previous grocery shopping.

In contrast, our pantry is always well stocked. And while I was looking for something, anything, that I could turn into a delicious recipe, two ingredients stood out to me: a box of spaghetti and a package of curry paste.

Combining that with the pint of mushrooms and chicken ground casserole that had managed to survive the week, I realized I had all I needed to make a delicious Curry Chicken Spaghetti.

What I used for about 4-6 portions:

  • 1/2 package ¬†spaghetti, cook them following the package instructions
  • 375 g chicken ground
  • 227 g white mushrooms
  • 1/2 bottle tomato pasta ( strained )
  • 1/2 package curry paste ( I like to use Kitchen of India brand )
  • 5o ml cream
  • 1 teaspoon dry dill
  • salt and black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • chicken broth – home made if you have

 

Add a large pot with water to boil. When it starts to boil cook half of 450 g pasta package following the package instructions.

In a non stick, hot, skillet add the chicken ground. Give it a few stirs until the meet is not red anymore. Add about 2 cups chicken broth, stir and let it simmer for about 10- 15 min .

Clean and cut mushrooms in small cubes. Add the mushroom to the meat.

In a small bowl add half of the curry paste and 1 more cup of chicken broth. Add the cream and stir the paste to combine. Pour it over the chicken and mushroom mixture. Add the mustard and garlic powder. Reduce heat to medium-low  and cook for about 10 Р15 min.

Mean while pasta has cooked. Drain it and put it back into the pot. Pour over the curry mixture. Add dill, salt, pepper. Give it a stir and cook for 2 more minutes.

So easy and no time needed for  a delicious dinner or lunch !

P.S. My husband and daughter, who are not normally fans of spaghetti, came asking for seconds!

Bon Appetite!

curry-chicken-spaghetti-2

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Pineapple chicken with broccoli and beansprouts

Last week when I went out for grocery shopping I couldn’t resist not to buy bean sprouts and pineapple … I was craving for some sweet and sour dish for some time …so I decided now  it’s the perfect time to do it !!!

It was so delicious that I did it twice this week: Friday and Sunday !!!

Ingredients (4-6 servings)

  • 1 lb boneless-skinless chicken breast cut in bite size
  • 2-4 fresh pineapple rings cut in small pieces
  • 2 heads broccoli broke in florets
  • 1 bag bean sprouts
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut in small rings
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut in stripes
  • 1.5 cm fresh ginger root minced
  • 4 tbsp canola oil
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce ( or more if needed )
  • 100 ml white wine ( Pinot Blanc I had home )
  • salt and black pepper
  • 1 small dry chilli (optional)

In a large skillet heat 3 tbsp canola oil and add the chicken pieces. Cook them until gold brown on both sides, about 5-7 minutes.

 

Bon Appetite !